Powers and Perils

Additional Errata & Question/Answers

Is the MEL the same as trained MEL (if trained) or can you have a character with MEL6 trained ability, MEL4 in one innate power, and MEL3 in another innate power? [Book 1 p.11 Innate Powers]

[No, yes may have different MELs] Book 1 Page 11 - As the game stands, the innate power MEL is seperate from any other MEL. If you have power drawn from 2 or more sources, you have 2 or more MEL's.

Mana Reading and Mana Sensing Base Mana Cost = 0. How do you get experience to increase your MEL?

[1d10 MEP/use up to 1/day] MANA READING OR SENSING - A mistake of mine. As a solution, give those with this talent 1D10 MEP each time that the power is used and mana is detected - up to a maximum of once per day. (Actually, MEL isn't all that appropriate because is the mana is present, and the power is used, it is sensed or read.)

Please make clear - Is initial Current Ability = Native Ability? I presume so.

[yes] Initial Current Ability = Native Ability except for those who have Supernatural Attributes.

Is 25 the minimum Native Ability in I for those with Intellectual Power, and in Em for those with Empathic Power?

[yes] 25 is the minimum as written. Supernatural Attributes are modified in the Book of Tables to lower this.

Increase in Current Ability should use 16 not 19 and end up with Current Ability = 41.

[*] In Supernatural Agility the formula is indeed incorrect.

For a character with Supernatural Willpower rating of 30. Does their MEL in the Evil Eye go up seperately with disease, paralysis, and death or is the experience lumped together under 'Evil Eye'?

[MEL lump under 'Evil Eye'. Expertise is seperate] Evil Eye MEL is one factor. Expertise varies for each talent.

Can a Dwarf be a Natural Magician? Can an Elf or Faerry? What differences would apply? Could they cast ANY type of magic?

[yes But would restrict what they learn voluntarily] Any character can be a natural magician. They can learn any type of magic without regard to alignment. For Elves and Faerries they would not choose to learn anything except Elder and Sidh. Dwarfs would concentrate on Elder.

Does a Natural Magician have to worry about Magic Path Alignement?


If so - does the alignment affect learning and casting costs of spells?


Would they then be prevented from learning certain spells?


Could a Natural Magician cast 'chaos only' spells if not chaotic?


Could a Natural Magician cast shamanistic spells without first casting the spell 'Orient Self'?

[yes] He may cast shamanistic spells without Orient Self.

If the Special Attribute NATURAL MAGICIAN is rolled twice does....(A) x 4 (B) 4 (1 twice) (C) MEL x 2, x 4 if resting? (D) x 4? x 3? (E) 1/4 normal?

[reroll second roll] If you get Natural Magician twice reroll the second one.

Does a Natural Magician have an MDV = ML + MEL or MDV = (ML x 2) + MEL [Book 1 p.16 1.32611]

[{the first is marked}] A natural magicians MDV is ML + MEL

Why doesn't CEL have an effect on dodging?

[if desired make option roll-CEL] You can modify your game and allow dodgers to subtract their CEL from their roll if you think that CEL should apply. (Makes a 40 a 34 if CEL6).

Do Elves, Faerries, or Dwarves see in the dark?

[yes] Elves, Faerries and Dwarves see in the dark.

I assume, but please make clearer, that after EL0, skill with Misc. Throwing Weapons goes up individually. i.e. a Character may be EL4 with Thrown Rock, EL2 with Shuriken, and EL0 with Thrown Chair. [Book 1 p.24 2.55]

[yes] Your assumption with Miscellaneous Throwing Weapons is correct.

UNTRAINED USE. What about Hand to Hand? What is the WSB of HTH (Hand to Hand)? What is subtracted or added to the damage if a character is NWI+3 or NWI-2? How does NWI change? What is the fatigue Value of HTH or NWI? (Broken hands, teeth, and claws) [Book 1 p.24 2.513 & 2.5131]

[No WSB or Fatigue Value] [Untrained HTH add to roll (25- partial expertise)]
[Trained HTH as per any other combat skill.

NWI is applied as for EL on roll to hit only
severe hit -- +(NWI/2(RU)) x -1
Deadly hit -- +NWI x -1 ]

Untrained use also applies for hand-to-hand. There is not WSB for it. If NWI +3, add three, if NWI -2, subtract 2. There is no fatigue value for NWI. I chose to avoid this layer of complication.

If untrained Hand-to-Hand add (25-Partial Expertise). In all other cases, use your EL as for any other combat skill. NWI is applied as for EL in all cses. As the rules stand, it does not effect damage for Severe and Deadly hits. It is possible that it will in the future. If so, (NWI/2(RU))x -1 is added to severe hits. NWI x -1 is added to Deadly Hits.

How about weapon skills from later periods: Rapier, Epee - Light Sword (D+A)/10
Two Weapon Use - Rapier & Dagger, Sword and Mace, Sword & Cloak, etc.

There are Two Weapon rules in TOWER OF THE DEAD.

Parrying rules with weapons - are we just limited to using EL offensively or defensively (no parry instead of attack as with the dodging with shield option)?

As things stand, there is no Parry. It could be added optionally to the basic dodging rules, i.e. if dodging you may attempt to parry on Partial Success. At this point, rules are indefinite so I leave them up in the air.

Can you disarm opponents? If so - how? Any advantage vs. unarmed opponents? If so - what?

As things now stand, you can not disarm opponents. It could be added as a special subdual attack. I leave this in the air as well.

Why have Full Helms that are more expensive and afford no more protection than Metal Helmets?

[+3 with Plate +2 otherwise] In Book of Tables Full Helms are changed to +3 when worn with the right armor and +2 with other armors.

Combat Experience Gain - Does it include the extra damage caused by a weapons magic? I'd presume so. [Book 1 p.38]

[yes] Yes for CEP and magic weapons.

EL that the spell is known or the EL that it is cast at? I presume the latter. [Book 1 p.38 3.4]

[cast EL] MEP are gained based on the cast EL.

If the NWI is zero or higher - explain higher (+1 or -1, which). [Book 2 p.4]

[- is better (i.e. decrease roll] For NWI, + modifiers increase the roll, - modifiers decrease it.

An Elf with Elven Bow (WSB+2) and Elven Arrows (WSB+1) does how much damage? WSB=3? I presume so. When using magical missile weapons and magic missiles I assume that the bonuses are cumulative.

[yes] An Elf arrow from an Elf bow does WSB +3. They are cumulative.

I'm surprised that you give a spear greater range than a javelin. [Book 2 p.6]

Switch the ranges. Ranges for Spear and Javelin are wrong. Give Spear the range stated for Javelin and Javelin that stated for Spear. My error.

Apparently the rules of P&P consider that an EL1 bowman is the same regardless of CEL, D, and A. Also the same for the defender - no regard for their CEL, D, or A. I suggest change. Perhaps: [suggestion included].

The effectiveness for EL in any weapon is at the bottom end, i.e. the increased ability to inflict Deadly and Severe Hits. I think that the difference between EL1 and EL16 is MAJOR in missile fire and all other weapons. It has a major effect on the chance of a deadly hit, the chance of hitting at long range and the chance of getting a shot past an opponents shield, if he has one. This is especially true given the probable fact that the target will have some expertise with his shield. There will be future changes to Missile Fire, but I think that the basic rules are good as they stand.

I presume that the extra damage applies to sharp objects (spears, throwing daggers, etc.) as well? [Book 2 p.7 1.55) D)]

[any weapon you strike with.] SB applies with any weapon you strike with, sharp or not. It does not apply for those that are projected by a machine such as bows, crossbows, etc. The important factor is WHO is providing the force of the projectile.

An archer fires then is closed with and attacked. That phase can he change weapons? [A. yes] Or does it take a full phase to change weapons? Can a Character change weapons and attack the same phase? [Book 2 p.7 1.57) ]

[Full phase needed to get use of weapon including defensive EL.] The archer can change weapons that phase but may not attack in melee or use his EL defensively. It takes a full phase to get the normal use of his new weapon.

On severe and deadly hits does armor protect also or just the helmet? Example - Kurm is wearing a leather helmet and chainmail when his opponent hits him with a severe hit doing 8 points. Does 7 points get thru or only 4? I presume 7. [Book 2 p.8 2)]

[A. 1D2* 1=Armor 2=helmet]

Does armor help stop damage if the AV of the shield is exceeded? I'd presume so. [Shields]

As we have used Armor and Helmets, both apply on severe and deadly hits. I have discovered that this may be a bit much and am considering a modification. Either helmets only or a 1D2* roll with a 1 being the armor and a 2 being the helmet. As a Dark Horse, I may go to 1D3* with the others the same and a 3 being the shield. (This because I have found that with a good shield and any EL, shields are almost impenetrable)

Repair costs should be revised. Reason - Leather or Ring Mail may be replaced for the same cost as to repair 1 point of damage, according to the rules as they now read.

[revision in the air of both construction and repair costs] Repair and construction rules for armor require revision. I am still unsure how I will change them.

Sometime in the future I would like to see a Grand Tactical version of the game so that characters may lead armies into battle. Also a strategic version.

[Coming soon.] In one of the upcoming editions of Hereos an army combat system will be published. It should be adequate to your needs.

ATTACK PRIORITY please explain better. Does a man OCV6 with sword have attack priority : 7 (for OCV); 9 (for sword); 16 (for OCV+sword); or what? So far I give OCV + weapon attack priority to all.
In what order do they strike: Bragga OCV6 with polearm; Able OCV16 with sword; and Chuck OCV 1 with trrown dagger. presume that none have moved. [Book 2 p.11 4.9)]

[Weapon only (OCV is for Monster Weapon Equivilancy)], [Chuck, Bragga, Able] The basic rule does not factor OCV in except to give creatures a weapon priority equivalent. Only the weapon counts. A modification is in testing that will improve this - giving closing and engaged priorities and an advantage for higher Expertise Levels. In your example, as the rule sits, Chuck throws his dagger, Bragga strikes with his Polearm and then Able gets his sword blow in.

AGING - How does it affect abilities and skills? Any ideas? [Book 3 or 4]

[No effect as rules are now.] There are no rules for aging in the game. As the rules stand, it has no effect. I may add an article in Heroes at a later daye on this subject.

Is Starting EL only for those skills learned (under Common Knowldege) before expertise points are used in learning? Or is it for non-combat skills anytime that the starting expertise has been acquired? I notice in several places EL0 or EL1. [Book 1 p.19-23 ]

[Starting EL applies to all Non-combat skills except when gained as a sub-skill.] Starting EL appleis for all non-combat skills except when they are gained as part of another skill at no cost.

OTHER SKILLS STARTING EL TABLE x or 80 [Book 1 p.21 2.32) ] Why should a character W80 D2 start better than another character with W41 D41? Why should that character start at the maximum possible? As it is, the starting EL formula can yield a higher Starting EL than the Maximum EL. Example: Artist W4 D52 Em4 Starting EL 52 [*] Maximum EL 30. Other: Extract ...TEN,.... ...rounded up,... or change entirely as it reads it makes little sense.

[* Snider inserted here: /2=26] Artist- The formula has a divisor of 2 so, in your example, the starting EL is 52/2 - 26, not 52. (Though there may be cases where your statement is correct, it is not correct in this case).

DISGUISE ARTIST Can this skill modify Ap? [Book 1 p.26 ]

Your modification on Disguise Artist affecting appearance is good. If it is used, it would also apply for others.

Forester is (Expertise point wise) a package steal, not just a package deal. For only 35 expertise in Forester they get up to hundreds of expertise points worth of other skills. Is this planned or desired? Also Assassin and Thief skills are a bit like this though not nearly so bad. I suggest drastic revision - including attainment of no more than starting EL in any subskill. [Book 1 p.27 ]

Group skills are intentionally advantageous. In the case of Forester, the cost to learn may have been set too low.

Healer - If a character with husbandry skill learns healing for the same species: Where does there Healing EL start? What effects does knowing Husbandry have upon learning Healing? Also, what effect does knowing another Healing have upon learning Healing? [Book 1 p.27 ]

Regardless of anything, is (sic) Healer is learned a Starting EL is gained.

Would it be considered a 'moderately difficult' problem to solve how to and keep at applied characteristic training? (I+W)x1=% Can NPC's train their characteristics? How far? [Book 1 p.40 ]

[No roll required.][Up to limit specified in Book.] Anyone can train their characteristics up to the limit specified in the book. There is no roll required to realize that you must keep up your training to keep your increases.

LEVITATE Duration=(EL+1... What!?! Phases, turns, minutes, tactical turns, hours,...? [Book 2 p.44 ]

LEVITATE should read TURNS for duration.

WOUNDS Duration - ... [Book 2 p.46 ]

WOUNDS duration should read (EL + 1) x 4 turns.

ALIGNMENTS Are there 4 or 7 distinct alignments? i.e. do you need 1 spell (Protection vs. Elder) to protect you from: the Kotothi, the Sidh, the Elder, The Shamanic Elder, or do you need 4 different spells? This also applies to DISPELL/BANISH and to SUMMONING.

[4][1] There are four distinct alignments. Within the Elder alignment, there are four subdivisions. Dispell/Banish Elder is good for any of the four groups.

Book 1 p.4 D4*

D4*=Roll a ten sided die, 1-4=1, 5-7=2, 8-9=3, 0=4

Can a faerry armorer make Elven Alloy weapons?

Armorer is one of the skills that requires some clarification. For Dwarfs, their Armorer skill is very rarely taught to non-dwarfs. It is more common for Elves bit in neither case is it frequent. To gain this right, very special circumstances must apply.

Are Elven or Dwarven weapons and armor magical [No] or can it be enchanted? [Yes] i.e. Elven Leather AV2 - Enchanted to AV6.

Elf and Dwarf armor can be enchanted. The basic armors are not magical, they are better before any magic is cast.

Costs of items should be related to the time, skill, and materials required to make it. And Vice Versa. So the cost (listed on the table) rather than it's AV decides the time required to make an item and the limits of what an Armorer may make. Also - as the rules now read does it take 4 days to make ONE arrow?

Repair and construction rules for armor require revision. I am still unsure how I will change them.

Horses - Are bigger horses always better horses? Is a Clydesdale always better trained and faster than an Arabian? - It would appear so from the animal table.

In the horse rules, a Clydesdale would be a warhorse (II or III). An Arabian is a war-trained Riding Horse (III or IV). In general, for cavalry the greater the power and size of the animal, the greater its value in combat as a charging mount. Obviously, an arabian is a fine horse but it is not one that is prized for its shock value in combat - it is a Horse Archer;s mount and one used to get in and get out quickly.

Why should assassins be trained in Hand to Hand? Why not instead have training in brewing poisons, disguise artist, or dagger? I suggest that the training under 'E)' only be to Startin EL. Perhaps several skills from a larger selection. One from column A, two from column B, etc. Section 'A)' is too powerful, besides when combined with 'G)' the combat roll is modified twice. For my game I change 'A)' to a sub-section of 'F)' i.e. Only on 1st strike from a successful ambush.

Assassin rules are modified in the Book of Tables. Hand-to-Hand is given to reflect the complete physical training given by the guild. It might be a good idea to allow the Assassin to pick one from a group of skills, of which yours would be three and hand-to-hand would be one, rather than just have hand-to-hand.

Book 2 p.5 Subdual - Edged weapons would not be as effective in this mode. Thus should do less damage. Say damage/2 (RD).

I don't understand. For clubs you get 1real per 5 subdual, for others 1 real per 10, I can't see the problem. True, a fist or chair gives more impact but an edged weapon is still a bar of metal. I think that the additional hardness negates the difference in effectiveness. Leave as is.

Book 2 p.16 Does experience for innate powers have any effect on general (trained) MEL or vice versa?


Book 2 p.17 Does any Magic-User (Natural Magician, Wizard, Natural Shaman, etc.) have to use the spell 'Orient Self' and/or use a drum before casting any shamanic spell?

Natural Magicians can cast Shamanistic spells without Orient Self.

Book 2 p.21 CREATION How do you determine the MDV of Creations?

Creation MDV equals MEL+EL as for Magic Items.

Book 2 p.23 THE DARK COMPANION How do you determine DCV?

DCV equals EL+2

Book 2 p.26 EARTH POWERS Alignement should read Chaos as only Chaos has Earth Powers listed.

You are correct.

Book 2 p.27 FIREBALL Example should read 'range of 14"'.

You are correct.

Book 2 p.30 KNOWLEDGE If the spell is cast at a lower EL than it is known at, will the frequency be that of the EL that it is cast at, or at the EL known? I presume that of the EL known.

Yes. Knowledge frequency would be based on the EL known, gain is based on the EL cast.

What skills will the spell teach? What are the criteria for deciding? One half of the Maximum Ability stats physical (S, St, D & A)?

[Up to Ref. Primarily mental skills] It will not teach skills that require physical effort, in training, to learn. It will teach skills that are primarily mental or that require the student to learn a great deal of essential information in mastering the art. you should make an appraisal of which it does and does not apply for based on your impression of the skills.

I'd suggest that for play balance that it be limited to the chances present.

[exceeds chance. does not apply to damage rolls] Luck is better than chance ability. It does not apply for damage rolls. Sorry for the ambiguity.

Likewise use of Energy Level for the 'Knowledge' spell cast without purification - can failure ve Abysmal? [No, no Abysmal failure when drawing from Energy level]

Innate Magic-users, drawing from Energy Level, can not suffer ill effects from Abysmal Failure. Abysmal Failure is only applicable when the force used is extra-somatic.

ALIGNMENTS Are there 4 or 7 distinct alignments? i.e. Do you need 1 spell (Protection vs. Elder) to protect you from: the Kotothis, The Sidh, The Elder, The Shamanic Elder, or do you need 4 different spells? This also applies to DISPELL/BANISH and to SUMMONING.

There are four distinct alignments. Within the Elder alignment, there are four subdivisions. Dispell/banis Elder is good for any of the four groups.

Book 3 Give some general guidelines or rules concerning morale.

Some rules for morale are included for animals in the general note at the end of their descriptions. In general, the more intellect a creature has, the greater its morale is likely to be. Obviously there are many exceptions, when dealing with exceptionally ferocious or hostile creatures, to this rule. As a general rule, keep in mind that unless a creature is incredibly stupid or driven for some reason, it will try to survive when it is in imminent danger of death or things are going bad for its group.

Book 3 p.38 ELVES concerning the example with OCV 2 and DCV 5 the difference is 3. The difference of S & St bonuses and the D & A bonuses is 2. Do Elves naturally have a higher DCV? Or is it a mistake? [DCV should be 4] "Elves cannot be affected by Sidh Magic." [Should read Hostile Sidh Magic] - Does this include beneficial magic (Healing, Luck, etc.)? Even if cast by the Elf upon himself? I'd presume not. Also does this include all the spells listed under Sidh Magic or only the ones exclusively listed under Sidh Magic? I presume all that are listed. [Any cast as Sidh magic not the same cast as chaos magic]

Elf DCV should be 4. Their magic resistance should read Hostile Sidh Magic. It includes only Sidh Magic spells, i.e. those spells cast using Sidh Magic. The same spell cast using Chaos Magic, for example, could affect them.

I presume that (having strength and all) they are physically tangible.

With the basic rules, only the warriors described in Book One and Book Three exist. Their form can vary their abilities. Their HPV and other stats are not varied as things stand.

Book 4 p.17 2.111) refers to 2.12. Where is that? Is it a misprint?

Reference is to Area Specific Treasure Table on page 21. It should be to 2.112.

Book 4 p.36 WANDS B)As for Staffs. The Casting cost increase is ONE mana point. The increase in the caster's EL equals the EL of the wand. Regarding the 3rd sentence: Increased EL including increased spell effect? [No] Or just EL of the wand subtracted from the success roll? [Yes] I presume the latter - ion which case the 3rd sentence should read: Subtract the EL of the wand from the success roll.

Wand El applies as Staff MEL. It is only a subtractor on the success chance roll.

Book 4 p.41 COCKFEATHERS B) This is confusing as to whether burning them gives 5 mana for the spell or gives Mana Level +5.

Cockfeather give 5 mana for casting the spell ONLY. If htey are not used immediately they are lost.

Posted to P&P mailing list by Alex Koponen in February 2000 and March 2005. It contains errata and answers based on a series of letters sent to him by Richard Snider in 1984. Thus I categorized it as a semi-official AH release.

Answers in brackets [ ] are handwritten on question (probably preliminary answers), the other answers were typewritten on Avalon Hill stationary. (Typos and all).


Richard Snider, in answer to questions by Alex Koponen