Posted by higgins

It’s not a secret that most RPGs will be house ruled, but that fact is rarely addressed in the actual system design. Song of Steel fully embraces player tinkering and provides tools for communicating those modifications through “levers”.

A “lever” is basically a house rule with two important aspects:

a) it is written down
b) it is named appropriately

Some examples:

Vanilla: Standard rules; no levers or modifications whatsoever.

Baby Steps: Advanced melee maneuvers are not available. Great for beginner groups.
Brittle Weapons: Occasionally, your bronze swords will bend and stone axes will shatter; {additional rules for this}
Down to Earth: Only the most relevant Story Aspect fires for the bonus dice. This downgrades the SA impact on all dice pools.
Pack Mules: Ignore all bulk rules, except the armour penalty to Combat Pool.
Talhoffer Graduates: Half-swording and queue grip transitions have no Combat Pool activation costs.
Valhalla: Your Karma points are doubled if your character is killed in combat. The amputations have their normal one-and-a-half times effect.
Vietnam: Bleeding is very, very bad; {alternate BL rules}
Walking Pace: Only the most relevant Story Aspect grows after firing. Players gain Story Aspect points at a slower rate, but the rewards for engaging multi-faceted conflicts are also lessened.

The purpose of these levers is to allow players easily communicate their personal game setups when asking advice on the forums. For example:

“Hi, I’m running vanilla SoS, and I have this problem…”
“We started off our new group with Baby Steps and Down to Earth levers turned on, and it worked out great!”

Our current list of levers isn’t too long, but then again, we believe our game is solid as it is. This list surely grows as the development goes on and will probably explode as the game itself is released.

At the game’s release, we will paste all our mods into “The Big Book of Levers” sticky thread, that will be updated as fans create new levers of their own. We’ll also include links to the relevant development threads or websites, so, that any new player can get a comprehensive overview of the levers used in Song of Steel.