Picking Skills

While the classes and callings are pretty clear in what they do and what they’re about, it can be harder to easily nail down what skills you should take based on your character concept. So here’s a list of common archetypes and what skills they might take.

The Face

  • Bargain, to interact with merchants
  • Inspect, to study people and learn more about them
  • Perform, your primary occupation
  • Talk, to be a social powerhouse

The Fighter

  • Either Force or Finesse, depending on whether you favor strength or dexterity, for Grappling checks
  • Move, to get around a battlefield or difficult environment
  • Restore, for battlefield triage, first aid, and coping with trauma
  • Watch, to stay vigilant against enemies both in and out of battle

The Magician

  • Attune, to understand and work with magic
  • Create, to manufacture things
  • Learn, to study lore and acquire knowledge
  • Restore, to heal and salve and mend

The Ranger

  • Hunt, to track and trap prey
  • Sneak, to not be noticed as you stalk
  • Survive, to live in the wild
  • Watch, to hone your senses in a hostile environment

The Rogue

  • Finesse, to do your lockpicking and pickpocketing and all other something-pick-something’ing
  • Inspect or Watch, to study people or places
  • Move, for rooftop leaping
  • Sneak, to get around quietly

Martial Arts Styles

You can attach the following Mod to any weapon, and it does not consume a Mod slot.

Style. This weapon is actually mastery of a single martial arts style. This has the following effects:

  • Characters may roll the Grappling Maneuver move with their weapon dice.
  • You can use the style with signature weapons or unarmed, but there’s no mechanical distinction.
  • It should be about as easy to detect or interfere with a style aetherically as it is to do the same to a physical weapon, via pressure point manipulation, magic, artifacts, etc.
  • The weapon’s presence is always obvious to skilled fighters or people with keen aetheric senses, as practicing styles always changes the fighter’s aether.

In general:

  • Light vs. Heavy helps determine whether a style is hard/external or light/internal, but this distinction can mean other things.
  • Ranged styles exist. This can mean attacks with energy blasts, use of bow & arrow or thrown darts, etc.

Example styles

Starry Serpent Style. Light, Melee, Accurate, Venomous, Style. Modeled on the quick motions of the snake, and drawing power from a serpentine constellation in the night sky, Practitioners use footwork, deceptive hand strikes, and targeted hits against opponents’ pressure points to disable and destroy.

Tiger’s Paw Style. Heavy, Melee, Deadly, Execution, Style. A hard-hitting style developed by a cabal of bounty hunters, doctors, and revolutionaries. The style excels at defeating armored targets - such as those sent after anti-Imperial spies.

Soul Lightning Style. Light, Ranged, Magickal, Umbral, Style. A martial art designed to fight possessed targets, ghosts, and other spiritual opponents. It channels the wielder’s aether through specific motions and stances and into one or more opponents like a mystic lightning bolt, and can chain from target to target if aimed properly.

Calling-Specific Rest Actions

Every calling has a specific Rest Action they can perform. See p. 45 for details on Rest Actions

  • Astromancer: When you Play a Game using divination tools (e.g. Tarot cards), instead of the usual benefit, you can receive a vision about a person or place (as per the Starry Divinations Talent). If the vision pertains to someone with whom you have a Bond, you can ensure the secret is immediately beneficial if either the person is participating in the scrying, or if you stress the bond.
  • Chanter: You can engage in the following behaviors. If you do, you gain the effects of the corresponding Talent until your next Rest Action.
    • Fasting and self-abnegation: Binding of Five
    • Soul-baring confessions of helplessness and pleas for safety from your Speakers: Protective Eidolons
    • Righteous accusations against the gods for their neglect toward mankind: Shattered Seals
  • Raconteur: When you Entertain by speaking about a particular person, in addition to the other benefits, you conjure the shade of that person as a Familiar (per the Witch talent). The shade will accompany and assist you until the next Rest Action you take.
  • Arklight: If you participate in a rest action with anyone else and any of you clear a Stressed Bond involving another participant, gain 1 Grit in addition to the normal benefits of the action.
  • Champion: You engage in brisk, beneficial physical exercise. You, and everyone who joins in with you, gains +1 RB until their next long rest.
  • Shadowblade: If you Scavenge or Stand Watch, or otherwise actively isolate yourself from the group, the solitude brings you a measure of inner peace. Clear 1 Stressed Bond as well as gain the benefit of the action, as long as nobody else assists you.
  • Draloi: When you perform First Aid, Sacrifice 3 HP to either reduce the difficulty of the Recovery test by 3 (as though you’d spent Grit), or to heal an extra 3 HP. You may make this decision before or after the roll.
  • Psythe: You can establish a Psychic Network with the group, as per the Talent. Every participant stays in the network until the next time they sleep, as the link consumes the same psychic space as dreams. Anyone who spends their Rest Action participating in the setup can speak through the network; anyone else may only receive messages.
  • Rune Magus: You can expend double the number of atheric crystals during Coalescence to gain Advantage on the Create test.

New Talent

All classes and callings can take the following Talent:

Hidden Depths: pick another Calling. You can perform that calling’s Rest Action as well as your own.

4x4 AOE Effects

Sometimes you need a boss to go big. Sometimes you need to model some kind of wild environmental phenomenon - lava, landslides, meteor falls, or whatever. You can use this system to create semi-random AOE effects.

Map Assumptions

This system strongly assumes you are using a 4x4 zone map arranged in squares, very similar to the map layouts in MMORPGs such as Final Fantasy XIV. It will work on any map with at least 3x3 zones, and will work fine on larger maps if you change where the center points are positioned.

Picking Affected Zones

This system uses the pips of a six-sided die as a guide to which parts of a 3x3 area will be targeted.

  1. A single pip targets the center zone of a 3x3 area.
  2. Two pips target the center zone, and one of the four diagonal corners. On a 4x4 map, the diagonal will be the one closest to the outer boundary of the map - filling the map with 2s would form an “X”.
  3. Three pips target the center zone and two of the four diagonals, forming a line. On a 4x4 map, the lines are perpendicular to the outermost corners - filling the map with 3s would form a diamond shape.
  4. Four pips fill the four diagonal zones of the 3x3 area.
  5. Five pips fill the center and four diagonal zones.
  6. Six pips fill either the left- and right-most zones, or the top- and bottom-most zones - pick the alignment however you wish.

Using 4x4 AOE Effects

You roll from 1 to 4 dice. You can assign the dice to one of the four portions of the map. Instead of rolling, you can also just pick a result.

When 4x4 AOE effects come into play, their presence can be telegraphed before the effect actually lands. Let the players know an effect is active, and where it’ll land. Have the effect actually land one round later (e.g. if a boss is creating the effect, it should happen during the boss’s next action). This gives characters a chance to move out of the way.

Characters in a single zone are only affected once, no matter how many times the zone would be targeted.

Interactive Tool