Primeval Games Press

Variant Rules for TotG

Creative Infirmities

One of the nice things about infirmities is that they can be interpretted in many different ways. Among them is loss of necessary knightly equipment. For instance, if a knight take a level 3 infirmity to warfare, instead of describing an injury or somesuch, say his lance and sword broke, or he was ransomed and lost his armor, or his horse sprained a leg. Similarly, infirmities to survival can represent a loss of provisions. Wits and manner might be brought in similarly, though probably with more work.

You might also allow a player to split infirmity levels between two or more aptitudes, as long as a sensible explanation exists.

Brian’s questor, Sir Carlyle, is on the battlefield and loses a trial that described his fight with an enemy knight. He needs to take a level 3 infirmity since he failed by 5. Brian decides to put 2 levels of infirmity into warfare and the remaining 1 into survival, reflectin a sprained leg and other minor injuries.

The Rewards of Weakness

This basically comes down to prividing much bigger rewards for the invocation of weaknesses, encouraging their regular use. For weaknesses that just affect the story, outside of a trial, give anything from 3 NPs for minor problems to 15 for complications affecting the main quest or which really harm the questor immediately. Included as possible effects are the immediate infliction of an infirmity. In this case, give NPs equal to the infirmity’s level, plus a few more for good measure. If a player wants to cripple his questor, give at least double that amount.

Of course weaknesses can also be invoked during trials, usually to simply increase the difficulty (or remove successes). Here give out NPs equal to the penalty. If the player instead wants to reduce the number of dice he’s rolling, or his questor’s effective skill, give about half the amount of the penalty.

Additionally, allow infirmities to be invoked like weaknesses, either to introduce some negative effect into the story, or to add additional penalties in a trial. In either case, reward NPs exactly as above. Players can also bring about scenarios using NPs that purposefully bring their infirmities into play. Remember to make these narrations cheaper than normal.

Sir Carlyle, was injured in battle previously and has a level-2 infirmity to warfare. A friend of his asks for his advice on persecuting a small war of his own. Brian decides that as part of his infirmity, Sir Carlyle has been shaken up a bit, and will be overly cautious for a while: Brian decides that Sir Carlyle will give his friend bad advice. The GM awards 6 NPs for this because it harms Sir Carlyle (indirectly) and is cool.

Harsh Infirmities

The lead questor is both the most naturally valorous of the knights and also the most vulnerable. When he fails in a trial, the margin of failure translates directly into an infirmity of equal level; there is no 2-level buffer as with secondary questors. He now has to be very careful of the kinds of trials he gets into.

Practical Wisdom

Normally, wisdom is only useful in specific circumstances that have been defined by the GM: judgments. While judgments allow wisdom to be used, they are by no means easier than regular trials. With ‘Practical Wisdom,’ all of this changes.

Whenever a player wants to, he can try invoking wisdom for a trial, turning it into a judgment. For this to happen, he has to describe basically how his questor is going to try using his wisdom: with a famous quotation from Samuel, with a calming of his fiery temper, by taking refuge in God’s succor, and so on. The GM and theother player should decide if the player’s basic description here is appropriate.

If the player is just trying to get a bonus, and has a lame description, his request should be rejected, and the trial remains just a trial—the final narrator may also like to take this failed attempt to bring in wisdom by making the questor’s attempt come to naught (if he is successful) or being bungled terribly and harming him (if he fails).

If, however, the player is actually cool, and tries to make a trial into a judgment with a good reason (in addition to wanting the bonus, or just wanting to make the story good), the trial will become a judgment. In a judgment, the questor’s player can elect to use as much wisom as he wants from his total amount. Every wisdom used gives him one success in the upcoming trial.

Erin is having his questor convince a king to end a long blood feud. He knows, however, that the king will be hard to convince, and that he chances are slim. He decides to spend 3 wisdom to immediately better his odds.

However, each point of wisdom also needs to have a die rolled for it, before the main trial roll is made. If rolled a five or lower, the wisdom is lost as it is used: it still provides one success in the current trial, but is removed from the questor’s total amount. This loss demonstrates that the questor presumed wisdom he did not have, although various interpretations can be made during the trial narration.

From above, Erin needs to roll 3 dice, one for each point of wisdom. He rolls: 2, 9, 6. The 2 means one point of wisdom will be lost. If his questor had a wisdom of 8 before the trial, he now has 7.

If a questor fails a trial that his player turned into a judgment, then the margin of failure is increased by the total amount of wisdom that was used in the trial, plus the amount lost via the above rule (so that lost wisdom is counted twice). Therefore the questor is more likely to receive an infirmity than if he hadn’t used wisdom, and that infirmity is likely to be worse than normal. It still afflicts whatever aptitude the player chooses, as usual.

Erin rolls through the trial and gets one success normally (by using wits). He adds the 3 successes he got through wisdom for 4 succcesses total. If he needed 4 or fewer, then he wins. However, let’s say he needed 5. Normally he margin of failure would be 1 but since he decided to use wisdom, he adds on the bonus he got (3) plus the amount lost (1), making the margin 5. His questor will receive a level 3 infirmity.