House rules (open for discussion)

These ideas have been used in my tabletop sagas. feel free to comment.

CHARACTER CREATION

Virtues and Flaws

Magic Sensitivity and Second Sight are the same ability.

Everybody starts the saga with the Social Status of their non-hermetic tradition. Once they join the covenant this might change, but the previous life of the character is there for his/her formative years.

It is recommended that if your character is to join the covenant you do not take the Wealthy virtue; it will not be reimbursed. For the same reason, the Poor Flaw is prohibited for characters that will join the covenant.

Magi level characters get 10 points of flaws maximum.
Companion level characters get 5 points of flaws maximum, with the option to rise them to 6 if the extra virtues are central to the character concept. This requires troupe approval.
Remember that you can get 5 minor flaws maximum.

Abilities

Animal Handling is part of Professions (farmer, herder, stablehand...) or Survival

Magic/Faerie lore become one ability (Legend Lore)

Divine/Infernal lore become one ability (Divine Lore)

Divine Lore can be used instead of Theology with a -3 to the roll

Order of Hermes Lore can be used instead of Code of Hermes with a -3 to the roll.

There are only 4 Social abilities , not 7.

  • Folk Ken. To detect the reaction of others to social interaction

  • Charm (etiquette, guile, intrigue). Any kind of polite or seductive interchange between 2 or more people, or between a person and an audience. Any collaborative interchange or unidirectional discourse. Getting n audience to agree with your discourse, seduce someone or be polite in a social situation are examples of Charm.

  • Intrigue (etiquette guile, bargain); interchanges of information in a parry-riposte kind of interaction between 2+ people. Any competitive interchange. Getting some info out of an unwilling (or willing) target, being rude behind a façade of etiquette or negotiating something are examples of Intrigue.

  • Leadership is used for leadership and tactics. It can substitute for charm or intrigue in some situations.

Carouse becomes part of Athletics (for power drinking) or is disregarded in favour of roleplaying scenes.

Swim is a specialty of Athletics: if you know how to swim your specialization MUST be swimming. Otherwise it is assumed you don’t know how to swim.

Ride is part of Athletics

Hunt is part of Survival

Survival can be used instead of Stealth with a -3

Crossbows have their own martial ability.

The several area lore skills also take into account local law and parts of civil & canon law: the Area lore score can be used instead of civil & canon law with an appropriate penalty

Languages.
the local language of the area around Triamore is French (Waloon). Languages of the areas in their position relative to Triamore:

West Centre Left
Low German (Flemish) Low German (Friesian) Low German (Saxony)
French (Picard) French (Waloon) High German (Franconian)
French (Champenois) French (Lorrain) High German (Swabian)

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Parma Magica

All Gifted characters start with Parma Magica 1 (see below in the Magic section). They cannot raise their Parma score above 3.

UnGifted “magus level” characters start the game with a relic or another virtue discussed with the troupe in case they feel they need Magic Resistance for the character.

Vis
(this section has been removed as per player suggestion and lack if interest).

Enriched items
(this section has been removed as per player suggestion and lack if interest).

Art and Academe improvements
You can have formulae for inceptions, reagents and theriacs at a cost of 5 XP each as per the rules of A&A.
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MAGIC

Sympathetic Magic
Shape and Material bonuses.
All sorcerers can use sympathetic items and materials to improve their casting totals. The bonus is +1 per item if the S&M bonus to the activity it provides is between +1 and +4, and +3 (a major bonus) if the S&M bonus is +5 or above.
The maximum number of items to be used is equal to your tradition’s Magic Theory. If you do not have Magic Theory it will be equal to your Legend Lore score-2.

True Names
Knowing the True Name of a creature or spirit makes your power penetrate his Might if your casting total equals his might score instead of having to double it. Most creatures, including minor spirits do not have a true name, though.

Immobile Wards & Penetration
Circular or threshold Wards (wards placed in a doorway) do not need to penetrate. If the level of the ward is equal or higher than the Might (+penetration) of a creature, the creature cannot cross it.

Parma Magica

Initiation
The Parma Magica requires initiation. There are initiation scripts for 3 levels of Parma. Level 1-3, 4-6, and 7-9.

The initiation process for the first level requires the swearing of the Code of Hermes.
The initiation process for the second level requires a compromise to start training an apprentice within 7 years.
The initiation of the third level of Parma Magica requires a compromise to finish training an apprentice within 5 years.

If the player wants it, all (hedge) magi have undergone the first initiation and so start the saga with Parma 1 at no cost.

Protection of Parma
Parma does not protect against spells targeting the magus that have a R: Personal or R: Touch AND ALSO a T: Individual or Group. A temporary item (like a summoned sword) that was summoned at Touch range at the time of summoning avoids the Parma resistance, while a boulder summoned over the magus (range: voice) would be resisted.

Stockade Parma Magica
Parma can be stacked to the ground in a circle. It takes a Diameter to cast it, as usual. It requires a focal element (usually the staff of the magus) that needs to be stuck to the ground to work. Damage to the focal element destroys the Stockade Parma.

The Stockade Parma covers and area 3 paces in diameter. It acts like an aegis of a level of Parma x5 when stacked to the ground. It protects everybody within, and magic cast by others inside the area (and not invited by the Parma owner) have a penalty of half the Parma level (Parmax5/2) to their casting total, just like an Aegis.

If the magus leaves the area he is parma-less until he recasts it. Recasting the Parma destroys the active Stockade Parma.
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COMBAT
Roll once for attack AND defence.

There is no group combat per se. each fighter fights individually. Other rules, like those that allow a shield grog to protect a magus still apply.
This HR is caused by the fact that my group found out in real gaming that a single well trained knight could comfortably hold back a horde of 50 villagers (untrained group) reliably. We didn't like that.

Fighters trained to fight together (1 season training together) get a bonus to attack and defence equal to the leadership of the leader of the group. So, a group of 3 grogs fighting together while one of them has leadership 4 get +4 to their attack/defence rolls. each warrior in the group rolls independently. The size of the group is equal to double the Leadership of the leader.
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CONFIDENCE

Confidence recovers like long term fatigue.

You can reward good roleplay by another player by suggesting that a character gets a confidence point (even if the action the character was doing has nothing to do with confidence).
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ADVANCEMENT under revision. requesting dfeedback and ideas

Summae and tractatus

Even good summae are groundworks for knowledge, not the definitive source of authority.

Summa books can only bring you up to level 3 for abilities and level 7 for Arts (30 xp total). After that you need to rely on tractatus.

We will use the rules in Durenmar (GotF p.57) for mundane books. There are dozens of books per subject in the following fields: Civil & Canon Law, Legend lore (

To find a summa on an Arcane Ability, roll a simple die against the desired level; with failure indicating that the desired book does not exist. If the roll matches the Ease Factor exactly, there is a visitor or a far away scholar that has asked to read that tome in the same season, and you must negotiate with them and /or the librarian for the book. Visitors and other requesters pay for the right to study after all.

To determine the Quality of a summa in the library, roll a simple die and add 5. Triamore Library Lore may be added to this roll, but with a cumulative penalty of 1 point for each such previous use of Triamore Library Lore in the same Ability. It is suggested that the Quality should not exceed 30.

To determine the Quality of a tractatus roll one die +2. Triamore Library Lore may be added to this roll, if desired, but with a cumulative penalty of 1 point for each such previous use of Durenmar Lore in the same Ability. It is suggested that the Quality should not exceed 12 (with 14 as the absolute limit).

Authorities

Authorities are Quality 4 books that can be read ad nauseam. They are never exhausted. The paradigmatic example is the Bible, but other subjects might have Authorities as well.

LAB IMPROVEMENT

Lab improvement costs a pyramidal number of seasons. You also have to spend 5 mythic pounds per season spent improving the lab. 1 season for a +1 lab (5 mythic pounds of silver), 2 more for a +2 lab (10 pounds), and 3 for a +3 lab (15 pounds). Further progression is not allowed. Unless you specialize.

To specialize spend 2 seasons and 5 mythic pounds of silver. You get an extra +1 to the area of specialization and -1 to the other activity areas. You can specialize at any moment, not necessarily when your lab is at +3.

3 more seasons and you get a +1 in your area of specialization and -1 in all the other lab activities. Specialization can be as wide as a Technique. If you opt for specializing in a Form you get +2 for each -1 to other activities.

Item penetration

Items get +1 penetration per level, not +2.

You can use sympathetic connections and other stuff in items to increase this penetration total.

Makes for more mythic-feeling items if they are built with a dragon’s claw and the core of a unicorn’s horn to boost their penetration.

REALMS

The division between the realms depend on your view on magic. Magic and Faerie are the same realm for a lot of practitioners, being a purely acadèmic division. For other traditions it is their core. Everybody agrees that the infernal and divine are separate, but a lot of traditions cannot differentiate between them from an Arcane point of view.

AURAS

There are weak (+3) medium (+6) and strong (+9) auras. Weak auras are fairly common.

Only powerful auras warp its inhabitants.

Triamore sits in a weak aura (+3).

STORYGUIDING STYLE
I already told some of you in private messages but to put it out for everybody:

This saga brings together about a lot of different traditions. each one of them uses a different rules system. While I am likely to have read (almost) all of them, I will be no expert in most of them. As such I will give you, the players, A LOT of agency regarding your characters. This goes for your own created characters, but also to comment on the characters of others. I want troupe feedback for the characters. this will ease some pressure from me (first time storyguiding online, mind you) and ensure that everybody is on the same page when a player does something.

I want this to be troupe style as much as we can. I am the guy who steers the story, but you are the true protagonists here. So I want to run something you want to play. If anyone has an idea that he thinks is cool, tell us! If someone finds that the style, content or dynamics are not to his liking and would like a change, tell us (or me) as well!

If anyone has queries, comments, concerns or criticisms on how the saga is being designed or storyguided, feel free to comment it publicly if you want. I prefer to be public about problems and try to address them than to hide them in private messages, but if the players feel more comfortable expressing discomfort in private, I am also available via PM.

Native Language

GotF uses French (Norman) as the language spoken in the western side of Upper and Lower Lorraine, but in L&L the native language in Lower Lorraine is French (Walloon) and the native language of Upper Lorraine is French (Lorraine). What do we use?

Looks like I can post!

GotF was published before TL&tL, and does not really delve into French vernaculars. It improves verisimilitude, to call the native language of people around Namur and Triamore French (Walloon).

People native around Liège and Limburg (just some 50 km to the West) or to Brussels (some 50 km to the North) will often speak Low German vernaculars as their native language.

Can't recall who posted it, but aparently yes, they spea french in the area. So french (Walloon) as the default language sounds good. Nobility can speak either Norman or German, depending on their origin and allegiance. probably both.

Vis and Enriched Items

I am unsure about these rules since hunting for these exceptional items are usually the basis for adventures. My feeling is that if a character has access to a vis source, magic things and/or magical items then they should cost Virtue points.

Is there a way to "reset" use of library lore? And I assume it doesn't take a long time to find a book but you can only roll once per season? Can you roll a different abiliity if you find a book you don't want to read?

I think those are the costs to start with that Vis, not to have a source. If you want a source, pick up Personal Vis Source. At the same time, I agree that some of those could be quite special. Of course, without Talismans some of those will be worthless to most of us.

I worry a bit about some of the lack of need for penetration stuff, myself.

Yup. This is the idea. It is just an option open to you. No need to use them if you don't want to. :slight_smile:

Are Strong Writer and Strong Reader new virtues?

That might be a remnant of ArM4 in my house rules. Ignore it.

On Parma Magca and Social Status

I think the house rules on Parma Magica as currently written were for a previous iteration. If we're making the new Order a purely voluntary group of Gifted magi, then it should be tied to the (Hermetic) Magus Social Status so not all Gifted magi would have it.

Also, if we're part of the Covenant of Triamore, shouldn't we all have the (Hermetic) Magus Social Status and be supported financially by the Covenant thus giving us 4 seasons that are truly free?

Addendum: If we are part of the revived Order, and thus have the Magus Social Status and Parma Magica, should we not also be required to have an Order of Hermes Lore 1?

Are we going to use the Triamore advancement or normal?

The Triamore advancement is an Ars Magica 4th edition alternative rule. It would need work to adapt to ArM5, that I would think can be better spent elsewhere.

There is a simple house rule I have learned to cherish:

Every season a character in the saga gets 2 xp on top of every other experience. These 2 xp must be spent on either the local language (here French (Walloon)), the local area lore (perhaps Ardennes Lore, Liège Bishopric Lore or Namur Lore) or local covenant lore (Triamore Lore). It can only be spent on any of these Abilities if its Score is still below 4.

The xp rule is interesting, I like it.

I thought maybe the Triamore setting was designed to need different advancement because the story was so ever-present. It wouldn't be hard to adapt a simpler version (something like, an advancement period becomes 8 weeks but is a full season mechanically), but if it's not necessary, then never mind.

A local area exposure xp is a great idea. Would it break anything if we raise the cap to 5?

Starting with Vis and Enriched Items

Perhaps we can tweak the Minor Enchantments Virtue (Grogs, p.76) to reflect starting with enchanted items, exceptional vis, and enriched items instead of spending xp on them.

The total level of powers, as designed via Hermetic enchantment, is 25 with an additional 25 for every additional purchase of the Virtue to a maximum individual effect of 30. So each level of power would be equal to 1 build point.

Vis
Vim Vis = 1 pawn / 8 build points
(Technique) Vis = 1 pawn / 2 build points
(Form) Vis = 1 pawn / 1 build point

Lesser Enchantment Vis
Created as per Minor Enchantments

Spell-like Vis
1 level of effect / 2 build points

Dedicated Vis
(Technique)Vi Vis = 1 pawn / 10 build points
(Technique)(Form) Vis = 1 pawn 3 build points

Enriched Items
"Consumable" Minor Virtue = 5 points
"Consumable" Major Virtue = 15 points
Minor Virtue = 10
Major Virtue = 25

If we're starting at Gauntlet I'm not sure how much of that kind of stuff we need to worry about. But I'd agree with this.