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Old 01-21-2020, 12:23 PM   #11
Prince Charon
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Default Re: [Banestorm] The Kingdom of Offasmark

Gabrook had a number of Symbol Drawing styles, a few of which have made it to Yrth.

Symbol Drawing (Abrituk) is an oddly gesture-based artistic style. There are no symbol-tokens, as motion is part of the symbol (likewise, parchment symbol casting is not an option, nor is drawing them in dust). The normal casting method is to simply make the gestures of the symbols one wishes to use; this replaces Finger Tracing, but is done at a rate of one second for Easy symbols, two for Average symbols, and four for Hard symbols; there is no skill penalty, unless the caster rushes. The style likewise has no magic items. The core skill and all the symbols are based on DX, rather than IQ.


Beast (Other) - Average - 2
Chaos - Hard - 2
Desert (Nature) - Average - 3
Folk (Self) - Easy - 1
Hope (Food/Rain) - Hard - 2
Light (Lightning/Image) - Average - 2
Lust (Hunger/Sex) - Average - 2
Motion - Average - 2
Order - Hard - 2
Spirit (Mind/Death) - Hard - 3


Bless (Feed/Protect) - Hard - 2
Communicate - Average - 2
Control - Hard - 2
Curse (Drain/Weaken) - Hard - 2
Deceive (Hide) - Easy - 1
Sense (Reveal) - Average - 1

The 'Folk' symbol covers the user's own race, and members of any other race that the user identifies as 'people.' 'Beast' not only covers animals, but members of any sapient race that the user regards as 'not people.' This can vary quite widely between individuals, though relatively few goblins fit reptile men into Folk rather than Beast. The Words being translated as 'Bless' and 'Curse' refer to good luck and bad luck, respectively.

This style is fairly rare in general, and some consider it incomplete, due to the few Nouns and limited Verbs. It is slightly less rare among hobgoblins and kobolds than it is among goblins, and has been known to be used by minotaurs and trolls. It has also begun to find favor with a few orcs and ogres, and some humans and other non-Gabrook races. There are rumours that some ghouls have learned this style, though only the GM knows for sure. A variant of this style uses the same Words, but the symbols are instead whole body dance-movements; this version is beginning to be practiced by a few elves and other native races.

The goblins have a number of native styles that are IQ-based, and use the normal sort of flat, carved symbols (and thus the usual rules), but all of the ones that made it to Ytarria are fairly similar to this one in terms of lexicon (apart from usually adding more symbols). The most common style of the goblins of Yibyorak uses the above Words with a few additions:


City (Hearth) - Average - 2
Magic (Knowledge) - Hard - 3
Plant (Growth) - Average - 2
Tool (Skill) - Average - 2


Create (Heal) - Hard - 3
Destroy (Harm) - Hard - 3
Transform - Hard - 3

The attributes involved in Symbol Drawing (Yibyorak) are IQ for learning and analysis, Per for drawing, and Will for activating.
Warning, I have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life.

"The more corrupt a government, the more it legislates."
-- Tacitus

Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 5/25/2021: September, 2014 article has been posted.
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Old 01-21-2020, 12:26 PM   #12
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Default Re: [Banestorm] The Kingdom of Offasmark

Symbol Drawing (Contemplation of the All) - the name is translated from an old Halfling tongue - is the only native Symbol Drawing style from Loren'dil that is known to be practiced on Yrth. The style deals primarily with intangibles, and often seems less like magic, and more like a religious observance, especially when it is cast ceremonially. That doesn't mean that it is not immediately dangerous, though, merely subtle.


Chance (Fate) - Average - 2
Conflict - Average - 2
Dream (Story) - Easy - 1
Emotion - Average - 2
Habit (Instinct) - Easy - 1
Home (Family) - Easy - 1
Journey - Average - 2
Mana - Hard - 2
Memory (Knowledge/Skill) - Average - 2
Society - Average - 2
Spirit - Hard - 2
Thought - Average - 2


Communicate - Average - 1
Control - Hard - 2
Protect (Hide) - Average - 2
Sense - Easy - 1
Strengthen - Average - 2
Weaken - Average - 2
Transform - Hard - 2

This style is quite common among those halflings who use magic, is often seen among giants, and is not too odd to be learned by centaurs. It is growing to be common among gnomes and some humans and elves, but not so much among the other races. Dwarves and most reptile men rarely know that it exists.
Warning, I have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life.

"The more corrupt a government, the more it legislates."
-- Tacitus

Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 5/25/2021: September, 2014 article has been posted.
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Old 05-01-2020, 11:50 AM   #13
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Default Re: [Banestorm] The Kingdom of Offasmark

Magic Items

Common Symbol Items
Not exactly magical on their own, these are durable items with a set of symbols permanently marked on them, functioning like Parchment Symbol Casting, save that the items are reusable. The quality of the item is important: cheap items will break on any failure, good quality items will only break on a critical failure, fine items have a 2/3 chance of breaking on a critical failure, very fine items have a 1/3 chance of breaking on a critical failure, and superfine items (if any) will only break on a verified critical failure.

Tattoos may be common symbol items. If the tattoo 'breaks,' the wearer takes 1d-2 damage per Easy symbol, 1d per Average symbol, 2d-1 per Hard symbol, and 2d+2 damage per Very Hard symbol. Damage type should be set by the GM based on the effect that set of symbols was designed to create. If the campaign is using the hit location rules, the damage is of course done to the location of the tattoo. Either way, it cannot be dodged, blocked, or parried, nor does armor or force-field magic protect the wearer (in theory, that should go without saying, but in practice, there will be a few players who'd ask). Despite these risks, such tattoos are fairly common in the region, especially among those who can afford a really good tattoo artist.

A lot of adventuring wizards will carry a few common symbol items for healing effects and other magics that they may need to cast several times over the course of an adventure. In many cases, these are in the form of rings or other jewelry, or knives or other tools.

True Symbol Items
This covers both True Symbol Tokens, and items enchanted with Symbol Drawing magic. Such items may be activated by will or other conditions, or require a simple Symbol Drawing roll, or may require rolling on the user's lowest skill with the Symbols on the item. A few may even be always on.

In a normal mana region, the unmodified energy cost to enchant True Symbol Items is 100 times the total energy cost of all the symbols to be used (e. g. an Elven Symbol Item designed to bring rain when activated could use the Verb symbol Communicate in its Summon aspect, and the Noun symbol Weather, and would cost 300 points, but would be limited to existing clouds; replacing Communicate with Create would up the cost to 500, but could gradually produce rainclouds out of a clear blue sky, during a drought). This is doubled in low mana, halved in high mana, and quartered in very high mana. These items work in all mana levels from low to very high, though any magical skill rolls involving them are at -5 in low mana.

Modifiers work much as they do with advantage costs, where applicable. For example, a bronze go-limb arm (see below) created with one of the Craft variants of the Dwarven style would use the Symbols Control (in the Move aspect) Magic, Metal, and Life, for a total usual cost of 1,200 energy; however, this is a single arm, not a complete golem, and so a modifier is applied: 'Arm only, -60%,' for a total creation cost of 480 energy. GMs may prefer to alter how much this modifier is worth, of course.

A specific type of True Symbol Item, introduced by practitioners of Gematria, and imitated by other styles. The specific symbols involved vary from style to style, but usually include Move, Magic, and Earth (or whatever symbol best matches the substance the golem is made from). They are often created by Craft-based styles, such as Symbol Drawing (Sculpting).

A very limited variety of golem, being a single limb or other body-part, bonded to a single owner, usually as a replacement for something the owner lost. Go-limbs may also be used to add things that someone was not born with, such as giving a human a tail, or granting sight to one who was blind from birth. In general, the symbol for Body or Self (or the nearest equivalent) is added to the set of symbols for a golem in the creator's style.

Alchemical Charms & Elixirs
The most common genuinely magical magic items (see also Alchemical Charms, GURPS Magic p220), this category covers the products of both alchemists and herbalists. A couple of common alchemical charms are below:

Alternative name: Wand, Sceptre, Magicum, Vendi

An alchemical charm to extend the user's reach and touch-range for magical purposes, as per the Staff spell (GURPS Magic pp13 & 70). Such items often have powerstones or symbol tokens mounted on them.

Duration: Permanent (alchemical charm).
Form: Generally a rod of stiff, organic material, such as a wand, dowel, or staff.
Cost: $66/$100.
Recipe: $33, 1 week, Alchemy-4.

Optionally, the GM may wish to have the staff serve as a power source, like a powerstone (see also Power Staff, Thaumatology p52). In that case, such a staff also risks developing quirks. Optionally, if the creation roll succeds exactly (a Margin of Success of 0), a normal staff might also have a quirk. This may be the case for some other alchemical items, if the GM wishes.

Alternative name: Witch-stone, Bloodstone, Gem of Mana, Potentia Lapis, Máttursteinn.

Powerstones are highly unusual alchemical charms, in that they may be empowered repeatedly, to increase the magical energy that they store. Apart from being created by alchemy rather than enchantment, they function basically as Powerstones from GURPS Magic p20 and 69-70, including the risk of quirks.

Duration: Permanent (alchemical charm).
Form: Generally some type of gemstone.
Cost: $70/$100 for a one-point stone (see Powerstone Costs, Magic p20).
Recipe: $20; 1 day; Alchemy-2.

Aspected powerstones (equivalent to the One-College Powerstone from Magic p70) default from Alchemy-1, have a recipe cost of $12, and a regular cost of $40/$70, but otherwise work as above. The equivalent to a Manastone is the Paut elixir (Thaumatology p52), which in this setting defaults from Alchemy-0; note that Paut only restores lost FP, not blood.

Warning, I have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life.

"The more corrupt a government, the more it legislates."
-- Tacitus

Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 5/25/2021: September, 2014 article has been posted.

Last edited by Prince Charon; 05-01-2020 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 05-04-2020, 05:59 AM   #14
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Default Re: [Banestorm] The Kingdom of Offasmark

Hrulph of the Phantoms, 1213

Age: 30


ST 10 [0]; DX 11 [20]; IQ 13 [60]; HT 14 [40]

Secondary Characteristics

HP 10; Will 15 [10]; Per 13; FP 16 [6]

Basic Speed: 6.25; Move: 6; Dodge: 6(9)
Parry: Brawling 9; Knife 9(12); Staff 8.

Social Background

Languages: Ytarrian Norse (Native) [0], Latin (Accented) [4].

TL: 3^

Cultural Familiarity: early Yrth Christian [0].

Subtotal: 140


Attractive [4]
Claim to Hospitality (Royal Wizards' Guild of Offasmark) [5]
Guild Rank 1 [4]
Reputation (Skilled specialist, Large class (adventurers and those who work with or hire them), all the time) +2 [5]
Status 0 [0]

Magery 0 [5]
Magery 1 [10]
Magery (Aspected: Illusions, -40%) 1 [6]
Magery (One Effect Only: Phantom (Create-Image-Move), -80%) 2 [4]


Courtesy Feudal Rank 2. [2]
Dabbler (Well-Travelled: Area Knowledge (Lindy) 11, Area Knowledge (Offasmark) 12, Area Knowledge (Ytarrian Christendom) 10, Current Affairs (Ytarrian Christendom)/TL3^ 11). [1]
Faster Casting (Phantom). [1]
Rules Exemption: The number of usable symbol items is uncapped. [1]

Subtotal: 48


Code of Honor (Professional) [-5]
Curious (12) [-5]
Duty (Guild; 9 or less) [-5]
Sense of Duty (Friends) [-5]
Truthfulness (Curse; Always in Effect; Cannot tell the same lie three times, -20%) [-10]
Vow (Wear no armour save magic) [-10]


Dislikes kobolds. [-1]
Likes cats. [-1]
Particular about his beer. [-1]
Says 'By Saint Cuthbert!' when startled or annoyed. [-1]
Slight limp. [-1]

Subtotal: -45


Area Knowledge (Offastown) [IQ/E] [1] 13
Artist (Illusion) [IQ/H] [4] 13
Brawling [DX/E] [2] 12
Carousing [HT/E] [1] 14
Detect Lies [Per/H] [1] 11
Hiking [HT/A] [1] 13
Knife [DX/E] [4] 13
Leadership [IQ/A] [1] 12
Philosophy (Classical) [IQ/H] [1] 11
Professional Skill (Butcher)/TL3^ [IQ/A] [1] 12
Religious Ritual (Offasmark Christian) [IQ/H] [1] 11
Running [HT/A] [2] 14
Sex Appeal [HT/A] [1] 13
Staff [DX/A] [2] 11
Survival (Woodlands) [Per/A] [1] 12
Survival (Island/Beach) [Per/A] [1] 12
Symbol Drawing (Futhark) [IQ/H] [8] 14
Theology (Offasmark Christian) [IQ/H] [0] 7
Traps/TL3^ [IQ/A] [1] 12
Weather Sense/TL3^ [IQ/A] [1] 12

Berkano (Create) [IQ/H] [4] 13
Ehwaz (Move) [IQ/H] [4] 13
Hagalaz (Weaken) [IQ/H] [2] 12
Ingwaz (Heal) [IQ/H] [1] 11
Isa (Image) [IQ/A] [2] 13
Mannaz (Body) [IQ/A] [1] 11
Nauthiz (Control) [IQ/H] [1] 11
Raidho (Sense) [IQ/H] [1] 11
Tiwaz (Mind) [IQ/A] [2] 13


Disarming (H) Knife-0 [2] 14
Retain Weapon (H) Knife-0 [2] 14

Subtotal: 57

Total: 200


Decent clothes
Mess kit
Pouches with stuff in them
^ Various symbol parchments and common symbol items (discuss with the GM)
Ring (silver, left hand; fine common symbol item marked with Ingwaz and Mannaz, equivalent to Recover Energy)
Ring (silver, right hand; fine common symbol item marked with Ingwaz and Mannaz, equivalent to Minor Healing)
Staff (enchanted)
^ 12-point Powerstone (opal; Quirk: Smells faintly of lightning, more so when fully charged, less when fully discharged)
^ Common symbol tokens for Hagalaz, Ingwaz, Mannaz, Nauthiz, and Raidho
^ True Symbol Tokens for Berkano, Ehwaz, Isa, and Tiwaz
Tall, pointy hat
Very fine bronze 17" Longknife (True symbol item marked with Ehwaz and Mannaz, gives bonus of +3 to Dodge rolls when active, and to Knife Parry rolls with itself)


Hrulph is native to Offastown, an adventurer with some experience under his belt, and an illusionist and specialist wizard. A younger Hrulf who had just started adventuring (so, a fresh journeyman, rather than a senior journeyman who only isn't a master because he doesn't want to play politics) would not have Magery (Aspected: Illusions) and would have only one level of Magery (One Effect Only: Phantom), but Magery 0 and Magery 1 would be unchanged. He'd also be less generally skilled and energetic, and wouldn't have his Courtesy Rank, Reputation, Detect Lies skill, the Dabbler Perk, nor the slight limp (the injury that caused it was part of the reason he started learning Healing magic), nor the Truthfulness curse. He'd also have a 5-point powerstone (with no quirks; same stone, just with fewer empowerments yet - it's a standard gift for graduating to Journeyman), but his staff would not be enchanted, the stone instead being on a necklace; he wouldn't have the magic knife, either, just an ordinary (but good quality) longknife. The Duty and Vow are required disadvantages for membership in the Royal Wizards' Guild of Offasmark.

His Move and Dodge scores assume he's at No Encumbrance, both to avoid confusion, and because I haven't worked out how much all his stuff weighs, though I doubt the total is above Light Encumbrance.

The 'Illusions' Aspect is basically equivalent to the Illusion and Creation College, as it covers not only intangible illusions, but tangible ones, like phantoms and temporary creations. It does not cover permanent creations, if those are even possible (which Hrulph doesn't particularly object to, as his limited understanding of theology suggests that such might be blasphemous).

His curse only stops him from speaking the same lie (or a too-close variation thereof, by the GM's reckoning) three times in a row. It has no effect on his ability to write it, to use illusions and phantoms to fool people (though if the illusion or phantom speaks, it counts as if he had), or to communicate it in other ways, nor does it stop him from telling the truth in ways that lead people to infer a falsehood, telling the same truth twice and refusing to speak it a third time, nor any other sort of deception. Also, if the GM feels that enough time has elapsed, especially if he's not telling it to the same person, it no-longer counts as the 'same' lie (which saves on bookkeeping).

His Vow covers physical armour, enchanted or not, but does not cover shields (of course, he lacks the skill to use one, and 'staff-and-shield' is not a likely martial arts style). It by definition permits jewelry, clothing, and other such items enchanted with protective spells, though he currently doesn't have any.

Someone who knows enough about his powerstone's quirk and is close enough could determine roughly how much power is left with a scent-based Per-4 roll. The result shouldn't be more precise than 'close to fully charged,' 'a middling amount,' or 'nearly out of energy,' not an exact number, and then only if they've previously been around the powerstone for long enough to gauge the usual intensity of the scent (and he isn't using an illusion to hide the scent).

Warning, I have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life.

"The more corrupt a government, the more it legislates."
-- Tacitus

Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 5/25/2021: September, 2014 article has been posted.
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