2.0 Covenant Design Thread

The covenant is very bare bones. It was created by 4 magi who schism'ed from the cult of personality led by Rafus when it was discovered that he advocated direct interference against the Reconquistas, and was sleeping with several of his followers. It was devoted to the preservation of Moorish culture, and pacifistic resistance to Christian insurgency. Most of its fighting force was lost at Las Navas de Tolosa.

The only surviving founder is Jamie Lannister, Flambeau. Jamie's twin sister, Cesei, was another founder, and is presumed dead.

The covenant probably has the Gender Imbalance hook.

The only other detail I've determined is that one of the vis sources is an overgrowth of gossiping grapevines, which can be harvested for Mentem. The grapevines are practically everywhere in the covenant, can listen, talk and feel. They were created by the (as yet unnamed) third founder, who specialized in Herbam and Mentem.

What else?

Does the Covenant have a Bad Reputation of any type?

I like the Healthy Feature (page 08) minor site boon.
Taken 3x this gives a +03 bonus to aging rolls.
It would encourage covenfolk to live here , if they tend to live longer.
How this works , or what it is , i'm open to suggestion.
You have to be resident for a year for the bonus to apply.

A mineral spring , local variety of fish or herb.

Just a suggestion , if people want other things , then fine with me.

Maybe an aura increase , if it is less than 05.

If there has been Infernal influence previously ,
then the Corrupt Area and/or Evil Custom Hooks (page 10)
may apply.

Serf's parma, given the covenant, we could have a mixed population, including arabs and/or jews, which can give rise to stories both within (peaceful coexistence?) and without (that much is obvious)

On the matter of individuals with the Gentle Gift , will they be offered any extra inducement to join?
One in Ten Gifted individuals have the Gentle Gift (cant find the source , atm).
I'm asking , on the assumption that Prevailing Loyalty , page 36 of Covenants is being used.
For our group , Base Loyalty would be -20 , with two having the Gentle Gift.
Obviously this wont apply when npc magi are factored in.

No. Even before considering RP reasons, mechanical aspects of the game provide the advantages described and no other advantages. However, you are correct in assuming that a by-the-book interpretation of the virtue has non-obvious advantages, and it sounds like you might think of some interesting ones if you keep up with this line of thinking.

In-game, the invitation to join the covenant was an open invite, not targeted at any specific individual, and the travel times involved mean that there's no time for a bidding war on perspective members. Offering full membership and equal voting rights is a pretty powerful incentive already.

However, you do raise an interesting point, in that with several covenants actively competing for new recruits, there has to be a reason the magi choose this one over another.

How many point do you envisage spending? I'm assuming between 1,000 and 1,250.

I know very little about Spain, its peoples, history, or geography, languages, myths & legends. It will take me some time to get it all into my head, so that I can make sensible suggestions about where we might site the covenant, and therefore the type of terrain, flora and fauna surrounding it. Since I use all of that information when I'm designing a covenant's vis sources, income, hooks and boons, please excuse me if I cannot keep pace with the rest of you.


I've been thinking (a dangerous pastime, I know, but one to which I am hopelessly addicted) about where to put the covenant.

May I humbly suggest somewhere in the south-central portion of the Iberian peninsula? In particular, somewhere that had been Al-Andalus until relatively recently (within the past 50 years game-time).

I stumbled across this little not-quite-animated map that shows the boundary between Islamic and Christian lands, and I think there is much rp potential in having the covenant sitting on land that had been Islamic but is now Christian. Possibly in the general vicinity of Peñarroya, Burgalimar, Alarcon, Calatrava, Cuenca, or Teruel.

I was thinking about either that or having the player contributions push it up to 1750. No decision yet.

What kind of game do you want to play?

~blink~Sounds like we should be trying to keep up with you!

Given the saga, this sounds like the best choice. I second your idea :smiley:


I'd say, given the large number of followers you give us and the state of the covenant, there should be little covenfolks there, and mostly non-combattants who couldn't find a better life elsewhere. That way, covenfolks will be more real and personnalized to us (since we'll have reated our followers), we may have interesting (story wise) lack of specialists, and we'll have a more medieval military force, numbers-wise.

For build points, IMO, we should have the covenant fleshed out (Ok for your points), and then, each player comes with his own 150 points of calf-and-cow tractati (as, as I understand it, these are for our own usage only).
Our covenant should have weaknesses and strengths, like a lot of vis but little books, or few mundane defenses but a lot of magical ones... That makes it stand out as well as giving us room for improvement. I'd prefer his weak points to come from age, battle and neglect (like "Our library was burned when we were attacked", which helps give the sense that we're revitalizing a once-great covenant.

Okay, I decided to thumb through my copy of Covenants, with an eye for things that I would like to see included in (or maybe excluded from) Casa Nueva. This isn't an all-inclusive list of everything I think the covenant should have (with page references to Covenants)...this is simply things that caught my eye, and my reasoning behind putting it on the list. Also, throwing this out without regard to cost or balance...this is a wish list/discussion fodder, after all.

Aura (p. 8 ): Covenant aura should be 5 overall, I believe – or at least a 4. Casa Nueva has been around for a few years (I'm thinking either Spring or early Summer before it got pimp-slapped back into near-nothingness), and I would like to think that they built a covenant on a decent aura. Besides, I want a high aura for our research :smiley: .

Autocephalous (p. 20) or Ungoverned (p. 21): In all the commotion with the Reconquista and all the land changing hands, the land where the covenant sits kind of fell through the cracks, and it's either unclaimed or no one knows whose land it sits on.

Castle with Ringwork (p. 12): Since we're in a de facto war zone, we should have some decent mundane defences. I would also like to see Bedrock (p. 14) and Important Buildings (p. 15) and/or Edifices (p. 14) as well.

Contested Resource(p. 16): Having contested Vis Sources makes for some good stories.

Corrupt Area (p. 10): I had originally misread the first paragraph from Amul, and thought that Casa Nueva (and yes, I will keep using this name until we come up with something official, merely because I like it and I like having at least a placeholder name...makes life easier for me) was founded by Rafus. With that misconception in mind, I was thinking that part of the covenant would have a Tarnished or Debauched Infernal Aura, tainted by Lust Realms of Power: The Infernal, p. 13), due to the activities of Rafus. But if this covenant was schismed off and founded in another location, that probably wouldn't apply. However, if this covenant was built on where Rafus had his cult of personality, then maybe it would. Just an idea.

Diabolic Corruption (p. 19): Too obvious?

Divided Loyalty (p. 19): Christian vs. Muslim vs. Jew. Not outright warfare or hostility (hopefully), but very cliquish.

Gender Imbalance (p. 19): Substantially more women then men. Especially if something had happened to Rafus and all the women who were part of his cult found themselves at loose ends (no pun intended) and decided to make their way to his former sodales in seek of...solace? A new life?

Haunted (p. 10) : Because if we're in an area where there has been active warfare for the past however many decades, there's bound to be ghosts of slain soldiers, at the very least, around these parts. And besides, Cygna needs guinea pigs :stuck_out_tongue:

Illusory Resources (p.17): Some of the resources we're supposed to have were actually negotiated by magi who were lost at the Battle of Las Navas de Telosa. Since those magi are no longer around, the other side no longer feels bound to honor the agreement. It might be a Story to try to either enforce the agreement or negotiate a new one.

Itinerants (p. 22): This fits in well with Serrano's backstory.

Refugee (p. 20): One of the covenfolk is a noble who was displaced by the Reconquista. Probably Muslim, possibly Jew...or maybe Christian in one of the lands that the Muslims retook during the war.

Regional Produce (p. 17): Since we already have the gossiping grapevines, it stands to reason that we would have a pretty decent vineyard as well, with some outstanding Spanish wine (guaranteed to loosen the tongue).

Superiors (p. 19): Would that apply with regards to Jamie Lannister? Or, at the very least, does he think it does?

Won't we keep Phoenix? :-/
Not that I have anything against Casa Nueva, mind you. But this sounds more like the name we'd give to our covenant than the previous covenant's name.

  1. I do think so, yes. And I'd like our covenant to have been good guys. Not that demons can't take an interest in it, try to foster internal rivalities, use us or destroy us :wink:

  2. Yes!!!

Otherwise, the others I find either good or fine :smiley: So count me in.
I'm just unsure about Superiors, I'd like the whole "revitalize dying covenant, be your own masters angle" although, as you note, Jamie might think he is.

In the hope of getting this off the ground anytime soon
(yes , i know that most people have work and other time-consuming mundanities) :slight_smile:

Could the ST allow each player to choose 01 Major Boon and 01 Minor Boon for the Covenant?
ST chooses any/all other Boons and Hooks , some of which may be Unknown.

See what we end up with and go from there , voting Troupe-style to resolve any conflicts.

Heidegger speaks of the "geworfenheit" (thrown-ness) into our world. Living with a given world makes the world more interesting (not easier, but more interesting).

Phoenix Covenant is an acceptable name for the new game's covenant. After all, it was built upon the flaming wreckage of the founder's faith and love in Rafus's ideals and person.

The first option does seem to fit the storyline well.

Corrupt Area -- The covenant was schismed off and founded in another location.

I like the 1st and have already suggested the second. All the able-bodied warriors were taken to the Great Battle. Only women, children and old men are left in the covenant.

The ones I don't comment on, I'm ambivalent about -- they strike me as choices the players should make to modify the world or not.

Superiors would not count, since the offer is specifically granting equal status in the covenant in exchange for your vote.

Regional Produce is a great idea. I hadn't thought of that.

I'm on my way out of town, and won't have my books on me for the next three weeks. If we want to speed through this process, then players will need to suggest Boons AND Hooks. But sure, I think having everybody throw stuff in and make suggestions is a good idea.

I know you posted this 05 days ago , but the momentum on this saga seems to have died off.
Do you think it would be a good idea if we started from scratch , when you return?

What do other people want to do?
I like the idea of having a Covenant where players get some choice on features.

I don't know.
I, for sure, think that having each player suggest boons and hooks like you did.

I wanted to do the same, but was swept up by work and personnal life.

I'll try to post some later. For now, I've got a grog to post

I've selected a few boons and Hooks, and selected 2. The rest are below, in case people are interested.

So, I guess I'd select...
Boon: Inhuman residents. This could be ghosts from the fallen warriors, or Living Trees? Maybe a host of friendly magical spirits?

Hook: Gender Imbalance. All those men who died in the war.

Conscious Space (Major): The covenant lies in a symbolically embodied place. It is incarnate in a self-aware, friendly figure.
This could be our figurative tame noble, as well as an interesting figure to deal with. Or something yet more obscure, such as a mystical tree.

Inhuman Residents (Minor)
The majority of the residents of the covenant are inhuman.
Ghosts from the war maybe?

Natural Fortress (Major)
This covenant is all but unassailable because of peculiar geography that limits attackers to a single line of advance.

Regio (Minor or Major)
The covenant is located in a magical regio that can be entered in many ways. The covenant may take measures to limit entry into the regio, but these are never perfect.

Strong Community (Minor)
The covenfolk look out for each other to a degree that is exceptional, even compared to the strong communal focus of medieval mundane life.
This goes against Divided Loyalty, but is also very appropriate.


Ancestral Error (Minor)
One of the magi who founded the covenant made a grave error that harmed many people, or willingly performed a deeply sinful act.

Beholden (Major)
To whoever send us here with so many ressources?

Crumbling (Minor)
The castle is in bad shape

Demonic Interest (Major)
This area has come to the particular attention of a powerful demon. It does not focus its attention entirely on the covenant, but it would like to claim the souls of the magi, and their servants, for Hell.
To come back to the backstory and Ravenscroft ideas, this'd be better suited IMO

Divided Loyalty (Major)
The covenant is divided into factions, and the Prevailing Loyalty is calculated separately for each faction
Christians, Muslims, Jews... I know ravenscroft already suggested it, but it seems like a good idea, and making them all coexist in peace might be great.

Faerie Court (Minor)
There is a faerie court somewhere near the covenant.
Given the new Faeries, this could be an endless sources of them, and thus, stories, without the characters realizing their common origin. Need a giant ogre? Check. A faerie hunt? Check. A holy (appears so) man cursing sinners? Check.

Gender Imbalance (Minor)
The covenant has a deeply unbalanced gender division
Bears repeating IMO, a great flaw for this covenant.

Poverty (Minor)
The covenant has only one Lesser source of income, with little or no surplus.

Uncontrolled Portal (Minor)
There's a mystical portal, except that it is not under the covenant’s control. Like faerie court, endless source of stories

War Zone (Major)
The covenant lies between two powerful noble holdings that are at war. Each side requires the magi to join it.

Huh. Guess that post didn't go through. I had assigned some Covenant Creation homework for y'all while I was in Texas.

Each (currently active) player gets 300 build points to spend on the Covenant, plus the 150 points of "personal gear and minions" that their brings to the covenant.

I'd like to see a unified proposal for the Boons and Hooks by Friday. Fight it out amongst yourselves any way you want. Don't forget to include the Gender Imbalance (no adult men capable of fighting).

The talking grapevine might count as part of the inhuman residents, indicating that the covenfolk think of them as "people" and not "irritating talking plants."

Do we have a location (or at least a rough placement) for the covenant yet? Or is that something for us to hash out, as well? I know that I would take a different approach to building a covenant on, say, a mountaintop as opposed to the shores of a decent-sized lake.

I like both placements , either mountaintop or lake.
But having the Covenant on an island in a river , near a sea port , gives a few more story options ,
than say being in Masada.
(or the local equivalent)