A grog Redcap?

One of our players decided to design a grog Redcap - taking advantage of the minor social virtue "Lone Redcap" from HoH:TL, that essentially gives you Redcap status MINUS magic items, PLUS a bad reputation as someone who skirts the authority of the house and does not follow orders. The rest of our troupe is wondering whether this is possible at all, since

  1. We all seem to recall that Redcaps are supposed to be companion characters, though we can't find any explicit reference to it.

  2. We always had a vague feeling that grogs are supposed to live at the covenant, though again we can't find any explicit reference to it.

Any ideas other that "if you feel like it do it"? We are particularly interested in the RAW in this case.

The Redcap is considered a Mage so he could be given membership in the Covenant. Given membership he could just be based out of your covenant so he would be traveling a lot. I think it is doable but it is a waste of a very useful character.

I think making it as a grog means the character will just not have as much weight on the stories as if it was a companion. Stories will not generate around it and it will not be allowed to take initiative much.

On the whole, I agree its a waste of a very useful character..

I actually like the idea of making redcaps grogs. There's no need to make every messenger a companion character, central to the story. A messenger can serve a minor role, and is well-suited for the grog capacity. I do agree that if he's intended to serve an active role in many stories, a few more virtues and flaws might come in handy; but even in that case, it's not essential. If the player wants to have such a character as his grog, I'd allow it.

The real big benefit the grog has is that he's protected by the Code. (He can't vote, not really - but he's still protected from scrying, death, and other minor inconveniences). That's a major advantage right there, but I'll let it slide.

According to the RuleBook, Redcaps have to be created as Magus or Companions, not Grogs.

See ArsMag5, p. 30 (Hermetic Houses Summary) :

  • Nicolas -

Alright, so RAW say that it couldn't be done. I personally disagree, and think that this could be house-ruled. IMO

Well, I think the remark was meant to make clear (unlike previous editions) that an unGifted Redcap is not meant to take a magus slot, even though he is a member of the Order. And of course, Grogs may not take Major Virtues, so they can't be "plain" Redcaps.

On the other hand, "Lone Redcap" from HoH:TL is a Minor Virtue, and thus it could theoretically be taken by a Grog (nothing in its description really says it can't). The text in the main rulebook then clearly appears superceded by that in HoH:TL - you certainly do not need the Redcap Major Virtue to be a Redcap, opening the possibility that you do not need to be a Companion either.

I know you said that you were particularly interestined in the RAW, but I think that is kind of a waste. The rules are about story. Grogs and Companions have different virtue allowances because of different roles in the story. A simple guard can be a companion if he plays a major role in the the stories you generate. Its just unlikely that he would in most sagas; thus they tend to be 'grog' characters. Similiarly, a redcap is expected to be an important character even if a someone discredited one. Thus, he is expected to be a companion character.

What needs to be determined here is not "what do the rules say", but rather "what is this character's function in the saga?". If he is a bit player, generally acting in a subordinate role, and rarely if ever the center of a story then it is best to make him as a 'grog'. If, on the other hand, his role is expected to be more substantial....he'll be acting independently a lot, being a major focus in some adventures, and generally doing important stuff than he should be a companion.

That is the important distinction between the two types of characters, not their virtue and flaw totals