Ars Magica 5th Edition: The Black Sheep [3-6 players] (FULL)

Campaign Title: The Black Sheep

System: Ars Magica 5th Edition

of Players: 3-6

Deadline: May/June 2016

Starting Level: Newly Gauntleted.

Advancement Rules: As per the book.

Combat Rules: Combat is a very much a time consuming distraction in a play by post game, as a result it will generally be handled abstractedly. Important conflicts, in which there is a realistic chance of character death, will be broken down into detailed turn order.

Dice-Rolling Rules: I will handle all dice rolls.

Special Rules: I will be keeping to the core book, appeals for something special will be handled on a case by case basis.

Posting Rate: Once a week at a minimum, however I’d prefer players to tailor this to the flow of the game, so if your character is the focus of a fast moving plot line I’d expect you to post more often.

Absences: I will be fairly tolerant of slow or absent players, people are naturally unreliable and life can always get in the way, when it becomes a problem I will give a polite nudge, I’ll write absent characters out of the immediate plot so they can be returned to later, after long absence I reserve the right to kill characters off.

Writing Expectations: I think that interested and invested players will naturally write what needs to be written, basic descriptions are fine, but paragraphs of epic prose are not required. Proof reading is appreciated!

Text Formatting: Rules/Mechanics will be in red, descriptions will be italics, paragraphs should be short for ease of reading.

Plot- or Character-Driven: Primarily Character-Driven. Though the Saga will be seeded with plot hooks it is up to the players to discover them and decide what to do with them.

Focus: Survival, roleplaying and politics.

Character Types: You are a Black Sheep of the Order, for whatever reason you start with a negative reputation within the Order (you all have the homebrew flaw Hermetic Infamy, an inversion of the Hermetic Prestige Virtue, for which you do not get a corresponding virtue). This reputation may be the result of your poor conduct a foolish parens, or false accusations. As a miscreant and ne’er do well you have full license to essentially create a totally obnoxious Magus. You may not have Hermetic Prestige nor be a member of House Guernicus.

Campaign Description: Newly Gauntleted but ill-regarded by the Order, established covenants have closed their doors to you, the Quaesitors eye you with suspicion. You find yourself with other such miscreants, however at this point your luck may have changed. Your unlikely cabal has discovered the ruins of a former Covenant, all but forgotten by the Order, possessed of a powerful aura. Your group starts play with no money, no laboratories, no grogs, just the ruins of a covenant. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain as you try to carve out a place yourselves in the Order.

NB: You will not be told prior to character creation where your covenant will be, this is because firstly I have yet to decide, secondly as disposed Magi you have simply gone where opportunity has taken you so realistically you may find yourself in a completely foreign land, thirdly this amuses me.

Additional Notes: In addition to your Magus please create a companion. Companions can be played whilst your Magus is otherwise engaged, however as a twist the companion you create will be randomly assigned to another player.

Very keen. Sign me up.

I would be interested.

very interested!

And an Elsa-like character definitely has the Black Sheep aspect you are looking for!

EDIT: Warning. Ice is tricky. Is it Aquam? Or Terram? Or Ignem?

Have you already asked the forum gods to grant you a forum to play in? This may take a while.

A character based on Elsa is a brilliant idea, and very appropriate!

Yea ice is strange because it is not a 'positive' attribute like fire etc, however I am utterly certain Ice is Aquam. P124 of the core book "Rego Aquam can change water into ice or steam".

Now if you were to create ice from scratch, would that be Creo Aquam on it's own, or Creo Aquam with a Rego requisite?

You can also create cold, or ice effects with Perdo Ignem.

I don't think it is terram at all, I see why you ask because Ice is a solid, but I think it always counts as a form of water.

So affinity for aquam is probably a good idea, I am thinking Ice is probably a Major Magical focus?

As always I am open to alternative thoughts, some of you will know this game better than I do.

No, however now I have three interested players I'll get on that now!

Putting my first thoughts on a character out there, subject to whims and changes. A Bonisagus Necromancer, his master tried many times to pull his interests to a more noble cause, to shift his focus, but a morbid curiosity returned to all his work.
Perhaps several 'incidents' locally involving the reuse of corpses mean he must leave his home?
Perhaps he's judged unfairly, perhaps not and all the stories are true.
Not a morose man at all, so no black cloaks and depressing outlooks, but probably an odd fellow.
Interested obviously in rego and corpus and Mentem, smattering of Intellego. Not sure what else.

@iron: CrCo is very useful, if you want to create our own corpses, too. Otherwise,PeTe might help you dig them up.

Sounds good, I always have a soft spot for necromancers.

PS: Forum has been requested.

Excellent points, thank you!

Elsa ex Miscellanea
Virtues (*=House virtues/flaws):
Major Magical Focus (Ice, or Ice and Cold?)
Affinity Aquam
Deft Aquam
Improved characteristics (to make her look pretty)
*Greater Immunity (Cold)
Privileged Upbringing
Puissant Aquam(or Perdo?)
*Special Circumstances (when temperature less than 1°C/33°F)
True Love (sister: Companion character Anna)

Ability Block Martial
*Deficient Muto
compassionate (minor)
wrathful (minor)
Restriction (hands covered)
True love (sister), major story
minor malediction (warped magic temperature drops to -5°C/20°F in an area surrounding the maga: 1 meter/yard per magnitude of the spell; not sure if we want to have a much bigger effect for ritual spells, like 1km per magnitude)

spells (I will think about the mechanics tonight):
circle of cold: the area inside has a temperature of -5°C/20°F. Not enough to freeze, unless you insist on staying without warm clothes. This spell is needed to keep her creations cold
create Ice or call ice storm
Carve Ice , ReAq: Carve things out of ice blocks
control ice humanoid
create ice tower
PeCo: Shoot a human whose heart slowly freezes?
Maybe a spell that keeps others from freezing?

I was thinking of going with a magus whose parens was a dioabolist. He either was unknowing of it or was only slightly involved. In any case, slight enough that he escaped being killed when it all came down. But he still got tarred with the diabolism brush, and people think the worst of him.

Pralix, so apparently creating ice is just Creo Aquam, it does not require a rego requisite, which seems to make sense. Thanks for that basic write up, that was a pleasure to read!

Trogdor, that is awesome, that backstory fits very well!

Frozen ReAq10
R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Ind.
Ice touched by the caster remains frozen solid for the spell's duration
(Base 3, +1 touch, +2 sun)

Ubiquitous Polar Circle PeIg20

R: Touch, D: Ring, T: Circle
The caster inscribes a circle. Once it is closed, the temperature drops to below freezing point. Can be used to keep meat fresh and prevent the melting of snow.
(Base 5; +1 Touch, +2 Ring)

Dagger of Ice Cr(Re)Aq10

R: Voice, D: Mom, T: Ind
Creates an icicle (1 ft long). Damage +5. No roll needed to hit. Must penetrate. (HoH:S 35)
(Base 3, +2 Voice, +1 Re req)

Create Ice Dragon CrAq15
This spell creates an Ice Dragon sculpture (up to size+1). It melts at normal speed.
Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 sun

Command the Ice Dragon ReAq25

This spell animates an ice dragon sculpture. Elsa can send it to attack enemies, use it to carry things or ride it.
Base 5, +2 Voice, +2 Sun

Palace of the Ice Queen CrAq40

Creates a palace of ice. The ice melts naturally after creation.
Base 4, +1 touch, +4 size, +3 Moon

Note: The ice dragons deviate from the original Disney movie, but they are more versatile than the ice golem in the movie version.

@Pralix, a few questions, I'm away from my books so might be miles off.
-does the icicle need creo as well as rego?

  • does the ice dragon need finesse or complexity mods? Can the ReAq spell make it fly at base 5?
  • Conj the Mystic Tower has a few levels of complexity, this ice fortress is similar?

There may be need to change some of the spells (except the icicle)
1.) Straight from HoH:S
2.) There is a character in Fall and Rise who does something similar using wood. I used the guideline "violent movement of water", which was the closest thing I could find.
3.) Mystic Tower is CrTe35, and a ritual, I tried something similar with a shorter duration, but ended up with a higher level - I'd be glad for advice on how to build this more cheaply because i'm not sure this character can learn it at character creation. Would it have to be a ritual?
4.) I failed to construct a spell that echoes the "Freeze heart slowly" effect from the movie.

@Pralix - I took a stab at a few. Please take this as suggestions only, and leave/take whatever you think makes sense.

Ice Dragon spell - it looks like the base for Creo Aquam is much bigger than a standard man +1 sized amount of material, probably more like a size +2 amount in Ars Magica terms if ice is lower than the same amount of water, or size +5 if ice has the same volume as water.

The frozen solid spell is an interesting one. Strictly speaking it's probably some sort of fae oddball spell due to the link to an act of true love. Duration: Bargain or something. To ignore that side of the spell and just hurt a person is very possible. I suggested that it is very similar to Wizard's Icy Grip (PeIg30 Ars p142) except it has a slower onset. Bump up the duration to Sun for slow onset.

However you could also argue that a PeIg effect which inflict damage could also do damage overtime just like CrIg effects. So PeIg base 15 to inflict +15 damage per round, and then also extend that spell to last 20 combat rounds (Duration: +1 diameter). Then pick the level of damage you want to do, perhaps drop it down to +5 damage and inflict the damage each round til sunset (Base 5, D: Sun).

I wrote this up on a blog.

And then to make it either T: +2 Room or T: +2 Group, or make the formulaic spell use a special target which is a circular effect, which is allowed for spells with troupe approval. It's probably still a +2 modifier to make it affect a circular effect around the caster. I'm an ex-WoW player and it looks like a Frost Nova effect to me.

Another possible change is to have the range to Touch, and spread it out from the caster. Hopefully the cold don't bother them, as they'll be affected too. To avoid that use a Rego sub effect.

That'll kill them slowly as the +5 damage needs to be soaked each round for a day without armor.

The Ice Castle spell is darn tricky. CtMT uses (Base 3, +1 Touch, +4 size, +3 elaborate design) and to make it permanent you'll need it to be a ritual, and as it's ice it will still melt. You can use the same Base 3 for a natural shape, and then pay for the complexity of the castle shape using the +3 elaborate design. I see it being basically the same spell, expect to make it a non-ritual you're going to be making a very high level spell.

  • So as a ritual (Base 3, +1 Touch, +4 size, +3 elaborate design, ritual ) = level 35 ritual
  • perhaps you could make it "unnatural ice" which does not melt as it's still Creo (Base 3, +1 Touch, +4 size, +3 elaborate design, +1 non-melting ice) = level 40 ritual
  • same effect not as a ritual, but with a duration (Base 3, +1 Touch, +4 size, +3 elaborate design, +3 Moon) = level 50
  • I think you're better off with another separate spell which stops a huge volume of ice from melting, and cast it on the castle on the castle or the dragon instead of trying to make it in one spell.

A spell to make teh ice not melt is the effect you've already got, modified for the extra +3 size mags - so ReAq level 25.

Hope this rant helps.

Throwing a few spell effects out there for a necromancer. Don't think of them as creepy...

I'm not sure on the degree of difficulty on the finesse check; HoHS has art with good quality likeness is 12+, and caster gets a +3 bonus to the roll if they are very familiar with the subject or have them present in likeness.

(Whoops - it's base 5, fixed)

A re-workng of the classic zombie spell to make the duration from Year back to Moon, so that it is no longer a ritual, and boost the range to Voice so I can raise opponent's fallen allies around them instead of touching it.

Then a way to disguise the animated corpse as something else. My plan is to disguise the corpses as leppers, so people will stay well enough away but they can still move through an area. Also so will probably cast the same spell on my character so he "fits in" to the group... I might also create another better version to alter the corpse's smell as well, but that will have to come later.

Although like the Disguise of the Transformed Image spell, it can be made look like almost any humaniod.

I'm tempted. Recently I have been toying with the idea of a Perdo specialist with Flexible Formulaic Magic -- probably a Flambeau of the school of Apromor -- with great aptitude in Leadership and an ambitious streak.

With the saga's emphasis on Hermetic rejects, perhaps his pater was framed and convicted of some Hermetic crime.