The Magic of Ancestors

Through training or talent, you are tangibly aware of the dead. Like the smoke left behind after snuffing out a candle, people seem to linger where they should not. While they pay you no special mind, you can influence them.

Most ghosts seem no more than a vague impression, while others can be rather more tangible. In all cases they are more felt than seen, and even those who can't sense them seem to be effected by them.

Your magic allows you to build relics that let you interact with these dead spirits, and even turn them to your own ends. The whys and hows of are beyond you, and you are sure there is a lot more to it than you know.

Creating Relics

Your magic works by creating small relics that focus your power in a specific way.

It costs a base 2AP to create a base relic. When doing this you state

  1. The base Formula you are using,
  2. The intended target,
  3. Any specifics,

Once finished, you need only hold the relic activate or deactivate it, and inflict its effect on the target. As long as the relic is intact, it will continue to function, even over great distances. If you lose the relic, it cannot be altered until you get it back. If the relic is destroyed, the effect ends immediately.


The appearance of a relic entirely suits the style of the caster. Some of the formulae below suggest a form for the relic but that isn't necessary. Like zen archery, its all about how you do it. Some of your kind scribe scrolls of power. Others craft their power into weapons, others still into jewelery. You construct something very carefully following the intuitive formula you have studied.


While crafting a relic, you attune it to a specific target. This target is usually an individual (alive or otherwise), though it isn't impossible to target a group, or a specific place. More general targets make for a less effective relic, and its not easy to tell how effective a relic is until it has been made and activated. Additional relics of a similar type can be used to reinforce a relic spread too thin.

One more warning...

A person targeted by a relic instinctively knows that something is up, and that the effect is not natural. This is not necessarily a bad feeling. It could be quite euphoric, or similar to deja vu. It depends on the nature and specifics of the formula used.

Learning Formulas

Each formula allows you to create one type of relic. At game start you will have a short list of common formulas that you could learn, but there are more out there, and you can also attempt to create your own.

To learn a new formula, you need one of the following:

  • Someone to teach it to you.
  • A detailed written guide.
  • To be targetted by a relic using the formula.

With any of these resources, you may turnsheet for 2AP to study and learn the new formula.

Creating New Formulas

To create your own formula requires 3-4AP, depending on how powerful the effect is. To tweak a specific formula for a more specialised effect, it will cost 1-2 AP, you don't get XP for the tweak, but you still do for creating the new relic. For all formula's you must have a similar formula to base it on. Please talk over ideas for new Formulas with your GM.

Creating More Powerful Relics

Regardless of your skills, a base relic will only ever have a minor effect.

It is not possible to make a formula which is simply a more powerful version of one you know.

You understand that a strong power source is needed to boost their relics, and cause a more significant effect. At game start, you don't know how to recognized these power sources, nor how to incorporate them if you could. With a little training however…

Beginning Players

Beginning players are Apprentices. They start knowing 1 Formula from the starter list. They may then choose one of the following:

  • An extra starting Formula
  • A completed relic using a formula you know (tied to anyone you know).

Depending on how you acquired your magic, you may have other starting benefits. These will be communicated to you individually.


Training your magic works along similar lines to skill training by gaining XP. To become an Expert, you will need 5XP. You automatically gain 1XP For any of the following actions:

  • Creating a relic
  • Learning a new formula
  • Creating a new formula
  • Training (costs 2AP for 1XP)

Beginning players should also note the appearance their relics usually take.

Please turnsheet clearly when an action should grant you an XP, and when you think you have leveled up, so that we can keep track.

Starting Formula


The traditional chiseled epitaph is the most universal use of spirit magic, but only one use of this formula. A gravestone relic draws a spirit to a particular place, encouraging it to 'haunt' the relic. Some ghosts may be powerful enough to ignore the attraction of this relic, but it will certainly distract them from their usual haunts.

Ghostburn Lantern

A simple relic designed to imprison or suppress a troublesome spirit. The targeted spirit will be less able to impact the living world and, if the relic remains active for long enough, begin to fade away. Crafting such relics can be dangerous however, as before they take effect they need to be brought into the presence of a ghost, generally resulting in an unfavorable response.

Bell of Summons

This relic permits an insight into the target spirit. Through this you can safely learn more about a spirit, how to deal with it or manipulate it to your own ends. Apprentice level relics permit you only an impression of the ghost summoned, though you have heard of higher level crafters make statues or portraits through which the spirit actually speaks.

A Bell of Summons is essential for more intricate manipulations of a spirit, and linked to other relics for this purpose.


This relic requires a Bell of Summons to function, and targets a living person or group. Through this relic the ghost is compelled to protect that target. The way a ghost guards varies with the nature of the spirit channeled, and some are more suited to this task than others. A warrior ghost may inspire its charge to fight better, while a more priestly spirit may help the charge keep a cool head in a crisis. It has been known for a ghost to even physically attack a threat.

Death Mark

This relic requires a Bell of Summons to function, and targets a living person or group. Through this relic the ghost is commanded to bring harm to the target. Naturally, the more tormented the ghost, the more effectively it will pursue its task. What harm the ghost brings on its target can vary wildly. At the very least it will haunt the target's dreams or addle their mind. The vengeance can be much more… peculiar however.

game1/magic_starter_dead.txt · Last modified: 2009/03/20 11:30 by gm_rob