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Philosophers have two powers available to them. Some combine the physical arts of anatomy, surgery and medicine with the magical ability to manipulate the elemental humors of a living body to enable fast healing of wounds. Other philosophers have sought out the secrets of Prometheus and the other Titans. These mysteries tell how to combine quintessence, blood and coin to perform magic.

Philosopher skills are magical and founded in understanding of quintessence — either as it occurs within the body as humors or in larger quantities in the environment.

These rules are only required reading for those with these skills, as the core concepts and rules relevant to all were covered in the Combat chapter.

This section covers the mechanics of healing using the arts of a physician and more information on alchemical mysteries.

Permanent healing is best achieved by physicians. Only the rarest mysteries offer this rather than just temporary respite.


Physician skill

  • This is the most common way to restore lost body hits and stop a character from dying
  • You can use this skill to treat a wounded character from your own nation
  • If a character was wounded while on a quest or in the arena then they may die when you treat them

The physician skill allows you to treat a character to restore their body hits. After two minutes of successful treatment they regain all their lost body hits. If relevant, they are no longer incapacitated. Only one character may treat a patient at a time. Wounds sustained on Atlantis are always successfully treated.

In Odyssey, the skill of the physician combines a knowledge of anatomy and surgery with the ability to manipulate humors. The magical nature of this skill means it can only be used on a character of your nation.

You can use this skill on another character or yourself. To use the skill you must have both hands free and must not be incapacitated. You must not fight, use any other skill or ability, or walk anywhere while using this skill, or while having this skill used on you by another character. If you stop treating a character to do something else for more than a few seconds, then you must begin the two-minute count again.


  • If a character was incapacitated while on a quest or in the arena then they may die when you treat them
  • You must obtain a referee and pull a bead from the bag when you treat them
  • Characters with resilience are more likely to survive

If you are treating a character who was incapacitated in the arena or on a quest then you must obtain a referee before you can treat them. After two minutes of treatment, you can draw a bead from a bag carried by a referee to determine if the treatment is successful.

If you draw a black bead then the treatment fails and your patient remains incapacitated and will die within a few minutes.

If you draw a red bead then if the patient has resilience then they survive, else the patient remains incapacitated and will die within a few minutes.

If you draw a white bead then you successfully treat the patient, they cease to be incapacitated and are restored to full body hits.

The actual combination of beads varies but would typically be 17 white, 2 red and 1 black.

Beads are drawn by the physician and shown to the referee. The actual bead is not shown to the patient. The treating physician may choose to declare a black was drawn even it if it was not.


  • A mystery is a rite that produces a preparation or a magical effect
  • Each mystery has a specific name, recipe and effect
  • You may work with other philosophers to combine your skills to perform complex mysteries
  • You will need a referee to get the results of a mystery

Mysteries use quintessence and other ingredients to bring about a change in the world. Mysteries are not designed to be used directly in combat but they might have an indirect effect. There is no need for you to memorize the powers and their effects but you should make sure you are familiar with all the calls listed in the combat section.

To complete a mystery requires a combination of ingredients. These are drawn from the four types of quintessence - air, earth, fire and water, plus blood and coin. All ingredients are consumed in this process.

To use any amount of an ingredient in a mystery you must have the correct apply quintessence skill. If you have any apply quintessence skill then you may use blood and coin as ingredients. You may co-operate with other philosophers to pool your skills on a single mystery.

You get the results of a mystery by taking the ingredients to a referee.

It must be apparent to anyone within 10 paces that a mystery is being performed. A mystery is interrupted and fails if you stop roleplaying it for any reason. In this situation, any ingredients are not consumed.


  • Quintessence is raw magic phys-repped by Profound Decisions
  • Quintessence manifests in four types: air, earth, fire and water

Raw magic is found in the form of quintessence. Quintessence occurs naturally in many locations. It is often part of the tribute paid to warleaders in the Great Game.

Quintessence can be traded and will be phys-repped by Profound Decisions. Any character can recognize quintessence for what it is.

When quintessence is used in a mystery the physical object turns to dust and should be handed to a referee.


  • Blood plays an important part in magic in the world of Odyssey
  • It restricts who can collaborate on performing a mystery and who may be affected by the result

Most mysteries require the philosopher to use blood as one of the ingredients. These mysteries, and any preparation produced, only affect people from the same nation as the philosopher who performed them.

Blood donations must come from a philosopher who is contributing to the mystery. They do not normally cause damage but some greater mysteries require larger quantities that are harmful. Such donations must be gained as part of a roleplayed bleeding process rather than the splash from a combat wound or similar.

Each point of blood donated to a mystery must come from a different philosopher. If a mystery requires more than one point of blood then multiple philosophers from the same nation must work together.

Lesser mysteries

  • These can be performed anywhere using thirty seconds of appropriate roleplaying

Lesser mysteries are the most commonly known magical effects. To complete a lesser mystery you must know the name, recipe and effect. These recipes are often traded between philosophers.

Most recipes produce a one-dose preparation that is available for later use. This is usually either a potion (that must be drunk) or dust (that must be sprinkled on the ground or an item).

Greater mysteries

  • To perform a greater mystery you must possess a specific physical focus
  • There may be additional restrictions on where and how they are performed

Greater mysteries include the most powerful magics mortals have access to, in some cases rivalling the powers of the gods. The results of performing a greater mystery may be a particularly powerful preparation or some larger change to the world. Greater mysteries may shake the earth to its very foundations, rain down destructive fire, or meld air and water to subtly affect the balance of power between the five civilized nations.

All greater mysteries require a specific physical focus that must be present when you perform it. Most physical foci are unique such as the flayed skin of Prometheus. All physical foci will be provided by Profound Decisions and cannot be reproduced.

If you have any ‘apply quintessence’ skill then you may choose to know the Wisdom of the Seer lesser mystery that detects the presence of magic in an item. If this is used on a focus for a greater mystery then it will indicate that the item is a focus and may give more information on that mystery.

For some foci this will include full instructions to complete the greater mystery but for others such detail must be discovered in play.

Some greater mysteries can be performed anywhere but others must be performed at a specific location. There is no set duration for a greater mystery; the time required for a successful completion will be given in the instructions. There may be additional requirements. These might be marked on the physical focus or could require quests or investigation.


  • Preparations are a kind of Lesser Mysteries
  • Anyone can use a preparation
  • Most preparations only have an effect if you are from the same nation as the creating philosopher
  • Once open you are considered to have used the item
  • You cannot reseal preparations and you must take the effects straight away

All preparations are issued in sealed bottles containing an instruction note. When you wish to use the item, you must open the phys-rep and the effects of the item will be written on a slip inside. The note must be destroyed and the bottle returned once it has been used.

Preparations cannot be resealed or divided into their component quintessence. They do not stack. Each individual item or person may only have one effect active at a time. If a second potion is taken or preparation applied then the new one is wasted and has no effect unless otherwise stated.

Initial Mysteries

All philosophers start with a few standard Lesser Mysteries, and two random Mysteries selected more or less at random from the complete set.