The Dawn Patrol
The Dawn Patrol will be using a home-brewed system with the working name of FTS. In FTS, characters use their Attributes and their Trainings to determine how well they perform a specific action, and use their Experience Points to improve their abilities. Specific details are described below.
FTS, like most roleplaying games, is a system that requires its players to understand and recall lots of different concepts at once. To that end, the system uses a number of Key Terms that always mean the same thing, regardless of their context. These terms may appear in bold or in ALL CAPS when it is especially important that they not be misinterpreted. Below is a list of these Key Terms and their definitions.
- ATTRIBUTES – Scores that determine a character’s raw talent and their ability to effectively apply said talent.
- CRITICAL FAILURE – When all the dice of a DICE POOL show a 1 after rolling. Usually leads to extra bad stuff happening.
- CRITICAL SUCCESS – When all the dice of a DICE POOL at least 3 in size are a SUCCESS. Usually leads to extra good stuff happening.
- DICE POOL – A number of dice rolled to determine how well a given task is performed. The number of dice in a DICE POOL is determined by the two most relevant ATTRIBUTES for the task at hand, as determined by the GM.
- EXPERIENCE – Points gained by characters, as a result of interacting with the world, that represent growth and personal improvement. Can be spent to reflect these changes in a mechanical way.
- FINAL RESULT – The total number of SUCCESSES as the result of rolling a DICE POOL.
- GAME MASTER or GM – The person in charge of the game. Usually has discretionary power over what is happening and reserves final say on how mechanics are interpreted.
- LEGEND, also: HONOR, FAITH, VIRTUE, VICE – LEGEND speaks to the mechanic that tracks and encourages roleplaying within FTS.
- SUCCESS or SUCCESSES – When making a TEST, any die that displays a 5 or 6 after rolling is counted as a SUCCESS.
- TEST – An event or action that challenges a character’s abilities, in which the character can either succeed or fail.
- TRAININGS – A particular skill set which a given character has improved beyond the limitations of just raw talent.
Players in FTS must create their character before they can begin their adventure. The first step is to determine a character concept: what kind of character do you want to play? Perhaps you want to be a burly, sword-swinging warrior? Or perhaps you’d rather be a sneaky, spell-slinging mage? Maybe you’d rather be something else entirely? It is completely up to you, and you should at least have a good idea of what you’d like to do before moving on.
Once you have a general concept of what kind of character you’d like to play, the next step is to assign your character’s attributes. FTS uses two pre-determined arrays of scores, which can be assigned as you wish between the different attributes. You may assign the array of 4/3/2/2 as you wish between your type I attributes, and 3/2/2/1 for your type II attributes. You may then increase one of your Type I Attributes by 1 point, and two of your Type II Attributes by 1 point each.
Once you’ve assigned your starting attribute scores, the next step is to pick your character’s race. Each race is described in detail on the Races of Vulcanica page, but only in a roleplaying capacity. Here is where you can find information on how each race performs mechanically.
In addition to their special abilities (described below), each race has what is called a “racial combo” or “preferred test,” which is composed of one Type I Attribute and one Type II Attribute—just like any normal test. Whenever making a test with your race’s “preferred test,” you may automatically add one success to your final result. Each race’s preferred test is included in parenthesis next to the race’s name.
Beastmen (PHYSICAL PRESENCE)
- Special Ability: Unchained
- BEASTMEN may, at character creation, choose to (instead of using the normal Type I array) start with their Type I attributes as follows: Magical 3, Mental 1, Physical 5, Social 2. BEASTMEN who forego this option may instead begin play with a +2 bonus to their LEGEND, distributed among the four parts as they like.
Cambion (MAGICAL POWER)
- Special Ability: Immortal Blood
- CAMBIONS may, at character creation, choose which side of their heritage is more dominant in their bloodline: Demon or Mortal. CAMBIONS who choose the Demon option can never get a critical failure on any test as a result of rolling all 1s. CAMBIONS who choose the Mortal option may treat up to one failure as a success for purposes of determining a critical success.
Dragonkin (PHYSICAL POWER)
- Special Ability: Arkhosian Might
- DRAGONKIN always get at least 4 successes on any PHYSICAL POWER test. DRAGONKIN can never get a critical failure on any test that uses the POWER Attribute. DRAGONKIN begin play with 2 ranks in the Magic/Dragon/Empowerment Training.
Dwarves (PHYSICAL ENDURANCE)
- Special Ability: Born of Iron
- DWARVES may reduce the severity of an incoming wound by one level, if they wish. This effect can stack with the effect of wearing armor. In BATTLE, this skill translates to +2 to their contribution to their team’s SKILL total.
Elves (MENTAL PRESENCE)
- Special Ability: Centuries of Training
- ELVES may, after any test in which at least half their DICE POOL resulted in successes, add one additional success to their final result.
Fey (MAGIC CONTROL)
- Special Ability: Vulca-Naar
- FEY can never be killed as a result of a level 4 WOUND going untreated. FEY can never succumb to poison or disease. FEY wounded by anything other than Magic, Artifacts, or Ironforge weapons may treat the wound as if they were wearing Light Armor (this bonus does not stack with any actual armor).
Human (SOCIAL CONTROL)
- Special Ability: Memento Mori
- HUMANS may, any time they get to apply part or all of their LEGEND as a bonus on any test, increase that bonus by +1, if they wish. HUMANS have a maximum of 5 for their HONOR, FAITH, VIRTUE, and VICE, instead of 4.
Orc (PHYSICAL POWER)
- Special Ability: Battle Frenzy
- ORCS may choose to subtract any number from their PRESENCE Attribute and add it to the same number of successes to any PHYSICAL POWER tests made while in combat. If the PRESENCE score drops to 0 as a result of this drain, combat cannot be voluntarily ended by the ORC until all enemies are dead. Otherwise, this effect lasts for a few minutes, then reverses. In BATTLE, this skill translates to +2 to their contribution to their team’s SKILL total.
Tabai (PHYSICAL CONTROL)
- Special Ability: Feline Form
- TABAI may always choose to dodge an attack (PHYSICAL CONTROL), even if the circumstances or nature of the attack wouldn’t normally allow for a dodge. TABAI can never get a critical failure on any test that uses the PHYSICAL Attribute.
Vulcanii (MAGICAL ENDURANCE)
- Special Ability: From Dust
- VULCANII must choose from one classic element (Earth, Fire, Water, Wind) during character creation. VULCANII begin play with the Training of Magic/Nature/(Chosen element) at rank 4. VULCANII can never get a critical failure on any test that uses the MAGICAL Attribute. VULCANII always know where North is, and attempts to confuse them in this regard will always fail.
Once you’ve chosen your character’s race and spent your free upgrades, you get 10 experience to spend only on things that your character would know before they began any real training. These tend to be languages, local knowledge, or a hobby of some type. It is worth pointing out that characters begin play with one Language Training at rank 4 for free (Languge/(language of choice)/Speak), but only for speaking it—they have to train if they want to learn how to read and write!
For example, Vengeance decides that he wants to be able to write in his native language of High Turathi, and he wants to be good at it. So, he starts up the Language/Turathi/Read & Write Training (1 experience) at rank 2, and then increases it to rank 4 (4 experience)—enough to be considered fluent by anyone’s standards! He then decides that, having grown up in it, he wants to know a lot about the criminal underbelly of New Turath, and starts up the Knowledge/New Turath/Underworld Training (1 experience), and likewise decides that he wants this at 4 ranks as well (5 experience). He has finished off his 10 free experience, and is ready to start training for adventure!
Once you’ve spent your 10 “background” experience, you will then receive a base amount of regular experience, to be spent as you like before starting your adventure. Ask your GM to determine how skilled you are and how much time you’ve spent training before your story begins, and then consult the chart below.
|Level of Skill||Starting Experience|
|Relatively unskilled, no training. (commoner)||0|
|Skilled, less than a year of training. (militiaman, student)||5|
|Well-Trained, one to two years of training. (career soldier, apprentice mage)||10|
|Highly-Trained, two to three years of training. (mercenary, Obsidian Mage)||15|
|Elite, three or more years of training. (Emberguard)||20|
The characters of your story will have lived much life up to this point, and still have much left in front of them. Naturally, they will have met many people, done many deeds, and felt many feelings; each in ways that go beyond what the character sheet can represent. But we’re still gonna try! This is where the Legend comes in.
Your character’s Legend is comprised of four different scores: Honor, Faith, Virtue, and Vice. Each has their own meaning, and each character’s personal definition of them will be unique to them. As your character grows in the world, they will have opportunities to further their Legend, and whenever they act in accordance with one their specific Legend scores, their story will get a little more meaningful. Legend scores are graded on a scale of 0 (almost meaningless) to 4 (character-defining).
The four Legend scores are defined as follows:
- Honor represents your character’s conscience, and how they feel about themselves and the things they’ve done. A character with high Honor has led a life that aligns well with their personal morals, and probably feels very strongly about those morals. Conversely, a character with a low Honor has most likely betrayed their own code a few times, and has trouble falling asleep at night.
- Faith is what your character believes in above all else. This can take the form of religion, but it can also be a philosophy or ideal. A high Faith score would indicate a character who lives by their beliefs, and has probably witnessed proof of it first-hand more than once. A low Faith score, however, would belong to a character whose faith has been severely shaken on more than one occasion, and may even feel betrayed by that which they believe in.
- Virtue is something your character holds dear or sacred, and is something they would be willing to go well out of their way to protect—like a family member, a prized possession, or even something more abstract, like “Cinderfell.” A character with high Virtue would gladly lay down their life for whatever they idealize, and has consistently made their Virtue a central point of their life. Likewise, a character with low Virtue has probably prioritized the target of their passion much less than they should, and may even feel a sense of loss or disenfranchisement with something they once held dear.
- Vice works a little differently. The score itself represents something that is a source of grief that your character seeks for comfort, but unlike the other scores, a higher number actually represents something that is more a source of grief and problems, while the lower numbers mean that it is more contained. Your character’s Vice could be something as simple as a a bad habit or addiction to which they retreat in a time of weakness, or as complex as a deep-seated compulsion to commit violent acts. A low Vice would indicate that your character has done much to rid their life of this weakness, and may have even done away with the problem entirely. A high Vice, however, would show a character who struggles with the problem on a very frequent basis, and may even be crippled by their inability to deal with it.
At character creation, define what each LEGEND score means for your character, and how each one will impact your character over the course of the campaign. You have 4 points to distribute among the first three scores (HONOR, FAITH, VIRTUE) as you see fit, with no maximum or minimum. VICE, again, works a little differently. At any time during character creation or during gameplay, you may choose to add one point to your VICE in exchange for also being able to increase one other aspect of your LEGEND by one point for free. However, this exchange should not be taken lightly, as GMs are encouraged to find ways for a character’s VICE to haunt them in their journeys.
For example, Vengeance is a Cambion warrior from New Turath. Vengeance grew up on the city streets, but learned a code from the thieves and guttersnipes there that he uses to guide his actions to this day. Deciding that this code is integral to Vengeance’s way of life, he puts 3 of his 4 points in Honor. Vengeance then decides that he spent a lot of time looking for answers at the bottom of a bottle, but has made great strides in kicking the habit, and takes 1 point in Vice in order to have two points left. He wants to believe in the good of other people, but his life spent in the streets gave him too much evidence to the contrary to truly believe in that just yet—perfect for a Faith of 1. Finally, Vengeance decides that, while he fell out of contact with his brother years ago, he misses the man terribly and wants to repair their broken relationship; an excellent Virtue of 1. With no points left to spend, Vengeance is now ready to venture out into Vulcanica and start the next chapter of his story.
Any time your character is involved in a situation in which their HONOR, FAITH, or VIRTUE is relevant, your character may add up to their relevant score (HONOR, FAITH, VIRTUE) as additional dice in their DICE POOL. The only catch here is that the bonus needs to be declared before the roll is made. However, if a character finds themselves in a situation in which their VICE is relevant, they must apply that score as a penalty to their DICE POOL, similarly to how they would use the other scores as a bonus.
For example, Vengeance arrived in New Turath a few hours ago, hoping to reconnect with his estranged brother. However, he panicked at the last moment, and decided to go find some liquid courage at his old favorite watering hole. When he caught word from a breathless messenger that his brother was under attack, he dropped everything to go help, in any way he could. Only one problem: he’s not done drinking. The GM rules Vengeance now has two options, he can either abandon the bar, and take a penalty on all his rolls equal to his VICE score (currently 1, so all DICE POOLS Vengeance rolls will be 1 die smaller); or he can take a bottle with him, and nurse it as he sees to his brother’s safety.
As your character adventures in Vulcanica and progresses through the story, they will grow as a person. In some ways, this is shown on your character sheet, as your skills improve and you become even more lethal in combat. However, as you interact with the world and advance your own personal story, you will likewise become more interesting and proud of your accomplishments in the world. As you perform words and deeds that align with your character’s Legend, you will gain additional points to your Legend scores. Be careful, however! Just as acting with your Legend can raise the scores, going against your character’s Legend can cause your scores to lower.
Vengeance, continuing the story above, decided to abandon his liquor, recognizing that his brother’s safety far outweighed his need for a drink. The thirst was powerful, however, and fighting the thugs outside his brother’s place was difficult, being as distracted as he was. However, despite his VICE’s weight, (-1 die on all DICE POOLS), the love he held for his brother (+1 die to all DICE POOLS) gave him the focus he needed. Additionally, the GM rules that risking his life to protect his brother gave him a renewed sense of purpose, and rewards him with a +1 to his VIRTUE.
Attributes are the facets of your character that determine what they are good at. Attributes are broken into two types: Type I determines your character’s raw talent, Type II determines how good they are at utilizing their talent.
Attributes are graded on a scale, with neither a minimum or maximum score. That being said, most scores will be graded on a scale of 0 to 6. Scores in excess of 6 tend to be very high, and most characters will likely only have one or two attributes at this level over the course of their career. Scores in excess of 10 are extremely rare, and tend to belong to world-changing figures.
Occasionally, however, scores can drop below 0. When this happens, the character begins to suffer some serious negative repercussions, ranging from detrimental to right-out lethal. Specific effects of a score dropping below 0 are described in each Attribute’s section.
Characters will begin play with their Attributes at a set number, determined by their race. After choosing their race and recording their race’s starting Attributes, they will have a set number of points to distribute among their Type I and Type IIs, as described below in the Character Creation section.
Type I Attributes
Magical: A character’s ability with magic. Creating, controlling, manipulating and surviving magic all fall under this Attribute. Characters with high Magical are likely very gifted or have received extensive training in magic, and may prefer to use magic when solving problems. Characters with low Magical are likely incapable with magic, and might even be afraid of it or superstitious towards it. If a character’s Magical ever drops below 0, their connection to the magical forces of the world are beginning to fade, and magic itself is beginning to reject their existence. For every point the character’s score is below 0, any character that uses magic against them may add one success to their final result. Characters who attempt to use magic to aid them must likewise subtract one success from their final result.
Mental: A character’s ability with themselves in an internal capacity. Knowledge, creativity, willpower, and planning all fall under this Attribute. Characters with high Mental are likely considered very intelligent, and may be a teacher or adviser in some capacity. Characters with low Mental are probably viewed as dull or slow by those around them, and may be slow to grasp and remember new or difficult concepts. Characters with a Mental score reduced below 0 immediately fall into a coma, where they remain until their Mental is restored to 0 or higher.
Physical: A character’s ability with themselves in an external capacity. Strength, coordination, endurance, and alertness all fall under this Attribute. Characters with high Physical are likely capable athletes or warriors, while characters with low Physical are probably uncoordinated, out-of-shape, or frail in frame. If a character’s Physical score ever drops below 0, their body has suffered so much trauma and stress that their heart stops beating and they die within moments.
Social: A character’s ability with others. Charisma, skill with manipulating others, morals, and intuition all fall under this Attribute. Characters with high Social tend to be very convincing, and are slow to lose their cool in a bad situation. Characters with low Social, however, tend to be uninteresting, boorish, or difficult to relate to, and may be easily stressed or upset. Characters with a Social score below 0 suffer no additional ill effects, aside from being utterly repulsive and/or unbearably abrasive to all around them.
Type II Attributes
Control: A character’s ability to manipulate and influence the forces in their life. Characters with low Control are likely very easy-going and slow to change or react, while characters with high Control probably take a more active role in events, and hate being left out of things. If a character’s Control score ever drops below 0, they slowly slip into a form of insanity that leaves them unable to exercise any control over their thoughts and actions, and they ultimately become a slave to even the slightest of their emotions.
Endurance: A character’s ability to withstand and weather the unfortunate or unpleasant. Characters with low Endurance are usually trusting and eager to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, while characters with high Endurance tend to be much slower to trust, and may even be jaded or cynical towards life in general. Should a character’s Endurance score fall below 0, they would become utterly useless to those around them, becoming exhausted at the most minor of physical exertions, and an emotional wreck after even the slightest of trials.
Power: A character’s strength and force. Characters with low Power may prefer to take a support role in situations, letting other characters have the spotlight; characters with high Power, however, often relish leadership roles, and likely fear uselessness more than anything else. Characters whose Power score falls below 0 would suffer no additional ill effects, aside from being completely incapable of affecting even the slightest change in their surroundings, even in the hearts of friends.
Presence: A character’s awareness, understanding, and just how “present” they are. Characters with low Presence may be shy or prefer to work subtly from the shadows, while characters with high Presence often prefer to be in the thick of things where they can take in the world around them. Any character unfortunate enough to suffer their Presence falling below 0 would rapidly lose their grasp on reality, and ultimately become so unstable that they’d be wildly subject to even the slightest suggestion from any external source.
Because this section is long, confusing, and a little wordy, hard mechanics will be displayed in bold. However, because of the nature of this section, players are encouraged to read everything, as context is crucial to understanding. In the famous words of Derrida, “There is no outside-text,” or, “nothing exists without context.”
Every character has their abilities to dictate how well they can perform in regards to a certain part of their raw abilities, but that doesn’t even come close to describing how skilled they are in certain fields. After all, simply being huge and muscular doesn’t mean you automatically know how to fight, does it? Merely being incredibly gifted with magic doesn’t necessarily make you an incredible mage, it just means you have the potential; you must still practice and hone your gifts into something usable, something controllable and predictable. The huge muscly guy might win a fight or two, but sooner or later his luck will run out, and he’ll be trumped by someone who actually knows what they are doing. All of this is where Trainings come in.
Trainings are used to describe how much time your character has spent practicing and honing a particular set of skills. The more specific their training, the faster they will get better at it—likewise, as their training gets more broad, it will take that much longer to become an expert. Broad, complex fields—like medicine or magic—might take a lifetime to truly master, while more simple, reduced concepts—like how to properly fry a salmon steak—could easily be mastered in a few weeks of practice. FTS seeks to capture that dynamic with its Trainings system, and it is that dynamic that players should keep in mind when selecting their Trainings.
Trainings are qualified by two separate factors: tier and rank. Tier determines how specific the Training in question is, and is graded on a scale of 1 to 3; 1 being very broad and unspecific, 3 being extremely narrow and specialized. Most Trainings tend to be tier 2. Rank measures how far along the character is in that Training, and has no maximum, but has a minimum of 1. Most Trainings tend to stop increasing around rank 12, but there are no rules enforcing this—players are encouraged to take their characters in whatever direction they desire.
For RPG veterans, this is the part where FTS might start to get confusing, so hold on, read carefully, and make sure you understand each section before proceeding.
When first picking up a Training, the player must determine what it is they want to start training into, and how specific they want their training to be. There is no comprehensive list of available Trainings, though this list might help struggling players with a few ideas to get them started.
For example, Vengeance the Cambion wants to be good with using swords in combat. He could choose to start with the Combat// Training, but that is very broad, and it will take him a long time to get good if he is learning about every aspect of close combat, though he will be a true master when he gets there. He decides that he’s not really interested in such a general Training, and instead opts to with Combat/Swords/, as he doesn’t expect to be using anything other than his father’s prized sword, Ruin. If he wanted to be extra-specific, he could branch into Combat/Swords/Attacking or Combat/Swords/Longswords, but he decides that Combat/Swords will be good enough for now. Since he’s just now starting up the Training, it costs him 1 experience to get the Training to rank 1.
Regardless of tier, Trainings always cost 1 experience for the starting rank. Tier 3 Trainings begin at rank 2, tier 1 and 2 Trainings begin at rank 1.
There is no limit to how many Trainings a character may have. Trainings can overlap (such as in the example above, if Vengeance later on chooses to pick up Combat/Swords/Longswords), in which case both Trainings will be added to the test result. Players are encouraged to ask their GM if certain Trainings are relevant whenever a test is called for, and be mindful that they may be able to use more than one Training on a particular test.
Which brings us to how Trainings actually work: Whenever making a test in which a character possesses one or more relevant Training, they may add that Training’s rank as a number of successes to the test’s final result.
For example, Vengeance needs to gain entry into a crimelord’s tavern with a large, burly bouncer guarding the door. He knows that going toe-to-toe with the massive Orc is simply out of the question, and going up and asking to be let in is likewise not an option. He decides to put his time as a con to use, and attempt to fool the bouncer into letting him in. The GM calls for a SOCIAL CONTROL test to confuse the guard into thinking Vengeance is actually a client, and Vengeance asks if he can apply his rank 4 Communicate/Verbal/Bluffing Training on the test. The GM rules that the Training is 100% relevant, and tells Vengeance to add 4 successes to his final result.
Gained through adventuring in the world of Vulcanica, Experience is how a character grows and develops over the course of their life, and they can use it to hone and perfect their skills and abilities.
Experience can be spent in a number of different ways, which are shown in detail on the table below.
|Start a new Training (any tier)*||1|
|Increase a tier 1 Training by 1||3 + current rank|
|Increase a tier 2 Training by 1||2 + current rank|
|Increase a tier 3 Training by 2||2 + current rank|
|Increase a Type I Attribute by 1||4 + current score|
|Increase a Type II Attribute by 1||3 + current score|
|* Must have spent at least 4 hours learning up on the subject in some way.|
For example, Vengeance the Cambion has 12 experience, and wants to use some of it to increase his Combat/Swords Training. Since it is a tier 2 Training, the base cost is 2 experience, plus his current rank. If his current rank is 3 and he wants to increase it to 4, it would cost him 5 experience to do so. He still has some experience left over, so he decides to also increase his Armor/Medium/Scale Training, which is currently at 2. Because that is a tier 3 Training, this one will also cost him 4 experience, but he gets to go straight to rank 6! He then decides that now is a good time to start putting to use all that time he’s been reading up on cooking, and spends 1 experience to start the Crafting/Cooking/ Training, at rank 1. He isn’t sure what he wants to do with the last experience point, and elects to hang on to it for later.
As your character adventures throughout the world of Vulcanica, they will often find themselves facing a situation that requires extra effort to complete successfully. Anything from getting into a fight, trying to cast a complicated spell, or picking someone’s pocket can fall into this category, so long as it is at least slightly difficult and carries at least a small penalty for failure. These situations call for what is known in FTS as a “Test.”
Tests are simply that: a test of one or more of your character’s abilities. To begin a test, the GM will determine the two most relevant Attributes for the task at hand, one Type I and one Type II. Once the most relevant Attributes have been determined, the player assembles their DICE POOL. To do so, they simply add together the scores for both Attributes and grab that number of dice. That is the DICE POOL for this test.
For example, Vengeance want to try to break down a door that is in his way. Since he plans on kicking the door down, the GM determines that the most relevant Type I Attribute is PHYSICAL. Because the intent is to use force—not finesse, awareness, understanding, or persistence—to break the door down, the GM decides that the best Type II Attribute must be POWER. Therefore, the GM calls for a PHYSICAL POWER test. Since Vengeance has a PHYSICAL of 2 and a POWER of 4, his DICE POOL is going to be 6 for this test.
Once the DICE POOL has been assembled and rolled, count up the number of dice that show a 5 or 6. This is your total number of SUCCESSES. Once you have that, you may add any additional SUCCESSES that the GM tells you to add (usually from one or more relevant Trainings) to get your FINAL RESULT.
If, after the DICE POOL has been rolled, every die shows a 1, this is called a CRITICAL FAILURE. This means that not only did you fail to achieve your goal, but you did so in such a way that now the situation is worse than it was before you got involved. In the example above, if Vengeance gets a critical failure, the GM might rule that he breaks his ankle, or that the noise alerts some guards nearby.
If, however, every single die in the DICE POOL shows a success (5 or 6), this is called a CRITICAL SUCCESS. When this happens, you may roll an additional number of dice equal to the number of 6s you got, plus one. However, in order to qualify for a critical success, your starting DICE POOL must be at least 4 in size. In the example above, if Vengeance rolled 3 5s and 3 6s, he would be able to roll 4 more dice, adding any successes gained this way to his final result.
Battle (Team Combat)
Also coming soon!
Magic takes many different forms in Vulcanica, each “school” or discipline offering significant advantages and disadvantages alike. With the exception of Natural Magic, characters do not have access to any of the disciplines (and therefore cannot use magic in any form) until they have one Training in the appropriate discipline. Note that even in the case of Natural Magic, characters do not have access to the discipline’s advantages or disadvantages until they have Trained into it.
Blood Magic: Occasionally referred to as “witchcraft” or “sorcery,” this type of magic has been outlawed in Cinderfell, and is widely believed to be an unnecessarily destructive and harmful form form of magic. At any point before making a check with the Magic Talent, a character may spill blood to make their magic more powerful. For each severity of a wound inflicted in the character’s immediate vicinity with the intent of powering the spell, add a +2 bonus to the next check made with the Magic Talent.
Creation Magic: Extremely dangerous and difficult to use, creation magic revolves around the learning, speaking, reading and writing of the Words of Creation—the language used to “write” Vulcanica into existence. However, it takes tremendous will and training for a mortal to even read one letter of this language without being instantly destroyed. It takes eight trainings in Creation Magic to reach the point where reading a single word will not instantly kill you, and even that is a Magical Endurance test that requires 5 successes. That, coupled with the fact that anyone capable of training Creation Magic lives nowhere near the Mortal World, has led me to make the ruling that Creation Magic will not be available to players at this time.
Demon Magic: Wicked and powerful beings, Demons are well-known to be power-hungry and eager to spread destruction and influence in their name. They are not, however, capable of using most of their magic in the Mortal World, and must do much of their work through mortal agents, to which they often grant access to a small amount of their demonic powers. Though many of them forsake it now, the Cambion people used this magic to incredible effect when they overthrew the Arkhosians and built the fearsome empire of Bael-Turath. At the time of making any Magical check, a character with access to Demon Magic may add a number of dice (up to a maximum of five) to their pool before rolling. However, Demon magic is not native to Vulcanica, and mortals are ill-suited to its use; whenever a Demon mage achieves more successes on their Magical roll (when using Demon magic) than their total Physical Endurance score, they suffer a temporary -1 penalty to their Presence Attribute as the magic disorients them and deadens their senses. This penalty lasts for 4 hours, and can be cumulative. If, as a result of using Demon magic, the character’s Presence ever temporarily reaches 0 or lower before it recovers, it will suffer a permanent -1 penalty after fully recovering. This penalty can also be cumulative, though it would take separate instances of the score reaching 0 or lower for this to happen more than once.
Dragon Magic: The first magic to see widespread use in Vulcanica, Dragon Magic is what many in Cinderfell simply consider “magic,” and its strength lies in making its user a more fearsome person in their own right. Before making any kind of check, a character may make a Magical Control check to unleash their inner font of Dragon Magic and make them stronger. Each success after the third becomes an automatic success they may add onto their next check. However, the blood of Dragons does not tolerate failures, and any time this Dragon-empowered check results in a failure, the character must get one additional success on their Magical Control the next time they seek to call on the Dragon’s blood (this effect is cumulative).
Natural Magic: Vulcanica has a will of its own. To many, this is a thing to be feared, but to the skilled mage, it is a thing that can be directed and shaped to benefit the world on a much more individual level. “The trick is understanding that you are not using it, but merely guiding it.” Those who have trained into this magic may choose to call upon some of Vulcancia’s extra strength to empower their spells, though doing so is dangerous and must be done with caution. At the time of making any Magical check, a character may add a number of dice to their dice pool before rolling (no maximum). However, for each die added in this way, the character must get one success on a Magical Endurance check made immediately after the results of the initial check are determined. If they fail to equal or exceed the number with their check, they take a wound equal in severity to the number of successes by which they failed (3 successes with 4 needed would result in a level 1 wound). It is not uncommon to hear of Nature mages getting greedy with their power, and (often accidentally) destroying themselves in an attempt to channel more than their body can handle.