House rules

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rulandor
Posts: 160
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 10:09 pm

House rules

Post by rulandor » Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:23 pm

On starting a new tabletop campaign, I want to present some house rules I plan to use. Perhaps some interesting discussion will ensue.

a) Magical skills are exceptions to the rule of putting ranks only in the skills by Association, Vocation and Childhood Experience.
Reason: there are too few ways to becoming a magician. Only by Cunning Man/Woman and Guild Associate you can get the Thaumaturgy and Conjuring skills. Inscription you can't get at all, if I didn't overlook something.

b) The Celestial Engine proved to be a disaster in my previous campaign. At 2 or 3 cogs, all game balance is off. Not to mention demons with their Entropy 6 cogs and 18 bonus dice on working magic.
So, no Celestial Engine anymore. Characters get their 4 Fate Points (or 7 in the case of Homo communis), and that's it.

Besides, I could never wrap my head around about when or not an action is in accordance with being a Templar or Liberator. Also, I have a hard time figuring the Guild as a force of Entropy. As I have a hard time figuring the Bill of Rights as a document of Order. The Ophanim are probably shuddering when they think of it.

So, in my games Order and Entropy are back to being philosophical abstractions. No more brow-furrowing metagaming considerations in using Fate points.

c) The Expert Talent ist off the table. The one use it found in my previous campaign was a disaster. One of the adventurers wanted to pick a lock every hour of gaming (Expert = 8 skill ranks). Sometimes, that made me frantic. So, away with it.

knightofhagan
Posts: 69
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:40 pm

Re: House rules

Post by knightofhagan » Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:46 pm

Good insights, rulandor.

Regarding a, I skip the childhood, vocation, and association sections of character generation. As a player I would prefer to make what's in my head over following guidelines. You might be lacking a few helpful skills, but that's what Exp. points are for. By now, the social classes are more than enough restrictions for my players to think critically about what skill they should take.

I agree wholeheartedly with b. Two sources for a dice pool are more than enough. I prefer to focus on the social classes rather than alignment. Order vs chaos is a great idea, and some terrific campaigns would come from examining it further, but it's not where I want to go in Victoria.

Would you elaborate further on how you're running fate points?

rulandor
Posts: 160
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 10:09 pm

Re: House rules

Post by rulandor » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:47 pm

With the exception of not using the celestial engine, we use Fate points and scripting dice as outlined in the rules.

Without the celestial engine, Fate points of course represent more a personal destiny or something like that. In India, people would perhaps speak of a personal "dharma", your talents, abilities and proclivities. This is not determination, but a bundle of tendencies, a personal "calling".

So, essentially, the theoretical window dressing of Fate Points changes; there is no consideration of whether or how someone serves order or entropy, but otherwise the rules remain the same.

rulandor
Posts: 160
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 10:09 pm

Re: House rules

Post by rulandor » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:56 pm

Another thing I am still considering to introduce: a variant to handle Maleficia licenses.

I noted in the books, especially the "Liber Magica", that several Guild Thaumaturgs are listed as having all Demonology or Necromancy spells. That means obviously: even those where normally no licences are given.

The descriptive text about the Consortium in Liber Magica says that sometimes "maleficia users" are allowed Guild membership, but have to submit to regular inspections of their doings.

Combined, these two observations cast doubt on the "Maleficium license" privilege for one spell each in the Corebook. So, I am considering the House rule of a 5 BP general maleficia license available for magicians whom the Guild trusts. This license would cover all and any maleficia spell. Of course, effectively casting a spell that harms or even kills a sapient is still forbidden, but in cases where the user claims extenuating circumstances, the Guild would hold something like a "Hermetic Court", akin to the investigation into a police officer's actions after firearms use.

What do others think about the 5 BP cost for such an encompassing license?

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