“Fixing” Everway, part three

Overall, as I said before, Everway has a lot of good things. Among other things, it has a great spread of magical schools, and powers, and setting background (seriously, over half the playing guide is about the city of Everway and the spheres). It uses generous amounts of example text to walk players through how to make characters and give advice on how to properly play them. The player’s guide even gives players a peek behind the curtain and explains karma/drama/fortune to the players, as I mentioned in the last article, even though it doesn’t strictly have to do so.

You know what Everway doesn’t have, though? A fully developed advancement mechanic. There are hints every so often that heroes can improve their elements or their Magic score through play, but there’s literally no way to do that written into the game text. The closest there is to an advancement system is the introduction of boons, which are possible magical items or powers or knowledge that heroes can be given during play as a reward for quests – but the text also says that boons are one-use-only abilities. There are no experience points, and no permanent bumps to a hero’s starting build, to be found between Everway‘s covers.

Glorious and Fearsome addresses this by taking two apparently throw-away mechanics already in Everway and mechanizing them as advancement milestones. Heroes in Everway choose a Motive (a description of what that hero wants to accomplish) and also choose or draw three cards from the Fortune Deck to indicate their Virtue, Fault, and Fate. The Fate card specifically is neither upright nor reversed, but “sideways” to represent something hanging in the hero’s future that remains unresolved as of yet. The Mythics of Glorious and Fearsome likewise have an Ambition as well as Story Deck cards indicating Virtue, Vice, and Destiny. When a Mythic makes headway toward their Ambition or comes closer to facing their Destiny, they earn a Mythic Point, which can be spent to improve or add abilities to the sheet.

That more or less covers what will be different about Glorious and Fearsome. Fans of Everway will probably be heartened to hear that I’m changing as little as possible, only to address those things that Everway has garnered criticism for in the decades since its release. Hopefully this new implementation will be a worthy successor and a step forward in design.