Adapting spells and magic

Here's where things can get somewhat difficult. Like the rest of CD10, the magic system is designed for somewhat modest, down-to-earth and folklore-ish magic. This can, but doesn't necessarily have to, mean that the magic systems from other games are utterly incompatible with CD10.

The anatomy of magic

I assume you've already read through CD10 Core: Magic Ability so you have a grasp of how magic is meant to work in a CD10 setting and game. Many spells are little more than different flavors of damage spells, something akin to wizards and spellcasters being the equivalent of a medieval/fantasy field-artillery piece, meant to dole out damage to groups of enemies from a distance.

The core issue here is that CD10 concerns itself rather little with "damage" as a resource, so a spellcaster who's only utility is to be long-ranged sword (or bow, for that matter) quickly starts looking way less interesting in a system like CD10.

How to adapt magic properly

As a Keeper wanting to adapt a setting to CD10, a setting that has a fantastical, epic magic system, may have to be creative in coming up with how the magic can interact with the system. Straight damage numbers will be little more than a long-ranged weapons. So think more about what additional features magic could have.

CD10's two official settings utilize vastly different magic flavors by focusing on magical utility moreso than damage numbers. Since CD10 also views spellcasting as just another set of skills, there are no strict classes that are limited to using magic.

No wizards?

Now now, don't panic! There are of course ways to limit magic from being picked up by just anyone. In your world setting, magic can be restricted by law, by social class, by specific genes (species traits, if you will), by eduction and knowledge and many, many different ways.

I'm not saying there are no "wizard schools", I'm saying that there is no wizard class. A "spellcaster" in CD10 is not someone who has four hitpoints, dies to a stiff breeze and doles out damage numbers that are off the charts, but can't lift a sword to save their own life.

A spellcaster in CD10 should be someone who has either devoted their life to magic and has an enormous knowledge of magic and a variety of utility spells to use, or someone who has supplemented their other skills with a few, choice spells. Think less of spellcasters as a class of their own and more like another tool in the adventurer's tool box.

Adapting specific spells

When it comes to individual spells, you as the Keeper adapting this magic system to CD10 have to make some hard decisions on if you want to include the spell or not if it doesn't "conform" to the restrictions built into CD10's system. Pure damage spells should, in general, be avoided. I'm not saying you have to, but having twenty different varieties of <element>-ball (Fireball, Iceball etc) is not going to add any variety to a system that has a single damage type reserved for magic (being ). Instead, think of how to incorporated them all into a single spell and then have the shape, sound and look be a flavor thing, but keep the same stats.

When it comes to utility spells its less about deciding whether it should be included at all and more about how to adapt its specific functionality into CD10. Here you can get quite creative, since the spells of CD10 are purely narrative in description and you can be very flexible with duration, effect and what exactly they do.


When adapting magic, it's a great idea to browse through the spell statblock list here on WorldAnvil. There are great ideas in there created by other Keepers (and me).

Cover image: CD10 Banner by Mizomei


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