log in or register to remove this ad

 

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!
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Honestly, we should have spells be classified by their general purpose(s), and only use schools of magic when wizards are involved (like Healing, Creation, or Resurrection magic [for most spellcasters]; and having the wizard's spells be assigned to specific schools).
 

log in or register to remove this ad

the Jester

Legend
Odd trivia department: Though most likely a mistake, there was a small 9th school of magic in AD&D 1e...
The spiritual hammer spell's type of magic was listed as "Invocation" in the AD&D 1e PHB. It was the only spell with such a designation there.
There was indeed, but invocation wasn't it. Invocation was part of "invocation/evocation", just like it was "conjuration/summoning" back in the day.

The real small 9th school of magic in 1e is Possession, which did indeed only have one spell in it: magic jar.
 

Rabulias

Adventurer
There was indeed, but invocation wasn't it. Invocation was part of "invocation/evocation", just like it was "conjuration/summoning" back in the day.
AD&D 2nd edition did incorporate the invocation/evocation combined school, but I never saw any other reference to invocation in AD&D 1e. In fact, I never saw a summary of the types of magic in 1e, though it has been included from 2e onward.
The real small 9th school of magic in 1e is Possession, which did indeed only have one spell in it: magic jar.
Good find! Never used magic jar back in the day, so I never noticed this. And this is clearly not a typo.
 

the Jester

Legend
AD&D 2nd edition did incorporate the invocation/evocation combined school, but I never saw any other reference to invocation in AD&D 1e. In fact, I never saw a summary of the types of magic in 1e, though it has been included from 2e onward.
It (the summary of the schools) was in a very weird place- the introductory section of the 1e Manual of the Planes. I think (but am not sure, and don't have my 1e books in front of me) they were also discussed briefly in the DMG section on spells, but not thoroughly- more or less just to say, "Hey, these schools of magic are here if you want to do something like the illusionist but with a different type of magic".
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Honestly, we should have spells be classified by their general purpose(s), and only use schools of magic when wizards are involved (like Healing, Creation, or Resurrection magic [for most spellcasters]; and having the wizard's spells be assigned to specific schools).
Ae, this is a reason I really like Skill based Magic systemsand in my homebrew I defined these as Techniques while Schools are Traditions.

Healing in particular is part of the Augmentation Technique as the Caster attempts to augment the targets own healing ability. I also wanted Skills to be important and so a Healer will use their Medicine skill to cast the Augment Healing spell and get the full cure wounds effect. A Caster without Medicine skill can still use Augment Flesh but only to raise HP, it wont close the wound or stop bleeding.
Its also possible for other Techniques and Traditions to be used eg a caster could use Manipulate Flesh to close a wound and stop bleeding but not raise HP.

Anyway if I were to Map the 8 D&D Schools to my Techniques they are:

1Conjuration (changed) about creating objects and effects (evocation) but NOT summoning. Evocation is absorbed
  • 2 Invocation (new) - Summoning creatures, Opening Portals (Teleport/Gate)
3 Abjuration (same) - blocking things, denying actions and dispelling effects

4 Transmutation (same-ish) transforming the shape or substances of existing objects and creatures
  • 5 Augmention (new-ish) Spells that alter the physical properties or nature of an Object or creature eg Growth/Shrink, Healing, Decay

  • 6 Manipulation (new-ish)- spells which move objects without physical contact (seperated from Transmutation and takes Telekinesis, Levitate, Mending etc)

7 Divination (same) - receiving knowledge and communication

8 Enchantment (includes Illusion) - affecting the mind, emotions and perception of others

TRADITIONS
Every Caster chooses a Tradition which directs their flavour so a Healer chooses the Healer Tradition and then 3 techniques, a Pyromancer is a Wizard with the Pyromancy tradition etc.
Necromancy is a Tradition focussed on dead things, and a Necromancy might use a variety of techniques eg Divine Dead to speak to a ghost, Manipulate Dead to animate a corpse or Abjure Dead to banish them.
 

I could see them divided (the idea being that there's a push and pull of benefits and drawback to different metaphysical methodology of healing something) by supposed method.
 

Shroompunk Warlord

Archdruid of the Warp Zones
Personally, I have house ruled them back into Necromancy for a very long time-- but in 3.PF terms, I'm happy with who gets them: Clerics, Druids, Bards, and Witches. (I'm not happy with the level penalty for non-Clerics, though.)

For old-school D&D, I make extensive use of the Player's Option rules. In Spells & Magic, Major (up to 7th level) Access to a Priest Sphere cost 15 of a Mage's 40 Character Points, or as much as three Schools. (Priests get a much better deal on Wizard Schools; 25 points for Major Access, out of a Priest's 120, and they learn them as Priest spells.) When I am building classes using these rules, I usually allow Mages to purchase Major Healing/Animal/Plant or Healing/Necromancy for 20 points... and the Bard's default spell selection is as a Song specialist (Necromancy, Divination, and Evocation prohibited) plus some of the Druid's spells: Major All, Animal, Healing, Plant, Sun and Weather.
 

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.
clerics are a separate class because fundamentally of thematic, some people like serving god explicitly with built-in support for it, bards can heal and that does nothing about the cleric.

you worry about whether it will kill it buy mechanic which is not what can kill a class.
 

Gadget

Adventurer
Well, if Wizards got healing spells, I think this would be more of an issue. But the spell Schools are really only relevant to Wizards and, personally--if it wasn't for the high degree of overlap between the traditional Arcane/Divine spell list--I wouldn't put 'Divine' spells in any school at all. Just use spheres, domains or paths, etc.

Personally, I don't have a problem with them being in Evocation, because this school is Evoking Arcane/Divine power in a dramatic way. I'm not a fan of Necromancy for healing, as Necromancy is more of death type of connotation rather than life and healing.
 

Well, if Wizards got healing spells, I think this would be more of an issue. But the spell Schools are really only relevant to Wizards and, personally--if it wasn't for the high degree of overlap between the traditional Arcane/Divine spell list--I wouldn't put 'Divine' spells in any school at all. Just use spheres, domains or paths, etc.

Personally, I don't have a problem with them being in Evocation, because this school is Evoking Arcane/Divine power in a dramatic way. I'm not a fan of Necromancy for healing, as Necromancy is more of death type of connotation rather than life and healing.
life and death are related plus most necromancers are trying to not die ever ideally so healing is right up their list of interests.
 

Gadget

Adventurer
life and death are related plus most necromancers are trying to not die ever ideally so healing is right up their list of interests.
But are thematically quite different. Necromancers are trying to 'cheat' death by subverting it in corrupt and foul ways. It has little to do with life and healing, but is an imitation or mockery of such.
 

But are thematically quite different. Necromancers are trying to 'cheat' death by subverting it in corrupt and foul ways. It has little to do with life and healing, but is an imitation or mockery of such.
is that true of all necromancers or just some? plus why would magic places even have necromancy to study if they are all evil kill on-site?
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
I am all for wizards healing if that’s what they want. Bards are arcane and they heal for
Godsake. I know it’s taboo these days but I really like only good being able to heal. It would be part of the components. And evil person could not channel the energy. I liked that aspect of Od&d and ad&d. Although it stated changing later in 2E.
 

I am all for wizards healing if that’s what they want. Bards are arcane and they heal for
Godsake. I know it’s taboo these days but I really like only good being able to heal. It would be part of the components. And evil person could not channel the energy. I liked that aspect of Od&d and ad&d. Although it stated changing later in 2E.
why how is healing inherently good, imagine the amount of evil stuff you can do with healing?
 



Sithlord

Adventurer
tradition unto itself justifies only that a thing can work that way not that it should.
so why would it be that way?
I’m just saying it’s highly reflective of the fiction. There’s no mathematically proof for this and the cast majority of stories. Normally in fiction if an evil person can heal someone they heal you wrong and cursed at the expense of another’s life. More like vampiric touch or bringing u back cursed or undead or something bad happening because an evil person just can’t do it. What can I say I also still play pre-3.x where that’s is the general rule.
 

I’m just saying it’s highly reflective of the fiction. There’s no mathematically proof for this and the cast majority of stories. Normally in fiction if an evil person can heal someone they heal you wrong and cursed at the expense of another’s life. More like vampiric touch or bringing u back cursed or undead or something bad happening because an evil person just can’t do it. What can I say I also still play pre-3.x where that’s is the general rule.
most of that was because of a previous set of belief that anyone healing not in the name of God was doing evil witchcraft, given the lack of the four-letter word in dnd and arcane magic not being eviler than a gun it kinda fails.
would really work in darker settings.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Well, if Wizards got healing spells, I think this would be more of an issue. But the spell Schools are really only relevant to Wizards and, personally--if it wasn't for the high degree of overlap between the traditional Arcane/Divine spell list--I wouldn't put 'Divine' spells in any school at all. Just use spheres, domains or paths, etc.

Personally, I don't have a problem with them being in Evocation, because this school is Evoking Arcane/Divine power in a dramatic way. I'm not a fan of Necromancy for healing, as Necromancy is more of death type of connotation rather than life and healing.
Every major spellcaster except for Warlocks can detect magic. That makes it relevant to Clerics, Druids, Paladins, etc. as well as Wizards. A magical trap, effect or magic item that was created by a class other than Wizard will have a school or schools associated with it and can give clues to what it might do without having to touch it or sleep with it. When I cast detect magic I always ask about the school.
 


An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top