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House rules

Here's a list of the saga's house rules.

Abilities

The following abilities have been combined. They count as Talents when rolling them without a score in the ability.

  • Alertness, Scan & Search have been combined as Alertness.
  • Guile & Subterfuge have been combined as Guile.
  • Pretend & Acting have been combined as Pretend.
  • Dagger and Shortsword
  • Longsword, broadsword and 1H bastardsword
  • 2H bastardsword and greatsword
  • 2H short spear and 2H long spear
  • Pole axe and Halberd
  • 1H club and 1H mace
  • 2H club, 2H mace and war maul
  • 2H morning star and 2H military flail
  • All shields
  • Self, long and composite bows
  • Light x-bow, heavy x-bow and arbalest

Ablative Parma Magica

A magus has a Base Resistance equal to Form + D10. Parma Magica specialisms add to the relevant Form, i.e. a Magus with a Mentem specialism adds 5 to his Mentem Form for resistance purposes.

When a magical effect is greater than Base Resistance, then the Parma Magica comes into play.

For every 5 points that the penetration is greater than Base Resistance, the Parma Magica is reduced by 1 level. If the spell beats the Parma, then the amount it has penetrated is compared to the level of the spell.

If the spell level is equal or less than the remaining spell penetration, the spell affects normally. If the level that gets through is less than the base level of the spell, some of the effect is mitigated (e.g. damage reduced). Spell effects that penetrate with less than 1st magnitude have no effect.

If the Parma Magica is effectively 0 - or the person simply does not have the skill - none of the spell effect is absorbed. If the penetration beats base resistance, the spell effects fully.

A round spent doing nothing but re-raising Parma will restore the Parma Magica to full for the following round. An Int + Concentration roll of 9+ means you can walk at the same time. A roll 12+ means you can restore the Parma whilst running.

However, if this is not attempted then each round the Parma magica may restore itself a small amount. Parma Magica score + simple D10 roll can be made. Each 6 points of the roll restores 1 point of Parma.

Intellego spells that are only detected by Parma do not ablate Parma, but such scrying spells may be detected if the spell effect would have normally been resisted. An Intellego spell will only affect the target if it beats his magical resistance (i.e. Form + Parma Magica * 5); it does not ablate Parma, regardless of whether it penetrates.

Multi-casted spells only ablate Parma once - the first spell that lands can ablate Parma. Subsequent spells can be resisted (or have effect) but do not ablate the Parma Magica.

Spells that affect each round for a time period would only ablate on the first round. So the spell 'Mighty Torrent of Water' would only require a resistance roll for the first round it was cast at you. That first round might ablate your Parma, but subsequent rounds would not - and would affect you (or not) as they did in the first round. i.e. if it was initially resisted, then it is resisted over further rounds, if it had an effect then the effect would continue over the duration of the spell. This would also be the case for Intellego spells that can be resisted, but have a duration more than one round.

These changes would not affect The Aegis of the Hearth or Wards against Demons, Fantastic beasts etc.

ReVi items are simply ablative (i.e. confer no base resistance) and automatically restore 1 point each round.

Amici

Magi can designate another person (gifted or not) as an amicus. They can have only one amicus at any time. The non-magical amicus is considered 'part' of the magus for most legal purposes - but no special ritual is involved. Attacks or attempts to scry upon an amicus are treated as an attack upon that magus. Actions carried out by the amicus which lead to the code being infringed usually carries penalty for the magus. To nominate another person as Amicus the peripheral code requires you to publically announce that fact (in practice tell a red cap). Magical amici involves a ritual which takes two seasons to complete. The magi involved cannot break from this ritual for its duration (other than fetch food from the door, or sleep). It results in a magical bond between the two magi and a few Virtues and Flaws can be bought for this bond (e.g. Shared Pain for Direction Sense).

Anu’s blessing

The following effects of the Anu's blessing are active:

  • Recovery time within the covenant is halved
  • All covenfolk have -1 to aging rolls
  • Magi and consortis have -2 to aging rolls

Apportation

Intelligence + Finesse roll determines how safely you land.

Easy (clear, firm terrain) 9+
Medium (lightly wooded, loose earth) 12+
Hard (forested, marshy/unstable terrain) 15+
Very hard (mountain ledges, crumbling surface) 18+

Each point by which you miss the target adds to a damage roll: Amount missed + D10 (simple) vs Stamina

This is treated as bludgeoning damage (i.e. fatigue first, then body levels).

Botches vary in severity; a single botch might be an temporary penalty to movement (strained ankle -3 to all athletics rolls until rested), multiple botches might result in serious injuries (broken legs, arms, etc). Obviously the difficulty of the jump will affect the number of botch dice.

Arcane connections must be recorded on your character sheet - and must be replaced every year (or so) to remain viable.

Apprentices

Apprentices add bonuses whenever Magic Theory is included in the lab total (e.g. this includes both learning and inventing spells).

Apprentice training requires a laboratory.

Armaments

Severn Temple's extensive ironworks and stores of equipment mean that new grogs can start with expensive weapons and armour for one virtue point less than normal. In other words, the costs for the following virtues are:

Good armaments: Free
Superior armaments: +1
Quality armaments: +3

Armour

Attacks rolls that beat defence rolls by 12, 16 and 20 bypass cuirass, hauberk and full armour, respectively. The previous +1 to +3 additions to damage no longer apply.

Books

When learning from books, the student must be able to speak the relevant language. If he has a score of four or higher, he can learn up to the level of the book. With a score below four, he can learn up to the level of his score.

Bows

Archers with a Qui+Skill-Enc of 11+ may fire twice in the first round of combat, not twice per round.

Certamen

Someone who has challenged another to certamen is free to challenge again after a year and a day. However, if they chose the Technique in the first challenge, they must choose a Form for the next - and vice-versa. That way you can repeatedly challenge someone - but you have to alternate between picking the Technique and picking the Form.

Confidence

Players can use their Confidence points to modify the chances of success of important actions. Confidence points represent determination to succeed, i.e. the character does not need to be confident that they will actually do so. Confidence must be called in advance. If the initial roll succeeds, no points are spent. If the roll fails, the player spends a Confidence point and may reroll. Confidence points return on the first day of the Spring season. All other standard rules (e.g. spend to activate passions; results of botches etc.) apply as usual.

Constant duration magical items

These items only need to check for botches if activated in a hostile aura. If they are activated elsewhere and subsequently taken into a hostile aura, no roll is required.

Enhancing physical attributes

You can boost the following physical stats using MuCo or MuCo(An) spells: Strength, Stamina, Quickness, Dexterity. A basic MuCo25 will give you a bonus of +3 to the stat (R self/touch, D sun/moon). There is an absolute ceiling of +5 in any stat for these spells. At the end of the spell there are no side effects (though very frequent use might cause me to consider penalties).

Higher MuCo spells can improve the bonus, but because of the physical limitations of the body you will suffer penalties after the spell wears off, and any stat cannot be raised above +5 maximum. It takes 5 levels to improve the bonus by +1, and each boost beyond +3 means you suffer a long-term fatigue when the spell wears off. e.g. Gift of Hercules's Strength, MuCo35, R(Self/Touch) D(Sun/Moon). Raises strength by +5 to a maximum score of +5. After the spell wears off your character will suffer 2 long-term fatigue levels from strained muscles and aching limbs.

MuCo(An) spells reduce the level of the spell by 5 (so the basic for a +3 bonus would be MuCo(An)20). However, there is always a slight hint of the animal whose properties you take on (fur, animal personality traits, etc). Using MuCo(An) spells *only* you can go beyond the human maximum of +5 in a stat. It requires 10 levels to raise the maximum for a stat (normally +5) by +1. However, along with the animal traits (rather pronounced) you will also suffer a body level damage for each +1 the human maximum is boosted (as well as long-term fatigue if you boost above +3). e.g. Might of the Charging Lion. MuCo(An) 40 R(Self/Touch), D(Sun/Moon); raises strength by +5 up to a maximum of +6. Whilst the spell is effective the target's hair appears more mane-like, and their canine teeth are slightly elongated. When the spell wears off the character suffers 2 long-trem fatigue and a body level of damage from strained tendons and torn muscles. Of course, if you run out of long-term fatigue when a spell ends, then the remainder become body levels. It is possible to die at the end of these spells (of you run out of body levels too) - the shock and exertion of the magic on your body being too much to bear.

Experimentation

Magical experimentation provides one experience point in Magic Theory unless the result of the roll is a Disaster or Complete Failure.

Hermetic magic weapons (HMW)

Magi can enchant weapons with effects that activate if the weapon hits a target. The folllowing rules apply: (1) Wielders of HMW can activate one effect per round. These effects go off in the melee round. The wielder must hit his target. Misses use a charge but have no other effects; (2) Effects must have the "Fast weapon activation" attribute (+10) and Touch Range. In practice, as most spells in the book have Near Range, it means that the net impact is +5 (+10 Fast - 5 Touch = +5); (3) HMW effects must penetrate magic resistance. They ablate Parma; and (4) Wielders of HMW do not need any Magic Theory to activate their powers, as long as they have been instructed in the weapon's use by someone with Magic Theory.

Item Ranges

Items with Self range may affect the caster, though the effect expires if the item is dropped by the caster. For example, a hat with a Self range invisibility spell will turn the wearer invisible, but he will become visible if the hat is passed to another. This would not be the case if the effect had been created using Touch range.

Lab quality and learning from vis

Bonuses and penalties to your lab affect your roll when studying from vis. The modifier is added after the die roll is multiplied (like the bonus from the aura).

Labs

Only activities that gain a lab bonus require a laboratory. This means that inventing a spell requires a lab, but learning a spell from a text does not.

Library

Water damaged texts and scrolls can be used, bt there is a stress roll to see what happens to the original. 4+ indicates that the original book survives intact; <4 indicates that the original book is destroyed during the reading/copying process; <0 or a botch indicates that the text is useless and no knowledge can be gained from it. Lucky (the virtue) affects this roll. Individual scrolls are harder to keep intact the roll required is a 6+ for it to survive. A Magus can learn up to the score of the main text plus half (rounded up) the scores of any other texts with different specialities. Each text is considered to be independent when calculating the rate of learning.

Linked targets


The familiar bond quality Linked Targets means that any spell that affects one target fully affects the other, even if the second entity is of a different form than the original target. For example, a PeCo spell that affects a Magus would also affect his familiar. Similarly, a PeAn spell that affects the familiar would also affect the Magus. A PeAn spell cast at the Magus would not affect either target.

If a familiar is affected by a spell, it can control it (using Finesse, Concentration etc) independently of the Magus. Thus, they can, for example, fly in a different direction to the Magus.

Magical behaviour

You can't CrTe rocks in the air (rocks belong on the ground) or elephants, fish, trees, etc.

Magical breakthroughs

In general if you get an ability to a natural score of 10 (i.e. without knacks or other bonuses) you will get a minor breakthrough with that skill. With most skills I'll just make something up (not too powerful!) in discussion with you. With magical theory you can go on to get further breakthroughs at 15, 20, 25 ... etc. However, I shall expect some research (not just experimenting with vis) and probably set you some storylines to justify the breakthrough. To learn a breakthrough you must have a magic theory score no more than 5 less than that of the breakthrough (i.e. to learn a breakthrough of 10 you need a magic theory of 5+). It takes one years study (not necessarily continuous) to learn a 10 breakthrough. This doubles for each magnitude of breakthrough beyond that (2 for a 15, 4 for a 20, etc). To learn a single spell or ritual developed as part of a breakthrough it requires one season's study with a person who possesses the breakthrough and knows the spell in question. If you know the breakthrough yourself, then you can learn the spell from a text as usual.

Mentem spells

Mentem spells with a base Range of Eye cannot have their Range boosted by increasing the magnitude. They can, however, have their Range boosted through the use of Vis.

Missile weapons


Your character adds their skill with the missile weapon to the damage listed in the book. (i.e. a character with a skill in Longbow of 4 would do +18 damage). The Rate scores for self bows and longbows have been reversed (to +6 and +3 respectively). Crossbows have an Attack score of +3 rather than +1.

Mundane texts

All (useful) texts include knowledge worth between 1 and 3 xp. Nick can rule any text as being useless (0 xp) if it doesn't add new knowledge. Approximately 70% of useful texts are worth 1 xp, 25% are worth 2 xp and 5% (the real classics) are worth 3 xp. The total score of the library is equal to the sum of all of the texts on that subject. Water or fire damage can reduce the xp of any text by 1-3 points.

If a PC writes down his knowledge, the resulting text(s) should be divided between those that are genuinely new (i.e. based on new research and experience) and those that effectively repeat knowledge learned from other texts. Scribes can produce or copy texts at the following rates:

Making a straight copy of a text: 4 xp per season
Translating a text from one language to another: 2 xp per season
Writing a new text: 2 xp per season

Natural resistance rolls

Targeted spells will not usually have natural resistance rolls. Direct damage spells with a combat debilitating effect will usually have a natural resistance rolls.

Agreed spell change - Incantation of Milky Eyes (Sta 12+ to resist)

Parma Magica

Items and potions worn or carried close to the body when you put your Parma Magica up are not resisted by your Parma. Thus your wand of flying will not summon winds which fail to affect you because of your Parma, and your potion of healing carried for emergencies will not fail because you resisted it.

Parma Magica is not affected by magical deficiencies.

Potions

Potions always activate in the magic phase of the round. A Quickness + Concentration roll is used to contest with spell casting.

Practicing talents, skills and spell mastery

It is possible to improve talents, skills and spell mastery through practice. Talents and spell mastery improve by 2 xp for the first season of practice and by 1 xp for each subsequent season. Skills improve by 1 xp per season.

Seasons

Magical activities require at least half a season's work. If a Magus spends more than half a season on other activities, no magical activities are possible, even if his lab total is sufficiently high taking into account the usual time penalty.

Shields

All shields have their defence values increased by +2.

Skill specialisation

When you spend an XP to go up a 'level' in a skill (e.g. from 2.2 to 3), then you can change your skill specialisation.

Soaks


Bears have a base soak of +15 not +25.

Transformation spells

Muto spells such as Shape of the Woodland Prowler have Range Self/Touch, rather than Touch/Near.

Transformation spells do not require material components. However, only Self spells may be voluntary cancelled by the Target prior to the expiry of the normal Duration, unless a material component is used at the time of casting.

Voice of the Bjornaer can be invented/learned and cast by non-Bjornaer magi.

Vis

When casting a spell or ritual, a Magus can use as many pawns of vis as the higher of his relevant Technique and Form. For example, when casting the Aegis of the Hearth, a Magus with a Rego of 10 and a Vim of 5 may use up to 10 pawns of vis, only five of which can be Vim.

Wards

Spells with 'ring' duration cannot overlap and cannot have 'constant' operation within an item. Whichever ring was cast last overrides any previous ring.

Wizard's Sidestep

This false image disappears when it is stuck. Note that spells (both direct and targeted) aimed at the image will not hit the real target, though they will dispel the image.
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