Monday, June 22, 2009

Profession Tracks for Action Cards High Fantasy

The second part of my Gamemastering NPC series is up over at Fantasy Magazine-- give it a clickthrough if you're generously inclined.

Continuation of yesterday's post looking at the new variations I've made to the Action Cards system-- the second half of the Profession Tracks I developed. You'll notice my liberal borrowing of RM terms (Pure and Semi-spell casters, the idea of realms of magic). I also added in some of the concepts for magic that Sherri developed for her Third Continent RM game-- Willful abilities, Frameworks, Magical Languages. She managed to come up with a set of ideas about magic and the realms that I've pretty much merged into my understanding over the years.

PROFESSION TRACKS (Part Two)
Part One can be found here.

SPELL USER TYPES

Initiate
A Pure spell-caster of the Divine. The character has begun to dedicate themselves to the service of a particular deity and learn those powers. The character must have purchased the Pure spell-caster talent.

Rank One: The Initiate may choose two magic schools. She gains five ranks to divided among them. The character is limited to five schools at up to three ranks in any of them.

Rank Two: The Initiate may choose up to three schools to gain a +1 bump in, as the Natural Adept talent (in the magic section).

Rank Three: The Initiate may choose an additional school and three additional ranks to divide among the schools she knows.

Rank Four: The Initiate has learned to defend his faith. He gains a skill in (Weapon) Attack or Parry. In addition, the Initiate may take a skill in Divine Legends, Ritual, Counseling, or Temple Management.

Rank Five: The Initiate may move up his Social results by one grade on three Fixed cards.

Priest (Initiate, Secondary)
The Priest has walked further down the path of his or her cult, being taught deeper secrets and learning to contact and commune with the forces of the cult's god and that god's allied spirits.

Rank One: The Priest gains +2 wounds.

Rank Two: The Priest may choose a new magic school and gain a rank in it. The character is limited to seven schools at up to four ranks in any of them.

Rank Three: The Priest gains five ranks to distribute among the magic schools she knows.

Rank Four: The Priest may apply a single modifier twice when casting a spell.

Rank Five: The Priest may spend a point of focus to modify the next buff spell he casts. It automatically becomes others, many and selective-- essentially affecting the whole party. These bonus modifiers do not count towards the modifier cap for the spell.

Mystic (Initiate, Secondary)
The Mystic communes with the Spirit Realm, but is less driven towards service to a particular god. She may still be a strong and proud follower of her god, but she has developed abilities dealing with the lesser spirits and their forces.

Rank One: The Mystic may reflexively detect the presence of active spirits in an area. By spending a point of focus, he can determine the presence and nature of bound spirits in an area or item.

Rank Two: The Mystic may choose a new magic school and gain a rank in it. The character is limited to seven schools at up to four ranks in any of them.

Rank Three: The Mystic gains a skill in a magic school of his choice. In addition he gains the talent Strong Will.

Rank Four: The Mystic gains five ranks to distribute among magic schools she knows.

Rank Five: The Mystic gains the ability to use Spirit Matrices at rank one. During a scene, the Mystic may activate a spell in his framework as a free action. Activating a Spirit Matrices spell costs one focus. No casting pull is required, but if the spell is an attack spell, an attack pull is made. Once a spell has been activated, the Mystic must wait until he has prep time to reload the spell in his Spirit Matrices. Spells in Spirit Matrices do not have to be declared ahead of time.

Apprentice
A Pure spell-caster of the Arcane. The character perhaps picked up knowledge from a traveler, served as an apprentice or been trained with a small group. Sorcery and the Arcane carries with in a major stigma in many areas of the continent. The character must have purchased the Pure spell-caster talent.

Rank One: The Apprentice may choose three magic schools. She gains three ranks to be divided among them. The character is limited to five schools at up to three ranks in any of them.

Rank Two: The Apprentice gains three additional ranks to divide among the schools known.

Rank Three: The Apprentice may choose one spell Modifier. This Modifier is considered to apply to all of that character's spells and don't count towards the Rank Limit. Fast may not be taken. This is as the Masterful talent.

Rank Four: The Apprentice has learned that discretion is the better part of valor. He gains a skill in Dodge Melee or Dodge Parry. Additionally he may choose a skill in Magic Lore, Magic Languages, Magical Crafting or Labwork.

Rank Five: The Apprentice may move up his Knowledge results by one grade on three Fixed cards.

Magician (Apprentice, Secondary)

Magicians tend to be elementalists, focused on the basic forms and structures of magic. They focus on casting directed spells and learn how to ready themselves for magical combat.

Rank One: The Magician may choose one school with direct damage effects. He always does +1 damage when casting damage spells from that school.

Rank Two: The Magician may choose a new magic school and gain a rank in it. The character is limited to seven schools at up to four ranks in any of them.

Rank Three: The Magician gains a skill in Spell-Throwing or Spell-Countering. He also gains a skill in a magic school of his choice.

Rank Four: The Magician gains five ranks to distribute among the magic schools he knows.

Rank Five: The Magician gains the ability to use Frameworks at rank one. During a scene, the Magician may activate a spell in his framework as a free action. Activating a Framework spell costs one focus. No casting pull is required, but if the spell is an attack spell, an attack pull is made. Once a spell has been activated, the Magician must wait until he has prep time to reload the spell in his framework. Spells in frameworks do not have to be declared ahead of time.

Enchanter (Apprentice, Secondary)
Enchanters approach magic in a more careful way. They tend to work with objects, runes, sigils and devices. They're skilled at protections and recognizing magical devices.

Rank One: The Enchanter may gain a skill in a magic school of his choice.
Rank Two: The Enchanter may choose a new magic school and gain a rank in it. The character is limited to seven schools at up to four ranks in any of them.

Rank Three: The Enchanter may spend a point of focus to retroactively declare a buff on a piece of his own equipment of that of an ally. This buff lasts for that scene. This is a free action, but may only be done once per scene.

Rank Four: The Enchanter gains +2 wounds. In addition, the Enchanter gains the ability to reflexively delve the magical properties of items without having to cast magic. Depending on the item and its realm, the read may be superficial.

Rank Five: The Enchanter gains five ranks to distribute among magic schools he knows. In addition, when struck by damaging spells from a school he knows, he may reflexively spend a point of focus to give himself DR equal to his in that school. This is a free action, but does require a Knowledge pull to initially activate. The Enchanter must be aware of the attack. This DR lasts a number of rounds equal to the school rank.

Acolyte
A Semi spell-caster of Willfuls. The character has begun deeper and more meditative training to understand his own abilities. He has learned to channel those in new ways.

Rank One: The Acolyte may choose one magic school and gains 2 ranks in it. The character is limited to three schools at up to two ranks in any of them. If unarmored, the Acolyte may spend a point of Focus to give himself +1 Soak/DR and +1 Dodge (Melee or Ranged, choose) for a scene.

Rank Two: The Acolyte gains either a (Weapon) Parry skill or a skill in Dodge-- either Melee or Ranged.

Rank Three: The Acolyte may choose a magic school. He gains 2 ranks in it. He gains an additional wound box.

Rank Four: The Acolyte gains+1 Focus. He also learns the art of Willful Balance. By spending a round of prep, he can give himself cat-like reflexes for a scene, allowing him to walk tightropes, stand on ledges without fail, and keep himself steady against natural events. If persons actively attempt to unbalance him, he gains a +1 bump to associated tests.
Rank Five: The Acolyte may move up his Physical results by one grade on three Fixed cards.

Monk (Acolyte, Secondary)
The Monk has developed his ability to focus his internal power, allowing him to enhance his own abilities. These arts of Internal Alchemy allow him to survive and flourish in harsh conditions.

Rank One: The Monk gains +2 wounds.

Rank Two: The Monk has learned to survive in the harshest of environments-- he becomes more resistant to starvation, extended exposure to the elements, and can go without sleep for longer than the average human being.

Rank Three: The Monk may learn one new magic school. He gains four ranks to distribute among the Schools he knows. The Monk is limited to five schools and up to three ranks in any of them.

Rank Four: The Monk may choose a Combat Style and the associated maneuvers. He is limited to a maximum of two combat styles.

Rank Five: The Monk gains a rank in a new magic school. The Monk learns the art of Willful Quickness. He may spend a point of focus to activate this ability. On following rounds, he may spend a point of Focus to act twice in the round-- once on his normal action and again at the end of the round.

Seer (Acolyte, Secondary)
The Seer has developed his perceptions and senses to an extraordinary level. He connects with the world on a different level, able to sense the ebb and flows of fate and chance.

Rank One: The Seer gains a skill in a magic school of his choice.

Rank Two: The Seer learns the art of Willful Perception. By spending a point of focus he may sense effectively in total darkness, in smoke or fog, or even while blinded. This lasts for a scene.

Rank Three: The Seer may learn one new magic school. He gains four ranks to distribute among the Schools he knows. The Seer is limited to five schools and up to three ranks in any of them.

Rank Four: The Seer has mastered the art of Willful Intuition. He may spend Drama points not just for himself, but also for his fellow players or even NPCs. Additionally, when faced with a set of apparently equally valid choices (such as a set of locked doors), he may spend a point of focus to gain a bump towards the most advantageous choice (as per the old Gurps Intuition advantage).

Rank Five: The Seer may choose a Combat Style and the associated maneuvers. He is limited to a maximum of two combat styles. The Seer gains +2 wounds.

Layman
A character who has begun to explore deeper service to their deity, but combines that dedication with other skills and talent. Paladins and the like begin on this track. The character must have purchased the Semi spell-caster talent.

Rank One: The Layman may choose one magic school and gains 2 ranks in it. He also gains the Strong Will talent. The character is limited to three schools at up to two ranks in any of them.

Rank Two: The Layman may take a (Weapon) Attack skill of their choice.

Rank Three: The Layman may choose a magic school. He gains 2 ranks in it. He may also add +1 Wound box.

Rank Four: The Layman may choose a Combat Style. He may have up to two Combat Styles.

Rank Five: The Layman may move up either a Combat or Social result by one grade on one Fixed cards. He gains +2 wounds and a skill in a magic school.

Dervish (Layman, Secondary)
The Dervish focuses on movement and perception in combat. The channel their energies to make themselves blindingly fast and more difficult to hit. They've mastered how to distract opponents in order to defeat or evade them.

Rank One: After a successful blow, the Dervish may reposition himself and his opponent in the same relative area, spinning the combat to change the facings of both combatants (still facing each other, but spun within the 360 degree imaginary arc).

Rank Two: The Dervish gains a skill in Dodge Melee or Dodge Ranged.

Rank Three: The Dervish may learn one new magic school. He gains four ranks to distribute among the Schools he knows. The Holy Warrior is limited to five schools and up to three ranks in any of them.
Rank Four: The Dervish may choose a Combat Style and the associated maneuvers. He is limited to a maximum of three combat styles.

Rank Five: The Dervish may spend a point of focus to negate an incoming attack on himself. The attack still happens, but the Dervish manages to dodge, dance or twirl out of the way. The attack will not hit another person, but might cause environmental effects depending on the cleverness of the character. This negation must be declared before the attack pull is made.

Holy Warrior (Layman, Secondary)
The Holy Warrior has learned to channel the blessings of his cult for their defense. He can smite his enemies and use his knowledge of his rites to supplement his weapons and armor.

Rank One: The Holy Warrior gains +2 wounds.

Rank Two: The Holy Warrior may spend a point of focus to empower his armor. This raises the number needed to do wounds to him by one for the scene. This effect may be dispelled.

Rank Three: The Holy Warrior may choose a Combat Style and the associated maneuvers. He is limited to a maximum of two combat styles.

Rank Four: The Holy Warrior may learn one new magic school. He gains four ranks to distribute among the Schools he knows. The Holy Warrior is limited to five schools and up to three ranks in any of them.

Rank Five: When fighting cult enemies (the Undead, Chaos, or specific faiths), The Holy Warrior may perform a Smite at the cost of one focus. All damage dice which would be normally rolled are converted directly to damage.

Dabbler
A Semi spell-caster of the Arcane A character who has picked up a few bits and tricks about Arcane spell-casting. He may have learned some simple spells from adventurers or found discussion of an odd path. He combines this eclectic knowledge with other talents. The character must have purchased the Semi spell-caster talent.

Rank One: The Dabbler may choose one magic school and gains 2 ranks in it. He also gains a skill with Sleight of Hand, Holdout or Fast Talk. The character is limited to three schools at up to two ranks in any of them.
Rank Two: The caster may opt to take a wound instead of a fatigue point from casting as with the Deep Channel talent.

Rank Three: The Dabbler may choose a magic school. He gains 2 ranks in it. He may also raise one result on a card.

Rank Four: The Dabbler may choose one Combat Style and the associated elements. He is limited to two combat styles.

Rank Five: The Dabbler may move up a Combat or Knowledge result by one grade on one Fixed card. The Dabbler gains a skill in either Dodge Melee or Dodge Ranged. He also gains a skill in a magic school of his choice.

Spellblade (Dabbler, Secondary)
The Spellblade focuses on using his arcane talent to boost and amplify his signature weapon. He's able to reflexively call the forces of the elements to amplify his abilities and attacks.

Rank One: The Spellblade gains +2 wounds.

Rank Two: The Spellblade's empowering of his weapon gives him +1 to damage done with that weapon.

Rank Three: The Spellblade may choose a Combat Style and the associated maneuvers. He is limited to a maximum of two combat styles.

Rank Four: The Spellblade may learn one new magic school. He gains four ranks to distribute among the Schools he knows. The Spellblade is limited to five schools and up to three ranks in any of them.

Rank Five: The Spellblade may spend a point of focus to grant his weapon elemental properties for a scene. This reduces the number needed to do damage by one. As well, the Spellblade may choose one of the following effects when first activating this ability: Fire-- can be used to ignite objects and target must test against blinding effect; Ice-- freezing makes target test against unbalancing; Lightning-- ignores DR/Soak for metal armor; or Earth-- stronger damage to inanimate objects and successful hits reduce target's DR by one.

Mountebanc (Dabbler, Secondary)
The Mountebanc has studied the arts of deception and trickery in his spellcasting. He can disguise his own magical aura and cover his true nature easily. His skills lend themselves to more practical matters, rather than combat exclusively.

Rank One: The Mountebanc can Feign Death by spending a point of focus. While in such a state, he appears dead to all non-magical analysis. The Mountebanc remains aware of his surroundings, although they may be a little hazy. It takes a minute to come out of the state. A Mountebanc may remain in this state for a number of hours equal to the total number of spell ranks he has. When he emerges from the state his hunger and other bodily needs will assert themselves.

Rank Two: The Mountebanc may spend a point of focus to disguise his spell signature. When casting his spells will not have the normal odd feeling given off by arcane magic. This lasts for one scene.

Rank Three: The Mountebanc may learn one new magic school. He gains four ranks to distribute among the Schools he knows. The Mountebanc is limited to five schools and up to three ranks in any of them.

Rank Four: The Mountebanc gains Mastery over the Subtle spell modifier.

Rank Five: The Mountebanc is Fleet of Foot, allowing him to move an extra two yards in combat. He also gains a skill in a magic school of his choice. He also gains a skill in Sleight of Hand, Begging or Pickpocket.