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Nomus is a dark fantasy scenario for the Fate Core system, which touches on themes such as loss, injustice, the struggle for survival, and the work needed to overcome these aspects.

Because it’s in Fate Core, aspects are an important part of the setting. Aspects are denoted in the text in bold italic.

The Tearing[]

Illoria-en.jpg

A long time ago, a great transcendental being known as "The Unending One" came to the world, and in here it wrote down, in a book, everything that had happened, everything that was happening, and everything which would happen. Thus, came to be "The Sacred Codex".

Having finished this work, the Unending One tasked humanity with keeping Order as written in the Codex, and left, never to return again.

For millennia, mankind lived by the Order of the Codex, until the hubris of the seven archmages, keepers of the Codex, lead them to rip the Codex apart and steal its pages, in an attempt at becoming Unending themselves.

This was the Tearing. Order was upended, the world broke apart with earthquakes, hurricanes and storms. Fertile fields grew fallow, people stopped being born at the same rate, and since that day, the world has slowly started to die a bit every day.

The tearing was the beginning of the end, and today people everywhere feel the weight of a dying world which slips away ever more. So much that it is a common feeling that there is no point in mending a broken world. Moreover, the ever-present hopelessness wears down on people, and Nomus is a place where no good deed goes unpunished. These are the basic scenario aspects.

The setting, therefore, contains two aspects: there is no point in mending a broken world and no good deed goes unpunished. Narrators may compel these aspects whenever they see fit and players may also use them in any circumstance where they may be related.

Context Aspects[]

Every player in Nomus must select for their characters, as one of their aspects, a "context aspect". This is an aspect that refers to their home nation, or to their specie. If the character is human, then they must select a nation aspect as their context aspect.

The Seven Nations of Nomus[]

The known world of Nomus spans the continent of "Illoria", also known as "the written lands", given this name because it was in the ancient imperial capital of Aeter Magna that the Sacred Codex was kept. As horrible as the Tearing was for Illoria, it doesn’t compare to the disaster that it caused in the other continents, so much so that the few refugees who arrived told of how uninhabitable their land had become. For all intents and purposes, Illoria became the only inhabited continent in Nomus.

Currently, eight nations split the territory of the written lands.

The sacred kingdom of Ao-Orthana[]

What remained of the once grand empire of Orthana organized itself in the sacred kingdom of Ao-Orthana after the Tearing. The trauma of losing the most sacred and powerful object ever created cut deeply into the hearts of its inhabitants, and it is by sheer stubbornness that they kept the new kingdom of Ao-Orthana together.

Without the guidance of the Sacred Codex, the population must rely on their own judgement, which usually comes down to blindly following the orders of their rulers. In Ao-Orthana, Order must be kept. Any order. It is better than the chaos of no order at all, as the people from Kaanluna well know.

However, the feeble ambitions of a few mages can never truly demolish the Unending Order, and therefore the people know, instinctively, that one day, the great empire will rise again! Not in their lifetimes, maybe, but it surely will.

The savage territory of Elanagroth[]

Once an idyllic region filled with pristine, dense forests and rolling hills, Elanagroth saw a sudden appearance of wild monsters spewing from the depths of their woods during the Tearing. Wave after wave of uncontrollable magical creatures eroded all social order, and only after some time did the isolated cities of the region manage to re-establish some form of communication, and a loose government to go with it.

Living in Elanagroth is a constant struggle. If nature wants to kill us, we must show it no mercy, they think. This created a strong sense of belonging to their surviving communities, even if sometimes a few people go astray, thinking that to kill monsters, they must become monster themselves.

Elanagroth is a coalition of city states which roughly agree upon a kind-of similar set of laws and currency. However, what most identifies them as a people is the sense of assistance they can amass to help when one of their cities is attacked by monsters – a very common occurrence.

Oddly enough, the same danger which threatens them daily also keeps them safe from other nations, for neither Ao-Orthana nor Kai-Athel would be so daring as to invade a land where every shadow wants to kill you. Sometimes literally.

Kai-Athel, land of eternal night[]

When the Tearing hit, a strange phenomenon occurred in which all of the smoke and fog that surrounded Illoria in its first days migrated north, where they stay to this day, hovering in the sky, creating a huge region where the sun never shines. This is Kai-Athel, land of eternal night.

The name is a bit of a misnomer, though. There is day in Kai-Athel, but at its brightest it looks like a heavily overcast day anywhere else.

This tragedy, though, may have prevented Kai-Athel from becoming like Elanagroth, since that event caused the death of most vegetation, and thus, most wild magical monsters. Even then, having to rely on themselves in an environment where there was next to nothing to eat or fight for brought about the shrewdest forms of violence one can think of. Cleverness rules in Kai-Athel, for since strength wanes, the mind must be at its sharpest.

Kai-Athel has laws, like anywhere else, and they are upheld, in appearances, for up there everyone knows that, in fact, the greatest crime is getting caught.

The ravaged kingdom of Ardante[]

At the height of the Tearing, a patch of land in the eastern region of Ardante dried-up, withered away, and has been growing ever since. Small at first, the now called "walking desert of Lorakh" is expanding to this day, and will eventually swallow up all the kingdom, if not all of Illoria.

Having had its resources drained constantly for hundreds of years, the citizens of Ardante developed this sense that whatever they have should be valued to the utmost. That created, in time, a society of very astute merchants. Anything can be bought, anything can be sold, they say. Thus, Ardante is home to most, and the best business people in Illoria: within or outside the law. In Ardante, to stay home is to die, and the land of merchants is known for its people being found mostly anywhere on the written lands.

The dead kingdom of Nil-Malus[]

Once a grand region of the empire where the great magic school of Valca stood. Nil-Malus was a scholar and mystical center unparalleled in the world. Then, the Tearing came, and everyone just… died. Overnight, the entire region became uninhabited.

That was not the end of Nil-Malus, though, for the dead refused to lie still, and rose again. Even to this day, whoever dies in Nil-Malus comes back a mindless undead.

Over time, a few brave people attempted to repopulate the place, trying to take control of the infrastructure which just lay there. These attempts have been met with mixed success, and while there are people living in Nil-Malus today, they are usually behind strong walls and very rarely open their gates to strangers.

The sparse Nil-Malus population knows that in those lands the greatest strength lie in numbers. Not only within their own communities, but also in allying with whoever can protect them. If you cannot overcome the threat, ally with whoever can.

The thousand kingdoms of Kaanluna[]

In the first days of the Tearing, most cities in Illoria reverted to some sort of independent ruling in which they just tried to survive. Although in most places some semblance of government has returned, that could never be said for Kaanluna, where the various city-states gave rise to various kingdoms which fight each other fiercely to this day.

Some believe Kaanluna is cursed to endless war, while others believe this is just due to selfish ambition. Whatever the case, everyone in Kaanluna knows how to fight, because there, those who do not fight, die.

Likewise, the sense of unity within each little kingdom is very strong. For the kaanlunians, comrades come first. This unity, and their preparedness, have made Kaanluna a very hard region to conquer for Ao-Orthana and Theari, even in spite of their internal divisions. It is a common belief that if Kaanluna ever unites, it could become the greatest military force in Illoria.

The corrupted land of Théari[]

Théari is the greatest nation in Illoria and one of the most cohesive, being a true competitor to Ao-Orthana’s hegemony. If they shared direct boundaries, the two nations would surely be in constant fighting.

However, Théari has its own inner problems which prevent expansion. At the beginning of the Tearing, Théari had it all: Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Floods, Fires, and even a volcano which exploded spewing tainted black magma that burned with dark flames. This volcano, mount Nether, is the source of what is known as the dark taint.

Till now, the dark taint has spread to most of Théari’s heartland. Whoever is touched, grows a painful black crust in their skin which can burn with dark flames. Although this taint can sometimes be used offensively, it is usually very inconvenient, and tainted people do not live long after first contact.

Therefore, more than just misfortune, people from Théari feel they are truly cursed, and although some think that curses cannot be fought, but can be exploited, most try to go as far away from it as possible. Stay clean, stay pure, stay out of trouble. How much that stance helps, each one has their own answer to that.

Erzagor, land of dragons[]

Deep within Illoria’s heartland lie a great and tall mountain range where Dragons made their home. Erzagor, land of dragons, is a place where few people live, but those who do learn quickly to serve their masters in all things. The alternative is never pleasant.

The dragons, however, have little contact with mortals, even in Erzagor. If mortals leave them be, they usually do not interfere with them. Unfortunately, "leaving them be" means not resisting when they swoop down to eat your cattle, your sheep or your family.

All in all, life in Erzagor is nothing if not unfair, but out of this callous tyranny, Dragons do provide some sort of security, and the few people who live there do not have to worry about invasions, monsters, or even crime. They make the best with what they have, and don’t try to change what can’t be changed.

Species of Nomus[]

Nomus is home to a number of sentient species other than humans. These are actual different species: they cannot produce offspring among themselves. Thus, although there are "lynan", there are no "half-lynan" in Nomus.

Each specie has at least two aspects, indicated in bold-italic text. Characters belonging to one of these races may choose one such aspect as their context aspect.

Lynan[]

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It is said that lynans came from another world due to magical interference by an archmage, many millennia ago, who intended to become immortal. It is unknown if he succeeded, but the fact is that lynans are the most long-lived specie in Nomus. So much so that it is unknown how long a lynan can live. They themselves are very tight-lipped about this, even when talking among each-other. It is known that their infancy lasts 60 years and their adolescence lasts until 200. With lifespans such as these, most adult lynans were alive at the time of the Tearing.

Lynans are somewhat taller than humans, easily reaching 2m height, and are mostly known for their blue skin hues. They reproduce very rarely. After the Tearing, when reproduction rates started falling across the world, the birth of a lynan child became even rarer, so much so that nowadays any lynan birth is celebrated, and their children are fiercely protected by their peers.

Such long lifespans set the lynan apart not only physically, but also psychologically. Their sense of time is much broader than the other species, and it is a common fixture that lynans feel no mortal can truly understand them.

Lynans have a very personal view on the Tearing, since they either lived through it, or are the children of someone who did. Most think the Tearing is a tragedy which must be undone, but some of them have already given in, believing there’s no way to avoid the dying of the world.

Lynans live in tight-knit communities found in cities or sometimes pure-lynan villages scattered throughout Illoria. There’s no actual discrimination against them, but their isolationist nature makes it hard for other species to understand or trust them completely.

Elnaji[]

Original Image: Shapeshifter by Aaron J Riley

A long time ago, deep within the woods of Elanagroth, mortals have learned to harness the power of nature itself and shift their bodies into that of wild animals. Over time, this led to the creation of an entirely new species, the elnaji.

Elnaji are short, feral-looking humanoids who live intensely brief lives. They reach adolescence at 10 and adulthood at 15, and have an average lifespan of 30 years (in contrast to 50 years for humans). Almost all of them have feral features which resemble some kind of animal group. These features are not hereditary: a couple of feline-looking elnaji could yield canine-looking children. In fact, these features can change even for individual elnaji across their lifespans. Some elnaji even look entirely human, though they are quick to mention that humans are just another sort of animal.

Elnaji live in remote communities deep within the wild, and have learned to trust one another implicitly. They form strong lifelong bonds, and to them, family comes first. Their closeness with nature and their feral abilities also taught them to follow their instincts first, which can usually lead to some pretty impulsive behavior.

Elnaji characters are allowed to purchase a special skill only they can develop, a kind of personal magic which transforms their bodies, called "ferality".

The ferality skill:[]
This is the ability to shift one’s body, or part of it, into that of an animal, and thus gain specific advantages in combat. The character must choose an "animal totem" and can only shift into aspects of their totem. The shift occurs by replacing the character’s usual limbs with those of the animal they are incorporating.
A special note must be written about wings: characters can change their arms into wings, if their animal totem allows this, but such wings are incapable of propelling an adult elnaji into the air. However, they could be used to grant bonuses in athletics, jumping, climbing, etc.
Each skill level allows the incorporation of one different characteristic of the totem. Each characteristic must be chosen when the skill level is gained.
The character can shapeshift one such characteristic per skill use and can use their skill a number of times per day which equal their skill rank. Using the skill is an immediate action that occurs in the character’s combat turn, but only one usage per turn is allowed. Once activated, each shapechange lasts for a scene.
The character can switch one of their ferality skill characteristics to another at every campaign milestone. At every major milestone, the character can switch their animal totem entirely.
When used for direct combat characteristics, such as granting claws or talons, each skill level in ferality increases the characters unarmed damage cap by one. Thus, with a Ferality 3 skill, the character can attack with unarmed attacks for a 4-stress damage cap.
When used for skill bonuses, the ferality skill level adds to the usage of an appropriate skill.
If used for toughness, such as an armadillo carapace or bear’s endurance, each 2 full skill levels in ferality add one more stress slot to a character. However, such dramatic physical changes prevent the character from wearing normal armor alongside with these shapeshifts.
With ferality 7, a character can completely shapeshift into the form of their animal totem for one scene.

Harasim[]

Original Image: Winter Planet by Telthona

During the tearing’s worst moments, from the east came the harasim, fleeing from a land being consumed by fire.

Harasim are humanoid beings of about average height and build, mostly notable for the huge horns that sprout from their heads instead of hair. They also display pointed ears and golden or silvery eyes. They have a youthful appearance across most of their lives, and even though they do not live especially longer, it is a fact that they age more gracefully than humans.

The harasim come from a civilized, advanced society (their words), and still retain the longing for the good life they lost since coming to Illoria. Most of them blame the humans for their misfortune – rightfully so – and a number of them take this to xenophobic extremes, wishing for nothing more than the complete overthrowing of human society.

However, the fact is that most harasim are pacifists by nature. Instead of being drawn to conflict and violence, like most other species, they are drawn to discourse and argumentation. That, alone, is enough to fuel their certainty that they are, in fact, better than anyone else. They can learn to fight, but do so mainly for defensive purposes.

Harasim deal with the loss of their golden civilization on particular ways. Most dive into hedonistic nihilism, since after losing their world, all they can do is take pleasure wherever they can find it. Others plunge into work, becoming shrewd merchants and entrepreneurs.

However, anything they touch has a spark of art. Every harasim is a sculptor, painter, writer, musician, or whatever artistic influence they can add to their lives. To them, art is life, and life must be lived. Even in Illoria.

Zairen[]

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Coming from beyond the written lands at the time of the tearing, the Zairen are a people notable for having stark white hair, eyes without irises or pupils, and ever-tanned skin. Their ancestral lands suffered all sorts of cataclysms, and the survivors of this misfortune formed communities in the southern and southeastern regions of Illoria.

The Zairen are a people with a fundamentally different culture, focused much more on contemplation than action. As a result, their civilization never developed in the same way as the Illorian did, and prior to the Tearing it had been completely subjugated by Orthana's empire, something the Zairen still resent today.

In the Illorian Zairen communities, they form very cohesive groups and do their best to maintain as much of their culture as remains to this day, including keeping their original language, something that no other people of Illoria have been able to do in the face of Orthana's cultural dominance. Some aspects of the Zairem culture are not only strange, but outright irritating to others. Especially, the Zairem believe that the questions are worth more than the answers. Thus, even if they know a straight, clear, unambiguous answer to something, they almost always answer questions with other questions.

Equally strange is their notion that the means justify the ends. For a Zairen, their current goal is far less important than the way they go about reaching that goal. In some extremes, the Zairen can change their objective like people change clothing, as long as their means remain the same. A zairen, for example, will never want to 'be rich', but will want to 'do everything you can economically'.

Zairen have a special affinity for the martial arts, having been incited to violence for centuries due to Illoria's dominance, eventually developing some of the most effective schools of martial arts.

Weapons, Armor and Shield[]

Weapons and armor follow a different rule than what’s presented in Fate Core’s "Extras" chapter. Armor grants the user extra stress levels instead of reducing damage shifts, and weapons limit the maximum number of shifts that an attack can yield as damage, instead of adding a fixed number to damage shifts.

Weapons[]

When characters attack each other, the actual number of damage shifts that are inflicted is limited by whatever weapon they are using:

Weapon: Max Damage: Skill Level:
Bare Hands, Feet 1 0
Small Weapons: daggers, knifes, knuckles, shortswords, shortbows, handaxe, shurikens. 2 1
Medium Weapons: swords, clubs, staffs, spears, bows, axes. 3 2
Large Weapons or two-handed medium weapons: Halberds, two-handed swords, waraxes, longbows, crossbows, glaives, voulges. 4 3
Mounted Weapons: Ballista, trebuchets. 5 4


A weapon’s max damage can shift one level up or down depending on its quality. Very cheap weapons have a max damage 1 point smaller (a rusty knife is equivalent to an unarmed punch, for instance), and a weapon of very high quality have a max damage one point higher.

If a character is defending with a weapon and fails, they have the option of reducing the incoming damage by two shifts and permanently reducing the quality of their weapon in 1. This represents their weapon getting worn out, chipped out, etc.

A character can only effectively use a weapon whose max damage equals their skill level +1.

Weapon Defense Bonuses[]

When characters wield a weapon whose required skill level is below their actual skill level, the difference in levels give them a number of defense bonuses they can use during a combat scene. Each defense bonus gives the characters +2 to a single defense roll made during the scene.
For instance, a character with "Fight +3" could wield weapons of max damage 4 (polearms, two-handed weapons, etc). If this character wields a knife (max damage 2), he will have 2 defense bonuses to use in each combat scene. Two times per scene he could declare a +2 to his defense roll due to how easily they can wield the used weapon. This defense bonus can be used right after the defense roll is made.
These bonuses stack for characters wielding two weapons, if they both grant a defense bonus for being below the required skill level.

Weapon Damage Types[]

Different weapons deal different damage types. Each damage type modifies how armor relates to the damage (see armor below).

  • Natural damage: Damage caused by body parts such as punches, kicks, hooves, teeth. When striking armor, natural damage never reduces armor slots, regardless of damage. It is only possible to wound armored targets if their armor stress levels are already filled out. Not all animals deal only natural damage. A sabretooth tiger, for instance, may deal piercing damage with its teeth.
  • Blunt damage: Is damage dealt by blunt weapons such as staves, maces or staffs. Blunt damage follows the standard armor rules below. Fire, lightning and natural hazards deal blunt damage.
  • Slashing damage: Is dealt by cutting weapons such as most types of swords, scimitars and knives. When striking armor, slashing damage may check out one or two armor stress levels on a single strike. The second armor stress slot will be filled out if the cutting damage is 3 or above.
  • Piercing damage: Is dealt by most polearms, some types of swords, arrows, bolts. When piercing damage hits an armor, if it deals 2 or more points of damage, one point of damage always bypasses armor and affects the character’s physical stress slots.

Armor[]

Armor grants the character a new pool of stress slots they must check out before reducing their own stress. This is the “armor level”. However, unlike regular armor, every damage received checks out one armor stress level, regardless of how many damage was dealt.

Anyone can use armor of any weight, but not everyone can avoid the issues that heavy armor imposes. Unless mitigated, heavy armor imposes a penalty of -1 per armor level to: Fight, Athletics, Shoot, Ride, Stealth and any “Magic” skill.

This penalty can be mitigated by a high level in “Physique”. Every 2 full levels in “Physique” reduce the armor penalty in 1. If this is not enough to reduce the armor penalty to manageable levels, characters can also opt to learn a new skill called “Armor Use”. This is the ability of knowing how to use your armor to your advantage and playing to its strengths in order to mitigate its weight. Each level in “Armor Use” reduces in 1 the armor penalty.

Armor: Level:
Light: Gambeson, Leather. 1
Medium: Chain, Padded Leather, Brigandine. 2
Heavy: Scale Armor, Plate Armor. 3
Heavy Reinforced or Composite: Plate + Chain, Scale + Gambeson, etc. 4

As with weapons, quality affects the armor much the same way, shifting its level one point up or down. However, quality does not affect the armor’s penalty. Thus, a low-quality chain mail still yields a -2 penalty while only providing 1 extra stress slot, while a high-quality plate armor provides a penalty of -3 but 4 extra stress slots.

When all of an armor’s stress is filled out, the character still has the option of adding a -2 (mild) consequence to their armor representing lasting damage and reduce the incoming damage by two shifts. After an armor is thus damaged, its stress cannot be recovered, and it can only be used again after it is repaired with Crafts.

Example of armor in combat[]

Charles the knight is riding into combat with a chain mail. It has an armor level of 2. Charles has a physique of 2 so his armor grants him a -1 penalty to all attacks. Also, his physique of 2 grant him +1 physical stress slot. Therefore, Charles has 3 physical stress slots and 2 armor stress slots.
He takes 2 points of blunt damage. This checks out one of his Armor stress slots (doesn’t matter which).
Then, he takes 2 points of natural damage from a martial-arts punch. Since this is natural damage, and Charles’ armor still has one armor stress slot available, neither he nor his armor takes no damage.
Later on, he takes another 3 points of slashing damage. His armor now only has one stress slot at value 1. The incoming slashing damage of 3 would reduce its armor by two, but since it only has 1 remaining stress slot, this slot is checked.
Finally, he takes 2 points of damage from a crossbow. His armor stress is all filled up, so it wouldn’t protect him at all. Charles opts to take on a mild consequence for his armor: “chest piece split in half”. This reduces the damage to 0, but his armor now is worthless and needs to be repaired.

Shields[]

Characters wielding a shield can add a bonus to all of their defense rolls. If they wield two (or more) shields, only the highest bonus is used.

Shields are cumbersome, unwieldy and interfere with physical actions just like armor. Shields grant a penalty to the same skills as armor does (unlike armor, this penalty does NOT affect their defense rolls). If using shields and armor, the penalties are added.

These penalties are also mitigated the same way: by ½ the character’s Physique skill level, plus their level in Armor Use.

The bonus a shield grants depends on its size:

Shield: Level:
Small, Buckler. 1
Medium, Heater. 2
Large, Tower. 3

Shield quality does not interfere with the protection bonus they provide, but rather interfere in the penalty they grant. Therefore, a low-quality heater shield grants a +2 bonus at a -3 penalty, while a high-quality buckler grants a +1 bonus at no penalty.

Shields also provide characters with the option of taking in another (mild) -2 consequence to their shield at the expense of the shield being damaged. Once a shield is thus damaged, it can only be used again after it is repaired.

When fighting a character with a shield, the attacker may opt to use their attack skill with the "create an advantage" option to damage the shield instead. In a success, the shield is knocked away and the defendant must either take it back and readjust it, which will use a whole round, or recover it after combat, if possible.

Martial Fighters[]

Anyone can pick up a pointy stick, learn to fight, and poke holes into someone else, but it takes great effort to actually turn that into an art. These warriors, who hone their fighting skills to the limit, are true martial artists.

Illoria is home to many, many schools where fighters learn special techniques and abilities that go beyond basic fighting. In game terms, if a player wants their character to be a martial fighter, all they have to do is add an aspect which indicate which fighting school are they affiliated with.

The character can choose, within the limit of their 3, 4, or 5 stunts, the additional stunts below.

Power Blow (Fight) Once per scene, the character can ignore the damage cap restrictions for the weapon they are using and cause as many shifts of damage as their actual success margin. If the weapon has a static bonus to damage (such as with magical weapons), this bonus is also applied. The player can opt to use this stunt after the attack roll has been resolved. This stunt can be selected more than once. Every instance allows for another use of Power Blow in the same scene.

Breaking Blow (Fight) A character with this stunt can trade-off their shifts of success to reduce the opponent’s armor (if any). Every success shift used reduces the opponent’s armor level in 1. This may force the opponent to take damage in their own stress track instead of using their armor’s stress tracks. Since the character trades-off success shifts, and not damage shifts, this stunt actually allows for a character to ignore at least as much armor as their successes overcome their damage cap.

Rapid Strike (Fight) This stunt allows a character to perform two melee attacks at the same target, assuming a penalty of -2 in both attacks. To use this stunt, the character cannot also move to another zone in the same round. This stunt only allows the character one more attack on a single round.

Phalanx Fighter (Fight) This character excels at defending companions. They gain a +2 bonus to defend against attacks that will affect other characters.

Precognitive Parry (Fight) You can always make a defense roll with Fight, even against attacks that cannot normally be defended against, such as bullets, surprise ranged attacks, attacks in darkness, etc.

Unarmed Strike (Fight) You have learned to rely on our own fists and feet for damage, turning them into lethal weapons. This stunt can be selected several times. Each time it is taken increases by +1 the max damage that a character causes with unarmed punches or kicks.

Snap Fighter (Athletics) This character has a +2 bonus to Athletics rolls of initiative, and is able to move their initiative within this +2 range if they so wish, in order to act at a turn moment that is more advantageous to them.

Flying Leap (Athletics) The character can leap into the air and glide away as if gravity weren’t really affecting them for a short time. This grants the character a +2 bonus to Athletics rolls made for jumping and allows jumping the same distance into any direction: up, forward, backwards, sideways or down. The character can move up to two zones in a single jump.

Subtle Move (Athletics) These characters can stand on surfaces which wouldn’t normally be able to support their weight. The character can step on fragile surfaces, such as thin ice, collapsing floors or rotten wood logs with no penalty. More fragile surfaces require an Athletics roll per turn.

Surface: Roll Difficulty:
Thin branches, bamboo trunks. 2
Silk paper, eggs. 4
Water. 6

Invisibility Art (Stealth) These characters can make a Stealth roll to hide even against people who are actively looking at them straight on. However, this can only affect one person at a time. Targets can resist with their Notice skill.

Throwing Art (Shoot) These characters can throw anything as if it were a lethal weapon. Any object, in their hand, can be thrown for a max damage of 2. Objects which already have a max damage (such as knives, shurikens, etc) increase their max damage by 1 when thrown.

Sharpshooter (Shoot) These characters can ignore up to 4 points of penalty (or of increased difficulty) while shooting, if these penalties are due to poor sight, distance or relative movement to the target.

Rapid Shot (Shoot) As with Rapid Strike, this stunt allows a character to perform two ranged attacks at the same target, assuming a penalty of -2 in both attacks. To use this stunt, the character cannot also move to another zone in the same round. This stunt only allows the character one more attack on a single round.

Original Fate Core Stunts[]

Any stunt listed on the Fate Core rulebook is allowed. Also found on the Fate Core Wiki: Fate Core Stunts
Some are written here for ease of access.

Blind-Fight. Your ability to attack with Fight works unimpeded by conditions like darkness or other visual impairments.

Backstab/Sucker Punch (FC89). You can use Stealth to make physical attacks, provided your target isn’t already aware of your presence.

Riposte (FC91). If you succeed with style on a Fight defense, you can choose to inflict a 2-shift hit rather than take a boost.

Warmaster. +2 to Fight rolls made to create an advantage against an opponent, provided the opponent has a fighting style or weakness she can exploit.

Advanced Warmaster (FC94). (requires Warmaster, p. 299.) When you’re fighting anyone who is armed with a sword, you get a further +2 bonus to creating an advantage using Warmaster.

Skill List[]

This is the skill list for games in the Nomus setting:

Athletics
Burglary
Contacts
Crafts
Deceive
Ride (like Drive, but only for animals)
Empathy
Fight
Investigate
Lore
Notice
Physique
Provoke
Influence (renamed from Rapport)
Resources
Shoot
Stealth
Will

New Skills:

Armor Use
Survival
Status

Magical Skills:

Noomancy
Astromancy
Chronomancy
Biomancy
Necromancy
Pyromancy
Magical Item

Supernatural Skills:

Ferality
Taint
Vampirism
Lunar Curse

New Skills[]

Armor Use[]

This is the ability of using armor in your favor in combat, playing to its strengths and minimizing its hindrances. Each level in this skill reduces in 1 point the penalty that armor and shield provide. Sum up all penalties before reducing them with this skill.

This skill also allows a character to care for armor and shield, as well as craft them. It could be used to repair an armor or shield’s consequences after combat, at the usual difficulty numbers: 2 for mild, 4 for moderate and 6 for severe.

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Overcome: Usual uses of the overcome action for this skill involve fixing or crafting armor. For crafting armor, the difficulty of the roll equals the armor’s level. It is possible to craft quality armor with this skill, but at a -4 penalty. Likewise, cheap armor is crafted at +4. The actual time it takes, and resources needed, depend on which kind of armor is being built.

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Create an Advantage: This skill isn’t usually used to create an advantage.

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Attack: This skill isn’t used for attacks.

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Defend: Same here.


Survival[]

This is the ability to survive in the wild. This skill incorporates everything a person needs to properly live off the land. Setting traps, disarming traps, identifying which plants to eat, animal handling, knowing which animals can be found on a given location, etc. It cannot be used to attack with hunting weapons, use “shoot” or “fight” for that, but it could see uses in combat in setting elaborate traps.

This skill can also replace notice rolls to perceive hunting traps, if it’s higher than the character’s “notice”.

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Overcome: This skill can be used to overcome obstacles related to living in the wild. Finding proper food, locating sources of water, taming animals, etc. It can also be used in place of “lore” for specific knowledge related to its field.

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Create an Advantage: You can use survival to analyze the best way to approach a target in the wild, whether it’s an animal or people you are hunting.

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Attack: This skill isn’t used for direct attacks, but it can be used to set traps. If the character has the proper tools, a roll of “survival” sets a trap which may cause 2 points of stress damage, or 3 if the roll succeeds with style. Anyone caught in the trap may attempt to defend against it with either “survival” or “athletics”.

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Defend: Survival can be used to defend against traps set by other characters.


Status[]

This skill represents a character’s position in the social order. The higher it is, the higher the character may reap social benefits that derive from their entitlement. On Nomus, status levels can be translated as follows:

Status: Nobility Rank: Religious Rank: Commoner Rank:
1 Sir / Lady Initiate City Guard
2 Knight Deacon Guard Captain
3 Baron Priest Army Sergeant
4 Count High Priest Army Captain, Mayor
5 Duke Bishop Army Commander
6 Prince Archbishop Army General
7 King Cardinal -
8 Emperor The hierophant -
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Overcome: It is very common for people in positions of power to use their status as a way to overcome many social obstacles. Likewise, this skill could be used to force or influence someone into doing something you want. However, it may not work as expected if the target is not directly under your power.

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Create an Advantage: Status can create advantages by commanding others and having them doubt their actions, or maybe even compel their allegiance over short periods.

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Attack: This skill isn’t used for physical attacks, but it can be used in mental combat by leveraging one’s social position while attempting to reduce someone else’s resolve.

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Defend: Status can also be used to resist compulsion in social situations, if the character’s status is higher than the attacker.

Changes to combat mechanics[]

Here are changes to the combat flow from what is presented in Fate Core.

Initiative[]

At the start of a confrontation, every involved party rolls against initiative. This is a roll against Notice, or Fight -2, or Shoot -2 (if the character has a ranged weapon ready), whichever is best. The initiative rolls remain unchanged for the duration of the combat.

Once rolled, the turn order progresses from the lowest to the highest initiative. When a character turn comes, they are free to use their action as they see fit, but they can interfere or even negate the action of another character which acted before them (with a lower initiative). For this reason, it is important to take note of the success shifts of all rolls in the combat round, since these shifts become the target difficulty for any action which attempts to deny them.

When going through the initiative, the turn time is actually playing in reverse. Therefore, if a character is knocked out of combat and hasn’t acted yet, they can still act when their initiative turn comes, and even prevent their knocking-out if they manage to.

Defending other characters[]

While it is possible to defend against attacks on behalf of others, a character can only perform one such defense per round.

Magic[]

Magic in the written lands doesn’t come from a single source, it comes from six. Each of them result in a very different set of abilities for mages, although some rules apply to all of them.

The Sources of magic:[]

The six sources of magic are:

  • The Words: It was written in the Sacred Codex that there is magic in the world, and, therefore, there is magic in the world. Mages who study magic as prescribed by the Sacred Codex are called "noomancers", they learn to influence magic itself.
  • The Stars: Each glimmering point shimmering in the night sky is a piece of crystalized magic. Mages who study the stars are called "astromancers" and learn to influence fate and control cold.
  • Time: The flow of time itself, also closely related to space. Mages who study time are called "chronomancers" and learn to twist time and create unpredictable effects.
  • Life: Every living thing exudes magic, and therefore mages can learn to study life itself. They are called "biomancers" and learn to heal, strengthen and improve on living beings.
  • Death: Everything dies. Even the world itself must die. The study of death itself brings about the so called "necromancers", who learn to push death to its boundaries, reanimate the dead and talk to spirits.
  • Fire: Few people would say fire isn’t magical in itself. Those who study this ever-shifting force of nature are called "pyromancers" and learn to both spark and extinguish it. Pyromancers also control lightning, a very refined aspect of fire.

Drawbacks[]

Tapping into the well of reality and altering its nature is a dangerous thing, to say the least. Every source of magic carries with it their own dangers. If a mage finds himself facing one of these drawbacks, they have the option of spending a fate point and ignoring the drawback, that one time (except for astromancy, in which losing a fate point is the drawback).

  • The Words: Whenever a mage fails a roll of noomancy the Words of the Sacred Book echo in their mind befuddling their thoughts. They become unable to cast any spells for one turn, though they are able to keep maintaining concentration spells.
  • The Stars: Messing around with fate is a sure way to invite misfortune. Mages who fail a roll of astromancy lose one fate point.
  • Time: Time is immutable and inexorable for a reason. Attempting to mess with this primordial force may snap a person out of reality itself. Mages who fail a roll of chronomancy have their minds blinked out of existence for one turn and stare catatonically into space for that time. They also immediately relinquish concentration of any spells they may be maintaining,
  • Life: One’s own life force is a very delicate thing. Failing to control it can gravely impair a person’s body. If a mage fails a roll of Biomancy, they will suffer a -1 penalty to all physical actions for one turn.
  • Death: Death is the ultimate horror every individual must eventually face, and yet, almost everyone spends their life ignoring this sad reality. Facing death head on is a sure way to madness. Mages who fail a roll of necromancy must take 1 point of mental stress damage.
  • Fire: Those who play with fire eventually get burned. More so the primordial fire from which everything came. Mages who fail a roll of pyromancy must take 1 point of physical stress damage.

Skills and effects:[]

Every different source of magic is a different skill. Therefore, a character could know "Astromancy" at +2 and "Pyromancy" at +3. The effects that each mage can perform are limited by their skill level.

Skills are also a "pool" of points which can be used to cast those spells. These points refresh at each scene. So, for instance, a mage with "Pyromancy +4" could cast four +1 effects, two +2 effects, or one +3 and one +1 effect at each scene. The usage of these points doesn’t reduce the actual skill level. The mage can always use their full skill level in spellcasting rolls.

0-Level spells[]

Some spells are so subtle or weak that they don’t expend even one spell level. These are 0-level spells. A character still needs at least one level in the related magic skill in order to cast them, but there’s no limit to how many times a mage can cast them in a given scene.

Fate for spells[]

Players can spend a Fate point and recover all uses of spell points for one specific magic skill.

Spell Range[]

Every spell is a ranged effect, even if the range is short. Spells can, by default, affect any target within the same zone as the mage. There are no modifiers for affecting targets in melee range.

Mages can cast spells beyond their default range by assuming a penalty to their skill roll of -1 per zone boundary that needs to be crossed in a straight line to the target.

Spell Duration and Concentration[]

Some spells are instantaneous, such as attack spells. On most other cases, the spell lasts for as long as the mage concentrates.

While concentrating on a spell, a mage cannot cast another spell that requires concentration unless they release the first spell.

The maximum time a mage can concentrate on a given spell is one scene. Mages may make their concentration spells last longer by spending one Fate Point. This causes the spell to last for an entire in-game day.

While maintaining a concentration spell, if the mage takes any amount of damage, they must be successful in a "will" skill roll to maintain the spell. The difficulty for this roll equals the number of damage points taken. If the mage does not have the "will" skill, no roll is allowed: they release the spell by default when taking any amount of damage.

Spell Time to Cast[]

Spells are cast on the mage’s initiative turn, like any other action. Ritual spells may increase their time to cast for a reduced cost in spell levels, but this option is only allowed for noomancers.

Countering Spells[]

Every magical skill can be used to counter a spell from the same magical source. Noomancy, in particular, can counter spells from any source.

The act of countering a spell prevents it from being cast. Countering a spell does not cancel a spell’s effect after it has been successfully cast. Therefore, a mage can only counter a spell if their initiative so allows.

To counter a spell, the mage must either be its target, or be within its affected area, or its target must be within the mage’s zone. Otherwise, to counter spells beyond the mage’s zone, a penalty due to spell range needs to be applied.

Countering a spell is a 0-level effect.

In order to counter a spell, the mage must make his own spell roll and overcome the countering spell’s success shifts. In a success, the countered spell does not occur. Countering a spell is an all-or-nothing process.

Magical Attacks[]

Any magical attack has a distinct visual signature (such as a magical beam shooting from the caster’s hands, or a lightning bolt streaking across the sky), and therefore can be defended against by the target.

Spells can be used to cause direct harm in two distinct ways.

0-level attack spells[]

When an attack spell is cast as a 0-level spell, it behaves like a ranged attack which can only affect a target in the same zone as the caster. These attacks can affect zones further away by assuming the usual range penalty of -1 per zone boundary in a straight line. Only one target can be affected by such attacks.
These attacks have a max damage which equal half the character’s magic skill level (round up).

Levelled attack spells[]

Like 0-level attack spells, a levelled attack spell is a single-target ranged attack which can only affect a target in the same zone as the caster.
However, these spells have a minimum damage which equals their spell level. If the spellcasting roll result in a higher damage, the target is dealt as much damage as is rolled – with no maximum.

Area Effect Attacks[]

Magical attacks can be set to attack an entire zone, and everyone within (friend or foe). Such attacks have to increase their spell levels by 1 to pay for the extra area effect. The mage rolls the attack, and everyone affected rolls to defend.
Area effect spells can be made to affect other zones as well. Each zone boundary that the effect can overcome costs 1 extra spell level.
If the mage wishes to manipulate the spell in order to remove one or more targets from the area effect, each removed target costs 1 faith point.

Identifying Spells[]

Identifying a spell can mean a lot of different things:
  • Finding out which spell another spellcaster is casting.
  • Finding out if there is another ongoing spell in a target or place.
  • Finding out which spell is affecting another target or place.
Any mage can attempt these actions for spells of the same power source as them. The exception are noomancers who can attempt to identify spells of any source.
Identifying a spell is a 0-level effect which must have as many success shifts as the target spell level. If the target spell is 0-level as well, the identifying mage still succeeds in identifying it with a marginal success (0-shifts) with no negative cost.
The mage may choose to cast the identification using spell levels. In this case, each spell level adds 1 to the spell identification roll.
If a mage succeeds with style in identifying a spell that an opponent mage is casting, they can immediately attempt a counter in the same turn, if they so choose.

Special stunt: Countermage[]

These mages are adept at countering other spellcasters. They can always attempt to identify and counter a spell in a single turn, even if they don’t succeed in style in identifying the opponent’s spell.

Subtle Spells[]

It is assumed that any mage casting a spell must perform gestures and speak words of incantation. Mages may hide the casting of a spell in order to prevent opponents from realizing what it is they are doing.

This is achieved with a "Stealth" roll at the same time as the spellcasting roll. Anyone who can see the mage must overcome their Stealth in a "Notice" roll in order to realize they are casting spell.

This also interferes in the mage’s spell. Their magic skill suffers a -1 penalty when attempting to cast subtle spells.

Noomancy[]

At times, noomancy has been considered the purest, holiest form of magic. It sprang from the Sacred Codex itself, as the Unending One wrote all knowledge within. For millennia, during the rule of Order, almost all mages in the world were noomancers. However, after the Tearing, other magic sources rose to pre-eminence, and nowadays noomancy, although still quite relevant, is fast fading as a relevant magic tradition.

Noomancers study the words of magic written in the Sacred Codex. They don’t read directly into the Codex, because that means madness to anyone who dares try, and also because the Codex has been missing since the Tearing. Nevertheless, as the Codex explains everything, also noomancy explains the other sources of magic, and therefore, anyone attempting to understand magic in general will study noomancy.

Many noomantic spells depend on the mage’s initiative order. Therefore, it is very common for noomancers who want to be effective in battle to also learn Notice.

Visual Effects[]

When mages cast noomantic spells, they run their fingers through the air forming complex sigils with arcane words, which start glowing before them. When the magic is finally cast, the glowing sigil bursts as the energy is released.

Spell Effects[]

These are the spell effects noomantic mages can cast.

Attack Spells[]

Noomancy cannot create physical attacks in order to injure people or objects. However, it can attack other spells directly.
Every spell has a number of stress points which equal its spell level plus 1. 0-level spells have 1 stress point. When casting a noomantic attack spell, the mage must be aware of the target spell and the target’s spell’s target must be in range. The mage casts its attack spell against a difficulty which equal the target spell’s success shifts. On a success, the target spell suffers a number of stress points which equal the attack spell’s damage.
Spells function normally until they reach 0 stress points. At exactly 0, the spell starts to fizzle out and behave erratically, although it is still ongoing. If the damage takes the spell’s stress below 0, then the spell is broken.

Heal Spells[]

Since noomancy can break spells, it can also heal them. Another spell which has been attacked and suffered stress damage can be healed by a noomantic spell. Each healed stress level costs one spell level.

Ritual Spells[]

Any mage with some level in Noomancy can cast ritual spells. Ritual spells are like normal spells, but they do not spend spell slots to be cast, for a trade-off of an extended time to cast.
Only spells that do not deal any damage can be cast as a ritual spell.
The time a ritual spell requires to be cast depends on its final spell level. It is the square of the spell level times 10 minutes. A 0-level ritual spell requires 1 minute to be cast. Therefore: a 1-level spell requires 10 minutes, a 2-level spell requires 40 minutes, a 3-level spell requires 90 minutes and so on.
If the mage is casting a ritual spell from a different source than Noomancy, it can only cast the spell if its final spell levels are equal to or lower than its skill level in Noomancy.

Barrier Spells[]

Noomancers can cast barrier spells. A barrier is a physical or metaphysical protection around a specific target. There are many ways to create a magical barrier and the mage must choose which one is being cast.
A target can only be affected by one magical barrier of any given type. If another barrier is cast on a target, of a same type as one which is already in place, only the most beneficial of them can be active.
Physical barriers create oval-like, invisible force fields around a target which can prevent incoming damage by absorbing the energy of an impact. A physical barrier grants a target a number of extra stress points which equal their spell level.
Physical barriers only affect a single target and any equipment they may be carrying. They move with the target, although a mage may create a 2x1 barrier wall in a static location, if they so wish.
If physical barriers must withstand weight, each point of stress can stand up to 100 kg for 1 minute.
Noomancers can cast a 0-level instantaneous barrier around a target which only prevents falling damage, thus allowing the target to fall from any height without damage.
Magical barriers create a protection around a target which may prevent any or some spells from affecting them. The casting mage has to determine what exactly the magical barrier is protecting the target against.
The magical barrier imposes a penalty in all spellcasting rolls to spells against the protected target which equal -1 per spell level used.
Zone-wide, generic magical barriers is the way to suppress all magic in an area.

Empower Spells[]

Noomancers can improve on another spell which have been cast, or which is being cast at the moment. A spell empowerment can increase another spell’s success shifts, or another spell’s levels. A spell empowerment can replace another spell’s parameters to that of the empowerment that’s been cast, but never beyond.

Global Identify[]

Noomancy can identify all other sources of magic beyond its own.

Global Counter[]

Noomancy can counter all other sources of magic beyond its own.

Hide Spells[]

Noomancers can create an effect which hides spells from discovery. This is cast as a spell of any level, including 0. It hides the target spell by a number of "occlusion levels" which equal the hiding spell level plus its success shifts.
Anyone attempting to identify a hidden spell must cast an identification with as many success shifts as the hidden spell’s original success shifts plus its "occlusion level". The identifying mage is not forewarned about a spell being hidden. If they fail to overcome the total spell resistance, their identification fails as if there was nothing there.
Hiding a spell is a concentration effect, but it can be cast simultaneously to the spell being hidden, thus allowing a mage to cast hidden concentration spells and maintain them while they concentrate.

Perceive Spells[]

An interesting ability of noomancers is that of perceiving spells through their physical senses, as an ongoing spell identification whose information does not come mentally, but through sight or sound.
Casting a spell which perceives magic is like casting a normal spell identification, but the mage must pay a spell level for the actual physical sense being used to convey the information:
1 spell level: Information comes through touch, taste or smell.
2 spell levels: Information comes through sound.
3 spell levels: Information comes visually.

Split Spells[]

A split spell causes its effect on another target, beyond the intended one. In order to split a spell, the noomancer must cast this effect simultaneously to the spell being split. If the noomancer is splitting one of their own spells, they can cast both spells at once.
In order to split a spell, the noomancer must cast this effect with as many levels and as many success shifts than the spell being split. However, these parameters can be interchanged: the mage can swap levels for success shifts and back if that would allow the spell to succeed.
Upon casting the "split spell" effect, the noomancer chooses which is the secondary target.

Steal Spells[]

Stealing a spell means the noomancer becomes its "caster", and is therefore able to control it (if control is required) or cancel it at will.
In order to steal a spell, the noomancer must cast this effect with as many success shifts as the target spell. Each level imbued in the "steal spell" effect grant a +1 to the spellcasting roll.
This effect cannot be cast as a 0-level effect.

Redirect Spells[]

Like "split spell", "redirect spell" can only be cast while the target spell is also being cast. In order to redirect a spell, the noomancer must cast this effect with as many levels and as many success shifts as the original one.
Upon a successful "redirect spell", the noomancer chooses which is the new target, that can even be the original casting mage.
The original caster is still the owner of the spell. Therefore, if they are aware of the redirect in time (that is, if their initiative is higher), they can cancel the spell before its redirection takes place.

Astromancy[]

Academically, astromancy is considered the oldest form of magic. It is magic that stems from the stars themselves, as well as the moon and planets. It is connected to fate and the cold.

Visual Effects[]

An astromantic spell is cast by finger-tracing constellations in the air. As the mage traces them, they appear in a circular pattern. When the circle is complete, the constellations are joined up in straight lines which resemble an astral chart, and the spell occurs.

Spell Effects[]

These are the spell effects astromantic mages can cast.

Attack Spells[]

Astromancy creates physical attacks by manipulating the cold. These mages can hurl ice spikes, create sudden frostbite or freeze a target’s water within their bodies.

Fate Spells[]

Astromancy can alter a person’s fate, causing their lives to lean towards a specific situation. A fate spell adds a specific aspect to a scene, place, object or character chosen by the mage. This aspect must be such that it specifies something that will happen, and a condition which will cancel it.
Examples:
"fated to lose all battles until they receive a kiss of true love."
"fated to become a millionaire as long as a black cat doesn’t cross their way"
"fated to give birth to the destroyer of the world unless they drop their own blood at the highest peak."
"fated to meet true love as long as they never break a vow."
Note, from the examples, that there are two types of "fates", which require two types of cancellations:
Fated for something to happen: When a target’s fate specifies something which will happen at a point in the future, the cancellation condition must be an ongoing menace. The fate will happen "as long as" the condition doesn’t occur.
Fated for something to keep happening: When a target’s fate specifies something which will continuously happen, the cancellation condition must be a specific action which has to occur once.
The effect of the fate spell is to add an aspect to a target. This aspect may be invoked or compelled as usual.
The cancellation condition must be something achievable. If, for any reason, the cancellation condition becomes absolutely impossible, then the fate spell is undone.
Fate spells cannot compel the target to act in certain ways. They can only affect things that happen to the character, but they do not affect their own willpower.
Each fate spell that the mage casts lasts indefinitely, but as long as the spell is ongoing, the mage’s skill level in astromancy is reduced in one for each ongoing spell. This affects all skill rolls as well as the spell points the mage has available in each scene. If an astromage dies while fate spells are ongoing, these fate spell will continue indefinitely, until their cancellation condition occurs, or until the spells themselves are countered.
Unwilling targets can resist fate spells with their "will".
If a target of a mage spell undergoes the cancellation event, and gets rid of the fate spell, they can never again be targeted by that same fate effect. This includes all possible variations of cancellation events. The same occurs when a target resists a fate spell with their will: they can never again be targeted by that fate effect.
If a mage is sustaining several fate spells, and one of them is cancelled, either because the target underwent the cancellation condition or because the spell was countered, the mage will feel the spell being undone, but will not know which fate spell in particular was cancelled.

Ice Spells[]

Astromancers can not only create ice as a means of attack, but they can also conjure up icy constructs by freezing air humidity. This allows them to create several types of constructs.
The size and complexity of these constructs depend on the level of the spell that is cast.
While the mage concentrates, the ice construct will retain its shape. After that, it does not vanish, but will melt or break as normal.
0-level ice constructs:
Small pebbles or objects which can be held in a hand, like hand balls, figurines, cups, small daggers, etc. Such objects have one stress level, if that is ever required. They are formed almost instantaneously.
1st-level ice constructs:
Large objects that can be wielded in combat, such as swords, shields or staves. These objects can withstand one stress level of damage. They take a whole combat turn to form.
Weapons made of ice can be used like their normal counterparts, but they break after the first hit if the mage stops concentrating.

2nd-level ice constructs:

Large human-sized objects like doors or suits of armor. These objects can withstand two stress levels of damage. They take two combat turns to form.

3rd-level ice constructs:

Chunks of wall or wall-sized objects such as cabinets. They can withstand three stress levels of damage and take about a minute to form.
If used to support weight, these objects can support up to 100 kg before breaking.

4th-level ice constructs:

Large objects which would take up an entire room, or many lower-level objects, such as granting an icy armor to the whole team. They take five minutes to form.

5th-level ice constructs:

Great objects such as small cabins or little houses, with a complete distribution of rooms. They can withstand four stress levels of damage and take about an hour to form.
Can be used to create bridges which span up to 100m and withstand 1 ton of weight.

Extra-level constructs:

Each additional level doubles the linear measurements of the construct, the time it takes to form, the supported weight, and adds 1 stress point to its resistance.

Adjusting the time to cast:

If the mage is creating an icy construct of a level lower than that of the spell being cast, they can shift the time to cast by the amount of the difference.
For instance: an icy armor is a level 2 effect which requires 2 turns to form. If cast as a level 3 effect, the extra level could be used to reduce the time to one turn. If cast as a level 4 effect, it could be cast instantaneously.

Chronomancy[]

This is magic that arises out of change itself. Time is the source of transformation, of renewal, of the unpredictable.

Visual Effects[]

Time magic appears as twirling and chaotic strands of smouldering energy which dance around the mage. There is seemingly no pattern to this energy and each mage casts time magic with entirely different visual effects.

Spell Effects[]

These are the spell effects chronomantic mages can cast.

Attack Spells[]

Time magic attacks targets by rotting them from within. These spells affect targets from inside of them and can therefore bypass any armor or barrier that may be protecting them. However, they are weaker than normal attack spells.

Targets resist an incoming time magic attack with their willpower or their physique, whichever is better.

Time magic attack spells cannot be 0-level spells. Also, they have a max damage which equals their spell level. This replaces the usual attack spells mechanics, which state that attack spells have a minimum damage which equals their spell level.

Time Shuffle[]

Chronomancers are able to scramble the passage of time for a target and cause it to move suddenly for a brief period of time. This has the effect of shifting the target’s position in the initiative.

This is a level 1 effect which can be resisted with will.

On a success, the target is moved up or down the initiative ladder to any position the chronomancer chooses. They can even use this on themselves.

This effect occurs on the chronomancer’s initiative turn.

Stretch Time[]

The chronomancer can cause time to shrink or enlarge around a target, allowing them to either think their attacks through, or have a harder time attacking at all. The target of a stretch time spell can be affected by a +1 or -1 modifier to all physical actions, at the chronomage’s choice. This is a concentration effect. Additional spell levels can grant another +1 or -1.

Characters can resist this with their will, or their own skill in chronomancy, if they have one.

Chance Magic[]

Chance magic allows a chronomancer to split a number of timelines around a character and choose the most beneficial one. Mechanically, the chronomancer forces a character to re-roll their actions a number of times and keep the result the chronomancer chooses.

This effect is worth one level per re-roll that the target character performs.

Chance magic occurs on the chronomancer’s turn, and therefore can only affect actions that have already been announced in the turn.

Characters can resist chance magic with their will, or their own skill in chronomancy, if they have one.

Rewind Time[]

Rewinding time allows a chronomancer to start again a combat turn. Every action taken on the turn so far is rolled back and characters have a chance to re-do their rolls, or rethink their actions. This also reverts permanent effects that may have occurred during that combat turn, such as a character dying or permanent aspects that have been applied.

This effect occurs on the chronomancer’s turn, and, therefore, it is most useful if the chronomancer is at or near the top of the initiative chain, since then they can rewind time after many actions have been attempted.

Rewinding time is a level 3 effect.

Any character which knows chronomancy is aware that a rewind time was cast. Other characters are oblivious to what happened (because, technically, it never did happen).

Rewinding time forces the chronomancer’s mind to split between two timelines. The blowback of this stress causes the chronomancer a severe shock. Right after casting a rewind time, the chronomancer is mentally stunned for one turn and cannot take actions on the rewound turn. They can, however, defend normally against incoming attacks.

Instant Movement[]

The chronomancer can cause a target to move instantly from one point to another. The movement occurs as if the target had physically moved, only in zero time. In fact, the target does physically move, but since time is halted, they cannot interact with any object: cannot open doors, cast spells, push levers, etc. The targets don’t even retain the memory of what happened during the time they moved.

The target chooses where they want to move to. If cast on multiple targets, the mage must split the spell levels across all targets.

Travelled distance is 5 meters per spell level. One level could carry a target to a different combat zone. If cast with 0 levels, the spell can cause a target to shift 1m to the side, enough to dodge an attack.


Biomancy[]

Magic flows strongly within the bodies of living beings, because life itself is one of the purest, most abundant sources of magic. Biomancers can channel that energy and create effects that empower their own bodies, or that of their allies, or harm the bodies of their enemies.

Visual Effects[]

Life magic is seen as a glow of energy which burns beneath the target’s skin, outlining their veins, as if they were on fire. When the spell affects other targets, swirling tendrils of energy, which fork in every direction, spread out towards the target and enter it, also outlining their veins. Attack spells, in particular, show up as a green glowing twisting ray which is propelled towards the targets at great speeds.

Necromancy Exclusion[]

Characters can know both Biomancy and Necromancy skills, but cannot cast biomantic spells while maintaining necromantic spells, or vice-versa. Therefore, if, for instance, a biomancer is keeping their appearance youthful at all times, they cannot cast necromantic spells at all.

Spell Effects[]

These are the spell effects biomancer mages can cast.

Attack Spells[]

Life magic attacks targets by blocking or hindering the flow of life energy within them. Targets feel tired, bleed out, or may even die. Armor protects as usual against such magics.
Targets resist an incoming life magic attack with their willpower or their physique, whichever is better.

Sacrificial Magic[]

Mages who can control their own life force are able to improve their spells in a particular way. By consuming their own life force, they are able to cast more spells than other mages. Any mage which has at least 1 rank in Biomancy is able to perform sacrificial magic. This is the ability to take on regular stress damage and recover their spell levels on a given scene.
Each stress level of injury that the mage assumes allows them to recover 3 spell levels of any one of their magical skills (and only one magical skill per usage). Sacrificial magic may be used to recover any spent spell slot, of any source, except for necromancy. This is an instantaneous action which does not consume the mage’s turn.
A mage can only use sacrificial magic a number of times on a scene which equals their skill ranks in Biomancy.

Healing Spells[]

Biomancy can be used as the action which justifies recovery from consequences, as stated in p. 164. The consequence is not healed immediately, but the injured character is able to recover it in the determined milestones. The mage casts healing spells which allow a character to recover from wounds. This requires 1 level for a mild consequence, 2 levels for moderate, and 3 levels for severe. The difficulty is as stated in the Core rulebook: Fair (+2) for a mild consequence, Great (+4) for a moderate consequence and Fantastic (+6) for a severe consequence.
Healing magic can also be used in-combat to recover lost stress points. It cannot recover consequence slots in this manner. The number of stress slots recovered equals the spell level used.

Buffing Spells[]

Biomancers can improve their own bodies or that of allies in several ways. These effects last while the mage concentrate, but their 1st level effects can be cast as a 0-level spells which lasts for only 1 turn and does not require concentration.
Bonuses to skills: Biomancers can grant static bonuses or penalties to one of: Athletics, Burglary, Crafts, Ride, Fight, Notice, Physique, Shoot or Stealth. The modifier is +1 or -1. This is a level 1 spell. Additional spell levels can increase the modifier by 1 point.
Toughening a body: Biomancers can cause a target’s skin to get rigid like armor. This grants them additional stress levels for a scene. Each additional stress level costs 1 spell level.
Increasing or decreasing strength: Biomancers can cause a target’s physical damages to increase or decrease. Each spell level grants a flat +1 or -1 modifier to all damages rolled by the character for a scene. This modifier is added after accounting for the attack roll, the defense roll, and the weapon damage limit.

Plant Spells[]

Biomancers can control plant life much more easily than animal life and are able to shape them to great effects.
Move plant-based objects: Biomancers can control the movement of plant-based objects. This is not telekinesis, as the objects do not float, but they may slide away or closer to them. This allows for the creation of a shield which deflects any wooden object (such as arrows). Such attacks have a -1 penalty per level of the effect.
This can also allow a character to slow down their own fall by moving their clothes, if they are made of plant matter, which most clothes are.
They can also control objects such as vines, armoires, chests, drawers, and so on, causing them to open or close by themselves.
They can also propel wooden objects at targets. This is resolved as a ranged attack which uses their Biomancy skill instead of "Shoot". Max damage depends on the object being hurled.
Heal, harm, bless, curse plants: Biomancers can cause plants to grow or shrink, or cause them to bloom, bear fruit, or to prevent their blooming, at will. The spell level depends on the plant height: 1 for flowers or grass, 2 for bushes, 3 for most trees, 4 for ancient trees.
Resurrect plants: Biomancers can bring plants back to life. Once cast, this spell causes the plant to come back to life in the span of a day. Concentration is not needed. This is a 5th level effect.

Controlling Spells[]

Biomancy can also control the actions of other individuals or animals, puppeteering them.
Controlling a single arm or leg is a level 1 spell.
Controlling the whole body is a level 3 spell.
The target is aware of the control even if unable to prevent it. The mage must control the target as it would a puppet. Controlling a character demands complete concentration and therefore the mage can do little but focus entirely on the target. The mage can maintain the control beyond line of sight, but they cannot see through the target’s eyes.
Whenever the controlling mage is attacked, or forced to react abruptly, the controlled character can perform a new resistance roll to try and break free of the spell.

Permanent Youth[]

Aging is a natural process, and while Biomancy controls the very force of life, it cannot prevent its inevitable demise. Therefore, biomancers cannot use their powers to extend their lifespans. However, they can use magic to age as gracefully as possible.
Biomancers can retain a youthful appearance and vitality throughout their lives. Their bodies do not suffer from the same slow decaying of age that afflicts normal mortals. However, eventually, when they are old enough, they simply die. Biomancers feel this. When they approach this inexorable deadline, they actually sense their own lifeforce slipping away faster and faster. This gives them a forewarning of one week before their own deaths.
This is not a spell they cast, but more an effect of their ability to control their own lifeforce. The effect depends on their ranks in biomancy:
Rank 1: They always look like a well-preserved version of their actual age.
Rank 2: They can halt their appearance at about 50 years old, though they can look older, if they so choose.
Rank 3: They can halt their appearance at about 40 years old.
Rank 4: They can halt their appearance at about 30 years old.
Rank 5: They can look like any adult age. Biomancers can never rejuvenate back to adolescence or before.
While maintaining permanent youth, biomancers cannot ever cast necromantic spells.


Necromancy[]

Death, being the polar opposite of life, is also a source of magic. Those who control it are called necromancers, and they wield frightening powers over corpses, decay, disease, and the coveted ability of living forever.

Visual Effects[]

Necromancy is seen as a dark energy mist that envelops the mage and swirls towards targets, when the spell has an outward effect.

Biomancy Exclusion[]

As with Biomancy, characters can know both Necromancy and Biomancy skills, but cannot cast necromantic spells while maintaining biomantic ones, or vice-versa. Therefore, if a necromancer is extending their lifespan, they cannot cast biomantic spells at all.

Spell Effects[]

These are the spell effects necromancers can cast.

Attack Spells[]

Necromantic attacks cause a target to putrefy and wither away. Targets feel sick, dizzy, and may even die. Armor protects as usual.
Targets resist an incoming necromantic attack with their willpower or their physique, whichever is better.

Blood Magic[]

Necromancers have the ability to perform what is known as "sacrificial magic", which is magic powered by the blood of others. One of two conditions must occur to allow for sacrificial magic:
  1. The necromancer must draw blood from a victim which is either willing or incapable of resisting the attempt (such as: bound, asleep, drugged, etc).
  2. The necromancer must have just drawn blood from a victim in combat, and is able to use that blood to power a spell on the next combat turn only.
Every stress point of damage dealt allows the necromancer to rescind the expenditure of 1 spell level. This can allow necromancers to cast spells without spending their own spell levels if they draw enough blood from victims.
Sacrificial magic can only reduce a spell level by as much as the mage has levels in the necromancy skill.
Sacrificial magic can be used to power any spellcasting, except biomantic magic.

Zombie Spells[]

Zombie summoning is a staple necromantic power. The necromancer can raise the dead and command them to do their bidding. Zombie summoning is a permanent spell which does not require concentration. It takes an hour to cast for each reanimated body. This is a level 3 effect.
The necromancer can only successfully control a number of zombies which equal their skill level in necromancy. If they raise more zombies than that, they will lose control of one of the previous ones.
Zombies are incapable of following up complex commands or performing intricate actions, regardless of who they were while alive. They can do simple things like "clean this room", "carry me on a litter in that direction", "yell if you see someone approaching", but could not follow orders like "play chess with me".
Particularly, in combat, zombies are not capable of reacting to the ever-shifting complexities of the battlefield. However, every necromancer is able to remote-control the zombies they create. Therefore, a necromancer’s zombies can act in combat only if the necromancer chooses to spend their turn in deep concentration. If they opt to use their turn for something else, their zombies will do nothing for that turn. They can, however, defend normally against attacks.

The zombie swarm[]

Every group of zombies a necromancer controls is grouped as a single character which is their "zombie swarm". A swarm can attack and defend with a skill value which equals the number of zombies in the swarm. They have a number of stress points which equal the number of zombies in the swarm. In combat every two stress points lost destroy one of the swarm’s zombies, which must later on be replenished by the necromancer.
Weapon and armor statistics affect the swarm normally, but only if all zombies share the same equipment. If not, use the average value, round down.
The zombie swarm has a "physique" value of 1. They can use any other skill or stunt the necromancer has (except magical ones), at the same value, as long as the necromancer is concentrating on controlling the swarm.

Spirit Summoning Spells[]

Necromancers are able to commune with the spirits of the dead. Several effects are possible. To summon a specific spirit the necromancer always needs to know the true name of the spirit. It is only possible to communicate with the spirits of deceased intelligent beings.
Sensing the presence of nearby spirits: 0 level.
Mentally communicate with a nearby spirit: 1st level.
Summoning a specific spirit: 3rd level.
If the necromancer is in possession of some item which belonged to the deceased, the spell level is reduced in 1. If they are at the place the deceased died, the spell level is also reduced in 1.
Extract a truthful answer from a spirit: 2nd level.
Does not require concentration. Spirits can resist with "will".
Banish a spirit, forcing it to leave this place: 3rd level.
Does not require concentration. Spirits can resist with "will".
Destroy a spirit: Like a regular attack spell.
Once a necromancer attempts to destroy a spirit, they "open up" to the possibility that the spirit may harm them as well. Stress damage is taken on the mental stress chart for both parties.
Heal a spirit: 1 spell level for each recovered stress point. Cannot recover mental consequences.
Allow a spirit to possess your body: 4th level. Lasts for a day or more. The spirit may attempt to stay longer, against the necromancer’s wishes, in a contest of wills, repeated daily.
Travel into the spirit world: 5th level. The mage’s spirit leaves his body and can move into the spirit world, a very strange and dangerous place in its own right. It is not a perfect reflection of our own, but rather, a kind of twisted version of it, where things don’t really match. The mage can take anyone with him that were physically touching him when the spell was cast. The mage, obviously, cannot concentrate to maintain this effect. Therefore, this lasts for as long as the mage’s body needs to sleep. However, it is possible to get lost in the spirit world, and never return…
Reincarnate a spirit: 8th level. A legendary effect which is believed to be possible. Current necromantic theory supports this, but attempts show inconsistent results at best. It is believed that if this is attempted at all, it must be shortly after death. A suitable, mostly unharmed body is required of the approximate age and the same gender as the deceased. Once a reincarnated individual dies again, a second reincarnation has never succeeded.

Disease Spells[]

Necromancers have the frightening ability to instill a specific illness onto someone. Each different disease may require different spell levels. Be warned that although the mage can cause these diseases, they are not, themselves, immune to them. Targets resist this effect with their "physique +2". After a successful cast, it takes a scene for the first symptoms to start showing.
Any magically induced disease can be countered through Biomancy or dispelled through Noomancy.
Flu: 1st level. -1 to all physical actions. Roll Physique vs 2 daily to recover. Highly contagious through the air.
Dysenteria: 2nd level. -1 to all physical actions. Roll Physique vs 2 daily to recover. On a failed roll, penalties increase by -1 up to -8. At -9, the victim dies. Not contagious.
Diphtheria: 3rd level. -1 to all physical actions. Roll Physique vs 4 daily to recover. On a failed roll, penalties increase by -1 up to -8. At -9, the victim dies. Very contagious through the air.
Typhoid: 3rd level. -1 to all physical actions. Roll Physique vs 4 daily to recover. On a failed roll, penalties increase by -1 up to -8. At -9, the victim dies. Contagious through water.
Cholera: 4th level. -1 to all physical actions. Roll Physique vs 4 hourly to recover. On a failed roll, penalties increase by -1 up to -8. At -9, the victim dies. Contagious through water.
Smallpox: 5th level. -4 to all physical actions. Roll Physique vs 4 daily to reduce penalties by 1. On a failed roll, penalties increase by -1 up to -8. At -9, the victim dies, at 0 they recover. Contagious through the air.
Syphilis: 6th level. No modifiers to skill rolls. Victim starts with a -5 hidden counter. Roll Physique vs 6 weekly. On a success, the counter increases by 1, on a failure, it decreases by 1. At 0, the patient recovers. At -9 it either damages the eyes, nerves, heart or brain. At -10, the victim dies. Contagious through blood.
Leprosy: 7th level. -1 to one specific physical skill. Roll Physique vs 6 monthly. On a failed roll, penalties increase by -1 or adds a -1 penalty to another physical skill. On a success, the penalty reduces by one. When all penalties are removed, the target recovers. When all added penalties reach -20, the victim dies. Contagious through the air.
Bubonic plague: 8th level. -1 to all physical actions. Roll Physique vs 6 daily. On a failed roll, penalties increase by -1 up to -8. At -9, the victim dies. On a success, penalties decrease by 1. When penalties are 0, and 3 successful rolls have been made, the victim recovers. Contagious through blood, but if cast on mice, can become contagious through their fleas.

Poison Spells[]

A magical poison can be created in a vial of liquid, which then becomes the poison, or on a weapon which delivers the poison damage on strike. Unlike diseases, magical poisons only last while the necromancer concentrates.
The necromancer "creates" the poison by buying parameters and paying for them with spell levels. The basic poison is a 1st level spell which has the following parameters:
Resistance: Target rolls against Physique +2 to resist.
Damage: fixed in 1 point of stress.
Recurrence: Not recurrent. Single damage only.
Each additional spell level can improve on these parameters as follows:
Resistance: -1 to resistance per spell level.
Damage: 1 point of stress per each spell level.
Recurrence: Each spell level allows the poison to affect the target one more time, on the next turn. The target can resist at every turn, and one successful resistance negates the whole poison.

Magical Immortality[]

A much-desired ability which also carries a heavy price. Necromancers can prevent death from reaching their bodies, and thus, live indefinitely. However, they cannot preserve their youth. Instead, their bodies continue aging as normal, on and on, decades after decades, eventually becoming little more than a living mummy. Their physical prowess also decreases as they age. Therefore, even though necromancers can stay alive for centuries, few can withstand life in such a frail and decrepit body.
Necromancers need to have a skill level of 5 in necromancy to prevent their own deaths. This is not a spell they cast, but an ongoing technique which they can switch on and off as they please. While they are sustaining their lives, they are still subject to diseases and poisons. Although these things cannot actually kill them, they can debilitate them even further.
Immortal necromancers have a max level in the physique skill which equals 5 minus the number of centuries in which they have been alive. This number can go negative.

Pyromancy[]

Fire is not only the most exuberant of the elements, but also the very source of life, the world, and the universe itself. According to the current theories, fire itself is the oldest, most primal and chaotic of all sources of magic.

Visual Effects[]

It is no surprise that fire spells appear as literal as they sound: as waves of flaming arcs around the pyromancers or their targets.

Spell Effects[]

Unlike most other magic sources, fire magic is as simple as it comes, although it does give mages a lot of options on how to destroy their targets.

Attack Spells[]

Fire magic can set targets ablaze, but also shock them. Lightning is considered to be the purest form of fire, and pyromancers have the option to attack their targets with either flames or electricity.

Secondary Effects[]

When a target is hit with a flaming attack spell, their flammable belongings may catch on fire, especially if they are exposed to the spell. If a target is on fire, roll a d6 each turn. On a 1 or 2, the flames go away by themselves. Else, the target will take 1 point of stress damage from the fire and one of their flammable belongings is ruined. The target may opt to spend their turn putting the flames away.
When a target is hit with an electric blast, they must make a physique roll against 0. On a failure, they are stunned for one combat round. If a target is using metallic armor (or shield), the added protection these items grant is disregarded against electrical damage. The exception is if the target is completely surrounded by metal, from head to toe. In this case, the opposite is true: such targets are immune to electrical damage. Even so, every 3 full points of electric damage are converted into 1 point of heat damage (though armor protects normally in this case).

Flaming and Electrical weapons[]

Pyromancers may surround a melee weapon or ranged projectile with either flames or lightning, granting it a bonus damage whenever they strike their target. This is a concentration effect.
Added damage equals half the spell levels, round down. This damage is added after accounting for the attack roll, resistance roll, and the weapon’s max damage.

Flaming and Electrical armor[]

A target’s clothes, armor, or even their skin may be surrounded by fire or lightning with no issues to the equipment itself. Other characters attacking these targets at melee range may receive a blowback of either flames or lightning if they stay too close.
Any attack which actually connects with the target will receive a number of fixed points of either fire or electric damage equalling 1/3 of the spell level. This is a concentration effect.

Flaming and Electrical areas[]

Pyromancers can cause a specific area of any desired shape to be surrounded by either fire or lightning. The area in question cannot be larger than the current combat zone.
Anyone which starts their turn at said area will receive a number of points of damage which equal ½ the spell level. This is a concentration effect.
Outside of combat, assume that the maximum area affected is of 20m2. To affect larger areas, each additional spell level adds another 20m2.
Although the mage can choose any shape they choose for the area, this shape cannot contain holes.

Fireproofing and Insulating Spells[]

Pyromancers can also protect targets from fire or electrical damage. This reduces any fire or electric damage (choose one) by the number of spell levels. This requires concentration.
Non-magical damage is also negated. A 2nd level protection can protect against any ordinary lightning or fire. A 4th level spell protects against extreme conditions such as the pyroclastic shock of an exploding volcano, or the electrical discharge of the perfect storm.

Fireshaping Spells[]

Fire mages can not only create, but also shape fire, causing it to move as they please, or extinguish it. They can control any existing fire in such a way, even if it was originally created by another mage’s spell.
The affected area depends on the spell level. In the area, the mage may either shape the flames, expand them, or contract and extinguish them.
0 level: Arm-length flames.
1st level: Human sized fires, campfires.
2nd level: 2x2 flames, huge bonfires.
3rd level: 10x10 flames, an entire house on fire.
4th level: 100x100 flames, a castle or building on fire.
5th level: 1km x 1km, a mountain on fire.


Magic Items[]

There is one more way for a character to perform magic, which is not necessarily another source, but the possession of magical items themselves.

The Tearing took much from the world, and among the secrets that have been lost since the rule of Order ended, was the knowledge of how to create enchanted items. However, there were already many such items in the world at that time, most of which are still around. Therefore, it is entirely possible for a character to wield magic by using magic items.

"Magic Item" is a character skill, and the skill levels in this skill identify how strong the item is. If the character possesses more than one magic item, he will only note in his character sheet the "magic item" skill related to the most powerful of his items, because only one magic item can be active at any given time.

Magic is, itself, a living thing in its own right. Spells that last long can change in subtle ways, adapt or get corrupted. Magical items are like that as well. A magical item may change over time, may hide some of its abilities from the owner, or develop new uses. For this reason, it is possible for a character to increase his "magic item" skill level and develop new abilities on a magic item they own.

Item Attunement[]

Having a magic item and using a magic item are two different things. A person can’t just pick up a magic item and start using it right away, even if the item is properly identified and analyzed. Characters must first attune to the item they intend to use, and only then benefit from its magic.

A magic item can only be attuned to one person, and a person can only attune to one magic item at a time.

The attunement is a process which takes 8 hours of deep concentration in which the character slowly starts to sense the item’s magic and understand at an instinctive level how to use it. No roll is required. A character can only attune to an item if they were first informed that the item is magical, and what are its properties: that is, the item must have been identified and analyzed.

Item Powers[]

Each skill level in "magic item" allows the item to perform a 1st level spell one time per scene. Additional levels can increase the spell effect level, purchase another 1st level effect, or increase the usage frequency of the power:

+1 level increase the number of uses to 5 times per scene.
+2 levels increase the number of uses to once per turn.
+3 levels increase the number of uses to once per attack (in the case of weapons).

Each item’s power might have different conditions that are required to trigger it. These do not cost any skill levels.

The player is not limited to the magical effects described in the spell sources above, as before the Tearing magic could be used in much more ways, which have thus been lost. The GM is the final arbiter, but should balance effect levels using the spell descriptions as guidelines.

Concentration[]

When magic items cast spells which require concentration, the item itself maintains the concentration for up to one scene. However, the object cannot intelligently adapt its concentration to external influences. That requires the user to concentrate on the item’s effect in order to alter its effect as they see fit.

For example: The orb of flames can create fire on a 20m2 area of any shape. While the user concentrates, they may change the shape of the area covered in fire, but if they release the concentration, the sphere itself can only maintain the concentration on the last shape imprinted by the user.

Skill Rolls[]

When an enchanted item performs a spell effect which requires any kind of resistance, the user must activate it with their "Will" skill level. However, if the user itself is also a mage trained in the same magic source as the effect, or Noomancy, they may use their skill level in the appropriate magic skill if that is the better roll.


The Tainted[]

Earth Bender by Benjamin Haley

When the Tearing hit the world, the largest volcano in Illoria, called mount Nether, exploded with full force, spewing forth unending ash and rivers of black magma that still today plague the kingdom of Théari. More so because this was no ordinary ash or lava, but they carried something much darker. A taint that goes against nature itself, corrupts what it touches and propagates by itself. A disease upon nature.

People who came in contact with this lava, or who breathed this ash, started to develop a crust of black stone in their skin which grew steadily until the point where the whole person was nothing but a statue of stone. Eventually, everyone thus tainted dies, but not before causing a lot of problems themselves.

The tainted are characters who have come in contact with either lava or ash from mount Nether, or with another tainted themselves. Upon being contaminated, they start a slow and steady descent into death, but up until that moment, they also develop a lot of new abilities.

The tainted can be recognized by the stony crusts that cover part of their skin. Sometimes, black flames burst from these stones. In Théari, they are feared, hunted and killed nearly on sight, although some are tolerated if they use their abilities to hunt other, more troublesome tainted. Outside of Théari they are not that much feared, but then, for some reason, the taint also doesn’t spread that easily so far away from mount Nether.

When death eventually comes for the tainted, it is gruesome. Entirely covered in stone, they start moving slower and slower, until they are completely paralyzed and begin having problems eating, drinking and breathing. Usually, before they thirst to death, they suffocate very, very slowly.

If a player wishes to play with a tainted character, the only thing they need to do is purchase a special skill, called "Taint".

The Taint skill[]

Taint is a skill which can go up to +7. Every skill rank indicates how advanced the taint is in that character and allows the character to select one "taint power".

The skill can increase its value at every milestone, like normal skills, but it must increase by 1 every year. After one year passes with the skill at +7, the character dies. Therefore, a tainted character has, at most, 7 years to live. This skill value can never diminish.

If increasing this skill value mandatorily after one year would cause gaps in the character’s skill columns, in this case, and only in this case, this discrepancy is permitted.

The value of the taint skill also indicates how much stone covers the character’s body:

  1. Small rashes which cover a very discreet patch of skin.
  2. A noticeable fistful of a block of stone.
  3. A whole hand, or foot, or forearm is covered in stone.
  4. An entire arm or leg is covered in stone.
  5. Two arms, or an arm and a leg, or the entire torso covered in stone.
  6. More than half of the character’s body is covered in stone.
  7. All of the character’s body is covered in stone (they can still breathe and see, and even move).

Taint powers[]

Every level of the taint skill grants the character one extra stress level of damage. Furthermore, every skill level allows a player to choose one power from the list below. Once chosen, the power cannot be changed.

Earth Strength: +1 to any physical damage and weapon max damage.
Strong lungs: The character cannot be intoxicated by noxious gases.
Granite constitution: Every physical damage received is lowered by 1.
Mundane Rocks: Every magical damage received is lowered by 1.
Razor-sharp claws: Hands become weapons causing a max damage which equals the current skill level.
Resonating Reality: +2 to resist any magical effect.
Iron Stomach: Character is able to derive nutrition from any substance.
Mountain Endurance: Immunity to diseases and poisons.
Regenerating Crystals: If the character loses a limb, it grows back in a few weeks.
Thundering Blows: Character’s unarmed damage is triple and has no max damage when attacking inanimate objects.
Stone Friendship: Attacks made against the character with stones or metal objects have a -2 penalty.
Vibration Sense: Character can sense nearby opponents through the vibrations they cause on the earth, and can fight them even they can’t be seen.
Lasting Solidity: Character can add his taint skill level to his physique skill level.
Metal Spikes: Anyone who attacks this character in melee with a weapon of max damage 1, 2 or 3 must also take 1 point of stress damage per attack made.


Vampires[]

It is said, in the northern wastes of Kai-Athel, that in the deep of night death walks the land in the form of immortal creatures who resemble people, but feed on blood and enslave mortals. They are known as "vampires".

The very existence of vampires is shrouded in myth. People who do believe vampires usually believe that they are a separate magical monster who just happens to have the power to turn into a mortal appearance, who needs mortal blood to survive and only come out at night.

In fact, vampires are more like a magical infection that can affect any human. It cannot, however, affect other sentient races. There are no known cases of Lynam, Elnaji or Harasim vampires.

Also, vampires can and do function during the day. However, the special powers which give them an advantage are negated during daytime. Therefore, they are most active at night because that’s the time in which they are at their strongest.

Vampires must contend with a number of abilities and limitations that are inherent to their nature:

Vampiric Immortality[]

Vampires do not age, they always usually look like the age in which they were turned. They are also immune to disease or poison and cannot be killed by normal means. Vampires can take damage like other mortals, and can take on physical consequences, but they naturally recover from these. In order to permanently kill a vampire, one has to either decapitate them or burn their body down. A stake through the heart can render them in a coma-like state, but as soon as it’s removed, they can rise again.

Blood Pool[]

Vampires cannot eat like other mortals. If they try to ingest solid food, they must be successful at a "will" roll against 4 or else they will throw away anything they ingested. They can drink liquids, but nothing will grant them nourishment except for the blood of living creatures.

Vampires must keep track of a new marker called "Blood Points". A vampire has, by default, 3 blood points maximum. However, a higher level in "physique" can increase their blood pool by 1/3 of the "physique" skill (round down). Also, each level in the "Vampirism" skill increases their maximum blood pool by 1.

Vampires recover blood points by drinking the blood of other creatures. When they feed, they can protract large fangs from their teeth which they sink into the victim’s skin. A regular adult mortal can provide 2 blood points before dying. The vampire may opt to only consume 1 blood point and leave the victim alive. Children or small animals can only provide 1 blood point.

Every week, a vampire loses 1 blood point from their pool. Blood points can also power many vampiric powers.

If a vampire’s blood pool goes to 0, they start feeling an intense, overbearing desire to feed. Whenever they see a potential victim (or smell their blood), whoever they are, they must succeed on a "will" check against 4. If they fail this check, they must feed on that person. If they are successful, they do not have to perform another check for that person, until the end of the scene.

Arrested Development[]

Vampires cannot learn anything new without forgetting something they previously knew. If a vampire increases any skill by 1, they must also decrease another skill by 1. The only exception to this is their "Vampirism" skill.

In game terms, a vampire character’s skills cannot add up to more than 50 (excluding the vampirism skill). If the sum of all their skill levels goes over this number, they must reduce some skill levels in order to go back to 50.

Aversion to Light[]

At night, a vampire’s powers function as written. However, when the Sun comes up, all but one of their powers fail. This is their "core" power and is the only power they have which is always active. This only depends on the relative position of the Sun. Even if a vampire is underground, their powers are blocked during daytime.

However, they also suffer from an extreme aversion to sunlight. When outdoors during the day, the clarity is very disturbing to them, granting them -2 to all actions. This penalty is -1 during twilight or dawn. However, this penalty is related to direct contact with intense light. It does not affect the vampire when they are indoors or underground. It also only relates to sunlight. Light from fire causes them no discomfort.

Becoming a vampire[]

Any human can become a vampire if they are fed upon by another vampire and survive the attempt. However, this is a very, very rare occurrence. Vampires themselves do not know how to trigger this at will. They believe that the total number of vampires in the world is fixed, and a person can only become a vampire if, somewhere else, another vampire was killed. That is just speculation, though. No one has ever confirmed this theory.

When someone does become a vampire, the transition occurs over three days time after the first feeding. During this time, the victim slowly starts displaying more and more symptoms and abilities of vampirism, until, at the night of the third day, their transformation is complete. They, then gain a "blood pool" with 0 blood points and feel an intense urge to feed. Only after their first feeding do they develop the first level of their new "vampirism" skill and gain their core power.

Because a potential vampire must first survive a feeding attempt, it is very, very rare for someone to become a vampire at an early age.

Vampiric Powers[]

All of a vampire’s powers come from their unique skill called "vampirism". Whenever they increase this skill, they can select a new power from the list below.

The first power a vampire develops is called their "core power". This power is always active, even during daytime. All other powers, however, only work when the Sun is below horizon.

The Vampirism Skill[]

Beyond allowing for a character to select powers, levels in the vampirism skill grant other advantages:

  • Each skill level in Vampirism extends the character’s Blood Pool by 1.
  • Each skill level in Vampirism adds to any "notice" roll when olfactory perception is relevant. This does not include initiative rolls.
  • If a vampire is also a biomancer or a necromancer, they can use their blood points as "stress" for either sacrificial or blood magic.

List of Powers[]

Might: Character can spend a blood point and increase their "physique", "shoot" and "fight" skills by the same amount as their "vampirism" for one scene.
Celerity: Character can spend a blood point and increase their "athletics", "stealth", "burglary" and "ride" skills by the same amount as their "vampirism" for one scene.
Endurance: Character can spend a blood point and increase their physical stress points by their "vampirism" skill level for one scene.
Night Senses: Character can spend a blood point and increase their "notice", "investigation" and "survival" skills by the same amount as their "vampirism" for one scene.
Hypnotic Gaze: Character can spend a blood point and increase their "deceive", "empathy", "provoke" and "influence" skills by the same amount as their "vampirism" for one scene.
Vampiric Speed: The character can spend a blood point and add their vampirism skill level to their initiative rolls. This can be done after initiative has been rolled, altering the character’s initiative in the middle of the fight. Can only be used once per scene.
Creature of the Night: Character can spend a blood point and become a non-magical creature of the night for one scene, such as a bat, a wolf, etc. This animal is selected when the power is assumed. They can cancel this transformation at will at any time. This power can be selected more than once, and each time allows the character to transform into a different animal.
Predator Control: Character can spend a blood point and control the actions or one or more irrational, non-magical animals, if they are apex predators. Examples include wolves, panthers, lions, lynxes, hyenas, eagles, bats, etc. This includes summoning them but gives no access to their senses. The character can summon any such animal but may only control one type of animal at a time.
Blood Healing: Character can spend one or more blood points and recover lost stress points at the rate of 1 BP to 2 stress. This can be used on someone else, forcing them to recover stress as well.
Super-Strength: This character can spend one blood point and cause all of their physical melee damages to ignore the max damage of whatever weapon they are using, for one scene.
Supernatural Resistance: Character can spend a blood point and add their "vampirism" skill to any magical resistance roll for one scene.
Steal Memories: This power expands the vampire’s maximum skill levels by 10, setting it at 60. These extra skill levels must be accounted for separately, since they will not be available during the day (if this isn’t the character’s core power). Whenever the vampire feed on someone, they can shift 1 of these extra points across their skills, as they also "feed" on a victim’s memories. This power can be chosen multiple times, each time increasing the character’s max skill levels by 10.
Blood-Gift: This character can feed another mortal with their blood points. Such mortals gain one blood point and access to one of the vampire’s powers, chosen by the vampire. This lasts for a week, or until the target consumes the blood point. While the target is keeping vampire’s blood point, the vampire may initiate a telepathic communication with the target regardless of distance. If done to other vampires, the gifted blood point may be retained indefinitely, but cannot exceed the target’s blood pool.
Daywalker: This vampire can walk in direct sunlight with no skill penalties. This power is only useful if it is the character’s core power.
Shapechange: Upon feeding on a human, the vampire can spend a blood point to become a copy of that person for a scene. They can only "maintain" the memory of one person at a time. If they wish to shape-change into someone else, they must feed on the victim and "forget" their previous shape.

Switching Powers[]

Once a character has increased their vampirism skill and chosen a new power, they cannot switch this power to another at just any time. However, vampires can switch their powers, as long as they do not switch their core powers.

To that end, the character must enter a week-long slumber. After one entire week asleep, they can switch one of their known powers for another.


Werewolves[]

The elnaji of Elanagroth tell a legend of a human man who fell in love with an elnaji woman and ended killing her out of jealousy with a silver dagger while she was turned into a wolf. The full moon, who watched this, was so enraged by this action that cursed the man to forever walk as a wolf, uncontrollably killing everyone he ever loved.

Whether this story is true or not, the fact is that werewolves do exist, and when the full moon rises, anyone can be their next victim.

Being a werewolf is a curse. Every month, on the night of the full moon, the character transforms into a wolf and goes out on a killing spree. Most of them have no recollection of these events, but sometimes they do get glimpses of the carnage they visited upon others. For all special abilities that werewolves can develop, they never found a way to prevent that. Therefore, it is customary for werewolves who have some sort of conscience to have a system in place by which they can lock themselves up for a night each month.

Becoming a werewolf[]

Unlike what people use to believe, not everyone who survives a werewolf attack becomes a werewolf themselves. However, surviving a werewolf attack is one of the requisites for lycantropy.

The curse of the Full Moon only shines upon those who "deserve" it. When a person has a particularly dark past, performed a kind of unforgivable act, and survives a werewolf attack in the full moon, then the curse falls upon them. This means most people who turn into werewolves have a violent nature themselves. Peaceful, saintly individuals are not at risk, but mercenaries, thieves, criminals in general have to watch out when the full moon rises.

However, elnaji are immune to this. To this date, no elnaji have ever been found to be afflicted by the lycantrope’s curse.

The problem with silver[]

Direct contact with silver is very disturbing to werewolves. When they touch any silver object, they suffer a -1 penalty to all actions due to intense pain. Also, while in contact with silver, they are unable to voluntarily transform or activate any of their powers.

If already transformed, contact with silver prevents them from regenerating from wounds. Damage taken from silver weapons cannot regenerate as other wounds do, only their natural healing is allowed.

Lunar Curse[]

A werewolf character must add to their character sheet a skill called "Lunar Curse". This skill represents the degree of control that they have over their own lycantropy.

Each skill level in "Lunar Curse" grant the character a number of fixed abilities:

  1. At moments of great stress, the character gains one more stress level and claws come out from their hands allowing them to cause 2 max damage with unarmed strikes. Also, all of the character’s physical rolls, including previously rolled initiatives, have a +1 bonus. This only occurs in moments of profound need, when their life is hanging on the balance, and not on every single combat.
  2. Like level 1, but the character gains the ability to control this change and summon it at will. It lasts for an entire scene.
  3. At this level, when the character summons the change, all of his body assumes a slight wolf-like appearance. Their claws are longer, and their eyes become golden. Their max damage for unarmed strikes is 3, they gain 2 extra stress points, and their overall physical bonus is +2. This form also grants them the ability to regenerate 1 stress level of damage per turn.
  4. While shapechanged, the character can go into a brief period where they become a veritable killing machine. Once per day, for three turns, their claws become like razor-sharp shortswords and their whole body becomes a large monstrous hybrid between man and wolf. In this monstrous form their max unarmed damage is 4, they have 4 extra stress points and their overall physical bonus is +4. This form is so large that tight clothes usually rip apart on transformation. This form also grants them the ability to regenerate 2 stress levels of damage per turn.
  5. Each skill level beyond the 4th grants the character one more shift per day into their monstrous form. Duration and bonuses remain the same. At this level, the character also gains the ability to completely turn into the form of a wolf at will. This transformation is permanent, if they so desire. While in wolf form they have (at least) 3 physical stress points, claws which deal max damage 2, and a "fight" value of +3. The characters can understand what happens around them normally, but they are limited in speech and action by their current physical form.
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