Friday, 28 April 2017

Wulfwald RPG Magic Systems: 4 - Ælfcynn Gealdor Sangere

Ælfcynn Spell Singing

The Gealdor Sangere, or spell singer, chants and sings to both gain and use his magic. Each song takes one combat round (or a minute if out of combat) to sing and the magic takes effect in the next round. The exception is the Glamour which starts to work as soon as the victim hear it. Obviously the Spell Singer needs to be able to sing to work his magic. If anything impedes his ability to sing, he is effectively powerless. For a spell singer to have their tongue cut out is tantamount to a death sentence. At their disposal Spell Singers have three forms of magic: Shapeshifting, Songs of the Forest, and the power of the Glamour.


To learn the secrets of Shapeshifting Spell Singers use their songs to coax an animal to come to them and teach them its secrets. Once they have done this they may take the animal’s shape. Whilst in this animal form the Spell Singer has all the attributes of the animal he shifted to, but retains his own intellect, memories, etc. Real animals can sense the unnatural nature of a Shapeshifter and react in fear to them. So, although a Spell Singer in the form of a field mouse need not fear cats, the cat’s fear of him may betray his true nature.

At each level a Spell Singer can select one animal form he can Shapeshift to, plus one additional animal form per level for any Charisma bonuses. It takes one round of singing for a Spell Singer to Shapeshift into animal form, other than that there is no cost or other requirements.

At Level 1 they may Shapeshift into either a field mouse, hare, salmon, or sparrow for one hour. However many animal forms they know they may only shift once per day.

At Level 2 they may select another animal form from level 1 or choose from either an otter, fox, or raven and hold their shape for 2 hours. However many animal forms they know they may only shift twice per day.

At Level 3 they may select either another animal form from level 1 and 2 or choose from either a wolf, stag, seal or eagle and can hold their animal form for three hours. However many animal forms they know they may only shift three times per day.

Songs of the Forest

Spell Singers learn the songs of the forest in a similar manner to the way they learn different animal forms, by singing to the forest and coaxing its secrets from it. In game terms these powers work best in a forest or wood, but at the Referee’s discretion some of them may work if there is any nearby tree, or even other vegetation.

At each level the Spell Singer learns one Forest Song, plus one for each point of Charisma bonus. Each song can be sung only once per day. However the forest is fickle and the Spell Singer has no choice over the song the forest teaches him. Instead, the Referee rolls 1d10 to find out what spell he learns. If the Referee rolls the same spell twice then the Spell Singer may sing that Forest song twice per day instead of once or choose to have the Referee roll once more.

1: Song of Memories
2: Whisper of the Woods
 3: Forest of Fear
4: Wall of Wood
5: Walk the Woods
6: The Hanging Tree
7: Wood Whip
8: Cloak of Leaves
 9: Forest Guard
10: Trial of the Tree

Song of Memories: The Spell Singer whispers a message to the trees which they will remember and whisper it back to whoever the Spell Singer asked them to.
Whisper of the Woods: Listening to the rustle of the trees the forest tells the Spell Singer all that has happened within the forest over the last few days.
Forest of Fear: Anyone who fails their ST must flee from the forest. The fear only abates when they are clear of the forest.
Wall of the Wood: The forest forms an impenetrable wall of branches, impassable unless fire, axe, or magic are used, even then it will take one hour per level of the Spell Singer to clear and risks angering any spirits of the wood.
Walk the Woods: The trees part to make previously impassable woodland clear.
The Hanging Tree: Vines or branches from a nearby tree snake down and fasten around the neck of one enemy per level of the Spell Singer and yank them up into the tree. If they aren’t released within 3 rounds and they fail their ST they die. If they make their ST they merely blackout and the tree lets them go.
Wood Whip: The Spell Singer calls on the trees and their branches grow into whips that attack his enemies doing 1d6-1 at 1st level, 1d6 at 2nd and 1d6+1 at third, and attacking one enemy per level each round.
Cloak of Leaves: The forest hides the Spell Singer and one other person per level, making them virtually invisible.
Forest Guard: At the bidding of the Spell Singer the tree grabs and holds one of his enemies until he bids the tree release the prisoner.
Trial of the Tree: The Spell Singer subjects his enemy to a trial of the forest. If the victim fails a ST the roots of the tree drag the victim underground and hold him there for as many years as he missed the ST by. The forest keeps them alive until they are released. Their Con is also permanently reduced by the number of years they were held for. If this reduces their Con to zero they die upon release.


An Elven Spell Singer uses the power of Glamour to manipulate people. In this case rather than singing, to use Glamour, the Elf whispers a rhythmic chant that their victim finds strangely compelling. To successfully Glamour someone the Spell Singer’s player must roll under their character’s Charisma + level on D20+/- targets Wisdom bonus.
If unsuccessful the spell singer can’t attempt to Glamour that same person for 1d3 days.
A successful Glamour can make the victim believe, see, or remember something that isn’t true, not really there, or never really happened.

For example a Glamour could make someone you just met believe you were their best friend, or make you appear to them as their best friend, or implant a false memory of a lifelong friendship between the two of you. More dramatically, a glamour could also make them believe they could jump from a cliff and survive, see a dragon, remember killing the king. The only limit to what a successful glamour can make an NPC believe, see, or remember is that of the player’s imagination.

There is a limit to how many people can be held under a glamour at once, but not a limit to how many different people the spell singer can attempt to glamour each day. There is also a limit on how long a glamour lasts, but a spell singer may end a glamour whenever they wish.

At 1st level a Spell Singer can Glamour one person for one, plus their Charisma bonus, hours.

At 2nd level they can Glamour two people at once for one hour or one person for one, plus their Charisma bonus, days.

At 3rd level they can Glamour a number of people equal to three plus their Charisma bonus for a day, or one person for their Charisma bonus plus three weeks.

Once the effects of a Glamour wear off the victim is allowed a ST with their Intelligence modifier as a bonus. If they make it, they remember what was done to them. If they fail they have no knowledge of being manipulated.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Wulfwald RPG Magic Systems: 3 Dweorgas Rune Magic - Part 2 The Dweorgas Runes

The Runic font hasn't copied over, but you can see the Anglo-Saxon futhorc here


Runes and Their Meanings

Each rune has its own sphere of influence that forms the basis of the magic that can be created with it. This relates to its literal name and the more esoteric connections to that rune.

For example, the first rune, of the first Aett (family) is Feoh, Cattle. This rune can obviously be used for any type of magic that relates directly to cattle, perhaps stopping the cattle of an enemy clan from stampeding while you steal them for instance. But Cattle also represent wealth in all its forms and the rune Feoh can be used in magic relating to wealth.

Each rune is read and used in the way depicted, but many can be used in reverse (upside down) some however can't because they are the same when reversed. They may however be used in opposition or in the opposite of their normal meaning.

Most times using a rune in reverse or opposition is simply a case of reversing its normal usage. For example, the rune Ur (Strength) can be reversed to cause weakness. However, many reversed runes, or runes in opposition, are not exactly the opposite of their normal meaning, but have subtle or even wildly different meanings when used this way.

The keywords listed for each rune gives you a few examples of what the rune relates to, and also what it relates to when reversed or used in opposition. These keywords are not exhaustive, neither are they limits of usage. They are in fact just the beginning, the most obvious spheres of influence, or relationships, and ways to use each rune.

The First Aett

f F – Feoh, Cattle
Relates to: Wealth, cattle, chattel, herds, property, winning land, possessions, luck, abundance, energy, protecting wealth.
Reversed: Greed, cowardice, stupidity, poverty, avarice, enmity over money.
u U –Ur Aurochs, Strength
Relates to: Strength, tenacity, potential, power, imposing your will on the world.
Reversed: weakness, brutality, cruel domination.
T TH – Thorn, Sharp
Relates to: Thorns, evil, gateways, giants, destruction, sharp attack, difficult powers to control once unleashed.
Reversed: Danger, defencelessness, betrayal, lies.
o O – Os, Mouth
Relates to: Speech, magic, power, prophecy, gods, sounds, signals, revealing messages, insight, communication, divine oracle.
Reversed: Vanity, misunderstanding, manipulation, delusion.
r R-Rad, Road
Relates to: Travel, rewards, riding, spiritual journey, change, soul,
Reversed: Delay, crisis, setbacks.
c C – Ken, Torch
Relates to: Light, beacon, leadership, protection against burning, guiding light.
Reversed: Darkness, disease, breaking of fellowships, false hope.
g G – Gyfu, Gift
Relates to: Offering, sacrifice, generosity, food, balance.
In Opposition: Greed, dependence, over-sacrifice, crooked, bribes.
wW W –Wynn, Joy
Relates to: Glory, air, associated with wands, foresight, wisdom, making magic, temporary happiness.
Reversed: Delirium, possession, berserker fury.

Second Aett

h H – Hagl, Hail
Relates to: Adverse weather, snow, sleet, hail, disruption, uncontrolled forces, trial.
In opposition: Stagnation, loss of power, a calm worse than the storm, inactivity.
n N – Nyd, Need
Relates to: Hardship, want, lack, famine.
Reversed: Surviving or overcoming need.
i I – IS, Ice
Relates to: Ice, cold, extreme cold.
In opposition: Plots, deceit, blindness, pride.
j J – Gar, Spear
Relates to: Victory in battle, breaking through, careful planning, plenty (as in harvest)
In Opposition: Sudden setbacks, reversals, bad timing.
I Eo – Eoh, Yew
Relates to: Death, the underworld, the dead.
Reversed: Confusion, weakness, destruction.
p P – Peorth, Hearth
Relates to: Hospitality, laughter, entertainment, the braking or making of bonds (physical and metaphysical), also refers to the home and female mysteries.
Reversed: Addiction, stagnation, loneliness, malaise.
x X – Eolh, Elk
Relates to: Protection, wards against spells and evil, guardian.
Reversed: Taboo, warning.
s S – Sigel, Sun
Relates to: The sun, warmth, good fortune, sunlight, sky, victory.
In opposition: False council, wrath of gods.

Third Aett

t T –Tir, Tiw (god of war)
Relates to: Warrior, courage, glory, order, law, honour, leadership, swords.
Reversed: blocked communication or energy, mental paralysis.
b B – Beorc, Birch
Relates to: Fertility, healing, magic, love, earth, growth.
Reversed: Family problems, infertility.
e E – Eh, Horse
Relates to: Horses, pride, adventure, increased speed, raw power
Reversed: Reckless, haste, restlessness, confinement.
m M – Monn, Man
Relates to: Humanity, friendship, the self, people, the body
Reversed: Cunning, craftiness, slyness.
l L – Lagu, Water
Relates to: The sea, lakes, rivers, dreams, fantasies.
Reversed: Madness, obsession.
N NG – Ing, Ing (Son of Woden)
Relates to: Kings, peace, plenty.
In opposition: Movement without change, labour, work.
d D –Deag, Day
Relates to: Reason, understanding, dispersing evil spirits, awakening.
In opposition: Completion, coming full circle, night, darkness, evil.
E OE – Ethel, Homeland
Relates to: Freedom, security, prosperity, stability, law, inherited property, spiritual heritage.

Reversed: Clannishness, lack of custom, prejudice.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Wulfwald RPG Magic Systems: 3 Dweorgas Rune Magic - Part 1 Rune Lore

Rune Lore

Unlike mortal men, who use runes for petty divination, or to record their unworthy deeds, a Dweorgas Wyrdwebba contemplates the true meaning of each rune and uses this understanding to weave fate, to literally change reality. It is the meaning, the interpretation, and understanding of the runes from which they draw their power not the mere symbols.

However, this understanding is ephemeral and often uncertain. The Wyrdwebba may fail to bring his understanding and power to bear on fate.  
Men believe their god Woden gifted the runes to them, but the Dweorgas know that men stole the knowledge of the runes from them. Not that they mind, after all they stole them from the Dragons. The twenty-four runes are divided into the three Aetts, or families.

A Wyrdwebba knows all the runes, but begins with mastery of only one Aett. Once he has used a Rune he cannot use it again until he has used all the other Runes he has mastered.

For example a 1st level Wyrdwebba with mastery of one Aett, of eight runes, who uses the Rune Ur must use the other seven runes in the first Aett, before he can use the rune Ur again. A 3rd level Wyrdwebba who uses the Rune Ur must wait until he has used all 23 of his other runes, before he can use the Rune Ur again.

Rune Casting

Each rune has a sphere of influence. For example the rune Feoh literally means Cattle, but refers to wealth in general and could be used to influence anything connected to monetary matters. Some runes can be reversed or if they cannot be reversed can be used in opposition. For example Feoh the cattle/wealth rune would normally be used to gain wealth, or influence transactions in favour of someone, but reversed it could be used to ruinous effect against an enemy.
Wyrdwebba's start with mastery of one Aett, of eight runes, which they may choose from any of the three Aetts available. They gain mastery of the others as they progress gaining a new Aett each level. Their level also dictates the maximum number of runes they may use in combination, and is also a bonus to their Rune Casting Roll.

The Rune Casting Roll

To use a rune the player must make a Rune Casting Roll. At its most basic a Rune Casting Roll is simply rolling under the character's Wisdom score on 1d20 with bonuses for the caster's level, and penalties for the level of difficulty of the affect they wish to achieve. Other situational bonuses and penalties may be applied at the Referee's discretion, but basically the Rune Casting Roll can be expressed simply as . . .

Rune Casting Roll =  Roll under Wis+lvl with 1d20+Diff lvl.

If the player makes the Rune Casting Roll his magic works as described if he fails nothing happens, fate is after all fickle. Either way, the rune still counts as used, and cannot be used again until the Wyrdwebba has used his other runes.

At its most basic rune magic can be used for a flat bonus of +1,+2, or +3. Things such as Saving Throws, or To Hit Rolls, and Damage being the most obvious examples for a bonus, but their greatest use is improvisational magic of a more open nature.

It is up to the player to decide how he wants to use each rune and to what effect. It is up to the Referee to decide if the player's desired use is possible and if so to set the Difficulty Level. There are three levels of difficulty .  . .

Difficulty Level 1

The Wyrdwebba use his power to achieve goals that could just as easily be explained by natural phenomena or coincidence. For example: causing a bow string to snap, causing it to rain on a cloudy overcast day, or making someone lose their footing on rocky ground.

Difficulty Level 2

The Wyrdwebba uses his power in an obviously supernatural way such as causing a bow to burst into flames, sudden rain on a cloudless sunny day, or causing the ground to open beneath someone and swallow them.

Difficulty Level 3

The Wyrdwebba use his power in a way that is not only obviously supernatural, but powerful and reality warping as well. For example: causing a bow to come to life and throttle its wielder, making thunder, lightning and a torrential downpour of rain in the king's mead hall, or causing the earth to rise up in the form a great beast and devour a warband.

There are three ways to use runes all require successful Rune Casting Rolls . . .


This is the primary usage. The Wyrdwebba selects a rune and contemplates upon its meaning before using the insight gained to change reality and weave fate.
Before performing a casting the character must contemplate the rune for an hour before the actual casting. Less than an hour's contemplation, or even no contemplation may be taken, but at a penalty. For more than one Turn, but less than an hour it is a +1 penalty. For less than a Turn or one or more Combat Rounds +2, for no contemplation at all +3.

As Wyrdwebba's increase in level they may use more than one rune at once in combination, but incur a penalty of +1 per additional rune and each rune used requires a separate successful Rune Casting Roll.

Runic Warding & Binding

The caster places, carves, or inscribes the rune somewhere or on something and dictates the circumstances that will activate it in the future
For example: the rune Thorn is inscribed on a bridge as a Wolfpack crosses it into enemy territory so that later when they make their escape, back across the bridge, a wall of impassable thorns springs up after them to impede their pursuers.

Preparation for runic warding must be made in advance and cannot be done quickly as it takes at least four hours of game time. A normal Rune Casting Roll is made, but only when the ward is actually activated.
A rune may also be bound to an item, weapon, or person for a single use. For example: binding the death rune to a spear so that when it next hits it kills the enemy instantly. As per Warding the Rune Casting Roll is made when the bound rune is actually activated.

Runic Inscription

A rune may be permanently inscribed, carved, or attached to something, someplace, or even someone for a permanent affect. However, the use of that rune is then lost to the caster. This is done with a normal Rune Casting Roll and requires the Wyrdwebba spend a day contemplating the rune and another day performing the ritual of inscription. Note, that if the Rune Casting Roll fails the rune is lost.

Runes permanently inscribed or lost through a failed Rune Casting Roll can only be regained for the Wyrdwebba if the item is dedicated to the gods and destroyed by means of either earth, fire, water, or air.

For example, a Wyrdwebba inscribed his finger with the rune Elk a rune of protection to gain a permanent +1 to his AC, but his lord demands he use his powers to protect him. To regain the  rune our Wyrdwebba must cut off his finger and either bury it, cremate it, place it in a sacred pool as an offering , or tie it in the branches of a tree for excarnation.