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Skip Navigation LinksHigh Fantasy HERO>Content>Magic>Magic Systems>Metier>System
Metier System


Metier System Metierans Metier Styles
Metieran Package Deals    
GM Notes on Metier
Metier (meh'tyay) means "forte", or specialty, and this sums up this Magic System succinctly. Rather than a unilateral and monolithic method of practicing Magic, Metier is more of a meta-system encompassing an ever-expandable collection of specialties, called "Styles", that are all roughly comparable at their root but with branching and subtle variations.
Practitioners of Metier are usually referred to by their Style, such as a Grendmeran (gren-day-MERE-an) or a Selembrin (seh-lem-BRAY-yen), but collectively can be referred to as Metierans (meh'tyer-ans) plural and a Metieran (meh'tyer-an) singular.
Casting Model
Metier uses the "Suite Casting" Model, which is a straight forward implementation of the standard HERO System Multipower Rules, save the restriction that each distinct Style of Metier requires a separate Multipower Pool. This effectively makes it relatively inexpensive to develop one Style of Metier, but quite costly to develop a broad mastery of Magic.
Metier does not formally classify their Spells into Levels or Schools, or similar categorizations. They call their Magical effects "MATRIXES", which corresponds directly to any Power taken as a slot in a Metieran Style Multipower. This is covered in more detail below under Matrixes vs. Spells.
Defining Metier Styles
The basic principle of Metier is a process of defining specific mandatory and restricted Power Modifiers that all Matrixes of that Style must comply with. Via this method it is possible to define many different Styles with slightly or significantly diverse mandatory and restricted Power Modifiers and thus creating new Styles is very easy.
To create a new Style a GM (or Player if the GM allows) simply defines the specific Power Modifiers involved with the Style and a flavorful "Signature" of what the Matrixes of that Style appear like to appropriate Detects, and of course a setting relevant background for the Style.
Detailed guidelines on how to define a Style are given below, and several sample Styles are presented in the Metier Styles document (and referenced throughout this document in examples).
Each Metier Multipower must take Requires a Metier Style Skill Roll on the Reserve and all slots in the Multipower. Thus a Selembri Multipower must take RSR: Selembri on the Reserve, and each slot must also take RSR: Selembri.
It is assumed that RSR will be taken at the standard (-1/10 AP) level for a -1/2 Limitation, but an individual Metieran could improve or worsen it at their discretion using the normal options for doing so described in the RSR Limitation.
The Style Power Skill also serves as a Knowledge Skill for that Style only, and a Profession Skill for a practitioner of that Style. Thus a Dosaon (doe-SAY-owen) could use their Power Skill (Dosao) both as a KS: Dosao and a PS: Dosaon if the occasion arose.
In addition to the mandatory Style Skills, a character could also take KS: Metieran Styles and/or Analyze: Metieran Styles. The Knowledge Skill provides general knowledge about Metier as a system, individual Styles, and possibly notable practitioners current and historical of various Styles. Analyze Metieran Styles could provide combat bonuses in a duel between two practitioners of Metier.
Mechanically, individual Styles simply define what Modifiers are Mandatory and Restricted for all Matrixes in that Style.
  • Mandatory Modifiers
    • At least -1/4 in specific Limitations on all Matrixes
    • At least +1/4 in specific Advantages on all Matrixes
      • The Limitation and Advantage total must be equal
    • If a selected Modifier only applies to specific types of Powers then only Powers that may use that Modifier are permitted for the Style
  • Restricted Modifiers
    • A total of +/-1 in Modifiers that may not be taken, sympathetically split as desired between Advantages and/or Limitations.
      • This could be -1/2 in Limitations and +1/2 in Advantages, +1 in Advantages, or -1 in Limitations, or any combination in between.
  • Each Style must Require a Skill Roll: Style Skill, and a character must have the associated Power Skill.
Each Style has certain Advantages and Limitations that must be taken on every Matrix belonging to that Style, and the total Modifier amount must balance to 0; in other words if a Style required the +1/2 Advantage Reduced END (0 END) then it must also require exactly -1/2 in Limitations. If the Style has +X worth of Mandatory Advantages, then it must also have -X worth of Mandatory Limitations, where X is the same value.
EXAMPLE: A Style that must take IPE: Sight & Hearing, Hide Effects of Power (+1) would need to take a total of -1 in mandatory Limitations, perhaps Increased END x2 and Full Phase (-1).
Each Style must declare a minimum of one +1/4 Advantage and one -1/4 Limitation that all Matrixes of that Style must take. However, this can be scaled upwards so long as the Mandatory Advantage total and the Mandatory Limitation total match. Thus a Style that required +3 in specific Advantages would also have to require -3 in specific Limitations.
If Power Modifiers that only apply to specific types of Powers are named as Required Modifiers then only Powers that may use that sort of Modifier are permitted for that Style.
Thus if a Style names Hardened as a Mandatory Advantage, then the Style can only use Defensive Powers that Hardened can be applied to.. If Combat Acceleration were named as a Mandatory Advantage then the Style could only use Movement Powers that Combat Acceleration can be applied to, and so on.
All of the Mandatory Modifiers are also applied to the Style Multipower Pool. Combined with RSR: Style Skill, these are the only Modifiers that may be applied to a Style Multipower Pool.
Each Style also defines a total of +/-1 in Modifiers that may not be taken, sympathetically split as desired between Advantages and/or Limitations.
Simply put there are only five possible variations in Modifier values for this purpose; +1 & -0, +3/4 & -1/4, +1/2 & -1/2, +1/4 & -3/4, +0 & -1.
Thus a Style that can never use either Armor Piercing or Autofire, a total of +1 in Advantages, would not need any Restricted Limitations since the total of Modifiers is reached (however note that such a Style would be limited to only Attack Matrixes that AP or Autofire can be applied to; see below).
Similarly a Style that could not use Extra Time, Incantations, Gestures, or Concentration, a total of -1 in Limitations, would not need any Restricted Advantages.
For Modifiers that have differing values based upon various options, then use the base or starting value. So for example if a Style cannot use Activation use the minimum value for Activation (-1/4 for 15-); if a Style can't use Autofire use the minimum version of +1/2, and so on.
If the Style requires a specific Advantage as part of it's Mandatory Modifiers, then a Limitation that is already disallowed by that Advantage may not be listed for this purpose. Thus if a Style required Reduced Endurance (0 END) as a Mandatory Modifier then Increased END would not be allowed as a Restricted Modifier as it is mutually exclusive with 0 END.
If Modifiers that only apply to specific types of Powers are named as Restricted Modifiers then only Powers that may use that sort of Modifier are permitted for that Style. Thus if Armor Piercing were named as a Restricted Modifier, then the Style can only have Matrixes that Armor Piercing can legally be applied to.
Additionally, each Style has a signature which is detectable and recognizable as part of it's SFX; thus once the mechanical aspects of the Style are defined, the signature of the Style should also be defined.
 A simple descriptive paragraph is sufficient, describing what the Style is known for and what it "feels" like to appropriate detects.
Signature: This Style is renowned for its [descriptor]; Matrixes of this Style are [descriptor], and feel ["descriptor", "descriptor", or "descriptor"] to those with Mystic Senses.
Matrixes vs. Spells
Metier does not classify "Spells" as strenuously as some Magic Systems. Instead slots in a Metier Style MPP are considered to be "Matrixes". No special significance is tied to the Active Points or Real Cost of an Effect, and Matrixes are not classed into "Spell Levels" or any such concept. An individual Metieran's Matrixes can have Active Points of up to their Style MPP's Reserve, or less as desired.
Matrixes are required to be Ultra Slots however. Thus it is common for certain background Matrixes to have less AP than the MPP Reserve so that several Matrixes can be used simultaneously.
The following design restrictions apply to Metieran Matrixes.
  • Only Arcane Magic
  • All Matrix Slots must be Ultra Slots
  • No Matrix may be on Charges
  • All Matrixes must Require a Skill Roll to be cast
  • All Matrixes must comply with their Style's Modifiers
This is a largely meaningless restriction for this Magic System (and isn't worth any Limitation value). It basically just controls the SFX of Metier; it detects as Arcane Magic in settings where that is a relevant distinction.
Matrixes must be Ultra Slots. Variable Slots are not allowed.
Metier is incompatible with Charges.
As explained previously, both the Multipower Reserves and all slots in the Reserves must take the RSR: Style Skill. Limitation
Each Matrix must comply with the Mandatory and Restricted Modifiers that apply to their Style, as explained previously.
Metier uses Power Skills for each Style Skill, and is not compatible with Spellcraft. In order to use a particular Style of Metier, a character needs both a Multipower Pool for that Style as explained above, and the appropriate Style Power Skill.
Matrixes have very broad Special Effects. In addition to any specific SFX that a particular Matrixes might have such Electricity for a Lightning Bolt effect or Fire for Flamebolt effect, all Metieran Matrixes also automatically have the additional SFX of Magic, plus Arcane, the Style of Metier the Matrix is from. These mandatory SFX cannot be altered by any means, including Variable Special Effects.
NOTE: A Metier Matrix of the Preciat Style is always Magic, always Arcane, and always of the Metieran Preciat Style. Thus it can be interacted with by any effect that targets Magic, Arcane Magic, or Metier Magic specifically, down to the Style. A Detect Magic ability with Discriminatory can determine all of this information, or a Dispel vs Metier Magic would affect it for example.
Metier Matrixes can cost 0 END, and in fact some Styles are completely Endurance-less if Reduced END (0 END) is part of the Style's Required Advantages, but generally speaking Metier is an END based Magic System.
It is recommended that END Reserves for Metier Matrixes be allowed, and a Metieran with multiple Styles may have all of their Styles work from the same END Reserve. However, a Metier END Reserve may not be used for any other effect or Power; only Metier Matrixes may access the END from the Reserve.
Practitioners of Metier can use Armor, but suffer Spellcasting penalties for doing so as indicated by the following table. All penalties are cumulative; thus wearing Light Armor, Gauntlets, and a Shield would result in a net -3 penalty to all Style Skill rolls, while wearing Fully Enclosed Plate with Gauntlets would result in a net -6 penalty.
Magic Skill Penalties for Wearing Armor
(All penalties are cumulative)
Light -1 to Spell Skill Check
Medium -2 to Spell Skill Check
Heavy -3 to Spell Skill Check
Shield -1 to Spell Skill Check
Tower Shield -4 to Spell Skill Check
Gauntlets -1 to Spell Skill Check
Fully Enclosed -2 to Spell Skill Check
Penalty Skill Levels can be purchased at the 3 point level to offset these penalties for all Style Skill rolls..
PSL: Offset Armor Casting Penalties With All Style Skills.
Real Cost: 3 points per level
All Metieran are effectively "specialists" as they focus on one or more Styles, and few could afford to have ability in all available Styles. This has no direct significance, but it does ensure a high degree of variance between individual Metieran.
Metieran can make Scrolls, as described in the Magic Item Creation documents, and this is the most common means by which Matrixes are learned and proliferated. However they generally don't make any other form of Magic Items.
In settings where Metier is the only, or one of a very few Magic Systems, it might be appropriate to allow them the full gamut of Magic Item creation. Check with your GM for their implementation.
NOTE: For purposes of balancing Metier against other Magic Systems in the San'Dora setting they are only allowed Scroll Scribing, but individual GM's may differ on this point.