In order to elevate their standing within S'shamath many of its citizens and established inhabitants (not slaves) take up wizardry and enroll themselves in a school of magic of their choosing. Generally players may do the same and can roleplay such membership. However, players may not claim a particular title or position within a school of mages without possessing the required levels and classes. These are outlined below.
Players may roleplay possessing the following positions: (No practiced caster bonus)
- Archmage [of xyz school] - If the character has 20 wizard casterlevels and has atleast one archmage level.
- Mage [of xyz school] - If the character has 15 wizard casterlevels or higher.
- Wizard [of xyz school] - If the character character has 10 wizard casterlevels or more.
- Sorcerer [of xyz school] - If the character character has 10 sorcercer casterlevels or more.
- Bard [of xyz school] - If the character character has 10 bard casterlevels or more.
- Apprentice [of xyz school] - If the character is a level 5 wizard, bard, sorcerer, or higher.
- Student [of xyz school] - If the character is a level 1 wizard, sorcerer, or higher. Bards must have a level in either the wizard or sorcerer classes to enroll.
Being associated with a School of Magic does not require joining a player run guild. If there is a player guild for the chosen School of Magic then members of that group should be assumed to carry more collective clout within the school than an individual member of the same rank as a guild member. However, contrary to normal guilds for NPC factions higher ranking characters always carry more authority than lower ranks so that a student organisation cannot gainsay an apprentice or archmage on matters relating to the school.
The influence of player guilds within a school is proportional to the total number of members and their rankings. The first-or-primary player guild for an NPC faction is always considered entitled to the highest degree of influence in the faction (within reason). Other player guilds (for the same faction) are restricted to minimal degrees of influence and rank. This permits other players to roleplay a low degree of association with an NPC faction without upsetting the associated primary-player-guild. Lesser guilds for the same NPC faction are not DM supported, and they must show deference to the primary-player-guild.
Membership in a School of Magic entails the responsibility to act professionally and contribute to the development of the Art. It is expected that any member monitors his contact with associates of other Schools. Granting unsanctioned aid to another school of magic is grounds for expulsion. For example for leaking secret knowledge, or for aiding another school politically without prior approval.
When membership is claimed it is expected the player will roleplay his new station consistently and deliberately. If any concerns arise regarding the quality of roleplay or sudden disassociation with the school then a fine may be levied, or the payment of late tuition money required. The total sum is always at a Dungeon Master's discretion. Other measures are also possible, for example ostracism and even assassination, for members betraying one school to join another.
The following schools of magic exist in S'shamath, ordered by their age - oldest listed first, then the second oldest, and so forth:
- The School of Abjuration (formerly: the Sorcere).
- The School of Conjuration and Summoning.
- The School of Divination.
- The School of Enchantment and Charm.
- The School of Illusion and Phantasm.
- The School of Invocation and Evocation
- The School of Necromancy.
- The School of Alteration. (Transmutation)
- The School of Mages.
- The School of Elemental Magic.
The social standing of wizards should always be considered as one rank higher when compared against the rank of a sorcerer or bard. A wizard apprentice thus has as much authority within a school of magic as a graduated bard or sorcerer. Wizards can also progress further, and are the only Drow who qualify for leadership positions. Nonetheless, the schools of mages do accept non-citizen inhabitants into their fold. Non-citizens may teach and achieve the rank of Mage, but not Archmage. They never qualify for leadership positions within a School of Magic.
There are several reasons why the schools choose to allow bards and sorcerers. The first is because they bring in money and resources. Enrolling in a school is not free, you have to pay tuition and / or work for the school (the player is expected to roleplay these without recourse to a Dungeon Master). Secondly because such individuals can be prominent citizens, adventurers, merchants, or capable teachers, so the school gains prestige if they become members.
The fact that bards and sorcerers learn to cast differently from wizards does not mean they cannot learn spells, spellcraft and magical theory from them. The curriculum in all schools of magic allows bards and sorcerers to study and graduate, though not to advance into the higher echelons. Naturally, the schools of magic remain wizardly institutions. They are not bardic colleges or schools of sorcery.
Unlike sorcerers, Bards must have a minimum of one wizard or sorcerer level to enroll in a school. Player guilds within a school may also choose to refuse membership in their guild (not the school) to for example non-wizards. Such guilds / factions may also recruit associates who are not wizards, sorcerers, or bards, but these do not become school members unless they meet the criteria listed above.
Of all the Schools of Magic Warlocks are only welcomed within the School of Invocation and Evocation. In that school they advance as though they are sorcerers of equivalent level, and are similarly considered inferior to wizards of equal rank. Unlike sorcerers and bards warlocks do not learn to cast actual spells and therefore cannot enroll in any of the other schools of magic. They can however learn and study invocations alongside wizards in the School of Invocation and Evocation, along with the relevant magical theories and spellcraft.