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NNRPG: Weatherwatch Reveal

As you may or may not know, the Neithernor RPG uses the 18 guild-bearings from Ackerly Green’s Guide to Magiq in place of the classical concept of “classes” from other tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons, etc.

Each Guild’s three bearings are delineated by the Sun/Moon/Eclipse concept, and in NNRPG they are also sorted into non-respective focuses of Magic, Mystic, and Melee.

Melee bearings are more physically-focused though they still use magic to overpower opponents, elevate their already impressive skills, and enhance their armament.

Magic bearings deal with mastering and bending the known scientific laws of magic like time, alchemy, technology, and weather.

Mystic bearings focus on affecting the intangible and unexplained elements of the magimystic; chaos, creation, the elements, and even reality itself.

Each Guild in NNRPG has a stack of six Skills that encompass their respective archetypes and can be augmented for further benefits within your character’s Skill ladder. The Skills for Weatherwatch’s Explorer archetype are Athletics, Rapport, Sleight, Stealth, Survival, and Wit.

We also break those six Skills down into pairs for each bearing, skills that are critically useful to that particular class. This breakdown of Skills is useful to ensure that each guild and their bearings feel unique, have their own areas of expertise, and also allows some Skills to be used in place of other skills. Here’s why that’s important:

In Fate Core, skills have four potential game actions: Overcome, Create an Advantage, Attack, and Defend. For example, Craft can be used to Overcome or Create an Advantage.

But that doesn’t really work for the Briarverse. In NNRPG, I wanted guilds and their bearings to be able to alter or augment Skills based on their areas of expertise and have options for what Skills they use for combat, defense, etc. The way we’ve broken down the skills by Guild and added Skill Focuses allows for that. Now, the Flinterforge guild-bearings have the option to use Craft in place of Fight to engage in combat since many of their Affinities center around creation, and all Weatherwatch bearings can use Wit to not only improvise their way out of a problem but to turn the tide of a battle if needed.

But enough of the boring stuff, let’s get into the fun bits! Below are the current concepts for the Weatherwatch bearings and the roles they’ll play in NNRPG.

Weatherwatch: The Explorers

Guild Skills: Athletics, Rapport, Sleight, Stealth, Survival, Wit
Guild Skill Focus: Wit

Ardeonaut – The Swashbuckling Adventurer:

Bearing Skills: Athletics & Rapport

The Sun-bearing Ardeonaut is Weatherwatch’s Melee class and represents the classic “Swashbuckling Adventurer” character of literature and film. Think Indiana Jones, Lara Croft, or even Jack Sparrow. Their sense of adventure is an insatiable urge, and they are always on the lookout for the next shiny thing, the next discovery, the next scrape to narrowly escape. Their augmented skills are Athletics and Rapport, and their Affinities are a magimystic mix of augmentations to enhance their way with both words, weapons, and wiles. From deftly evading traps and capture to talking their way out of a fight or past defenses, the Ardeonaut is quick-footed, silver-tongued, and the natural “face” of many covens.

Navimant – The Phantasmic Scout:

Bearing Skills: Survival & Wit

The moon-bearing Navimat is Weatherwatch’s Magic class. They play the unique role of a one-person scouting party who can project a second phantasmic copy of themselves to help scope out dangers ahead of the coven, map unexplored locations, confuse and distract opponents, and with the right affinities, even aid in combat. The Navimant’s augmented skills are Survival and Wit, representing both their keen instincts and their ability to improvise. Their Affinities grant upgrades that power their second self, from magimystic echolocation and mimicry to corporeally interacting with the world around them, and also afford protection and strength to the Navimant while their ghostly mirror is out on assignment.

Celestant –  The Light-Wielding Rogue:

Bearing Skills: Stealth & Sleight

The eclipse-bearing Celestant is Weatherwatch’s Mystic class, a stealth-focused rogue who can manipulate the element of light, and in turn, darkness. They are both the burning star in the sky and the sea of shadow that surrounds it. Their augmented skills are Stealth and Sleight, and they can use their abilities to explore, conceal, distract, and stealthily engage enemies. They might blind a foe with a blast of sunlight, cloak their coven in the shrouded safety of darkness, or secretly disrupt technology built on fiber-optic connections. Their connection to the most essential element means the possibilities for plying light and shadow are endless, but one thing’s for sure: Their coven need never carry a torch again.

Do you have thoughts for Abilities, ideas for edits, suggestions for changes? PLEASE comment below! And once I’ve revealed all the bearings, we’re going to start creating spells together next week!

Tomorrow we’ll get into the Caretaker bearings of Gossmere!


  1. Probably comes under “mortal ability” but being in theme with Capt Jack Sparrow maybe something like “Always one step ahead” which gives an advantage to the first notice roll of a scene?

  2. I meant to respond a few days ago, but it’s been busy :joy: First, I would like to say I love alllllll of these bearing-classes and I’m so happy that you released WW first. I was definitely unsure of what to expect of them, and I was caught a bit off-guard that Celestant is more of a rogue character, but I really love the concept! It’s a really unique approach to a “rogue class” and I love how connected it is to light manipulation and its raw, elemental nature. I also like that your description of the Celestant gives an example of how the bearing’s abilities could interact with technology – it really adds to the unique feel that Ackerly Green’s universe has as a “modern fantasy” world.

    That being said, I really like the other bearings, too. I think the skills relate really well to each bearing and I think that the other bearings feel just as connected to the guild. The Ardeonaut is the stereotypical Weatherwatch in a lot of ways which even though I’ve pushed against it is definitely an essential part of the guild. While I’ll probably stick to playing a Celestant (at least at first), I can’t wait to see and hear all of the hijinks that Ardeonaut characters get up to. The Navimant also feels very connected to the guild, though more like Strider-era Aragorn than Indiana Jones. I can see a lot of utility coming from the Phantasmic Scout and I’m definitely eyeing it as my second guild specialization.

    One question (that might have been answered elsewhere) that came to mind while I was typing this up: are there “benefits” to not taking on a second bearing? I only ask because I could see characters who would prefer to dive into one bearing instead spreading themselves across two. It’s totally okay if there isn’t (I think storytelling should supercede stat bonuses), but I wanted to explore that!

    1. That’s a great question!! The reward concept for focusing on one bearing instead of minoring in a second is that powerful later Affinities act sort of like “upgrades,” requiring earlier bearing Affinities as prerequisites.

      So you have the choice to master one bearing’s potential, or spread your capacity to two bearings, knowing everything about one or a lot about two.

  3. Question (that may have been answered elsewhere so sorry if it has) what’s the difference between a bearings skill, a guild skill and a guild skill focus?

    So as an Ardeonaut, my bearing skills are athletics and rapport but do I also get a bonus in wit rolls as well being my guild focus? Or is the guild focus skill used for coven Magiq?

    (If the answer is coming in a future update just tell me to be patient… although I feel like a kid at Christmas sitting by the tree waiting for the rest of the family to wake up)

    1. Haaaaaa, that’s a great question! This was going to be a bigger post, but I’m happy to share some insight into this now!

      As it stands, guild skills are skills that anyone within that guild can choose to augment, which right now means you have the opportunity to re-roll checks on those skills, but it can mean other things later.

      Bearing skills, which we’re still fine-tuning and are subject to change, are skills that those bearings can use to cast their Affinities. There’s no default “magic casting” skill in Fate Core, and since everyone is a magic-user in NNRPG, it made sense to have a mechanic built in where players could use their existing skillset to cast. This concept will bear out in playtesting because it’s hard to imagine all the circumstances without actual table time.

      Guild Skill Focuses, also subject to change, apply to all bearings within the given guild. This may look like a default augmented skill in the finished game, or another optional casting skill for all bearings, or both. It would be weird, for example, for Flinterforge to only have one bearing that could use Craft as a casting skill.

      Having said all that, I will admit that a lot of this is based on this idea I’m still married where I split the 18 skills evenly over the 6 guilds, each skill being used twice, and giving some interesting connections and relationships (Thornmouth & Flinterforge = Academics, Gossmere & Balimora = Empathy, etc.) because I didn’t want to just lay the Briarverse over the Fate Core system like a blanket. I wanted to integrate it and make it feel like the entire system was built to accommodate this world, the guilds, and their bearings.

      Once we went through a couple of weeks of work and six different versions (it was NOT easy breaking the guilds into these skill groupings, but in the end actually helped me learn even more about the guilds and their purposes,) I thought, well, could we also break those six guild skills down into smaller pairs for each bearing, really giving them specificity and defined purpose?

      So I did. And it was like oral surgery.

      It broke the entire larger assignment of skills to guilds, but again, it gave me renewed insight into something I thought knew front to back as the creator. So I moved a lot of skills around until we got to this:

      Weatherwatch: Athletics, Rapport, Sleight, Stealth, Survival, Wit

      Gossmere: Connections, Craft, Empathy, Lore, Rapport, Sleight

      Flinterforge: Craft, Academics, Fight, Investigate, Physique, Wit

      Ebenguard: Fight, Athletics, Evoke, Influence, Notice, Physique

      Thornmouth: Academics, Connections, Investigate, Lore, Notice, Will

      Balimora: Empathy, Evoke, Influence, Stealth, Survival, Will

      So, the reason for things like a Guild Skill Focus might seem arbitrary. I constrained myself by assigning skills to guilds and then splitting those skills into pairs for the bearings but didn’t want to prevent, say, a Celestant from augmenting Wit or using it as a casting skill because Wit is so intrinsic to Weatherwatch as a whole.

      Having said all that, any bearing can choose any skill for their Skill Ladder. The idea I’m working at is that each guild’s set of six particular skills can be augmented further because I wanted to show your guild’s power and purpose in your character’s life and persona. Then there are also optional bearing skills that can be used to cast your Affinities and possibly Spells; again, this will be solved in playtesting.

      I hope that I answered your question somewhere in this mess! :cjheart:

      1. Oh definitely!!! I’ve been leafing backwards and forwards though my fate core guide to start seeing how I’m gonna build Skylad and now I’m just even more excited to see the character sheets, skills and also how you’ve defined “wit” :spiritseergimme: (noticed a couple of new skills that aren’t in the core guide and it’s got me very excited :deirdrexd:)

  4. I’m seeing this first the first time, and this looks amazing! :star_struck::heart:

    I’m an Ardeonaut and I’m so excited to dive whole heartedly into the swashbuckling role.

    1. Agreed! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

      I’m Celestant and magic rogue was essentially the description of my favourite character I’ve played in a DnD campaign if you add a gun in the mix :rofl:

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