Sunday, September 4, 2016

Honor+Intrigue: House Rules

Two of my players weren't available this session. That did give me time to discuss some house rules with my player who most cares about rules. I started with a draft that I shared and we walked through each of the rules, he provided some suggested improvements and then we finalized the changes and I reposted the rules on the Google Drive folder I set up for the players. 

Some of the house rules may be of interest to other folks who play H+I or BoL or who just like kibbitzing about rules. My rules are intentionally terse and assume some knowledge of H+I, Flashing Blades, and of some other gaming notions such as "Let it ride."

AP Improvements and Time

When spending Advancement Points for character improvement, time must be spent for training, practice, and research in the specific Quality, Ability, Career, Maneuver, invention, or craft. Any requirement is ultimately determined by the GM, but here are several rules of thumb.

Each Advancement Point spent requires one day of time. For convenience this will usually be treated as 1 week of game time per 5 APs spent on improvements. 

Learning a new career typically requires at least 1 month of game time. Some careers may require more time.

Some improvements, e.g. a new career, dueling style, or Final Secret require a teacher or master. Before agreeing to provide training and oversight, a master may require proof of the student’s potential, existing ability, or dedication. Many will require some form of financial or other compensation.

Bleeding and Negative Lifeblood

When Lifeblood is 0 characters fall consciousness. If Lifeblood is negative, characters are bleeding to death and must roll on the Bleeding Table to see if they lose additional lifeblood.

Bleeding Table

     2d6        Result

      9+          No Loss; if the roll is a Mighty Success bleeding stops  without external assistance and the character regains +2 LB.

      8-          Lose 1 LB; unless roll is a Calamitous Failure, in which case lose 2 LB.

Characters with the Boon: Hard-to-kill gain a bonus die for rolls on the Bleeding Table.


Death occurs once negative lifeblood is below ½ Lifeblood (round down). 

EX: A character with a maximum of 10 Lifeblood dies when their Lifeblood falls below -5, while a character with a maximum of 16 Lifeblood dies when their Lifeblood falls below -8.


Brawling Damage: characters reduced to 0 Lifeblood or below by damage from Brawling are knocked unconscious. Unconscious characters can be awakened by the usual swashbuckling methods such as a bucket of water poured over their head, a mug of beer poured over their face, a romantic kiss, smelling salts, etc. Characters who are unconscious for a significant time count as having rested. After a rest a character regains all Lifeblood lost from ordinary brawling damage.

Negative Lifeblood from Brawling: if a character’s Lifeblood goes below 0, any damage beyond 0 is treated as killing damage. Such may result from massive brawling damage or from an opponent continuing to stomp on an unconscious target. Normal rules for regaining Lifeblood after combat from healing or a rest still apply. Example: a character reduced to -6 Lifeblood through brawling would, when awakened have 6 points of Damage. A further rest after regaining consciousness would, as normal, return half the lost Lifeblood. So after returning to consciousness and resting the character would end up with 3 points of lost Lifeblood that will require normal healing to recover. 

Knockback: this is an optional rule. When a character is hit during brawling, GM rolls 1d6 and add the damage taken from the brawling attack. If the total is equal to the target’s Might+6 the target is knocked back possibly crashing into furniture, walls, or other brawlers. This is purely for color and, unlike the Shove/Trip maneuver, this knock back does no extra damage unless a character is knocked back over a wall or down a stair. But allow characters a chance to catch an edge, railing, or roll to reduce any extra damage. The Shove/Trip maneuver works normally.

Duelist Career

Duelists use their reputation and expertise to intimidate an opponent. In circumstances where reputation as a duelist could intimidate, add the ranks in their career: Duelist as a bonus to the Intimidation roll. In addition a Master Duelist can add +1 point for each style they mastered up to a maximum bonus of 2x Duelist Career.

EX: A Duelist 2 who has mastered 3 styles can add 2 for his career and 3 for styles mastered to a maximum of 2 x Duelist Career or +4 to Intimidate.

When a character with the Duelist Career is in a 1-on-1 combat with swords, then one time during the combat, and after the die is rolled, they may choose to add their points in their career to attack, defense, or damage.

Fortune Points in Play

Players can use 1FP to have a character be rendered out of action but not dead. This is equivalent to having Advantage go to 0 but with the certainty of not dying…though the character may end up captured or left for dead, etc.

Seduction, Patronage, and Friendship


   The Look (Difficulty: +2)

   Opening Line (Difficulty: +1)

   Witty Conversation (Difficulty: +0)

   Beginning Intimacies (Difficulty: -1)

   When and Where? (Difficulty: -2)

NOTE: Five die roll successes is problematic. This would be a good place to use LET IT RIDE up to the step of "When and Where?"

To determine success, compare the Seducer’s roll+Career+Flair vs. the Target’s resisting Quality (Savvy or Flair).

                Roll         Result

                12           Mighty Success

                  9+         Successful

                6-8          Uncertain

                3-5          Failure

                2              Calamitous Failure

Optional Opposed Roll: Instead of only rolling for the seducer, instead make a resistance roll for the Target with a Bonus/Penalty based on the Seducer’s roll – 9 i.e. by how much the Seducer exceeded a success result. Treat a Seduction result of a Mighty Success as minimum penalty of -4 and a Calamitous Failure as minimum bonus of +4.

Patronage and Friendship

Gaining the notice, interest, and patronage of an important person is a key aspect of social climbing and intrigue in the period. It can be played out in a similar manner as seduction by using a set of five steps of increasing closeness to the perspective Patron.

   The Notice (Difficulty: +2)

   Entry Line (Difficulty: +1)

   Witty Conversation (Difficulty: +0)

   Beginning Acquaintance (Difficulty: -1)

   Close Association (Difficulty: -2)

Use the same determination for success as for Seduction.

Similarly, the same five step approach can be used for developing friendships.

Source: Victory Games RPG: James Bond 007

Social Rank (SR)

Social Rank as used in Flashing Blades is added. Instead of using the full difference in social ranks as a bonus or penalty, use ½ the difference in social ranks.


Abstract Wealth is not used. Instead Wealth level is used to determine a base quarterly income. Monthly Maintenance Costs and Career Salaries based on Flashing Blade Social Ranks are also added.

Here's a link to a PDF of my house rules.

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