Game Rules

Pala de Nata makes use of the Blood & Tears (B&T) live-action rules system for the Houses of the Blooded (HotB) roleplaying game. Terminology and mechanics from both books may be referenced in this document.

The rules presented here in are modified rules, new rules and rules clarifications to the B&T rules system. For a basic overview of the B&T rules take a look at the rules preview.

Wager

In our game a wager is what we call the total value you get from using your Advantages or spending Style Point towards a contest. We use this term to help players easily differentiate between Style Points and the ‘bonus style’ you get from various mechanics in the B&T system. So in short, the Advantages you use plus additional Style Points you spend equal your Wager.

For example, if you spend a Style Point to use one of your Aspects in a Contest you have a starting wager of 3. If you spent two more Style Points to increase that you’d have a total wager of 5.

Contests

Rule Zero

Remember the most important rule regarding Contests: If you don’t role play your intentions and actions you cannot spend Style Points towards a Contest. Attempting to engage in a Contest you didn’t role play out is Bad Form.

Insisting

Contests where someone insists (B&T p. 6, i.e. “But I Insist…”) should be resolved in the presence of a narrator if possible. We prefer this because it helps make sure all Style Points spent are collected by a narrator and to ensure that these contests are being resolved in a way that is true to the spirit of a friendly game. Abusing or inappropriately using the insisting rules is Bad Form.

Privilege

When you the right to state a truth it is called Privilege. For example, if you spend a Style Point and and ask a player “isn’t it true that …?” and the player says “Yes” and accepts the Style Point you have Privilege. You also get Privilege when you win a Contest.

Limits of Privilege

Players are limited in three ways when it comes to Privilege:

  • You can’t undo an existing truth, you can add to it but cannot undo it.
  • You can’t state impossible or magical truths. (“Your sword turns to mist”, “we just fly away”, “I’ve always been an Ork”)
  • You can’t state truths about greater mysterious forces in the setting such as the Suaven, the Invisible World or the Sorcerer-Kings.
Using Privilege

When you state truths with Privilege you must be sure that all those affected by that truth are aware of it. For example, if you state a truth about the current scene in a room in a castle you don’t whisper it to a narrator – you say loud enough all those in the scene can hear you. This is so that all players are narrators present are aware of the new truth and can react accordingly. The same goes for major objects, important story elements, and so on that other characters are currently involved with.

Aspects

Solace Aspects

Solace Aspects can be tagged and compelled but usually can’t be invoked. Tagging or compelling a Solace Aspect does not cost a Style Point however you cannot tag or compel a Solace Aspect on an opponent unless you role played out beforehand how you were using that Aspect against them.

Negative Aspects

Negative Aspects are Aspects that cannot be invoked, only tagged and compelled by others. For examples, see Dolt (HotB, p. 152), Vaszhna (p. 227), or Wrath of Me (p. 326). Negative Aspects are gained through certain actions in-play.

Phases & Titles

Late Spring, Early Summer

New character enter play as ‘late Spring’ Ven who are nearly Summer regardless of their actual Age. After your character has attended four events they may enter the Summer Phase and gain the benefits of being that Phase.

Maneuvers

The full mechanical effects of various Maneuvers as presented in (HotB p. 203) are not used in live-action play.

Season Actions

Work exactly as described in HotB.

Vassals

Work exactly as described in HotB.

Holdings

Work exactly as described in HotB.

Rituals

See the Rituals page for modified rules for rituals, new rituals, etc.

Artifacts

See the Artifacts page for modified rules for artifacts, new artifact values, etc.

Suaven

Devotions as an Advantage

Ignore the rules on B&T page 19. If you bring your Devotion to an event you can use that Devotion as an Advantage in any Contest where it is appropriate to the Suaven it is tied to, for example Devotion to Talia Yvarai, the Suaven of Romance, can be used in any Romance-related Contest.

In addition, for each Devotion you bring as an Advantage to an event you can carry a number of Blessings your character knows. The number of Blessings you can bring is equal to the rank of the Devotion and they must all be tied to the Suaven who’s Devotion you are carrying.

Relics as an Advantage

See the Relic rules available here.

Gaining Blessings

If you have a Suaven Shrine you can take a Commune action and sacrifice a number of resources equal to half your Devotion rank , rounded up. If you do so, you gain a Blessing from that Suaven rather than increase your Devotion rank. Remember, you can’t have more Blessings than you have ranks in Devotion to that Suaven.

Rumors & Insults

A character can only be subject to one Rumor or Insult at a time. If a character is subjected to multiple Rumors or Insults only the highest ranked one has any effect.

Rumors and Insults decrease by one half (rounded up) at the end of each season. So a rank 7 Rumor becomes a rank 4 the next season, then a rank 2 the season after that, etc. A rank 1 insult or rumor fades by the next season.

Fashion Trends

Fashion trends decrease by one half (rounded up) per season, just like Rumors and Insults. Remember, you only follow one Fashion Trend at a time. If a Fashion Trend is included as part of your costuming you only get the bonus Style Points for it being part of the trend or for it being costuming, not both.

Cut-Throat Duels

Cut-Throat Duels work differently than presented in B&T (p. 32). Each duelist secretly sets aside a pool of Style Points no greater than their Prowess Virtue plus one for each other relevant Advantage, plus one for each Maneuver they brought with them. All Style Points spent in the duel must come from that pool. The duelist with the highest total goes first. The attacker secretly spends Style Points to inflict ranks of injury. The defender can either spend an equal amount of Style Points to try and match the injury and counter it or suffer the injury at no cost. Then the defender gets to attack. Repeat until one party concedes or one of the duelist runs out of Style Points and thus loses the duel. Any Style Points remaining in their pool at the end of the duel are given over to a narrator.

Injuries

Characters can suffer any number of rank 1-4 injuries but can only suffer a single rank 5 injury. If they would suffer a second rank 5 injury they are rendered incapacitated and unconscious for the rest of the event if their injuries can’t be treated leaving them at the mercy of their fellow ven. Inflicting such a wound on a character already suffering a rank 5 injury is considered an attempt at Murder.

Poison

At any point a character is eating or drinking something and you have one or more Poison Resources, you may offer the style to say they are poisoned. If you insist, you must enter into a Contest with them. They may use their Cunning virtue to notice the poison but you may not use any Virtue to hide your attempt at poisoning. If you get privilege, you can state that have become poisoned.

If someone becomes poisoned, the poisoner then spends Poison Resources. The target of the poison gains a Poisoned tag equal to the number of Resources spent. The poisoned individual can then spend Poison Resources to reduce the rating of the tag. If they reduce it to zero the poison is counteracted. If you spend five Poison Resources and the target can’t counter it, the poison can be one of the five deadly poisons (arsenic, cyanide, hemlock, oleander or strychnine). If that character is not immune to that deadly poison, their player must choose for that character to die or suffer a rank 5 injury.

Other Rules

Bring it With You (B&T, p. 20)

Characters can bring three Resources with them to the game based on the Regions and Holdings they possess. Characters who bring their Caravan as an Advantage can bring additional Resources.

Established Truths (B&T, p.24 and p.25)

This does not circumvent the rules for Contests in Chapter 1. Just so it is clear no truth about a player character or something belonging to them can be established unless you have gone through the normal steps of a Contest.