World of Aetaltis RPG Campaign Setting for Fifth Edition project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
$21,666 pledged of $70,000 goal
$21,666 pledged of $70,000 goal

Aetaltan Glyph Magic for 5E


The World of Aetaltis Player's Guide contains new rules for spellcasting that reflect the magical techniques used by the Atlan Alliance when they arrived on Aetaltis. This technique is called Glyph Magic.

Glyph Magic in the World

The following is an excerpt from the Player's Guide playtest book that describes Glyph Magic.

Glyph Magic in 5E Game Terms

Glyph Magic is an optional point-based spellcasting system designed for the World of Aetaltis. Not only is it a lot of fun to use in the game, it also provides a rules framework for a variety of cool Aetaltis story concepts.

Every character in Aetaltis, even those unable to cast spells, has an Essence Point score. This score represents the character’s store of personal essence. If you are an arcane spellcaster, you may expend these points to cast spells. Your maximum essence points and the rate at which your essence points are recovered are based on your level. The table below shows the rate of essence point recovery and your maximum essence points. You do not need to rest to recover essence points.

This allows spellcasters to cast more spells during the course of a day, but there is a catch! As described in the snippet from the playtest book, spellcasting requires great skill. Each time you use Glyph Magic to cast a spell, you must make a spellcasting roll. On a success, the points are spent and the spell goes off. On a failure, the points are spent but the spell has no effect. Critical successes mean the spell was cast at no cost, while critical failures mean...well....there's a table for that.

The Game Benefits of the Glyph Magic System

The rules described above are a lot of fun, as we've seen first hand in our own playtesting, but that's just the start. Using this system we've created simple rules for:

  • Essence stones that provide a reservoir of power for when your own reserves are tapped.
  • An option for evil NPCs to draw essence out of other people to empower spells.
  • Blood magic rules where you may draw upon your own life force if you're out of essence.
  • Ley lines, essence wells, and deadlands that alter the rate at which characters recover essence points, change the costs of spells, and alter the spell effect.
  • The ability to entreat the Dark Lord Endroren to replenish your essence stores...for a price.

Not only are these all great fun to play with at the table, they feed into the story as well. Where does a dragon build his lair? Why on top of an essence well of course. Where do the wizards build their tower? Where the ley lines cross! How does the hero hide from the mage that is chasing him? By venturing into the essence starved deadlands.

So there you go! A little taste of some of the cool rules add-ons we're introducing in Aetaltis. We hope you're as excited about them as we are, and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments! 

May Alantra Protect You!




Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Marc Tassin 3-time creator on September 15, 2016

      The spell point cost is based on the level of the spell. I'm doing another magic post today and I'll provide some additional information.

    2. Bigbywolfe on September 14, 2016

      So will different spells require different amounts of points to cast? If so will the price be based on spell level or something else?

    3. Marc Tassin 3-time creator on September 14, 2016

      Glad you like the ideas, Joe! I'm even happier that they're inspiring you to make more cool stuff. You've inspired me to do another post about magic in Aetaltis! Maybe I'll try to get something up today!

    4. J.M. Martin
      on September 13, 2016

      This is great. I have glyph magic in a novel I've been working on, and it works in a similar fashion, although you've taken it even further with your game benefits section. Now I want to swipe some of your ideas, especially those essence stones!

    5. Marc Tassin 3-time creator on September 13, 2016

      Good catch, Jonathan! Sadly this sort of thing does slip into the playtest materials! I'm making a note!

    6. Jonathan Smith
      on September 13, 2016

      Loving the sound of the Glyph Magic.

      Something I should point out though is that in the excerpt above on the second paragraph the line says "Spellcasting with glyph magic requires a naturally affinity", shouldn't this be "Spellcasting with glyph magic requires a natural affinity". (naturally should be changed to natural)

    7. Jeffery Mace on September 13, 2016

      I like the crunch, but I think I like the potential story elements more

    8. Franklin Roberts III on September 13, 2016

      You had me at hello, but now????
      Please just take my money and send me everything!