Spirit of the Islands

Character Creation


Aspects are important narrative traits for a character that might be a flaw, a special piece of equipment that you want to give a special bonus, or personality traits. It's important for most of them to be able to be used positively for you, or negatively against you (this is how you gain fate points).

  • Choose two aspects suitable for your homeland.
  • Choose two aspects suitable for your early training.
  • Choose two aspects suitable for your profession.
  • Choose four aspects of any type.


Academics Alertness Archery Art
Athletics Burglary Contacting Crafts
Deceit Empathy Endurance Fists
Gambling Guns Intimidation Investigation
Leadership Mystic Lore Might Rapport
Resolve Resources Sailing Sleight of Hand
Stealth Survival Tinkerer Weapons
  • Skill Note: The average 'non adventurer' character will have Fair to Good in his signature career skill. An elite might have at most Great. A bard might have Fair to Good in Art, a scholar might have Fair to Good in Academics, and so forth. Characters with higher skills are highly talented indeed, or have great potential with but a little training if they haven't had this training yet.
  • Skill Points: Distribute 35 skill points among your skills. Average skills cost 1, Fair 2, Good 3, Great 4, and Superb 5. You cannot start higher than Superb, and you cannot have more skills at one skill level than are at a lower skill level. Thus if you have 2 Great skills, you must have at least 2 Good, and at least 2 Fair, and so on. You cannot have 5 Great skills and 2 Good and 3 Fair… etc.
  • Academics: All characters automatically start the game speaking Sidespeak, which acts as something of a linga franca throughout the islands. Human characters also speak Shardathi, while non-human characters speak their racial languages. Characters may speak a number of additional languages equal to their score in Academics.

Special Talents

Some characters may have special talents. Not everyone will by any means. These special talents have a cost in fate point refresh, making those without these talents more talented when it really counts.

  • Magus (5 Refresh): Magi may use magic in various ways, enhancing their abilities or the abilities of objects around them. Magic tends to be non-flashy: no fireballs or teleporting allowed. Magi are divided into physical and somatic magi: a physical mage creates a physical work such as a painting or sculpture, while a somatic magi is a performer, performing a dance or singing a song.
    • Physical Mage: A physical mage must prepare his magic beforehand; he cannot cast magic spontaneously. He may prepare a number of artistic pieces equal to his Mystic Lore skill. Additional pieces of art may be prepared at the cost of one fate point per piece.
    • Somatic Mage: A somatic mage may cast magic spontaneously, though it's still difficult. A somatic mage may prepare a number of artistic pieces equal to half his Mystic Lore skill. To cast spontaneously, the Somatic Mage must spend a Fate Point to empower the spell.
  • Tinkerer (3 Refresh): Tinkerer use their strange technology to create wondrous inventions. Tinkerers may create inventions that equate to twenty-first century technology, though wide-scale pieces of technology are very rare. They may start with a number of toys equal to the lower of their Resources or Tinkerer skills.
  • Wild Talents: A Wild Talent usually has a single magical ability. They may be able to move quickly and jump great distances, breath water, fly, shapeshift or speak to ghosts and so on. Wild Talents are purchased as an Aspect. The character may invoke the Aspect for a bonus relating to the magical ability, or invoke the Aspect for effect in order to trigger the magic. For example, a character who can turn into a hawk might invoke for a bonus to make his eyes sharp like an eagle's or invoke for effect and turn into a hawk. Someone who can speak to ghosts could invoke for a bonus to ask a nearby ghost a question about the area or invoke for effect to see all ghosts in the area and ask a dead person what his wishes are. Many Wild Talents come with negative side effects: an eagle shapeshifter might be prone to rages and hate being tied down, while someone who can speak to ghosts might have ghosts bothering him often.

Fate Points

Characters begin with 10 Fate Points; any characters who choose a talent with a refresh cost start with fewer fate points. For example, a Tinkerer starts with 8 Fate Points instead of 10, while a magus starts with only 5 Fate Points.


  • Health: Your Health begins at 3, modified as follows from Endurance: +1 at Average or Fair, +2 at Good or Great, and +3 at Superb or Higher.
  • Composure: Your Composure begins at 3, modified as follows from Resolve: +1 at Average or Fair, +2 at Good or Great, and +3 at Superb or Higher.


  • You may choose any normal equipment you wish in general. Some equipment, mostly armors, weapons, and mad scientist technology, give bonus dice as listed below.
Equipment Bonus Dice
Light Armor +1
Tinker's Armor*, Heavy Armor +2
Dagger, Flintlock Pistol, Rapier, Sword +1
Big Honking Axe, Flintlock Rifle, Great Sword, Tinker's Pistol* +2
Tinker's Rifle* +3
*Only a tinkerer may start with these items


Tinkerers may make technology beyond normal. This is not magical; it is true science, though it isn't the same as the science of the real world. Things work differently here. Most Tinkerer technology uses a great deal of clockwork: an alarm might be a small clockwork bird that watches an area and alerts the tinkerer if someone approaches. A tinkerer gun might be composed of bronze and brass, and be sleek.

  • Burglar Alarm: Must Defeat Tinkerer's Tinkerer total to sneak past alarms; Alarm may ring audible alarm or trigger alarm in trinket tinkerer carries
  • Engineer's Armor: +2 BD; Light Enough to Swim In
  • Engineer's Pistol: +2 BD; Multi-Shot
  • Engineer's Rifle: +3 BD; Multi-Shot
  • Grenade: +2 BD; x2 Result vs Minions


Magic in Spirit of the Islands changes reality in subtle ways. It augments or degrades a person or object's properties, rather than creating something out of nothing. A mage may increase a person's skill with a sword, or decrease someone's strength, or increase the rockiness of a cliff to make it easier to climb the cliff.

A mage casts a spell by making an Art or Mystic Lore check. The mage has a -1 penalty if these skills are at least two points apart (Good Mystic Lore with Superb Art, as an example). If the spell targets a person or personal item, the target rolls his Resolve; if it's targeting an area or location, the difficulty is set to Fair. Subtract these totals; this is the bonus or penalty provided for the action.

A magical bonus targeting a person or personal object lasts one action; it lasts as long as it takes to accomplish that action, be it swing a sword, sneak past a tinkerer's alarm, or build something. If the magical effect targets an area or location, it lasts a short period of time: long enough to accomplish whatever task is being attempted and no longer. For example, if a magician hardens thin ice to make it able to be walked across, it will last until everyone gets across the ice, but it will not last indefinitely. The one thing that cannot be augmented with magic is a magic roll.

For effects targeting people or personal objects, the mage can increase its duration by decreasing the bonus on a 1:1 basis. For example, a mage casts a spell that makes someone fight better. The mage rolls his Art and gets Legendary (+8). The target rolls his Resolve and gets Good (+3). This yields a total of five result points. The mage may give the target a +5 bonus to a single roll, or a +4 bonus for two rolls, or a +3 bonus for three rolls.


  • A player can change Aspects or shift skills around at the end of a session.
  • Players gain 1 Advance when the GM deems it appropriate.
  • Raising a skill costs 1 Advance per rank. Thus to raise an Average skill to Fair requires 2 Advances.
  • Purchasing a new Aspect costs 5 Advances. Purchasing a new Aspect increases your Fate Point Refresh by one as well.
  • All changes to a sheet must make sense and get GM approval.



If a character is blocking for another, and the enemy rolls badly (misses by three or more), the character may spend a fate point to get a free attack against that enemy if it makes sense. If the enemy misses by five or more, the blocker earns a free attack without having to spend a fate point.