5 - Game Moves
- 5.1 - Common Moves
- 5.2 - Class moves
- What is a Class?
5.1 - Common Moves
If a PC does something that looks like a move, it is the move. In all other cases, when a PC does something that does not look like any move, the World is free to describe the outcome as they see fit. For this reason, some moves are universally available to all Protagonists and represent the most common way in which they can interact with the world around them.
For ease of use, all Common Moves have been divvied up into five categories representing their main area of functionality within the game. No special rules are attached to the various categories; they are just a way to organize info and easily pinpoint what you need when you need it:
|Sway||roll + Intense|
|Take a Risk||roll + Daring|
|Look Around||roll + Vigilant|
|Read Someone||roll + Vigilant|
|Recall Lore||roll + Knowing|
|Brawl||roll + Daring|
|Threaten||roll + Intense|
|Journey||roll + Knowing|
|Long Rest||roll + Watch|
|Restock||roll + Knowing / Intense|
|End of Session||no roll|
|Epilogue||roll + Options|
When you involve yourself in someone else’s action…
Describe how you do it, and if you’re trying to help or hinder. You are [exposed] to the consequences of the situation. Say whether the target gets an Advantage or Disadvantage.
When you act to convince someone to do what you want…
Explain clearly what you want. They will consider their opinions, desires, motivations and then choose:
- YES, they go along with you until something betrays the reasons you gave them.
- OR, they hesitate, haggle, or resist. Thus you roll+Intense.
- 10+: willy or nilly, they give you a YES.
- 7-9: their words or actions convey a way to get a YES; the World will express it clearly. If you can't or won't comply here and now, the World gets an Open Reaction.
- 1-6: World Reaction.
- 10+: both effects from the 7-9 list.
- 7-9: you choose one:
- If they go along with you, they earn 1 XP.
- If they refuse, they get ongoing Disadvantage until their next Long Rest.
- 1-6: World Reaction.
Notes on Sway
Sway is either impossible or it's the move.
If the World is immediately and clearly positive that no, there is no way that the Protagonist's actions as currently described could convince the target NPC, then Sway is not triggered. This should be made clear, possibly leading to a Read Someone to help the Player understand what's going on and why.
If the actions or words of the swaying PC convey violence that could happen here and now, see first if the Threaten move better fits the situation.
Examples of things that could convince someone to say YES:
- A solemn promise / oath / vow.
- A safe / free / discreet way to do it.
- Leaning on their ego / honor / fear / etc.
- A convincing disguise / deception.
- A better / fair / excessive offer.
- Help doing it / help doing other stuff.
- Something they want or need.
- Pressure / permission / help from someone else.
Take a Risk
When you act under time pressure, despite adverse odds or facing a looming danger…
Tell the World what you're most afraid could happen if you fail, then roll+Daring.
- 10+: you do it and give an Advantage to someone (yourself included).
- 7-9: you do it but get a Disadvantage or prompt a World Reaction.
- 1-6: World Reaction.
Notes on Take a Risk
Never use this move if another one could also apply. Use that one instead.
When you observe a situation / place / object…
The World will tell you what is obvious and clear, and then will ask you: “Do you want to know more?”
If you say YES, explain how you act to get extra info and what you pay close attention to, then roll+Vigilant. During the inspection, you can ask the World questions, one at a time. If you act on the answers, you get an Advantage.
- 10+ = ask 2 questions
- 7-9 = ask 1 question
- 1-6 = ask 1 question + World Reaction
List of questions:
- Where's my best way out / way in / way past?
- Who is the most vulnerable / threatening to me?
- Who's in control here and now?
- What has happened recently or is about to happen here?
- What is useful or valuable to me here?
- What here is not what it seems?
- What should I focus my attention on?
Notes on Look Around
Whatever a Player might ask, the World should limit their answers to what the PC can actually perceive and understand depending on the fictional situation. This gives great importance to the actions a PC performs in order to get the extra info. Be sure to make this fact clear.
If a Player asks a question that is not on the list, that's ok. The World will simply "translate it" in their head the best they can to make it fit within the standard list, and then answer that. This practice should be made clear too.
When you observe a person / animal / creature…
Their Player will tell you what is obvious and clear, and then will ask you: “Do you want to know more?”
If you say YES, explain how you interact with them to get extra info, then roll+Vigilant. During the interaction, you can ask their Player questions, one at a time. If you act on the answers, you get an Advantage.
- 10+ = ask 2 questions
- 7-9 = ask 1 question
- 1-6 = ask 1 question + World Reaction
List of questions:
- Is your character telling the truth?
- What is your character really feeling?
- What does your character intend to do?
- What does your character wish I’d do?
- How could I get your character to __ ?
Notes on Read Someone This move follows the same principles and caveats of Look Around.
When you wonder if or declare that you know something about the world…
Explain why you already know about it, say what would be useful for you to know in this situation, then roll+Knowing.
- 10+: the World gives you useful and detailed info, an explanation.
- 7-9: the World gives you useful but vague info, a clue.
- 1-6: the World gives you truthful info + World Reaction.
When you act to harm someone while they also try to harm you…
Exchange harm as established, but first roll+Daring.
- 10+: choose 2 options
- 7-9: choose 1 option
- 1-6: choose 1 option + World Reaction (restricted, see notes)
List of Options:
- You inflict Terrible harm.
- You suffer Little harm.
- Tag someone here as [impressed], [dismayed] or [frightened].
- Take or keep hold of some thing/person/position.
- Keep some thing/person/position safe and undamaged.
- Force your way into someone’s position/guard.
- Force someone into a position of your choosing.
Notes on Brawl
World Reactions to a Brawl move can never be Inflict harm nor Turn their move back on them.
Unless they shoot you while you shoot them, ranged attacks don't trigger the Brawl move. Take a Risk is a more fitting alternative.
If PCs Brawl against one another, each rolls separately and picks their own options:
Harm is modified accordingly and exchanged once.
The effects of incompatible options nullify each other.
These rolls grant the World only one Reaction, if any.
When you use overt or implied violence to have someone do something here and now…
Explain what you want them to do, then roll+Intense.
- 10+: The victim is forced to choose one:
- they cave and do what you ask, for real, to the best of their ability
- they force you to use violence. They describe how you could harm them, but then you choose:
- you hesitate = they are unharmed + World Reaction
- you act = they suffer harm and they pick one from the 7-9 list
- 7-9: The victim forces you to use violence and describes how you do harm them, then they also choose one:
- flee, retreat, go away
- abide, give you what they think you want
- defend, shut down, find cover, shift blame
- deflect, de-escalate, buy time, look inoffensive
- 1-6 = World Reaction
Notes on Threaten
If the violence you threaten couldn't happen right here and now, then it's not the Threaten move. Consider instead Sway, Take a Risk or let the World decide what happens.
Threaten is not about your PC getting what they want. Instead, Threaten represents what happens when a PC uses violence to force their will on others. What they get is: they can't be ignored, the victim has to react and their options are limited.
On a 10+ the PC retains some control over the situation and, at worst, they decide if harm happens or not. On a 7-9 the PC retains much less control: they have been pushed to do harm, but still force the victim to react in a limited way.
In both cases, the PC might get what they want, plain and simple. The World should use this option often, as it is the cleanest and most effective. But they might also choose otherwise because violence is messy and unpredictable.
When undertaking a long journey…
If you don’t know the way, then it’s not a Journey and the World decides what happens. Or you could take back control by obtaining a map, a guide, some directions, or by picking a different destination you know the way to. Vague directions can be enough but always make the journey dangerous and give a Disadvantage to all PCs.
If you know the way...
- ...and the territory is relatively safe and civilized, go to step 5).
- ...and the territory is dangerous and wild, pick one PC to go through steps 1) to 4).
1) The Thing
Along their journey the PC notices some THING about the territory. If the PC’s Player describes it, they get an Advantage. Otherwise, they forgo the benefit and someone else will have to do it.
Continue to step 2).
Describe a Thing, not an event: a small location, a creature, a plant, a rock, a section of a river, a hole in the ground, any one Thing that grabs the PC's attention during their journey. Avoid narrating context and circumstances. Come up with the thing, describe it briefly, and explain why the PC might consider it noteworthy, why it might grab their attention.
2) The Event
The World describes a short event that happens during the journey, then continues on to step 3). The event could be helpful, problematic, or just odd, but it must always:
- focus on the current PC
- involve the thing from step 1)
- be open-ended
Take it easy, this is a small and odd event. Don't force your hand to make it into a big challenge or encounter. Try treating the thing from step 1) like Simple People; the event would then be something that the thing does, shows, or suffers. Think small!
3) The Roll
The Player rolls+Knowing, resolves the outcome, then continues on to step 4).
- 10+: the Player describes how their PC handles the situation positively. Others can suggest and help. These are “past events” being recounted so no moves are ever triggered.
- 7-9: as 10+, but something gives the PC a Disadvantage.
- 1-6: as 10+, but something goes awry, forcing the PC to spend Supplies or suffer a Serious harm effect.
4) Stay or Go
Any Player can suggest interrupting the journey here in order to stay and explore the thing/situation just discovered. Avoid lengthy discussions and just take a vote:
- If all Players agree to stay, the Journey ends + World Reaction.
- If all Players agree to go, the Journey continues. Select a different PC to do step 1). When all PCs have gone through the 1-4 steps once, continue on to step 5).
- If any Player disagrees, the Journey ends and a Long Rest is triggered. This allows the PCs to debate their plans in a real scene, with moves and everything. Just be sure that, once a clear majority arises, the Players with the minority of the votes are willing to force the issue instead of conceding it.
If the journey took days or more, perform the Long Rest move. The World can frame it either near the end of the journey, sometime after all the short events seen so far, or already at the destination, especially if the location is not new or arrival is not urgent. Otherwise, you have arrived.
The Fellowship undertakes a journey through a desert area. They know the way but it's definitely hostile territory, so the Journey move is triggered. The Players pick the Wayfarer to go first.
1) The Wayfarer describes a lizard, a tiny one with three eyes.
2) The World describes how, along the way, the Wayfarer finds one of these lizards hidden in their backpack.
3) The Wayfarer's Player rolls, with the Advantage granted by their description of a Thing during step 1).
- On a 10+, they might describe how the Wayfarer picks the lizard up, cuddles it a little, uses it to make their companions laugh, then releases it into the wild.
- On a 7-9, they might describe how the Wayfarer threw the lizard away because it stank like hell! And accrue a Disadvantage.
- On a 1-6, they might describe how the Wayfarer threw the bugger away because it is toxic! And maybe it fouled part of the food (reduce Supplies) or maybe it managed to somehow poison them (suffer one Serious harm effect).
4) All agree to not stop the Journey to investigate this accident, so they pick another PC to go through the move procedure. This time it's the Occultist's turn to perform steps 1 through 4.
5) Once every PC has played one of these short scenes, a Long Rest is performed to give them a chance to regroup, prepare and maybe have something unexpected happen, just before reaching their intended destination.
When you spend a few hours taking shelter and resting >>>
When the World skips over a few days of time…
If the World or a Player wants to explore such downtime, then all PCs involved in it perform step 1).
1) Each PC in turn must play a Utility scene.
Describe where and when it happens within the downtime, then pick one effect from the list and describe what you do to achieve it:
- spend Supplies to apply one HU to one harm effect
- spend Supplies to regenerate one HP
- add +1 WATCH to the group total (max +3)
- do one useful thing: build, repair, or prepare something
After a full round of Utility scenes, individual PCs can spend 1 XP to join a new round. Once no one pays for a new round, everyone moves on to step 2).
2) Each PC in turn can play a Bond scene.
Describe where and when it happens during the downtime, and how your PC talks to a fellow PC about one topic from the list:
- ask about their Issue or Doubt
- ask about their worries, hopes, desires
- ask about their past
- confront them about a beef you have with them
After a full round of Bond scenes, individual PCs can freely join a new round. Once no one joins a new round, everyone moves on to step 3).
3) Players perform a single roll+WATCH to jointly imagine and describe some detail (one is enough) about the area where the Utility and Bond scenes took place:
- 10+: a fascinating detail
- 7-9: a worrisome detail
- 1-6: a disquieting detail + World Reaction
Long Rest Notes
Each harm effect can receive only one HU during the same Rest.
Both Utility and Bond scenes are normal scenes, albeit short, where moves can be triggered. If their outcome somehow forces a PC to interrupt the downtime to follow pressing events, then the Long Rest move is cut short for other involved PCs too.
Dis/Advantage does not apply to the Long Rest roll, but scoring a Snag will grant 1 XP to all involved PCs.
No place is truly ever safe. The WATCH roll represents the unexpected, as new details emerge and there's a chance for a World Reaction.
When you spend a few hours gathering Supply materials…
Explain how you intend to find/buy/obtain them, then roll+Knowing in a wilderness area or roll+Intense in a civilized one. Then describe a detail about the area you are treading through:
- 10+: a curious detail + improve Supplies by one level
- 7-9: an unsavory detail + improve Supplies by one level
- 1-6: a problematic detail + World Reaction
End of Session
At the end of the game session…
Pick a Player to perform all steps in the order they are presented. Everyone else assists and can offer comments, suggestions, and constructive criticism.
Consider your PC’s Issue:
- If you want to slightly reword it: say how and do so freely.
- If you feel it has been resolved: explain how, mark 3 Growths, and skip to step 2.
- If you want to abandon it: say why, mark 1 Growth, and skip to step 2.
- If your PC took meaningful action to address it: say how and mark 1 Growth.
Consider your PC’s Doubt:
- If you want to slightly reword it: say how and do so freely.
- If you feel it has been mastered: explain how, mark 3 Growths,and skip to step 3.
- If you want to abandon it: say why, mark 1 Growth, and skip to step 3.
- If your PC took action guided by it: recount it and mark 1 Growth.
- If your PC took action in spite of it: recount it and mark 1 Growth.
Consider your PC’s actions in this session:
- If they were part of a memorable moment, recount it and gain 1 XP.
- If they partook in one or more Bond scene gain 1 XP.
- If something new came up about their Blood or Kin, recount it and gain 1 XP.
Time to grow up:
- If you want, spend 5 or 10 XP to mark 1 or 2 Growths, respectively.
- Spend 5 Growth marks, one time, to unlock a new Growth Option.
- Renew any resolved, mastered, or abandoned Issue/Doubt.
- Name another Player to perform the End of Session move.
End of Session Notes
To Renew your Issue or Doubt, do this between the end of this session and the beginning of the next one:
Transcribe your old Issue/Doubt somewhere, as a memento of personal growth.
Follow the rules from chapter 3 section 4 to formulate a new Issue/Doubt.
Ask everyone for feedback, suggestions, help, and critique.
XPs earned in excess of the 10 allowed by the Class Playbook are lost, but during the End of Session move you are allowed to keep the ones from step 3 until, in step 4, you have a chance to convert them into Growth marks.
Growth marks earned in excess of the 5 allowed by the Class Playbook are never lost. Track normal Growth marks using a slash "/" and when the spaces run out, track new marks using a backslash "\" on top of previous ones and, if spaces run out again, use a pipe "|".
This move might initially seem long and complex but, as Players practice it by repeating it once for every PC at the end of each play session, it will become a familiar ritual performed quickly and neatly. Stick to it, follow each step, and it will pay off.
Claudia goes through the End of Session move with her Protagonist Solinas, the Knight.
She considers Solinas' Issue. At the moment it reads "I love Zenial but I have other duties"...
Through play, she had to make hard choices between her knightly duty and her affective life in general, so she decides to reword her Issue as "Love vs Duty". The core idea is the same as before, but this formulation makes more sense to her as it can include friends and family too.
Claudia doesn't feel like Solinas has resolved the Issue.
And she doesn't want to abandon it.
She also doesn't feel like Solinas did much about it this session, but then Julian comments that in his opinion Solinas defending the old merchant was quite meaningful for her Issue. Claudia agrees, so she marks 1 Growth.
Claudia now considers Solinas' Doubt. At the moment it reads "Am I worthy of my station?"...
She doesn't feel the need to reword it.
All things considered, she feels like Solinas has kind of mastered it, so Claudia marks 3 Growths and skips ahead to step 3.
Claudia considers Solinas' actions in this session and...
She mentions the goofy moment between Solinas and the talking moth. Everyone agrees that it was hilarious, thus quite memorable. Maysa mentions the "slap scene" as her favorite of the session, and Julian comments that he liked the quiet moment of "the big decision" best. With so many memorable moments happening to Solinas, Claudia definitely earns her 1 XP.
Solinas was involved in a bunch of Bonding Scenes this time around, so she gets 1 XP for this too.
Through play, Claudia mentioned many details about Solinas' Blood and Kin, but none of them were new, so she gets no XP for this.
After accruing marks and points it's time to spend them...
Claudia had 9 out of 10 XPs before the End of Session move began and now has ended up with a total of 11 out of 10. During active play, the one point beyond the maximum would be lost, but during this move, she first has the option to spend some XPs, and she does just that but opts to only spend 5 in exchange for 1 Growth mark. This way she'll begin the next session with a comfortable pool of 6 XP in case she needs them during active play to get Advantage or fuel some Class move.
For some reason Claudia had not been spending her Growth marks and now has a total of 12 available, which look something like this [＊＊X X X]. She would like to spend 10 in order to unlock 2 Growth Options, but she can't because there is a hard limit of 1 Growth Option per session. She will have to spend only 5 now, with 7 leftovers that look like this [X X / / /].
Next session she'll be able to spend 5 more and, if she earns no new Growth marks, there will be only 2 leftovers [/ / O O O].
In this session Claudia has mastered Solinas' Doubt, so she transcribes it somewhere for safekeeping, then erases it from the Doubt section of her Class Playbook, and starts mulling over a new Doubt for Solinas.
Right on the spot, she has no clear ideas, so she leaves the task to be done sometime before next week's game session. This way she'll have time to check the rulebook and chat about it with her fellow Players.
Now that Claudia has performed the move in its entirety, she names Maysa to go next through the steps.
When you die or are just about to…
Pick up to 3 OPTIONS from the following list, each only once:
- Lose one of your unlocked Growth Options.
- Shift 1 Stat point to a different Stat (min. -1, max. +3).
- Acquire a Tag from this list and describe what it means specifically for your PC:
- [disgraceful appearance]
- [impeded mobility]
- [unsteady hands]
- [impaired senses]
- [weakened health]
- 10+: You live on, but Death has changed you.
Renew your current Issue, Doubt, or both.
- 7-9: You live on, but Death has taken something from you.
Create a Tag expressing what you have lost: hope, innocence, fear, joy, rage, purpose, confidence, identity, a cherished memory, etc. Then Renew as with 10+.
- 1-6: Alas, you died.
After the scene ends, but before the End of Session move is performed, you get to unlock a Closure option.
Notes on Epilogue
No one can Intervene.
Dis/Advantages do not apply.
Lost Growth options can be unlocked again by spending 5 Growth marks, as usual.
For instructions on how to Renew your Issue and Doubt, see the notes for the End of Session move.
Closure options are the four special Growth options that become available after your 5th Growth. You are free to unlock any of them you like as long as it still makes sense with your PC being dead instead of becoming an NPC.
5.2 - Class moves
What is a Class?
A Protagonist's Class is a collection of eleven unique moves intended to bring forth the themes and aesthetics of a character archetype through active play.
Two of these are Starting moves that represent the core essence of each Class. While these two moves are fixed for each Class they also present creative questions meant to flesh out each PC in a unique way. This, plus the details from Blood, Kin, Issue, Doubt, and what came out of the Fellowship creation ensures that no two Troubadours or Veterans will ever look and feel alike. The other nine are Growth moves that can be unlocked through active play in order to further shape the Protagonist.
- Captain - A capable leader at the head of a resourceful crew, facing dangers and voyages together as one.
- Knight - A bastion of virtue, bestowing guidance, judgment, and retribution upon an imperfect world.
- Maker - A creative mind that thinks outside of the box, taking on the world armed with curiosity, knowledge, and technology.
- Occultist - A practitioner of arcane arts, keeper of forgotten knowledge, and wielder of sorcerous powers.
- Priest - A worker of miracles, wielding the power of religious faith and fervor.
- Scoundrel - A criminal by trade and an adventurer by vocation: resourceful, connected, dangerous.
- Troubadour - A wAnderer and a wOnderer, shaping the world with their art and wiles.
- Veteran - A battle seasoned fighter, bearing the wisdom earned in the face of Death and adversity.
- Wayfarer - A true explorer, using their expertise of plant and beast to journey through wilderness and cities alike.
- Wildcaller - A child of the land, linked inextricably to its elements and spirits.
The book symbol ( 📖 ) indicates a passive element of a move, something to be read and performed only once when acquiring the move. The full text can be found in the manual, while the version on the Protagonist's sheet shows only the spaces for noting down the final choices.
The lightning bolt symbol ( ⚡ ) indicates the active trigger of a move, something that will activate the effects of the move whenever it is described by Players or World.
A capable leader at the head of a resourceful crew, facing dangers and voyages together as one.
- Play the Captain if you want your Protagonist to be the head of a close-knit group of people, looking up to you for guidance and leadership.
- You will steer them into adventure, lift them up when they are down, inspire them when they are doubtful, and explore the inner relationships of your crew.
- What does your crew mean to you? Where will you lead them next?
- Leadership and responsibility
- Found family and its loss
- Adventure and exploration
A Crew by any other name
When other Classes acquire Growth moves from the Captain's list that refer to a crew, the Players and World must agree on what constitutes a crew in their specific case.
A crew should be a relatively cohesive group of people bonded by common experiences.
Maybe the believers following a Priest might fit this description, depending on how close-knit their lives are. Maybe the Wayfarer's animal companion could count, although that might be a stretch. The Fellowship PCs could surely count as a crew, provided they accept the PC using Captain's moves as a sort of leader.
Instead, a mob of random strangers picked up in a tavern or riled up in a village square should not count.
Captain Starting Moves
You are at the head of a crew of people that looks to you for leadership…
- In general principle they are either:
- Subordinates, placed under your command and care by an external authority such as a government, a guild, a criminal organization, or some other kind of institution.
- Followers, listening to you by virtue of your personal charisma and the way you handle the relationship they have with you.
- Each mate has personal reasons to be in your crew, but one common drive for them all are:
- wealth and riches
- fame and glory
- honor and duty
- thrill and power
- Your crew is a (a)[small group] of [loyal] but (b)[disorganized] (c)[commoners] equipped with only (d)[rudimentary armaments] and (e)[cheap tools], but you can pick 1-3 upgrades:
- they are numerous [medium group] (drop [small group])
- they are well [disciplined] (drop [disorganized])
- they are trained or talented [experts] (drop [commoners])
- they have [decent armaments] (drop [rudimentary armaments])
- they have [quality tools] (drop [cheap tools])
- For each upgrade you chose, name a mate who stands out from the crowd:
- The right hand.
Are they [ambitious] or [opinionated]? Are they [supportive] or [independent]? Why do they have your trust?
- The troublemaker.
Are they [contrarian] or [manipulative]? Are they [charismatic agitators] or [solo hot-shots]? Why do you put up with them?
- The mascot.
Are they [too young] or [too old]? Are they [stubborn] or [reckless]? Why do you protect them and keep them around?
- The right hand.
- How does your crew fit in with your Fellowship? Are the other Protagonists part of the crew? Or is the crew a separate asset, personal to you? Either way the crew can independently deal with daily and routine activities but will look to you for important decisions. Your input, or absence thereof, will greatly impact their fates.
When you bark an order at your crew mates…
- 10+: they do it with an Advantage.
- 7-9: they do it, but some might grumble.
- 1-6: they do it + World Reaction.
Notes on Won Cru
Like all other NPCs, the crew members are all Simple People with their own minds, opinions, needs, and quirks. They are [loyal] but can have private motivations and drives, can make mistakes, can hold grudges, or feel gratitude. Betrayal is not something the Captain needs to immediately worry about, but it's also not impossible. Tags can and do change over time when there is a reason for it.
The World will create an Agent to represent the crew as a whole. Its named members will become part of the Cast and, as the game progresses, some might even become Agents themselves.
You and the crew have a common base of operations…
It is either a stationary location or a mobile vessel. Describe it, then choose two options. During the End of Session move you can spend Growth marks, one to one, to add more options from this list.
- [comfortable living quarters]
- [defensible] / [armored]
- [hidden] / [stealthy]
- [hidden level] / [secondary mode of transport]
- [specialist workshop]
- [stable] / [fast]
- [stash of supplies]
- new specialty feature
Notes on Nexus When describing your crew's nexus, think about a few important details:
If it's a location, where is it placed in the geography of your world? Is it within the confines of a village or city? Or is it somewhere in the wild?
If it's a vessel, which mode of transport does it use? Is it a land or sky vehicle? Is it a boat, or a submersible? Is it subterranean?
Captain Growth Moves
When you visit a new port…
If you tell someone about the last time you and your crew were here, gain 1 XP and roll+Intense.
- 10+: the locals have a [good disposition] towards you.
- 7-9: the locals have [doubts and mixed feelings] towards you.
- 1-6: World Reaction.
Notes on 1001 Tales For a local Captain, a "new port" can be represented by any new area they visit infrequently:
It could mean a new neighborhood or a new inn or tavern.
It could mean a new village or city.
Scale the definition up or down to what is meaningful to your own campaign, whether it is set around a single big city, a whole region, or the world at large.
You can tell the tale to anyone, including your crewmates and the other PCs, or some stranger you just met.
When you put yourself in danger to protect a crewmate…
- 10+: they get [ignored] and have Advantage to get to safety.
- 7-9: choose one from 10+.
- 1-6: World Reaction.
When you call out for a specialist…
Spend 1 Supply. If it’s someone you have called on before, they come to you. Otherwise, name them and explain what specific skill, knowledge, or background they possess. The World will add them to the Cast of your crew, with a Tag for their specialty and one for a personal limit or problem.
Notes on Jenkins!
Each mate can be assigned a specialty this way only once.
If a specific mate is unable or unwilling to answer your call, then you can't access them or their specialty, but you can name a new mate to have the same or a similar specialty.
Refer to the approximate size of a Group for a vague limit on the maximum number of mates the Captain can name. Play it fast and loose, as a guideline to avoid abuse.
Maps and Charts
You have accumulated a trove of navigational documents and information…
Say which destination you need a map of and the World will determine if it is common or rare. Then roll+Knowing.
- 10+: if common, you have it. If rare, you know where to get it.
- 7-9: as 10+, but the rare one will be problematic because of a past: debt, grudge, betrayal, etc. You name it.
- 1-6: if common, you know where to get it. If rare, you have rumors amounting to a starting lead to seek it out.
Notes on Maps and Charts
Maps for most travel destinations are fairly common, but few people have them. This alone makes this move greatly valuable.
The way to a remote land could be rare. The way to a lost location or a hidden place is definitely rare. Any "treasure map" or outline of a private or defended area is surely rare.
The truthfulness, accuracy, and completeness of a map are anyone's guess. Common maps are usually safer than Rare ones, but either way World Reactions could reveal all kinds of surprises. Study, research, and comparisons can establish reliability or reveal errors and omissions.
One of Us
Requires Won Cru
When you have a Long Rest…
The crew counts as one PC. They can play a total of one Utility scene at no cost, and normal PCs can then engage in Bond scenes with the crewmates.
Notes on One of Us
The crew-PC can represent the whole group, a part of it, or single individuals, as required by the scene.
The crew-PC cannot initiate a Bond scene.
On My Mark
When you rally the crew around you…
Name one goal they can focus on. They will get an Advantage to perform their individual tasks and duties when those directly contribute to achieving the goal.
Requires Won Cru or Nexus
You, and by extension, your Crew and Nexus, have a legendary reputation…
The mention of your official captain’s name, or the sight of your Crew or Nexus, innately incite strong emotion in people’s hearts. Your legend, expressed in one or a few words, works as a tag when appropriate.
Notes on Personal Legend
What's your legend? Does it inspire [dread] or [hope]? Are you regarded as [heroic] or [dangerous]? Do people think of you as a [monster], a [romantic], a [shrewd merchant] or a [harmless simpleton]?
(Being underestimated can offer many advantages...)
When you and your crew hold a ceremony for a fallen mate…
Name the fallen, then describe the ceremony: where it is held, how the location is prepared, how the body is arranged, what the participants are expected to do.
The World frames a moment during the ceremony when a named mate talks to the Captain. The mate will narrate a brief anecdote about themselves and the fallen. Each Player can do the same, earning 1 XP. Finally, the Captain can do it too, but speaking to the whole crew. If they do, they earn 1 Growth mark.
Notes on Remember Them
When a Player frames a moment, they must play the role of a mate. If their PC is considered a crewmate, they can choose which character to play.
A simple way to come up with an anecdote is to start with a sentence such as:
I remember that time when they...
There was that one time when they...
If more than one mate has fallen, a single ceremony is held for them all.
Don't go through a whole round of anecdotes for each fallen, unless everyone at the table strongly votes in favor of doing so. Instead, simply have each speaker choose one fallen to talk about.
In their final speech, the Captain can mention more than one fallen, but they still get a single Growth mark.
Together We’ll Overcome
When you give a pep-talk or lay out a plan…
Roll+Intense. You can spend 1 hold to have your crew perform an action as if it was one Group size bigger.
- 10+: hold 2.
- 7-9: hold 1.
- 1-6: World Reaction.
A bastion of virtue, bestowing guidance, judgment, and retribution upon an imperfect world.
- Play the Knight if you want your Protagonist to be a commanding leader and a paragon of virtue.
- You are part of an institution of power and renown, bearing its insignia as both a blessing and a burden.
- What is the meaning of honor?
- Duty and obligation
- Necessity and morality
- State and people
A Word to the World
The World is always expected to take note of interesting things the Protagonists say and do in order to reincorporate them in later play. So why do some Knight moves explicitly say "the World will make a note of this"? Two main reasons:
For the Knight, it adds pressure and meaning. What they believe matters and will not be left unexplored.
For the World, it is a gentle reminder: a major reason to play the Knight is to be confronted with your own bullshit.
The Knight constantly expresses what they think is right, just, and honorable, and the game doesn't judge it. But it tests it.
You say that "X" is good?
Fine, but is it still good when others do it too? Or when it is done to you? Or when it is done for reasons you dislike? Or in a way you disapprove of? How do you handle an enemy you deem just and moral? How do you handle an ally you deem corrupt and immoral?
Knight Starting Moves
- You belong to the chivalric Order of the [adjective] [thing], sworn to serve…
- The Crown - honor is obeying the monarchs.
- The Church - honor is obeying the clergy.
- The Cause - honor is obeying the order leaders.
- Describe one thing you love and admire about the institution you serve.
- As well as one thing you loathe and disapprove about it.
The Order of: the flaming sword / Santa Luna / endless pathways.
About the Order I admire: how it upholds the law / its informal hierarchy / that it makes us appear radiant and mighty.
About the Order I loathe: the merciless justice / the old-fashioned morality / how our codes are too forgiving of sinners.
You hold an absolute value which grants you power. Choose one:
- As I reject violence, no common weapon shall harm me.
- As I reject lies, no deception shall fool my senses.
- As I reject cowardly tactics and tricks, no opponent shall face me without fear.
- As I reject indifference to the suffering of others, no lack of trust or understanding shall mar my words.
- As I reject worldly pleasures, I shall need no mundane sustenance.
When you betray your absolute value, its power is lost until you atone. The World will tell you how by following the Occultist’s Ritual move, with four conditions.
When you leverage your knightly standing to give an order…
- 10+: as 7-9, and your prestige grants you Advantage.
- 7-9: they choose to either obey, retreat, or escalate.
- 1-6: as 7-9 but your manners put you at a Disadvantage.
Knight Growth Moves
Aegis of Valor
When you put yourself in harm's way to protect someone else…
Describe how, then suffer harm, but first roll+Daring.
- 10+: They are safe and out of immediate danger. Ignore Temp effects.
- 7-9: They are safe but still in danger. Ignore Temp effects if you spend 1 XP.
- 1-6: They suffer Little harm.
When you Brawl…
Tell the World whether or not your violence is just and righteous. If it is, you can spend XPs to pick additional options from the list on a one-for-one basis.
When you tell someone why it is right and just to face a peril…
- 10+: NPCs believe in your ideas and get an Advantage. The World will make a note of this. PCs gain 1 XP and an Advantage if they follow your lead.
- 7-9: NPCs believe in you, not in your ideas, but still get an Advantage. The World will make a note of this. PCs gain 1 XP or an Advantage if they follow your lead.
- 1-6: World Reaction
When you spend time and Supplies to treat someone’s wounds…
- You respect, admire or look up to them. Explain why and get an Advantage.
- You deem yourself their better. Explain why and get a Disadvantage.
- 10+: apply 1 HU to this or another patient.
- 7-9: as 10+, but you need to spend 1 XP to do so.
- 1-6: World Reaction.
Notes on Hospitaler
The effects of this move, but not its costs, are in addition to those of a Long Rest Utility scene. That is to say, when your PC uses a Utility scene to spend Supplies and appl 1 HU, this is enough to pay the cost of Hospitaler and grant the additional effect.
The Knight themselves can never be their own patient.
You own a loyal and highly-trained beast…
You gain the Wayfarer's Animal Companion move. Use it to create an animal you can ride.
I Am the Law
When you act as arbiter in a dispute…
Your authority is accepted above any local one, be it gladly or grudgingly. Make your verdict known, then roll+Intense.
- 10+: your authority is unquestioned and dissent is swallowed in silence.
- 7-9: your authority prevails and dissent is voiced in a civil way.
- 1-6: your authority wavers and dissent devolves into unrest and trouble.
When you judge someone as dishonorable or contemptible…
Say why you judge them so, what is offensive to you. The World will make a note of this. Then you choose one:
- Be strict and pitiless, denounce them out loud; they get the [sinner] tag.
- Be kind and forgiving, quietly let it slide; you gain 1 XP.
- Be honest and wise, tell them about a time you did the same as them; they get the [unsure] tag and you gain 3 XP.
Requires Knightly Oaths
Your virtue grows in fervor and power…
Select a second absolute value from your list. Betraying any one of them causes you to lose access to all their powers until you atone.
When you accept a task entrusted to you…
Take a moment to reflect on the means and the goal of the task, then say whether you deem them honorable or not, and explain why. The World will make a note of this.
- If either means or goal are unclear or dishonorable, answer this: why have you bound your honor to a dubious cause? The World will make a note of this too.
- If both means and goal are honorable, you gain ongoing Advantage over any action directly aimed at fulfilling your quest.
If you complete the quest both in deed and in spirit, mark 1 Growth.
If you fail or renounce the quest mark 1 Growth, but you also betray your absolute values.
Notes on Quest
The means are the practical things you need to do to achieve the quest. The HOW.
The goal is the reason to achieve the quest. The WHY.
A creative mind who thinks outside of the box, taking on the world armed with curiosity, knowledge, and technology.
- Play the Maker if you want your Protagonist to be a pioneer of modern scientific thought in a world where magic and myths are real.
- You will tinker with the laws of nature and your own ingenuity to craft mechanical contraptions and chemical concoctions.
- How will you solve the next puzzle?
- Creative thinking
- Science and magic
- Ignorance and prejudice
Maker Starting Moves
One-time Protagonist creation procedure…
- You are a student of the laws governing the natural world. Were you classically trained at an institution, or are you a self-taught scholar? And is this common or unusual where you come from?
- When you apply your knowledge to the making of things, the results often sport a certain style. Pick one, or make up your own:
Your works are wet and squishy, ooze liquids, pulse, contract, and look quite disturbing.
Your works are chromed and functional, with neon-looking lights poking out from a riddle of cables and tubes.
Your works are greasy, loud, and malodorous, often cumbersome but also rugged.
Your works are delicate and elegant creations, halfway between jewelry and practical tools.
Your works are aggregates of ticking clock work, boiler chambers, and artsy craftsmanship.
- Because of this, people treat you with... what? Pick one: awe, suspicion, curiosity, hostility, envy, expectation, respect, etc.
Some people taught you valuable lessons. For each option, name the “teacher” and answer the question:
- Someone taught you an uplifting lesson. What did it help you overcome?
- Someone taught you a painful lesson. What have you lost in order to learn it?
- Someone taught you a puzzling lesson. What new curiosity has it elicited in you?
When you work on something using science…
Describe how you do it and if the project is a Research or a Build. The World will set 1-4 conditions:
- It takes a few... quarters of an hour / hours / days / weeks / months.
(when ignored it is just reduced)
- You lack something: special tools, rare materials, obscure knowledge.
- You need help from __.
- Those involved are exposed to danger.
- Reorganize the work into multiple projects.
- 10+ = ask 2 extra questions / ignore 2 conditions.
- 7-9 = ask 1 extra question / ignore 1 condition.
- 1-6 = your work is interrupted + World Reaction.
After all conditions are met...
- Research: ask one question about what you are working on. The World answers truthfully but vaguely, or accurately if you spend 1 Supply or a relevant [research]. At the end, you get a [research on
- Build: craft, repair, or modify something. The result is [unreliable], [frail] and causes [unintended collateral effects]. You can spend a combination of Supplies and [research] Tags to fix these flaws. The World may establish further tags to represent the most important peculiarities of the build.
Notes on Academician
Working on something can mean crafting, repairing or studying something, brewing substances, or even healing someone. It's a versatile but involved process.
A "spent" [research] Tag becomes a simple note: true but less relevant mechanically.
"Ignoring" the time condition multiple times can reduce it below the minimum level, completely eliminating it.
On a 1-6 the costs paid and time invested are not wasted if narrative conditions allow for continuation later.
When you Look Around…
You can describe scientific-sounding considerations to get 1 extra question, at the cost of 1 XP for each consideration.
Notes on Analytical
Examples of considerations can be:
Evaluate the distance between...
Calculate the acceleration of...
Consider the mass and trajectory of...
Visualize the interaction between...
Maker Growth Moves
You have figured out how to mix science and magic…
You have a rudimentary grasp of Alchemy (magical chemistry), Talismongering (magical engineering), and Thaumaturgy (magical biology). Now when you work on something you can achieve results that would otherwise be difficult or impossible through science alone.
Trigger Academician and describe which magical techniques and materials you intend to include in your work to enhance it:
- The work has a cost in XP equal to the initial unmodified number of conditions.
- The World can pick conditions from both the Maker’s Academician and Occultist’s Ritual moves.
Notes on Arcanotechnics
Example magical techniques: inscribing runes, working in a magical circle, engraving symbols and enchantments on items, chanting formulae while working, etc.
Example magical materials: orichalcum metal, bloodroot wood, alchemically produced dusts and powders and substances, ritual paraphernalia, etc.
When remembering the details of something…
You can trigger Read a Person or Look Around, although you can’t interact with anything.
Notes on Eidetic Memory
The answers are limited to how things were in the past when you lived through them and created the memory you are now reevaluating.
You can't interact with anything, it's just a memory. But you can get new info and insight by recollecting exact details you might not have noticed at the time.
When you say that there is a scientist in the local community…
It is true. Name them, say whether you know them personally or by hearsay, and express a personal feeling or opinion about them. If you then meet, roll+Intense:
- 10+: they seem friendly and offer help or opportunity.
- 7-9: they seem preoccupied and ask for counsel or support.
- 1-6: they seem hostile and make accusations or trouble.
When you rack your brain to solve a problem…
If you spend 3 XP the World will point at one possible solution, and you get an Advantage to enact it.
You hold mastery of a scientific field…
Pick your specialization:
- Chemistry : the science of substances and elemental matter.
- Engineering : the science of things and inorganic materials.
- Biology : the science of living things and biological matter.
When you work on something that falls within your specialization, trigger Academician and choose one:
- Your Build has one less flaw.
- Your Research is detailed.
- Ignore one condition.
I’m too old for this
When you would suffer harm…
You can choose to reduce it by getting tags instead of spending HPs. The tags are, in order: [squirmy], [undignified],[cowardy].
Notes on I'm too old for this Each Tag can only be used once. It can be used again after it is somehow removed through active play.
These Tag are acquired in a specific order but can be removed in whichever order makes sense.
When working on a tool or device…
You can do it faster and cheaper by using junk materials and haphazard solutions. Trigger Academician and, after the roll, describe how you cut corners using remedial materials, suboptimal components, and haphazard practices.
Your jerry-built contraption is [ugly]. You can apply additional Tags, each allowing you to ignore one crafting condition: [single use], [could explode], [dangerous leak], [imprecise], [cumbersome],burns resources to use.
Notes on Junk Whisperer You can't apply Tags duplicating characteristics that the original item would already have. For example, an explosive device is inherently "single-use" so you can't assign the [single-use] Tag to it.
When you try to predict the future developments of a situation…
Explain which elements you are considering, both from your past experiences and knowledge and from current observations, then roll+Knowing.
- 10+: The World reveals a relevant Hourglass.
- 7-9: The World reveals one future occurrence from a relevant Hourglass.
- 1-6: World Reaction.
Notes on Mentat
The Hourglass is revealed once, although Players can take notes or even copy the Hourglass. Afterward it will return to being a private note within the World's prep.
The Maker can evaluate a situation again and again.
If no relevant Hourglass exists the World will create one on the spot. In doing so, they should take their time and calmly consider all their notes on the Agent's Map.
Players should know that an Hourglass is not a guarantee of how things will happen as the World constantly updates, modifies, and even scraps Hourglasses in their notes. It is a vision of what is true at a certain point in time, but later events might change things.
When you provide pseudo-scientific remarks to “improve” someone’s actions…
Intervene and, before they roll, if you spend 1 Supply worth of materials or tools to better support your remarks, instead of an Advantage you improve their outcome by one level. If that’s not possible, you both gain 2 XP.
Notes on Optimization
Improving a roll by one level means that a 1-6 becomes a 7-9, a 7-9 becomes a 10+, a 10+ can't improve so both gain 2 XP.
Maker - Hey Occultist, I think your invocation would work better if you were to chant the formula with a harmonic tone. Here, let me guide you with this diapason.
Maker - Hey Veteran, your grip on the weapon is too slack. Use some of this powder on your hands! Maker - Really, my good Wildcaller friend, your shapeshifting is remarkable! But I would make the creature's ears look more like... like... here, let me draw it for you. Maker - Yes, dear Scoundrel, it will indeed be an arduous climb. Maybe this small contraption will help you throw your grapple with less effort. It looks complicated, but I assure you it is simplicity itself. Let me explain it to you!
A practitioner of arcane arts, keeper of forgotten knowledge, and wielder of sorcerous powers.
- Play the Occultist if you want your Protagonist to be an eldritch scholar of lost and forbidden knowledge.
- You deal in the occult and arcane forces, exploring their limits, perils, and the impact they have on nature and society.
- What is the price of knowledge?
- The wondrous and the occult.
- Creative problem-solving.
- Power and its price and consequences.
Occultist Starting Moves
One-time Protagonist creation procedure…
- You hold arcane lore that allows you to manipulate magical forces. Choose one:
- The secret rites to appease forgotten gods.
- The true names to call on reality’s essences.
- The hermetic formulas to bend natural laws.
- The forbidden wisdom to draw forth shadows.
- The mind-bending philosophy to reframe the world’s workings.
- The [adjective] [thing] to [verb] [source of magic].
- Someone trained you in the occult arts. Answer all of the following questions:
- Who are they and what do you call them?
- For what do you admire them?
- For what do you resent them?
- How do they influence your present life? Are they alive and interfering? Or are they gone, but their legacy still affects you?
When you perform lesser magic…
Explain your intent and check its feasibility against the limits of lesser magic. Once you and the World agree, roll+COMPONENTS.
- Magic is wild: you always get a Disadvantage to the roll.
- Effort gives you control. Answer the questions of up to three COMPONENTS:
- MATERIAL = your spell is [slow]. What item are you using? Is it a permanent talisman or consumable ingredient? If rare/precious, spend Supplies to get an Advantage.
- VOCAL = your spell is [loud]. Are you uttering words, a chant, or other sounds? What do they mean? What do they sound like?
- SOMATIC = your spell is [cumbersome]. Both of your hands are busy, doing what? What are the gestures supposed to mean? What do they look like?
Check the roll outcome:
- 10+: your spell works correctly.
- 7-9: your spell works imperfectly, choose one:
- Suffer a Disadvantage.
- Suffer an Open Reaction.
- Become [tainted] in body and mind - how does it look?
- 1-6: your spell works unpredictably + World Reaction.
Notes on Arcana Unearthed
Lesser magic has the following limits:
[fleeting] duration = a few seconds.
[moderate] force = Temp harm.
[reach] range = within 2m.
[individual] target = a person-sized thing or element of a larger whole.
Anything that goes beyond such limits is the purview of Major magic (see the Ritual move).
When checking an intent for feasibility, if in doubt allow it to be Lesser magic unless someone invokes the One Golden Rule.
Both people and animals react strongly and unpleasantly to [tainted] things.
The World can and should leverage the [tainted] tag for all kinds of Reactions representing the social, mental, spiritual, and physical consequences of magical pollution.
Being [tainted] counts as a special harm effect, requiring 1 HU to be cleansed away.
Lesser Magic Empowerment Table
Each point spent allows the Occultist to modify one parameter by one step:
Duration = [fleeting] (seconds) >> [lingering] (minutes) >> [lasting] (hours)
Force = [moderate] (Temp) >> [violent] (Serious) >> [overwhelming] (deadly)
Range = [reach] >> [near] >> [far]
Target = [individual] >> [small group] >> [medium group]
When you offer advice to someone…
If you convey it as a lesson, a metaphor, or a tale directly stemming from your secret lore, you gain 1 XP and those heeding your wisdom get an Advantage when putting it to practice.
Occultist Growth Moves
Requires Arcana Unearthed
During the End of Session move…
If you are [foul] or [vile] use these alternative steps:
- 1.4 - If your PC took violent action to address it, say how and mark 1 Growth.
- 2.5 - this step is unavailable to you.
When you work Lesser magic…
Add these options to the 7-9 list:
- if [tainted] you also get [foul] and +1 Empowerment ongoing.
- if [foul] you also get [vile] and +1 Empowerment ongoing.
Notes on Darkness Within
Being [foul] or [vile] further worsens the physical appearance of the PC and the negative reactions of both people and animals towards them.
Both the [foul] and [vile] Tag each grant 1 point to be spent on the Lesser Magic Empowerment Table. These points are revoked as soon as their respective Tag gets cleansed.
Both [foul] and [vile] count as special harm effects, requiring respectively 2 HU and 3 HU to be cleansed away. In so doing you must cleanse [vile] first, then [foul], and only then [tainted].
When you divine the location of a source of magical power…
You always find a ley line leading to it:
- Describe the words, actions, and materials you employ to discern the ebb and flow of magic around you.
- Describe what kind of power you expect to find by offering a color, a smell, a tactile sensation, and an emotion relating to it.
- The World will take note of this then decide which elements are true, offering an alternative for the others.
You then roll+Vigilant.
- 10+: you can Journey to the source, and you know the way.
- 7-9: you can Journey to the source, with vague directions.
- 1-6: World Reaction.
You can create a mystical bond with a natural animal…
Use the Wayfarer’s move Animal Companion to define your familiar, then roll+Intense.
- 10+: the bond is strong, add [loyal] to the familiar.
- 7-9: the bond is weak, add [stubborn] to the familiar.
- 1-6: the bond is flawed, add [resentful] to the familiar.
If the bond breaks for any reason, you suffer Serious harm due to the magical backlash. You can only ever have one bond at a time.
Mark of Power
When you flaunt your reputation as an Occultist…
You can then Sway with Advantage. The World will make a note of who, hearing you do so, might harbor fear, envy, or enmity for the power you represent.
Pushing Against the Universe
Requires Arcana Unearthed
When you work lesser magic…
If you roll a Boon you can suffer more negative effects from the 7-9 list than those prescribed by the roll outcome. Each extra effect grants one point on the Empowerment Table. If you do, you must describe your magic as [loud] and [flamboyant].
Notes on Pushing Against the Universe
On a 10+ the PC can select up to 3 additional effects from the 7-9 list.
On a 7-9 the PC can select up to 2 additional effects from the 7-9 list because 1 is already required by the 7-9 outcome.
Each 7-9 effect can be selected only once per casting. The Darkness Within move does not allow a PC to select the [tainted] effect multiple times during the same casting:
WRONG = the Occultist rolls a 10+ and opts to suffer the [tainted] effect two or three times.
CORRECT = the Occultist rolls a 10+ and opts to suffer the [tainted] effect once, although they were already [tainted] because of a previous effect.
When you perform a major act of magic…
Tell the World what you’re trying to achieve. Rituals are always possible but require at least a few hours of time, and the World will give you one to four conditions:
- It will take days/weeks/months.
- You’ll have to get/build/study __.
- You’ll need help from __.
- It’ll be an unreliable and limited version.
- You will risk __.
- Add __ to the ritual’s location.
- You’ll have to disenchant __.
- It will require riches you don’t have.
Performing the ritual while accessing a source of great magical power, you can ignore one requirement of your choice.
Requires Arcana Unearthed
When you work lesser magic…
You can describe deliberately and ritualistically hurting your PC as part of their SOMATIC component to get points on the Lesser Magic Empowerment Table:
- Anything amounting to Temp harm or less allows you to buy 1 Empowerment for every 3 XP or 1 HP.
- Each Serious harm effect grants 3 Empowerment.
- Any Deadly harm effect forces all Empowerment parameters to the max.
Requires Arcana Unearthed
When you finish crafting an item you completely made yourself…
If you perform lesser magic, its effect will not take place here and now but will instead be stored in the crafted item. Anyone holding the item can, by explicitly willing to do so, release and direct its magical effect. Once this happens, the item becomes ruined, broken, and mundane.
When you try to figure out the properties of a mysterious item…
Describe briefly how you poke and prod it. Are you careful or forceful? Are you using tools or just your hands? Then roll+Knowing. The World will answer your questions honestly.
- 10+: ask 3.
- 7-9: ask 2.
- 1-6: ask 1 + World Reaction.
List of questions:
- What is its purpose?
- What is wrong with it and how can I fix it?
- What would be the correct way to use it?
- Who made it?
- What kind of person handled it before me?
- Which strong emotion has been impressed upon it?
- What has been done most recently with it, or to it?
A worker of miracles, wielding the power of religious faith and fervor.
- Play the Priest if you want your Protagonist to be a beacon for the faithful, the herald of a religion.
- Your beliefs will be challenged and your morality tested as you forge your own path in a world of myths and legends.
- What does your faith mean to you?
- Faith and belief
- Religion and society
- Personal morality and official doctrine
Notes on fantasy religions
In most fantasy games playing a religious character is comfortable, presenting a divine magician as a different flavor of power fantasy fulfillment: such characters are not meant to question or doubt their faith as the game works on the fundamental assumption that A) their deity exists and B) the deity directly and quite vocally communicates what is righteous and moral to them. This is ok. It is good, solid, escapist fun. If this is what you want, maybe try playing an Occultist with an arcane lore of spiritual/mystical inspiration.
Playing a Priest is rather different, as the Class is all about the struggle between faith and doubt, leaning heavily on the game truth that "gods are silent", with most Class moves being about mundane actions that could be explained away as skill,luck, or personal determination, rather than obvious divine intervention and flashy magics.
For Players: gods are silent means that no one can ever "know" if gods are real or not. They can believe, they can have faith, they can ascribe meaning to things and events they witness. The class moves will make you question your actions, challenge your beliefs and urge you to find the divine and miraculous within the mundane, in a world where magic is real anyway.
For the World: gods are silent means that the World plays as if there were no gods. Period. This is "just" a technique, a way to help the World play in a simple and straightforward way, while also facilitating Players on their personal journey of religious discovery. Everything the World plans and describes must stem from mundane causes, handling religion as culture, mythology, legends, and stories.
Priest Starting Moves
You worship a deity. Describe:
- The concept it embodies: war, birth, duty, oceans, justice, secrets...
- The symbol its followers bear: hand, sun, flaming eye, serpent, cross...
- The name it is known as: Helferth, Zorica, Vekna, the God of Many Eyes...
- The item you carry as a divine icon of your faith.
When you perform a ritual of your religion…
Give it a name. Explain which gestures, words, and objects are part of it. Explain its meaning and purpose.
- If you are alone, the World will take note of your expectations.
- If you are in front of others, you also pick one:
- Spend 0 XP to awe them: you gain an Advantage to Sway or Threaten them.
- Spend 1 XP to make them feel blessed = they gain an Advantage.
- Spend 1 XP to make them feel judged = they gain a Disadvantage.
Signs and Portents
When you bear witness to an event you deem meaningful…
Tell the World how you see the event echoing the Concept or Symbol of your deity, and if it is a good or bad omen. You gain 1 XP and the World will set or update an Hourglass inspired by it.
Notes on Signs and Portents
Even though gods are silent, omens, signs, doctrines, and prophecies represent things the Priest is interested in, so the World can and should explore them. How? By helping the Protagonists to ask themselves questions: What do the omens mean for the Priest? What do they mean to others? How do people, animals, nature, the world at large react to them?
We might never know for certain whether "the blue sun" is a message from some god or not, but the existence itself of such a phenomenon will affect nature and society in many ways. And people will try to explain it somehow. How will the Priest react to this? What is their take?
To this end, Hourglasses stemming from this move are a great opportunity to Think Off-Screen Too, seeding future events that, while not divine, are nonetheless inspired by the omens and signs the Priest has highlighted.
Priest Growth Moves
When you pray for divine retribution…
During the scene, if you visit violence upon someone, it is [messy], [loud] and [forceful].
Spend 1 XP to affect up to a [small group]. After you inflict harm, roll+Intense:
- 10+: You feel righteous. The Anathema continues.
- 7-9: You feel doubtful. Choose one:
- Insist. Pay 3 XP or say why your deity would disapprove of this violence. The Anathema continues.
- Relent. Gain 3 XP if you say why your deity would disapprove of this violence. The Anathema stops.
- Hush. Mark 1 Growth (once per session) or 1 XP if you say how it feels to not receive answers from your deity. The Anathema stops.
- 1-6: You feel guilty. Gain a Disadvantage or say how it feels to not know/understand your deity's will. The Anathema stops.
Prayer for the Departed
When you perform a ritual of your religion for someone dying in your presence…
Trigger Acolyte, then absolve or condemn them. They will somehow express how they honestly feel: about your judgment, or their life until now, or their imminent death. You can spend 3 XP to have your judgment give them an Advantage or Disadvantage respectively. This can affect their Epilogue.
Notes on Prayer for the Departed
As explained in chapter 2 section 3, the effects of Dis/Advantage on NPCs can be quite dramatic, and depending on the circumstances, the Priest's judgment will make the difference between life and death.
By God Anointed
When you perform a ritual of your religion during a Long Rest…
Trigger Acolyte. If anyone joins your ceremony, both you and them gain 1 XP. They must tell the World how they feel about your religion and ritual and, if they believe or want to believe, they are [anointed].
When an [anointed] character prays for protection or assistance, have them describe if and how they feel the Priest’s deity’s presence. They then lose the tag and the World immediately performs a Reaction with the intent of helping them.
Faith is My Strength
When you pray to help someone with a task…
Spend 1 XP. You will always have an intuition of what they feel:
- If they believe in your deity, they get an Advantage.
- If they don’t, they get a Disadvantage.
- If they are honestly conflicted, they gain 1 XP.
When you hold your divine icon aloft…
If you invoke your deity’s protection through it, spend XP then Threaten all hostile creatures within range.
- Spend 0 XP = [hand] range, with Temp force.
- Spend 1 XP = [close] range, with Temp force.
- Spend 2 XP = [reach] range, with Temp force.
- spend 5 XP = [reach] range, with Serious force.
Notes on God's Herald
You roll only once, then each individual makes their own choice as to how Threaten affects them.
Harm caused this way can be described, if desired, as magical or supernatural.
On a Snag (1-6) your XPs are not spent.
When you ask your deity for counsel and guidance…
Tell the World what you fear. What's the worst that could happen if you fail or choose poorly? Then listen to your heart and pick one:
- Gain 1 XP. Describe what the heart says you should do. If you do it, gain an Advantage.
- Ask the World what the heart says you should do. If you do it, gain an Advantage.
- Your heart offers no direction, your deity is silent. Describe how this feels and why you think it’s happening, then mark 1 Growth (once per session) or 1 XP.
Notes on Guidance
It is important for both World and Players to pay attention to the questions this move might present to the Priest. As World, try to always Ask Honest Questions to the Priest about the guidance they receive.
When the World speaks for the heart, ask the Priest how they feel about such advice: Does it sound like or unlike them? Does it feel like the voice of their conscience or like something external? Does it fit the idea you have of your deity? Does the advice feel like a welcome or unwelcome truth?
When the heart is silent, be sure to have the Priest express an opinion other than "I don't know". That would be an acceptable answer the first time, but no further. Of course they don't know, but what are they afraid it might be?
Don't force them, but rather offer gentle guidance and suggestions they can get inspiration from: is it a test? A punishment? A message? a cosmic glitch? And why is it happening? Is it because of the Priest's actions and choices? Or is it someone else's fault? Or some external interference? In the end, this is meant to be just a guess, a prompt for the Priest to give a moment of thought to their faith and actions and how they might affect each other.
Lead the Flock
When you preach to a crowd…
- 10+ = 2 actions.
- 7-9 = 1 action.
- 1-6 = World Reaction.
As an effect of the speech the crowd will, one by one, take actions of your choice:
- bring forth someone
- bring forth something
- unite and fight for you as a group
- fall into a frenzy of joy, sorrow, rage, lust, or another strong emotion, your choice
- go quietly back to their lives
Notes on Lead the Flock
To "bring forth" means that the crowd will present the Priest with someone or something if it is readily available to them. Otherwise, they will start a hunt for it. The World will determine how much time it takes, and its final outcome. On its own, the crowd could lose momentum and desist, cause unforeseen problems, or return with a partial or unexpected result. An Hourglass could also be set to handle the crowd's activities and their effect on the story.
When "united as a group" the World will determine the crowd's size and means. Who are the people in the crowd? Which tools, armor and weapons do they have with them? Do they have something better stashed at home? And will they have time to go grab them?
You are a charismatic leader among believers…
You have a [small group] of [needy] [commoners] who trust and support you. Pick two:
- they are a [medium group].
- a few are [rich] merchants.
- a few are [influential] nobles.
- a few have a [military] background.
- a few have a [scholarly] background.
- they are [nomads] who follow your voyages.
Then pick one:
- some are [agitators] often making trouble.
- some are [vulnerable]: the old, children, the sick and disenfranchised.
- some are [disloyal] opportunists out to exploit you.
- the group has an [overt] and [powerful] enemy.
- the group has an [unseen] and [devious] enemy.
Notes on Messiah
The World should treat the Priest's followers as an Agent.
The followers' Tags can and should change depending on the fiction, allowing the Priest to expand on the positive ones and try to fix the negative ones, with the World keeping track of it all. In this regard, focus on medium-long term changes, rather than sudden but impermanent ones.
People always have needs and problems: if the Priest manages to fix the current ones, have them select a new one from the list above. Create new ones if appropriate, or revisit old ones already solved in the past.
When you perform a ritual of your religion to bless a small location…
- The area is [sacred] and [safe] as long as true believers of your cult dwell in it.
- Create one more tag to represent your deity's recognizable influence upon the land. If you spend 3 XP this effect will linger indefinitely.
- Say what could constitute an act of blasphemy for your deity. If such an act takes place within or nearby the blessed location, all tags are either removed or inverted by the World.
A criminal by trade and an adventurer by vocation: resourceful, connected, dangerous.
- Play the Scoundrel if you want your Protagonist to be a resourceful and connected denizen of the criminal realm.
- You are a shadow moving between worlds: from seedy streets to royal halls, from blades to whispers, from outlaw to champion.
- To which unwritten laws do you hold true?
- Crime and rules breaking
- Society and its seedier side
- Acting in unorthodox ways
Scoundrel Starting Moves
When you set out to gather info on someone or something…
It takes a few days spending hours in recon, research and surveillance. Choose one:
- You are careful, your activity goes unnoticed but you get Disadvantage
- You are careless, your activity draws attention but you get Advantage
- 10+ = 2 options.
- 7-9 = 1 option.
- 1-6 = 1 option + World Reaction.
You can name and describe one or more contacts. Each gets you +1 option but you owe them a favor. The World will make a note of this.
List of options:
- It takes hours instead of days!
- Who else is interested?
- What is a fast but dangerous way of access?
- What is a slow but safer way of access?
- What stands in my way?
- What useful curiosity do I find?
- Who will notice if I tamper with it?
- Who might come after me?
When you try to conceal your presence or your actions…
Say how you trick the senses or divert the attention, then roll+Vigilant.
- 10+ = you do it and none is the wiser.
- 7–9 = you do it but soon after the World makes an Open Reaction.
- 1-6 = World Reaction.
Scoundrel Growth Moves
When you attack someone unaware or unprepared…
You can choose one:
- You inflict Terrible harm.
- You inflict Little harm but you choose one of the harm effects they suffer.
- 10+: you do it smooth, f possible with no witnesses and no obvious traces.
- 7–9: you do it rough, drawing attention or leaving obvious traces.
- 1-6: you do it somehow + World Reaction.
Notes on Assassin Strike
It should go without saying that if the target is unaware of the Scoundrel, or unprepared for their aggression, the Brawl move can not trigger and this one happens instead.
A Thousand Faces
When you disguise someone…
Explain how you obscure their features to make them [hard to recognise].
- If you spend Supplies and about one hour of preparation, they can pass as any Blood and Kin of roughly their size and shape.
- If you spend 3 XP you can mimic the mannerism and voice of someone you spent some time observing, well enough as to pass cursory inspection.
Notes on A Thousand Faces
"Someone" includes the Scoundrel themselves.
What constitutes "some" time is up to Players and World, but doing Legwork on the target will always be sufficient.
Cogs and Springs
When you Look Around…
If you are specifically looking for hidden mechanisms, you find them. In any case, add these questions to the Look Around list:
- What might trigger it?
- How can it be operated?
- What might it do once activated?
- How can it be disarmed/bypassed safely?
- How can it be disarmed/bypassed quickly?
When you pull a dirty and dishonorable trick during a confrontation…
- 10+ = inflict one Temp effect of your choice.
- 7–9 = inflict one Temp effect of your choice but you look [contemptible].
- 1-6 = World Reaction.
Notes on Dirty Fighter
Whatever harm effect is chosen, it has to make fictional sense. Sometimes the situation would open itself to pretty much any option, if the Player is clever enough to leverage their fictional positioning. Other times, the described actions and circumstances will restrict the choices available.
If the Scoundrel selects a Temp effect that is already marked, they have to first try to see if a different effect would also fit the fiction. If that is not possible, then the harm effect is bumped up to Serious, as per normal rules, but now the victim chooses.
Friends in Low Places
When you say that you know someone in the local underground…
Trigger Recall Lore with an Advantage. Then pick one for each:
- There is a debt...
- you owe them (gain 1 XP).
- they owe you (get an Advantage to Sway them).
- Last time you parted ways...
- in good terms, they will be [trusting] + Open Reaction.
- in bad terms, they will be [untrusting] + Show an Opportunity.
When you act and speak to confuse or distract someone…
Describe the gist of your performance, then roll+Intense.
- 10+: they fall for it until attention is drawn to your real aim.
- 7-9: they fall for it, but only briefly.
- 1-6: World Reaction.
When you need a poison or toxin... you have it…
Spend 1 Supply to “find” one dose of the substance in your inventory. If it’s a new substance, go through these steps:
1) Pick one form:
- Powder, crystals, pills
- Liquid, oil, cream
- Gas, vapour
2) Pick one or more distinctive telltale signs:
- [2 XP] it has no telltale signs
3) Pick one application method:
- Skin contact
- Ingestion or wounding
4) Pick one harm effect of your choice:
- One Temp effect for days
- Two Temp effects for hours
- One Serious effect
- [2 XP] one Deadly effect
- [2 XP] one Temp effect for weeks
5) Describe how this effect looks like, then pick any options you want:
- [1 XP] difficult to recognise
- [2 XP] difficult to neutralize
- [3 XP] no known antidote
6) Pick one timeframe for the effect to appear:
- Within days
- Within hours
- [1 XP] within minutes
- [2 XP] within seconds
7) Tell the World the street name of this substance.
Sometimes You’re the Mouse
When you look for a way out from a sticky situation…
Name your escape route, then roll+Vigilant.
- 10+: You disengage and slip away.
- 7-9: You make it out, but the World says what you leave behind or what follows you.
- 1-6: World Reaction.
When tapping your network of contacts to get something you want…
- 10+: You can have it by owing a favour to someone the World will describe. They are someone you know, trust and respect.
- 7–9: You can have it by owing a favour to someone the World will describe. They are someone you don’t know or that you mistrust.
- 1-6: You know who has it + World Reaction.
A wAnderer and a wOnderer, shaping the world with their art and wiles.
- Play the Troubadour if you want your Protagonist to be a creative adventurer with an artistic streak that is so good it’s actually magic.
- You have heard stories, you have seen things, you have met people and it all fuels your ability to touch hearts... or to break them.
- What inspires you and drives you towards adventure?
- Art and creativity
- Swashbuckling and carousing
- Truth and stories
Troubadour Starting Moves
You are a performing artist. You might engage in different disciplines, but only one is your personal craft.
- Name your craft. It can be any art-producing activity that the World and your fellow Players agree could somehow be “performed” in front of an audience: musician, dancer, sculptor, painter, actor, calligrapher, storyteller, etc.
Describe the most important tool you use to help perform it.
You don’t need to use that specific object, or any other object in particular. As long as you can somehow perform your craft, you are good to go. But this one is your favorite and most trusted tool of the trade. Where does it come from? What’s unique about it?
When you perform your craft…
It’s imbued with meaning, emotion, and magic:
- Define a target audience: women in the crowd, people of good heart, nobles, my friend Pulsifer, etc.
- Pick one feeling or emotion and describe how the performance expresses it.
Everyone present feels the emotion, but only the target audience is magically affected. Pick one:
- They are spurred and uplifted = they gain an Advantage.
- They are troubled and afflicted = they gain a Disadvantage.
- Their minds are jolted and cleansed, [alert].
- Their minds are entranced and clouded, [distracted].
- 10+: You can perform while taking other actions, with ongoing Disadvantage.
- 7-9: You either perform or take other actions. Resuming the performance is done at a Disadvantage.
- 1-6: Like 7-9 + World Reaction.
Notes on Arcane Art
To be an "audience" someone has to be able to perceive the actions performed by the Troubadour: hear the music or singing, see the painting or sculpting or dancing, feel the vibrations, the rhythm, the texture, whatever might make them somehow experience the performance.
Only individuals capable of emotion can be affected: mindless undead or constructs are out for sure, while creatures such as insects or extraplanar aliens might be up for debate.
Witnessing only part of the performance is enough to convey the full magical and emotional effects.
Magical effects last as long as the performance goes on.
Emotional effects linger as long as it makes fictional sense.
When you say you have previously come across something or someone…
It is true. Pick one:
- If it was in a story or song, describe the gist of it, then Recall Lore with an Advantage.
- If it was in person, describe the gist of the encounter and if you think it went well or poorly. Both you and the World write down the [shared history with] tag, then the World will tell you what looks different about it/them.
Troubarour Growth Moves
Ear For Magic
When you observe a magical effect, ongoing or being cast…
The World describes it as one or more of these elements: a tactile feeling, a color, a smell, a taste, an emotion, a sound.
- If you act on this knowledge, you do it with Advantage.
- You will recognise this way of working magic if you see it again.
Charming and Open
When you speak frankly with someone…
The person you are talking to must choose a question from the Read Someone list:
- if you answer honestly you can ask them something from the list, which they will have to answer honestly.
- if you bail out with a lie or a half-truth, the World gets a Closed Reaction.
When you Read Someone during a social gathering…
You can do it without interacting with them, just by observing their behavior in context.
- If you do it openly, they notice you but you roll with an Advantage.
- If you do it discreetly, they are oblivious but someone else notices you.
- If you do it covertly, no one notices but you roll with a Disadvantage.
Requires Arcane Art
When you perform your Arcane Art…
If you lead it to a crescendo and then abruptly end the performance, the emotional effect is so intense as to cause Temp harm to everyone within [near] range:
- You can spend 1 XP to only harm your target audience.
- You can spend 3 XP to enhance the harm to Serious.
Notes on Eldritch Tones
You are immune to the effects of your own performance.
Up To Eleven
Requires Arcane Art
When you perform your Arcane Art…
If you pour all your heart and soul into it, the World will ask you a question from the Read Someone list; your target audience will understand the answer. And then...
- Add to the list of magical effects: They give in to a bacchanal of uninhibited emotion. Celebrating, rejoicing, lamenting, fighting, fornicating, sharing, scattering. Your choice.
- If you spend 1 HP your target audience will experience your performance regardless of normal limitations. Your base Arcane Art roll determines the area of effect:
- 1-6: a large building.
- 7-9: a whole neighborhood.
- 10+: a small town.
Notes on Up To Eleven
Breaking the normal limitations could mean that the deaf can hear you, the blind can see you, the absent feel as if they were present, mindless creatures somehow are affected too, etc. No need to choose, as this all applies at once.
When you drop your name to leverage your reputation…
The World will say whether they have heard about you:
- If not, you gain 1 XP.
- If yes, you get an Advantage to Sway them, but first roll+Intense.
- 10+: describe a positive thing and a negative one they heard about you.
- 7-9: describe a positive thing or a negative one; the World will describe the other.
- 1-6: World Reaction.
When you make a loud and public spectacle out of something…
You get an Advantage to Sway or Take a Risk.
Requires Arcane Art
When you perform your Arcane Art…
Add these options to the list of magical effects:
- They are bolstered and frenzied = when they cause harm it is Terrible.
- They are fortified and soothed = when they suffer harm it is Little.
When you do something athletic and also difficult or dangerous…
Describe it. Once per scene you gain 1 XP for each option that applies:
- You do it in a flamboyant or (melo)dramatic way.
- You shoot a witty remark immediately before, during, or after.
- You flirt with someone as part of your action.
A battle-seasoned fighter, bearing the wisdom earned in the face of Death and adversity.
- Play the Veteran if you want your Protagonist to deal with violence and the scars it leaves behind.
- You have seen your share of battles, fought enemies, tended to allies, and have tasted the bitter price of it all.
- How has this violence shaped you?
- Violence and its cost
- Scars and their history
- Strength and its forms
Veteran Starting Moves
This Is My Weapon
This is your weapon. There are many others like it, but this one is yours.
- Your weapon could be anything, melee or ranged, mechanical or magical, or a mix. Anything goes, as long as both World and Players agree to it and it’s not a part of your body, but a separate item.
- Your weapon is “unique” because of its history and significance to you. But there might be others like it or even “better” than it. It’s not about exclusivity and power. It’s about meaning.
To craft it, pick one option from each list:
Its general shape makes it:
- Wearable, leaving your hands free
- Agile, usable with just one hand
- Bulky or heavy, usable only with both hands
Its main way of delivering damage is:
Its ideal range of use is:
Considering your choices for 1. 2. 3. describe your weapon in a single word. It is a: sword, dagger, crossbow, hammer, axe, gun, pike, dart blower, brass knuckles, lance, whip, etc.
Its size, compared to yours, is:
- Small / hand-sized
- Medium / arm-sized
- Big / almost your size
- Huge / bigger than you
Choose two qualities:
- [alert] reacts near one type of creature
- [balanced] optimal for throwing or dueling
- [elemental] infused with the qualities of one element
- [reinforced] very sturdy and resistant
- [returning] if free, comes back to you
- [versatile] has two ideal ranges
- [vicious] hooked, barbed, spiked, serrated
Choose its overall look:
- Biological / living
Answer one or more:
- You feel shame for what you did to get the weapon. What did you do?
- You feel grief for how it was given to you. Who gave it to you, and why did it hurt you to accept it?
- You feel hopeful or bitter about how you came by it. What happened and how did it change you?
Give it a unique name (like Stormbringer, Oathbreaker, Needle, Light of Arnon, etc.) and answer all:
- Do you know who named it? Or was it you?
- Does the name represent its past or its present?
If you ever break, lose, or abandon your weapon for good, ask the World what you'll need to do to get the old one back, or to find/forge/earn a new one and make it truly yours. They will use the Occultist's Ritual move to answer you.
Not To Be Trifled With
When you boldly show off your strength and prowess…
Roll+Intense. All witnesses are [impressed] and:
- 10+: one of them is [terrified] or [fascinated], your choice.
- 7-9: one of them is [outraged] or [pleased], World’s choice.
- 1-6: World Reaction.
Veteran Growth Moves
Requires This is my weapon
When you query your weapon for its wisdom…
Explain what your dilemma is and whose voice answers you. Describe how you hear/see/feel it, then roll+Knowing:
- 10+: The World will describe a useful vision, impression or omen, clarifying what it means for your dilemma. Get an Advantage to act on the advice.
- 7-9: The World will describe a useful vision, impression, or omen.
- 1-6: The dilemma is false, the problem is you! Whether you feel it’s true or not, the voice accuses you of some kind of weakness or fault, World’s choice. Make it a tag on your sheet.
Brace for Impact
When you suffer harm
You can ignore it by describing how your armor, shield, or weapon takes the brunt of it. The item is now [battered] in a very visible way. If it was already [battered], it instead becomes [broken] and unusable.
When you perform an act of unnecessary or excessive violence…
Any witness will think that [YourName is a brute]. Whether they express it or not, you always feel their judgment. Once per session, pick one:
- You had reasons. If you offer the World a justification, gain 1 XP.
- They are right. If you tell the World why you think you did it, mark 1 Growth.
Notes on Brutal
Violence can be physical or social.
The effect applies to both NPCs and PCs.
The Tag can easily be leveraged to the Veteran's advantage, but it will also unpredictably affect most interactions with those who witnessed them behave in a brutal way.
When harm is incoming but first you have a chance to act…
If you choose to grit your teeth and stand your ground, you ignore this harm’s Temp effects.
Any time you receive a HU you can spend HPs to get additional HUs.
You are trained in a unique fighting style…
Explain how it looks and give it a name, then mark one option.
When you Brawl, if you describe the attack in your style...
- Roll+Vigilant. You count as a [small group] but inflict [Little harm] by default.
- Roll+Intense. You are immune to Temp effects but inflict [Little harm] by default.
- Roll+Knowing. You can pick one extra take/keep/force option from the Brawl list.
- Roll+nothing. You count as a [small group] and inflict [Terrible harm] by default but are not allowed to suffer [Little harm].
Notes on Fighting Style
You can pick this Move multiple times to mark additional styles.
Through an appropriate description, you can always choose to perform a "normal" Brawl and roll+DARING.
Effects that modify harm do stack up, from No harm up to Deadly harm.
When you Look Around in the heat of a combat…
- Ask one extra question.
- You notice a subtle weakness/opening/opportunity - describe it to the World.
Riddle of Steel
When you face a choice between bravery or safety…
Explain what you think is brave about one, and shameful and cowardly about the other. Then choose one:
- You do the [brave] thing, gain the tag and 1 XP.
- You do the [craven] thing, gain the tag and 1 XP.
When you show someone one of your scars…
If you tell them the truth about how you got it and why you feel pride or shame for it, they will share a similar experience with you. It counts as a Bond scene.
Notes on Old Scars
Scars can be physical, emotional, or of other kinds.
Some scars can't be seen, but have visible effects. Showing those will also trigger the move.
When using physical prowess to destroy or get through an inanimate obstacle…
You do it in a [slow], [messy], and [noisy] way, and the obstacle is [broken] beyond repair. But first roll+Daring.
- 10+ = ignore 3 tags.
- 7-9 = ignore 2 tags.
- 1-6 = ignore 1 tag + World Reaction.
A true explorer, using their expertise of plant and beast to journey through wilderness and cities alike.
- Play the Wayfarer if you want your Protagonist to be an expert traveler and skilled hunter.
- You know about plants, wildlife, tracking, and survival. With you is a trusty animal companion, an individual with its own wants and needs that shares a deep bond with you.
- What are you looking for beyond the horizon?
- Camaraderie and the animal companion
- Travel and exploration
- Predators and prey
Wayfarer Starting moves
You have a connection with a natural animal that is [loyal] to you.
- What a “natural animal” is in your campaign setting can and should be agreed upon between World and Players.
- You can’t really converse with your companion, but they usually get what you mean.
- To define your companion, pick one option from each list:
- Pick a reference species:
- Avian, canid, felid, rodent, reptile, other.
- Pick a size, relative to the chosen species:
- Putting species and size together, does the animal have a common name?
(Sparrow, raven, eagle, dog, jackal, wolf, gecko, alligator etc.)
- Pick a strength:
- Quick reflexes
- Keen senses
- Pick a flaw:
- Pick a training:
- Fight humanoids
- Fight beasts
- Give a name to your companion.
- Answer one or more questions:
- Being with your Companion changed you - how and why?
- Your Companion has become a dear friend - when and how did this happen?
- You are very much alike your Companion - in which way?
- You and your Companion are polar opposites - in which way?
- Pick a reference species:
When you assign a task to the Companion…
If they have a fitting training, they undertake it with an Advantage. Your companion can also perform the Intervene move whenever appropriate.
Notes on Animal Companion
To better understand the impact of this move on your Companion, refer to the rules about NPCs and Dis/Advantage in Chapter 2 section 3.
When you Look Around for a creature’s trail…
If you describe some trivia about this creature, Look Around with an Advantage. If you do find a trail and want to track it, roll+Vigilant.
- 10+: Journey to the creature’s exact location.
- 7-9: Journey to the creature’s approximate location.
- 1-6: World Reaction.
Notes on Trail Hound
This move means that the Wayfarer "knows the way" to the creature.
The World will judge whether the tracking would require enough time and risk to engage in a full Journey (go to step 1) or if the creature is relatively near/safe to track (go to step 5)
Wayfarer Growth moves
Claw and Dagger
When you apply animal behavior to close-quarter fighting…
Say which animal you are emulating and what such behavior means in that animal's fighting style. Pick one extra option when you next Brawl.
When you apply animal behavior to humanoid interactions…
Say which animal you are emulating and what such behavior means in that animal's social context, then pick one:
- Your actions appear jarring. You look [beastly] but get an Advantage to Sway and Threaten.
- Your actions appear smooth. You look [mysterious] and gain 1 XP.
Gods of the Wilds
You know about the Ancient Ones who dwell in the wilds and can recognise their traces and presence…
You gain the Priest's Signs & Portents move. The Concept and Symbol can change every time, but they always have to relate to things like nature, plants, animals, and the land.
When you try to hide…
Describe how you do it. The World will take note of how you camouflage your looks, smell, noises, and tracks.
- If you want, spend a few minutes and 1 Supply to always be [in cover] in one type of environment.
- While [in cover] and moving [very slow] no one can spot you, but telltale signs might still alert pursuers.
- While in or near cover, spend 1 XP to move [slow] or 2 XP to move [fast] without being spotted.
- When spotted, a quick distraction and 1 XP will briefly lose your pursuers.
Notes on Hidden Predator
Environment types could be: forest, plains, desert, snow, rich neighborhood, poor ghetto. If everyone agrees it can even mean a social environment such as among religious people, nobles, farmers, pirates, etc. You can't really "pass" as one such person, but you can manage to disappear in their midst.
Anything could be "cover" as long as it somehow helps in concealing the Wayfarer's traits: shadows, foliage, a crowd, clothes that blend into the surroundings, fog, etc.
The way you camouflage (or not) your appearance, smell, noises, and tracks will inform the World about what kind of telltale signs you might be giving off and could be relevant to the situation.
"Alerted pursuers" might not know your exact location, or even that you are there at all, but something has obviously made them wary that something is not right.
A "quick distraction" can be anything that will interrupt or confound the people tracking you even for a moment: sharply turn at a street corner, step behind a person or tree, make them look away due to a loud noise or a sudden movement, raise a screen of smoke or sand, etc.
You are an expert at finding food and shelter…
You are able to:
- When you Restock in a civilized area, if you scavenge the streets roll+Knowing.
- When you Restock +Knowing, do it with an Advantage.
- During a Long Rest, your presence grants +1 WATCH for free.
- During a Journey, vague directions don’t cause Disadvantage.
- During a Journey, you can spend 3 XP to make the voyage [faster] or [safer] or [unnoticed].
Through Thick and Thin
Requires Animal Companion
When you tell someone about a past hardship you and your Companion endured together…
Describe it, then say how the memory makes you feel. Pick one:
- Ashamed or embarrassed: gain 1 XP
- Proud or cheerful: get an Advantage to Sway or Threaten your audience
When you attempt a difficult feat of sharpshooting…
You always hit your mark, but:
- It takes time + Open Reaction.
- It causes collateral damage.
- It attracts unwanted attention.
But first roll+Daring:
- 10+ = avoid 2.
- 7-9 = avoid 1.
- 1-6 = avoid 0.
When you build or set a simple trap…
Describe in broad strokes what kind of contraption you intend to build and what should happen when it springs. The World will then tell you which materials and how much time you need to craft, disguise, and set up the trap:
- Improvised/natural materials = 1 Supply.
- Crafted/common materials = 2 Supplies.
- Specific/uncommon materials = use them if you have them.
- It will take minutes, hours or a full day.
Notes on Trapper
A trap is "simple" when its realisation takes less than a day and the needed materials are common items you could scavenge in the wild or that might already be part of your Supplies. Anything more grand, complex, or costly is beyond the scope of this move. You are a hunter, not an architect or an engineer.
When you communicate with natural animals…
You can make your intentions understood, and in turn, understand their intentions and needs. This is no true language, just the fruit of experience and empathy. If you spend 1 XP you can make them understand a complex idea that would normally be alien or meaningless to that kind of animal.
A child of the land, linked inextricably to its elements and spirits.
- Play the Wildcaller if you want your Protagonist to bargain with the spirits of leaf and claw, exploring the shapes they can grant you.
- You can transcend the limits of mortal flesh and feel beyond what most people can perceive, dealing with entities both familiar and terrible.
- What does it mean to tread the twilight between sentience and bestiality?
- Transcending the humanoid form
- Nature and its spirits
- Being different, stuck between worlds
Wildcaller Starting moves
Born of the Soil
You are entwined with the spiritual essence of your Homeland.
- Were you born like this or were you initiated into it?
- How do you feel about it?
- Name your Homeland as “The [adjective] [land]”.
Examples: the Great Forest, the Whispering Plains, the Western Marches, the Frozen North, the Resplendent Depths, etc.
- You can also add a proper name before or after it.
Examples: Perelun, the neon jungle. The colored desert of Goab. The dread pits of Hathsin. Melnibone, the elven island,etc.
- The spirits of your Homeland have left a visible mark on your body, a unique Tell that singles you out as [uncannily different] no matter where you go and who you are with.
- Describe it in a few words.
Examples: feline eyes, serpent tongue, hair-like leaves, skin that glitters like crystal, big stone teeth, etc.
When you call on the spirits of nature…
Explain what kind of spirit you are calling upon. Say whether you know them and if so, say their name. Someone always answers, but the World describes who appears and how they feel about it.
- You can now interact socially with the spirit. Describe what this looks like.
- If you use one of the “Call” moves without first getting the spirit’s consent, they will then be [angry] with you.
Notes on Born of the Soil
What does the "Call" look like? Is it all in the Wildcaller's mind, or is it an actual conversation with a manifested spirit? Can everyone see the spirit? Does it all happen in a matter of seconds, or is it real-time communication?
The World should treat spirits like any other NPC by playing them as Simple People.
If appropriate, a spirit could become part of the Cast of an Agent or even an Agent unto themselves. Why a spirit would not answer a call, and a different spirit would appear instead, is a matter that should be explored through active play, a little bit at a time, rather than as a straight question to the World or the Wildcaller.
As spirits are Simple People, being [angry] doesn't necessarily mean [hostile]. People can be friends, lovers, or family and still be angry with one another, influencing their relationship.
Repeatedly getting a spirit angry can lead to resentment and hatred, as the Wildcaller is literally using their power in an abusive way.
Never making amends for mistreatment will also degrade the relationship.
Similarly, kind and thoughtful actions can right (some) wrongs.
Do spirits communicate? Do they share their emotions with each other? Can the Wildcaller grow a good/bad reputation among the spirits of a certain kind, or a certain land?
Call to the Beast
Requires Born of the Soil
When you assume the shape of an animal…
Trigger Born of the Soil. To take the form of an animal native to your Homeland, roll+Knowing:
- 10+ = hold 2.
- 7–9 = hold 1.
- 1-6 = hold 1 + World Reaction.
Spend 1 hold to perform an action, successfully and without triggering moves, for which the animal shape is well suited.
You revert to your original shape soon after spending or renouncing the last hold.
All holds are lost at the next sunrise or sundown.
Notes on Call to the Beast
The matter of "what is an animal?" within a fantasy game is not trivial. For this move's purposes:
An animal is any living and biological creature which is not a monster or a person.
A monster is a creature that is somehow unnatural, an anomaly, an aberration.
A person is a creature with a level of spiritual/mental/cultural complexity comparable to that of the Protagonists.
This classification has nothing to do with imaginary biology and focuses instead on practical narrative functionality.
These definitions are purposefully vague and subjective and can be fluid. Exploring their hedge cases and exceptions through actual play is a good part of what it means to play the Wildcaller.
Which animals are "native" to the Wildcaller's Homeland is up to the Wildcaller.
Which actions count as "well suited" for any animal form depends on the general consensus among Players and World. In case of disagreement refer to One Golden Rule to settle the matter.
Your possessions melt into the animal form.
Stats and moves don't change, but your fictional positioning might be radically different.
Your Tell remains evident in any shape.
Wildcaller Growth moves
Call to the Grove
Requires Born of the Soil
When you commune with the spirits of root and leaf…
Trigger Born of the Soil. Sacrifice your HPs and/or Serious harm effects to awaken the vegetation around you:
- Sacrifice 1 = a small area.
- Sacrifice 2 = a medium area.
- Sacrifice 3 = a large area.
The awakened “Grove” is capable of [unnatural growth], [slow locomotion] and [awkward action], behaving as a group the same size as the area affected, until the next sundown/rise.
The Grove does as you will it to, but first roll+Intense:
- 10+: the Grove abides.
- 7-9: the Grove is [messy].
- 1-6: the Grove is [messy] and [rampaging] + World Reaction.
Call to the Oak
Requires Born of the Soil
When you commune with the spirits of bark and sap…
Trigger Born of the Soil. Until you Long Rest or spend 1 HP to end the effect you have [flesh like Live Oak wood], which is hard, extremely dense, and one third lighter than normal. But first, choose one:
- If you embrace the bark, suffer the 1-6 effects but gain 3 XP.
- If you ride the sap, roll+Daring:
- 10+: no ill effects.
- 7-9: you are [slow].
- 1-6: you are [slow] and [rooted] to the ground, unmovable.
Notes on Call to the Oak
Live Oak is a real tree. Look it up for inspiration!
Most personal weapons will probably be ineffective against flesh as dense as oak wood, but tools meant for labor or war might still be effective.
Being lighter than usual can both be a boon and a Snag: being buoyant can be helpful but also means you can't swim underwater, being light might help with agility but also means you can be knocked down and pushed around very easily.
How do elements interact with very dense wood? Get informed and/or be creative, using the One Golden Rule to settle disagreements:
Fire takes hours to burn it even superficially.
It floats very well on water.
It soaks up electricity, mostly isolating it, but also accumulating dangerous heat within.
Acid is super effective!
Call to the Primals
Requires Born of the Soil
When you exert control over the primal elements of the world…
Pick one element and explain what you want it to do. The World will pick the conditions that need to be fulfilled before you can trigger Born of the Soil, but first roll+Knowing:
- 10+: one condition.
- 7-9: two conditions.
- 1-6: three conditions.
List of conditions:
- Be in the presence of a vast quantity of the element.
- Sacrifice something personal and precious to you.
- The call will take hours/days/weeks/months.
- First you have to craft/fix/figure out __ .
- Get help from __ .
- Get a rare natural resource you don’t currently have.
- The best you can do is a lesser version, unreliable and limited.
- It will be unstable and dangerous, mostly out of your control.
Notes on Call to the Primals
What is a primal element? Only the classic air, earth, fire, and water? What about wood and metal? And are light and darkness elements too? Spirit and matter? Others?
As usual, avoid front-loading the answer or tackling it all at once. Instead, let the Wildcaller experiment with every use of this move.
The World should also toy with reinforcing or challenging the Wildcaller's expectations about what constitutes a primal element. Do they change depending on the current location or nearby cultures?
Call to the Whispers
Requires Born of the Soil
When you request the assistance of the spirits during a Long Rest…
Play a Utility scene and trigger Born of the Soil, then roll+Knowing.
- 10+: hold 3.
- 7-9: hold 2.
- 1-6: hold 1 + World Reaction.
You can get additional holds for 5 XP each. During the scene, spend holds to obtain services from the spirit. They will:
- 1 : truthfully and clearly answer one question to the best of their ability.
- 1 : make a local animal count as native to your Homeland.
- 1 : offer a brief but clear vision of a danger to come.
- 2 : offer a brief but clear vision of an opportunity at hand.
- 3 : offer a brief but clear vision related to someone’s Issue.
- 3 : heal a [small group]; each character involved gets either 1 HP or 1 HU.
Notes on Call to the Whispers
Like all "Calls", this move pushes a spirit into a specific kind of service. If the Wildcaller wishes simply to communicate with a spirit as part of a Utility or Bond scene, they can do so without triggering Call to the Whispers.
A spirit might honestly not know the answer to a question. Still, they will try to be as helpful as possible, maybe pointing the Wildcaller to someone or someplace where they could maybe find more answers.
Child of the Land
When you Journey…
Within your Homeland the territory is always safe. Each PC can then choose to describe a THING (as in step 1) to gain 1 XP.
After a Journey, also outside your Homeland, the World will define the territories you crossed as simple people. For each, you earn the Tag [I met...].
Notes on Child of the Land
The Tags can represent both a mundane familiarity with the terrain, its features, and its inhabitants, as well as a mystical connection with its spirits.
The Tags might be helpful but also problematic, as the relationship between different territories (and their inhabitants) might affect how they treat the Wildcaller, and the very idea of "meeting" anyone could be experienced as either intrusive or welcome.
Requires Call to the Beast
You can shift into the shape of a person…
By paying XPs to trigger Call to the Beast depending on the level of familiarity you have with them. Your Tell is always present unless you pay the same cost again to hide it.
- Stranger: 5 XP
- Acquaintance: 3 XP
- Confidante: 1 XP
Notes on Doppelgänger's Dance
The Wildcaller can take the shape of a specific individual or of a generic person of a certain Blood. In the first case, use the level of contact with that specific individual. In the second case, use the "best" level of contact achieved with any person of that Blood.
The level of familiarity is agreed upon by general consensus using the following guidelines. When in doubt, the costlier level wins:
Being a stranger means brief encounters, little physical contact, superficial conversation.
Being an acquaintance means lengthy encounters, substantial physical contact, meaningful conversation.
Being a confidante means a long-standing relationship, intimate physical contact, emotional conversation
Note that no familiarity at all, as from only having heard about someone or only having seen them with no interaction to speak of, means the move can't be triggered. As usual, this may or may not prevent the Wildcaller from trying to do something outside of their moves anyway.
The transformation is not just cosmetic, but a complete physical and partly mental/spiritual one. Holds from Call to the Beast can normally be used to automatically do whatever the person would be suited to do.
The only limit is personal knowledge. The Wildcaller has no special access to the person's memories or skills beyond what they managed to learn through their contact with them.
Embrace No Form
Requires Call to the Beast
You can shift into the shape of inanimate natural things
By triggering Call to the Beast to turn your body into a similar amount of natural material: a specific kind plant, a specific kind of rock, or soil, sand, water, fire, fog, etc.
- You can perceive your surroundings, but can’t speak.
- When unmoving you look like a normal specimen, or a compact lump of specimens, of the thing you shifted into.
- When acting you look like a vaguely humanoid shape that is [slow] and [awkward].
- You take on the physical characteristics of the thing, although your mass tends not to disperse unless force is used, causing damage.
Notes on Embrace no Form
Toying with the PROs and CONs of each form can be an interesting exploration unto itself.
Becoming "rock" makes you impervious to most forms of physical damage, but also extremely heavy and loud, hard and rigid but also brittle.
Becoming "fire" means you burn anything you touch and are incorporeal, but water can be lethal, and strong wind can blow you away.
Becoming a "tree" means your body mass will not be enough to assume the complete form of the thing you want to become: will you take the shape of a younger tree? Or an unnaturally small version of a complete tree? Or look like an (apparently) cut or broken tree stump?
Mark of the Kindred
When you mark an animal with dirt and blood…
You can sense what they sense until the mark naturally deteriorates. Only one mark can exist at any one time. You can send simple mental commands to the animal, but each makes you [distracted] for a few minutes.
You can speak the language of nature…
You can communicate with any sentient creature, be they people, animals, or even monsters. When you do, describe what this looks like.