building the covenant

If it is within te covenant it could be a smaller aura inside the regular aura, which would be a major aura boon. If it covers a portion of the covenant the same result is implied. If it is merely nearby there are no virtues or flaws for it.

Of course if the temple is outside the covenant it might have a faerie aura...

Here's a possible scenario:
When the chapterhouse was founded 50 yrs ago, we had the writ of crenellation, and created a ringwork that surrounded one of the temples. During the 50 yrs, the covenant created a tower keep, and the repeated use of magic in the covenant opened/revealed a stronger magical aura, possibly with a regio entrance on the temple site. Due to the location and fortification (not to mention all the covenfolk), a small village has grown up around the castle, and we have provided a haven for a group of mercenaries (pirates?). If we are relatively close to the ruins of the amphitheater, that could include a faerie aura with a vis source that we contest with another covenant.

This give us:
Writ of Crenellation (minor)
Ringwork (free)
Tower Keep (minor)
Increased Aura (major)
Vivid Environment (minor) (I like this one, given the location and picturesque ruins.)
Hidden Resources (minor) (to be partially developed as vis sources from the regio, as we explore that)
Criminals (minor) (the local, loyal pirates)

Castle (major)
Road (minor) (reflecting the travel and diverse commerce in the area)
Regio (minor)
Outbuildings (minor) (the surrounding hamlet)
Indebted (minor)
Contested Resources (minor)

it wouldn't be contested, it would be yours if you control the land, theirs if you have not taken control of the land (through mundane means). What you would have is a rival who bears you animosity for taking over their vis source. It could easily be a minor rival however... depending on who you took it from and the state of their covenant. Now it could be contested with a non-hermetic group which will make some claim that cannot be processed through hermetic courts and which does not recognize civil authority to determine such things- but this would likely be in addition to the rival covenant who is miffed you staked a claim to what was previously their contested source....

I vote instead of Contested Resources we take Vis Salary. I also suggest Suffrage because Feminism!

I want to point out that resources should be decided here as well, and that they are integral, not a seprate topic. How much vis you have, as an obvious example, is going to impact what sort of hooks relate to that, as well as whether you have the vis to be giving out a vis salary.

and again I ask that we build this cooperatively instead of throwing out compete scenarios. We have an established origin 50 years in the past (before the prelude) it isn't being cut whole cloth- lets start with what there is and work from there- 50 years ago you were granted the use of land and the right to build a castle in the area of a ruined town which had Greek Temples in it which had remained undisturbed until the Saracens destroyed them. Did you settle for the lesser aura on the coast or move into the temples? If you settled or explored the temples did they have a magical or faerie aura? If you settled there how much of an aura?

For the three questions above, I vote for:
By the temples rather than the coast
Magical aura
I'd like an aura of 4 or 5.

For resources:
I suggest 68BP on the lab texts which will later be compiled as "Roamer's book" as seen at [url]]
(Me and CJ had fun running down the popular spells, and this makes a good basis to start from.
I suggest we have vis stocks of 50 in creo and corpus (to allow for 4 or 5 people to use 7 pawns on their longevity rituals when the time comes, plus a bit for aging crises or magic healing), and 50 pawns of vim (in case we need a stronger aegis, need to boost casting of Perdo Vim spells cast on curses or deleterious magic, new items). That only costs 20 BP.
I suggest a few build points go on housekeeping items from Covenants, like 3 BP on an Abluere Magica or a magic oven or a magic broom - it offers the chance for apprentices to practice finesse while keeping the number of housekeeping staff down.
Covenants p56 mentions you can buy starting money for the covenant at 1BP per 10 mythic pounds - I suggest we buy a modest reserve in case of financial disaster in the first year or two.
Specialists - we will need a teacher so our apprentices learn Latin + Artes Liberales + maybe some academic skills. We will need 18BP on a scribe, bookbinder and percamenarius so we can write those books we want to.
Can we buy a spare scribe and teach him Magic Theory in play so he can go copy summae from the Tribunal library, or do PC magi have to do the copying?
I suggest we spend a big chunk of our build points on vis sources as well managed from 1100 to 1220 we will build up a decent amount (whether in personal stocks or communal).

point based specialists are not continuous characters- they are essentially an ever filled position that does not grow and develop the way characters that are written out do. At the same time, if you create grogs you do not need to pay for them with build points (both of course need to be supported financially)

I agree with Darkwing about location et al.
Resources listed are fine with me.
We have 2000 BP, I think, so there is still lots of room for more stuff.

Next question- would the temple have a regio? If so, as a boon or hook? I will note that as a boon it means the covenant is in the regio, as a hook the regio is in the covenant... minor hook means not fully explored, major means that things come out of the regio. Resolving this as a hook would mean the regio is fully explored and may be utilized...
One obvious possibility for a major hook would be Persephone's gate- where the dead emerge every Oct 31st as Persephone goes into the underworld for a night- which may be behind the town being abandoned and the Saracen destroying the temples...

Which also reminds me- dealing with Saracen raiders: was a castle built and if so what sort?

I vote we build a Castle complete with Walls, Towers, Artillery etc. Or at the very least a big stone castle because Hermetic Magic makes it easy to do.

I would say the regio in the temple should be a minor hook; something to prompt exploration. The major hook idea, Persephone's Gate, is interesting, but I would want develop some way to work with / avoid the emerging dead. Playing through the traffic every All Hallows' Eve seems like it might get a little tiresome.

As for the castle, since the covenant has only been in existence for 50 years, and then mostly as a chapterhouse, it seems like we might not have had the resources or time to create a full-blown structure with curtain walls, etc. (These take lots of excavation, and even with magical means would require some serious efforts and vis expenditure.) I imagine a ringwork would have been initially created, along with a small tower. In the last 50 years, a Tower Keep could have been constructed, with Artillery added, and perhaps work started on Curtain Walls. As we gain more power, a Magical Fortress would probably be coming ...

Could we have constructed a Tower Keep with Conjuring the Mystic Tower, or would that be too small a footprint for the defensible structure? Also, where are we putting labs?

I would think using magic much of the castle could be underground so it could be extraordinarily large without those nearby seeing it. Also, illusions could be used for the first while so it wouldn't seem like it just appeared.

I wonder if we should still have an intact Faerie aura beside or within the covenant as well if we're by the temples.

I like the idea of a Faerie uncontrolled Regio at the temples. I suppose we could have a swarm of undead each year, but that seems like it would be kind of silly. So Minor Regio Hook, with a bonus minor hook since it isn't Magic? If we really do want undead Fae associated with the temples, I think a Faerie Court would make more sense. Of course, that conveniently is 3 points, so we could just take the Major Regio hook to start with!

We certainly could have an underground Castle, but why not just a normal above ground one? Underground structures have a bunch of issues, light being not the least of them. Of course, we could take the Magical Fortress boon, and Castle Hook. Maybe even throw on the Vast and Labyrinth if we got truly out of hand. We'd probably want some sort of living castle that can maintain itself and provide light. Transforming Mythic Europe talks about using Creo(Muto) rituals to create unnatural structures, such as self repairing walls. We really don't want excessive maintenance costs.

I could whip up a description of this magical castle if you want...

Remember that part of the culture of the Roman Tribunal - at least for this game- is keeping things quiet: the Dominion is Strong in the Roman Tribunal and angry commoners is bad for everyone. As such the Magical Fortress will probably not work. A mundane castle constructed through magical means is possible, so construction time is probably not an issue so much as willingness of magi to dedicate time and Vis into constructing fortifications versus spending silver and letting mundanes handle it more slowly. I could easily see conjuring a mystic tower the first year to establish a presence and then building up from there with more mundane resources...
Of course PeTe doesn't take vis, so an underground section, especially one built early on, also makes a great deal of sense.

I was thinking above ground, just with an extensive basement. That way the place might seem just a meager yet solid stronghold from above while housing enormous amounts of stuff below.

So are we looking at Tower keep with artillery?
Next question- income source(es)- obvious possibilities are some form of herding or fishing. If you wish to take the road hook then some form of trade based income would make sense as well (though this might also necessitate an outbuildings hook, or justify labyrinthine as you have rushed to keep up with commerce). At the same time we should consider at vis income the covenant will have established.

I'm currently writing my parens magi as a terram specialist with "Conjuring the mystic castle" as something they could just learn straight out of gauntlet, so a tower keep is very possible.

If we want to have better wizard's labs (coughs teaching specialisation coughs) when play starts, do we take it out of the seasons of development for the elder magi, or do we pay for it out of build points using the rules from Covenants? I can spare a few seasons to refine the size down and add features, but I'd like to know if we can do this or whether to wait until we start in 1100.

I'm going to allow either- though obviously some virtues can only be taken in the building- however where a single condition is described by a combination of virtues and flaws you will only need to pay for the net cost- also refinement cannot be bought with points...
so for example a feature-focus combination may be taken for free, if it is part of the design of the lab (say an alter from the temple that was already in the middle of the lab), or auspicious shape combined with awkward shape... or perhaps a lab which is still outside with natural environment and outdoors...

The build point system is a little bit screwy. Mostly it's OK. The thing that is totally off is buying labs. What can be built by a non-magus with a not-super-high score in Magic Theory over just a few seasons costs the BP equivalent of hundreds of pawns of vis. It's much better to put some points into a specialist or similar. Plus then you can design as you go a little better.

Would this be one magnitude higher to make it 10x the volume? :slight_smile:

No, because using guidelines of best arts of 10, and using puissant Creo and puissant Terram with no magical focus, you get Cr 13 + Te 13 + Int 2 + Magic theory 4 (terram specialisation) + aura 3 = 35, so the base version is just learnable for a character without a magical focus. The parens has got Life-linked Spontaneous magic so is a bit more of a generalist, so I didn't give them a focus so as to encourage a little more diversity among the magi. It does mean if my apprentice wants a focus, he'll have to find a mystery cult to quest for it from - but I think this adds to the fun.

The character does have the arts to start doing tunnelling/trenching spells if we want to dig out a covenant or build defensive earthworks.

Point taken about labs - the parens will have enough teaching to do the basics, a few seasons of refinement and adding lab improvements can be done while the apprentice mops the floor or studies books.