OSR: Academic Classification of Spells

Boff! Magazine, a weekly satirical periodical, ran a comic illustration. In first panel, a solemn conference of wizards sit around a table eating dinner. The caption reads "They have agreed not to mention the Question of Classification." In the second panel, the table is overturned. Wizards bludgeon each other with soup spoons. Dignified beards are yanked, hats are punched flat, dishes and spells fly. The caption reads, "They mentioned it."

The Question of Classification has consumed the theoretical magic community for a generation. The former system of eight "Grand Schools" (Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination, Enchantment, Evocation, Illusion, Necromancy, and Transmutation), a system that fit so neatly into the eightfold paradigm, suffered several esoteric but devastating blows. Transmuting base metals was shown to be a property of raw magic, not a separate school or class of spell. A huge number of spells were proven to be minor variants on force plate. Illusionists wrested light-magic away from Evocationists, who in turn split into Elementalists and a bewildering array of sub-factionalists.

Only a few hoary old souls still support the Grand Schools unconditionally, but no coherent system has emerged to replace it. In the meantime, tempers run high. Prof. Welpish and Prof. Curitan fought a duel over whether dancing lights should be classified as an Illusion or an Evocation. At a faculty dinner, a visiting lecturer was heard to shout, "If cure wounds is Necromancy then I am a jackass!" to which another guest sarcastically replied, "Pray ma'am, we are not discussing polymorph at this time."
The table below covers all spells separately identified by the College of Endon. Spells in the same row share the same "family", in increasing potency or sophistication from left to right. Spells are further divided by "blocks" and "schools". The placement of any given spell on this table is subject to considerable debate and future revision. Some spells are given in a general sense (e.g. detect covers detect magic, detect traps, detect gold, etc.)

Hedge Magic covers all spells that don't fit into any other school or whose placement is so controversial that they can't safely be assigned a school without endless fights.

Nothing in this table affects practical wizards, who cheerfully reference spell-tables a century out of date... or a few decades ahead of the curve.

Note: If there are any (non-cleric non-druid) spells that aren't on this list that you feel should be included, please report them in the comments. Feel free to do your best outraged wizard impression. Ditto for misclassifications.

Spell Level: Low (0-2) Medium (3-5) High (6-8) Very High (9+)
Countermagic Deflect Spell Counterspell Spell Immunity Antimagic Field
Lesser Restoration Remove Curse Greater Restoration -
Warding Warding Mark Warding Circle Banish Imprisonment
Impedence Resistance Protection - -
Alteration (formerly Transmutation)
Biomancy Alter Self Temporary Polymorph Permanent Polymorph Mass Polymorph
Minor Healing Major Healing Regenerate Mass Healing
Space Rope Trick Tiny Hut    
Time - Slow   Temporal Stasis
Creation Mending Fabricate Disintegrate -
- Minor Creation - -
Summons Summon Animal Summon Lesser Monster Summon Greater Monster -
Augries Guidance Commune Vision Astral Projection
Augry - Scry the Past Foresight
- - Vision -
Detections Detect Reveal - -
Identify - - -
Scryings Locate Object Locate Creature - -
- Scry - -
- Clairaudience - -
Seeings Darkvision Clairvoyance True Sight -
- - - -
Elemental (formerly Evocation)
General Control [Element] Wall of [Element] Control Weather -
  Summon [Element]al - -
Stone Earth Tremor Dig Earthquake -
- Stone to Mud Flesh to Stone -
Water Create Water Water Breathing Flood Tsunami
Ice Ice Knife Ice Storm Freezing Sphere -
Ray of Frost Cone of Cold - -
Chill Touch - - -
Frostbite - - -
Fire Fire Bolt Fireball Delayed Blast Fireball Meteor Swarm
Create Flame - Incendiary Cloud -
Scorching Ray Flame Arrow - -
Burning Hands - - -
Heat Metal - - -
Lightning Spark Lightning Bolt Chain Lightning -
Shocking Grasp Call Lightning - -
Acid Acid Arrow Dissolve - -
Acid Splash - - -
Air Gust Deflect Arrows Whirlwind -
Void/Vacuum Shatter Implosion - -
Thunderclap - - -
Shielding Mage Armor Protection Immunity Invulnerability
Shield of Force Wall of Force Forcecage -
Manipulation Mage Hand Telekinesis Repulsion -
Floating Disc - - -
Hold Person - - -
Light Invisibility Radiating Invisibility Mass Invisibility -
Light Continual Light Sunbeam -
Darkness Continual Darkness Maddening Darkness -
Colour Spray - - -
Dancing Lights - - -
Workings Minor Illusion Illusion Permanent Illusion -
- Hallucinatory Terrain - -
Illusionary Sound - - -
Mind-Altering (formerly Enchantment)
Charms Charm Animal Charm Monster Mass Charm -
Charm Person Dominate Geas -
Memories Enthrall Suggestion Mass Suggestion -
Forget Modify Memory Mental Prison -
Share Thoughts Mental Bond - -
Emotions/States Calm Emotions Induce Emotions - -
Hypnotism Confusion - -
Sleep Fear - -
Teleportation False Teleport Reciprocal Teleport True Teleport Permanent Gate
Gravitation Levitate Fly Wind Walk -
Featherfall - Reverse Gravity -
- Haste - -
Spider Climb - - -
The Dark Art Speak with Dead Animate Lesser Undead Animate Greater Undead Ressurect
Drain Life Cloudkill - -
Soul Curses Hex Bestow Curse Stunning Word Killing Word
Flesh Curses Enfeebling Ray Paralyzation - -
- Contagion - -
- Phantasmal Killer - -
- Feeblemind - -
Blindness - - -
Deafness - - -
Hedge Magic
  Alarm - - -
  Fog - - -
  Grease - - -
  Lock / Unlock - - -
  Magic Missile - - -
  Silence - - -
  Stinking Cloud - - -
  Web - - -


  1. I keep saying, Flesh to Stone is clearly an alterational transmutation and not a elemental effect! It clearly transforms the essence of the target, without conjuring elemental forces! There's no argument that Stone to Flesh is a biomancy and the two spells carry the same astral structure. Except for Mud to Stone, most of the "stone" effects are really Force magic but that's besides the point.

    1. If you'd read my latest paper, Gorinich, you'd know that all _sane_ wizards consider Flesh to Stone to be two entwined spells: one to destroy the flesh, one to creates stone in its form! And since according to Maston's Heirarchy creation effects take precedence over destruction effects, the spell-pair must be classified as elemental in nature! Don't make me come over there!

  2. Pish! Yet another flagrant miss-classification of Illusion Spells under a nebulous "Light" category, when they are clearly Mind-Altering, pollinating effects! The illusionist Arzhente's Phantasmal Executioner is a prime example, and my recent research into the woefully-underfunded area of Summoning shard Elementalets of Light and Shadow have been proving promising. My results will rewrite the planar cosmology! Should these succeed (without taking too many more apprentices, I'm on thin ice with the Academy), you'll be due for some strategic re-organization!

    Lock/Unlock Spells clearly use unseen hands for lock-picking legerdemain, and their formulae should fall into the "Force/Manipulations" section of all but the most sloppy apprentice's Spell Books, while my extensive research into the lowly Grease spell shows that it has kindred genetics with Spider Climb, as both work to directly to inveigle the friction of surfaces to transmute!

    (seriously wonderful classification though! I love that so many spells fit in so many different conceptual spaces and persistently cloud these attempts)

    1. "Elementalets of Light and Shadow", like some sort of old-time stage magician, pshaw. We all know those are just artifacts of your prism separation process. Glass prisms are just fused stone; stone is elemental; you're just seeing echoes of stone elementals on your thaumograph. It's noise, ktrey, noise!

      Your time with the engineers has clearly clogged up your mind. "Friction" as a consideration? What's next, "Momentum"? We're wizards, not steam-workers. If you follow the Morgstern Conjecture - not that you would, of course - you'd see that Lock/Unlock spells clearly are Transformative effects. The lock is simply replaced with a materially indistinguishable lock in a different state!

    2. Phooey! I've followed Morgstern's hacky ramblings since he was still shoveling Firedrake guano to work on his foolish and fore-doomed Fire Icosahedron. Why one would question the perfection of the traditional sphere is beyond me completely, but that's old Morgy for you, never doing the research!

      By your (utterly flawed and fully faulty) interpretation of his "Conjecture," then clearly Lock/Unlock are more aptly classed within yet another "new sub-school" of Transposition rather than Transformation. The use of "replace" reveals your true agenda! A minor quibble to be sure, but by your own off-mark analysis, you'd be better served to further sow confusion in your classification by designating this somewhere under Movement/Teleportation instead of what would doubtlessly be a more appropriate home in the Space/Time subschool!

      Next you'll tell me that on the Keyless Plane, each of our Prime Locks finds it's long-lost identical twin in the opposing state, and this minor hedge-charm merely swaps them! Quantum Locks, pah! Now that's a new one for my ear-trumpet!

      It was by my thaumograph that I first identified, cataloged, and even painted portraits of the diminutive dæmons responsible for most diseases! But your prejudicial codification is plain as day and would undoubtedly allocate this type of important research as a démodé "Dark Art!" It's positively unenlightened!

    3. You're not even worthy to speak Morgstern's name! And as soon as the committee has raised funds to fill in the crater we'll put up a proper memorial statue.

      Breaking out the old "Planes of Ideal Forms" theory then? I think Prime Plane of Morons is missing at least one exemplar. Replacing a lock with an equivalent un-locked form is no more of a stretch than, say, replacing flesh with stone or polymorphing one creature into another.

      Your so-called thaumograph is closer to a thaumometer than to a true spectumating instrument. Remember your famous rant about "cheese devils" that you'd spotted through your "micro-scry" instrument? I can't believe you'd even show your face in this hall after that debacle.

    4. The cheese devils are real! I've seen them! I've summoned them! I still hear their curdling screams!

      You're as stubborn as those infernal Iron Bulls with petrifying breath (whose female counterparts produce the cheese for...you guessed it! GORGONZOLA!). You're still standing by your supposition that Flesh to Stone is pure replacement rather than just the spell worms inducing early, rapid fossilization of the soft tissues! They whisper to me as they wriggle in my Casu marzu! You're dancing around the fundamental flaws in your organizational attempts that I've so thoughtfully brought to light, and you lack toes to follow the labanotation properly!

    5. Listen, you're in whey over your head. You've pressed the attack; now it's time to...
      Time to...
      By jove, someone at this conference has cast Sascha's Hideous Cheese Puns! Damn, damn, double edam!

  3. Argument: detect magic is more closely related to counterspell than to detect gold or detect traps
    Counterargument: All detect-type spells rely on a spell exiting the wizard's brain, collecting information, and returning via the optic nerve.
    Counter-counterargument: Blinded mages can still cast detect-type spells with great success so information must enter the brain via a structure other than the eye. Therefore detection magic must be classified with telepathy and other mind-sense spells.

  4. "Debates over the placement of magic missile are the reason that the entire campus was moved 300 yards to the west, on the grounds that there was a gigantic crater inhabiting the place where the lecture hall was previously. Dr. Zazziwug was insistent that a large enough detonation would prove the spell as elemental."

    1. We'll be one step closer to the answer once we figure out where the detection equipment landed.

  5. Ahhhhh, but when is a spell not a cantrip … ?

    1. Cantrips (minor repeatable spells) are grafted directly onto the user's soul like barnacles on a whale. True spells are loaded into a specially trained user's mind and released on command.

  6. I LOVE it.

    Classifying spells is the BEST.

    What would be REALLY cool is if you classified spells by MtG Coulour....so combiend Cleric and Druid Spells and then went White, Blue, Black, Red, Green.

    THAT would be a great project

  7. As someone with an academic background, I appreciate this post. Seems like more of a setting / flavor thing than something applicable per se, but there's nothing wrong with that (and that seems to be your intention anyway). Although I do wonder if something cool could be done with combining spells, where the assumptions behind their categories influences how the spells combine. But that would be better suited for a game with a more flexible magic system than D&D (or require building a spell fusion system on top of D&D...)

    1. It's handy to have a big list of spells in a book, and it might be useful for doing Industrial Magic: https://coinsandscrolls.blogspot.com/2019/03/osr-spell-research-and-magical-industry.html

  8. Abduration should be Abjuration. You have Vision twice under Auguries. Also Ressurect should be Resurrect.

    I am outraged and saddened by the state of our craft that even a "scientific periodical" such as this one cannot or would not hire a copy editor. Don't you have at least an apprentice?!

    1. I hired a Spell Checker but they only got as far as acid arrow before... dissolving.

  9. I also cannot comprehend the way you mis-classify elemental spells. I waited a century to see Elementalism recognized as a proper school of magic, and even though you acknowledge the errors of the past, you still manage to haphazardly mix up spirits elemental and thaumic. Have you even been to the spirit world?

    Let me tell you that on my exploratory missions, I have seen Wind Walk in its natural habitat, and it's clearly an air elemental. You somehow came to the conclusion that Levitation and Fly, which offer respite from gravity, and Wind Walk, which lets you literally walk on wind, are similar enough to assign into a single class. Incredible.

    But you clearly are not an elementalist, as you have labeled both Fog (water spell) and Silence (air spell) as hedge magic. Such ignorance could be excused were you an apprentice or a sorcerer, but I would expect better of an academic wizard.

    And don't get me started on Meteor Swarm labeled as a fire spell. I have a meteor in my office as a paperweight. It's a piece of rock!

    1. Travelled though you may be, Master Kangaroo, Spelljammers would have great difficulty accepting your contention that Silence is concerned primarily with Air! Clearly, the qualities of the Air are TRANSMUTED, not summoned! I've even heard of some casting formulations which directly manipulate Time in order to drown out the sounds! "Air", heavens no!

    2. I'll admit that wind walk is an edge case, but fog as a water-spell? Preposterous. Even rudimentary tests show that a fog spell contains no moisture whatsoever, but instead suspends micro-particles of surpassing fineness and delicacy throughout the affected area. It is clearly a cousin of darkness.

      Rocks from space indeed. Pray, unless it was by the accidental action of the late Prof. Morgstern, how did these rocks get up there? When the Celestial Spheres were ordered, were some parts misaligned, producing flocks of Celestial Grit?

    3. Silence is an air spell?! Sound travels readily through solids as well as air, you absolute dunderhead.

      And the Silence spell works by detecting noise and generating additional sound in exact opposition to that which it detects. It's part of a family of magic which our gracious but ill-educated host has mislabeled as elemental "vacuum" spells.

      Speaking of which, dear Skerples, even school children understand that vacuum is the absence of the elements, not an element unto itself. I suppose you could "summon" vacuum by banishing matter, but none of the items you've placed in this category do even that! Shatter and Implosion both destroy by tuning vibration to an objects inherent resonant frequency. And Thunderclap? It's quite simply a loud noise! What part of thunder and clap confused you?

      Now whether these spells - along with Message, Magic Mouth, and Gribald's Fancy Ragtime Waltz - should be placed alongside the Force spells or into the category of Illusion is a respectable debate. Anyone who has felt the concussive power of a griffin's roar will intuitively lean towards the former. But with the recent discovery that light itself acts as a kind of wave, there are murmurings that Illusion should perhaps instead be called Vibrational magic. I've heard from my colleagues at the Tower of Sound and Silence that a project is underway to build a magical supercollider capable of blasting sonic and luminous spells into their core components. That will settle the debate once and for all, and some have hopes of using this project to develop spells capable of controlling other oscillatory cycles, such as the tides, the seasons, or dynastic succession. But I digress...

      What was my point? Oh yes:

      I don't think either of you should be in the business of classifying spells if you can't tell the difference between an element and your uncle. Next you'll be telling us that healing spells are "Meat elementalism" and that Charms are "Friendship elementalism".

    4. What sensible wizard would deny that the "vacuum" itself is an elemental substance? Consider, it meets all the properties set out in the venerable Die Orbis Universum Omnes:
      -it persists in large quantities in nature (between the crystal spheres, above the air of the world)
      -it exhibits pairings with other known elements (fire can be used to "draw" a vacuum, lightning is believed to spawn it hence thundercracks, air and water rush to combat and destroy it while stone remains neutral, etc, etc.)
      -and who can forget Dr. Entwist's summoning of a stable void-elemental, and the resulting damage to campus property and undergraduate students?

      Now! Light is a sort of "wave", you say, and perhaps it is so. But through what medium does this "wave" propagate? Not air, or measurements of the speed of light would be affected by wind or by the rotation of the earth. It surely is the "void" itself that carries light.

    5. Again, you demonstrate the depths of your ignorance. The space between the crystal spheres is saturated with quintessence, the same medium through which light propagates. If it were truly filled with void, then wouldn't the atmosphere rush away to "combat and destroy it" as you say?

      And Dr. Entwist is a charlatan. That so-called "void-elemental" was clearly a sphere of annihilation with a false mustache glued on!

    6. Phlogiston! Phlogiston! Us of the Astrological Tower (high above every other Tower in the land, atop Mt.Hoarycruk) have conferred and agree that the inter-crystal matrix is composed almost entirely of phlogiston with a mere contamination of quintessence.

      This finding also confirms the existence of vacuum as a true element, for what else fills the space between your ears!

    7. Ah, oh ye of little elemental knowledge. Know ye not that air and stone are strongly attracted strongly in aggregate? Air would fain rush up to fill the celestial void but is restrained by the temperate bonds to stone. Similarly, water cannot pierce this barrier of air and is content to remain in the seas, swirled constantly by the action of the moon.

  10. One again, another would-be academagician completely ignores the existence of the curative spells. Yes, they are commonly used by the clerics and ignored by magic-users, but as all true researchers of the mystic arts are aware the clerics' so-called "divine magic" is really just a special case of more general magic. A theory of magic which does not include Cure Wounds and its related spells is not only incomplete, but completely incorrect!

    1. Alright, who invited the Thaumodeists?

    2. "divine magic" *eyeroll*. The miraculous is never to be confused with the magical! I suggest you return to your studies!

  11. Surely no TRUE MAGE would classify the eyeball-enhancing spell Darkvision as part of the College of Revelatory Divinations!!! I foreswear! Good luck selling your tome of lies in any RESPECTABLE bookshoppe!

    1. Where would you classify it then, oh wise archmage? Perhaps with the elemental spells of fire. [A Jest]

    2. I thought it would be obvious that the body is Transmuted to accept the lower light levels and alternative frequencies to the eyeball-brain connection.

  12. Banish cannot possibly be an abjuration spell. As has been clearly proven in Ikphim's Irrationality Paradigm, using magic to NOT do something is preposterous. As the author is clearly not familiar with this body of work, this reader shall explain. Prior to his work, nearly all known magical effects were described in the positive, which left negative descriptions of magical affects such as preventing, or negating, unconjuring quite dubious. Further still, these negative descriptors could not be neatly applied to a single unified body of spells as is demonstrated in the author's own published table! IF SPELLS ARE PROVEN DISSIMILAR THEN THEY CANNOT BE PRESENT I THE SAME SCHOOL! As is the case when magical effects are quite nearly opposite (creating shields as wards vs anti-casting as counterspell).

    Ikphim's paradigm neatly clarifies several troublesome negate-ive magical affects in terms of the positive action generated by the caster. To the point, BANISH is quite neatly classified as a sub type of teleportation magic where the locus of the teleportation must reference another plane. In fact, Ikphim's work is so obvious that this reader is surprised the author had not parsed this out for themselves!

    I'll not be so pedantic as to correctly assign your "hedge magic" back into its appropriate schools. Ikphim has nearly done it for you.

    1. Oh, I can tolerate Ikphim separating the Force-spells from Abjuration (that can't be disputed at this point!) but what "positive effect", pray tell, can explain an anti-magic field?

    2. Banish is clearly an active SEVERING of the cross-dimensional materia of foreign bodies. Without the stability in our reality anchoring the intruder in place, the subject's own travels are reversed. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to maintain such a traveler across its own dimensional-positional gradient. The existence of the spell itself should be clear that this is so!

    3. Theories abound (when do they not)! but whatever the cause, be it transposition of spells out of a mage's brain, or transmuting the spells themselves to mundane materials. Rest assured that further research, and selective self dillusion shall prevail as it always does!

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  14. FOOLS! FOOLS! Has noone read my 327th pamphlet on "Reality as Eldritch Morphean Construct?" If you did you will realize that all magic is psychic in nature as it alters the dream-state of the Dead One whose slumbering imaginings constitute our very reality! (Throws a handful of pamphlets at you)

  15. If the academics even once actually touched the Grease instead of wasting their time on empty theorizing about it, you would have known that it is _clearly_ a biomancy spell, as it bears strong natural similarities to molten human fat.

    And who puts Spider Climb into Gravitation? This spell also should be in biomancy.

    1. To think about it more, all spells should be in biomancy.

    2. And Stinking Cloud is also presumably biomancy because of it's resemblance to human flatus? And Earthquake is biomancy because of the resemblance to borborygmus?

      Come on now. The Universal BioMutational theory of Magic was soundly disproven decades ago when Madam Curecles built a rune array capable of summoning a sample of antimony, which is a substance with absolutely zero biological essence.

    3. ...even the spells of a Lich?

    4. Prof. Bacontime, Kyana is presumably making the claim that since spells can reside in our organic brains, they must all be a form of biomancy. This, of course, neglects the spellcasting capabilities of Liches & Great Vampires, among many, many others.

      One might make a persuasive argument that spell-CASTING, as practiced by biological entities, is enabled by biomantic energies, but the nature of the spells themselves demonstrably is NOT.

    5. Yes. I'm familiar with the argument, and sentient undead are another excellent counterexample, albeit one that BioMutationalists disputed by rather tenuously claiming that the soul is biological in nature.

      But that's precisely why Curecles experiment was so notable, for by translating an antimony-summoning-spell into the form of a runic array (an arithmanticly monumental task), she succeeded in creating a magical working which was unambiguously neither biomantic in origin nor in effect.

    6. I'll not play caecodemon's advocate that bio-centric researchers would claim the very act of creating the rune array was the necessary source of anima to call forth specific materia from Stibium, the Elemental Demi-plane of Metalloids...

    7. But what about wands! Wands also "cast" spells. And artifacts, enchantments, scrolls, etc. Goodness.

    8. Now we're leaving the testable and repeatable for the realms of philosophy -- how many Wishes can dance on the head of a pin...

    9. It is curious to see how Mme Curecles's experiments (and, to lesser degree, Bardabee's Cascade Summoning and, in desperation, Voxerel's Spring) are getting mentioned every single time in such debates, as if they are still a proof that is supposed to finally and forever to discard the universal applicability of Life Law. And how silent the argument goes, for example, when Ran Raine's proof of elemental life is presented. The theory is never dead, only refined, understood better and improved - like a life itself.

      The fact is that spells are themselves are alive. That this the form of life that is different from ours own biology doesn't make them any less part of the Life. Just as elementals are alive creatures (however little we yet understand of their life cycle), spells are living beings by themselves, regardless of what shell they currently inhabit, be it a dried form of the Liche, or armour sleeve in a shape of the wand.

      As for antimony being "zero biological essence", as any _practical_ mage certainly knows, it is a part of the diet and the metabolism for Sulfic Dragons of Yth and as such is not some inert idealized component that has no place in life and isn't related to it. Outdated humanshapecentrism of Mme. Curecles's views is quite apparent these days, and it limits the applicability of her research for the last century.

    10. You may be right, but there are theories that even the lich has a brain, dissesctions cannot prove this howver as the unstable nature of liches causes there bodies to decay rapidly following death, starting with the brain which maintaned the lichdom.

    11. Are not wands made of wood?!? They still hold biomantic standing by the very fact that they once lived!

  16. Harumph! And harumph once more! What madness have you placed to ink? Surely it was but an oversight to place the workings of Summons within Alteration, rather than Movement? One can not change what is not there; One must draw it forth BEFORE change can take place. Summons is nothing more that a forced teleportation.

    Further, you place Disintegrate within the realm of Creation? And Resurrect within The Dark Arts? It was surely a long night when you transposed these two. Have you even GAZED upon Roanson's "Ní Bás an Bheatha (2nd ed.)"? It would certainly do you well.

    My right and honorable colleague, I dare suggest you take a semester off, or at the very least stop drinking with the First Years.

    1. A summon-type spell is merely the alteration of location, as recently proved by Magus Grulan's famous flightless bird experiment. He created a summon tame flightless bird spell, which only seemed to summon one type of large dim turkey-like tropical bird. He then found the island on which they dwelled, shot most of them, and put numbered bands on the rest. The spell reliably and invariably brought forth a banded bird.

    2. Disintegrate, as any half-trained mage will tell you, is the annihilation of matter into raw magic by the same process (reversed!) as the creation of matter from raw magic! Placing it within the purview of Creation is just and proper.

      Resurrect is most certainly a Dark Art, both by local law and universal custom. Raising the dead interferes with a soul's properly appointed afterlife; what fel bargains must be struck to free a soul from eternal torment?

    3. A summon-type spell is indeed the alteration of location, however the common word we use for such a feat is "Movement." If we are to place all spells that alter a target in someway into the Alteration realm, then we shall forever classifying solely into Alteration. What is Lock/Unlock but the alteration of the state of the lock? Confusion is but the altering of the mind; Darkvision the altering of one's eyes to see; Remove Curse the alteration of the presence of a Curse. The list continues from there. Grulan's notes on the experiment are a fascinating read, yet only goes to show the bird is being moved (via movement) rather than altered (save for a state of sudden confusion, no doubt.)

      The point on Resurrect, I shall concede; it has been more than a moment since I've left college grounds and have had to deal with "local law." Yet the process of classifying spells in the reverse, I hold firm is nonsense. Given this line of reason all of Biomancy should be placed within Necromancy. Actually, on this later example I shall agree as well - the difference between Biomancers and Necromancers is merely a cheerful disposition.

  17. I've said it before and I'll say it again - the only theoempirical robust basis for classification is breeding compatiblity between the base spells. You can all freely access my experements' results with any divination spell targeting "the etheral breeding grounds of the magnificent Lucrecius"* and see for yourself that cantrips and full grown spells are able to cross breed, and that there is no breeding barrier between light and fire spells, thus debunking any classification system that place them in different schools.
    *Please note that the scrying defenses will stop to try and fry your brain IF YOU'LL JUST SPELL MY NAME AND HONORIFIC CORRECTLY.

    1. Am I having an opportunity to meet with fellow biomancer?

    2. Pah. Spell breeding is the path to mastery and understanding, but you simple physiochanters obsessions with direct anthropomorziation of the spells does nothing but confuse the field for us true Spell Shepards.

  18. It pains me to see that many of your "elemental" spells are woefully misclassified.

    Heat Metal is classified under "Fire", despite not creating any flames. While it is true that the spell can be used with kindling to create fire, this is this is not the same as bringing fire into existence directly. Should we also classify all the lightning spells as fire spells, as they can be used to start fires? Of course not.

    Likewise, Chill Touch is classified under Ice, but it is simply an alteration of temperature. No Ice is involved!

    It should be obvious to any practised wizard that Heat Metal and Chill Touch should actually belong to a too often neglected family of Alteration: Temperature magic.

    In addition, Control Weather is demonstrably NOT a general elemental spell, as it can only be used on two elements: air and water. If Control Weather were a true member of the "general" family, then it or its variants could be used on other elemental weather effects, such as waves, tides, meteor showers, fire whirls, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, but this is not the case.

    Control Weather is in fact three low-level spells combined into one high-level spell via the spell breeding process. An alterational temperature spell, an elemental air spell for winds and an elemental water spell for clouds and precipitation. The fact that the spell can be used to control these three variables independently of one another is surely proof of this.

  19. No no no! Classifications based on effect are doomed to failure! The effects of spells on the material plane (or the physical world, or creation, or whatever it's being called nowadays) is a misdirection. All that matters is spell breeding! One only needs to observe the interplay of energy when one attempts to breed these so-called "hedge spells," for example, to realize the truth-

    Grease is just a mutation of spider walk applied outwardly, fog is a corrupted air spell cross bred with necromancy, and so on.

    The famous illusion vs light debate is even easier, as illusion spells can be crossbred with telepathy spells, while light spells can be derivied from elemental breeding!

    1. But why can I light some grease spells on fire? WHY CAN I LIGHT THEM ON FIRE? I'll do it RIGHT NOW if I have to!

      Deep breath. If we can't classify spells on effect, what system do you propose? Some sort of thaumic "allele" system that those bean-breeders keep rambling about?

  20. There is a 3rd edition supplemental pdf called "Elements of Magic-revised edition" (there was a previous edition that used a messier list of spell effects, I prefer the revised edition). You take a verb "Create" and a noun "Nature" to cast Grease (Nature creates inert-but-organic matter). Some of these combinations make intutitive sense, others...reach a little, like Move Fire increasing movement speed.

    There are 22 Elements: Nature, Force, Time, Space, Fire, Lava, Earth, Ooze, Water, Mist, Air, Lightning, Light, Crystal, Ice, Sound, Life, Death, Shadow, Metal, Acid, and Void. Life is Positive Energy while Nature is...Organic matter itself. There are also Creature and Alignment types.

    Abjure and Hex [Creature, Element, Alignment] fiddle with defensive stats and have Magic Circle Effects. Charm [Creature] changes the creatures emotions and feelings about the current situation. Compel [Creature] sends messages and even commands directly into the creature's mind. Create [Element/Alignment] creates ordinary or not-so-ordinary objects, including blessed weapons and tiny demiplanes. Divination and Dispel magic are skills and exist outside this noun/verb system. Evoke and Heal [Element/Alignment] can deal and remove damage and afflictions, with different elements causing different side effects with evocation. Infuse and Drain [Element/Alignment] effect ability scores and also are used for Haste, Slow, and Descecrate. Illusion [Element] fools different senses in different ways, based on the Elements used. Move [Element] grants special abilities related to, well, movement for the duration, and are used for teleportation. Summon [Creature] summons creatures, and Transform [Element/Creature] transforms creatures and substances, sometimes interchangeably.

    Its a great way to keep a whole bunch of possible spell effects in mind, although it absolutely has nothing for Prestidigitation, Disintegrate, or Wish. It also is of no help with the argument about whether Paralyzation is a soul curse.