The Spell-Slinger class is all about taking that magical something and turning it back against the unnatural and supernatural threats that are not only preying on regular people, but are going to inevitably be an issue when you’re investigating mysteries with your group of hunters. While the Professional may have a lot of guns and the Chosen may have the special prophesized weapon, sometimes you just need fire magic and in Monster of the Week that means it’s time for the Spell-Slinger to take center stage.
The Spell-Slinger class is often referred to as the “Blaster Caster” class of the Monster of the Week system and specialize in powerful and versatile magic casting using the +Weird core stat.
The Spell-Slinger is a class that can be a whole lot of fun and brings a lot to your gaming table, and the party will definitely be happy to have them when interactions with the unnatural move from curiosity to threat defense.
“Fight fire with fire magic.”The Spell-Slinger, Monster of the Week, p.80
Few quotes get to the point as quickly as the Spell-Slinger, and in fairness, as a class they also have no problem fighting violence with violence so when you can throw fire magic, why not?
Let’s dive into what the Monster of the Week’s Spell-Slinger playbook has to offer!
What Is the Spell-Slinger Class In Monster of the Week RPG?
While in theory almost any character with a bit of Weird can attempt to cast some basic magic, the Spell-Slinger is a class that dives fully into the realms of magic, and especially combat magic. You know how to use elemental magic and can shape it as you want. You also have studied and have the tools, techniques, self-training, and even special items needed to further your abilities.
There are many different moves that add flavor and interesting mechanics to the Spell-Slinger so you can create the spellcasting Weirdo of your choice!
This class is closest to the Spooky playbook among the other playbooks in Monster of the Week, but is also quite different meaning you can have one of each in a party and they won’t be stepping on each other’s toes.
This is a fun class and one that is sure to see a lot of play among new and returning players alike.
What Type of Spell-Slinger Will You Be?
Spell-Slingers are all about the Weird – how else could they not only understand magic but also create it, change it, mold it, and master it as a mere mortal human? Because of this all Spell-Slingers will start out pretty strong in Weird, with a wide variation in how stats are figured out beyond that depending on what you want to emphasize or if you are willing to give up an additional buff for having no clear weaknesses.
Plenty of options when it comes time to choose your ratings here!
The Spell-Slinger Ratings for MOTW Are
- +2 Weird & Sharp, 0 Cool, -1 Charm & Tough
- + 2 Weird, +1 Sharp & Cool, 0 Tough, -1 Charm
- + 2 Weird, +1 Sharp & Tough, 0 Charm, -1 Cool
- + 2 Weird, +1 Sharp & Charm, 0 Cool, -1 Tough
- + 2 Weird, +1 Sharp, 0 Charm, Cool, Weird
There’s one 2/2 which is pretty standard for the classes that have that Ratings option. The last Rating block that has no -1 penalties is intriguing to someone like me who loves the “Jack of All Trades” builds even when they are often less solid an option than specializing, as is often the case in other systems (though not so much in the Monster of the Week RPG where both builds are valid).
This gives a wide array of options before looking at the moves and figuring out exactly how you want to build your particular Spell-Slinger.
What Do Spell-Slinger Moves Bring To The Table?
One of the first things to know about the Spell-Slinger is they’re not just about their moves (and they have a LOT of moves available compared to most classes) but also there are important Combat Magic Mechanics that apply specifically to the Spell-Slinger playbook and provide a major boost to this class.
Combat Magic Mechanics
As a Spell-Slinger, you have a few attack spells ready that you can use as weapons. When using these specific spells to kick some ass, roll +Weird instead of +Tough. Sometimes the situation may require you to act under pressure to cast your spell without problems.
Your customized combat spells can combine any of your base spells with any of your effects, which brings us to the combat magic workshop!
For Combat Magic pick 3 with at least one base. You always have access to these, so you can mix and match as you see fit depending on what the situation calls for.
- Blast: 2-harm with traits magi,c close, obvious, loud
- Ball: 1-harm with traits magic, area, close, obvious, loud
- Missile: 1-harm with traits magic, far, obvious, loud
- Wall: 1-harm with traits magic, barrier, close, 1-armor, obvious, loud
- Fire: Add “-2 harm fire” to a base. If you get a 10+ on a combat magic roll, the fire won’t spread.
- Force or Wind: Add “+1 harm forceful” to a base, or “+1 armor” to a wall.
- Lightning or Entropy: Add “+1 harm messy” to a base.
- Frost or Ice. Adds “-1 harm +2 armor” to a wall, or “+1 harm restraining” to other bases.
- Earth: Add “forceful restraining” to a base.
- Necromantic: Add “life-drain” to a base.
This gives you some serious versatility to your spell casting and shows the mastery of basic elemental spells that make your a serious danger to even many dangerous monsters or supernatural threats.
Spell-Slinger Playbook Moves
Once you’ve had your fun figuring out the many different combinations that can be put together from your Base and Effect combinations, it’s time to look at the many playbook moves to figure out how you’re going to build out your particular version of a Spell-Slinger.
There’s a lot here, so let’s dive in and see what the options are!
- Tools and Techniques: – The only mandatory move that ALL Spell-Slingers must take. To use your combat magic effectively, you rely on a collection of tools and techniques. Cross off one of these four that you’re choosing NOT to use, and the other three you have.
- Consumables – You need certain supplies – powders, oils, etc – on hand, some will be used up each cast. If you don’t have them, take 1-harm ignore armor when you cast.
- Foci – You need wands, staves, and other obvious props to focus. If you don’t have what you need, your combat magic does 1 less harm.
- Gestures – You need to waver your hands around to use combat magic. If you’re restrained, take -1 ongoing for combat magic.
- Incantations – You must speak in an arcane language to control your magic. If you use combat magic without speaking, act under pressure to avoid scrambling your thoughts.
- Advanced Arcane Training – If you have two of your three Tools and Techniques at the ready, you may ignore the third one. This does make it at least a little harder for the Keeper to mess with you, and gives some versatility as to how you can cast in various situations.
- Arcane Reputation: Pick three big organizations or groups in the supernatural community, which can include some of the more sociable types of monsters. They’ve heard of you and respect your power. With affected humans, take +1 forward when you manipulate them. You may manipulate affected monsters as if they were human, with no bonus. This is one of those Spell-Slinger moves that is situationally amazing and when you need it – you’ll be glad to have it.
- Could’ve Been Worse – When you miss a use magic roll you can choose one of the following options instead of losing control of the magic.
- Fizzle – The preparations and materials for the spell are ruined. You’ll have to start over from scratch with the prep time doubled.
- This Is Gonna Suck – The effect happens, but you trigger all of the listed glitches but one. You pick the one you avoid.
- Enchanted Clothing – Pick an article of every-day clothing – it’s enchanted without any change in appearance. Take -1 harm from any sources that tries to get at you through the garment. Extra hidden damage reduction is always a good when taking a move!
- Forensic Divination – When you successfully investigate a mystery, you may ask “What magic was done here?” as a free extra question. This can be useful in some campaigns, but I’m not sure it’s all that useful at most tables.
- Go Big or Go Home – When you must use magic as a requirement for Big Magic, take +1 ongoing to those use magic rolls. Thematically a great move while offering a good mechanical boost, too.
- Not My Fault – +1 to act under pressure when you are dealing with the consequences of your own spellcasting. Always good to be able to act under pressure.
- Practitioner – Choose two effects available to you under use magic. Take +1 to use magic whenever you choose one of those effects.
- Shield Spell – When you protect someone, gain 2-armor against any harm that is transferred to you. This doesn’t stack with your other armor, if any. Still, if you don’t have armor this is a fantastic boost to your protection.
- Third Eye – When you read a bad situation, you can open up your third eye for a moment to take in extra information. Take +1 hold on any result of 7 or more, plus you can see invisible things. On a miss, you may still get 1 hold, but you’re exposed to supernatural danger. Unfiltered hidden reality is rough on the mind!
As you can see, any player deciding to go with the Spell-Slinger playbook in Monster of the Week will have plenty of options when it comes to customizing their spell slinging character.
Who Should Play The Spell-Slinger Class in Monster of the Week?
Anyone who loves playing a spellcaster. Pretty simple in this case and it’s easy to focus on being a blaster caster, although there is a limited amount of setup to also provide some protection or support. If you enjoy being the primary spellcaster in the group and especially if you love being a “blaster caster” then this is the class for you.
The Spell-Slinger playbook from Monster of the Week is the equivalent of a blaster caster sorcerer or wizard in D&D and when paired with a Divine, Chosen, or Professional can give your team some major firepower for fighting any unnatural threat and the fact you have both physical damage and magical damage covered gives the team a much higher survival rate.
Spell-Slingers are a fun class and if you love throwing around fireballs or creating ice walls, then this is the playbook for you.
MOTW The Spell-Slinger Class: Final Thoughts
The Spell-Slinger isn’t a complicated class, but it does give a lot of options so you can flavor how you do what you do the way that you want. Every system needs to have its spellcasters and the Spell-Slinger fills in that niche very nicely. Some fight Weird with Weird, but as the Spell-Slingers like to day: if you’re dealing with fire, fight it with fire magic.
Why go into a fair fight when you can just one up them with some heavily powered spellcasting instead?
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Proud to embrace the locally created moniker of “Corrupt Overlord” from one of the all time great Lords of Waterdeep runs, Shane is one member of the Assorted Meeples crew and will be hard at work creating awesome content for the website. He is a long-time player of board games, one time semi-professional poker player, and tends to run to the quirky or RPG side of things when it comes to playing video games. He loves tabletop roleplaying systems like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Werewolf, Fate, and others, and not only has been a player but has run games as DM for years. You can find his other work in publications like Level Skip or Hobby Lark.