During the course of the game you might find tagged magical items that can grant powers and abilities to those who use them. Each character starts the game with three Item Slots which are used to link to magical items.You cannot use the powers and abilities of magical items until you link to the item using an Item Slot. Once an Item Slot is linked to an item it remains linked for the entire event; you cannot normally unlink items. It is possible to buy more Item Slots by using Character Points. There are four types of items; Weapons, Armor, Accessories, and Relics. Weapons must be in hand and you must have the skill to use the weapon in combat in order to use any abilities on that weapon. Armor must be worn and,if the armor is worth armor points, you must be able to use the suit. Accessories covers all items that are worn and not carried, and can include sashes, belts, gloves, cloaks, jewelry and the like. Relics are items that must be held in one hand when you use them. Linking Linking to an item involves taking part in a ceremony that can be cast by any user of magic—Arcane, Otherworld, or Primal. You take part in the ceremony which takes 5 minutes of Activity, during which you weave a mystic link to the item. If you own an item at check-in, you may also choose to start an event with one or more Item Slots already linked to items you own rather than seeking out an ceremony during the game. In addition, if you find a magical item and it is already linked to another person you cannot use the item until the next event unless that person willingly passes the item to you. Part of this passing is whispering which abilities on the item have already been used. If a linked item is given to you willingly you may also link to it in the usual fashion, but each ability of the item can only be used once regardless of who used it. Only one person can be linked to an item at a time. Many creatures and NPCs in Brittanis have a natural talent to use items without linking to them; many items you find on creatures will be unlinked so you can, if you have a free Item Slot, link to them when you can get to a place of power that can host the ceremony. In this case that character will whisper “Unlinked” as it hands you an item. This indicates that you do not have to wait until the next event to use it. There are exceptions to the limit of Item Slots. Signature Items do not require Item Slots. If you spent Character Points for an item, your Item Slots are not required to use that item. Some special magical items do not require an Item Slot. You must link to these items, but they provide their own Item Slot and do not use one of your Item Slot. These items will be marked with the phrase “Inherent Slot: Linking to this item does not use an Item Slot.” on the tag. Items with only “times ever” abilities that use their final charge are destroyed entirely, and your link ends when you use the last ability. Example: If you have an item with one “times ever” ability left, it will tie up an Item Slot while you carry it but once you use the last charge and the item is destroyed your Item Slot is refreshed. In a pinch some plot characters may be able to unlink magical items for you, restoring the Item Slot so you can link to another item. For many plot characters this requires in game resources.
Signature items are permanent magical items you pay for with character points.You are bound to these items by fate-- they always seem to find their way back to you. Signature Items do not apply to your Magic Items limit.
The iconic Signature Item in the Arthurian Source literature would, of course, be Excalibur; many other named magical items that seem to follow characters from story to story.All signature items are yellow-tagged items and should be marked as such. If you ever lose a signature item, fate intervenes and you manage to find it again.
You will always start an event with your signature item, even if you lost it the event before. The exception to this is if you use the ability to recover an item between events plot has the option to change or even destroy the item so it is best to avoid losing your signature item.If you decide to not recover a lost item, or if the item is destroyed then you will regain most of the character points, but 5 character points will not be recovered and deducted from your total rather than being freed. Again-- it's not a good idea to let your Signature Item be lost, stolen, or used by someone else.
If you voluntarily give your Signature Item to another character for any reason, it loses all "fated protections." Thus if you give your Signature Weapon to a friend (or if an ally uses it while you are sleeping, etc) and that item is lost, stolen, Destroyed, etc, it is treated as if it was a normal item and you WILL NOT GET IT BACK. Keep your Signature Items safe.All items are constructed by spending character points to purchase abilities. When you purchase your item, you gain a pool of Signature Points that can be spent to buy abilities for your item. You must choose to purchase a minor item, a major item, or an epic item. Each has a different cost associated with it. You may purchase up to TWO items in this manner, and may not have more than TWO signature items at any time.
If you find a notable item in game you may decide that the fate of the item and your own fate have become intertwined and you may purchase that item. You must recreate the powers of the item as faithfully as possible, except that your item becomes permanent and will never expire. An item purchased in this way still counts towards your limit of three signature items. You may choose to discard an existing item to purchase a new item you have found, but in doing so you lose the old item and you lose 5 of the character points it cost you.You signature item must be distinctive and the prop must be plot approved. Plot must be able to recognize the item when seeing it. Signature items come in four flavors; weapons, armor, jewelry, and relics.
- If your Signature Item is a weapon, you must have skill with a weapon magical item to use it (though not to possess it-- so if you find one you can't use yet, you can buy the Signature Item and keep it, but won't be able to use its powers till you have the weapon skill), In order to use its powers, you must have it in hand.
- If your Signature Item is Armor, you must be wearing it, and you must have the ability to use the armor (see above rules for Weapons). You may wear multiple armor pieces, but the item's description should state which piece (or which set) is the Signature Item.
- Shields can be designated as Weapon, Armor, or Relic, but must be designated when the Signature Points are spent and cannot be changed.
- Jewelry props must be worn to be used.
- Relic props are generally held in your hand and presented or held aloft when used. Unusual relics with specific activation methods (like horns) need to be plot approved. Each item has one item type, which is used in the prefix of the verbal. Item types include Amulet, Armor, Artifact, Banner, Belt, Book, Bracelet, Cloak, Crown, Hat, Mask, Necklace, Ring, Shield, Symbol, Wand, or Weapon.
PURCHASING A SIGNATURE ITEMWhen you purchase a Signature Item, you must write a proposal to Staff, giving us a brief history of the item (using the PC Histories guidelines as a template would be a good idea), telling us SOME of its history and former wielders/bearers. Included in this proposal must also be the abilities you wish to purchase for this item. Once this proposal is approved, you can spend the CP and the item will find its way into your possession in-game at the next event.
Upgrading At creation, you can only choose the first level of a Signature Item's power. You can upgrade your signature item's power by paying TWICE the number of Signature Points in CP.Example: During creation of a Minor item, you purchase the Signature power . Later, you want to upgrade that power. Later, you can spend 4 CP to do so.
- Minor Item: 7 CP You may purchase up to 5 Signature Points worth of item powers.You cannot purchase epic powers.
- Major Item: 12 CP You may purchase up to 9 Signature Points worth of item powers.You may purchase one epic power as part of this total.
- Epic Item: 15 CP You may purchase up to 12 Signature Points worth of item powers.You may purchase two epic powers as part of this total.
Signature (1, 2 SP) When you purchase this ability choose one Elemental, Mental, Metabolic, or Physical trait that best exemplifies your item. You may not choose the Weapon trait. This trait is used for all called attacks with the weapon that do not otherwise have an assigned Trait.
Example: You have the Swift Strikes skill from the Skill list, and Ravage from the Primal list. The backstory for your item suggests that the “by Cold Iron” trait would be appropriate. When you use the Swift Strikes skill, you call, “2 by Cold Iron” because that skill has no assigned Trait already. When using Ravage, you still call, “2 by Nature” because that skill DOES have an assigned trait.
▪ 2nd Purchase: you can use the Trait you picked for this item on ANY effect you deliver with this weapon. Continuing the earlier example, you could now call, “2 by Cold Iron” when using Ravage.Critical Attack (1,2 SP) Requires Signature Trait. Once per Watch you can make a deadly attack. Melee weapons use melee attacks; missile weapons use missile attacks. When you purchase the attack for other types of items you must choose either melee or packet as the delivery. The attack uses the Signature trait for this item. Call out "With this [Item Type], T+3 Damage by [Trait]" ▪ 2nd Purchase 2/watch Example: Glencarrach is a melee weapon. It has “by Force” as its Signature Trait, and its owner is Tier 2. When using this ability, the wielder would call, “With this Weapon, 5 Damage by Force!” when making the attack.
Deft ( 1, 2, 3 SP) Once per watch you may call “Resist by ” against a Disarm effect targeting this item. ▪ 2nd Purchase 2/Watch ▪ 3rd Purchase: you can use the “Resist by ” against ANY Disarm effect targeting you.Eldritch Weapon (2 SP) Weapon or Shield Only. This weapon is also treated as a relic and when it is in your hand you can use powers that require a relic. So long as your packet arm is free you can cast with this item in your off hand.
Freedom (1,2,3 SP) Once per watch you can end one Paralyze, Root, or Slow effect.Call out "With this [Item Type], Purge" to end the effect. ▪ 2nd Purchase 2/Watch ▪ 3rd Purchase 3/WatchHardened ( 1, 2, 3 SP) Once per watch you may call “Resist by ” against a Destroy effect targeting this item. ▪ 2nd Purchase 2/Watch ▪ 3rd Purchase: you can use the “Resist by ” against ANY Destroy effect targeting you.
Healing Touch (1, 2 SP) Requires Signature Trait. Once per watch you may heal an ally. Touch a the Signature Item (weapon, shield, or relic) or packet (any other item) to the target and call out "With this [Item Type], Heal T+1 by [Signature Trait]." ▪ 2nd Purchase 2/WatchLesser Dominance (2, 2 SP) Choose 1 effect from the following list: Agony, Root, Silence, Slam, Slow, or Weakness. Once per Watch you may make a weapon attack for “By This , ” ▪ 2nd Purchase: Usable 2/watch. Choose another effect from this list. You can use EITHER of the two effects in any combination.
Magical Freedom (2, 2, 2 SP) Once per watch you may Purge any attack with an Elemental, Magic or Nature trait. Call out "With this [Item Type],Purge." ▪ 2nd Purchase 2/Watch ▪ 3rd Purchase 3/WatchMelee Defense (1,2,3 SP) Once per watch you can negate a melee attack. When you purchase this ability choose whether your item provides toughness/skill or speed/agility. If it provides toughness or skill call out "With this [Item Type], Resist" and if it provides speed or agility call out "With this [Item Type], Avoid." ▪ 2nd Purchase 2/Watch ▪ 3rd Purchase 3/Watch
Mental Freedom (2, 2, 2 SP) Once per watch you may Purge any attack with a Mental trait. Call out "With this [Item Type],Purge." ▪ 2nd Purchase 2/Watch ▪ 3rd Purchase 3/WatchMetabolic Freedom (2, 2, 2 SP) Once per watch you may Purge any attack with a Metabolic trait. Call out "With this [Item Type],Purge." ▪ 2nd Purchase 2/Watch ▪ 3rd Purchase 3/Watch
Mystical Defense (1,2,3 SP) Once per watch you can negate a packet attack. When you purchase this ability choose whether your item provides toughness/skill or speed/agility. If it provides toughness or skill call out "With this [Item Type], Resist" and if it provides speed or agility call out "With this [Item Type], Avoid." ▪ 2nd Purchase 2/Watch ▪ 3rd Purchase 3/WatchPhysical Freedom (2, 2, 2 SP) Once per watch you may Purge any attack with a Physical trait. Call out "With this [Item Type], Purge." ▪ 2nd Purchase 2/Watch ▪ 3rd Purchase 3/Watch
Purity of Form (1,2,3 SP) Once per watch you can end one Drain, Silence, or Weakness effect. Call out "With this [Item Type], Purge" to end the effect. ▪ 2nd Purchase 2/Watch ▪ 3rd Purchase 3/WatchRanged Defense (1,2,3 SP) Once per watch you can negate a missile attack. When you purchase this ability choose whether your item provides toughness/skill or speed/agility. If it provides toughness or skill call out "With this [Item Type], Resist" and if it provides speed or agility call out "With this [Item Type], Avoid." ▪ 2nd Purchase 2/Watch ▪ 3rd Purchase 3/Watch
Reinforcing Item ( 1, 2, SP) Once per watch you may use this item to call out "With this [Item Type], Refresh T+2 Armor to Self." ▪ 2nd Purchase 2/WatchResilience ( 1, 2, SP) Once per watch you may use this item to call out "With this [Item], Heal T+2 to Self." ▪ 2nd Purchase 2/Watch
Skill Focus (2, 3 SP) Choose one class or source skill. The Stamina cost for this skill is reduced by 1, to a minimum of 1. ▪ You may choose a second skill different from the first.Greater Dominance (3, 3 SP) Choose 1 effect from the following list: Destroy, Disarm, Drain, Maim, Repel. Once per Watch you may make a melee attack for “By This , ” ▪ 2nd Purchase: Usable 2/watch. Choose another effect from this list. You can use EITHER of the two effects in any combination.
Epic Item Powers
NOTE: In order to take a Epic divine blessing, two of your Character Values must match with the patron. You may only take powers from one patron.All Magic is One Gain Major Access to a school of magic, this skill will grant you the school as if it was part of your casting skill if you have one. However any spells gained from this item are not accessible if it is lost.
Armored Item Any Non-Armor Item. This epic item grants your Tier in armor points. This power will not stack with itself.Deadly Item This item adds +1 to the damage of any attack made with this item that has a Damage effect of 3 or more.This effect only stacks with other effects that permanently increase Damage effects. Example: You make a Critical Strike (from the Skill Source), which calls normally “3 Damage!” With this item, you call “4 Damage!” instead. This power would not stack with an Artificer buff granting “+2 damage to next attack by Silver,” or any other temporary enhancement effect.
Deadly Magic Choose 1 Trait from the same Category as this Item's Signature Trait. If this Item's signature Trait is an Elemental or Energy Trait, you must choose that trait. For SPELLS using the selected Trait, this item adds +1 to the damage of any spell that has a Damage effect of 3 or greater while this item is held in your hand. This effect only stacks with other effects that permanently increase Damage effects.
NOTE: This power ONLY applies to skills with the Spell keyword. It has no effect on a spell without the Damage effect.
Example: You have chosen the Earth Trait for this skill. You cast Stone Shrapnel from the Earth Spell list, at Tier 2 & spell Level 1 (which would normally call, “2 Damage by Earth”). The Deadly Magic ability does NOT apply in this case, and the spell is not modified.
Later, you cast Rockfist at Level 2 (which would normally call “3 Damage by Earth”). In this case, Deadly Magic applies, and you call “4 Damage by Earth!” instead.Epic Dominance Choose 1 effect from the following list: Drain, Frenzy, Paralyze, Stun, Stricken. Once per Watch you may make a melee attack for “By This , ”
Iron Grip You may call “No Effect by ” vs any Disarm effect that targets you.Masterwork Armor Armor Only. Choose armor prop of Level 2 quality. If plot approves, the prop has an armor value 2 higher than its actual type. You must still have the skill to wear the appropriate kind of armor to use this item.
Merciful Skill This item adds +1 to the healing of any skill that has a Heal effect of 3 or greater made while this item is held in your hand. This effect does not stack with other effects that increase Heal effects.
Example: This power could augment the Primal Skill Healing Herbs, and the Light Spell Healing Light, but would not stack with the Cavalier skill Healers Friend, as that also increases the Vitality healed by a given effect.Ritual Item During Ritual Magic the presence of the item acts as if a Ritual Kit had been used.
Soul Drinker Weapon Only. Once per battle, When you deliver a Death Strike with this weapon on an opponent that is not already dead or destroyed you also call, "By this [Item Type] Heal (T+1)".Stanch the Flow 1/battle, you can call “With this Item, Heal T+2 to Self”
Unbreakable You call “No Effect by Item” vs any Destroy effect targeting you.Blessing of Aenryia Holding Court Once per event, you can call, “By My Voice, Permanent Drain by The Lady of the Lake!” This ability cannot be used in any place where combat has occurred in the last 5 minutes. Its intent is to create an even playing field for diplomatic relations to occur, where weapons, skills and magic are useless. Abuses of this will be... frowned upon by The Lady of the Lake. Judgement Choose 1 Trait from the following list at dawn: Darkness, Corruption, Infernal, Undead, Malediction, Aberration, Blood. 1/battle, you can call “By my Gesture, Expose by The Lady of the Lake." If a target responds to the Expose without using a game defense (No Effect, Resist, etc), you immediately gain a melee or missile attack for “T+2 By [Heroic Trait]” usable ONLY against that target. The Trait you choose to Expose can be changed each morning at dawn. Blessing of Arturian Tend the Fallen Once per battle, you can call, “By My Voice, Expose Unstable to Hero by The Old Father!” If anyone responds, your first single-target Heal effect on that target is increased by +2. Father Knows Best Researching Knowledge skills costs one less hour of downtime (minimum 2), and Blessings of the Faithful may be used to ask one extra question of The Old Father. Blessing of Aureus Lucky Reflection Once per watch when you take a called attack, you can immediately call, "Imbue by [Lawgiver or Lady Luck], point at the target who dealt that damage and call, "By My Gesture, Waste X Vitality by Light." where X is the amount of damage you just took. Zone of Truth Once per watch you may ask a question and receive a truthful answer. Call “Imbue by ” before you ask your question and hand the target an Inflict card with: “You feel the power of the god Aureus flow all around you. The question that was just asked of you MUST have a truthful answer. This only applies to questions with a Yes or No answer. If you have the Hero Trait, call “No Effect” and hand the card back.” Blessing of Dagmar Coordinated Strike Once per watch, you can call, "By My Voice, Grant Melee Attack, T+2 Damage." Battle Omens Once per event you spend a 5 minute ritual to offer a token from a fallen enemy to Dagmar to gain insight into your next battle. (This allows you to gain information about possible strong enemies in your next encounter, or possible abilities!) DBAD Warning: Staff MUST be given suitable advance notice of your intent to use this skill. Blessing of Emrys Hair of the Dog Once per Day you can touch a target and call, "Refresh Daily Attack Skill by the Lord of Dreams." You must roleplay (and have props for) giving the target a full cup of liquid and they refresh the skill once the drink is completely finished. If you have recently engaged in combat, you must rest for 5 minutes before using this skill. Chill out and relax, man. Inspiration Once per watch, emulate a Knowledge skill one level higher than you currently own. Call “By this Item, Imbue to Self!” Blessing of Ghorn Two For One Sale! Once per event, you may choose 1 recipe you know. When crafting that recipe, you produce 2 items. This lasts for one watch. Reinforced Repair Once per Watch, any Item you use the Repair effect on gains “Resist Destroy” vs the next attack against it for the event. Attach an Imbue Card to the item with this effect removing it once expended. Blessing of Liriel Holy Healing You ignore the negative portion of any effect combines with Heal that targets you. Call “Reduce by ” when this effect is triggered. Example: You are the target of a “Heal 3 and Agony” effect. You call, “Reduce by Liriel and take only the Heal effect. Liriel’s Wrath Once per watch you may convert any touch-target spell with the Heal effect into an equivalent packet attack with the Waste Vitality effect with the “by Light” trait. Example: You cast Healing Light at Level 3, as a Tier 2 character. Normally, this would be a touch effect for “Heal 2 and Short Weakness by Light!” Instead, you make a packet attack for, “Waste 2 Vitality and Short Weakness by Light!” Blessings of Eldrea Magical Purge Once per event, you can call, "Imbue by Eldrea, the Great Mage" and remove all negative effects currently affecting you. This skill can be used to remove Stricken. Sages Lorebook You may ask an additional question from one info skill you have spent downtime on. Blessings of Rhaine Risen Once per event, when you reach 0 Vitality, call, “By My Voice, Heal T+3 to Hero by Rhaine, the Great Raven!” This Heal effect does NOT affect you. Second Sight Any Augury used by you or question asked of Rhaine automatically has clearer results as though additional costs were sacrificed. Blessings of Sarai Freedom Choose one effect from Root, Slow, or Slam-- you call, “No Effect by Item” vs this Effect. Hunter’s Boon You gain the Primal and Beast traits. If you do not already have it, you gain Kn:Nature (Novice). You can Spend 1 Stamina to call, “Resist” against any Claw, or natural attack. ONLY Stamina can be spent on this skill-- no points that substitute for Stamina apply.
Note: Chevalier is the in-game name for the warrior caste of the Brittanic people. The word is also used as the game rules name for this background, but each race and culture has their own name for the caste. Thus, a Free Dwarf who takes this background would write "Chevalier" in the Background slot on his character sheet, but in-game he would refer to himself as barak colan (see below). The image is iconic-- a mighty warrior, born and trained from the time she can hold a weapon, bound by a code of conduct to uphold the virtues of her society and defend it with her life. Nearly all cultures and races of Brittanis have their own variation on this theme (with two notable exceptions; see the note below), and each culture has slightly different values and codes of conduct for its warriors. Regardless of the subtle variations, the Chevalier is a member of that born-warrior caste, those who know from their earliest memories that their purpose in life is the defense and protection of their communities and the embodiment of the ideals of their culture. For some of the peoples of Brittanis, the Brittanic and Erin'Tar especially, the idea of the chevalier is tied to the noble class. Those who are born to wealth and have the time, equipment, and training to learn the warrior's art. The able-bodied children of these families are expected to, from the earliest possible age, learn the use of armor and martial skills of their people. Only those who show an aptitude for magic of one kind or another are exempted-- and some families have a storied tradition of battle-mages or fighting clergy as well. Chevalier (shuh--VAL--yay) is the Brittanic term for these noble warriors; the High Elves call them maernlyth (MERN--lith), which translates roughly to "defenders of the blade." For others, such as the Brynn, Norn, and Free Dwarves anyone can aspire to the ranks of the warrior caste, but they must prove themselves worthy first. Skill and desire, not birth or blood, determine entry to the ranks of these warriors. At some interval (usually every year, accompanying a festival, holy day, or other such large gathering), those who wish to join the ranks of the chevaliers (or their cultural equivalent) are tested. The means of this test varies from culture to culture and sometimes even neighboring settlements can have subtle or extreme variations on how these warriors are chosen; regardless, the result is the same. Those who succeed enter a period of intense training and initiation into the ranks of the chevaliers; those who fail return to their normal lives. Some cultures allow a person to attempt the testing more than once; others allow the applicant only one chance to prove their worth. For example, the Brynn allow a person to attempt joining the ranks of the Fianna once per year until they are 40 years old. Free Dwarves constantly struggle to preserve their culture amidst lives as refugees. Thus, the continuation of their warrior traditions is of utmost importance to them. The barak-colan (bear-ROCK coh-LANN) is seen as a holy duty, and any dwarf can join. The initiation and training phase is long and incredibly arduous, however, and many do not succeed. Those who do not quietly return to their previous lives and continue on as if they had never attempted to join at all. Norn are a warrior culture from start to finish-- their rites of challenge to become acarl (KARRL) -- which literally means "warrior"-- are long, complex, and both physically and mentally exhausting. Once the warrior has succeeded, they take on additional duties and can be called many things, such as: huscarl-- also called housecarl, a warrior sworn to defend a particular noble and his lands byrncarl-- a heavily armored warrior efencarl-- many carls can band together and mane themselves shield-siblings, referring to each other as efencarl ranncarl-- a soldier who fights on the vanguard, usually with a two-handed weapon; a breaker of the shield-wall The list goes on and on; this is a way for the many warriors of Norn culture to differentiate themselves from one another. Regardless of their race or ethnicity, a chevalier is required to uphold the social ideals of their people. They are required to believe in and behave as exemplars for those who look to them for protection and often for leadership. As such, while normal characters normally choose three Character Values, a chevalier must follow FOUR of these, as determined by their race or culture. Brittanic: Prowess, Justice, Defense, Nobility Brynn: Courage, Faith, Industry, Etiquette Norn: Prowess, Defense, Courage, Principle Free Dwarves: Prowess, Loyalty, Defense, Industry Erin'Tar: Industry, Prowess, Faith, Nobility Note: Khemri humans and Gael'Dar cannot take this Background. Their cultures simply do not have the same kind of ordered, traditional warrior castes. For the Khemri, each member of the clan is trained and schooled in the use of weapons and arms for the good of the clan; the Wild Elves in contrast are a society of hunters and stalkers, and their culture does not, as a whole, focus on the kind of stand-up fighting the Chevalier embodies. Tier 1 Arms-Bearer (0 CP, 0 Stamina; Battle) You have been trained and drilled in the use of your culture's fighting style. When using these weapons, your strikes are particularly powerful. When wielding a weapon from your race's Cultural Weapon list, you may make 2 melee or missile attacks for “X Damage by Heritage,” where X is the character’s Tier+1. Tier 2 Valiant Respite (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Day) You strike home against a foe and knowing that you are fulfilling your life's purpose renews your will to fight. Once per day, you can make a melee or missile attack with a weapon from you race's Cultural Weapon list for, "2 Damage by Heritage." If the attack hits and is not blocked, defended against, or otherwise negated, you can immediately call, "Refresh 2 Stamina to Self by Heritage." Tier 3 Bastion of Honor (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Burst, Day) You hold the line at all costs, dealing death to your foes and letting enemy formations crash around you like water from the rocks. You plant your right foot (burst keyword) and so long as you do not move that foot (pivoting is okay, but dragging it across the ground or lifting it ends the skill), your base melee or missile damage is increased by 1. This skill ends when you rest for any reason, use another called melee attack of any kind, or move your right foot for something other than pivoting.
Crown Guard During his reign as the Pendragon, High King Julius Ambrosius instituted a policy of mandatory military training for every able-bodied man and woman under his rule, from the lowliest peasant to the highest-ranking noble. During their training the best, brightest, and most skilled would be invited to enlist in the Crown Guard-- the standing army of the Pendragon. Today, two generations removed from High King Julius, only three kingdoms still require mandatory training-- Albion, Malagant, and Lyonesse. these three kingdoms each have their own separate forces, but all three nations still refer to their best soldiers as the Crown Guard. Some exceptional few even progress to become Crown Knights, officers in the King's Army. When they enlist, every single Crown Guard trainee goes through a grueling 6-month training course-- regardless of social status, for the nobles and commoners in the Crown Guard serve their basic training side by side without regard to their blood. They go through a grueling physical training regimen, as well as advanced training in weapons, armor and tactics. They learn military customs and traditions, and those who cannot already are taught to read and write. Those who begin the training phase with the required skills earn quick advancement, so the children of nobles who don't need the book-learning sometimes end the basic training phase as Yeomen. Once their initial training is finished, Crown Guards are assigned (based on aptitude tests at the conclusion of the basic phase) to specialty schools corresponding to the branch of the army they will be serving in. These branches are designated by color, and as a soldier increases in rank they wear stripes upon the sleeves of their clothing to show the rank they have achieved. All rank chevrons are worn pointing up, in the middle of the upper arm on each side. All rank insignai are in the color of the soldier's branch-- Infantry, Dragoon,Engineer, or Support (see below). Every Crown Guard starts his career as an enlisted Trooper. Once a soldier has attained the rank of Yeoman, he can attempt to obtain a knighthood and become an officer, referred to as a Crown Knight. NOTE: No player character can START play at a rank greater than Yeoman. Advancement can (and should) come through playing the game, and opportunities for doing so will be provided via plotlines and adventuring. Enlisted Ranks Trooper-- first rank in the Crown Guard, usually put in charge of civilian militias or organized into tactical units. Wears 1 chevron Yeoman-- typically in charge of several troopers, overseeing groups of militia in times of danger, or directly in command of a squad (6-8) of troopers. Wears 2 chevrons. Sergeant-- non-commissioned officer rank, usually in charge of an entire platoon (~50) of soldiers. A platoon is usually made up of several squads. Wears 3 chevrons. Most battlefield mages and/or healers are defaulted to sergeant rank (see below). First Sergeant-- senior non-commissioned soldier in a company (~100). In charge of the welfare of every soldier in his company. A company is usually made up of several platoons. The First Sergeant wears 3 chevrons with a diamond at the point of the chevrons. Sergeant Major-- senior non-commissioned officer in a regiment or battalion. Cavalry units call a grouping of companies a regiment; infantry and engineer units call a grouping of companies a battalion. Typically in charge of 300-1000 soldiers. Officer Ranks Once a soldier becomes a Yeoman and serves with distinction, he can petition to become an officer-- a Crown Knight. Yeomen candidates are required to have knowledge in advanced tactics, engineering for the battlefield, etc-- thus, nobles with access to formal education before enlistment outnumber officers from the common classes, but it is not an exclusive arrangement. Crown Knights are literally knighted by the King or a Crown Knight of high rank-- they are technically nobility in their own right, and those who survive their entire term of service (20 years) retire as lords, gifted with lands by the crown. However, in most situations, the non-military lords of a land have authority in most situations save those of military consequence. Thus, Crown Knights are looked down upon and given the nickname, "swordbloods" by those whose family, not military service, granted a noble title. The tension and conflict between the swordbloods and non-military nobles during times of war can be very great. Instead of chevrons, a Crown Knight wears a crown that sits horizontal to the soldier's arm in the same way as the chevrons of enlisted soldiers. Depending on the officer's rank, the crown might have additions or modifications to it. All rank insignia are in the colors of an officer's branch-- Infantry, Dragoon, Engineer, or Support (see below). Knight-Lieutenant: oversees a platoon. Wears a crown with a single horizontal bar underneath the crown. The Executive Officer in a company (second-in-command) wears a diamond on top of the bar in the center. Knight-Captain: oversees a company. Wears a crown with two bars beneath it. Knight-Major: oversees a task force or a group of companies (but not an entire battalion or regiment). Wears a crown with a shield beneath it. Knight-Colonel: oversees a battalion (infantry or engineers) or a regiment (cavalry). Wears a crown with a pair of crossed swords beneath it. Knight-General: oversees an entire army group of at least two battalions. Wears a crown with a single 5-pointed star beneath it. Branches There are three major branches in the Crown Guard, and a fourth pseudo-branch that exists scattered within it. Each branch is comprised of a particular kind of military unit, and even a soldier of a different function, when permanently assigned to a unit of that kind, will change the color of his rank insignia. For example, an infantry soldier (blue) who gets assigned to an engineer unit (red) would change his stripes at the first available opportunity. Unit color is determined at the company level, so even if a cavalry company (yellow) with three companies of cavalry soldiers has a platoon of infantry and a platoon of engineers to support the main combat force, that entire company would wear the yellow cavalry, because the UNIT is designated as cavalry. Infantry: soldiers who fight on foot, focused on heavy armor and weaponry. The largest and most numerous branch in the Crown Guards of Albion and Malagant. Dragoon: troops who go lightly armed and armored, focused on maximum mobility and shock value. The largest branch of the Crown Guard in Lyonesse. Engineers: specially-trained soldiers skilled in designing, building, and breaching fortifications, sieges and siege engines, bridges, etc. Support: This is the least-numerous branch of the Crown Guard by a massive amount, and is comprised of those with magical or technical skills that is most useful when added to a conventional unit. This branch includes battle-mages, druids and shamans of primal beliefs, clergy of various deities (Dagmar, Rhaine, and Ghorn most commonly), as well as "personnel elimination specialists," rangers, scouts and field guides. A character with this background gains their advanced skills depending on their Branch. Tier 1 Basic Training (0 CP) Your initial military training has hardened your mind and body and given you basic weapon skills. You gain a +1 to your base maximum Vitality and Stamina, and you gain one free Medium Weapon skill. Tier 2 Foot Soldier (Infantry) (0 CP) It takes a lot of endurance to march everywhere, in armor and weighed down with a heavy rucksack, for a living. Your base maximum Vitality is increased by +1 and your base maximum Stamina is increased by +2. Move Fast, Hit Hard (Dragoon) (0 CP, Battle) To you, mobility is everything. If an enemy stops you from moving, you're as good as dead. Once per battle, you can call, "Resist by Background" against a Slow or Root effect. I Fix Things (Engineer) (0 CP, Watch) Through extensive experience, you have become skilled at fixing things that are broken... and you also happen to be really good at breaking them, too. Once per watch, you can do ONE of the following: Touch an object that has the Destroy effect and call, "Cure Destroy by Background" to remove the Destroy effect. Touch an object and call, "Destroy by Background" Touch a suit of armor, spend 10 seconds of Activity time roleplaying fixing the armor, and call, "Refresh Armor by Background" Hard Target (Support) (0 CP, Watch) Spellcasters and other specialists on the battlefield often become "prime targets" because enemies want to finish you off first. You have learned to shrug off powerful enemy attacks, though the effort in doing is incredibly painful. Once per watch, when you take a Damage effect of 5 or greater, you can call, "Reduce to Agony by Background" and immediately take an Agony effect that cannot be negated or defended against in any way. Tier 3 Grizzled Veteran (Infantry) (0 CP) A career of leading foot soldiers has made you tough as the boot leather you march upon. Your maximum Vitality and Stamina are increased by 2. Always Ready (Dragoon) (0 CP) Cavalry must always be on their guard-- being stationary is dangerous, and being caught unawares is even worse. Once per watch, you can completely negate a backstrike attack by calling, "Resist by Background" Experimental Ordnance (Engineer) (0 CP; Event) You have been working on a special new kind of demolition technique. Each event, you gain 3 alchemical items that, when thrown, call, "5 Damage and Slam by Fire." You are the only one who can make these alchemicals work, and they expire at the end of the event. Note that the player is required to supply the orange packets for the alchemicals. No Time To Bleed (Support) (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch) On the battlefield, a healer can't afford to use his time or energy to mend his own wounds, a battlemage is far more useful destroying enemies than bleeding out on the ground, and the scout is usually so far away from help that he has to be self-sufficient. Once per watch, you can take 5 seconds of activity roleplaying binding wounds, casting a minor spell, or just catching your breath. Then call, "Heal 3 to Self by Background."
You are the representative of someone-- a noble, guild, group, order, coven, council...or maybe something else entirely. Regardless of who sent you, they have an interest in what is going on elsewhere in Brittanis, and so they sent you. You are the eyes, ears, and hands of your patron(s) abroad. You learn all you can for them, and you carry out their will when you are given instructions. Sometimes the will of your patron will co-incide with your own desires, and sometimes not-- but you must remember that you represent them in everything you do. Those around you will believe that everything you do is sanctioned or even ordered by your patron. Tier 1 Letters From Home (0 CP; Information Skill, Downtime) Letters and written communication are the standard for you; expect to get some kind of communique from your patron on a regular basis, both asking for updates and information as well as delivering their instructions to you. You can use this skill to request information from your patron(s) as well. So long as the information requested is in their area, you can expect a reasonably accurate reply. Using the skill in this way costs 4 hours of Downtime. Tier 2 Patronage (0 CP) In return for your proven service, your patron sends you a stipend of cash. You receive 3x Tier in silver per event. This money is expected to be used for room and board as well as furthering the aims of your patron (bribes for information, buying supplies needed back home, etc). Tier 3 I Speak As My Master (0 CP) Your service has pleased your patron well; you now are their ambassador in the world. You speak with the voice of your master-- your word carries equal power to theirs. In addition, you can make 3 packet attacks per Watch for, "Silence by Awe," as you channel the inner strength of your patron.
Every hero starts somewhere, learns their skills somewhere. Even the greatest natural talent has to be honed and trained to greatness. For you, that time of training has recently ended and you have moved on towards your own destiny, but the lessons learned during your training will stick with you for a lifetime. They are as much a part of you as your blood and bone; your time learning the skills of your craft have made your tools part of yourself as well. Whether it be sword, wand, holy symbol or woods-lore, your time in training has shaped you into who you are today-- and it is with that knowledge, training, and power that you step into your own story. Journeyman is a broad-focus Background that can accommodate just about any character concept. It is designed to be versatile and useful, while providing background options for characters that are flexible and carry the weight of story with them. Being a Journeyman means that you have spent a great deal of time--years, most often-- learning the skills of your trade. Some important questions to ask are: What skills did I learn? (Stealth? Weapons? Magic, etc) What kind of place did I study in? (Formal academy? Tribe-style training with each teacher instructing their own specialty? Informal training group? One-on-one apprenticeship, etc) Who did I learn with? (Fellow classmates? Other trainees? Family members? Coming-of-age group of relatives? Solo studies with a mentor, etc) Who taught me? (Single instructor/mentor/teacher? Multiple teachers for different subjects? Family member teaching their specialties in a clan, etc) ) What was my relationship with my instructor(s)? (Like family, strict and regimented like a military academy? Adversarial? Replacing lost family, etc) What were the circumstances of my leaving? (For those who left early under bad terms, see the Renegade Mage and Deserter backgrounds) Tier 1 Learning the Basics (0 CP) One of your first lessons was a simple but basic technique that set you on the path to greatness. You gain 1 skill from the General Skills list or the list of your Source Skills (not from a Class). This skill must cost 3 CP or less. You must meet the Requirements of this skill as normal. Tier 2 Advanced Studies (0 CP) From time to time you go back to your studies and open new doors of knowledge, learning new techniques, skills, and tricks. You gain 1 skill from Your Source Skills or 1 Class associated with your Primary Source. This skill must cost 3 CP or less. You must meet the Requirements of this skill as normal. In addition, you may, during Downtime between events, assist another character in learning one of the skills you have already purchased. You must state the character you are assisting and the skill you are teaching in your PEL. Your assistance reduces the Downtime that character must spend on learning the skill by 1. You may assist up to 2 characters in this manner per Downtime. Tier 3 Teach Us, Master (0 CP) You are a master at your chosen vocation, and you are capable of adding to the skills of those who follow behind you. You can work with the Director to design a new skill to be added to your Source header list or any Class header list you have unlocked. You will have this skill as if you bought it, and that skill will go on the master list for the game. In addition, you may, during Downtime between events, assist another character in learning one of the skills you have already purchased. You must state the character you are assisting and the skill you are teaching in your PEL. Your assistance reduces the Downtime that character must spend on learning the skill by 2. You may assist up to 4 characters in this manner per Downtime.
You are a priest-- an anointed representative of an immensely powerful magical being of some kind. You might be a wandering priest, a tribal witch doctor, a sly infiltrator sworn to the Unseelie Court, or an empowered servant of a mighty dragon-- or maybe something else entirely. Regardless, your abilities have been enhanced by the magical power of your patron. Others may be Empowered by their patron, but you have trained, learned, and studied to learn the secrets of your patron's true power. You are more knowledgeable, more thoroughly prepared, and more focused in your service. You are a professional, and as such you are usually deeper in the confidences and plans of your patron as well. You are, after all, a proven and loyal devotee. Patron Options: White Court:Arturian,Aenryia, Aureus, Dagmar, Emrys, Ghorn,Liriel Three Sisters: Eldrea, Rhaine, Sarai Archfey (lords of Faerie) Primal Spirit (World Tree, Great Bear, etc) Other (email us if you have an idea for a patron! We'd love to hear it.) Tier 1 Empowerment (0 CP) You gain the 1st-level Tier 1 Empowerment skill for your patron for free. After all your study and training, you've certainly earned it. If you're a follower of the Three Sisters or the White Court, click the appropriate link in the list above to take you to the god/goddess's wiki page; their Empowerment skills are located there. Note: If you have an idea for a patron, let us know. Staff will need to build Empowerment skills for your patron! Tier 2 Patron's Magic (0CP) Your knowledge of your patron's power is deep and powerful. You unlock one Spell List from your patron's Minor list. You can now buy and cast spells from that list according to the Spellcasting rules. Tier 3 Devoted Servant (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Event) You can harness the power of your patron into a burst of energy that fuels you in battle. Once per event, you can perform a 1 minute ritual beseeching your patron for assistance, and call, "Refresh 5 Stamina by [Patron Name]."
Though the Arcanum in Rendayn appears on the outside merely a bastion of learning and education (and it is that), it also serves as a secret agenda of its own. Every single student of the Arcanum—whether they study magic, history, rhetoric, or any other subject—has their family lineage recorded for some undisclosed reason. Those who study magic give a vial of their blood to the Arcanum as well, again with no explanation given. Those who do not agree to these stipulations are forbidden from study. Additionally, every student of the arcane arts, at some point in their studies, must submit to the Harrowing, a test of magical ability and personal will that judges whether a mage is capable of resisting the temptations of the Otherworld and the extra-planar entities who would corrupt inexperienced mages and release their evil into the world. Those who study under Arcanum-trained mages outside the school itself are still subject to a Harrowing, administered by their master mage. Regardless of where they take it, everyone who desires to call themselves a Journeyman of the Arcanum must submit to the Harrowing. Those who fail the test are never seen again. Those who refuse the Harrowing likewise disappear. Instead of facing death, you left. You had studied at the Arcanum for years—long enough to learn the basics of magic, but for some reason the Harrowing was not an option. Family obligation forcing you to choose between the Arcanum and your family/clan? Did one of your friends die in the Harrowing? Refuse to take it and disappear forever? Did you learn some secret about the process and couldn’t reconcile that knowledge? Regardless of the reason, you left the Arcanum and ever since have been on the run from their hunters. It was surprisingly easy to leave—after all, who would flee the Arcanum, center of learning and enlightenment? By the time they knew to look for you, the ship carrying you to the mainland was long sailed, and you began life as a renegade mage. You barely remember the exhausting, frightened months of travel. Eventually you reached the heartlands of Brittanis and found that nobody asked about your past; those that did accepted the vague answers you provided. Only then did it occur to you to stop running and think about the future. You can never go back—those who flee the Harrowing are already assumed to have succumbed to the dark whispers from beyond the Veil of worlds. You will be slain if captured, there is no doubt. How do you live? Do you hide your magic? Pose as a graduate? Disguise yourself as a savage, those the Arcanum considers beneath them? How do you get by day to day? Tier 1 Dazzling Flare (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch, Spell) A bright flash of light causes your pursuer to stop long enough that you can escape. Make a packet attack for, “Short Paralyze by Light” Note: The incantation for this spell must be 5 syllables long and must comply to all spellcasting rules. Tier 2 Disappear (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Day, Spell) In a pinch, you can will yourself to vanish from sight to avoid a foe. Once per day you can become insubstantial to the real world so long as you do not move. This skill can only be activated in a location where there is no direct sunlight. Pay 0 points of Stamina, gather your cloak around you and call out "Imbue by Magic" to become a spirit. So long as you do not move, speak, or use any other game skill you gain the Spirit defense. You gain the Magic trait and the Spirit trait. Any attack that is "to Magic" or "to Spirit" will affect you and, if they are not beneficial, knock you out of Spirit form. Otherwise you will stay in spirit form until you choose to move or dawn comes. Tier 3 Mage Silence (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch, Spell) Those sent to capture or eliminate you are often fellow arcanists. You have learned a trick or two to give yourself an edge against them. Once per watch you can make 3 packet attacks for, “Silence by Background.”
You grew up on tales as old as Brittanis— gods and titans, heroes of the mortal races, knights and warriors and mages and priests. But you were also raised on tales of the most ancient empire of legend, the empire of magic and grandeur and power unlike anything mortals have known before or since. You were raised on the oldest stories of war and hubris—the stories of ancient Aquilon. As you grew and matured, the stories of Aquilon became more and more real to you, and eventually you decided to investigate the stories of ruins, artifacts, and fallen majesty. You mourned the loss of Aquilon like its fall had just happened, but that just increased the passion of your hunt. You seek the mysterious treasures and lost lore of Aquilon as if they are heirlooms of your own family. Who knows? Perhaps the reason you feel such a strong connection to the Empire Beneath is because somewhere in your ancestry is one of the refugees who survived the Breaking? Your search has not proven fruitless—far from it, in fact. The lore you have gathered and knowledge you have learned have proven (to you, if no-one else) that Aquilon had a more settled presence in Brittanis than sages previously thought. This means that ancient Aquilonian crypts, tombs, relics, and artifacts are waiting to be found—and you mean to be the one to discover them! Tier 1 Swallowing Waves (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch, Spell) You have learned to briefly conjure the dark, hungry waves that drank old Aquilon to the ocean’s bottom. Make 3 packet attacks for “Short Repel by Water.” Note: Use of this skill must comply with all the Spellcasting rules, and requires an incantation of 5 syllables. Tier 2 Drowned Lore (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Event) The magic of Aquilon was potent beyond modern understanding; you’ve learned a trick that lets you refresh your fighting spirit and energy. Once per event, you can call, “Refresh Daily Skills by Background” and refresh all skills which have the Day keyword. Tier 3 Secrets of the Deep (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch) The final days of Aquilon are filled with mysterious and terrible secrets. It is known that the Magisters, mages of unparalleled power, violated their pact with the gods and tried to open the locked gate at the heart of Aquilon’s capital city; the secrets they unlocked drove every single Magister insane in a single instant. You harness some of that madness and inflict it on your foes. Make a packet attack for “Drain by Madness.”
This Background is focused towards those who move unprotected from place to place with regularity-- something dangerous and rave in the monster-haunted lands of Brittanis. These are the rovers, wanderers, explorers and those who journey through the wild in search of lore, treasure or glory. Many attempt it; precious few return, and even smaller is the number of those who decide to do it again. But you are such a one-- brave or crazy enough to embrace the perils of travel in these dark times. Tier 1 Whispers Of The Road (0CP) Your time on the road-- and in those place without roads-- has taught you much. You get any 2 Knowledge Skills (EXCEPT Military) for free. Tier 2 Ain't Nothin' Gonna Break My Stride (0 CP, Day) Your wanderlust is a powerful force within you-- it drive you to shake off any attempt to lock you in one place or keep you from moving. Choose Root or Slow when you get this skill. 3 times per Day, you can spend 3 seconds of roleplay shaking off the effect and call, "Purge [Chosen Effect] by Background!" and negate the effect. Tier 3 Ain't Nothin' Gonna Slow Me Down (0 CP, Day) Your ability to keep on moving is nearly supernatural now-- legends might be told of your feet and how they always move farther down the road. You call "Resist" against whichever effect you chose for Tier 2, and you can Purge the other effect as listed in Tier 2. Example: Micah is a Traveler, Tier 3. He chose Slow at Tier 2, so he can now call, "Resist by Background" against a Slow effect 3 times per day. He can also now spend 3 seconds shaking off a Root effect and then call, "Purge root by Background!" 3 times per day.