2nd Ed. AD&D Spell Creation Rules for Sorcery and Mysticism

Fifth Age Spell Creation Rules 2E

Editor’s Note:These rules are to be used in addition to the rules presented for the Sorcerer and Mystic classes for 2E which are available in the Classes and Prestige Classes Section.

In creating spells for mystics and sorcerers there are several options a spell caster must take into account. First is how long the spell takes to cast, range of the spell, duration of the spell, area of effect, and nature of the spell effects. Some of these modifiers are used in the Magic Skill roll and the rest modify the base cost of the spell.

The spells created must be based upon the effect the school represents. Use the guidelines in the DMG for the creation of new combat spells. For every two levels the caster gains he can add in an additional die of damage based upon the level he can cast the spell. Spells that are created using a specific die may only use that die until he creates a newer version of the spell using a different die. For example, if a sorcerer creates a spell that uses d4’s for damage then that is the only die that the spell can use.

The spells that are defensive in nature cannot provide a great deal of protection, but as the sorcerer gains levels the defense is increased. Defensive bonuses are gained at every five levels of the caster and the bonus is any modifier that helps out the character in combat. Use the DMG for designing new defensive spells to maintain balance.

The base target number is equal to the caster’s level. Total up all modifiers and this includes the modifiers for casting a new spell. A character must roll on a 1d20 higher than his target number.

This modifier is subtracted from the roll on whether the spell goes off or fails. If a one is rolled on a 1d20 the spellcaster suffers the effects of the spell negatively with no saves possible. For defensive spells miscast they have the opposite effect upon the spellcaster making the spellcaster easier to hit.

A sorcerer may attempt to cast a spell that he has never cast before at any time, but is assigned a modifier that is equal to half of their casting level. After successfully casting the new spell the number of times equal to the spell level without failure he drops the +2 modifier for attempting to learn a new spell and if he fails any of the attempts the modifier remains until he can successfully cast the spell four times in a row. Starting sorcerers already know the number of spells of first level equal to their Intelligence divided by five round down.

A sorcerer has a mana pool that is based upon his Intelligence and modified by their level. Multiply the character’s intelligence by the modifier to gain the result of the character’s mana pool. Use the following table to determine the modifier based on level.

At 20th level a sorcerer’s mana pool tops out at x5 their intelligence and the skill roll tops out at +9.

Mana Pool Modifiers and Magic Skill Roll Modifiers
Level Mana Mod. Magic Skill Roll Mod.
1 ¼ +1
2 ½ +1
3 ¾ +2
4 1 +2
5 +3
6 +3
7 +4
8 2 +4
9 +5
10 +5
11 +5
12 3 +6
13 +6
14 +7
15 +7
16 4 +8
17 +8
18 +9
19 +9
20 5 +9

The following table shows how much mana a certain level of spell uses and the maximum effectiveness of the spells. A spell costs the base level of the spell plus the modifiers from the stages below multiplied the number of damage dice, effect, or defense bonus. For example, a level 8 sorcerer casts fireball, with 5 as a base for the level of the spell, he wants to hit a target at far missile range, the duration is instant, affects only 1 target, and it does 2d6 of damage the mana cost for the spell would be 16 points. 5+3×2=16 points.

The maximum spell level a sorcerer can learn is level 9 and the spell casting time is equal to the spell level, if they are combat or defensive spells only. All other spells have a casting time listed in turns or hours based on the level. The maximum amount of damage a spell can do is 12d4, 10d6, 8d8, or 5d10 and the effect/bonus is 4.

Sorcerers Spell Costs and Spell Level Values
Level Spell Cost Spell Level
1 1 1
2 1 1
3 2 2
4 2 2
5 3 3
6 3 3
7 4 4
8 4 4
9 5 5
10 5 5
11 5 5
12 6 6
13 6 6
14 7 7
15 7 7
16 8 8
17 8 8
18 9 9
19 9 9
20 9 9
Damage per Level and Effect/Defensive Bonus per Level
Level Damage Effect/Bonus
1 d4 1
2 d4 1
3 d4 1
4 d6 1
5 d6 1
6 d6 2
7 d6 2
8 d6 2
9 d6 2
10 d8 2
11 d8 3
12 d8 3
13 d8 3
14 d8 3
15 d8 3
16 d10 4
17 d10 4
18 d10 4
19 d10 4
20 d10 4

The maximum spell level a mystic can learn is level 7 and the spell casting time is equal to the spell level, if they are combat or defensive spells only. All other spells have a casting time listed in turns or hours based on the level. The maximum amount of damage a spell can do is 12d4, 10d6, 8d8, or 5d10 and the effect/bonus is 4.

Mystic’s Spell Cost and Spell Level Values
Level Spell Cost Spell Level
1 1 1
2 1 1
3 2 2
4 2 2
5 3 3
6 3 3
7 4 4
8 4 4
9 5 5
10 5 5
11 5 5
12 6 6
13 6 6
14 6 6
15 7 7
16 7 7
17 7 7
18 7 7
19 7 7
20 7 7

Spell Creation and Spell Level and Spell Point Modifiers

Step One: Invocation Time
The longer the invocation time, the easiest it is to cast a spell and it is subtracted from the caster’s Magic roll.

Step Two: Range
The longer the range, the hardest it is to cast a spell. All spells are considered to be cast as ranged touch attacks, melee range.

Step Three: Duration
The longer a spell lasts, the hardest it is to cast. No spell can last more than one hour (but see long term spells below). This modifier is for the base cost of the spell.

Step Four A: Number of People Affected
The greatest area or number of people affected, the hardest it is to cast the spell. This modifier is for the Magic skill roll. The group areas of effect table are appropriate for spells that affect people, from an individual to a group. The targets must remain more or less close together.

Step Four B: Size of Objects Affected
Place areas of effect came into play when the caster wants to affect things (such as a rock or a wall), instead of people.

Step Four C: Temporal Affects
Some spells have a temporal area of effect. For those consult the following table (but bear in mind that the school of divination uses its own rules).

Step Five: Effect
The most difficult aspect of a spell to quantify is its effect and the modifier is to its base cost. This applies only to non-attack spells.

Steps One, Two and Three for Spell Creation and Spell Level and Spell Point Modifiers
Step One: Invocation Time Step Two: Range Step Three: Duration
Invocation Time Spell Points Range Spell Points Spell Duration Spell Points
30 minutes -4 Personal (normal touch attack) 0 Instant 0 0
20 minutes -3 Melee Range (Ranged touch attack) +1 1 minute +1
10 minutes -2 Close (near missile) range +2 15 minutes +2
1 full round -1 Medium (far missile) range +3 30 minutes +4
Instantaneous 0 Long (artillery) range +4 1 hour +8
Step Four: Area of Effect
Number of People Affected Size of Objects Affected Temporal Affects
Area of Effect Spell Levels Area of Effect Spell Levels Area of Effect Spell Levels
Individual 0 Individual 0 1 minute 0
Couple +1 Small Room +1 1 hour +1
Small group (5 people) +2 Large Room +2 1 day +2
Large group (10 people) +4 Small House +3 1 week +3
Crowd (25 people) +8 Large House +4 1 month +4
Step Five: Effects
Nature of Spell Effect Spell Points
Some help/Irritating 0
Minor help/Troublesome +1
Moderate help/Hindering +2
Major help/Impending +4
Extremely helpful/Painful +8
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