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Special Moves

Players' characters have a number of Special Moves that are in play only for them. Characters start with three special moves.

"boat" Moves

Moves from Luke Le Moignan's boat zine (on

Sold to the Sea

Whenever you would be enchanted, supernaturally compelled, or anything would supernaturally assert ownership over you or your fealty to it, roll FATE:

  • On a success: the sea's sheer hungry occult bulk swallow the effect.
  • On a failure: the sea's violence is summoned.
  • On a twist: both.

Saline Unity

Once per session, when in skin contact with salt water, you may choose one:

  • Become aware of (i.e. the player names) the following day's sailing conditions.
  • Give something away to the sea, in an act of prayer, obesiance, or propitiation (and gain 1XP).
  • Name a person with whom you've shared food; if they are at sea, they will witness a seabird of strange omen.
  • summon the sea's violence.

Flotsam, Jetsam

When you spend a day waiting on the shore, the sea will bring you something of value or significance.

Wood Whale

When aboard a ship of naval warfare whose captain is just slain, you inspire its soul to better things. Shrugging off its own masts, tearing open its own hull to make reaching wooden flipper-bones, the ship seeks to become: a skeletal wooden whale, its only desire to joyfully dive.

Wood Mountain

You may slip aboard or overboard any inhabited floating structure of any size, regardless how impenetrable it is meant to be. Roll DEX:

  • On a failure, choose two:
  • * you attract attention
  • * you incur delay
  • * you suffer Minor damage
  • * you lose or damage a belonging
  • On a twist: choose only one.

Wood Burns

The secret name of fire lives in your throat. When you tell it to a flammable substance, it joyfully ignites. Roll CHA:

  • On a failure, suffer Standard damage.
  • On a twist, suffer Minor damage.
  • On a success, choose a direction or nearby flammable thing; that's the way the fire will spread.

The Path Beneath

You drowned. And it was not the end; simply a threshold, stepped across. Choose one:

  • You no longer breathe.
  • You can summon any quantity of seawater by letting a steady stream pour from your mouth.
  • You can curse metal tools, weapons and objects within arms' reach to corrode to brittle, shapeless rusticles within the day.
  • If you immerse your head in the sea, you can hear the presence of all boats within a day's sail.

The Throne Below

You can transform into a creature of the holy depths. Your belongings are spirited away, returning when and if you choose to regain person-shape. At the moment of transfiguration, choose one:

  • a man-sized lobster, with 10 Weight of armoured carapace and Deadly crushing claws, but very slow.
  • a sleek shark, with Serious rending jaws, swift as a riptide.
  • an immobile mass of coral; as coral, your Rest basic move loses Stress and regains HP at twice the usual rate.

Push the Water

The ocean cannot be forced aside; if it ebbs here, it necessarily flows elsewhere. Whenever you mark a stat or are damaged, you become Saltmarked. You may choose to spend the Saltmark:

  • when you would fall unconscious or die, to instead return to 1HP.
  • when you roll an unmarked stat, to add +1 dice to that roll.
  • when you do damage to an opponent, for the damage to count as one tier higher.

Fighter Moves

Warrior's Strike

When you strike a foe with intent to harm, roll STR.

  • On a success: You deal damage. You can also choose to deal another 1d6 damage by letting them deal damage to you.
  • On a twist: You deal damage and choose one:
    • You or an ally end up in a tight spot
    • They deal damage to you

Ranged Attack

When you attack a target at range with a missile weapon, roll DEX.

  • On a success: You deal damage.
  • On a twist: Choose one:
    • You consume a handful of ammo
    • You must move to a more dangerous position
    • Your damage is reduced by 1 level


When you size up a person or situation, roll WIS.

  • On a success: Ask two:
    • Are they telling the truth?
    • What are they really feeling?
    • What do they intend to do?
    • Who or what is really in control here?
    • What is about to happen?
  • On a twist: Ask one.

Martial Training

Choose a weapon type. When you wield a weapon of that type, its damage counts as one tier higher.

Field Medic

When you use medical supplies and spend time tending to wounds, roll WIS.

  • On a success: You restore 1d6 HP.
  • On a twist: You restore 1d6 HP and use up the medical supplies.

Heavy Words

When you threaten or intimidate someone, name your demands and state what will happen if they're not met, then roll CHA.

  • On a success: They will try to meet your demands as best they can.
  • On a twist: They will try to follow your demands as long as the threat is real and present.

Brute Force

When you destroy an inanimate obstacle with sheer strength, roll STR.

  • On a success: Choose two:
    • You don't break anything else
    • You don't make too much noise
    • You don't take a long time
  • On a twist: Choose one.

Loaded for Bear

Weapons you are wielding and armour you are wearing only contribute only half their weight towards encumbrance.


Once per session, gain 1 XP when you slay a worthy foe.

Pathfinder Moves

Moves from Paddy Hutchinson's Trackless supplement

Under Stange Stars

When you push into uncharted territory, roll Wis. On a success, find one of the following:

  • a source of food
  • a secure campsite
  • a valuable treasure
  • a perfect hiding place

On a twist, the GM will tell you what dangerous guardian or obstacle is between you and what you found.


When you attempt to herd a mobile target to a place of your choosing, say how you do it and roll with Wis. On a success, you do so. On a twist, do so and choose 1:

  • You wind up right in their path
  • They carry you with them
  • The path will destroy something precious

Into the Jaws

Before rolling an attack, state the weakness you are targeting and increase your damage one step. If you suffer damage in return, increase it one step.

Unsettling Words

When you attempt to cow or manipulate someone with your experience, say what you want them to do and spin your tale of terror, rolling with Cha. On a success; they will follow your directions as best they can. On a twist they will follow for as long as you appear in control of the situation.


When you would die, lose your heaviest piece of gear, gain the same weight in stress and vanish from the scene. You reappear in a later scene with 1 hp, messily hurt but alive.


Gain 1xp per session when you surmount a seemingly impassable obstacle.

Peasant Moves

Stone Soup

When you have the resources and take the time to cook a meal, everyone who eats it can heal 1d6 damage.

Hale and Hearty

Gain 1d6 max HP.


You have a companion—human, animal, or otherwise. Choose a skill they have:

  • Labor
  • Hunting
  • Espionage

When they use their skill they either perform the task without complication, give you an extra 1 die on a roll, or Struggle themselves with 1 die.

Stalwart Ally

Once per session, gain 1 XP when you put yourself at risk or disadvantage to help an ally.

Rogue Moves


When you attack someone who doesn't know you're there, roll DEX.

  • On a success: You deal damage and remain hidden.
  • On a twist: You deal damage and choose one:
    • You or an ally are put in a difficult position
    • You deal less damage


When you investigate or assess your surroundings, roll INT.

  • On a success: Ask a question; the GM will answer. They might first ask “How would you know?“ and modify their answer based on your response.
  • On a twist: Ask a question as above, but the GM's can only answer “Yes”, “No“, or “Unknown”.


When you successfully damage an enemy with a weapon you may expend a vial of poison and choose one:

  • Deal an extra 1d6 damage
  • Your victim falls asleep
  • Your victim becomes dizzy and starts vomiting.


When you hide from mundane scrutiny, roll DEX.

  • On a success: You can move around unseen.
  • On a twist: You remain unseen as long as you stay still.


When you climb or squeeze into a hard-to-reach place, roll DEX.

  • On a success: You reach your goal.
  • On a twist: You reach your goal and choose one:
    • You are injured
    • You attract attention
    • You can't get back the way you came

Trap Expert

When you set up or disarm a trap, roll DEX.

  • On a success: Choose two:
    • You can easily disarm what you set up
    • You can reuse what you've disarmed
    • You aren't injured in the process
    • Nothing is consumed or destroyed
  • On a twist: Choose one.


When you use medical supplies to treat a poisoned, sickened, or diseased creature, roll INT.

  • On a success: You cure the poison.
  • On a twist: You cure the poison and use up the medical supplies.

Honeyed Words

When you convince someone to act by telling them what they want to hear, roll CHA.

  • On a success: They will do it or offer you a lesser version of what you asked.
  • On a twist: They will first demand a concession.


Once per session, gain 1 XP when you loot a valuable treasure.

Splintering Wheel Moves

Moves from Ash McAllan's Splintering Wheel home game

Counter Attack

When you are attacked by an enemy you are prepared for, you may, immediately trigger a move to attack them first and then take the damage from their attack afterwards if they are still capable of delivering it.


When you study magic worked by another, roll WIS.

  • On a success: the GM will tell you it's nature and its vulnerability.
  • On a twist: the GM will tell you it's nature.

Patient Defence

When you prepare to defend yourself from an enemy's attack, they must roll their damage twice and take the lowest result.

Double Strike

You strike with multiple attacks at once. When you successfully deal damage with a weapon you may roll your damage twice and apply both.

Embedded Weapon

One weapon is a part of you. Its weight does not count toward your carrying capacity. It cannot leave your person unless destroyed.

Embedded Armor

Your armor is a part of you. Its weight does not count toward your carrying capacity. It cannot leave your person unless destroyed.


You can rend flesh and bone with your bare hands.


You can fly by exerting a similar amount of effort as when jogging.


When you consult signs and oracles for knowledge of what lies ahead, ask a question and roll WIS.

  • On a success: you see the future that would have occurred had you not looked.
  • On a twist: you see omens and portents which you must interpret.


When you gaze into the distance or through a seeing token, roll WIS.

  • On a success: your vision is clear and directed.
  • On a twist: your vision is obscured and you see only snatches.


When you perform sacred rites to call forth an unseen spirit in your presence, invoking its name, roll CHA.

  • On a success, they manifest before you.
  • On a twist a sacrifice must be made.

An unseen spirit includes those who are hiding or invisible, those still within their body after death, and those possessing objects or the living.


When you perform sacred rites to banish a spirit in your presence, invoking its name, roll CHA.

  • On a success: they are banished, sending them away from this place and making their return difficult.
  • On a twist: an appropriate sacrifice must be made.


You own a book of your choice. When you try to recall information from books you own, you may roll INT.

  • On a success, ask the GM one question whose answer would be in a book you own and one follow up question.
  • On a twist ask the GM one question whose answer would be in a book you own.

Dominate Will

You can dominate the mind of another. When you make eye contact with a creature with the intent to dominate them, roll CHA.

  • On a success: you may control them like a puppet until they are injured or hurt.
  • On a twist, you control them like a puppet until they leave your sight, they are injured or hurt, or one of you falls asleep.

Your victim is always aware of the fact that you dominated them.


When you go to Parley with someone whose image you carry, you may harness that image to roll +1d.


When you Struggle to react to a surprise, explain your preparations, premonitions, or premeditations and take +1d.

Animate the Dead

When you take some part of a dead thing and bond it to your own life. It becomes animated and obeys your simple commands as best it can.

Knit Flesh

When you, with knives and twine, attach parts to bodies, roll INT.

  • On a success: it works as if a part of their very selves.
  • On a twist: choose one:
    • It never disobeys them.
    • It doesn't poison them over time.
    • It has its full range of capability.


You have a patron, they may be a deity or something profoundly different. You know what is required to summon their attention and have some small understanding of what pleases or displeases them.

Remarkable Proportions

You are either very large or very small. Not both.

Wizard Moves

Fury Of The Elements

When you manipulate nearby elements or energies into an attack against your foes, choose the level of damage you wish to inflict and roll WIS.

  • On a success: You inflict that level of elemental damage on your enemies.
  • On a twist: You and/or your allies (as relevant) also suffer the same amount of damage.

Arcane Insight

When you open your mind in search of insight or answers, tell the GM what you’re looking for and roll INT.

  • On a success: You find something useful.
  • On a twist: You find something upsetting, confusing, or dangerous.

Magical Literacy

When you read arcane texts, scrolls, or spellbooks, roll INT.

  • On a success: You summon the magic on the page into being.
  • On a twist: You summon the magic on the page into being, erasing its contents in the process.

Bound Element

Choose a bound element. You can summon and sustain a fistful of that element at will as long as you concentrate.

EG: Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Darkness, Light, Acid, Electricity, Ice, Void, Verdancy, Rot

Beast Form

You can transform into an animal that you have studied extensively, and back again. While in this form, your inventory is a list of that animal's natural features.

Healing Touch

When you lay hands on a creature to magically heal them, roll WIS.

  • On a success: You heal 1d6 damage or some other injury.
  • On a twist: You transfer 1d6 damage or some other injury to yourself.

Grand Words

When you appeal to someone's sense of reason, morality, or duty, say what they should do and roll CHA. On a success: You inspire them to believe in your message and will follow your command. On a twist: They will follow along for now out of guilt, shame, or confusion.

Strange Tongue

You speak an extra language fluently.


Once per session, gain 1 XP when you learn new secrets about the world.

"World is a Fuck" Moves

Moves from Luke Le Moignan's WiaF dungeonpunk hack

Atheist: Antisanctify

You have an amulet of the crudest, weirdest folk-magic in all the world; it embodies noise & nonsense, casting an arcane shadow to hide you from being smote to your constituent fluids by the nearest deity. You may share your protection from scrying — choose one:

  • render one conversation secret.
  • hide one additional person in contact with your skin.
  • hide one object in your possession.

Atheist: Lawbreaker

Any fool can hang for poaching or sedition; but you break The Law of the world. Choose one:

  • defy gravity: fall any distance harmlessly, or vertically rise up to 10m.
  • fail to die from what should be a mortal's lethal weapon blow.
  • be in two places at once, although you only actively perceive or act in one at a time.
  • instantly exchange places with a visible human you can name.

Dedicant: Give Me A Sign

If your course of action is not clear to you, implore your patron for an omen to tell you what to do. The sign is for you to interpret; failure to please them is always yours to atone. Neither do you have any choice but to accept their sign and enact their will immediately.

Dedicant: Officiate

You are religiously ordained: whenever a priest is metaphysically necessary, you count for the purpose. When you sanctify any oath, it is backed by the authority of The Law; its breach is a sin and supernatural crime punishable by god and mortal.

Dedicant: Exegesis

From memory & texts in your possession, you can declare officially accepted information: religious & metaphysical lore, moral parables, history, theology, & the broad politics of gods and nations. (It's not necessarily true, but it's officially accepted.)

Dedicant: Miraculum

Whenever you call upon your patron for miraculous aid, they provide. (Available miracles depend which dedicant patron you serve.)

Prometheist: Malum Miraculum

You can defy the Natural Order to cast a rite of occult mystery and might. (The rites you know depend on the bent of your blasphemous path to power.)

Prometheist: Quid Pro Quo

You know the True Names of things which can be summoned and bargained with for aid or knowledge. Choose one to summon:

  • a trivial spirit.
  • a puissant ghost.
  • a lesser demon.

Prometheist: Fascinate

Your dangerous inquiries into arcane power have physically marked you, and you must bear a signature focal implement. It is obvious what you are. Nearby animals show fear, or are uncannily fearless, of you; you may choose to irresistibly draw human attention — to frighten, mesmerise, command attention, or seduce.

Violencer: Kill A Person

When you strike at a fellow human being with a weapon in your hand, only a weapon of greater damage in their own, or magical intervention, will save their life.

Violencer: Intimidate

When you imply impending violence toward any fellow humans who are not your allies and are not prepared to fight you, pick one:

  • they will drop one demand they have made of you.
  • they will cease impeding you.
  • they simply retreat.

Violencer: Old Soldiers

Wherever there are armies, or army recruiters, or have been within a generation, you know and can find an old soldier you know — or at least one old soldier's widow.

Violencer: One More Knife

Even if they searched you, perhaps even if they stripped you naked, when you wish to be armed, you can produce one more weapon than they knew you had.

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special_moves.txt · Last modified: 2022/05/02 11:10 by Ashton McAllan