The Spellbooks of the Outer City

So I was thinking a little about magic in Pits and Perils and the interestingness of the four letter spell names. Players in my last game dug it. Of course they did - it’s interesting.

What gets me is how a little thing like that can generate the specificity of the game world. When I see a strong departure from the  [sometimes deliciously] descriptive nature of the spell names from other games I can’t help but think, “What is that?”.

In Pits and Perils, the four letter names feel coded. It’s an interesting limitation and also sets the tone [for me] as to what magic might look like.


The inevitable Blade Runner


The Labs of the Outer City


Among the dense alleyways of the Outer City, alchemists and other specialists of arcane technologies ply their trades in the manufacture of items, appendages, homunculi, and tablets - the latter being the essential tool of any young mage - from which they construct the mathematical abstractions that weave and form their spells. It’s intricate, expensive work.

Leftover technologies, mostly lost after the Collapse, live on in these laboratories. A tablet, very expensive and modular, is constructed to a user’s specifications in crowded, chilly labs. Parts of technological concepts from prosperous times long past, wired and woven together in an occasional nod to a technological wealthier time. These practitioners, despite their ramshackle appearances, are rumored to be very wealthy. They are also quite skilled; constructing devices for both the meek and powerful.


Game Notes


Players may design their spellbooks as they please. Whether they be simulacrum medieval or future tech, the devices that contain their spells require a period of eight hours to recharge if the spell points are discharged. This requires stillness so that whatever source of energy they derive their power, may rewarm the internal mechanisms.

To operate, they also require expertise. Magicians, as they are called, though hacker or technician would be a better fit, have studied these coded constructions. It’s through this expertise that the devices work.


In order to add spell points [at level change] the machines need, of course, to be upgraded - which will cost in gold. Such is the march of progress.