House Rules

House Rules
_____This saga uses the rules from Ars Magica Fifth Edition, core book and supplements included. The intention House Rules are mainly to provide for advanced character creation, facilitate PbP gaming, and appeal to the aesthetics of the storyguide and players.

_____The backstory is mostly drawn from fifth edition material, but I am also using many elements from earlier editions (mainly the history of Provencal, Iberia, House Flambeau, and tidbits from the WGRE). 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.

_____The current date is Winter 1245, start of the new year (this saga dates years as starting in Winter). The location is the independent province of Andorra. The covenant (so named after this region and claiming Hermetic authority over it) is located in the Parish of Ordino, atop a plateau overlooking the village of Arans (in the shadow of Mount Arans).

Table of Contents
Prime Directive
Character Creation
Further Development
Gaining New Virtues & Flaws
Mustering Out
Advancement for other types of Characters
Language & Area Lore
Ability Virtues

Magic Rules
Seventh Magnitude
Healing Spells
Spell Mastery

Prime Directive
_____I am allowing a lot of options and permitting you to play with power. The system is easily abused, so don't abuse it. Be sane, be reasonable, stick with a concept, and focus on story and character.

_____And, if you have a good character concept that requires some bending of these or other rules, talk to the troupe as a whole and perhaps we can flex things a bit.

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Character Creation
_____Characters are granted a slight increase in overal experience points for creation and development. This is due to an expectation to have scores in a diversity of minor abilities (such as Area Lore, Order of Hermes Lore, Profession-Scribe) and etceteras). It also takes into consideration the high demands of the saga, and encourages you to play with power.

Early Childhood (Representing the first five years of life)
_____Begin with (Native Language) 5, (Native Area Lore) 2, and 45xp for Childhood Abilities

Youth & Later Life
_____From age six onward (until apprenticeship), you gain 20xp per year. If you are Wealthy you gain 25xp per year, and if you are poor you gain only 15xp per year. Magi and certain other characters cannot choose Wealthy or Poor. If applicable, they may choose Privileged Upbringing instead to represent their past.

Apprenticeship (magi only)
_____Apprenticeship usually begins between age 7 and 21 (10 to 15 is the more frequent range), and lasts 15 years. During this time, you receive 300xp for Arts and Abilities, plus 150 levels of spells. You should spend no more than half your xp on Arts, and should not have any Art score greater than 10. Your spells may come from the main rulebook or elsewhere in cannon. but at gauntlet many of these may also be original or unique spells, invented or obtained by your parens, which they have passed on to you. Newly gauntleted magi may not begin with spells above the seventh magnitude.

_____Describe your Gauntlet.

_____Mandatory Minimum Ability scores new magus are: Latin 1, Magic Theory 1, & Parma Magica 1.

_____Suggested minimum scores, however, are: Artes Liberales 1, Latin 4, Magic Theory 3, Magic Lore 1, Order of Hermes Lore 1, Parma Magica 1, Profession-Scribe 1, & Philosophiae 1.

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Further Development
_____You may play a magus fresh from their gauntlet, or you may choose a more advanced age. Developing a few years allows you to start off with a few accomplishments. However, younger ages are also encouraged, and will be treated with generosity. Encounters and opportunities will be scaled to be fitting for your character's age and power.

_____Advanced magi are divided into four categories, though new players are limited to the first one only. They are as follows.

  • Spring (Years of Growth): 0 to 15 years post Gauntlet (up to three cycles). This is the suggested limit for new magi entering the game.
  • Summer (Years of Power): 10 to 35 years post Gauntlet (up to five cycles). This is restricted to NPC's and characters that have been in the game for awhile and are grandfathered in under former rules.
  • Autumn (Years of Prestige): Undefined. These are NPC magi that hold prominent positions of fame and power and prestige.
  • Winter (Years of Dotage): Undefined. NPC magi, who may still powerful, but are in decline due to age and twilight.

Cycles of Advancement
_____Development is based upon Season, Year, and Cycle.

_____In a Season, you may...

  • Take 10xp Advancement (average quality of the average abstract source is 10)
  • Work in the Lab (normal rules, including gaining Exposure xp)
  • Earn extra Vis Wages (3 pawns per season of any Form)
  • Do anything else that requires a season's worth of time (write a book, copy texts, run errands, go on vacation, visit your relatives, etcetera). You gain Exposure xp for this as well as for the results of your activities.

_____In the four Seasons of a Year (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall), you may...

  • Take up to 3 seasons Advancement
  • Work up to 3 seasons in the Lab
  • Earn one extra season of Vis Wages
  • Do whatever else that fits
  • You Must take a point of Warping if you are on a Longevity Ritual.

_____This is to be viewed as a ratio when extended to a Cycle. So you could, say in the course of a seven-year cycle, spend twenty consecutive seasons in the lab and study the rest of the time.

_____A Cycle is an average of 7 years of abstract development (the actual length of a cycle may vary between four to ten years). Regardless of the adjusted length, each Cycle you may...

  • Draw a Vis Salary of 21 pawn of any Form of vis. You may spend or use this vis at any point in the cycle.
  • Gain one new Virtue from a Mystery, Adventure, or other appropriate source (see below)
  • Describe a Major event in your life (the frequency of Major life events may serve as a guide to vary cycle length).
  • You Must loose a season somewhere due to miscellaneous whatever.
  • You must take a point of Warping for some reason that is certain to happen sooner or later. Take more if there is a good reason (such as a related Flaw).

Other Considerations

  • If you possess a Virtue that affects how many xp you gain from a study source (such as Apt Student or Book Learner), add 30xp per Cycle of Development. This is invariable no matter how you tweak things. If you have two such virtues, add 45xp. If you have three then you are really pushing it, but that would add 52xp per cycle. For further consideration, there are certain Virtues & Flaws that may not mesh well with this advancement system. Though they operate fine in regular play, for pregame development they are modified as follows…
    • Secondary Insight: The bonus xp are gained whenever the relevant Art reaches a score of 4, again at 6, and again at each point of increase beyond that.
    • Free Study/Unimaginative Learner: Because study from vis requires a roll, it is treated as an independent seasonal activity, much like lab work.
  • As a young developing magus, it is presumed you have access to a Standard Lab in a Magic Aura of 5. No further concern is needed unless you wish to tinker with this.
  • During Development, it is presumed you have access to Lab Texts for spells from printed cannon or another approved source (such as the Andorra wiki). It is not that you had access to every spell, just the ones you happened to be researching. Other spells and variants will need to be invented from scratch. The same shall apply for texts concerning Charged Items and Lesser Enchantments, provided they qualify as a Similar Effect to a cannon or approved spell (e.g. a Lab Text for a charged PoF wand or a constant effect Doublet of Impenetrable Silk is fine; a wand that shoots bees or a doublet of steel silk are too original for a text).

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_____If you are 35 or older at the start of a cycle, or turn 39 by the end of it, you must check for Aging that cycle and each thereafter. Calculate and consult your Aging Score.

Aging Score = Age/10 (round up) - Living Conditions modifier - Longevity Ritual modifier - other bonuses (Bronze Cord, Faerie Blood, Lab, etcetera)

_____Then subtract 2.

_____This system is lifted from Grogs chapter 5, which is based on solid ten year cycles. However, these cycles average only 7 years and are variable. Thus there is incentive to develop using longer cycles, you don't age as rapidly when you live a slower pace of life. You age faster with shorter cycles, but not to a crippling degree.

_____The Aging Score is calculated and applied at the end of the cycle, using your age at that point and all conditions as that then exist. So even if at the end of a ten year cycle you just turned 41, made your longevity ritual at the start of the last year and bonded a familiar with a +3 Bronze cord the last season, all these factors apply for the whole cycle.

_____Your adjusted Aging Score, if positive, is how many Aging Points you accumulate that cycle (distributed as you will). If 5 or higher, you suffer a Crisis that cycle. If the adjusted score is negative, your Apparent Aging is slowed. Starting at an Apparent Age of 35 (or younger if you look longevity for youthful vanity at an earlier age); your appearance ages a number of years equal to (10 + your Aging Score), with a minimum of 0 and not to exceed the number of years in that cycle (or years since you turned 35).

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Gaining new Virtues & Flaws
_____In a given Cycle, you may gain up to 3 points of new Virtues &/or Flaws from Mysteries or Adventures. This requires discretion, and should not be indulged in every Cycle (unless you are part of a Mystery Cult). New Virtues & Flaws may also result from Warping, Twilight, and other miscellaneous circumstances.

_____For Mysteries and Adventures, the basic formula involves an investment of Time and XP. Base Time os one season, plus another season for each point of Vitue gained. This may be reduced by incorporating up to Three points of Flaws, each point reducing the required time by one season to a minimum Time requirement of one season. The XP cost is ten times the Virtue points gained, unaffected by Flaws. Participation in a Mystery Cult that teaches this Virtue reduces the cost by 5xp per point of your score in the appropriate Cult Lore.

Time Required = One Season plus One Season per Virtue Point, minus One Season per Flaw Point.

XP Required = Ten times the Virtue points, minus (Cult Lore x 5)

Maximum of 3 points of Virtues &/or Flaws, Minimum Time Requirement of One Season.

_____An allowance for MinMaxing, you may convert Time into XP or visa-versa. You may do this to best take advantage of your Cult Lore or for including more Flaws than Virtues, in order to fit within ratio limits of XP gain/expenditure, and etcetera. For magi, one season = 10xp, so flipped around either way, the formula can be look at as...

Cost in XP = 10 + (20 per Virtue Point) - (10 per Flaw point), - (Cult Lore x 5). Maximum 3 points Virtues/Flaws, Minimum cost 10xp


Cost in Time = Seasons equal to the formula above divided by 10 (round up)

_____For the purpose of these formulas, reducing/improving/increasing/removing a Virtue or Flaw counts as equal to the change in points. For example: Removing a Minor Flaw counts as 1 Virtue Point. Reducing a Major Flaw to Minor or Improving a Minor Virtue to Major counts as 2 Virtue Points. Removing a Major Flaw counts as 3 Virtue Points. Then Removing a Minor Virtue is 1 Flaw point, Increasing a Minor Flaw to Major or Reducing a Major Virtue to Minor is 2 Flaw Points, and Removing a Major Virtue is 3 Flaw Points.

_____Changing a Virtue or Flaw into another Virtue or Flaw also counts as equal to the value of the change. So Changing a Minor Virtue into another Minor Virtue is 0 Virtue points, changing a Minor Flaw into a Minor Virtue is 2 Virtue points, and so on. You can only change one Virtue &/or one Flaw in such a transaction, regardless of their value, and you may not include further additions.

_____You may use a tale of grand adventure to justify new Virtues and Flaws once, possibly a second time if developed three or more cycles and the story written up for it is good. This is usually something non-magical, but it doesn't have to be. Examples gaining a General Virtue or resolving a Story Flaw. In any case though, any new traits must be a plausible result of the story and are acceptable if they are. So major supernatural encounters can rationally justify new magical traits.

_____Because this is limited to one time only (maybe twice), this is the only method allowed for gaining XP related Virtues (such as Warrior or Educated) or changing Social Status.

_____A Cult Score of 1 is required for your first Initiation, a score of 3 for your second, and an additional point for each Initiation thereafter. The required XP cost is reduced by 5x your score in that Cult Lore, as mentioned above.

_____Initiation Scripts in printed cannon may supersede the limits and guidelines given here. Just follow what they say.

_____Cabal Legacy allows you to start with one Initiation for free (as part of your initial Virtue & Flaw balance). In addition, you qualify for an Initiation with each point of your score in that Cult Lore.

_____For non-magi with Warping, simply apply normal rules (Minor Flaw gained when Warping Score reaches 1, again at 3, Minor Virtue at a score of 5, Major Flaw for each point thereafter).

_____For Magi, refer to Twilight.

_____The theory is that, in the short term, the typical magus will have (on average) an equal number of Good and Bad effects from Twilight. These may include new Virtues &/or Flaws (up to 3 points either/each), gaining/loosing knowledge or spells, and etcetera. To incorporate Twilight into Development, simply choose an even number of Warping points (up to 32 in a Cycle), and divide between Good & Bad Effects (including Scars for two or more episodes). This requires no xp and the time is considered washed in the abstract of the season (until you reach a Warping score of 6). Certain characters may have special traits that may justify more Twilight points or adjusting the ratio of good/bad effects. Use common sense and troupe guidance.

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Common Sense Application
Don't be a munchkin. Use Common Sense.
'Nuff said.

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Mustering Out
_____This is a term I picked up from the old Traveler game, used to refer to the final steps of development, finishing touches, and any final bonuses to be applied. Here you determine the final disposition of the assets and resources you accumulated over the years. Specifically, your vis.

_____As you developed, it was not necessary to keep track of what kind of Form vis you had in stock (though you may if you wish). All that was important up to now is the amount.

_____Every Cycle, you received a Vis Salary of 21 pawns, and you were able to earn Vis Wages at a rate of 3 pawns per Season. Vis distilled from an Aura is a separate Lab activity. The Virtue of Personal Vis Source grants two pawns of a specific Form each year, or one of a Technique (this is doubled in actual play).

_____You were/are allowed to use or spend this as you went along.

_____Now, totaling the pawns remaining, you may spend and/or keep what you wish. Of the vis kept, the Form and Container/Object must now be determined. The vis may be of any Form, or every two pawns may be traded for one of a Technique. Vis can be transferred between Artificial Containers (use the Shape & Material table as a guideline for capacity), or be found in a Natural Object (any type or amount in it's original material/state or a portion taken/siphoned thereof).

_____For Spending, refer to the rules below for Hermetic Economics. As a basic rule of thumb, one pawn is worth 4q.p.v. (quarter-pawns of vis). Lab texts cost 1qp per 5 levels, Tractati cost qp equal to Quality, Art Summa cost Quality plus Level, Ability Summa cost Quality plus three-times Level, Charged Items cost equals charges plus half the level of the effect, Lesser Enchanted Items cost 6qp per Magnitude, Longevity Rituals cost Age + half of the level, and otherwise 12qp per pawn of vis required (three times the base amount of vis for the project cost).

_____Then you may Liquidate any assets you wish to dispense with and no longer need, getting whatever cash value you can from them. This is best for items you have used up (books and lab texts you purchased), things you cannot move or cost too much to do so (your old lab), and so forth. Whatever the QP value would have been to buy that item, divide by ten, and that is how many pawns of vis you receive.

_____Further information on Hermetic Economics can be found by following the link given. As a shortcut, here is a direct link to the Hermetic Price Guide.

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Advancement for other types of Characters
_____Grogs receive normal experience for Early Childhood plus Youth & Later Life, in addition to those for any Virtues. The standard is 20xp per year (or an average of 5xp per season), which is considered in abstract. Advancement isn't broken down into Cycles, just calculate what is due for the sum total of years (divide it into steps for yourself only if you want to).
[tab][/tab]Grogs do not normally earn vis, but they can earn magical services through their duty. Taken in abstract, this is done by spending experience as q.p.v. on things such as Longevity (age + half of level), Charged Items (half of level plus charges), and/or Lesser Enchantments (level plus magnitude).

_____Grogs aged 35 or more may gain a single new Minor Virtue balanced by a Minor Flaw. This costs 15xp or three seasons. Certain grogs can be created as a Minor Companion instead, being permitted five points of balanced Virtues & Flaws. This is mainly for NPC grog level characters, but can be used by players if the troupe permits or directs. You can also create a Companion that is otherwise perceived as a grog, it is part of their background &/or current function, but theirs is a more individual tale.

_____Companions likewise receive the standard experience for Early Childhood and any Virtues, plus 20xp per year for Youth and Later Life (the Wealthy receive 25xp per year and the poor only 15xp). Advancement is not broken down into seasons, but may be divided as a mental abstract. Companions may develop up to 3 points of new Virtues, which do not have to be balanced by Flaws, but doing so makes it less expensive. The base cost is 5xp, plus 15xp per virtue point, minus 5xp per point of Flaws. Companion may gain Supernatural and Heroic Virtue this way, but must take an equal number of Supernatural &/or Heroic Flaws.

_____Companions can also earn magical benefits, spending experience points in abstract as q.p.v. the same way that grogs can. Companions may also acquire Invested Items, which cost two times (level + Magnitude, plus 12 points per remaining open pawn.

_____Familiars can only gain xp when their magus is involved in the process, using normal season rules for Teaching or Training, or Exposure when assisting in the Lab. They are eligible for xp from adventures alongside their magus, or from Exposure from just hanging around them. As an abstract average, Familiars receive 5xp per season of Association (average of 20 per year)

_____As an Apprentice, a Redcap receives 300xp and begins with 100q.p. worth of Redcap Items, which may be upgraded/exchanged at an improvement rate of 5q.p. per year. They also receive a level 50 Longevity Ritual when they begin aging. Finally, all Redcaps begin with a free Minor Redcap Virtue, which is the result of training or selection. In Development and in Game, they are expected to devote half their time to their duties. They gain 5xp in Abilities relative to their duties, such as local Area Lore or Language. This counts as a combination of Exposure and Practice. Each season of service also earns them 2q.p. on account, this plus an annual bonus equals the average 5q.p. per year improvement rate on Redcap Items. Redcaps can spend their free time as they wish, advancing as magi in abilities (average 10xp per season), earning Vis Wages (3 pawns per season), working Overtime, or whatever. Player Character Redcaps earn a Vis Salary of 21 pawns per cycle, just as other magi do. However, they no longer receive a discount unless the put time into it (see Hermetic Economics). NPC Redcaps receive a bonus of a Rook every cycle if they are independent members of a covenant and still connected with their house. Those who are constantly in motion or members of a Mercere Lodge (or are disassociated wanderers) receive no salary or bonus.

_____Detailed information about Redcap Characters can be found here.

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Language & Area Lore
_____You begin with a score of 5 in your Native Language, and 2 in your Native Area Lore. With any Living Language, you may specialize in a Dialect or a form of use. If your score is 4 or higher, you may choose one of each (or two dialects). For a Dead Language, you choose only a single specialization for Use, which substitutes for Dialect.

_____For Area Lore, you may specialize in a specific part of that area or a type of lore. If your score is 3 or higher, you may choose one of each (or two locations). Your Native Area can be no larger than a kingdom or Tribunal (whichever is greater). Otherwise, the widest Area Lore available is Mythic Europe. However, the wider an area, the less specific the details available.

Local Languages
_____This is based on the original work of Lachlan "Jarkman" Hayes, who arranged it according to current ArM5 language rules. I adapted and simplified it. Later, I made Xavi the Language Shark to correct our use of Spanish and Catalan, and incorporated many (but not all) of his suggestions into the latest revision.

_____The following is a list of local languages that characters may know or need to be familiar with.

Romance Languages
Occitan (Catalan, Provencal/Lanuedoc, Navarrese, Limousin, Auvergnat, Viparo-Alpine, Aranese)
Spanish (Leonese, Castilian, Aragonese)
Galaician (Portuguese, Galician)
French (Orleanais, Bourguignon, Poitevin, Norman)
Catalan (Andorra, Barcelona, Valencia, Balearic)
Lingua Franca
Latinus (various regional Mozarab dialects)
Ladino (various regional Jewish dialects)
Latin (Classical, Hermetic, Ecclesiastic)

Other Languages
Basque (regional dialects)
Arabic (Andalusian, Classical, Derija)
Berber (various dialects)
Greek (Classical, Romaic)
Hebrew (?)
Coptic (Coptic, Demotic, Archaic Egyptian)

_____Romance Languages, having derived from Latin, are somewhat mutually intelligible. Apply the following modifiers to communication, based on how closely or distantly related the two languages are…

  • Same Language, Same Dialect: +1 to both speakers
  • Same Language, Different Dialect: -1 to both speakers
  • Closely Related: -2 to both speakers (Occitan vs French, Occitan vs Spanish, Spanish vs Portuguese)
  • Somewhat Related: -3 to both speakers (Portuguese vs Occitan, Spanish or Portuguese or Occitan vs Mozarab or Ladino
  • Distantly Related: -4 to both speakers (any pair unmentioned, including Latin)

_____Berber isn't related to any of the languages here, but may be Distantly Related to Coptic. Basque isn't related to any language at all. Arabic may be considered Distantly Related to Mozarab and Ladino. Ladino is Distantly Related to Hebrew.

Language Notes (bonus applied after modifier)

  • Occitan dialects are spoken throughout the region. Catalan is the native tongue of Andorra and Barcelona to this very day, as well as Valencia and the Balearic Islands. Languadocian is the tongue of southern France, and is the most like that language (+1).
  • Spanish is an anachronism, but is a convenient way to group together the dialects derived from Asturias. Castilian is the dominant dialect. Aragonese is somewhat different and a bit more similar to Catalan (+1).
  • Portuguese is descended from Galician, though Galicia is part of Leon (+1).
  • French is a simplification of the dialects of Northern France.
  • Mozarab (Latinus) is the language of a conquered people, spoken in Islamic regions of Spain. It is basically Latin (+1) mixed with Arabic.
  • Ladino is the Iberian equivalent of Yiddish. It is a dialect of Castilian (+1), incorporating elements of Arabic & Hebrew. Hebrew is a Dead Language used by Jewish scholars.
  • Euskara, or Basque, is a mysterious language unrelated to any other. Basque is the French term, Vascones is Spanish. Not all Basques are Native Basque speakers, and many have anotherregioal language as their native tongue (such as French or Occitan).
  • Andalusian is the most common form of Arabic in the region, derived from the dialect of the Umayads. Deraj is the dialect spoken in North Africa (Morocco/Marrakesh). Classical Arabic remains the language of scholars and the Koran.
    [tab][/tab]There are lots of Berber dialects

Learning New Languages
_____It is easier to learn languages related to your native tongue. This only applies to Living Languages as compared to your Native Language. The Romance Languages fall into this category for many.

_____In reference to the modifiers to communication for speakers of related languages, think of this as an adjusted temporary score. When learning that actual language, you need xp enough to increase that score by one point. After that, you are on your own. For example, if my Native Language is Spanish 5, my equivalent Occitan score is 2. For 15xp, I can increase my virtual score of 2 into an actual score of 3.

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_____Wards are defined as spells designed to offer a target protection from subject beings or substances by providing a mystical barrier or layer of insulation against that subject. Wards can affect mundane substances and beings, but most commonly they are designed against beings of Supernatural Might. However, the Divine cannot be warded against (just as it cannot be summoned or controlled by magic either).

General Wards
_____General Wards are those exemplified in the RAW, attuned to a specific Realm of Might and requiring the spell to Penetrate the might of the subject being warded. General Wards only have to match the appropriate Realm (using Vim), and affects al beings of that Realm. A Circular Ward of a General nature can keep beings trapped within as well as being held without.

Specific Wards
_____A Specific Ward must match both Realm and Form, and only affect a specific category of beings covered by that Form (such as ReAn vs Magic Dragon-kind, ReCo vs Infernal animate corpses, ReIg versus Faerie Djinn, etc). Specific Wards can only be cast as a one way barrier of protection (or cast in reverse requiring normal Penetration). The benefit from this specific design is that Penetration is not an issue so long as the level of the spell equals or exceeds the subject beings Might.

Circular Wards
_____Circular Wards use the Target of Circle, but those with a Target of Structure or Boundary fall into this category. General Circular Ward can be used as both protection and binding at once. Specific Circular Wards are a one way barrier of protection, but if Mastered they can be cast in reverse as a Binding (requiring normal Penetration).

Personal Wards
_____Personal Wards have a Target of Individual or Group (a number of individuals), and are intended to prevent the subject or substance from harming or affecting the one protected. This type of ward is designed for mobility, cast upon one's self or another or enchanted in a device such as an amulet. The Familiar Bond is a useful place to enchant personal wards of constant duration, since bond enchantments do not cause warping from continuous effect. Personal Wards can never be cast as Bindings, nor can they be reversed. An entirely different spell design is required to bind a creature to a specific item or location.

Substance Wards
_____A Wards against a mundane substance, such as fire or steel, provides a bonus to soak damage against such sources. Use the classic Ward against Heat and Flames as a guideline (base 4 grants a +5 to Soak, and each magnitude grants another +5). The substance being protected from covers only part of a Form, such as fire or cold (Ignem), but not both. A Terram Ward can cover all metal weapons but excludes stone. Such a ward can alternatively be designed to keep said substance or being away from you entirely, though you cannot touch it or passively affect it either.

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_____When a Magic Animal Familiar bonds with a magus, they loose their immortality and start to age as their magus does. They also loose the normal prohibition limiting learning abilities as long as their magus is involved (as a teacher, gaining Exposure from working together, Adventuring together, etcetera), but cannot achieve further Transformation (perhaps with assistance in the lab though). In abstract, Familiars may receive 20xp per year (or on average 5 per season) for Advancement/Development.

_____As the base default, a Familiar is a Magic Animal (possibly a Beast of Virtue), created as a Summer Character (360xp) with a Might of 10. A Spring Character (120xp) with a Might of 15 is also acceptable. More powerful and/or wiser familars are possible, but this requires a story or special Virtue/Flaw. A good example is a newly gauntleted maga with a Magic Animal Companion as a Minor Flaw. The animal, not yet a familiar yet potentially so, can e a Winter character with a Might of 10 or as an Autumn character (720xp) with a Might of 20.

_____Your Bond Score is determined by your Lab Total, which must equal or exceed the required Bond Level (Might + 25 + five times Size). The difference between these scores is your Bond Potential. This "space" can be enhanced with Bond Qualities, which requires a Season for each one and are similar in some regards to Magic Qualities. Minor Bond Qualities take up 5 points of space and Major ones require 15 points. In a way, you can view this as Retempering the Bond at a higher level.
[tab][/tab]This concept is not fully developed yet (from a rules perspective), and the advantage offered versus effort required is not that great. Just take note of what your Bond Potential is. It may become relevant at some future point.

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Seventh Magnitude
_____It takes a spell of the 7th Magnitude or higher to cause Warping. The seventh magnitude is also considered an important milestone amongst magi. Archmagi will not consider a challenge from a magus seriously unless they have invented at least one original spell or enchantment of the 7th magnitude or higher. Newly Gauntleted magi may not start with spells above the 7th magnitude.

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Healing Spells
_____The Guideline of “Base 15 – Heal Light Wound” shall read “Base 15 – Improve a wound one level”, “Base 20 – Heal Heal Medium Wound” shall read “Base 20 – Improve a wound two levels”, etcetera. The Guideline of “Base 25 – Improve all Wounds one level” shall be interpreted as “Base 15 – Improve one level, +2 Group”. Base 35 still heals all of the wounds that an individual subject bears.

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Ability Virtues
_____Certain Virtues grant bonus xp during character creation. Examples include Warrior, Educated, Arcane Lore, Hermetic Experience, Skilled Parens, Well Traveled, etcetera. Treat these as more than just a bonus to your char-gen package. They are part of your characters essential history. They include contacts and ties to your past; an eclectic cabal, old army buddies, a university, etc. This is not to be treated as a Story Flaw or an extra Virtue. It is just a resource that gives as good as it gets. Complimentary Virtues and Flaws may be taken to accentuate your past experience.

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_____You may not create an Archmagus character. This will take many years of game time, but it is conceivable to have this as a future goal. Keep in mind that the Archmagi are an informal society that have their own customs aside from the Code of Hermes. An Archmagus does not have to accept your challenge, though it is possible that he may be ridiculed by his peers if he rejects worthy challengers.

_____No Archmagus will consider a challenge from someone who has not trained and gauntleted an apprentice. This is the minimum requirement, one needs to have achieved several other accomplishments before being considered worthy. Examples include...

  • Achieving an Acclaim or Prestige score of 4 or higher
  • Invent an original spell or enchantment of at least the 7th magnitude
  • Achieve some noteworthy magical or political accomplishment

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[tab][/tab]Everyone gets to hit the ground running.
[tab][/tab]Each magus is granted of one of the covenant's several towers or is set up in one of our other territories, containing the Standard Andorra Lab. This automatically includes the Free Virtues of Dedicated Building and Superior Construction (+1 Safety, +1 Upkeep, +2 Aesthetics, +1 Rego). Easy modifications & additions include Defenses, Elevated, Grand Entrance, Guard, and Servant. The magus may optionally choose some interior space (that happens to be available), but this means certain features may not be available (such as Dedicated Building, plus Grand Entrance &/or Elevated may not be available as depending on the situation).
[tab][/tab]The option for Magical Heating &/or Magical Lighting is available to any who choose it. Each is chosen as either Excessive &/or Superior Heating/Lighting, but none increases Upkeep and choosing both some form of Magical Heat and some kind of Magical Light lowers the Lab's Upkeep by one point.
[tab][/tab]Further, every magus may choose from three more options:

  • Start off with the Standard Lab as described above, including the features and options already given, and/or any other Free Virtues &/or Flaws as applicable (including Magic Items);
  • Modify and Refine the Standard Lab according to standard rules and options given below;
  • Create a Custom Lab by having spent points on Lab Virtues and Flaws, again using standard rules with options described below.

Standard Lab
[tab][/tab]I already told you what the Standard Lab is and what your options with it are.

Customized Lab
[tab][/tab]You may spend your first season to modify and customize a standard lab with a balanced number of Virtues & Flaws. This not the same as Refinement and that score is not changed.

Refined Lab
[tab][/tab]All the standard rules for Refinement apply, save that you are able to reduce the amount of time it takes to install Virtues &/or Remove Flaws by including or replacing them with New Flaws. Consider a Minor Virtue as being worth 1 point and a Major Virtue as 2. A Minor Flaw is -1 and a Major Flaw is -2. The total number of points is the number of seasons it takes to install of these Virtues with these Flaws, but the minimum is at least one season in addition to the season of Refinement. This also means that, without changing refinement, it takes a season to change and rearrange all of a Labs Virtues & Flaws as long as they achieve the exact same balance as they did previously.
[tab][/tab]This increased speed is part of the magical nature of the covenant's aura, and no one is even aware of it.

Purchased Lab
[tab][/tab]You may spend points from Mustering Out to purchase Virtues & Flaws for your lab, or to transfer a lab you created in play to the covenant. Again, this is just the magical nature of the Aura at work here, and you are not even aware it is happening.
[tab][/tab]The following rules replace what was written before, but according to my calculations having looked at all current labs, this formula makes everything fit.

  • Nonstandard Lab: Pyramid Value of Size x 10 (eg. +1 costs 10, +2 costs 30, +3 costs 60)
  • Refined Lab: Refinement x 5 (up to a maximum of your Magic Theory minus 3)
  • Virtues: 5 points for Minor, 10 points for Major; may include Flaws, since Virtues - Flaws may not exceed Size + Refinement)
  • Extra Lab: 25 points (an additional Standard Lab, fully equipped)
  • Retained Lab: 25 points (if you designed, refined, &/or modified a lab during your character's pre-game development, you may transfer that lab in it's entirety to your new location).

[tab][/tab]E.G. Vocis spent 40 points on his Lab, including 15 points for a Refinement of 3 (the maximum he is able), 10 points for Size +1, 5 points for a Minor Virtue, and 10 points for a Major Virtue.
[tab][/tab]((Vocis had previously spent 10 points for a Minor Virtue and mistakenly paid 30 points for a Major instead of 20, then he further neglected to balance the Virtues with Flaws or Increased Size, which may be my fault for dismissing a valid question when I was distracted))

[tab][/tab]As for Upkeep, the Covenant bears the cost of the first 10£ of expenses for Masters (Upkeep +4), or only 3£for Journeymen (Upkeep +2). Above that, the covenant splits the cost with Masters (Journeymen are allowed to put it on account). However, Masters receive an annual Salary of 6£ and 3 pawns of Vim, plus an annual Stipend of 6£ and 3 pawns of Vim if serving a Covenant Office. All members can earn Wages once a year of 6£ and 3 pawns of Vim for performing extra duties. A second wage or stipend may be due for excessive servies beyond even this. Vis of any Form may be taken in lieu of Vim, this is just a term of accounting. A pawn of a Technique may be taken in place of 2 pawns of Vim. The covenant will buy & sell (or rather, exchange) vis for silver and visa versa at an even rate of 12£ per pawn of Vim. Exchanges such as this are not to exceed the value of a Rook of Vim in a given three-year span.

[tab][/tab]E.G. Vulcanus has a Lab Upkeep of +6, an annual expense of 21£ of silver, The covenant covers the first 10£ off the top, and pays half of the remaining 11£ to leave Vulcanus bearing the burden of 5.5£. He receives a Stipend as Artifex of 6£, leaving him with one-half £. He also receives a Salary as a Master, and often earns Wages for his extra duties.

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[size=150]Spell Mastery[/size]
[tab][/tab]The following list includes all existing Mastery abilities and a few new ones. Notes indicate Frequency and Origin. Existing Mastery abilities are given a page number reference, and new or modified abilities are given a full description.
Frequency & Origin
Frequency refers to how frequently the ability is encountered and how readily available the knowledge is. The scale is as follows:
Common: Automatically available to any magus
Uncommon: Available to most magi with the most tenuous of explanations
Rare: Normally available to a select group, requiring the magus to be part of that group or be taught the ability by one of them
Very Rare: Available to an exclusive group, usually requiring a special Virtue or Mystery or at least an agreement to keep it exclusive within the group
[tab][/tab]Origin refers to the original development of the Mastery ability. For Common & Uncommon masteries, this may be merely historical reference. For Rare and Very Rare, this indicates the requirements for that mastery.

Mastery Abilities
Acute Sense (1)
True Lineages, p.71
Taken the first time
(Uncommon, Quasitores)

Acute Sense (2)
True Lineages, p.71
This may be taken a second time for improved effect
(Rare, Quasitores)

Adaptive Casting
True Lineages, p.99
(Uncommon, Cult of Mercury)

Apatropaic Mastery
Infernal, p.122
(Uncommon, Demon Hunters & Infernalists)

Aura Mastery
[tab][/tab]You are adept at casting the Mastered Spell in one or more specific areas (you may be attuned to one location per point of Mastery). It may be a famiarity with ley lines or certain conjunctions of the sun-moon-stars reflected in geography, or just about any quasi-mystical excuse. Double the value of any bonus that aura provides, or halve any penalty inflicted. This does not affect botch dice.
(Rare, House Diedne, House Merinita)

Boosted Casting
True Lineages, p.99
(Uncommon, Mutantes)

Ceremonial Casting
True Lineages, p.99
[tab][/tab]Though originally developed by the Cult of Mercury, this is readily available to any magus.
(Common, Cult of Mercury)

Disguised Casting
True Lineages, p.99
(Rare, Cult of Mercury or House Tytalus)

Efficient Casting
[tab][/tab]You are much more efficient at empowering rituals, achieving results while using less vis than normally required. Subtract your Mastery Score from the amount of vis normally required. This reduction may not exceed the strength of the local Magic Aura, and can reduce the amount by no more than half. This was developed in imitation of Mercurian Magic, and if combined with that Virtue this is even more efficient. Reduce the required vis by half for that Virtue first, then apply the effects of Mastery. In any case, the vis cost can be reduced no lower than a single pawn.
Efficient Casting also allows you to add your Mastery Score to the amount of vis you are able to handle when casting the spell, even if it is not a Ritual.
(Rare, Cult of Mercury)

Faerie Attunement
[tab][/tab]Having trained under a Merinitae magus, you may add the full bonus of any Faerie aura you're in to your casting roll. You still don't count as "attuned to faerie", and thus still suffer extra botch dices due to the Aura, although you can subtract your Mastery score to the extra botch dices given by the Aura.
(Uncommon, House Merinita)

Fast Casting
ArM5, p.87

[tab][/tab]Choose one Parameter of the spell (Range, Duration, or Target/Size). You can alter that parameter by up to one magnitude up or down (or equivalent yet different). How this parameter is flexed is determined when this mastery is chosen. You can take this mastery multiple times to flex different parameters in different ways. You cannot flex two parameters at once unless Flex (specific combination) is chosen as a third separate mastery, and you may not stack two flexings on a single parameter.
This mastery is fully compatible with Flexible Formulaic Magic, and magi with that virtue may freely combine or stack those effects with this mastery.
(Rare, Cult of Mercury/Flexible Formulaic Magic)

Forceful Casting
[tab][/tab]This mastery is applied to spells that have force involved; be it an amount of damage caused, kinetic strength, a volume of energy, or some such. Each time this mastery is chosen, you may opt to add one magnitude of Force to the level of the spell (such as adding +5 to direct damage spells). You may choose this mastery multiple times and vary the amount of increased force, but each magnitude added increases the effective Level of the spell, so you may not take it beyond the tenth magnitude unless the spell is already a ritual.
[tab][/tab]When you employ Forceful Casting, you must always use a Loud Voice and Exaggerated Gestures (or expend a Fatigue Level instead).
(Uncommon, House Flambeau)

Goetic Mastery
Infernal, p.124
(Very Rare, Goat Magic which is banned)

Harnessed Casting
True Lineages, p.99
(Rare, Mutantes)

Hastened Ritual
[tab][/tab]This Mastery is intended for Ritual spells, reducing the time required to cast it. Subtract your Mastery score from the minutes per magnitude (base 15) that it would normally take. That is, it takes (15 - Mastery) minutes to cast the spell. However, casting a ritual in a haste fashion such as this is risky, adding one botch die per minute of reduction you take advantage of (you don't have to go as quickly as your full mastery score indicates). You may take this Mastery multiple times to multiply the effect, so taking it twice means reducing the time to 15 - (twice Mastery) minutes per magnitude, taking it three times takes three times your mastery score minutes of the base 15 per magnitude, etcetera.
[tab][/tab]This Mastery was originally developed by the Cult of Mercury, and is especially useful to those with the Mercurian Magic Virtue as they may employ it without restriction. Other magi must utilize a Casting Space similar to the sort described in HoH-Societates on page 59-60. The speed of casting may not exceed that appropriate for the quality of said space, regardless of Mastery Score and number of times improved upon.
(Rare, Cult of Mercury)

Imperturbable Casting
Societates, p.33

Introspective Casting
[tab][/tab]This mastery is used with spells that provide knowledge or information (mainly Intellego spells), allowing you to add your Mastery score to rolls involving the effects of such spells.
(Uncommon, Quasitores)

Lab Mastery
True Lineages, p.100
[tab][/tab]The Bonus from from Mastery is applied to your Magic Theory score. This has the same general effect, adding a bonus to your overall Lab Total. But this may affect other calculations based on Magic Theory, such as how many pawns of vis you can work with or the maximum value of Shape & Material bonuses.
(Uncommon, Cult of Mercury or House Verditius)

Learn From Mistakes
True Lineages, p.100
(Rare, Cult of Mercury)

Life-linked Ritual
[tab][/tab]This Mastery allows the caster to draw upon their internal life energies to fuel the Ritual spell in place of vis. They may spend a number of Long-Term Fatigue Levels up to their Mastery score as if they were actual vis. For some magi, this can result in Rituals powered by pure life energy. Pawns of life energy still contribute to Botch dice however.
[tab][/tab]This is a Rare Mastery, requiring a specific Virtue or Mystery. Normally that would make it Very Rare, but there are several options and different ways that naturally synch with this ability.
(Rare; Mercurian Magic[sup]1[/sup], Life Boost, Leper Magus, Diedne Magic, Imbued with Spirit of (Form)[sup]2[/sup])
[sub]1 Pawns of "life energy" do not count towards Botch dice
2 uses Short Term Fatigue[/sub]

Magic Resistance
ArM5, p.87

Multiple Casting
ArM5, p.87

Obfuscated Casting
Societates, p.34
(Uncommon, House Tytalus)

Optimized Mastery
[tab][/tab]This requires the Lab Mastery ability, and is generally available to House Verditius (though can be learned from the lab notes of a magus who utilized this mastery in the project). Like Lab Mastery, this only applies when instilling an effect similar to the mastered spell. For the purpose of calculating the amount of vis needed to instill the enchantment, you may subtract your Mastery score from the level. This does not make the enchantment easier, just less expensive. No matter how well the effect is optimized, it requires a minimum of one pawn to enchant.
(Rare, House Verditius)

ArM5, p.87
[tab][/tab]You may choose this mastery additional times to add another +1 to Penetration (in addition to your mastery score bonus for choosing it the first time).

Precise Casting
Societates, p.34
(Common, House Flambeau)

Quick Casting
Societates, p.34
(Common, House Flambeau)

Quiet Casting
ArM5, p.87

Societates, p. 129
[tab][/tab]Note: the bonus is to the effect level of the spell (or the roll), not the actual level.
(Common, Lineage of Praelix)

Secure Casting
[tab][/tab]You are quite secure and competent with the Mastered spell, and are much less likely to mishandle the magic. Subtract twice your Mastery Score from any botch dice (doubling the normal benefit of mastery). This is especially useful for Ritual Spells that are cast frequently, or spells normally cast in a foreign aura.
(Uncommon, House Bonisagus)

Silent Casting
ArM5, p.87: Requires Quiet Casting (Common)

Stalwart Casting
True Lineages, p.100 (Cult of Mercury, Rare)

Still Casting
ArM5, p.87 (Common)

Soft Magic
[tab][/tab]High Powered magic of the seventh magnitude or more inflict Warping, and with Constant Effects this can result in high levels of accumulation. One point when cast, plus one per season and one per year. The exception is if the magic was Designed for or Cast by the subject, who only receive one per year for constant effects.
[tab][/tab]This Mastery allows you to "soften" the way you cast the Mastered spell upon others, treating it as if it were designed for or cast by them (no Warping for a high level effect and only one point per year if constant). A Softly Cast spell has no Penetration ("Forceless Casting"), and take a full round to cast. For Rituals, the time required is not altered, but may not be reduced by other factors.
(Uncommon, House Bonisagus)

Tethered Casting
True Lineages, p.100
(Mutantes, Rare)

Societates, p. 129
[tab][/tab]Note: the bonus is to the effect level of the spell (or the roll), not the actual level. As per those rules, add three times mastery score to rolls to PeVi spells thus mastered to counter or cancel magic.
(Common, Lineage of Praelix)

Vacillated Casting
[tab][/tab]When you cast a spell, you are able to "hold" it by Concentration, opting to release or decline it later as you choose. When you release the spell, you may choose to do so quickly as if it were Fast Cast. This is inefficient, as the spell had to have been cast and held in a previous round. Concentration is automatic unless something perturbs you. If you fail your Concentration roll, the spell dissipates.
(Uncommon, House Flambeau)

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_____This saga will be using the Combat Rules from Lords of Men, including the rules for Arms & Armor.

Quality of Arms and Armor
_____Referencing Lords of Men page 136, there are four ranks of Quality (shoddy, standard, superior, and excellent). I have expanded upon this, mainly by adding adjectives so as to avoid using the words "+3 Long Sword" ever again. Excellent Quality Weapons add to both Attack and Damage (instead of defense). High Quality Weapons, especially Swords, deserve a name.

Ranks of Quality
Shoddy: Shoddy items break easily and are destroyed after a single failed stress test.
Standard: The basic default for all weapons.
Superior: Superior armor grants +1 to Protection, a Superior Shield grants +1 Defense, and a Superior Weapon grants +1 Attack.[list]
Supreme: Supreme Weapons add +1 to Attack and Damage. In the context of this saga, this is intended to represent swords of Toledo Steel (a combination of superior craftsmanship and superior raw materials; more on that below).
Excellent: Excellent Quality armaments offer a bonus up to +3 or higher. For Weapons the bonus is applied to both Attack and Damage. For further description (and to avoid labeling weapons by their modifier), use the following terms.

  • Excellent: +2 (or +2/+2); uncommon
  • ]Exceptional: +3 (or +3/+3); rare
  • Extraordinary: +4 (or +4/+4); very rare
  • Exquisite: +5 (or +5/+5); extremely rare

_____Only those with access to Expensive Armaments may purchase Superior & Excellent Quality armaments.

_____The purchase of Enchanted items requires some sort of contact or affiliation with the Order of Hermes. In many cases this can be easily be presumed. Certain Virtues may indicate this as a certainty (such as Custos, Hermetic Experience, and so forth). Use common sense for other questions of availability.

_____The shape of your shield (round/kite/heater,rectangle) is just fluff. Looking at the four types; Buckler, Round, Heater, and Infantry; you can alternatively call these Tiny, Small, Medium, and Large. Thus you can have a Medium Kite Shield (Heater), a Large Round Hoplite style Shield (Infantry), and so forth.

Toledo Steel Swords
_____Toledo Steel is the result of master craftsmanship and the inclusion of a rare metal known as Vanadium. The Craftsmanship grants a +1 bonus to Attack, and is not uncommon for blades of quality in the region. Vanadium is expensive and is usually reserved for long swords, though occasionally for short swords, but only the wealthy can afford to make their daggers this way. The metal makes the weapon stronger and better able to hold an edge, granting a +1 bonus to Damage. Thus, the famous Toledo Longsword has a natural bonus of +1 to Attack and Damage. Such fine weapons often have other precious materials included in their ornamentation.

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