OSR: Class: Wizards

Wizards are, or at least were, the most fun class to roll up in my games. I've hopefully balanced that out a bit with the background tables for other classes, but while writing those, I decided that wizards deserved an update.

We are NOT taking the wizard, Matt Rhodes

Class: Wizard

Starting Equipment: spellbook, ink, quill. Some schools may give additional items.
Starting Skill: see Backgrounds

A: +1 MD, +1 Spell Slot, +2 Spells (1-6), Spell Breeding
B: +1 MD, +1 Spell Slot, +1 Spell (1-8), Book Casting
C: +1 MD, +1 Spell Slot +1 Spell (1-10), Friendly Spell
D: +1 MD, +1 Spell Slot, Master of Magics

You gain +1 Magic Die (MD) and +1 Spell Slot for each Wizard template you possess, to a maximum of 4 each.

When you first gain a Wizard template, you must choose a school from the list below. You cannot change schools later. You are a spellcaster.

As you level, you will gain spells from your school’s spell list. You still can learn and cast spells from outside your school, but until you cast them 8 times, MD spent on them do only return on a 1, rather than a 1-3.

Spell Breeding
You can attempt to crossbreed and combine two spells into one new spell. Both spells need to be stored on separate scrolls initially. This process takes 1 week of uninterrupted work. You can combine the spells to produce one of the following:
a) a random spell from your spell list (roll 1d10)
b) a random spell from a random spell list
c) a mutant version of one of the two spells

When the process is complete, Save or suffer a Mishap. Gain a +1 bonus to Save for
a) every 1 gp spent on reagents, inks, magical artifacts, incense, or other tools of your trade
b) the number of Wizard templates you possess

c) each ritual preparation you describe to the GM
d) the number of times you'd previously cast the spells you are combining

Book Casting
You can cast from a scroll or a spellbook in a way that does not consume the scroll. This allows you to cast directly from your spellbook without loading the spell into your brain first. You do not gain the bonus MD that consuming a scroll generates. You must declare you are casting a spell from a book before initiatives are rolled for the turn.You automatically go last in the initiative round, and you automatically fumble the spell if you take any damage during the round. The spell vanishes from the scroll or book and returns the next morning.

Friendly Spell

Choose 1 spell you know and have frequently cast. Apply a positive mutation to the spell. Do not roll on the drawbacks table, even if the mutation requests that you do.

Master of Magics

Learn up to 6 spells from your school’s spell list, or invent an entirely new spell (GM’s discretion). 

Traders - Alchemist, Lena Richards

Mechanical Notes on the Wizard

I really like the GLOG magic system. I like making new wizard classes and writing spells. It's dangerously easy and fun. Wizards seem to have no problems contributing at low levels and don't grow overpowered at high levels. Their role is to handle the weird stuff in the world, to deal burst damage, and to solve problems with orthogonal tools. 

Chartered Wizards vs. Outlaw Wizards

Some schools of magic have royal charters. They are protected by law in many kingdoms. Their pedigree is established, their students (while raucous and troublesome), are predictable, and their utility in war or in peace is undeniable. However grudgingly, they are allowed a place in the order of the world. Chartered schools also charge ruinous tuition, requiring the use of Wizard Student Loans.

Other schools of magic are outlawed. Biomancy and Necromancy are seen as perversions of the natural order. Holy texts and church doctrine state that wizards dabbling in the arts of twisting the body or raising the dead must be killed on sight. In practice, Creation is vast and the times are disordered. There are many places an outlawed wizard could hide.

There are some schools that are neither outlawed nor chartered. According to the law-makers they do not exist. These "Outsider" schools move through society's weave easily, because society has no hooks in them.

Once you have selected a school, roll on the corresponding Background table. You could easily say that your school is Chartered... in Foreign Parts, or that your wizard was trained by an outlawed wizard instead of a proper master.

Schools of Wizardry

Last updated: 2017/07/02. Some schools have not been fully written up yet.

1. Animist Wizards 
Status: Outsider 
Adapted from: Homebrewed
Could also be called “Witch”. You curse the powerful, intimidate the weak, and cut deals. This is a very Miyazaki class. It's also entirely written by me, so it's probably terrible.

2. Biomancers

Status: Outlawed
Adapted from: Goblin Punch Biomancer
Fleshcrafters, alchemists, and brutes. One of the strongest schools in terms of raw damage and survivability, but it leads to a horrible and messy end. Cronenberg and body horror.

3. Drowned Wizards

Status: Outsider
Adapted from: Goblin Punch Wizards of the Drowned World
Monastic, secretive wizards who fear water and love coins and secrets. They deal relatively little damage but their utility spells are very diverse. I'm not sure where these guys are from. Maybe a drowned city of sorcerers that was claimed by the ocean out of love.

4. Elementalist Wizards

Status: Chartered
Adapted from: Goblin Punch Elementalist
Lots of damaging spells, and some defensive spells, but few utility spells. You do get to speak with elementals, which might be a blessing or a curse. 

5. Elf Wizards

Status: Outsider
Some ideas stolen from here.
Elf only. You are a creation of the High Elves, built for their amusement. Dubious utility spells at early levels and serious damage-dealing spells later.

6. Garden Wizards

Status: Chartered
Adapted from: Goblin Punch Silver Wizards
Unusual roving wizards who seek to pacify nature. A capable melee fighter, but with some very decent utility and damage spells as well.

7. Illusionist Wizards

Status: Chartered
Adapted from: Goblin Punch Illusionist.
Few direct damage spells, but loads of mind-altering effects. Colourful but manipulative.

8. Necromancers

Status: Outlawed
Adapted from: Goblin Punch Necromancer.
Raise the dead, speak with the dead, command the dead, and all that sort of thing.

9. Orthodox Wizard
Status: Chartered
Adapted from: Goblin Punch Orthodox Wizard. A “classic” D&D Wizard. Fireballs, missiles, that sort of thing. A good all-rounder, but slightly unreliable thanks to their Mishaps and Doom.

10. Wizards of the White Hand
Status: Chartered
Adapted from:Wizard of the White Hand.
Unsympathetic but competent order, with their own traditions and ways. They can directly heal, which is very rare, and they can cast spells over vast distances.

11. Spider Wizard
Status: Outsider
Speak with spiders, summon giant spiders, generally creep everyone out.

12. Speleomage
Status: Chartered (if underground) or Outsider (on the surface)
The underground version of the Orthodox Wizard.

TR, AdamaSto



Chartered Wizard

You were trained at a college of wizards. When you weren't drinking, knife-fighting, fornicating, and skipping class, you learned a few spells. You have taken on Wizard Student Loans. You graduate owing 1d10x5000gp, unless your background states otherwise. You owe 1/500th of your total loan amount per month, payable in gold, new spells, magic item, intelligence, slaves, or dragon meat to your college. They will usually give you six months without payment before hunting you down and shaking you until you rattle.

1. You were a foundling, given to a chartered college as part of a town's ancient agreement. Your survival was unexpected but welcome. You start with the "History" skill and many useless facts. You took on a new name to reflect your school, such as "Peter Purplestripe" for Purplestripe College, or "Fredegund Tower" for the White Tower of Elderstone.
2. You are a child of a prosperous merchant. Your Wizard Student Loans are a mere 2,500gp. Roll on the Table of Professions and gain the skill listed. Your parents are disappointed in you no matter what you do.
3. Your village scraped together enough money to send you, the cleverest child in a dozen generations, to study. Start with the "Farmer" skill and a family.
Expect terrible letters from home.
4. Your studies were progressing well, but you suffered a terrible setback. Gain
a scar (see the Death and Dismemberment table) and a fear of some innocuous thing, such as lettuce, rain, beeswax, or mirrors. Start with the "Literature" skill.

5. You have just - within a few days - agreed to become a War Wizard (or Wizard Ordinary). Start with the "Literature" skill and 1d6 rumours about the War.
6. A lord sponsored your studies. Your lord pays your wizard student loans as long as you work for him in whatever capacity he had planned. Start with the "History" skill.

Outsider Wizard

You exist on the edge of the law. While society has no fixed place for you, it does not actively seek your destruction. This is a minor distinction; for the purposes of the Estates, you are either an Outlaw, or a member of the Third Estate who keep their abilities disguised.

1. You were tutored in a small group by a wise wizard. You know 1d4 other students from your school well enough that they'd answer your letters. Roll on the Table of Professions and gain the skill and item listed.
2. You were inducted into an ancient, secretive tradition. Start with the "Poisoner" or "Artist" skill, a dagger, and a secret handshake or sign.
3. You were exiled from your home for openly practicing your magical arts. Start with the "Farmer" skill and 2 rations.
4. You owe secret allegiance to a lord, and have served him in the past in matters best kept from the Chartered wizards. Start with the "Courtesy" skill and 5sp. 
5. You once offended a powerful bishop. Start with the "History" skill and a powerful enemy.
6. You somehow acquired a camp follower. You might have saved their life, or they might owe you for a past service, or  you might have caused some minor disaster in their life. Start with the "Soldier" skill or roll on the Table of Professions and gain the skill listed.

Outlaw Wizard

1. You took up the forbidden arts to avenge some monstrous wrong. Roll at least once on this table. You care nothing for life or those who would judge you. Start with the "Frontier" skill and 5sp.
2. You willingly put your soul on the line while spellcasting. You may add +1 MD to any spell you cast, but you automatically generate a Mishap. This extra MD does not return to your pool. Start with the "History" skill.

3. No matter your abilities, you consider yourself a terrible wizard, a lousy fighter, and a bad friend. Start with the "Poetry" skill.
4. You left your master to face the mob and fled as the villagers lit the pyre. Roll on the Table of Professions and gain the skill listed. You also start with 1gp and nightmares.
5. You experienced a terrible magical catastrophe. Start with the "Bandit" skill. You gain a +2 to Save vs Fear, but the survivors or victims of the catastrophe may still seek you.
6. You have a secret mission. You can choose to decide your mission's goal during character creation, or you can declare it at any time during play. If you succeed, you get 50 bonus XP and a deep sense of satisfaction. Start with the "Cultist" skill and a dagger.


  1. Do you think it would be too much for the Spell Breeding ability to actually produce new spells? Right now, the way yours and Arnold's descriptions are written, Spell Breeding/Spell Development appears to be a purely reductive process, starting with two spells and ending up with a new weirder one.

    1. I haven't really looked at the rules for it, but I should. I'll see if I can write up an article.

  2. Thanks for all the work Skerples! I'm considering running the GLOG for my group and getting myself familiar with the rules right now. Can you tell me what the keyword "agony" is supposed to mean? I found it in several of the wizards'mishap tables but couldn't find a definition, neither on your blog nor Goblinpunch's where it also appears on the Orthodox Wizard's mishap table.

    1. Ah, the GLOG's not so big on strict keywords. I run "Agony" as "Can't cast spells or attack, must make noise if feasible, can still move but at 1/2 speed."