The Gramarye is a magic system for FUDGE by Carl Cravens, published in Grey Ghosts’ A Magical Medley. It describes a system whereby spellcasters may improvise and cast spells on the fly, by combining a college (verb) with a realm (noun). Naturally, spellcasters will probably figure out some favorite spells, and keep track of how to cast them. Lists of spells that fit the Gramarye rules are an aid for characters and players alike.
The following spells were all created by Omar.
Naturally, these spells can be used as the basis from which a mage creates his own variations. Want to decrease the cost of a spell? Create a variant with higher difficulty or casting time. In each case, it is up to the GM to judge whether the spell is fair. Sometimes below I suggest limitations on such modifications, providing game balance and/or “thaumatobabble” reasons for the limitations.
Each spell is also listed as a “Simple”, “Ordinary”, or “Esoteric” spell. This has to do with this Gramarye Variant.
Note on Durations and Casting Times: The Gramarye as written is inconsistent. E.g., look at p. 90 in A Magical Medley. First it says “Increase Duration one level on Time Chart: +1 mana”. Then, in the Time Chart, it says “1 level = 2 mana or 1 Difficulty Level”. For these spells, I’ve gone with the former interpretation. Additionally, I use the “1 mana/level” rule for casting times– I don’t want casters to get too big of a break for taking (say) an hour to cast a spell.
Sample Spell Descriptions
Protect Body; Ordinary; Good Effect (+4); Duration 2 Minutes (+2); Touch
range (-1); Total mana cost: 5
This provides the target virtual magical armor with a Defensive Factor of
4 for the duration of the spell.
Transform Water to Air; Ordinary; Good effect (+4); lasts 1 hour (+4); must
touch target (-1); 2 minutes to cast (-2). Total mana cost: 5
For the duration of the spell (default: 1 hour), the target can breathe
without trouble under water. (What happens is that as the target
inhales, an appropriate volume of water is converted to air before it
enters his respiratory track. The volume of water converted is negligible.)
I rationalize that this is merely a Good rather than a Great effect.
Normally, transforming something to a different composition is a Great
effect. However, here it’s being done just for a single purpose: breathing.
It doesn’t grant free action, it can’t affect anything else. Consequently, I
steped down the effect by a single increment.
Break Earth; Ordinary; Fair Effect (+3); Short Range (+1). Total mana cost:
Causes the earth, stone, or metal underneath where somebody is
standing to buckle slightly and temporarily. This will cause that person
to fall over. Resisted by Agility.
Control Magic; Ordinary; Great effect (+8); lasts 5 hours (+5). Total mana
The Delay spell is for the mage who wants to leave a magical trap or
message behind. He casts the Delay spell and a second spell. The Delay
spell is cast on a specific person, location, or item. During the casting of
the spell, he specifics the conditions under which the second spell will
be released. The second spell will then be held until those conditions are
met. The conditions must be within Close range of the thing upon which
the Delay is cast. (Different ranges can be specified using the Gramarye
modifiers table on p. 90 of A Magical Medley.)
The base cost for the spell assumes a 5 hour duration. If the Delay is
not triggered by the time it expires, the second spell is lost. Since the
mage may no longer be present when the Delay is triggered, he must
supply enough mana to power both the Delay and the second spell at
the time of initial casting. The second spell must be cast immediately
after the Delay. Once both are cast, the mage may forget about both
spells; he begins to regain mana as normal. Note that in order to extend
(i.e. maintain) the Delay, the mage must be within range of wherever he
left the spell behind.
The “Great Effect” is based on the following. Normally, in order to hold a
spell, the mage would have to spend mana every 5 combat rounds. By
casting a Delay, the mage spends all the mana at once, and gets a price
break on the mana cost (probably just a Fair or Good effect). However,
when holding a spell, a mage does not regain mana, and he still must be
present when he releases the spell. When he casts a Delay, he does
regain mana, and need not be present when the spell is triggered:
hence, the Great effect.
Suggested limitation: Do not allow the casting time to be increased
beyond 10 minutes. The real reason for this is that doing so makes the
creation of magical traps too easy. The thaumatobabble reason for this
is that a Delay which takes too long to cast loses meaningful connection
with the second spell cast immediately after it.
Know Magic; Simple; Good Effect (+5); Room-sized area of effect (+2);
Total mana cost: 7
This will allow the spell caster to determine if there is magic at work
within the area of effect. It will not tell the caster anything about the
magic beyond a very vague sense of how strong it is. Magic items, spells
in force (including people under the influence of spells) will detect
positive for magic.
A variant of this spell may be cast on a single person (or person-sized
object) for 5 mana, or on a small object for 4 mana.
Heal Body; Simple; Mediocre Effect (+1); Total mana cost: 1
Heals a Scratch, if it needs to be healed….
Heal Body; Simple; Fair Effect (+3); Total mana cost: 3
Heals a Hurt wound, or reduce a Very Hurt wound to a Hurt wound
(which cannot be healed further by the same spell caster).
Heal Serious Wound
Heal Body; Ordinary; Good Effect (+6); Total mana cost: 6
Heals a Very Hurt wound, or reduces an Incapacitated wound to a Hurt
wound (which cannot be healed further by the same spell caster).
Heal Critical Wound
Heal Body; Ordinary; Great Effect (+9); Total mana cost: 9
Heals an Incapacitated wound, or reduces a Near Death wound to a
Hurt wound (which cannot be healed further by the same spell caster).
Know Magic; Ordinary; Great Effect (+10); Small target (-1); Casting Time:
2 Minutes (-2); Total mana cost: 7
Cast upon a single small object (+1 to the mana cost of cast upon a
man-sized object, greater mana cost for even larger objects), this will
identify the nature of the spells on the object. A succesfull spell will
identify all the colleges and realms and in what combination (if there are
multiple enchantments) are on the object. A result of Superb or better
on the spell caster’s roll will also let the caster know the detailed nature
of each spell on the object.
Transform Illusion; Ordinary; Good Effect (+5); Duration 2 minutes (+2);
Must touch target (-1); Total mana cost: 6.
The target becomes invisible. The spell effectively makes the target
transparent, but operates by converting any light emitted or reflected by
the target into the light which was incident upon the opposite side of the
target. (This can also simply be thought of as a Complex Illusion– but a
“negative illusion” that is exactly whatever the person is normally doing,
only cancelling out the normal vision of that.)
Know Mind; Ordinary; Good Effect (+4), duration 2 minutes (+2). Total
mana cost: 6.
When cast upon a subject, the mage will know whether or not the
subject believes what he says to be true for the duration of the spell.
Create Air; Ordinary; Good Effect (+4); Short Range (+1); Affects several
(+2); Limited Mundane Defense (+1); Total mana cost: 8
The spell caster creates a bolt of lightning. The bolt starts within short
range of the caster, and is either a single bolt extending 10 yards in
length (encompassing up to 10 people in a line– if there are more, the
first 10 absorb all the force of the blow), or a forking bolt 2 yards wide
and 5 yards in length (again encompassing at most 10 people). It does 8
points of electrical damage to anybody in the area of effect. Anybody can
attempt to do a “dodge and drop” sort of maneuver to receive only half
damage. Non-metallic armor protects normally, but metallic armor
doesn’t help at all.
Control Earth or Control Plant; Ordinary; Good Effect (+4); Duration 1 hour
(+4); Total Mana Cost: 8
Magically locks a door. The Unlock spell won’t unlock it, nor will any
mundane lock-picking effort. However, the door may still be physically
The spell is Control Earth for stone or metal doors, Control Plant for
wooden doors (two different spells).
Move Multiverse; Esoteric; Superb Effect (+16); Affects Several (+2); Total
Mana Cost: 18
This opens up a temporary portal to an adjacent plane. E.g., in the
Planescape setting, this could be to another layer of the same plane, to
the Outlands from the top layer of any Outer Plane, or to the Astral
Plane from the Prime or from the top layer of any Outer Plane. The
portal stays open until 10 people have gone through it, or until 30
seconds elapse, whichever comes first.
Move Multiverse; Esoteric; Superb Effect (+26); Affects Several (+2); Total
Mana Cost: 28
This opens up a temporary portal to any other plane (assuming portals
may be opened to that location; e.g., in Planescape, nobody may open a
portal to Sigil. The portal stays open until 10 people have gone through
it, or until 30 seconds elapse, whichever comes first.
Communicate Magic; Simple; Fair Effect (+3), duration 10 minutes (+2).
Total mana cost: 5.
This spell allows a mage to read magic script that she has not seen
before. Once she’s read a given page once with this spell, she will be
able to read it thereafter without magical aid (so long as she retains her
supernomal power of magery). The duration of the spell gives the mage
time to read through a couple of pages of magical script.
Break Earth; Ordinary; Good Effect (+7; Affects 1yrd^3 (+3). Total mana
Reduces one cubic yard of stone to a collection of pebbles.
Know Illusion; Ordinary; Good Effect (+5); Short Range (+1); Duration 2
minutes (+2); Total mana cost: 8
Within the range of the spell, the mage will be able to see anything
which is invisible. The natural counter to the Invisibility spell.
Break Earth; Ordinary; Great Effect (+12); Affects 1yrd^3 (+3); Total mana
Reduces 1 cubic yard of metal to useless scrap. The shards are not by
default sharp or particularly dangerous, although at high velocity they
make nice shrapnel.
A 12-mana version of this same spell will destroy the metal armor that
an opponent is wearing.
Break Body; Simple; Fair effect (+2); short range (+1); no mundane
defense (+2). Total mana cost: 5.
When the mage casts Smite, a bolt of magical energy leaps from his
hand to the target, wounding the target. Normal armor provides no
protection against a Smite.
The base Smite does 4 points of damage. To increase the damage of a
smite, the mage may spend mana at the normal rate described in the
Gramarye modifiers table (A Magical Medley, p. 90). However, increasing
damage to 6 points makes this an Ordinary spell, and increasing
damage to 8 points makes it an Esoteric spell; the damage of Smite may
not be increased past 8 points.
Break Magic or Protect from Magic; Simple; Fair effect (+2); lasts two
minutes (+2); Total mana cost: 4.
A Smite Shield is a magic shield that will stop a Smite spell or a similar
Break Body spell which does normal damage. The default version of the
spell will reduce the damage from a Smite spell by 4 points of damage;
each increase in protection of +2 costs an additional +1 of mana.
Enhance Body; Ordinary; Fair Effect (+3); Duration: 2 minutes (+2); Close
Range (must touch target) (-1); Total Mana Cost: 4
This increases the target’s Speed attribute by one step for the duration
of the spell. For an increased mana cost of 3 (bringing the base cost to
7), the Speed attribute can be increased two steps. If Speed affects
initiative during combat rounds, this will help there; it will also allow the
target to run faster. It will not in any event grant multiple attacks; see
Move Body; Ordinary; Fair Effect (+2); Duration: 10 minutes (+3); Close
Range (must touch target) (-1); Total mana cost: 4
This spell allows the user to cling to walls and ceilings like a spider. All
four limbs are necessary for movement, and movement is at crawling
speed (or half crawling speed if only three limbs are used). A more
advanced version of this spell is Wallwalking.
Know Spirit; Ordinary; Great Effect (+8); room-sized area (+2); takes 2
minutes (-2); Total mana cost: 8
For a few moments, this spell allows the caster to see any spirits,
ghosts, or similar non-corporeal entities lurking in his immediate area.
Note that if the spirit itself would be invisible to other spirits or those
who normally see such things, then the caster will not necessarily see
Know Spirit; Ordinary; Great Effect (+15); room-sized area (+2); takes 10
minutes (-3); Total mana cost: 14
The caster will be able to briefly see the psychic residue left behind by
the presence of spirits or ghosts upon the immediate area. It is up to the
GM to decide how long the residue lasts and remains visible to this
spell. The duration should be related to the significance of the spirit’s
activities. A spirit merely passing through an area may only leave a trace
visible for a few hours; striking terror into the heart of a mortal may
leave a residue visible for days; directly causing the death of a mortal
may leave signs visible for years.
The caster may not know the exact meaning of the residue he sees. He
will get a sense for it’s “strength,” and perhaps a feeling or “timbre”
associated with it. Interpretation of these sensations may be possible
through the use of an Occultism or other similar skill.
Move Body; Ordinary; Great Effect (+10); Extreme Range (+4); Total mana
This spell allows a caster to instantaneously relocate himself (and a
reasonable amount of gear) to elsewhere on the same plane. The
destination must be a location the caster knows; if the caster does not
know the destination well, disaster may strike. When the caster
teleports, immediately roll a Situational Roll; that result determines
- Plane Travel (Plane): The castor slips through a crack in the mulitverse and ends up on a completely different plane, chosen at the sadistic whim of the GM.
- Utter Miss (Miss): The castor ends up somewhere completely different on the same plane; this could be thousands of miles away from the intended destination.
- Too Low (Low): The castor ends up below the surface of the ground, with his feet 6+4dF feet below the surface. Any rock or stone that was occupying the immediate space will be magically displaced, but the caster could well find himself buried alive and quicky suffocated to death. If he’s lucky, there’s an underground passage. Spend a Fudge Point to turn this into either an Utter Miss or a Plane Travel (chosen secretly by the GM via Situational Roll).
- Too High (High): The caster ends up 6+4dF feet above the surface at his destination. He then falls to the ground, unless he’s lucky and ended up on the second floor of a building….
- Safe Miss (Safe): The castor arrives on the surface and safe, but 10×(10+4dF) feet away from where he intended to arrive in a random direction.
- Success (Ok): The castor ends up standing on the surface at his intended destination.
Move Body; Ordinary; Great Effect (+13); Extreme Range (+4); Total mana
This is just like Teleport or Teleport Group, except that the mage need
not go along. Chances of missing when sending the target to an
unknown location (to the caster) are as for Teleport. If the target is
unwilling, the spell is resisted as an Opposed Action between the
caster’s effective skill with the spell and the target’s Will.
The extreme range of the spell is for the destination; the caster must
touch the target to send it away.
Move Body; Ordinary; Great Effect (+12); Extreme Range(+4); Few
Targets (+1); Total mana cost: 17
This spell is just like Teleport, except that the mage may bring up to
three other human-sized creatures with him. Chances of missing are the
same as in a normal teleport spell; everybody teleported will miss
similarly. For the cost of an additional mana point (bringing the cost up
to 18), up to 10 total people may be teleported, but the spell will not
work for larger groups. (There are rumors of an ultra secret Esoteric
spell that can teleport whole crowds, but those rumors are vague and
Everybody to be teleported together must be touching, e.g. holding
hands in a circle, or clustered in an unruly mini-mob.
Move Body; Esoteric; Great Effect (+15); Extreme Range (+4); Total mana
This spell is just like Teleport, except that all the caster requires is
enough of a description of the location to specify it; there is no chance of
ending up in the wrong place. By spending additional mana, the spell
caster may bring others with him: one mana point for up to three
others, two mana points for up to nine others.
Know Time; Esoteric; Great effect (+12); room-sized area (+2); lasts 10
minutes (+3); takes 2 minutes (-2); Total mana cost: 15
This spell allows the casting wizard to see and hear what happened in
the past at his current location. By default, the wizard can see events
that happened up to one day in the past. He can increase this range by
adding +2 to the mana cost for each step on the Gramarye’s Time Chart.
Sample props: appropriately enchanted crystal ball or gold-framed
mirror (major value, similar: -3); large bowl of still water (similar, -1).
The similarity comes from a crystal ball performing like a lens: focusing
and showing light through the object. Reflections, as from a mirror or
bowl of water, likewise show light and sights which do not come from
the object itself. If the mirror, crystal ball, or bowl of water is not
properly enchanted, it will shatter at the end of the spell’s duration.
Enhance Body; Ordinary; Superb Effect (+24); Duration 2 minutes (+2); Must touch target (-1); Total mana cost: 25
For the duration of the spell, the target’s Speed attribute is increased four levels. This will (regardless of the exact level where it ends up) give the spell recipient double attacks during every combat round (unless limited by equipment). This is a very costly spell, and as such the caster will usually want to use props; even then, only a very accomplished mage who really has the need to speed somebody up is going to blow the mana on it.
Know Earth; Esoteric; Good Effect (+7); Affects small space (+1). Total
mana cost: 8.
Allows the mage to know the number, weight, and general nature
(humanoid, quadruped, etc.) of the last group of or the last several
creatures to have passed over a given spot of ground. It will trace as far
back as 1 month in time, although the caster will only get information
about the several most recent creatures to have passed.
Control Earth or Control Plant; Ordinary; Good Effect (+4); Total mana
This will unlock any mundane (non-magical) simple lock. More complex
locks may require a greater mana expenditure (as the effect becomes
more and more Good or even Great). A basic tumbler door lock, a barred
door, etc. would be considered a normal lock. The spell is “Control
Earth” if the lock is primary constructed of stone or metal, and “Control
Plant” if it is primarily constructed of wood.
Move Body; Ordinary; Fair Effect (+3); Duration: 10 minutes (+3); Close Range (must touch target) (-1); Total mana cost: 5
This spell allows the user to cling to walls and ceilings, similar to Spider Climb, accept that the target can move normally along the walls and ceilings (i.e. only with feet, and at full movement rate).
Create Air; Ordinary; Fair Effect (+3); Must touch target (-1); Total mana
The mage creates a static discharge in his hand. Once the spell is cast,
it lasts for one round; if the mage touches something susceptible to
electricity within one round, he does 6 points of damage to it. Otherwise,
the static electricity dissipates, and (even though the mana is spent) the
spell does nothing. The duration of this spell may not be extended
(although there are rumors of an Esoteric spell that allows that). Metal
armor does not protect against the damage, but non-metallic armor
protects with its normal Defensive Factor; even plain clothing which
usually has no armor value imparts a Defensive Factor of +1.