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Mage.png House Rules: Clarifications

The core Mage rules are intended for tabletop play rather than a persistent venue, so special considerations may be necessary to facilitate play in a MU* environment. Clarifications provide further detail or amend an existing rule. Administration will provide a reason whenever a ruling occurs. Established rulings are subject to change.

Navigation : Attainments -- Age -- Duel Arcane -- Extended Rolls -- Extended Rituals -- High Speech -- Legacies
Paradoxical Casting -- Rote XP Cost -- Rotes -- Sleepwalkers -- Soul Loss -- Spatial & Temporal Command
Spell Tolerance -- Status -- Teamwork -- Tie to the Land -- Wisdom Regain


Attainments acquired by a Legacy are innate magical abilities. Attainment powers do not incur Paradox and they cannot be countered, dispelled, examined by Mage Sight or triggered by magical means. Spells or magical abilities can affect an attainment, such as a Mind 2 shield preventing attainment from altering the subject's emotions.


All characters must be 18 years old.

18 is the minimum age for an Awakening. In Caledonia, "young" Awakenings are comparatively rare. Most mages awaken between 25 and 45, and the average age for a Gnosis 2 mage is 35.

Duel Arcane

Optional Rule: Tome of the Mysteries (p. 122)

  • Shifting Sword and Shield: Duelists may change their sword, shield or both as a reflexive action, once per turn. Duelists must still use a different Arcanum for each.
  • Arms of Invocation and Banishing: If a mage's sword is one step above the enemy's shield on the banishing cycle (see MtA, p. 129), she gains a +1 bonus to its dice pool. If the enemy's shield is above the sword, the sword suffers a -1 penalty to its roll. If the duelist's shield is one step above the enemy's sword on the invocation cycle, she gains a +1 bonus to the Armor provided. If the shield is one step behind the sword on the invocation cycle, it loses a point of Armor against attacks.
  • Combined Arms: If a mage possesses a sword and shield Arcana that are one step away on the invoking system, she may recoup 1 point of lost Willpower by making a successful reflexive Gnosis roll whenever she chooses to defend without attacking. If they are one step away on the banishing cycle, she may sacrifice her shield Arcanum to her sword. She adds the shield's Arcanum dots to her sword's dice pool, but cannot subtract the shield from the enemy's dice pool. Using either maneuver consumes the sword and shield, and she must choose new Arcana for both on the next turn. The first pair of Arcana are available on the turn after that.

Extended Rolls
  • The maximum number of rolls that can be made in an extended action equals the character's Attribute + Skill + Specialty (if any). For example, Helix has Intelligence 3 and Crafts 3 (Tailoring) for a pool of 7. His equipment grants a +2 bonus. He can make up to 7 rolls on an extended roll.
  • Failure on any indicates no progress is made.
  • All progress is lost on a critical failure, and the project must occur anew.

Extended Rituals
  • Aimed spells cannot be cast using extended actions because the conditions they affect change too greatly.
  • High Speech adds 30 minutes to each roll in a magical extended roll.
  • Sacraments are required for ritual spells. A sacrament forges a resonant connection with the Supernal Realms based on the ritual's Arcana, the mage's personal beliefs, and Order or Path traditions. Sample sacraments are listed by Order book.
  • Sacraments do not grant an equipment bonus to ritual magic except when noted by a storyteller.

High Speech
  • No spell or Language merit allows a mage to communicate fluently in High Speech (MtA p. 54).
  • A mage must chant loud enough to be heard. Witnesses can attempt a Wits + Composure check to overhear High Speech. Sleeper observers are dangerous; although they cannot understand High Speech, they may cause a covert spell to become improbable.

  • A mage receives a +1 bonus to casting rolls and a -1 to Paradox rolls when her Legacy's primary Arcanum is one of her Path's Ruling Arcana.
  • Purchasing a Legacy costs one dot of Willpower, which costs 8 XP to restore. The dot must be paid before any attainments are learned.

Paradoxical Castings

Optional Rule: Tome of the Mysteries (p. 171)

A mage runs a greater risk of a Paradox when playing with the Inferior or Common Arcana of her Path.

  • Vulgar spells of her Inferior Arcanum add one die to all Paradox rolls.
  • Vulgar spells that require five dots in her Common Arcana or three to five dots of her Inferior Arcanum add one die to Paradox.

Rote Experience Cost

Optional Rule: Mind's Eye Theatre - Awakening (p. 199)

A character may opt to spend experience points instead of sacrificing a Willpower dot when creating a rote. The new cost is 3 XP per dot in the highest Arcana used plus one Willpower point.


Rotes benefit characters in the following ways:

  • Currency: Mages trade rotes as knowledge currency. High level or unique rotes have considerable value in the Royal Society.
  • Dice Pools: A mage's dice pools for rotes are generally larger than for improvised casting.
  • Paradox: Paradox dice for rotes are reduced by 1.
  • Reduced Mana Cost: Rotes for spells outside a mage's Ruling Legacy do not cost an additional 1 mana to cast.
  • Scrutiny: Scrutinizing the resonance of a rote is more difficult than a spell. 5 successes are required to identify the spell.


Sleepwalkers and Proximi do not exist in the game canon. Magical bloodlines are purely matters of speculation.

Soul Loss

A mage who loses his soul loses 1 dot of Gnosis per 24 hours until he has zero, in which case he is a Sleeper until he gets his soul back. He can continue to cast magic as long as he has at least one dot of Gnosis.

Spatial and Temporal Command

Optional Rules: Tome of the Mysteries (p. 72, 76)

  • Space: A mage with Space 5 does not need to add one dot to a spell when he casts it as an area-affecting spell. He must account for instant casting penalties or additional successes on extended casting.
  • Time: A mage with Time 5 does not need to add one dot to a spell to be able to use advanced prolongation factors. She must account for instant casting penalties or additional successes on extended casting.

Spell Tolerance
  • "Hung" Fate or Time spells count as one-half a spell for the purposes of spell tolerance.
  • Magical items, including artifacts and imbued items, count as one-half a spell for the purposes of spell tolerance.

  • All mages begin with one free dot of Status (Order). Further increases to the merit come at no cost, but rely upon obtaining and fulfilling the responsibilities of a role specific to the mage's Order.
  • A player must purchase the first dot of Status (Consilium) to obtain the rights of voting Fellow. Subsequent advancement will be obtained through RP, and the merit will be set at 2 to 5 dots at no cost, depending upon the position.


Each additional caster adds her teamwork bonus to the casting of the spell, up to a maximum equal to the primary caster's Arcana level in assistants.

Tie to the Land

Optional Rule: Mind's Eye Theatre - Awakening, p. 133

A mage who holds Status (Consilium) 5 over at least a season subtly affects the reality of the region as a whole. His Path's symbols or nimbus manifest. When an Acanthus is admired, for example, people show up on time more often while fog and mist seems more common than is seasonal. Conversely, when a Mastigos is Admired, the region might become darker and more menacing as citizens find it harder to navigate city streets and keep seeing things out of the corners of their eyes. Characters have absolutely no control over this effect, and it usually has no mechanical impact on game play.

Wisdom Regain

These rules are being considered as part of a trial period.

Sometimes performing the duties of one's Order or one's Path require violations of Wisdom. The penalties for Hubris are rightly steep, both as a deterrent to veering into the dark and jagged landscape and to represent the consequences of power. For a trial period, Revelations will allow the possibility to regain Wisdom without an associated XP cost as a reward for exceptional RP that embraces the struggle and penitence to walk the path of the Oracles. This will be granted by the discretion of the admins only.

Optional Rule: Guardians of the Veil, p. 42
A Guardian of the Veil may spend XP to increase the Wisdom of another character who lost Wisdom as a direct result of following the Order's goals. This rule may be used to mitigate the cost of restoring a point of Wisdom. To perform this act, submit a request via +job noting who the target is, the sin, and how it serves the Order's purpose. This is not a get-out-of-Wisdom-jail free card, and the targeted character must be performing an act or attempting redemption according to the Guardians' credo.

For example, an Obrimos who dropped a vulgar spell to prevent others from being able to do so, and thus violating the Veil, might lose Wisdom based on the spell's effects. However, this act of sacrifice is in line with the Order's principles, and may be mitigated.

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