Cannophori Methuselah Bonisagi

And who determines the plot? If you want a measure of that control you need to do the work. If you don't then I get to decide things. It is also a reason why I suggested you pick a different story flaw. Then there is the fact that the ritual is half as effective on a mundane. At her present age, and if you started it late then she has racked up quite a bit of decrepitude. And warping and developing associated minor flaws. Such as lecherous (this is her first flaw and it is mandatory as a demonstration that if you assume story responsibility without doing work I will make decisions). You can pick the second.

Good luck Ulrich.

So, yes. She is a plot device and you can use her for flavor, but if you want freedom of action with regard to her she needs to be generated and at least minimally managed, so we know when she dies, or how she ages. She will not count against your grog limit.

As per my character sheet, I did pick the Enemy flaw as we discussed. There is no Dependent flaw or other points taken for Mother as she was not intended to be involved in story plots or anything other than being a piece of no bonus flavor text lab gear to describe Methuselah's research into aging. She is in a coma and is a vegetable. She cannot do anything! I did not detail her out any more than I detailed out how many beakers Methuselah had in his lab. If there is a botch in the lab then she might make a cool story hook for the SG interpeting what happens but otherwise she is irrelevant.

I also thought the apprentice stories involving taking care of Mother might also spice up the character interaction between Methuselah and Ulrich.

I apologize for taking too many liberties in trying to make Methuselah's aging research unique and descriptive. I will drop the Mother angle so you do not have to worry about her any more.

While the vegetative mother doesn't bother me that much, personally, there are other "Flaws-like" traits of your characters that might be worth talking about, if you'd agree. Some are not actually written as such, on your char.sheet, but from your depiction of Methuselah I couldn't help but think that he effectively has them already.

(The following is just a suggestion, overall)
I'm thinking in particular about his view about his own hermetic strengths and his outlook on other magi. Your presentation of Methuselah kinda screams to me that he might just entertain delusions about himself - and/or of potential rivals - that seems as great as his effective (and undeniable) talents. Since you have knowingly chosen him to be this way, I could envision a simple substitution of minor flaws for the major one : Enemies. For example, "Delusion"(minor, pers.) : you believe wholeheartedly that as a LR specialist you are a paragon of hermetic perfection, and consequently one who'll have to overcome the jealousy and intrigues of "Rivals". Add to this "Social Handicap"(minor, general) : Your unshakable conviction that your own value overshadows other mere "dilettante/unqualified practitioners"(your words...), impairs your dealings with most of society (hermetic or mundane, obviously). And since one of Methuselah's redeeming qualities is his apparent respect and good relations with his own parens, you might round these up with the story flaw "Mentor" (which is kind of an advantage, at least occasionally).

You can certainly take liberties, if you're willing to do the work. If you want your mother there, that's fine, but it either needs to be my device, or your device. Your devices have to follow the rules. My devices don't, because she could slip and break her hip, and then she's done. I estimate, at her age and the effectiveness of a Longevity ritual right past gauntlet she'd be experiecing decreptitude pretty well, and there's two flaws of warping, easily. If you wanted her more decrepit as you proposed, that's easy, delay the ritual. All ways are interesting. If you want to subject a PC apprentice to this kind of treatment, then you must generate her a bit. I'm not saying abilities, but at least age her appropriately. You also have to work this out with Peregrine. Stories need to be interesting to him, too. Which leads me to my next topic...

It appears you have a warm relationship with your parens. Why? Nothing in your character's personality displayed so far suggests why this is the case. How are you going to treat an apprentice? Why is it different or the same as how you were treated as an apprentice? I see you possibly going down the road of using an apprentice as a near slave. Is that how you were treated, and you're continuing the tradition? If you were treated that way, why?

I would also point out that writing books is not research. There is original research being done on Longevity Rituals, do you want others to beat you to a major breakthrough?

As mentioned I am dropping the whole Mother schtick and the associated "Psycho" angle since the feedback from the troupe has been negative. As for Ulrich he will not have to endure anything unusual. He will be given his one season of training per year (which will be far above standard XP due to Methuselah's teaching skills). The rest of the time he will be given standard tasks such as building my lab and making copies of my tractati for trade.

As you previously alluded, House Bonisagus is in decline and its works are increasingly derivative. Methuselah is a prime example of that. Methuselah is not exceptionally intelligent, nor is he an inventive genius and he is far too careful to ever risk experimentation! Methuselah will never have a major breakthrough nor is it a player goal for the character (although Methuselah thinks he is working towards a breakthrough). Methuselah will earn his reputation by being the best author that the Order has ever seen and by creating the most powerful standard longevity rituals in the Order. Those are my player goals for the character along with adding as many social status titles along the way as possible (Master, Archmage, maybe even Quaesitor, Primus etc).

I'm doing a final review of your character. You might want to adjust some things and pick up Penetration to 2 or 3. I would suggest maybe a mastery ability or two and maybe dropping one of the techinque scores to 6 (23xp total) to get you to a Penetration of 2.

Remember, unless you're using more than 3 pawns of vis, you can't trigger a twilight on a botch. 3 vis +1 for the spell is 4 botch dice, less 3 more from cautious sorcerer. Mastery can always be learned later. Or so can penetration, and you may want to consider revising your book list somewhere...

So I purchased the GotF so I could create a more detailed background for Methuselah's life at Durenmar. With the new book info, I would like to do some more fiddling with Methuselah's abilities after all since he should really have a Durenmar Lore of 5 given his obsession with books. I will need to figure out where the points will come from though.

Here are the proposed relationships with the Magi of Durenmar as described in the book:


Caecilius, Archmage Quaesitor of Bonisagus, and parens to Methuselah always stressed that the most important thing in life was to be diligent with his favourite saying being, "Whatever you do, do it carefully and do it precisely." This is what led Methuselah to become such a careful sorcerer. Despite Caecilius's expertise in Intellego, Caecilius allowed Methuselah to explore his own affinities in Creo Corpus and aging once Methuselah was old enough to start making those decisions for himself (around 18) and all the basics of Latin and Magic Theory had been taught. Methuselah intends to follow in the exact same tradition with his apprentice of directing their studies for approximately the first 10 years of apprenticeship before allowing them to pursue their own interests. Caecilius is very touchy about several issues, most notably any potential blemish on his Hermetic record. Caecilius taught Methuselah that he came from a proud line of a prestigious House and he must ensure he never tarnishes that lineage. Methuselah is very proud of his lineage and of his parens and considers it his solemn duty to carry on that prestige. As a result of this pride however Methuselah tends to look down on other magi who do not come from such a prestigious lineage or have significant social standing similar to the ways nobles look down on those of lesser status. As final Twilight nears, Caecilius has taken less interest in Hermetic politics or enforcing the Code and has become increasingly indolent.

Murion, Prima of House Bonisagus. Methusela's loyalty to Murion was absolute, as she epitomized his personal objectives of prestige and rank. That changed about 2 years ago, when Murion appointed her first filius, to the position of Librarian of the Great Library of Durenmar since that was a position that Methuselah was striving for and which he felt he was better qualified for. Methuselah's umbrage at being passed over for this position is his motivation for leaving Durenmar.

Andrus, filius of Murion of Bonisagus, was Methusela's best friend at Durenmar. Even though Andrus was 9 years older then Methuselah, it was Methusela who dominated the relationship due to Andrus's weak will. Both magi were on the fast track for prestige and rank given their respective parens so they shared in the pressure to achieve excellence and supported one another. When Andrus achieved the title of Cannophori and was lucky enough to be drawn for the Colens Arcanorum on his first attempt in 1214, Methuselah was genuinely happy for him. When Andrus subsequently became a Master, Methuselah was the first to congratulate him but when Andrus was selected to be Librarian of the Great Library of Durenmar then the friendship soured from Methuselah's point of view since he was very jealous and upset over the decision. Andrus is too busy with all his responsilities to notice that the friendship has become strained.

Tandaline, of Bonisagus is another close friend of Methuselah's. They share a joy of written correspondence which is likely to continue after he has left Durenmar.

Occultes, of Bonisagus, was another of Methuselah's friends when Occultes had the role of librarian. Methuselah spent a lot of time in the Great Library of Durenmar so the two met often. When Occultes was relieved of his position as Librarian by the former Primus, Methuselah started avoiding him since he did not want to be associated with someone out of favour with the Primus. Since Murion also did not favour Occultes, that avoidance continued until Andrus was appointed the new librarian. Methuselah has since risked re-establishing his relationship with Occultes, who friendly as ever, was happy to reconnect as if nothing had ever happened.

Winfrida, follower of Guernicus. Even though she is several years younger than him and not a Bonisagus mage, Methuselah has cultivated a friendship with Winfrida since she has status as a Quaesitor and because she is in favor with Murion.

Xavier of House Mercere and Rhine Tribunal Archivist. Their shared passions for musty old tomes brought Methuselah and Gudrun into frequent contact. Methuselah has a passing interest in the history of the Order which is a topic Xavier likes to discuss.

Philippus Niger of House Flambeau, as an Archmage and Protector of Durenmar is one of the few Flambeau that Methuselah actually respects. While the two were never really close, as a Creo Corpus specilaist at Durenmar, it was Methuselah's job to cure the warrior mage after his battles.

Ricarus Caespuus, follower of Bonisagus, is socially shunned by Methuselah in similar fashion as all the other followers of Murion do.

Petrus Virilis, follower of Bonisagus, was too shy and socially unimportant for Methuselah to ever pay attention to. Methuselah feels Petrus's Vim source makes Petrus too vulgar to be associated with or taken seriously.

Gudrun Tigurina, follower of Verditius and Artificer of Durenmar. Methuselah never had much interest in making magical items as his passion was for books. Gudrun and Methuselah rarely met and when they did they had nothing to really talk about.

Note: Based upon the descriptions of the other magi at Durenmar, Methuselah probably created the longevity rituals for most of the powerful magi at Durenmar especially Caecilius and Philippus Niger but I will leave that up to SG discretion. None of the other magi are described in such a way that would indicate that they are as exclsuively focussed on longevity rituals as Methuselah which is what it would take to beat his lab totals. My understanding is that the 10 XP per season is merely an average for how much progress one over the course of years with several seasons lost for covenant business and the like. The most likely covenant duty that Methuselah would have had would have been longevity ritual creation. If that is not going to be the background story and there is another mage at Durenmar who is better than Methuselah at LR's then that magus would be Methuselah's rival and should probably be created so I can include him in my background story.

Note 2: I intend to add a notable incident involving Methuselah and his 4 grogs, called the Immortals because they all have the Unaging minor virtue, to Methuselah's background story. The story will likely involve an encounter with the fay of the Black Forest and the interaction of a botched fey curse with Methuselah's sigil to cause the Unaging virtue result.

Note 3: I have not yet read enough of the tribunal books to pick an appropriate enemy(ies) but I will over the weekend .

Ok. 75 xp is probably excessive. Keep in mind this coming from the SG.

This is fine except as I indicated you must work Ulrich's apprenticeship details out with PB.

I don't understand the inconsistency of expert LR specialist with librarian.

The more you describe Methuselah the more I see him as provincial. You think Murion is like this? You don't think she engages with members of other houses? Diplomacy is a skill that Methuselah needs to cultivate. Consider your master is sending you to Apollodorus as a means of teaching tough love and Apollodorus is doing him a favor.

You need to reason this out. What is the guideline for top Art scores? Even excepting that, the arrogance coming from your character would put some Magi off him. They don't want to "owe" him a thing. Yes, he is skilled. So are many others, including your enemies.

Peregrinatores? Specialists from the Alps exchanging services for access to the library. Not everyone wants to live for ever.

I'm interested in understanding motivation. Not what or who so much. How is better. Why is best. work within the framework that you have been held back. You never had enough library time. You had to teach others apprentices in a Latin class. You've left Durenmar because they've denied you for so long you couldn't take it anymore. If anything you want to go back as a conqueror. That's what I'd expect from your character and the parameters I've provided for development. Your master and you are close. Why? Because you can influence him? He is also part of the council of Durenmar and you've never been admitted as a full council member with the ability to steer the covenant and to lesser degree the House.
For enemies. Pick a gild to be part of. That'll pretty much be sufficient to establish who they were.

But don't focus too much on the past. There is the future and a completely different tribunal with different customs.