What's all this about?

About a year and a half ago Patrick and I came to feel that the division between
many role-playing gamers and Magic: The Gathering players was a bit of a pity.
More importantly, it seemed like Wizards of the Coast might find it profitable to open
up a secondary market for magic cards - and if we wrote a book that made that
possible and offered it to them a bit of that profit and publicity might come our way.
Besides, it would be fun to write and playtest.
So we designed a roleplaying system that used Magic cards as basic elements of
the characters, as their minions, and as a library of opposition for them, allowed for
the use of both magi and mundane characters of every level - squires or dabbling
mage-apprentices on through legendary heroes and mighty planeswalkers - allowed
players to make characters of every major race and type in the system at the time,
and allowed for full-scale planewalker duels. We even made it nominally d20
compatible (although we preferred the 3d6 option) in case Wizards wanted to tie in
that product line as well.
Then we recruited a few playtesters, let them build master summoners, fireball-
spewing sorcerers, noble knights, and insane tinkerers, and had some fun. Judging
from the reactions of some of our local magic players it looked like there would be
more than enough interest, so we went ahead and submitted it. Sadly, Wizards of
the Coast referred us to a submissions agent company - who charged a modest fee
and eventually got back to us to tell us that Wizards of the Coast wasn't interested
in submissions based on Magic: The Gathering.
Presumably they've had years of being flooded with them.
Still, that left us with a complete game system with no place to go - and some of
our playtesters were already starting to pass around copies of the draft PDF. Since
it's out there anyway, here’s a version with an explanatory note. After all, in its
current form (a final version published through Wizards of the Coast would be
another matter) it's essentially a free fan production designed to boost WTC sales,
and certainly does not attempt to compete with or replace any product of theirs that
we're aware of. If anyone at Wizards ever sees it hopefully they'll like it or want to
comment (If so, try my gaming blog, at http://ruscumag.wordpress.com/), send
Email to Feedback@DistantHorizonsGames.Com (I check that every so often), or
look for our print products at http://stores.lulu.com/store.php?fAcctID=601512. If
WTC feels that it's an infringement - or more of one than any other fan-production
revolving around their Magic: The Gathering trademark - they can let us know, and
we’ll take it down. On the other hand, if they express approval (or, hopefully, decide
that they want to pick it up), we'll see about getting it onto a few of the fan sites as
well or - gladly - start in on a print version. It was fun: just because it apparently
won't be going commercial doesn't mean that no one else should get to play with it.
-Paul Melroy, for Distant Horizons Games
General Index
Introduction 2
Characters 2
Basic Character Creation 2
Types
Abilities 2
Ability Rank Details 3
Cards 3
Lands 3
Creatures 3
Artifacts 4
Enchantments 4
Instants & Sorceries 4
Special Card Rules 4
Distinctions 5
Armsman 5
Enhanced Sense 5
Good-Looking 5
Immunity 5
Inspiration 5
Landbond 5
Legendary 5
Legend Master 5
(___) Lord 5
Lucky 5
Magician 5
Magical Talent
In MTG:RPG 6
Martial Artist 6
Might 6
Poison 6
Role 6
Sharpshooter 6
Swarm Master 6
(___) Training 6
Undead 6
Warlord 6
Descriptions 7
Disadvantages 7
Sample Listing 7
Species 8
Angels 8
Aven and Griffins 8
Centaurs 8
Cephalid 8
Demons and Devils 9
Djinn and Efreet 9
Dragons 9
Dwarves 9
Elves 9
Goblins and Orcs 9
Leonin 9
Loxodons 10
Merfolk 10
Minotaurs 10
Nantuko 10
Nezumi-bito 10
Orochi-bito 10
Soratami 10
Treefolk 10
Vedalken 10
Character Templates 11
The Assassin or Spy 11
The Barbarian Hero 11
The Hedge Wizard 11
The Lesser Mage 11
The Magelord 11
The Merchant 11
The Planewalker 12
The Priest 12
The Scholar 12
The Thief 12
The Warrior 12
Designing Character Types 13
Character Levels 13
Initial Ability Limits 13
Character Advancement 13
Opportunity Rewards 13
Fiat Rewards 13
Replacing Characters
The Duel Arcane 14
The Planewalker's Duel 15
Planewalker Distinction 15
Abilities 16
d6 versus d20 16
Using Abilities 16
The Base Rolls 16
Success Levels 16
Attacks 16
Combat Stances 16
Combat Damage 16
Critical Hits & Fumbles 16
Exclusive Abilities 17
General Abilities 25
The Landrule 31
Forests 31
Mountains 32
Islands 32
Plains 33
Swamps 33
Exotic Lands 33
Game Structure 34
Turns and Scenes 34
Tapping 34
Creature Conversions 34
Creature Statistics 34
Creature Combat 34
Creature Abilities 34
Combat Turns 35
Surprise 35
Reaction and Initiative 35
Turns and Actions 35
Follower Actions 35
Accounting 35
Mana Burn 35
Timekeeping 35
Refreshing Cards 35
Movement and Position 36
Other sources of damage 36
The Workings of Cards 36
Keywords & Definitions 37
Running the Worlds 41
Classifying Creatures 41
Equipment 41
Strategic Choices 42
Mana Levels 42
Dynamic Magic 43
Sample Characters 44
Legal Note 44
2
Introduction
MTG:RPG lets you create and play characters in the
worlds of MTG:CCG using your MTG:CCG cards -
without having to settle for short combat-oriented
sessions, having to struggle against each other, or
necessarily playing Planewalkers. You can develop
your characters over time, interact socially, and take on
a wide variety of roles within the ongoing saga.
You’ll need some six sided dice and a character
sheet, and you’ll probably want to have a 20-sided die
and some MTG:CCG cards available.
The rules for MTG:CCG are available here, at
http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=magic/rules
Since almost everything in a RPG revolves around
the characters, that’s where we’ll start off.
Characters
Character creation is simple in
Magic: The Gathering Role Playing
Game. The Game Master decides on
the starting level - usually level 4. You
gain ten times your level in ability
points. Ability points are then spent on
skills, but you may exhange two ability
points for a card slot, or four for a
Distinction. You may not have more
Distinctions than your level. You may
not start play with a skill level above 5.
As a recommendation, invest at least
twice as many points in skills as cards.
This gives you a wide base of skills and
abilities you may need to survive.
Card slots represent major spells,
f ol l ower s, and magi cal i t ems.
Distinctions are innate special abilities
and skills. They’re both covered in
detail later on.
Characters usually start around level
4 because that level indicates they have
strong skills, talents, and show promise
in their chosen field. At the same time,
they are not nearly masters. A level 1
character has virtually no magical
abilities or talents, whereas a level 7
character is as powerful as many great
heroes.
Only the major characters get full
write-ups. Minor followers, people on
the street, and creatures use an
abbreviated system. Major characters
get certain special abilities - the skills
and abilities included in a full writeup -
just for being important. Mana knows
those who have great destinies, and
protects them from certain forces.
Major characters have five basic attributes - Type,
Abilities, Cards, Distinctions, and Description. Some
have Disadvantages and a Species other than human
or near-human. Taking these in order:
Type descriptions are supplied by type cards or by
the game master. In either case, types have several
basic elements - their level, ability modifiers, and
special abilities (if any). Just as in MTG:CCG their level
is indicated by the number of Mana symbols on the top
of the card and their abilities are listed in the text block.
As characters grow and gain new abilities they may
change types and learn new roles.
Abilities are simply ratings for how good a character
is at particular tasks. For the basic game abilities are
scored at ratings of 2 (unskilled, the normal base score)
through 10 (grandmaster). Abilities are divided into
General and Exclusive categories. General abilities can
be rolled even if a character hasn’t allotted any ability
3
points to increase their level in them. Exclusive abilities
cannot be used for anything except automatic actions
unless you’ve invested some points in them. The
abilities are listed on the basic character sheet.
Ability Level Descriptions
Rank 0 Useless.
Rank 1 N o t a b l y i m p a i r e d o r r a c i a l l y
disadvantaged.
Rank 2 Untrained. Basically a competent person.
Rank 3 Basic training.
Rank 4 Ordinary professional level.
Rank 5 Talented professional.
Rank 6 Expert.
Rank 7 Master. As skilled as normal people ever
become.
Rank 8 Inhuman. Only a demigod can possibly
match your level of mastery.
Rank 9 Unbelievable. No one can possibly be that
good without supernatural aid.
Rank 10 Grandmaster. You have truly unearthly
mastery of every possible application of
the ability.
Ranks 11 and 12 are only available to characters
with special racial aptitudes or unique enhancements.
If it should become important, Rank 11 is Godlike, and
is exceeded only by Rank 12 - Supremacy. At Rank 12,
no entity in the multiverse exceeds your mastery.
Cards represent followers, lands, mighty artifacts,
great spells, and other precious resources gleaned from
relics of the past, careful research, lengthy recruiting,
and lucky finds. Their power can far surpass that of the
abilities - but cards are far harder to come by. There are
several choices to make regarding cards.
Lands are limited by the Mana Tapping ability and by
the character’s innate talent. Magelords and
Planewalkers actually control the full power of the lands
they claim, gaining the powers of Landrule (page 31)
and often ruling over their people and inhabitants.
Sadly, that mystical link leaves them open to the
dangerous of a full-scale Duel Arcane (page 14).
Lesser Magi are limited by their Mana Tapping ability
and so can only draw Mana (at one point per day) from
those lands to which they’re attuned. They cannot draw
on the special powers of the Landrule without a
Distinction and their Mana supply is subject to the
whims of any Magelord who claims the same land.
Magelords can use the special powers of those
lands they control, permit or block the flow of Mana to
lesser magi attuned to those lands on a whim (hence;
“Magelord”), and may attune additional basic lands
according to their level of talent. Unfortunately, their
ability to attune exotic lands is still limited by their Mana
Tapping ability and they can still only tap into Mana on
a per-day basis. Since most Magelords’ first act on
claiming an area is to lock out any lesser magi who
have been using its power - at least until they pay for
the privilege somehow - lesser magi often owe fealty to
a Magelord.
Planewalkers can tap into lands almost without limit
while operating in a battle-realm, but - while within a
dimension - operate under the same rules as
Magelords.
Game Masters who want to run land-poor games
may opt to make initial lands more expensive, counting
each as two card selections, and may or may not allow
characters to start with any exotic lands in their
selection.
Since only one Planewalker or Magelord can control
a land at a time, most Magelords are deeply concerned
with the defense of their lands and with challenges to
their control. Fortunately for them, they can usually
leave such defense in the hands of competent lesser
magi in their service.
Creatures come in hundreds of specific types but,
for our purposes, only a few general ones. These
include Beasts (more-or-less “natural” creatures),
Aberrations (the undead, dragons, horrors from beyond
and so on), Minions (knights, druids, elves, and so on),
Spirits (nature spirits, elementals, and related beings),
and Constructs (golems, war machines, and similar
creations). Each is limited by a particular ability: a
character cannot have more Beast cards or any Beast
card with a higher level (converted Mana cost) than he
or she has ranks in the Beast Mastery ability. Monsters
are limited by the Aberration ability, Minions by
Leadership, Spirits by Shamanism, and Constructs by
Artificer. Characters must also have high enough
ratings in the relevant magical attribute or attributes to
be able to summon or bind the creature in question.
For example, if the Bringer of Doom is a horrible
undead dragon which requires 4 Red and 4 Black Mana
to summon in a normal game, a character would need
Aberration 8, Red Magic 8, Black Magic 8, and enough
Mana to call it up. This isn’t easy.
Secondarily, Creatures can be designated as
Followers or as Conjurations when you acquire the
card. Followers are with you all the time (leave the card
face up on the table by your character sheet), at least
unless you send them on an errand or leave them at
home today and don’t require any Mana to recruit. On
the upside, they’re tougher than Conjurations. Followers
don’t die until -20 life, just like the player characters.
On the other hand, they’re a lot harder to replace; if
one dies, you’re going to have to find and recruit a
replacement. If you have a card-drawing ability this
generally only requires taking out some time to go and
recruit someone. If not, it may require a modest
adventure.
Of course, there are times when having a bunch of
Followers trailing you is inappropriate - especially if one
of them happens to be that Bringer of Doom. If one of
your followers is killed, turn the card face down until you
can find a replacement.
4
Conjurations are short-term magical summonings.
This requires a lot of Mana, means that they’re
banished or “die” at 0 life, and that they never last more
than an hour or so, but it also means that they’re easy
to get back. All a summoner has to do is take a brief
break to rebuild the pattern of the spell and cast it
again. Just like with Followers, once a Conjuration is
“Slain,” or the duration of the summoning runs out, turn
the card face down until your character gets a bit of rest
(how much depends on the type of card, see page 35).
Then put it back in your hand. Conjurations don’t get to
act until the turn after they’re summoned.
Token creatures can be either Followers or
Conjurations. In either case, they count against the limit
on the appropriate type of card.
Artifacts are straightforward. Whether they’re items
or creatures they’re limited by the Artificer ability just as
creatures are limited by their relevant abilities. Artifacts
are usually permanent items. Followers can use most
artifacts, even if they can’t normally be equipped to a
creature.
Enchantments are limited by the Enchantment
ability. Enchantments which require upkeep require it on
a daily basis, hence they’re most effective when applied
to Followers.
The enchantment ability can also be used to lay a
variety of short-term, low-powered enchantments, such
as night sight, slight (+1) increases in general abilities,
or making someone like you; these also occupy
enchantment slots. Hence only the most seriously
power-obsessed magi try to max out their supply of
major (card) enchantments.
Instants and Sorceries are limited by the
Elementalism ability. There is one major distinction
between them however; Instants work like Conjurations
while Sorceries are simply powerful spells you happen
to have acquired. Once you use an Instant you turn it
face down until you have a bit of time off. Sorceries can
be used as often as you want - as long as you have the
Mana to power them. Given that creatures are more
durable in MTG:RPG, Instants and Sorceries that do
damage inflict 1d6+1 damage per point that they would
normally inflict. Card-based effects do not require rolls
to hit or Resist Magic checks unless they are instant-
death effects.
Certain cards are subject to special rules in
MTG:RPG. While most of these appear in the
Keywords section (page 37), some of the most common
rules include:
! Card Draw cards which allow the user to draw an
extra card during the draw step are only useful to
reduce the time required to replace cards which have
been destroyed - slain followers, broken artifacts, or
devastated lands. Each card which would be drawn
allows the user to replace one destroyed card at the
beginning of each session without having to actually
play out doing so. Permanent items provide whatever
bonus cards they’d normally provide per turn at the start
of each session.
! Card Draw cards which allow the user to draw
extra cards during a turn can be used to refresh
exhausted cards before their normal refresh time is up.
If the Dynamic Magic option is in use, they can also be
used to draw cards for use with that ability.
! Cards which force the discarding of other cards
exhaust one card per card which would normally be
sent to the graveyard or otherwise removed. If a target
has no unexhausted cards they have no further effect.
! Cards which allow the user to search for a
specified card can be used to fill a card slot which was
left vacant at the beginning of the session or can be
activated and then discarded to create a vacant slot.
They’re useful in getting out a specific card to meet a
specific challenge, but deprive the user of the use of at
least one slot in the meantime.
! Any card that ends the game in some fashion can
only be used by the Game Master - usually as part of a
plot which the player characters want to stop.
! Epic Spells terminate after the end of the
confrontation in which they were used.
! Any “Tokens” a card or spell creates count as
cards of the same type, and count against restrictions
on their maximum number. Otherwise, since a
MTG:RPG game can cover many years of game time,
anyone using a card which spawns tokens could have
a limitless number of them.
! Legend Cards are subject to restrictions: Since
they represent unique places, individuals, and things,
only one of each may be used in a game and the Game
Master must approve them in advance. They’re never
Conjurations; they’re always followers or real items.
Finally, any character who wants to control a legend
card must have either the Planewalker or Legend
Master Distinction. The Game Master will generally opt
to require the completion of a special quest or mission
before allowing a Legend card to enter play.
! Global effects only apply to the cards which the
user and any opposing Magelord(s) actually control.
Other cards, and the world in general, are unaffected.
! Sacrificing lands simply means renouncing their
link with you, not actually destroying them. The Game
Master may rule that this also applies to legendary
cards in general, since otherwise they would be
permanently removed from the game.
! There are ten official cards (Polar Kraken,
Hypnox, Iname as One, Blinkmoth Infusion, Mox Lotus,
Mycosynth Golem, Autochthon Wurm, the expensive
half of the Big Furry Monster duo, Draco and Gleemax)
with base costs of 11+. These cannot be controlled
(although they CAN be unleashed) outside of
Planewalker Duels without an appropriate Distinction,
although it is possible to collect enough Mana to play
most of them fairly readily. Secondarily, the Mox Lotus,
Gleemax, and possibly the Big Furry Monster are jokes,
and should not be permitted in MTG:RPG.
5
Distinctions
Distinctions are special
talents and privileges, the little
touches which make characters
extraordinary in a variety of
ways. Whi l e t her e ar e
t h o u s a n d s o f p o s s i b l e
Distinctions, some of the most
common include:
Armsman I-IV. Armsmen
are masters of weapons,
armor, and melee combat.
Each l evel of Armsman
provides +1 Defense (see
Attacks under Using Abilities,
page 16) and +1 power (1d6
damage) in HTH combat. A
character who is deprived of his
or her primary weapons or
armor loses one effective level
of Armsman, one deprived of
all weapons and armor loses
two - three if nothing is
available to improvise with.
Enhanced Sense. Characters with this Distinction
have augmented sensory abilities. They may have a
sense of smell like a bloodhound, be able to see in the
infrared and ultraviolet, be able to operate in the dark by
some sort of “radar sense,” be able to hear the voices
of the unquiet dead, or sense the presence of diseases
and toxins. The sensory enhancement involved must be
selected when this Distinction is taken and be approved
by the Game Master - if only because he or she will
have to describe what the character detects.
Good-Looking. Good-Looking makes you extremely
attractive. Movie-star attractive. You’ll get invited to
places simply because you’re so decorative, draw
obsessed fans and groupies, and need never sleep
alone. People will give you presents. Of course, they
may also try to kidnap you to put you in a Harem or try
to force you into marriage, but there’s a price for
everything.
Immunity. Immunity allows the character to simply
ignore the effects of some sort of attack. Characters
may be immune to poison, to particular types of energy
(fire, cold, lightning, etc), to particular colors (this allows
a DC 18 Resist Magic check to overcome), or even to
some effects, such as falls or being surprised. The
Game Master will probably refuse to allow characters to
take immunity to too many things.
Inspiration. A character with Inspiration can share
one of his or her abilities with his or her followers and
Conjurations. If it’s applied to an ability once, the
inspiring character can share it at up to rank 4. If it’s
applied twice it can be shared at up to rank 6. Applying
it three times allows the chosen
ability to be shared at up to rank
7, the maximum possible.
A character can share up to
seven abilities with his or her
followers, but no more.
Landbond. Landbond allows a
Lesser Mage to attune to an
additional two lands and to draw
on the Landrule powers but does
not open them to the Duel Arcane
or allow them to keep others from
tapping into the lands they’re
attuned to. Unlike extra levels of
t he Mag i c i an Di s t i nc t i on,
Landbond can be learned without
difficulty after character creation.
Legendary. To become
Legendary a character must have
at least 8 other Distinctions
already and cannot have any level
of Magician. It’s the difference
between learning to channel
Mana and becoming a natural
expression of it. In any case, a
Legendary character gains some exotic special ability,
power, or talent unique to them and a +2 bonus to their
effective rating in any 3 abilities selected by the Game
Master (This may take their effective score up to a
maximum of 12). Legendary characters are rare and
sought-after.
Legend Master. This Distinction lets a character
control Legend cards. Unless the Game Master gives
you special permission, you’ll normally have to have at
least five other Distinctions first. Planewalkers don’t
need this Distinction while they’re in a battle-realm;
under those circumstances they can control anything
they can get ahold of.
(___) Lord. These Distinctions allow their users to
partially bypass the restrictions on the number and
power level of a particular type of card which they can
control, increasing the maximum level of the cards
which they can control by +1 and the number of cards
which they can control by +2. This Distinction may be
applied to a particular card type up to three times.
Lucky. Some people just get all the breaks. A lucky
character gets three chances to reroll the dice per
game session, dropping the old result in favor of the
new one. They may even use multiple rerolls on a
single roll if they’re determined enough.
Magician I-IV. Lesser Mage (may tap into Mana from
a number of lands equal to your Mana Tapping rank),
Magelord I (first 3 basic lands of each type do not count
against Mana Tapping limit), Magelord II (first 5 basic
lands of each type do not count against Mana Tapping
limit), Planewalker (see the Planewalker section; only
6
available with GM approval). As a rule, it is very difficult
or near-impossible to upgrade this Distinction after
character creation.
Magical Talent
In MTG:RPG there are five basic levels of magical
power - non-magi, who don’t use magic at all, Hedge
Wizards, who practice the lesser magical abilities but
can’t use Mana, Lesser Magi, who can use Mana, but
can’t control it’s flow in the land, Magelords, who can
control external Mana flows, and Planewalkers, who
can control the flow of Mana between the dimensions.
Hedge wizardry requires nothing but study, but actually
using the higher levels of magic requires special talents
- although anyone can learn the required skills.
Martial Artist I-IV. A Martial Artist gains a bonus of
+1 to his or her Defense (see Attacks under Using
Abilities, page 16) per level of Martial Artist and +1
power (+1d6 damage) with Unarmed Attacks for every
two levels of Martial Artist.
Might. Might allows you to inflict an extra 1d6 points
of damage with weapons, lift extra-heavy weights, and
flex impressively. It’s a favorite of warriors and may be
taken up to twice for those who favor the body-builder
look.
Poison. Poison allows the character to damage
abilities. In general, a character can opt to have lethal
poison (reduces the victim’s Vigor by one point per
attack), nonlethal poison (reduces any chosen ability by
two points per attack), or a selection of non-lethal
poisons (the user may select one ability from each
group and choose which is reduced by one each time
he or she attacks; Vigor is not a valid choice). Damaged
abilities recover at one point per Act and, if an ability is
reduced to 0, the victim must roll a simple check for
normally-automatic effects using it.
Role. Roles are defined social roles which provide
special privileges. You don’t have to have this
Distinction to claim such a title or include it in your
character description. You do have to have it if you want
the NPC’s to react appropriately. Anyone can be a
priest. If you want to be a recognized priest from a
major faith, get special legal privileges, and call on the
support of your temple, you’ll want to take it as a role.
Possible roles include being a Priest, Noble,
Diplomat, Guild Leader, Ruler of a City-State, Celebrity,
Fabulous Courtesan, Law-Enforcement Official, and
Heir Apparent.
Sharpshooter I-IV. Each level of Sharpshooter
increases the power of a character’s ranged attacks by
+1, thus adding 1d6 points of damage to a successful
attack. Every two levels provides a +1 bonus on the
user’s attack rolls.
Swarm Master. A Swarm Master may control four
tokens over and above normal limits. This may be taken
repeatedly.
(___) Training. You possess the special abilities of
one card of the same basic type as yourself provided
that such abilities are arguably learned, that the card in
question is not legendary, that the card in question has
a converted Mana cost of four or less, and that the
Game Master approves. For example, a human
character could learn to spend an action to generate
one Black Mana each day (as per a Bog Initiate - a
Human Wizard), to give up your turn to counter a spell
once each day (Mundungu, an unspecified wizard), or
to temporarily enhance creatures (Nantuko Disciple,
which may be an Insect, but is still a person and a
Druid). Most of the general monster abilities - Haste,
First Strike, Vigilance, and so on, are both valid and
encouraged. A full list can be found on page 37 under
Keywords.
He or she couldn’t learn to put a squirrel token into
play each Turn and enhance squirrels like a Nut
Collector Druid, since a Nut Collector costs a total of 6
Mana. Only a Dragon is likely to be able to be able to
“learn” a breath weapon. Other powers, such as that of
a Joiner Adept (lands may be tapped for Mana of any
color) probably won’t be permitted by the GM.
As usual, any active effect generally works once per
day. Any continuous effect is still continuous.
This Distinction may be taken up to three times.
Each time may either add new abilities or increase the
level of a set of abilities by +3.
Undead. Your body is either dead or never lived, is
animated by the same magic which binds your spirit into
it, and has no metabolism. You can’t be poisoned, are
immune to many forms of environmental damage, do
not age, and gain an extra 20 Life. You also lose
access to the Regeneration and Green Magic abilities,
cannot be affected by beneficial drugs and related
magic, and will have a variety of social problems. This
can also be used to represent Constructs, Golems, and
Plant creatures.
Warlord. A Warlord may designate up to four of his
or her cards as examples of garrison troops. While
such cards have a maximum level of (relevant ability/2)
and cannot include Legend cards, a similar set of
troops or defenses is presumed to be present to defend
the mystical nexus of each land a Warlord controls. For
example, a Warlord who has Beast Mastery 8 and
controls several level four Beasts could garrison each
of his or her lands with four similar creatures. He or she
couldn’t pick a creature with a total Mana cost of 5+
(those are too powerful) or a legendary creature like
Shizuko Caller of Autumn even though Shizoko only
costs 3 Mana.
7
Descriptions
There aren’t any game mechanics for your
character’s description. A character’s age, sex, build,
description, major personality traits, religion,
background, family, and any other details you care to
invent don’t modify your abilities or dice rolls, just how
you apply them.
Still, they’re probably one of the most important
things you can provide for your character. We’ve left the
entire back of the character sheet blank for them - and
for many players, that won’t be enough.
We have left a place on the front for some of the
most important bits; no character is complete without a
name. Most of them should have a title - “Enchanter of
the Third Circle,” “Ringmaster,” or even something
mundane, like “Scout” - and many belong to some
organization, or at least did at one point.
Disadvantages (Optional)
Up until this point, everything about a character has
been positive. Characters may, however, have severe
drawbacks - addictions, compulsions, major enemies,
and similar problems. If you want to add such a thing to
your character, there are three steps - come up with a
description of your handicap, get the Game Master to
approve it, and then add it and a compensating bonus
Distinction to your character sheet. Perhaps fortunately,
characters may only start with one disadvantage unless
they pick up a second one due to their species - and
any they pick up in play don’t come accompanied by
any compensating Distinction(s). Some possibilities
here include:
Addiction. You don’t have to have it, but you suffer
a penalty of -1 to -3 (the easier your addiction is to fulfill,
the worse the penalty when you can’t since you’re less
used to doing without) on all die rolls if you can’t get a
regular fix. Things like “must have coffee in the
morning” don’t count unless you’re pretty much useless
without it.
Bad Luck. For those cursed with Bad Luck nothing
ever goes well. If you take this disadvantage the Game
Master is entitled to make your life miserable in a wide
variety of minor ways and to request that you reroll a
successful check up to three times per session. This
will usually happen just when you got a really good roll,
so you’re unlikely to accomplish any legendary feats.
Berserker. The character may not withdraw from
combat and must make a simple Psyche check to
refrain from attacking friends if out of enemies. On the
upside, he or she does gain a +1 bonus on his or her
attacks.
Crippled. You have an upper limit of rank five in 2-4
GM-selected skills which should be important to your
character. (Note that if you can’t live with what the
Game Master comes up with, you can pick another
disadvantage instead).
8
Cursed. Something nasty happens periodically.
Perhaps any building you shelter in for more than a few
days catches fire or collapses, NPC’s in the area catch
horrible diseases, you’re an uncontrollable lycanthrope,
or your blood catches fire and does extra damage to
you whenever you’re hit.
Honor. The character may not decline an honorably
offered challenge. Most honorable characters also tend
to keep their words, protect innocents, and otherwise be
chivalrous, but nastier types often just like to fight.
Hunted. Some large and powerful group, or some
individual enemy with lots of minions, is after you.
Expect to be attacked at the most inconvenient times.
Oversized. You’re huge. You won’t fit into ordinary
vehicles or buildings, take double damage from falls,
eat enormously, and are extremely conspicuous.
Prejudice. Whether it’s a racial reputation, an aura
of malevolence, or some twist of fate, you’re generally
despised and prejudged. Merchants won’t deal with you
or let you in their shops, the local authorities always
assume the worst about you, and small children may
throw rocks. Will you suffer nobly and try to overcome
such prejudice or will you return such hatred?
Sustenance. You have some exotic dietary or
environmental requirement; if you don’t get it every day
you’ll begin taking damage, fall unconscious, or suffer
some other awful consequence. You may need to be
immersed in fresh water every few hours, devour the
essence of a sentient being each day, or need to drink
a brew made from Tana leaves (semi-legendary and
very difficult to find) each week.
Further examples can be found under the Species
listing below; the racial drawbacks are simply examples
of Disadvantages.
It is possible to get rid of a disadvantage; you have
to either embark on some mighty quest to do so or, if
the problem is purely internal (such as an Addiction or
Berserker) spend a distinction to “buy it off” and spend
at least one Story doing so.
Species (Optional)
The vast majority of playable species in MTG:RPG
are a lot like humans - enough so that the differences
can be readily represented through simply varying the
Distinctions and abilities they purchase.
More exotic races, or players who want a more
detailed representation of a human-like race, can take
a species package - normally consisting of 3 abilities
with a +1 initial bonus (this may raise them above the
usual starting limit) and a racial maximum of 12, three
abilities with -2 penalties and a racial maximum of 8, an
automatic Distinction and an automatic disadvantage.
More powerful species may require the investment
of additional Distinctions or simply start off young and
inexperienced. Characters don’t have to start off with
the stuff listed in the “Adults” line, but should probably
have it by the time they’ve gone up a few levels.
Angel (no cost)
Angels are, at least in terms of the system, simply
humans with Flight (and often Vigilance) and an affinity
for White Magic. If you want to play one just create such
a character.
Aven (no cost)
Racial Modifiers: +1 to Evasion, White Magic, and
Reaction. Racial maximum of 12 in these abilities. -2 to
Artificer, Craftsman, and White Magic. Racial maximum
of 8 in these abilities.
Racial Distinction: Flying
Racial Drawback: Fragile. For all their wingspan,
Aven are hollow-boned, light, and mostly made of skin
and feathers. They cannot take Armsman III or IV and
take an extra 1d6 points of damage from any melee
attack.
Adults: Adult Aven normally pick up a few points of
Movement, Perception, and Ranged Weapons.
Griffins, creatures of wind and passion, have only a
few sentient subspecies, but can use much the same
modifiers. Simply substitute Red Magic for White Magic
and add Unarmed Combat I, for a net cost of one
Distinction. A few types use magic to help them fly.
These subspecies drop the Fragile drawback in favor of
No Hands.

Centaur (no cost)
Racial Modifiers: +1 to Movement, Toughness, and
Vigor. Racial maximum of 12 in these abilities. -2 to
Stealth, Evasion, and Finance. Racial maximum of 8 in
these abilities.
Racial Distinction: Might I
Racial Drawback: Centaurs are very large; they have
a hard time fitting into most buildings or vehicles, eat
enormously, take double damage from falls, and are
very conspicuous.
Adults: Should have a minimum Movement and
Vigor of 4, but don’t require anything exotic beyond that,
hence most centaur characters start off as adults.
Cephalid (squid-people) (no cost)
Racial Modifiers: +1 to Blue Magic, Serpent-Tongue,
and Larceny. Racial maximum of 12 in these abilities.
-2 to . Racial maximum of 8 in these abilities.
Racial Distinction: Cephalids communicate by a
limited form of telepathy, and so can both communicate
silently and bypass language barriers with non-artifact
creatures.
Racial Drawback: Boneless. Cephalids may not
increase their Vigor, Fortification, Melee Weapons or
Unarmed Combat skills above 5 and cannot take
Armsman III or IV.
Adults: Adult Cephalids are usually either dominated
or enslaved by other Cephalids or have an assortment
of servants of their own. They don’t usually get along
with anyone (including each other) who isn’t entirely
under their control.
9
Demons and Devils
Oddly enough, Demons and Devils, like Angels,
require no special rules. They’re generally evil entities
with an affinity for Black Magic and some of them have
Flying. If you want to play one, just create such a
character. A few are very powerful, and require regular
sacrifices to bind them into the material world - but
they’re obviously not suitable as characters anyway.
Djinn and Efreet
While many Djinn and Efreet have flying and their
special powers are usually considered to be “innate”
rather than “learned,” they operate under the normal
rules.
Dragon (costs 2 Distinctions)
Racial Modifiers: +1 to Fortification, Toughness, and
Vigor. Racial maximum of 12 in these abilities. -2 to
Larceny, Leadership, and Stealth. Racial maximum of
8 in these abilities.
Racial Distinction(s): Unarmed Combat II, Flying
Racial Drawback: Dragons have a hard time fitting
in anywhere due to their sheer size, hoarding instinct,
and arrogance. Outside of cities they tend to be major
targets.
Adults: Should have Unarmed Combat 4, Might, one
or more Enhanced Senses and either Doublestrike
(representing a breath weapon) or Poison. High levels
of the Elementalism, Fortification, Finance, “Unarmed”
Combat, and Evasion abilities are in order as well. Most
dragon characters start off fairly young and mature
slowly.
Drakes are smaller relatives of Dragons, and often
possess interesting magical powers. Unfortunately for
would-be players, they’re generally animalistic rather
than sentient.
Dwarf (no cost)
Racial Modifiers: +1 to Artificer, Engineering, and
Red Magic. Racial maximum of 12 in these abilities. -2
to Courtier, Politician and Shamanism. Racial maximum
of 8 in these abilities.
Racial Distinction: The dwarven racial Distinction is
not having any racial drawback.
Racial Drawback: None. See above.
Adults: Adult dwarves are usually skilled in Sleights
and have a fondness for devices involving fire, smoke,
and explosions. Most of them also have a fair level in
the Armsman Distinction, but this is not a hard rule.
Elf (no cost)
Racial Modifiers: +1 to Beast Master, Green Magic,
and Evasion. Racial maximum of 12 in these abilities.
-2 to Leadership, Politician, and Serpent-Tongue.
Racial maximum of 8 in these abilities.
Racial Distinction: Enhanced Sense. Elves can see
into the infrared and ultraviolet spectrums.
Racial Drawback: Vulnerability; Elves are extremely
sensitive to toxins. They take double damage from
poison and suffer 1d6 life points of damage per day
spent in a “destroyed” land.
Adults: Adult elves are usually either attuned to a
forest or two or have Lifeweaking. In either cast, they
also usually have a few Beast followers and often know
how to summon some sort of animal to their assistance.
Dark Elves are arguably a separate subspecies,
attuned to the powers of the Void rather than Life.
Dryads usually have Forestwalk instead of Enhanced
Sense, but otherwise use the same modifiers.
Giant (costs 2 Distinctions)
Racial Modifiers: +1 to Vigor, Toughness, and
Fortification. Racial maximum of 12 in these abilities. -2
to Stealth, Scholar, and Reaction. Racial maximum of
8 in these abilities.
Racial Distinction: Might, Armsman II
Racial Drawback: Giants are very large; they have
a hard time fitting into most buildings or vehicles, eat
enormously, take double damage from falls, and are
very conspicuous.
Adults: Adult giants are even bigger, and normally
have high scores in Vigor, Fortification, Toughness, and
in Weapons skills. Most such titans will also have
Armsman IV and various other combative distinctions.
Goblins and Orcs (no cost)
Racial Modifiers: +1 to Engineering, Sleights, and
Regeneration. Racial maximum of 12 in these abilities.
-2 to Artificer, Scholar, and Finance. Racial maximum
of 8 in these abilities.
Racial Distinction: Fool’s Luck. Goblins may ignore
the consequences of any single event - evading a big
attack, using themselves as a sacrifice, or whatever -
once per Act.
Racial Drawback: Utter Incompetence. Goblins have
to pay double when purchasing any ability above 4.
Player-Characters may opt to substitute Cowardice, in
which case they must flee or hide one round after taking
damage.
Adults: Adult goblins tend to dabble in everything,
and are good at nothing - except at producing more and
more goblins.
Oddly enough, Goblins are actually good at using
tools and technological tinkering. Unfortunately for
them, virtually everything in MTG is based on magic.
They’re also notable for having one of the most potent
racial distinctions, and worst drawbacks, on the list.
Leonin (and other cat-people) (no cost)
Racial Modifiers: +1 to Athletics, Evasion, and
Reaction. Racial maximum of 12 in these abilities. -2 to
Artificer, Craftsman, and White Magic. Racial maximum
of 8 in these abilities.
Racial Distinction: Vigilance.
Racial Drawback: Leonin are extremely tribal. They
will never abandon their tribemates or party members.
Adults: Adult Leonin generally have an extra point or
two in their racial skills and decent combat skills. Most
Leonin characters start off as adults.
10
Loxodon (elephant-people) (costs 1 Distinction)
Racial Modifiers: +1 to Fortification, Toughness, and
Vigor. Racial maximum of 12 in these abilities. -2 to
Ambush, Stealth, and Larceny. Racial maximum of 8 in
these abilities.
Racial Distinction: Might, any one Immunity of
choice.
Racial Drawback: Dedication. Once they’ve given
their word or undertaken a mission, a Loxodon will carry
out their task even if it kills them. Secondarily, thanks to
its corrosive effects on oaths, Loxodon will never take
the Black Magic ability.
Adults: Adult Loxodon normally possess fair ranks in
their racial skills - they are towering elephant-folk after
all - and a fair amount of White Magic if they have at
least Magician I.
Merfolk (no cost)
Racial Modifiers: +1 to Enchantment, Blue Magic,
and Survival. Racial maximum of 12 in these abilities.
-2 to Artificer, Craftsman, and Engineering. Racial
maximum of 8 in these abilities.
Racial Distinction: Water immunity. Merfolk cannot
be harmed by water, including agents such as acids
and corrosives, and can breathe and function without
hindrance underwater.
Racial Drawback: Waterbound. Merfolk have no legs
and cannot breathe above water for long. They usually
have the good sense to stay in the water, and so are
rarely adventurers.
Adults: Other than a tendency towards high
Perception and Survival skills (and mastery of Blue
Magic if they have the talent to use it) there isn’t that
much else distinctive about adult merfolk.
Minotaur (no cost)
Most Minotaurs are powerful warriors; they usually
have Might and at least Armsman II. On the other hand,
so does almost any human barbarian. Outside of the
funny looks there really isn’t that much difference.
Nantuko (insect-druids) (no cost)
Racial Modifiers: +1 to Enchantment, Green Magic,
and Survival. Racial maximum of 12 in these abilities.
-2 to Artificer, Craftsman, and Engineering. Racial
maximum of 8 in these abilities.
Racial Distinction: Unarmed Combat I. Their claws
and chitinous armor mean that no Nantuko is ever truly
unarmed.
Racial Drawback: Fragile. Wearing their skeleton as
a thin layer on the outside of their bodies leaves the
Nantuko vulnerable to physical attacks, taking an extra
+1 damage per 1d6 in the attack.
Adults: Adult Nantuko are usually attuned to one or
two forests and can call on a beast or two to help them
out.
Nezumi-bito (ratfolk) (no cost)
Racial Modifiers: +1 to Larceny, Saboteur, and
Stealth. Racial maximum of 12 in these abilities. -2 to
Politician, Shamanism, and Enchantment. Racial
maximum of 8 in these abilities.
Racial Distinction: Clannish. Ratfolk have lots and
lots of relatives, and can call on them for assistance.
Racial Drawback: Prejudice. Everyone thinks that
ratfolk are disgusting little monsters.
Adults: Adult ratfolk are usually very good at being
treacherous sneaks, and have decent ranks in their
racial skills.
Orochi-bito (4-armed snake people) (no cost)
Racial Modifiers: +1 to Green Magic, Stealth, and
Psyche. Racial maximum of 12 in these abilities. -2 to
Aberration, Artificer, and Streetwise. Racial maximum
of 8 in these abilities.
Racial Distinction: Poison.
Racial Drawback: Cold Blooded. Orochi-bito take a
-2 penalty on all ability checks while chilled, including
after being blasted with cold magic.
Adults: Adult Orochi-bito belong to either the Kashi
(archer), Matsu (warrior), or Sakura (magician) orders
within their society, and are expected to master the
appropriate skills.
Soratami or Moonfolk (no cost)
These characters are essentially simply humans
with Flying.
Treefolk (no cost)
Racial Modifiers: +1 to Mana Tapping, Shamanism,
and Herb Mastery. Racial maximum of 12 in these
abilities. -2 to Artificer, Courtier, and Movement. Racial
maximum of 8 in these abilities.
Racial Distinction: Plant. While they do have a very
slow metabolism, their bodies are still animated by
magic. This is equivalent to the Undead distinction.
Racial Drawback: Methodical. Treefolk are slow to
travel, slow to make decisions, and slow to act. They
always go last regardless of their Reaction check and
cannot effectively pilot any vehicle.
Adults: Adult Treefolk tend to be huge, have the
Might distinction, and tend towards high ranks in Touch
of Life, Green Magic, Fortification, Vigor, and Resist
Magic. They’re often Scholars as well as Shamans and
Herb Masters. Like any other tree, Treefolk take a long
time to reach their full potential.
Yes, Treefolk need to invest at least one point in
Movement to learn to move at all.
Vedalken (4-armed aquatic people) (no cost)
Vedalken are essentially just really ugly Merfolk and
can use the same modifiers. Some of them have power
suits which let them get out of the water; these count as
a level 3 Technology card effect.
11
Character Templates
MTG:RPG doesn’t have character classes - but
there are some recognizable “templates” out there. All
of them are a little larger than life; MTG is about mighty
heroes, grand rulers, armies sweeping across
continents, and legendary artifacts. The RPG does
allow for less epic characters, but it really isn’t designed
for petty thieves, youngsters just out of militia training,
and junior apprentices. Even if you decide to act like a
petty con artist or street thug, your talents are almost
always quite exceptional. Dragons are impressive - but
even a beginning group of player characters can
probably take one down.
Some of the most
common t emplates, and
appropriate abilities for them,
include:
The Assassin or Spy.
Unlike real spies, most of
whom spend almost all their
time being quiet and listening,
fantasy spies are flamboyant
and sinister. Cloaks and
daggers are pretty much
mandatory. Outside of that all
you need is a completely
ruthless personality.
Spi es usual l y need
Perception, Stealth, Psyche,
Sl i g h t s , I n v e s t i g a t i o n ,
S a b o t e u r , L a r c e n y ,
Persuasion, and some sort of
Weapons ability. If they’re
spying on a mage, they’ll
probably need Magesight as
well.
The Barbarian Hero. Star
of a thousand tales and really
bad movies, the Barbarian
Hero is big, muscular, and likes to dress in furs, leather
straps, and a supply of sharp objects regardless of sex.
They’re usually cunning and loyal, but have a
regrettable tendency to go bersek.
His or her abilities commonly include Athletics,
Evasion, Stealth, Survival, Toughness, Endurance,
Vigor, Melee Weapons, and/or Ranged Weapons, all
topped off with a point or two in Fortification and
Regeneration.
Variants include Amazon Warriors (usually only
differing stylistically), Rangers (who often know a bit of
Green Magic, Beast Mastery, and Mana Tapping), and
Beastmasters (Green Magic, Beast Mastery, a few
Beast cards, and [usually] Lifewreaking).
The Hedge Wizard. While - like almost everyone
else - the Hedge Wizard cannot manipulate Mana
directly, there are an immense variety of feats which
can be accomplished without it. Classical hedge
wizards include Wise Women and Cunning Men, Seers
and Diviners, Druids, Wizards, and simple Herbalists.
Oddly enough, almost every Hedge Wizard is a bit
scruffy, late middle-aged or older, and carries around a
collection of unidentifiable occult paraphernalia.
A Hedge Wizard’s abilities usually include
Perception, Scholar, Psyche, Resist Magic, Healing,
and several of the lesser magical abilities - Touch of
Life, Magesight, Elementalism, Phantasm, Artificer,
Divination, Slights, Shamanism, Enchantment and Herb
Mastery.
Variants don’t really exist; each Hedge Wizard tends
to be a variant onto him- or her-self.
The Lesser Mage. While they
do not - or at least do not yet -
possess the inner spark which
makes a Magelord, much less
t he pr i mal power of a
Planewalker, lesser magi can
become quite powerful. While
they’re common as PC’s, they’re
rare enough in the game world to
make each one unique.
A Lesser Mage’s abilities
(pretty much by definition)
include one or more (Color)
Magic abilities, Mana Tapping
and/or Lifewreaking. They’ll need
at least one or two of the lesser
magic abilities as well. Finally, if
they expect to survive for long, a
bit of Vigor, Resist Magic,
Perception and Evasion are
probably in order - along with
whatever talents are needed to
r ound out t he charact er
conception. Unfortunately, this
usually means that their abilities
are spread pretty thin. Most
beginning lesser magi are far
more talented than skilled.
Lesser Magi usually have a
title for themselves - Necromancer, Adept, Forestlord,
Channeler, Invoker, or whatever. This may or may not
indicate anything about their specialities.
The Magelord. Second only to a Planewalker in their
raw power, experienced Magelords are laws onto
themselves. Beginners, however, no matter how
talented, have only one real advantage over Lesser
Magi: whatever powers they derive from Landrule. They
may not even control any lands; settling for simple
attunement as the Lesser Magi must. After all, if you
actually claim a land in your own right instead of acting
as someone else’s vassal, you have to defend it.
The Merchant. Merchants are rarely especially
heroic, but they are very good at coming out ahead.
Oddly enough, virtually all of them are middle-aged. In
general, a quick look at a Merchant’s clothing will
12
suffice to tell you what he or she deals in, their rank in
whatever organization they belong to, and how
prosperous they are (this can also be measured by their
expanding waistline).
Appropriate abilities for Merchants include Scholar,
Perception, Land Vehicles, Finance, Investigation,
Leadership, Persuasion, and Serpent-Tongue. Those
with wide-spread operations often dabble in Divination,
Politics, and Repute as well.
The Planewalker. Superficially, a young Planewalker
may not command any more active magical power than
a young Magelord or even a Lesser Mage. However
they are far tougher - and have a potential lifespan of
many millennia.
After a few centuries mortals rarely defeat them.
After a millennia or two mortals generally don’t even
matter to them any more - presuming that they
have any sanity left at all. Even the most benign
and disciplined mind must eventually give way
beneath the ever-increasing weights of power,
memory, and time. Some of the greatest
heroes, and most terrible villians of all time have
been Planewalkers - enough on its own to make
folk fear and dread them. Inexperienced
Planewalkers are probably well-advised to avoid
revealing that status.
The Priest. Servants of some philosophy or
god, priests vary enormously - but almost all of
them carry a selection of holy symbols, wear a
distinctive costume, and tend to try and govern
the behavior of everyone around them.
Regardless of whether they’re a good priest or
a bad one, their religion plays a major role in
their lives. If it doesn’t they’re just con men, not
priests.
A Priest’s abilities usually include
Perception, Mana Tapping (often attuned to a
temple or two), Psyche, Scholar, Finance,
Politician, Persuasion, and Repute. Most have
some skill in magic, but the type depends
heavily on what he or she serves.
Variants include Healers (with Healing or Touch of
LIfe), Mad Scientists (“priests” of science with
Engineering or Artificer), and eastern-style martial-arts
Monks (with a bit of Unarmed Combat and possibly
Lifewreaking).
The Scholar. Usually either a somewhat ineffectual
young man or an elderly one, the scholar tends to be
bookish and skinny, dresses in robes, and often seems
somewhat ineffectual. Of course, in a world where
magic works, such an impression may be entirely false.
For some reason the vast majority of Scholars are
male.
The Scholar’s abilities usually include Perception,
Investigation, Psyche, Resist Magic, Artificer,
Divination, Scholar, Enchantment, and Herb Mastery.
Quite a few dabble in magic, but rarely in any
predictable fashion.
The Thief. A sneaky, cunning, fellow who may know
how to use a knife when he has to, but prefers to get
things done in more subtle ways. The Thief usually
prefers to look like an ordinary person, and so sticks
with light - and so readily concealable - armor,
weapons, and equipment. They often dabble in magic,
but rarely understand what they’re doing very well.
His or her abilities usually include Evasion,
Perception, Stealth, Resist Magic, Investigation,
Saboteur, Larceny, Persuasion, and Serpent-Tongue.
Most also know how to use a weapon or two reasonably
well and many use Sleights.
Variants include Pirates (with some weapons skills
and Water Vehicles), Highwaymen (who often rely as
much on Repute and Persuasion as on their weapons),
Con Men (relying on Persuasion, Serpent-Tongue, and
sometimes Phantasm), and even Minstrels (using Arts
and Persuasion)
and Bards (who
mix the Arts with a
bit of Scholar and
o t h e r h e d g e
magic).
The Warrior.
Your basic human
tank, usually found
w i t h a m o r e
cunning companion
t o p r o v i d e
di r ect i ons. The
Warrior likes to
wear heavy armor,
carri es a wi de
variety of weapons,
and often leads a
smal l t r oop of
lesser fighters.
Hi s or her
abilities commonly
i n c l u d e Vi g o r ,
F o r t i f i c a t i o n ,
E v a s i o n ,
Endurance, Magic Resistance, Regeneration, Melee
Weapons, Ranged Weapons, and Leadership. Those
with troops will need a bit of White Magic to fulfill the
card prerequisites even if they can’t use magic directly.
Variants include Paladins and Holy Warriors (who
usually know a bit of actual magic), Knights (who may
buy up their movement or athletics abilities to represent
a mundane mount or actually have the power to control
an extraordinary one), Leaders (who concentrate on
followers, along with the tactical and enhancement
abilities needed to use them to their best advantage),
Mercenaries (who usually have Ambush, Engineering,
a selection of practical skills, and an aversion to actually
fighting if they can avoid it), and Blademasters (those
characters who represent their Fortification ability as
parries and blocks).
13
Designing Character Types
When creating character types, or if you want to
compare an experienced character to a beginner, the
rule-of-thumb is that each Ability point is worth 1, each
Card is worth 2, and each Distinction is worth 4. Add
these up, divide by 10, and round off the result to obtain
the character’s initial level / total Mana cost. Most
starting characters have initial levels of 4 to 6. The
casualty rate among weaker characters tends to be
fairly high.
While the Game Master may allow exceptions, few
starting characters are superhuman experts. As a rule,
low level characters should start with low abilities,
although they may build them up through experience.
Characters of level 1 are usually limited to rank 3, those
of levels 2-3 are usually limited to rank 4, those of levels
4-5 are usually limited to rank 5, and those of higher
ranks to a level equal to their rank. Non-magi can
exceed these limitations by one rank; they simply have
more time available to develop their other abilities.
Character Advancement
Characters advance by gaining new Abilities, Cards,
and Distinctions. The only real question is how fast
such things are acquired.
The Game Master may opt to let characters
advance at the end of each major episode or “story” in
a campaign. In this case characters gain 3 ability points,
two card slots, and one Distinction at the end of each
story - probably once every 3-5 sessions. The only
complication is that raising an ability above 5 costs two
points per step.
Alternatively, the Game Master may simply base
things on the number of sessions a character’s been
played. In this case we recommend awarding one ability
point per session (double cost to raise abilities above 5
again), one card slot per two sessions, and one
Distinction per four sessions.
Game Masters who want rapid character
progressions can simply apply both methods.
Characters may opt to reduce the number of card
slots they’d normally have available in exchange for
additional ability points or Distinctions; a card slot may
be exchanged for 2 ability points or for 1/2 a Distinction.
In either case, advancing a character usually
requires a bit of time. Abilities usually don’t require
much beyond an announcement that “I’m studying or
practicing thus-and-such,” although the GM may
choose to make raising them above level 5 require
assistance. Cards must be justified; the character may
have to visit the mystical heart of a land to attune him-
or her-self to it, seek out the followers he or she wishes
to recruit, or delve into ancient tomes for some obscure
spell.
Distinctions must also be justified by some event in
the game, whether that’s being hailed as a hero, getting
married, bathing in a mystic pool, or studying with a
follower who has the Distinction you want to learn.
Optionally, Game Masters may opt to play a more
active roll in card-based character advancement. In this
case, each player who wants new cards should file a
few - two or three will do - with the Game Master, who
will then work chances to acquire those cards into the
story.
Characters may also trade out old cards. To do so,
they simply inform the Game Master of their decision at
the start of a session and remove the card. They may
then attempt to fill the open slot normally during the
next game session.
Opportunity Awards
Game Masters may want to restrict what characters
buy with their experience at times. After all, if some
poor characters find a horde of treasure it doesn’t seem
unreasonable to ask them to each spend a point or two
on Finance. On the other hand, a character who knows
how to handle money probably has some already, while
those who don’t will soon be broke again.
Such situations are handled by Opportunity Awards
- event-driven chances for easier self-improvement.
Mechanically they’re pretty simple: the characters get a
chance to “buy” (and sometimes a chance to try out in
advance) whatever the Game Master elects to offer for
half price. Most commonly, that means two ability points
per one; those poor characters might gain a temporary
+2 boost to their Finance abilities. If they want to make
that permanent, it would only cost them one ability
point. Those who don’t learn to Manage their finances
will thus shortly squander their new wealth.
Fiat Rewards
Some forms of character advancement don’t affect
the game mechanics very much, although they may
affect play quite a bit. These story-based awards are
known as Fiat Rewards and usually only affect a limited
area. Of course, unless you’re a Planewalker, you may
never leave such an area. Some of the major items in
this category include:
! Authority. You’re in charge of something, usually
due to having obtained some more-or-less official
position. You may have become the chief constable of
a city, the trusted advisor of a major king, or the kingpin
of a band of thieves.
! Contacts. You’ve met, and are on relatively good
terms with, someone important. This may be a powerful
Wizard or even a Planewalker, a major ruler, or simply
someone it’s useful to know, like a good fence, expert
scholar, or military leader.
! Fame. Whether it’s good or bad, the tales of your
exploits are widely spread, minstrels sing about you,
and you get your own footnotes in the scrolls. They may
or may not be saying nice things, but most people seem
to regard it as a reward either way.
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! Favors. Having somebody owe you something is
always useful. On occasion, having someone important
or influential owe you something can be absolutely vital.
Favors from major supernatural beings are to be
treasured, even by powerful magi.
! Lifestyle. Whether you’ve acquired an estate, are
a favored guest of the wealthy, or have a stipend, you
can have a good time without having to pay for it in at
least one area. While this doesn’t include spare cash,
at least the food, drink, and service are all excellent.
! Marriage. Like it or not, the opportunity to make an
advantageous marriage has always been regarded as
a notable prize. Player characters, however, may well
regard this sort of “reward” as something exceedingly
awkward to deal with. Still, if Urza can do it...
! Recognition. This may mean medals, awards, or
titles, an honorary triumph, or some esoteric ceremony,
but it always means public acknowledgment, at least a
brief period of being a celebrity, and a certain amount of
social credit to draw on.
Replacing Characters
Unfortunately, characters sometimes die - and while
there are cards which can resurrect the dead, they
aren’t always available. Players may normally bring in a
replacement character with a level two below the
average level of the rest of the group.
So why can’t your friend, a Magelord who controls
eight lands, just let every lesser mage in the group
attune to them and pick up a free eight-card
advantage? Why can’t he just teach them that bit of
sorcery, hire a few followers, or spend some money
buying some new equipment?
It’s because attuning yourself to lands, learning
spells, and increasing your sorcerous limits requires
immense amounts of time and effort. Getting new
equipment involves learning to use it, new abilities
involve training and practice, and loyal followers take
time and effort to recruit. Your friend the Magelord can
certainly open his lands to you - but if you want to
attune one you’ll still need an open card slot and a high
enough level in Mana Tapping to accommodate another
land.
For convenience’s sake, if you’re attuning to a land
that someone else holds, simply use a slip of paper with
their name and the type of land on it as a token.
The Duel Arcane
Unlike Lesser Magi, Magelords can link to the land
they control so tightly that complex magical energy
structures can pass over the link. While this grants
them access to the Landrule and lets them cast spells
which take effect at the mystical center of one of their
lands, it also allows them to be arcanely attacked by
anyone at the mystical center of one of their lands (i.e.
they can be targeted by Instants, Sorceries, and lesser
magics despite being a very long ways away). Such a
battle will continue until the landowner renounces the
15
link (and the control of the land), is slain (and the land,
presumably, claimed by the new owner), or the
interloper is either slain or driven off. In either case, any
creatures which were summoned to either location must
still be dealt with or escaped. In any case, the land
cannot be tapped for Mana while it’s being fought over.
To avoid hit-and-run or gang attacks, most
Magelords try to conceal which lands they own, seek
out lands in remote/dangerous/obscure locations to
claim, leave guards at each nexus, or arrange for the
locals to protect them. Such tasks are a ready source of
employment - and Mana - for Lesser Magi.
Such arcane battles tend to erupt out of nowhere at
awkward times, specifically centered on two opposing,
if widely-separated, spellcasters. Given the unpopularity
of sudden outbreaks of monsters and destructive
magic, incautious Magelords make unwelcome guests.
Planewalkers are subject to the Duel Arcane, but if
the challenger is also a Planewalker the initial
challenge-contact automatically invokes a full
Planewalker’s Duel.
The Planewalker’s Duel
Planewalker’s Duels are among the most
devastating of mortal conflicts, capable of matching or
exceeding anything short of interplanetary war. On the
other hand, many worlds have endured hundreds of
such battles - and survived.
What makes such survival this possible is the nature
o f t h e Pl anewal k er s t hems el v es . T h e i r
transdimensional, polymorphic, natures protect them
and allow them to tap into vast energies - but also mean
that when two of them choose to confront each other,
the true battleground lies between the dimensions.
Depending on how they choose to perceive it, they may
be virtually face-to-face, or they may be separated by
vast distances, moving troops like chess pieces, but
such appearances change nothing. Entering such a
compromise-plane will momentarily cut each
Planewalker off from their usual resources - forcing
them to reach out and draw to themselves whatever
resources they find ready for use and are most attuned
to in the great library of the multiverse.
Victory in such a confrontation depends somewhat
on luck, but mostly on who makes the best use of the
resources that come to hand. Whether for well or ill, the
loser is rarely truly slain; most often they escape
unharmed, although they occasionally forfeit a sliver of
their essence to the victor.
Regardless of who achieves the victory, no matter
what forces and spells are unleashed, their effects are
inherently limited to the battle-realm and those
creatures, items, and areas which have been drawn
partially into it. Thus even a “Global Rain of Fire” or a
spell of “Armageddon” will only affect a few isolated
locations, items, and creatures. Only ancient and vastly
powerful Planewalkers of nearly equal power can keep
a battle going long enough to draw in any significant
portion of a world.
Let us hope that no such conflict occurs until long,
long, after we are dead and our civilizations have fallen
into dust.
The Planewalker Distinction has four basic effects:
1) A Planewalker’s body is purely an expression of
his or her will. Planewalkers need not eat, drink, sleep
(although those who don’t tend to go mad rapidly), or
breathe, do not age, and take only 1 point of damage
per die which would normally apply. Sadly, they don’t
heal easily either; magical cures are discounted at the
same rate.
2) When thrown back on their own resources they
are reduced, at least at first, to a mere 20 life. If they
draw on the correct forces in a battle-realm, however,
they may expand this almost without limit.
3) When entangled in a battle-realm their multiplanar
existence allows them to transcend all normal limits on
the number of magical resources (cards) they may
control - but they do have an upper limit; when they
reach it their multi-planar structure will shatter under the
strain
4) Planewalkers who attempt to directly confront
each other are automatically drawn into a battle-realm
as described above for a standard game of MTG:CCG.
If more than two are involved, simply use the
multiplayer rules.

Taking the Planewalker Distinction requires prior
approval from the Game Master. Planewalker-only
Distinctions exist. These include the ability to change
appearance at will (Metamorph), the ability to simply
“walk” between dimensions instead of having to cast
spells (Passage), and the ability to extend some of their
personal defenses to their creatures in a battle-realm
(Vanguard).
In other words, the basic MTG:CCG rules call for
starting by building a deck (deciding what you’re
attuned to), starting with 20 life, drawing your initial
hand (the first resources you can grab), and then
continuing to draw whenever you can until you lose and
escape (players rarely quit playing magic entirely over
a loss), possibly lose an ante card (this is rare, but a
few games are still played with the ante rule), or quit
playing entirely. If you run out of cards you lose. Of
course, now you know how the basic magic rules
interact with the world they’re set in - and what kinds of
effects they can have on the characters who aren’t
directly involved. Knowledge may not necessarily be
power, but it is a chance to duck.
16
Using Abilities
Classical d20 uses a d20 for most rolls. We
recommend using the optional 3d6 rule instead; the
resulting bell curve matches reality a great deal better
than the linear distribution of a single die. It also means
that you don’t need any fancy dice to play: a selection
of standard six-sided dice suffices.
Abilities can be used both Passively and Actively. All
of them can be used passively, without rolling.
Unfortunately, passive effects are quite limited, and
many abilities don’t offer any at all. By default, all
abilities have a base level of (2 + any points spent on
the ability) up to a maximum total of 10.
Active effects require a roll, and succeed if the (Roll
+ Ability Level) equals or exceeds the Difficulty Class
set by the GM or by an opponents abilities. Sample
effects are listed for each ability, divided into:
Automatic. No roll is required to obtain this effect
unless the character is currently has an effective ability
rank below 2. If a character is so handicapped by
magic, injury, circumstances, or racial modifier these
effects have a DC of 10 for both the D6 and D20
variants.
Simple. These effects are pretty easy to obtain. They
have a d6 DC of 12 and a d20 DC of 12
Difficult. Highly skilled characters can usually pull off
a difficult task, although it may take multiple tries.
These effects have a d6 DC of 16 and a d20 DC of 20.
Heroic. These effects are reasonably common
among great masters, but are pretty rare otherwise. In
fiction they usually turn up at climactic moments, when
some great effort is made, or when someone gets very
lucky indeed. They have a d6 DC of 20 and a d20 DC
of 24.
Legendary. These effects are difficult even for great
masters to obtain. They have a d6 DC of 24 and a d20
DC of 28.
Opposed checks are simply resolve with opposed
rolls; if your Perception check beats your opponent’s
Stealth check you spot him or her. If not, you don’t. In
this case no adjustment for die type is required.
Attacks are fairly straightforward: Roll using the
relevant attack ability (Heavy, Melee, or Ranged
Weapons or Unarmed Combat) versus the opponent’s
(Evasion + Fortification + 2). Characters with Melee
Weapons 5+ or Unarmed Combat 7+ gain an additional
+1 bonus on this Defense score.
In any case, the Game Master may assign bonuses
or penalties up to plus or minus 4, or call for additional
checks. Two characters fighting on a narrow ledge
probably need Athletics checks to balance there.
Someone trying to do needlepoint in a howling gale will
suffer a -4 penalty. Someone partially hidden behind a
tree gains a bonus to his or her Defense - but finds it
harder to attack with a sword.
Optionally, characters can declare that they’re using
an Totally Offensive, Offensive, Normal, Defensive, or
Totally Defensive stance. A Total Offensive stance
allows the user to attack twice, but he or she is
automatically hit by anyone who attacks him or her. An
Offensive stance provides a +2 bonus to attack at the
price of a -3 penalty on Defense. A Normal stance has
no modifiers. A Defensive stance grants a +2 bonus to
Defense at the cost of a -3 penalty to attacks. Finally, a
Totally Defensive stance provides a +5 bonus to
Defense, but does not allow the user to attack at all.
Damage is somewhat more complicated. Characters
in general have a base power of 1 - converting to 1d6
damage - modified by any relevant Distinctions. They
can also gain a bonus for high ability scores:
Elementalism 6+ adds +1 power to attacks using
Melee Weapons, Ranged Weapons, or Unarmed
Combat. Note that anyone with Elementalism 3+ may
simply manifest appropriate weapons to use with their
combat abilities.
Characters with Ambush who attack unprepared
targets gain a bonus of (Ambush Rating/2, rounded up)
to their attack attempt and a damage bonus of (Ambush
Rating/2, rounded down) to the damage they inflict.
Sadly, Ambush is usually only usable on the first attack.
Characters with Melee Weapons 4+, Unarmed
Combat 5+, or Ranged Weapons 6+ gain a +1 bonus to
their power when attacking with those abilities.
Critical Hits and Fumbles
If you want to complicate things, include Fumbles
and Critical Hits. These work best with the 3d6 system,
since they can resolved with the initial roll.
3d6 Critical Hits and Fumbles
Roll of 3 You somehow Manage to inflict 1d6
points of damage on yourself,
bypassing all defenses save for a
Planewalker’s natural durability.
Roll of 4 You smack a randomly chosen friend,
ally, or one of your creatures for
normal damage.
Roll of 17 You hit and do an extra 2d6 damage.
Roll of 18 You hit and do an extra 4d6 damage.
D20 Critical Hits and Fumbles
Roll of 1 Roll the attack again. On a miss, you
cause 1d6 damage to yourself,
bypassing all of your defenses save a
Planewalker’s natural durability. On a
hit you hit a friend, ally, or one of your
creatures for normal damage.
Roll of 20 Roll the attack again. On a miss you
hit and cause an extra 2d6 damage.
On a hit you hit and inflict an extra 4d6
damage.
17
Exclusive Abilities
Exclusive Abilities (those with a grey background)
cannot be rolled unless you buy them, although any
automatic functions still apply. This group includes:
Aberration governs the ability to handle inherently
magical “monsters,” such as dragons, undead, shadow
creatures, and similar entities. It controls both the
maximum level and number of such creatures the user
can control at a time.
Automatic: Have an Aberration follower or control
a personally-conjured Aberration with a total Mana cost
equal to the ability level or less (no more than one
creature per rank in this ability), provide basic care for
a familiar Aberration.
Simple: Identify the general characteristics of an
unfamiliar Aberration, recognize common types of
Aberrations.
Difficult: Develop a new Aberration-conjuring spell
given several months to work in, train unintelligent
Aberrations, understand what an Aberration is trying to
communicate without a common language, identify the
nature of a familiar Aberration’s exotic afflictions
(devising an effective treatment will also require the
Healing ability).
Heroic: Control a conjured Aberation with a total
Mana cost of up to 5 over the ability level for 1d6+1
rounds, spot the unique special weakness of an
Aberration, predict the likely behavior patterns of an
Aberration, get a message across to an Aberration
without a common language.
Legendary: Determine the life cycle, and obscure
facts about, an unfamiliar Aberration with a mere
glance, develop a new Aberration-conjuring spell in a
few days, identify the nature of an unfamiliar
Aberration’s exotic afflictions (devising an effective
treatment requires the Healing ability).
Ambush governs setting up blinds and hidden
positions, sneak attacks, arranging a tactical
advantage, and inflicting extra damage on unaware
opponents.
Automatic: Gain bonuses to damage and attacks
against unaware opponents (see Combat, page 16),
Simple: Conceal yourself in the woods in a good
spot to snipe from, pick the best available defensive
position available, create simple snares and traps.
Difficult: Conceal a group in a good position for a
surprise attack in a reasonable location or conceal
yourself in such a position under difficult conditions,
make an attack on someone look like an accident, build
dangerous deadfalls and pits.
Heroic: Organize an attack to give everyone on your
side a +1d6 bonus to damage during the first Turn,
conceal an attack on someone so that even the victim
must make a Perception check to determine the
source, build complex mechanical traps.
Legendary: Conceal a small horde in a flat desert,
plan a surprise attack to give everyone on your side a
+2d6 damage bonus during the first Turn, create a
maze full of lethal traps.
Artificer governs the creation of magical devices
and the maximum number and level of Artifacts which
the character may possess. Note that the Game Master
can, and should, restrict silly combinations: most
creatures can’t use more than one suit of armor and
one or two weapons at a time. Note that creating a new
Artifact allows it to be brought into the game without the
usual requirement of discovering it somewhere.
Automatic: Have a permanent Artifact or an Artifact
Creature follower with a total Mana cost equal to the
ability level or less or control a similar conjured artifact
(no more than one in total per rank in this ability),
provide basic care for a familiar Artifact.
Simple: Identify the general characteristics of an
unfamiliar Artifact, recognize common Artifacts in use
by an opponent, create very simple (Level 1-2) Artifacts
given several months of work,
create magical charms and toys
given an hour or two, operate an
unfamiliar artifact.
Difficult: Develop a new Artifact
conjuring spell given several months
to work in, deduce the workings of
exotic Artifacts, make repairs on
low-level (1-3) Artifacts (for technical
artifacts this may also require an
Engineering check).
Heroic: Spot the unique special
weakness of an Artifact or identify
any hidden functions, predict the
likely properties of a severely-
damaged or partial Artifact, make
repairs on damaged mid-level (4-5)
Artifacts or create Artifacts of up to
Level 4 given some months of work.
Legendary: Develop a new
Artifact conjuring spell in a few days,
18
create minor Artifacts given a few days, major ones
given a month or so and extraordinary ones given a few
months, repair virtually any Artifact.
Beast Mastery governs the ability to handle
animalistic creatures and the maximum level and
number of creatures which a character can control at
any one time. If combined with a point of Green Mana
it allows easy communication with animals as well.
Automatic: Have an Beast follower or control a
personally-conjured Beast with a total Mana cost equal
to the ability level or less (no more than one creature
per rank in this ability), provide basic care for a familiar
Beast.
Simple: Identify the general characteristics of an
unfamiliar Beast, recognize common types of Beasts,
control a frightened horse.
Difficult: Develop a new Beast-conjuring spell given
several months to work in, train unintelligent Beasts.
Understand what an Beast is trying to communicate
without a common language, identify the nature of a
familiar Beast’s exotic afflictions (devising an effective
treatment will also require the Healing ability).
Heroic: Control a conjured Aberration with a total
Mana cost of up to 5 over the ability level for 1d6+1
rounds, spot the unique special weakness of an Beast,
predict the likely behavior patterns of an Beast, get a
message across to an Beast without a common
language.
Legendary: Determine the life cycle, and obscure
facts about, an unfamiliar Beast with a mere glance,
develop a new Beast-conjuring spell in a few days,
identify the nature of an unfamiliar Beast’s exotic
afflictions (devising an effective treatment will also
require the Healing ability).
Black Magic governs how many points of Black
Mana the user may hold in reserve at any one time and
the maximum level of Black magic card that he or she
may bring into play.
Automatic: Draw Black Mana from an appropriate
attuned land, store Black Mana, block all Lesser Magi
from drawing on the Mana of a land you control (only
available to Magelords and Planewalkers), acquire
Black followers (also requires relevant limiting ability).
Simple: Attune to a land which produces Black
Mana, determine the nature of a Black Magic effect by
inspecting it, determine something’s age and general
state of health by touch, curse someone with baldness,
barrenness, or similar infirmities.
Difficult: Selectively block Lesser Magi’s access to
the Mana of a land you control (only available to
Magelords and Planewalkers), divine the direction to the
mystical center of a Black Mana producing land you’re
currently in, create a stationary Circle of Protection
against Black Magic with an hour or so’s work, hold
back a minor (level 3 or less) Black creature by sheer
mastery (this lasts as long as you take no other actions,
but protects no one else), exterminate vermin in an
area, curse a field or farmhold so that it will not yield.
Heroic: Devise an on-the-fly counterspell against a
Black Magic spell (costs 4 Black Mana), Analyze an
incoming spell which uses Black Mana, hold back a
notable (level 4-5) Black creature by sheer mastery,
design an original Black spell, resist aging for a day.
Legendary: Hold back a major (level 6-8) Black
creature, or make a more powerful one hesitate, by
sheer mastery, create an original multicolored spell that
involves Black Mana (this requires similar checks for all
other colors involved).
Blue Magic governs how many points of Blue Mana
the user may hold in reserve at any one time and the
maximum level of Blue magic card that he or she may
bring into play.
Automatic: Draw Blue Mana from an appropriate
attuned land, store Blue Mana, block all Lesser Magi
from drawing on the Mana of a land you control (Only
available to Magelords and Planewalkers), acquire Blue
followers (also requires relevant limiting ability).
Simple: Attune to a land which produces Blue Mana,
determine the nature of a Blue Magic effect by
inspecting it, pick up and shape water (it will remain
“solid” for several hours), operate a simple device.
Difficult: Selectively block Lesser Magi’s access to
the Mana of a land you control (only available to
Magelords and Planewalkers), divine the direction to the
mystical center of a Blue Mana producing land you’re
currently in, create a stationary Circle of Protection
against Blue Magic with an hour or so’s work, hold back
a minor (level 3 or less) Blue creature by sheer mastery
(this lasts as long as you take no other actions, but
protects no one else), purify water, produce the correct
change, determine the quality of goods.
Heroic: Devise an on-the-fly counterspell against a
Blue Magic spell (costs 4 Blue Mana), Analyze an
incoming spell which uses Blue Mana, hold back a
notable (level 4-5) Blue creature by sheer mastery,
design an original Blue spell, determine who made
something, produce a few coins, solve most puzzles.
Legendary: Hold back a major (level 6-8) Blue
creature, or make a more powerful one hesitate, by
sheer mastery, create an original multicolored spell that
involves Blue Mana (this requires similar checks for all
other colors involved), make something go suddenly
wrong with a major device, triple the productivity of
workers you supervise.
Divination governs basic detection and
communication magic. Simple, immediate, questions
(“is this trapped?”) can be answered with a 10–15
minute ritual or a point of Mana. Complex, immediate
questions, simple ones at some range, and message-
sending effects require an hour or two or two points of
Mana. Complex, distant, questions of complex
communications (such as a seance) can be managed
with 3 points of Mana or a ritual of several hours
duration.
Automatic: Determine true north or if something is
actually magical, locate your personal property within a
hundred-foot radius, gain a substantial advantage at
games of chance, know the time, locate where you are.
19
Simple: Send a brief message to someone within
line-of-sight, check on the general status of someone
you have a link to (lock of hair, blood brotherhood, etc),
read a letter without opening it.
Difficult: Detect poisons, contact the spirit of some
recently-deceased creature, analyze the structure of a
lock or trap, gain a clue to some complex quest, cast an
augury, discover how someone feels about you.
Heroic: Contact the spirit of someone long-dead,
open a communications link with someone on another
continent, divine the presence of a poison in a distant
location.
Legendary: Contact a mighty entity or open a
scrying window across the planes, gain glimpses of the
distant future or of major elements thereof.
Elementalism governs the use of minor physical
spells as well as limiting the number and level of instant
and sorcery cards which the user may possess. Like
most of the lesser magical abilities, elementalists may
counter other elementalists with an opposed check.
Automatic: Use Sorcery and Instant Cards of levels
up to the level of your Sorcery ability (in conjunction with
the appropriate Magic ability), create minor lightshows,
light pipes and campfires, cause extra damage with
attacks or create elemental weapons with sufficient
ability.
Simple: Ward off rain, dry clothing, purify water,
levitate a pencil or key, illuminate a small room, heat or
chill food, create a cool breeze.
Difficult: Create a blinding flash or massive gust of
wind, mend clothing, minor telekinesis, freeze-dry food,
waterproof cloth, summon patches of rain or fog, resist
1d6 worth of elemental environmental damage.
Heroic: Fireproof leather and cloth, mend metal
objects, extinguish a burning building, telekinetically
manipulate a few hundred pounds, resist 2d6 worth of
elemental environmental damage.
Legendary: Fireproof paper, forge complex metal
items without tools, maintain a bubble of breathable air
underwater or in the midst of a forest fire resist 4d6
worth of elemental environmental damage.
Enchantment governs the ability to create, analyze,
and sustain enchantments as well as the maximum
number and level of enchantments which the user may
possess at any one time. Very minor enchantments,
such as night sight, a slight (+1) bonus to a general
ability, influencing emotions, weaving suggestions or
similar effects, can be accomplished with a simple
ability roll. Sadly, these also occupy enchantment slots
while they’re active, hence most magi tend to leave a
slot or so open for utility effects. Like most of the lesser
magical abilities, enchanters may counter other
enchanters with an opposed check.
Automatic: Use Enchantment Cards of levels up to
the level of your Enchantment ability (in conjunction with
the relevant Magic ability), maintain lesser
enchantments, determine if something, someone, or
some area is currently enchanted.
Simple: Control (in-game) games of chance, make
someone lucky or unlucky (no real game effect, but nice
or bothersome), change something’s color, weave vocal
suggestions, influence emotions.
Difficult: Boost a general ability by +1, enchant
someone to see in the dark, make someone like you
better, grant the ability to see in the dark, insert ideas
into people’s heads, get someone lost, charm a letter
so that it keeps getting handed along until it reaches its
destination, reduce an opponent’s general ability by 1.
Heroic: Cosmetic transformations, animate objects,
make something seem extremely attractive or utterly
repulsive, enhance secondary senses (such as smell),
reduce an opponent’s general ability by 2 or an
exclusive ability by 1..
Legendary: Love spells, physical transformations
(with a point of Mana), seal an area so that no one may
leave or so that their steps invariably lead back inside,
let someone walk on water or mist, proof something
against the ravages of time, reduce an opponents
general ability by 3 or exclusive ability by 2.
Engineering governs your ability to design and use
high technology and (with Craftsman) your ability to
create it. If you want to program computers, design
complex structures, or maintain engines, this is the
ability to get. If high-technology cards are in use in your
game the level of this ability governs both the number
and maximum number of such cards you may possess.
(no, there aren’t really any “technology” cards in
MTG:CCG at this time, but if someone makes some of
their own or their GM lets them bring in cards from
some other game, then this is the ability to use).
Automatic: Use Technology Cards of levels up to
the level of your Engineering ability (in conjunction with
the appropriate Magic ability), operate simple devices,
understand basic physical principles, basic math.
Simple: Operate computers, replace components in
a system, make repairs on simple engines, design
basic structures, build a watermill.
Difficult: Perform complex calculations given some
time, design industrial machinery, design complex
structures, program a computer operating system,
analyze a cities water system, crack ordinary computer
security, repair complex devices.
Heroic: Build an industrial base using nothing but
raw materials and (lots of) your time, design cities and
arcologies, design computer chips, maintain a stardrive,
disarm a well-designed bomb.
Legendary: Solve complex mathematical problems
in your head in mere moments, program an AI, hack a
military secure system with a pocket computer, solve
the unified field equations.
Fortification governs the mastery of defense, on
both the personal, structural, and strategic levels. It
adds to Evasion to determine how difficult you are to hit
with physical weapons and can be rolled to design (or
penetrate) castles and keeps or to defend against
attacks on any lands which the user controls.
Automatic: Add your ability rank to your personal
Defense level, add your ability rank to the Defense of
20
those protecting your lands (given a few weeks to set
up appropriate fortifications), spot obvious weaknesses
in defensive designs.
Simple: Design a basic castle granting those within
a 1d6 bonus on damage and +2 Defense, reinforce a
door, wall, or other structure to withstand a battering
(roll your Fortification ability to negate such damage).
Difficult: Design a complex fortification granting
those within a 2d6 bonus on damage and +4 Defense,
negate 1d6 damage or +2 from the Defense bonuses
provided by a fortification.
Heroic: Design a mighty fortification, granting those
within a 3d6 bonus on their effective damage ratings
and a +6 Defense bonus, negate 2d6 damage or +4
from the Defense bonuses provided by a fortification.
Legendary: Negate either the damage bonus or the
defensive bonus offered by a fortification or 2d6
damage and +2 Defense.
Green Magic governs how many points of Green
Mana the user may hold in reserve at any one time and
the maximum level of Green magic card that he or she
may bring into play.
Automatic: Draw Green Mana from an appropriate
attuned land, store Green Mana, block all Lesser Magi
from drawing on the Mana of a land you control (Only
available to Magelords and Planewalkers), acquire
Green followers (also requires relevant limiting ability).
Simple: Attune to a land which produces Green
Mana, determine the nature of a Green Magic effect by
inspecting it, identify the basic properties of an unknown
plant, get plants to flourish, analyze soil.
Difficult: Selectively block Lesser Magi’s access to
the Mana of a land you control (only available to
Magelords and Planewalkers), divine the direction to the
mystical center of a Green Mana producing land you’re
currently in, create a stationary Circle of Protection
against Green Magic with an hour or so’s work, hold
back a minor (level 3 or less) Green creature by sheer
mastery (this lasts as long as you take no other actions,
but protects no one else), train or domesticate an
animal, shape wood with your bare hands.
Heroic: Devise an on-the-fly counterspell against a
Green Magic spell (costs 4 Green Mana), Analyze an
incoming spell which uses Green Mana, hold back a
notable (level 4-5) Green creature by sheer mastery,
design an original Green spell, cause fields and beasts
to flourish (may require one or more points of Green
Mana, depending on the desired scale), link with a
“familiar.”
Legendary: Hold back a major (level 6-8) Green
creature, or make a more powerful one hesitate, by
sheer mastery, create an original multicolored spell that
involves Green Mana (this requires similar checks for
all other colors involved), cause plants and animals to
grow and mature in moments, cause dead wood to
sprout or roots to split stone.
Herb Mastery governs the use of herbs,
compounds, drugs, potions,
and toxins. It doesn’t really
involve much magic as
such, but most NPC’s
regard it as a mystical art at
its higher levels.
Automatic: Make tasty
and refreshing use of herbs,
s p i c e s , a n d o t h e r
ingredients, make common
folk medicines for basic
complaints.
Simple: Brew 1d3 doses
of poison, cure a cold or
other minor illness, extract
hallucinogens and other
drugs, create perfumes and
scents, brew alcoholic and
exotic beverages, produce
simple drugs.
Difficult: Identify a
poison, brew an antidote for
a known poison, cure a serious illness or prevent
infection, extract the essences of magical plants, brew
elixirs which allow sight into other worlds, create healing
poultices (can restore 1d6 life per day), extract complex
drugs.
Heroic: Identify the likely properties of an unknown
magical plant, cure severe illnesses, induce hibernation,
brew mixtures with complex biochemical and mental
effects.
Legendary: Cure advanced leprosy, comas, and
those near death from various diseases, enable astral
projection, brew double-strength poisons.
Leadership governs the ability to lead NPC’s,
troops, and other intelligent (and more-or-less normal)
Minions, and controls the maximum level and number
of such creatures which the user may command.
Automatic: Have a Minion follower or control a
personally-conjured Minion with a total Mana cost equal
to the ability level or less (no more than one creature
per rank in this ability).
21
Simple: Identify the general characteristics of an
unfamiliar race. Dominate slaves and similar servants.
Difficult: Develop a new Minion-conjuring spell
given several months to work in. Understand what
somebody is trying to communicate without a common
language. Get independent NPC’s to listen to sensible
orders in an emergency. Maintain general control of a
sizable army. Determine what an unfamiliar NPC most
wants (and so could likely be manipulated with).
Heroic: Control a conjured Minion with a total Mana
cost of up to 5 over the ability level for 1d6+1 rounds.
Spot someone’s special weakness or predict their likely
behavior. Get a message across to someone without a
common language. Get small children to behave
themselves. Inspire troops, granting
them a +1d6 bonus to the damage
they inflict.
Legendary: Determine the origin,
profession, and general character of
an unfamiliar Minion with a mere
glance. Develop a new Minion-
conjuring spell in a few days. Get
men to follow you into certain death.
Lifewreaking governs the ability
to transmute life points into colorless
Mana or into any color of Mana the
user has the appropriate Magic ability
for. Sadly, Life expended on
Lifewreaking cannot be regained
through supernatural means.
Automatic: Convert 20 Life into 1
Mana.
Simple: Convert 15 Life into 1
Mana, ritually sacrifice a common,
minor, animal for a point of Green
Mana.
Difficult: Convert 10 Life into 1
Mana. Ritually sacrifice a sentient
being for a point of Black, Green, or
Colorless Mana.
Heroic: Convert 15 Life into 2
Mana. Sacrifice a Conjuration for the Mana used to
summon it less two points.
Legendary: Convert 20 Life into 3 Mana. Drain the
life-energies of a land while at it’s mystical center.
Draining a land provides 1d6+4 Mana, but kills or
weakens everything in the area and disrupts the lands
ability to provide Mana for weeks. If the land is held by
a Magelord or Planewalker they may subtract their
Fortification ability from the would-be wreakers ability.
Hence this rarely succeeds against a defended land -
and even the attempt is usually grounds for being
hunted down by everyone who lives there.
Lifewreaking is the presumed source of energy for
creatures which can be tapped for Mana. This normally
operates automatically at the Difficult success level,
yielding one Mana point. Unfortunately, the price of an
automatic success is being limited to producing Mana
of the color specified in the creature description.
Magesight governs the ability to directly perceive
and analyze magical energies, as well as the ability to
determine what spell is being cast before it activates.
Automatic: Read untrapped mystical runes, detect
ley lines and other powerful Mana sources in the
immediate vicinity, sense powerful mystic disturbances.
Simple: Detect the magical energies of a lurking
Spirit, determine the color of a spell that’s being cast.
Difficult: Pick up a mage’s magical “signature” from
observing an active spell, detect the underlying magic
of an illusion, get a rough idea of how much Mana a
target currently holds, determine the general nature of
a spell that’s being cast.
Heroic: Identify the nature of a spell from the
mystical traces it leaves
behind, spot an invisible
creature, such as one
using Landwalk, by it’s
magical aura, determine
the exact nature of a spell
that’s being cast.
Legendary: Detect the
Planewalker spark in an
infant, determine what
spells and powers a mage
has available from the
traces in his or her aura,
determine the structure of
a spell that’s being cast
(half the cost of using a
counterspell effect).
M a n a T a p p i n g
governs the ability to draw
Mana from odd sources,
s uc h a s pl an et ar y
conjunctions, crowds of
f a n a t i c wo r s h i p e r s ,
sacrifices, mystic wells,
and other exotica. It also
limits the number of
exotic lands which a
Magelord or Planewalker can control at any one time
and the total number of lands which a lesser mage can
attune themselves to.
Automatic: Draw Mana from a stable, attuned,
power source. Maintain a link with an exotic land.
Accept Mana transferred from someone else.
Simple: Draw Mana from a Mana Font, Node, Well,
Artifact-Battery, or other semi-stable source.
Difficult: Draw Mana from a Ley Line, Upwelling, or
Crowd of Worshipers (one per crowd or ritual, color is
determined by the Game Master according to the
nature of the crowd and ritual involved).
Heroic: Draw Mana from the sun, stars, dawn, and
other astronomical events (1-2 points per day unless
something special is happening). The character will
probably have to enact special ceremonies at particular
times to tap into this source of Mana and may require a
Distinction to do so. Characters may only attempt to
draw on such events once per day.
22
Legendary: Draw Mana from popular beliefs and/or
philosophies and/or “gods” (whatever they are). This
usually requires observing a variety of ceremonies, odd
taboos, and subscribing to particular beliefs, but can
provide 1d6 points of Mana of colors specified by the
Game Master when it works. Sadly, this technique can
only be attempted once per day.
Movement governs raw speed, the ability to run and
leap. This isn’t complicated but, in a world of magic, can
be quite impressive. The base of 2 is normal human
speed, cheetahs sprint at 6, and (on earth anyway) only
vehicles get much faster than that. It compliments
Athletics. For those who want actual numbers, the base
limits are: Running Long Jump: 10 feet x Movement,
High Jump 2 feet x Movement, Sprint at 15 feet x
Movement/second, Long Distance Running is at 4 x
Movement MPH, and Walking is at 2 x Movement MPH.
Olympic athletes usually have a Movement rating of 3.
Unless they’re using magic most creatures Movement
scores are never more than one above the species
average.
Automatic: Crawl, walk, run, and leap with ordinary
speed and success. Walk, run, and jump distances a bit
below the base limits.
Simple: Move at full speed across uneven terrain,
reach the limits given above.
Difficult: Move at full speed across rough terrain,
slightly exceed the limits given above.
Heroic: Move at full speed across broken terrain,
add +1 to your effective Movement for a bit.
Legendary: Move briefly over water, mist, or some
other impossible terrain, add +2 to your effective
Movement for a bit.
In chase situations both speed and agility are of
great importance: in this case simply make two checks:
one for closing the distance, one to keep up with
evasive maneuvers (if any).
Phantasm governs the ability to weave minor
illusions. Unlike the other minor magical abilities,
Phantasm does not form the basis for effects beyond
those of hedge wizardry; illusions are limited by their
caster’s skill, imagination, and mental focus rather than
by raw power.
Automatic: Create modest light-show effects,
change the color of a sheet of paper, or cover up
palming something, suggest almost any kind of dream
to someone.
Simple: Disguise someone’s features, blend into the
shadows, disguise the opening of a cave, make a good
illusion of an opening or door, create an illusory stench.
Difficult: Make someone or something invisible,
generate illusory pain or other sensations, create a
house-sized static illusion or an interactive illusory
creature.
Heroic: Create a good illusion of a document over
paper, create passable illusory currency, make an
individual target see, hear, and feel almost anything.
Legendary: Create an interactive illusion covering
a very large room (a.k.a “the halls of faerie”).
Politician governs the ability to manipulate
governments and organized societies. Note that being
a stranger in town may make this more difficult, but it’s
still quite possible.
Automatic: Function in society, get a general idea
of the local laws after a bit of poking around.
Simple: Find out who’s running an area, organize a
march or protest, find out about local laws, convince a
lobbyist to spend some time on you.
Difficult: Get a license for restricted activities, obtain
a modest grant for some project, hinder or advance a
bureaucratic process, get someone’s permits pulled.
Heroic: Get in to see an important local figure,
arrange to have an ordinary person arrested or dealt
with, get a relatively sane law passed, get major
charges dropped, get someone offered a good job, or
send the police after someone you dislike.
Legendary: Arrange to have a fairly important
person arrested, arrange a war, arrange an insane law,
or cover up almost anything.
Red Magic governs how many points of Red Mana
the user may hold in reserve at any one time and the
maximum level of Red magic card that he or she may
bring into play.
Automatic: Draw Red Mana from an appropriate
attuned land, store Red Mana, block all Lesser Magi
from drawing on the Mana of a land you control (Only
available to Magelords and Planewalkers), acquire Red
followers (also requires relevant limiting ability).
Simple: Attune to a land which produces Red Mana,
determine the nature of a Red Magic effect by
inspecting it, ignite flammable objects, make everyone
nearby aware of your emotions.
Difficult: Selectively block Lesser Magi’s access to
the Mana of a land you control (only available to
Magelords and Planewalkers), divine the direction to the
mystical center of a Red Mana producing land you’re
currently in, create a stationary Circle of Protection
against Red Magic with an hour or so’s work, hold back
a minor (level 3 or less) Red creature by sheer mastery
(this lasts as long as you take no other actions, but
protects no one else), cold forge metal, radiate an
emotion (this influences crowds and reactions but has
no combat effects).
Heroic: Devise an on-the-fly counterspell against a
Red Magic spell (costs 4 Red Mana), Analyze an
incoming spell which uses Red Mana, hold back a
notable (level 4-5) Red creature by sheer mastery,
design an original Red spell, soften rock and metal so
that it can be shaped like clay, cause wild bursts of
poltergeist activity.
Legendary: Hold back a major (level 6-8) Red
creature, or make a more powerful one hesitate, by
sheer mastery, create an original multicolored spell that
involves Red Mana (this requires similar checks for all
other colors involved), drive a crowd of creatures into a
hysterical frenzy, cause a minor elemental storm (rocks
start flying about, weather goes mad, etc) in the area.
23
Regeneration governs self-healing. Unlike most of
the other exclusive abilities, all characters use this at
the passive, unconscious, level, automatically regaining
one life per day per effective rank in this ability.
Automatic: Natural healing, recovery with some
scarring.
Simple: Recover from serious wounds without
notable scarring.
Difficult: Recover from massive wounds without
notable scarring.
Heroic: Regenerate limbs and other organs, heal
from any survivable wound without impairment.
Legendary: Cling to life (with a point of Mana)
despite obviously-fatal wounds.
Repute governs a character’s reputation. The user
is free to specify what his or her reputation is for, and
may influence a wide variety of social situations with a
successful check.
Automatic: Get recognized by friends, allies, and
relatives.
Simple: Impress some yokel with your boasting.
Villagers treat you to beer. Get considered for jobs in
your area of expertise.
Difficult: Impress the gentry with your remarkable
deeds. Tip the balance in a social situation. Mayors
invite you for dinner.
Heroic: Impress lords and kings with your incredible
talents. Get called on for quests and extraordinary
tasks. People want your autograph. Necromancers
want your hands.
Legendary: Impress Demigods with your awesome
works. No other expert in an area is worth talking to.
Urza invites you over for tea and cookies.
Scholar governs book-learning of all kinds, ranging
from geography and history on through chemistry,
alchemy, and even more esoteric knowledges.
Automatic: Know the basic, recent, history of your
homeland, recognize common working animals and
know their general habits.
Simple: Know the general layout of the continent or
world, work algebra, know enough chemistry to be
dangerous, recognize unusual animals.
Difficult: Mix explosives, acids, and bases, recite an
outline of world history, identify the relics of a particular
culture.
Heroic: Know obscure uses for rare magical
materials, sketch a decent map of a distant land,
recognize and describe exotic animals, describe minute
historical details.
Legendary: Know details about distant dimensions
and worlds, engage in alchemical transmutation (with a
point of Mana.
Shamanism governs the ability to call, communicate
with, and control spirits as well as the maximum level
and number of spirit creatures which a character can
control at any one time.
Automatic: Have an Spirit follower or control a
personally-conjured Spirit with a total Mana cost equal
to the ability level or less (no more than one creature
per rank in this ability), sense and communicate with
spirits while in a trance.
Simple: Identify the general characteristics of an
unfamiliar Spirit, enter a trance, recognize common
types of Spirits.
Difficult: Develop a new Spirit-conjuring spell given
several months to work in, communicate with any local
spirits, enter a trance so deep that you appear dead.
Heroic: Control a conjured Spirit with a total Mana
cost of up to 5 over the ability level for 1d6+1 rounds,
spot the unique special weakness of an Spirit, predict
the likely behavior patterns of an Spirit, communicate
with the newly dead or with any spirit linked to your
current location, project yourself into the spirit world.
Legendary: Determine obscure facts about an
unfamiliar Spirit with a mere glance, develop a new
Spirit-conjuring spell in a few days, contact the mighty
powers of the spirit world or travel there with a group.
Sleights governs minor technical and mystical
trickery, ranging from smoke pellets through instant
disguise spells and grapnel guns. The user may select
one such trick per ability level. Optionally, Slights may
also be used to represent combat or other special tricks
and techniques.
Automatic: Escape from Chinese Handcuffs,
perform a simple card trick you’ve practiced.
Simple: Make smoke bombs and spring-loaded
grapnels, escape from handcuffs.
Difficult: Conceal a small weapon through a search,
escape from ropes, perform complex card tricks,
Heroic: Escape from chains and cells.
Legendary: Escape from pocket prison dimensions.
Space Vehicles governs the ability to operate space
vehicles of all kinds, ranging from shuttles to ethercraft
or the most bizarre science-fictional craft.
Automatic: Recognize the various types of space
vehicles, know the basics of space flight and navigation.
Simple: Take off or execute simple maneuvers, get
a license.
Difficult: Land smoothly and gently, execute a
complex (but sensible) maneuver, perform general
maintenance.
Heroic: Land during a storm, plot an orbit in your
head, execute a clearly impractical maneuver or a
complex maneuver under bad conditions, take off in a
fraction of the normally-required time, jury-rig or bypass
major systems in an emergency.
Legendary: Perform complex maneuvers under
horrendous conditions, evade an attack which should
certainly have destroyed the vehicle, execute a flatly
ridiculous maneuver (right-angle turn, finding a “crack
in the event horizon” to escape through, etc).
Touch of Life governs lesser healing magic, curing
diseases, blindness, and similar afflictions, as well as
the ability to transfer your own life into others (to
instantly heal their wounds) or into inanimate objects to
temporarily animate them.
24
Automatic: Transfer up to 10 life points to someone
else, determine the extent of someone’s injuries.
Simple: Animate a length of rope you’re touching for
a few moments for 1 life.
Difficult: Cure ordinary diseases. Animate a door to
make it open or close on command for several minutes
for 2 life.
Heroic: Cure deafness and serious illnesses, make
a statue take a few simple actions, animate a living
plant for several minutes for 3 life.
Legendary: Cure virulent mystical plagues, total
blindness, or congenital deformities, animate a group of
trees or plants for an hour or so for 5 life.
Toughness governs the ability to resist damage
from any source.
Automatic: Reduce incoming damage by one point
per rank in the Toughness ability (to a minimum of 1).
Planewalkers, who take only 1 point per die, get only
one third of this benefit - 1 point less damage at rank 3,
2 points less at rank 6, and so on.
Simple: Snap fishline or a fine wire without cutting
yourself on it, smash a beer can on your head, avoid
being sunburned.
Difficult: Climb a barbed-wire fence without injury,
crash through a plate-glass window without being cut,
hold a hot coal without discomfort, pierce yourself with
various items without suffering real injury.
Heroic: Absorb the impact of a lengthy fall without
serious injury.
Legendary: Dive from a speeding car and roll to a
halt without injury.
White Magic
governs how many
points of White
Mana the user may
hold in reserve at
any one time and
the maximum level
of White magic
card that he or she
may bring into play.
A u t o m a t i c :
Draw White Mana
from an appropriate
attuned land, store
White Mana, block
all Lesser Magi
from drawing on the
Mana of a land you
c o n t r o l ( O n l y
a v a i l a b l e t o
Magel or ds and
P l a n e w a l k e r s ) ,
a c q u i r e W h i t e
f ol l ower s ( al s o
requires relevant
limiting ability).
Simple: Attune to a land which produces White
Mana, determine the nature of a White Magic effect by
inspecting it, heal minor annoyances (bruises, small
cuts, rashes and sore throats), organize an amiable
meeting.
Difficult: Selectively block Lesser Magi’s access to
the Mana of a land you control (only available to
Magelords and Planewalkers), divine the direction to the
mystical center of a White Mana producing land you’re
currently in, create a stationary Circle of Protection
against White Magic with an hour or so’s work, hold
back a minor (level 3 or less) White creature by sheer
mastery (this lasts as long as you take no other actions,
but protects no one else), soothe or moderate an
argument, radiate a sphere of peace and serenity that
wards off disturbances and calms those within, cleanse
an area (whether physically or of malign influences is up
to the user).
Heroic: Devise an on-the-fly counterspell against a
White Magic spell (costs 4 White Mana), Analyze an
incoming spell which uses White Mana, hold back a
notable (level 4-5) White creature by sheer mastery,
design an original White spell, exorcize a possessing
spirit, calm everyone in the vicinity, stem a retreat.
Legendary: Hold back a major (level 6-8) White
creature, or make a more powerful one hesitate, by
sheer mastery, create an original multicolored spell that
involves White Mana (this requires similar checks for all
other colors involved), inspire a truce during a massed
battle, get a panicky crowd organized towards some
common goal.
25
General Abilities
General abilities can be rolled even if you haven’t
purchased any ranks in the ability. Still, training will
make you a lot better. This group includes:
Air Vehicles governs the ability to operate air
vehicles of all kinds, ranging from balloons to fighter
jets.
Automatic: Recognize the various types of air
vehicles, know the basics of flight and navigation.
Simple: Take off or execute simple maneuvers, get
a license.
Difficult: Land smoothly and gently, execute a
complex (but sensible) maneuver, perform general
maintenance.
Heroic: Land during a storm, execute a clearly
impractical maneuver or a complex maneuver under
bad conditions, take off in a fraction of the normally-
required time, jury-rig or bypass major systems in an
emergency.
Legendary: Perform complex maneuvers under
horrendous conditions, evade an attack which should
certainly have destroyed the vehicle, execute a flatly
ridiculous maneuver (right-angle turn, flying sideways
between two buildings, etc).
Arts governs musical performances, dance,
painting, sculpting, and a wide variety of similar
activities.
Automatic: Distinguish between art and trash, make
crude-but-recognizable sketches of things, sing without
actually inflicting damage on anyone, and appreciate
the work of better artists.
Simple: Sketch passably, play a recognizable tune
on a simple instrument, avoid looking like a complete
idiot on a dance floor, and decorate your gear in fairly
reasonable taste.
Difficult: Perform professionally, paint accurate (or
salable) portraits, organize and direct an orchestra or
chorus, pick up a reasonable days salary performing in
any town or find a welcome in the countryside.
Heroic: Compose a scathing, and extremely catchy,
satire, move an audience to tears, entertain spirits of
nature and the dead, seduce an emperor with dance.
Legendary: Sway a god, compose an epic that will
inspire millions, compel the lords of faerie, paint a
masterpiece to awe all who gaze upon it (and possibly,
with some points of Mana, to serve as a portal).
Athletics governs diving for cover, sprinting, lifting
weights, climbing, balancing, swimming, and other
simple, physical, acts.
Automatic: Perform normal, human-level, tasks.
Simple: Climb a tree or easy rock face, walk along
a building ledge, carry someone hurriedly out of danger,
stay afloat in mildly rough water, tip over a sizable
boulder, dive out of the way of a rock slide, right a
canoe, fall without injuring yourself, turn a somersault.
Difficult: Dash across a tree which has fallen across
a chasm, stay afloat going down rapids, lift 500 pounds,
dive out of the way of a falling truck, tumble across a
room, swing from vine to vine through a forest.
Heroic: Walk a tightrope, lift a ton or two, pull a
truck, run down a horse on foot, swim through a raging
storm, dive for pearls, dive out of the way of a blast of
flame, perform complex feats of acrobatics without a
choreographer.
Legendary: Fight on a tightrope, climb a greased
glass wall, lift several tons, swim through a tidal wave to
come out on the other side.
Courtier governs etiquette, socializing, recognizing
social traps, making friends, locating respectable
contacts, and gaining access to high society.
Automatic: Know basic etiquette for your culture,
make requests and speak to people without being
offensive.
Simple: Deduce surface motivations, get an official
to give you a job, speak in a formal style, use the right
fork for salad, get people to brag and talk about
themselves, make subtle insults, spread rumors without
appearing to do so, get a date.
Difficult: Make someone appear foolish, seduce a
reluctant target, deduce deeper motivations, recognize
when someone is setting you up, befriend a high-
ranking aristocrat, get into a private party, get someone
into trouble while appearing to “help,” deflect a noxious
comment.
Heroic: Befriend a major ruler, join any desired
clique, acquire a high-status mistress, extract all kinds
of information from someone in conversation, insult
someone without them even realizing it, completely
warp someone’s reputation, make infamy somehow
chic and attractive.
Legendary: Cause hundreds to obsess over you,
befriend an ancient, solitary, entity, inspire a festival in
the pits of torment, counter a horrendous (and well-
documented) story about yourself, start a romance with
an enemy in the middle of battle.
Craftsman governs the ability to make nonmagical
items. Most characters specialize a bit, but that’s not
really required. A workshop of some sort usually is.
Automatic: Use simple tools effectively, select the
appropriate raw materials for a project, set up a work
area, assist more skilled craftsmen.
Simple: Make basic items of adequate quality:
weave cloth, forge arrowheads, chip usable stone tools,
prepare decent leather, or set up an efficient workplace.
Difficult: Make complex items and/or items of high
quality, weave a tapestry or fine silk, build good
furniture, or tailor clothing. Organize a group of crafters
to work efficiently.
Heroic: Make fine musical instruments, superb tools
and weapons, and marvelous meals. Create complex
machinery.
Legendary: Craft marvelous items (these may count
as minor Artifacts), work without tools (this trick costs
Mana), craft parts to microscopic tolerances.
26
Endurance governs the ability to resist fatigue, pain,
and loss of concentration as well as the ability to
maintain efforts and survive inclement conditions.
Automatic: Ignore minor wounds and damage
during an emergency, resist decay, remain comfortable
despite minor temperature variations.
Simple: Stay awake for a lengthy guard shift, resist
a minor disease, avoid heat exhaustion, complete a
lengthy ritual.
Difficult: Resist a notable disease, cast a spell while
severely wounded, reach into a pit of flames to pull out
something important, labor for a day without resting.
Heroic: Withstand extreme torture, resist a horrific
disease, go for a week without eating or drinking, run
for across a desert all day without drinking or slowing.
Legendary: Resist a virulent mystical plague,
remain awake and alert for weeks at a time, walk
across a glacier naked without getting cold, complete a
short task despite lethal wounds.
Evasion governs the art of not being hit. In general,
it helps set the difficulty for an opponent to hit you, but
is used alone against traps and other nonsentient
menaces.
Automatic: Add your Evasion ability to your basic
Defense.
Simple: Dodge a rolling boulder, falling tree,
scything blade, or other single-target mechanical trap.
Difficult: Advance on a fixed position while staying
out of the line of fire, avoid a dangerous animal in close
quarters, dodge a cloud of arrows from a trap.
Heroic: Dodge your way through an avalanche or
whirling wall of blades.
Legendary: Dodge the shrapnel from a major
explosion.
Finance governs your personal wealth, ability to
bargain, and other financial matters.
Automatic: Scrape up a few coins for a cheap meal,
avoid being driven past the asking price, keep track of
how much money you’re carrying.
Simple: Balance your checkbook or budget, pay for
new clothes or general supplies, take a few days off to
go on a trip without risking financial collapse.
Difficult: Buy a house or car, manage a bank, fund
an exploratory expedition, figure out an embezzlement
scheme, evade your taxes with a good chance of
success.
Heroic: Pay for building a fortress or arcology, track
and control the finances of a multinational corporation,
evade your taxes legally.
Legendary: Pay for building a major metropolis,
track the finances of a multinational corporation in your
head, get a refund without paying taxes first legally.
Harvesting governs Farming, Logging, Herding,
Fishing, Mining, and other methods of extracting natural
resources. Most characters don’t actually bother with
using this ability, but quite a few have a point in it as a
background.
Automatic: Assist more experienced harvesters in
basic tasks, collect eggs, provide basic animal care,
and gather fruit.
Simple: Fish for your own dinner, locate edible
plants in an autumn forest, dry meat and fruits, select
trees for particular purposes.
Difficult: Top trees, perform deep-shaft mining,
follow veins of ore, feed a family for a few days by
fishing, hunting, or gathering, identify rare plants, refine
metals.
Heroic: Feed a village for a few days by hunting or
fishing, recognize the signs of the presence of exotic
resources, make a farm work under awful conditions.
Legendary: Extract needed supplies for a small
group from a barren asteroid belt or moonscape, find
food for a crowd in the desert or other wilderness,
refine exotic mystical metals, locate “extinct” plants or
animals.
Healing governs first aid, medicine, surgery, and
any available advanced techniques, such as implant
surgery. In general, non-emergency treatments can only
be applied effectively once per week.
Automatic: Recognize where it hurts you, realize
that someone’s dead after checking on them.
Simple: Apply pressure-pads and tourniquets,
bandage minor injuries, recognize broken bones and
shock, know which organs are most vital, act as a
physical therapist.
Difficult: Function as a physician, stitch up wounds,
deliver babies when complications occur, evaluate
drugs and treatments, heal 1d6 life points worth of
damage, perform cosmetic surgery.
Heroic: Reattach limbs, transplant organs, perform
brain surgery, awaken someone from a coma, treat
poisoning (restore 1d6 ability points), heal 2d6 life
points worth of damage, rebuild damaged organs,
restructure bones to change apparent race.
Legendary: Hook mechanisms to nerve trunks so
that the user can control them mentally, emulate Dr.
Frankenstein, transplant brains, keep brains alive and
conscious in bottles, rebuild someone into a member of
another species, heal 4d6 life points worth of damage.
Heavy Weapons governs the use of fixed- and
vehicle- mount weapons systems, machine guns,
missile launchers, mortars, and similar systems.
Automatic: Add your weapons ability to your attack
roll, inflict extra damage with sufficient ability.
Simple: Use unfamiliar heavy weaponry, perform
basic repairs and maintenance on a known type of
heavy weapon.
Difficult: Perform basic repairs and maintenance on
an unfamiliar weapon, evaluate what task a particular
weapon is best suited for, teach others to use heavy
weapons.
Heroic: Speed-load a heavy weapon, modify a
weapon to suit a particular purpose, pick an especially-
vital target point on a vehicle or structure.
Legendary: Precisely control the area affected by
an area-effect weapon, operate a crew-serviced
weapon at normal speed by yourself.
27
Investigation governs the
ability to locate and analyze
information, search libraries, and
otherwise locate and operate in
areas hidden from others.
Automatic: Check the index in
a book, hunt for something in a
reasonably organized fashion,
realize that the gaping knife wound
in the body might possibly be
related to the bloody knife lying
nearby.
Simple: Search for cross-
references and alternative titles in
a library, reconstruct recent events
from a fair amount of evidence,
locate someone’s phone number
on the internet, know what the
neighbors are up to, put together a
brief biography of a celebrity.
Difficult: Know what your
children are up to, put together a
brief biography on almost anyone,
locate a particular figure in the
underworld, put together details on
obscure events and places,
recognize the signs of a monster lair.
Heroic: Find a brief citation in a massive library in a
single night or research, perform archeological
research, reconstruct months-old events from modest
amounts of evidence, put together details on a near-
mythical place or event, find blackmail material on a
squeaky-clean individual.
Legendary: Determine the cause of death of a
mummy, reconstruct decades-old events from minimal
evidence, deduce many details about a person or place
from a brief glimpse.
Land Vehicles governs the ability to operate land
vehicles of all kinds, ranging from skateboards to main
battle tanks.
Automatic: Recognize the various types of land
vehicles, know the basics operating them, get a license.
Simple: Execute simple maneuvers, get a license,
perform simple maintenance.
Difficult: Execute a complex (but sensible)
maneuver, modify systems, perform a jump, push for a
bit of extra speed, perform a “bootlegger reverse.”
Heroic: Execute a clearly impractical maneuver or
a complex maneuver under bad conditions, jury-rig or
bypass major systems in an emergency.
Legendary: Perform complex maneuvers under
horrendous conditions, evade an attack which should
certainly have destroyed the vehicle, execute a flatly
ridiculous maneuver.
Larceny governs lockpicking, forgery, bypassing
security systems, and similar illegal activities.
Automatic: Serve as a thug or runner, locate readily
available illegal goods and services, scrawl something
illegible in place of a signature.
Simple: Pick a simple
lock, locate a fence, forge a
signature, disarm practical-
joke booby traps.
Difficult: Find rare drugs,
sell ordinary loot for near full
value, pick a complex lock,
bypass a camera-based
security system, forge a
simple document.
Heroic: Forge a lengthy
proclamation, pick a superb
lock, disarm the defenses of
a mage’s tomb.
Legendary: Sell the
crown jewels for near-full
value just after stealing them,
run a con on the guards
around your cell, bypass a
full-scale military security
system for a top-secret
conference.
Li ngui st i cs gover ns
speaki ng, reading, and
t r an s l at i ng l anguages ,
creating and breaking codes and ciphers, and the study
of language in general.
Automatic: Speak any language you happen to
know, know one language per Linguistics rank if the
Game Master happens to have specified languages for
his or her world.
Simple: Speak “Pig Latin” variants on your native
language, translate simple ciphers with time and effort,
present a coherent argument.
Difficult: Read simple ciphers with ease, identify the
relationships between languages, decipher complex
codes with time and effort, translate an inscription in a
dead language.
Heroic: Identify someone from their writing style,
decipher complex codes in a few minutes, translate an
inscription in a lost language.
Legendary: Casually read or translate a language
that you’ve never seen before, crack “unbreakable”
encryption.
Melee Weapons governs attacking with hand-held
close-combat weapons, whether such items are
designed for the task or improvised.
Automatic: Add your weapons ability to your attack
roll, inflict extra damage with sufficient ability, attempt to
disarm an opponent (a resisted check with a +4
advantage to the opponent).
Simple: Use an unfamiliar melee weapon, perform
basic maintenance on low-technology melee weapons,
train novices in the basics of weapon use, attack an
opponents weapon instead of the opponent.
Difficult: Inflict stunning damage with a normally-
lethal weapon, throw a melee weapon effectively,
recognize the style of another weapon wielder, evaluate
what tasks a particular weapon is best suited for.
28
Heroic: Perform basic repairs and maintenance on
a high-technology melee weapon, modify a low-tech
weapon to suit a particular purpose, attack two or three
targets simultaneously.
Legendary: Make a sweeping attack targeting
everyone within reach, hurl a melee weapon and catch
it again on the rebound.
Characters who try for multiple attacks and similar
tricks lose their basic attack if they don’t pull it off.
Perception governs alertness, sensory acuity, and
the user’s ability to accurately interpret sensory
information.
Automatic: Wake up when an alarm goes off, see
and hear obvious things, and enjoy the benefits of
normal sensory perception.
Simple: Recognize common spices, detect the
sounds of common activities behind a door, wake up
when there’s a slight disturbance.
Difficult: Note the signs of a possible ambush,
detect the aftertaste of a drug in wine, spot an ambush,
evaluate wines, spot lurking animals.
Heroic: Spot a well-concealed trap or security
system, detect a subtle poison in a spicy dish,
determine an ingredient list from a few tastes, make out
what someone is whispering to someone else across a
crowded, noisy, room.
Legendary: Spot a Landwalker hidden in their
favored terrain type, track someone by scent when it’s
not your primary sense, detect slight traces of an
odorless, colorless, gas.
Persuasion governs the manipulation of other
intelligent beings, usually through verbal means.
Automatic: Get what you want across to someone
in a common language.
Simple: Get people to do things which are obviously
to their advantage or at least have no downside, seduce
an admiring or impressionable target.
Difficult: Talk people into doing something that’s a
bit to their disadvantage or is fairly risky with little hope
of reward, convince an enemy to talk, make an absurd
proposition sound at least vaguely reasonable.
Heroic: Sway a hostile crowd, talk people into doing
something obviously absurd and/or dangerous, get an
enemy to ally with you, persuade a bunch of defeated
troops to go back into the battle.
Legendary: Talk people into doing things that
they’re specifically instructed or determined not to do,
get your executioner to let you go, talk a king you’ve just
betrayed into letting you serve as regent.
Psyche governs the ability to resist mental
influences and attacks, as well as to detect, interact
with, and channel any wandering spirits in the area.
Automatic: Make a decision, avoid giving into silly
advertisements, sit through a horror movie without
panicking.
Simple: Resist whining children, choose long-term
plans over transient rewards, sense the presence of
powerful psychic auras.
Difficult: Withstand minor emotional influences, let
a spirit speak through you, conceal information from a
telepathic probe of your mind, sense the presence of
powerful spirits, break addictions.
Heroic: Sense the presence of lesser spirits, subtly
present only the information you desire to a telepathic
probe, dispose of beloved offspring who are unsuited to
your plans, physically and effectively attack an
otherwise immaterial entity.
Legendary: Present false information to a telepathic
probe, channel the full powers of a major spirit and
push it out of your body afterwards, resist direct neural
pleasure/pain conditioning.
Ranged Weapons governs the use of thrown,
projectile, and energy based ranged weaponry,
including lesser magical attacks.
Automatic: Add your weapons ability to your attack
roll, inflict extra damage with sufficient ability, attempt to
make a precise shot against a stationary target (the DC
depends on how precise you want it to be).
Simple: Use an unfamiliar ranged weapon, make
new projectiles for low-technology ranged weapons.
Difficult: Train novices in the basics of using ranged
weapons, evaluate what tasks a ranged weapon is best
suited for.
Heroic: Place two shots precisely in the same place,
knock an item out of someone’s hand without hurting
them, make two shots almost simultaneously.
Legendary: Make a stunning attack with a lethal
ranged weapon, skip over friends while spraying an
area with autofire, shoot down an incoming missile
weapon.
Characters who try for multiple attacks and similar
tricks lose their basic attack if they don’t pull it off.
Reaction governs reflex speed, initiative, and stunts
such as snatching arrows out of the air or quick-drawing
a weapon.
Automatic: Make reaction checks in combat.
Simple: Catch a thrown object, grab the railing while
tripping down the stairs, jump in front of someone else.
Difficult: Catch an arrow, grab a handhold while
falling over a cliff, successfully interrupt another’s
action.
Heroic: Deflect bullets, throw a grappling hook to
safety while falling.
Legendary: Parry a laser beam, catch a spray of
automatic gunfire.
Resist Magic governs the ability to resist hostile
spells and enchantments.
Automatic: Resist being warped or transformed by
environmental background magic.
Simple: Resist “instant death” effects.
Difficult: Resist the effects of an enchanted well or
similar feature, Hedge Wizard magic, or a creature’s
odd magical abilities.
Heroic: Resist the effects of a magical land or of
Magelord magic, disrupt a minor enchantment with a
touch, protect a small area from Hedge Magic.
29
Legendary: Resist Planewalker magic, break a spell
with a mere touch, seal a dimensional rift by stepping
into it, protect a small area from Magelord magic.
Saboteur governs the ability to make things go very,
very, wrong.
Automatic: Jam inactive and exposed machinery,
wedge a door, cause random havoc with an exposed
control panel.
Simple: Jam heavy machinery without injuring
yourself in the process, subtly spoil a dinner, stall a
bureaucracy for several days.
Difficult: Fix machinery so that it’ll break down
hours or days later, shut down an entire factory, disrupt
a relationship.
Heroic: Stall an army on the march for a few days,
rig an artifact to backfire, injure, or destroy its user.
Legendary: Throw a kingdom into confusion for a
week.
Serpent-tongue governs insinuation, taunts, lying,
and similar verbal manipulations. It’s commonly
opposed to Psyche or Perception.
Automatic: Lie clumsily, use common insults.
Simple: Misdirect city guards, start a rumor without
seeming to do so, get the authorities interested in
almost anyone.
Difficult: Sow doubts and confusion through a city,
give someone a bad reputation, start a fad, let someone
think of something “on their own.”
Heroic: Generate a riot given a few minutes in which
to talk, turn a city against its rulers or any desired target,
get a trial to come out any way you want.
Legendary: Incite an army to fling itself against
superb defenses in order to reach you, lie so well that
even reading into your subconscious will not reveal the
truth, discredit a living saint with vicious rumors.
Stealth governs being sneaky, picking pockets,
stabbing people without permitting an outcry.
Automatic: Walk without tripping over things and
knocking stuff over, hide behind walls and trees without
sticking out.
Simple: lift something small and unimportant from
a target on a crowded street, disguise your identity with
a bit of makeup, make effective use of camouflage.
Difficult: Camouflage and conceal a modest area,
keep someone from making any noise if you kill them
with a surprise attack, pick a pocket under normal
conditions, blend into a crowd of roughly-similar people,
disguise yourself as a typical (whatever).
Heroic: Pick a pocket when your victim is on to you
and no one else is around, sneak through a brightly-lit
and well-traveled area, disguise yourself as a particular
individual.
Legendary: Pick a pocket without ever seeming to
approach your mark, sneak down a well-lit, guarded,
white corridor, impersonate someone so well that
people can’t tell the difference even when you’re
standing next to the person you’re impersonating.
Streetwise governs familiarity with the underside of
civilization, locating criminal contacts, recognizing
common scams, reading gang symbols, and working
the streets.
Automatic: Swipe office supplies, recognize gangs
when you encounter them, run a bait-and-switch scam,
30
make common illegal purchases, let it be known that
you’re looking for illegal services.
Simple: Locate the bad areas of town, read simple
gang signs, recognize the simplest scams, get enough
food to survive on by begging, locate common thugs
and gangers.
Difficult: Live simply but comfortably thru begging,
locate professional criminals, scam a banker, find
exotic and highly-illegal materials for sale, contact a hit
man without leaving any connection to yourself.
Heroic: Locate the local bosses or specialist crooks,
run complex small-scale scams.
Legendary: Run a shell game on a huge scale,
acquire most of the loose cash in a city, influence the
underworld on a nation-wide basis.
Survival governs hunting, tracking, building
shelters, and similar basic functions.
Automatic: Take advantage of natural cover, build
a fire under normal conditions, set up a tent so that it
will stay up for a day or so barring accidents, recognize
when it would be best to seek shelter, follow a trail of
muddy footprints.
Simple: Set snares or small traps, set up a lean-to,
follow a trail through the woods, determine which way is
north, make your own trail difficult to follow.
Difficult: Set up an igloo, hunt ordinary animals
under poor conditions, navigate by the stars or ocean
currents, follow a difficult trail or one which someone’s
making efforts to hide.
Heroic: Follow a weeks-old trail over rocky, barren,
terrain, hunt the largest, most powerful, or most elusive
normal animals successfully.
Legendary: Follow a spirit-beast through a trackless
enchanted wilderness, improvise a shelter to withstand
an epic storm, set up a hunt for a legendary beast.
Unarmed Combat governs the ability to inflict
damage with your bare hands (or other appendages).
Automatic: Add your unarmed combat ability to
your attack roll, inflict extra damage with sufficient
ability, stretch out properly.
Simple: Exhibit your skills with kata, bend and flex
in a variety of painful-looking ways, make stunning
attacks.
Difficult: Break boards, recognize an opponents
style, teach novices, add your martial arts skill to your
Toughness by bracing for an attack, strike creatures
which are dangerous to touch without suffering injuries.
Heroic: Escape from bonds, break iron bars or
smash massive doors, make yourself unmovable and
/or resist a massive impact, attack two targets at the
same time.
Legendary: Break an opponents weapon in battle,
engage immaterial opponents with your bare hands,
attack everyone in a small area simultaneously.
Vigor governs your life points. Simply multiply your
total score (2 + Level) by 10 to get them. Characters
who are reduced to 0 life points fall unconscious, those
who fall to -20 die.
Automatic: Have life points, age at the normal rate
(rather than very quickly).
Simple: Avoid a wound becoming infected under
normal circumstances, resist minor irritants.
Difficult: Self-stabilize if below 0 HP (roll each
Turn), resist the effects of lethal poisons, resist an
ordinary stunning attack.
Heroic: Resist the effects of exotic poisons, take a
massive blow without flinching, resist a powerful
stunning attack.
Legendary: Resist aging for a month, take a final
action when you ought to be dead, shrug off a massive
stunning attack.
Water Vehicles governs the ability to operate
water vehicles of all kinds, ranging from rafts to ocean
liners.
Automatic: Recognize the various types of water
vehicles, know the basics of water behavior and
navigation.
Simple: Tack, submerge (in a submersible vehicle
we hope), or execute other simple maneuvers, get a
license.
Difficult: Dock smoothly and gently, execute a
complex (but sensible) maneuver, perform general
maintenance.
Heroic: Dock during a storm, plot a course in your
head, execute a clearly impractical maneuver or a
complex maneuver under bad conditions, set sail in a
fraction of the normally-required time, jury-rig or bypass
major systems in an emergency.
Legendary: Perform complex maneuvers under
horrendous conditions, evade an attack which should
certainly have destroyed the vehicle, execute a flatly
ridiculous maneuver.
31
The Landrule
Attunement to the powers of the land offers some
lesser abilities to an adept. They are gained in order, at
one ability per land controlled. The basic MTG:RPG
does not include abilities derived from controlling more
than five lands of any given type since such powers are
usually unique; Game Masters who want to include
higher order powers may make them up or wait for the
MTG:RPG Planewalkers expansion.
Forests
Green Mana is the surging power of life, the
unthinking primordial urge to be. It finds its natural
expression in the green cathedrals of the forests, where
growth, health, and vigor entwine with fury, toxins, and
the hunt in the ceaseless competition of nature. What
has been is gone, what might be is not important; there
is only what is.
While Green magic is the foundation of life and
growth, it brings forth beauty and horror in equal
measure. To live is to know pain, sickness, and death
as well as birth, joy, and health. Still, without the power
of Green Mana, there would be no living things to give
meaning to the multiverse.
Landsense allows the user to sense disturbances in
the natural order, including polluted areas, damaged
ecosystems, whether or not water is pure or food toxic,
and whether natural creatures are healthy or not. As a
side benefit, he or she never becomes lost and can
easily sense whether water is pure or food toxic. While
the character’s senses are usually limited to (number of
forests controlled) miles in all directions, the scale of
the disturbance matters. Very small problems may not
trouble the character at all – while enormous changes
may be felt around the world.
Forester grants the user an intuitive understanding
of the processes of nature and how to care for the land,
as well as a (number of forests controlled) bonus on all
Survival checks in natural surroundings and an equal
bonus on developing and directing land management
practices (usually Scholar or Harvesting).
Tongue of Gaia allows the user to spend a point of
Green Mana to communicate with natural plants and
animals for the next (number of forests controlled)
hours. While basically friendly, such creatures may be
erratic, forgetful, or confused about the actions of other
creatures and see things from their own perspectives.
On the other hand, their natural senses, abilities, and
talents may come in very handy.
Commune with Nature allows the user to spend a
point of Green Mana to speak with the local spirits of
nature, gaining a rough map/description of the local
terrain showing up to (# of forests) items. Such items
may include notable natural resources, sources for food
and water, dangerous areas, the locations of powerful
and unnatural creatures, routes, animal populations,
polluted or corrupted areas, (extremely rough)
descriptions of cities, ruins, and other unnatural
structures in the area, or similar information.
32
Pathfinding allows the user to spend three points of
Green Mana to seek out a trail which leads to a desired
realm, and take along up to a dozen companions. The
destination may be in any dimension, and possibly in
any time, of which the user has knowledge - but the
route is not guaranteed to be safe. After all, this finds
paths; it doesn’t create them.
Mountains
Red Mana is the power of the primal elements, of
fire, earth, and stone, of instinct and passion. It
embodies the fury of raging forest fire and the
endurance of mountains - and even that is barely
enough to allow its wielders to survive the stress of
channeling it.
While many mages make the mistake of considering
Red Mana a purely destructive force, it provides the
foundation of worlds, and fuels the suns which warm
them. Without it, the thousand planes would be nothing
except a void. Still, the frail veneer of life cannot long
endure the direct touch of the primal fury of Red Mana.
Earthsense allows the user to simply “feel” the
forces and structure of the earth. The user can sense
the presence of deposits of fuel, metal, stone, and
water, evaluate the fertility of the earth, sense
dangerous terrain, locate caverns, and locate the safe
paths (if any) through dangerous terrain in a radius of
1000 feet per mountain controlled.
Arcane Bolt allows the user to spend one point of
Red Mana to make a simple elemental attack (the
special effects are up to the user), inflicting (number of
Mountains controlled - number of targets + 1)d6
damage up to a maximum of 5d6 per target. This does
not require an attack check, but does allow resistance.
Warding allows the user to endure natural
environmental extremes. Normally-survivable, if
uncomfortable, conditions such as tropical rain, desert
heat, and frigid cold, may be ignored freely. Conditions
which would actually cause damage, such as lack of
oxygen, wading through lava, toxic atmospheres, high
pressure, and subzero cold, cost 2 points of Mana per
(number of mountains controlled) days.
Binding allows the user to spend a point of Red
Mana to try and mystically entrap any single creature
with a level of 2x (number of mountains controlled, 6
maximum) or less. Only one such creature can be
bound at a time and a magic resistance check at DC 15
by the creature or its controller (if any) will negate this
effect. Entrapped creatures are swallowed up by the
earth and forced into stasis, but are unharmed on their
release.
Realmward allows the user to expend 10 life points
to protect up to (number of mountains) lands against
any effect which would otherwise damage them.
Islands (Ocean Magic)
Blue Mana is the magic of the mind, of will,
creativity, and cold logic. The most intricate magical
effects are drawn from its depths. The control of time
and space, of illusion and dream, of minds and magic,
are all the province of Blue Mana.
At its best, the power of Blue Mana can raise
civilizations, bringing art, artifice, science, and creativity
to the task of creating wonders. At its worst, those
same tools can be turned to the task of destruction,
creating unimaginable horrors. It is not for nothing that
the surface of the seas glints with light while its depths
conceal an abyssal darkness.
Weathersense allows the user to predict the weather
up to (number of islands controlled +2) days in
advance. This ability also provides a +(number of
islands controlled) bonus when piloting sail-powered
water vehicles or unpowered air vehicles.
Scrying allows the user to engage in simple
clairvoyance/ clairaudience at ranges of up to one mile
per island the user controls. The effect lasts for up to
one hour per point of Blue Mana expended to power it.
Countermagic allows the user to spend two points of
Blue magic as an instinctive action to add a +(number
of islands) bonus to a single Resist Magic roll or three
points to extend that resistance to an entire Scene.
Wizard’s Link allows the user to spend a point of
Blue Mana to open a communications link with another
willing lesser mage or magelord, regardless of distance
or dimensional barriers. The link will remain open for up
to (number of islands controlled) hours or until
dismissed by either party.
Weathermonger allows the user to manipulate the
local weather. Minor, Notable, and Major changes cost
1, 2, and 3 points of Blue Mana. Unfortunately, the user
does not have any fine control; a storm may be
destructive, but the smallest possible “target” is a
sizable city. If the weather is not otherwise described, it
will tend to suit the user.
Minor changes include creating or dispelling
breezes, light rain, mist, or annoying amounts of dust
under fine weather conditions, moderating a storm, or
slightly altering the temperature.
Notable changes include creating powerful gusts of
wind, heavy rain, snow, or sleet, dispelling a storm or
turning a storm into a full hurricane, or creating wildly
unseasonable temperatures.
Major changes pretty much cover changing any kind
of weather which occurs on the planet into any other
kind. You still can’t produce methane storms at -200
degrees on earthlike worlds however.
33
Plains (Steppe Magic)
White Mana is the power of law and unity, binding
beings, places, and people together to create
something greater than the parts that make it up.
Societies and civilizations generate, and are bound
together by, White Mana.
Don’t assume that White Mana is inherently
beneficial; the unity of a murderous band and the order
of a fearsome tyranny are just as much a product of
White Mana as the oath of brotherhood of a noble band
of paladins.
Locate Contact allows the user to find someone who
fits a general description (such as “a skilled thief” or “a
merchant dealing in rare herbs”) in a town or city in an
hour or two without cost presuming that such an
individual exists. For a point of White Mana the user
may locate a specified individual within the area or
discover that they’re not there in the same time.
Gift of Tongues allows the user to spend a point of
White Mana to instantly learn a language or decipher an
inscription or code. Such instant understanding remains
for the next 6x (the number of plains controlled) hours.
Guestright gets the user hospitality in any civilized
locale (and often in uncivilized ones). The user is
automatically invited to the best parties, to stay as a
guest, and to enjoy the privileges of high status in any
place where such things are available. The user may
even tow along up to (number of plains controlled)
friends or allies. Sadly, it does cost a point of White
Mana to activate this in areas dominated by other races
or where people have never heard of you. Worse,
enemies remain enemies - and if you don’t behave like
a guest not even this power will make people treat you
like one.
Voice of Command allows the user to give orders
which will likely be obeyed by any minor characters who
hear them unless they have a specific reason to
disobey. The user will never be hindered by petty
bureaucrats, get slow service, or have to argue idiots
into doing what’s obviously necessary.
For a point of White Mana the user may also project
his or her voice clearly to a mighty throng or across a
battlefield, with a maximum range equal to (number of
plains controlled) miles.
Radiant Presence grants the master of White Mana
the aura of an overlord, inviolate to the power of lesser
beings. Creatures of level three or less cannot attack
the character. Those of levels 4 to (the number of plains
the user controls) attack at -2 power. Characters and
creatures with access to Psyche may negate these
penalties with a successful check at DC (10 + the
number of plains the user controls).
Swamps (Void Magic)
Black Mana is the magic of entropy – power derived
from the inevitable destruction and disintegration of all
things. At the same time, death - in all its kindly and
terrible aspects - is the foundation of new life. This is
most easily seen in the swamps, where flourishing life
springs from fetid mire.
What lives, fears death - or it does not live for long.
Black Mana appeals to the power-hungry, who wish to
share in its inevitable triumph, to those who fear or wish
to exploit fear in others, and to those who wish to
commune with death, but it is not inherently evil; it’s
simply easily abused. Without entropy, the universe
would tear itself apart with its own effulgence.
Gathering allows the user to draw sustenance
directly from the long, slow, entropic demise of the
universe, rather than feeding on it indirectly like all other
life. The user may support one creature per swamp that
he or she draws upon without effort or hindrance. For a
point of Black Mana per day the user can support ten
creatures per swamp.
Venomous Touch allows the user to spend a point of
Black Mana to create up to (the number of swamps
controlled) doses of deadly poison, either to add to
melee attacks or to a food, trap, or similar item outside
of combat. The user may also imbue a creature with
poison if it has a way to carry it (such as poison sacs) or
it happens to be undead, a construct, or something like
an earth elemental, and therefore immune.
Poisons damage abilities. Most “combat” poisons
reduce the victim’s Vigor unless he or she makes a
successful Endurance check to resist. More exotic
poisons may induce weakness, reduce magical abilities,
induce sensory trouble (reducing Perception), or cause
many other problems. Lost ability points recover at one
point per day or more rapidly with magical healing. See
page XX.
Weave of Life allows the user to spend a point of
Black Mana to analyze lifeforms, including any
constructs which think and act independently. The user
gains an accurate, if basic, description of the creature
and may make a Scholar check with a bonus equal to
the number of swamps he or she controls to obtain
more detailed information.
Portal Mastery allows the user to spend three points
of Black Mana to open or close an existing gate, rift, or
portal or to draw a card to replace a lost card or fill a
vacant slot, reducing the time required just like any
other card-drawing ability.
Gates of Death allows the user to return from the
dead after being “killed.” Unfortunately, this comes at a
price; the user must give up one levels worth of abilities,
card slots, and/or Distinctions - as well as trading one
in for the Undead Distinction. He or she does, however,
gain a Toughness bonus equal to the number of
swamps he or she currently controls from this point on.
Exotic Lands (Unique Magics)
Exotic lands contribute their special abilities and
functions as usual, but do not contribute to the Landrule
ability progressions.
34
Game Structure
Events run in Turns and Scenes.
A Turn is one full combat round,
where every PC and major NPC acts
once (see page 35). Scenes are
merely major events. A 20-second
back-alley knife fight is a Scene, as
is the ten-minute chase which
follows it. One Scene may be
composed of many Turns, if it
involves combat.
Cards which have effects based
on Turns act normally while in
combat. Their effects normally end
with the Scene. At the GM’s
discretion, some cards may instead
act as if Scenes were Turns for
them.
“Tapping” means “to draw upon
the resources of.” Tapping a
resource or creature in combat takes
a single combat Turn, not the whole
Scene. This activates the indicated
effect. Cards which self-tap under
certain circumstances, are tapped by
other effects, or come into play
tapped do not require you to use a
Turn. Some tap effects may be
played as Instant effects, at the
discretion of the GM.
Tapping during larger Scenes
when not using combat Turns uses a
few moments of time – about 6
seconds. Thus, a character can
usually tap resources easily outside of combat.
Unlike most RPG’s, the MTG:RPG encourages
multiple Game Masters, allowing each to take a break
and get in some play time. Each can cooperate in
developing the campaign, handle events in their own
specialities, and handle one side when the characters
become involved in a Duel Arcane or Planewalkers’
Duel.
It also makes it easy to handle the perennial
headache of the party splitting up and going in different
directions.
Creatures
Creatures are generally most important in combat,
and so get abbreviated statistics and a quick-and-dirty
system for handling creature-versus-creature combat.
Major enemies, recurring NPC’s, and similar figures
should probably get full writeups like the player-
characters (or at least some notes on their major
abilities).
Creature Combat Statistics
Attack Ability = (Total Mana Cost +2)
Damage = (Power)d6
Life = (Toughness) x 10
Toughness = (Toughness)
For creature-on-creature combat don’t bother rolling
to hit or adjusting modifiers; just let the players roll
damage for their monsters, subtract Toughness, and
apply it to their creatures’ targets while you do the
same. Creatures do possess any special abilities listed
on their cards, although any that require Tapping the
card to use are only usable once per day.
Creatures don’t usually have Resist Magic, Psyche,
or similar abilities. Unless they have some special
power, magic almost always works on them. Where the
Game Master agrees that they should have additional
abilties - say Movement for a Cheetah or Stealth for a
Ninja - these can be assigned as desired or simply
default to the creature’s (Total Mana Cost). Ability lists
for each individual card will be presented in the Card
expansion books.
Characters with appropriate Distinctions can share
some of their abilities with their creatures. This can
make them a great deal more effective.
35
Combat Turns
Since MTG:RPG isn’t a wargame as such, and has
a Game Master to resolve any disputes, it doesn’t rely
so heavily on a detailed Turn structure. Outside of
combat it really doesn’t need one; discussing a bit of
intrigue over a formal dinner needs no Turn structure.
Combat Turns are quite simple:
! If one or more potential combatants are unaware
of potential opponents, they may make an Awareness
check; anyone who fails is Surprised during the first
round, and doesn’t get to act.
! Each player makes a Reaction check. The one
with the highest total goes first, then the next highest,
and so on. Ties may be resolved with a second check.
The reaction check may either be made at the
beginning of the combat, and the results retained
throughout, or may be made each Turn. The choice is
up to the Game Master. In any case, Followers and
Conjurations act with their controller.
Instant card effects and reactive creature effects are
not tied to your Turn; they may be used at any time -
although a DC 15 Reaction roll is required to do so if the
character is surprised. A character can only use one
Instant effect per Turn however.
! When it’s their Turn, characters may do one thing
- cast a spell, attack someone, flee from combat,
attempt to coordinate everyone else (especially their
own creatues) by yelling a series of commands, use
one of their other abilities, or whatever. Such actions
can include a subaction or two, but must be relatively
simple. Some valid examples include:
1) I close with (whoever) and attack him/her/it!
2) I lean around the tree and cast a Lightning Bolt!
3) I order all of my creatures to attack him/her/it!
4) I’m healing him/her/it (who presumably needs it)
5) I hang back and shoot an arrow at him/her/it!
6) I hold my action, preparing to (whatever)!
7) I try to leap over his head and stab him in the
back as I come down (“OK, but -2 to attack and to your
own Defense, but +2d6 damage if you pull this one off”
says the Game Master).
Characters may opt to delay their actions until later
in the round. Delayed actions may be used defensively
or to interrupt another characters action. Whatever a
character does, roll as required.
If everyone opts to wait you have the good old
Mexican Stand-Off. Make an Endurance check; the one
with the lowest roll has to do SOMETHING - or faint.
Tapping a Mana source is considered a part of a
spellcasting action.
! Followers can generally be assumed to have
standing orders to protect the boss, while Conjurations
protect their masters automatically. This doesn’t mean
that they’ll always succeed - or that the player can’t
have them do something else - but they’ll try if their
controller wants them to. Most mages like to keep a few
protectors with delayed actions around (to get in the
way of attackers), just in case. Followers probably won’t
commit suicide to protect you; how big a risk they’ll take
varies with their loyalty and philosophy.
! Once everyone’s done something, or has decided
not to act this Turn, finish up the accounting.
Characters who are unconscious, but not dead (0 to
-19 Life) take an extra point of damage after each Turn
until they die or someone does something to stop the
process, such as healing them for one or more life or
binding their wounds.
Characters who have somehow managed to wind up
with more Mana than they can safely store - that’s more
of any one color than their relevant Magic ability or
more colorless Mana than they have spare points in
their magic abilities to hold - take 1d6 points of damage
per excess point as the excess Mana flares up out of
control and dissipates.
Instants and Spells which have been cast, as well as
slain Followers, depleted or broken Artifacts, completed
Enchantments, and slain Conjurations, are turned over
on the table. Slain or destroyed Followers and other
“real” items are returned to the player’s Library (see
page XX) at the end of the Scene, other cards are
considered exhausted until they refresh.
! Timekeeping in MTG:RPG consists of tracking
Turns, Scenes, Acts, and Stories.
Turns are usually only important in combat and
stress situations; a Turn is long enough for everyone to
take a simple action - anywhere from a few seconds to
a minute or so. Exhausted Sorcery cards normally
refresh at the end of each Turn.
Scenes are best summarized as story segments -
“The barroom fight scene,” “The royal audience scene,”
and so on. Once the focus of the action shifts, the
Scene - and the effects of spells and Conjuration
effects - ends. Exhausted Enchantment, Creature, or
Artifact cards normally refresh at the end of a Scene.
Acts are the intervals between major breaks in the
action - normally a full day between rest breaks. Acts
can take longer if the characters are on a multi-day
watch or journey. Instant cards, special abilities, and
Mana source abilities normally refresh at the end of an
act. Also, any available “Draw a Card” effects can be
used to replace lost cards at the end of an Act.
Stories are linked series of Acts, usually with some
sort of climax or resolution at the end. They usually take
3-5 game sessions, or about a month of real time.
They’re also the time required to replace a lost card
without using a “Draw a Card” effect.
36
Movement and Position
While combat can be entirely description-based,
most gamers are more comfortable with some sort of
map. Regardless of whether you’re using a hex grid,
square grid, of freeform map, the rules for movement
are pretty simple.
! Each character can move a number of squares,
hexes, or inches equal to his or her Movement rank and
still do something else.
! If they move but stay on guard, they can more
twice their Movement rank in squares, hexes, or inches
each turn.
! If they do nothing else, they can move three times
their Movement rank in squares, hexes, or inches. If
they choose to move this fast hostile characters they
pass may make a Difficult Reaction check to try and get
in a free attack on them.
! If the character is trying to change elevation in
combat while fighting he or she will have to make a
Movement check. Jumping or climbing a few feet is
Simple, Climbing a flight of steps or scrambling up a
brief slope is Difficult, sliding down a slope on your feet
is Heroic, trying to fight while swinging from a vine is
Legendary.
! Figurines of some sort make the best markers.
! Range on the map is more or less irrelevant.
Anything which gets off the map is at long range, and
gains a +2 to it’s Defense. Anything a long ways off the
map is at extreme range, and gets a +5 bonus to it’s
defense. Anything further away than that is gone.
! Hedge Magic works out to long range. Card-based
magic is normally line-of-sight.
! Unless one side is waiting in ambush, encounters
normally start when those involved move onto the same
map and Perception checks are made.
Other sources of Damage
There are many ways for character’s to get hurt over
and above being attacked. In most cases the only real
questions are how much and how fast. For this, use:
1d6 per
Event: Being hit with a gallon or two of boiling
water, explosive decompression from one
atmosphere to vacuum, falling at least ten
feet (reduce falling damage one level if
falling into water, two levels if falling into a
suitable cushioning area).
Turn: Choking smoke, Drowning, being attacked
by army ants.
Scene: Blizzard conditions, sandstorms, searing
desert heat.
Act Cholera and similar debilitating diseases,
dehydration and/or starvation, severe dust
storms.
2d6 per
Event: Being thrown from a horse without making
a Difficult Athletics check, falling a couple
of floors, having a pile of stones or
concrete blocks fall on you, being hurled
into a pile of sharp objects.
Turn: Contact with a Bonfire, breathing Mustard
Gas, being pinned beneath a porticullis,
being on fire, exposure to vacuum.
Scene: Breathing grossly polluted atmospheres,
running over broken glass or blades with
bare feet.
Act The Black Plague, being a magical being
in an area without magic.
4d6 per
Event: Contact with a high voltage power line,
being hit by an avalanche, falling from a
tall tree, being swarmed by bees (also
inflicts one level of deadly poison), being
caught in a tidal wave, having a building
fall on you.
Turn: Being covered in hot tar, crushed beneath
tons of rubble, exposed to a driven hail of
broken glass.
Scene: Being tortured or slowly impaled, having
the bends, running through an area that’s
being sprayed with machine-gun bullets,
Act Horrific supernatural afflictions.
8d6 per
Event: Crashing a jet plane at speed, re-entering
the atmosphere without protection, being
struck by natural lightning while grounded,
falling a couple of hundred feet, exposure
to military nerve gases. Anything no
normal person could possibly survive.
Turn: Wading through magma or soaking in a
blast furnace, swimming in liquid air, or
breathing chlorine gas.
Scene: Moving through the heart of a raging
forest fire, being naked and exposed to an
arctic blizzard at -80 degrees windchill,
Act Breathing somewhat corrosive or other
slowly-lethal atmospheres.
Many cards work a little differently in MTG:RPG.
That’s because things are a lot more complicated. So
flying creatures can’t be blocked? What if I’m in a cave
and I plug up the entrance with a wall or large creature?
What if there’s a raging storm blowing and nothing can
fly? What if it’s diving for me and I simply roll under the
Mammoth? What if the flying thing WANTS to close with
the ground-bound monster? What if, what if, what if...
Freedom of action is one of the things that defines a
role-playing game, and it’s why you need a game
master. Still, we’re not throwing you off the deep end
here; we’ve provided some guidelines for handling the
more common special card abilities under...
37
Keywords and Definitions
Act: Generally about a day, the time between two
rest periods. The time required to refresh an Instant
card or to replace a destroyed card using a “Draw a
Card” effect.
Affinity: Since players get to build their own hands in
MTG:RPG, this has only half effect.
Amplify: Since MTG:RPG characters can select
what’s in their hand the effect of Amplify is halved: it
takes two additional cards of the same type to trigger it.
Banding: Creatures in a band may distribute
damage among themselves as their controller desires,
rather than as an attacker might desire.
Basic Land: Forest (Green Mana), Mountain (Red
Mana), Plain (a.k.a. Steppes, White Mana), Island (Blue
Mana, a.k.a. Ocean Magic), and Swamp (Black Mana,
also known as Void Magic). Basic Land Cards are
generally presumed to represent substantial chunks of
territory. Attuning yourself to a land requires reaching
it’s mystical center and meditating there for a time. A
character who is actually at the center can draw twice
the normal Mana - usually 2 points - from a land each
day.
Bushido: This acts as levels of the Armsman
Distinction.
Buyback: Paying the buyback cost bypasses the
usual refresh time. This is rarely worthwhile without the
rapid Mana recovery that occurs in a Planewalker’s
Duel.
CCG: Collectible Card Game. Popular examples
include Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, and the VS
system.
Conjuration: The magically-created manifestation of
a Card from a player’s hand. Most Conjurations persist
for a maximum of one Scene or until dispelled
somehow but Enchantments may last for considerably
longer periods.
Convoke: Each additional mage who takes an action
to assist in the casting of this spell or the conjuring of
this monster reduces the Mana cost by one Mana of
any color he or she has available. The assisting mages
do not actually have to spend any Mana, but all of them
share equally in any defensive or healing benefits of the
spell.
Copying Objects: This works normally, although any
copied objects are subject to the same restrictions as
the originals are.
Counters: If derived from spells, Conjurations, or
Enchantments, counters fade with the magic that
created them. If derived from permanent creatures, they
are permanent - but each two permanent beneficial
counters on a card raise its effective level by 1, which
may push it beyond the control limits imposed by the
characters abilities. Uncontrolled creatures are returned
to the Library, and any counters on them are lost.
Counters which accumulate from Turn to Turn are
generally subject to a maximum of five.
Accumulative Lands - lands which build up a reserve
of Mana tokens - gain one counter per week, not one
per Turn, and are subject to the same maximum of five.
Remember that that lands with a lot of accumulated
Mana become very tempting targets for takeovers by
other Magelords.
Cumulative Upkeep: See Upkeep.
Cycling: You may pay the Cycling cost and exhaust
this card to refresh any other card. The cycled card
remains exhausted until the card it was used to refresh
would normally do so.
Damage: Damage is persistent in MTG:RPG. Once
a creature or other item is damaged it remains so until
it is repaired or recovers naturally. In general, each
point of Power equates to 1d6 damage in MTG:RPG.
Mana-based card attacks are slightly more effective,
translating to 1d6+1 per point.
Defender: Anything with Defender either won’t attack
or can’t move (ask the Game Master if there’s any
question). Anything which can’t move is normally only
taken as a Conjuration, although a character with the
Warlord Distinction may opt to give each garrison a
permanent wall. However, he or she is not hauling such
a fortification around!
Destroyed: Destroyed cards include slain permanent
followers, permanently broken artifacts, and anything
similar. Such cards should be returned to the player’s
Library after the game session; the character will have
to find replacement cards to fill those slots.
Discard Effects: These normally simply exhaust the
appropriate number of cards, usually of the target’s
choice.
Doublestrike: The creature may make attack twice
during a Turn. If it’s attacked during a Turn and has not
yet attacked, it can use one of its attacks against the
attacker before the attacker strikes.
Dredge: You may exhaust the indicated number of
cards to either immediately ready this card for use
again (spells and conjurations) or to heal any damage
inflicted on a Follower provided that it’s still alive.
Echo: These creatures can only be Conjurations and
must be paid for twice, as usual. While the creature
remains under the control of its “owner,” other
characters may take an action to contribute Mana
towards its casting cost.
Entwine: This operates normally.
Epic: Epic spells come to an end at the end of the
current Scene, but otherwise operate normally. As a
rule, few MTG:RPG characters can handle spells of that
level; most epic spells are very expensive.
Equip: Permanent artifacts can be used by their
owner or delegated to his or her creatures without
paying the Equip cost. Conjured items, or permanent
Items assigned to other people’s creatures or other
player characters require the normal cost to Equip, but
either of the players involved can pay it.
Exhausted: Cards which are used for magical
effects and would normally be discarded, along with
magically summoned permanents, become Exhausted
after use. They may be used again after an appropriate
interval.
Fading: This creature can only be a Conjuration.
There is a chance of it disappearing each Turn: Roll
1d6: Fading 2 disappears on a 1-3, Fading 3 or 4 on a
1-2, and Fading 5+ on a 1. If this is too much trouble,
38
use the standard counter system.
Fear. This creature radiates terror (and has no
social life). Only Artifact and Black creatures will
engage it in melee voluntarily. All other creatures are at
-2 power if forced to do so, but may use ranged attacks
or other means normally. Player Characters may make
a Resist Magic check to negate the effect or engage at
-2 power.
First Strike: The creature gets a free attack as an
opponent closes, provided only that he, she, or it is
awake and aware of the upcoming attack. This does not
count as its action.
Flanking: Creatures with Flanking grant any other
creatures who are fighting the same opponent a +2d6
bonus on the damage they inflict. If multiple creatures
with Flanking are involved this reaches a limit of +4d6.
Flashback: This Conjuration or spell may be played
again before its refresh period is up for the indicated
cost. After its played in this fashion return it the owners
library; the character must replace it like any other lost
card.
Flip: This operates normally. As usual, if a Flip card
leaves play, it returns unflipped. If one side of a Flip
card is legendary the usual Legend rules apply.
Flying: This creature can fly. This makes it hard to
catch and lets it swoop down on unsheltered targets -
although anyone nearby may attack it as it attacks.
Flying is useful in many noncombat situations as well.
Followers: Creatures associated with a character
who actually exist, and therefore don’t cost Mana unless
they have an upkeep cost or activated ability.
Game Master: The person running the game.
Graveyard: MTG:RPG doesn’t have a “Graveyard”
as such; cards are semipermanent character attributes,
and aren’t usually discarded. Sorceries, Instants, and
conjured Creatures can be reused after enough time
has passed to refresh them. Followers and permanent
artifacts can be Destroyed, in which case they’re
returned to the Library until the character gains a new
card to replace them, repairs them, or raises them from
the dead. For the purposes of cards which restore
cards from the Graveyard, can be used from there, or
depend on the number of cards there, destroyed items,
slain followers, and all cards waiting to be refreshed are
considered to be “in the Graveyard.”
Hand: For the purposes of MTG:RPG your “hand”
consists of all the cards associated with your character
which aren’t currently in play, exhausted, or destroyed.
Haste: Conjured creatures may attack on the same
Turn in which they were summoned. Followers with
Haste gain an extra attack during the first Turn.
Haunt: When this card is “destroyed” tuck it under
another creature card. When that creature is destroyed,
play the Haunt effect and exhaust this card normally.
Horsemanship: Creatures with horsemanship gain
a +2 bonus on their Movement abilities as long as using
a mount is practical.
Hunted. Works normally as a Conjuration. If taken
on a Follower new hunter creatures will show up
periodically even if you killed the last batch.
Imprint: Cards that Imprint other cards operate
normally but take up two card slots once the other card
is imprinted.
Indestructible: Things with this property don’t take
damage. They can’t be sacrificed or destroyed except
as determined by the Game Master (“you must take the
Ring to Mount Copyright, where it was Trademarked
long ago, and there...”), but can be left behind, lost, sent
away, or otherwise incapacitated.
Interrupt: An old term for an “Instant” card, but quite
appropriate.
Kicker: Operates normally.
Land Destruction: “Destroying” a land definitely
involves blasting its mystical center, thus breaking its
link with mages of any kind. How far the destruction and
side effects extend beyond that is up to the Game
Master. In general, a Magelord’s link isn’t strong
enough to create too many side effects. Planewalkers
are another matter. Lesser Magi don’t have a strong
enough link to do anything but break it without affecting
the land.
Landwalk: This creature can conceal itself near-
perfectly in the indicated environment even while
moving if it can get out of line of sight for a few
moments. Creatures with Landwalk can be spotted with
a DC 18 Perception check or with Magesight if they’re
Conjurations. Creatures which are not spotted may
appear and strike with automatic surprise.
Level: Total or Converted Mana Cost. Alternatively,
the value of an Ability.
Ley Line, Mana Fountain, Mystic Node/Well: These
natural Mana flows may be tapped (via Mana Tapping)
to power magic. While they’re too unstable to be tapped
or linked to at range, a mage who’s actually at them can
draw on them for two points of Mana per day. Sadly,
such sources only contain a total of 4d6 Mana and
restore themselves at 1d6 points per day. They’re most
often claimed by Lesser Magi who want to set up a
business without being beholden to a Magelord for
Mana. Note that these are distinct from the Leyline
cards.
Leyline (Card): These cards are in effect unless
countered, but any global effects only apply to the user.
Library: In MTG:RPG your “library” consists of every
magic card you own that isn’t currently in use. It’s
normally only used when you’re creating or upgrading
a character, when you’re replacing lost cards, or when
you’ve used a card which allows you to either search or
draw to fill a vacant slot.
Life Points: A measure of how much damage a
creature or character can take. In general, each point of
life point gain or loss listed on a card is read as 1d6 or
1d6+1 for spells. While it is possible to gain life points
above your usual maximum, such extra points fade
away at the end of the Scene.
Madness: This card may be invoked or activated at
its Madness cost if the user also expends 1d6 Life
doing so.
Mana Burn: Since MTG:RPG characters can store
a certain amount of Mana on a long-term basis, Mana
Burn only occurs if they exceed their storage limits at
the end of any given Turn.
Mana Production: Mana production effects are
normally once-per-day affairs. Lands, and other Mana
39
sources, can be tapped as needed, including while
you’re in the middle of casting a spell. Conjurations of
any kind CANNOT supply Mana, although they can
store it. Lands normally supply one point of Mana per
day, but someone who’s actually at the mystic center of
a land when they tap it gets two points instead.
Accumulative Lands - lands which build up a reserve
of Mana tokens - gain one counter per week, not one
per Turn, and are subject to the same maximum of five.
Remember that lands with a lot of accumulated Mana
become very tempting targets for takeovers by other
Magelords.
Creatures and spells which can convert Mana from
one color to another can only do so once per day.
Modular: Modular creatures can only be
Conjurations; the +1/+1 counters they produce will - like
all other counters or items that come with Conjurations -
disappear at the end of the Scene.
Unlike MTG:CCG, the MTG:RPG is open-ended. If
counters and tokens could accumulate indefinitely,
entire continents should be buried under squirrels and
there should be artifact creatures running around at
+10,000/+10,000. The setting material doesn’t seem to
support this, hence the limitation.
Morph: This ability is a boon for follower-creatures,
since it allows them to take a more-or-less innocuous
form. Since you’re generally not hiding anything in
MTG:RPG you don’t have to bother turning the card
upside down; just set a note or innocuous miniature on
it.
Multicolored Cards: Characters who want to control
multicolored cards must have sufficient skill in each
color involved to control a card of the appropriate level.
Thus weak multicolored cards are easy to acquire, but
higher-cost ones require high ratings in all of the
relevant abilities.
Ninjutsu: You may exchange this creature with
another creature of the same nature (Conjuration or
Follower) at any time by paying the Ninjutsu cost. Yes,
you can swap them back later.
NPC: A non-player character with a personality and
name of his or her own run by the Game Master.
Probably a redundant entry for anyone buying a RPG.
Ocean Magic: Another name for Island magic.
Presumably Islands are simply the places where Ocean
Mana foci can be tapped most easily.
Offering: Operates normally, however Followers
generally object to being used as an Offering.
Phasing: Creatures with Phasing may expend 5 Life
to avoid the effects of any single ranged attack or multi-
target magical effect or to pass through walls or up to
ten feet of solid matter. Optionally, the Game Master
may rule that a Phased creature can interact with a
Shadow creature.
The original rules for Phasing called for eliminating
all damage dealt to a phasing creature when it phased
out, which it did every other Turn. Since combat may
continue for several Turns in MTG:RPG this would
make tough phasing creatures nearly unkillable; hence
modifications are necessary.
Poison: While poison can cause various ability
penalties in MTG:RPG, standard creature poisons
reduce the Vigor ability by 1 per dose administered
unless the character can make a DC 15 Endurance
check. Poisoned Creatures lose 10 life. Characters and
creatures recover from poison at 1 ability point or 10 life
points per day.
Power: A character or creature’s basic ability to
inflict damage. Power can be boosted by various
abilities, Distinctions, items, and magical effects, all of
which are equally applicable to creatures, NPC’s, and
characters. Each point of Power equates to 1d6 points
of Damage.
Protection: Protection operates normally in most
cases, but can be overcome with a DC 18 Resist Magic
check if a character is extending that ability to his or her
creatures.
Provoke: This ability allows the creature to force a
chosen target to move into melee combat with it. Both
this creature and the target get a free attack on each
other as they close. Player Characters may resist with
a DC 15 Psyche check.
Rampage: Creatures with Rampage can strike at
each creature engaged in melee with them with a single
attack, albeit at -1 power.
Regenerate: Creatures with this quality recover all
damage between Acts (except for Life burnt off to
power magic) automatically. Their controller may pay
their regeneration cost to fully heal them at any time,
but cannot return them from death after the end of the
current Scene.
Remove from the Game: Cards belonging to a
character become Exhausted and refresh one level
more slowly unless some other return condition is
specified. Cards acquired through Dynamic Magic (see
page 43) are returned to their owner’s Library.
Return to Hand: This has no effect on followers or
real items. Conjurations, Enchantments, and other
temporary effects are dispelled, although the card will
once again be ready for use (although few magi in
MTG:RPG have enough Mana for much of that). Lands
are basically unaffected, but the character’s link with
them will be disrupted for the rest of the day.
RPG: Role-Playing Game. Another one that anyone
buying this game probably already knows.
Sacrifice: Real creatures object to being sacrificed
and are considered destroyed if they are. Conjurations
can be sacrificed and resummoned after the usual
refresh period.
Scene: One battle, the time spent exploring a crypt,
or another connected series of action sequences. The
time required to refresh an Enchantment, Creature, or
Artifact card.
Scry: Whenever a Scry effect comes into play the
Game Master should provide the player with some
useful bit of information about the environment or an
opponent.
Shadow: Shadow creatures exist mostly in other
planes of existence. They are immaterial and can only
harm things which exist in multiple dimensions, such as
Planewalkers and other creatures with Shadow. They
can only be harmed by spells and light-based attacks.
Unless you’re fighting a Planewalker they’re only really
useful as scouts and spies.
40
Soulshift: If a creature with Soulshift is a Conjuration
you may refresh any creature Conjuration card or
combination of creature Conjuration cards of the
appropriate cost or less. If the creature with Soulshift is
a Follower you may revive any other slain Follower of
the appropriate level or less.
Steppe: Another word for “Plains”.
Storm: Spells with Storm take effect once for each
Lesser Mage, Magelord, or Planewalker character who
participates in the casting by using their action in the
Turn of casting to assist the user.
Sunburst: Discount the first two colors of Mana used
to bring a card with Sunburst into play.
Since any mageling in MTG:RPG will probably have
several types of Mana available, Sunburst has to be
toned down a bit to maintain game balance.
Splice: Splice operates normally, hence cards in
your hand with Splice can be used over and over again
unless used on their own.
Story: A connected series of acts, usually spanning
3-5 sessions of play or about a month of real time. The
time required to replace a Destroyed card unless the
character uses a “Draw a Card” effect.
Summoning Sickness: (Unofficial). The whatever-it-
is that keeps a Conjured creature from acting during the
Turn in which it was summoned.
Tap to (X): Cards which can be “tapped” to produce
a special effect can normally do so once per day. If
they’re in combat, they must normally expend their
action to do so.
Technology Card: Technology cards are generally
either drawn from other games with the permission of
the Game Master or are unique to MTG:RPG. They
normally deal with the setting, rather than with other
players and opponents, and so have no purpose in
basic MTG:CCG games. Examples include Ships that
allow rapid travel between locations, Cyberdecks that
make it easier to hack computers, or Bugs used to
listen in on NPC conversations.
Threshold: This operates normally.
Tokens: Tokens count as cards of the appropriate
type and do apply against the card limits imposed by
the character’s abilities.
Toughness: Essentially a creature’s Vigor ability
rating. Toughness can be modified in a variety of ways
through cards and other abilities.
Trample: If this creature does enough damage to kill
its first opponent it may attack a second time in one
Turn.
Transmute: Paying the Transmute cost allows the
user to take a card from his or her library and put it into
his or her hand. Whether it’s used or not, the card must
be discarded at the end of the Scene and the original,
transmuted, card will take a full Act to refresh.
Turn: A full round of combat, during which everyone
involved gets to act once (usually a minute or so at the
very most, more often about six seconds). Also the time
required to refresh a Sorcery card.
In MTG:CCG a Turn can usually be assumed to
represent hours or days: this is quite unworkable in a
role-playing game.
Unblockable: This creature cannot be physically
attacked by any creature other than the one it’s
currently attacking. The Game Master may allow this
creature to be blocked depending on its methods, QV;
Landwalk.
Upkeep: Cards that require periodic payments of
some type require them at varying frequencies.
Enchantments, Lands, and normal Artifacts require
them each Act, Creatures, Artifact Creatures, and any
Instants or Sorceries require them each Scene, and so
can be held over between scenes if desired.
Vigilance: This creature is never surprised, and is
always considered alert and
ready for combat. They can
also attack and then act
defensively or use a special
ability later in the same Turn.
Void: OK, “Swamp” magic
just didn’t sound good.
Wall: Walls are walls. In
general, you can hide as
many other creatures behind
them as you like, but once
something brings down a
section of a wall, finds a way
around it, or scales it, it’s no
longer any help. “Killing” a
wall tears a big enough hole
in it for one creature at a
time.
W o r l d : W o r l d
Enchantments affect the
party and any current
opponents. The rest of the
world is unaffected.
41
Running the Worlds
And finally, some advice on running the game...
Classifying Creatures
Over the years MTG has accumulated a bewildering
variety of creature types. While complete breakdowns -
along with special abilities and other notes - will have to
await the expansion books, here are some general
guidelines for which limiting skill the various types fall
under.
Beast Mastery (Beasts): Albatross, Alligator, Ant,
Antelope, Ape, Asp, Atog, Aurochs, Badger, Barishi,
Bat, Bear, Beast, Bee, Beeble, Bird, Boar, Brushwagg,
Bull, Butterfly, Camel, Caribou, Carnivore, Cat,
Cheetah, Chicken, Cobra, Cow, Crab, Crocodile,
Dandan, Dinosaur, Dog, Donkey, Dragonfly, Eel, Egg,
Elephant, Erne, Ferret, Fish, Fox, Frog, Goat,
Hipparion, Hippo, Hornet, Horse, Hound, Hyena, Insect,
Jackal, Jellyfish, Kelp, Leech, Lion, Lizard, Mammoth,
Mongoose, Narwhal, Octopus, Ox, Oyster, Pegasus,
Penguin, Pig, Poison-Snake, Pony, Rabbit, Rat, Rhino,
Scorpion, Serpent, Shark, Sheep, Slug, Snake, Spider,
Sponge, Squirrel, Starfish, Strider, Swarm, Tarpan,
Tiger, Toad, Tortoise, Turtle, Unicorn, Viper, Vulture,
Warthog, Wasp, Whale, Whippoorwill, Wildebeest,
Wolf, Wolverine, Wolverine-Pack, Wolves-of-the-Hunt,
Wombat, and Worm.
Leadership (Minions): Advisor, Aladdin, Alchemist,
Ali-Baba, Ali-from-Cairo, Ambush-Party, Archaeologist,
Archer, Archon, Artificer, Assassin, Avenger, Bandit,
Barbarian, Berserker, Bodyguard, Brother, Brownie,
Bureaucrat, Caravan, Cavalry, Centaur, Cephalid,
Cave-People, Child, Citizen, Clamfolk, Cleric,
Constable, Crusader, Dervish, Deserter, Designer,
Drill-Sergeant, Druid, Dryad, Dwarf, Elder, Elf, El-Hajjaj,
Enchantress, Exorcist, Farmer, Flagbearer, Flying-Men,
Gamer, General, Goblin, Gnome, Gus, Gypsy,
Harlequin, Heretic, Hero, Homarid, Horseman, Human,
Hunter, Inquisitor, Keeper, King, Kithkin, Knight, Kobold,
Lady-of-Proper-Etiquette, Legionnaire, Leper, Lord,
Mage, Maiden, Martyr, Master, Mercenary, Merchant,
Merfolk, Mime, Minotaur, Miracle-Worker, Mob,
Monger, Monk, Moonfolk, Mystic, Nameless-Race,
Niall-Silvain, Ninja, Noble, Nomad, Ogre, Orc, Ouphe,
Paladin, Paratrooper, Peacekeeper, People-of-
the-Woods, Pikemen, Pirate, Pixie-Queen, Preacher,
Priest, Pyknite, Raider, Ranger, Rebel, Robber, Rogue,
Sage, Samurai, Satyr, Scavenger, Scout, Serf,
Shaman, Sindbad, Sister, Slith, Smith, Soldier,
Sorceress, Speaker, Spellshaper, Spy, Squire,
Stangg-Twin, Survivor, Tactician, Taskmaster, Thief,
Townsfolk, Tracker, Treefolk, Twin, Uncle-Istvan,
Vedalken, Viashino, Villain, Waiter, War-Rider, Warrior,
Witch, and Wizard.
Artificer (Constructs): Assembly-Worker, Carriage,
Drone, Expansion-Symbol, Golem, Pentavite, Prism,
Rock-Sled, Ship, Tetravite, Thopter, Wall, Wirefly,
Shamanism (Spirits): Angel, Avatar, Ball-Lightning,
Banshee, Being, Bringer, Demon, Devil, Djinn, Efreet,
Effigy, Elemental, Faerie, Gaea’s-Liege, Gatekeeper,
Guardian, Illusion, Incarnation, Infernal-Denizen, Kirin,
Lhurgoyf, Licid, Marid, Mist, Mistfolk, Phantasm,
Phoeni x, Ref l ecti on, Shade, Spi ri t , Spr i t e,
Thundermare, Wight, Wraith, Wretched, and Zubera.
Aberration (Monsters): Abomination, Aboroth,
Avizoa, Basilisk, Blinkmoth, Camarid, Carrier, Chimera,
Cockatrice, Devouring-Deep, Doppelganger, Dragon,
Drake, Dreadnought, Eater, Entity, Essence, Fallen,
F i en d, F r o s t b e a s t , F un gu s , F un gu s au r ,
Gaea’s-Avenger, Gargoyle, Ghost, Ghoul, Giant,
Gorgon, Graveborn, Gremlin, Griffin, Hag, Horror,
Hydra, Imp, Island-Fish, Kavu, Kraken, Lammasu,
Lemure, Leviathan, Lichenthrope, Lurker, Lycanthrope,
Manticore, Medusa, Mindsucker, Mold-Demon,
Monster, Mummy, Mummy, Murk-Dwellers, Mutant,
Necrosavant, Nightmare, Nightstalker, Ooze, Orb,
Orgg, Pest, Phelddagrif, Plant, Poltergeist, Roc,
Salamander, Sand, Saproling, Shapeshifter, Shyft,
Singing-Tree, Sliver, Skeleton, Spawn, Specter, Sphinx,
Spike, Spuzzem, Teddy, The-Biggest-Baddest-
Nastiest-Scariest-Creature-You’ll-Ever-See, Thrull,
Titan, Troll, Undead, Vampire, Volver, Walking-Dead,
Wiitigo, Wurm, Yeti, and Zombie.
The "minion" creature type in Magic: The Gathering
CCG varies wildly; the GM should adjudicate these
cards on a case-by-case basis or refer to a creature
manual. Most "minions" are either Aberrations or
Minions.
Equipment
Equipment normally isn’t a big topic in MTG:RPG.
Mundane weapons and armor are handled by the
various combat Distinctions; if you have the Armsman
Distinction you’re assumed to have the armor and
weapons you’ve practiced with. You may have to do
without them briefly if you’re thrown into jail or are
presented at the king’s court, but you’ll certainly have
them back for the next storyline.
Magical artifacts are handled by cards. While cards
can be exhausted or “destroyed,” they’re basically
character attributes - and characters can replace them
without too much trouble.
“Token” or “Quest Items” are the province of the
Game Master and normally only function as plot
devices. You may need the crystal key of Darvinox to
open the door of his ancient crypt, but it doesn’t really
do anything as far as game mechanics is concerned.
They’re good for keeping the party running around, but
they only represent intermediate steps towards some
more meaningful goal.
42
Minor items - food, common mounts, rope, writing
paper, tents, and so on - are normally assumed to be
available. The only time they’re not is when the Game
Master is setting up a scene - for example:
“After your escape from the desert nomads, they
pursue you to the edge of a mighty chasm. Safety lies
on the far side; the desert riders’ camels will never be
able to cross. Since you were stripped of your gear, you
have no ropes or climbing equipment. What will you
do?”
Will they climb on pure skill and risk falling and the
possibility of having to deal with missile fire while
dangling from a cliff? Will the group Elementalist shape
the stone into a (narrow and perilous) bridge and then
hold it against the enemy? Will the Beastmaster call up
a mighty wyrm and bind it long enough for it to help the
group cross?
Like most good RPG problems, there are many
possible solutions, any of which might work - and any of
which will present their own problems.
In a world of magic there are hundreds of ways to
compensate for the lack of any specific bit of mundane
gear. Unless it’s going to be dramatic and entertaining,
don’t bother to present a problem. Trivia is nothing but
boring filler, and no game needs that. If you must
mention a trivial problem, pretty much any reasonable-
sounding solution will probably work.
Strategic Choices
The choice between Followers and Conjurations can
be difficult; Followers are somewhat tougher, don’t cost
Mana, and are immediately available. On the other
hand, being followed around by a collection of creatures
makes you unwelcome in cities, pretty much eliminates
any notion of stealth or concealing your identity, and
often won’t even be allowed. No authority or other mage
will put up with a horde of monsters in their presence.
Not only do you have to worry about food, lodging, and
support for followers, but you’ll often have to leave them
behind - making them unavailable when needed.
Worse, if one of them’s killed, you’ve actually got to find
and recruit a replacement. They may even argue with
you.
Conjurations only exist when summoned, and if
they’re “killed” you can simply summon them again for
the next battle. You don’t have to worry about food and
supplies for them, upsetting the locals, or having them
get into random arguments. On the other hand, you do
need a few moments to summon them, they don’t
usually show much independent intelligence, and they
cost Mana - and that’s a strictly limited resource.
A compromise is usually best: a few more-or-less
normal Followers, such as druids, usually aren’t too
much trouble, a couple of low-cost Conjurations
(hopefully with some handy special abilities) for minor
battles when you need to conserve Mana, and a high-
powered summoning for larger battles where you don’t
care about conservation, makes a reasonable package.
The strategic options of MTG:RPG are, in many
ways, the complete opposite of those in MTG:CCG. In
MTG:CCG you start off with a limited selection of cards,
no Mana and nothing ready (although both build up over
time), the ability to do as many things as you can
manage on your Turn - and no concern for the next
battle or the environment. After all, the next battle is a
clean start and there are no NPC’s or external
environment to worry about; you’re only dealing with
other players. You’re unprepared, but you have
immense resources to draw upon - 60, 80, or hundreds
of cards.
In MTG:RPG you start off with all the Mana you’re
going to have for the battle and your full selection of
Cards - but you can only do one thing in a Turn, your
resources are limited and are depleting instead of
building up, you have to worry about saving resources
for future conflicts or emergencies, damage carries
over, the environment and NPC’s matter, and you’re
generally not fighting other players. You’re dealing with
monsters and NPC’s in hopes of future advancement.
Similarly, MTG:CCG leans towards single and dual-
color decks; they’re much faster, and - in MTG:CCG-
speed counts for a lot.
In MTG:RPG magi usually start out with several
different colors available, if only because investing a
few ability points in the (Color) Magic abilities is a cheap
way to store Mana.
This is intentional, both because there’s not much
point in playing a minor variation of rules you’re already
throughly familiar with and because RPG’s need limited
resources - otherwise there’s nothing to strive for - and
continuity. Episodic battles make good card and
strategic games, but poor RPGs.
Mana Levels
Mana abundance is a major background question in
MTG:RPG. Quite a few individual creatures, such as
Viridian Acolyte, can be tapped for Mana. A group of
Fyndhorn elves of unspecified - but probably small -
size can be tapped for Mana, as can many other elves.
Townships, abbeys, dens, trading posts, springs, and
orchards can all be tapped for Mana. Just how big is a
“Forest” or an “Island” anyway? A thousand miles
across? A hundred? Ten? One? A small grove or am
outcropping of rock in a river? How much Mana can a
village of 500 elves yield per “Turn”? A point? 50
points? 500 points? How long is a “Turn” anyway?
Weeks? Days? Hours? Minutes? Seconds? You could
make a case for any of them.
If any elven hamlet can yield seven million points of
Mana a day - 500 points every six second Turn - every
other NPC will be a Mana-user of some sort and the
entire world probably runs on it. Why bother to compete
for something as common as the air?
Alternatively, one can assume that it takes lengthy
43
and intensive training for creatures to learn to draw on
their own Mana consciously, that the Mana of Creatures
requires complex techniques or the raw power of a
Planewalker to tap, that natural Mana sources are
separated by forty or fifty miles, and that any given
source can only yield one point per day in total. While
this still gives a planetary capacity of better than 30,000
Mana points per day (presuming an earth-sized world.
A lot would be underwater if the planet does resemble
earth), it means that Mana-wielders will be vanishingly
rare - and most of them won’t be able to obtain more
than one point a day. There won’t be any mage-
academies, the vast majority of potential magi will never
receive any training, and any that do will probably
reserve Mana for the most desperate situations.
The basic assumptions of the MTG:RPG are a
compromise; Creatures are presumed to draw personal
magic from burning Life points via Lifewreaking, making
personal magic a very limited source of power. Lands
are presumed to represent natural mystical nexi
separated by 15-30 miles and only yield one point of
Mana per day to any individual mage - but numerous
lesser magi may attune themselves to them, allowing
magic to be a notable part of everyday life, making
control of nexi well worth struggling over, and providing
a reason why the Magelords and Planewalkers don’t
monopolize the Mana. However, since only one
Magelord or Planewalker can control a land at a time,
they have a personal motive for such struggles. Since
they can lock out the lesser magi at will, Magelords can
influence the prosperity and power of kingdoms - but
aren’t powerful enough to do so with impunity.
Ergo most kingdoms are reasonably stable, strongly
supported by lesser magi, and both wary and respectful
of the Magelords and Planewalkers.
Each Game Master is free to modify these base
assumptions - but should remember that each choice
will affect the world background.
Dynamic Magic (Optional)
Dynamic Magic. This exotic Distinction opens up the
Dynamic Magic ability to its possessor. It may then be
built up like any other ability which the user possesses.
With Dynamic Magic a character can use “draw a
card” effects to draw a card from their own, personal,
deck up to a total number of cards in-hand equal to the
rank of their Dynamic Magic ability. As usual, the
maximum level of those cards is also equal to the
character’s Dynamic Magic ability rank. Such cards may
be played normally within a Scene, but at its end they
must be returned to the deck. It’s generally believed
that this is version of a Planewalker’s ability to draw
external forces partially into their own battle-realm,
limited by operating on a pre-existing plane, but the
process isn’t fully understood.
Unlike a Planewalker’s abilities, Dynamic Magic is
still subject to the effects of the various limiting abilities
and cannot provide Mana save by draining it from some
other source.
Dynamic Magic should be considered carefully
before it’s allowed into a game.
What is a dynamic mage actually doing? The quasi-
reality of a Planewalkers Duel is fairly well understood -
but if Dynamic Magi are doing the same thing within a
normal plane, it’s a recipe for catastrophe; they’re
blowing holes in the universe. If they’re not, then where
is all that knowledge coming from? Who’s loaning it to
them, and why? What price are they paying? Why is it
quasi-random?
Secondarily, on the game-mechanics side, it’s a
relatively cheap way to become a fairly powerful and
versatile mage. Simply pick up a point or two in each
magic ability, a
f ew poi nt s i n
Dynamic Magic,
and enough Mana
Tapping to build
up your reserves.
It’ll take about 10
ability points and a
Distinction, but it
will give you a
pocketful of major
spells to draw on
when the situation
calls for it.
44
Sample Characters
Unless otherwise noted, all creature spells are Summons.
All spells listed are available for reference on
http://gatherer.wizards.com/
Clockwork Master
“Tick-tocks, tick-tocks, look at all my magic clocks.”
Species Package: Human
Distinctions: Magician II (Magelord)
Abilities: Air Vehicles 4, Artificer 5, Blue Magic 4,
Craftsman 5, Engineering 4, Lifewreaking 4, Mana Tapping
3, Perception 4, Psyche 4, Resist Magic 5, Vigor 3
Card Slots (5): Clockwork Beetle, Ornithopter (Follower),
Yotian Soldier (Follower), Welding Jar (Follower), Welding
Jar (Follower)
The Clockwork Master specializes in fully-real artifact
creations. The Clockwork Beetle can appear on a moment’s
notice, while the Yotian Soldier uses its excellent defenses to
guard the character. The Ornithopter can fly, hence the Air
Vehicles ability. While the Welding Jars can instantly repair
and restore any broken artifact, the Clockwork Master must
replace them with hard work, since they are used up
permanently.
Cunning Rogue
“I’m sorry, was this yours?”
Species Package: Human
Distinctions: Enhanced Sense (Hearing), Enhanced Sense
(Sight), Good-Looking, Sharpshooter I
Abilities: Athletics 3, Ambush 4, Evasion 5, Finance 4,
Investigation 4, Larceny 5, Perception 3, Reaction 5,
Saboteur 4, Stealth 5, Streetwise 3, Vigor 4
A simple but useful character, the Cunning Rogue is
excellent for finding out information, sabotaging the enemy’s
plan, or creating an ambush to hit the enemy. As a Scout or
Spy, the Cunning Rogue has no equal.
Destined Child
“Destiny is on my side today!”
Species Package: Human
Distinctions: Magician IV (Planeswalker)
Disadvantage: Hunted (Enemy of Destiny)
Abilities: Aberrations 3, Black Magic 5, Elementalism 5,
Leadership 3, Lifewreaking 3, Mana Tapping 4, Red Magic
5, Vigor 3, White Magic 5
Card Slots (5): Incinerate, Lightning Bolt, Fireball,
Razortooth Rats, Zealous Inquisitor
A young but promising Planeswalker, the Destined Child
uses a variety of card spells. Though specializing in blasting
the enemy with Red Mana effects, the character can also
summon rats to annoy spellcasters. The Zealous Inquisitor
can do more than attack; its special ability can reflect damage
back at foes!
Goblin Suicide Commando
“The plan is perfect: I light the fuse and jump on them!”
Species Package: Goblin (Fool’s Luck, Utter Incompetence)
Distinctions: Haste Training, Magician I (Magician), Martial
Artist I
Abilities: Artificer 0, Beast Mastery 4, Elementalism 3,
Engineering 5, Finance 0, Green Magic 3, Harvesting 4,
Leadership 3, Lifewreaking 3, Red Magic 4, Ranged
Weapons 4, Regeneration 5, Saboteur 5, Scholar 0, Sleights
3, Toughness 3, Vigor 4
Card Slots (3): Goblin Brigand (Follower), Goblin Grenade,
Tarpan (Follower)
Goblins have very short lifespans. Said lifespans would
probably be longer if they didn’t keep killing themselves off.
This goblin has turned it into an artform, using the natural
species ability to avoid getting blown up by the Goblin
Grenade. The Brigand merely follows along and hits anything
which might seem dangerous or tasty. The Tarpan also
follows along. Of course, convincing any horse to let a goblin
ride it may take some doing! One final note: this character is
dumb as a rock and flat broke.
Guardian Angel
“Just because you have a protector is no reason to tempt
fate, child”
Species Package: Angel (Human)
Distinctions: Armsman II, Flying Training, Role (Heavenly
Spirit), Vigilance Training
Disadvantage: Honor
Abilities: Courtier 5, Endurance 4, Healing 5, Fortification
4, Melee Weapons 5, Movement 4, Psyche 5, Repute 3,
Toughness 5, Vigor 4
Refined socially yet brutal in battle, Guardian Angels are
more than prepared to boss their charges with both words and
swords as the situation warrants. Guardian Angels can put
some serious hurt on the enemy, but have enough skills and
talents to meet any challenge.
Magic The Gathering: Role-Playing Game Copyright
2006, Paul M. Melroy and Patrick Bryant.
Distant Horizons Games
Magic: The Gathering and the Mana Symbols are
trademarked by Wizards of the Coast. Since this draft
document is intended for submission to Wizards of the
Coast in hopes of enhancing the sales of both their
RPG and MTG:CCG lines, their use herein represents
no challenge to Wizards of the Coast.
All other artwork throughout this document is from
classical artists, and is in the public domain.
Rc|e-P|auers bate ×a<ic: Tbe Catberir<?
×:TC P|auers irpatiert vitb Rc|e-P|auir<?
Tru ×a<ic Tbe Catberir<: Tbe Rc|e-P|auir< Care!

What's all this about? About a year and a half ago Patrick and I came to feel that the division between many role-playing gamers and Magic: The Gathering players was a bit of a pity. More importantly, it seemed like Wizards of the Coast might find it profitable to open up a secondary market for magic cards - and if we wrote a book that made that possible and offered it to them a bit of that profit and publicity might come our way. Besides, it would be fun to write and playtest. So we designed a roleplaying system that used Magic cards as basic elements of the characters, as their minions, and as a library of opposition for them, allowed for the use of both magi and mundane characters of every level - squires or dabbling mage-apprentices on through legendary heroes and mighty planeswalkers - allowed players to make characters of every major race and type in the system at the time, and allowed for full-scale planewalker duels. We even made it nominally d20 compatible (although we preferred the 3d6 option) in case Wizards wanted to tie in that product line as well. Then we recruited a few playtesters, let them build master summoners, fireballspewing sorcerers, noble knights, and insane tinkerers, and had some fun. Judging from the reactions of some of our local magic players it looked like there would be more than enough interest, so we went ahead and submitted it. Sadly, Wizards of the Coast referred us to a submissions agent company - who charged a modest fee and eventually got back to us to tell us that Wizards of the Coast wasn't interested in submissions based on Magic: The Gathering. Presumably they've had years of being flooded with them. Still, that left us with a complete game system with no place to go - and some of our playtesters were already starting to pass around copies of the draft PDF. Since it's out there anyway, here’s a version with an explanatory note. After all, in its current form (a final version published through Wizards of the Coast would be another matter) it's essentially a free fan production designed to boost WTC sales, and certainly does not attempt to compete with or replace any product of theirs that we're aware of. If anyone at Wizards ever sees it hopefully they'll like it or want to comment (If so, try my gaming blog, at http://ruscumag.wordpress.com/), send Email to Feedback@DistantHorizonsGames.Com (I check that every so often), or look for our print products at http://stores.lulu.com/store.php?fAcctID=601512. If WTC feels that it's an infringement - or more of one than any other fan-production revolving around their Magic: The Gathering trademark - they can let us know, and we’ll take it down. On the other hand, if they express approval (or, hopefully, decide that they want to pick it up), we'll see about getting it onto a few of the fan sites as well or - gladly - start in on a print version. It was fun: just because it apparently won't be going commercial doesn't mean that no one else should get to play with it. -Paul Melroy, for Distant Horizons Games

General Index
Introduction Characters Basic Character Creation Types Abilities Ability Rank Details Cards Lands Creatures Artifacts Enchantm ents Instants & Sorceries Special Card Rules Distinctions Arm sm an Enhanced Sense Good-Looking Im m unity Inspiration Landbond Legendary Legend Master (___) Lord Lucky Magician Magical Talent In MTG:RPG Martial Artist Might Poison Role Sharpshooter Swarm Master (___) Training Undead W arlord Descriptions Disadvantages Sam ple Listing Species Angels Aven and Griffins Centaurs Cephalid Dem ons and Devils Djinn and Efreet Dragons Dwarves 2 2 2

2 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 7 7 7 8 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 9

Elves Goblins and Orcs Leonin Loxodons Merfolk Minotaurs Nantuko Nezum i-bito Orochi-bito Soratam i Treefolk Vedalken Character Tem plates The Assassin or Spy The Barbarian Hero The Hedge W izard The Lesser Mage The Magelord The Merchant The Planewalker The Priest The Scholar The Thief The W arrior Designing Character Types Character Levels Initial Ability Lim its Character Advancem ent Opportunity Rewards Fiat Rewards Replacing Characters The Duel Arcane The Planewalker's Duel Planewalker Distinction Abilities d6 versus d20 Using Abilities The Base Rolls Success Levels Attacks Com bat Stances Com bat Dam age Critical Hits & Fum bles Exclusive Abilities General Abilities The Landrule Forests Mountains Islands Plains Swam ps

9 9 9 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 12 12 12 12 12 13 13 13 13 13 13

Exotic Lands Gam e Structure Turns and Scenes Tapping Creature Conversions Creature Statistics Creature Com bat Creature Abilities Com bat Turns Surprise Reaction and Initiative Turns and Actions Follower Actions Accounting Mana Burn Tim ekeeping Refreshing Cards Movem ent and Position Other sources of dam age The W orkings of Cards Keywords & Definitions Running the W orlds Classifying Creatures Equipm ent Strategic Choices Mana Levels Dynam ic Magic Sam ple Characters Legal Note

33 34 34 34 34 34 34 34 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 35 36 36 36 37 41 41 41 42 42 43 44 44

14 15 15 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 17 25 31 31 32 32 33 33

Characters
Character creation is sim ple in Magic: The Gathering Role Playing Gam e. The Gam e Master decides on the starting level - usually level 4. You gain ten tim es your level in ability points. Ability points are then spent on skills, but you m ay exhange two ability points for a card slot, or four for a Distinction. You m ay not have m ore Distinctions than your level. You m ay not start play with a skill level above 5. As a recom m endation, invest at least twice as m any points in skills as cards. This gives you a wide base of skills and abilities you m ay need to survive. Card slots represent m ajor spells, fo llo w e r s , a n d m a g ic a l ite m s . Distinctions are innate special abilities and skills. They’re both covered in detail later on. Characters usually start around level 4 because that level indicates they have strong skills, talents, and show prom ise in their chosen field. At the sam e tim e, they are not nearly m asters. A level 1 character has virtually no m agical abilities or talents, whereas a level 7 character is as powerful as m any great heroes. Only the m ajor characters get full write-ups. Minor followers, people on the street, and creatures use an abbreviated system . Major characters get certain special abilities - the skills and abilities included in a full writeup just for being im portant. Mana knows those who have great destinies, and protects them from certain forces.

Introduction
MTG:RPG lets you create and play characters in the worlds of MTG:CCG using your MTG:CCG cards without having to settle for short com bat-oriented sessions, having to struggle against each other, or necessarily playing Planewalkers. You can develop your characters over tim e, interact socially, and take on a wide variety of roles within the ongoing saga. You’ll need som e six sided dice and a character sheet, and you’ll probably want to have a 20-sided die and som e MTG:CCG cards available. The rules for MTG:CCG are available here, at http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=magic/rules Since alm ost everything in a RPG revolves around the characters, that’s where we’ll start off.

Major characters have five basic attributes - Type, Abilities, Cards, Distinctions, and Description. Som e have Disadvantages and a Species other than hum an or near-hum an. Taking these in order: Type descriptions are supplied by type cards or by the gam e m aster. In either case, types have several basic elem ents - their level, ability m odifiers, and special abilities (if any). Just as in MTG:CCG their level is indicated by the num ber of Mana sym bols on the top of the card and their abilities are listed in the text block. As characters grow and gain new abilities they m ay change types and learn new roles. Abilities are sim ply ratings for how good a character is at particular tasks. For the basic gam e abilities are scored at ratings of 2 (unskilled, the norm al base score) through 10 (grandm aster). Abilities are divided into General and Exclusive categories. General abilities can be rolled even if a character hasn’t allotted any ability 2

Rank 1 N o t a b l y i m p a i r e d o r r a c i a l l y disadvantaged. and Constructs by Artificer. If not. No one can possibly be that good without supernatural aid. perm it or block the flow of Mana to lesser m agi attuned to those lands on a whim (hence. if one dies. Basically a com petent person. for our purposes. no entity in the m ultiverse exceeds your m astery. you’re going to have to find and recruit a replacem ent. 3 . they’re tougher than Conjurations. Spirits (nature spirits. Rank 7 Master. Lesser Magi are lim ited by their Mana Tapping ability and so can only draw Mana (at one point per day) from those lands to which they’re attuned. Cards represent followers. war m achines. and so on). Rank 5 Talented professional. Minions by Leadership. careful research. lands. Rank 3 Basic training. Exclusive abilities cannot be used for anything except autom atic actions unless you’ve invested som e points in them . Aberrations (the undead. if the Bringer of Doom is a horrible undead dragon which requires 4 Red and 4 Black Mana to sum m on in a norm al gam e. Their power can far surpass that of the abilities . Magelords can use the special powers of those lands they control.operate under the sam e rules as Magelords. Rank 8 Inhum an. and related beings). elves. As skilled as norm al people ever becom e. Magelords and Planewalkers actually control the full power of the lands they claim . This isn’t easy.at least until they pay for the privilege som ehow . The abilities are listed on the basic character sheet. Red Magic 8. Since only one Planewalker or Magelord can control a land at a tim e. and m ay attune additional basic lands according to their level of talent. “Magelord”). Lands are lim ited by the Mana Tapping ability and by the character’s innate talent. Creatures com e in hundreds of specific types but. You have truly unearthly m astery of every possible application of the ability. Rank 2 Untrained. and other precious resources gleaned from relics of the past. Since m ost Magelords’ first act on claim ing an area is to lock out any lesser m agi who have been using its power . lengthy recruiting. O nly a dem igod can possibly m atch your level of m astery. and enough Mana to call it up. they can usually leave such defense in the hands of com petent lesser m agi in their service. On the upside.lesser m agi often owe fealty to a Magelord. and sim ilar creations). at least unless you send them on an errand or leave them at hom e today and don’t require any Mana to recruit. Black Magic 8. Planewalkers can tap into lands alm ost without lim it while operating in a battle-realm . and is exceeded only by Rank 12 . and m ay or m ay not allow characters to start with any exotic lands in their selection. there are tim es when having a bunch of Followers trailing you is inappropriate . Minions (knights. their ability to attune exotic lands is still lim ited by their Mana Tapping ability and they can still only tap into Mana on a per-day basis. On the other hand. gaining the powers of Landrule (page 31) and often ruling over their people and inhabitants.especially if one of them happens to be that Bringer of Doom. Ability Level Descriptions Rank 0 Useless. a character would need Aberration 8. If you have a card-drawing ability this generally only requires taking out som e tim e to go and recruit som eone. Secondarily. druids.while within a dim ension . If it should becom e im portant. If one of your followers is killed. but . Sadly. they’re a lot harder to replace. Creatures can be designated as Followers or as Conjurations when you acquire the card. horrors from beyond and so on). These include Beasts (m ore-or-less “natural” creatures). Rank 10 Grandm aster. They cannot draw on the special powers of the Landrule without a Distinction and their Mana supply is subject to the whim s of any Magelord who claim s the sam e land.points to increase their level in them . m ighty artifacts. great spells. Of course. and lucky finds. just like the player characters. Rank 9 Unbelievable. At Rank 12. Rank 4 Ordinary professional level. Spirits by Shamanism. Unfortunately. C haracters m ust also have high enough ratings in the relevant m agical attribute or attributes to be able to sum m on or bind the creature in question. Rank 6 Expert. m ost Magelords are deeply concerned with the defense of their lands and with challenges to their control. Fortunately for them . Monsters are lim ited by the Aberration ability.but cards are far harder to com e by.Suprem acy. Gam e Masters who want to run land-poor gam es m ay opt to m ake initial lands m ore expensive. turn the card face down until you can find a replacem ent. There are several choices to m ake regarding cards. and Constructs (golem s. only a few general ones. it m ay require a m odest adventure. Followers are with you all the tim e (leave the card face up on the table by your character sheet). elem entals. Rank 11 is Godlike. that m ystical link leaves them open to the dangerous of a full-scale Duel Arcane (page 14). dragons. Followers don’t die until -20 life. counting each as two card selections. Each is lim ited by a particular ability: a character cannot have m ore Beast cards or any Beast card with a higher level (converted Mana cost) than he or she has ranks in the Beast Mastery ability. For exam ple. Ranks 11 and 12 are only available to characters with special racial aptitudes or unique enhancem ents.

low-powered enchantm ents.slain followers. ! Any “Tokens” a card or spell creates count as cards of the sam e type. the Mox Lotus.as long as you have the Mana to power them . Finally. If a target has no unexhausted cards they have no further effect. slight (+1) increases in general abilities.” or the duration of the sum m oning runs out. these also occupy enchantm ent slots. The Gam e Master m ay rule that this also applies to legendary cards in general. Instants work like Conjurations while Sorceries are sim ply powerful spells you happen to have acquired. Other cards. or devastated lands. and possibly the Big Furry Monster are jokes. Mox Lotus. In either case. Hypnox. Enchantments which require upkeep require it on a daily basis. Secondarily.usually as part of a plot which the player characters want to stop. although it is possible to collect enough Mana to play m ost of them fairly readily. Token creatures can be either Followers or Conjurations. they can also be used to draw cards for use with that ability. Hence only the m ost seriously power-obsessed m agi try to m ax out their supply of m ajor (card) enchantm ents. These cannot be controlled (although they CAN be unleashed) outside of Planewalker Duels without an appropriate Distinction. Enchantments are lim ited by the Enchantment ability. anyone using a card which spawns tokens could have a lim itless num ber of them . Once you use an Instant you turn it face down until you have a bit of tim e off. ! Legend Cards are subject to restrictions: Since they represent unique places. they’re always followers or real item s. Draco and Gleem ax) with base costs of 11+. ! T here are ten official cards (Polar Kraken. but it also m eans that they’re easy to get back. W hile m ost of these appear in the Keywords section (page 37). Sorceries can be used as often as you want . Given that creatures are m ore durable in MTG:RPG. ! Epic Spells term inate after the end of the confrontation in which they were used. not actually destroying them . even if they can’t norm ally be equipped to a creature. ! Any card that ends the gam e in som e fashion can only be used by the Gam e Master .Conjurations are short-term m agical sum m onings. The enchantm ent ability can also be used to lay a variety of short-term . or m aking som eone like you. Followers can use m ost artifacts. and count against restrictions on their m axim um num ber. Perm anent item s provide whatever 4 bonus cards they’d norm ally provide per turn at the start of each session. only one of each m ay be used in a gam e and the Gam e Master m ust approve them in advance. There is one m ajor distinction between them however. The Gam e Master will generally opt to require the com pletion of a special quest or m ission before allowing a Legend card to enter play. Instants and Sorceries are lim ited by the Elem entalism ability. Each card which would be drawn allows the user to replace one destroyed card at the beginning of each session without having to actually play out doing so. any character who wants to control a legend card m ust have either the Planew alker or Legend Master Distinction. hence they’re m ost effective when applied to Followers. Card-based effects do not require rolls to hit or Resist Magic checks unless they are instantdeath effects. broken artifacts. the expensive half of the Big Furry Monster duo. . Instants and Sorceries that do dam age inflict 1d6+1 dam age per point that they would norm ally inflict. and that they never last m ore than an hour or so. This requires a lot of Mana. ! Cards which allow the user to search for a specified card can be used to fill a card slot which was left vacant at the beginning of the session or can be activated and then discarded to create a vacant slot. Conjurations don’t get to act until the turn after they’re sum m oned. and the world in general. but deprive the user of the use of at least one slot in the m eantim e. and things. since otherwise they would be perm anently rem oved from the gam e. such as night sight. and should not be perm itted in MTG:RPG. ! Card Draw cards which allow the user to draw extra cards during a turn can be used to refresh exhausted cards before their norm al refresh tim e is up. individuals. see page 35). ! C ards which force the discarding of other cards exhaust one card per card which would norm ally be sent to the graveyard or otherwise rem oved. Inam e as One. They’re useful in getting out a specific card to m eet a specific challenge. are unaffected. since a MTG:RPG gam e can cover m any years of gam e tim e. Artifacts are usually perm anent item s. Blinkm oth Infusion. ! Global effects only apply to the cards which the user and any opposing Magelord(s) actually control. Certain cards are subject to special rules in MTG:RPG. M ycosynth Golem . som e of the m ost com m on rules include: ! Card Draw cards which allow the user to draw an extra card during the draw step are only useful to reduce the tim e required to replace cards which have been destroyed . turn the card face down until your character gets a bit of rest (how m uch depends on the type of card. ! Sacrificing lands sim ply m eans renouncing their link with you. Autochthon W urm . Otherwise. If the Dynam ic Magic option is in use. once a Conjuration is “Slain. they count against the lim it on the appropriate type of card. W hether they’re item s or creatures they’re lim ited by the Artificer ability just as creatures are lim ited by their relevant abilities. Artifacts are straightforward. Gleem ax. All a sum m oner has to do is take a brief break to rebuild the pattern of the spell and cast it again. Then put it back in your hand. They’re never Conjurations. Just like with Followers. m eans that they’re banished or “die” at 0 life.

if only because he or she will have to describe what the character detects. Enhanced Sense. the m axim um possible. A character who is deprived of his or her prim ary weapons or arm or loses one effective level of Arm sm an. Good-Looking. They m ay have a sense of sm ell like a bloodhound. A character can share up to seven abilities with his or her followers. Lucky. and need never sleep alone. The sensory enhancem ent involved m ust be selected when this Distinction is taken and be approved by the Gam e Master . Landbond. Legend Master. You’ll get invited to places sim ply because you’re so decorative. Immunity. Characters m ay be im m une to poison. Magician I-IV. to particular colors (this allows a DC 18 Resist Magic check to overcom e). A lucky character gets three chances to reroll the dice per gam e session. Legendary. under those circum stances they can control anything they can get ahold of. a Legendary character gains som e exotic special ability. In any case. This Distinction m ay be applied to a particular card type up to three tim es. Magelord I (first 3 basic lands of each type do not count against Mana Tapping lim it). It’s the difference between learning to channel Mana and becom ing a natural expression of it. W h ile t h e r e a r e th ousands of p o ssible Distinctions. They m ay even use m ultiple rerolls on a single roll if they’re determ ined enough. If it’s applied to an ability once. but no m ore. but there’s a price for everything. power. The Gam e Master will probably refuse to allow characters to take im m unity to too m any things. Planewalkers don’t need this Distinction while they’re in a battle-realm .three if nothing is available to im provise with. be able to see in the infrared and ultraviolet. arm or. they m ay also try to kidnap you to put you in a Harem or try to force you into m arriage. such as falls or being surprised. and m elee com bat. only . Legendary characters are rare and sought-after. to particular types of energy (fire. draw obsessed fans and groupies. Im m unity allows the character to sim ply ignore the effects of som e sort of attack. Movie-star attractive. or even to som e effects. Som e people just get all the breaks.” be able to hear the voices of the unquiet dead. To becom e Legendary a character m ust have at least 8 other Distinctions already and cannot have any level of Magician. (___) Lord. page 16) and +1 power (1d6 dam age) in HTH com bat. Lesser Mage (m ay tap into Mana from a num ber of lands equal to your Mana Tapping rank). If it’s applied twice it can be shared at up to rank 6. cold. Magelord II (first 5 basic lands of each type do not count against Mana Tapping lim it). Unlike extra levels of th e M a g ic ia n D is tin c tio n . be able to operate in the dark by som e sort of “radar sense. Applying 5 it three tim es allows the chosen ability to be shared at up to rank 7. increasing the m axim um level of the cards which they can control by +1 and the num ber of cards which they can control by +2.Distinctions Distinctions are special talents and privileges. etc). the inspiring character can share it at up to rank 4. or talent unique to them and a +2 bonus to their effective rating in any 3 abilities selected by the Gam e Master (This m ay take their effective score up to a m axim um of 12). dropping the old result in favor of the new one. Arm sm en are m asters of weapons. Unless the Gam e Master gives you special perm ission. Inspiration. one deprived of all weapons and arm or loses two . A character with Inspiration can share one of his or her abilities with his or her followers and Conjurations. Landbond can be learned without difficulty after character creation. the little touches which m ake characters extraordinary in a variety of w a ys . you’ll norm ally have to have at least five other Distinctions first. These Distinctions allow their users to partially bypass the restrictions on the num ber and power level of a particular type of card which they can control. Landbond allows a Lesser Mage to attune to an additional two lands and to draw on the Landrule powers but does not open them to the Duel Arcane or allow them to keep others from tapping into the lands they’re attuned to. Good-Looking m akes you extrem ely attractive. This Distinction lets a character control Legend cards. Of course. People will give you presents. lightning. Characters with this Distinction have augm ented sensory abilities. Planewalker (see the Planewalker section. or sense the presence of diseases and toxins. som e of the m ost com m on include: Armsman I-IV. Eac h lev el o f Arm s m a n provides +1 Defense (see Attacks under Using Abilities.

is anim ated by the sam e m agic which binds your spirit into it. W hile such cards have a m axim um level of (relevant ability/2) and cannot include Legend cards. Law-Enforcem ent Official. 6 . A Swarm Master m ay control four tokens over and above norm al lim its. Sharpshooter I-IV. Each tim e m ay either add new abilities or increase the level of a set of abilities by +3. He or she couldn’t learn to put a squirrel token into play each Turn and enhance squirrels like a Nut Collector Druid. you’ll want to take it as a role.a Hum an W izard). which m ay be an Insect. a hum an character could learn to spend an action to generate one Black Mana each day (as per a Bog Initiate . who can control the flow of Mana between the dim ensions. A W arlord m ay designate up to four of his or her cards as exam ples of garrison troops. You also lose access to the Regeneration and Green Magic abilities. to give up your turn to counter a spell once each day (M undungu. This m ay be taken repeatedly. Hedge wizardry requires nothing but study. and Heir Apparent.Haste. Dam aged abilities recover at one point per Act and. Golem s. This can also be used to represent Constructs. It’s a favorite of warriors and m ay be taken up to twice for those who favor the body-builder look. are im m une to m any form s of environm ental dam age.although anyone can learn the required skills. and will have a variety of social problem s. Hedge W izards. Martial Artist I-IV. Your body is either dead or never lived. who can control external Mana flows. Fabulous Courtesan. page 16) per level of Martial Artist and +1 power (+1d6 dam age) with Unarm ed Attacks for every two levels of Martial Artist. Vigilance. Roles are defined social roles which provide special privileges. For exam ple. if an ability is reduced to 0. but can’t control it’s flow in the land. thus adding 1d6 points of dam age to a successful attack. Celebrity.non-m agi. and so on. cannot be affected by beneficial drugs and related m agic. and that the Gam e Master approves. Guild Leader. Only a Dragon is likely to be able to be able to “learn” a breath weapon. Might. Each level of Sharpshooter increases the power of a character’s ranged attacks by +1. You do have to have it if you want the NPC’s to react appropriately. Every two levels provides a +1 bonus on the user’s attack rolls. Diplom at. lift extra-heavy weights. are both valid and encouraged. nonlethal poison (reduces any chosen ability by two points per attack). This Distinction m ay be taken up to three tim es. the victim m ust roll a sim ple check for norm ally-autom atic effects using it. a sim ilar set of troops or defenses is presum ed to be present to defend the m ystical nexus of each land a W arlord controls. that the card in question is not legendary. a character can opt to have lethal poison (reduces the victim ’s Vigor by one point per attack). and gain an extra 20 Life. Anyone can be a priest. Other powers.available with GM approval). it is very difficult or near-im possible to upgrade this Distinction after character creation. (___) Training. You possess the special abilities of one card of the sam e basic type as yourself provided that such abilities are arguably learned. He or she couldn’t pick a creature with a total Mana cost of 5+ (those are too powerful) or a legendary creature like Shizuko Caller of Autumn even though Shizoko only costs 3 Mana. get special legal privileges. If you want to be a recognized priest from a m ajor faith. First Strike. Might allows you to inflict an extra 1d6 points of dam age with weapons. Swarm Master. who can use Mana. Vigor is not a valid choice). As a rule. As usual. that the card in question has a converted Mana cost of four or less. or a selection of non-lethal poisons (the user m ay select one ability from each group and choose which is reduced by one each tim e he or she attacks. Possible roles include being a Priest. Undead. who don’t use m agic at all. since a Nut Collector costs a total of 6 Mana. Poison. A Martial Artist gains a bonus of +1 to his or her Defense (see Attacks under Using Abilities. and has no m etabolism . In general. do not age. but is still a person and a Druid). and Plant creatures. W arlord. Most of the general m onster abilities . a W arlord who has Beast M astery 8 and controls several level four Beasts could garrison each of his or her lands with four sim ilar creatures. A full list can be found on page 37 under Keywords. or to tem porarily enhance creatures (Nantuko Disciple. You don’t have to have this Distinction to claim such a title or include it in your character description. Ruler of a City-State. M agical Talent In MTG:RPG there are five basic levels of m agical power . You can’t be poisoned. Any continuous effect is still continuous. and call on the support of your tem ple. For exam ple. Magelords. such as that of a Joiner Adept (lands m ay be tapped for M ana of any color) probably won’t be perm itted by the GM. Role. and Planewalkers. Lesser Magi. who practice the lesser m agical abilities but can’t use Mana. any active effect generally works once per day. Noble. an unspecified wizard). but actually using the higher levels of m agic requires special talents . Poison allows the character to dam age abilities. and flex im pressively.

description. or at least did at one point. have severe drawbacks . like “Scout” . This will usually happen just when you got a really good roll. Crippled. If you take this disadvantage the Gam e Master is entitled to m ake your life m iserable in a wide variety of m inor ways and to request that you reroll a successful check up to three tim es per session. W e have left a place on the front for som e of the m ost im portant bits. and then add it and a com pensating bonus Distinction to your character sheet. Perhaps fortunately. and any other details you care to invent don’t m odify your abilities or dice rolls. com pulsions. sex. Most of them should have a title . there are three steps . You have an upper lim it of rank five in 2-4 GM-selected skills which should be im portant to your character.Descriptions There aren’t any gam e m echanics for your character’s description. you can pick another disadvantage instead). he or she does gain a +1 bonus on his or her attacks. If you want to add such a thing to your character. m ajor personality traits. 7 . Characters m ay.” or even som ething m undane.“Enchanter of the Third Circle. m ajor enem ies.com e up with a description of your handicap. get the Gam e Master to approve it. Things like “m ust have coffee in the m orning” don’t count unless you’re pretty m uch useless without it. no character is com plete without a nam e.addictions. Still. You don’t have to have it. everything about a character has been positive. (Note that if you can’t live with what the Gam e Master com es up with.” “Ringm aster.and any they pick up in play don’t com e accom panied by any com pensating Distinction(s). fam ily. For those cursed with Bad Luck nothing ever goes well. W e’ve left the entire back of the character sheet blank for them . religion. they’re probably one of the m ost im portant things you can provide for your character. the worse the penalty when you can’t since you’re less used to doing without) on all die rolls if you can’t get a regular fix. A character’s age. background. Berserker.and m any belong to som e organization. so you’re unlikely to accom plish any legendary feats. but you suffer a penalty of -1 to -3 (the easier your addiction is to fulfill. The character m ay not withdraw from com bat and m ust m ake a sim ple Psyche check to refrain from attacking friends if out of enem ies. characters m ay only start with one disadvantage unless they pick up a second one due to their species . and sim ilar problem s. On the upside. that won’t be enough. just how you apply them .and for m any players. Som e possibilities here include: Addiction. Disadvantages (Optional) Up until this point. build. Bad Luck. however.

Craftsm an. eat enorm ously. Cephalid (squid-people) (no cost) Racial Modifiers: +1 to Blue Magic. Prejudice. Hunted. Racial m axim um of 12 in these abilities. you’re generally despised and prejudged. is after you. or som e individual enem y with lots of m inions. and are extrem ely conspicuous. you’re an uncontrollable lycanthrope. sim ply humans with Flight (and often Vigilance) and an affinity for W hite Magic. or suffer som e other awful consequence. Most honorable characters also tend to keep their words. take double dam age from falls. For all their wingspan. and m ostly m ade of skin and feathers. You have som e exotic dietary or environm ental requirem ent. Racial Distinction: Cephalids com m unicate by a lim ited form of telepathy. fall unconscious. Adults: Should have a m inim um Movem ent and Vigor of 4. three abilities with -2 penalties and a racial m axim um of 8. If you want to play one just create such a character. Oversized. hence m ost centaur characters start off as adults. Perception. can take a species package . W ill you suffer nobly and try to overcom e such prejudice or will you return such hatred? Sustenance. Evasion. A few types use magic to help them fly. eat enorm ously. -2 to Artificer. and are very conspicuous. or players who want a m ore detailed representation of a hum an-like race. Species (Optional) The vast m ajority of playable species in MTG:RPG are a lot like hum ans . the local authorities always assum e the worst about you. or som e twist of fate. -2 to . have only a few sentient subspecies. Expect to be attacked at the m ost inconvenient tim es. Aven (no cost) Racial Modifiers: +1 to Evasion.norm ally consisting of 3 abilities with a +1 initial bonus (this m ay raise them above the usual starting lim it) and a racial m axim um of 12. Perhaps any building you shelter in for m ore than a few days catches fire or collapses. but nastier types often just like to fight. You won’t fit into ordinary vehicles or buildings. 8 . Merchants won’t deal with you or let you in their shops. you have to either em bark on som e m ighty quest to do so or. Racial m axim um of 8 in these abilities. an aura of m alevolence.Cursed. W hether it’s a racial reputation. Angel (no cost) Angels are. Fortification. Racial m axim um of 8 in these abilities. take double dam age from falls. and Finance. Adults: Adult Aven norm ally pick up a few points of Movem ent. the racial drawbacks are sim ply exam ples of Disadvantages. Aven are hollow-boned. and otherwise be chivalrous. The character m ay not decline an honorably offered challenge. Racial m axim um of 12 in these abilities. they have a hard tim e fitting into m ost buildings or vehicles. Centaur (no cost) Racial Modifiers: +1 to Movem ent. Further exam ples can be found under the Species listing below. Som ething nasty happens periodically. They cannot take Arm sm an III or IV and take an extra 1d6 points of dam age from any m elee attack. Racial Drawback: Boneless. You m ay need to be im m ersed in fresh water every few hours. but can use much the same modifiers. if you don’t get it every day you’ll begin taking dam age. Racial Distinction: Might I Racial Drawback: Centaurs are very large. Adults: Adult Cephalids are usually either dom inated or enslaved by other Cephalids or have an assortm ent of servants of their own. -2 to Stealth. Som e large and powerful group. Characters don’t have to start off with the stuff listed in the “Adults” line. if the problem is purely internal (such as an Addiction or Berserker) spend a distinction to “buy it off” and spend at least one Story doing so. and sm all children m ay throw rocks. and W hite Magic. for a net cost of one Distinction. light. More exotic races. protect innocents. These subspecies drop the Fragile drawback in favor of No Hands. W hite Magic. but should probably have it by the tim e they’ve gone up a few levels. NPC’s in the area catch horrible diseases. Racial Distinction: Flying Racial Drawback: Fragile. or need to drink a brew m ade from T ana leaves (sem i-legendary and very difficult to find) each week. It is possible to get rid of a disadvantage. Melee W eapons or Unarm ed Com bat skills above 5 and cannot take Arm sm an III or IV.enough so that the differences can be readily represented through sim ply varying the Distinctions and abilities they purchase. creatures of wind and passion. Racial m axim um of 8 in these abilities. Racial m axim um of 12 in these abilities. You’re huge. or your blood catches fire and does extra dam age to you whenever you’re hit. More powerful species m ay require the investm ent of additional Distinctions or sim ply start off young and inexperienced. devour the essence of a sentient being each day. Simply substitute Red Magic for W hite Magic and add Unarmed Combat I. Toughness. and Reaction. They don’t usually get along with anyone (including each other) who isn’t entirely under their control. but don’t require anything exotic beyond that. at least in terms of the system. Honor. and Ranged W eapons. an autom atic Distinction and an autom atic disadvantage. and so can both com m unicate silently and bypass language barriers with non-artifact creatures. Cephalids m ay not increase their Vigor. Serpent-Tongue. Griffins. and Vigor. and Larceny.

Toughness. Racial Distinction(s): Unarm ed Com bat II. attuned to the powers of the Void rather than Life. Racial m axim um of 12 in these abilities. and are very conspicuous. Racial Drawback: Utter Incom petence. They’re also notable for having one of the most potent racial distinctions. See above. Dragon (costs 2 Distinctions) Racial Modifiers: +1 to Fortification.but they’re obviously not suitable as characters anyway. and explosions. They will never abandon their tribem ates or party m em bers. Most Leonin characters start off as adults.” they operate under the normal rules. using them selves as a sacrifice. “Unarm ed” Com bat. Politician and Sham anism . They’re generally evil entities with an affinity for Black Magic and some of them have Flying. Sleights. hoarding instinct. Fortification. Dw arf (no cost) Racial Modifiers: +1 to Artificer. just create such a character. and worst drawbacks. one or m ore Enhanced Senses and either Doublestrike (representing a breath weapon) or Poison. Fortification. Leadership. Racial Drawback: Vulnerability. Racial m axim um of 12 in these abilities. they’re generally animalistic rather than sentient. 9 . -2 to Leadership. M ost such titans will also have Arm sm an IV and various other com bative distinctions. M ost of them also have a fair level in the Arm sm an Distinction. -2 to Larceny. Racial Distinction: Might. Racial m axim um of 12 in these abilities. Green Magic. and often possess interesting magical powers. or whatever once per Act. Racial m axim um of 8 in these abilities. Engineering. Adults: Should have Unarm ed Com bat 4. Elves can see into the infrared and ultraviolet spectrum s. Djinn and Efreet W hile many Djinn and Efreet have flying and their special powers are usually considered to be “innate” rather than “learned. and Serpent-Tongue. in which case they m ust flee or hide one round after taking dam age. They take double dam age from poison and suffer 1d6 life points of dam age per day spent in a “destroyed” land. on the list. Toughness. Racial Distinction: Enhanced Sense. and are good at nothing . Oddly enough.evading a big attack. -2 to Stealth. and Evasion abilities are in order as well.except at producing m ore and m ore goblins. and Finance. Toughness. they have a hard tim e fitting into m ost buildings or vehicles. and Reaction. Elf (no cost) Racial Modifiers: +1 to Beast Master. Adults: Adult goblins tend to dabble in everything. Drakes are smaller relatives of Dragons. and Regeneration. and Evasion. Racial m axim um of 8 in these abilities. In either cast. Demons and Devils. Scholar. eat enorm ously. Scholar. Politician. Goblins are actually good at using tools and technological tinkering. and Reaction. Racial Distinction: Vigilance. and Stealth. High levels of the Elem entalism . require no special rules. Elves are extrem ely sensitive to toxins. they also usually have a few Beast followers and often know how to sum m on som e sort of anim al to their assistance. and in W eapons skills. Most dragon characters start off fairly young and m ature slowly. Racial m axim um of 8 in these abilities. -2 to Artificer. and norm ally have high scores in Vigor. Racial m axim um of 8 in these abilities. Goblins m ay ignore the consequences of any single event . A few are very powerful. Racial m axim um of 12 in these abilities. Finance. Racial m axim um of 8 in these abilities. Craftsm an. Dark Elves are arguably a separate subspecies. If you want to play one. Might. but this is not a hard rule. and W hite Magic. and Fortification. Racial Drawback: None. Goblins have to pay double when purchasing any ability above 4. and Red Magic. and Vigor. Leonin (and other cat-people) (no cost) Racial Modifiers: +1 to Athletics. Adults: Adult Leonin generally have an extra point or two in their racial skills and decent com bat skills. Racial Distinction: The dwarven racial Distinction is not having any racial drawback.Demons and Devils Oddly enough. Outside of cities they tend to be m ajor targets. and require regular sacrifices to bind them into the material world . -2 to Courtier. Racial Distinction: Fool’s Luck. sm oke. Evasion. but otherwise use the same modifiers. and arrogance. Dryads usually have Forestwalk instead of Enhanced Sense. Arm sm an II Racial Drawback: Giants are very large. Adults: Adult giants are even bigger. Flying Racial Drawback: Dragons have a hard tim e fitting in anywhere due to their sheer size. -2 to Artificer. Player-Characters m ay opt to substitute Cowardice. virtually everything in MTG is based on magic. Racial m axim um of 12 in these abilities. Racial m axim um of 12 in these abilities. Unfortunately for them. Goblins and Orcs (no cost) Racial Modifiers: +1 to Engineering. like Angels. Adults: Adult elves are usually either attuned to a forest or two or have Lifeweaking. Racial m axim um of 8 in these abilities. Adults: Adult dwarves are usually skilled in Sleights and have a fondness for devices involving fire. Unfortunately for would-be players. Giant (costs 2 Distinctions) Racial Modifiers: +1 to Vigor. take double dam age from falls. Racial Drawback: Leonin are extrem ely tribal.

Racial m axim um of 12 in these abilities. Craftsm an. -2 to Politician. Secondarily. Stealth. Racial Drawback: Prejudice. Racial Drawback: Dedication. and have decent ranks in their racial skills. They always go last regardless of their Reaction check and cannot effectively pilot any vehicle. Racial m axim um of 12 in these abilities. and Streetwise. Soratami or M oonfolk (no cost) These characters are essentially simply humans with Flying. taking an extra +1 dam age per 1d6 in the attack. they usually have Might and at least Armsman II. Racial Drawback: Methodical. Blue Magic. M erfolk (no cost) Racial Modifiers: +1 to Enchantm ent. and Survival. any one Im m unity of choice. their bodies are still anim ated by m agic. Racial m axim um of 12 in these abilities. or Sakura (m agician) orders within their society. Racial Drawback: W aterbound. Racial Drawback: Cold Blooded. Outside of the funny looks there really isn’t that much difference. Nezumi-bito (ratfolk) (no cost) Racial Modifiers: +1 to Larceny. -2 to Artificer. and Resist Magic. and slow to act.Loxodon (elephant-people) (costs 1 Distinction) Racial Modifiers: +1 to Fortification. Adults: Adult Treefolk tend to be huge. and tend towards high ranks in Touch of Life. and can call on them for assistance. and Psyche. W earing their skeleton as a thin layer on the outside of their bodies leaves the Nantuko vulnerable to physical attacks. Treefolk (no cost) Racial Modifiers: +1 to Mana Tapping. Treefolk take a long tim e to reach their full potential. and Engineering. Adults: Adult Nantuko are usually attuned to one or two forests and can call on a beast or two to help them out. Everyone thinks that ratfolk are disgusting little m onsters. Courtier.they are towering elephant-folk after all . Racial m axim um of 12 in these abilities. Stealth. and Vigor. Green Magic. slow to m ake decisions. Ratfolk have lots and lots of relatives. Racial m axim um of 8 in these abilities. and Engineering. and Enchantm ent. Racial m axim um of 12 in these abilities. Vedalken (4-arm ed aquatic people) (no cost) Vedalken are essentially just really ugly Merfolk and can use the same modifiers. -2 to Aberration. Once they’ve given their word or undertaken a m ission. including agents such as acids and corrosives. Adults: Adult Loxodon norm ally possess fair ranks in their racial skills . Nantuko (insect-druids) (no cost) Racial Modifiers: +1 to Enchantm ent. They’re often Scholars as well as Sham ans and Herb Masters. M inotaur (no cost) Most Minotaurs are powerful warriors. Some of them have power suits which let them get out of the water. Racial m axim um of 12 in these abilities. and Stealth. Like any other tree. Saboteur. W hile they do have a very slow m etabolism . and Movem ent. R acial m axim um of 8 in these abilities. Craftsm an. Loxodon will never take the Black Magic ability. including after being blasted with cold m agic. Treefolk are slow to travel. Sham anism . Yes. these count as a level 3 Technology card effect. 10 .and a fair am ount of W hite M agic if they have at least Magician I. Adults: Adult Orochi-bito belong to either the Kashi (archer). Racial m axim um of 8 in these abilities. and so are rarely adventurers. Racial Distinction: Clannish. thanks to its corrosive effects on oaths. Racial Distinction: W ater im m unity. and are expected to m aster the appropriate skills. Racial m axim um of 8 in these abilities. Racial Distinction: Unarm ed Com bat I. Artificer. -2 to Artificer. -2 to Artificer. Racial Distinction: Plant. Green Magic. Their claws and chitinous arm or m ean that no Nantuko is ever truly unarm ed. so does almost any human barbarian. Racial Distinction: Poison. Fortification. and can breathe and function without hindrance underwater. They usually have the good sense to stay in the water. Toughness. Adults: Other than a tendency towards high Perception and Survival skills (and m astery of Blue Magic if they have the talent to use it) there isn’t that m uch else distinctive about adult m erfolk. and Survival. Adults: Adult ratfolk are usually very good at being treacherous sneaks. Treefolk need to invest at least one point in Movement to learn to move at all. and Herb Mastery. and Larceny. Orochi-bito take a -2 penalty on all ability checks while chilled. have the Might distinction. Sham anism . On the other hand. Vigor. Matsu (warrior). -2 to Am bush. Merfolk have no legs and cannot breathe above water for long. Racial m axim um of 8 in these abilities. Orochi-bito (4-arm ed snake people) (no cost) Racial Modifiers: +1 to Green Magic. Racial m axim um of 8 in these abilities. Merfolk cannot be harm ed by water. Racial Drawback: Fragile. a Loxodon will carry out their task even if it kills them . Racial Distinction: Might. This is equivalent to the Undead distinction.

this usually m eans that their abilities are spread pretty thin. Rangers (who often know a bit of Green Magic. Evasion. Forestlord. no m atter how talented.or her-self. Slights. m uscular. Survival. and som e sort of W eapons ability. you have to defend it. A Lesser Mage’s abilities (pretty m uch by definition) include one or m ore (Color) Magic abilities. Perception and Evasion are probably in order . Even if you decide to act like a petty con artist or street thug. The Hedge W izard.along with whatever talents are needed to r o u n d o u t th e c h a ra c te r conception. Scholar. and Mana Tapping). Classical hedge wizards include W ise W om en and Cunning Men. They m ay not even control any lands. experienced Magelords are laws onto them selves. Beast Mastery. and junior apprentices. a few Beast cards. and sim ple Herbalists. and carries around a collection of unidentifiable occult paraphernalia. they’re rare enough in the gam e world to m ake each one unique. Oddly enough. S p ie s u s u a lly need Perception. MTG is about m ighty heroes. Unlike real spies. Invoker. a quick look at a Merchant’s clothing will . After all. The Magelord. youngsters just out of m ilitia training. Beast Mastery. Investigation. Finally. and likes to dress in furs. if you actually claim a land in your own right instead of acting as som eone else’s vassal. Magesight. and several of the lesser m agical abilities . Seers and Diviners. Psyche. all topped off with a point or two in Fortification and Regeneration. Variants don’t really exist. and a supply of sharp objects regardless of sex.T ouch of Life. Adept. late m iddle-aged or older. m ost of whom spend alm ost all their tim e being quiet and listening. the Barbarian Hero is big. they’ll probably need Magesight as well. lesser m agi can becom e quite powerful.but there are som e recognizable “tem plates” out there. Stealth. if they expect to survive for long. Healing. Artificer. each Hedge W izard tends to be a variant onto him . but it really isn’t designed for petty thieves. have only one real advantage over Lesser Magi: whatever powers they derive from Landrule. Mana Tapping and/or Lifewreaking.or at least do not yet possess the inner spark which m akes a Magelord. Resist Magic. settling for sim ple attunem ent as the Lesser Magi m ust. Persuasion. His or her abilities com m only include Athletics. W hile they do not . and appropriate abilities for them . Lesser Magi usually have a title for them selves . They’re usually cunning and loyal. Sham anism . Divination. Vigor. Melee W eapons. Saboteur. or whatever. and legendary artifacts. but have a regrettable tendency to go bersek. grand rulers. If they’re spying on a m age. Endurance. Stealth. The Merchant. The Lesser Mage. and Beastmasters (Green Magic. Larceny. alm ost every Hedge W izard is a bit scruffy. Channeler. Variants include Amazon W arriors (usually only differing stylistically). Dragons are im pressive . The Barbarian Hero. a bit of Vigor. This m ay or m ay not indicate anything about their specialities. Cloaks and daggers are pretty m uch m andatory. Druids. Enchantm ent and Herb Mastery.Necrom ancer.like alm ost everyone else . Second only to a Planewalker in their raw power. Toughness. Psyche. They’ll need at least one or two of the lesser m agic abilities as well. Beginners. but they are very good at com ing out ahead. fantasy spies are flam boyant and sinister. All of them are a little larger than life. W hile . The RPG does allow for less epic characters.Character Templates MTG:RPG doesn’t have character classes . leather straps.the Hedge W izard cannot m anipulate Mana directly. A Hedge W izard’s abilities usually include Perception.but even a beginning group of player characters can probably take one down. virtually all of them are m iddle-aged. Som e of the m ost com m on tem plates. Elem entalism . Unfortunately. In general. Slights . however. arm ies sweeping across continents. your talents are alm ost always quite exceptional. and/or Ranged W eapons. Outside of that all you need is a com pletely ruthless personality. Oddly enough. Star of a thousand tales and really bad m ovies. there are an im m ense variety of feats which 11 can be accom plished without it. W hile they’re com m on as PC’s. and [usually] Lifewreaking). Most beginning lesser m agi are far m ore talented than skilled. m uch less t h e p r im a l p o w e r o f a Planewalker. W izards. include: The Assassin or Spy. Resist Magic. Phantasm . Merchants are rarely especially heroic.

Most also know how to use a weapon or two reasonably well and m any use Sleights. Persuasion.and have a potential lifespan of m any m illennia. m em ory. fellow who m ay know how to use a knife when he has to. Stealth. They often dabble in m agic. and how prosperous they are (this can also be m easured by their expanding waistline). Fortification. Variants include Paladins and Holy W arriors (who usually know a bit of actual m agic). Mercenaries (who usually have Am bush. and an aversion to actually fighting if they can avoid it). 12 . A Priest’s abilities usually include Perception. Saboteur. Appropriate abilities for Merchants include Scholar. Politician. However they are far tougher . Leaders (who concentrate on followers. For som e reason the vast m ajority of Scholars are m ale. Usually either a som ewhat ineffectual young m an or an elderly one. The Scholar. Regardless of whether they’re a good priest or a bad one. Variants include Pirates (with som e weapons skills and W ater Vehicles). The Priest. Investigation. not priests. the scholar tends to be bookish and skinny. After a few centuries m ortals rarely defeat them . wear a distinctive costum e. and Serpent-Tongue. Serpent-Tongue. Most have som e skill in m agic. Perception. Engineering. their religion plays a m ajor role in their lives. usually found with a more cunning com panion t o p r o v i d e d ir e c t io n s . Ranged W eapons. Divination. their rank in whatever organization they belong to. Regeneration. and tend to try and govern the behavior of everyone around them . Variants include Healers (with Healing or Touch of LIfe). and Repute as well. Con Men (relying on Persuasion. Investigation. and Serpent-Tongue. Those with wide-spread operations often dabble in Divination.but alm ost all of them carry a selection of holy sym bols. and often leads a s m a ll tr o o p o f lesser fighters. and m ost terrible villians of all tim e have been Planewalkers . and often seem s som ewhat ineffectual. The Thief. a young Planewalker m ay not com m and any m ore active m agical power than a young Magelord or even a Lesser Mage. in a world where m agic works. After a m illennia or two m ortals generally don’t even m atter to them any m ore . Finance. Som e of the greatest heroes. Highwaymen (who often rely as m uch on Repute and Persuasion as on their weapons). Finance. and Leadership. The W arrior. cunning. priests vary enorm ously . and so sticks with light . Even the m ost benign and disciplined m ind m ust eventually give way beneath the ever-increasing weights of power. Melee W eapons. weapons. Politics.and so readily concealable . and Repute. Artificer.presum ing that they have any sanity left at all. Perception. and som etim es Phantasm ).enough on its own to m ake folk fear and dread them . Those with troops will need a bit of W hite Magic to fulfill the card prerequisites even if they can’t use m agic directly. Leadership. Superficially. The Planewalker. Scholar. If it doesn’t they’re just con m en. Resist Magic. Investigation. Your basic hum an tank.arm or. but rarely in any predictable fashion. Servants of som e philosophy or god. but rarely understand what they’re doing very well. Persuasion. Knights (who m ay buy up their m ovem ent or athletics abilities to represent a m undane m ount or actually have the power to control an extraordinary one). c a rrie s a w id e variety of weapons. H is or her abilities com m only inc lud e Vigo r. and Herb Mastery. Land Vehicles. A sneaky. Scholar. and tim e. and Blademasters (those characters who represent their Fortification ability as parries and blocks). but the type depends heavily on what he or she serves. Inexperienced Planewalkers are probably well-advised to avoid revealing that status. and equipm ent. Quite a few dabble in m agic. Persuasion. The Thief usually prefers to look like an ordinary person. Larceny. Psyche. and even Minstrels (using Arts and P ersuasion) and Bards (who m ix the Arts with a bit of Scholar and other hedge m agic). a selection of practical skills. Mana Tapping (often attuned to a tem ple or two). The Scholar’s abilities usually include Perception. Magic Resistance. P syche. Of course. along with the tactical and enhancem ent abilities needed to use them to their best advantage). Endurance.suffice to tell you what he or she deals in. Resist Magic. Mad Scientists (“priests” of science with Engineering or Artificer). and eastern-style m artial-arts Monks (with a bit of Unarm ed Com bat and possibly Lifewreaking). T h e W arrior likes to wear heavy arm or. but prefers to get things done in m ore subtle ways. Enchantm ent. E v a s i o n . such an im pression m ay be entirely false. dresses in robes. His or her abilities usually include Evasion.

whether that’s being hailed as a hero. getting m arried. As a rule. you m ay never leave such an area. but m ost people seem to regard it as a reward either way. Cards. They m ay then attem pt to fill the open slot norm ally during the next gam e session. Gam e Masters who want rapid character progressions can sim ply apply both m ethods. or m ilitary leader. Most starting characters have initial levels of 4 to 6. You’ve m et. and are on relatively good term s with. m instrels sing about you. or if you want to com pare an experienced character to a beginner. the Gam e Master m ay sim ply base things on the num ber of sessions a character’s been played.event-driven chances for easier self-im provem ent. Som e of the m ajor item s in this category include: ! Authority. Such situations are handled by Opportunity Awards . low level characters should start with low abilities.” although the GM m ay choose to m ake raising them above level 5 require assistance. Characters m ay opt to reduce the num ber of card slots they’d norm ally have available in exchange for additional ability points or Distinctions. if som e poor characters find a horde of treasure it doesn’t seem unreasonable to ask them to each spend a point or two on Finance. a m ajor ruler. and each Distinction is worth 4. and one Distinction per four sessions. Non-m agi can exceed these lim itations by one rank. divide by 10. In this case we recom m end awarding one ability point per session (double cost to raise abilities above 5 again). If they want to m ake that perm anent. Character Advancement Characters advance by gaining new Abilities. These story-based awards are known as Fiat Rewards and usually only affect a lim ited area. ! Contacts. The Gam e Master m ay opt to let characters advance at the end of each m ajor episode or “story” in a cam paign. they sim ply have m ore tim e available to develop their other abilities. it would only cost them one ability point. those of levels 2-3 are usually lim ited to rank 4. usually due to having obtained som e m ore-or-less official position. who will then work chances to acquire those cards into the story. like a good fence. They m ay or m ay not be saying nice things. Cards m ust be justified. Abilities usually don’t require m uch beyond an announcem ent that “I’m studying or practicing thus-and-such. In this case characters gain 3 ability points. Alternatively. bathing in a m ystic pool. som eone im portant. Characters of level 1 are usually lim ited to rank 3. Mechanically they’re pretty sim ple: the characters get a chance to “buy” (and som etim es a chance to try out in advance) whatever the Gam e Master elects to offer for half price. Optionally. or sim ply som eone it’s useful to know. each Card is worth 2. a card slot m ay be exchanged for 2 ability points or for 1/2 a Distinction. On the other hand. they sim ply inform the Gam e Master of their decision at the start of a session and rem ove the card. Distinctions m ust also be justified by som e event in the gam e. The only com plication is that raising an ability above 5 costs two points per step. those of levels 4-5 are usually lim ited to rank 5. the tales of your exploits are widely spread. or delve into ancient tom es for som e obscure spell. This m ay be a powerful W izard or even a Planewalker. and one Distinction at the end of each story . To do so. few starting characters are superhum an experts. ! Fam e. W hether it’s good or bad. The only real question is how fast such things are acquired. You m ay have becom e the chief constable of a city.with the Gam e Master. two card slots.Designing Character Types W hen creating character types. 13 . each player who wants new cards should file a few . You’re in charge of som ething. expert scholar. although they m ay build them up through experience. and Distinctions. and round off the result to obtain the character’s initial level / total Mana cost. those poor characters m ight gain a tem porary +2 boost to their Finance abilities. one card slot per two sessions. Those who don’t learn to Manage their finances will thus shortly squander their new wealth. the trusted advisor of a m ajor king. a character who knows how to handle m oney probably has som e already. the rule-of-thum b is that each Ability point is worth 1. advancing a character usually requires a bit of tim e. and you get your own footnotes in the scrolls. or the kingpin of a band of thieves. W hile the Gam e Master m ay allow exceptions.probably once every 3-5 sessions. After all. Characters m ay also trade out old cards. Fiat Rew ards Som e form s of character advancem ent don’t affect the gam e m echanics very m uch.two or three will do . although they m ay affect play quite a bit. while those who don’t will soon be broke again. The casualty rate am ong weaker characters tends to be fairly high. the character m ay have to visit the m ystical heart of a land to attune him or her-self to it. In either case. or studying with a follower who has the Distinction you want to learn. unless you’re a Planewalker. Most com m only. Opportunity Aw ards Gam e Masters m ay want to restrict what characters buy with their experience at tim es. Add these up. and those of higher ranks to a level equal to their rank. Of course. that m eans two ability points per one. Gam e Masters m ay opt to play a m ore active roll in card-based character advancem ent. In this case. seek out the followers he or she wishes to recruit.

or titles. Favors from m ajor supernatural beings are to be treasured. drink. W hile this grants them access to the Landrule and lets them cast spells which take effect at the m ystical center of one of their lands. hire a few followers. Replacing Characters Unfortunately. ! Recognition. ! Lifestyle. they aren’t always available.but if you want to attune one you’ll still need an open card slot and a high enough level in Mana Tapping to accom m odate another land. the opportunity to m ake an advantageous m arriage has always been regarded as a notable prize. Still.. On occasion. W hile this doesn’t include spare cash. and service are all excellent. and loyal followers take tim e and effort to recruit. simply use a slip of paper with their name and the type of land on it as a token. and a certain am ount of social credit to draw on. awards. are a favored guest of the wealthy. at least a brief period of being a celebrity.and while there are cards which can resurrect the dead. This m ay m ean m edals. Magelords can link to the land they control so tightly that com plex m agical energy structures can pass over the link. Getting new equipm ent involves learning to use it. or som e esoteric cerem ony. new abilities involve training and practice. and increasing your sorcerous lim its requires im m ense am ounts of tim e and effort. ! Marriage. So why can’t your friend. however. it also allows them to be arcanely attacked by anyone at the m ystical center of one of their lands (i.! Favors. even by powerful m agi.e. if Urza can do it. having som eone im portant or influential owe you som ething can be absolutely vital. For convenience’s sake. if you’re attuning to a land that someone else holds. or spend som e m oney buying som e new equipm ent? It’s because attuning yourself to lands. you can have a good tim e without having to pay for it in at least one area. or have a stipend. just let every lesser m age in the group 14 attune to them and pick up a free eight-card advantage? W hy can’t he just teach them that bit of sorcery. Player characters. but it always m eans public acknowledgm ent. W hether you’ve acquired an estate. m ay well regard this sort of “reward” as som ething exceedingly awkward to deal with. a Magelord who controls eight lands. Such a battle will continue until the landowner renounces the . Like it or not. learning spells. characters som etim es die . at least the food.. Players m ay norm ally bring in a replacem ent character with a level two below the average level of the rest of the group. Sorceries. and lesser m agics despite being a very long ways away). an honorary trium ph. The Duel Arcane Unlike Lesser Magi. Your friend the Magelord can certainly open his lands to you . they can be targeted by Instants. Having som ebody owe you som ething is always useful.

Only ancient and vastly powerful Planewalkers of nearly equal power can keep a battle going long enough to draw in any significant portion of a world. Knowledge may not necessarily be power. or they m ay be separated by vast distances. Given the unpopularity of sudden outbreaks of m onsters and destructive m agic. the true battleground lies between the dim ensions. m ost often they escape unharm ed. possibly lose an ante card (this is rare. If you run out of cards you lose. Victory in such a confrontation depends som ewhat on luck.forcing them to reach out and draw to them selves whatever resources they find ready for use and are m ost attuned to in the great library of the m ultiverse. but m ostly on who m akes the best use of the resources that com e to hand. m agical cures are discounted at the sam e rate.but also m ean that when two of them choose to confront each other. In other words. after we are dead and our civilizations have fallen into dust. and creatures. to a m ere 20 life. although they occasionally forfeit a sliver of their essence to the victor. These include the ability to change appearance at will (Metam orph). incautious Magelords m ake unwelcom e guests. capable of m atching or exceeding anything short of interplanetary war. W hether for well or ill. polym orphic. sleep (although those who don’t tend to go m ad rapidly). or breathe. and the ability to extend som e of their personal defenses to their creatures in a battle-realm (Vanguard). Thus even a “Global Rain of Fire” or a spell of “Arm ageddon” will only affect a few isolated locations. long. or the interloper is either slain or driven off. their effects are inherently limited to the battle-realm and those creatures. Depending on how they choose to perceive it. leave guards at each nexus. On the other hand. now you know how the basic magic rules interact with the world they’re set in . In either case. items. and then continuing to draw whenever you can until you lose and escape (players rarely quit playing magic entirely over a loss). but it is a chance to duck. is slain (and the land. but a few games are still played with the ante rule).link (and the control of the land).and what kinds of effects they can have on the characters who aren’t directly involved. Entering such a com prom ise-plane will m om entarily cut each Planewalker off from their usual resources . 2) W hen thrown back on their own resources they are reduced. but such appearances change nothing. at least at first. 15 . natures protect them and allow them to tap into vast energies . m oving troops like chess pieces. The Planewalker Distinction has four basic effects: 1) A Planewalker’s body is purely an expression of his or her will. they m ay expand this alm ost without lim it. W hat m akes such survival this possible is the nature of the P la n e w a lk e rs the m s e lve s . they m ay be virtually face-to-face. If m ore than two are involved. any creatures which were sum m oned to either location m ust still be dealt with or escaped. but if the challenger is also a Planewalker the initial challenge-contact autom atically invokes a full Planewalker’s Duel. or quit playing entirely. no m atter what forces and spells are unleashed. claim ed by the new owner). the ability to sim ply “walk” between dim ensions instead of having to cast spells (Passage). and areas which have been drawn partially into it. the land cannot be tapped for Mana while it’s being fought over. sim ply use the m ultiplayer rules.but they do have an upper lim it. they don’t heal easily either. if widely-separated. To avoid hit-and-run or gang attacks. specifically centered on two opposing.and Mana . the basic MTG:CCG rules call for starting by building a deck (deciding what you’re attuned to). Sadly. Taking the Planewalker Distinction requires prior approval from the Gam e Master. Planewalkers are subject to the Duel Arcane. If they draw on the correct forces in a battle-realm . T h e ir transdim ensional. and take only 1 point of dam age per die which would norm ally apply. drawing your initial hand (the first resources you can grab). do not age. presum ably. Let us hope that no such conflict occurs until long. item s. however.and survived.for Lesser Magi. or arrange for the locals to protect them . when they reach it their m ulti-planar structure will shatter under the strain 4) Planewalkers who attem pt to directly confront each other are autom atically drawn into a battle-realm as described above for a standard gam e of MTG:CCG. Planewalkers need not eat. In any case. m ost Magelords try to conceal which lands they own. starting with 20 life. spellcasters. Planewalker-only Distinctions exist. Such tasks are a ready source of em ploym ent . the loser is rarely truly slain. Regardless of who achieves the victory. m any worlds have endured hundreds of such battles . 3) W hen entangled in a battle-realm their m ultiplanar existence allows them to transcend all norm al lim its on the num ber of m agical resources (cards) they m ay control . Such arcane battles tend to erupt out of nowhere at awkward tim es. Of course. The Planewalker’s Duel Planewalker’s Duels are am ong the m ost devastating of m ortal conflicts. drink. seek out lands in rem ote/dangerous/obscure locations to claim .

but he or she is autom atically hit by anyone who attacks him or her. Attacks are fairly straightforward: Roll using the relevant attack ability (Heavy. Som eone partially hidden behind a tree gains a bonus to his or her Defense . Unfortunately. A Norm al stance has no m odifiers. Melee. Roll of 18 You hit and do an extra 4d6 dam age. Abilities can be used both Passively and Actively. if your Perception check beats your opponent’s Stealth check you spot him or her. or one of your creatures for norm al dam age. rounded down) to the dam age they inflict. These effects have a d6 DC of 16 and a d20 DC of 20.but finds it harder to attack with a sword. No roll is required to obtain this effect unless the character is currently has an effective ability rank below 2. All of them can be used passively. Highly skilled characters can usually pull off a difficult task. In fiction they usually turn up at clim actic m om ents. 3d6 Critical Hits and Fum bles Roll of 3 You som ehow M anage to inflict 1d6 points of dam age on yourself. In this case no adjustm ent for die type is required. On a hit you hit a friend. or one of your creatures for norm al dam age. or racial m odifier these effects have a DC of 10 for both the D6 and D20 variants. A Total Offensive stance allows the user to attack twice. rounded up) to their attack attem pt and a dam age bonus of (Am bush Rating/2. They have a d6 DC of 12 and a d20 DC of 12 Difficult. bypassing all defenses save for a Planewalker’s natural durability. Legendary. and succeed if the (Roll + Ability Level) equals or exceeds the Difficulty Class set by the GM or by an opponents abilities. Roll of 4 You sm ack a random ly chosen friend. or when som eone gets very lucky indeed. or Totally Defensive stance. In any case. Ranged W eapons.m odified by any relevant Distinctions. circum stances. Defensive. 16 . Two characters fighting on a narrow ledge probably need Athletics checks to balance there. Roll of 17 You hit and do an extra 2d6 dam age. On a hit you hit and inflict an extra 4d6 dam age. include Fum bles and Critical Hits. Finally. since they can resolved with the initial roll. Roll of 20 Roll the attack again. Characters with Melee W eapons 5+ or Unarm ed Com bat 7+ gain an additional +1 bonus on this Defense score. Note that anyone with Elem entalism 3+ m ay sim ply m anifest appropriate weapons to use with their com bat abilities. These effects are difficult even for great m asters to obtain. An Offensive stance provides a +2 bonus to attack at the price of a -3 penalty on Defense. or Ranged W eapons or Unarm ed Com bat) versus the opponent’s (Evasion + Fortification + 2). characters can declare that they’re using an Totally Offensive. Active effects require a roll. or call for additional checks. Norm al. Unarm ed Com bat 5+. These effects are pretty easy to obtain. Characters with Am bush who attack unprepared targets gain a bonus of (Am bush Rating/2. Characters in general have a base power of 1 . ally. It also means that you don’t need any fancy dice to play: a selection of standard six-sided dice suffices. the Gam e Master m ay assign bonuses or penalties up to plus or m inus 4. They can also gain a bonus for high ability scores: Elem entalism 6+ adds +1 power to attacks using Melee W eapons. all abilities have a base level of (2 + any points spent on the ability) up to a m axim um total of 10. By default. passive effects are quite lim ited. although it m ay take m ultiple tries. If a character is so handicapped by m agic. Critical Hits and Fum bles If you want to com plicate things. without rolling. you don’t. and m any abilities don’t offer any at all. you cause 1d6 dam age to yourself. or Ranged W eapons 6+ gain a +1 bonus to their power when attacking with those abilities. Dam age is som ewhat m ore com plicated. A Defensive stance grants a +2 bonus to Defense at the cost of a -3 penalty to attacks. Optionally. They have a d6 DC of 20 and a d20 DC of 24. Opposed checks are sim ply resolve with opposed rolls. or Unarm ed Com bat. a Totally Defensive stance provides a +5 bonus to Defense. W e recommend using the optional 3d6 rule instead. Heroic. injury. but are pretty rare otherwise. Sadly. Sam ple effects are listed for each ability. Am bush is usually only usable on the first attack.converting to 1d6 dam age . Characters with M elee W eapons 4+.Using Abilities Classical d20 uses a d20 for most rolls. These effects are reasonably com m on am ong great m asters. Simple. Som eone trying to do needlepoint in a howling gale will suffer a -4 penalty. D20 Critical Hits and Fum bles Roll of 1 Roll the attack again. the resulting bell curve matches reality a great deal better than the linear distribution of a single die. but does not allow the user to attack at all. bypassing all of your defenses save a Planewalker’s natural durability. divided into: Automatic. Offensive. when som e great effort is m ade. ally. If not. O n a m iss. These work best with the 3d6 system . They have a d6 DC of 24 and a d20 DC of 28. On a m iss you hit and cause an extra 2d6 dam age.

Exclusive Abilities Exclusive Abilities (those with a grey background) cannot be rolled unless you buy them . recognize com m on Artifacts in use by an opponent. identify the nature of an unfam iliar Aberration’s exotic afflictions (devising an effective treatm ent requires the Healing ability). sneak attacks.” such as dragons. create very sim ple (Level 1-2) Artifacts given several m onths of work. It controls both the m axim um level and num ber of such creatures the user can control at a tim e. and sim ilar entities. and should. m ake repairs on dam aged m id-level (4-5) Artifacts or create Artifacts of up to Level 4 given som e m onths of work. Note that the Gam e Master can. develop a new Aberration-conjuring spell in a few days. provide basic care for a fam iliar Artifact. deduce the workings of exotic Artifacts. train unintelligent Aberrations. m ake repairs on low-level (1-3) Artifacts (for technical artifacts this m ay also require an Engineering check). Legendary: Determ ine the life cycle. create sim ple snares and traps. conceal an attack on som eone so that even the victim m ust m ake a Perception check to determ ine the source. Simple: Identify the general characteristics of an unfam iliar Aberration. This group includes: Aberration governs the ability to handle inherently m agical “m onsters. Heroic: Control a conjured Aberation with a total Mana cost of up to 5 over the ability level for 1d6+1 rounds. pick the best available defensive position available. page 16). restrict silly com binations: m ost creatures can’t use m ore than one suit of arm or and one or two weapons at a tim e. Difficult: Develop a new Aberration-conjuring spell given several m onths to work in. Note that creating a new Artifact allows it to be brought into the gam e without the usual requirem ent of discovering it som ewhere. recognize com m on types of Aberrations. and inflicting extra dam age on unaware opponents. get a m essage across to an Aberration without a com m on language. shadow creatures. an unfam iliar Aberration with a m ere glance. build com plex m echanical traps. Heroic: Spot the unique special weakness of an Artifact or identify any hidden functions. although any autom atic functions still apply. Heroic: Organize an attack to give everyone on your side a +1d6 bonus to dam age during the first Turn. and obscure facts about. identify the nature of a fam iliar Aberration’s exotic afflictions (devising an effective treatm ent will also require the Healing ability). undead. create a m aze full of lethal traps. operate an unfam iliar artifact. Legendary: Develop a new Artifact conjuring spell in a few days. build dangerous deadfalls and pits. Automatic: Have a perm anent Artifact or an Artifact Creature follower with a total M ana cost equal to the ability level or less or control a sim ilar conjured artifact (no m ore than one in total per rank in this ability). Simple: Conceal yourself in the woods in a good spot to snipe from . 17 . Difficult: Conceal a group in a good position for a surprise attack in a reasonable location or conceal yourself in such a position under difficult conditions. understand what an Aberration is trying to com m unicate without a com m on language. predict the likely behavior patterns of an Aberration. Difficult: Develop a new Artifact conjuring spell given several m onths to work in. Artificer governs the creation of m agical devices and the m axim um num ber and level of Artifacts which the character m ay possess. Automatic: Have an Aberration follower or control a personally-conjured Aberration with a total Mana cost equal to the ability level or less (no m ore than one creature per rank in this ability). plan a surprise attack to give everyone on your side a +2d6 dam age bonus during the first Turn. Am bush governs setting up blinds and hidden positions. create m agical charm s and toys given an hour or two. spot the unique special weakness of an Aberration. provide basic care for a fam iliar Aberration. arranging a tactical advantage. Automatic: Gain bonuses to dam age and attacks against unaware opponents (see Com bat. predict the likely properties of a severelydam aged or partial Artifact. Legendary: Conceal a sm all horde in a flat desert. m ake an attack on som eone look like an accident. Simple: Identify the general characteristics of an unfam iliar Artifact.

create m inor Artifacts given a few days. Divination governs basic detection and com m unication m agic. Simple: Identify the general characteristics of an unfam iliar Beast. Understand what an Beast is trying to com m unicate without a com m on language. determ ine who m ade som ething. determ ine som ething’s age and general state of health by touch. get a m essage across to an Beast without a com m on language. recognize com m on types of Beasts. develop a new Beast-conjuring spell in a few days. block all Lesser Magi from drawing on the Mana of a land you control (Only available to Magelords and Planewalkers). locate your personal property within a hundred-foot radius. im m ediate. determ ine the nature of a Black Magic effect by inspecting it. resist aging for a day. produce a few coins. predict the likely behavior patterns of an Beast. m ake som ething go suddenly wrong with a m ajor device. If com bined with a point of Green Mana it allows easy com m unication with anim als as well. Simple: Attune to a land which produces Black Mana. train unintelligent Beasts. or sim ilar infirm ities. exterm inate verm in in an area. hold back a notable (level 4-5) Blue creature by sheer m astery. sim ple ones at som e range. locate where you are. Simple: Attune to a land which produces Blue Mana. distant. Analyze an incom ing spell which uses Blue Mana. and obscure facts about. questions (“is this trapped?”) can be answered with a 10–15 m inute ritual or a point of Mana. Heroic: Devise an on-the-fly counterspell against a Blue Magic spell (costs 4 Blue Mana). divine the direction to the m ystical center of a Black Mana producing land you’re currently in. hold back a m inor (level 3 or less) Black creature by sheer m astery (this lasts as long as you take no other actions. Black Magic governs how m any points of Black Mana the user m ay hold in reserve at any one tim e and the m axim um level of Black m agic card that he or she m ay bring into play. Com plex. or m ake a m ore powerful one hesitate. operate a sim ple device. Difficult: Selectively block Lesser Magi’s access to the Mana of a land you control (only available to Magelords and Planewalkers). design an original Black spell. Legendary: Determ ine the life cycle. an unfam iliar Beast with a m ere glance. Beast Mastery governs the ability to handle anim alistic creatures and the m axim um level and num ber of creatures which a character can control at any one tim e. Heroic: Control a conjured Aberration with a total Mana cost of up to 5 over the ability level for 1d6+1 rounds. Automatic: Have an Beast follower or control a personally-conjured Beast with a total Mana cost equal to the ability level or less (no m ore than one creature per rank in this ability). identify the nature of an unfam iliar Beast’s exotic afflictions (devising an effective treatm ent will also require the Healing ability). design an original Blue spell. Difficult: Selectively block Lesser Magi’s access to the Mana of a land you control (only available to Magelords and Planewalkers). Sim ple. but protects no one else). gain a substantial advantage at gam es of chance. Analyze an incom ing spell which uses Black Mana. Legendary: Hold back a m ajor (level 6-8) Black creature. Heroic: Devise an on-the-fly counterspell against a Black Magic spell (costs 4 Black Mana). Automatic: Determ ine true north or if som ething is actually m agical. create a stationary Circle of Protection against Blue Magic with an hour or so’s work. know the tim e. im m ediate questions. Automatic: Draw Black Mana from an appropriate attuned land. create a stationary Circle of Protection against Black Magic with an hour or so’s work. block all Lesser Magi from drawing on the Mana of a land you control (only available to Magelords and Planewalkers). m ajor ones given a m onth or so and extraordinary ones given a few m onths. Blue Magic governs how m any points of Blue Mana the user m ay hold in reserve at any one tim e and the m axim um level of Blue m agic card that he or she m ay bring into play. pick up and shape water (it will rem ain “solid” for several hours). curse som eone with baldness. acquire Blue followers (also requires relevant lim iting ability). produce the correct change. create an original m ulticolored spell that involves Blue Mana (this requires sim ilar checks for all other colors involved). determ ine the nature of a Blue Magic effect by inspecting it. Com plex. Difficult: Develop a new Beast-conjuring spell given several m onths to work in. and m essagesending effects require an hour or two or two points of Mana. divine the direction to the m ystical center of a Blue Mana producing land you’re currently in. by sheer m astery. purify water. solve m ost puzzles. identify the nature of a fam iliar Beast’s exotic afflictions (devising an effective treatm ent will also require the Healing ability). curse a field or farm hold so that it will not yield. create an original m ulticolored spell that involves Black Mana (this requires sim ilar checks for all other colors involved). provide basic care for a fam iliar Beast. hold back a notable (level 4-5) Black creature by sheer m astery. hold back a m inor (level 3 or less) Blue creature by sheer m astery (this lasts as long as you take no other actions. but protects no one else). barrenness. triple the productivity of workers you supervise. repair virtually any Artifact. store Blue M ana. acquire Black followers (also requires relevant lim iting ability). Automatic: Draw Blue Mana from an appropriate attuned land. questions of com plex com m unications (such as a seance) can be m anaged with 3 points of M ana or a ritual of several hours duration. or m ake a m ore powerful one hesitate. store Black Mana. 18 . by sheer m astery. Legendary: Hold back a m ajor (level 6-8) Blue creature. determ ine the quality of goods. control a frightened horse. spot the unique special weakness of an Beast.

let som eone walk on water or m ist. Fortification governs the m astery of defense. crack ordinary com puter security. physical transform ations (with a point of Mana). waterproof cloth. gain glim pses of the distant future or of m ajor elem ents thereof. enchant som eone to see in the dark.Simple: Send a brief m essage to som eone within line-of-sight. m ake repairs on sim ple engines. change som ething’s color. weaving suggestions or sim ilar effects. Simple: W ard off rain. design com puter chips. forge com plex m etal item s without tools. design com plex structures. and sustain enchantm ents as well as the m axim um num ber and level of enchantm ents which the user m ay possess at any one tim e. such as night sight. enchanters m ay counter other enchanters with an opposed check. telekinetically m anipulate a few hundred pounds. Enchantment governs the ability to create. influence em otions. but if som eone m akes som e of their own or their GM lets them bring in cards from som e other gam e. Engineering governs your ability to design and use high technology and (with Craftsman) your ability to create it. operate sim ple devices. enhance secondary senses (such as sm ell). charm a letter so that it keeps getting handed along until it reaches its destination. understand basic physical principles. or som e area is currently enchanted. Simple: Operate com puters. Legendary: Fireproof paper. etc). get som eone lost. anim ate objects. illum inate a sm all room . m end clothing. program a com puter operating system . create m inor lightshows. these also occupy enchantm ent slots while they’re active. Heroic: Contact the spirit of som eone long-dead. proof som ething against the ravages of tim e. design com plex structures. Automatic: Use Sorcery and Instant Cards of levels up to the level of your Sorcery ability (in conjunction with the appropriate Magic ability). purify water. Heroic: Build an industrial base using nothing but raw m aterials and (lots of) your tim e. sum m on patches of rain or fog. hence m ost m agi tend to leave a slot or so open for utility effects. m aintain lesser enchantm ents. Difficult: Perform com plex calculations given som e tim e. Simple: Control (in-gam e) gam es of chance. If high-technology cards are in use in your gam e the level of this ability governs both the num ber and m axim um num ber of such cards you m ay possess. freeze-dry food. grant the ability to see in the dark. influencing em otions. contact the spirit of som e recently-deceased creature. som eone. discover how som eone feels about you. create a cool breeze. a slight (+1) bonus to a general ability. Sadly. design basic structures. resist 1d6 worth of elem ental environm ental dam age. Like m ost of the lesser m agical abilities. there aren’t really any “technology” cards in MTG:CCG at this tim e. (no. m end m etal objects. design industrial m achinery. but nice or bothersom e). Legendary: Love spells. dry clothing. determ ine if som ething. m ake som eone like you better. structural. blood brotherhood. It adds to Evasion to determ ine how difficult you are to hit with physical weapons and can be rolled to design (or penetrate) castles and keeps or to defend against attacks on any lands which the user controls. open a com m unications link with som eone on another continent. m ake som ething seem extrem ely attractive or utterly repulsive. analyze a cities water system . elem entalists m ay counter other elem entalists with an opposed check. Heroic: Fireproof leather and cloth. Legendary: Solve com plex m athem atical problem s in your head in m ere m om ents. reduce an opponent’s general ability by 1. then this is the ability to use). check on the general status of som eone you have a link to (lock of hair. Automatic: Add your ability rank to your personal Defense level. Very m inor enchantm ents. analyze the structure of a lock or trap. light pipes and cam pfires. If you want to program com puters. solve the unified field equations. basic m ath. insert ideas into people’s heads. add your ability rank to the Defense of 19 . heat or chill food. m inor telekinesis. Elementalism governs the use of m inor physical spells as well as lim iting the num ber and level of instant and sorcery cards which the user m ay possess. read a letter without opening it. resist 2d6 worth of elem ental environm ental dam age. on both the personal. m aintain a bubble of breathable air underwater or in the m idst of a forest fire resist 4d6 worth of elem ental environm ental dam age. Automatic: Use Enchantm ent Cards of levels up to the level of your Enchantm ent ability (in conjunction with the relevant M ag ic ability). gain a clue to som e com plex quest. and strategic levels. design cities and arcologies. m aintain a stardrive. build a waterm ill. analyze. this is the ability to get. or m aintain engines. Autom atic: Use Technology Cards of levels up to the level of your Engineering ability (in conjunction with the appropriate Magic ability). Like m ost of the lesser m agical abilities. cause extra dam age with attacks or create elem ental weapons with sufficient ability. Legendary: Contact a m ighty entity or open a scrying window across the planes. cast an augury. seal an area so that no one m ay leave or so that their steps invariably lead back inside. can be accom plished with a sim ple ability roll. program an AI. Difficult: Detect poisons. Difficult: Boost a general ability by +1. weave vocal suggestions. disarm a well-designed bom b. Heroic: Cosm etic transform ations. hack a m ilitary secure system with a pocket com puter. extinguish a burning building. divine the presence of a poison in a distant location. repair com plex devices. levitate a pencil or key. replace com ponents in a system . Difficult: Create a blinding flash or m assive gust of wind. m ake som eone lucky or unlucky (no real gam e effect.. reduce an opponents general ability by 3 or exclusive ability by 2. reduce an opponent’s general ability by 2 or an exclusive ability by 1.

brew m ixtures with com plex biochem ical and m ental effects. identify the basic properties of an unknown plant. by sheer m astery. create perfum es and scents. and other intelligent (and m ore-or-less norm al) Minions. extract the essences of m agical plants. brew double-strength poisons. and toxins. spot obvious weaknesses in defensive designs. create an original m ulticolored spell that involves Green Mana (this requires sim ilar checks for all other colors involved). divine the direction to the m ystical center of a Green Mana producing land you’re currently in. but protects no one else). Simple: Design a basic castle granting those within a 1d6 bonus on dam age and +2 Defense. store Green Mana. hold back a notable (level 4-5) Green creature by sheer m astery.those protecting your lands (given a few weeks to set up appropriate fortifications). design an original Green spell. drugs. hold back a m inor (level 3 or less) Green creature by sheer m astery (this lasts as long as you take no other actions. com pounds. brew alcoholic and exotic beverages. Automatic: Have a Minion follower or control a personally-conjured Minion with a total Mana cost equal to the ability level or less (no m ore than one creature per rank in this ability). cause plants and anim als to grow and m ature in m om ents. Leadership governs the ability to lead NPC’s. induce hibernation. cure severe illnesses. train or dom esticate an 20 . Automatic: Draw Green Mana from an appropriate attuned land. anim al. determ ine the nature of a Green Magic effect by inspecting it. Heroic: Design a m ighty fortification. Simple: Attune to a land which produces Green Mana. Heroic: Identify the likely properties of an unknown m agical plant. It doesn’t really involve m uch m agic as such. Difficult: Selectively block Lesser Magi’s access to the Mana of a land you control (only available to Magelords and Planewalkers). cause dead wood to sprout or roots to split stone. Heroic: Devise an on-the-fly counterspell against a Green Magic spell (costs 4 Green Mana). produce sim ple drugs. block all Lesser Magi from drawing on the Mana of a land you control (Only available to Magelords and Planewalkers). cure a serious illness or prevent infection. Difficult: Design a com plex fortification granting those within a 2d6 bonus on dam age and +4 Defense. m ake com m on folk m edicines for basic com plaints. get plants to flourish. Difficult: Identify a poison. create healing poultices (can restore 1d6 life per day).” Legendary: Hold back a m ajor (level 6-8) Green creature. spices. troops. reinforce a door. Simple: Brew 1d3 doses of poison. com as. governs the use of herbs. Analyze an incom ing spell which uses Green Mana. and controls the m axim um level and num ber of such creatures which the user m ay com m and. cause fields and beasts to flourish (m ay require one or m ore points of Green Mana. negate 1d6 dam age or +2 from the Defense bonuses provided by a fortification. and other ingredients. Legendary: Cure advanced leprosy. Herb Mastery Green Magic governs how m any points of Green Mana the user m ay hold in reserve at any one tim e and the m axim um level of Green m agic card that he or she m ay bring into play. brew elixirs which allow sight into other worlds. negate 2d6 dam age or +4 from the Defense bonuses provided by a fortification. wall. link with a “fam iliar. and those near death from various diseases. but m ost NPC’s regard it as a m ystical art at its higher levels. extract com plex drugs. or m ake a m ore powerful one hesitate. create a stationary Circle of Protection against Green Magic with an hour or so’s work. analyze soil. granting those within a 3d6 bonus on their effective dam age ratings and a +6 Defense bonus. potions. brew an antidote for a known poison. cure a cold or other m inor illness. Legendary: Negate either the dam age bonus or the defensive bonus offered by a fortification or 2d6 dam age and +2 Defense. extract hallucinogens and other drugs. depending on the desired scale). enable astral projection. acquire Green followers (also requires relevant lim iting ability). Automatic: Make tasty and refreshing use of herbs. shape wood with your bare hands. or other structure to withstand a battering (roll your Fortification ability to negate such dam age).

Magesight governs the ability to directly perceive and analyze m agical energies. attuned. determ ine what spells and powers a m age has available from the traces in his or her aura. such as one using Landwalk. Automatic: Convert 20 Life into 1 Mana. Life expended on Lifewreaking cannot be regained through supernatural m eans. Get a m essage across to som eone without a com m on language. color is determ ined by the Gam e Master according to the nature of the crowd and ritual involved). as well as the ability to determ ine what spell is being cast before it activates. power source. Drain the life-energies of a land while at it’s m ystical center. Get sm all children to behave them selves. Lifewreaking governs the ability to transm ute life points into colorless Mana or into any color of Mana the user has the appropriate Magic ability for. Difficult: Convert 10 Life into 1 Mana. Understand what som ebody is trying to com m unicate without a com m on language. Mana Tapping governs the ability to draw Mana from odd sources. W ell. Upwelling. get a rough idea of how m uch Mana a target currently holds. granting them a +1d6 bonus to the dam age they inflict. anim al for a point of Green Mana. stars. and general character of an unfam iliar Minion with a m ere glance. Sim ple: Convert 15 Life into 1 Mana. Autom atic: Draw Mana from a stable. Difficult: Draw Mana from a Ley Line. profession. crowds of fanatic w o r s h ip e rs . Maintain general control of a sizable arm y. Heroic: Convert 15 Life into 2 Mana. detect the underlying m agic of an illusion. sacrifices. and other astronom ical events (1-2 points per day unless som ething special is happening). Spot som eone’s special weakness or predict their likely behavior. Characters m ay only attem pt to draw on such events once per day. or Colorless Mana. Legendary: Detect the Planewalker spark in an infant. Hence this rarely succeeds against a defended land and even the attempt is usually grounds for being hunted down by everyone who lives there. or Crowd of W orshipers (one per crowd or ritual. determ ine the general nature of a spell that’s being cast. Difficult: Pick up a m age’s m agical “signature” from observing an active spell. or other sem i-stable source. yielding one Mana point. dawn. Get independent NPC’s to listen to sensible orders in an em ergency. m inor. Dom inate slaves and sim ilar servants. This normally operates automatically at the Difficult success level. Accept Mana transferred from som eone else. 21 . Sacrifice a Conjuration for the Mana used to sum m on it less two points. Heroic: Draw Mana from the sun. Artifact-Battery. determ ine the structure of a spell that’s being cast (half the cost of using a counterspell effect). Legendary: Convert 20 Life into 3 Mana. Simple: Draw Mana from a Mana Font. determ ine the exact nature of a spell that’s being cast. determ ine the color of a spell that’s being cast. Draining a land provides 1d6+4 Mana. such as plan etary conjunctions. m ystic wells. spot an invisible creature. If the land is held by a Magelord or Planewalker they may subtract their Fortification ability from the would-be wreakers ability. ritually sacrifice a com m on.Sim ple: Identify the general characteristics of an unfam iliar race. The character will probably have to enact special cerem onies at particular tim es to tap into this source of Mana and m ay require a Distinction to do so. Automatic: Read untrapped m ystical runes. but kills or weakens everything in the area and disrupts the lands ability to provide Mana for weeks. the price of an automatic success is being limited to producing Mana of the color specified in the creature description. Heroic: Control a conjured Minion with a total Mana cost of up to 5 over the ability level for 1d6+1 rounds. and other exotica. Difficult: Develop a new Minion-conjuring spell given several m onths to work in. by it’s m agical aura. Heroic: Identify the nature of a spell from the m ystical traces it leaves behind. Green. Legendary: Determ ine the origin. Simple: Detect the m agical energies of a lurking Spirit. Ritually sacrifice a sentient being for a point of Black. Sadly. sense powerful m ystic disturbances. Unfortunately. It also lim its the num ber of exotic lands which a Magelord or Planewalker can control at any one tim e and the total num ber of lands which a lesser m age can attune them selves to. Maintain a link with an exotic land. detect ley lines and other powerful Mana sources in the im m ediate vicinity. Develop a new Minionconjuring spell in a few days. Lifewreaking is the presumed source of energy for creatures which can be tapped for Mana. Inspire troops. Node. Get m en to follow you into certain death. Determ ine what an unfam iliar NPC m ost wants (and so could likely be m anipulated with).

Heroic: Move at full speed across broken terrain. radiate an em otion (this influences crowds and reactions but has no com bat effects). add +2 to your effective Movem ent for a bit. It com plim ents Athletics. create a stationary Circle of Protection against Red Magic with an hour or so’s work. im agination. Difficult: Move at full speed across rough terrain. Politician governs the ability to m anipulate governm ents and organized societies. this technique can only be attem pted once per day. Heroic: Create a good illusion of a docum ent over paper. run. organize a m arch or protest. get som eone’s perm its pulled. Phantasm does not form the basis for effects beyond those of hedge wizardry. blend into the shadows. Simple: Find out who’s running an area.a “the halls of faerie”). hold back a notable (level 4-5) Red creature by sheer m astery. Legendary: Hold back a m ajor (level 6-8) Red creature. Phantasm governs the ability to weave m inor illusions. Sprint at 15 feet x Movem ent/second. Simple: Attune to a land which produces Red Mana. the ability to run and leap. slightly exceed the lim its given above. in a world of m agic. hinder or advance a bureaucratic process. In chase situations both speed and agility are of great importance: in this case simply make two checks: one for closing the distance. Simple: M ove at full speed across uneven terrain. create passable illusory currency. one to keep up with evasive maneuvers (if any). and (on earth anyway) only vehicles get m uch faster than that. Legendary: Arrange to have a fairly im portant person arrested. soften rock and m etal so that it can be shaped like clay. and leap with ordinary speed and success. m ake an individual target see. Unless they’re using m agic m ost creatures Movem ent scores are never m ore than one above the species average. walk. get m ajor charges dropped.Legendary: Draw Mana from popular beliefs and/or philosophies and/or “gods” (whatever they are). Automatic: Draw Red Mana from an appropriate attuned land. divine the direction to the m ystical center of a Red Mana producing land you’re currently in. ignite flam m able objects. arrange an insane law. For those who want actual num bers. This isn’t com plicated but. and jum p distances a bit below the base lim its. Analyze an incom ing spell which uses Red Mana. obtain a m odest grant for som e project. and feel alm ost anything. reach the lim its given above. block all Lesser Magi from drawing on the Mana of a land you control (Only available to Magelords and Planewalkers). hold back a m inor (level 3 or less) Red creature by sheer m astery (this lasts as long as you take no other actions. and m ental focus rather than by raw power. Note that being a stranger in town m ay m ake this m ore difficult. Automatic: Create m odest light-show effects. Unlike the other m inor m agical abilities. can be quite im pressive. by sheer m astery. drive a crowd of creatures into a hysterical frenzy. m ist. odd taboos. and subscribing to particular beliefs. change the color of a sheet of paper. Legendary: Move briefly over water. Difficult: Make som eone or som ething invisible. weather goes m ad. get a general idea of the local laws after a bit of poking around. hear. High Jump 2 feet x Movem ent. suggest alm ost any kind of dream to som eone. m ake a good illusion of an opening or door. Difficult: Selectively block Lesser Magi’s access to the Mana of a land you control (only available to Magelords and Planewalkers). cold forge m etal. Olym pic athletes usually have a Movem ent rating of 3. 22 . add +1 to your effective Movem ent for a bit. create an original m ulticolored spell that involves Red Mana (this requires sim ilar checks for all other colors involved). cheetahs sprint at 6. design an original Red spell. Legendary: Create an interactive illusion covering a very large room (a. Movement governs raw speed. or som e other im possible terrain. or cover up palm ing som ething. get som eone offered a good job. store Red Mana. or send the police after som eone you dislike. generate illusory pain or other sensations. arrange to have an ordinary person arrested or dealt with. Difficult: Get a license for restricted activities. m ake everyone nearby aware of your em otions. Heroic: Get in to see an im portant local figure. the base lim its are: Running Long Jump: 10 feet x Movem ent. create a house-sized static illusion or an interactive illusory creature. convince a lobbyist to spend som e tim e on you. W alk. acquire Red followers (also requires relevant lim iting ability). Sadly. run. and W alking is at 2 x Movem ent MPH. but can provide 1d6 points of Mana of colors specified by the Gam e Master when it works. cause a m inor elem ental storm (rocks start flying about. This usually requires observing a variety of cerem onies. etc) in the area. or m ake a m ore powerful one hesitate. Red Magic governs how m any points of Red Mana the user m ay hold in reserve at any one tim e and the m axim um level of Red m agic card that he or she m ay bring into play. get a relatively sane law passed. create an illusory stench. determ ine the nature of a Red Magic effect by inspecting it. Automatic: Crawl. but protects no one else). The base of 2 is norm al hum an speed. Simple: Disguise som eone’s features. Heroic: Devise an on-the-fly counterspell against a Red Magic spell (costs 4 Red Mana). but it’s still quite possible. disguise the opening of a cave. cause wild bursts of poltergeist activity. arrange a war. illusions are lim ited by their caster’s skill. find out about local laws. Automatic: Function in society. or cover up alm ost anything. Long Distance Running is at 4 x Movem ent MPH.k.

Difficult: Recover from m assive wounds without notable scarring. Space Vehicles governs the ability to operate space vehicles of all kinds. jury-rig or bypass m ajor system s in an em ergency. as well as the ability to transfer your own life into others (to instantly heal their wounds) or into inanim ate objects to tem porarily anim ate them . Difficult: Conceal a sm all weapon through a search. The user is free to specify what his or her reputation is for. Legendary: Im press Dem igods with your awesom e works. Legendary: Determ ine obscure facts about an unfam iliar Spirit with a m ere glance. Difficult: Im press the gentry with your rem arkable deeds. heal from any survivable wound without im pairm ent. Sleights governs m inor technical and m ystical trickery. take off in a fraction of the norm ally-required tim e. Automatic: Escape from Chinese Handcuffs. Heroic: Land during a storm . spot the unique special weakness of an Spirit. Difficult: Land sm oothly and gently. Unlike m ost of the other exclusive abilities. Heroic: Control a conjured Spirit with a total Mana cost of up to 5 over the ability level for 1d6+1 rounds. ranging from shuttles to ethercraft or the m ost bizarre science-fictional craft. ranging from geography and history on through chem istry. perform general m aintenance. execute a flatly ridiculous m aneuver (right-angle turn. Mayors invite you for dinner. Touch of Life governs lesser healing m agic. and sim ilar afflictions. Scholar governs book-learning of all kinds. work algebra. The user m ay select one such trick per ability level. recognize unusual anim als. com m unicate with the newly dead or with any spirit linked to your current location. describe m inute historical details. Difficult: Mix explosives. evade an attack which should certainly have destroyed the vehicle. Slights m ay also be used to represent com bat or other special tricks and techniques. Difficult: Develop a new Spirit-conjuring spell given several m onths to work in. allies. perform a sim ple card trick you’ve practiced. contact the m ighty powers of the spirit world or travel there with a group. recognize com m on working anim als and know their general habits. Heroic: Escape from chains and cells. com m unicate with any local spirits. Legendary: Escape from pocket prison dim ensions. People want your autograph. predict the likely behavior patterns of an Spirit. Heroic: Know obscure uses for rare m agical m aterials. Get called on for quests and extraordinary tasks. Heroic: Regenerate lim bs and other organs. No other expert in an area is worth talking to. get a license. Simple: Im press som e yokel with your boasting. and even m ore esoteric knowledges. Simple: Make sm oke bom bs and spring-loaded grapnels. unconscious. com m unicate with. finding a “crack in the event horizon” to escape through. project yourself into the spirit world. blindness. Legendary: Know details about distant dim ensions and worlds. know the basics of space flight and navigation. Villagers treat you to beer. execute a clearly im practical m aneuver or a com plex m aneuver under bad conditions. recognize and describe exotic anim als. perform com plex card tricks. and m ay influence a wide variety of social situations with a successful check. escape from handcuffs. Legendary: Perform com plex m aneuvers under horrendous conditions.Regeneration governs self-healing. Shamanism governs the ability to call. and relatives. Simple: Know the general layout of the continent or world. recent. and bases. sketch a decent m ap of a distant land. plot an orbit in your head. ranging from sm oke pellets through instant disguise spells and grapnel guns. Simple: Identify the general characteristics of an unfam iliar Spirit. recovery with som e scarring. acids. sense and com m unicate with spirits while in a trance. know enough chem istry to be dangerous. Simple: Take off or execute sim ple m aneuvers. engage in alchem ical transm utation (with a point of Mana. Automatic: Have an Spirit follower or control a personally-conjured Spirit with a total Mana cost equal 23 to the ability level or less (no m ore than one creature per rank in this ability). enter a trance. recite an outline of world history. history of your hom eland. Automatic: Know the basic. Urza invites you over for tea and cookies. autom atically regaining one life per day per effective rank in this ability. identify the relics of a particular culture. escape from ropes. Automatic: Get recognized by friends. alchem y. Get considered for jobs in your area of expertise. enter a trance so deep that you appear dead. all characters use this at the passive. and control spirits as well as the m axim um level and num ber of spirit creatures which a character can control at any one tim e. execute a com plex (but sensible) m aneuver. Automatic: Recognize the various types of space vehicles. Legendary: Cling to life (with a point of Mana) despite obviously-fatal wounds. etc). Heroic: Im press lords and kings with your incredible talents. Optionally. Sim ple: Recover from serious wounds without notable scarring. Repute governs a character’s reputation. Tip the balance in a social situation. curing diseases. Necrom ancers want your hands. Automatic: Natural healing. . recognize com m on types of Spirits. level. develop a new Spirit-conjuring spell in a few days.

soothe or m oderate an argum ent. Legendary: Hold back a m ajor (level 6-8) W hite creature. Simple: Attune to a land which produces W hite Mana. determ ine the extent of som eone’s injuries. get only one third of this benefit . or m ake a m ore powerful one hesitate.1 point less dam age at rank 3. determ ine the nature of a W hite Magic effect by inspecting it. crash through a plate-glass window without being cut. Automatic: Draw W hite Mana from an appropriate attuned land. block all Lesser Magi from drawing on the Mana of a land you control (O nly available to M a g e lo rds a n d Planewalkers). Analyze an incom ing spell which uses W hite Mana. m ake a statue take a few sim ple actions. 24 . Heroic: Absorb the im pact of a lengthy fall without serious injury. or congenital deform ities. Anim ate a door to m ake it open or close on com m and for several m inutes for 2 life. total blindness. Difficult: Selectively block Lesser Magi’s access to the Mana of a land you control (only available to Magelords and Planewalkers). divine the direction to the m ystical center of a W hite Mana producing land you’re currently in. Planewalkers. Difficult: Cure ordinary diseases. Difficult: Clim b a barbed-wire fence without injury. create a stationary Circle of Protection against W hite Magic with an hour or so’s work. hold back a notable (level 4-5) W hite creature by sheer m astery.W hite Magic governs how m any points of W hite Mana the user m ay hold in reserve at any one tim e and the m axim um level of W hite m agic card that he or she m ay bring into play. heal m inor annoyances (bruises. acquire W hite fo llo w e rs ( a ls o requires relevant Automatic: Transfer up to 10 life points to som eone else. Simple: Anim ate a length of rope you’re touching for a few m om ents for 1 life. lim iting ability). Legendary: Cure virulent m ystical plagues. Simple: Snap fishline or a fine wire without cutting yourself on it. hold back a m inor (level 3 or less) W hite creature by sheer m astery (this lasts as long as you take no other actions. and so on. sm ash a beer can on your head. store W hite Mana. create an original m ulticolored spell that involves W hite Mana (this requires sim ilar checks for all other colors involved). radiate a sphere of peace and serenity that wards off disturbances and calm s those within. cleanse an area (whether physically or of m align influences is up to the user). get a panicky crowd organized towards som e com m on goal. design an original W hite spell. Toughness governs the ability to resist dam age from any source. calm everyone in the vicinity. avoid being sunburned. anim ate a group of trees or plants for an hour or so for 5 life. anim ate a living plant for several m inutes for 3 life. 2 points less at rank 6. sm all cuts. stem a retreat. exorcize a possessing spirit. Heroic: Devise an on-the-fly counterspell against a W hite Magic spell (costs 4 W hite Mana). inspire a truce during a m assed battle. rashes and sore throats). Automatic: Reduce incom ing dam age by one point per rank in the Toughness ability (to a m inim um of 1). who take only 1 point per die. organize an am iable m eeting. Legendary: Dive from a speeding car and roll to a halt without injury. but protects no one else). by sheer m astery. hold a hot coal without discom fort. Heroic: Cure deafness and serious illnesses. pierce yourself with various item s without suffering real injury.

get a date. Automatic: Perform norm al. and decorate your gear in fairly reasonable taste. com pose an epic that will inspire m illions. get som eone into trouble while appearing to “help. and gaining access to high society. Simple: Clim b a tree or easy rock face. craft parts to m icroscopic tolerances. take off in a fraction of the norm allyrequired tim e. and other sim ple. execute a clearly im practical m aneuver or a com plex m aneuver under bad conditions. right a canoe. chip usable stone tools.General Abilities General abilities can be rolled even if you haven’t purchased any ranks in the ability. Difficult: Make com plex item s and/or item s of high quality. com pel the lords of faerie. sculpting. training will m ake you a lot better. swim through a raging storm . Arts governs m usical perform ances. paint accurate (or salable) portraits. fall without injuring yourself. set up a work area. m ake crude-but-recognizable sketches of things. turn a som ersault. Simple: Deduce surface m otivations. deduce deeper m otivations. seduce a reluctant target. work without tools (this trick costs Mana). assist m ore skilled craftsm en. com pletely warp som eone’s reputation. m ake subtle insults. execute a com plex (but sensible) m aneuver. perform com plex feats of acrobatics without a choreographer. befriend an ancient. and a wide variety of sim ilar activities. swing from vine to vine through a forest. m aking friends. solitary. walk along a building ledge. recognize when som eone is setting you up. get a license. insult som eone without them even realizing it. inspire a festival in the pits of torm ent. Legendary: Fight on a tightrope. 25 . m ake requests and speak to people without being offensive. Still. extract all kinds of inform ation from som eone in conversation. Simple: Take off or execute sim ple m aneuvers.” deflect a noxious com m ent. lift 500 pounds. pick up a reasonable days salary perform ing in any town or find a welcom e in the countryside. perform general m aintenance. organize and direct an orchestra or chorus. Legendary: Sway a god. physical. speak in a form al style. swim m ing. recognizing social traps. or set up an efficient workplace. entertain spirits of nature and the dead. stay afloat in m ildly rough water. to serve as a portal). Organize a group of crafters to work efficiently. painting. and appreciate the work of better artists. superb tools and weapons. seduce an em peror with dance. counter a horrendous (and welldocum ented) story about yourself. pull a truck. know the basics of flight and navigation. Difficult: Dash across a tree which has fallen across a chasm . Simple: Sketch passably. or tailor clothing. lift a ton or two. start a rom ance with an enem y in the m iddle of battle. clim b a greased glass wall. run down a horse on foot. Automatic: Distinguish between art and trash. swim through a tidal wave to com e out on the other side. befriend a highranking aristocrat. Autom atic: Recognize the various types of air vehicles. Simple: Make basic item s of adequate quality: weave cloth. weave a tapestry or fine silk. avoid looking like a com plete idiot on a dance floor. Create com plex m achinery. acquire a high-status m istress. get into a private party. get an official to give you a job. dive out of the way of a falling truck. Legendary: Perform com plex m aneuvers under horrendous conditions. carry som eone hurriedly out of danger. lifting weights. forge arrowheads. A workshop of som e sort usually is. but that’s not really required. spread rum ors without appearing to do so. Difficult: Perform professionally. etc). evade an attack which should certainly have destroyed the vehicle. clim bing. use the right fork for salad. Heroic: Land during a storm . join any desired clique. Legendary: Cause hundreds to obsess over you. tum ble across a room . select the appropriate raw m aterials for a project. execute a flatly ridiculous m aneuver (right-angle turn. dive out of the way of a blast of flam e. and m arvelous m eals. satire. jury-rig or bypass m ajor system s in an em ergency. Most characters specialize a bit. tip over a sizable boulder. flying sideways between two buildings. Courtier governs etiquette. dive out of the way of a rock slide. balancing. build good furniture. dive for pearls. get people to brag and talk about them selves. sing without actually inflicting dam age on anyone. stay afloat going down rapids. tasks. Craftsman governs the ability to m ake nonm agical item s. Heroic: Com pose a scathing. play a recognizable tune on a sim ple instrum ent. hum an-level. acts. Automatic: Use sim ple tools effectively. lift several tons. and extrem ely catchy. m ake infam y som ehow chic and attractive. Athletics governs diving for cover. Legendary: Craft m arvelous item s (these m ay count as m inor Artifacts). ranging from balloons to fighter jets. locating respectable contacts. with som e points of Mana. This group includes: Air Vehicles governs the ability to operate air vehicles of all kinds. entity. dance. socializing. prepare decent leather. paint a m asterpiece to awe all who gaze upon it (and possibly. Heroic: Make fine m usical instrum ents. m ove an audience to tears. Difficult: Make som eone appear foolish. Difficult: Land sm oothly and gently. Heroic: Befriend a m ajor ruler. Automatic: Know basic etiquette for your culture. Heroic: W alk a tightrope. sprinting.

act as a physical therapist. select trees for particular purposes. find food for a crowd in the desert or other wilderness. bandage m inor injuries. go for a week without eating or drinking. locate “extinct” plants or anim als. track and control the finances of a m ultinational corporation. rebuild som eone into a m em ber of another species. heal 1d6 life points worth of dam age. evaluate what task a particular weapon is best suited for. Finance governs your personal wealth. Fishing. . Automatic: Add your Evasion ability to your basic Defense. Healing governs first aid. surgery. dry m eat and fruits. heal 4d6 life points worth of dam age. m anage a bank. resist decay. walk across a glacier naked without getting cold. avoid heat exhaustion. evade your taxes with a good chance of success. and sim ilar system s. inflict extra dam age with sufficient ability. restructure bones to change apparent race. take a few days off to go on a trip without risking financial collapse.m ount weapons system s. Legendary: Pay for building a m ajor m etropolis. Legendary: Hook m echanism s to nerve trunks so that the user can control them m entally. teach others to use heavy weapons. it helps set the difficulty for an opponent to hit you. keep brains alive and conscious in bottles. Automatic: Scrape up a few coins for a cheap m eal. such as im plant surgery. operate a crew-serviced weapon at norm al speed by yourself. m issile launchers. collect eggs. pick an especiallyvital target point on a vehicle or structure. Simple: Apply pressure-pads and tourniquets. fund an exploratory expedition. or gathering. and other m ethods of extracting natural resources. m achine guns. Sim ple: Fish for your own dinner. em ulate Dr. identify rare plants. or other single-target m echanical trap. awaken som eone from a com a. resist a horrific disease. labor for a day without resting. Automatic: Add your weapons ability to your attack roll. Simple: Stay awake for a lengthy guard shift. com plete a lengthy ritual. Herding. falling tree. perform brain surgery. Legendary: Dodge the shrapnel from a m ajor explosion. Simple: Dodge a rolling boulder. locate edible plants in an autum n forest. Difficult: Buy a house or car. deliver babies when com plications occur. follow veins of ore. and any available advanced techniques.Endurance governs the ability to resist fatigue. Heroic: Speed-load a heavy weapon. Heroic: Reattach lim bs. hunting. dodge a cloud of arrows from a trap. recognize the signs of the presence of exotic resources.and vehicle. Heroic: W ithstand extrem e torture. m odify a weapon to suit a particular purpose. Automatic: Recognize where it hurts you. Difficult: Resist a notable disease. Difficult: Advance on a fixed position while staying out of the line of fire. reach into a pit of flam es to pull out som ething im portant. Heroic: Pay for building a fortress or arcology. Logging. recognize broken bones and shock. provide basic anim al care. Legendary: Resist a virulent m ystical plague. stitch up wounds. Most characters don’t actually bother with using this ability. avoid being driven past the asking price. resist a m inor disease. perform basic repairs and m aintenance on a known type of heavy weapon. evaluate drugs and treatm ents. refine exotic m ystical m etals. Mining. and other financial m atters. Legendary: Precisely control the area affected by an area-effect weapon. transplant brains. Simple: Use unfam iliar heavy weaponry. know which organs are m ost vital. evade your taxes legally. keep track of how m uch m oney you’re carrying. Difficult: Function as a physician. Harvesting governs Farm ing. rem ain awake and alert for weeks at a tim e. pain. rem ain com fortable despite m inor tem perature variations. Simple: Balance your checkbook or budget. realize that som eone’s dead after checking on them . Heroic: Dodge your way through an avalanche or whirling wall of blades. avoid a dangerous anim al in close quarters. pay for new clothes or general supplies. Heroic: Feed a village for a few days by hunting or fishing. and gather fruit. m edicine. scything blade. m ortars. m ake a farm work under awful conditions. treat poisoning (restore 1d6 ability points). heal 2d6 life points worth of dam age. ability to bargain. but quite a few have a point in it as a background. run for across a desert all day without drinking or slowing. figure out an em bezzlem ent schem e. Heavy Weapons governs the use of fixed. Legendary: Extract needed supplies for a sm all group from a barren asteroid belt or m oonscape. In general. perform deep-shaft m ining. refine m etals. Difficult: Top trees. Difficult: Perform basic repairs and m aintenance on an unfam iliar weapon. transplant organs. track the finances of a m ultinational corporation in your head. and loss of concentration as well as the ability to m aintain efforts and survive inclem ent conditions. Frankenstein. Automatic: Ignore m inor wounds and dam age during an em ergency. Automatic: Assist m ore experienced harvesters in 26 basic tasks. perform cosm etic surgery. non-em ergency treatm ents can only be applied effectively once per week. Evasion governs the art of not being hit. but is used alone against traps and other nonsentient m enaces. cast a spell while severely wounded. com plete a short task despite lethal wounds. get a refund without paying taxes first legally. In general. rebuild dam aged organs. feed a fam ily for a few days by fishing.

push for a bit of extra speed. Simple: Speak “Pig Latin” variants on your native language. inflict extra dam age with sufficient ability. Simple: Search for crossreferences and alternative titles in a library. put together a brief biography of a celebrity. know the basics operating them . ranging from skateboards to m ain battle tanks. Automatic: Serve as a thug or runner. scrawl som ething illegible in place of a signature. locate a particular figure in the underworld. Simple: Use an unfam iliar m elee weapon. Simple: Execute sim ple m aneuvers. forge a signature. locate a fence. Automatic: Speak any language you happen to know. Legendary: Casually read or translate a language that you’ve never seen before. forgery. perform basic m aintenance on low-technology m elee weapons. Difficult: Know what your children are up to. Melee Weapons governs attacking with hand-held close-com bat weapons. forge a sim ple docum ent.Investigation governs the ability to locate and analyze inform ation. recognize the style of another weapon wielder. know what the neighbors are up to. attem pt to disarm an opponent (a resisted check with a +4 advantage to the opponent). evade an attack which should certainly have destroyed the vehicle. and sim ilar illegal activities. Difficult: Execute a com plex (but sensible) m aneuver. decipher com plex codes with tim e and effort. identify the relationships between languages. recognize the signs of a m onster lair. perform archeological research. re a d in g . creating and breaking codes and ciphers. Heroic: Identify som eone from their writing style. execute a flatly ridiculous m aneuver. present a coherent argum ent. m odify system s. Difficult: Find rare drugs. perform sim ple m aintenance. Heroic: Find a brief citation in a m assive library in a single night or research. bypass a cam era-based security system . 27 . translate an inscription in a dead language. L in g u i s t ic s governs s p e a k in g . attack an opponents weapon instead of the opponent. a n d tran s lating languages. know one language per Linguistics rank if the Gam e Master happens to have specified languages for his or her world. find blackm ail m aterial on a squeaky-clean individual. hunt for som ething in a reasonably organized fashion. Automatic: Add your weapons ability to your attack roll. Heroic: Forge a lengthy proclam ation. Difficult: Read sim ple ciphers with ease. decipher com plex codes in a few m inutes. put together details on a nearm ythical place or event. pick a com plex lock. realize that the gaping knife wound in the body m ight possibly be related to the bloody knife lying nearby. search libraries. whether such item s are designed for the task or im provised. sell ordinary loot for near full value. and otherwise locate and operate in areas hidden from others. Simple: Pick a sim ple lock. reconstruct recent events from a fair am ount of evidence. pick a superb lock. evaluate what tasks a particular weapon is best suited for. disarm the defenses of a m age’s tom b. translate an inscription in a lost language. reconstruct decades-old events from m inim al evidence. translate sim ple ciphers with tim e and effort. Land Vehicles governs the ability to operate land vehicles of all kinds. crack “unbreakable” encryption. Legendary: Determ ine the cause of death of a m um m y. bypass a full-scale m ilitary security system for a top-secret conference. disarm practicaljoke booby traps. bypassing security system s. put together a brief biography on alm ost anyone. perform a “bootlegger reverse. get a license. train novices in the basics of weapon use. locate readily available illegal goods and services. and the study of language in general. Difficult: Inflict stunning dam age with a norm allylethal weapon. jury-rig or bypass m ajor system s in an em ergency. Automatic: Check the index in a book. Legendary: Sell the crown jewels for near-full value just after stealing them . Larceny governs lockpicking. Automatic: Recognize the various types of land vehicles. locate som eone’s phone num ber on the internet. reconstruct m onths-old events from m odest am ounts of evidence. put together details on obscure events and places. run a con on the guards around your cell. get a license. Legendary: Perform com plex m aneuvers under horrendous conditions. throw a m elee weapon effectively.” Heroic: Execute a clearly im practical m aneuver or a com plex m aneuver under bad conditions. perform a jum p. deduce m any details about a person or place from a brief glim pse.

spot lurking anim als. Automatic: Make a decision. room . detect the aftertaste of a drug in wine. and channel any wandering spirits in the area. subtly present only the inform ation you desire to a telepathic probe. and enjoy the benefits of norm al sensory perception. as well as to detect. m ake two shots alm ost sim ultaneously. sensory acuity. spot an am bush. Difficult: Note the signs of a possible am bush. see and hear obvious things. talk people into doing som ething obviously absurd and/or dangerous. Difficult: Resist the effects of an enchanted well or sim ilar feature. disrupt a m inor enchantm ent with a touch. Legendary: Make a stunning attack with a lethal ranged weapon. gas. grab a handhold while falling over a cliff. throw a grappling hook to safety while falling. Perception governs alertness. evaluate what tasks a ranged weapon is best suited for. Simple: Resist “instant death” effects. Legendary: Talk people into doing things that they’re specifically instructed or determ ined not to do. m ake an absurd proposition sound at least vaguely reasonable. jum p in front of som eone else. Automatic: Make reaction checks in com bat. Simple: Recognize com m on spices. convince an enem y to talk. Characters who try for multiple attacks and similar tricks lose their basic attack if they don’t pull it off. Difficult: Train novices in the basics of using ranged weapons. attack two or three targets sim ultaneously. Legendary: Parry a laser beam . wake up when there’s a slight disturbance. and stunts such as snatching arrows out of the air or quick-drawing a weapon. persuade a bunch of defeated troops to go back into the battle. Simple: Use an unfam iliar ranged weapon. Resist Magic governs the ability to resist hostile spells and enchantm ents. usually through verbal m eans. and energy based ranged weaponry. choose long-term plans over transient rewards. Characters who try for multiple attacks and similar tricks lose their basic attack if they don’t pull it off. colorless. 28 . Heroic: Sway a hostile crowd. attem pt to m ake a precise shot against a stationary target (the DC depends on how precise you want it to be). talk a king you’ve just betrayed into letting you serve as regent. detect a subtle poison in a spicy dish. Difficult: Talk people into doing som ething that’s a bit to their disadvantage or is fairly risky with little hope of reward. break addictions. detect slight traces of an odorless. projectile. including lesser m agical attacks. Automatic: W ake up when an alarm goes off. let a spirit speak through you. Heroic: Place two shots precisely in the sam e place. Reaction governs reflex speed. sit through a horror m ovie without panicking. Persuasion governs the m anipulation of other intelligent beings. detect the sounds of com m on activities behind a door. get an enem y to ally with you. inflict extra dam age with sufficient ability. Difficult: W ithstand m inor em otional influences. evaluate wines. successfully interrupt another’s action. Simple: Catch a thrown object. shoot down an incom ing m issile weapon. Simple: Get people to do things which are obviously to their advantage or at least have no downside. hurl a m elee weapon and catch it again on the rebound. knock an item out of som eone’s hand without hurting them . Automatic: Resist being warped or transform ed by environm ental background m agic.Heroic: Perform basic repairs and m aintenance on a high-technology m elee weapon. Hedge W izard m agic. m odify a low-tech weapon to suit a particular purpose. channel the full powers of a m ajor spirit and push it out of your body afterwards. Legendary: Make a sweeping attack targeting everyone within reach. skip over friends while spraying an area with autofire. physically and effectively attack an otherwise im m aterial entity. Legendary: Spot a Landwalker hidden in their favored terrain type. resist direct neural pleasure/pain conditioning. Psyche governs the ability to resist m ental influences and attacks. and the user’s ability to accurately interpret sensory inform ation. sense the presence of powerful spirits. Legendary: Present false inform ation to a telepathic probe. seduce an adm iring or im pressionable target. Heroic: Sense the presence of lesser spirits. Automatic: Add your weapons ability to your attack roll. Difficult: Catch an arrow. protect a sm all area from Hedge Magic. track som eone by scent when it’s not your prim ary sense. determ ine an ingredient list from a few tastes. Automatic: Get what you want across to som eone in a com m on language. Heroic: Spot a well-concealed trap or security system . Sim ple: Resist whining children. Heroic: Deflect bullets. initiative. Ranged Weapons governs the use of thrown. interact with. or a creature’s odd m agical abilities. Heroic: Resist the effects of a m agical land or of Magelord m agic. get your executioner to let you go. conceal inform ation from a telepathic probe of your m ind. sense the presence of powerful psychic auras. catch a spray of autom atic gunfire. m ake new projectiles for low-technology ranged weapons. dispose of beloved offspring who are unsuited to your plans. noisy. grab the railing while tripping down the stairs. avoid giving into silly advertisem ents. m ake out what som eone is whispering to som eone else across a crowded.

Difficult: Cam ouflage and conceal a m odest area. disguise your identity with a bit of m akeup. and working the streets. hide behind walls and trees without sticking out. 29 . Stealth governs being sneaky. disrupt a relationship. rig an artifact to backfire. start a fad. Automatic: W alk without tripping over things and knocking stuff over. wedge a door. get a trial to com e out any way you want. Legendary: Pick a pocket without ever seem ing to approach your m ark. reading gang sym bols. and sim ilar verbal m anipulations. Difficult: Fix m achinery so that it’ll break down hours or days later. Simple: Misdirect city guards. run a bait-and-switch scam . recognizing com m on scam s. protect a sm all area from Magelord m agic. let som eone think of som ething “on their own. Legendary: Throw a kingdom into confusion for a week. blend into a crowd of roughly-sim ilar people. lie so well that even reading into your subconscious will not reveal the truth. very. injure. recognize gangs when you encounter them . stall a bureaucracy for several days. disguise yourself as a particular individual. Heroic: Stall an arm y on the m arch for a few days. Legendary: Incite an arm y to fling itself against superb defenses in order to reach you. wrong. Automatic: Lie clum sily. guarded. sneak down a well-lit. Simple: lift som ething sm all and unim portant from a target on a crowded street. disguise yourself as a typical (whatever). Serpent-tongue governs insinuation. white corridor.” Heroic: Generate a riot given a few m inutes in which to talk. pick a pocket under norm al conditions. use com m on insults. Difficult: Sow doubts and confusion through a city. give som eone a bad reputation. locating crim inal contacts. Simple: Jam heavy m achinery without injuring yourself in the process. start a rum or without seem ing to do so. Streetwise governs fam iliarity with the underside of civilization. cause random havoc with an exposed control panel. discredit a living saint with vicious rum ors. picking pockets. Heroic: Pick a pocket when your victim is on to you and no one else is around. keep som eone from m aking any noise if you kill them with a surprise attack. seal a dim ensional rift by stepping into it. im personate som eone so well that people can’t tell the difference even when you’re standing next to the person you’re im personating. taunts. shut down an entire factory.Legendary: Resist Planewalker m agic. turn a city against its rulers or any desired target. break a spell with a m ere touch. stabbing people without perm itting an outcry. or destroy its user. sneak through a brightly-lit and well-traveled area. get the authorities interested in alm ost anyone. lying. Automatic: Jam inactive and exposed m achinery. Automatic: Swipe office supplies. subtly spoil a dinner. m ake effective use of cam ouflage. Saboteur governs the ability to m ake things go very. It’s com m only opposed to Psyche or Perception.

Difficult: Break boards. Difficult: Self-stabilize if below 0 HP (roll each Turn). get a license. bend and flex in a variety of painful-looking ways. Heroic: Locate the local bosses or specialist crooks. 30 . Heroic: Escape from bonds. resist an ordinary stunning attack. follow a trail of m uddy footprints. locate com m on thugs and gangers. m ost powerful. Unarmed Combat governs the ability to inflict dam age with your bare hands (or other appendages). set up a lean-to. attack two targets at the sam e tim e. inflict extra dam age with sufficient ability. resist a powerful stunning attack. attack everyone in a sm all area sim ultaneously. teach novices. let it be known that you’re looking for illegal services. Simple: Avoid a wound becom ing infected under norm al circum stances. m ake your own trail difficult to follow. build a fire under norm al conditions. get enough food to survive on by begging. Legendary: R esist aging for a m onth. m ake yourself unm ovable and /or resist a m assive im pact. execute a com plex (but sensible) m aneuver. Difficult: Set up an igloo. barren. perform general m aintenance. find exotic and highly-illegal m aterials for sale. contact a hit m an without leaving any connection to yourself. execute a flatly ridiculous m aneuver. those who fall to -20 die. shrug off a m assive stunning attack. Difficult: Live sim ply but com fortably thru begging. Difficult: Dock sm oothly and gently. jury-rig or bypass m ajor system s in an em ergency. Automatic: Add your unarm ed com bat ability to your attack roll. Automatic: Have life points. run com plex sm all-scale scam s. m ake stunning attacks. navigate by the stars or ocean currents. evade an attack which should certainly have destroyed the vehicle. subm erge (in a subm ersible vehicle we hope). Legendary: Follow a spirit-beast through a trackless enchanted wilderness. Simple: Set snares or sm all traps. recognize when it would be best to seek shelter. execute a clearly im practical m aneuver or a com plex m aneuver under bad conditions. determ ine which way is north. tracking. follow a difficult trail or one which som eone’s m aking efforts to hide. resist the effects of lethal poisons. set up a hunt for a legendary beast. break iron bars or sm ash m assive doors. Simple: Locate the bad areas of town. im provise a shelter to withstand an epic storm . Automatic: Recognize the various types of water vehicles. terrain. or m ost elusive norm al anim als successfully. locate professional crim inals. and sim ilar basic functions. Simple: Tack.m ake com m on illegal purchases. stretch out properly. or execute other sim ple m aneuvers. take a m assive blow without flinching. Survival governs hunting. engage im m aterial opponents with your bare hands. building shelters. add your m artial arts skill to your Toughness by bracing for an attack. Characters who are reduced to 0 life points fall unconscious. strike creatures which are dangerous to touch without suffering injuries. Legendary: Perform com plex m aneuvers under horrendous conditions. set sail in a fraction of the norm ally-required tim e. Legendary: Run a shell gam e on a huge scale. scam a banker. ranging from rafts to ocean liners. Sim ple: Exhibit your skills with kata. follow a trail through the woods. hunt ordinary anim als under poor conditions. age at the norm al rate (rather than very quickly). Vigor governs your life points. influence the underworld on a nation-wide basis. Heroic: Resist the effects of exotic poisons. Legendary: Break an opponents weapon in battle. resist m inor irritants. recognize the sim plest scam s. Sim ply m ultiply your total score (2 + Level) by 10 to get them . read sim ple gang signs. Heroic: Follow a weeks-old trail over rocky. Automatic: Take advantage of natural cover. recognize an opponents style. set up a tent so that it will stay up for a day or so barring accidents. Water Vehicles governs the ability to operate water vehicles of all kinds. acquire m ost of the loose cash in a city. take a final action when you ought to be dead. know the basics of water behavior and navigation. Heroic: Dock during a storm . hunt the largest. plot a course in your head.

at one ability per land controlled. and the hunt in the ceaseless com petition of nature. their natural senses. anim al populations. routes. forgetful. the scale of the disturbance m atters. joy. abilities. W hile the character’s senses are usually lim ited to (num ber of forests controlled) m iles in all directions. Forests Green Mana is the surging power of life. and whether natural creatures are healthy or not. Very sm all problem s m ay not trouble the character at all – while enorm ous changes m ay be felt around the world. W hat has been is gone. and other unnatural structures in the area. 31 . ruins. On the other hand. what m ight be is not im portant. it brings forth beauty and horror in equal m easure. W hile basically friendly. the locations of powerful and unnatural creatures. They are gained in order. sources for food and water. whether or not water is pure or food toxic. there would be no living things to give m eaning to the m ultiverse. and talents m ay com e in very handy. gaining a rough m ap/description of the local terrain showing up to (# of forests) item s. Still. and health.The Landrule Attunem ent to the powers of the land offers som e lesser abilities to an adept. dam aged ecosystem s. including polluted areas. toxins. such creatures m ay be erratic. as well as a (num ber of forests controlled) bonus on all Survival checks in natural surroundings and an equal bonus on developing and directing land m anagem ent practices (usually Scholar or Harvesting). or sim ilar inform ation. As a side benefit. there is only what is. W hile Green m agic is the foundation of life and growth. sickness. Such item s m ay include notable natural resources. health. and vigor entwine with fury. he or she never becom es lost and can easily sense whether water is pure or food toxic. The basic MTG :RPG does not include abilities derived from controlling m ore than five lands of any given type since such powers are usually unique. dangerous areas. (extrem ely rough) descriptions of cities. Tongue of Gaia allows the user to spend a point of Green Mana to com m unicate with natural plants and anim als for the next (num ber of forests controlled) hours. without the power of Green Mana. Commune with Nature allows the user to spend a point of Green Mana to speak with the local spirits of nature. the unthinking prim ordial urge to be. Gam e Masters who want to include higher order powers m ay m ake them up or wait for the MTG:RPG Planewalkers expansion. and death as well as birth. or confused about the actions of other creatures and see things from their own perspectives. It finds its natural expression in the green cathedrals of the forests. polluted or corrupted areas. Landsense allows the user to sense disturbances in the natural order. where growth. To live is to know pain. Forester grants the user an intuitive understanding of the processes of nature and how to care for the land.

If the weather is not otherwise described. 2. and water. m ay be ignored freely. of instinct and passion. cost 2 points of Mana per (num ber of m ountains controlled) days. 32 . Notable. The control of tim e and space. earth. Minor. The link will rem ain open for up to (num ber of islands controlled) hours or until dism issed by either party. are all the province of Blue Mana. You still can’t produce m ethane storm s at -200 degrees on earthlike worlds however. Scrying allows the user to engage in sim ple clairvoyance/ clairaudience at ranges of up to one m ile per island the user controls. Arcane Bolt allows the user to spend one point of Red Mana to m ake a sim ple elem ental attack (the special effects are up to the user). W eathersense allows the user to predict the weather up to (num ber of islands controlled +2) days in advance. Norm ally-survivable. or creating wildly unseasonable tem peratures. The destination m ay be in any dim ension. or annoying am ounts of dust under fine weather conditions. The effect lasts for up to one hour per point of Blue Mana expended to power it. and creativity to the task of creating wonders. light rain. At its best. snow. evaluate the fertility of the earth. heavy rain. Major changes pretty m uch cover changing any kind of weather which occurs on the planet into any other kind. of will. of illusion and dream . The m ost intricate m agical effects are drawn from its depths. and frigid cold. and stone. dispelling a storm or turning a storm into a full hurricane. or slightly altering the tem perature. This does not require an attack check. Countermagic allows the user to spend two points of Blue m agic as an instinctive action to add a +(num ber of islands) bonus to a single Resist Magic roll or three points to extend that resistance to an entire Scene. Earthsense allows the user to sim ply “feel” the forces and structure of the earth. M ountains Red Mana is the power of the prim al elem ents. the frail veneer of life cannot long endure the direct touch of the prim al fury of Red Mana. and cold logic. Realmward allows the user to expend 10 life points to protect up to (num ber of m ountains) lands against any effect which would otherwise dam age them . if uncom fortable. Still. of fire. bringing art. Notable changes include creating powerful gusts of wind. high pressure. it provides the foundation of worlds.num ber of targets + 1)d6 dam age up to a m axim um of 5d6 per target. W arding allows the user to endure natural environm ental extrem es. but the sm allest possible “target” is a sizable city. The user can sense the presence of deposits of fuel. or sleet. Minor changes include creating or dispelling breezes. the power of Blue Mana can raise civilizations. 6 m axim um ) or less. m etal. This ability also provides a +(num ber of islands controlled) bonus when piloting sail-powered water vehicles or unpowered air vehicles. Only one such creature can be bound at a tim e and a m agic resistance check at DC 15 by the creature or its controller (if any) will negate this effect. It is not for nothing that the surface of the seas glints with light while its depths conceal an abyssal darkness. those sam e tools can be turned to the task of destruction. Binding allows the user to spend a point of Red Mana to try and m ystically entrap any single creature with a level of 2x (num ber of m ountains controlled. After all. Entrapped creatures are swallowed up by the earth and forced into stasis. inflicting (num ber of Mountains controlled . At its worst. but are unharm ed on their release. m ist. a storm m ay be destructive. this finds paths. toxic atm ospheres. creating unim aginable horrors. and 3 points of Blue Mana. W izard’s Link allows the user to spend a point of Blue Mana to open a com m unications link with another willing lesser m age or m agelord. and possibly in any tim e. and Major changes cost 1. and fuels the suns which warm them . and take along up to a dozen com panions. of which the user has knowledge . W hile m any m ages m ake the m istake of considering Red Mana a purely destructive force. Islands (Ocean M agic) Blue Mana is the m agic of the m ind.but the route is not guaranteed to be safe. artifice. W eathermonger allows the user to m anipulate the local weather. of m inds and m agic. locate caverns. but does allow resistance. creativity.and even that is barely enough to allow its wielders to survive the stress of channeling it. it doesn’t create them . and subzero cold. it will tend to suit the user. stone. such as lack of oxygen. Conditions which would actually cause dam age. sense dangerous terrain.Pathfinding allows the user to spend three points of Green Mana to seek out a trail which leads to a desired realm . the user does not have any fine control. conditions such as tropical rain. It em bodies the fury of raging forest fire and the endurance of m ountains . and locate the safe paths (if any) through dangerous terrain in a radius of 1000 feet per m ountain controlled. wading through lava. Unfortunately. science. W ithout it. the thousand planes would be nothing except a void. regardless of distance or dim ensional barriers. m oderating a storm . desert heat.

if basic. Most “com bat” poisons reduce the victim ’s Vigor unless he or she m akes a successful Endurance check to resist.is the foundation of new life. For a point of W hite Mana the user m ay locate a specified individual within the area or discover that they’re not there in the sam e tim e. description of the creature and m ay m ake a Scholar check with a bonus equal to the num ber of swam ps he or she controls to obtain m ore detailed inform ation. a construct. to those who fear or wish to exploit fear in others. The user is autom atically invited to the best parties. Lost ability points recover at one point per day or m ore rapidly with m agical healing. it does cost a point of W hite Mana to activate this in areas dom inated by other races or where people have never heard of you. it’s sim ply easily abused. Voice of Command allows the user to give orders which will likely be obeyed by any m inor characters who hear them unless they have a specific reason to disobey. card slots.or it does not live for long. Locate Contact allows the user to find som eone who fits a general description (such as “a skilled thief” or “a m erchant dealing in rare herbs”) in a town or city in an hour or two without cost presum ing that such an individual exists. this com es at a price. the universe would tear itself apart with its own effulgence. inviolate to the power of lesser beings. The user m ay even tow along up to (num ber of plains controlled) friends or allies. where flourishing life springs from fetid m ire. Portal Mastery allows the user to spend three points of Black Mana to open or close an existing gate. The user m ay also im bue a creature with poison if it has a way to carry it (such as poison sacs) or it happens to be undead. but do not contribute to the Landrule ability progressions.as well as trading one in for the Undead Distinction. Poisons dam age abilities. but it is not inherently evil. or have to argue idiots into doing what’s obviously necessary. the user m ust give up one levels worth of abilities. with a m axim um range equal to (num ber of plains controlled) m iles. Characters and creatures with access to Psyche m ay negate these penalties with a successful check at DC (10 + the num ber of plains the user controls). or som ething like an earth elem ental. induce sensory trouble (reducing Perception). Societies and civilizations generate. to stay as a guest. Gift of Tongues allows the user to spend a point of W hite Mana to instantly learn a language or decipher an inscription or code. W hat lives. Venomous Touch allows the user to spend a point of Black Mana to create up to (the num ber of swam ps controlled) doses of deadly poison. trap. and/or Distinctions . This is m ost easily seen in the swam ps. The user gains an accurate. The user m ay support one creature per swam p that he or she draws upon without effort or hindrance. however. and people together to create som ething greater than the parts that m ake it up. either to add to m elee attacks or to a food. W eave of Life allows the user to spend a point of Black Mana to analyze lifeform s. the unity of a m urderous band and the order of a fearsom e tyranny are just as m uch a product of W hite Mana as the oath of brotherhood of a noble band of paladins. and to enjoy the privileges of high status in any place where such things are available. He or she does. reduce magical abilities. The user will never be hindered by petty bureaucrats. See page XX. Gathering allows the user to draw sustenance directly from the long. 33 . At the sam e tim e. including any constructs which think and act independently. and therefore im m une. Don’t assum e that W hite Mana is inherently beneficial. Sw amps (Void M agic) Black Mana is the m agic of entropy – power derived from the inevitable destruction and disintegration of all things. binding beings. Gates of Death allows the user to return from the dead after being “killed. or portal or to draw a card to replace a lost card or fill a vacant slot. entropic dem ise of the universe. rather than feeding on it indirectly like all other life. Those of levels 4 to (the num ber of plains the user controls) attack at -2 power. slow. enem ies rem ain enem ies .” Unfortunately. Sadly. Black Mana appeals to the power-hungry. Exotic Lands (Unique M agics) Exotic lands contribute their special abilities and functions as usual. rift. death .and if you don’t behave like a guest not even this power will m ake people treat you like one. W ithout entropy. Radiant Presence grants the m aster of W hite Mana the aura of an overlord. or cause m any other problem s. fears death . or sim ilar item outside of com bat. W orse.in all its kindly and terrible aspects . and to those who wish to com m une with death. places. Guestright gets the user hospitality in any civilized locale (and often in uncivilized ones). W hite Mana. More exotic poisons m ay induce weakness. Such instant understanding rem ains for the next 6x (the num ber of plains controlled) hours. For a point of W hite Mana the user m ay also project his or her voice clearly to a m ighty throng or across a battlefield. reducing the tim e required just like any other card-drawing ability. Creatures of level three or less cannot attack the character. and are bound together by.Plains (Steppe M agic) W hite Mana is the power of law and unity. For a point of Black Mana per day the user can support ten creatures per swam p. who wish to share in its inevitable trium ph. gain a Toughness bonus equal to the num ber of swam ps he or she currently controls from this point on. get slow service.

are tapped by other effects. Each can cooperate in developing the cam paign. 34 For creature-on-creature com bat don’t bother rolling to hit or adjusting m odifiers. Tapping during larger Scenes when not using com bat Turns uses a few m om ents of tim e – about 6 seconds. not the whole Scene. handle events in their own specialities. “Tapping” m eans “to draw upon the resources of. One Scene m ay be com posed of m any Turns. or sim ilar abilities. It also m akes it easy to handle the perennial headache of the party splitting up and going in different directions. although any that require Tapping the card to use are only usable once per day. Psyche. Cards which have effects based on Turns act norm ally while in com bat.” Tapping a resource or creature in com bat takes a single com bat Turn. and so get abbreviated statistics and a quick-and-dirty system for handling creature-versus-creature com bat.say Movem ent for a Cheetah or Stealth for a Ninja . Creature Combat Attack Ability Dam age Life Toughness Statistics = (Total Mana Cost +2) = (Power)d6 = (Toughness) x 10 = (Toughness) Creatures Creatures are generally m ost im portant in com bat. Ability lists for each individual card will be presented in the Card expansion books. Unlike m ost RPG’s. Creatures do possess any special abilities listed on their cards. subtract Toughness. as is the ten-m inute chase which follows it. A 20-second back-alley knife fight is a Scene. Creatures don’t usually have Resist Magic. At the GM’s discretion. and apply it to their creatures’ targets while you do the sam e. just let the players roll dam age for their m onsters. if it involves com bat. where every PC and m ajor NPC acts once (see page 35). Som e tap effects m ay be played as Instant effects. and sim ilar figures should probably get full writeups like the playercharacters (or at least som e notes on their m ajor abilities). recurring NPC’s. the MTG:RPG encourages m ultiple Gam e Masters. m agic alm ost always works on them . W here the Gam e Master agrees that they should have additional abilties . and handle one side when the characters becom e involved in a Duel Arcane or Planewalkers’ Duel. Cards which self-tap under certain circum stances. Characters with appropriate Distinctions can share som e of their abilities with their creatures. som e cards m ay instead act as if Scenes were Turns for them . a character can usually tap resources easily outside of com bat. allowing each to take a break and get in som e play tim e. This can m ake them a great deal m ore effective. . Major enem ies. at the discretion of the GM. Thus.Game Structure Events run in Turns and Scenes.these can be assigned as desired or sim ply default to the creature’s (Total Mana Cost). A T urn is one full com bat round. or com e into play tapped do not require you to use a Turn. This activates the indicated effect. Scenes are m erely m ajor events. Unless they have som e special power. Their effects norm ally end with the Scene.

com pleted Enchantm ents.” and so on. Acts can take longer if the characters are on a m ulti-day watch or journey. They’re also the tim e required to replace a lost card without using a “Draw a Card” effect.Combat Turns Since MTG:RPG isn’t a wargam e as such. or about a m onth of real tim e. ! Once everyone’s done som ething. Most m ages like to keep a few protectors with delayed actions around (to get in the way of attackers). ! Each player m akes a Reaction check. Also. Once the focus of the action shifts.that’s m ore of any one color than their relevant Magic ability or m ore colorless Mana than they have spare points in their m agic abilities to hold . and has a Gam e Master to resolve any disputes. Characters who have som ehow m anaged to wind up with m ore Mana than they can safely store . Som e valid exam ples include: 1) I close with (whoever) and attack him /her/it! 2) I lean around the tree and cast a Lightning Bolt! 3) I order all of m y creatures to attack him /her/it! 4) I’m healing him /her/it (who presum ably needs it) 5) I hang back and shoot an arrow at him /her/it! 6) I hold m y action.anywhere from a few seconds to a m inute or so. finish up the accounting. Slain or destroyed Followers and other “real” item s are returned to the player’s Library (see page XX) at the end of the Scene. Com bat Turns are quite sim ple: ! If one or m ore potential com batants are unaware of potential opponents.cast a spell. The choice is up to the Gam e Master. preparing to (whatever)! 7) I try to leap over his head and stab him in the back as I com e down (“OK. Followers and Conjurations act with their controller. characters m ay do one thing .and the effects of spells and Conjuration effects . ! Tim ekeeping in MTG:RPG consists of tracking Turns. and doesn’t get to act. Characters m ay opt to delay their actions until later in the round. use one of their other abilities. Ties m ay be resolved with a second check. a Turn is long enough for everyone to take a sim ple action . such as healing them for one or m ore life or binding their wounds. Acts are the intervals between m ajor breaks in the action . Outside of com bat it really doesn’t need one. Characters who are unconscious. W hatever a character does. They usually take 3-5 gam e sessions. but m ust be relatively sim ple. anyone who fails is Surprised during the first round.norm ally a full day between rest breaks. The reaction check m ay either be m ade at the beginning of the com bat.or that the player can’t have them do som ething else . how big a risk they’ll take varies with their loyalty and philosophy. flee from com bat. the one with the lowest roll has to do SOMETHING . they m ay m ake an Awareness check. and Stories. while Conjurations protect their m asters autom atically. but -2 to attack and to your own Defense. Scenes.but they’ll try if their controller wants them to. or has decided not to act this Turn. Tapping a Mana source is considered a part of a spellcasting action. then the next highest. Turns are usually only im portant in com bat and stress situations. A character can only use one Instant effect per Turn however. Instants and Spells which have been cast. or whatever. and so on. are turned over on the table.take 1d6 points of dam age per excess point as the excess Mana flares up out of control and dissipates. and Mana source abilities norm ally refresh at the end of an act. but +2d6 dam age if you pull this one off” says the Gam e Master). special abilities. This doesn’t m ean that they’ll always succeed . it doesn’t rely so heavily on a detailed Turn structure. and the results retained throughout. usually with som e sort of clim ax or resolution at the end. If everyone opts to wait you have the good old Mexican Stand-Off. but not dead (0 to -19 Life) take an extra point of dam age after each Turn until they die or som eone does som ething to stop the process. attem pt to coordinate everyone else (especially their own creatues) by yelling a series of com m ands. and slain Conjurations. attack som eone. any available “Draw a Card” effects can be used to replace lost cards at the end of an Act. the Scene .” “The royal audience scene. or m ay be m ade each Turn. Stories are linked series of Acts. Creature. Instant cards. ! W hen it’s their Turn. ! Followers can generally be assum ed to have standing orders to protect the boss. roll as required. Followers probably won’t com m it suicide to protect you. or Artifact cards norm ally refresh at the end of a Scene. as well as slain Followers. Exhausted Enchantm ent. Instant card effects and reactive creature effects are not tied to your Turn. they may be used at any time although a DC 15 Reaction roll is required to do so if the character is surprised. depleted or broken Artifacts. other cards are considered exhausted until they refresh. 35 . The one with the highest total goes first. Scenes are best sum m arized as story segm ents “The barroom fight scene. In any case.or faint.ends. Make an Endurance check. Such actions can include a subaction or two. discussing a bit of intrigue over a form al dinner needs no Turn structure. Acts. Delayed actions m ay be used defensively or to interrupt another characters action. Exhausted Sorcery cards norm ally refresh at the end of each Turn. just in case.

! Unless one side is waiting in am bush. square grid. two levels if falling into a suitable cushioning area). ! If they m ove but stay on guard. what if. and gets a +5 bonus to it’s defense. and it’s why you need a game master. m ost gam ers are m ore com fortable with som e sort of m ap. having a pile of stones or concrete blocks fall on you. searing desert heat. Being covered in hot tar. they can m ove three tim es their Movem ent rank in squares. we’ve provided some guidelines for handling the more common special card abilities under. exposure to vacuum . The Black Plague. Anything which gets off the m ap is at long range. Still. being caught in a tidal wave. of freeform m ap. sliding down a slope on your feet is Heroic. falling from a tall tree. falling at least ten feet (reduce falling dam age one level if falling into water. or breathing chlorine gas.. crushed beneath tons of rubble. ! Figurines of som e sort m ake the best m arkers. being swarm ed by bees (also inflicts one level of deadly poison). Breathing som ewhat corrosive or other slowly-lethal atm ospheres. ! Each character can m ove a num ber of squares. falling a couple of hundred feet. 36 . being pinned beneath a porticullis. Turn: Other sources of Damage There are m any ways for character’s to get hurt over and above being attacked. being a m agical being in an area without m agic.Movement and Position W hile com bat can be entirely description-based. explosive decom pression from one atm osphere to vacuum . breathing Mustard Gas. For this. use: 1d6 per Event: Scene: Act Crashing a jet plane at speed. severe dust storm s. Breathing grossly polluted atm ospheres. running over broken glass or blades with bare feet. we’re not throwing you off the deep end here. Moving through the heart of a raging forest fire. running through an area that’s being sprayed with m achine-gun bullets. That’s because things are a lot more com plicated. hexes. they can m ore twice their Movem ent rank in squares. Anything a long ways off the m ap is at extrem e range. or inches equal to his or her Movem ent rank and still do som ething else. Anything further away than that is gone. Many cards work a little differently in MTG:RPG. exposed to a driven hail of broken glass. or inches each turn. being naked and exposed to an arctic blizzard at -80 degrees windchill. swim m ing in liquid air. dehydration and/or starvation. falling a couple of floors. Turn: Scene: Act Being hit with a gallon or two of boiling water. ! Range on the m ap is m ore or less irrelevant. So flying creatures can’t be blocked? W hat if I’m in a cave and I plug up the entrance with a wall or large creature? W hat if there’s a raging storm blowing and nothing can fly? W hat if it’s diving for me and I simply roll under the Mammoth? W hat if the flying thing W ANTS to close with the ground-bound monster? W hat if. Card-based m agic is norm ally line-of-sight. encounters norm ally start when those involved m ove onto the sam e m ap and Perception checks are m ade. what if. being on fire. Anything no norm al person could possibly survive. ! If the character is trying to change elevation in com bat while fighting he or she will have to m ake a Movem ent check. 4d6 per Event: Turn: Scene: Act 8d6 per Event: Contact with a high voltage power line. Blizzard conditions.. Jum ping or clim bing a few feet is Sim ple. being hurled into a pile of sharp objects. 2d6 per Event: Turn: Scene: Act Being thrown from a horse without m aking a Difficult Athletics check. hexes. trying to fight while swinging from a vine is Legendary. Regardless of whether you’re using a hex grid.. Choking sm oke. If they choose to m ove this fast hostile characters they pass m ay m ake a Difficult Reaction check to try and get in a free attack on them . the rules for m ovem ent are pretty sim ple. Being tortured or slowly im paled. being struck by natural lightning while grounded.. Drowning. hexes. W ading through m agm a or soaking in a blast furnace. being hit by an avalanche. Horrific supernatural afflictions. re-entering the atm osphere without protection. having a building fall on you. or inches. having the bends. ! If they do nothing else. ! Hedge Magic works out to long range. Freedom of action is one of the things that defines a role-playing game. exposure to m ilitary nerve gases. being attacked by arm y ants. Clim bing a flight of steps or scram bling up a brief slope is Difficult. sandstorm s. Cholera and sim ilar debilitating diseases. and gains a +2 to it’s Defense. In m ost cases the only real questions are how m uch and how fast. Contact with a Bonfire.

Conjured item s. Buyback: Paying the buyback cost bypasses the usual refresh tim e. or Enchantm ents. this has only half effect. Such cards should be returned to the player’s Library after the gam e session.gain one counter per week. Basic Land: Forest (Green M ana). Attuning yourself to a land requires reaching it’s m ystical center and m editating there for a tim e. Equip: Perm anent artifacts can be used by their owner or delegated to his or her creatures without paying the Equip cost. Cycling: You m ay pay the Cycling cost and exhaust this card to refresh any other card. rather than as an attacker m ight desire. m ost epic spells are very expensive. or perm anent Item s assigned to other people’s creatures or other player characters require the norm al cost to Equip. They m ay be used again after an appropriate interval. Popular exam ples include Magic: The Gathering.” other characters m ay take an action to contribute Mana towards its casting cost. Uncontrolled creatures are returned to the Library. not one per Turn. Affinity: Since players get to build their own hands in MTG:RPG.usually 2 points . usually of the target’s choice. Island (Blue Mana. but otherwise operate norm ally. translating to 1d6+1 per point. and the VS system . This is rarely worthwhile without the rapid Mana recovery that occurs in a Planewalker’s Duel. Damage: Dam age is persistent in MTG:RPG. and anything sim ilar. although any copied objects are subject to the sam e restrictions as the originals are. W hile the creature rem ains under the control of its “owner. the tim e between two rest periods. W hite Mana). The tim e required to refresh an Instant card or to replace a destroyed card using a “Draw a Card” effect. perm anently broken artifacts. Amplify: Since MTG:RPG characters can select what’s in their hand the effect of Am plify is halved: it takes two additional cards of the sam e type to trigger it. Ocean Magic). and are subject to the sam e m axim um of five. If derived from perm anent creatures.lands which build up a reserve of Mana tokens . If this is too m uch trouble.k. they are perm anent . as usual. Dredge: You m ay exhaust the indicated num ber of cards to either im m ediately ready this card for use again (spells and conjurations) or to heal any dam age inflicted on a Follower provided that it’s still alive. which m ay push it beyond the control lim its im posed by the characters abilities. each point of Power equates to 1d6 dam age in MTG:RPG. Discard Effects: These norm ally sim ply exhaust the appropriate num ber of cards. As a rule. and any counters on them are lost. Most Conjurations persist for a m axim um of one Scene or until dispelled som ehow but Enchantm ents m ay last for considerably longer periods. Conjuration: The m agically-created m anifestation of a Card from a player’s hand. Mountain (Red Mana). Exhausted: Cards which are used for m agical effects and would norm ally be discarded. Counters which accum ulate from Turn to Turn are generally subject to a m axim um of five. Entwine: This operates norm ally. it can use one of its attacks against the attacker before the attacker strikes. and Swam p (Black Mana. Fading 3 or 4 on a 1-2. but either of the players involved can pay it. Doublestrike: The creature m ay m ake attack twice during a Turn. Plain (a. Steppes. Convoke: Each additional m age who takes an action to assist in the casting of this spell or the conjuring of this m onster reduces the Mana cost by one Mana of any color he or she has available. . Once a creature or other item is dam aged it rem ains so until it is repaired or recovers naturally.but each two perm anent beneficial counters on a card raise its effective level by 1. The assisting m ages do not actually have to spend any Mana. Banding: Creatures in a band m ay distribute dam age am ong them selves as their controller desires. the character will have to find replacem ent cards to fill those slots. becom e Exhausted after use. and Fading 5+ on a 1. but all of them share equally in any defensive or healing benefits of the spell. Bushido: This acts as levels of the Arm sm an Distinction. Accum ulative Lands . he or she is not hauling such a fortification around! Destroyed: Destroyed cards include slain perm anent followers. along with m agically sum m oned perm anents. Fading: This creature can only be a Conjuration. Defender: Anything with Defender either won’t attack or can’t m ove (ask the Gam e M aster if there’s any question). Counters: If derived from spells. counters fade with the m agic that created them . However. Basic Land Cards are generally presum ed to represent substantial chunks of territory. Echo: These creatures can only be Conjurations and m ust be paid for twice. Copying Objects: This works norm ally. Epic: Epic spells com e to an end at the end of the current Scene. few MTG:RPG characters can handle spells of that level. In general. 37 Rem em ber that that lands with a lot of accum ulated Mana becom e very tem pting targets for takeovers by other Magelords.a. CCG: Collectible Card Gam e. Anything which can’t m ove is norm ally only taken as a Conjuration.k. Mana-based card attacks are slightly m ore effective. although a character with the W arlord Distinction m ay opt to give each garrison a perm anent wall.a. A character who is actually at the center can draw twice the norm al Mana . Cumulative Upkeep: See Upkeep. If it’s attacked during a Turn and has not yet attacked. Yu-Gi-Oh. The cycled card rem ains exhausted until the card it was used to refresh would norm ally do so. a. Conjurations.from a land each day. There is a chance of it disappearing each Turn: Roll 1d6: Fading 2 disappears on a 1-3. also known as Void Magic).Keywords and Definitions Act: Generally about a day.

provided only that he. play the Haunt effect and exhaust this card norm ally. Creatures with Landwalk can be spotted with a DC 18 Perception check or with Magesight if they’re Conjurations. can be used from there.”). or it is awake and aware of the upcom ing attack. Flying: This creature can fly. cards are sem iperm anent character attributes. a m age who’s actually at them can draw on them for two points of Mana per day. Instants. but m ay use ranged attacks or other m eans norm ally. If m ultiple creatures with Flanking are involved this reaches a lim it of +4d6.” Hand: For the purposes of MTG:RPG your “hand” consists of all the cards associated with your character which aren’t currently in play. In general. Flashback: This Conjuration or spell m ay be played again before its refresh period is up for the indicated cost. if a Flip card leaves play. Horsemanship: Creatures with horsem anship gain a +2 bonus on their Movem ent abilities as long as using a m ount is practical. Sorceries. or otherwise incapacitated. Flying is useful in m any noncom bat situations as well. and aren’t usually discarded. Imprint: Cards that Im print other cards operate norm ally but take up two card slots once the other card 38 is im printed. Followers with Haste gain an extra attack during the first Turn. They’re m ost often claim ed by Lesser Magi who want to set up a business without being beholden to a Magelord for Mana. thus breaking its link with m ages of any kind. she. Only Artifact and Black creatures will engage it in m elee voluntarily. After its played in this fashion return it the owners library. All other creatures are at -2 power if forced to do so. Flanking: Creatures with Flanking grant any other creatures who are fighting the sam e opponent a +2d6 bonus on the dam age they inflict. lost. Followers and perm anent artifacts can be Destroyed. Mystic Node/W ell: These natural Mana flows m ay be tapped (via Mana Tapping) to power m agic. They can’t be sacrificed or destroyed except as determ ined by the Gam e Master (“you m ust take the Ring to Mount Copyright. Note that these are distinct from the Leyline cards. Hunted.. It’s norm ally only used when you’re creating or upgrading a character. Planewalkers are another m atter. or destroyed. where it was Tradem arked long ago. but quite appropriate. In general. Library: In MTG:RPG your “library” consists of every m agic card you own that isn’t currently in use. but any global effects only apply to the user. and there. Graveyard: MTG:RPG doesn’t have a “Graveyard” as such. or when you’ve used a card which allows you to either search or draw to fill a vacant slot. W hile it is possible to gain life points above your usual m axim um . Interrupt: An old term for an “Instant” card. Flip: This operates norm ally. W hile they’re too unstable to be tapped or linked to at range. a Magelord’s link isn’t strong enough to create too m any side effects. destroyed item s. in which case they’re returned to the Library until the character gains a new card to replace them . Mana Burn only occurs if they exceed their storage lim its at the end of any given Turn. such extra points fade away at the end of the Scene. Level: Total or Converted Mana Cost. Landwalk: This creature can conceal itself nearperfectly in the indicated environm ent even while m oving if it can get out of line of sight for a few m om ents. it returns unflipped. Mana Production: Mana production effects are norm ally once-per-day affairs. and other Mana . repairs them . Indestructible: Things with this property don’t take dam age. Lands. Kicker: Operates norm ally. when you’re replacing lost cards. Fear. Followers: Creatures associated with a character who actually exist. W hen that creature is destroyed. and all cards waiting to be refreshed are considered to be “in the Graveyard. the value of an Ability. Game Master: The person running the gam e. exhausted. or raises them from the dead. Haunt: W hen this card is “destroyed” tuck it under another creature card. Mana Fountain. each point of life point gain or loss listed on a card is read as 1d6 or 1d6+1 for spells. First Strike: The creature gets a free attack as an opponent closes. If taken on a Follower new hunter creatures will show up periodically even if you killed the last batch. Life Points: A m easure of how m uch dam age a creature or character can take. How far the destruction and side effects extend beyond that is up to the Gam e Master.. such sources only contain a total of 4d6 Mana and restore them selves at 1d6 points per day. Land Destruction: “Destroying” a land definitely involves blasting its m ystical center. Alternatively. the character m ust replace it like any other lost card. For the purposes of cards which restore cards from the Graveyard. This m akes it hard to catch and lets it swoop down on unsheltered targets although anyone nearby m ay attack it as it attacks. but can be left behind. or depend on the num ber of cards there. If one side of a Flip card is legendary the usual Legend rules apply. and therefore don’t cost Mana unless they have an upkeep cost or activated ability. Madness: This card m ay be invoked or activated at its M adness cost if the user also expends 1d6 Life doing so. and conjured Creatures can be reused after enough tim e has passed to refresh them . W orks norm ally as a Conjuration. As usual. Leyline (Card): These cards are in effect unless countered. Lesser Magi don’t have a strong enough link to do anything but break it without affecting the land.use the standard counter system . Haste: Conjured creatures m ay attack on the sam e Turn in which they were sum m oned. Mana Burn: Since MTG:RPG characters can store a certain am ount of Mana on a long-term basis. This creature radiates terror (and has no social life). Ley Line. slain followers. sent away. Creatures which are not spotted m ay appear and strike with autom atic surprise. Sadly. This does not count as its action. Player Characters m ay m ake a Resist Magic check to negate the effect or engage at -2 power.

They can only be harm ed by spells and light-based attacks.lands which build up a reserve of Mana tokens . and are subject to the sam e m axim um of five. Scene: One battle. Thus weak m ulticolored cards are easy to acquire. Sacrifice: Real creatures object to being sacrificed and are considered destroyed if they are. entire continents should be buried under squirrels and there should be artifact creatures running around at +10. Probably a redundant entry for anyone buying a RPG. Conjurations of any kind CANNOT supply M ana.000/+10. but cannot return them from death after the end of the current Scene. Characters and creatures recover from poison at 1 ability point or 10 life points per day. Ram page: Creatures with Ram page can strike at each creature engaged in m elee with them with a single attack. you can swap them back later. Power can be boosted by various abilities. Conjurations can be sacrificed and resum m oned after the usual refresh period. Accum ulative Lands . Power: A character or creature’s basic ability to inflict dam age. Unless you’re fighting a Planewalker they’re only really useful as scouts and spies. Return to Hand: This has no effect on followers or real item s. Ninjutsu: You m ay exchange this creature with another creature of the sam e nature (Conjuration or Follower) at any tim e by paying the Ninjutsu cost. The tim e required to refresh an Enchantm ent. Each point of Power equates to 1d6 points of Dam age. which it did every other Turn. Yes. and m agical effects. Optionally. hence the limitation.gain one counter per week. Distinctions. Enchantm ents. Phasing: Creatures with Phasing m ay expend 5 Life to avoid the effects of any single ranged attack or m ultitarget m agical effect or to pass through walls or up to ten feet of solid m atter. Ocean Magic: Another nam e for Island m agic. Since combat may continue for several Turns in MTG:RPG this would make tough phasing creatures nearly unkillable. Presum ably Islands are sim ply the places where Ocean Mana foci can be tapped m ost easily. Morph: This ability is a boon for follower-creatures. Shadow: Shadow creatures exist m ostly in other planes of existence. although the card will once again be ready for use (although few m agi in MTG:RPG have enough Mana for m uch of that). Cards acquired through Dynam ic Magic (see page 43) are returned to their owner’s Library.sources. the MTG:RPG is open-ended. albeit at -1 power. They are im m aterial and can only harm things which exist in m ultiple dim ensions. Since you’re generally not hiding anything in MTG:RPG you don’t have to bother turning the card upside down. including while you’re in the m iddle of casting a spell. but som eone who’s actually at the m ystic center of a land when they tap it gets two points instead. NPC: A non-player character with a personality and nam e of his or her own run by the Gam e Master. but can be overcom e with a DC 18 Resist Magic check if a character is extending that ability to his or her creatures. the tim e spent exploring a crypt. Offering: Operates norm ally. but higher-cost ones require high ratings in all of the relevant abilities. Lands norm ally supply one point of Mana per day. all of which are equally applicable to creatures. item s. but the character’s link with them will be disrupted for the rest of the day. Lands are basically unaffected. Creature. Conjurations. Remove from the Game: Cards belonging to a character becom e Exhausted and refresh one level m ore slowly unless som e other return condition is specified. Scry: W henever a Scry effect com es into play the Gam e Master should provide the player with som e useful bit of inform ation about the environm ent or an opponent. the Gam e Master m ay rule that a Phased creature can interact with a Shadow creature. NPC’s. and other tem porary effects are dispelled. such as Planewalkers and other creatures with Shadow. Modular: Modular creatures can only be Conjurations. Their controller m ay pay their regeneration cost to fully heal them at any tim e. RPG: Role-Playing Gam e. Regenerate: Creatures with this quality recover all dam age between Acts (except for Life burnt off to power m agic) autom atically. Poisoned Creatures lose 10 life. Another one that anyone buying this gam e probably already knows. Poison: W hile poison can cause various ability penalties in MTG:RPG. not one per Turn.like all other counters or item s that com e with Conjurations disappear at the end of the Scene. hence modifications are necessary. If counters and tokens could accumulate indefinitely. just set a note or innocuous m iniature on it. since it allows them to take a m ore-or-less innocuous form . Creatures and spells which can convert Mana from one color to another can only do so once per day. although they can store it. The original rules for Phasing called for eliminating all damage dealt to a phasing creature when it phased out. Unlike MTG:CCG. Player Characters m ay resist with a DC 15 Psyche check. Rem em ber that lands with a lot of accum ulated Mana becom e very tem pting targets for takeovers by other Magelords.000. and characters. Multicolored Cards: Characters who want to control m ulticolored cards m ust have sufficient skill in each color involved to control a card of the appropriate level. or another connected series of action sequences. however Followers generally object to being used as an Offering. the +1/+1 counters they produce will . The setting material doesn’t seem to support this. standard creature poisons 39 reduce the Vigor ability by 1 per dose adm inistered unless the character can m ake a DC 15 Endurance check. or Artifact card. . Provoke: This ability allows the creature to force a chosen target to m ove into m elee com bat with it. can be tapped as needed. Protection: Protection operates norm ally in m ost cases. Both this creature and the target get a free attack on each other as they close.

and so have no purpose in basic MTG:CCG gam es. Technology Card: Technology cards are generally either drawn from other gam es with the perm ission of the Gam e Master or are unique to M TG :RPG. They norm ally deal with the setting. and any Instants or Sorceries require them each Scene. Lands. Splice: Splice operates norm ally. the card m ust be discarded at the end of the Scene and the original. usually spanning 3-5 sessions of play or about a m onth of real tim e. rather than with other players and opponents. hence cards in your hand with Splice can be used over and over again unless used on their own. Void: OK. The rest of the world is unaffected. Story: A connected series of acts. finds a way around it. Upkeep: Cards that require periodic paym ents of som e type require them at varying frequencies. The Gam e Master m ay allow this creature to be blocked depending on its m ethods. Magelord. Artifact Creatures. Toughness: Essentially a creature’s Vigor ability rating. Transmute: Paying the Transm ute cost allows the user to take a card from his or her library and put it into his or her hand. Also the tim e required to refresh a Sorcery card. Landwalk. If they’re in com bat. Tap to (X): Cards which can be “tapped” to produce a special effect can norm ally do so once per day. Exam ples include Ships that allow rapid travel between locations. They can also attack and then act defensively or use a special ability later in the sam e Turn. The whatever-itis that keeps a Conjured creature from acting during the Turn in which it was sum m oned. or Bugs used to listen in on NPC conversations. In MTG:CCG a Turn can usually be assum ed to represent hours or days: this is quite unworkable in a role-playing gam e. W o r l d : W o r l d Enchantm ents affect the party and an y cu rrent opponents. transm uted. Toughness can be m odified in a variety of ways through cards and other abilities. “Swam p” m agic just didn’t sound good. “Killing” a wall tears a big enough hole in it for one creature at a tim e. Unblockable: This creature cannot be physically attacked by any creature other than the one it’s currently attacking. Threshold: This operates norm ally. In general. Storm: Spells with Storm take effect once for each Lesser Mage. but once som ething brings down a section of a wall. m ore often about six seconds). Steppe: Another word for “Plains”.Soulshift: If a creature with Soulshift is a Conjuration you m ay refresh any creature Conjuration card or com bination of creature Conjuration cards of the appropriate cost or less. 40 . card will take a full Act to refresh. Tokens: Tokens count as cards of the appropriate type and do apply against the card lim its im posed by the character’s abilities. If the creature with Soulshift is a Follower you m ay revive any other slain Follower of the appropriate level or less. or Planewalker character who participates in the casting by using their action in the Turn of casting to assist the user. The tim e required to replace a Destroyed card unless the character uses a “Draw a Card” effect. and norm al Artifacts require them each Act. and so can be held over between scenes if desired. Cyberdecks that m ake it easier to hack com puters. Turn: A full round of com bat. Trample: If this creature does enough dam age to kill its first opponent it m ay attack a second tim e in one Turn. Sunburst: Discount the first two colors of Mana used to bring a card with Sunburst into play. and is always considered alert and ready for com bat. Sunburst has to be toned down a bit to maintain game balance. W all: W alls are walls. it’s no longer any help. Enchantm ents. W hether it’s used or not. you can hide as m any other creatures behind them as you like. or scales it. Vigilance: This creature is never surprised. QV. during which everyone involved gets to act once (usually a m inute or so at the very m ost. Since any mageling in MTG:RPG will probably have several types of Mana available. Creatures. they m ust norm ally expend their action to do so. Summoning Sickness: (Unofficial).

Survivor. Sam urai. Being. Devouring-Deep. Sham an. The-Biggest-BaddestNastiest-Scariest-Creature-You’ll-Ever-See. W olverine-Pack. Gargoyle. W olverine. Orb. You m ay need the crystal key of Darvinox to open the door of his ancient crypt. Sponge. Mum m y. some advice on running the game. Rock-Sled. Snake. S p r ite . El-Hajjaj. Artificer (Constructs): Assem bly-W orker. Rabbit. Chicken. Kobold. Squire. Townsfolk. Licid. Basilisk. Drake. Ape. Viper. Constable. Crocodile. Hom arid. Entity.will have to await the expansion books. Kelp. Mystic. Illusion. Fungus. Ship. Mum m y. Elder. Oyster. Starfish. Lhurgoyf. Sheep. Bear. M anticore. Designer. Pikem en. Tactician. Frog. Kavu. Hum an. Inquisitor. Twin. Marid. Mistfolk. Soldier. Rogue. Hag. Scout. Dragonfly. Bringer. Sliver. Incarnation. Ferret. Tracker. Avatar. Caravan. Fox. Cobra. Merchant. Berserker. Spawn. Elem ental. Tortoise. Cavalry. Barbarian. the GM should adjudicate these cards on a case-by-case basis or refer to a creature manual. Satyr. Flagbearer. Brother. W olf. and Zubera. Eater. Bandit. Peacekeeper. Serpent. Eel. S p irit. Brownie. Gam er. Drill-Sergeant. Paladin. Archaeologist. Fallen. Titan. W asp. Hipparion. and Zom bie. Dandan. Rebel. Maiden. Dem on. M edusa. Centaur. Preacher. Lem ure. Orc. Frostbeast. Speaker. Flying-Men. W urm . Pentavite.. Asp. W all. Phelddagrif. Equipment Equipm ent norm ally isn’t a big topic in MTG:RPG. W arrior. W olves-of-the-Hunt. Knight. Taskm aster. Scorpion. Butterfly. Sm ith. Slith. Lichenthrope. Narwhal.Running the Worlds And finally. Pony. Thopter. Unicorn. Thrull. Ooze. W ar-Rider. Bureaucrat. Avenger. Clam folk. Elf. R e fle c tio n . Rhino. Minotaur. Gorgon. Mutant. Jackal. Vam pire. Dog. Sand. You m ay have to do without them briefly if you’re thrown into jail or are presented at the king’s court. Elephant. Leadership (Minions): Advisor. Uncle-Istvan. Moonfolk. but you’ll certainly have them back for the next storyline. Aboroth.” they’re basically character attributes . Ant. W ight. W itch. Salam ander. They’re good for keeping the party running around. Magical artifacts are handled by cards. Deserter. Sindbad. King. Murk-Dwellers. Nightm are. Mercenary. Erne. Cave-People. Nightstalker. Monk. W hale. Mim e. Egg. Pest. Gatekeeper. Horse. Plant. Nam eless-Race. Kraken. Nom ad. Fungusaur. Swarm . Carnivore.and characters can replace them without too m uch trouble. Lam m asu. Poltergeist. Efreet. Spider. Cockatrice. “Token” or “Quest Item s” are the province of the Gam e Master and norm ally only function as plot devices. Monster. Classifying Creatures Over the years MTG has accum ulated a bewildering variety of creature types. Assassin. Leper. Lord. P h o e n ix . here are som e general guidelines for which lim iting skill the various types fall under. Gus. Teddy. if you have the Arm sm an Distinction you’re assum ed to have the arm or and weapons you’ve practiced with. Infernal-Denizen. but it doesn’t really do anything as far as gam e m echanics is concerned. Monger. Keeper. Octopus. Phantasm . Squirrel. Hippo. Ghoul. Mold-Dem on. Pegasus. Spellshaper. W retched. Hyena. Jellyfish. Am bush-Party. W hile cards can be exhausted or “destroyed. Cam arid. Goblin. Mist. Aladdin. Hydra. Cheetah. Necrosavant. Shark. Insect. Most "minions" are either Aberrations or Minions. Leech. W aiter. Caribou. Poison-Snake. S h a d e . Master. Goat. Pirate. Hornet. Dinosaur. Enchantress. Troll. Bird. Saproling. Merfolk. Fish. Exorcist. Ouphe. F ien d. W irefly. Child. Shapeshifter. W arthog. Griffin. Villain. Mage. Turtle. Bee. Avizoa. Undead. Sorceress. W alking-Dead. Mam m oth. Volver. Dragon. Niall-Silvain. Island-Fish. Sister. Ali-from -Cairo. Spike. and W izard. Ali-Baba. Dwarf. W ildebeest. W om bat. Strider. Archon. Yeti. Mindsucker. Beast. Vulture. Kithkin. Ball-Lightning. Im p. Noble. Banshee. Vedalken. Spy. Toad. Farm er. Mundane weapons and arm or are handled by the various com bat Distinctions. Expansion-Sym bol. Druid. Orgg. Artificer. Gypsy. Pyknite. Barishi. Thief. Cephalid. Boar. Crab. Roc. Lady-of-Proper-Etiquette. Antelope. Bat. Legionnaire. Gaea’s-Liege. Hero. G host. Tiger. Citizen. Heretic. Treefolk. Hunter. Guardian. Ranger. Sage. Leviathan. Spuzzem . Grem lin. Cat. Rat. Specter. but they only represent interm ediate steps towards som e m ore m eaningful goal. Crusader. Ox. Horsem an. Sham anism (Spirits): Angel. Lizard. Serf. Brushwagg. Cam el. Donkey. W hippoorwill. Drone. Blinkm oth. Kirin. Scavenger. Dryad. Lurker. People-ofthe-W oods. Prism . Paratrooper. Bull. Carriage. Aurochs. Cleric. W hile com plete breakdowns along with special abilities and other notes . Tarpan. Ninja. The "minion" creature type in Magic: The Gathering CCG varies wildly. Chim era. Raider. Lion. 41 . Devil. Singing-Tree. Doppelganger. Lycanthrope. Stangg-Twin. and W orm . Faerie. Viashino. Carrier. Alchem ist. Beast Mastery (Beasts): Albatross. Golem . Tetravite. Skeleton. Mongoose. Aberration (Monsters): Abom ination. Ogre. Pig. Harlequin. Sphinx. Hound. General. Archer. W iitigo. Bodyguard. Alligator. Dervish. Atog. W raith. Giant. Gaea’s-Avenger. Robber. Beeble. Miracle-W orker. Martyr. Gnom e. Horror. Mob.. Essence. Effigy. Priest. Badger. Penguin. Dreadnought. Djinn. Graveborn. Cow. Pixie-Queen. Slug. Thunderm are. Shyft.

there are m any possible solutions. 80. don’t bother to present a problem . Conjurations only exist when sum m oned.m aking them unavailable when needed. pretty m uch any reasonablesounding solution will probably work. your resources are lim ited and are depleting instead of building up. you’re only dealing with other players. and . you have no ropes or clim bing equipm ent. abbeys. dens. Unless it’s going to be dram atic and entertaining. dam age carries over. you have to worry about saving resources for future conflicts or em ergencies. After all. if only because investing a few ability points in the (Color) Magic abilities is a cheap way to store Mana. and they cost Mana . and you’re generally not fighting other players. Sim ilarly. pretty m uch elim inates any notion of stealth or concealing your identity. and so on . In MTG:RPG you start off with all the Mana you’re going to have for the battle and your full selection of Cards . and if they’re “killed” you can sim ply sum m on them again for the next battle.and any of which will present their own problem s. Quite a few individual creatures. In MTG:CCG you start off with a lim ited selection of cards. and are im m ediately available.and no concern for the next battle or the environm ent. You don’t have to worry about food and supplies for them .Minor item s . No authority or other m age will put up with a horde of m onsters in their presence. the ability to do as m any things as you can m anage on your Turn . the desert riders’ cam els will never be able to cross. On the other hand. m akes a reasonable package. Just how big is a “Forest” or an “Island” anyway? A thousand m iles across? A hundred? Ten? One? A sm all grove or am outcropping of rock in a river? How m uch Mana can a village of 500 elves yield per “Turn”? A point? 50 points? 500 points? How long is a “Turn” anyway? W eeks? Days? Hours? Minutes? Seconds? You could m ake a case for any of them .every other NPC will be a Mana-user of som e sort and the entire world probably runs on it. Safety lies on the far side.in MTG:CCGspeed counts for a lot. you’ve actually got to find and recruit a replacem ent.but you can only do one thing in a Turn. W hy bother to com pete for som ething as com m on as the air? Alternatively. and orchards can all be tapped for Mana. com m on m ounts.500 points every six second Turn . and no gam e needs that. trading posts. such as Viridian Acolyte. can be tapped for Mana. Since you were stripped of your gear. or hundreds of cards.food. You’re unprepared. and often won’t even be allowed. but you have im m ense resources to draw upon . A group of Fyndhorn elves of unspecified . Not only do you have to worry about food. W orse. W hat will you do?” W ill they clim b on pure skill and risk falling and the possibility of having to deal with m issile fire while dangling from a cliff? W ill the group Elem entalist shape the stone into a (narrow and perilous) bridge and then hold it against the enem y? W ill the Beastm aster call up a m ighty wyrm and bind it long enough for it to help the group cross? Like m ost good RPG problem s. any of which m ight work . you do need a few m om ents to sum m on them .60. The only tim e they’re not is when the Gam e Master is setting up a scene . the com plete opposite of those in MTG:CCG. They m ay even argue with you.and that’s a strictly lim ited resource. powered sum m oning for larger battles where you don’t care about conservation. they don’t usually show m uch independent intelligence. the next battle is a clean start and there are no NPC’s or external environm ent to worry about. Episodic battles m ake good card and strategic gam es. writing paper. and support for followers. but you’ll often have to leave them behind . springs. lodging. they pursue you to the edge of a m ighty chasm . usually aren’t too m uch trouble. You’re dealing with m onsters and NPC’s in hopes of future advancem ent.for exam ple: “After your escape from the desert nom ads. in m any ways. both because there’s not m uch point in playing a m inor variation of rules you’re already throughly fam iliar with and because RPG’s need lim ited resources . being followed around by a collection of creatures m akes you unwelcom e in cities. the environm ent and NPC’s m atter. or having them get into random argum ents. they’re m uch faster. tents.otherwise there’s nothing to strive for .are norm ally assum ed to be available. such as druids. MTG:CCG leans towards single and dualcolor decks. but poor RPGs.and continuity. Townships. On the other hand. don’t cost Mana. Trivia is nothing but boring filler. Strategic Choices The choice between Followers and Conjurations can be difficult. and a high42 Mana Levels Mana abundance is a m ajor background question in MTG:RPG. if one of them ’s killed. one can assum e that it takes lengthy . rope. no Mana and nothing ready (although both build up over tim e).but probably sm all size can be tapped for Mana. The strategic options of MTG:RPG are. In a world of m agic there are hundreds of ways to com pensate for the lack of any specific bit of m undane gear. a couple of low-cost Conjurations (hopefully with som e handy special abilities) for m inor battles when you need to conserve Mana. A com prom ise is usually best: a few m ore-or-less norm al Followers. as can m any other elves. upsetting the locals. This is intentional. Followers are som ewhat tougher. If you m ust m ention a trivial problem . If any elven ham let can yield seven m illion points of Mana a day . In MTG :RPG m agi usually start out with several different colors available.

Ergo m ost kingdom s are reasonably stable. m aking personal m agic a very lim ited source of power. It’s generally believed that this is version of a Planewalker’s ability to draw external forces partially into their own battle-realm . W ith Dynam ic Magic a character can use “draw a card” effects to draw a card from their own. It m ay then be built up like any other ability which the user possesses.and m ost of them won’t be able to obtain m ore than one point a day. lim ited by operating on a pre-existing plane. Dynamic Magic (Optional) Dynamic Magic. deck up to a total num ber of cards in-hand equal to the rank of their Dynam ic Magic ability. the m axim um level of those cards is also equal to the character’s Dynam ic Magic ability rank. Each Gam e Master is free to m odify these base assum ptions .but aren’t powerful enough to do so with im punity. Dynam ic Magic is still subject to the effects of the various lim iting abilities and cannot provide Mana save by draining it from som e other source. and any that do will probably reserve Mana for the m ost desperate situations. A lot would be underwater if the planet does resem ble earth). but at its end they m ust be returned to the deck. since only one Magelord or Planewalker can control a land at a tim e. then where is all that knowledge com ing from ? W ho’s loaning it to them .and intensive training for creatures to learn to draw on their own Mana consciously. It’ll take about 10 ability points and a Distinction. W hat is a dynam ic m age actually doing? The quasireality of a Planewalkers Duel is fairly well understood but if Dynam ic Magi are doing the sam e thing within a norm al plane. and why? W hat price are they paying? W hy is it quasi-random ? Secondarily. it m eans that Mana-wielders will be vanishingly rare . However. it’s a recipe for catastrophe. but the process isn’t fully understood.000 Mana points per day (presum ing an earth-sized world. Magelords can influence the prosperity and power of kingdom s . Unlike a Planewalker’s abilities. Lands are presum ed to represent natural m ystical nexi separated by 15-30 m iles and only yield one point of Mana per day to any individual m age . m aking control of nexi well worth struggling over. Dynam ic Magic should be considered carefully before it’s allowed into a gam e. If they’re not. they have a personal m otive for such struggles. Since they can lock out the lesser m agi at will. personal. There won’t be any m ageacadem ies. that the Mana of Creatures requires com plex techniques or the raw power of a Planewalker to tap.but num erous lesser m agi m ay attune them selves to them . allowing m agic to be a notable part of everyday life. Such cards m ay be played norm ally within a Scene. and enough Mana Tapping to build up your reserves. they’re blowing holes in the universe. on the gam e-m echanics side. W hile this still gives a planetary capacity of better than 30. 43 . The basic assum ptions of the MTG:RPG are a com prom ise. As usual. Sim ply pick up a point or two in each m agic ability. it’s a relatively cheap way to becom e a fairly powerful and versatile m age. strongly supported by lesser m agi. Creatures are presum ed to draw personal m agic from burning Life points via Lifewreaking. This exotic Distinction opens up the Dynam ic Magic ability to its possessor. the vast m ajority of potential m agi will never receive any training. and that any given source can only yield one point per day in total. that natural Mana sources are separated by forty or fifty m iles. and both wary and respectful of the Magelords and Planewalkers. but it will give you a pocketful of m ajor spells to draw on when the situation calls for it.but should rem em ber that each choice will affect the world background. a f e w p o in t s in Dynam ic Magic. and providing a reason why the Magelords and Planewalkers don’t m onopolize the Mana.

Scholar 0. look at all my magic clocks. Engineering 4. Stealth 5. Role (Heavenly Spirit). while the Yotian Soldier uses its excellent defenses to guard the character. Evasion 5. Healing 5. Guardian Angels are more than prepared to boss their charges with both words and swords as the situation warrants. Since this draft docum ent is intended for subm ission to W izards of the Coast in hopes of enhancing the sales of both their RPG and MTG:CCG lines. Elementalism 3. Psyche 4. Beast Mastery 4. Utter Incompetence) Distinctions: Haste Training. Black Magic 5. Red Magic 5. All other artwork throughout this docum ent is from classical artists. all creature spells are Summons. Vigor 4 A simple but useful character. . Endurance 4. tick-tocks. Craftsman 5. Yotian Soldier (Follower). The Zealous Inquisitor can do more than attack. Streetwise 3. Elementalism 5. Harvesting 4. W hile the W elding Jars can instantly repair and restore any broken artifact. As a Scout or Spy. W elding Jar (Follower). Flying Training. Lightning Bolt. Vigor 3. Larceny 5. Reaction 5. Ambush 4. Destined Child “Destiny is on my side today!” Species Package: Human Distinctions: Magician IV (Planeswalker) Disadvantage: Hunted (Enemy of Destiny) Abilities: Aberrations 3. the Clockwork Master must replace them with hard work. Artificer 5. Saboteur 4. The Clockwork Beetle can appear on a moment’s notice. Regeneration 5. Fortification 4. Clockwork Master “Tick-tocks. Mana Tapping 4. Razortooth Rats. the Cunning Rogue is excellent for finding out information. Repute 3.” Species Package: Human Distinctions: Magician II (Magelord) Abilities: Air Vehicles 4. hence the Air Vehicles ability. Blue Magic 4. Toughness 3. was this yours?” Species Package: Human Distinctions: Enhanced Sense (Hearing). or creating an ambush to hit the enemy. the Destined Child uses a variety of card spells. and is in the public dom ain. Martial Artist I Abilities: Artificer 0. Leadership 3. sabotaging the enemy’s plan. child” Species Package: Angel (Human) Distinctions: Armsman II. Goblin Grenade.wizards. Mana Tapping 3. Finance 0. Said lifespans would probably be longer if they didn’t keep killing themselves off. The Brigand merely follows along and hits anything which might seem dangerous or tasty. the character can also summon rats to annoy spellcasters. Investigation 4. Melee W eapons 5. using the natural species ability to avoid getting blown up by the Goblin Grenade. Saboteur 5. The Ornithopter can fly. Engineering 5. Movement 4. Magician I (Magician). Red Magic 4. White Magic 5 Card Slots (5): Incinerate. Sharpshooter I Abilities: Athletics 3. Vigilance Training Disadvantage: Honor Abilities: Courtier 5. Lifewreaking 3. Though specializing in blasting the enemy with Red Mana effects. Fireball.Sample Characters Unless otherwise noted. since they are used up permanently. Paul M. Green Magic 3. Vigor 3 Card Slots (5): Clockwork Beetle. Lifewreaking 4. The Tarpan also follows along. Lifewreaking 3. Tarpan (Follower) Goblins have very short lifespans. its special ability can reflect damage back at foes! 44 Magic The Gathering: Role-Playing Game Copyright 2006. This goblin has turned it into an artform. Of course. Sleights 3. Vigor 4 Refined socially yet brutal in battle. Cunning Rogue “I’m sorry. Melroy and Patrick Bryant. Ranged W eapons 4. Resist Magic 5. W elding Jar (Follower) The Clockwork Master specializes in fully-real artifact creations. Zealous Inquisitor A young but promising Planeswalker. Guardian Angel “Just because you have a protector is no reason to tempt fate. Perception 4. Vigor 4 Card Slots (3): Goblin Brigand (Follower). but have enough skills and talents to meet any challenge. Good-Looking. Guardian Angels can put some serious hurt on the enemy.com/ Goblin Suicide Commando “The plan is perfect: I light the fuse and jump on them!” Species Package: Goblin (Fool’s Luck. convincing any horse to let a goblin ride it may take some doing! One final note: this character is dumb as a rock and flat broke. Psyche 5. Finance 4. Toughness 5. All spells listed are available for reference on http://gatherer. Perception 3. Distant Horizons Gam es Magic: The Gathering and the Mana Sym bols are tradem arked by W izards of the Coast. Enhanced Sense (Sight). their use herein represents no challenge to W izards of the Coast. Ornithopter (Follower). the Cunning Rogue has no equal. Leadership 3.

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