Make your own free website on

Welcome to the "House Rules" page. This area lists special rules that are either in place of, or in addition to the normal GURPS Basic/Magic/Grimoire rules. Items in "play test" may be modified further or revoked if heavy play reveals some reason they should be changed. 

New "sub-Race"

Human Female 0 points
Human females have been broken out as a separate "class", with the following changes. ST -1, DX +1. No cost for this (it cancels). Players may use this rule or not, at their option.

Fighting, armor, and "aimed shots":

Quicker Combats: We'll be using the rule for this given on p 108 of the Basic book (my edition anyway). I will treat each attack/defense as a Quick Contest of Skills. If the attacker hits, the defender must make his defense roll by as much, or more. This makes successful defense rolls harder, and speeds combat! A word to the wise - buy up your shield skill, it could be a life-saver for a front-line fighter. 

As a general rule, I'll use what ever the prevailing armor type is, and don't bother with "aimed shots", simply because it is quicker and easier. If you want to take an aimed shot, it is done with the normal modifiers. After the 2nd try for the same spot, the opponent will get +1 on defense - they've figured out you're trying to clobber them there. Most often, a player would want to bother with this only if they are fighting a walking tin can that they can't otherwise hurt because they're too heavily armored.

Shield damage - we will be using this in limited form. As some attacks could potentially penetrate a shield (albeit in a weakened state), I will allow this. So even if you block that big fireball, it may keep on coming... I won't be keeping close track of damage to regular shields. I'll just tell you that yours is getting really beat up, and needs to be replaced, or was totaled in the last battle. Give you something to spend your loot on. ; )

Check out the armor pages. You may find that your encumbrance from armor may drop a few pounds using the charts on that page. Also, some armors that aren't listed elsewhere appear there. 

High-skill All-out attack (play test): If the character's weapon and shield skills (or off-hand weapon) are both 13 or better (after modifiers) the "All-out attack" maneuver may be used every other round except that a normal active defense may still be used! If their skill is a 16+ in both, the "All-out attack" maneuver may be used every round, again with an active defense. At this level of skill, it does not effect the PC's ability to coordinate an attack and defense. If either of their skills is not sufficient, the character may still use the "All-out attack" maneuver, but it is under the normal restrictions, i.e. no active defense is allowed. This reflects the ability of very skilled warriors to throw a combination of blows to overcome an opponent's defenses. 

Magic Rules - Read Me if you want a mage!

Magery will be more closely controlled in this game than in some you may have played in. Any character may be created with one level of Magery. Higher levels must be approved by the GM however as the magic system being used provides the potential for some really powerful wizards. Until a player is known (and the GM knows that they can really handle that kind of character), they won't be allowed more. Period. Is this bad? Not really, a Magery 1 mage can be quite potent, and the energy cost reduction rule has been modified (see below), so there's less incentive to build an "ultimate" mage with magery 3 and 14 intelligence just to get the cost reduction on all spells. Kind of a waste doing that anyway. Also, players CAN buy an extra level of Mage Potential (see below), and once they've shown that they're good RP'ers, buy up their Magery (and with it their Threshold) later. 

The UMANA rules, as provided HERE are in effect, with the changes or additions below. "Mage Potential" is a new advantage listed here, which tends to produce more dabblers in magic in the world. Powerful mages, with Magery 2 are less common, and tend to find a place as court mages for lesser to moderate nobility (Landed Lords, Barons, etc). Magery 3 is rare indeed, and in high demand by princes and kings... or their detractors. Having it could be a boon or a liability! The GM reserves the right to operate above or out of these bounds to keep the players challenged, so beware!

Starting THRESH score: The "default" Thresh score is is based upon magery level. Magery 1 = Thresh of 15. Magery 2 = Thresh of 25. Magery 3 = Thresh of 35. An untrained potential mage has NO Thresh score at all!

Recovery Rate: The mage's Tally is healed by an amount equal to his Recovery Rate (RR). The "default" RR score per day is 8, with a point of recovery occurring every three hours, in a normal mana area. In a high mana area, RR is doubled, but in a low mana area, the RR is halved.

Mage Potential

5 Points/1st Level, 2 points/2nd & 3rd level

This advantage may be taken by any new character. The effect of "mage potential", is to allow the character to buy magery later (at the normal cost), and thus lower the initial character cost for a (potential) mage. A character with "Mage potential" may cast spells, but with the following restrictions:

Only using their own fatigue or health. (no Threshold to draw on, see rules on strength & health use above)

The apprentice mage may only learn and cast spells that don't have magery as a prerequisite.

The apprentice mage may only know a maximum of 5 spells, which may be spread over no more than 3 colleges until magery is purchased. The potential mage must buy (at least) magery 1 to advance further. (Their Gift has to be awakened).

Magery may only be bought up to a level equal to Mage Potential level(s). For example, the dread apprentice Fritz has Mage Potential-2. He may later spend character points to buy Magery 1 & 2, but not Magery level 3. He may buy the Magery levels one at a time, or together, at the players choice. The player could still, of course, buy Magery outright, avoiding this extra cost. The character could also buy some magery, and then pay the cost for more future "potential".

The apprentice mage may still use scrolls and such that could be used by any "ungifted" character, but not any that require magery (until it is bought).


Energy cost to cast a spell. 
The rule about reducing cost to cast a spell given in GURPS Magic has been modified as given here. If the roll to cast a spell succeeds by 5 or more, the energy needed to cast the spell is reduced by 1. If it succeeds by 10 or more, it is reduced by 2, and so on, rather than getting an "automatic" reduction for high skill as given in GURPS Magic. Thus, the mana drain could fluctuate on different castings of the same spell. If the spell is maintained, use the original casting roll for mana cost reductions, if any. 

For example, the dread mage Fritz casts Missile Shield at the beginning of an ugly battle filled with archers. His skill is 14, but Fritz is very in tune with the cosmos that morning, and rolls a 9, succeeding by 5. The cost of the spell is reduced from 5 to 4 against his tally. A minute later the battle is still raging, and several archers remain, so Fritz decides to maintain his Missile Shield (a wise choice). Cost to maintain is normally 2, but the bonus he gained on initial casting reduces this to 1. Later in the day, long after he let the initial casting expire, Fritz decides to start a food-fight at the celebratory party after the battle. He again casts Missile Shield, but rolls a 13. The spell is a success, but costs the normal 5 points, and if he maintains the spell, it will cost him the normal 2 points to do so.


Where to?

Welcome page    Magic Rules    Armor pages