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Spells

Spells are specific magical effects that are the benefit of divine servitude or arcane study in the case of clerics and wizards in classic Dungeon World.  Characters capable of using spells are called spellcasters.  

  • Each spell has a name, tags, a level and an effect.
  • The basic flow of magic is to know, prepare, cast and forget a spell.


Known spells are those a spellcaster has mastered enough to prepare.  The cleric knows all cleric spells of their level or lower including rotes.  Wizards begin knowing all their cantrips and three 1st level spells.  They store these in their spellbook which they carry with them at all times.  When a wizard gains a new level they learn a new spell. Even if a spellcaster knows a spell, they must have prepared before they can cast it.  This requires some time and concentration as described in the Commune and Prepare Spell Moves. A prepared spell is ready to be cast.


Commune & Prepare

Commune

(clerics) When you spend uninterrupted time (an hour or so) in quiet communion with your deity, you:

  • Lose any spells already granted to you.
  • Are granted new spells of your choice whose total levels don’t exceed your own level+1, and none of which is a higher level than your own level.
  • Prepare all of your rotes, which never count against your limit.


Prepare Spell

(wizards) When you spend uninterrupted time (an hour or so) in quiet contemplation of your spellbook, you:

  • Lose any spells you already have prepared
  • Prepare new spells of your choice from your spellbook whose total levels don’t exceed your own level+1.
  • Prepare your cantrips which never count against your limit.


Rotes & Cantrips

The simplest form of spells, rotes and cantrips can generally be cast over and over again without being forgotten or taxing the spellcaster unduly.  Rotes are used by clerics.  Cantrips are used by wizards.


Casting A Spell

Casting a spell involves chanting, waving hands, some colorfully describable action to call on a deity or invoke mystic forces. Then make a Cast A Spell Move.


Casting a Cleric Spell (Wis)

When you unleash a spell granted to you by your deity, roll+Wis.

  • On a 10+, the spell is successfully cast and your deity does not revoke the spell, so you may cast it again.
  • On a 7–9, the spell is cast, but choose one:
    • You draw unwelcome attention or put yourself in a spot. The GM will tell you how.
    • Your casting distances you from your deity—take -1 ongoing to cast a spell until the next time you commune.
    • After you cast it, the spell is revoked by your deity. You cannot cast the spell again until you commune and have it granted to you.

Note that maintaining cleric spells with ongoing effects will sometimes cause a penalty to your roll to cast a spell.


Casting a Wizard Spell (Int)

When you release a spell you’ve prepared, roll+Int.

  • On a 10+, the spell is successfully cast and you do not forget the spell—you may cast it again later.
  • On a 7-9, the spell is cast, but choose one:
    • You draw unwelcome attention or put yourself in a spot. The GM will tell you how.
    • The spell disturbs the fabric of reality as it is cast—take -1 ongoing to cast a spell until the next time you Prepare Spells.
    • After it is cast, the spell is forgotten. You cannot cast the spell again until you prepare spells.

Note that maintaining wizard spells with ongoing effects will sometimes cause a penalty to your roll to cast a spell.


  • see Custom Cleric Spells


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