Sages and a Non-Vancian Magic System

I made this class only because I wanted to avoid Vancian casting for my games. I don’t think it’s the most intuitive thing for people to learn at the table and I run for a lot of them.

I don’t mind people who play casually either so this “magic system” is mostly meant to generate adventures and serve as something more freeform for players. The GM tools and aids (like tables) for generating spells aren’t made yet. This post is entirely player-facing at the moment. Hope to have aforementioned tables and utilities finished when they’re done.


stamp of Faust dealing with mephisto

The world of the arcane is full of deceit and trickery amidst these Others. The magical creatures of others realms operate in ways alien to the human experience. Yet they hold great power and prove a valuable ally in the dangers of the underworld and wilderness.

Summoning 1

The easiest method to summon a magical creature is to speak aloud its true name with a catalyst in hand. This is something akin to the nature of the creature. Ghosts require mementos of humanity like food and warm furs. Fae and Demons require blood, flesh, or something specific to the individual creature. Enigmas always vary.

The spell Glossolalia prevents others from understanding the name spoken. Many only hear gibberish rather than the true name. The spell’s catalyst is a mixture of any animal’s blood and vital juices slathered on your lips. Speak the incantation which varies across practitioners. You and those you speak with have the all words masked for those within earshot of you for as long as the viscera remains on your mouth.

If one doesn’t know a creature’s true name, they may summon a random creature belonging to one of the specific types through a ritual circle. They start off not knowing the creature’s name. They must negotiate to learn it.

Creature TypeMaterials NeededAssociated Magic
FaeWood, blood, flowers, water, or jewels.Illusions, shapeshifting, light, or fleshcrafting. They love to lure and deceive, chaos begetting chaos.
GhostsBone dust, salt, cooked food, and candles.They possess mortal creatures and levitate inanimate objects. The intelligent ones hold many secrets.
DemonsBlood, bronze, silver, braziers, and roaring fires.Fire, ice, storms, earthquakes, disease, etc. They’re associated with anything that harms and destroys.
EnigmasDemon’s breath, fae’s wings, ghost’s tears, anything odd and difficult to acquire might work.Anything whatsoever.

Roll 1d20 + Sage level + Save every time you summon a creature. On a 20, the ritual is a complete success without cost and the creature is in a generous mood. Otherwise, the creature requires the Sage’s HP as collateral to hear their case. If the creature is bored or, worse yet, insulted then it may demand the HP as remuneration and simply leave, returning to its realm.


For a price, these magical creatures provide their services to you—your will be done. Every creature is an individual and requires periodic obeisance for lending their power to you. Though they may also require a one time transaction and grant power for a commensurate amount of time. They can’t manifest fully in the mortal realm outside of their summoning circle unless the area is a place of power.

All magical creatures require an object or mortal host to persist. Wands, amulets, weapons are the frequent choice of many. Mortal hosts range from a human sacrifice to even a raven. In the case of the former, the person turned corpse becomes the vessel for the creature.

stamp of priest dealing with mephisto


At times, one could want to banish any magical creature in their service or even one they encounter in the wilderness or underworld. The communities of sages across the lands standardize these banishing rituals for safety. Keeping the exact rites a secret is a grave faux pas in these circles due to the risk of that knowledge becoming lost forever to time—unthinkable!

Creature TypeMaterials Needed
FaeAsh, fetuses, or malformed rocks.
GhostsHuman remains, rotten food, poison, weapons, and anything else that kills.
DemonsHoly symbols, blessed water, preferably all done on holy ground.
EnigmasAlways specific to each individual creature.

Roll 1d20 + Sage level + Save every time you banish a creature. On a 20, the banishing succeeds and the creature is forcibly returned to their realm. You can’t ever summon them again—they hate you now. On a failure, the creature places a curse on you as it’s sent back.

  1. I took liberal inspiration for the magic here from Atelier Hwei’s Pariah Vol. 01↩︎