This page is dedicated to some new rulings in Horizon Breaker. Most of these rulings are optional and allow one to play some factions in the Nasuverse in a more ’faithful manner.
Starting Character Packages
There are new ‘packages’/templates available for Masters and other Player Characters in this campaign. The three main templates are Nasuverse Magus, Church Executor, and Dead Apostle.
Nasuverse Magus (Mage Association/ Sea of Estray/ Atlas/ London Clocktower)
The Nasuverse system of magecraft is different from the (in my opinion) already liberal nWoD definition and system of Magic. In this campaign, it is attributed to the dogmatic teachings and different system of education by the Mage Association.Although the Atlantean Orders have a larger member base, and more diversity, they fall apart due to the fact that they constantly bicker with one another over various issues. Thus, the secretive and ruthless Mage Association is able to thrive even with their narrow-set system of magic.
Mage template as per Mage the Awakening, with some changes.
- No Paths. Just pick one Arcana you are good at, set this as a 2 dot starting arcana.
- There is no deficient arcana. Treat all arcana that is not your primary as minor (x7 exp)
- Instead of 2/2/1 starting Arcana dots, you get 2 dots in your primary, 1 dot in a secondary, and 2 dots to allocate in any arcana you wish.
- Get 10 dots worth of rotes, rather than 6.
The Mage Association has a few perks and drawbacks that separate them from the Atlantean Orders.
- They do not need to be Masters to create their own rotes. However, creating a rote requires the sacrifice of a willpower dot, and the expenditure of EXP corresponding to every Arcana dot involved in the rote.
- Due to the rigid discipline and dogmatic teachings of the Mage Association and ATLAS, they have difficulty casting non-rote magic. Casting non-rote magic immediately triggers paradox. (the paradox dice roll only determines severity)
- They may spend a willpower point to obviate the above rule and normalize the paradox pool, however.
- The Magus lineage merit also acts as a discount for leveling up arcana, rotes and gnosis. The experience point cost for upgrading these stats cost one less for every dot in the Magus Lineage merit, to a minimum of 1 total paid Experience point.
- However, once a Nasuverse Magus has demonstrated his abilities as a Master of an Arcana or having Gnosis 5 or more, the Mage Association becomes very interested in the magus. This interest may soon turn into the intent of sealing him/her or confiscating his/her magic crest. There are many reasons why the Mage association will want to pursue the mage, perhaps for mastering a rote that they’ve never encountered before, etc. An Atlantean Mage doesn’t have to worry about this, unless they’ve offended a party with similar goals or the Mage Association itself.
A Church Executor has the benefit of being a Hunter of the Malleus Maleficarum Conspiracy, and being a Mage at the same time. However, they are kept secret from ‘standard’ Malleus Maleficarum members.
As per Mage the Awakening. Alternatively, You may choose to be a Nasuverse Magus as above.
- You have access to Hunter the Vigil Merits, particularly Benedictions.
- You start with only 5 merit points, because at least 2 dots must be allocated to the Status (Malleus Maleficarum) Merit.
- Rather than Wisdom, you keep the Morality Trait of Hunters. (As well as their Tells) You may later change this to wisdom, but at a price. (see below)
Although quite powerful, the Church Executor has a few drawbacks.
- You have the ability to spend one turn in prayer, and spend a willpower point to obviate the paradox of the next rote spell you cast.
- Rotes cost x3 rather than the normal x2.
- You may not level up your Gnosis past rank 4. Unless…
- To pursue the higher paths of magic is to become a true Mage – you may sacrifice a willpower dot, and irreversibly change your morality trait into the Wisdom trait. (It resets to 7 dots) You may now advance Gnosis, Arcana and Rotes as normal. However, you irreversibly lose the ability to use your Benedictions, the above paradox-obviating ability, and if the Church finds out about this, you’re screwed.
The Nasuverse vampire is vastly different from the (again, my opinion) already diverse nWoD Vampire. I have decided to treat them as a combination of Vampire and Mage. In this campaign, you have the option of playing as one of these powerful Creatures.
As per Mage the Awakening. Alternatively, you may decide to play as the Nasuverse Magus presented above. There are many changes to your sheet, however :
- Dead Apostles replace Mana with the Vitae stat. Starting vitae is equal to Humanity. Vitae performs the purposes of Mana when it comes to spell casting. For Everything else, refer to the Vitae Rules of VtM.
- Although they follow Gnosis, it is a combination of the rules of Blood Potency, except for the type of blood they must imbibe.
- Dead Apostles follow the Humanity Stat of Vampires rather than Wisdom.
- You may purchase only the core disciplines. (Animalism, Auspex, Celerity, Dominate, Majesty, Nightmare, Obfuscate, Protean, Resilience, Vigor). Your starting arcana dots may be replaced with dots in the selected discipline. (Example: you may have Forces 2, Celerity 2, Prime 1 then an additional dot in Protean, etc.) Disciplines chosen in this way cost x6 to increase. Everything else costs x7.
- Increasing the Gnosis point costs 4 merit points. (Creation only)
- They gain Vampire Weaknesses (Fire, Sun, Stake to the Heart, Decapitation), although magic can obviate them. (be creative)
The incredibly powerful Dead Apostle has a lot of drawbacks that differentiate it from its traditional vampire kin:
- Their bite automatically creates violent ghouls akin to zombies. These ‘ghouls’ may eventually become Dead Apostles of their own. The rest are known as ‘The Dead’.
- The ‘Children’ of Dead Apostles always automatically give their parent at least one point of vitae whenever they feed.
- When under the moon, a Dead Apostle gains a bonus die for their dice pools.
- During the full Moon, they are at their strongest. Vitae spent to regenerate heals double the amount indicated.
- They must spend a point of Vitae every night, or roll for Torpor.
- Dead Apostles cannot cross Water with their own abilities. They must use planes, boats or other methods to assist them.
- Gnosis costs x10 to increase. All arcana dots cost one step higher to increase, to a maximum of x8.
- Any magic that targets a Mage’s Mana pattern/Magic circuits (same thing) can harm their Vitae pool.
- Dead Apostles are particularly hunted down by Church Executors… and other, scarier things.
- Dead Apostles also have to worry about the Rotschrek rules of Vampires. Rotschrek also occurs as a result of paradox.
- Dead Apostles can not purchase the new merits below AFTER character creation.
New Merits available for this campaign:
High-Speed Magic Incantation – (1 to 3 dots)
Prerequisite : Nasuverse Mage
The Mage Association, concerned with Ritual and proper execution of spells, prize Mages who can pull off their rotes efficiently. This merit represents a Magus who can make use of high speed incantations to allow for more potent spells in a shorter period. Note that this affects only non-extended rote spells and does not affect extended spellcasting.
- At 1 dots, reduce a modified spellcasting difficulty by one step. (for instance, a potency 3 spell would just be -2 rather than -4.)
- At 2 dots, reduce a modified spellcasting difficulty by 2 steps. (as above, the potency 3 spell would no longer impose penalties.)
- At 3 dots, reduced a modified spellcasting difficulty by 3 steps. If no more penalty exists as a result of this, the spell cast is a free action. You may perform a non-magic action within the same turn with no penalty. You still may not cast more than one spell per turn. (with this merit alone…)
Magus Lineage – (1 to 5 dots)
A quintessential merit for mages living in the Nasuverse. It represents the character belonging to a Mage Family, with one dot being a fledgeling, newly founded mage family and 5 being an ancient, respectable and widely-known dynasty. For Nasuverse Mages (above), it represents a vast quantity of resources and mystical power. For Atlantean Mages, it varies – treat it like a mix of status, retainers and allies.
However, the more dots one has in this merit, the more interested the Magus Association is in your growth and in your power. This may indicate a lot of friction and limitation in the future, due to the ruthless and secretive nature of the organization. Atlantean Orders may be tangentially interested (due to their broader, more liberal view of magic).
(Tohsaka’s family would be around 2 dots, Matou would be a 3, El-Melloi is about 4 dots.)
Lineages can only be increased by one dot per character. (representing a generation.) By the same token, a Lineage may lose dots due to shame. Losing a Family’s Magic Crest is a sure way of reducing the Family’s Lineage Merit. Losing Lineage dots may also be used as an excuse to confiscate a Family’s Magic Crest and Secrets…
Magic Crest – (1 to 5 dots, possibly more)
prerequisites (without any backlash): Magus Lineage of the same dot value.
The true power of a Magus lineage lies in the Family Magic Crest. It is the collection of knowledge, magical power and sometimes, magic circuits of one’s ancestors, made into a single enchantment and cast upon the recipient. Then, as the recipient grows in power, it becomes his/her responsibility to pass it on to the next generation, along with his wisdom and power. Needless to say, the more powerful Magic Crests belong to the older, more powerful families.
If taken as a standard Mage Family crest, This Merit can be taken only once per Game, per character. The dots purchased in this merit can never surpass the dots in the Magus Lineage Merit. The dots in this merit are further divided into the bonuses laid out below:
- 1 dot of Magic Crest may be allocated to represent the knowledge of 5 dots of rotes.
- 1 dot of Magic Crest may be allocated to represent an always active protection spell of a second level family Arcana. (Potency equal to gnosis)
- 2 dots of Magic Crest may be allocated to represent a one dot increase in a family Arcana. (This must be defined beforehand by the Player and the GM)
- 2 dots of Magic Crest may be allocated to represent an always active enchantment spell of up to 3 dots in the Family Arcana. (Potency equal to gnosis)
- 3 dots of Magic Crest may be allocated to represent an additional dot of Gnosis. (represents extensive magic circuits)
- 3 dots of Magic Crest may be allocated to represent an always active enchantment spell of up to 4 dots in the Family Arcana. (Potency equal to gnosis)
- 4 dots of Magic Crest may be allocated to represent an always active enchantment spell of up to 5 dots in the Family Arcana. (Potency equal to gnosis)
Passing on the crest requires the sacrifice of a willpower point, and the loss of this merit. This is the only time a crest can be upgraded, with the giver expending the required amount of exp (new value times 2). However, it can only be upgraded if the resulting number of dots does not yet surpass the Lineage Merit of the Family.
The potency of the Magic Crest is equal to double its dots. (3-dot crests have a potency of 6)
Usually, only one magic crest is passed on in every family, to ensure the purity and the power of the line. But this is not always the case.
The backlash of nonstandard Magic Crests
It must be noted that since Magic Crests are enchantments, they can be stolen from their bearers (usually by killing them). Although, if one has taken a Magic Crest by this method, it earns him the ire of the Magus Family that created it, and sometimes the Mage Association. (they have been known to practice this, however) Thus, a man can have multiple Magic Crests, but he is sure to have countless enemies.
Also, fallen Mage Families with powerful Magic Crests are a prime target for the more predatory forces within the Mage Association. If one possesses a Magic Crest with dots higher than his Family’s Lineage Merit dots, he is most likely being targeted for sealing.
Origin – (1 to 5 dots)
Pre-requisite: Only once per character, can never be modified afterward.
Among the Nasuverse mages, there is a belief that all things come from and return to Akasha. By studying ‘the root’, they seek to learn the truth about everything. For centuries, this has shaped the philosophies of countless magi in the mage association, and countless methods and conflicts have arisen due to this. One of the learnings gained from all this is the awareness of the ‘Origin’.
Origin (起源, Kigen?) is the orientation at the time that an event occurred. It is the starting point that defines one’s existence and directs one’s actions throughout life. It is the driving force from the inside of Akasha that managed to stream out of the Source and take material form. The form it can take at times is that of a human being, and all humans match their actions to be in harmony with the driving force that originated them from the moment they enter into the world. These actions are more along the lines of an inherent compulsion that could be called a person’s instinct rather than a conscious decision. If a person becomes awakened to their Origin, it becomes nearly impossible to stray from their Origin if it’s even possible in the first place.
Dots in this merit represent a bonus die pool AND a penalty pool that allow one to act according to their origin. For instance, a character with the origin of ‘Learning’ at 3 dots always has a +3 bonus whenever he rolls for researching. However, if faced with danger that would separate him from his books, he gains a -3 penalty for his efforts to leave behind such knowledge and run for his life.
Powerful Fate magic can be employed to lessen the effects of the Origin Merit, (with the use of the change destiny rote) but to change the Origin itself may require Archmastery. A Person can be awakened to his Origin with the use of a Fate rote native to Nasuverse Mages. (Similar to the Bestow Destiny Rote)
An Origin also strongly colors a character’s resonance, especially if he has higher dots in this merit.
Reality Marble – (4 or 5 dots)
prerequisite: Can only be taken once per Character, Having Space Arcana of at least 3 lessens the cost to 4 dots.
The Reality Marble is a forbidden magic that involves the creation of a personal world and temporarily switching them with current reality. Although Atlantean Mages simply consider this as powerful Space Magic, it is not strictly the case. Having a Space Arcana of at least 3 dots makes understanding this a little easier, however. It lessens the acquisition cost to 4 dots.
A Reality Marble is like a temporary Demesne, as the ‘Inner World’ is not bound by the same rules as the outside world. Its patterns and rules are determined by the Caster’s Soul. Ironically, it means that these rules cannot be changed by the Caster.
This merit represents the Character having access to this ‘personal world’.
Creating a Reality Marble :
- To create the effects of this world, the Character must first apply his primary arcana/path to determine what aspects of reality are strongly affected/utilized. He must create a primary theme based on the arcana. (For instance, unlimited blade works instantly creates swords of all kinds, thus the primary arcana can be prime or matter)
- Having the Origin merit is a much more powerful and definite way of defining the Reality Marble. It also works as a bonus to be discussed later on. (Shirou’s Origin is sword)
- Next, the character must look through all the spells he is capable of with regards to the theme. He selects a number of spells equal to his/her Gnosis, then takes note of their effects. These effects become the Rules of the inner world.
- You may select 1 spell with an arcana one dot higher than those you already have for each dot you have in Origin. The Arcana in question must be linked to your Origin.
- The Rules represent effects one can instantly call upon or always have active while the Reality Marble is active. (Instantly tracing swords, including history and fighting style, Throwing them at people, etc.)
- Select which effects are always active and which effects can be turned on or off, or activated.
- The potency of such effects (if needed to determine them) is always equal to your current Gnosis.
- Note that as one’s Gnosis grows, one may add more ‘effects’ or ‘rules’ to the inner world. Note that ‘Rules’ one has already established in his inner world cannot be changed, unless one increases in Gnosis and creates a new Rule that upgrades the first or negates it.
- Make a cool sounding name.
Using a Reality Marble:
- Spend Mana equal to your Gnosis.
- If a person is not a space mage, they can only target and include those in the visual range.
- For space mages who want to include other targets, use the sympathetic Spellcasting rules.
- Roll Gnosis+Primary Arcana+Origin dots. This is the Activation Roll. (In the case of Atlantean Orders, select the highest Primary Arcana). It counts as a rote roll, but the resonance will undeniably indicate the Caster’s Origin/Pattern/Etc.
- The result is the number of turns that the Reality Marble is active. It is also the potency, in case an enemy would counter its activation.
- Always active rules take place within the turn of activation.
- you may turn off/on and activate rules as a free action, once per turn.
- You may cast magic as normal, with no paradox pool.
- Enemies may also cast magic as normal, however – although established rules may hinder them.
- If one wishes to make the Reality Marble last past the initial turns, the character must spend one mana before the effect ends. This extends the Reality Marble for one more turn. This can be done a number of times equal to one’s Gnosis.
- Once cast, the outside bounded Field of the Reality Marble consistently has a potency equal to the Character’s Gnosis. If a character is a Space Mage, the potency is increased by dots he possesses in the Space arcana. Thus, a Reality Marble can be dispelled or dispersed from the outside.
- As soon as the Reality Marble ends, everything dragged into it is deposited back into the world.
NOTE: If you are inside the reality marble, the ‘Rules’ cannot be countered, or dispelled. This must be performed outside the Reality Marble. Even then, you would be working to dispel the reality marble as a whole.
Example Reality Marble
Derpman ‘s Reality Marble Eternal Quantum Resolution
Primary Arcana (Time 4, Fate 3) Gnosis 4
- ALWAYS ON – For any non-magic related roll, Derpman rolls 4 times and chooses the best result.
- ALWAYS ON – Derpman knows all actions one turn before they occur.
- ALWAYS ON – Derpman cannot die in his Reality Marble.
- Activated – Derpman’s next attack ignores mundane defenses and the defense stat of his target.