The Words of Wizards: Spells in the Age of Ruins

Back in my introduction of the Age of Ruins setting, I mentioned that the rules set out during the world’s creation stated that there are “no ‘flashy’ direct-damage dealing spells” outside of the dangerous rituals. I introduced that particular rule because I wanted mages to have a different vibe than the artillery that they so often become in RPGs (and to have serious consequences for pulling out the big guns).

Listed below are the Savage Worlds powers that characters with AB: Magic can learn. As previously noted, the campaign uses the “No Power Points” rules from SWD (p. 95), and I have modified the function of some powers because of this. I try to put a big emphasis on trappings to not only create diversity, but also to reinforce the specificity of a spell, as perceived in-world, versus a power, which is purely a rules construct. In addition, I’m very open to introducing spells from other RPGs (especially of the OSR variety) that have particular effects which no Savage World power easily duplicates. Conversion is especially easy in the context of not using power points.

Power List for Arcane Background: Magic

  • Analyze Foe (FC)
  • Animate Hand (SK)
  • Armor
  • Banish
  • Barrier
  • Beast Friend
  • Bless/Curse (FC)*^
  • Blind
  • Boost/Lower Trait*^
  • Burrow*
  • Confusion
  • Darksight
  • Deflection
  • Detect/Conceal Arcana^
  • Disguise
  • Dispel
  • Draining Touch (FC)
  • Elemental Manipulation
  • Entangle
  • Environmental Protection
  • Farsight
  • Fear
  • Fly*
  • Greater Healing
  • Growth/Shrink^
  • Havoc
  • Healing
  • Intangibility
  • Invisibility
  • Legerdemain (FC)
  • Light/Obscure^
  • Pummel
  • Puppet
  • Quickness
  • Shape Change
  • Slow
  • Slumber
  • Speak Language
  • Speed
  • Succor
  • Summon Ally
  • Telekinesis (FC)
  • Teleport
  • Wall Walker*
  • Zombie

* Power is modified in some way, as noted below.
^ Effect/Reverse Effect must be taken as separate powers.
(FC) Power is found in the Fantasy Companion.
(SK) Power is found in Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane.

When one of these powers are learned, a single Trait must be chosen that the spell always affects. However, the Spellcasting penalty is halved (the same effect as halving the power point cost).

Boost/Lower Trait
As with Bless/Curse, a single Trait must be chosen and the Spellcasting penalty is halved.

This power can be maintained indefinitely while burrowing, but once you have emerged from the ground the effect ends and a new Spellcasting roll is required to burrow again.

A trapping requirement of this power is an object focus, usually determined by the culture of the caster (such as a witch’s broomstick).

Wall Walker
The power requires that at least three of the recipient’s appendages maintain contact with the surface they are “walking” on (such as both feet and one hand). This makes combat while using the power rather tricky, resulting in a -2 penalty to Fighting rolls. In addition the power cannot be maintained; it has a duration of 1 hour.

Author: John Carr

Gamer, comic guy, office drone.

2 thoughts on “The Words of Wizards: Spells in the Age of Ruins”

  1. So to start off I’m completely unfamiliar with the rules system you are using. I am also unaware of the type of game you and your friends run.

    I’ve found that no matter how much role playing and drama you add to an RPG sometimes you just have to punch the bad guy in the face. 3rd Edition D&D Increased the number of spells a wizard could cast because 2nd Ed wizards often ran out and were just walking targets after the first couple combats in a day. 4th Ed tackled the problem by just making every class exactly the same just with different adjectives.

    If there are no flashy spells as you call it what does the wizard bring to the table that doesn’t make him a liability that his friends have to protect while also doing all the work on the battlefield?

  2. From a standpoint of purely addressing what the wizard character is bringing to the table, you’ve got healing (which you admittedly may also be getting from a character with Faith), crowd control, and ability enhancement for the other party members. Plus, since Savage Worlds isn’t a class based system, it’s possible to build a character with Arcane Background: Magic who is a pretty damn good with weapons as well, so the mage might be mixing it up.

    But I’d also like to address what the wizard’s player may be doing during a fight, outside of the character. Savage Worlds has a combat system that makes it really easy to have larger fights with a lot more combatants and minimal bookkeeping, therefore the old school of hirelings and henchmen are much easier to bring into things. The system also suggests that allied characters should be controlled by the players during combat, not the GM. So even if you’ve made a wizard whose real value lies outside of combat and therefore has to basically cower through the fight, you still get to spend your turn in the initiative flinging some fodder around the battlemat.

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