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D&D General Magic Classes and Home setting Advice

Xeviat

Hero
I'm finally getting back to running games in my home setting. The setting was originally created with fiction in mind, which I likely won't get around to finishing/publishing, but that's neither hear nor there. I've tweaked a number of the races/species/lineages to fit the setting (some available, some changed, etc.), but the magic classes are where I run into a little bit of trouble.

In my setting, the divinities are not grand all powerful beings ruling over concepts and cosmic forces. They're far more local. It is a more animistic setting, where a sword is magic because its spirit is powerful, gods are mostly gods of locations or ancestral spirits. But, while I'm comfortable restricting the choices of player races (since most are still available), I didn't want to restrict class choices or go through the trouble of making my own classes. So, I'm having a little trouble determining where each of the spellcasting classes fit into the world.

"God" is a name given to mostly benevolent spirits which people worship or offer veneration to receive their blessings or out of simple respect. "Demon" is a name given to more malevolent spirits which people worship or venerate in order to calm them or to redirect their wrath. "God" kind of implies good, "demon" doesn't always mean evil, and the two distinctions can shift over time. The Forest god could become more destructive and become known as a demon if angered. Additionally, even though "god" is a big title, it does not mean the spirit is all powerful. The god of a forest could be no more powerful than an advanced Awakened Tree, or a Giant Elk.

My initial intention was this:
Clerics are spellcasters who serve a particular deity.
Druids are spellcasters who make partnerships with the spirits of nature and are able to entreat their aid.
Sorcerers are spellcasters whose own spirit has magical power.
Wizards are spellcasters who learn how to manipulate the magical power present around them.

But, aside from a few of the bigger deities of the setting, if clerics were tied to a particular spirit it seems like they'd be tied down to a location, as a deity's interests wouldn't extend too far.

So, I'm struggling with where the line between clerics and druids should be in my animistic setting. And then that brings me to wondering where Warlocks fall in. Part of me wants to draw a line between Clerics and Warlocks as Clerics being the priests of gods and Warlocks being the servants of demons, but that doesn't work since the distinction between god and demon can be nebulous and subjective.

And then there's Bards.

Anyone have any advice?
 

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Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
But, aside from a few of the bigger deities of the setting, if clerics were tied to a particular spirit it seems like they'd be tied down to a location, as a deity's interests wouldn't extend too far.

I don't know if it would fit in your setting, but here's my take on this particular limitation.

If you see Clerics as servant of a local god, yes, its logical that they would find little interest to act outside of their area. But if you are not having almighty gods, the relationship with their clergy could be very different. "The first son of each family born around the Great Forest should be dedicated to Great Elk by exposing them in the forest from dawn to dusk. Most will live, as the Great Elk will generally reject the sacrifice made by the pious parents and let their child live, yet some will be taken, marked with the sign of the Great Elk and empowered by him and achieve a great destiny". And you have a Cleric that could do whatever he wants, including defending the local communities as he was raised by feys in the forest, but otherwise free to venture in the world. You mentionned ancestor spirits? "All the clan worship the founder of the clan, and he blesses each seventh son of a seventh son with extraordinary powers as a reward for the fertility of the family, raising many warriors to the clan". You don't need to have power coming from regular worship and service but could be the gift given as a result of a former (multi-generational?) worship and service. You could even have it be semi-random. The god of the city elects random children to be his priests, as a reward for the worship of the whole city. Except that they must spend one hour praying him each day and never shave their heads, they have no obligations. The wonder they will make will be associated with the god of the city and prompt all the other citizen to pray him. He doesn't need them to serve in a temple, if they become heroes of legend, it's enough to draw people to the city and benefit from the protection of the god of such an heroic figure. They would feel more like "greek heroes" than "ordained priests of monotheistic religions". For some little gods, you could have the PC actually be heroes in the greek sense. "No, you don't owe me any service or worship, but you get powers because your father isn't... look, it's complicated."

You could do no difference backgroundwise between clerics and druids (they got a different kind of abilities from their god, maybe with more purpose for the druid), just keeping the classes mechanically distinctive. I'd make Clerics and Warlock have the same kind of relationships with their patrons, but the details chances (clerics are blessed by benevolent spirits, warlock go to powerful spirits and actively make a deal for power). That's why warlock seem more bound to their patron, because they sought them and made a deal, while the deal-making was very shallow when you're just blessed by a god because one of your ancestor was very pious. But you could have both good and evil patron for clerics and warlock, depending on how they are approached.
 
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Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
I agree with @Galandris in keeping warlocks and clerics thematically the same while mechanically distinct. I think you could say the same for wizards and bards, where wizards manipulate magic logically and conceptually while bards do so through vibration and resonance.

Another consideration is that even though gods may be weaker and more localized, that doesn't mean they can't extend their influence beyond that localized region. In fact, this would make clerics all the more necessary and to have them travel the world. Each cleric can act as a living scry sensor for that god and allow for a path for their influence. The god is the spider, and the clerics are the web through which the spider can sense, move, and act.
 

Bawylie

A very OK person
There is no difference between a cleric and a warlock (and a Druid). Each enters an agreement with a powerful entity that bestows power on the disciple in exchange for some service of some kind.

A patron who is tied to a specific location would want adherents who are NOT tied to that location so that it can advance its goals and pursue its interests remotely. A River God in your world may well be interested in what comes in upriver or what goes out downriver. A Forest God might want a keen eye on civilizational advancement.

A Druid is simply a cleric who’s God(s) are various nature spirits. A warlock is a cleric who’s patron is a Demon. A cleric is a warlock who’s god is a Patron. It’s really all the same. “I get powers from a supernatural being and I have to do some stuff for them with those powers, but also whatever I want to do so long as it doesn’t make them mad.”
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
A patron who is tied to a specific location would want adherents who are NOT tied to that location so that it can advance its goals and pursue its interests remotely.
I came here to make essentially this same point. A god being localized didn't have to mean its followers are too. After all, non-localized followers are how faiths spread and grow.
 

WotC has kind of played fast and loose with to what extent Warlocks are supposed to derive their power directly from their patrons and to what extent the patrons have just taught them secret knowledge of how to manipulate magic on their own. One solution to your problem is to just lean harder towards the latter point on the continuum for Warlocks and for Clerics as well. If clerics don't get magic from their gods but rather learn magical secrets through divine revelation then they can roam all over the place. Perhaps these secrets are comparable to those a Wizard knows, or perhaps they are more like knowing the secret language by which comparable divine beings can be entreated wherever they go. Perhaps the Cleric's god effectively gives them diplomatic credentials to be aided by allied gods around the setting.

I would caution that while I think the idea of gods not being particularly powerful in a setting is pretty cool, it is hard to square with the scale of D&D magic. If folk are worshiping awakened trees just wait until they meet a level 5 caster.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Sorcerer: Spirit in their Bloodline manifests as magic.
Wizard: Uses ancient deals made between mortals and spirits, written as spells, to compell effects
Warlock: Has made a new binding contract with a great spirit for power.
Paladin/Cleric: Imbued with the power of a Great Spirit, blessed.
Druid: Fluent in spiritual languages, befriends local nature spirits, who do magic for the Druid to be friendly.
Ranger: Plays the ancient game of preditor and prey. Sacrificies prey spirits in thanks, mi,ics preditor spirits in worship.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
WotC has kind of played fast and loose with to what extent Warlocks are supposed to derive their power directly from their patrons and to what extent the patrons have just taught them secret knowledge of how to manipulate magic on their own. One solution to your problem is to just lean harder towards the latter point on the continuum for Warlocks and for Clerics as well. If clerics don't get magic from their gods but rather learn magical secrets through divine revelation then they can roam all over the place. Perhaps these secrets are comparable to those a Wizard knows, or perhaps they are more like knowing the secret language by which comparable divine beings can be entreated wherever they go. Perhaps the Cleric's god effectively gives them diplomatic credentials to be aided by allied gods around the setting.

Yup. Divine magic isn't necessarily the default assumption of a "wage" given by the god because the cleric of the Northwest Birmingham Grove is tending the sacred trees, as that would limit the cleric of such a god to have interest in roaming the world. Another relationship is needed, possibly different for each god & divine caster. You could also go with the idea of a cleric empowered by a particular god but devoted to a pantheon. "The world has been created by the spirits of everything, even the lowliest sapling has a god tending to it, and lack of worship will end with the world experiment being cancelled in a great flood" can be a common tenet of the faith and instead of having a priest of a particular or in a monotheistic-like approach, have them be priest of the whole pantheons, with a particular blessing from a specific, local god (granting just the domain spells). So even if there is a preference for a local shrine, saving the world is good as a global interest and will warrant the divine spells granted by the whole pantheon.

I would caution that while I think the idea of gods not being particularly powerful in a setting is pretty cool, it is hard to square with the scale of D&D magic. If folk are worshiping awakened trees just wait until they meet a level 5 caster.

Yes. Possible solutions:

a) The function of the gods is to be worshipped. It's not the function of mortals; A 5th level spellcaster can cast a fireball and claim he's more powerful than the awakened tree, so he is more powerful than a god... Then the local Zeus smite him with a thunderbolt because he will not accept disturbance in the world order. Many small gods doesn't mean the absence of a few major divinity with a vested interest in the "diivne order of the world". Stories of people getting 10d6 thunder damage a round for hubris abound and are very well known especially among 5th level spellcasters ;-)

b) Go for it. You can have the locals be awed by the spellcaster. Will they stop worship the awakened tree (now the awakened log)? No. Because their soul will go to hell if they worship false gods and their whole and only goal in life is ensure happy afterlife. If the players want to start a cult and subvert the world's dominant animism, that's a viable campaign goal. Maybe they will establish a new divine order among which, at level 20, they will ascend to godhood and replace animism with a greek-like pantheon made of themselves... but that will be more difficult than just awing a few Commoners by casting spells.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
I would caution that while I think the idea of gods not being particularly powerful in a setting is pretty cool, it is hard to square with the scale of D&D magic. If folk are worshiping awakened trees just wait until they meet a level 5 caster.
That awakened tree is their tree. The level 5 caster is some foreign god.

Sure, they'll treat the foreign god with fear and respect, but not love.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
I'm finally getting back to running games in my home setting. The setting was originally created with fiction in mind, which I likely won't get around to finishing/publishing, but that's neither hear nor there. I've tweaked a number of the races/species/lineages to fit the setting (some available, some changed, etc.), but the magic classes are where I run into a little bit of trouble.

In my setting, the divinities are not grand all powerful beings ruling over concepts and cosmic forces. They're far more local. It is a more animistic setting, where a sword is magic because its spirit is powerful, gods are mostly gods of locations or ancestral spirits. But, while I'm comfortable restricting the choices of player races (since most are still available), I didn't want to restrict class choices or go through the trouble of making my own classes. So, I'm having a little trouble determining where each of the spellcasting classes fit into the world.

"God" is a name given to mostly benevolent spirits which people worship or offer veneration to receive their blessings or out of simple respect. "Demon" is a name given to more malevolent spirits which people worship or venerate
So, I'm struggling with where the line between clerics and druids should be in my animistic setting. And then that brings me to wondering where Warlocks fall in. Part of me wants to draw a line between Clerics and Warlocks as Clerics being the priests of gods and Warlocks being the servants of demons, but that doesn't work since the distinction between god and demon can be nebulous and subjective.

And then there's Bards.

Anyone have any advice?
Don't draw the lines.

The difference between a Cleric and a Druid and a Warlock can be simply in their abilities. You could have a world with ONE source of magic and still use all the PHB classes.

And Clerics can easily be servants of many or even all deities.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
The game, understandably, keeps things fairly general for table-to-table interpretation and enjoyment.

For me, personally, the gods are more omnipotent, but not omnipresent. In other words, if they can be watching [over] you from wherever they or you happen to be...but if are not watching, maybe you can get away with some stuff that might not technically be in the religion's dogma...

I also make a very clear cut decision about the "structure" of magic in the setting...and Druids do not use "divine" magic. They use "Natural/Nature" Magic. The "radiation," if you will, that exudes from all creation: life, death, rebirth, animals, plants, the weather...bleeding into and/or intermixing with the energies of the "close" planes: the elemental, fae, and shadow realms...even people "give off" this setting specific "Nature" energy. Which, as typical for rpgs, is channeled and harnessed to various effect through ritual/rite, spell forumlae, use of strange -but exactingly specific- combinations of materials, and produces Magic effects.

Clerics (templars, paladins, spell-caster priests/invokers, what have you) use "Divine Magic." The energy is of the upper (or lower, for evil folks) planes. The deity's own power that is either infused or granted (see below) into the divinity's devotee. A good deal of the divine caster's power is the result of "channeling" raw divine energy to various effect (turning undead being the most common/obvious and "domain abilities" we'd call them nowadays).

Arcane casters: mages, the various wizarding specialists/specialties, people that would be called "sorcerers" (though I do not use/have a "sorcerer" class, but the homebrewed psychic class can be skinned as such if one must), et al... use "cosmic" energies of the universe, an energy that pervades the world -thus similar/closer to Nature Magic than Divine, but not a part of either- and flows through (some say "from") the universe and interdimensional/planar space. It is collectively referred to as "Arcane energy[-ies]" and/or to the common person and learned, alike, "Sorcery." Their harnessing and directing is significantly more difficult, exacting, and as you increase in power the formulae, gestures, and rites become more taxing... because unlike the cleric that is being "gifted" (for all intents and purposes) their energy, and the druids that co-mingle, ebb and flow with their magic's energies, the "wizards/arcane casters" are really "grabbing/shaping/molding/forcing" their energy into predetermined replicible productions of a specific effect. Simply put, Arcane Magic is just harder to do...but, while requiring as much, if not more, training than divine or nature casters, the power is all your own...the Arcane [energy] Magic is yours [your level of mastery's] to command.

From these three power sources, all other "Magic" work and casters can be places.
  • Where Divinity and Nature overlap, one gets "Animism" -interacting with the spirits of the world, and spirit world- yielding effects of which both divine or nature casters can get into and the purview of the specific caster called the Shaman.
  • Where Nature and the Arcane overlap, one gets "Witchcraft" -bending the energies of the cosmos and the natural world to one's whims through practice, tradition, ritual and no small amount of learning- yielding effects that both mages and druids might recognize or duplicate and the purview of the specific caster called the Witch.
  • Where the Arcane and Divine overlap, one gets "Theurgy/Thaumaturgy" -the blending of arcane energies and the [presumed unlimited] power of divinity to harness, and tentatively control, those energies outside the realms of the usual wizard, delving into the planes/dimensions beyond their typical command- yielding effects that either arcane or divine casters might possess and the purview of the specific caster called the Thaumaturgist.
  • The intersection of all three is a place of peculiar and limited power [specific spell list], "the Convergence" as it were, whence Bards (a class more akin to druids than wizards in my world/games) work their mysteries -using resonance and music, vibration and vocal formulae to enact specific magic that might draw upon -or resonate with- divine or natural or arcane energy. But the result is the desired spell effect that a druid or cleric or wizard might be capable. But they would never be able to enact it through a Bard's methods.

I do not have or use the Warlock class in my games. If one were to wish to play one, I could see them falling into Thaumaturgy, Animism, and/or Witchcraft...any of them really -other than pure Divine magic because that would make them a cleric...as written and fluffed, a connection to a specific powerful personality of some variety of magic is required.

True to early editions, in my homebrew/campaign setting game/world, 1st and 2nd level clerical and druidic spells are based on your connection to the deity or "the Green/the Balance" -as I refer to "Nature/the magic of the natural world." I'll get into setting druid specifics later. BUT, for now, for clerics the point is no matter where you go, as long as you are not purposely "cut off" from the deity, that "divine magic" is yours to do with what you want. You don't need to choose/prepare spells of 1st or 2nd level. You "pray/invoke" as you wish. This is viewed, universally, as the work of the "god" when, in reality, it is the cleric merely shaping and using the deity's "essence" (for lack of a better term) of divinity that is granted to the cleric...that makes them a real, honest to godess, spell-using, divine channeling, undead turning "Cleric" (versus just a priest or officiate or cloistered member of a religious order or what have you).

Third, fourth, and fifth level spells are granted by "an intermediary/emissary" of the divine persona. This might be the same creature/npc over and over that the PC might form a relationship with, receive "inside info" of planar goings-on, the occasional nudge toward or away from something the deity might want or has decreed. Could be an "angel" or archon, other celestial beings like a kirin or couatl. I've used a sphinx before...but your energies -which, again, the cleric is carrying around themselves, but this time it is specifically "implanted" with a specific spell-effect/formulae/divine utterance in mind. The cleric can use it anywhere...but only for the specific chosen/prepared spell.

The 6th and higher levels of divine spells are specifically "granted" by the deity themselves. The cleric's daily meditations/prayers/morning spell-harnessing rites, however you want to perceive them (and different religions/orders in my world view conduct themselves differently) is "in communion" with the deity itself, requesting and being bequeathed -or refused in the deity's divine wisdom or foreknowledge, for a different spell- the specific "prepackaged ball" of divine magic effect.

Druids, as mentioned are not required to prepare specific first or second level spells. Third and higher must be specifically chosen and prepared as normal. But this is not due to some "entity" giving it to them. It is a matter of their connection and mastery of the energies around them/in the natural world. It MAY involve some extraplanar power or being, calling upon them: fae and elementals being the most common, or summoning existing creatures/forces (animals, plants, weather) to your service. But while there are deities in the world's pantheon that hold swaym over elements of Nature, the weather/sky, agriculture, forests, animals, the sea, etc... these for my world are viewed as "the Gods of Men"...and the Anicent and Holy Order of Mistwood are Druids...the first priests, the first users [among mortals] of magic, protectors of Nature, keepers of the Balance,... not "men." The power they channel does not serve some external being's will. They use it to connect and coexist with the natural world, move swiftly and unhindered throughout the world -and other near worlds, even take the form of animals and trees to become one with the Green and the Balance. Theirs is stewardship of the natural world which is, to the druidic view, Creation. That said, they hold no ill-will to those who serve deities -particularly those whose portfolios overlap with a druid's areas of interest- but have no interest in doing so and see themselves as distinctly apart from such "divine servitude."

Mages ("wizards") must prepare all spells -choosing even their cantrips they will know/have ready for the day, though command of those minor magics is such that the caster can use them at will/as many times per day as needed. Much of the rest of arcane magic is rote and research. Learning the magical languages, including the most common used by wizards in the setting's current day, Arkanic, needed to cast spells. Mastering the first, simple, magic of cantrips before venturing into true formulae. Understanding the basic "laws and rules" of magical functioning, harnessing and direction. Finding, exploring, and expanding their knowledge of the arcane mysteries of the universe. It is often tedious (especially in one's initial years in tutelage and apprenticeship), time consuming, can become rather expensive, and not easily mastered. But the arcane spellcaster is driven, above almost all else, to develop their comprehension, expand their understanding, and through doing so, amass greater and greater power. How the caster chooses to, then, utilize and direct their power can be concerning, or distressing, for others...particularly non-magic users. Specialists (illusionists, necromancers, etc...) delve deeply into a particular area of arcane study and perfect their magical power and choose spells which are all "Arcane" by origin, and some overlap/appear on a mage/wizard spell list, but they have spell lists that contain magic specific to those casters/areas of study, which the "generalist" mages do not know/understand/can not learn.

Arcane energy, however, need not be measured and mined, molded and forced into specific shapes [spell effects] through precise incantation and elaborate ritual. There are those who possess innate connection -be it by some magical lineage, divine provenance, or other esoteric origin- with the forces of the universe. Most commonly, this is manifested by force of will and strength of character and personality, to produce what would appear to be a "magical" effect through supernatural forces. Many magical beings and creatures simply use these supernatural powers, that are a part of their nature, at will: most fae, some elementals, the teleportation or healing abilities of the unicorn, gaze of the basilisk, magic worked by a dragon, and so on. Those for whom this is done with their own mind's power are known as Psychics. With no small amount of discipline, concentration, and/or training, the psychic can unlock arcane power with and through their own mind: moving objects without touching them, influencing or attacking other minds, seeing into place far from them, even generating and/or controlling certain elemental energies.

So, those are my "Magic Classes" in my campaign world. Primary classes: Clerics (divine), Druids (nature), Mages (arcane), Psychics (mental powers, supernatural ability not "magic spells")

Then, what I would call the "secondary" caster types: witches, shamans, thaumaturgists, paladins, sorcerers (if you must), rangers (though my setting uses spell-less rangers), invoker/incantertrix, oracles (for the PF games), etc... use some combination of techniques and/or training/practices to engage in their particular flavor of magic-use.
 
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Xeviat

Hero
I would caution that while I think the idea of gods not being particularly powerful in a setting is pretty cool, it is hard to square with the scale of D&D magic. If folk are worshiping awakened trees just wait until they meet a level 5 caster.

This is actually an interesting point. So, one thing that separates the deities from mortals is their immortality. Local gods may be weak, like the aforementioned CR 2 awakened tree god of the forest with its dryad servants, but they're functionally immortal and are empowered by their worship. There's always a bigger dog out there, though. A grander forest is going to have a more powerful forest god. A more revered forest is going to have a more powerful god as well (or multiples).

Powerful mortals may go on to become legendary heroes, and their spirits may live on as ancestral spirits. They may become bound to an item of theirs, like a warrior's sword, becoming an artifact, or they may become a deity of their people in their own right.
 

Xeviat

Hero
Don't draw the lines.

The difference between a Cleric and a Druid and a Warlock can be simply in their abilities. You could have a world with ONE source of magic and still use all the PHB classes.

And Clerics can easily be servants of many or even all deities.
This might be a direction I'll go, but part of me really likes having the classes be concrete things in the world.

After reading peoples posts here, I'm thinking clerics won't be necessarily tied to a specific deity so much. Rather, they'll be tied to their domain. They're blessed by the gods, but whether or not they are a practicing priest of a deity is up to their background. That will allow for the class to serve both adventuring wanderers and local priests.

Warlocks, though, with their connection to their patron, will have that specific tie. For me, if I don't focus on the tie between warlock and patron, the class feels less like it needs to exist and I'm very tempted to spin it together with the Sorcerer.

Like someone suggested, I'll go with druids not quite being divine magic. Druid, Bard, and Wizard magic all comes from the same place, but how they get it is different. Druids partner with the spirits of the world and intuitively know how to call upon them. Bards instinctively influence them with their presence. Wizards learn the science of manipulating magical energy. Because of this, Druids may look upon Wizards with a bit of disdain, since Wizards are taking power, rather than asking for it.

Sorcerers are kind of little godlings of their own. Their magic is their own, just like other magical creatures.
 

cbwjm

Hero
This might be a direction I'll go, but part of me really likes having the classes be concrete things in the world.

After reading peoples posts here, I'm thinking clerics won't be necessarily tied to a specific deity so much. Rather, they'll be tied to their domain. They're blessed by the gods, but whether or not they are a practicing priest of a deity is up to their background. That will allow for the class to serve both adventuring wanderers and local priests.

Warlocks, though, with their connection to their patron, will have that specific tie. For me, if I don't focus on the tie between warlock and patron, the class feels less like it needs to exist and I'm very tempted to spin it together with the Sorcerer.

Like someone suggested, I'll go with druids not quite being divine magic. Druid, Bard, and Wizard magic all comes from the same place, but how they get it is different. Druids partner with the spirits of the world and intuitively know how to call upon them. Bards instinctively influence them with their presence. Wizards learn the science of manipulating magical energy. Because of this, Druids may look upon Wizards with a bit of disdain, since Wizards are taking power, rather than asking for it.

Sorcerers are kind of little godlings of their own. Their magic is their own, just like other magical creatures.
This set up with clerics is similar to an idea that I had a while ago. White wizards (similar to clerics, but study like a wizard) study and draw power from a single domain which is an actual plane of existence. There are still holy orders and they may even have patrons, such as your awakened tree god sponsoring a small local nature cult or a choir of angels sponsoring a major religion that crusades against evil and injustice. The powers of clerics is based on the power they draw from their domain though so they can travel to far flung regions even if they do belong to a small nature cult. That awakened tree might even enjoy its adherents wandering to other lands and bringing back stories of these distant places.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
First thought: maybe you don't have clerics at all. The "biggest" powers you have seem more like what you would make pacts with. You can have celestial warlocks, for those with pacts to gods.

Second thought: perhaps take a page from one thing paladins can do, and instead clerics worship ideals. And those powers come from the collective belief in them. Actually, churches may be a requirement for that power if you want to keep that traditional structure. (Or you can abolish them and replace them with orders and guilds just like everyone else.)

Third thought: perhaps these Genius Loci and other individual gods are in rough collections, categories or other groupings, and a cleric can beseech aid from their personal one and any allied types as they wander.
 

Xeviat

Hero
Third thought: perhaps these Genius Loci and other individual gods are in rough collections, categories or other groupings, and a cleric can beseech aid from their personal one and any allied types as they wander.

If I had the time and energy, I'd be rewriting all the magic classes. I wrote the setting with elemental magic in mind, so I might make separate classes for the four major elements (which would have access to the adjacent elements), or I might go with a whitemage/blackmage model. The "how" might come down to other choices, except for the inborn casters (which I still have a distinction). Fitting thr D&D casters in is tougher.
 

jgsugden

Legend
In my world:

Clerics and Paladins are granted power by Gods and other Divine beings. That magic flows to them through the Weave and is a reward for their faith. It is an act of faith and respect. Their magic is delivered to them.

Rangers and Druids draw their power from Life and Death, the fundamental powers of the universe. Their magic flows to them from the core of the Positive and Negative energy planes, although it also travels to them through the weave. Nobody grants it - they learn to draw it from the universe. The magic flows into them like waves on the shore.

Wizards and Artificers draw their magic from the Weave as well, but they're tapping into the magic that flows through the Weave and forcing it to do their bidding through precision and control. A wizard cuts, ties, wrangles, manipulates and forces the Weave. They are artists,

Sorcerers also draw magic from the Weave as a wizard does, but it is not an exercise in precision and control - it is brute force. They draw the magic into themselves and shape it through force of persona. They are primal forces in humanoid form.

Bards seem like sorcerers at first, but their magic is not about force. It is a seduction, lure and play. They offer their spirit into the Weave and pull it back in a rhythmic dance, drawing in magic with each beat of their performance.

Warlocks are granted power by the Powers of the Universe, whether they be Gods, Demons, Devils, Outsiders or other things. However, this is not the act of faith of a cleric. It is a business relationship. These beings are granted power in an exchange. There is a contract. There are terms. The warlock might be on good terms with their business partner, or they may be trapped in the bad end of a deal. They may have given their soul for power, been transformed into a tool in exchange for vengeance, or not know what purpose the Power had in granting them power. Their contract may be a vague verbal agreement - or a 10,000 page written agreement. A god might have some that serve it as clerics, who give and take from the God in a synergistic relationship - and at the same time make a warlock pact with mortals who can't find the faith to be trusting of the God.

I also have Psions. They do not draw power to themselves through the Weave as those other classes do. The power is internally generated. They train themselves to be furnaces of fundamental psionic power. This isolation from the weave leaves their psionic power distinct and separate, able to ignore dispelling, counterspelling, detection and other magics that work because of the way that other spellcasters interact with the weave. Monks and their ki also work in this fashion.

I also have a few classes that are Supernatural in nature. They do not cast spells, but like a Lycanthrope or Spirit, these classes create magical forces that do not rely upon the Weave for magical effects - they tie themselves to primal forces capable of reshaping the rules of the universe. The Barbarian and Blood Hunter are two examples of Supernatural classes - although I have a half dozen more (mostly legacy from prior editions).
 

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