Play the Game: Mojo

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Mojo: Using mojo

Characters use mojo to improve skills, modify failed rolls, and increase abilities. Some specialties also use mojo for special effects.

Using mojo: Abilities

It costs three times the character’s current ability score to increase an ability by one point. Increasing the character’s archetypal ability costs only twice the current score. If the player wants a specialty, and only one point of an ability requirement stands in their way, the player can increase that ability by spending only the current score. For example, if a warrior has a 17 strength and the player wants the Exceptional Ability specialty, they can increase their strength when they choose that specialty by spending 17 mojo.

Fields and skills

New fields cost 11 mojo. The field comes with one skill and is at +1. Increasing a field bonus by 1 costs four mojo, plus the current bonus. For example, increasing a field from +2 to +3 will cost six mojo. Increasing from +5 to +6 will cost nine mojo.

Adding a skill to a field costs five mojo. Some fields are partially or fully restricted to specific archetypes. Archetypes other than the preferred archetype, if they are allowed to gain skills in that field, can do so for seven mojo.

If reasonable from the character’s backstory, players can buy skills, fields, and field bonuses immediately before making a roll where that skill and field can help. When bought immediately before rolling, the player will gain the mojo spent as a bonus on that roll.

Monks can learn techniques that apply to one skill (at a cost of two mojo) or to all skills in a field (at a cost of four mojo). They can convert a one-skill technique to a field-level technique for three mojo. Converting a two-skill technique to a field-level technique costs two mojo.

Fighting Art

The Fighting Art is partially restricted to warriors. New weapon skills cost five mojo for warriors and seven mojo for non-warriors.

The Fighting Art field bonus cannot be increased using mojo; it can only be increased by increasing the character’s level.

Using mojo: Rolls

After the failure of any d20 roll involving any of the character’s archetypal abilities, the player may choose to bid a specific number of mojo to change the outcome of the roll. If that bid as a bonus would make the roll successful, the necessary mojo is lost (excess mojo is kept by the player) and the outcome is reversed. If the bonus would not alter the success of the roll, no mojo is lost.

Archetypal rolls are rolls against the character’s archetypal ability, their archetypal reaction, a roll involving a specialty, or a roll involving an archetype’s special abilities: combat for warriors, picking pockets for thieves, casting spells for sorcerors, etc.

Mojo use to affect rolls is always useful. If a player successfully affects a roll using mojo, the results of that roll must be useful. It must matter to the character’s success in the adventure. For example, if a monk uses mojo to affect a surprise (perception) roll, they will receive more information than simply “you hear a noise”. They will receive useful information about the nature of the danger.

If the action that the character is taking is simply not useful to the adventure, and the player uses mojo to be successful at the action, the Adventure Guide will say so and the player will have the opportunity to withdraw that bid. This is the only time that a player can withdraw a successful mojo bid.

Mojo cannot be used against other player characters.

Mojo experience

When mojo is used to affect an archetypal roll during the course of an adventure, the character gains 50 experience points per mojo used. These experience points are gained immediately.

If the character gains enough experience to go up a level, the level change occurs immediately. The character gains the new level’s benefits immediately if the player doesn’t need to ask about them. If they need advice or assistance, the benefits are gained only after the current scene ends.

For example, if a player bids six mojo to succeed on a failed roll, and needs to spend four mojo, their character loses four mojo and gains 200 experience points.

Mojo increases

If the amount of mojo spent to turn a failed roll into a success is as much as is needed to gain a new bonus or skill in the appropriate field (or even to gain an appropriate field), the character gains that bonus, skill, or field.

For example, a player whose character has Language Science at +1 is told that their roll to read an ancient manuscript has failed. The player bids seven mojo to succeed. They need six mojo. Since it would have cost only 5 mojo to increase Language Science to +2, the character’s Language Science is now at +2.

Practical mojo

Characters can practice to gain and enhance fields, learn skills, and research spells. Characters study, train, or practice to acquire mojo that works like the mojo they receive for advancing in level. However, practical mojo is specific: it must be dedicated to a specific field, skill, or spell during the learning process. Specialties that create things may also allow the use of practical mojo.

Practical mojo never offers bonuses to rolls when used.

Practical mojo may only be used for fields, skills, spells, and specialties. It may not be used for other purposes, such as increasing ability scores, nor can it be used for restricted fields such as bonuses to the Fighting Art or thieving fields and skills.

Normal study

Characters may practice or study in order to gain one mojo per week. Mojo points cost one silver coin each for study or exercise materials and instruction. Training in this manner precludes adventuring or any sort of regular, full-time job.

Free-time study

Characters may gain one mojo for every month of free-time study. Training in this manner precludes excessive travel, such as long adventures, but does not preclude a normal job that allows for free time of at least two hours almost every day in the same place. Mojo points gained in this manner cost two silver coins per mojo gained.

Characters may use free-time study for up to three things at once, although this will leave no time for other things, such as a job.

Intensive study

Characters may gain zero mojo for every two days of intensive study. A mojo resource of some kind is required for intensive study. Mojo points gained in this manner cost three silver coins per mojo gained. Characters may not engage in intensive study for more than half wisdom days at a time. After intensive study, the character may not engage in intensive study for at least the same period.

Intensive study allows for no free time. Mojo points gained from intensive study must be used within intelligence days or they are lost.

Practical mojo: Breaks

Days, weeks, and months of study may not be saved. Only mojo may be saved. Characters may take a total amount of time off of one day (for normal study), half a day (for intensive study), or six days (for free-time study) while acquiring each point of practical mojo.

Mojo resources

Resources such as books, libraries, instructors, and schools provide bonuses to practical mojo gained. Resources are rated by the field or fields that the rating covers and by their mojo level. A really good magical library might have a level of 8 for magical research. A detailed book on Roman etiquette might have a level of 10.

Mojo resource types Mojo total
General (skill) book level/bonus difference (level 1-7)
Specialized (skill) book level/bonus difference (level 1-12)
Immersion (language or etiquette) student’s charisma
General library (100-15,000 books) level/bonus difference, times ten
Specialized library (100-5,000 books) level/bonus difference, times twenty
Tutor level/bonus difference, times ten
School level/bonus difference, times twenty

Mojo resources with levels or (for Tutors) field bonuses have a mojo total depending on how much higher the field bonus/level is from the student’s field bonus/level.

Different mojo resources may be combined—but only one of each type. If a student uses multiple resources, add all mojo totals together and consult the mojo bonus table. Mojo resources may be mined for mojo at a rate that increases according to the mojo resource’s total mojo. A mojo resource with ten mojo, for example, will grant 1 mojo per week of normal study, per month of free-time study, or every two days of intensive study.

For example, a student with Philosophy+2 using a level 5 philosophical library to assist in their study of philosophy will gain an extra three mojo for each period of study: five minus two is three, times twenty is sixty, and sixty mojo total means 3 mojo per time period.

Mojo total Mojo bonus
1 1 per 4 time periods
2-3 1 per 3 time periods
4-7 1 per 2 time periods
8-15 1 per time period
16-31 2 per time period
32-63 3 per time period
64-127 4 per time period
128-255 5 per time period
256-511 6 per time period

If they are also studying under a tutor whose philosophy score is four, that will add twenty to the total, for a mojo total of 80. This will give them four mojo for each period of study.

Mojo resources often have usage fees. Libraries may require payments for the use of their books, and tutors may require payment for their teaching services. Such payments will generally vary from zero to ten silver coins per mojo that the resource grants in a time period.

Mojo resources may only provide up to their mojo total on any particular project.

Cultural immersion

If a student immerses themself into a culture, this will help them learn the culture’s language or etiquette. Immersion doesn’t have a level, it’s either all or nothing. The mojo total will be the student’s charisma. The student can never gain more mojo than their charisma from cultural immersion.

Student exceeds resource

If the student’s level or bonus exceeds the mojo resource’s level or bonus, the resource may only be used one time as a study aid. The mojo resource will provide its level in mojo for one project by the student. For example, a sixth-level sorceror could use a level 5 magic guide as having a mojo total of five.


A character’s intelligence, as a major contributor, shifts the Mojo bonus up or down on the Mojo bonus chart when the character is using at least one mojo resource. A character with an intelligence of 15, for example, studying from a book with a mojo total of 5, can mine that book at 3 mojo per time period rather than 1 mojo per time period.

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