3 - The First Session

3.1 - Overview

So far you’ve got an overview of Fantasy World’s fundamental elements; now it is time to see how it all works in practice. The first session will be mostly spent on setting your future campaign up. Here are the steps, in order, that you need to follow:

  1. Gather the needed Play Aids.
  2. Have The Talk about a few core game topics.
  3. Do some World Building together.
  4. Create the Protagonists’ Fellowship.
  5. Create the individual Protagonist Characters.
  6. Kick off the First Scene of the campaign.

Play Aids

Each Player needs a copy of the Class Playbook for their Protagonist.

It is useful to have a copy of the Common Moves Sheet on hand, although one for each Player would be easier to consult during play.

The World should have a copy of the World Sheet, Agents Map and Agents Sheet at hand too, as they will often need to consult it to make choices and pick Reactions.

You only ever need 3d6 to play, but having more is always nice.

Finally, have some spare paper to take notes on.

The more THEY know...

The World needs a good understanding of all the systems presented in this book, there is no way around it. But having Players that know the rules well, even better than the World, is a blessing: they can help the World get things right, catch mistakes, or explain things. Lucky is the World who can run the game while being aided by veteran Players!

The Talk

Before anything else, the World has the responsibility of explaining to his fellow Players a couple of things from the Fundamental Knowledge chapter. Read the text aloud or explain it in your own words, just be sure to communicate the information correctly.

Avoid talking about moves and dice for now! Instead...

  1. Explain that we are about to play a game of dramatic fantasy adventuring.
  2. Explain the One Golden Rule.
  3. Explain how Fluid Play benefits from breaks
    (and encourage Players to ask for them).
  4. Explain what the Core Elements are
    (Fellowship, Violence, Protagonism).
  5. Explain what The Point of this Game is
    (we are all playing to find out).

World Building

Make a few things clear because they are true no matter what:

  • Magic is real - people know it exists from tales, folklore and direct experience.
  • Gods are silent - are they even there? Why don’t they intervene? Only true believers know how to see the signs and recognise the omens.
  • Cities are rare - distant points of light adrift in the vast darkness of an untamed land.
  • Travel is perilous - communication and trade are possible but very unpredictable and taxing.

Talk briefly about the setting and what to expect from it. Do you care for a game where magic and monsters are commonplace? Or are they a wondrous and terrible rarity? Do you imagine a classic Mittel-European medieval-ish society? Or would you rather explore a more unusual kind of fantasy?

While you are at it, talk about the tone you would like to go for. Dark and gritty, with hard themes and topics? Or a brighter game, with hopeful and comforting undertones? Is it ok to be ridiculous and over the top? Should we strive for a fairy tale kind of story or something on a grand epic scale?

Don’t get lost in abstract discussions about the nature of things; just agree on a basic idea, a minimal starting point to be explored and discovered later through active play.

The Fellowship

The Fellowship is the core unit of play, the thing that establishes the Protagonists’ place in the world, their reason to stick together.

The Players will select an archetype and then answer a few questions. There is no specific sheet for the Fellowship, but they should definitely take notes to help remember the most striking details. The World will also ask more questions and note down the answers among their private notes. The exact procedure is explained in the Fellowship Creation chapter.

During this phase don't start picking Classes blindly! Seriously, don't.

Refrain from jumping ahead into Protagonist ideas. They might not fit within the Fellowship that the group ends up creating, and then all your effort and creativity will be wasted and, even worse, tie you down to impractical ideas that you would be better off letting go of.

The Protagonists

It is now time to create your individual Protagonist Characters.

First, the World has to briefly present each Class, focusing on their two unique Starting moves. You should quickly move away from abilities and powers, and instead, give time and attention to more important elements:

  • Blood
  • Kin
  • Issue & Doubt

Through this whole process everyone can and should: answer questions, ask questions, take notes. Just like with the Fellowship creation, it is better to put the time and care required to have everyone come up with a satisfying character, rather than rushing things just to start play sooner. This is already play. Enjoy it now, and reap the fruits of more careful character creation later on.

3.2 - Fellowship Creation

You outlined a few core details about the setting and the tone of your game. Throughout this process, everyone has thrown ideas into the pot, ventured suggestions and requests, and has overall asked and answered each other’s questions. It is now time to continue this kind of creative and explorative play, but with a focus on the Fellowship that the Protagonists will be members of.

Fellowship Play

A Fantasy World campaign revolves around the concept of Fellowship: a group of Protagonist Characters that stick together to pursue a common goal. This could mean different things in play as the Fellowship is a tangible "thing" within the fiction, rather than an abstract concept the Players are asked to stick to.

Some Fellowship Archetypes (explained in a moment) will naturally lead play towards scenes where the PCs are seen acting together: they are in the same place, at the same time, doing stuff. But this does not mean that they have to stay together all the time. Events in the story might require them to act individually from time to time, be in different places, doing different things. This is expected and perfectly fine.

Other Fellowship Archetypes might actually set things up so that this "individualistic" kind of play is the norm, with only a few scenes showing the PCs all together in the same place at the same time. This might happen especially in the first few game sessions when each PC starts to establish their individual presence in the setting. This, too, is expected and perfectly fine.

The point in both cases is that the Fellowship offers strong and meaningful reasons for how and why the PCs know each other and have chosen to work together. It's a gravity well that, no matter how far an individual might go, will gently but surely keep everyone within the same orbit and general direction. It's a common touchstone, a central hub.

Wandering Fellowships (Hearts and Coins) tend to focus on the group rather than the individuals. Here the World will need to use their tools to pass the spotlight from one PC to the next, preventing the contemporary occurrence of many actions from many Protagonists from obscuring and silencing the contribution of less vocal Players.

Local fellowships (Shields and Knives) tend to focus on the individuals rather than the group. Here, the World will need to use their tools to manage the spotlight between parallel scenes, keeping them tight and to the point, pausing one to continue another, so that no Player is stuck being just an observer for too long.

There is no need to enforce these structures. This is just a friendly heads up to make World and Players aware that, depending on what happens in the game, their play could shift between these two tendencies.

Breaking the Fellowship

As flexible as a Fellowship can be, there is such a thing as the possibility to break it.

One way is when a PC parts ways to pursue their own destiny or personal agendas. This should be clear right from the start of such an endeavor: if it looks like a solo adventure that should take quite some time and/or make the PC unreachable or unavailable to the rest of the Fellowship, then they are gone, they have parted ways.

Another way is when a PC's interests don't align with those of the Fellowship and its members. Internal squabbles and conflicts are possible and even healthy, but if a PC ends up fundamentally disagreeing or disregarding the values and goals of the Fellowship or the reasons that brought the members together, then that PC has also (metaphorically) parted ways.

These things are not negative! The choices and actions leading up to such situations are a valid way to play: make your own choices and do your own thing, even if it puts you at odds with the Fellowship. It'll be a great source of dramatic tension!

But in Fantasy World we don't play what happens after the breakup:

  • We don't play the divergent PC's journey.
  • We don't play the divergent PC's actions against the Fellowship.
  • The spotlight of active play will stay on the Fellowship.
  • The divergent PC will fade into the background, becoming an NPC under the World's control.
  • Their Player will create a new PC fitting the current state of the Fellowship.

This is not a negative outcome, nor a loss for the Player of such a character, and indeed the divergent character could come back into active play. As an NPC, the World is strongly encouraged to treat them with the respect they would give to a Protagonist Character, even allowing their ex-Player to have a little say in how this one NPC is portrayed. Then at a later time the NPC could resume their place as their Player's active Protagonist, maybe changed, possibly grown, surely full of stories to tell their newfound old comrades.

Fellowship Truths

To help Players come up with Protagonists that have a better chance of working together, the Fellowship is always created before the individual PCs that form it. For this reason, at the beginning of any Fantasy World campaign, a few things about such Fellowship are always true no matter what other elements are in play:

  • The Fellowship already exists
    All its members have been working together for weeks, months or years. The Fellowship is already formed and operating.

  • The Fellowship officially exists
    All members of the Fellowship know that the Fellowship exists. It is not an unspoken agreement. It is not a chance encounter. It is a thing that was explicitly discussed and agreed upon.

  • The Fellowship publicly exists
    People in the world are aware of the Fellowship’s existence. Maybe it’s just a rumor, maybe its members are anonymous, but nonetheless, it has a reputation in certain social circles.

  • The Fellowship is internally transparent
    Fellowship members know each other and have explicitly and honestly agreed to cooperate towards their common goals. Later in the game, PCs might feel differently, but at the beginning, this is the agreed-upon starting point of all Fellowships.

Fellowship Archetypes

The archetype choice clearly signals what kind of adventures can be expected and offers a cohesive and solid starting point for the game. World and Players together select one archetype for the Fellowship. This is an important choice! Discuss it until everyone agrees on something that pleases and intrigues all. Cooperate to answer the questions posed by the archetype, write everything down, then talk about it, discuss it, ask further questions, offer clarifications, flesh out the Fellowship to your satisfaction.

This is already active play. Enjoy it. Take the time to do it right.

To answer the archetype questions you should imagine your PC as a person. Don’t think about Class or Blood or Kin or powers, as they make no real difference now. What kind of person do you want to play? What kind of social group (the Fellowship) does this person belong to?

Remember that the archetype is just a starting point. It tells you how things are at the beginning of the game, but it won’t prevent individual PCs from doing whatever the story might lead them to do later, transforming the Fellowship however needed.


  1. Local - The Fellowship members live in a specific settlement and operate in and around it. Answer as a group:

    • Is your settlement a small village, a growing town, or a bustling city?
    • What is it called?
    • Is there anyone else caring for its population?
  2. Goals & Activities - The Fellowship’s main goal is to care for the safety and well-being of the people in their settlement. You mainly protect the settlement and its population, help people in need, keep the public peace, investigate crimes, look out for potential threats.

  3. Starting Concept - What is the overall nature of the Fellowship? Choose one as a group:

    • Paragons
      The PCs are simple citizens who people know can be asked for help in times of need.
    • Authorities
      The PCs are an official unit of the local guard / militia / police.
    • Vigilantes
      The PCs are self-proclaimed avengers doing what the arm of the law cannot.
  4. Scope - What type of people and dealings is the Fellowship usually involved with? Choose one as a group:

    • The problems of common folk and pariah.
    • The matters of rich and influential low-borns.
    • The issues entailing powerful high-borns.
  5. Reputation - How does the local population perceive the Fellowship? Choose one as a group:

  6. Positive, something to be proud of.
  7. Negative, something problematic or shameful.

    And now answer:

    • Is it genuine or bogus?
    • How did it start?
    • Have you been doing anything about it?
  8. Roots - A few details about the Fellowship members. Each Player answers individually for their PC:

    • Do you live in your own house, or in communal quarters?
    • Who is the family member or significant other who also lives in your settlement?
    • Who is the sworn enemy or rival you have personally gained?


  1. Local - The Fellowship operates within a specific geographic area that is fairly populated. Answer as a group:

    • Is this turf a big city or a close-knit network of small towns?
    • What is this area called?
    • You have a hideout in this area - where is it exactly? Is its location a secret? How does it look from the outside?
  2. Goals & Activities - The Fellowship’s main goal is to pursue personal wealth and power through any means necessary, often illegal. You mainly run heists and scores, traffic in illegal goods, brush with law enforcement and street rivals. You don’t need to be nefarious or immoral, just someone acting outside the confines set by local laws and authorities.

  3. Starting Concept - What is the overall nature of the Fellowship? Choose one as a group:

    • Shadows
      The PCs are specialists for hire, performing illicit tasks for paying clients.
    • Ruffians
      The PCs are goons within a criminal organization, doing the dirty work for their kingpin.
    • Rebel Scum
      The PCs are acting against the status quo, on their own or as part of a larger underground movement.
  4. Scope - What level of people and dealings is the Fellowship usually involved in? Choose one as a group:

    • Street underdogs with limited reach and influence.
    • Underworld professionals partaking in high-stakes jobs.
    • Grey eminences pulling far-reaching strings from behind the curtains of power.
  5. Reputation - How do the people in the know perceive the Fellowship? Choose one as a group:

    • Positive, something to be proud of.
    • Negative, something problematic or shameful.

      And now answer:
      • Is it genuine or bogus?
      • How did it start?
      • Have you been doing anything about it?
  6. Roots - A few details about the Fellowship members. Each Player answers individually for their PC:

    • Do you live in your own house, or in communal quarters?
    • Who is the family member or significant other who also lives in your turf?
    • Are you identifiable as a criminal, or are you a faceless name on a wanted flier?


  1. Wandering - The Fellowship strives to accomplish one great quest, following its path wherever it might lead them. Answer as a group:

    • Has the Fellowship already been traveling far and wide?
    • What is your current location?
    • How long have you been there?
  2. Goals & Activities - The Fellowship’s main goal is to accomplish a quest. It is not a job or a recurring activity; it is one great endeavor, something unique and important. Maybe it is so for the whole world, or for their nation, or maybe just for them. In any case, the Fellowship acts because of personal/internal reasons, because they feel strongly about the mission at hand, because it is right, because it is needed, because it is their duty.

  3. Starting Concept - What is the overall nature of the Fellowship? Choose one as a group:

    • Champions
      The PCs are seeking to vanquisha great evil” of some kind.
    • Guardians
      The PCs are striving to protect someone / something / someplace from a looming menace.
    • Seekers
      The PCs are searching for a unique something (an item, a place, a piece of knowledge, etc).
  4. Scope - What type of people and dealings is the Fellowship usually involved with? Choose one as a group:

    • Unlikely heroes, commoners that got involved in something greater than themselves.
    • Adventurers, expert individuals who people recognize and respect/fear.
    • Legends, big names with big histories coming together to face an epic challenge.
  5. Reputation - How do people across the land perceive the Fellowship? Choose one as a group:

    • Positive, something to be proud of.
    • Negative, something problematic or shameful.

      And now answer:
      • Is it genuine or bogus?
      • How did it start?
      • Have you been doing anything about it?
  6. Roots - A few details about the Fellowship members. Each Player answers individually for their PC:

    • What kind of “home” did you leave behind to follow the quest?
    • When you left that home, what was filling your heart?
    • You have a strong personal reason for tackling the quest - what is it?
    • Someone resents your involvement in the quest - who are they?


  1. Wandering - The Fellowship goes wherever the job takes it. Answer as a group:

    • Do you have an origin point where you return between jobs?
    • Do you often travel to faraway lands, or do you mostly walk on familiar ground?
    • Are there areas that are relatively easy to reach but that you have never been to? Why is that?
  2. Goals & Activities - The Fellowship’s main goal is to get paid. What you do can vary from hunting down maps and legends and tales to escorting caravans, to looking for people in need of “special” help only you can provide, to delving into forgotten and inaccessible places, to joining one army or another for a skirmish or three, etc.

  3. Starting Concept - What is the overall nature of the Fellowship? Choose one as a group:

    • Dungeoneers
      The PCs are treasure hunters by trade, chasing after gold and relics one tomb at a time.
    • Mercenaries
      The PCs are a paramilitary unit of professionals for hire.
    • Drifters
      The PCs are vagabonds on the road to adventure, looking for fame and fortune.
  4. Scope - What type of people and dealings is the Fellowship usually involved with? Choose one as a group:

    • Lowborn people with limited means chasing some legend or vendetta.
    • Powerful or mysterious individuals requiring “specialists” for high profile assignments.
    • An institution hiring talents to further its own projects and plans.
  5. Reputation - How do people gossiping in taverns and brothels perceive the Fellowship? Choose one as a group:

    • Positive, something to be proud of.
    • Negative, something problematic or shameful.

      And now answer:
      • Is it genuine or bogus?
      • How did it start?
      • Have you been doing anything about it?
  6. Roots - A few details about the Fellowship members. Each Player answers individually for their PC:

    • What do you think about when you think of "home"?
    • Why are you in this line of work, instead of an honest job?
    • Who is the last rival you slighted?

3.3 - Protagonist Creation

The Asking of Questions

Now that the Fellowship has been outlined, it is time for each Player to create their own unique Protagonist character. In this phase, everyone keeps asking and answering questions and offering ideas like before, but the World’s focus has to shift slightly. Starting here, the World’s job is to ask questions about anything they find curious or interesting about what the Players describe: That scar, how did you get it? That funny hat, why do you still wear it? Is your name a family name, or something tribal? The World does not know such things, so they ask questions. At this stage, the Players are the ones with the answers. Other Players can and should ask questions too, take an interest in each other’s PC, suggest possible answers to one another, etc. This is the real meat of the Protagonist creation process. You are already playing, describing details, telling stories, shaping your characters and the setting around them.

Too Much of a Good Thing

The World will continue throwing questions around and taking notes throughout the whole game, so don’t worry about asking anything about everything right now. Instead be sure to look at each other, be mindful of the table’s mood. If all participants are having a good time creating details, by all means, continue until the momentum stops on its own. Otherwise, ask each Protagonist a couple of questions, then move on.

Knowing when to stop is important, not only because some people might not enjoy the process when it drags on for too long, but also because the whole point of the game is to play to find out. Most questions would be more engaging, meaningful, and fun if answered during live play when something poignant happens in the story and you need to say something right then and there. Coming up with stuff beforehand is fine, but be careful not to overdo it.

Protagonist Classes

A “Class” is a bundle of unique moves meant to represent a trope or archetype commonly found in fantasy stories. In Fantasy World, the Classes are structured to establish how a Protagonist interacts with the world surrounding them, their range of typical skills, abilities, and common actions, rather than to define their role within a certain kind of story. This makes the Class system useful in evoking typical elements of fantasy literature while still being somewhat “neutral” in narrative terms, leaving to other elements (Blood, Kin, Issue, Doubt, etc) the job of defining the themes and roles that a Protagonist will explore during the game.

As such, Class is an important character element, because it deeply influences the “kind” of Protagonist that will be played, but at the same time, it is also the least important of all character elements, because it does not bear too much weight in who the Protagonist is going to be as a person.

Classes affect the game by shaping a bunch of elements into a certain frame, not because any one of their individual parts is absolutely unique. Mechanically, other Protagonists could grow to acquire moves from any other Class. Fictionally, the world might be full of people sporting similar items,abilities, and characteristics as the ones presented by a certain Class. The value and uniqueness of a Class resides in how the sum of its elements nudges and inspires their Player to focus on some fictional elements rather than others, putting them front and center of their personal story.

The Veteran Class has a move that guides the Player through the creation of a special weapon, establishing that item as part of the Protagonist's story from the start of the game. Later on, during active play, the Veteran might very well meet other people that own some sort of cool weapon, maybe something that seems even more unique / weird / ancient / famous / powerful / whatever than the Veteran's one. Is this robbing the Veteran of its reason to exist? What's the point of being the Veteran if the thing defining you (the special weapon) is not so unique and special after all?

Mu! These questions are born of a fundamental misunderstanding. The point of the Veteran is not to have the most "something" weapon of all the game. The point of the Veteran is to have a unique relationship with their weapon. The item has personal meaning for them, it comes from somewhere, it influences their life, and therefore is an important part of that Protagonist's play experience.

"This is my weapon. There are many like it, but this one is mine."

Also, the way that the rest of the Class builds upon and riffs off of this starting element is very characteristic, offering mechanical hooks and fictional prompts that conjure a different play experience from that of other Classes, setting the Veteran apart from NPCs who "just" have a cool weapon of their own.

How to Choose

Fantasy World offers a selection of 10 playable Classes:

  • Captain
  • Knight
  • Maker
  • Occultist
  • Priest
  • Scoundrel
  • Troubadour
  • Veteran
  • Wayfarer
  • Wildcaller

Every Player must pick a unique Class for their PC, meaning that no two Players can select the same Class. To decide which one is best for you, my advice is to look only at its two Starting moves and, for now, ignore the rest.

If you still have problems finding something that screams “play me!” at you, then consider picking a Class that you find really uninspiring or even appalling, one that you have no idea how to play, one you can’t imagine yourself enjoying... and then play that. Trust me, it works! It’s much better to play something you feel strongly about, even if it's a negative feeling, than to play something you have no opinion about. You could even play against the Class, to challenge its tropes and limits. Go for it! Play to find out. This is an adventure game, so be an adventurous Player!

The Occultist is a fragile-bodied erudite who deals in complicated arcane stuff and doesn't know the pointy end of a sword from its butt, right?

This is the stereotype, but also nothing stops you from playing it as a brawny commoner wielding straightforward magics as a backup for their excellent fighting moves. Gandalf, hold my beer!

And if nothing really speaks to you one way or the other, then let someone else pick a Class for you; this will avoid wasting time on analysis-paralysis, moving the game forward and making the other participants feel more invested in your PC.

Why just one?

This rule has nothing to do with game balance. Simply put, having multiple PCs with the same Class impoverishes the narrative experience because each Class is first and foremost an icon, a trope, a storytelling archetype offering its own outlook on adventure. Duplication of Class can be interesting to directly compare how different Players interpret the same archetype in different and unique ways, but then that campaign will bring less narrative diversity to the table.

Same CONCEPT + Different CLASSES

Let's say that all PCs have the same concept, like being sailors crewing the same ship. They all share the same base skills and background...

...but the Veteran will be a sailor in a very different way than the Scoundrel.

...but the Occultist will shine in different moments than the Wayfarer.

...but the Knight will care about different things than the Troubadour.

...but the Priest will come up with different plans than the Wildcaller.

They are all "sailors," but each brings different narrative prompts and flavors to the table.

Same CLASS + Different CONCEPTS

The PCs all pick the same Class, for example, the Wayfarer. They will still be quite different, as each Player will make different choices both at character creation and during active play. This way one PC might be a hunter, another a gladiator, another a merchant, another a noble, etc.

But for all their differences they would still bring very similar story elements to the table:

All have a special relationship with a companion animal.

All have a link with the environment.

All are well-versed in outdoorsmanship (tracking, hunting, trapping, nature lore, etc).

They are all different characters, all worth playing and exploring, but they also all touch on the same tropes, which makes for a less diverse play experience. It can be a valid and fun way to change the standard game setup, but you should be aware of its PROs and CONs.


Your Blood is a kind of fictional Tag.
It summarizes and implies the vast galaxy of details tied to a character’s biological traits. There is no specific list of existing Bloods, so Players can decide that in their game there are only humans, or they can include classic fantasy tropes such as elves and dwarves, or they can create new unusual Bloods: lizard people, or fire people, or construct people with obsidian flesh, gold entrails and jewel bones, or sentient multi-branched telepathic cacti...

What orokin blood or elven blood or even human blood means in play depends on the Players playing such characters. The World defers to them for answers: which skin tones exist among dwarves? Are you taller than the average human? Is your hair type common among northern people?

Whatever their Blood is, PCs always follow these rules:

  • Human-like Shape

You have two legs and arms, one torso, neck, and head,all arranged in the way a human body would be.

  • Human-like Size

Anything from a small child to a towering adult. In any case, it fits within the general human range.

  • Human-like Needs

You need to drink and eat as much and as often as a human would. You need to digest, pee, cry, and sweat. You need air to breathe, light to see, time to sleep. What you can use for sustenance is also the same, or really very close, to what humans would need.

  • Human-like Abilities

No special powers are granted by non-human biology: no immunities, no special perceptions, no overpowering pheromones. If a common human can’t do it, then your Blood can't either.

  • Unusual Looks

Bloods can go crazy with unusual or even non-human skin color, hair texture, eye shape, etc. As long as it is simply a cosmetic element with no practical functionality, it is ok.

In a nutshell: all PCs are people, maybe of different Blood, but people nonetheless. Obviously, the One Golden Rule is critical here. If an idea is technically kosher by the above rules but feels wrong for someone at the table, it has to be fixed or go away.

Unusual Looks

A character with Fire Blood can have hair that looks like live flames, as long as it is just normal hair with a fiery color and a naturally occurring flowing motion; it can't burn things or start a fire.

A character with Stone Blood can have skin that looks like stone, rough, and cold to the touch, as long as it is just a superficial texture; it provides no meaningful protection from harm and in many ways is not so different from normal human skin.

A character with Lizard Blood can have scale-textured skin, vertically slit pupils, a longer and more mobile tongue than that of a human, as long as the scales offer no protection, the eyes can't see in the dark and the tongue can't be used as an articulate and prehensile extra limb.

Stranger Bloods

If all participants agree, these rules can be slightly bent in order to accommodate specific requests. Maybe you all feel ok letting a Player create a Protagonist who is a magical pixie, as small as a butterfly, who can fly, emit light when happy or scared, and live off raw magical energy. If that is the case, more power to you! But...

The proper way to do this is to make a note of all the important fictional details as the game goes on. No special rules, no numbers, just a simple description of what you can and can’t do, how you can do it, and which problems or advantages it entails. Describe, and follow the internal logic of your description. Do this a bit at a time, adding stuff as it comes up in play instead of trying to think of everything from the get-go. Again, the One Golden Rule is what makes this possible. If everyone agrees, no problem. Otherwise, fix it or remove it.

Blood & Power

Is it a problem if a Player is granted permission to play a dragon or a stone golem while other Protagonists are good ol’ humans or other “less powerful” creatures?

No, it’s not a problem. In Fantasy World power balance is never an issue. Why? Because the whole point of this game is to play to find out. If all Players are interested in seeing what happens when a Protagonist has the power to destroy a city with one breath, the question is notwhat could balance such power” but rather: what do you do after destroying the city? How do you feel about it? What consequences will such an act bring? Are adventurers and heroes coming to defeat you? Are you going to kill them too? Are you becoming a villain? What will the rest of your Fellowship do? How do the other Protagonists feel about it? Will they abandon you and break the Fellowship? Will they aid or oppose you?

The point of the game is not to challenge the Protagonists. It is not to offer a fair and balanced opposition. It is not to make good tactical choices or to overcome appropriately difficult obstacles.

These things are also part of the game but have a markedly secondary role. The most important thing, the true core of the game, is to see what happens next, to grab whatever idea is on the table and run with it to its extreme consequences until it’s interesting and entertaining for all participants involved.


Your Kin is a kind of fictional Tag.
Similar to Blood, Kin is used to summarize and imply the vast galaxy of details tied to a character’s cultural heritage. People of the same Blood can still be very different, coming from a variety of cultures,lineages, tribes, and nations. Is your PC Japanese, Norwegian, or Italian? Are they Skullander or Cloudivarian? Do they come from the Great Desert, the Salt Plains, or the Dark Swamps?

Just like Blood, Kin is created by a Player for their Protagonist, and then defined bit by bit during play whenever the World or another Player asks a question, when a move requires additional details, or when you find the opportunity and inspiration to express a small new detail.

What are the wedding rituals of your Kin? What do they consider to be art? Is there a land your kin calls home? What is the relationship between your kin and the Kathayan kin like?

Where do your people come from? Are they a common sight in these lands? Do they have a unique language? Do they worship different gods? How are their relations with other Bloods and Kins?

Issue & Doubt

At the heart of every Protagonist there are an Issue and a Doubt. These highly personal elements serve many functions, but for now, it’s enough to know that they are the one thing steering your PCs towards Growth. To devise your own, follow these steps in this order:

  1. Think about your PC as a person.
    They are living their routine life in the context of the Fellowship, their Class, their Blood and Kin, and the few bits of the world you have discussed so far. Hold onto this thought.

  2. This person you are thinking about feels dissatisfied.
    Right now, at this moment in their life, they want something to change, to get better, to be resolved. It could be something missing or wrong in their persona: a flaw, a lack, a fear. Or it could be something missing or wrong in the world they live in: a social issue of some kind, a bad situation, or a problematic feature of the place itself. Either way, it makes their life worse than it should, so they want it to change. They believe that if this one thing changes, it will make their life better and they will feel happy and content. This thing they want to change is the Issue.

  3. Record and Validate your Issue.
    Sum it up in as few words as you can in your Class Playbook, then have everyone else look over it and individually answer these questions:

  • Is the Issue clear and understandable?
  • As a spectator of this Protagonist's life, do you find their Issue interesting?
  • As a fellow player, do you think this Issue will be problematic to play? Is it obviously ill-fitting to the Fellowship concept?

Any negative answer needs to be explained and addressed. But don’t sweat it. No Issue is ever perfect when first created. These questions are simply there to ensure that whatever you come up with falls within the "good enough to play" range of possibilities. The Issue will then be touched upon again at the end of every session, offering ample opportunities for course corrections both big and small.

  1. Something holds your PC back.
    They want to address the Issue, but there is always something there to drive them away. This is never a practical external obstacle, like too many guards, too little money, too distant destinations, etc. Instead, this is always an internal block, something that saps your PC's motivation, that pulls them away from solving their Issue.

It could be something your PC worries about: “I would act on my Issue, but what if X.
It could be something your PC wants to avoid: “I would act on my Issue, but I don’t want to X.
That “X” is your Doubt.

  1. Record and Validate your Doubt
    Follow the same procedure from step 3. to note your Doubt and have everyone check if it is alright.



Trax is a Green Blood from the Bad Moon clan, but now she lives in a city mostly populated by people of Galenian Blood. She and her comrades come from the Special Unit 3:16 of the city guard, where she puts her Wayfarer abilities to good use. Although her job is quite adventurous, her daily life is more or less that of a normal person, balancing work and social life in the backdrop of the big city.


Being a Green Blood in a Galenian city, her Player decides that Trax feels alone, probably misunderstood even among her peers. This is what she wants to change.


The Player notes down "I feel alone" and looks at everyone else for validation. Maybe there are no problems and the procedure moves on. Maybe someone raises questions: Alone how? Are you looking for love, friendship, brotherhood, family? Is your Fellowship not enough? And why?

Some might be answered readily, some might lay open and be addressed only later in the game.

Inner Obstacle

Reflecting on why Trax would not have already solved her problem, her Player thinks that maybe she is worried about letting someone get too close to her: what if they betray me? What if I end up disappointing them? What if they reject me?

Or maybe the matter is different, like she wants to avoid the responsibilities that come from committing to a serious relationship (be it romantic or familial or brotherly).


As a final choice, the Player writes "They are not like me". During validation someone asks for clarification, leading to Players and World chatting about what this Doubt means for Trax specifically. When everyone is on the same page, play continues with the next Protagonist.

Blank Start

If you really have trouble with it, it is possible to postpone this whole Issue+Doubt process for a little while. Just start the game without an Issue and Doubt. This will considerably slow down your ability to Grow, but it might also allow you to make a more relaxed choice when the time is right for you. Just pause play when you feel like you have an idea for your PC’s Issue and Doubt, then follow the procedure. Beware though, as sooner is much better than later. A blank start is never ideal, but it's a valid alternative to forcing someone into making choices they are uncomfortable with.

The blank start is also a good choice when you want to get things rolling more quickly, especially when running a one-shot demo that has no real space for long-term character development. It bereaves play of its soul, but for something that starts and ends in the span of a single session, it’s not that big a deal, as there are plenty more things to showcase anyway.

Final Details & Equipment

Now that you have worked a bit on your Class, Blood, Kin,and initial Issue & Doubt, your Protagonist is almost ready for active play.

  • Come up with a Name. This could be a nickname the Fellowship knows you by, or a proper name typical of your Kin. When in doubt, ask the others for ideas, suggestions, and inspiration.

  • Fill out the Look section of your Class Playbook by detailing your eyes, hair, and skin without the use of “color words”. This means you are not allowed to describe, for example, your hair as simply “black” or “blond” or “red” or “green,” etc. Use similitudes instead: hair like raven feathers, eyes like sapphires, skin like milk. You are also encouraged to describe aspects other than color, like texture or style or attitude: hair tangled like a bird’s nest, eyes hard as steel, skin crossed by ropy scars.

  • Assign the following ratings to your four Stats: -1 +0 +1 +2

  • Your total of Hardiness Points are equal to 1.

  • You are equipped with anything that could reasonably be useful to your Class, and...

    • Surely you have a melee weapon.
    • You can have a ranged weapon too. Its ammunition is already part of your Supplies.
    • Unless you need to be free and unrestrained in your movements, you probably want some kind of armor.
    • Can you wield a shield alongside your weapon? If so, make a note of it.
    • Do you carry a musical instrument? A holy symbol? Do you have a horse or some other kind of mount? Write down any item that you deem important and somehow unique.
    • Do not write down generic adventurer gear such as rope, torches, metal mirror, sleeping cot, ten-foot pole, etc. This is all accounted for in your Supplies. Speaking of which, you start the game with enough Supplies.

Introduce Yourselves

As a final step in the creation process, every Player will take a turn to briefly present their Protagonist to the other Players. Briefly go through their name and look, remind everyone of their Issue and Doubt, say in a few words what your Class can do. Listen to the others do the same. That’s it, now you are ready to go.

3.4 - The First Scene

Everything is ready to go. The World has a setting. The Players have a Fellowship. The Fellowship has Protagonists. The first scene of the game is kicked off depending on the kind of Fellowship you are playing.

Wandering Fellowship

This game begins in medias res (in the middle of things). The World will come up with a dynamic situation, throw the Protagonists into it, and spend the rest of the session rolling from there. Figuring out how and why that came to be can be interesting, but it’s of secondary importance and is better left for after the immediate situation gets resolved.

First of all the World will ask the Players to pick one option for each of the following choices:

  • Civilisation or wilderness.
  • Inside or outside.
  • Physical danger or social tension.

As the World you will take the choices they made, take their common Fellowship goal & activities, take all the things that the World Agendas and Principles instruct you to say and do, and whip up a first scene where the Protagonists are already in some kind of trouble. Describe the situation, describe the location and the people in it, what are they doing, what they look like,and then ask the Protagonists: “What do you do?

There will be a lot of questions about this unexpected situation. Answer some of them, ask questions of your own, but don’t get bogged down by details about what happened before the game started. If the Protagonists have ideas about why and how the situation came to be, let them have it their way. Or maybe they could have no idea why this is happening to them, or maybe they know but it was all a big mistake, etc.

Being the World, the specific answer doesn’t really matter much to you. If you create the situation using Simple People (chapter 4 section 3) you'll easily find the reasons why they do what they’re doing, and the rest will be sorted out later. Focus instead on the here and now: “You are now in this situation, what do you do about it?

Local Fellowship

This game begins at rest. The World will explore the daily routine of the Protagonists asking each one:

  • How do you earn your keep within the community?
  • What do you do on a normal day, in your spare time?
  • What is your favorite spot in the area?
  • Who do you spend most of your time with?

The World will take note of what they find most interesting, looking for where the Protagonist's life might become unstable. Once all Protagonists have offered their answers, the World will frame a scene using the material the Players provided.

Do not try to start with a bang. It's unnecessary. Just put the Protagonists in a normal/routine situation and introduce some kind of problem that makes sense in context. Play will flow from here, and things will soon get complicated and interesting on their own.

This scene could feature all the Protagonists, but that's not mandatory. The World has carte blanche here, and it could also be a good idea to look at the list of World Reactions to find inspiration on how to set up an "interesting" situation.

Be sure to portray Simple People (chapter 4 section 3) each with some kind of need, problem, desire, dream, fear, worry, or prejudice. Have them act and interact with the Protagonists and among themselves. Keep in mind the Fellowship's characteristics, its Goals and Activities, and how they could relate to the local population.


Be it a Wandering or Local start, from here on everyone will just follow the game conversation. As the Players follow the procedures explained in the rules, their Protagonists will spontaneously act and react to the situation, explore the setting around them, and progress towards the potential objectives and tensions set up by their individual Issues and Doubts. Likewise, the World will also act and react, presenting new situations, characters, places, and showing the consequences of the Protagonists’ choices.

Everyone should look out for descriptions that can trigger a move. Any tense conversation could be ripe for Reading a Person, Looking Around, or both. Start getting used to noticing these things.

While this happens the World is also scribbling notes like crazy. Every NPC encountered, give it a name and a simple goal and motivation. Every location visited, add it to a map and jot down one to three adjectives to describe it. And start working on the Agents Map, which will lay the foundation of future events.

When it is time to wrap up the game, remember to perform the End of Session move.

Finally, between the first and second sessions, while you do your World prep, remember to also create all the Essential Agents (chapter 4 section 5) needed to fuel the campaign.

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