About magic on Blackmoor

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Zeromaru X
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About magic on Blackmoor

Post by Zeromaru X » Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:31 pm

I have got the 4e Blackmoor book in the end. Curiosity killed the dragon, you can say. And while I know that there are stuff that is exclusive to 4e, there are other things that are puzzling me. These are the ones I have by chapter 3.

1. The different "Magic Colors", how are they addressed in earlier editions? Were they schools of magic? If so, I can rework the system to be compatible with the Essentials version of the schools of magic.

2. Are wizards the only legal arcane spellcasters in Blackmoor in earlier editions? The book addresses warlocks as ilegal casters, something normal because how the got their powers, but since it seems it came out before the PHB 2, it doesn't say anything about sorcerers or bards...

3. Talking about sorcerers, what's the concept of Wild Magic in the original Blackmoor setting? Has something to do with the Forgotten Realms concept of Wild Magic? (the magic worked unpredictably or didn't worked at all).

4. What's the difference between spiritual magic and psionics? Lorewise, I mean. The book explains that spiritual magic is "energy that comes from the living soul, from the power of sentience itself". That sound to me like mind powers, much like the psionics. Is spiritual magic part of the original Blackmoor setting or something they made up later?

5. Not magic related, but is the Egg of Coot a literal egg?
Last edited by Zeromaru X on Sat May 07, 2016 6:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: About magic on Blackmoor

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:52 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:1. The different "Magic Colors", how are they addressed in earlier editions? Were they schools of magic? If so, I can rework the system to be compatible with the Essentials version of the schools of magic.
The third edition version of Blackmoor defines white magic as " the totality of all non-divine magical energies. It is a spectrum composed of ranges of magical power." Within that spectrum, white magic was divided using the Skelfer Scale of Magical Energy, which were just the schools of magic (Divination, Transmutation, Enchantment, Necromancy, Illusion, Evocation, Abjuration, Conjuration).

I don't have 4e Blackmoor, but if there are colors other than white there then yeah, it looks like they probably correspond to the schools of magic.
2. Are wizards the only legal arcane spellcasters in Blackmoor in earlier editions?
In 3rd edition, yeah, sorcerers were illegal and the Wizards Cabal paid bounties to hunt them down. Warlocks weren't mentioned (because they weren't in the OGL). Sorcerers and warlocks didn't really exist in BECMI or OD&D, so this concept was new to 3rd edition.
3rd edition Dave Arneson's Blackmoor book wrote:In Blackmoor, no spellcasters are more feared than the chaotic sorcerers. They do not learn how to harness the magical energies that flow through the world, but are instead born to such energies.
Bards don't seem to have face any persecution. They were able to openly run schools of bardcraft. In 3rd edition, it was just sorcerers that were persecuted.
3. Talking about sorcerers, what's the concept of Wild Magic in the original Blackmoor setting?
Wild magic is the untamed magic of the natural world. "White magic" is what Skelfer, who founded the art of wizardry, called it, but it's the same thing. It's white magic when wizards use it and wild magic when wokans use it.
4. What's the difference between spiritual magic and psionics? Lorewise, I mean. The book explains that spiritual magic is "energy that comes from the living soul, from the power of sentience itself". That sound to me like mind powers, much like the psionics. Is spiritual magic part of the original Blackmoor setting or something they made up later?
This one I'm not sure about, since I don't think spiritual magic was a thing in 3e. It sounds similar to Magic of Incarnum.
5. Not magic related, but is the Egg of Coot a literal egg?
No one knows what it is. Here's its original description:
The First Fantasy Campaign wrote:This all consuming personality lives off the egos of others to support his own ego. At one time (millennia ago) of humanoid characteristics, today, his exact physical description is unknown. In fact it is not even known for sure if he (it) has a physical appearance. Theories say that he is now a huge mass of jointly operating cells, a huge mass of Jelly, a giant thickly hided egg, pure energy, a man, a mass of living rock, etc. It is generally acknowledged that the physique of this creature is too horrible for any mortal to behold and that it carries out its activities through the use of surrogates which it controls or has programmed. All communications with this beast are through direct mental contact or via his throne-room which is dominated by a huge old world artifact said to be an ancient war machine, through which it communicates directly via voice transmission from some other area of its City-Palace.
And here's Havard's blog entry about it.

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Re: About magic on Blackmoor

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:05 pm


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Re: About magic on Blackmoor

Post by Zeromaru X » Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:14 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:I don't have 4e Blackmoor, but if there are colors other than white there then yeah, it looks like they probably correspond to the schools of magic.
4e Color magic correspond to damage types (Ruby to fire damage, for example). But the 4e Blackmoor was released in 2009, before 4e returned to the use of the schools and semi-vancian magic with the Essentials products. I guess I can houserule that.
Wild magic is the untamed magic of the natural world. "White magic" is what Skelfer, who founded the art of wizardry, called it, but it's the same thing. It's white magic when wizards use it and wild magic when wokans use it.
Oh I see. In 4e terms, White magic is arcane power, while Wild magic correspond to primal power (as the wokan use that kind of power source in 4e).
This one I'm not sure about, since I don't think spiritual magic was a thing in 3e. It sounds similar to Magic of Incarnum.
Well, spiritual magic is the power source for the mystic and the idolater. I guess I'm going to take it as a Blackmoor unique magical energy.

Thanks for your answers.

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Re: About magic on Blackmoor

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:22 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:4e Color magic correspond to damage types (Ruby to fire damage, for example). But the 4e Blackmoor was released in 2009, before 4e returned to the use of the schools and semi-vancian magic with the Essentials products. I guess I can houserule that.
In 3rd edition the correspondence went this way:

Code: Select all

Abjuration...............Opal
Conjuration............. Ruby
Divination...............Topaz
Enchantment............. Amethyst
Evocation............... Emerald
Illusion................ Turquoise
Necromancy.............. Obsidian or schorl
Transmutation........... Heliodor
The mystic is basically a monk, right? And they're psionic power source in 4th edition.

An idolater is more like a druid, so I'd expect them to be primal power.

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Re: About magic on Blackmoor

Post by Zeromaru X » Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:23 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:No one knows what it is. Here's its original description:
The First Fantasy Campaign wrote:This all consuming personality lives off the egos of others to support his own ego. At one time (millennia ago) of humanoid characteristics, today, his exact physical description is unknown. In fact it is not even known for sure if he (it) has a physical appearance. Theories say that he is now a huge mass of jointly operating cells, a huge mass of Jelly, a giant thickly hided egg, pure energy, a man, a mass of living rock, etc. It is generally acknowledged that the physique of this creature is too horrible for any mortal to behold and that it carries out its activities through the use of surrogates which it controls or has programmed. All communications with this beast are through direct mental contact or via his throne-room which is dominated by a huge old world artifact said to be an ancient war machine, through which it communicates directly via voice transmission from some other area of its City-Palace.
And here's Havard's blog entry about it.
From the description, I imagine it as the first stage of Thanatos from Chaos Legion, but gigantic...

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Re: About magic on Blackmoor

Post by Zeromaru X » Thu Apr 28, 2016 1:27 am

Another question, thou not so magic related. Is the Blackmoor technology like the one from Eberron? Or is more superior? Is there are firearms?

The book don't explain much about this, except that there is steam technology and clockwork (mentions a clockwork dimension, also) and that there are "mechanic men" that guards the Wizard Cabal.

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Re: About magic on Blackmoor

Post by ripvanwormer » Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:10 am

Zeromaru X wrote:Another question, thou not so magic related. Is the Blackmoor technology like the one from Eberron? Or is more superior? Is there are firearms?
There aren't any firearms, at least not native to Blackmoor. There are clockwork prosthetics and there are automatons and things like clockwork pets, but they're supposed to be very rare. Dwarves have created a steam-powered war machine and they have steam bores that help them mine. There's a crashed alien starship called the City of the Gods with robots and futuristic weaponry inside, but the people of Blackmoor have only just begun to explore it.

I'd say the tech level is, on average, less than Eberron. There are no trains or airships and something like warforged, while not impossible, would be much less common (the Ran of Ah Fooh might be trying to build a warforged army, though, unless the Afridhi put a stop to him). The 3e campaign book says there are inventor's shops in all major cities.

Blackmoor has the potential to develop into something much more advanced, though.

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Re: About magic on Blackmoor

Post by Tim Baker » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:03 am

ripvanwormer wrote:The mystic is basically a monk, right? And they're psionic power source in 4th edition. An idolater is more like a druid, so I'd expect them to be primal power.
That seems like the best fit to me, too. An idolater is similar to a shaman in some ways, but regardless of whether they're closer to druids or shamans, either way that would correspond to primal power in standard 4e.

However, I don't see any issue with introducing a new power source in a Blackmoor campaign. It's not the first time a (non-WotC) campaign setting introduced its own power source.

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Re: About magic on Blackmoor

Post by Big Mac » Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:34 am

ripvanwormer wrote:
Zeromaru X wrote:4e Color magic correspond to damage types (Ruby to fire damage, for example). But the 4e Blackmoor was released in 2009, before 4e returned to the use of the schools and semi-vancian magic with the Essentials products. I guess I can houserule that.
In 3rd edition the correspondence went this way:

Code: Select all

Abjuration...............Opal
Conjuration............. Ruby
Divination...............Topaz
Enchantment............. Amethyst
Evocation............... Emerald
Illusion................ Turquoise
Necromancy.............. Obsidian or schorl
Transmutation........... Heliodor
Wow. I don't recall this in 3e. Where can I find the gem rules?

And how hard do you think it would be to retro-convert the 4e colour rules that Zeromaru X mentioned?

It kind of sounds a bit like the old Elemental Mage variant rules, from 2e to me, but with a different set of "schools" to that. Does the 4e book have different spell lists for wizards?
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Re: About magic on Blackmoor

Post by Zeromaru X » Thu Apr 28, 2016 1:59 pm

Well, the 4e Skelfer Scale of Magical Energy was this one in the book:

Related Gem | 4e Damage type Amethyst | Psychic Aquamarine | Force Emerald | Acid Heliodor | Lightning Onyx | Necrotic Opal | Radiant Ruby | Fire Sapphire | Cold Topaz | Thunder Turquoise | Poison

Seeing that the 4e schools of magic are less in number than the 3e ones, I guess I going to leave the 4e Scale at it is.

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Re: About magic on Blackmoor

Post by RobJN » Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:39 pm

Big Mac wrote:
ripvanwormer wrote: In 3rd edition the correspondence went this way:

Code: Select all

Abjuration...............Opal
Conjuration............. Ruby
Divination...............Topaz
Enchantment............. Amethyst
Evocation............... Emerald
Illusion................ Turquoise
Necromancy.............. Obsidian or schorl
Transmutation........... Heliodor
Wow. I don't recall this in 3e. Where can I find the gem rules?

And how hard do you think it would be to retro-convert the 4e colour rules that Zeromaru X mentioned?

It kind of sounds a bit like the old Elemental Mage variant rules, from 2e to me, but with a different set of "schools" to that. Does the 4e book have different spell lists for wizards?
The gem magic rules were outlined in the main d20 Dave Arneson's Blackmoor Campaign Setting book, if I remember right. I'm not sure if the Wzard's Cabal supplement expanded on those rules.
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Re: About magic on Blackmoor

Post by Giant Space Hamster » Sat May 07, 2016 9:31 am

MODERATOR NOTE (by Big Mac): I've split your last post into a new topic (called Zero's doubts about Blackmoor) and restored this topic to the original name.

The Piazza is easiest to navigate when we have one topic in each topic (and when the topic has a name that fits in with the subject). Long conversations that wander across multiple topics actually make it a lot harder for other forum members to find "cool posts" in the future.
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Re: About magic on Blackmoor

Post by Havard » Sat May 07, 2016 1:21 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:4. What's the difference between spiritual magic and psionics? Lorewise, I mean. The book explains that spiritual magic is "energy that comes from the living soul, from the power of sentience itself". That sound to me like mind powers, much like the psionics. Is spiritual magic part of the original Blackmoor setting or something they made up later?
Spiritual Magic was introduced as a new Power Source in 4E. Based on its description and connection to the Mystic and Idolater, I think it is tied to the power of the soul. I would place it somewhere between Primal and Divine Powers, but a more raw version perhaps.

This is quite an interesting concept that I have not thought too much about. I think we can safely say that it doesn't have much to do with the original Blackmoor campaign, but there could be some connection points there. Possibly we could tie it to the Well of Souls and the Soul Eaters from DA4 The Duchy of Ten. Though we have yet to determine exactly what the Well of Souls does.

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