World-Building Athron: Spellcraft Skills

The spell system developed for my gaming system for the world of Athron is unique and complex. Early generations of system, in fact, proved to be too complex and the system had to be simplified. The final result is a list of skills accessible by any character: Magical lore, Any Spellcraft, Any Rune Lore, Any Alchemy, Energy, Scroll Lore, Command Item, Item Lore, Minor Magical Lore, Minor Spellcraft. These skills provide the backbone of the magic system as player characters understand it. As far as casting spells are concerned, the most important skills are Spellcraft, Rune Lore, Alchemy, and Energy. These are not singular skills, however; there are different spellcraft disciplines, and rune lore disciplines. For example, one discipline is fire. So, wizardly characters have the option of purchasing any of the following skills: flamecraft, fire rune lore, and fire alchemy. Originally, the energy used to activate these skills was divided by discipline as well. That is, there were separate skills like fire energy, and water energy. Unfortunately, this proved to be too complicated for the purposes of a game and involved far too much note-keeping. So it was simplified to a single energy skill. That cleared up a lot of note-keeping problems and headaches.


I used to have a list of spell disciplines or types somewhere. I probably still do, but I’m just too lazy to find it. Anyway, going from memory: there were the four basic elemental disciplines (fire, earth, water, and air) and a random assortment of others (wood, blood, flesh, bone, soul (conjuration), seer (divination), hell (demonology), death (necromancy)). In the gaming system, I was able to develop the elemental disciplines for the game. I have separate lists of spells, potions, and runes for each of those four spell disciplines. The other eight, however, were never fully developed. I can use the elemental disciplines as a template for the others in the future and get a general sense of what each spell discipline is like, but I don’t have hard-fast details. Fortunately, I don’t need quite so many details for work in a novel that I do in a game. My needs can be satisfied with a few quick notes. So, the spell system in my novels has an open-ended twelve disciplines or so, while the gaming system has a mere four. For the gaming system, the idea was always to expand it some at a later date.


Next week we will begin examining the fire discipline.

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