The Farrani Corps
Limitations: No Ability (except Native Language) can start at a rating higher than four. No Ability can ever rise higher than level six.
Specializations: Players may change an Ability’s specialization when they raise said Ability’s level.
Area Lore: Player characters may not have any points in this Ability at their creation.
Bows: The Bows Ability covers the use of crossbows.
Code of Hermes: The Farrani campaign does not use this Ability.
Dead Language: Duromun, Galaraan, Golmish, and Karahzed still exist but are rarely used. Only those with the Gift can make full use of these four languages, but mundanes can and do use rudimentary forms quite effectively. In modern times, academics and priests use Karahzed as the language of learning; nearly all educational literature is written in that tongue.
Firearms (New): Shooting and caring for firearms of all kinds. Specialties: any one weapon.
Living Language: Common living languages have the same names as their applicable empires, Argond and Trakorien, and their kingdoms, Betraland, Palamux, Paratorna, Saphyna, and Trinsmyra.
Magic Theory: Normally a wizard recognizes the sigil of anyone whose magic she has previously encountered. But a wizard trained in this Ability may attempt to conceal her magical sigil.
Concealing a magical sigil requires a roll of Intelligence + Finesse. This is a very hard task; at ease factor 15, the sigil will go unnoticed, absent specific scrutiny.
Detecting a concealed sigil requires a roll of Perception + Awareness + the magnitude of the spell. The ease factor is the result of that wizard’s Finesse roll (a 15 minimum).
Parma Magica: You can imbue any number of “parma tokens” when you enact your ritual. These objects must be similar conceptually, like a set of playing cards, and must be crafted or somehow improved by the Parma user, even if it is just to clean off some similar rocks found near a river. If a magus carries one of your tokens, your Magic Resistance does not affect that magus’ spells, even if you are not concentrating to lower it.
Shapeshifter: Player characters with this Ability can only take the form of a wolf, regardless of their levels in this Ability. Each level of the ability adds one point to the character’s Soak, except against silver weapons. This benefit applies in human or wolf form.
Theology: In Betraland, as was mandated throughout the old empire, the Nazarene faith remains the official religion. But that religion is effectively polytheistic. The Betraland version of the worship of the God of All Time syncretizes veneration of the Old Gods, elder rituals, and elder high holidays. For this story arc, there is only one type of the Theology Ability.
Warlock: Add your level of Warlock to attack rolls made using firearms or explosives. Also add it to the weapon’s penetrating power, increasing the amount of the target’s Protection from armor that the shot ignores. Finally, multiply the weapon’s Range by your level of the Warlock Ability. If a target is protected by Magic Resistance, these benefits do not apply unless the Magic Resistance is overcome. The Warlock’s penetration total is her Warlock Ability. plus her attack roll. (None of the other Attack Total bonuses apply.)
You can also detect the presence of gunpowder. You can automatically determine by sight whether a firearm is loaded. You can also detect hidden gunpowder on a person or in the area by rolling Perception + Warlock + stress die against an ease factor of 9. Reduce the ease factor by 1 for every full twelve shots worth of gunpowder that are present. At Storyteller discretion, you can detect massive sources of gunpowder, like a powder wagon, even outside of your line of sight.
Your ability to commune with gunpowder can also protect you from other shooters. If you are aware of an attacker targeting you with a firearm, you can mute the explosive power of the weapon, adding your level of the Warlock Ability to your Defense. This benefit does not apply if you are unaware of the attack.
Even warlocks that are not true wizards have a sigil, and that sigil can be traced through the use of this Ability. Specialties: any one weapon covered by the Firearms Ability.
In this low-magic setting, spell mastery abilities are less powerful; they do not add to the wizard’s casting roll. Instead, the die result for a casting roll is treated as never being lower than the wizard’s level in the appropriate spell mastery ability. For example, a character casting a formulaic spell with an applicable level 4 spell mastery ability counts all rolls that are lower than four as rolls of four (so long as they are not botched). Spell mastery abilities still reduce, by one per level, the number of botch dice rolled when using the associated spell.
Spell mastery Abilities do not have specializations.
Adaptive Casting: This special ability may only be taken for General spells. You may use your mastery score and all the special abilities associated with this spell whenever you cast the same spell at a different level.
Boosted Casting: The wizard can boost the Range, Duration, and/or Target by up to one magnitude each, at the cost of one pawn each of applicable vis. The wizard cannot boost a spell to Year or to Boundary.
Ceremonial Casting: The wizard may employ ceremonial methods when casting this spell, increasing the casting time accordingly and adding her Artes Liberales and Philosophiae Abilities to the casting total. Use the rules on page 83. This mastery capability cannot apply to ritual spells; such magic always requires ceremonial techniques.
Disguised Casting: This capability can be selected multiple times for the same spell. Each version provides another disguise to the spell, giving it a particular counterfeit sigil. This can be a sigil the wizard has made up or a real sigil the wizard has previously encountered. Once learned, this capability allows the wizard to add her mastery Ability to rolls to conceal or disguise the affected spell. The same roll that reveals a concealed sigil will pierce a disguised sigil.
Familiar Spell: This special capability allows the wizard to cast a mastered Personal or Touch range spell at Touch or Voice range (respectively) if targeting (only) her familiar. Taking this special capability a second time lets you effect your familiar too when you cast a Personal range spell on yourself, so long as your familiar is within Voice range of you.
Harnessed Casting: The wizard may end the effects of this spell at will simply by concentrating on it. For timing and concentration purposes, treat this attempt as if the wizard were casting the spell again.
Imperturbable Casting: Add the caster’s Mastery score to all Concentration rolls related to the spell. This helps her maintain spells of Concentration Duration amid the chaos of battle, or while casting another spell (see the Concentration Table, page 82.)
Lab Mastery: The wizard may add her mastery Ability to lab totals when designing like effects (see Similar Spells, page 101).
Multiple Casting: When multiple-casting, the wizard does not roll separately for each spell. Instead, she makes one casting roll and divides the casting total evenly between as many spells as she chose to cast, rounding fractions down. The wizard selects the number of spells to cast before rolling.
Obfuscated Casting: Magi cannot automatically identify the Form of the spell as the magus casts it. This makes it difficult for them to use fast-cast spells as a defense. They must always roll to determine the Form of the spell (see ArM5, page 83) and must add the caster’s Mastery score to the Ease Factor.
Precise Casting: Add +1 to all Finesse rolls the caster makes with the spell, including aiming rolls. Subtract one botch die from any Finesse rolls she makes using the spell, to a minimum of one botch die. A wizard may take this ability multiple times for the same spell.
Quick Casting: Add +1 to the caster’s Initiative Total when he casts the Mastered spell. If he also has the Fast Casting special ability, add +1 to his Fast Casting Speed rolls (page 83) when he fast-casts the spell. This ability cannot be used for Ritual spells. A magus may take this special ability multiple times for the same spell.
Restorative Ritual: This mastery special capability can only be taken with ritual spells that use Creo to return creatures or objects to more-whole forms of their essential natures (i.e. healing and reparative spells). The vis cost to perform the spell is reduced by one pawn, to a minimum cost of zero pawns. This special capability can be taken multiple times for the same spell, with cumulative results.
Tethered Casting: You may give control of this spell to another person, who is subsequently treated as the caster, or to an object that holds the spell like a charged item for its duration and casts it if an appropriate target comes into range. This cannot be taken for Ritual spells.
Touch Attack: When casting a Touch-range spell, the wizard can combine casting with an unarmed Brawl attack. (She must still pass a Concentration check for casting in forward stance.) The spell is also (normally) penalized for using no gestures. If the wizard’s talisman is a weapon, she can also use this mastery capability when attacking with her talisman.
All weapons fall into broad categories reflected by the regular martial Abilities. But each individual weapon also corresponds to its own Ability. If a character has a score of one or greater in such an Ability, she is said to have “mastered” that weapon.
A mastery Ability affects die-rolling in two ways. First, an attack or defense roll with the weapon in question cannot roll lower than the user’s level of the corresponding mastery Ability, except in the case of a botch. For example, a character using a longsword with “Weapon Mastery—Longsword” level 4 counts all rolls that are lower than four as rolls of four (so long as they are not botched). The second effect is to reduce, by one per level, the number of botch dice rolled when using the weapon.
For every level in the mastery Ability, the character may also choose one special capability, applicable only to that mastered weapon. Thus, a character with mastery score of two has two special capabilities she can use when wielding that weapon.
Weapon mastery Abilities do not have specializations.
Arrow Cutting (Melee): The wielder can use her weapon’s defense bonus in her defense totals against missile weapons, except against bullets from firearms.
Disarm (Melee): The warrior can use this weapon for maneuvers to disarm or to take her opponent’s weapon.
En Passant (Melee): The weapon user adds her mastery level to rolls for rushing or to resist rushing.
Mobile Firing (Ranged): The weapon’s user takes no penalty for using this ranged weapon due to her own movement or the movement of her target.
Point Blank (Ranged): The warrior takes no penalties for using this missile weapon while engaged by melee fighters. She can also use this ranged weapon in forward stance, even if it is a two-handed weapon.
Precise Shot (Ranged): The character can ignore penalties to her attack total that stem from her target being engaged in melee combat or otherwise being covered or concealed.
Quick Draw (Any): Normal combat rounds assume that the participants will have time to draw weapons (or change weapons) without penalty. Even when the Storyguide determines there is not enough time to draw, characters with this capability can draw (or switch to) the associated weapon anyway.
Rapid Reload (Ranged): This special capability applies only to crossbows and firearms. The weapon’s user needs only to forego one round’s actions to reload the weapon.
Subduing Strike (Melee): The warrior no longer suffers the -3 penalty for scuffling with this weapon. She can elect to not inflict wound levels (just fatigue) from the Scuffle Effects chart.
Trip (Melee): This mastery capability applies only to two-handed weapons. The warrior can use this weapon for maneuvers to trip or knock down enemies.
Two Weapon Defense (Melee): A character using this weapon can fight with another melee weapon in her off-hand. The second weapon adds its Defense bonus to the primary weapon’s Defense bonus. An off-hand weapon must be a melee weapon that is usable in one hand. Its Strength requirement is three points higher than listed. A shield cannot be used with this special capability—it already adds its Defense bonus, even for the untrained.