Back to Heroes

You can choose to make any Human Hero you create a Wizard, and certain other races as well. This means that your Hero can cast spells from a single Spell List chosen at the time of character creation. (The options will vary depending upon your Hero's race.) Upon creation, a Wizard knows the four basic spells of a single Spell List, and starts with four free components which may be distributed amongst these four spells. (e.g., the Wizard could pick one component for each spell, four components all for one spell, or distribute them in some other way.)

Wizards have certain restrictions that apply:

  • Subtract 1 from the Wizard's starting Strength.
  • The Wizard may not wear armor or carry a shield.
  • The Wizard may use any hand-to-hand weapon, but may not use bows, crossbows or pistols.
  • There are also certain special rules that apply to a Wizard character based on his or her race.

    Human Wizard
    The basic rules for Wizards apply to Human Wizards. A Human Wizard may choose one Color College: Light, Celestial, Jade, Gold, Grey, Amethyst, Bright, or Amber.

    Dwarf Wizard
    Dwarves are not as magically inclined as Humans, and suffer restrictions in their spellcasting. Every time a Dwarf casts a spell, whether or not it normally needs an Intelligence test, the Dwarf must roll equal to or under his Intelligence or the spell fails and the components are wasted. If the spell does normally require an Intelligence test, the Dwarf Wizard must take two tests and pass both successfully to be able to cast the spell.

    Furthermore, Dwarves are slow learners of magic, and must pay twice the normal tuition for learning new spells.

    A Dwarf Wizard starts off knowing only two of the basic spells from any one of the Color Colleges.

    Elf Wizard
    An Elf Wizard's profile is slightly different from that of a normal Elf, to reflect the large amount of time he has spent studying the arcane arts. These modifiers are in addition to those already specified on the Hero Creation Table.

  • Increase the Elf Wizard's Intelligence by +1.
  • Decrease the Elf Wizard's Strength by -2, instead of the normal -1 for Wizards.
  • An Elf Wizard starts off knowing four basic spells, and four components.

    The spell book that may be chosen is restricted based upon the Elf's sub-race: Wood Elf, High Elf, or Dark Elf.

    A High Elf Wizard may choose as his spell book any one of the Color Colleges, or else High Magic. If he chooses High Magic, he may also learn spells of the Color Colleges, but at twice the cost to learn, and he must pass an Intelligence test to cast those spells, in the same way as a Dwarf.

    Wood Elves have a diminished understanding of the powers of magic. Though some of their most powerful mages practice High Magic, this is beyond the hope of adventuring Wood Elf Wizards. Wood Elf Wizards may only choose the Jade or Amber College.

    Dark Elf Wizards may select any one of the Color Colleges, or, if your GM is allowing Chaotic characters, Dark Magic.

    High Elf Ranger
    A Warrior-Wizard profession known as the
    Ranger is also available to High Elves, as a student of both the ways of combat and magic, though a master at neither.

    Halfling Wizard
    Halfling Wizards have the same abilities and restrictions as Dwarf Wizards.

    Skaven Wizard
    Skaven of Clan Skryre have the ability to learn magic. A Skaven Wizard may select one Color College spell book, or else -- if your GM is allowing Chaotic characters in the party -- your Hero may learn spells from the
    Grey Seer Spell Book instead. The Skaven Wizard starts with four basic spells and four components. Additional spells from the Grey Seer Spell Book all cost 250 gold crowns to learn. A Skaven Wizard may not learn spells specifically restricted to Grey Seers. As with other Wizards, Skaven Wizards have -1 to starting Strength.

    Grey Seer Grey Seer
    There are a few amongst the Skaven chosen for greatness. They are distinguished by being born with grey fur. They are inducted into Clan Skryre, and those found worthy are inducted into the order of the Grey Seers. Grey Seers may learn spells from the Grey Seer Spell Book, and are unrestricted in which ones they may ultimately learn. Instead of starting with -1 to Strength, Grey Seer characters start with -2 to Strength, but get +1 to Intelligence.

    Color Colleges
    Mastery of all of the applications of magic is well beyond the ability of such short-lived mortals as humans and Halflings, or those so poorly attuned to magic as Dwarves. Only the High Elves have managed to master the arts of High Magic, and even they only are able to learn a portion of it -- save for those bookish few that devote their entire lives to the study of magic, and therefore never set foot out to do something so distracting as to go adventuring.

    When the High Elves of Ulthuan taught the arts of proper magic to the hedge wizards of the Empire, they divided them up into the eight Winds of Magic, so that a human spellcaster might focus on a single aspect, rather than fruitlessly pursuing all at once, and dying barely able to cast a worthwhile cantrip. Following the traditions of these first instructors, the Emperor commissioned the Colleges of Magic to be constructed as centers of arcane instruction in the city of Altdorf. Each College has associated with it a different symbolic "color" of magic that figures prominently in the robes of its adherents, thus these institutions are referred to as the "Color Colleges" -- at least when distinguishing them from the ways of the High Elves.

    Of these eight colleges, there are the following:

  • Light
  • Gold
  • Jade
  • Celestial
  • Grey
  • Amethyst
  • Bright
  • Amber
  • In addition, there is the "pseudo-college" of Ice Magic, practiced only by the Ice Wizards of Kislev.

    Light Wizard Light
    The rune for the College of Light is known as Hysh, the Serpent of Light, which is associated with the northern wind -- which blows directly against the forces of Chaos. Practitioners of this College of Magic are seen as priests rather than wizards. Their tradition has its deepest roots in the lands of Araby, and their costumes are accordingly influenced by the apparel of the priesthood of ancient times from these lands. Pyramids are of sacred importance to the Priesthood of Hysh, and serpents are often depicted on their jewelry and staves.

    Light Wizards (Priests) may select spells from the Light Spell List, which is printed in the Terror in the Dark supplement for Advanced HeroQuest. These spells are largely concerned with healing and fighting the undead, though Battle Magic from the College of Light often unleashes the devastating power of the earth to create mighty earthquakes underneath the foe.

    Gold Wizard Gold
    The rune for the College of Gold is the Golden Hawk, which is associated with the northeastern wind. This is the College of Alchemy, and thus its practitioners are known as alchemists -- makers of potions, and seekers of the legendary elixir that will bring immortality to the imbiber, or turn lead to gold.

    Adventuring Alchemists typically do not have the time or resources to make potions at will, but their command of magic is such that they can call forth magical powers associated with their area of focus. Thus, Golden Wizards may use spells from the Golden Wizard's Spell Book.

    In addition, Golden Wizards have the Special Skill of Alchemy.

    Jade Wizard Jade
    The rune of the Jade College is a series of concentric circles crossed by a line pointing to the right -- or the east -- which is referred to as the "Scythe of Life", but which is also seen as representing the stone circles sacred to this college. Jade Wizards are also known as Druids, and are focused upon the forces of life and decay in nature.

    Spells for the Jade College are detailed in an issue of White Dwarf Magazine, but I have included a modified version of the Jade Wizard's Spell Book for use with my house rules.

    In addition, the following special house rules apply for Jade Wizards:

  • Identify Plants. As Druids, they may spend a turn to identify any plant encountered.
  • Survival. Druids have this Special Skill.
  • Barefoot. As a religious matter, Druids keep their feet in contact with the life-bearing earth at all times -- or as close to it as they can manage. Toward this end, they go barefoot, or wear only sandals at the most on their feet.
  • Celestial Wizard Celestial
    The Celestial College, whose members wear robes of blue to symbolize the starry night sky, is associated with the southeast wind, and its rune is the Comet, a sign of omens. Celestial Wizards are Seers and Astrologers, watching the skies from their towers; they believe that the Winds of Magic distort the appearance of the stars, and that by noting these distortions, they may gain insights into the future.

    Celestial Wizards may select their spells from the Celestial Wizard's Spell Book.

    Grey Wizard Grey
    The Grey College, whose members typically wear robes of steel grey, are perhaps those most associated with the title of "wizard". Their rune is that of the south wind, and symbolizes the Sword of Judgement. Grey Wizards are renowned for their piercing wisdom, and their wanderlust -- They generally move from place to place, gathering new knowledge, and imparting wisdom as they go. Their spells concern the control of the weather and the wandering southern wind, as well as magical insights and manifestations of the "Sword of Judgement".

    Grey Wizards may select their spells from the Grey Wizard's Spell Book.

    Amethyst Wizard Amethyst
    The Amethyst College is one shrouded in mystery and a certain amount of dread, as their vaulted halls are dark and crypt-like, jealously guarding their secrets. Amethyst Wizards, who typically dress in cowled robes of dark purple, are masters of the mind and the power of emotion, though their demeanors might come across as severe and emotionless by sharp contrast. The rune of the Amethyst College is the scythe, which is associated with the southwestern wind -- and Amethyst Wizards typically carry ceremonial scythes as their weapons of choice, and heavy books filled with arcana.

    Spells of the Amethyst College are detailed in an issue of White Dwarf Magazine, but I have included a modified version of the Amethyst Wizard's Spell Book for use with my house rules.

    Bright Wizard Bright
    The Bright College is one of the most powerful and versatile Colleges of Magic. Its rune is the Key of Knowledge, and is associated with the hot western wind. Bright Mages are known as Fire Mages, even if their spells go well beyond the raw destructive powers of flame, and they typically dress in robes of bright red, adorned with ornamental keys and locks symbolizing their pursuit of the secrets of magic.

    Spells of the Bright College are detailed in the basic rules for Advanced HeroQuest.

    Amber Wizard Amber
    The rune of the Amber College is the Spear, and is associated with the northwestern wind. Wizards of Amber are shamans, and the color most associated with them is orange or amber, though they quite often dress in furs and leathers, adorned in trappings made from claws and teeth of wild animals. Amber Wizards are very reclusive, rarely venturing to deal with mankind (or Elves or Dwarves or anyone else for that matter), as they focus upon the powers of the wild and that of beasts.

    Amber Wizards may select spells from the Amber Wizard's Spell Book. The traditional weapon of Amber Wizards is the spear, but this is by no means a requirement.

    In addition, Amber Wizards have the Special Skill of Survival.

    Ice Magic
    Though it is not formally recognized by the practitioners of the Colleges of Magic, there has arisen a splinter "college" of magic practiced by magically-gifted individuals from the frigid northern wastelands of Kislev. (Indeed, the Ice Queen of Kislev herself is a noted practitioner of this brand of magic.) For all intents and purposes, this is another "Color College" of magic, though it is one that is only practiced by humans from the realms of Kislev, since they are the only ones who have discovered and kept this practice.

    Ice Wizards have no special abilities or restrictions beyond those already applicable to Wizards in general, but they alone may use spells from the Ice Wizard's Spell Book. The emblem of Ice Magic is the snowflake.

    High Magic
    A true High Mage would be able to cast spells of all the Color Colleges, as well as to combine their powers into even more potent spells. In a sense, High Magic as practiced by adventuring mages is a slightly "watered-down" version of the full potential of magic, as made necessary by the distractions posed by questing -- rather than spending decades or even centuries studying in the ivory towers of the Elves.

    Only High Elves may practice High Magic. A High Wizard may use the High Wizard's Spell Book. In addition, a High Wizard may learn spells from any of the Color Colleges, but at double tuition, and must pass an Intelligence test to cast any of the Color College spells. (If the spell already requires an Intelligence test, then two successful rolls are required to cast the spell.)

    Servants of Chaos have a number of different "colleges" of magic to choose from. These are not available to Heroes, unless the GM makes special allowances -- After all, many of the spells defined for use by monsters really aren't made with Hero usage in mind, and don't have rules to adequately cover the many possible uses and abuses. (For instance, the spell "Choke" probably shouldn't be of much use against the Undead.)

    Sorceress Dark Magic
    Dark Magic is the creation of the Dark Elves, as a twisted counter to the High Magic of the High Elves. The "Dark Magic" spells listed in Advanced HeroQuest (and used by several spellcasting monsters) has been incorporated into the expanded Grey Seer Spell Book. A separate list of spells has been created for Dark Magic, to incorporate various Dark Magic spells from Warhammer Fantasy Battles, 4th Edition.

    Necromancy is the Dark Art of magically animating and empowering the dead. In the tradition of the Dark Magic spell deck from Warhammer Fantasy Battles, 4th Edition, the Necromancy spells from Terror in the Dark have been incorporated into the expanded
    Dark Magic Spell Book.

    Grey Seer Spells
    The Skaven race has its own Chaos Deity, the Horned Rat, and warlocks amongst the Skaven claim to draw their power from this entity of the Warp. They have their own brand of magic, as documented in the Grey Seer Spell Book.

    Sorcerer Chaos Sorcerers
    Chaos Sorcerers invoke their powers from one of the three major Chaos Gods that actually provide spells for their followers. (Khorne does not condone sorcery, but prefers raw martial might.) Depending upon their patronage, Chaos Sorcerers may either use the Nurgle Spell Book, the Tzeentch Spell Book, or the Slaanesh Spell Book.

    Chaos Beastmen Shamans
    Chaos Beastman Shamans may freely choose spells from the spell books of Nurgle, Tzeentch, or Slaanesh.

    The Waaagh!
    Orc and Goblin Shamans cast "spells" drawn from a power known as the "Waaagh!", which is drawn not from Chaos Gods or the Winds of Magic, but rather from the psychic energies of the "collective orcishness" of a large horde of Orcs and their kin. As such, Waaagh magic is dependent upon large gatherings of Orcs -- a lone Orc Shaman cannot conjure up spells, no matter how fervently he pleads to the two Orc deities of Mork and Gork. Although Mork and Gork are not actual creatures of the Warp or entities in any meaningful sense, manifestations of Orc magic typically result in "appearances" by these abstractly formed deities -- For example, one particularly potent Orc spell involves a giant green foot descending from the clouds to turn the Orc's enemies into "splutchy pancakes".

    Only Orcs and Goblins, incidentally, may be Orc Shamans, and thus be able to make use of the Waaagh. They use spells from the Waaagh! Spell Book.

    Games Workshop Logo
    HeroQuest, Advanced HeroQuest, Warhammer Quest, Warhammer Fantasy Battle, The Old World, Tzeentch, Slaanesh, Nurgle, Khorne, Daemonette, and Skaven are trademarks of Games Workshop UK, and their use here does not constitute a challenge to trademark status. This is not an official site, and the contents of this site should not be considered indicative of the quality of Games Workshop products. All miniatures shown are products of Citadel Miniatures, unless stated otherwise. With the exception of the "Advanced HeroQuest" logo, and except where otherwise noted, all artwork and all articles on this page are (c) by T. Jordan "Greywolf" Peacock.