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Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture
Using Mysticism in Theah

In the Khitai quickstart they introduced a skill I didn't realise that I had been missing: Mysticism

Use Mysticism when you conduct a mystical or religious rite. Use Mysticism when you recall knowledge about a magical tradition, creature or object.

this is as opposed to Scholarship:

Use Scholarship when you wax ecstatic about a certain subject matter, either from teachings or personal experience.
Use Scholarship when you demonstrate a mastery over a field of study or otherwise demonstrate your depth of knowledge. Use Scholarship when you consult your knowledge to fill in the details on a certain subject.

It strikes me that there are some Backgrounds out there already which are much more likely to have Mysticism than the Scholarship the had (or lacked!)  Here are my proposed updated Backgrounds

  • From the Core Book: Priest, Puritan, Mirabilis, Sorcier Porté, Zynys, Sorté Strega
  • From Pirate Nations: Nganga, Mystai, Bohiti
  • From Nations of Theah 1: Boticario, Sidhe Squire, Vala
  • From Nations of THeah 2: Tura's Cursed
  • From Crescent Empire: Alharis, Yol Seeker, Khahesh, Divine Lyrist

Do they seem like good fits to you?  Are there any more?

I'm also prompted to look into  whether any Backgrounds really ought to have Advantages that weren't published when the book they were in came out.

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Giasone Vodocci
Giasone Vodocci's picture

To be fair, Priest should have both.

Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture

Not an unreasonable point, but I considered that to be one of the differences between a Priest and a Mirabilis: all Priests know religion and some of them are scholars as well (the ones that get Scholarship from somewhere) whereas all Mirabilis know Mysticism and Scholarship.

Giasone Vodocci
Giasone Vodocci's picture
  • From The New World: Churikuna, Samon Atso(?), Tupac, Shaman, Vision Priest
Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture

I've thought about this a bit more.  I think that rule bloat is a concern, and that it's fair to take away a skill if Mysticism is added.  I disagree with the decision the Khitai Quickstart gave, which was removing the Sailing skill.  Personally I think that Brawl and Weaponry are actually a bit redundant.  Out of 164 published Backgrounds, 33 have Brawl and 61 have Weaponry.  Only 10 have both, and 9 of them are from the Core book, making me think that later developers are kind of in agreement with me :) . 

So, I would add Mysticism, and then combine Brawl and Weaponry into something like Fight or Melee.  Which leaves 10 Backgrounds needing another skill, and I was hoping for some help with that:

  • Mercenary: Athletics, Fight, Intimidate, Notice.  Add Aim?
  • Sailor: Fight, Notice, Sail, Tempt.  Add Athletics for all of the physical labour and climbing?
  • Ungetumjager: Aim, Athletics, Fight, Notice.  Add Mysticism 'cos it covers supernatural stuff?
  • Knight Errant: Fight, Intimidate, Ride, Warfare.  Add Mysticism since they're a Sorceror who relies on stories?
  • Chayalim: Aim, Athletics, Fight, Ride.  Add Hide because of the guerilla-born tactics they use?
  • Cossack:  Fight, Intimidate, Notice, Ride.  ???
  • Whaler: Athletics, Fight, Notice, Sail.  Add Aim, due to their use of ranged weapons?
  • Bearsark: Fight, Intimidate, Sail, Warfare.  ???
  • Sjorover:  Fight, Intimidate, Notice, Sail.  Add Athletics for same reason as the Sailor?
  • Skald:  Fight, Intimidate, Perform, Sail.  Add Mysticism or Scholarship for lots of knowledge of stuff?

I was hoping for some thoughts or comments.

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

Regarding Brawling and Weaponry being separate skills instead of one unified skill is perhaps the concern of the designers wanting to avoid "kung fu fighting" in the very Western-based setting of Theah.  Given the way that Duelist rules are currently written, you need to be using the Weaponry skill, which by default implies using a weapon.  So you'd also need to tweak the Duelist rules to state rather than imply that the character needs to be actually using a weapon (fists, knees, feet, and other body parts typically don't count) if you are going to roll Brawling and Weaponry into a unified skill.

As for adding Mysticism, I'm thinking that for Thean Heroes you could just roll that aspect of it into Scholarship.  To be honest, a great many "rites and rituals" that are conducted in Theah don't have any mojo behind them.  Sorcerers such as Porte users simply use an effort of will (and offering of blood) to do their thing, and Sorte strega in a sense have their 'rituals' baked into using their powers, with the Sorte deck being more akin to training wells to help a young strega get a better handle on her growing powers.

I suspect that Vaticine rituals are not unlike the rituals and rites practiced by real-world religious institutions, in that there's no inherent 'magic' behind them and are things that people of learning and the appropriate background could reasonably conduct without needing to make any sort of roll.

With only having the Quick Start rules for Khitai (and things may very well change between the Quick Start and the final product, much as they did for the 7th Sea QS and the final rules, especially where Skills and Dueling was concerned), so it is possible that what Mysticism currently covers may change.  Plus, it sounds like Khitai is far more of a spiritual place than Theah, so for Khitai it makes sense that the skill to "know things" would have more of a spiritual/mystical cant to it than the more rational/scholarly cant that the Thean "know things" skill would have.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog

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