May Project: Wings of Fire Part 2

Continuing from yesterday’s post of campaign materials inspired by the story Wings of Fire from

“She was born of magically talented parents, and given all she desired,” the Hawkbrother continued. “But she came to desire more and more, and her own small talent could not compass her ambition, until she discovered her one true gift-that she could steal spells from any, and use that power to weave those spells at no cost to herself. Thus she enriched herself at the expense of others, and the more power she had, the more she sought.”

Quote from Wings of Fire, copyright Mercedes Lackey

So, a mage that only learns spells by stealing them. While the idea of power stealing is common the specific idea of learning spells by stealing is kind of rare. I like it.

Spell Stealer
The spell stealer is a form of magical parasite. Born with the ability to channel magics they lack either the mental ability or determination to actually learn magical formulas. Instead, they steal spell knowledge directly for the minds of other magic users and clerics.

Except as noted below under spell casting, spell learning, and other abilities treat a spell stealer as a cleric for purposes of attacks, weapons and armor, spells per day, and saves. Treat them as a magic-user if, for some reason, you need to know XP to advance a level. Because of their lack of training and knowledge no magical research, item creation, or similar abilities are know by spell stealers.

Spell Casting: Because they are innate magic users and not learned or devoted ones spell stealers don’t memorize spells or maintain spell books. All their spells are kept in their head and selected as needed to cast. While this gives them some flexibility relative to magic-users and clerics they are still limited to a certain number of castings per day, reflecting their ability to control the energies coursing through them.

Spell Learning: Due to their inability to learn spells by devoted prayer or academic study spell stealers do just that, they steal spells directly from the mind of other magic users. Because they must hold all their spells in their head they are limited in the number they can know and lack absolute control over what they learn. The total number of spells of a given level a spell stealer can know is half the number that level they can cast per day divided by two.

Because of the method for “learning” a spell it is quite possible that a spell stealer may know a lower level spell than the slot might indicate, such as knowing spider climb as a third level spell instead of a first level one. Note, such higher level learning has no effect on the spells power, just how much power they must use to cast it. Finally, because they use the cleric spells per day table they cannot learn eight and ninth level magic user spells at all.

To learn a spell a spell stealer must cease and hold the head of a spell caster who has memorized a spell and lock their eyes. In combat this requires a to hit at -8 and in or out of combat the victim may save against spell to avoid the eye lock affecting the transfer. The transfer takes one round per level of spell being learned and if broke before then the stealer must save versus spell or take spell level d6 of damage. At the end of that time the stealer may select one spell the opponent knows to attempt to steal. Roll d20 + spell stealer’s level – spell level. On a roll of 15+ the stealer steals that spell. On a roll 6-14 a random spell memorized by the target is selected from all spells that are the level of the highest open slot of the stealer or lower. In this case regardless of level of the spell it will fill that highest open slot. On a roll of 4- no spell is stolen. Any stolen spell is immediately forgotten. Magic-user and clerical spells may be stolen.

If a spell is stolen the subject of the attack makes a saving throw against magic with a bonus of the spell stealer’s level if a specific spell is chosen. If the roll is failed the target suffers a level drain if level 2 or higher but not if level 1. This drain represents the mental damage suffered by having a spells ripped out of your head. The bonus on a specific spell being stolen represents the lessor damage by a controlled removal by an experienced stealer.

As per the licensing page the material in this box is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License or the Open Gaming License. Choose the license which best suits your purposes but I prefer the Creative Commons.

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