The way that magic works in the world of Sanctuary has changed between the various Diablo games. In the original game, characters of any class could learn and cast the same spells. In Diablo II and Diablo III, that system is replaced by giving each class a progression of spells (or skills that cost mana) that are unique to the class. Because the computer games have freely altered the spellcasting systems, there really isn’t a canonical mechanic to spellcasting in the setting other than that it should consume a rechargeable resource such as mana.

For AGE of Terror, I plan to leave the Dragon Age RPG magic system largely intact in order to minimize the amount of work needed for the conversion. The existing system is already a mana-based spellcasting system that even includes mana potions (well, lyrium potions).

The one major change that I will be making is a re-working of the schools of magic. The Dragon Age RPG divides spells into several schools: creation, entropy, primal, and spirit. While those may work well for a game set in Thedas, that division of magic doesn’t have any resonance with the lore of Diablo. Based on the spellcasting classes in the computer games, an alternate division of magic spells seems necessary. Towards that end, I’ve created a new set of schools that can be used for AGE of Terror: arcane, death, elemental, hex, holy, and nature. A given mage will only have access to spells from a few of the schools based on their background, and any spells from other schools cannot be learned or cast by that mage.

Arcane

Spells from the arcane school deal with the basic essence of magic. The sorcerer clans are the most common practitioners of arcane magic in the world of Sanctuary. The following spells from Dragon Age RPG Sets 1 & 2 belong to this school: arcane bolt, mana drain, mind blast, spell shield, arcane shield, dispel magic, fade shield, force field, glyph of sealing, invigorate, levitate, mana cleanse, and repulsion field.

Death

Death magic deals with poison, blood, and undead. It is used by the priests of Rathma who are commonly referred to as necromancers. The following spells from Dragon Age RPG Sets 1 & 2 belong to this school: drain life, walking bomb, death magic, death syphon, and decompose*.

Elemental

Spells from the elemental school of magic harness the primal elements of the world: fire, ice, lightning, air, and earth. They are used by both the sorcerer clans and the druids of Scosglen, though those two traditions often focus on different elements. The following spells from Dragon Age RPG Sets 1 & 2 belong to this school: flame blast, rock armor, shock, stonefist, winter’s grasp, elemental mastery*, flaming weapons, frost weapons, lightning, and shape earth.

Hex

Hexes, sometimes referred to as curses, are spells that hinder their targets by clouding their minds or weakening their bodies. The following spells from Dragon Age RPG Sets 1 & 2 belong to this school: daze, glyph of paralysis, vulnerability hex, weakness, affliction hex, horror, and paralyze.

Holy

Holy magic seeks to harness the positive energy of life. It is used by the paladins of Zakarum and some sorcerers. The following spells from Dragon Age RPG Sets 1 & 2 belong to this school: heal, heroic offense, glyph of preservation, glyph of warding**, heroic aura, and rejuvenate.

Nature

Spells from the nature school allow a spellcaster to confer with animals, plants, and spirits of nature. The druids are the undisputed masters of this branch of spellcasting. The following spells from Dragon Age RPG Sets 1 & 2 belong to this school: spell wisp, shelter*, spring*, weather weaving*, and wind weaving*.

*: change this spell’s requirement to be the talent for the new spell school

**: remove this spell’s requirement

In addition to sorting the existing spells into their new schools, I’m planning to write new school talents for each as well as converting some of the iconic spells from the computer games. Those will have to wait for a future post though. In the meantime, here is the background from the third class in the original Diablo game.

Vizjerei Sorcerer

The Vizjerei are one of the oldest and most powerful mage-clans of the Far East. The clan’s elders have sensed a dark evil growing in the West and have sent many of the clan’s acolytes to observe the dark events and fight against the demons and undead roaming the land.

Playing a Vizjerei Sorcerer

If you choose to play a Vizjerei Sorcerer, modify your character as follows:

  • Add 1 to your Willpower ability. The Vizjerei mage-clan ensures that its acolytes can resist the dark influences of the Burning Hells.
  • Pick one of the following ability focuses: Cunning (Arcane Lore) or Cunning (Religious Lore).
  • You can speak and read Kehjistani as well as two of the following languages: Barbarian Tongue, Druidic, Umbaru, Western Tongue, Xiansaian.
  • Take the mage class. You may learn and cast spells from the holy, elemental, and arcane schools.

Roll twice on the accompanying table for additional benefits. Roll 2d6 and add the results together. If you get the same result twice, re-roll until you get something different.

2d6 Benefit
2 +1 Cunning
3-4 Focus: Cunning (Historical Lore)
5 Focus: Dexterity (Staves)
6 Focus: Willpower (Self-Discipline)
7-8 +1 Magic
9 Focus: Cunning (Cultural Lore)
10-11 Focus: Willpower (Faith)
12 +1 Constitution
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