3.5 Kitbash: Planetary Spell Lists 1

Way back in this post, I proposed a rework of 3.5e spell lists to create a new and different cosmology in a setting, one based on planets and constellations rather than the eight schools of magic. At the time, I was not at all sure that I would do anything with the idea, but it’s a lazy Saturday afternoon, so I decided that now was a good time. In this post from even longer ago, I threw out a pantheon off the top of my head for the sake of attaching names to the idea I was proposing. Since I need the same thing for this post, I’ve used those names and themes. I’ve only gotten through third level spells so far, but were I to run this, it would be E6, so I might not go much beyond this. I’ve drawn spells from the 3.5 PH, Player’s Handbook 2, and Spell Compendium, so it is not actually OGL-compliant as such, but I don’t intend to sell any of this.

Astrologers have observed six celestial bodies that they call planets. Those who commune with the gods have learned that each of the five gods is associated with one of these planets; no one is exactly certain who or what might be associated with the sixth planet, but given the constellations through which it passes, many have wondered and feared at the answer.
Forgeheart, the Planet of Talend
First Level Wizard Spells
Mage Armor
Magic Weapon
Summon Monster I
True Strike
Second Level Wizard Spells
Fox’s Cunnng
Ghost Touch Armor (Spell Compendium)
Gust of Wind*
Locate Object*
Summon Monster II
Third Level Wizard Spells
Bands of Steel (Spell Compendium)
Diamondsteel (Spell Compendium)
Explosive Runes
Greater Magic Weapon
Lesser Telepathic Bond* (Spell Compendium)
Shrink Item*
Summon Monster III
The Silver Eye, the Planet of Vashtal
First Level Wizard Spells
Disguise Self
Magic Missile
Second Level Wizard Spells
Acid Arrow
Arcane Lock*
Eagle’s Splendor
Magic Mouth*
Mirror Image
Third Level Wizard Spells
Arcane Sight*
Deep Slumber
Dimension Step (Player’s Handbook 2)
Dispel Magic
Gentle Repose*
Lightning Bolt
Unluck (Spell Compendium)
Purifier, the Planet of Tura Keshik
First Level Wizard Spells
Burning Hands
Charm Person
Comprehend Languages*
Entropic Shield
Reduce Person
Second Level Wizard Spells
Bear’s Endurance
Command Undead
Delay Poison
False Life
Owl’s Wisdom*
Scorching Ray
Third Level Wizard Spells
Halt Undead
Protection from Energy
Tiny Hut*
Wall of Light (Spell Compendium)

Skyguard, the Planet of Sioctana
First Level Wizard Spells
Enlarge Person
Protection from Evil
Shocking Grasp
Second Level Wizard Spells
Bull’s Strength
Hypnotic Pattern
Protection from Arrows
Repair Light Damage* (Complete Arcane)
See Invisibility*
Third Level Wizard Spells
Great Thunderclap (Spell Compendium)
Hold Person
Magic Circle Against Evil
Wind Wall
Wayfarer, the Planet of Ychirra
First Level Wizard Spells
Detect Secret Doors*
Expeditious Retreat
Obscuring Mist
Produce Flame
Ray of Enfeeblement
Second Level Wizard Spells
Flaming Sphere
Fog Cloud
Resist Energy
Spider Climb*
Obscure Object*
Third Level Wizard Spells
Flame Arrow
Invisibility Sphere
Meld Into Stone
Ray of Exhaustion
Water Breathing*
Sechir, the Sixth Planet
First Level Wizard Spells
Chill Touch
Color Spray
Lesser Deflect (Player’s Handbook 2)
Silent Image*
Second Level Wizard Spells
Cat’s Grace
Daze Monster
Deflect (Player’s Handbook 2)
Electric Vengeance (Player’s Handbook 2)
Ghoul Touch
Spectral Hand*
Third Level Wizard Spells
Gaseous Form
Major Image*
Sepia Snake Sigil*
Stinking Cloud
Vampiric Touch
* indicates a Utility spell; see Design Notes
Design Notes
So, these are some kind of odd lists, as I’m aware. The goal was that each planet would offer two attack spells, two defensive spells, one enhancing spell, and two utility spells (one utility at first level). When I had trouble with getting the right number of defensive and enhancement spells at first level, I gave some planets two defensive spells, and some planets one defensive spell and one enhancing spell. I’ve borrowed some spells from the druid and cleric spell lists as well. My goal here was to avoid what I see as the problem with wizards specialized in abjuration, divination, or transmutation (even though I personally prefer to play transmuters when I play a specialist wizard) – to wit, that your specialization doesn’t offer much for attack spells, especially if you’re limited to the core PH.
I wanted to split up the classic attack spells and the classic defense spells – the spells that have been my bread and butter when I’ve played a wizard in the past. This is a reaction to feeling like a transmuter who gives up enchantment and necromancy has sacrificed almost nothing. The attack and defense spells are further split into primary and secondary: a primary attack is more straightforward or universally-applicable, while a secondary attack is more limited. For example, the Silver Eye offers magic missile and sleep, one of which is at its best at first level, and the other of which improves considerably with level. A similar logic applies to primary and secondary defensive spells. Some things I’ve called defensive spells are in fact debuffs; I’ve categorized them that way for their damage-reducing nature.
Taking a note from 4e “siloing” of utility powers (that is, you don’t have to choose between utility powers and attack powers in terms of what you can do in a day), I’ve marked each utility spell with an asterisk. I’m not sure how I’d handle this mechanically, but I think that wizards get one extra slot at each level that can only be used for utility spells. It’s not impossible that, were I to run this, I’d cram more utility spells into each spell level, just for the variety they represent.
I’ve tried to craft a playstyle in each planet’s list. Forgeheart, for example, encourages trapping enemies and summoning monsters, while the Silver Eye offers what I might think of as classic wizard-style play with an emphasis on ranged damage. Skyguard offers almost no damage-dealing, but its attacks and defenses cripple enemies all the same, so that the wizard or her allies just mop up the battlefield afterward.
I think there might be three or more different degrees of specialization. The generalist has equal access to all planets. The first degree of specialization drops access to one planet for moderately improved strength in another: +1 DC for favored spells. The second degree of specialization grants +1 DC and +1 caster level for favored spells, but denies the caster access to two planets. The third degree of specialization grants +1 DC, +1 caster level, and one extra spell slot per spell level that can only be used for favored spells.
Ideas and critiques welcome. I have, at this point, considerable distance from 3.x, and may have made some cardinal errors that I would not have made several years ago.
This is a link to a PDF of the spreadsheet I used to put all of this together. It uses the names of the associated gods, not the planets, as I hadn’t yet named the planets when I created it. I include this PDF here in case it makes comparisons easier.

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One thought on “3.5 Kitbash: Planetary Spell Lists

  • Kainenchen

    I thought I had commented on this, but apparently not. I really like the match up here. I also like that this seems to dissolves the division between the divine and the arcane.

    Also, I am ashamed to admit how few spells I know and remember just by looking at the names. I'd probably want to play the Silver Eye, from a looksee, or Wayfarer or Sechir.