Weirdly, I took the little "haven't made a character for this" sticker off this book, but I haven't made a character for it. It's possible that I decided not to, since you're not so much making a character as making yourself as a "candidate" for the "wizard trials," but eh. It's still on the list, so I might as well.
The Game: Trials of the Magi
The Publisher: Sproutli Games
Degree of Familiarity: Some. I ran it and wrote a review.
Books Required: Just the one.
So, Trials of the Magi asks you to apply a magical style to yourself, so as to play yourself as a wizard being tested in a dream. Playing oneself in an RPG is something I've seen done many, many times and I generally find it a little wanky, but what the hell.
If, therefore, I'm apply a magical style to myself, what would that look like? Well, the first step here is to Choose Three Arcana Cards. Now, it sounds like maybe a Tarot deck should be involved, but sadly, no. Instead, we've got a specialized deck that's nothing but cards of four suits (no value to individual cards): Swords, Wands, Cups, and Coins. In play, these cards let you use magic, and they also have suit-dependent benefits, so by choosing which cards you start with, you're really choosing which of those benefits you want. I want a Sword (which lets me lower the difficulty of certain challenges), a Cup, and a Coin (both of which have "healing" kinds of effects).
I then assign a style of magic to those cards by associating each card with something personal to me. For Swords, I can name something that made me yell, laugh, or cry. Hrm.
Well, I cry at movies all the damn time. I think it'd be interesting to use Movies as a style of magic, and since "music" is listed as one of the examples, I think that's not too broad. Using that style to make, like, Clive Owen from Children of Men show up and help out might be fun (I cried like a baby at that movie).
For Cups, I can name something I've card for, protected, or were a part of. Wow, that covers a lot of ground. I have cared for children, but what would that magic look like if I were using it in-game? I don't want to summon little children-minions to do my magical bidding, that's totally counter to the vibe I'm going for. Instead, I'll go for something I was a part of and say "Communication," since it's my job. That would allow for magic like telepathy and translation and so on, I think.
Finally, I get Coins, which means I name something I've worked hard to obtain, collected, or created. Well, shit, I collect RPGs, and having magic based on that opens the door to all kinds of meta-cognitive stuff, and that's before you get into summoning dragons out of nowhere. Pretty cool.
And that's it! That's all you need to do. Not even a character sheet to scan in.
(More involved character coming soon, I promise.)