Limitations on Magic in Talislanta's New Age
Although the Arcane Energies of the Omniverse can theoretically be bent to any task, many of the greatest magical accomplishments of the Archaens have been lost in the sands of time. New Age magicians do indeed wield cogent and versatile powers, but the heights of Archaen magic elude them. and there is much their lesser grasp of magic denies them.
Modern magic cannot accomplish any of the following effects, and modern practitioners of the arts arcane would pay much for Archaen spells displaying such lost effects.
Note: these limits apply only to sorcerer and wizard spells, not clerical magic.
New Age magicians cannot summon or control Talislanta's capricious weather, although some spells can duplicate the effects of certain types of weather.
Modern Talislantan magics cannot create life, be it existing creatures, or newly conceived lifeforms. Living creatures can be summoned from elsewhere, but not conjured out of nothingness.
New Age magics cannot be used to merge or amalgamate two or more things, be they living things or inanimate objects.
Spellcasters of the modern era may not make anything, living or otherwise, completely intangible, nor may they use magics to perform such tricks as "walking through walls".
Current-day magicians have no magical means of visiting other planes of existence, such as the deliberate creation of rifts or portals. Accidentally created rifts and portals have been known, however, usually as the result of magical mishaps.
Instantaneous travel between two points is impossible with modern magics.
It is impossible for modern magicians to manipulate or travel through time.
Although modern magicians may assume a wide variety of forms, they cannot assume the forms of extra-dimensional entities, such as demons, devils, elementals, spirits, and so on.
Talislanta is a magical post-apocalytic setting. The great magical civilization of the Archaens blew itself to pieces a thousand years or so ago, and since then people have been trying to reconstruct their lost magical knowledge. That is not to say, however, that Talislanta is lacking in magic. Far from it! Talislanta is currently experiencing something of a magical renaissance as explorers and adventurers continually uncover lost secrets of the past while mages and researchers develop new magics of their own.
Schools of Magic
D&D breaks magic spells into eight schools: abjuration, conjuration, divination, enchantment, evocation, illusion, necromancy, and transmutation. Things work a bit differently in Talislanta.
Sorcerers in Talislanta are limited to a single school of magic. Wizards, however, have more options. They begin with access to one school of magic. The largest and most common school is Wizardry, which contains the largest collection of spells known. However, just because a school has a smaller number of spells does not make it less powerful, as anyone who has faced a pyromancer in battle will attest to.
Mages can learn gain access to an additional school of magic by taking the Magic Field feat. Note that some schools may be difficult to learn or carry a social stigma. Thaumatury is the exclusive province of the Dracatrans, and anyone known to practice Necromancy is going to be regarded with suspicion.
A wizard (but not sorcerer) who limits himself to a single school of magic is considered a specialist, as per page 54 of the PH. He gains the ability to cast an additional spell per level per day and he has a +2 bonus to spellcraft checks related to his school (including learning new spells). If the wizard takes the Magic Field feat to learn another school of magic, he automatically loses his specialization bonuses.
Schools of Magic
Specialized Spell Lists