Fate Core Sneak Peek: Magic System Toolkit

coverbitHi Folks, as the Fate Core Kickstarter is moving full steam ahead, we want to give everyone who isn’t already a backer a sneak peek at the Magic System Toolkit by Rob Donoghue.

The Six Viziers

The people of the Endless Steppe accept no dominion but that of the sky. Their people are scattered so far and wide that some wags say that this truth is the only thing they hold in common. And perhaps they are right – from the onion-domed towers of the River Cities to the Tent Nations of the Horselands to the walking towns of the southern jungles, the Folk of the Stars all direct their prayers and curses to those same stars.

Most often, these are directed to the Six Viziers, the constellations that dance around in the court of the Empress, whose place in the sky is always fixed. Each one holds divine responsibility, and each carries righteous petitions to the Empress.

30-Second Version: The Six Viziers

Don’t want to read it all and just want to wing it? Do the following:

  • Reduce your Refresh by 1
  • Pick which Vizier you’re marked by (Eye, Giant, Shadow, Soldier, Steward or Villager) and take the aspect “Marked by…” (as in ‘Marked by the Giant’).
  • Describe where the physical mark is on your body
  • When you use a skill associated with that mark, your efforts are magical, more like deeds out of legend than mundane efforts.. This does not translate into a bonus, but it just means a generally more awesome outcome, depending on the situation.
    • Eye: Investigation, Lore, Notice
    • Giant: Athletics, Physique, Will
    • Shadow: Burglary, Deceit, Stealth
    • Soldier: Fighting, Shooting, Ride
    • Steward: Intimidation, Rapport, Resources
    • Villager: Contact, Empathy, Crafts
    • Also, replace Drive with Ride.

The Eye

Virtue: Observant
Vice: Inaction
Also Called: The Sage, the Watcher, The Inquisitor, The Auditor, The Spy
Often Depicted As: Genderless robed figure, Male magistrate, Female wise woman, Female Librarian, Owl, Eye.
Domains: Investigation, Lore, Notice

The Eye observes and reports to the Empress. He sees all, and gives others the knowledge and insight they need to act appropriately. The Eye himself rarely acts directly. In some stories, it is because he is an agent of law – an investigator – who solves a mystery so that the appropriate authorities may act. In others, he is paralyzed by a desire to maintain his neutrality, or by knowledge of the potential harm of his own actions.



The Vault Of The Eye – The character may look at a scene and recall it in perfect detail. In practice, this allows the player to ask the GM questions long after the fact, and take his time performing investigation rolls.  This includes ANY question the character might ask if they were still on sight, such as the contents of containers.  If the answer to the question would require a skill roll (such as picking a lock to see a chest’s contents) the character may try normally, as if they were still there.

A character may keep more than one scene in memory, but the cost of doing so is one Fate point per scene already memorized.

The Pieces of the Puzzle – When you take a few minutes to study a particular item and it’s position,  you can reasonably reconstruct the chain of events which lead to it being there. This reconstruction will be accurate, though it will not reveal any more than the necessary details.  That is, it will reveal that it was carried by hand at some point, but not by whom.


The Blessing of A Thousand Tongues – The character may learn any language quickly. With tutelage, it takes only a day. With only the opportunity to read or listen, it takes a week. If the source material is especially sparse, it may take as long as a month.

The Eye Sees All Paths – The character may not know everything, but they always know how to find out. When looking for a fairly specific piece of information, the player may give the GM a Fate point to be told where the closest place they can go to find out, no matter how obscure or lost the information is.  In short, the character can never hit a wall when trying to find something out.

There are no guarantees of how easy it will be to get the knowledge, but that’s what adventure is for.


Stars Illuminate the Night – So long as there is the faintest amount of light, the character can see as if it were a bright day. In the rare case of utter darkness, they can see as well as if they had a light source.

The Eye Gazes In All Directions – The character is never surprised. Even if it’s only by a moment, they are always forewarned of the unexpected.

The Giant

Virtue: Strength
Vice: Rage
Also Called: The Titan, The Pillar, The Earthshaker, The Laborer
Often Depicted As: Stone Statue, Frost Maiden, Ogre, Elephant, Ox.
Domains: Athletics, Physique, Will

The Giant represents strong hands put to good effort, but also represents strength going unchecked. Most often this strength is physical, but it goes deeper than that. It is said that it is the Giant who sets the heavens in motion at the behest of the Empress. In tales, the Giant is often portrayed as well intentioned and powerful, but not always in control of the power in those great hands. He is often in a secondary role to another Vizier (often the Steward or the Eye) acting in the service of greater discernment.



Strides of the Giant -Character runs as fast as a horse, has a vertical jump equal to his own height, and can run for a day and night without stopping for rest (though they need to crash hard and eat a lot when they’re done).

By My Hand, Set the World in Motion – Through a combination of speed, dexterity and uncanny timing, the character always has a path forward. In a static environment, this means that the character is capable of crazy parkour-like movement to get almost anywhere that could be physically accessed. In a more fluid environment the character is impossible to pin down or fence in, as they’ll always find the gap.


Giant’s Appetite The character can eat ANYTHING without harm. Not just foodstuffs: if they can chew and swallow it (or drink it), they can safely consume it, and even gain sustenance from it.  He may casually ignore poisons, decay, shards of glass and similar inconveniences. As a bonus, flavors are very distinctive and memorable to the character, which allows for disgusting tricks like comparing the taste of blood samples to see if they’re from the same source, as well as more useful tricks like identifying a familiar poison.

None May Bind The Giant – If the character is restrained or shackled, they may break those bonds, so long as they are natural or manmade. No door or lock may withstand more than a single blow from the character. Barriers with no opening take longer, but the character is effectively an entire sapping team with nothing more than fists and feet and anything else they can bring to bear..


The Mind Is The Greatest Mountain – So far as social skills are concerned, the character does not exist. He cannot be swayed, befriended, intimidated or otherwise moved. His speech reveals nothing about him or the veracity of his words (For purposes of the Villager’s ability, treat him as if he had a higher Deceit score).

Never Broken – Character gains a -8 physical stress box which recovers in the same way a -2 stress box does.