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10 magical school tabletop RPGs that will cast a spell on you

Study up with these roleplaying games.

Image credit: Anna Blackwell

Have you ever dreamt of going to a magical school - riding on a broom with friends, attending potion classes and casting magic spells? Well, you’re in luck as there are a ton of wonderful tabletop roleplaying games where you can grab your backpack and wand, before heading to some wizarding academies. From made-up magical sports with your friends, to attending potions classes, to getting chummy with your cute new cat: there’s sure to be a school you want to attend next semester.

Before we jump into my list of suggestions though, you can also check out the ‘Trans Witches are Witches’ bundle over on Itch.io - which is a collection of TTRPGs, zines, video games and more based around wizards, magic and the occult that is $60 and runs till February 24th. Some of the games on this list are on there so go check it out if you’re interested!

Best magical school tabletop RPGs

We will also mention that there are plenty of supplements out there that can bring a magic school to your favourite RPGs, but sharing new titles that really focus on wielding magic is the name of the game here. So, here are 10 magical school tabletop RPGs that will cast a spell on you.

Cover image for YouTube video
Maddie shares some of the best magical school RPGs you can escape into.

1. Kids on Brooms

Attend a magical school with your friends and learn some spells

Players are free to make up spells as they go along in the game.

If you want to attend a magic school tucked away from the real world, where you get to pick a wand, play silly made up magical sports with your friends and get lost in the forbidden corridors of the library, Kids on Brooms is the tabletop RPG for you. It’s the magical version of the 1980s-movie inspired sci-fi RPG Kids on Bikes - offering the same gameplay mechanics and nostalgic appeal as the original, whilst transporting you to a wondrous wizarding world.

In the game, you’ll develop powers and attend a magic school together as a group, build interesting relationships – some even before playing - and then head off on magical adventures. You can even create your own class schedule where you’ll be graded and level up your magical skills: from potions class to defence against malicious magic.

However, rather than picking up specific spells to learn your magic is flexible, allowing you to use what feels right in the moment. Each time you try a spell or to brew a potion you’ll be tapping into your character skills. For example, you’d use the fight skill to cast spells to attack others, whereas charm would be the magic you’d use to influence someone’s thinking or create an illusion.

Players won’t have to keep a long list of spells, as they’re able to adapt to any situation by pulling out amazing thematic spells like a thunderbolt during a wizard fight, or silly hijinks like filling someone’s socks with slugs. Kids on Bikes is a rule-light, narrative-driven RPG that is the perfect framing for any magic school adventures you could want with friends.

Buy Kids on Brooms from Renegade Game Studios and DriveThruRPG


2. Cantrip

A wholesome RPG inspired by Kiki's Delivery Service

Artwork for Cantrip RPG.
Humans aren't the only playable species in this RPG.

If you’re coming to this list with a love of anime series like Little Witch Academia or films such as Kiki’s Delivery Service, then Cantrip was made for you. It’s a fantasy RPG about coming-of-age in a world with magic and supernatural elements, focusing on lighthearted adventures and friendship between you and fellow players.

Cantrip is a GM-less system where someone takes the role of a facilitator who understands all the rules and encourages people to play, but everyone will be playing their own witch and joining in on hijinks. Storytelling is a collaborative effort in the game, which means you also get to build the world together too: conjuring up your very own magical academy. Do you all study in a mountaintop temple with a mysterious hedge maze? Or in a castle by a lake surrounded by giant pumpkins? If you’re used to playing with a game master, then GM-less RPGs can feel a little intimidating - but Cantrip does a great job at prompting you every step of the way.

There’s an academic calendar filled with interesting events included with Cantrip, from a harvest festival to school council elections. Then each of your playbooks contain moves to push roleplay forward if you ever feel lost for words. Cantrip has all your favourite witchy high school tropes and more: such as the traditional and haughty posh character to the nature-obsessed Hedge witch and everything in between. They’re all fun and incredibly flexible, letting you conjure your own backstories and decide if you cast spells through dance, have a pet hawk, or a teapot that never empties.

Cantrip is definitely one of the more wholesome games on this list, so if you dream of being a witch in a bakery rather than a fight, give this one a go.

Buy Cantrip from the Soul Muppet Publishing website

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Maddie lists 10 wholesome roleplaying games to relax to.

3. Pigsmoke

Take on all the joys and stresses of teaching in this unique roleplaying game

Artwork for Pigsmoke RPG.
Alongside teaching, players will be able to conduct and write research.

Magical Schools wouldn’t exist without the teachers. Teachers are the ones sending a demon back to hell when a student accidentally summons one, putting out fires in the elemental studies class and shouting ‘slow down!’ whenever students race brooms down the hallways. How must it feel to deal with all of that? Well, grab your whiteboard marker because you’re about to find out!

In Pigsmoke you play as the faculty at America’s foremost college of magic, Pigsmoke. The magical RPG uses part of the Powered By The Apocalypse system, so you have various moves you can perform depending on your chosen playbook. You have Publish: which is where you put all your research out into the world , but it may end up with the dean forcing you to teach more. There’s Scathe - because what’s the point of being an academic if you can’t scathingly remark on some else's shoddy research. And, of course, Red Tape - where you try to do anything that involves the college’s nightmare bureaucracy.

What are teachers without departments? Players also get to decide if they’re dissecting in The Department of Life and Death, brewing in The Department of Alchemy or getting up to other magical trouble in another. Pigsmoke is a lighthearted jab at academia, but it’s also a chance to explore the prejudices and issues rampant in these institutions. You can have a wacky adventure of the football team being possessed by ghosts, just as easily as you can explore what it’s like to be the first in your family to attend a university and how others treat you there.

Magic doesn’t always make things easier, in fact, it often does the opposite.

Buy Pigsmoke from DriveThruRPG


4. Monsterhearts 2

Fall into the angst and romance in the world of Monster Hearts 2.

Monsterhearts 2 RPG artwork
Potential playable species in Monsterhearts 2 include vampires and fae.

If you’re less interested in casting spells at your magic school and more invested in the teenage angst, then why not check out Monsterhearts 2? This is a horror RPG that deals with the messy lives of teenagers who are secretly monsters. From shoplifting at the mall to your first kiss at a party: the game explores the difficult but exciting coming of age experience.

Your moves can involve anything from getting high at the back of the school field and accidentally slipping into alternate consciousness with ‘Gaze into the Abyss’, to flirting in the school cafeteria to get the hot werewolf to join the football team with ‘Turn someone on’. It’s very much rooted in the high school experience, with the monstrous sides of players just adding another layer of teenage trouble to explore. You might not be able to brew potions but who can even think about that when you’re sixteen and have just drunk the blood from your best friend's crush, or transform into your wolf form in front of the school bully?

Monsterhearts isn’t about going on quests, it’s about exploring emotions and relationships. It’s an inherently queer game, championing diversity at every level and allowing your group to get deep into interpersonal issues. While Monsterhearts 2 doesn’t necessarily take place in a magic school setting, whether kids have wands in their hands or claws they’re dealing with the same drama. If you like the idea of being a vengeful fae cheerleader or a lonely ghost kid with their head buried in a book: then this could be the school your group enrols in.

Buy Monster Hearts 2 from Buried Without Ceremony

Cover image for YouTube video
Wheels, Lolies, Liv and Meehan play Monsterhearts 2 in honour of Pride Month.

5. Magical Pets

Why be the spellcaster when you can be the adorable familiar?

Artwork for Magical Pets RPG.
Players can create their magical school as well as their characters.

If the best thing about being at a magical school is having a cute familiar or pet, then why not just become one? Magical Pets is a two-page RPG about being the cute familiars of students and faculty at a magical academy. You support your human in their studies and teaching, but as they’re often very busy, you find time for your own adventures too.

You can be anything from a cat to a toad to a snake to a miniature unicorn - whatever you think would be fun to play. Character creation is easy - once you know your species, you give yourself a driving characteristic like clumsy or intellectual and a magical pet name, of course. Magical Pets is based on the rules-light Lasers & Feelings RPG and uses a similar system of having two differing stats that your character sits somewhere in-between. The main stats in this RPG are magic - which means you’re good at things like spells and the lessons at school, and pet: which means you’re better at being cute, flying, or interacting with humans. The game is that simple!

As a group you create your magic school setting together – being sure to include both strengths, such as having pet flaps and cosy corners, to weaknesses like foul tempered caretakers and scary flesh-eating plants.

Magical Pets has everything you need for a fun one-shot or more and could be a really great additional game to play on top of the others on this list where you get to be your witches own familiars for a session. Just print out the one page to share around the table or check out the screen reader-accessible HTML version that can be opened in any browser. It’s that easy to have a purrfect game.

Buy Magical Pets from itch.io


6. Tangled Blessings

Embrace the darker side of magic with this journaling RPG

Artwork for Tangled Blessings RPG.
The world of Tangled Blessings is filled with dangerous secrets.

Tangled Blessings is a horror journaling RPG for one to two players. In the game, you’re an adult and senior student at Blackroot Academy. During your time at the school, you’ll reflect on the last four years of study as you prepare to face your ultimate rival in a final exam.

Playing this RPG gives you a chance to delve deep into some darker ideas and what having magic might mean. During the game, players will be able to reach out to ghosts, open portals and conduct moonlight rituals. Tangled Blessings uses a tarot deck to chart your experience: from which school-house you join to what happened while you were there. Over the in-game four years, you draw cards and journal about the experiences from the corresponding prompts. Perhaps you were injured in a training duel, but was it really an accident? You’ll think about the snake venom and fresh blood potion you made and whether you drank it.

At the end of the game, you keep track of what cards you drew and they become your final deck for the final exam. Tangled Blessings contains all the dark academia, masquerade balls, murders and bloodstained illusions for players to dabble in to their terrible heart’s content.

Buy Tangled Blessings from itch.io and DriveThruRPG

Watch on YouTube
Liv highlights some of the best fantasy RPGs that aren't D&D.

7. Witch Girls Adventure

A modern-day roleplaying game about growing in power and wisdom

Artwork for Witch Girl Adventures RPG.
Travel the world, make friends and learn new things in this RPG.

Based on the Witch Girls’ comics, the Witch Girls Adventure RPG sees you becoming young magic users tapping into powers that run through generations of your family - whether you know it or not.

While the base game isn’t necessarily built around academia, it’s still about being a young magic-user finding their way in the world. Plus, there are tons of supplements, including two that do revolve around attending a school. Witch Girls Adventures is a chance for you to get really detailed about what your witchsona can do. The RPG allows you to pick cliques, backgrounds, skills, traits, heritages and schools of magic you specialise in, as well as different equipment like brooms and tomes. It’s a detailed breakdown of everything you could want when designing a teenage witch. For those new to roleplaying games it could feel like a lot to take in, but it also gives you a lot of inspiration around what to do in any given situation.

There are pages of spells to pick from too: such as turning annoying people into frogs, conjuring smoke from thin air or giving someone the worst hair day imaginable. Witch Girls Adventures is set in a modern world, so you can even tap into cybermancy - which gives you mastery over the digital world alongside the normal curses and elemental powers. If you want to be a young witch bubbling over with a detailed list of special talents, then this is the adventure for you.

Buy Witch Girls Adventures from DriveThruRPG


8. Apothecaria

Players are free to adapt Apothecaria into a magical RPG in whatever way they want

Medical magic is essential in the world of this magical roleplaying game.

Now this isn’t technically about being at a magic school, nor is it about being a teenage wizard, but it’s a fun solo RPG about being a witch that you could definitely adapt to be more in line with the theme of a magical school.

Apothecaria is about taking over as a village healer, using your magic to brew potions and help the sick visitors. As part of the game you decide what your village is like and what kind of house you have, so you could decide it’s a school where you’re an apprentice in the healing department, or that you’re completing an assignment from a university. Otherwise, you could just go full hedge-witch and just enjoy your magic, the theme be damned. A game is played by journaling your experience as you draw cards to determine what happens. Villagers come to you with ailments that your deck will reveal, you need to decide what ingredients you use to brew a cure, then head off into the wild to find them.

Theme Hospital is one of the inspirations behind Apothecaira, so the illnesses are all things like Ventriloquists Cough and Candlesick: meaning that you won’t need to worry about having to deal with actual sickness.The forgeable ingredients you track down are also imaginary. There are four base locations you can visit, such as the forested Glimmerwood Grove or cool Meltwater Loch, with more to unlock as your witch grows more powerful.

And that’s not all, as you hone your craft you can get a trusty animal familiar, upgrade your tools, and deal with more serious illnesses. You may not be at a special academy, but in Apothecaria you’re definitely still a student in your witchy, cottage-core arts.

Buy Apothecaria from itch.io


9. Lofi Bards to Study and Relax to

In this game players collectively relax and cast spells to chilled-out music

Lofi Bards to Study and Relax to artwork
Players can create their own music playlists to listen to.

Lofi Bards to Study and Relax to is another Powered by the Apocalypse magic school adventure, but with a twist. In this RPG, you and the other players attend a magical school or university, explore the grounds, study for exams, and make lifelong friends along the way.

However, unlike other entries, your magical item of choice is a notesrider - which is basically a fantasy cassette player that allows you to chill out with your lofi bards playlist whenever you’re feeling stressed. Your character might want to relax because they’ve got a big exam coming up or because they just fought a massive griffon.

While your Notestrider is a low-level accessory at first - a way to unwind and basically heal yourself from the game’s stress damage - it can be upgraded as you progress. Potential upgrades include allowing you to skip back in time with the press of the rewind button, or picking up cursed and haunted cassette tapes that are wound with magical energy. Of course, you should also create your own lofi playlist as a group to listen to when you describe how you all chill out after a hard day at school.

There are nearly one hundred other cool magic artefacts found in the game, such as magical coffee mugs. Players also have 25 different heritages to play as: including elf, dryad, cyclops or whatever feels right. Lofi Bards to Study and Relax to is flexible with a fun twist, so you can ditch the wands and still get straight As.

Buy Lofi Bards to Study and Relax to from itch.io and DriveThruRPG


10. The Magical Year of a Teenage Witch

Gather ingredients and learn magic in this slice-of-life RPG

Artwork for Magical Year of Teenage Witch RPG
This RPG takes place over the various seasons, with each one bringing its own unique aspects.

A large part of your time in education outside of the classroom is discovering who you are, which is the core of RPG The Magical Year of a Teenage Witch. This can be played alone via journaling or with friends out-loud over various sessions without the need for a GM.

Similar to Cantrip, The Magical Year of a Teenage Witch is another slice of life story where you’re more likely to be filling in your spell book with an iced coffee in hand, than fighting terrifying demons. You play over the four seasons, having moved to a new town to make the most of your magic year where your powers are growing the fastest. To play, you roll on one of the prompt sheets to see what your witch experiences. Overtime, your witch will gain new memories, pick up new skills and even fill in their spell-book.

Each season is filled with inspiring prompts that immerse you in the cosy world, from raking leaves in autumn to tapping into extra power on the longest day of the year. It’s all about finding who you are and learning about your magic, which is very much a young adult experience whether you’re technically attending a university or not. Step out of the library, into the world and do some magic.

Buy The Magical Year of a Teenage Witch from itch.io

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About the Author
Maddie Cullen avatar

Maddie Cullen

Video Team

Maddie has spent most of her life writing and turned that passion for sharing words into video when she worked as producer at a creative agency. Until her colleagues got tired of the constant badgering to play board games or hear about her latest D&D session, so she joined Dicebreaker to find people who might be more interested.

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