A true fighter is a creature of training and discipline, far beyond wild bar-room brawlings, random flailing, and crude berserker tactics of lesser warriors. For those with eyes to see, the grim beauty of combat is a choreography or death, with opponents not foes but fellow supplicants at a shrine of blood – equally dedicated to the perfection of their art. Death is not to be feared, it waits at the end of every path. What matters at the end of life is whether or not it was well-spent.
Limitations: Fighter tricks require that the user…
- Choose, and adhere to, a warrior code – such as Chivalry, Bushido, or the Paladin’s Code. If he or she fails to live up to that code, his or her Warriors Tricks will fail to work until he or she has again lived up to those standards for at least a month.
- Regularly seek out other weapons-masters and other combat experts to spar against and train under.
- Practice his or her skills for seven hours a week – preferably at least an hour a day. His or her powers will fail to work until any missed practice is made up.
- The Adamant Will. Even mystical forces cannot readily force a true warrior to lay down his or her arms or violate his or her code.
- Elfshot, Specialized and Corrupted for increased effect (may be used as a free action, +4 to save DC) / only works when the user has just struck and injured an opponent, does not work on undead, golems, and other creatures which are immune to critical hits. A dedicated fighter is a master of many tricks; so long as his or her will remains strong and focused, he or she can use “called shots” to attempt to strike blows with effects beyond “points of damage” – inflicting minor penalties to attributes or abilities (within the bounds of the Elfshot ability) if their opponent fails to resist that will-to-destruction.
- Infliction, Specialized for increased effect (may be used as a free action) / only works in conjunction with a successful physical attack. Again, a master of combat may draw upon the strength of his or her convictions to inflict extra damage on a hit – or to extend a successful blow into a sweep that will inflict extra damage upon several nearby opponents.
Advanced Abilities: Bones of Iron (augments physical toughness when active), Essence of Earth (augments constitution when active), and Leaping Fire (augments healing and actions when used). Filled with the strength of their code, a true warrior can push himself or herself beyond the normal limits of physical speed and endurance – surviving injuries which would drop a lesser fighter in their tracks.
Pact: A serious warrior will often take the Spirit pact – making them difficult to raise from the dead – but Quests or Duties are common for those who aren’t quite ready for that level of commitment yet.
A serious Wizard is more than a mere student of the arcane or a mere cunning man. They do not gather fragments of occult lore, individual spells, and rituals at random. The know that the powers they draw upon have structure, and depths, and purposes of their own. There is always a price – and the true paths of power are narrow bridges over a bottomless abyss. High Magic is not a toy. It is not something you can take up and lay aside. It is a not even an achievement to be won. It is a way – and not even the wise can see its ending.
Limitations: Wizard Tricks require that…
- The Wizard describe the source of his or her power – it’s philosophy, purpose, and some opposing forces. Perhaps something like; “In Anharite, untrained magic is considered most dangerous and youngsters who show such talents are sent to train with the priests if their talents are divine, the sages if their talents are lesser (such as bards and adepts), and to the disciplined halls of the Sardath Academe of Magic if their talents are both arcane and greater. There those with greater powers are taught to draw upon the great Lords of Order, that their magic may be used without disrupting the structure of the world.” That gives our Wizard a vulnerability (disturbances among the Lords of Order might inhibit his or her powers, or even result in the Wizards of the Sardath Academe being drawn into some other-planar conflict), some friends and allies, a few old acquaintances, some enemies, a place in society, and a source of information and possible missions. Even if our mage goes renegade, and either deserts or throws in his or her lot with the powers of chaos, it will simply expand the list of enemies.
- Only work if the user can either gesture or speak freely. They’re subject to armor and shield based failure percentages just like arcane magic.
- The Hand of Shadows. While useful in many ways, moving things around is among the simplest of magics, and small animations – simply ongoing telekinetic effects – are little more complicated. True Wizards will master such minor feats early in their apprenticeships.
- Shadowweave. The art of illusion is another versatile field that requires creativity, and a well-trained imagination – but very little actual power. Magical apprentices, who often have plenty of imagination and creativity – if very little power – are wise to spend a good deal of time mastering the art of weaving minor illusions.
- Witchfire. While more power-intensive than the two previous arts, the subtle telekinetic manipulation of molecules allows the creation of heat and cold, of sound to reinforce the image-illusions of Shadowweave, and subtle alchemy – a splendid and useful art for any magus.
Advanced Abilities: Summoning (Specialized/requires a lengthy ritual, but also empowers protective and containment circles and makes agreements binding), Siphon (allows the user to channel any spiritual powers he or she has been granted), and Grounding (drains away supernatural energies – given time). These dangerous abilities allow a true Wizard to summon up spirits and powers – and to attempt to bargain with them. Sadly, while the Grounding discipline allows a Wizard to banish supernatural energies, the ritual of summoning possesses no power to bind the entities it can bring forth.
Pact. Wizard pacts vary considerably; While Guardianship (of some secret, location, or item) is common, so are Missions and (especially) Advertising – in the form of an obligation to recruit and teach more young Wizards, guiding them into the same path.
The basic setup is pretty much the same for all of the “Tricks” packages; buy Witchcraft I and II (gaining a little bit of Power and three basic abilities to spend it on), 3d6 extra Power as Mana, and three Advanced Witchcraft Powers, all Specialized and Corrupted for reduced cost – taking a 36 character point package down to 12 points. With a Pact to reduce the cost by six points (and the efficiency of Witchcraft) you get a very effective power package that only costs six character points or one bonus feat – at least if you don’t count the drawbacks and the pact as a cost.
- A Feat Full of Tricks (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- A Feat full of Tricks, Part II – Clerics (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- “Ghost”, Level One Shadowwalker (ruscumag.wordpress.com)