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Making Casters Accessible

In my opinion, the best classes to play on the field, especially as a newer player, are the

four caster classes: Bard, Druid, Healer, and Wizard. The offer more utility and flexibility than

the martial classes, and allow a player to be useful without having to be a strong fighter. I tend to

recommend those caster classes for new players or those looking to expand what classes they

play. These classes, however, are a bit overwhelming at first glance. I’m often met with, “That’s

a LOT of memorizing”, “I don’t think I can remember all that”, and “How am I supposed to

remember what does what?”. I’ve found a way that, although it does take a little bit of work, will

allow players to quickly memorize large chunks of information and retain them. It’s the method I

used to memorize almost the entirety of the Rules of Play, and the same method that allows me

to make different spell lists every battlegame and remember, without failure, what spells I have

and what frequency I can cast them at.

Although there are methods I’ll be discussing later that will improve memory, the first

thing that needs to be discussed is how the V8 ruleset was put together in order to make casting

easier. The writers of V8 did a wonderful job of streamlining abilities to make them easier to

remember (Although I never played another version of Amtgard officially, I’ve scoured past

rulebooks and currently play at the High Fantasy Society, which uses a ruleset which is off-brand

V6 Amtgard. Many of the spells are the same as our previous rulebooks, and man, I understand

why the number of casters per team was limited!). There are three main areas I’m going to hit

regarding what the writers have done for spellcasters: Keywords, Incantations, and Types of


There’s a simple way to get ahead of the game, build in to the rules: Each school of

magic (except Protection) has a key-word that is said in almost every incantation. The schools,

you’re telling the target that “My power destroys thy sword!”. Example: “I call upon flame to heat that sword!” Protection: This is the odd one out. they can be summed up into three distinct categories: Verbals. as long as you know the incantation. That one line typically tells you EXACTLY what you’re trying to do as well.. are as follows: Command: “Command”. The problem now is. while there are MANY abilities. Example: “My power shoves thee!” Spirit: “Spirit”. Example: “I call upon death to strike thee!” Flame: “Flame”. Example: “I command thee to stop!” Death: “Death”. the incantation is quite literally telling the other person that you’re shoving them.and their key words. Sorcery: “Power”. Verbals are quite simple: With an open hand. most of the spells are simple: It’s a one-line incantation. and use the incantation. Instead of having to ask. Example: “The strength of ice is mine to evoke!” The key words. More on this later. you will understand which school because you heard the incantation. If they’re within the given range of the spell . This is also useful if people are casting on you. and Enchantments. how do you remember the incantations? Luckily. You no longer have to remember what school something is in. Spellballs. Undead Minion. you identify your target. If you want to shove somebody. Lastly. will immediately let you know what school of magic you are casting from. repeated three to five times (there are exceptions. There’s no key word. If you want to use Shatter Weapon to destroy somebody’s sword. Break Concentration. etc. This clears up a lot of the memorization necessary. “What school is that?”. but those are less common). like Heal. once you realize what they are. Example: “The spirits banish thee from this place!” Subdual: “Strength”.

use the incantation. Once it’s charged. Although there are many types of mnemonics to help memory. These mnemonics can be used to rapidly memorize chunks of information. you can run around. which is typically a good thing! Those are the in-the-rulebook things that can help players remember spells. “Memorization can be hard! Not everybody has a photographic memory!”. and tie a strip on them. You are preaching to the choir there. ready to be used! Enchantments are very simple: You initiate physical contact with your target. . Good thing you learned about the Keywords so you can tell at a glance what school something is!). fight. and then I will get into the details on how it works. I’d like to demonstrate it first so you can see the effectiveness. it’s still there.(typically 20 feet). the type I’ve found most effective. the rest is just memorizing bits and details here and there. However. Once those aspects are learned. a whole new world opens up. Rule of thumb: Learn which classes are immune to which spells. and it’s now charged until you release it from your hand or use a different ability. Spellballs are a little different. they are affected (if they’re not immune to the spell. I’ve found some interesting ways of boosting memory. They’re now enchanted. Then figure out what they’re NOT immune to. and what I’m going to demonstrate here. “But Mishka!” you say. in my time as a mentalist (and after studying some psychology manuscripts). do whatever you want. You use the incantation with the spellball in your hand. Once you figure that out. is a Visualization technique. I had a terrible memory when I started playing.

and if all went well. sometimes it’s this object being kicked by a shoe) 3: Flea (The object covered in fleas) 4: Door (A door for a house made from this object) 5: Beehive (This object covered in honey and bees. Bonus points for hearing “BEEEEES!” while thinking of it) 6: Tricks (A magician pulling this object out of a hat) 7: Devon (A county in England. At this point. the judges. or shooting this object out of a gun) 2: Shoe (Sometimes it’s this object wearing a shoe. Rapid memorization! Although I’ve broken it down to you verbally. should have given me the name of several objects that were put onto a list numbered 1-15. I imagine a gift at my front door with a tag from Devon. despite never looking at the list. you. or are holding. I got (hopefully) at least a dozen of them at the correct number. but this object ends up between them) 15: Lifting (Superman lifting this object away from Earth to save us all) . this object) 12: Shelf (A shelf overflowing with this object) 13: Skirting (The object wearing a skirt) 14: Courting (Two people go to kiss. England) 8: Gate (This object impaled on a spiked gate) 9: Out of line (Three of these objects in a row. and all the angels are. I’ve included the list here as well: 1: Gun (A gun either shooting at this object. with the middle slightly out of line) 10: Hen (A hen with this object) 11: Heaven (I arrive at the pearly gates.

For visualization techniques. the more ridiculous the image in your head. the better. as the angels sing out and the rays of sunlight bask the hive . I still can’t get that image out of my head. Nothing for 3. Each point of Empower gives 2 uses. somebody once said “motorcycle” on number 10. but it explodes in his hand (Mend). and riding a motorcycle like some kind of Hells Angels member. going flying and untying themselves in the process (they go flying because they were shoved. So how does this apply to Amtgard? Let’s make a mock spell list for a 3rd level Bard. For instance. but not bothering him. solitary tree with a beehive dripping of golden honey. for 5. I imagined a hen wearing a black leather jacket. Level 3: 5 Awes. the sunset coming up behind a field with a single. because I don’t have 3 of anything. I would imagine a powerful man (Empowered) covered in fleas. Level 2: 2 Empowers 2 Greater Releases 1 Mend Level 1: Short Sword Confidence 2 Shoves What I would do here is think: A cocky man (Confidence) trying to shoot a gun. and untied because they were released). Lastly. smoking a cigarette. so that’s 4 uses. A pair of shoes that were tied together.

in all its glory. using those mnemonics. “that makes sense! But what about really big lists with LOTS of spells?”. Because you know the keywords and that the incantations tell you what you’re trying to do. and the more you use mnemonics especially. With very little training. The more you work on your memory. the more your memory will improve. In that simple story. you’re essentially done! “Well okay”. . you can turn all of this into one story that links together. you say. I’ve got you covered. you now have a spell list memorized with very little effort. The resulting explosion knocks his shoes off and they go flying. but the gun backfires. you’ll be amazed at how much information you’ll be able to retain. only to land by a beehive coveted by God himself. a cocky man attempts to shoot at a powerful man covered in fleas. For instance. A bit dramatic. but that’s rather the point! If you want to go the extra step.

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