From the publisher:
Magic defines fantasy. It is the magical that makes a normal story into a fantasy that delights listeners, readers, and gamers by making all the impossibilities we can imagine become real. Dreams of magic can make even the most mundane day something to cherish, like a poem evoking the charm of the everyday world.
But sometimes, just like poems, magic can become stale and clichéd. Through repeated exposure, its novelty can wear off, and certainly, thirty years of magic missiles and fingers of death have been enough to render many fantasy gamers jaded. At its core, saying, “My love is a dove,” in a poem is as trite as, “I cast detect magic.”
Elements of Magic opens the world of magic to you, letting you create almost any type of magic-user you’d like. Magic is an artform, like poetry, and any good poet is never content to merely recite the works of others.
Elements of Magic is modular, able to fit whatever role you want it to play. It can be added to an existing campaign that already has wizards, sorcerers, clerics, and druids, perhaps representing another, higher sort of magic, or it can wholly replace the existing magic system, providing a whole new feel to your fantasy gaming. You will need a d20 core rulebook to use these rules, but this book will let you ignore the old, clichéd spells presented in those books, and create your own works of magical art.
Elements of Magic eliminates the spell memorization and preparation system entirely, replacing it with something bold, new and flexible. This book uses a spell list and magic point system, allowing you to build spells modularly, and letting you decide what the mechanics actually mean.
Elements of Magic is a rules module designed to replace the "fire and forget" spell system of the d20 Core Rules. The d20 spell system, while balanced and usable, is not flexible enough to model the magic users from most fantasy books and movies. Few wizards have ever memorized or prepared a spell, and even fewer forget them immediately afterwards. In Elements of Magic, each character has only a single spellcasting level, no matter how many types of magic she learns in her career. The Elements of Magic gives characters many times the options of the standard d20 rules. Individual spells are replaced by spell lists. Instead of learning a fireball spell, for example, a mage could learn the Evoke Fire spell list, which is very flexible as to its usage and appearance. Nor is the mage limited to fire evocations – with 20 elements to choose from, she could learn Evoke Lightning to stun and damage your foes, Transform Light to make them evaporate into a dim glow, or even exotic combinations of spell lists, such as Create Force/Drain Time, to lock them in a bubble of stasis. It would take thousands of standard spells to duplicate the effects of the spell lists in this 94-page book.