Although school specialists and elementalists are a type of devotee, they focus on 1 of the basic elements of magic or the universe. Because they focus on either 1 of the 8 elements of magic or 1 of the 4 basic elements of the universe as they pertain to magic, these devotees must delve deeper than others and, as a consequence, have special strengths and weaknesses others do not have. Only these specialists get the extra spell per spell level to cast from their school or element of focus, and due to their deep focus, only they suffer opposition schools/elements and minor schools/elements. Other devotees exist, but these either focus on an effect of magic or a method of using it. Thus, these other specialists do not get the extra spell per spell level, nor do they suffer opposition or minor schools/elements. They get all other specialist bonuses and penalties as normal, with 1 minor exception. If they choose to get a +2 on saves vs the spells of their focus, they suffer an extra -5% to learn any spell outside their focus(this on top of the normal penalty for learning spells outside their focus). Below are some of the specialists that fall under these rules.
Dimensionalist Force Mage Mentalist Shadow Mage Alchemist Artificer Geometer Song Mage Chronomancer Wild Mage
These are described in PO:S&M or TOM. Chronomancers are described in their own boxed set. These rules override the regular rules from these sources.
Special Bonus Powers: the special powers the specialist mages get in the PO:S&M are available to them still, and the mages can research new powers in line with their focus, that they may have as well. These powers, however, only come with much extra devotion and time, thus, causing the specialist(or even normal mages who want extra powers) to neglect some other area of study. The power itself may carry a weakness, but the DM must make sure the powers chosen are not excessive and are connected to the specialists focus some how. Also, the DM must insure each power is balanced by an equal disadvantage to simulate the fact the mage will neglect other areas of his class to maintain these bonus powers. Priests may also use this system.
Many special advantages are already listed in books such as PO:S&M, but I offer a few disadvantages as ideas to counter balance these powers:
-minor school now becomes another opposition school. -a regular school now becomes a minor school. -penalty on % chance to learn spells of certain schools. -saving throw penalties vs. certain schools. -reduction of overall spell point capacity by 5-10%.
Other Specialist Devotions: I have created a few other options that mages/priests of my world may choose. I will give a general overview here, for more info., e-mail me.
-Sun/Moon or Star Mage/Priest: these individuals believe the sun, moon or stars have special power that can be used to work their magic/faith.
-Priests: believe that these objects, being created by gods, hold much of the gods creative energy in them, a kind of latent creative power left in all objects gods create. Thus, by focusing on the aspect of their god that object represents, they gain an increased understanding of their god, and hence, greater faith. These priests gain special bonuses when the object is in a strong position, however, they also become weaker when the object wanes in position. Thus, sun priests are most powerful at noon time, weakest at midnight, and experience special conditions during an eclipse or even during an overcast sky. They would also weaken underground or in the dark when the sunlight cannot reach them. Their powers would extend over plant life, fire and light. Thus, Sun, Plant and Elemental, fire spheres would be their strongest spheres. Moon priests would not be affected by lack of light as much as by the phase of the moon. Their main spheres would include Charm, Chaos and Elemental, water. Star priests would be influenced by which stars are in which constellations. Their power spheres would be Divination, Astral and Numbers. Sun priests power cycle(how long they are at their strongest and weakest) would be daily, moon priests would be monthly and star priests would be seasonally.
-Mages: believe that just as great masses hold much energy(E=MC2) so also, these great masses influence magical energy with their movements through the aska(magic). If a mage could get in tune with the way these objects influence magic, they could gain a boost to their power at the right moments. Because they spend so much time studying this influence, they lose the ability to cast magic well without this influence boosting their power, thus, they grow weaker when the object is waning from prominence in the sky. They would have power relationships similar to the priests above. Dragonlance mages are moon mages.
-Others: Some other types of special priests/mages would be:
-Dark Magi/Priests(Servants of Darkness): these would be like sun mages/priests except they are best at night or in the dark. Light weakens them greatly. Spectres, Vampires, and Drow would be good candidates for this.
-Earth Mages/Priests: essentially these already exist. Druids are earth priests and elementalists are earth mages.
-Life Magi/Priests: very much like Dark Sun defilers. They use life force to power their magic.