House Rules – Armour and Lore Checks

A common complaint (or comment) that I’ve had with the Tempora Mutantur rules is that heavier armour penalizes all skill checks. Most folks can accept that for Athletics and Subterfuge, but have a hard time buying it for Lore checks.

(Incidentally, this is the main reason why I switched back from using “Awareness” to “Subterfuge” as a skill – I just couldn’t explain why armour would inhibit perception…)

The source of this rule comes from Tempora Mutantur’s fantasy RPG ancestors, where the armour penalty to Lore checks represents a magic-user’s difficulty in casting spells or reading scrolls while armoured. (I use this for my minimalist Dwarven Glory rules.) I still want to encourage the stereotype of lightly armoured scholars / heavily armoured brutes in Tempora Mutantur, so have carried the rule into this game.

Now, if you don’t buy into this approach for Lore checks in Tempora Mutantur, you can simply make Lore checks with a +9 (unarmoured) bonus. This means that enforcers are just as clever as thinkers, however. Alternately, you could make Lore check modifiers class-based (say +3 for enforcers / +5 for scouts / +7 for thinkers). One thing though – I really think that armour penalties should apply to Lore checks for psionics (since they are basically the post-apocalyptic version of “magic”).

As for myself, I’ve grown comfortable with the idea of the armour penalizing Lore checks. In some cases I might use a class-based variant (say, for example, if a PC is trying to remember historical information from before the Fall or trying to understand the accent of a mutant tribal), but in general I’ll stick to the Core Rules and add a PC’s (or monster’s) AC to any Lore checks.

One Response to “House Rules – Armour and Lore Checks”

  1. Says:

    If I was stomping around all day in a massive suit of armour, I’d probably be at least a bit tired and irritable and prone to answering questions with whatever came to mind first and a few insults at the person pestering me, even if when given time to think about it (and more comfortable clothing!) I’d be able to work it out and come up with a better response.

    At least, that’s my excuse.

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