Schools of Magic for Lamentations

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A while ago I had the idea that there are now enough book-, blog-, pdf- and zine-published lists of spells for The Game that it’s easy to think of each as its own School of Magic separate and distinct.

And now that Lamentations has published both Vaginas Are Magic and Eldritch Cock — with their stated and contemplated rule changes for Magic-Users — it seems like the right time to put ink to paper.

Each Wizard is a student of a particular magic school. When a player creates a Wizard character he rolls (currently a d10) on the following — ever expanding — table to determine which School of Magic was his alma mater:

Schools of Magic

  1. Libro Lamentati
  2. Eldritch Weirdness
  3. Magic Vaj, Eldritch Cock
  4. Illusio Primo
  5. Space-Age Sorcery
  6. The Necromican
  7. Better Than Any Man
  8. Ancient Vaults & Eldritch Secrets*
  9. Frostbitten & Mutilated
  10. Wonder & Wickedness (12/XIV)

*: Roll a d8:

  1. 9th Cycle
  2. 10th Cycle
  3. 11th Cycle
  4. 12th Cycle
  5. 13th and 14th Cycles
  6. 15th Cycle
  7. 16th Cycle
  8. 17th Cycle

By way of giving the player some control over his character’s life, the Wizard may choose either the School above or below the one he rolled if he doesn’t like the original result. For these purposes the last entry is above the first, and the first entry is below the last. You get the idea.

Once you know the School, determine the Wizard’s three beginning spells from the tables below and off you go.

Here are the first few I’ve done:

Libro Lamentati

The table includes every spell from the Magic-User list in Rules & Magic.

Though spell levels don’t exist anymore, they’ve been included in the tables to make them rollable sections (using a d9 in this case) should a DM want that option for any reason. And within each level the spells are numbered by die-type, again for rollability.

I’ve also included page numbers for each spell.


The Necromican

A friend gave me a pdf of this mighty tome a few years ago; it’s how I learned about it in the first place.

And if you’ve never feasted on the majesty that is The Necromican, stop reading this now and gorge yourself on the glory. Go read Lizard’s multi-part survey of it here, here, here, here, here, here and here (no, I’m not kidding).

The Necromican is why I started listing page numbers for spells in these tables. It was published in ’79 and that decade had a pretty general “Fuck alphabetical order!” attitude which I appreciate in spirit but which makes finding the text you need right now during play a bit, hmm, I’ll say, shitty.



Eldritch Weirdness

Since Eldritch Weirdness is directly connected to Lamentations through the spells Force of Forbidment and Strange Waters I & II it’s an obvious addition here as it’s own School. It only contains 30 spells, but at one-spell-per-level (per Vaginas are Magic) and campaigns tending to be low-to-mid level anyway (see Playtest Notes in Eldritch Cock), all is well.


Illusio Primo

If you thought page numbers were helpful with The Necromican wait til you get a load of the list of spells for the Illusionist from the Original PHB! In some cases the spell descriptions are Illusionist specifics referring to Magic-User particulars referring to Cleric generalities. For reals.

I’ll follow up with Magic Vaj, Eldritch Cock, Space-Age Sorcery (one of my favourites of all time) and Ancient Vaults & Eldritch Secrets in a bit.

Oh, and Wonder & Wickedness will make you a Sorcerer instead of a Wizard. It’s boss! Get it.

[A note about bizarre dice: I’m a big believer in Purpler Sorcerer GamesCrawler’s Companion ! Select dice on the bottom then batch at the top; in the script roll field enter whatever value you want (e.g., 156 for the Libro Lamentati); hit the Roll button; Boccob’s your uncle!]



When is a Paladin a Paladin?

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I was recently at the National Gallery in London and saw these two paintings of Saint George and the Dragon. Unfortunately I didn’t record when or by whom they were done. But check it out, they can be arranged in sequence.

ACT I, The Charge:


ACT II, Lance In, Sword Out:


In addition to depicting two distinct phases of the battle they also show George gaining divine favour during the engagement. In ACT I he has no halo; in ACT II there it is.

This got me thinking about being — or rather, becoming — a Paladin.

Here’s a thought: instead of a player starting a campaign as already a Paladin, have him start as a Fighter and make his achieving Paladin-hood be an in-game/through-play goal or event.

It could be done purely mechanically with, say, an XP threshold (though that strikes me as boring) or PHB Bard-style, by making the man-who-would-be-Paladin spend x Levels as a (Lawful Good?) Fighter before being able to switch up.

Or it could be done through role-play over something as short as an in-game quest or as long as a campaign-spanning arc. This would allow for road-to-Damascus changes of heart (read: alignment), conversion and blessing.

I like these ideas because whether or not one is a Paladin is not entirely up to oneself. No amount of hard work or good deeds will get you the badge. The higher powers are the only ones who get to make that call. And they don’t make it very often.

[On a not entirely unrelated note, have a classic White Dwarf (ish 20) article:]


Time Gone Awry

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Thoughts on Lewisian, Vancian, etc. time distortion in alternate planes and pocket universes, version 1.5:

Roll a d7:

1 = a second;
2 = a minute;
3 = an hour;
4 = a day;
5 = a week;
6 = a month;
7 = a year.

here (i.e., the mythic underworld, faerie holt, etc.) is perceived/experienced by the traveller as:

Roll a d7:
1 = a second;
2 = a minute;
3 = an hour;
4 = a day;
5 = a week;
6 = a month;
7 = a year.

… but elsewhere (i.e., in the PCs default reality/time stream) passes as:

Roll a d7:
1 = a second;
2 = a minute;
3 = an hour;
4 = a day;
5 = a week;
6 = a month;
7 = a year.

I came to the above by taking into account there are at least three points of reference in this process:

  • The default reality;
  • The traveller; and
  • The other place.

Next wobble up for consideration: constriction and dilation of distance/range/space.