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NNRPG: Thornmouth Reveal

If you haven’t already, check out the WeatherwatchGossmereFlinterforge, and Ebenguard reveals to share your thoughts and read about how and why we structured guild skills and archetypes the way we have.

Next up, the Scholars of Thornmouth!

Thornmouth was a bit of a challenge, though I always knew what Umbranor would be. The challenges were that:

  • I approached the bearings in chronocompass order, so by the time I got around to bearings 13-18, I was struggling a little to come up with differentiations that didn’t leave the later guild bearings feeling like retreads of earlier ones.
  • Balimora is easier because it has a lot of crossover with more classical types from other RPGs. I could already imagine wild Briarversian Rangers, Druids, Rogues, etc. But coming up with three bearings centered around academics, knowledge, and thought without making them all stereotypical wizards, proved to be a tall order. 

Having said that, I’m SO happy with how they turned out, and some concepts I came up with at the last minute to further fill them out has given me new ideas for some of the earlier bearings, like Ardeonaut. Anyway, here’s Thornmouth!

Thornmouth: The Scholars

Academics, Connections, Investigate, Lore, Notice, Will
Guild Skill Focus: Academics

Luminast – The Magimentor:

Bearing Skills: Academics/Connections

As Thornmouth’s sun-bearing Magic class, the Luminast is as close to a traditional “wizard” as you’ll find in the Briarverse, but they are seldom found locked away in solitary towers poring over ancient tomes: They prefer the joyous exchange of information and history to solemn, solitary study, and their willingness to enkindle the minds of others also expands their own knowledge and empowers their already impressive Abilities. With Academics and Connections as their augmented skills, their Affinities are more complex, more powerful, and further augmented by the relationships they make with others, for what is the good of wisdom, unless it is shared?. Luminasts are the only bearing able to reorganize their allotment of Magimystic Abilities every session instead of every Milestone, making them a helpful and ever-evolving encyclopedia of magimystic knowledge and power. 

Umbranor – The Subtextual Sorcerer:

Bearing Skills: Investigate/Notice

The moon-bearing Umbranor is Thornmouth’s Mystic class, and it’s not an exaggeration to describe them as the magimystic equivalent of Sherlock Holmes. All magic is born from thought, and the Umbranor’s unique connection to that primal element is enhanced by augmented skills Investigate and Notice, making them shrewd and sharp-eyed detectives, as well as allowing them to keenly sense, manipulate, and even negate magimystic energy, all by dissecting the intention behind it. They can use their innately heightened senses and voracious hunger for knowledge to unravel mysteries, dismantle deceits, find the source of supernatural barriers, counter the force of magimystic attacks, or strip a combatant of magic altogether. Dazzling displays of the magimystic hold no interest for the perceptive Umbranor. They are more intrigued by the secret purpose and unseen intent waiting just below the surface of the spectacle.

Lunivox – The Intellikinetic:

Bearing Skills: Will/Lore

The eclipse-bearing Lunivox is a nuclear reactor for knowledge. As Thornmouth’s Melee class, their bodies are able to transmute the potential energy of information, converting lore, ancient histories, and the stories of those who lived them into pure magimystic force. Information remaps their nervous systems, constructs new memories in their muscles, and even ripples on the surface of their skin, not only giving them instantaneous insight into newly attained wisdom, but they can also repurpose that power into physical force, using nothing but knowledge as a weapon. Their bodies are so in tune with the conversion of thought into energy that flickers of the Mindflame manifest on their physical form. They may have a halo of flame circling their head, hands that smolder like coals, eyes made of pure fire, or even tattoo-like flames illuminating their skin. With the augmented skills Will and Lore, the body of a Lunivox is a furnace fueled by ideas.

Thoughts? Questions? Ideas? Reply below!

Tomorrow, the Scholars of Thornmouth!


  1. A few things to note:

    • If you play a bearing with physical manifestations of the magimystic like Corrilave or Lunivox, you’re more than welcome to role-play the visibility of those manifestations in the mundane world, but there will be context in the handbook that explains these things either fade from view in the mundane world, or you have the power to suppress them. The NNRPG Briarverse still has the mundane/magic secret world concept, but you of course have more leeway to play with it. You might even “out” magic altogether. It’s up to you, your coven, and your Narrator.

    • I’m excited about the Luminast’s ability to shared knowledge and be stronger for it. One option I’m playing with now is that they can share their Fate Points, which grant their covenmates more resources/power when needed. It will limit the number of castings the Luminast can perform, but makes the existing Abilities they do cast much more powerful, perhaps with a reroll mechanic, or additional bonus points added for every Fate Point shared in this way?

    • The Luminast mechanic gave me an idea for Ardeonaut. I started with Ardeonaut and I feel like they need a little extra something because I got more inspired and experimental as I went down the list. I kind of went from Ardeonaut’s “I’m a swashbuckler who likes to chat” to Lunivox’s “I am thought incarnate, the omega-level Thornmouth.” So I’m thinking about fun abilities where Ardeonaut has some of that connective stuff that Luminast has, but mirrored. The more narrow scrapes they escape and the more characters they have on their tail, the more powerful their abilities become, or something like that. Not quite a wanted fugitive mechanic, (maybe more like … notorious?) but something that really encourages and rewards the fun of that outgoing, impulsive bearing.

    1. Nope! Ardeonaut likes the idea of a “wanted fugitive mechanic” :tedevil: however could we use our “rapport” skill more like a “provoke” to amass our army of not-so-adoring fans??

      Edit: can we call this ability “here comes the smoulder”

  2. MWHAaha

    Navimant – The Phantasmic Scout crossed with Lunivox – The Intellikinetic

    Gods help anyone who runs into me or my second self

    Oh the fun to be had with this!

    1. You were :100: right about “magic x-men!” I really love the physical representation in Lunivox, but I’m glad you clarified it re: the mundane world.

      I can totally see the writhing flame tattoos suddenly go still like Toy Story characters once the character steps through a Knocking Door.

  3. Oo, well if this hasn’t piqued my interest on how this’ll play I don’t know what will, lol. Also, love the idea of a Sherlock-type class, definitely going to want to have a Umbranor in my coven to help unravel whatever mysteries our Narrator sends our way.

    Can’t wait to hear what you’ve done for Bali, really excited as I’m normally a ranger, druid, or rogue lol.

  4. Once again, I love all of these classes, but the Lunivox is definitely my favorite! I love the integration of magic with all of the melee classes, but I’m really excited about this bearing and what people will come up with. My first thought was definitely “Oh look, I can live out my dream of becoming a Summers sibling,” but I really like the different ways that it could be manifested beyond eye and body beams. Magic tattoos give me serious Ed Cumberland from the BoB vibes and makes me more interested in what the melee classes could be like (I’ve been a lot more focused on the Mystic classes so far). I can’t wait to see the Bali classes next or the changes you might make to the Ardeonaut!

  5. Floored.

    I was holding out in no small part because my bearing quizzes kept sorting me differently for Thornmouth. I had a sense that maybe seeing the “superhero” versions might help me sort it out.

    Now it’s a no-brainer. My in-world persona is unequivocally Lunivox, and I see how that is me as well.

    These are all beautifully different, @CJB. I see the potential problem with trying to differentiate, but you really translated the personality description of the bearing into a different relationship with Thought and the Mindflame, which manifested as three very different “classes.”

  6. I just realized that tomorrow’s Saturday and I’m trying to make a point of taking time off on the weekends so I’ll post Balimora on Monday and we can also start going over creating spells together!

    1. That’s a great question @Iluminara! Neithernor: the RPG (NNRPG) is the Briarverse RPG @CJB is developing. The basic premise is “you, plus magic” – so there aren’t races like you’d see in Dungeons and Dragons. Characters are all regular people, but whom have discovered the hidden world magic being revealed in the Briarverse novels. The guild-bearing reveals, like the one at the top of this thread, are the 18 different (!) character classes you could choose from to play.

      So, a corollary character concept to your’s for NNRPG would be a sagacious career academic surrounded by manuscripts and books. Teaching pedestrian college courses, but having magical adventures on the side.

  7. As I slowly piece together what you are creating here, I am incredibly impressed. (I’m also a Luminast – by nature and by sorting.)

    Once I get caught up, I’m willing to throw in my hat to help. I’ve got no small experience with RPG writing and design.

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