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Mercenary Malkioni Sorceror
You are a Seshnelan, born a peasant, but you found a Grimoire and taught yourself sorcery. You're a renegade from the Rokari Church, which you think is a corrupt scam, and you came to Kerofinela because they needed people who could blow things up and you wanted patrons to shield you from the Church. You can pretend to be a good Rokari if you have to, but while you know the Invisible God is real, you think he basically can't be connected to personally the way the Churches think; he made the world and sustains it but does not intervene the way pagan gods intervene.
The pagan gods are real, they just aren't worthy of worship; like us, they are created beings, emenations of the Runes, which produce the Essences (who Sorcerors may interact with), Gods (who pagans interact with) and spirits (who losers interact with). Why the Runes produce three kinds of emenations is unclear. Some people argue that mysticism taps a fourth kind of emenation but you know that mysticism destroys your conscience and makes you a raving lunatic who wants to remake the world in some stupid way, like fusing everyone in Seshnela into some sort of god-potato. The best response to mystics is to fly high over them and dump hideous death on them, then blow up their remains. It's the only way to be sure.
All of these creatures can be commanded by sorcery, which the faithful like to pretend is divine power... okay, to be fair, *it is divine power*, but the Invisible God laid out laws and rules for us to use, rather than requiring prayers and sacrifices and all that *pagan* behavior which the Hrestoli and Rokari and the entirely delusional Aeolians practice. By the way, Solace and the Joy of the Heart are lies to get the masses to shut up and obey priests who are lying to them; when you die, unfortunately, you get stuck in the Underworld for a whle, then tapped by the Essences of the Death Rune and what's left of you becomes the soul of a new baby.
But you know better than to tell this to anyone as neither Pagans nor Malkioni would take it well. The good news is that you can play along with both groups as needed; you typically tell them you are sworn to Saint Langston and the Malkioni accept this and the pagans convince themselves that he is another name for Lhankor Mhy. To be fair, Irenus is a mask of the Essence of the Truth Rune and you think Lhankor Mhy is the God of the Truth rune... so hey, good enough!
You came north to Sartar because it's easier to con the Pagans than to keep the Rokari church off your ass. They pay well, but you still struggle with their bizarre customs and tendency to explode into violence for no apparent reason. Still, once they are convinced you're a holy man for hire, things go well, usually.
Until they want you to go kill a Walktapus, anyway.
Your homeland is very different from here, a land of castes and peasants and serfs. Further, your homeland says Victory Is More Important Than Honor or Rules and that If Your Enemy Bangs Your Toe, Cut His Entire Leg Off. But you reject your homeland's bullshit too; it just justifies a bunch of sword-toting morons treating everyone else like shit. This leaves you trying to find a better way for yourself.
You can be male or female; either way, you're a renegade from your own culture.
Take this playbook if you want to be a strange foreigner struggling with the weird rules of the Orlanthi and to be a deist in a land of pagans.
Pick your Attributes
You have Magic +2, and pick one of the following arrays to distribute among your remaining Attributes:
Choose one of the following arrays:
- +1, +1, +0, -1
- +2, +0, -1, -1
- Your Hit Points are 8 + Might.
- Your Base Damage is d4.
Pick 2 off the list below
- Battle Magician: When you go into Battle, roll +Magic. On a 10+, hold 3. On a 7–9, hold 2. On a miss, hold 1, but take -1 forward. During the Battle, you can spend your hold 1 for 1 to:
- Tap a spirit or Essence, inflicting 1d8 Harm on it and gaining a Runestone. This will make it choose you as public enemy number one, however.
- Immediately use Intimidate on a foe
- Inflict 1d8 Harm, stagger, or disarm a foe within Close Range with a quick spell
- Magically travel out of hand range to Far Range with a foe or move to hand range with a foe within Far range. (You should choose a magical theme for this, such as you turning to mist and blowing in the wind or opening a dimensional gate or turning to light and reforming)
- Assist an ally's attack, giving them +2 Forwards by use of your magic
- Exploit Fear of Sorcery: When you Intimidate, you can roll +Magic instead of +Might.
- Eyes of the Sorceror: When you Read a Person, you can also ask
- What kind of magical powers does this person have if any?
- What is their most dangerous magical power?
- What is one of their geasa, if any?
- What magical effects are they under?
- What magical objects do they have?
- Self-Tapping: A dangerous move, but sometimes you have no choice. You can tap yourself once during your turn, inflicting 1d8 harm on yourself, but gaining a Runestone. This is a free action.
- Study Makes Strength: You get +1 Magic (Max +3).
You should pick one of the following Grimoires, then pick 3 Spells you know in the Grimoire. Once you master the Grimoire, you can begin learning spells from another Grimoire or you can propose spells to the MC which you deduce from your current Grimoire; the new spell must fit the theme.
When you cast a spell, roll +Magic: On a 10+: You get 3 hold to spend on the effect. On a 7-9, you get one Hold. On a 6 or less, choose one:
- You cannot use the maneuver again today.
- You suffer a -1 ongoing and cumulative penalty to use of Grimoire Spells today.
- Magic flows unchecked through your flesh, inflicting 1 Harm.
- You turn a color related to your Grimoire; you suffer -1 ongoing to all +Charm rolls for the rest of the day. You can only take this once per day for a given spell.
- Analytical Geology: Allegedly composed in Danmalstan by Zzabur himself. It approaches the powers of the Earth Rune from the Sorcerous perspective; someone glossed this book, trying to match Earth Goddesses to various kinds of rock. That someone *might* have been a God-Learner, so it's best to not loan this one out to anyone, just to be sure you don't end up chopped into one inch cubes.
- Earth Shield: Spend one hold and gain +1 Armor for the rest of the encounter against one kind of attack: melee, missile, spell, other dangers. Spend 3 hold and protect against 3 out of four.
- Earth Wall: Spend one hold to construct a crude wall about six feet across and six feet high which rises out of the ground; spend 3 hold to construct a fancy barrier which can have windows and stairs to the top, up to 20 feet long.
- Shatter: Spend 1 hold to break a single hand-portable metal object within Close Range; spend 3 hold to destroy everything metal on a person or a metal object up to the size of a plow.
- Stone Bolt Each time you spend hold, you throw a stone bolt at someone within Close Range, inflicting 1d8 Harm and staggering them until the end of your next turn.
- The Air Rune Applied to Weather: Claims to be composed by the sorceror Anaxis during the First Age; it lays out how the Air Rune interacts with weather.
- Fly: Spend 1 hold to fly as fast as a man can run, or 3 to fly as fast as a horse can gallop.
- Manipulate Storm: The MC must state if the storm is howling, intense, moderate, drizzling, or just ominous clouds. (You can't create clouds from nothing with this). You can then move it one step by spending 1 hold; you can only move it one step per turn.
- Wind Bolt Each time you spend hold, you hurl a windbolt at someone within Far Range, inflicting 1d8 Harm and pushing them one range step further away from you and knocking them prone.
- Wind Shield: Spend one hold and you or an ally of your choice within Close Range gains +1 Armor for the rest of the encounter against missiles. Spend 3 hold and for the rest of the scene, any foe who hits you with a melee attack is then pushed out to close range and falls prone.
- A Demonstration of How the Darkness Rune Empowers Trolls: Uncertain origin but certain references make you think it was composed after the fall of the God-Learners, who it refers to as 'making life hard for the rest of us' and 'overly ambitious' and 'damned'. It's a study of Trolls and how to duplicate their abilities with the Darkness Rune.
- Darkness: You shroud yourself in darkness you can see through; it billows and eddies around you, making your position hard to tell. Spend one hold to gain +2 to a Defy Danger check.
- Eat Anything Spend one hold to make a meal out of something which herbivores can eat but humans can't; spend 3 hold to eat basically anything that can't fight back against you; you only eat enough to sustain you for one meal.
- Smite Chaos: Darkness is, for reasons unclear to sorcerors, the enemy of Chaos. Spend 1 hold to dispel some Chaos effect within Far Range.
- Withering Darkness: Spend 3 hold to inflict 2d6 Harm and stagger a foe within Close Range; spend 1 hold to inflict Harm or stagger the foe. In either case, the foe takes 1d4 Harm at the start of your next turn.
- An Introduction to Metaphysics (Law Rune): In the aftermath of the fall of the God-Learners, this was produced as an introduction to basic metaphysics, purged of the innovations of the God Learners; the wise student gains a greater mastery of raw magic from it.
- Dispel: You learn how to kill a spell or other magical effect. Spend one hold to neutralize an effect not maintained by anyone; spend 3 hold to kill an effect actively maintained by its creator.
- Drain Mana: This only affects Daimons, Spirits, Essences, and Souls. Spend 3 hold to inflict 2d6 harm and stagger a foe within Near Range; spend 1 hold to inflict Harm or stagger the foe. In either case, you gain +1 to your next +Magic check.
- Identify Magic Spend one hold to identify the basics of a spell and what rune it is connected to. Spend 3 hold to study a person and know what kind of magic they can do.
- Parmesan Magica: This spell turns magic aimed at you into cheese. It's a joke in the book, but it works somehow. Spend 1 hold to add +2 to any Resist Magic check. If you succeed in the check with a 7-9, it generates a snack's worth of cheese; if you succeed with a 10+, you get a five pound block of cheese. Attempts at mass-production of cheese by this means, however, always fail.
- The Wars of Saint Gerlant: Saint Gerlant made war upon the Krjalki in Fronela, wielding a flaming sword. You've figured out how to use his 'holy' magics without bothering with the whole 'holy' thing.
- Fire Javelin: Each time you spend hold, you throw a fire javelin at someone, inflicting 1d8 Harm Fire damage and 1d4 Fire Damage at the start of your next turn.
- Fire Steed: 1 hold gets you a horse made out of fire that won't burn YOU for the rest of the scene; 3 hold gets you a horse made out of fire that can FLY, moving at normal horse speeds in the air.
- Flamesword of Saint Gerlant: Your weapon or a weapon you target within Close Range bursts into flames! Spend 1 hold to add +1 Harm to its damage for the rest of the fight; spend 3 hold to add +1 Harm and to have anyone you hit with your sword take 1d4 Harm at the start of your next turn after you hit them as well.
- Steel Clothing Spend one hold and gain +1 Armor for the rest of the encounter against one kind of attack: melee, missile, spell, other dangers. Spend 3 hold and protect against 3 out of four.
You begin with a horse and tack, rune-covered robes, a Wizard's Staff, and two secondary equipment
- 2-Handed Weapon
- It does 1-Harm to Daimons, Essences, Spirits, and Souls, normal Harm to everything else
- If your Might is 0 or higher, it grants +1 Armor (from parrying attacks)
Wizard Items (pick three):
- Hand Axe: (Hand Throw-Close)
- Horn Dagger: (Intimate/Hand? Concealable)
- Bronze Bracers with the Earth Rune carved into them: (Intimate/Hand? 1-Protective)
- Fancy Clothing: +1 on +Charm checks in formal situations or with those impressed by wealth.
- A Personal Riding Horse and Tack
- Bag of Lesser Runestones: (once per session, you can take an automatic 10+ on a +Magic check, or use them as leverage for an Essence, though it's rare to directly talk to an Essence)
- Apothecary Bag: (once per session, you can heal someone for up to 3 harm or cure their disease)* A riding horse and tack
- Bronze Pendant With the Law Rune: +1 with Grimoire Spells
- Large Bronze Orb with the Air Rune: This screws onto the end of your Wizard's Staff; you can do Cold damage with it and add +1 to any Harm inflicted. This does not stack with other weapon accessories.
- Bronze Statuette of a Horse with the Beast Rune: Roll +Magic to activate: 10+: It becomes a life-sized pegasus until midnight. 7-9: It becomes a normal riding horse until sunset. 6-: It briefly becomes a horse, eats a day's worth of your food, then turns back to normal and can't be activated again until the next dawn.
- Landholder: You have a small estate in Maniria, worked by your serfs, overseen by a relative or maybe even a spouse. So why are you in Sartar? To get away from the damn Rokari Church, that's why. Each season, roll +Wits. On a 10+, a messenger delivers 40 silver to you. On a 7-9, you get 20 silver. Choose 1 season you get +2 to the roll during and one you get -2 to the roll during and explain why.
- Lhankor Mhy Temple Guardian: You have convinced a temple of Lhankor Mhy to house you and let you use their library in return for guarding the place and bringing them information.
- Once a season, you can use the Grey Sage ability, Study, while in residence.
- You can, once a day, while in residence, roll +Wits and ask the MC one of the following questions:
- What does group X believe?
- What does this item do?
- What are the great deeds of person X?
- What is the history of a location in Sartar and the surrounding area?
- What is the history of this object?
- Wizard-in-Residence: You have hired on with a chief, who pays you and expects you to help with raids, but otherwise tolerates your adventuresome ways. You have a place to sleep, food, and access to the leaders of the clan you work for, the Ring. This access helps you acquire and make runestones. Roll +Magic each season. On a 10+, you craft or get four Runestones; on a 7-9, you get two runestones. On a 6 or less, the runestone you get may be flawed; when used, roll 1d6 and on a 3 or less, it causes you to automatically score a 6 or less on the magical spell instead of giving you an automatic 10+ or functioning as leverage with Essences.
Once you earn 5 XP, you can buy an advancement.
- Add +1 to an Attribute which is 0 or higher, to a maximum of +2
- Take another move from this playbook
- Take another Basic Magic move from this playbook
- Switch your Background to a different one from this playbook
After you have leveled up five times, you may take an advanced improvement for every 5 XP you earn.
- Get +1 to any Attribute, max +3
- Change to a different playbook
- Learn 2 Moves from this playbook
- Learn 1 Move from another playbook
- Learn 2 Basic Magic from this playbook
- Learn 1 Basic Magic from another playbook
- Erase one luck mark from your playbook