News and Updates

Patch 23.9.0 - Scenario Exchange and Bestiary

This update introduces the Community Scenario Exchange and adds a bunch of updates to the Illumination setting guidebook, including a bestiary!

Introducing the Community Scenario Exchange!

This exciting new feature allows Scenario-writers to share the Scenarios they’ve written with each other across time and Playgroups, without ever playing together!

Scenario writers can submit their Scenarios to the exchange. If they are approved, they are listed on the exchange, and the writer receives 240 Exchange Credits and 5 Exp to grant to one of their Contractors. Unlocking a Scenario on the exchange costs 100 Exchange Credits.

Please note that these initial rewards may be revisited in the future. In the future, we will make Exchange Credits available in other ways (including via spending real money), so submitting Scenarios to the Exchange greatly supports the website.

Illumination Guidebook updates, OWL and Bestiary

We’ve polished up the Illumination guidebook quite a bit and added several new articles. Check them out!:

Fake Ads!

Fake ads have been added to the website to introduce more Players to The Illumination setting and the organizations within. They can be disabled on your profile.

Mechanic updates


  • Aiming no longer reduces Difficulty below -1. 

  • There are now two rule sets for healing. Gritty (classic) and Arcade (All of your Injuries heal fully on the Downtime between each Contract.). It is up to each Playgroup to determine which healing rules to use. 

  • The -1 Difficulty modifier from Secondary Abilities no longer applies to Attack, Defense, or dodge rolls. 

  • Removed the concept of a Committed Action from the game.

  • Added guidelines for damage / death resulting from a lack of drinking water.

  • Changed the system for “Anti-Social” to: “In order to start a conversation with someone you have known for less than an hour, you must succeed a Self-Control roll. If you become the center of attention in a large group, you must succeed a Self-Control roll or Exert your Mind to avoid fleeing or shutting down.”

  • Changed the name of the Liability “Fragile” to “Sensitive”


  • Updated Held Action rules to clarify when Clashes should occur: “Held Actions resolve before the Action that triggered them unless the triggering Action cannot normally be reacted to or the triggering action is itself an attack, in which case it turns into a Clash.”

  • Clarified that the movement following rules apply to all movement, not just all-out sprints.

  • Clarified that desperate dodge cannot be used to dodge something you are already reacting to.

  • Clarified that the Grapple action contests all physical Actions the target makes that Round (so not contesting the Grapple doesn’t give a free, full-outcome counter-attack). 

Website Updates


  • Added Fake Ads

  • Added the Community Scenario Exchange

  • Added a new setting for community editability of Scenarios: “Scenario Exchange contributors only”


  • Fixed a bug that preventing playing in a scenario from spoiling it if you had already unlocked that scenario.

Gift Updates


  • Modified the errata text of the Trap style system text to add: “Those familiar with this particular type of trap may spot it by rolling Perception + Alertness and achieving an Outcome of 4 or higher.” 

  • Enhancement Mage now only requires 2 Actions

  • Added a new Enhancement to Special Firearm, Thrown weapon, Projectile Launcher, and Melee Weapon: Bane (When this weapon injures a specific type of being, the Injury it causes is increased by 2 Severity levels). 

  • Clarified that activations from the “Triggered” Enhancement occur immediately after the Event that triggered them (not Reaction-speed).

  • Added the following rule about Artifacts and Consumables to the guide:

  • “Anyone who witnesses someone using an Artifact or Consumable may use it in the same way if they take possession of it. Anyone who does not witness an Effect being used may research the Artifact or Consumable with an Intellect + Occult or Science roll (whichever is flavor-appropriate for the item) at Difficulty 7 to research its potential uses. An Outcome of 6 is required to learn how to use all of the Effects. You may research once per month and the Outcome accumulates.”

  • Enhancement “Too Slow!” changed to “You may use this Effect as a Reaction. When using it to dodge, you do not need to roll. You cannot use it as a Desperate Defense.”



  • Added new Enhancement: Selective Antibodies (You may cure any target you’ve afflicted at any range as a Quick Action.)

Alternate Form

  • Added to base Effect: “While transformed, your Penalty is reduced by 2.”

  • Combined the Drawbacks “Mute” and “Paws” into one Drawback “Beast Mode”. 

  • Added a new Drawback: Public Freakout (Whenever you fail or botch a Trauma or Self-Control roll, you must activate this Effect. You pay the activation cost as normal.) (Requires: Disturbing) (Power Gift Type only)

  • Added a new Enhancement: Final Form (If you take a Severity 4 or higher Injury while transformed, you change into your final form. All dice rolls are at -1 Difficulty for the next minute or until this Effect ends). (Requires Veteran)

Amorphous Transformation

  • Fixed a bug that caused the Enhancement “Reform” to mess up the system text.


  • Enhancement “Thorns” changed to: “When you take Damage from a source which is within 5 feet, deal back as much Damage as your Armor prevented.”


  • Fixed a bug that made it impossible to take Creatures and Seance together.

Creature Possession

  • Enhancement “Climb in” can no longer be taken with Drawback “Teather”

Energy Transfer

  • Enhancement Universal Exchange changed to: “You can transfer up to three points of Source.”

  • Added new Enhancement: Drain Attribute (You may transfer an Attribute between targets. The giver suffers a penalty of up to -3 dice to all rolls using that Attribute, capped at their rating. The receiver gets the same dice as a bonus to all rolls using the Attribute. Lasts two hours.) [Transferred attribute ratings do NOT affect Body or Mind scores but DO affect Body and Mind rolls if a relevant Attribute has been drained, as well as encumbrance, movement, and other mechanics related to the Attribute in question. Dice bonuses and penalties from multiple activations do not stack.] Requires: Seasoned


  • Enhancement “Battle Cry” no longer requires Seasoned status.

Firearms Mastery

  • Enhancement “Double Tap” changed to: “If you are wielding more than one firearm, your Weapon Damage is the highest of all of them, plus 1 for each weapon after the first.” (no longer requires Seasoned)


  • Enhancement “Just Keep Moving” changed to: “You may move at your normal speed and still maintain Concentration. Taking an Injury less than Severity 6 no longer interrupts Concentration.” 

Heal Scars

  • Removed Enhancement “Quick Recovery” and made default behavior.


  • Renamed “Conduit” to “Voodoo Doll”

  • Enhancements “Beam-o-war” and “Internal Injury” can no longer be taken together.

  • Enhancement “Accursed Wounds” changed to: “Injuries caused by this Effect can be Stabilized but do not heal naturally. Any Effect that would heal them has its effectiveness reduced by 2 Severity Levels, to a minimum of 1 Severity level of healing.”

Inevitable Comeback

  • Enhancement “Partial Invulnerability” changed to: “Truly killing you without completely destroying your body requires a specific attack or action, such as impaling a Vampire’s heart or wounding a werewolf with silver. This weakness must be discoverable or intuitive. Attackers may roll to discover it.”

Melee Mastery

  • Enhancement “Two Swords are Better Than One” changed to: “If you are wielding more than one melee weapon, your Weapon Damage is the highest of all of them, plus 1 for each weapon after the first. You also receive an additional +2 dice to any Clash.”

Mend Trauma

  • Enhancement “Suppress” changed to: “You may choose to use this Effect to temporarily relieve any number of the patient’s Traumas. In this case, Treatment takes one Action and the effect lasts two hours. If the Patient is currently experiencing an episode, Difficulty is increased by 2.”

Mythic Dexterity

  • Added new Enhancement: Perfect Reflexes (You receive +5 dice to all initiative rolls)

  • Renamed Enhancement “Heightened Reflexes” to “Reactionary”

  • Added new Enhancement: Split Second (You may Dodge or Defend against surprise attacks.)

  • Added new Enhancement: Double Time (You have one extra Action per Round. Replaces the free reaction from “Reactionary”) (Requires Veteran. Requires Reactionary)

Mythic Brawn

  • Enhancement Champion of the Caber Toss changed to: “You may lift an additional 1500 pounds per point of Brawn beyond 5, and may throw items up to this weight to a distance of your throwing roll’s Outcome x10 feet. Weapon Damage for a heavy improvised thrown weapon is equal to the Brawn required to lift it minus 2 (minimum 0).”

Project Senses

  • Replaced Enhancement “Keeping An Eye On You” with Conduit.


  • Clarified that the Damage occurs at the start of the turn of the person who started the fire. 

  • Enhancement “Need a Light?” changed to: “You may Exert your Mind to light everything within 50 feet on fire OR to extinguish and/or prevent any fires you wish within range for the next two hours. This includes explosives.”


  • Renamed Enhancement “Regrowth” to “Healing Surge”

  • Enhancement “Healing Surge” changed to: “You may Exert your Mind and spend a Quick Action to reduce the Severity of one of your Injuries by 2. Does not affect Injuries suffered as an activation cost for Effects.” (Requires Seasoned)

  • Added new Enhancement: Regrowth (You may choose to heal any Battle Scar on yourself that is not caused by an Injury. Recovery takes one day, and the Battle Scar affects you fully until that time.)


  • Fixed a system text replacement issue caused by taking Encase with Ethereal Chains.

Sense Beings

  • Enhancement “Improved Awareness” changed to “You may now sense another type of being. You are aware which types each detect being falls under.” 

  • Enhancement “Improved Awareness” may now be taken multiple times.

Spawn Minions

  • Re-organized base system text to make minion capabilities clearer.

  • Removed Enhancement “Suspend”

  • The Minion-Count parameter has been changed to [1(default), 2, 3(seasoned), 5, 12 (veteran).

  • Enhancement “Skilled” changed to “Minions primary Ability of your choosing. Actions using it have a 7-dice pool and can utilize equipment.” 


  • Removed Enhancement “Too Slow!” and made it so that you can perform Reactions by default.

  • Enhancement Forceful Mind changed to: “You can use this Effect to deal damage through unarmed attacks, grapples, and thrown objects. Attacks deal +1 Damage. Unarmed Mastery does not apply.”

Throwing Mastery

  • Enhancement “Nobody Tosses a Dwarf” changed to: “Anything you can lift, you can throw 50 feet. Weapon damage for a heavy improvised thrown weapon is equal to the Brawn required to lift it minus 2 (minimum 0).” 

  • Enhancement “Junk Wolf” changed to: “Thrown attacks with improvised thrown weapons always deal a minimum of 3 Weapon Damage.”


  • Enhancement “Family Vacation” no longer requires Veteran status.

Unlock / Open

  • Removed Enhancements “Cantrip” and “Conditionally Costless”

  • Added Enhancement “Costless” (Requires Newbie/Novice)