Proposed Rule Changes

Here are the rule changes I'm proposing for 2011. Almost all of them have been suggested by other people and I simply took the ones I agreed with and have presented them here for public consideration and debate. These will only be enacted if people approve. I'm happy for other suggestions but please email them in rather than simply adding them here.

Rural Survival

Reason: No longer will a ranger have to invest 60xp to have reasonable odds their rank 5 survival will apply. I feel this brings it into line with Urban survival where the thief character can tell from the adventure brief that their survival skill is likely to apply most of the time. I think it may also help to make Ranger a more appealing primary class. Rangers who have already invested in multiple survival skills can reinvest that XP.

6 xp per Rank, maximum 5 Ranks

You are skilled at surviving in a particular natural terrain no matter how wild and untamed. This skill gives you one Dodge per Rank per Encounter when fighting in that terrain. At each rank of this skill it may be applied to a new terrain that the ranger has previously adventured in for at least three encounters.

Note that Rangers can only choose this skill for any non-urban terrain such as plains, woodland, hills, mountains, deserts, marshes, natural cave systems, Dream, the Burned Realm or even the Shattered Plain.

In addition each rank grants the following benefits:

  • Rank 1: You can survive almost indefinitely in your chosen terrain(s) this includes abilities such as identifying poisonous plants and dangerous animals and finding ways around or ways to Secret Kingdoms of Demihuman Cannibals and the like.
  • Rank 2: Guide - other party members gain +1 dodge for having a Guide in the party
  • Rank 3: Forager- For every terrain you have chosen and that you spend three or more encounters in during an adventure you gain 10hx of trade goods.
  • Rank 4: Master Guide - replaces guide. Other party members gain +2 dodges for having a Master Guide in the party.
  • Rank 5: Hunter- You are so at home in your environment that even the nimblest enemy seems a blundering oaf. You gain 5 Swift calls per encounter whilst in your Terrain.

Blood Curse

Reason: Blood magic is without a doubt the most powerful and widely useful magic. This is a nerf to its low level offensive spell that leaves it still an extremely potent heart of combat spell which I think is entirely keeping with the feel of blood magic. In summary this change removes the Ordained benefit (so the damage is now capped by the damage you can do in a single blow) and makes the self-harming version far more costly to the Blood Sorcerer. The aim here is to encourage use of the spell in the heart of battle while discouraging (though not eliminating) ranged chest assplosions.

This being the darker side of Blood magic, and one of the main reasons people are wary of attacking known Blood Sorcerors. A Blood Curse can have a number of effects, but most people tend to go for the direct damage approach; each hit's worth of blood put into the spell inflicts one hit of through damage to a living target, ignoring armour.

The blood paid for this curse must have been drawn from the same physical location as they wish to affect on the target by either the caster or the target, and cannot be more than the damage the caster can inflict in a single blow or the damage done to their flesh by the target. If the caster chooses to draw their own blood to pay for this spell then the wound they inflict cannot itself be healed with their own blood.

Longer term effects, or more specific woes, are possible with GM approval.


Reason: Gives GMs a systematised way to protect their big bad from instant takedowns, whereas in the past they've had to go 'well it does dream but its just immune ok'. While leaving the spell still in the level 4 class of utility.

At a cost of three Psyche hits the caster takes on a terrifying form in the target's mind. If the caster is not Ordained then the target is too terrified to Dodge or Parry and is so weakened by fear that their physical attacks do only Singles (unless they would normally do Singles, in which case the damage is now reduced to Halves). If the caster is Ordained then the target is completely paralysed with fear and just curls up into a quivering whimpering ball. If cast in the waking world this spell affects a single target, if cast in Dream it affects up to three targets.

Targets with exceptional mental strength are able to fend off the most crippling aspects of these nightmarish visions; anyone possessing 5 ranks of strong willed always suffers the unordained version of this spell.

Flickering Image of the Heart's Desire

Reason: Various people suggested this so; Spark of insight and Flickering Vision of the Heart’s Desire are combined, with SoI able to replicate FVoHD effects if desired with a ritual. FVoHD replaced with a new level 2 spell (very happy for other suggestions).

Ambition’s Unquenchable Flame

If their desire to achieve their goals burns strong enough the caster may call upon the Flame to strengthen their mind with unnatural resolve; to strive on where others would fail and fall. While active the caster’s psyche cannot drop below one as a result of psyche damage. In return for this the Flame demands the caster give of their own flesh. For every point of psyche damage they take that would have taken them below one they instead take a through global single as the Flame burns away their physical form. Ordained casters take a through global single for every two points of psyche. This spell may never be used when psyche is being actively spent; such as with dream or glass magic.

A character reduced to 0 torso hits by this spell is entirely consumed by the flame.

This spell does not need to be pre-cast to be invoked and may be used in psychic combat, though the caster’s physical body will still burn.

Name Magic

Reason: Well I ran on a platform of reintroducing this but I'm still very keen to hear objections/suggestions. It is worth noting that this is a 'bad' magic for anyone who expects to be combat effective with it. It is designed for characters who want to do things in downtime with it. It will be purely pick-up in play and will still carry serious social stigma in the White City, of the lynching kind.

The Powers

Name magic comes directly from the Bound Ones, this Form of sorcery has virtually died out in the known civilised lands and is now mainly possessed only by the few surviving officers of the defeated Army of the Red Gryphon and by priests of the Empire of the Unbound far to the West beyond the Great Forest. Anyone openly admitting to worshipping one of the Bound Ones or being a Name sorceror is likely to be ostracised at best in most civilised societies, and may well be hunted down and executed. This is unfortunate for practitioners for the very first time they invoke their magic their irises turn a distinctive luminous shade of purple, forever marking them as a Name Sorcerer.

Little is known about the Bound Ones any more outside the highest echelons of the Cloistered Brethren of Chains and those adventurers unlucky enough to have encountered them. Most of them have names which seem almost nonsensical, the few scraps of lore from the days of the Binding War which remain in common circulation mention such names as “The Eater Of Wings”, “The Walker In The Hollow Places”, “He Who Walks Wilderness”, “Tears As Fire” and “Opal”.

The Limits

The power of the Makers & Namers is shackled in many chains. To access this power Name sorcerors must take those chains upon themselves. This process often takes time and the creation of an object with Name Magic is never instantaneous, requiring the caster to concentrate for several minutes to bring their desire into existence as they mutter its name over and over.

When a spell includes a cost which lasts for an entire encounter, this penalty lasts for the whole of the encounter during which the spell is cast and also for the whole of the next encounter, so spells can't be cast near the end of an encounter for minimum penalty. Most of these penalties can be undone by a Shatter Chains spell of the appropriate level, and some of them can also be undone by other means (e.g. Shackles Of Iron can be Commended To Ash), but undoing the penalty will also undo the effect of the spell which resulted in the penalty. While a penalty remains in effect the spell that caused it cannot be used again.

The Spells

First Level

Make Anew

With this spell any object can be fixed as new. Such objects include; a single body or armour location, a shattered weapon or shield, a broken door or a fractured mirror.

When cast the caster then spends an encounter with their arms bound in iron shackles as per the Chain Magic spell Shackles Of Iron.

Smug Name Trick

Whenever you meet anyone you automatically know the name by which they are generally addressed. NOT their True Name but the name they normally use.

Second Level

Made Afresh

The caster can make simple items of little value that they have previously encountered. Such things include; swords, torches, rope, rocks, clothes etc. Nothing of better than standard quality may be created in this manner.

After casting this spell the caster then loses their sight for an encounter a per the Chain Magic spell Bind the Eyes.

During one downtime action it's possible to create goods with a total saleable value of 30 Hexa.

Smugger Name Trick

The caster can discover the True Name of anybody they meet. A True Name is the name that a individual uses to name them self and includes all additional names bestowed by Name Magic. Where the target has a Name that affects their nature the use of the spell can give the caster insight into that nature.

After casting this spell the caster loses their voice for an encounter as per the Chain Magic spell Bind the Tongue.

Third Level

Made & Named

The caster can make specific individual things of greater complexity including mundane living things. Examples include; a sword, suit of armour, a potion, a cat, a flower etc. It is possible to create valuable and superior quality goods with this spell.

After casting this spell the caster's will is bound for an encounter as per the Chain Magic spell Bind the Will. During this time they will obey any order or imperative that they hear. As this loss of will is taken on voluntarily the caster will even obey orders which go against their essential nature, but will refuse to do anything that is clearly suicidal. The caster doesn't have the will to order themselves around, so having trusted friends around to order them constantly to do as they will is probably a good idea.

Given Name

The caster gives someone a Name and that name will stick, though it is in addition to the target's existing names and does not replace them. A Given Name does not change the nature of the target but appends itself to their True Name. Such a Given Name is difficult to conceal and people will always seem to hear about it and will give it credence. For example someone named ‘Betrayer’ is likely to meet with greater suspicion and mistrust, whereas someone named the ‘the Just’ is likely to be considered wise council. The target will gradually become aware that they have been given a name but won't necessarily know its source.

Additionally Given Name may be used to remove names previously bestowed by the spell.

When this spell is cast the caster has their will bound as above.

Fourth Level

Made Unmade

The caster can make new things, even things which have never been seen before, though such an act of creation requires considerable time and concentration. It is possible to create items of mastercrafted quality with this spell. Living things can be created if being alive is part of their essential nature. The things created cannot differ from the essential nature of their names; for example, a giant troll will still be essentially troll-like.

After casting this spell the caster has their Name Magic bound, as per the Chain magic spell Bind the Power, for the rest of the adventure.


The caster can permanently change somebody's name, and thereby their nature. Such a renaming never has an instantaneous effect but gradually changes the target’s nature over the course of several weeks. For example a honourable Knight renamed ‘Ignoble One’ would likely be able to complete his heroic quest but afterwards would find himself gradually slipping into cruelty and depravity as his name shaped his nature. The exact effect of renaming must always be decided in conjunction by the caster, GM and LARPO.

Renamed may also be used to undo the effects of a previous casting of the Spell.

After casting this spell the caster has their Name Magic bound, as per the Chain magic spell Bind the Power, for the rest of the adventure.

Fifth Level

The Makers Made, The Namers Named

The caster speaks its name and bings an entirely new concept into existence. They are then sucked down into the depths of the earth and shackled there for all time in great chains in the same manner as the Bound Ones are bound. This spell may not be used without the prior approval of the LARPO.

Anti-Name Potions

Will continue to be rare but not unobtainable; they can be brought in downtime on the black market, though this is an IC crime. Alchemists wishing to learn how to make the potions will have to find someone to do so, much like arcane lore: name.

Anti-Name potions act slightly differently to other anti-magic potions (largely because of name's hideous cost to the caster and its lack of immediate effect spells) in that they don't make renamings bounce off but they can suppress the effect for an adventure, much like anti-blood potions and blood vengeances.

Public Comment

Please use this section to Object to, Suggest amendments to or indeed support these Rule changes. These changes are suggestions only and as I promised at the AGM its democracy that gets the final say. Do sign your comments oliver 2011/03/13 00:47

  • I agree with almost all of this, particularly the ranger change and the oneirophobia. I'm not certain about the blood magic one, partly because “If the caster chooses to empower the spell with their own blood then the wound they inflict cannot itself be healed with blood magic.” is very ambiguous. I have yet to properly read the name updates, but will do so over the next few days - I am in principle in favour of it becoming playable. — Dominic 2011/03/13 01:49
  • A couple of small comments about the Rural Survival. Firstly I think Forager needs to be clarified for the new set up. Do you get your 15hexa if you spend 3 encounters in any terrain you have. Or do you need to spend 3 encounters in one of your chosen terrains. If the latter do you get 15hexa for each terrain you fulfill the condition for or just the first. As a side point I'd personally remove the “must be a rural terrain type” and widen it to others such as the Ashen Plain, Dream etc (not urban), but only if you've adventured there before (similar to sneaking, or I'd suggest something like having to spend 3 encounters there in an Adventure). — Rob
  • Reworded blood curse. Will clear up wording of rural survival.
  • Added proviso to new flame spell to prevent it working with dream and glass magic — oliver 2011/03/13 13:45
  • I'd actually worry that rural survival is almost too powerful for 4 points per level once you hit four or five - at that point, you'll almost always be in a terrain you've chosen as soon as you're outside a city, and you then get stacks of benefits for a much lower cost than any other way of getting them. — James Grover 2011/03/13 13:46
  • Does indeed get snacky at level 5, though only as much as a theif often gets for most of the LARP. Two options would be to up the cost to 6xp or to remove/reduce the swift calls. Will consider. — oliver 2011/03/13 22:49
  • Ok, I've rejigged rural survival. It is now less good than Urban survival: lower hexa since I reason the great outdoors has less valuable stuff than cities and fewer swift calls since I reason mud is slippier than paved streets. I would still consider raising the cost to 6xp depending on what people think. — oliver 2011/03/14 13:15
  • I'd go with it how it was before nerfing it, but with the increased cost, personally - still far cheaper than it was before. — Dominic 2011/03/14 23:20
  • Looking at the changes: Survival, couple of questions, firstly is it still possible to pick up things like survival:dream or survival:burned realm? Secondly the do the trade goods stack if you've spent 3 encounters in several of your terrains (ie. 3 in mountains, 3 in plains, 3 in forests with those 3 survivals giving 30 hexa)? If not 10 hexa seems like an absolute pittance. I'd probably go with it as a 6xp skill without nerfing the swifts or the hexa income since even with 5 terrains there's still quite a lot of high level adventures that won't give you survival for at least a few of the important encounters (unless you've taken things like survival:chains of a bound one). Blood magic changes: first thought is that the offensive blood curse nerf just makes using it that way reliant on a wind sorcerer or a second blood sorcerer in the party to an almost silly degree, also liable to be a bit of a pain to keep track of if there is one in a limited resting adventure. If you want to remove the doubling I'd be tempted to add that someone can stab themselves for as much damage as they like, stabbing yourself in the gut with a greatsword as a skilled warrior shouldn't be that much more effective than trying to disembowel yourself with a nice sharp dagger. Otherwise the changes pretty much put in the deathblow for the notion bloodmage without at least two warrior levels. Retributive blood curse: name 3 circumstances in which it's better to retributive blood curse someone's arm rather than just use the blood to heal it and hit them back, I can just about think of two but if they came up on a larp I'd be amazed, fighting monsters with a higher damage call than you who're not using single sword, waves or extremely squishy monsters with craploads of dodges and parries. Oneirophobia looks good as a reasonably simple way of making it not an instant kill on big bads. Ambition’s Unquenchable Flame: the unordained one looks like the right level of useful, slightly dubious that both the ordained version is a bit on the powerful side (12 extra psyche with only a moderate cost) and that it's the first flame spell to actually give you something better for being ordained (that's up to you on which direction you're taking the meaning of flame ordination though), couple of things that might want clarification in advance interactions with vitrify and effects of starting to bleed out whilst sleeping or in psychic combat. **Name*: smugger name trick nerf looks fine, could still occasionally derail an adventure but it's much less likely now and easier to plan to avoid it on the gm's part. My main thought on name is that since it isn't actually very useful at all with the low level spells the cost of Made Unmade or Renamed ends up really low so their liable to happen every adventure that anyone with name 4 comes out on. I'd be tempted to buff the usability of low level name so it actually feels like a cost not to be able to use it, my main thought would be letting the binding for Make Anew last half an hour or 'till the end of the next encounter whichever is sooner, so a name sorcerer can act as improved armour repair at half the speed in a party that's happy with that sort of thing (compared with necromantic forestall the pyre it isn't particularly snacky) and there's already decent mechanisms of time pressure or unexpected ambushes to deal with a party that's doing too much armour repair. Also as a random note does Made and Named want an income component if used in downtime since you can pump out superior heavy at whatever rate would give you 30 hexas worth if it were standard. Sorry for the massive wall of text. — Dave 2011/03/16 14:10

Some General Responses:

  • Have raised the cost of Rural Survival; this does create more an XP rearrangement headache for rangers but hopefully the skill will end up being worth it.
  • Offensive blood curse - encouraging casters to work together for more benefit is not, I think, a bad thing. I shall think about allowing stacking of cutting for offensive purposes but frankly its not much different to just calling a stream of through singles.
  • Retributive blood curse - 1. an archer standing behind the monsters that you can't reach. 2. A Second wave of monsters where you've run out of dodges and parries but they haven't. 3. You're not a very good OC fighter (which doesn't apply to everyone but is very important to those it does apply to).
  • New flame spell - it is nice for people who have 5 ranks of tough (though by no means everyone has this) however a global through single is a high cost and considering you invoke this at one psyche its a one stop shop for healing potion addiction. Have clarified doom upon reaching 0 hits.

oliver 2011/03/16 17:38

  • Another quick thought on the new flame spell, what's the interaction between it and casting glass magic, particularly vitrify or high psyche eyes of glass on someone who turns out to have shattered blood? Still can't help but feel like the unordained version is really good whilst the ordained version is stupidly good (particularly against monsters that hit for psyche damage in physical combat) — Dave 2011/03/16 21:40

  • Cleared up blood curse, limits on drawing blood no longer apply the damage cap is all that matters
  • Added proviso to new flame spell to prevent it aiding with glass or dream magic
  • Made Smugger Name Trick slightly more useful when combating named monstrosities — oliver 2011/03/23 22:36
  • Final edit, went back to the simpler version of blood curse. Should be easier all round. — oliver 2011/03/28 14:52
2011proposedrulechanges.txt · Last modified: 2011/03/28 14:54 by osj01
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