House Rules

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Introduction

This section contains both house rules and rules clarifications. Anything that specifically contravenes the core rules is clearly labelled as: [House Rule]

If there is a rules element here that does appear to contravene the core rules but is not clearly labelled as such, this may be discussed with the storyguide outside of the game sessions, or on the talk page for this page.

Character Creation

All new wizards have just finished their gauntlet. Companions and grogs may be of any age.

[House Rule] All new characters gain 50 xp in an additional native language of an area near to where they are born.

[House Rule] Any player may completely change their characters within the first three sessions. It is requested that after this time, if they wish to retire this character, they give appropriate notice for the character to finish up plot hooks.


[House Rule] The Secondary Insight Major Virtue is now a minor virtue.

[House Rule] The Elementalist virtue now gains (Instead of its normal XP gain) +50% of experienced gained from studying any elemental art to its lowest Elemental Art.

Experience

Language Experience

[House Rule] If a character is engaging in activity in a language where his skill is less than 4, he will gain 8xp per season so long as he is communicating regularly with speakers of that language. This can only be used for one language per season, but is in addition to whatever activity he is engaging in. This does not come into effect for activities that involve little or no communication, such as laboratory work. The gift penalises this as normal.

[House Rule] Any grog that earns a 3-year or 5-year experience block after entering play will gain a score of 4 (50xp) in the local language of the group they spent the majority of their time with if they do not already have it at that or higher.

Familiars and Experience

Creatures with Might decrease the source quality of any experience they receive by their might score, but not to below 0.

[House Rule] Familiars have reduced source quality penalties when learning as follows:

  • Familiars may learn from their master with no source quality penalty due to their Magic Might.
  • Familiars may effectively decrease their source quality penalty by their silver cord bond.

Combat

House Rules

1. While using a lance from Horseback, the horses Strength is used instead of the PC.


Clarifications

Each person can do 1 action per turn.

Actions include:

  • Move: (Walk = 10 + Quickness - Enc, Hustle = 2x(10 + Quickness - Enc), Run = 4x(10 + Quickness - Enc). Fatigue rolls each round that running is involved.

(Note: Horses have differing speeds based on pg 127 of Lords of Men).


  • Charge: Allows movement and an attack. Requires use a fatigue level. The fatigue bonus is added to exertion as normal, but if the terrain is difficult the move and charge is still possible (requiring the fatigue) but does not add the bonus.
  • Cast a Spell/Use an Item: May be combined with a movement with a fatigue level.
  • Mount/Dismount
  • Open or close and bar a door.


You can move about if attacked by archers, but must 'disengage' if you no longer wish to be targeted by them.

A character can move through engagements as much as he likes until his movement runs out or he fails a disengage roll. He is treated as engaged if he is within 2 paces of the enemy. They do not need to 'attack' to engage him, only plausibly able to do so.


The following options are deemed as 'on' from Lords of Men.

  • Fast Actions: Drawing, droping items or weapons, saying 10 words or less, standing from kneeling, transforming to or from Heartbeast. Similar to a D+D 'Swift Action' - 1 per turn.
  • Reckless Disengagement: A disengage that is automatically successful but the opponent gains a free attack on the disengaging party, who is treated as having a defense total of 0.
  • Mitigating Deadly wounds: On for Magi and Companions only.

Option: Fast Casting as Interruption

This does not require delaying (Wizards get all the luck) but still suffers penalties for multiple fast casting. The fast cast virtue factors in here.

Example: Adelaide hits Evil Wizard. Evil Wizard tries to fast cast a defence, rolling Qik + Finesse + die for a 10. Adelaide rolls Qik + Great Weapon + die and gets a 15. Sorry, evil wizard, you die.


Example: Yvonne casts Sleep on Incandarius. Incandarius casts Ball of Abysmal Fire on Yvonne as a fast cast action. They roll opposed rolls. Incandarius wins. Yvonne cannot fast cast a defense against it because she has already failed to be faster!

Example: Yvonne casts Sleep on Incandarius. Incandarius casts Ball of Abysmal Fire on Yvonne as a fast cast action. They roll opposed rolls. Yvonne wins. Yvonne can either continue her original spell, or drop it for another fast cast spell, or even cast two simultaneously if she really wants to.

Example: Yvonne casts Sleep on Incandarius. Incandarius casts Ball of Abysmal Fire on Yvonne as a fast cast action. Yvonne fails the opposed roll. Terminus tries to interrupt with a spell, so puts his dice on to see who goes first between the three. He goes first and wards Yvonne against Incandarius spell. Incandarius spell goes off, but bounces off the ward. As Incandarius roll didn't fail the original roll against Yvonne, he can continue to fast cast and still gains his normal action.

Example: Perses casts Charge of the Angry Hornets at Incandarius, who interrupts with his fire spell again. He is now at a -6 penalty to his interrupt roll, and fails to beat Perses. He then may choose to cast after Perses, but cannot cast any more in this combat round.

Option: Tactical Movement

On, without being super detailed about it. Obstacles take die rolls to get over/avoid.

Option: Constriction Attacks

On for whatever monsters may choose to do so.

Option: Non Lethal Combat

House Rule: For simplicity sake, use normal combat rules, If a defense botch is made, treat the damage as lethal.

Penetration and Arcane Connections

A wizards name is not baptised, but neither is it a nickname. It does not count as a sympathetic connection.

Baptism happens to the soul. A second name cannot be baptized.

So long as an arcane connection can be got back to the lab within the time it is active, it may be turned into a permanent connection assuming the connection is begun to be fixed immediately.

A sympathetic connection cannot be used for penetration bonuses unless the caster has an arcane connection as well.

Concentration When Spellcasting

If a character does anything other than stand still and cast a spell, a concentration roll must be made at the time the spell is cast.

If a character is attacked since their last action and attempts to cast a spell, they must make a concnetration roll as follows:

  • If they took any damage, they must roll against Damaged This Round (15)
  • If they made a defensive roll, they must roll against Dodging This Round (12)
  • If they were attacked and did not make a defensive roll and still took no damage, they must roll against Jostled This Round (9) (Unless the attack was a complete botch.)

Note that even if the attack happened in the previous round, if it occured between the magus' last action and their current action, they must make a concentration roll. Further, the magus must make concentration rolls for all spellcasting that occurs between the attack and the end of their next initiative action.

If a character is within a circle ward and that is struck, no concentration roll must be made as the character themselves is entirely unaffected by the attack.

A Bjornaer magus takes 1 quick action to transform, but no concentration roll is required, though a heartbeast roll may be.

Aegyptus of Flambeau, Leo of Verditius, Maeron of Ex Miscellanea and Yvonne of Ex Miscellanea are under attack by bandits. Aegyptus has a personal ward against weapons, and an initiative of 6. Leo has an initiative total of 5. Maeron has armor, and an initiative total of 3. Yvonne is acting on 0 and is protected by Damian, a shield grog. The bandits are attacking on a 4.
Round 1
Aegyptus(6) casts first, and blasts a bandit with a Pilum of Fire. Aegyptus makes no concentration roll, as he has not been attacked yet.
Leo(5) casts next, also without requiring a concentration roll. He casts a circular ward against metal weapons.
The bandits(4) attack next. One bandit swings at each magus. Both Aegyptus and Leo opt not to dodge, trusting their wards. Maeron attempts to dodge but is struck by a lucky blow and suffers a light wound. The bandit who wants to attack Yvonne must get through Damian first, so attacks him.
Aegyptus attempts to fast-cast another Pilum of Fire. He must make a concentration roll of 9+, as he was attacked for no damage and didn't dodge.
Maeron(3) attempts to cast Enduracnce of Beserkers on himself. He must make a concentration roll of 15+, with a further -1 penalty for the wound as he has been struck prior to his action.
Yvonne(0) casts a sleep spell. She does not make a concentration roll, as she was not attacked. Damian acts on her turn, and chops at the bandit with his axe.
Round 2
Aegyptus(6) attempts to blast a second bandit with Pilum of Fire. As he was attacked last round for no damage, he must make a concentration roll of 9+ to pull off the spell as he was attacked since his last action, even though this is a new round and even though he has already made a concentration roll for an earlier fast-cast.
Leo(5) casts Hands of the Grasping Earth to pin one of the bandits. Because Leo used a circular ward, the bandit's attack did not even get near him. He does not need to make a concentration roll.
The Bandits(4) attack again. Maeron manages to dodge. Leo is protected by his ward. Aegyptus attempts to fast-cast a voice-range Rego Terram defense against the incoming attack, targeting the sword. The fast-cast does not require a concentration roll, as Aegyptus has not been attacked since the end of his last action. If he succeeds, he blocks the attack from getting near and will not need to make a concentration check on his next action as the spell will have completely negated the attack. Yvonne's shield grog, Damian, is attacked again.
Maeron(3) needs to make another concentration roll of 12+, still with a -1 wound penalty. He chooses instead to hit the bandit with his warhammer - which doesn't require any concentration rolls as it isn't a spell.
Yvonne(0) casts another sleep spell. She still does not make a concentration roll, as she has still not been personally attacked. Damian still acts on her turn, but as a melee combatant he neither knows nor cares about concentration rolls. His axe seems to work just fine.

Reputation

A character earns reputation xp of one point if the adventure was known about, or on an ad-hoc basis depending on a general consensus from the group for other matters.

The lore ability lets PC's know things about NPCs and other characters. The Lore in question should pertain to either a group or region.

Recognising the heraldry of the King of France requires either a Lore: Nobility or Area Lore: France roll against a difficulty of 3.

The difficulty for most rolls is 12 - reputation. At least one experience point is required in a relevant lore ability before a roll can be made.

Yvonne has a reputation amongst the french nobility for being a crusader of + 2, as does Aegyptus. This makes the lore roll a difficlty of 10. A local lord asks his herald of any wizards who can help him. The herald rolls a total of 12, and informs his lord that there are two powerful crusader wizards who live in Gascony, and make their home on the Aubertin lands. The noble lord makes his way there, and tells the small, creepy girl he meets to find him the powerful Yvonne and Aegyptus. Had the Herald rolled a total of 13 (3 higher than the difficlty), he would know that Aegyptus is a powerful knight and Yvonne is a small, creepy girl.

Knowing About Other Wizards

Wizards all have reputations, but there is a lot of general knowledge about the powers of each wizard, and wizards (and redcaps) often talk about other wizards. However, wizards keep their powers secret when possible. To actually know about other wizards capabilities, it is a difficulty roll of 12 - appropriate reputation as normal. Intrigue rolls can assist this knowledge, meaning wizards gossip amongst themselves to give themselves a bonus to the following lore roll.

Maeron finds himself in Certamen with Incandarius of Flambeau over a slight. He gets lucky and gets a 40. The GM informs him the numbers on Incandarius sheet.
Aegyptus and Incandarius see each other, their eyes meeting across the crowded tribunal floor. They immediately settle their 'issues' with Certamen, knowing it to be the manly thing to do. Aegyptus rolls 5 + ability 6 + intelligence 3, getting a 14. The GM gives Aegyptus a general idea of Incandarius 4 strongest forms, but doesn't indicate relative strength. Aegyptus does not bother to pick Ignem, knowing Incandarius speciality already.

Closeness

As per the rulebook, it is easier to know things about people closer to you. For knowing general information such as name or noteworthy accomplishments, the following modifiers apply to the lore roll:

  • Same Covenant or Town - + 9
  • Covenants in Regular Contact or Nearby Towns + 6
  • Same Tribunal or Region + 3
  • Entire Order or Country + 0

These bonuses do not apply if attempting to learn the specific powers of a magus, as magi tend to be secretive about their power.

Knowing Things Already

If a character has witnessed something, or previously rolled something, he is assumed to retain this knowledge. The knowledge might be outdated, but does not need to be rolled for again. The GM will remind the player if the GM also remembers this fact.

Intrigue, Charm, Carouse, Etiquette, Folk Ken, Bargain

House Rules apply; none of the above skills exist, replaced with three skills - Authority, Emotion, Reason.


Base difficulties are based on the relationship of the target to the user of the skill.


Family = 3

Friend = 6

Stranger = 9

Hostile Stranger = 12

Enemy = 15


If a character is being asked or requested to do something that is particularly out of character, more than one social roll may be required. Asking a character to do something that is out of the ordinary but not strange would be +1 die roll success required. Something thought of as very strange +2, something impossible or completely out of character +3 die rolls required to succeed.


Some requests are simply easier or harder. Apply the following bonuses.

Adjustments:

Easy, no risk, good reward - -3

Difficult for target in some way, risky, little reward + 3


Characters may gain advantage or disadvantage in the following way -

Good RP - Advantage

Wrong social skill - Disadvantage

Supernatural Abilities

(Spirit) Summoning [RoP:I]

[House Rule] If a Hermetic magus uses the Summoning ability, they cannot substitute their Rego for Summoning nor Vim for Realm Lore.

Heartbeasts and Shapeshifters and Skinchangers and Werewolves, oh my.

Werewolves cannot be affected by mentem while in wolf form.

Shapeshifters and Skinchangers can.

Shapechangers, Skinchangers, Werewolves and magically changed wizards can be affected by Corpus while in animal form. (HoH: MC p 22)

Skinchanging is an ongoing magical effect, but does not stop at any designated duration.

While transformed, Bjornaer cannot be affected by Mentem or Corpus, but ongoing corpus affects from when they were in human form will still have their effect, as will ongoing animal magics if transformed back to Human.

As per the RAW, people gain the base abilities, virtues and qualities of the creature that they have turned into. These do not translate back into human form.

[House Rule] Bjornaer and Shapechangers may apply their human abilities in skills that the animal could naturally do if they are higher. Some applications of abilities will not work, but some may with GM discretion.

Valvalla has a Brawl of 1 in human form. A cat has a natural brawl ability of 3, so in cat form Valvalia's brawl ability is 3. Later, Valvalla learns Brawl to 4. This is higher than the cat's natural brawl ability of 3, and so in cat form she now uses her human Brawl ability score (4).

Might Scores

  • Supernatural creatures who are subject to Might draining spells are not killed by their might being drained, and must have both their might pool and their might score drained. If entirely drained they are made dormant, or into mundane variants, until they can regain might through whichever means they normally do.

True Names [RoP:I]

P. 34.

Infernal lore books can be used to gain 'True name of (Demon).' This is effectively 5 exp, and is gained as an ability. This grants a + 5 penetration multiplier against the creature so named.

While not explicitly stated as such, there are Magic, Divine, and Faerie lore variants which also have 'True name of (creature).' These true names are only for spirits, defined by not naturally corporeal creatures.

True names are only in a given text if the flighty and capricious whims of the Storyguide say they are.

The summa 'Physical Beasts of Magical Might' is unlikely to have any true names, while the tractatus 'Evidence of the Spirit Ariel' may indeed have a true name contained.

Searching for Vis

Searching for Vis is a seasonal activity


Per + Magic Lore + Bonuses - Penalties vs. DC 9


One person takes the roll of 'leader' and adds their skills with Magic Lore. They may add the following abilities at +1 per 5 points of ability.

Relevant Abilities: Area Lore Dowsing Magic Sensitivity InVi spell magnitude (Magnitude added directly)


There must be some form of identifying magics, such as an InVi total, Dowsing or Magic Sensitivity. If these are not available, the roll has a -6 penalty. There is also a good chance the aura is not magical.

The leader may also have assistants which will give benefits = 1 per 5 points of relevant ability. The amount of assistants is limited by Leadership score.

There is also a bonus or penalty depending on where you look.

If DC 9 is made, a magical aura is found.