Ars Magica 5th Ed.: Magi of the Old North

Still trying to post!

Maybe he'll just call your Companion character 'The Prince of Cats', being friends since childhood I'm pretty sure the characters have gotten into some trouble. He calls Marie semi random names.

I feel like this guy just gives nicknames to people he likes and/or is close with.

I may ditch the bow and double down on the Legerdemain and Throwing when it comes time. Bow was really to put a spell conduit arrow, shoot it at a building or some thing, cast a touch range Herbam spell to have it sprout a vine... then shenanigans ensue.

A one should suffice.

Hi, I have drafted a magus here:
or in PDF, here:
:-- Loke

To the question about rural or city covenant I am ambivalent. I would slightly prefer rural, only because city is a much more difficult setting, depending on how much the Order is know and tolerated in the lowlands. The last thing we need is the town with pitchforks and torches coming for us at night. The Dominion has quite a bite ..
On the other hand though it would be an interesting challenge. Are talking about no aura at all or some sort of lacunae? We will need a dedicated leader of the covenant who grew up in or around Carlisle and who is socially apt.

A major challenge is to explain how the covenant can claim the real estate it uses. In a chartered town, this may be rather straight forward (I think), but out of the towns, the crown owns it all. Use of land, assumes allegiance to the lord. This is something I have always struggled with in Ars Magica. Any ideas? How have others handled this in the past?

A covenant in the dominion does not appeal to me. A magic regio could exist in a city, but may lead to excessive time designing the mystic features, and less time to play. If we have a good concept for a city covenant, I would not object, but I find it easier to shoehorn the covenant into the countryside, in spite of the legal problem of land ownership.

There is a possibility that the covenant /is/ a town; not a big city, possibly a town without royal charter. This is easiest to explain if the covenant came first, and has simply managed to attract people to seasonal market days, with increasing attendance over time. I could even imagine the covenant council working strategically to gain a royal charter, to get a sort of independence which does not continuously challenge the Code.

We could also have the traveling covenant (similar to the one in Ireland). It would not suit Magnus very well, but as player I would not object.

I pretty much like the idea of the Christian magus, ever struggling with the dilemma between faith in God, and taking God-like powers from the magic realm. To me it makes sense for the covenant to build a church, possibly away from sancti, seeking to design separate auras in different parts. I don't know if that is at all possible, but neither do the magi, so they might as well try. Trying to found a town, a church is a necessity. If we go for such a concept, I shall be happy to play some sort of cleric with a dedication to founding a church and saving the covenfolk.

Have we decided on season yet?

I think we are doing a Spring covenant; that means a town growing around our place will be in the future but not in the beginning. As for the charter, it depends on the Tribunal really. Most lords wont care for some huts and a small stone structure in the middle of nowhere. A fortified manor with a wooden palisade will raise questions and a defensible castle will definitely bring the king over 'for a chat'. Usually taxes smooth things over. From what I remember about this area around Hadrian's wall, it has changed hands so many times that the local landowning families don't listen to either crown. I suppose we wont have so much trouble with any king, but a local lord might be another issue. I say build whenever we want and let's sort complains after!
Holy magic is described in RoP Divine; its nice but creates problems for others around you. So do churches near covenants. I am partial to paganism myself, usually. No traveling covenants please, they are a hassle...

Good points. I don't think I realised really how much on the outskirts of England we really are. I would assume that a covenant needs a little more than «some huts and a small stone structure», and in the middle of nowhere, it may be hard to sustain an income, but if local lords are too busy fighting eachother to mind about a strange community on their own land, we have a chance to live. I agree that just building, and then sort it out, is a good strategy PC-wise, but somebody has to play those lords convincingly in due course. :slight_smile: Furthermore, Scottish law has little in common with English law.

Sorry, I had not read RoP, only the 3rd edition Pax Dei. I remember that it did not like it, and that was not quite what I had in mind. What I like in Ars Magica is the ambiguities and dilemmas, between Hermetic and Divine power, magic and mundane societies, etc. Holy magic in RoP, as in Pax Dei, seems to take that ambiguity out of the game, by introducing the solution. I might roleplay a magus' quest to piety or holy magic, but if we have a rulebook to tell us that it is actually possible and even how, the mystery of the game is lost.

BTW. I did not find the section about church and covenant in the book. Anyone with a page ref, pls?

Omg I love the beard Vis and Restriction Combo!

The example in the book is inability to cast with a beard implying a need to groom everyday within a certain window. What if he needs to keep his beard looking awesome and can't let it get too shabby. Would explain why no respectable dwarf ever lets his beard get mangy.

Side note, I've been a bit meh about Verditius because Hubris makes me think of Tolkien Dwarves... which... in your case fits perfectly hehe.

If you don't mind a little comedic dwarven humour, I think I've got a good story seed for the character if you leave his mother unexplored.

It just hit me that pictus means painted... sure enough that's the origin of the name given to the Picts.

I'm going to have to consolidate these tattoo artist ideas and run them by you guys.

A roving covenant... a troupe of players or tinkerers or a sinister carnival... Ok the last one is more Something Wicked This Way Comes, which we don't want to be evil I'm guessing :smiley:

Traveling Covenant seems more like a NPC story angle, I bet the logistical book keeping would be a nightmare.

I like the idea of a covenant in the middle of know where with a little to no mundanes. When I think English and Scottish magic I think of Merilin and Morgana... Ars Magica a lot of times a covenant becomes a huge library with towers and a massive trade community.

When I honk Merlin and Morgana I think of a wizard with a sanctuary deep in the wilds or caves somewhere no man dares go.

We could do someone like have a regio or few in an area where each Magus has been drawn to for various reasons and instead of living in a concentrated area, possibly live miles apart. Where we become a "Covenant" because we don't want any more Magi coming in and giving us hastle.

Or we could have all strong ties in some way. I know squat about the myths and history of the area, but maybe we are interested in preservation of something mysical?

I'm up for trading the ease of getting crafted items and the best of everything to be hidden from mundanes "for the most part early on".

I am sure one could abstract away the detail and make a model which works in practice for a PC covenant. But there is no point in doing it without some solid story ideas which can take advantage of the itinerant covenant. I am totally with Ionian ruling it out straight away.

That's two things decided. 1 Spring Covenant and 2 stationary Covenant :slight_smile:

Woot. Making headway.
Typical Covenant building lol

Is Magnus intended to be a generalist making several sorts of spells & items? He has Secondary Insight, which is great for generalists but spreads the bonus xp a little wide for specialists compared to things like Book Learner and Free Study which concentrate bonus xp in what you're studying.

Have you shortchanged yourself on Characteristics? I think you're a few points short.

Do you know what spells Magnus wants?

I don't think I have shortchanged; did you remember the -1 Str/Sta penalties from the Dwarf flaw when you checked?

Yes, he is rather much of a generalist, or at least multi-disciplined. I suspect crafting items as a specialist would grow boring quite quickly. His focus is as a weapon smith and armourer; which make the elements, mentem, and imaginem very interesting. He might ignore Herbam, Animal, and Corpus, and Vim is not going to be primary. No, I have not decided on spells; I have to admit I forgot. Will do.

Ah, I thought it was just -1 str, I forgot the -1 sta. Fair point.

Cumbria has a lot of forests and a lot of remote valleys, and the land isn't recorded in the Domesday Book suggesting it being overlooked 20 years after the Norman Conquest. We could hide quite easily. Also, if we went close to the border with Scotland, we could tell the English we owed fealty to the Scottish and tell the Scottish we owed fealty to the English and try to duck out of obligations to either.

Carlisle is just south of Hadrian's wall - we can invent Roman ruins that attract magi interested in ancient magics or cults.

How are we going to get supplies or pay for things? The main income in Cumbria is from farming, with wool and leather its main exports. Forestry could work, given the large forests near Carlisle, or possible fishing and trade if we're on the coast.

Now I am finally past the moderator's check, am I in time to join?

The main Roman ruins on the wall at the Cumbrian end are baedeswal and vinderlander. Both are roman forts of pretty substantial size. The Mythic locations supplement has an abandoned roman town with a regio that would make a great model for this option.

You may be able to tell I actually live in Cumbria and have done for the last 29 years. This is a real incentive to join up to be honest.

That is a good approach, keeping in mind that we also need to navigate between the local lords, who are less remote than the kings. Fealty would not be direct to the king, unless we are talking about a very significant and unspringlike holding.

A possible seed for a covenant could be an existing pagan cult and small rural community. Add a couple of minor or medium threats (brigands, barons, norse raiders), they may very well welcome a covenant of magi as protectors. Better that than a Catholic baron for some. This would give the manpower for farming, fishing or whatever.

Everything works, I think. There are three challenges to explain (1) how to escape the attention of the nobility, (2) how to recruit the man power for production, and (3) how to explain the capital to set up Hermetic facilities (labs, library). One possibility is to build on the ruins of a Winter covenant, but when somebody said Spring, I would guess they meant newly founded, not a renaissance.

An idea I have been toying with is a covenant in an abandoned mine. Quite likely the mundane miners gave up because it was haunted by beings from the magical aura. Problem is that the living conditions will be awful. Some magi will of course love the subterranean labs which are attuned to certain kinds of magic; others will hate it.

Now updated with spells.

He lives! Woot!

I don't think it's full. You may be the last though?

There wouldn't happen to be mountains or a dead volcano near? :smiling_imp:

I'm game with being low money, dank library with dripping ceilings... and only a few nice living quarters.

In an old abandoned mine we could breed gold and gems. Will take a bit of time as long as they didn't over mine, but a nice source of money if kept quite.

-Depending on the area of Mythic Europe minerals are thought to grow and breed underground. If it's over mined then they can't breed and the mine is dead... or so the legends may go-

We could have a mineral farmer, I mean an elementalist that can uh... breed gems and gold. If there is a set of regios and cave complex... could have underground ecosystem or have a volcano (dormant of course). (I have an elmentalist made as well hint hint)

Underground regios are a wealth of ideas.

Keeping mundanes away with a "Haunted Hills" and a forest is solid in the beginning. Mundane forests are dangerous, no joke a wild boar is deadly.

If we're out in the wilds I may want to do a different Magus, only because Reynard is more 'metropolitan' for lack of a better term.

An Aurum specialist could scare some locals spread a few stories. "The hills are haunted! A screaming Banshee, a ghostly woman with eyes of Fire! I'm telling yah, don't go up there!"