The OpenQuest Companion, cover by Jon Hodgson

This is a preview straight from the pages of the OpenQuest Companion, which is due for release in early summer but is available to pre-order with the main rulebook as a free pdf/at cost POD book.

This chapter contains a simplified magic system that developed out of the need to have quick magic for games of OpenQuest that did not require the same level of magic point counting, ranking of casters, and tracking of long-term relationships between the characters and their teachers. It grew out of convention games but is also useful for games where magic is less of a focus, and the players want a simpler, more straightforward system.

How this System was Developed

I took the spells from the Three Magic Systems of core OpenQuest and applied the following changes.

  1. Removed magic point costs. This system does not use Magic points. In quick convention games, I found the players were not counting them, and it was a barrier to the flow of play.
  2. A Magic Casting skill determines casting success. Every time the spell is cast, you must make a Magic Casting skill. If it is fumbled, the character loses the ability to cast the spell for the rest of the session.
  3. Spells limited by availability. If you need to limit which spells are available to characters, there is an availability trait. Beginning characters can only learn Common spells. The obvious benefit of joining a religion or magical society is that you can learn spells they teach with the Taught availability. Secret spells can only be learnt through Questing or a high-ranking member of a religion/magical society.
  4. Based on the Personal Magic spell list as a start and added spells that are not duplicated from the Divine Magic and Sorcery lists.
  5. Variable trait removed. Where a spell had the variable trait, I have made it a fixed effect or added a dice roll to work out how powerful the spell is when cast.
  6. No summoning spells. Spells that Summon Other World creatures have been removed.
  7. More complex spells removed. Spells that outside of the simple parameters of the system have not been included.
  8. Suggested critical and fumble effects have been added. This is intended to help beginning Referees and players.
  9. Same names. As the spells have the same name as their Three Magic System counterpart.

Here are two classic spells, as they appear in the One Magic System.


Instant, Touch

Each casting of this spell allows the caster to restore 2D6 hit points to damage themselves or another target.

A casting of Heal, which restores 6 or higher, will also re-attach a severed limb if cast within ten rounds of the loss.

A casting of Heal, which restores 4 or higher, will also cure any single poison or disease affecting the target.

Healing can only be attempted once per day per wound. If one character has already cast a spell on a particular wound, then additional healing must come from another character.

This spell can not be used to bring characters who are dead back to life.

  • Critical: 12 hit points are restored immediately.
  • Fumble: Spell backfires and causes 2d6 hit points of damage to the caster.

Weapon Enhance


When this spell is cast on any close combat weapon, it increases its damage dice type by one (so, for example, a Dagger’s damage goes from 1D4+1 to 1D6+1) for the duration of this spell and adds +20% to the character’s Close Combat skill when using the enhanced weapon. The weapon’s damage is magical and will affect creatures that can only be hurt by magic. This spell cannot be used with Fireblade.

  • Critical: Any hit by the weapon is considered a critical for the duration of the spell.
  • Fumble: The weapon is dulled for the spell’s duration by one damage dice type (doing a minimum of 1 point of damage).