The Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game follows a pretty traditional split for its magic. Wizards can do almost everything, but healing and other related magic are the sole province of clerics, who in turn get their spells from the gods. Druids also have their own “turf” staked out, receiving their powers from the might of Nature. This, of course, means that in your typical Dungeon Fantasy setting the gods are real and Nature as a whole is itself a sort of deity.

That’s not a problem for groups who want to play in the game’s implied setting, or in an established setting that follows the same conventions. On the contrary, it makes playing in those worlds very straightforward!

However, not all settings follow these conventions. One popular example is Thedas, the setting of the Dragon Age games. Another is the world of Dragon’s Dogma, which I have been covering in some detail on this blog. Though faith and religion are prominent themes in these worlds, priests don’t gain any supernatural powers from their deities. In fact, the very existence of the gods is a matter of, well, faith. All magic is wizardly in nature, even spells that deal with healing or with plants and animals.

Even some D&D settings take a similar approach. Eberron still restricts access to healing magic to “divine” characters, but their powers come from specialized training rather than being granted through prayer. Does the training put clerics in direct contact with their gods, or is it just a specialized form of wizardry? Once again, it’s a matter of faith.

And then there’s Final Fantasy, a series that does its own thing by having very present “god-like” entities in each of its games yet stating that the magic traditionally associated with clerics is wielded by especially trained wizards that don’t necessarily have any relation to those entities.

GMs who want to use Dungeon Fantasy to run a campaign in one of those settings, or in a home-brewed setting following similar themes, need to do a bit of work. I’ve included several suggestions on how to do it below.

First Step: Clerics are Wizards

In an “agnostic” Dungeon Fantasy setting, all magic is wizardly! Neither type of Power Investiture exists. Druids and clerics rely on Magery instead. In effect, they are wizards who underwent somewhat different training.

  • The “set” advantages in the Cleric template become Clerical Investment {5} and Magery 3 {35}, leaving 40 discretionary points for advantages.

  • The “set” advantages in the Druid template become Green Thumb 1 {5} and Magery 3 {35}, leaving 35 discretionary points for advantages.

This step is the same no matter what other decisions you make for the campaign.

Second Step: Spells

Since everyone is a wizard, everyone draws from the same spell list! This list should include all the spells that were previously forbidden to wizards, since that particular kind of niche protection is now unnecessary. All former clerical and druidic spells rely on mana, and are affected by the same countermeasures as wizardly spells.

If you’re using the Dungeon Fantasy boxed set, this presents a bit of a problem. Wizardly spells have complex prerequisite chains, while the others have no requirements beyond a certain level of Power Investiture. How to effectively combine the two? Here are some alternatives:

The Simple Option

If you’re trying to learn a spell from the Cleric or Druid lists that isn’t also on the Wizard list, look up its required level of Power Investiture, and read that as the required level of Magery for the spell. That is its only prerequisite! If the spell in question is on the Wizard list, you must use its standard wizardly prerequisites.

This is a good option for settings like that of Dragon Age or Dragon’s Dogma, where healing or nature magic is something any wizard can learn.

The Complex Option

Under this option, clerics and druids train in exotic styles or wizardry only taught to members of their church or circle. Record the Cleric’s Magery as Magery (Holy), and the Druid’s as Magery (Druidic)1. They use their traditional spell lists and prerequisite structure, though their spells still count as wizardly and are affected by mana levels and magical countermeasures.

All three spell-casting professions also gain access to the following advantage:

Magical Style Familiarity (2 points/level)

Prerequisite: Magery (Any) 1+

You have learned the secrets of another magical style. Specify which one (Wizardly, Holy, or Druidic) when you first buy this advantage. This must obviously be different from your first style!

You can learn spells from your new style as if you had that style’s Magery at a level equal to your level in this advantage. You can’t have more levels of this advantage than you have Magery. When you learn a spell, also write down which style it is from. Spells learned as part of one style can’t serve as prerequisites for another!

The GM might ask for a story reason for you to learn this advantage, such as joining a religious order, druidic circle, or wizard’s guild. If you already know two styles, you can buy the advantage again to learn the third one!

This is a good option for settings in the vein of Eberron or Final Fantasy, where the different types of magic are all gained through training but their practitioners jealously guard their secrets from each other2.

The Expensive Option

Use the prerequisite chains from GURPS Magic, which already organizes all of its spells as if they were wizardly. This is the expensive option because you would need to acquire the book if you don’t have it already, and using it just for the prerequisites might be a bit wasteful. It does have a fair number of spells that aren’t present in the Dungeon Fantasy boxed set, though those would need some careful scrutiny before you can let them into your game.

Third Step: Special Abilities

Clerical and Druidic magic are more than just spells! Each includes a set of intrinsic powers bought as advantages, known as Holy Might and Druidic Arts. They are an important part of these templates, and vital to the Holy Warrior, who relies entirely on Holy Might instead of spells.

What should we do with them? Once again, there are several options.

The Harsh Option

These abilities simply don’t exist in the setting. Magic means spells, period. This means that those discretionary points for Druids and Clerics that don’t go into advantages will go to spells instead, and that the Holy Warrior template cannot be used as-is in your campaign.

The appropriate template to use in its place depends on what the player’s central concept is. A warrior who is a member of a Church could be a Knight, perhaps with Clerical Investment added in. A character who needs to combine martial prowess with a bit of supernatural help could be a well-armed Cleric who put a few additional points into ST and weapon skills.

Spell-casting characters can still spend their points on supernatural advantages permitted to wizards, such as Wild Magic or Improved Magic Resistance.

This is harsh because it significantly cuts down on the number of available character options! It most resembles the very oldest versions of D&D, which didn’t have a cleric class. Most other fantasy settings I know of feature at least some kind of non-spell supernatural power, even if it’s just the ability to turn undead.

The Cool Option

Both Holy Might and Druidic Arts are now considered “wizardly” powers! Magery becomes the applicable talent for them. Instead of depending on the wielder’s virtuous conduct or on the strength of Nature, they now depend on mana, just like spells.

This means they work normally when the mana level is normal or higher. When it’s low, the character either gets a -5 to any rolls to use the ability, or a 50% reduction in potency if the ability doesn’t require a roll. In a no mana zone, they don’t work at all!

The flavor of each ability’s description should change to reflect their new nature, where appropriate. For example, Holy Might abilities whose descriptions imply divine guidance would instead be based on divination magic. Where a specific ability has an effect that overlaps with an existing Wizard power-up, use the Wizard version instead. This mostly means using Wild Magic (Adventurers, p. 41) instead of Contingency Casting (Adventurers, p. 20).

In a setting where any magician can learn any spell, they can also learn any of these abilities. In settings that use the Complex option, a character can learn the abilities for their own “style” and for any other for which they bought Magical Style Familiarity, with the level of that advantage serving as the talent for the power. Everyone who would have access to Contingency Casting still has access to Wild Magic instead without having to pay extra for it.

Mana-based Holy Might abilities don’t go away if their wielder stops behaving virtuously, which allows for stories where villains hide among the ranks of the Church, or where the organization itself behaves terribly while claiming virtue is on their side. These are the hallmark of “grittier” settings like that of Dragon Age.


By picking one option for spells and one for abilities from the ones outlined above you would be well on your way to having an “agnostic” Dungeon Fantasy setting.

For comparison, the Dragon’s Dogma adaptation I’ve been writing on this blog uses the Expensive option for spells because it predates the Dungeon Fantasy boxed set and assumes the GM will already have GURPS Magic. For magical abilities, it takes an approach similar to the Harsh option but adds a custom list of power-ups any magical character can learn. It would work just as well with the Simple and Cool options instead.

Which options do you prefer?

  1. Or White Magery for clerics, Green Magery for druids and Black Magery for wizards if you feel like cribbing from Final Fantasy. 

  2. Under the hood: This is essentially buying the other style’s Magery as an alternate advantage.