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Briana Blake is an example Eldritch.

Some Mystics are born with one or more Eldritch Gifts which imbue them with certain instinctual magical abilities. Individual Eldritch use their Gifts intuitively, and many begin to do so even as children. While Eldritch Gifts can be honed and improved through practice and use, they cannot be taught...a person either has a particular Gift or they do not.

Eldritch have existed since prehistoric times, distributed among most cultures of the world. As Gifts tend to run in family lines, over time certain Gifts became more common among various cultures due to the success of specific lineages within those societies. Thus seers, stormcallers, and skinshifters have been more common among Nordic peoples, while illusionists, conjurers, and mesmerists are more common among descendants of people residing in Asia Minor and the Indian subcontinent, and so on. Higher concentrations of Eldritch per capita appear among people descended from cultures that valued or at least tolerated Eldritch individuals, while cultures that persecuted them have many fewer or even none.

Due to this cultural diffusion as well as the sheer variety of different kinds of Gifts, there are many specialized and language specific terms for different sorts of Eldritch such as "witch" or ethnic equivalents such as "strega" or "dayan".


An Eldritch character should take the Eldritch Vocation at a step representative of how practiced and / or in tune with the usage of their Gifts the character is.


Practitioners of a hereditary form of magic, those who have the so-called Old Blood manifest strange Gifts spontaneously...often even as children. Unlike Sorcerers, Wizards, and other 'spellcasters', the magic of Eldritch Gifts is intuitive, instinctive, or simply willed into being. However, an Eldritch may improve their usage and understanding of their abilities with practice and introspection.

The Eldritch Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: If your Eldritch Vocation die rolls a 1 you may change the die to a 4; it does not count as an opportunity if you do (you should use a easily identifiable die to represent your Eldritch Vocation when adding it to a dice pool if you intend to use this option).
  • Exploit: You may double your Eldritch Vocation trait on an action or reaction in a dice pool that includes at least one of your Eldritch Gift Ability traits.
  • Exploit: When using an Eldritch Gift Ability trait during a Transition Scene you may step up that Ability trait for one Panel, allowing you to justify an action that is normally beyond your capability.

Signature Exploits

Eldritch can take one or more Signature Exploits for their Eldritch Vocation (as normal for any Vocation). Such signature exploits are an excellent way to represent a one-off stunt or flavorful niche ability that is thematically relevant to one or more of an Eldritch character's particular Gifts.

Mystic Ability Set

Eldritch are first and foremost Mystics, and thus all Eldritch without exception have a Mystic Ability Set, in which various Ability traits and the Supernatural Aura Limit that is common to Mystics are contained. Though individuals vary in the exact composition of their Mystic Ability Set, the most common basic Mystic Ability Set is provided below.


Senses: d6
Stamina: d6
Warding: d6
Willpower: d6

Limit: Supernatural Aura: You have a supernatural aura that is detectable by those with special senses. Gain one (1) Plot Point when this becomes a Complication for you.

Eldritch Differentiation

An Eldritch must have at least one Eldritch Gift Ability Set, but may have two or per Eldritch Gift they are blessed with. Eldritch are distinguished from one another by which Eldritch Gift Ability Sets they each have, and how they've chosen to represent the theme of each given Eldritch Gift within them.

Conceptually, what Gifts an Eldritch has are determined at birth, which would suggest that a character should start with all of the Gifts they intend to have. However, the potential of a Gift can manifest later in life. Thus in practical terms an Eldritch character might start with one or a few Eldritch Gifts on their character sheets representing the ones that they have manifested, and then add more later as they advance...conceptually they always had the innate potential for those Gifts.

Eldritch Gift Ability Sets

At the core of this type of magic are Eldritch Gifts, each of which is represented by a separate Ability Set (an Eldritch with three Gifts would have three Eldritch Gift Ability Sets), each containing at least one Ability trait or SFX, and zero or more Limits; all of which must be thematically relevant to the concept of the Gift.

Some Eldritch only ever demonstrate a single Gift, but an Eldritch might have two, three, or perhaps even as many as five (though it would be thought exceptional). Over the long course of history a rare few Eldritch have been documented as having more than five Gifts, though not in recent decades.

Cost Exemption

Normally each additional Ability Set after a character's first one costs a cumulative +1 Advance to open; for instance a character's second Ability Set costs one (1) Advance to open, their third Ability Set costs two (2) additional Advances to open, and so on. However Eldritch Gift Ability Sets are exempted from this general rule and do not cost any additional Advances to open. Thus an Eldritch with three Gifts, each represented by a separate Ability Set, does not have to spend the cumulative +1 to open each one of them. For purposes of determining the cost of opening other non Eldritch Gift Ability Sets on a character, simply calculate the cost as if their Eldritch Gift Ability Sets don't exist.

Naming Convention

An Eldritch Gift Ability Set should be named using the convention of 'Eldritch Gift: [Name of Gift]'; thus 'Eldritch Gift: Skinshifting' is compliant with this naming convention, while 'Gift of Skinshifting' or simply 'Skinshifting' is not. This convention makes it easier, when reading an Eldritch character's write up, to understand the intent of the Ability Set.

Other game elements and effects may refer to Eldritch Gifts, which collectively covers all Eldritch Gift Ability Sets and all Ability traits, SFX, and Limits therein. This can be for benign reasons such as an enhancement from an Asset or Eldritch Vocation Exploit, or for malign purposes such as to satisfy a targeting restriction or to impose a Complication.

No Spells

As Eldritch have inherent mystical abilities rather than casting spells, an Eldritch Gift Ability Set cannot include the Spells trait or variants of that trait such as the Necromancy trait.

Supernatural Aura

Each additional Eldritch Gift Ability Set a character has after the first makes their supernatural aura more noticeable and more difficult to conceal (which can be quite inconvenient or even actively dangerous depending upon circumstance).

The Gifts

Players and GM's are encouraged to be creative and define whatever Eldritch Gifts inspire them, drawing from mythological or fictional sources or their own imaginations. However, the following examples are illustrative of what is assumed to be in effect in the default Here There Be Monsters setting.

Some Eldritch Gifts are more common and others less so; a few Gifts that were known in antiquity are now thought to be extinct or lost. By default the most common Gifts that have survived to the modern era are assumed to be:

  • Bewitching: the ability to influence the minds and / or emotions of others.
  • Cursing: the ability to inflict bad luck and / or impairment on others.
  • Disappearing: the ability to become invisible.
  • Enchanting: the ability to animate and / or enhance inanimate objects.
  • Fading: the ability to become intangible.
  • Farseeing: the ability of clairsentience, to project one's senses elsewhere.
  • Fending: the ability to resist supernatural effects and / or protect others from same.
  • Foretelling: the ability of precognition, to see possible futures.
  • Skinshifting: the ability to change one's own form.

Some rarer Gifts which are seldom encountered, but known to still exist, are:

  • Conjuring: the ability to conjure objects and / or animated constructions.
  • Corpsetalking: the ability to commune with the dead.
  • Dreaming: the ability to enter and / or affect the dreams of others.
  • Glamouring: the ability to change the appearance of things.
  • Healing: the ability to mystically heal one's self and / or others.
  • Polymorphing: the ability to change the form of living creatures.
  • Spiritwalking: the ability of astral projection.
  • Stormcalling: the ability to influence the wind and / or weather.
  • Taming: the ability to communicate with and / or influence or control animals.
  • Tending: the ability to affect the vitality, growth, and / or withering of plant life.
  • Travelling: the ability to teleport one's' self, and possibly others.
  • Transmogrifying: the ability to change the form of inanimate objects.
  • Quickening: the ability to move faster than normal and / or perceive the world in a slowed down state.
  • Witnessing: the ability of postcognition, to know and / or sense past events.

There are various other Gifts that were known in antiquity, mentioned in cryptohistorical accounts and lore, but which have not been encountered in many years and are thought to be extinct. But maybe they are just dormant, or those few who possess such Gifts may keep it secret for reasons of their own. Some of the most notable are:

  • Cloaking: the ability to conceal things from mystical senses such as clairsentience and / or precognition. Of course, as the entire nature of this Gift is mystical concealment, it is possible that there are still those who imperceptibly have it.
  • Felling: the ability to inflict fear on others.
  • Slaying: the ability to snuff out life at will.
  • Shrouding: the ability to summon darkness or otherwise occlude the senses or block out light.
  • Stilling: the ability to suppress supernatural effects.
  • Taking: the ability to take the Gifts of other Eldritch; as legend has it this ability was actively eradicated in antiquity via some proactively-minded Eldritch seeking out and killing any who exhibited the Gift.
  • Truthtelling: the ability to to sense truth and falsehood; according to lore some with this Gift could outright force others to divulge truthful information against their will.
  • Weavewalking: the ability to step between dimensions.

Gifts Are Open To Different Interpretations

While some Eldritch Gifts might map very strongly to a specific Ability trait, generally speaking two or more Eldritch with the same notional Gift might represent the relevant concept in different ways. A couple of examples are provided below to demonstrate the general idea that Eldritch Gift Ability Sets are open to any implementation that sticks to the overal theme of a given Eldritch Gift.

Stormcalling Example

Aleph, Ariel, and Alfonse are triplets who are all blessed with the Eldritch Gift of Stormcalling, the theme of which is influencing the wind, weather, and so forth. However, though they have the same Gift, they each express it differently.

Aleph's Stormcaller Ability Set

Aleph has the Weather trait, allowing him to change the weather over a vast region more or less as he sees fit. If he so chooses, he can whip up a hurricane, start or stop a regional drought, raise a fog bank across the entire eastern seaboard, or what have you. He can even do it more quickly than usual, compared to others with similar abilities. However, Aleph needs to be outside to use his abilities.

Eldritch Gift: Stormcalling

Weather: d10

SFX: Fast: One or more of the Ability traits in this Ability Set are normally slow to use, but you are able to use them about twice as fast. You may spend one (1) Plot Point to do it about four times as fast for a given single use.

Limit: Outside Only: This Ability Set's traits and SFX can only be used while outside.

Ariel's Stormcaller Ability Set

Ariel focuses entirely on controlling and riding the wind. He lacks Aleph's comprehensive control over weather in general, but has similar abilities when it comes to atmospheric conditions that rely primarily on controlling wind. Like Aleph, Ariel also needs to be outdoors to use his abilities.

Eldritch Gift: Stormcalling

Air: d10
Flying: d8

Limit: Unelemental: This Ability Set's Air trait cannot summon or control Elementals.

Limit: Weather Only: This Ability Set's Air trait can control atmospheric effects related to the weather, but doesn't have power over gasses or the ability to create gas from nothing.

Limit: Outside Only: This Ability Set's traits and SFX can only be used while outside.

Alfonse's Stormcaller Ability Set

Alfonse has a much more tactical focus, able to fly, manipulate the wind around himself, and project lighting bolts. While he lacks the impressive scope of Aleph's powers, and the airborne maneuverability of Ariel, he's much handier in a violent altercation. Also, unlike his brothers, Alfonse's fine tactical control over his abilities is sufficiently developed to use them indoors.

Eldritch Gift: Stormcalling

Air: d6
Flying: d6
Lightning Bolt: d8

Limit: Weak Lift: This Ability Set's Flight trait treats each zone moved upward as if it were two zones.

All three of these "Stormcalling" Ability Sets are thematically appropriate to the concept; in this case they even all happen to cost the same number of Advances. But which is correct? The answer is: all three variations are equally would be some other similar Ability Set that represented the theme of "Stormcalling" in yet another way, as long as it was conceptually on point.

Bewitching Example

Briana, Esmerelda, and Muriel are three different Eldritch who all happen to have the Eldritch Gift of Bewitching, the theme of which is influencing the minds and / or emotions of others.

Briana's Bewitching Ability Set

The iconic Eldritch character Briana expresses the Gift of Bewitching as a combination of the Persuasion and Telepathy traits, and SFX: Telepathic Influence which allows her to use her Persuasion telepathically if she wishes. This is a subtle, utilitarian approach that facilitates social encounters via influencing the behavior of others...thus it is solidly on-theme for the Gift of Bewitching.

Eldritch Gift: Bewitching

Persuasion: d10
Telepathy: d8

SFX: Telepathic Influence: This Ability Set's Persuasion trait can be used telepathically, mentally influencing others without needing to communicate with them verbally, at a range determined by this Ability Set's Telepathy trait die step.

Limit: No Mindlink: This Ability Set's Telepathy does not allow mindlinks.

Esmerelda's Bewitching Ability Set

Meanwhile, Esmerelda's Gift of Bewitching is defined using the Mentalism trait with the Limit: Evil Eye; essentially she can control a person's mind if she can make eye contact with them and establish control via placing a Complication on them. This is a very direct approach that favors overt control of a victim, however it is obviously within the Gift's overall theme of mental influence.

Eldritch Gift: Bewitching

Mentalism: d12

SFX: Multi-tasking: You may take other actions while maintaining your control over another using this Ability Set's Mentalism trait.

Limit: Evil Eye: You must make eye contact with a living target to establish control using this Ability Set's Mentalism trait. For the purposes of this limit, sunglasses or similar opaque eye protection prevent eye contact, as does deep enough darkness or other environmental interference such as heavy fog. Blindness also prevents such eye contact being made.

Muriel's Bewitching Ability Set

Finally, Muriels's Gift of Bewitching is defined using the Luck and Shapeshifting traits with a couple of limits. Limit: Social Fortune restricts her Luck trait to social situations, while Limit: Alluring Appearance makes Muriel appear differently to people based upon what each person finds most attractive. The overall effect is a form of influence of the mental and emotional behavior of others, which again fits within the theme of the Gift of Bewitching.

Eldritch Gift: Bewitching

Luck: d8
Shapeshifting: d6

Limit: Social Fortune: This Ability Set's Luck trait only works during social interactions, when you are attempting to exert social influence or if reacting to someone attempting to do the same to you.

Limit: Alluring Appearance: This Ability Set's Shapeshifting trait enhances your appearance in such a way as to make you more attractive to each sentient observer based upon their preferences. This happens automatically, and you don't know how you appear to each observer unless they make some comment as to how they perceive you. You are not actually changing shape, thus cameras see you as you really are. Gain one (1) Plot Point when this becomes an inconvenience to you.

Hopefully, these examples are sufficiently illustrative of how open to variation each Eldritch Gift is intended to be. Players and GM's defining an Eldritch Gift Ability Set for a character are encouraged to pick Ability traits, SFX, and / or Limits to suit their preferences while staying within the theme of the relevant Gift they are modeling.

Common Combinations

Within the default setting of Here There Be Monsters some combinations of Eldritch Gifts tend to be found together frequently enough to be worthy of comment. The most common such are:

  • Adepts: some combination of Disappearing, Fading, Travelling, and Quickening are found in the descendants of a handful of primarily Asian bloodlines. Accoring to lore, in antiquity the Gifts of Shrouding and Weavewalking were sometimes also expressed among this group.
  • Druids: a once numerous and strong tradition within the Celtic peoples, various descendents of whom still exhibit some combination of Cursing, Foretelling, Skinshifting, Stormcalling, Taming, and Tending.
  • Seers: various bloodlines around the world exhibit some combination of Farseeing, Foretelling, and Witnessing. In antiquity the Gifts of Cloaking and Truthtelling were sometimes expressed as well.
  • Witches: one of the most numerous and powerful strains of Eldritch, the descendants of various interrelated European bloodlines frequently have some combination of Bewitching, Conjuring, Cursing, Enchanting, Healing, Polymorhphing, and / or Transmogrifying. Descendants of specific bloodlines within this group also often have one or more other Gifts particular to their heredity.

GM's and players are free to ignore this list, or extend it with other groups drawn from their own imaginations or sourced from the tales of real world cultures they are more familiar with, as they see fit.