dorchadas: (Pile of Dice)
The Order of the Star-Filled Sky
Sorcerer-Priests of Nyahré

Nyahré is the goddess of mysteries and endings, of night and the passage of time, and of hidden things, and while her priesthood as a whole takes up the duties of psychopomps, chroniclers, confessors, gravediggers, and exorcists, the Order of the Star-Filled Sky is devoted to the seeking of hidden knowledge and the defense against that which such seeking can uncover. After a year-long novitiate in which prospective members must take a vow of silence and a vow to avoid the light of the sun, they are initiated into the Order and taught the rudiments of sorcery.

Members of the Order of the Star-Filled Sky must obey the following rules:
--Honor Nyahré in All Things: Members of the order are priests of Nyahré first and foremost, and they must conduct all of the duties of the priesthood: the Rite of Renewal at the dark of the moon, hearing confession from those who wish to unburden their mind of secrets, exorcism of demons, and so on.
--Do Not Reveal the Secrets of the Order: While sorcery is the most obvious knowledge that falls under this stricture, many secrets are told to the Order in confession or are learned through their studies, and members may not reveal any of them without the permission of a higher-ranking members.
--Fight the Darkness Whenever You Encounter It: One of the primary duties of the Order is to combat the things that come from the darkness beyond the Star Road, the abominations called "demons" by the common people. Members of the Order are duty-bound to investigate any rumors of demons they encounter.

All members wear black robes and cloaks. The inside of their cloaks are often sewn with bits of glass, or gems for higher-ranking members, in the patterns of the night sky. Many members also wear masks bearing stylized smiling faces.

Ranks
Initiate
This is not the lowest ranking in the Order, but is it is the lowest ranking that has any contact with the outside world. Initiates attach themselves to a senior member, performing tasks as designated by their mentor.
CP Cost: 3
Prerequisites: Eldritch Lore (Path of Night and Secrets): 2, Lore (Star Road): 2, Lore (Kingdom of Flowers): 2, Major or Minor Adept Talent (Path of Night and Secrets)
Benefits:
--Support and access to a senior member of the Order, who can provide aid and assistance, but will also demand tasks of the character.
--Room and board in any Temple of Nyahré. Only the initiate may take advantage of this benefit.
--Tutoring in the spells Hidden from Darkness, Scent of Corruption, Shatter the Strands, Sidereal Revelation, and Star Fires.
Responsibilities: Initiates must obey all orders given to them by senior members of the Order. They are expected to especially obey the orders of their mentor without question, and must give 10% of any money they earn from any outside activities to the Order.

Seeker
Seekers are full-fledged members of the order, responsible for their own actions and able to travel as they desire. They often take some time to seek out new knowledge to add to the Order's archives.
CP Cost: 4
Prerequisites: Character is already an initiate, Eldritch Lore (Path of Night and Secrets): 8, Lore (Star Road): 8, Lore (Kingdom of Flowers): 8, one other Lore skill at 5, at least two spells at 8
Benefits:
--Access to the libraries of the Order of the Star-Filled Sky. This can provide bonuses to Lore rolls, at the GM's discretion.
--The character may buy the Nightvision Talent.
--Tutoring in the spells Cloak of Night, Golden Scale of Truth and Lies, Grasp Knowledge, Historical Discernment, and Unity of Minds
Responsibilities: Seekers are expected to share any esoteric knowledge they learn with the Order's historians for cataloging in the Order's archives.

Guardian
Guardians are distinguished from seekers by their greater knowledge of the mysteries, including some of the Order's rituals. This is the highest level most members of the Order ever attain.
CP Cost: 5
Prerequisites: Character is already a seeker, Eldritch Lore (Path of Night and Secrets): 15, Lore (Star Road): 15, Lore (Kingdom of Flowers): 15, one other Lore skill at 10, one Eldritch Lore skill at 5, at least one spell at 10 and three spells at 5
Benefits:
--Access to the secret archives of the Order of the Star-Filled Sky, containing forbidden knowledge and all those things the Order believes are too dangerous to be widely known. This can provide bonuses to Eldritch Lore rolls, at the GM's discretion.
--The character may buy the Darkvision Talent.
--Tutoring in the spells A Moment of Chains of Searing Light, Nyahré's Judgement, Unflinching Eye of the Starlit Heavens
--Tutoring in the rituals Still the Loose Tongue and Traverse the Star Road
Responsibilities: Guardians must investigate any rumors of demonic activity they hear about on their travels and verify the truth of the rumors and, if there is a basis, the danger such a threat poses and the best way to deal with it. They also expected to be a part of that solution, once they determine its nature.

Shrouded One
Few members of the order ever attain the title of Shrouded One, as it requires absolute devotion to the principles of Nyahré. Many shrouded ones conceal their appearance at all times, and some of them seem to fade from sight and from memory to a preternatural degree.
CP Cost: 6
Prerequisites: Character is already a guardian, Eldritch Lore (Path of Night and Secrets): 20, Lore (Star Road): 20, Lore (Kingdom of Flowers): 20, two other Lore skills at 10, one Eldritch Lore skill at 10, at least two spells at 10 and four spells at 5
Benefits:
--The ability to found their own sanctum of the Order, which is authorized to train new members and contain archives of eldritch lore.
--The character may buy the Occulted Talent.
--Tutoring in the rituals Eternal Imprisonment and Instill Knowledge
Responsibilities: Shrouded Ones are the masters of the Order of the Star-Filled Sky, and as such have many administrative duties that they must fulfill. That does not relinquish them from their duties to hunt out demons and seek all knowledge they can, which means that Shrouded Ones are often incredibly busy at all times.

New Talent: Occulted
Cost: 5 CP
Trainable: No
Description: The character's appearance is supernaturally bland, with even the eyes of those deliberately looking for them seeming to slide right over them. Anyone attempting to find the character in a crowd or remember any details about their appearance suffers a -4 penalty to the attempt. Furthermore, without extraordinary attempts to remember their appearance--drawing a portrait soon after meeting them, magically recording the members, etc.--after about a month, observers will remember no distinguishing characteristics about the character at all.

The Path of Night and Secrets
The magic of the Order of the Star-Filled Sky is dedicated to seeking out knowledge, to uncovering secrets, and to fighting demons. It is the most overtly martial of any of the orders of sorcerer-priests, even more so than Diang's, but damaging spells may only be used on creatures of darkness--demons, the walking dead, ghasts, blooddrinkers, and so on.

A Moment of Eternity (Wis)
CTN: 20
Cost: 2
Vs: N/A
Range: Self
Casting: Instant
Duration: 20 minutes
Description: This spell stops time, but only for the caster. Or perhaps it speeds up their thoughts so much that time only appears to be stopped. Regardless, while the spell is in effect, the caster cannot move or cast spells, but they can think or work through any purely mental exercise or problem. This can reduce the amount of time necessary to research a problem by a large amount--though the caster cannot turn the pages of books while they are under the effects of A Moment of Eternity, it can make translation or other such tasks much faster. It is also possible for two members of the Order who are linked by Unity of Minds to simultaneously cast this spell and conduct an extended conversation in an instant.
Base: Movement
Casting Options: Up to one hour (+8 CTN/+3 SP)

Chains of Searing Light (Will)
CTN: 28
Cost: 5
Vs: DEF
Range: 50 feet
Casting: Instant
Duration: 1 minute
Description: The caster waves their chains and glowing chains appear out of the air and bind the target tightly, burning their flesh and restricting their movement. If the target fails to get out of the way, they are Stunned for the spells' duration and suffer the caster's Willpower Bonus in damage every round. This damage does not scale, and can be prevented only by non-metal or natural armor. It normally only works on creatures of darkness, but can be modified to work on any target.
Base: Attack/Flash
Casting Options: affects non-creature of darkness (+4 CTN/+2 SP), up to 10 minutes (+4 CTN/+2 SP), up to one hour (+8 CTN/+3 SP), per additional targe (+2 CTN/+1 SP)

Cloak of Night (Int)
CTN: 24
Cost: 4
Vs: N/A
Range: 50 feet
Casting: Instant
Duration: 10 minutes
Description: This relatively simple spell simply blots out all the light in a ten-foot radius globe. Any being with the Darkvision Talent or another ability to see through darkness will be able to ignore the spell, but anyone else will be blinded. That includes the caster, unless they have some mystical way of seeing in total darkness.
Base: Change Environment
Casting Options: Increase casting range to 100 feet (+1 CTN/+1 SP), per extra 5 foot radius (+2 CTN / +1 SP)

Golden Scale of Truth and Lies (Wis)
CTN: 15
Cost:
Vs: Will (TN )/ Resolve
Range: 20 feet
Casting: Instant
Duration: 10 minutes
Description: The sorcerer casts this spell on a single target, and a scale takes shape in their sight. Every time the target speaks, the scale weighs their statements for truth and balances itself accordingly. Note that this only reveals what the target believes to be true, and a deluded target who sincerely believes what they are saying will ring true to the spell. The sorcerer and target do not need to share a common language for truth to be discerned. The spell only lasts while the caster is actively maintaining it, and will fail if their concentration is interrupted.
Base: Divination
Casting Options:

Grasp Knowledge (Wis)
CTN: 14
Cost: 1
Vs: Will (TN 15) / Resolve
Range: Touch
Casting: 3 rounds
Duration: Instant
Description: The Order of the Star-filled Sky is devoted to learning and secrets, even if those who know those secrets refuse to tell them. This spell allows the sorcerer to reach into the target's mind and scoop out knowledge like a dipper into a bucket of water. A single casting normally allows the caster to ask a yes/no question or read the target's memory of a single instant, but it is possible for more skilled sorcerers to learn more information than that at a time. Additional uses on the same target in a single day grant the target a +4 cumulative bonus to resist Grasp Knowledge.
Base: Telepathy
Casting Options: Up to 20 feet (+4 CTN/+2 SP), per additional subject scanned for (+3 CTN/+1 SP)

Hidden from Darkness (Int)
CTN: 17
Cost: 1
Vs: N/A
Range: Self
Casting: Instant
Duration: 20 minutes
Description: The sorcerer can conceal themselves from creatures of darkness, preventing sight or scent from finding them. The spell is most effective when the caster remains totally still, since the air can have certain odd ripples during movement that will otherwise give the concealed away. This spell is highly maleable, and skilled sorcerers may change it to a great degree.
Base: Conceal
Casting Options: Hide from demonic senses (+5 CTN/+2 SP), per additional sense hidden (+3 CTN/+1 SP), per additional target hidden (+2 CTN/+1 SP), up to 20 foot range (+4 CTN/+2 SP), up to 1 hour duration (+3 CTN/+1 SP), affects non-creatures of darkness (+4 CTN/+2 SP)

Historical Discernment (Wis)
CTN: 20
Cost: 2
Vs: N/A
Range: Touch
Casting: 5 minutes
Duration: 6 minutes
Description: By touching an object and casting this spell, the sorcerer can delve into its past, experiencing three of the most important and pivotal events in the object's life. A treasured sword might reveal its gifting from a duke to the duke's heir, the heir using the sword to kill her father, and the new duchess's death in battle. The events play out in the caster's mind, taking one minute of real time to view 10 minutes of history, allowing the sorcerer to view an hour of events at a time. Skilled casters can learn of even more events with a single caster or search for demons or demonic taint in the past, using the same criteria for such as the Scent of Corruption spell.
Base: Divination
Casting Options: Per additional event viewed (+2 CTN/+1 SP), experience 1 hour of subjective time in one minute (+3 CTN/+1 SP), sense demonic taint in past (+5 CTN/+2 SP), per additional target who experiences the visions (+2 CTN/+1 SP)

Nyahré's Judgement (Will)
CTN: 25
Cost: 4
Vs: Con (TN 18) / Endurance
Range: 50 feet
Casting: Instant
Duration: Special
Description: The sorcerer intones one of the secret names of Nyahré and points at a creature of darkness, and the target is enveloped with pure white flames. The target of the spell must roll two Con saves in a row to escape the flames (or the caster must accumulate three Boon points vs. the target's Endurance rolls), taking 1d10 hit points of damage every round. If the target fails two Con saves in a row, the flames utterly consume them, destroying them in a burst of holy light or banishing them from whence they came. Until the target escapes, neither the target nor the caster may take any action other than to engage in a contest of wills. Nyahré's Judgement works with lesser effect on goetic sorcerers or the demonically tainted; instead of dying when two Saves are failed, the target takes 2d10 damage and the spell ends.
Base: Attack II/Flash
Casting Options: Per additional 50 feet of range (+3 CTN/+1 SP), -1 penalty to the target's Save (+4 CTN/+2 SP)

Scent of Corruption (Wis)
CTN: 15
Cost: 1
Vs: Will (TN 17) / Stealth
Range: 50 feet
Casting: 1 minute
Duration: 20 minutes
Description: This spell allows the sorcerer to detect demons or demonic influence nearby. Actual demons in disguise or possessing a target will have a ghostly shadow of their true form layered over whatever form they are currently occupying, and targets of demonic magic will have faint wisps of vile black smoke swirling around them. If anyone who traffic with demons but is not currently under demonic influence is nearby, the caster will be able to smell the faint scent of rot, but will not be able to determine the source. The Scent of Corruption roll does not automatically pierce all concealment, and it is possible for clever or subtle demons to hide themselves even skilled Order sorcerers.
Base: Reveal.
Casting Options: Range up to 100 feet (+8 CTN/+2 SP), Lasts up to 1 hour (+3 CTN/+1 SP), reveals corruption to additional targets (+2 CTN/+1 SP each)

Shatter the Strands (Will)
CTN: 14
Cost: 1
Vs: Will (TN 15) / Resolve
Range: 50 feet
Casting: 2 rounds
Duration: Instant
Description: The caster can break chains of demonic magic, freeing those who have been caught in its terrible grasp. It can also exorcise those who have been possessed, though that is significantly harder and often it is easier to use a ritual designed for the purpose. By default, Shatter the Strands can dispel anything with a cost of 3 SP or less, though casting options may be used to increase this limit. It may be used on non-demonic magic as well, though it is more taxing when that occurs. When used for an exorcism, treat the demon's hit points as the SP needed to "dispel" it.
Base: Conjure
Casting Options: Per additional 3 SP of dispelling (+2 CTN/+1 SP), per additional 10 feet of range (+2 CTN/+1 SP), affects non-demonic magic (+5 CTN/+2 SP)

Sidereal Revelation (Wis)
CTN: 12
Cost: 1
Vs: N/A
Range: 10 feet
Casting: 2 rounds
Duration: 5 minutes
Description: The Star Road gazes down on everything below them, and this spell allows the Order to tap into some of what they see. It allows the caster to shift their senses to a location away from their body, as long as that location has an unobstructed path to the heavens--either by being outdoors, by being near an open window, by being in a tent with flaps open, or otherwise being privy to heaven's gaze. While the spell is in effect, the caster will known if their own body is attacked or moved, but all of their senses are otherwise at the location they have chosen as the spell's target.
Base: Reveal
Casting Options: Per additional 10 feet of range (+2 CTN/+1 SP), spell lasts 10 minutes (+3 CTN/+1 SP), spell lasts 20 minutes (+6 CTN/+2 SP)

Star Fires (Will)
CTN: 18
Cost: 1
Vs: DEF
Range: 50 feet
Casting: Instant
Duration: Instant
Description: This spell sears creatures of darkness with the clear light of the stars. It is a Damage 6 attack + Will bonus and counts as fire damage against anything it can affect, which includes demons, the demonically-tainted, and undead. Using this spell as a way to determine who carries demonic taint is inadvisable, as taint can come due to the malefic actions of sorcerers and not simply because of one's own actions.
Base: Attack
Casting Options: Affects all within a 5 foot radius (+5 CTN/+2 SP), per additional point of base daamge (+2 CTN/+1 SP)

Unflinching Eye of the Starlit Heavens (Wis)
CTN: 22
Cost: 3
Vs: Will (TN 17) / Resolve
Range: 25 foot radius
Casting: 2 rounds
Duration: 5 minutes
Description: The caster intones the words of this spell and a wash of light destroys all concealment and wipes away all illusions. Disguises become easy to see through, magically shapeshifted creatures or sorcerers display their true forms (though they do not actually change into them), invisibility and other methods of concealment are pierced, and so on. It only functions on targets that are under starlight, as per the Sidereal Revelation spell.
Base: Conjure/Reveal
Casting Options: Per additional 3 SP of spells seen through (+2 CTN/+1 SP), Per additional 5 foot radius of effect (+2 CTN/+1 SP)

Unity of Minds (Int)
CTN: 22
Cost: 3
Vs: N/A
Range: Touch
Casting: Instant
Duration: 10 minutes
Description: The sharing of knowledge is made easier when it can directly be pushed from mind to mind, and this spell allows that to happen. When the spell is cast on a willing target (and the target must be willing), the caster and the target are placed in a state of mental communication. They can freely share thoughts with each other and will always known each other's general direction and health as long as they remain within 50 feet of each other. The Order uses this spell both to coordinate actions while in dangerous places and to quickly impart knowledge. It is almost never used in teaching, as it is believed that imparting knowledge too easily won't give the student a proper respect for the effort required in learning.
Base: Telepathy.
Casting Options: Increase casting range to 10 feet (+2 CTN/+1 SP), increase casting range to 50 feet (+8 CTN/+3 SP), increase duration to one hour (+6 CTN/+2 SP), per additional target (+3 CTN/+1 SP), increase distance for link 50 feet (+2 CTN/+1 SP)

Rituals
Path of Night and Secrets rituals are cast using Wisdom.

Eternal Imprisonment (6 CP)
CTN: 37
Casting Time: 6 hours
Range: Touch
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Eldritch Lore (Path of Night and Secrets) 15, Eldritch Lore (Outer Dark) 10
Consequences: None
Description: This powerful ritual requires 4 casters, but it allows a group of wizards to place a single target into stasis in a crystalline prison. The target must be placed in a circle inlaid with silver and iron and remain stationary for the entire duration of the ritual, but Eternal Imprisonment does not itself immobilize the target until the ritual is complete. If successful, an enormous crystal forms around the target, preventing them from taking any action at all for as long as the ritual lasts. It can be unwoven by anyone who knows Eternal Imprisonment and has enough time, but the casters must also choose a trigger condition that can be used to free the target. This can be a password, a length of time, a particular event such as a stellar conjunction, the presence of an item or person, and so on. Otherwise, no time passes for the target. They do not need to sleep, eat, or breathe, do not age, and exist in a deep slumber occasionally disturbed by odd dreams until they are freed.
Base: Flash/Ward

Still the Loose Tongue (6 CP)
CTN: 47
Casting Time: 6 hour
Range: Unlimited
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Eldritch Lore (Path of Night and Secrets) 10, Empathy 5
Consequences: The ritual rebounds on the caster, affecting them instead of the target
Description: Under the light of the stars, the sorcerer performs this ritual using one of the target's prized positions and an object that mystically represents a single topic--for example, a sword used in a particular war or battle for that conflict. If the ritual is successful, the target is completely unable to speak about that particular topic, even obliquely or through omission. Attempting to do so causes one hit point of damage as the target's mouth crashes down on their tongue and jams their teeth together. Continued attempts to do so will lead to nosebleeds, bleeding from the eyes or ears, or pounding headaches. Barring additional magic, the ritual is permanent.
Base: Influence

Traverse the Star Road (5 CP)
CTN: 32
Casting Time: 5 minutes
Range: Unlimited
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Eldritch Lore (Path of Night and Secrets) 10, Lore (Star Road) 10, Navigation 5
Consequences: The caster and their companions are hurled to a random destination.
Description: The Star Road fills the heavens, but occassionally something happens and a piece of the road is hurled down to the earth, usually crashing somewhere in the remote location. Knowledgeable sorcerers can use that piece to provide them a step up to walking the Star Road, allowing them to travel hundreds of miles in the space of a few breaths. When the ritual is cast, everyone near the fallen Star is transported to another fallen Star. The caster must know the location of the Star they want to transport to within at least a couple miles, though they need not have visited the exact spot, and they must have spent at least an hour at the location they are transporting from. Failure to perform the ritual properly or to meet the above conditions hurls the caster and their party to a random fallen Star...or strands them on the Star Road, leaving them to find their own way out.
Base: Teleportation

Instill Knowledge (6 CP)
CTN: 34
Casting Time: Varies
Range: Touch
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Eldritch Lore (Path of Night and Secrets) 20, Empathy 10, others as necessary
Consequences: The target's mind is overloaded with chaotic memories, causing damage equal to the amount the casting roll is failed by and sending them into a coma for one day per point of damage.
Description: The Order's ultimate teaching method, Instill Knowledge allows the sorcerer to implant knowledge and memories directly into the mind of a target. This can be used to raise skills multiple levels at once, learn languages or Talents that normally would require lengthy training times in an instant, or even fill another's mind with the caster's entire life. The ritual takes one hour per CP point of the information transferred and a similar length of time for other memories, depending on their complexity. The caster must personally know what they want to instill, or must have another ritual caster with them who knows it.
Base: Telepathy
dorchadas: (Pile of Dice)
Most sorcerers in Agarica draw their power from spirits, channeling external energies to power their magicks: the sorcerer-priests of the Kingdom of Flowers and the Great Goddesses, the briarwitches and the spirits of the forest, the shamans of the kappa tribes manifest and their ancestors, and the warlocks of the Circle of Xhamekh and the dark that lies Beyond the Star Road. However, the most common form of magic has nothing to do with the spirits. Hedge magic isn't as powerful as sorcery since it relies on the wielder's own personal energy stores, but it's much easier to use and the lack of dependence on insular organizations means that it's much more widespread than sorcery. While it's not ubiquitous by any means, nearly every large village has a hedge wizard or witch who can perform a few cantrips, and many people know a single spell that's useful in their daily lives.

Hedge magic is mostly personal. Rare is the spell that can affect anything other than the caster, and the majority of those spells only function through touch. Most spells also require a lengthy casting time, so while a powerful pyromancer can wave their hands and incinerate a group of bandits, a powerful hedge wizard can light a fire after chanting for thirty seconds.

Hedge wizards need only take the Hedge Magic skill to use their talents, and otherwise it functions under the normal rules for casting spells given in Novus. A hedge wizard may take the Minor Adept Talent with a focus on Hedge Magic to purchase Hedge Magic spells at the Major Adept pricing level. In addition, some spells come in multiple closely-related versions, such as Baker's Boon or Ward Off Rain. A character who knows one version of such spell may buy other versions for half the normal cost.

Note: Trying to reverse-engineer these spells will show that they are more expensive to cast or to modify with casting options than the spell-creation system would indicate. This is deliberate.

Hedge Magic Spells

Abjure Cold (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 12
Cost: 3
Vs: N/A
Range: Self
Casting: 5 minutes
Duration:One day
Description: The caster is protected from natural temperature extremes down to 0 degrees. They can wear normal spring clothing and walk through cold winds and snow with no ill effects for the spell's duration. Skilled hedge witches can protect themselves from even more extreme temperatures, though Abjure Cold automatically fails against any magically-tainted cold or ice sorcery. Another version of this spell called Abjure Heat protects from heat up to 100 degrees, but is otherwise the same.
Base: Ward
Casting Options: Per additional day (+6 CTN/+2 SP), Per additional 10 degrees (+3 CTN/+1 SP)

Aethyrial Eyes (MJ 4/Mn 5/ N 6)
CTN: 23
Cost: 5
Vs: N/A
Range: Self
Casting: One minute
Duration:One hour
Description: After using this spell, the caster can sense the presence of nearby spirits. Only their presence is detected and something of their nature (forest spirit vs. solar spirit vs. earth spirit, etc.), not their specific location or actions.
Base: Reveal

Baker's Boon (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 16
Cost: 2
Vs: N/A
Range: Self
Casting: 10 minutes
Duration:One hour
Description: This spell aids cooks, making sure that their bread rises well, that the soup doesn't burn, and that the soufflé doesn't collapse. It provides a +2 bonus to any use of the Craft: Cooking skill for its duration. There are dozens of versions of this spell for nearly any craft or skill imaginable. All of them only work on tasks that require time investment under relatively simple conditions, however--in game terms, on a subdivision of the Craft skill. There is no Athlete's Boon that makes running easier or Swordswoman's Boon that allows the caster to fight better.
Base: Aid
Casting Options: Up to one day (+6 CTN/+2 SP), Increase bonus to +4 (+3 CTN/+2 SP)

Boar's Stomach (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 14
Cost: 2
Vs: N/A
Range: Self
Casting: 10 minutes
Duration:One day
Description: The caster's stomach becomes much more accommodating, allowing them to eat nearly anything that could possibly provide nutrition. Boar's Stomach cannot be used more days in a row than the caster's Constitution, and after such a period the hedge wizard needs a similar period of eating regularly to calm their system down. This spell does nothing to make the food more appetizing.
Base: Transform

Calling the Flames (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 12
Cost: 1
Vs: N/A
Range: Touch
Casting: 3 rounds
Duration:Instant
Description: The caster touches a flammable object and casts the spell, and the target kindles alight. It cannot be cast on any living thing. It can be used on clothing, though the long casting time makes it impractical unless the target is restrained.
Base: Conjure

Clasped Together (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 12
Cost: 2
Vs: N/A
Range: Touch
Casting: 5 minutes
Duration:One day
Description: This spell allows the hedge witch to stick two objects together. One object can be an immobile surface such as a floor or wall, but the other must be small and light enough for the caster to hold in a single hand. The magic is not particularly powerful, and trying to pull the two objects apart is only TN 12.
Base: Telekinesis
Casting Options: Per additional day (+6 CTN/+2 SP), Per +1 to the TN to break objects (+1 CTN/+1 SP)

Diang's Touch (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 12
Cost: 3
Vs: N/A
Range: Touch
Casting: 3 rounds
Duration:Special
Description: Originally from the Kingdom of Flowers, this spell has spread throughout most of Agarica. It allows the hedge wizard to enchant a single metal weapon to increase its DR by 1 for the duration of the next combat or for an hour, whichever comes first.
Base: Aid
Casting Options: +1 additional DR to weapon (+3 CTN/+2 SP), last for multiple combats up to an hour (+4 CTN/+1 SP)

Discourse with Birds (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 15
Cost: 2
Vs: N/A
Range: Self
Casting: One minute
Duration:One hour
Description: After casting this spell, the hedge wizard can speak the language of birds, understanding them and being understood in turn. It doesn't grant any particular understanding of avian customs or insight into the avian mind, and such conversations are often fraught with miscommunications and frustrations. There are many varieties of this spell, covering all the myriad kinds of animals.
Base: Communication
Casting Options: Up to one day (+5 CTN/+2 SP)

Draw Out Sickness (MJ 5/Mn 6/ N 7)
CTN: 24
Cost: 5
Vs: N/A
Range: Touch
Casting: 20 minutes
Duration::One day
Description: This lengthy spell gives the target a +2 bonus to their next roll to resist a disease they are currently suffering from. It does not to prevent the target from contracting such a sickness in the first place. A variant of this spell, Draw Out Poison, works on venoms and toxins of all kinds.
Base: Aid
Casting Options: Up to one week (+8 CTN/+3 SP), increase bonus to +4 (+3 CTN/+1 SP)

The Evil Eye (MJ 5/Mn 6/ N 7)
CTN: 26
Cost: 6
Vs: Will (TN 16) / Resolve
Range: 20 feet
Casting: 3 rounds
Duration:One hour
Description: The hedge wizard looks balefully at their target and curses them, draining their proficiency in a single area of expertise. In game terms, it applies a -2 penalty to a single skill.
Base: Aid
Casting Options: Up to one day (+6 CTN/+2 SP), increase penalty to -4 (+3 CTN/+1 SP)

Flicker (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 17
Cost: 2
Vs: N/A
Range: Self
Casting: Instant
Duration:1 minute
Description: With a hurried chant and a gesture, the hedge witch vanishes from sight. The spell only lasts a moment--just long enough for the caster to move to a better hiding place--but after casting it, the hedge witch can make a Stealth roll even if under direct observation.
Base: Illusion

Gleam and Shine (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 12
Cost: 1
Vs: N/A
Range: Touch
Casting: 2 rounds
Duration:Instant
Description: Touching a reflective or clear surface and speaking the words of this spell, the hedge wizard cleans and polishes the surface as well as an hour of manual labor could. Gleam and Shine does not work on anything living.
Base: Change Environment

Gnomon (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 12
Cost: 2
Vs: N/A
Range: Self
Casting: 5 minutes
Duration:Instant
Description: This spell allows the hedge witch to determine the time of day and the direction she is facing at the time of casting. It only functions during the day.
Base: Reveal
Casting Options: Spell lasts 20 minutes (+10 CTN/+3 SP), Spell lasts one hour (+15 CTN/+6 SP),

Grasp of Iron (MJ 3/Mn 4/ N 5)
CTN: 19
Cost: 3
Vs: N/A
Range: Self
Casting: One minute
Duration:20 minutes
Description: One of the caster's palms gains the resilience of iron, allowing them to pick up sharp, hot, or cold items without injury. They also gain a +1 bonus to unarmed attempts at grappling or subduing someone.
Base: Aid/Transform
Casting Options: Up to one hour (+5 CTN/+2 SP)

Grasp of Sparks (MJ 3/Mn 4/ N 5)
CTN: 19
Cost: 3
Vs: DEF
Range: Touch
Casting: Instant
Duration:One round
Description: The hedge wizard's hand flickers blue as he touches a target and unleashes a static discharge. If the target fails to Save, they are stunned for one round.
Base: Flash
Casting Options: Per extra round stunned (+2 CTN/+1 SP)

Hide of the Ox (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 16
Cost: 3
Vs: N/A
Range: Self
Casting: 3 rounds
Duration:One hour
Description: The caster's skin hardens, becoming more resistant to damage and granting AR 1. This stacks with worn or natural armor, but not any other form of sorcerous protection.
Base: Defend
Casting Options: Up to one day (+5 CTN/+2 SP), increase bonus to AR 2 (+4 CTN/+2 SP)

Hold Fast (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 12
Cost: 2
Vs: N/A
Range: Touch
Casting: 5 minutes
Duration:One day
Description: The hedge wizard touches a door, window, or other locked portal and recites the spell, and the target behaves as though stoutly barred for the spell's duration. It can still be broken into (Save vs. STR TN 16 / Athletics roll), it simply requires more force than normal.
Base: Telekinesis
Casting Options: Per additional day (+5 CTN/+2 SP)

Maiden's Prayer (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 12
Cost: 2
Vs: N/A
Range: Touch
Casting: 5 minutes
Duration:One day
Description: The target of this spell becomes unable to sire or conceive a child for the spell's duration. A variant, Gelding's Gift, works on domesticated animals.
Base: Aid/Heal

New Life's Welcome (MJ 4/Mn 5/ N 6)
CTN: 22
Cost: 3
Vs: N/A
Range: Touch
Casting: 10 minutes
Duration:One day
Description: This spell is used during childbirth to reduce the risk to both mother and child. When cast successfully, it can prevent infection, reduce the recovery time for the mother, and make even dangerous situations like breach births go smoothly. A version of this spell called Foal's Blessing works on unintelligent animals.
Base: Aid

Predict the Weather (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 12
Cost: 2
Vs: N/A
Range: Self
Casting: 1 minute
Duration:Instant
Description: The caster looks up at the open sky and reads the patterns in the clouds and the winds, allowing them to determine the probable course of the weather up to a day in the future. Predict the Weather cannot account for the interference of sorcerers or mischevious or malevolent spirits.
Base: Divination

Rope Trick (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 17
Cost: 3
Vs: N/A
Range: Touch
Casting: 3 rounds
Duration:10 minutes
Description: This spell allows the hedge witch to manipulate the entire length of a rope while simply grabbing one end. The rope can move in any direction and tie itself in knots, but it neither moves quickly enough nor has enough force to entangle anything that can move faster than a snail. It may be up to 50 feet long.
Base: Animation

Shadows Hide Me (MJ 3/Mn 4/ N 5)
CTN: 19
Cost: 3
Vs: N/A
Range: Self
Casting: 2 rounds
Duration:Up to one hour
Description: The hedge wizard uses this spell while concealed, and it makes the shadows around them deeper and harder to see through. The caster gains a +4 bonus to their Stealth roll to remain hidden as long as they stay in the same place. The bonus, and the spell, fail instantly if the caster moves.
Base: Aid

Shepherd's Call (MJ 3/Mn 4/ N 5)
CTN: 20
Cost: 5
Vs: N/A
Range: Up to one mile
Casting: 15 minutes
Duration:Special
Description: This spell summons animals that are well known to the hedge witch, either because they are theirs and have been named, or because the hedge witch marked them in some way, such as with a collar, dye, a brand, and so on. The summoned animal will come to the caster will as much speed as they can without compromising their safety. It does not work on any intelligent creature.
Base: Influence/Summon

Soothing Hands (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 12
Cost: 2
Vs: N/A
Range: Touch
Casting: 3 rounds
Duration:Instant
Description: This simple healing spell cures minor injuries, restoring the caster's Willpower Bonus in hit points. More skilled hedge wizards can also use it to stop bleeding, though major injuries still require medical attention or a sorcerer's aid. Soothing Hands cannot be used more than once on the same set of injuries.
Base: Heal
Casting Options: Per additional hit point (+1 CTN/+1 SP), Per point of bleeding healed (+2 CTN/+1 SP),

Spring's Freshness (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 15
Cost: 1
Vs: N/A
Range: Self
Casting: 1 minute
Duration:Instant
Description: The hedge witch is cleansed of dirt, grime, blood, stains, and otherwise made clean and fresh. It won't provide any health effects and cannot cure wounds or stop bleeding, nor does it work on any of the caster's clothing or gear, but it does remove dead skin, detangle hair, and otherwise provide all the benefits of a long shower with soap. This is quite possibly the most widely-known spell in the world.
Base: Transform

Swift Slumber (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 12
Cost: 2
Vs: N/A
Range: Self
Casting: 5 minutes
Duration:Special
Description: Immediately after casting this spell, the caster lies down and goes to sleep. Thereafter, every hour spent asleep is as refreshing and invigorating as two hours normally would be.
Base: Aid
Casting Options: For a +1 bonus to all rolls an hour after waking (+8 CTN/+3 SP)

Wanderer's Blessing (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 12
Cost: 1
Vs: N/A
Range: Touch
Casting: 10 minutes
Duration:One day
Description: This handy spell keeps a pound of food from spoiling for one day. There are other variants of this spell as well, like Vintner's Blessing for wine or Embalmer's Blessing for those with less savory practices.
Base: Ward
Casting Options: Per additional day (+5 CTN/+2 SP)

Ward Against Vermin (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 15
Cost: 2
Vs: Will (TN 16) / Resolve
Range: 1 yard radius
Casting: 1 minute
Duration:One hour
Description: After casting this spell, no pest up to the size of a rat will approach within 1 yard of the caster. Ward Against Vermin only functions against animals acting naturally and free of coercion, and fails utterly against bewitched animals. Even sufficiently-large groups of rats or insects moving in unison can cause it to fail, to the terminal disappointment of more than one hedge witch. More powerful hedge witches can even kill vermin who dare approach them.
Base: Ward
Casting Options: Up to one day (+3 CTN/+2 SP), per addition yard (+5 CTN/+2 SP), ward kills vermin (+8 CTN/+4 SP)

Ward Off Rain (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 17
Cost: 1
Vs: N/A
Range: Self
Casting: 2 rounds
Duration:One day
Description: The caster is shielded from rain while the spell is in effect. No matter how powerful the storm, the hedge witch and their clothing will remain completely dry. This can also protect against water being splashed or dripping while indoors, though a bucket is a large enough amount that it will shatter the spell. There are other less-widespread versions of this, such as Ward Off Blood for midwives or Ward Off Alcohol for those who frequent taverns. There's even a Ward Off Sunlight known by some members of the nobility.
Base: Ward

Witchlight (MJ 2/Mn 3/ N 4)
CTN: 17
Cost: 2
Vs: N/A
Range: Self
Casting: 3 rounds
Duration:One hour
Description: This spell creates a glowing globe of light that hovers around the caster, illuminating the area as well as a torch. The color varies--though it's usually some variant of red or gold, some witchlights are cooler colors as well. The casting options allow the caster to move the witchlight up to the maximum range, but it will automatically move to remain within that range if the caster moves.
Base: Change Environment
Casting Options: Witchlight can move 10 feet away (+2 CTN/+1 SP), Witchlight can move 50 feet away (+5/+2SP)

Witchsight (MJ 3/Mn 4/ N 5)
CTN: 19
Cost: 3
Vs: N/A
Range: Special
Casting: 1 minute
Duration:10 minutes
Description: The caster can see the flows of magic through the world, allowing them to make Perception rolls to determine if there are active spells or sorcerers within their line of sight. No extra information about the magic is granted, though the appearance is often tinged by the tradition the sorcerer is from. A priest of Tharu's magic might appear as a mystic wind or a tinged with lighting, while a kappa shaman might seem to be guided by their ancestor as they make the gestures to use their spells. If the caster knows the spell they are looking at, they can automatically identify it. GMs may allow Eldritch Lore rolls to identify other magic if appropriate.
Base: Reveal
Casting Options: Up to 20 minutes (+4 CTN/+2 SP), Up to one hour (+8 CTN/+3 SP)
dorchadas: (Pile of Dice)
First, if you're curious about the system I'm using to build this, there's what's effectively a Novus SRD up on the game's official website, and you can see all the rules there. That also means I can link stuff in my posts, which will be handy.

I almost always end up tinkering with the skill list in the games I run, with the notable exception of White Wolf games. I can't really claim realism or anything, because a realistic skill list would have tens of thousands of skills (almost 7000 for languages alone!) and give the players hundreds if not thousands of points to spend at character creation, and that's just too much to deal with. It's just aesthetic preference.

Combat Skills
Axes & Hammers: Axes, battle axes, warhammer, etc.
Blunt Weapon: Maces, flails, morningstars, clubs, staves, and so on.
Long Blade: This is the skill for broadswords and all larger swords.
Marksman: This is the skill for bows, crossbows, slings, and other ranged weaponry.
Short Blade: This is the skill for shortswords and all smaller swords.
Spears: Spears, short spears, polearms, and other long-hafted pointy weapons.
Throwing: Any muscle-powered thrown weapon uses this skill.
Unarmed: This should be pretty self-explanatory.

Magical Skills
Hedge Magic (Will): This is the skill for minor magics and petty cantrips. It works the same way the Spellcasting skill normally works, with a single skill rating and multiple spells that use it.
Eldritch Lore (Int): This is similar to the Magecraft skill, but has a slightly different focus. It has no base skill, only specializations, which include the Outer Dark, specific schools of sorcery, the Predecessors, necromancy, etc.
Magical Sense (Wis): Often called "Witchsight," this skill is only available to sorcerers and is more expansive and less limited than the Sense Magic Talent. Magical Sense can see the swirl of magic around magical items (whether they are in-use or not), places of power, sorcerers, Predecessor ruins, and so on. It has no range limits beyond those imposed by the character's own senses, but it is a double-edged sword--just as strong light can blind physical sight, powerful magic can blind witchsight and leave the sorcerer vulnerable.
[Sorcery] (varies): This is not one single skill, but many. Every sorcery spell is a single skill, and all must be bought and trained separately. What spells are available varies based on the school of sorcery the character chooses. Major Adepts treat the spells as Favored skills, and Minor Adepts treat them as unfavored skills. Non-Adepts cannot learn sorcery, though they may learn hedge magic.

Non-combat skills
Acrobatics: As written.
Athletics: As written.
Command (Cha): Command is the ability to give orders and expect people to obey them. It is primarily used in military or strictly hierarchical situations with positions of authority, though it can also be used to exert control over a mob. It can even cover orders in a bureaucratic situation, but that will often come across as imperious and may lead to difficulties down the line even if the target follows the character's orders.
Crafting: As written.
Deceive (Cha): Deceive is the ability to spin a convincing lie and to keep track of lies already told. It can be used to bluff past guards, scam money from people, convince others of the character's authority, or forge documents. It's usually opposed by Empathy.
Empathy (Wis): Empathy is the ability to determine what other people are feeling, including telling if they're lying or trying to discover any ulterior motives. It's often used to oppose other social skills.
Endurance (Con): Endurance is the skill to keep going under adverse conditions. It is used to resist spells that target the body, diseases and poisons, torture, extreme temperatures, and so on. It is also used to keep going on forced marches, swim for hours, go without sleep, or otherwise continue when others would have given up.
First Aid: See below for how I've modified the healing rules.
Gimmickry: As written.
Intimidate (Str): Intimidate is the skill of achieving goals through threat of force, either direct or indirect, physical or social. It is not typically subtle. It is often opposed by Empathy or Resolve.
Lore: As Written. Specializations here include Culture Lore (for the different countries, plus Kremlings, Kong Imperium, Mycon, Pidgit-folk, etc.), Star Road, Strategy/Tactics, Law, History, Engineering, etc.
Navigation: As written.
Negotiate (Cha): In addition to buying low and selling high, this skill also covers trade deals, making treaties between two rival groups, and acting as an impartial third party. It has some aspects of persuasion, but the skill-set is not entirely the same.
Perception: As written.
Performing Arts: As written.
Persuade (Cha): Persuade is the ability to convince others to do what you want through charm or reason. It involves both appeals to emotion or to logic, depending on the individual making the arguments. It is often opposed by Empathy or by other social skills.
Resolve (Will): This is the character's mental fortitude. It is used to resist spells targeting the mind or emotions, anything that might damage the character's sanity, intimidation, mental deprivation, and so on.
Riding: As written.
Stealth: As written.
Streetwise: As written.
Survival: As written.
Tracking: As written.
Trickery: As written.

Healing
Above 1/3rd of the character's total hit points, everything works exactly the same as the Novus healing rules would indicate.

From 1/3rd of the character's total hit points to 0, they're Wounded. They heal only their Constitution Bonus in hit points. A Constitution Bonus of +0 heals one hit point every two days, -1 heals one hit point every three days, and so on. This level of healing continues until the character is no longer Wounded. Successful use of First Aid on a Wounded character heals an extra number of hits equal to half the ranks they have in their First Aid skill.

Below 0 hit points, they're Heavily Wounded. They heal their Constitution Bonus in hit points per week. A Constitution Bonus of zero heals one hit point every week and a half, a Constitution Bonus of of -1 heals 1 point every two weeks, and so on. This level of healing continues until the character reaches 0 hit points, at which point they become Wounded. Successful use of First Aid on a Heavily Wounded character heals one tenth (rounded up) of the ranks the healer has in their First Aid skill. A character may benefit from First Aid once per day.
dorchadas: (Pile of Dice)
Raptok
Raptok hunter


South of the Kingdom of Flowers in the Narrow Sea between Agarica and Pithek lie the tropical Raptok Isles, spreading in a chain nearly down to the Kong Jungles. For time out of mind, these islands have been home to the raptok tribes, living in a timeless existing of hunting, foraging, skirmishing, and celebrating.

To most inhabitants of the Kingdom of Flowers, the raptok look like monsters. While slightly shorter than most mandragora, they're nearly twice as long from the tip of their nose to the end of their long tails. Their mouths are filled with fangs and they have vicious claws on their hands and feet. They have sticky tongues that they use to snare their prey. What's more, they can...change. There are raptok with wings, or the ability to breathe fire, or spiked plates of bone covering their body, or who heal grevious wounds in minutes. It seems loosely related to tribal membership, but Floral sages haven't had much opportunity to study the matter and the raptok are surprisingly reticent when asked, often saying only, "Walk like them to force them to walk like you."

The raptok live in familial hunter-gatherer bands. Despite their fierce appearance, they're actually omnivores, and jungle fruits and tubers form a large part of their diets, though they haven't developed formalized agriculture and thus have a relatively low population density. They keep mostly to themselves, though increasing numbers have come to live in Lauralia, the lone Floral colony on the Raptok Isles and now the headquarters of the Kingdom of Flowers in exile. The nobles of the House of Daisy, satraps of Lauralia, spend much of their time trying to make some kind of large-scale deal with the raptok, to little success. Most raptok have little interest in outside affairs and don't want to get involved in others' conflicts.

That doesn't mean they're entirely isolationist, though. It has long been a tradition for females seeking to make a name for themselves, exiles, malcontents, would-be tribal heroes, and others who can't or don't want to fit in to raptok life to travel to mainland Agarica seeking adventure and glory. Often they will pair themselves with another adventurer, serving as mount, battle-companion, and friend, and the legends of these raptok warriors are often sung as loudly as those of their companions in the taverns and tea houses of Agarica.

Statistics
Cost to Play: 8 CP
Stat Modifiers: Strength +3, Constitution +2, Dexterity -8, Speed +2, Wisdom +3, Charisma -2
Size: Huge
Special Abilities:

  • Claws and Fangs: The raptok have a mouth filled with razor-sharp teeth and feet with scything talons that count as weapons with Damage 12. All raptok automatically have the Fangs and Talons skill as one of their Favored Skills. This does not provide an extra Favored Skill slot.

  • Morphic: Raptok can develop strange abilities as a result of their diets. Mechanically, this allows them to buy non-Trainable abilities like Flight or Regeneration or Innate Ranged Attack or Blazing Speed, though the dietary requirements mean that no more than one such Talent can be active at any one time. It takes a week of eating a new diet to switch the active Talent, if more than one is known.

  • Non-Humanoid: Because of their physiology, raptok are unable to use most common materials designed for the other inhabitants of Agarica. Their arms are useful for grasping but nearly incapable of fine manipulation, any weapons or armor must be custom-designed and costs at least quadruple the normal price, they can't sleep in beds or sit on chairs or at tables, and so on. They also cannot speak most other languages because of the shape of their mouths and throats, though they can learn to understand them.

  • Sticky Tongue: Their long tongue lets them making grappling attacks from 15' away, and they may immediately bite after a successful grapple.

  • Tail Slap: The raptok's long tail can be used as a bludgeon with Damage 6. Unlike their claws and fangs, using their tail is not automatically a Favored Skill.

  • Tough Hide: The tough scales of the raptok give them AR 3 in addition to the AR from their size, bringing their total AR to 7. The penalties for any armor they wear are doubled.


Chuzan
Chuzan swashbuckler


Beyond the Forest of Shadows, north of the Kingdom of Flowers, lies the Muskalan Confederacy, a series of sprawling city-states inhabited mostly by the chuzan. Each city has its own ruling prince, and while alliances are common, so are treachery, deceit, and espionage. Today's friend could be tomorrow's enemy and next week's desparate coalition partner against an external force, and while the cities stop short of being seething hives of betrayal and mistrust, there is an air of tension pervading Muskalan culture that comes out in all their dealings.

The chuzan are about the same height as the amanita on average, though they look nothing like them. They resemble nothing so much as giant rats, though they stand on their hind legs and their hands have opposable thumbs and are fully functional. And not just functional--while the Silent Ones are known for the breadth of their craft, chuzan artifex are favored throughout Agarcia for their facility with weaponry. One of the main exports of the Muskalan cities is companies of grenadiers, to fight in the various wars between Chai and Hyperborea or the kappa and the Mushroom Kingdom.

Muskalan society is heavily stratified, with social status almost entirely based on income. The princes of the cities take a tax of all that trade that flows through and thus have a huge incentive to keep the merchants wealthy and prosperous, but also need the money to defend themselves against their fellow princes, so taxes tend to be somewhat arbitrary and prone to rise or fall based on the prince's fortunes and who is currently prince of the city. Those who run out of money can be legally enslaved until they work to pay off their debt, but what with also having to pay for food and lodging while working, and with interest being applied to the debt, it's often slavery for life in all but name. Escaped debt slaves will often join mercenary companies under assumed names as a way to get away from their former life and to make some money.

The recent turmoil in the Kingdom of Flowers has brought more chuzan to the area, both as mercenaries fighting for the Dragon Emperor or the Floral Houses, and as merchants seeking to profit from the turmoil caused by the war. This has brought them into conflict with the Silent Ones, both because they are coming as merchants and because both groups trade in artificia. This so far hasn't caused anything more than price wars, but it may escalate into open conflict soon, as the Dragon Emperor doesn't seem to be doing much to prevent it.

Statistics Cost to Play: 0
Stat Modifiers: Strength -1, Dexterity +2, Willpower -1
Size: Medium
Special Abilities:

  • Acute Senses: The chuzan's large ears and sensitive nose greatly increase their sensory range, and they gain a +4 bonus to all hearing- or smell-based Perception rolls. Some all-chuzan mercenary companies even have a limited battle-language made up of squeeks too high for anyone else to hear.

  • Light Touch: Their long, delicate fingers and sense of touch give the chuzan a keen aptitude for fragile mechanisms, and they gain a +3 bonus to all rolls dealing with picking locks, disarming or setting mechanical traps, repairing artificia, dealing with explosives such as bob-ombs, or other delicate mechanical tasks.

  • Lightning Reflexes: Seemingly always in motion and with keen senses, the chuzan are quite difficult to take unawares.
dorchadas: (Pile of Dice)
The Silent Ones
Silent One trader


The kingdoms of Agarica tell legends of the Silent Ones. That they all wear heavy robes and masks because they are so hideously deformed that children would scream if their faces were revealed. That gazing on an unmasked Silent One is death. That the Silent Ones are ghosts, with no true shapes beneath their robes at all. That there is only one Silent One, and all the different individuals are merely puppets of its will. And these are merely the common rumors.

In their own language, they are the Sha'aiga, the Exiled, inhabitants of the Dreamlands who were forced to flee for their lives when a darkness descended over their ancient homeland. As Zathoka'ah, the Devourer of Hope, tightened its grip, the Silent Ones packed up everything they had and translated entirely into the waking realm, becoming homeless nomads. It is for this reason that they are best known for their trading interests, as their connection to the Dreamlands allows them to dip shallowly into dream to bypass the dangers of the wild and travel far faster than the waking world would force them to. But they must be careful, because Zathoka'ah is always watching.

This dichotomy between a tie to the Dreamlands but a necessity to stay away drives almost their entire culture. The law forbidding anyone else to remain in the walls of the Scarlet City after dark is based on a need to avoid stray dreams drawing the Devourer of Hope's attention. The masks and robes shield their identities and keep them individually unmemorable. They are always on the move, with even the Scarlet City's population often rotating between living stationary for a time and then venturing out on the trade roads. The turmoil in the Kingdom of Flowers has seen more Silent Ones on its roads, trading with both the Dragon Emperor's armies and the rebel bands in the hinterlands, but as they always do, the Silent Ones have refused to ally with either side. They keep their own counsel, because entanglement could make them too noticeable.

The Silent Ones have developed artificing to an extremely high level, and some of them are convinced that this is the key to overthrowing the Devourer of Hope and cleansing the Dreamlands of its taint. Others think that the waking world is their home now, and all of the elaborate efforts to avoid Zathoka'ah's attention are no longer necessary. There are even rumors that some younger Silent Ones have been seen without their masks...though always a story from a friend of a friend, of course.

Statistics
Cost to Play: 0
Stat Modifiers: Wisdom -2, Willpower +2
Size: Medium.
Special Abilities:

  • Creature of Dreams: The Silent Ones were born and bred in the Dreamlands and a remnant of that tie remains within each of them. Every Silent One has a number of Dream Points equal to their Wisdom, which may be spent in the following ways: 1 point) Send a dream-message to someone whose name they know or who they have a material link for. They will hear the message when they sleep next. 5 points) Enter the Dreamlands during sleep. 10 points) Enter the Dreamlands bodily while awake. This requires some kind of reflecting material, like a pool of water or a mirror. Silent Ones may also use this option to half-enter the Dreamlands, flickering in and out of it and only half-existing in the waking world. This doubles their travel speed and allows them to treat all terrain as a well-paved road.

  • Visions: Silent Ones can tap into their connection with the Dreamlands to induce visions of other times or places. Their Power Points are based on their Willpower.


Mycon
Mycon bandit


The mycon and the amanita look similar from a distance, but up close the similarities fall away. While the amanita gnarl with age, the mycon start gnarled and simply grow more and more twisted. While the amanita have delicate hands for working the soil, the mycon have twisted claws fit for rending and tearing their prey. While the amanita are peaceful, the mycon are bandits and reavers, the scourge of the Kingdom of Flowers. At least, the scourge before the Dragon Emperor came.

That's not to say the mycon are unthinking animals. There are other societies where they are full members and participate constructively, but they have always lived on the edge of Floral society. The mandragora nobility does view them as unthinking animals, and before the Dragon Emperor's conquest there was a standing bounty on mycon crests in many of the fiefdoms of the Kingdom of Flowers.

Mycon are nocturnal and tend to live in familial bands in the wilderness. Sometimes multiple families will band together to defeat a more powerful enemy, and there were legends about warchiefs uniting large groups of mycon into raiding parties that would ravage the Kingdom of Flowers, but this was the highest organizational level the mycon had attained within recorded history until the Dragon Emperor brought them over to his side. Suddenly, the small mycon tribes and bandit clans were a united part of the Kappa Horde, subjects of the Dragon Emperor and bound to his authority.

While most of the mycon seem content with being able to pillage the Kingdom of Flowers at will, some of them chafe under any authority but their own. A significant portion have resorted back to banditry, raiding the kappa with the same eagerness than they used to raid the villages of the amanita. There are even some groups who are led by dispossessed mandragora nobles, who hope to use the mycon against the kappa the same way the Dragon Emperor turned them against the Kingdom of Flowers. The one thing the mycon don’t have, however, is a leader who can forge a path for them to choose their own destiny. But with the current turmoil, there is no better time for one.

Statistics
Cost to Play: 0
Stat Modifiers: Speed +2, Dexterity +1, Constitution +1, Intelligence -2, Willpower -1, Charisma -1,
Size: Small.
Special Abilities:

  • Claws: Mycon have jagged claws with Damage 3. They may learn a skill to use them properly, which is not automatically treated as a Favored Skill.

  • Darkvision: Their nocturnal nature makes Mycon at home in darkness. They have Darkvision out to 10'.

  • Poison: Mycon claws secrete a viscous poison that causes crippling pain in its targets. Anyone affected suffers a -1 penalty to their rolls per point they failed the Save by for thirty minutes.

  • Tough Hide: The mycon's fibrous flesh gives them AR 4. They do not suffer any additional penalties from wearing armor.
dorchadas: (Pile of Dice)
Human
Human


The things that come out of the Pipes are often odd and sometimes monstrous, but for some reason, one of the most common arrivals through the Warp are the humans. They have been present at many of the most momentous events in history, from the long-past collapse of the Kong Empire to the modern conquest by the Dragon Emperor, and many in the Kingdom of Flowers pin their hopes for freedom on the new human arrivals.

Humans do not belong here, and in some way the world recognizes that. While everyone knows that the spirits exist and must be placated and honored through proper interactions, humans can do so directly. Every human can see the spirits of the land and sky with their unaided eyes. Coming from another world, they don't live entirely in this one, and the land itself can recognize it.

That means the most common fate for arriving humans is madness. Few can live with the sensation that they are being watched all the time, especially when it's so easy for them to see the myriad of staring eyes. Perhaps that is why humans have played such a major part in history--those who avoid madness are truly capable individuals with the spark of greatness within them.

Statistics
Cost to Play: 0
Stat Modifiers: Strength -1, Willpower -1, Wisdom +2
Size: Medium
Special Abilities:
  • Flexibility: Humans may choose two stats and increase them by 1 each. This does not increase the possible maximum of that stat.

  • Magical Susceptibility: Humans are affected more by magic, for good or ill. Whenever the target of a magical effect, all numbers are increased by 1 per 5 points of the original effect, rounded up. A +2 bonus becomes +3, 10 points of fire damage becomes 12, and so on.

  • Second Sight: Humans are always aware of the spirits around them, whether they want to be or not. The spirits can also tell they are being observed, which can lead to all kinds of "interesting" situations. Humans have no special ability to see through sorcerous concealment.

  • Skilled: Humans may choose an additional two Favored Skills.


Kappa
Kappa warrior


The foot soldiers of the Dragon Emperor, the kappa have been shaped by their long habitation in the Kappa Wastes to the south and east of the Kingdom of Flowers. The kappa are a brutal people, quick to solve problems through violence and suspicious of outsiders, but in a place where the very air can kill, where agriculture is difficult or impossible and survival must be torn screaming from the land, their behavior is perhaps not so surprising.

Kappa are built for combat, with hardy green scales, vicious claws and fangs, and a massive armored shell that protects their midsection and vital organs. While they are quite small when they are born, kappa grow throughout their entire lives. Adolescents are as tall as an amanita, and by middle-age the kappa are taller than a mandragora and still growing. Elder kappa can grow to twice the height of a mandragora or higher. The Dragon Emperor himself is nearly 15 feet high, which is part of the reason why his power is nearly unchallenged.

The kappa are organized into tribes, each with its own territory and its own paths through the Wastes. The tribal paths are set by the shamans, who consult with the kappa ancestors on all decisions of import and advise the tribe on matters both spiritual and temporal. It is because of the shamans that there are any kappa left in the Wastes at all, because when the Dragon Emperor united the tribes and whipped them into a horde to assault the Kingdom of Flowers, some shamans defied the Dragon Emperor's warlocks and proclaimed that the ancestors looked with anger on his actions. The kappa had been exiled to the Wastes for long-ago deeds, they said, and should not leave until they properly atoned. Some kappa from these tribes have even come to the Kingdom of Flowers to oppose the Dragon Emperor, who they view as a heretic and a blasphemer.

Kappa tend to be fatalistic and serious, with little aptitude for risk-taking and a heavy focus on tradition, but the conquering of the Kingdom of Flowers is causing massive changes to their culture. Some tribes have abandoned their shamans entirely, raising up the Dragon Emperor's warlocks as their advisors and worshipping hideous Things from beyond the Star Road. Some tribes some almost lost, unsure of how to behave in the face of the abundance that surrounds them. Harsh traditions that favor conservation of resources, protecting hunting grounds, and avoiding or or utterly destroying enemies have little place in a land where the earth freely offers its bounty and waters run clear under the open sky. Regardless of how the Dragon Emperor's conquest ends, the kappa will never be the same.

Statistics
Cost to Play: 0 points
Stat Modifiers: Strength +3, Speed -3, Constitution +2, Willpower +1, Intelligence -1, Charisma -2.
Size: Medium or Large. Players of kappa may pay an additional 5 points at character creation to start as Large.
Special Abilities:
  • Claws and Fangs: Kappa have claws and fangs with a Damage of 4. They may learn a combat skill to use these as a weapon.

  • Growth: Kappa who do not start as Large may represent their growth over time by paying 1 CP per adventure until they reach 5 CP spent, at which point they gain Large size. Elderly kappa who have lived at least 75 years may pay an additional 10 CP to become Huge. Kappa have legends of heroes who have grown even larger than this, but it's so uncommon that it may as well be mythical.

  • Limited Regeneration: Kappa do not heal any faster than anyone else, but they do heal perfectly, with even lost limbs regrowing to full function. They can heal all crippling or disfiguring injuries as described under the Regeneration Talent.

  • Tough Skin: Kappa are covered in scales, to say nothing of their hardened shells. They have AR 5 on their limbs and head, AR 8 on their chest, and their massive shells give them AR 15 on their torsos if attacked from behind. However, all kappa armor must be custom-made to fit them. The penalties are increased by -2 for all worn armor, and all greaves, bracers, and helmets have doubled penalties.
dorchadas: (Pile of Dice)
Mandragora
Mandragora noble


For as long as there has been a Kingdom of Flowers, the mandragora have ruled it.

At least, that is the story the mandragora themselves tell, and it is what is written into the official history of the kingdom. Many amanita have a different story, of an invading force of wanderers who spilled out of the Warp, fleeing some nameless terror that they claimed had corrupted and destroyed their golden homeland. The amanita outnumbered them, but their scattered pastoral villages were no match for the unified hierarchy of the invaders, and so began the Kingdom of Flowers. At least, that is one story.

Mandragora are very tall--often six feet or more--with delicate features and long, pointed ears. Their skin comes in all the shades of bark, from the ghost-pale of a beech to the cinnamon-red of the arbutus to the dark browns and blacks of the maple, and the shades of their hair and eyes are as varied as the leaves of the forest. In the Kingdom of Flowers, both male and female mandragora tend to wear their hair long, though while males often leave their hair loose, females will often bind their hair up in elaborate hairstyles.

The nobility and mandragora are tightly associated in the common mind, but this is not strictly accurate. There are commoner mandragora, either because of dynastic power struggles, ancient treason, or the vagarities of fate, and there are noble amanita who have been elevated over the centuries and whose descendants continue to rule. But nonetheless, the vast majority of the nobility, the high ranks of the army, the priesthood, and all rulers of the kingdom have been mandragora. They are organized into houses that originally began as family groups and expanded over time to become combination secret societies, social organizations, blood relatives, and power blocs.

The most famous are the former rulers of the Kingdom of Flowers, the House of Peach, whose king was overthrown by the Dragon Emperor and whose current head is captive in his palace, but there are many others. The House of Daisy, who rules the Floral colony in the Raptok isles. The House of Rose, which held the throne before the House of Peach until a bloody civil war between twin brothers shattered their power base and allowed the House of Peach to seize power. The House of Verbena, famous for its facility with sorcery and for originally developing the Barrier between the Kingdom of Flowers and the Kappa Wastes. The House of Snowdrop, whose estates border the Forest of Shadows. The House of Hollyhock, nearly exterminated in the war against the Dragon Emperor and whose members are now bandits in the wilds of the Kingdom of Flowers.

The houses claim the right to rule through their direct creation by the three Great Goddesses: Nyahré, Goddess of Sorcery, Night, Knowledge, and Time; Diang, Goddess of War, the Earth, the Forge, and the Harvest; and Tharu, Goddess of the Sky, Storms, the Hearth, and Healing. Despite being the nominal national religion, worship of the goddesses is not widespread outside the mandragora, and most of the amanita merely attend temples on festival days and offer the prescribed prayers and sacrifices. The priesthood still has incredible influence in the kingdom, however, because all legal sorcerers are also priests. There are three schools of floral sorcery, one for each of the goddesses, and while unlicensed tutelage is available from hedge wizards or those who have left the priesthood, hideous tortures await those who practice sorcery without royal sanction.

Statistics
Cost to Play: 0 points
Stat Modifiers: Charisma +1, Willpower +2, Strength -1, Constitution -2
Size: Medium.
Special Abilities:
  • Mental Link: The mandragora point to their ability to accept bonded servants as part of their divine right to rule. This functions as the Mental Link Talent, except that bonding anyone not an amanita or mandragora costs double.

  • Sorcerous Aptitude: The mandragora are natural sorcerers, and the power of creation comes easily to their hands. Mandragora have 5 more base Spell Points and add their Magic Stat Bonus as additional Spell Points.


Amanita
Amanita Elder


The mandragora may consider themselves the heart of the Kingdom of Flowers, but a heart on its own is merely a lump of flesh. The amanita are the backbone on which the kingdom was built and the hands that keep it running. They keep trade flowing, farm the mushroom fields, build the houses of the mandragora, and fight and die in their armies and their petty wars.

Amanita are shorter than mandragora, rarely topping five feet. They look like nothing more than mushroom people, and their trademark "hats" are actually a part of their bodies. Their skin is tough and fibrous, making them more resistant to injury than mandragora, and giving them a weathered, rugged appearance. They often grow thin fibrous tendrils around their mouths that look very similar to a beard or moustache. As they age, they get more and more mushroomlike, gnarling further and further until they're almost indistinguishable from the trunks of the mushroom forests from a distance.

The mandragora stand on pomp and ceremony, but the amanita live close to the earth and put their faith in the soil. They'll say the prayers and burn incense in the temples of the Great Goddesses, but while there are some who have truly adopted the practices of their mandragora overlords, most of them pay homage to the spirits of sea and sky, of hill and forest. Their rites take place in the mushroom forests and caves under the hills, far from the eyes of the nobility, and they consider themselves the real foundation of the Kingdom of Flowers because it is they who keep the peace between the land and its inhabitants.

Most amanita in the Kingdom of Flowers concern themselves with their village and their family. They are farmers, and craftspeople, and merchants, and herders of mooshrooms, with local interests and local ties. The recent war has disrupted those ties, however, and many amanita have been dispossessed of their land and forced to take to the road or to resort to hunting and gathering or banditry to survive. Some of those bandit bands concentrate on the kappa, and have won surprising victories. The mandragora consider themselves the true guardians of the Kingdom of Flowers, but the amanita may yet prove them wrong.

Statistics
Cost to Play: 0
Stat Modifiers: None.
Size: Medium.
Special Abilities:

  • Tough Skin: The hardy flesh of the amanita gives them a natural AR 3. They do not suffer any additional penalties for wearing armor.

  • Herbalist: Their fungal nature and close contact with the earth gives the amanita a natural insight into plants and their uses, granting them a +2 bonus to the Craft: Herbalism skill and all other skills dealing with herbs.

  • Blending: The amanita can easily blend into the wilds, especially if they stay still. With two rounds of preparation, an amanita gains a +5 bonus to Stealth rolls as long as they spend 1 AP per round to maintain their concealment. This bonus rises to +10 if the amanita isn't moving. It only works in areas containing foliage or underground.
dorchadas: (Teh sex)
This is primarily intended for the Novus RPG, but strip out the skills and use Charisma rolls and you could probably import it into the OSR ruleset of your choice.

Skill List
By default, Novus has ~20 skills for hitting people in the face and one skill for talking to them (called Influence). This is not innately a problem, since it worked fine in D&D for a decade, but it's not really the way I like to play my games. Because I am lazyefficient, I'm going to borrow the skills I use in my ORE games:
Command (Cha): Giving orders and having them be followed effectively.
Deceive (Cha): Influencing other people's opinion by being less than truthful.
Empathy (Wis): Figuring out what other people are feeling, telling if they're lying, or trying to discover ulterior motives.
Intimidate (Str): Scaring people into doing what you want.
Negotiate (Cha): In addition to buying low, and selling high, it also covers trade deal and so on. Has some aspects of persuasion, but not exactly the same.
Persuade (Cha): Trying to convince people to switch to your point of view.

This is pretty much the standard list of social skills, and isn't particularly realistic--there are people who can't lie, sure, but the smooth liar who starts tripping over themselves when telling the truth doesn't really exist--but you have to break it down somewhere.

The System
The problem with social skills is that they're usually either treated as a binary result, where someone doesn't care until you succeed and then they're your fast friend, or they go even past that into mind control--the Diplomancer problem. I already wrote about this, so I'll direct you there where I elucidate some of the ways it can go horribly wrong.

However, there's this game called Weapons of the Gods, and through its existence it solved social skill use forever. A strong claim, I realize, but the benefit of WotG's social skills is that they merely influence, not compel. For a simple explanation, you can give someone Hyperactive Crimson Chi as long as they keep eating spicy food or require them to waste time frolicking in the fields to burn it off, a Jade Chi condition that drives them into fits of anger in the presence of their enemies, or their combat skills are penalized because they are acting against orders in attacking, or whatever. But it's the affected player's choice whether to perform the action and gain the bonus or whether to ignore it and accept the weakness.

It's easy to convert that into Novus's 2d10 + boon/snag mechanic. Roll your skill vs. the appropriate counterskill or save (Deceive vs. Empathy, Intimidate vs. Deceive, Negotiate vs. Negotiate, etc.), and if you win, then the target gets a bonus or penalty to a certain kind of actions. Probably just ±2 at a time, with boons and snags increasing the possible change from a single roll. There also has to be a way to avoid the bonus or penalty through performing or avoiding some action

For example, a penalty to the target if they oppose the PC's attempts to undermine the duke is easily avoidable, because they can just stand aside. A penalty to the target's sword skills would have to have some catch, like train more to shore up their confidence or have their weapon inspected by an authority or stop drinking. Or maybe just a penalty when fighting the PC to encourage surrender? That might be a good way to handle in-combat trash talk.

So, how to keep track of all these bonuses and penalties?

Passions
The name comes from Reign and Runequest 6. I'd divide them into Influences, which arise from social rolls, and Passions that are chosen by the player based on some mechanic. Passions would be things like "Loyalty to the Duke +6" or "Hatred of Elves +2" or "Maintains Code of Honor +4," and then would function as a bonus on social rolls to advance the object of a Passion or a bonus on rolls to resist any attempt to create an Influence that's opposed to a Passion. So the guard with "Loyalty to the Duke +6" is going to be really hard to convince to look the other way while the players sneak into the Duke's private chambers.

Passions also act as buffers against negative Influences, so even if an Influence is successfully created, the target can ignore the mechanical penalties as long as they're equal to or less than the opposing Passion. I'll cap Influences and Passions at ±10, which prevents them from getting out of hand and lets someone set a Passion at +10 and have an unshakable conviction about something.

As for durations for Influences, I'm not sure. That's the kind of thing that will really need playtesting, I expect.

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