House Rules

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House Rules

Post by Anja Rebekka Schultze on Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:15 pm

Strife suggested a thread of house rules so here it is. Please feel free to remind me of those I have forgotten to add and suggjest more house rules to add to the list.

Mechanics:

If a player roll four our more successes on a roll, not including extended roll the player can keep one success stored up applicable to any roll taken during the same day in game. The practical reasoning for this is that it is so infuriating to roll so well for an insignificant roll and this let you use some of that luck somewhere else. The in game explanation is that when you succeed so perfectly in something you get a confidence boost for a while which might make other tasks easier.

If you are underwater and is about to down nothing prevents you from using magick to stop yourself needing oxygen, growing gills or in other ways keep yourself alive if your Paradigm and foci would allow you to work such magick to save yourself, it makes no sense that if your mage can grow gills on land before he jumps in the water he can also grow them while in the water though off course stress might make the Arete roll allot harder.

You can use your entire Avatar rating to channel Quintessence into your rotes. Adley can use 4 points of Quintessence in such a way not just 3 of them. I think it works better if you also can use the top two dots in Avatar rating practically to channel Quintessence and not just the first three, after all unless your mage is filthy rich the times he or she will have four or five drams of Quintessence to use are rare.

You can raise all Backgrounds in game if you can find some in game explanation for it like with Colin's raised Avatar stat.

You do not spend exp to raise Arete, it is always done through roleplaying a Seeking, if the Seeking fails then there might be spiritual or emotional consequences but the character do not loose exp.

Stuff from Ars Magica:

House Mercere is an active group of mostly unawakened couriers that serve Order of Hermes and also the rest of the Traditions. In Mage canon House Mercere was destroyed at the start of the Asencion War as they where a priority target leaving only the Awakened minority who are now a minor House under House Fortunae. I however think that it is likely they would have been brought back, they are to useful not to and especially in modern days when the Technocracy control electronic communication. The House is still placed under House Fortunae but they enjoy a widespread respect as couriers though some also treat them as Custos despite their unawakened members being Larta Magi and full members of the Order of Hermes. Most of House Mercere come from failed first and second degrees who do not want to go back to a sleeper life or those sleepers who have been hurt by the Asencion War and want to help out, a minority are those on the Founders Path magi who have lost their magick, these few creep out Awakened magi though they are highly respected among their own House. Due to their tendency to pick up the victims of the Asencion War and at times the unfortunates who have lost their magick some Mercere specialize as psychologists and therapists and some of them can earn a decent living on the side hieing out their services as therapists to other members of the Traditions. House Mercere seek to make up for their lack of magick of their own by being expert handlers of artifacts, talismans and wonders and a big part of their training is based in the handling of these items of magick and as such a Mercere can be a force to be reckoned with and few can handle a magickal item as well as one of their House. About 10 percent of House Mercere are true magi and hedge wizards and they refer to themselves as Gifted Mercere, these are the magickal descendants of the two apprentices of Mercere the Founder a powerful Cabbalist who managed to Gilgul himself in a lab accident. Gifted Mercere get more respect than the Larta Magi in their House by other mages and as such they always themselves try to minimize their own importance giving great respect to their unawakened Housemates usually trying not to be the leaders of their Chantries and Cabals. Here I have used the House as it stands in Ars Magica and just moved in to modern time.

Larta Magi are a custom among Order of Hermes of initiating a sleeper as a honorary member of the Order. Usually this is done by House Mercere and House Jerbiton but it have been known for other Houses to bestow this honor as well. Larta Magi are by law full members of the Order who have the right to vote at Tribunal but out of respect for their inability to really understand what it is like to be Awakened by custom they refuse to vote other than this they have the same rights and responsibilities as any member of the Order of Hermes. Other Traditions see Larta Magi as Custos. Many Larta Magi are provided with talismans both as a form of protection as to mimic the powers of their Traditionmates. This custom is taken from Ars Magica but are not mentioned as far as I know directly in Mage.

Referring to a geographical region as a Tribunal. In old times what Covenants where found within a reasonable travel distance of one another where referred to as a Tribunal since this was the region where members of the Order tended to meet from to have well, Tribunals, which is not just trials but is also what the Order call official gatherings and something that have been mentioned in Mage as a name for a well, mage con, a few times as well. I have the impression that this custom would have continued in the very top down 2 ed setting as a practical way of organizing Chantries in a region. Today a Tribunal is generally a city and it's suburbia and smaller towns and they still have regular meetings and try to foster cooperation between the Chantries in the region.

Preco, with the idea of the Tribunal comes the title of Preco who is either the oldest, reasonably sane mage in the Tribunal or the Deacon Primus of the most powerful Chantry in said region. The Preco serves as host in tribunal meetings, he or she holds a power of great respect ans subside over such meetings though he or she do not have that much actual power other than as an organizer. Again this is taken from Ars Magica.

Senior Quesitor It is mentioned that the oldest Quesitor are usually the one leading a case, Senior Quesitor is a title from Ars Magica that refer to the oldest, still practicing Enforcer in the Tribunal though off course if this Enforcer are from another Tradition Senior Enforcer or whatever title used for Enforcers in their Tradition will be used instead. The Senior Enforcer's job is to subside over all local trials and this is also the person a mage will complain their plight into if they feel they have been unfairly judged by the leaders of their Chantry. This is semi canon for are only hinted to in the Mage books as far as I remember and are from Ars Magica.

The old Hermetic Hand Gestures. These are referred to but not in detail in the Mage books, I have included them as their own system of hand sigils though that are different from the modern ones developed during the Renaissance. These hand gestures are from Ars Magica.

Hoplites are an Enforcer's assistants and at times strike teams, these might be lesser Enforcers, with the Order of Hermes they are often House Janissary but they can be any mage who volunteer for these often dangerous jobs. Members of House Flambeau are often Hoplites. The Hoplites are often the ones sent to make an arrest or sent to retrieve an escaped indentured servant or are the ones wo are set to the task of executing a local punishment under the direct order of the Tribunal Enforcers. The title is not used in Mage as far as I remember it is from Ars Magica but the concept is. In fact House Janissary's role in the Order of Hermes are the very essence of the concept of the Hoplite so I feel pretty safe in including it as an official title.

Homebrew:

Minor NPC Simon Black is an Traditionalist Infernalist from the Orphan group Children of the Antichrist, this is not an canon group but was one of the excellent home brew Orphand groups and Crafts found on Ander's Mage Page. Normally I would not include something non canon that where not taken from Ars Magica which is partly canon as Mage was created to be the future incarnation of Ars originally until WW went away from that idea to some degree. However just completely non canon groups I do not include usually but as Simon is a minor NPC and he is a part of how I originally made Morningstar I kept the character rather than changing him since such a group of infernalist Orphans is rather likely to exist in the setting and the Traditions do allow for infernalists as long as said infernalist are not Nephandic, though they are frowned upon, especially by the Order of Hermes who frown allot at infernalist...allot.
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Re: House Rules

Post by s7trif3 on Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:21 pm

A few other House Rules we adopted in Jan 2018- please correct if I got them wrong.

Rotes: rotes negate the -1 fast casting/spontaneous magick difficulty modifier, there is no strict cap on how many rotes a mage may learn or know.

Extended casting: as per  M20 540-543, total # of possible rolls limited by permanent WP trait+Arete (and endurance/stamina and other modifiers etc).
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Re: House Rules

Post by Anja Rebekka Schultze on Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:22 pm

Yeah that seams about right.
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Re: House Rules

Post by Warpmind on Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:59 pm

I believe it was total number of possible *successes* limited by Arete+Willpower, and number of *rolls* limited by Stamina and whatnot.
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Re: House Rules

Post by Anja Rebekka Schultze on Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:24 am

Yeah come to think about it that is what we have used, which of the two would you guys prefer?
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Re: House Rules

Post by Nicole Bouchard on Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:54 pm

I have no opinion on this; none of it directly effects Nick.

[Merely making it clear I've noticed this thread]
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Re: House Rules

Post by s7trif3 on Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:45 pm

When I put up my reply, I wrote: "M20 pages 540-543: Extended roll limits are permanent WP trait+Arete - It's not multiplicative. However, this is /also/ limited by stamina: work for one hour per stamina dot - each subsequent hour, rolls stamina at the base difficulty of the ritual or suffer penalties."

The total upper limit on the # of rolls you can possibly make is limited by Arete+Perm WP (max number of potential rolls), and also by your stamina (time). Adley has atm a total possible times to roll of 9 (Arete 3 plus 6 perm wp). He has 9 potential rolls. If whatever he is working on takes more /time/ than 2 hours (his stamina rating is 2 dots), then there should also be a stamina check roll to see if he can continue the rest of his rolls and working without a stamina penalty. However if all 9 rolls take place within two hours, then there's no need to roll for stamina - they are independent of one another. There is no noted limit on the # of sux you can get in those 9 rolls that I can see (unless you want to make a house rule limit) - however, the more you roll the more likely it is to botch or any given roll, which obviously affects the working.
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Re: House Rules

Post by Anja Rebekka Schultze on Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:00 pm

Well Nicole could do a ritual in the form of making some machine or gadget so it apply to her as well.

I think I prefer the version in the book where you have WP plus Arete as the max number of rolls but not a cap on successes so if you are really lucky you could end up with allot of them. But I will go with what the majority prefers.

Thank you for the information Strife.
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Re: House Rules

Post by Warpmind on Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:05 pm

Alright, the cap is on rolls, not successes... I like that one, too.
I can work with that. Though, nine successes is generally going to suffice for most things, unless I mean to put permanent effects into place. Wink
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Re: House Rules

Post by s7trif3 on Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:09 pm

I'm still good with the M20 rules for extended rolls that I just posted - there are also rules for making gadgets too in there, iirc which are clearer than the ones presented in Forged by Dragon's Fire. I recall reading that and backing away slowly xD

From another disc thread that I'm putting here for easier reference (because I just spent time looking for them and wanted to find them here, feel free to correct):

Spirit Sphere: We've been using 2e rules for Spirit sphere and associated material is derived from that.
--This includes the Gilgul rite being a S5 (only) rote (from the storyteller's companion) as well as 2e Gauntlet ratings.
--for working with Ghosts, both Entropy, Prime and Spirit are allowed spheres to work with ghosts, depending on Paradigm (M20 says that you need Entropy and Prime to attack a Ghost which then often becomes a Spectre, whereas previous editions used Spirit, see p417-418).
-In M20, Spirit Sphere/DimSci, can use counterspell to soak Rage attacks (vs using their Charms) from Spirits even though they are Deadly damage. And even if they don't have any Spirit ranking, they can use their Avatar rating to soak - are we going to use this? see p417-418

Counterspelling Qlippothick Magick:
Summarizing, basic counterspelling mechanics are that you need to know at least one of the spheres involved with at least one dot in it and each success (diff 7) takes one away from the effect it targets, chewing it away until it fails or is less effective. Interception of an effect targeting someone else requires the mage to know one of the spheres again, has a diff 8 plus requires knowing Prime plus uses one point of Quint to fuel a protective spell (kind of like Shell from Final Fantasy). We agreed that the standard would work but since Colin and Adley have been using Entropy and Prime to work against Fallen spells in a different way, we could develop an alternative. From what we discussed, I got the following (comment if I have interpreted something wrong or there are other ideas):

Reweaving (aka, Filling Magickal Potholes): In the same way that Technocrats lean on the Consensus they have built in their favor to overcome Dynamic Magick, the Consensus is still more friendly to Dynamic magick than Qlippothic works. As Qlippothic magick destroys the possibility there was anything but the rote, it is working against reality - using the concept of negation - to destroy anything but what they want to happen. Reweaving is a different tactic for dealing with the Fallen's rotes. Using Prime/Entropy (and applicable related Spheres and optimizes with Quintessence), Reweaving attempts to reintroduce the fundamental property of possibility back into the reality affected by the Qlippothic work so that other possibilities can again exist. This may default back to Reality as Consensus dictates, as that is the easiest rather than a new Dynamic work taking its place. Though difficult, Reweaving is a powerful tool against the Nephandi, as it reinforces Existence of Reality itself by repairing the damage done to it on a Primal level. Mechanically, as Reality is in favor of existing or at least not degrading at an increased rate from normal Entropy, mechanically using Reweaving technique gives the person a -1 difficulty in dealing with Qlippothic works.

Knowledge/Abilities/Talents
-Dodge doesn't exist in M20, we've agreed to use M20 dex+athletics as the dodge ability
-Languages are Knowledges and not Merits - Enochian is a language that OoH mages can learn as part of their tradition and is limited by Arete (others may know it, but 'awakened' use of it vs what is found in occult bookstores or by larta magii and would fall under the 'occult' trait. Since it is generally kept as a secret).

Wards:
-The term Ward can be used generally to include non-Correspondence type defenses, such as perimeter-alarm or tripwire type spells which are Prime-based. (any personal or perimiter spell that protect, stop magick, warn of intruders and so on are a ward)

Gilgul, avatars, and Branding are in the thread: gilgul, branding and shit that can happen to your avatar
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Re: House Rules

Post by Anja Rebekka Schultze on Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:52 pm

Looks good Strife yes we have our own thread for bad things that can happen to Avatars, for mages who do not like to sleep at night to read. Razz

Ok then me Warp and Strife preer a cap on the number of rolls and not on successes, Nicole, Tane and Jeremy what do you prefer?
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Re: House Rules

Post by Jeremy Silverstein on Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:30 pm

Definitely prefer cap on rolls and not successes. It shouldn't really matter but at least this way we can have the fantasy of rolling potentially 20+ successes on super cool and complicated effects  Smile .

It also makes it easier to fulfill my dream of creating a sort of 'Alice in wonderland type' of effect by trapping a group of people in a complex and immersive mental illusion, which the "How do you do that book' lovingly describes as a holodeck type of illusion. I like the idea of trapping people in Serge's 'wonderland'. Razz
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Re: House Rules

Post by Nicole Bouchard on Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:39 pm

Don't know the other bits; will need to digest them properly before I reply [MtA magick is not my strongest suit]. Well a reply which actually makes sense and adds to the conversation. But I will comment on this part now:

s7trif3 wrote:
Knowledge/Abilities/Talents
-Dodge doesn't exist in M20, we've agreed to use M20 dex+athletics as the dodge ability
-Languages are Knowledges and not Merits - Enochian is a language that OoH mages can learn as part of their tradition and is limited by Arete (others may know it, but 'awakened' use of it vs what is found in occult bookstores or by larta magii and would fall under the 'occult' trait. Since it is generally kept as a secret).

Now, the problem is that Warp/Strife were made using - as far as I can tell - using a 3rd sheet, while Nicole/Serge were made with 4th's [M20]. So, *yes*, Warp/Strife would be rolling Dexterity+Dodge while Nicole/Serge get Dexterity+Athletics.

I will also point out that Linguistics are not on the 'standard' sheet for new players which have been stickied. [http://chantrysteelhaven.forumfreek.com/t132-character-sheet]

In this case, I'd say perhaps - in my own opinion - the best method would be Warp/Strife's sheets to be converted to the the stickied format.

I've taken a quick peek; the only actual *felt* change would be for the Linguistics dots to be translated to appropriate 'Additional Language' Merit[s]. Everything else would remain as-is. Getting Nicole/Serge to convert 'back' to 3rd would be much more effort [particularly for Serge, as his Art would literally be abolished!]

Not only would it make sense to get this over and done with before it gets too messy, but also solves the 'Dodge' issue too.

[By the way... Strife, if you've got Linguistics 4, I believe that is under 3rd rules 8 extra languages, not 4. Plus, you can pick a speciality for it too. At least by the by-the-book rules.]
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Re: House Rules

Post by Warpmind on Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:51 pm

Oh, we've long since fixed the Dodge/Athletics issue. Dodge is a bad skill, since it has only a single purpose and context...
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Re: House Rules

Post by Nicole Bouchard on Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:58 pm

True; I when I ST also merge 'Awareness' and 'Alertness' too [but that's more a personal preference and a desire to offer 'Art' on a VtM sheet].

But you didn't answer the implied question: would you mind losing Colin's Linguistics 1 for a 'Additional Language' Merit?
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Re: House Rules

Post by Warpmind on Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:29 pm

Oh, er, I didn't answer that implied question because I missed it.
I suppose I wouldn't mind, as such, though the Linguistics skill covers more than just speaking languages; it also covers the ability to interpret, to comprehend unfamiliar languages and dialects if necessary...

I'm going to have to ask for a Storyteller ruling on that issue.
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Re: House Rules

Post by Nicole Bouchard on Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:20 pm

Similar arguments could be made for other 'lost' Abilities; from both various editions of MtA to other games in the WoD. Plus, I've seen at least six different sheet formats for Mage alone.

The writers realise this issue - it's why they introduced the 'Hobby Talent/Skill/Knowledge' option for 4th. So, if you wanted to pinch 'Larceny' from VtM for MtA, to show a professional skill [like Colin's flying skills] or Lores, you can. In my opinion, it's the cleanest way of allowing sheet [and so PC] customisation without a) producing a stupidly bloated sheet for creation or b) doing 'lawful stupid' rulings - I once played with an ST who stated flying a plane was 'Drive' and using a longbow was 'Firearms'...

On the particular Linguistics point... well, the only character who would be really affected would be Strife, and they've already taken 'Linguistics' as their Academics speciality. Perhaps the Merit 'Natural Linguist' could be thrown in too if the conversion goes ahead?

Yes, it's Anja's call; I am not presuming to be making it. There are other options - such as re-introducing Linguistics for the sheet here, or offering it as a Hobby Knowledge. I'm just thinking aloud, here.
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Re: House Rules

Post by s7trif3 on Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:55 am

re: linguistics - I talked with Anja about the languages and linguistics issue when we changed it. I bought languages per the Merits at char creation. Later on, we decided to keep them as Knowledges. Retroactively the points were a bit weird then between that and hence linguistics and Enochian (which also has it's own additional rule and comes from the OoH Tradbook) were put as secondary skills. Also, linguistics is not just knowing a language like Warp said, it's the study of language itself which I picked specifically for that reason. I don't mind if it's folded into as a Hobby Knowledge though that implies a leisure passtime rather than a professional skill, which is what he has - Flying wouldn't be for Colin (Professional vs Hobby skill?). Semantics at that point though.

re: dodge - It makes more sense to have dodge folded into athletics.

How did the Alertness and Awareness combination work out?
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Re: House Rules

Post by Nicole Bouchard on Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:31 am

Well, I used 'Hobby' as the definition, as it's the one used in the 4th Cores - I do prefer 'Secondary' myself.

Problem is, that between the 100+ books, there's a huge welter of options - many of which would be applicable to at least one particular Mage build. Ritual. Hypertech. Flight [with wings]. Bureaucracy. Then we have the Backgrounds and Merits/Flaws too; I could see a Dreamspeaker having the 'Spirit Network' [WtA Auspice book] Background, and as an ST I swear by the Hunter's Player's Guide as an excellent source of more generic Merits and Flaws. [One day, in the future I may actually go through all my books and collate *all* of them into one document.]

Yes, it is semantics. One person's hobby is another's professional skill - the counterpoints of the 767 pilot who has fun doing historical re-enactments as an longbowman and the professional archery trainer [for films etc] who enjoys getting out in their little Cessna whenever they can.

The Alertness/Awareness combo works perfectly fine - it's now a generic 'noticing stuff' skill which I use frequently with Perception. I found 'Awareness' just too specialised a skill, not much more than 'noticing Occult'. Though this may be it's a VtM game, not a MtA one.

I am 100% happy with Anja's rulings on all this, btw.
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Re: House Rules

Post by Anja Rebekka Schultze on Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:01 pm

I tend to prefer the term secondary ability as many of them do not have to do with hobbies while many hobbies like for example going to the shooting range or doing sports can make for a main ability.

Please just choose the secondary abilities that you think will work to flash out the skill set of your character or stick with the main ones.

I think Awareness is pretty useful, yes it is used for noticing things not seen with the regular five senses, getting a creepy feeling in an old haunted house, seeing that a vampire is not quite right, feeling that there is something special about a mage, in the World od Darkness this is not very specialized really and are quite handy to have.

The additional language merit can be useful indeed but I have to admit to liking the Revised version of Linguistics better. In Second Edition you got to few languages for buying Linguistics, but with the system in Revised it worked pretty well. I also like that there are a skill to roll when trying to understand a old manuscript written in 1500's English for example, something a merit do not let you do.

Now as for skills, if someone want a skill, take it whatever or not it is on the current sheet, if you think it fits just take it. To me the point of having rules is to make the game run smother, but customizing them to make the kind of character you want is a good idea. Also as for bow and arrow being firearms, sure perhaps it would go under that skill but that do not mean someone who can shoot a gun can shoot a bow and arrow. I think common sense have to be used, the skills are often board so often a character will not be able to do all the things implied by that skill. I would have a decent Occult score in World of Darkness that do not mean I would know about all areas of the occult.

re: linguistics - I talked with Anja about the languages and linguistics issue when we changed it. I bought languages per the Merits at char creation. Later on, we decided to keep them as Knowledges. Retroactively the points were a bit weird then between that and hence linguistics and Enochian (which also has it's own additional rule and comes from the OoH Tradbook) were put as secondary skills. Also, linguistics is not just knowing a language like Warp said, it's the study of language itself which I picked specifically for that reason. I don't mind if it's folded into as a Hobby Knowledge though that implies a leisure passtime rather than a professional skill, which is what he has - Flying wouldn't be for Colin (Professional vs Hobby skill?). Semantics at that point though.

This.
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Re: House Rules

Post by Nicole Bouchard on Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:56 pm

I would add; make sure to talk to Anja about the proposed Secondary too. What you have in mind may already be covered by another, or it may not even be used. Or she may simply not like it period.

Yes, Awareness does have use - but I found it was one of the lesser used abilities *and* was one which could realistically be handled by Alertness / Occult - which was vital as I really wanted my game to have 'Art' which meant a slot needed to be freed up.

Linguistics; I do not mind, either way really - was merely pointing out the issue we had a split of sheet versions amongst the PC's; your ruling has solved this issue and we're all using the same now. Plus, I know now how much it'll cost if Nicole ever decides to say learn Spanish. [And it's given Strife 4 free languages!]

Though would say Academics would be good too for the 1500's manuscript reading example - I for one are a monoglot but I'm somewhat well-read in English history / literature which would certainly be useful in such a situation.

I know this conversation has become a little rule-lawyerly; it may be down to the fact that this is the most rules-lite WoD game I've played to date. [Merely a comment, not a slight or anything! Just takes a little getting used to.]
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Re: House Rules

Post by Warpmind on Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:16 pm

Academics would be excellent for finding the 1500s manuscript, or gaining legal access to it in a a museum or university - linguistics remains appropriate for deciphering it, unless it's somehow written in fairly modern English. Razz
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Re: House Rules

Post by Nicole Bouchard on Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:37 pm

1500's English is defined as 'Early Modern' and is still somewhat understandable to a well-educated 2000's English-speaker. The main issues are with obsolete word usages, syntax differences and [in 'uncorrected' forms] spelling oddities. The works of Chaucer [1370's], the King James Bible [1600's] and Shakespeare [1580's - 1600's] are still studied in schools in their original forms. Though admittedly heavy reading [coming from one who did Milton's Paradise Lost recently as a challenge].

Which is why I cite Academics; someone with 3+ would surely be familiar with very least the Bard, which would assist. Anybody who had studied English history and had delved into primary sources would be familiar too.

In this particular case, I would use an Intelligence + Academics roll [with a higher difficulty] in reading said texts, not Linguistics [and giving Strife a break for his Speciality]. But this is purely how *I* would do it.
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Re: House Rules

Post by Warpmind on Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:40 pm

Certainly, 16th century English would be a far easier challenge, as such, than something like, oh, 15th century Arabic, which is where Academics call it a night and Linguistics take over. Razz
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Re: House Rules

Post by Anja Rebekka Schultze on Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:05 pm

I know I have gotten some books with John Dee's writings and it is hard to read yes but possible to get through. My point though still remain that there are things to use Linguistics for that are not just knowing how many languages someone speaks.
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Re: House Rules

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