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Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture
Removing the Knights from Glamour Magic

So after both reading and seeing the new Glamour rules in play, coming to find that while the idea of tying Avalon's Glamour to specific Knights is a neat idea, it just doesn't seem to really be all that memorable.

In the one campaign I'm in where we have a Glamour mage (an Inish bard), he actually found the "mantle of an Avalon Knight" to be a bit stiffling, especialy as Inismore has (going by the general fluff in the corebook) honored the Sidhe and the "old ways" even when Avalon itself had fallen under the sway of foreign powers.

Am thinking that as a house-rule, will probably remove the "select a Knight" and instead let a Glamour mage just pick their Major and Minor Traits (as well as having access to Luck Glamours), and while still limited to one Major Trait, may allow for two Minor Traits.  I'd probably also drop the "knight's code," maybe replacing it with some kind of "honor the old ways" type of code instead.  Frankly, given that Glamour magic trails behind in terms of power in contrast to the other sorcery types, I don't see having a 'code of conduct' being all that necessary for Glamour.  That you need to seriously invest points into the Sorcery advantage to get more than a minimal effect, where a single rank in Sorcery for the other types gets you a pretty significant benefit without requiring further investment, is enough of a counter to the fact that Glamour magic doesn't really have any serious drawbacks to its usage.

Another notion could be to take a page from 1e and set-up the various "Legends" that 1e Glamour Mages could call upon in a similar manner to 2e's Knights, except that more than one person could be 'pledged' to a given Legend.  Each Legend would denote one Major Trait, as well as one (or maybe even two) Minor Traits.  That way, you've still got some degree of structure as opposed to just cherry-picking which Traits you want for Major and Minor.  Might take a bit of work to line the old 1e Glamour Legends up with the 2e Glamour effects, but I'd say it's generally doable and still provides a "mantle" of sorts that the PC could claim (though not an exclusive one).

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LibrariaNPC's picture

I've had this EXACT conversation with my previous group, my current group, and a fellow GM that thoroughly enjoyed 1st Edition Glamour.

Our first approach was to allow a player to "choose" a hero of legend and take the two Traits associated with them. In our case, the Inis sailor wished to have a sailor-based hero, so he tweaked a real-world Saint (St Brendan) and took Traits fitting for the character. We only had to tweak the Code ever so slightly, but not too drastically.

In the end, we found this approach rather limited, as the player is technically creating two different characters, and it is a bit of a headache to track.

Instead, we went with the "Choose two Traits, one Major, one Minor" option afterward. This method seems to be working out pretty well, honestly. It gives more versatility, and we've had good results with it.


Amusingly enough, I was just talking to a fellow GM this weekend about the idea of converting the old Legends over and allowing one legend per Trait, but it's a bit of a headache trying to do that for each legend, especially as a number of them don't have translations yet (i.e. Thomas' ability to block magic is in, but Jack's ability to transform objects is not). For this idea to work, we'll need to either reinvent the wheel with whole new powers, or we'll need to wait for more powers to come out. I don't think this one is very feasible at the moment, but I would love to see it worked out in the end.


As part of that conversation, we were discussing ways to allow players to pull from all five traits, and therefore remove the Major/Minor traits. One way we were considering this was to have one trait be marked as the Major and one trait marked as Minor for bonus purposes and allowing players to pick as they chose, or each purchase of Sorcery unlocks a new Trait (but still need an announced Major and Minor). We were also debating whether to allow only one Major Glamour for each Minor trait as a means of balancing things out, or installing limits based on Traits (i.e. Major Trait can go up to 5, other Traits can only have ranks equal to that Trait's rank).

In the end, the primary concern is the point sink regarding the number of times Glamour would need to be purchased in comparison to the others. For example, Porte has everything right at the start but more ranks mean more versatility (I don't see most players wanting to go above 5 unless they have some dastardly plans), Sanderis unlocks all of the Deals at 7 purchases, Hexenwerk Ungents are mastered at 7, Mother's Touch unlocks all of the official abilities after 5 purchases (and you still have one more Gift), and you need to buy Sorte 4 times. Glamour, with the RAW, requires a character to purchase the Sorcery Advantage TWENTY (20) TIMES to have 5 ranks in two minor and one major Glamour from their traits, as well as all of the Luck Minor Glamours and two Major Glamours. In the end, the player will be "owed" 5 minor Glamour ranks and still have four Major Glamours available that were left untouched. Granted, Glamour gives you the most number of powers, but it's by far the most expensive to really get into (and some of the powers are like facets of another sorcery).

On the other hand, the sheer number of abilities that can be acquired almost make the point sink worthwhile. An alternative to increase the number of Glamours granted per level (+1 Minor, +1 Major?), but that may become a slipperly slope as some players will focus on maxing out an ability at the getgo and making some dice pools that will be rediculously unbalanced at the start of the game.


With regards to the Code, I think simply having it as "Respect the Sidhe, Always serve Avalon, Never break your word," would suffice, maybe add a few more (or apply limits based on the amount of power like we see with Mother's Touch). The Knight's Gesa is interesting for an actual KNIGHT, but not so much someone granted the power due to the Graal's magic.

"Smilies exist because no one's bothered to create a sarcasm font." --Lost_Heretic

Antti Kautiainen
Antti Kautiainen's picture

You can solve this easily. The way Sidhe see time means there can be two Knights of same Glamour at same time. One that was and the one that wil be. 

Sidhe does not perceive linear time thus for them each of knight exists at different moment of Sidhe time - for them our linear time is not comprehensible. 

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

Problem we're having isn't the "only one of any Knight" restriction, which I agree can be easily deep-sixed.  It's that Glamour is tied to the mantle of a Knight, and frankly those mantles are rather boring.

At least with 1e, the various Legends to whom Glamour was associted were interesting and varied, with abilities that were uniquely "them."  Maybe that will change with the Knights once Avalon gets a more detailed write-up in the Nations of Theah Vol 1 book, but right now they come across as a purely artificial constraint as to what Traits you can have as Major and Minor.

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Evan Sageser
Evan Sageser's picture

One thing I went with is that knights of Avalon are only one variety of Glamour mage. More specifically, they're the Lady of the Lake's collection of legends that she favours. There are also two other Seelie queens that have their own favored legends. So for the Sidhe Queen of Air you have a collection of more tricksy folklore heroes such as Jack and Robin Goodfellow. The Queen of the Seas has a darker collection of legends for her to act against Avalon. I even added the Horned Man to represent Avalon's older past with more celtic style heroes. Only huge difference is that depending on which queen your hero favors, you have to follow a different code. (So the Lady of the Lake has the classic knight's code. The Sidhe Queen of Air probably has something more tied to stories and the sidhe themselves. Queen of the Seas is more for villains to subvert Avalon and Elaine. And the Horned Man wants people to follow older druidic laws and respect the land.) 

I haven't figured out all of the heroes as of yet, but it's a good reason to justify heroes beyond the knights for those that preferred Glamour's old style.

BluSponge blusp...
BluSponge blusponge@verizon.net's picture

I think that's a great idea and would be my preferred approach.  It would be easy to reskin a glamour and just associate it to a different legend.  

Last Frontiersman
Last Frontiersman's picture

My thoughts exactly.  I also do not like the new setting as much (in total) it seemed "progressive" and for a nostalgic setting inappropriate.  Still there were some brilliant additions, and so in addition to your reference.

I also suggest the option of Two Avalons, Avalon of Legend & Avalon Real.

The Avalon of Legend is the current 2e in which the Sidhe are openly on the land with established settlements, which was an insane adaptation and probably advocated by a fairy fan.  Players risk falling into it as they engage in heroic acts in Avalon relating to the Sidhe.  

Then there is Avalon Real, the only Avalon the Vaticine has any access to.  This is the 1e setting with Sidhe present, but not commonplace.

It really... broke the whole setting to have all of Theah just tolerating that an entire nation of magical folk are in an island nation.  I could see the Vesten, Ussuran, and maybe Montaigne being okay with that.  Everybody else though would flip a lid for various reasons.  Eisen for the assumption that all non-human creatures are monsters, Castille for the Vaticine, Vodacce for the threat something with threads they can't manipulate exists, the Vendel because dealing with the Sidhe financially is tricky.  Just, no.  

But, having Avalon act as a gateway to a realm that exists in two worlds, and the special places listed in Nations of Theah Book 1 as potential crossover points makes a lot of sense.

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