Saturday 1 October 2022

With Patient Craft (Class: Wonder-Worker)

 Or Wizard for an easier shorthand. 

This isn’t for anything in particular, it’s just an idea I had. 


Starting Items: Fine clothing, Grimoire (1 Slot), three Implements from any combination of the lists (see below). 

A - Crown, Working Wonders, School, +1MD

B - Bag of Holding, +1MD

C - Caution, +1MD

D - Artisan, +1MD


You can only do direct magic inside your ‘Crown’, which is [templates] * 10 paces

Effects that would leave your Crown falter and fail unless otherwise stated. Effects must originate within your Crown. 

Working Wonders

To work wonders, combine a Word, and up to [templates] Implements.


Words are often found as sacred glyphs in the books of angels, in the books of other wizards or in places where Wonder-workers once congregated. When in a Libram, a place of great knowledge, you can roll 1d8 on the Word List of the associated School.

Your Words are kept in your Grimoire. You can only use Words if you have a physical representation of them in your Inventory (usually in, say, your Grimoire). 

A Grimoire has no practical limit on the number of Words it can contain. 

 It takes a day to copy one word into a Grimoire. 

A new Grimoire costs 100g.


Implements must be found in the world, until you can make your own. 


Your School determines what Words you know.

Roll 2d6 on your School’s Word List at Template A, and 1d8 each level thereafter. 

Bag of Holding

Gain 4 extra Inventory Slots.


You can re-roll 1MD a day and take either result. 


You can now make Implements. 

You can take an otherwise mundane object and prepare it with a day long ritual.

Now, take the prepared item, and cast a total of 20MD on it - across as much time as you like. 

It is now an Implement - if it doesn’t have a written effect below, then you can suggest an effect. 

Magic Dice, Mishaps, Dooms

You roll MD to make spells. They return on 1-3 and expend on 4-6, as usual. 

Mishaps happen on doubles, Dooms happen on triples. They’re themed around whatever Word you were using at the time. 

Once you’ve started on the Doom of [Word], whenever you roll triples again, you advance towards it. Dooms have three steps…

  1. Cosmetic change themed around [word].

  2. Transformation themed around [word].

  3. Messy demise with collateral damage, themed around [word].

A given spell has [sum] points of power - dealing [sum] damage, reducing [sum] damage, etc.

Things beyond just damage allow creatures with the same or more HD than you to save


Former Imperial School

Once complicit. Military. Now shamed and penitent.

Colours: Red and White

Symbols: Imperial heraldry defaced, or iron circlet. 

Classic Implements: Staff and Wand. 

  1. Light

  2. Smoke

  3. Arrows

  4. Fear 

  5. Healing

  6. Roar

  7. Fire

  8. Walls

Windfarer School

Curious. Disorganised. Often found in ports. 

Colours: White and Sea-Green.

Symbols: Ship in full sail, or cloud above the sea. 

Classic Implements: Runed Glove and Mirror 

  1. Rope 

  2. Birds

  3. Waves

  4. Magnetism 

  5. Clouds

  6. Rain 

  7. Lightning

  8. Wind

Southern School

Pious. Secretive. Aloof and isolationist. 

Colours: Blue and Silver. 

Symbols: Closed eye, or angelic glyph. 

Classic Implements: Lockbox and Gold Chalk. 

  1. Invisibility 

  2. Hallucinations 

  3. Awe

  4. Cold

  5. Confusion 

  6. Silver

  7. Truth

  8. Water

Northern School 

Prosaic. Itinerant. Down-to-earth and popular. 

Colours: Green and Gold. 

Symbols: Brass ring, or spurs.  

Classic Implements: Rod and Key. 

  1. Mending

  2. Wood

  3. Growth

  4. Soil

  5. Healing

  6. Livestock

  7. Gold

  8. Stone

Monastery School

Rare. Empirical. From outside the established order. 

Colours: Black and Grey.

Symbols: Empty hand, or black hood. 

Classic Implements: Orb and Mask. 

  1. Silence

  2. Fog

  3. Calm 

  4. Fear

  5. Healing

  6. Pain

  7. Darkness

  8. Ghosts

And many others besides


Implements take up 1 Inventory Slot unless otherwise stated.

1d20 Implements with Direct Effects:

  1. Wand - Create or conjure [word] at a distance. 

  2. Rod - Make a strike charged with [word]. Add 2 to [sum]. 

  3. Staff - Fire a cone-shaped blast of [word]. 2 slots.

  4. Sword - Cut through [word]. 2 slots. 

  5. Orb - Get a vision of nearby [word], or something in nearby [word].

  6. Horn - Affect all in your Crown with [word]. 

  7. Bell - Drive out all [word] from your Crown. 

  8. Lockbox - Draw in [word], sealing it in the lockbox. Contains 1 thing at a time.

  9. Hammer - Break [word] with a strike. 

  10. Mask - You are invisible to creatures of [word], and [word] itself. 

  11. Seeing Stone - Look through [word] in your Crown. 

  12. Lots and Bones - Speak with [word] for a time. 

  13. Alembic - With an hour’s work, create a Potion of [word]. Takes 2 slots.

  14. Runed Glove - Move [word] within your Crown. 

  15. Rope - Contain [word], preventing it from moving. 

  16. Mirror - Reflect or deflect [word] while the mirror is aloft.

  17. Key - Insert the key to open a door through [word].

  18. Black Chalk - Draw a ritual circle to summon a demon of [word]. Consumable, has 6 uses.

  19. Gold Chalk - Draw a ritual circle to summon an angel of [word]. Consumable, has 6 uses.

  20. Bow - Create an arrow of [word], which can be fired as a normal arrow even outside of your Crown.

Consumable implements vanish upon use, necessitating finding or buying more. 

1d20 Implements with Modifying Effects

  1. Blackberry - Increase [sum] by 1 when you're chewing it. Consumable. Start with 10.

  2. Flint Knife - Cut yourself with the knife, adding the damage you take to [sum]. 

  3. Spark-split Branch - Affect up to [dice] extra targets, but reduce [sum] by the number of targets.

  4. Braided Cord - Delay an effect for up to [sum] minutes, setting a condition upon which it triggers. You don’t need to be conscious for it to trigger. If the time passes without it triggering, the effect simply doesn’t occur. 

  5. Bullhide Belt - While the belt is buckled, the [sum] of spells affecting you is lowered by 3

  6. Silver Circlet - Produces a foot wide “bubble” of your Crown, allowing you to affect things near it. Stops being yours if you spend more than a day away from it. 

  7. Rune-Stitched Robes - Increase [sum] by 3 when no other wizards are present. 

  8. Northerner’s Flask - Increase [sum] by 3 when drunk, but mishaps are more severe. 

  9. Furled Bloom - Spells overspill to things near them. Consumable. Start with 6.

  10. Blood Red Root - Increase [sum] by however much HP you're missing. Consumable. Start with 6.

  11. Lead Wired Hood - When wearing this, people in your Crown must save to realise effects originate from you. 

  12. Loyal Hound - A good dog, specially trained. Always counts as being in your Crown, and can transfer your effects to things touching them, unless you give them reason to no longer trust you. Takes up 4 slots if you have to carry them. 

  13. Pupilflaw Stone - Replace [word] in this spell with Eye. Consumable. Start with 6

  14. Erlking’s Shot - Allows spells to affect the inside of people and animals. Consumable. Start with 6.

  15. Old Imperial Money - Spend it 1-to-1 to increase [sum]. Consumable. Start with 10.

  16. Horn Cane - Allows you to affect horned animals you can see, even if they’re not in your Crown. 

  17. Imperial Banner - The effect repeats [dice] rounds in a row. 2 slots.

  18. Iron Fishhook- When this is stuck in you, reduce all [sum] by 3, but increase all [dice] by 1. Deals 1d3 nonlethal damage when pulled out. 

  19. Gold Medallion - Increase [sum] by 2 when in direct sunlight.

  20. Angelic Writ - When you are in good standing with the angelic legions, increase [sum] by 3.


This is not an exhaustive list, of course. Stranger implements do more numinous things. 

For example…

1d10 Taboo Implements

  1. Glass Athame - Damage yourself with this knife, losing Max HP equal to the damage. Permanently increase all [sum] by the Max HP lost. You lose this bonus if you lose the knife. 

  2. Hand of Glory - Sleeping people you can see are inside your Crown, at any distance. 

  3. Cyclopean Eye - Mummified and leathery, the size of a lemon. If you know a fearful or shameful secret of a Wizard, their eyes are considered to be inside your Crown, at any distance. The only escape is making the secret public. 

  4. Dried Tongue - When you see another Wizard use a Word, you can mangle that Word into a related one - Fire to Smoke, for example, or Iron to Lead. Has 6 uses, then burns to ash. 

  5. Wizard Femur - Add 4 to [sum] if harming another Wizard. 2 slots. 

  6. Black Powder - Causes [word] to violently explode. Consumable. Start with 6

  7. Demon’s Horn - Replace [word] in this spell with hellfire. Hellfire is teal, inextinguishable, and screams. 

  8. Azure Book - Infuse a corpse with [word], giving it motion and a strange power. You command the resulting shamblers. 

  9. Horvat’s Nails - Your Crown also originates from any body, living or dead, that has 3 or more of these nails in it. You start with 8

  10. Wizard Skull - You can hide a [word] inside this, and then recall it to you at any time, from any distance. Allows you to sneak words into places where they take your Grimoire off you. If you don’t have paper ready, the Word brands onto your skin, dealing 1d6 damage. 

Possession of Taboo Implements is illegal under the tattered remnant of Imperial Law, and the punishment is the process of Abdicatio, or Un-Crowning - the removal of magic. 

Some Example Spells:

You use Runed Glove with the word Awe, moving the awe the crowd feels for a heroic knight to yourself. 

You use Rope with the word Water, stopping seawater from flooding into your sinking ship. 

You use the implements Bow and Furled Bloom with the word Fire, producing an explosive incendiary arrow. 

You use the implement Azure Book and the word Cold, producing a freezing shambling corpse you command. 

You use Wand and Demon’s Horn, igniting something you are pointing at with hellfire



  1. Nice! I've been using a fairly similar Word-based magic system in the tabletop system I've been developing over the last couple of years. Too bad I've been taking too long finding art and fretting over legal stuff to get it out sooner.

  2. Really, really cool. So many moving parts, so many possibilities. The implement system reminds me of the elementalist in Guild Wars 2, and how their channeling of each element changes depending on the weapon/off-hand currently equipped. Thank you for the post!