Some mini magical schools

Shamelessly inspired by having been digging at a venerable jrpg for months upon months at this point (lol), here are ten wee schools of magic, eight spells each.

There was some tweaking involved in setting these out, which was no surprise; magic doesn’t need as much “utility” in a jrpg. Or, I suppose, tabletop could use slightly more variety than “how to smite critters faster while making sure they they don’t smite you”, ha. Nonetheless, I think I kept the categories intact and adapted some key spells along the way.

Spells are all short and to the point, meant for for pocketrpg / The Black Hack / Knave / Cairn / similar such games, but with a detail or three could be added elsewhere without too much fuss, I imagine —

Opposing Schools: Eight of the ten have opposing schools, as follows:

Wind <-> Earth

Flame <-> Water

Light <-> Darkness

Mirage <-> Sorcery

Spirit and Wickedness do not oppose, despite being a “leftover pair”, and can be freely combined.


01. Windrazor: Focused blast of air does 1d6 damage.
02. Windcalling: Summons an air elemental [Average] to act on behalf of the summoner. 10 min. + 10 min./Essence spent.
03. Unseen Wings: Target gains ability to fly. 1d4 hrs.
04. Barrier Breeze: Enveloping cocoon of winds blocks 4 airborne attacks. 10 min.
05. Windwhisper: Message up to 5 min. long travels to chosen recipient on a tiny whispering breeze.
06. Tempest: 2d4 targets are struck by lightning and stormwinds for 1d4 damage.
07. Sparktouch: Imbues weapon with lightning; +1 damage, counts as lightning/wind damage. 5 turns.
08. Storm Frenzy: Speed of the storm grants two actions/turn. 2d6 turns. 1 Ess.


01. Weight of Stone: Target acts every second turn, moves at 1/2 speed. 2d4 minutes.
02. Calcify: Target turns to stone. 2 Essence.
03. Crystal Carapace: Increase Armour Points by 2. 1 hr.
04. Earthcalling: Summons an earth elemental [Average] to act on behalf of the summoner. 10 min. + 10 min./Essence spent.
05. Draw From The Earth: Regenerate 1 Essence/hr for 8 hrs; “phantom” Essence is lost from injury first, cannot fuel magic, and is lost when duration ends.
06. Diamond Edge: Next physical attack does max damage. 1 Essence.
07. Earthhome: Raises earth and stone shelter for up to 6 individuals. 8 hrs.
08. Bounty: Conjures basic foodstuffs for one meal. (stops working for individual after 1d4 days unless they get mundane food.)


01. Flamegout: Ribbon of flame does 1d6+1 damage.
02. Hearthfires: Subject is immune to cold damage for 1 hr, or ambient warmth is created in Nearby radius. 2d4 hrs.
03. Firetouch: Imbues weapon with fire energy; +1 damage, counts as flame damage. 10 min.
04. Coronal Coronet: Flame aura deals 1d3 fire damage to next 2 sources of injury. 1 hr or until triggered.
05. Flamecalling: Summons a fire elemental [Average] to act on behalf of summoner. 10 min. + 10 min./Essence spent.
06. Immolation: 1d6 fire damage to all within Nearby range. 1 Essence.
07. Memory of Ashes: Instantly incinerate a target. 2 Essence.
08. Burnfever: Heals subject of illness, mundane or magical.


01. Torrent: Blast of water does 1d6 damage.
02. Wavecalling: Summons a water elemental [Average] to act on behalf of summoner. 10 min. + 10 min./Essence spent.
03. Mire: Waterlogs area up to Nearby range, slowing physical actions to every other turn. 2d8 turns. 1 Essence.
04. Purifying Font: Cleanses one subject of poison, or renders tainted supplies edible/drinkable.
05. Glacial: Ice shards inflict 1d6 damage to all in Nearby range. 1 Essence.
06. Frostmantle: Subject is immune to heat damage for 1 hr, or ambient coolness is created in Nearby radius. 2d4 hrs.
07. Vital Rain: Conjures healing waters, 1d4 Essence.
08. Underwave: Breathe water, swim as easily as walking. 4 hrs.


01. Heartlight: Remove mental or emotional duress and debuffs from target, or grant +1 to Psyche to resist next such influence.
02. Day’s Truth: Sense deliberate lies or obfuscations. 10 min.
03. Lantern: Create light (of chosen colour) as strong as a lantern, either stationary or following target. 6 hrs.
04. Suntouched: Heal 1d4+1 Essence.
05. Starburst: Deal 1d4+1 light damage.
06. Moonblade: Summon weapon of pale glittering light; Advantage on attacks, 1d8+1 damage, lasts 4 turns. 2 Essence.
07. Revelation: Cures subject of blindness, paralysis, and similar restrictions.
08. Clarity: Waves of blinding light deal 1d6 damage to 2d8 targets. 1 Essence.


01. Shadowbind: Paralyzes target with shadowy coils. 2d4 turns.
02. Afraid Of The Dark: 1d4 subjects are struck with terror and try to flee.
03. Black Curtain: Cloaks Nearby area in darkness. 6 hrs.
04. Deny The Light: Target is blinded. 2d4 hrs, or until dispelled/treated if 1 Essence spent.
05. Darkblade: Summon weapon of utter darkness; Advantage on attacks, 1d8+1 damage, lasts 4 turns. 2 Essence.
06. Despair: Inflicts Disadvantage on target’s next test.
07. Shadowpuppet: Turn target’s shadow against them; will attack target as [Average] antagonist, dealing 1d4 damage if defeated. 6 turns.
08. Shadowalk: Step into darkness, come out in another shadow or darkness up to Far Away range. 1 Essence.


01. Unseen Passage: Subject turns invisible. 2d8 min.
02. Dreamtime: Send 2d4 targets to sleep. 1 hr or until woken up.
03. Misdirection: Subject will choose wrong target for own actions, believing choice correct, for next 3 actions.
04. Phantasm: Create illusionary object or location, up to size of large chamber. 4 hrs.
05. Masque: Change outward appearance or create intangible copy of subject. 2 hrs. or until masque is touched.
06. Daze: Target is confused and wanders aimlessly. 5 min.
07. Piercing Unreality: Dispel illusions, enchantments, magical barriers.
08. Labyrinth: Target is convinced they are trapped in a maze, left in fugue state. 1 Essence.


01. Mystic Bolt: Bolt of energy deals 1d3 damage, no save.
02. Sorcerer’s Shawl: Subject is cloaked in magic field that absorbs 8 Essence of damage before dissipating.
03. Powerfont: Boost damage from an ally’s next spell by half again, or double the duration of their non-battle spell. 1 Essence.
04. Reading The Past: Touch an object, discover last purposes and owner.
05. Counterspell: Shuts down next incoming magic; can undo magic just cast (current or previous turn) for 1 Essence.
06. Energy Storm: Deals 1d3 damage to all in Nearby range, no save.
07. Baneward: Create magic trap that does 1d4 damage when triggered. 24 hrs.
08. Sorcerer’s Sight: Choose to sense magic, illusions, or spirits. 10 min.


01. A Burden Shared: Take on some or all of another’s injuries.
02. Insight: Grants Advantage on next test.
03. Weight Of A Soul: Immobilize 1d6+1 targets. 1d4 turns.
04. Castigate: Target becomes non-hostile (unless Psyche test is successful; then are probably enraged).
05. Warding: Declare area up to Nearby range impassable by specific entity or creature type. 1 Essence. 8 hrs.
06. Soulflame: 1d10 damage to target up to Far Away, no save. 2 Essence.
07. Heartreading: Discern subject’s intentions in a general sense (friendly, suspicious, etc).
08. Crucible: Halve incoming damage. 1 Essence. 4 turns.


01. Dead Walking: Animate corpse or skeleton; uses deceased’s attibutes.
02. Crawling Blight: Poisons target, 1d4 damage/turn. 1 Essence. 6 turns.
03. Curse of Spite: Halves target’s attributes. 1 hr. (2 Essence: until dispelled)
04. Soul Siphon: Inflict 1d6 damage on target, gaining damage dealt as Essence.
05. Wracking: Stun 2d6 targets for one turn.
06. Blackened Wounds: Next attack on subject will continue to bleed, 1 Essence/turn, until treated.
07. Bleak Marionette: Target comes under caster’s control; takes 1 damage/min. until out of Essence or control is lifted/broken.
08. Nadir: All non-Wickedness magic Nearby requires +1 Essence surcharge. 2 Essence. 1 day.

2 thoughts on “Some mini magical schools

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