a magic animal for moderation: the Rat of Virtue

Thanks again everyone for your answers to my questions about magical animal character creation. I now present for your consideration, Phineas Gulosus Comesor (Phineas the Glutonous Gourmand, if google translate is correct on the latin):

Any suggestions regarding rules errors, powers, improvements to my house rulings, etc, would be welcome and appreciated, as this is the first magic animal I've created for my first ArM saga.

In particular, I have two questions -

  1. Does human form include clothing? I've tentatively ruled no, but am wondering if there is any RAW?

  2. Aura of rightful authority, a corpus spell, affects (potentially) any humans. Should a similar animal spell affect any animal, or just one species? If it would ordinarily affect any type of animal, and a variant was limited to one species, and this is a power, should the level of the spell be reduced, or should a minor flaw be taken for the power?

Hopefully I'll have time to look at this in detail later, but a quick observation for now -- I think you've overspent on Magical Qualities. I'm guessing he's been designed as a creature with Might 5; which after subtracting his Size results in a final Might of 13. However, you only have a net of 5 points of Magic Qualities to spend on powers, not 13. This is stated at the end of the section on Magic Animals.

As a side note, I tend to spend Magic Qualities and Inferiorities on things that make the character the type of thing that it is, in this case a Rat of Virtue. Virtues and Flaws on the other hand are for what makes this instance of the character's species different from other examples of the same species. You can think of a human as having no Magic Qualities or Inferiorities for its species, so V&F are what make it unique from other humans. Magic Qualities (and, for that matter, mundane Qualities from HoH:MC) are benefits shared by all creatures of that type.
In this case, I would expect many (if not all) Rats of Virtue to have maybe Ways of the Town, Regio Network, Essential Virtue, Anchored to the Town, Gluttonous, and Short Attention Span; IMO these should all be Magic Qualities, along with any powers. Warrior, Book Learner, etc. are characteristics of this Rat of Virtue that are not necessarily shared by others, so they are better as Virtues. There's no explicit guidance on this, other than the character guides provided throughout RoP:M.



Yes, I wrote him as a low-powered companion-level character, with might 5 + 8 (inverse of his size). And dangit, I had read that glaringly obvious line, and then forgot it later. He WAS seeming quite powerful for a low powered companion, so I suspected I was doing something wrong, but thought it was just me falling back to old power-gaming habits. I would hate to cut him down too far now that I've built him up, so I'll consider him a medium-powered companion or low-powered magus equivalent. I think I could make some of his powers more expensive and such to get down to 10pts.

Seems sensible. I had thought initially that virtues and flaws should be used for more mundane characteristics, and that magic qualities/inferiorities come from things that distinguish the magical animal or person from his mundane counterparts (I didn't stick to that), but your distinction makes more sense.

In this case, I was sort of building the character as I learned the system, and he just kind of evolved, but since the V-F's (8 of 10 possible points) and MQ-MI points are both balanced (once I fix the MQ overspending problem described above) I could easily shift things around between the two categories while keeping them balanced. I think I'll do that as I create the template. I didn't really know what "rats of virtue" would look like until I created this rat of virtue.

Thanks again everyone for the feedback on this character. I've fixed the magic might error, moved some things between virtues/flaws and magic qualities/inferiorities, and corrected the latin error that resulted from my typing "glutonous" rather than "gluttonous" into google translate (SI/SO, as old programmers say).

Now, does anyone have ideas/answers to my two initial questions?

P.S. I've since discovered that I can access the stickies from the ForumRunner app; I'll post any future characters for review in the appropriate sticky.

In regard to your first question, I would suggest that looking to the Bjornaer shapeshift rules for guidance. Specifically that when a Bjornaer shifts his/her clothes and equipment remain unaffected. By analogy, I would rule that when the rat transforms into a human he appears naked - but then who really looks at that leper or beggar in the shadows to see if they are really clothed...?