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Astrology rules home-brew

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Hi all,

This is a rule I cobbled together last night and am looking for feedback on. Some one else out there might also find it useful.



On a world of oceans people pay attention to the heavens. The Moon and Sun draw the tides and the stars are crucial for navigation beyond the sight of land. It is not surprising then that the ancients realised that the dance of the heavenly bodies influences the world, it’s people, and spirits. Astrology is the study of the heavens that reveals the past, present, and future for those who know how to read the patterns and signs. It is not magic, though the uneducated think it so, but mundane observation and lore.

Practicing Astrology

Anyone with the Art (Astrology) skill can ask some questions, gather some worldly information, stare at the heavens, read the charts and produce a horoscope. Unfortunately, most of these horoscopes are no better than random guesses and take longer to make. Astrology is an art, it requires insight, intuition, and deep understanding. Only those with INT 16 or better can ask the right questions, gather the right details on the subject’s condition, know which heavenly bodies to observe, and finally interpret the charts to produce an accurate horoscope. Those who produce the most accurate insights are sought after by lord, generals and wizards for advise. Astrologers measure success by the wealth and prestige of their patrons.

Assuming you have the Art (Astrology) skill, INT 16 or better, and have the proper tools you can cast horoscopes to try to uncover almost anything in this world’s past, present, or future. This is a very broad scope but it does not include information on the surface of the Moon or Sun. Also the precision of the answers revealed varies greatly. 

The proper tools are an astrolabe, pen, ink, a sheet of blank parchment or paper, and an atlas of the heaven filled with diagrams of the constellations and complicated charts. If you take the Astrologer occupation you begin play with these tools as ‘trade tools’ otherwise you must purchase them.

To use astrology:

1.    First you or your patron must frame a succinct question of one sentence. Yes/no questions are easier but open questions can give a skilled astrologer more information. Astrologers are aware that much of fate is set by the heavens and there are some questions you don’t want to know the answer to! Better to ask “Will I kill the baron?” than “Will I kill the baron or will he kill me?”. Players, you have been warned.

2.    Then try to find out relevant information about the people, places and things relevant to the question, especially important dates and locations on those dates. This may take rolls one World Lore, roleplaying through interviews, finding obscure tomes, and other investigations. However the heavens wait for no-one and all such investigations must be completed within 24 hours of articulating the question or the astrologer must start over. Roleplaying through these efforts and considering the results of the skill rolls made the Chronicler then modifies the future Astrology roll by between -5% and +5%.

3.    Then observe the heavens, taking regular measurements with your astrolabe, for a full day, 24 hours.

4.    Finally, consider your measurements and the question as you consult your atlas for 1d8 hours then roll against your Art (Astrology) skill. If the required 1d8 hours of time is cut short, penalise the roll by +20% for each hour or part thereof. The Chronicler rolls in secret.

5.    The horoscope:

a.    Critical Success: Tell the player that the signs are especially clear and fate is set. The Chronicler then frames a 1-6 word sentence as an answer based on fact or most likely outcomes of events. If the Chronicler cannot decide roll odds/evens to decide the likely outcome. This sentence willbe or become true even if the Chronicler has to arbitrarily change dice rolls or arrange for unlikely events to make it so. A critical success can be a double-edged sword. In an upcoming even battle a critical success and an unfortunate odd/even roll can doom a PC to death if the question was composed carelessly.

b.    Special Success: The Chronicler frames a1-6 word sentence as an answer based on fact or most likely outcomes of events. If the Chronicler cannot decide roll odds/evens to decide the likely outcome.

c.    Success:Treat the question like a yes/no question. If the initial question was open then the answer is either ‘favourable signs’ or ‘unfavourable signs’. Either way the Chronicler answers based on fact or most likely outcomes of events. If the Chronicler cannot decide roll odds/evens to decide the likely outcome.

d.    Failure:the movements of the heavens are unclear to one of your skill and no information is gained.

e.    Fumble:Treat like a special success except the information gleaned is based on based on a lie or most unlikely (but believable) outcomes of events. If the Chronicler cannot decide roll odds/evens to decide the unlikely outcome.

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