The World of Weirth (TM) is a Basic D&D (Swords & Wizardry) – AD&D mashup. Look to the 1e PHB and DMG for specific tables and rules mentioned below. This is the playtest version of this character class.
The secular counterpart of the Priest is the Arcanist. Gifted or Talented with magical ability, the Arcanist is generally self-taught in the lower levels. If they have the aptitude and fortitude, some will seek out a higher level magic user or arcanist to take on as a teacher.
Arcanists do not generally wear armor, nor have weapon proficiencies. An Arcanist may become proficient in a weapon as a 7UP Feat. They have a minimum INT score of 12. Arcanist characters with an INT of 15 or greater receive a 10% bonus to earned experience.
The Arcanist uses a d4 to determine hit points.
Arcanists may use any of the magical items available for Magic-Users. They use the Magic-User Spellcasting and Saving Throw tables. They use the 0-level Melee table until becoming proficient with a weapon.
An Arcanist can cast magic spells up to L V (fifth level spells, at ninth level of experience, depending on their innate level of magickal ability: Gift or Talent), chosen from a list particular to their teacher/training. Arcanists without a teacher or mentor will only be able to acquire new spells through discovery, or by trading for/stealing spells from other Magic-Users.
Low-level spells (L I-II) and rituals have spread throughout the peoples of the world in a definite cargo-cult style. Ritual phrases, symbols, bodily motions and dances intended to manipulate nature are the kinds of magic that most people encounter or utilize in their daily lives. These practices are a mixture of superstition, chicanery and poorly understood ritualism, designed to harness the power of magic for manipulating reality for the benefit of the Arcanist and those around her.
Many of the practices exhibited by everyday people are based on remnants of actual magical procedures left over from the previous age, yet they rely on a type of “placebo effect” for their efficacy. These practices have been handed down from parents to children, from prophets and zealots to their congregations, over generations:
- Gestures to ward off evil/harm/trouble/illness
- “Magic” words and phrases (such as a chant of “Heave-Ho!” makes a group stronger than the sum of its members, likewise “One-Two-Three-Push”; “open sesame” is thought to release a stuck door, etc)
- Making Dream-catchers (actually very powerful tools in the right hands)
- Drawing hexes as semi-permanent spells of protection or blessing
- Engraving runes (masonry and woodworking are considered very valuable, high-status positions)
- Creating tattoos
- Chemistry tricks for alchemy (boiling Willow bark makes a tea that relieves pain and reduces swelling) or other potions, salves or spirits (fermentation and brewing are considered a form of alchemy)
- Smelting metals from ores and metalsmithing are considered magical practices (smithing is also high-status)
These practices, in one way or another, apply to Magic-Users of any class.
A bowl, dish, or similar item is needed to process/consume the material components of a spell. Wands, rods, and staves will have further rules (TBD).
Magic Sense: A Magic-User at the third level of experience can sense magical powers being used in their vicinity. This ability increases with level, and the range is dependent on the level of spell or ritual being cast/performed.
Scribe Scrolls: To write from one to five known spells onto a scroll, creating a single-use magical device, at a cost of 500 gp + 100 gp per spell level. Materials may include the finest vellum, paper, or papyrus; a fresh quill; and sorcerer’s ink, such as sepia. This involved process requires one week per spell level.
Summon Patron – gaining 5th level the Magic-User will need to perform the Summoning Ritual, in order to gain access to spells of third level or higher. An Arcanist can cast magic spells chosen from a list particular to the supernatural entity summoned.
For more background, see Every Magic-User is a Warlock.