Wednesday, April 1, 2009

No Foolin': Wizardly Orders of Irrin

It happened that after a time of playing in our homebrew world of Irrin, players a) wanted some greater differentiation and motivation for mages, and b) wanted more information on the arcane politics of Irrin. So, over time, I added in several competing and diverse orders, each representing a certain arcane mind frame or power concentration. As with everything in Irrin, I also wanted to leave them open enough for further definition through play, and to ensure that they were easily added to or removed from the sandbox as desired.

This is something I plan to add into my next revision of the Irrin primer, as before all I had were some partially-recovered notes. These notes are one of the few things I found instead of list in our recent move. So for Irrin fans and for those just wanting some ideas for some wizardly orders in your games, here are the main Wizardly Orders of Irrin:

At 4th level, Wizards and Illusionists are considered powerful enough for inclusion into one of Irrin’s Orders of Wizardry. These Orders have varying goals and require different levels of dedication, but at their core they are an organization to further either practice of the arcane arts or a certain philosophy therein.

Members of these Orders have access to specialized spells that outsiders do not; in addition, their membership offers a level of protection and guidance against other wizards. Even enemies in the same Order will often stop short of killing each other.

Arcane magic users will not approach representatives of the Order; rather, they will be sought out by representatives of the interested Orders. Sorcerers are considered dangerous amateurs, and are almost never admitted. Arcane users may choose to remain unaffiliated, but will be considered a dangerous rogue by those in the Orders.

(Game Note: Bonus and exclusive spells may be learned upon joining an order, and may also be available later on in the game. Number and quality largely depend on performance during initiation and services rendered to the Order).

The Wizardly Orders of Irrin:

Collegium Arcanum: The Collegium is the largest and most “mainstream” of all the orders, with little asked of most of its members. It does not claim to offer any great secrets of power, but does have extensive resources in nearly every major city.

Black Collegium: Officially outlawed in many places, the Black Collegium was founded by Collegium Arcanum dissidents who wanted to seek greater power in necromancy and the darker arts.

Order of the Sun Dagger: This order is known for aggressive, offensive-oriented spells and attempting to challenge The Verdant Hall and Collegium Arcanum’s political pull whenever possible.

Order of the Resplendent Star: Strongest in the nations of the south, these mages are known for their experimentation in planar and dimension travel and access.

Tower of the Mysteries:
Perhaps the most reclusive of all the orders, the Tower is credited with having come up with some of the most powerful utilitarian and defensive spells known.

The Unnamed: These wizards and mages attempt to master the elements. Their order is loosely-aligned, but is known for its heavy demands of members at times in exchange for increased spell knowledge.

The Verdant Hall:
Exclusive, secretive, and small, this order claims many well-to-do and noble members among its ranks. Trickery, illusionism, and creation spells are all very much in vogue here.

As explained above, mages may choose to remain unaffiliated. However, if they are not of a sufficient strength to defend themselves or discourage attack, they may face additional consequences if they fall afoul of any of the Orders or their members. On the plus side, they will not be expected to fulfill any duties, and some Unaffiliated mages have found purpose as neutral go-betweens between the various orders.

(This file is also available in pdf for your convenience. I'll be adding it to my lulu store as a freebie after some touch-ups).


Chgowiz said...

Interesting! I've had the 3 school system (Chaos, Law, Neutral) in my Vale Campaign, but I like some of the directions you've gone. My wife's character in that same campaign is caught up in the intrigues of someone from the school of Chaos.

Pukako said...

I was trudging through one of R. Scott Bakker's books when I stole the idea of competing mage orders, but not quite as violent.

I've got a few sorted out, each with their own character, and suspicious of mages of other orders. A character is trained by their order, has a lifelong commitment to it, and proudly states their allegiance. They can be aided by other members (mages who went through the same training) in far off places, and there are chapter houses in some other cities for assistance and communication with their order. But not too much, as they are in neutral or even 'enemy' territory.

So far, I have an Air Elementalist from the Azure Tower, who reports back information for an unknown purpose to his masters. Gives a bit of structure and a sense of a larger world around the PCs, and that's got to be good.