Managing the Mysteries

Hey All,

I’m just checking in. Haven’t had a lot of time and realized that the week was almost gone so it is time for a report. This update in on the Kickstarter as well. I’m just making sure people have a few places to access this info.

So what have I gotten done?

I’m about halfway through a skills rewrite to support the four actions and then it’s a return to the cultures and character creation to make sure everything ties up nice and neat.

I’ve managed to rewrite the Traditions and much of the actual magic with the cleaned up ideas of Fate Core in mind. I’m worried that it’s still perhaps too big. I struggle against my urge to write crunch and the need to maintain an affordable page count for printing.

Ehdrigohr TurtleOne thing that becomes evident in Ehdrigohr as you read the rules will be that there is a lot of magic. You’ve got 7 ways to access 4 different schools of 4 different paths of magic. I want to give people enough information to create the kind of character they like or have always wanted to play. I think at some point it might become necessary to make a book that explores just the Mysteries. I’m also struggling desperately against the urge to make lists of spells and techniques though some traditions benefit from it.

I want people to make their own and own their particular experience in the world. So I want to give you enough info to make your own. I figure if you’re involved in a Fate game you always need points of access that provide you with tools to engage your own immersion. Crunchy stuff can come later for those who really dig that stuff but the core stuff needs to work and be accessible. Let me run down the range by looking at traditions and Fire, a path of the Elements. Each of them must decide, before hand, what effect they’re going for and how powerful it will be.

  • So an Ecclesiastical might cause a ball of fire to fall from the sky to burn some trees because she knows the secret “Tears of the Sun” (a technique) that make it easier for her to do. Using the secret she’ll always do the same kind of fireball there will be no variation in it and it is very easy for others who can assess the secret to manipulate and dismiss it. She could try to make it up on the fly but that’s really hard for her and might lead to a catastrophic failure which would cause fire to run rampant in the scene. Luckily her teacher is around to dismiss the magic before things get to out of control. If she fails this test however she’ll be in trouble with the order and her teachers might place a probationary aspect on her that interferes with her ability to even access the magic.
  • The Mystic can call the fireball on the fly, no secrets necessary as long as she hasn’t broken any of the taboos that she is bound to through her mentor. However since the Mystics don’t learn much in the way of direct offensive uses of the mysteries the Gm can compel the Mystics path to peace and make it harder for her to get her fireball off. If she’s fallen out of favor with the world she may take stress every time she tries to call the mysteries until she atones and is back in favor.
  • The Solitary is linked to a creative skill and must paint a picture, tell a story, or sing a a song, for the trees to go up in flames. It takes him a while to do this so it’s hard to use in combat.When he does pull off this effect it is considerably more powerful (a free step up on the power scale) than what others could do. He could try to do create the effect without the skill but doing so is really hard and could lead to a catastrophic failure and everyone would burn because even the effects of their failures are a step up on the power scale.
  • The member of a Warrior Society called the Flame Raves might know the Seven Flame Strikes and might have a fire stunt (named “Sun’s Rage Unleashed” foe example), tied to the skill Fists and Feet, that he must perform and call out to cause flames leap from his personal energy and streak forward to the tree. He pulls form his personal energy source called Manitu that depletes as he uses the power. He can always perform this attack because it’s basically a technique, however if he could try to make up the attack on his own, but doing so would cause him stress directly and it would be much harder to do.
  • The Eclectic watched the Warrior do this in the past and has managed to get him to teach him to do it. The Eclectic has to use Fists and Feet to pull it off too however he’s got no Manitu to act as a buffer and he has to recreate it fresh every time he pulls off this attack and takes stress. He can choose to avert the stress, by spending a fate point, and redirect it into the environment causing fire to erupt all around him as scene aspects whenever he uses the attack. He’s giving the Flame Raven’s a bad name because he’s causing more fires than he’s putting out and they’ve sent out warriors to make him stop or kill him. Luckily he learned to use the Essence of Truth from a mystic and can make himself unseen when he needs to get away.
  • The Dynast belongs to a clan that is connected to one of the old spirits and has the fire in her blood. She cuts herself and turns the blood which she flings at the tree. She doesn’t have to cut herself but doing so let’s her make the fire extra hot, taking it up a step on the power level. If she failed the roll she’s be less likely to cause a catastrophic failure since she can take stress to reabsorb much of the out of control energy.
  • The Maker has created a small puzzle ball which twists into the appropriate shape and throws. It explodes in flames on contact. That was awesome. He gives on to his sister who does the same thing. Now he’s out of contraptions and has to go make some more.

Each particular path has certain Attack, Create an Advantage, Overcome, and Defend options available to it. You’re Traditions are basically going to dictate what skills you have to use to access the magic and what rules you must abide by.

You could run a game using as many traditions as you’d like or you could focus in on a particular tradition. Want to focus your game in MIc’Talan among the 6 clans? Then you’ll probably running a game where most magic is Dynastic.

Focusing in on the Salduun Wastes? Then you’ll be dealing with Makers, Warrior Societies that serve the empire, and an Ecclesiastical order called the Babers of Salduun an ecclesiastical order of spies who primarily use Investigate and Medicine access mysteries to ensure that the council stays in power.

Focusing on the Wiitjssa? There’ll be lots of Solitaries, Mystics, and Warrior Societies.

Whatever scope you approach the world at should have enough bits and pieces to tell an interesting story.

It’s really up to you to build your experience in Ehdrigohr. Since you’ll have to spend time coming up with societies and oaths and taboos, I expect to hear about lots of Wildly different Ehdrigohrs.

I need to get some new play tests up an running to see if this all works out still. The old version worked but was really clumsy to understand. I want the new version to get people going “aha” really quickly.

I’d like to hear people’s thoughts about how much detail and hand holding they feel that they need to get into a Fate-based magic system. Looking at the Magic System Toolkit I notice that those are all relatively sparse in terms of detail of particulars. For those of you who have read it, is that okay?

Tell me what you’d like to see.

I also might need some playtesters soon to see if this all works when I’m not present. I need to know that there is enough info that people feel like they can get a game up and running without me.

In any case, I feel like I’m still on track for a feature complete manuscript by end of February.

That’s all I’ve got for now.

-Allen T.

Allen Turner

Writer, Storyteller, Game designer, Teacher, Dad, Table-top RPG geek. I'm just a dude who likes to share my wild imaginings. Follow me on Twitter @CouncilOfFools

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