My idea is to add cantrips, which is relatively minor magic in the scheme of things since they are less powerful than first level spells. Certainly this idea has a lineage in the game since Gary Gygax introduced them to AD&D in 1982 (Dragon Magazine #59). Adding them would keep the low level magic-user magical, instead of an ineffective weapon wielder avoiding action beyond his single spell. Further, they can be incorporated in a way that makes both the mechanics and the flavor of the magic-user more interesting. I propose adding cantrips as spontaneous spells that are basically dependent on the magic-user having a personal wand. Below is the table that I am currently playing with.
|Link to download above as document.|
Of course, this does not address the issue of what cantrips are available. Djeryv offers cantrips based on those from Dragon and Unearthed Arcana. The more I look back, the more I think I might be happier with something closer to those available through the OGL. I'll keep playing around with what cantrips I'd include as standardly available, and I'll probably report on that eventually. One final note: the chance that a magic-user snatching up a random wand can use it successfully is the same as the chance that they have to learn a new spell (Holmes, 13). It is represented above inversely as the chance for spell failure.
In a nutshell, this addition gives the magic-user additional magic that:
- is lower powered than leveled, memorized spells
- relies on the iconic magic tool -- the wand
- adds flexibility with spontaneous casting
- adds to the total magical actions available to the archetypal magic class