You are the Last Magus, out of your tower, witnessing the world you once knew crumble, fall to pieces. The shadows grow long, and in these final days of this Age of Magic, you sense a familiar presence beckoning you from the shadows, calling you to rest.
It is Death. It is patient.
Your work is not yet done. This is the world that you loved for all your long life, filled with marvelous places and the most precious of people. Uncertainty reigns. You can bring order to the world, even as your magic dwindles. This chaos strikes like birthing pains, so you must deliver the world into another Age, one where you will be absent and they will live on, remembering.
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Hello there! I'm happy to announce my second print-and-play adventure, The Last Magus! It is a TTRPG where you travel through the Provinces of the Empire, discover what catastrophes are destroying the land, and imagine spells and schemes, large and small, to restore order. All the while, you are being watched by the force of Death. You must bargain with Death for time, if you are to heal the land.
I made this game by fusing some really inspiring and cool influences for me. These include the mysterious and awesome narrative properties of the tarot (which you can print or emulate online), epic fantasy magic, the idea of Death as a character with their own mysterious motivations, and the trope of the lone wanderer. I think they blend nicely and I hope you really enjoy it!
This is a game that conforms to what you want to do.
Use it to exercise your role-playing mage muscles! Use it to feel like a badass, or to explore the idea of being a healing force in the world. Use it to practice your writing skills, turn sections into stories, write out the narrative of your encounters with death. Use this game for divination and to connect with the tarot.
If you'd like, take each new province as an opportunity to worldbuild. Think about the geography and industry of each province, and tie that into the emergent crisis. Think about power structures, magic systems, races, ideologies, cultures, languages, and foods. I was inspired by the tabula rasa of the Empire presented in Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, the infinite possibilities described there.
Maybe you'd prefer to use this as an exercise in characterization: How does each disaster affect your Magus? Does it bring up old memories, and regrets? How can someone live while the world around them falls apart? After all, the Magus is not just a piece on the board, but an empathetic intelligence moving across beloved landscapes, visiting gorgeous and beautiful cities, interacting with complex people and cultures. They are a part of this world, and doing everything they can to heal it.
My hope is that something, even something quite small, connects with you in this game. The Last Magus is an exercise in whatever kind of imagination you want it to be.
I will be considering putting community copies up for grabs on May 14th, the day that Carta Jam ends. This took a lot of work and passion so it isn't free, but it is only $1! As I did with my last Print-and-Play, I may make a Twine edition for free that lacks visuals (unless I can figure those out), and includes more written passages by me. I don't want to make a less refined product for free, but that way I get to put more of my writing out there.
Last note, making a game for Carta Jam was rewarding and not too difficult! Consider making your own game using a simple deck of playing cards or tarot! Thanks for reading, and enjoy checking it out!