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Re Imbue Lesser Elements, I suspect there will be a reason to use it for item preparation in future supplements - for the moment its use seems to be for the invulnerability benefit and the +1 to damage/protection.

I agree re errata, and I wish we could get some answers (anyone know JMD's email address, or can point him at this thread?) but the play throughs are useful in that they do show how JMD runs the game.

AFAIK Travellers on the War Road is another book with expanded rites, magic items, etc. It is certainly mentioned a few times in the Cult of Ceenon playthrough,  where the PCs come across a Gerwan item that can restore Mettle quickly(!)

EDIT: I found a mail address for JMD so I will send our questions across and see what he says...


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On 2/7/2021 at 11:49 AM, d(sqrt(-1)) said:


  • p83 : Crack of Flame. Enemies suffer penalty to non-defence skills equal to twice Devotion. Is that maximum Devotion or current Devotion?

I think it means the Devotion attribute, not Devotion points--so in effect the maximum Devotion of the caster. It's unfortunate that these two statistics have nearly identical names.

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9 hours ago, d(sqrt(-1)) said:

I had a very quick response from JMD to say that he is working on errata, and will try to answer the questions from this forum ASAP....

That's great news. Thanks for reaching out to him. I will continue to post some queries and problems in the hopes that we will get answers eventually.

One thing that puzzles me is how a character learns new rites. Since currently a ritualist begins the game knowing all 4 rites for his or her tradition, it is maybe a mostly moot point, but if more rites become available--or if the character wants to learn rites of other traditions--then it becomes important. The rules as written are a bit obscure.

In chapter 6, Advancements, the Active Advancements chart has two entries which bear on this:

  • "Learn a new rite. The rite starts at [Dev + Wis]%." This costs 1 active advancement.
  • "Gain access to a magical tradition of the Jackal's culture. They gain 9 Devotion and learn a rite of the chosen tradition, which starts at [Dev + Wis]%." This costs 3 advancements.

Now, it's fairly clear that the second of these only applies to characters who are not already ritualists. If not, then any ritualist could gain another 9 Devotion--no small potatoes--at relatively little cost, as well as learning a new rite. But what isn't clear to me is whether the first also applies only to character who were not created as ritualists, but have now become so, and therefore do not yet know all 4 rites of their tradition? Or could any ritualist use it to learn a new rite of his or her tradition (assuming there are someday more than 4 available)?

This is made more murky by some of the advanced skill talents, listed a few pages later in the chapter, in the section for Knowledge Skill Talents. This lists two relevant to learning new rites:


Culture (Other)/Steeped in Secrets: a character with this talent selects a magical tradition from a culture other than their own. They can now purchase rites from this tradition.

Lore/Learn Rite: A character with this talent can learn one rite from a tradition of their culture. If they have no Devotion Points, they must still open the Devotion attribute before they can invoke this rite. This talent allows characters to slowly learn rites outside their traditions and learn new rites within their traditions. These new rites start at (Dev + Wis).

Does a character need these advanced talents as pre-requisites before he or she can start learning rites? If so, they seem to operate differently--Steeped in Secrets seems to be a 'once-for-all' talent; once you have it, you can buy rites from a given alternative tradition, while Learn Rite allows you to learn only one rite from a magical tradition of your culture, and therefore presumably needs to be achieved again before you can learn another (which makes little sense).  I assume the phrase 'opening the Devotion attribute' in Learn Rite refers to the process of spending 3 active advancements to "gain access to a magical tradition of the Jackal's culture."

Finally learning new rites comes up in the seasonal actions described in chapter 8, Running the Game. One of these seasonal actions is Research, which the rules state can be used to "learn a new Rite from a teacher on a different part of the War Road." Using the action requires a survival roll (for the journey), success at either a Culture or Lore check, and a payment of 300 ss to learn a rite. There is no mention of needing to spend active advancements or of Steeped in Secrets or Learn Rites talents as a prerequisite for this seasonal action. So is this yet another route to learning rites? If so, what are its limitations--can it be used to learn rites of another culture or tradition?

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Jackals has some interesting systems for non-adventure downtime in its seasonal actions, including mechanisms for attracting a patron and for establishing a home in a community. I’ve not looked at the patronal mechanics as closely as I should, but in a cursory read-through one thing befuddles me. Each possible patron has a ‘sphere of influence’; the only role this plays in the rules, as far as I can see, is that a character seeking a patron can increases his or her chance of getting one by 5% for every 150 ss donated to the patron’s sphere of influence. But the actual ‘spheres’ listed are strangely abstract. In some cases, it is pretty clear how one would make the donation. For example, on possible patron is the chief Hasheer (magician-scribe) of the Scriptorium in Ameena Nori. Her sphere of influence is Lore, and presumably a character could donate the money to Scriptorium, or give them rare texts of equivalent value, etc. But in other cases it is more opaque. Ba-En Nafar, for instance, is the first possible patron listed. He is the right-hand man of the de-facto ruler of Sentem, and his sphere of influence is ‘combat.’ How do you donate money to ‘combat’? Provide money for the city guard or walls?

The rules on houses, which I have looked at more closely, also have some contradictions or unclear patches. According to the Establish Home seasonal action in chapter 8, “A home has two statistics, quality and level.” But the rest of the rules for homes speak only of levels of quality—there is no indication of how a character would, for instance, increase the quality of a home without increasing its level. They seem to be the same thing, and there is only one chart for them, labeled “Home Quality.” The chart itself is a bit confusing, since the description for quality level 3 is “Larger and far nicer than generally available, with a specific feature (such as room for a foundry, a dry cellar for a scriptorium, or a defensive wall).” But according to the rules, a character can start adding additional features to a home (like a foundry) the first time they raise its level. So one could have a foundry in a level 2 home, or perhaps even a level 1 home, since houses start at level 0.

Two of the features a character can add to a home also provide followers: a barracks and a ritual space, which could be temple, scriptorium, or (alchemical) workshop. There the rules state how many new followers one will attract each year, but not how many total one could have for a feature of a given quality level. That doesn’t make sense; presumably at a certain point there would be no more room for additional soldiers or acolytes, especially if the warriors are living in the home, which is what barracks implies. For the barracks this problem is somewhat offset by the fact that a certain number of recruits will die yearly (and there are rules for how many), but that isn’t the case for acolytes. There, even with a minimal setup (quality 1 house) the character will be gaining 1D4 acolytes a year and apparently never losing any.

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Hey all!

 d(sqrt(-1)) reached out and brought to my attention there were questions and helped organize them for me. Thanks! I have tried to answer all of them, and I am now following this thread, so please, if you have questions or comments, let me know.

 Additionally, if you are interested, I have run two Jackals Streams:

 ·         Birth of a Jackal

·         Cult of Ceenon

I am writing these up and Osprey will put these up as free adventures on their site later this year. Also, Dungeon Muser has run several Jackals streams, which you can find here and here.

Additionally, if you want to check it out, I talk about the behind the scenes of Jackals and the Zaharets, here.

On to the answers!

1.       p57: Is there a minimum chance of success? Modifiers could easily knock it down to 0% (I think in one of the YT videos you mention it is 1%?) – Yes, 1% is always the minimum. I will add that in next time.

2.       p65: Attack. The section on Clash spending sounds like it applies to melee only but doesn't actually say so. So, if someone shoots at me can I make it a Clash and shoot back, highest successful roll hits? What if I dodge, obviously I can't damage them then (p 70 sort of implies this) – Yes, ranged attacks can be clashed against with a drawn ranged weapon. I will clarify that. Thank you!

3.       p70: Clash Point costs - Clash a charging enemy. Highest success deals the damage it would seem, but it doesn't stop the movement etc. (there's no definition of charge?) – There is not, I will rework to moving to engage. The intent is that there is the person charging into melee can take damage from the defender but will close into melee. However, there is the talent ‘Pinning Shot’ on p 112 grants this cessation of movement.

4.       p79: Rite Defence/Save Effect - do I have to spend clash to resist a rite or is it just a normal opposed roll? p70 doesn't mention it as something to spend Clash on. – You do not need to spend CP to resist a rite.

5.       p83: Crack of Flame. Enemies suffer penalty to non-defence skills equal to twice Devotion. Is that maximum Devotion or current Devotion? – When dealing with this kind of mechanic for rites, it is referring to the ritualist’s Devotion attribute, not their Devotion Points.

6.       p107: Advanced Skill Talents (AST). Is it at 100% or 120% you get your first AST? Text here makes it seem like 120%, but p 117 under Rite and Fate talents says 100%. p208 Nahunum have Combat 120% and it says they get a talent, which implies at 120% - It is 100% for the first, and each 20% above 100%.

7.       p109: Healing: Triage and Respite say limited to once per day. Is that 1/day total or 1/day/subject? – Good clarification. It is 1/day/subject.

8.       p109: Healing Arcana specialist says use acalana resin for 1 Clash instead of 2 in combat. Where does it say 2 Clash points to do this? p70 doesn't mention it. – I will update the ‘Retrieve an Item from a pack’ to include a reference to Acalana (And add that to the item description).

9.       p196: Many creatures have a Corruption rating. Does this do anything or is it purely for the purposes of rites like Touch of Law (p82)? – In the core book, it is primarily for touch of law and as an indication of how corrupt the monster is. In Travelers and future supplements there will be more things which trigger off a monster’s corruption, so I put it into the stats here in the core book to set that up.

10.   p68: Mettle: Says to recover lost Mettle requires a full day of rest, plus make END check to regain 1/1d4/4 Mettle. p74 says "One night of rest in a bastion removes 1 point of Mettle damage". Is this in addition, or is there a contradiction here? Also is there a specific definition of "bastion" - Village? Town? Orsem? (I see that it could be that you recover 1 point overnight if you don't rest all day) –The intent was that the rules on page 68 were for when a character is at 0 mettle and needed to recover, with the rules on page 74 were the standard rules. I will clarify this in the errata. A bastion is any place of civilization, village, town, city, and Orsem.

11.   p85: Powder of Ibn al-Hanef: Range 3 yard radius, Advancement: range 6 yards. Dust of Geb (p86) has range 3 feet, and advancement says increase range to 6 yards - should this be 6 feet? Looks a bit like a copy and paste error. – It should be yards.

12.   p111: Quick Reflexes, repeated in Unarmed Combat (p112) - do these work for both? i.e., if you choose Quick Reflexes (Melee) does it only apply to Melee rolls? Skillful Strike explicitly says "Unarmed Combat check" but Quick Reflexes doesn't. Others that cross over e.g., Graceful Reflexes (Melee/Unarmed) just add +3 to initiative score so do they stack? – Graceful reflexes would stack. I need to update Quick Reflexes for Melee to say explicitly ‘Melee Combat checks’

13.   p117: Imbue Rite: When the imbued rite is activated does this require a skill roll? Presumably of the maker's skill (at time of manufacture?) as the holder may have DEV=0 and therefore no relevant skill. Or does it just work? – It was designed as written to just work once a day, no chance of a critical. But I may write up an expansion to that rule, which I am testing at my table and post it on Osprey’s blog.  This rule, right now, requires a WIS x5 roll by the wielder to activate. It is still being play tested, so caveat emptor.


14.   p169: Awakening an Item to greatness: rule says Wisdom x 3, example says Wisdom x 5. – Wisdomx3 is correct. I will correct that in the errata.

15.   Chapter 4, Clash System/Combat/Step 3: Initiative. The rules say to roll once for each type of foe, but in play the initiative slots do not belong to any given individual; the players (for the party) and the gm (for the NPCs) decides who takes any particular available initiative slot. So, if as (in the example) the foes are 1 Oritakan with an initiative of 18 and 3 Norakan with an initiative of 15, can only 1 foe use the initiative 18 slot and the other 3 have to take the initiative 15 slot? Or could all three Norakan move at 18 and the Oritakan at 15? – It would be 1 foe group (Say the norakan) attacking on a slot (like the 18 one) and then the Oritakan (and if it was in a group, they would all go on) 15.

16.   Chapter 4, Clash System/Combat/Step 5: Combat Rounds/Clash Points/Improved Action Effects/Sweeping Arc. This reads 'If an attack hits, also deal half damage to one adjacent target.' Does this mean, in effect, that the character is making a second attack and needs to roll to hit? If not, it would seem that a good tactic for fighting an opponent with high weapon skill would be to attack the person next to him or her and then use this effect to do damage to the harder-to-beat foe without having to roll an attack. – The effect of sweeping arc automatically deal the damage to the adjacent target. And yes, that is a great tactic to use. But, if you are attacking the easier to hit opponent, yes, you will deal some to the other guy, but your main attacks will most likely end the easier to hit opponent. It allows a PC (or monster, as they can use the same tactic) to soften up a harder to hit foe.

17.   Chapter 5, Rites. Are there going to be more of these? As it stands, there are 4 for each type of ritualist, which means players have access to all the rites of their tradition from character generation onward. Yes, there are! At the point, all traditions will get 4 more rites in the Travelers on the War Road book, and I am working on many more rites, rituals (Seasonal rites), and traditions. Which I will probably see about putting out on the blog to test out and then compiling into a Rites and Rituals of the Road book.

18.   Chapter 5, Rites/Luathi Rites/Hasheer/Paths of the Moons. This useful rite depends on the phases of the three moons: "Certain effects of this rite are not accessible when the moon in question is new. Targets make Defence rolls as Simple checks when the moon is less than half full." First, which effects are not available? Second, how should the GM determine the moons' phases? The Lunar Calendar in chapter 8 Running the Game, covers only 1 month, though I suppose one could extrapolate from it. It's not clear how a GM would know when eclipses would occur, though. – I am working up a simple rule for generating lunar phases, which I can get posted ASAP. I think this should work.  I used Donjon’s campaign calendar here for tracking the days and lunar phases. Here is a link to my calendar code. Year 157 would be the start of the book in Jackals. If a moon is new moon phase, for those days, that option is not available.

19.   Chapter 5, Rites/Gerwa Rites/Hekas. These alchemists prepare their powders, etc. out of combat. What sort of lab do they require to do this and how long does the process take? Is it something that could be done just before entering an 'adventure site' (lost city, etc.) or do you need a sizable setup and a fair amount of time? – The intent with the Hekas rites is that they are imbuing elements with their knowledge and power and can prepare these before entering an adventure site (I typically have them prepare before leaving a city). This represents a sort of infusion of essence, a kind of ‘as above, so below’ sympathy. However, I am developing rituals (which is the term I am using for rites which can only be invoked as a seasonal action) which will require the Hekas to have a lab. I am also working on that as a potential house style in that book. However, if you want to have a ‘spell component’ cost to their rites, 50 ss per rite would not be wildly inappropriate.

20.   Chapter 5, Rites/Gerwa Rites/Hekas/Powder of Ibn al-Hanef. What is the duration of this powder's effect once it is successfully cast onto an incorporeal spirit; that is, how long does it keep the spirit visible and tangible? There must be some interval, since if the spirit succeeds in its defence, "duration is halved." But the duration listed for the spell seems only to address the fact that the hekas prepares the powder in advance and reserves Devotion points into it until the powder is thrown onto a spirit: "Duration: Sustained: indefinite interval; lasts until used or dismissed." – Great catch! The duration was cut during layout, and I should have caught that. The Duration once the powder is invoked should be 2 minutes/1 minute on a save.

21.   Chapter 5, Rites/Gerwa Rites/Hekas/Imbue Lesser Elements. It's not clear to me what this rite is for. The general description states that "this is the basic rite the hekas use to prepare items for use in rites... This has the effect of making the item indestructible." Does that mean that a hekas has to use this ritual to create the powders for Powder of Ibn al-Hanef and Dust of Geb? It seems not, since the reserve Devotion cost for this is 2 points, while for those rites it is 3. Or is the point only to make an item indestructible? The description notes that this "provides a +1 to damage or protection on appropriate items." How long does this last? The duration given in the description is the standard: "Sustained; indefinite interval; lasts until used or dismissed." What does 'used' mean in this context? Or is this a copy-paste error from other spell descriptions. – The intent here is not that the need to imbue the lesser elements for the dusts and tokens in the core book. It serves as the base for rites that require refined elements. To start, for the core game, it makes the items indestructible and gives the bonus listed. Travelers and ‘hopefully’ the magic book I have in mind, will have rites and rituals which build off of this rite. If I can share one of those rites to show how that will work, I will. The rite will stay in effect, with the Hekas suffering the reserve cost, until they dismiss it, or until they die.  It should not say ‘used’; I will amend that in the errata.

22.   Chapter 5, Rites/Gerwa Rites/Hekas/Nightmare Token. What is the duration of this rite? The description says only "Sustained." According to the earlier general description under Rites by Tradition, "A ritualist can sustain some rites over multiple intervals if it has a duration of 'sustained.' The ritualist must pay the cost at the end of each interval or the rite ends.' So how long is the interval in this case? One night, once the spell has begun to work. – The interval of this rite is 10 days/1 week.

 Thank you for all the great questions, and I hope these answers help. I will add these to the errata doc I am compiling.


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Hello all,

J-M here, adding some follow answers!

So, Travellers will cover a lot of this for the rites (because each tradition gains 4 new rites!). I will post the relevant information here.

During Character Creation - Jackals may select any four rites to begin with from their chosen path at character creation. Loremasters have the discretion to limit the rites a jackal has access to based on their background and starting location. Once the Jackal picks their four initial rites, they may spend their skill points on these rites as usually.

Learning New Rites - Jackals may, if they are in the correct location, spend an active advancement to learn a new rite (per the rules on page 106 of Jackals). This learning of the rite is in addition to any other seasonal action the Jackal takes at this time. Only 1 new rite may be learned this way during any seasonal break. If the Jackal spends the advancement and takes the Research seasonal action, they may learn 2 rites during a single seasonal action.

Now, in regard to the advancements listed in chapter 6, Advancements, the Active Advancements chart has two entries which bear on this:

  • "Learn a new rite. The rite starts at [Dev + Wis]%." This costs 1 active advancement.
  • "Gain access to a magical tradition of the Jackal's culture. They gain 9 Devotion and learn a rite of the chosen tradition, which starts at [Dev + Wis]%." This costs 3 advancements.

You are correct in your interpretation on the second example, that is for characters who want to become ritualists. The “Learn a new rite” advancement is to allow Jackals access to other rites in their tradition.

Steeped in Secrets: This talent allows (for example) a Ger Jackal to learn the rites of a Luathi Hasheer. It does not grant them Devotion or Rites, but essentially allows them to spend the 3 advancements to become a ritualist of that path. This is due to their inherent knowledge and deep dive into that culture and its traditions. The intent here is to allow a non-ritualist Jackal to develop a spiritual connection with another culture.

Learn Rite: This talent allows a ritualist to learn a single rite from within their culture, but it can be outside their tradition (such as a Kahar learning Paths of the Moon). The intent with this talent in flexibility within a culture as well as allowing a player whose Lore rises and does not want to gain another talent to get a free rite.

I will clarify these in the errata. I think the key piece of explicit information is that: without these talents, Jackals are limited to the traditions of their culture, and can only learn the rites of the single tradition they initiate into. One can also use the Research seasonal action to learn a rite within their tradition, to pay for the learning, and gain a rite without an advancement.

Seasonal Actions

Good question. You have the right of it. The combat spheres would include donations of shekels or time to defense of the town/city in question, donations of weapons or armor recovered from the War Road or that the Jackal commissions, or by forgoing the Takan bounty in the area.

As for the rules on the houses: the quality refers to the size and location of the home (As see on page 188), the level refers to the level of feature (so Barracks level 2). As for the total number of followers a house could have, I did not consider a maximum. My gut reaction would be “A house can support a total number of followers equal to its [quality + level] x 10. I am working on an example writeup for a blog post (and will incorporate the maximum rule when I do). I will link it here when it goes live.

I hope this provides some clarity on these topics! I appreciate the questions and plan on incorporating all of these into the errata and hopefully the second printing! I am delving into a couple of free adventures which Osprey will post (hopefully we will have 4+ of them this year) and I can repost them here when they go live. And if there are any more questions, please let me know!


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