House rules

At the suggestion of Ravenscroft, here's a few home rules at Anazitos Gnosi:

  1. Pussiant Certamen as a Tremere free minor virtue

  2. Starting language level 4 with 70 points to spend on starting background.

  3. Language cost: the group wants to be a little more multilingual. So choose "nationality language" (using term very loosely). If want to learn a related language, cost is 1/3 less. If want to choose in same family (low v high german), cost is 1/2 less.

  4. Character creation: if a character can generate a compelling story we will allow a linked minor/major or minor/minor story or a blend of a 2nd class and a story. For a corresponding "balance", a hermetic flaw equal to the each story or class must be chosen. A couple of players have done really good jobs in fleshing out their characters. Also does hurt that he have multiple story guides guiding differing "teams" out of the covenant.

  5. Not really a house rule, but adopted some of the Mysteries in 4th ed. into 5th edition.

  6. House Miscellani - get to choose one major virtue free or 3 minor virtues. Created a supernatural virtue that creates an affinity and pussiance for a particular "sphere" of magic. Think magical foci for the hedge wizard set - so can have necromancers, wind wizards, ... that are barely integrated into the order but have a specialization/power in their expertise.

  7. Increased "exposure" experience points slightly for magical activities. Also allow some experience points for teacher in teaching and the art/ability taught. (learning by doing)

  8. Covenants - all about telling the story. Our covenant has alot of surrounding stories where we write the stories first, then follow up with the benefits to enable the story. So we have a covenant on Zante that sits on a tribunal border (Rome v Thebes), surrounded by warring/adversarial parties (pirates, Venetians, pirates, the Duchy, Despotate of Eprius) and needing to have a mundane patron to hold on to what they have (favors, mundane politics). Meanwhile, the aura of the tribunal is very special requiring covenant to act as a protector, perform rituals). Right now we have an imbalance with hooks to boons, but it really doesn't matter.

I think that's the fairly complete list.

Certamen is no longer an Ability in 5e, so you can't have Puissant Certamen. (Puissant Arts apply exactly and only to Art scores - not activites).
If you are using TMRE, you can use "Potent Magic: Certamen" to gain a +3 or +6 bonus when working the magic of Certamen.

Do you mean Social Class? or are you thinking of "some other game"?

consider using The Mysteries Revised Edition - I can assure you with complete confidence that the bits of TM 4e which were dropped or changed, were done for very good reason!

encourage your magi to read Books - Ars Magica is a bookish setting, and really rewards books study!

You could take "Special Circumstances: Certamen" (p. 49). Strictly speaking, the Virtue's description says the bonus applies to spellcasting and resistance rolls, and certamen is not really spellcasting - but it's closer to applicable than is Puissant Art, so your group may be willing to stretch the rules far enough to let it work.

The best part is that you can take Special Circumstances multiple times, which I think is the crux of the matter (the free Tremere focus precludes another focus in the rules-as-written).

One that all the Christian Magi always seem to take is some sort of skill with that in mind...
If you have a religion, you should have some sort of score in it.

I doubt that many people outside the Church itself would have Church Lore or Theology. In fact, it might fall under Area Lore (religious practices), covering the knowledge of your local parish, etc.

One could always take Etiquette (Church Ritual).
As Magi are normally fluent in Latin , they will probably pick up more than a layman would.

Let's see someone else's list rather than just criticising Kallie's. Well, Ok, in addition to criticizing Kallie's

I'm hoping Kallie isn't offended by posting first. :frowning:

As i don't have a game , i can't post any House Rules.

Here is my list from a thread last April. I've edited them somewhat to take into account my new prefrences. I haven't editied them to take into account the errata for covenants.

Wards that have non-moving targets such as ring/room/structure/boundry do not need to penetrate to function.

Aegis of the Hearth does not need to penetrate in order to function.

Tremere magi may have a second magical focus in addition to their certamen focus.

Books will be created using the rules in the covenants book with the following alteration to the quality determination box located on the top of page 88. Al books will have a base quality of communication +3 and may receive bonuses for a skilled scribe, bookbinder, and illuminator. Books regarding magical topics will receive a one point penalty to quality if they do not utilize resonant materials (no quality bonus is gained by the use of resonant materials).

charged items receive a penetration bonus of +1 per additional level of power enchanted into the item rather than +2.

A mundane object that has not been magically altered in shape or substance (but could be altered in some other way such as appearance, temperature, creo vim magic stink, etcetera) and that is not moved by any magical force will not be kept away from the caster by parma magica. Instead the parma will deform elastically around the object. Thus the parma still exists between the object and the magus and effects such as the object being exceedingly hot, the object weeping poison, or the object growing spikey bits will be resisted.

Chiurgion's Healing Touch and similar spells, in addition to healing a wound, may reduce the severity of wounds. Chiurgion’s Healing touch may reduce the severity of any wound by one level. A similar spell designed to heal medium wounds would reduce any wound by two levels in severity.

Rules for movement in combat will be adapted from 4th edition.

[Serf's Parma]They would get exposure experience even without any house rule.

How does this balance with the other Houses?

Conversely , all other Magi may now take a Certamen Focus in addition to any other Focus they already have.

Interesting, I may have to try this after we end our current play test with reducing damage by exertion.


Didn't make myself clear:
For how to address an alternative to Tremere minor magic focus, refer to the recent thread. The Pussiant applies not to an actual ability but an attempt to mirror a special skill by an increase in a die roll for the performance of certamen.

As for class, I mean social class. Under the rules, magi take 1 social class - hermetic mage. With the right story we could have more than 1 social class for a mage. Mainly thinking ex misc magi, but other stories could arise.

For Mysteries 4th, not taking rules, taking the cults - particularly lineage of Maria, the Isisian cult and Gygony and then adapting those into the 5th ed rules.

As for learning by doing v "book learning", the hermetic paradigm trends towards bookishness but a valid means of magical learning IMHO is the experience and practice. Mystery experience (sacrifice, ordeal, impressions, experimentation into the roots of magic) seems to be a nice contrast to the more traditional bookish magi.

House Rules i would probably use.

Characteristics page 30
Give Players 14 rather than 07 points to purchase stats.
Improved Characteristics (page 43) would give 06 instead of 03 points.
All Virtues and limitations relating to Stats higher than +03 remain the same.
Players may use experience to increase stats (as per Ability)
(only to a max of +03 , Virtues used to take higher values)
(i have a costing for buying up negative values)

If a player has a background that relies on having a low characteristic ,
i certainly won't discourage it.

Reintroduce the benefit of having a Mythic Characteristic (+05) from 4th Ed. , page 46.
Still sticking with the restriction on Lab Work for Magi.

Fourteen points
+2, +2, +2, +2, +1, +1
+3, +3, +3, 0, -1, -2
+3, +3, +1, +1, 0, 0
+3, +3, +3, +2, -1, -3

Why would you do this?

We don't have many:

Vis used to cast spells grants a +3 bonus rather than +2.

If a player is running a grog for the majority of an adventure, as their primary character, that grog gets a Confidence Score of 1 and 3 confidence points to use during the game.

Grogs do not get adventure experience points, and merely receive 15 xp every Winter season.

Player character may not kill each other. (I'd rather not get into why we had to add this rule.)

Magi may not take the Virtue Gentle Gift. This was to ensure that companion characters had a place in the game: interacting with mundanes.

I'm sure more minor house rules will spring to mind ten minutes after I post this.

Matt Ryan

Guess i was just in a doubling mode.
One of my pet hates from DnD is having crappy stats.
It is not so crucial in Ars Magica ,
but i find characters on the less than heroic side of the spectrum with only having 07 points at character gen.
Having the PCs feel they are above average is part of my reasoning.

You have Int , Per , Str , Sta , Pre , Com , Dex , Qik to assign points to.
To have all stats at +03 would cost 48 points.
(admittedly an unlikely character without the use of Creo Magics)
No one is likely to buy the Improved Characteristics Virtue more than a few times ,
there are too many other important ones.

I would probably limit the increase of buying stats up from their starting value ,
as otherwise everyone ends up with all stats at +03.
Players should be able to increase physical stats to some degree at least.

Two more:

Arcane conections do not always function through regio boundries. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. It depends on the regio.

Spell mastery in defence only doubles the form bonus to defence not the character's total resitance. (I don't use this in my game but I might loby to institute it when we start a new saga)

As I'm just starting up a new saga, I've been considering a house rule and this seems the thread to get some advice.

I've been looking at Rego craft magic and I want to a mod that allows a magi with an appropriate craft skill to be better than an equal finesse magi without the craft skill where appropriate. e.g. A Verditius with Craft: Carpentry 5 and Finesse 3 should,IMHO, be better at ReHe carpentry than a magi without the Craft skill, all else being equal.

Simple solution is to add the Craft to the Finesse roll. My question for those who've run more 5th ed.: Is this too unbalancing? If so, any suggestions?

It seems like a reasonable goal, but I'd be wary of adding two skills together, perhaps the ability to substitute Craft for Finesse in that limited circumstance?

This is even better than it sounds, because Rego magic requires an increase of ease factor by at least 3 for finesse. See "Covenants" pg 49 for more modifiers.