Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Incantatrix S&W style

A recent poll on Beyond the Black Gate asked how many classes do you prefer in your old-school game. The original 3? or more? My answer: both. You'll have to read the comments why.

I have always been favorable to Ed Greenwood's Incantatrix class that was published in an old Dragon magazine. Maybe it came along at the right time, but it just seemed so cool to me. It was originally designed for 1st edition, so I thought I would make a Swords & Wizardry version. This version is easily portable to your classic "Original Edition" game, just give it the saving throws of a Cleric and it should work out fine.

I am going to post this in parts, the first part will describe the class and experience chart. The second post will describe the Incantatrix's spell list, a 3rd post will describe the Incantatrix's unique spells. If the reaction is positive, I'll make a PDF version of the complete Incantatrix class available.

You are a mysterious figure, a student of arcane powers, spell casting, and spell stealing. Usually cloaked in fine robes embroidered with mystical symbols, you can be a devastating opponent. However, you are usually physically weaker than other adventuring classes, and are untrained in the use of armor and weapons. As an Incantatrix when you progress in levels, you can become a very powerful caster of spells. You specialize in stealing magic: draining spell knowledge from other spell casters, and applying that knowledge to yourself. You also excel at protecting yourself from powerful spells. Perhaps one day, though, you will rise to such heights of power that you can build a mystically protected tower for your research, creating fabulous magic items, and scribing new formulae for hitherto unknown spells. Such arch-Incantatrixes can sway the secret orders that control the world, and command respect and fear across the realms.

Incantratrixes are always female.

Prime Attribute: Intelligence, 13+ (5% experience)
Hit Dice: 1d6-1* (Gains 1 hp/level after 9th level.)
Armor/Shield Permitted: None.
Weapons Permitted: Dagger, staff, and darts.

Incantatrix Class Abilities
Spell Casting: an Incantatrix owns a book of spells, which does not necessarily include all of the spells on the standard lists. Reading from the book, the Incantatrix presses her chosen spell formulae into her mind, “preparing” these spells. Once a prepared spell is cast, it disappears from the Incantatrix’s ability to cast (until it is prepared again). It is possible to prepare a spell multiple times using the available “slots” in the Incantatrix’s memory/capability. If the Incantatrix finds scrolls of spells while adventuring, she can copy them into her spell book.

Incantatrix’s Tower (11th): At 11th level, a Incantatrix gains the title of “Incantatrix,” and can build a stronghold for herself to house her libraries and laboratories. She will attract a mixed bag of mercenaries, strange servants (some with odd abilities and deformities), and even a few monsters, perhaps. This motley crew will swear fealty to her and serve her with whatever loyalty she can inspire in them.


  1. Cool! I've always dug Greenwood's Incantatrix as well. And I think it's cool that he made a class that is noted as being more commonly practiced by women yet it doesn't fall into any well-known stereotypical ladyclass types like all the witches, houris and amazons.

  2. Ah, very nice! Greenwood really is underappreciated in some ways. Maybe it's because of all the anti-Drizz't sentiment out they (I blame Salvatore myself ;)).

    More stuff for S&W? Winning!

  3. I'm into anything that ends with trix...

  4. @Thomas Hi, I heard you made the red "OSR" pic that gamers like James at the Underdark Gazette post on their blog. I made a modified version (see link below) and was wondering if you'd mind me posting it on my OSR blog.

  5. @dylan: heh, that's awesome! I say the OSR community is free to do whatever they want with it.