Ars magica 5 game - Hiddenhall

This is a post to see if anyone would be interested in playing a game set in Hiddenhall, a covenant situated inside a magical region in the centre of a city. The background is that in the city of Edinburgh, it has been noticed that there is a strange effect. Some of the buildings in the city and some parts of some buildings are out of shift with the rest of the city. Recent investigations have determined that this comprises a magical regio with a magic aura. The connections between the parts of Hiddenhall shift and change, being drawn towards those with the Gift. Those who can read the paths can move about Edinburgh from place to place.
The order has decided to establish a covenant in Hiddenhall to investigate this effect.

Comments? Interested? I envision maybe 5 to 6 players with options to join in/move out later.

Campaign Title: Hiddenhall
System: Ars Magica 5th edition

of Players: 4 - 6 players

Deadline: 30th September 2013
Starting Level: Starting characters will be up to 10 years after gauntlet for magi.
Advancement Rules: Standard rules with discussion for adventure experience.
Combat Rules: Combat will be quite descriptive, with everyone submitting what they want to do for a round and then I'll adjudicate on what works.
Dice-Rolling Rules: Still unsure about this. Combat dice I'll roll myself but other dice I think I can trust people to roll their own.
Posting Rate: I would expect players to post at least once per week.
Absences: Absent or slow posting players are likely to wander off into the region of Hiddenhall for a while.
Writing Expectations: I'll only look for as much creativity as a player wants to do. I can fill in descriptions, but feel free to fill in details yourself. The story-telling is a group thing, after all.
Text Formatting: I'm used to the following for rules talk: OOC: this is for rules talk
Plot- or Character-Driven: I do have an over arching plot for this campaign, the exploration of the effect that is causing Hiddenhall but other plotlines will spring up from the characters' actions. Edinburgh at this time is a living, vibrant royal city.
Character Types: Just about any characters will be acceptable.

Well, I for one would be interested.

And as for the dice, there are plenty of online dice roller around. I'll probably end up using one even if you don't require it, because half of the time it's easier than hunting for my actual dice :slight_smile:

What year are you thinking about for the setting?

Incidentally, what time zone are you in?

I have an idea that would require some in depth background dialogue with the GM.

I'd be interested. I really like the sound of your setting.

I'd be interested as well if it's PBP. Not sure totally what I'd play, as I have many ideas bouncing around, but I can work with anything really.

I'm interested, I'd probably use an online die roller. I could even start to get ideas percolating right now if I know what books to use...

I am interested.

The books I currently own are: The main rulebook, Covenants, The four Realms of Power books and Hermetic Projects. I intend to collect the Houses of Hermes books next.

I'm also interested but I'm complet new to this PbP (and sill new to ARs Magica)
Edit: Right now I would love to play a Merinita.
Edit2: Ups I would be the 7 player :cry:

To clarify some stuff, esp. for Adauli: I have two campaigns going. Hiddenhall, which will be play by post on this forum and a tabletop game that I play at the local gaming club. The discussions I put up on the Ars Magica threads are about the tabletop game and any discussions about Hiddenhall will be posted here.
Anyway, I think I can go with 7 players: Adauli, Ryu, Lamech, Monkoflords, Psitticine, Thumper and Halancar.
My time period is GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) as I live in Scotland, just over the river from Edinburgh.
The time period will be very early 13th century, because all of the fun stuff in mundane politics is happening down in England, with King John losing large amounts of territory to France and the Scottish throne being fairly smug and settled.

More to come later today.

Oh erm :blush: , thank you for this info and that I'm also allowed to join.
I will then put a char together this weekend and send for approving.
Btw. I'm in CEST.

Designing the covenant - here's what I've worked out.
Hooks - Major: Urban. Minor: Regio with Unexpected Entries, Hangout (Smiling Captain), Road.
Boons - Major: Dedicated Covenant. Minor: Secondary Income, Felicitous Tribunal, Hidden Ways.

The main income source for the covenant is the operation of a few trading vessels from the nearby port of Leith. These ships mostly trade around the North Sea and English Channel. The secondary income is from the Smiling Captain, an inn run by one Fergus MacVey of House Jerbiton. This inn is situated on the south side of the old town, near the meadows common ground. It is also one of the stable entries to the Regio. Fergus will be a member of the covenant but spends a lot of his time running the inn.

I have some background questions with regard to the setting. I want to get a handle on the history of the effect that was discovered and the founding of the government.

" has been noticed that there is a strange effect."
"...Recent investigations have determined"

How was this discovered? How long ago were these invsetigations? Were these investigations organized or happensance?

"Those who can read the paths."

Has this been quantified somehwere? By who? How far and wide has the information on how to read paths been spread?

"The order has decided to establish a covenant in Hiddenhall to investigate this effect."

Who in the order? I presume the tribunal, but who in the tribunal? Who determined that this was important enough to spend resources on? Who went along with that and was it totally for 'altruistic' research or are other reasons for foundingn the covenant at play? Are the PC's initended to be the founding members? Was the membership determined at tribunal or later? If later, what was that process?

I know that's a lot of questions, but if we're going to take 'dedicated covenant' I just want to know some background on why we're dedicated and how it came to be. Also it'd be useful to know if the tribunal and the charter dedicating us to this task lays out any expectations or specific responsibilities other than 'be a covenant and hang out in this strange place and see if anything happens'.

Also, it'd be useful to know which answers to these questions are things you need to keep 'firm' for purposes of the plot development that you intend and which of these answers are 'soft' and might be modified by player's in developing their backround ideas for their PCs and/or allowances for players having a say in covenant and setting development in general.

As a side note, I didn't say I was in but I am interested. Now I think I'm in, but fair warning - my first PBM game.

Is there any thought to employing something like ObsidianPortal or GoogleDocs or such as a resources? I'd be happy to help develop spreadsheets (I'm something of a guru).

Ugh... for long posts I tend to do it all in notepad and the copy past into the forum web page. The hazard in doing that is all the spelling errors don't get checked unless I remember to do it before hitting 'submit'. As they say, speed kills.

@Tumber if we get a dedicated Subforum like the other PbP Campaigns then I think its bether to keep everything focused in this subforum to have only one place to look at.
Sure this means such things like Resourcemanagemant need someone dedidcated to edit the first post but I think thats a bether way then to have to look also on different google documents where some people like me have difficults to even look at them.

Btw I send my first char draft around 30 Min ago to Zaubersberg via PM.
If I get the OK he will come together with his wive a nice to have NPC, but I doubt he was rised in this covenant as it means there would be 2 very specific NPC Mages also in our covenant and so he recently changed to this covenant.

About the dedicated Covenant I'm also a bit wondering what exactly it is why this covenant get vis from other covenants as it means there is something that the other covenants think is very important for them self.

Edit: Oh I'm no native speaker of english and I also dont have a correction programm so excuse my mistakes.

The effect was noticed by Fergus of Jerbiton as he made his way about the city. He has been poking around for the last five years and about two years ago he brought the whole thing to the Tribunal as he specialises in mundanes rather than regios. Over the past few years, some of the Vim specialists from other covenants have been looking around but without much interest as they have projects of their own. Nonetheless, this is the first time that a shifting regio like this has been found inside a city. In discussion at Tribunal it has been decided that the best way to study it is to have a bunch of magi in situ. A covenant seems to be the sensible way to do this.

The paths through the regio shift from time to time. All of the magi who have been there, however, have discovered that they can take advantage of these shifts to move about Edinburgh and its environs much quicker than the ungifted. Fergus says he has used these sewers, alleyways and corridors to evade pursuers a few times in the past. It seems to be an effect of the Gift that allows the Gifted to sense the paths and where they go. As far as is known, only the Loch Leglean Tribunal knows about this.

It was the Loch Leglean Tribunal that made the decision to investigate more thoroughly. I have still to decide on all of the covenants in Loch Leglean but I do know that Campsie (in the fells north of Glasgow) and Melrose (in the borders) were those to initially support the idea of a covenant. Some of the magi think that "Research for research's sake" is enough but the point has been made that if this effect can be harnessed then the possibilities for transport are immense. The Floodgarry covenant (based on Skye) were against "meddling in something that close to mundane power" however, Floodgarry are far away from mundane society anyway and they were outvoted after two days of discussion. Fergus of Jerbiton made the point that it seemed that something was already meddling with the mundanes in Edinburgh and needed to be either made or proved safe.
The PCs are intended to be the founding members, along with Fergus, who has been heard to mutter "rod for my own back, dragged back into politics, should have kept my mouth shut." The membership would have been decided at Tribunal with the PCs either stepping forward or being nominated by Parens or whoever, the mechanics of your joining I leave up to you.

You are expected to "be a covenant and see if anything happens" but the charter also engenders you to "investigate the workings of this regio and determine its strength and depth." Even though not much is known about the function of Magical Regios the PC magi are still meant to report their findings every two years or so to the other covenants in Loch Leglean.

Everything is soft as far as I'm concerned. I believe in interactive storytelling in these games and often PC backgrounds lead to excellent stories in future. By the way, keep asking me this kind of stuff as it keeps my mind fresh and makes me think of stuff I haven't yet.

Zaubersberg do you mind if I partial flesh out the covenant where my char is comming from and designing the wive of my character as grog level char?
(this resources will also help me for the IRC game I playing)

Feel free. Anything I've a problem with we can discuss.

And here I was thinking that a trading business would be the perfect resource for an urban covenant, and thinking of creating a Jerbiton magus to do it... looks like this is taken care of already :slight_smile: (Don't worry, I have some back-up ideas).

Have you decided the exact date (well, year) the saga starts ? I know you said very early 13th century, but I'd like to tie up my character's backstory to historical events in Europe, and if they haven't happened that won't work. No hurry, just checking...