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Houses of Hermes: True Lineages (Ars Magica Fantasy Roleplaying) Hardcover – April, 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Atlas Games; First Printing edition (April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589780744
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589780743
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #861,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Timothy Ferguson is a roleplaying games author from the Gold Coast, Australia. He specialises in books based on real-world folklore. His blog is at

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Format: Hardcover
This book covers the 4 true lineages in 4 separate chapters. There is no introduction, the book leaps straight in. Each House has it's history, organization, current politics, special abilities, and some new virtues/flaws presented in this book. Overall, I felt that each of the afore mentioned subjects got good treatment, though the V/F are not that interesting, at least to me.

House Bonisagus: The extra material here are two things, Original Research, and some further development of the Intrigue, Folk Ken and Guile abilities. I liked the expansion of these abilities, as I find it always helpful to apply consistent mechanics in play. The Original Research rules are interesting. They require inventing effects of any magnitude over and over again until hitting some kind of insight. While a high magic theory will make this go faster, one does not need to be a 2 century old Arch-Magus to make waves in the order. My only quibble is that there there is some considerable debate as to the interpretation of the rules.

House Guernicus: The extra material here is applications of Hermetic Law. It honestly sounds like they had a lawyer edit the section. I felt it to be very useful to understanding the interpretations of the Code of Hermes for the games I run. Also very useful for House Guernicus players!

House Mercere: Has some extra rules for spell Mastery that only their house has. They also can enchant Hermes Portal into doorways, something the rest of the Order cannot do.

House Tremere: There is some nice fluff and a mechanic or two around Certamen. I did like the virtues and flaws presented for this house. Also, there is a section on what kind of virtues and flaws are appropriate for House Tremere.
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