Magic Tricks

Most everyone knows a little magic these days. Reporters have bills to pay, and can’t go dedicating their lives to the pursuit of the arcane, but even they tend to have a trick or two up their sleeves.


Rule of thumb: if you could see it done on stage, it’s something your reporters might know.

Any time you’ve spent credibility, it’s an invitation to have your player do something magical. If no credibility has been spent, magic can’t be used to address any of the problems in a scene.

There’s no credibility requirement if you want to use it decoratively, or show how it fails to help.

Want to light a cigarette with a conjured flame? No problem. Want to scare someone out of a building by faking a fire drill? Only if you’ve spent credibility.

Possible magic tricks

Reporters have a special talent, a knack for a certain kind of magic inspired by vaudeville shows.

  • Contortionist, able to bend and flex in strange ways.
  • Knife-thrower, capable of tossing things with eerie accuracy
  • Fire-eater, able to eat, breath, and juggle flames.
  • Rabbit-puller, capable of conjuring small (possibly trained) animals.
  • Mentalist, capable of hypnotizing the unwary.
  • Levitationist, capable of floating, flying, or moving themselves and others.
  • Escape artist, able to break out of any kind of bond or trap.
  • Illusionist, crafter of strange images
  • Prestidigitator, quick with the hands to move things out of sight.

In the setting…

Pinetti’s Law

Giovanni Giuseppe Pinetti, also known as Joseph Pinetti, was a professor turned stage magician who used physics and chemistry tricks to amaze and astound audiences. In the setting of Dangerous Times, Pinetti was an accomplished magician in truth, and is responsible for one of the fundamental laws of the discipline.

Pinetti’s Law: “Magic lies within the individual.”

Magical spells must be cast and items made entirely by one person. No assembly lines or automation possible. Other magicians can share energy, but the mental effort of casting still falls to one.

This law is what separates magic from science; it can be taught and studied, but not automated, and spell-casters can’t build upon the work of others without first understanding it. A child can learn to flip a light switch without knowing ohm’s law, because someone else did the hard part; a magician can’t make light without understanding the entire process.

In Play

How it looks

Example results

Assets & Play Aids