Rules update 2013
During the process of writing the rituals for the system, there has been some inevitable examination of issues in more detail. As a result, a number of small but not insignificant issues were identified. Rather than make changes on an ad hoc basis we decided to present these changes together in one go when we released the rituals. This means we could then present the rules in a final state to all the players and they could be confident that no more changes would be forthcoming.
The changes are summarized below, along with a quick explanation for why these changes have been made, so that players can understand the thinking behind the decision. Where the existing wiki entries conflict with the statements below, then the statements below take priority.
We have removed the disjunction spell, in place of having the ability available to the players as a ritual. This makes it slightly easier for players to get the ability, but potentially more expensive to perform it. In practice this ritual is likely to be very rarely performed (there are good plot reasons to disjunct an item, but very few good economic reasons to do it) but to be very important when it is done. Therefore making it cheaper to purchase the skill but more expensive and time-consuming to cast means that players don't spend too many precious character points on a very rarely used skill but preserves the drama and tension when it is performed.
Extra ritual has been improved to provide two extra rituals, rather than one. It was a weak purchase before and with the large number of rituals now in the system, this gives players a more viable character build - a character who has mastered many rituals.
This skill can now only be used in the first minute of your death count. If you have counted more than one minute, you cannot use this skill. We have made this change because our intended use for the skill was to allow heroic characters to clamber back to their feet to fight on when hit by an arrow or a massive monster. What we didn't want was for players to use unstoppable to play possum and double their death count - that's what fortitude is for. This is a heroic skill, so we're confident that this limitation will encourage players to seek the first good opporunity to get back to their feet.
When you create a group, you may make a single choice whether it is a coven, sect or banner. When you create your character you can choose a single group to begin play as a member. You can join other group in play, although you can still only be a member of one coven, sect or banner.
We have limited each group to being one type of band because it massively simplifies the rules for bands, making character generation and group creation much simpler to understand, whilst still allowing players to achieve all the complex range of overlapping loyalties that they could do before.
We have allowed players to create groups that are not bands, so that they can support a wider range of group concepts. Members of a group can still only be members of the same nation.
We have amended the description of how night pouch works. The pouch is visible, with a tangible aura of magic, but is protected and the contents cannot be removed. This change allows players to roleplay their characters on the basis of what the player can clearly see in front of them, while maintaining the use of the spell as a mechanism for players to keep things more secure. We have switched the off-game rune for a ribbon due to the problems inherent in marking what is an in-character item (albeit effectively invisible) with an out-of-character mark. The new rules also mean that players do not have to mark their pouches, but can attach a game ribbon to them instead.
Weakness and Venom
We are reducing the cost of venom and weakness to one personal mana. Although the spells are powerful, we decided on balance that they are not as powerful as similar two point spells, like paralysis and empower.
We have decided to implement an apprentice ability using the same mechanics that are present for attendants in Odyssey. Any character that does not have any skills (including children) has this ability - it is lost as soon as you purchase your first skill. The apprentice ability allows you to use any skingle skill in the system provided a character who knows that skill is instructing them. If the skil requires a resource to use it, a hero point, mana or herbs then that resource must be provided by the character who is providing the instruction.
All the rituals, potions and items are now complete for the game and we are in the process of transferring them all to the wiki. This will take approximately two days to complete at current rates of progress. There will be no further rules changes before the first event. We'll review the rules next winter to check everything is working as we hope it is, and if something is obviously wrong we will address it then.