Thursday, May 4, 2017

Magical Style: The Way of the Rookery

Point-blank, this style is inspired heavily by the Dishonored series of games, and there are many bits that call back to it.  The character classes from the first few Elder Scrolls games (especially Daggerfall) are also a big inspiration.  I've always found the Nightblade mage/assassin class to be an interesting concept so this style is based around making that happen.

The Order of the Raven

The Imperial Nightblades of the Empire of Man, the Ravens are the Mage-assassins of the most powerful and wicked nation in the West.  The leader of the Order serves the Emperor directly as a left-hand man.  Legend and rumor has it that they have “retired” more than one Emperor whose reign became a burden to the Empire, the People, or the Order itself.

The Way of the Rookery                                                           13 points

Style Prerequisites: Magery 1, Callous, and either Duty (to the Empire, Extremely Hazardous, 12-) [-15] or Enemy (Order of the Raven, 6-) [-15].

Athletic ability is as necessary as mental acuity to the Ravens, and they have the right within the Empire to conscript those they think would make able members.

The style focuses on stealthy killing and combines the elements of a martial and magical style.  A damaging blow from behind is preferred to open battle, but an Imperial Nightblade is expected to hold his own when a fight can’t be avoided.  Wrestling grapples followed by precise strikes to the vitals are the standard methods of attack.  As an assassin's style, a student is expected to pick his battles wisely and avoid armored opponents by striking them at a time they're unarmored.

A favored magical tactic is to use Beast Summoning to summon a Swarm of rats or ravens and using them to dispose of or to mangle a corpse (see the Basic Set, page 461.)

Required Skills: Acrobatics, Body Sense, Climbing, Crossbow or Guns (Pistol) or Guns (Musket), Shortsword or Knife, Stealth, Wrestling.

Required Spells: Dark Vision, Great Haste, Haste, Scryguard, Sense Foes.

Techniques: Acrobatic Stand, Arm Lock, Breakfall (Acrobatics), Choke Hold (Wrestling), Disarming (Wrestling), Evade (Acrobatics), Feint (Knife or Shortsword), Ground Fighting (Knife, Shortsword, or Wrestling), Head Butt, Targeted Attack (Knife Thrust/Vitals), Targeted Attack (Shortsword Thrust/Vitals), Targeted Attack (Wrestling Grapple/Neck).

Spell Techniques: Long Step.

Cinematic Skills: Blind Fighting, Flying Leap, Invisibility Art, Light Walk, Mental Strength, Power Blow, Pressure Points, Pressure Secrets.

Cinematic Techniques: Pressure-Point Strike, Roll with Blow, Timed Defense.

Combat Perks: Acrobatic Feints, Improvised Weapons (Any), Special Exercises  1-3 (Striking ST), Sure-Footed (Slippery), Sure-Footed (Uneven).

Magic Perks: Knower of Names, Reduced Footprint (Dark Vision or Scryguard), Secret Knowledge (True Name of the Raven Lord), Secret Spell (Summon Rat Swarm, Summon Raven Swarm, Summon the Raven Lord), Unique Technique (Long Step).

Secret Spells: Summon the Raven Lord.

Optional Traits

Attributes: Increased DX and HT.

Advantages: Combat Reflexes, Enhanced Dodge, Enhanced Parry (Knife or Shortsword), Fearlessness, Fit or Very Fit, Hard to Kill, High Pain Threshold, Recover Energy, Trained by a Master.

Disadvantages: Bloodlust, Overconfidence.

Skills: Acting, Disguise, Garrote, Jumping, Knot-Tying, Lockpicking, Mind Block, Poisons, Ritual Magic (Ceremonial), Swimming, Symbol Drawing (Ceremonial), Thaumatology, Traps.


These are the basic spells the Ravens consider to be necessary for any assassin.
Dark Vision
Great Haste
Sense Foes


A Raven focuses on spells of intelligence, access, preparation, and defense. Advancing to Junior Nightblade requires knowledge of no less than eight of these spells.
Beast Speech
Beast Summoning
Bird Control
Boost Strength
Detect Magic
Lend Energy
Mage Sight
Sense Life
Share Energy
Mammal Control

Junior Nightblade

Junior Nightblades begin to learn the Order’s spells of assault and stealth.  It’s normally unlikely that a Junior Nightblade will get a single person kill-order issued to them until it’s time to advance in rank.  For the most part, they take part in group actions, or act in support of those of higher rank.  To advance to Nightblade requires learning eight of the following spells, and the prospect must have completed an official solo kill mission to the satisfaction of his superiors in the order.
Rooted Feet
Wall of Silence


These are the true assassins of the order, and are capable of highly risky solo kill missions. To advance to Old Crow requires knowledge of four of the following spells, and the assent of the Left Hand of the Emperor.
Beast Possession
Dispel Magic
Magic Resistance
See Secrets
Shapeshifting (Great Pike)
Shapeshifting (Rat)
Shapeshifting (Raven)

Old Crow

Old Crows are expert killers, and are also the leaders of the order.  Seldom are they seen in each other’s company, and they are considered some of the deadliest people in the Empire.  They have access to the greatest spells of the Order.  The Left Hand of the Emperor is chosen from among their number.
Alter Visage
Divert Teleport
Summon the Raven Lord†
Teleport Shield
Trace Teleport

New Spell Techniques

Long Step                                                             Average

Prerequisite: Teleport at 20, Unique Technique (Long Step).
Default: Teleport-10, may not exceed base skill.
Additional Energy Cost: 3.

Long Step allows you to use your Teleport spell for a Step as part of an Attack Maneuver.  You may not move farther than 10 yards using this technique. It requires an immediate Body Sense roll for you to act after the Step, and if you fail this you Do Nothing.

Secret Spells

Summon the Raven Lord (VH)
As Planar Summons, but it specifically summons the Animal Lord known as the Raven Lord.  You can attempt to control him with the spell as for Planar Summons or Summon Demon, but he is widely considered a powerful spirit to anger and has the ability to Plane Shift so a bargain is usually considered wiser.

The Order of the Raven has a longstanding agreement with him to provide them information, but anything beyond a simple question will cost you...

This is an Animal spell.

Duration: 1 hour.
Base Cost: 100.
Standard Prerequisites: Unknown.

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