Dungeon Master's Guide 5e

(Joyce) #1

anyone who can afford them. People purchase tickets to
ride airships and trains propelled by elemental magic.
Consider these questions -when fitting magic into
your world:

Is some magic common? Is some socially
unacceptable? Which magic is rare?
How unusual are members of each spellcasting
class? How common are those who can cast high-
level spells?
How rare are magic items, magical locations,
and creatures that have supernatural powers? At
what power level do these things go from everyday
to exotic?
How do authorities regulate and use magic? How
do normal folks use magic and protect them-
selves from it?
The answers to some questions suggest the answers
to others. For example, if spell casters of low-level
spells are common, as in Eberron, then authorities and
common folk are more likely to have access to and use
the results of such spells. Buying commonplace magic
isn't only possible, but also less expensive. People are
more likely to keep well-known magic in mind, and to
protect against it, especially in risky situations.


Some civilized areas might restrict or prohibit the use
of magic. Spellcasting might be forbidden without a
license or official permission. In such a place, magic
items and continual magical effects are rare, with
protections against magic being the exception.
Some localities might prohibit specific spells. It could
be a crime to cast any spells used to steal or swindle,
such as those that bestow invisibility or produce
illusions. Enchantments that charm or dominate others
are readily outlawed, since they rob their subjects of
free will. Destructive spells are likewise prohibited, for
obvious reasons. A local ruler could have a phobia about
a specific effect or spell (such as shapeshifting effects if
he or she were afraid of being impersonated) and enact
a law restricting that type of magic.


The rules of the game refer to the schools of magic
(abjuration, illusion, necromancy, and so on), but it's
up to you to determine what those schools signify in
your world. Similarly, a few class options suggest the
existence of magic-using organizations in the world-
bardic colleges and druid circles- which are up to you to
flesh out. ·
You could decide that no formal structures like these
exist in your world. Wizards (and bards and druids)
might be so rare that a player character learns from a
single mentor and never meets another character of the
same class, in which case wizards would learn their
school specialization without any formal training.
However, if magic is more common, academies can
be the embodiments of the schools of magic. These
institutions have their own hierarchies, traditions,
regulations, and procedures. For example, Materros
the necromancer could be a brother of the necromantic


Cabal of Thar-Zad. As a sign of his high standing within
its hierarchy, he is allowed to wear the red and green
robes of a master. Of course, when he wears these
robes, his occupation is easily identified by those who
know of the cabal. This recognition could be a boon or
a nuisance, since the Cabal of Thar-Zad has a fearsome
If you go this route, you can treat schools of magic,
bardic colleges, and druid circles as organizations,
using the guidelines for organizations presented earlier
in this chapter. A player character necromancer might
cultivate renown within the Cabal of Thar-Zad, while
a bard seeks increasing renown within the College of

The presence of permanent teleportation circles in
major cities helps cement their important place in the
economy of a fantasy world. Spells such as plane shift,
teleport, and teleportation circle connect with these
circles, which are found in temples, academies, the
headquarters of arcane organizations, and prominent
civic locations. However, since every teleportation circle
is a possible means of entry into a city, they're guarded
by military and magical protection.
As you design a fantasy city, think about the
teleportation circles it might contain and which ones
adventurers are likely to know about. If the adventurers
commonly return to their home base by means of
a teleportation circle, use that circle as a hook for
plot developments in your campaign. What do the
adventurers do if they arrive in a teleportation circle and
find all the familiar wards disabled and guards lying
in pools of blood? What if their arrival interrupts an
.argument between two feuding priests at the temple?
Adventure ensues!

When a creature dies, its soul departs its body, leaves
the Material Plane, travels through the Astral Plane,
and goes to abide on the plane where the creature's
deity resides. If the creature didn't worship a deity, its
soul departs to the plane corresponding to its alignment.
Bringing someone back from the dead means retrieving
the soul from that plane and returning it to its body.
Enemies can take steps to make it more difficult for
a character to be returned from the dead. Keeping
the body prevents others from using raise dead or
resurrection to restore the slain character to life.
A soul can't be returned to life if it doesn't wish to
be. A soul knows the name, alignment, and patron
deity (if any) of the character attempting to revive it and
might refuse to return on that basis. For example, if
the honorable knight Sturm Brightblade is slain and a
high priestess of Takhisis (god of evil dragons) grabs
his body, Sturm might not wish to be raised from the
dead by her. Any attempts she makes to revive him
automatically fail. If the evil cleric wants to revive Sturm
to interrogate him, she needs to find some way to trick
his soul, such as duping a good cleric into raising him
and then capturing him once he is alive again.
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