Monday, August 24, 2015

Magisterium Character Creation Rules and Hacks

The following represents the character creation rules sent out to the players in the Magisterium Campaign. The game uses RuneQuest 6, which is a great, setting-neutral version of RuneQuest with decent amounts of guidance regarding how to customize and do your own shit, so to speak. So Rich Forest and I have.

For quick reading types, here's a list of the hacks we've done to the RAW (Rules As Written) embedded in the rules below: Language and Literacy Changes; Ubiquitous Folk Magic; Kalingoi Race; Generating Characteristics; and ACKS Conversion Rules. 

Character Creation

Characters are built following the standard RuneQuest 6 character creation process in most respects.
  1. Choose a Race (Human or Kalingoi).
  2. Generate Characteristics (see next page for methods).
  3. Choose a Culture from the list available in the next section and spend 100 points on any combination of basic skills, cultural combat style, and up to three professional skills selected from the culture. (Min 5 / skill; Max 15 / skill). 
  4. In addition to the standard +40% bump to the Customs and Native Tongue skills, you may also open a second bonus Language skill at +20%. If you have a non-Andrassan, Rothari, or Vanoran culture, you must take Language (South Vanoran); if you have selected Andrassan, Rothari, or Vanoran as a culture, you may take any other language associated with a culture in this document, as appropriate to your background and character concept.
  5. Choose or roll Background Event, Social Class, Parents, Family Standing, and Connections.
  6. Choose a Career from the standard or specialist lists for your culture (see below) and spend 100 points on any combination of basic and up to three professional skills from the career (Max 15 / skill).
  7. Join up to Two Cults, Brotherhoods, Mystical Orders, Sorcery Orders, Churches, Companies, Colleges, or Guilds, one of which must be the Magisterium spy society. You begin as a common member of each. If you so choose, you may swap one Cult professional skill for one of your three Career professional skill slots in the step above. This includes magical skills (keeping Ubiquitous Folk Magic still in play as well). In addition to these two cults, you also start as a lay member of your main cultural pantheon cult (e.g., an Andrassan is a lay member of the Sol Invictus cult). 
  8. If through Culture or Career you have access to the cult’s magic skills, you may begin as a dedicated member. You may draw from the cult skill list when selecting professional skills and spending points from the career point pool. 
  9. Choose one free professional skill to add to your skill list when spending additional Bonus Points (150 points for an adult, max 15/skill. More points for older characters, as described in the rulebook).


Humans are the major race of Borea, and thus are the default race for this campaign. However, Arborean peoples are ubiquitous around the Inner Sea, and those Kalingoi of Vanor that have obtained their freedom from their cyclops slavers have begun to branch out into other communities. As such, there is a small but growing Kalingoi presence in Andrassos proper. As such, they are a racial option for this campaign.

People of Borea


For Andrassans, Atlanteans, Lemurians, Rothari, Stygians, Vandals, and Vanorans, the standard careers are: Agent, Alchemist, Beast Handler, Courtesan, Courtier, Crafter, Entertainer, Farmer, Fisher, Herder, Hunter, Merchant, Miner, Official, Physician, Priest (Stygians and Vandals only), Sailor (no Rothari), Scholar, Scout, Sorcerer, Thief, and Warrior.

For Acherians, the standard careers are: Crafter, Entertainer, Farmer, Fisher, Herder, Hunter, Merchant, Official, Physician, Sailor, Scout, Thief, Warrior

For Kalingoi, the standard careers are: Beast Handler, Crafter, Entertainer, Fisher, Hunter, Merchant, Priest, Scout, Shaman, Thief, and Warrior.

For Iotar, the standard careers are: Crafter, Entertainer (Skald), Farmer, Fisher, Herder, Hunter, Merchant, Miner, Sailor, and Scout. 

Specialized cultural careers are listed in the various culture breakdowns later in this document.


Characteristics can be generated in one of two ways. 

Method One: Rolled Attributes
  1. Roll 3d6 seven times and assign in any order to STR, CON, DEX, POW, and CHA. (This means you will be able to throw out the lowest two rolls in the set.) 
  2. Then roll 2d6+6 three times and assign in any order to INT and SIZ.. (You will be able to throw out the lowest result.) 
Method Two: Point Buy
  1. Spend 84 points (77 points if Kalingoi) on STR, CON, SIZ, DEX, INT, POW, CHA. 
  2. Stay within the ranges available to human or kalingoi characters. 
Please stick to just one of the above methods for each character.


Living Languages
Dead or Cultic Languages
Acherian, Arborean, Sciritaen
High Agadic
Old Samulkaran
High Atlantean
Classical Atlantean
Hothar, Iorsk, Thiudar, Ormish
J«ętunn, Rothardic, Vandal
Kemi, Kvennish, Thulean
Old Hyperborean
Groznayan, Slezan, Ughoritic
Vanoran, South Vanoran, West Vanoran (Provincial)
Old Vanoran
Stygian, Cimmerian
Old Cimmerian

Other than your cultural Native Tongue skill, languages require the Language skill to have spoken fluency. To have reading/writing fluency in your Native Tongue, you must open up the Literacy skill, which confers knowledge and aptitude of the primary writing script for your Native Tongue. In addition, you may read/write linguistically related languages using the same script at one difficulty grade higher than normal, as usual for related languages. For example, a Vanoran trying to read a text written in South Vanoran has their literacy skill fluency capped at Hard Difficulty.

To open up a dead or cultic language, you must select the Literacy (dead language) skill. You may also speak the dead language at two difficulty grades lower than your literacy. If you would like to speak the dead language more fluently, you must buy it as a skill. 

Converting Characters

If you have characters from the previous Ruins of Vanor ACKS campaign (which ended a year ago in game time) and you have a story reason for having them join the Magisterium in Andrassos, you may convert the character to RuneQuest using the following procedure. 

  1. You may either port over your ability scores characteristics from your ACKS character (straight conversion, with WIS = POW and SIZ determined by your ACKS size description) or generate new statistics using the methods outlined above.
  2. Appropriate cultures, careers, and cults are found throughout the campaign documents. If you cannot find an appropriate translation in any of these categories, let me know.
  3. In addition to a standard starting build, your converted character will carry over extra experience from the ACKS campaign in the following manner: a) 45 bonus skill points to be spent on starting skill allocations (that is to say, you cannot open up new skills, spells, etc, with this bonus pool; use it in the same manner as Step 9 in the Character Creation Guidelines above); and b) 3 + CHA bonus (if any) experience rolls per session played in the ACKS campaign (this is by character, not by player). If you don’t have that information handy, let me know. I kept good records.