Worldbuilding Power: Conjuration

Use the ability to call forth and command forces in character development, worldbuilding, and adventures!

The word conjure stems from the Latin coniurare, to swear together or conspire. It means to command an oath, as in a pledge of duty or loyalty. Around the 14th century it took on the magical connotation of constraining a demon or spirit, forcing it to do that caster’s bidding. In the context of tabletop roleplaying, it refers to the general ability to call upon various forces.

Characters who dabble in conjuration are dealing in borrowed power. The creatures and objects they bring forth tend to vanish once the work is done. There is no loyalty, no sense of permanence. They essentially borrow what items they need, enslave what creatures they can, to do their bidding. The magic lies entirely in transportation and manipulation. The moral and ethical considerations of this are rarely contemplated, especially when the caster is nominally acting in the name of the greater good.

Antagonists will seek to leverage the same forces, objects, and creatures. They won’t use conjuration as ethically as a protagonist might, if they consider the ramifications at all. They will use this category of magic to bring forth monsters and beast to fight their battles The items they conjure will be put to use furthering their selfish desires. A villain will use conjuration as a trick up their sleeve when they execute their evil schemes.

As with all magic, there will be some fear and misunderstanding among the common folk. The title conjurer implies that the caster calls forth supernatural creatures to do their bidding, possibly because of deal and pacts made with dark forces. Such casters will face resentment from those who feel such power is innately unethical, no matter how it is used. Many people will fear that their own possessions might be called forth, disappearing and later returning damaged.. There may be a great deal of distrust if conjuration magic is used openly, even for helpful purposes.

In this book, we’ll show you how to utilize conjuration in your worldbuilding endeavors. You’ll see how it can influence character, setting, and story elements. By the end, you’ll understand how to make conjuration into an essential, useful, and entertaining part of your campaign.

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