The Dragonlance Nexus

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Sorcery in the Ages of Krynn

D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules

by Stunspore


Primal sorcery, depending on different eras, act differently, as the levels of magic rise, lower and warped throughout Krynn's history.

This article tries to shows the dangers of using ambient magic and why the gods of magic oppose its use.

Age of Starbirth

Ambient magic exists as remnants of creation, so only creatures with innate magic are able to use it, as they are born with this spark of power. Only divine magic is useable by all other creatures.

Game Effect: Creatures without innate arcane spell-like abilities cannot take any arcane spellcasting class levels.

Age of Dreams

Through the passage of the Graygem, it warped the fields of magic on Krynn. Creatures are transformed, so that they are capable of using sorcery.

Though the force is chaotic, not many make use of ambient magic, so the power remains slightly dormant, seething but not reacting, much like wild magic zones, waiting to react when arcane spells are cast by creatures without innate magic.

Game Effect: Places where the Graygem has lingered or released particularly strong pulse of power are affected by wild magic zones. Spellcasters without innate magic using ambient magic must make Concentration check of DC = 10 + spell level or else be affected by wild magic surge. Increase the DC if the wild magic zone is particular strong.

Use of ambient magic is stronger, while the Graygem wanders around the world. All ambient spellcasters may increase their caster level +1, but must increase the Concentration DC by +2 due to manipulation of more wild forces.

If an epic arcane spell is used, then it is always affected by wild magic surges in addition to its normal effect. This was seen when the 3 sorcerers combined powers to stop the dragons in the Second Dragon War. The result was a catastrophe, creating earthquakes and firestorms.

When the gods of magic intervened and Orders of High Sorcery are established, magic stabilised as the fields of magic on Krynn bended and flowed more strongly. Wild magic zones are reduced as each Tower is built. With one less usage of primal sorcery, wild magic levels are reduced and flows of magic less erratic.

Magic flourished in some places and declined in others. Examples include the fall of the Ogre race, where the use of magic dropped as they degenerated. No longer do they produce the marvellous magical wonders they had before.

Game Effect: DC checks for wild magic surges are reduced (DM judgement). Wild magic zones are either reduced by area or dissipated. Focussed spellcasters receive +5 checks against wild magic surges, through the power of the gods of magic.

Age of Might

With the destruction of the Towers, damage to the fields of magic is caused. Not many wizards are affected, as many hid in the other Towers or there were simply just few left. In time, the damage is repaired, although some places still react to magic erratically.

Game Effect: All arcane magic (both focussed and ambient) within 100 feet of a destroyed Tower has a chance of wild magic surge. The Concentration DC is 10 + spell level + 5 per Tower destroyed. Every year, this field is reduced by 5 feet and DC reduced by 1, until the radius is reduced to 0 feet.

Some places are connected to the destroyed Towers by lines of forces, and may act like wild magic zones.

Age of Despair

Though arcane magic is not as strong before the Cataclysm or as wondrous as the Age of Dreams, they slowly recovered. Ambient magic is less used, and indeed less effective. The level of ambient magic reduced making it difficult to access.

Game Effect: Ambient spellcasters without innate magic must make Concentration checks in order to tap into the ambient magic. The DC = 10 + spell level.

Early Fifth Age towards War of Souls

Focused magic cannot be used due to the absence of the moons of magic. Wild magic surges don't occur, as the level of magic in the world is reduced with the departure of Chaos.

Game Effect: Where wild magic zones existed just before the Fifth Age, are now sources of magic for spellcasters. They may tap in power to cast any prepared spells, though they cannot be replenished. Ambient spellcasters are able to leech power from these areas just like Leech Item feat without needing this feat. These magic zones are assigned magic potentials, as determined by their Concentration DC. The magic potential is equal to 20 + 5 per point of DC. Some are restored at a rate of 1 per night, while others never regain their magic potentials.

Restoration of High Sorcery

With the return of the gods and High Sorcery, focussed magic is now possible. However, with large usage of ambient magic, wild magic is on the rise. With the departure of Chaos though, the fields of magic are not as warped. There is a still chance wild magic will grow rampant if left unchecked.

Game Effect: Events before the Tower of Wayreth was found and recovered, there is a 5% per chance focused and ambient spellcasters without innate magic go wild. This changes to 1% per chance every time ambient spellcasters without innate magic when the Tower is located. Make a Concentration check DC = 10 + spell level. If failed roll on a wild surge table.

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