Tuesday 15 June 2021

Primordial Trickster

More work on this Primordial thing. This time thinking about a combination of Thief and a little bit of Illusionist.

It's hard to show this in a blogpost format, but when I get these ready for printing I definitely want there to be blank spaces left in some of these sections, encouraging the players to add as they discover more about the world and their character.

Playbook - Trickster

Gear - At any time you can produce one of the following from your person. If you have had your possessions removed, then you know where to get a makeshift replacement nearby.

  • Dagger

  • Rope or Wire

  • Hood and Mask

  • Any tool that fits in a pocket

Alter-Egos - Choose 2 and name them. You have a good disguise and any papers required.

___________ the Guard: An upholder of the law. 

___________ the Servant: A loyal worker to a powerful employer.

___________ the Wretch: A pathetic nobody. 

___________ the Merchant: A wealthy business owner.

___________ the Traveller: A respected visitor from a neighbouring land.

Contacts - The remaining entries above are real people that you know and owe you a favour. 

Secrets - These apply to your own city, but after a day of immersion in a new settlement you pick up the local equivalents.

Thieves’ Cant: A code of slang used in criminal communication. Speaking in this dialect opens certain doors and lends you some credibility in unsavoury circles.

The Underground: Both literal and figurative. A network of organised criminals, often hiding secrets in the cellars and sewers of the city. 

Backdoors: Every building has a secondary entrance that few people know about, and a more secret way that’s risky even for experts.

Tricks - Nothing fancy, just old-fashioned ploys that can be taught to anybody pretty quickly.

Confidence: Speak in such a way and people will believe what you say, as long as they don’t get too long to think about it, or have disproving evidence staring them in the face. 

Stab: Every piece of armour has a weak point that a blade can slip through, easy to find if you can study it closely. 

Release: There’s a trick to every lock, knot, or binding method that lets you release it. Sometimes it just takes a little time. 

Shadowplay - Techniques that require an intimate understanding of misdirection and deception. 

Tranquillity: In dim light you can effectively become invisible and silent. Any sort of bright light dispels this effect. 

Distraction: You can make somebody look over their shoulder for a moment, or even compel them to take a few steps away to investigate. 

Transpose: You can reliably swap the positions of any pocket-sized items unseen, as long as they are in the same room as you for a few minutes. 

Illusions - For now you have only scratched the surface of this arcane art. 

Figment: You can trick somebody’s senses or memory for just a moment when you address them by name. For example, if they turn around expecting to see a fire then they see it, and even feel the heat. The illusion only lasts a moment, but the victim immediately acts as if it is real.

Haze: Requires an hour-long ritual, which gives you a hazy appearance for the rest of that night. Even if you’re caught red-handed, witnesses are never able to fully recall details about your identity, or even exactly what you were doing. 

Apparition: Through careful mixing of oils and powders, available in any criminal underground, you can manifest an illusory image that acts in a convincing manner for a few moments. Larger or longer-lasting apparitions require more concentrated reagents, which come with a heavy cost.


  1. These playbooks are really cool, though this one feel less particular/specific than the Ranger's and fighter's ones. Being more general isn't better or worse than being more specific, I can see why being general can make it easier to apply the fact, but at the same time being more specific is in my experience more flavorful and makes me feel more inspired to apply them in unconventional ways.
    Absolutely loving this way of making classes, the above is just an observation.

  2. When I play rpg's and my character has too many abilities, then I get lost and tend to think the solution to all my problems is in my ability list. There are a lot of abilities here. Maybe giving a choice of 3 and letting the players unlock more later would avoid overwhelming the player.

  3. One playbook trick I saw in Wanderhome (although it might not originate there) is to have the player pick one thing they *can't* do.

    The alter-ego idea seems fun to me, and I like that the others become named contacts. It might be interesting though, if you had to choose one to become your enemy instead of your contact?

  4. Maybe 2 alter egos are too many?? great reading as usual!