Swimmer/Diver

Enables the character to swim with a degree of success that is determined by SL. This skill will also enable the character to use a combination of floating and treading water, to enable him to survive if stranded in the water beyond the sight of shore or hope of swimming there.

The character gains a one (1) point bonus to his CND Action Allowance from this skill, for its tonic effect on the character’s health and fitness.

Skill as a Swimmer will also make a character better able to hold his breath while swimming, diving, or otherwise engaged in various actions underwater. Taking one slow, easy single breath gives the character [(current CND Action Allowance) ÷ 4] Action Allowance points, PLUS (1 per 4 Swimmer SL’s). If the character has the time and inclination, he can boost the bonus due to skill to (SL) points, instead, but this requires that he first spend 2 Pulses per additional point to be gained in controlled hyperventilation to oxygenate the blood. For every 33ft. of depth underwater a character descends, his Action Allowance is cut in half. Any remaining gets multiplied back out as he ascends again.

In the tradition of the great pearl divers of the Orient and sponge divers of the Mediterranean, the swimmer is able to dive to depths of up to (STR) + [(CND ÷ 4) x SL] feet before his air supply is halved the first time due to the effects of pressure. After that point, the character’s points of Action Allowance are halved for every 33ft. of depth normally, as described above.

To determine the speed at which the character is able to swim, the player should compare his AGL score to table C-l.

The figure in the “Move” column denotes the number of yards the character is able to move in a minute. This should be recorded in the “Movement” box on the character sheet in the space labeled “Water”.

To this figure the player should then add (1 per 2 SL’s). The maximum speed bonus the character is able to earn due to SL is equal to his AGL score.

This should be divided into 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, and “zero” rates in the same manner as the movement rates determined in Step 4. of Part 1., but rounding to the nearest whole number.

These rates reflect conventional surface swimming only.

To determine the character’s swimming speeds when he swims underwater (totally submerged), the player should divide the “(yd’s/min)” rates from above by 2.

Underwater rates should be recorded on the second line provided for swimming speed entries, marked “(U).” The underwater speeds is effectively constant regardless of whether the character is swimming at a downward angle or climbing, for the purposes of the game. Divers of the Pacific isles, particularly pearl divers, commonly jump in carrying heavy stones in order to descend more rapidly, however, so this enables them to swim about at depth for longer periods.

A character’s ENC rates when swimming is equal to (body weight) x 0.8 (Extreme), x 0.4 (Heavy), x 0.2 (Semi), x 0.1 (Light) and x 0.05 (Zero).

IF the amount of weight carried upon his person while swimming exceeds his Extreme rate, he simply sinks, be borne to the bottom and held underwater until the excess weight should be shed, during which time he is subject to loss of CND Action Allowance points normally, and then drowning.

When towing floating or relatively buoyant burdens, laden rafts, unconscious compatriots (GM’s discretion), this ENC capacity is multiplied by his [(modified STA) x 0.1). The character’s capacity for movement (speed attainable while swimming) is impaired while so laden.

As done with the character’s regular movement rates in Step 9. of Part I., swimming speeds must be reduced to Pulse Move rates for use in battle and tactical situations, when those optional rules are in play (GM’s discretion). Here again for the player’s convenience a conversion table is provided.

Swim speeds do not account for the movement of the waters themselves. When swimming against a current, the rate of the water’s movement is subtracted from the character’s own speed.

The att. mod. for the use of this skill is based upon the character’s STR and AGL.

 

GM’s Notes

The character will have no problems swimming in any reasonably calm, still waters, and will require no check against his skill. The character will only be required to make checks on d100 against his skill to determine success (and earn SP’s) when he is swimming in rough waters such as high or storm-whipped oceans or seas, swift-moving rivers, testing the limits of his ENC while swimming, and so on.

The DV for swimming is determined by how rough the waters are and the speed of any currents. The base D V for moving waters is equal to the speed of the current in mph’s.

Mid-ocean currents usually run less than 1.2 mph’s. Currents faster than this are usually found in straits and narrows such as are found around Florida and the Bahamas, as fast as 5mph.

In rough, wind-whipped waters, and especially storm-whipped waters, the height of the swells or waves is the base DV for the character to swim or even float along without getting swamped, measured from the bottom of the trough to the crests. Wave heights of 3ft.-15ft. are common in the open ocean, and when whipped by storms can reach three times this. For the GM’s convenience this should be figured as an average measure, with the roll of 3D5.

IF the character fails a skill check under these circumstances, he will lose one Action while floundering. Once the character exhausts the full number of checks he is allowed in a row (as per Chapter 2. of Part Ill., pg _) to save himself, he will sink and begin to drown.

The DV for rescuing a floundering or drowning person is equal to the sum of the target’s att. mod’s in AGL and STR, +/- 1 for every point by which the floundering character’s STA is larger/smaller than the rescuer’s, respectively (as applicable).

The procedure for dealing with drowning are discussed in The GM’s Toolbox.

The world’s record according to Guinness indicates that divers have worked as deep as 1,400 ft. “free swimming for short intervals.” Those intervals would indeed be short, considering the fact that the volume of air in the lungs decreases by half for every 33ft. of depth. Thirty-three goes into 1,400 ft. a little over 42 times! However, unless the GM has finagled some way to get the PC’s into a position where water from a suspended source, like perhaps a mountain lake, is forcing a door open in a trap to flood a chamber with the pressure of the whole depth of the lake above them, the extreme pressure of such depths aren’t likely to enter play, any more than are the debilitating phenomenon of nitrogen bubbles forming in the bloodstream from too rapid decompression after experiencing great depths in the water, called the “bends.” The circumstances required to produce that affliction and its dire effects, which include rapid and excruciatingly painful death, just aren’t likely to happen in the framework of this medieval milieu, and it might even be considered unfair for the GM to even consider it. Any magicks which might even provide for the possibility are too likely to have been designed to prevent any such affliction, in the interest of the practitioner’s continued survival and good health.

 

D-l, Swimming Speeds (yards per minute)

Score Move Score Move Score Move
1 5 13 60 24 110
2 8 14 63 25 115
3 13 15 68 26 118
4 l8 16 73 27 123
5 23 17 78 28 l28
6 27 18 82 29 133
7 32 19 87 30 137
8 37 20 92 31 142
9 42 21 97 32 l47
10 45 22 100 33 152
11 50 23 l05 34 155
12 55 35 160

D-2, Swimming Pulse Move, Tactical Scale

Move Pulse Move Pulse Move Pulse
2-5 1 mm 54-57 l.4 cm 110-113 2.8 cm
6-9 2 mm 58-61 1.5 cm 114-117 2.9 cm
10-13 3 mm 62-65 1.6 cm 118-121 3 cm
14-17 4 mm 66-69 1.7 cm 122-125 3.l cm
18-2l 5 mm 70-73 1.8 cm 126-129 3.2 cm
22-25 6 mm 74-77 1.9 cm 130-133 3.3 cm
26-29 7 mm 78-81 2 cm 134-137 3.4 cm
30-33 8 mm 82-85 2.l cm 138-141 3.5 cm
34-37 9 mm 86-89 2.2 cm 142-145 3.6 cm
38-41 1 cm 90-93 2.3 cm 146-149 3.7 cm
42-45 1.1 cm 94-97 2.4 cm l50-l53 3.8 cm
46-49 1.2 cm 98-101 2.5 cm 154-l57 3.9 cm
50-53 1.3 cm 102-105 2.6 cm 158-160 4 cm
106-109 2.7 cm

Lore

This is rather a multi-faceted measure of a character’s knowledge. It can be used in general terms but can also be sharpened to specific areas of interest in which a character, through repetition of use, may develop different SL’s. Some such areas may be trade related and awarded at the start of play at SL’s above 1. Every specific area of interest chosen for the Connoisseur trade skill carries with it the Lore associated with it and at equal SL.

Anatomy & Physiology

Ancient History

Ancient Literature & Philosophy

Astronomy & Astrology

Classical Mythology & Poetry

Herbcraft & Apothecary

History of Place Names, Holy Places

History (native), Recent and Ancient

Foreign, Recent and Ancient

Throne & Altar, Recent and Ancient

Law & Custom, Recent & Origins

Market & Commodities, Native Regions & Foreign

Mathematics & Geometry

Noble Families & Bloodlines

Popular (current) Poetry & Literature

Folklore (regional, national)

This list, while fairly representative of the possibilities is by no means intended to be exclusive and complete. The GM is expected over time to come up with additional areas in which it may be considered advantageous for the character’s to specialize in Lore.

Most of the entries on the list is found among the various trade skill rosters in Step 5. of Character Generation. Folklore encompasses the nature of and identities of such things as nursery spirits/bogeys, nursery rhymes, local myth, history, legend, origins of special local place names, especially colorful nick-names.

The Lore skill measures how conversant a character is with a given subject matter, how widely read (if applicable), or how well informed regardless of the source(s). It is indicative of how much ancillary and background information the character picked up when growing up and when taking his trade training, learning the skills in his portfolio.

Lore skill is an Open Skill. Every character will have some measure of Lore, especially regarding the locality in which he grew up, the trade(s) in which he is schooled, and the specific skills in which he is trained. Every character will have the opportunity to cultivate Lore in a given area of interest, or in general regarding his trades and skills, during the course of play, he need merely follow the procedures outlined for doing so in Chapter 2. of Part III.

Lore can represent the character’s familiarity with the legends and myths both native and foreign to the country in which he was born. BUT these are also areas of specialization requiring extensive reading to attain, so only general questions in those regards is covered by a general Lore skill. How well a character has educated himself in addition to how well he listened to grandma and grandpa, mom and dad, while sitting upon their knees, and to the players and minstrels who wandered through spinning their tales of their country’s history and of faraway lands are all indicated by the Lore skill.

While this skill indicates how well the character paid attention to and participated in the oral traditions and folkways of his home and country, childrens’ stories, færie tales, local legends, customs, and superstitions, it also measures practical knowledge concerning the domestic household, lore and handicrafts needed in the character’s class and station to get by, with or without servants, as applicable. Lore will also include common social information such as where the best of the nation’s various commodities are produced and should be obtained (although there is a specialty for Merchants which involves far more detailed knowledge), the identities of colorful local personalities, especially folk heroes or great nobles, and any major events considered important in local history. The names of any prominent geographic features in the vicinity where the character grew up will also be encompassed by Lore, and any folk tales or historic events attached to them or lying behind the names, explaining their origins.

This skill also encompasses all of the background knowledge in the areas of the character’s skills, making him familiar with great masters and men of note in his skill(s) or trade, enabling him to identify items, materials, and/or tools used in his skills and abilities. In general, all of those facets of history and information not directly discussed in a skill’s description but considered important enough to those in the trade to be assumed to have been handed down by his masters in the oral tradition during his training is measured by the Lore SL, especially those concerning legendary heroes of the trades and accomplishments of skill of record or mythic proportions, the higher the SL the better informed the character is on the prominent people in the field and the more obscure aspects of his trade/skills.

Recognizing coins, their country of origins, the names by which they are called, the city in which minted, and their value in exchange with the coins of his own realm is considered part of the basic Lore of the Merchant trade.

The DV for exercising the character’s Lore skill will rise when attempting to determine whether the character has knowledge of foreign lands, peoples, or crafts and topics that do not directly touch on his skills. in regards to foreign lands, a character is likely to have only rumor and public conjecture if he does not have knowledge of foreign customs and Social Graces.

To recall a bit of general cultural information or some better known story or anecdote native to the character’s background or region of origins (GM’s discretion).

When making checks to determine or recall information relating to one of a character’s trade(s) or skills (level of public demand, impact of market and social trends, or the more prominent, renowned, or notorious practitioners, theories and philosophies of the trade or skill as practiced and the business of the trade or skill), either the character’s trade SL or his SL for the skill in question (as applicable) may be substituted for determining the AV, whichever is greatest, and the character will receive a bonus based on the skill with the lesser SL.

For examplein making a roll to determine if a trade SL 10 Craftsman character is familiar with a particular type of materials for his trade, or the style or work of a particular practitioner, his trade SL of 10 would be used for the base AV, plus his att. mod. of +1, and from his SL6 Lore he would receive a (1 per 4 SL’s) bonus of +2, for a total of 13.

For checks concerning knowledge directly hinging on the character’s trade or skill (materials, tools, techniques and processes of the trade or skill as practiced, and/or its less illustrious practitioners), and especially in regards to a Magister’s or other Scholastic’s knowledge regarding an established fields of study, the character’s trade SL or SL for the skill in question is added to the Lore SL in determining the AV.

As mentioned, the Lore skill is an overall measure of how well the character is tuned into the developments and, knowledge and society of the skill or trade and the knowledge that be gleaned through all such channels, thus the trade SL’s and SL’s are combined when the subject matter lies within the scope of the character’s training and this his interests.

The obscurity of the information in the GM’s opinion will determine the DV for any exercise of this skill, generally speaking. The general “degrees of Difficulty” table in Chapter 1. Task resolution of Part III. The Rules of the Game is the best guideline the GM can follow in determining Lore DV’s.

To supplement that table in regards to the Lore skill, knowledge that is restricted to fewer than 10 people in the world will stand at the very top of the scale, DV 40+. That shared by a single household, ruling body of a town, or small isolated village/hamlet, held within the bounds of a single hundred within a shire would be in the 30’s, that shared by a small fraternity or group of heads of families but held within a single shire might be in the 20’s, while that shared between members of a Guild (Warden rank or higher) or the members of a particular family station throughout a town but otherwise restricted to a single region of perhaps 3 or 4 shires that share economic or noble family concerns would perhaps be in the teens, while DV’s of 10 or below could be considered common knowledge for the Common and noble classes OR common and lower classes within a whole quadrant of a realm (or an even larger geographical region if the realm in question is relatively small), and DV’s in the negative numbers would be considered common knowledge, such as any high-points of social or political history.

The attmod. for any exercise of the Lore skill is based upon the character’s AWA.

 

GM’s Notes

Lore checks are a good way of screening the information that the GM hands out, breaking it up so that all is not revealed at the same time, and not necessarily to all characters at once, thus creating an air of anticipation, even mystery. Lore also represents the characters’ memories, a good tool for determining whether the character(s) “remember” something, for deciding whether or not to give the PC’s a bit of information again on request when the GM has already given it out once. The PC’s must learn to discern what is important, however, the GM should be sure to let them know and also caution them to write it down if the information is truly vital to the flow of play or the flow of the adventure.

The GM might require a Lore check even for a bit of hometown news that might be considered general knowledge, for some of the characters simply might not have been told yet. Lore checks should also be evaluated along lines of character class, station, and/or trade; all characters need not be allowed a Lore check to “remember” a bit of information just because a few of the characters in a party are in a position to do so.

This skill is also the means for determining whether the character can “remember” a bit of background when the GM wants to add additional details or people from the character’s past. The GM must use discretion in these cases, for there are some things that one simply never forgets – local customs, family traditions, and the like. If the GM wants to add this kind of local color, he is much better off simply writing out and passing it out to those whose characters it concerns. These handouts become part of the character’s notes, which are nothing more than a written record of the character’s memory.

The GM should allow the character to specialize in a particular field of Lore, as established for a number of trades already, and track the character’s general Lore skill separately. The PC may choose a topic to pursue and allot SP’s to it separately, tracking the SP’s from general Lore checks along side, making SL progression checks for each separately, so that the PC might go up in SL in his general knowledge Lore and not in his special knowledge Lore, or vice-versa. If the PC chooses a topic or category of study associated with his trade, then the special Lore category might include all aspects of knowledge concerning the trade – the character could become an historian or trivia collector where his trade is concerned as well as a trade member, BUT the GM should start the character off with the same SL in that Lore sub-category as the character’s trade SL at the point at which he starts to accumulate trade Lore SP’s towards it.

A bit of information, news, or Lore will first be rated major (1 to 5) or minor (6 to 10). Generally, news of minor events will not travel beyond the province in which they occur, only social events, political machinations, or scandals that make an impression through shock or delight will travel. The DV’s for these is modified by location, by 1 point per 10 miles distant of the location in which it occurred/to which it pertains (GM’s discretion).

Historic Lore, popular ballads, poems, and other oral or literary works of heroic proportions or impact will first be rated major or minor, as above, and then is modified by their age, adding 1 per 10 years beyond the first 50. The modifiers for the location of the event or source of the work will then be made as described above.

Literatus

Though often considered to be an inseparable part of one’s language skills by modem folk, that simply will not be true in the period of the game. Even more so, the skills of reading and writing is considered separate. The ability to write, especially with a fine, neat scrivener’s or secretary’s hand, to be able to prepare and care for the tools of that art, cleaning and cutting the quills and preparing and storing the ink properly, is considered a highly skilled craft, generally reserved to the clergy and professional scriveners and textwriters.

The Literatus skill will only enable the character to recognize and read any conventionally scribed text currently in common use. It is required for any character who wishes to be able to spell well enough to compose letters, missives, or other written works with the Scrivener skill, as opposed to being limited to copying the compositions of others. Literatus will provide the character with a chance to puzzle-out the meaning of notes scribbled in handwritten script or letters penned without benefit of one of the dominant conventional professional textwriter’s styles.

The Literatus skill must be taken separately for each family of languages the character speaks, as discussed under the Linguist skill, that he also wishes to be able to read, bundling these skills (AWA ÷ 4) to an (AWA) skill-slot. This is especially true of those that use eccentric alphabets (such as the Cyrillic, Hebrew, Hindi, Egyptian hieroglyphs, or the various oriental ideographic writing styles), those that use an eccentric set of characters and special critical marks (accents, umlauts, vowel notations over the consonants such as are seen in Hebrew, etc).

This skill is considered to be so closely linked to its brother, the spoken Linguist’s skill, that the character need merely be equipped with it. It is assumed that the character’s spoken skill SL indicates the size of his vocabulary, and merely having the Literatus skill for that family of skills makes him familiar enough with the alphabet, punctuation, and rules of spelling (although there are few standards to spellings in the period of the game, about 3-5 more commonly used spellings for most words) to be able to identify any word he already knows. Thus, the character’s Literatus SL will always effectively be the same as his spoken Language SL. It isn’t tracked on its own by means of SP’s and SL’s, no need to write its SL’s in on the character sheet. As on the sample character sheets in the back of the book, the player can simply make a “Literatus” entry after the language skill to which it applies and put a dash through the “SL” block next to it.

The attmod. for reading is based on the character’s AWA score.

Checks on the dice versus the character’s skill will usually only be required when attempting to read passages or documents rendered with a LoA of Linguist skill greater than the character’s own, especially those containing specific jargon and esoteric subject matter beyond the character’s experience and general grasp of the language (GM’s discretion).

 

GM’s Notes

The DV for reading casual script, which is the form of all common handwriting, should be 1 per point by which the writer’s CRD is below 12 (as applicable).

 The only factors that might raise the DV would arise from the use of improvised materials or tools, physical impairment of the hands at the time such as might accrue from being wounded in Hand/Arm area with which the writing was done, splattering, running, or bleeding of the text due to being spattered or wet in some fashion. The light level will, of course, also have a large effect on the DV for reading, too. Gloom and even Glare modifiers will always be a factor.

The GM must understand that in the period of the game there were any number of acceptable ways to spell any given word when written out, generally phonetic or an attempt at spelling phonetically, and this fact makes the Literatus skill that much more important.

 

Linguist

The importance of the ability to communicate is not one that should be underplayed. This skill is used to equip the character with the skills to speak and comprehend a foreign tongue, but also more immediately used to describe his facility with his native tongue and any specialized regional or trade tongues, as well.

Those Linguist skills with which the character is equipped for his native or Vulgar tongue (sometimes called his milk-tongue) should be easy enough to figure out. RoM is based in an analogue of England, so the equivalent of Olde English will do for the free commons and landbound classes. Border regions may have more than one, and port towns usually specialize in receiving the ships sailing from specific foreign ports, which will define a foreign language that may actually be taken as a native language. In England in the period of the game, the language of the French Conqueror remained the language of the noble social class and even the royal and noble courts for many hundreds of years, so this would then qualify as a native language for those of the noble classes and the wealthy free commons.

The racial language, the rune-tongue of the dwarfs, will also be included, bundled with the dwarfish character’s native language(s), and for elfin characters in the same vein both the individual kindred dialect (Dune, Frost, Marsh, Coral, Wood, or Shadow) and the High Elfin tongue still only spoken by the High Elfin kindred as their sole language is included, bundled with the elfin character’s native languages. The native languages will always include the language spoken by the prevailing culture (usually human) by or in the midst of which these races live, in addition to their native racial tongue. It is likely the dunladdin will form a Gaelic sub-culture living nearby or even amidst human folk.

The Trader’s Tongue is a representation of the argot spoken historically by widely travelled sailors, a pastiche of common phrases and terms from a number of languages used by the community of Mariners, including Merchant Adventurers. This “language” is not exactly stable and subject to continuous if not exactly rapid change, additions may be made, words falling into disuse as others are adopted, etc. but, as a piece of history, for the purposes of the game, it is cast as a defined language which may be taught and learned. The so-called “Thieves’ Cant” was similarly fluid in nature and also a polyglot tongue by nature historically belonging to the society of rogues, knaves, evil-doers, blackguards, low characters, and ne’er-do-wells. thus it is specifically included for use in play. The trade languages of the Druids, Witches, and Wizards are of the same name, polyglots all, but their vocabulary tends to be MUCH more stable over far longer periods of time, due to the purpose for which it was created and for which it is preserved.

Scholars’ Tongue is the equivalent of Latin in the medieval world, shared by all the Scholastic community and all those who consider themselves educated. The player will please note that this skill is generally used to describe currently spoken, living languages, BUT for Scholars a number of dead languages, the gameworld equivalents of ancient Greek, Egyptian Coptic and hieroglyphics, Hittite, Sumerian cuneiform, Babylonian, and the like should also be available and described by the use of this skill. Any dead or specifically scholarly languages from far lands and elder ages MUST be taken as Elective trade skills under the ægis of the Scholar/Sage trade or Wizards, Witches, and Wizard-Alchemists, perhaps Hearth-Witches and Hedge-Wizards, as well (GM’s discretion).

These languages are neither foreign nor native, but essentially part and parcel of one of the character’s trades, and is bundled along with the character’s other language skills, up to (AWA ÷ 4) skills accounting for only a single skill-slot.

Otherwise, when choosing foreign language skills for a character, some rationale must be applied to which ones with which the character is equipped. As far as truly foreign tongues with which a player might want to equip his character (equivalents of Dutch or High German, one of the more prevalent Italian dialects, or Danish, Spanish, Moorish-by-way-of-Spain, or the like), some opportunity must have existed for him to learn it or them up to (AWA ÷ 4) all bundled into the same AWA skill-slot. Whether it was a foreign neighbor in the merchant quarter, or a widely-travelled friend of the family, a widely travelled and well known local Merchant, or Mariner, or an old Warrior who had travelled in his hey-day and picked up a foreign language or two, a foreign Scholar in residence providing tutoring services in languages, this is up to the player and GM to work out together.

The player and GM will please note that these language skills do not include literacy (the ability to read), much less the ability to write, which is considered such a refined skill in the period and gameworld that it forms the basis of an entire trade.

For the ability to read see “Literatus”, and for the ability to write see “Scrivener” (both as follows).

Those language skills present in the region but not spoken in the character’s native social circles, or those foreign tongues for which a willing tutor must have been found or hired, may be more difficult to improve beyond the SL with it at which the character begins play. Those with which the character grows up in his own native class is easiest to maintain  and even increase if the character has a desire.

Situations that will test the characters skill come when those who speak the same tongue try to communicate across trade and/or social class, or station barriers.

The att. mod. for Linguist skills is based on the character’s AWA.

GM’s Notes

In most cases, the GM should limit availability of languages from neighboring countries to border areas (within 40 miles of the border. In the period of the game, port towns and international over-land merchant routes are generally dominated by the trade of a limited number of nations, because the Crown will set by statute (law) what towns will have the prerogative of receiving the trade of which nations, even dividing the traffic of individual cities of a single foreign nation between different ports of call when the trade originating there is brisk enough to warrant it. This will also determine which merchants of what foreign nations will settle in what cities in the realm.

This will effectively limit the foreign language skills available, in and of itself, but a rule of thumb of no more than three or four foreign languages should be available in any given region of a single realm.

In addition, the snobbery of the upper classes towards foreigners may well make some languages more desirable than others, and these preferences should affect the availability of languages among the upper classes. When the Italians were bank-rolling the crown’s activities, providing loans for capital, they were rife at Court and Italian was very fashionable to know. But in time, after some 40 or 50 years, the Crown defaulted on their loans and a number of the leading Italian banking houses were ruined, they fled the Court and Italian was no longer fashionable. When Catherine of Aragon was wed to Henry a number of Spaniards came to Court, and knowledge of Spanish as fashionable until it became clear there would be no heir and Henry sought to rid himself of her, Spanish being no longer considered so fashionable to know, perhaps even politically dangerous. Only the more fashionable one or two languages relatively steadily in the Crown’s favor should be available for characters from the upper classes.

The GM should take a moment and look at each character’s background and ask himself just how many of the languages locally available it is likely that the character was able to gain sufficient exposure to in order to learn to speak fluently during his formative years. Characters with Merchant family backgrounds or trained in the Merchant/Chapman and/or Courtier/Diplomat or Mariner trades are likely to have had all the exposure they could have wanted to any of the languages available.

In regards to the maximum of (AWA ÷ 4) language skills to fill a single skill slot, all language skills of the same derivation or linguistic family, in the manner that all the Latin or Romance languages (Spanish, Italian, French, etc.) are related will count as only a single skill towards accounting for the (AWA ÷ 4) language skills to fill a single AWA-slot. BUT, the character will only be allowed up to (AWA ÷ 4) languages in the same family for a single skill. If the character wants to have more, another of the skills going into filling that AWA slot must be devoted to those additional languages or dialects.

 The GM should develop the languages of his gameworld into families that share similar traits, and allow those that fall in the same family group to be taken together under the same skill slot, even if taken as Trade-Skills. This allows languages, which can be quite numerous and thus a great burden on the limited number of character skill slots, to be expressed in all their diversity without putting an extraordinary demand on the character’s AWA-slots, so no PC wants to get involved with them.

For examplea character with AWA 14 could have language skills with up to 4 German dialects, 4 Gaelic dialects, 4 Scandinavian tongues (Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, etc.), and up to 4 Romance Languages (Spanish, French, Italian, and Latin), that is, up to 16 languages all filling only 1 AWA skill-slot.

No skill check is required for using one’s language(s) in general play, nor Skill Points earned towards it, unless the character is speaking to a member of different Social Class or trade group, or those from another region of the realm who speak dialects different from that of the character (differing, very confusing vocabulary, slang, and turns of phrase), or with those of lesser education, especially when Scholar characters are speaking of esoteric subjects to commoners of no real education. As long as the character is in a position to use his native language(s) fairly regularly, the SL’s remain unchanged, though no SP’s accrue toward advancement.

The GM should set a base DV for each family of foreign languages, perhaps a base of 1 to 5 for a group like the Romance languages, maybe varying the DV for the individual members of the group, maybe 1 for Spanish, 2 for Italian, 3 or 4 for French. For the Germanic languages the GM could start with a base D V of 5; for a mish-mash compiled language as complex as modern English or as foreign to a Westerner as the Middle Eastern languages the GM could start with a base DV of 10 or 15; while the base for Hindi and/or the Far Eastern languages could be up to 15 or 20.

The DV to communicate with language skills will also be affected by the difference in class and station between the two parties. The social class and station is counted from the bottom of the landbound list up, and starting again with the common farmer on the table of free commoner stations and counting upwards, then to the table of lesser nobility and that for the greater nobles. The GM need simply count the number of stations between the character and the one to whom e is speaking. If they are of the same station or within one or two steps, there generally is no issue.

The DV’s for regional dialects of native languages, or DV bonuses for dialects of foreign languages, should be equal to the number of miles from the nearest center in which the branch the character knows is generally spoken.

This should be added to the base for the (main) language spoken by the character. The farther the character goes afield, the worse the accent, pronunciation differences, and predominant slang iscome. The dialects of isolated country locations is the worst to the urbane townsmen, and the smooth and lazy speech of the townsmen is the most difficult for the simple country folk to understand.

To this will also be added any differences in education. For this purpose, levels of education are assigned values, as follows.

Everyone, high and low, gets to go to songschool on the steps of the local church or its equivalent, that is rated a “1” in education. Those who can read a little and know how to count is a “3”, while those who know their math and have developed a decent if not a fair hand at writing in addition to being able to read well is a “5”, and those who have a fair hand at writing and know some Latin as well is an “8” (Finishing School or Grammar School bundles); the bachelor is rated at “12” (degree in Grammar, also), the licentia docendi at “14”, and the PhD at “18”.

 

Horseman

Enables the character to ride comfortably upon any horse (or whatever is the common beast utilized for mounts in the culture in which the character grew up, or took his training as a “Horseman”) broken to a saddle by a Beastmaster. “Horseman” is used by default here in deference to the Real World, in England, in the period of the game, the normal medieval milieu. While the name of the skill is “Horse”-man, the skill is not limited to horses and their kin (mules, asses, donkeys, etc.) where other beasts are available as mounts. It certainly need not be horses if the GM has another idea, or has designed a fantasy creature of his own to fill that spot.

Where there are other beasts in use as mounts, the player will also need to choose a family of beasts to which his skill in riding is limited. In the same vein as taking Social Graces or Linguist skills, each time this skill is taken it will represent expertise in a different type of creature, up to (AWA ÷ 4) in number bundled together in the same skill-slot. Creature families include not only the obvious equines, but lupines (if the riders are small enough), felines (big predators), avians (assuming a fantasy breed large enough to ride), and the like. Each family of beasts he is able to ride represents a separate skill. Naturally, beasts of the families he chooses must be available and commonly enough ridden in his native region for him to have been able to learn to ride them at all AND find someone to teach him, unless he learned to do so in his travels (especially Custom Method characters of the Veteran background).

Those characters that also have the Beastmaster trade derived from their Husbandman trade require skill as Horsemen in order to break the beasts of their specialty to the saddle and train them as mounts.

This skill is used to determine a character’s chances of making a mount take a tight turn at speed, make a jump, control him in combat or in the presence of other loud noises, blood, or known predators, to keep a skittish or high-strung mount under control, keep his seat and his mount under control when riding at high speeds, slowing and stopping the mount at a safe rate, without getting thrown, and so forth. If desired, characters with Acrobatic skills may combine their acrobatics with their skill as Horsemen to perform extraordinary feats of riding. Those with the Horseman skill may wield weapons from the saddle, but they is limited to no greater than (Horseman SL) in effective Weapon skill level. Unskilled riders aback a beast will have enough to do just keeping in the saddle, trying to perform other actions will only require them to make successful AGL checks vs. the normal DV for the circumstances for riding at that time in order to stay in the saddle.

The art. mod. for the use of this skill is based upon the character’s AGL, plus a bonus based upon his Beastmaster trade SL (as applicable), if the character has that trade with the same family of beasts.

 

GM’s Notes

As noted above, a Horseman check is required when making a mount take a tight turn at speed, making him take a jump or leap, trying to control him in combat or in the presence of other loud noises, blood, and especially in the presence of known predators that trigger their ”fight-or-flight” response, to keep a skittish mount under control, keep his seat and his mount under control when slowing and stopping the mount to keep it to a safe rate, without getting thrown, and so on, and so forth, and even when riding at speeds greater than his Horseman SL in mph, or when he is riding at a rate equal to or greater than the beast’s 1/2 movement rate.

The base DV for these checks is equal to the beast’s HRT score, plus the speed in mph that the character is riding beyond his SL or above the beast’s 1/2 rate, and the number of feet by which the character is trying to make the beast shave a turn maneuver (as applicable). For taking jumps, the DV will start with one for the first ft. of height, plus the number of feet for every subsequent foot of height, so the DV would be 3 for a 2ft. jump (1 + 2), or 6 for a 3ft. jump (1 + 2 + 3), or 10 for a 4ft. jump, and so on. The same principle is applied in the DV’s for making leaps, but every 2ft. beyond 3ft. is counted as one, so that up to 5ft. is a DV of 1, up to 7ft. is a DV of 3 (1 + 2), or 6 for a leap of up to 9ft., or 10 for a leap of up to 11ft., and so on, to the beast’s limit.

If the Horseman check is successful, the character is able to maintain control and get the beast to do as he wishes. In the case of tight turns, jumps, and leaps, the beast will then require CRD and/or AGL checks to keep its footing and remain upright, or to land well, in the same manner provided for PC’s.

If the character fails his Horseman check, the beast will balk at making the tighter turn, taking the jump or leap, will bolt from the predator or noise, or smell of blood, or rear and attack the predator, pitching the rider, or rear and take off, whether the rider can hang on or not, even if he be dangling from a stirrup. In any event, the rider will require an AGL check to remain in the saddle. If that is failed, he is pitched to the ground, for the appropriate damage. If the character is tied into the saddle, as is done with war saddles before wading into battle, the character failing his AGL check must spend an action recovering an upright posture and his equilibrium. If a beast bolts, a Horseman check is required to get it back under control, slow and bring it round again. These DV’s and conditions also apply to any fancy acrobatics performed on horseback.

If the Horseman isn’t a Husbandman himself, he will need to hire a skilled groom to care for his mount or keep his mount at an ostler’s, where it will receive proper care, grooming, and feeding. Aside from the Horseman’s knowing to cool his beast down and not to allow it to eat or drink itself sick, only a Husbandman will know the proper diet and water requirements, and other grooming and maintenance requirements.

Forager

This is a skill that involves a limited knowledge in herb lore, centered largely on the gathering of foodstuffs and common cooking herbs in the wilds, knowing what plants prefer what sorts of conditions in which to grow and prosper within the wide territory they range, but also including in its scope the knowledge needed to be of use in the foraging of not just edible plant matter and fungi, but other sorts of things from the natural world, depending on what the character’s other skills may be. If he is also an Apothecary, his skill as a Forager includes knowledge of the particular geological and topographical circumstances best for finding also particular types of rocks and soils, minerals, crystals, and specific types of ore samples, and the like. If he is also an Herbal, his knowledge as a Forager is greatly expanded in scope regarding plants, including all those of medicinal value and those which may be dangerous or have other uses entirely.

This is the specific skill that provides the book-learned Herbal with the knowledge of where to look to find certain growing conditions that the herbs he seeks are most comfortable, where they are most likely to be found, so he may gather them himself. This skill allows the book-learned Apothecary to evaluate soils and strata in rock by type to best locate the minerals, soils, or other substances of the earth he may seek so he need not depend on others to supply them.

When the character has a craft that involves the use of natural media or materials, such as the dyestuffs used by cottage craft dyers, natural pigments used by painters, making ink as a scrivener, acacia pods and oak bark and galls for tannin for tanning leather, and the like, having the Forager skill gives the character the knowledge he needs to Forage for his own materials in the wild and the skill to prepare his own materials for his craft.

This skill is of primary interest for the fact that it enables the Herbal or Cook/Chef character to find and gather enough wild roots and tubers, mushrooms and other fungi, vegetables, leafy greens, barks, flowers, fruits, and/or berries (as appropriate to the season) to either supplement Road Fare in order to make it last longer or taste better, or to wholly feed the character and his companions, thus saving money. The Forager can also gather herbs specifically to season the dishes he Cooks when he doesn’t have the luxury of an herb garden in the dooryard and don’t want to have to pay for them in the marketplace.

IF the Forager character is also a Husbandman, he is able to forage appropriate alternative plant-stuffs when good grasses are scarce for those of the beasts within his skills who are herbivores.

One of the more valuable benefits of this skill is the familiarity it gives the character with the lay of the land in the surrounding region, in the same manner as a Guide. Maps are a luxury for those who can afford them in the period of the game, but even for those who can they are only generally useful. The sorts of maps available in the period of the game is specifically useless for determining distances and accurate relationships in space of different locations and especially do not represent the true nature of topographical regions. The best they can do is indicate the general routes of national or regional roads and mark the approximate positions of the points of major importance (towns/cities) along the way.

The average citizen of the realm knows the major routes through his shire, and most definitely within his hundred, and that includes the intrepid Forager, and while it is unlikely the average citizen has used these routes unless they are in his backyard and used to get to the local market(s), they is well-known and travelled by the Forager. All locals know the general direction such routes head. The closer such routes are to their homes, the more likely the average local resident knows the next couple villages or towns in either direction from where he would reach those roads, but this is considered common knowledge for the Forager character.

All characters, both PC and NPC have knowledge of topographical details such as the locations and general extents of major features like manors and lords estates, rivers and streams, or villages and minor towns, markets, religious foundations, churches and chapels found within (AWA) miles of the town or village in which he resides, in which he is likely to have been born and also grown up. This naturally  includes the Forager, as well.

The in’s and out’s of small local features like farmers’, cowherds’, and shepherds’ paths, major game trails, common small game trails and paths used by Huntsmen, Woodsmen, Guides and other Foragers, the downs, cliffs, mountains, knolls, crossroads, fords, meadows, and pastures, especially those with names important to local historic traditions, or recalling bogeys, fairytales or cautionary tales which are found within (AWA) furlongs from the town or village in which a Forager-skilled character resides are also considered to be common knowledge.

Of places of major importance within (AWA) miles, regardless of why they are important, the Forager knows the general direction in which they lay and the approximate amount of time it takes to get there, and it is highly likely he has been there personally at least a time or two.

The areas described above is measured from the Forager’s home and that of the mentor who instructed him in his craft, as well, making two circles that will likely overlap somewhat, but not necessarily. Within the areas of which he has detailed knowledge, the Forager will need no Guide or Direction Sense to get around and is in no danger at all of ever getting lost except through the malicious application of magick on him. In addition, so long as the Forager makes the effort to get out and travel the land, explore it and keep familiar with it, he is able to increase the extent of the area in which he is familiar with all the major locations of importance as described above by (AWA ÷ 4) miles with every trade SL gained, or by (AWA) furlongs for the area in which he is familiar with the minor details.

In regards to his Foraging, the character is assumed to have ranged far and wide within the area described above and acquainted himself with all environmental conditions, habitats, and micro climates at all elevations within it, so he will know where to go at what times of year to find that for which he is looking, whether for his Herbal trade, human or animal medicines, seeking food, or in pursuit of his Alchemy trade, whatever skills he has to which Forager can be applied.

IF the Forager is an Herbal, travelling to distant locations, far afield and completely different from his native environs, has only a slight effect on his skills. His effective Herbal trade SL is limited to no greater than (SL ÷ 2), until such time as he can acclimate himself and locate and correlate the local plant life with the points of reference in his Speculum that remind him in practical terms how the plant life in general differs from that with which he is more familiar and comfortable. Each week spent acclimating restore an effective SL to him until he is back at full capacity. This applies to the effective trade SL of the character as an Herbal, as well.

IF the character has a local Herbal to show him around and help to make him more comfortable in the new surroundings, the rate of acclimation period drop by (host Herbal’s trade SL ÷ 10) in days per point of Forage SL and trade SL recoveredDuring the period of acclimation, no SP’s may be accumulated by the exercise of the character’s Herbal trade and no progression checks may be made for it. In addition, until he has acclimated himself to the new climate and region, his Forager skill is limited to no greater than his Herbal SL (if applicable), whether he is seeking food, medicinals, or plant stuffs for other purposes such as to create elixirs, drugs, or even poisons.

After the period of acclimation, the region with which the character is familiar, as explained above for his native region, is measured from the point of his base-camp and host’s location as if the character were trade SL1 again, and must be patrolled and expanded in the manner described for his native territory as his trade SL progresses there.

Forager is an especially useful skill for those on the road. It can even be practiced while traveling, taking advantage of adjacent meadows, fields, woods and/or forest even from horseback, though the greater the speed at which he or the party with whom he is traveling raises the DV. This is especially true when the Forager is travelling cross-country off the beaten paths, he and any companions not confining themselves to well-travelled ways. Indeed, the greater the local population, the higher the DV for exercising this skill.

This practice calls for stopping occasionally or making small detours so that the time required to do the foraging is deducted from the travel time by the end of the journey/day’s travel, which reduces the distance covered or require the character(s) to ride that much longer at the end of the day in order to make up for the lost time.

Foraging, whether done while travelling or from some sort of base-camp, can greatly extend the length of time that supplies of Road Fare will last, and the general quality of that Fare, especially when the party also has the services of a decent Cook or Chef to make something tasty with the proceeds.

Each successful Foraging expedition will result in either 1/4th, 1/2, 3/4th’s or the total amount of food required to feed, comfortably, those for whom the player stipulates his character is Foraging. The player must state which portion he is going for when he starts and whether he is Foraging for one meal or all three of the daily meals. Characters being wholly sustained by the Forager’s efforts is free of any penalties due to malnutrition for as long as the land provides.

These fractional portions are set against reciprocal fractions of Road Fare. If the Forager gathers 1/4th the party’s daily needs in fresh foodstuffs, just enough to vary the party’s diet, the party will of course only eat 3/4th’s of a normal portion of their Road Fare, and thus they will have 1/4th left over when the rest are gone, or they will have gained 1 full day of additional food for every 4 days that the Forager gathers a 1/4th portion of fresh foodstuffs for them from the wilds.

This increases to result in 1 additional day of food every 2nd day when the Forager is gathering 1/2 half the party’s daily needs to supplement the Road Fare in a more meaningful way, for which the party is grateful if they ever have to go back to eating the Road Fare alone, or 3 days of additional food for every 4 days the Forager spends his time foraging when he really wants to stretch the Road fare as far as he can so the party do not have a chance to get tired of the Road Fare.

Road Fare can keep for as long as a year before it is compromised and must be pitched out, rotted and corrupt, so it can be saved for winters and emergencies when no other sort of food is available.

The Forager is required to range an area roughly (Foraging DV) furlongs in radius to find the food needed. Every time the forager returns to the same area to forage for the same sorts of materials the original DV there rises, but this doesn’t affect the size of the foraging area.

Herbivores and avians that do not eat carrion or meat eat things totally different from that which humanoid folk need, and so Foraging for them must be assessed completely separately.

The DV for the first time Foraging in a given area (as defined above) is based on the season :

 

Season

Humanoids

Herbivores

Spring

20

5

Summer

5

1

Autumn

1

10

Winter

10

20

 

This base stands as is when the Forager is only seeking a few modest items to supplement the recipients’ diets, taking the place of 1/4th their Road Fare or other meat and staples, BUT is increased by 25% (x 1.25) if he is foraging for sufficient foodstuffs to replace 1/2 the meat and staples or Road Fare, OR by 50% (x 1.5) if he is Foraging for enough to comprise 3/4th’s their fare, or 100% (x 2) if they are subsisting solely off what he is Foraging for nutritionally this requires the greatest variety and most creativity on the Forager’s part.

The DV for Foraging herbs for use in Alchemical preparations or magickal ritual or ceremony supplies is increased from the above base by the total POT of the exercise for which materials are being foraged.

When Foraging materials for an Alchemist to make ritual supplies, the same total POT-worth of the supplies for which the materials are being gathered is added to the base DV in the same manner.

In addition, the DV is affected by centers of population nearby. The greater the local population, the higher the DV’s for exercising this skill is, for the local populace will also derives some of its sustenance from foraging the land, as well, leaving not much for the itinerant Forager to glean.

DV bonus

Rate Town Population

+1

per 250 up to 1,000

+2

per 2,500 up to 10,000

+3

per 25,000 up to 100,000

+4

per 250,000 up to 1,000, 000

The modifier based on local population, the maximum that is applied, is used when the Forager arrives within one (1) mile of the town’s precincts. The modifier should be read in miles, and start at one (1) at the farthest limit of that distance and rise by 1 for every mile closer to it that the Forager tries to practice his craft,

For example, when approaching a town of 100,000, the distance from the city at which the penalty begin to be applied is 24 miles. This begin with a +1 DV penalty when he is located within 24 miles of the town, +2 at a distance of 23 miles, +3 at a distance of 22 miles, +4 at a distance of 21 miles, and so on adding one (1) for each mile closer until the ultimate penalty of +24 is reached when the Forager is within one (1) mile of the town.

The speed at which  the character or the party with whom he is traveling is also added to the DV for the character to Forage, if he chooses to do so, along the road as he travels.

Every time a successful foraging outing is made for any specific type of plant matter whether food, medicinal, for a restorative elixir or salve, or herbs for particular magick ritual supplies, or alchemy exercise, the DV for foraging in that area for that purpose rises, adding the number of times it has been foraged before, each time, so that the 2nd time an area is Foraged for the same purpose the DV rises Progressively.

IF a Forager exhausts all the d100 checks allowed him, he must move on to another area of equal size, for it is exhausted in his eyes.

From a central base-camp, a Forager could conceivably live off of the produce of the wilderlands within a third of a day’s hike (far enough to walk, Forage, and return in a day) for a month or more. There is no effective limit to the number of Foragers who can work the same area at any given time, but when the dice indicate failure for one of them, he must move on, that area having been exhausted for him.

  • IF the Forager is an Herbal, regardless of the trade under which his Forager skill is bundled, he will also be able to gather the herbs that make up 37% of the normal marketplace price of consumables for the casting of magick rituals and/or holy ceremonies (total price according to POT x 0.63), so long as he has a member of the magick trades instructing him exactly as to what is needed.
  • IF the Forager is an Apothecary, he is able to search out the balance of the non-herbal materials that make up 37% of the normal marketplace price of consumables for the casting of magick rituals and/or holy ceremonies (total price according to POT x 0.63), again, as long as he has a member of the magick trades instructing him exactly as to what is needed.
  • IF the Forager has both the Herbal and Apothecary trades, he is able to gather both kinds of materials amounting to 73% of the normal marketplace price of consumables for the casting of magick rituals and/or holy ceremonies (total price according to POT x 0.27).

Most of the substances involved in making the special substances of the specialty skills of Alchemy are composed primarily of elements from the earth, from the province of the Apothecary, and the 73% savings due to Foraging for the necessary materials may also be applied to the costs listed in the descriptions for those substances and items (Greek fire, smudge-pots, smoke-bombs, flash-pots, flash-bombs, stink pots, corrosives, etc.). The same 73% reduction in cost is applied when Foraging the necessary materials for the making of drugs and poisons or distilling alcohols, which are primarily made of vegetable/herbal matter.

  • IF he is an Alchemist, the character is able to reduce the costs for these substances to zero, as he is providing the materials and the labor and will not have to worry about any margin of profit.

For these purposes, the herbage collected by the Forager is measured in “POT1 packets,” the amount needed for the user to exercise or perform his craft or Art with them at a POT of l, in the same manner as the ritual supplies a magicker uses.

  • IF he lack any of the trades or skills which would give him a personal interest in these items, the Foraging character is quite capable of taking instruction and searching out the herbage needed by Herbal or Alchemist or magick-wielder. as long as they supply him with specific descriptions of what they need, as it appears in a live state, so long as it is native to the region he is searching.

The DV’s for finding herbs for use in Alchemical preparations or magickal ritual or ceremony supplies is rarer and therefore distinctly more difficult to find (higher DV).

The Forager must be careful with his harvest; the foodstuffs gathered must be consumed on the same day, as most of these foodstuffs (except tubers) wither or rot within a day (two at most) of being gathered, or less, unless stored in a nice, cool root cellar, out of the heat and sun, or preserved or later renewed by magick. Even kept cool, these foodstuffs cannot last longer than 5 days (tomatoes and other soft fruits and vegetables 3 days), no more than 2 weeks for the harder vegetables (squashes, et al.), or 1 month for tubers before they start to wither. In the heat of summer, the more delicate stuffs wilt and start to wither within a matter of a couple of short hours, and must ·be gathered immediately prior to being prepared, shortly before the meal in which they are to be served, unless the PC’s have some (presumably magickal) manner in which to protect them until needed. However, the foodstuffs gathered can be dried and canned and stored by those with the Cook skill or Alchemist trade until needed. Within a week of the harvest season until the first frost, the forager can also purposefully pick less-than-ripe foods and store them in tightly sealed bags or sacks (leather, not cloth) in a relatively dry and cool spot, slowing their ripening by a week, 2 weeks for those only half-ripe, or as much as a month for those picked wholly green (GM’s discretion), before they is subject to withering and decay, as described above.

Foodstuffs gathered for the purposes of being stored in this way should be accounted for in parcels of (STA ÷ 3), the same in which they are purchased on the equipment lists in Appendix F. These can then more easily be broken up on a per-meal basis, as needed.

The length of time required to exercise this skill depends entirely on factors such as the season, STA of those foraged for or POT of the materials or substances to be made with the materials gathered, and also whether the Forager is trying to wholly feed those in his charge or merely supplement their diet or stretch their rations so they last longer.

The time required to Forage for food is equal to the DV for the task plus the (modified STA ÷ 3) of the largest recipient Foraged for, plus 1 for every additional character for which food is to be gathered.

From this should be subtracted the Forager’s SL and AWA att. mod., and (1 per 4 SL’s) of his Search Perception skill (as applicable).

The result is read in mileways, and will yield 1 meal’s-worth of food for the intended recipients for which it was gathered.

This can then be reduced to 3/4th’s, 1/2, or even 1/4th normal according to the portion of sustenance gathered, as described above, depending on whether the character is Foraging only to stretch or supplement the Road Fare or foodstuffs already carried or just wants to provide a bit of variety, or provide for all the sustenance the recipients require.

The length of time required for the character to Forage materials for making ritual supplies for performing Low Magick, or for making any alchemical substance or item are also equal to the DV, which naturally includes the POT-worth, which is counted in a similar manner as points of STA (above)

In addition, a Forager may gather the materials for making ritual supplies for as many magicks and points of POT for which he cares to search out POT-worth of herbage.

For example, should the character only have time to search out materials to make 20 points of POT-worth of ritual supplies, he may forage materials to make ritual supplies to perform each of 20 ritual magicks at a POT of 1 as easily as materials to make ritual supplies to perform 1 ritual magick at a POT of 20, or break it down for any number of POT-worth in between for any number of magicks in between, to a sum equalling 20, as desired.

When Foragers work in a team to satisfy the needs of the same group of people, the time required is divided by their number. Generally speaking, the less the character is gathering, the less time it takes. The opposite is also true, so that if a number of Foragers go out to procure the same amount of food for the same people (same DV), the time requirement not change, but the yield in food is multiplied by the number of Foragers.

The att. mod. for the use of this skill is based upon the character’s AWA, plus a bonus based on the character’s Searcher Perception skill (as applicable).

Drover/Cartman/Charioteer

For those characters of the lower social echelons, owning or riding a horse may not be an option. In such cases, the character may well have had the opportunity to develop skill in driving either a domestic carriage, wagon, or cart teams made up of the beasts of their specialty, beasts of burden such as oxen or mules, or teams of horses put together for speed and/or war, such as chariot teams, which were historically raced as well as taken into battle. Those characters who also have the Beastmaster trade derived from their Husbandman trade require skill as Horsemen in order to introduce the beasts of their specialty to the draught-harness or the burdens a caravaner’s beasts must bear, or work together as a carriage or chariot team.

  • IF the character is ALSO a Husbandman whose trade SL with draft-beasts is equal or greater than his Drover SL, he is able to tend the beasts and improve the average speed made when pulling carts and/or trains of packbeasts by (0.25 per 4 SL’s) mph’s without injuring or unduly straining the beasts’ physical resources, reducing the Actions spent in the effort by (Husbandman trade SL) over the course of the day. This may not seem like much, but in the course of determining logistics for road trips this can mean making the gates of a town before nightfall or being stuck having to doss down at an outlying farmstead or even in the outlying wastes.
  • IF the character is ALSO a Craftsman-BlackSmith, or Weaponsmith/Armorer whose trade SL is equal or greater than his Drover SL, he is able to manage (AWA ÷ 4) carts or wagons, carriages and/or chariots so their average safe speed may be increased by (0.25 per 4 SL’s) mph’s. The character is able to find and remedy any incipient problems by performing regular maintenance on them so they may continue to serve on the road without the incidence of mishap to or compromise of the integrity of wheels, rims, hardware or axle increasing, which would normally be the case in frequency at higher speeds under less skilled hands.

The attmod. for driving animal teams is based upon the character’s CHM and HRT scores, with a bonus based on his skill as a Husbandman, double the normal bonus if he is a Beastmaster (as applicable).

GM’s Notes

The DV for driving teams is equal to the att. mod. of the highest HRT score among the beasts in the team, plus a Progressive modifier based on the number of beasts in the team, per beast. To this, the GM also adds the speed at which the teamster is driving the beasts in mph.

Driving a chariot team into battle is another thing entirely, requiring a check vs. the same DV above, plus the applicable modifiers from the GM’s list of Morale modifiers. For these checks (turning, slowing and stopping, taking direction, staying calm in the fray, etc.), the GM should use the trade SL of the Beastmaster who trained the beasts to cooperate with such usage, plus the driver’s skill AV, vs. the HRT of the beast whose score is the highest, plus one for each beast in the team.

 

Dancer

The Dancer skill is very important socially, especially for Courtier and Courtesan characters, as a means of being noticed in the social arena for grace and poise. Whether in a high or low social setting, the dance floor is considered to be a relatively safe setting in which to make subtle overtures or gently flirt with those whose attention may be desirable, or desired at the moment for a specific purpose.

The common peasant or folk dances are generally more lively and vigorous, like the “Hole-in-the-Wall”, and the steps can be very fast and intricate after the fashion of Irish step-dance, which will carry the highest DV’s and WND cost. Even the simplest peasant reel will have a higher WND cost than a court dance. Some are danced in teams, each competing to see who is the hardier, who can complete the dance figure the greatest number of times.

Court styles in dance are usually slow, measured processionals, performed with arms out-stretched, with many slow turns and bows and curtsies and changing of partners, all designed to show the rich clothing of the dancers off from every angle, to best effect. These will generally have the lowest DV’s, but that can vary.

The Torch Dance, where the dancers carry lit candles and try to blow the other dancers’ candles out while keeping their own safe, is an example of a court dance which is more challenging. In the Torch Dance, when a dancer’s candle is blown out they must bow out of the dance until only one is left standing, so every dancer must not only shield his candle from the wind of moving about with it in hand, but also from his competitors in the dance who are trying to blow it out as each of them passes.

If the character fails his roll for such a dance, the amount by which he missed the roll will determine how soon his candle was doused, the percentage of participants whose candles were doused before his.

The character is required to practice his dance skills for no less than (SL) hours over the course of every [(AWA ÷ 4) + SL] days. If the character fails in this, his AV’s suffers as he loses his edge until the time missed has been made up. This penalty is (1 per 4 hours of practice missed) as long as the deficit remains.

The attmod’s for dancing are based on the character’s CRD.

GM’s Notes

The DV’s for dance are largely determined by the player himself, depending on how difficult a piece he picks to participate in, in much the same manner as choosing a dish to prepare under the Cook/Chef skill.

Common peasant dances can run 5 to 10 in DV, but special holiday dances, lively pieces with varying tempos and types of steps, can run from 10 to 15 or even 20.

The step-dances can run from slower numbers with DV’s around 10, including some great processional and/or community ring-dances, to faster pieces with DV’s of double that, some in quadrilles (two pairs of couples), and others in figures of up to 36 dancers or more. Then there are traditional set pieces that have amazingly intricate steps and high tempo which can run as high as 40 for the DV. These last are usually reserved for great gatherings when there are a significant number of highly skilled dancers in attendance who can do the piece justice and give the spectators a real treat for show.

Court dances will generally be the easiest, varying between 1 and 5. Such amusing little dances as the Torch Dance described above, however, will have DV’s starting at 10 to 13, and may vary a couple points higher if the GM determines there are some participants with higher AGL scores in the contest. Court dances, the Torch Dance included, are generally figure dances, the more participants the larger the figure and harder it is to keep track of the progression, so the number of participants beyond the character’s (AWA + SL) is added to the DV.

IF a dance’s figure, or the number of steps that must be completed before they begin to repeat, is particularly long, this should have a direct effect on the DV. The GM must decide how much longer, up to double the normal length or more, and multiply the DV accordingly.

The GM must be aware that, while the player chooses which dances his character participates in, he must keep the DV’s of the dances being enjoyed at any occasion in line with the type of crowd and the number present, saving the truly difficult dances for those occasions with the greatest crowds, those that are the most important gathers, and from which the character, especially the Courtier, can benefit most from participating in, or alternately suffer the greatest blow to his reputation should he perform poorly.

 

Cottage Crafts

The Cottage Crafts entry actually represents a bundle of skills representing the majority of homely arts practiced commonly in every cottage by every housewife in the period of the game to one extent or another, in practically every country and province from the West to the Far East. The Chandler aspect encompasses the basic household skills of making both soap and candles, both of which substances consist primarily of boiled fats in the period of the game. Of course, with this skill, the character is only able to produce the most common household varieties of these substances, for common household use, basic caustic soda and lye soaps, and for lighting only simple rushlights.

The weaving industry was, by and large, driven by the efforts of those in the countryside who took their own local wool and often also large consignments from merchants in the towns from which to Card, Spin, and Weave finished cloth. Woad and madder, dyestuffs for achieving a blue or a red dye, were commonly raised in the countryside, and onions skins to create an egg-shell or ecru color, to aid in this industry as a Dyer. The phrase “dyed in the wool” comes from this industry and the practice of dying the wool before weaving so the color would permeate all the threads and the cloth woven from it would bear color all the way through it, and not weather away as the color might when dying cloth already woven. The knowledge to Knit/Crochet is just as important as the weaving, as it is by these tools that most hose were created, for men and women alike. Embroidery was a very specialized skill, and the materials used could be common thread or very rich, such as silk floss or even silver or gold, used to make appliqués holding jewels onto garments.

Upon achieving (CRD) in SL with any of these crafts, the character reaches the limits of skill that he can reach, save only one specialty. This is the best the character’s knowledge and training allow in regards to the other crafts, as he focuses his attentions on his specialty. This is the specialty in which the player chooses to have his character truly excel (chandlery, cloth making by weaving OR crochet and knitting, dying, OR embroidery), perhaps even earning some renown with it.

For the craft specialty chosen, the character may start at this point to experiment with it in attempting to produce a finer product, researching, experimenting in order to discovering through trial-and-error the secrets of the applicable trade, especially if pursued for the purposes of public trade for profit.

Otherwise, this limitation may be overcome if the character can find a chandler, cottage cloth-maker, dyer, or broderer willing and agreeable to train under to expand his or her knowledge and skills. Such a thing is likely to take the character out of play for some time, equal to half a normal apprenticeship. This allows the character to exceed the single area of concentration limitation, however.

Through the Chandler specialty the character is allowed to make good hard-milled scented olive-oil or glycerin soaps or good hard white candles with clean-burning cotton wicks. A Textile specialty allows for Spinning finer yarn or threads for weaving, Weaving tighter fabrics or even trying “Gobelin-style” tapestry weaving, creating richer more vibrant Dyes and finding out the uses of mordants to make the colors fast to last, OR experimenting with tighter and more complex patterns in knitting and crocheting, and so on.

The costs for soap-making and chandlery depend on the costs of the fats if they are not accumulated from the meats and carcasses used in kitchen cookery at home (NOT in making true quality products), and any scenting substances (herbs, perfumes), wicking, and so on (see GM).

The costs for processing and weaving wool into cloth depend on the price of the wool and whether it is to be dyed, the cost of the dyestuffs, etc. If the wool is coming from the character’s own sheep and he is processing it through all his own skills, all the cloth costs him is time to make. The same is true of knitted and crocheted work.

While this is a Bundled skill that gives a character knowledge of and access to all of the afore-mentioned skills taking only a single AWA-slot, each aspect of it is tracked separately in regards to SL’s, according to the use they are given in play.

The attmod’s for the various uses of this skill are generally based on the character’s CRD score, BUT the GM may have other ideas depending on the specific activity the character is engaged in.

GM’s Notes:

The DV’s for Chandlery are based on the number of pounds of soap or candles being created at once, in the same manner as an exercise of Alchemy. DV’s for Weaving and Dying fabric is based on the number of yards of fabric being dyed at once, although dying when done to the raw wool are based on the number of sacks to be dyed in the same lot, i.e., with the same exact shade, as are Carding and Spinning.

Those who live in wetlands are more likely to produce flax and rett out the fibers in pools before Spinning and Weaving.

The DV’s for Embroidery are addressed in the GM’s Notes for the Artisan Trade, based on the number of square inches the work being attempted covers.