When we first took our stab at Vitae for Project Arcana, it was called Necromancy and it was a mess. But that’s okay, because we fixed it.
The primary change we made to the school was to rename it to Vitae. This, we feel, made more sense for what the school was supposed to be: the magic of life. Even under WotC’s paradigm, the school did a fair amount more than just dealing with the undead. Here’s our description:
Vitae These spells manipulate the energies of life, death, and the soul. Such spells can heal wounds, inflict disease, stave off death, or even bring the dead back to life.
Vivacity spells are those that directly affect the very essences of life itself. This form includes healing and necrotic damage as well as diseases.
Spirituality spells are those that affect the soul and its connection to the body. This form includes projecting into the astral plane, severing the soul from the body, and bestowing curses.
Necromancy spells are those that deal directly with death. This form includes resurrecting the dead and creating undead.
As we pointed out, this is not a school of evil evil evil, but a school which explores the mysteries of life.
|Animate Dead||Astral Projection||Aid (*Abjuration)|
|Chill Touch||Bestow Curse||Antilife Shell (*Abjuration)|
|Create Undead||Clone||Aura of Life (*Abjuration)|
|Death Ward (*Abjuration)||Hex (*Enchantment)||Aura of Vitality (*Evocation)|
|Feign Death||Magic Jar||Blight|
|Finger of Death||Warding Bond (*Abjuration)||Circle of death|
|Raise Dead||Cure Wounds (*Evocation)|
|Resurrection||Greater Restoration (*Abjuration)|
|Simulacrum* (*Illusion)||Heal (*Evocation)|
|Spare the Dying||Healing Word (*Evocation)|
|Speak with Dead||Inflict Wounds|
|True Resurrection||Lesser Restoration (*Evocation)|
|Mass Cure Wounds (*Evocation)|
|Mass Heal (*Evocation)|
|Mass Healing Word (*Evocation)|
|Power Word: Heal (*Evocation)|
Spells Removed from Vitae
Blindness/Deafness I moved this to Enchantment under Internal Interference, though I can easily see an argument for Transmutation or maybe even Illusion. Regardless, definitely not Vitae
Eyebite Okay, I’m not sure why this ended up in this school in the first place, except someone was thinking “eh, it’s evil and whatnot.” This spell does three things: put a target to sleep, instill a panic, or “sicken” (which is just a lack of confidence here). Those are all various Enchantment effects.
Spells Added to Vitae
Cure Wounds, Healing Word, etc. All healing spells are now Vitae, as they should be. This includes Power Word: Heal and Regeneration (though I could conceivably see an argument for Transmutation on the latter).
Aid Mostly an HP boost, so that’s Vivacity.
Aura of Life/Vivacity These are clearly health-related, so they’re here.
Beacon of Hope The advantage on Wisdom saves aside, this spell affects death saving throws and how much heals help you. That’s 2/3 Vitae right there.
Death Ward Sigh, Vitae, of course.
Greater/Lesser Restoration These spells are doing a fair amount, but the only real pinpoint effect in them that I can find is the disease and curse removal. They’re here for now, but if they don’t stay here it’s because they were moved to Divinus.
Hex So obviously Vitae, it’s painful.
Antilife Shell So, here we have a region which disallows life from entering it. Pretty strong Neutrum/Vitae mix there.
Reincarnate Transmutation? WTF?
Suggested New Spells
6th-level Vitae (Spirituality)
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Duration: 8 hours
The caster’s soul immediately swaps with that of a willing or incapacitated creature with intelligence 3 or greater. The physical stats of the caster and target assume that of their new bodies, but their mental stats remain the same. Any physical conditions (such as incapacitated) remain in effect on the body. If either body is killed before this spell finishes, there is a 5% chance per caster level that the spell’s effect becomes permanent. Otherwise, the souls swap back just before death. This spell may be recast to extend its duration without interruption.
1st-level Vitae (Necromancy)
Casting Time: 10 minutes (ritual)
Range: 30 ft
This spell can imbue a tiny or smaller beast with a flawed facsimile of life. When first cast, the beast seems to regain life as if the result of a True Resurrection. However, the beast steadily deteriorates as the days pass. While the beast is, at first, friendly to the caster, there is a cumulative 15% chance every 24 hours that the beast will turn feral and attack anything living. Once feral, the beast loses any semblance of normalcy and becomes an obviously decaying undead creature.
At higher levels: You may double the targets of this spell for each level beyond the 1st.
Symbol of Death
6th-level Vitae (Vivacity)
Casting Time: 1 minute
Duration: Until dispelled
This spell works as Symbol under Enchantment, but only for the Death option.
So, on this last one, we wanted to show how we would split up spells that problematically fit into two separate schools. Here we’ve lost a good deal of the flexibility of Symbol, so we dropped it by a spell level, but it’s the only way that Vitae can perform Symbol.
And that’s Vitae all tied up. This so going pretty well, so we hope you’re enjoying it. Let us know if we missed anything!