WFRP has College magic using the eight winds, and an array of spells to match. Whilst Imperial Wizards are very powerful in terms of game mechanics and have a body of lore which makes their in game presence substantial, they only represent a small percentage of potential magick in the wider setting. There are many other magicks, especially so practiced beyond the borders of the Empire. Whilst they would be an illegal heresy and are probably dangerous; they might be of interest to players as they expand the options a Witch or Wizard can have, and give other perspectives for roleplay beyond playing a law abiding College licensed Wizard.
Firstly we have the obvious types such as the many simple witchcrafts and several types of Chaos Sorcery in the core and expansion books, and the yet unformalised Skaven Magic, and Greenskin Magic which we know can be potent due to the warhammer war game. But there are other magicks in the lore
For example in Marienburg Baron Henryk’s College of Navigation and Sea Magicks teaches spells which sit outside the traditional Winds of Magic, and do not neatly fit within the eight winds. This could mean the Sea college is teaching chaos magic or breaking Teclis’ rules on magic (doubtful given it has the support of the Elves), or it only teaches magic to people of the right colour. So while anyone might study at the Sea College, their exposure to more than a single Wind of Magic seems doubtful but possible.
Some spells would be Arcane, learnable by any Wizard while others would be specific to a Wind, and the law of Heavens seems very apt for the sea college. Such a venue would also be a ripe story opportunity to break the “guideline/law” for humans only learning a single wind too. A little sneaky heresy makes the characters more interesting.
This suggests to me that the College’s eight winds are only one perspective on magic – like a cone viewed once from below as a circle, and again from the side as a triangle. Magick is viewed differently by each type of wind and probably works differently for each practitioner as well as each school.
With that preamble as explanation, here are a set of new spells suggested for Wizards and Heretics to use on the great oceans. My goal here is to offer some alternatives to the spells in the core WFRP book which might be taught in places like the College of Sea Magic to aspiring Wizards.
CN: 7, R: WP, T: Special, D: WPB Hours, Celestial
All naturally occurring winds and waves are calmed around the targeted ship or boat for the duration. Even events such as heavy storms and powerful waves are neutralised a few paces around the vessel, allowing the ship to survive in dangerous seas or be struck unable to travel except by oar.
Magically conjured waves and winds will still be effective against the ship however will be lessened by a significant degree, as storms becomes winds, and winds become a light breeze. This conflicting circumstance also creates additional magical instability in the area as the many competing spells mix together. Successfully cast Celestial spells within the area of effect gain +1 SL, and likewise any miscasts from all winds increase their roll of effect by +25.
This spell can only be used in the open oceans and large riverways or inlets.
(Inspiration from the Mannan miracle in the WFRP 4e core rule book (p.222) with some tweaks because the winds of magic are unfriendly to mortals, and the Priests of Mannan should hold true dominance over this style of effect. If you find the magical interaction side rule cumbersome or complex then just omit it.)
St Elmar’s Fire
CN: 4, R: Touch, T: Special, D: WPB Hours, Arcane
The targeted vessel is surrounded in a steady radiant light, which makes the vessel clearly discernible from a distance and all areas within the ship lit as if it were daytime on a cloudy day. The light has no heat and cannot set anything ablaze.
CN: 8, R: WP, T: WPB Miles, D: WP Minutes, Beastial
This spell calls to all oceanic creatures in the immediate vicinity, enticing them to travel to travel toward it. The degree to which local fish and creatures respond is variable to their intelligence and other prevailing conditions.
This will be especially dangerous in hostile oceans where monstrous sea creatures potentially dwell, although useful for calling schools of fish to feed hungry sailors.
CN: 4, R: WP Yards, T: Special, D: WPB Minutes, Beastial
The Wizard may change their point of visual and auditory perception to any bird within range, and change from bird to bird for the duration as they wish. While using this spell the Wizard cannot see or hear around them.
CN: 6, R: WP, T: Special, D: WPB Hours, Celestial
Sets of waves rises and flows in a direction controlled by the Wizard for the duration. These waves are all but impossible to swim against, and will significantly inhibit or assist the movement of a vessel.
The spell is only effective in waters where waves and swells can naturally occur.
Float as Wood, Sink as Stone
CN: 7, R: WP, T: 1, D: WPB Rounds, Arcane
The targeted person or object which must be no larger than a person, will either float well as if it is made from wood, or sink as if made from stone; subject to the caster’s desire. The spell does not change the actual weight of the thing affected, rather magically changes its buoyancy properties.
Swallowed by the Sea
CN: 9, R: WP Yards, T: WPB Yard Radius AoE, D: Instant, Celestial
The ocean momentarily swirls and drops around the area elected causing any people or ships to be enveloped by the ocean. Small vessels and swimmers are submerged and large vessels must succeed a hard piloting check to avoid being swamped.
CN: 7, R: WP, T: Special, D: WPB Hours, Arcane
The enchanted vessel will remain afloat even after suffering terrible damage which would normally render the craft unseaworthy. The vessel will only sink if disastrously ruined, such as broken into many pieces or burned to the waterline.
CN: 11, R: Sight, T: 1 Mile radius, D: WP Minutes, Celestial
The sky immediately darkens as storm clouds gather quickly forming in minutes, and soon after a storm breaks over the chosen object or vessel. At the storm’s edges strong winds and rain wash over all in its path, while at the epicentre the full wrath of the storm invokes lightning strikes, damaging winds, and flooding rain. Ramshackle buildings will be damaged and unprepared travellers will suffer exposure when caught in the storm.
CN: 5, R: WP Yards, T: 1, D: WP Minutes, Arcane
The target gains gills running along their neck, allowing breathing underwater in both fresh and salt water.
Aside – all the spells here random devising and haven’t been play-tested. You may well find that the CNs need to change, or the effect ranges or durations and such too. They’re just ideas.