What are your House Rules, again?

A previous thread got sidetracked by my own crazy house rules, so I'm opening a new one here. This time, sans my own crazy ideas.

What rules have you changed? What rule interpretations or clarifications have you decided on in vague areas? What rule changes you think would work for the game, even though you haven't implemented them?

I'd love to hear how these worked out for you too. What difference do they make? Are you happy with them?

The only previous entry, before my own discussion hijacked my own thread, was from marklawford:

Was this a conscious choice? I mean, did you all read it this way or was the interpretation argued over and decided?

Have you had wizard duels where this came to the fore? Had any particularly quick magi shooting minor spells at other wizards to stop them from casting their "real" spells later?

Also, when do magi need to fast-cast before their formulaic spell is cast, except due to fast-casting (or the slow caster flaw, ritual/ceremonial casting, and so on) ?

Personally, I've read the rule as saying the same, except that casting a fast-cast spell doesn't automatically make the normal casting stop. (You'd need to make a Concentration check to keep casting the normal spell, though.)

  1. rewrote the whole conmbat section. All weaponjs in a given category (hand weapons, trhrown weapons, 2 handed weapons and missile weapons) are almost identical in their use to prevent peopkle going stat by stat looking for the perfect weapon. One that was an inexpensive one under ArM4 and 5 rules, BTW.

  2. Wards do not need to penetrate: their level needs to be penetrated by the people wanting to act across them (like leaving the circle or attacking something inside the circle)

  3. parma magica can be stockaded (as per HoH: TL) in a circle on the ground. Makes for good pitched battles between magi where your shield grog(s) are protected by your PM as well.

  4. We discourage Intellego Mentem spells. Not a rule, but it spoiled too muchof one saga before.

  5. We encourage focuses. Again, no hard rule but we like it.

  6. handwaving is THE RULE of our campaign if it makes for a better game. The player that challenges the SG for doing that, is the one sent to get the pizzas. No cell phone allowed to get them, under those circumstances. This IS a hard rule. Enforced by the players themselves, BTW :wink:

We use a few more, but I can't remember them right now.



What do you mean by handwaving?

Any rule that interposes itself in the path of a smooth and fun game, is brushed away. Handwaving.


Nice rule lol.

Must say, I am generally more inclined to use written rules as a guideline rather than an inflexible decree. It just a bit more prior consideration of the consequences re: continuity of play and potential knock on effects before doing away with a rule altogether.

I think its best to judge the need for a reinterpretation or outright disregard of a rule according to each situation as they arise.

When you lose initiative. Bad guy goes on 9, you go on 5. Bad guy throws mountain at you. You decide that you would rather be somewhere else, and forego the PoF you were going to hit him with...


We have done that many times. Sometimes though we STOP. If its going get someone killed, or something important to the saga is happening, we TAKE the time to figure it out. It doesn't always work out well, but its better than OOPS!.
If its not critical, though, its like "We'll figure it out later"

My favorites:

Against overspecialization:
-Focus bonus gives only the half of the lower art.
-You cannot have both Affinity and Puissant x to the same ability or art. If puissant art is a house gift you may change it to Affinity.

Reason of change: with the current rules you should bookkeeping ~300 book name (!) and statistics for an advanced summer or autumn covenant. Insane and/or boring.
-Tractatus: the first can be written from lvl 30 and at every 5th lvls thereafter. For skills from 10th and every second level.
-Learning from vis: if you get 1 vis for learning it gives the standard xp, 3 vis means you can double the result of the roll.
-Book learner gives only 2 pts.

-Magic item penetration 1 for 1 pt.
-Creo rituals: they'll be not real things but permanent magical effects and need +3 magnitudes. Reduce healing base levels by 3 magnitudes.
-Elementalist should give 2xps instead of 1.
-The player may have only one general learning virtue like Book learner, secondary insight, vis learner.
-Effect against magic: gives magic resistance. Every 10pts gives +5 levels of MR. It can be a spell or an item effect.
-Reduce damaging PeCo base effect levels by 2 magnitudes.

Hmm, that might actually bring it to some semblance of balance.Very interesting.

So... you've solved the problem by essentially eliminating tractatus, leaving summa which can be small in number even for a large library. Hmm. I appreciate the problem, but the solution is rather extreme.

I'm curious, this seems to go against the grain. Lots of your house rules reduce XP gain and specialization, this seems to increase it. Can you please comment on why you felt this is needed, whereas Book Learner grants only +2, for example?

Well, elemental magic is a major virtue. In vanilla both book learner and this gives +3 xps however booklearner is only a minor virtue and useable to every art. It would be also a solution taking this virtue as minor with 1 xp.
I'm also thinking to change secondary insight into a minor virtue.

Ever tried to work out a complete library by the 5th edition?

We use a few house-rules, mainly having to do with combat:

  1. We make weapon abilities more specific. We use one ability per weapon, signifying what you actually know, and then apply negative modifiers for similar but different weapons. A person who knows how to handle a basic short sword can handle a longsword with a -1 modifier to his weapon skill and -2 for a club. He can't, however, use a spear with a score in short sword, and has to use the default "you don't have a score in that ability=0". At the moment the modifiers are somewhat arbitrary, but they work.

  2. We have expanded the initiative-section a bit. Players roll initiative once and declare their actions lowest to highest initiative. Thereafter we resolve in the opposite order highest to low.

  3. We use the optional carry-over of combat advantages from round to round from ArM4 and use the combat totals for a wide variety of differing situations when an action is "contested" between two combatants. If two combatants have a fencing match in the library and one wants to grab the open book on the table before he disengages he'd need to spend a combat advantage of, say, 8.

  4. Magi can do one normal formulaic spell and as many fast-cast spells as they can manage in their own initiative as per the fast-cast rules.

These are the few that come to mind during the coffee break :slight_smile: .

I see.

Actually, I did. Which is why I appreciate the problem. :smiley:

My solution was not to. Instead, the library's content was built up gradually. As each character searches the library, content he was looking for was added (or declared not present). That didn't save too much, as I did have to establish the content on, say, Creo in the library. But still, it's better than working out the whole library.

What happens when your declared action is no longer possible? Do you get a default action, or an new initiative roll to check if you adapt in time, or do you just fail?

I think rolling initiative each round and declaring in opposite order would be interesting, but frustratingly time consuming. I can see why you chose to move to normal, cyclical intiative after the first round.

you get 1 exp a year in area lore (covanent) and an additional 1 exp if you do a task for the covanent. This is in addition to any other exp sources.

Right. Should have put that in. If you can't start the action you declared, say attacking a foe that has just teleported to the other side of the battlefield, you simply get the option of continuing your ineffectual action or refraining from it. It doesn't change a lot in the above example, but consider someone declaring they run out onto a rope bridge which is severed in front of his nose. Again, you get the option of continuing your action or refraining from it.

It may seem harsh, but I've given it a lot of thought. Even though you resolve actions in order highest to lowest, they all take place approximately at the same time, and resolving them in order is just the most convenient way of actually playing through combat. When you act, you act based on all the information about the combat situation you had been able to gather up to that point. If the action you decided on cannot be completed, it's due to information beyond your knowing, and as such, in effect, you lose your action.

Our house rules:

  • every character gains 1-3 exp per gaming session, spread only over abilitys/arts used and only one per art/ability (these points are usally put into Area Lores and Languages)
  • teaching rooms like specialized laboratories (a bonus up to +3 to teaching totals)
  • no group combat, instead of this every attacker after the first one gets a +3 to his attack total
  • talismans always changes with the wearer and are teleported with the wearer
  • not realy a house rule but Muto spells can make things truly indestructible (making magical enchantet armors and weapons tronger than the original rules would make them)
  • penetration of effects used by magical beeings are not: might - (might points used *5), it is might points - might points used, I plan to work up a rule to improve hedge magic penetration a bit too (but not much)
  • many creatures have increased stats (characteristics, soak, might, combat ect)
  • forrest paths can initiate all virtues, not only supernatural/hermetic

Does this include "heir"?

Sorry, couldn't resist. :smiley:

Sure. You might become the heir of the forest spirit if you become magical enough and the spirit is dying. :wink:


Perhaps I should have added "types of Virtues" like tough or an affinity but I didnt expect someone here to eb a korintenkacker. :wink:

We have also skipped the entire group-combat system. I never liked it. We do the same and give every attacker a +3 to attack total for each attacker that has attacked the same target before in the same round.

Another idea:
Magi may spend 7 points to hermetic and hermetic related virtues and 7 points to hermetic flaws at most. House virtue is not counted in that 7 pts.
Hermetic related: I mean puissant parma magica is related to hermetic magic for example.