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Skip Navigation LinksHigh Fantasy HERO>Content>Magic>Magic Systems>Stoburu>System
Stoburu System


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GM Notes on Stoburu
Rather than learning to cast static Spells, Stoburu (STOW-BURR-OOH) practitioners instead learn to craft powerful magical Wands, Rods, Staffs, or other objects, into which they invest all of their Magical abilities. They are able to work terrible and mighty Magic in this fashion, but are woefully vulnerable to having their Foci taken or destroyed.
Stoburu practitioners invest Magical abilities into objects and then activate them at need.
Each Stoburu practitioner buys one or more abilities to which they apply the Focus Limitation. The Focus can be either Inaccessible or Accessible but the Focus must be Personal (Universal is not allowed).
Some Stoburu practitioners have a single item, but many prefer to split their Powers across multiple items. There are pros and cons involved with either approach; with all the Stoburu practitioner's abilities locked into one item they are more vulnerable to being deprived of the item, but with their abilities spread across multiple items they are left with the inconvenience of switching between them in circumstances where each second might count.
This is a very "superheroic" style of Magic Use. Unlike some "Item Based" Magic Systems where practitioners create independent Magic Items that are usable by others and can be taken away permanently, Stoburu practitioners items are just personal devices only usable by their creator. They are merely a conduit through which a Stoburu practitioner works Magic.
Stoburu practitioners can use Frameworks for various Powers using the normal rules for Power Frameworks, with only one caveat; the entire Framework must also take the Focus Limitation and the Framework and all Powers in it must represent a single item.
EXAMPLE: The Stoburu practitioner Mardok has two Wands and a Staff. The first Wand is represented by a Multipower (MP), the second wand is represented by a Variable Power Pool (VPP), and the Staff holds both an MP and a VPP, as well as a few Powers bought directly without the benefit of a Framework. The two MP's and VPP's involved must all be taken as separate frameworks.
Stoburu practitioners must have an EGO based Power Skill called Stoburu Lore which they use when they create a new or replacement item, or improve an existing item.
STOBURAN LORE: Power Skill (EGO); Real Cost: 3/2
Since Stoburu practitioners pay the Real Cost of their Powers, the primary limiter of raw potency is the character point costs involved and there are no Active Point caps in place by default. However a GM that prefers to enforce some equanimity can easily impose an Active Point cap.
Check with your GM to determine if any Active Point caps are in place for this type of Magic prior to making a Stoburu practitioner character.
There are a number of restrictions which apply to this type of Magic Use, as follows.
Stoburu Power Design Restrictions
  • All Powers must take the Focus Limitation
    • All Stoburu Foci are Personal Foci
    • All Stoburu Foci may be considered "Durable" Foci unless the GM rules otherwise
  • No Power can take the Independent Limitation
  • No Power can take Non-Recoverable Charges
  • No Power can take the No Conscious Control Limitation, typically
  • No Power can Require a Skill Roll to be activated *
    • A Power may Require a Skill Roll to take effect
      • such as a Power requiring a Persuasion skill roll
  • Any other Limitation is allowable in principle, though the GM exercises final veto over appropriateness
As noted all Stoburu items must be Personal Foci. Additionally, they may all be considered Durable unless a player deliberately takes the Fragile modifier for an item. Aside from those caveats, all the other options available for Foci can be used to define a particular Stoburu item.
Stoburu practitioners pay character points equal to the Real Cost of their items; however as noted under Power Design Restrictions above, items cannot be bought with the Independent Limitation. Thus if a Focus is stolen, destroyed, or otherwise lost a Stoburu practitioner can replace the item with a little time and effort. The details for how this is done are given later under Creating Stoburu Items.
As Stoburu items are Personal Foci, Independent is neither appropriate or allowed.
Stoburu items can be used as long as the practitioner that created them still lives or they are destroyed; thus Non-Recoverable Charges is not allowed. However, at the discretion of the player and GM normal Charges are allowed on individual effects and on Frameworks, representing a finite number of times per day an effect may used.
Stoburu effects are deliberate and controlled acts of magical power usage. NCC is not typically appropriate, though a GM might make allowances on a case by case basis if it were necessary to model a particularly interesting effect or in special cases (to serve as a check on Pre or Retro-cognition abilities for instance).
The Skill impact to Stoburu practitioners is in creating their items, not in using them. Thus, RSR to activate their powers is not allowed by default. However, a GM may prefer to lift this restriction and allow individual abilities to take RSR to limit their activation. In fact, a GM could go the opposite direction and require it; however this would place a much greater restriction on this type of Magic Use than is really intended and could make the System undesireable to players.
Any other limitation not specifically denied above is of possible use to limit effects in Stoburu items. It is left to the GM's discretion as to what is thematically appropriate and makes sense on a case by case basis.
Common Limitations taken include the typical "magic" Limitations of Incantations, Gestures, Extra Time, Concentration and Increased Endurance. It is important to note that such Limitations are not required as they are in many other Magic Systems; they serve primarily to reduce the Real Cost of effects rather than as a required check on the Magic System itself. The only Limitation that is actually required for Stoburu effects is Focus.
Stoburu abilities have very generic Special Effects. Each Power must have an appropriately defined SFXbased upon the type of effect it is (a fireball effect would have the SFX of fire, for instance). Additionally all Stoburu effects also automatically have the additional SFX of Stoburu Arcane Magic. Finally, each Power also includes a recognizable signature unique to the Stoburu practitioner. These mandatory SFX cannot be altered by any means, including Variable Special Effects, though they can be hidden with appropriate use of Invisible Power Effects or Sensory Affecting Powers.
EXAMPLE: When Mardok activates a Mystic Blast Power contained in one of his Wands it has the SFX of Stoburu Arcane Magic, and it is recognizable as originating from him in addition to whatever SFX is defined for the underlying Mystic Blast Power Construct.
Stoburu practitioners are able to wear Armor and suffer no penalties to their Magic usage for doing so. However, they must still be Familiar with a particular type of Armor or else suffer non-familiarity penalties.
If Spellcraft or an ability like it is in use in a campaign, it is recommended that Stoburu not interact with it for purposes of creating Stoburu items.
Creating Stoburu Items
Since they must pay character points for all of their abilities, the process of creating Stoburu items is fairly straightforward. The following guidelines dictate the means of creating and improving Stoburu items (foci), which is referred to as "enchanting" an item henceforth.
By default there is nothing particularly special or notable about the base items used by Stoburu practitioners to create their items with; a Stoburu practitioner could pick up a mundane item and over time infuse it until it is usable as a conduit for their Magic. For instance, a Stoburu Staff starts off as nothing more exotic than a nice solid staff prior to being enchanted.
However, if a GM prefers the items used might need to be distinguished in some way. This could take many forms, ranging from requiring items to be made from exotic or high-quality materials, or a more hermetic approach of requiring special preparations or rituals to be applied to the item. If the GM imposes this requirement it might take a bit of doing to acquire just the right elements with which to enchant a Stoburu item. On the otherhand the finished product should be properly impressive.
Alternately, even if such special materials or procedures are not required, a GM might grant bonuses to the Stoburu Lore Skill Roll that must be made as part of enchanting a Stoburu item (discussed below) if a practitioner goes out of their way to acquire thematically appropriate and / or exotic elements for their item.
EXAMPLE: Mardok sets out to make a new Staff. Pursuant to this he seeks out a length of wood cut from the heart of a sablewood tree, banded and capped with meteoric iron, and set with studs of polished sapphire. He treats the Staff with special oils and leaves it to soak under a full moon for three nights in a handcrafted bower of ash and willow, and then finally enchants the Staff with various effects.
If this level of detail is not required by the GM, then it might deserve a bonus to Mardok's eventual Stoburu Lore Skill Roll when he is finished enchanting the Staff (a +2 bonus, or higher, would be appropriate). Correspondingly, the monetary costs involved in making this item would be higher than simply acquiring a mundane item, obviously.
To enchant a Stoburu item, a player or GM designs all of the effects that are going to be in the item. In game the Stoburu practitioner must spend one hour "enchanting" the item per Active Points in the item (including all Powers and Frameworks; see below for guidelines on calculating the Active Points for Frameworks). The process of enchanting an item can be broken up across as many days as it takes and does not need to be consecutive.
To determine how many Active Points are in a Framework for purposes of creating a Stoburu item, use the following guidelines:
  • Multipower (MP): Consider a MP as a single Power Construct with Active Points equal to the Reserve, +10 Active Point for every slot in the Multipower
  • Elemental Control (EC): Consider an EC as a single Power Construct with Active Points equal to the largest Power in the EC, +5 Active Points for each additional Power in the EC
  • Variable Power Pool (VPP): Consider it a single Power Construct with Active Points equal to the Pool plus the Control Cost
After all enchanting has been completed, the Stoburu practitioner makes a single Stoburu Lore Skill Roll. There are no penalties to this Skill Roll by default, but the GM can apply any penalties they think appropriate to represent any difficulty they think applicable.
If the Skill Roll is successful the Stoburu practitioner pays the Real Cost of their new item (aka focus), and the various Powers involved are added to their character sheet. If the Skill Roll is failed the Stoburu practitioner must start over again from the beginning if they still wish to learn the ability; the character points are not spent in the case of failure.
Bonuses are applicable to the Stoburu Lore Skill Roll as follows.
A Stoburu practitioner that is replacing an item that they previously had that was lost, stolen, destroyed, etc benefits from a +2 bonus to their Stoburu Lore Skill Roll.
A Stoburu practitioner can take extra time enchanting an item; for each cumulative doubling of time taken they gain a cumulative +1 bonus.
Example: Mardok is enchanting an item with a total of 80 Active Points. Normally he would have to spend 80 hours enchanting the item, but if he took 160 hours to do it he would gain a +1 bonus to his eventual Stoburu Lore Skill Roll. If he took 320 hours to enchant the item he would gain a +2 bonus, and so on.
Improving Stoburu Items
Improving existing abilities is relatively easy for Stoburu practitioners.
A Stoburu practitioner may improve an existing item by either adding a new effect to the Focus, or by increasing the Active Points in an existing effect already in the Focus. Either way, the Stoburu practitioner must spend one hour enchanting the item per Active Point being added, after which they make a Stoburu Lore Skill Roll exactly as described above for creating a new item.
In the case of an improved effect, the Active Points being added are what is considered, not the total Active Points of the Power. Thus if a Stoburu practitioner had an effect with 50 Active Points and the improved version has 60 Active Points, then it takes 10 hours to enchant the item to gain the improvement (the difference between 60 and 50 in Active Points per hour).
This process is done one effect at a time. So for instance if a Stoburu practitioner wished to add three new effects and boost an existing effect, they would go through this process once for each Power involved for a total of four times.
However, if a GM allows it, a Stoburu practitioner could be working on enchanting multiple effects simultaneously, spending an hour on one or the other. There's not really any benefit to this, and in fact it is slightly inefficient since it is better to add one effect sooner had have it available and then add the next, but if a player wants to do it there's no reason not to allow it.
Example: Mardok wishes to improve an existing item by adding a new effect to it. The new effect has 30 Active Points, so Mardok must spend 30 hours enchanting the item, after which time he makes a Stoburu Lore Skill Roll. If the roll is successful the item gains the new effect and the Real Cost of the new effect is paid; if the roll is failed no points are paid and the item does not gain the new effect.
Mardok also wishes to improve an existing item by increasing the power of one of its effect. The improved Power has 10 more Active Points than it did previously, so Mardok must spend 10 hours enchanting the improved Power into the item, after which time he makes a Stoburu Lore Skill Roll.
Creating New Effects
By default Stoburu practitioners can "enchant" their foci with effects based on whatever Powers they want into an item and then use it at will (or according to any initialization Limitations taken on the Power). However, individual GM's might wish to curb this broad freedom in Power design either at the base Power level (sc.: no EDM), the Category level (sc.: no Special Powers), or by some other criteria (sc.: no Stop Sign Powers).
As always, check with your GM prior to making a Stoburu practitioner character to determine if they are placing any such restrictions on what Powers are legal in their campaign.
NOTE: It is recommended that effects built using "Yield Sign" or "Stop Sign" Powers should require GM's permission. This is in effect in Killer Shrike's campaigns.
Stoburu is a highly creative Magic System that lacks "Spells" or other static, shareable Magic effects. Each Stoburu practitioner's collection of items (foci) and the effects contained therein are essentially unique to them and are created by them using the guidelines given for enchanting Stoburu items. Thus, by definition, a Stoburu practitioner cannot be unable to create new abilities.