Let's Prep MEGALOS

With Megalos looking like the clear favorite going forward (though I’m not against pivoting at this point), I figured it would be helpful to start talking about what that game would look like and start prepping for it. And rather than making everyone wade through all the posts of me figuring out the system in the other thread, I decided this needed its own dedicated thread.

So let’s talk Megalos and what we want to do.

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So let’s answer @Dave’s question from the other thread:

After reading through the book, I can safely say that the game is about a group of adventurers going on an epic quest that starts with humble beginnings. With that in mind, I see two major series ideas pop out at me.

The Unshrouded Lands

The first series I idea I have involves the Unshrouded Lands (pg. 288). In this series, the PCs would be newly arrived adventurers intent on exploring the Unshrouded Lands for fame, glory, riches, and the like.

This series would run no unlike a West Marches-style campaign: the PCs would have a home base to return to between excursions (the city of Foothold, a.k.a. “Colony Centrum M3G-410-S”) and a majority of the action would involve delving into the uncovered ruins and sites of the Unshrouded Lands. That’s not to say adventurer wouldn’t also take place in Foothold. Far from it.

As the book points out, there are a multitude of factions in the city of Foothold (chief among them the forces sent by the Arlyte Empire to oversee and administrate the newly founded colony) as well as its connected city of “barbarians” Nogra. This means there is sure to be intrigue and playing-and-being-played by different factions between journeys into the Unshrouded Lands.

Features of the Unshrouded Lands Series:

  • “Dungeon” Delving
  • Home Base/Base Building
  • Long-term Storytelling with a Reoccurring Cast of Characters

The Adventurers’ Guild

The second series idea is much closer in tone to what we’ve been doing in Root: wandering adventurers acting on behalf of the will of the people as members of one of the world’s many adventuring guilds (pg. 266). In this series, the PCs would still be adventurers and mercenaries, but rather than isolated to a single part of the world, they would be wanderers—possibly with an airship to travel from holm to holm.

This series would be much more varied with a variety of clients: one week might see you helping a town rescue their citizens from kidnapping monsters, while another might see you performing espionage against the Arlyte Empire to help one of the holms. This would explicitly be an episodic series like Leverage or the X-Files (including the possibility of there being an overarching plot that connects the otherwise separate and stand-alone episodes).

Features of the Adventurers’ Guild Series:

  • Monster/Danger-of-the-Week Storytelling
  • Episodic Adventurers
  • Storylines Tend to be B-Plot

So which of these sounds more appealing? Wandering sellswords and mercenaries, or stationary adventurers who continually delving into a seemingly infinite abyss?

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I want to talk a bit about what characters look like as well.

  • The characters tend to be personally more powerful than other games, and everyone has some built-in healing and recovery options. You can even raise fallen comrades on the battlefield.
  • There’s no direct correlation from D&D (for example) to MEGALOS, but sometimes the vibes come through (e.g. a MEGALOS Arklight hits the same notes as a Paladin).
  • There’s no class/calling who has a lock on thieving, tracking, talking, or other typical out-of-combat activities - those are handled by skills and traits. You can be the wily little thief, the keen-eyed forest ranger, or the chatty entertainer, and still call down lightning from invoking the gods, summon glowing swords with your mind, or fight with animal-inspired martial arts.
  • The combat system absolutely thrives on cooperation within the party. If you build a character who just runs off and does their own thing during a fight, they will do less well than a team player.

I can tell people what maps to what if they come to me with D&D classes or whatnot, but maybe it’s just as useful (and more fun for me) to start with the only alignment axis that matters: Jock, Prep, Nerd, Goth.

Jock: Champion (striker)
Jock/Prep: Arklight (tank)
Jock/Goth: Shadowblade (striker/tank)
Goth/Jock: Raconteur (tank)
Goth/Nerd: Draloi (support)
Nerd: Psythe (striker)
Nerd/Prep: Rune Magus (striker), Astromancer (striker)
Prep: Chanter (support)


Another tangent off of this: everyone is at least a little bit magic. The Champion is probably the least overtly magical Calling of all the characters and they can still:

  • Swing their weapon so hard it ignites into a shower of sparks and embers (Umbral Cinders).
  • Exude so much aether (magical energy) that it propels you at your enemies like a comet (Aerial Charge, Meteor Drop).
  • Turn into a figurative bonfire of energy (Aetherdrive Breaker!).

And this isn’t just the PCs. Crafters out in the world are just as much shaping magical energy as they are crafting the physical form of the things they are creating (Coalescence, pg. 197). But that isn’t to say everyone is equally skilled: a lot of folks probably have enough magic to just do their trade. George the locksmith can shape aether to make you a door lock that is activated by your personal aether signature so you don’t have to carry a key, but George isn’t going to able to fling fireballs at the monsters invading his village.


What might a sample character look like, someone who could fit into the setting(s)?

Mejem Rade is a Witch, specifically a Draloi. This makes him a drain healer. Draloi siphon power from enemies, work blood magic, and keep the party alive through a combination of wits and alchemy.

Mejem has the following traits: exiled wanderer, always watchful, quick & quiet, and reptilian traits (including a reptilian head and a long prehensile tail). He is from the Wastelands - an unforgiving and barren part of the world.

Mejem has the following skills: Attune 3, Hunt 2, Restore 3, Sneak 3, Survive 2. He is a capable healer and hunter. His cutscene skills are Cautious 3 and Quick 2.

His starting talent is Some For the Doctor, letting him self-heal when he heals others. His calling bonus is called Redistribute, letting him draw health from enemies to heal allies. His starting powers are Sanguine Pavise, Blood Alchemy, and Chirurgy.

His outfit is called the “Alchemist’s Rainbow”, so called because it’s a white smock festooned with potions, elixirs, and unguents of every conceivable color. Its stats are: Light Outfit ◯ Cargo, Defense Bonus: 0 , Armor HP: 15, Soak Bonus: 0 , Inventory Points: 11, Cargo: +2 maximum Inventory Points (or +3 for Light Outfits).

His weapon is a Feathered Spear - a weapon that uses reach, and a scarlet plume, to keep opponents at bay. Its stats are: Light Weapon ✧ Melee, Shield, Parrying, Weapon Dice: 3, Damage Bonus: +4, Range: 0, Shield: Gain +1 bonus to Dodge Defense, Parrying: Increase Soak against Physical damage by +1.

His final stats are: Soak 1d6 (+1 vs. Physical), HP 28, Armor HP 15, Dodge 9, Ward 8, Auto-Attack Damage 4, Core Damage 8, Recovery 8, RB 7. While not very tough, he can keep himself and his team healed up even during an extended fight.

During a short rest, Mejem will tend to any hurt teammates. He might carry a card game to pass the time (and clear Stress), or use Herbs & Spices to cook a meal that helps his friends regain their spent Recovery points. During downtime, he will stick close to the others in a city - or lead the way during wilderness travel, helping those unaccustomed to the wilds stay alive.


One more!

This character is named Vessel. He has lost his old name due to a curse, and now travels in search of his own story. Until then, he will tell the stories of the dead, and heroes of old. He is an Invoker, specifically a Raconteur - a mage-knight who draws spirits into his body when doing battle.

Vessel has the following traits: former graverobber, forgotten history, aether-aspected skin, and harbinger of retribution. He is from the Embattled Borderlands, where tombs are regularly ransacked for ancient secrets or buried gold.

He has the following skills: Force 3, Perform 3, Restore 2, Talk 3, Watch 2. His cutscene skills are Clever 2 and Forceful 3.

His starting talent is Warrior Priest, making him able to deliver multiple attacks in a round without being penalized. His calling bonus is called Undertow, letting him pull enemies into melee range with him. His starting invocations are The Faerie King and The Warrior, and he has mastered The Warrior’s Ríastrad as his arcana. These invocations let him inflict damage to one or many foes, and to set up enemies for attack by his allies.

His outfit is the Cursed Cuirass, a heavy armored suit with these stats: Heavy Outfit ◯ Reinforced, Defense Bonus: +2 , Armor HP: 25, Soak Bonus: +1 , Inventory Points: 4, Heavy: Disadvantage on Move & Sneak tests, Reinforced: +4 bonus Armor HP (or +5 for Heavy Outfits).

His weapon is the Storied Sword, a weapon with numerous runes from ages past engraved upon it. Its stats are: Heavy Weapon ✧ Melee, Accurate, Balanced, Weapon Dice: 2, Damage Bonus: +7, Range: 0. Accurate: Gain Advantage on the attack roll with Basic Attacks like Strike & Flurry of Strikes actions, Balanced: Add +2 to the attack result of one rolled Weapon Die.

His final stats are: Soak 2d6+1, Base HP 32, Dodge 12, Ward 12, Auto-Attack Damage 4, Core Damage 11, Recovery 4, RB 8.

During a short rest, Vessel will play a harp and accompany the music with ballads or other songs, to Entertain his party. During downtime, he will tell stories and listen to others, hoping to learn more about the world - and himself.


Villa Lucis is a fishing village, blessed with sunlight and good catches year-round. Unfortunately, it was too prosperous and too well positioned for the Empire to ignore for long. Insurgents have always been found in the region, but the village elders were always able to maintain their neutral status when the Empire’s inspectors came around. Xeric helped save the village from destruction, but at a cost. They rejected him when they saw his darkness made manifest, and couldn’t accept that such a person either had saved them, or was one of them.

Status of the village: unknown. Either alternative (destroyed or intact) could both be interesting. If the Empire burned it down or something, that would explain why people scattered. If it survived, it might be a haven for insurgents, or it might mean Xeric saved them after all. But this is also a question we don’t need to answer right now.

For @insomn14 here’s what I’ve got for Xeric. If you have existing NPCs that will fill these roles, or if someone else’s NPCs can do double duty, maybe we can use that instead. For that reason I’d love to hear from everyone.

Let’s see if we can pick 2-3 NPCs from the following list, especially ones that other players would enjoy engaging with. Each of them should have a reason to interact with the team as a whole.

The Mentor - the mysterious individual who taught Xeric how to cultivate his coer using darkness as a guide. They are here searching for some kind of lost artifact or forgotten secret, for unspecified but perhaps suspicious reasons. They may want the party’s help with that search.

The Insurgent - someone who tried to involve Villa Lucis in the fight, and who may have inadvertently called in the Empire on them in the end. They’re now working as a mercenary to support the researchers, like we are. They may be angry at Xeric, or feel guilty for something they did to his village, or have some other motive. They may want to recruit the party to their cause.

The Torch - a best friend, love interest (in one or another direction), or anyone else from the village who still holds Xeric in high esteem. They’re supplying the expedition with food or equipment, working at the base. or doing something else to help out behind the scenes. They might want something from Xeric as he is now, or want him back to how he was, but either way represent the appeal of the old days.

The Doubter - someone from the old days - a villager or a fellow fighter trainee. They’re everything he’s not. Popular, fun, light-hearted, you name it. They distrust Xeric and what he’s done with his life. For now, they have to work together, and they might try to persuade others not to pal around with this darkness-wielding weirdo.

The Seeker - this is someone dedicated to the expedition’s mission, a true seeker of knowledge. If the Torch or the Doubter didn’t persuade Xeric to join the project, this person did (and they may be the reason the others are here now). They represent the positive possibilities he’s fighting for, but also the risks and vulnerabilities that could befall the mission without protectors guarding it.

The Turncoat - someone who sold the village out to the Empire - or an Imperial who defected to the good guys. Either way, they’re not with the Empire right now, or so they say. The question is can they be trusted, and how do they feel about the old days. They have something useful - knowledge, or a pass-key, or a special map - that makes them tolerable for the moment. They’re like the Insurgent in that they stir up Imperial tension, but unlike in that the Insurgent’s loyalties have always been clear.


At least for me, I could see some immediate use out of the Insurgent (a member of one of the rival adventuring groups), the Torch, and the Seeker (both members of the sponsoring organization for your team), with some long-term ideas for the Turncoat (a “friendly” face among the Empire’s ranks) and the Mentor. But if anyone else has some ideas for these NPCs or their own additions, I’m happy to hear them. :slight_smile: