01. Introduction 02. The Basics 03. Traits & Abilities 03.1 Resonance 04. Ritual Magic 05. Creation Guide 06. Ranks Back to Top
Three On A Match - Humans - The Arcanist's Path

The Arcanist's Path


Arcanists are the witches and wizards of the world. They are also shamans, priestesses, witch doctors, sorcerers, and enchantresses. They are every kind of human magic-user, from every culture. There are countless variations of magic in the world--what sets arcanists apart, what makes their magic work is a set of magical fundamentals. These are the building blocks of ritual magic, a powerful form of magic invented by humans.

The Basics

Path Features

Physical Mental Life & Death Codes of Conduct Specialities Non-Human Arcanists Physical

While beginner arcanists are just like their mundane human counterparts, as the arcanist uses magic and develops their skill, the magic does change them in small ways. An experienced arcanist, with countless rituals under their belt and careful study of the metaphysical is known to be a little more resistant than mundane humans, with an ability to recover from wounds far better than humans, although still at a slow healing rate. Arcanists who aren't careful can also find the marks of their rituals gone wrong showing through in more peculiar ways, from interesting scar patterns to other permanent marks.


Unlike humans, arcanists slowly develop the mental fortitude to deal with magic to wield and resist. Their encounters with magic may also shift their perspective from their previous mundane lives, as magic blows open the doors on everything thought to be unreal and make-believe. How an arcanist deals with this varies between them.

However, as they are very much human, they do not have any special sense for magic in the beginning. They use their knowledge through study and scholarship combined with careful observation to pinpoint magic and identify enchantments through the physical marks it leaves behind. An arcanist who has honed their skills carefully is slowly able to pick up more through the exposure to magic in their work. This manifests as the Third Eye ability.

Life, Death, & Affliction

Like any human, an arcanist is vulnerable to curses, afflictions, and death. Perhaps one might argue they are more vulnerable, considering their work with rituals and spellwork, often known to be unstable. The drawbacks of using ritual magic are as myriad as its uses. Magical corruption, insanity, and the risk of backfire are just a few unintended (most of the time) consequences.

Most accidents during casting stem from an arcanist being rushed while drawing the sigil circle or runes or during experimentation. With enough precision and care, an arcanist can avoid the more dangerous side effects of using magic, though this does not preclude a successful result from hurting an arcanist if they don't safeguard against more mundane forms of danger. A fireball is still a fireball, no matter who cast it.

While there are no limits to the ways these things can happen, a ritual can end in both a curse or an affliction of undeath. A violent encounter with a shifter may end in the arcanist turning into a shifter themselves, if they survive to the full moon.

Codes of Conduct

Arcanists are not subject to the Codes of Conduct, but if they're aware of them, they would do well to heed them. They will only suffer the ill-effects of breaking Hospitium laws.

Additional Notes
  • 'Arcanist' can be considered a term in the meta--characters do not need to call themselves by that title.
  • Arcanists may create rituals with keywords outside of their chosen portfolio, but they always roll with the Circlebreaker Cinder pool with a Threshold of 5 due to unfamiliarity.



With a ritual and an appropriately hardy vessel, you are able to enchant an item with a specific spell, allowing you to cast that spell when you activate the item. This is the favored method of magic use for most arcanists as it helps them sidestep the ill-effects of Resonance.


With a ritual circle and a rune or series of runes, you are able to inscribe magic onto a surface. After activating it with a drop of blood, you can create a trap, ward an area, or layer enchantments.


With components, a bit of cooking knowledge, and a ritual circle, an arcanist is able to create a consumable spell. The effect is temporary, but they are able to use their keywords to to create any effect.

Traits & Abilities

Spellcraft Slow Casting Regeneration Collector Charms Third Eye Familiar Spellbook Resonance Spellcraft

An arcanist's ritual lives and dies by their spellcraft. When rolling Spellcraft at the end of three preparation posts of ritual casting, it describes an arcanist's grasp on the fundamentals of their arcane work from the neatness of their runes to their concentration while casting. If a spell fails due to a poor spellcraft roll, you can flavor it in a myriad of ways, considering what goes into it. More information is found on the Rituals Guidebook page.

It can also be used to measure the physical toll or the strength of the backfire.

Creative takes on spell casting methods, effects, and other such details, are welcome and encouraged. The fundamentals are listed below so everyone can have a similar jumping off point.

  • Spellcraft uses the Arcanist's Cinder pool.
  • This also describes the use of magic items.

Earned, developed, or discovered, as they grow in knowledge and power, an arcanist's magical abilities are focused on supporting their ritual magic. They're not as flashy as those in the other Paths, but a clever arcanist can likely find multiple uses for each one.

Note: Arcanists only begin with Collector and one Charm. As they go up in the ranks, they gain more.


Slow Casting

Although arcanists aren't subject to the physical limitations that plague blood magic users, their work still takes time. Unless an arcanist has created an enchanted item or potion with their desired effect ahead of time, a ritual casting may take no fewer than 3 posts. Any less than this and it is considered a rushed ritual with its own drawbacks.

Regeneration (Augur Rank)

There is a reason wizards live longer! You've dusted yourself with just enough magic that traces of it have rooted in your physical form. Although you still healing at human rate to your body will continuously repair itself, reaching for the maximum of human potential physical fitness. This does not mean you don't need to hit the gym. Instead, your bones will heal completely, scars will continue to soften and fade, and other injuries will eventually stop ailing you, given enough time.


Collector (Circlebreaker Rank)

Components are an essential part of every spell. A vast majority are mundane, but some call for something that cannot be easily stored. An arcanist could certainly store a sound on a recorder, or take the journal entry recount of a good evening, and use that, but most are able to utilize a another way. An arcanist can capture what seems like the intangible in their hands to be stored in a bottle, a handkerchief, or a wooden box. Any kind of container. These are very small things: a sad sigh, a ray of sunlight, the feeling of a wonderful dinner conversation with close friends. An arcanist can collect with or without Cinder dice, but should they collect with Cinder dice their results reflect on the quality of the component. The quality of components used in rituals is a factor in the quality of the end result of the ritual, whether it is longevity of the enchantment, more than one time use, or strength of the magic.

  • Partial Failure: Poor
  • Complete Success: Average
  • Exceptional success: Good
  • Critical Hit (10 passes): Superb
Charms (All Ranks)

Ever inventive, arcanists are famous for creating minor magic charms that they can perform on a whim. Although they can't begin to compare with the half-blood boons, arcanists receive one new charm at each rank. These are very minor harmless utility abilities based on a keyword they have.

Spellbook (Thaumaturge Rank)

This is the ability to scribe spells into your spellbook after creating and casting them as a ritual first. An Arcanist can cast 4 prepared spells a day. Using prepared spells triggers Resonance, read more about the Spellbook and Resonance here.

Unlike the spontaneous casters, these spells are very specific, with the same effects every time, but this is the way arcanists are able to quickly cast their magic. In honing their mind and their craft, the arcanist has become quite adept at recalling spells they've crafted, althought not for enchanting items. While referencing back to their spellbook, they are able to trigger the pre-cast spell with a thought. After all, a circle in the mind is still a circle.

Third Eye (Augur Rank)

You're able to blink open your metaphorical third eye. In short bursts, the fabric of magic around you. The rush of information is often too great to hold your eye open for longer than a moment, but with it, if you're able to interpret what you see, you can make out auras around other beings, if they are magical themselves. You're also able to see the outlines of enchantments.

Familiars and Focus Objects

At Conjurer rank, an Arcanist gains either an Animal Familiar or a Focus Object to help in their work.

A Familiar can be discovered or created through ritual, based on what suits the character. An animal Familiar is highly intelligent and can speak either naturally or via one-way telepathy. A Familiar always innately knows where their master is and often has great insight into magic and magical workings, and this allows it to use their Arcanist's Charms.

An animal Familiar can be any small earthly animal, such as a dog, cat, bird, bug, etc. They appear as normal animals–there is nothing obviously abnormal about them to an outside observer.

Animal familiars can also use their Arcanists Charms in threads, as their magic is inherently linked to their human companion. As intelligent creatures, they can apply Charms to appropriate situations, to help a ritualist or frustrate an opponent. They do not change the impact of Charms as these are still minor abilities, and a familiar using a Charm does not count towards an Arcanist's Advancement.

As an alternative to an animal Familiar, an Arcanist can also choose to create, find, or inherit a Focus Object. A Focus Object replaces an animal Familiar entirely, and an Arcanist cannot have both. The object can be a family heirloom, a creation of their own, a found relic, or something else that could suit a Focus Object.

Whether the Arcanist has a Familiar or a Focus Object, both help in their work, lowering the Threshold by 1 once per thread.

As creatures that come from or have magic, Familiars are themselves inherently magical despite their mundane appearance. Additional enchantments and transformative magic will do nothing for them, other than harm and insult them.

The Spellbook & Resonance


An Arcanist can fast-cast a prepared spell up to four times a thread, but using magic in this way leads to a phenomenon called Resonance. Each time a spell is cast from the spellbook, the player must roll a D6 and apply the Resonance effect to the Arcanist.

An arcanist's body is not meant to contain magic power and will suffer the side effects of utilising it in such a way. In using their mind alone to cast spells, they're inviting contamination. It's usually a temporary effect, but often painful or crippling while it lasts.

With the Spellbook, an Arcanist can memorise and inscribe a spell after casting a ritual, placing the ritual work in their Spellbook to be triggered later. Then, so long as they have their spellbook on hand to guide them and the necessary components for the specific spell, they're able to cast that spell with a thought. It still takes a drop of blood and must have an available power source nearby. If casting without a power source, the player is limited to rolling a d2 for their Resonance and will lose Luck.


To add a spell to the spellbook, an Arcanist must first perform the ritual for said spell with the intent of inscribing it into the spellbook. The normal Ritual process steps must be followed, with rolls of the dice, components, and a power source. The spell will be inscribed as is and will have the same effect each time it is used from the Spellbook. To inscribe a new variation or a wholly new spell, repeat the process.

  • A ritual is needed to first "memorise" the spell for the spellbook.
  • Each use of a prepared spell triggers a Resonance effect, rolled for with a D6.
  • Components must still be carried for the spell.
  • A power source must still be available.
  • If there is no power source, the Resonance dice is a D2 and will reduce the casters Luck by 1.
  • Spells that create enchanted objects cannot be inscribed.
  • Resonance

    In Mechanics: the condition in which an object or system is subjected to an oscillating force having a frequency close to its own natural frequency.

    The more prepared spells an arcanist performs in one thread, the more they run the risk of infusing themselves with magic. An arcanist is able to perform up to four prepared spells in one thread, and both successes and failed rolls with a Magic Keyword counts towards the limit. The magical Resonance causes them to suffer severe side effects that reflect the keywords they utilized for each spell, meaning that for each attempt at casting a spell, the player must roll a D6 to decide the severity of the Resonance.

    An example of resonance in action: an Arcanist casting a spell using the Earth keyword might lead to the possibility that their flesh begins to calcify. These effects are temporary so long as the Arcanist takes a break to let the magic fade.

    Levels of Resonance

    Determining the impact of Resonance is done on a dice roll, using a D6 and taking the result from the list provided.

    The effect of Resonance itself is contingent on the Keywords used. A more physical keyword would predominantly lead to more physical Resonance symptoms, meanwhile more mental or intangible Keywords might lend themselves to more hallucinatory or mental confusion as Resonance symptoms.

    In the same spirit, the levels of Resonance below are a starting point. The specifics of Resonance is fully up the player, with flexibility to define their Resonance symptoms based on the mild to severe dice result.

    • 1-2. Severe Resonance. Luck loss. The most catastrophic resonance level, the Arcanist will feel themselves fall under the influence of the Keyword, their mind or body unravelling as the magic lashes out. It is an extremely painful experience.
    • 3-5. Medium Resonance. The Arcanist will begin to unravel, extremities or mind falling under the effects of the Keyword the spell was cast with. It is painful at this point, but tolerable.
    • 6. Mild Resonance. The Arcanist will begin to feel the magic oscillating out of control, the potential of an unravelling at their fingertips, but it has not come to pass yet.

    When rolling multiple times for Resonance, the results will accumulate. They do not cancel each other out. If using Spellbook spells with different keywords, the Keywords will simultaneously impact the Arcanist.

    Aftermath of Resonance

    When the Resonance ends, whatever has happened, the Arcanist snaps back to normal, a painful relief. The feeling of the Resonance lingers, but the physical marks may fade. It is up to player discretion to decide if they want to keep physical markers from the more severe levels of Resonance, or have it remain an uncomfortable memory.

    If the Arcanist pushes beyond their limits and attempt to cast more times than the allotted four, the Resonance effect runs the risk of causing them to become Cursed or Possessed. If you would like to roll the dice on that, submit a request in the Mod Request thread.

    Ritual Magic

    Arcanists begin by drawing, carving, laying down the circle. Then they draw their runes. After that, they place the components. Once it is all set up, they activate the ritual using a drop of their own blood. It does not need to be much, only a tiny drop, but arcanists are sometimes known for their dramatics.

    After that, the ritual proceeds, much like a computer program runs as directed by its code. Stopping the process at this point is often more disastrous than allowing it to play out, as it usually means that an arcanist needs to break the circle.

    When performing a ritual or scribing a spell, players use the keywords they've chosen for their arcanist character. Like the other Paths, you are welcome and encouraged to come up with as many interesting spells as you'd like for your arcanist to explore, within the bounds of those keywords. In-game, arcanists are not aware of their 'keywords'. They just know they have a specialty or a focus in certain areas of magic.

    Arcanists may create rituals with keywords outside of their chosen keywords, but they always roll with the Circlebreaker Cinder pool with a Threshold of 5 due to unfamiliarity.

    A full explanation of Rituals can be found on the Rituals and Enchantments Guidebook page, which everyone wanting to complete a ritual should read carefully and learn the mechanics of the different steps of casting a ritual.

    Creating a Human Arcanist

    Naturally, human arcanists are aware of the supernatural.

    Quick Reference Creation

    Starting at Circlebreaker (Untrained)
    • Select a portfolio.
    • You have one (1) keyword slot at Rank 1, which you may fill with a keyword from your chosen portfolio.
    • You may create a charm based on your chosen keyword.
    • You have the Collector ability.
    Starting at Conjuror (Dabbler)
    • Select a portfolio.
    • You have three (3) keyword slots at Rank 2, which you may fill with a keyword from your chosen portfolio.
    • You may create 2 charms based on your chosen keywords.
    • You have the Collector ability.
    • You may have a Familiar

    Additional Information

    Character Questions

    Here are a few further questions you're welcome to answer as you create your character:

    • How did they start the practice of ritual magic?
    • What do they use it for?
    • Do they have a mentor?


    The Arcanists select one portfolio of Magic Keywords at creation. Any keyword in that portfolio is now available for selection as you gain ranks. At the Augur rank, you can select a second portfolio.

    Mundane Keywords

    As an Arcanist you can choose to stay at the Circlebreaker rank and select one (1) Mundane Keyword, instead of starting at Conjuror.

    Master-Legendary Keywords

    At Magus rank, an Arcanist can select from the Master-Legendary keyword pool.

    "Your knowledge and power are so great that you are able to dip your pen in the inkwells of the gods to scribe your runes. Time, space, and reality... These are powers that are not meant to be toyed with and although they may provide incredible rewards, the risk is extraordinary."


    Strike and Cinder Dice Pools
    • Select a Portfolio
    • +1 Magic Keyword from chosen portfolio
    • Charm
    • Collector
    • +2 Magic Keywords from chosen porfolio
    • Charm
    • Familiar
    • +1 Magic Keyword from chosen portfolio
    • Charm
    • Spellbook
    • Select a second portfolio
    • +2 Magic Keyword from chosen portfolios
    • Charm
    • Regeneration
    • Third Eye
    • +1 Magic Keywords from chosen portfolios
    • Select 1 Master-Legendary Keyword
    • Charm
    • +2 Magic keywords in chosen portfolios
    • Charm

    Rank Descriptions

    You've performed your first ritual--you know there's more out there to discover, but you haven't even grasped the basics. You've earned the lovingly derogatory term of 'circlebreaker' because you'll be breaking a lot of circles. Be careful.
    Finally, you've seen some success with your experiments! And... Things are happening to you. Not bad things (you hope), but you're certainly starting to see the world in a different way.
    Already, you are something to be reckoned with in the secret realm of magic. Human problems seem far away, but beware the hubris of power.
    What was life before magic? You've gotten to the point where you can write your own spells and mundane problems seem like distant things. Easily solved.
    You are to be lauded. Not only have you come this far, you are a veritable font of knowledge and expertise.
    Your name is known on this world and maybe in many others. You have drawn the attention of otherworldly things, for better or for worse.