GameMastering Magi-Nation

Table of Contents Regions Races Classes
Skills and Feats Equipment Dream Energy Spells
Dream Creatures Creature Lists Relics GameMastering
Glossary Appendix: The Magi Designer's Notes Magi-Nation Sites

This section gives important cultural notes about the world of Magi-Nation, as well as tips on GMing within the Moonlands. It is assumed that Gamemasters and Players are familiar with the d20 system, so this section is more focused on how to make the world seem unique and alive.

Visual Style

It is difficult for players to maintain a visual style in most tabletop RPGs. After all, dice and paper are the tools of the game. But the visual style of Magi-Nation is one of its strongest unique points. Players should be encouraged to describe their character physically, including hair and eye color, clothing worn, and equipment carried.

Creatures should be described in detail - use the illustrations from the CCG to help you. An Alaban isn't just a big snake-like creature. It is a huge aerial creature with intelligent eyes, a mane of iridescent feathers which flutter in the breeze, and small feather-like fins. It doesn't fly towards you, it glides, looping and coiling through the air, flipping its tail through the nearby cloudstuff.

Illustrations within the CCG tend towards bright and colorful. Magi are drawn usually with wide, childlike eyes (in an anime-like style). The dream creatures can be cute. ferocious-looking, or simply weird. Relics are frequently visually interesting too. One never finds just a staff; rather a character might recover a staff made from never-melting ice and topped with an oversized snowflake.

Innocence and Corruption

One of the themes of the Magi-Nation is innocence. The Moonlanders typically live a simple yet happy life, and for the most part things are relatively friendly. While there's the occasional problem of the Calder setting fire to your homeland, the problems can generally be solved without bloodshed. Even the hot-tempered Calders are tolerated (if there is rain in the weather forecast).

The Core, as the principal enemy, wants to corrupt that innocence, tainting the world, creatures, and characters of the upper realms. This is the principal threat of the Core (at least the obvious one. More secrets will be revealed in the future). The magi who have been tainted are frequently plagued by nightmares, and undergo some type of physical and mental change. The loss of innocence is the price of the Core.

Players should usually play Good-aligned characters because of this (unless the GM is permitting you to run a Core magi). Characters may slip toward a more neutral alignment as they become exposed (and perhaps tainted) by the Core. But the loss of innocence should always be portrayed as tragic.

Conflict and Resolution

The Moonlanders are generally peaceful. However, there are plenty of sources for tension and conflict in the Moonlands. Bograthians invading Paradwyn, Narans driving off interlopers, and Calders venturing about anywhere all are good sources for conflict, and a springboard for adventure ideas. When magi come into conflict, their Dream Creatures usually do most of the fighting. Even in the rare case where magi of one region are invading or raiding another, the primary combatants are the Dream Creatures.

Trying to deliberately kill another Eliwan is an anathema; even warriors will not harm an opponent who has surrendered, and allowing an opponent to flee is common. Even the Core seems reluctant to do permanent harm to opponents, preferring instead to corrupt and convert rather than kill. Imprisoning, embarassing, or driving away an opponent are preferred results of a combat. Of course there are always exceptions, but casually killing someone in the Moonlands is at least as morally repugnant as in our own world. The rulers of the various regions are quick to punish offenders.

Also note that any Ring that a magi gets from another magi through foul means will not work well, if at all. A magi who has deliberately killed another magi, and then looted his ring, will find that the Dream Creatures not only are uncontrollable, but immediately hostile. The empathy linking Dream Creature to the Magi will let the Dream Creature know what happened, and why. The Dream Creature will attempt to avenge the death of its former master, possibly with extreme force. Furthermore, it will inform other Dream Creatures. In short, the magi will be blacklisted by Dream Creatures.

Optional Rule: In order to avoid unintentional character (or even NPC) death, the Gamemaster may wish to use the following rule: If a character is reduced below 0 hit points, they will not bleed to death. Instead, a character below 0 will remain unconscious for a GM-determined number of days, waking after his body has had time to heal itself. This includes damage from spells or Dream Creatures. A character (or NPC) may annonce they are deliberately killing an opponent; in this case the normal -10 hp = death rule applies. Dream Creatures will never intentionally kill a Magi.

Chief among the methods for resolving conflict between magi is a Magi Duel. This is a combat between two magi, who may use spells, relics, and their own Dream creatures to defeat the opposing magi. Many magi duel each other for practice, and this is seen as a good way of honing a novice magi's skills. Senior magi will often duel their students to test them, while more combative magi (particularly Calders) willingly will enter duels with anyone. Duels are NEVER to the death.

Using the Core

Located at the center of the moon, the Core is cut off from the other regions, except through magical portals. The Core does not interact with other regions, but instead tries to subvert and conquer the rest of the Moonlands.

The numbers of the actual Core magi are few. Each of the other regions outnumber the Core magi easily, so the Core must resort to secrecy and stealth. They do work to corrupt weak-willed magi from other regions, but a Core magi who becomes visible to magi of other regions generally is painting a big target on themself.

For the most part, the presence of Core magi should be used initially as a bogey-man. They are the horrible beings used to scare children into behaving, or perhaps creatures of hyperbole ( "... but when he'd mad, Targ'n is even meaner than a Core magi!"). The only truly visible Core magi (at least before Agram's freedom and the coming of Tony Jones) were Korg and Zet, and even their presence was totally unexpected. The two of them were rarely effective - their schemes frequently fail due to Korg's stupidity or Zet's over-deviousness (think Pinky and the Brain). The other true Core magi aren't usually seen at all. Morag is diligently working to free Agram, and Togoth is working on perfecting the Shadow Geysers. Nagsis is hardly ever seen (as himself); he is the most active recruiter/corrupter for the Core.

The Underneath is plagued by Core creatures more often than any other region, simply because they are physically closer to the Core. Foul creatures occasionally escape into the tunnels of the Underneath, and Underlings are quick to find these creatures and drive them back. There are rumored openings into the Core from the Weave, and even some of the deeper passages of Orothe. But Core creatures rarely venture into the Weave - after all, the entire region would be out to get them. Those few aquatic Core creatures that escape into the Deeps of Orothe are hard to find - the underwater realm is vast.

Gamemasters should use the Core sparingly, and Core magi even less. The occasional Core creature can pose a good challenge, but the Core should not be the Monster of the Week. Many of the Core creatures are corrupted versions or variants of normal creatures, and this can lead to some good roleplaying experiences. How would an Arboll Warden feel about encountering an Arboll Stalker? If played properly, the Arboll Stalker will be seen as a perversion of the creatures the Warden loves. Does the warden try to redeem the Arboll? The Furok is one of the most beloved creatures of Naroom. A Naroom magi seeing an Orok or a Dark Furok should experience betrayal and pity for the creature - while of course having to prevent it from harming them.


The material presented here is aimed for play before the awakening of Agram, and perhaps during the year between Agram's awakening and the conquest of Naroom by the Dark Twins. There are too many things going on during the rise of the Dark Twins and the fall of Naroom (not to mention that the storyline is somewhat muddled) to be able to plot a story which isn't apocryphal. Players could also play after the Dark Twins are driven out (if they ever are...)

Adventure Ideas

  1. The Bograthians frequently raid Paradwyn, although in disorganized fashion. So what are they doing in the Underneath? A trail of swamp ooze leads toward an unexplored section of tunnels. Might they be trying to get into the Core?
  2. A Naran is spotted by Arderian scouts, floating on an Iceberg that drifting southward and melting. What is she doing there? Is she trying to reach Orothe, or has she simply been stranded?
  3. A Calder went exploring into D'Resh a week ago, and now his Arbolit has been seen near Kybar's Teeth. It seems agitated, and wants you to follow it. Is the Calder hurt? Or has he run afoul of D'Reshi?
  4. An Orothean Artificer wants to create a relic resembling a Weave Hut out of Seaweed. He wants you to travel to the foreign land of the Weave, and persuade a Weaver to come to Orothe with a Weave Hut. But how can something that is part of the Weave be transplanted?
  5. The Ancients left many secrets for their progeny to discover. A young magi-in-training has stumbled across something unexpected while exploring, and the elders want it investigated. Is it some new hidden lore left by the ancients? Or perhaps a trap set by a Core magi long ago?

Mixing Settings

One of the attractions of the d20 system is that there are a huge plethora of settings, creatures, races, classes and so forth, all of which can be mixed together. Of course, experienced gamemasters will do this carefully. This appendix is written for the GM who wants to use elements from the Moonlands in other settings. Since Magi-Nation is a fantasy genre, it is best mixed with other fantasy games. While it is possible to bring D'reshi to Tatooine, but having them wield lightsabers gets rather silly quickly. One thing to remember is that Moonlanders are sheltered. Their life is comparitively easy, and they can easily command magics to help them. Violent threats are uncommon, even from the Core. Magi are used to having Dream Creatures fight for them (or fight using spells), so the normal violence of a typical D&D game would shock and horrify a Moonlander.

Moonlanders in Other Worlds

Its also possible for a random Moonlander to be accidentally brought into another game world. In such a case, the Moonlander would definitely be lost, and probably desperately seeking a way to return. She would suffer a severe culture shock from any number of things in the typical game world. Moonlanders who venture into other fantasy worlds will undoubtedly find them savage and dangerous. Even the fiercest Calder might be aghast at the casual regard most Fantasy settings have toward killing. It will take some time for the Moonlander to adjust to this mentality - if they ever do.

The Moonlanders speak the common tongue of whatever world they land in. For convenience, assume the Moonlander maintains a slight connection to the Dream Realm, enough to summon Dream Creatures and cast spells. Eventually this connection may be the key to getting home, but in the meantime, the connection allows the character to not suffer any loss of ability.

Visitors to the Moonlands

A Gamemaster running a normal fantasy campaign may be tempted to have his characters visit the Moonlands. There are numerous wonders available in the Moonlands, and the regions of the Moonlands have wonders the characters may have never conceived of (after all, who expects to find an ocean of grass stalks a mile high?)

It should be exceedingly rare that characters from other game worlds will be able to visit the Moonlands. The Invaders have been trying to break the Dream Barrier for centuries, to no avail. But it does happen - Tony Jones being the most obvious example. Visitors will likely receive treatment similar to Tony. The Eliwan will be curious, but wary, of newcomers. Gamemasters who send non-Moonlanders into the Moonlands should take care that the PCs don't disrupt the balance of the Moonlands. Visitors would be most welcome in Naroom and the Weave, but visitors will certainly want to visit other regions.


As has been mentioned before, the Moonlanders are not quite human. Aside from obvious physical differences, the Moonlanders are infused with animite traces themselves. They will radiate magic if a Detect Magic spell is used.

It is quite possible for Moonlanders to have children with humans, though this has not been verified. In particular, Gorgle (a Calder) had five fingers like a human. This has bred true to his descendants (notably Grega, a Calder Adept).


All Moonlands characters usually progress in Magi classes. The traditional D&D classes of Fighter, Rogue, and such do not exist in the Moonlands, and characters may not normally take levels in those classes. However, in the case that you are running a cross-world game (introducing Moonlands characters into a mainstream D&D game, for instance), this section gives some rules for that.

While all of the Moonlands classes are considered Magi classes, other classes are not (not even Wizard or Sorceror). Therefore, if Gronite, an 8th level Kybarite Summoner, ends up in a D&D world and gains two levels as a Barbarian, the Barbarian levels DO NOT count for Magi Level. They don't give him extra spells, or spell points. Upon returning to the Moonlands, Gronite is still a 8th level Summoner/2nd level Barbarian, but when he gains his next level as a Summoner, he would be considered only a 9th level Magi.


Moonlander equipment is unusual compared to most fantasy worlds. Since there is little hard metal in the Moonlands, steel items will be a novelty to a Moonlander. Of course, the same can be said for a sword made of a sharpened blade of grass by a Weaver Artificer. Gamemasters should make sure to describe the novelty of the Moonlander's equipment.

The equipment used by Moonlanders should be just as functional as normal equipment used by traditional fantasy characters. A shield made of clouds will still function as a shield; such items have been crafted by artificers from the various regions. Even those that are equivalent to a non-magical item should still function.

Dream Energy

The energy used by Dream Creatures and magi is basically magical energy. GMs can assume that it integrates seamlessly with however the magic works traditionally in their game world. Both Dream Creatures and Moonlanders would radiate magic in a normal game world.

Core energy is basically corrupting energy, and should have the evil trait. If using the Book of Vile Darkness, Core energy damage is identical to Vile damage. In Rokugan, the Core energy would be identical to Shadowlands taint, and so forth. Effects which work on Core energy would have similar effects on Vile or Shadowlands energies.

Cleansing energy is just the reverse of Core energy. It only affects evil creatures, but should affect evil outsiders, vile creatures, and Shadowlands-tainted creatures just like it affects Core creatures.

Magic, Relics, and Spells

A Magi is considered an Arcane spellcaster for the purposes of D&D. However, the spells that a Magi from the Moonlands knows are powered by a totally different magic system than the spells cast by a D&D Sorceror or Wizard. Therefore, the Dream Magi may not learn spells from a sorceror or wizard; likewise, a wizard or sorceror may not learn spells for the Dream Magi. Either could learn a variant of each other's spells with sufficient magical research; however a Moonlander may only learn spells which resemble their Region (a Calder couldn't learn a version of the D&D spell Cone of Cold, although a Naran might be able to). Even though all Magi-Nation spells are arcane spells, some may not be appropriate to add to general arcane spellcaster spell lists (such as the various healing spells). An arcane spellcaster would not be able to use any effects which are generated by expending extra dream energy.

All Dream Magi can use magic items from other worlds as if they were arcane spellcasters. At the GM's discretion, certain races may be able to use magical items restricted to divine spellcasters. Healers should be able to use those items which are designed to heal (or harm), and Naroom Magi may find they have much in common with druids.

Relics taken from the Moonlands will slowly lose their magical enchantments over the course of a year. Being removed from an Animite-rich environment will cause the Dream Energy which sustains the relics to slowly "bleed" the dream energy

Dream Creatures

Magi who visit other worlds may still summon Dream Creatures normally. However, the Dream Creatures will definitely be uneasy, since it will immediately sense that it is not "where it is supposed to be". Hyrens in particular will become quite agitated.

Creatures of the Moonlands are summonable by those who learn the secrets and lore of the Moonlands. A wizard or sorceror from another world (such as Greyhawk) might be able to summon a Furok with enough research and knowledge. This would probably require several ranks in Knowledge: the Planes, as well as some expermentation. Dream Creatures summoned by non-Dream Magi are not necessarily bonded to their summoner; in fact they may get downright irritated about being yanked into a world where dream energy doesn't flow naturally. Dream Magi will probably never choose to summon creatures from other worlds - the monsters of a D&D world tend to be much nastier and more aggressive than the usual Dream Creature.

Of course, GameMasters can easily use the Dream Creatures as normal monsters, simply by using the statistics, but ignoring the Dream Creature characteristics. The creatures are readily mixable (just like about every other monster...); the creatures of Nar can be used on Hoth just as easily as in the arctic reaches of a fantasy world. Whether these are former Dream Creatures (or their descendants) that have lost their connection to the Dream Realm, or possibly the Ancients' inspiration for a particular Dream Creature, is up to the GameMaster to decide.

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