Arcane Ambitions

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Overview

Seven years have passed since Empress Joqari was betrayed and murdered by her own kin. Seven years since the Empire tore itself apart in bloody civil war.

With the unraveling of the old order, the nine arcane colleges that once regulated all magic within the land have collapsed, their five-century long stranglehold on sorcery broken at last. Magic now flows freely through the land; wild and untamed. From out of this chaos, a new breed of magi have begun to emerge - arcane practitioners unconstrained by the rigid doctrine of the colleges. Those loyal to the old ways would see these renegades purged; but the old ways no longer hold the sway they once did. In a world sliding into chaos and anarchy, might makes right, and sorcery is mightier than steel. In such a world, the will of a mage is a law unto itself, and those with the greatest strength or cunning hold the fate of the world in their hands.

The age of magic has begun.

Premise

Arcane Ambitions is a fantasy game of magic and high adventure, set in a world poised on the brink of chaos and transition. The Player Characters are powerful, independant magi - once prisoners of the oppressive Arcane Colleges - who have been approached by a mysterious organization which seeks their aid in ensuring the freedom and supremecy of magic in the new world order. In exchange, they will be given the chance to pursue their own grande ambitions - whatever they may be - and carve their own legend into the foundation of the new world.

Game runs Fridays at 5pm EST.

Character Creation

Character creation in Arcane Ambitions is simple and straightforward, utilizing a standard d10 dice system. The higher a character's stat, the more d10s they roll.

PC's may be of any race or gender the player desires. These are entirely cosmetic choices, and have no practical benefit in-game, so feel free to be creative.

These rules are preliminary and subject to change. Feedback is encouraged.

Attributes

Every character has three basic attributes - Surly (Physical), Savvy (Mental) and Sassy (Social) - which are arranged in order from Primary to Tertiary. A Primary Attribute receives 5 dice; a Secondary Attribute receives 3 dice, and a Tertiary Attribute receives 1 die.

Magic

A mage is defined by her magic. It is what sets her apart, both from regular mortals and her fellow magi. Every mage has a particular school of arcane study they excel at, which defines how they channel their power, and how their magic shapes them - body, mind and soul.

Players are free to define their magic however they like (within reason, obviously). Just remember that magic is a discipline that rewards specialization. 'General' sorcerers are virtually unheard of, and even the oldest, most powerful magi tend to limit their focus to one or two particular schools of magic. The form your magic takes is what makes you unique and distinct, and helps define what your powers can do. "Arcane Mastery", for example, is too general, while "Infernal Sorcery", "Necromancy", "Elementalism" and "Shapeshifting" are more appropriate.

Regardless of what kind of magic they use, all players receive a Magic rank of 3, which is rolled in combination with whatever Attribute is relevant to the task being attempted. Penalties and bonuses will be applied accordingly.

Fatigue

All power comes at a price. Bending the laws of reality to one's will is no mean feat, even for an accomplished mage, and the act of working magic exacts a toll on the weilder. If the mage's mind is calm and focused, this toll is small, sometimes to the point of being unnoticable. In the heat of battle however, focus and concentration can be difficult to maintain, making the casting of spells more strenuous.

A mage engaged in a conflict can use their powers a number of times equal to their Magic rating, at which point their rating is reduced by one. This effect is known as Fatigue, and represents the mental exertion involved in casting spells. Once a mage's Magic rating reaches zero, she loses the ability to cast spells, though she is not out of the fight, and can still attack using weapons or even her own fists if necessary. Sustained spells are considered to be re-cast each round, though the player does not need to roll again in order to do so.

Resting out of combat automatically replenishes a player's Magic rank to full. In addition, a player with a Magic rank of zero may opt to rest while in combat, sacrificing their turn for that round in order to replenish their reserves of arcane power. While resting in this manner, the player suffers a defense penalty equal to the number of Magic dice they wish to regain (-1 for one die, -2 for two, etc.).

Certain factors - such as standing in a place of arcane power - can temporarily raise a mage's Magic rating, increasing the potency of their magic and allowing them to cast spells more often.

Artifact

Each player receives a single magical artifact, which grants them special, 2 dice power or bonus to a specific action. This artifact can be a weapon, article of clothing, or piece of jewelry, and need not be themed to match the character's magic. Artifacts are rolled in conjunction with one of the character's Attributes - typically whichever one is relevant to the task being performed - though under certain, specific circumstances, the character's Magic rating may apply as well.

All artifacts are subject to GM approval, and players will be asked to re-work any concept deemed too vague or powerful.

Fate

As with most Lords games, Arcane Ambitions makes use of Fate points, which can be spent to grant automatic successes or re-roll failed dice rolls. All players receive 3 Fate points, which regenerate at the end of each session. However, a player may only spend a SINGLE Fate point per scene or conflict. This means that if a player spends a point of Fate to re-roll a botched defense roll in combat, they cannot spend any more Fate points for the duration of the fight. This is meant to make the spending of Fate more meaningful and significant.

Sample Character

Name: Mazelina
Player: Aeon
Concept: Vampire Mesmerist
Race: Vampire
Appearance: A tall, slender young woman with pale skin and shoulder-length black hair, clad in sleek, elegant garments of black and gold silk.
Attributes:
Surly: 1
Savvy: 3
Sassy: 5
Magic: 3
Arcana: Mind Control & Illusion
Artifact: 2
Bedazzling Earrings - These crystalline earrings render Mazelina irresistibly charming to anyone who looks upon her face, granting her a +2 dice bonus to all rolls involving charm or seduction.
Fate: 3