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Murgatroyd is an example Wizard.

Wizards are practitioners of a pragmatic form of Hermetic magic known formally as Ars Magicka, but colloquially known as Wizardry. This is a very flexible and adaptable tradition that combines free-form Rotes, mystically infused artifacts and alchemical ephemera, and personal "internal" magic.

Descended from older Hermetic traditions such as Ars Mercuria (aka Spellbinding), Ars Mysteria (aka Mysteria), Ars Artifexia (aka Artificing), and Ars Alchemia (aka Alchemy). The originators of what become Wizardry were like-minded practitioners of various existing traditions who suspected that all the different forms of magic were expressions of some more fundamental root cause or source. Eventually, a loose network formed among adherents of different crafts willing to share secrets of their arts with one another to find common theoretical grounds, which matured into a more formal practice over time.

Initially a poorly regarded upstart craft seen as lacking purity and elegance by many of the adherents of the traditions it borrowed from. But while the "whatever works" ethos of Wizardry may lack the coherency of a narrower art, it more than makes up for it with utility, and an ever-evolving inclusive framework of theory and conjecture about the nature of magic. Over the centuries, this rational approach flourished, and eventually became the dominant form of Hermetic magic during the rise of the Age of Reason. In the modern era, it continues to be the most populous and influential form of Hermetic magic in the western world.

Due to its derivative and inclusionary origins, Wizardry encompasses many subsects, houses, schools, and heritages...including some strains handed down from a single master to an apprentice over and over again through history, and some family styles practiced solely within a particular lineage. As such, though there is definitely a superset of characteristics that categorize the notion of Wizardry, individual Wizards are quite diverse.


The basis of Wizardly practice is represented on a character by taking the Wizard Vocation at a step appropriate to the character's level of mastery. An apprentice would take the Wizard Vocation at a d4, a journeyman at a d6, a master at a d8, and a archwizard at a d10.


Practitioners of a pragmatically broad tradition of Hermetic magic.

Wizards are first and foremost academics and proceduralists with elaborate rituals and precisely defined rote spells, backed by comprehensively thorough magical theory and lore.

The pursuit of wizardry is a lifelong affair of deepening study and mastery of the nuances of the symbology and formal theories the art is founded upon. An old Wizard is usually a force to be reckoned with, but also a sage of the esoteric to be learned from.

The Wizard Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: Immediately recognize and recall highly detailed esoteric lore regarding a subject with magical or legendary significance (GM's discretion applies).
  • Exploit: You may add your Smarts die to a dice pool that also includes your Wizard Vocation die even if you have also added a different Aptitude die to that dice pool.
  • Exploit: If you are using your Hermetic Ritual SFX you may keep an extra die for your total.

Signature Exploits

Some Wizards take one or more Signature Exploits for their Wizard Vocation to represent specialized training, particularly esoteric lore, a personal quirk, or a practice of their specific subsect of Wizardry. This option offers an economical (in terms of Advances) and fun way to differentiate and add nuance to a Wizard; some thematically appropriate examples are provided below.

Signature Exploit: You may clear your Ego Stress or step down Ego Trauma.
Signature Exploit: When using Spells to emulate Summoning, don't step it down.
Signature Exploit: You may double your Violence trait when casting an offensive spell.
Signature Exploit: You may use your Wizard Vocation die as if it were Durability or Warding until your next Panel.
Signature Exploit: You may use a Transition Scene to create a d8 Asset or two d6 Assets representing a specific kind of minor magical item or enchanted object. This Asset lasts until it is removed by someone or when it is no longer relevant to the narrative. You may grant an Asset created in this way to another character to use.
Signature Exploit: You may use a Transition Scene to create a Complication with a step equal to your Wizard Vocation die, representing a mystical ward protecting an area no larger than a zone against a specific kind of supernatural entity; such entities must overcome the Complication to enter or to leave the protected area.

Mystic Ability Set

Wizards are first and foremost Mystics, and thus all Wizards without exception have a Mystic Ability Set, in which various Ability traits and the Supernatural Aura Limit that is common to Mystics are contained. Though individuals vary in the exact composition of their Mystic Ability Set, the most common basic Mystic Ability Set is provided below.


Senses: d6
Stamina: d6
Warding: d6
Willpower: d6

Limit: Supernatural Aura: You have a supernatural aura that is detectable by those with special senses. Gain one (1) Plot Point when this becomes a Complication for you.

Wizard Differentiation

All Wizards must have a Wizard Ability Set with at least one Spells Ability trait, but beyond that minimal requirement individuals can distinguish themselves by magnitude (higher stepped Ability traits) and by what else they take within the Ability Set.

Further, it is common for Wizards to have one or more magical items. In some cases they also study Artificing and make the items themselves, in others they've inherited or acquired the items. Similarly, many Wizards equip themselves with alchemical items...perhaps made by themselves if they also study Alchemy, or otherwise attained as commodities.

Some Wizards pursue older elemental studies, others work on themselves developing their Mystic capabilities, some develop their vocational techniques, and a few even learn some of the Lesser Mysteries of Mysterians. Less wholesomely, and a sensitive subject to be sure, there are also so-called Black Wizards who secretly turn to the study of necromantic or infernal practices...whether out of curiosity, necessity, pursuit of power, or other reasons.

Wizard Ability Set

In addition to the Wizard Vocation and a Mystic Ability Set, a Wizard character must also take a Wizard Ability Set with the Spells trait and the Hermetic Ritual SFX, and by default usually also includes the Lexical Limit and the Spell Component Limit.

Generally speaking a focused Wizard's Spells trait can be (and typically is) one step higher, and should never be lower, than their Wizard Vocation step. However, a Wizard that favors theory over practice, who dabbles in other crafts such as Alchemy, or specializes in certain types of magic will often have a Spells trait equal to their Vocation step. Becuase wizardry is such a diverse and syncretic art, determination of mastery is a holistic assesment based on the totality of an individual Wizard's mystical capabilities.

For instance, Murgatroyd is generally considered to be a Master Wizard despite his Spells Ability trait being a d8 instead of a d10. His particular skill at making Teleportation gates, the relative ease with which he is able to switch and cast his magic (thanks to buying off the Lexical and Spell Component Limits), and his ability to tap extra reserves of power when necessary (as represented with the Unleashed SFX) grant him a flexibility that more than compensates for his lack of raw power.

An example is provided below for a baseline Wizard Ability Set for a master level Wizard; however it can be easily adjusted to represent a baseline apprentice by setting Spells to d6, or a journeyman by setting Spells to d8, or an archwizard by setting Spells to d12.

Master Wizard

Spells: d10

SFX: Hermetic Ritual: If you have the time and materials to prepare and execute an elaborate hermetic ritual you may step up an Ability trait you are using Spells to emulate two steps for one action.

Limit: Lexical: Requires time and materials (spellbook, scrolls, etc) to change what other trait this Ability Set's Spells trait is currently being used to emulate.

Limit: Spell Components: You cannot use this Ability Set's Spells trait if you do not currently have various material components and / or mystical trappings available to help you 'cast a spell', or are being prevented from using such components by a complication or circumstance.

SFX and Limits

Some Wizards have personal quirks or practice sub-traditions within the broader umbrella of Wizardry, and represent these with additional SFX and / or Limits. For instance a Wizard that is potent but lacks control might take the Unleashed SFX, while a Wizard that is adept at intricately building up incremental advantages to acheive greatness might take the Surge SFX.

SFX: Unleashed: You may step up or double one of this Ability Set's traits for one action. If the action fails, add a die to the doom pool equal to the normal die rating of that Ability trait.
SFX: Surge: In a dice pool including one of this Ability Set's traits you may remove two dice of equal steps from the dice pool; if you do you may step up one of the removed dice and put it back into your dice pool.

Similarly a Wizard that struggles to create long lasting effects might take the Maintained Limit, and a Wizard that requires prolonged study to learn how to cast each category of spell separately might take the Known Spells Limit.

Limit: Maintained: Assets and Complications created by this Ability Set's Spells trait require active maintenance and are removed from play if the caster is stressed out, asleep, unconscious, or leaves the Scene. On the plus side the caster can decide to remove any and all Assets or Complications they have created using this Ability Set's Spells trait at will.
Limit: Known Spells: This Ability Set's Spells trait requires the caster to maintain a list of other Ability traits they have learned to emulate. Starting out such a character can add one Ability trait to thier list, plus one additional Ability trait for each step of Smarts they have (d4 = 2, d6 = 3, d8 = 4, etc). Adding more Ability traits to the list is left to emergent gameplay but should be no more frequent than once per Session or so; making it the reward for a Relatively Difficult Milestone Goal is a good option.

Buy Off Default Limits

Some Wizards spend Advances to buy off either or both of the standard Lexical Limit and Spell Components Limit normally taken in a Wizard Ability Set, representing improved control over their abilities and improved ability to adapt to a given situation.

Multiple Spells Traits

Some Wizards take the Spells trait more than once, allowing them to emulate multiple other traits simultaneously. This can be cost prohibitive in terms of Advances, but it is quite effective.

Other Ability Traits

It is also not uncommon for Wizards to take one or more other Ability traits and compansion SFX or Limits to represent particular mastery over a specific kind of magic.

For instance, as previously mentioned the Wizard Murgatroyd has a notable ability to create Teleportation Gates, and has taken the Teleport Ability trait in his Master Wizard Ability Set to define this ability. He can still step down his Spells to emulate Teleport if he wishes, but that would result in d4 Teleportation. He could also use his Hermetic Ritual SFX and arrange a ritual to use Spells to emulate Teleport without stepping it down at all. While this would allow him to teleport just himself anywhere within range which might situationally be useful, it is not as powerful of an option as his separately purchased ability to open Teleporation Gates.

Other Wizards can similarly carve out areas of special expertise that are of interest to them. A Wizard that is particularly good at erecting magical barriers in violent situations might take the Shield trait. A Wizard that is particularly good at cloaking magic might take the Invisibility trait. The Spells trait is useful for general utility and flexibility, but is slow and not ideal for use in exigent circumstances.

Battle Wizard Ability Set

For instance, the following variation of the Wizard Ability Set puts together a lot of these options into a representation of a Wizard that's better suited to dangerous situations, but not as good at subtle or long lasting magics.

Master Battle Wizard

Spells: d8
Hex: d8
Counterspell: d6
Shield: d6

SFX: Fast Cast: You ignore the Ponderous Casting restriction of this Ability Set's Spells trait.

SFX: Unleashed: You may step up or double one of this Ability Set's traits for one action. If the action fails, add a die to the doom pool equal to the normal die rating of that Ability trait.

Limit: Maintained: Assets and Complications created by this Ability Set's Spells trait require active maintenance and are removed from play if the caster is stressed out, asleep, unconscious, or leaves the Scene. On the plus side the caster can decide to remove any and all Assets or Complications they have created using this Ability Set's Spells trait at will.

Artifice and Alchemy

Wizardry includes a sub-discipline of magical Artificing and also Alchemy. Some Wizards employ both practices, others partake of one or the other, and some learn neither. A given Wizard's stance on this topic depends primarily on whichever subsect of Wizardry they happen to practice, or personal preference. And of course, even Wizards who don't personally manufacture magical items might acquire one or more made by others.

Wizards who practice Alchemy should take the Alchemy Vocation and follow the guidelines given in the Alchemy document. A small but significant minority of Wizard-Alchemists have existed since the earliest days of the tradition and it is a respected sub discipline within the Wizardly community.

Similarly, Wizards who practice Artificing should take the Artificing Vocation and follow the guidelines given in the Artificers document. Many of the more adventuresome types of Wizards favor learning Artifcing and making various protective and offensive items for themselves as such artifacts are extremely reliable in heightened circumstances such as violent confrontations. While less common than Wizard-Alchemists, the role of the Wizard-Artificer is a hallowed one thanks to the significant utility of the items they are able to make.


While mainstream Wizardry as a whole progressed into a more abstracted understanding of magic, various flavors of elemental magic were assimilated along the way. A few strains of Wizardry still retain and incoporate elemental notions into their magical practices.

The Spells trait taken by all Wizards can already be used to emulate the effects of the Air, Earth, Fire, and Water traits. Similarly, a Wizard could take one or more of the elemental Ability traits in their Wizard Ability Set to be extra good at it, but a character that wants to really push an Elemental angle should take the Elementalist Vocation and follow the guidelines given in the Elementalist document.

Forbidden Arts

In the Here There Be Monster settings, necromancy, demon summoning, and certain outer-dimensional related magics are all forbidden by the Accords. Any person discovered practicing such magics will become Sanctioned; i.e. a price is put upon their head and they become fair game for Hunters.

While these sanctions apply to all Mystics, practitioners of most Mystic disciplines function within the frameworks of their respective traditions which do not include such teachings. Wizardry however is all about inclusively assimilating any magic that can be made sense out of, pursuing new lore, incorporating new knowledge into existing theories and coming up with new ones.

Consequently, Wizards seem to be more susceptible to drifting into foribbden arts than other Mystics, and dealing with this unfortunate reality has been a recurring problem for the tradition. Many Wizards are keen to police their own to avoid drawing the attention of the authorities or risk being considered guilty by association, and will aggressively move against fellow Wizards who violate the Accords in this way. Internal vigilance against such perfidy has led to spikes of inquisitorial-like persecution a few times over the last several centuries.

Beyond the risk of being Sanctioned, or being persecuted by fellow Wizards, the very act of pursuing such practices can threaten the soul and / or sanity of those who delve too deeply into the dark arts. Sadly, the many risks don't stop some Wizards from going down this alluring path anyway.