In this realm, magic is a force that runs deep and free within the lands. Since the dawning of civilization, many have tried their hand at honing this force and using it to do their biddings, calling it “casting”. Here, in Mysts of Eyr, magic is volatile and wondrous and waiting for brave souls to learn the ancient discipline of control over this mystical force.
In this guide, you will learn the different variations of caster categories, types, and schools. This list is important to read through as it is what has been approved by the Admins of Eyr. You will not be able to deviate your caster from what has been outlined for you here meaning, if a certain type of magic or caster is not in this guide it should not exist in this realm. If you wish to deviate from our guidelines on casters you will need to be approved with a Custom Character Application. You may click here to see whether the applications are open or if they are listed as closed. We thank you in advance.
That being said, let us get started!
Kinds of Magic
Even if you are just a beginner or if you are an old pro, you still must choose a path for your caster which will reflect your unique roleplaying style. The first thing to note is that there are three cardinal categories that you will need to learn about. The first is the classification of magic, or the kinds of magic.
Like weaponry, martial arts, and even fashion, there are different types of magic and different ways to classify it. To make things simple, however, this realm only has two broad classifications that all magic falls under: divine magic and arcane magic. Tried and true in a lot of pen and paper systems, this division is one of the primary and easiest to start with.
Divine Magic is ethereal energy/force gained from or challenged through the power of a belief, often a deity or religion, but also through general spirituality or ‘connection with the universe. Users engaging with divine magic may receive their skills through prayers as well as practice and study, while their magical methods may involve prayers, rituals, religious artifacts, and other spiritually-related actions. It’s important to also understand that divine does not necessarily equate with holy- there are evil deities and dark religions out there.
Arcane Magic is, essentially, everything else. Arcane magic pulls from a variety of resources including other planes, the elements, ley lines, life force, or other materials. Users in this field tend to not have the benefit of a greater force guiding or helping them, so they must rely on their own studies, practice and knowledge to acquire and refine skills. Arcane methods are incredibly broad, encompassing artifacts, spell components, power words and more.
Many may ask, how do these two different classifications affect them as a caster? While there are a variety of places that a magic user’s magic can come from, the source can affect what kind (and sometimes how powerful or effective) of magic is used. For example, a healer who relies on her faith for healing spells is going to be less likely to be able to conjure a fireball than a wizard who draws on his knowledge to summon the elements and likewise; a mage that pulls his power from his own life energy and forms it by his will most likely won’t be able to draw up spells of protection from evil forces as easily as a priest praying to his god may.
This isn’t an impossible feat for either to do, but it does prove to be quite difficult as there isn’t a single caster that is able to move fluidly between either classifications. When choosing, make sure that you are aware that the classification you pick will need to stick with you in roleplay.
Types of Casters
As we move along to the second cardinal category, we get into the type of casters. Just as there are many different styles of living, there are many, many types of casters. You see all kinds of sources if you look at different video games, books, and roleplays and we highly encourage people to look around and find out what best suits what they are aiming for.
As not everyone swings a sword the same way, so similarly, not everyone casts a spell the same way. Some people require books or wands, some require spell components and herbs, and some just need willpower and mental strength. You may refer to the different foci in the “Basic Magic Essentials” article here for more information on this. The most common types of casters you may see in fantasy settings are:
Wizards & Mages are the most commonly seen caster and usually the first people think of. A Wizard is an arcane caster that typically spends years in study and training in order to be able to cast, relying on knowledge and having to memorize the spells that they want to cast.
Sorcerers & Innate Casters tend to be born with a raw talent for magic and usually have to train to be able to control it, lest their magic end up controlling them. Sorcerers tend to draw more from mana, life energy, or lay lines than other arcane casters.
Priests & Clerics are the people of the gods and pray to their deity to receive their spells, which they cast based on their faith and usually focus through a symbol of some sort.
Druids & Nature Magic Users fall into a grey area where divine and arcane is concerned, and what kind of caster they are depends on where they get their spells from. Usually these types of casters feel a strong connection with the forest and nature, and it can include rangers, fae, and other types too.
Healers are almost always a divine type. Healers can be seen in other types of casters as well, such as clerics, shamans and druids, and tend to focus on healing wounds and illness, usually with the aid of herbs and bandages as well as spells.
Necromancers are another grey area as they can be arcane or divine casters depending on whether they follow evil gods or study their craft or something else entirely. Necromancers focus on the art of raising the dead as corpses and skeletons, communicating with the spirits, and soul & life force manipulation as well as various preservation types of magic. Baelnorns, a type of necromancer, are specifically good aligned and use their gifts in this school to mostly heal and repair souls and guide spirits to their rightful place of rest.
Bards are an arcane type which focus their spellcasting through music and performance, and their spells usually focus more on manipulation and illusions compared to other casters.
There are many, many others not listed – spellswords, battlemages, and shadow dancers, for example – but those listed cover what you are most likely to encounter. Before pursuing any caster type, especially something more advanced of complex, do your research thoroughly and contemplate if it is really something you would enjoy playing out in strengths and weaknesses. While having an archmagus may sound really cool, with that power comes a number of drawbacks and flaws. We do not restrict much on the different types but do ask that players at least do their research as the type of caster you are relays what you might be vulnerable or good at in your roleplay.
Schools of Magic
The final cardinal category is the Schools of Magic. Within the two overreaching kinds of magic are multiple sub-categories, or better known as “schools”. These are what most users will work within and focus on - and often shape the character of the magic user themselves. While there may be numerous different “schools” that you have read about in other lore, this realm focuses on only eight different ones which are not to be deviated from. They are:
Abjuration: spells that protect, block, or banish. An abjuration specialist is called an abjurer.
Conjuration: spells that bring creatures or materials to the caster. A conjuration specialist is called a conjurer or a summoner.
Divination: spells that reveal information. Also known as scrying. A divination specialist is called a diviner or scryer.
Enchantment: spells that affect the minds of other creatures or grant the caster power over another being. An enchantment specialist is called an enchanter, not to be confused with a caster that imbues or enchants an item with a magical ability.
Evocation: spells that manipulate energy or create something from thin air. Sometimes referred to as summoning (though summoning tends to focus on bringing forth a being or an immense mass). An evocation specialist is called an evoker or summoner.
Illusion: spells that alter perception or create false images. An illusion specialist is called an illusionist.
Necromancy: spells that manipulate, create, or destroy life or life force. A necromancy specialist is called a necromancer.
Transmutation: spells that transform the recipient physically or change its properties in a more subtle way. A transmutation specialist is called a transmuter.
The list is probably familiar to a lot of pen and paper roleplayers and what it does for some in roleplay is give qualifiers and ideas for different spells and their respective effects. You can also use that list to create both the strengths and limitations of your caster. For example, you may create a Caster who is an Evoker but a great thing to do is to include a weakness to a particular type of spell behind that: say an Evoker who is weak to Illusions.
Also, when you're dealing with resistances, or magic resistance items, specializing them to a school or two of magic is a great way to help balance them out for other players. You can also add flavor to your RP descriptions of casting and effects anchored in these school concepts. For example, casting a fireball or summoning lightning would be evocation, as you are manipulating energy to call forth elements that were not there. If one were to use a bowl of water or a mirror to try and see something happening far away, however, it would be considered divination.
Schools of magic are very complex and difficult to learn, each having their own unique styling. Because of this, no one can master all of them in a single lifetime and usually only have enough energy to dabble in all of them with a mild skill or focus their efforts on mastering up to three and simply being mediocre at the rest.
The easiest way to explain the complexity of learning a school of magic for your character would be to compare it to learning a language in real life. While there are many multi-lingual people, no one is able to master every language that exists. Use this comparison for your roleplay. If your character wishes to learn a new school of magic you must be aware that it takes time and constant practice until you are able to grasp the mere basics of it.
As you have read about and learned the three cardinal categories needed to create your full fledged caster, there are a few other things to take into consideration. Remember that just because you have these three categories picked it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a fully developed character. Create reasoning and a backstory for your character and their magic and don’t forget to assess their skill level!
This structure has been put in place to help you create your spell caster but to also make roleplaying smoother and give you a guideline to stand on when practicing your magic. It must be warned, however, that deviating from the policy and guidelines of spellcasting in roleplay is considered to be breaking the rules and if you do wish to deviate from what is placed on the website, you will need to have an approved custom character application. If you have any questions regarding magic and the sort feel free to contact an admin or a mentor if you have read over the rest of the guides!