MAGIC for Ironsworn Pendragon
Magical ability should be something that gives you “narrative permission” to do almost any of the existing Moves but with a “magical” narrative flavour. In some cases, perhaps allow a Move, when that Move might not be possible without magic (eg. “Gather Information” by rituals and speaking to the spirits etc).
The danger with such a wide-scoped ability, however, is that it could easily become over-powered and de-value the Assets of non-magical characters. In my opinion it should therefore have additional costs/risks.
The additional COST for the use of magic is 1 Spirit (in addition to any other cost associated with the Ritual or Power).
Also, I intend there to be more magic in the Ironsworn Pendgragon setting than is typical for Ironsworn, so I intend to give characters that take the RITUALIST Asset the effect of the third feature immediately (even at Character Creation). This means that if you take the RITUALIST Path, you can take two Rituals (or other “magical” assets) for the cost of 1 non-magical asset.
This allows a Ritualist to start the game with RITUALIST plus up to 4 magical Assets.
Existing Magical Assets
(or Assets whose effects or mechanisms could be described by magic)…
Assets Vol 1: BLADE-BOUND, DEVOTANT, HERBALIST, MASKED, RITUALIST, SHADOW-KIN, SIGHTED, SLAYER, STORYWEAVER, TRICKSTER, WAYFINDER, WILDBLOOD. Assets Vol 2: PRETENDER, REVENANT, WATERBORN,
Assets Vol 1: AUGR, BIND, COMMUNION, DIVINATION, KEEN, SCRY, SHADOW-WALK, SWAY, TOTEM, VISAGE, WARD. Assets Vol 2: AWAKENING, TALISMAN
Instead of just picking from RITUAL Assets, you can pick any other Asset that you can explain as a “magical” effect, but you can only benefit from these Assets by spending Spirit.
Nb. If you take one of these Assets for the cheaper cost (as a “magical” Path or Ritual) then you only have it with a magical explanation and cannot use it in a non-magical way. This means that if you find a situation where “magic” is impossible (perhaps on holy ground), you can’t benefit from the Asset. When you write the Asset down, add two asterisks after it to indicate it is the “magical” version.
In addition to any other cost for using a RITUAL, it costs 1 Spirit, and you cannot use a Ritual if you have zero Spirit.
MEDITATION Move to restore Spirit
With the advice of Shawn Tomkin, I’ve added a “Meditate” Move, to help restore Spirit. This is mainly because PendragonSworn is using Spirit to power RITUALs.
When you find a few minutes of peace, roll either + wits or + heart.
On a strong hit, you find focus and your spirit is strengthened. You may clear the shaken debility and take + 2 spirit.
On a weak hit, your mediation is clouded by worries or dark thoughts. Choose one.
– Clear the shaken debility and take + 1 spirit.
– Clear the shaken debility and take + 2 spirit but suffer -1 momentum.
On a miss, you take no comfort and the situation worsens. Pay the Price.
Using Magic to perform tasks
Where there is no specific Ritual covering a particular activity (such as Strikes, Clashes & Face Dangers in combat), I’d like to give magical characters an option to use …
- +Heart or +Shadow instead of +Iron
- +Wits or +Shadow instead of +Edge.
Doing so will require relevant and interesting narrative and will bear additional risk. The risk will be slightly higher if Shadow is being used.
On a MISS, as well as the standard effect, roll twice on the Mystic Backlash table and the Player picks which of the two penalties to experience.
If the MISS is also a MATCH (even numbers only), roll once instead of twice and interpret the penalty more harshly.
If you used Shadow and the MISS is a MATCH (odd or even numbers) roll once instead of twice and interpret the penalty more harshly.