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Ideas for low-magic spells (ranger-esque)

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Hi. I'm about to play in a low-magic setting using Fantasy Hero/ Hero 6e, and am looking for some ideas of what spells a wilderness-oriented 'hedge mage' might have (and suggestions on how to construct each spell). The idea is that the guy is a wilderness expert -- tracker, survivalist, etc., but he supplements his knowledge with various skills of 'the old ways.' This allows him to do things like hide the smoke of a fire, dry out wet clothes, set night time alarms, and... I'm not sure what else. More stuff in the vein. Nothing flashy, quick, or combat related. Anyone have any thoughts? Anyone done anything like this before?


Thanks in advance!

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Various Enhanced Senses - especially Detects - can be useful for tracking, determining if there are particular types of monsters in the area, if an area has been tampered with by something "unnatural", etc.


Create Food spells can be very useful.  Or water, or purifying water (or food) if you happen to come across a stagnant pond.


Various kinds of Healing and Aid - especially to counter the effects of natural poisons and venoms.


Animal Friendship - which could be bought as simply as extra PRE - only for dealing with animals (or only certain kinds of animals).


Speak with animals (Telepathy), Summon Animals.


Plant/Wood shaping


Desolid - only to pass through dense vegetation.

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Summon arrows

Bonuses to tracking

Speak with animals (to the extent animals can communicate)

See in the dark

Use other animals eyes to see through while concentrating

Cleanse food and drink

Calm animals

Slight alteration to weather in the immediate area (1 temperature level, 1 wind level)

Heal animal

Suspend poison (life support vs poison with limited duration)

Start a small fire

Create a small shelter

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So here is a classic Ranger ability:

  • Pass Without Trace:  Desolidification , Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1/2) (60 Active Points); Does Not Protect Against Damage (-1), Cannot Pass Through Solid Objects (-1/2), Only in Natural Environments (-1/2).  Real Cost 20

I know, Desolid that neither prevents damage nor allows one to pass through solid objects.  So what does it do!?! 

  • The character doesn't leave tracks of any sort.  No footprints pressed into soil, no bits of hair or fabric snagged on thorns, no broken twigs.  Tracking relies on the Locard Exchange Principle -- "Every contact leaves a trace."  But a Desolid character never makes contact with anything, and thus leaves no traces of their passage and cannot be tracked.
  • The character can pass through objects that are less-than-solid without interacting with them, thus the character ignores any penalties for moving through heavy underbrush or dense foliage.  According to 6E2 146, characters in thick undergrowth suffer -2 DCV and -1 OCV, and usually cannot move more than 4m per Phase (at most) on the ground.  This character suffers none of these effects (essentially duplicating the Thicketmaster talent).
  • Since a Desolid character technically has no mass, this character can walk across quicksand without sinking in.  Likewise, the character doesn't trigger any sort of traps.  Deadfalls, covered pits, none of these are triggered by the character's passage.
  • Since the character doesn't break twigs or cause leaves to rustle, GM's might give the character a bonus to Stealth checks in natural environments.  Likewise, the character can move into a semi-solid object, such as a bush, without disturbing it, which might grant a bonus to Concealment checks.


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7 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Invisibility vs tracking sense would probably work for pass without trace too.  And its cheaper than desolid

Sure, but it wouldn't give you all the other advantages.


Here's another idea:

  • Bear Traps:  Ranged Killing Attack 1d6, Personal Immunity (+1/4), Constant (+1/2), Area Of Effect (Nonselective, 64m Radius; +1) (41 Active Points); 1 Recoverable Charge (-1 1/4), Requires A Roll (11- roll; -1/2), Limited Power Only Targets Moving Characters (-1), Extra Time (20 Minute, Only to Activate, -3/4), IAF (Traps; -1/2), No Range (-1/2), Only in Natural Environments (-1/2) Real Cost 6

The character carries a number of bear traps.  Given twenty minutes, he can conceal them across a large area.  Once laid down, any character moving through the area runs the danger of stumbling into a trap and being attacked.  Any character (other than the ranger, who has Personal Immunity as he knows where the traps are concealed) who takes a movement action within the 64m radius is attacked by a trap on a roll of 11-.  The trap attacks with the ranger's OCV, dealing 1d6 Killing.  The area remains trapped until the Ranger collects his traps (recovers the charge).  Technically this ability requires a roll to activate it, however I would rule that the power is automatically activated and only requires the roll to make attacks.

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I'd look at Life Support for protection from temperature, poison, extended breath, and reduced eating & sleeping, all of which would make survival easier.  They might also have some combat benefit against venomous creatures or NND attacks with LS as a defense.


And I know you said not combat oriented, but I could also see buying a point of Resistant Protection to avoid small injuries one might sustain in the wilderness due to scrapes, bruises, and cuts from aggressive trekking through thorns, branches, and rocky terrain.

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45 minutes ago, Ockham's Spoon said:



And I know you said not combat oriented, but I could also see buying a point of Resistant Protection to avoid small injuries one might sustain in the wilderness due to scrapes, bruises, and cuts from aggressive trekking through thorns, branches, and rocky terrain.


I really like the idea of a couple of points of Resistant Protection. You could give it a limitation (Only vs damage caused by the environment). So it'd let him run into a hedge of thorns or skid down a rocky slope or take less damage from an avalanche or rockslide but it wouldn't protect him from arrows or from rocks thrown by a giant.

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You can use Aid (or Characteristics) with advantages and/or limitations for all sorts of effects


Aid CON (Usable on others) - helps resist diseases or poisons

Aid Running (or swimming or leaping) (Usable on others) - either increases your movement or helps someone keep up with you

Aid STR (Usable on others) (only to increase carrying capacity) - helps you get loads from point A to Point B. If you want something creepier, add eight Extra spider Limbs to help hold on to what you're carrying.




Camelflage - Invisibility, (only when immobile), (only in desert environments)




Eagle Eyes - plus PER roll with sight and/or telescopic

Owl Eyes - Nightvision

Snake Eyes - Infrared Perception

Bat Ears - sonar

Wolfman Jack - radio broadcast/reception

Bloodhound - scent tracking




Skills as spells


Monkey Movement - Acrobatics and/or Climbing

Cat Fall - Breakfall

Sounds of Nature - Mimicry (only of animal sounds you've heard before)

Inspiration - PS: Hedge Mage (used when you can't figure out what a Hedge Mage would probably do in your situation)



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