Magic is fun, magic is awesome, but I kinda wanna do something very specific with it now that I'm going to DM. I've got a very strong image of how magic is in the world I want to implement it in since I'm aiming to make a magic system that stems from a very well defined meta-physics. I need to do some comparing to make sure that I don't accidentally nerf my magic classes.

  1. My main question is a reference request: **I wanted to know if there were any good examples of spell systems in a low-fantasy D&D setting I could be recommended. **

Further Clarifications:

The following is more to clarify why this is a bit different from other questions and to help give you guys a bit of an idea of what I mean by low-fantasy magic:

I'm not interested in a world that has little magic, in fact this is a world teeming with magic and all sorts of people, creatures, and possibly automata have "magical abilities". I want to create a world teeming with magic but just very internally consistent and physically grounded. I have the style down but just want to see spells in other worlds to work on designing the mechanics

The magic system in many ways is stylistically bending in the Avatar-verse (you work with what is there and manipulate it) but more diverse and borrows some ideas from sci-fi and my physics background. It's pretty secular (no demonic/angelic elements) and revival is not intended, though it's a world that is prolific in biological wonders so restoration+healing abilities/mutations/a limited form of shape-shifting do all exist. Combat wise traps and combining spells + items are going to be encouraged for the vanilla caster classes. All together, magic is somewhat weaker but a lot more flexible in combat, while not manifesting the uber haxxer-ness reality warping it can often lead to.

I have 3 months before I start up this game so time to develop it isn't an issue. My players are intelligent and scientifically literate, inquisitive folks who have some experience with D&D but not enough that they are strongly attached to the pre-existing magic system yet. The primary goal is to make sure I make each class fun to play and comparably viable.

EDIT:I'll add an example of the type of answer I am kind of hoping for (Reference and quick suggestion of relevance).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you looking at creating an entirely new magic-system for a new game, or just trying to adapt the magic system for an existing system? \$\endgroup\$ – Nyoze Sep 18 '15 at 9:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Would you get what you wanted if you re-labeled all divine/angelic/demonic magical sources as psionics? That seems to address about 80% of what you are looking for. The eight schools of magic already there for a wizard embody the principles of similarity that underwrite a "physics" based magic system. You may also be playing the wrong game. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Sep 19 '15 at 0:32

A simple and streamlined version of the D&D spell mechanics (EDIT: actually they use D20) can be observed the single player RPG games Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic (and it's sequel The Sith Lords). Here spells are replaced with force powers, which all have an associated cost with them (Force points). Here most spells are physically driven, and while the star wars worlds magic is fantastical the actual powers tend to be physically reasonable and less prone to high fantasy tropes (demons and angels, necromancy, though there is the inexplicable healing). All force powers are saving throw based.

Any Jedi class can learn almost any force power, though depending on the class learns a special force ability that is unavailable to other classes. A bonus is conferred for ailment mastery. Some force powers have armor restrictions, have penalties imposed if activated from an opposing alignment, and can deliver different damage types/status ailments. There are attack, passive, and support force powers.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This doesn't really answer your question at all, it's mostly just an example of what you'd like. And the examples you link aren't even a sourcebook, it's a videogame. \$\endgroup\$ – Theik Sep 18 '15 at 11:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ My question is literally a reference request though (which is pretty standard format on all the 10 other SE sites I've used). I am asking people what D&D campaigns they've seen that pull off a different magic system and I provided a lot of extra clarification at the end to say this is along the lines of things I am looking for. If I had a sourcebook to recommend I would, were it not for the fact I might not have asked this question in the first place. \$\endgroup\$ – Skyler Sep 18 '15 at 11:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ We don't host requests to build lists of things, based on general SE principles of what is on topic for a Stack. Regardless of whether some other Stacks obey that network-wide content rule or not, we do. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Sep 18 '15 at 17:33

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