House Rules

A list of the saga's initial House Rules. More can be added later is needed and agreed upon by the troupe.


  • Rounding Totals: Whenever the rules don't specify how the result of a division should be rounded, all fractions are rounded down. For example, an Affinity applied to 5 xp (thus 7.5) will be rounded down to 7 xp, while a Fatigue-less spontaneous casting total of 4.8 will be rounded down to 4.

Character Creation

  • 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 based on guidelines from the core book, 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.

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 an opened Gift.


  • 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.
  • Aegis of the Hearth: Does not blow down Parma Magica, or suppress an active power or spell entering it.
  • Aegis of the Hearth: 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.

Long-Term Events

  • Writing Books: Copying books on an Art requires having an opened Gift. So only Hermetic magi and apprentices can copy books on the Arts. The same applies to Parma Magica, Finesse and Penetration. But books on Magic Theory can be written about and copied by non-Gifted individuals.

Here's the format I'd like to see used for the individual character sheets.

Name of the parens, if applicable, or role/profession

Background: ...

Appearance: ...

Age: ?? (born ???? A.D.)
Size: ?
Gender: Male/Female
Confidence: 1 (3)
Characteristics: Int ?, Per ?, Str ?, Sta ?, Pre ?, Com ?, Dex ?, Qik ?

Virtues: The Gift, Hermetic Magus, (House Virtue), (Major virtues), (Minor virtues)

Flaws: (Major flaws), (Minor virtues)

Personality Traits: ???

Abilities: -- listed alphabetically
Area Lore: ??? (specialty) ?
Language: native language (specialty) ?
Language: Latin (specialty) ?
Organization Lore: Order of Hermes (specialty) ?

Magical Arts: Cr ?, In ?, Mu ?, Pe ?, Re ?, An ?, Aq ?, Au ?, Co ?, He ?, Ig ?, Im ?, Me ?, Te ?, Vi ? -- format is score(leftover xp), +3 added after the score for Puissant, * added after the score for Affinity

Wizard's Sigil: ??? -- That's the casting sigil. I don't really care what shape your voting sigil is, although I usually lean towards a "standardized" voting sigil like a signet ring with a symbol representing the magus.

Spell Name (TeFo 15) +?? -- A standard spell from ArM5
Spell Name (TeFo 15, Req) +?? -- A spell with a requisite
Spell Name (TeFo 15, casting requisites) +?? -- A spell with a casting requisite
Spell Name (TeFo 15, ritual) +?? -- A ritual spell
Spell Name (TeFo 15) +?? -- Focus applies -- A spell for which the Magical Focus applies
Spell Name (TeFo 15) +?? -- See HoH:S p.92 -- A spell from a sourcebook other than ArM5
Spell Name (TeFo 15) +?? -- A D:Diam variant of Spell Name (HoH:S p.92) -- A variant of a standard spell from a different sourcebook
Spell Name (TeFo 15) +?? -- New spell -- A spell that the magus created from scratch, and which is detailed in a seperate post in the thread

Personal possessions: What your character usually carries around, as well as any other possession such as raw vis and books, that he leaves at home


  • Summer 1207: Studied Vim from L6Q14 summa for 14 xp
  • Fall 1207: (Name of the story) for 10 xp (5 to Folk Ken, 5 to Mentem)

Added the House Rules which requires someone to have an opened Gift to copy books on magic and set up a Hermetic lab.

ArM5 p.66 have a fairly good description of what the various scores in a language mean. I'd like to add a bit about how this should be roleplayed in posts.

Score 1: Basically use simple nouns about tangible things. Verbs are not conjugated. Only the most basic of adjectives (like main colors) are scattered randomly in the sentence. Any communication takes quite a bit of time, with simple discussions taking several minutes. For example: "Food, where? Come, man bad far road."

Score 2: Some more complex nouns can be used, and verbs can be past, present or future. Adjectives usually placed in the right place. Articles begin to appear. Simple questions and answers take normal time, but telling a more complete and complex story takes a long time. Miscommunication is frequent. For example: "Where be food merchant, for meat travel? The bad man is far, this way."

Score 3: Nouns and adjectives are reasonably coordinated, more complex verbs can be used. More abstract concepts begin to appear, though sometimes wrongly. Most conversations proceed only a bit slower than usual, based on how complex and detailed it is. For example: "We are look for merchant, he selling travel food? The enemy we pursuing go this way, and he took this road."

Starting with a score of 4 (including specialty), normal conversation becomes possible at a normal pace, although the finer subtelties of the language are still quite rough, as is the use/understanting of idiomatic expressions.