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LONG email I sent to the berklist, mainly focussed on changes from 4th.  May not make sense unless you are also looking at the book.

Yay!  My copy arrived.  And what the heck, I picked up Calebais.

Book looks and smells lovely.  I'm thumbing through it, so these are very much first glance thoughts.

Difficulty numbers.  Handy, hope it holds up during play.  Saying '24+ is almost impossible' does not gel with the spell levels, though.

Templates - that looks like a step back to the books of a decade ago. Not very pretty at all.  And I think 'pick a concept' should be more general.  Minor niggle then.  Much detail though, might be useful.  I skip ahead to the more detailed bits.

LOVE the examples so far.  "Then it's time to buy the good stuff..."

The 'Advancement table' (page 31) is horrible.  An explanation of it would be nice for those who don't already expect it.  Having said that, maybe I missed it - I'm still on my first skim.

A full list of virtues and flaws on a double page spread?  Praise the editor and layout people!  A slight shame that minor and major aren't differentiated in typeset - but that's a tiny quibble.

Oooh - the susceptibilities work differently for faeries.  That's a nice flavorful thing.

Many more flaws than virtues?  Someone's definitely been listening to the players who create characters for flavour rather than power.  I approve.

Um.  Mythic blood needs warning labels next to it.  Mythic flambeau - pilums of flame at a gesture?  Is not particularly uncommon?!  That's a tone change and a half.

Mind you, it also works for, say, shape of the woodland predator.  Which is just as big, but seems far more in tone.  And, thinking about it, why is this in any way better than just having the arts score and learning the spell?

Page 63 - nice to have the list of abilities (though it might be nicer if it was easier to find - there's no page number on the page) - you've got asterisks in the table, but no footnote on the page.  Asterisks mean 'no use without training in this skill' which is explained in a small sentence in the middle of a paragraph bottom left of page 62.  Which is a shame.
And whilst I'm moaning about niggles - you missed a trick by not having some kind of 'you need a virtue to get this' note in the table.  Again, this IS in the text, at least.  (And yes, I'm going to go on and on about this page.  To save the list the trouble, I'll just say "I'm glad I won't be using it outside of character creation".  Arcane abilities split across columns needlessly, no reference to the ease factor table - the abilities list begins on page 62!  They really WERE packing this stuff in tight.)
I get a little concerned with the ability to train the abilities where most people need a virtue to anyone realm-associated.  I think that'll be out unless its a major story event or gained through some particularly explosive botching. --Jumlian
Yeah - it's hard to train magi in skills.  Although elsewhere it does talk about people being able to get over the gift penalty.  Still, can you really see most magi lowering themselves to be trained by a non magus?  --Vitenka
Minsunderstood you there, I think.  See my 'EEEEEEEEEEE' comment below about enchanting music ;)  --Vitenka (Though, on a second look, it's actually quite hard to abuse)

You named a covenant Autumnus - and it isn't ironically a Winter covenant?  Hubris!  Hubris I say!  Actually, all the names are 'this is a contrived example' bad - which is a shame.  but that one is really noticeable even by my bad Latin :)

Covenants are BUILT using points gained by writing in story hooks.  Oh yes.  Oh very yes.  Doesn't seem to change the rules much (it's enemies etc. as before) but it really makes the intent clear.

What, we have mages of Araby, but no Ordin-of-Odin-shadowy-figures-looming-over-us-honest-guvnor?

Penalties apply even to being trained by someone?  Harsh.  Approve of the italics on 'should' in "If the mage {behaves themselves} ... the group should {be ok}."  SGs everywhere are likely to grin wryly reading that.

Uh - is parma not a ritual?  I know we've been having this discussion already - but you make it seem like a gifted mage is distrustful of another mage if they meet with parma down.
. And on reading that back, my first thought is "Well DUH" - but you know what I mean.  Engendered distrust, not "Oh help, I'm naked and a nuke is talking to me"

Having said that, the average distrust and messes caused by politics of mages in play might be well explained if the social penalties of the gift  affect even through the parma :)  (Hand wavy explanation, no need for mechanics.)

I think it's safe to say that, a the very least, I'll make gentle gift a minor virtue IMS.

Especially since animal companions are, apparently, impossible unless you're gently gifted.  Which means about half of all bjornae are stuffed.  ...  Taxidermy.  Mmmm.  I like the examples though.

There is still the equivalent of the "people hate me but animals like me" virtue, and its minor. --Jumlian
True dat.  --Vitenka

The explanation of multiform is sufficient to highlight 'there is a problem here' but not enough to deal with it.  Some sample house rules might be nice.

I like the changes to penetration bonus.  x5 for a voodoo doll (if you also know the targets name) is about right, I think.  The absolute maximum of x12 seems very 'goal of a short saga'.  Tip to the list - Unknown Armies has a good list of sympathetic connections to ste^Wborrow.

The difference between 'no' and '0' magic resistance is made clear, but could be worded more sanely.

Wait - form resistance being magnitude based ALSO applies to adding it to your parma?  Makes things easier conceptually, but more of a pain to work out in play, I'd think.

What happens if you share your parma with someone else?  I presume the parma doesn't stack, the higher takes effect - but does the lower one remain in effect for when you then remove your protection?  Or is the parma considered a magic which is erased by the presence of another parma?  Or is this an IMS thing I oughtn't to even be thinking about because who the heck else tries this sort of thing? :)

There's still the three magnitudes penalty for shared parma, although it cannot be lower than 0.  Given effective difficulty to raise parma score and suggestion that everyone starts at 1, unless you have a parma specialist it's not going to work easily for parma sharing between magi. --Jumlian
-3 is way better than -(3+n) where n is the number of people you protect.  And parma can be trained from books or from adventuring...  I'm keeping my 14 ;)  --Vitenka
The old rules were only -3 total penalty, but you could only protect up to (parma -3) other people at that level, yourself included.  I.e., they are the same rules only I don't know how many people you can protect in the new rules (certainly, they can roam up to -sight- distance away, which is a lot). --Jumlian
No, pretty sure the penalty was incremental.  It certainly no longer is, and you can now protect people up to your full skill level.  --Vitenka (Though that may have been a houserule, of course, since our saga would have been one of the few where it'd matter)

Um.  I now see what the EotR? fuss is about.  Low powered magic, high parma.... "I turn the dragon blue" is supposed to be "I'm being silly" - not a legitimate combat tactic!

Rock from above works.  Houseruled straight away.  Will post my personal parma rules later :)  Though I suspect they may be too powerful, now that the parma will pretty much never be penetrated.

I also need to ask:
A mage who punches a magical wall - I presume it stays up, since a wall is a mundane thing.
Your fist stops, no damage.  Equivalent to the walking on a magical bridge example?
A mage who slaps an illusion dispels it?
Effectively since it isn't really there and you just put your hand through it?
A mage who slaps a dragon gets eaten... unless they've turned it blue?

A mage who slaps even a blue dragon gets eaten. The dragon's mouth is bigger than their parma, and swallowing whole is therefore totally feasible, and means immersion in acid.  Which if you read the acid / fire damage rules is pretty damn harsh.  I really can't see parma blocking a dragon. --Jumlian
This is the problem - see, the dragon can eat you.  But if you first enchant it, you're warded against it - and from the rules, wards work.  Parma aint perfect, but it's godlike.  --Vitenka
By this rule, parma is a perfect defence against ALL magical weapons, even just an edge of the razored sword.  Why bother enchanting a sword?  It certainly won't work on a magus.  At this point you are reduced to the discworld solution:  a halfbrick in a sock.  Similarly a blue dragon bouncing off of your parma just seems unbelievable.  A nasty comeback to that could be that dragon fire is natural to dragons and hence non magical, in which case all magi are toast, if that's a houserule I can't see players wanting to test it.  I just find it very strange that this works in this way.  Of course, there could be some redress, in that you could say that a blue dragon has a penetration equal to its base magic might.  If a might 60 dragon (even if blue) could therefore bite anyone possessing up to a 12th mag parma + (animal/vim) I would be a lot happier.  And I suppose that magical weapons could be alloted a penetration based on the total levels of instilled effect in the weapon, making invested weapons and talismans worth the effort.  But to just say a blue dragon can't hit anyone with magic resistance is a bit silly. --Jumlian
Nice summation of the berklist, there ;)  Yup, it's silly.  The berklists flame is that 'edge of the razor' actually make sa sword less effective.  The penetration total for the dragon would be that of the spell that turned it blue.  So yes, if the dragon turns itself blue - you're toast.  The sensible ruling is that only the magicalness is stopped - so the EotR? effect goes away but the sword can still hit you (modulo anti sword enchantments)  This works, but brings up all manner of other complications.  Personally my houserule is "The parma is as sentient as it needs to be to have the sensible thing happen in all cases".  --Vitenka (And heck, in some cases, literally sentient - the mage controlling it guides it, spirits are bound into it - whatever)
Not bad since I don't read it... --Jumlian
Well, imagine the pointless posturing on your own, then ;)  As usual, they have a reasonable heart of the matter and very esoteric arguments.  --Vitenka

The rules as stated in the book - the penetration of an effect is (casting total + bonuses - spell level)  And you ward against such things completely.  So yes, enchanting a sword will cause it to bounce off your parma - providing you use a big spell.  This is both sane and daft.

I take back the good things I said about penetration.  Aiming trumps it completely.

But you still need a supply of handy, natural rocks.  And you can still make rings/wards of rock deflection, or whatever.  Or fastcast a defense (it isn't that high, only level 10 or so to deflect a falling rock).--Jumlian
Aye, this is my houserule - your spell is only indirect if the effect takes at least a round to arrive - giving people time to react, dodge, cast counterspells etc.  --Vitenka

Sigils seem the same as before, but being flavourful, could be given more prominence in the 'character creation' section.

Doubled MR against spells, by mastery.  Uhh... can you buy mastery more than once (checks sample characters) you can.
And it applies against similar spells?
Wow - magic resistance really DOES rock.  All fireball spells are basically similar, right?

True, but arc of fiery isn't, though.  And have you seen the changes to soak?  Soak is no longer rolled, and so being BOAF'd successfully means that you die.  Gift of the bear's fortitude adds only 3 to soak.  (Fair, bears don't wear chainmail) --Jumlian
Ok, it's not perfect - but it's wonderous.  And I'm not sure that canonically you added a die for parma or soak under 4th, I think we houseruled it ;)  But yeah, soaking is now basically impossible.  --Vitenka
There was a soak die in all rulebooks for 4th (hence comments about soak botches in gift of fortitude).  But we had less deadly combat in that you only took a wound for each full 5 points over soak, IIRC (or was it the other way around, and houserule combat was even more deadly?). --Jumlian
We made it faster and more deadly.  The boaf change makes sense, since no spell above 50 can be non-ritual any more.  --Vitenka

You've got a page xx!  (Long term effects chapter on page 67, says page 88 - it's nowhere near there!  It might be nice to introduce what warping DOES - or at least that it's a BAD thing, when you first introduce the problem...)  Ah, it's on page 167.  You have a working index.  Congratulations.  And it's just a typo.  Let slip the dragons :)

You use a whole table to say 'warping points work like xp for abilities'.  Well done.  Buhhh....  Warping points DO and DO NOT stack - in the same paragraph.
Whoa.  Warping is harsh.  But you want to aim for a warping score of five, because that gives you an advantage.  I like this.
Mages aren't affected by warping 1, this is included in the gift flaw, right?  This could be made clearer, either way.

Mages start at warping 0 unless their a merinita with no faerie-associated virtues/flaws --Jumlian
Mages get to warping 1 reallly really quickly though ;)  And yes, according to berklist, the intent of that "people associated with the magic realm don't suffer warping 1" does mean mages.  And check out the penalty for being under a long term major enchantment.  Harshness :)  --Vitenka
Ah, you ensure they reach warping rapidly... evil SG.  --Jumlian
Well, they're gonna.  Any major magic that they didn't cast themselves?  A point for every zero on botch dice?  Let alone long term transformations and buffs...  --Vitenka

Was there a competition for 'most things to add together to make a single roll'?  Because twilight wins it.

I'm a never gonna remember that.  Having to bust out the books on a botch is a pain :(

Oh!  Whaddya know, I've been mispronouncing certamen all these years. Houseruled the same way vis, vim and corpoream are :)

Is there a style-guideline rule or something that says "You cannot say 'divided by five' without also using a table every damn time" or something?  Not that it matters or anything.

Oooh.. vetoing choice of arts?  Nice.  And ooh again to the clarification of 'may not challenge again' which removes some abuses, though it does also remove one of the more fun subgames tremere used to play.  First bit of text reused from AM4 spotted!  90 pages in.  Nice.
(Actually, there are chunks much earlier, I just didn't spot them.)  --Vitenka

big and unexpected change to how certamen works.  Combined with the vetoing, this makes it subgamey enough for the duelists I think.  No idea how it'll work in play though - if you have very unbalanced techniques vs forms (which young characters usually do) then it's going to be very pointy.

Um.  I'm not sure who I'm offending, or whether they read the list.  But I dislike the art here.  I dislike the style of this art in general.  I hope I'm not group thinking, because the art on Pg85 and 22 for example is very nice.  The "Forehead of a monkey" thing, as particularly present in the first bit of art you see when you open the book ( page 5, not the lovely lovely cover and inner face ) I just hate.

Yeah, the new art is a bit sucky.  But the better old bits made it across. --Jumlian

Yes!  Heartbeast rocks are gone.  As are heartbeast deck-chairs... Though, actually, I've never seen this abused so may come to miss it.
Only a single heart-form.  Oooh, I remember that argument long ago.  I'm personally glad, but, in the intervening time, can now see the point the others had.
the normal penalty for casting in animal form is made harsher by the new virtues system.  Maybe mastery makes up for it though - I guess it's more flavourful that only particular favorite effects are castable this way.

There's still the quiet and subtle magic virtues.  No words no gestures no penalty is 3 minor virtues, and is indeed recommended for the example bjornaer.  Also, does anyone know the use of the heart beast tree?  SG:"You are wounded" Player:"I turn into my form of the avenging shrubbery - The Elm!!" --Jumlian
The virtues are much more costly, effectively, now, though.  Adjectivelicious!  (No, I never understood heartshrubs either.  Check 'shapeshifting' supernatural skill though - ANY mage can be taught that.)  --Vitenka

'Outer mystery' terminology is a bit mean on those of us who don't have the mysteries book.  As is lack of guidelines on suggested paths for making up the inner mysteries.  Especially with that big blank space bottom of pg 93 (did an artist flake on you?) staring at you.

Mysteries book good for flavour, but the escalator of virtues present IMHO is truly truly gamebreaking.  Although there are some nice drawbacks.  Basically a mystery cult has a virtue escalator that people climb as they work their way up the rungs of the mystery cult and advance its agenda.  The +1 and +2 were generally OK, the +3 and +4 virtues were either pointless or gamebreaking.  But it had flavour, and was a nice idea. --Jumlian
From the book and berklist, it seems that mystery cults will now ALSO teach you an equivalent flaw to go with your shiny new virtue.  At low levels, this will just be bad reputations and the like - but I expect people will quite approve of limitations in exchange for power.  Having to make all those choices at character creation time was always a bit of a shame.  --Vitenka
Yes and no.  You have to buy the new virtues with flaws, such as by taking high or low hermetic crimes performed for the mystery cult (dark secrets / blackmail), voluntarily undergoing twilight (unleashing the mind), demeaning yourself (working under another magus), voluntarily undergoing torture (racking the flesh, and gaining decrepitude points), weakening your control of magic (gaining susceptibilities, loose magic, lack of control, anger, rage, etc.) and so forth. --Jumlian

Was vis boosting in the lab a big problem?  I don't see the need for max vis use.  Ah - this ties to max size of talisman.  It's not a problem for enchantment (assuming MT goes up roughly inline with the art scores) but it makes a difference here, since it takes a single season to instill, otherwise.

"Also figure any requisites the spell uses into your lab total" is ambiguous.  I can see good arguments for having it either way (If it adds, it explains why so many spells are created that use requisites, since those spells are generally harder to learn and use.  If it subtracts as per casting, it works the same way as casting.  I'm going to make that call, but am intrigued by the possibility of having it the other way.)

Ugh.  You explicitly encourage non-magnitude level spells.  Whilst this makes sense for wards, it's a pain for normal spells.

Damn it.  You HID learning spells from texts.  You HID it, I say.  And it only needed a single sentence.  Ok, lab rules are unchanged (bar a +1 here and a 'use a different ability' there) on a surface reading. That's good.

Magic theory increasing through practice in the lab?  (Ditto scribe) - is that all gone now and just becomes part of the justification for your XP spend?

You get two points per season in MT if instilling effects or doin' stuff, apparently --Jumlian
Yes, I missed that you always got xp in a season.  (So it could go in scribe or latin, if writing)  That is about half as fast as our houserule version, and seems nice.  --Vitenka

Humm.  Can you learn spells from lab texts without first translating them, or is that a required first step?  Oh - it's as before, it has to be written up properly either before or after.  You really could use a different name for these two types of texts.  I'll be calling one 'lab notes' and the other 'grimoires' - historicity be damned.

Spurious psuedo-mysticism explanation for interrupted labwork penalties.  Love it.  "Rules lawyers are smote due to... uhh... alignment of the stars."

In a similar vein, I liked the description of Teeth of the earth mother.  Read the magnitude magnification at the bottom - "+2 range, +1 target, +2 fancy effect"  I like. --Jumlian
Yeah, some people seem dissapointed that the new spell guidelines aren't completely mechanical.  Those people are jerks.  --Vitenka

Hey! I spot art I recognise!  It's the shield with the lion in!  He guards against anyone daft enough to use experimentation.  ... Which doesn't look so daft any more.  Hmmm.  Not a great benefit, but you get more interesting spells.

Thank you for removing red coral from the base book.  Now I don't have to go out and find out what it is and how rare it is, or have demons guarding every little bit of it and tainting it all.

http://marenostrum.org/vidamarina/animalia/invertebrados/cnidarios/corales/rojoi.htm --Edith
See, that really doens't help explain how common it is in mythic europe, in the year of our lord 1228, when there's a constant demand for it from all DemonPlagued? alchemists ;)  --Vitenka (thanks though)
I am sad to say it is still there, just listed under "coral, red".  Fox blood doesn't make the transfer though, which is a bit sad... :-) --Jumlian
What, +3 to being bitten on the ankle?  Damn, I missed it completely.  Will recheck - but I know it's not a "completely out of whack with every other bonus ever" any more.  --Vitenka (and you're always meant to add to that list anyway)
"+3 vs. evil magic", I thought... Ryan's sly Vitenka dig for the grimoire, wasn't it?  :-)  --Jumlian
There's a new grimoire promised...  --Vitenka

Attunements from your talisman are a free bonus for enchanting it.  Oh I like much.  "My staff helps me affect things at long distance - because I instilled 'unseen porter' into it."  Enchanted staffs are a good thing.

The plural of parens is parentes?  Yeesh.  I'll just houserule latin, shall I?  :)

Nice tightening up of rituals and requisites.  Especially cosmetic requisites.

Uh, do magnitudes still go 1,2,3,4,5,10,15 etc?  I missed that in my skimming - and it makes a bit of a difference when making long range animal healing spells (as a contrived example)

Yes.  --Jumlian
I did write this on a single skim read ;)  But yes, it is.  Could be a clearer explanation though.  --Vitenka

Spell sigils are back, as promised.  Which is good.  But they appear to be a resurrection of the ones in 3rd (since I recognise them) which is a shame.  They're not VERY back.  One in ten?  One in 20?

And we seem to have lost foci (or was that lost in 4th?)  I guess I can houserule form and effect bonuses for mages producing appropriate stuff and waving it around (or throwing it into the flames) or whatever.

Damn - CrIm? isn't changed - it's still just as easy to create complex illusion that do everything (for a given number of sense) as it is to create simple things.  Obvious pantomime houserule ("oh no it isn't") applied.

Oooh, it DOES get fuzzy on page 148, doesn't it?  And mentem spells don't seem very difficult.  How does this line up with the new MR rules, and that they don't do damage (so form resist is pointless)?
Is this intended ("Thwack!  Be subtle!  Thwack!") or is it a good idea to, say, add Magnitudes of mentem on all 'do what I say' rolls?
The reason I see this as a problem is that, of course, the first mental command I send would be: "I'm not going to hurt you, it's safe, lower your parma..."

Ah - I see that the order doesn't have money problems any more.  I'm not sure how much glassware a peasant family could buy in three hundred years, but it seems a viable use for four pawns of vis.  Finding a money source is a fun part of many sagas - so it's a shame to have this unambiguous.  I can certainly see its suitability for "I don't want to be fussed by this" SGs.
I think the guidelines make it even easier with Muto - at least if you start with a decent sized lump, making it eight times larger will be wonderful until someone tests it with an Archimedes bath :)
Yeah, but there always were simple workarounds to the problem; like our wine scheme (Wine wasn't usually kept for very long; so we didn't need vis to turn bad wine into good wine...) -- Senji

Pit of the gaping earth (which, as per parma is a real killer compared to all of flambeau's magic) just plain never works in mountains, and in your average garden will create something only a couple of feet deep? An improved version would have been a useful writeup, though it's not hard to calculate.

The MuVi? guidelines suggest that it is a perfect countermagic against sponted magic.  You probably didn't mean that.  The hermetic theoreticians have not formulated the postulate "It fails because any other result has consequences that make gods brain hurt" then?  Are doubled botches on MuVi? gone?  I don't see them.

Yay!  Increasing arts through adventuring!  And sudying vis is weaker? That's a bit of a "Get out of your ivory towers and adventure" kick in the pants :)
Oooh.. you do kinda risk someone rolling a 2048 on their study total though.  It'll happen.  And at the worst time, in someones worst art :)

So there's no more "3 levels limit" any more?  Missed that one. --Jumlian
Well, I didn't see such a limit, obvious fix though.  But studying from vis is a single stress die of xp.  And you use up pawns equal to magnitude of current skill.  That's harsh man.  That's 3rd edition harsh.  --Vitenka

You.. can.. be TAUGHT enchanting music.  (As long as you have the gift or equiv.)
you can have it taught to you.  No no no no no no EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.  Ahem.
Houserule applied: "enchanting music total is capped by the music total you rolled" - which leaves 'charming the devil' still possible, but stops it being an everyday occurrence.  Would prefer one that makes it riskier, rather than harder, though - if anyone has one.
Similar goes for most of the abilities.  (Wait, you can be TAUGHT shape shifting?  Yeesh)  This seems like an unexpected increase in the total amount of 'strange stuff' in the world - not to mention that it will spread during play.
Yet you cant teach unaging, purely because it's hard to write rules for "You're ALMOST the young old-man of zen myth, but not yet."

.. You could have TEXTS about HYPNOTISM that actually WORK.  My mind has just broken.  On the plus side, it's hard to copy them.

I like the guy annotating the map on page 169.  He also seems to suffer from 'gigantic forehead' syndrome - but he carries it off so well.

Aging seems to have been made MORE complex.  That annoys me, but it's a downtime activity, so it's not so bad.  People dying from heart attacks because they're lying in bed and assassins break in is very nice though.

Magi with CrCo? rituals40 rituals can NEVER die of old age.  They'll warp themselves out of existence instead.  Nice.

And they do it really quite fast - as it says, life expectancy of 120 years...--Jumlian.
Yup.  Though it seems there's quite a large "You hit 35 and didn't have longevity?  You're DEAD" effect going on, since it's a stress die.  --Vitenka
Yeah, I noticed that the result for rolling a 13 on the aging chart is really very harsh.  Its immediate decrepitude and crisis, and occurs 8 full points before that normally does on that table.  Needless to say, this exact point on the table is what will kill people fastest. --Jumlian
Aye, people have been running the stats - you get a heck of a lot of deaths in the first couple of years.  --Vitenka

The damage table is more complex than just having more health levels for larger targets.  The effect is kinda the same, except for recovery though.

But you can have taken 10 light wounds and be running around happily next week.  You can keep fighting until incapacitated or dead.  If you're stupid.  Escape spells good.  --Jumlian
As I said - it's kinda the same ;)  --Vitenka (The 'cover' rule is nice though.  You cannae target someone if a grogs in the way.  Not at all.  No explanation given, especially with magic, but never mind.  So we DO have ablative parma.  Kinda.)

Other than this, I do not see any change in the basic combat system. Where is all the "Yay, it's great!" coming from?  Ah, wounds.  You can take as many wounds as you like, and you don't die until the chirugeon happens along.

The added maneuvers seem nice - exertion is especially nice, and a good simple way to handle fatigue.

It appears that all that has changed about armor are the numbers and a complex conversion to make it nonlinear.  Armour is light now, which is good I guess.

I'm going to have to be coloured "Don't see the advantage" here.  Can someone explain how these rules actually affect characters?  They seem very number-crunching for very little difference.

I'll look at the good stuff (the background and story writing chapter) later.  I'll just say thank-you for the appendices, an unexpected gift, and sign off.
Not finished reading it yet - but it IS good.  Lots of "Do you want to run high or low fantasy?" and other such actual story considerations.  --Vitenka

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