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Forgotten Suns: House Rules

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Revision as of 02:34, 20 May 2006 by imported>Wordman (→‎Craft)

Abilities

Craft

By official rule, “characters who wish to master multiple crafts must take this ability multiple times.” In our campaign, this rule is replaced with the following: Craft uses specializations to represent the various crafts a character knows. Any craft roll within a specialty that a character has is rolled normally including the bonus from the specialty; however, craft rolls in an area in which the character does not specialize have three dice subtracted and their difficulty increased by one. Characters who learn Craft gain one specialty for free. In addition, Craft ignores the usual limitation on three specialities per ability, allowing as many specialities as desired, though no one speciality may be chosen more than three times. In addition, Craft specialties start at +0 instead of +1. This is spelled out in a bit more detail here.

Lunar Shapeshifting

When in animal form, a lunar's own Brawl and Martial Arts abilities are supplanted by the Brawl skill of the animal form when making natural attacks. This reflects the fact that much of the training represented by human Brawl and Martial Arts skill assumes human limbs and hands. Lunars may buy specializations to Brawl skill that will add to fighting when in a specific animal form.

When wearing moonsilver armor to which they are attuned, a lunar may choose to banish the the armor Elsewhere when shapeshifting into any form. Such armor is still attuned and any hearthstones mounted in it continue to provide their effects. Lunars can only "summon" this armor by making another shapechange. This costs the same and takes just as long as normal. A lunar, for example, could change any form (including normal human form) into their normal human form with armor for the standard 1 mote, reflexive shapechange. Changing from any form into an armored animal form costs a simple action and the normal 3 motes, etc.

Backgrounds

Heart's Blood

This lunar background has been substantially reworked.

Manse

If a hearthstone is mounted into an artifact to which you are attuned, you gain the benefits of the hearthstone (both essence respiration and other abilities) through the attunment, regardless of where the artifact is. Skin contact is not required. This functions even if the artifact is Elsewhere, but not across other dimensional boundaries. So, if you were in Creation, but an artifact with your hearthstone was in Yu Shan, no benefit would be derived from the stone. Effects of specific realms on hearthstones continue to apply in the way most detrimental. For example, if you are in the Underworld, but an artifact with your hearthstone is Elsewhere (or vice versa), the penalty preventing essence respiration in the Underworld still holds.

Combat

Since the characters were built with standard rules, we continue to use standard combat rules, with a few exceptions.

Clinches & Holds

Clinches and holds are resolved using the new Power Combat mechanics. These just make more sense and are easier to apply.

Delaying Action

We tend not to have "race towards zero" problems, but the following rules are used to delay action. If you do not want to act on your standard initiative tick, you may do one of two things. You may conditionally delay your action, specifying a condition that will trigger your action. For example, you might delay and say "if someone tries to attack my friend, I will attack them." If the condition is triggered, you may act before the condition takes effect. The delay generates no penalty for your action. To continue the example, when an enemy declares an attack on the friend you are protecting, you may act first, effectively interrupting the attack. Once your action is completed, if declared actions of others were interrupted, they may change their minds and redclare their action.

You may also unconditionally delay your action. This allows you to act at a later time in the round without penality; however, it does not allow you to interrupt the actions of others. You can act before someone declares an action, but once they have done so, you cannot use your action until they are done.

If you chose to conditionally delay and wish to react to something that doesn't involve the condition, you can abandon the conditional delay and follow the rules for an unconditional delay.

In either of these cases, you may split your pool when you announce that you are delaying. Usually you would do this to declare defenses that can be used while you wait. Such defenses may be used without defaulting your action.

Martial Arts Styles

A clarification: martial arts styles can be divided into four groups:

  1. Styles that allow use of armor at all times
  2. Styles that allow specific (usually light) armor at all times
  3. Styles that prohibit use of armor with their form (and maybe one or two other) charms, but allow it with other charms of the style
  4. Styles that prohibit use of armor with all charms in the style

It is often forgotten that most styles are actually the third type. Five-Dragon and Immaculate styles are the first type, except Fire-Dragon, which is the third.

Celestial Practice of Immaculate Styles

The errata to the Dragon Blooded makes several changes regarding the Immaculate Martial Arts styles, most of which became official in the Player's Guide. Some, however, did not, making it a bit ambiguous. Regardless of the intent, this campaign works as follows:

  • Celestials do not need to make rolls when activating Immaculate forms.
  • Celestials do not need to dedicate themselves to an Immaculate path, so may learn other Celestial Martial Arts before, during and after mastering an Immaculate style.
  • Celestials transcend the need for "elemental harmony", so gain signature weapon benefits and do not pay a 1 mote penalty for each charm.

Charms Changes

Tweaks

Martial Arts

The Air Dragon signature weapon effect is a bit unbalanced compared to the other effects. This campaign replaces it with the following effect: An Air Dragon Immaculate adds his Martial Arts rating to Rate when using chakram.

Power Combat Changes

Our campaign, having gone on fairly long using the original combat rules, elects not to use the new power combat rules from the Player’s Guide; however, these rules contain a some changes/clarifications to charms that make sense for either rules system. Note that some of them are significant changes. The following are considered official in our campaign:

Archery

Immaculate Golden Bow: Accuracy and rate equal to Essence. Range 300 yards.

Trance of Unhesitating Speed: Costs a flat 3 motes per attack. No more extra attacks than Essence.

Athletics

Feather Foot Style: Cost now 5 motes. Duration one scene. In addition to effects listed in book, also doubles running and sprinting rate (though this does not stack with other speed enhancemnets).

Monkey Leap Technique: Distance measured in yards, not feet.

Spider-Foot Style: Cost now 3 motes, duration one scene.

Brawl

Sledgehammer Fist Punch: Type now supplemental, duration instant.

Endurance

Armored Scout’s Invigoration: Cost now 3 motes per point of mobility and fatigue negated, a max number of times equal to Endurance. Each 3 motes negates a point of each.

Essence-Gathering Temper: Each success on the roll gains a number of motes equal to Essence, though no more successes provide benefit that the character has points of Stamina.

Front-Line Warrior’s Stamina: Cost now 5 motes + 1 Willpower. Cancels all fatigue and mobility until the armor is removed.

Tiger Warrior’s Endurance: Cost now 6 motes + 1 Willpower + 1 lethal health level. While in effect, character regains Essence as if meditating (8 motes/hour) and cannot suffer fatigue checks or penalties. Character does not and cannot sleep. Duration is Essence + Endurance in hours. Health level remains “comitted” while the charm is active.

Martial Arts

Armor-Penetrating Fang Strike: Cost now 4 motes + 1 Willpower.

Essence Venom Strike: Cost now 7 motes + 1 Willpower.

Striking Serpent Speed: Cost now 6 motes only.

Melee

One Weapon, Two Blows: Cost now 2 motes.

Peony Blossom Attack: Costs a flat 3 motes per attack. No more extra attacks than Essence + 1.

Presence

Majestic Radience Presence: The Willpower roll to oppose or attack character made every time attempting to disobey or harm character, but no more than once per turn.

Terrifying Apparition of Glory: The Valor and Confiction rolls to oppose or harm character made every time attempting to disobey or harm character, but no more than once per turn.

Resistance

Durability of Oak Meditation: Cost now 1 mote per 2B added to bashing soak. A roll is no longer needed. May be used with existing armor.

Iron Skin Concentration: Big change: now reflexive and of instant duration, costing 3 motes only. It reduces the damage dice of any attack you are aware of to the attackers Essence.

Spirit Strengthens the Skin: Big change: now reflexive and lasts one scene. For 2 motes and 1 willpower, you may soak lethal damage with your bashing soak until the end of the scene. Incompatible with armor. (Note that this is somewhat similar to what Iron Skin Concentration used to do, but is slightly cheaper with a higher resistance requirement).

Unfailing Toroise Technique: Cost now 2 motes. Character's natural lethal soak becomes Stamina + Resistance to defend against a single, even unanticipated, attack. Charm is compatible with armor.

Iron Kettle Body: Cost is now 3 motes. Character gains +8B/+9L soak to a single attack. In addition, if the number of damage dice rolled for the attack starts at eight or less, the attack does no damage at all.

Thrown

Fiery Solar Chakram: Cost now 4 motes. Accuracy bonus equal to Essence.

Additional Charms

The following charms are legal in this campaign and may be learned like any others:

Sorcery

Rushing Sorcery

You may invoke a sorcery charm of a given circle to cast a spell of a lower circle to speed up casting. Spells so cast release one round earlier than they would if cast with the "proper" charm. For example, a terrestrial circle spell cast using Celestial Circle Sorcery would activate as soon as it was cast, rather than requiring a round of essence-gathering.

There are some caveats and drawbacks to speeding magic in this way, however. The first is that if the spell description indicates it takes longer or shorter to cast than normal, casting from a higher circle has no effect. More importantly, failures of rushed spells are treated as if they were botches (see pg.217 of core rulebook). Botches of rushed spells are twice as bad, doing double the damage over double the distance.

For purposes of dispelling, the circle of the spell is used, not the charm used to cast it. Rushed spells may not be "strengthened" (see below).

Casting can never be quicker than instant, so casting terrestial magic with Solar Circle Sorcery provides no speed benefit over using Celestial Circle Sorcery; however, casting from two circles above will avoid the increased failure penalities.

These rules also apply to necromancy.

Strengthening Sorcery

You may invoke a sorcery charm of a given circle to cast a spell of a lower circle to make the spell harder to dispell. Spells so cast use the level of the charm to determine how difficult they are to dispell and cost 10 additional motes per extra level. Casting time is standard for the charm.

For example, a terrestrial circle spell cast using the Solar Circle Sorcery costs 20 additional motes and takes four turns to cast, but may only be dispelled by Adamant Countermagic.

These rules also apply to necromancy.

Lunar Sorcery

Lunars have an innate connection to the Wyld and a lot of practice shaping themselves with their will, both of which make them natural sorcerers, particularly no-moons. To reflect this, experience costs for lunars to learn new spells are reduced to 7xp for no-moons and 9xp for other castes.

Costs for learning necromancy remain unchanged.

Training

Combo Training Time

As written, the rules do not set a fixed training time for combos. In this campaign, the base time for learning a combo when all of the charms in the combo are in a favored ability is equal to the sum of the minimum abilities of all the charms in the combo, plus the highest minimum essence of the charms, in days. If any of the charms in the combo are unfavored, add the minimum essence of all charms in the combo.

The training time assumes a teacher is available. If the exalt is self-training, triple the base time. The idea behind this rule is to provide role-playing incentive for tracking down combo trainers.

Modifying Existing Combos

Using cannon rules, combos cannot be modified. If you want to add a charm into a combo, you must learn a whole new combo. Unfortunately, this has the effect of preventing people from developing combos. In our game, we allow this rule to stand, but provide steep discounts in xp cost and training time for learning the new combo.

Suppose you have a combo with two charms in it and you want to add a two more charms into it. Determine the training time (T2) and xp cost (X2) spent learning the two charm combo. Then determine the xp cost (X4) and training time (T4) that would be required to learn the four charm combo from scratch. To learn the four charm combo, you pay X4-X2 xp and you must train for T4-T2. At the end of this, you know both the original two charm combo and the new four charm combo.

If you want to learn a subset of a combo you already know, you must learn a brand new combo; however, as with adding charms, you do so at a much reduced cost. Removing charms is much easier, so to learn such a combo, you pay a number of xp equal to the minimum Essence of each charm removed. You must train for a number of hours equal to the minimum attribute/ability of each charm removed. Note that, since reflexive charms in combos do not require activation when the combo is use, learning a subset combo should really only be needed to remove non-reflexive charms.

Attribute Training Time

Being masters of their own form, Lunars cut the training time to raise an attribute in half.

Trainers Required

In addition to things in the rules that require trainers to learn, characters must have tutors to learn the following:

  • Your very first martial arts charm of any kind
  • Any martial arts form charm
  • The pinnacle charm for a martial arts tree
  • Any Immaculate martial arts charm

Training Others

Exalted can both learn and teach at the same time. Thus, two exalted could be teaching each other different charms simultaneously. This is slightly non-sensical, but makes the game flow a little more smoothly (particularly since training times are long enough already).

Lunar Martial Arts

Lunar characters may learn martial arts charms from a style based on their totem animal for eight experience points each. The lunar may do this with one and only one style, selected by the lunar.

Sidereal Martial Arts

The Sidereals book implies that any celestial, including lunars, can learn sidereal level martial arts (in addition to sidereals, of course). The Players Guide restricts this to only solars and abyssals. In this game, Lunars can learn sidereal martial arts at a cost of 18 xp per charm (16 if MA is favored).

Note that all sidereal MA charms require a tutor, and finding one is the most difficult part of learning these styles. Sidereal sifu tend not to give up these secrets lightly, if at all. In this game, to qualify as a tutor to non-sidereal exalted, the teacher must be a master (i.e. know all of the charms) of the tree he or she is teaching.

Fair Folk Charms

As mentioned in the Fair Folk book, Lunars (along with Eclipse and Moonshadow caste) can learn Fair Folk charms, provided a Fair Folk has forged an appropriate grace for them. In a departure from the standard rules, however, Lunars pay only 17xp to learn these charms (not double cost).

Graces

Non-Fair Folk may improve the rating of any grace forged for them, even if they do not own it. All graces held by non-Fair Folk are considered to be minor graces.

Armor

Clothing of any kind may be used with charms that do not allow armor, even if the clothing provides soak bonuses. Charms that don't allow armor (such as martial arts forms) conceptualize this restriction with the idea that the bulk of armor restrains movement needed for the charm, which is not a factor in clothing (else the charm could only be used naked). Examples of clothing with soak bonuses would be Demon Embracing Robes or the gossamer garments of Fair Folk. Note that such clothing is bypassed by charms that explicitly penetrate or avoid armor (e.g. Armor Penetrating Fang Strike). To balance out this change, such clothing provides no soak against aggravated damage.

Astrology

Officially, a character may not have "two of the same destiny on herself" (side.218). In this campaign, this is purposely misinterpreted to mean that the sidereal cannot have two of the exact same identities at the same time; however, a sidereal may have multiple destinies from the same college on themselves, provides they are distinct identities. The practical result of this is that sidereals use effect dice from one destiny for special effects while reserving those of a maintained identity in the same college. Since the number of astrological effects on a single person is already limited by their Essence, this does not seem particularly unbalancing.