Wish it had more ideas for GMs, that it had more varied ideas about magic, and that it was still in print. I do love that the system is so elegant and simple, but some might see it as intimidating to run stories with such an almost free form style. The setting is described in enough detail to provide inspiration and give common ground to player characters, but by its nature is ambiguous as to details of individual settings. It does, it should also be noted, provide lots of terminology for GMs to have a common language of exchange, so sharing notes on spheres, realms, heroes and quests is easy. This is a classic, and I plan on snagging a second copy some day.
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Roundwander is the only realm in Fourcorner that is described. Several dozen other spheres are described as one-sentence blurbs, a few as page-long summaries, and one in detail as the setting for a sample adventure, "Journey to Stonekeep. The authors gave significant thought to anthropology by describing how the people of various spheres live, including many similarities across cultures.
Nearly all spheres are inhabited by humans, with mostly realistic physics. Each character begins with twenty points to divide between four Element scores roughly equivalent to statistics for Strength Fire , Perception Water , Intelligence Air and Endurance Earth.
Scores range from 1 pathetic to 3 average to 10 godlike , so a generic hero would have scores of 5. Each Element also has a specialty for which a character can get a 1-point bonus; e. As a general rule a statistic of N is twice as capable as a level of N-1, where this makes sense. A 5-Fire, 5-Earth hero can typically defeat two 4-Fire, 5-Earth enemies, or handily defeat a 3-Fire, 5-Earth character in foot race, but cannot necessarily run twice as fast even though speed is governed by Fire.
Each character also has Powers representing unusual abilities. For instance, a "Cat Familiar," a slightly intelligent cat, is arguably worth 2 points for being Frequent usually around and often useful and Versatile able to scout, carry messages, and fight. A "Winning Smile" that makes the hero likable is worth 0 points because of its trivial effect, while a "Charming Song" that inspires one emotion when played might be useful enough to count as Frequent 1 point.
There is no strict rule for deciding what a Power is worth. Each hero can have one 0-point Power for free; additional Powers that would otherwise cost 0 points instead cost 1.
Magic is also abstract. A hero wanting access to magic, as opposed to a few specific Powers, must design their own magic system. This is done by choosing an Element for its basis, which affects its theme; e.
The new Magic statistic has a 1—10 rating and point cost, and can be no higher than the Element on what it is based. It is suggested that most characters do not need magic and that it is not suitable for new players. Players are to choose one or more Vision cards and base a backstory on them, and to have three Fortune cards representing a Virtue, Fault, and Fate a challenge they will face.
There is a list of suggested Motives for why the hero is adventuring, such as "Adversity" or "Wanderlust", but this feature has no gameplay effect.
Equipment such as weaponry is handled completely abstractly, with no specific rules for item cost, carrying capacity, or combat statistics. However, a particularly powerful piece of equipment—for example, a cloak that renders its wearer invisible for a brief period—may be treated as a Power that the hero must spend their initial element points on.
Many of these cards are based on the "Major Arcana" of tarot divination , such as "The Fool" and "Death", but the deck includes original cards such as "Drowning in Armor" and "Law. The meanings are printed on the cards e. The rules are flexible about how often the GM should consult the Fortune Deck, whether the cards should be shown to players, and how much influence the draw should have—it is entirely acceptable for the GM to never use the deck at all, if she so desires.
Though cards sometimes have obvious interpretations for the context in which they are drawn, the rules explain that sometimes they are best read simply as "a positive or negative result. It does not in any way endorse "real" fortune-telling or other supernatural concepts.
For starters, it has no dice. It has no tables or charts. A deck of cards directs the flow of the game. Monster bashing, treasure hunting, dungeon crawling—bye-bye; Everway is pure narrative. Swan was a big fan of the diceless system, saying, "It makes for a brisk game, and Everway, to its credit, plays at blinding speed.
He concluded by giving the game an average rating of 4 out of 6.
EVERWAY RPG PDF
They made it into a boxed set and marketed it in toy stores alongside Monopoly and Risk. Big mistake. Cards themselves are interpreted by the GM based on their orientation, the illustration and a few bits of prose on each side of the card. Different interpretations might depend on how the situation is going at that given moment. The boxed game comes with 90 or so random cards, and players are encouraged to seek out their own. I snagged a small lot of Michael Whelan cards on ebay to use in my campaign.
A very early Wizards of the Coast product Everway is a diceless roleplaying game whose randomisers are not numbered cubes but, essentially tarot cards. Designed by a then up and coming game studio called Wizards of the Coast, the first thing that strikes you about Everway is how beautiful it is: the cards and the character sheets are something to behold compared to the functional but drab design of most games. A beautiful, minimalist character sheet - the character I played in the one-off. The back lists some extra rules but most key data is up front. The game itself? The game itself is a fairly high fantasy universe-hopping escapade.
Edit The official setting for Everway revolves around heroes with the power of "spherewalking," traveling between worlds called "spheres. Roundwander is the only realm in Fourcorner that is described. Several dozen other spheres are described as one-sentence blurbs, a few as page-long summaries, and one in detail as the setting for a sample adventure, "Journey to Stonekeep. The authors gave significant thought to anthropology by describing how the people of various spheres live, including many similarities across cultures. Nearly all spheres are inhabited by humans, with mostly realistic physics. Each character begins with twenty points to divide between four Element scores roughly equivalent to statistics for Strength Fire , Perception Water , Intelligence Air and Endurance Earth.
Yeah, the Sphere Trek thing is an issue. A pacing mechanism for the narrative, a la Inspectresor maybe just a tool for ending an adventure and seeing what the consequences were. In the Everway I always wanted to play, it was a non-GM player who put that crazy huge god-killing spear in the fiction. In my experience, Drama resolution can also involve consensus building among the group about what should happen next. You would just respond to character initiatives. I like what Jonathan says here: Hey, thanks for the links.