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Ravenhurst Character Creation and Rules

Ravenhurst ST

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Your Character is a teenager between the ages of 13-17, do not worry about mixing ages, if you want to play a 13 year old go right ahead you will still be in the same class as the 17 year old.

Some time within the last year of your life some thing happen and you made magic spontaneously. This usually a bit of elemental magic or telekinesis or something simple and raw. An example of this would be the opening scenes of Harry potter where he accidentally made the Window in the snake exhibit vanish.

You characters magic making alerted a sorcerer who reported you to the Council of Sorcerers and they in turn did their mumbo jumbo and determined that this wasn't a one time thing but that your character has the true potential to become a sorcerer so you were approached and offered a position at the school to learn how to make magic properly and safely. There are two schools for adolescents in America, Ravenhurst in Vermont and Summerwild in the Rocky Mountains. Due to quotas your characters have been sent to Ravenhurst. Your parents have been mind fudged into thinking you have been selected for whatever reasons that make sense, to attend a special boarding school for gifted children, all expenses paid.


First write your Description/background, remember I do not want a five page novel just the high points as shown in the examples above.

Then assign your Attributes

Attributes begin with 0 dots and you have 6 dots to split between Knowledge, Conviction, and Talent. Technique begins at 0 (unless the Steady Hand advantage is taken)


Fitness is determined by the total of Knowledge, Conviction, and Talent.

Scores may be modified by Advantages taken below


Advantages and Drawbacks

Each character has 3 advantages and 1 drawback, only 1 of the following may be taken as one of your 3 beginning Advantages : Adept, Arcane Background, Luck, Old Family, Down to Earth, Steady Hands however you may take as many as you wish if you take them as Additional advantages.


Additional advantages beyond the standard 3 may be taken but for each additional advantage one more drawback must also be taken.


That's character creation. Any questions post em here


Character Descriptions/Backgrounds -These fall into the three following categories. Each should take no more than a few sentences to convey a sense of the character. Below you will find the Categories you need to describe for your character each comes with some questions. Your descriptions don't have to include all of the questions and can include things not covered here. Don't just make a list write it it out like in the examples, make it live. But keep it short. I don't want a two or three page back ground. None of your characters will know each other before the game begins so let keep it a journey of discovery for everyone.

1. The Basics

- Name: (first, middle, last, and nickname)

- How old is he/she?

- What does he/she look like?

Example: Jane Jennifer James, called 3J by her close friends, is a 15 year old overweight girl. A rather average looking young lady, she dresses in uncomplimentary baggy clothes to hide her bulk but it doesn't do very good job of it really. She keeps her red hair short and it's usually messy and her large framed glasses help show off her nicest feature, her sparkling icy blue eyes.

2. Family Background

- Where did your character grow up?

- Are her parents married or divorced?

- Does she have siblings? If so, is she the oldest, youngest, middle?

- Which family member is she closest to?

- Which one does she keep secrets from?

Example: 3J grew up in a predominately working class Irish-American community in Chicago. Her dad is a teamster and a union man through and through, her mom teaches grade school. Her parents have been together through thick and thin (a lot of thin) since they were in high school. 3J has two big brothers and a sister one year younger than her. Margery, her sister, and her share a room in they're old 2 story house and even with the age difference, they are really best of friends. She gets along good with her brothers who are protective of their sisters, and with her mother. Her dad is another story, he drinks a lot and while he doesn't hit or abuse any of them he can be heavy handed and just doesn't understand his kids and he would never understand 3J's abilities to make Magic, so she has kept that part of her life hidden from him.

3. Self Image

- What is her strongest personality trait?

- What is she most proud of?

- What does she wish she could change about herself?

- How do other people see her, and is it different from how she sees herself?

- What is she most afraid of?

- Like/dislikes

- Skills and Hobbies

Example: Being 15 is rough for any kid, being a 15 year old fat girl with red hair and thick glasses is a comedy of errors just waiting to happen. But 3J doesn't give in to despair even before the magic came, 3J defied the stereotype. She has always been physically active and even plays sand lot sports with the neighborhood kids and no one can touch her imagination. She began playing dungeon and dragons when she was little, introduced to the game by her brothers she quickly out stripped them and by the time she got to high school she was the best DM in the area. Not to shabby for a 15 year old chubby chick, not at all. But still she wishes she could find a diet that works, when she sees the other girls wearing pretty clothes and looking thin and sexy, that's when her weight bothers her but up to now diets just haven't worked, well maybe Magic can.



There are 4 magical Attributes which are used in the casting of spells and one called Fitness which governs everything else a character does. Usually each attribute is rated from 0 to 5 dots except for Fitness which is derived from the total of 3 of the other attributes.

The attributes are:

Knowledge – the chief attribute of the Sorcerer. This is what you know about magic the formulas and the theories. Sorcerer's use intricate formulaic spells to cast magic.

Conviction – The power of Faith or the Strong belief in Magic or Self is used by many Sorcerers to power their spells through force of will

Talent – this is the sorcerers primal innate power, his magical self. sorcerers with great talent can work wonderful magics even if they have no clue as to what they are doing.

Technique – how well you understand and practice the Art and Science of Magic

Each Attribute except Technique contributes dice to a dice pool equal to its score. The dice are rolled against a target number, usually a 7 but modifiers can raise it as high as 9 or lower it to a minimum of 3. If a dice rolls equal to or better than the target number one success is counted. If a 10 is rolled on any dice that counts as 2 successes.

If a spell is linked to an attribute (see Magic and Spell Casting) any Dice that meets or exceeds the TN is counted as 2 successes and any 10 rolled with those dice count as 3 successes and explode, which means they may be rerolled for a chance at a second success. 10s on linked attributes may be rerolled as long as a 10 is rolled and each 10 always counts as 2 successes.


Fitness – this is the sorcerers version of health, well being and capability in the normal world. A combination of both the mental and physical it governs all non magical things whether it be a task calling for strength, dexterity, or stamina, or one that relies on cunning, intelligence, perception, or the social graces such as Charisma and Manipulation. It is an abstract concept and doesn't describe your character in literal terms, it just gives you a dice pool for non magical tasks.

It is an attribute that is derived from the total of a characters Knowledge, Conviction, and Talent

This attribute governs any normal mundane, non-magical activity a sorcerer may need to perform,

Any normal mundane activity that a sorcerer needs to do will be assigned a difficulty (usually a 1), The character rolls a dice pool equal to his current Fitness score, any dice that rolls a 6 or greater counts as one success, with 10s counting as 2 successes. Fitness dice do not explode. If the number of successes are equal or greater than the difficulty the task is accomplished. Any success scored over the difficulty are applied as extras.

When a character is damaged in any way whether it be Physical, Mental, or Spiritual, that damage is taken from fitness reducing it.

Other than affecting mundane rolls, reduced fitness has no game impact beyond role playing until a characters Fitness is reduced to 0, at that point the character is incapacitated and probably dying.


Technique – This is the only magical ability that does not add to your dice pool. Instead the dots in Technique can be spent on spell casting for a number of different things pertaining to said spell casting. In addition to it's use in spell casting Technique is also the only attribute which can normally be raised above 5 dots.

The ways Technique can be spent are as follows:

  • Dots can be spent to lower the TN of a spell on a 1 for 1 basis, to a minimum of a 3 TN

  • Dots can be spent for an automatic success on a 1 for 1 basis

  • Dots can be spent as counter magic to reduce the successes on a 1 for 1 basis of a spell targeting the character or being cast near the character that she is aware of

  • Dots can be used to Link an attribute(s) to a specific casting of a spell. See Linked spells in the Magic section of the rulse.

  • Dots can be used to combine different spells into a single casting. See Combining spells in the Magic Section


Advantages and Drawbacks

Advantages and Drawbacks are things which may give bonuses and penalties but are primarily for Role Playing purposes.

The following lists of are by no means exhaustive and if you want one that isn't here just tell me what it is and what you thing it should do and I will more than likely give it a green light. Note that some of the entries have no description this is on purpose as some things do different things depending on who is writing it.

Advantages and Drawbacks may be added in game for xp much like Feats in D&D.



  • Adept – Character was born to make magic...you choose 1 of the 3 Magical Attributes and you can learn 6 dots in that stat instead of the normal limit of 5.

  • Alchemy – Lets a character prepare spells as potions

  • Alertness

  • Ambidextrous

  • Arcane Background – Character was exposed to Real magical practices before attending the Academy. Add 1 dot to a single Magical Attribute except Technique

  • Beast Buddy - Animals react favorably; attracts an animal companion.

  • Bump for Languages - Can make a Knowledge roll to understand languages she doesn't know.

  • Compensating for Something – If a character with this advantage has the bigger...whatever... than his opponent or his allies then he gets an extra dice on whatever task is involved

  • Connections - Can obtain favors once per session from someone with influence.

  • Down to Earth – Starts with one extra Dot in Conviction

  • Elemental Mastery – Gains 1 dice on any spell wich has an elemental focus

  • Familiar – Character has a magical animal or elemental companion.

  • Fast as Lightning – Character always goes first. If two PCs have this advantage the one with the highest fitness goes first if the task is non magical, if magical the highest technique goes first.

  • Fast Healer - Recovers Fitness at 2X the normal rate may be taken twice to increase recovery to 4X

  • Femme Fatale/Ladykiller – Character is a Killer in the Boudoir

  • Fish Breath - Can breathe underwater.

  • Freak Occurrence Magnet - Attracts random weirdness.

  • Gypsy Curse - Can inflict a Curse increasing the Difficulty of any Dice rolls by 1 until removed. May be taken up to three times increasing the penalty of the curse by 2 and 3 respectively.

  • Healer – Character may heal with her touch. She may a damaged creature and heal it a number of Fitness Dots equal to her Talent Stat. She may heal any number of times but only once to any specific creature. This touch cures any disease or deformity. Can cure lameness, blindness, cancer etc.

  • I Have One - Always has a useful item at hand.

  • Iron Will – Once per scene can ignore any fitness damage and make one fitness roll at full ability regardless of damage. May take more than once with each adding one additional roll per scene.

  • Jack-of-All-Trades – Add 1 dice to any normal non magic roll

  • Library - Has access to tomes which the academy would love to get a hold of if they knew about them.

  • Linguist - Knows more languages and can pick up the basics of new ones easily. Character knows a number of languages equal to his starting knowledge stat . Can learn a new language by spending couple of weeks and making a knowledge roll no xp needed

  • Luck – Character begins play with one extra Dot of Talent

  • Not Completely of this World – character is a hybrid, some where in his past his family has mixed with a supernatural bloodline giving this character access to some abilities (including magic) of the supernatural race. The character does not start with any of these abilities but may gain or learn them as he progresses. Some examples are faerie, demon, Vampire, Werewolf, etc.

  • Old Family – Starts with one extra Dot in Knowledge

  • Peak of Perfection – Add one dice to your fitness score, may be taken more than once.

  • Really Big Guy - extra dice on fitness rolls where appropriate

  • Rich – you have cash and a credit cards.

  • Rich, Filthy - Same as Rich but better.

  • Steady Hands - Allows a character to start with 1 dot in Technique

  • Strong Willed – Gains a bonus dice on any spell linked to conviction and any fitness roll that could be deemed appropriate

  • Total Bad Ass – This character is the bomb, the equal of Chuck Norris No one can compare. Character counts all successes on Fitness rolls as 2 successes and 10s explode.

  • Tough as Nails – Character only takes extra damage from successes greater than his current Fitness for example if a spell delivers 5 damage, 4 of which are extras, the character takes only the 1 normal damage if his current Fitness is a 4 or greater. If his fitness is less he take the 1 normal plus however many extras that exceeded his fitness.

  • World Traveler – Never at a disadvantage when in a foreign or alien place





  • All Thumbs- Using mechanical or electronic device causes malfunction; affects repairing items.

  • Allergy - Exposure to a particular condition or substance results in penalty to all Trait rolls

  • Anemic - Has a hard time resisting sickness, disease, poison, or environment.

  • Arrogant - Convinced of own superiority and always wishes to prove it.

  • Bad Dreams - Suffers from constant nightmares;

  • Bad Eyes - Can't see too well; tech level of the setting affects the value.

  • Bad Luck - Character always rolls on less dice than his dice pool allows

  • Big Mouth - Not very good at keeping secrets.

  • Black Sheep – self explanatory

  • Broken Spirit - Captured, Abused, tortured or just plain witnessed too much, your spirit is broken.

  • Cautious - Likes to avoid rash decisions and plans out excessively. Core Rules

  • Clueless - Penalty to Common Knowledge rolls.

  • Cocky - A braggart who must announce his actions.

  • Code of Honor - Always exhibits proper behavior.

  • Colorblind - Name says it all.

  • Curious - Must look into anything that grabs attention.

  • Death Wish - Willing to risk life to accomplish something. Describe what that something is.

  • Delusional - Possesses an unconventional belief.

  • Funny Looking - People find your appearance amusing;

  • Habit - Engages in some annoying behavior constantly,

  • Hard Case - Intolerant of unprofessional behavior,

  • Hoardosaurus - Collects all sorts of things and won't let go of them.

  • Holy Roller - Religious fanatic

  • Homesick

  • Junkie - Addicted to something; penalty to all Trait rolls if addiction isn't sated daily.

  • Lyin' Eyes – can't tell a lie if your life depended on it

  • Mean - Has an unpleasant disposition

  • Nightmares - Plagued by bad dreams causing him to not sleep well, or at all.

  • Obese - Is overweight, penalties to certain fitness rolls

  • Over-Sensitive - Very high strung

  • Overconfident - Believes self to be capable of anything even in the face of common sense.

  • Pacifist - Disdains violence and avoids killing

  • Phobia - Presence of a particular object or situation causes a penalty to all Trait rolls.

  • Poverty – no cash, must beg borrow or steal or do without

  • Quirk Has a distinct foible of some description.

  • Scrawny – opposite of obese different penalties

  • Sheep - Penalty to social-based rolls because they are a follower.

  • Slow – Always goes last

  • Sort of Clueless - A bit ignorant; Common Knowledge rolls penalized.

  • Stubborn - Insists on having own way no matter what.

  • Ugly - Has an unappealing appearance which results in social penalties


Keep in mind that first and foremost Advantages and Drawbacks are role-playing tools. Use them as such. If you don't I will.




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Magic and Spell Casting!

Magic is what it is all about.

In Ravenhurst game magic is everywhere. This is not the reality altering weirdness of Mage, nor is it granted by gods, or strange radiations, in this setting magic just is.


At its most basic raw form magic and how it manifest is often an emotional, elemental thing.

Stress, fear, hate, love any of these emotions if strong enough can trigger a magical effect by even the most mundane of people.

The mother who, full of fear and love for her child, lifts a car, that's not adrenaline that's magic, the young girl teased for being over weight who wishes something bad to happen to her tormentors and it does, that's magic, The stupid boy in the hot rod who wraps it around a light post while drag racing and walks away unscathed, yep, that's magic too.

Any human can, sometimes, if the circumstances are right, trigger a magical effect. They can't do it on command, will probably never have any inkling that it even happened at all, and it will likely never happen for them again.

Then there are thos who can make it happen again, who can, through the use of arcane knowledge their fervent conviction and natural talent, make that magic happen whenever they wish however they wish. Those people are sorcerers. And that is who and what your characters are.


Making magic is done by casting Spells and spells come in four specific flavors: Spontaneous, Cantrips, Formulae, and Rituals


We will cover all types in this section starting with Spontaneous.


But first I wish to discuss a couple of things which are important parts of Spell Casting; Linking and Foci.



There are three attributes which effect spell casting: Knowledge, Conviction, and Talent. Normally each of these effect your spell casting equally, meaning each dice you roll that beats the TN gives one success with a 10 giving 2 successes. However it is possible through either the design of a spell or through the use of technique to link an attribute to a particular casting of a spell. The effects of a Linked attribute changes the way the dice of said attribute are read. Any dice of a linked attribute which rolls equal or higher than the spells TN is counted as 2 successes and any 10 which is rolled counts as 3 successes, in addition any 10s rolled explode. Linking an attribute is very powerful and costly. The cost of Linking an attribute to a Spell is 1 plus the number of Attributes to be linked as shown below.

Linking Costs

1 Attribute = 2 Technique

2 Attribute = 3 Technique

3 Attribute = 4 Technique

If a spell already has a Linked Attribute you still count that attribute to determine the cost of linking additional Attributes.



Spell casting is difficult and for many sorcerer's their own talents are not enough to allow a caster to reliably cast spells regularly that is where a Focus come into play.

A Focus is a physical object that sorcerer uses to help with his technique.

The deck of Tarot Cards, a Crystal Ball, “Magic Rings”, a magicians wand or staff. All of these are foci. In short anything that a sorcerer has trained himself to use can be a Focus.

A focus when used to aid spell casting adds a +1 to the Sorcerer's Technique Score, some special high quality or enchanted Foci can add+2 or in very rare cases +3

For the sorcerer to receive the benefit of the Focus he must use it in his technique and that use must be appropriate for the Focus. If your focus is a wand just carrying it does nothing, you must flourish it like your favorite harry potter character to get the bonus.

A sorcerer can have as many Foci as he wishes/can afford but can only use one at a time.

A character may start with a focus if her background would account for it.

Note that a character does not have to know what a focus is to use one. In my example character 3J she has a library of old spell books she got ina garage sale. one of those books could be a focus for her to cast spells if she reads the book while casting the spell.



Each of you have already performed at least one act of spontaneous magic, that is how we found you.


Spontaneous magic is often raw, unrefined, mostly uncontrolled, imprecise and dangerous. Very very dangerous.


When a Sorcerer performs magic she casts a spell. A Spell is usually made up of words and gestures but can also use physical components, places, specific phases of the moon etc. you get the idea.They take time to prepare and cast. Even the simplest spells takes about a minute to set up and cast. And sometimes a sorcerer doesn't have a minute.

That's where spontaneous magic comes in. Spontaneous magic is a spell which is cast in seconds instead of minutes, with no preparation, no components, sometimes no idea what it is the sorcerer is doing.

The TN to cast a spontaneous spell is always one higher than if the spell were cast as a formulae and th difficulty is also increased by one. For instance a rank 2 formulae normally takes 2 minutes to prepare and cast, has a TN of 6, and a difficulty of 2, if the sorcerer needs to cast that formulae right now she can do so with spontaneous magic which means the spell will only take one turn to cast, the TN would be 7 but the difficulty would be 3.

If successful the Formulae goes off as normal albeit much faster, how ever if the spell fails thinks get messy.

If any successes were made in the casting but not enough to meet the difficulty of the spell, the spell will take effect but it will rebound meaning if it was a targeted spell the spell will effect the caster instead of the target as if the difficulty had been met. If the spell was meant to effect the caster then a random target will be affected by the spell. For non targeted spells or spells meant to effect inanimate object have the spell rebound in a story appropriate manner.

If no successes were rolled the magic is internalized and does one damage to the casters fitness per rank of the spell.

If the casting is a botch the spell is internalized giving damage to the caster as above and something else happens depending on the severity of the botch and the power of the spell. Botching a spontaneous casting is bad.

A sorcerer does not need to know the spell she is casting spontaneously only of it and a sorcerer can cast spontaneous magic improvisationaly, although this increases the risk and severity of failure.





The second type of spell and the simplest is the cantrip. In general, cantrips produce only minor effects. They cannot damage a target, they only work at ‘Near’ range, and they do not produce any permanent effect. The description of a particular cantrip covers roughly what it can do. The gamemaster may determine that a Sorcerer is stretching the abilities of a given cantrip and so assign a penalty to the TN.

Some cantrips allow a caster to impose penalties to die rolls on opponents, such as by cursing or hexing them. Cantrips are too weak to give any opponent a penalty worse than +2, and are usually only +1.

Penalties or bonuses involving cantrips are always applied to the TN for the casting never the difficulty.

All cantrip spells are linked to one and only one of the three attributes and no additional attributes may be linked to a cantrip.

A caster may cast as many cantrips per turn as she has Technique with a minimum of 1 even if she has no technique. A caster may not cast cantrips and Formulae or Rituals at the same time, however, spontaneous magic can be used in the same turn as cantrips.




Beast Ken (Knowledge)

A Sorcerer with this cantrip speaks the language of the beasts, and may even attempt to call them to him, as the wolf howls to its pack. The caster may speak to any non-magical beast. Casting this cantrip also predisposes most animals to speak to the caster where they otherwise might have fled or attacked.

A Sorcerer may attempt to speak to multiple types of animals at once, incurring a -3 for each additional

type. Convincing animals to take action would also call for a -3 penalty if the caster is attempting to convince the beasts to act outside of their own perceived best interest. In general, animals will not endanger themselves for the user of this cantrip, though a Sorcerer may try with a large penalty of -6.


Blessing (Conviction)

With a touch and a word of hope, this cantrip allows the Sorcerer to help an ally with a specific future task, giving him +2 to a single roll. When a Sorcerer casts the spell, she must name the task for which the character will receive the bonus (e.g. “Smite your enemies!” or “Craft a wondrous sword for the Duke!”).

The Sorcerer may attempt to give even greater bonuses to her subject, taking additional -5 penalties for each additional +1 she wishes to bestow.


Conjure Sound (Talent)

A Sorcerer with this cantrip is a master of aural trickery, and may produce sounds with but a wave of his hand. Sounds such as footsteps, clattering, and screams are all at his beck and call. Normally this cantrip produces an indistinct, quiet sound.

A Sorcerer may take penalties to make these sounds louder or more specific. For instance, producing indistinct music to the right of a target would give a -3 penalty, while a very specific noise, such as a particular song emanating from directly behind a target, would give -6.


Druid’s Touch (Conviction)

Someone with the Druid’s Touch can get any cutting to root, any plant to blossom. No matter how small his garden, he will have an abundant harvest. Normal use of this cantrip causes a single plant to sprout and grow at a prodigious pace (sometimes even springing from the ground before your eyes), or an entire garden to grow at double its normal rate.

This cantrip can even heal a wounded or blighted plant and make it whole again, though doing so gives a -3 penalty to the roll. When the wind is right, a Sorcerer with this cantrip can get the trees to tell him their secrets; a -6 penalty allows the Sorcerer to speak with a tree, though they often converse in ways alien to man.


Hexing (Conviction)

The caster fixes the target with his will and utters a curse. The caster must specify an action such as “strike with a sword,” “climb a tree,” or “talk to a noble,” and the victim then receives a -1 to his next roll involving this type of action.

The caster may utter a stronger curse, giving his victim a -2 to his roll instead, but must take a -3 penalty to do so. The caster may take a -6 penalty to have this cantrip affect the victim until the next sun-up or sundown.



Glamour Weaving ( Talent)

Sorcerers with this cantrip are illusionists, able to conjure silent images. These illusions are simple visions with no depth or weight. Normal use of this cantrip produces the image of a small, immobile object of unimpressive design.

A Sorcerer may produce larger or more detailed images by taking a +2 penalty. Creating moving illusions is even harder, and gives a -4 penalty.


Sorcerer Light (Talent)

This cantrip produces a moderate amount of magical light. This light may appear from a physical object in the possession of the caster, such as the tip of his staff or an amulet, or as a simple ball of floating light. The cantrip produces enough light to illuminate an area of about 30 yards; the light is dim, but just strong enough to read by.

A Sorcerer may attempt to produce more light at a penalty to his casting roll; summoning the light of several torches into a room gives a -3 penalty, while the equivalent to full daylight would call for a -5 penalty.

Producing several globes of colored light that move about on their own would call for similar penalties, as would trying to cast the cantrip in such a way as to produce the light in a particular spot at a distance fromthe caster (for instance, before the eyes of an enemy, in order to distract him).

Lights produced with this cantrip last as long as the caster is able to concentrate on them. Being struck in combat or failing the roll for another cantrip will make this spell end immediately.


Second Sight (Talent)

Using this cantrip allows the caster to see spirits of all sorts: the dead, faeries, and demons of all stripes. This cantrip only grants the caster the ability to perceive these spirits; if she wishes to converse with them, she must know their language.

A Sorcerer with this cantrip can also attempt to command a spirit if she knows its true name. Rules for doing so are covered on p.25 in the ‘Core Rules’ section along with the rest of the information on true names.




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