The following is a selection of Mantles I developed for my long running Emerald City DFA campaign. Any feedback would be welcome.
DRUID (Supernatural Scale)
A Druid’s primary magic stems from her magical Druidic training, which has certain advantages, limitations, and restrictions. The bulk of a Druid’s powers are not stored in her physical body, but granted to her by the Earth itself. She draws power from the Earth through her tattoos when she is physically in contact with the ground. While this gives her access to near-limitless supply for power, it puts her at a major disadvantage when in areas that are paved over or she is otherwise off the ground. Druids are also able to communicate with various Earth Elementals as well as Gaia herself. Druids operate at the Supernatural scale although some may achieve Otherworldly scale as they gain experience.
Separated From the Earth (special): [ ]
A Druid can draw on a nearly infinite amount of magical power from the Earth itself through her tattoos, but only as long as she’s in physical contact with it. Artificial materials such as cement or steel do not count as the Earth. Mark this condition when unable to touch the Earth directly, including while at sea or flying. When not touching the Earth directly with her tattoos a Druid is forced to rely on their own limited reserves of energy. Each use of a power or ability costs a point of Stress. If no stress is available a condition could be used in their place. Recovery of this stress and conditions will occur normally.
Touched by Iron: [ ]
Iron is the antithesis of all druidic and fae magic. When this condition is marked a Druid will be unable to cast any bindings or use any powers such as enhanced strength, speed or healing until the iron is removed from her person.
Animal Forms (lasting): [ ] hoofed animal [ ] winged animal [ ] predator animal [ ] water animal/fish
When in touch with the Earth, Druids can take the shape of 4 animal forms chosen for them by Gaia; a hoofed animal, a winged animal, a predator and a water animal or fish. If not touching the Earth then shape shifting will cost a point of stress.
While transformed, the following apply:
Take the Form of “Animal” Aspect in addition to your other aspects.
Swap the ratings of two of your abilities for each form, to be selected when the forms are chosen.
Gain all the inherent abilities of the animal you change into, which may confer automatic success on certain rolls. However, you also gains all their inherent limitations, such as not being able to speak and lacking opposable thumbs.
Benefit from scale (page 182) when using an animal form to exceed human capabilities. For example: keen predatory senses, inordinate strength & speed, overly large form that provides access to something inaccessible to normal mortals. Any opposition faced, however, will have a level of scale against the Druid whenever she is at a significant disadvantage compared to human beings. You and the GM should collectively
name a few examples as guidelines of when you would benefit from scale and when you deal with scale in opposition for each form.
Recovery of this condition begins when you retake human form while touching the Earth; full recovery requires concrete efforts to recharge from the experience, such as enjoying a hearty meal or uninterrupted rest. The GM may allow this recovery to occur between any two scenes involving a sufficient time jump.
Indebted (sticky): [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
This condition has five boxes. Mark one or more boxes when you have accrued a debt to a powerful group, person, or entity. The number of boxes you mark depends on the magnitude of the favor done for you; the GM has final say. Recover boxes of Indebted by doing favors for the lender in return, on their terms. Typically, a fairly safe but challenging task recovers one box, a dangerous task recovers two boxes, and a task that puts you in mortal danger or could otherwise permanently impact you recovers all boxes.
A Druid’s magical abilities are best described as variations on “Binding” and “Unbinding” of organic matter, including both living cells (such as those of a human body) and natural substances such as natural fiber clothing, roots, dirt, wood, and stone. This process can create or break mental or physical connections between these things, as well as alter them at the cellular (or even molecular) level to change them.
This allows a Druid to accomplish such feats as:
forming a telepathic bond with another creature
bind her sight to the magical spectrum to see magic and the true nature of sentients
changing the properties of herbs or chemicals to achieve specific effects
camouflage a person or object so they are nearly undetectable by normal vision
cause physical objects to attract each other or even fuse
break the bonds within substances so they fall apart
breaking up poison or toxins in her blood to render them harmless
altering her own body in a variety of ways including healing wounds, and enhancing her eyesight, strength, and speed. This provides a druid scale when utilizing those abilities
A Druid also has the ability to travel between realms by binding and unbinding herself from trees on one plane to trees that have been bound on the plane she wishes to travel to
Note that the above list is not exhaustive.
Druidic magic cannot directly harm a living being, or the spell will kill the druid on the spot. However, the rules of druid magic do not prohibit indirect harm. So, while a Druid cannot just stop an enemy’s heart with magic, she can increase her own strength to cut an enemy’s head off with a sword or use a compound bow with a draw-weight far beyond human capability. A similar loop-hole is that she can bind human cells so long as he is not causing harm, such giving someone a wedgy by binding their underwear to their back, or causing one person to slap another by temporarily binding one’s hand to the other’s face. For Druids “living being” does not including vampires or other undead, which means that druids can unbind vampires’ bodies on sight, causing them melt into it a puddle of gore.
In game terms, you may perform Create Advantage, Defense or Overcome actions with spectacular magical effects related to bindings. Your actions may have scale (page 182) at the GM’s discretion. However, a Druid cannot directly use bindings in an Attack action on any living being although, vampires and other undead can be attacked. Normally, Bindings take time and concentration to cast, usually a full exchange at least to speak the words of the binding and access Gaia’s energies. If not in touch with the Earth a binding will cost a point of stress or a condition to cast and additional stress to maintain (the exception is shape-shifting) each exchange.
Mark Indebted to call upon the local Elemental for favors. One box grants automatic success to a task (provided it is without risk) without having to roll or play out a scene. Two boxes pays for one cost for a ritual spell (page 172) or provides Elemental NPCs or a magical resource to assist with a dangerous task. If at least three boxes are unmarked, mark the entire track for a powerful Local Elemental to intervene on your behalf and resolve a situation utterly unresolvable under your own power. This action requires formally petitioning the elemental and convincing them that the intervention is in their best interest.
Bear Charm (sticky): [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
This is a charm that is usually worn as a necklace. It acts as general magic storage, for whenever a Druid needs magic, but is not directly connected to the earth. Mark a box for every binding, form or enhancement cast. Recover the energy when communing with Gaia. Recover one box at the conclusion of any scene in which you touch the earth. Recover two boxes at the start of a new session. Spend a scene in meditation with Gaia, without interruption, to regain all boxes of Bear Charm.
Faster, Stronger, Tougher:
Add +1 to any physical action if in touch with the Earth. The GM may elect to add scale (page 182). Mark a box of Stress or mark a Condition to add +1 to an action if out of touch with the Earth.
Once per session, you may treat a sticky condition reflecting physical injury as if it were fleeting.
Cloak of Shadows (Camouflage & Night Charm):
You can see perfectly in the dark and are immune to any potential effect of normal or magical darkness. Additionally, once per session, you may declare that you automatically succeed at hiding from any non-magical attempt to spot you, provided you have a nearby shadow to hide in.
As a scholar of arcane lore and magical theory, once per session you may declare that you are able to read obscure text in a mysterious language or determine the specific nature of a ritual upon seeing the precise location where it was cast.
Druids cannot use Evocations but they can learn Thaumaturgy. Gain +1 to the preparation of one broad category of magic (summoning, curses, divining, and so on). You may take this stunt multiple times for different categories but may not take any category more than once.
You can open portals between trees in the mortal world and other worlds. Once per session, you may declare your convenient arrival in a scene via a tree.
You have mastered the unbinding of undead including Red and Black Court Vampires. You gain Legendary Scale (see page 187) over any vampire targeted by the unbinding attack. If the target is taken out they turn to bloody goo. Sometimes explosively.