Ever since the advent of Mist, scholars have dedicated their lives to its manipulation; this art is generally known as Magick. Although its origin remains unknown, many believe Mist to be the spiritual essence of the elements that compose the physical world.Mist is a supernatural fog-like substance that can be found all around the world of Ivalice. In most places it cannot be seen and can only be sensed by those sensitive to its presence. However, in some places it becomes thick, and can be seen swirling, bending light into a ghastly, colorful mirage. Mist normally flows freely, but tends to condense around - and eventually permeate - living things.

Characters recover power points as Mist gradually accumulates in their bodies. Recharging is twice as fast in places where the Mist is thickened. High concentrations of Mist will also affect the behavior of those sensitive to it; beasts and monsters exposed for extended periods will be far more aggressive.

Arcane backgrounds in FFEdit

Since their beginnings, Final Fantasy games have allowed for character customization, over the years, the different "classes" carried over from game to game. With each iteration, these classes (or jobs) become more defined, and developed an attitude behind them. On the other hand, arcane backgrounds in Savage Worlds are designed to be as vague as possible, and by no means define a character's play style. I believe I have achieved a mechanic that encompasses both by reverse-engineering both concepts. The arcane backgrounds that follow allow for character customization and don't always subscribe to a specific job class. If you wish to mimic a specific job class just find the arcane background that fits best and customize its trappings, just like you would do with the core rules.

For example, a paladin might want to pick up White Magick along the way, a thief might find Ninjitsu quite useful and a monk might dabble in dancing (Charm) to make her fists twice as deadly. An Alchemist might want to maximize his power points and learn every power, or he might pick only a few favorites to focus on being the ultimate sharpshooter/thrower/gadgeteer.


Not all magick users in Final Fantasy games are expected to rely mostly on magicks and stay behind the frontlines. Some sacrifice versatility for reliability, power points, combat prowess or other perks. To determine which background is entitled to which powers, they are categorized as follows:

  • Attack: Blast, Bolt, Burst
  • Deterring: Dispel, Entangle, Fear, Obscure, Puppet, Stun, Lower Trait
  • Healing: Greater Healing, Healing
  • Miscellaneous: Barrier, Beast Friend, Burrow, Detect/Conceal Arcana, Speak Language, Telekinesis, Zombie
  • Protective: Armor, Boost, Deflection, Environmental Protection, Invisibility
  • Support: Elemental Manipulation, Fly, Light, Quickness, Shape Change, Smite, Speed, Teleport


Unless specified, there is no real cost for a failed arcane roll, except for the wasted power points and time.

Arcane Background (Magick)Edit

Arcane Skill: White/Black/Green/Red Magick (Smarts)Starting Power Points: 10

Starting Powers: 3

A mage studies and memorizes several magicks in accordance to his or her field of expertise. However they do not see themselves as scholars; to a mage, magick is a philosophy and a way of life. Magicks that contradict their philosophy are completely elusive to them.

  • The White Mage's philosophy is that of healing and aiding. They may cast all healing, protective and miscellaneous powers.
  • Also known as combat mages, the Black Mage's way is that aggression. They use all attack, deterring, and support powers.
  • Red Mages are adventurous by nature and integrate magick into their swashbuckling. They can use all healing , attack and miscellaneous powers
  • Finally, the Green Mage's goal is harmony. They study all support, deterring, and protective powers.

Trappings: wielding rods, uttering spells, use of elemental powers

Restrictions: A mage that is unable to speak cannot cast magicks. A speech impediment will cause a -2 penalty on all rolls.

Arcane Background (Sagacity)Edit

Arcane Skill: Sagacity (Smarts)Starting Power Points: 5

Starting Powers: 4

The Sage is the closest thing to a generic fantasy wizard. Unlike mages, they take pride in their scholarliness and devote their lives to memorizing every magick spell possible. However, this reliance in sheer brain power makes them prone to mistakes, dangerous mistakes. Refusing to acknowledge the spiritual nature of mist also makes them less efficient with its use.

Trappings: uttering spells, carrying books or scrolls.

Restrictions: Sages need to be able to speak freely in order to cast magicks. Also, if conditions make it difficult to concentrate the GM may add a modifier to the Sagacity check.

Blunder: Sagacity is more of a science than an art, and even the slightest mistake can have dire consequences. A failed Sagacity roll (regardless of Wild Die) will cause the caster to become shaken, this can cause a wound.

Arcane Background (Alchemy)Edit

Arcane Skill: Alchemy (smarts)Starting Power Points: 10 per power

Starting Powers: 2

Alchemy is the study of different chemicals' reaction to Mist and probably one the most ancient forms of magick. Alchemy has the advantage of being a generally fail-proof science. Once the Item is ready, the magicks within always work. Another advantage to alchemy is that anyone can use these Items, in fact, alchemists generally share with their parties and some even sell spareitems for profit! Because of this, mages and sages often disregard alchemists as simple artisans.

One disadvantage is that if any alchemists intend on using items in the heat of battle, they need to train on how to use them effectively.

Trappings: The player must decide and accord with the GM how each power will work based on this list:

  • Potions are usually consumed by the users or poured over inanimate objects, making them perfect for touch or self-ranged powers. Touch-ranged Powers with adverse effects usually need to be smeared on the target (see Touch Attack Rule). A raise on a grappling roll is required to force-feed a potion to an unwilling ally (trying to heal a crazed friend, for example). A clever enemy will attempt to interrupt (see Initiative rules) these actions, and even knock the phial right off the alchemist's hands (see called shot rules), so it's always good (but not necessary) to pick up some fighting skills on the way.
  • Liquids in glass phials can be thrown at targets or areas. The splashing of the contents and the exposure to mist causes a burst reaction, making them suitable for area-effect powers. Make sure to have decent throwing skills or your potions will go to waste.
  • Alchemic powders are used to prime black-powder guns, imbuing the bullets with magicks when they are loaded. This is perfect for Bolt, Boost/Lower Trait and Stun and other long-ranged powers. The components are too heavy to be attached to arrows and a simple throw would be too erratic. Powder should be the method of choice for attack and deterring powers. Shooting skills are a must.
  • Any powers that don't fall comfortably within the above are perfect candidates for gadgets. For example, a remote-controlled flying construct makes more sense than splashing a table with Telekinesis goop to make it move at your command. The alchemist needs to make fuel for these gadgets, so they recharge just like all other powers. Gaining the power constitutes the player effectively inventing and building the device, if it is somehow destroyed or stolen the power is lost. No particular skills are necessary as the gadgets practically work by themselves. Some repair skills might come in handy if the gadget is broken. Only the owner may repair the item.

Power points are "charged" at the time of preparation as the components used have already been infused with Mist. If a power is not entirely used up, the player must discard what is left before making a new "batch". Divide the player's total power points by the cost of a single use to determine how many items are made. The player needs to decide if extra power points will be spent at this moment.Preparation: Whenever players are resting, the alchemist may roll the Alchemy skill for each power he or she would like to prepare. He or she will need a series of tools (Alchemist's trunk or an actual lab), proper illumination and components. These components may be purchased on any civilized location at 1d6 Gil per power point.

Spill: Besides spoiling the components, a botched Alchemy roll (regardless of Wild Die) can be rather unpredictable. When this happens, the player must roll a d4 to determine the consequence:

  1. The alchemist becomes poisoned. -1 die vigor for one day.
  2. The alchemist inhales fumes and falls asleep for 1d6 hours.
  3. A small explosion causes 2d6 damage to the alchemist and anyone within a 1" radius. Tools are broken and must be replaced; gadgets must be repaired (only one try per day).
  4. The item "goes off" on the alchemist, causing whatever effect it was meant to have on the Alchemist (and/or surrounding units or property depending on the power). This is good or bad depending on the Power but normally attracts unwanted attention. Gadgets must be repaired at -2 (only one try per day)

Raise: A raise on the alchemy roll will make the item more powerful according to the power's original rules.

Arcane Background (Ninjitsu)Edit

Arcane Skill: Ninjitsu (Agility)Starting Power Points: 10

Starting Powers: 2

Ninjitsu was developed by assassins that needed magick to be performed silently. Ninjas have access to all magicks except Healing, Miscellaneous, and Attack Magicks. This form of magick is favored by thieves, assassins, bounty hunters or anyone who appreciates stealth.

Trappings: Quick hand gestures, power pose, shaking fists.

Restrictions: In order to perform a Jutsu the caster must have both hands empty. If the Ninja has his or her weapons drawn, has the one arm hindrance or happens to be hanging from a cliff, magick is out of the question.

Dud: A failure on the Ninjitsu roll (regardless of Wild Die) will expose the user's location; a critical failure will cause the user to become shaken as well.

Arcane Background (Charm)Edit

Arcane Skill: Charm (Spirit)Starting Power Points: 10

Starting Powers: 3

There are many ways to influence Mist. Mages use their voices, Ninjas use their hands, and Alchemists use their potions. There are also those who know how to change a person's disposition with a smile and a wink of an eye as if magically, "charmers" they call them. These tricks are favored by bards, dancers, tricksters and gamblers, among others.

The Charm ability is tied to the Spirit attribute, and receives all bonuses (and penalties) to Charisma the character may have on the target, they may use all powers except attack and healing.

Trappings: A wink of an eye, a swing of the hips, a cheery melody, a card trick.

Arcane Background (Technique)Edit

Arcane Skill: Tech (Strength)Starting Power Points: 30

Starting Powers: 1

There are many legends mighty warriors capable of inexplicable feats of strength and dexterity. Combining discipline, strength and the Mist cursing through their bodies these mighty warriors have unlocked powers beyond the simple swing of a sword.

Technique allows any attack, deterring or protective power that has an obvious use in combat, making it the discipline of choice of barbarians, pugilists, sword masters, dragoons and samurai.

Trappings: A war cry, dragon's breath, stirring up a tornado with a sword, burning rage, a feat of strength. Technique is not a subtle art. All trappings must be loud and destructive.

Crash: A failure on the Tech roll (regardless of Wild Die) will leave the user shaken, this can cause a wound. A critical failure will cause a wound.