OSR: Orthodox Wizards

Orthodox wizards are chartered, historic, and sensible wizards. Their colleges only accept male students, but in small struggling colleges, anyone with a false beard and a sack of gold will do. It’s an open and widely mocked secret. Orthodox wizards study all fields of magic, test theories, explore tombs, and fight in wars. Their red robes are famous; to many peasants, a wizard without red robes isn’t a wizard at all.

You are expected to report new discoveries and spells back to your college. You are also expected to develop new spells. Should you survive and pay off your Wizard Student Loans, you may even be offered a faculty position. You might also find a position in the court of a noble, assuming you do not have ambitions above your station, and the noble is willing to tolerate the eccentricities of wizards.

Stolen wholesale from here.

Sean Andrew Murray

School: Orthodox Wizard

Perk: You start with red robes.
Drawback: None.
1. Change the colour or texture of an object no larger than a horse for 10 minutes.
2. Create a tiny light as bright as a match on your fingertip.
3. Move a light object with a wave of your finger. You could cause a coin to roll along the ground or turn the pages of a book, but you couldn't open a door or lift a stone.

Having no drawback is a rarity, even if your perks and cantrips aren't very impressive. They are good classic orthodox cantrips.

Orthodox Wizard Spell List

An Orthodox Wizard can roll on the 100 Orthodox Spell List instead of rolling on the list below. Results may vary.

1. Lock
R: 50' T: [dice] creatures or objects D: 10 minutes
Non-living object closes and becomes locked. If the object is a door, chest, or similar object, it will slam shut, dealing [sum] damage to any creature passing through it and then trapping them. This spell works on things that aren't technically portals (for example, a sword could be locked in its scabbard). Requires Str 10 + [dice]x4 to open. Alternatively, this spell can be cast on a creature's orifice. The creature gets a Save to resist, and another Save at the end of each of its turns.

2. Knock
R: 50' T: [dice] objects D: 0
Object is opened. Doors are flung wide, locks are broken, shackles are bent open, belts come undone. Treat this as a Strength check made with Str 10 + [dice]x4. If target is an armoured creature, Save or armour falls off. If target is an unarmoured creature, Save or vomit for 1d4 rounds.

3. Grease
R: 50' T: object, surface D: [dice]x2 rounds
Can be cast directly on a creature or [sum]10' x 10' surfaces. Creatures moving across the area must Save vs Dexterity or drop held objects, or, if moving, drop prone.

4. Force Field
R: 10' T: plane or sphere D: concentration
Creates a shimmering force field, 10‘x10’, centered up to 10' away. Alternatively, create a sphere centered on the caster 5' in diameter (large enough for the caster and +1 person). The force field has [sum] HP. All attacks against it hit.

5. Levitate
R: 50' T: creature object D: concentration
You will an object to raise, lower, or hover. You cannot move the object horizontally, and you cannot move it more than 10' per turn. Maximum weight is [dice]x500 lbs. Lasts as long as you concentrate, but you take 1d6 psychic damage per round after [dice]x3 rounds.

6. Magic Missile
R: 200' T: creature D: 0 Target takes [sum] + [dice] damage, no Save. As an Orthodox Wizard, your spell is unique to you, and can be any colour, shape, or pattern you describe.

7. Feather Fall
R: 10’ T: [dice] creatures or objects D: 0
If you would take fall damage, you can cast this spell as a reaction to negate it. You float gently to the ground (possibly alarmingly late).

8. Sleep
R: 50' T: creature D: 10 min
Target falls into a magical slumber, and can't be awoken by anything less vigorous than a slap (a standard action). Non-alert, unaware targets are not allowed a Save. Can affect creatures up to [sum] HD. If [sum] is at least 4 times the creature's HD, the duration becomes permanent (until slapped) and the creature no longer needs to eat or drink while sleeping. If you also invested 3 [dice] or more into this spell, the duration becomes permanent, and you can set the only condition that will cause the creature to awake (the sunrise before the apocalypse, true love’s kiss, etc.)

9. Light
R: touch T: object or creature D: [dice]x2 hours
Object illuminates as a torch, with a radius of 20’+[dice]x10’. Alternatively, you can make an Attack roll against a sighted creature. If you succeed, the creature is blinded for [sum] rounds. If [sum] is greater than 12, the creature is permanently blinded. You can chose the colour of the light. If you invest 4 [dice] or more this light has all the qualities of natural sunlight. Alternatively, if you invest 4 [dice] or more the light can be purest octarine, although it will only last for 1 round. Octarine light is extremely dangerous.

10. Wizard Vision
R: touch T: sighted creature D: 10 min / permanent
If you invest one [die]: Target can see invisible things. Target can see through illusions. Non-magical disguises are not penetrated.

If you invest two or more [dice]: This can only be cast on yourself. As above, except you can also see through magical darkness, and see the true forms of shapeshifters. There are also some permanent effects: (a) You can forever see invisible things as a slight warping or lensing of light. You know “there's something over there” and what size it roughly is, but nothing else. (b) You can tell if someone else is a spellcaster by looking them in the eyes.

The price for this gift is your mind. You suffer a permanent loss of 1d6 Wisdom (as you reject the true nature of Creation and go slightly mad) or 1d6 Charisma (as you accept the true nature of Creation and alienate yourself from your peers).

Emblem Spells
11. Prismatic Ray
R: 200' T: [dice] creatures or objects D: 0
Target suffers a different effect depending on which color strikes the target. Roll a d10: 1. Red. Target takes [sum] fire damage, Save for half. 2. Orange. Target takes [sum] bludgeoning damage and is knocked prone. Save negates. 3. Yellow. Target takes [sum] lightning damage, save for half. 4. Green. Target takes [sum] acid damage, save for half. 5. Blue. Target takes [sum] ice damage, save for half. 6. Purple. Target takes [sum] necrotic damage and is blinded for [sum] rounds. Save negates. 7, 8, 9. Struck twice. Roll a d6 twice. Add effects; make one save. 10. Struck thrice. Roll a d6 three times.

12. Fireball
R: 200' T: 20' diameter D: 0
Does [sum] fire damage to all objects.
Pedro Kruger Garcia
Mechanical Notes on the Orthodox Wizard Spell List
All the classics are represented. This school has access to some very powerful problem-solving tools, but the temptation to roll on that big 100 spell table can be overpowering. You can't go very wrong with the "basic" orthodox wizard spell set.

1. MD only return to your pool on a 1-2 for 24 hours
2. Take 1d6 damage
3. Random mutation for 1d6 rounds, then make a save. Permanent if you fail.
4. Lose 1 MD for 24 hours.
5. Agony for 1d6 rounds.
6. Cannot cast spells for 1d6 rounds.

Doom of the Orthodox
1. Lose the ability to cast spells for 1 day.
2. Lose the ability to cast spells for 3 days.
3. Lose the ability to cast spells permanently.

This doom can be eating the heart of a powerful magical creature, such as a High Elf or a dragon, or by marrying one. You can also fill your brain with 4 entirely new spells that have never been cast by anyone else.


  1. Would rival Orthodox wizards endeavour to steal the unique spells of other wizards pursuing a Doom-cure, and cast them to sabotage their efforts, or is this just poor form?

    1. It's the only way to get tenure.

      More seriously, if you're working on unique spells, keep them to yourself until you're good and ready, or some very senior wizards might stop by for a chat.