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D&D (2024) Make SPELL SCHOOLS Thematic (and Useful)

I am thinking, when a Wizard gains spells when leveling, these self-taught spells should only come from two Schools or Subschools. They might acquire spells from other Schools as treasure but need to figure out how to cast those.
It's interesting. That is how we played a long long time ago. One school could come "naturally," while the other had to be treasure. I remember liking it.

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my question is this... is there a reason to give schools to spells wizards don't get? I only see wizards interact with school.
Not assigning schools prevents anything from interacting with them. I gave a cleric player this robe a while back for example

Not having schools would also force GM adjudication of corner cases with non wizard spells into a bit of a calvinball type directionless situation & create problems for any sort of mystic theurge type subclass even before it could be built. Lets say a wizard takes magic initiate cleric for a cleric spell then has a wizard subclass that would otherwise impact the chosen spell as another example.

Not including them just invites problems for little if any gain.


Not having schools would also force GM adjudication of corner cases with non wizard spells into a bit of a calvinball type directionless situation & create problems for any sort of mystic theurge type subclass even before it could be built.

Out of curiosity. This item mentions:
• Conjuration school
• Healing school
• Divine school

In this context, what is a "Divine school"? Did you mean the Divine "power source", the "Divination school", or something different?

Regarding the "Healing School", I am comfortable with Healing being its own School. I currently have Healing as a Subschool of "Transmutation" which I define as the shapeshifting of Plant and of Animal. Other editions made it part of Conjuration (in the sense of planeshifting from the Positive Energy Plane), Evocation (in the sense of radiant Positive Energy), and Necromancy (in the sense of manipulating death magic). But really, there are enough spells that relate thematically for each Spell Slot to sustain Healing as its own independent School.


The Power Sources seem to relate to the Spell Focus, or might even be identical with it.

The Spell description should eliminate the "Components", whether Verbal, Somatic, or Material. Instead, it is the Spell Focus that matters. There are different ways to cast spells.

With regard to the Sorcerer, the body itself is the magical power source. Whether by inheriting some innately magical "bloodline", or undergoing bodily transformation by some magical creature or event, the body is magical. The Sorcerer is a living magic wand.

I now feel the best way to express this bodily flavor is for the Sorcerer to cast spells by means Somatic only.

In other words, Somatics is the Spellcasting Focus. Whether by the gentle dance of Avatar the Last Airbender, by the hand signs of the Hand of Vecna, or by wiggling ones nose like Bewitched, the body itself wields the magic.

Thus the Sorcerer never uses Verbal components or Material components.

Regarding the Power Sources, the Arcane Source manipulates the magical properties that are innately present in normal material objects. Typically, Arcane uses Material Components, such as certain stones, plants, animal parts, etcetera. An "Implement", such as a Wand or Orb, is like a high-tech tool (high-magi-tech) that substitutes any Material Component. In the case of the Sorcerer, the body is this high-tech tool, whence the Somatic gestures to activate and wield it.

The Divine Source uses a Symbol as the Spellcasting Focus, to wield the magic of linguistics, culture, community, and collective archetypes. Typically, the Divinist presents a visual Symbol, often a pendant on a necklace, but it might be coat-of-arms emblazing a shield, or a prominent tattoo. If a Divinist instead relies on Verbals as the Spellcasting Focus, such as a prayer or a meditative mantra, it is to invoke and attune a specific archetype.
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The original post strives to organize every spell in 5e into thematic spell lists.

Each school or subschool has its own list, with its own definition for which spells go into the list.

The theme for each list is nonoverlapping. As much as possible, a spell obviously belongs to one list and not any other list.

The purpose of these school lists is to make it easy to find and utilize salient themes and tropes. This thematic organization helps DMs build thematic settings and helps players build thematic characters.

Here is the definition for each school/subschool list.

Spacetime and planarity.
• Scry
Seeing across spacetime, fate, luck, foresight, detection, clairvoyance, outofbody projection.
• Teleportation
Traveling spacetime, time travel, teleportation, spacetime distortions, extradimensional space.
• Planarity
Shifting across planes of existence that are beyond matter. Contacting and summoning Ethereal-Fey forces and Astral-Celestial thoughts.

Force and magical energy. "Force" is physical but immaterial, such as gravity.
• Telekinetics
Motion, flight, or other propulsion by means of force.
• Conjury
An object or creature made out of magical energy, especially a force construct. The "force field" surface behaves as if solid but is immaterial. (Compare the Star Trek "holodeck" whose force constructs are simulations that form virtual realities.)
• Dweomer
Metamagic: detection of magical energy and alteration or negation of spellcasting. A "dweomer" is a technical term for an aura of magical energy.

The four elements of matter: Earth, Water, Air, and Fire. (The fifth element is force. See Conjuration.) Elemental planes and states of matter.
• Earth
Damage types: weapon (bludgeon, pierce, slash). Earth, soil, rock, metal, crystal. Elemental plane of earth. State of matter: solid.
• Water
Damage type: cold. Water, condensation, waves, ice. Elemental plane of water. State of matter: liquid.
• Air
Damage types: lightning, thunder. Air, wind, atmosphere, fog, weather, detonation, sound, silence. Elemental plane of air. State of matter: gas.
• Fire
Damage types: fire, radiant. Fire, sun, stars, light, darkness. State of matter: plasma.
• Primordial
Damage types: acid, various. Unstable blendings of elemental substances and energies, such as prismatic sprays.

Life and lifeforms.
• Animal
Body and physical abilities, shapeshifting. Attuning Beast, skin, fur, horn, claws, and fangs. Animal products, such as leather, fur, and ivory.
• Plant
Vegetation, Plant extending to funguses, and Oozes. Plant products − wood, cotton, linen, resin, and food − and weaving and fabrication generally. (Whereas the Earth subschool can construct objects of earth only, such as stone or metal, and the Animal subschool can form objects of animal products only, such as leather and ivory, the Plant subschool can fabricate these and other materials generally, along with plant products.)
• Healing
Healing, regrowing wounds, shapeshifting into a whole and healthy lifeform, cloning, resurrection, vitality, vigor, rest, and restoration generally.

Damage type: psychic. Mind and mental abilities, telepathy, social skills, memory, playing with minds, charm, fear, domination, and morale.

Willing reality into existence. Blurring the boundary between subjective reality and objective reality. Altering reality. (Where Conjury forms force constructs to simulate reality virtually, Illusion actually is reality even if temporary or partial. Illusions derive from a mental aspect that is psychologically immediate and compelling. To "illude" literally means to "play at" ones reality.)

Damage type: necrotic. The darkside of magic, especially death and demonology. Contacting and summoning Shadow-Undead, Infernal-Fiend, and Farrealm-Aberration.
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The UA Cleric playtest includes the following reclassifications for the spell schools.

They redefine healing spells as Abjuration.

There is an interest in tightening up the definition of the Evocation school as elemental energies. But the thunder damage type is now a Transmutation that alters solids, rather than an Evocation that wields elemental energy.

Separately, the "telepathic" spells have moved to the Divination school.

The updates are nonsystematic.

(2014 School → UA School)

Zero Slot

Dancing Lights (Evocation → Illusion) (but Light remains Evocation)
Produce Flame (Conjuration → Evocation)

1st Slot
Cure Wounds (Evocation → Abjuration)
Healing Word (Evocation → Abjuration)
Thunderwave (Evocation → Transmutation)

2nd Slot
Blindness/Deafness (Necromancy → Transmutation)
Flaming Sphere (Conjuration → Evocation)
Prayer of Healing (Evocation → Abjuration)
Shatter (Evocation → Transmutation)

3rd Slot
Aura of Vitality (Evocation → Abjuration)
Mass Healing Word (Evocation → Abjuration)
Sending (Evocation → Divination)

4th Slot
Stoneskin (Abjuration → Transmutation)

5th Slot
Hallow (Evocation → Abjuration)
Mass Cure Wounds (Evocation → Abjuration)
Reincarnate (Transmutation → Necromancy)

6th Slot
Contingency (Evocation → Abjuration)

8th Slot
Earthquake (Evocation → Transmutation)
Glibness (Transmutation → Enchantment)
Telepathy (Evocation → Divination)

9th Slot
Mass Heal (Evocation → Abjuration)
Power Word Heal (Evocation → Abjuration)
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