← tears of joy
Fits better imo
Alright so here’s the last bit of character info I was holding onto. Himiko’s summoning and Amelia’s backstory.
Apologies if there are typos
A Chance Encounter
She scrubbed the stone floor in a dark basement lit by four candles at precise positions. A repetitive motion, back and forth, back and forth, wring out the cloth, back and forth, back and forth. It was hypnotizing in a way, but not enough. Not enough to for her to forget the red water she wrung out, not enough for her to forget how much of an idiot she was.
Back and forth, back and forth, wring out the cloth, back and forth, back and forth.
“What did you expect Amelia? You knew what they were for,” she scolds herself. It was a habit, you were always doing something wrong so if no one was there to scold you you often found yourself taking up the task. Repetition built a healthy lifestyle, it also bred bad habits. She chuckles to herself, “Bad habits.”
Back and forth, back and forth, wring out- CRACK
The basin broke. Of course the basin broke just as she was about to finish. She moves to a nearby cupboard and grabs a new basin, then to another to grab fresh clothes to soak up the spilled fluid, and yet another for fresh soap. “Everything has to be orderly, can’t put all the shit you need in the same place can you Mother Francesca?” She looks up briefly, “Sorry big guy, but cut me some slack alright? Today is… not fun.” When are they ever?
She sets back to the task of cleaning up. It hasn’t had time to dry so thankfully this time it’s faster. Ten minutes later she’s dumping the dirty water outside when she feels a thud against her head, it’s sharp, ring-shaped, and very familiar.
“Sorry Amelia,” a voice taunts from above, “we were cleaning the stage prop and I lost my grip. Can you bring it back when you get a minute?”
She doesn’t even bother looking up, nor feeling to find what the object is that has landed atop her head is. She knows, the Abbey regularly puts on plays of the crucifixion and it has become rather common for the other Sister to find a way to pinch her with what she imagine is a surprisingly accurate reproduction of the Crown of Thorns.
Literally dropping it on her head was a new one though, “Yes Sister Ezra, I shall bear your sins until I have a moment to return them back to you.” It’s not her best retort, but it would have to do as she quickly turns and leaves back down into the cellar. One last thing and this day could finally end.
She slams the door to the cellar, cutting herself off from any replies and walks over to a basket in the corner. She knows she shouldn’t, it’ll only make her sad again, but she looks down as the three dead rabbits in the bag. Sacrifices for the Summoning the church was attempting to perform.
Correction: The failed Summoning the church had attempted to perform.
As she stares down into the basket her vision blurs and then leave entirely as she forces her eyes shut. For several minutes only ragged breathing and the soft patter of water on matted fur can be heard in the room. I know! I know it’s stupid! But someone has to care, someone has to mourn them!
“My friends, I hope you can live a happy life now,” she hiccups as she chuckles, “in whatever version of Heaven bunnies go to.”
She feels a pair of hands touch her shoulders, “You really are too kind sometimes my dear.”
She immediately whirls around and looks up into the face of her mentor in the Executors, “Father Jonathan! I didn’t know you were back!”
Father Jonathan was a tall bald man with a wide frame, he was often mistaken for an overweight priest which was how he claimed to prefer it as “Mages who run because they think they can get away are much easier to cut down then Mages that fight back.” He was the man who had inducted her into the Executors and encouraged her to train her innate Magical talent.
He took the basket from her, “Why do you do this to yourself Amelia? You have to know they’ll never thank you for it.”
She shrugged, “It needed to be done. They all think Magic is a taint on the spirit. I’m already tainted so I have nothing to lose.”
“Fools! The lot of them! One person bears the burdens of their sins, bears the taint of Magecraft for the good of the church and they scorn her!” He shakes his head angrily, “They should thank you for your sacrifice! We are all tools in service to our Lord God, no one of us is any less for it.”
She nodded. She had once thought Father Jonathan might be a friend as well as a mentor, but while he would never criticize her, he also never thought of her as a person. Largely because he thought of no one as a person, but it was still a wall that prevented them from getting any closer. It was best to just remain silent and let him continue, if she riled him up more he would publicly denounce those judging her and end up making things far worse. She would rather just go on another mission. Yes I would still be alone, but at least it would be by choice.
“Father,” she interrupted him, “I appreciate the sentiment, but I should finish up before the next attempt tonight.”
Father Jonathan nodded enthusiastically, “Of course my dear. Such a wonderful Sister you are, always helping, always furthering the cause! I shall do my part too and dispose of this garbage for you.” Before she can reply he’s out, the door swinging shut behind him.
She moves to the cupboards silently, closing them one-by-one, replaces the candles, redraws the chalk and once everything is back in place… She yells, throws the crown, tears off her crucifix, and collapses in a heap on the floor.
She had wanted to bury them. A simple, silly desire. Father Jonathan had meant nothing by it, he was genuinely trying to help, but he had called them garbage. She had cared for them, fed them, they had made her smile, but they were garbage. It wasn’t fair, but he wasn’t wrong either. They were dead, they had served their purpose and were no longer of use. So they were garbage.
Repeat after me. “I am a Servant of God. I am a tool, a weapon to be used to further his Divine Glory. I serve the church for this reason and this reason alone. I swear this oath to Heaven to purge all Sin and Wickedness, I am a Protector of the Faith, a weapon of the Holy Trinity.” And weapons need not think, they need not weep, they need only obey
She sits there for long moments, composing herself before finally pushing herself to stand. As she places a hand to the ground it comes into contact with the circle and suddenly it lights-up and a loud CRACK fills the room with sound as a bolt of lightning slams from the ceiling into the ground and freezes there.
A moment later a figure emerges from the bolt of lightning with long black hair, wearing a loose tunic and not much else. She looks around and spots the young woman on the floor. “I am the Queen of Yamatai, Himiko. The mediator of the distant world over the seas and the shrine maiden of light. May my oracle open your path…” She looks down at herself and scratches her face in embarrassment, “Guess I don’t much look the part do I? Well, can’t be helped.”
She reaches out a hand, “You really shouldn’t sit on the floor.” When Ameila takes her hand the woman pulls her into a fierce hug, “And you should never have to cry alone.”
An hour later the pair is found by the head-priest as he comes to check on the preparations. He’s shocked to discover they’ve been successful, turns out all they needed was for someone with the proper Magic Circuits to perform the ritual, or at least that’s what Himiko tells them. She also tells them to fix the leak in the roof that made her tunic so wet, to which the priest is confused as it had not rained in at least a week…
A Foregone Conclusion
Himiko nods and yawns, “Yep. Something’s wrong with this Holy Grail War so I’ve been summoned to restore order. Can I go now?”
The Head Priest frowns, “The last Holy Grail War was an unmitigated catastrophe! Why was a Ruler not summoned then?”
“It’s entirely possible one was, but they may have been unsuccessful. In truth I don’t know, all I do know is why I’m here now. So can I go?”
Amelia had never seen someone flaunt the Head Priest’s authority so effectively, but then again she’d never experienced anything quite like this Servant. She doubted anyone else in the room could sense how powerful she truly was, then again maybe they can and that’s why no one’s challenging her.
The Head Priest slapped the table with a bony hand, “No! Not until you explain how you expect to do this! We can’t let such vital information elude us!”
She holds up her arm, “Command Seals. I have eight of them. I can make them comply with me, even force them to commit suicide if I have no other choice. Of course all this is dependent on me getting there before things get bad so can I leave?”
“Ruler,” Father Jonathan chimes in, “you have to understand that we simply want to help protect the people and we can’t do that if we don’t know what’s going on. Perhaps we could persuade you to take one of us with you?”
“Oh is that all?” She looks happy and points directly at Amelia, “I pick her! Can I go now?”
“The hellspawn?” The Head Priest shouts incredulously, “Why in the Seven Hells would you choose her? What’s she even doing here? This is a private meeting!”
Indeed it was. The Head Priest wouldn’t dare to so openly lose his composure in front of his congregation, but with just Amelia and Father Jonathan in the room he need not hold back. The man had no love for Executors and the two in the room with him were probably the strongest Executors currently in France. The fact that Amelia could also use Magic just increased how frequently she experienced his outbursts.
Father Jonathan rubbed his brow, “She summoned Ruler, Sir. We thought it prudent to bring her along.”
“Also I like her,” Himiko spoke up, “so she stays, but feel free to leave if you’re uncomfortable. Better yet, I’ll leave and take her with me!”
“Ruler,” Father Jonathan pleaded again, “we just need more information. What’s happened? How dangerous is it? How do you intend to stop it? That kind of thing.”
She thinks for a moment, “Don’t know until I get there, don’t know until I get there, and probably punch it until it stops. In that order. Questions done? Does she have bags to pack or can we just head to the nearest train station?”
Amelia raised her hand, “You said you’re here to stop the Servants and their Masters from going out of control right? What happens if you go out of control?”
Himiko looks genuinely surprised, “Never thought of that.”
“Why would you?” The priest somehow yells in exasperation, “You’ve literally been summoned to stop that kind of thing from happening!”
“But Servants can be corrupted can’t they?” Amelia asks. In her studies to further her magic and better her skills as an Executor she had been encouraged to read many documents and testimonies normally considered heretical. “The Second Holy Grail War descended into chaos because a Master discovered a way to inject his Servant’s essence into other Servants, forcing them to become unwitting puppets. The resulting paranoia among the remaining Masters caused them to kill anyone they thought might be a threat.”
Himiko looked up at the two, now silent, Priests, “Any other questions as to my choice of traveling companion or are we done here?”
Six days later they were on a train bound for Fuyuki having successfully made their way across the majority of Europe and Asia in the process. At times by train, at times with Amelia in Himiko’s arms as she was quite often faster than any other means of travel.
They rarely ate and barely slept, but it the moments were still some of the most enjoyable Amelia could recall. They got along well, both head strong, both more prone to acting than talking, but more than that Himiko listened to her. She absorbed her rants, consoled her grief, and at times dried her tears.
They butted heads at times too. Himiko was very open, which conflicted heavily with the more harsh religious doctrine Amelia had been taught. She thought magic was fine, that massacres were “a risk you have to take” for a society. “You can’t let fear run your life Lia,” she had attempted to shorten Amelia’s name to Amy, but quickly learned that was not a battle to be won and had opted for Lia instead. Amelia still didn’t like the name, but Himiko was trying and that was… enough. “You don’t make progress without taking risks.”
Amelia disagreed. Risk is what happened when you didn’t think about the consequences of your actions. “Progress will happen when the time is right. Plowing forward with no concern for the consequences is how cities burn and empires collapse. If you want to take a risk, you should make sure it would make things no worse than if they were left alone.”
Though they would disagree they never truly fought, though Amelia did enjoy seeing Himiko pout from time-to-time. It was cute- No! Bury that! It’s sinful!
Though away from the church, the teachings were always with her, for better or worse.
"Lia, we need to talk, " Himiko said as she shut the door to their cabin and the train began to move. “I used my Noble Phantasm and things don’t look good. We’ll get there right before things go very bad and we have to decide how we approach this.”
Amelia patted the seat beside her, “Sit. We’ll figure it out, we’ve managed so far.”
Himiko chuckled, but sat as instructed, “Little harder than picking which tree to sleep under, Lia. We have two options realistically. We can try to stop my vision from happening directly, but that would put us in the middle of a three-way fight between Servants. Very dangerous, but the risk might be worth the reward if we can prevent this from happening.”
Amelia nodded, “How likely is that?”
“Not very. In the 100 possible futures I saw in only one of them did we actually succeed and it was due as much to luck as skill.”
“And the other option?”
“We setup camp and let some of the Masters come to us. Things will go bad, but our odds are better the more Masters and Servants we can convince to help. My predictions indicate anywhere between 1 and 4 Masters will arrive.”
“But we let people die to improve our odds?”
“What aren’t you telling me?” Amelia stared Himiko directly in the eye. They might have known each other for less than a week, but Himiko was surprisingly easy to read. She was especially bad at all forms of lying, which is why she so often veiled her truths in mysticism.
“Lia…” Himiko began.
"No! Don’t ‘Lia’ me, just tell me, " she chuckled. “I’m a big girl. I can take it.”
Himiko sighed, “In the vision were we stop things from going bad we do so by… shattering my Spirit Core.”
“I would die, Lia.” Himiko interrupts, “Normally when a Spirit Core is destroyed it’s energy is dissipated and absorbed back into the Grail, but I can choose to not let that happen. I can turn myself into a bomb… at the cost of not returning to the Throne ever again.”
It takes a moment for Amelia to realize what that means, “Then we gather allies. It’s more likely to succeed anyway.”
“Lia…” Himiko trails off, but doesn’t continue. Instead she grabs Amelia’s hand and a second later a red flash illuminates the cabin. As it fades Amelia notices one of the Command Seals from Himiko’s arm is gone and on her hand is a single red symbol in the shape of a cross. Before Amelia can speak Himiko puts a finger to her lips, “Just listen. If it ever comes down to it this isn’t something I can do myself. The Grail won’t let me. So please just promise me Lia, promise me if the worst happens you’ll make the right call.”
“This isn’t fair! You can’t just expect me to-”
Himiko puts a finger to her lips again, “It’s not fair to ask this of you, Lia. That much is true, but we all have our roles to play at times, much as we might rage against it. Promise me.”
“Fine,” Amelia replies after a moment, “but it won’t come to it.”
“Thank you. I know you’ll do the right thing Lia. Speaking of which,” she quickly shifts topic, “you never did explain why you hate being called Amy.”
“Because no one has earned the right to call me Ami yet,” Amelia replies.
Himiko doesn’t understand, Amelia doesn’t elaborate.
Thank you, storytellers. Well done.
If there’s a next one, I’d be interested in joining. I’ve never played DnD before, but I’ve seen it being played on TV, and I’ve toyed around with character sheets before. I can get Discord too, if that helps with the logistics.
I do have a couple ideas for further campaigns. Dapper has volunteered, you’d make 2, ideally for an actual full length campaign I’d like 3 players so we can properly balance things for the player side. This was the traditional setting so it was balanced around the player fighting each other, but the other 3 campaign settings I have in mind are all ideally cooperative though I’m a subversive enough GM to admit that may end up tested at times. So more standard party roles would apply.
By that I mean I would need to make sure you’re not all playing DPS or all playing Support, though the new ruleset makes a degree of versatility more likely in the way Spells have become more structured. Of course everyone is still free to make their characters how they want, but if you go into a group encounter with 3 Mental Mages combat is going to end poorly, same if you go into a cloak and dagger scenario with Punch Wizards.
The three settings I have in mind are Dead Apostles(Zombies, but with intelligence essentially), True Ancestors(Vampires, but with strength that would outdo most Servants), & Counter Guardian(Basically normal D&D with a Fate skin, but replace long distance travel with time travel). I recommend you & Dapper wait until I post the updated Ruleset to actually select one as it will help inform your preference.
Version 2: Post 1/3
Basics and Setting
Stat distribution will mostly follow D&D rules. Every 2 points in a stat add an additional +1 to a relevant modifier. However the names of each will be reworked simply to make the transition easier.
Strength remains the same. It is used for attacking with fists as well as applicable weapons. Also used for overcoming restraints. Additionally having a Strength stat of 14 or more gives the Master the option to use their natural strength convince someone through either Intimidation or Confidence. When this is applicable is up to the GM and requires a competing Strength check to succeed.
Dexterity becomes Agility, but otherwise remains the same. It is used for attacking with legs as well as applicable weapons. Also used to secure footing. Additionally having an Agility stat of 14 or more gives the Master the option to use their natural grace to remain undetected by either Blending or Stealthing. When this is applicable is up to the GM and requires a competing Agility check vs. an opposing Luck roll to succeed.
Constitution becomes Endurance, but also otherwise remains the same. It is used for overcoming physical stress whether from attacks or scrutiny. Additionally, though any character can lie, when confronted with conflicting evidence or testimony only Masters with an Endurance of 14 or higher can double-down on their deception by Gas-Lighting or Undermining. When this is applicable is up to the GM and requires a competing Endurance check to succeed.
Endurance is also used for determining Health levels. Master Health is Endurance level x4. Servant Health is Endurance level x10.
Intelligence becomes MP or Magecraft. This is the sole Casting stat as neither Wisdom nor Charisma exist. It is used for the vast majority of spell-casting checks as well as Offensive Runes. It may also be used for checking History and Logical consistencies or inconsistencies. Additionally Masters with an MP stat at 15 or higher gain one additional slot per level above 15.
Wisdom becomes Luck. This is perhaps the biggest change as I’m choose to interpret most Wisdom based actions as relating to either Magecraft or pure Luck. Perception and the like could arguably be as much up to luck as skill. Any check involving your own awareness or ability to speak convincingly is tied to Luck as well as luck itself. Additionally the level of your Luck stat at the beginning of the game dictates the level of resources your Master has available.
10 or lower = No excess resources, Master must rely on their own MP to succeed.
12-14 = Ability to procure resources to alleviate the stress of actions like Summoning.
15-18 = Cost of Summoning on the Master is eliminated, resources can be procured once per day with no prep.
18 or higher = Master has the resources to cast 1 Spell each day for free.
Charisma is scrapped, replaced instead with the NP stat-block. If you wish to be charming or persuasive than you must be charming and persuasive in your arguments and appeals, not due to a roll. NP rank determines how often a Master can utilize a given Servant’s Noble Phantasm and to a lesser extent how often the Servant can fight at all. Should the Master lack the necessary NP points to perform certain actions the action will fail, if the action they fail to perform is manifesting then the Servant cannot be used for a day. Each point in NP is usable and replenishes at a rate of 1 per day for the Master provided they have adequate rest. Though there are… artificial means to restore this stat. Servants can only use NP points when within 100 meters of their Master unless stated otherwise.
NP Costs are as follows:
Fighting normally: 1 per minute(10 rounds of combat). If Servant manifests one or more Noble Phantasm when fighting normally other than their primary weapon then the cost of using a Utility Noble Phantasm must also be calculated at a rate of 2 per Noble Phantasm per fight. If a Servant uses a Burden for this then their entire calculated cost for the fight is 1 Burden regardless of the number of passive Noble Phantasms required for them to fight normally.
Healing: When in combat Masters can utilize a primitive form of healing using NP Points. 2 NP Points restore 3 d10+Master’s MP modifier health. For a Servant this costs 1 Burden.
Using a Utility Noble Phantasm: 2 per Noble Phantasm per encounter. For a Servant this costs 1 Burden.
Using a Noble Phantasm that carries a True Name Revelation: GM’s discretion, though advice is Half an average Master’s maximum points or Servant’s Burdens.
Servants have a preset number of points(Burdens) per summon available from 1 to 6. Using one of these points removes the cost for the Master once per use. The only natural means to restore Burdens for a Servant is to sacrifice all the benefits of a full rest for a Master. Doing so will restore 1 Burden.
Servants stats begin at 20 meaning even if a Servant has E- as a rank the lowest is can go is 20 which is still superhuman. A minus or a plus in a stat temporarily boosts it by 3 for each plus once per day and reduces it by 3 for each minus randomly once per day.
E rank = 23
D rank = 25
C rank = 27
B rank = 29
A rank = 31
EX rank = 35
Master stats are calculated as though they were human with 10 being average and 20 being superhuman. A stat below 4 makes a Master ineligible to participate. Masters can either manually allocate their stats from a block of 70 points, or roll 3 d6+2 per stat for random results.
NP points begin at 10, but more must be allocated from the block of 70 points or with a roll of 3 d6+2
Every character has an Origin, an element from birth that their life will tends towards. An Origin can be anything from a concept like Strength to a specific items like Swords. When performing an act that follows your Origin you add a +2 to any rolls, as this is an element of your life you were born to perform. However following your Origin too closely risks you becoming aware of your exact Origin. If you are made aware of your own Origin then it becomes impossible to fight against it or exercise any judgment involving actions revolving around your Origin. For instance if you were to have an Origin of Healing and discover this was your Origin you would attempt to heal any ill or injured person, even an enemy in the midst of combat.
The Exact nature of your Origin should be discussed between players and their GM, as well as the specifics of how often you can use your Origin before you risk revealing this information to your character. The average number of uses of your Origin should be 5 per day before it becomes a problem. Each additional use over what you determine to be your maximum will require an MP roll of 18 or under to remain unaware. You cannot choose to fail this roll and your modifier must be added to it.
Only another entity with the Memory Manipulation Spell or a Mystic Code with similar capabilities can remove the knowledge of your own Origin from you.
Your Element is determined at the same time as your Origin, but plays a less important role. Your Element is mostly flavor, but does have minor effects on some Spells and Runecraft. However when identifying and dismantling Spells and Bounded Fields that share your Element you gain an additional +2 to your roll.
Elements are: Fire, Water/Ice, Wind, Earth, Lightning, Light/Holy, & Dark/Necrotic.
Normal Holy Grail War Setting
In the early game decisions and actions should be held in private to maintain the feeling of paranoia a Holy Grail War is supposed to incite in people. Where and when your players stop hiding should be thier own purview, no 2 Masters are the same and each has their own unique set of skills. As such allowing Masters to control the terms of engagement for their participation as well as the extent of their own and their Servant’s abilities are key. So early sessions should be private as means to setup what each player does and has available to them later. How detailed these sessions are and how much control a Player is given should be decided ahead of time, though a more “Choose-your-own-adventure” style format with 1 day and 1 night section per session is recommended for the best combination of speed and control. In most situations the GM should control the Servant when not in-combat.
Masters with Command Seals can sense one another, though rarely with any true accuracy in terms of location. They instead sense the rough distance they are from Command Seals within their range. This is the only way outside of investigative work or actual combat for a Master to be potentially revealed. A Master without a Servant does not emit the telltale signature unique to Command Seals so only two Masters with active Servants can sense each other. A Master with a Servant cannot sense the Command Seals from a Master without one or vice versa. As such it is possible for 2 players to be in the same space without knowledge of each other. The range of this sense is roughly 100 meters.
Servants output a lot of magical energy and are easily spotted. Remind players that have summoned their Servants of this as the Servants presence will out them far more quickly. When all Participants have summoned their Servants all players will be given a warning and sessions will move to a group format. Players should avoid “meta-gaming” to maintain the integrity of the game, as such establishing code-words with Players for certain actions or places may be wise on the part of the GM.
Players may team-up or remain alone as they wish, though it is wise to remember that a true Holy Grail War has but one winner. Should the GM decide to allow it, known Counter Force Guardians may be summoned and Roleplayed by defeated players should the Holy Grail War take too long or grow excessively violent in it’s nature progress. As such it may be wise for the GM to hold one or more Servants for themselves to ensure events can be forced to progress past a certain point.
By default when rolling a non-combat check(d20) there is no automatic failure or success threshold. A 1 does not mean abject failure, a 20 does not mean absolute success, it depends on the threshold established by the GM and the modifiers involved. This is not mandatory but is recommended.
Though incomplete information, when a Master sees a Servant that will be able to determine both what their highest and lowest Parameters are, but not precisely what they are and only for both the strongest and weakest stats. NP(Burden) is excluded when calculating.
Grand Holy Grail War Setting
Having Double the standard allotment of both Servants and Masters a Grand Holy Grail War is best used for a more collaborative campaign setting. Masters should still build themselves and summon their Servants alone so they can divulge or withhold information as they please, but this setting allows for easily identifiable allies and enemies. As such a more traditional TTRPG campaign may be run, however it should be noted that after one side is eliminated a Grand Holy Grail War becomes a Normal Holy Grail War for those remaining. This is something players should be reminded of occasionally.
In this setting the GM themselves should reserve sole rights to the Ruler Servant present as giving it to a player creates problems once one side is entirely defeated. Also the rules of a True Name Revelation should be reconsidered in PvP as the setting makes keeping such information secret very difficult. A balanced approach to consider is to nullify the penalties if both sides are aware of the other’s identity.
Moon Cell War Setting
This setting should only be considered if the number of players is low as the sheer scale of a Moon Cell War makes PvP combat chaotic at best. In this setting a small group of players(ideally no more than 3) should be pitted into cooperative combat against Level Masters to proceed.
The GM should control 1 or more Alter Egos to break-up progression enough that events do not become predictable. BB’s presence should be restricted to oversight, and mandatory plot twists as actually fighting her inside of the Moon Cell is questionable at best.
GMs should keep information to a minimum for these particular campaigns and players should be reminded that there are few truly safe places inside of the Moon Cell. In essence the Moon Cell is a Battle Royale and the sense of never truly being safe is an important element of such settings.
Dead Apostle and Dead Apostle Ancestor Settings
These are the simplest campaigns to convert as they can have a more traditional plot and structure. A curated list of Servants should be considered, though not necessary. If Servants are present then standard Master Rules should apply for character creation. If Servants are not present then a new stat block should use either a distribution of 120 points or a dice roll of 5 d6 per stat to accommodate the disparity in power as well as access to conceptual weaponry. If using a Priest consider removing the penalties against killing and physical entities on their Keys.
Dead Apostles that retain their minds should be stated roughly equivalent to Masters in terms of stats and abilities, though experienced ones may spike to Parameter E or D in some stats.
Dead Apostle Ancestors should be stated in the same vein as Servants with Rank D - A Parameters with an average Parameter rank around B.
If no Servants are present the NP stat block should be discounted and the distribution of points reduced from 120 to 100 to compensate.
Health for players should be calculated as Endurance level x6 for these campaigns. Dead Apostles should be calculated as Endurance level x4. Dead Apostle Ancestors should be calculated as Endurance level x10.
True Ancestor Setting
This Setting, though similar to Dead Apostle Settings, has several key differences and in general is more dangerous for players. Servants cannot exist in this setting and as such Masters should have more power in this setting than any other. The NP stat is not present in this setting in any capacity.
Masters should use either a distribution of 120 points or a dice roll of 5 d6 per stat. Additionally each Master should be equipped with a general use Conceptual Weapon stated to be on the same level as a Servant primary weapon, a limited use Conceptual Weapon roughly on par with an Offensive Noble Phantasm, and a pair of General Mystic Eyes to level the playing field.
True Ancestors themselves are extremely powerful and dangerous combatants. For instance a True Ancestor known to be clumsy should still never dip below A rank Parameter in Agility. Most stats a True Ancestor possess will be EX rank Parameters or beyond.
General mobs for this setting should be Dead Apostles and powerful enemies should be roughly on the level of Elementals and Servants(though obviously Servants themselves don’t exist in this setting).
Health for players should be calculated as Endurance level x6 for these campaigns. Dead Apostles should be calculated as Endurance level x4. True Ancestors should be calculated as Endurance level x12.
Counter Force Guardian Setting
This is a bit of a hybrid campaign setting. It is cooperative in nature and specifically makes use of Servants, though the difficulty can vary wildly. In this setting players act not as Mages or Priests, but instead as Servants acting as members of the Counter Force. Due to the nature of many Counter Force Guardians players can either pick a pre-existing Servant to use, or make a Unique Servant of their own. Due to balancing the GM will still need to check each character for issues and decide how any Noble Phantasms are actually implemented, but players for this should draw up between 2-4 passives(at least one unique and one class specific), 2-3 Noble Phantasm ideas(at least one offensive and one passive), weapon damage and effect(if any), & their ideal Parameters. GMs should consider the power level of requested Noble Phantasms when deciding Parameters, weaker Noble Phantasms require better Parameters to compensate and vice versa.
Counter Force Guardians still use he Burden system, but restore all Burdens on a full rest(8 hours) or when Consulting Alaya. As such Guardians do not have access to Spells(Special exceptions may be made for Caster Class) as their ability to replenish access to their Noble Phantasms is a replacement for Spell Casting. Every Guardian has access to all Runes at max level. Consulting Alaya requires meditating for 2 hours.
Combat uses competing rolls(d20) and damage is dealt when a Servant wins by 2 or more on a roll unless stated otherwise. If the rolls are within 1 of each other(including modifier) then both attacks a nullified and no damage is taken.
Combat is conducted using Strength, Agility, or MP and the Combatant adds +1 to a roll in a given stat for every 2 points in a given skill past 10. They must also subtract -1 from any roll using a stat for every 2 points below 11 they possess. Additionally unmodified combat rolls of 1 always fail, unmodified combat rolls of 20 always succeed and deal double damage.
There is no initiative system, all turns are divided into two actions and each action occurs simultaneously with all other active participants. A combat round lasts approximately 6 seconds. During each round a given individual may make 1 movement action, 1 active action, & 1 talk action. The order of non-talk actions must be declared in advance to the GM, preferably in private, as the outcomes can decide whether an attack hits at all. In short, knowing what your opponent will do is an advantage that cannot be underestimated.
All entities are capable of attacking in melee range, but some may have no ranged option and lack the ability to close the distance. In this position you may opt to use MP to “deflect” an attack so that it does no damage. On a natural 20 you reflect said attack back at your attacker.
If a given character is facing one or more enemies of a lower existence then they are they are given an additional attack against a second enemy. A lower existence is little threat and thus the need to concentrate is reduced.
Existence Chart(Lowest to Highest):
1st Level: Familiar
2nd Level: Construct, Lesser Magical Being, Human
3rd Level: Magus, Dead Apostle, Priest
4th Level: Greater Magical Being, Shadow Servant
5th Level: Servant, Elemental, Dead Apostle Ancestor
6th Level: Empowered Servant, True Ancestor
If a given combatant is otherwise occupied by the maximum number of opponents they can actively engage they become “Overwhelmed” and any additional attacks automatically succeed, but cannot critically hit. When “Overwhelmed” a character may choose after rolling who to engage with.
Default movement is 10 meters per movement action.
List of Active Actions
Active actions are: Attacking, Spell Casting, Dashing, Holding, & Noble Phantasm use. Active Actions may be delayed for one of two specific scenarios if desired.
Attacking is using a weapon(yes your fist is also a weapon) or runecraft to attack an opponent directly.
Spell Casting can be performed when you have the necessary spell slot(s) available and know a Spell with a Casting Time of 1 Active Action or which can be accelerated to such Casting Time by Equipment you carry, Mystic Codes that enable such, or possess the necessary levels in Memory Partition and Thought Acceleration.
Dashing is sacrificing an active action to double your movement speed.
Holding is when you use your action to reduce an opponent’s movement to 0. Whether you opponent is of a lower, equal, or higher existence than you alters what status they enter when Held.
- Restrained is what occurs when you attempt to hold an entity of a higher existence than yourself. In short these entity’s are too powerful and thus require everything you have just to hold them in place. You can do nothing other than maintain your Hold when you you Restrain an enemy. Meanwhile a Restrained individual can still make one free attack on the person Restraining them per turn in addition to attempting to break the Hold with a competing Strength check.
- Pinned is what occurs when you attempt to hold an entity of equal existence to yourself. Neither the Pinner nor the Pinned can move or act for the duration of the Hold except to attempt to break the hold with a competing Strength check. The initiator of the Hold in these circumstance may choose to end the Pin with a physical attack whenever they would otherwise succeed in maintain the pin. Damage in these instances is equivalent to a bare-handed Strength attack for the entity in question.
- Grapples is what occurs when you attempt to hold an entity of a lower existence to yourself. The Grappled loses all movement and actions aside from attempting to break the Grapple. The Grappler has 1 free attack on the Grappled every round they remain Held or they may retain their movement and bring the Grappled with them as they do so.
Talking is talking. Communication is important so remember to do it. Talking may be done at any step and does not have to be declared.
When a Mage or Human is reduced to 0 Health they are Mortally Wounded. When Mortally Wounded you will bleed out in 1 minute(10 rounds) unless stabilized or healed. Any intelligent creature can stabilize someone who is Mortally Wounded, but uses their Active Action and any remaining movement they may have for a turn to do so. Once stabilized you no longer bleed out, but will not awaken for 8 hours. Only the Healing Spell and certain specialized abilities can restore a Mortally Wounded entity to a combat ready status. You can elect to utilize an active action to permanently kill an enemy that is Mortally Wounded.
Servant Specific Combat
When out of combat Servants and Masters will both heal to full after an 8 hour period of rest unless they have taken damage that is unhealable. Additionally Servants will heal 1 d10+Endurence for every hour they are active but not in-combat.
In-combat Masters will control their Servant’s movement and attacks provided they do not attack out of character. If the GM judges that an action is out of character the Master in question will be given the option to use a Command Seal to force the action, if they opt not to then the Servants loses that action for the round.
Servants may “lunge” to both dash and attack at once, but must declare their target and lose the ability to counter attacks from any enemy other than their target. Servant Dash movement is doubled and they gain an additional 5 meters per rank above E. In addition if a Servant uses a + in their agility their movement is doubled for that round; likewise should a - in agility activate their speed is halved for the round.
When a Servant is reduced to 0 health they will begin to Fade. While in this state a Servant is not yet gone, but will be if nothing is done within 30 seconds(5 rounds). Expending 5 NP Points can stabilize a Servant, but they will not re-enter combat for the remainder of the day. Only the Healing Spell and certain specialized abilities can restore a Faded Servant to combat ready status. There is no way to accelerate the Fade effect, it must progress naturally.
Dead Apostle/True Ancestor Specific Combat
Conceptual Weaponry is common in these settings. Conceptual Weapons should have a dice pool similar to Servant Primary Weapons as well as an additional effect to be decided on by the GM and/or player. They similarly use Strength, Agility, or MP when attacking as both a bonus to hit and a bonus to damage.
Limited Conceptual Weaponry should be restricted to True Ancestor settings. They should have a damage pool similar to an Offensive Noble Phantasm, but be limited to between 3 and 5 uses depending on the length of the campaign.
The following is true for Dead Apostles, Dead Apostle Ancestors, & True Ancestors: all physical damage not stemming from a Conceptual Weapon is halved, including Spells that deal physical damage. Only Elemental damage and Conceptual Weapon damage is calculated normally.
True Ancestors have access to any Spells they wish at maximum level as well as 1 additional Spell slot for every point above 15 in their MP stat, a pair of Mystic Eyes, at least one Spell unique to themselves, and heal 1 d10 every round of combat.
In addition to these abilities True Ancestors have access to a Marble Phantasm, the ability for them to rewrite reality in a limited space. When used offensively the opponent must succeed a Luck Roll of at least 20 or have their existence removed. If they succeed the opponent succeeds the Roll they are reduced to 1 Health. This ability is single target. True Ancestors should be capped at a maximum of 3 uses of a Marble Phantasm per campaign.
This is the minimum level of power a True Ancestor should possess.
Dead Apostle Ancestors have access to double the normal allotment of Spells as 1 additional Spell slot for every point above 15 in their MP, access to a unique Spell, and heal 1 d8 every round of combat. This is the minimum level of power a Dead Apostle Ancestor should possess.
Dead Apostles should be crafted as if they were Mages in terms of Spells and Spell Slots if they are recently turned. If their existence has surpassed a human lifespan then have access to double the normal allotment of Spells as 1 additional Spell slot for every point above 15 in their MP. They heal 1 d4 every round of combat.
Conversion is an optional mechanic to consider for these campaigns. A Dead Apostle, Dead Apostle Ancestor, or True Ancestor on a physical attack that succeeds by 10 or more may utilize a bite to infect their opponent and potentially turn them. The bite is 2 d10, but instead of inflicting damage the bite may either heal or infect if infect is chosen no damage is dealt and no health is recovered. If a character is given an infectious bite they must pass an Endurance roll of 12 or more or risk becoming infected with Vampirism. If left untreated for 1 day a character infected with Vampirism turns. Vampirism can only be detected with a physical check by another character. Vampirism can be cleansed with the Healing Spell or the Baptism Sacrament. Characters turned show no immediate outward signs but must comply with the orders of the entity that infected them, or the Master of the entity that infected them.
Dead Apostles and Dead Apostle Ancestors enter Near Death when they are reduced to 0 health. Their vitals fade to an undetectable level, but they are not dead unless an Active Action is taken to finish them. When in this state a Dead Apostle/Dead Apostle Ancestor will be unable to move or act on their own for 8 hours after which they regain consciousness with full health and Spells. Only the Healing Spell and certain specialized abilities can restore a someone Near Death to a combat ready status.
When a True Ancestor reaches 0 health they enter a period of mandatory Rest. When in this state a True Ancestor will be unable to move or act for up to 1 hour. After 1 minute in this state a True Ancestor recovers 1 d10 health and has the option to awaken. They may also be awakened earlier by use of the Healing Spell or other specialized abilities. After 1 hour they awake with full health. A True Ancestor can only be permanently killed with a Conceptual Weapon while within a minute of entering the Rest state.
Lesser Magical Beings and Humans should have stats ranging from 6 to 14 and their weapon dice pool should be half that or Servants. Additionally their health should range from no less than 6 to no more than 20 depending in the encounter.
Greater Magical Beings have a wide range of shapes and abilities but should have stats ranging from 12 to 22 as well as access to a form of both ranged Magical Combat roughly equal to Runecraft and access to a form of physical combat. Health should range from no less than 20 to no more than 100.
Shadow Servants should be stated as their normal Servant counterparts, but will a full rank reduction for each Parameter. They should have no Noble Phantasm, but maintain their Servant weapon and their passive abilities should be more limited than normal. Their health should be calculated as level of Endurance x5.
Elementals vary wildly and should be considered on a case-by-case basis. Ideally they should be equal to a Servant in overall strength but in a different way. For instance a Servant may hit harder, but an Elemental may inflict a status condition on attacking successfully. This type of enemy is almost entirely dependent on the GM and the campaign they are running.
Empowered Servants should be stated as their normal Servant counterparts but with a full rank increase for each Parameter. They should have access to both their normal Noble Phantasm as well as a significantly more powerful Noble Phantasm dependent on the source of their Empowerment. They should gain at least 1 unique passive in addition to their normal passives and the rank of any General Servant Passives should increase by 1 level. Their weapon damage should be double what it would otherwise be and their health pool should be calculated as Endurance level x12.
Elemental Damage & Status Effects
Some weapons or attacks may deal Elemental damage rather than Physical damage. Elemental damage is weaker by one dice level then the equivalent physical damage. A weapon that would normally deal 2 d8 physical damage would instead deal 2 d6 Elemental damage. While Elemental damage is weaker if used on an attack that succeeds by 10 or more it will inflict a status ailment as well as deal damage.
Fire will inflict Burning.
Water/Ice will inflict Freeze.
Earth will inflict Encumber.
Electric will inflict Shock.
Dark/Necrotic will inflict Lethargy.
Light/Holy will inflict Blindness.
Wind inflicts no status ailment, instead it throws the opponent back 20 meters.
So long as a target is Burning they must roll Endurance every round of combat. If they roll 11 or more they perform their Movement and Active Actions normally. If they roll 10 or less they lose both their Movement and Active Actions in a blind panic. You may sacrifice an Active Action to remove the Burning. Panicking does not remove the Burning status ailment.
When Freeze is applied the player affected may choose whether it is applied to their legs or arms. If it is applied to the legs they lose their Movement Action. If it is applied to the arms they love their Active Action. This effect may stack. You may sacrifice an Active Action to remove the Freeze.
When Encumbered you lose half your Movement. This effect can stack and each additional stack halves Movement yet again. If you cannot move at least 1 meter you are considered immobile. You can sacrifice an Active Action to remove 1 layer of Encumber.
When Shocked all attacks have disadvantage(roll twice, take the lower number to hit). You cannot remove this status without the Healing Spell. This effect wears off after 3 turns.
When inflicted with Lethargy you cannot attack with Weapons. Wears off after 1 turn.
When inflicted with Blindness you cannot attack with Magic. Wears off after 1 turn.
Version 2: Post 2/3
Prior to anything else a player should roll 1 d100. On a roll of 90 or less continue developing your character normally. On a roll of 91-99 player will gain a pair of low-ranking Mystic Eyes. On a roll of 100 player will roll a further d10 to determine the type of “Special” Mystic Eye they will receive.
Use of Mystic Eyes expends 1 spell slot unless specifically stated otherwise. Mystic Eyes have a range of 30 meters provided the target of said eyes can see the caster’s face.
List of Common Mystic Eyes
Binding - Target must succeed an Endurance check vs. the caster’s MP. On failure they are completely unable to talk, move, or act for 1 round(in-combat) or 1 minute(out of combat).
Charm - Target must succeed a competing Luck check or become charmed. Charmed individuals cannot attack the caster unless first attacked for 1 day and provide any information so long as they do not view it as vital to their survival.
Compulsion - Target must succeed a competing MP check. On failure target must complete any 1 action the caster demands so long as such action is not immediately fatal.
Contract - Any agreements made with the possessor of these eyes must be fulfilled. Failure to do so constitutes a violation of said contract and thus a portion of their life is forfeit(3 d10 damage on failure to honor agreement). Always active. Does not consume a spell slot.
Enchantment - Target must succeed an Endurance check vs. the caster’s Luck. On failure the target is hypnotized indefinitely, but will not perform any action that would put them in harm’s way. An Endurance save against the caster’s Luck can be made once per day.
Flame - Deal 3 d10+MP damage to target.
Illusion - Target must succeed a competing MP check. On failure target cannot discern reality from fiction until they are damaged or 1 hour passes. All attacks made by target will fail automatically.
Jinx - Target must succeed a competing Luck check. On failure target has disadvantage for the next 5 rolls they make.
Whisper - All lies told by an individual with these eyes cannot be doubted unless confronted with an absolute contradiction such as being stabbed while claiming “I will not hurt you”. Always active. Does not consume a spell slot.
Special Mystic Eyes are up to the sole discretion of the GM. Though eyes of Cybele, Death Perception, Heavenly Eye, & Prolongation should be avoided for balancing purposes.
Special Eyes Table
Clairvoyance - At baseline should be able to locate any desired object. GM may decide whether to include an option to guarantee a Critical Hit on the next attack made on the target.
Distortion - At baseline should allow the user to immediate negate an attack in an area so long as concentration is maintained. GM may decide whether to include an option to have the eyes deal 5 d10 damage to anything entering the area.
Finding - Inclusion optional. If included the user ay expend a spell slot to immediately know the location of any object provided they know what the object they seek looks like.
Glam Sight: Fairy Eyes - At baseline should allow the user to impart to disadvantage to all incoming attacks they can see without use of a spell slot. GM may decide whether to include an option to have the user issue a 1 time Competing Luck check to learn the secrets of any seen individual, though this would expend a spell slot.
Looting - Inclusion optional. If included the user may expend a spell slot to drain 1 d10 health from all other entities in range.
Precognition - At baseline should allow the user to avoid all traps without the use of a spell slot. GM may decide whether to include an option to automatically avoid an incoming attack at the expense of a spell slot.
Retrocognition - Inclusion optional. If included it allows the user to see into the past of a given location for 1 hour.
Seeing Emotions - Inclusion optional. If included the user has permanent advantage on all Luck checks involving another living entity without the use of a spell slot.
Transience - At baseline allows the user to make a Luck check to determine what events in the last week they can see regardless of location. GM may decide whether to include an option to use this in combat ambushes to “save” strikes as traps.
Usurpation - At baseline allows the user to see through the eyes of any other entity in sight with no save. GM may decide whether to include an option to give the user the ability to subsequently use the Mystic Eyes of a target should they possess them at the cost of an additional spell slot.
Mages, while well-versed in Magic, may also be prepared to fight physically to a limited degree. In general a Mage may focus their attention broadly on Physical weapons or Magical Weapons. They may also train to master a Personal weapon to the point of expertise.
Physical Training allows a Mage to pick up and wield any normal weapon without Disagvantage. Though they gain no bonus to wielding such weapons they also eliminate the threat they may pose to themselves from inexperience. Disadvantage is still applied to wielding magical weapons as they possess unique effects only a ready mind may be prepared for.
Magical Training allows a Mage to pick up and wield any magical weapon without Disadvantage. Though they gain no bonus to wielding such weapons they also eliminate the threat they may pose to themselves from inexperience. Disadvantage is still applied to wielding physical weapons as they possess a weight balance only the well-trained may be prepared for.
Personal Training allows a Mage to excel, but only with a very specific weapon, likely one used in place of a Mystic Code. Mages who opt for Personal Training gain the benefit of two modifiers when attempting to hit and for damage calculation.(For instance a Spear would gain modifiers from both Strength and Agility. A rifle from Agility and Luck. A Greatsword from Strength and Endurance. Etc.) This only applies to a single weapon however, not a type of weapon. It stems from your character’s short sword, not all short sword for instance.
A Mystic Code provides one unique boon to a Master. This can be anything from a unique spell, to upgraded passive abilities, to additional General spells or spell slots. The sky, and your GM, are the limit.
Mystic Codes are highly personal and specific to each Master. They are in addtion to your normal spells, though players with “Special Mystic Eyes” have none as their eyes take the place of their Mystic Code. It’s highly encouraged you be creative and work with your GM to determine the specifics of what each Mystic Code will do for each player.
General Spells are available to all Masters, though each Mage still specializes in certain aspects. So while all Mages can use a given spell whether or not your particular Mage can is up to you. Each Mage is capable of using just 8 General Spells across a maximum of 3 fields, though you can sacrifice a General Spell to increase the level of a Spell you do know to 2, or sacrifice 2 Spell to further increase it to 3. Additionally choosing to completely specialize in one field gives you an additional Spell, allowing Mastery of all 3 Spells in a category.
Mages may choose to forgo half of their General Spells to gain access to all Runes in addition to their normal allotment of Runes. Mages my also forgo ALL Spells and access to their Spell Slots to gain full Mastery over every type of Runecraft.
Each mage has a default of 5 spell slots. Mages with MP above 15 gain one additional slot per level above 15. Spell slots regenerate after 8 hours of sleep.
All Mages possess the ability to make a basic familiar for observation that are undectable to non-magical beings and Mages, but are easily spotted by Mages and magical beings.
Spell - A type of magic you know.
Spell Slot - Your ability to cast any Spell you know. Casting a Spell expends 1 Spell Slot.
Flash Air: Allows you to substitute any two objects in sight at the cost of reducing the durability of all objects involved. Cannot be used on high level Magical Constructs. Items can only be swapped 3 times before they become useless. Maximum size of substituted items cannot exceed 2 cubic meters. When substituting “air” the item in question has it’s durability reduced to minimum regardless of the Level of Flash Air used.
2nd Level - Eliminate item degredation.
3rd Level - Allow this in-combat to block or deflect attacks without needing a roll.
Casting time: None. This action can be taken at any point and immediately.
Range: 20 meters.
Necromancy: Allows the use of up to 3 corpses as familiars.
On hit: 1d4 + Strength
2nd Level: Increase maximum number of corpses to 5.
3nd Level: Increase maximum number of corpses to 7.
Casting time: 1 minute.
Range: 10 meters.
Duration: Until destruction.
Transmutation: Allows the alteration of one item into another, often turning useless raw materials into useful objects. Created item cannot exceed two cubic meters in size.
2nd Level - Allows alternation of material for magical construction and storage. Enables creation of single-use crystals capable of storing any Spell the caster is capable of using.
3rd Level - Allow alteration of material into limited magical weapons. Weapons have a duration of 10 attacks and deal 2 d8+MP physical on hit or 2 d6+MP of your Element.
Casting time: 1 Active Action.
**Memory Partition and Thought Acceleration: ** Increases spell-casting speed. All casting times halved.
2nd Level - You can now cast 2 Spells at once.
3rd Level - Allows expenditure of a Spell Slot to instantly cast any Spell.
Casting time: None. Does not use a Spell Slot unless instantly casting a Spell.
Range: Personal. Can only be used on yourself.
Golemancy: Allows the creation of a construct made of hard materials such as stone, crystal, ice, and metal.
Height: 1 meter
On hit: 1 d6 + Strength
2nd Level - 2 meter height, +20 Health, +1 d6 on hit.
3rd Level - 3 meter height, +40 Health, +2 d6 on hit.
Casting time: 10 minutes.
Duration: Until destruction.
(Can be run in parallel with Level 2 or 3 Partition)
Flight: Allows basic flight with the use of an appropriate item(up to GM). Flight speed is equivalent to 30MPH/50KPH and maximum weight capacity is the equivalent of 220LB/100KG.
2nd Level - Eliminates weight limit and increases speed to 60MPH/100KPH.
3rd Level - Allows this Spell to encompass 1 ally of your choice.
Casting time: 1 Active Action.
Duration: 1 hour.
Shared Perception: Allows shared use of the 5 senses provided contact has been made at some point with the target and consent has been provided.
2nd Level - Allows the user to make a competing MP check to forcibly share senses. Check must be remade every round in-combat and every minute out of combat.
3rd Level - Forces Spell activation without a check initially. Checks must be made every round in-combat and every minute out of combat to continue sharing senses. Bypass check only works the first time this Spell is cast on a target.
Casting time: 1 Active Action.
Range: 30 meters.
Duration: 1 hour.
Transferred Consciousness: Allows full transfer of consciousness and control to an empty vessel provided the original body remains unmolested.
2nd Level - Allows the mage to cast Spells using the vessel’s MP stat(if any).
3rd Level - Allows the mage full use of their abilities as if the body was their own.
Casting time: 1 minute.
Range: 5 meters.
Duration: Indefinite until the user’s body is compromised or the spell is undone.
Doppel: Create a short lived Duplicate of yourself to command complete with all your stats, but only 5 Health.
2nd Level - Duplicate will now act independently when programmed with a personality. All checks will still be made with user’s stats.
Aggressive: Duplicate will fight when provoked without backing down.
Defensive: Duplicate will avoid fighting, flee when provoked, and try to remain hidden.
Investigative: Duplicate will search for useful information, log it, and regularly leave such information where the original can find it.
Charming: Duplicate will attempt to be sociable and friendly to all parties.
3rd Level - Duplicate becomes an exact copy of the user should the user die or take possession of the body temporary. Duration still applies in both cases.
Casting time: 1 hour.
Range: 5 Kilometers from original body
Duration: 1 day.
Edict of Binding: Allows the restraint of up to 5 non-humans. User cannot move for the duration. Wears off when the target(s) take damage.
2nd Level - Maximum number increased to 7. Effect now applies to humans as well if they fail a Strength check vs. the caster’s MP.
3rd Level - Maximum number increased to 10. User can now move while casting.
Casting time: 1 Active Action.
Range: 20 meters.
Duration: Until released by caster.
Shuku: Apply crushing force to an area 1 cubic meter in size that deals 3 d6+MP damage.
2nd Level - Add an additional d6. Target must pass an Endurance check vs. caster’s MP. On failure target’s movement is halved until they receive some form of healing.
3rd Level - Add a further additional d6. On failed Endurance check target cannot cast a Spell for 1 round due to severe pain.
Casting time: 1 Active Action.
Range: 10 meters.
Sutra of Protection: Halve all damage taken by target.
2nd Level - Target has advantage on non-damage checks.
3rd Level - While Sutra of Protection is active expend an additional Spell Slot to negate all damage for 1 attack. Can be reactionary provide Sutra of Protection is already active.
Casting time: 1 Active Action.
Range: 10 meters.
Duration: 1 minute.
Memory Manipulation: Allows user to alter a singular memory of a target if you succeed a Competing MP check by 4 or more.
2nd Level - Reduces threshold for success by 2.
3rd Level - Competing MP check must only tie to succeed.
Casting time: 1 minute.
Duration: Indefinite until confronted with conflicting evidence.
Command: Allows user to force the target to perform 1 simple action under duress if you succeed a Competing MP check by 4 or more.
2nd Level - Reduces threshold for success by 1. Target will no longer appear under duress.
3rd Level - Reduces threshold for success by an additional 1. Target will not remember the action.
Casting time: 1 Active Action.
Range: 10 meters.
Duration: 1 Active Action.
Personality Inferrence: Allows user to alter how a target perceives you or others if you succeed a Competing MP check by 2 or more. Making them more open and friendly or more agitated and hostile as the caster desires. On failure target’s psyche is immune to further attempts.
2nd Level - Lower threshold for success by 1. Target can now be made aroused or violent.
3rd Level - Competing MP check must only tie to succeed. Target can now be made love-struck or depressed.
Casting time: 1 minute.
Range: 30 meters.
Duration: Permanent unless target’s ability is restored via Healing, Memory Manipulation, or Personality Inferrence.
Healing: Allows you to restore 3 d10+MP health to yourself or others.
2nd Level - Healing effectiveness increased to 4 d10+MP. Spell can now cleanse most status ailments.
3rd Level - Healing effectiveness further increase to 5 d10+MP. Spell activates automatically should the Master take a fatal blow and still possess at least 1 Spell Slot. This occurs once per encounter.
Casting time: 1 Active Action.
Reinforcement: Allows the strengthening of a body to increase it’s physical attributes. Strengthened individual gains +2 to their Strength, Agility, & Endurance as well as an additional d4 when attacking physically. Increased Endurance adds temporary HP of +8 for the duration of the spell.
2nd Level - Gain an additional +1 to Strength, Agility, & Endurance. Gain an additional temporary HP of +4. Movement speed is now 15 meters per round.
3rd Level - Gain a further additional +1 to Strength, Agility, & Endurance. Gain an additional temporary HP of +4. Increase Existence rank by 1.
Casting time: 1 Active Action.
Duration: Until rest or the user activates another Spell.
Shikigami: Allows the creation of up to 3 familiars that immediately enter stealth. Familiar can only follow 1 command at a time.
2nd Level - Familiars can now follow 3 commands.
3rd Level - Familiars gains advantage on remaining undetected.
Casting time: 1 Active Action.
Duration: Until destruction.
(Cannot Attack by default)
Runecraft is equivalent to Cantrips. They can be used indefinitely but have very minor effects or require a significant length of time to cast in most cases. Mages can learn at most 4 different Runes, though they can sacrifice knowledge of other runes to increase how effective their runes are.
Note: All Mages know how to setup alarm and obscurence Bounded Fields regardless of what Runes are or are not taken. They are also all capable of using well-known mana-sharing techniques to restore 2 Spell Slots.
Bounded Field: Applies specific effects over a limited area, theoretically unlimited. Specification on effects and potency should be decided by GM. Maximum of 3 effects.
2nd Level - Gain 2 additional effects.
3rd Level - Gain a further additional 2 effects.
Casting time: 5 minutes per effect.
Area: Up to 50 meters in diameter.
Duration: Indefinite unless destroyed.
Formalcraft: Allows you to restore NP points or Spell Slots with rituals, often sacrificial in nature.
1st Level - Meditative Ritual - Expend 2 hours to restore an NP point or Spell Slot.
2nd Level - Animal Sacrifice Ritual - Regain 3 NP points or 1 Spell Slot per animal sacrificed(Must be at least the size of a chicken).If in combat this Ritual must be declared beforehand on the round in which the killing blow is dealt, this act gives you disadvantage to attack for that round.
3rd Level - Human Sacrifice Ritual. Regain half your total NP points or Spell Slots per person sacrificed. If in combat this Ritual must be declared beforehand on the round in which the killing blow is dealt, this act gives you disadvantage to attack for that round.
Barkano: Allows tracking through use of a single inscribed item placed on the target.
2nd Level - Hides rune inscription from casual view.
3rd Level - Eliminates rune’s magical presence entirely.
Casting time: 1 minute.
Range: 10 kilometers.
Duration: Until item is destroyed.
Gandr: Projectile magic. On successful attack projectile deals 1 d6+MP.
2nd Level - Projectile now deals 2 d6+MP.
3rd Level - Projectile now deals 3 d6+MP.
Casting time: 1 Active Action.
Range: 20 meters.
Ansuz: Casts your Element. This can be used for utility: starting fires, drying clothes, etc. Or offensive actions. On successful attack element deals 1 d6+MP of your Element.
2nd Level - Element now deals 2 d8+MP.
3rd Level - Element now deals 3 d8+MP.
Casting time: 1 Active Action.
Range: 10 meters.
Ath nGabla: Prevents retreat by either side until one is dead or both agree to leave.
2nd Level - Targets can no longer hide.
3rd Level - You can select one target to whom the conditions do not apply.
Casting time: 1 minute. Can be prepared in advance.
Range: 10 meters.
Duration: 2 hours.
Ehwaz: Strengthens abilities on inscribed objects by 1 d4. Only 1 item can be strengthened at a time.
2nd Level - Strengthening is now 1 d6.
3rd Level - Strengthening is now 1 d8.
Casting time: 10 minute.
Duration: Indefinite until rune is removed or object is destroyed
Eihwaz: Strengthens an area of the target’s body. Target gains +1 to Strength, Agility, or Endurance.
2nd Level - Target gains an additional +1 to Strength, Agility, or Endurance.
3rd Level - Target has advantage when performing checks with the enhanced ability.
Casting time: 1 Active Action.
Duration: 1 minute.
Kenaz: Enhances a sense for a limited time. Gives advantage to any checks requiring the specified sense for 1 minute.
2nd Level - Enhance an additional sense.
3rd Level - Checks using the specified senses have an additional +2 modifier.
Casting time: 1 Active Action.
Duration: 10 minutes.
Priests have a unique set of skills. They possess Black Keys as their sole Runecraft and the Baptism Sacrament, which have an overwhelming effectiveness when pitted against Spiritual Beings, as their sole spell. Both can only be used by Priests and both must be wielded by Priests at full power, as such both of these effects are set to Level 3 permanently.
Baptism Sacrament: Banish all spiritual beings of equal or lower existence level within range. Stun all magical, physical entities and spiritual beings of higher existence level within range with a successful Competing MP check for thirty seconds or 2 rounds, whichever is more applicable.
Casting time: 2 Active Actions.
Range: 30 meters.
Black Keys: Deal 3 d4 damage to spiritual entities and familiars. Cannot be countered. Cannot inflict fatal damage. On hit enemy will be pinned and unable to move for their next movement action. Cannot be resisted.
Vs. Physical entities damage is halved. Physical target must make an Strength check vs. Priest’s MP. On failure target is pinned and unable to move for their next movement action.
Casting time: 1 Active Action. Action takes priority over all other Active and Movement actions.
Range: 10 meters.
Priests can take their provided extra Spells and Runes if they so desire, but will be branded as heretics and lose church support should they be reported using Magic. The same holds true if they opt to enable use of a Mystic Code.
To balance the potential lose of these abilities Priests have alternatives. Priests can elect to claim a set of Mystic Eyes even if they did not roll any or can upgrade to a set of Special Mystic Eyes if they did. Alternatively they can opt to craft a Conceptual Weapon as a replacement if Mystic Eyes are unavailable or undesirable.
Should a Priest elect to specialize as one and thus take not Spells other than the Baptism Sacrament they gain a permanent additional +2 to every stat in order to compensate for a lack of Spell diversity.
Version 2: Post 3/3
Dice Pools and Conclusion
Command Spells work as they do in the series. They can be used to force compliance on an action and only Servants with A rank Magic Resistance have even a chance to resist such an order. Alternatively they can be used to temporarily(one minute) raise all parameters by one rank or increase the rank of a Noble Phantasm for one use.
True Name Revelation occurs when a Noble Phantasm is used or a Master/Servant correctly identifies an opposing Heroic Spirit. Though confirmation is not required on an opponent’s guess, the Heroic Spirit involved must from this point forward deduct 2 from each roll when facing said Master/Servant.
Divinity: Once per day add 1 per rank to any roll.
Independent Action: Allows Servant to replenish NP points when outside the range of their Master(one per rank per day).
Item Construction: Once per day summon a number(1 per rank) of a Servant’s basic construct.
Madness Enhancement: Servant can expend an additional NP Point to add more to their rolls for 1 minute. Ranks E-C add 1 per rank to attacks using Strength or Agility. Ranks B-EX can add an additional 1 per rank(starting at Rank B) to Noble Phantasm attacks.
Magic Resistance: Servant gains advantage against magic based attacks once per day. Magic effects against Ranks E-C must beat an Endurance roll by an additional 1 per level. Magic attacks against ranks B-EX must beat the roll by an additional 1 per level.
Presence Concealment: Allows a Servant to enter concealment automatically during combat once per rank per day. When attacking from concealment gain advantage for 1 attack.
Riding: Servant has an innate understanding of any given vehicle at all ranks. Ranks E-C gain a bonus when performing a check involving a vehicle(1 per rank). Ranks B-EX gain an additional bonus when using a vehicle in combat(1 per rank beginning at rank B).
Territory Creation: Designate an area as territory. When inside your own territory add 1 to all your rolls. Territory size determined by rank(10 meters per rank).
Ranks with a + can choose to roll(threshold 10 or higher for success) for an additional +1 using their skill once per day. Ranks with a - must make a roll the first time the skill is used during a given day, failing this roll will cause the skill to fail once(threshold 10 or higher for success).
It is highly recommended to force Masters to roll for their given Servant. with multiple options available for each result, in order to preserve the fun of the game. Though ultimately it is up to the GM and their players. Lostbelt and Grand Servant candidates should remain unavailable due to potential balancing issues.
Each random roll will allow the player to choose from at least 2 choices, but remember Servants are people more than they are weapons so choosing a Servant that will work with you and aligns with your fighting style is imperative. Command Spells are limited and using them for force compliance is a bad idea.
Saber Pool: Roll 2 d6
Gawain/Bedivere/Lancelot - 2
Mordred/Nero Claudius/Richard the Lionheart - 3
Suzuka Gozen/Shiki Ryougi/Benni-enma - 4
Charlemagne/Gilles de Rais/Chevalier d’Eon - 5
Siegfried/Sigurd/Astolfo - 6
Diarmuid Ua Duibhne/Gaius Julius Caesar/Fergus mac Roich - 7
Ibuki-Douji/Watanabe no Tsuna/Saito Hajime - 8
Jason/Rama/Senji Muramasa - 9
Yagyu Munemori/Sasaki Kojiro/Okita Souji - 10
Prince of Lan Ling/Jacques de Molay/Setanta - 11
Arthur Pendragon/Artoria Pendragon/Altera - 12
Lancer Pool: Roll 2 d4
Fionn mac Cumhaill/Diarmuid Ua Duibhne/Cu Chulainn - 2
Vlad III/Bradamante/Gareth - 3
Elice Utsumi/Hozoin Inshun/Musashibou Benkei - 4
Hector/Medusa/Caenis - 5
Leonidas/Romulus /Longinus - 6
Li Shuwen/Nezha/Qin Liangyu - 7
Bryhildr/Enkidu/Vritra - 8
Archer Pool: Roll 2 d6
Robin Hood/Billy the Kid - 2
Chiron/Atalanta - 3
David/Arash - 4
Euryale/Paris - 5
James Moriarty/Nikola Tesla - 6
Napoleon Bonaparte/Sei Shounagon - 7
Oda Nobukatsu/Oda Nobunaga - 8
Tawara Touta/Tomoe Gozen - 9
Tristan/William Tell - 10
Sita/Artemis - 11
Heracles/Gilgamesh - 12
Rider Pool: Roll 1 d12
Batholomew Roberts/Edward Teach - 1
Georgios/Martha - 2
Christopher Columbus/Red Hare - 3
Anne Bonny and Mary Reed/Boudica - 4
Mandricardo/Darius III - 5
Marie Antoinette/Medb - 6
Europa/Astolfo - 7
Ushiwakamaru/Sakamoto Ryouma - 8
Perseus/Medusa - 9
Francis Drake/Iskandar - 10
Odysseus/Minamoto no Raikou - 11
Achilles/Ozymandius - 12
Assassin Pool: Roll 1 d6 & 1 d4
Hassan of the Hundred Personas/Sasaki Kojirou/Hassan of the Cursed Arm - 2
Henry Jekyll/Phantom of the Opera/Charlotte Corday - 3
Semiramis/Cleopatra/Hassan of Serenity - 4
Jack the Ripper/Carmilla/Charles-Henri Sanson - 5
Fuuma Kotarou/Katou Danzou/Mochizuki Chiyome - 6
Jing Ke/Yan Qing/Wu Zetian - 7
Li Shuwen/Mata Hari/Stheno - 8
Shiki Ryougi/Okada Izou/Shuten-douji - 9
Osakabehime/Yu Mei-ren/Kiichi Hougen - 10
Caster Pool: Roll 1 d10
Gilles de Rais/Mephistopheles/Nitocris - 1
Medea/Asclepius/Circe - 2
Hans Christian Andersen/Nursery Rhyme/Williams Shakespeare - 3
Avicebron/Charles Babbage/Thomas Edison - 4
Semiramis/Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova/Chen Gong - 5
Cu Chulainn/Queen of Sheba/Scheherazade - 6
Geronimo/Helena Blavatsky/Leonardo da Vinci - 7
Medea(Lily)/Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart/Paracelsus - 8
Miss Crane/Murasaki Shikibu/Francois Prelati - 9
Xuanzang/Gilgamesh/Tamamo-no-Mae - 10
Berserker Pool: Roll 2 d6 & 1 d4
Lancelot/Salome/ChaCha - 3
Caligula/Lu Bu/Boudica - 4
Minamoto no Raikou/Sakata Kintoki/Shuten-douji - 5
Li Shuwen/Vlad III/Mori Nagayoshi - 6
Frankenstein/Spartacus/Florance Nightingale - 7
Atalanta/Penthesilea/Asterios - 8
Beowulf/Darius III/Eric Bloodaxe - 9
Hijikata Toshizo/Ibaraki-douji/Kiyohime - 10
Phantom of the Opera/Jack the Ripper/Kijyo Koyo - 11
Magni/Galatea/Heracles - 12
Weaponry & Noble Phantasms:
Given the… wide variety of Servant Weapons and Noble Phantasms it is highly recommended that GMs look at what Servants are in play and balance around that. But as this is still a guide for balancing I will attempt to illustrate the absolute minimums for each.
The following dice pool is for normal weaponry, at minimum a Servant weapon should double the dice pool of a given standard weapon on a basic attack and quadruple it on a critical hit.
Weapon Dice Pool Minimums:
Small Weapons: Club/Dagger/Sickle/Light Hammer/Whip/Dart/Sling - 1 d4
- Small Weapons can be Dual-wielded and Concealed.
Medium Weapons: Handaxe/Javelin/Mace/Quarterstaff/Spear/Scimitar/Shortsword/Trident/Shortbow/Hand Crossbow/Handgun - 1 d6
- Medium Weapons can be Dual-wielded and Blend, but cannot be Concealed. A Blend weapon will only attract notice from those looking for weapons, but otherwise can be disguised enough to pass through crowds without garnering attention.
Large Weapons: Greatclub/Battleaxe/Flail/Longsword/Katana/Morningstar/Rapier/War pick/Warhammer/Light Crossbow/Longbow/Heavy Pistol - 1 d8
- Large Weapons cannot be Dual-wielded or hidden in any way, but can be used effectively with one hand allowing you to attack those of a lower existence with either your weapon or a Runecraft in your freehand interchangeably.
Massive Weapons: Glaive/Halberd/Pike/Heavy Crossbow/Shotgun - 1 d10
- Massive Weapons require two hands and cannot be hidden in any way. They can be put down or picked up with no action, but when attacking those of a lower existence you must choose whether to make both attacks with the weapon or without it.
Heavy Weapons: Greataxe/Lance/Rifle - 1 d12; Greatsword/Maul/SMG- 2 d6
- Heavy Weapons require two hand, cannot be hidden, and take an Active Action to pick up, though they may be dropped for free.
Ranged Weapons: Rifle/SMG/Heavy Pistol/Heavy Crossbow/Shortbow/Hand Crossbow/Light Crossbow/Longbow/Sling
- Ranged Weapons Cannot be used in melee, much as Melee Weapons cannot be used at range. Ranged Weapons have an effective range of 50 meters.
Versatile Weapons: Shotgun/Handgun/Dart
- Versatile Weapons can be used both at range and in melee, but with caveats. At range Versatile Weapons have an effective range of 25 meters. In melee Versatile Weapons have Disadvantage, but landing a hit in melee with them automatically doubles the damage they inflict.
Offensive Noble Phantasms should have, at minimum, double the dice pool of the Servant’s primary weapon and advantage on any secondary effects. Though ultimately whether a GM decides to focus on the secondary effects or raw damage for ranks is entirely up to them, but given ranks carry a higher NP cost for Masters the rank of a Noble Phantasm should be taken into account when balancing the dice pool. General advice would be to double the dice pool at rank E, triple it at rank C, & quadruple it at ranks A as an absolute minimum as well as give secondary effects advantage at rank D, minor secondary effects even when failed at rank B, and be unavoidable at rank EX(provided said effects aren’t some form of instant death).
In conclusion remember this is all for fun. What I’m providing is an outline of where to start and how to go about it, if any of this doesn’t work for your campaign modify it or discard it entirely. Don’t let a ruleset restrict your creativity because at the end of the day telling the story you want to tell is what an RPG system like this is meant to do.
Apologies for shitting that all out but the updated ruleset is twice the length of the character limit so I couldn’t just edit it into the first post.
Ill get a epilogue set up later.
I’ll join the next campaign too.
In case the thread gets longer and we lose sight of the updated rulebook, it’s in posts 860 - 863
It should be possible to tag posts. @KamikazeAardvark might want to tag them at the start of the thread to make them easier to find.
I did it in my fan Servant creation thread to help people keep track of their posts.
The OP contains both the original and links to the updated ruleset.
So far 3 volunteers for the next campaign which is enough, I can manage up to 5 players if past experience is any indication so if anyone else wants to jump on that’s alright with me.
As for the campaign we have 3 options and I’ll give a brief overview of each without spoilers and put up a vote.
Option 1: Dead Apostle Campaign - A number of organizations that would normally never cooperate came together on an initiative to solve a rampant problem. Something went wrong, now a team with representative comprising someone from each of the organizations responsible is being sent into to investigate what went wrong and fix it if possible. This takes place in a Servant universe for point of reference and will feature a singular Servant as an NPC.
Option 2: True Ancestor Campaign - This one is hard without immediately giving away the plot but suffice it to say the Mage’s Association tried to put the genie back in the bottle. It didn’t work, now the “Experts” need to clean up the mess.
Option 3: Counter Guardian Campaign - A “what if” scenario. What if Team A wasn’t taken out of commission in Chaldea and instead one member was dispatched to each of the Singularities. The players in this are still acting as members of the Counter Force, but will be summoned to each Singularity in place of one of the NPC Servants at random. Even I won’t know who you’ll be replacing until I start writing.
- Option 1
- Option 2
- Option 3
Also not trying to rush past the Epilogue, just need to know where to focus my writing efforts in the meantime.
Ooh, intriguing options…
I’m ready to do the epilogue whenever. I just kind of want to go last.
Where precisely the NPCs end up is dependent on what if anything you and Emprisk do with them so I have to wait until the two of you go.
Oh. Well, I’ll let Empriak go first. I think the winner should close things out.
Unless yours is 20 years later in universe, then you might want to start typing.
Last one seems cool, but idk if I’m creative enough for this kinda thing