Tales from the Great Isles: The Strength of Earth

Tales from the Great Isles is a tabletop role-playing game about complex characters and their unique stories. It’s more than an adventure—your character confronts their past and changes over time before you discover their ultimate fate.

I want to share some of the design progress with you. Each character has a rating in five different elements that determine their competencies, not based on what they are doing but on how they are doing it. The second element I’m exploring, earth, represents strength and willpower.

Might and Resolve

Three archetypes share a strength in the earth element, making them enduring and strong in the face of adversity:

The Lion is a leader that has lost their people, through either the treachery of others or their own actions. Leadership requires a certain grit, but also empathy and understanding, which is why this archetype is also strong in water.

Resolute and maybe a bit too realistic, The Champion is a former hero brought low. They have learned how to face almost any challenge but sometimes need to find the will to act. Combing earth and fire makes them a dangerous foe when their emotions are charged.

The Beast is a monstrosity, nature twisted in some crude way with forces beyond their understanding, struggling to find meaning and companionship. They favour earth and aether, an odd combination that creates something not entirely human.

Uneven Ground

Two of the eight archetypes have a weakness in earth, which makes them aloof and less grounded:

The Blackbird is a magician and savant that dabbles too much with aether to keep their feet planted in reality. Their have little interest in the mundane and natural.

Similarly, The Lotus is a trained entertainer with little care for the world outside their imagination at times. They spend their life practicing art forms that take people away from reality.

The Wrath of Nature

Acting with earth means you standing your ground, sometimes literally. When you prepare to withstand danger and pain—when you grin and bear it—you rely on this element. It is maybe the most passive of the elements, coming into play in response to things that might harm you or drive you mad. While it can give you endurance and strength, it can bring reality crashing down on you as well.

Thanks for reading! I’m real excited to share more about these elements and would love to hear what you think. Feel free to comment below with your thoughts!

Want more info? Check out the post about fire here.