Hyperborean Mice:Main Page
- 1 Welcome to Hyperborea!
- 2 New Material
- 2.1 Specialty Ammunition
- 2.2 The 7th Spell: Augment
Welcome to Hyperborea!
Hyperborean Mice is the game of gritty Swords & Sorcery action... as performed by talking rodents.
The game's home page is at http://www.kizandjenn.com/hmice/
This wiki is intended as an area for players or the author to make new material available.
The basic game of Hyperborean Mice pays little attention to tracking ammunition, but if you want more detail there are non-standard arrows and bolts available. Ammunition is usually sold in quivers of 20 arrows or 30 bolts.
Heavy Tipped Bolts and Arrows
These are equipped with unusually heavy and broad metal heads for piercing armor. +1 damage, doubled range penalties. A full quiver is an Expensive item.
Arrows with an oil-soaked rag wrapped around the tip. It must be lit on fire as you shoot, a free action if there is an open flame right in front of you. -2 damage, lights flammable targets on fire if it hits. Useful for starting brushfires and frightening away unintelligent predators. An Impale crit with a flaming arrow will leave the burning arrow stuck in the creature's side. They are a Common item.
Generally only used by primitive clans, these are just Crude-quality ammunition. Doubled range penalties.
The heads of these arrows or bolts have little grooves in them in which poisonous substances can be smeared. -1 damage, but any target who takes damage from it must roll an appropriate Endurance check (generally HARD for Common versions, or VERY HARD for Expensive ones); people rarely bother with poisons that often fail to sicken targets). If the hit was an Impale critical, then the resistance roll is at -2. In general, even the fastest poisons take about a minute to kick in, so the archer generally uses them to poison a large predator and then retreat.
Artificial venoms of this sort lose their potency rapidly. Reduce the difficulty of the check by 1 per hour since the poison was applied. Applying poison to a single bolt or arrowhead takes an additional round, but once it's ready it may be used normally.
A quiver of poisoned arrows or bolts generally only has 6 actual missiles, plus the equipment to prepare them.
Barbed Tip Arrows and Bolts
The heads of these missiles have rear-facing hooks and barbs to make them difficult to remove. They are often used for hunting insects, with a silken thread tied to the missile so that the target can be reeled in easily. Anyone struck with an Impale from such a missile will take another d4 damage removing it. A quiver-full, along with the silken threads, is an Expensive item.
If you strike a foe with such a bolt, you can roll Feats of Strength against their own to try and reel them in. Preparing the silken cord takes an extra round, but once it's ready the missile can be used normally.
The 7th Spell: Augment
Hidden in the wastes around Fashar is the secret temple of the cult of Kenshai. Though the cult's membership is largely composed of Jumping Mice, they credit the founding of their order to a forgotten White Lord named Kenshai, from whom they take their name. Supposedly he sickened of the decadence of his fellows and went into the wastes alone, where he learned to survive without food or water and achieved a transcendental existence. He taught his ways to a nearby clan of Jumping Mice and the arts of Kenshai were born.
Clan members are taught to prize inner peace, discipline, giving up worldly goods and martial skills. For most of the cult's history, it remained in hiding, fearful of the other churches, particularly the followers of Jandara, who rule most of Fashar. It has only been within the last generation that a new leader arose within the followers of Kenshai and overturned the ancient prohibitions against revealing their existence. Now acolytes are encouraged to go forth into the more civilized areas and work to spread the word of Kenshai. So far they have made little impact, but if they ever do succeed in attracting the attention of the larger churches, a pogrom is sure to follow.
Mousy Martial Arts
The most secret and prized teaching of Kenshai is the use of magic to augment their physical abilities. Their techniques are oriented around maximizing the effect of their relatively poor Magic ratings, but a Magic rating of at least +1 is required to take the Augment spell and learn the techniques associated with it. Characters may also be required by their GM to take a Duty to the Cult of Kenshai Flaw.
What Augment can do
The Augment spell is primarily a way of turning magic inwards, focusing the mind on a particular task. It can boost the caster's abilities in a narrow area, so long as they continue to maintain the spell.
What Augment cannot do
This magical art cannot enable a mouse to do anything that they could not normally attempt. It could enable the caster to hold their breath longer, but not to breathe water as though it were air. Unlike most magical arts, Augment cannot affect other characters; it is strictly an internal art used on the caster themselves.
Example Trivial Spells
SELF-DENIAL: the caster can double the length of time that they can go without something normally essential, such as air, food, water or sleep. The spell must be constantly maintained and requires concentration or the normal penalties for this lack suddenly return, often with devastating consequences. Each Critical Success adds another multiple (x3 for a single crit, x4 for a double crit, et cetera).
SELF-CONTROL: the caster can reduce any penalties to their rolls due to fatigue, fear, poison, disease, etc. by up to 1 point. This lasts as long as the character concentrates of maintaining the spell. Each Critical Success can reduce the penalty by another point.
MINOR FOCUS: the caster grants themselves a +1 bonus to their next roll by concentrating all of their efforts on that task. The downside is that this requires complete concentration and they cannot do anything else in the meantime. If forced to make any other rolls during this time period, they suffer a -4 penalty to them. Each Critical Success enables the caster to maintain the bonus for an additional roll without recasting it.
Example Small Magicks
SUSPENDED ANIMATION: by sitting motionless in a deep trance, the character enters a death-like state. They remain aware of their surroundings, but no longer need to breathe, eat, drink or sleep. This effect can be maintained for as many days as the number rolled. There is no direct effect for Critical Successes (beyond a higher total result). They cannot take any actions without abandoning the spell. It takes a VERY HARD Medicine check to tell that they are not actually dead.
GREATER FOCUS: by entering a trance-like state, the caster acquires a +2 bonus to a single skill of choice, but a -2 penalty to any other rolls. This trance lasts for up to a single scene and requires light concentration to maintain. It can be abandoned at any point. Each Critical Success adds a further +1 bonus.
Example Large Magicks
ETERNAL SLEEP: as per the Suspended Animation spell, but the effect can last for as many years as the number that the caster rolled. Furthermore, the character can perform very minor actions such as walking slowly or whispering without ending the spell. It takes a NIGH IMPOSSIBLE Medicine check to tell that the character is not dead if they pretend to be.
TOTAL FOCUS: as per the Greater Focus spell, but the benefit applies to a single Stat instead of a single Skill.
Augment High Sorceries
SUPERNATURAL STRENGTH (1 point): you may cast a spell which grants you a +5 bonus to a single Brawn or Agility roll (which must be the next action you perform or the benefit is lost). Furthermore, if you roll a Critical Success or better, casting this spell becomes a Free Action, enabling you to start that action immediately. Due to the strain on your body, each successful use of this spell inflicts 1 point of internal damage.
ETERNAL MASTERY (Enchantment, 1 point): you may enchant your own flesh to remove one of your basic needs entirely, such as breathing, eating, drinking or sleeping. This unnatural state causes a -2 penalty when making friendly social checks with anyone who has the Superstitious Flaw.
INSTINCTIVE AUGMENT (Advantage, 1 point): you may expend a Critical Success on any Augment casting check to perform that spell as a Free Action. Note that while you can perform more than one Free Action in the same turn, they must all be distinctly different, so you would not be able to cast another Augment spell that turn.