Stacking Virtues, Continued


Continuing from the "How to play a Bjornaer" thread:

Hmm. Examples?

Yeah, because no one likes it. :slight_smile:

But the effects are still cumulative.

Granted, it's not explict.

If you cannot tell, yet decide that the other is correct, then, as I said above, "You're making an assumption too."



the "effects" of a momentary creo ritual are cumulative- if I use a creo terram ritual to create a steel sword, then cast t again, I have two steel swords. In theory I can use one for each hand. The same goes if I create water with creo aquum- and the two containers of water can be poured together, and treated as one... what is created is created, and further spells act as if it was always that way, no magic involved.


This works fine for non-ritual magic too. If I create a sword for Sun, and then create another, I have two steel swords. Similar for CrAq.



Here's one: "Self-Confident (x2)" (RoP:M p.77). That was the one I'd remembered off-hand enough to be able to find it after computer-searching many books. I don't even know how this one works, but it looks like it's reinterpreting Self-Confident as giving +1 to Confidence rather than setting it at 2. Was there mention of this somewhere? I don't know. But Self-Confident doesn't allow two applications in the core book.

Just like the effects are cumulative if you get healed and then healed again. You could use ReCo to teleport 7 leagues and then do it again to end up 14 leagues away. The effects are similarly cumulative. In none of these three cases do we have stacking spells, though.

I'm not saying one is correct over the other. I'm saying the problem only exists if you go in one particular direction rather than the other, which means the problem does not necessarily exist, even though it's been stated it has. There is no assumption there. That's just a statement of logical consequences. I haven't tried arguing which one should be used nor which one is correct. You're saying I'm assuming one side, but I'm not. I'm pointing out the two sides so it is understood conclusions based on only that other side are not logical conclusions until you pick between the two sides.


Indeed it doesn't. As you note, the second virtue does nothing.

I cannot consider this an example, because it makes more sense as an editing issue, considering that the dragon can quite legally take Improved Confidence multiple times as a Quality, and considering that the dragon's Confidence Point Total seems incorrect no matter how this is calculated.

EDIT: It also happened during character creation, so tells us nothing about the distinction between character creation and advancement.

The problem exists on the other side too. You've used Skinchanger, so I'll go with that.

First, let's note the name of the Virtue is Skinchanger, not Skinchanger(animal type). So it is already different from Affinity with X.

Now for the virtue, using the logic of "if it sounds like you already have this, the virtue does nothing," just like you believe Tough only applies the +3 once because it's essentially the same +3.


  • You have a magical cloak, animal skin or similar item made from an animal. ...

The first application of the virtue has given you this. Therefore you ought not get another one. Just like you don't want to let someone have a second +3 from Tough, representing a different kind or deeper resilience.

Now, you can argue that it seems reasonable to grant this virtue multiple times. But you can also argue that if my father's toughness comes from being descended from rock trolls, and my mother's toughness comes sheer stubbornness or from an angel that immediately heals 3 points from every wound, it seems reasonable that I can inherit both kinds of toughness, and they stack.

The problem is not eliminated. There is a big problem, of having to decide which virtues to interpret loosely and which to interpret tightly.

FWIW, I personally see no problem with taking Tough twice. A companion who has taken Tough 10 times for Soak +30 sounds kind of awesome, in the right saga. And I also kind of like the idea of a Skinchanger villain with an initiation script that lets him ritually sacrifice someone to grant him a vision of an animal he must hunt, kill and skin, gaining Skinchanger, and who has done this many times. What he doesn't realize is that the animal corresponds to the Heartbeast the victim might have had, and maybe a Bjornaer PC needs to figure all this out. But I digress. (I suppose we don't have to talk about Bjornaer on this thread. :slight_smile: )



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I wonder if that is a typo, and it is meant to be a Quality rather than a Virtue.
On p40 RoP:M is the Minor Magic Quality - Improved Confidence that does increase the Confidence Score by +1, and may be taken more than once.

Though it could be trying to correct the flaw in the core book's Virtue, too. Has anyone noticed that if you have a Confidence Score of 0 and buy this it bumps you straight up to 2, just as if you'd started with a Confidence Score of 1?

But it is currently a canon example, whether liked or not.

The interesting thing about it possibly being a typo is that we know for sure that not only was it written this way, but it was also maintained this way after they went back and specifically corrected this character, including right where it would have been placed as a Quality. Yup, it was left after a later review, not just after initial editing.

That would be even worse for your argument. The reason why is that others are reinforced for character creation, but not this one so far as I'm aware. You'd be saying this example would allow breaking that rule even at character creation. But I'll save your argument on this one. We can make exactly that comment about nearly character/being in the books, but then it becomes nonsensical. We're essentially saying they can't put examples of characters/beings who have gone through any advancement unless they writers have actually played them through that advancement.

Skinchanger was a bad example on my end. I double-checked. Skinchanger is repeatedly written as "Skinchanger" and repeatedly written as "Skinchanger (animal type)" in the books. I'd just seen the later ones more recently. Two additional issues: 1) Rereading the core description, I notice you don't need to choose an animal when you get the Virtue. You can destroy your item and make an item for a new animal. 2) It seems odd that you are allowed to have two variants of Skinchanger according to the rules, but only so long as you take versions with different names. For example, you could take Skinchanger and Dust Devil.

In all honesty, the other method isn't a "big problem." You just read the thing and see if a second version is a duplicate or not. For example, Puissant Vim and Puissant Corpus are not duplicates, while Tough and Tough are. I sincerely doubt that sort of reading is a "big problem" for anyone who can get through these rulebooks.

I don't really, either. It's not like you cannot manage similar in other ways. Why do you have to be aligned in only certain ways to get a huge boost to Soak? Allowing this lets you manage similar in different ways without making up new Virtues.

CrCo a point. Base 35 is increase an attribute to no more than +1. To me, that implies that if you had a -3 Str, you could gain benefit from the ritual 4 times as it meets the guideline.

But the point was there is never the stacking of a spell. Yes, this would work 4 times. Similarly, healing a Minor Wound could pseudo-stack 4 times: you're at -4 total from 4 Minor Wounds and 4 such Rituals are cast. But that's still not a stacking of magic. It's magic acting on something nonmagical.

Comes down to how to interpret +3 bonus to something. If you say yes to Tough then the same wording applies to Keen vision and Inventive Genius but not from Book Learner ( for example).

Most are quite clear. Large moves your size to 1. Taking it more does not increase the size.

of course with large the fact that there is a major virtue to move your size to 2 makes it more explicit. Many are clear, many are not. I'm not certain which side most lies on.


Yes, I had noticed.

It still looks like an editing issue. The virtue, after all, was not applied twice on the character sheet.

It's really a mess, and trying to extract meaning from it will likely be as productive as getting consensus about what the Second Amendment really means.

Most 'advanced' characters in the books are created using the default character creation method.

I'm pretty sure all of the statted beings in RoP:M conform to this.... except this one, which sure looks like editing issues.

I am saying that this example would break a generally accepted character creation rule, if I didn't consider it a clear editing issue.

I cannot consider this an example of anything other than an argument for simpler stat blocks.

Yeah. It's an easy shorthand.

I hadn't noticed that, but you're right! Going on a sea voyage? Prep for a season and become a shark or dolphin or something. Desert? Camel. You don't even need to have the actual animal skin. Magi can do much better than this, of course, but it's a neat find.

Yeah. Some new virtues say they count as a specific variant of an older virtue. Others don't.

I got through the rulebooks. I see it as a big problem.




Right! By just saying no, we save the close textual analysis that the rules really were not meant to bear.



personally I think the whole thing can be filed under YSMV.

What gets me is the fact that so many variatios can exist on the core rules, yet the idea of setting a game outside mythic Europe is apparently anathema. I mean it's okay to mess with the physics of the world but not the social or political realities?

Yes, it was. Applying it once would give a Confidence Score of 2. Yet the Confidence Score is 3.


The virtue affects confidence score and confidence points.

If the virtue is applied as written, applying it twice yields 2(5). If the virtue is applied as you infer, applying it twice yields 3(7); this is consistent with 2x the Quality. I don't have it in front of me, but unless my eyes failed me, as they increasingly do, the book does neither.




I don't think it's anathema. I know of someone who ran AM in the Forgotten Realms. People talk about running it in the modern day. A Mormons&Aztecs saga would be cool...



I'd love to see the rewrite of social virtues for forgotten realms, not to mention how they worked the divine and other auras...


This was pre-AM5. It was also a close-knit group that did not write much down, and I was not part of that group. So I have no artifacts to share.



This does not follow logically at all. It is only a possibility. I'll give another one: each instance gives +1 Confidence Score and +(N-1) Confidence Points, where N is the number you would start with if you began with the next lower Confidence Score. Then the pattern is 1 (3), 2 (5), 3 (9), ... Notice that this also fits the first two perfectly. I can give you an infinite number of patterns that do, the only limitation being the time I can put into it.

I suspect 3 (9) was chosen based on precedent. Many beings stated with Confidence Score 3 are given 3 (9).