. For General Material, Amber Diceless RPG, Tri-Stat / Big Eyes, Small Mouth, (Original) Marvel Super Heroes, GURPS, Godlike, Star Wars d6, World Tree, Rolemaster, Magic The Gathering: The RPG, Baba Yaga, and various other games, see “Other Games”. There just isn’t enough material for them to justify their own headings yet.


RPG Design:


Battletech Level Four



Welcome to the Emergence Campaign: Character basics and Allowable Character Cheese

Characters and Templates

Major Groups:

Champions Timeline:

General Champions Material:

Session Logs: Compiled Earlier Sessions. Session 1: The Regathering. Session 2: The Children of Chaos. Session 3: Castles In The Sky. Session 4: Crash Go The Castles. Session 5: When Dinosaurs Ruled The Garden Maze. Session 6: Trick Or Death. Session 7 Part I: Legal Sorcery. Session 7 Part II: Getting Schooled. Session 8: Darius Metaxis, the Castellan. Session 9: The Mandate-Mexican War. Session 10: The Deeper Shadows. Session 11: Baked Alaska. Session 12: Into The Depths. Session 13: Try, Try Again. Session 14: The Lists Unlimited. Session 15: Castle of Black Sand. Sessions 16-17: The Tokyo Terrors, The Gates of Light. Session 17 Coda: Lycanthropic Coda. Session 18: Between Enlightenment and Darkness. Session 19: The War of Souls. Session 20: A Spirit of Mischief. Session 21: Wherefur Art Thou. Session 22: The Golden Daze of Siberia. Session 23: A Wind from the East. Session 24: Trials and Tribulations. Session 25: Within the Kremlin. Session 26-27: Six Weeks of Chaos. Sessions 28-29: It’s Not My Fault, It Was The Ninja’s Sister’s Husband. Session 30: Trials and Tentacles and Bears, Oh My. Sessions 31-32: Ride the Whirlwind. Session 33: Nor Iron Bars a Cage. Session 34: The Faerie Queen, Sessions 35-36: A Sea of Troubles, The Fall of Manchow, Session 37: The Bamboo Fox. Session 38: Murder at the Museum.  Session 39: The Little Ice Age. Sessions 40 and 41: The Spirit FIsher and the Barque of Ra. Sessions 42 and 43: The Return of SETI and Homeland Security. Session 44: The Raving Maniacs. Sessions 45, 46, and 47. Gates of Darkness, The Unquiet Realm, The Akhasic Plane.  Session 48; The Cyborg and the Fox. Session 49; And From the Darkness Light. Session 49a. The Codex Draconis.


d20 Material:

. All of our campaigns use the point-buy rules from Eclipse: The Codex Persona and the magic design rules from The Practical Enchanter (both available via the links below). It’s the only d20 character-creation and power book we’ve needed in quite awhile – and none of the local players are willing to use anything else any more anyway – so all of the various characters, races, and templates listed under the general d20 or specific campaign settings are suitable as sample designs. Since Eclipse is fully compatible with 3.0, 3.5, Modern, Future, and many other d20 products, there should be something here for most d20 gamers.

Eclipse Classless d20 Character Construction Cribsheet

The Books We Use:


Twilight Isles Setting:


Shandar Campaign

. Shandar was the original test setting for Eclipse: The Codex Persona. As such, the players were allowed to go hog-wild with their builds. They needed to: the place was incredibly lethal.

  • Shandar: The Fallen World. An introduction – History, the World, the Balefire of the Cinghalum, Glowstone, and Languages.
  • Starting Areas. A selection of starting locations, with the advantages, disadvantages, and usual character types for each.
  • Glowstone Alchemy: the Basics (including the benefits and costs of using Glowstone) and the Items – for when you want to introduce radioactive temptation into your world.

Ironwinds Campaign

Atheria Campaign

Sample Characters:

Atheria Background Material:


Darkweird Campaign

Sample Characters:

Campaign Character Design Sheet. The restrictions and bonuses which apply to all Darkweird characters.


Cemar Campaign Setting:

Thera Campaign Setting:

  • The Book of Thoth: The count of ages, the great cycle, the prophecy, and the relationships between the elements, races, gods, and powers of Thera
  • The Runelord Epic Class and the Epic Hero Class. Thera’s two possible epic paths – the Path of Godhood and the Path of Exaltation.
  • Channeling Exotic Forces. Rules for channeling order, chaos, fire, transformation, and many other forces beyond positive and negative energy.
  • Magical Basics. Rules for Mana, acquiring and casting spells, using items, the Rule of Three, and working circle and rune magic on Thera.
  • ShuKenja. The spell-improvising wizard-priests of the eastern empire


Legend of the Five Rings

. Characters: Asahina Ninsei (child prodigy fire shugenja),  Neko Miyako (cat clan skillmaster), Tamori Kochige (shugenja-sumo wrestler), Toku Najite, a very high-ranking Monkey Clan Bushi,  Smoke Balamada, Senpet Heka Mage (The Heka Magic rules, along with a lot of other stuff, can be found in the Campaign Handout PDF), Bayushi Michio, Phoenix-Schooled Scorpion Bushi, back in the days when he was only extremely deadly, rather than a menace to the structure of reality,  Ambir Ryuko, A Dragon-Shapeshifter, and Bayushi Sakura, a Tainted Scorpion Bushi.

How to build an Asura or Deva character (towards the bottom of the entry), along with a quick list of (and a few notes on) the Asuras and Devas encountered so far.

. Maps and Locations: Rokugan Area Map, Rokugan World Map, and a much-improved Rokugan World Map (at least the way it is in Tales of the Sunrise), Toshi Ranbo Circa 1124 Information and Full Scale Map,  Alex’s Fief Information and Full Scale Map, and Naga Forest Map Key.

. Schools: The Guardians of Traitor’s Grove, Master of the Hidden Mountain, Tiger Clan Sohei, Ivory Kingdoms Geisha School, the Mandate of Heaven School of Rulership, Yobanjin Spirit Binders, Meishou Shokunin Master Smith Bushi School, the Spellstorm School and Technique, Jade Guardian Monk School, Iron Guardian YojimboYodatai Scout School, the Taimushifuto Mugen (Timewarping Dream) Courtier School, the Munashii Ji / Volgaren Merenae Void Manipulation Courtier School.the Ivory Kingdoms Geomancer School the Secrets of the Elders school of age, the Chikao Ronin Commander/Administrator School, the Demon Mirage Ivory Kingdoms School, Techynics, the Recondite Weave school of gaijin void magic, the Pre-Imperial Hadai Knight School, the Mountain Heart School of Earth Magic, a Ronin/Nezumi Technician School, the Ivory Kingdoms Meditations of Unity School, The Ivory Kingdoms Rahu-Ketu School of the Midnight Sun (a school for light and shadow magic), the Ivory Kingdoms Dheramada School (a school for imbuing agents with power), the Walking Dream (Nezumi) Courtier School, the City of Jewels Evil Grand Vizier School, Hosfera Madrase Old Yodatai Divine School (beast-archery), Merenae Morgantha “Ninja” Courtier School, the Sparrow Clan Calligraphy School, Sagmahi Kashti Madrase old Yodata Divine School (far-traveling), Thunderbolt Blade Bushi SchoolTimeless Wanderer Bushi School (for planar travelers), the Fox Clan Temple Administrator Courtier School, and Capsule discriptions of twenty-one other Ivory Kingdom Schools. Also, the Cheese Wheel Schools – or “How to get Techniques without Ranks”.

Background Information:

Player Contributions:

Campaign Log: Compiled (Pre-Blog) Sessions, Vortex of Time Series, Part 1, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Firestorm Series, Interludes, The Phoenix Debates, The Borderlands of Twilight, The Drunkard’s Walk, The Rise of Fu Leng Series, The Clan Wars Series, The Bloodsword Legacy I, The Bloodsword Legacy IIThe Clan War Sequence IIThe Clan War OpeningsThe Planar WarThe Tomb of the RakashaThe Twisted Ways Part I, Sessions 87-89, Session 90Session 91Sessions 92-93Sessions 94-95Sessions 96-97Sessions 98-99Sessions 100-101,. To make things easier to find, here is the Session Titles Index – with session log crosslinks and upper karma limits for new or replacement characters.


Other Games

General Material:

  • Magic the Gathering – the RPG. This was originally designed as a submission to WOTC, but they were uninterested in any submissions related to M:TG. The system stretches d20 to the limit, since it uses magic cards as character attributes – but since the playtesters have let the draft files out, here it is. Who knows? Maybe Wizards of the Coast will see it and decide to pick it up after all (not likely, but we reserve any commercial rights that may apply just in case). Still, the playtesters had a lot of fun with it, and – for personal use in its current form – it’s entirely free.
  • Useful Exotics. This list of Exotic Plants and Animals includes a bonus set of Organic Power Armor. While it was originally designed for Rifts, most of the list is pretty rules-light, so it should be useful in almost any game.
  • Michael’s Diary. Michael was a junior-superhero character in a campaign a bit more than twenty years ago now. but he – and his friends – are still good examples of characters who grew, changed, and suffered a variety of traumas over the course of a game.
  • The Corruption of Power: How does power corrupt and what can be done to prevent it?
  • Shadows in the Twilight, Walking: Magic through history.
  • Continuum II Ceremonial Magic – a general system for classical ceremonial and ritual magic, suitable for use in a variety of settings and game systems.
  • Small Changes and Large Changes: How various racial modifications may – or may not – affect society.
  • The Basic Adventure: a basic guide for game masters.
  • The Samurai Western: a guide to transferring plots.
  • The Elements of Magic: things to consider when creating a magic system.
  • Role Playing Game Design Part I: a general look at designing tabletop RPG’s, using L5R as an example.
  • We Three Jarls: a fantasy version of a classic christmas carol.
  • Deep Healing: Magical Mental Therapy from an old campaign.
  • Enchanting Spells: A general set of spells for making magical items.
  • Mild Insanities for Slightly-Cracked (yet playable) characters.
  • Battling the Balanced Encounter: The advantages and disadvantages thereof.
  • Shamanism, the Agnostic Faith: Playing classical Shamans, and why they make near-ideal characters.
  • Cliff Notes for the 1940’s: how to make a 1940’s-1950’s setting convincing.
  • Features of Victorian Settings: the basic characteristics of a Victorian-style world.
  • The Merrow Mansion: A base, haunted house of sorcerers, and mini-campaign setting.
  • Malavon Player’s Handout: Everything which ought to go into a basic world background handout.
  • Wild Dawn, a quick-and-simple RPG for pick-up games.
  • Exotic Compounds: Vidan (a drug which breaks down mental barriers), Kos and Narhan (a sensory amplifier and a regeneration-inducer), M’ram (a stimulant), Denila (a metabolic stabalizer),  Zashin (A drug that extends the user’s mind into other dimensions).
  • The Magical Languages of the Twilight Isles: The unusual effects of languages. Eclipse d20 mechanics, but not much of them
  • Mythology and the World: How people use mythology to relate to reality today.
  • Civilization On The Rocks: Remember the old Civilization boardgame? Probably not? Well, now you can have whimsical house rules for a game that most people have completely forgotten…
  • Dragonspawn: The Dragonchild Campaign Frontspiece.


Tri-Stat System / Big Eyes, Small Mouth: (El-Hazard Setting)


Classic Marvel Super Heroes Role Playing Game:

  • Dark Future Setting: It’s 2053, the world is a post-apocalyptic disaster area, and you’re a superhero… Mostly non-system specific.
  • Dark Future Characters. Other residents of the Dark Future and additional background.
  • Kriegspiel & Kalrith. A centaur and his dragon, along with their world and species backgrounds.
  • New Base Equipment Packages. For when you want to install some special equipment in your base.
  • New Skills and Talents. For the original Marvel FASERIP system.
  • Shadowguard– a low-powered superhero group including their equipment, Voltaire, Le Fey, Whisper, Cheshire, Shillelagh, Flux, and The Toad – a bonus opponemt. Here we also have Voltaire broken out by himself.
  • Knight-Errant Smart Uniforms: Clothes that every well-dressed hero should be wearing.
  • Darkwolf: An alien lupinoid hero, with his species background and other information.
  • .


World Tree Role Playing Game:

  • New Magical Techniques. Four minor magical techniques for the World Tree. Binding with Telepathy, Binding with Time, Flicker Casting, and Talismongering.
  • Advanced Great Enchantment. Additional rules for Great Enchantment.
  • Vancian Magic in World Tree. A PDF download for better formatting. For primes who learn a little off-tree magic.
  • Attribute Enhancement. How to accomplish one of the more common World Tree requests, whether by Spell, Enchantment, Training, or Buying Advantages.
  • Arden’s Spells. A modest selection of Ardenharius Sen Thrachten Philosos’ – a World-Tree Rassimell –  spell research results, in particular some of the ones used to manipulate and enhance other spells.
  • Yahoo Group Archives. The archived posts, logs, and .pdf file contents of the defunct Yahoo World Tree group. There’s some interesting material in there, along – of course – with a lot of stuff that’s totally out of date.
  • World Tree, available directly from from Padwolf Publishing or through Amazon.Com, is an excellent RPG system, with an innovative magic system and a creative and intriguing world. Sadly, it never attracted much attention.
  • Advanced Spellbinding is for when those pesky player character just have be experimentive, and start asking “What happens when I try (doing something weird)?” At least for Spellbinding, here are some rules for telling them.
  • Here’s a (severely condensed) version of the old Campaign Log. If anybody wants any more details on particular events, ask: I’ll look in the old notes and see what I can recall.
  • d20 World Tree: The Prime Races and Special Abilities from World Tree for d20.
  • The Distant Voyager: An exploratory airship, and how it was equipped and used.
  • Ivarell “The Nose”: A Cani Henchmen of the original player characters.
  • Noun Isomers: The properties of higher-order materials.



  • Aetherial Ways: a spell list for Rolemaster (and for swiping ideas from for other games).
  • Secretarial Ways: another Rolemaster spell list to swipe bits from – and some of the most practical bits of magic that any diplomat could have.
  • Arcane Healing: A spell list  designed to let you get along WITHOUT a healing specialist.


Amber Diceless Role Playing Game:


Baba Yaga: The Secret War:

Baba Yaga is a compact universal RPG, with a default setting of the WWII partisian resistance movements in the Ukraine – and just a bit of magic to give the player-characters a better chance against overwhelming German forces.


Second Edition AD&D:




Star Wars d6:


    Call of Cthulhu:


    • Cliff Notes for the 1940’s: how to make a 1940’s-1950’s setting convincing.
    • Rules for Quirks: minor bits of madness for your characters.
    • Sample Characters: Jason Carpenter (middle of article), an immortal earth mage, Father Joseph, a priest who shelters refugees and resistance fighters (along with an optional rule for Concentration), Asteraoth, a youngster who can project his mind across the world, Fornemjarnulf and Gullsmed, a pair of scandanavian resistance fighters – a psychic cyborg and a mystical artificier, Les Tenebres, either a crazed french college professor or an immortal medeival sorcerer (along with a rule for General Talent Experience), The Celestial Voyager,  a living space-probe and gravatic manipulator, Earthworks, a TOG Commando who specializes in staying under cover, Dybbuk, a death-camp and massacre survivor who believes that he is dead – and calls up the dead to take their vengeance, Nonoma, a young amerindian warrior and spirit of thunder, Adamantine, a very laid-back – and almost indestructible – infantryman, Carnage, a petty thief turned soldier with a most destructive ability, Nahualli, a mexican jaguar-warrior and priest of the ancient aztec gods, Peter “Pops” Rundell, a specialist in transport from the home front, De Ville Tailleur, a resistance fighter who proves that clothes really do make the man – or the regiment, Nishanth, a blind Vedic Warrior from India who creates his own darkness, Choir, a youngster with a very valuable musical talent, Regers Tallman, a glider pilot who needs no engine to take his ship into space, The Wanderer, a dimensional traveler, Lebenszyklus: A biologist and genetic manipulator, and Carrista: A youngster and his pet tank.
    • Deathwish – an example of a power that should never be allowed (at the end of the article).
    • Sorcery, and how to build it.


    Continium II:

    . Continium II is a project that’s been kicking around for many years now: since the system is modular, and most of it could be slotted into many other games, I’m starting to put up the system. Some of the old players may feel nostalgic.


    In Nomine:





    • The Wanderer: A deceptive “survey vessel” for special agents. With autocad layout.

    It Came From The Late Late Late Show:


    Tales From The Floating Vagabond Material:


    Shadowrun / Earthdawn


    White Wolf Games

    World of Darkness:

    • Timeline. A unified timeline for Vampire, Werewolf, Wraith, Changeling, Mage, Mummy, Gypsy, and a selection of the other World of Darkness supplements.
    • Point Buy Rules. A condensed universal system (in PDF form) for all the Storyteller System and World of Darkness character types, including Heroic Humans, Occultists, Thaumaturgists, Aeon Trinity Psychics, Gypsies, Cyborgs, Demon-Hunters, Holy Men, Martial Artists, Werewolves, Gurahl, Bastet, Mokole, Vampires, Mages, Mummies, Fey, Changelings, Revenants, Immortals, Superheroes (Novas and Aberrents), Hengeyokai, Kuei-Jin, Mythic Creatures, Demons, Angels, Exalted, Scions, Shih, Highlanders, Fomori, and so on. You’ll still need the setting books of course.
    • Psychic Powers. This covers all forms of “fast” numina, including Totem Magic, Nymic Magic, and several other forms.
    • The Force be with Garou. How to make Garou who think they’re Jedi Knights, “Highlander”-style “Immortals”, and so on.
    • A list of Merits, both Generic and Specific, for the World of Darkness Point-Buy Rules.
    • Deadlands to Exalted Conversions: Characters and Magic,  Bestiary.
    • The Minions of the Dimensional Auditors (AKA “When Dice Attack”).
    • Mild Insanities for Slightly-Cracked (yet playable) characters.
    • Richard Mc’Andrew, Vampire – and his Acquaintances, Ether Flyer, assorted Equipment Packages (including the justly-valued Vampire Survival Pack), a new Discipline, assorted items of Special Gear, and a brief history.
    • New Thaumaturgy Paths for Vampires.
    • McAndrew’s Notebooks I: Garou Genetics, Curing Metis, and Regenerative Mechanisms.
    • Egyptian-Themed Rites for Garou and Thaumaturges.
    • Sunheart – and unusual Locus and some related rites.
    • Gifts from Astral Spirits – again, with an Egyptian theme.


    • The Dualistic Exalted. These are designed for dimension-hopping, or lower-powered, Exalted games. They’re reasonably formidable, but no match for an army, and can fairly readily be opposed by a group of experienced mortals or a couple of dragonblooded without massive delving into charm combos.
    • Zareth Elaris, a sample dualistic exalt and master thaumaturgist.
    • Sergeant Jack Rackham: A dimensional wanderer from modern earth and a sample dualistic exalted.
    • Charles’s Diary. Including a brief summary of the history between Creation and the Modern World, as well as an account of events in our first Exalted: Modern game.
    • Modern Solar Charms. Including vehicle, computer, and firearms charms for modern-setting Exalted games (Formatted PDF version available HERE)
    • Advanced Exalted Thaumaturgy. A drastically-expanded system for first-edition Exalted thaumaturgy. Also suitable as a complete magical system for lower-powered white-wolf mechanic games.
    • Exalted Artifact Creation. An artifact design-and-creation system.
    • Hearthstones: Some new Hearthstones for Exalted.
    • Exalted Grimoire: A selection of new Spells for Exalted.
    • The History of the Exalted Cosmos – at least according to Charles Dexter Ward.
    • Baba Yaga the Exaltation – adapting rules to your own needs.
    • Modern Weapons: A quick set of modern weapons and armor charts for Exalted.
    • Damage Overwhelming: When you want to know just how much power an Exalted character has, and what the side effects or using it will be like.


    3 Responses

    1. […] a host of other products) also has a roleplaying game that is based on Magic. Mr. Melroy also has a wealth of RPG crunch (covering such disparate topics as Amber, Battletech and Champions) at his blog. […]

    2. I would like to discuss Eclipse with its created (who I believe is you). Can’t find a way to email you so please contact me. Thank you very much!

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