Monday, 28 March 2016


Magic is brought into the world through the Wield Magic Move. Spell power is at one of four levels:

Cantrips - simple fleeting magic with no power cost and can be cast at the whim of the mage. A Cantrip cannot cause Harm.

Minor Magic - standard magic with a cost of 1 Power and a successful Wield Magic Move. If not enchanted into an item, the magic can last up to a scene, affects one subject and, if offensive, causes 3 Harm. The effect scope of this magic equates to what one person could achieve.

Major Magic - powerful and complex magic with a cost of 2 Power, that requires a Magical Focus, and a successful Wield Magic Move from a mage that has had 5 advancements. The magic can last a lengthy period of time, affects multiple subjects and, if offensive, causes 4 Harm including to Large creatures. The effect scope of this magic equates to what many people people could achieve.

Legendary Magic - immensely powerful magic with a cost of 4 Power, that requires a Magical Focus, and a successful Wield Magic Move from a mage that has had 5 advancements  and specific and complex narrative requirements as to time, place, astronomical alignments, item of power or sacrifice. The magic can be in effect for generations, affects whole regions and, if offensive, lays waste to cities, lands and communities. The effect scope of this magic equates to what legions of people could achieve over many years.

Describing Magical Effects
Within the confines of the magical tradition and the available spell power level the mage has complete freedom to describe the desired magical effect. Once the Wield Magic Move outcome is known, the GM can respond to the effect and embellish or illustrate consequences to the magic. The creation of a magical effect is a dialogue between the caster and the GM and creates new truths in the game.

The unintended consequences of magic become more pronounced the higher the level of power.

The Mage

Shrouded in mystery, piercing the veil of reality, the mage is imbued with a gift, yet carries a burden of mistrust and fear. Grounded in one of a number of disparate traditions, the mage alters, encourages, negotiates,  or simply bamboozles perceived reality into a new, form. The mage is a catch all profession for those that Wield Magic. Magic is expressed in many different ways, loosely collected into ‘traditions’ that codify and teach their ways over the generations. The Abilities found below are commonly available to all traditions though the way they are described and realised will vary in at least as many ways as there are traditions to describe them.

Choose a magical tradition. This will influence how you look, what you believe and how your magic manifests in the world.

The Elementalist
When you describe your magic it will be based on the the great arcana of the elements Earth, Wind, Fire, Water, Shadow and Metal that bend to your will. You can shape the abstracted ideal of these blocks of reality, disjointing them from their natural state and reconstituting them into new forms at your will. Shape the winds and use the air as your servant, create blasts of elemental fire, flow like the river between cracks of stone, create walls of earth or, slip between places in shadow and power the riddle of steel with magical power.

The Necromancer
When you describe your magic it will be based on Death Magic, create and control undead, unravel the threads of life, master disease and taste putrefaction. As death is the key to life, you are able to unlock the mysteries and blur the boundaries between the two. Achieve a clinging and dependant immortality, enjoy the pleasures of life with none of the weaknesses.

The Sorcerer
When you describe your magic it will be powered through the summoning and binding of  demons and powers from other realms. The physical world is only one of multitudinous realms and your magic draws creatures from them to do your bidding or to be bound and incarcerated in physical containers in this world. Control can be tenuous and bargains (via the Persuade Move) are rarely certain or perpetuating.

The Witch
When you describe your magic it will be primal and powered by the forces of the natural world around us. This is ancient magic of the earth, the natural world, weather, healing, curses and the spirits that watch us from tree, rock, stream and shadow. Bring the vitality of life to cursed ground, converse with the ancestors, natural spirits and animals, brew potent elixirs from herbs and beast and  ground stones, draw magic from life, heal the sick and curse your enemies with plagues and bad luck.

The Fae
When you describe your magic it will be seen through a dreamy mist shrouded veil. This is the natural magic of the Elves, misdirecting through faerie glamour, old alliances with the trees, protection of places, manipulation of weather, unweaving of the fabric of time, unchaining the waiting fears in the mind, soothing dreams, and constructions of breathtaking beauty.

There will be power overlaps between Traditions. In many ways it is less about the effects that can be produced but more about the traditional narrative that enables them to manifest.

Choose 1 description for your character from this list. This is a facet of your physical
appearance or behaviour (along with the other 2 choices from your race and origin).

Elementalist or Sorcerer
Fiery eyes, Far away look, Stooped, Energetic, Cautious, Arrogant

Palid, Dark pits for eyes, Waxy skin, Gaunt, Cruel, Morbid

Fresh complexion, Laughing eyes, Wizened, Mercurial, Coarse, Uncaring

Beautiful, Graceful, Shimmering, Vengeful, Distracted, Enigmatic

Choose one of the following triggers to begin advancing in this career.

Each session, all characters mark xp the first time...

An objective is taken by the power of magic.
A magical place or power is uncovered.
An extensive magical ritual is successfully completed.
A life is saved or destroyed by magic.
An enemy from another tradition is beaten.

Mage Abilities

As a mage you can choose from these Abilities during character creation.

Cantrips: Small shards of your magic that lightly touch reality and can be produced at a whim.
Countermagic: Undo the magic of others.
Enchanting: Imbue physical items with the power of magic.
Magical Focus: An item through which you channel your power
Well of Power: Your Power track is equal to double your Magic value.

Create minor magical effects, almost instinctively at no Power cost. This magic will be slight, fleeting and insufficiently powerful to create any form of Harm. It will serve to enhance your aura and reinforce the power of the tradition that you follow.

This Ability allows you to unravel magic that is currently in effect. Spend Power equal to the level of Magic Power. Countering Legendary magic will also require additional components, rituals or sacrifices as when it was created.
On a 10+, the magic is dispelled.
On a 7-9, the spell is dispelled, but it costs either an extra point of Power and there is an unforeseen effect to the unravelling that could cause complications.
On a 6-, the magic is strengthened with +1 Power and cannot be unravelled  by the Mage again.

Some of the traditions magic involves placing power into physical things. This Ability enables the Mage to craft items and create magical Tags to upgrade items. Magical weapons, armour, wards and glyphs can be created within the boundaries of the tradition.

Magical Focus
A special item or familiar through which you channel your power. This focus is required to create major or legendary effects.

Well of Power
Your Power track is now set at double your Magic Stat, extending the amount of magic you can cast before your power needs to be recovered.

The Sixth Stat

I'm about to publish 'The Mage' profession, which incorporates a number of distinctive traditions. The Abilities will be common across the traditions but expressed in a language that makes sense to each. As such it will be one slightly longer section, rather than  many individual professions. More on this soon.

Whilst Creating The Mage I've looked at how magic will be expressed mechanically through the 'Wield Magic' Move. Essentially I want to go for a simple and entirely free-form descriptive approach to magic that frees the game up from lists of spells I'm increasingly liking the idea of a sixth +Magic Stat for Wield Magic,  a Stat that will be distinct from +Spirit, reflecting connection to the forces of magic in Kalland.

As such, the core Moves such as 'Face Danger' and 'Gain Understanding' will also have a +Magic dimension to them along with the other core Stats. Plus I need to think again about a core Stat Move for +Spirit.

In terms of the starting split for Stats, I've assumed to go for a +2, +1, +1, +0, +0, -1 distribution.

Friday, 25 March 2016

The Warrior

The Warrior is set apart and trained to protect and destroy. Blood and Steel, Shoot and Skirmish are your stock in trade. You are a step up from the simple rabble, honed for the fight, sensing the initiative, understanding the pattern of the battle and anticipating the enemy. Carrying heavy weapons and steel armour without noticing, you can fight alone, in small groups or in the serried ranks with your battle brothers and sisters.


Choose 1 description for your character from this list. This is a facet of your physical
appearance or behavior (along with the other 2 choices from your race and origin).
Scarred, Grizzled, Massive, Brooding, Weary, Grim.


Choose one of the following triggers to begin advancing in this career.

Each session, all characters mark xp the first time...

  • An objective is taken by force of arms.
  • A perilous order is obeyed.
  • An injury is sustained.
  • An innocent is saved by the force of your martial skill
  • A worthy enemy is beaten.

Warrior Abilities:

As a warrior you can choose from these Abilities during character creation.

Tactics: Understand the flow of the battle and influence the outcome.
Endure Great Suffering: Take a lot more punishment than the average person.
Signature Weapon: Specially crafted, with a power to change the course of a battle.
Unencumbered: Carry greater weights and ignore the penalties of doing so.
Battle: Take command in battle and lead your forces to victory.

When you are about to enter melee you can Gain Understanding during combat, roll +Bright

  • On a 10+, you can see the way this combat will pan out and can anticipate the enemy. Hold 3.
  • On a 7-9, you Hold 1.

For every Hold you spend it grants an Advantage +1 going forward to any ally during the encounter. Only 1 Hold can be spent on an ally at anyone time, though one ally can receive multiple bonuses.

Endure Great Suffering
You can suffer two injuries of each of the first three severities, rather than one.

Signature Weapon
Own a signature Grade 3 weapon. If that weapon is ever lost, you can abandon it and spend an extended period of time claiming a new weapon as your Unique Weapon, adding an extra
upgrade to it.

Ignore the Clumsy trait inflicted by heavy weapons, large packs and heavy armor.

The cursed melee is something, but the killing ground of mass arrayed armies is another. With this Ability you can take command and direct armies at various levels and opens up Battle Moves.

There are some mechanical elements that will arise out of character creation. Mass battle is one! I'm looking forward to playing with the equipment upgrades too. :)

Thursday, 24 March 2016


Characters are essentially created by making three selections: one race, one profession and one origin. Each provide descriptions, advancements and 'Abilities' that individualise the character, provide edges and options and hone how they will behave in the game.

I thought I would start with ten professions:

  • Assassin
  • Bard
  • Mage
  • Merchant
  • Priest
  • Rogue
  • Scholar
  • Scout
  • Seafarer
  • Warrior

Over the coming weeks I'll post up details of each. Initially I'll pick out some for development, so that I can get some characters together for a game on the 8th May at my FLGS.

The Elves

The next series of posts will outline example races, professions and origins to give a flavour as to how they work. These will be first drafts to get the game out onto the table. I'll try and restrict the abilities available to five, though it might be possible to raise that a little.

Once posted I will be working up new Abilities offline, with options to supplement or swap with the ones outlined here.

I imagine that the text will provide whispers of a setting without it being necessary to fully detail it.


First born, long lived, with clear memories that stretch back to a time before the histories of men, the elves are in decline, isolationist and protective by instinct and disconnected from the fates of the younger races. The Oracles foretold the rise of Tarria and the upstart usurper Kestol. What part the elves played in the introspection of the Golden Empire remains a matter of keen speculation amongst the scattered realms of men

When abroad you mask your natural reticence with calm, and at times, bemused civility. The studied perspective of your people does not always match the encounter with other peoples. They surprise, delight and horrify in equal measure.

The blood of the elder race can be mercurial if passions are raised. They can act hastily before the weighted hand of their knowledge and experience can guide and direct. Tragedy ensues.

Choose 1 description for your character from this list. This reflects one aspect of your physical appearance or behaviour. Also pick 1 from your Profession and your Origin.
Lithe, Tall, Fair, Sombre, Hawk like, Fickle

You may choose one of the following triggers to begin advancing in this Race.

Each session, all characters mark xp the first time…

  • A place, tree or item of great beauty is saved
  • An item of power is hidden from the younger races
  • An ancient evil is slain
  • A lost elvish place of power is discovered
  • Innocents are rescued from the clutches of evil

Elf Abilities

If you are an Elf you can choose from these Abilities during character creation.

See to the Horizon
You can pick out detail even as far out as the horizon, making elves perfect scouts and watchmen.

You do not suffer debilities caused by bad weather, poison or illness.

Knowledge through the Ages
The elves have lived for many an age and have gained great knowledge of Eryelme’s lands. One point of Lore is available to you at the start of each game session. Decide what it will be about and note it down. Perhaps it will be applied at just the right moment during play?

Loss of the Fair
If you witness elves dying in battle or a place of beauty is destroyed then Face Danger +Spirit.

  • On a 10+, Summon every reserve to defeat the enemy. You lash out with decisive action and you are At an Advantage +1 ongoing - wherever that takes you...
  • On a 7-9, You are inspired to redouble your efforts and are At an Advantage +1 forward as you rashly leap to redress the shadow of evil, especially if they are kin.
  • On a 6-, resign yourself to the futility of hope. GM will provide a cost and harm to your Resolve

Tree Warden
Tree spirits are often older and wiser than many of the peoples of Kalland. These spirits are aware of their surroundings and can feel through their roots and the wind in their leaves. As an elf you are able to converse with them, many will be allies, and they see things that they can impart to you. Use Persuade +Influence to coax information from them.

Step-by-step Character Creation

The following procedure closely follows Uncharted Worlds. The main difference is that 'race' and 'profession' are key options rather than two careers. For now I am not using 'Workspaces'.

Now, there is a very good case to be made that 'race' or 'species' is just fancy dressing, and that 'origin' speaks more interestingly about how the character will behave in play. Perhaps overly influenced by established fantasy tropes, I've gone with race being a key determiner and even separator when it comes to character creation. Those tasty decisions about whether to put on the ears or beard resonate even today.

Let's see how it goes split three ways?

  1. Choose one race and profession and three abilities: This combination will determine your ability choices, the core of your character, how you will behave, and the way you respond to challenges. Your combined race and profession will give you access to a total of 10 abilities. Choose any 3 of them.

  2. Choose an origin and one origin ability: Pick an origin that most suits your character from page XXX. This is the setting of the character’s formative years. Choose one of the four abilities offered by your origin. Note that a character cannot take the same ability twice, even if both their profession and origin offers it.

  3. Distribute stats: Assign one of the following numbers to each of your stats (Might, Agility, Bright, Spirit, Influence, as explained on page XXX):  +2, +1, +1, +0, -1

  4. Choose advancement: Select a race or profession you wish to advance, then choose one of the five advancement methods. This will determine one of the ways you earn experience during play. You are restricted to your selected race, but can select any profession, however start with your initial profession.

  5. Create description: Choose one of the descriptive elements from each of race, profession and your origin; this combination describes the most noticeable features of your physical appearance and personality. Alternatively, choose three words which best describes your character’s look and demeanour.

  6. Choose starting assets: Select the following equipment from The Marketplace on page XXX:

    • A Grade 0 Attire (regular clothing).
    • Two Grade 1 Equipment.
    • One Grade 2 Equipment.

  7. Name character and archetype: The GM will be calling on you to act using your character’s name. The character’s archetype gives a general idea of that character’s “class” and style.