The basic idea of this system sprang from White Wolf's "Mage: The Acsension", with it's idea of spheres of magic. However, I wanted something that had a more "fantasy" feel to it, so I came up with the following speres of magic:
Aeromancy Magic of Air and Weather
Aquamancy Magic of Water and Potions
Pyromancy Magic of Fire and Destruction
Geomancy Magic of Earth and Crystals
Necromancy Magic of Life, Death, and the Undead
Naturalism Magic of Plants and Animals
Mysticism Magic of the Mind and Soul
Each sphere caan have a rating from one to five. The rating of a sphere determines how powerful a spell you may cast. For example:
Level one spells are minor, cantrip-like effects. These are the spells you might expect an apprentice to use.
Level two spells are more powerful, and can have small real-world effects and usefulness. These are the spells you might expect a journeyman mage to use.
Lavel three spells are powerful, and can have excellent effect. These are the spells you might expect a master magician to use.
Level four spells are devastating, and can have major effects. These are the spells you might expect from a mighty wizard.
Level five spells are legendary, and can have devastatingly powerful effects. These are the spells you might expect from the mightiest wizards of legend, who raise mountains and do battle with the greatest of demons.
The cost for each sphere of magic is a number of points equal to the new level in that sphere. So to get level one pyromancy requires one point, to get the second level requires two more points, third level requires more three points, etc. Thus the total cost to have one sphere at level five would be fifteen points, the same as Sorcery in Amber. Of course, then you are limited in the type of spells you can cast. A level five pyromancer can't heal someone, or fly, for example.
The idea here is that there should be NO set spells for each category of magic. The player is free to come up with whatever effects seem plausible, and the game master determines the spells power level, using these examples as a guide.
Thus the GM has complete control over how powerful Sorcery is in his game. He also decides how draining spells of various levels will be, and how they affect sorcerers with different levels of endurance.
Here are the spell-powers. Note that these are example effects only. They are not to be taken as limits on what the powers are capable of.
Magic dealing with elemental air and the weather.
Will `o' Whisp 1 Creates a ball of light that floats around at the caster's direction.
Zephyr 1 Enough to blow out a candle or knock over small items.
Aerodrawing 1 Draw lines and words in the air.
Word's Breath 2 Carries a message anywhere, along a gust of wind.
Magewind 3 A semi-intelligent gust of wind, usually used to propel a sea vessel.
Raven's Wings 3 Strong winds literally lift the mage and carry him/her elsewhere.
Stormcalling 4 Controlling the weather.
Lightening Bolt 4 Channeling the force of nature.
Storm Mastery 5 Complete command of the weather. Hurricanes, tornadoes, dogs & cats living together, etc.
Magic dealing with elemental water and the power of potions and Elixirs.
Conjure water 1 Conjure drinkable water
Arcane mist 2 Create an area of mist.
Love potion 2 Formulate love potion #9.
Love Charm 2 Enhances the appearance of recipient.
Healing Balm 3 Formulate a potion of healing.
Call Rain 3 Conjures rain in the area. This is not an actual storm, but rain in a localized area.
Truecurrent 3 A semi-intelligent current in the water that can carry an object through the water to any desired location.
Acid mist 4 Same as Arcane mist, except that the mist is caustic.
Potion of Life 5 Formulate the potion of life, which increases the chance that a mortally wounded person may live, and a recently dead person may be "shocked" back to life.
Magic dealing with elemental fire.
Light 1 Creates a small flame at the tip of the finger. Useful for lighting pipes and campfires.
Fire Writing 2 Draws on any surface, or in mid-air, using a line of fire. Can be a picture or actual words.
Fist of Flame 2 Engulfs the fist (or anything held in the fist) in flames. Useful as torchlight or to make a flaming weapon.
Arc of Fire 3 Shoots a stream of flames at a target.
Wall of Fire 4 Creates a wall, circle, or dome of fire.
Fireball 5 A massive blast of fire, engulfing a large area.
Magic dealing with elemental earth and protection.
Gaia's Ears 1 Allows the geomancer to listen to the ground and determine much about things in the area.
Crystal Song 1 Creates a chiming effect from crystals. With practice can be quite beautiful.
Crystal Scribe 2 Causes a crystal to record sounds or thoughts.
Downsliding 2 Alters the ground slightly so that the caster is always moving downhill.
Silver Charm 3 Protects bearer from one specific threat. Either one-use or partial protection.
Mt's Strength 3 Strengthens an object or structure to withstand stress.
Friend o the Land 3 Makes the caster permeable to one earthy substance: iron, stone, earth, etc.
Mold Earth 3 Makes an area of earth shape itself into whatever form the caster desires. (Within the skill of the caster.)
Golem Creation 4 Makes a golem. Clay, Stone, and Iron are common.
Permanency 5 Makes another spell last indefinitely.
Land Quake 5 Summons a devastating earthquake.
Magic dealing with life, death, and the undead.
Death's Vision 1 Look into the eyes of the deceased and see their last vision.
Enviven 1 Grants a boost of energy to recipient.
Death's Door 2 Recover a mortally wounded person if any trace of life remains.
Veil Speaking 2 "Channeling" the departed. Can be risky.
Dark Banishing 3 "Turning" undead.
Regeneration 3 Restoration of destroyed flesh, living or otherwise.
Animate Dead 3 Creation of skeletons and zombies.
Animate Body Part 4 Animating an arm, leg, etc. and attaching it to a living body. (Or a different undead creature... mix `n' match!)
Eternal Unlife 5 Grant self-motivated unlife to a corpse. (Lich, skeleton warriors, etc.)
Magic dealing with plants and animals.
Will `o' Whisp 1 Creates a ball of light that floats around at the caster's direction.
Nature's Sense 1 "Tuning in" to nature to gather information about the surroundings.
Wyld Touch 1 Makes natural animals friendly to the caster.
Beast's Tongue 2 Speaking with animals. Role-playing required.
Camouflage 2 Alter the surface appearance of an object or person to blend in with natural surroundings.
Mold Wood 2 Shape living or dead plant matter.
Eye of the Animal 3 Sensing through the eyes and ears of a specific animal.
Call to Service 3 Summoning all animals of a certain type in the area for aid or service.
Green Tongue 3 Speaking with Plants. Role-playing required.
Forest's Aid 3 Grants limited movement to plants. (Grass grabs feet, roots trip, brambles entangle, etc.)
Animate Plant 4 Enables full mobility to plants, even uprooting and traveling.
Tongue of 4 Speaking with insects. Very risky. Role-playing required.
Plant Door 5 Stepping "into" one tree and exiting out any other tree of the same type in the same Shadow.
Magic dealing with the mind.
Second Sight 1 Know one minor thing about another, such as their name, what kind of pet they have, etc.
Trance 1 Mental and physical rest without actual sleep.
Mind Over Body 2 Control of pain, etc.
Mind Over Mind 2 A mental shield to prevent unwanted intrusion.
Telepathy 2 Mental communication. If the target is unwilling or resisting, the mind must be subdued first.
Telekinesis 3 Physical movement of objects.
Wall of Force 3 A wall, circle, or dome of magical energy.
Levitation 4 Self-telekinesis.
Mind Puppet 4 Once a victim has been telepathically subdued, the body can be controlled like a puppet.
Annul Enchantment 4 Destroys enchantments.
Anti-magic Shell 5 Negates all magic in the area.
Spells which require more than one power at the same level to operate...
Detect Magic 1 Causes local sources of magic to glow.
Spirit Eyes 1 Allows perceiving and communication with spirits.
Touch of 1 Allows sensing of areas and objects that have been
the Spirit affected by spirits.
Spirit Calling 2 Caster can call on a spirit's attention, if it's name is known.
Dispel Magic 3 Cancels active magic. Does not affect enchanted items or innate abilities.
Spirit Bond 3 The caster takes on some aspect of his patron spirit. (Flaming eyes of a demon lord, swift land travel of a deer, or the commanding voice of a God.)
Arcane Bolt 3 A burst of magical energy.
Binding 4 Allows the caster to bind a spirit into an item.
Banishing 4 Allows the caster to force a spirit to leave an area or person.
Tap Ley-Line 4 Enhances the spell-caster's power.
Astral Travel 5 Out-of-body experience.
Pass the Veil 5 The caster and other can pass directly into the astral realm, or spirits can pass into the real realm.