Magic: Classes and Limitations (5E Rules)

In an Aetaltis campaign you can play any spellcasting class your GM allows, but here are some suggestions about spellcaster classes and a few limits on magic that will help you to capture the true spirit of the Aetaltis setting. 

Magic tomes line the shelves of a wizard's laboratory. (Art by Mitchell Malloy)

Before digging into the 5E game rules for Aetaltan magic, we recommend that you check out the history and story behind magic in the World of Aetaltis.

Arcane Spellcasters

You can use the standard 5E rules for arcane spellcasters in your Aetaltis campaign, but we recommend that you use the optional rules we're providing. These rules are designed to support the backstory of the setting, to give your adventures in Aetaltis a feel that is unique to the setting, and to integrate well with other magical game elements, such as Ley Lines and Essence Crystals.

Wizards

We recommend that you use the glyph casting rules for wizards in your Aetaltis campaign. Glyph casting is a point based system that reflects the underlying arcane physics of the world, and it creates a host of fun game play opportunities for arcane spellcasters. It also helps to differentiate arcane spellcasters from divine spellcasters, making the experience of playing an arcane caster unique and interesting. Any changes to the magic and abilities for wizards are explained in the glyph casting rules.

Sorcerers, Warlocks, Bards, and Other Arcane Spellcasting Classes

In future posts we'll offer new versions of each of these classes customized for Aetaltis. Although you can certainly include them as presented in the standard 5E rules, certain aspects of their powers clash with core elements of the setting. The Aetaltan versions of these classes will describe ways to integrate them into the world without making major changes to the elements that make these classes fun to play. If you decide to use them before the Aetaltan versions are released, t is not recommended that you use glyph casting for these classes.

Divine Spellcasters

Clerics, paladins, druids, rangers, and other divine spellcasters use the spellcasting rules as written for these classes in the 5E core rulebooks. They do, however, face the restrictions on certain magical effects described above under Restrictions and Limitations.

Clerics and Paladins

Clerics and paladins receive their magic directly from the Enaros. Both the knowledge of how to create a glyph to cast the spell and the essence that powers it are provided through divine inspiration through their connection to their god.

Druids

Druids receive their magic from the living planet. Their religion is an ancient one, older even than the Enaros if certain apocraphyl texts are to be believed. Both the knowledge of how to create a glyph to cast the spell and the essence that powers it are provided through divine inspiration through their connection to the living planet.

Rangers

The magic of rangers comes either from the Enaros, like that of clerics, or from the living planet, like Druids. If their power comes from the Enaros, typically the ranger is a follower of Grethken or Vale. These rangers are essentially clerics of the wilds. If the ranger's power comes from the living planet, like the magic of Druids, then they are adherents of the old ways. These rangers work alongside druids or act as their eyes in ears in the greater world.

Whatever the source of the ranger's power, the spellcasting rules are used as written in the 5E core rulebooks. Both the knowledge of how to create a glyph to cast the spell and the essence that powers it are provided through divine inspiration through their connection to the living planet or the Enaros.

Restrictions and Limitations

The Ritual of Limitation not only blocked the Aetaltans' ability to use true casting, it made some spells and magical effects impossible even using new spellcasting techniques like rune casting and glyph casting. To reflect these limitations in your game, the following types of spells and magic should not work on Aetaltis. These limitations are true for both arcane and divine spell casters.

Teleportation

The Ritual of Lilmitation prevents magic that instantly moves people and things from one place to another without traveling through the physical world. In practical game terms this means that any spell or special ability that teleports a person or thing to or from a point beyond line of sight (for example, the Instant Summons or Teleportation spells) are forbidden.

In addition, line of sight teleportation effects (such as the Far Step spell) are treated as if the target of the spell or ability is moving through physical space to reach their destination. Anything that would stop them if they were using normal movement will stop them when using a teleportation effect.

Teleporation effects can still move the subject up or down (for example, using Far Step to move to the top of a building) or across gaps (using Far Step to reach the other side of a crevasse). A Wall of Force erected down the middle of the crevasse in the second example, however, would cause the spell to fail.

Summoning, Banishment, and Dimension Travel

It is impossible to travel to other dimensions from Aetaltis with the exception of the Essential Plane. This negates the effects of summoning and banishment spells, and any other magical ability that moves a target to or from another dimension.

Long Distance Perception and Communication

Spells that allow long distance perception or communication do not function beyond line of sight on Aetaltis. A spell like Scrying is still useful, in that it can place your perceptions within 10 feet of a target that would otherwise be too far away to see or hear clearly, but it will not work at a distance beyond line of sight. Any barrier that prevents line of site prevents the spell from working.

CASTING FORBIDDEN SPELLS

It's possible to cast forbidden spells or to cast a spell as written in the standard 5E magic rules, but you must be willing to use Dark Magic. See the rules for Dark Magic to learn about casting forbidden spells.

ART & ILLUSTRATION

  • Art and Concept Art by Mitchell Malloy

Discover Aetaltis...

To learn more about the World of Aetaltis, check out a full index of our past content posts here!

All game rules published under Open Game License v 1.0a.

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