First, pardon me on my seemingly repeating of certain thread topics. There are just some saga ideas that supremely come to me again and again whenever I get enthralled with Ars Magica. Among that is the whole school of magic idea. It just calls to me and begs me to create it and to talk about it and to seek the thoughts of others. And well, when that happens I turn to this forum since we are all Ars Magica lovers.
My question this time is on a saga game based on a school of magic do you think it would be too much to have the player's main characters be students in the school, secondary characters be employees of the school (redcaps, grogs, etc) and an alternate character being one of the teachers, one of the founders. The idea is that the student apprentices are full PC material, the player has all the normal control over them, but the teacher character is only semi fully controlled by the player - the ST has some influence on behavior and skill set and stuff like that. I was just thinking about it and I thought it would be kind of cool if the players had some influence in the teachers themselves, even if it is less than it would be for when they play the students themselves.
As a second thing, I am going to post my basic idea for the saga (which will seem familiar since it unites some of my older talk together) to see if it seems to heavy handed.
The below note is before I came up with the idea that the players get to play both student and teacher, so most of the below is focused on them as teacher.
The players represent the Founder Magi of the first true school of magic in the Hermetic world, the Scholae Magicae. Teaching is only going to be a small part of matters, for there is much to be had in order to prepare the school for the official meeting of Tribunal in seven years and then the Grand Tribunal in eight. Plus there are local politics that need to be delt with that can have many ramifications for the covenant's existence. And of course there is all the potentials when it comes to the supernatural - be it Magical, Faerie, Divine, or even Infernal.
The Founder Magi went through the Gauntlet in 1214, seven years previous to the starting year of 1221. Though of different Houses and under different masters, they were all Opened to the Gift using a specialized technique discovered by an elder magi in secret. Due to this fact all the magi know each other, even if they didn't actually spend all their time together. In fact, upon Gauntlet they found themselves having more in common with each other and so began slowly organizing just as they began undertaking adventures. One of these actually brought them to the attention of Talos, the Magical guardian of Candia (or as we know it Crete), who they befriended.
As they matured they also began talking about a dream to found the first true school of magic among the Hermetic Order. They began laying the ground work for the project in late 1219, early 1220 upon the discovery of the Petraploio, or ship of stone, in the Gorge of Apollon in the depths of Candia. They even began the process of discovering potential apprentices, though they did not take them as formal apprentices at this time as that would go against Theban traditions.
In 1221 the Founder Magi went before the Theban Tribunal and presented their interest in the founding of a school of magic. This took some debate and had a bunch of discussion, but in the end they (with the support of their mentors) were able to get enough support to be given temporary permission, but with a requirement. Between now and the next Theban Tribunal in 1228 they had to prove the worth of their school in as many ways as they could. If they succeeded then the Tribunal would permanently recognize the Scholae Magicae and even support it and if they failed then they agreed to change their mission to something else or be dissolved. Certain promises would be made and concessions to certain factions given in order to ensure support.
Just as soon as they were able to get away from the meeting, after giving all the required thanks, they began planning how they would get the support. Though multiple ideas were pulled forward - including the gathering and disburtion of Vis and magical lore to the Tribunal - the biggest was the idea of using the seven years given to them to train their gathered apprentices in the lore of Hermetic Magic. What more could prove their worth than presenting at next Tribunal a number of apprentices who in seven years knew all - if not more - that those who took fifteen years to learn.
An interesting fact is that one year after the Theban Tribunal is the next Grand Tribunal, which could increase the power of the Scholae Magicae if they play their cards right.
The covenant site lies within a portion of the many massive dozen mile long highly meandering Gorge of Apollon. The actual site of the covenant is on a natural crossroads area of the Gorge that sees the meeting of five ravines. In this valley center lies an outcropping of rock some two-thirds the height of the banks that looks like a majestic stone ship. This is the Petraploio and it is the home base and center of operation for the Scholae Magicae.
Entrance to the covenant is from a small gate on the ravine floor which meanders through a path and stairwell through the interior space to where it rises upon the surface of the Petraploio. In the center of the island lies a number of tents and prefab structures in a very preliminary design, though talk of conjuring structures has already begun. On the the five wing plateaus a natural balcony can be seen, each containing a massive and ancient tree. The covenant also owns a building in the capital city of Chandax, right near the docks.
The majority of the Petraploio and the areas by the natural balconies are at least Magic aura 5, though certain portions have an aura of 6. While none have yet been found, mystically it is quite likely that one or more regios exist within the span of the covenant boundary.
The covenant contains a small number of vis sources, though even the preliminary examination has proven that there is many more to be had.
At present time the aegis of the hearth covers the Petraploio, though there is some discussion of expanding it to cover a large portion of the nearby region.
The first and most visible is the fact that this is a school of magic and there are students who need to be taught magic so that in seven years they can take their place as full members of the Hermetic Order. Besides that is the whole paving the way for how the school will look and run and be. Let us not forget there is a wider world out there - both local politics (that of Crete) and wider ones (wars history says are occurring). Then their is the Hermetic world and all its influences, the Houses, the Tribunals, the Redcaps, and magi of other groups. Side quests also involve seeking vis sources and working to make claiming them easier. Or the presence of monsters of various kinds and what does that mean for the covenant. Finally, of course, there are personal goals and projects - standard laboratory work that make a magi a mage.
Latin is the official language of the Theban Tribunal not Greek, they didn't feel it would be proper to be different from the rest of the order in that field.
I changed the date of the future Tribunals a tiny bit.
1214 - Theban Tribunal
1221 - Theban Tribunal; GAME START
1228 - Theban Tribunal
1229 - Grand Tribunal
1235 - Theban Tribunal
Randomly, one of these days I should play in an Ars Magica game so I can experience it even though I know I enjoy being the ST (and thus having creative influence/control) more than a player.