Oldl House Rules

[tab][/tab]These House Rules need to be updated. Which they were, just not properly posted here where they belong. That is something I will eventually get around to doing. But in the meantime, what is posted here is a good reference, and below is a link to the revised House Rules posted on the Andorra Wiki.

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

[u][size=150]Previous House Rules[/u][/size]
[tab][/tab]This saga uses the rules from Ars Magica Fifth Edition, core book and supplaments included. The intention House Rules are mainly to provide for advanced character chreation, facilitate PbP gaming, and appeal to the aesthetics of the storyguide and players.
[tab][/tab]The backstory is mostly drawn from fifth edition material, but I am also using many elements from earlier editions (pimarilly the history of Iberia and House Flambeau). 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.
[tab][/tab]The saga start date is (was) Winter 1230, the start of the new year (I order seasons of the year as Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall). 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).
[tab][/tab]The covent is undergoing a period of restoration and reconstruction. It has suffered a severe attack recently, killing most all of the covenfolk and a few magi and sending other members into Twilight. The Armoury of Dimir Taar was looted and destroyed, the vis vault plundered, and the library damaged by fire. Carmen, one of the last surviving members (who was in Valencia when the attack happened and was herself attacked by mysterious assailants), returned to Andorra and organized the revitalization. She declared herself Pontifex, recruited new members and elevated them all to Masters and Peers (Pontifex now being an honorary title), and Andorra bravely faces a new era. Andorra has the resources to rebuild, but there is still the mystery of what happened. And Carmen's desire to find or avenge her father.
[tab][/tab]The back ground of my soap opera is as above, but this saga will be driven by the stories of the players. Players will be magi and companions (and grogs) recruited to join the rejuvenation, and/or were drawn for a more personal reason.

Character Creation
[tab][/tab]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)
[tab][/tab]Begin with (Native Language) 5, (Native Area Lore) 2, and 45xp for Childhood Abilities

Youth & Later Life
[tab][/tab]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.

Apprenticeship (magi only)
[tab][/tab]Apprenticeship usually begins between age 7 and 21, 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.

[tab][/tab]Describe your Gauntlet.
[tab][/tab]Mandatory Minimum Ability scores new magus are: Latin 1, Magic Theory 1, & Parma Magica 1.
[tab][/tab]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.

Further Development
Years of Growth (Spring)
[tab][/tab]You may play a magus fresh from their gauntlet, or you may choose a more advanced age. The suggested cap is less than 35 years post gauntlet (no more than five cycles). However, younger ages are encouraged and will be treated with generosity.
[tab][/tab]Development is based upon Season, Year, and Cycle.
[tab][/tab]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

[tab][/tab]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
    [tab][/tab]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.

[tab][/tab]A Cycle is an average of 7 years of abstract development (the actual length of a cycle may vary up to +/- three 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 one 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
[tab][/tab]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.

Gaining New Virtues & Flaws
[tab][/tab]In a given Cycle, you may gain up to 3 points of new Virtues &/or Flaws. This requires discretion, and should not be indulged in every Cycle (unless you are part of a Mystery Cult). Other than Mysteries, new Virtues & Flaws may result from Adventures, Warping, Twilight, or (whatever rule I can't remember).
[tab][/tab]For Mysteries and Adventures, new Virtues require an investment of Time and XP. The base time is one season, plus one season per point of Virtue gained. Up to 3 points of New Flaws may be incorporated, reducing this time by one season per point (minimum of 1). The base XP cost is 10 time the Virtue gain/increase, unaffected by Flaws.
[tab][/tab]For the purpose of these rules, removing or reducing Flaws counts as Virtue points equal to the change. Likewise, improving a Virtue counts as the value of the change. So for example, removing a Minor Flaw is 1 Virtue point and reducing a Major Flaw to a related Minor Flaw is 2 points. Improving a Minor Virtue to a related Major Virtue is 2 points. Changing a Flaw into another unrelated Flaw (or a Virtue into another unrelated Virtue) counts as gaining a new Virtue & a new Flaw.

[tab][/tab]You may use a tale of grand adventure to justify new virtues only once (maybe twice if the character is developed more than three cycles and the stories are good). This should usually be (but doesn't have to be) something non magical, such as gaining a General Virtue or resolving a Story Flaw. Any new traits must be a plausible result of the story.
[tab][/tab]Because this may only be done once (or twice), this is the only method allowed for gaining XP related Virtues (such as Warrior or Educated) or changing Social Status. Companion characters may use this method as well.

[tab][/tab]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.
[tab][/tab]Initiation Scripts in printed cannon may supersede these guidelines.
[tab][/tab]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.

[tab][/tab]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).
[tab][/tab]For Magi, refer to Twilight.

[tab][/tab]In the short term, a typical magus will (on average) have an equal number of Good and Bad effects from Twilight. These may include new Virtues & Flaws (up to 3 points each), gaining/loosing knowledge or spells, and etceteras. Simply choose a number of appropriate Warping Points from Twilight for that Cycle, and divide between good and bad effects. This requires no xp and the time is considered washed in the abstract of the season (unless you have an abnormally high Warping Score). You may take up to 21 points of Warping from Twilight per Cycle. 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.

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

Mustering Out
A term I picked up from Traveler, used here to deal with the 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.
Total the unused pawns and subtract your Hermetic Age. A negative result does not indicate any debt. It just means you are poor.
No more than half may be kept as actual vis (the Form and Container must now be determined). The rest are to be converted into q.p.v. (Quarter Pawns of Vis, the smallest fractional unit of barter).
This does not apply to the Personal Vis Source Virtue or vis distilled in a Lab Season. You may keep all of this, or spend it as desired.
The Personal Vis Source virtue has an annual worth of 2 pawns of any Form or 1 of a Technique (value is doubled in actual play). Vis distilled from the Aura depends on your skill in the lab.

As stated, after subtracting Hermetic Age, at least half of your remaining vis (from salary and wages) must be spent as q.p.v.. Similar to Covenant Build points in that many items have a similar price, they are actually not the same, and a few key items use a different price scale. These prices are set to the relative value of a pawn of Vim vis, and thus can be used as a guideline for trades in game.
As one would figure, 1qp is equal to the value of a quarter-pawn of Vim vis (Vim is used as a standard, as it is the easiest to obtain and the most in demand).

Gaining & Spending q.p.v.
One pawn of Form Vis is worth 4qp. Convert half your starting vis this way, and you may convert additional vis for more.
For Redcaps, a pawn is worth 5qp. The value is the same (1 point = a quarter-pawn), they just get more for their money.
The base value of resources are as follow...
Books - qp = to Quality + Level
Lab Texts - 1qp per 5 levels
Casting Tablets - 2qp per 5 levels
*Lab Equipment - Minor Virtue 10qp, Major Virtue 20qp, Preserved Lab 50qp
(*for old members, Preserved Lab is the cost to preserve your old stuff; for new and old members, Virtues represent the cost to purchase or salvage stuff; otherwise everyone starts with a basic lab)
**Specialists - highest Ability score (+ Com & Teaching if a Teacher)
(**beyond your Companion and two Grog characters)
Longevity Ritual (up to level 50) - age x 1 + (half of level)
Higher Level - age x 2, plus level
Mundane Wealth - 1qp per three pounds of silver's worth of assets (but presume you already have a bunch of miscellaneous personal junk)

Enchanted Items
Lesser Enchantments: 6qp per five levels
Charged Items: 1qp per (half of level + charges)
Invested Items: 12qp per five levels, plus 12qp per remaining open pawn
Other/Extra (Minor): 10qp per season of work
Other/Extra (Major): 20qp per season of work

You may not purchase additional Vis Stocks or a Vis Supply as a Benefit, but you may do so in play. Skip converting to bp and just trade pawns directly using rules from True Lineages.
A Vis Source is worth seven times its annual value.

Buy low, Sell high. Vis is Money. And unless you are a Redcap, you are on the short end of the stick. For most magi, a pawn of Form vis is worth 4qp when buying stuff, 5qp if selling. For a Redcap, a pawn is worth 5qp when buying stuff and 4qp when selling. Plus they have an inside deal on vis.
And this point system is bullshit, just a relative gauge of open market value. Characters may negotiate their own deals in play.

Example Barter: a magus wants to by an Ignem Summa (L10, Q10). The value is 20 points, which costs him 5 pawns of vis. He later wants to sell it, and gain get 4 pawns. A Redcap would buy it at 4 pawns and sell it at 5.
The Redcap deal with each other on the level (for the most part), and their insider prices are in House only.

Though Redcaps are Companion Characters, they are treated as Magi during creation and development. They go through 15yrs of Apprenticeship, and advance in Cycles. They also have use for Vis.
As an Apprentice, a Redcap gains 400xp plus the Well Traveled Virtue for free. A new Redcap must have a minimum score of 3 in Order of Hermes Lore, and must spend 15xp on the Area Lore of one or more Tribunals.
A newly Gauntleted Redcap begins with 50 levels of Redcap Items (or 50bp). All Redcaps are eligible for a level 50 Longevity Ritual when needed, and may pay extra for better cost equaling the difference in points).
Redcaps develop in seasons & cycles, just as magi. They must spend half their time in service to Redcap duties, but the rest of the time they may do as they please.
Each season of Service in Redcap duties earns them one Benefit point accrued (or one level towards Redcap Items), plus they gain 5xp relative to their duties, such as in Area Lore or the local Language (this counts as a mix of Practice &/or Exposure). A Redcap may pull extra duty and work a third seasons a year if they choose (a season of extra overtime earns no bp, but you get two pawns of vis from the guy you are filling in for plus the 5xp, and 2xp for a reputation as an overachiever).
This continues on in game. Points may be saved or spent both during and after development.
Redcaps can also spend Vis this way, getting 5bp for each pawn. They can also spend bp from service (or vis) on Redcap Items at a cost of 1bp per level.
Redcap Items are Lesser Enchanted Devices designed to aid Redcaps in their duties: aiding travel & communication, weighing vis, logistical needs, etceteras. New Redcaps are never given items that can harm people or ensorcell large numbers. Vis may be spent on such items, and veteran Redcaps might be allowed risky devices if needed. But these are at normal prices.

Redcaps receive their fair share of vis from their covenant, and earn a little bonus for their duties. Each Cycle, a Redcap receives a Vis Salary of 28 pawns, and they may use their free seasons to do extra chores and earn a Vis Wage of 3 pawns. Some Recaps are lazy Tor have urgent matters to deal with). An extra season per year (on average) can be gained by paying 3 pawns of vis as a bribe to the guy filling in for you (one pawn of this goes to the regional Master as a penalty).
Each extra free season thus gained earns you 2xp for a Reputation as a Slacker.
Redcaps do not pay a deduction from their vis when Mustering Out, but they must still convert at least half of their vis into bp.
A Redcap may spend their free time in study, practice, adventure, etceteras (and maybe even mystery initiation).
They may also try to hustle in a season of Bartering (buying a bunch of crap with their vis and trading or selling it for more vis).
The Formula is simple (I hope). The Redcap risks a number of Rooks of Form vis (even rooks only, to keep it simple). If successful, the typical novice Redcap gets a return of a dozen pawns of Form vis (this may vary). The experience of this season earns them 5xp Practice for appropriate abilities, plus they gain 2xp for a Hermetic Reputation as a Hustler.
[strike]To Vary it Up (optional, test rule)
Sum up your Hustling Total by adding together your Communication + Bargain, including a risk factor of up to 3 points, plus a Simple Die. You break even at a total of six. Every three points (or fraction thereof) earns you a pawn on your invested rook. Every 3 points short (or fraction thereof) looses a pawn.
But Wait! Roll on the Extraordinary Results Char (ArM5, p109). Include your Risk Factor (which also adds to botch dice), and interpret results as follows...

  • Disaster: You loose your entire investment, plus an additional 2 pawns per botch rolled
  • No Effect: You simply take profit or loss as indicated
  • Side Effect; You acquired an unusual or unusable item you cannot get rid of.
  • No Benefit: You just break even, no matter what your Bargain roll
  • Complete Failure: You loose your entire investment
  • Special or Story event: Make a story out of it, taking adventure xp
  • Discovery; gain 15xp divided between Bargain, Order of Hermes Lore, and/or any social abilities involved in your style of business
  • Modified Effect: you make a business or social connection (which may be helpful or harmful)

[u]Language & Area Lore[/u]
[tab][/tab]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.
[tab][/tab]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
[tab][/tab]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.
[tab][/tab]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)
  • Spanish (Leonese, Castilian, Aragonese)
  • Galaician (Portuguese, Galician)
  • French (Orleanais, Bourguignon, Poitevin)
  • 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, Modern)
  • Hebrew (?)

[tab][/tab]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)

[tab][/tab]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)
[tab][/tab]Occitan dialects are spoken throughout the region. Catalan is the native tongue of Andorra and Barcelona to this very day. Languadocian is the tongue of southern France, and is the most like that language (+1).
[tab][/tab]Spanish is an achronism, 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).
[tab][/tab]Portuguese is descended from Galician, though Galicia is part of Leon (+1).
[tab][/tab]French is a simplification of the dialects of Northern France.
[tab][/tab]Mozarab (Latinus) is the language of a conquered people, spoken in Islamic regions of Spain. It is basically Latin (+1) mixed with Arabic.
[tab][/tab]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.
[tab][/tab]Euskara, or Basque, is a mysterious language unrelated to any other. Basque is the French term, Vascones is Spanish. Not all Basques are Native speakers.
[tab][/tab]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

[b]Learning New Languages[/u]
[tab][/tab]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.
[tab][/tab]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.

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
[tab][/tab]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
[tab][/tab]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
[tab][/tab]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
[tab][/tab]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
[tab][/tab]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.
[tab][/tab]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.

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, but cannot achieve further Transformation (perhaps with assistance in the lab though).

Quality Arms & Armor
[tab][/tab]There are four ranks of Armament Quality; Shoddy, Standard, Superior, and Excellent+.

  • Shoddy: Shoddy items break easily and are destroyed after a single failed stress test.
  • Standard: The basic default for all weapons. Most Standard Quality Weapons have a Standard Cost. Those listed as Expensive, such as the Long Sword, are now considered Costly. New Scale: Inexpensive, Standard, Costly, Expensive, & Very Expensive+.
  • Superior: Superior armor grants +1 to Protection, a Superior Shield grants +1 Defense, and a Superior Weapon grants +1 Attack. The Cost is increased one step on the scale.
  • Excellent+: Excellent Quality armaments offer a bonus of +1 to +3. For Weapons the bonus is applied to both Attack and Damage. Each +rank increases the Cost one step on the scale.

Toledo Steel
[tab][/tab]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. Enchanting such a weapon requires additional vis, treating the material as equivalent to silver rather than base metal. Such fine weapons often have other precious materials included in their ornamentation. The Cost is increased one step on the scale, from Costly to Expensive. Excellent Quality Toledo Steel swords can have a bonus ranging as high as +5.

[tab][/tab]The shape of your shield is a stylistic choice, be it round or square or kite or whatever. What matters is the size and mass; Small (Buckler), Medium (Round), Large (Heater), and Huge (Infantry). So for example, you can have a Large Round Shield and just use Heater Shield statistics.

[tab][/tab]Referencing both the Expanded Armor Rules from Lords of Men page 139-142, and the core RAW from ArM5 p. 176; both systems are compatible and result in multiple ways to outfit yourself. The simplest way is to use the core RAW and define your outfit by the predominant material and amount of protection (partial/full). Customization is easy. Configure your outfit as desired, choosing a specific Load you wear. For Standard Armaments, Protection equals Load. Expensive Armor has a 50% bonus to Protection, and Inexpensive Armor has Protection divided in half.
[tab][/tab]Using the rules in Lords of Men, one may notice that the ratio for Standard materials is mostly the same (1to1). For Expensive Materials Protection is twice Load and for Inexpensive Materials Load is 50% greater than Protection. For the most part. There is all the little pieces that come together for the final outfit. For example; A Full Suit of Cain Mail from core RAW, Protection 9 and Load 6. From [i]Lords of Men[/u]; a Full Suit of Mail (already includes several do-dads such as greaves) is Protection 7 and Load 3.5. Add in an Open Helmet (P1/L1) and a Gambeson (P1/L1.5), the total is now the familiar Protection 9 and Load 6.[/strike]

[u]Ability Virtues[/u]
Certain Virtues grant bonus xp during character creation. Examples include Warrior, Educated, Arcane Lore, Hermetic Experience, Skilled Parens, Well Traveled, etceteras. 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 4tory Flaw or an extra Virtue. It is just a resource that gives as good as it gets. Complimentary Virtues N Flaws may be taken to accentuate your past experience.

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 achieves several other accomplishments before being considered worthy. Examples include...

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

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.

The Seventh Magnitude
The Seventh Magnitude is the benchmark of a powerful magus, and Hermetic effects of such level cause a point of Warping. This raises it one magnitude from RAW, as this is intended to be a high powered saga.

Advancement for other types of Characters
Companions and Grogs may also take advantage of advanced development rules. These characters gain an average of 20xp per year (5xp per season). Keep in mind that this is also part of the abstract. Companions and Grogs do not recieve a vis salary and do not advance in multiple cycles. The events of their life prior to play count as one long cycle.
Grogs can develop one new Minor Virtue, which must be balanced by a Minor Flaw. This costs 15xp, and is restricted to Grogs that are at leats 35.
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. A Companion character may gain a single Supernatural or Heroic Virtue this way, but it is also required that they take one such Flaw as well if they do so.
Non Magi characters can earn magical Wages for exceptional service or special duties. They don't recieve actual vis, just the things vis can buy. Basically, they can spend XP directly on items (1xp=1bp). So, for example, a Grog can earn a level 30 Longevity Potion at age 35 by spending 50xp.
Companions can purchase most anything a magus can. Grogs are limited to Lesser Devices and Longevity Rituals of level 30.
Familiars can only gain xp when their magus is involved in the process, using normal season rules for Teaching or Training or Exposure xp when assisting in the Lab. They gain also gain xp from adventures alongside the magus or from Exposure from just hanging around the magus while they are doing whatever it is they do. So as an abstract average, Familiars recieve 5xp per season of Association.

[tab][/tab]Everyone gets to hit the ground running.
[tab][/tab]Each magus is granted of one of the covenant's several towers, containing the Standard Andorra Lab. This automatically includes the Free Virtues of Dedicated Building and Superior Construction (+1 Safety, +1 Upkeep, +2 Aethetics, +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 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: 1) to 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 appliclible (including Magic Items); 2) Modify and Refine the Standard Lab according to standard rules and options given below; 3) 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 Refinment and that score is not changed.
Refined Lab
[tab][/tab]All the standard rules for Refinment 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 Refinment. This also means that, without changing refinment, 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 purchse 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 everthing fit.

  • Nonstandard Lab: Pyramid Value of Size x 10 (eg. +1 costs 10, +2 costs 30, +3 costs 60)
  • Refined Lab: Refinment 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 Vitures - Flaws may not exceed Size + Refinment)
  • 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).

E.G. Vocis spent 40 points on his Lab, including 15 points for a Refinment 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.
((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 your expenses (Upkeep +3). Above that, the covenant splits the cost with you. However, you recieve an annual Salary of 6£ and 3 pawns of Vim, you recieve an annual Stipend of 6£ and 3 pawns of Vim if you serve a Covenant Office, and you can earn a Wage once a year of 6£ and 3 pawns of Vim for performing extra duties. Vis of another 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.

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 remianing 11£ to leave Vulcanus bearing the burden of 5.5£. He recievs a Stipend as Artifex of 6£, leaving him with one-half £. He also recieves a Salary as a Master, and often earns Wages for his extra duties.

Quality Arms & Armor
[tab][/tab]There are four ranks of Armament Quality; Shoddy, Standard, Superior, and Excellent+.

  • 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. The Cost is increased one step on the scale.
  • Excellent+: Excellent Quality armaments offer a bonus of +1 to +3. For Weapons the bonus is applied to both Attack and Damage.

[tab][/tab]Considering City and Guild, Superior Quality Armaments have a difficulty of 12, and Excellent Armaments have a difficulty of 12 for +1, plus three for each additional +1 to the bonus. Inexpensive Armaments may have a bonus as high as +1, Standard as high as +3, and Expensive as high as scores allow.
[tab][/tab]During Character Creation, you may purchase Quality Armaments with Vis (if you are a magus, with 1 pawn worth 4q.p.); or with XP (spent in lieu of q.p. for companions and grogs). Superior items cost 3q.p. Excellent items cost 3q.p. per point of bonus, twice that for weapons. Items of Quality, using said Verditius Mystery, are only available to those with the appropriate Hermetic contacts. Their cost is 4q.p. per point of the bonus granted. As a reminder, Item of Quality bonuses are added to rolls, and are not figured into scores or totals.

Toledo Steel
[tab][/tab]A basic example of an Excellent Quality Weapon, the Toledo Steel Long Sword 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. Enchanting such a weapon requires additional vis, adding the bonus to the base 5 for normal steel. Such fine weapons often have other precious materials included in their ornamentation.

[tab][/tab]The shape of your shield is a stylistic choice, be it round or square or kite or whatever. What matters is the size and mass; Small (Buckler), Medium (Round), Large (Heater), and Huge (Infantry). So for example, you can have a Large Round Shield and just use Heater Shield statistics.

[tab][/tab]There are two ways to calculate Armor, the simple system from RAW, and the advanced piecemeal system from Lords of Men. The two are compatible, if the piecemeal of the main armor & all accoutrements are factored together.
Simple System
[tab][/tab]Based on core RAW, Standard Armor has a Load equal to Protection. Expensive Armor has a Load equal to two-thirds Protection (or Protection one-&-a-half times Load). Inexpensive Armor Has a Load one and a half times greater than Protection (or Protection equals two-thirds Load). This represents the standard outfits listed on page 176 of ArM5.
Piecemeal System
[tab][/tab]Referencing both the Expanded Armor Rules from Lords of Men page 139-142, outfits are divided into four categories of Body Armor, to which are added accoutrements such as Surcoats and Greaves plus Helmet. Body Armor is categorized as Curias/Jerkin (half of Partial), Haubergon (equal to Partial), Hauberk (three-quarters full), and Full (which already includes greaves/jambes, but not the surcoat or helmet).
[tab][/tab]I shall not reprint the whole table, so go buy the book if you want customization via piecemeal. However, for reference, the composition of commonly encountered outfits are as follow.
Light Leather: Protection 1, Load 1 (Leather Clothes, Greaves, Iron Cap)
Partial Metal Reinforced Leather: Protection 2, Load 2 (Reinforced Jerkin, Iron Cap)
Studded Leather Hauberk: Protection 3, Load 3 (Reinforced Hauberk, Iron Cap)
Partial Leather Scale: Protection 3, Load 3 (Rigid Scale Cuirass, Greaves, Iron Cap)
Full Metal Scale: Protection 7, Load 7, Perception -1 (Metal Scale Full, Open Helmet)
Partial Chain Mail: Protection 6, Load 4, Perception -1 (Mail Haubergon, Greaves, Open Helmet)
Chain Mail Hauberk: Protection 6, Load 4 (Mail Hauberk, Gambeson, Iron Cap)
Full Chain Mail: Protection 9, Load 6, Perception -1 (Mail Full, Gambeson, Helmet)
Arma Draco: Protection 10, Load 7, Perception -1, +7 to Soak Rolls (+2 Superior Quality Metal Scale, Full, IoQ, OfE (P8/L6), Excellent Quality Helm (P2/L1/Pr-1))
Arma Vocis: Protection 8, Load 4, +7 to Soak Rolls (+2 Excellent Quality Mail Hauberk, IoQ, OfE (P7/L2.5), Gambeson (P1/L1.5)
Warrior's Aegis: Protection 12, Load 6, Perception -1, +7 to Soak Rolls (+2 Excellent Quality Mail Full, IoQ, OfC (P9/L3.5), Gambeson (P1/L1.5), Unique Quality Helmet (P2/L1/Pr-1))
Steel Skin of the Bear: Protection 9.5, Load 3.5, +7 to Soak Rolls, Lesser Enchantment to change to fit his changing size and shape (+2 Excellent Quality Mail Full, IoQ, LE (P9/L3.5), Coif (P0.5/L0)

Quality Armor
[strike][tab][/tab]In consideration of Enchantment, the pieces are all treated separately: Body, Sucoat, Greaves/Jambes, and Helmet. The same goes for enhancing pieces as Items of Quality. For Superior and Excellent Quality Armor, the bonus is attributed to the main Body Armor. The contributions of accoutrements are usually to small to be substantially affected. For example, Plate Jambes can be considered equivalent to Superior Quality Greaves. There is no difference in Protection & Load, both have a score of 1 in each. Yet Plate Jambes are Expensive and a few decades out of date for widespread use, and Boiled-Leather Greaves are Inexpensive and standard. A smith capable of Superior Quality can also plate Surcoats; A plate Cuirass (P3/L3), a Coat of Plates (P2/L2), Plate Jambes (P1/L1), or a Light Breast Plate (P1/L1). A smith capable of Excellent Quality of +2 or more can craft Plate-and-Mail Jambes* or a Bascinet style helmet, even though these are advanced technology out of period.
*[sub]In regards to a full suit, subtract the effects of normal Greaves/Jambes and add the effects of Plate & Mail Jambes.[/sub][/strike]

Question regarding Equipment:

So far we have rules to increase attack + damage, defence or soak. Would it be possible to increase Initiative somehow?

Enriched items
An enriched item grants a minor virtue OR a major virtue + a minor flaw (or drawback). If an Enriched item grants an ability, it grants it at a score of 3 (cannot be improved).
These are not costed. I am counting them as 15GP for the grogs (were counted at 12GP by during the creation of Arnau). Would that be correct?


As far as I can tell, it's never been mentionned anywhere.
CHHound made a good argument that, if you look at the LoM weapons table, more than anything, initiative seemed to be tied to a weapon's length and your ability to reach your ennemy, with only some small adjustment for a few weapons. The shorter weapons have the lowest inits, and only 2 of the longest weapons have a +3.

In theory, if agreed upon by the troop, weapon quality could add to initiative. Which could make sense for fencing weapons or maybe other certain classes.

These HR's are obsolete. The ones in current use are at the top. In Mustering Out, I have a link to the Hermetic Economics and Price Guide. I will pose it here too if you guys want.
I don't wanna mess much with weapon quality until I get a copy of C&G

I have decided that, as a rule of thumb, Items that provide bonuses and do not have cost covered elsewhere, have a q.p. value equal to three-times the pyramid value of the bonus provided.

Figure on q.p. equal to three times the pyramid value of a bonus given or a score provided; or use the price of an equivalent Hermetic Item.* Rare : Twice the normal value; Items that are still Hermetic (or semi-Hermetic) but require a special Virtue or Mystery.

  • Very Rare : Three times normal value; Non Hermetic Items, not that they are more powerful, just that they are expensive because they are scarce in the Hermetic Economy.

Now for Arnau, he is a folk witch with folk witch grogs. I think they already have the power to enrich items of quality? yes? Common item then. 18qp.
I know why it may be recorded as 12 or 15. An older rule was 4x then 5x the bonus value. I devised the scaled value (Fixer did really) in response to the Weapon Quality debate. You can only be grandfathered in if you don't go back and fiddle with things. When you opt to revise the character, you pay the revised price. :mrgreen:
Then again, this is an opportunity for testing and improvement. How do you feel about this structure?

To be honest, I've not been paying much attention to this debate, as it's all based on something or other from City & Guild and Lords of Men, neither of which I have nor have I heard enough wordfame to make me go "Oooh, must have!"

I, personally, will probably just keep on using the weapon quality stuff from the core book and the Items of Quality from Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults and let everyone else pass me by (unless they're willing to be Vibria's friend and give her really awesome, spiffy, and cool-looking stuff :smiley: .).