Confidence Point Expenditure and Fatiguing Spontaneous Magic

I have a question that has come up recently regarding the spending of Confidence Points and Fatiguing Spontaneous Magic. The 5th Edition Rules state the Confidence is added to the total after the die roll is made. With respect to Fatiguing Spontaneous Magic is this added before or after the divisor of 2 is applied?

It seems to me that, as it is a total and not a sum that it is applied before the devisor is used. Further, it seems that if it were added afterwards that Fatiguing Spontaneous Magic would be significantly easy for those with Self Confident who can spend 2 Confidence Points for a bonus of +6.

A definitive answer would be nice for this question.

  • Andre

You may not find a "definitive" answer as there's probably wiggle room to support either approach.

From my own reading, experience, and usage I always add Confidence, along with any other situation modifiers, to my total and then divide by 2 or 5. The divide by 2 or 5 is a divisor of your inputs towards your total.

The Rules under Confidence (p 19) read......"to get +3 to the total..."Under Spontaneous Casting (p 81) clearly shows that "(Casting Score + Stress die)/2", or "Casting Total/5", is the Casting Total.

Sounds definitive? Nope. A closer reading of page 19 shows that refers to "most rolls". And while it goes on to mention some rolls that are excluded, nowhere does it say that's definitive.

So... entirely up to the SG and/or the Troupe.

Adding only 3/5 of a point to a non-fatiguing total may sound far too small to some Troupes, but adding 3 fulls points may sound too large for others.

Think about the effects, long term (especially if some Tytalus/Self-Confident characters start adding more than 1 Confidence point at a time!), and see how it works. If you're the SG, I'd start with the conservative approach, making it clear you reserve judgement for later, and see if that's too limiting. Easier to later give more than take it away again.

I agree with the others, that a the definitive answer might not be there, but I also support going by adding it before dividing.

Confidence is expensive and treasured in any session of my group, only entering the equation for REALLY important rolls. As a consequence, we add it AFTER the division. The effect might be big in some spont spells, but not THAT big. Usually it is spent to boost penetration, so it is used with regular spells. If somepne wants to use it for a spont spell, so be it. Sometimes it is important to ensure that your magically-thrown rope reaches the falling companion :slight_smile: And above all, it is climatic and makes for more epic stories (the most importtant use of confidence here!)

The second biggest use of confidence IMS is to make sure that recovery rolls aided by chirurgy are worth it. Confidence has saved the life of many a grog there.

No books here to check if we use it handwaving (read: house rule) or if this is hard stuff, as per the RAW though




Well another important point is how many Confidence Points do you grant to your players. If you are some kind of ungenerous you may allow to add the bonus afterwards.
So you have the choice between frequently use of CP/lower bonus and seldom use/bigger bonus.
Well you can also stick with frequently use and bigger bonus if you want to play D&D style :wink:


(Ouch! Compared to the game that shall not be mentioned!)

Your grogs have Confidence points? :open_mouth:

Nope. Not most of them, at least.

Companions with chirurgy have, though. As well as some custos that have rightfully earned them after fighting dragons and their ilk and living to tell (brag) about it.



But... they don't need to make a "Chirurgy roll", the wounded character makes the Recovery roll.

Meh, whatever, we're off topic.

Your point that CP's are saved for important, even critical moments/rolls is well taken, that random Spont spells are not likely to be bumped unless CP's are so plentiful that the players have them to waste. And when they are, it should count - CP's are there to make a difference, and should be both painful to spend and worth that pain. imo.

It looks like we practice some uninententional HR when it comes to recovery rolls, then. Will have to check the RAW.

For us, giving a confidence point is a relatively common reward. In most adventures the "XP gain" is substituted by confidence gains since the XP would be minimal compared to the seasonal activity. The character/player has to earn it, though. Most of the time, magi do not get this reward, while grogs tend to do the important stuff in the adventure and get suitably rewwarded. IIRC the guy with the most accumulated confidence in our covenant is the cook. :laughing:



Yeah, I hand out confidence at the end of each session as a replacement for the "role playing" xp bonus I used to give out (if you did or said anything cool, you get a point, if you sat there quietly risking nothing, then you get nothing). What I like most is that you can choose whether or not to spend confidence after the fact.

I must admit that it has never come up for Spontaneous spells, and my first instinct is to add before division, but I think I like Xavi's idea better. 3 points is barely a dent. 6 points is a bit more, but still, it is using up a valueable resource that much faster. Even trade imho.

Here's a question: after a certain age, taking into account the various famous deeds and adventures they (presumeably) have had, do you guys feel older characters deserve an increase in confidence score? I mean important characters with many famous deeds, pretegious magi, heroic companions, dragon slaying grogs, and the like. I create NPC mature magi with a confidence score of 2, or if Self Confident, then 3.

I have always thought that the confidence score is quite pointless as it is. We simply pile up the 1-use confidence points. Your confidence decreases by 1 point if you do nothing worthwile in the meantime ((read: do not go on adventure). That keeps magi honest, forcing them to adventure from time to time.

Our cook Jerome is quite an accomplished killer with his kitchen knife, and has a current confience score of 9. Last adventure he killed a troll, and for humour's sake he COOKED it! :stuck_out_tongue:




How did it taste?

Confidence score is supposed to regulate how many 1-use confidence points you can spend at once. So a guy with a score of 1 and ten points buit up can only spen one at a time (for +3 to a roll). A guy with a score of 3 and three points can spend all of them at once for a +9.

We also apply our confidence bonus to the total after division. It makes the Self-Confident virtue more worthwhile, and we only tend to see replacement confidence at the end of an arc, so it has a bit more currency for our saga.


Well, that's pure House Rule, nothing less, which is why it is pointless the way you play it. MM is correct. The ability to add +6 (or more) vs +3 is significant.

By the guidelines in the RAW(p 19-20), it suggests that a typical character should gain 2-3 CP/session, if they were involved in it "for a significant length of time" and "made a contribution" - and those are only generally defined*. But those are Confidence Points, and that has nothing to do with Confidence Score.

(* A typical grog cook with a knife would rarely do either, I'd think. However, a grog who can kill a troll with a knife is hardly typical. Unless you're allowing them to accumulate and spend 9 CP at a time to achieve such, in which case... um, yeah.)

The very last paragraph in that same section (p 20, bottom) describes raising CS. A character's Confidence Score can only be raised by long-term story events which greatly increase the character's self-confidence and self-reliance..."It goes on to give a specific example......As a baseline, the fifteen grueling years of a Tytalus' apprenticeship are enough to raise a character's Confidence Score by one point. Raises in play should follow on events of a similar magnitude and duration.So, mere "age" does not guarantee a raise in CS. Especially if the character has certain Flaws or Personality Traits, they might simply not be the type to ever appreciate such a long term achievement, or experience one. (Many grogs, for instance, are often anything but "self-reliant" or self-confident, instead relying on magi to direct their actions and provide for them.) But, for an average or above average character, an additional CS (or more?) is not unreasonable.

And it is an intangible - in theory, any character could, under the appropriate long-term circumstances, gain in CS, even grogs.

(Grogs typically have a CS of zero, and thus cannot have CP's. Your average grog, even your above-average one, has just never achieved anything of the level that we're talking about here. It would take an exceptional one... or a significant houserule change.)

I understand, and of course I am not talking just age. I mean age and heroic deeds. So I wouldn't make every mature magus with a Conf of 2, just the prestegious & heroic ones. Of course, they are the only ones I am interested in stating out.

A Grog could take the Self Confident Virtue and start with a confidence point :slight_smile: Hero grogs that survive troll wars and assist in dragon slaying deserve a confidence score increase.

And not all grogs are grogs, if you know what I mean :wink: Theoretically, one could make a companion character based upon an "exceptional custos".

So, yeah, we are in agreement I think. I really like ArM5 Confidence rules. IMHO, it is vastly improved and is a great feature to HR into other games as well.

Yep. That is, almost to a word, the given definition.

And, sure, "some" grogs could take Self-Confident - tho', as with almost any Virtue, it should be the exception rather than the rule.

When I run a game, or co-SG in Troupe style, I present variety of different "caliber" grogs.

Ya gotcher peasants, real mud-grubbers and pig farmers, who may be good with a quarterstaff, or a knife in the kitchen (ahem) and that's practically a spear or a shortsword. Here ya go, good luck.

Then there are (highly?) trained individuals. Usually the above who have survived a campaign or two, or one way or another grew up in the profession, and are making a living at it. Quite capable.

But there's another tier above that (at least). For instance, a squad of Italian (Venetian, actually) crossbowmen - they charge more than an average grog, but are worth it. They have their own sergeant, they discipline themselves, know how to work as a group, they take pride in their status and abilities, they are the elite. And they are not stupid - no charging dragons for them, thanks. Not in their contract, read the fine print. :wink:

At some point, such a grog could begin to approach a Companion level of competence. If a grog has 3 Virtues, and a Companion 10, what lies between? Some folk, clearly.

When building shield grogs, I give them the Custos feat for free*, and also one more virtue that can be added with a balanced flaw. Makes them clearly above and beyond, which is why they're chosen.

(* Or if they get chosen from the masses. It's not like the mage picks them as Custos, and they run right out and lose an eye or a love in celebration.)

The point is that, yes, at some point between the pigfarmer with a spear and a Companion, a character can achieve enough to become more Self-Confident, even become quantifiably and qualifiably more than your average grog.

I can follow the argument that self-confidence has an added value if it's added after dividing spontaneous magic. I'm even a bit tempted to agree, but then again; if self-confidence is given more weight than other virtues or bonuses adding to the Casting Total, it still is a relative devaluation of all the other facets that make the character that character.

Because of, rather than in spite of, the division of spontaneous Casting Total each and every single extra point to the calculation is important - and even the 1½ point from using a confidence point makes a difference (even more of a difference than the casters Characteristic or most Auras).

Confidence is a great thing and I dont think anything is taken from it by applying it before division as any other bonus.

One gauge would be vs an Ability roll - is +1 1/2, or +3/5, to a spell's level the equivalent of +3 to an Ability, or a Combat roll?

This thread will teach me that our tendency to handwave rules is not good while discussing RAW rules :stuck_out_tongue:

We allow a maximum of a +3 achievable through confidence. More confidence points allow more more rolls, not a HUGE roll. The RAW do vawry over that though.

The troll tasted "earthy" :stuck_out_tongue: Most people did not like it and a pair of our nmost sensible characters (a bonisagus with -1 stamina and an archer weith 0 stamina) got sick for eating it. It was a great roleplay scene :slight_smile: Loads of laughs and bragging on the part of the kitchen/supplies staff that brough it down without magical help. They still look at the shield grogs over their shoulders.