Arcanum 1780: A New World
RPK’s House Rules
We will be using many of “RPK” Divine’s applicable House Rules in the game. Specifically, we will be using the following: “Flavor” trait points cost is reduced; Control can be used to provide DR; Costs Fatigue is worth -10% per level; Enthrallment skills require an Unusual Background; Slams use ST when possible; Changes to Trading Points For Money & Signature Gear; Combat, Combat Art, and Combat Sport Skills Are Techniques; and Cheap Firearms.
Primary and Secondary Attributes
When dealing with a normal human, the upper attribute limit is 16. Attribute levels of 9-11 are to be considered normal, 12 is good and 13+ is both impressive and immediately obvious. There are no set limits at outset for non-human primary attributes – your GM will decide how far they can be pushed.
Average Wealth is $5,000 ($1,000 disposable income).
Allies, Patrons, Contacts, Enemies
Values for Allies, Patrons, Contacts and Enemies should be set in consultation with the GM and will depend on how much of an organization is effectively involved. Your enemy might be New Spain, but even in the worst of worlds the whole of such a massive nation will not know who you are let alone be actively inimical to you.
Rank, Status and Social Stigma are detailed on their own page.
Magery – the only type of Magery in Arcanum is that set out in Thaumatology: Ritual Path Magic page 5. However, such Magery includes an ability to sense Mana Level when in immediate proximity to it and an ability to sense how much energy the mage has gathered. Roll against Thaumatology or whichever is your main skill for using magic (for specialists) to local sense Mana levels accurately.
Ritual Magic Specialists – the rules in Pyramid 3/66 pages 16-20 are available for player use, but please consult the GM for approval of your build.
Available to mundane characters only at Level 1 and with prerequisites of minimum DX14 or Ambidextrous.
Quick Gadgeteer is disallowed as an Advantage except for the version in DF:Sages pp4, which is the only version of this advantage allowed to player characters.
This Advantage is disallowed for player-characters.
Blessed, True Faith and other “divinely-granted” powers
These Advantages and any like them are inapplicable. Arcanum does not work that way – if any God exists He listens from a distance and works only in subtle ways, He does not grant powers of any kind.
In every reference to this Advantage on this wiki, we mean the version from Hi-Tech p249/Gun-Fu/Action, not the one from the Basic Set. It is available to mundane characters only if they have all of: minimum DX 15 and either Combat Sense or Perfect Balance.
Hard To Kill
This Advantage is limited to 2 levels for human characters.
A Patron with the Equipment modifier automatically pays for the character’s Cost of Living and allows the character to start off with the entirety of their starting wealth in equipment.
Twist is the term for the mutative effect of mana. A Twisted character will have either a Secret or a Social Stigma and a set of other disadvantages and advantages. See the separate page on Twist for details.
Unfazeable can only be bought by mundane humans with the “Unfamiliar Horrors” limitation (Horror, p19-20), not the Basic Set version. The Advantage thus costs 8 Points.
We don’t use the standard GURPS initiative system. Instead at the beginning of each turn in which initiative matters each character rolls a seperate initiative comprising a D6 + Basic Speed (If you have Combat Sense, that adds another +1 for you only). Turns take place from highest to lowest of the resulting totals. This system is both fairer and more flexible, in our opinion, than the standard GURPS resolution.
Just a Flesh Wound
Burn 1 CP to recover 5 HP, 5 FP, or any combination thereof; or to “downgrade” a crippling injury 1 level (from lasting to temporary, etc). This must be done immediately after the battle in which the injury was sustained, before any other kind of healing or recovery is attempted. (We’ve also allowed this rule to apply to such things as recovering from unconsciousness, etc. in the past.)
A complementary skill is a skill that can help the primary skill. Any primary skill roll may utilize any number of complementary skills, but complementary skills typically can not benefit from complementary skills of their own. When utilizing a complementary skill, the complementary skill is rolled against. If it succeeds, the primary skill gets a +1 bonus; if it critically succeeds, a +2 bonus. If it fails, the primary skill gets a -1 penalty, and if it critically fails, a -2 penalty. Complementary skills must be appropriate for the task at hand – no using Guns as a complementary skill for Diplomacy, but using Guns as a complementary skill for Intimidation would be acceptable. The complementary skill does not need to be used by the person rolling against the primary skill, but it may be, and any number of complementary skill bonuses may stack onto the same primary skill roll.
When planning a mission, a ‘mastermind’ character may make a Planning Roll against an appropriate skill – Tactics for runs primarily involving small-unit combat, Strategy if it primarily involves large scale combat, usually Leadership otherwise. Complementary skills may be used to scout out the target beforehand – these scouting missions should be played out, and are the primary exception to the ‘no complementary skills for complementary skill rolls’ rule.
The team gains a number of Planning Points equal to the Margin of Success on the Planning Roll. These Planning Points can be used by the team to retroactively say ‘we did “x” earlier’ – allowing the team to create the plan while playing out the run. This makes actual detailed planning unnecessary!
The Planning Point cost varies depending upon how major of a retcon the team asks for. Minor retcons cost 1 Planning Point; these might be things like bringing a specific tool for the job or having researched a specific item or person. Major retcons cost 2 Planning Points; these would be things like setting explosive charges. Minor retcons do not need to be specifically played out and require no roll; major retcons should be played out, including appropriate skill rolls for the task at hand.
An enemy Planner may similarly utilize a Planning Roll on the defense; if so, he uses the same rules here, typically using his available points to foil the friendly Planner’s plans.