I spent a little time reading through the Paths of Magic book for the 9th Age that was just released, and its very well done. The 9th Age has a lot going on with a very active community, that is fully engaged in creating creating a fantasy world for tabletop miniatures.
Not familiar with the 9th age? The best part is that it is free to download, so make sure you check out the latest book, Paths of Magic.
Here is a brief introduction to the 9th Age from their forum pages.http://www.the-ninth-age.com/
Fantasy Battles: The 9th Age is an independent table top miniature wargame set in a fantasy world, in which players take control of armies and set them upon one another in conflicts ranging from minor skirmishes to mighty battles with hundreds of models.
The game and all of its rules are completely free to download and use, and consist of a main rulebook and over fifteen army documents, ranging from stoic men and noble elves to the feral orcs and dread worshipers of the dark gods. You can easily assemble your own army using appropriate 28mm miniatures from any manufacturer.
Fantasy Battles: The 9th Age has been created by a group of experienced wargamers, a large supportive staff and continuous input from the wargaming community. We aim to provide a competitive, balanced and fun game, with updates and new rules to be released regularly.
We’ve created 16 unique armies from the Dread Elves in the west to the Ogre Khans in the east. Each army has different units and playstyles and can be represented by models from any 28mm model company. People said it was impossible, but we have created a game that is both balanced and fun. Don’t believe us? Try it for yourselves.
Paths of Magic
the Full Magic Paths book with artworks and background can be found here:
Alchemy – “Excellency, I have worked with warlocks, flame callers, priests, and all manner of hedge wizards, and I would trade all of them for a skilled alchemist. Not only will they bring fire and death on the battlefield, but they’ll aid in mending arms and armour, and when the fighting’s done, finding the enemy’s loot.” – Captain Grigori of the Aegis and Blade Mercenary Company
Cosmology – “In this institution, you will learn the ways of balance. You will discover how to shape the equilibrium, the ease with which the hand of Cosmos grasps, or the world slides towards Chaos. Yet always you must ensure its return to harmony” – Lecture given to new students at Canreig University by Master Dratume
Divination – “A diviner’s greatest strength does not lie in their individual gifts, but when those powers are united. Acting as a conclave, they can see across half the world, and follow a family lineage back to its progenitor” – Memoirs of Peter Tiele
Druidism – “The true source of druidism is not the soil but the very lifeforce of nature itself. A skilful druid taps the pure essence of Cosmos – locked within the earth at the dawn of time – whom they view as the primaeval Mother figure” – Dr. Freidrich Fischler
Evocation – “This is the path of the world lying behind the mirror of life! There’s no secret beyond death hidden to us, for we are the Lords of the Souls! We know the Hidden One himself, for we are the masters of the most secret essences! We know the Truth of Names” – Grimoire of the Lords of Souls
Pyromancy – “Rise, rise oh fire, born with light and inside us with effulgence, lord of the offerings, of sacrifice and transformation, bringer of Truth! You are the inner power of the Cosmos, you the fundamental principle and ultimate reality of life!” – Preparatory hymn for the initiation of a Pyromancer
Shamanism – “The songs of the spirit that cause my chest to swell, the great howls of the northern wolves which make warriors grown lose their nerve. I know the hearts of the warriors, and I know the fifty two scars that can be called on to keep the mind from clouding. I will take these gifts you have given me master and I use them to keep my kin alive” – Memoires of Yakub Sulaimann
Thaumaturgy – “I cannot fail the Gods of Volskaya. Nothing can stand between me and my faith in Gods: there can be no ego or selfishness, there can be no doubt or fear, for I am a Thaumaturge, an instrument of death and war in the hands of the beloved Gods of the Volskali“ – the Diary of Vladimir Efimovic
Witchcraft – “Their witches were able to bring up fogs from nowhere, lead us on wild chases, and confound sailors who were as salt as any you’ll find sailing the world. And that was nothing compared to what they could do if they met your gaze, its as if every shame and secret you hold is laid out in front of them. Let me fight a man or a dwarf any day, at least they’ll just kill me, a witch will just make you wish it were so” – Sgt. Matthias Neshil
Alongside the changes to magic, the core rules have also been adapted. Most notably the army composition guidelines, to give each army a different focus.
People who are interested in video reviews can find them here: https://spark.adobe.com/page/fGUU2c26AS500/