Casting an InMe: interest in a pbp saga of a different sort

In the vein of The Practicia Covenant I'd like to consider a PbP "game" that is more a simulation, and am wondering if there is interest.

The nature of PbP gaming lends itself to some things very well, and I believe this is one of those things. I've had this idea in the back of my head for a while now, probably since the simulation above was first posted! :smiley:

I'm proposing a "game" with no saga arc to speak of. The trials and tribulations of the magus or maga are written and developed by the player, much like characters in a novel. You can play things out to the extent that you like, by throwing out a request to SG to the troupe at large. If no one wants to SG the story, it could be written out by the player, but success in all endeavors shouldn't be automatic or assured, interesting character develop comes with conflict, and not all conflicts are resolved according to the character's desires. My goal is that the troupe will be there to help push through "writer's block" and answer questions about whether the actions are reasonable or consistent with the character as written. I put quotation marks around game above, beccause this really is more of a writing exercise and simulation than anything, but sometimes you need an independent party to adjudicate your actions. Character interaction will be as much or as little as the players like. Companions and grogs should come and go or die as necessary. They don't need to be statted up, unless the player desires.
If a player wants a full blown adventure, such as I want X, someone in the troupe can step up and create and SG the adventure, and it can be as wild as the participants want, but shouldn’t have any impact on the outside world. This really shares the SG responsibilities, and also at the same time, it keeps it relatively focused. The game world as a whole won't change much, history will go one, these magi shouldn't be interested in interfering with the mundanes, and won't have to do so.

Those potentially interested, I'm sure, have a lot of questions. I probably do not have the answers, but I'm interested in exploring the possibilities. One of the other motivators for doing this is when I was looking through Magi of Hermes, I often wondered what the covenant (when a magus was in one) would look like with this particular magus as a member.

Just keep in mind that this is more simulation and less game... Almost everything for building it is on the table. If there's a lot of interest, I'll ask for a forum to be created for it, and if not, I'll ascribe the desire to my own inner accountant wanting to push the limits of Ars... :smiley:

I'm at least initially interested. Any thoughts on pacing (both posting wise and in-game wise).
I would guess (and prefer) something somewhat fast paced (at least a year a month, but preferably even faster) is best.
As for posting frequency is once a week enough? At least it might be if we actually write a bit each time.

I think the idea sounds interesting.

Funny, I was thinking something similar just the other day - and then I forgot it.
I'm interested.

The pacing can be fairly fast unless someone wants to go full story mode for some reason, but if everyone does a story every now and again, eventually everyone will even out. I would think once a week would be more than enough if you're writing some kind of first draft of some story/adventure and inviting comments and then revising based on those comments. That allows getting a year down in a month pretty easily.

((Someone had posted about starting from apprenticeship, but deleted the post. I'd been working on a response, so I'll post it in any event.))

I've been thinking that the magi would be relatively young starting their covenant after having been in correspondence with each other for a period of years. Or perhaps their parentes had been in correspondence and we were matched up by our parents. I was thinking simulation would begin with the covenant founding. So I'm thinking maybe magi 5 to 10 years post gauntlet to start, post gauntlet progression being by RAW (spells cost XP and are limited to purchase as apprenticeship). The problem with starting from apprenticeship is it also requires a more fully fleshed out master. That's not a huge problem, of course, it's just more work. The entire apprenticeship question was one I was interested in exploring in the course of the simulation.

The build points for the covenant should be divided between the participants based on an agreed upon power level. To account for the disproportionate value of vis stores vs. vis sources, I propose that we pick only vis sources, and based on the vis sources we establish a reasonable amount of stores we would have on hand based on those sources.

Subject: Casting an InMe: interest in a pbp saga of a different sort

I did post that reply, but I'm a little bit unsure about if I'll playas I might not have enough time. Sorry about that. I do think I'd like to participate though.

Founding a covenant is a good starting place. I've been toying around with two mages that might have interesting lives, but would not be perfect for normal campaigns.

One is a Björnaer with crocodile heartbeast and draconic tendencies with suitably venomous personality whose life would crawl towards turning him into chimera of a crocodile and a bat. He might be difficult to play in a group since characters growing more envious, avaricious and reclusive are hardly good for long term campaigns. Still it might be a story worth telling.

Another one is talented Bonisagus whose Gift was damaged horribly during apprenticeship. With practically no ability for magic left (Unstructured caster, rigid magic, weak spontaenous magic) he needs to find a meaning for his life with rueful parens supplying him vis as compensation for his careless ways. Struggling to find a way to live with memories of that fateful day surfacing every once in a while.

I think the important thing is that participants have some clear purpose for their magus for the long term. An opening concept is fine, but thinking for the long term is a key for this exercise. I'm not sure what the Bjornaer has beyond what you've described. The Bonisagus could research, could be a prolific spell inventor, even do decent Longevity Rituals or create items, but not as well as a Verditius. As I said, the idea is that there isn't a grand saga arc. The magi will generally be able to grow in directions that the player desires. Being a productive member of a covenant will be important.


Both are also rather young so they do have room to grow.

Bjornaer would seem interesting to play from apprenticeship onward since it is his interactions that are fascinating - I do seem to think that he would see benefit of cooperation, but grow colder as his heartbeast ability grows and perhaps more manipulative. Seeing it as a balance between human and crocodile (and later dragon) natures is very Bjornaer. I think it would be hard to write and play, but perhaps interesting. His goals would be of his own devising and I'd see his stories as exploration of social interactions. At first I'd see him as enthusiastic and charming child with some worrisome signs that parents and then parens easily ignores (Bjornaer with an eagle heartbeast and touch of mythic blood of phoenix - dutyful and distant - interest in longevity and ancient stories, but not always with ability to narrate them perfectly). At first he would like to secure himself a place where he can live in peace and then manage as good longevity ritual as possible before age starts to take its toll - he would work purposefully to acquire himself resources and capabilities.

Bonisagus would have different issues and I'm not sure if I could see him inventing spells. Hermetic spell invention is experimental by its nature as I see it so that if he cannot cast a spell then he cannot invent it. He could certainly brew longevity rituals, distill vis and make enchanted items. This could be justified by saying that when he enchants items he subtly manipulates magical force with non-stressful spontaenous spells that he still can manage. Recovering from mishap and learning to live with others while they sometimes deride you as deficient - proving yourself when you are disadvantaged and others can see it. Depending on what happens he could set to explore wonders of world with help of items he creates, invent way to enchant himself as a talisman (original reserach for Inscription on the Soul) to simulate casting spells or set to enjoy life in more mundane way. If characters are 10 years past gauntlet then his days of being young and lost are rather worn out now and he sets out to help with new covenant seeing that he needs some purpose. With years having gone by he would have found some things he can take delight in when the misery starts to set in, but has not yet found place for himself to belong.

For either I could see desire to change their surroundings. Sometimes my characters seem to lack that trait and they often turn more inward, but this would be an excercise in describing someone more outward.

Perhaps they do not have clear goals in their lives, but that is hardly exceptional. Of course such things do help to structure life, but how you find your purpose is very interesting.

How about mysteries and mystery cults?

I'm not sure exactly how much magus interaction we will see. The bulk of interaction with grog/companion style characters will be written by the player. Magus interaction It isn't something I'm going to force on anyone, maybe go through a council thread, but even then that's open to negotiation. And while you think 10 years PG is no longer young, I will point out that Hermetic is considered for a magus 30+ years post gauntlet. I proposed 5-10 years PG, because it doesn't seem plausible that newly minted magi would start a covenant, even with some support. They need to have something under their belt, so to speak. Since Inscription on the Soul is available via Mystery Cults, I'd suggest pursuing it that way, it would be far less costly than pursuing the original research to invent it independently.

As suggested above, I don't see a reason why not. What I'd like to avoid though is being the SG, as in the primary person deciding what's right and correct, since most of this is self-directed, so more than anything else I'd like these things to be decided by the participants. It's not that I don't have strong opinions, it's more that I'm trying to suppress them to allow an environment that the participants can push things out. The only requirement is that these characters have some way of coming together in a covenant and staying in it. We are still negotiating the game contract, in my opinion.

This does sound interesting. I have a few questions ...

The different style seems to imply that we have some stories about our magi already in our heads, right?

Do you have in mind a location and some details about setting and timeframe? These would have some impact on the character I choose, and the stories we could tell.

I imagine that some of the stories in which the the magi are involved might have consequences for the covenant. How will this be handled?

Will we start with an already established covenant? My recent pbp experiences have been about starting up a covenant, and I am hoping to skip some of that this time, unless you have some interesting scenarios for us to start from?

Would you mind if I end up recycling a magus who first appeared in another, now retired, pbp game? I don't know which character will speak to me the loudest about his story, and I have a few new ideas along with some old ones I never quite got the chance to explore...

I am pretty interested in this idea, and the once-a-week posting rate seems about right for me given the style you are looking for.

Right, in addition to an opening concept a life concept is necessary. This is mostly self-directed and trials and tribulations he faces will largely be of the participant's own design, with some input from the troupe. I'd probably comment in situations where I think someone is being too hard or too easy on their character. I think the role of the troupe is more editorial in purpose in this kind of format.

I do not. I think I have all the 4th and 5th edition Tribunal books available, so we could be anywhere. A tribunal like Valnastium is a bit problematic, but say our players discover a cluster of vis sources and have enough wealth to stay? I think that's a reasonable premise.

Troupe discussion should happen on a story that has an impact on the covenant. It is probably something that needs to be discussed well beforehand, and implemented in a later story the character wants to pursue.

My idea is that we'll have a newly created covenant, but it would be sufficiently well stocked by the participants spending build points. Ostensibly players tend to spend build points favorable to their character. I'm interested in the covenant being new, but essentially already built. Stories of vis hunts and securing resources aren't something I'm wanting to pursue out of the gate, but will probably develop as things progress. Does that make sense?

However you think it works best. The magus character really needs to speak to the participants, without that, this process will seem more like a chore than fun.

I've requested a forum. The name I selected was Via Experimenta.

I have an old concept I have tried out before (off line) that I might want to test in a long time horizon. The "I want to live forever" longevity expert. Not pursuing any of the published transcendence paths, but rather hyper-specializing in creo, corpus and longevity rituals. Then start pursuing improvements to the hermetic longevity rituals. It should be a magus well suited to gang up with others in a covenant to have support and offer healing, longevity and other Creo and Corpus services.

If recycling isn't too popular I have other ideas, but a bit dependent on location and how rich/poor we set up the covenant.

I've often been fascinated by the LR specialist concept. I can imagine that they would be in high demand and could command some hefty fees. Concepts of trade within the order is something rather interesting to explore, and there are many different character types that can be explored. If no one had pursued this concept, I probably would have. Don't take that as a reason to not do it, as I have several interesting concepts in mind..

Dont forget that you should then also aim for a covenant location that includes bonuses to living conditions, after which you can spend a decade or two simply adding every little further bonus that you can come up with a viable way to apply without being unrealistic.
Having a location bonus of maybe 2-3 and then through various means creating another 5-15 or something, as well as obviously spending big chunks of money to get the best possible living condition mods as well...
Well the magi suddenly extends the time s/he has to come up with something that works forever by a LOT.
And possibly annoying the rest of the inhabitants badly because some of the "fixes", oops causes warping.

That was very much my impression as well.

I am considering a character (Bonisagus or Verditius, probably Bonisagus) interested in Auras and how to manipulate them.
He would need Hermetic Architecture, either at same start of at some later point.

He is not the only chareacter I'm considering though.

I like the idea. :slight_smile:

I've been working for a couple of months now at building a setting for a future saga. The idea is a summer covenant who recruits newly-gauntleted magi to help them perform some of the tasks now required to fulfill the senior magi's goals. They offer a secure and developped home for the young magi, as well as mentors, in exchange for services. The thing is, I know what the senior magi should look like in general but I'de like them to have a more developped background and history. One of them in particular is the driving force of the covenant, and needs a more developped background. I've already started sketching out his history and advancement, so I know what his (my) goals are.

But the details can be important, so developping him with the help of someone else would be a great help.

The basic concept is a Bonisagus (working name is Petronius) raised in the Rhine tribunal, and trained in Mercurian magic. His Gift is very much related to Rego, Terram, and the overall concept of portal magic, but his pater was more of a healing specialist. The pater was very much into Oak Gild politics in the tribunal and very influent in House Bonisagus, and using the vis-saving ability of his mercurian heritage to promote and help allies and those with similar political goals. Petronius was a bit innocent and focused on developping his abilities for portal magic (lab research and exploring ancient magical sites/texts/items), and so was easily manipulated into supporting his pater's political scheming. Spends many years as a peregrinator based on the advice of his pater. Eventually (after a few decades), he realizes what is going on and confront his pater. A severe rift between them forms, and Petronius is stonewalled by the faction, and he renounces both his gild and his House, before leaving the Tribunal. Becomes Ex Miscellanea in Novgorod, eventually meet two other magi (an older Criamon diviner and a younger Bjornaer wilderist) and create a new covenant based on the visions of the maga. Petronius completes his research into portal magic, which helps keep the covenant hidden from their enemies. After the covenant is well established (about 15 years), they recruit young magi.

I don't know if this would fit into the concept you propose, but even if I need to tweak some details afterward, this might allow me to develop the character in a way that makes sense.

Arthur, I think it's a fine concept, but it may be too well developed, but you're open to adjustment and tweaking, so that's good. The great thing is you have a plan, a life's work, if you will. Getting to a CS or LT of 75 for ReTe will probably be his big focus, and it will leave him weak in other areas.

In addition to my other character concepts, I had a dream about this last night, and my character's concept would be kind of the glue of keeping everyone together (unless someone else wants that roll).

As soon as the forum becomes available, I'll post a poll about the location. I'm not too familiar with Novgorod, I think they have similar new covenant policies to The Tribunal of the Greater Alps, mainly to keep it wild, and allow the resident magi abundant vis.

Someone mentioned that on this form a few months back - I couldn't find anything like that in the Dragon and the Bear (though it might well be there).
All I could find to that effect was a throw-away sentence to that effect in the Greater Alps book.

Thankfully, I have a PDF, so I can search it.

Page 105 mentions that after the Rhine tried to expand its borders in the Grand Tribunal that the "Slavonic Tribunal" took action and required all new covenants be approved by a tribunal council. Then on page 107 it mentions that a new charter was granted for Thousand Caves. So it is subtly stated.

That being said, there is sufficient room there to create a covenant, and sometimes Tribunal books about the customs can get in the way more than they help.