World of Shantar D&D 5e House Rules
Magic and Spells
The art of wielding divine and arcane energies and manifesting powerful magics is a talent that you must slowly master. As you grow in power, you will find a diverse range of options open up before you, and the might of your spell capability will increase as well.
If you are an arcane caster, you develop your arcane knowledge through understanding and pulling apart other spells you see or witness. You train your mind, and use appropriate implements to delve into the mysteries of the universe. Using your Learning Skill, you weave the energies around you with your words and gestures and cast spells. Arcanists cast spells that have an arcane signature. It is possible that someone could sense the type of magic used, and in doing so discern that it was in fact an arcane signature. The only exception is if it is if you add Divine class levels (see below).
Divine casters get their energies from the deities they honor and serve. You are a vessel of their power in your world, and you use your Willpower to channel your will and desire with the power your deities grant you to manifest magic. As a vessel, you start off as a small cup, and in time your chalice could instead hold the power of magics that shake the earth. However, in your campaign world, you may have more than one source of divinity.
If you have both arcane and divine class levels with your character, you must use your Learning Skill if your arcane levels are higher than your divine levels, your Willpower Skill if your divine levels are higher than your arcane levels. If your levels are the same, you may choose the higher skill.
Harmonic Signature. Worshipers of deities of nature, Fey creatures and druids connected to the land cast divine spells with a Harmonic signature. These represent creatures who draw their magical energies from the spirits of the world around them. Harmonic casters may use their Intuition Skill instead of their Willpower Skill for their spells.
Astral Signature. Worshipers of deities that reside in the outer planes cast spells with an Astral Signature.
Necromantic Signature. Worshippers who draw their energies from the echoes of dead and forgotten deities use a Necromantic Signature.
Runic Signature. Dwarves were imbued with their own energies when they were forged long ago. They cast with a distinctive signature called a Runic Signature. Runic casters may use their Endurance Skill instead of their Willpower Skill for their spellcasting.
Signatures affect the game for your deductive role playing. This can frame a context if you need to determine what type of energy signature was behind the residual energies of a spell.
If you have more than one deity or pantheon in your alignment, and they use different signatures, all your spells will be of the Divine Signature. The same if you have both Arcane and Divine levels in your portfolio. If you worship a deity of nature, and you add a deity that requires an astral signature to your alignment, you will no longer cast spells as a Harmonic caster, but instead cast spells as a Divine caster. You may not use or add any powers or aspects that have either a Harmonic caster signature requirement or an Astral caster signature, only Divine caster powers and aspects. The same with a character with Arcane and Divine levels who is aligned to a necromantic signature. All spells will have a divine signature, and the character does not qualify for Aspects and Powers that require either Arcane or Necromantic casters.
The power of your spells is determined by two things, one of which is the Caster Level of your character. You just simply can not cast a spell that is of a higher spell level then your Caster Level. This is defined simply as your
The Caster Level Bonus mentioned above is primarily received cumulatively from the Sphere Knowledge Advancement power training's as you advance as a spell caster. Your Caster Level determines which spells are innate, which ones can only be cast a few times in an encounter, and which ones are so draining that they are called Venture spells.
The second thing that defines the power of your spells is your Sphere Knowledge. There are eight spheres of magic from which you compose your spells. The level of proficiency with each sphere determines the limit of strength of the components you can use. As you advance in power, you will have an opportunity to advance in the level of knowledge of each of these spheres by training with the power Sphere Knowledge Advancement (see the class powers in the chapter Powers), as well with a few other aspects and powers. The type, level, and power of your spells is determined by the spheres that compose them.
For instance, a powerful fireball would be composed from the Spheres of Fire 6 for the destruction, Space 3 for the distance, and Illusion 3 for the area of effect. You must have mastered Fire Sphere level 6, as well as Space Sphere level 3 and Illusion Sphere level 3 to cast this spell.
One thing that is crucial to understand is that you cannot cast a spell that has a requirement of a Sphere Level that is higher than your knowledge of that sphere. If a spell has a requirement of Fire 6, and you have a knowledge of Fire 5, you cannot cast that spell.
Prime and Secondary Components
Each spell has a focus on one (Prime) component. This component is the basis for the spell. However, there are a number of secondary (Factor) components that can dramatically alter a spell. For instance, you have the Targeted Destruction component of the Sphere of Fire. You can augment it for distance using the Spell Distance component, the number of targets or the area of the spells effect using a number of factor components of the Sphere of Illusion, and even mix in the Infernal component for extra damage. The possibilities are endless... you can add secondary components to strike only certain opponents, to follow your target, and to delay or continue round to round through combat.
Your spell level is determined directly by adding the sphere levels of each component that comprise it. Prime Components are multiplied by 2. A Fire 3 (Prime)/Space 2/Illusion 3 spell would be a (3x2) + 2 + 3 = Level 11 spell. A more powerful version of the same fireball would be a Fire (Prime) 9/Space 4/Illusion 4 = Level 26 spell. Some components are very powerful and add more than just the sphere level.
Even at low levels, there are certain spells you can manifest easily. You can manifest them as often as you wish. These are known as Innate Spells. An Innate Spell is of a
Unless the components of the spell require a specific casting implement or component, innate spells can be cast without spell components, although you still need to speak and move freely.
As you grow in your Maximum Caster Level, you will more and more be able to manifest spells much more frequently. You may cast 2 Encounter Spells for every combat encounter, where an Encounter Spell is spell whose level is between your
Manifesting such a spell is taxing, requiring a casting implement (like a holy symbol) for divine casters, and requiring spell components for arcane casters. In addition, you need to both freely speak and move to properly manifest these energies. Your focus and attention to the details of casting such a spell is much more rigorous and exposes you to Attacks of Opportunity in combat.
Some spells are too powerful to cast more than once a day without significant rest. These Venture Spells represent a Spell Level that is
If you have 6 hours of uninterrupted rest, you can cast another Venture Spell. Manifesting these spells is taxing, requiring a casting implement (like a holy symbol) for divine casters, and requiring spell catalysts for arcane casters. In addition, you need to both freely speak and move to properly manifest these energies. Your focus and attention to the details of casting such a spell is much more rigorous and exposes you to Attacks of Opportunity in combat.
Spell craft in its most basic form is the kind you will learn to wield instinctively in combat and in general throughout the day. However there are more powerful forces that you can bring into being. These more powerful spells can take minutes, days, or even years to complete. Many have specific conditions which must be met, such as the alignment of certain cycles such as at dawn, midnight, a solstice, or with lunar cycles. When casting a ritual, you are controlling on the raw power of the universe itself. Many rituals, such as the Rite of Healing, will likely be part of your daily adventuring repertoire. Others such as the Feast of Heroes, Rite of Summoning, Sanctuary, or Familiar may be used sparingly and only if you qualify for such things.
Catalysts and Implements
Beyond the catalysts and implements needed for invoking certain components, and your encounter and venture spells, there are catalysts that may enhance your spell in ways you never could otherwise. Alchemical Ruby Dust can make a destruction spell even more deadly. Alchemical Bond can give you the ability of striking at and scrying specific targets more easily, Implements such as special wands and holy symbols can boost your every spell casting! Many catalysts are usually consumed in the spell casting (but not always), and most must be prepared in advance.
Matrix of Caster Levels, Maximum Sphere Level Advancement Powers
Venture Spell, Encounter Spell, and Innate Spell Thresholds.
|Caster Level||Innate Spell Range||Encounter Spell Range||Venture Spell Range|
|4||1||2||3 - 4|
|5||1 - 2||3||4 - 5|
|6||1 - 2||3||4 - 6|
|7||1 - 2||3 - 4||5 - 7|
|8||1 - 2||3 - 4||5 - 8|
|9||1 - 3||4 - 5||6 - 9|
|10||1 - 3||4 - 5||6 - 10|
|11||1 - 3||4 - 6||7 - 11|
|12||1 - 3||4 - 6||7 - 12|
|13||1 - 4||5 - 7||8 - 13|
|14||1 - 4||5 - 7||8 - 14|
|15||1 - 4||5 - 8||9 - 15|
|16||1 - 4||5 - 8||9 - 16|
|17||1 - 5||6 - 9||10 - 17|
|18||1 - 5||6 - 9||10 - 18|
|19||1 - 5||6 - 10||11 - 19|
|20||1 - 5||6 - 10||11 - 20|
|21||1 - 6||7 - 11||12 - 21|
|22||1 - 6||7 - 11||12 - 22|
|23||1 - 6||7 - 12||13 - 23|
|24||1 - 6||7 - 12||13 - 24|
|25||1 - 7||8 - 13||14 - 25|
|26||1 - 7||8 - 13||14 - 26|
|27||1 - 7||8 - 14||15 - 27|
|28||1 - 7||8 - 14||15 - 28|
|29||1 - 8||9 - 15||16 - 29|
|30||1 - 8||9 - 15||16 - 30|
|31||1 - 8||9 - 16||17 - 31|
|32||1 - 8||9 - 16||17 - 32|
|33||1 - 9||10 - 17||18 - 33|
|Caster Level||Innate Spell Range||Encounter Spell Range||Venture Spell Range|
|34||1 - 9||10 - 17||18 - 34|
|35||1 - 9||10 - 18||19 - 35|
|36||1 - 9||10 - 18||19 - 36|
|37||1 - 10||11 - 19||20 - 37|
|38||1 - 10||11 - 19||20 - 38|
|39||1 - 10||11 - 20||21 - 39|
|40||1 - 10||11 - 20||21 - 40|
|41||1 - 11||12 - 21||22 - 41|
|42||1 - 11||12 - 21||22 - 42|
|43||1 - 11||12 - 22||23 - 43|
|44||1 - 11||12 - 22||23 - 44|
|45||1 - 12||13 - 23||24 - 45|
|46||1 - 12||13 - 23||24 - 46|
|47||1 - 12||13 - 24||25 - 47|
|48||1 - 12||13 - 24||25 - 48|
|49||1 - 13||14 - 25||26 - 49|
|50||1 - 13||14 - 25||26 - 50|
|51||1 - 13||14 - 26||27 - 51|
|52||1 - 13||14 - 26||27 - 52|
|53||1 - 14||15 - 27||28 - 53|
|54||1 - 14||15 - 27||28 - 54|
|55||1 - 14||15 - 28||29 - 55|
|56||1 - 14||15 - 28||29 - 56|
|57||1 - 15||16 - 29||30 - 57|
|58||1 - 15||16 - 29||30 - 58|
|59||1 - 15||16 - 30||31 - 59|
|60||1 - 15||16 - 30||31 - 60|
|61||1 - 16||17 - 31||32 - 61|
|62||1 - 16||17 - 31||32 - 62|
|63||1 - 16||17 - 32||33 - 63|
|64||1 - 16||17 - 32||33 - 64|
|65||1 - 17||18 - 33||34 - 65|
|66||1 - 17||18 - 33||34 - 66|
In order to cast a spell, you first determine what effect you wish to manifest from the power you have. Next, You need to determine which spheres and which level of power from each sphere would be necessary to power the magic. While there is an art to spellcraft, we have provided strong guidelines as to what each power level of each sphere can provide, and a spell catalog that you can easily modify to suit your needs. Presuming you meet the requirements needed to manifest the power you desire, you are now ready to cast the spell as an Innate, Encounter, or Venture Spell, depending on the resulting spell level.
A spell is composed of one prime and optionally many secondary factor components:
Each spell has one Prime Component. A solid wall of stone would be in the province of the Earth Sphere as a primary. You can create a damaging force of fire as and Area Destruction, and shape that area as a wall, cone, blast area, or cylinder. The damaging effect is the prime component, and the shape, distance, and other descriptive effects such as explosive would all be secondary components. Your Prime Component defines the spells Sphere Level for effects such as dispel magic, detect magic, etc..
Your magics will likely need factor components to empower them to their destination. If you wish your fireball to detonate away from you, you will need the Illusion Sphere as a secondary ingredient to create an Area of Effect, and the Space Sphere to propel it away from you. These components aren’t necessarily the main factor of the spell, but are necessary to invoke and shape it where you wish.
Your Secondary Component(s) can be huge contributor to the level of your spell. Your Secondary Component(s) can be a higher level than your Prime Component Components, for instance if you wanted to dramatically increase the range of a Sphere Level 4 Targeted Destruction component, you could add a Sphere Level 5 Spell Distance component, and a Sphere Level 7 Illusion component to create a small burst of flame in a large area over a great distance.
Not all components are available at sphere level 1. Some components will require a Sphere Level 2 or higher before you can add it to a spell.
Many components are quite powerful. Some components will declare a Level Modifier. If you see a modifier, you should add the modifier instead of the Sphere Level of the component. For example, if a component says the modifier is 2 x the Sphere level, and you wish to add the component at level 4, the spell level would be 8 higher by adding the component.
Targeting and Striking Individuals
Any spell that is considered baneful (as determined by each target) requires you to attack one of your opponents defenses.
If you are attacking multiple individuals, you need to strike the named Defense as specified in the Prime and Factor Components using an attack roll with your primary spell casting skill:
Some spells, like the Destruction component of the Sphere of Fire, does damage to opponents when used in an area of effect and your attack roll misses the target. This is called a Secondary Effect. This effect occurs against every target that you failed to attack successfully. If dice need to be rolled to resolve the effect, roll the dice once and it applies to each target that is effected by the secondary effect.
Material Catalyst, Verbal Catalyst, Somatic Catalyst
You will need trivial material, verbal, and somatic catalysts to manifest Encounter Spells and Venture Spells, and inconsequential verbal and somatic catalysts for Innate Spells. These trivial material catalysts do not require you to keep track of them as a resource in your character. You simply have a bit of tallow, a sprinkle of holy water, or a pinch of dust somewhere on your character. A verbal catalyst must be spoken aloud, but the target does not need to be able to hear or understand it - unless the spell component indicates otherwise. Somatic catalysts indicate that some movement is required to cast the spell. Perhaps you need to extend your arms to channel divine energy. Perhaps you need to physically manipulate the energies to bring together the arcane components. Each one of these components can be a visual or audial hint at who is casting the spell and what the spell is. You can hide these hints by adding Factor Components to your spell that negates the need for them. For example, you can cast a spell without any trivial catalysts by adding the No Verbal Catalyst, No Somatic Catalyst, and No Material Catalyst components to your spell.
Some components will require a specific material catalyst, verbal catalyst, or somatic catalyst or focus to properly manifest these energies. For instance, you need a reflective surface, mirror, or crystal sphere to scry on a creature (Water Sphere). There are also benefits you can gain by gathering and preparing specific material components in advance. For instance, possessing something personal belonging to an opponent can make your spells more powerful against them, or be required to locate them. You cannot negate the use of these catalysts.
Line of Effect
Most spells require a line of effect to the target square that is the focus, which means that you need to be able to visualize the target(s) of the spell, and be able to have the spell travel any required distance in a straight line without anything blocking it. Spells that do not require Line of Effect frequently deal with sensing and communication.
If your spell is a targeted spell (such as using the Target of Spell component of the Sphere of Illusion), and you do not use the Spell Distance component of the Sphere of Space, then you are effectively choosing at least one target other than yourself without distance as the target of the spell. This kind of spell requires a touch attack to deliver. A touch attack does not provoke an Attack of Opportunity, but it does require you to first make an natural touch attack (usually a touch attack) against each targets Agility Defense who considers your spell bane magic. You then must resolve the regular attack roll (if any) of the spell. If you fail in your touch attack, your spell attack fails against that target and no secondary effects apply.
You need to be touching or handling the target.
You have successfully performed the Familiarity ritual with the target in question.
Only powerful divine casters can invoke such magics. If you wish to use this component in your spells, you must have a Divine class level twice as high as the Componets Level in order to use this Component. Additionally, components with the Divine Restriction must manifest from the caster as the center, so you may not include the component Spell Distance from the Sphere of Space. Effectively, all divine restricted spells radiate and center around the caster.
This particular effect is only available to spell casters with a arcane signature. If you wish to use this component in your spells, you must have a Arcane class level twice as high as the Sphere Level in order to use this Sphere Component..
This particular effect is only available to spell casters with a harmonic signature. If you wish to use this component in your spells, you must have a Divine class level twice as high as the Sphere Level in order to use this Sphere Component, and cast spells with a harmonic signature. Additionally, components with the Harmonic Restriction must manifest from the caster as the center, so you may not include the component Spell Distance from the Sphere of Space.
This particular effect is only available to spell casters with a runic signature. If you wish to use this component in your spells, you must have a Divine class level twice as high as the Sphere Level in order to use this Component, and cast spells with a runic signature.
This particular effect is only available to spell casters with access to the Domain Specified. If you wish to use this component in your spells, you must have a Divine or Arcane class level twice as high as the Sphere Level in order to use this Sphere Component, and have the domain(s) specified in your characters portfolio.
If the spell effect is considered Baneful, you must make a skill attack (your primary spell casting Skill modifier) against your opponents Agility Defense.
If the spell effect is considered Baneful, you must make a skill attack (your primary spell casting Skill modifier) against your opponents Armored Defense.
If the spell effect is considered Baneful, you must make a skill attack (your primary spell casting Skill modifier) against your opponents Endurance Defense.
If the spell effect is considered Baneful, you must make a skill attack (your primary spell casting Skill modifier) against your opponents Willpower Defense.
If the spell effect is considered Baneful, you must make a skill attack (your primary spell casting Skill modifier) against your opponents Reasibubg Defense.
Some Secondary Components require you to attack a different defense then your Prime Component. You still make one attack roll against each target if the effect is Baneful, but if your components attack more than one Defense you must attack the higher Defense. For example, if you cast a spell with an Area Destruction component (attacking Agility Defense) and Poison component (attacking Endurance Defense), and a targets Endurance Defense is higher, then your attack roll is compared to the Endurance Defense for success. If you succeed, they take the full damage. If you fail in your attack, they take the Secondary Effect of the Area Destruction component, and there is no effect from the Poison component.
Some spells have a continuing effect by using the Sphere of Time. This means their effects extend past the instantaneous effects of standard spells and continue from round to round. The effects of damage or healing when a continuing component of the Sphere of Time is used in a spell in any specific round from the regular spell is halved, or are specifically addressed with each component of the spell. To determine when a continuing effect should be addressed, look at the Sphere of Illusion component of the spell. If the spell targets an Area of Effect, and not the Target of Spell component of the Sphere of Illusion, the continuing effect is resolved in the spell casters turn. Otherwise the continuing effect is resolved in the target’s individual turn (or turns if there are multiple targets). The continuing level is determined by the Sphere of Time, Length of Effect component. In any turn when a continuing effect must be rolled, the creature whose turn it is can consider whether to consider the spell boon or bane.
Continuing Boon Effect. To continue the effect, you must roll a
Continuing Bane Effect. To end the effect, you must roll a
Is a continuing spell that can be maintained by spending an Quick Action every round to maintain the spell up to the duration specified. At that point the spell effect can only be maintained round to round as a Continuing Effect. You may use a continuing focus for however long the Continuing Focus specifies multiplied by the continuing power level. For instance, a spell water breathing spell with Continuing Focus - Hour, cast with continuing level 3 from the Sphere of Time would last for 3 hours before you would have to roll for a continuing effect. A protection spell with Continuing Focus - Minute, cast with continuing level 5 from the Sphere of Time would last for 5 minutes before you would have to roll for a continuing effect.
If a spell is cast as a targeted effect and is continuing focus (for example on 3 individuals), each target must use their Quick Actions to maintain Continuing Focus on the effect that is cast on them, the caster does not.
Empowering a Continuing Focus Spell
You can increase the power of a spell that you maintain a Continuing Focus on. You must increase all the components as necessary to maintain at least the effect you currently have with every component, but with that restriction you may add new components or increase the Sphere Level of components you currently have. If a Detect Invisibility is not able to penetrate the power of a spell, you can boost the power (using the Cast a Spell action) to attempt to penetrate the power of Invisibility on one or more targets. It does not change the initial casting time of the spell. This will primarily be useful if you cast an Encounter Spell and realize that you need to increase the power to a Venture Spell.
Prime Sphere Level Effect Table
For many spell effects that do damage or apply healing, use the table below to determine the number of dice you should apply. Use the die type indicated as part of the spell component.
Standard Hit Dice Determination for Spell Effects of Targets and AreasIndividual targets only will use the Single column. Multiple targets or any area of effect will use the Multiple Targets/Area column. If the spell Continues (Sphere of Time), reference the appropriate column as well.
|Single Target||Single Target|
|Multiple Targets /|
Area of Effect
|Multiple Targets / Area of Effect|
|2||1d6 + 2||1d6||1d6||1|
|4||2d6 + 2||1d6||1d6||1d6|
|6||3d6 + 2||2d6||2d6||1d6|
|8||4d6 + 2||3d6||3d6||2d6|
|10||5d6 + 2||3d6||3d6||2d6|
The Eight Spheres
There are 8 spheres: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Mind, Illusion, Space, Time and Necromancy. As you advance in your knowledge of the mysteries, you will advance in one or more of these spheres. The spells you cast are limited by the knowledge you have in each sphere. Each of the spheres are summarized below
Sphere of Air
A sphere of communication, force, electricity, visibility and invisibility, accomplish feats such as breathing underwater, fly, and protection magics. Additionally, you may be able to cast spells without needing a verbal component.
Sphere of Earth
This sphere is associated with the physical, tangible world, the body, protection, barriers, and matter. With it you can soften, harden, transmute, and create matter. Additionally, you may be able to cast spells without needing a material component.
Sphere of Fire
A sphere of destruction, cleansing, severing and countering magics, temperature (both intense heat and freezing cold), speed, darkness and light.
Sphere of Illusion
Possibly the most potent of all the spheres, at first you can bring figments of illusory matter into existence, and bind the force of spells requiring a short duration. At higher levels you can create permanent objects and even create and stabilize demi-planes.
Sphere of Mind
A sphere of intellect, patterns, telepathy, and control. With knowledge of this sphere, you can imbue objects with intelligence and direction, send communication over long distances, and even control and dominate other minds. You may even manipulate area of effect spells to intelligently single out your enemies.
Sphere of Water
The sphere of Healing, Divination, Wisdom, Life, Necromancy, and so much more. A few components of this sphere were never exposed to arcanists, and that lore is only available to divine spell casters.
Sphere of Space
Control over distance, whether it be close by, far away, and even the inner planes that can only be reached through powerful magics. You can shift the space around you, appearing to blink in and out of existence, shift across distances appearing suddenly across the battlefield, and even shift you and your companions across dimensions to the fabled City of Brass on the elemental plane of fire.
Sphere of Time
Mastery of duration, where spells can persist for seconds, minutes, and even become permanent. You can slow time to make yourself faster, speed up time make opponents slower, and even change time itself. The highest mastery is kept secret by the gods which allows one to step through and out of time itself. Additionally, you may be able to cast venture spells and complete them in the same Standard Action.
What follows are details for every sphere and what aspects each sphere embodies.