Evadimus’ School for Gifted Spellcasters | New Campaign Setting For Fifth Edition

This article is a preview for the content in BroadSword Monthly #1, due out in August. Learn more about BroadSword Monthly #1 (and get 10% off the price!)


No wizard is born a wizard. Unlike sorcerers who are born with their powers, clerics and warlocks who “borrow” their spells from powerful otherworldly beings, or rangers and druids who derive their abilities from nature, the wizard learns their craft through discipline and study.

But where do wizards study? There are a few wizards who are self-taught. And a few wizards have private tutors teach them the way. But for the most part, young wizards develop their abilities at special academies known as wizarding schools, the most famous of which being Evadimus’ School for Gifted Spellcasters.

Wizarding schools are a combination of private school and university. There, they learn everything they need to in order to become a wizard. Apprentice wizards learn advanced areas of study such as arcana, history, and religion. They are taught how to make ranged attacks, and how to defend their minds from intrusion. And, of course, apprentice wizards unlock the mysteries of cantrips and spells. Typically, an apprentice wizard spends two years at such an academy.

An Evadimus’ School for Gifted Spellcasters Fifth Edition campaign setting assumes that all the characters start as a new class option called apprentice wizards. Apprentice wizards are “pre-wizards” or “0-level” characters. They are not as powerful as the typical 1st-level character. As such, apprentice wizards must spend their first few years of adventuring learning their craft at a wizarding school. Refer to the “Apprentice Wizard” section on details on how to start an Apprentice Wizard.

Rules in Brief

In an effort to provide a complete campaign setting, we’ve constructed game rules that are as concise as possible. In general, the Evadimus’ School for Gifted Spellcasters setting use the traditional Fifth Edition rules. If you have questions about how a rule in this campaign setting works, you can usually find an answer in one of the three core rulebooks.

Character Creation

In an Evadimus’ School for Gifted Spellcasters campaign, the rules for character creation are mostly the same as they are in a traditional Fifth Edition setting with the exception of a few changes noted below.

Choosing a Class

An Evadimus’ School for Gifted Spellcasters campaign is intended for a party of all wizards starting with the Apprentice Wizard class. The GM may include other character classes at their discretion. In addition, future editions of BroadSword Monthly will include rules for other 0-level classes that can play alongside apprentice wizards.

Level

Apprentice wizards start at level-0. They do not gain experience points until they become 1st-level wizards (unless the character is multiclassing, as described in the “Wizard Restriction” optional rule). Instead, they earn additional levels of the apprentice wizard class through rigorous study and testing.

Hit Points and Hit Dice

Until an apprentice wizard becomes a full-fledged wizard, the character has a single hit die: a d6. An apprentice wizard’s starting hit points are 6 + his or her Constitution modifier.

Determine Ability Scores

Ability scores are determined using the normal Fifth Edition options. However, all apprentice wizard characters have a seventh ability score: Standing.

Standing Score

Standard measures a character’s performance at a wizarding school, representing how much they have actually learned (or not learned, as the case may be) throughout the course of a school year.

A character’s starting standing score is equal to his or her Charisma score. In addition, the character’s Standing score is directly tied to the school they are at. If they leave the school, graduate, or flunk out, they lose their Standing ability.

Unlike other abilities, Standing can’t be raised with normal ability score increases. Instead, the GM awards an increase to Standing–or imposes a reduction–based on the character’s actions and activities during the school year as detailed in the “Downtime and School Activities” section below. As with other ability scores, a character’s Standing can’t exceed 20 or fall below 1.

If the GM ever needs to make a check or saving throw for Standing for a monster or NPC that lacks the score, the GM can use the creature’s Charisma in place of Standing.

Standing Checks. Standing checks can be used in educational situations, much as Intelligence would when a character’s Standing at the school is the most defining factor in the way their research and work will play out.

The GM might also call for a Standing check when a character is in one of the following situations:

  • They’re caught getting in trouble by a member of the faculty.
  • The character uses their reputation at school to get their way.
  • Trying to estimate another character’s Standing score.

Standing Saving Throws. A standing saving throw comes into play when a character wants to determine whether or not they have done something that hurts their reputation at the school. The GM might call for a Standing saving throw in the following situations:

  • Avoiding an accidental breach of the school code of ethics.
  • Resisting the urge to get distracted from their studies.
  • Recognizing when a situation arises that would hurt the character’s Standing.

Describe Your Character

Typically, an apprentice wizard is younger than most 1st-level wizards, either in their teens or even early twenties if they are human, or at similar levels of maturity for longer-lived races. Additionally, this article provides new background options for apprentice wizard characters in addition to those normally offered. The new options are detailed in the “Apprentice Wizard Backgrounds” section.

Optional Rule: Tuition

A character starting at the wizarding school is responsible for tuition, which usually costs 100 gp per semester. This price includes basic room and board, meals, access to the facilities, and everything else that is needed for an apprentice wizard to succeed during the school year.

Certain backgrounds may not require tuition either, because they assume the character comes from privilege (noble) or earned a scholarship (overachiever, natural talent or legacy).

It is assumed that the character was able to cover the cost of tuition for the first semester. However, at the start of each semester beyond the first, the character must pay the 100 gp tuition costs. If a character fails to pay their tuition for a semester, they must make a DC 15 Standing saving throw. On a failed save, the character is expelled from the school and cannot continue their studies until they find a way to pay for their tuition. On a successful saving throw, the school takes pity on the character and allows them to continue at the school for another semester.

Come Together

The characters may know each other before they start at the wizarding school. Or they might meet each other once the first semester start. Either way, wizarding schools lend themselves well to explanations of how friendships and party bonds are formed.

Apprentice Wizards

Unless the GM says otherwise, an apprentice wizard is the only class option available to a character in an Evadimus’ School for Gifted Spellcasters campaign.

Tier Zero

Apprentice wizards are not “complete” characters. Instead, they start as 0-level characters and they function at tier zero (levels 0 – 1/2). Apprentice wizards must earn a few levels of education and expertise before they can become an official 1st-level wizard and enter the traditional first tier (levels 1 – 4).

Quick Build

You can make an apprentice wizard quickly by following these suggestions. First, Intelligence should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution or Dexterity. If a character plans to join the School of Enchantment, they should make Charisma their next-best score. Second, choose a background. Third, choose the mage hand cantrip.

The Apprentice Wizard

Level Prof. Bonus Features Cantrips Known 1st-Level Spells Known 1st-Level Spell Slots
0 +2 Spellcasting 1
1/8 +2 1 1 1
1/4 +2 Ranged Weapon Training 2 3 1
1/2 +2 Bonus Proficiency 2 4 2
1 +2 Wizardry 3 6 2

Class Features

As an apprentice, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d6

Hit Points at 0 Level: 6 + your Constitution modifier

Hit Points at Higher Levels: an apprentice wizard does not gain additional hit points until it becomes a wizard and achieves the 2nd level in that class

Proficiencies

Armor: None

Weapons: daggers, quarterstaffs

Tools: None

Saving Throws: Intelligence

Skills: Choose one from Arcana, History, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, and Religion

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a quarterstaff or (b) a dagger
  • (a) a component pouch or (b) an arcane focus
  • (a) a scholar’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
  • A spellbook

Spellcasting

The apprentice’s spellcasting feature is the same as the one described in the PHB, with the following changes:

  • You only know one cantrip of your choice from the wizard spell list. You learn an additional cantrip at level-1/4 and when you become a 1st-level wizard.
  • Before becoming a 1st-level wizard, the Apprentice Wizard table shows you how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level.
  • Until you become a 1st-level wizard, you can only prepare a number of wizard spells from your spellbook equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of one).
  • At 0-level, you have a spellbook but it does not contain any spells. At apprentice level-1/4, you learn one 1st-level wizard spell of your choice, and then you continue to learn additional spells as you gain levels in this class as shown on the 1st-Level Spells Known column on the Apprentice Wizard table.

Ranged Weapon Training

At level-1/4, you gain proficiency with darts, slings, and light crossbows.

Bonus Proficiency

At level-1/2, you become proficient in one of the following skills of your choice: Arcana, History, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, or Religion.

Wizardry

At level 1, you become a wizard. As a wizard, you gain the following benefits:

  • You gain proficiency with Wisdom saving throws.
  • You gain the Arcane Recovery feature (as described in the PHB).

Optional Rule: Wizard Restriction

The GM may require that all characters–even those multiclassing–must successfully complete four semesters at a wizard’s academy in order to gain the first level of the wizard class.

A higher level character may multiclass into an apprentice wizard. When they earn additional levels of apprentice wizard, they do not add the levels to their character classes. Instead, they replace the former apprentice level with the new one all the way up until they gain the first level of a wizard. Because of this, the character can earn experience and take class levels independently of the apprentice wizard class. However, they may not take an additional level of the wizard class unless they complete their training.

This may create interesting roleplaying opportunities for established characters as their colleagues may have to wait for the apprentice wizard character to finish studying or participating in vital school activities before they can set out on an adventure.

 

Apprentice Wizard Backgrounds

Most non-wizards think that all wizards are bookish sages, their noses always stuffed in some dusty tome. Quite the contrary. Wizards can come from all different walks of life. Certainly, there are those who devote their time at the academy to obsessive study. But just like any school, there are bullies, class clowns, and even “the cool kids.” The following background options are available in addition to those normally offered.

Bully

It’s kind of hard to imagine that among hyperintelligent, disciplined mages, there are bullies, but they do exist. In fact, even if you aren’t the toughest guy or girl around, you’re still a big fish in a little pond. You exert your will onto those you deem inferior: physically or even intellectually, tormenting your victims with name-calling, pranks, and even physical harm.

Note: the presence of bullies make some people uncomfortable in games. While it can be argued that bullies are a realistic part of life, the GM may opt to remove this background option all together to create a safe gaming environment.

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Intimidation

Equipment: A set of common clothes (or a wizard’s robes), a small knife, a pouch containing 10 gp

Preferred Target

Bullies have a preference for the type of people they pick on, typically those that they know they have a comparative advantage. Often, the targets also have a quality that the bully lacks, inciting jealousy in the bully. Choose your preferred target’s qualities, or roll on the table below.

d8 Target Qualities d8 Target Qualities
1 Big and slow 5
Unattractive or poor social skills
2 Weak and sickly 6
Incredibly high intelligence
3 Low intelligence 7 Poor family
4 Poor perception or lacks common sense 8 Wealthy family

Feature: Minions

Your presence and reputation appeal to other bullies who look up to you. You are usually surrounded by one or two “lesser bullies” (at the GM’s discretion) who assist you in your bullying activities, but rarely get involved in physical confrontations and are quick to run away when the heat is on.

Suggested Characteristics

Bullies usually have a good reason for their wicked ways. Often, their origin bubbles to the surface and becomes obvious to anyone with even a modicum of insight.

d8 Personality Trait
1
I have a quirk, such as pounding my fists together when talking, or growling. I use this to incite fear in my quarry.
2
I’m a terror to my targets, but incredibly friendly to everyone else, especially to faculty members.
3 I’m not interested in making friends.
4
I have no sense of humor and don’t really get most jokes.
5
Any time someone else is the center of attention, they become my next target.
6 I’m good at sensing weakness in others.
7
I believe that I’m the best when it comes to a particular skill; anyone who shows they’re better than me induces rage.
8
Any time I’m made to feel bad, I want to cause pain.
d6 Ideal
1
Anti-bully. I actually hate bullies; I only bully other bullies. (Good)
2
Model Student. I’ll never let my bullying get in the way of my studies or damage my standing at school. (Lawful)
3 Sadist. I just love causing pain. (Evil)
4
Apex Predator. I’m the strongest person around, all others are weak. (Chaotic)
5
People. I’m committed to the people I care about, but I don’t care about others outside of my circle. (Neutral)
6
Reflection. My own life is difficult, and I feel that others should share in my pain. (Any)
d6 Bond
1 I just want to feel loved by others.
2
Someone in my life hurt me, and I am unable to get revenge.
3 Everything I do is for my closest friends.
4
I actually idolize my targets and I am jealous of them.
5 My life outside of school is difficult, and I am reluctant to return to it.
6 I have a bully of my own.
d6 Flaw
1
I fear challenges that I can’t easily overcome.
2 I don’t trust anyone.
3
I can never have real friends because I am paranoid that they will hurt me.
4
I have a secret disability that makes things hard for me; that’s why I lash out.
5
Any time someone gets close to me, I drive them away.
6
I believe that I am better than everyone else.

. . .

Clown

You’ve got the perfect joke or quip for every situation. You enjoy hearing others laugh or appearing amused by your antics, whether it’s your fellow students, members of the faculty, or anyone else that you come into contact with. Often, you’re seen as an extrovert and the life of the party. Other times, your comedy frustrates others who may feel that you’re never serious.

Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Performance

Tool Proficiencies: One type of musical instrument

Equipment: A musical instrument (one of your choice), a funny prop, a costume, a set of common clothes, and a pouch containing 10 gp.

Joke Themes

There are plenty of ways to get an audience to laugh. And you’ve specialized in one or more of those methods. Choose up to three themes or roll on the table below to determine your routine as a class clown.

d8 Joke Themes d8 Joke Themes
1 Off-color jokes 5 Insults
2 Low-brow jokes 6 Witty quips
3 High-brow jokes 7 Physical comedy
4 Sarcasm 8 Impressions

Feature: Distraction

You’re pretty well known as being “that funny girl or guy”, which gives you access to social events and other functions where you otherwise wouldn’t be accepted. You might get into a party with a bunch of physical types. Or you could befriend a bully who would otherwise pound you for extra gold pieces. In return for entry, others may expect you to perform and tell jokes at the event.

Suggested Characteristics

There’s always more to a joker than a few bad puns.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I hate when it gets quiet.
2
I love making jokes at others’ expense, but not my own.
3
Serious situations make me uncomfortable.
4 Everything is funny to me.
5
It’s pretty rare people stay mad around me; my jokes help defuse tension.
6
When I’m not at the center of attention, I get annoyed.
7
I’m pretty happy-go-lucky most of the time.
8
I have a very short attention span and get bored easily.
d6

Ideal

1
Levity. Everyone’s so serious all the time. It’s my job to bring them back to reality. (Chaotic)
2
Wholesome. My jokes may be corny, but I make sure that doesn’t hurt someone’s feelings. (Good)
3 Cruel. I like it when my words cut. (Evil)
4
Satire. My jokes are designed to draw attention to the flaws in society and the inequities around me. (Lawful)
5
Open Season. Nobody is immune to my humor. (Neutral)
6
Art. Comedy is an art form and should be treated like one. (Any)
d6 Bond
1
I’ve had a few jokes bomb in the past, so I’m always working to get better.
2
Something scary once happened to me, so now everything feels like a joke.
3
I want to be like my comedy idol and stylize my jokes after theirs.
4 My jokes are how I protect my friends.
5
I want to be the center of attention at all times.
6
There is someone whom I have a crush on; my comedy is my way of getting closer to them.
d6 Flaw
1
I freeze up whenever I’m in serious situations.
2
I’ll do anything to make a good joke, even if causes trouble.
3
Jokes made at my expense make me lose my temper.
4
Everyone has flaws and I’m determined to point them out.
5 I’m a compulsive liar.
6
Someone once got very offended by one of my jokes and now they have it out for me.

. . .

Legacy

You may have come from a long line of successful wizards who attended the same school that you hope to attend. Or you’re connected to a successful celebrity wizard; your presence at the school could do wonders for its reputation.

Skill Proficiencies: Perception, Persuasion

Tool Proficiencies: One type of artisan’s tools

Languages: One of your choice

Equipment: One set of artisan’s tools (your choice), a set of fine clothes, a patch bearing your family crest, and a belt pouch containing 20 gp

Feature: Easy Ride

You come to most places with high expectations. As such, those in authority treat you with admiration and excitement. This may grant you access to special locations or areas you would otherwise be denied entry. Furthermore, your lineage may grant you and your allies leniency when caught causing trouble.

Suggested Characteristics

Your name is already on the lips of everyone before you even set foot in the school. Whether you choose to embrace your destiny or not, your lineage is something you have to deal with every day.

d8 Personality Trait
1
Despite the advantages my lineage offers me, I want to be known for my own accomplishments.
2
I hope to outshine those who came before me.
3
I hate that everyone expects so much of me.
4
I don’t want anyone to know who I really am.
5
This legacy has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I’m kinda over it.
6
I have a legacy to uphold and will go out of my way to make sure I don’t embarrass my name.
7
Most new adventurers don’t know what they’re doing. Fortunately, I learned from the best.
8
I have a feature or quirk that everyone says is something my family members were known for.
d6 Ideal
1
Might. My family name evokes fear in others, and I plan on keeping it that way. (Evil)
2
Benevolence. I plan to use my name and powers for good. (Good)
3
Disruption. I want to break the cycle of my family’s name, even if it means causing trouble for myself. (Chaos)
4
Relaxation. I just want to get in, get out, and go do my own thing. (Any)
5
Fame. I hope to outdo not just those in my lineage, but everyone else around me. (Neutral)
6
Discipline. I just want to be the best me that I can be. (Any)
d6 Bond
1
I’ve long suspected that I’m not actually a member of the family. I hope to find out my true origins.
2
I have relationships with the members of authority thanks to my family’s notoriety.
3
My parents are everpresent, constantly getting involved with my day-to-day life.
4
I have a secret pet that I keep hidden from everyone else. They were my only friend growing up.
5
Despite their renown, my family bears an ancient curse. I hope to break that curse.
6
My family is not as well-respected as they once were. I want to bring honor back to my family name.
d6 Flaw
1
Used to having everything handed to me in life, I am quite lazy as a result.
2
I not only know that I’m better than everyone around me, but I openly challenge those who try to argue otherwise.
3
I’m a terrible one-upper; if I’m not better than you, I probably know someone else who is and will tell you all about them.
4
When I do poorly, I suffer from extreme anxiety.
5
I know everything there is to know about adventuring and don’t really see why I have to learn from others.
6
At the first sign of danger, I’m running the other way.

. . .

Natural Talent

While most classes require dedication and discipline, there are those who have a natural affinity for their chosen discipline. You may have a touch of monstrous blood, lending to your talents. Or you may just “get” it, your mind quickly able to grasp the core concepts of your skills and abilities.

Skill Proficiencies: Nature, Survival

Languages: Any two of your choice

Equipment: A trinket important to your family history, a set of common clothes (or a wizard’s robe), and a pouch containing 15 gp

Feature: Affinity

Faculty members and scholars may take a special interest to you, putting you and your interests before others. You might even become well-known due to your natural talents. At the GM’s discretion, you may gain special entry to places where others would be banned. Or you might be able to make contacts with those who have an interest in you, whether it’s to learn more about you or more from you.

Suggested Characteristics

Natural talents are met with an equal balance of awe and jealousy. What comes easily to you, others have had to work at their entire lives.

d8 Personality Trait
1
My natural talents are a blessing and a curse.
2
I sigh loudly when I’m bored, which is often.
3
I enjoy helping others learn, whether they enjoy it or not.
4
While I enjoy my innate talents, I hope to learn more to improve myself.
5 Many believe that I waste my potential.
6
Deep down, I desire to be something other than what I’m naturally good at.
7
My understanding of the world is different from others.
8 I probably know more than my mentors do.
d6 Ideal
1
Corruption. I’m better than everyone else around me. Why should I hold back? (Evil)
2
Altruism. I have these talents for a reason, and I should use them to help others. (Good)
3
Acceptance. Good or bad, I have these talents. It doesn’t matter what I do with them. (Neutral)
4
Wild. I have no way of controlling these talents, so why even try? (Chaos)
5
Cooperation. I am unique. I should allow scholars to study and learn more about the nature of these talents through me. (Lawful)
6
Self-Reliance. I am where I am because I choose to be and no other reason. (Any)
d6 Bond
1
I never knew my family. Learning more about them may shed light on my curious powers.
2
I feel like I’m being followed by someone at all times. But who?
3
My parents were natural talents, too. They encouraged me to develop my powers.
4
I come from a mundane family that doesn’t share the same affinities as me. Regardless, I hope to do them proud.
5
A mentor whom I respect led me along the path I am now.
6
My natural talents once hurt someone I care about. I must learn more about these gifts.
d6 Flaw
1
When I feel like I’m cornered, I lose my temper. That’s when the bad things start to happen.
2 I’ll do anything to get rid of these talents.
3
Some call me cocky. But what do they know?
4 I have a bad habit or vice that controls my life.
5 I am rude.
6 Oh, you need help? What’s in it for me?

. . .

Overachiever

You always go above and beyond what’s required of you. If there’s extra credit, you do it (and then some). When there’s a free hour in the day, you use it to catch up on your studies. Sleep? What’s that? It’s rare that anything distracts you from your goals.

Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Investigation

Languages: Two of your choice

Equipment: A bottle of black ink, a quill, a small book for you to write your notes in, a letter of recommendation from a member of faculty, a set of common clothes, and a pouch containing 10 gp

Feature: Impressive Credentials

Most faculty members and scholars see you as a boon instead of an annoyance. This favoritism allows you to gain access to special tomes, knowledgeable sages, and private study times that your peers may not be privy to. Your GM decides the nature of your favorable treatment.

Suggested Characteristics

As an overachiever, you are frequently found with your nose in a book, your hand in the air ready to blurt out the answer, and following closely behind a mentor. Of course, not all overachievers are driven by the same goals.

d8 Personality Trait
1
I am never more than 5 feet away from a book if I can’t help it.
2
It’s important to me that I’m recognized for my accomplishments.
3
I frequently lament how there aren’t enough hours in the day.
4
I’m determined to be the best at everything I do.
5
I am terrible at social situations and avoid them whenever I can.
6
I’m remarkably pedantic and have a counterpoint for every argument.
7
I try to surround myself with only the best and the brightest.
8 Focus, people! Focus!
d6 Ideal
1
Obsession. Nothing will stop me from accomplishing my goals. (Chaotic)
2
Jealousy. I will destroy anyone that appears better than me. (Evil)
3
Destiny. It is my duty to be the best I can be for the betterment of the world. (Good)
4
Tradition. Failure to do my best is disrespectful to my mentors and elders. (Lawful)
5
Freedom. Once I accomplish all of my goals, I will be free to do whatever and be whomever I like. (Chaotic)
6
Education. I just enjoy learning as much as I can. (Any)
d6 Bond
1
My mentors and/or family expect a lot out of me.
2
People always shower praise on my sibling; I wish people admired me the same way.
3
Not everyone has the same opportunities as I do; it would be wrong to take these privileges for granted.
4
I come from humble origins, so it’s important to me to prove naysayers wrong.
5
I have a nemesis. I am determined to outdo them.
6
My friends are my top priority, even more so than my studies.
d6 Flaw
1
I rarely get enough sleep and I’m always tired.
2
Nothing affects me more than losing at something.
3
My tireless obsession with self-improvement annoys others.
4
I can’t tell a lie, even if a lie would save me from an uncomfortable situation.
5
A lot of people think I’m stuck up. But they’re just useless idiots.
6
I would literally sell my soul to get ahead in life.

The School Year

Traditionally, the typical fledgling wizard studies for two years at a wizarding school. Each year is divided into two sixteen week semesters (112 days). The first semester starts in the late summer or early fall, then lasts until the start of the new year. After a two-week break, the second semester begins, ending sometime in the late spring or early summer. The students then enjoy a long summer break.

During the school year, characters have plenty of time to perform school activities as described in the “Downtime and School Activities” section, go on adventures, and get into mischief.

End of the Semester Check

Apprentice wizards don’t earn experience or gain levels like normal characters do. Instead, they must make a Standing check at the end of each semester. This check represents the character’s dedication to learning at the school as well as the faculty’s overall impression of the character. Characters who perform extremely well may gain additional benefits for their dedication. Consult the End of Semester table to determine the character’s status at the end of the semester.

End of Semester

Check Total Result
1 or lower
The character fails to earn the next level fo the pre-wizard class and must retake the semester.
2 – 10
The character just barely earns the next level of the pre-wizard class. However, faculty members warn that the character is on academic probation.
11 – 20
The character earns the next level of the pre-wizard class.
21 +
The character earns the next level of the pre-wizard class and earns an Apprentice Wizard Boon.

Academic Probation. When a character only manages to scrape by during a semester, the faculty keeps a close eye on the character. The chance that complications arise in activities such as Bullying, Making Friends, and Participating in Sports are much more common. The GM decides the nature of the probation.

Apprentice Wizard Boons. When a character performs exceptionally well during the school year, they learn more than what was required of them. The GM awards the character one of the following benefits:

  • The character learns one additional cantrip.
  • The character gains proficiency in one skill, weapon or tool of their choice. Alternatively, the character may become fluent in a language of their choice.
  • The character gains a favor from a faculty member. The GM determines the nature of the faculty members favor.

 

Downtime and School Activities

As the school year progresses, there are plenty of things that a character, as a wizard school student, can do. Many of these options function similar to the downtime rules found in the Fifth Edition core rulebooks. Because an Evadimus’ School for Gifted Spellcasters campaign is focused on learning and growing as a student, downtime is a major part of the game.

Of course, this is not to say this is the only focus of the students of a wizarding school. The party will go on plenty of adventures, get into mischief, and thwart the occasional lich-worship school deadset on destroying the school. Downtime and school activities fill the spaces in between and work as a way of putting the “less interesting” parts of being at a school on auto-pilot.

Complications and Rivals

Just like the typical selection of downtime activities, school activities can create complications and new rivals for apprentice wizards.  Often, these events lead to new adventure seeds. When a complication or a rival comes into play during downtime or school activities, the GM determines the particulars. The activities presented at the end of this section all come with tables of possible complications. Of course, the GM–and even the characters themselves–are free to come up with even more troubles to plague the apprentice wizards during the school year.

Downtime and School Activities

In place of the typical downtime activities offered in the core rulebooks and expansions, this article presents the characters with new activities. The length of time requires for these activities varies, from a number of days to one school week (5 days) or more. All the normal rules for downtime must be followed by the characters undertaking the activity, including spending 8 hours each day engaged in that activity for the day to count toward the activity’s completion.

Some downtime and school activities increase and decrease a character’s Standing score. See the “Standing” section in this article for information on how to determine the character’s Standing ability, and see the downtime and school activities listed below for more information on how a given activity might modify the character’s Standing score.

. . .

Bullying

There’s a social order to things and bullies are determined to stay at the top of that order. Characters can spend time exerting their influence and intimidating others to improve their fearsome reputation at school. This may even help them improve their grades and earn an income.

Resources. Bullying covers a school week of imposing your will on others. Typically, there is no cost to bullying, however, the GM may rule that the bully needs to possess a weapon or have an ally to assist them in these activities.

Resolution. After a school week of bullying, a character hopes to benefit from their fearmongering. The character makes a Charisma (Intimidation) check using the Bullying table. The character makes the check with advantage if they target an NPC that they previously bullied in the past.

Bullying

Check Total Result
1 – 5
The targets of the character’s bullying stood up to the bully character. The bullying character’s Standing score is reduced by 2, and they have disadvantage on their next Bullying check.
6 – 10
The character got caught by the faculty before they could gain any benefits from their bullying. Their Standing score is reduced by 1.
11 – 15
The character failed to leave an impression on any of their targets. No change.
16 – 20 The character gained one favor from a target.
21 + The character gained two favors from one or more targets, and the character has advantage on their next Bullying check.

The target of the character’s bullying awards the bully a favor which can be one of the following (the bully’s choice):

  • The target gives the bully 5 gp.
  • The target helps the bully cheat, giving the bully a 2d10 bonus on their next Studying and Testing check.
  • Something else (GM’s discretion).

Once the character uses the favor, the character needs to bully the target again to gain another favor.

Complications. Characters who bully risk targets fighting back, faculty members suspending or expelling the character, or building a bad reputation around the school.  The GM might also impose a complication even when the character is successful in their bullying attempt. The GM can choose a complication or roll on the Bullying Complications table.

Bullying Complications

d6 Complication
1
Turns out that the bully’s actions have attracted competition from another bully in the school.*
2
The bully’s parents or guardians are made aware of the situation. There is the potential that the character could be completely pulled from school unless they change their ways.
3
The bully’s popularity tanks. The character has disadvantage on all School Activities that require Charisma (Deception or Persuasion) for the remainder of the semester or until they do something that redeems them.
4
A faculty member watches the bully closely from now on. For the remainder of the semester, the bully has disadvantage on Bullying checks until they find a way to get the faculty member off their back.*
5
The faculty catches the character bullying and expels them for one school week as an example to any other bullies. While expelled, the character can’t perform any school activities including Studying and Testing.
6
One of the targets the character bullied has become a rival and seeks to undermine the bully at every turn.*

*Might involve a rival.

. . .

Exploring School Grounds

Adventures aren’t just had at the school itself. After all, it’s not uncommon for a wizarding school to find itself surrounded by primordial forests, mysterious bodies of waters, breathtaking mountains, or even exotic cities. The grounds surrounding the school are filled with opportunities for characters to explore and discover secrets.

Exploration can be done any number of times around the school grounds, representing new areas being discovered (or rediscovered).

Resources. Exploring the school grounds requires at least one school week of effort.

Resolution. A character directing the expedition makes a Wisdom (Survival) check to determine the outcome. The total of the check determines the outcome, as shown on the Exploration Discoveries table.

Exploration Discoveries

Check Total Discovery
1 – 5 Major threat*
6 – 10 Minor threat*
11 – 15 No discovery of note
16 – 20 Area of interest
21+ Ally or useful monster

Major Threat. A major threat represents a discovery, event, or entity that could put the entire school in jeopardy. Such threats may include the discovery of a powerful lich hellbent on destroying the school or a tribe of hill giants causing a ruckus. The school’s classes and activities are completely suspended for at least one semester unless the threat is resolved, as determined by the GM.

Minor Threat. When a minor threat arises, the characters discover a danger to themselves and the school. Typical minor threats include finding a monster’s lair or learning the schemes of a rival school. The school’s classes and activities are suspended for at least one school week until the threat is resolved, as determined by the GM.

Area of Interest. The expedition finds a unique location such as the ruins of an old building, a strange, hollowed-out tree, a cave shaped like a skull, or the remains of a strange creature. This location can serve as a spot for future adventures, a quest item, or simply a location for the characters to hide.

Ally or Useful Monster. The expedition comes across the home of a useful ally, such as a monster tamer that lives in the forest or a wandering wizard. This ally can become a source of lore, providing secrets. To gain the trust of the ally, a character must make a Making Friends check targeting the potential ally.

Alternatively, the expedition could find a monster that is willing to help the party or can be tamed. The challenge rating of the monster is typically 1 or less. To gain the trust of the monster, a character must make a Making Friends check targeting the potential ally. The monster could serve as a scout or spy, or even as a mount or guardian of the school.

Complications. A result of 1-10 on the Exploration Discoveries table is its own complication. However, the GM can opt to have a complication occur, even on a successful check. Choose or roll one of the complications on the Exploring School Grounds Complications table.

Exploring School Grounds Complications

d6 Complication
1
Within 1 month, the characters learn that the beneficial element is owned by or sworn to serve another.*
2
The beneficial element turns out to be a fraud. A location could be a temporary front, or an ally proves to be a charlatan.
3
The beneficial element comes with a dark past. It could bear a curse or harbor a dark secret.
4
The beneficial element is temporary, ending without much notice. Allies leave, locations are destroyed, monsters turn hostile.
5
Others discover the beneficial element, competing for it. The characters may lose access to the element.*
6
The characters are forbidden by the faculty from using or interacting with the beneficial element.

*Might involve a rival.

. . .

Kissing Up

Sometimes it pays to schmooze with the higher-ups at a school. Characters that engage and focus on improving their status among the faculty members often reap benefits for doing so.

Resources. Kissing Up takes one school week of interactions. Characters who participate in kissing up should dress well and offer gifts, spending gold as a result.

Resolution. The character may specify which specific members of the faculty they wish to kiss up to. Then, the character makes a Charisma (Persuasion) check. The character gains a +1 for every 10gp spent on gifts for the faculty members, to a maximum of +5. The total of the check determines the outcome, as shown on the Kissing Up table.

Kissing Up

Check Total Result
5 or lower
The faculty is turned off by the obvious kissing up attempt. The character’s Standing score is reduced by 1.
6 – 10
While appreciated, the kissing up attempt has no immediate benefit. However, the next Kissing Up check the character makes is with advantage so long as it’s among the same faculty members.
11 – 20
The character impresses one or more of the faculty members with their kissing up. The character’s Standing score increases by 1.
21+
The character greatly impresses the faculty members with their kissing up. The character’s Standing score increases by 2.

Complications. A check of 5 or lower made to kiss up automatically triggers a complication. Even with a success, the GM may decide to involve a complication, either by rolling or choosing one of the complications on the Kissing Up Complications table.

Kissing Up Complications

d6 Complication
1
Another student notices the character’s kissing up attempts. The student threatens to expose the character as a fraud unless the character performs a favor or pays a bribe.*
2
To win over the faculty members, the character must perform a task or favor for the faculty member.
3
Other faculty members take note of the character’s nature; the character’s future kissing up checks are made with disadvantage for the remainder of the semester.
4
The targeted faculty member becomes obsessed with the character, potentially creating problems for the character.*
5
Another student (or even another character) wants the character to kiss up on their behalf, potentially threatening the character if they don’t.*
6
The faculty member is caught showing favoritism to the character. The character’s reputation and Standing could be tarnished as a result.

*Might involve a rival.

. . .

Making Friends

What would school be without multiple opportunities for making friends? After all, all work and no play makes Anthazar a dull spellcaster.

Resources. Making friends covers a school week of socializing, throwing parties, and trying to make contacts. A character can rub elbows with everyone in the school, from the bullies to the bookworms, the jocks to the outcasts. A character must spend at least 10 gp to cover expenses.

Resolution. After a school week of making friends, a character stands to make important contacts within the school which may help them in school and possibly later in their quests. The character makes a Charisma (Persuasion) check using the Making Friends table.

Making Friends

Check Total Result
1 – 5 The character has made a hostile contact.
6 – 10 The character has made no new contacts.
11 – 15 The character has made an allied contact.
16 – 20 The character has made two allied contacts.
21 + The character has made three allied contacts.

Contacts are NPCs who now share a bond with a character. Each one either owes the character a favor or has some reason to bear a grudge. All of the contacts’ details are determined by the GM.

Hostile characters could be bullies with an axe to grind, or even a faculty member that has it out for the character. Typically, hostile contacts stop short of violence or committing crimes. Instead, the GM will use them to offer a disadvantage on a School Activity check or a -5 penalty to Studying and Testing. When and where that happens is up to the GM.

Meanwhile, allied contacts are friends who will render aid to the character, but not at the risk of their own lives. Each ally provides a one-time benefit that the character can use throughout their stay at the school. The GM selects or rolls randomly on the Allies and Benefits table below to determine the nature of the ally and what benefit they provide. A character may try to find a specific type of ally; ultimately, it’s up to the GM whether or not the character earns the trust of the type of ally they are aiming for.

Allies and Benefits

d6 Ally Benefit
1 Bully
The character can call upon the bully to help them with a rival or a complication. The end effect is up to the GM.
2 Overachiever
The character can call upon the overachiever to give them advantage on one Research check. Alternatively, the overachiever can grant a 3d6 bonus to the character’s Studying and Testing check.
3 Athlete
The character can call upon the athlete to give them advantage on a Participating in Sports check.
4 Mr/Ms Popular
The character can call upon the popular student to give them advantage on a Partying check.
5 Nobleborn
The character can call upon the nobleborn to give them 10gp.
6 Faculty Member
The character can call upon the faculty member to give them advantage on one Standing check or saving throw.

Once a friendly contact has helped or hindered a character, the character needs to use the Making Friends action again to get back into the NPC’s good graces. A contact provides help once, not help for life. Of course, a contact usually remains friendly, which can influence roleplaying and how the characters interact with them but doesn’t come with a guarantee of help.

Complications. A roll of 5 or less is automatically a complication. However, the world of social interactions is never an easy one. Even with a successful check, the GM may decide that a complication arises. The GM may roll or choose one of the complications on the Making Friends Complications table.

Making Friends Complications

d6 Complication
1
The relationship was a con. The contact only wanted to embarrass the character or steal something from them.
2
The contact is obsessed with the character and follows them everywhere.*
3
The only way the contact agrees to help the character is if they complete a dangerous task for them.
4
Making friends with the contact has earned the character new enemies.*
5
The character spent an additional 10gp trying to impress contacts.
6
The character embarrassed themselves during their social interactions. The next Making Friends check the character makes is made with disadvantage.

*Might involve a rival.

. . .

Participating in Sports

Just because wizards are book nerds doesn’t mean that they don’t appreciate a good sport or two. Whether its flying broom races, maze running, or competitive dragon taming competitions, sports are an important part of the curriculum. Characters who succeed at sports are looked at positively by their peers and teachers alike.

Resources. Participating in this activity requires one school week of effort from a character.

Resolution. The character must make a series of checks, with a DC determined at random based on the quality of the opposition that the character or the character’s team runs into. A big part of the challenge in participating in sports lies in the unknown nature of the character’s opponents.

The character makes three checks: Strength (Athletics), Dexterity (Acrobatics), and an Intelligence saving throw. If the character is a member of a team, at the DM’s discretion, the character can replace one of these checks with a Charisma (Intimidation or Persuasion) check. The DC for each check is 5 + 2d6; generate a separate DC for each one. Consult the Participating in Sports Results table to see how well the character did.

Participating in Sports Results

Result Value
0 successes
Not only does the character or their team lose the match, but they are handily defeated. The next time the characters participate in sports, the character gains a +2 penalty to each of your checks.
1 success
The character or their team loses, but they put up a good fight. No change.
2 successes
The character or their team narrowly win the match. The character’s Standing score increases by 1.
3 successes
The character or their team easily beat the other team. The character’s Standing increases by 2. The next time the character participates in sports, the character gains a +2 bonus to each of their checks.

Optional Rule: Seasonal Play. A character can join the school’s official team. Doing so means that they must participate in sports at least four times per semester. After the character participates a fourth time in a semester, their Standing score increases by an additional +2, regardless of whether or not the character or their team win or lose their bouts.

Complications. Sports can be emotional events, even wizard sports. Characters involved in sports must deal with their opponents, opposing schools, and even the other coaches. Even a successful result can trigger a complication at the GM’s determination. The GM can choose a complication or roll on the Participating in Sports Complications table.

Participating in Sports Complications

d6 Complication
1 An opponent swears to take revenge on the character.*
2
Another parent, faculty member, or coach approaches the character and offers to pay them to intentionally throw their next match.*
3
The character enters a disagreement with one of their own teammates, their coach, or a faculty member.*
4
The character defeats a team from a wealthy city or region, drawing the wrath of the noble houses.*
5
The character or their team are accused of cheating. The character and the school’s reputation are tarnished as a result.*
6 The character accidentally (or even purposely) injures one of their opponents or one of their teammates.

*Might involve a rival.

. . .

Researching

Sometimes, a student at the spellcasters school doesn’t feel that they’ve learned everything they want to learn. Instead, they turn to the school library, the laboratories, or the knowledge of their elders to expand their education, be it for personal gain or improved school standing.

Resources. The character must spend at least one school week of effort to perform research. In addition, a character might spend gold to gain improved access to forbidden knowledge, closed areas, or sealed lips.

Resolution. The character declares the focus of the research–a specific person, place, or thing. After one school week, the character makes an Intelligence check with a +1 bonus per 10gp spent, to a maximum of +6. If the character has access to a sage or special location with well-stocked books (such as those gained by exploring the school grounds or through making friends) gains advantage on this check. Determine how much lore a character learns using the Research Outcomes table.

Research Outcomes

Check Total Result
1 – 5 No effect.
6 – 10 The character learns one piece of lore.
11 – 20 The character learns two pieces of lore.
21 + The character learns three pieces of lore.

Each piece of lore is the equivalent of one true statement about a person, place, or thing. Examples include knowledge of how a particular rare potion works, the history of the headmaster, or what lives in the enchanted forests at the edge of the school grounds.

As a GM, you are the final arbiter concerning exactly what a character learns.

Complications. Of course, the greatest risk a researcher faces is uncovering false information. Not all lore is accurate or truthful, and any number of rivals from within or without the school may try to lead the character astray. The rival may plant false information, bribe sages to give poor advice, or steal key tomes or ingredients needed to find the truth.

Even a successful result can trigger a complication at the GM’s determination. The GM can choose a complication or roll on the Researching Complications table.

Researching Complications

d6 Complication
1
The character accidentally damages a rare book or causes an accident in a laboratory.
2
One of the faculty members grows suspicious of the character’s activities and starts to follow them.*
3
The character accidentally unlocks a curse, cause an irreversible condition, or some other malady.
4
The character attracts the attention of a strange or insane sage who tries to convince the character of a number of unusual theories.*
5
The character’s actions cause them to be banned from a library, laboratory, or another source of information until they can make reparations.*
6
The character uncovers useful lore, but only by promising to complete a favor–possibly even a dangerous one–in return.

*Might involve a rival.

. . .

Studying and Testing

Studying and testing is an important part of a character’s progress at the wizarding school. After all, testing is more than just answering the right questions on parchment. Testing involves demonstrating capabilities before faculty. Furthermore, a character’s studies play a huge hand in their testing; as such, the two are closely related. The more focus characters place on studying the better they perform.

Unless the GM decides otherwise, this school activity must be run at the end of each semester. Unlike other activities, studying and testing results are determined for each character even if a character does not allocate time to the activity. However, allocating time to studying greatly improves the chances for a favorable testing outcome.

Resolution. Percentile dice are rolled by a player for their character. The number of total days spent by the character on this activity are added to the roll. That total is then compared to the Studying and Testing table to determine what happens for the semester.

Studying and Testing

d100 + Days Result
01 – 59
The character completely tanks the semester. Their Standing score is reduced by 1, and they make their End of Semester check with disadvantage.
60 – 69
The character scrapes by during the semester. Their Standing score is reduced by 1.
70 – 79
The character passes all of their classes. Their Standing score does not change.
80 – 89
The character performs better than average in their classes. Their Standing score increases by 1.
90+
The character is at the top of their class during the semester. Their Standing score increases by 2, and they make their End of Semester check with advantage.

Complications. Even testing and studying can lead to complications. A result of 0-59 is its own complication. However, a successful result can also trigger a complication at the GM’s determination. The GM can choose a complication or roll on the Studying and Testing Complications table.

Studying and Testing Complications

d6 Complication
1
Others around the school resent the character’s test scores, either seeing the character as an overachiever or underachiever.
2
The character notices that some of the answers they got correct on their test were marked wrong. Bringing it to light could sour the character’s relationship with the character’s favorite teacher.
3
Studying and testing have left the character fatigued. Unless the character takes personal time as their next school activity, the character has disadvantage on the next die roll they make towards a school activity. If the activity involves more than one die roll (such as Participating in Sports), the character only has disadvantage on one of the die rolls.
4
One of the character’s allies or even another character is caught cheating from the character’s work. If the character doesn’t distance themselves from the culprit, the character’s Standing score could be affected.
5
The character is accused of cheating. The character’s Standing score is reduced by 2 until the character can prove otherwise.
6
A faculty member grows suspicious of the character’s test results.*

*Might involve a rival.

. . .

Taking Personal Time

School is hard work. Even the most diligent overachievers occasionally need a little “me” time to get themselves centered.

Resources. After spending at least one school week taking personal time, a character can make a DC 15 Standing saving throw. On a successful save, you gain advantage on the next die roll you make to perform a school activity with the exception of studying and testing. If a school activity check requires more than one die roll (such as participating in sports), you gain advantage only a single die roll.

Complications. Despite personal time being an important part of reducing stress during the school year, too much personal time might be frowned upon by a student’s peers and teachers. Even a successful result can trigger a complication at the GM’s determination. The GM can choose a complication or roll on the Taking Personal Time Complications table.

Taking Personal Time Complications

d6 Complication
1
The character falls behind on their studies; the character has a -5 penalty to their next Studying and Testing check.
2
Rumors are going around school about the reason for the character’s absence. The character’s Standing score is reduced by 1 until they can disprove the rumors.
3
Friends or family members outside of the school need the character to prolong their absence to help with tasks.
4
Something important happens while the character is out; some may even think that the character is responsible for what occurred.
5
While away, the character learns of a plot or threat to the school.*
6
One of the faculty members grows suspicious of the character’s absence.*

*Might involve a rival.

. . .

Working a Job

There are plenty of reasons why young wizards would work a job. Some just like having extra spending money. Plus, not all wizards are fortunate to earn scholarships or have noble families to pay for their studies. There are those who have to work to keep their spot at the school. The job might be outside of the school, or even within the school, working as a custodian or librarian’s assistant.

Resources. Working a job requires one school week of effort.

Resolution. To determine how much money the character earns, the character makes an ability check. The ability check that the character makes depends on the type of job that they have: Strength (Athletics), Dexterity (Acrobatics), Intelligence using a set of tools, Charisma (Performance), or Charisma using a musical instrument or the most common skills associated with jobs. The GM has the ultimate say in what sort of job the character is able to get and what skill is tied to the job. Consult the Income table to see how much money is generated according to the total of the check.

Income

Check Total Earnings
9 or lower
Not enough to cover an improved lifestyle and/or cover tuition for the semester.
10 – 14
You cover tuition and/or live a modest lifestyle for the next four weeks.
15 – 20
You cover tuition and/or live a comfortable lifestyle for the next four weeks.
21 +
You cover tuition and/or live a comfortable lifestyle for the next four weeks and earn an additional 25 gp.

Optional Rule: Working for Tuition. A character that is not fortunate enough to earn a free ride into the school may have to work to keep their spot. Each semester, a character that must work for their tuition must spend at least four school weeks working and roll 10 or better on each their checks in order to pay for their tuition for that semester. See the “Tuition” section for details.

Optional Rule: Finding a Job. Sometimes, finding a job isn’t easy, especially if the character lacks marketable skills or any real-world experience. As an optional rule, the first time a character selects the working a job activity, they must spend one school week applying for jobs before they can start earning wages. The character makes a Charisma (Persuasion) check. Consult the Finding a Job table to determine what job they find. If the character wishes to change jobs (or failed to land a job the first time around), the character must spend another school week looking for another job.

Finding a Job

Check Total Result
4 or lower The character is unable to find a job.
5 – 9
The character finds a job, but it doesn’t pay well. The GM decides what the job is and what skill is tied to the job. In addition, the character makes their working a job checks with disadvantage.
10 – 14
The character finds a job. It isn’t ideal, but it pays. The GM decides what the job is and what skill is tied to the job.
15 – 20
The character finds a job that fits with your skill set. The player decides what the job is and what skill is tied to the job’s checks (GM’s discretion).
21+
The character finds a job that fits perfectly with their skill set and pays well. The player decides what the job is and what skill is tied to the job (GM’s discretion). In addition, the character makes their working a job with advantage.

Complications. Ordinary work is rarely filled with significant complications. Regardless, even a successful result can trigger a complication at the GM’s determination. The GM can choose a complication or roll on the Working a Job Complications table.

Working a Job Complications

d6 Complication
1
A difficult customer or a fight with a coworker reduces the income the character earns by one category. If the character already rolled the lowest category, they are fired from the job.*
2
The employer’s financial difficulties result in the character not being paid.*
3
A coworker with ties to an important family in town takes a dislike to the character.*
4
The character is required to work overtime with no additional pay. The character must spend another school week working, or earn no income.
5
The character gains a reputation for laziness (unjustified or not, the GM’s choice), giving the character disadvantage on the checks made for this downtime activity for the next six workweeks they devote to it.
6
The people at the character’s school look down on the character for having a job; the character’s Make Friends activity checks are made with disadvantage for the remainder of the semester.

*Might involve a rival


To be continued…

This article is a preview for the content in BroadSword Monthly #1, due out in August. Learn more about BroadSword Monthly #1 (and get 10% off the price!)

Art by Wizards of the Coast.

One thought on “Evadimus’ School for Gifted Spellcasters | New Campaign Setting For Fifth Edition

  1. I had some cool non wizard character ideas for this

    A warlock with the Legacy background who had to cheat

    A fighter/rouge with the natural talent background that are told they have power but can’t use it(taking eldritch Knight or arcane trickster at 3rd level)

Leave a Reply to The accursed archive Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.