Goals for Immortals’ Wake: Rivergate

So what’s my goal for this new Moebius Adventures project?

Immortals’ Wake: Rivergate will bring together a few things from the settings and rules we’ve written Moebius Adventures over the years. The goal will be to use the rules of Warrior, Rogue & Mage and finally express the high fantasy, nearly superhero world of IW.

Yes, you heard that right. Fantasy and Superheroes. I don’t quite know how else to describe the setting.

The general idea is you have a normal high fantasy world with wizards, priests, warriors, thieves, and everything else thrown in (though it is an all-human setting – no elves or dwarves here, sorry). And then some of these people become “Changed” – sort of like the Fantastic Four from Marvel Comics when they get bombarded my cosmic rays and come back with superpowers. Except in this case, the “Change” is sparked by an insane immortal – “The Nameless One” – who controls the elements – earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. Anyone who crosses his path has a chance that he or she also gains the ability to control an element to some degree. Most people try to flee when he is near, but a handful are crazy enough to want the Change.

The Change manifests in different ways. Some of the Changed are powerful in their element, while others seem to barely have any control at all. Sometimes the Change itself drives the person mad and for others it gives them a purpose. Like in the real world, ability doesn’t necessarily relate one to one with skill. And where most spells are about rote memorization, control of an element is more fluid – sort of like Rand al’Thor in the <em>Wheel of Time</em> weaving flows together to create effects.

Also consider that though these people can control the elements to a degree, the elements begin to change them as well. Imagine someone with power over Earth with skin starting to look more like marble or clay than flesh. Or imagine a Water Changed stuck in a desert somewhere, dying more quickly of dehydration than a normal human might.

As if these side effects weren’t bad enough, these “Changed” individuals are typically hunted, tested (or tortured depending on your point of view), and killed as they have been touched by evil. Known simply as “Demons” by the Church, the Changed live in constant fear of being discovered. Not everyone in the Church fears them and a few even support them in hidden ways, but for the most part the Church hopes to extinguish all Demons from the face of the world.

Immortals’ Wake: Rivergate will serve as a stepping stone into this world. Rivergate is but a small gateway to the Kingdoms. The Nameless One is rumored to be wandering through the Kingdoms, though few are brave enough to locate him themselves. Will he come to Rivergate? Or will adventurers seeking power at any cost seek him out?

Here’s the general outline of the book…

  • Overview
  • Chapter 1: Places (Local, Near, Far)
  • Chapter 2: People (Local, Near, Far)
  • Chapter 3: Characters (Skills, Talents)
  • Chapter 4: Magic (Supernatural, Divine, Common Spell Books)
  • Chapter 5: Rumors/Hooks
  • Appendix 1: Changed (discuss Wild Talent over the Elements – Fire, Earth, Air, Water, and Spirit)

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What do you think? I’d love some feedback below…

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2 thoughts on “Goals for Immortals’ Wake: Rivergate”

  1. This sounds very cool.

    Do you have any mechanical distinction between wizards and the Changed? The fluff you quoted makes sense, and I like it. But, can the players actually tell the difference? (Note, WR&M is still sitting in my “to be read” pile.)

    I’m also working on a fantasy supers setting. So far, it has mostly been in a d20 structure. But, the big change is that wizardly magic takes time and ritual to pull off. We’re talking ten minutes, minimum, to cast a spell (but, spells have a longer duration than typical D&D). Superpowers, though, are quick. They also are either at-will or always on. It really helps to draw several clear lines between how the two types of effects work.

    I wanted to draw in a number of other superhero tropes as well. So, for instance, the supers get their powers from a shattered magical gem that once protected the kingdom. Now the evil empire (that shattered the gem to breach the kingdom’s defenses) is hunting the supers as well. As such, they are forced to use costumes, secret identities, etc. It ends up, I think, with more of a Zorro/Scarlet Pimpernel feel than any kind of comics feel. But, at least some of it is there. I think you’ll get some of the same mileage out of the conflict with the Church.

    I’d be more than happy to swap ideas with you.

    1. @Lugh – Mechanically, there was a distinction in the Moebius system but I don’t really think there will be in WR&M simply because it doesn’t make sense. Ultimately we’re talking about a similar approach – except instead of Mana feeding magic, you have a separate pool for Elemental Energy. So that may be the only diff. WR&M is nice because the spell effects are so open ended. If I apply the same idea to the Changed abilities, I don’t have to explain a wholly new concept.

      Awesome. I always liked the “ritual” approach to magic for bigger spells requiring more magical energy. How will it work for individual spellcasters? Is it not that magic isn’t available to everyone, but that it takes a certain mindset to cast a spell which requires a ritual set of steps/thoughts to cast?

      But the “at-will” vs. “always on” concept for supers powers really makes a lot of sense. And I love the shattered gem idea and the more Zorro/Scarlet Pimpernel approach. It gives some weight to the reasons behind “secret identities” and so on.

      Originally for Immortals’ Wake we talked about having a series of mana pools (silver liquid) beneath the surface like lava – these would erupt spontaneously at times creating magical storms that would rage and “change” people who were caught in them. But we ditched that idea in favor of a deeper backstory with the thirteen realms of wizardry working together to further their knowledge and creating the first “Changed” – of course that worked well initially but turned out to be a bad idea when the Immortals that the Changed became went mad with power and started enslaving everyone else and killing the wizards who created them. 🙂

      Would love to compare notes though.

      Thanks for the thought provoking comment!! It’s nice to know the blog has at least the occasional reader. 🙂

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