Lesser magicks and Greater magicks

The Age of Phaedrus - Book One: The Heroes CoverLong ago and far away, there was the Moebius Adventures Roleplaying Game. This goes back even farther than the Moebius Adventures Core Rules book that came out in 2007 and launches us all the way back to the mid-1990s. This was the time of The Age of Phaedrus and a golden age for reinventing the wheel.

Though little of that era of Moebius Adventures ever saw the light of day, I have piles and piles of paper and collections of files I’ve been copying from repository to repository for the better part of 20 years. And since rebooting Moebius for the 3rd incarnation back in 2012, I have been itching to unearth some of the great stuff we came up with in those glorious years. I remember working during the day at my job and coming home to write, talk about, or play any number of games in those days.

Oh to be young and insane. But I digress. 🙂

One of the things we came up with were the 13 schools of wizardry and I’m only going to go into two of them right now… Greater Wizardry and Lesser Wizardry.

Wizard-SilhouetteGreater and Lesser Wizardry

Greater Wizardry granted wizards access to one of the largest stores of spellcraft of any realm of magic. Many of the spells in this field deal with conjuring material things from the air and affecting the physical world with magical energy.

Lesser Wizardry on the other hand was something different. It was the first realm of wizardry to be discovered on Phaedrus, granting wielders control of the lesser, more subtle forces of magic. Many spells are designed to simplify a mage’s life, add some magical “style” to their repertoire, or for simple practical jokes. But none of the Lesser Wizardry spells do any damage.

Spellcraft in these Fields…

These spells were designed to fill the three criteria for “good spells” I outlined in my last post: catchy name, cool effect, and wiggle room.

For instance, “Obscure” is a 1st level Greater Wizardry spell that creates an area of unnatural darkness in the targeted area (range was 10′ per level of caster and area was 5′ per level). All vision, including nightvision/infravision, is impaired within the spell area. It lasts a few rounds per level and all the wizard has to do is extinguish a flame while reciting whatever mystic words they may use to focus the spell energy. Perhaps something like “flammam extinguere” or “Inducam in tenebris!” if the player likes using Latin phrases.

Compare that to “Spritz,” which is a 1st level Lesser Wizardry spell. Spritz produces a small amount of water splashed directly on the wizard himself and used as a means of refreshment. The water then dries after a second or two as though it were toweled off. To cast the spell, the wizard flicks his fingers in front of his face while reciting some mystic words.

I can see a clever wizard using each to great effect.

The Greater wizard might cast Obscure to cover the party’s escape from a particularly nasty battle. Or she might use it to allow the party’s blind fighter to weave through their foes, slicing and dicing without batting an eyelash.

Hand-Spray-BottleMeanwhile, the Lesser wizard… Well, he might use Spritz to cool off on a hot day. Or he might use it to hint that perhaps he was bored by the speech your villain just gave, hoping to push him over the edge into making a mistake.

Who is to say which might come in more handy on a daily basis? I’m betting the ability to cool yourself off on a hot day would be fantastic about now. It’s been in the 90s here in Colorado and I could use a bit of a refresher myself.

In Conclusion…

Each school of wizardry has a particular style component. Each will bring a different feel to characters in the game. And I think they all may find a home in Mazes & Perils before too much longer.

Next time I’ll take a look at Runic Magic, which has a VERY different feel to it. I’m not sure how it will translate to the world of the OSR, but we shall see.

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