House Rules

   
NPC Party Member Task Notification

It's becoming apparent that with the monumental tasks ahead of the party that the NPC's will have to be employed to take care of a lot of different things simply because the players don't have enough hands to do everything and also because in some cases the players don't have the necessary skills to tackle an obstacle where as an NPC might.

The key thing to keep in mind here is that it is the players that are important, not the NPC's. What this means in a broad stroke is that

when an NPC performs a task whether mundane or specialized they will not have the capacity to affect change quite the same way a player would with equal skill level,

meaning that what the players achieve will be all that much more highlighted by contrast. What this means to you, is that you should not expect a Duex es Machina/deliverance from the NPC's. I will always have a reason as to why they can't simply solve the puzzle, win the game, end the war, etc. for the players.

Again the story is dependent upon the actions of the players. I won't dumb NPC party members down because they are what they are (for example, Six is an expert assassin and is likely considered superior to the party members in physical combat in most scenarios and that would be reflected, but he wouldn't unlock anything that a PC might other than possibly a plot hook), but I'm not going to give them any special moments of brilliance on behalf of the party unless they flat out crit on a roll (1,1,1).

When in doubt, Roll!

If you aren't sure if you should roll a seemingly applicable skill, roll it anyway!

Sure you might fail, or even critically fail at a crucial moment, but that's not always a bad thing for the sake of telling a story.

Further, a non combat skill that is rolled as a success is considered to last as long as the scene description is intact, though not the entirety of a scene thread. This means if the scenery changes or new elements are introduced the roll may need to be made again, but for example:

The rouge attempts to follow in stealth (shadowing). They succeed and follow the mark to a nearby area without problems, however, at a certain point when going through the city there is increased security patrols and even a checkpoint. This would require another roll. Exceptions can be made in both directions based on circumstances, but the rule remains, when in doubt, roll!

JOB SKILLS
For every 10 weeks of in-game time that passes characters will receive a bonus point to spend on a character trait that is core to their concept. This could be a base trait, skill, advantage, bought off disadvantage or otherwise, but cannot be used to buy new skills.

This is based off of the character development section in the base book. I've done the math and it checks out.

This will increase if the character is actually training to some extent.

TRAINING OTHERS
A character with a core skill over 12 (as in directly appropriate to their character) can provide basic training of a skill to another player character or NPC but only at a base level (IE, the first skill level they buy) after that rules for learning must be self taught, or taught by a skill level of 4 levels above their own.

What this means is:

If Bob has a 15 skill in sword and wants to teach Jane, he can do so at a base level. Jane has a base DX of 15 though, so Bob cannot raise her skill higher as a tutor, though he could work as a training partner (roughly equivalent skill) and thusly slightly improve the amount of time (300 hours instead of 400 hours for self taught or 200 for a trainer) for both to increase a free XP point towards the skill.

If you have a skill of 21+ you can train those at least 5 skill levels beneath you as a master. If you are 4 or less skill levels above them it only counts as being trained by a teacher, not a master.


Adding Skill levels

It's not always practical to work in that a character spends the game required hours to train, especially since skill points are earned at a pace of day to day (though each day sometimes takes several real time months to work out), making the campaign borderline cinematic. As such skill levels are added a bit more liberally. Exact rules are based roughly on the guidelines but exceptions are frequently made. One exception is practice...

Consider when adding skills to points that practice only gets one so far. Ability +3 for any skill a manual must be read and achieving any skill level of 16/+ requires at least minimal instruction. Anything over 18 always requires a master. This is in conjunction with the other house rules. Amount of practice and instruction are based upon the skill level, base attribute and type of skill (easy to very hard). Additionally any Mental Hard/Very Hard Skill cannot be increased with practice.

In some cases this can be as simple as going to the library and reading a common scroll or short manual, in other cases a master may need to be sought out.

In some cases certain skills might be admissible to be increased as a matter of storyline continuity. For example, the occult skill might be increased from having many experiences with the supernatural and learning a significant deal about such things.

As in all cases where the rules are to be altered from the core rules, the GM is the final arbiter on such decisions.

Plot Point Usage

Plot points are a loosely defined thing and are not subject to much in the rules department but here is the general rules:

-The plot point usage must be accompanied with dramatic text by the player, it cannot be used casually
-The plot point offers a single use of serendipity as per the advantage.
-During the use of the serendipity all relevant rolls to the objective (except damage) are made with a bonus of +/- 2 as appropriate, this can stack with other bonuses.
-If the GM determines that willful suspension of disbelief has been broken the die roll bonuses end, as does the serendipitous advantage.
-The direct resulting death of a named NPC always cancels this bonus.
-This serendipitous event can be used to kill a named NPC or affect the plot arc significantly, but is subject to the discretion of the GM.
-The plot point cannot close a plot arc but can solve an adventure objective.
-All resulting actions from a plot point should be expected to have drastic in game repercussions to help balance game play (frequently this means negative blow-back but not necessarily, nor does it specifically indicate bad karma, it depends on the "heroic" usage of the point).
-These rules will likely be edited.

Additional explanation:

A plot point can allow you to do things that are not normally within the scope of the rules, but are dramatically appropriate for your character. While it's use will be decidedly beneficial to circumstance, you must also remember that dynamic plot turns and twists will also have unforeseen consequences (both good and bad). Also, the amount of risk to character VS payoff is important, as is the RP posts involved. Plot points are designed to shake up the game in dramatic ways, though they cannot achieve that which is impossible. The key is to come up with a relevant usage of your character that is possible but not very probable and understand that in no way is a plot point an "instant win" button, it's just a dynamic wild card that will work as a means to an end that you couldn't otherwise achieve.

QUIRKS

All PC's are given 5 points of quirks. They may be picked prior to the start of game or left blank (or some filled some blank) to be determined during the course of play (I recommend mixing).

As the character develops quirks may need to be reworded or changed entirely. This is fine but we should consider avoiding changing quirk slots only when they cease to make sense for the character, and they must be replaced/offset by an equivalent quirk (-1 point). This is because a quirk is considered a "Promise to RP a certain way" and if we change this too often then the promise is pointless and the points are awarded without reason.

To change or add a quirk simply post the wording as a proposal for quirk addition or change in your private thread. In most all cases you will be free to determine the interpretation of your character, however the GM reserves the right to deny such a change for any or no reason at all *especially if it would directly impact the game in an unbalanced fashion.




 

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