Let's Learn MEGALOS

Hell yeah I’m doing these threads concurrently. Will this likely confuse me? Maybe. Am I doing it anyway? Yep.

In this thread, I’m going to go through the following steps to see if I can make sure I understand the basics of MEGALOS:

Feel free to follow along or ask questions along the way.

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Character Creation

So let’s make a character in MEGALOS. Before anything else, let’s decide on a basic concept for this character. I like wizards, so I want to make some sort of wizard adventurer. Let’s see how we do that.

Looking at page 80, there are 7 steps to make a character. Let’s walk through them.

Step 0: Sketch out a general theme or simple concept for your character! This concept isn’t binding in any way and has no mechanical effect, but when you’re just sitting down to make a character, having an idea top-of-mind is very helpful.

We already did this step, so let’s go to Step 1.

Step 1: Choose a homeland, and pick 2 of that homeland’s signature skills. Each signature skill chosen is improved by +1 rank. Remember that all skills have a rank of 1 to begin with. You may pick either a generic homeland (p. 81) or one specific to the game’s setting (p. 245 for Oradam Rift homelands).

I like a lot of the concepts for Oradam Rift, so we’ll use that list. Eldash sounds cool (a land noted for its culture of quiet, contemplative people who wear masks in public) so we’ll choose that as our homeland.

From Eldash’s signature skills, we’ll choose Attune and Watch, bumping both those up to rank 2.

Step 2: Come up with 4 traits (a Background, Mental, Physical, and Special trait). These allow you to reroll a die on any skill test to which you can argue that the trait would grant you some kind of benefit, edge, or experience. Page 84. If the game is using optional Language rules, also pick a Language package (p. 86).

We’re not going to worry about Language, so we’ll skip that optional part.

Thinking about our traits for minute, I come up with the following.

  • Background: Fugitive Mage
  • Mental: Quiet but Observant
  • Physical: Delicate Precision
  • Special: Ancestral Mask

I’m not sure how helpful that Special one will be, so we’ll come back to it later as we learn more about our character.

Step 3: Assign 6 skill points and 3 cutscene approach points. Increase any skill or approach assigned a point by +1 rank per point assigned. No skill or approach may be higher than rank 3 at character creation. Remember that all skills and approaches have a rank of 1 by default. Page 24.

We already have Attune and Watch at rank 2, so we’ll need to keep those in mind as we assign our points. Thinking it over, I choose the following to put my points into:

Cut Scene Approaches

  • Clever 2
  • Cautious 3


  • Attune 3
  • Finesse 2
  • Inspect 3
  • Learn 3
  • Watch 2

This looks good and since every other skill will be at 1, I don’t feel too bad about not putting points into them. Now it’s time for…

Step 4: Choose a Class (Invoker, Throne, or Witch) and a Calling belonging to the chosen Class. Write down the Class’s Aether Current rules. Write down the Calling’s Base Damage, HP, Defenses (Dodge and Ward), Soak, Recovery, and your Calling’s bonus power. Thrones should also write down their Finishers. Pages 88-172.

This one looks a little involved, so we’re going to be a bit of skimming to pick out something that catches my eye. Both the Invoker and Witch classes could fit what I’m looking for at a high level, but looking at the Callings, the Astromancer speaks to me more than the others, so we pick that one.

This calling gives me the following stats:

  • Base HP: 24
  • Base Defenses: 8 Dodge / 8 Ward
  • Base Damage: 6
  • Recovery: 4
  • Recovery Bonus: 6

My character’s bonus power is Cosmic Siphon, which lets me deal damage and recover Aether Current dice as a Minor Action. Speaking of Aether Current dice…

My class’s Aether Current ability is called Seals. At the beginning of an encounter, I roll my Aether Current dice (four d6s). Dice that roll even numbers as Astral Seals, while odd numbers as Umbral Seals. I will spend these to use my other abilities.

Step 5: Choose a number of Powers and Talents from your Calling’s special abilities. The number you can choose will be determined by what Class you’re playing. It’s a good idea (especially for players who are new to either MEGALOS or TRPGs in general) to balance your Major Action & Minor Action powers.

Looking at my Class’s advancement table on page 92, my character starts with 2 Invocations, 1 Arcana, and 1 Talent. Looking through the lists, I pick the following to compliment my Cosmic Siphon bonus action I received earlier.

  • Invocation: Gygus, an earth-themed summon which give my character attacks that care about any special terrain on the battlefield.
  • Invocation: Hajmaul, a lightning-themed summon which gives my characters that either inflict damage over time or area damage, depending on if I spend Astal or Umbral Seals.
  • Arcana: For my Arcanum Power, I pick Hajmaul’s, a powerful attack that automatically hits all foes in combat, inflicting damage over time.
  • Talent: Protective Eidolons, which gives my character bonuses to Dodge, Ward, and Soak rolls when they are hosting an Invocation.

Step 6: Design your Weapon and Outfit. Outfits are built on a priority system and
weapons are built from a list of options. Find your final values for Dodge & Ward,
Armor HP, Soak, Core Damage, Range, Weapon Dice, and any other stats affected
by your loadouts. Pages 184-191.

For this step, I use Bill’s tool he created to make my Weapon and Outfit.

For my outfit, since my character is a Striker (defined by their Calling), I can only select a Light or Medium outfit. Since I don’t expect my character to carry a lot, I sacrifice the Inventory Points granted by a Light Outfit and choose Medium. Looking at the priorities, I put A into Soak Bonus, B into Armor HP, and C into Defense Bonus. I want to be tough when I get hit, but will mostly try to stay out of the thick of fighting. For the mod, I will pick Fluxing to help me get the Umbral and Astral Seals I need in combat. This give me an outfit with the following stats:

Medium Outfit - Fluxing
Defense Bonus: +2, Armor HP: 10, Soak Bonus: +2, Inventory Points: 5
Fluxing: +/- 1 to a single Aether Current die’s value, once per round on my turn.

For my weapon I want to hit hard, so I choose a Heavy Ranged weapon which I will say is a wizard’s staff. For my type, I will pick Deadly for even more damage and for the mod I will pick Seeking to increase my chances of hitting. This gives me a weapon with the following stats:

Heavy Weapon ✧ Ranged, Deadly, Seeking
Weapon Dice: 2, Damage Bonus: +8, Range: 3
Deadly: +1 damage bonus (or +2 for Heavy Weapons)
Seeking: Ranged only. Weapon ignores cover, add +1 to the result of all rolled Weapon Dice.

This makes the stats I received at Step 4 become:

  • HP: 24
  • Armor HP: 10
  • Defenses: 10 Dodge / 10 Ward (11/11 while hosting an Invocation)
  • Damage Bonus: 16
  • Weapon Dice: 2 (+1 to the results)
  • Recovery: 4
  • Soak: 1d6 + 2 (1d6 + 3 while hosting an Invocation)
  • Recovery Bonus: 6

Step 7: Write a bond with one other character in the group. This should be a sentence or
so at most. Bonds do not need to be symmetrical between two characters, and they
don’t need to be strictly “positive”, but they should indicate a deep connection one
way or another. Page 17.

We’ll skip this one for now, since we’re not going to playing this character with anyone else.

We look to be done, but don’t have a name for our character yet. I’ll call them Gavrin of Eldash.

Going back to their traits from Step 2, I like the flavor of the Astromancer being associated with the stars and zodiacal gods, so I’ll change Gavrin’s Special trait to “Blessed by the Stars.”

In total, this took about an hour. Let’s see what our character sheet looks like:

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Since I’m loading this data into the online tool anyway, I have the class/calling descriptions handy! Here’s what everything does:

  • Invoker: priestly summoners
    • Astromancer: Striker - Flexible Artillery. The magical-pet class.
    • Chanter: Support - Occult Healer. The healer.
    • Raconteur: Tank - Heavy Fighter-Mage. The spellsword.
  • Throne: fighters & warriors of all kinds
    • Arklight: Tank - Battlegroup Leader. The paladin.
    • Champion: Striker - Mobile Brawler. The pure fighter.
    • Shadowblade: Striker - Darkside Skirmisher. The dark knight.
  • Witch: practical battle mages
    • Draloi: Support - Drain Healer. Suck life from that guy, give it to your guys
    • Psythe: Striker - Psychic Duelist. Blaster caster
    • Rune Magus: Striker - Magick Artillery. Controller wizard
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Our First Encounter

Let’s build a simple encounter for Gavrin. Since Gavrin is a Fugitive Mage because of his study of the forbidden rituals of the Astromancer, it makes sense that Gavrin would be hiding from a group of Imperial mage-hunters from the Arlyte Empire (part of the Oradam Rift setting).

We’ll say that Gavrin is hiding in the woods from the team of mage-hunters. If he stays in the woods, he’ll eventually be caught. But there is a nearby community who have no love for the Arlyte Empire and perhaps they’ll hide him from them. He’ll just need to get there first.

So first Gavrin will need to sneak out of the woods without being noticed by the mage-hunters. Looking at the Skill list (starting on pg. 24), Sneak seems like the perfect skill for this situation. Unfortunately, looking at Gavrin’s character sheet, he only has a single rank of Sneak, meaning he will be rolling 1 die for this Skill Test.

Looking through the basics of a Skill Test (pg. 13), the Difficulty of the roll is going to be 15 (the basic difficulty of any Skill Roll) and we need to determine the Resistance (how many dice rolled that meet or exceed 15 needed to succeed). The base Resistance is 1, but there are list of factors that can increase this. None of them look particularly relevant for this situation, we’ll stick with a Resistance of 1. With a Difficulty of 15 and a Resistance of 1, the Skill Test would be expressed as 15/1: 1 roll of 15 or higher needed to succeed.

With our Skill Test figured out, Gavrin rolls his single Sneak die and gets a 20! A roll of a 20 is considered a Strong Hit and would count as 2 hits instead of 1, so even if the Skill Test had been 15/2, he still would have succeeded. If the Skill Test had been 15/3, however, Gavrin would have had no hope of succeeding the Sneak roll without some help.

Escaping the woods, Gavrin finds himself in a small fishing village. He looks around trying to see if he finds anyone particularly kind looking. We’ll say this is a Inspect challenge and since Gavrin is in a hurry to keep ahead of the mage-hunters, we’ll increase the Resistance by 1, to 15/2. Gavrin has an Inspect rank of 3 so he is rolling 3 d20s. He gets a 14, 5, and 10. Ouch. Looking at Gavrin’s Traits, it is likely that his Quiet but Observant trait would help him here, so he uses that to try re-rolling on of his dice and gets a 2. Some of Gavrin’s other Traits might be helpful here, but the rules for Traits (pg. 84) are silent on if having multiple applicable traits allows for more rerolls, so we won’t. Gavrin has failed to find anyone who looks amenable to helping a Fugitive Mage. Instead, he’ll just have to try his luck and approach the first person he sees.

Speaking to a merchant, Gavrin tries to explain he needs somewhere to hide for a minute while a group of Imperial mage-hunters pass by. It’s not the most persuasive argument, but Gavrin has a Talk of 1 and is sheepish, masked Eldash kid, so hopefully the merchant takes pity on him. We’ll set the Skill Test for 15/2 to represent the difficult Gavrin will face to convince the merchant. Gavrin rolls his 1 Talk die and gets a 1. Instead of helping Gavrin, the merchant calls out to the mage-hunters, outing Gavrin in the hope of collecting any bounty they have on the Astromancer. Uh-oh.


That’s what I figured, but definitely could stand to be called out in the book.

Another thing I did not call out was the resource Grit. It is a shared resource among the group used to roll bonus dice or reduce difficulty on tests. I am considered using that for my Unique Features post, along with the Cutscenes mechanic.

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Our First Combat

So Gavrin is in a tough spot, left out to the mercies of the Imperial mage-hunters following him. Let’s set up a combat!

First we need to pick out a foe for Gavrin to fight. Skimming through the MEGALOS Monsters & Mistborn, there is an Aedyne Witch Hunter on page 323, which sounds perfect of this. They are, however, an Elite foe which means they are tougher than Minion class foes but weaker than Boss class foes. This is a risky fight for Gavrin to take on their own.

Setting Up the Fight

Page 29 has a list of things to do at the start of the fight, so let’s go through them.

1. Check for Surprise

I believe that Gavrin had enough warning from the merchant calling out to the mage-hunters that he would not be surprised that this fight is about to begin. The Mage-hunter was likewise already on the hunt, so I wouldn’t say they are surprised. If either party were surprised, they would have been STUNNED during the first turn of combat.

2. Reset Armor HP & AC Dice

Gavrin has 10 Armor HP, so we set that to full.

Next we roll Gavrin’s four Aether Current dice to see what we get. We roll 2, 2, 3, and 4, which gives us three Astral Seals and one Umbral Seal.

As an Invoker, Gavrin also gets to choose to start combat already hosting an Invocation. We’ll select Hajmaul, who manifests as a serpent of lightning flying around Gavrin (a bit of fluff I came up with and won’t effect anything mechanically).

Step 2.5: While the cheat sheet does not call it out, we’re going to need to determine the specifics of the fight: the zones, the placement of foes and player characters, etc. Let’s do that before we Determine Turn Order.

For a map, we’ll grab something sufficiently rural looking from Dyson’s Dodecahedron and throw a couple zones on it. We’ll put both Gavrin and the Witch Hunter in zones that make sense for them. It looks like this:

3. Determine Turn Order

Now that we know more about the fight, Gavrin has the option of taking a Fast Turn (letting him go first, but taking fewer overall actions) or a Slow Turn (letting him take more actions, but going after the enemies). We’ll have Gavrin take a Slow Turn and hope for the best.

With all that decided, it’s time to go through the Combat Rounds.

Round One

Page 30 gives us the order of turns, so we’ll use that to familiarize ourselves with the phases.

MC Fast Turn Phase: No MCs are acting during the Fast Turn, so we’ll skip this phase.

Foe Turn Phase: The Foes now that their Turn, getting two Action Points (represented in the text as ◆◆). The Witch Hunter has two actions, a Minor Action (taking ◆) and a Major Action (taking ◆◆). We’ll use the Major Action Magitek Lucifer Rifle.

It effects 1 target in each zone between the Witch Hunter and a zone in range 2. We’ll pick the zone Gavrin is in, making him the only target. The Attack is 2d20 vs. Gavrin’s Ward (normally 10, but it is currently 11 due to his Protective Eidolons talent). We roll and get 5 and 17. The 17 meets or exceeds Gavin’s Ward, so the attack hits.

The effect is that Gavrin takes 9 astral damage. When a character takes damage other than Piercing damage, they get to roll Soak. Garvin has +2 Soak bonus and an addition +1 from his Protective Eidolons talent, so he’ll roll 1d6 and add +3. Gavrin rolls 4 total, and subtracts that from the 9 astral damage, meaning he’ll take 5 damage total. Since Gavrin has Armor HP, he’ll lose that before he takes damage to his HP pool. This leaves Gavrin with 5 Armor HP (he started with 10) and his full HP pool of 24.

Since the Witch Hunter has used all of their AP, their turn is over.

MC Slow Turn Phase: Gavrin now gets to act with 3 AP. He has several special Major and Minor actions granted to him by his Class and Calling, but he also has access to the Basic Actions every gets (starting on page 30 and going to page 32).

Gavrin will start by using his Brilliant Scourge Astral Power, which allows him to attack a foe within Range 3. This action costs 1 AP and 1 Astral Seal (leaving him with 2 Astral Seals). He’ll roll his Weapon Dice (2d20) against the Witch Hunter’s Ward (14). Gavrin rolls 5 and 8 (upgraded to 6 and 9 because of the Seeking trait on his weapon), which means the attack misses. But Gavrin has more AP.

Since you can only use a given power once per turn, Gavrin spend another AP and an Umbral Seal (leaving him with no Umbral Seals) to use his Levinflash Umbral Power. It has the same range and attack roll as Brilliant Scourge, so we’ll roll 2d20 against the Witch Hunter’s Ward. This time he rolls a 20 and a 14 (upgraded to 21 and 15 because Seeking). Since a 20 is a Strong Hit and both dice hit the Witch Hunter’s Ward, that means we have 3 hits. We need one hit for the attack to successfully land, but each hit past that become Surges (page 42). Since Gavrin has no special abilities to spend Surges, we’ll use the basic one Critical Hit. Critical Hit gives the attack +3 damage for each Surge, so Gavrin’s attack is going to deal +6 damage. Since Gavrin already used an action with the Attack tag this turn, he takes a -1 damage penalty, meaning he’ll be dealing 22 umbral damage total (17 base + 3 Critical Hit + 3 Critical Hit - 1 for having already used an attack this turn).

Just like Gavrin, the Witch Hunter will Soak this damage. Also, since this is Umbral damage, the Witch Hunter’s Otherside Talisman talent gives them +1 to the Soak roll (for a total of 1d6 + 1 Soak). They roll 7 total, meaning they take 15 damage (22 - 7), leaving them with 45 HP. After they take damage, we want to see if they are Injured (50% for fewer remaining HP). Since their max HP is 60, that means that they would only be Injured if they have 30 or fewer HP, so they are not. On its own, Injured doesn’t do anything, but Gavrin and the Witch Hunter both have abilities that have special effects when their target is Injured.

With his last AP, Gavrin uses the basic minor action Take Cover (pg. 32) to dive behind a merchant stall. This gives Gavrin the COVER status (+3 Dodge and Ward) against the next attack against him (the stalls are probably cloth and poles, nothing too sturdy).

Since Gavrin is out of AP, that is the end of his turn.

Elite Foes’ 2nd Turn: Since the Witch Hunter is an Elite Foe, they get a second turn with a single AP. Since they cannot move into the Merchant Stalls (because of the Rough terrain) with a single AP to use their special minor action, they will instead take the basic minor action Strike (pg. 32) using their Rifle. They attack Gavrin’s Dodge (14 due to Cover status) with their Weapon Dice (2d20) and will inflict their Core Damage (12) if they hit. They roll a 20 and a 14. Like with Gavrin’s roll, this gives them 2 Surge, which grants them +6 damage total. That means that the Witch Hunter is going to deal 18 Physical damage to Gavrin. Gavrin rolls their Soak and gets a 7, reducing the damage to 11. Since Gavrin has 5 Armor HP left, he loses that first, with the remaining 6 damage going to his HP pool. This reduces him from 24 HP to 18.

Since that is all of the Witch Hunter’s AP, that ends their turn.

Boss Foes’ 2nd Turn: If the Witch Hunter was a Boss class foe, they would instead have gotten a second turn with 2 AP. Since we have no Boss foes, we’ll skip this.

Resolve Auto-Attacks: Since no one used an Attack with the Auto-Attacks tag, we’re going to skip this phase.

That ends the first round of combat, leaving the battlefield looking like this:

Round Two

Once again, Gavrin gets to pick a fast or slow turn. Since he is unlikely to defeat the Witch Hunter with 2 AP and doesn’t have anything he needs to do before the Witch Hunter acts, he’ll take a Slow Turn.

This time, we’ll skip all the phases that do no apply since we know nothing is going to happen.

Foe Turn Phase: Since the Magitek Lucifer Rifle power is a little overkill against a single target, the Witch Hunter is going to use the basic major action Flurry of Strikes. While this power takes 2 AP, it will still inflict damage on a miss. We roll the Witch Hunter’s Weapon Dice against Gavrin’s Dodge (11) and get a pair of 18’s. Both hit, giving the Witch Hunter a single Surge. Flurry of Strikes inflicts the Witch Hunter’s Core Damage (12) plus 3 from the Surge for 15 total. Gavrin soaks 7 of it, reducing him to 10 HP. Since he is now below half his max HP (12 since he has 24 max HP) Gavrin is Injured.

MC Slow Turn Phase: Things are not going well for Gavrin, so he’s going to need some help.

Since Gavrin has 5 Inventory Points (from his Medium Outfit), he is going to spend 1 AP and 2 IP for Use an Inventory Item to produce an Elixir and drink it. Inventory Points are like a floating pool of items that aren’t decided upon until they are used. Also Inventory Points do not naturally replenish, so Gavrin is going to need to spend money later with a merchant in order to restore his missing Inventory Points. An Elixir allows Gavrin to regain double his Recovery Bonus (6), which restores 12 HP, bringing him back to 22 HP. Also, since Use an Inventory Item has the Vulnerable tag, if there was an enemy in the zone with Gavrin, they would be able to use the Punish reaction to deal him some damage, but since Gavrin is alone this isn’t an issue.

With his second AP, Gavrin will use his Cosmic Siphon minor power. He rolls 9 and 17 against the Witch Hunter’s Ward, so the attack hits. The attack deals 16 Umbral damage, of which the Witch Hunter soaks 2, bring them down to 31. The Effect of Cosmic Siphon only applies if the attack Injures or Defeats a foe, so he won’t get any bonus from this. If it had dealt 1 more damage, Gavrin would have regained one of his spent Aether Current dice.

Before spending his last AP, Gavrin is doing to use the Fluxing trait of his outfit as a free action to change one of his 2 value Aether Current dice to a value of 1, changing it from Astral Seal to an Umbral Seal.

Gavrin will then spend that Umbral Seal and his AP to use Levinflash again. He rolls 8 and 19 against the Witch Hunter’s Ward, getting a single hit. Since Gavrin already used an action with the Attack trait, he gets -1 damage to this attack and deals 16 Umbral damage, which the Witch Hunter soaks 5 of, bring them down to 20 HP, which means they are now Injured.

The Witch Hunter has a talent that activates as soon as they become Injured for the first time called Elixir Nebulizer, which causes them to regain HP equal to their Recovery Bonus (15). This brings them back to 35, above the threshold for them to be considered Injured. However, since this only works once, Gavrin will not need to worry about this the next time they bring the Witch Hunter below 30 HP.

Elite Foes’ 2nd Turn: The Witch Hunter will once again use the Strike minor action. They roll 17 and 8 vs. Gavrin’s Dodge, giving them 1 hit. The attack deals 12 Physical damage which Gavrin Soaks 7 of, reducing him to 17 HP.

That finishes up Round Two, which looks a bit like this:

Round Three

Things are looking bad for Gavrin. He has only one Astral Seal left and his foe just healed. Gavrin is going to take a Slow Turn again, but plans on changing tactics.

Foe Turn Phase: Once again, the Witch Hunter uses the Flurry of Strikes move. They roll 11 and 19 against Gavrin, giving them two hits, so they deal him 15 Physical damage. Gavrin soaks 6 of the damage, bringing him down to 8 HP.

MC Slow Turn Phase: On his turn, Gavrin uses 2 AP to take the special Invoker major action of hosting a new Invocation. He dismisses Hajmaul and summons Gygus, Sign of the Earth. This removes his previous Aether Current dice and lets him roll four new ones: 2, 3, 6, 6 which gives him 3 Astral Seals and 1 Umbral Seal.

With his last AP, Gavrin Use an Inventory Item again for an Elixer and regains another 12 HP, bringing him down to his last IP.

Elite Foes’ 2nd Turn: The Witch Hunter uses Strike on Gavrin. They get a 9 and 5, both of which miss Gavrin, saving him for now.

At the end of the round, things look like this:

Round Four

With a new Invocation Gavrin has a plan. He is going to take a Fast Turn this round.

MC Fast Turn Phase: Because Gavrin is taking a fast turn, he only have 2 AP to work with unlike previous rounds where he had 3.

For his first AP, he will use his Bow Down, Skychild Umbral Power, a minor action that turns a zone within range 3 into difficult terrain. Additionally, foes starting their turn or moving through the zone will take damage and gain the Exposed status.

With his second AP, Gavrin uses his Rockslide Astral Power. This attack targets the Witch Hunter’s Dodge defense, so he’ll likely have an easier time of things. He rolls 9 and 13, hitting the Witch Hunter’s Dodge of 12. The attack deals 9 Physical damage and pushes them 1 zone. Since there is not a zone to push them into, they stay were they are. However, the Special effect of Rockslide says “if the target’s end zone contains difficult or lethal terrain, add +2 damage” which ups Gavrin’s damage to 11 Physical. The Witch Hunter only rolls 1d6 to resist Physical damage and only Soaks 1, bringing them down to 25 HP.

Not a bad turn of fortune for Gavrin.

Foe Turn Phase: At the start of the Witch Hunter’s turn, they gain EXPOSED (+3 damage to the next damaging attack they are dealt) and take 3 Piercing damage from starting their turn in Garvin’s Power Terrain. Piercing damage cannot be Soaked, so they are reduced to 22 HP.

The Witch Hunter now has to decide whether to stay put or waste their turn moving into the zone with the Merchant Stalls next to Gavrin. The take the Sprint major action, using both of their AP and move through the Difficult Terrain into the Merchant Stalls. Even though they’ve left the area, the Exposed status persists until it expires (when they are damaged by an attack in this case) or when they Save against it. Saves happen once per round at the end of the character’s turn and if you are affected by multiple statuses, they Save against each one separately. Since it is the end of the Witch Hunter’s turn they roll a d20 to see if they can Save against Exposed. They roll a 10, which meets the difficulty of the Status (by default the difficulty to Save against any Status is 10, but this can change) so Exposed goes away.

Elite Foes’ 2nd Turn: Since the Witch Hunter is in the same Zone as Gavrin now, they will use their Cindering Scourge minor power, which can target a foe in range 0 (same zone). They roll their Weapon Dice and get 10 and 5 against Gavrin’s Dodge. This misses.

This ends Round Four and now things look like this.

Round Five

With things going his way, Gavrin chooses to take a Slow Turn again with a plan for what to do with those 3 AP.

Foe Turn Phase: The Witch Hunter uses Flurry of Strikes on Gavrin, rolling 9 and 10. Neither hit, but because Flurry of Strikes has a Miss effect, the Witch Hunter still inflicts Core Damage - 3 (9) Physical damage. Gavrin Soaks 5, bringing him down to 16 HP.

MC Slow Turn Phase: First Gavrin uses his Rockslide power again, hoping to push the Witch Hunter into his Power Terrain. Gavrin rolls 17 and 21, giving him 3 hits, dealing 17 Physical damage with two Critical Hits and Rockslide’s Special +2 damage because the Witch Hunter is pushed into Difficult Terrain. The Witch Hunter Soaks 4 damage, bringing them down to 8 damage.

Gavrin now has 1 Astral Seal left, so he can only use his Rock Slide special power. Instead, he will use Flurry of Strikes for 2 AP. Since the amount of damage the attack will deal to the Witch Hunter, even after the reduced damage for miss and having already used an Attack power this turn (minimum 12), is more than the Witch Hunter’s remaining HP we’re not going to worry about doing the rolls.

With Gavrin is pretty spent after this fight. He’s down to 16/24 HP and 1/5 Inventory Points. He could take a Short Rest and spend his Recovery Points (of which he has 4) to regain 6 HP each, but with the Witch Hunters still tracking him, he doesn’t want to stick around.

Takeaways: Tactics matter in this game. Gavrin had a rough time trying to just trade big damage with the Witch Hunter, but once he started changing the game–creating dangerous zones that put the Witch Hunter at a disadvantage–he won the fight quickly.

Also, even as a starter character, Gavrin had a lot of options in combat. He had 7 actions from his Class and Calling, on top of the 10 basic actions every character gets. Most of them didn’t come up (notably Grappling Manuever, Power Up!!, Charging, and Dash) but that had more to do with Gavrin’s abilities as well as the terrain present on the battlefield.

It was definitely a fun fight for me and I felt a bit in danger but I think that is mostly because Gavrin, even with his high Soak, is a bit of a glass cannon. It would be interesting to see how a combat with more participants works out.

Interesting. Yes, your starter character had a lot of different options (and, as you note, more tactical options than just “I shoot my bow!”). That’s good, though it can lend itself to slower games as people evaluate (vs plan).

Felt like a lot of mechanics, which I suspect would come naturally soon enough, but up front it feels very busy. It was kind of fun seeing the Roll20 status bars (three!).

Without knowing anything about the world (which feels very steeped in lore), it seems worth a go.


They are definitely new to me but after a few rounds everything started to feel pretty natural. One thing that this doesn’t show is that each Class plays slightly differently.

I was playing an Invoker who got a fresh set of Aether Current dice whenever I summoned a new Invocation, and those dice were resources for me to spend on my abilities. Once I ran out, it was time to summon a new Invocation.

If I were playing a Throne, I would start with 4 Aether Current dice but I wouldn’t worry about rolling them. The number of Aether Current dice I have gives me a constant bonus to damage (4 AC dice = +4 damage). I could then use those dice to make free action Attacks called Finishers which cost a single AC die and deal decent damage. They’re easy to use, but each one lowers my constant damage bonus and the only way to regain them is the Power Up!! Major Action, which lets you regain 2 AC dice.

Then if I was playing a Witch, each of my Aether Current dice are associated with one of my Cantrip powers and are either Weak (rolled a 1-4) or Surging (rolled 5-6). Whenever I use a Cantrip, I gain another Aether Current die, up to a max of 4. Then when I use one of my Sorcery powers, all of my Aether Current dice get expended to trigger effects based on which Cantrips they are associated (might do pings of damage, might heal my allies, might give me a small buff).

So for Invokers and Thrones, the AC dice are resources to be spent, but with an Invoker they want to blow through them as quick as possible, while a Throne wants to be cautious with using them. Meanwhile Witches want to build a bunch of them up to have big turns where a bunch of stuff happens.

A very elegant system where everyone wants AC dice, but for different reasons.


Designer reposted here with a couple comments:


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The character tool is pretty close to done as well!


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However, I will point this out:

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I was able to fix this from my iPad over lunch. We really are living in the future


So now that Gavrin has defeated the Witch Hunter and escaped the party searching for him, he’ll likely want to find someplace to hide and bed down to rest and recover. Let’s craft a Cutscene to take place during this rest!

Cutscenes (pg. 20) are effectively abbreviated roleplay scenes that fall into one of two categories: Flashbacks and Meanwhiles. For this cutscene I want Gavrin’s summons, the Almagest, to show him a vision of who is hunting him while he sleeps. This would be a Meanwhile, because Gavrin isn’t directly involved in the proceedings.

We’ll frame this scene as a lead Witch Hunter (and perhaps future Boss enemy) Captain Heldor explaining to a subordinate their plan for gathering up all those studying the rites of the Astromancer to warp them into their own summoned creatures. This will both give Gavrin’s player information about the big bad (Captain Heldor), their plan, and possible future enemies (corrupted Eidolons from other Astromancers). Great!

But Cutscenes are not passive. Even in Meanwhiles like this one, Gavrin can affect them with his Cutscene Approaches: Cautious, Clever, Forceful, and Quick. Let’s come up with some special information locked behind each of these Approaches (we could also have penalties behind not succeeding at one of these checks, but right now I feel like giving bonus information).

If Gavrin takes a Cautious approach, we will give him additional information about Captain Heldor: what sort of foe he is (telegraphing his moveset for an eventual fight) and his ambitions. If Gavrin takes a Clever approach, we’ll let Gavrin know what Heldor’s next steps will be: who else he might be targeting, giving Gavrin an opportunity to learn of potential allies. If Gavrin takes the Quick approach, as Captain Heldor walks through one of the alchem-science labs where the Imperial shaman-scientists experiment on other Astromancers, he’ll learn of a future foe: a corrupted version of the eidolon Veliath, who has been turned from a god of of the wind into a living poison mist. Finally, if Gavrin takes the Forceful approach, he can overwhelm the vision and control what he sees a bit better, letting his player ask any one question and we’ll answer it as clearly as possible. Since this is a powerful option, we’ll say that if he fails this roll the vision will end early, meaning he will only get fragments of the the base information, making this a risker approach.

With the framework of the Cutscene worked out, we’re ready to see what the player latches onto.


I think Cutscenes have some very good uses.

I am probably going to use the Flashback-style cutscenes to frame the start of a session (like I would with love-letters in PbtA-style games). Meanwhiles, however, need a bit more thinking and a purpose. I could use them to narrate information to my players, but that would get boring quick, and I need to give my players reasons to want to engage via their Cutscene approaches.

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We’ve now explored four pillars of the game MEGALOS: character creation, roleplay encounters, combat encounters, and a unique aspect to MEGALOS: Cutscenes! While there is still a lot of MEGALOS to explore, I think it is an interesting game with a fun attached setting (Read the stuff about the Oradam Rift. It’s great!) and I would not mind running it for this group. Hell, I’ve already been talking about fun scenarios I’d love to try out in this game with the roommates.

There certainly are a few aspects of the game that I don’t know will be for everyone (this is totally a love letter to late-90’s JRPGs and fantasy action anime) but I would be willing to give it a shot if everyone is too.

While I won’t say it’s definitely what we’re going to play after we wrap up Root, but it gets my Game Mike is Excited to Run seal of approval.

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Putting this stuff here too for ease of reference.

I’m working on a Roll20 sheet for MEGALOS, in addition to the character creation tool I already did. Screenshots of the work in progress:

Main sheet:

Aether Current and talents/powers:

I’m not done with conditions & statuses tracking but that should be straightforward. Lol it’s done.

Things it doesn’t yet do:

  • It’ll roll skill dice, but only check stuff above the difficulty, it doesn’t do the smarter “20 is strong hit” handling. Roll20 theoretically supports this but I can’t get the sheetworker to work, which is aggravating Working.
  • Have stat blocks for weapons or armor (but it does have soak and you can roll soak values!) Working.
  • Intelligently handle rolling aether current dice (but there is a generic system where you can set the values yourself) Working.
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It all looks and feels intriguing enough for me to want to give it a go. I think my biggest concern at the moment is not the system per se, but a feel for the world and what the heck sort of character I would want to run, to what end, etc.

Which some further reading would probably help with, but that’s my takeaway from the above.

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And I think this is an excellent through line for a post going over what sort of conflicts exist in the world of Megalos (or at least it’s assumed setting of the Oradam Rift) and what sort of characters might interact with these issues. Gives me an excellent opportunity to sort my own thoughts about what sort of game I would want to run in Megalos.

I’ll start writing something up and hopefully will have something I can post on the forums in the next day or two. And if not, my PTO from work starts Wednesday and runs through the weekend, so I’ll have a bit of free time to devote to this.

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