This is a setting of high magic, where only arcane casters are allowed, divine casters, dwarves, and halflings are considered to be beneath the protection of the law and its citizens. This gives free reign on anything regarding these people in the country if the accusations can be proved. This was run from the 21st of September 2016 to the 16th of November 2016 over the course of 4 sessions.
As this is planned as a 4 year study in the Great School of Magic in Glantri City the characters each got to participate in classes about furthering their knowledge of magic. This leads to the seven secret crafts of Glantri, which was introduced and will play a part in future storylines.
Each of these craft deal with secret power learned by wizards (as there were no other arcane casters in the original edition) and they each have their own society. Firstly there is the Masters of Alchemy (alchemists), will be converted over to making alchemical items as well as magical concoctions. Then we have the Masters of Dragons (dragonologists), who learn to take on aspects of dragons in their magic.
The next society is really four different societies at once, each with their own element of Air, Earth, Fire and Water. By the setting they should also have Entropy as an element to align it with the spheres of power using a five element symbology which I will be incorporating into this world. So they are the Masters of the Element of <insert element here> (<element> elementalist) who learn to incorporate their element into their magic.
Then we move onto the Masters of Illusions (mesmerists) who play with peoples minds and the reality of sleep. Onto the Masters of Necromancy (necromancers) who are a step ahead of just a necromancy specialist. Then the Masters of the Runes (cryptomancers) who deal with the names of things which provide a power of their own. Not the same as runic magic, but along the same line. Will talk more about that when we get to GAZ7. The last of the secret crafts is the Mistresses of Witchcraft (witches) who channel the power of hag and curses.
There is one more craft that is never spoken of, and waits for those of intellect and power to discover it, only if they can see the light and follow the only true religion allowed in the country, that of Rad.
Characters got to create magical items, learn abilities beyond what other spellcasters from other nations are capable of, learn or create new spells, increase the size of their personal library and expand their knowledge on the identification of magical creatures.
They spent half of each session seeing if their characters learnt anything that semester in the Great School, and the other half of the session doing side jobs for the professors, ranging from delivering packages, to scouring the nearby mountain peaks for rare herbs.
Six players, each having backgrounds that fitted into the setting or changing the setting slightly to allow for the backgrounds to work. All characters are enrolled in the great school of magic and should have played either a wizard, a sorcerer or a bard in that order of preference.
- Shadow Elf (based on Drow)
- Alhambra (based on High Elf)
- Red – have a society in the mountains nearby
- A sentient construct fairly unique in the city
- A member of racial stock from the mountains nearby
Forbidden classes and races
- Clerics are forbidden in this country, though the same is for dwarves, halflings and anyone relying on divine magic. Players can ignore this at their own peril.
The characters started in the City of Glantri, as new students at the Great School of Magic on their first day at the school, all in the same intake.
As part of the semester each session I had a bunch of rolls to see how well each character participated in the school classes. Each semester I had the characters apply against these categories:
- Complementary Courses
- Spell Crafting
- Magic Item Creation
- Acquisitions (Magical Item Identification)
- Library Creation
- Monster Identification
Classes has a DC of 10, with every 5 points over being a higher grade. i.e 10 for a pass, 15 for a credit (+1), 20 for a distinction (+2) and 25 for a high distinction (+3). A character had to pass a class to be able to attempt the next level of the class.
There were six planned semesters for each character to be able to participate in.
- Agility Training – Ability to incorporate a movement into casting of a spell with a concentration check.
- Conjure Companion – Gain a familiar
- Learning Languages – Gain a language
- Mandragora – Learn about how this root can be identified and uses
- Meditation – gain a +1 for every 4 levels to a intelligence based ability check after an hours meditation. Can be used on classes, learning spells, magic item creation or gaining a companion.
- Quick Casting – As a move action, can prepare a spell to cast next round as an bonus action.
- Spell Combination – The spell caster can changing their prepared list into spell points and cast spells in any combination. Each spell slot is worth as many points as its level.
Each semester they learn to identify spells. As part of learning they gain a new spell the character knows by subtly changing an existing spell to be a unique spell for that character.
- Level 1 – Identifying cantrips
- Level 2 – Identifying 1st level arcane spells
- Level 3 – Identifying 2nd level arcane spells
- Level 4 – Identifying 3rd level arcane spells
- Level 5 – Identifying 4th level arcane spells
- Level 6 – Identifying 5th level arcane spells
Magic Item Creation
At the end of each semester they may have crafted (or received as an award) a magical item as part of their studies. Each level provides different items to be crafted, with difficulties based on what they want to create. Either the item is created or its not.
- Level 1 – Common Expandable Items
- Level 2 – Common Items
- Level 3 – Uncommon Expandable items
- Level 4 – Uncommon Items
- Level 5 – Rare Expedible Items
- Level 6 – Rare Items
Each semester they learn to identify magical items. The bonus they get each semester is added to their attempt to identify items of the rarity associated with their class.
- Level 1 – Common Items
- Level 2 – Uncommon Items
- Level 3 – Rare items
- Level 4 – Very Rare Items
- Level 5 – Legendary Items
- Level 6 – Artefacts
Each semester they gain books for their personal library that will assist in knowledge rolls of a subject of their choice. Each semester they can add a new subject or increase their knowledge of an existing subject. Valid subjects were schools of magic, creature types, countries and anything else they could imagine. The bonus they get from their score determines the bonus they get when researching a topic based on their library.
Each semester they learn to identify creatures. The bonus they get for the class determines the bonus they get when trying to identify creatures in the field.
- Level 1 – below 1 HD
- Level 2 – 1 to 2 HD
- Level 3 – 2 to 3 HD
- Level 4 – 3 to 4 HD
- Level 5 – 4 to 5 HD
- Level 6 – 5 to 6 HD
Planned end to story arc
The characters were told that they would be given the test of sorcery at the end of four years in the school to determine how well they had progressed in their learning and where they would end up as member of society.
How it turned out
Well it was fun working out the classes, and interactions between characters, as we roleplayed some of the classes, teachers and other students. They got to meet some of the true terrors of the setting, young teenagers with magical power. Elves and humans the equivalent mentality of a eight year old wielding magic in the classroom.
Using some of the basic adventure idea’s in the back of the book and tailoring it to the group of players and their characters on the night has been fun.
I had planned for two more semesters and then do the school’s test, but the players were not into it enough to justify another session so I moved up the test of high sorcery. For this session the players got to see what everyone else was doing, but not know what it meant. I would run each player and their character though the graduation test in the book and let it finish but not give the results until they all ran through the test.
There was two outstanding performances, one okay performance, and one disappointing performance. So it was good that the continuing players managed to graduate and gain employment with the government as citizens.
Changes to the setting:
- Goliaths added to the mountains
- Red Dragons with their dragonborn added to the mountains
- War Forged allowed as a once off as a science experiment that gained sentience.
- The secret crafts of Glantri all become feat progression to be taken in place of feats, though they were also thought to be downtime activities like the semester training except their abilities were more powerful and I did feel appropriate for a feat selection.
Next up: GAZ4 – Kingdom of Ierendi