IC; The Witchfire Trilogy, modified setting.


1 to 50 of 51 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

I am testing a new system of mine (you may have noticed early iterations of it a while ago, much has improved since then) called Roads and Ruins.

As I happen to have the complete Witchfire Trilogy, I thought I'd run that campaign using my new system. I will change a few things about the setting though, steam engines aren't as common, instead things like steamjacks are powered by power crystals instead, and much of the tech is arcane tech, powered by the user, including some more advanced items.

Obviously this means the setting will be slightly heavier on magic. Mostly want to test my rules for arcane tech, but this should be mostly minor flavor.

Mostly the story will remain the same, so those who are familiar with it will hopefully not be disappointed.

For those wondering, I have the book which includes both bridge adventures, should the game last that long.

The pace will be moderate, expect posting a couple times a week.

The basics of my system (more will be posted later),
It is classless (though classpacks will be added later), and advanced by skills.

The d20 is replaced by three dice, one based on your attributes, one based on your skill, and a luck die.

Much of it easily convertible with d20 material though.

Magic is different, a feat allows you to learn broad spell effects which are learned and used as skills. The higher the skill in the spell effect, the better it is, and the more you can do with it.

Combat is also based on skills, weapons by category, armor, shields, etc. You have three different ways to defend against attacks, each has advantages and disadvantages, which makes things a bit more tactically interesting.

Players roll much of the dice (a concept found in Unearthed Arcana), so players roll their attacks and defenses against the static values of the NPCs.

I would be willing to give it a try. But I am not familiar with the original Witchfire trilogy setting, So I would need a lot more information than you have here.

The Witchfire trilogy takes place in the Iron Kingdoms setting, which is fantasy and steampunk. It is like the industrial revolution in a world of magic. Early guns, steamengines, water and wind mills, great and complex mechanical devices, iron constructions includes ships and such. Steamjacks are like steampowered mechs.

In any case, I plan on toning down the industrial theme and use tech powered by mana that is reminiscent of early electronics, inspired by Fallout Equestria, though with differences, such as using illusions as interfaces and controls, powered by rare and difficult to make Power Gems.

I can answer further questions, but will save any large posts till I can post from home (I'm using a phone right now)

Something I just noticed and feel I need to point out, the Witchfire Trilogy is a set of APs for the Iron Kingdoms setting, thus why I feel fine altering the setting to what I need.

The series involves a particularly powerful magic sword called the "Witchfire" which... well I won't spoil it, but suffice it to say, I am using an AP in a custom setting which should still be somewhat similar and recognizable to the original, modified more for testing out certain ideas.



That makes two! Maybe.

Any questions you'd like answered to get a skeleton of a character concept?

I can start posting more info about the system, if you're ready for it.

2nd the motion of interest. Gnomish economist incoming (sarcasm). :)
Edit: also unfamiliar to the setting :(

Well since so many are unfamiliar with the original setting, I'm not gonna worry using it as reference nor sticking to it's familiarity, however, should you desire to know more about the Iron Kingdoms setting, for which this ap was written, then you can find out all kinds of stuff on the Privateer Press website.

I'll just describe my own modified setting the players will be in.

There are 6 major races, humans, elves, dwarves, reapling, zyphers, and fealin. The last three of my own design.

Reaplings are an artificial race and can be created in a number of forms, as such are quite varied. They have black blood, and are covered in dark pearlescent scales. They just appeared on day like refugees. They don't speak of their origins, but they clearly came from elsewhere.

Zyphers are basically magical tigers, mostly of a scholar-warrior social structure. They have a few varieties, a winged form, a strong form, and a magically superior form.

Fealin are small tree dwellers. Humanoid, but they have stubby wings and silk glands that allow them to make webs. Many suspect a connection of heritage between them and zyphers, though the truth remains unknown.

also some info on character building would be nice so we can start that soon.

Some patience required there. I can give the basics, but still doing some work. Kinda no point in making the setting stuff if no players right? But since I got players, I'll post the basics tues or thurs.


Each character has three types of stats plus description and equipment.

There are far fewer secondary/derived stats.

Your primary innate stats are nine attributes, strength, agility, constitution, intellect (logic and memory), creativity (problem solving and abstract thinking), awareness (and intuition), soul (everyone needs, not just casters), aura, charisma.

Then there are skills. These are broad categories, but can also learn specializations which are tracked and advanced like skills, but add their die to the regular skill check when the specialization is applicable. Both combat and magic use skills, though magic skills generally have requirements.

The last type is features, which are like feats.

No bab, cmb, or similar. There are some minor stats such as carry capacity, but these can be worried about later except two, fatigue and wound points. Fatigue is like power points to power not just magic but also special attacks and is also related with endurance. Wounds points are gained from taking damage and reduce your fort save (which is to avoid becoming injured.)

Saves are rolls with two attributes as a reaction to something.

As this is classless, your skill and feature choices are the primary consideration.

Skills are classified into three "classes" based on how difficult they are to learn. This has three effects, the initial die size, whether it can be used untrained, and advancement (as the points needed to go up to the second die size is the same regardless of what the initial die size was)

Class 1 skills start at a d2 untrained, and a d4 when first trained.

Class 2 skills start at d0 untrained and d2 when first trained.

Class 3 skills can't be used untrained and start at d0 when first trained.

Skills include the following, though are not limited to officially listed skills. If you want a skill but feel none listed fit, then ask for what you want.

Also, skills can be used in different ways and may change what attribute it is rolled with depending on use. For example, Handle Animal can be used to interact, train, ride, recall practical information, etc about animals and thus could use charisma, agility, or even intellect depending on which is appropriate.

Sample skill list...

Class 1 sample skills,
Bluff (covers verbal and nonverbal)
Handle Animal
Escape Artist
Perform (sing, dance, etc)
Speech (can use for bluff or intimidate, but is verbal/written only)

Class 2 sample skills,
Focus (important for multitasking and dual wielding)
Knowledge (academic knowledge)
Perform Instrument (drums, flute, violin, etc)
Speak Language (for learning new languages)
Trade (craft, profession, practical knowledge, rolled into one)
Use Complex Device (combines user maintenance, sabotage, and proper use of complex devices. More versatile but less capable then trade)

Perform Instrument
Speak Language
Are skill collections that operate then same way but have different levels of training for different variations of the skill. I.E. Trade (smithing) is different from Trade (sailor).

Combat skills,
Weapons, one skill for each weapon group, such as light blades, heaves blades, maces, hammers picks and axes, ropes, flails, bows, whip bows, etc

Armor, skills are by type, such as scale, chain, plate, etc. Armor is generally not rolled as a skill, but instead reduces armor penalties. Further, the armor bonus to fort saves uses the lower of your skill or the armor's bonus.

Dodge is a special skill that adds it's die to reflex saves when you are aware of an attack.

Powers, (usually magic in this case) are generally class 3 skills that require either, or both, features and certain ranks in other skills, before they can be learned.

Magic has effects that are each their own skill (similar to words of power but broader in scope). When cast one uses the effect skill.

To cast a spell one chooses the effect, target type, range, etc. Each of these elements has two costs, complexity and drain. Complexity determines the DC to successfully cast the spell, and drain determines the amount of fatigue one must spend to cast the spell.

Basic spell effects,
Aura Sight
Force Projection
Shadow Projection

These are broad and can usually be reversed, for example, Thermics could be used to cook food, light a fire, burn enemies, freeze water into ice, chill a drink, etc

I do have alignment, but this isn't dnd style at all, but rather is based the psychological motivations and karma.

You pick an alignment and a +2, 0, or -2 karma.

The alignments are,
Community (one who cares about the welfare of their community)
Universalism (one who cares about tolerance and understanding)
Self direction (one who cares about their own thoughts and ideas)
Stimulation (one who cares about experiencing novel things)
Hedonism (one who desires pleasure of some sort, not always sex)
Achievement (one who.wants to be seen.as successful)
Power (one who desires control, prestige, and/or dominance)
Security (one who cares about safety and stability)
Conformity (one who cares about acceptance)
Tradition (one who desires commitment and consistency)

Karma is a number between -10 and 10. Your actions have a value based on whether it helps or harms others and this value is averaged into your karma score, so committing murder reduces your karma score, while charity usually improves it. Only major actions and actions well outside your current score are counted.

Someone who uses Aura Sight can usually see your karma, low karma folks have dark evil looking auras, while high karma folks have bright good looking auras.

Beyond this your auras appearance is up to you, though experienced folks can sometimes derive more info about you by looking at your aura.

I have too much on my plate, have to withdraw.

Is anyone still there? I kinda expected a bit of feedback or questions.

If you are still there, you can roll 4d6 drop lowest for each of the 9 attributes. Everything else comes from those. Note, int affects how many skills you start with.

The score for each attribute determines the die size when rolling the attribute and sometimes other things as well.

Well I'm interested but there are a lot of questions about how things work obviously. I'll roll.

Attribute: 4d6 ⇒ (5, 1, 6, 2) = 14 14-1=13
Attribute: 4d6 ⇒ (4, 3, 3, 1) = 11 11-1=10
Attribute: 4d6 ⇒ (2, 4, 3, 5) = 14 14-2=12
Attribute: 4d6 ⇒ (1, 1, 3, 5) = 10 10-1=9
Attribute: 4d6 ⇒ (3, 5, 5, 6) = 19 19-3=16
Attribute: 4d6 ⇒ (5, 5, 6, 2) = 18 18-2=16
Attribute: 4d6 ⇒ (5, 3, 6, 3) = 17 17-3=14
Attribute: 4d6 ⇒ (2, 5, 2, 5) = 14 14-2=12
Attribute: 4d6 ⇒ (6, 3, 5, 4) = 18 18-3=15

What are you looking for in terms of playtest players?

Mostly I need opinions on how smooth, flexible, and usable the mechanics are. Clarity of the rules is also important, as I'm an autistic, my written skills are not always as good as desired, so I also need to make sure I'm writing things in a way that is understandable.

Suggestions are always welcome as are critiques.

I'm trying to make the mechanics modularly expandable, so one can play with the bare bones or add secondary mechanics as desired.

Ok, so I guess this will be a bit of a learning process for everyone. That's cool. So I arranged my attributes to make a not very physical character

strength 9
agility 13
constitution 10
intellect (logic and memory) 16
creativity (problem solving and abstract thinking) 16
awareness (and intuition) 15
soul (everyone needs, not just casters) 12
aura 12
charisma 14

What's the next step?

Choose a race,
Human, +2 cha, +2 con, +2 str, -2 awa -2 aur
+2 features

Elf, +2 sou, +4 agi, +2 cre, -2 con, -2 int
Magically inclined, magic effects skills are class 2 and no feature needed to learn the Fate and Enhance magic effects.
Enhanced Perception, halve range penalties (round down) on perception checks and ranged weapon attacks.

Dwarf, +4 str, +2 con, +2 int, -2 cha, -2 aur
Born craftsmen, Trade (any involving careful crafting of objects) is only a class 1 skill.
Aggression, choose a weapon group, gain that weapon group and intimidate skills at d4.

Zypher, +4 sou, +2 aur,
(+2 int, -2 str, -2 con), High Zyphers
Magical infusion, the following effects may be learned as class 1 skills and without requirements, Force, , ManashapeManashapeasight. Other magic effects are class 2 skills.

(+2 agi, -2 int, -2 con), Wind Zyphers
Wings, can fly with double the land speed.
Magical infusion, can learn Formshift (air and water only) as an IPA* class 1.

Or (+2 str, -2 agi, -2 cre) Rock Zyphers
Magical infusion, gain Enhance and Divinate as class 1 IPAs.*
Reapling (special)
Template, gain the movement types and base attribute bonuses of base creature.
Imperfect Life, reaplings heal in energy that normally harms living things. Reaplings gain half the healing from any source including natural healing. However, can eventually regenerate complete form as long as reapling remains above overkill on the condition track.

Fealin, +4 cre, +2 sou, +2 aur, -2 int, -2 con
Stubby wings, can land safely from any height with a DC 10 acrobatics check. Greater control while falling, hanging, or swinging. +2a** on checks involving jumping.
Silk glands, can produce silk like a spider.

*IPA, Innate Power Ability. Always a class 1 skill, often has restrictions on use. -3 complexity.

** #a means a number of advantages, likewise #da means a number of disadvantages.

Alright let's go Elf

strength 9
agility 17
constitution 8
intellect (logic and memory) 14
creativity (problem solving and abstract thinking) 18
awareness (and intuition) 15
soul (everyone needs, not just casters) 14
aura 12
charisma 14

Magically inclined, magic effects skills are class 2 and no feature needed to learn the Fate and Enhance magic effects.
Enhanced Perception, halve range penalties (round down) on perception checks and ranged weapon attacks.

You get a number of starting skill ranks equal to your int score. You can spend these to purchase skill levels. To become trained in a skill costs one skill rank, each increase above that costs an additional skill rank, so trained +1 costs three ranks total, while trained +2 costs five ranks total. You can purchase specializations this way, but a skill must be at a d6 in order to gain a specialization tied to it.

As this is a supernatural tier game, the maximum die size to start is a d10.

You also gain 2 features to start with. If you want to be able to use magic, beyond that granted by racials, you need the Basic Magic feature, which allows you to learn any basic magic effect, normally as class 3 skills (your elf racial allows them at class 2 though.)

For features, most d20 feats can apply or be easily converted, so you can look at those for any you like as I don't have many features yet.

For weapon skills, Basic Unarmed is the only class 1 skill. Otherwise, simple weapons are class 2, and martial weapons and exotics are class 3.

The Weapons Mastery, feature "reduces" the class of weapon skills by one, so simple weapon groups become class 1, martial become class 2, but exotics stay class 3.

Armor skills are class 2.

Sample Weapon groups,
Light blades
Small blades
Heavy blades
Two handed blades
Advanced Unarmed (martial arts types)
Whip bows
Meteor hammers
Double sword

Sample Armor skills,

So with an int of 14, how many skill ranks do I have? 14?

Yes, you have 14 starting skill ranks.

So it seems like features are very roughly the equivalent of pathfinder feats? Ok it seems like it would make sense to pick Point Blank Shot and Basic Magic then.

Is that ok?

For the most part feats and features are the same thing, I just think features is a better name.

I will say however (and sorry for not thinking of this previously), that feats that simply gives a flat bonus to a skill (and using weapons are skills now) really shouldn't be allowed. Something that changes a skill use is fine, power attack for example isn't a flat bonus but rather makes a trade, metamagic makes certain things easier (since all those effects are possible innately in this magic system). Reducing penalties, altering how a skill can be used, or switching a skill's "class." Bonuses against specific targets or types, are instead a function of specializations, rather than features.

I would allow Point Blank Shot to allow ranged weapons to make counterattacks against melee opponents. (Can't really think of anything else other than a pure bonus, however limited, and given the lack of levels or skill caps, pure bonuses are just broken.) AOOs don't work the same way here, so doing anything with that doesn't make sense.

One of the more important part of point blank shot is that it is required for precise shot which is very important to a ranged character. Would that be something that also doesn't apply to this system?

For Precise Shot, I'd make it a feature with d4 training in a ranged weapon as the requirement, and three ranks, each rank reduces the penalties for shooting into melee by one disadvantage. Normally you take three disadvantage without this feature.

Don't worry so much about the d20 requirements, I'll be converting such things (feats, tools, items, etc) as players want them or I need them. And not only are there differences in some of the mechanical expectations, but I often have different ideas about balance.

So ask for what you want, I'll make a path for you to get there.

Alright. Taking Precise Shot Feature as well as Basic Magic.

How would I distribute my 14 skill ranks to make a Perceptive magic user that's good with bows? Sorry for the delay. Missed your last post.

Two ranks of a skill costs three points, so you might pick three skills to be at two ranks for nine points (perhaps Perception, a magic effect, and bows/whip bows/crossbows) then spend the remaining five points to round out skills, perhaps a profession, magic effects, or some academic knowledges.

If you want more initial variety, you might stick with one rank skills.

Alternatively, you could pick a single skill to start at three ranks for five points.

Alright for skills

3 spent on 2 ranks bow
3 spent on 2 ranks Perception

Leaving 8. Can I know what kind of 'magic effects' you're thinking about?

Just the basic effects,
Lights (create light)
Spiritshape (control spirit energy)
Sonics (create control sonic/concussive energy)
Thermics (control heat/cold)
EMagnetics (create electricity/magnetic fields)
Aura Sight (sense beyond the material senses)
Fate/Luck (affect fate/chance, easiest but weakest)
Emotives (project/sense emotions)
Gravitics (control gravity [tripolar in this world])
Timespeed (control the speed of time [no going backwards though)
Dissolve (break apart matter and patterns)
Force Projection (apply force,"telekinesis")
Shadow Projection (create partially real shadow forms)
Enhance (enhance existing effects, "jump higher, etc")
Divinate (sense at great distances)
Resize (alter the size of something, but not weight or mass)
Enervate (like positive/negative energy)
Interference (disrupt mana)
Manashape (control pure mana effects, such as a spell matrix)
Formshift (alter physical form)
Powershift (control "physical" energies)

These are broad and can usually be reversed, for example, Thermics could be used to cook food, light a fire, burn enemies, freeze water into ice, chill a drink, etc

spending 3 on Timespeed, 3 on Gravitics
1 on Knowledge Nature
1 on Sense Motive

I get Fate and Enhance for free as it's an elf character right?

Wouldn't spending 3 points on Magic effects kind of a waste for an elf though? Since they would already be class two if I spent just one point?

Number of ranks is different from class.

Ranks is how many times the die size has been increased.

Class determines the starting die size, both at generation and for advancement later.

Thus one rank on a class 2 skill gives a d2 while that same single rank could give a d4 on a class 1 skill.

The cost for advancing skills depends on how many times you've already increased the skill, so advancing a class 2 skill from d4 to d6 costs more than advancing from a d4 to a d6 in a class 1 skill.

Basically, improving the class of a skill makes it easier and faster to learn and improve.

As for Fate and Enhance, you still need to buy them, however, you would be able to buy them even if you didn't meet the normal prerequisites, for example, a fighter type elf could learn those effects without spending a feature to do so.

Ok so does anything else need to be done for character generation?


strength 9
agility 17
constitution 8
intellect (logic and memory) 14
creativity (problem solving and abstract thinking) 18
awareness (and intuition) 15
soul (everyone needs, not just casters) 14
aura 12
charisma 14

Magically inclined, magic effects skills are class 2 and no feature needed to learn the Fate and Enhance magic effects.

Enhanced Perception, halve range penalties (round down) on perception checks and ranged weapon attacks.

Precise Shot
Basic Magic

Skill Ranks:
2 ranks bow
2 ranks perception
2 ranks Timespeed
2 ranks Gravitics
1 rank Know Nature
1 rank light armor

Two things,

1 armor is by type, such as chain, plate, scale. each type can have lighter or heaver versions. I.E. both a chain shirt, chain mail, and kings mail all use the chain armor skill.

2 it might be easier to put the die size next to the attributes and skills as the die size is what will be referenced the most by far.

Skills doesn't even need to remember ranks if you organize them by class (like I do), though it might be helpful if you organize them differently or you could notate class perhaps by a number of "*" instead of ranks, thus fewer numbers to avoid confusing numbers. Each skill will have xp so fewer numbers the better, well it's always better to have fewer numbers.

Otherwise it's off to the outfitter's! I have just been using PF/3.x gear minus most magic items, as that makes it easier to focus on the mechanics.

Healing potions, antivenom, antidote, tindertwigs, acid, and alchemist's fire (though requires something to ignite) are still available.

250 gp

Also, I use a very different alignment system based on the psychological motivations, so it ties well with a character's personality (as I described upthread) and you need to choose one that the character takes to the point of being something to struggle with. For example, a character with Universalism might struggle because they are pacifists, or hedonism who loves food might struggle with their weight, an achievement might cheat or take on only easy challenges so they always win, a community might hate other nationalities or races, etc.

Then you need to start with either +2 (good), -2 (evil), or 0 karma. For the purpose of this game, good actions are those where the character put themselves out for the sake of others, and evil characters are those who harm others for their own gain. The intent of the character is more important, though it certainly is difficult to measure.

The karma value is averaged, so doing something far outside your current score will cause a major shift, while doing something only a little better or worse will have a small shift, and anything inline with your current score will have no effect at all. Thus only major things or things far outside your current score will affect your karma.

Could you put the die size down for me? Still unclear on how it works. (I'm always better after I have a few examples). I'll switch 'light' armor for scale armor. Will put in this guy as Community minded and +2 (good).

Die sizes are every even sided die (except attributes which get a D1 for scores 1-4.)


Class 1 skills start at D4 when trained (one rank)
Class 2 skills start at D2 when trained (one rank)
Class 3 skills start at D0 when trained (one rank) and can't be used untrained.

Your perception, as a class one skill, will be a d6 while your ME: Timespeed skill as a class 2 skill (because elf) will be d4.

Every four points of your score increases the die size by one step. d1 counts as a step when your attribute score is 1-4.

1-4 = d1
5-8 = d2
9-12 = d4 (average)
13-16 = d6
17-20 = d8 (Einstein)[top of natural tier]
20-24 = d10
25-28 = d12 (Vampires/werewolves)
29-32 = d14
33-36 = d16 (Hercules)
37-40 = d18 [top of supernatural tier]
41-44 = d20 (full on god level power)[start of divine tier]

Unfortunately still don't really understand, could you put the die sizes into my character sheet next to the skill ranks?

Okay, here is my website with some info. It doesn't have everything (cause I can't edit it on my phone) but it has some, you can even see an older version of things. Hopefully with that and what I write below will help it make sense.


For attributes, just divide the score by 4 rounded up, and that is how many die steps from 0 you get.

Thus a strength of 9 is a D4 (9/4 = 2.25; rnd up to 3; D0 -> D1 -> D2 -> D4).

D4 8 strength
D8 17 agility
D2 8 constitution
D6 14 intellect (logic and memory)
D8 18 creativity (problem solving and abstract thinking)
D6 15 awareness (and intuition)
D6 14 soul (everyone needs, not just casters)
D4 12 aura
D6 14 charisma

I have thought of an alternative way to think about the skills. The class is how many ranks it takes to get a D4 in the skill, so a class 1 skill takes one rank to get a D4, while Class 2 skills take two ranks to get to a D4, etc

Class 1 skills
D6 Perception (2 ranks)

Class 2 skills
D4 CS: Bows (2 ranks)
D4 ME: Gravitics (2 ranks)
D4 ME: Timespeed (2 ranks)
D2 CS: Scale Armor (1 rank)
D2 Academics (Nature) (1 rank)

Does this make it easier to understand how those dice sizes were determined?

Honestly in-person is so much easier as my writing skills are not very good, unfortunately I don't know anyone I can meet up with in person. I hope this is understandable though, and if you can write it understandably I would appreciate it (as would any other potential players, not that there seem to be any)

Yeah it really does help. It's a very different system from pathfinder so takes some getting used to is all. You probably need to write up a full document which will be like the basic chapters in other RPGs corebooks with examples and things like that. Some readers can get a system just by explanation, others need examples. It's a big undertaking for sure.

True it seems like there's not enough interest for this to make a game. It's still fun to create a character in a new system though.

If I get this right though, If I wanted to shoot something with a bow with this character. I'd roll a 1d8(agi)+1d4(bow)?

You have a luck die as well, so an attack with a bow is,

D12 (luck), d8 (agi), d4 (cs: bows), d# (circumstance die, the bonuses/penalties)

It is intended so that, like d20 games, a 10 is an average roll for an average person, and 20 is a professional level of skill, etc.

The luck die can also earn fortune and misfortune, which can function like criticals as well as other stuff.

Azih wrote:
... You probably need to write up a full document which will be like the basic chapters in other RPGs corebooks with examples and things like that. ...

I have an SRD actually, though it is still being constructed, slowly due to inability to edit using my phone.


The version .2 has changes from version .1, but the first is more complete so can give some additional info and context, just be aware of potential changes.

1 to 50 of 51 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Online Campaigns / Recruitment / IC; The Witchfire Trilogy, modified setting. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.