Name: Ulthor the Conjurer
Type: Specialist Mage - Conjuring
Talent: History 18 (INT+4), Arcane Symbology 19 (INT+5)
Weight Carried/Possible: 352/1200
Spells: Call Flame, Call Water, Dem Bones Gonna Rise, Hold That Pose, Oh-Go-Away, Sparkle, Will-o-Wisp, Spirit Mastery
Weapons: 2 Banks (2D+3), Common Sling (2D)
Armor: Soft Leather (5 hits)
Equipment: Cotton trousers and shirt, leather belt, hooded cloak, ankle-high hard boots, sling stones, backpack, belt pouch, lantern, 4 flasks of oil, flint and steel, small mirror, parchment (10), quill pen, ink bottle, chalk (10), small sack, water skin, first aid kit
Description: Ulthor was trained as a scholar in the Great Library. He spent his days studying ancient texts learning the secrets of those civilizations that came and went though the countless generations. Then one day Ulthor began to feel a new power developing in his mind. It began by lighting candles, torches, and even fireplaces jut by thinking of fire. Then he did the same with water. The day Ulthor summoned a skeleton from the ground of an ancient battlefield was the day he began to change his direction of study. Ulthor began to find and read as many texts on magic as he could find. He gradually learned to decipher the strange symbols and languages in which these texts were written. Over time, Ulthor began to understand the power which had somehow began to develop in his mind. But soon the Master Scholars became annoyed with Ulthor's pursuits and he was released from the service of the Great Library. Ulthor was not troubled by this event. He was armed with the knowledge of the ancients, particularly the locations of their places of knowledge and wealth. With this knowledge and his developing abilities to control the world around him, Ulthor set out to seek his fortune along a more interesting, but dangerous, path.
Specialist Mage's are indeed interesting characters. I like the idea that the magic they know just unfolds in their mind. In this way perhaps the magic used by Specialist Mage's is different from that used by normal Wizards who have to be taught their spells by someone else or learn them from scrolls and books. The effect may be the same, but perhaps a Call Flame spell cast by a Specialist Mage does not quite operate the same way as a Wizard's spell.
Specialist Mages must choose a specialty or school of magic at the start. These include Combat, Conjuring, Cosmic, and Metabolic. There are, of course, various advantages and disadvantages of the different schools and their associated spell lists. This becomes a tougher choice if you intend to take your Specialist Mage on the road solo. Many spells are for support of other, either while engaged in combat or immediately after. A 1st level Combat Mage might be hard-pressed with just TTYF and Vorpal Blade (of course one could argue that TTYF is the perfect spell for a solo Mage), whereas a 1st level Conjurer (7 spells) or Cosmic Mage (10 spells) has a better mix of different types of spells. The 1st level Metabolic Mage had better be good with daggers since he only gets one spell, Suppress Kremm. Given that a Specialist Mage needs to TARO (triples add and roll over) to qualify for the type, the odds of starting at 2nd level are pretty good. This has the advantage of giving your starting Specialist Mage a good set of spells to work with even though you won't be getting the full complement of 20 1st level spells as Wizards do. If you decide to play an elf or fairy (WIZ x2), then you'll do even better on this front. The allocation of spells changes through the levels, with some schools getting more and some less; rarely does a particular school have none for a level (but it does happen).
Looking through the various spells, I could see advantages to all of the schools. I thought the Combat Mage was a little too obvious of a choice, however, and liked the spells of the Conjuring School. At 1st level for combat power you have Hold That Pose as well as Oh-Go-Away and Dem Bones (Who doesn't want to summon a skeleton to do their bidding?). Call Flame and Call Water are also good general purpose spells that can be used in combat in a pinch (but serve other purposes much better) as well as Will-O-Wisp just in case you find yourself in the dark. Sparkle? Could be useful. Since Ulthor started at 2nd level he also knew Spirit Mastery, allowing him to bend others to his will (up to MR 50!); this could provide Ulthor with a nice bodyguard. Managing such spells in a solo adventure might be tricky, but it could be done with a bit of creativity. I'm looking forward to Ulthor being someday able to cast 12th level spells such as Invisible Fiend and Summoning. But alas, he will likely be eaten long before then.