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Spellcraft: Modern Fantasy Heartbreaker

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 9:03 pm    Post subject: Spellcraft: Modern Fantasy Heartbreaker Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Since I got all I could get out of the Urban Fantasy Kitchen Sink thread, I might as well start the D in R&D.

Name the PCs

I'd love to call them Scoobies, but no. The PCs are a Group. Can be as informal as a gaming group or as structured as a special research group.

Step 2: Write up a Six Person Party

The Vamp: The vamp is the rock star of the supernatural community. They are preternaturally tough, fast and strong; they also possess mesmerism. They're naturally smooth, so they can get things done in mortal and supernatural society.

The Shifter: The one you call on when something needs to die. A blender of animal fury and regeneration. Can also turn into animals or change their appearance to get into places undetected, making them good at stealth and espionage.

The Fae: Tricksters, reconnoiteurs and raconteurs, the Fae are good at getting into and out of all sorts of situations. They excell at creating illusions and tricking people, as well as movement in all dimensions. They make great sneaks and snake oil salesmen.

The Scion: Scions are children of gods and their servants, giving them a regal bearing. They are supernaturally charismatic and have powers based on their parents' purview, giving them a great deal of flexibility. They make good leaders and faces in any realm.

The Cambion: Demons and the spawn of demon-human relations, the Cambion is who you look to for dirty deeds done dirt cheap. They are fiendishly tough, clever, and slippery. They know their way around a deal and can strongarm people into them through force of personality or just plain force.

The Gifted: The Gifted are ordinary people gifted with extraordinary abilities. They handle themselves in mortal society well and are incredibly scrappy in the supernatural community. Being (mostly) mortal, they are the ones you go to for plans and knowledge, since knowledge is power. A lot of cross culture ambassadorship is done by Gifted.

Step 3: Write up a Three Person Party

Party 1: The Vamp, the Fae and the Cambion

Party 2: The Shifter, the Scion and the Gifted

Step Four: Outline an Adventure

Sneak into a well-defended wizard's sanctum - Given that all three of Party 1 has some social-fu, they can talk their way into the sanctum. If that doesn't work, the Cambion can sneak and the Fae can hide the Vamp with an illusion. Party 2 has to do it the old fashioned way, with the Shifter taking out guards and the Gifted watching out for magical traps. The Scion can serve as a distraction wih her social-fu from the front door.

Fend off a minor zombie uprising - Party 1 relies on the resiliency of the Vamp and the Cambion to cover for the Fae. The Fae can do silent image tricks and bolster the capabilities of the other two if illusions don't work. Party 2 has the Shifter and the Scion cleave through the zombies, with the Gifted either providing artillery or acting as OpDir/intelligence.

Find magical relics - The Fae has movement abilities for the dungeon crawl and the Vamp can make things happen during the research and investigation phase. The Cambion might need some observation powers and might have some roguish abilities. The Scion and the Gifted are good during research and investigation, and the Shifter has movement and observation for the dungeon crawl.

Mingle with supernatural/mortal society - Everyone can pass as human so there's no initial bar to interacting with mortal society. Four of the six have some sort of supernatural social-fu and the fifth is conversant in proper mortal societal norms. The Shifter has observation powers and the ability to take forms that let them hide while the heat dies down. For supernatural politics: the Scion and the Vamp are well-respected, the Gifted is knowledgeable, the Fae and the Cambion are tricky and the Shifter is observant and intimidating.

Putting it all together, we have this adventure. The group is hired by a third party to find a relic. The third party suspects wizard A of having it, so the group is tasked to crash his party and find out where it is. With a mixture of smooth talking and sneaking, the group gets into wizard A's party. The sneaky party finds a lot of neat stuff, but no relic. Wizard A reveals that he once had the relic, but it was stolen from him by wizard B, who plans to use it to raise an army of the dead. This is generally not copacetic, so the party goes down to the cemetery for the climactic showdown. The zombies are weak but plentiful, but wizard B can hulk out into a demon form. It takes the efforts of all the party to bring wizard B down and retrieve the relic.

Step Five: Write out a campaign
  • Recover the relic.
  • Find out who turned the wizard on to infernalism and thwart any other plans they might have.
  • Confront the people responsible for the zombie incident and crush or subvert their organization.
  • Head to Inferno to broker a deal with/punch the faces of the demons that tried to mess up the place you live and eat sandwiches in.

As this goes on, the group can yank magical knowledge and swag from the demons and the organization.

Step Six: Choose a Base System

I'm of two minds for this: I can either use After Sundown with little, if any changes, of I could use a heavily modified FATE system. I've never run AS so I don't know how it holds up, but I trust it holds up well. FATE I know well, but I'd have to change the way the Fate point economy works and possibly switch to a stat plus skill modifier system.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FATE's strength is it's fate point/aspect thing, which is actually super easy to tack onto pretty much anything, since it's so self contained. The whole consequence thing of it's conflict system is also cool.

That said, it's actual skill system is just weird.
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You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, the skill pyramid/column doesn't work so well as written; you never use skills lower than (max ranks - 2) and it's weird how it makes every character a bad dabbler with only one specialty. The thing to do is either use skill modes (packages of skills that allow for more customization) or go stat + skill.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List


Spellcraft is a game about magical people doing magical things in a contemporary setting. Players are supernatural creatures out of modern and urban fantasy works, while the MC narrates, plays NPCs and adjucates the rules.

Spellcraft draws from several sources in the modern fantasy genre and it's child genre, urban fantasy. Given that these works draw from myth, legend, and pop culture, there's a staggering amount of material to draw from. Putting in everything from every modern fantasy work would be a fool's errand, so Spellcraft draws inspiration from these works to create unique playable character types. These characters share the world with regular people, as well as inhabit parallel worlds of wonder. The playable supernatural creatures are human first and foremost, with human foibles and ways of thinking. Exceptions exist, but they are as a rule unplayable.

A Primer on the Spellcraft World

Spellcraft's world is like our own, except magic and monsters exist. They have existed in parallel to our world since time immemorial, but the existence of which hadn't been fully explored until recently. In the olden days, magic was openly practiced, but the methods of making magic was hidden through secret knowledge and misdirection. This changed with the rise of inquisitons and witch hunts to a custom of complete secrecy. Those with magical ability realized they could not take on the combined forced of those who didn't, and hid for survival's sake. As superstition gave way to reason, the old ways of magic were rediscovered. Supernaturals still kept themselves hidden, but curious humans began searching in earnest for them. Thoughts of the supernatural fascinated the public, and that fascination led to a proliferation of charlatans and willworkers both. Secret societies of mages and spiritualists began popping up, using any information left behind by the supernatural community to achieve various ends. Those that were able to discover and harness magic were quickly discovered by the supernatural community and impressed with the need to keep things quiet. However, enough of a stir was created that by the 1930s, both the soon to be Axis and Allied powers had put government efforts in understanding and controlling magic. An entire secret war of hidden knowledge and spell-based subterfuge raged underneath the fury of World War II; one that carried through to the Cold War. Given the clandestine nature of the knowledge being discovered, magic was able to stay mostly hidden. It became clear to modern supernaturals, however, that their time in the shadows was rapidly coming to an end. Some supernaturals went deeper into hiding, fleeing to alternate worlds or the countryside. Others decided to hide in plain sight, adapting themselves to city life. Still others saw an opportunity to gain new understandings of magic and to be able to exist without threat of extermination. This faction of supernaturals joined together under the guise of several scientific think tanks meant to discover the veracity of the paranormal. These think tanks worked closely with the governments of powerful nations, gaining access to classified paranormal studies, which they then expanded upon. Their findings were still mostly hidden, with discoveries being drip-fed in order to not upset the global balance of power. Once the Berlin Wall fell and global nuclear war was not a pressing concern, the think tanks formed a conglomerate and began researching in earnest. Eventually, they formed a solid theory of the supernatural and in 2000, released their findings fo the world. This sent shockwaves through both mortal and supernatural society, as the "discovery" of magic confirmed what many mortals believed and forced supernaturals to adapt to the 21st century.

In the contemporary world of Spellcraft, magic is as accepted in mortal society as quantum physics. Much like quantum physics, it is a new scientific field; unlike quantum physics, there are millennias worth of knowledge on the field, much of which is practical and usable for those with the gift to use it. Magic is a force like gravity, only it's shapable by the will of a sentient being. The limits of magic are currently being studied, but are still mysterious. What is known is that prolonged exposure to raw magic makes one magical, and that supernatural traits arise from large quantities of magic being passed down from person to person. The past several centuries of magical study has been deliberately obtuse and esoteric, making cross-referencing scientific findings with previous data a tremendous undertaking. Finding the legitimate supernatural amongst the delusional and the charlatans makes understanding it difficult for modern science. The supernatural community uses this to gain a measure of privacy, but more and more new supernatural beings are coming forward with their talents.

Public sentiment ranges from wonder to scorn, but has mostly settled on an eager curiosity. Given the possibility of gaining magic, many normal people seek out supernatural beings in hopes of gaining their powers. Opinion on what to do with these hopefuls is a topic of fierce contention in the supernatural community. The more conservative factions want to safeguard their secrets and deny mundane people access to the supernatural community entirely. Whether this is due to mistrust of mundane humans after centuries of persecution, fear of societal upheaval or jealous hoarding of personal power depends on the supernatural creature. Moderate supernaturals prefer a wait and see approach with these new developments; while they are leery of being put in the spotlight, they are aware that scientific rigor and humanist intrigue gives them greater flexibility in their dealings with the mundane world. Many welcome the freedom from secrecy it provides. Radical factions of the community see supernaturals as inherently superior to mundane humanity; this presents itself in cases as benign as mass uplifting or as malign as complete global domination. The party line for the supernatural community is respect for and protection of mundane society, though there are always those who don't toe the party line.

Amongst themselves, the supernatural community is rather close knit. Centuries of hiding and only being able to rely on each other has created a natural camaraderie. There are power games and politics, but everyone tries to be amicable to each other. The scientific community is looked at with ambivalence; some supernatural creatures want to stay in the shadows but others relish the chance to be known. Many of the top researchers are supernatural creatures themselves now, so they have a place in the community by default. They're still seen as outsiders by many; surely but slowly, though they are gaining respect. Younger supernaturals are more likely to accept supernatural and mundane researchers than older supernaturals. In supernatural society, older supernaturals hold seniority over newer supernaturals in and are generally looked to for advice and guidance. In more modern orders and gatherings, force of personality or usefulness to the group trumps age. The older, venerable orders have old and venerable heads, but new age mysticism and new views on magic, young upstart organizations have been sprouting up since the 70s. There is a natural tension between the old and the new generation, but they will all join together to protect the well being of the community. Threats to the supernatural or mundane community are swiftly dealt with by all generations, but glory after the fact is bitterly fought for.

Places to Go

In Spellcraft, the default world is our world. Anywhere you can go on Earth, you can go to in Spellcraft. However, there are parallel worlds that it is possible to travel to as well. Angels, demons, gods, fae and all sorts of magical beings reside in these worlds. The worlds are:

  • Avalon, the Land of the Fae - Avalon is a land of fierce beauty and magic, borne from the collective unconsciousness of the whole world. Wonder and danger abound in the land of the fae. Obviously, the Fae live here.

  • Paradiso, the Land of the Gods Paradiso is within Avalon, in the skies. The land of the gods is a place of stark beauty and repose. Paradiso contains the various afterlives of myth and legend. Gods and angels make their home here.

  • Inferno, the Land of the Dead Inferno is deep underneath the surface of Avalon. The land of the dead is a land of extremes, as it contains the underworlds of various cultures. Gods of the dead and demons rule over this land.

Supernatural beings can cross the thresholds between worlds: whether by choice, summons or by the caprice of magic. Mundane people are unable to cross by themselves, but they can be carried across by supernaturals . Unscrupulous supernaturals exploit this to the fullest, much to the chagrin of their victims. Fortunately, crossing works both ways, so supernaturals with mundane friends who get kidnapped can bring them back. Travelling from our world to Avalon is easier than travelling from our world to Inferno or Paradiso. Once one is in Avalon, travelling to Inferno or Paradiso is as simple as finding a causeway. The tricky part is finding a causeway to Inferno or Paradiso.

Sometimes the other worlds and our world intersect; it is these areas where the mundane and the supernatural cross paths. The places where worlds intersect are called bleeds. Bleeds can appear in any place at any time, but they tend to manifest in places with storied histories or archetypal significance. In a bleed, supernaturals and mundane people can interact with a version of our world, but everything looks like a movie set version of itself. Each bleed is a unique demi-plane that mirrors the place in our world. Doing things in a bleed affects objects in the alternate world, but not in our world, so it's possible to cause a lot of property damage without being labeled a terrorist. Supernaturals like to use bleeds to settle disputes in, for as long as nothing leaves the bleed any evidence can be hidden.

Actually travelling to Avalon can be done through places of power called Fairy Rings. Fairy Rings appear in unspoiled nature mostly, but can be created by powerful supernaturals with the right know-how. Personal travel to Avalon is possible, but imprecise and tiring, so most supernatural beings prefer to use Fairy Rings. It is much easier to get to a specific world from its bleed then from outside of one, but the travel is still imprecise. Travelling to Avalon is a disorienting experience. Everything looks like a big budget fantasy movie and there are no landmarks from the real world to get your bearings with. There are floating castles and giant mushroom forests and all sorts of crazy surrealist crap. Even the nominally normal parts of Avalon are supernaturally heightened and dreamlike. Avalon itself is a dreamland in the literal sense of the term, as it is shaped by the dreams and stories of human culture. Some supernatural scholars posit that Paradiso and Inferno are parts of Avalon that were formed by mythopoetic belief, making the gods, angels and demons nothing more than fae variants. Others believe that they are legitimate afterlives and lands of the dead, and that every religion is at least partially right.

Avalon, the Land of the Fae

Avalon is a place where dreams come true. Made of the collective stories and dreams of humanity, everything can be found in Avalon. The world of Avalon is highly magical and responsive to the feelings and emotions of the residents within. A powerful supernatural creature can warp their domain to their liking. Everything looks like it was painted or sculpted for maximum aesthetic function. Walking through Avalon is like walking through a painting. It is a beautiful land, but also an unnerving one. Not every dream is a good one and not every painting is an idyllic one. Horrors named and nameless lurk within Avalon, the shadow to the beautiful light. Even without the terrors, the heavily saturated and stylized nature of everything thows many of the uninitiated off. The stylization exists on the macro and micro scale; grass is emerald green on one hand and on the other there are cloud cities and mountains that circle the world. The fauna is as wild as the flora, with the vast majority of magical beasts coming from Avalon proper.

Getting to Avalon

The main way to get to Avalon is to use Fairy Rings. Fairy Rings are circles of naturally occuring material, usually trees, rocks or mushrooms. Fairy Rings are found in nature, usually secluded places or those that have had an Avalon bleed. With the proper knowledge, a supernatural being can create a Fairy Ring out of anything natural. All it requires is a circle and an influx of magic.

Avalon bleeds happen in secluded places of natural beauty, as well as venerable places or entertainment or storytelling. The Globe Theatre has a bleed backstage that is hotly contested by several English supernatural groups. National parks and preserves have bleeds often, with Aokigahara in Japan being particularly well known.

What to do in Avalon

Avalon is a fairytale dreamland full of strange and wonderful/terrifying creatures. I'm sure you can find something to do. If you want to get away from the urban aspect of modern fantasy, Avalon is open to explore. In fact, going on safari in Avalon is a pastime many elder supernaturals enjoy. The Fae populate Avalon, shape the land to their whims and are very interested in people from our world, so you can go on Stargate adventures in any environment you can imagine. There are numerous castles and courts of Fae in Avalon, so running political intrigue or knightly questing is also possible. The tech level of Avalon hasn't really advanced past the 20th Century, so you can bring your smartphones and music players and trade them for magic swords and pet griffons. There are several magical schools that make their home in Avalon, so Hogwarts adventures and training montages are available.

Paradiso, the Land of the Gods

Paradiso is a stark and beautiful land that exists above the clouds of Avalon. The land of the gods is an endless expanse of white, interspersed with various lands where angels and gods dwell. The domains of the gods match those in myth and legend; everything within those domains appears pristine and aesthetically pleasing. The architecture of Paradiso matches the classical style of the pantheon whose domain you are in. The gods are a prideful and territorial bunch, so each domaij has swathes of buffer land between them. The (artfully) decrepit remnants of dead gods' domains litter the buffer lands. Travelers between domains must be wary of the forbidding terrain and duststorms of pure white aether.

Getting to Paradiso

Paradiso is the hardest of the three worlds to get to from our world and from Avalon. Bleeds are exceedingly rate and only happen in religiously consecrated ground. Jerusalem is slowly slipping into a bleed for the Abramic God's domain, leading many people of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faith to experience moments of religious ecstacy. From Avalon, one must go above the clouds in very specific locations to reach Paradiso; these locations are carefully guarded by the Fae at the gods' behest. The easiest way to get to Paradiso is to be summoned by doing something that earns the favor of a particular god. That is easier said than done, especially in our world.

Things to do in Paradiso

The main thing to do in Paradiso is to find the afterlife of your choice and interact with the god or gods there. Gods respect the sheer brass balls it takes to get to Paradiso, and they like discussing the nature of their own existence with mortals. They grant boons to their favored or anyone who impresses them, so gaining vertical powerups is always an option in Paradiso. Really awesome ghosts also end up in Paradiso, so you can rub shoulders with heroes and great men. Angels are much like Fae with higher moral standards, so they are fascinated by the affairs of mortals. They also tend to have centuries of experience and knowledge on their side, so one can learn many things from them. If you happen to be a divinity, going to Paradiso is like going to see your parents, if going to see you parents was a Herculean ordeal. Lost souls and dead gods lurk in the buffer zones, so spleunking for that which has been left behind can lead to rich rewards. Really, if you've made it to Paradiso, take a victory lap. You've earned it.

Inferno, the Land of the Dead

Inferno is a land of darkness and death deep underneath Avalon's surface. This doesn't make it inherently evil, as darkness and death are natural parts of life. It may be unpleasant in places, but it is home to beings that have as much of a right to (un)live as any others. The layout of Inferno is schizophrenic, holding realms of fire, ice, blades, iron and many more. The land of the dead contains various hells of tortuous nature, but it also contains underworlds of gentle repose and even bustling cities of demons. Causeways and highways connect necropolis and demon settlements, creating a facsimile of the modern world underground. In the between places, the land is cavernous, dark and full of strange beasts. Gods of the dead keep the peace and watch over their particular underworlds, treating them as fiefdoms where ghosts and demons dwell. Gods of Paradiso and Inferno share a rapport, but the gods of Inferno prefer to keep to themselves. Maintaining living spaces for billions of ghosts and countless demons is a massive undertaking which the gods of Inferno take on proudly.

Getting to Inferno

Inferno is easier to get to than Paradiso by a mile. Bleeds to Inferno occur in places of death, like warzones and cemeteries. Traveling down into the earth from an Inferno bleed gets you into Inferno proper. In Avalon getting to Inferno is as simple as digging down until you find it. There are places within Avalon where the work of digging has already been done, as demons are very forward in their want to deal with mortals. There's also just dying. If you die peacefully in Avalon and aren't snatched up by a god of Paradiso, you're going to end up in Inferno anyway. From there, it's just finding a causeway to a city of the dead or demons that doesn't go through a hell. Try to avoid the things that crawl in the dark, though.

Things to do in Inferno

The brave and the foolish can ignore the advice found in the previous section and try tussling with the things that lurk in the dark. Gods of Inferno appreciate any help they get with those monsters, as it allows them more time to oversee their subjects. The gods of Inferno have a more grounded view of humanity than the gods of Paradiso, as they deal with humanity in a regular basis; talking to them about the human condition can be enlightening. Demons are also willing to share their views with whoever will listen and love living humans. As creatures of desire, they also have a lot of neat swag. Demon cities are dens of anything one could want, and some things one doesn't know they want. Demons get lonely and have a bad habit of kidnapping living humans they like; this happens often enough that supernaturals call rescuing someone from Inferno "Pulling a Persephone". If the person you care about is already dead, you can probably find their ghost in Inferno too.

People to See

Spellcraft isn't just about fantastic vistas and mythical beasts, it's about the people who explore those fantastic places and interact with those mythical beasts. Hell, it's about people interacting with each other in a world that's like our own. Character drives narrative and your characters are people.

Fantastic People

At the end of the day, urban fantasy and modern fantasy are about fantastic people. Whether they're vampires, werewolves, witches, changelings or demigods, they have a spark of magic within them. That magic allows them to do amazing things and put the fantasy in urban fantasy. Mundane people don't get to play with the fantastic and that's okay. One must realize that in modern fantasy, being fantastic doesn't make you any less human. Even the more monstrous members of the milleu have human wants, needs and desires. Also realize that having magic available to characters evenly increases the playspace. Nobody wants to be useless or without options in real life or in games. Mandating that characters must be supernatural prevents players from being without options. This isn't to say that mundane people cannot become fantastic; the orgin story is a well-worn trope for a reason. It's just that in order to fully interact with the world of Spellcraft, the characters have to be able to craft spells.

Dramatis Personae: the Main Supernaturals

In the world if Spellcraft, there are five principle types of supernatural creature: vampires, shifters, divinities, fae and gifted. Each of these types are sapient humanoids that can meaningfully interact with mundane society. It's always useful to play what you know, and every player knows how to be a sapient humanoid with fun things like opposable thumbs.

    Vampires are supernatural humanoids that feast on blood for sustenance. They can eat and drink normal food, but the consumption of blood fuels their magical selves. Vampires are the frickin' rockstars of not only undeath, not only supernatural society, but urban fantasy literature in general. Whether they're angsty, hedonistic or monstrous, they're a sight you can set your watch to. Eternally vibrant and practically immortal, the bloodsuckers stalk the day and own the night.

    Epitomized by the savage werewolf and the crafty kitsune, shifters are humans that can turn into animals (or in some cases, animals that can turn into humans). Their dual nature as animal and human gives them primal vitality and incredible cunning. The ability to become something else gives then a fluid sense of self. Not as flashy as vampires but no less respected, shifters make excellent warriors, sages and spies.

    Angels, gods and demigods make up the divinity category. Powered by belief and given a higher purpose, the divinities have greatness thrust upon them. There is a question of whether or not divinities are actually divine, since they share traits with the Fae. Divinities are always striking figures who demand attention. Their natural charisma and inner confidence makes them excellent leaders and demagogues.

    The black sheep of the supernatural community, demons are denizens of Inferno. Centuries of dirty deeds and scapegoating have made them clever, shrewd and driven. Whether they be coldly beautiful or simply unnerving, demons always command attention in a room. They make excellent spies, lawyers and backdoor men, benig naturally attuned with darkness and contracts.

    Fae are beings as varied as the stories they tell and just as colorful. The fae see life as a tale that needs to be told, and they're the ones to tell it. If they happen to be the main characters then all the better. Fae tend to have an otherworldly air about them, which always makes them stand out. Gifted in illusion, trickery and exploration; fae make great swindlers, raconteurs and scouts.

    The gifted are ordinary people who magic has made extraordinary. The most human of the supernatural community, gifted have the potential to become so much more. Blessed with magic, but still all too mortal, the Gifted use knowledge as power in the supernatural community. Some Gifted recieve their power from happenstance, others gain it from hard work and training. All of them are not to be underestimated. Gifted are one of the easiest supernaturals to make, as all that is required is a normal person and an influx of magic.

Also Appearing In This Film: Other Supernaturals

The world of Spellcraft is full of more supernatural creatures than just the principal five. For various reasons, however, they aren't normally playable. The reasons for not being playable boil down to either lack of sapience or lack of humanoid traits. In the case of ghosts, even if they don't lack either thing, they can't really interact with the world like other supernaturals.

    Magical Beasts
    Magical beasts are any creature with magical abilities. This can be anything from a tanuki to a dragon. Usually non-sapient, magical beasts are animals at heart. They may posses a low cunning, but the smartest you're getting out of them is dolphin or ape intelligence. A noticeable exception to this rule are dragons, who are sapient, but lack the all important humanoid traits.

    Whether they're allegories for consumerism, mindless monsters or so much cannon fodder, zombies are the next most important undead to vampires. Able to be made by necromantic magics or a deadly disease or good old super science, zombies make easy tools and easier enemies. Zombies are (usually) humanoid, but aren't sapient; more automatons or berserkers than people.

    When a person or supernatural dies while feeling strong emotions, chances are they'll stick around our world as a ghost. The lucky ones keep their minds, but are unable to interact fully with any world. The unlucky ones mindlessly repeat some action tied to their past life. Those that die in Avalon always become ghosts, so supernaturals reaching the end of their life tend to retire there.

    Spirits are the anthropomorphized aspects of various concepts. Equal parts ghost and archetype, they represent the human trait of humanizing nonhuman objects. Spirits, much like magical beasts, lack sapience. They can be sentient and depending on the concept some do a very good job of acting human, but they lack wisdom. This does not preclude them from giving information, merely from making judgments.

    Genius Loci
    Sometimes places develop a character all their own. Sometimes they develop a whole lot more. When that happens, you get a genius locus. Genius loci are anthropomorphizations of a particular place. Well developed loci have sapience, but may not necessarily take on humanoid form. Even if they did, genius loci are bound to their location, making it hard for them to interact with society.

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Playing the Game

Spellcraft is a role-playing game set in the realm of modern fantasy. That means it's a collaborative storytelling experience in worlds of wonder and magic. Players take the role of a single protagonist, while the MC acts as narrator, referee and supporting actor. The MC sets up a lot of the game's backstory and ties the game together, but remember the story is about the players. Everyone has a hand in making the story, but there are (usually) more players playing than there are MCs. By simple majority, they have a greater stake and greater involvement.

In order to play the game in the game on a level higher than "hey, I shot you" "no you didn't", rules and dice get involved. Rules are ways to interact with the story and dice add an impartial way to adjucate rules interactions. There are situations where dice don't need to be rolled, and in those situations the MC can just make the adjucation. An MC must take care not to overuse this ability, for making up what happens every time robs players of the ability to interact with the rules and ultimately the story. Since the story is about the players, this is a bad thing. An MC should always be open to player input and able to weave in player backstory to the narrative. Players should never be afraid to offer input and come up with background knowledge that flavors the game.

Roll It: Dice Mechanics

Spellcraft uses six sided dice for all checks. Players roll three of them (hereafter revered to as 3d6) and add the numbers together. They then add numbers from their character sheet and any bonuses or penalties they might have. The aim is to reach or exceed a target number set by the rules. If the total result of the roll and modifiers equals or exceeds the target number, it's a success. If the result exceeds the target number by five or more, it's a success with style. If the result is under the target number, it's a failure.

Target Numbers

Every check in Spellcraft is against a target number. There are two main checks: static and opposed. Static checks are checks against a target number found on the following list. The actions performed in a check get more hardcore by every five points on the list.

Target Number:Awesomeness
5: Basic. You can definitely do this.
10: Average. You can probably do this.
15: Professional. Not for the neophyte.
20: Hard. Not for the faint of heart.
25: Extreme. Even pros have trouble here.
30: Inhuman. Highly improbable.
35: Superhuman. Does not need disclaimers because it is clearly impossible.

Opposed checks are checks where the target number is set by another player's roll. Usually, this other player is the MC, but there may be cases where the other players need to roll off. The rules for success with style and failure still apply. Opposed checks are used for competitions between two characters.

Measuring Up: The Stats

Characters in Spellcraft have six attributes, divided into physical, mental, and social. These attributes go from 1 to 6 for normal humans. Player characters in Spellcraft are not normal humans, so they can go higher. When making a character, however, one starts from baseline human stats.

    Physical Attributes:
  • Strength: Strength determines how physically strong and tough you are.
  • Agility: Agility is a combination of precision and speed.
    Mental Attributes
  • Intuition: Intuition is a combination of empathic and physical perception.
  • Logic: Logic is a combination of scientific know-how and logical intelligence.
    Social Attributes
  • Willpower: Willpower is a combination of determination and domination.
  • Charisma: Charisma is one's ability to convince and ingratiate.

Stats exist to determine competency in broad tasks. A character with a high Agility is good at tasks requiring dexterity, whereas a character with high Willpower is mentally tough. A character with a high stat can more easily hit higher target numbers than one with a lower stat. There will be situations where a simple stat check will be called for, which is where they really shine.

Special Order: Fate Points, Mana and Power

Fate Points: Fate Points are the measure of narrative importance the player characters have. Minor characters have zero Fate Points. The MC has a bank of Fate Points to use, one for each player in the current game. Fate Points can be used to reroll a failed check or add +3 to an existing check. Fate Points can also be used in three other ways: to cheat death, to create a windfall, or to gain an extra action.

    Spending and Refreshing Fate Points: When you want to use a Fate Point, just say you're using one and mark it off on your sheet. Having chips, coins or beads to represent Fate Points is useful. If you're using one on a check, you declare whether you're rerolling or adding 3 to the check after the roll has been made. If you're gaining an extra action, declare it at the end of your last action. If you're adding a windfall, you can declare at any time during the scene. You have to work with the MC to make sure it fits the story and doesn't derail anything. It's akin to adding a background piece of flavor, but with a mechanical benefit. When you cheat death, negotiate with the MC how how cheated death and make sure it's plausible. For example, if someone shoots you down and you cheat death, you could say that the bullet barely missed your heart/lungs. Cheating death should put you in some sort of a spot.

    All of your Fate Points are refreshed at the start of a new story. You can also gain Fate Points back by acting in accordance with your Aspects.

Mana: All creatures generate Mana, which powers their magical abilities. Mana refreshes every day, as long as a supernatural creature can get time to focus their energies and recharge. All supernaturals can refresh by sleeping or meditating with mana-rich objects. All supernaturals have 10 Mana, plus an extra three for each point of Power they possess. Normal people also have 10 Mana, but they can't do anything with it until they become supernaturals.

Power: Power is a measure of eldritch might for supernatural creatures. Player characters, when they gain in ability and magical might, may gain Power. Power adds to the maximum and current stats of a character. Supernatural player characters start out with a Power of 1, while normal humans and some weak supernatural creatures start with a Power of 0. Very powerful beings can have a Power of up to 10; getting there is improbable, but not impossible for player characters. Supernatural creatures gain Power with age, ancient rituals of power, titanomachy and gaining the boons of more powerful patrons.

Make it Up: Character Generation

Characters in Spellcraft come from a wide variety of power tiers. Normal people stumble into the supernatural and become supernaturals themselves, while wizened beings try to adapt to a world that now knows of their existence. The player characters can come from nothing in the supernatural world, be big name players, or anything in between. No matter where they come from, characters are designed from just before the story starts. Where that point happens to be is determined by what kind of story is being told.

  • Getting Your Feet Wet The characters begin with little or no knowledge of the supernatural and discover it through play. Characters are either bestowed supernatural powers or discover their natures over the course of the game, usually in the first session.

  • In The Deep End These characters have a history with the supernatural community and have made peace with their natures. These characters have connections in the supernatural community and a stake in one of the many supernatural organizations.

  • Swimming With Sharks These characters are big names in the supernatural community. Their names may be said with respect or fear, but they are said by many supernaturals.

No matter where the story starts, each player has to have a stake in it. Aspects give players that stake, but it's useful to have story hooks for the MC to grab on to. A passive character is no fun for either a player or an MC, so get active.

Characters Getting Their Feet Wet

Characters that get their feet wet are very new to the supernatural community. Hell, they might not even know there's a supernatural community. This is a good start for teenage protagonists, as the ugly duckling story and the powers as puberty metaphor are very strong parts of the modern fantasy milleu. This is also a good place for normal humans stumbling into the supernatural, with all that entails. Due to this, characters are made as baseline humans first, with supernatural templates added during play.

    All characters' attributes start at 1. The player then prioritizes their Physical, Social and Mental stats, putting 2 in one pair, 4 in another and 6 in the last pair. The player then gets two freebie points they can put wherever they want. A stat cannot be higher than 6 at character generation.
    Player Characters start with 3 Fate Points.

    Each character starts with five Aspects: a hook, a goal, a trait, a background and a nature. These Aspects are picked from a list or created with the MC. The hook is a catchy explanation of your character. The goal is what the character wants. The trait is a distinct but of character for your character. The background is where a character has come from in their life. The nature is the character's natural disposition. These Aspects are used to guide role-playing, flesh out a character and regenerate Fate Points.

    A character's Skills start at zero. The player then prioritizes their Physical, Social, and Technical skills, distributing 11 points to one set, 16 points to the next set, and 21 points to the last set. Then they get 6 freebie points they can place anywhere they want. No skill can be higher than 6 at character generation. Once points have been allocated, choose three specializations. Technical skills automatically get a specialization.

Characters In the Deep End

Characters in the deep end are characters that know the score of the supernatural world. They are established supernatural creatures who are no longer shocked or confused about their powers. Characters in the deep end are acclimated to supernatural society and have joined a supernatural organization (if they want to). This is a good place to start for games that want to explore the fantastic part of modern fantasy, and as such is considered the default game mode.

    All characters start with stats of 1. Each character then prioritizes their Physical, Mental and Social stats, distributing 3 points to one pair, 5 points in another, and 7 in the last. Characters then get three freebie points to put wherever. Characters also get a Power of 1. A character can not have a stat higher than 7 at character generation.
    Player Characters get 3 Fate Points.

    Each character starts with five Aspects: a hook, a goal, a trait, a background and a nature. These Aspects are picked from a list or created with the MC. The hook is a catchy explanation of your character. The goal is what the character wants. The trait is a distinct but of character for your character. The background is where a character has come from in their life. The nature is the character's natural disposition. These Aspects are used to guide role-playing, flesh out a character and regenerate Fate Points.

    A character's Skills start at zero. The player then prioritizes their Physical, Social, and Technical skills, distributing 14 points to one set, 19 points to the second set, and 24 points to the last set. Then they get 6 points they can place anywhere they want. No skill can be higher than 6 at character generation. Once points have been allocated, choose four specializations. Technical skills get a free specialization.

    Magical Transformation
    Characters in the deep end have mastered the abilities inherent to their supernatural template and have come up with some unique abilities. Each character starts with the abilities their supernatural template comes with, as well as two free magical abilities at Basic and one at Advanced. The character has a Power of 1 and 13 Mana.

    Place in the Supernatural Worlds
    Characters have been around in the supernatural community in this kind of story. The character's background should reflect this. Supernatural characters can keep up appearances in the mortal world (and many do), but they have one foot in the supernatural. If the player wants, they can be a part of a supernatural organization.

Characters Swimming With Sharks

Characters swimming with sharks are power players in the supernatural community. If they're a part of a supernatural organization, they probably have a place of power and importance in it. Characters swimming with the sharks are traveling between worlds on a regular basis, and so have fingers in several pies. The power level within those who swim with the sharks can fluctuate wildly, but make sure the characters in the group are mechanically on the same page. The benchmark Power levels for this tier are Power 3 (low), Power 5 (medium) and Power 7 (high).

    All characters start with stats of 1. Each character then prioritizes their Physical, Mental and Social stats, distributing 4 (low)/5 (med)/6 (high) points to one pair, 5/6/7 points in another, and 7/8/9 in the last. Characters then get four/five/six freebie points to put wherever. Characters also get a Power of 3/5/7. A character can not have a stat higher than 8/9/10 at character generation.
    Player Characters here get 4 Fate Points.

    Each character starts with five Aspects: a hook, a goal, a trait, a background and a nature. These Aspects are picked from a list or created with the MC. The hook is a catchy explanation of your character. The goal is what the character wants. The trait is a distinct but of character for your character. The background is what a character has done up to the start of the story. The nature is the character's natural disposition. These Aspects are used to guide role-playing, flesh out a character and regenerate Fate Points.

    A character's Skills start at zero. The player then prioritizes their Physical, Social, and Technical skills, distributing 17/20/23 points to one set, 19/22/25 points to the second set, and 24/27/30 points to the last set. Then they get 6 points they can place anywhere they want. No skill can be higher than 7 at character generation. Once points have been allocated, choose four specializations.

    Magical Transformation
    Characters swimming with the sharks have mastered the abilities inherent to their supernatural template and have come up with many unique abilities. Each character starts with the abilities their supernatural template comes with, as well as two free magical abilities at Basic and two at Advanced. At medium, a character gains one Elder ability, two Advanced and two Basic abilities. At high, a character gains two Elder abilities, two Advanced and two Basic abilities. The character has a Power of 3 and 19 Mana at low tier, a Power of 5 and 25 Mana at medium tier and a Power of 7 and 31 Mana at high tier.

    Place in the Supernatural Worlds
    Characters in this tier are kind of a big deal in the supernatural community. Their background should reflect this. Characters can keep up appearances in the mortal world, but they have both feet in the supernatural. Many supernaturals at this level will retire to Avalon; those that don't tend to wield power and clout in the mortal world. If the player wants, they can be an important part of a supernatural organization. In fact, having players in positions of power in the same organization gives an easy way to tie them together.

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Building Blocks of a Character


Skills are a measure of how trained a character is at certain tasks. A character with high skills is a trained specialist in whatever the skill happens to be. Skills are added to stats for most checks, so having high skills and high stats makes a character that can succeed at tasks more aptly than someone with only high stats or high skills.

Physical Skills

Physical skills are skills that rely on your body. As such, they can be used untrained without penalty. An untrained physical check is a straight stat check.

    Athletics is the skill you use to run, jump, climb, swim, throw things, and generally do everything that you'd do outside if you weren't playing this game. Most stunts are athletics based, and it can even be useful in attacking enemies in combat by dint of throwing things at specific targets.
    Specializations: Climb, Jump, Run, Swim, Throwing

    Combat is the training needed to fight. Usually other people. Combat covers both melee and ranged weaponry of all stripes, so someone skilled in combat in Spellcraft is skilled in all forms of combat.
    Specializations: By weapon or martial style.

    Drive allows people to drive culturally appropriate vehicles. For people in the west, that's mostly just cars. But for people in river areas or fishing communities, that's often small boats as well. Driving under safe conditions is such a banal and non-awesome thing, that characters do not need to actually make rolls to do it, so players may not even need the skill. But when it comes to dangerous driving conditions, car chases, or even just cutting commute times, rolls are generally required, and having the skill is helpful. This dichotomy is generally why in movies cars wipe out spectacularly the moment someone uses magic to create icy road conditions – a lot of people on the road are legitimately terrible drivers, and the moment things get harsh they become one of the 18,000 car accidents that happen every day in the US.

    A character can drive a new non-standard type of vehicle for every rating point and specialization of the skill they have. Common choices are emergency vehicles, motor boats, construction equipment, armored vehicles, light aircraft, and oversized (semis and buses), but really players can pretty much go nuts. Any plane or ship which is piloted with dials and knobs rather than a wheel or stick is the domain of Operations rather than Drive.
    Specializations: Bad Weather, Aggressive Driving, Cross Town Traffic, Navigation

    Characters skilled at Larceny are adept at working outside the law. It is a broad skill that covers lots of dubious activities, from identifying and bypassing security systems to picking other peoples' pockets. There is some overlap between Larceny and Rigging when dealing with locks. Locks are both geared puzzles and a basic hindrance to breaking into places. This is a good skill to have for security workers in addition to criminals. You gotta know your enemy if you're gonna win the war.
    Specializations: Concealing Goods, Legerdemain, Lockpicking, Security Systems

    Perception is the skill by which a character perceives the world around themselves. It is used to spot clues, notice subtle noises, and smell unfortunate smells. Characters with very low Perceptions are the characters who do not notice monsters sneaking up on them or have to have the meaning or import of subtle clues explained to them by other protagonists.
    Specializations: By sense, Investigation, Noticing sneaking

    The Stealth skill is what one uses to avoid being noticed, either by moving quietly, becoming unseen against the background, or simply blending into the crowd. Whenever a character is being searched for, a Stealth check can be used to make that searching more difficult. Stealth involves using what is available, so there is almost no circumstance in which it cannot be used to at least postpone the moment that a character is noticed.
    Specializations: Hiding, Innocuity, Shadowing, Sneaking

    Survival is the skill of keeping up with the elements. This covers finding food and shelter, surviving rough environments and general nature lore. One can also make Survival checks to scavenge things of a more modern nature. A Survival check could be called for to loot useful things out of a junk yard or to track the layout of a sewer system.
    Specializations: Tracking, Gathering, Shelter, by Environment.

Social Skills

Social skills are skills used in interacting with people or animals. Social interaction is a skill that can be learned, so these checks don't default to stats. Social skills apply a -1 penalty when defaulting, in fact.

Animal Ken
    Dealing with inhuman beasts is a skill in and of itself. Neither lions nor sheep really act like people, so the Animal Ken skill is used to interact with them. Animal Ken is used to read the emotions of an animal as well as to calm one down or train it to do stuff. Animal Ken is thus your one-stop-shop for all socialization with dogs, which considering how much less a dog knows than any human or supernatural about important plot points, is not nearly as overpowered as you might think
    Specializations: Domestic Animals, Training, Wild Animals, Riding.

    Managing logistics and patiently untangling skeins of red tape is the focus of this skill. Characters can understand and manipulate laws, navigate management systems, and correctly formulate formal requests. Bureaucracy is of use whether the character is attempting to perform bureaucratic tasks and of equal utility when confronted by the implacable edifice of a Kafkaesque course. It is not unusual for people to resent bureaucracy, because it is annoying. But as anyone who has done logistics under any circumstances can tell you, not having rules, management, and records in place is even worse.
    Specializations: Business, Government, Logistics

    Empathy is our primary means of interpreting the meaning of actions and inactions of other people. It is a trainable sense of how others are feeling given how they look, what they say, and what they do. Empathy is of obvious use to people like lawyers and police, but it is also an important skill for batters in baseball. It is not merely about figuring out whether someone is being truthful when they are talking, but also about determining what someone is about to do in the physical world.
    Specializations: Motivation Determination, Detecting Lies, Action Anticipation

    Expression is the art of entertaining and changing peoples' minds through art. Lots of people think that this can only be accomplished by making movies about gay cowboys eating pudding, but the truth is that any art that provokes the audience to even acknowledge it is on some level influencing the audience.
    Specializations: Writing, Dance, Music, Oratory

    Intimidation is the art of using fear to get other people to believe or do things desired of them. Intimidation can be explicit (“If you don't do X, I will stab you. In the face.”) or implied (“Did you hear that the feds caught Ted for his tax non-payment? He's going to be doing time.”) and the threats can be to the target's person, finances, or reputation. And some of the best Intimidation is actually phrased in a manner that implies that some third party will do some thing to the target and the Intimidating character is willing to help the target.
    Specializations: Interrogation, Fear Mongering, Skulduggery, Blackmail

    Persuasion is the art of manipulating people in such a manner that it isn't immediately obvious that is what you're doing. People who are skilled at Persuasion are essentially good at lying, although many of them get offended if you call it that. They may prefer the term acting or sales.
    Specializations: Acting, Insinuation, Fast Talk

    Rapport is the skill that governs interacting with people and putting your best foot forward. You use Rapport as a catch-all talking skill when you aren't trying to scare the person you're talking to (that's intimidate) or trying to manipulate the person you're talking to (that's persuasion).
    Specializations: By culture, subculture and group.

    Tactics is the skill that governs leadership in both the military and corporate sense of the term. Characters can inspire others to give 100% or produce a battle plan. The dragon crawls on its belly, and Tactics dovetails closely with Bureaucracy in the plotting of war, whether genuine or metaphorical. The tactical aspect involves actually maneuvering and the orders necessary to get others to do that – in contrast to the simple appeals to rules or potentially complex logistical management of Bureaucracy.
    Specializations: Inspiration, Maneuvers, Naval, Siege

Technical Skills

Technical skills apply the -1 penalty for defaulting if a character doesn't have an appropriate specialization. That is, a character may have Artisan (Painting), but they will still have to default when welding. A character who becomes trained in any Technical skill gains a specialization for free.

    The Artisan skill is used when you want to produce a physical object of some level of workmanship – whether you’re going for aesthetic quality or simple utility.

    There are a few more specializations in Artisan than in most Technical skills, in no small part because there are many materials that involve wildly different skills. It is recommended that these specializations are taken as applying to Artisan uses that are “close enough” – so a calligrapher might use the Painting specialization since in both cases they’re applying pigments to surfaces.
    Specializations: By Medium (Painting, Sculpture, Metalwork, Carpentry, etc.)

    Electronics is the skill used to make the tools of modernity go. Everything from toasters to computers uses electronics to function. And a character with the electronics skill can figure out how it functions and alter it.
    Specializations: Wiring, Software, Hardware, Repair, Hacking

    Medicine is the art of treating injury and illness to promote good health. Characters use this skill to patch injuries in their pets and team mates. Remember that the realm of horror runs on movie physics, meaning that characters who receive proper medical care are able to make impressive and full recoveries from amazing injuries.
    Specializations: Veterinary, First Aid, Long Term Care, Psychiatric

    Operations is the skill of making machines and systems go. One part mechanical engineering and one part heavy machinery operation. This is distinct from making machines (generally artisan), running computer programs that make systems go for you (generally electronics), or driving (generally driving). You make an Operations test when there is not a 1:1 correspondence between your muscle movement and the action of the machine. So it's Operations to pilot a boat and Driving to walk a mech around.
    Specializations:Piloting, Industry, Repair

    Knowing things is important, but the fact is that your brain probably can't hold all the information you might possibly want to have available – and doesn't always keep the things you do know readily accessible. When you need information that you don't actually have in your head, you can use the Research skill to go look it up.

    Researching things overall is fairly uniform, but there are particular methods of looking things up that might not be obvious to people who don't use that system in particular. Specialization in Archives indicates an ability to look up information in data logs, newspaper histories, and other chronological information stores. The Library specialization involves looking up information in stores classified by content, and Datamining covers sifting through internet searches, wikis, and highly disorganized information for something useful.
    Specializations: Archives, Library, Datamining, Interrogation

    Rigging is the skill of MacGyvering and Rube Goldberging things. It is the skill of practical and impromptu engineering. Including lockpicking, plumbing, and clockwork. Rigging is used for most non-electric jury rigging as well as the creation, operation, and repair of most steam punk technologies.
    Specializations: Fluids, Gears, Ropes and Pulleys

    Sabotage is the art of breaking stuff in a manner which will be most effective. Sabotage can be used for “rigging things to explode” rather than the actual Rigging skill. Sabotage can be used to break things in such a way as to make them look not broken, to not break things in such a manner as they do look broken, and to make things break in such a manner as to explode. Things blow up big in Spellcraft, so this is a skill you can see the use of through your eyelids.
    Specializations: Explosives, Disabling Stuff, Structural Weaknesses, Traps


A specialization is a subset of a skill that a character is especially proficient in. When they make tests using the skill in a manner that is relevant to their interests, they gain a +2 bonus to the check. Technical skills are an inherently specialized field, so in addition to getting the +2 bonus within a character's specialties, Technical Skill dicepools are penalized by 1 if they are being used outside a relevant specialization.

The sample specializations are by no means comprehensive, and players should work out with their MC to find or create specializations that are right for them. A character might have their Electronics specialized in Cybersecurity covering both setting up data servers (that might more frequently go under “Hardware”) and writing safe code (that might more frequently go under “Software”). Another character might have their Animal Ken specialized in Horses, covering the training, breeding, and calming of wild and domestic horses.

The MC should take care to make sure that no specialization is universally useful. Specializing a skill in something that would apply in all cases is basically the same as just getting 2 points in the skill, and that's unfair to the rest of the players. MCs must be expected to reject specializing Combat in “fighting” or specializing Bureaucracy in “paperwork.” A character can have more than one specialization in the same skill, and this is often very important for Technical skills. If more than one Specialization would apply, the character still only gets a +2 bonus.

Using Skills

To use a skill, describe what your character is going to do to the MC and the two of you work out which stat + skill pair to use. The MC might also ask you for a specific stat + skill pair. Since skills are never used by themselves, the stat + skill pair combination is what is being referred to when a skill check is called for.

Once you do that, the next step is to roll your dice. Add your stat and your skill to the roll; that's your check result. Check it against the Target Number of the task at hand and see if you succeed, fail, or succeed with style. Remember that higher Target Numbers represent more awesome tasks. Succeeding with style (beating the Target Number by five or more) means you did exceedingly awesome at whatever it is you were attempting.

Taking 10: If a character isn't under pressure or particularly threatened by anything, they can forgo rolling the dice entirely, instead adding ten to their stat + skill rating. This gives the character a consistent performance, useful when competency is required but you don't want to risk a low roll.

Extended Tests: Some actions take an extended period of time, and for that, the Extended Test exists. An Extended Test has an expected time frame to be completed in and a Target Number. For every three over the target number a check is, move to the next lowest amount of time on the time frame chart. If a character fails at an Extended Test check, they can retry after they've spent the expected time for a success first. For example: Alice is building a voodoo doll (Agility + Artisan, TN 10, 1 hour). She gets a 15 on her roll, so she succeeds. Not only does she succeed, she succeeds by more than three, so instead of 1 hour, making the voodoo doll takes 20 minutes.

Time frame Chart
3 Days
1 Day
5 Hours
1 Hour
20 minutes
5 Minutes
1 Minute
1 Round
Simple Action
Free Action


There are going to be situations where characters want to help each other out. To do this, the players make a teamwork check. In a teamwork check, declare one character to be the main actor (usually the one who has the best stat + skill for whatever action is being undertaken). The other characters are supporting actors. Supporting actors make a skill check relevant to the task at hand at TN 15. If they succeed, they add +1 to the main actor's check. If they succeed with style, they add +2. The main actor then makes their check, adding the bonuses they get from the supporting actors.

Maximum Characters: There are only so many people that can add to a project without it becoming a management clusterfuck. The threshold for clusterfuckery depends on the project and the person leading it. A good rule of thumb is no more than five supporting actors for a teamwork check. Any bigger, and the MC is advised to break the task into multiple checks. For long-term projects, there can only be as many people working on a specific project equal to the highest Tactics rating in the group. The character with the highest Tactics doesn't have to be the main actor (and usually isn't), but they are the ones in charge of overall group effectiveness.

Stat Checks

Sometimes in Spellcraft, a character will be called upon to make a check with a skill that they don't have. Other times, they will be called on to make checks that require raw physical, mental or social power. The former checks are called defaulting on a skill and the latter checks are called raw checks. Defaulting on a skill is the same as making a skill check, only the skill rating is zero. For Social and Technical skills, there is a -1 penalty for defaulting. Technical skills take the defaulting penalty if one doesn't have the right specialty, even if they do have the skill. Raw checks are simply checks using the stat alone, with no penalty for defaulting. Raw checks have potentially much smaller bonuses than skill checks, so in most cases the MC should try to fit a skill in somewhere.

Resistance Checks

Characters who are attacked or acted upon by outside forces can often make an opposed check against the force. These opposed checks are called Resistance Checks. Generally, Physical Resistance Checks are raw Strength checks, Mental Resistance Checks are raw Intuition checks and Social Resistance Checks are raw Willpower checks. Supernaturals can add their Power stat to these checks.

Sure Things and Heavy Lifting

There are times where a player doesn't have to roll for something to be true. A character with a high Charisma is charming without having to roll to be charming, a character with a high Logic is smart without having to roll to be smart. But probably the thing you will run into most frequently as far as automatic uses of Attributes is Strength. People who have a high Strength are strong, and they can lift heavy things. So to help out with that, here's a table of how much a character might be able to push themselves to lift up, and how much they might be able to carry home without hurting themselves.

StrengthMaximum LiftCarry Home
130 kilos10 kilos
250 kilos20 kilos
3100 kilos30 kilos
4150 kilos50 kilos
5250 kilos70 kilos (average human)
6450 kilos100 kilos
7750 kilos200 kilos
81.25 tonnes500 kilos
92.5 tonnes1 tonne
105 tonnes2 tonnes
117 tonnes3 tonnes
1210 tonnes4.5 tonnes
1314 tonnes6 tonnes
1420 tonnes8 tonnes
1528 tonnes10 tonnes
2060 tonnes24 tonnes
25100 tonnes40 tonnes
30150 tonnes60 tonnes
35200 tonnes80 tonnes

And yes, things that are really strong are really strong. A creature with a Strength of 35 can lift a train right off the track. They can only do this by lifting one car at a time and can't really walk off with it, but still. Consider the scene in King Kong where the giant ape (who in Spellcraft would be a Kaiju) pulls a train off the tracks by lifting a car and dropping the whole thing. Giant apes can actually do those things in Spellcraft, and the chart shows it.


Aspects are phrases that provide a unique description of whatever they're attached to. They act as building blocks for narration and shared imagination. With characters, Aspects define who they are and where they come from. Aspects also provide a mechanical benefit, as they allow characters to regain Fate Points and boost their checks. A character has five Aspects: a hook, a goal, a background, a trait and a nature.

The Hook: The hook is the elevator pitch of your character, what they are and what they do. It describes what your character is in a simple and direct way. It should contain what type of supernatural the character is. A character should have a catchy hook, as it is the way to "hook" a character into the world.
Examples: I Was A Teenage Werewolf, Hot-headed Hedge Mage, Vampire Dandy

The Goal: The goal is what your character wants more than anything else. These motivate your character to go on adventures and interact with the world in general. Goals can change over the course of a story. Make sure that your goals don't conflict with any other characters' goals if your going to be playing a long-term campaign. One-shots can have characters with wildly differing goals, but the tension of opposed goals can break a longer game down.
Examples: Make Fuck You Money, Experience Everything, Become a Powerful Archmage

The Background: The background is a quick summary of what your character did before the game starts. It explains a lot about your character and how they have interacted with the world. Depending on the power level of the game, the things your character has done can be mundane or fantastical. In a getting your feet wet game, a background would be mundane whereas in a swimming with sharks game there's more leeway for crazy shit.
Examples: Former Gang-banger, Poor Little Rich Kid, The Sorcerer's Apprentice

The Trait: The trait is a personal piece of flavor that a character is known for. It can be physical, mental, social or magical. It can really be anything, as long as it fits the tone of the game. Use it to give some extra texture to your character and to give the MC something to work with.
Examples: Sucker For A Pretty Face, Quick As A Hiccup, Pyromaniac

The Nature: The nature is your character's outlook on the world. It's their personality, their ethics and their emotional motivation. A character's nature influences what they will and will not do in any given situation. Playing to your nature is a simple way to roleplay, but be careful not to make your character a caricature. A nature can change over the course of a story.
Examples: Crusader for A Cause, Hedonist, Craven

Using Aspects: Aspects can be used in two ways: to regenerate Fate Points and to gain a bonus to checks. Once per scene, when a player acts in accordance with one of their Aspects to a significant degree, they gain a Fate Point. The action has to affect the story in some meaningful way; no doing inconsequential things for Fate Points. This is non-repeatable; you only get one Fate Point per scene this way. For the sake of keeping characters fresh, the player should use different Aspects in different scenes. A character cannot have more Fate Points than their starting amount.

Example: Bob has the Aspect Boy Scout and comes across a woman whose cat is stuck in a tree. If he takes the time to help this woman and get the cat down, he gains a Fate Point. He cannot gain another Fate Point this scene.

Also once per Aspect per scene, a player can gain a +2 bonus to a single check, as long as the Aspect has something to do with the check. This stacks with any other bonuses given to the character. If multiple Aspects come into play on the same check, only one +2 bonus applies. The player must declare they're using one of their Aspects in this way before the dice are rolled.

Example: Camilla has the aspect History Junkie and is researching the Knights Templar's secret history. She declares she's going to use History Junkie on her Logic + Research check, granting her a +2 bonus. She can't use History Junkie for the bonus again this scene.

Skills and Aspects

Skills can be used to create aspects that aren't on a character's sheet. This is called creating an advantage and allows a player to get a bonus to relevant checks. To create an advantage, a character makes a check against a DC set by the situation. If they succeed, they make a situational aspect which lasts until used or the end of the scene, whichever comes first. The situational aspect can be used like a character aspect, but any character can use it. Situational aspects stack with character aspects, but a character can only use one situational aspect at a time.
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Modern fantasy has a lot of stuff in it. The stories modern fantasy draws from even more so. While it would be nice to have absolutely everything ever put to paper in fantasy, doing so in a game would be a fool's errand. For the sake of a coherent and playable world, sacrifices have to be made. So in Spellcraft, there are six main playable supernatural types, each with three subtypes. Each subtype is painted in broad strokes, to allow as many playable concepts as possible. There are also six nonplayable supernatural types, broken down into three subtypes as well. These types are nonplayable for various reasons, usually a lack of agency or ability to interact with the whole game world. They still have a place in the world, so they're included in this chapter.

Supernatural Origins

Supernaturals come from all walks of life. Some are born supernatural, some become supernatural and others have their supernatural nature thrust upon them. There are three major ways of becoming a supernatural creature: endowment, heredity and spontaneous. These have no mechanical benefit or penalty, but they should influence your Aspects. A character who was born to a werewolf tribe is going to have a different hook than a character who became a werewolf through a mauling, for example.

Endowment: It can be lonely being a supernatural creature. They exist on a different level than normal humanity and that can be an intensely alienating experience. Even though the supernatural is known now, not every supernatural community is open and easily found. Isolation is a very large part of some supernaturals existence. Some of them, tiring of or unable to find their own, take matters into their own hands. They find a normal person and bestow upon them a portion of their magical power. This creates a new supernatural creature of the same type as the parent. The process is intense and costs half of the parent's Mana. The new supernatural creature has a Power of 1 and the standard amount of Mana. Vampires and Shifters are the usual suspects for this form of endowment.

Not all endowments are granted by lonely supernaturals. Powerful fae, demons and divinities sometimes take notice of interesting mortals and grant them power via endowment. Savvy summoners enter pacts with these otherworldy beings for these powers. This makes them Gifted by default. Some supernatural scholars surmise that a large part of humanity may already be Gifted in some small way, since it requires a spark of magic for summoning to even work. Fae, Divinities and Demons grant endowments this way.

Heredity: All of the playable supernatural creatures breed true and can breed with humans. This has gone a long way to ingratiating them with normal human society. In Spellcraft, being part supernatural is a lot like being an American who's part Amerindian. This means there are a lot of people who can stumble into the supernatural world because their great-grandfather was a Sidhe or something. Mechanically, the character looks like a human (possibly with a supernatural tell such as pale skin or oddly colored eyes) and chooses a supernatural type from the list. Supernatural blood diluted over generations generally doesn't manifest unless the holder is exposed to large amounts of magical power. Ending up in a bleed or an alternate world is usually enough magic to work. If the blood is stronger (say, from the union of two supernatural creatures or one supernatural creature and a normal human), supernatural traits will manifest during puberty. This is awkward for born vampires, who more often than not end up dying young and staying young.

Some supernaturals are born supernatural and only come into their full powers at puberty. When Gifted get with other supernaturals, there's a fifty/fifty shot the child is a normal, if magically attuned, human. The other half is evenly split between Talents and the other supernatural parent's type. Families of Gifted will train their children in the mystic arts, making them into their type once they have some experience behind them. This is how many Artificers and Invokers are made; the supernatural blood of their parents gives them the ability to make their artifact or summon a patron to make a contract with. All supernaturals can pass down power via heredity.

Spontaneous: Sometimes a person will just become a supernatural creature by exposure to strong magics. It's a lot like comic book gamma radiation, in that it gives a person superpowers instead of cancer. The magic of the other worlds can rub off on a mortal, making them so much more. Time in an alternate world isn't enough to make the transformation, a mortal must find an artifact or perform a ritual of power to become Gifted. Going to an alternate world is not the only way to spontaneously develop as a supernatural; curses (or blessings) from other supernaturals can create spontaneous supernaturals. Those spells usually turn people into Shifters, although Divinities and Demons made in this way are not uncommon. Finally, repeated exposure to alchemically treated vampire blood can turn one into a Vampire.

Gifted: Mortal Plus

The Gifted are mortal (or mostly mortal) magicians and willworkers of all stripes. Unlike charlatans of ages past and present, the Gifted are true supernatural creatures with magic at their command. Becoming a Gifted is the least traumatic path for a normal human to become a supernatural creature, as magic is a neutral force. That by no means makes it easy, as finding a strong enough source of magic takes hard work and dedication for mortals. All Gifted are naturally skilled in Theurgy, the magic of summoning and binding.

Once a mortal becomes a Gifted, magic is indelibly woven into their being. They can generate Mana internally and use it to power their magics. This allows them to perform stunts of supernatural speed, strength and endurance. Regardless of their newfound power, Gifted are still mortal, so they tend not to push their luck. Young Gifted are still very human, but as they get older and exceed normal human lifespans, they become distant and distracted. The absent-minded professor trope applies double to a wizened wizard.

Gifted refer to themselves as human first, Gifted second. Some of them adapt the traits of their new supernatural in-group, but many more keep up appearances in the mortal world. This makes them excellent intermediaries between the mundane and the supernatural; a skill smart Gifted exploit at any opportunity.

Invokers: Deal With Devils

Invokers are mortals who have been granted magical power via a deal with a powerful supernatural creature. The most common deal is a deal with a powerful demon, although they get their names from deals with angels. Deals with the Fae are also common, and many nobles of the Seelie and Unseelie Court have Invokers as cats-paws and intermediaries in the mortal world. Deals with Shifters and Vampires are rare enough to be inconsequential; those supernaturals usually just make a mortal one of their own.

Invokers have a symbiotic bond with the creature they make a deal with. Lesser Invokers are called upon to do favors for their liege or lieges. An Invoker's power is not based off of their liege's, so it is possible for an Invoker to grow more powerful than their liege. Clever Invokers make deals with many lesser beings to have more flexibility in their dealings, for if they are equal to their liege they can make demands of them. The famous King Solomon was an Invoker who grew more powerful than the demons he bound and gained dominion over them.

Invokers are far and away mostly created by endowment, as their power comes from deals with supernatural creatures. Techniques of binding or positions of servitude to the supernatural can be handed down from generation to generation, making heredity the second most common type. Spontaneous Invokers are very rare, only coming about with a chance meeting of a supernatural (usually a spirit or genius locus) and a mortal.

    Invoker Starting Powers

    - Inherent College: Theurgy -
  • Summon Servitor (Basic Theurgy)
  • Commune (Basic Theurgy)

    - Basic Powers -
  • Binding Circle (Basic Astral)
  • Aura Assensing (Basic Clarity)
  • Force of Personality (Basic Fascination)
  • Charm (Basic Fascination)

    -Advanced Powers -
  • Spirit Summons (Advanced Theurgy)
  • Banishment (Advanced Theurgy)

Artificers: Wielders of Power

Artificers are mortals who, through creation or through discovery, have been empowered by a magical artifact. The artifact gives them enhanced longevity and toughness, making them the most hardy of the Gifted. There's something of a chicken and egg problem with Artificers who create their own artifacts, since one has to have the spark of magic to make an artifact, but the artifact grants Artificers the spark of magic. Supernatural scholars posit that Artificers have enough magical power within them to become Gifted and the making of the artifact unlocks their full potential.

An Artificer's power is mostly contained in their artifact or artifacts. Anything can be made into an artifact, but most Artificers use something portable and easy to protect if they get the chance to decide. There have been cases of Artificers enchanting ships, cars and even castles with their power. Once an Artificer has made their first artifact, their power blossoms. Powerful Artificers make multiple artifacts for a broader suite of powers, but they always revere their first. An Artificer is not depowered if the are not in possession of their artifact, but they do report feeling naked without them. Destroying the prime artifact does depower an Artificer until they can make another artifact.

Artificers are formed in several ways. A technical genius can be struck with the spirit to create an artifact, becoming an Artificer. Artifacts of power can be passed down through families. Less savory ways of gaining the power of an artifact certainly exist; there have been a few thieves that have (whether inadvertently or not) become Artificers after a job. Finally, powerful supernatural creatures often bestow artifacts on their favored as a token of their service.

    Artificer Starting Powers

    - Inherent College: Theurgy -
  • Hammerspace (Basic Theurgy)
  • Commune (Basic Theurgy)

    - Basic Powers -
  • Unearthly Vigor (Basic Endurance)
  • Unearthly Strength (Basic Empowerment)
  • Mend (Basic Conjuration)
  • Break (Basic Conjuration)

    -Advanced Powers -
  • Imperial Regalia (Advanced Theurgy)
  • Imbue Object (Advanced Conjuration)

Talents: Naturally Gifted

Talents are mortals who naturally develop magical power. Magic is in their blood and flows through their body, allowing them to perform feats of sorcery. Their powers come from no outside source, giving them a freedom that other Gifted lack. Unfortunately, this doesn't make them any less mortal or any more tough. The Talent's lack of supernatural toughness lends itself to the "squishy wizard" stereotype. Talents have a broad variety of magical skills they can bring to bear, so they are not powerless.

A Talent usually develops around puberty, although magical ability can be unlocked at any point. Strong emotions and adrenaline triggers the onset of powers. Given the volatile nature of teenage emotions, Talents manifest in all sorts of fun places. A Talent can also develop if exposed to concentrated amounts of magic all at once. Once a Talent has manifested itself, the use of magic becomes second nature to them. More magical abilities can be learned or developed with training, but a Talent is always more comfortable with their original abilities.

Talents are primarily hereditary. Magic in the blood can go dormant for generations, not being awakened until the right cocktail of emotion and adrenaline is reached. Many Gifted who have children end up having Talents, if they aren't first given the ability to become one of the other Gifted. Spontaneously developed Talents are rarer, as it usually requires a ritual to give a mortal the necessary spark to become Talents. Endowments are almost unheard of with Talents, as most supernatural creatures would rather make Artificers or enter a pact with an Invoker.

    Talent Starting Powers

    - Inherent College: Theurgy -
  • Hammerspace (Basic Theurgy)
  • Commune (Basic Theurgy)

    - Basic Powers -
  • Aura Assensing (Basic Astral)
  • Elemental Creation (Basic Evocation)
  • Supernatural Senses (Basic Sensing)
  • Veli (Basic Glamour)

    -Advanced Powers -
  • Telepathy (Advanced Sensing)
  • Dimensional Slip (Advanced Astral)

Vampires: Dead and Loving It

Vampires are the kings and queens of the night. The apex predators of the supernatural community (although some Shifters would dispute that claim), vampires feed on the living to fuel their own unlife. Vampire lore is as varied as human beings can be, so figuring out what exactly you're talking about when you talk vampire is important. In Spellcraft, there are three unique flavors of vampire with different tells and different abilities. All three of them drink blood, stalk the night and look good in black. All three of them are also the living dead, so their body temperature is lower than a normal human's. Vampires who haven't fed in a long time are cold to the touch. Vampires also don't have a beating heart anymore, so blood doesn't circulate through their body and they don't bleed. Magic flows through their stagnant blood, and that blood is a very potent magical ingredient. Vampires make more of their kind by injecting their potent blood into a mortal subject and waiting a day; the blood kills the mortal and revives them when the moon rises. Vampires are adept at Conjuration; their nature as both alive and dead gives them power over creation and destruction

Since Spellcraft is an urban fantasy heartbreaker, that means it plays by urban fantasy rules. Since it plays by urban fantasy rules, that means its vampires have things that make them unique. Deal with it. Vampires do not burst into flames when contacted by the sun, because that was a Deus Ex Machina for the movie Nosferatu and doesn't really work in a game (White Wolf be damned). However, vampires do burn easily in sunlight and don't tan, the melatonin in their skin long since gone dead. Direct sunlight makes them sluggish and listless, so they stick to the nights. A vampire can consume regular food and drink, but they must subsist on blood in order to stay alive. Magic keeps their organs functioning (except for their hearts, oddly enough), so they still function as humans, except with pallid skin and no heartbeat.

Vampires see themselves as monsters, rulers or simple men. Over the course of their unlife, this view of themselves can change. The lore on vampires makes many of them turn to self-loathing or delusions of grandeur. It usually takes decades for a vampire to become comfortable with themselves, although contemporary vampires are more receptive to the transformation. Vampires tend to have an inferiority complex; this either displays itself as submissiveness or extreme dominance, which creates a very hierarchical vampire society. While they can live forever, they are still able to die from violence. Piercing the heart cuts off the magical power fueling the body and cutting off the head stops their brain from sending signals.

Nosferatu: Sons of the Dragon

When someone says vampire, the image in their head is usually that of a Nosferatu. Pallid, proper and regal, the Nosferatu see themselves as the nobility of the supernatural community. Nosferatu have an animal magnetism to them, at once forbidding and alluring. They look the same as they did in life only paler and with sunken eyes. A Nosferatu can look downright ghoulish when angered or starving, but when they're well fed their skin looks almost healthy. A starving Nosferatu is not a pleasant sight, for their hunger drives them quite mad. Nosferatu tend to develop some form of obsessive-compulsive disorder; counting objects, constant washing of hands, picking of dead skin and other little rituals soothes them. Nosferatu have retractable fangs like a serpent.

Modern Nosferatu all claim some lineage to Dracula. Given that Drac was the Genghis Khan of vampirism, there may be some validity to their claims. Regardless if they're right or not, they tend to act like they are of noble blood. Nosferatu tend to turn the rich and powerful, and groom prospective neonates by gaining their trust in the daylight hours. Nosferatu can take the form of a swarm of bats, and are blessed with the ability to communicate with beasts. They are supernaturally strong and resilient, making them devilishly hard to kill. Pouring fresh blood into the mouth of a dead Nosferatu can bring them back to life, meaning even if you kill them they might not stay dead.

Nosferatu, like all vampires, primarily make new members via endowment. The act of giving a mortal their blood is an endowment ritual. It is possible for a Nosferatu to pass on their lineage through mating, and many Nosferatu dhampir exist as the results of a human/Nosferatu tryst. These trysts are strictly male Nosferatu on female human, since Nosferatu pregnancies do not end well. Spontaneous Nosferatu are rare, but possible. If a mortal consumes enough inert Nosferatu blood, they can trigger the transformation themselves.

    Nosferatu Starting Powers

    - Inherent College: Conjuration -
  • Lifeblood (Basic Conjuration)
  • Rejuvenation (Basic Conjuration)

    - Basic Powers -
  • Unearthly Strength (Basic Empowerment)
  • Unearthly Vigor (Basic Endurance)
  • Beast Tongue (Basic Fascination)
  • Mesmerism (Basic Clout)

    -Advanced Powers -
  • Swarm Body (Advanced Enchantment)
  • Revive (Advanced Endurance)

The Lost: Pretty Little Things

The Lost are every romantic vampire fantasy brought to life. Inhumanly beautiful, incredibly empathetic and infinitely charming, they are the most sought-after vampire type. The Lost take full advantage of their popularity and sensuality to reach the upper echelons of power. Important supernaturals and mortals alike have members of The Lost as consorts and lovers. Lost feed off of blood like all vampires, but intense emotion is addictive and nourishing to them. This power to gain nourishment from emotion makes them less dependent on blood to feed. It also makes them more likely to hang around with or incite those with strong, even mad passions. Their tendency to glean these emotions from carnal knowledge has made them get confused with succubi and incubi, a misconception that annoys actual demons.

The Lost have bat wings which support flight. These wings fold into their skin when not in use, so as not to give the game away. Many elder Lost take great pride in their wings and show them off during supernatural events. Neophyte Lost have their wings burst from their back shortly after they revive. The experience is harrowing at first, but eventually the new Lost learns to accept their new appendages. Lost are excellent with magical and mundane manipulation, on a level akin to the Fae. While they lack the skill with illusions, they can incite emotion with the best of them. The Lost are supernaturally fast and strong, but no more resilient than an average human. They are still as hard to kill as any other vampire, however.

The Lost split endowment and heredity evenly. Many supernaturals and mortals want to be with a Lost; unlike Nosferatu both sexes have functional reproductive systems. Many born Lost don't even realize they're vampires until they get a taste of blood. Lost endowments are common for those that the Lost take an interest in; many a lover has been taken in for a final embrace. Spontaneously becoming a Lost is rare but sought after; becoming a Lost is an improvement over mortal life to some and there is a brisk black market for Lost blood.

    Lost Starting Powers

    - Inherent College: Conjuration -
  • Lifeblood (Basic Conjuration)
  • Rejuvenation (Basic Conjuration)

    - Basic Powers -
  • Unearthly Strength (Basic Empowerment)
  • Alacrity (Basic Swiftness)
  • Charm (Basic Fascination)
  • Command (Basic Clout)

    -Advanced Powers -
  • Flight (Advanced Astral)
  • Revive (Advanced Endurance)

Jiang-shi: Bound by Magic

Jiang-shi are walking corpses, even for vampire standards. As opposed to the Lost and the Nosferatu, who spread their curse through their blood, Jiang-shi create more of their own with magical talismans. Every Jiang-shi has a talisman that is the source of their power; this makes them a bit of an odd duck amongst vampires. If a Jiang-shi loses this talisman they go mad and start to decay. A Jiang-shi without their talisman is a threat to mortal and supernatural alike, as they will kill and feed on any living thing in a futile bid to keep themselves alive. If they do not feed on blood for a night, they return to corpses and rot away. With a talisman, Jiang-shi can subsist for very long periods without fresh blood. Blood is rich in Mana (and delicious), so many Jiang-shi will partake anyway.

Jiang-shi are the most magically attuned of the three types of vampire, and many of them become mages of renown. The mana coursing through them makes them nigh-invulnerable; this coupled with their natural immortality makes some develop God complexes. Many Jiang-shi are Gifted mages seeking immortality by any means necessary. The ritual for becoming a Jiang-shi is only spoken of in hushed whispers; the savvy and the desperate find it anyway. Becoming a Jiang-shi is seen as ideal for mages due to their hardiness and lack of reliance on a sire. Jiang-shi can also resurrect fresh corpses as Jiang-shi by putting a talisman on them, making them the only vampire type that can raise the dead. Jiang-shi naturally generate mana like Gifted do, as long as they have their talisman on them. Jiang-shi are walking corpses, so they have a rigor mortis stiffness to them. A freshly made Jiang-shi can only move by hopping, unable to move their legs or arms fully. This is where the term "hopping vampire" comes from. This period lasts for a night and a day, after which they can move fluidly.

Jiang-shi are created spontaneously by Gifted mages who want immortality and Jiang-shi who want companionship. The ritual talisman creates a Jiang-shi much like the injection of blood creates other vampires. Jiang-shi can make more of them via blood endowment, but without a talisman their spawn are dangerous and short-lived. Due to this, they prefer to make talisman endowments. Hereditary Jiang-shi are incredibly rare, as it requires magical means for a Jiang-shi to even impregnate a mortal woman. Jiang-shi care not for the pleasures of the flesh, making things more difficult.

    Jiang-shi Starting Powers

    - Inherent College: Conjuration -
  • Lifeblood (Basic Conjuration)
  • Rejuvenation (Basic Conjuration)

    - Basic Powers -
  • Unearthly Vigor (Basic Endurance)
  • Permanence of Stone (Basic Endurance)
  • Frighten (Basic Fascination)
  • Mask of Flesh (Basic Enchantment)

    -Advanced Powers -
  • Raise Dead (Advanced Conjuration)
  • Revive (Advanced Endurance)

Shifters: Man and Nature

Shifters are supernatural creatures that have the ability to turn into animals. This is a very broad category, covering everything from the monstrous werewolf to the cunning kitsune. A game could be made just dealing with types of Shifters, but Spellcraft doesn't do that. For the sake of classification, Spellcraft splits the myriad types of animal shapshifters into three main types: those cursed to become animals, those who can turn into animals and those who get an anthropomorphic form. In these categories, a character can be almost any animal they wish. It would behoove a player to pick an animal that can actually participate in the adventure.

Shifters are in touch with nature as a general rule, given their connection to it. Being an animal gives a perspective on the world that others lack. Some Shifters end up preferring their animal forms to being human, and certain Shifters are really more animal than human. This can be...problematic in dealing with humans. More cosmopolitan Shifters will help their animalistic bretheren with navigating the human world. Shifters in general are very loyal to their in-group and fiercely protective of their own. The mama bear instinct is incredibly strong in all Shifters and doesn't just apply to children. This makes them highly sough after bodyguards.

Shifters see themselves as having a clearer perspective than other supernaturals. They feel that their emotions are purer and their instincts are sharper. They have a great appreciation for life and live large. Shifters have a bit of enmity towards vampires, seeing as vampires are technically dead. This rarely progresses further than a smug sense of superiority towards the bloodsuckers. Shifters are skilled in Enchantment, the magic of change. Naturally, change is something they know well.

Werewolves: Unleash the Beast

Werewolves are the most well known and the most feared of the Shifter types. The term werewolf is a bit of a misnomer, as a werewolf can take the form of wolves, hyenas, foxes, cats, even ravens. Wolf werewolves are the most common, so they are the naming standard. A werewolf on the war path is a daunting challenge for any supernatural, so they are usually given a wide berth. This is not to say they are ostracized, as werewolves are respected as warriors and generals. It's just unwise to earn the ire of one. They are unique amongst Shifters in that they have two alternate forms: the standard animal form and a humanoid war form. A werewolf in war form is a force of nature, destroying all in its path. Animal form werewolves are also dangerous, as they keep human intelligence and gain battle lust. Werewolves love battle and are excited by the sight of blood; many elder werewolves temper these urges with supreme self-discipline.

Werewolves become supernaturally physically gifted once they change, which makes them all the more dangerous in war form. Many a werewolf prides themselves on their physical prowess and are not ashamed to let people know that fact. Their natural strength and speed, as well as the protectiveness all Shifters share, make them bodyguard par excellence. As apex beasts themselves, werewolves can speak with all beasts. Some werewolves prefer the company of beast to that of men, and live in the wilderness amongst the animals. Others, wanting to be near both human and animal work at zoos or pet stores.

Werewolves can be made all three ways, with the most common being heredity. Tribes of werewolves will keep things in the proverbial family, raising more of their kind. These werewolves develop their affinity for beasts at birth and usually have their first change at puberty. Werewolf endowment is a brutal affair, as lycanthropy is spread like rabies. A werewolf has to maul a human in order to endow them with lycanthropy. Finally, spontaneous lycanthropy can occur with spirituality attuned animal products, usually pelts, fangs or feathers. The Bearsarks and wolf warriors of legend give proof to spontaneous lycanthropy.

    Werewolf Starting Powers

    - Inherent College: Enchantment -
  • Beast Form (Basic Enchantment)
  • Armored Skin (Basic Enchantment)

    - Basic Powers -
  • Unearthly Vigor (Basic Endurance)
  • Unearthly Strength (Basic Empowerment)
  • Beast Tongue (Basic Fascination)
  • Alacrity (Basic Swiftness)

    -Advanced Powers -
  • War Form (Advanced Enchantment)
  • Revive (Advanced Endurance)

Henges: People are Animals

Henges are mystical animals that turn into people, or mystical people that turn into animals, depending on who you ask. This ambiguity is one that Henges play up whenever it's useful. Henges retain human speech in animal form, a trait they share with certain magical beasts. This makes some supernatural scholars consider them more magical beast than magical humanoid. As such, Henges are often looked down upon as lesser supernaturals. As long as this makes people underestimate them, Henges are fine with this arrangement. Henges have a great deal of kinship with magical beasts, and are often employed in Avalon to tame and raise such beings.

Henges are adept tricksters and saboteurs, sharing many abilities with the Fae. While their natural magic is Enchantment, they are also adept at illusions and glamors. Some Henges will pass themselves off as Fae for the social status, but they always have a tell. The most common is their shadow betraying their true form, but animalistic physical and verbal tics are also common. Rarer are permanent animal traits, like whiskers or ears and a tail. These traits can be hidden with their natural magic, but many Henges proudly display their dual natures.

Henges are almost strictly hereditary; great houses of various Henges hold great sway in Avalon. Henge/mortal copulation is also a semi-regular occurance, generally producing another Henge. Spontaneous Henge development is rare and usually occurs to animals that spend long periods of time in bleeds. Henge endowment is almost unheard of.

    Henge Starting Powers

    - Inherent College: Enchantment -
  • Beast Form (Basic Enchantment)
  • Mask of Flesh (Basic Enchantment)

    - Basic Powers -
  • Veil (Basic Glamour)
  • Sweet Words (Basic Clout)
  • Frighten (Basic Fascination)
  • Charm (Basic Fascination)

    -Advanced Powers -
  • Mad Revelry (Advanced Glamour)
  • Shapeshift (Advanced Enchantment)

Arachne: Cursed Children

Arachne are mortals cursed to transform into animals. Named after the weaver who was impudent in the face of Athena, the Arachne are a diverse lot. The curse can come from anywhere, not just a god's ire; witches and warlocks are more likely to make someone an Arachne than a god would these days. Usually, Arachnes are cursed to become innocuous or ill-omened animals like cats and rats, but others are turned into more fearsome creatures.

In becoming an animal, an Arachne finds that they can beckon animals easily. This leads many Arachne to constantly travel with an entourage of beasts. Think Willard. Arachnes are also good at being looked over, whether they're in animal form or not. This, and their keen senses make them excellent information brokers.

Arachne are primarily made spontaneously, as it is a curse. Sometimes this curse extends throughout an Arachne's lineage, consigning any children they have to the same fate as they. Endowment is a funny thing with Arachne, as they have the power to turn their curse on others. A spiteful Arachne may very well "endow" as they were endowed upon.

    Arachne Starting Powers

    - Inherent College: Enchantment -
  • Beast Form (Basic Enchantment)
  • Aspect of the Beast (Basic Enchantment)

    - Basic Powers -
  • Veil (Basic Glamour)
  • Enhanced Senses (Basic Clarity)
  • Dampen Senses (Basic Clarity)
  • Beast Tongue (Basic Fascination)

    -Advanced Powers -
  • Call the Swarm (Advanced Conjuration)
  • Share Vision (Advanced Astral)

Fae: Avalon's Native Sons

Fae are denizens of Avalon, a land of magic and wonder parallel to our own. Naturally, this makes them pretty magical. Fae are based off of the faerie and there are a lot of faeries. Some of these faeries in Spellcraft are actually Shifters (Arachne or Henges most likely). Some of them are spirits instead. For the purposes of this section of the supernatural hit list, these are humanoid creatures shaped by dreams and ideas. Fae act larger than life, more like actors than normal humans. Human world scholars posit that Avalon and the Fae are made of the collective unconscious of humanity. Elder Fae disagree with this hypothesis, claiming that they have existed before humanity dreamt. Seeing as how there aren't any humans around from that time, the truth will probably never be known. Fae are naturally gifted in Glamour, the ability to fool the senses, create illusions and incite emotions.

Fae are usually human sized, although some grow to be very large or very small. Lesser Fae tend to the small side, with some barely larger than insects. The playable Fae are the size of a small child to about eight feet at the maximum. Fae are unaging, but mortal; disease and good old fashioned violence can end them. A Fae's apparent age is more a matter of taste: some Fae are born wizened looking and some are centuries old and look like children. Due to this, experience is weighted more than appearance in the Fae community. In fact, experience is the major currency of respect amongst the Fae; a wise and knowledgeable Fae is always treated with honor and dignity. Fae crave new experiences due to this and will spend decades chasing a passion or honing a talent only to move onto something new. Other long-lived supernaturals find them to be flighty due to this, Fae see themselves as efficient. All Fae experience an urge to explore and experience the worlds called Wanderlust once they reach maturity. Fae communities make this a rite of passage, celebrating the young Fae slaking their Wanderlust. After about a decade, the urge passes and the Fae are accepted in their community as adults.

To Fae, magic is as natural as breathing. They are creatures of magic and use magic in their everyday lives. They see the supernatural community as kindred spirits, and will not hesitate to show off their magical ability to those they know are supernatural. Fae are fascinated by humans; their short, intense lives are deeply alluring. This means Fae and human interaction is one of the highest amongst all supernaturals. Fae fall in love with humans easily and copulate frequently; human-Fae children are so common they have a name, changelings. Fae will ingratiate themselves with creative or interesting mortals in order to experience their presence. If the person is creative or interesting enough, a Fae will spirit them away to Avalon. This leads to a lot of missing peoples cases.

Sidhe: Honor and Glory

Sidhe are Fae who embody good dreams and noble emotions. As such, they see themselves as the nobility of Avalon. Unflappable and positive, hey hold themselves to a chivalrous and honorable standard. The powerful create lavish domains and courts, while the lesser try to prove themselves to the powerful in order to be a part of those courts. Sidhe society is very stratified, but also rather egalitarian. Lower Sidhe will do anything to prove themselves worthy, constantly seeking glory, fame and renown. All Sidhe are hungry for glory and see themselves as the protagonists of their own story. This makes them dedicated, hardworking and earnest; it also makes them arrogant, vain and stubborn. There's nothing worse than listening to a braggart talking about how awesome they are; when a Sidhe is drunk or cocksure that is almost all they do. Older Sidhe are especially prone to going over past glories like a former varsity player reliving high school. One who can put up with the Sidhe's quirks finds a loyal friend and a steadfast ally. One who ends up on the Sidhe's bad side finds a devilishly persistent enemy who sees them as a nemesis to be vanquished. Sidhe are all aesthetically pleasing and age gracefully, if they decide to age at all. They tend towards normal human sizes, the only thing giving them away as other being their pointed ears. Their hair, eye and skin colors are human standard, tending towards fair skin and hair.

Sidhe are skilled with Glamour like all Fae; their focus is on illusions and emotions. The illusion part of their powers are primarily used for artistic expression and leisure, as using them to fool the senses is seen as unsportsmanlike. A notable exception is made for establishing a persona; all Sidhe respect and appreciate cultivating an atmosphere. Sidhe use their emotion manipulation to sweeten interactions with others (especially humans) and to incite pleasure. The aura of a Sidhe is powerful and carries supernatural gravitas; they have this on almost all the time. This aura commands respect. When the aura doesn't work, they can make commands with supernatural weight. They can read minds, so they know exactly what they need to say or do for maximum effect. This rubs many supernaturals the wrong way, and Avalonian Sidhe are honestly confused when other supernaturals try explaining this to them. Sidhe are also supernaturally swift and keen of senses, which they are intensely proud of. Young Sidhe will challenge mortal and supernatural alike to races and other physical tests.

Sidhe are made from heredity more often than not. The Sidhe as a general rule believe in keeping their bloodlines pure, so they mostly make more Sidhe with other Sidhe. Noble bloodlines are even more strict about lineage, only sticking with other noble Sidhe or very impressive lesser Sidhe. Lesser Sidhe are less picky about who they pass on their powers with, forming relationships with Elves, Henges and even Svartalfs. The Sidhe love humans as all Fae do and changelings are also common. Sidhe nobles on excursion to our world tend to leave behind single parents and changeling children. Lesser Sidhe will retire to our world and shack up with humans if they fail at gaining glory in Avalon. Endowment is rare amongst the Sidhe; usually given only to humans that impress them with bravery and valor. Sidhe nobles who take their children to Avalon will sometimes endow them at a young age to make them full Fae. There is only one instance of spontaneous Sidhe development. A man stumbled into a Fairy Ring and ended up in the garden of the Seelie King and Queen. He was pricked by an enchanted rosebush and fell into a deep sleep for a hundred years. When he awoke, he was Sidhe.

    Sidhe Starting Powers

    - Inherent College: Glamour -
  • Incite Emotion (Basic Glamour)
  • Minor Seemings (Basic Glamour)

    - Basic Powers -
  • Command (Basic Clout)
  • Enhanced Senses (Basic Clarity)
  • Charm (Basic Fascination)
  • Hundred Foot Step (Basic Swiftness)

    -Advanced Powers -
  • Telepathy (Advanced Clarity)
  • Regal Bearing (Advanced Fascination)

Svartalfs: Real Horrorshow

As shadow to the light, the Svartalf is to the Sidhe. Svartalfs embody nightmares and negative emotions. They dwell in darkness, both physical and mental. One would think this would make them terrible to be around, but they handle their natures with style and grace. Svartalfs were driven underground by the Sidhe once upon a time, but only the oldest and most bitter of them hold a grudge. Several of them live topside, though they prefer the underground. Svartalfs took to the underground like a duck to water, creating massive magitech cities that are the envy of Fae society. The Svartalfs, like the Sidhe, value glory and fame. Unlike the Sidhe, they revere subtlety and the unsung hero. Svartalfs would rather direct the story than be the protagonist, so they're less overbearing than their aboveground brethren. Svartalfs don't believe in honor, which really doesn't sit well with the Sidhe. Sidhe are passionate and driven, but they hide this behind jaded nonchalance. They are just as romantic as Sidhe are, but their romance is more Byron and less Arthur. Sidhe tend towards the tall side for Fae and are forbiddingly beautiful. Their ears are longer than Sidhe and taper off more sharply. They are of swarthy complexion, ranging from cinnamon brown to midnight black. Their hair is very light, tending to whites, blondes, reds and purples. Their eyes are unnatural colors like red, purple and gold.

Svartalfs are naturally skilled in Glamour, as all Fae are. Unlike their Sidhe brethren, they have no qualms about using these abilities to fool the senses. They take great pride in their seemings and see it as the proof of their Fae heritage. Skilled illusionists are the rockstars of Svartalf society, being called upon for both defense and entertainment. Svartalfs cannot naturally incite emotion like Sidhe, but they can hide themselves from sight. They do this by manipulating shadow, a feat all Svartalfs are naturally gifted in. They can see, hear and walk through shadow, as well as give shadows form and mass. They use these powers to defend their cities and generally get around undetected. All Svartalfs quickly adapt to the shadows that cloak their home and learn to manipulate them. This is seen as uncouth by the Sidhe (no one expects their shadow to turn against them), but the Svartalfs don't really care. Svartalfs are also gifted with a frightening presence and supernatural reflexes, making them fearful opponents.

Svartalfs, like Sidhe, pass on supernatural power through heredity. Unlike Sidhe, they don't much care for bloodline purity, preferring more power and a strong lineage by any means necessary. Their living underground puts them in contact with Inferno, so Svartalf/Demon couplings are not uncommon. These cambions often inherit the powers of both parents and are treated with respect in Svartalf culture. Topside Svartalfs will form relationships with pretty much any other supernatural creature as long as they can find some benefit from it. Svartalfs love humans as Sidhe do and make changelings as Sidhe do. Getting with Svartalfs is half the fun of being a member of the faerie faith, for example. Svartalfs bestow endowments rarely, but more often than Sidhe. Unique to the Svartalfs is leaving a pureblooded Svartalf child with human parents and taking a human child in exchange. They endow the human child and raise them in Avalon, then when the pureblood reaches the age of Wanderlust, they take the child back. This way, they have more chances to establish a legacy. There is only one recorded case of spontaneous Svartalf development. A human miner stumbled into an underground bleed to Avalon. He dug and he dug, not realizing that with each minute, a month went past. He never found his way home, but he did find his way to a Svartalf city. By the time he did, he had become one of them.

    Svartalf Starting Powers

    - Inherent College: Glamour -
  • Veil (Basic Enchantment)
  • Minor Seemings (Basic Enchantment)

    - Basic Powers -
  • Shadow Play (Basic Glamour)
  • Shadow Scrying (Basic Clarity)
  • Alacrity (Basic Swiftness)
  • Frighten (Basic Fascination)

    -Advanced Powers -
  • Dimensional Slip (Advanced Astral)
  • Grasping Darkness (Advanced Glamour)

Elves: Simply Natural

While Sidhe make kingdoms on Avalon and Svartalfs make cities below it, Elves are Avalon. Elves are Fae that represent the spirits of nature. Spirits have great power and knowledge, but can't interact fully with the world they are a part of. One can feel a rainstorm, but they cannot embrace the rainstorm. Elves are what happen when a rainstorm wants to be embraced. Elves are part spirit; this gives them a deep connection to nature. They commiserate with the spirits and are enriched by them; they give the spirits experiences and the spirits give them knowledge and power. As aspects of nature, Elves prefer to live in nature. If they live in cities or towns, they tend to make small shrines to nature in their homes. Elves are even-keeled and slow to show emotion, blessed with the patience of nature. When they do express emotion, however, it explodes out of them with the fury of the elements. The spirit inside of them gives them a head start on knowledge, making them smart from birth. Young Elves tend to be naive and withdrawn, preferring to interact with spirits instead of others. A mature Elf makes for a fine mediator, as they are exposed to many different perspectives. Elves tend to be short for Fae; lesser Elves may be no bigger than an insect. Elves are gracile, beautiful and lithe. There are exceptions: Elves that grow large and massive are called trolls. Elves have human standard skin colors, leaning towards a sunkissed tan, but some Elves have green, gray or yellow skin. Elves have wild, vivid hair colors and eyes the color of things found in nature. Some Elves grow insect wings and antennae.

Elves are naturally gifted in Glamour, with their specialties being veils and seemings. Elves will use these abilities in tandem to hide from notice and ward off threats to themselves and their natural habitats. An Elf who doesn't want to be found is very, very difficult to be find. Elves are spiritually empowered to control the elements. They are most comfortable with the element they were born amongst or that of their spirit, but an elder Elf will make it their mission to master all elements. Elves can speak to animals and spirits, and can summon both to them when need be.

Elves are unique amongst the Fae in that their most common way of being made is not hereditary. Elves are actually made spontaneously most often, although hereditary Elves are a close second. When a spirit of great power or a great deal of spirits decides to take mortal form, they create an Elf out of the elements and mana. In essence, a spirit is making a body to then place an endowment upon. Elves that have been already created can copulate as any other creature. Spontaneous Elves tend to find other supernaturals to continue their family tree with, usually Sidhe, Henges and other Elves. Elves have love for humans, but not to the same extent as the other Fae, so Elven changelings don't proliferate. A human that earns an Elf's trust will have a loyal partner who will never leave them. Elves in this situation spirit away humans to their habitats in Avalon more often than not. With any newborn Elf, the parent's spirit will split off and enter the child. Elven endowments are rare, as they require both the consent of the spirit and the Elf. A non-supernatural human has to find an Elf in the mortal world and earn their respect, usually by treating their habitat with respect and reverence.

    Elf Starting Powers

    - Inherent College: Glamour -
  • Veil (Basic Glamour)
  • Minor Seemings (Basic Glamour)

    - Basic Powers -
  • Commune (Basic Theurgy)
  • Elemental Creation (Basic Evocation)
  • Natural Alchemy (Basic Conjuration)
  • Beast Tongue (Basic Fascination)

    -Advanced Powers -
  • Call the Swarm (Advanced Conjuration)
  • Spirit Summons (Advanced Theurgy)

Divinities: A Higher Power

Divinities are the denizens of Paradiso, a land within the clouds of Avalon that happens to look a lot like every positive afterlife smashed into one. Humans who meet Divinities tend to think of them as gods, angels and prophets, thus the name. Atheistic humans and supernaturals instead think of them as an offshoot of the Fae. The Divinities claim to be what humans think of them as, but anything a Divinity can do an equally powerful Fae can, which muddies the waters. They are shaped by belief much as the Fae are shaped by ideas and dreams, lending credence to the idea that they are related. Divinities take humanoid form and always look statuesque. Whatever they wear, it looks like someone blew the costuming budget on them. They never have bad hair days or experience the blemishes of normal people, giving them an air of purity and beauty.

Divinities tend to focus on one particular thing or suite of interconnected ideas, this is called a domain. Divinities are obsessed with their domain almost to the point of mania. A Divinity with the domain of war will always be looking for a fight, while a Divinity with the domain of revelry will always be trying to start a party. This focus on their domain is passed down to any children they may have, which can be a problem when they don't want to follow in their parents' footsteps. Divinities act a lot like Greek gods; humans writ large. They are of great melancholies and mirth and always feel emotions passionately. A Divinity always can tell when someone is talking about them and wants to be talked about as much as possible. Belief is a lot like popularity in that regard, and Divinities are the cool kids in high school. If they aren't, they're that one kid that wants to be popular really badly and will do whatever it takes to get there. In the age of instant celebrity, Divinities are even more focused on getting noticed.

Divinities don't think they're better than normal people, they know they're better than normal people. Even the Divinities who aren't aware of their nature feel special or different. Normally, this manifests with self-confidence and unshakable conviction, but at times it can become full blown egomania. Some Divinities who hail from Paradiso tend to prefer to be in Paradiso, seeing the other worlds as somewhat beneath them. Others love the various worlds and spend a great deal of time traveling between them. Divinities who hail from Avalon or our world have love for the world they live in, but there's always that yearning for something greater. A Divinity's feelings towards the other supernaturals depends on the specific example: some hate Demons and Vampires, others respect Werewolves and Fae, yet others only care for spirits or mundane humans.

Demigods: The Gods Must Be Crazy

Demigods are a catch-all term for non-servitor beings that have divine power, but are not gods themselves. The term usually applies to the offspring of a god and a mortal, although any former mortal who gains divine power qualifies. Demigods have the domain of their divine parents and tend to resemble them in aspect. A Demigod of death looks like a goth kid, a Demigod of beauty is stunning. From a young age, Demigods are drawn to their parent's domain and surround themselves with it. Some Demigods rebel against their divine nature and try to carve out their own personality, but they are always fighting against their nature. Demigods always believe they have a higher purpose, what that purpose is depends on the person. They are naturally magnetic and tend to attract hangers-on and followers. Oddly enough, Demigods don't often want to be worshiped and are content with just being believed in. Having someone believe in a Demigod is enough belief to sustain them, so they go out of their way to be reliable and fair. Some Demigods do go mad with the power of their birthright and start cults of personality, or just start plain old cults. Demigods look like normal humans, with some tell to reveal their heritage. This can be anything from a birthmark to heterochromia to an inner light.

Demigods, as Divinities, are naturally gifted at Astral magic. They always seem to know where they're going and where they need to be. Demigods have perfect senses of direction and can find places with supernatural skill. Demigods also can suss out the supernatural by reading auras, which makes them useful for finding and detecting supernatural activity. Aside from their Astral magics, Demigods are supernaturally charismatic, able to make people think what they want them to think. They can do this covertly with suggestions or overtly by warping the person's mind. They can also heal from wounds quicker than normal. All Demigods, regardless of their domain are supernaturally strong and fast, as befitting someone greater than human.

Demigod power is generally hereditary. The term does come from the mating of a human and a god, after all. A Demigod and a human almost always creates a Demigod; a Demigod and another supernatural creature has a 50/50 shot of making a Demigod or the supernatural in question. A Demigod can suppress their nature if they get with a normal human, but the offspring have a higher than normal chance of becoming Talents. God blood can go dormant if diluted enough, but exposure to enough mana can kickstart it again. Endowment is the next most likely way to become a Demigod; the endowment generally requires performing nigh-impossible tasks for the god in question. Spontaneously becoming a Demigod is only talked about in whispers amongst the mortal magical community; if anyone has pulled it off, they're not telling.

    Demigod Starting Powers

    - Inherent College: Astral -
  • Aura Assensing (Basic Astral)
  • Know the Path (Basic Astral)

    - Basic Powers -
  • Sweet Words (Basic Fascination)
  • Hundred Foot Step (Basic Swiftness)
  • Unearthly Strength (Basic Empowerment)
  • Rejuvenation (Basic Conjuration)

    -Advanced Powers -
  • Conditioning (Advanced Fascination)
  • God Hand (Advanced Empowerment)

Angels: Heavenly Heralds

Angels are servants of the gods, created by the gods. Literally built to serve, they will do whatever their god asks of them. This isn't to say they're mindless slaves; they think and question and have free will, but serving their god is the purpose for their existence. They almost exclusively live in Paradiso, either in the territory their god has carved out or in the between places where the dead gods dwell. Some Angels end up in Avalon or our world, usually due to a summoning gone wrong or as penance for misdeeds. A few even like it there. Angels have a strong connection to their creators and take great comfort in that. Being needed is a heady feeling and Angels are always needed. Angels without a god are like cats without a master: feral and rambling. The Angels of dead gods are pathetic things, pining for glory that will never return. Some gods take pity on them and induct them into their retinue, but this is rare. Angels are generally genial and agreeable sorts and like helping people. Positive emotion gives them a rush, so they try to make as many people feel positive as possible. An Angel's focus is legendary; if tasked with a mission they will stop at nothing to complete it. Angels are all well-toned, beautiful humanoids. They tend to have normal human skin colors, although some have metallic skin. All angels have eyes the color of gems and precious metals Angels are either bald or have long, flowing hair. They are naturally radiant, although they can turn it on and off at will.

Angels are naturally gifted with Astral magic. They can detect the supernatural as well as create warding circles. Angels have a more advanced grasp of Astral magic than other Divinities, and can dispel other magics with their power. Angels are able to fly, either through wings or through magical power; many Angels get around exclusively through flying. Angels do not feel pain or fatigue, nor do they need to eat, sleep or breathe. This allows them to focus completely and unerringly on the tasks their gods give them. Angels can also make commands with the force of their god behind them, or command the attention of a room.

Angels are created spontaneously as a general rule. Gods create them from mana and their own power, much like a spirit creates an Elf. Hereditary Angels happen very rarely, but they do happen. Sometimes an Angel will fall in love with a mortal and create a half-angel. Angels don't get the opportunity to do this often and only do it with the truly devout. Angelic endowment is also rare, primarily happening to ascended Specters.

    Angel Starting Powers

    - Inherent College: Astral -
  • Aura Assensing (Basic Astral)
  • Binding Circle (Basic Astral)

    - Basic Powers -
  • Permanence of Stone (Basic Endurance)
  • Dispel (Basic Astral)
  • Command (Basic Clout)
  • Charm (Basic Fascination)

    -Advanced Powers -
  • Flight (Advanced Astral)
  • Dauntless (Advanced Endurance)

Awakened: Born Again

Awakened are supernaturals who can access their past lives via reincarnation. Reincarnated mortals are considered Divinities due to the religious significance of having multiple lives. Awakened usually come into their power via great stress, magical exposure, or enlightenment. Awakened are destined to awaken, and naturally have divine magic within them. This makes them akin to Demigods without the god part. Awakened naturally attract ghosts, as their ability to reincarnate inspires jealousy amongst them. Awakened remember a variable amount of past lives: sometimes one, sometimes many, sometimes all. These memories come in fits and spurts, with the memories being more scattershot the more they have. Running into someone from their past lives can forcibly jog the memory of an Awakened, and they run into people from past lives a lot. Past loves and past foes are extremely likely to be encountered and an Awakened's life will tend to play out a greatest hits of their past lives. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it and until an Awakened not only awakens, but realizes they've awakened, they often do. Awakened can (and often are) found via prophecy and divination. Knowing where an Awakened is going to spawn is of interest to certain supernaturals and groups, who actively search them out. Awakened look like normal humans because they are (physically) normal humans.

Awakened are naturally gifted with Astral magic, as Divinities often are. This manifests itself in aura sensing and the ability to communicate without words. Awakened can find the nature of a person just by looking at them and can understand the history of an object by touch. When asked to explain these powers, Awakened say they can see the souls of things. Awakened have a preternatural sense for danger and are able to see into the future to a limited degree. Awakened can beckon ghosts to them with a thought and communicate with the spirits. They use this ability to gain insight that their previous lives may not grant. Awakened make great mediums, and tend to be sought after by mortal and supernatural alike for their skills. Awakened have supernaturally keen senses, allowing them to see everything in this world and the next.

Awakened are almost solely spontaneous. A mortal person with the right triggers just becomes Awakened. Hereditary Awakened are incredibly rare, as enlightenment isn't something that can be passed on through blood. If two Awakened with shared histories get together, the chance of their child awakening is slightly higher. Awakened endowment doesn't happen per se; an Awakened can provide the necessary influx of mana to get someone else to awaken, but they don't provide the awakening themselves.

    Awakened Starting Powers

    - Inherent College: Astral -
  • Aura Assensing (Basic Astral)
  • Message (Basic Astral)

    - Basic Powers -
  • Beckon Ghost (Basic Theurgy)
  • Gaze Upon The Heart (Basic Clarity)
  • Enhanced Senses (Basic Clarity)
  • Commune (Basic Theurgy)

    -Advanced Powers -
  • The Silent Speak (Advanced Clarity)
  • Precognition (Advanced Astral)

Demons: Hell Is Other People

Demons are the denizens of Inferno, where every land of the dead and place that could be called a hell reside. Inferno exists deep in the center of Avalon's "earth" and it isn't the nicest of places. Some Demons never see the light of Avalon, much less that of our world. This does not sit well with them and many try to escape. Homesickness (or the agents of a more powerful demon) eventually gets them all and they return back to Inferno. Demons are nothing but not industrious, and try to make the absolute most of Inferno. They have cities, kingdoms and nations in mimicry of our world and Avalon. In these mirror worlds, Demons are top of the food chain, and they boss around the ghosts and zombies that comprise the other denizens of Inferno. They are immortal and don't get sick or old, springing forth fully grown from the depths of Inferno. Demons are very varied, tending to great beauty or great ugliness. They don't take much stock in appearances, preferring to rank each other by personal power. Power is the most important part of Demon society and might makes right. Lesser Demons suffer this as best they can, but long to be outside of Inferno. Unfortunately for them, their way out usually comes as the hands of an Invoker or other supernatural, who then pressgangs them into service. Demons are naturally gifted in Evocation, giving them mastery of elements and time.

Demons are not wicked, hateful creatures that cannot be parlayed with or talked to. Honestly, they're not much different from humans. Demons have trouble with empathy and are all at least mildly sociopathic. They have no problems with lying or misleading people, thinking that if you get suckered it's your own fault. Demons will take any shortcut to success and do any dirty trick to get ahead, but they expect the same of anyone they deal with. Playing dirty pool is how a Demon survives and thrives in Inferno, so they're used to it. They do hold deals sacred and a deal reneged is carte blanche to mess with the dirty dealer. Demons always leave loopholes and outs in their deals so as not to invoke the wrath of their peers if they don't intend to fulfill their end of a bargain. Demon society is a clusterfuck of favors, deals and shifting loyalties amongst the weak and the strong, so every Demon grows up to be mercenary.

Demons are happy with being Demons and wouldn't rather be anything else. They're not happy with living in Inferno and those that can do leave, but that has nothing to do with them. Demons tend to get a bad rap in the supernatural community as either servants or agents provocateur, so they tend to keep to themselves. They see Vampires as kindred spirits of a sort, but (not so) secretly envy the good PR Vampires have. Demons that can tend to hide their nature, more out of a sense of self preservation than shame. Many Demons remember the days when they were kill on sight; naturally, they're still wary. Younger Demons are more likely to reveal and revel in their demonic natures outside of Inferno.

Fiends: Wicked

Fiends are the most common Demon race in Inferno and the most encountered Demon race in other worlds. Fiends are very much like humans only they're kind of dicks. They get upset easily, have monstrous tempers and have generally caustic personalities. They don't mean to be, it's just the nature of being a Demon and living in Inferno. Fiends don't suffer fools gladly and have a low tolerance for foolishness, which make them naturally abrasive. Once one gets past the negative traits, Fiends are actually rather fun to be around. Natural hedonists and pranksters, Fiends love to have fun when they can. Often this fun is at someone else's expense. Fiends love to mess around with humans and often make them the butt of their jokes. They also like abducting humans and bringing them to Inferno because misery loves company. Fiends are human sized as a general rule and have pointed ears like Fae. For some Fiends, the physical differences between them and humans stop there. For others, things get weird. Fiends can grow horns, fangs and a tail. Their skin color ranges from normal human to reds, blues and blacks. More serious differences include reverse jointed, bird or goat legs. Extra fingers and toes are somewhat common, as are forked or unusually long tongues. Some Fiends grow extra pairs of arms.

Fiends are naturally gifted in Evocation, able to control and endure the elements. Most fiends specialize in fire, although there are those who use ice, earth and plants. All Fiends are resistant to fire and cold. Control over time makes Fiends some of the most agile supernaturals, combine this with their ability to slow down time and inability to stay dead and they are a dangerous supernatural to fight. Fiends can climb anything and balance on things that should not be able to support their weight, a skill they picked up navigating Inferno. A Fiend can poison the hearts of men, turning them against friends and sapping their will. Fiends can hyperfocus their senses to filter out distractions, useful in the harsh environments of Inferno.

Fiends spawn unbidden from the depths of Inferno, so spontaneous generation is the most common Fiend generation. Greater Fiends grant endowments on willing humans much like Fae do. Humans that grant Fiends a vacation from Inferno (or bind Fiends into service) are chosen to become Fiends. Relations with humans or other supernaturals are the only way Fiends can generate more of them through heredity. Such half-fiends have varying degrees of angst depending on their non-Fiend parent's culture. For example: human half-fiends are constantly torn between their humanity and their darker nature, while Svartalf cambions don't really care.

    Fiend Starting Powers

    - Inherent College: Evocation -
  • Elemental Control (Basic Evocation)
  • Endure Elements (Basic Evocation)

    - Basic Powers -
  • Spider Climb (Basic Empowerment)
  • Alacrity (Basic Swiftness)
  • Dampen Senses (Basic Clarity)
  • Curdle Heart (Basic Glamour)

    -Advanced Powers -
  • Stasis (Advanced Evocation)
  • Revive (Advanced Endurance)

The Fallen: Hell's Angels

Whether it is due to earning the ire of their gods, rebellion or simple boredom with the ways of Paradiso, the Fallen are angels who make Inferno their home. The Fallen are warped by the magics of Inferno, making them a creature unlike their original forms. Fallen lose all urges to serve, preferring to rule in hell rather than serve in heaven. This makes them look for power and prestige in Infernal society however they can. Fallen have very loose morals, but a strong code of honor and fair play; they never go back on their word and have ways of ensuring others do the same. This makes them the noblest of demons and invaluable mediators of Inferno. They use this position of trustworthiness to gain favors, the shadow currency of Inferno. Fallen are tall and share their angelic counterparts' beauty, but lose their wings in exchange for horns and a tail. Some Fallen do regrow their wings, but they resemble bat wings more often than not. This leads to some confusion with the Lost, which led to Lost being considered demons in olden times. If they do regain bird wings, the feathers are always pitch black. Fallen can range from very pale to very dark, but otherwise look like humans.

Once an Angel has become a Fallen, they are a true demon. This grants them affinity with Evocation. All Fallen can endure the elements and gain dominion over them, at the expense of their Astral magic. Fallen retain the indomitability and endurance of their angelic brethren. Fallen are supernaturally persuasive, able to charm, frighten and command with fell magic. A Fallen loses their ability to fly (you can't fly with wings you don't have), instead gaining the ability to revive themselves from Inferno-stuff.

Fallen are made when an Angel has a Demon break the connection to their god or gods. This is done via an endowment from the Demon. Most of the time, this is trading one loyalty for another, but demons are more hands-off with their followers than gods tend to be. Fallen that are born do not need to be endowed, but if a Fallen and a Divinity have a child, there's a chance the child will be an Angel instead. This happens even if the Divinity isn't an Angel. Spontaneous Fallen are incredibly rare; it is believed if an Angel spent enough time in Inferno they would become a Fallen, but nobody has been able to confirm this. Demons claim this to be true, and take great pleasure in corrupting Angels. Angels stay away from Inferno for this reason, unless they want to become Fallen.

    Fallen Starting Powers

    - Inherent College: Evocation -
  • Elemental Control (Basic Evocation)
  • Endure Elements (Basic Evocation)

    - Basic Powers -
  • Resilience of Stone (Basic Endurance)
  • Charm (Basic Fascination)
  • Command (Basic Clout)
  • Frighten (Basic Fascination)

    -Advanced Powers -
  • Dauntless (Advanced Endurance)
  • Revive (Advanced Endurance)

Ifrit: Make A Wish

Borne of smokeless fire and malice, Ifrit are the mystic viziers of Inferno. Ifrit were never human and as such, are the least personable of the demonic types, or any supernaturals for that matter. They see everything in terms of cost and benefit and won't do anything that they see as unfruitful. An Ifrit prizes knowledge and utility over all things, and believe wholeheartedly that knowledge is power. Ifrit will hoard secrets, magical knowledge and blackmail, using them to gain advantages over others. This makes them not well liked, even by other Demons. They definitely serve a purpose, for a price of course. Invokers and other supernaturals try to make deals with Ifrit for their stores of knowledge. This is annoying to Ifrit, but some of them enter symbiotic relationships with those who summoned them. Ifrit are gold, red or black in eye and skin color and completely hairless. A fire burns where hair would grow on their heads. This fire flows like hair would and is shaped like hair is. Some Ifrit have this fire burn on their brow, leaving them bald. This fire never goes out without magical assistance.

Ifrit are naturally skilled at Evocation, as all Demons are. The Ifrit can control the elements and survive the elements, as well as control the weather and summon raw elements from nothing. They do not need to eat, sleep or breathe. They are able to go incorporeal and invisible, making them excellent spies and saboteurs. They know the natures of men and magic, knowledge which they use to get what they want. These powers have gotten them mistaken for spirits; unlike spirits they are able to fully interact with the world.

Ifrit, like Fiends, are born from Inferno spontaneously. Ifrit rarely mate with other supernaturals, but they can be convinced (or compelled) to do so with the right incentive. Trading for knowledge of a mystical or mundane nature is the most effective way to convince an Ifrit to pass on their power through heredity, but this is an outside chance at best. Ifrit are never made through endowment; they're either spontaneously created or born.

    Ifrit Starting Powers

    - Inherent College: Evocation -
  • Elemental Control (Basic Evocation)
  • Endure Elements (Basic Evocation)

    - Basic Powers -
  • Resilience of Stone (Basic Endurance)
  • Gaze Upon The Heart (Basic Clarity)
  • Aura Assensing (Basic Astral)
  • Veil (Basic Glamour)

    -Advanced Powers -
  • Ethereal Form (Advanced Enchantment)
  • Elemental Rage (Advanced Evocation)


Zombies are the lowest supernatural creature on the totem pole. Undead (and not the sexy kind, like Vampires), they're used as tools by necromancers and seen as a plague by everyone else. Zombies hunger for flesh and enjoy the taste of brains as much as a soulless monster can. This makes them extremely dangerous to any form of life, especially non-magical humans.

Depending on how a Zombie is made, it is either one of the Walking Dead, a Ghoul or a Revenant. Whatever it is, it's usually not playable. Walking Dead are near mindless and Ghouls are consumed by rage. Revenants are the closest to playable, but they do need to eat human flesh and brains, which may not be cool for everyone playing Spellcraft. Zombies are usually built off of human baseline, but there are animal zombies too.

Walking Dead

The Walking Dead are the zombies people from the eighties think of when they think zombie. Slow, plodding and incapable of higher thought, they're used as simple machines and beasts of burden by necromancers. Without a necromancer or other supernatural giving them orders, they shamble around and try to eat the nearest person to them. The Walking Dead naturally (unnaturally?) occur within heavy bleeds to Inferno, as the energies of death invigorate corpses with new life. This leads to armies of zombies if left unchecked, which is never a good scene.

The Walking Dead have no Charisma or Logic score and automatically fail any test needing those stats. Their Agility drops by two (minimum 1), their Willpower drops to one and their Strength increases by two. The Walking Dead can't run or move much faster than a walk, but they are tireless and can cover great distances because they never tire. The Walking Dead can't make more zombies, but they tend to be animated by Infernal magic that can.

    Walking Dead Starting Powers

    - Basic Powers -
  • Resilience of Stone (Basic Endurance)

    -Advanced Powers -
  • Dauntless (Advanced Endurance)


Ghouls are monsters who hunger for human flesh. They are equivalent to the "fast zombie", popular in works such as 28 Days Later and Resident Evil in both movie and game form. Ghouls are relentless and tireless, but can be wounded and slowed. Individually, they are much more dangerous than the Walking Dead; fortunately they aren't spawned in the same numbers. It is not possible to parley with Ghouls; not because they're unintelligent like the Walking Dead, but because rage and hunger are all they know. It is much harder to control a Ghoul than a Walking Dead due to this fact, but necromancers try anyway.

A Ghoul has their Strength increased by two. They lose their Charisma, but their Willpower does not drop and they keep their Logic score. Ghouls can plan and use tools, but their all-consuming rage prevents them from doing so without strong necromantic command. Ghouls have deadly saliva; if you're lucky it'll just kill you. If you aren't, then the Ghoul was a carrier for the Z-Virus and you'll rise up as a Ghoul yourself. Ghouls are smart enough to fight with tactics, and gain a Combat skill of 2.

If a Ghoul with the Z-Virus is neutralized, the virus goes dormant in any infected. Ghouls are constantly enraged with hunger and will seek out humans or living supernaturals to eat immediately. If they can't find humans, they'll eat undead, including other Ghouls and Walking Dead. A member of the Walking Dead infected with the Z-Virus can spread the Z-Virus, but does not become a Ghoul.

    Ghoul Starting Powers

    - Basic Powers -
  • Resilience of Stone (Basic Endurance)
  • Unearthly Strength (Basic Empowerment)
  • Spider Climb (Basic Empowerment)
  • Long Kiss Goodnight (Basic Conjuration)


A Revenant is special amongst zombies in that, outside of being dead, they're essentially normal people. Normal people with incredibly pale skin and dark rings around their eyes, but normal people nonetheless. Also unique to Revenants is the fact that their zombiedom is reversible. Revenants are the main character zombies and the closest to playable because they are the same as they were amongst the living (dead). Revenants actually get the full monty of supernatural power, making them an attractive alternative character option.

There are two things that make playing a Revenant difficult: their craving for flesh and their off-putting demeanor. Everyone, human or supernatural, recognizes something's wrong with a Revenant. Mothers will shield their children from them, priests will make the sign of the cross at them and animals will freak out around them. Revenants smell of the grave and rotting meat. They also need to feast on human flesh and have a craving for brains. They can subsist on corpses, but the urge to crack someone's skull open for the morsels inside is always a powerful one. It is due to this that most supernaturals want Revenants either cured or destroyed. Revenants who retain the magic of their life tend to try to flee to the Avalonian underground or Inferno, where they're treated with something approaching respect.

A Revenant has their Strength, Intuition and Willpower raised by two. If a Revenant hasn't eaten human or supernatural flesh at least once in 24 hours, they must make a Hard (TN 20) Willpower check every day or flip out like a Ghoul until they have fed. All Revenants carry the Z-Virus with their Long Kiss Goodnight.

    Revenant Starting Powers

    - Inherent Magic: Endurance -
  • Resilience of Stone (Basic Endurance)
  • Unearthly Vigor (Basic Endurance)

    - Basic Powers -
  • Spider Climb (Basic Empowerment)
  • Unearthly Strength (Basic Empowerment)
  • Enhanced Senses (Basic Clarity)
  • Long Kiss Goodnight (Basic Conjuration)

    -Advanced Powers -
  • Dauntless (Advanced Endurance)
  • Spirit Summons (Advanced Theurgy)

Magical Beasts:

Magical Beasts are the monsters of myth and legend. Mostly animal with animal intelligence, there are some monsters with humanoid shapes and near-human intelligence. Magical Beasts are sometimes animals turned up to eleven and sometimes things that defy description. They reside almost totally in Avalon, only coming to our world through bleeds and summons.


Chimera are beasts that look nothing like Earthly animals. Sometimes this is because they are larger and nastier than Earthly animals, sometimes this is because they resemble Pokemon drawn by a death metal cover artist, sometimes it's because they're chimera in the classical sense and are the fusion of two or more Earthly beasts. Chimera are generally animalistic, although some reach human-like intelligence. They don't attack unless threatened or compelled and many Avalonians attempt to tame the beasts. Examples of Chimera are pegasi and unicorns, as well as the titular goat/snake/lion thing of legend. Dragons are also Chimera and the most well known Chimera with human like intelligence.

Chimera are not and were not human, so they aren't made with human stat arrays. They do have a Power score and can gain more Power with age. Some with the ability to do so even learn magic. Chimera are about as big as a wolf at the absolute smallest, and can grow very large. Once they reach a certain point, they stop being Chimera and start being Kaiju. Provided here are the ranges of stats a Chimera can have.

S: 4-10, A: 2-8 I: 3-6 L: 1-5 W: 5 C: 1
Skills: Athletics 5, Survival 4, Perception 3, Combat 3. They get two other Physical or Social skills of their choice at 2.

    Chimera Starting Powers

    - Basic Powers -
  • Beast Tongue (Basic Fascination)
  • Rejuvenation (Basic Conjuration)

Chimera have a Power of one and can select two Basic and one Advanced Power of their choice. Treat a Chimera with a higher Power as you would a player character Swimming With Sharks for the purposes of adding new Powers.


Sometimes, under the power of Avalon, an animal or Chimera will get very, very large. When that happens, they are classified as a Kaiju. Kaiju literally means "strange creature", but strange creatures in Spellcraft are Chimera or Goblins. Kaiju in Japanese movie parlance means something that is really, really big, which is what Spellcraft uses. Kaiju are naturally magical, which is how they can get so big without the square cube law coming into effect. Oddly enough, a Kaiju does not have the ability to make themselves larger. They can gain all sorts of other fun abilities (breathing fire is popular), but they cannot increase their size.

Kaiju make excellent boss monsters because they're absolutely fucking massive. Just finding something that can hurt these behemoths is an adventure in and of itself, and all supernaturals within an area will stop what they're doing and throw down if a Kaiju comes a-stompin'.

S: 30 A: 2 I:4 L: 1 W: 6 C: 1
Skills: Animal Ken 3; Athletics 4; Perception 4; Survival 4; Intimidation 4


Goblins are the missing link between Magical Beasts and Fae. Humanoid and at or slightly below human intelligence, Goblins are the catch-all term for Avalonians that don't fall into one of the other categories. They vary in size from tiny pixies to great big trolls and tend to live amongst themselves. The Fae welcome them in their cities and towns, but tend to think of themselves as better. Some Goblins are little better than beasts and get exploited by the full bodied Fae.

Provided are some sample Goblins for use:

Pixies are small, luminous nature sprites. Very simpleminded and easily distracted, they congregate around magically powerful natural points. Mages use Pixies to find ley lines and to detect the presence of magic. Pixies have no Power.

S: 1 A: 4-8 I: 2 L: 1 W: 1-5 C: 3-6
Skills: Animal Ken 4, Perception 3, Survival 3, Empathy 3

    Pixie Starting Powers

    - Basic Powers -
  • Veil (Basic Glamour)
  • Aura Assensing (Basic Astral)

    - Advanced Powers -
  • Flight (Advanced Astral)

Goblins are the standard and name-givers of the goblin class. These creatures have many names and many purposes, but they do share a few things in common. Goblins are all shorter than most Fae, rarely getting over a foot. Goblins are simple and naive, but incredibly skilled in certain aspects, making them idiot savants of a sort. Goblins all have non-standard skin colors, usually green or gray or earthy brown. Goblins are either very hairy or almost hairless; never in the middle of those two extremes. They can all recognize other goblins regardless of appearance and can communicate instinctively with them.

Goblins are used as craftsmen and serfs by the Fae, a fact which some of them resent. A particularly clever Goblin can make something more of themselves via their skills, although they will always be looked down on. This gives some Goblins an inferiority complex and others a Napoleon complex. The latter Goblins find like minded souls and, every so often, attempt to overthrow the Fae's dominion over Avalon. There have been many quashed Goblin rebellions and uprisings in Avalon, but the Goblins have earned themselves basic rights amongst the Fae.

S: 1-4 A 2-7 I: 1-6 L: 1-5 W: 1-4 C: 1-6
Skills: One Technical Skill at 5, One of any skill at 4, Empathy 3, Stealth 3, Larceny 3, Artisan 3

    Goblin Starting Powers

    - Basic Powers -
  • Seven League Step (Basic Swiftness)
  • Alacrity (Basic Swiftness)
  • Veil (Basic Glamour)

    - Advanced Powers -
  • Telepathy (Advanced Clarity)

Goblins usually have a Power of zero, although there are exceptions.

Ogres are the enforcers of the Goblin class. Nasty, brutish, and quite large; an angry Ogre is not to be trifled with. This is all the more dangerous since Ogres are very quick to anger and easy to manipulate. Goblins tend to use Ogres as heavies to get what they want if their own talents prove insufficient. Ogre society exults martial prowess, so all Ogres are skilled fighters. Humans and other supernaturals seek out Ogres to learn from. Even Fae will, though good luck getting them to admit it.

Ogres have muscles that defy human limits and a generally inhuman appearance. Outside of that, they look like anything from giant humans to D&D Orcs to grey skinned oni with horns and tusks. Ogres, like Goblins, can tell members of their race as their own. Ogres are naturally and constantly under the effects of a Giant Size effect which they can never turn off. Ogres tend to have a Power of 1, although there are more powerful ones. Before factoring in Giant Size or any stat gains from a higher Power, an Ogre's stats are:

S: 5-10 A: 1-5 I: 1-5 L: 1-3 W: 3-8 C: 1-3
Skills: Combat 5, Survival 4, Perception 4, Artisan 1

    Ogre Starting Powers

    - Inherent Magic: Empowerment and Endurance -
  • Unearthly Strength (Basic Empowerment)
  • Spider Climb (Basic Empowerment)
  • Unearthly Vigor (Basic Endurance)

    - Basic Powers -
  • Frighten (Basic Fascination)
  • Rejuvenation (Basic Conjuration)

    - Advanced Powers -
  • Revive (Advanced Endurance)
  • Giant Size (Advance Empowerment)
  • God Hand (Advanced Empowerment)

Ogres have a Power of 1 usually, but more powerful examples do exist.


Will o' Wisps

Will o' Wisps are the leftover scraps of a soul that's passed on. They have no real physical form, instead appearing as shadows or colored orbs with ghostly smoke rising from them. A Will o' Wisp can barely remember its past life if it's lucky; most float aimlessly, attracted to places of death. Necromantically inclined supernaturals use them as spies, magic detectors and to add ambiance to a lair.

Will o' Wisps try to interact with the real world and fail because they're not corporeal and don't have important things like hands. All Will o' Wisps have a Strength, Logic, Charisma and Willpower of 1, regardless of what they had in life. They also have no Power score. Will o' Wisps cannot turn off their Ethereal Form. They count as physical in Inferno, but that doesn't really matter much.

    Will o' Wisp Starting Powers

    - Basic Powers -
  • Astral Assensing (Basic Astral)
  • Resilience of Stone (Basic Endurance)

    - Advanced Powers -
  • Ethereal Form (Advanced Enchantment)


When a person (usually a supernatural) dies, they may leave behind a Spectre; a full-bodied ghost with all the memories of the past life. A Spectre looks like a translucent version of the person, sometimes with their form changed by their cause of death. All Spectres are specific people and tend to stick around due to unfinished business or a lingering grudge over their death. If a Spectre is able to finish their business or avenge their deaths, they can either choose to fade out and cease existing or continue on as any other supernatural would.

Spectres are found in all worlds, haunting places important to them. Every Spectre has a fetter or fetters: personally significant items. These fetters can be important people, heirloom or treasured objects, or even their own corpse. If a Spectre's fetters are destroyed, the Spectre degrades into a Will o' Wisp before fading out entirely. Spectres who have succeeded at what they were compelled to do can form new fetters based on their new life. Spectres cannot turn off their Ethereal Form and as such, cannot interact with the physical world. The exception to this is in Inferno, where they can interact with things normally.

    Spectre Starting Powers

    - Basic Powers -
  • Astral Assensing (Basic Astral)
  • Resilience of Stone (Basic Endurance)
  • Alacrity (Basic Swiftness)
  • Beckon Ghost (Basic Theurgy)

    - Advanced Powers -
  • Ethereal Form (Advanced Enchantment)
  • Telekinesis (Advanced Evocation)


Poltergeists are swarms of mad, rage-filled Will o' Wisps. These Poltergeists sweep over other Will o' Wisps and Spectres, rending them down to nothing but fuel for the fire. Poltergeists remember nothing of their past life and know nothing but to wail and destroy. They are either rooted to specific place or become a roving storm of madness and misery. Either way, some atrocity makes them and finding a way to provide succor to that atrocity quells the spiritual mass.

Poltergeists have a Charisma and Logic of zero and cannot turn off their Ethereal Form power. Larger gatherings of Poltergeists have greater Strength and Willpower.

    Poltergeist Starting Powers

    - Basic Powers -
  • Astral Assensing (Basic Astral)
  • Resilience of Stone (Basic Endurance)
  • Alacrity (Basic Swiftness)
  • Unearthly Strength (Basic Empowerment)

    - Advanced Powers -
  • Ethereal Form (Advanced Enchantment)
  • Telekinesis (Advanced Evocation)
  • God Hand (Advanced Empowerment)


Spirits are the mana-infused personifications of various natural and human ideas. Prevalent in Avalon and made in the same way Avalon was made, Spirits are physical concepts. Not every object has a Spirit, but there's a Spirit for every thing. For example, not every blade of grass has a Spirit, but there are nature spirits that exist due to the idea of verdant grass and growth.


Kami are spirits of the elements. This includes the classical Western elements of fire, water, wind and earth, Wu Xing's wood and metal, the Japanese sun, moon and void, and more video-gamey elements like lightning and ice. Kami of more modern elements exist, like smog, acid rain and radiation, but are looked down upon by more traditional shamans. Basically, if it could be considered a part of the world, it's got a Kami. More esoteric Kami exist, as the nature of man has increased the number of things that are a part of the world. So there are such things as trickster Kami and data Kami.

An individual Kami is much like a Will o' Wisp: a barely sentient ball of glowing energy. Much like Will o' Wisps, these individual Kami can combine like Voltron. Unlike Will o' Wisps, the result of this is a humanoid or animal creature known as an elemental instead of the orgy of ethereal destruction that is a Poltergeist. Elementals are found naturally in Avalon, but must be created in the material world by summoning Kami together. Elementals are not the sharpest tools in the shed, but they can understand and execute complex tasks. Unfortunately, they cannot interact with the material world without help. Kami and elementals are only physical in Avalon and cannot turn their Ethereal Form off.

An individual Kami has a Strength, Logic, Charisma and Willpower of one. An elemental has stats comparable to a baseline human or the animal it takes the form of.

    Kami Starting Powers
    - Basic Powers -
  • Astral Assensing (Basic Astral)
  • Resilience of Stone (Basic Endurance)
  • Control Element (Basic Evocation)

    - Advanced Powers -
  • Ethereal Form (Advanced Enchantment)


Muses are ideas given form by mana and the will of the collective unconscious. They take the form of translucent, ethereal men and women, usually wearing togas. To actually make a Muse out of a loose collection of ideas, a supernatural has to invoke the specific Muse by naming it. Once that is done, the Muse can be summoned and used by anyone who knows its name. Muses have access to the knowledge of all the worlds, but are focused on the expertise they were created for. As a Muse's creator grows in knowledge, so does the Muse. This makes wizened Muses highly sought after by mages and Ifrit. Muses are used to inspire, teach and advise and any mage of note has at least one on call.

Muses cannot turn their Ethereal Form off, and are not physical in any of the worlds. An idea can be made into something tangible, but is not tangible itself.

Muses have the following stats:
S: 1 A:3 I: 3-8 L: 5-10 W: 3-8 C: 3-8
Skills: Artisan 5 Expression 5 Research 5

    Muse Starting Powers
    - Basic Powers -
  • Astral Assensing (Basic Astral)
  • Resilience of Stone (Basic Endurance)
  • Attract (Basic Fascination)
  • Suggestion (Basic Clout)

    - Advanced Powers -
  • Ethereal Form (Advanced Enchantment)
  • The Silent Speak (Advanced Clarity)


Archetypes are the grand concepts of the human collective unconscious given form via mana. Created over millenia of stories and ideas coalescing, the Archetypes first existed in the material world as non-interactive concepts. Eventually, they relocated to Avalon, where they were given form and strength. Archetypes are able to reshape the land of Avalon at their whims and hold physical court there, leading scholars to believe that Avalon is in fact the creation of the human collective unconscious. The Archetypes are inscrutable, multifaceted and initially amorphous. In order to understand them better, mages gave them names and classifications based on the Major Arcana of the Tarot. This led to a feedback loop where the Archetype would act more in tune with the specific reading of the Tarot card the more people believed that was how they should act. Because of this, the Tarot classification is the common one for Archetypes.

Would-be mages and archmages alike call upon the power of the Archetypes to grant them boons. For those who have not become full-fledged supernaturals, the Archetypes will deign to grant them a portion of their power through an artifact or through bargaining. Given the powers of the Archetypes and their equivalency to primal human concepts, they have been considered gods or god-forms. The gods of Paradiso have the same suite of powers that Archetypes have as well. Because of this, supernatural scholars posit that the gods of Paradiso are actually Archetypes that have taken on the guise of various human deities. The gods are tight-lipped on this, but it is a fair assumption to make.

For an Archetype, assume all tens for stats, then divvy up ten points as you see fit. For skills, give them any five at seven. An Archetype is physical in Avalon, Inferno and Paradiso, but cannot turn off their Ethereal Form in the material world.

    Archetype Starting Powers
    - Basic Powers -
  • Astral Assensing (Basic Astral)
  • Resilience of Stone (Basic Endurance)
  • Charm (Basic Fascination)
  • Frighten (Basic Fascination)
  • Command (Basic Clout)

    - Advanced Powers -
  • Ethereal Form (Advanced Enchantment)
  • Regal Bearing (Advanced Fascination)
  • Unwavering Authority (Advanced Clout)
  • Dauntless (Advanced Endurance)
  • Imbue Object (Advanced Theurgy)

    - Elder Powers -
  • Broadcasting (Elder Clout)
  • Reshape the World (Elder Glamour)
  • Invulnerability (Elder Endurance)

Each Archetype also has one Basic, one Advanced and one Elder Power of your choice. depending on how you characterize the Archetype.

Genius Loci

Genius Loci are similar to Spirits, only instead of being born from physical or humanistic concepts, they are made of human artifice. A Genius Loci is an object first and foremost. They are essentially spirits created with a function and a purpose by mankind, as opposed to Spirits which fill an anthropomorphic role. Genius Loci exist primarily in the material world, although there's nothing stopping them from existing in any of the other worlds.


Tsukumogami are object spirits. Object spirits are the personality and consciousness of a mana-infused object. There are two ways to make a Tsukumogami: through magic or spontaneously. Magically created Tsukumogami are made by mages who infuse an object with sufficient mana to give it consciousness. The more venerable an object is, the less mana it takes to do this. A mage can also add a spirit or a ghost to the object to give it a specific personality. Spontaneous Tsukumogami are made when an object soaks up enough mana to become awakened on its own, usually after being in a bleed for a long time. Sometimes spontaneous Tsukumogami are made when a Kami, Will o' Wisp or Spectre possesses an object.

A special kind of Tsukumogami is an animate: an object spirit with a specially crafted humanoid or animal shaped vessel. This includes golems, gargoyles, homunculi and more science fantasy concepts like androids. These Tsukumogami require the implantation of a Kami, a Muse, a Will o' Wisp or a Spectre into the magically treated vessel. Usually made as servitors or companions, these animates are fiercely loyal and have little regard for their own safety.

Tsukumogami cannot turn their Ethereal Form off, but they can interact with the worlds through their object. Animates can interact with the worlds as long as the spirit doesn't get separated from the vessel.

A non-animate Tsukumogami has a Strength of one. Animate Tsukumogami have Strength equivalent to whatever form their vessel is. All Tsukumogami have Artisan 5.

    Tsukumogami Starting Powers
    - Basic Powers -
  • Mend (Basic Conjuration)
  • Break (Basic Conjuration)
  • Resilience of Stone (Basic Endurance)

    - Advanced Powers -
  • Imbue Object (Advanced Theurgy)
  • The Silent Speak (Advanced Clarity)
  • Ethereal Form (Advanced Enchantment)


Sometimes a story gains a life of its own. When this happens, it becomes a Haunt. A distant cousin to both Muses and Spectres, Haunts are personifications of urban legends made by belief and heavy mana infusion. These can look like anything and be anything, as stories take many forms. They have no consciousness to speak of and only mindlessly act out their story over and over. These stories are usually gory or generally unpleasant. Because of this, when a Haunt is found, the quickest solution is to destroy it.

Haunts have a Logic of one. Unlike most Spirits and Genius Loci, a Haunt can turn off their Ethereal Form. This is generally bad news.

    Haunt Starting Powers
    - Basic Powers -
  • Mend (Basic Conjuration)
  • Break (Basic Conjuration)
  • Resilience of Stone (Basic Endurance)
  • Frighten (Basic Fascination)

    - Advanced Powers -
  • Dauntless (Advanced Endurance)
  • God Hand (Advanced Empowerment)
  • Ethereal Form (Advanced Enchantment)


Geniuses are the titular example of the Genius Locus class. Geniuses are personifications of a place. What makes them separate from Kami is that they represent a specific place's history and power, as opposed to being a stand in for a general element. Geniuses are created in venerated places, like shrines or historical buildings, as well as where there are very strong bleeds. They see themselves as the protectors of these places and will stop at nothing to do so. Geniuses are very powerful, but are rooted to the land in which they are known for, known as a domain. Geniuses have control over everything in their domain, including Will o' Wisps, Spectres and Kami. If a Genius' domain is destroyed, the Genius ceases to be.

Geniuses cannot turn their Ethereal Form off. They have an Agility of one and a Power of at least one.

    Genius Starting Powers
    - Basic Powers -
  • Astral Assensing (Basic Astral)
  • Resilience of Stone (Basic Endurance)
  • Mend (Basic Conjuration)
  • Break (Basic Conjuration)
  • Command (Basic Clout)

    - Advanced Powers -
  • Ethereal Form (Advanced Enchantment)
  • Rouse the Inanimate (Advanced Theurgy)
  • The Silent Speak (Advanced Clarity)
  • Telepathy (Advanced Clarity)

    - Elder Powers -
  • Reclaim (Elder Evocation)
  • Possession (Elder Clout)
  • Broadcasting (Elder Clout)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I like the self-referential formatting error where after the Kaiju heading, all the text is super-huge. Wink
Johnson - Hanks 2020
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Spellcraft is a postmodern RPG, so even its errors are self-aware. awesome
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

What's the place of firearms in your game? Little threat to supernatural characters or are there silver bullets fired from magic guns too
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It's a modern game, so firearms are important. How effective they are depends on the gun, the target and the wielder. A werewolf or a Jiang-shi can shrug off small arms fire, but enchanted heartseeker bullets will put anything down. An awesome enough person/supernatural can make up for lacking tools, and the right tools can assist not as awesome people/supernaturals.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Getting Shit Done: Actions

In Spellcraft (specifically) and in role playing games (in general), the object of the game is to accomplish goals. You do this by doing things. Sometimes this can just be done by telling the MC or the other players what you want to do and having a mini improv session. Other times, you're going to want to know how well you can do something or if you can do it at all. In those situations, you have actions.

The basic action in Spellcraft is the check, as mentioned earlier. Every action is based off of a static or an opposed check. Depending on the type of action, it may require a different stat and skill combination, or possibly be a raw check. They may even require multiple checks. For the purposes of this chapter, we will focus on the following actions: Gambles, Legwork, Interviews, Montages, Contests and Challenges. There are also Conflicts, but those are complicated enough that they get their own chapter.

Gambles: Press Your Luck

A Gamble is a check or series of checks that's being made where the threat of some disaster looms. This disaster is encapsulated by what is called a fault score. A Gamble is made like a basic or opposed check, but with a catch: if the check gets exactly the target number or fails the check, the player takes a fault. If the character takes as many faults as the fault score or more, they bust and disaster strikes.

Stealth: Hide and Seek

Sometimes a character is going to not want to be seen by varying amounts of people for varying amounts of time. To adjudicate this, there is the Stealth action. Stealth can either be quick (sneaking up behind someone in a crowded street) or slow (evading police capture during a manhunt). A quick Stealth action is either a single opposed Gamble or a single basic Gamble. If there is passive opposition to the character's stealth, it's a basic Gamble. If there's active opposition to the character's stealth, it's an opposed Gamble. These Gambles have a fault score of one, so just one fault means bust. Stealth checks are usually Agility + Stealth, but Intuition + Stealth or Logic + Sabotage (for disabling cameras) can also be used. If the character busts, they're caught. If the character succeeds, they are sufficiently stealthy.

Long Stealth sequences are Challenges. Each specific task or obstacle (guard dogs, cameras, guards) requires a check to overcome. Bust and the characters are caught. A long Stealth sequence usually has a fault score of the number of tasks minus one, although if security is tight or stealth is particularly hard for some reason, the MC can subtract more from the fault score.

Legwork: Working the Pavement

Sometimes players are going to want to gather up a lot of information about someone or something together. To do that, the players make a group Legwork test. Legwork tests are usually Logic + Research for book smarts, Charisma + Rapport for schmoozing or Intuition + Stealth for skullduggery. The MC sets a target number for the whole enterprise and each player tries to meet or beat it. For every success with style a player gets, the players get an extra bit of knowledge, represented with a situational aspect based on the action performed.

There are times where players want to find out about something or someone without anyone noticing. In this case, the basic checks made for Legwork become Gambles and the whole group has a shared fault score. The average fault score for these kinds of Legwork actions is three: three strikes and you're out.

Montage: Gotta Do It With A Montage

There are cases where a player or players will want to do something that takes a lot of time and effort. Since the average game time for a TTRPG is something like three hours, you will not have time to play these things out in real time. For these cases, you use a Montage.

A Montage has a variable difficulty depending on what it's for and where it's taking place. If you're asking about where to score some crack in the ghetto it's going to be Basic or Average difficulty at best. If you're asking where to score some crack at a fancy restaurant, it's going to be Hard, unless there's a Wolf of Wall Street-esque high society lowlife about. Regardless, the montage starts with the player describing what they want to do, the MC possibly adding their two cents, and rolling dice. Depending on the result, the MC then describes what was done and what was gained. There should be at least a small scene of roleplaying between montages, just to keep the story running.

Hiding Evidence: Nobody Saw Nothing

There's a good chance in Spellcraft there's going to be a situation where one wants to suppress information. If someone's got a copy of the Necronomicon you're going to want to make sure word doesn't get out so zombie uprisings don't break out all over the place. Whether this involves cajoling, threatening, or simple destruction, when done right it makes information harder to find.

Suppressing information is a check with a Professional difficulty. Succeeding on that check sets the difficulty to find that particular information to Hard for anyone looking for it. If the surpressor succeeds with style, that difficulty bumps up to Extreme. What test is used to hide the evidence depends on what's being suppressed and how. Setting the copies of something on fire is Agility + Sabotage, making a subject taboo would probably be Charisma or Willpower + Expression and preventing oneself from snitching would generally be Willpower + Intimidate.

Hiding evidence can go very wrong, very easily. If a character fails the initial Professional check, the difficulty to find the thing trying to be hidden drops down to Professional difficulty. It's easier to find something when it's obviously missing or has been tampered with.

Formal Requests: I Asked Nicely

Organizations tend to have things that characters don't. Organizations tend to also move incredibly slowly, as the gears of bureaucracy are constantly gummed up. When these two things intersect, you get a Formal Request. Formal Requests are exactly what they say on the tin; a request to an organization to requisition something. This can take a very long time, and as such is good for montaging out. Now if the point of a situation is to get stuck in bureaucratic hell (useful if you're doing a Kafkaesque game of Spellcraft) then the MC may be better served making a series of Interviews or even Gambles instead.

Formal Requests are usually Logic + Bureaucracy checks, although they could use Charisma or Willpower if the player is trying to snow their way past the machine. The difficulty of the request can be anywhere from Average (getting a military base to go to your bar on leave) to Extreme (getting a military base to give you heavy ordinance from off the street). Organizations are usually limited in what they can give you, as such the formal request can be used as a jumping off point for an Interview or other role-playing opportunity. A formal request is more likely to work if a character has a fitting background; if a character has a useful Aspect to the situation, they can reduce the difficulty by one step.

Schmoozing: Wheelin' Dealin' Kiss Stealin'

There will come a time when a character will want to make nice with a lot of people, but playing out each interaction would take too long or be relatively minor. Sometimes you just want to get to the point and get on with your life. To do that, you schmooze.

Schmoozing is usually Charisma + Rapport, although Willpower + Rapport, Willpower + Persuasion and Charisma + Persuasion are also reasonable. You can't schmooze to get things that don't exist or that people don't have, so that cute co-ed barista probably doesn't have a magic gun, nor does she know the true name of the Summer King (although this is Spellcraft, she could be an Artificer).

Research: I Read It In A Book

There are going to be times when a character pulls a one-person legwork segment, specifically the book smarts portion of legwork. This may be something the character doesn't know or something that even experts may not know offhand. Regardless, in a movie it'll only get a few moments of recognition and it's on to the next scene.

Checks of this type are usually Logic + Research and the difficulty can range anywhere from Basic (common knowledge) to Inhuman (eldritch lore lost for generations). A character with a relevant Aspect can reduce the difficulty of the check by one step. This means a character with a physicist Aspect can knock basic information about physics to a check of difficulty 0. However, just because you can research something doesn't mean the information is actually there to be found. You can find a lot of things on the Internet, but location of the Infernal Scholomance probably isn't one of them.

Thievery: Five Finger Discount

There will be times when a Spellcraft character will break the law for their own gain. The most likely case of this is stealing something right out from underneath someone's nose. For important things or involved heists, the MC may want to call for a series of Gambles or a full-blown Challenge, but if a player just wants to hotwire a car or shoplift from American Apparel, a thievery montage is the way to go.

Thievery montages are usually Agility + Larceny checks and require the object that's going to be stolen to be actually nearby. If it would require some extra effort or belongs to someone who's important to the story, it should be played out instead of done in a montage. For example, "hotwiring a car" is something that can require a thievery montage, but "hotwiring Jimmy Buffet's car" should require you breaking into Jimmy Buffet's estate, finding the car and then hotwiring it. Now, if Jimmy Buffet is unimportant to the story and just leaves his car out on a Florida street, then you could montage it.

The difficulty of stealing something is based on how easy it is to get to it, instead of the value of the item. It's an Easy task to steal a candy bar from a convenience store, but swiping a pack of smokes from behind the register is going to be Professional or even Hard. Remember, stealing things is generally illegal and may bring repercussions. Also remember that even though possession is nine tenths of the law, that doesn't mean that the previous owner of whatever you stole will acknowledge your right to have it. Nor will the cops or guards or mystical beasts or what have you.

Road Trips: Floor It

There are times when a character needs to get somewhere in a car or other vehicle in a specific amount of time, but the journey is unimportant. That's what the Road Trip action is for. A Road Trip is an Agility + Drive check against a set difficulty. If the character makes the check, they get to their destination on time. If they succeed with style, they get there faster. If they fail the check, they get delayed and if they fail the check by five or more they get into an accident or blow a tire or something. For everyday driving, there is no difficulty. Characters who know cars or motorcycles or whatever they're riding can just do it. Everyday driving is driving at (really five miles over) the speed limit in good conditions. Driving ten miles over the speed limit increases the difficulty by one step, twenty miles over increases the difficulty by two steps, forty miles over increases the difficulty by three steps and eighty miles over increases the difficulty by four steps. Doubling the speed from that point increases the difficulty by another step.

Bad weather conditions, low visibility and poorly kept roads increase the difficulty of the Road Trip to varying degrees. A dirt road increases the difficulty by one step. Wet roads increase the difficulty by one step as well. Rain increases the difficulty by one step, and heavy rain increases the difficulty by two steps. Snow increases the difficulty by two steps and a blizzard increases the difficulty by three steps. Fog or low visibility (usually from darkness) increases the difficulty by one step each.

Interviews: Yes, They Can Be With A Vampire

Characters are going to spend time talking to NPCs. Characters are going to spend most of their time talking to NPCs. A lot of the time this is for flavor: just to flesh out the character, the NPC and their place in the world. Sometimes though, characters are going to want something specific from an NPC and that's when everybody breaks out the dice. The checks being made and the difficulty of said checks depends on what the character is trying to get and what role they're playing in the conversation. It's Basic to do something like get sex from a prostitute or get information about a party from one of your friends, but it's Professional or harder to do something like get money from a prostitute (unless you're her pimp) or get information about a surprise birthday party your friend is throwing.

Interrogation: I Want The Truth

Sometimes subtlety is not an option and time is of the essence. When that happens, usually when a character is in a position of power and pressed for time, they can interrogate an NPC. They're likely to get an answer and fast by doing so. This answer might not be coherent, helpful or accurate, but it will be short. It's also easier to sniff out BS with a simple question than with a complex one.

Interrogation is either Logic + Intimidate (good cop) or Willpower + Intimidate (bad cop). Even if you don't succeed on the check, you can still divine information from questions they evaded or gave unsatisfactory answers on. If an NPC is trying to keep something a secret and you fail the check by less than five, you know they're holding out on you.

Subterfuge: The Play's The Thing

Often times a character will want to be more subtle than an interrogation would allow, either due to not wanting to startle the target NPC or because they don't want to give the game away. If a character is trying to get an NPC to spill the beans without forcing them to, they may attempt subterfuge. The character leads the NPC to the desired divulging of secrets or whatever. For this to work, the character has to actually be talking to the NPC.

Subterfuge uses Charisma + Persuasion usually. It is also a two-way street: unlike other interviews, subterfuge is an opposed check. The NPC gets to oppose with Intuition + Empathy and if they win the check, they realize they're being played. How they respond to this depends on the circumstances: they can do anything from continue the conversation, end it abruptly, fight or flee.

Banter: #LAD #BANTER

In regular social situations, you can just ask questions of people without getting sneaky or forceful. You can also just talk to people and make friends, which is always useful. Depending on what you're talking about, the person may not approve of the conversation (and you by extension) and/or you can be overheard by interested parties.

Banter checks are Charisma + Rapport usually, but for nerd banter Charisma or Logic + Electronics or sports talk Charisma + Athletics can be used. The default check is Charisma + Rapport, however. If the character and the NPC share a relevant Aspect (like College Kid or Vampire), decrease the difficulty by one step. Most Banter checks are Average difficulty, as it's not that hard to strike up a conversation. If the NPC doesn't like you or doesn't want to talk to you for some reason, the difficulty goes up.

Inquiry: I Know You Know I Know

Sometimes it's more important to know if someone knows something rather than what they specifically know. This is useful if the character already knows something and wants to see if other people know. To find out about a subject without bringing it up, the inquiry action is used.

These checks are Intuition + Empathy usually. Inquiries don't tell you what the answers are, just who has them. However, if you make a Professional check you don't give away what you're inquiring about and if you make an Extreme check, people don't even realize you're making an inquiry.

Impersonation: That's Just Who I Am This Week

There's a good chance that characters in Spellcraft are going to want to appear to be someone else. Whether this is to feign authority or to escape detection, characters will want to play high stakes pretend. There are many ways to do that in Spellcraft, but regardless of the method, it requires an impersonation action.

Impersonation actions are Charisma + Persuasion or Willpower + Persuasion, although with the right specialization (acting), a character can use Charisma + Expression or Willpower + Expression, depending on if they're trying to charm or bluster their way past scrutiny. Impersonation is an opposed check, and the target or targets get an Intuition + Empathy check to oppose with. Only a target who has some reason to know what the impersonating character should be behaving like gets to make a check at all. If they don't know, it's a basic check or a gamble if the impersonation is hasty or slipshod. For example, if a character is made up to look like Barack Obama in front of some French people, they'll make a basic check. If they're trying to convince some French people they're Barack Obama without any props, but they're black, then it's a gamble. If they're trying to convince the French Prime Minister they're Barack Obama, that's an opposed check.

Arguments: According To My Charts, You're An Idiot

An argument is generally persuasive, in that the speaker is trying to convince their audience of something. The audience may be the person being spoken to or an actual audience of people watching, say, a debate. Arguments come from some combination of Logic and Rhetoric, which are both modes of discourse. There used to be Grammatical discourse, but it's assumed proper grammar is being used nowadays.

Arguments are only effective as much as the audience wants to believe in what's being said. It's easier to convince someone that God hates homosexuals when they already believe this to be true as opposed to if the person is homosexual themselves. When an audience is made up of more than one person, an argument may succeed with all, some or none of the audience, depending on the disposition of the particular person. For ease of adjudication, it's best for the MC to set a broad target number for the majority of the crowd, with story-important NPCs getting their own TN.

Target Number:Audience Predisposition
5: Already Believes
10: Wants to Believe
15: Receptive
20: Skeptical
25: Hostile
30: Uninterested

When two or more people make an argument that successfully persuades audience members, they hold both arguments favorably. This is true even if the arguments are different or even contradictory positions. Cognitive dissonance can be a real bear, but people are willing to get to the point of cognitive dissonance in the first place. What individual audience members will do depends on their personality: some will flip a coin, some will lock up with said cognitive dissonance and some will do their own research. When two are more arguments clash with each other, treat them like an opposed check. The higher check is the one that sticks with the audience more.

Logical Arguments:

Logical Arguments can be deductive or inductive. Deductive arguments contain the conclusions in the premises, which helps show the implications of ideas through circular reasoning. Inductive arguments can show us how things work in the world better, but are subject to error and improbable occurrences. Either way, a Logical Argument requires some sort of common ground to start. You and the audience have to agree on the basic premises in order to get anywhere.

Logical Arguments are made with several different checks. Logic + Research is used when trying to establish one's credibility on a subject, while Intuition + Expression is used to poke holes in another argument or paradigm. Extracting the implications from an idea is usually Logic + Expression. Demonstrating mastery of a subject through quick and truthful answers to audience questions is Charisma + Rapport, which may turn into a Challenge if the questions get difficult. A quick argument may only use one or two of these methods, while a logical Contest or a Challenge may require the use of all four.

Rhetorical Arguments:

Rhetorical Arguments don't require deductive or inductive logic. They don't really require logic at all; just a target and a steady stream of patter. This is useful when your audience doesn't have a base of premises to start with, or if you don't have any hard facts. For example, convincing normal people not to dismantle a shrine holding a Genius with logic isn't going to work, since to normal people Geniuses are completely illogical. You have to find some other way to convince people, and that's where rhetoric comes in. Because you're not arguing from premises, you need some other way of generating approval.

Rhetorical arguments are even more varied than logical ones. If you have authority or are in a position of power, you can use that power as a rhetorical tool via a Willpower + Tactics check. If you want to gain power through intimidation, you can use Strength + Intimidation or Willpower + Intimidation. Creating a visceral response in an audience is done with Charisma + Empathy or Willpower + Empathy. If you're the coolest cat around, you can use slogans and razor wit with a Charisma + Expression check. If you need to take someone down a peg, insult them using Charisma + Intimidate or Willpower + Intimidate. If you have nothing to say but a lot of time to say it in, you can ramble with a Charisma + Rapport or Willpower + Persuasion check.

The thing about rhetorical arguments is that the don't work as well against people who know what you're talking about. They also don't work very well against people with good BS detectors or strong wills. Every rhetorical argument gives the chance for anyone skeptical or worse to make the check an opposed one. They usually oppose with Logic + Perception (if they're coming at you logically) or Intuition + Perception (if they're going with their gut). If their check is higher than yours, they aren't convinced, no matter how well you may have rolled.

Challenges: All Ducks In A Row

There are times when a single roll isn't going to be enough to adjudicate a situation. There are also times when a situation requires multiple discreet actions to handle and involves multiple (even all) the characters. These are called Challenges. Challenges are a series of Gambles that one or more characters make in order to achieve a protracted goal. Challenges have success scores and fault scores; the object of a Challenge is to get the necessary successes without busting like a standard Gamble. The generic score for both successes and failures is three, but if there are more tasks or more characters involved, the success score can increase. If there's very little room for error, the number of failures needed to bust can decrease.

To perform a Challenge, the MC lays out the specific tasks that need to be taken care of and sets the difficulties of each task. The MC then sets the necessary number of successes (usually equal to the number of tasks that need doing) and the bust number (usually 2 or 3) The character (or characters) then describe what they're going to do and make a check against a single part of the Challenge. If the character exceeds the check by even one, then that part of the challenge is successful. The character racks up a success for the score. If the check is exactly equal to the difficulty, that part of the challenge is successful and the character racks up a success, but the character racks up a fault. If the character fails the check, the character racks up a fault and that part of the challenge is unsuccessful.

If the needed successes are netted before a bust, then the Challenge is successful. If the characters bust without getting the necessary successes, the Challenge is unsuccessful and bad stuff happens. What this bad stuff is depends on what the Challenge was in the first place. In the event of a tie, the Challenge is successful, but there's a catch. Something unpleasant happens, based on what the Challenge was based on in the first place.

Example: Alice, Bob and Carol are trying to sneak into a building, steal a heavily guarded tome and get out without alerting the guards. This is a serious and delicate task with multiple moving parts, so the MC calls for a Challenge. The three tasks are getting in, getting the tome and getting out. The MC sets all three tasks at Hard difficulty. Since there are three tasks, there are three successes needed to complete the Challenge. The MC decides there's very little room for error and sets the necessary failures to bust at two.

Alice takes point for getting in and rolls Agility+Larceny, looking for 20 or better. She gets a 22, and the crew is in without a hitch. Once inside, they see the tome is on a pressure-sensitive plate. Bob uses his tinkering knowledge to disable the plate so they can get the tome and rolls Logic+Sabotage. He gets a 20, which is a success, but it also nets a fault. Finally it's Carol's turn, and she says she's going to carefully lead the team out the back door and past the guards. She rolls Intuition + Stealth and gets a 25, netting a success. The Challenge is successful and the crew is in the clear. If Carol had rolled a 20, they would've gotten out, but the guards would have spotted them. If Carol rolled worse than 20, they would be stuck inside the building as the guards came. At that point, things would most likely shift into a Conflict.

Contests: Step Right Up

Sometimes a character or group is going to be at odds with another character or group, but they aren't fighting. There's also a chance that these situations need more than one roll to resolve. When that happens, the MC can declare a Contest. A Contest is a series of special checks made between two or more sides, with the object being to score three points first. The checks can be basic checks (if the contestants are trying to overcome some external obstacles) or opposed checks (if the contestants are actively competing with each other)

In a Contest, the MC first describes what the Contest entails. Then, the involved sides select one of their own to be the representative for this Contest. They're the ones who make the rolls for points. If there are more than one player involved in a side, the other players can be supporting actors and make Teamwork checks. Once the representatives are decided, they tell the MC what they're planning on doing and make their check. If the MC is the one making the check, she tells the players what she's planning on doing. What the check happens to be depends on the actions undertaken in the Contest. Whoever makes the check (or wins the opposed check) gets a point. If a character succeeds with style on an opposed check or is the only party to succeed with style on a basic check, they get two points. In the event of a tie, each party in the tie gets a point. First to three wins the Contest.

If two or more parties are tied in points, then it goes to sudden death. The tying parties make one last opposed roll and whoever wins that wins the whole thing. If the results are tied, take the highest unmodified dice roll as the winner. If somehow, the unmodified dice rolls are tied, have each party roll again and take the highest unmodified dice roll as the winner.

Chases: Catch Me If You Can

Chases are a special type of Contest. A chase can be Short, which means it takes place in 12 seconds (a round's length) or it can be Long, which means it can take minutes, hours or even days. Chases can be on foot, on wheels, on giant flying birds or a lot of things. It's modern fantasy, shit can get weird. Regardless of the method of chasing, the point of a Chase is for one party to get away and another party to catch up.

A Short Chase takes place inside of a round and is a truncated Contest. If the chasing party is faster than the target, they catch the target. If the chasing party has a higher Initiative (explained in the Conflict section), they catch the target. If neither of these things are true, the target gets away. If the character losing the chase is unhappy with this turn of events, they can perform a Stunt. Stunting is what makes Short Chases a Contest.

The losing character performs a stunt by making a check at a difficulty they set. A stunt is usually Agility + Athletics, but Agility + Stealth or Intuition + Stealth (for subterfuge), Agility + Drive (for vehicles) or Agility + Animal Ken (for riding) can be used as well. If they fail at the stunt, they are caught. If they fail by five or more, they fall down or wipe out. If they succeed at the stunt, the other character either loses the chase or makes an attempt at a stunt at the set difficulty. If the other character succeeds, neither character gets an advantage. The parties can either continue with the Short Chase or stop. If the other character succeeds with style, they either escape (if they're the target) or catch the target (if they're not).

Essentially, a Short Chase is a Contest that only needs one point for victory. If the target escapes, the character chasing can either let them go or proceed to a Long Chase.

Long Chases are done with arbitrary time limits, and encapsulate anything from District 13 like parkour sequences to the high speed driving sections of any action movie you care to name. A Long Chase works exactly like a regular Contest: three points wins. In a Long Chase, the chaser and the target perform stunts, like in a Short Chase. The checks for Long Chases are equivalent to those for Short Chases: Agility + Athletics for manpower, Agility + Stealth or Intuition + Stealth for subterfuge, Agility + Drive for motor vehicles and Agility + Animal Ken for riding animals.

Initiative starts with the instigator of the Chase and they get to set the difficulty of the stunt. If they make the stunt, they get a point. If they succeed with style, they get two points. If they fail the stunt, initiative goes to the opponent. If both parties fail their stunt or choose not to perform a stunt, the faster moving party gets a point. If the chaser gets three points, they catch up and the chase is over. The target can, if they're able, use their action to immediately start a Short Chase. If the target gets three points, they escape and the chaser has to find them again.
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Let's Get Dangerous: Conflicts and Hazards

In Spellcraft, action sequences are broken up into 12 second rounds. This means there's five rounds a minute, which is more than enough time to let loose with a ballet of bullets, especially once characters start getting Swiftness going. Take the hallway fight in The Raid: Redemption for example; Rama drops about twelve hooligans in a little over a minute. He gets a round or two breather while Bowo finishes off one of the mooks, then Rama takes down another ten or so guys in a minute. Assuming Rama's making two attacks a round, he's within time. A lot can happen in twelve seconds, which is good for keeping combat flow going. Any shorter and you start having to track individual parries, thrusts and shots; that way lies madness and RuneQuest.

Actions and Reactions: Equal and Opposite

Normally a character can take two Simple Actions or a Complex Action on their turn. A character can do any number of Free Actions during their turn as well. Movement is handled out of turn, as are interrupt actions.

Initiative and Passes: I Go You Go

At the beginning of a conflict, every party in the conflict adds their Intuition + Agility. The resulting number is their Initiative. Characters go in order of highest Initiative to lowest, with ties resolving simultaneously. A character with a higher Initiative can delay their action to go after someone with a lower Initiative. Every character gets one turn to start with. If a character has gained extra turns, whether through Swiftness or through Fate Points, then they take those turns after everyone else has gone. The maximum number of turns a character can take in a round is four.

Attacking: Bring the Pain

An attack is usually made with a Simple Action. Attacks are basic checks against a Target Number set by the opponent's defense. This number is 10 + Agility + Combat. Hitting a moving target that doesn't want to be hit is difficult depending on how fast they are and how skilled at the art of hitting and not getting hit they are. If they're unaware of you (or unable to respond to you) and stationary, the Target Number is 5. If they're moving and unaware of you (or unable to respond to you), the Target Number is 10. It's more difficult to hit a moving target than a stationary one, but if they aren't trying to defend it's a lot easier to hit in general. The check required for an attack is Strength + Combat for a melee weapon and Agility + Combat for a ranged weapon. In the case of magical attacks, the check depends on the magic being used and the power will tell you what to roll. If the attack hits, it deals damage and the defender gets to soak. For every two points over the Target Number the attack roll is, the attack deals one extra damage pre-soak.

If a target is behind full cover (like a brick wall or something) or heavily obscured (via fog or illusions, for example), the Target Number goes up to 15 + Agility + Combat. Catching defensively dug in opponents is straight up harder than hitting them in the open. If they're partially obscured, via cover or fog or illusions or whatever, the attacker takes a -2 penalty to their attack roll. If the attacker is operating beyond the effective range of their weapon (but still within the maximum range), the attacker takes a -2 penalty to their attack roll. If a target is moving quickly (for example, they're in a car and the attacker isn't), the attacker takes a -2 penalty to their attack roll. If the attacker is moving quickly, they take a -2 penalty to ranged attack rolls but not melee attack rolls. Yes, this means car-jousting is totally a thing you can do.

Multiple Attackers: Multiple attackers is only really advantageous if all the attackers have engaged the target. The target can only evade so much, and that limit is one more than their Combat skill. Any more than that, and they do not get to add their Agility + Combat to defense. This means the difficulty of hitting them drops to 10 or even 5. Not only is defending against multiple opponents difficult, coordinating as multiple opponents is difficult. An attacker attempting to dogpile a target suffers a -2 penalty for each attack greater than their Combat skill. This means that combatants will wait to get their licks in instead of all bumrushing a victim.

Lying Down: Someone who lies down, whether it be prone or supine, is harder to hit with ranged attacks if they're far away. Attempting to hit a target lying down with a ranged attack if they're a zone or more away is a -3 penalty. If they're in the same zone as the attacker, attacking them is much easier; the attacker gets a +3 bonus to hit instead.

Special Attack Actions

Aim: Aiming is the action of taking extra time to line up a shot in order to make it more accurate. Aiming does not remove the penalty for shooting out of a weapon's effective range. Aiming takes a variable amount of time for a variable effect: Aiming with a Simple Action grants a +2 to the attacker's next attack, while taking a Complex Action to Aim grants a +4. Aim actions do not stack, but if the target doesn't move much from their initial position and the attacker has taken recoil into account, the attacker can benefit from the same Aim action multiple times. If the attacker chooses a different target, the bonus is lost and they have to re-aim.

Engage: An Engage action is harrying a target in close quarters, preventing them from effectively choosing other targets. Engaging is a Simple Action. A character making an Engage action chooses a target within the same zone. If that target attacks anyone but the engaging character or moves to attack anyone but the engaging character, the engaging character can reactively attack the target. A target that is engaged trying to use a ranged weapon takes a -2 penalty to their attack rolls as well as the engaging character's attack.

Suppressive Fire: Suppressive Fire is the act of slinging lead in very close proximity to cover which the target(s) are using. Suppressive Fire is a Complex Action that lasts for the entire round. If any target breaks cover (even to get off a shot), they are subject to an attack without their cover bonus. Suppressive Fire is used in real life with autofire weapons and doing so is effective in Spellcraft. Characters with multiple Initiative Passes can do other things while laying down suppression.

Spray-n-Pray: Sometimes a character won't care about things like accuracy or precision and just want to throw a lot of bullets in the general direction of targets. This is rarely advisable or safe, but it's useful if guns aren't a character's thing or a lot of people need to die very quickly. A character nominates a zone and makes a single attack with a flat +5 bonus against every potential target in the zone. The character does not add their Agility or their Combat to the roll; the check is made as if they had the minimum Agility of 1 and the +4 bonus from autofire. Spray-n-Pray ignores penalties from target speed or obscured vision, but is otherwise a normal ranged attack. Spray-n-Pray is a Complex Action that does not benefit from Aiming.

Grapple: Characters can grab people and do all sorts of fun stuff with them. Grappling takes a Complex Action and is an unarmed melee attack (Strength + Combat) versus the target's Strength. If the attacker succeeds, they grab onto the target, possibly hoisting them into the air. If the attacker succeeds with style, they pin or otherwise incapacitate the target. The target can attempt to escape on their next round (unless they've been incapacitated; then they have to wait a round) and one other time after that.

Disarm: Characters can grab an item that a target is holding or otherwise take it out of the target's hands. In melee, this can be done by making an attack with the Target Number set at 15 + the target's Agility. If the target is stronger than the character trying to snatch the item, the character takes a penalty equal to the difference in Strength scores. If the character attempts to do this with bare hands, they gain possession of the object if they beat the check by one or more. This is dangerous, and the character will be denied their defense bonus until their next turn. If the Disarm is done with a weapon or an unarmed Disarm check is exactly the Target Number, the item goes flying or falls to the ground. Disarming someone with a ranged weapon is very difficult; the Target Number to do so is 20 + the target's Agility instead.

Lock On: Characters can prepare a weapon to be used at will. They may be lining up a shot, preparing a lunge or putting a knife to the target's throat. This takes the time of a normal attack, but no attack is made. Instead, the character can at any point make an attack reactively. If the character becomes distracted, moves more than one zone or makes another attack (including another Lock On), the previous Lock On is lost. This is your one stop shop for stickups, swordfights, sniping and hostage situations.

Feint: A character can attempt to distract or confuse an opponent to gain an advantage in combat. Feinting is a Simple Action and if successful, the target loses any Lock On they may have, as well as their Agility and Combat to defense for any follow up attack the character might make. The character makes a Charisma + Expression or Agility + Tactics check opposed by the target's Intuition + Empathy. If the character wins the opposed test, the Feint succeeds. A Locked On target cannot reactively make their attack against the character until the Feint is resolved: if the Feint works, they lose the lock and if it doesn't, the target can make their Lock On attack.

Movement: Comin' Through

The next most important thing in a combat to actually hitting the other guy is movement. Running to and (most likely) from an engagement is a very important and useful strategy. 12 seconds is actually a pretty long time, enough to run a 100-meter dash and then do something else afterwards if you hustle. For the purposes of Spellcraft, however, movement is abstracted into Zones for combat. A Zone is an area about 15-30 meters across of open field. For cramped quarters, such as inside a high-rise apartment, a Zone can be as small as a room. Zones adapt themselves to whatever fits the current combat situation. Moving a single Zone is a Free Action; it's really not that big a deal. Moving two Zones takes a Simple Action and moving four takes a Complex Action.

When actual speed in meters is needed (say, for a Chase), use this chart. Moving one Zone as a Free Action is a Stroll unless otherwise stated, moving two is a Jog and moving four is a Dash.

Movement TypeSpeed (in meters)
Creep 4
Walk 10
Stroll 18
Jog 27
Run 60
Dash 100

In general, a character declares their intention to move before actions are taken, and characters can take their actions at any point in their or their targets movement during the turn. 12 seconds is long enough for someone to put a bullet in anyone turning a corner or coming into view; Taking Cover and Taking the Bullet help mitigate this. Characters with the lowest Initiative Score declare movement first.

Movement Penalties: When a character needs the precision of speed, it's important to note that speed hampers precision. For any precision based check, a Jog imparts a -3 penalty, a Run imparts a -4 penalty and a Dash imparts a -6 penalty. A notable exception to this is melee combat, where the extra momentum is helpful. Melee attacks do not take penalties for a Jog or a Run.

Going Faster: If a character focuses everything on going fast by spending a Complex Action, they can make a Strength + Agility check to boost their speed. For every five points they get on the check, they increase their speed by 10%. It's an Extreme task to run 30 MPH, but it's doable.

Special Movement Actions

Disengage: A character can break free of an engagement at any time by moving away. Doing this means turning their back on their opponent, which is rarely a good idea. A character can Disengage from any and all targets using the Engage action on them as a part of their movement, but they count as a moving, unaware target to every engaging opponent. This means the TN to hit them is 10.

Taking the Bullet: If a character uses the Disengage action, another character within the same zone can choose to throw themselves into harm's way. They take an attack meant for the disengaging character at TN 10. The character who takes the bullet automatically engages the attacker whose strike they took.

Dodging: A character can do their level best to not be where the attacks are by Dodging. Dodging is a Complex Action that is not penalized for any speed up to a Run. The character gains a +5 bonus to defense against any attacks they're aware of and a +2 bonus to defense against any attacks that they're not. The defensive benefits of Dodging last for one round.

Taking Cover: If there's something solid available, a character can quickly put it in between them and bullets or shrapnel. The character makes an Agility + Athletics or Agility + Stealth check against the Target Number of 15 + the highest Initiative of their attackers. If they make the check, they get behind cover before the bullets fly. Taking Cover can be announced out of turn and is a Simple Action that is not penalized for speed at all.

Escaping: If a character is caught in a net, a set of handcuffs, or the grip of an opponent, they can make an Escape check to get out of it. This is a Complex Action. The character makes a Strength + Larceny or Agility + Larceny check, and if they succeed they've escaped. Escaping can't be tried an unlimited number of times; if they fail the check they're stuck until they get help or the next timeframe passes. Escaping a net is usually a Professional task, while escaping cuffs is Hard. Escaping the grip of an opponent has a Target Number equal to the opponent's original Grapple roll.

Wounds: It Hurts

When a character takes damage, they are usually allowed to Soak that damage. This involves making a Soak Check (usually Strength + Armor) with the Target Number being the incoming damage. If the Soak Check succeeds, the character takes no perceptible damage. If the Soak check fails, the character takes one Wound, plus one Wound for every two points the check fails by. All characters and objects can take 20 Wounds.

When a character takes 10 Wounds, they are incapacitated, but do not actually die. They won't actually die unless they are taken past 10 Wounds by damage. Once a character is past 10 Wounds, they begin to bleed out or suffer potentially deadly complications. If they aren't given proper first aid or magical healing within five minutes, they'll take one Wound every five minutes. If they reach 20 Wounds, they die. If a character takes more than 10 Wounds in a single attack, the final curtain call comes much quicker. If they don't receive treatment within five minutes, they will die unless a miracle occurs.

Characters take a -1 penalty to all checks at five Wounds and a -2 penalty to all checks at eight Wounds. A character with 10 or more Wounds is incapacitated and can't take any actions, save bleeding. Characters with the Dauntless ability ignore these penalties.

Ranged Weapons: Lock and Load

Ranged weapons are the standard in modern and urban fantasy, by dint of modern and urban fantasy taking place in contemporary times. While it is totally possible for someone in Spellcraft to run around with a sword hacking people up, human and supernatural alike tend to prefer guns.

Ranged Weaponry Table
WeaponDamageRange (in Zones)Strengthsize
Pistol, Lt. 20 (1)2 1 S
Pistol, Hvy. 24 (1)3 2 S
Rifle 28 (3)4 3 L
Machine Pistol 20˟ (1)2 2 S
Assault Rifle 24˟ (2)4 3 L
Submachine Gun 24˟ (2)3 2 M
Shotgun 28(1)2 3 M
Crossbow 20 (2)3 2 L
Longbow 24 (2)3 2 L
Auto-Shotgun 28˟(1)2 4 L
Machinegun 36˟(3)5 5 L
Sniper Rifle 36(4)5 5 L
Flame Thrower 24F˟(0)3ˠ 5 L
Flare Gun 16F(1)3 2 S
Cannon 40(3)5 8 H

    ˟: Weapon fires in automatic mode.
    F: Weapon does fire damage.
    N: Weapon does Normal Damage.
    ˠ: Weapon ignores cover.
    Size: Small weapons can be concealed in a pocket; Medium weapons can be concealed under a coat; Large weapons can be concealed in a car; Huge weapons do not really fit into cars.

Automatic Weapons: A weapon firing on automatic throws out many bullets in a short period of time. This allows it to be used for suppressive fire, to be fired at multiple enemies who are close together, and makes it more likely to hit something. A weapon fired on automatic gains a +4 on the attack roll, but the spread of bullets makes fine aiming more difficult – the increase in penalty for firing at enemies with cover is increased one step (basic cover is a -5 penalty, heavy cover increases the TN to 20 + Agility + Combat). Also the character can't take the Aim action with an automatic weapon, but they can take the Spray-n-Pray action.

Bullets and Ammo: A lot of lead can go flying in 12 seconds, more lead than Spellcraft needs to track. For the purposes of combat, it doesn't really matter if a character is spraying dozens of bullets or lining up efficient double taps; they're both attack actions. Because of this, Spellcraft doesn't track how many bullets a character or a gun has. We assume that the character and the gun have "enough". Now there are some cases where one might want to know if they're out of bullets or not, and for this we offer an optional rule: Every turn a character fires their gun, make an Intuition + Combat Gamble check, starting at TN 10 and increasing by one step for every turn the gun is fired. The bust score is three. If the character busts, they're out of ammo until they take a Simple Action to reload.

An important thing to note is that while the attack action only models bullets with a significant chance to hit, every bullet's going to hit something. Usually this is a wall or a building, but in crowds or with human shields, that bullet's hitting a person. In fact, if a shot misses a target using human cover by less than five, it can be assumed that the bullet hit them. Due to the magic of narrative causality, player characters and important NPCs tend not to get caught by stray bullets (unless it's plot relevant that they do so), but nameless extras do.

Special Ammunition: Characters in Spellcraft will often want to fire bullets that are better than the average bit of lead or steel. Special ammunition exists that is generically more effective. Whether it's made out of depleted uranium, enchanted with a heartseeking curse or merely highly explosive, such exotic equipment increases the damage of the gun by 4, costs quite a bit, and is damn hard to explain to the cops or anyone sane.

Silencers: Silencers, or "sound suppressors" if you want to get technical, severely dampen the amount of sound a gun makes. It doesn't completely silence the report, but it does make it so someone won't hear it through a wall. Silencers are great for stealthy shooting, but they come with a cost. Silencers reduce the damage of a gun by 4 and the accurate range by one zone. For example, a Light Pistol with a silencer only does 16 damage and is only accurate within the same zone as the attacker. Silencers also fall apart with wear, having about five uses before they crap out.

Melee Weapons; I Hit It With My Sword!

Melee weaponry differs from Ranged Weaponry in one key aspect: it can only reach a couple of feet at best. This means that every melee weapon has a range of zero Zones. Unlike Ranged Weaponry, which is mostly designed for the purpose of hurting people, the vast majority of things that people use in hand to hand fighting are actually improvised weapons. The rules for using melee weapons in one hand are the same as for ranged weapons: the character needs to have more Strength than the listed value to use it in one hand, and must exceed it by 2 if the weapon is Large. A character takes a penalty to attack rolls equal to the difference in Strengths between themselves and the weapon's listed value (if there is one).
Melee Weaponry Table
Fist 12 0 X
Bottle 16 1 S
Chair 16 3 L
Baseball Bat 20 2 M
Knife 16 1 S
Crowbar 20 2 M
Sword 24 2 M
Chainsaw 24 4 L
Axe 24 3 L
Hammer 20 1 S
Great Weapon 28 4 L
Sign Post 32 5 L
Fire Hydrant 28 6 L
Car 44 10 H
Lamp Post 40 9 H

Explosions: Kaboom!

Explosions are fun. Everybody loves explosions, especially when they happen in media. Media explosions just have more bang for your buck than the real deal. There are a lot of things that can explode in Spellcraft, and when they do, they are game mechanically expressed via Damage and Range. Damage is how much damage an explosion does at point blank range, while Range is how many Zones/meters it covers. For the purposes of combat, an explosive will do its full damage point blank and within the zone of origin, half damage to all adjacent Zones, and no damage further than that. If an explosive is actually touching the target, it does an extra 8 damage to that target due to proximity and Rule of Cool.

Explosions aren't normally influenced by an attack roll, and will do the same amount of damage if left somewhere or thrown with perfect accuracy. An exception to that is if the explosive is placed for maximum destruction by an expert. A character's Logic + Sabotage check can increase the damage of a point blank explosion, as if they were making an attack with it. Cover takes the bite out of explosions, taking away 8 points of damage for partial cover and reducing the damage by half for full cover. Unless otherwise noted, it's the shrapnel and the concussive force that does the damage of explosions, not the fire part, so they don't do fire damage like a flamethrower.

Explosives Table
WeaponDamageRange (m)size
Hand Grenade 36 0(6m) S
Concussion Grenade 36 0(2m) S
Plastic Explosive Charge 44 0(50 cm) S
Car Gas Tank 36F 0(2m) L
Land Mine 24 0(1m) M
Molotov Cocktail 20F 0(1m) M
Flashbang 16 0(1m) S
Missile 52 1(30m) H

Throwing Things: Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

Characters in Spellcraft are going to be throwing things at some point in their careers. Usually these things are explosives, although knives and chairs are popular. If you want to look cool, you throw knives. If you want to start a fight, throw a chair. If you want to blow things up, throw explosives. Regardless of what you throw, they follow the same rules. Thrown objects are ranged weapons, so they use Agility + Combat for the check. Throwing a larger object is more likely to hit than throwing a smaller object, to this end larger objects get a bonus to the attack roll. Small objects (like a playing card or a bottle) get a +1 to the attack roll, medium objects (like a bowling ball or a tomahawk) get a +2 to the attack roll, large objects (like chairs or people) get a +4 to the attack roll and huge objects (like cars and pews) get a whopping +6 to the attack roll. A character can throw things they can lift but not effectively use in melee due to not meeting the Strength requirements, but not very far. Those objects are only accurate within the same Zone and have an effective range of one Zone. Items a character can wield are effective out to two Zones away.

The base damage of a thrown weapon is usually nothing to write home about. Unless it's designed to be thrown (or is a reasonable facsimile thereof, like a bowling ball), the best you're going to get out of the damage is 12 or 16 depending on the object's hardness, sharpness and density. Notable exceptions to this rule are truly massive and heavy things such as cars; they do about as much damage as they would if wielded in melee, more so due to the attack roll bonus. A useful bonus of throwing big and heavy things is that they can knock down and pin a target. If the object is too heavy for them to lift, then they're pretty much stuck. Even if an object isn't heavy, it can still have use as a thrown weapon. Take the Molotov Cocktail for example; what's important about it isn't the damage the bottle does, but the fact that it sets whatever it hits on fire.

Damage Over Time

When a character is soaked in acid, freezing to death, on fire, or otherwise subjected to a damaging situation that is ongoing, we call this DOT or Damage Over Time. DOT damage is added one Wound at a time. It always does one Wound per cycle. A DOT effect has a “delay” number, and that number determines how much time passes between each Wound being dealt. When a DOT is introduced to a character, they may make a Resistance Test against it, setting the difficulty based on how much they think they can resist the poison. If the check succeeds, every step of difficulty is added to the Delay Number rather than subtracted from the actual damage done. Being covered in acid or set on fire for long enough is liable to be a problem for anyone. DOT's will continue doing a Wound on schedule until they end. For external sources of damage, that generally means removing the noxious stimulus, while something like an injected poison usually has an amount of time it will persist based on how much was injected (this time could be cut shorter with things like antidotes or diuretics).
Delay NumberTime Between Damage BoxesExample DOT Source
03 seconds (Each Initiative Pass)Falling into the Ooze
11 RoundImmolation
22 RoundsSuffocation
35 Rounds
1 Minute
Bitten by deadly serpent
42 MinutesStanding outside buck naked when it's -30 degrees F
55 MinutesInhaling smoke or factory fumes
615 MinutesWatching Foodfight
730 MinutesStaring at a glowing radioactive rock
81 HourInadequate protection from arctic temperatures
9+Double Time Each Additional Delay Number
(4 Hours, 8 hours, 16 Hours, etc...)

Hazards: !PELIGRO!

Falling: Characters will fall in Spellcraft; when you can fly (and have your flight canceled), these things happen. And having a ways to fall can take quite a while. However, in a 12 second combat round a character could fall over 600 meters – so for practical purposes it's usually best to simply have characters hit the ground after having just one Simple Action to try and rectify the situation. It is also true that “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” Larger creatures have more mass proportional to their surface area and accelerate at the same speed, so mice and ants can survive being dropped from any height and elephants can't even jump without breaking their bones. Game mechanically this truth is handled by preventing characters from using Strength or Armor to soak falling damage, and by having larger creatures take additional damage from falls. Characters can soak damage from falls with an Agility + Athletics check, with the TN being the damage dealt as with an attack. Magical benefits for soaking damage do apply (as they make the character tougher relative to their mass rather than adding additional mass), so a character gains the benefits of Endurance.

If the character falls onto a hard or sharp surface, increase damage by 4 or more. If the falling creature is large, increase the damage by 4 or more. If the falling creature is small, reduce the damage by 4 or more.
Petty (0-2m) 16
Ordinary (3-4m 20
Serious (5-6m) 24
Incapacitating (7-10m) 28
Terminal (11+ m) 32

Electrocution: Electricity damage is something of a paradox. Electricity flows through the path of least resistance, and it inflicts damage based on the resistance of the path it flows through. Thus, you can defend yourself from electricity by covering yourself in high resistance insulation (redirecting electricity away from your body to another path) or by covering yourself with low resistance conductive mesh (creating a preferred path through the mesh and away from your squishy bits). From the standpoint of the game, a character who is protected by especially conductive or non-conductive material is immune to electrical shocks, which is useful. Electricity is inherently unpredictable; whenever someone is electrocuted, roll a die – if it comes up evens, increase the Damage by 4. Electrical outputs are like explosives, you do not add damage based on the attack roll.
Shock Damage
Ordinary (Wall Socket) 20
Serious (Electric Fence) 24
Incapacitating (High Powered Taser) 28
Terminal (Lightning Strike) 32

Poison: Poison is a specific DOT effect that affects the target the target more as it goes on. This makes it slower than shooting someone, but poison tends to have plausible deniability a bullet doesn't. Not all poisons do damage, some have status effects instead of or as well as the one Wound per delay. Poisons normally only have an effect for a certain amount of time based on the original dose. If a victim is exposed to more dosages of the poison before the original has run its course, lower the Delay by one if the timer is less than half over or reset the timer if the original dose's timer was more than half over. Characters with Resilience of Stone or The Long Kiss Goodnight are immune to poisons. If a character is given proper treatment for the poison, the character gets a bonus to Resistance tests (if the treatment neutralizes the poison) or the timer is reduced (if the treatment flushes the poison out). Note that the dosages are all the "normal" dosages, which for street drugs is very small. Poisons may be more or less effective if administered in different ways, but assume that the way presented in the table is how the poison is administered. The secondary effects of a poison kick in once the first Wound has been dealt (or would be dealt if the poison doesn't actually do any damage) and end with the Timer. Any Wounds suffered remain until healed.

Tear Gas 2 5 rounds Provides a “dose” for each round of exposure.
Pepper Spray 0 2 rounds
Tranq Dart 0 3 rounds Fatigue
Rat Poison 5 1 hour Ingested.
Uranium 18 3 Months Provides a “dose” for each five minutes of exposure.
“Feelgood” 1 Hour Blackout and Overstimulation
“Wonderland” 6 Hours Blackout and Tripping
“Showstopper” 10 Minutes Paralysis
“Sweet Dreams” 1 Hour Sleep
“Venom” 0 10 Rounds Sickened
Meth 4 Hours Smoked. Hyped and Overstimulation
Opium 3 Hours Smoked, Sedated and Fatigue
Cocaine 20 Minutes Hyped and Tripping
Alcohol 1 Hour Ingested. Repeated dosing can cause
Blackout, Sedated, or Tripping

    Poisons in Quotes are the magical poisons available with The Long Kiss Goodnight. The damage level may at the character's option be increased by the character's Power.
    When a Poison has a secondary effect, that effect generally lasts for 10 minutes to an hour.
    º: This Poison doesn't actually do any damage, the damage level is just there so that secondary effects occur. At the MC's option, overdoses may still be fatal if the virtual damage level goes over ten Wounds.

Conditions: Give It To Me Straight

The following is a set of temporary conditions in Spellcraft. These conditions are generic, entry level cases; it is possible for a character to be "more Sickened", increasing the penalty they suffer.

Sickened: The victim is in incredible wracking pain or suffering intense nausea. If they have no Wound penalties, they take a -1 to all checks. If they have the penalty from having five or more Wounds, they take a -2 to all checks. If they have the penalty from having eight or more Wounds, they take a -3 to all checks.

Blackout: Getting black out drunk is generally not a pleasant thing. What it is, is the situation that names this status effect. In the real world there are many ways to get to this state, most of which involve chemicals. When a character is in Blackout they suffer a -2 penalty to all actions and any check that would require the character to control their impulses has its difficulty increased by one step. The Blackout condition can be used for storytelling purposes, as the events that took place under a Blackout can be fed back through flashbacks.

Sedated: The character is neither bothered by, nor aware of, negative stimuli. That means that pain doesn't bother them, but they also miss things that an unaffected person would notice. The character calculates Wound penalties as if they had suffered two less Wounds, but the character is at -2 on all Mental checks.

Tripping: When a character is Tripping they see and react to things that aren't there. The classic example is the "little pink elephants" caused by alcoholic hallucinosis, although it could be anything. Once a character gets used to Tripping, they'll start to ignore things that are really happening, considering it part of their delusions. A character Tripping takes a -2 to all Social checks.

Fatigue: A character who is fatigued can no longer effectively exert themselves. They cannot Run or Dash. Also their Strength is reduced by 1. And yes, that means that their Soak is reduced. When the body's burnt out it gets weaker.

Overstimulation: When a character is overstimulated, this means they're getting more sensory input than their brain can handle. Usually this comes from being exposed to really bright lights or loud noises, such as those produced by a flashbang grenade. But it can also come from within by having a character's senses sensitized (such as from atropine, ecstasy, or a Long Kiss Goodnight). In any case, when a character is Overstimulated, their Initiative is reduced by 2 and their physical checks suffer a -2 penalty. The character also needs to make a Professional Intuition + Perception test to even target specific things with the overstimulated sense. A character who is ready for the overstimulation (whether it comes from poison or Supernatural Senses) is not penalized until they run into powerful stimuli.

Paralysis: A fully paralyzed character cannot move. They may or may not be able to move their eyes or blink, depending upon which is more horrible, but they cannot move their arms or even turn their head. The victim's Agility is zero. Paralysis often goes away gradually, with a victim regaining their Agility one point at a time.

Hyped: The character is filled with vigor and energy. Any fatigue or tiredness they feel is postponed until the end of the effect (at which point they will also become fatigued even if they weren't before). The character is incapable of resting during this period.

Weather: High Pressure

Weather is normally not that big a deal in urban fantasy, unless it's magically created weather. In Spellcraft, there's magically created weather. Therefore, having rules for weather patterns is important. It's not just important for those who want to get their rainmaker on, it's important for people who drive or spot in inclement conditions to know just how bad things have gotten.

Rain: Water from the sky is incredibly useful to plant life, but incredibly unfun for humans. It's dreary, it's uncomfortable, and it makes it hard to see things that are far away. It also makes things very wet, which tends to make things slippery for vehicles and generally bad for dirt roads. To that end, it affects a penalty on Drive checks and visibility checks.

Types of RainPenaltyYou get wet unless...
Mist move around a bit.
Drizzle have a hat.
Shower have an umbrella
Rain are wearing rain gear.
Note: the Sun is effectively blocked by the clouds
Deluge have a diving suit.

Fog: when there's fog in the air it reduces contrast and obscures. It scatters light sources and can paradoxically cause people to be blinded by glare if they shine lights trying to see better. Far away things become indistinct and altogether invisible, which would save money on sets if this were a motion picture. As fog becomes thicker, the distance one can see things clearly is reduced, and the distance one can see anything at all is reduced as well. Trying to see things in general past a certain point invites a penalty. Bright lights get scattered in fog and can produce glare. It is entirely possible for a fog to have reduced visibility and overstimulation at the same time. Dust and smoke clouds reduce visibility based on their thickness just as fog does, but they are usually composed of light absorbent particles and do not create glare when light is shed within them.

Fog ThicknessVisibility PenaltyImpeded Vision/Limit of Vision
Thin-1200 meters (1200 meters)
Light-2 100 meters (600 meters)
Medium-3 20 meters (300 meters)
Thick-310 meters (100 meters)
Note: the Sun is effectively blocked by the Fog.
Pea Soup-41 meter (2 meters)

Wind: Air blows around with endless caprice, whisking hats, leaves and words away, ruining apologies and love confessions both. As in the real world, the relative strength of wind in Spellcraft is represented on the Beaufort Windforce Scale. However, the bottom end of that scale doesn't make any difference for the purposes of this game. There's not much game mechanical difference between a dead calm and a gentle breeze, so we're starting with a gentle breeze. As such, the minimum value of wind strength in the game is 3 – even when the story is taking place inside and such. That's a little awkward, but it beats the alternative of not being able to use genuine meteorological data in the game.
Wind StrengthIt's Called...You see...Game Effects
3Gentle Breeze...leaves sway.None.
4Moderate Breeze...dust and loose paper kicked up.Dusty areas gain thin fog.
5Fresh Breeze...whole branches sway.
6Strong empty garbage can fall over.Whistling wind and scattered falling objects obscure sounds.
7High Wind...upper floors in tall buildings shift.Walking against the wind is like moving in difficult ground.
8Gale...campfires blown out.Driving Conditions difficult. Movement on foot difficult. Thrown objects penalized (-2).
9Strong Gale...a tree blow down.Staying upright out of cover is a Hard task. (Strength + Athletics or Survival, TN 20)
10Storm...roof tiles peel up and clatter.
11Violent Storm...roof tiles fly off of buildings.Characters can't make themselves heard if they try.
12Hurricane...some windows breaking.
13Hurricane (2)...a mobile home rolled over and over.Staying upright out of cover is an Inhuman task. (Strength + Athletics or Survival, TN 30)
14Hurricane (3)...a dog flying away
15Hurricane (4)...a twig embed itself into a tree lengthwise.
16Hurricane (5)...Dorothy's house fly away.Characters out of cover resist 16 damage.
    Note: Skyfather's Wrath creates wind at strength 11 as a Professional task, 12 as a Hard task, 13 as an Extreme task, 14 as an Inhuman task, and strength 15 as a Superhuman task.

Armor: Suit Up

Characters will sometimes wear armor. Armor is useful for not dying. Armor is heavier than normal clothes, and wearing it is tiring. However, if you're a character who has Resilience of Stone you don't care because you can't get tired. Due to this, wearing armor all the time (even to sleep) seems tempting, but the character has to explain why they're wearing armor all the time in a modern society that sees such things as gauche. This is less of a problem in Avalon, but it'll still draw some looks.

Armor has a different rating against different kinds of attacks. The Ballistics rating applies against guns, bolts, arrows and explosives. The Melee rating applies against knives and claws in addition to baseball bats and large thrown objects like rocks and cars. And finally, the Heat value applies against extreme heat (like being on fire) and extreme cold. The rating of armor adds points to a character's Soak check depending on the type of damage being inflicted.

Most armor does not cover the character's whole body, and an attacker who knows about the armor can attack the unarmored bits by voluntarily increasing the inherent difficulty to hit by one step. Usually this is going for a headshot, but aiming for weak spots in the armor works too. For armor that truly covers the whole body, such as riot gear or hazmat suits, that is not an option. It's hard to explain why one is wearing a hazmat suit all the time, so even characters that can do so, don't.

Kevlar Shirt540
Enchanted Vestments444
Flak Vest764
Chain Mail595
Riot Gear995
Hazmat Suit467
Fire PPEs569

Healing and Death: A Life or Death Thing

When characters are injured, there are really only two ways things can go: they get better or they don't. In Spellcraft, characters get better when given time to heal. Characters in Spellcraft actually heal quite a bit quicker than normal people; chalk it up to magic or narrative causality. A character given at least 20 minutes to heal removes one Wound from their total. They still take penalties to actions as if they were wounded until they're fully healed, but the penalties don't stack if they get wounded again. Characters have to be resting to heal, they don't just magically get better if they push themselves. The exception is if they're dealt more than ten Wounds at once or have more than ten Wounds in general.

Serious Injury: It's Just A Flesh Wound

If a character takes ten Wounds or more, they are incapacitated. An incapacitated character passes out and stays out for at least an hour unless given first aid. The character stays unconscious until they have less than ten Wounds. If not treated within five minutes, an incapacitated character will bleed out or fade away, taking one Wound every five minutes.

If a character takes more than ten Wounds in a single attack, they are dealt a Terminal Wound. A character with a Terminal Wound is dead within five minutes unless they spend a Fate Point to survive, they make a Hard Healing check or someone provides successful first aid. A character can make an Average or a Professional Healing check instead to increase the timeframe of death to 20 minutes (Average) or 1 hour (Professional). This gives them a fighting chance to get to a place where they have a better shot at making the Healing check, or to get to medical professionals who can lend their expertise to the character's Healing check. Even though a character is going to die before they reach the necessary timeframe to make a Healing check, they get one last shot before they kick the bucket.

An incapacitated character or one dealt a Terminal Wound can be damaged further. This brings them closer to death. Attacks are made against the character as normal, probably with a Target Number of 5 since the character probably isn't moving and is unaware of their surroundings. This means that getting dropped is a very dangerous thing. Incapacitated characters suffer a Wound every 5 minutes unless they make their Healing check. Characters with a Terminal Wound suffer two Wounds every minute unless they make their Healing check.

The Healing Check

When a character is incapacitated or terminal and healing, they are entitled to a Healing check in order to stabilize. The Healing check is Fate Points + Survival, and is modified by the conditions the character is in while they are healing. The Healing check is a Professional task. If the character succeeds, they stabilize. If the character succeeds with style, they stabilize and heal a Wound. If another character is on hand to provide medical care, that character's Logic + Medicine check works together with the injured character's Healing check as a Teamwork check. Who gets to be the main actor and the supporting actor depends on which total modifier is bigger.

Healing Conditions Table:
Conditions are...Healing Modifier

First Aid: Heal Pls

When a character is trained in first aid, they can reduce the damage of an injured character substantially. First aid is pretty much a one-shot thing and must be performed within the "golden hour" (one hour from when the patient was injured). First Aid is a Logic + Medicine check and a Professional task. Success heals two Wounds, plus one Wound per two points over the Target Number. If the victim has suffered a Terminal Wound, it is a Hard task to stabilize them into incapacitation. Extra Wounds are healed by exceeding the Target Number, just like with a regular first aid check. What makes first aid useful besides its ability to bring someone back from the brink is that it does so quickly. Healing Wounds with first aid is one timeframe shorter than natural healing.

Death: Don't Fear the Reaper

Death comes for everyone eventually, even the so-called immortals. Characters in Spellcraft may end up meeting their maker somewhere down the line. They may end up meeting them several times, what with the ability to become a Vampire and all. When that happens, all scene-long and Mana dependent powers end, as well as all magic abilities that can be dispelled. A character's Mana empties out upon their death, but the corpse still regains Mana with the moonrise. This is important because if the character has Revive, they can just rez the next day. There are other ways to raise the dead, and having some Mana to play with never hurts.

The dead may also come back as Ghosts. Ghosts rise after the moon has risen and set once, which coincidentally coincides with Mana replenishment. In some films a Ghost springs up before the body is cold, while in others, the body has to be dead and buried for a couple of days before the Ghost is formed. Due to the cycle of Mana in Spellcraft, this game splits the difference.

Sometimes a player might look at dying as a chance to play a Spectre instead of a chance to make a new character or revive the old one. This is a workable idea, but a difficult one as Spectres are not corporeal outside of Inferno. If the other players are cool with it, the character can be converted into a Spectre, trading out the starting powers of their original supernatural type with those of the Spectre. Essentially, the character is Getting Their Feet Wet again. Unlike a normal character Getting Their Feet Wet, the Spectre has extra powers they keep from their original character.
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Supernatural Society

The supernatural community in Spellcraft is rather small. The dissemination of the existence of the supernatural has swelled the ranks by a sizable amount, but there's still a good chance that the local Werewolf in Nowhere, Kansas is the only one for miles around. Due to this, and the general human urge for companionship, supernatural creatures tend to band together when they find each other. Supernaturals gravitate towards big cities, as this gives them more chances to run into other supernaturals. Some supernaturals decide to roam the wilderness, away from prying eyes, but even so they tend to leave with company if they can manage it. Forming groups is a part of the supernatural social condition. Groups of like-minded supernaturals glom together to form organizations. These groups and organizations change as society does (usually) and keep up with contemporary thought (mostly). Since there are some crazy old supernaturals, there's the chance of certain groups being crazy old-fashioned, but the influx of new blood has made such things rarer.

Basic Supernatural Etiquette

Back in the day, there was a vow of secrecy with the supernatural; if you were one, you did not talk about it and you did not indoctrinate others into it. Thus was borne of necessity, as being a witch (read: any supernatural) was grounds for extermination in the mortal world. Back further in the day, being a supernatural was something you could express openly, but you had to make it hard for others to become one. This was done to keep the supernatural population down to a manageable level. Also, because the mystique of being a rare supernatural creature was protection enough from the superstitious mortals. Nowadays, the cat's out of the bag. People know the supernatural exists and has science to back them up. This has put some supernaturals in a bind, as they have been taken out of the shadows without even being promised dominion first. For most supernaturals, the openness is freeing, as they can now be themselves without (much) persecution.

There are only about 800,000 supernaturals of the six major types in the world. That seems like a lot, but there are seven billion people in the world today. Supernaturals are a drop in the bucket comapred to the masses of humanity. This used to be, and still is, a point of terror for conservative supernaturals. The contemporary supernatural sees it as an opportunity to hude amongst a crowd. For the most part, the major supernaturals look human, so it's easy for one to just exist without raising a fuss. If they do raise a fuss, they can just slip into the crowd. The rise of smartphones and the Internet make even this more difficult, so even the most liberal supernaturals follow certain rules. These rules are taught by every organization and impressed on new supernaturals very quickly.

  • Don't Upset The Status Quo: Human law is the law in our world and it pays not to mess with it too much. If enough supernaturals flaunted the rules and mores of society, it could rapidly turn human sentiment against them. Given that the cat is completely out of the bag and there are a lot more humans than supernaturals, complete decimation of the supernatural community is a real threat. Because of this, supernaturals are always told to respect the laws of the places they're in. This extends to other worlds, like Avalon and Inferno as well, for even though they may have less forces to bring to bear, they still have enough to wipe supernatural society off the map.

  • Keep the Peace: There aren't a lot of supernatural creatures in our world. If they were at each other's throats all the time, there'd be even less. So every supernatural in society is taught to be cool and respect the rights of other supernaturals. All supernatural organizations protect their members, sometimes from other members. If someone violates these rights or threatens the status quo, this also gives supernaturals the right to go after the perpetrator or perpetrators.

  • Respect the Society: Supernatural organizations offer several perks to members. They allow supernaturals to interact with their peers, create support groups for said supernaturals and provide a structure on which to hang interactions. Because of this, supernatural organizations are considered very important. Undermining one is generally not done, unless they violate one of the previous two rules. This extends to supernatural society as a whole; everyone gets along (or at least tries) so things can move smoothly and nobody gets hurt.


Human beings are social animals, and that sociability doesn't cease when one becomes a supenatural. In fact, the urge to form bonds is stronger since so few normal people can understand a supernatural creature. Supernaturals tend to form groups to further shared interests and to watch each other's backs, much like a gang. These groups are called by many names, but what they all share is a sense of camaraderie and a close-knit structure. This is useful for cooperative storytelling since a group of players is going to make a group of characters by default.

Groups can be anything from a gaming group to a group if professional mage hunters and anything in between, but they are all connected by a common thread and share screentime. A group is anywhere from two to eight main characters, plus a couple of important side characters. This neatly dovetails with the average gaming session, as that can encapsulate every PC character and a couple of NPCs. The general assumption is that PCs will be part of the same group, as this gives the MC a framework to hang adventures that get the whole table involved. A Scooby Gang is going to all have a reason to investigate a haunted house, a crew of thieves will all have a reason to pull a heist, and a gang of friends will all have a reason to explore together.

Your group comes first in supernatural society, so the organizations each member is a part of will not expect you to betray them. It's not like getting more supernatural friends is easy. It is very possible that personal loyalties can outlive an organization, since supernaturals can be immortal and organizations generally aren't, so personal loyalties are held as important by every supernatural.


When supernaturals get together, they tend to do so for two reasons: companionship and the sharing of magical power. Once enough supernaturals get together and get it together, they can call themselves an organization. Organizations work under varying degrees of secrecy and constantly try to get new members with varying degrees of zeal.

Each Organization is characterized by two things: their Favored Magic and their Work. Their favored magic is the kind of magic they teach, and a character is generally expected to learn as a part of the Organization. Each Organization lays claim to two of the colleges of magic. Their work is what each Organization does in supernatural society. For example, the Yuusha-bu fights monsters and supernaturals that break the rules of etiquette, while the Third Eye Network deals in information both magical and mundane.

A note on how to work in each Organization is included with the organizational write-up. This includes jobs, a sample mission, and possible threats. It is possible to work for (or against) several Organizations during the course of a story or even at the same time. Today's allies can become tomorrow's enemies, after all.

The Clarke Foundation
"Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology"

The Clarke Foundation is an organization dedicated to applying the scientific method to magic. Started as two separate paranormal think tanks by an American Talent and a Soviet Artificer, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the two think tanks merged into one multinational research concern. Well-funded by the research grants of several major countries, the Clarke Foundation has developed working magitech and theories for most supernatural happenings. It was the Clarke Foundation that published the magical findings that blew the lid off of supernatural society.

The Clarke Foundation believes that there is a scientific explanation for all supernatural phenomena. Since there is clear evidence that such phenomena exist, what the Clarke Foundation tries to do is discover exactly how it works. They have discovered the concept of Mana, energy that responds to sapient thought and creates magical effects, as well as the creation vectors for vampires and werewolves. They are currently trying to find a unified theory of magic to explain the existence of Mana and creatures made of Mana, like Fae and Divinities. In order to research this, they have set up an observation outpost/magical school in Avalon. The Clarke Foundation's headquarters are in the Silicon Valley, but they have outposts all over the world.

The Clarke Foundation believes in the scientific method above all things, and looks down upon superstition. They believe that superstition clouds the nature of true magic, which they see as sufficiently advanced technology. With this magitech, they have created (as of yet non-mass produceable) machines that border on science fiction.

Jobs for the Clarke Foundation: The Clarke Foundation wants to discover the workings of magic, so anything that can nab them more knowledge is useful. They can also always use test subjects for their experiments. The Avalon campus needs teachers and explorers to go on Stargate adventures.

Sample Adventure: A Clarke Foundation scientist has created an animate android, but it's gotten loose. It hasn't been bug tested and is potentially dangerous. Players are tasked to bring it back in one piece, without causing a ruckus.

Threats from the Clarke Foundation: The Clarke Foundation is basically a mad science consortium with magic and government funding. Things get loose, scientists go rogue, and supernatural people you care about might get kidnapped and experimented on.

    Favored Magic: Astral and Evocation
    Work: Research and Development

Covenant of Diana:
"And it harm none, do what ye will"

The Covenant of Diana is an old school neo-Pagan mystery cult. What would become the Covenant of Diana has existed since the Greek maenads; willworkers who would get drunk and skyclad to appease their gods. Not much has changed between then and now, except the Covenant has picked up modern traits from Wicca and other neo-Pagan traditions, and claims itself to have only existed since the 19th Century. The Covenant of Diana still practices a form of the old misdirection in order to avoid conflict with the other major magical organizations and religious groups. Enough witches were burned and killed fir them to be wary, and several members of the Covenant had contemporaries in the witch hunt days.

The Covenant of Diana pays tribute to Diana, goddess of the moon and the feminine first, the Horned God of vitality and the masculine second, and various Fae third. They see the Fae as agents of their gods and venerate them on several holy days. They do this by going to Fairy Rings, getting drunk and skyclad, and performing rituals handed down over generations. When they aren't doing this, they tend to seek out Fae, Elves in particular, and acclimate them to the mortal world. The Covenant has a laissez-faire approach to worship and a loose cell structure to the cult; smaller splinter covens report back to larger ones and they all join together for celebrations. The Covenant of Diana is big in Britain (where they compete with the Ordo Trismegistus and the Order of the Neo-Solar Temple) and the eastern seaboard of the United States.

The Covenant of Diana are trying to create more Fairy Rings to Avalon, in order to better attune the world to that of the Fae. Many suspect their wild revels are actually fronts for weakening the boundary between worlds. Some members of the Covenant see modernity as a sickness that returning to nature will purge. These members see Avalon as closer to the proper state of nature, and work to emulate it.

Jobs for the Covenant of Diana: There's a lot of tree hugging and environmental protection going on with the Covenant of Diana, in between the orgies in the woods and heavy drinking. Thus can turn into all-out eco-terrorism very easily. Finding and helping displaced Fae and changeling children is also a part of the Covenant's duties. Finally, finding Fairy Rings (or making them) is something a Covenant member can be counted on to do.

Sample Adventure: A real estate company is looking to expand into an area of land with a potent Fairy Ring. The Covenant tasks you with getting them to reconsider or stopping construction by any means necessary.

Threats from the Covenant of Diana: When it comes to bringing Avalon to our world, the Covenant is screwing with forces they either don't understand or understand all too well. Smashing two parallel worlds together probably won't end well for either world. Some of the older members may or may not want to bring things back to the Bronze Age, which would get rid of things like pants and representative democracy.

    Favored Magic: Glamour and Evocation
    Work: Environmental protection, retrieval

Hellfire Club
"We are having a damned good time."

The Hellfire Club is an organization of gentlemen and women/Infernalist cult started in the 18th century in Ireland. The Hellfire Club originally started as a way for well-off gentlemen to indulge in all sorts of vices in a safe environment. This extended to supernatural creatures as well, giving them a much needed place to let their hair down. The creator of the current Hellfire Club was himself part Demon, and slowly worked Infernalisn into the drinking and whoring of the club's activities. Eventually, the two things became intertwined, and Demons became a regular part of the Bacchanalia. In modern times, the Hellfire Club is as well known for its Goetics as it is for its parties, and the club acts as intermediaries for anyone of good breeding (or good money) needing to get in contact with Inferno. The Hellfire Club is based out of Ireland, but has outposts throughout continental Europe, Quatar and the UAE, and in the United States.

The Hellfire Club recruits those of good breeding, be they male or female, and teaches them how to live a life of debauchery while still presenting an acceptable face to the world. To this end, they teach members his to hide evidence, covertly get into and out of places and how to lie effectively. This makes them a highly sought after group for spies and criminals; both groups will make up qualifications to be accepted. It's gotten to the point where the upper ranks of the club realize all of their members aren't of noble bearing, but if they can fake it well enough to get past initiation, they're accepted anyway. Members of the Hellfire Club gifted with magical potential often become infernal Invokers; those with magical power learn how to call up demons and other infernal denizens as part of initiation. Having demon blood or being a demon shoots one up the ranks of the society, and all of the important members can claim Infernal stock. Membership in the club is ranked via levels of Hell; the deeper one goes the higher the status. The founder is still acting head of the club and is referred to as his infernal majesty. The title is mostly for pomp, and decisions are made via a council of seven senior members. The founder does hold veto power over the council.

The Hellfire Club's main goal is to offer supernaturals and mortals the chance to throw away their morality for a period of time, with a secondary goal of bringing demons out if Inferno and gaining magical power. The highest honor for a member of the Hellfire Club is to be turned into a full fledged Demon or have a demonic endowment bestowed upon them.

Jobs for the Hellfire Club: The Hellfire Club is always looking for people who can clean up after the messes some of their members can cause. They also look for those of good breeding (or those who can fake it well enough) and getting initiated into the club is a task in and of itself. The Hellfire Club deals with Inferno in a regular basis, so they're your one stop shop for Infernal adventures.

Sample Adventure: A neophyte member of the club summoned up a Fiend and went on quite the bender. Now the Fiend is missing and the member has no recollection of what happened. The players are tasked to find the Fiend like it was The Hangover or something

Threats from the Hellfire Club: The Hellfire Club is a collection of rich assholes who act completely immorally, cause trouble and summon demons. They're like a frat on PCP. If they don't wreck up something you like, they'll probably call up something that will.

    Favored Magic: Conjuration and Evocation
    Work: Coverups, Depravity, Infernal Affairs

The Marduk Consortium
"Our work is never over"

The Marduk Consortium is a conglomerate of companies secretly run by supernaturals. Through various means, they avoid being considered a trust since they don't officially exist. The Marduk Consortium uses various magical abilities to get a leg up in the business world and provide services to the supernatural community. If you need some spell components or special magical ammunition, chances are a Marduk Consortium company provides it. The Marduk Consortium is really a series of companies and shell companies controlled by a group of supernaturals known only as The Board of Directors. The true names of these supernaturals have been lost to time, but it is known that they have been running the seed companies for hundreds of years. Needless to say, they are all extremely rich and completely mercenary.

Now that magic is known to the public, the Consortium has begun to open paranormal boutiques or "magic marts" as they're colloquially known. These boutiques offer various useful magical reagents and items under the guise of New Age spiritualism. The Consortium still holds to the tradition of misdirection, which leads proper mages to quickly learn how to get what they want. The Marduk Consortium has an online presence selling items magical and mundane, and uses the mundane money to fuel magical research and purchases. They are making overtures to the Clarke Foundation in an attempt to monopolize the nascent magitech industry and have poached more than a few scientists and developers.

The Marduk Consortium wants to monopolize the magical market and is already halfway there. This has earned them the ire of several groups, although the anger is mostly rebuffed by the fact that there's no one single target. The endgame of the Marduk Consortium is to create a cyberpunk megacorp and become the foremost magical power in the material world.

Jobs for the Marduk Consortium: The Marduk Consortium is a series of corporations, so corporate espionage is always an option. Stealing prototypes, bribing officials, destroying or recovering data, etc. They also have a need for magical reagents and texts that they can mass produce and make a profit off of.

Sample Adventure: A Marduk Consortium representative has hired you to recover a magical tome so they can copy and sell it (a censored version, of course) from a rival company. This involves breaking into said company's offices, stealing the tome, and getting out without getting caught. They'll give you extra money if you steal corporate secrets for them, too.

Threats from the Marduk Consortium: These guys are actively trying to become a cyberpunk megacorp and are willing to go above the law for the sake of profit. They are also run by supernatural creatures who have long since discarded their morality and humanity. Think Dracula running Weyland-Yutani and you have an idea of what the Marduk Consortium is like.

    Favored Magic: Glamour and Theurgy
    Work: Industry and Start-Ups

The Order of the Neo-Solar Temple
"Intolerance is evidence of impotence"

The Order of the Neo-Solar Temple claims to have been founded in the days of the ancient Egyptians, but are really dated to the 19th century like many so-called ancient orders. When this is brought up, adherents to the Order point out the neo in the title. The Order of the Neo-Solar Temple sees itself as the latest in a long line of masonic orders, thus the neo. The founder of the Order, Horace Horus, claims to have been a philosopher-king in the time of ancient Egypt; he is confirmed as an Awakened so this claim has some validity. His claims of being present at every momentous occasion in history is less so, but his faithful believe it anyway. Those in the Order believe that all humans have the ability to Awaken and do so by imposing their will upon the world with magic. The awakened are seen as overmen beyond traditional morality. Members of the Order are taught to be noble and self-actualized and disdain formalized religion and so called slave morality. It's all very Nietzsche meets Crowley, where you are given carte blanche to do what you will yourself to do.

The Order is a masonic group with seven levels of initiation. Each level of initiation reveals more of the group's secrets and is meant to allow a person to unlock more and more of their previous selves. The highest level of initiation has only been achieved by Horace Horus and a few of his closest advisers; he claims that ultimate mastery of the self is granted at this level of initiation. In the Order of the Neo-Solar Temple, knowledge is considered power and the more knowledge one has, the more powerful. Long-lived supernatural creatures are held in high regard within the Order, as are actual Awakened. The Order trades in secrets and knowledge and hunt for mystical artifacts constantly. Bringing new knowledge and new mystical artifacts is a fast way to go up in the ranks. When it comes to this knowledge and these artifacts, the original owners don't matter, only the necessity of having them. This doesn't make them the most popular of organizations.

The Order of the Neo-Solar Temple headquarters is in Cairo, Egypt, where they base their treasure hunting and information brokering. The Order wants to possess ultimate knowledge and will stop at nothing to achieve it.

Jobs for the Order of the Neo-Solar Temple: The Order does treasure hunts almost exclusively. Whether it's magical or merely rare, they want it and will pay a pretty penny for it. The Order also wants to be the sole arbiter of knowledge, so if they already have something, they will send people off to destroy knowledge too.

Sample Mission: Eager to go up in rank, an initiate lets on that they know something about where one of Marduk's items of power has ended up. Unfortunately, they were bluffing and someone called their bluff. The players are tasked to go spelunking down by the Tigris and Euphrates and find something they can at least pass off as an item of power.

Threats from the Order of the Neo-Solar Temple: They see themselves as beyond good and evil and entitled to anything they can impose their will upon. This means they want power and will take pretty much anything they want/think they can get away with. They also want to hoard all knowledge, so if someone learns something they don't know, it gets stuck in their craw.

    Favored Magic: Conjuration and Astral
    Work: Antiques and Treasure Hunting

The Seelie Court
"My heart is true as steel"

The Seelie Court is an Avalon-based group of nobles that see themselves as the arbiters of Fae law. Honor bound and proud, the Seelie Court solves problems in Avalon with words and swords. Usually in that order. The Seelie Court is an organization with the narrowest spread of supernatural membership, with most being Sidhe. Elves, Shifters and some Gifted make up the rest, but they rarely reach the rarefied air of the pure Sidhe. The Seelie Court loves humanity, but rarely lets mortals advance any further than attendants. The Seelie nobles see themselves as the standard bearers of Fae culture and act the part. If they had their way, everyone in Avalon would follow their example. Woe betide one who crosses the Seelie Court, for their wrath is swift and terrible. Fortunately (or unfortunately), it's straightforward and flashy, usually done through challenges and a literal throwing of the gauntlet. Anyone who turns down the proper channels gets looked at as a dog and hunted down like one.

All members of the Seelie Court follow a code based on the Sidhe way of life. This code has four tenets: Death Before Dishonor, Love Conquers All, Beauty is Life and Never Forget a Debt. Death Before Dishonor means what it says; shaming oneself or a member of the Seelie Court is the gravest sin a member can commit. The Seelie Court believe in the power of romantic and platonic love as the highest, most transcendent force in the worlds. Seelie Court members will go through romances in the knightly sense in order to achieve romances in the colloquial sense. If love is the highest power, beauty is the most precious thing and the Seelie Court will go to war over slighted beauty. Finally, the Seelie Court will always repay debts and exact vengeance with the same fervor.

The Seelie Court holds congress in Avalon from the Vernal Equinox to Samhain. They rule from the Summerlands, a verdant, idyllic land. They prefer to stay and police Avalon, but the Seelie Court does have cat's paws and agents within the material world. These agents protect beautiful things and recruit mortals and supernaturals for the Court.

Jobs for the Seelie Court: The Seelie Court is basically a knightly order that goes on quests for honor and glory. Being sent on a dungeon crawl or a snipe hunt in Avalon or the material world is par for the course with them. They also want to protect beautiful things, and will entrust like-minded people to assist them.

Sample Adventure: A squire of the Seelie Court requires a party to go hunting for a Jabberwocky. The task is too great for one Fae to take on alone, so there is no shame in relying on help. If the players are successful in taking the Jabberwock's head, they become honorary members of the Seelie Court.

Threats from the Seelie Court: The Seelie Court repays any slight back with interest and will straight kill you if you mar something they perceive to be beautiful. If you happen to be one of the ugly supernatural types (or just offend their sensibilities), you're pretty much persona non grata. If a member of the Seelie Court is coming after you to settle a debt, they won't stop until somebody dies.

    Favored Magic: Glamour and Enchantment
    Work: Questing and Preservation

Seven Fortunes
"The way that can be named is not the true way."

The Seven Fortunes Benevolence Society is a syncretic Confucian-Taoist society of sages and oracles. Tracing their lineage to the Han Dynasty, they are one of the oldest organizations in supernatural society. The Seven Fortunes believe in cultivating right action in accordance to tian or Heaven, the interconnected flow of all things. To do this, they seek paths to immortality, believing it to be a reward for just actions. The long lived sages of the society learn and ruminate on everything they can, and act as examples for the younger members. Advancement in the society is meritocratic, with exams being offered bi-yearly. Success on the exams places one in a favorable position in the bureaucracy of the organization. Deference is given to wizened members of the supernatural community, but the upper echelons of power are available to anyone who does exceedingly well on their exams. The exams are a comprehensive study on ethics, magical theory, fortune telling and philosophy. The content of the exams changes every year, and cheaters are severely punished.

Important to the Seven Fortunes is the concept of the Junzi or superior person. A Junzi acts in according to Tian and the tenets of Confucianism. First among these tenets is ren, or altruism and humanity. Next is yi or righteousness in word and deed. Then, there's li, which is the proper way of doing and naming things according to function, zhi, the pursuit of knowledge and xin, personal integrity. Second to these, but no less important, are filial piety, loyalty and temperance. Acting in these ways is seen to be acting in accordance to the natural order, and should come as easily to a member as breathing and walking. To the sages, this may even be true. The highest aspiration in the Seven Fortunes is to become a sage, but all members strive to be Junzi first. Members of the Seven Fortunes see themselves as the caretakers of supernatural society and believe their example should be the one followed by all, although they are flexible about this.

The Seven Fortunes deal in magical theory heavily influenced by Taoist thought, as well as divination. Seven Fortunes diviners are considered the best in the supernatural community and are sought after by the powerful. The Seven Fortunes have many prophecies, only a few they let outsider see. They believe everything can be divined through casting of the Trigrams and the I Ching, but several members have proper magical divination too. The society is mostly content to busy themselves with study and divination, but they also have a vested interest in controlling Fairy Rings, believing them to be geomantic places of power. This brings the normally peaceable organization into conflict with several groups.

The Seven Fortunes are naturally big in eastern and southeast Asia, but have made inroads wherever there is a sizable Asian population. San Francisco has the American headquarters of the Seven Fortunes, which sees itself as more modern and cosmopolitan than the Beijing home branch.

Jobs for the Seven Fortunes: The Seven Fortunes want auspicious people, places and things protected so as not to disrupt their prophecies. This means a lot of courier jobs and escort missions. They also desire land (most of which is a bleed from some other world), which means anything from homesteading to carpetbagging to straight up dungeon crawling.

Sample Mission: Seven Fortunes geomancers have found a convergence of ley lines in Roanapur, Thailand. Unfortunately, Roanapur is a wretched hive of scum and villany and the ley line convergence point is currently occupied by displaced Vory. They want you to bargain with or clear out the Russian mobsters and capture the convergence point.

Threats from the Seven Fortunes: The Seven Fortunes may have prophecies that label you or someone you care about as auspicious, or worse, dangerous. This means they'll interrupt your life and turn it into something more akin to a shounen manga. If you have something important to them, they'll probably try to take it from you. Less scrupulous members of the Seven Fortunes Benevolence Society can be basically Scooby Doo villains with magic when it comes to ley lines.

    Favored Magic: Evocation and Theurgy
    Work: Real Estate, Protection

The Stoker Society
"The blood is the life"

The Stoker Society is the most recent version of an organization based off a supernatural truce between vampires. With the age of enlightenment, it was no longer acceptable for vampires and other supernatural creatures to rule through fear, nor was it easy for them to seclude themselves from the prying eyes of reason. To make matters more complicated, the Nosferatu in Europe were suddenly joined by American Lost and Asian Jiang-shi, shaking their perceived rulership of the night. Fearing a bloody civil war between the three clans, the eldest of each clan decided to band together and form what would be known as the Stoker Society. In doing so, they would stake out the necessary rules and regulations for being supernaturals without giving the game away. These rules would be the genesis of modern supernatural action, as the triumvirate saw anonymity as their new secrecy. Once the triumvirate was finalized, the three clan elders and their attendants consolidated their power into a blanket that spanned the globe. While not as powerful as they once were, the Stoker Society still has branches on every continent, with Romania being their birthplace.

The Stoker Society upheld the tradition of secrecy in all the domains they claimed. Now that this tradition is lost, the Stoker Society uses the shadow contacts they developed for less savory means. Any grey or black market dealings that need to be done can be done through the Stoker Society. The Stoker Society is basically run like the mob, with underbosses paying tribute to dons, who pay tribute to the triumvirate. The triumvirate is made up of one Lost, one Nosferatu and one Jiang-shi; nominally the positions belong to the eldest of each, but that isn't necessarily the case. As expected from a coalition of vampires, they have a large human trafficking network; trading thralls and fresh meat to supernaturals who need such things. The Stoker Society fully accepts their darker natures, and is one of the only organizations that counts Revenants as respected members in their ranks.

The Stoker Society is a reformist organization that tries to follow the changes in mortal society as closely as they can. They see doing so as necessary to keep up the charade of normalcy and to hide the nastier parts of what they do. The Stoker Society also sees itself as above the law and sees no problem in doing illegal or immoral acts as long as they don't violate proper supernatural etiquette. Vampires are far and away the most prevalent supernaturals in the Stoker Society, although there are a fair number of Demons and Shifters. They have little stake in the other worlds, preferring to amass power in the material one.

Jobs for the Stoker Society: The Stoker Society does a lot of shady things for the sake of keeping the human capital flowing. Drug running, prostitution, weapons trafficking, money laundering; if it's something organized crime would do, the Stoker Society does it. They also nominally have an agenda of reforming supernatural society, so they will send agents to overthrow old and backwards supernatural fiefdoms.

Sample Adventure: A Romanian Nosferatu crime boss wants to take out a rival Bulgarian Nosferatu and has snitched to the Society that his rival is running his land like in the bad old days. The Stoker Society sends you out to do recon and confirm or deny the Romanian's claims. If he's right, they want you to break it up. If he's wrong, they want you to enact punishment on the snitch.

Threats from the Stoker Society: These guys are the frickin' vampire mafia, I'm sure you can think of some nasty things they can do. If you can't, realize that their reformist nature puts them at odds with a not insignificant chunk of supernatural society.

    Favored Magic:Conjuration and Glamour
    Work: Crime, Revolution

Spirit Walkers
"A journey of a hundred miles begins with a single step"

The Spirit Walkers are an organization devoted to the protection and detection of spirits and other otherworldly ethereal beings. They follow a creole form of animism drawn from indigenous peoples and modern spiritualism, allowing them to understand and handle all forms of spirits and ghosts. The Spirit Walkers actively search for areas high in spiritual activity, in order to protect humanity and the spiritual entities. They follow tales of hauntings and poltergeist activity and bargain with or banish the malevolent entities. Spirit Walkers are the innovators of the Archetype concept and the developers of common spiritual nomenclature.

The Spirit Walkers explore all worlds and are seen as the go to group for finding hidden things. The Ordo Trismegistus and the Seven Fortunes tend to rely on them for excursions to Avalon, while the Hellfire Club relies on them to map Inferno. They are also the only organization that has made inroads to the in-between places in Paradiso and claim to have spoken to gods. When pressed for answers, they remain tight lipped. The Spirit Walkers are cagey about a lot of their dealings, and don't reveal their plans or goals often. When asked about their skill at exploration and discovery, the Spirit Walkers claim they've developed their skills in the services of the spirits. There is a movement within the organization to move to Avalon and take spiritually significant items and places with them. Spiritual activity is more pronounced in Avalon and less disruptive to human dealings, so some members see the exodus as the best possible outcome for spirits and humans.

The Spirit Walkers are popular with the indigenous peoples of many contries and are integral in keeping folk traditions alive. They draw the most membership from Native Americans and sub-Saharan African people, which has given them a syncretic blend of modern thought and ancient tradition. Spirit Walkers travel to the most remote places of the globe and can be found almost anywhere. Unlike most organizations, they tend towards rural areas and small villages.

Jobs For The Spirit Walkers: The Spirit Walkers do two main things: explore places and deal with spirits. Sometimes one of these leads to the other. Finding lost locations, lost people and lost artifacts is a part of the Spirit Walker profession, as is good old fashioned ghost busting.

Sample Adventure: A Malaysian development company is being beset with freak accidents as they try to cultivate some land. They suspect ghostly activity and have tasked the PCs with finding and quelling the spiritual presence. Appeasing the spirits is the PCs' first task, but if that won't work they may have to convince the spirits to go somewhere else.

Threats From The Spirit Walkers: Sometimes the Spirit Walkers will side with the spirits over the people and will actively fight attempts to remove or eradicate spirits. They also want to move things that people own to Avalon, like historical buildings. Radical members of the Spirit Walkers believe a bit too much in the noble savage stereotype, and would like to roll back society to living off the land as hunter-gatherers.

    Favored Magic: Theurgy and Astral
    Work: Exploration, ghost busting

Third Eye Network
"Knowledge deserves to be free"

The Third Eye Network is a contemporary anarchistic organization dedicated to information freedom, mutual understanding, compromise and general liberty. They are also a subversive group dedicated to testing the limits of magic and spreading "The Message". What "The Message" is isn't fully known to all, or even any members of the Network and parts of "The Message" are hidden in riddles, ARGs and in other messages. The idea of having information pertinent to the organization hidden when they're supposed to be about information freedom is a sore point with members of the Network, so many of them will claim their own version of the Message as The Message.

The Third Eye Network is made up of the youngest supernaturals out of all of the organizations, with many coming from the 20th and 21st century. The Network spreads its message (and The Message) through the Internet, and has garnered a large cult following through that. Third Eye Network supernaturals see themselves as reality hackers and teach neophytes how to get around in supernatural society through a series of useful websites, videos and PDFs. The brazenness of the Network's dissemination of supernatural information rubs many older supernaturals the wrong way, but members of the Network see what they're doing as a necessity after the actions of the Clarke Foundation. The Network has a large number of regular humans within their ranks and actively tries to convince them to become supernatural creatures.

The Third Eye Network is the youngest of the organizations, being founded in the 20th century by a group of chaos magicians who didn't fit in with the other organizations and wanted to explore magic like hackers and phreakers would explore computers and telephones, respectively. They felt that magic was something that could be explained in plain terms and used for the betterment of society. Naturally, when the Clarke Foundation came out with their findings, the Network jumped on the chance to get their ideas out there. The Third Eye Network still fiddles with magic in an attempt to find out the source code of the universe. The Network is spread all over the world, but makes its home in England, birthplace of Chaos Magick.

Jobs for the Third Eye Network: The Network uses its youth and generally disconnectedness from supernatural politics to be diplomats and mediators par excellence. They're also the go-to organization for getting something from point A to point B, since they'll do it for knowledge or even for free.

Sample Adventure: The Seelie and Unseelie Courts are winding down from a conflict with the Crimson Witch and wants to negotiate the release of prisoners from the Witch's domain. A group of neutral outsiders is needed for diplomacy's sake and since the PCs are members of the Network, it falls to them.

Threats from the Third Eye Network: Information freedom can very well mean spying and promoting understanding can very well mean divulging secrets. Those with something to hide won't like the Third Eye Network very much. Various versions of The Message can also cause conflicts between organizations or even within the Network itself.

    Favored Magic: Astral and Evocation
    Work: Diplomacy and Couriering

Ordo Trismegistus
"Communicate the sum of the Abyss, and divine knowledge to all posterity"

The Ordo Trismegistus is an ancient and venerable organization of mages dating back to the fall of the Roman Empire. Named after Hermes Thrice-Great, the philosopher god of Hermeticism, the Ordo sees itself as keepers of magical knowledge and decorum. As opposed to the Seven Fortunes Benevolence Society which only focuses on divination and Taoist alchemy, the Ordo claims to give equal focus to the three colleges of Astrology, Theurgy and Alchemy. The Ordo prides itself on giving mages knowledge of all things magical and mundane, and for having schools of magic established before any other organization. They are the predominant magical organization in Europe and are based out of England, where they come into conflict with the Third Eye Network.

The Ordo Trismegistus was originally a purely Hermetic tradition and only taught Hermetic magic. Nowadays, they teach all forms of magic, but in a strictly academic and heavily Hermetically influenced fashion. The Ordo is run much like a medieval guild, with a strict hierarchy and baroque rules of advancement. Advancing comes down to a mixture of personal success, brown nosing and advancing the field of magical study in some way. Advancement in the Ordo is highly prized and breeds cut-throat magical social climbers. Sitting atop the power structure of the Ordo is the Council of Seven; the most skilled mages in each of the colleges and the Archmage, who is skilled in all colleges. The Archmage holds veto power over the other members of the Council of Seven and lays claim to being the great Merlin himself. The Council of Seven act much like the American Supreme Court, only deciding on matters of utmost importance to the Ordo Trismegistus. Day to day affairs are run by coalitions of deans, separated into schools based on their area of expertise.

Jobs for the Ordo Trismegistus: The Ordo Trismegistus collects rare books and magical tomes, as well as other rare things. Members of the Ordo are always looking to find new discoveries or rework old ones, so they are constantly searching for the exotic and going exploring. Prospective researchers always need able bodies to help them with more...difficult tasks.

Sample Adventure: Two rival mages are trying to discover a rare beast inside of Avalon and need your help in doing so. Pick a side and go exploring in the Verdant Forest and make sure that the beast (and the researcher) makes it back in one piece.

Threats from the Ordo Trismegistus: Mages can be kind of assholes sometimes. In the pursuit of advancement, they can forget things like ethics and morality. It is entirely possible to get in the way of an overzealous Ordo mage experimenting on a group of people or even an entire village for some amoral (at best) end.

    Favored Magic: Theurgy and Conjuration
    Work: Magical Studies

Unseelie Court
"Lord, what fools these mortals be"

The Unseelie Court is an organization of mostly Fae from Avalon that believe in hedonism, trickery and general dissolution of morals. Due to ancient and unbreakable Fae law, they're given free rein to reign from Samhain to the Vernal Equinox. During this time, much of Avalon is an orgy of pleasure and terror. The Unseelie Court believes in unleashing the darker natures within oneself in order to stay pure and clean. Repression isn't healthy, they say, so they express their impulses freely. They love to indoctrinate humans into their worldview, and frequently go on kidnapping sprees, which they call Wild Hunts. When they're not kidnapping people, they're running drugs and performing hits in order to "beautify" the material world. The Unseelie Court is mostly situated in Avalon, but they count the disillusioned and the discarded amongst their ranks in the material world.

The Unseelie Court have four tenets, much like the Seelie Court. They are: Change is Constant, Passion Before Duty, Life is Farce and Honor is False. Change is Constant means the only constant in all the worlds is change, and adapting to those changes is what makes one strong. Passion Before Duty means that acting on impulse is more important than following hidebound strictures. Life is Farce encapsulates the natural black humor of life and death and how entropy makes everything but a trifle in the end. Honor is False means what it says: placing stock in what others think and believe is meaningless compared to personal self-interest.

Jobs for the Unseelie Court: The Unseelie Court trade in vices and actively proliferate them. This means they need people to help spread those vices and to cover for people getting blowback for those vices. They also deal in murder, so if someone needs killing, the Unseelie Court is who you call. Sometimes they want to protect someone in the crosshairs of another group, so you may be called on to prevent someone from getting murdered.

Sample Adventure: The Unseelie Court has taken an interest in the drug running business down in Mexico and want to carve out a foothold. They want you to go down there, start some shit and create a power vacuum they can slip into.

Threats from the Unseelie Court: They kidnap people, pump them full of drugs and turn them into assassins, whores, or whoresassins. Some of these people might be people the PCs care about. They also kill people, many of whom at least somebody doesn't want dead.

    Favored Magic: Glamour and Astral
    Work: Debauchery and Killing

"Fighting evil by moonlight, winning love by daylight"

The Yuusha-bu is an organization of warriors who have been fighting the things that go bump in the night for a very long time. Yuusha-bu is Japanese for Hero Club, and members see themselves as such. The specific organization called the Yuusha-bu is a recent invention, dating back to the 19th century, but the idea of a warrior conclave fighting against the darkness has been around for much longer than that. The current Yuusha-bu is situated in Kyoto, Japan (hence the Japanese name), but is an international force for justice. Being situated in Japan for so long, and wanting to easily justify their magical abilities, the Yuusha-bu has co-opted the concept of the magical girl and the wandering priest; sometimes both at once. Members are urged to wear superhero-esque outfits or the trappings of various clergy, sometimes an eclectic mix of both. Members of the Yuusha-bu are also given pseudonyms to protect themselves and their loved ones.

The Yuusha-bu is very popular amongst teenaged supernatural creatures, as they are amongst their peers. This doesn't mean that the Yuusha-bu is solely staffed with teenagers, as former teenagers grow up and become mentors to the next generation of Yuusha-bu members. Those with a strong sense of justice join the Yuusha-bu, usually after their lives are touched by the supernatural. The Yuusha-bu see themselves as humanity's protectors and see humanity's greatest threats as coming from their fellow supernaturals. As such, they act as an impromptu police force; righting wrongs and disrupting the seedier activities of the supernatural community. The Yuusha-bu finds several Awakened within their ranks and they tend to hold sway given their past experiences.

Jobs for the Yuusha-bu: The Yuusha-bu wants to do three things: recruit new members, fight monsters and protect humans. "New" members that used to be old members that have come back from the dead are high priority recruits for them, so there can be some fun times with an Awakened, a Fiend or a Vampire former member.

Sample Mission: Somewhere in the city a Sleepwalker is killing people and reraising them as zombies. It's up to you and your crew to track down the Sleepwalker, kick some zombie ass and do it all without alerting the city government.

Threats from the Yuusha-bu: You can get up to some pretty nasty shit in Spellcraft. Doing so will earn you the ire of the Yuusha-bu if they catch you doing it. To some members, merely existing is a crime against humanity which they will punish you for. The Yuusha-bu also sides with humanity over supernaturals, so they may call the mortal heat down on you.

    Favored Magic: Enchantment and Conjuration
    Work: Monster Hunting, Hero Stuff

Antagonistic Organizations

What separates an antagonistic organization from a regular organization isn't necessarily the fact that they're the "bad guys". With groups like the Unseelie Court and the Stoker Society, what constitutes "bad guys" is pretty fluid. What makes antagonistic organizations antagonists is that they are directly opposed to the other organizations and possibly supernaturals in general.

It's generally assumed that these organizations are NPC only. PCs will be a part of one or more organizations (or independent) and the forthcoming organizations will be their enemies. It is possible to play a game where the group comes from one of these organizations because hey, you're already playing vampires and werewolves and demons. If you're going to sin, sin boldly and all that.

Even though these organizations are NPC only, this doesn't mean they're kill on sight. The Crimson Witch may not like material worlders and want to bring both the Seelie and Unseelie Court to heel, but this doesn't mean it's open season. Starting a war (if one hasn't already been started) is not something any organization really wants to do. If it's gotta happen, it has a cause, a beginning and a negotiated end. Once war is declared, if war is declared, then go nuts. All's fair in love and war, and there's no love between these organizations.

The Crimson Witch
"Sooner or later, you will bend the knee to me."

Long ago, a princess earned the attention of a Fae noble and was whisked away to Avalon. This princess was shrewd and wicked, and she gained power by slaying the noble, eating his flesh and bathing in his blood. She took over the noble's lands and began expanding rapidly into other territories. The Seelie and Unseelie Court were both irked by this, but they found themselves unable to eradicate the Crimson Witch. Her armies of undead wore down the knights of each court and attempts to assassinate her failed against her glamour and her guile. When the two courts decided to work together, the Crimson Witch revealed her nuclear option: world rending magics thought lost forever. Now the Crimson Witch sits in a cold war situation with both the Seelie and Unseelie Court; there is an official detente between the three, but hostilities have not ceased.

The Crimson Witch runs her domain with an iron fist. She is considered a god in her lands, and her wrath is terrible to behold. Worship of the Crimson Witch is mandatory and displeasing her is a quick way to end up dead or worse. She has a deep loathing of mortals, as it reminds her of humanity she has long since lost. She wants to conquer Avalon and the mortal world, then war against Paradiso and Inferno. Her endgame is to be the sole god-queen of all worlds, and all of her nation's energies are focused on making an army that can make her so. Those who live in her domain are trained to fight if they're able to and when they die, they're risen as zombies. To replenish her living troops, she sends Goblins out to kidnap people.

The Crimson Witch is bound to Avalon by a Seelie and Unseelie pact and requires materials for a very exacting ritual to break the binding. She sends her cat's-paws and her agents to find these materials all throughout the worlds, so she can make good her plans to conquer the mortal world. In between finding the materials she needs to free herself, she has her agents capture beautiful people to slaughter and bathe in their blood.

    Sample Encounter: The PCs are in a supernatural nightclub when suddenly, the lights go out and people start screaming. A gang of Ogres are snatching up the beautiful people and carting them off. If the PCs don't stop them, they'll take the people to an unmarked van and cart them off to who knows where.

"They put magic on the eyes of people and sought to frighten them."

The Hexenhammers are a radical Abrahamic monster hunting organization. They see all magic that isn't bestowed by (their idea of) God to be anathema and act to eradicate it. A world without magic is the world that they want, but they will accept having magic granted to a few chosen by God. Those people who happen to be chosen by God are in the Hexenhammers or will be in the Hexenhammers very soon. The mental gymnastics it takes to accept their supernaturals as blessed and others as anathema are impressive, but not surprising. Christian Hexenhammers have it worse than Muslim Hexenhammers, as they have Exodus 22:18 to work around, while Muslims are allowed to practice magic as long as it's to defeat other magics.

Vampires and Demons are actively hunted, with Werewolves and other Shifters looked down upon but not immediately hunted. Divinities that don't follow the right God are considered infidels and given the chance to convert or die, as are all Gifted. Divinities that follow the proper God are worshipped as long as they don't do anything that earns the ire of the Hexenhammers; if they do, they're cast out and hunted down. The Hexenhammers have a particular hatred for the Gnostic part of the Ordo Trismegistus, as they find them to be perverting the teachings of God.

The Hexenhammers are generally accepted by the populace at large, as magic is a scary thing to a lot of people. They protect the people (and try to convert them to Christianity or Islam, depending) and act as arbiters of judgment on the supernatural community. This wins them no favors with the actual supernatural community, but it does create a groundswell of support, especially in smaller communities and among the superstitious. Most of them are content solely to protect humanity (at the supernatural community's expense) but some would like to establish theocratic world governments.

    Sample Encounter: The PCs are in a meeting and things are going well, until a group of crusaders in plate mail bust down the door. A wild-eyed woman in a nun habit littered with parchment gives everyone in the meeting an ultimatum: either repent their sinful ways or die.

Mythos Cultists
"Cthulthu ftaghn! Ia!

Mythos Cultists are a catch-all term for the organizations that worship the gods of HP Lovecraft. Normally this would put them in the same tier of odd but harmless as, say, worshipers of Horus or Amaterasu. Unlike the worshipers of Horus or Amaterasu, Mythos Cultists spread chaos and dissolution in order to please their gods. Mythos Cultists want to make more cultists and bring about the time of reckoning of choice: whether it's Cthulthu's orgy of pleasure and destruction, Shub-Niggurath's birthing of monsters or the ultimate summation of Nyarlthotep's inscrutable, labyrinthine plans.

Mythos Cultists are usually unorganized cells of cultists that spring up in various parts of the world. They rarely work together, and sometimes will fight and devour each other over sectarian conflicts. An exception to this rule is the Esoteric Order of Dagon, a Massachusetts based cult that has its tentacles in many costal and landlocked cities. They worship the trinity of Mother Hydra, Father Dagon and Cthulthu, and seek to return humanity to the waves. To do this, they work closely with a group of fishlike Goblins called Deep Ones. The Deep Ones and the cultists raid shipping lanes, cause havoc and indoctrinate more people into the cult.

Mythos Cultists tend to hide themselves well, as being a member earns one the stink eye even in supernatural society. Considered nihilistic at best and actively destructive to social cohesion at worst, the Mythos Cultists are not on good terms with any organization. The Esoteric Order of Dagon and the Order of the Neo-Solar Temple do make furtive overtures to each other on the sly, but these interactions are vehemently denied by the Neo-Solar Temple. Mythos Cultists are on very poor terms with the Hexenhammers. It is not uncommon for a large-scale Mythos ritual to be raided by Hexenhammer assisted organizations.

    Sample Encounter: People are starting to go missing in a sleepy fishing town that had fallen on hard times. The more people go missing, the better the fish harvests are. Once bodies start popping up, looking like they've been eaten by giant fish, the PCs are called in to investigate.

The Sleepwalkers
"Genius and madness are only separated by degrees of success."

The Sleepwalkers are an organization of mad mages. They believe that the world is an illusion that the unenlightened masses cannot wake up from. Unlike the unenlightened masses, they are given magic in which to shape the dream. They don't see themselves as awakened, as if they were they would ascend, but they do see themselves as lucid dreamers. Their aim is to awaken the world and reach a sort of singularity, and they do this by making reality fall apart through heavy magical mucking about. They believe that if they pump enough Mana into the world at a magically rich location, they can cause bleeds or even tears in the fabric of reality. Sleepwalkers do not respect the status quo and do not keep the peace, since they believe that all social structures (and all matter) is ephemeral dream stuff. In the days of the vow of secrecy, Sleepwalkers were apprehend or kill on sight, as they were the most likely to give the game away. Any major Sleepwalker activity required heavy cleanup by the whole of the supernatural community. Now that magic is out there, they're still kept on a short leash since they're still trying to make reality floob.

Sleepwalkers tend to be the most likely to pass as normal within supernatural society, as they initially seem like overzealous mages. The depths they go to fuel their magics outs them as abnormal, as they aren't above human sacrifice and exploitation of the spirit world. The Sleepwalkers are the dark reflection of the magically focused organizations. Where the Ordo Trismegistus seeks to create knowledge, the Sleepwalkers destroy. Where the Spirit Walkers and the Seven Fortunes cultivate alternate worlds, the Sleepwalkers aim to tear the worlds asunder. Sleepwalkers are hungry for artifacts and magical knowledge so they can use them to rip reality a new one. The Sleepwalkers work well with Mythos Cultists, as they're both aiming for the dissolution of reality as we know it. They just have different means to get to that end. Sleepwalkers are not completely crazed anarchists; they can play the long game and know where exactly to hit reality where it's weakest.

Sleepwalker magic is based on wild emotion and obsession, and every Sleepwalker has some major malfunction. This obsession manifests in the way they channel their magic and the magic they do: an Enchantment specialist will pretend to be other people so much they lose all sight of their original personality while a Theurgy focused mage will literally summon spirits with spirits (as in hard liquor). A Sleepwalker always has a tell and that tell is what allows upstanding supernatural society members to recognize them.

    Sample Encounter: A cell of Sleepwalkers is trying to rip open a bleed to Avalon in Times Square to let a dragon through. Forcing the dragon through the bleed would cause panic and force belief, which would resonate with the bleed and make it larger. If enough people saw it, the bleed would destabilize and possibly swallow up Times Square or straight wipe it off the map. The PCs are tasked by any organization to find the cell and take them out.

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Last edited by Mask_De_H on Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:04 am; edited 7 times in total
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