Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Fantasy: Stunts, Leadership-Sleight of Hand (except Magic)

Whew! Little unintentional break there. Apparently they're only putting seven days in a week now. I blame the delay on Magic (see below).

Anyway, as with the last batch of these, many stunts can be ported as-is directly into "Spirit of the Sword," and many others need nothing more than a name change.

Leadership: As part of divorcing this skill from the assumption that the PCs are part of a globe-spanning organization, it loses a number of stunts.

  • Rename "Personal Conspiracy" to "Guild Member," and adjust accordingly, as below:
  • "Taking this stunt is an explicit indication that you are a member of some manner of professional guild; it’s probably worth making sure you have an aspect indicating as much. This stunt functions identically to the Network of Contacts stunt for Contacting, but in a fashion that is both more and less powerful than that stunt.
    "Whenever you call upon a fellow member of your guild, creating a companion on the fly, the companion is created with only one advance. If, instead, you’re looking to call upon one of the movers and shakers of your organization – not a peer, per se, but at least someone who’s significantly more capable than a run-of-the-mill member – you may instead create the companion with one additional advance. This companion receives the Independent advance for free.
    "Doing so, however, means that your guild now has one or two needs you must fulfill. You immediately gain a temporary aspect related to these needs, determined by the GM, and may not refuse compels of this temporary aspect whenever it comes up. Occasionally this temporary aspect may instead reflect a hidden agenda on the part of your momentary companion, rather than an explicit 'need.'"
  • Y'know, this might just be better under Contacting, along with Guild Coffers, below.
  • Rename "Lieutenant" to "Henchman" and remove the requirement to buy it more than once. If you want Baldrick, have at it. Otherwise, pretty much the same.
  • Cut "Legal Eagle" and "World Court" (for now -- I can see applications for them, but they're not especially exciting and can probably be handled adequately through Aspects).
  • Rename "Funding" to "Guild Coffers" and add "Prerequisite: Guild Member."
  • Charismatic Leader [Prerequisite: Associated Aspect]: When your reputation as a leader would benefit you, you may use Leadership instead of Rapport.
  • Quake Before Me [Prerequisite: Associated Aspect]: When your reputation as a leader would benefit you, you may use Leadership instead of Intimidation.
  • Force of Personality [Prerequisite: Either Charismatic Leader or Quake Before Me]: When it comes to social situations of any kind, your natural qualities as a leader simply can't be ignored. In appropriate situations, you may use Leadership instead of Status.
  • Renowned [Prerequisite: One other Leadership stunt]: The character is a recognized leader of some kind – a ranking member of a guild, a military officer, a politician, or the like. Even if his actual skill level is not high, he is still considered a fine leader, just not necessarily the best. The character receives a +1 reputation bonus when using Leadership in a particular milieu, such as combat, politics, or business. He may also pick a specialty (such a specific military unit, a specific city, or a specific guild) for which he receives an additional +1 specialty bonus.


  • Rename "Herculean Strength" to "Ogre Power."
  • Savage Fighter [Prerequisite: Wrestler]: Use Might instead of Melee when fighting with a two-handed weapon.

Mysteries [Magic]: After several attempts to list Magic stunts without first explaining magic, I've given up. These stunts will have to wait for the future blog entry on Magic, which should be coming up right after I finish posting all the stunts. As far as stunts are concerned, though, Magic has six stunt categories, five of which match the five brands of magic in "SotS":

  • Alchemy (concocting potions, elixirs, and other forms of spells in bottles)
  • Artifice (enchanting items or creating enchanted items, either temporarily or permanently)
  • Magecraft (conventional spellcasting)
  • Spirits (more or less the same as in SotC)
  • Summoning (everything from allies to walls to gold)
  • The sixth category, "Hedge Magic," is equivalent to SotC's "Secrets" category, sans "Herbal Remedies."

Pilot [Seamanship]:

  • Rename "Flight" to "Seamanship" and apply it to water travel instead.
  • Cut "Barnstormer." I don't even see a good equivalent for it.
  • Rename "Fly By Night" to "Tempest-Tossed" and limit it to weather conditions.
  • Cut "Flying Ace" and "Death From Above."
  • Sea Legs: When on watercraft, you may use Seamanship in place of Athletics.
  • Sea Dog [Prerequisite: Sea Legs]: To you, a boat or ship is a repository of improvised weaponry. Gaffs, clubs, oars, rope -- thanks to your years at sea, they're all second-nature to you. When on watercraft, you may use Seamanship in place of Melee.
  • Rename "Walk Away From It" to "Storm Survivor."
  • Rename the "Planes" category to "Watercraft."
  • Rename "Personal Vessel" to "Personal Watercraft" (dull, I know, but what's the alternative?).
  • Rename "Prototype Aircraft" to "Masterwork Vessel."
  • Rename "Plane Mechanic" to "Boatwright." There are few other vehicles besides boats, though, that can benefit from Boatwright; the usual rule about applying one's knowledge of planes to other vehicles might not apply, ever.
  • A Friend in Every Port: You've seen plenty of harbors in your time. Use Seamanship instead of Contacting when in port, or when your experience or reputation as a sailor would apply to the situation at hand.


  • Rename "Five Minute Friends" to "Fast Friends."
  • Rename "International" to "Well-Traveled."
  • Rename "Ladies' Man/Popular Gal" with "Comely Lad/Lass."


  • Rename "Cool" to "Discipline."
  • Rename "Smooth Recovery" to "Disciplined Mind."
  • Rename "Cool Customer" to "Pull It Together."


  • I'm a little apprehensive about "Headquarters." For one thing, the name isn't especially evocative of the genre (but as of press time I'm stuck for a better one). Second, Otherwise, probably as-is. Additional modifications are bound to come to mind later, and some other stunts could stand to be renamed, but the existing stunts are all applicable in one way or another. There's also the issue of whether to even use Resources at all, or just cut it and install an actual economy in its place.

Science [Medicine]:

  • Cut "Forensic Medicine." In the unlikely event that something like that comes up, just make it a normal Medicine roll. Not much information is likely to be gained from it, anyway.
  • Cut "Doctor." If Medicine is the only use of Science, then having a stunt that does nothing more than give a flat +2 isn't viable.
  • Rename "Medic" to "Healer."
  • Rename "Surgeon" to "Churgeon," make "Healer" a prerequisite, and cut the specialization requirement.
  • Should Magic's "Herbal Remedies" be here instead? I'm kinda thinking it should, although if that happened I'm not sure what purpose it would serve beyond using Medicine instead of Survival to find raw materials in the wild.
  • Cut all Theory stunts.

Sleight of Hand:

  • Rename "Bump and Grab" to "Pickpocket."
  • Cut "Stage Magic" and "Master of Illusion." They just don't strike me as especially interesting or in-genre. May want to add stunts relating to Magic or even Medicine.


Guybow said...

You asked for an alternative to "Headquarters".

How about the term "Stronghold"?

As for it's use--well, the old "Baldur's Gate 2" computer game was an excellent example of uses / hooks for Strongholds.

1) Fighter Stronghold was a fortress / castle.
2) Mage-related Stronghold was a tower (possible use for library-related research stuff)
3) Thief / Assassin Stronghold was actually being the nominal leader of running a Thieves' Guild.
4) Bards even had a stronghold of owning a Theater.
5) Druids / Rangers could have a Forest as their Stronghold.

Diongham said...

I have a suggestion ... Changing Slight of Hand to Skulduggery?