Character Concept - Mistborn


Hey guys, hope you all enjoyed the holidays. I just got back from travelling to see family and decided to introduce my wife to the Mistborn series with The Final Empire on Audiobook. Now, I’m not a big reader but this series has made me put in the effort to try reading more - well, audiobook-ing more.

For those of you who have not read Mistborn and have no idea what a Mistborn is, let me explain the concept briefly and I’ll do my best to keep this post spoiler free for anyone who might currently be reading the books or maybe becomes interested after reading this post.

This is not a ‘character build’ - this is a concept I want to share. I think the magic system in Mistborn is very cool and I hope others find it interesting even if they haven’t read the books themselves.

Spoiler Warning - This post contains mild spoilers for book 2 (IIRC) concerning an additional metal, if it’s possible to do spoiler tags someone let me know and I’ll edit this post to hide that part.


In Mistborn, there is a magic system called Allomancy. Using Allomancy requires you to first of all, be born an Allomancer, secondly, to undergo a traumatic event that triggers your powers (called ‘snapping’) and finally, the ingestion and ‘burning’ of metals to activate your powers.

Different metals relate to different powers and most people are born with no power at all. In the book, you have Mistings (people born with an affinity for only one metal) and Mistborn (people who can burn any Allomantic metal) - but in terms of playing a character in an RPG, being a Misting would be very limiting so we’re going to build a Mistborn.


Here I’ll explain what the basic metals are and what they do when they are burnt. They come in pairs so I’ve grouped them together accordingly.

Iron - Blue lines appear, perceivable only to the Mistborn which point to nearby sources of metal. The Mistborn can pull on these lines (mentally) to pull them towards himself.
Steel - Same as above, except the Mistborn pushes the source of metal rather than pulling. In the books, these powers uses the weight of the user vs the weight of the object to determine whether the user or the object moves. Push on something heavy, you move, push on something light, it moves. Light objects, such as coins, are used as projectiles and to hurl the Mistborn into the air to cover great distances.

Tin - Enhance all of your senses, taste, sight, hearing, touch and smell are all heightened
Pewter - Enhance your strength, your endurance and ability to shrug off injuries/ignore pain

Brass - Sooth emotions, wipe away someone’s anger, guilt, sorrow etc
Zinc - Riot emotions, enflame someone’s rage, fear or pride etc

Bronze - Sense other Allomancers who are actively using Allomancy (probably not relevant in OL)
Copper - Hide your Allomancy and the Allomancy of those nearby from Bronze Seekers (also not relevant in OL)

Atium - Allows you to see ghosts of your opponent’s future actions so you can react to their moves before they make them. Also bolsters your general speed, balance and reflexes to enhance this ability.

Duralimin - Does nothing on its own but when burnt alongside another metal, it burns both metals instantly for a huge power boost. For example, burn with Pewter for an insane burst of strength or with Steel to send an object hurtling away from you at otherwise impossible speeds.

Putting this into OL

Iron and Steel - Telekinesis, flavoured so that you can only affect metal and only move it towards or away from you in a straight line. Keep in mind the weight of the object vs the weight of the character and keep the speed constant - the lighter object is hurled away at speed, not controlled by the player.

Tin and Pewter - Bolster. I wasn’t too sure on this one at first but it seems the best fit. Bolster your perception when you ‘burn tin’ and bolster your Might when you ‘burn pewter’ - to be faithful to the book you can burn these at the same time, but according to OL you can only sustain one boon and bolster one attribute at a time, maybe some house rulings for this. I decided against blindsight since that only affects sight and is absolute, Tin enhances all senses and still requires some light to work, however faint.

Brass and Zinc - Bit more complicated, depending on the effect you want: Charmed, Demoralised, Fear, Truthfulness. Brass and Zinc allows you to achieve almost any method of manipulation by tugging on emotions and enflaming others - use whatever boons/banes seem appropriate as long as they use this emotion-based flavouring.

Atium - I think Haste is the best fit for this one - you get an increase in defence and also the increased speed and reflexes to take additional actions. The effect isn’t as dramatic as in the books but a Mistborn burning Atium is nearly unstoppable so I’m willing for this one to be nerfed.

Duralimin - Luck Points. Spend your ‘Duralimin points’ to boost another one of your metals.

Why I love this concept

  • Mistborn is a fantastic series with a really interesting and unique magic system
  • This character utilises a great example of self-limitation to add flavour (telekinesis only affecting metals and only pushing forward or backwards relative to the user)
  • It was surprisingly simple to do, no feats were needed which means you can further tailor your Mistborn however you want - fighter, spy, socialite, Jack of all trades. Make them an expert in a certain metal and enhance the traits associated with it etc.
  • Luck points equalling Duralimin was too perfect to pass up

Sorry this post is so long and isn’t even a proper build - I just wanted to throw around the concept and wondered if replicating a Mistborn’s powers would even be possible. I’d be open to suggestions on better ways to achieve this character concept maybe with feats and the like rather than just boons and banes.

I might update this post with a proper build tomorrow but it’s getting pretty late so I’m leaving this here for now : )


Updated with my attempt at a level 1 Mistborn character:

I’ve tried to keep it relatively vague so that the character can be taken in any direction as they progress but made it so that the stats give at least a basic level access to all the metals for flavour reasons - you might end up neglecting emotional Allomancy for example - but you can burn zinc and brass so it makes sense that you still have access to the relevant boons and banes.

Some notes on playing a Mistborn

Mistborn use coins to attack (hence the coinshot action) they’re light and fast projectiles and easy to carry around.

If a Mistborn places a coin (or any source of metal) against the floor, or a similarly large/heavy object, and pushes it, the Mistborn will be thrown in the opposite direction since the coin can’t physically move despite being a lighter object.

In contrast to the above, if a Mistborn pulls on an object that can’t move - such as part of a building, they will fly towards it in a straight line since the object is unable to move, or simply weighs more than the Mistborn.

This combination of powers allows the Mistborn to almost fly through dense cities with multiple sources of metal or by continually throwing coins at the ground. This might be a difficult thing to run but I think the Climbing and Great Leap feats are the best fit, though I’m not sure they’re dramatic enough - if there’s a better way to do this I want to know about it.

Alternatively, you could just house rule it and use Telekinesis or Movement roles which I think would be ok since the usage is so limited (only working on metal, only moving towards or away from you in a straight line) compared to the way Telekinesis is supposed to work.

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you could also take the fly feat, but flavor it as doing all that, and not able to fly if no coin or metal to push/pull.

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That’s a much more straightforward way of running it, surprised I missed that myself : )

I think there’s so many ways of doing things in OL that it’s sometimes easy to overlook the simplest approach - but that’s definitely what I love about this system.

well, it was easy for me to see, b/c in the yet unposted “schools of monks/martial artists”, the concept of Kung Fu movies ‘walking on air’, I’ve used both climbing for the lower tier, and flying for the higher tier, to explain the concepts with self-limitations.

Man, I have too many OL related things that are unpublished and still being refined…

The mistborn series is one of my faves. I read the whole thing when I was recovering from minor surgery about a year ago - couldn’t put it down! I have thought about how you could make this into an OL game - and I’m so glad you put this together. Great work!

Thanks man, glad you like it : )

I’m always DMing for my group but if I get the chance to be play in the future I’ll definitely be giving this build/concept a go. I just started the bands of mourning yesterday and I have Secret History queued up for when I finish that - I won’t know what to do with myself once I’ve finished them haha.

Mistborn fan here. I like the way you went about it. I thought it would be too difficult to access all the allomantic abilities. Especially Zinc and Brass. But you did it somehow.

Now all we need is the Feruchemist and we can have a full Mistborn game :smile: