Broken or just Normal?

Looking around the table tonight, I observed some remarkable things...

First: The Tytalus had real trouble tackling his To-Be familiar. He found a Wolverine (yeah, its not European, but it FITS the character...) was all he wanted to handle....Especially when it was sitting on his face, tearing his chainmail apart... :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: but I digress..

Same Tytalus...

Spell with a Penetration of 45 bounces off his Parma....
Rock/creature misses
Gets hit....(once in while it does happen)..soaked.
He can spont a level 30 Creo Corpus with a role of 4.

Okay. He is a special case maybe....He is about twenty five years out of Gauntlet...

I shake head and wonder....

Okay now I continue looking around...

Bonasagus that can cast level 30-40 spells and creates them like... by the score...

The house changer who can teach with a Quality of 18...among other things...

The Verdi who can create items with level 35 spells that have 80 ish Penetration.... (about 30 years out)

Is this normal, or is there something wrong?
(not saying it isn't fun :smiley: )

It just seems that as you get beyond about 20 years, things get a little...unbalanced?


What's normal among magi? :wink:

Depends on what you throw at them - but yes, IME specialized PC magi 20 years out of gauntlet can be scary. You can still challenge them by circumventing their strong sides, though. And all these magi are at an age now to occupy them with Hermetic interior politics, too.

I would believe this, if the spell was of a Form in which the Tytalus was strong.

Life-Linked Spontaneous Magic? Or a Magical Focus? Otherwise the required Arts even for 25 years out of gauntlet would look a little too high to me.

That's IME quite common for a talented Bonisagus working at his specialty. Did he achieve his first Minor Breakthrough already?

Not a problem for a Good Teacher who develops his Teaching skill over time.

If the item is charged, and lies within the Verditius' specialty Techs and Forms, that's to be expected. Especially if he has an apprentice and/or familiar to help in the lab.

Kind regards,


Close. :smiley:


No, but he has made quite a few bangs and booms on his way to Infamy.

No, not charged, but two apprentices and a familiar...
(He will cry like a baby when these two children leave the nest...)

Cool...okay, it just seems the...scale is off.

:laughing: Yeah, thats the truth of it. The Head man of the Tribunal just asked us to look into a rumor of "Covenant" forming that didn't have any approval...and the Redcaps don't return...All for his favor when it comes to the vote...Can we take over this other (destroyed) covenants lands for a, um...Covenant franchise....We have to put the apprentices somewhere!..and their goodies are up for grabs!

My humble thanks for your thoughts...

So you know how to keep him busy too for the rest of his life. :wink:

Kind regards,


Wolverines are European - "only in the North-East and Scandinavia" according to Klaus Konig's "Mammals".

In the game I am playing in run by nclz he takes the view that magi need to spend lots on lore. If you want to find your way to a town from the covenant and need to figure out which road to take, then you need area lore. If you want to learn information about the other magi of the tribunal then you need to spend exp on organization lore tribunal. If you want to know anything about the peripheral code to know if you are going to break it then you need to spend some on the appropriate skill. If they head into a faerie forest they will need a decent faerie lore skill to know what powers to expect and to recognize any monsters. If they don't have dominion lore then they will have no idea what happens to their magic as a result of being prayed at.

You can also play it that if you want to overcome the affects of the gift on mundanes then you need charm, etiquette, bargain, folk lore, intrigue etc. If you look at the description of those skills you can see how many applications they are for. You can make sure the players realize they are at penalties unless they do use them. Unskilled negotiations at a market for supplies means you are going to get ripped off. Talking to a local noble without ettiquette and he gets offended.

If magi spend all their exp on arts and magic related skills, then they are going to be low on the other skills and suffer for it. That gives them a big incentive to shift their spending patterns, force them into it, and the balance of power gets shifted rapidly.

Well Urien its the same in my saga...

Lets see, we have:

a) a windmaster which is capable of killing each beast with a might lower than 60 even if he is in a very bad aura. He also have casting scores in his focus around 70 (without confidence and stuff)

b) a Verditius which can create items with levels of 60 in his higest specalization in one season and is capable of teleporting to each point in europe

c) a necromancer with the enduring magic virtue: he can summon an army of 10.000 seketon warriors with magical hardened bone armor and weapons in two hour. He can also teleport free and in every necormancy-Corpus spell he have a casting score of more than 70

d) a Bonisagus which is capable of controlling 100 persons without using voices or gestures with a penetration of 30...

Every magus can get a lab total of around 100 in their highest art/lab/focus/speciality-combination. A magic resistance of 25 is minimum up to a 50 of our Tytalus windmaster. Every one of them is only 15 (20 for the necromancer) years out of gauntlet. Every magus owns a familiar with is enchanted to change into human form and most of them already grant a bonus of 5 or higher to lab totals (the wise owl of the bonisagus gives him +10).

And of course every one of them uses every fourth season only to aid the covenant (learing Aegis spells or heling rituals, investiganting old texts from the former members of the covennats, creating artifacts for the whole covenant). And every one of them also raises skills like Intrigue, Leadership, teaching, (Realm) Lore and Hermes Lores. (But no one raises (Area) Lores or mundane law, this is something for the companions :wink:).

Wolverines are found in Europe. They even appear in period bestiaries. They are called "Gluttons". Their modern range is bascially Scandinavia, the northern part of Eastern Europe and Russia. I don't know how their range has changed over time.

Wolverines in I learned something today...

Yeah, thats what happens in our game...Search for Vis, take out the dragon for a walk, you know..domestic stuff :slight_smile:

Well, thats developing.... :wink:

Thanks to everyone. I was curious if OUR game was 'out of whack', but I guess not. I see a lot of descriptions of 'Gauntlet' games, but not too many 'older' games...
OTOH, I see a lot of books described with VERY high qualitites. I know most of our books are in the 6-14 quality range...

Is that the same in your games?

My game has magi 21 years out of gauntlet and I'd say that that looks about like my group.

Don't let them all out together would be my advice.

the flambeau in my game has puissant and affinity in creo and ignem, a talisman attunement to ignem and a major magical focus in flames. his creo score is 32 and his ignem 20, that means his applicable creo ignem casting totals end up past 80.

Now to have this character avoid all combat would be cheap because combat is clearly what the player wants to see or he wouldn't have made the character that he did. But the challange part of a story for this character can not really be combat unless it is against something that is invunerable to fire.

Don't be afraid to let the characters kick ass, but you need to give them something that they can't handle by brute force/ brute finesse/ brute whatever.

Many of the most fun games that I've run involve providing ethical challenges that set the characters against one another. Arguing the night aweay and being sneaky in character.

There is a main problem with this high power characters: the official rules use only 15 exp points per season to build up old magi. And because of this all enemys, all NSCs, all near game balance breaking guidelines or limits arent well balanced.

In my opinion its awful to see 15 year old magi easily solve all big and major problems: with only one Minor Breaktrough the whole Order of Odin could be destroyed (a Target simular to Bloodline that targets every member of a special magical art...), a flying and invisible magi with a sight spell could erradicate the whole army of the Mongols, magical beasts are only objects of Vis hunting, because even Stellatus is only dead meat against one 50 year old magi, a single, weak covenants could wipe out even enemys like the Black Fir in the Blackwood and because nearly every magus can use Leap of Homecoming at least 25 years out of gauntlet traveling and the problems and dangers with it dimish from a normal game very fast (our magi dont learn this spell only because this would kill many, many cool moments of traveling).

These things also can change the whole setting... if houses like Tytalus and Flambeau are the best combat magi they should be the houses that hunt magical beasts for Vis and most covenants should also have one or two combat/hunting mages that can hunt down every Vis source. This would make some differences in the setting: Vis (and because of this items, magical books, rituals) would become to something very cheap, magi would be able to become very rich easily because gold, gems, silk, pepper, safran, hides, Damaszener swords and other rare goods could be created very often, or the fields of a covenant could be enchanted every year with a ritual to produce more. This would make magi far more powerful in every part of the society, kings and bishops would be under their control because they lend them gold, universitys and scholars would increase in numbers (in opposite to the real middle ages) because there would be a giant market for their services. Nearly all magi would live longer because of the possibility to pump up your Aegis and your Longiveity Rituals. And most of them would be rich enough to make CrMe rituals that push their Int or Com or CrCo to increaase their Sta. This would also make all available books better (thanks to the increased communication) and this would make magi more powerfuller.

Another thing could be the total extinction of magical beeings because of this... pherhaps the magi would wipe out so many of them, that MAGIC disappears from the world only because of them...

And becaus eof the absolute power of the magi an expansion to every corner of this world should be very easy for the order... only 10 good magi(say 6 50 years out of gauntlet and 4 archmagi) should be able to deal with all supernatural forces of say sibiria or india or china, including their pagan gods.

30 xp/year for elder magi:
ArM5 p.32 "Magus only - after apprenticeship":

"every year, the magus gets 30 points. Each point can be an experience point in an Art or Ability or one level of spell". ...

I fear your estimate of 15xp/yr means you seriously mis-estimate the expected abilities of a magus 15 yrs (225xp) out of apprenticeship.

Also, truth be told - the effects of high Quality Summae mean that a magus just out of apprenticeship, but with a decent library, improves much faster than the average; then slows down in later life as other methods takes over (like Tractatus - lower "Good Quality"). The quoted figure is a lifetime average

The problem is... the arts increase slower, but with this points you also buy spells and items, and if your magi can make lvl 40 spells/items in one season or learn them from lab texts he make 40 exp in one season (with high end lab texts probably far more than this) ... even if he learns from two weak tractati (with 10 quality each) and do nothing special the next season he would get 64 exp (including exposure exp) per year... with affinitys or Virtues like book learner and an used 4. season per year in this season he could learn from a mundane teacher things like Intrigue, Leadership, Teaching, Artes Liberales, Philosophy, languages, Concentration ect with a study total of 20 per season) even with tractati with 10 quality (or learning from Vis) an old magus could get easily 80 exp per year for his stats/spells.

Edit: the weakness of official magi against player magi of our group is very obius if you look at magi like Falke ex Bjornaer or Dariuz ex Miscellanea... oh guy... they are less powerfuler in nearly everything than the magi in my group... after comparing the stats I was shocked -,-

Erik's right, don't let all the magi out at the same time.

I started running into problems where my magi were acting like teams of Jedi jumping around, waving hands, and generally telling the custos and grogs to 'stand back'.

You drop the magi's numbers to one or two and have the other players play custos and grogs and magi should start yelling 'Stand in front of me!"

I've got another trick for you to consider.


No one studies Herbam. :wink:

Certain Ex Miscellanea Hedge Wizards do. :mrgreen:

Which is why some Flambeau enjoy an added interest in the realm of fire... :smiling_imp:

Plant monsters...


Late in the night our indomitable Tytalus was finishing up some odds and ends....he was walking throught the woods when a tree whacked him...hard. His response to this was quite predictable...Fire. The Tree ran away, with the Tytalus throwing water on the fire as it ran away...

I still fee the quality levels are too high...

Flamable critters won't slow down the flambeau to much.

It seems fairly high powered to me...

walking off a penetration of 45 says a Parma of 9(!) with form bonuses, doesn't it? If so... wow. We have one character with a Parma of 7, but then he put most of his experience into Parma when we were playing 4E and in the conversion he was...benefitted. (Edit-- 5 parma, 20ignem, that's very feasible for 20+ years, I was thinking a form bonus, not the whole score)

Do they have Area Lores? How many languages do they speak fluently? Not all texts are going to show up conveniently written in Latin. Do they have any social skills--guile, intrigue, folk ken, leadership? If not, then I'd imagine they'll get taken for their boots at Tribunal as various issues get brought to bear [didn't you say Stonehenge Tribunal, with the machinations of Blackthorn? and Fudares across the channel? If not, politics in any Tribunal should be fairly sticky]... And you'd mentioned that one of them has two apprentices? I guess he teaches them both together in one season, and then gives a season to the covenant, and then puts them to work? Perhaps a higher ranking Bonisagus magus will show up, and irritated at the substandard education he feels the apprentices are receiving, will steal one away?

Have they worked up talismen, or investigated strange magicks, or been caught in strange regios? Or are we looking at fairly hard-core lab rats?

We also don't let more than one magus out at a time [and we're only 7-10 years out of Gauntlet], unless they're up to something serious-- a trio of fae unseelie sisters and their pet dragon, or a trip to negotiate/communicate with a covenant that had gone silent were the most recent ones.

As far as plant monsters go, there are some trees that can only pop their pine cones when a fire starts... I'd hate to be chased by an angry burning tree that was intent on turning me into some sort of pulpy salsa with a smoky aftertaste.


It could be Parma 5, Ignem 20. You get to add your whole form score to your magic resistance, not just the form bonus.