Table of Contents
Virtues & Flaws
Personality Flaws: You may take up to three Personality Flaws (maybe four), and only one may be Major. A good balance is one Major and two Minor.
Story Flaws: You may start with two Story Flaws, but only one may be Major. You may take Sory Flaws as Personality Flaws instead, and you may take modified Minor versions of any Story/Personality Flaw.
The Gift: The Gift, Gentle Gift, and Blatant Gift are all re-categorized as "Supernatural" rather than "Hermetic". This is a subtle but important distinction.
Characters are granted a slight increase in overall experience points for creation and development. This is due to an expectation to have scores in a diversity of minor abilities; such as Area Lore for different places, Order of Hermes Lore, Profession-Scribe, and etcetera. It also takes into consideration the high demands of the saga, and encourages you to play with power.
(Representing the first five years of life)
Begin with (Native Language) 5, (Native Area Lore) 2, and 45xp for Childhood Abilities (ArM5, p. 31)
Youth & Later Life
From age six onward (until apprenticeship), you gain 20xp per year. If you are Wealthy you gain 25xp per year, and if you are poor you gain only 15xp per year. . Magi and certain other characters cannot choose Wealthy or Poor. If applicable, they may choose Privileged Upbringing instead to represent their past.
Apprenticeship usually begins between age 7 and 21, and lasts 15 years. During this time, you receive 300xp for Arts and Abilities, plus 150 levels of spells.
You should spend no more than half your xp on Arts; You should not spend more than 55xp on any one Art (for a score of 10, or 12 with an Affinity); and You should not yet know a spell greater than the seventh magnitude.
Your spells may come from the main rulebook or elsewhere in cannon. but at gauntlet many of these may also be original or unique spells, invented or obtained by your parens, which they have passed on to you.
Describe your Gauntlet.
Mandatory Minimum Ability scores new magus are: Latin 1, Magic Theory 1, & Parma Magica 1.
Suggested minimum scores, however, are: Artes Liberales 1, Latin 4, Magic Theory 3, Magic Lore 1, Order of Hermes Lore 1, Parma Magica 1, Profession-Scribe 1, & Philosophiae 1.
You may play a magus fresh from their gauntlet, or you may choose a more advanced age. The suggested cap is less than 35 years post gauntlet (no more than five cycles). However, younger ages are encouraged and will be treated with generosity.
Rules for Further Development are based on Season, Year, and Cycle. The first two Cycles are the Years of Growth (Spring), and the next three are the Years of Power (Summer). Beyond that are the Years of Austerity (Autumn), then the Years of Dotage (Winter).
In a Season, you may…
- Take 10xp Advancement (average quality of the average abstract source is 10)
- Work in the Lab (normal rules, including gaining Exposure xp)
- Earn extra Vis Wages (3 pawns per season of any Form)
- Do anything else that requires a season's worth of time (write a book, copy texts, visit your relatives, etcetera). You gain Exposure xp for this as well as the results of your activities.
In the four Seasons of a Year (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall), you may…
- Take up to 3 seasons Advancement
- Work up to 3 seasons in the Lab
- Earn one extra season of Vis Wages
- Do whatever else that fits
- You Must take a point of Warping if you are on a Longevity Ritual
This is to be viewed as a ratio when extended to a Cycle. So you could, say in the course of a seven-year cycle, spend twenty consecutive seasons in the lab and study the rest of the time.
A Cycle is an average of 7 years of abstract development (the actual length of a cycle may vary up to +/- three years). Regardless of the adjusted length, each Cycle you may…
- Draw a Vis Salary of 21 pawn of any Form of vis. You may spend or use this vis at any point in the cycle.
- Gain one new Virtue from a Mystery, Adventure, or other appropriate source (see below)
- Describe a Major event in your life (the frequency of Major life events may serve as a guide to vary cycle length).
- You Must loose a season somewhere due to miscellaneous whatever.
- You must take three points of Warping for reasons that are certain to happen sooner or later. Take more (or less) if there is a good reason (such as a related Virtue or Flaw).
- If you possess a Virtue that affects how many xp you gain from a study source (such as Apt Student or Book Learner), add 30xp per Cycle of Development. This is invariable no matter how you tweak things. If you have two such virtues, add 45xp. If you have three then you are really pushing it, but that would add 52xp per cycle.
- For further consideration, there are certain Virtues & Flaws that may not mesh well with this advancement system. Though they operate fine in regular play, for pregame development they are modified as follows…
- Secondary Insight: The bonus xp are gained whenever the relevant Art reaches a score of 4, again at 6, and again at each point of increase beyond that.
- Free Study/Unimaginative Learner: Because study from vis requires a roll, it is treated as an independant seasonal activity, much like lab work.
- As a young developing magus, it is presumed you have access to a Standard Lab in a Magic Aura of 5. No further concern is needed unless you wish to tinker with this.
- During Development, it is presumed you have access to Lab Texts for spells from printed cannon or another approved source (such as the Andorra wiki). It is not that you had access to every spell, just the ones you happened to be researching. Other spells and variants will need to be invented from scratch. The same shall apply for texts concerning Charged Items and Lesser Enchantments, provided they qualify as a Similar Effect to a cannon or approved spell (e.g. a Lab Text for a charged PoF wand or a constant effect Doublet of Impenetrable Silk is fine; a wand that shoots bees or a doublet of steel silk are too original for a text).
If you are 35 or older at the start of a cycle, or turn 39 by the end of it, you must check for Aging that cycle and each thereafter. Calculate and consult your Aging Score.
Aging Score = Age/10 (round up) - Living Conditions modifier - Longevity Ritual modifier - other bonuses (Bronze Cord, Faerie Blood, Lab, etcetera)
Then subtract 2.
This system is lifted from Grogs chapter 5, which is based on solid ten year cycles. However, these cycles average only 7 years and are variable. Thus there is incentive to develop using longer cycles, you don't age as rapidly when you live a slower pace of life. You age faster with shorter cycles, but not to a crippling degree.
The Aging Score is calculated and applied at the end of the cycle, using your age at that point and all conditions as that then exist. So even if at the end of a ten year cycle you just turned 41, made your longevity ritual at the start of the last year and bonded a familiar with a +3 Bronze cord the last season, all these factors apply for the whole cycle.
Your adjusted Aging Score, if positive, is how many Aging Points you accumulate that cycle (distributed as you will). If 5 or higher, you suffer a Crisis that cycle. If the adjusted score is negative, your Apparent Aging is slowed. Starting at an Apparent Age of 35 (or younger if you look longevity for youthful vanity at an earlier age); your appearance ages a number of years equal to (10 + your Aging Score), with a minimum of 0 and not to exceed the number of years in that cycle (or years since you turned 35).
Gaining new Virtues & Flaws
In a given Cycle, you may gain up to 3 points of new Virtues &/or Flaws from Mysteries or Adventures. This requires discretion, and should not be indulged in every Cycle (unless you are part of a Mystery Cult). New Virtues & Flaws may also result from Warping, Twilight, and other miscellaneous circumstances.
For Mysteries and Adventures, the basic formula involves an investment of Time and XP. The base is two seasons and 10xp per point of virtue gained. This can be reduced by up to half by including Flaws (subtract one season and 5xp per point of Flaw incorporated)
For the purpose of these rules, reducing or removing a Flaw counts as a Virtue equal to the value of the change in points. Likewise for improving an existing Virtue. For example: removing a Minor Flaw counts as 1 Virtue point; reducing a Major Flaw to a Minor (such as a Personality Flaw) counts as 2 Virtue points; and improving a Virtue from Minor to Major (such as a Focus) counts as 2 Virtue Points. Exchanging one Flaw or Virtue for another counts as gaining a new Virtue (removing the old Flaw or gaining the exchanged Virtue) and a new Flaw (adding the exchanged Flaw or removing the old Virtue).
Concerning Time & XP, they are virtually equivalent (one Season = 10xp). Thus it is easy to calculate the cost formula as 30xp per point of Virtue, minus 15xp per point of Flaw. Or as 3 Seasons per point of Virtue, minus a Season-&-a-half per point of Flaw (in the result of a half-season, round up to the whole and take a refund of 5xp for the experience). Use whichever is most advantageous for your character at the time, such as when using Cult Lore to reduce XP cost (use the XP formula to your advantage) or trying to maximize your Advancement XP (use the Time formula as to not impinge or imbalance your ratio of 3/4 of your time for XP).
You may use a tale of grand adventure to justify new virtues once, and a second time if developed three or more cycles and the story written up for it is good. This is usually something non-magical, but it doesn't have to be. Examples gaining a General Virtue or resolving a Story Flaw. In any case though, any new traits must be a plausible result of the story and are acceptable if they are. So major supernatural encounters can rationally justify new magical traits.
Because this is limited, this is the only method allowed for gaining XP related Virtues (such as Warrior or Educated) or changing Social Status.
A Cult Score of 1 is required for your first Initiation, a score of 3 for your second, and an additional point for each Initiation thereafter. The required XP cost is reduced by 5x your score in that Cult Lore.
Initiation Scripts in printed cannon may supersede these guidelines.
Cabal Legacy allows you to start with one Initiation for free (as part of your initial Virtue & Flaw balance). In addition, you qualify for an Initiation with each point of your score in that Cult Lore.
For non-magi with Warping, simply apply normal rules (Minor Flaw gained when Warping Score reaches 1, again at 3, Minor Virtue at a score of 5, Major Flaw for each point thereafter).
For Magi, refer to Twilight.
The theory is that, in the short term, the typical magus will have (on average) an equal number of Good and Bad effects from Twilight. These may include new Virtues &/or Flaws (up to 3 points either/each), gaining/loosing knowledge or spells, and etcetera. To incorporate Twilight into Development, simply choose an even number of Warping points (up to 32 in a Cycle), and divide between Good & Bad Effects (including Scars for two or more episodes). This requires no xp and the time is considered washed in the abstract of the season (until you reach a Warping score of 6). Certain characters may have special traits that may justify more Twilight points or adjusting the ratio of good/bad effects. Use common sense and troupe guidance.
This is a term I picked up from the old Traveler game, used to refer to the final steps of development, finishing touches, and any final bonuses to be applied. Here you determine the final disposition of the assets and resources you accumulated over the years. Specifically, your vis.
As you developed, it was not necessary to keep track of what kind of Form vis you had in stock (though you may if you wish). All that was important up to now is the amount.
Every Cycle, you received a Vis Salary of 21 pawns, and you were able to earn Vis Wages at a rate of 3 pawns per Season. Vis distilled from an Aura is a separate Lab activity. The Virtue of Personal Vis Source grants two pawns of a specific Form each year, or one of a Technique (this is doubled in actual play).
You were/are allowed to use or spend this as you went along.
Now, totaling the pawns remaining, you may spend and/or keep what you wish. Of the vis kept, the Form and Container/Object must now be determined. The vis may be of any Form, or every two pawns may be traded for one of a Technique. Vis can be transferred between Artificial Containers (use the Shape & Material table as a guideline for capacity), or be found in a Natural Object (any type or amount in it's original material/state or a portion taken/siphoned thereof).
For Spending, refer to the rules below for Hermetic Economics. As a basic rule of thumb, one pawn is worth 4q.p.v. (quarter-pawns of vis). Lab texts cost 1qp per 5 levels, Tractati cost qp equal to Quality, Art Summa cost Quality plus Level, Ability Summa cost Quality plus three-times Level, Charged Items cost equals charges plus half the level of the effect, Lesser Enchanted Items cost 6qp per Magnitude, Longevity Rituals cost Age + half of the level, and otherwise 12qp per pawn of vis required (three times the base amount of vis for the project cost)
Then you may Liquidate any assets you wish to dispense with and no longer need, getting whatever cash value you can from them. This is best for items you have used up (books and lab texts you purchased), things you cannot move or cost too much to do so (your old lab), and so forth. Whatever the QP value would have been to buy that item, divide by ten, and that is how many pawns of vis you receive.
Further information on Hermetic Economics can be found by following the link given. As a shortcut, here is a direct link to the Hermetic Price Guide
Advancement for other types of Characters
Grogs receive normal experience for Early Childhood plus Youth & Later Life, in addition to those for any Virtues. The standard is 20xp per year (or an average of 5xp per season), which is considered in abstract. Advancement isn't broken down into Cycles, just calculate what is due for the sum total of years (divide it into steps for yourself only if you want to).
Grogs do not normally earn vis, but they can earn magical services through their duty. Taken in abstract, this is done by spending experience as q.p.v on things such as Longevity (age + half of level), Charged Items (half of level plus charges), and/or Lesser Enchantments (level plus magnitude).
Grogs aged 35 or more may gain a single new Minor Virtue balanced by a Minor Flaw. This costs 15xp (or three seasons). Certain grogs can be created as a Minor Companion instead, being permitted five points of balanced Virtues & Flaws. You can also create a Companion that is otherwise perceived as a grog, it is part of their background &/or current function, but theirs is a more individual tale.
Companions likewise receive the standard experience for Early Childhood and any Virtues, plus 20xp per year for Youth and Later Life (the Wealthy receive 30xp per year and the poor only 15xp). Advancement is not broken down into seasons, but may be divided as a mental abstract. Companions may develop up to 3 points of new Virtues, which do not have to be balanced by Flaws, but doing so makes it less expensive. The base cost is 5xp, plus 15xp per virtue point, minus 5xp per point of Flaws. Companion may gain Supernatural and Heroic Virtue this way, but must take an equal number of Supernatural &/or Heroic Flaws.
Companions can also earn magical benefits, spending experience points in abstract as q.p.v. the same way that grogs can. Companions may also acquire Invested Items, which cost two times (level + Magnitude, plus 12 points per remaining open pawn.
Familiars can only gain xp when their magus is involved in the process, using normal season rules for Teaching or Training, or Exposure when assisting in the Lab. They are eligible for xp from adventures alongside their magus, or from Exposure from just hanging around them. As an abstract average, Familiars receive 5xp per season of Association.
As an Apprentice, a Redcap receives 300xp and begins with 100q.p. worth of Redcap Items, which may be upgraded/exchanged at an improvement rate of 5q.p. per year. They also receive a level 50 Longevity Ritual when they begin aging. Finally, all Redcaps begin with a free Minor Redcap Virtue, which is the result of training or selection. In Development and in Game, they are expected to devote half their time to their duties. They gain 5xp in Abilities relative to their duties, such as local Area Lore or Language. This counts as a combination of Exposure and Practice. Each season of service also earns them 2q.p. on account, this plus an annual bonus equals the average 5q.p. per year improvement rate on Redcap Items. Redcaps can spend their free time as they wish, advancing as magi in abilities (average 10xp per season), earning Vis Wages (3 pawns per season), working Overtime, or whatever. Player Character Redcaps earn a Vis Salary of 21 pawns per cycle, just as other magi do. However, they no longer receive a discount unless the put time into it (see Hermetic Economics). NPC Redcaps receive a bonus of a Rook every cycle if they are independent members of a covenant and still connected with their house. Those who are constantly in motion or members of a Mercere Lodge (or are disassociated wanderers) receive no salary or bonus.
Detailed information about Redcap Characters can be found here