My favorite thing about Monte Cook’s Arcana Unearthed rules, is the magic system. It’s a magic system that makes a lot of sense and is a huge improvement over the traditional D&D 3.x magic system with it’s separation of Arcane versus Divine magic, separate spell lists, etc. In the Arcana Unearthed system, magic is magic. There is not a separation between arcane and divine magic. It’s all magic and it comes from the same well.
Instead Arcana Unearthed has a the traditional D&D Spell Levels, with each spell assigned to a Spell Level. What Monte Cook does to give more advanced magic classes a more advanced “spell list” is instead to have spells sorted into simple spells, complex spells, and exotic spells. A Mage Blade (which is as close as Arcana Unearthed gets to a cleric) has access to all simple first level spells, whereas a Magister (Arcana Unearthed’s version of a Wizard or Sorcerer) has access to all simple and complex spells of the same level.
For multiclassing, you simply add all the spells that you can cast at a given spell level and gain access to all spells of that spell level that any of your classes would give you. Thus, if a Mage Blade took one level of Magister, he’d have access to all complex spells of first level, even for his Mage Blade “slots.” I love this concept, but I feel it doesn’t go far enough. You see, the martial classes add to each other rather nicely. If you had a level 20 character who had taken five levels of each of Fighter, Barbarian, Ranger and Rogue, you’d still end up with a pretty decent 20th level fighter. Granted, he may not be the best optimized “build” for a 20th level martial character, but he’s still be able to bring the pain in a combat. Continue reading A More Unified Magic System for Arcana Unearthed