Tuesday, May 3, 2022

d100 - Mercurial Mentors & Weird Wizards

There is a rather lovely bit of implied world building secreted away in the Spell Acquisition process for Magic Users in B/X and OSE. Whilst I also permit transcription from Scrolls and captured Spell Books as an alternative arcane augmentation avenue, by default the only two options for expanding a Medium’s occult repertoire are Research (touched on previous posts here and here) and a mention of Mentors.

Sadly, these Thaumatological Tutors do not really receive any substantial detail, so this table aims to address this oversight. The Sorcerous Instructor can be determined alongside the Starting Spell the Magic-User begins play with, or one can simply combine results to mint new Mentors. Starting with a Name and a distinguishing Trait provides a little bit of background, may raise interesting questions, and depending on how you treat this relationship in your games might even result in an interesting NPC, Patron, Ally, or Rival through play.

If one is to rigidly interpret the Rules, I suppose each of these Spellcasters has earned the rank and title of Wizard and is at least 11th Level (the point at which Magic-Users can build Strongholds/Towers and attract 1d3 Apprentices: Another potential opportunity for NPCs if the player wasn't alone in their education and toil). I always found it amusing that unlike those earned by Thieves, these poor students are replaceable.

These individuals are responsible for imparting that single, initial Spell to their protégé, prior to the start of play. Many Referees insist on defaulting to Read Magic for this initial outlay, others roll randomly, and still others permit the player to select. My common House Rule for ages has been to grant Read Magic gratis and let them roll a d12 on the conveniently dozenal list for their second First Level spell. Should the result land on Read Magic, they may choose a Spell. It has always been my preference to make Memorization feature a choice out of the gate.

There are twelve sections of eight in this list (so I suppose one could even just roll a d12 and a d8), leaving a remainder to round out the hundred. These come with a little lagniappe should one of these fortuitous four rolls occur.

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