Magic  Blue Rose - fantasy, blue, rose, magic, woman, night

Original by Blueangelandrea

In Blue Rose magic generally comes in the form of Arcana.  There are six of these – animism, healing, meditative, psychic, shaping, and visionary.  In addition there is sorcery (the dark side of arcana), Wild Talent, which I am addressing as a stunt.

(Blue Rose also has the “Arcana” stunt that allows character types which cannot normally use magic to gain the use of one Arcana, but since Fate allows for this without having to purchase it as a separate ability, I have left it out.  Given that the various forms of magic already have their own balancing costs, adding in the need for a feat or extra that allows for the use of an arcana seemed excessive).

Blue Rose - Shadow Wars by puimunARCANA

The general rules I suggest for the various types of Arcana are very similar

  1. All Arcana are separate skills (Arcane:  animism, or Arcane:  psychic for example).  These skills cannot be used untrained.
  2. For each Arcane skill a character takes, reduce Refresh by one, to a minimum of 1.
  3. When a character fails a roll when using an Arcane skill, the character takes one level of damage.  the exact nature of the damage is determined by the Arcane skill being used.  So, for example, psychics would take mental damage, but healers would take physical.
  4. Arcane skills can be used to Attack, Defend, Overcome, or Create and Advantage assuming the player can justify how that particular “flavor” of Arcane skill can be used for a particular effect.

My own preference for a quick and dirty conversion is to leave things simple and use the various Arcane types as a flavor for the overall skill, but it is possible to make things more complex.  If you want to be a bit more specific as to the effects of each Arcana, you can easily delve into Blue Rose and write up some index cards for the various arcane effects, listing what they can be used for.  If you want to fine tune these even more, you can specify which of them cause fatigue and give other details about how they can and cannot be used.  Characters get two arcane effects for each +1 they have in a particular Arcane skill.

Example:  Calm (Psychic):  Defend, Overcome, Create and Advantage.


Source – desktopnexus.com

Sorcery is similar to the Arcana above, but has changes to represent its dark and Shadowy nature.  Because a) it is against the genre to have large numbers of players practicing sorcery and b) it makes more work for the GM, I recommend not allowing more than one character in the party to have the skill.  Note that these rules are for Player Characters use of Sorcery.  NPCs can certainly use a much more streamlined system.

  1. Sorcery is a separate skill.  It CAN be used untrained (although it almost certainly shouldn’t be).
  2. Sorcery does not affect a character’s Refresh.
  3. When the character fails a roll using Sorcery, pick two of the following (you may choose the same effect twice):
    1. Take one level of mental damage
    2. Take one level of physical damage
    3. GM gets one Shadow Point.
  4. When a character succeeds at a roll using Sorcery, pick one of the following:

    1. Take one level of mental damage
    2. Take one level of physical damage
    3. GM gets one Shadow Point
  5. A character who succeeds with style at a roll using Sorcery suffers no effects.
  6. A character may use sorcery to attack, defend or overcome, providing they can justify how sorcery would be useful in that particular situation.  Sorcery can also be used under certain circumstances to create an advantage as detailed below.

Sorcery can be quite dangerous, so special rituals have been developed that enable the sorcerer to draw shadow energy around themselves to aid in future endeavors.  These rituals are usually long and involve lots of chanting and the sacrifice of valuable items, rare knowledge, and (sometimes) people.  Given time, hours of privacy, and enough equipment, a sorcerer may use the sorcery skill to create an advantage called “Shadow Energy” which can be invoked to aid in the casting of Sorcery.  This advantage may only be invoked by Shadow aligned characters and the sorcerer who cast it.  Having this advantage aspect around can be quite handy when you don’t want to blow that crucial sorcery roll.

Shadow Points are a physical reminder of the harm done by Sorcery – its lingering evil effects.  The GM keeps track of Shadow Points for the players.  At any time the GM may spend a Shadow Point to make the character’s life harder in some insidious way.  Examples include –

  • The character automatically fails at a mundane skill test (use this before any dice are rolled).
  • Impose a scene aspect on the character’s environs
  • Something gets loose in the world – some sort of shadow creature is unleashed.  Initially this creature will be small and relatively powerless, but the GM can spend additional shadow points to make it increasingly dangerous and powerful.
  • May spend it like a Fate point for any Shadow aligned opponent.

The sorcerer may choose to cancel the GM’s use of Shadow points.  The first time this is done, the character loses his or her Light Aligned aspect and becomes unaligned.  In effect, the character loses part of his or her High Concept.  The second time the character does this, he or she becomes Shadow Aligned.

(You are now wondering how to get your Light Alignment back aren’t you?  Aren’t you?  Well, I will have a longer answer in a future post, but for now – pay 15 Fate Points to jump your alignment one step).

As with Arcana, if you want a system with more specifics on the sorts of spells your sorcerer can do, then delve into Blue Rose and make up a few index cards listing the spell and its effects, as mentioned above.


This is a triggered stunt.  Choose one of the six Arcana to be the “flavor” of your Wild Talent.  Once per adventure when you suffer a Moderate or Severe consequence you may activate your Wild Talent.  For your next action, you act using the skill “Arcane [type]” at +4.  If you choose to mark an additional consequences box the skill bonus rises to +6.



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3 thoughts on “FATE OF ALDIS Part V – MAGIC

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