Ars magica 5 game - Hiddenhall

Looks good to start with. What do people think? I'll post Crepuscidor's stats tonight. If people want to take bigger laboratories with Personal vis sources, then that'll come out of the Build Points. I'm ruling that there isn't a big book trade covenant in Loch leglean yet so if you guys want to go with that it should work. There is a large book production covenant in Cambridge in the Stonehenge tribunal so you'll be taking some of their trade.

@Zaubersberg I'm fine with this even if I hoped we haved a bit more in books.
Could you answer to some of my questions please?
Do we start with the Labs set up alread or start with setting up the Labs? (The question is if we should do it in our story of the 10 years or then ingame)
Do we start with personal Vis/Money from the time we spend at a other covenant?
Do someone have statts for a Private or Public Teacher to learn the local language? Answeared if we take the Bard of the posting above.
As I have 1 year open right now to get the 10 years full I thinking right now about 2 saison to set up Lab + learn Language from said teacher

Nice things to delay the time you need to start with the Lonvity Ritual and so the yearly Warping you get from it. Especial the Healty Lab is something every mage can try to do (and I didn't think about so fare)

Maybe the most powerfull methode via Initations mentioned in the official book to extend the age at last from the books I know

Interesting maybe I need to get me RoP:I

Isn't here warping a problem as one get 2 points each year in oposit to the Longvity Ritual with just 1?

I was thinking more of the inability to cast spontaneous magic unless you already have a similar formulaic spell. That always seemed a bit crippling to me; typically, spontaneous magic is most often used when you don't have anything similar in your formulaic repertoire.

Looking back at the book, I think you are right about the rituals involved not requiring vis. It surprises me but there's no mention of it at all. I would have anticipated a clear statement saying there is no vis used, but I suppose it is because of the odd way this one seems to be a fusion between an initiation and normal lab work.

Very odd procedure all the way around, actually. The write-up leaves a lot of questions unanswered, like if you can delay later stages or if you can't exist in a partially transformed state for that long. I guess those are open to SG interpretation, as always, but normally they do a bit better at clarifying intent.

In any case, it sounds like a reasonable goal. Even the problem with spontaneous magic is held off until the second ritual so it wouldn't necessarily be something you'd have to worry about until you had a more extensive library of formulaic spells to draw upon. That could go a long way towards mitigating the issue.

I agree with Adauli that more books would be nice. Only 3 books seems really slim, especially given that there are 7 of us to share them.

I also wouldn't mind seeing Muto and Perdo vim sources. I may be biased as my magus is Muto focused but it does seem like we should cover all 5 techniques. After all, it is easier to trade technique vis than form vis, and with those 5 covered, we can give at least some power to anything we might want to do, even without trading. Honestly, I think our vis sources are our single greatest asset. The more the better here, within reason, so maybe we should think about bumping all except maybe the Vim source up somewhat.

I'm not terribly interested in the bard but if others see value in him, I'm happy enough to go with him. It does seems like a lot of points to invest in languages that can be picked up very rapidly through exposure. Wouldn't it be better for somebody's companion character to fill that sort of niche? Seems like a brilliant set of skills to compliment a Redcap.

Percamenarious is a big yes from me. We might even consider an ink-maker as well. Also agree completely on the thematic brewer and lack of other non-book-related craftsmen. We don't really have the economy of scale or demands of isolation that'd make them a priority.

Some of us might want a virtue or two for our labs, assuming we're starting with them already set up. If we allocate 20 points a piece, we could still cover that for everybody. I haven't gotten to designing mine but I really enjoy the lab customization rules. It makes a lab seem so much less generic to have it tweaked a bit!

I don't see any really obvious enchanted item needs right now. We might do with a non-disruptive way to help deal with mundanes who wander in by accident, but my impression of the regio is that it might not really be possible to plug up all the entrances without a really big investment. Does anybody see anything different? Any ideas for must-have items?

Zaubersberg, should we be paying for Personal Vis Sources with covenant points or from our character virtues? As I mentioned, I have one lined up for my magus but it is marked down as the character's virtue, not a covenant expense. Since it is his own personal headache (it is partnered with a Magical Animal Companion flaw), I figured that was the home for it.

If someone else casts it on you, and its level 30+ there will be trouble. 1 point for the cast and 5 more for each year. But if you are casting it yourself you should be just fine. A level 25 version using season durations and touch range still gives a +12 and doesn't warp the magi any extra, even if the magi isn't the one casting it. That's still more than the longevity rituals we'll be able to manage for ourselves.

I think personal Vis Source is generally something that the character has and the covenant doesn't. (And not paid for with build points anyway). We only have 4 creo corpus/year. That means that we are going to have a shortfall when it comes to the longevity rituals, we have what? 5 or 6 magi that need 4 pawns before the next few years are out? I for one support this for the story it will provide. Also because I have tracti I can sell for Creo Vis (which I will promptly hoard).

And for all this talk about not being able to spend fatigue on spont magic. I took weak spont magic, so I have no sympathy for you. Oh the plus side of having no fatigue: Certamen. That doesn't require spending fatigue levels.

On the resources: Yeah, we need more books. Probably one for finesse, and penetration and Parma at least. Secondly, I recommend, high level and lowish quality. (11-13). I can make a few tracti, but those aren't great for newbies. (That would be all of us.) Oh and on cost reductions, I have a spell to make plants insta-bloom, and another for quick growth. Somehow I think the tavern owner will have the cheapest supplier. Also are we using the advanced covenant book creation rules? I ask because those rules make it much harder to create a book, it goes from a magi deciding to write one, to a team effort of a magi and three more experts.

I'm willing, the issue is expense. We could afford another three, maybe more if we go all books... But there's no way we can cover all the subjects everyone needs. Hence the focus on our book-making and therefore book-trading capability.

Noted. 20 pawns of vis seems a lot... until we substract the Aegis and start to divy them up. Let's see if other also want more.

Don't forget Area Lore, and any other ability we can reasonably dump on him. Not necessarily to teach them, but just having someone who has them. That said, it would work even better as a companion.

True on the ink-maker.

With two income sources and the potential for one-off windfalls from the sale of books, we can do expense-reducing magic items. And we're not designing a high magic type covenant that requires magic for normal operation, so I guess we can do without.

There is a lab virtue "Vis Source", which for obvious reasons can't be refined into the lab, it has to be there from the start. So I guess taking it with the covenant creation points is logical... It will cost 10 build points, which is in line with a 2 pawns source. But that would definitely fall under giving the players an allocation of covenant points for personal purchases.

As mentioned bevore my char come with his wive a toolmaker (8) master and we can decide if the covenant pay for her work and all our lab have Superior Tools for free or if she set up a shop in the city and we have to pay if we need her service.
From his covenant in the Highlands Quendal can bring a Finesse Summa QL 15 lvl 6 or a Rego Summa Ql 12 lvl 15 if we are willing to pay for this with our covenant points.
But keep in mind trading this books might be more difficult then other ones.

I editted this into my last post, but I took so long three posts where following it. So... repost!

I personal disklike the advanced book creation rules from Covenants as they make the whole book thing unecesary complicated.
But if we actual go for a book copy covenant I think we should go with the Covenants rules for suma so that for copy them actual 3 master worker need to work on it.
Only Tractus should keep the base rule as needing 3 saison for copy one is getting to long and is not covered with the price one can get for them.

Edit: I think Zaubersberg should start asking for the seperate sub forum as we have different things all mixed in the same thread now.

Am I missing something in Covenants that says it takes a season of work to copy a tractatus? I was assuming the rates (3 per season) from the core book still applied, merely with the specialists dividing up the work as they need to in the background. I haven't read that section in awhile, so I could definitely be forgetting.

If I'm right, then a season to write a new one while the "team" cranks out three copies of last month's really isn't too bad. Might even talk some of the richer covenants into a subscription. Like Time-Life Books, but for magi! :wink:

I agree completely. I believe this is now the longest thread in the GMs Looking For Players forum, which really isn't the place for it now that he's found us. :slight_smile: And you are 100% right: it is getting hard to follow all the various sub-conversations in this one thread!

Thinking about Transformed Being as well since resources will be limited - just wanted to get a ruling on the major quality "No Fatigue." If it's an option I would love to take it (it gives you an extra two seasons every year for activities, reflecting that you don't need to sleep), but it seems like it might be unbalancing for magus characters (who will ostensibly have 0 might, otherwise how would we advance?) so I thought I'd check first.

I'd maybe err towards more books I guess.

Given my character's focus towards more Aurum and Mentem, that vis layout isn't as beneficial to me...but given the number of players we need to satisfy, it was inevitable that some of us wouldn't get a perfect spread. I'm not AS familiar with this game, so I many not be totally sure what's the most beneficial.

For the Becoming its ruled that the extra 2 saisons one get from not needing to sleep can't be used for laboratory activities.

One season per tractatus in the core rules, unless you copy quickly, in which case you do get three per season but the quality of the copy is lower than the original. If you want to get the last +1 bonus for clarification in the new covenants rules you do need to devote an additional two seasons (well, one of them is just waiting with no work involved).

I have no objections. It costs you Transformed Human, Monstrous Appearance, No Fatigue, and gives you effectively weak spont magic. That's 12 virtue points. Compared to a series of virtues to help you gather xp, say: book learner, study bonus, secondary insight, and free study its really not all that bad. Those 6 virtues give you +7 or 9 xp a season spent in study. That's more than the No Fatigue unless you have truly amazing sources and for half the cost. When lab work gets thrown in it changes a bit, but I still think that the 6 virtues win out. Its a cool trick, but its also really costly.

OK if a other player want to take Transformed Human for one of theyr chars I think I change my companion to something different as I didn't even realy start to design him as I hit problems with the number of virtues anyway.

Looks like I was totally off on that one. I think I've never actually had that rule right - oops!

Looking back over the clarification rules, it looks like you have to open the book as if planning to enchant it and then stick it in a magical closet, so to speak, for 12/Aura years. I believe it takes 8 pawns to open a book if you do just the pages, plus the season of additional work, as you say, to do the opening. That's a lot of vis and time to get a piddly +1. I wouldn't say we need to suggest removing the option entirely, but it isn't one I can really see us investing that much time and (magical) energy in unless some potential buyer really makes it worth the additional manufacturing expense.

That kind of sums up my feelings on the expanded book rules in general. I like the different book formats (commentaries and such) being there for flavor, and I don't mind the optional resonances, clarification, and so forth being available as things one might take advantage of if so desired, but it seems like they can safely be ignored most of the time. Since the resonance/clarification bonuses raise the Quality above what the base rule guidelines would give, that seems like an OK trade-off. They're there if somebody is prepared a super high-quality, top of the line product but are not the norm for the game world in general or something the average customer would expect to see in place for their purchase.

The one exception for me is the rules for the skilled specialists. Taking the +6 bonus and splitting it up to be +3 plus +1 per specialist is something I rather like, as it really did take a lot of different skills to make a book. Barring magic, I like having that represented in the game from a strictly thematic viewpoint. My mistake above aside, I'm still a bit confused if the extended rules make it slower than the core rules to create a copy of a tractatus though.

I personally still say use the core rules, and only use the extended rules when you want cool options.

Also the need for all those zany specialists is what bugs me the most. You should be able to get the same knowledge out of handwritten, unbound sheets of paper, as a nicely illustrated, bound, beautifully rescribed parchment. Sure the first is really liable to get wrecked or damaged and much less convenient to move around, but the info is still the same. (Also unbound books are much harder to destroy via arcane connection if they get stolen). I just say let skilled book makers reduce costs as per normal.

I wouldn't have any problem with it at all as another player, although (as Lamech points out) you need to be OK with the costs that'll come with the package.

For your own preparedness, I would advise being careful to find out how the SG intends to handle advancement for such a character, as well as how vulnerable he might be to PeVi spells, if he needs to be worried about acclimation, if Might would be required to power any of his abilities, what would happen if something brought him down to 0 Might, and so forth. With a low Might, acclimation isn't likely to be a huge problem and advancement might not be too painful, but you'd also be painfully vulnerable to wards and anything that attacks Might. According to RoP:M, not everybody will consider you an actual magus anymore, despite your Gift, and you might be more likely to suffer attack from the greedy, jealous, or bigoted.

If all that sounds OK, then I'd say go with it: it sounds like a fun concept and one that could generate a lot of interesting stories.

Yep, longevity ritual gone wrong, and the reason behind having a Tormenting Master :slight_smile:

Transformed sets you at 0 Might; far as I can tell there's no options for raising it, either.