Please be aware that these rules are not yet fully enforced in the generator. We will be updating the generator in the near future to follow the rules.
Rules are established to maintain the style, significance, and recognizability of Devices. Our rules may be more restrictive in some cases in order to be able to enforce them in the generator and hopefully in the game.
Metal should not be put on metal, nor color on color, nor base on base.
A tincture is a common term for a metal, color, base, fur, or pattern. Furs, patterns, and propers do not fall under the first rule. Field divisions are placed next to each other, and thus also do not fall under this rule, which is intended for elements placed "on top" of other elements. If an element touches two or more tinctures, the rule of tincture applies to the tincture with the largest line of contact.
Only Ordinaires may be fimbriated.
Fimbriation may be used to overcome the Rule of Tincture. Charges may not be fimbriated. Contours are not considered fimbriation and will not impact the Rule of Tincture.
Charges must be as large as possible and fill out the space intended for them. Patterns and Furs must repeat between 1 and 12 times horizontally across the device.
Counter-changing is a field division between two tinctures. Charges placed opposed on either field are of the opposite tincture, but must be the same charge. Charges that lay on the line of division will be counter-changed along the line. Counter-changing is only possible in Divisions divisible by 2 (bifurcated, quarted, gyronny of 8, 10, 12, etc.).
Charges comprised mainly of Metals or Colors will have Sable Contours, while those comprised of Bases will have Argent Contours.
In principle charges should be two-dimensional. At minimum they must be recognizable when presented as flat surfaces without shading or boundaries of any kind. All charges will be based on traditional heraldic style.
A device must be unique in its appearance, as it is used to visually identify its owner.
A device will be considered unique if it has at least 2 visual differences. (These are calculated programatically, this feature will be added to the generator in the near future, it is already only and working behind the scenes.)
The entire device must be structured such that it can be truthfully recreated using its blazon.
A blazon is a specifically written description of the device. Any description of charges should not include the use of proper nouns. (This rule is especially important for the generator.)
Devices may contain sub-devices (Inescutcheons). These are not considered Charges, but Devices unto themselves.
The use of two tinctures, of which one is a metal, is preferred. Use of a third tincture is acceptable, but only with good reason. Use of a fourth tincture is considered poor heraldry.
Letters, numbers, or text do not belong on a heraldic emblem.
It is not important that figures are represented naturally accurate, rather importance is placed on presenting their characteristics.
Example are the ferocity of the lion, majesty of the eagle, grace of the deer.
A heraldic device must be easy to remember. It should not be crowded with symbols, only the absolutely essential. The ideal to strive for is a single charge.
It is forbidden to be repetitive in heraldry: a single idea should not be represented in two or more charges. If a single charge can embody multiple concepts, no additional charges should be used. This strengthens the symbolism of the charge, and therefore the entire device.
Furs are specific patterns that have been established using specific tinctures.
The repeated element of a fur or pattern may consist of one, and in rare exceptions, two tinctures.
Patterns are derived from furs, using the same shape, but tinctures of any choice.
The derivation is noted in the "like" naming, ending with a "y". For example, an Or and Argent pattern based on Vair would be called "Vairy, Or and Argent".
Exceptions to the rules are permitted in rare and exceptional occasions. Each exception should lead to inquiry as why that specific exception was permitted, and in such carries more weight and symbolism in the exception itself. Exceptions granted solely to skirt the rules are not permitted.
"Exceptional" devices are referred to as "armes à enquèrir" (arms of enquiry). A perfect example are the arms of Godfrey fo Bouillon: 5 gold crosses on a silver field. This violation of the rule of tincture indicated the exceptional holy and special status of this particular coat of arms.