Erik Jensen put out a fantastic book, the Wampus Country Arcane Abecediary. I really liked his non-standard magic with all its charm and utility (beyond raw combat thumpery.)
Additional background: in “Crumbling Epoch” the story is that the winds of magic burned out millenia ago, and magic has been rebuilt from the ground up–and then had time to grow ancient.
Therefore, I found Erik’s book of magic very appealing. Not only does it have that warm roguery and delight that suffuses all his Wampus Country work, it also has a lot of useful and unique spells. I reskinned with a light touch, and recontextualized. Now I go from one page of spells for 0-3 levels to a massive addition of 42 spells the characters can adventure to find. Here it is!
As if that was not wonderful enough, Erik agreed to write a foreword for the project! I’ll copy it here in case you don’t download the Crumbling Epoch spellbook. Thanks again, Erik!
As a notoriously wordy writer, I was pleased and surprised when Andrew Shields inquired about using some of my work as the basis for supplemental, variant spells in the stripped-down ruleset he was crafting.
Much like limiting or tweaking a monster list, an altered or custom spell list is a great way to paint a picture of a setting. Through descriptions of common and rare magic, the reader incrementally adds to their impression of what a game or campaign is really all about – what makes the world and society move, and what people care about. That’s the approach I took with the ‘Arcane Abecediary’, but more importantly it’s what Andrew has done here.
It’s one thing to adapt spells from various sources to your game, and wholly another to decide exactly which spells actually fit with the vibe you have in mind. Andrew has gone a step further in this case, and continued the Abecediary’s tradition of a ‘running commentary’ from a magician woven throughout the mechanics – another great way to get setting information across in easily digested, often humorous bites, and without resorting to page after page of narrative.
It’s been refreshing to see him take some very silly magic and – usually with very little actual reskinning – make it seem decidedly less silly and more widely useful.
Crumbling Epoch is another great experiment in the Fictive tradition, and I’m proud to have contributed to it in some small way.