House Rules


Rounding : Whenever the rules don't specify how the result of a division should be rounded, all fractions are rounded down. For example, a Fatigue-less spontaneous casting total of 4.8 will be rounded down to 4. For xp gained, you can track fractions on your character sheet instead of dropping them completely (so a magus with an affinity gaining 1 xp should note 1.5 xp on his character sheet.)

Character Creation

House : Starting magi cannot be Merinita or Mercere.

Sourcebooks : Starting characters must be built using only the 5th Edition core rules. That includes spells selection, although a few (1-2) spells may come from other sourcebooks, or custom-designed, may be allowed at the storyguide's discretion. The material presented in the Houses of Hermes trio of books (True Lineages, Societates and Mystery Cults) can be used as an inspiration for background, but the more mechanical aspects (virtues, flaws, spells, etc.) will not be used unless specifically allowed.

Area Lore : Every character must start play with at a score of 1 in an Area Lore, representing the environment in which he lived. This may be from childhood experience, linked to the covenant where he was apprenticed, the place where he worked, etc.


Area Lore Mutability : The knowledge of a specific area where a character lives can be slowly transformed into knowledge of a new area when he moves. For every year that a character spends in a new environment, he can transfer 5 xp from an Area Lore that he already had into another Area Lore. This has no impact on the amount of experience the character earns during the year. This is optional and at the choice of the player, but is subject to troupe approval.

Profession: Scribe : Includes all 3 aspects of book construction (scribing, illumination and bookbinding).

Hermetic Magic

Penetration : Penetration can be negative. This does not prevent the effect from affecting a mundane creature, but any form of magic resistance will block it, even if it is 0.

Requisites : There is no need for a requisite to cover the form of a talisman when the magus is touching it. So a magus with a sword talisman who casts Seven-League Stride does not need to include a Terram requisite to bring it along. The same is true for a familiar who is of small size (-3 or less) in its natural shape (i.e. not because of a power or spell).


Talisman : A talisman is considered to be part of the magus when he is touching it. As a result, a shapechanging magus can transform his talisman along with himself. A magus with the Bjornaer, Shapeshifter or Skinchanger virtue can do this automatically. A magus using a spell does not need to add a requisite for the Form(s) of the talisman. However, when the talisman is transformed that way, the magus cannot use its attunements, nor activate any effect enchanted into it.

Installing a lab : Requires having a Gift opened to Hermetic Magic.


Aegis of the Hearth :

  • Needs to penetrate in order to prevent a creature from entering the Aegis. It still penalizes the powers of a creature able to enter it.
  • Does not blow down Parma Magica, or suppress an active power or spell entering it.
  • If the Aegis is stronger than the level of an effect from an enchanted item foreign to the Aegis, the effect fails to activate. The level of effect excludes all enchantment modifications, except for those for Penetration. So a wand enchanted with a Pilum of Fire (lvl 20), usable 12 times a day (+4 lvl) with +10 Penetration (+5 lvl) is considered to have an effect level of 25. So it would work within a level 25 Aegis, but fails to activate in a stronger Aegis.
  • A creature or enchanted item which was present within the boundary when the Aegis is cast is not expelled or penalized by that casting of the Aegis.


Under this simplified library rule, each topic covered has Level and Quality scores.

Studying from the Library : If the library has a Level higher that the character's score in the topic being studied, the character gains experience points equal to the library's Quality score in that topic. If the character's score is higher than the library's Level, the amount of experience points is reduced by the difference. For example a magus with a score of 12 in Ignem studying from a library with a Level 10 and Quality 10 for Ignem will gain 8 xp.

Improving the Library (Arts and Arcane Abilities): This can only be done by a magus character. Investing a season provides a given topic with experience points that can be used to improve the Level and/or Quality on that topic. The Level of a topic improves in the same way as the score for that topic (i.e. as an Art or as an Ability). The Quality improves as an Ability, even for Arts.

Improving the Library (Mundane Abilities): A character investing a season provides a given topic with experience points that can be used to improve the Level and/or Quality on that topic. Both the Level and Quality improves as the score of an Ability.

Source of Experience for Library Improvement: The amount of experience gained by the library depends on the type of activity that the character undertakes, as follow.

  • Adding a Summa either by trading for it or writing it. This provides a number of experience points equal to the Level+Quality of the summa if its Level is higher than the Level of the library, otherwise it is (Level+Quality)/2.
  • Adding a tractatus either by trading it or writing it. This provides a number of experience points equal to the Quality of the tractatus.
  • Enchanting the library by spending raw vis on the library, enchanting its contents. This can only be done for Hermetic Arts, and only raw vis from the relevant Art can be used. This provides a number of experience points equal to the number of pawns times 3.
  • Stories can provide materials to improve the library, through exotic specimens or objects. The number of experience points is determined by the storyguide.

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Spell Masteries: Adaptative Magic does not exist as a mastery. A specific General spell (Such as Demon's Eternal Oblivion) only has a single mastery that applies to all levels of the spell. However, for General spells the mastery special ability Adaptative Casting is the automatic selection for the first level of mastery, even if the magus knows the spell at only one level (e.g. Demon's Eternal Oblivion gen/20).

Mastery special abilities not from the Core book may be accessible, but they will require story events. Consider them the equivalent of Minor virtues being taught through Mystery initiations. Some Houses teach some of them (Lab Mastery may be more common in House Bonisagus), Mystery groups teach others (such as Ceremonial Casting). Not all of them will be attainable by members of House Bonisagus (the Quaesitor's Acute Sense, for example).