Legend of Zelda Adventure System: Sage Spells

Aghanim the Evil Wizard from the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Agahnim concept art for A Link to the Past

On Monday I detailed my current plans for how magic will work in the Legend of Zelda Adventure System. But a big list of magical mechanics isn’t much use without some specific spells to provide context. Below are all twenty three of the spells I’ve created so far. That should be plenty to start testing the game with, since even a max level character will only know 11 spells.

You may notice, as you look through this list, that there are very few spells which could easily be labelled “offensive” spells. My vision of the sage is that it serves as a utility class, rather than a damage dealing class. In part, this is informed by my own preference. Whenever I play a caster, I like to load up on spells which allow me to help everyone else do their jobs better, rather than spells which put me in a pivotal role. More importantly, I hope that by restricting the magic user to support spells, it will be virtually impossible for the class to become overpowered the way magic users in Pathfinder are.

Heal: May restore 1 heart container to anyone who has been injured by laying a palm upon them. Does not work if the target of the spell is dead, and cannot be used to grant health beyond a character’s normal maximum.

Push: May be cast from up to 10ft away. The target is knocked back 10ft. If something stops them from being knocked back that far, the target takes damage equal to 1/2 the extra feet they would have moved. If the target will be pushed into something dangerous (lava, off of a cliff, etc.) and they pass something which they might grab onto, they are entitled to an agility check to try and grab it.

Levitate: The target may move up and down through the air at will. They must be touched by the caster in order for this spell to be cast. There is no limit to how high or low they can go, and they can move at any speed they wish. The spell has a duration of 1 minute per level of the sage who cast it.

Water Walk: The sage must have some water available to cast this spell, which they sprinkle upon the feet of of the spell’s target. The subject may they walk on water as if it were solid. Only their feet are affected by this spell, so if they fall over the spell is broken. Water is not very solid footing.

See Through Wall: Sages may cast this spell upon a surface up to 10x10ft in size. Once cast, the sage can see through up to 10ft of solid material, to the other side. The vision is slightly blurred and tinted the color of the surface which is being looked through. This spell is unable to penetrate lead. Some villains line important chambers with the material to prevent spying.

Floating Disk: A silvery disk materializes in the air, roughly 4ft in diameter. The disk floats between 1 inch and 6ft off of the ground, and can carry the weight of several full grown Hylians before the spell shatters. The sage moves the disk with their mind, it can be moved up to 60ft away from the sage, and does not need to be within their line of sight.

Conjure Plank: An extremely sturdy plank of an unknown solid material forms in the air in front of the sage. It is 12ft long, 3ft wide, and 4 inches thick. While suspended by its ends, it can support a fully grown Hylian jumping in the center of it without being damaged. Despite its strength, even a weak person can easily lift the plank with a single hand.

Passwall: The sage, and anyone touching them or their clothes, is able to walk through a wall as if it were an extremely viscous liquid substance. This spell does not allow anyone to see what is on the other side of the wall, nor can they breathe while within the wall. Any part of a person which exits the wall after entering it cannot re-enter the wall unless the spell is cast again.

Detect Hidden: Secret doors within the same room as the sage begin to glow a bright blue color for all to see. This effect works regardless of the nature of the door. It can be a section of wall which slides away, a loose stone on the floor which hides a gem beneath it, or a trapdoor in the ceiling which would drop acid on the party.

Ghost Sound: The sage can create any sound they can imagine, and make it seem as though it is coming from anywhere within earshot of themselves. This spell must be cast with the eyes closed, and requires intensive listening and hand gestures for the sage to successfully indicate where the sound is coming from.

Summon Animal: Through a number of verbal incantations, including whistling, the sage may summon a natural creature to do its bidding. The animal must be one which would be present within a mile of the Sage’s location, and it must be able to reach the sage unobstructed. A horse could not be summoned to the 10th sublevel of a dungeon, but a spider or bat could be. Note that this spell does not work on monstrous creatures, nor can it be used to tame specific creatures, such as one which is threatening the players. It takes 1d10 minutes for the creature to arrive at the sage’s location, and it will obey the sage to the best of its ability for 3 hours. This time will be lessened if the sage treats the animal poorly, or could be lengthened if the sage treats the animal particularly well.

Counterspell: Cause the spell of another sage to fail. The spell is cast using subtle hand gestures and blinking patterns, making it difficult to detect. It can be cast either in a “general” way, causing the next spell cast within 100ft to fail, or it can be cast at a specific target, causing their next spell to fail.

Airblade: A blade of focused wind cuts through the air in a slashing motion, dealing 1d6 slashing damage at a range of up to 60ft.

Speak with Plants & Animals: The sage is able to speak the language of plants and animals for the length of a single conversation (however long that takes). Remember, though, that not all plants and animals will be eager to help.

Telekinesis: The sage can use this spell to lift and move an object of up to 50 pounds. The ability functions up to 100ft away, but cannot move any object at more than a slow, clumsy wobble.

Control Fire: If fire already exists, the sage can manipulate it with their mental powers. They cannot make it larger without fuel, but they can shape it, make it flare up momentarily, cause images to form in it, or cause tendrils of it to lash out.

Freeze Water: By blowing upon the surface of a body of water, the sage can can freeze it solid. The larger the body of water, the thinner the ice will be. A 10ft diameter pond could be frozen completely solid. A 20ft pond could be frozen with ice about 6 inches thick. A 30ft pond would only have a thin layer of ice atop it. Alternatively, this spell can be used to create a 10ft block of ice within a larger body of water.

Magic Shield: Mystical energy forms into the shape of a red circle 1ft in diameter. The circle is solid, opaque, and moves of its own volition within about 3ft of the spell recipient’s skin. It can successfully block one projectile per round. If the spell’s recipient is attacked by a magical projectile, or a particularly heavy one (such as a thrown boulder) then the shield will block it, but be destroyed in doing so. Otherwise the spell lasts for 15 minutes.

Raise Fog: A thick fog rises from the ground in a 50ft radius from the caster. This fog magically fills that space, and after that acts as normal fog. On a sunny, windy day, it will quickly dissipate, while in an underground cavern it might remain for hours before slowly settling back to earth.

Sleep: A single target within 30ft suddenly falls unconscious, sleeping soundly. This effect cannot be resisted, but once they are asleep a splash of water or a slap will wake them.

Sphere of Darkness: A 10ft spherical area becomes completely engulfed in magical darkness. No light can penetrate this sphere. It can be cast either upon an object, or a location. Once cast, it will remain tied to that object or location until it fades away an hour later.

Orb of Light: The sage can conjure a 3″ orb of heatless light which is insubstantial, but can be held or mounted as though it weren’t. Bright light fills a 15ft radius from the orb, with dim light for 20ft beyond that. The light otherwise acts normally. It will not magically bend around hands, bodies, or other objects.

Fear: The target of this spell will fixate on the scariest thing in their immediate vicinity, and will become cripplingly terrified of it. They will react according to character, either groveling for mercy, cowering in fear, or simply fleeing for their lives.

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5 thoughts on “Legend of Zelda Adventure System: Sage Spells”

  1. Good stuff. I really like the focus on problem solving. Am I correct in assuming that there is no concept of spell level or power? Does the airblade of a higher level sage do more damage, for example? Is a higher level sage’s spell harder to counter?

    The one I don’t like is detect hidden, because of how I think it will affect interaction with the environment. It will be the “I search the door for traps” of LOZAS.

    1. You are correct, there is no concept of spell level. Sometimes a spell may factor in the caster’s sage level (lasts a number of minutes equal to sage level, something like that), but for the most part the spell will always function as written.

      In particular, with the air blade, my hope is that it would be primarily used to cut ropes from a distance, or something like that. There’s no reason it shouldn’t do damage, but that’s not the goal of the spell.

      “Detect Hidden” is one I’ve struggled with as well. Since even high level sages only get 20 spells per day, I would hope it didn’t get spammed. It might be used if a monster turns around a corner, then suddenly disappears. Something like that. But I’ll have to see how it works in actual play testing. If it becomes “I search for hidden doors” in every room, then I’ll remove or alter it somehow.

  2. A spell recommended to me on twitter:

    “”It’s dangerous to go alone” – Summons temporary magical sword. :P ”

    Yes. This. This is gold. It is perfect. So much win.

    Props to my friend and fellow writer, Jennifer Davis

    I’m thinking the sword would be old and rusted, but still able to cut well. Easy to sunder, and would last for an hour or so.

  3. You misspelled “Agahnim” (sorry for being a jerk, but since it’s my nick on several sites I know where the “h” is ^^)

    1. Polite spelling corrections never make you a jerk. I actually thought I should look it up, but I’ve played that game so many times I just figured I remembered.

      Shows how much I know!

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