Ars Magica 5th Edition: Stealing the Future 4-8 players

Oh and remember, I don't have a level limit on instructors, except a minimum. So, if you kept the back story prior to Bibracte for the characters and aged them another 30ish years. If they are 60-70 years post gauntlet, consider that they probably have seriously considered training an apprentice prior to this point, so you should explain why you haven't. Fiona has some responsibilities to her lineage that might be difficult to fulfill at the school, and so having trained an apprentice will fix that. It's something to consider.

Any chance of Alexei Von Kroitsau?

If not, no biggee.

Sure. Just keep in mind he has to have the teaching at an adequate level, given the Com + Teaching + Virtue =7 guideline.

That is doable, plus he's rather personable and has the Gentle Gift (which isn't as much of an issue now I know). He could still act as Imperator but specialize in magi-grog tactics and perhaps run some of the intramural activities?

Everyone seems to be using characters from other sagas; I don't know any of those characters, so I apologize if Hekrates is stepping on anyone's toes.

This is the Virtue/Flaw set I am working with at the moment:

I'm very happy with the Flaws. The choice of Difficult Underlings for his Story Flaw seemed especially useful, as it represents the fact that Hekrates has chosen to alienate everyone around him, including people he depends on, which creates stories based around betrayal and disobedience. His personality flaws -- Secretive and Pessimism -- well reflect his confidence that anyone who has affection for him is bound to betray him at one point or another and his simultaneous need to conceal his unique magical weaknesses.

Hekrates has room for a Major Hermetic or Supernatural Virtue, but I would like to take something not already represented among the PC magi, purely in the interest of niche protection. I would also like to give him one more Minor Virtue based on the Enmity/Affection axis, a bonus which helps him when his enemies hate him, but I do not know of any good candidates and am soliciting opinions. In particular, a Virtue which boosted his Magic Resistance against targets which hate him would be especially appropriate, balancing out his Weak Magic Resistance: Affection.

Alexei, Korvin and Fiona were from Bibracte.
Alexei is a gently Gifted Flambeau of the school of Ramius.
Fionais a giant blooded Daughter of Circe, of ex Miscellanea.
Korvinis a Merceris Magus with mercurian magic.
Panacea of Mercere is/was his apprentice (it's up to jebrick if he took her as an apprentice, otherwise I'll give her to another Mercere magus) and is the daughter of Ra'am Bonisagi, sister to Elizabeth the headmistress of the school.

I have not settled on Korvin. he is my fallback if I can not settle on/ have time to make something else. I'm going to explore a Guernicus and a Tremere Signaler and see what comes out. Metacreator is my friend.

Jonathan, I had an idea for a Virtue that would boost Hekrates's Magic Resistance in specific situations. My thinking goes like this:

Puissant Parma gives a +2 to Parma. Could Hekrates have a version of this which only applies when the attacker hates him? This would be uncommon but not rare, and the bonus would be +3 instead of +2. If the attacker does not hate him, the Virtue gives no bonus at all.

I invite the troupe to comment on this. I don't have a problem with the proposed virtue, as a virtue it adds much less than Flawed Parma Magica subtracts, so from that perspective it seems to be reasonable.

But, that strikes me as something rather passive for someone who otherwise takes control of his environment. How about a Minor Magical Focus (counterspells). The focus applies across a very broad range, when cast (which effectively negates the fast casting penalty in a lot of circumstances, but not botch dice) as a direct counter to another spell, for example Mighty Torrent of Water against a Ball of Abysmal Flame. The focus would apply for lab (and casting) totals only to the Perdo Vim spells of Unraveling the Fabric of (Form) and maybe some others like Wind of Mundane Silence. With some judicious application of experience points to mastering select spells for Fast casting, maybe taking fast caster, too, he could block spells all day long.

I'm planning on doing what you did with fast casting, too, which will now give a purpose for mastering an offensive spell for fast casting.

I personal see the problem that it would need a In/Me effect integrated into the Parma Magica and this would need to penetrate any kind of other MR to get this info.
As nice as the values for this mechanic sounds the problem is how it would work within the Hermetic Theory.

I'd like to have an instructor Charles de Bonsiagus (ex Jerbiton). A Bonisagus magus who was opened as a Jerbiton before being claimed by a Bonisagus mage.

Don't see a problem with that. Elizabeth's father shared a similar circumstance.

My problem with this, is how does the magic know that the attacker hates him? (As opposed to being angry with him, or some other negative mental state.) This seems like this would leave the "trigger" too open for interpretation and debate.

This feels like something akin to Special Circumstances (Minor Hermetic Virtue) and Deleterious Circumstances (Minor Hermetic Flaw), but all the "certain uncommon circumstances" listed for them are fairly cut-and-dried. During a storm, while touching the target, when sitting or wet, against wild animals or iron, or in a city or high up a mountain. Not a lot of room for interpretation when the "trigger" is present.

My inclination would be to say nay on this.

The trigger for all of Hekrates's Enmity/Affection Virtues/Flaws is based on Reputations and Personality Traits.

I appreciate the idea of counterspelling, and while it is parallel to the idea of a guy who does better against people who dislike him, it is not the same thing. I'm afraid the idea does not seem appropriate to me.

Suggestions that this is "too passive" are, in fact, absolutely correct. Hekrates's particular version of Hermetic magic is not under his control. He did not choose to have magic which only works when he's an a-hole. He did not choose to -- with this idea -- have increased Magic Resistance against people who hate him. He is just struggling to make the best of the bad deal he's been given. His Blatant Gift, Special Circumstances, Deleterious Circumstances and Weak Magic Resistance are all representative of that.

I'm looking for a positive version of "Weak Magic Resistance." Hell, I'll just take Puissant Parma and then, in the event he gets attacked by someone who triggers his "Affection" flaws, will simply waive the bonus and tell the GM to ignore it.

Parma Magica isn't part of Hermetic Theory, so I can easily see that it's not a Hermetic Theory problem. It could even be that it's an idiosyncrasy of how Hekrates conducts his Parma ritual that he leaves himself open to attack on a subconscious level.

I'll point out that facing away from the caster, included as an example in the definition of Weak Magic Resistance would, by this standard, need the same knowledge, since the magic doesn't know if the recipient of the spell is more easily affected since his back is to the caster. Now the caster might know this weakness, and the recipient certainly does, but the magic itself doesn't know anything about the weakness.

Question about that. Fiona, after spending time in Magic, no longer has the required Flaw for being a Daughter of Circe (losing Rigid Magic and gaining Chaotic Magic), and she can only pass along the new Flaw to Sheelagh, which she already has. One of the things I was wanting to do in Bibracte was to have a story where she went to Marós and basically told her that, under the circumstances, she would be the first of a new Tradition called the Metaschematistes. Basically, the only differences would be the different Flaw and that the Metaschematistes wouldn't be girls-only. Um...question. Right. So...can/would she be the first in her new splinter Tradition?

Also, near as I can tell, Sheelagh had seven years left on her apprenticeship, so...advance Fiona that many years and say Sheelagh had just been gauntleted when Fiona accepted this position?

That's doable, I'd need to change a few things here and there. As he stand he just needs to get Teaching.

Instead of introducing the possibility of all characters moving into and out of the Magic Realm to adjust virtues and flaws during character development, can we just say Maros wasn't able to pass on Rigid Magic over Fiona's already realized Chaotic Magic? And instead of abandoning the apprenticeship, she realized the change in her line. And then when she discovered Sheelagh, who was similar to Fiona, she just passed her to Fiona instead of trying to do what she already failed at once?

You can do whatever you feel is appropriate here, with respect to Fiona's age. If the timing of events in her back story is important to you, you can age her from where Bibracte left off to 1268, or not. It's entirely up to you.

Any question that begins with "How does the magic KNOW..." is answered with "because it's MAGIC."

How does magic know you're near water when your Special Circumstances: Near Water is working? Do you need an InAq effect for that? No, of course not. It's not a question of magic "knowing" something. This is just how his magic works.

Works for me. So, she's still Daughters of Circe, but she's like a variant cover maga. Kinda.

Aging her 40 years would put her at...75 years post-gauntlet? Which is doable. Might take me a couple of days. And it would allow her to enchant the Pegasaurus herself (not that I think this is the awesomest thing she's ever done or anything). And would probably make Sheelagh an established arch-maga herself by now, who's had an apprentice or two herself. And Fiona probably would have had another apprentice, as well. I'm kinda liking this.

So, if you're okay with Fiona being that far out of apprenticeship, I'm off Tuesday and can probably sit down and hammer it out.