Practical Magic (Spells)

War wizards throw fireballs and conjure up storms of sleet and walls of spinning blades, illusionists make their enemies believe the shimmering “mass” in front of them is real, necromancers play with bones and blood for reasons usually known only to them. Most PC wizards, sorcerers, sages, mages, arcanists, channelers, and whatever other names have been given them have one goal – to have the biggest stick (or in magical terms, the deadliest spell(s)). However, what about the magic users who want to aid their community? Or the wizards who just want to study and gain knowledge, either for themselves or for the benefit of others?

Below I’ve brainstormed a few spells that would be very practical spells for villages and towns to have access to – either through local sages, or hired help. They are spells that would not be found in the typical PC wizard’s repertoire. They’re mainly for flavor. I don’t know if I’ll go any further than this, though I have some ideas for magical items as well. I hope to implement this into Memory Fading somehow, but I’m not really sure how to do that.

Spells that benefit communities:
-Strengthen Plant
-Cure Diseased Plant
-Cure Diseased Animal
-Enlarge Yield
-Find Water Source
-Track Lost Animal
-Grow Grass/Wheat/Crop
-Create Rain (1 Acre)
-Create Rain (10 Acres)
-Create Rain (100 Acres)
-Phantasmal Scarecrow (yes, really)

Obviously, many healing spells of clerics, druids, and priests fit this beneficial category, too, but I’m focusing on spells that actually wouldn’t have any use on the battlefield (except, perhaps, Phantasmal Scarecrow – seriously, I now want to create that spell).

How have you put some magical flavor into the game that isn’t solely based on SMD (Spells of Mass Destruction)? Do your PCs ever sell their magical practices for money, and if so, is it ever in a non-violent way?

4 thoughts on “Practical Magic (Spells)

  1. One thing occurred to me while reading this — these spellcasters don’t strike me as bona fide wizards anymore. Rather, they’re local shamans or harvest-priests or something much more mundane and “closer to the earth.”

  2. Yeah, that’s definitely one way to look at them, though in Memory Fading, arcane magics take on a bit different role than standard D&D. However, I really like the term “harvest -priests,” and believe I am going to have to steal that! 🙂

    Thanks for reading!

  3. I agree heavily with this outlook. In a society where magic permeates the culture (even if only the culture of the elite and mysterious) you should find more mundane uses of magic. Things to help you chop wood or start a bonfire would be helpful to the wandering adventurer or patrolling scout. Then of course as you said you have farm oriented spells. Magic in such a setting is too vast a thing to be nothing more than a tool of warfare. Even a tool of war has other uses (a dart of fire can light a campfire as well as it can take out a charging foe).

  4. Personally, I like magic to permeate everything, to be a force of nature, yet be impossible to conveniently harness such as to replace technology.

    Magic being inherently dangerous or unpredictable are good ways of achieving this.

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