The Dragonlance Nexus

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Arcana Obscura

D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules

by KenderBryant


Game Information: These magical practices can be found in the Tome of Magic (binder, shadowcaster, truenamer) and Complete Wizard (warlock-pact magic) by Wizards of the Coast and Occult Lore (elementalist, geomancer, skeptic, cultivater, sympathetic mage, and wanderer) by Atlas Games.

In your Game: Finding the location the books where stored in shouldn't be something taken lightly. Astinus was given these tomes to hide several centuries ago, even before the first Cataclysm reshaped the world. The original location, therefore, could no longer be in its original spot. If one of your characters comes across the knowledge of these books it should be almost completely by accident, perhaps a vague reference in a particularly ancient text. It is recommended that these manuals be left to high-level campaigns, especially since, should the Orders discover their reintroduction into the world, it would mean repeated attempted assassination. Also, as these books are detailed manuals concerning forbidden magicks, it is highly likely that powerful warding spells were placed on the books to prevent easy access to the material described within.

History: These texts contain information on magicks that have been banned by the Conclave of High Sorcery. Centuries ago, when magic was wild and practiced without care, these magicks were commonplace. With the advent of the Orders and the taming of magickal power, the Orders gathered up all the texts and gave them to Astinus knowing full well that he would be able to hide them where none could find them and would never be tempted by their knowledge. Their location was never disclosed in any of Astinus' writings as he would never give away forbidden knowledge. It is presumed that the Head of the Library sealed them away in a well-warded location that cannot be located through any magical means, and mundane methods would almost certainly fail. Those who had knowledge of these books, now long dead, speculated that he gave them to Gilean, who locked them away far from mortal reach. The truth may never be known.

Skill Checks: As the knowledge of the Arcana Obscura is centuries old and that most living people would never had heard of them, the chance of finding any information is next to nil. It is possible that, through extensive research, one can dredge up some form of reference to the series. This in itself could incorporate a very involved quest, should the DM desire. Possible checks are:

Knowledge (Arcana) DC 65
Knowledge (History) DC 65

Naturally, these checks can be modified as the DM desires due to availability of reference materials (for example, researching in the Library of Palanthus might generate a bonus of +10 to the researcher's check).

The Books

General: Each book weighs approximately five pounds and is bound in finely tooled leather, embellished with gold leaf. The books are protected with general preservation spells, such as proof against fire and water damage. Further protections (such as Symbols and Runes) are left to the DMs discretion.

Volume One: Binding - The knowledge to bind entities of power to the caster resides in this book. Inside can be found a listing of several such entities and the rituals needed to utilize their vast abilities, as well as information on the beings themselves. Banned because the drew power from other entities rather than the moons.

Volume Two: Elementalism - This text contains information on elementalism, the magic of the elemental planes. The elementalists were able to channel this primal energy and utilize it in both their magic and in their physical bodies. The rituals contained within this tome allowed the elementalist to gradually change his or her body until they become an elemental creature. Banned because they drew power from the Elemental Planes rather than the moons.

Volume Three: Geomancy - In this volume, the knowledge of Ley Lines can be learned. Ley lines have the ability to either boost or weaken the users magic, depending on a variety of variables. Very dangerous to the unwary. Was banned because of several foolish apprentices who tapped into a Ley line in Wayreth Forest and almost disrupted the protective magicks that guarded the Tower.

Volume Four: Magical Imagination - The ability to tap into the stored memories of those who have gone before. A wild magic, used by bards of old and banned by the Conclave because of its lack of focus, like all other wild magical practices.

Volume Five: Pact Magic - The powers of the warlock defy the laws laid down by the Orders and the Gods of Magic as they draw power from other entities instead of the moons. As such, this is classified with the others as a forbidden magic.

Volume Six: Rational Magic - The power of disbelief. Another study that could potentially ruin the world. Rational magic was found to be dangerous when a skeptic (a user of Rational magic) effectively killed a unicorn through his disbelief that such a wondrous creature could exist. The skeptic was sentenced to death.

Volume Seven: Shadow Magic - A wild magic that tapped into the powers of the spaces between darkness and light. The Conclave decreed that such casters were not much better than common thieves and the book was stored with the rest.

Volume Eight: Spirit Cultivation - This magic was decreed sacriligeous by the Church as it enslaved the souls of the dead to fuel the caster's power. TheHigh Healer of Mishakal at the time ordered all Cultivaters to be killed immediately with no trial, the cleric was excommunicated as a result and lost all her powers.

Volume Nine: Sympathetic Magic - Yet another wild magic, this branch allows the user to cast spells on objects that had passed through the target's possession, or pieces of the target themself, such as hair or nail trimmings.

Volume Ten: True Naming - The magic of True Names is bound within this libram. Powerful and dangerous, the ability to undo the very fabric of reality is contained within this volume. True Names can utterly destroy an entity, wiping even the knowledge of it from existence. The research of a True Name is extensive and arduous, but the patient True Namer finds true power a result of the efforts.

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