Campaign Index

Intro Locale Mythology Religion History Races
Mechanics: Mechanics Combat Char Gen Characters
Powers: Powers Body/Mind Dragon Blooded Virtuous Follower
Maps: Overview Local Stockade Village
Story: Session 1


Paths to Power

Essence: The Source

All non-mundane power, whatever it source, is powered by essence. Essence is the primeval stuff of creation. Adepts can shape essence to accomplish many different effects.

Initiation: Selection of the Path

Each path to power involves an initiation rite, generally performed by a more skilled adept. Once initiated the character recives the Aspect: Initiate which defines the skills available to a character.

Skills: Applications of Power

Once initiated in a path, the adept can pursue the skills contained within the Aspect. Each skill defines the powers it makes available depending on skill ranks known.

All powers skills are initially purchased at rank Average. Power skills have a default level of None, and cannot be used by the uninitiated or the untrained.

Actions: Keys to Power

Generally powers require an action to active them. These actions can be the controlling skill or a different skill. For example many Way of the Warrior powers require a martial arts action to use.

The Body/Mind Ways

Initiates of this Path pursue power by enhancing mind and body. There are two skills available with this Aspect, The Way of the Warrior and the Way of the Healer. Both these paths can be pursued simultaneously.

Way of the Warrior

Adepts of this path use essence to enhance their combat skills and toughen their bodies, enhancing the power of their strikes, shrugging off blows that would fell a normal person, jumping or leaping great distances, and moving with blinding speed are all elements of this path. This path is limited in that it only affects the adept and his chosen weapons.

Way of the Healer

Adepts of this path use essence to cure and heal. Disease, fatigue, poison, wounds and other ills all fall within this way. Adepts can use their abilities on both humans and other living beings, both animal and plant. This way benefits greatly from sympathetic powers, so adepts are often talented herbalists and physicians as well as mystical healers.

Dragon Initiate

Adepts of the Dragon paths use essence to call upon one of the aspects of the five Great Dragons. Each path focuses on one of the five prime elements, air, water, fire, earth, wood. Dragon path adepts have no power over the minds or senses of humans. Because of the fundamental rift between the Dragons and the gods, Dragon Initiates cannot follow any Path of Virtue.

Path of Virtue

Adepts that dedicate themselves to a specific deity follow the Path of Virtue (though some paths are anything but virtuous). Each such path focuses on the primary aspect of the chosen deity. The power of the gods has great influence over the senses and minds of men and Adepts of these paths often exhibit powers of illusion and suggestion. When channeled through the mind of man the power of the gods can affect anything in the middle kingdom. Those that follow the Path of Virtue cannot become Dragon Initiates.

The Five Elements

The five elements touch every aspect of power. They are: Fire, Air, Water, Wood, and Earth. The five elements are reflected in everything in the middle kingdom, each a part of the harmonious whole. In most areas one element dominates the realm, instilling it's own virtues upon the area. The Dragon Blooded, in particular can attune themselves to the essence of these areas and use the environmental energies in their own power weavings. There are also dead areas, lands drained of Essence, and wild zones, places where the Essence is untamed and untouched by the five Great Ones.

Each element is a reflection of power, and some of those powers are in opposition. This table outlines the relationships between the powers:

Invoke\Environ Fire Air Water Wood Earth
Fire Harmony Resonant Silent Discordant Resonant
Air Resonant Harmony Resonant Silent Discordant
Water Discordant Resonant Harmony Resonant Silent
Wood Silent Discordant Resonant Harmony Resonant
Earth Resonant Silent Discordant Resonant Harmony

Mechanics of Power

This section discusses the actual implementation of powers in the game.

The Aspects and the power skills they allow are listed here:

Measure of Success

Many powers have varied effects based on the measure of success (MoS) achieved. Any time an Aspect is invoked by a power the Aspect's rank is equal to the MoS of the action skill unless otherwise noted.

Using Essence

Most power skills have a base Essence cost of one. Characters can expend additional Essence when invoking a power to achieve additional effect using the following list as a guideline:

The total Essence spent on a power cannot exceed the total ranks of the power skill the character has. For example a character with 3 ranks of Way of the Warrior (Good) could spend 3 essence on a single invocation of power.

When a power is declared Fate points can be used in place of Essence. Any Fate points used in this manner count against the total Essence of the power. Similarly environmental Essence (Dragon Blooded) also counts against this total.

Essence recovery depends on how it is used. Generally a brief rest period will allow recovery of all Essence. Essence cannot be recovered for a power that is active. Casting a power that lasts for a day means the Essence used cannot be recovered until the power expires.

Measures of Power

Each power skill has a base range / area that that serves as the default for all powers granted. Exceptions are noted in the power description. Essence expenditures can be used to increase or decrease range or area using the following scale. A character targeting only himself never pays an Essence cost for range or area.

Range Area Duration
Touch Tiny, small object Instant
Melee Single, 1 person Short (3 rounds)
Short (5-30') Few, 2-3 people, 5' radius area Scene
Medium (30'-60') Several, 4-5 people, 10' radius area Less than an hour
Long (60'-100') Group, 6-10 people, 20' radius area 1-4 hours
Very long (100'-sight) Many, large group, 40' radius area Less than a day
Distant (beyond sight, known area) Mob, large crowd, city block Less than a week
Extreme (beyond sight, unknown area) Populace, village population, small town Weeks

Duration is very much relative to the effect of the power. Some powers simply cannot be maintained for extended durations.

The default range and area for each power skill is listed in this table.

Power Range Area Duration
Way of the Warrior Melee Single Instant
Way of the Healer Melee Single Instant
Dragon Blooded Short Single Instant
Virtuous Follower Varies Varies Varies

Effects in Motion

Effects with duration can be made mobile by expending Essence. Moving an effect requires concentration, moving an effect takes an action in any round where motion is desired. The mobility granted lasts the duration of the effect.

Essence Mobility
0 5' / round
1 30' / round
2 60' / round
3 90' / round

Note: Telekinesis, by its very nature, is an exception to the mobility rules.


All material Copyright (C) Mark A. Thomas. All rights reserved.