Which African adventure? "All roads lead to Africa" has started but given the mid-story 'reboot' new characters could step in at the current location. ..
The one for winter that is to leave Andorra when everybody is ready. Ancient Discovery. Mateu Was not around before that to join another adventure located in Africa.
Marko and I are pushing things forward with Lucas and Roberto making last-minute plans. I've been a bit swamped at work, which has slowed me down a bit. But I hope to get the adventure moving in earnest soon.
I am going to play around with some side stuff, role play Carmen a bit and have her encounter Mateu.
For those who don't know (or who may have forgotten), my second job is as a writer. Granted, I have yet to get paid for that job, but still.
I finished a story last night. It was going to be a submission for an anthology, but I missed the deadline (by about two weeks), so I'm going to share. This is canon for my #superverse that most of my future stories will probably be set in, I think.
I am almost done working on a revised Armaments HR. I will put that in my next post. The sticking point is the C&G material on crafting them. I have that mostly figured out, but it needs refinement.
The current rule can be found here Armaments
_____This saga uses the Combat Rules from Lords of Men, including the rules for Arms & Armor. The House Rules below expand upon Quality of Armaments, with minor modification to application. Following that House Rules inconsideration of the time required to craft high quality items. Finally, there is a revised rule pertaining to purchasing quality armaments during CharGen.
Quality of Arms and Armor
_____Referencing Lords of Men page 136, there are four ranks of Quality (shoddy, standard, superior, and excellent). I have expanded upon this, mainly by adding adjectives so as to avoid using the words "+3 Long Sword" ever again. Excellent Quality Weapons add to both Attack and Damage (instead of defense). High Quality Weapons, especially Swords, deserve a name.
Levels of Quality
Shoddy: Shoddy items break easily and are destroyed after a single failed stress test.
Standard: The basic default for all weapons.
Superior: Superior armor grants +1 to Protection, a Superior Shield grants +1 Defense, and a Superior Weapon grants +1 Attack.
Excellent: Excellent Quality armaments offer a bonus up to +3. Beyond that is considered a Wondrous Item. For Weapons the bonus is applied to both Attack and Damage. For further description (and to avoid labeling weapons by their modifier), use the following terms.
- Excellent: +1 (or +1/+1); Uncommon. Excellent Weapons add +1 to Attack and Damage. In the context of this saga, this is intended to represent swords of Toledo Steel (a combination of superior craftsmanship and superior raw materials; more on that below).
- Exceptional: +2 (or +2/+2); Rare; Colada, Grus, Legbiter
- Extraordinary: +3 (or +3/+3); Very Rare; Durendal, Tizon, Lobera
- Wondrous: Armaments of greater potency are legendary and unique. Think Excalibur, Stormbringer, or the Sword of Mars
For Weapons: The bonus is added to Attack & Damage
For Shields: The bonus is added to Defense & Soak
For Armor: The bonus is added to Soak & Defense
Availability & Acquisition
_____Only those with access to Expensive Armaments may purchase Superior & Excellent Quality armaments. The Covenfolk of Andorra all have Superior Armaments. Custos and Magi may have Excellent Armaments. During CharGen, these are purchased with experience points (or qp for magi). Cost is as follows.
2xp/qp, or 6 £ silver: Superior (+1)
4xp/qp, or 12£ silver, or a Pawn of Vis: Excellent (+1/+1)
12xp/qp, or 36£ silver, or three Pawns of Vis: Exceptional (+2/+2)
24xp/qp, or 72£ of silver, or six Pawns of Vis: Extraordinary (+3/+3)
_____The purchase of Enchanted Items requires some sort of contact or affiliation with the Order of Hermes. In many cases this can be easily be presumed. Certain Virtues may indicate this as a certainty (such as Custos, Hermetic Experience, and so forth). Ask the troupe for other questions of availability.
_____The shape of your shield (round/kite/heater/rectangle) is just fluff. Looking at the four types; Buckler, Round, Heater, and Infantry; you can alternatively call these Tiny, Small, Medium, and Large. Thus you can have a Medium Kite Shield (Heater), or a Small Kite Shield (instead of a Round Shield. A Round Shield can be Small (as standard), Medium (same as a Heater), or a Large Hoplite Shield (Infantry).
Toledo Steel Swords
_____Toledo Steel is the result of master craftsmanship and the inclusion of a rare metal known as Vanadium. The Craftsmanship grants a +1 bonus to Attack, and is not uncommon for blades of quality in the region. Vanadium is expensive and is usually reserved for long swords, though occasionally for short swords, but only the wealthy can afford to make their daggers this way. The metal makes the weapon stronger and better able to hold an edge, granting a +1 bonus to Damage. Thus, the famous Toledo Longsword has a natural bonus of +1 to Attack and Damage. Such fine weapons often have other precious materials included in their ornamentation.
Crafting Quality Items
_____The following House Rules apply to expanded considerations of City & Guild, as pertain to Quality Armaments.
The Workshop C&G, p. 65
_____The Workshops Innovation + Raw Materials total must equal or exceed the sum bonuses of the item. Thus, a Superior Item (+1) requires one of these scores to be 1 or better. An Excellent Item (+1/+1) requires both scores to be 1 or better, or one score to be at least 2. Exceptional Item (+2/+2) requires both scores to be 2 or more, or one score of 3 and the other to be 1 or better. Extraordinary Items (+3/+3) requires a score of 3 in both Innovation and Raw Materials.
Finished Goods C&G, p. 67
_____The Quality of the Item determines the Craft Level, which is the Workshop Level required to craft the Item. Further, the Craftsman’s Ability score places a hard limit on the maximum potential Quality, regardless of the Workshop Total. The base Craft Level required is 3 for Shoddy Items, 6 for Standard Items, and 12 for Superior Items. For Excellent Items, the requirement is 9 + (3 x the sum of bonuses). The minimum Ability score required is 1 for Shoddy, 5 for Standard, and 6 for Superior. For Excellent Items, the minimum Ability score required is 5 + (the sum of the bonuses). No single bonus may exceed one-third of the Ability score. A single bonus greater than 3, or a bonus total of 7 or higher, requires the crafting of a Wondrous Item (see below).
Shoddy Item: Minimum Ability 1, Craft Level 3
Standard Item: Minimum Ability 5, Craft Level 6
Superior Item (+1): Minimum Ability 6, Craft Level 12
Excellent Item (+1/+1): Minimum Ability 7, Craft Level 15
- Exceptional Item +2/+2): Minimum Ability 9, Craft Level 21
- Extraordinary Item (+3/+3): Minimum Ability 11, Craft Level 27
Modifiers C&G, p. 69
_____Pertaining to the insert text, instead of adding to the Craft Level, subtract these modifiers from your Workshop Total. The math works the same. It makes it easier to incorporate additional modifiers, including bonuses.
-1 Distant war, famine, plague
-3 Active war, famine, plague
-1 Scarce materials
-2 Severe or multiple interruptions
-1 Losing an employee
-1 Gaining a new employee (first season only)
-1 Working in an Infernal, Faerie, or Magical aura (unless attuned via Supernatural Virtue or Flaw)
+1 Per qualified Assistant: Must have at least half minimum required craft score for project, maximum assistants equals half your Leadership.
+1 Access to rare, exotic, &/or high quality materials (such as vanadium)
+1 Per Pawn of Vis (Wondrous Items only, Pawns not to exceed Craft score)
Items constructed per Season: C&G, p.68
_____The chart featured on that page refers to Standard Quality Items, presuming an Ability score of 5. Further given is a formula to determine how many Standard Items a more skilled craftsman could make. Expanding upon that, this House Rule takes into account variables of Quality and Workshop. Presuming you have the minimum Ability score and Workshop Total for the intended bonuses and Craft Level.
_____Divide your Workshop Total by (Craft Level + three-times the sum of bonuses). Then multiply this amount by the quantity indicated by Standard Quality chart (C&G. p. 68), and round Down. This is the number of Items of that Quality you can produce in a Season. If this is not a whole number, and presuming you have the minimum requirements, you may continue working a number of Seasons until you get to one.
Three Example Smiths making Longswords
_____Using the above formula, the divisors are; Shoddy 3, Standard 6, Superior 15, Excellent 21, Exceptional 33, and Extraordinary 45. Divide Workshop Totals by this amount, then multiply by 2 for Longswords per season.
Joe: Weaponsmith (axes) 6, Strength +1, Innovation 0, Raw Materials 1; Workshop Total = 8
- 5 Shoddy, 2 Standard, 1 Superior
Sam: Weaponsmith (swords) 9, Strength +2, Innovation 2, Raw Materials 2; Workshop Total = 16
- 10 Shoddy, 5 Standard, 2 Superior, 1 Excellent, two seasons for Exceptional
Don: Weaponsmith (swords) 13, Strength +3, Innovation 3, Raw Materials 3, three Qualified Assistants +3, Exotic Materials +1; Workshop Total = 27
- 18 Shoddy, 9 Standard, 4 Superior, 2 Excellent, 1 Exceptional, 1 Extraordinary
Wondrous Items (work in progress)
one issue on terminology- wonderous in city and guild refers to items enchanted with craft magic defined by the touched by magic virtue.
I am contemplating that. It is a virtue I am unfamiliar with. I think it is something any Verditius should be able to do. Or any craftsman with some appropriate form of inherit magic. And yes, I am thinking Dwarf blood and Latent Magic should count. But not every magus or every virtue.That is the part I am stuck on.
Ok. Fidelium is +1 now. Will edit he character later. These sound like good changes
a Verditius can do far better, though those with touched by magic can do it without spending vis. The downside is that the enchantment is linked to the person for whom the item was crafted, and the enchantment fades soon after they die.
Don't change anything! Fidelium is within bounds at +2/+2, and the xp cost is unchanged. In addition, even if it were out of bounds, the character is grandfathered in under the old rule. Which is the current rule. This revision is not yet official. I need to generate discussion and feedback first.
I've read the workshop and item rules, and they seem fair enough. I haven't analyzed in any detail.
Main points for me is a system that doesn't break with extreme scores, which is only relevant in sagas with extreme scores. Another point is to not make above-standard items common as dirt, since this devaluates them, and IMHO makes them boring. However a prosperous covenant could and should have quality armaments for their dedicated fighters.
When I designed the Woad, I had him spend a year post-gauntlt in Hibernia enchanting his spear as a talisman. After all, he's entering a high-power saga, so that seemed fairt enough.
What quality level is fair to assume? I just assumed Superior, since it is noted that magi should enchant at least this level of quality.
The Woad believes that old spear once belonged to the hero Lugh, but I'm leaving that as a mystery for now.
Ok. Returned the totals to the previous version.
The thing is that I am not sure if I am comfortable having an equivalent of Colada as a weapon. Mateu is a good warrior, but he has not world fame like the other wielders of such weapons. Maybe the growing steps should be somewhat slower and more expensive overall?
4 xp. +1 item
8 xp +1 +1 item
12 xp +2 +1 item
18 xp +2 +2 item
24 xp +3 +2 item
30 xp +3 +3 item
Toledo steel weapons still have no cost in xp/qp.
Ora Fidelium is a great weapon, and if you talk to Mateu he will rant at length about how Excalibur is a toothpick compared to the SACRED WEAPON of Saint Cugat (even if his sword is less than 10 years old), but well, I do not see her as Colada, Grus or Legbiter. A very good weapon yes. One that has a reputation at regional level? Not so sure.
For that matter I do not consider Colada and Tizona to be an exceptional swords either. Just the named weapons of a guy that knew how to brandish a chunk of sharp steel. The power was in the man, not the weapon. But this is mythic Europe, so maybe here they are much better
You are not comfortable having an equivalent of Colada as a weapon, yet you do not consider Colada to be an exceptional sword. I am having trouble following your logic.
I should note that in my view, Iberian swords are generally exceptional to begin with as compared to the rest of Europe. A result of both superior technique (Damascene style) and superior materials (a higher concentration of vandidium in the iron ore of the region).
And we are talking Mythic here, of course. Legbiter was probably a piece of brittle cold rolled iron. The Sword of Mars, the weapon of Attila the Hun, was probably an inferior piece of barbarian craftsmanship. Excalibur was probably not much better (if it ever existed).
I will say this though. Using a d10 as opposed to a d20 soes throw the curve out of whack.
as for CharGen costs, I think 12xp is reasonable for a +2/+2 weapon. Say you started with a Single Weapon score of 4. Taking Warrior or Pussiant Abillity adds (about) +2 to your skill. An Excellent sword costs a quarter of the xp that Warrior provides. But Virtues such as Warrior and Puissant stay with you no matter what weapon you use. An Exceptional weapon can be lost, destroyed, or taken away. So I do think this is balanced. Though I also see your point and am still open to discussion.
As for Mateu, he holds a weapon of Iberian craftsmanship that is blessed by a saint. I do think that qualifies as Exceptional. Mateu is a player character, a major screen role, and by virtue of being a lone emissary to a castle of powerful wizards, this suggests he is destined to be a famous hero.
I am also being selfish
Roberto has an Extraordinary sword (+3/+3), and I don't want to give it up or place him too far ahead in comparison to other fighters.
The real world Colada: I do not see it being any better than a good sword. probably she is an average sword. Just that a dude that was famous named her. It is like me owning an utility car. I am awfully popular rich and famous, so "Bob" my utility car is suddenly top notch. even if it is the default cheap version of his car model.
Mythic Europe Colada. +2 +2 sword. Mythic. Awesome. everybody wants to marry her, or go to bed with her at least. other swords bend over when she passes by, and there are minstrels composing odes to its sharpness.
And then there comes a random guy named Mateu and says "hey, my sword is like that Colada piece of steel belonging to that other guy. What was his name? Ah yeah, El Cid, I read something about him in a herald tribune. Did something important? Well, that's the one anyway. I found my sword cheap at Wallus Martus. I guess she got his there as well"
So, if in ME we are going for famous swords being exceptional, I am not sure if Ora Fidelium should be +2 +2 as well. She is a good sword, but not a famous one.
Hope I made my point more clearly now If it is still confusing it might be becaise I am not settled in an answer yet.
You could always HR something about famous swords gaining enchantments with their renown.
The only reason I rate Colada as Exceptional (+2/+2) is because of your insistence. If it were up to just me, I'd rate it at +5/+5. Or better. Certainly better than Excalibur, because a) El Cid is waaaay cooler that Arthur, and b) because he is a real person and it is (or was) a real sword. I am also a die hard believer in the supremacy of Iberian sword craft.
Mateu is not some random guy either. He is a Player Character. If you play him out, he is destined for legend. And he didn't get it at Walmart. A dedicated smith of his holy order forged it, and placed a relic within it. It is not a matter of famous swords being Excellent just because they are famous. It is more of a case that it should be excellent in the first place and then it may become famous. According to C&G rules, Excellent and Exceptional are not that difficult at all.
100 million people in ME equals at least 20 million swords. I figure at least a million Excellent (+1/+1) swords, 5%. Then about two-hundred-thousand Exceptional (+2/+2) swords, or 1%. Putting Extraordinary (+3/+3) at even a tenth of 1% makes at least 20 thousand. In my opinion, all those numbers should be at least triple. Or more. Just about every sword made in Iberia is going to be Exceptional or better. IMO.
But if you really want a weaker weapon, I guess it is best to just let you. But i am not about to change what is going on in the background or enforce the idea upon other players, now or those to come.