In my previous post, I touched upon the connection between the RMCI Arcane Spell Lists and viability for their use in Shadow World. I also posted about Druid concepts and the legacy of the Earthwardens and felt the existing Arcane lists were quite suitable to adopt as Earthwarden base lists–“proto magic” for early Shadow World magic.
Conceptually, the RMCI Arcane lists are fantastic and really fit well with Shadow World, but like most spell lists I see quite a few flaws and a need to adjust them to fit better into Shadow World. So I am re-writing them for use in my own campaign. There are a few Earthwardens around besides the Dragonlords and the Storm Wizard).
Ideally, all Shadow World Arcane lists should be more raw and fundamental than the refined lists found in Spell Law’s Essence, Channeling or Mentalism realms, but more structured than ritual magic. They should have over-arching scope with broad themes that reflect the origins of Essaence manipulation by the Ka’ta’viir.
A quick review and general thoughts on the Arcane lists found in Companions I-IV. Many of these lists feel like a rehash of other Profession Base lists and just a work around for casters via the Arcane realm.
Bladerunes. A great list, and one could argue would be the progenitor of the Alchemy lists and more permanent object enchantments. But as an Arcane list, it feels too “small” or narrowly focused to me. Would early Ka’ta’viir develop lists to imbue modest magical powers into swords and armor when they were creating more organic and powerful artifacts and they were a tech level 11+ society? I re-wrote this list, and expanded it into an additional “Protection Runes” list, and made them both Essence realm. Even after making my own improvements on the list, for my campaign, I didn’t think Bladerunes met the requirement for “Arcane” in Shadow World.
Earthblood‘ Ways. This list has a number of spells that work well with the SW foci and Essaence Flow but needs to be fine tuned a bit. I removed the various “Guardian” spells (Earthbeast, Earth Guardians) and developed that into another list, and incorporated Essaence Flow lists found in the Navigator lists that Terry created.
Entity Master. Another solid spell list, but I think it needs to collate the “Guardian” spells from Earthbloods, as well as Demonic Gates to reflect the Lords of Essence’s experiments and forays into the Pales.
Ethereal Mastery. This is another example of a spell list that mixes a number of concepts and mechanics that don’t really fit upon in depth analysis. Some of these spells should be ported over to “Entity Master”, while others could be made into a whole other list.
Mana Fires. This is interesting, but not much different than traditional Magician elemental lists. This needs to be punched up and maybe use Plasma criticals.
Spell Coordination. This makes no sense as an Arcane list.
Shapechanging Ways. A more powerful version of Animist/Druid lists. This can be improved.
Spell Triggers. This is a lot like Spell Coordination above and Spell Laws “Spell Enhancement” and “Spell Reigns” lists. They are all “spells for spells” that enhance, extend, store or create contingencies for other spells. I think this is more indicative of a short-coming in Spell Law; these are addressing a problem with more problematic spells. I don’t see this as an Arcane list at all.
Metal Lore & Stone Lore. These feel more like standard Essence lists: Stone Lore is basically a slight variant of Earth Law. I think the Arcane lists should include something very Elemental, but these don’t feel epic enough to me.
Wood Shaping. This has great potential for Earthwardens, but like Stone Lore above, it’s basically an Animist/Druid list. However, lvl 25th “Living Wood” is a great spell and is definitely more of the feel and scope that I’m thinking of.
Plasma Mastery. This list merged and adapted with “Mana Fires” feels like a good Arcane list.
Nether Mastery. This feels better as a list for the Unlife with some modifications?
Acid Law. Again, this one feels like another Magician or Essence list rather than Arcane.
Sonic Law. At first glance, this is another Essence list, but there is a tie with ancient Druid tradition, megaliths and mythology and even physics. I think there is a foundation for a cool Arcane/Earthwarden list.
So putting this all together, the “Arcane Realm” and lists presented in the first few Companions create a great framework to adapt to Shadow World. Terry did introduce Arcane magic in the Master Atlas and it’s clear through the timeline that the Althan’s and Ka’ta’viir progressed and developed their ability to tap and manipulate the Essaence.
So what might those spells and powers look like? I’ll offer my own solutions in part 2!