Lost Emblem Saga: Draconic Tokens

Dragons! Big scaly (or feathery or what have you) beasties with maws of sharp teeth and a tendency towards breathing gouts of flame, venom, or the gods know what at you. Tangling with a dragon, violently or otherwise, can be a Big Thing. A Big Thing with, depending on the dragon, a Big Payoff.

Sometimes it even comes from the dragon itself. It might not even mean slaying the beastie!

Which is good, because some dragons may be like unto gods.

So how does this work?

Here are a few possibilities.

Gifts Granted Freely

To seal a pact, to grant a boon to a loyal friend or follower or worshiper, to give a representative the power to act in their name, to demonstrate power, to sow a little chaos here and there — there’s any number of reasons a dragon might grant a token to one of the “lesser” folk. Whether reshaping an existing object or shaping one wholesale from its own flesh and spirit, the dragon creates a gift for its chosen recipient.

Many of these tokens are weapons, but not all of them. If you don’t have a form in mind, you can always roll for it:

01. Weapon
02. Weapon
03. Armour
04. Grimoire
05. Grimoire
06. Ornament
07. Instrument or Tool
08. Weapon

And also for the mark that the object bears to show its origin:

01. Carved from the dragon’s fang(s)
02. Sheathed in the dragon’s shed scales or other plumage
03. Sports one or more dragoncrysts
04. Contains dragonsblood ampoule
05. Carved from dragon’s horn or talon
06. Dyed or enameled with dragonsblood

Needless to say, all such tokens are finely made specimens. (Dragon magic can do wonderful things.) They aren’t unbreakable, however, unless granted by a dragon of divine power — which isn’t to say that even a more “mundane” token may not show some quirk such as a faint glow, slowly reshaping itself or its ornamentation over time, or slight changes of size and proportion to suit its current owner.

But what does such a token do? The possibilities are endless and boil down to the whims of the dragon in question (and the GM, of course *lol*); here are some basic ideas to get things started:

01. +2 (or more!) to attacks made with it, or while bearing it, as appropriate
02. Grants Advantage when used (or when used for a specific purpose, whether hunting sorcerers, penning the perfect sonnet, or making a first impression)
03. Absorbs incoming energies aligned with those of the dragon (fire, light, death, winter, passion …)
04. Grants (additional) protection equivalent to a specific armour type, such as chain or fullplate
05. Grants the ability to cause injuries that wound like flame, frost, venom, or other draconic energies
06. Will heal one wound, even a lethal one (or one given wound within a certain time cycle)
07. Grants an additional sense or senses (nightsight, magic sensitivity, draconic sensitivity, direction sense, tracking ability …)
08. Protects against a certain type of enchantment or affliction (flame magic, poison, paralysis, mind-tampering …), or grants Advantage against it
09. Allows the owner to take on a draconic form
10. Opens a portal to a specific location or locations
11. Will produce a certain amount of a specific substance (bread, raw metal, stormwinds, water, sunlight), or for a specific amount of time, daily
12. Allows owner to tap into the dragon’s knowledge or wisdom
13. Grants the ability to cast a specific spell or spells as if learned, once a day at maximum efficiency
14. Owner’s magic is resisted at Disadvantage by a specific type of target or targets
15. Subjects of the token (injured, touched by, marked by, they hear it, etc as appropriate) are magically “stained” by it and may be tracked by the owner
16. Grants the ability to communicate with spirits and shades of all types, or other unusual subjects, such as animals
17. Owner is always clean, groomed and generally immaculate-looking
18. Deal maximum damage with an attack involving the token (or, once a day, or once a battle; or a certain number of times a day, or after spending one’s own essence)
19. Grants unusual physical capability, such as aquatic adaptation, flight, burrowing, or resistance to a specific hostile environment
20. Increases one or two attributes by anywhere from 1 to 3

Gifts granted by a draconic token reflect the dragon bestowing the gift — a martially-inclined beast will favour weapons or armour or other such things, a reclusive scaly scholar will gift sources of knowledge or means of defense, a flamedrake a gift of fire, and so on. In many cases a token’s gift or gifts will echo the abilities of the dragon as well, be it elemental affinity, breath weapon, unique sorceries or even the dragon’s own famed feats.

Similarly, a token’s power reflects that of its creator. A young beast is not about to grant a gift loaded down with half a dozen abilities, no matter how much it wishes otherwise — and a gift from an elder dragon means the favour, and attention, of such a vast and powerful creature.

A dragon cannot be magically or physically coerced into making such a token. It must be freely given, of the dragon’s own choice. A dragon is always aware of its gifts, and may glean a vague sense of location, presence, and purpose put to with a bit of concentration.


A canny dragon knows that the lesser folk are just as covetous as any drake can be. A wise dragon keeps its gifts from falling into the hands of any random creature that may take advantage.

There’s a way around these troubles, to a certain extent. If the gifting dragon crafts its token to be bloodmarked, only those who bear its mark may make use of the token’s benefits, while all others wield a finely-made object and nothing more.

Some dragons make this an unseen, spiritual marking but most prefer to drive the point home more viscerally, as much a test of the would-be recipient’s resolve as a proper binding. Anointed with the dragon’s blood — a draft of which must also be swallowed, fresh from draconic flesh — that one is now bloodmarked and their new gift responds to the diffusion of the draconic donor’s power and will through the giftee’s body.

Whether the mark will pass on to their chosen’s descendants is a matter of draconic choice in the moment of marking. It’s generally considered courteous to let them know one way or the other (and sometimes that’s even the point).

Torn From The Fallen

But — the notes above are not quite true. There is a way to claim such treasures from a dragon against its will — or one such, at least, a single token from a single draconic source.

It’s not pleasant, and it begins with the death of the dragon in question.

Through flensing butchery, darkling alchemy, and necropotent sorceries, a dragon’s fading, fleeing power may be bound into a token made by another’s hands. All such objects are crafted from the dragon’s bones, in their entirety or nearly so, and should they bear any ornamentation at all it is of black-scorched inscriptions, bloody enamel and gory dragoncrysts.

These are not pleasant things to look upon, no matter how finely crafted they may be.

They also come with a price for tearing draconic gifts away along with the dragon’s life. All such balegifts grant at least two abilities, and are Advantage weapons against dragons, but also inflict one or more afflictions unto their owner. Some possibilities include:

01. Heal at half the usual rate
02. Constant nightmares, affecting social interactions (-2 modifier)
03. Vulnerable to a specific form of injury (an element, poison, necromantic magic, bleeding …), taking twice damage
04. Haunted by the slaughtered dragon’s restless shade
05. 1-in-6 chance of berserking in combat or under duress until subdued or there are no targets
06. Will rise as undead horror if driven to brink of death

Balegifts may also be bloodmarked, if the first owner consumes the dragon’s blood and at least a sliver of its heart or pearl. On the one hand, this will always bind the token to the owner and also their bloodline; on the other, they will never rid themselves of the acquired afflictions.

We Know Of You

Any dragon that sees a pact token — let alone a balegift — will know exactly what it is and very well may also know exactly who granted the token in the first place, simply by looking at it. This can have some immediate and terrible repercussions in the latter case!

Life And Death

Yes, it is possible for a living dragon to bestow its blessing and then later be killed and butchered to have it stolen from them.

Yes, a bestowing dragon might then become some sort of undead horror later. Such an abomination can still sense its given gifts.

Or other such interesting situations.

Just what may happen? Well, that’s hard to generalize, now isn’t it ~?

Seasonal Spells

Been fighting creative blocks for a while now — I mean, a lot of folks are, I daresay — and it’s been frustrating getting stuck in cycle after cycle of have idea -> ponder idea -> get stuck -> stew in own juices -> get another idea to add to pile -> infinitum.

But this one, I got through the block! Yay!

So here are 48 rules-light-style spells; twelve spells for each season.
(these are the seasons as I think of them; I’m not claiming some season-primacy here yo)
They’re formatted for pocketrpg but it should be pretty easy to suss them out and adapt them to other level-less rules light systems — and if you don’t want to take the seasonal route, just mix em’ up anyway —

Options: Someone who learns from a season cannot learn its “opposite”; someone who learns from a season can learn no other season’s magic, but may acquire non-seasonal magics freely


01. Coldsleep: The chill of the season falls. Living beings Nearby fall asleep until warmed.
02. Be Still: Sorcerous cold stiffens flesh and unliving matter both, forcing target into frozen stasis for 1d4 hrs. (spend Essence to extend duration; 1/day – week – month)
03. Hoarfrost: Coats an area up to Far Away in glittering frost; reveals illusions, spirits and invisible creatures, and places tests against Winter magic at Disadvantage for 1d6 actions.
04. Icedrop Clarity: Target must still for at least one action; then an actionable answer to one question, decision or puzzle unfolds in mind’s eye. Advantage on next related action.
05. Night Unending: Cloaks area no larger than one farm in cold darkness, as if the sun never rises. 2d4 days. 1 Essence.
06. Shivering Cloak: Wraps subject in silvery white aura, halving all harm from heat, fire, or mental addling for 2 hrs.
07. The Calm Of Snowfall: Beings Nearby are overcome by the still silence of winter and must make Psyche checks at Disadvantage to act. 2d6 actions.
08. Diamond Dust: Flurry of glittering icy particles, sharp as razors, inflict 1d4 damage on 2d4 targets that are Nearby.
09. Icereaver: Conjures a sword or other bladed weapon of steel-strong ice, which deals an extra 1d2 damage from cold in addition to normal damage or stuns a struck target, costing them their next action. 2d6 actions.
10. Frozen Poise: As cool and precise as an ice sculpture, the subject gains +2 for all attributes when testing in social interactions where poise and calm clarity are of value. 2 hrs.
11. Long Cold Winter: Extinguish all sources of heat and light within visual range. They remain extinguished for 24 hrs. 1 Essence.
12. Whiteout: Cloak all in visual range in a blizzard that makes travel impossible and limits vision to 1d6x10′ at any given time. 4d4 hrs. 1 Essence.


01. Refreshing Flutter: In a rippling breeze, the subject is like new: cleaned, groomed, small blemishes or hurts healed, and energized to boot, with +1 to their next action.
02. Hope Brings Rain: Calls the rains down within visual range for 1d8 hrs; choose the rainfall amount wisely! — with a 1-in6 chance of a destuctive downpour regardless of intent.
03. Awakening: Pale rose-green energies invigorate up to 2d3 allies, granting them an extra action.
04. Verdant Renewal: Cause plants (even seeds) which are Here to gain a month’s growth, or a tree to burst into foliage and blossoms.
05. Brightbolt: Sudden lightning strike deals 1d8 damage to chosen target, even Far Away.
06. Mists Of Springtide: Cloaks an area up to Far Away in gentle mists that grant Advantage on cover and sneaking to all within them. 1d4 hrs.
07. The Sweetest Draught: Draw from a blossom or cluster of blossoms at least the size of one’s fist enough nectar to fill a small waterskin. Becomes alcoholic by the next day.
08. Threads Of Beginnings: Glance at a living creature and divine its place of origin and either two facts about its ancestry or what action it is currently likely to take in the future.
09. Whims Of Life: Cure, or cause, disease in one living being.
10. Cleansing: Immediately discern (by caster’s standards) the subjective and objective value, usage and proper placement of all objects within one room or equivalent area — and have them sorted, if needed.
11. Sprightly Returns: Energize self and up to 2d3 allies to travel twice as far before needing rest. Yes, this cerulean-green enchantment will also affect vehicles. 1 Essence.
12. Flowering Whispers: Whirls of creamy petals and golden dust leave 2d6 targets Nearby coughing and sneezing for 2d4 actions, able only to defend (and they still feel miserable for 2d6 hrs afterward).


01. Endless Day: Cloaks area no larger than one farm in warm daylight like high noon in summer. 2d4 days. 1 Essence.
02. Wildfire: Choose — either 2d6 Nearby targets take 1d8 damage from fire, or terrain up to house-size ignites. You cannot control the latter once unleashed. 1 Essence.
03. Heatwave: Addle 1d4 targets with warmth, leaving them confused and disoriented for 2d10 minutes or until cooled.
04. Tending Bounty: Designate one discrete location or subject. For the next 24 hrs, be aware of the condition of your chosen subject, and what it might need, whenever you wish.
05. Venomscourge: Burn out a poison or toxin.
06. Castles In The Sky: Create a detailed illusion that covers as much as 50′ cubed, or convince up to 8 subjects of a vague mirage off on the horizon. 1d6 hrs.
07. To Your Health: Subject heals 2d3 Essence.
08. Zenith: Subject impresses all who see them, appearing as in the prime of life; grants +2 to relevant attributes on tests involving raucousness, joyful gatherings, and jocularity in general. 2 hrs.
09. Sunstroke: Inflict fever on a subject, leaving them at Disadvantage for all tests for 2d4 hrs or until sucessfull treated.
10. Raise The Roof: Breath of tawny-green energies infuses up to 8 individuals; work produced is completed in 1/3 of normal rate, if it involves constructing or creating physical objects or the net result could be considered ‘bounty’ in any form. 24 hrs. 1 Essence.
11. Sky-Devouring Swarm: Calls swarm of terrible tiny bitey bugs (blackflies, skeeters, noseeums, midges) which promptly descend, like they do. Designated Nearby targets lose an action and 1d2 Essence, and itch like the blazes afterwards.
12. Sunshiny Day: Create a brightly coloured token reflective of a pleasant memory, which may be shared with or gifted to another to share that memory. Being so reminded eases any mental or emotional malisons for a day.


01. Witherblast: Bolt of orange-red energy deals 1d4 Essence to chosen target and halves effective Body until target consumes a day’s worth of sustenance (not necessarily all at once).
02. Hunter’s Thread: Choose a general subject, bunnies to boletes, with token in hand (or make one); for the next 8 hrs, sense the direction of the closest example of that subject.
03. Concealing Brilliance: Clashing enchanted colours paradoxically make the subject effectively invisible. Or, simply change the colour of an inanimate object. (2d10 minutes/permanent)
04. Galeforce: Summon tempest-strong winds to batter and scour up to 10 miles for 1d6 hrs. 1 Essence.
05. Scarlet Wisdom Prudence: Envelop up to 2′ cubed of material in conjured, dull-scarlet stoneware-like material. The contents will remain fresh as the moment they were stored until the seal is broken and the lid lifted, then time proceeds as expected.
06. Knackery: Convert any carcass into 3d6 meals’ worth of portable, completely edible, nondescript “iron rations”. Carcass choice may cause some commentary, depending.
07. Cull The Weak: Determine the most vulnerable of all Nearby being, ranking all present. Learn the exact vulnerability of the weakest.
08. Stitch-In-Time: Divine answer to one question, so long as it involved preparation against the future or future events.
09. Scarecrow: Conjures a phantasm of shadow and broken straw, painted bones and tattered rags; 3d4 Nearby subjects flee or cower in fear.
10. Golden Sacrifice: Blood a willing subject; another subject heals the amount of Essence the subject loses. Willing subject may be the caster.
11. Flicker: Choose up to three general subjects, spirits included; subject becomes a beacon or lure for them for 4 hrs.
12. Harvest Token: Infuse a small object with crimson-gold sorcery, producing one of the following when token is used: sustenance (a full meal); comfort (protection from environment, 12 hrs); blessing (reroll once, or otherwise escape one dire circumstance). 1 Essence. You cannot possess more than one enchanted token at a time.

psionics in the works

Over the last stretch of weeks, after contemplating the idea for most of last fall (I can be very slow), I’ve been putting together a set of psionic talents for pocketrpg stuff.

(I’m kind of thinking of tweaking the phrasing of a few of them and releasing a Creative Commons version of the talents themselves, like I did when I put out a hundred CC spells over the holidays)

And yeah, I basically used the tried-and-true thematic subdivisions, because

1) they work so why change it
2) they’ve existed through all branches of specfic as well as through sff rpgs
However! My end results have seven paths/schools/disciplines/whatever, instead of the “usual” (A)D&D six, for the following reasons and rambling train of thought to get to the end result:

1) I liked some of the ideas behind the Metapsionics discipline in 2e, but not all of them, and also the idea of locking stuff behind/into “the uber discipline” was and is annoying
2) similarly I really like the Metacreativity discipline in 3e, because making stuff is cool, manipulating ectoplasm — originally as much considering a psychic manifestation as a ~ghosty manifestation, thanks so much Ghostbusters *grumbles* — is cool, and why I never liked anything to do with crystal anythings why do you ask *shifty look*
3) if psionics is powered by your will, your “you”, your spirit/soul/insert-whatever-term, there should be spirit stuff in general
4) buuuut I hate the (often frankly creepy and not in a horror way) “occult” trappings that get slathered all over that end of things (a turnoff I have with Pathfinder’s approach to psionics, for example, because it lays it on thick)
5) I wanted to try to avoid the exoticizing/Orientalizing that keeps slinking into psionics stuff, from names to definitions

Also “telepathy” needed some tweaking, although in the end it really is about messing with people’s minds as much as talking to them and that’s annoying. I’ve avoided the worst mind control, though, I hope.

So in the end I have seven groups, labeled with one-word titles because frankly I think a good amount of the “psionics doesn’t belong in fantasy” crowd — aside from having missed whole branches of the fantasy genre in general for the many decades — are put off by the oft-deliberate pseudo-scientific name schemes in place.

To whit:

– Sight (“clairsentience”)
– Mind (“telepathy”)
– Body (“psychometabolism”)
– Forces (“psychokinetics”)
– Motion (“psychoportation”)
– Matter (3e “metacreativity”, tweaked just a smidge)
– Spirit (“metapsionics” 2e stripped down and recombined with spirit- and ghosty- and intangible stuff)

Twelve talents each, and I did my best to avoid jargon with the talent names also. (oh gawd I wrote another 80-odd thingers plz end me *lol*)

Hopefully I get some simple formatting done and these up by the end of the week or maybe next week. Definitely debating over a CC version also though.

And of course, nothing’s stopping anyone from using these, once they’re up, as just another pile of spells to add to a spell pool anyway; there’s nothing inherently different about them in the end. It’s all cool.

Dicember 2021 – runic

Runes are a collection of small enchantments — or evocations of the power of the world, or bits of spirit knowledge, or however you choose to apply them in your game — that anyone can pick up and learn.

There are no “spell slots” or the equivalent involved, just the knowledge of the rune and the time to prepare it. Once made, a rune may be kept almost indefinitely; however, they certainly aren’t immune to being lost, damaged or erased, or deliberately destroyed. Activating a rune — which requires contact — expends the power of it, but the physical rune may often remain and can be “topped up”.

The number of runes an individual may have prepared depends entirely on their available materials and time. The number of runes which may be used in a day, however, are limited by one’s fortitude and will (i.e. the higher of a character’s applicable attributes — Body and Psyche for Wandering Jewel Moons, Constitution and Wisdom for OSE/The Black Hack/etc — divided by 3).

Some sample runes:

01. Gleam: Limns supernatural things or manifestations in a soft, brief glow
02. Soothe: Calms the nerves, removes fear and lifts fogginess of the mind or heart
03. Mend: Restores a repairable object; think torn clothing
04. Sustain: Nourishes as a good meal and drink does
05. Ignite: Kindles a flame, or grants fire’s warmth
06. Freeze: Induces cold, potentially enough to cause frost
07. Illuminate: Creates light of the power and duration of a candle
08. Communicate: Understand an unknown language until encounter with it ends
09. Hold: Seal a portal or container closed
10. Inspire: Uplifting surge ensures next task will succeed
11. Abjure: Repel specified malignant forces for a dawn-dusk cycle (or reverse)
12. Heal: Banish disease or infection, last injury knits twice as fast

You can give them more interesting names, of course, even simple ones, maybe something like

01. Wyrdrune
02. Heartrune
03. Weaverune
04. Breadrune
05. Flamerune
06. Frostrune
07. Brightrune
08. Speechrune
09. Lockrune
10. Faterune
11. Wardrune
12. Bloodrune

Each rune requires at least two of several possible elements in order to be successfully created; perhaps a specific colour of pigment, a particular addition to that pigment, or a burin or knife or stylus or brush made at least partially from a specific substance. Some may also have a “preferred” material to be placed upon.

It’s not a terrible idea to also design some omni-applicable elements — perhaps suitably unusual or rare — to give out as goals, or simply as a flavour to add.

An example set of associations, using the runes above:

01. seashell; silver; dew; ivory tool
02. applewood; rose; wine; willow tool
03. leather; tawny; dust; oak tool
04. maplewood; green; blood; willow tool
05. jet; orange; ash; iron tool
06. glass; azure; salts; iron tool
07. horn; yellow; wax; oak tool
08. paper; violet; sugar; ivory tool
09. foil; black; resin; iron tool
10. copper; gold; gall; willow tool
11. parchment; red; incense; ivory tool
12. linen; green; marigold; oak tool
* omni-applicable — black rosewood or tree ivory; ultramarine; musk; moonsilver or sungold tool