Heroic Fantasy: The Dragonlance Experiment: Wizards of High Sorcery

Greetings Emerald GateKeepers

This time we delve into the arcane arts of wizardry & sorcery of Krynn. Magic plays a vital part through Dragonlance history and we cannot just skip it with a few rules. That’s why I took the opportunity once again to “crash test” the flexible Aspests System.

As always I will try to keep the rules as simple as they can be adhere to the spirit of Heroic Fantasy and Hack system as a whole. Before that let’s remind ourselves the 3 foundations of wizardry; taken from the Tales of The Lance (Box Set, TSR, June 1, 1992):

·         All wizards are brothers in their order. All orders are brothers in the power.
·         The places of High Wizardry are held in common among all the orders and no sorcery is to be used there in anger against fellow wizards.
·         The world beyond the walls of the towers may bring brother against brother and order against order, but such is the way of the universe.

Also I will provide rules about spellcasting , the effects of the moons phases and many more, all under the Aspects System.

Introduction & first notes/rules

·         Wizards of Krynn usually start the training at the age of 16
·         They can level up till level 3 after that they need to follow the tenets of one of the three orders
·         The Orders are: White Robes/Good/Solinari Moon, Red Robes/Neutral/Lunitari Moon, Black Robes/Evil/Nuitari Moon

·         In order to get admitted to the order, wizards must undergo the Test. There are plenty of examples of what that test may be but here is beyond analysis. To keep it as simple as it can be the wizards must succeed in part of challenge half illusion half real. The wizards are not allowed to speak of what they have encountered during the test. Storytellers must work very careful around each test as it must have usually a tremendous impact upon each candidate.

·     At Heroic Fantasy RPG, Elves gain an advantage when trying to keep for spell slots but in a Dragonlance setting it must be removed. I’m sorry elves of the world but you are not a better spellcaster than the others!!

·         As usually I will use a small narrative example to see the steps of a Wizard Hero of Dragonlance

·         The adjustable Aspect System for Krynn’s magic is only for what we called 4th Age and before. During the 5th age (age of mortals) it may need further adjustments (maybe in another post!!)

·         Again HF uses a 10 level progression instead of a 20 one. Keeping in mind this we are going to squeeze as much as possible all the rules to fit into our system.
Lady Alvaerele: the story of a wild girl
My name is Alvaerele and I was born at the lush and beautiful forest of the Silvanesti Kingdom. I grew up calling me Merka Arwen (wild lady) as I spent my decades of youth hunting down beautiful flowers, herbs and butterflies. My parents always said to me that my true potential was that of the magic. Gifted as I was I used my inherit talents of analytical thinking, magical sensitivity to collect and categorize the beauties of our beloved forest-kingdom. But at the age of 70 the news of war came to ears. Then I decided to hone my gifts in defense of our lands so I joined the White Robes Wizards who breathe under the silver Solinari Moon.

Let’s start working on the Alvaerele’s Aspects. As an elf you can have 2 aspects at 1st level. The player chooses for 1st aspect: wild lady of the Silvanesti Kingdom. Now storyteller must take the aspect and provide with a couple of mechanical benefits. Also if the storyteller cannot make up any at the moment, he/she can use the benefit during the session for example (forest exploration, exotic herbs, panic when restrained/held etc)

 For 1st Aspect the player chooses for Alvaerele: white robed initiate and she becomes a White robed Wizard gaining spells normally as per core rules.

Again at 4th level she must choose another aspect and at that time she must undergo the Test of High Sorcery which allows her to advance further in the arcane arts.

At 8th she chooses her last Aspect which it can be anything, even unrelated to magic. For storytellers who want to delve deeper in the Dragonlance setting can use 8th level Aspect as a way to become a master of the Order but that’s another story to be told.

Before we move on to the last chapter; that of the Moon Phases I would like to add a few thoughts about the wizards of Krynn:

·         As per Tales of the Lance box, wizards are not affected by the moon if they are under 4th level. So the choice of Aspect suits our gaming needs.

·         Optional Rule: Curse of the Magi.  The harnessing of magic powers is a demanding one. Every time you failed at a spellcasting check you gain disadvantage to all rolls for 1 turn per spell level attempted (or 10 minutes per level) even when you try to cast another spell. You can get rid of the exhaustion by a short rest

·         Optional Rule: Short Rest. As per Heroic Fantasy Rules after the combat heroes spend a couple of minutes in order to fix their armors and equipment. Actually you gain back your used/lost Armour Points. This rest is usually for 1 turn (10 minutes). Using this rule wizards can remove the Curse of the Magi condition

·         Powerful Opponents/Hordes/Weaker Adversaries:The first 2 rules are working normally but I added a 3rd one for flavor; that of Weaker adversaries. Actually is the opposite of the powerful version. When your level is higher than your opponents you gain +1 bonus to all checks.
·         Spell Selection: Back at 2nd edition the color of the robes limited in way the schools of magic which were available for wizard’s specializations. At HF we don’t have schools of magic so if the storyteller decides to follow the old spirit can limit spell selection per color.

·         Colorless/Renegade Wizards: If the wizard decides not to follow any order he/she becomes a renegade wizard. Use the 4th level Aspect as, for example,: hunted renegade wizard. Why hunted? Because as it is well known through Ansalon, all renegade wizards are been hunted down. It depends of the color of wizards who capture a renegade how to convince the outcasts to take the Test & the oaths to wizardry orders

Moon Phases

One of unique features, among other things, of Dragonlance is the 3 moons of Krynn. Under the light of the 3 moons magic is been augmented or diminished. The effects are twofold: one that take in consideration the waxing or waning on the moons and the other is the alignment of 3 moons up to the celestial sky.

How to track moon phases?

I enjoy the moons system but I hate the extra book keeping. There are a number of ways to keep track of the moons. The first is to go to the awesome site of Dragonlance Nexus where you will find everything related to the world of Krynn. The second one, which I’m currently using, is a small program that you can manual change the days and the moons and you can get it here at your own risk.

Also keep in mind that the affects of moon magic are cumulative:

Table 1: Effects of the moon phases
Moon Phase
Additional spells Slots
Effective Caster Level
High Sanction
Low Sanction

Table 2: Effects of Moon Alignment
Moon Phase
Additional spells Slots
Effective Caster Level
Solinari with Lunitari
Nuitari with Lunitari
Solinari with Nuitari
All three moons (Night of the eye)

Extra Notes

·         Advantage and Disadvantage: Use the appropriate roll each time you check for keeping your spell slots. If you are using the optional rule Curse of the Magi, here is applied normally
·         Additional Spell Slots: You gain extra spell slots. Starting from the 1st level spells you move on till your highest you are able to cast
·         Effective Caster Level: If Nuitari is aligned with Lunitari during High Sanction moon phase your effective caster level raise by 2 levels. For example a 4th level wizard is casting a Magic Missile. Normaly the damage would be 4d4 but under the light of the above moon phase, it would be 6d4
·         Cumulative effects: For example if Nuitari is aligned with Lunitari during  High Sanction moon phase you gain +3 spell slots and your effective caster level is raised by 2 levels

Take care fellow travelers and up to the stories.


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