Arcane Power, A Venture City Power


Okay, so other than last week’s release of my book Archetypal Roles, I’ve been working on some materials for a game I’ll be running at my library.  Here’s a sneak peek:

Arcane Power

You understand how the fabric of reality is woven and can change the weave to suit your needs.

Basic Arcane Power:  You recognize the use of magic whenever it is used.  Just by observing an effect, you can tell what sort of magic was used.  In addition, you gain a +2 to Notice to determine who cast the spell.


Master Arcanist: You gain an additional +2 to Notice when examining magical effects.

Arcane Might: The world need not terrify you.  You can conjure using Lore as an overcome action to create a spell in the moment.  If you succeed with style, instead of gaining a boost you create a situational aspect with one free invoke.  The spell fades at the end of the scene, even if you didn’t use its aspect.

Nothing up My Sleeve: With the flick of the wrist and a few words, you can pull any number of useful items from somewhere else.  You can spend a fate point to create virtually anything that could be hidden on your person.

Common Power Synergies

Mystic: Your power comes from the hidden forces of the world and you can conjure up virtually anything from the energies underpinning reality revealed by your inner sight.

Intensive Study: Your powers are a result of mastery of obscure and occult texts few have ever laid eyes upon.


The magical world is invisible to those who do not know what arcane power looks like.  Thus, Everyone Thinks You React to Imaginative Figments.

Magic, like fire, behaves its own laws.  You’re Not Always in Control of the power you wield.

The source of your arcane power has a steep cost.  To maintain your power, you occasionally Must Make Unpleasant Sacrifices.

Collateral Damage

Tearing of the Weave: You reach with and grab hold of all the threads in your zone and shred them without concern.  Anyone within the zone suffers agonizing pain that prevents them from taking any action.  Nameless NPCs are knocked out while Named NPCs and PCs must make a Will check against a Good (+3) obstacle to prevent succumbing to the pain and taking a 2-point stress hit.

Primal Scream:  If you do not care who gets injured, you can unleash the full fury of the unseen power of magic.  The energy rips through you, dealing you a 2-point stress hit and wrecks the zone you’re in.  Anyone or thing in the zone must make a Physique roll against a Great (+4) obstacle or take a moderate consequence, nameless NPCs are killed instead.


Had a health scare


I’m a diabetic and I had something crop up that essentially ate this month.  At times, despite my best efforts, it has caused a few issues, like not updating this site or keeping up with some of my personal projects at the rate I (and likely you) would prefer.

The good news is I’ve been given a clean bill of health and I bounce back rather quickly.  When you throw in the work I’ve been doing to prep Archetypal Roles to get the PDF version ready and have the print-on-demand version nearly in the wings, the results have been to slow down other items.  Expect to see more regular postings and releases.


Latest Release


My latest project is available in PDF format at the moment. A physical book will be available soon.  For now, my Archetypal Roles book is available on

If you can’t wait, or you want to get a jump on character design for your stories or games, give this a look.  The book breaks down the subject to help you generate the ideas to fit more than a million seeds you can grow into full-fledged characters with the depth audiences expect for the people in print, on stage, or the screen.



March Easy 1


February Medium # 2: In the Stacks


A library-themed puzzle for this entry.


Learning by Design – Tools and Games for Ages 11-13


Yes, there is some overlap here with the previous grouping and the following one.  That said, there are a few key differences in game play that makes this age group appropriate to discuss on its own.  Part of this comes not from the biological changes this audience undergoes or faces, but rather in the core competencies of game play development that occur in this transitory period.  What is different here is the level of sophistication in the style of play and the enjoyment of established concepts matures to incorporate deeper levels of meaning.  What is often embraced at this time are more immersive experiences and a greater awareness of resource management.

What kids can create at this age range starts to include games with storylines of increasing complexity, the use of multiple resources, and more integrated systems.  Rather than being a new skill or tool, this coincides with the greater understanding that comes along with information the child learns.  This is also a continuation of the growing modularity of game systems and the recognition of analogous structures.  Thus, while much of the material is derivative and linear, the games at this age begin to incorporate nonlinear elements as well as a greater level of choice in game play (which coincides with greater awareness of other viewpoints).  The two game tools that fit this intermediary phase are:


  • Introductory resource management systems
  • Development of storylines, predominantly linear, interspersed between game play

Learning by Design – Interactions and Play for Ages 9-12


The developmental milestones for kids in this age group sees a lot of rapid change from year-to-year that makes condensing it into a brief overview difficult.  Kids start out growing use not only to using tools with increasing skill, but also a greater body awareness that, by the latter half of this age range grows into greater awareness of gender differences.  As such, the mastery over self and tools and working until exhausted are some of the key identifiers of this age group.  Sports also become more important as they help with the exploration of physicality and eventually being in a constant state of motion while awake by the end of this age range.  The types of games tend to take these developments into account.

In terms of information and intellectual development, the younger end of this age range is still in the information gathering phase as they continue to commit facts to memory.  It is not until the latter half of this age range that they begin to use logic, categorization, and deep though to better understand and use that knowledge.  The child also starts to internalize physical lessons into mental ones as analogous structures.  Conceptual frames, like time, are elusive for the 9-10 year-old crowd, but become easier to manage and use and can be applied to the worldviews of others.  This growing awareness helps with the social developments of the child discussed below.

Kids begin this age range unwilling to do anything they find unpleasant, which includes chores and often being around the opposite sex.  They can be responsible and carry out chores.  Emotions have more sway over the first half of this age, but mellow out as reason develops.  Friendships grow in importance, but it is not until the second half of this stage that relationship with parents begins to change.  Group activities continue to become more important to the child and by the end of this age range, the desire to conform to peer pressure begins to develop as the drive to feel connected to a social fabric of shared interests grows.  Interests grow more important and sharing is communicated as much by enthusiasm as it is dislikes, which may be more prominent than the former.


February’s Medium Puzzle #1


I have a backlog of puzzles, so here’s another to keep you occupied while I finalize some publishing details and get the variety of blog posts flowing again.