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Game Rules.

Posted by NarratorFor group 0
GM, 1 post
Magic is in the air
Wed 18 Sep 2019
at 12:44
  • msg #1

Game Rules

  • This game is listed as mature. While tempting to list it as adult to enforce a level of maturity, that would open doors not acceptable here.

  • Violence, romance, etc. are all fine. Graphic details restricted to adult games should never be used.
    So while violence is OK, graphic descriptions of torture would be right out. While romance is OK, graphic descriptions of sex would be right out. Etc. Fade to black well before reaching that point. Also, remember that some characters may be children or non-human, and decency and RPoL rules are even stricter when dealing with those.

  • Be nice to each other. Keep conflict between characters if fitting, but do not let it come between players. We're all here for fun. Let's make it enjoyable for all.

  • The game system is Ars Magica, 5th edition, with minimal tweaking.

Credits for this Game Rules to A Legacy Etched, a game from RPOL GMed by callen. I hope he wouldn´t mind I borrow his set of rules, but they were too good to pass.
This message was last edited by the GM at 22:15, Thu 15 Feb.
GM, 2 posts
Magic is in the air
Wed 18 Sep 2019
at 12:50
  • msg #2


  • All speech other than Latin should be placed in a language group. We'll use Latin as the default so there is no need to use a language group for it. (Go to the bottom of "Insert a private line:" in the lower, right-hand corner.) Start the speech with a parenthetical note of the dialect used. If it is a temporary language group (labeled temp #), include the language in that parenthetical note, not that this is likely to happen often. You may put the actual speech in whatever color you choose to make it more distinguishable from private messages to the SG (GM). For example, Kroses of Tytalus is addressing some local Lithuanians so the player types:
    [Language unknown: (Hoekaronee) "Rinitisa wh st elle."]
    For those who understand Latin, this will show up as:
    [Language unknown:  (Icayinomethotra'iouhou) "Maairipran u u lo."]
    For those who do not understand Eastern Baltic, this will show up as something like:
    [Language unknown:  (Somkor-linvir) "Ntewheore fi hainle ove."]
  • Except in OOC threads, general OOC notes should be avoided. OOC questions or mechanical notes that are appropriate but should be placed within a private messages to the SG.
    Rolls and the like should be copied from the dice roller and placed in a private line to the SG, like other OOC notes. This will help keep them out of the way but keep them present.
  • When making rolls, generally use the built-in stress-die mechanic. If the roll is simple, switch to 1d10 manually. If the roll is with botch dice, switch to #d10 manually and make sure individual rolls are listed. In each case, write the reason in the comment line. Include the bonus to the roll with that reason. For example, "Spontaneous MuVi, +13" would be quite acceptable.

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:59, Fri 30 Oct 2020.
GM, 3 posts
Magic is in the air
Fri 30 Oct 2020
at 19:12
  • msg #3


House Interpretations:

  • Here is a quick estimate of base botch dice with examples:
    1. Casting a spontaneous spell in a safe location. Anything else with some risk but in a controlled setting.
    2. Casting a spell in a relatively safe location but not under as much control, such as on a raft on a relatively calm river.
    3. Attacking or casting a spell in combat.
    4. Attacking or casting a spell in combat in poor conditions, such as during a downpour.
  • The "pink dot" is not a valid defense. Magic resistance keeps active magic from reaching the target, which can seem like suppression or repulsion, depending on the circumstances. Examples: A boulder turned into a pebble will bounce off harmlessly because it is entirely active magic. A magically flaming sword can still strike the target, but the flames will not reach the target. A sword Talisman with an effect to read the owner's thoughts strikes the target normally because neither the Talisman bond nor the thought-reading normally reach the target anyway.
  • Characters may change their Abilities' specialties any time the level of the Ability changes. The character should have received some of the experience for the new level in a way that is relevant to the new specialty, such as instruction from a teacher with the new specialty or adventure experience having used the Ability in a way that would match the specialty.
  • Spell Mastery Abilities do not have specialties, though of course they have one option per level.
  • Familiar learning has been clarified. After a familiar is bound it may advance Abilities as a normal human. Magical familiars are not penalized for Might when advancing Abilities, but they still do when they undergo Transformation. Faerie familiars can learn Abilities as a human, or they may advance their Pretenses or change their glamours via normal means. Non-intelligent animal familiars lose Restricted Learning when they gain Intelligence.
  • HoH:MC mentions plant familiars without any mention of a special Virtue. To be consistent with that "animal" is being interpreted as animal or other beast with Cunning, so magical plants or elementals or similar Magical beings with Cunning strongly associated with an Art are acceptable as familiars. The Art combinations to bind them will be more tightly controlled than with animals. This should also restore some balance to Minor Magical Foci.
  • o be consistent with a number of items in various books, a fast-cast spell and a normal spell may both be cast in the same round. However, further fast-cast spells in the same round prevent the use of a normal spell in that round.
  • General spells do not require general guidelines, as long as it is the same effect with variable potency. For example, Pilum of Fire could be learned at a higher level to do more damage. This is actually by-the-book; it just seemed like it should be listed because a lot of people house-rule general spells to only come from general guidelines.
  • Personal wards function like Ward Against Heat and Flame, providing Soak and immunity to weak effects instead of immunity to all effects. Use Ward Against Heat and Flame as a guide along with the bases provided for other Forms.
  • Shadows belong to Ignem as they are darkness, at least a partial lack of light.
  • MuVi spells on your own spells are usually cast as a MuVi spell on one round followed by the other spell on the next round, as per David Chart's statement.
  • Just knowing Wizards' Communion is insufficient; the level at which it is cast is what is relevant.
  • Magi with Mercurian Magic may choose either D: Momentary (Wizard's Communion) or D: Sun (Wizard's Vigil) versions of Wizards' Communion each time they learn the spell for free. And you get one of these each time you learn a ritual at a level you don't know both of them (instead of the "higher" level as written).
  • The ReVi spells to sustain a spell keep it active only so long as its duration still applies. Once its duration expires, the spell ends. If you want to change the duration of a spell, use MuVi.
  • The ReVi spells to sustain a spell cannot be shut off the way an item maintaining concentration can be. That comes as an extra trigger effect when choosing that option for an item.
  • Aegis of the Hearth resists magical items within it by reducing their penetration, just as it does for Powers.
  • Aegis of the Hearth still tries to stop effects from crossing its boundary, as in its description. An effect must penetrate the Aegis to cross it's boundary. If the effect cannot do so, it is generally dispelled. Effects that require rituals to dispel them (longevity rituals, familiar bonds, permanent magic items, etc.) are not dispelled, but they will tend to flicker in an inconsequential way as they cross the boundary. For instance, a magus and familiar might feel their bonds stretching for a moment in an uncomfortable way, and then the bond would return to normal a moment later. Note that this does mean Parma Magica is dispelled. It can be raised again with ease since it need not penetrate, but spending the two minutes to repeat the ritual helps keep attacks on foreign covenants to a minimum. A token to an Aegis of the Hearth allows a person to bring effects across it without this dispelling happening.
  • Aegis of the Hearth must penetrate to repel beings. (This is now explicit in canon.)
  • Inventing a version of Aegis of the Hearth with a change to the size of the Boundary is allowed; this is not a change of "parameters" (still Boundary), just a change of power.
  • Aegis of the Hearth is not integrated well enough to use MuVi on it.
  • D: Sun 2/day need not be truly Constant (as per the most recent ruling on Constant which essentially removes it from existing), but they may be truly Constant (following the earlier ruling, firing off once and lasting forever) if the creator desires. Truly Constant effects should generally be R: Personal or something similarly suitable, though.
  • The effects of Size (including Virtues/Flaws such as Large) on Characteristics should be removed prior to calculating Characteristics for shape-shifting (HoH:MC). The effects of the new Size and those Virtues/Flaws are included afterward. This way, for example, just as a weak person would become a weak bear, a weak bear would become a weak person when shape-shifting.
  • Characteristic changes, such as from rituals, should be determined prior to including changes from Size, similar Virtues/Flaws, and Qualities. Also, the difference between the baseline and the value prior to Size, similar Virtues/Flaws, and Qualities determines the magnitude.
  • With the Venemous Quality (HoH:MC) is not so clear how the potency is determined; the newer version listed with the Muspelli (RM) will be used because that is much clearer. However, the Muspelli version is overly powerful. For non-Muspelli starting point is a Medium Wound with a difficulty of 3 or a Light Wound with a difficulty of 6.
  • Books are not written on Parma Magica for fear they may be lost.
  • Wound Penalties apply to actions themselves. So they apply to Attack Totals, Defense Totals, and spell casting. But they do not apply directly to either damage or Soak. They do not apply to magic resistance nor to aging rolls, either. The rolls or totals statement in ArM5 is so the penalty is not applied to things like Living Language when speaking to change a character's level of understanding.
  • If a being's Might Score is not totally destroyed by PeVi or similar, it will recover over time as per TMRE and A&A. (This recovery does not happen for Might Score given up to ritual effects or lost to Ablating, Acclimation, or Bind Magical Creatures.) If they are destroyed this way, Vis cannot be retrieved. If they are slain after losing some Might this way, proportionately less Vis may be retrieved.
  • Immortal magi (TMRE) advance as other beings with Magic Might. The use of their talisman to bypass the problems with Magic Might is also available, but it is a bypass as opposed to the only way to advance.
  • Magical spirits are described as effectively having No Fatigue without it being stated explicitly. They have all the benefits and drawbacks of No Fatigue automatically.
  • The limit to the bonus for Excellent items in C&G applies to Rego Craft Magic and automatic Verditius crafting as well. Automatic Verditius crafting is being interpreted as being able to reach the craft limit (minimum Superior) regardless of any actual Workshop Total.
  • As noted in a few spots, things like Cautious Sorcerer, Minor Magical Focus, etc. also apply to non-Hermetic things. So, for example, if you do something like pick up Succuro and Magicam along with Short Ranged Magic, Short Ranged Magic will apply to both your Learned Magic and your Hermetic Magic.
  • Your Talisman may be an Item of Quality even if you are not a Verditius since that is not a magical effect and so does not interfere with your bond the way someone else enchanting it would. It does use up 1 Vis of space, though.
  • All language specialties should be dialects. Unlike other specialties, these specialties cannot be changed later.

House Rules

  • To allow for other Magical Foci, Tremere apprentices who already have Magical Foci pick up Minor Potent Magic in Certamen. This provides +3 Attack and +3 Defense, which does not stack with the normal Tremere Minor Magical Focus in Certamen.
  • The Talisman bond itself does not Warp the magus, though it will Warp the Talisman. Powers in the Talisman cause Warping as normal. Note: Warping of a Talisman should personalize it to the magus and make it even more cool, though not more powerful.
  • Although circular (or similar) wards must penetrate, as per the rules, ward base levels do not depend on Might. The bases are determined only by the type of thing warded. The more specific the warding, the lower the base level.
  • Spells such as the Leap of Homecoming (transporting to a distance up to any marked by an Arcane Connection) must be designed for a particular location and so must be used with an Arcane Connection to that one location. This makes Redcaps and Hermes Portals more consistent with the setting and makes adventure more interesting. Such spells are still commonly designed to transport to one's sanctum or to summon one's familiar. Should one wish to create and master multiple of these, Adaptive Casting can be applied to them if all aspects of the spell other than the location are identical.
  • Many Mentem spells are limited by language differences, making mind reading less of a cure all.
    Creating (or essentially creating) beings with Might to extract Vis never supplies more Vis than the actual Vis put into the beings, regardless of the method used.
  • If multiple realm modifiers apply or a modifier would somehow be applied multiple times (e.g. you're casting a spell with half your body in a magical aura and half in an infernal aura), only the best modifier for you applies and it only applies once.
  • Teaching and Training can be split between different Abilities in the same way as Practice can be.
  • The advancement of Faerie Affinities (RoP:F) via rolling 1s is still limited by Warping Score as it is with other methods of advancement.
  • To prevent overvaluing of low-Might Familiars (cheap Transformation allowing for many Qualities), Magic beings must maintain a Might high enough to handle their Qualities as though created at the point they're at. For example, a Familiar with Magic Might 5 and 5 points of Qualities would need to raise Magic Might to 6 before being able to pick up a 6th point of Qualities (or pick up a 1-point Inferiority to keep things balanced).
  • Using a language by default (see two posts down) is limited to 4 unless the language from which it is defaulted is a related dialect, in which case the limit is 5.
  • Languages may be improved from their "default" level as though their "default" level adds on like Puissant Ability but for its level instead of +2. For example, knowing High German (Swiss) at 5 gives you a "default" of 4 for High German (Bavarian). Spending 5 points to buy a new Living Language Ability of High German (Bavarian) would give High German (Bavarian) 1+4=5. This bonus can never raise the language receiving the bonus beyond the level of the language providing the bonus.
  • After character creation, each year each character gets a bonus point put into an Area Lore or Organization Lore Ability representing where that character has been living.
  • The Defense Modifier for all shields in increased by 1 to make them more realistically comparable to other weapons.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:27, Thu 15 Feb.
GM, 4 posts
Magic is in the air
Thu 15 Feb 2024
at 22:30
  • msg #4

Character Creation

Develop a child character with up to 10 points of Virtues/Flaws. The child should be approximately 7-10 years old, but you may deviate from this. This is the character at the beginning of apprenticeship.

If you don't have access to Apprentices, just develop a normal character with up to 10 points of Virtues/Flaws of the chosen age. We will then work together to figure out when some Virtues/Flaws show up developmentally.

Try not to have a truly scattered selection of Virtues/Flaws. Mostly they should be from the core book, Apprentices, or Grogs. A few from other sourcebooks are fine. I just don't want to see super-crazy groupings that require similarly-crazy explanations for how it all came about.
GM, 5 posts
Magic is in the air
Thu 15 Feb 2024
at 22:35
  • msg #5

Languages in and around Mythic Europe

Reserved for later (and painful) editing.
GM, 6 posts
Magic is in the air
Thu 15 Feb 2024
at 22:40
  • msg #6

Rulings (to be discussed and added)

Virtues & Flaws
  • These Minor Magic Foci have been approved: Creating Natural Earths, Iron, Perfecting the Human Form (includes the mind), Still Water (not flowing, but not needing to be calm), Teleportation
  • Personal Vis Source provides 3 pawns/year of a Technique or 5 pawns/year of a Form.

Shape & Material Bonuses and Attunements
  • A wand/staff Talisman can count as a tool for spell casting. So, for example, a wand Talisman could be an Item of Quality, providing +3 to Finesse to hit with Vilano-type attacks. High quality won't count for both Attack/Defense and Finesse, it has to be built for a purpose and those purposes run somewhat contrary.

GM, 7 posts
Magic is in the air
Thu 15 Feb 2024
at 22:42
  • msg #7

Rough cost guidelines

The following are estimates of costs in p.v.f. Prices will vary, but this gives players a baseline to gauge if prices are high or low.
  • Buying a ritual spell that is in the books and not so secret (e.g. Touch of Midas) costs its magnitude + 1 p.v.f.
  • Buying a ritual spell that is in the books but somewhat restricted/secret (e.g. Strength of the Heroes) costs its magnitude + 2 p.v.f.
  • Buying a ritual spell that is very similar to one (e.g. Gift of Reason one magnitude higher) in the books costs its magnitude + 3 p.v.f.
    If you have special access to someone to cast a ritual at reduced cost or easier access (Cult of Heroes, for instance), the costs to buy a ritual spell will be reduced.
  • Buying a Longevity Ritual costs (lab total without assistance/10-2.6)2 p.v.f., rounded up with a minimum cost of 4 p.v.f. (So buy a lab total of at least 46.) plus the Vis required for the ritual (age/5 rounded up, and anything added for bonus). Assume the magus crafting the Longevity Ritual can handle a number of Vis equal to the magnitude of their lab total, rounded up to the next even number. You must spend a season, though you get to add your Intelligence + Magic Theory to the lab total as well, and your Familiar's if you have one.
  • Buying 1 lb mythic silver costs 0.1 p.v.f.
  • Buying a full set of casting props (see HoH:S) costs |bonus - 3|3+1 p.v.f.
  • Buying a special item will be estimated from C&G p.143-144, rounding up to the nearest 0.1 p.v.f. Note that Excellent items listed there at x5 are Excellent +1. Each further +1 roughly doubles the cost following the typical ArM5 2-5-10 pattern so that three levels are x10 from three levels below. Thus Excellent +2 is x10, Excellent +3 is x20, Excellent +4 is x50, and Excellent +5 is x100. But exceedingly excellent items become harder to find because there aren't many who can craft them. You can't just expect to be able to buy them.
  • Buying 1 pawn of Form Vis costs 1.5 p.v.f. through House Mercere (not the 2 in the books).
  • Buying 1 pawn of Technique Vis costs 3 p.v.f. through House Mercere (not the 4 in the books).
  • Buying a published (see the Atlas pdf) mundane book costs 0.1 p.v.f. This overrides the books below for these books only.
  • Buying a different tractatus costs (5+Quality)/10 p.v.f. for Qualities up to 5, (2.5x Quality)/10 p.v.f. for Qualities 6 to 12, and (Quality - 11)2 p.v.f. for Qualities 13 and up.
  • Buying a root (Level 5, Quality 15 Summa for us) costs 2 p.v.f.
  • Buying an Art summa (subject to the normal Quality limits) costs (Quality+3*Level-25)/2 p.v.f., minimum 1 p.v.f.
  • Buying an Ability summa (subject to the normal Quality and Level and Level limits) costs (Quality+8*Level-25)/2 p.v.f., minimum 1 p.v.f.
  • Buying a lab text costs (Magnitude-1)2/10 p.v.f., minimum 0.1 p.v.f. for all but lesser enchanted devices; texts for those cost (Magnitude+1)2/10 p.v.f. Lab texts to be purchased must be for spells or items listed in official books.
  • Buying an unrefined Object of Virtue (see RoP:M) costs 10 p.v.f., though availability may be a big issue.
  • Buying an Item of Virtue (see HoH:MC) costs its bonus +2 p.v.f.
  • Buying a Hermetic magic item costs what a Veriditus would charge (see HoH:MC, p.114). That would be triple the Vis cost to make it yourself, in p.v.f.

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