Imperial Battle Magic

A Battle Wizard using Battle Magic

The pre-eminent form of magic in the Old World is Battle magic. The reason for this can be traced back to the intervention of High Elf mage Teclis during the great Chaos Incursion of 2302 IC, when the might of this new form of magic was needed to drive back the invading hordes. After the war was won, Battle magic became the first form of magic to receive official support from the Empire. It grew in power and reputation, bringing in mages from the other disciplines of sorcery and altering their spells to work with the new theories and systems of magic.[2b]


Battle magic has its name for a reason. Most of its spells are specifically designed for offensive and defensive combat, and in particular for defending the Empire from its enemies. As a result, in terms of social standing and public respect, practitioners of Battle magic are more highly regarded and more trusted than any other schools of wizardry. Imperial wizards, as well as being powerful individuals in their own right, are important political figures, and those who rise to the top of their profession have the ears of the Emperor and the Electors.[2b]

Battle magic is more advanced than petty magic but less focused than the Colour magics. Arising from the teachings of Teclis, it contains powerful spells and effects, not all of which are centred on military application. While the Imperial Colleges in Altdorf are the only places in the Old World where Colour magic is taught, the lesser discipline of Battle magic is taught in a number of colleges in the Old World and, most importantly, at the Wizards and Alchemists Guild in Middenheim.[2a]

Recognising that not all wizards could hope to achieve the skill needed to control pure Colour magic, several schools were founded to find and train the best battle wizards, with the high achievers going on to one of the Imperial Colleges in Altdorf. Many wizards never achieve this standard, either through lack of magical talent or lack of application, and most reach old age without ever having progressed from Battle magic to the upper levels of the Imperial Colleges of Altdorf.[2a]

List of Spells

These spells are the ones used by non-specialist Wizards and are also available for use by Alchemists and some Clerics. They cover a wide range of defensive and offensive capabilities, providing the spellcaster with a multitude of options for a variety of situations.[1c]


  • Accelerate Time - This spell affects one creature, allowing it to move and perform actions twice as quickly as normal.[2h]
  • Animate Sword - The caster is able to animate a normal, non-magical sword and endow it with a temporary life of its own. The animated sword acts independently of the caster, flying through the air and fighting as the caster wishes.[1d]
  • Arrow Invulnerability - This spell may be cast on either the caster or any individual or single group within 24 yards. The spell makes the recipient(s) completely invulnerable to any kind of normal missile fire, including arrows, crossbow bolts, thrown weapons, or large siege weapons. The spell will not offer protection from magic missiles such as enchanted arrows, Fire Balls, etc.[1d]
  • Arrow Storm - By touching a quiver of arrows, the caster can enchant them so that an arrow springs magically to hand as soon as the previous one is loosed, thus enabling the archer to fire at twice the normal rate. The enchantment leaves each arrow as soon as it is loosed, or at sunrise the next day if it is unused.[2f]
  • Aura of Invulnerability - The type of protection afforded by this Aura spell nullifies a set amount of damage next inflicted on the caster by non-magical weapons.[1e]
  • Aura of Protection - This spell provides protection against weapons by increasing the amount of armour on each section of the caster by a moderate amount.[1b][1c]
  • Aura of Resistance - Aura spells provide protection by increasing amount of armour on each part of the caster's body by a small amount.[1a]


  • Blast - This spell is the most powerful of the magic missile spells. Only one blast can be thrown, and it may be targeted at any individual or single group, releasing a shot of fire. Blasts have a range of 48 yards and automatically hit their target.[1e]
  • Break Weapon - This spell may be cast against any one weapon within the caster's line of sight, breaking it and rendering it useless. The caster must be able to see the whole weapon: a sword in its scabbard is immune until it is drawn. The spell can affect even magical weapons, although they may resist it.[2d]


  • Cause Animosity - This spell can be cast against a group of adventurers or creatures that are normally subject to animosity, such as Goblins. They attack each other until the appearance of any other creatures that they would normally regard as enemies, at which point the spell is instantly broken. Otherwise it lasts a select amount of time.[1a]
  • Cause Cowardly Flight - The spell can be cast on any individual or group of creatures within 48 yards. The victim withdraws from combat and runs away from the scene of fighting, if possible. Victims will continue to flee for the duration of the spell.[1d]
  • Cause Fear - This spell induces fear in any individual or single group of creatures within 48 yards. Victims become subject to fear against all potential combat opponents.[1d]
  • Cause Frenzy - This spell induces frenzy in an individual or group within 48 yards.[1c]
  • Cause Hatred - This spell induces hatred into an individual or group within 48 yards. Victims becoming subject to hatred against any single enemy group or individual that the caster wishes, for the duration of the spell.[1c]
  • Cause Instability - This spell affects all creatures within sight of the caster which are already subject to instability (Ethereal Undead, Daemons, Elementals, and some Undead). The creatures become unstable.[1d][1e]
  • Cause Panic - This spell induces panic in any individual or single group within 48 yards.[1c]
  • Cause Stupidity - This spell may be cast at any individual or single group of creatures within 48 yards.[1e]
  • Change Allegiance - This spell can be cast at any individual or group of hostile creatures within 48 yards. Affected individuals become enchanted by the caster and effectively 'change sides', treating the caster like a friend or ally. The victims' intelligence is not affected, and they cannot be made to do anything detrimental to their own well-being. For example, they will not commit suicide or take on a Dragon single-handed, but could be made to attack their own comrades.[1f]
  • Cloak of Darkness - When this spell is cast, the caster and any accompanying group are cloaked in a zone of magical darkness as wide as the group is. Any member of the group who moves more than 4 yards away from any other group member will no longer be within the area of effect. Creatures outside the area of effect cannot see anything inside the darkness, but those within can see out. Missile fire into the zone is somewhat inaccurate, and it is impossible for a spellcaster outside to direct an individually targeted spell at anyone within it. (One can, however, target spells at the whole group in the normal way.) Anyone wishing to enter the cloak must overcome fear to do so.[2f][2g]
  • Conjure Servitor - This ritual is used by wizards to create a familiar. Such a creation is usually made from pieces of metal and wood, and often looks like a toy mannikin or soldier. Some wizards claim that the best familiars (particularly warrior familiars) are made from armour taken from the dead on the field of battle at midnight; less mystical wizards claim that this is rank superstition.[2g]
  • Corrode - This spell may be cast at a creature or group. Every non-magical item of iron, steel or bronze possessed by the target creature(s) instantly corrodes and is destroyed. Metal armour becomes useless, weapons crumble to dust (weapons with wooden shafts and metal heads/tips count as improvised weapons), and so on. Magical weapons and armour are unaffected by this spell.[2g]
  • Cure Light Injury - This spell can be used to heal the caster or one other character or non-magical creature by touch.[1a]
  • Cure Severe Wounds - This spell is used to heal either the caster or any other single character by touch. This spell will work on any single creature, even creatures such as Dragons or other monsters. It does not work on slain creatures.[1f]
  • Curse of Arrow Attraction - This spell may be cast at any individual or single group of creatures within 48 yards. Any non-magical missile fired at targets anywhere within 48 yards of cursed individuals will redirect themselves at them, selecting the nearest cursed individual where there is any doubt. Missiles which have insufficient range to reach their new target will fall short and cause no damage. Missiles fired by a cursed character turn around in mid-flight and strike their firer.[1e]


  • Detect Magic - This spell allows the caster to identify all magical items and objects within the field of vision up to the maximum range of the spell. This spell will not reveal the identity of spellcasters nor will it reveal the function or purpose of any enchantments or magic items.[2c]
  • Dispel Aura - This spell can be cast against any single character protected by an Aura spell of levels one or two. The Aura is instantly dispelled. This spell does not affect Aura spells of levels three or four.[1e]
  • Dispel Magic - This powerful spell may be cast at any creature or group. The caster may automatically dispel any spells he has cast himself by use of this spell.[2g]
  • Dispirit - This spell may be cast on any one creature or group. The spell puts feelings of despair and gloom into the mind of any affected creature. The spell has no effect on normal animals, creatures with low intelligence, or those immune to psychological effects (e.g., Undead). Further castings of the spell on the same target or targets do not increase these effects. This spell will negate the effects of the Enthuse spell.[2c]
  • Drain Magic - This spell allows the caster to drain all the magical energy from one target creature. If the magical power cannot be contained properly by the caster, said caster may be injured.[2i]


  • Enchant Weapon - This spell allows the caster to enchant one ordinary weapon by touching it. An enchanted weapon has no special powers, but counts as a magical weapon for the purposes of hitting creatures only affected by magic weapons. The spell lasts for the rest of that day, returning to normal the following daybreak.[1f]
  • Enfeeble - This spell may be cast at any creature or group. Their encumbrance allowance is halved, and all movement penalties for obstacles, difficult ground, and over-encumbrance are doubled for the duration of the spell.[2h]
  • Entanglement - This spell may be cast on any point within 100 yards of the caster. There, vegetation erupts from the ground, rapidly covering an area 24 yards across and turning it into difficult ground. Any creatures in the area as the vegetation sprouts are entangled: they may not move. Anything entering the spell's area has no risk of becoming caught. The vegetation counts as flammable.[2i]
  • Enthuse - This spell may be cast on any one creature or group. The spell fills any affected targets with hope and enthusiasm. The spell has no effect on normal animals, creatures with low intelligence, or those immune to psychological effects (e.g., Undead). Further castings of the spell on the same targets do not increase the bonuses. This spell will negate the effects of the Dispirit spell.[2c]


  • Fire Ball - Casters of this spell can literally throw a ball of fire at their enemies, causing a great deal of damage and consternation.[1a][1b]
  • Flame Curse - This spell can be cast on any one creature or person within line of sight, as well as objects and areas of wall or ground no larger than 10 feet in any dimension. The target becomes flammable for the length of the spell.[2d]
  • Fleetfoot - This spell may be cast on any one person, including the caster himself, increasing movement speed by half again their normal speed. Obstacles and difficult ground affect the character as normal, although modifications are applied to the increased move rate. It will negate the effects of Slowfoot.[2c]
  • Flight - Upon casting this spell, the caster is endowed with magical flight. The character can immediately fly 48 yards in any direction desired, but cannot fly through walls or solid objects. A character may continue to fly by using more magic, but may not cast any other spells while doing so. Casters can carry up to half their normal, non-penalty encumbrance while flying. If any more is carried, the spell fails to work.[1b]
  • Foetid Cloud - This spell is an enhanced version of the level two Battle Magic spell Mystic Mist, creating a cloud between two and twelve yards in diameter within the maximum range of the spell, but which is also poisonous and corrosive. Trolls and other regenerating creatures may not regain damage suffered from a Foetid Cloud even when they leave the area of effect; it must be healed by rest or magic. The spell does not affect ethereal creatures or air or fire elementals.[2i]


  • Hammerhand - This spell endows the caster with increased fighting potential.[1b]
  • Hold Flight - This spell can be cast on any individual or single group within 48 yards, which is already engaged in combat. It prevents the target of the spell from being routed or otherwise forced to leave combat for the duration of that combat. Targets may, however, run away if they wish to.[1c]


  • Ignite Missiles - This spell may be cast on arrows, crossbow bolts, or other missiles or thrown weapons. When the missile is fired or thrown, it bursts into flames in mid-flight. The missiles do not count as magical weapons. The spell will not work on ammunition for gunpowder weapons, bombs, or incendiaries. A wizard may cast this enchantment on missiles prior to combat, but the spell only lasts one hour if they are not fired immediately. Missiles can be affected in mid-flight using this spell, provided the wizard has time to cast the spell and can clearly see the projectile at all times.[2c]
  • Immunity From Poison - This spell may be cast either on the caster or on any other single individual within 6 yards. It gives the bearer complete immunity from poisons and venoms for a select amount of time.[1b]


  • Leg Breaking - This spell may be cast on any single creature. One leg (caster's choice) breaks with a sickening crunch.[2d][2e]
  • Lightning Bolt - This spell is more powerful version of the Fire Ball spell, allowing the caster to throw bolts of lightning rather than fire.[1c]
  • Luck - After casting, the caster can affect his luck once in the next hour.[2e]


  • Magic Bridge - This spell is used to create a solid bridge over any obstacle, such as a river, bog, etc. The spell can be used to create a bridge between the ground and the top of a fortress wall if desired. The bridge begins at the caster's feet and extends forwards up to a distance of 12 yards per level of the caster. A magic bridge can be up to 8 yards wide if desired. The bridge can be dispelled by its creator, or it crumbles to nothing by the following morning.[1e]
  • Magical Might - This spell allows the caster to enhance their prowess in combat, by increasing their strength for only the next hit.[2e]
  • Mental Duel - This spell brings the caster into an immediate mental contest, a direct battle of mental powers against another spellcaster. If the spell is successfully cast, the target must enter the duel. The loser of the duel loses some magic potential. No other spells may be cast during a Mental Duel and no combat actions or movement are possible. The duellists are totally absorbed in their duel and oblivious to other happenings. However, a duellist struck by a melee opponent is allowed to try to escape the Mental Duel - especially if the caster is already trying to evade the duel.[2e]
  • Mystic Mist - This spell creates an area of mist 12 yards in diameter anywhere within the caster's line of sight. Individuals caught in the mist cannot see out it or though it, while those outside cannot see into it or past it. Anyone caught in the mist must move at half their normal movement rate or else wander around randomly within the mist.[1c]


  • Pit of Despair - This spell can be cast on a single individual, who will suddenly sink three feet into the ground. No damage is done (though Halflings and Gnomes may begin to suffocate), but the target must be dug out before they can move. The spell can only be cast on a person who is standing on ground soft enough to dig in. If cast on a person standing on solid rock or on the wooden or stone floors in buildings, it will have no effect.[2h]


  • Rally - The effects of fear/terror on the targets are immediately cancelled, and the creatures can move and act normally. However, any insanity from the terror remains.[2e]
  • Raze - The spell delivers the a moderately damaging hit any door, section of wall or other inanimate surface or object that the spellcaster is touching at the time. It does not work on any creatures, whether living or dead, or trees.[2e]
  • Reproof of Cowardice - This spell may be targeted at an individual or group within the caster's line of sight and no more than 48 yards away. When cast, any and all shields held by the target(s) are instantly and completely destroyed. This spell can even affect magical shields, though they can resist it.[2e][2f]
  • Reverse Spell - Any wizard who is aware of being targeted by a rival spellcaster may use this spell in an attempt to turn the incoming spell back at its originator, using a silvered mirror to reflect the spell and its effects.[2i]


  • Sense of the Green - Casting this spell puts the wizard in touch with the natural world, albeit on a subconscious level. The caster gains an unerring sense of direction and the ability to charm animals and follow trails for the duration of the spell. Furthermore, the caster has good etiquette. No one is entirely sure why this is the case; it simply seems to be that this heightened awareness of the natural world gives rise to certain pleasing mannerisms in the caster.[2h]
  • Sharpen Weapon - This spell allows the caster to render a single edged or pointed non-magical weapon magically sharp by touching it. The affected item does not count as magical, and cannot wound things that are immune to non-magical weapons. However, it gains and keeps an exceptionally keen edge or point, so sharp that for the duration of the spell it will cause extra damage. The weapon - is not consumed at the moment the spell is cast, but will disappear at the moment the spell's effects wear off. If it is cast on a magical weapon, the spell has no effect and the weapon remains. The spell can be used on any hand-to-hand or missile weapon.[2h]
  • Slippery Ground - This spell may be cast on a patch of ground up to 5 yards square, affecting it as if it had been doused in oil and turning it into difficult ground.[2c]
  • Slowfoot - This spell can be cast on any one person, who will move at half their normal speed for one turn. Obstacles and difficult ground affect the person as normal, in addition to the reduced movement rate. Thus, if someone under the effects of the spell crosses difficult ground, the spell halves their movement and the terrain halves it again, so they move at one quarter of their normal rate. It will negate the effects of Fleetfoot.[2d]
  • Smash - This spell can be cast onto a door, wall, or other inanimate suface or object. It does not work on a creature, living or undead. The caster must touch the surface to be affected. The spell delivers the equivalent of a moderately strong hit on any section of wall.[1c]
  • Stampede - This spell may be cast against any group of herd animals or mounted creatures within 48 yards of the caster. Targets stampede away from the caster at a running rate. Riders may be able to get their mounts under control after it is cast. This spell has no effect on mounts that are immune to psychological effects, such as Undead mounts and Daemonic servants in steed form.[2f]
  • Stand Still - This spell can be cast at any individual or group of creatures within 48 yards. Targets are rendered unable to move, fire missiles, or do anything at all for some time.[1f]
  • Steal Magical Power - This spell may be cast against any one spellcasting creature (if a non-spellcaster is mistakenly targeted the magical power is expended but the spell has no effect). The target loses some magical power, which are transferred to the caster. 'Stolen' MPs can temporarily increase a caster's power above the maximum, but the additional MPs must be used within the hour or are lost. If a caster's power is reduced to nothing or even below due to the spell, he falls unconscious for between two and twenty hours and gains some insanity.[2f]
  • Steal Mind - This spell may be cast against any other single person within 24 yards of the caster. The target victim becomes utterly mindless, unable to do anything but sit on the ground, gibber, dribble, and eat grass. A mindless creature cannot defend itself and counts as prone for the purposes of attacks made against it. The creature may not move of its own volition, but may be dragged along at half-pace. The effect is only temporary.[1b]
  • Strength of Combat - This spell allows a temporary increase of one of the caster's fighting characteristics. The effect lasts from the moment the spell is cast until the following morning. Any attempt to cast a second spell on the same person results in the older spell being dispelled, while the new spell works as normal.[1b]
  • Strength of Mind - This spell allows the caster to increase a single personal characteristic. This lasts for the remainder of that day and is dispelled at daybreak the following day. Any attempt to cast the spell more than once on the same person will simply remove the older spell.[1f]
  • Stunning Conclusion - This spell uses the power of story as a means of focusing a blast of magical energy at a target's mind. The caster must read aloud the concluding lines of a story - this is done as part of the normal spellcasting process and does not take any longer than normal to cast. When the last word is read out, the target may be stunned. The spell will not affect creatures who are deaf or who do not understand the language of the story or anyone who is normally unaffected by psychological effects. It can only be cast on humanoids under 10 feet tall.[2d]
  • Subvert Weapon - This spell is cast against one person or creature in the caster's line of sight. It animates one hand-to-hand weapon being held by the target and turns it against its wielder.[2h]


  • Transfer Aura - Normally Aura spells can only be cast onto the spellcaster. However, this spell enables the transference of an Aura from the spellcaster to any other individual within 4 yards.[1e]


  • Wall of Fire - This spell allows the caster to create a wall of fire in any shape, up to 2 yards wide and up to 12 yards long, with flames rising 10 feet into the air. The whole of the wall must be within 12 yards of the caster. He may move and perform other actions (except casting spells) while maintaining the wall, but any part of the wall which is more than 12 yards away from the caster will be extinguished. [2i][2j]
  • Ward of Forbidding - This ritual allows the wizard to inscribe a magical barrier upon a portal or in a passageway, to prevent access to what lies beyond. The wizard uses the bronze rod to trace the pattern of the ward in the space of the portal to be protected.[2f]
  • Wilt Weapon - This spell may be cast against any one weapon within the caster's line of sight. When the spell is cast, the weapon becomes limp like damp string and is useless. The weapon stays floppy for some time, then hardens again - but in whatever bent shape it was last in.[2d]
  • Wind Blast - This spell causes a terrific blast of wind, aimed specifically at a single individual or group within 48 yards. Victims hit by this spell are knocked off balance.[1b]


  • Zone of Firelessness - The spell creates a zone 6 yards in diameter around the caster. Any fire within or brought into the zone - normal or magical fire, including fire balls fired into or out of the zone - will immediately go out. Lava and molten metal will solidify, although they will still be very hot.[2d]
  • Zone of Magical Immunity - This spell creates a 12-yard diameter zone, centred on the caster, which is in many ways similar to the Zone Of Sanctuary. However, in addition to the protections afforded by a Zone of Sanctuary, the Zone of Magical Immunity is impervious to magic spells and effects of all kinds, except Dispel Magic spells. This includes any spell-like effects created by magic items. Undead creatures, Elementals, Daemons, and Ethereal creatures cannot enter the zone.[2j]
  • Zone of Missile Protection - The spell creates a zone of 12 yards in diameter around the caster. Any arrows, spears or other physical missile weapons fired within that zone (including from cannon and firearms) bounce harmlessly off an invisible barrier. Missile spells are unaffected.[2j]
  • Zone of Sanctuary - The spell creates a 12-yard diameter, magical Zone centred around the caster. The Zone lasts for a number of hours or until the caster moves. All people inside the Zone become immune to all psychological reactions. The Zone may not be entered by any Undead, Ethereal, Daemonic, or Elemental creature, nor may such creatures fire missiles or cast spells into the Zone.[1d]
  • Zone of Steadfastness - This spell creates a 12 yard diameter Zone centered on the caster. This Zone lasts for a number of hours or until the caster moves. All friendly people inside the Zone become immune to all psychological effects. In addition, they make three times as may attacks as normal and receive additional defense every part of their body, so long as they remain within the Zone.[1d]


  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 1st Edition - Core Rulebook
    • 1a: pg. 155
    • 1b: pg. 156
    • 1c: pg. 157
    • 1d: pg. 158
    • 1e: pg. 159
    • 1f: pg. 160
  • 2: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 1st Edition - Realms of Sorcery
    • 2a: pg. 15
    • 2b: pg. 34
    • 2c: pg. 175
    • 2d: pg. 176
    • 2e: pg. 177
    • 2f: pg. 178
    • 2g: pg. 179
    • 2h: pg. 180
    • 2i: pg. 182
    • 2j: pg. 183

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.