House Rules

[u][size=150]House Rules[/u][/size]

This saga is using the rules and mechanics of ArM5. However, for Hermetic history and culture, I am drawing heavilly from earlier editions. If you are familiar with old cannon, then pretty much presume that the old trups the new. If you are new to the game with ArM5, there is no need to worry. Simply inform others of your experience and we will help you along.

For magi, when developing season by season, presume that the average source quality is 10. It isn’t always 10. Sometimes it is 12, 8, 5, 15, and so on. This means that the average is 40 experience points per year. If you have special Virtues and/or Flaws that affect study, for the sake of balance, try not to use they same type of source more than twice a year (on average). Your magus has enough vis to accomplish any lab activities the spend time on (familiar, talisman, etc). The amount of vis they have in hand at the start of play equals 5 + (20 – years of post gauntlet development).

Companions & Grogs
For companions and grogs, the Average Source 10 rule still applies. This means that for average characters, they advance by 20xps per year. The Poor only have 15 xp’s per year and the Wealthy have 25.
However, this does not kick in until you develop the character after initial creation. In other words, the 15xp/year limit still applies for initial development, up until age 20 (for a total of 225xps). This revises my earlier ad-hoc ruling, because I don’t want to disrupt the entire initial generation system.

Unless otherwise stated, all Wards must match the Subjects Realm and Form. This eliminates blanket Vim Wards except against demons. The Target is the one protected, not the subject being warded against. Also, Wards are a one way barrier. You cannot trap a being inside a Ward. A separate sort of spell (a trap, binding, whatever you want to call it) is required to do this.

Circular Wards
Circular Wards have a Strength equal to their Level. You may loose Fatigue if your casting total is low, but you never have to worry about Penetration. The Circular Ward is simply good against subject beings with a Might score equal to or less than the level of the Ward spell.

Personal Wards
You can create Personal Wards or enchant Amulets (or other devices) with Personal Wards, designed to either protect against a category of supernatural beings or to protect the Target from a specific sort of harm. Using a Personal Ward to protect against beings with a Might score does require Penetration; but presuming the Ward spell matches both Realm and Form, you do not have to subtract the Level from the Casting Total.

A completely different sort of personal protective spell, also called a Ward, is designed to protect the Target from a specific sort of Harm (e.g. Ward against Heat and Flames). These sorts of spells add to the Target’s Soak against the specified form of damage. This is just the mechanical effect though, as what is actually happening is that the damage from the specified source is being reduced. Using the example of . Ward against Heat and Flames, the flames are actually kept at bay, and only the damage above a certain amount affects the target. A similar spell against metal weapons would cause all blows under a certain amount of damage to simply miss. The perfectly rolled Attack will strike something invisible but solid a mere inch away from the targets skin. Damage above that amount will affect the target, the sword was slowed but the force was enough to carry some impact through, or the Attack was so perfect it managed to concentrate enough force on a sinle point to at least poke or tap you. The base Protection of such wards is +5 Soak at a base level of 4, plus an additional +5 per additional magnitude of protection.

Blanket WardsThe Columbae have exceptional Warding powers. They can create a Blanket Ward that affects a subject beings Might or Form, as long as the Subject is specific enough. They don’t always have to match both. For example, they can create an Animal Ward that protects against Dragons and Serpents of the Magic and Faerie and other Realms, or they can create Vim Wards against all Faerie beings. However, the drawback is that such spells must operate according to normal Penetration rules. Other magi may have this advantage when dealing with specific categories of beings. For example; Merinita magi may create Blanket Wards against various types of Faeries, Theurgists can create Wards using Vim to affect all spirits of s specific realm, or they may use Mentem against Spirits of any realm.

Virtues and Flaws
I have created some new Virtues and Flaws, and I am open to players creative ideas as well. I prefer New ones instead of Modified ones (taking an existing Virtue, altering it, and slapping a new name on it counts as New, because the old Virtue is still available to others in an unmodified form). I also hold true to the distinction between “Cannot” and “Should Not”, especially where they pertain to the sorts of Virtues and Flaws you may choose. This means you can have more than one Story Flaw and more than two Personality Flaws. However, keep in mind that these should all still work together logically. For example, Black Sheep and Close Family Ties makes for an interesting combination if carefully considered. Your family shuns you, but your cousin still loves you and you will move Heaven and Earth to protect her.

[b]Goetic Arts[b]
Both Commanding and Binding can be aligned to realms other than the Infernal, but still carry the same "taint" when investigated with powers such as Sense Holiness and Unholiness, just like Summoning is in the RAW. Ablation is still an Infernal only aligned power.

What about mentem magics? They do not cause harm but allow for natural resistance rolls. Can't you use a ward to protect yourself vs Mentem magics?


I need to think about that. On the Berklist, someone mentioned that Societates has guidelines for resisting Mentem magic. What page? Anyone know?

I think it's in the Jerbiton section.


Yes it's on page 66 of Societates under Created Emotional Bias

I'll add this here as I've run afoul of it already and forgot about it in the Development (Summoning & Spirits) thread but perhaps Marko can insert it into the top post:

Goetic Arts
Both Commanding and Binding can be aligned to realms other than the Infernal, but still carry the same "taint" when investigated with powers such as Sense Holiness and Unholiness, just like Summoning is in the RAW.

Ablation is still an Infernal only aligned power.


Languages of Iberia

A long ways back when I started this PbP game, my old buddy Jarkman came up with some language rules for us. I had been following them somewhat, but I have a tendency to do things loosely and I have drifted away from this somewhat.

Anyways, what follows is a list of Languages common in Iberian lands, including their various dialects. For every Living Language, you may choose a Dialect and a Specialization. In many cases, unless your score is 4 or better, your Dialect is your specialization. This is just what is most common, and is not an absolute rule. For a Dead Language, you choose only a Specialization. These specializations are manly based on how that language is being used or studied, such as Hermetic or Ecclesiastical for Latin, and are equivalent to dialect. The list is mostly based on Jarkman’s work, condensed somewhat for ease of use.

List of Languages:
• Occitan (Catalan, Provencal, Languedocian, Navarre)
• Spanish (Castilian, Leonese/Asturian, Aragonese)
• Portuguese (Galician, Portuguese)
• French (Orelanais, Bourguignon, Poitevin)
• Mozarab (Latinus dialects)
• Ladino
• Basque
• Arabic (Andalusian, Classical, Derija)
• Berber (various dialects)

Some of these languages are related, having derived from Latin. They are somewhat mutually intelligible, applying the following penalties to their Language scores
• Same Language, Different Dialects: -1 to both speakers
• Occitain vs French: -2 to both speakers
• Spanish vs Portuguese: -2 to both speakers
• Spanish or Portuguese vs Occitain: -3 to both speakers
• Mozarab vs Spanish or Portuguese: -3 to both speakers
• Futher difference, but still related: : -4 to both speakers

Language Notes
Occitan dialects (Langue D’Oc) are spoken throughout the region. Catalan is the language of Andorra and Barcelona to this very day.
Spanish is not yet a concept (as Xavi points out), but is a convenient way to group together the dialects evolved from Asturias. Castilian is the dominant dialect. Aragonese is somewhat different than the others, and a little closer to Catalan.
Portuguese is descended from Galician, though Galicia is part of Leon.
French is a simplification of the dialects of northern France.
Mozarab (Latinus) is the language of a conquered people, spoken in the Islamic regions of Spain.
Ladino is the Iberian equivalent of Yiddish. It is a dialect of Castilian incorporating Hebrew and Arabic, and is spoken by Jewish communities throughout central Iberia. Actual Hebrew is a dead language, and is only used by Jewish scholars.
Basque is a strange and mysterious language, not related to any others.
The Andalusia dialect is the most common form of Arabic found in Iberia. Derija is the dialect spoken in North Africa (Marrakech/Morocco). Classical Arabic remains the language of scholarship and the Qu'ran.
There are lots of Berber dialects. If you need more information, I have a list somewhere.

I found the below image to show a spread of the major dialects in France as of 1477. Consequently, I noticed that I made a mistake with Octavian taking French with a specialty in Occitain. I changed it to Occitain - Provencal as he is originally from Marseilles.

Nice pic of Octavian, it is great what you can dig with a bit of research.
Alas I am going to be slightly busy until 14th of April, and I will be looking more sparsely at the forum
Sorry for the inconvenience.
I'll do the charcater in the meanwhile.
See you soon
Happy Easter

What's the bonus for Toledo steel again?

And is there any sort of rule for Magic Items for Andorran Warriors? Level = Age?

Toledo Steel is +1 to Attack and Damage

Magical equipment is assigned by the covenant. I am basing it on age, but that is not an absolute. Design the guardsmen, and I will bestow an item or two as is best befitting. Many items are repetitions made from texts, as would make sense (flaming swords, wizard leap boots, etceteras)

Can you choose a different dialect as a specialization with a high score? For instance is Living Language: Occitan (Provencal) 5 (Catalan) - dialect of Provencal with a specialty in Catalan - okay? Is this the best way to represent someone who is essentially bilingual? (How do we say bilingual for two dialects instead of two languages?)


It is Occitan 5 (provencal specialty).

Technically the Guardians of the forest and Lion and the Lily books go into more detail. If your language skill is below 4, the specialty is the dialect you learned. Only those at level of native speaker can have other specialties like talking to merchants, peasants, colorful words, poetry, etc..

Yeah. You can speak all of the dialects of your language at a -1 penalty. So if you have Occitan 5 (Provencal); you speak Catalan or Languadocian at 4. You also can communicate in related languages at a -2 penalty, so your score in Castilian or Asturian (Spanish) is 3.

How do we use Wizards' Communion? Does it have to be cast by each magus using it? Does it only have to be known? If I remember correctly, this is a little vague in the book (you cast spells, but this just says "known").


Each participant must know WC or cast it from text. Only the main caster needs to know the end spell (or cast it from text)

Ah, so if you know it you don't need to cast it. If you don't know it you need to cast it. Got it.

Are there copies of WC casting tablets in the more open section of the library?


Eh? No, each participant needs to cast it.
There is a WC in the library, I forget where I put it though...

New House Rule

If you take the Virtues of Apt Student &/or Book Learner, you may benefit from them during post gauntlet development. This has already been established. But I want to reign in the effects a slight tad and balance them together.
During a five year block of Advancement during character generation (200xp), you can take advantage of Apt Student (+5xp) 6 times, and you can benefit from Book Learner (+3xp) 10 times. Thus, either virtue provides a bonus of +30xp every 5 years.
The same applies for Independent Study, in the abstract of bulk development it provides an average of +30xp every five years.

The Rationale: Apt Student requires a Teacher, which is not as easily available as a Book. The allowance of six is generous and presumes you are playing to your strengths.

Concerning Vis and the Lab in pregame Development
To my embarrasment, I discovered that there already exists a rule in RAW to cover this.
You may use up to (Magic Theory x 5) pawns per year, but you do not get to save unused pawns from year to year