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Should D&D Have a 9th School of Magic (Restoration)?

This is simple. I've always been put off by most healing spells being a part of the Evocation spell list and most spells that raise people from the dead being Necromancy magic. I know that the "8 schools of magic" is a sacred cow from previous editions of D&D, but I feel that one more that makes sense both vibes well thematically with the other schools of magic while also fixing one issue many people have with the schools of magic warrants a change like this. I'd still keep Reincarnate as a Transmutation spell, and Life Transference as Necromancy, but the rest of the bunch of healing spells and resurrection spells can be moved to a ninth school of magic: Restoration, which would be all about restoring hit points and life to creatures (basically just restoring "life essence", while Abjuration would be protecting people from losing their "life essence" in the first place).

I'm interested to see what people think of this, especially if any older-style D&D players would get on board with this. I get that many people would be hesitant (to say the least) about changing one of the parts of D&D that has been with the hobby for many editions, but I feel that this one fits well enough that people shouldn't be too hostile to the idea (right? who am I kidding? This is the internet).

Let's get discussing!
 

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John R Davis

Explorer
I think you have a point. In pathfinder cure light wounds, etc they are conjuration, which also makes no sense. I guess the issue is that most of the spells aren't arcane therefore what spells does a Restoration Wizard use?
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I know that the "8 schools of magic" is a sacred cow from previous editions of D&D
I think previous editions allow for more wiggle room on this than you might think. AD&D 2E introduced alternative schools such as wild magic and elementalism in the Tome of Magic, while Player's Option - Spells & Magic went even further, with options such as dimensionalism, shadow, and force schools. Plus, it gave us the idea of a "Universal" school, something that was retained in Third Edition among a handful of spells, to use two examples.

And even before S&P used that term, 2E made a distinction between the Divination school and "Lesser Divination," the latter of which was basically the Universal school with a less-informative name.

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Blue Orange

Explorer
The elephant in the room is, of course, that magic-users aren't supposed to be able to restore damage. That's been part of the game since the earliest published editions where we had Fighting Men, Clerics, and Magic-Users, though there was the occasional workaround. If they could, well, what's the point of clerics?

Now house rules are house rules, and you can make any rule you want; the line between abjuration or alteration and evocation has been blurry on quite a few occasions (Fire Shield comes to mind) and even back in 1st ed quite a few spells were listed in 2 schools.

2nd and 3rd ed put the clerical spells (including of course healing) into spheres (2e) or domains (3e), so you didn't have to worry--healing spells were in the healing domain, along with Plant, Animal, Combat, Guardian, and whatever else you wanted to make up. It's like asking whether an orange is a car or a truck--it's an orange, it's another class of object entirely.

So can arcane casters take restoration magic as a school; if they can, what do they have to give up to get it? Evocation magic would be my first thought--no more fireball--but it's ultimately up to whatever you want to do with your game.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
The elephant in the room is, of course, that magic-users aren't supposed to be able to restore damage. That's been part of the game since the earliest published editions where we had Fighting Men, Clerics, and Magic-Users, though there was the occasional workaround. If they could, well, what's the point of clerics?

I'm pondering aspects of a D&D variant and wondering if I'd let wizards have healing/harm spells, but at a level behind the clerics, or slightly weaker versions. The justification for this play balance move could be that healing/harm magic are hard, but clerics have a leg up as evidenced by their channeling. Would make it less goofy that they can be on the bards list but not the wizards.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
This is simple. I've always been put off by most healing spells being a part of the Evocation spell list and most spells that raise people from the dead being Necromancy magic. I know that the "8 schools of magic" is a sacred cow from previous editions of D&D, but I feel that one more that makes sense both vibes well thematically with the other schools of magic while also fixing one issue many people have with the schools of magic warrants a change like this. I'd still keep Reincarnate as a Transmutation spell, and Life Transference as Necromancy, but the rest of the bunch of healing spells and resurrection spells can be moved to a ninth school of magic: Restoration, which would be all about restoring hit points and life to creatures (basically just restoring "life essence", while Abjuration would be protecting people from losing their "life essence" in the first place).

I'm interested to see what people think of this, especially if any older-style D&D players would get on board with this. I get that many people would be hesitant (to say the least) about changing one of the parts of D&D that has been with the hobby for many editions, but I feel that this one fits well enough that people shouldn't be too hostile to the idea (right? who am I kidding? This is the internet).

Let's get discussing!
I just put healing spells back to where they are supposed to be. In necromancy.
 




Aldarc

Legend
I think you have a point. In pathfinder cure light wounds, etc they are conjuration, which also makes no sense. I guess the issue is that most of the spells aren't arcane therefore what spells does a Restoration Wizard use?
In Pathfinder 2, many of the healing spells were moved to Necromancy.
 

So, when reading the flavor text in the 5e PHB that describes what evocation and necromancy are, it would make sense that healing spells like cure wounds and prayer of healing would fall under the evocation category. Evocation is classified as manipulating "magical energy to produce a desired effect," although it'd be better worded "to elicit a desired effect" instead. So if you think about those healing spells as manipulating positive energy to heal someone, it makes more sense.
Necromancy is a little tricky. I think of necromancy spells as directly manipulating the life energy within things—as opposed to healing evocation spells, which channel the surrounding magical/positive energy to restore a creature's health. Adding the Restoration School seems like it would really be stepping on Necromany's domain, as effing with the forces of life and death is the main part of its whole shtick.
I think the main issue here is that when WotC were writing chapters 10 and 11, it seems they weren't very concerned about how well certain spells fitted under their designated schools. For instance, Blindness/Deafness and Bestow Curse are almost completely unrelated to the Necromancy School—Blindness/Deafness are totally unrelated, and Bestow Curse just has inflicting extra necrotic damage as an option.
I believe that there should at least be a separate school for spells like these that inflict debuffs and don't neatly fall under a school of magic, or maybe have some spells that can fall under multiple schools.
 


Blue Orange

Explorer
I'm pondering aspects of a D&D variant and wondering if I'd let wizards have healing/harm spells, but at a level behind the clerics, or slightly weaker versions. The justification for this play balance move could be that healing/harm magic are hard, but clerics have a leg up as evidenced by their channeling. Would make it less goofy that they can be on the bards list but not the wizards.

OD&D (not AD&D) in the Companion set had cureall (heal, basically--it restored all damage) as a 9th level magic user spell. So there is some precedent.
 



Li Shenron

Legend
Personally I think it would be even better if school weren't exclusive/separate lists of spells. The fact that each spell must always have one and only one school delivers the idea that this property is a law of nature. Instead, they could be really disciplines or (surprise) "schools" actually: no special reason why a spell might belong to multiple schools or even none at all in particular, or if which school a spell belongs to might change regionally or in time.

That way, you can certainly add a "school of restoration" that freely overlaps with others, without worrying what happens to preexisting characters.

It even has a better educational value than a partitioned system.
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
Personally I think it would be even better if school weren't exclusive/separate lists of spells. The fact that each spell must always have one and only one school delivers the idea that this property is a law of nature. Instead, they could be really disciplines or (surprise) "schools" actually: no special reason why a spell might belong to multiple schools or even none at all in particular, or if which school a spell belongs to might change regionally or in time.

That way, you can certainly add a "school of restoration" that freely overlaps with others, without worrying what happens to preexisting characters.

It even has a better educational value than a partitioned system.
Once upon a time spells could belong to multiple schools.
 


Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Why not just change the name Necromancy to something like Vitamancy and allow spells to both enhance and diminish Vitality. The old necro spells that cause damage fit as do Healing and even some buffs.


Of course I’ve entirely changed the Schools and Magic system in my homebrew set so things are a lot more freeform
 

Asisreo

Hero
I actually think Transmutation would make good sense for Healing spells, since transmutation spells are the physical manipulation of things, closing wounds seem like an obvious inclusion.

It lets you grow, shrink, and make new body parts. I think its within the realm of reason they would mend those parts that already exists to their original state.
 

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