house rules and rulings

this thread is dedicated to any decisions that are specific to a given saga- variations in rules and statements regarding rules which are sometimes less standard or clear- essentially a thread of saga rules and clarifications.

  1. craft affinities and puissant craft apply to all crafts, not just one
  2. similarly affinity/puissance for living language applies to all living languages, dead language to all dead languages, profession to all professions

For designing my Redcap companion, what skill would he have reading classical latin (the language of the Order's books), if he grew up in Italy (italian 5) and had Puissant living language (meaning that he effectively has an italian of 7.) Does he end up with latin 3 or 5? Alternatively, if I make him 30 years old, can I spend 30 xp to raise italian to 6, and get Classical latin at 4 (as I understand it, a defaulting dead language does not get a specialty, so italian 5/7 -> Latin 3 can not have a specialty of Hermetic usage to be able to properly read the hermetic works.)

Quick discussion about Items of Quality.

  1. Do appropriate IOC's add to logical static totals, such as chainmail adding to a soak score?

  2. If yes, how about helping craft score adding to seasonal totals?

  3. If yes to 2), how about to a Verditius using Craft for a Lab total?

Latin is a dead language, and does not default. Living languages do not default in a uniform manner.

IOCs work as written- according to what bonus they give magically. This can be by form or material- so a chainmail made of brass might provide additional soak versus demons. Armor gets a +7 'protect wearer' so it would have a +7 soak as an IOQ, brass armor would have a +7 soak and +11 versus demons and +10 versus fire. Iron armor will have a +14 soak against faeries.

I'm not certain what you are asking on 2- IOQ automatically succeeds regardless of craft totals. Assistance in crafting will work exactly as in city and guild, including adding to lab totals (adding 1/2 the assistant's craft total, limit one assistant for magical work). I will also allow Verditious mages with an appropriate laboratory focus to make workshop improvements to raise their score, but it will require putting in time solely as a skilled craftsman to raise the labor points.

I don't have the book where it is described but I was told that dead languages did default to corresponding living languages at -2. But I can happily accept that we are not doing that. Just wanted to know.

All three questions were regarding Items of Quality. Given that we are houseruling an IOC can add to a static total (as opposed to only rolled totals):

  1. If a craftsman uses an IOC consistently through a season (say, a Mason using a chisel, or protective gloves), does the IOC bonus, if appropriate, add to a seasonal total, such as creating artwork or making an building?

  2. If you decide an IOC can add to a seasonal total (the answer to #2, above), does an IOC used appropriately (Chisel or glove used with craft:mason) add to the lab total generated using the Verditius magic outer mystery?

What characteristic would be used with Animal handling for raising rabbits and chickens for food/fur? I'm at a total loss besides a ludicrous image of someone chasing poultry Quickness + Animal Handling?!? Int to be smarter than the chicken?

Ah, yes, I will allow IOQ to add to a seasonal total, if the bonus is perfectly applicable. For example, a hatchet has a bonus only to "destroy wood" which is fine for clearing space in the woods but not for any carpentry or woodworking. Similarly a knife has precision destruction, assassination, betrayal and poisoning. While precision destruction is an aspect of what you are doing in a workshop, it will not add to the workshop total. A mason chisel, on the other hand, has an effect of 'shape stone' which will count towards seasonal work.

Anything that adds to an effective craft total will add to the Verditius lab total. So using an IOQ masons chisel to shape stone would, but if you had an IOQ that added to effective dexderity it would affect the quality of craftsmanship, but would not affect a Verditius lab total.

For animal handling in general use Int- it's not just about outsmarting an animal but about figuring a more efficient way to wrangle/herd them.

Climb as an Ability doesn't exist, does it? I see it on at least one character sheet, but I can't find it in the book, and looking in the errata, two example characters have had it removed with the justification of "(no such Ability)".

Can you explain how vis trading works (especially worth relative to other types)? I'm working on Tartessos and trying to decide how he's spending vis.

In that case, what is the status of the remainder of the defaults listed alongside the -3 default for Italian vs Latin, in The Sundered Eagle, p.42?

Specifically, I need to know about whether the -2 between Occitan and Lingua Franca still holds, so my Companion can still talk to people around the Mediterranean, though it'd also be nice if the -2 default between Romaic and Classical Greek still holds (I assume not, given that you say that dead languages don't default).

I presume we will have access to the mercurian vis trading network (since I am working out a redcap companion). The basic rule (from Hoh:TL pg 85) is that the Mercer will trade 1 unit of vis for two units. A unit is 1 pawn of a technique, 2 pawns of any other form. (I somehow thought Vim vis was cheaper, but it isn't.)

Reading through the Mercurian chapter, I am trying to understand what the required background is for Redcaps. I know I have to take the major social status.
I was trying to figure out if he needs "covenant raised"? I don't think so.
It also looks like I can use the 300 pts in "apprenticeship" for any skills, without taking "educated" or "warrior"?
Can I take "gift of tongues"?
Could I take as one of my magic objects something that translates a page I am looking at? I would of course need some literacy to read the translation. If I want to be able to judge book quality, would that need me to be actually literate in the language of the book?
Would the pawnbroker society be appropriate if I also like to deal in books?
I presume I can take Finesse so as to be able to use magic items which use finesse?

Okay, now that I see what you were going after- verbal communication between people speaking different languages is not the same as a default. Those will hold as penalties for communicating in different languages. You cannot, however, rad or write Latin based on an ability in Itallian.

vis trading generally works according to the redcap network, though if you trade outside the network you can probably get a better deal, albeit with more difficulty.

You do not need covenant raised, and may take training in any ability, including finesse
I would need to double check, but I believe gift of tongues is restricted to certain types of characters- heroes or those with might...
There is no magic at this time which can translate the written word.
Trading in books would not require pawnbrokering.

I found the line where gift of tongues needs a heroic character. Well, skip that. And I understand your reasoning on language defaulting.
I presume that Puissant living language would cover reading and writing as well as speaking?

provided you have sufficient artes liberals (as high as the number of required alphabets), yes

But it'll presumably not boost actual competence? Those aren't dependent on totals, after all, which is what Puissant boosts, and it would be a bit silly to achieve halting functionality in six languages in the time it'd take for a normal person to learn one.

Also, given the rules on Affinity and Puissant wrt. languages, can I be permitted to swap out Linguist for Affinity with Living Languages? If Affinity with Living/Dead Languages exist, there's no reason to ever take linguist above one of the two - best case is that you spent exactly the same amount of experience on each, in which case it's worth as much. In a case like Justinia, who speaks three living languages fluently at her Gauntlet, and whom I was going to give proficiency of varying levels in three more afterward? It makes a lot of difference, and the Linguist virtue has absolutely no benefit over the two.

Given the levels for languages, it looks to me like Puissance is MUCH more valuable than affinity. If you want a 4 in each language, with Puissance you need to spend 15xp, with Affinity you need to spend 37. If you want a 5 it is 30 and 50. As far as I can tell, Affinity is more useful if you want to be able to write texts or teach the skill, or if you are going for high levels (to get to effective ability level 10, puissance is still VERY slightly advantageous, as it takes 180 xp instead of 184 xp.)

I was seriously considering taking Puissant Language for Garcin instead of well travelled. Still thinking about it.

Hence why I ask the first bit. Puissant Living/Dead Languages is not just good if the bonus is added to effective proficiency as well as totals, it's downright broken, giving you the ability to learn to hold conversations on everyday topics in six different languages in just one year. If you only allow it to add to totals, the way it actually does according to the book, then it's almost useless for languages, but frankly, I prefer that alternative.

For comparison, Affinity with Living/Dead Languages let's you learn one and a half, which decidedly more reasonable.