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Skip Navigation LinksContent>Magic>Magic Systems>Validus Familiaritas>Troubadourus>System
Troubadourus System
Validus Familiaritas


Troubadourus System Troubadours Troubadourus Variations
Instrument Powers Troubadour Package Deals  
Troubadourus is part of the Validus Familiaritas archetype.
GM Notes on Troubadourus
Troubadourus (true-BA-door-US) is a type of Arcane Magic that uses music played from various instruments as the origin of various Magical effects.
Casting Model
Troubadourus is a form of "Familiarity Casting", where in there is a set list of Magic abilities and a character buys a Familiarity with each Magic ability they wish to be able to use.
All Troubadour have a Power Skill called "Troubadour Lore", which is EGO Based. This Power Skill is used to learn new Powers (detailed below) and also serves as a combination Knowledge Skill for Troubadourus Magic, and a Professional Skill for being a Troubadour if necessary.
The adjoining chart illustrates relative skill levels by Troubadour Lore roll, and the cost for each level. The associated titles don't have any actual literal meaning; they are merely meant to be illustrative.
Troubadour Lore: Power Skill (EGO based)
Real Cost: 3 points
A Troubadour can also opt to instead buy a separate Troubadour Lore Power Skill per type of Instrument, such as Drum Lore (Power; EGO Based). As a benefit for doing this, Troubadours gain a flat +2 specialization bonus to Power Skill Rolls that only apply to a single Instrument.
This option might prove to be more economical for a Troubadour that only intends to use one or two types of Instruments, but is generally inefficient for practitioners that intend to have a broader mastery.
In addition to their Troubadour Lore, Troubadours need appropriate Performance related Skills for each Instrument they want to be able to use. This is handled via Professional Skills for each Instrument, or if the Ultimate Skill is in use with the new Musical Instrument Familiarity Skill.
Little Drummer Boy: PS: (Drummer)
Real Cost: 2 points
There are a number of Instrument sets provided on the Instrument Powers document, and by default each Instrument contains five Powers. Two of the Instrument Powers are "Basic" and have no more than 15 Active Points, while two are "Advanced" versions of the Basic Powers with up to 30 Active Points, and finally each Instrument has a Signature Power with between 31 and 45 Active Points.
Each Advanced Power renders their Basic version obsolete, and some (but not all) Signature Powers render an Advanced Power obsolete. An example of the later behavior is the Signature Killing Note ability from the Horn set, which is just a better version of the Advanced Killing Note ability. This behavior is clearly marked in the Power listings.
Instead of paying the Real Cost of Instrument Powers, Troubadours take 2 point Familiarities with each of the Powers granted by various Instruments. These Familiarities allows Troubadours to use the relevant Powers as if they were actually on their Character Sheet.
Instrument Set Power Schema
Group 1 Group 2 Group 3
Basic Basic Basic Basic Basic Basic
Advanced Advanced Advanced Advanced Advanced Advanced
Signature Signature Signature
As illustrated by the adjoining table, each Instrument has six lines of Basic and Advanced Powers, and three Signature Powers organized into three groups.
 A Troubadour can chose Powers from any of the six lines in any order they wish. However, to take a Familiarity with an Advanced Power a Troubadour must first have the Basic Familiarity for that Power, and to take a Familiarity with a Signature Power a Troubadour must first have both Advanced Familiarities for that Group.
NOTE: A Troubadour that has mastered an Instrument has spent 30 character points and has six 30 AP Powers and three 45 AP Powers at their disposal; (Advanced Powers render their Basic counterparts obsolete).
Since Troubadours are only paying a few points for Familiarities instead of the Real Cost of their Powers they could quickly get out of hand if not tightly limited. Thus the list of Powers available is closed. A Troubadour can only take Powers specifically listed, which is to say that players cannot just write up any given Power, pay a couple points for a Familiarity with it, and start using the Power.
It is possible for some Instrument sets to not be available or commonly known in some areas, or perhaps at all in a given setting. In all cases check with the GM ahead of time to determine what Instruments are available to a given Troubadour.
Troubadours can have thematically appropriate Powers over and beyond the Instrument set model, paying the Real Cost for such abilities directly. These abilities should each be appropriate to one of the Instrument sets that the player has all the Familiarities for. Such abilities tend to be at least semi-unique, or at least personalized and represent a significant opportunity for individual Troubadours to distinguish themselves.
A character must pay the normal Real Cost for such Special Powers, but there is no Skill Roll required to learn the Power, and they do not need to take a Familiarity for the Power. However they are still restricted by the Instrument Power design requirements (below); such Powers exist outside the structure of the Instrument Familiarity schema, but not the overall mechanics of the Magic style. Special Powers have the same SFX as a normal Instrument Power.
The only exception to this is that such abilities may take RSR: Troubadour Lore if the Player wishes (or the GM insists).
The stiff costs often involved in such abilities should be sufficient to keep this sort of expansiveness under control in most cases, but GM's are recommended to monitor the practice for potential abuse. In some campaigns a GM might allow characters with multiple Special Powers to put them into an Elemental Control or Multipower, but this should be carefully considered.
EXAMPLE 1: Varef Gasdor is a Troubadour that has mastered the Horn set and wants an even more powerful blast ability. With the GM's permission an ability like the following Supreme Aural Blast Power could be added to the character, but the full Real Cost must be paid.
Supreme Aural Blast: EB 12d6 (vs. ED) (60 Active Points); OIF (Horn; -1/2), Incantations (-1/4),  Extra Time (Delayed Phase, -1/4)
Real Cost: 30 points
EXAMPLE 2: Uasa Veardik is a Troubadour that has mastered the Lute set and wants a more powerful Dispel vs. Magic. With the GM's permission an ability like the following Supreme Sonic Disruption Power could be added to the character, but the full Real Cost must be paid.
Supreme Sonic Disruption: Dispel 20d6, Any Arcane Magic One At A Time (+1/4) (75 Active Points); OIF (Lute; -1/2), Extra Time (Full Phase, -1/2), Gestures (-1/4), Concentration (1/2 DCV, -1/4)
Real Cost: 30 points
There are a number of restrictions which apply to this type of Magic Use, as follows.
This type of Magic has a set list of predefined Powers, called "Instrument Powers". Further each Instrument set has specific Powers available to it, and the list is closed.
Basic Powers have a maximum of 15 Active Points, Advanced Powers are between 16 to 30 Active Points, and Signature Powers are between 31 and 45 Active Points.
All Instrument Powers must have Limitations totaling to -1, and must cost Endurance to activate or use. Instrument Powers that grant Characteristic bonuses (if any) must take No Figured Characteristics.
All Instrument Powers must take OIF: (Appropriate Instrument). This counts as part of the mandatory -1 in Limitations. Thus Powers in the Lute set must take OIF: Lute, and Powers in the Harp set must take OIF: Harp, and so forth.
Instrument Powers have the SFX of Arcane, Magic, Troubadourus, Sonic/Music, and whatever Instrument set a Power originates from. These mandatory SFX cannot be altered by any means, including Variable Special Effects. These various SFX can be interacted with by other abilities such as Detects, Dispels, and Adjustments as normal.
NOTE: The Lute Instrument Power of Unweaving is always Magic, always Arcane, always Sonic, always an Instrument Power, and always from the Lute set of Troubadourus.
  • No Power may be on Charges
  • No Conscious Control and Independent may not be taken on any Power
  • All Powers must either cost END by default or take the "Costs END" Limitation
    • Powers may take Reduced END
    • Powers may take "Costs END Only to Activate" where allowed by the rules normally
      • All Costs END only to Activate Powers must have a defined termination, expressed either as a duration or a specific and reasonably common event
  • Powers must require a Focus to be used
    • These FOCI must be Obvious
    • Since any Instrument of the Appropriate type will do for a Focus, the Focus must be Inaccessible.
    • The Focus must consist of a Instrument of the type appropriate to the Power set; thus all Lute Powers must require OIF: Lute
  • Powers must have a minimum of -1 in Limitations
  • No Power can Require a Skill Roll to be cast.
    • A Power may Require an additional Skill Roll to take effect
      • such as a Power requiring a Persuasion skill roll
The single greatest restriction on this Magic System is that all Spells must cost Endurance to activate. This serves to restrict the frequency of Magic Use over a short term period, such as combat scenes. It also prevents or discourages certain Power Constructs from being used by Troubadours due to mechanical conflicts or inefficiency.
A Troubadour explicitly may not have Endurance Reserves for their Instrument Powers. This is intended as a check against the extremely low cost of their Powers.
Troubadour do not have a concept of "Specializing" in a formal sense, but a Troubadour that focuses on mastering one Instrument could be said to be a "Specialist" in a literal sense.
Practitioners of Troubadourus can only use their abilities while wearing no, cloth, or leather Armor. However, they suffer no penalties at all to their Instrument Powers if wearing one of the listed types of armor (other than non-proficiency penalties if applicable).
Creating New Magic Items
Troubadour are not able to create magic items.