Summary of New Wizard and Priest Rules

In the 2nd Edition of the AD&D rules, the concepts of wizard specialization and religious spheres of influence were introduced. Without going into excruciating detail (and probably end up copying a good section of the Players' Handbook), I'll give a precis to cover the basic concepts.

Wizard Specialization and School Magic

Wizard's spells are broken up into different categories according to differing criteria. Spells fitting similar criteria are considered to be of the same school. Wizards are now allowed to specialize in specific schools, much the same way doctors may specialize in specific areas of medicine. Like doctors, specialization brings a high degree of competence in the chosen field, at the cost of neglecting others. As such, the Illusionist class no longer exists; it has been absorbed into the Wizard class as a specialist in Illusions.

Mages may specialize in one of three ways: in school magic, in elemental magic, or in wild magic.

School Magic
This way of categorizing magic breaks the field of magic into categories based on the particular forms of incantation involved. Thus, there are 8 specialty fields: Enchantment/Charm, Invocation/Evocation, Necromancy, Illusion/Phantasm, Alteration, Abjuration, Conjuration/Summoning, and Greater Divination. In addition, there is a minor field: Lesser Divination. Greater Divination includes all Divination spells of 5th level or greater, while Lesser Divination covers Divination spells of 4th or lower level.

All school magic specialists can learn Lesser Divination spells. The following diagram shows the relation of the other schools to each other:

Alteration Illusion Enchantment
/ Charm
Greater
Divination
Conjuration /
Summoning
Evocation /
Invocation
Necromancy Abjuration

The school directly opposite a given school is considered its opposition school.

Elemental Magic
This manner of categorizing magic concerns what basic element (Air, Earth, Fire, or Water) is used in the spell. In a few places, some super-specialized Elementalists study the Para-Elemental elements. These are shown in grey just for illustration, and are not included in the lists. Of course, not all spells can be categorized in this manner. Elementalists consider these spells to be "Other".

Similar to school magic, elemental schools have opposition schools:

Smoke Fire Magma
Air Earth
Ice Water Ooze

Wild Magic
This is not a proper manner of classifying magic. It actually just is concerned with the emerging field of wild magic spells. It has no opposition school. Wild mages study these new spells, and tend to ignore others.

A wizard who does not chose to specialize may pick his spells from the entire list, irregardless of the school it belongs to. They obey the rules normally. Specialist wizards, on the other hand, have several benefits and penalties:

Spell Prohibition
Elementalist and School magic specialists may not attempt to learn or use spells from their opposition school.
Spell Learning Bonus/Penalty
Specialists gain a bonus when trying to learn spells within their specialty, but must take a penalty when trying to learn spells outside their specialty. School magic specialists receive a +15%/-15% bonus/penalty when trying to learn spells inside/outside their specialty. Elemental specialists receive +25%/+15%/-25% adjustments when trying to learn a spell inside their elemental specialty/any elemental spell/any other spell. Wild magic specialists receive a +10%/-5% bonus/penalty when trying to learn wild/normal spells.
Spell Bonus
Specialists receive one extra spell at each spell level, provided they memorized at least one spell from their specialty at that level.
Saving Throw Adjustment
School specialists gain a +1 to save against spells of their specialty, and targets of specialized magic cast by a school specialist save at -1. Elementalist specialists receieve +2/-2 bonuses. Wild mages receive no adjustment.

Priest's Spheres of Influence

In the 2nd Edition, priests are longer general-purpose characters, and their gods are much more narrowly defined. Each god has a proper place in the parthenon it belongs to, with duties, responibilities, etc. Consequently, there are certain areas that the priest's deity is critically concerned with, and others that are of little concern or even anathema to the deity.

Priest spells are now broken into spheres of influence; similar to school magic, a sphere is a grouping of spells that have a common purpose or concern. The following spheres of influence are defined in the Player's Handbook and Tome of Magic:

Spheres may concern a variety of things, and a deity usually has several favorite spheres. The deity may freely grant the priest spells of any level from the spheres directly under its control. A priest may request spells from spheres that the god may be peripherally concerned with, but there may be some level limit or total number limit of spells bestowed. Certain spheres are alien or opposed to the god, and requesting spells from them probably will result in considerable conflict with one's deity.

In addition to spheres, the Tome of Magic introduces cooperative magic, faith magic, and quest spells. See the aforementioned work for a complete discussion on these topics.


For complete information of magic specialization and metamagic spheres of influence, see TSR's The Player's Handbook, 2nd Edition and The Tome of Magic.

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Questions? Comments? Like more information? Then send me a message at trims@media.mit.edu
Last updated: May 4, 1997