A brand new system
Spells in the Arcana Unearthed ruleset are not just set, unchangeable programs, but flexible, customizable options for players.
Each spell can be diminished or heightened to produce a spectrum of effects. It can be laden to hold more power. It can be woven with other spells to cast a more powerful spell. Adding spell templates can change the nature of a spell and its effects. Casters can add in new material components to change the effects. Magic is fluid and subject to the whims of the individual caster, thus it remains always mysterious and fascinating.
Simple, Complex, and Exotic Spells
Simple spells are the easiest and most common. They require the least amount of understanding of the true nature of magic and the simplest words and gestures (if components are required). They are the spells that teachers and masters most commonly teach their students or apprentices.
Complex spells require a real understanding of the fundamental underpinnings of magic. They call for a more focused state of mind and more complex words and gestures. Most nonspellcasters cannot even mimic (in fun or in a disguise) complex spellcasting—the words and gestures are too bizarre to form. Only magisters can cast complex spells without taking a special feat.
Exotic spells are the most complicated and the rarest spells of all. Often, these are new spells, recently conceived by an individual, and the knowledge hasn’t yet had time to spread. In fact, at some point, as the exotic spell becomes more common, spellcasters might develop it further and figure out a more straightforward way to cast it. Thus, over many decades, or even generations, an exotic spell can become a complex or even a simple spell. (This, however, is usually out of the scope of a single campaign). Exotic spells are often very personal—only rarely do two spellcasters know the same exotic spells. Thus, many of them become “signature” spells that a particular caster is known for. Any spell that a caster creates personally through research is automatically an exotic spell.
Players interested in spellcasters are encouraged to read the Magic section of the Arcana Unearthed ruleset