Role-playing design notes

Random notes on the design of Gods & Monsters, and maybe even Men & Supermen if I can remember what I was drinking when I wrote it.

Gods & Monsters Fantasy Role-Playing

Beyond here lie dragons

New spells and spirits added, skills updated

Jerry Stratton, November 11, 2004

This second 2004 update continues the clean-up of skills and specialties, and adds several new spells for mid-range to higher levels.

Learning and Acquiring Spells

Understanding spells has been moved into the Mnemonic section. Classical sorcerors have enough trouble learning spells without having an extra roll.

The process of researching spell formula has been added to the mnemonic sorceror also:

Normally, mnemonic sorcerors acquire spells by trading formulas or by researching and creating formulas. Whether by trading or by research, once the formula is acquired the spell must be “inscribed” into the sorceror’s spell repository using the inscriptionspell. Research into recreating a spell formula can be very time consuming. It takes spell level weeks to research the formula. If the spell formula is not generally known or there is no good research material available for study, the character will need to acquire the research material as well.

At the end of the research period, a Learning roll is required, at a penalty of the level of the spell. Poor research material can give a penalty to the Learning roll. Great research material can give a bonus to the Learning roll of from 1 to 4.


Chain mail bulk is doubled when carried, not tripled.

Skill changes

Cram was moved into the thief archetype.

Mental Resistance is now like any other skill: it provides a bonus of one.

Woodcraft was removed from the Warrior archetype and placed in the Nature Friend specialty. Tracking was moved into the general rules:

Tracking is much like searching, but it takes place over a space of time and distance. There is a penalty of one to the Perception roll for every day that has passed since the creature or creatures passed, and a standard bonus according to the size of the group that is being tracked. The successful tracker will generally also know incidentals such as how long ago the creatures passed.

Characters may also attempt to cover their own tracks. This is also a Perception roll. Successfully covering their own tracks gives a penalty to the Perception rolls of those trying to track them, of the amount the player made their Perception roll by.

Other skill descriptions were removed or modified, depending on how useful they were.

Specialty Changes

The saving roll for Componentless Casting now has a bonus of the sorceror's level. Also, some spells have essential components that must be used regardless, such as ink for Inscription and a pointed object for Eternal Flame. On a failed casting, the spell is no longer lost, nor are mental fatigue points used.

Nature Friend was changed so that “nature stealth” makes more sense and is easier to work with.

New Spells

Suggestion was added at first level, Group Suggestion at third level, and Lasting Suggestion at fifth level.

Ephemeral Stage wwas added at fourth level, Ephemeral Reflection at fifth level, and Ephemeral Play at seventh level.

Find Item, Find Location, and Find Magic were added at fourth, fifth, and sixth levels, respectively. Hide Item and Veil were added at third and fifth levels.

Illusory Transport and Illusory Terrain were added at fifth and seventh level, respectively. Ghost Ship was added (finally) at twelfth level.

Personal Alterationwas added at fourth level.

Shadows and Crawl were added at second level.

Old Spells

Illusory Self should have been second level, not third level.

Seek Object has been renamed Seek Item, its reverse removed, and moved from third to fifth level.

New Spirit Manifestations

Stone Hail has been added at second level.

Night Road has been added at eighth level.

  1. <- First 2004 Update
  2. Third 2004 Update ->