Characters must learn each spell individually by finding a source and spending the necessary time and AP, plus additional research costs if it is an original spell. You do not learn any spells automatically from character creation, leveling up, or other activities.

Spell Costs and Casting Times

All spells cause a certain amount of fatigue on the caster. The base fatigue cost and standard casting time of each spell is listed in the spell's description. For every point of Wisdom you have, the casting time is reduced by 1 TC. Spells with a casting time other than one of the normal speed classes use the specified time without modifications. No fatigue cost or casting time can be reduced below 1.

Casting Difficulty

Casting a spell successfully requires an Arcana (Int) check. The check DC is 10 plus the fatigue cost of the spell, plus any spell failure penalty for armor. Additionally, each time you cast the same spell without taking an overnight rest, the base DC of the Arcana check is increased by 3. This increase in DC applies only to that same spell, and goes away completely after an overnight rest.


Most spells have a certain effect that may be increased by draining additional fatigue as charges. Once a spell is prepared, you may charge it, which increases the fatigue cost and casting difficulty by 1, and takes 1 TC. With a single charge, you may choose to increase the spell's attack modifier, range, duration, area, or effect. When increasing range or duration, use the tables below to determine what the new range or duration is. The spell's area and effect are increased as described in the individual spell description. Charging attack modifier grants a +2 bonus, and charging effect grants a +1 bonus.

For example, the first-level spell Heal Wounds temporarily heals 1d8 HP (C). The (C) means you can charge this value. If you cast the spell with no charges, it heals for 1d8, the base cost is 1, and the casting time is Fast (1d6+3). If you spend 3 TC to charge the effect three times, it increases to 1d8+3 healing, and the cost is 4.

You may remove a charge from an already-charged spell, which also takes 1 TC.

Charging Range
Range CategoryBase RangeRange per Charge
PersonalCaster onlyCannot charge
TouchTouch onlyCannot charge
Close10 ft+5 ft
Short30 ft+15 ft
Mid100 ft+50 ft
Long300 ft+100 ft
Distant5 mi+1 mi
Remote100 mi+50 mi
PlanarSame planeCannot charge
Inter-PlanarNo limitCannot charge
Charging Duration
Original DurationNew Duration
1-4 TC+1 TC
5-25 TC+5 TC
30-50 TC+10 TC
30-50 sec+10 sec
60-105 sec+15 sec
120-160 sec+20 sec
3-9 min+1 min
10-25 min+5 min
30-50 min+10 min
60-105 min+15 min
120-160 min+20 min
3-5 hr+1 hr
6-10 hr+2 hr
12-21 hr+3 hr
24-32 hr+4 hr
36-42 hr+6 hr
2-4 days+1 day
5-11 days+3 days
2-6 wks+1 wk
7 wks2 months
2-5 months+1 month
6-10 months+2 months
12-20 months+4 months
2 years++1 year

Learning Spells

There are two main ways to learn a new spell. First, a character may find a scroll or spellbook, or another person from whom he can learn a spell. Second, a character can research an original spell, or one already in existence, at a library or other learning center.

If the characters wish to add new spells to their repertoire, regardless of how they do so, they must meet the prerequisites, as listed in the spell description. If they qualify, they must then spend the necessary AP in order to learn it, also in the spell description. From that point on, the spell is a normal spell for that character and may be used with no restrictions.

Learning a spell from a spellbook, scroll, or directly from another caster takes 24 hours, modified by 2 hours for each point of intelligence skill the learner has (22 hours at 1 intelligence, 26 at -1 intelligence, etc.), to a minimum of 12 hours. Researching a spell without access to a copy of it requires 1 week of study at a library, modified by 1 day for each point of intelligence, to a minimum of 3 days.

Creating a New Spell

Creating a new spell takes time in weeks equal to four less than the spell's base fatigue cost. During this time, the character may not undergo strenuous activities (such as typical adventuring) and may need access to a suitable library or laboratory, as determined by the DM. Such access generally costs between 5 and 100 gp per day, depending on the amount and rarity of the resources in question. Large libraries or labs will often charge for the highest level access regardless of what you actually need. If the wizard owns a suitably large library or laboratory already, he generally needs to pay only half this cost. This cost applies towards lab maintenance, buying new books that pertain to the subject, etc.

Once the required research time has been spent, and any fees have been paid, the character has a base 75% chance to succeed in his research. Each point of Intelligence adds a +2% bonus to the chance. If the check fails, he may attempt an additional week of research, which grants another check with a +5% modifier. If that fails, the spellcaster may keep on trying until he succeeds, with each additional week granting a cumulative 5% bonus to the roll. No modifiers may push the chance of success over 95%.

Interrupting Research

A character may interrupt his research for up to a week at a time, provided that he returns for at least a full week of study afterwards. If the interruption lasts longer than a week, then the research is set back one day for every additional day missed when it finally is resumed. This cannot extend the research time beyond the base time to research the spell. If research is resumed after an interruption, but lasts less than a week, then those days spent researching count normally, but each day afterwards, starting immediately (rather than a week later), counts against the total research time.

Magic in the World

All these sections apply to the "default" campaign setting for Heroes of Destiny. Feel free to change the specifics to better fit your world.

Frequency of Magic

Spellcasters are fairly common. Most towns will have at least one or two low-level magicians. More than likely, each one will specialize in a single type of magic, rather than diversifying. Assume that approximately 10% of the population will have had some magical training, and half of them will be able to cast at least basic spells (the rest may have learned minor cantrips, but will not be able to use any significant amount of magic). Of those who can cast true spells, most will be no higher than about third level, and levels above 10 will be extremely rare. If there is an actual college of magic or similar locale in your world, then all of these percentages will of course be higher there. Maybe one person out of 500,000 will make it to level 20 or higher.

Magic items are exceptionally common, but still very expensive. Most serve to fill basic household functions, but only wealthy families will own more than one or two magic items. Magic armor, weapons, and other adventuring tools can be found in the possession of intelligent monsters, and are frequently available at specialty shops in larger towns or cities, but are not commonly sold in smaller towns. Basic healing potions and other staples can be purchased in most large villages of at least 500 people. Don't be surprised if a village's entire magical item stock is comprised of enchanted shovels, spades, wagons, and the like.

NPC Spellcasting

Although costs will vary based on location and spellcaster availability, a good base price for a spell is 25 gp per point of base fatigue cost plus 10 times the caster's level. Any expensive material components must also be paid for by the client. If the spell requires a focus to cast, then the clients must also pay 10% of the cost of the focus. If the caster doesn't already have the focus, then the cost may be 50% or higher, depending on how often the caster believes he will be able to use the focus again.