Character: Boniface

I would allow the argument from ArM5 p.31 Later Life: "After early childhood, the character gains 15 experience points per year, which may be placed in any Abilities, as long as the character has a Virtue that permits her to learn those Abilities." Yes, an Art is not strictly an Ability: but exercising it around Turbulences (Apprentices p.22ff) is just too good an idea.

I'd leave the final decision to @Xavi.

New xp per life period

  • Childhood (5 years, 45 xp):
    • Language: Low German (Flemish) 5 (0 xp)
    • Area Lore: Flanders (Ghent) 2 (15 xp)
    • Awareness (searching) 2 (15 xp)
    • Charm (getting fed) 2 (15 xp)
  • Early life before education (6 years, 90 xp):
    • Concentration (Controlling) 2 (15 xp)
    • Craft: Potter (pots) 2 (15 xp)
    • Folk Ken (villagers) 2 (15 xp)
    • Language: French (Waloon) 3 (30 xp)
    • (Philosophical) Controlling 2 (15 xp + 7.5 from Affinity with Controlling)
  • Education before initiation (4 years, 60 xp):
    • Artes Liberales (natural philosophy) 1 (5 xp)
    • Dead Language: Latin (academic usage) 4 (50 xp)
    • Profession: Scribe (copying) 1 (5 xp)
  • Society studies after initiation (6 years, 180 xp)
    • Artes Liberales (natural philosophy) from 1 to 3 (25 xp)
    • Dead Language: Latin (academic usage) from 4 to 5 (25 xp)
    • Dead Language: Classical Greek (academic usage) 1 (5 xp)
    • Dead Language: Arabic (academic usage) 1 (5 xp)
    • Philosophiae (Refining) 4 (50 xp)
    • Finesse (Elemental Earth) 2 (15 xp)
    • Legend Lore (creatures) 1 (5 xp)
    • Organization Lore: Philosopher of Chartres (initiation scripts) 3 (30 xp)
    • Parma Magica (elementals) 2 (15 xp)
    • Theology (history) 1 (5 xp)
  • Other activities after initiation 5 years, 75 xp):
    • (Philosophical) Summoning 4 (10 xp)
    • (Philosophical) Controlling 9 (15 xp + 7.5 xp from Affinity with Controlling)
    • (Philosophical) Refining 5 (15 xp)
    • Elemental Air 2 (5 xp + 10 xp from Philosophical Affinity*)
    • Elemental Earth 2 (10 xp + 5 xp from Philosophical Affinity*)
    • Elemental Fire 2 (10 xp + 5 xp from Philosophical Affinity*)
    • Elemental Water 2 (10 xp + 5 xp from Philosophical Affinity*)

*Philosophical Affinity adds half the xp spent on Philosophiae to be split amongst the Elemental Forms any way I want, so since 50 xp was spent on Philosophiae, I spread the 25 xp amongst the Forms.

If spending xp on Controlling is not allowed during Early Life, it simply moves one year from that period into Other activities after initiation, so it doesn't really make a difference except for the narrative. So I will go ahead and adjust his stats on the first post of this topic. He ends up being 26 years old, which I remember being the maximum age for starting characters.

Added personality traits and equipment. I believe the character is ready for play.

There still needs to be a few discussions regarding the exact effects of Inventive Genius for an elementalist hedge wizard, as well as how he may be able to perform Original Research. The exact limits of the Controlling technique must also be discussed.

But this has relatively little immediate impact on the character. I will post a few propositions soon.

@Xavi: Do you accept this? It may impact other characters, who thereby may get rid of Status Virtues just defining their position in the world as well!

Yes, I, for example, took a Social Status Virtue to go with Faerie Doctor, which is not itself a Social Status Virtue.

Mechanically the character looks ok to me. But I have to check the wording on HMRE and how the elemental things are defined before saying for sure. Will be back about this later.

Philosopher of Chartres (or follower of the Breathen of Purity for that matter) is not listed as a social status virtue. I can see most of them being clerks or some other people in the structure of the church if they are linked to the cathedral school of Chartres. Philosopher of Chartres is not a social status virtue. Now, as we agreed with the troupe regaridng Poor and Wealthy V&F, it can be extrapolated that if you are to be a full time member of Triamore and not be linked somewhere else you do not need to have an outside world status. If you are a Franciscan and want to keep your status, or you want to keep your contact with the mundanes in the villages (Faerie doctor) you need your social status. If you are to be a piece of magical furniture in a building like most magi are, you do not need outside social status virtues. Social status virtues are more than a source of V&F: they are contacts, they are who you are and how you see the world and how you are seen by the world. So, if you want to keep your links with Chartres and be subject to canon law you take clerk or another religious officer status.

It is OK to spend XP in Philosophical controlling. Once you get the ability it is something you have after all. Try not to go overboard there though, since this would affect his opening of the Gift.

Having spent 4 years in Triamore maybe an area lore of 1 would be appropriate? Or was Boniface around just for a few weeks until his Gift was opened?

Reading the story of Boniface I do not see much in the way of elementalism or the reasons for his driven personality flaws. What makes him what he is, really. He is morbidly fat by himself, and you do not need a reason for that (people can be rotund by default) but the other would be cool to be expanded. Not an obligation but I was reading this and thinking that for what I had read he could belong to any supernatural tradition, really.

The magical animal companion is not mentioned at all in the background either. It is a story hook, so give me a reason why it is a story hook, please :slight_smile: enduring constitution and obese together look weird to me, but it is your character. I just have never met obese people that were easy on how they take pain or fatigue. Most of them are short of breath actually, not a positive stamina. But well, most characters are very heavily optimized in this saga, so no big thing here.

About Inventive genius, we will make it work for, well, inventing stuff and integrating thingds. However, I would need more details on what he wants to do. His driven flaw is not there to get an idea of what you really want. I am not a rules sharkl regarding new breakthroughs, but inventing an elementalist MT sounds like a major breakthrough? Suggestions welcome, including maybe the break down of the task into smaller projects. thinking about it (and NOT checking the books) Conciata of Bonisagus looks like a reference for the kind of activities you want to do. I need to check HOH: Bonisagus and the Conciata chapter to see how to do that.

Philosopher of Chartres was added as a social virtue because of the House Rules, under Character Creation/Virtues and Flaws: Everybody starts the saga with the Social Status of their non-hermetic tradition. Once they join the covenant this might change, but the previous life of the character is there for his/her formative years.

Seemed like something to replace the Hermetic Magus social virtue, that would justify the relevant access to arcane or social virtues that such character can have. Since Boniface would have spent most of his life outside of a covenant, it would make sense for him to have a social status that represents this. Clerk does a reasonable job at this -- he's obviously literate to the outside world, but he is not a monk or a priest. He would be seen as a teacher or accountant, though with the Blatant Gift very few people would want to hire him.

Regarding wealth, having enough to maintain a decent living is pretty easy for an elementalist with Philosophical Summoning and Elemental Earth. He just need to go to an isolated place and summon silver or other valuable minerals, although in their wild and untreated state. Hedge Magic gives the exemple of a philosophical elementalist with a Summoning Total of 5 being able to summon enough silver to make a coin. As the Summoning Total rises the amount of silver rises exponentially.

Good point. I'll see if I can liberate 5 xp for that.

True, but children with the Gift rarely decide upon the tradition they are initiated into. It is a matter of who was close and learned of that child with the Gift. His only obvious natural talent with it was his Controlling of things around him when his Gift manifested in turbulences.

A character with the Obese flaw is not morbidly fat. He's just large because of fat, so tires more easily. Someone who is morbidly fat would have Obese, a negative Stamina and possibly additional flaws.

I know several people who are quite fat but reasonably healthy otherwise. I was envisioning Boniface as a kind of Budha figure. His positive Stamina means that despite being fat his health isn't bad. Enduring Constitution means that he is tolerant of pain and exhaustion. Partly a result of his training in Summoning, which is based on Stamina and requires him to spend long-term Fatigue and stay fatigued until he lets the summoned phenomenon out of the container (see Hedge Magic p.23).

Some fat people can still function very well physically and withstand pain/fatigue well. I've seen numerous people in the SCA who are very fat (like 5'6" and 300 pounds) but can put on armor and fight all day in the sun.

Kind of forgot about the magical animal in the background. At one point I suggested a pheonix, but I was waiting for approval there because of power issues:

Once the nature of the magical animal is agreed upon, I can work it into the background. It can start appearing at various times in Boniface's life: during childhood when he was exploring the ruins of Spider's Palace, at Triamore while he was being educated, or after opening of his Gift when he started learning about Summoning (perhaps even as the result of a botched or exploding die summoning roll). Given the presence of Philosophical Summoning, a magical animal is easy to work in.

Hedge Magic is a bit contradictory on whether Elementalists have no magic theory at all, or whether they use Philosophiae, Medicine or the Realm Lore as their magic theory depending on their type (philosophical, theurgical, medicinal) of elementalism.

A theory unifying all the types of elementlism is a possibility, but that could only come after he can study the other types. Another direction he could take is the introduction of formulaic-style spells (perhaps cantrip-level magic) that does not always require a stress roll. Yet another avenue could be broadening Refining to make small enchantments. With the numerous limitations of elementalism (as opposed to Hermetic magic), it's easy to find areas of potential improvement through Original Research.

I have some ideas of what Inventive Genius could do. I'll get back to that later. Post is long enough for now!

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Ah,m I see the thing.

this might need to change. The case is that we wrote those house rules on status for a "no order" version of the game. having reintroduced the OoH in a hedgie format it seems that you are a hermetic magus. The Chartres guys will be a covenant then, one with strong connections with the cathedral school. quaesitors have a hawk-like attitude towards them because of that, but so far nothing untiward has come from the relationship.

if you want it, you are a Hermetic Magus as a social status. You can still be a clerk, but your allegiance is to the OoH.

As I said, a lot of spinning plates in my hands. Sorry for the confusion.

Added Area Lore: Triamore by removing Profession: Scribe.

Updated background and moved it to the second post.

I still need to integrate the magical animal companion into the character's history. I put some placeholders there to show where I will talk about it once the nature of the companion has been established.

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Tell you what about the animal companion. I would do it the other way around: spin the tale you want to tell and we will work it backwards. If you fancy a phoenix, make your character think about it as anphoenix. It might not be the case but it is how your character sees it. Maybe it is a magical hawk that turns to fire, like a phoenix, or maybe it is a daimon playing tricks on you. Or even a Chartres guy that knows your interests and keeps sending a fire elemental (bird form) to trick you. Who knows? :slight_smile:

By ArM5 p.40 Clerk is a Minor Social Status Virtue, not a Free one. IIRC Xavi wrote:

Switched it to Hermetic Magus, then. :upside_down_face:

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Added the magical animal companion in the background. The added text is in red to make it easier to find.

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Now THAT is an magical animal companion. a great story hook. Thanks for the addition. I love it.

Thanks, it took a few hours to write but was worth the effort.

Now, Inventive Genius. The virtue usually gives a boost to lab totals when inventing new spells, crafting magic items and making potions.

Now, elementalists do not have spells and cannot craft magic items. In fact, the only technique that generates something that resembles a lab total is Refining. The only potion they can make are longevity potions with Refining. Medicinal Refining can also make potions to increase vigor and natural aptitude.

Boniface has Philosophical Refining, so the only type of potion he can make is longevity potion for himself. So it's a given that Inventive Genius will apply to that. If he learns Medicinal Refining at some point, it will also apply to the other kind of potions.

What else could Inventing Genius be used for? Well, Philosophical Refining can also do 3 more things:

  1. Extract vis from aura,
  2. Increase or decrease the Might of supernatural animals (which also produces vis),
  3. Transfer vis from one object to another (which transform it to elemental vis if it wasn't already but wastes half of it),
  4. Allows the philosopher to use vis associated to any Art in his elemental magic (to boost a total).

Now, the simplest solution would be to say that Inventive Genius gives a +3 bonus to all Refining totals, or +6 if he decides to experiment (using the same rules as Hermetic magi in the core book).

It doesn't seem overpowered at first glance, but it is a bit better than just taking Puissant Refining, which would give a straight-up +3, as it gives +6 when experimenting. If, of course, experimenting is possible at all for elementalists, as it is not something mentioned for them.

We could exclude extracting vis from aura for the purposes of Inventive Genius, as Hermetic magi do not get a bonus for this.

On the other hand, I think it should apply to increasing or decreasing the Might of supernatural animals, as this is kind of similar to enchanting items.

One additionnal possibility for Inventive Genius would be to give a bonus when modifying or creating an initiation script. This would be something new, as TMRE does not give a bonus there.

I was leaning more toward what Arthur says here. have you checked the breakthrough mechanics? (I haven't yet, BTW). I think we need to go that route to do what you intend to do with the character (develop a unified elementalist MT). Basically you are trying to be a mini-bonisagus, meshing together several approaches to elementalism into a unified magic system. If I got it right you are trying to get the 3 tyupes of elementalism and convert them to one: Controlling refining and summoning and the 4 Forms. that is quite an undertake, but achievable if we do it right. Also being able to cast rego effects on stuff on a moment's notice (either spontaneous or formulaic spellcasting). Difficult but can be explored as well

I checked the Original Research section from HoH:TL and it's a tough fit. For the most part, it hinges on performing Experimentation on lab work to make discoveries towards your planned breaktrough. Each discovery, once stabilized, gives you breaktrough points based on its magnitude.

And that's the big rub for elementalists. The only thing that constitutes lab work is Refining, and at first glance its variety seemed severely limited. But maybe not as much as I first thought:

  1. Extract vis from aura: 4 possible Forms can be used for extraction, so limited variety there.
    • Fairly boring, produces vis as the main result.
    • Risks include : things go boom, warping, damaging the aura, bringing down the Aegis, etc.
    • Potential benefits include: imbuing an item with power (enchanting items), extracting vis of a non-elemental Art, etc.
  2. Increase or decrease the Might of supernatural animals: much more variety with different creatures (even from different Realms, though experimenting with demons or angels would be unwise) and each creatures can be experimented on twice (once to increase, once to decrease).
    • Can more easily lead to stories, produced vis as a by-product of the activity.
    • Risks include: things go boom, warping, animal getting free, animal affiliated with a strong power (like Anduinna) who gets pissed off, etc.
    • Potential benefits include: transform the animal into something more powerful, something akin to familiar bond, etc.
    • Note that Harlan is definitively not a potential subject.
  3. Transfer vis from one object to another: numerous Arts, convert vis from non-Elemental vis to any of the 4 elements.
    • Again, we are playing with vis.
    • Risks include: things go boom, warping, etc.
    • Potential benefits include: imbuing an item with power (enchanting items), etc.
  4. Allows the philosopher to use vis associated to any Art in his elemental magic (to boost a total): not a lab activity, so no experimentaiton possible on this.
  5. Longevity potion: a few times, perhaps, but Boniface can only experiment on himself...
    • Risks include: inflicts flaws, deteriorate his health, warping, things go boom, etc.
    • Potential benefits include: improved longevity potion, other personal enchanments, etc.

So there are some interesting possibilities there, but it is limited in that everything involves raw vis. It also does nothing to explore improvements that could be brought to the other elemental techniques.

For Summoning and Controlling, we go try to use the Study from vis (ArM p.165) and Pratice mechanics (ArM5 p.164) mixed with the Experimentation rules. No lab total would be generated, but experimentation could perhaps generate a small bonus to the Study Total. We still roll on the Experimentation table as with lab work. Study from vis would be used with the Arts, while Practice could be used for Concentration, Finesse and Penetration. This could yield discoveries regarding something akin to formulaic magic, increased durations or range, safer magic, etc.

About the Philosophical Controlling

What can it do and what are its limits?

The elementalist must be able to both gesture and speak an arcane incantation to a target within range of his voice, which takes him a single round to perform. It always costs a short-term Fatigue level. The effect must Penetrate the target's Magic Resistance, and be high enough based on the Size of the target.

The text in Hedge Magic p.25 specifies that an elemental philosopical can affect the motion of natural materials with the appropriate element, or organic materials using his lowest Form. The example given is to increase his Soak, for which ne must maintain Concentration for at least one combat round.

It has been pretty much established on this forum that the elementalist can control the motion of object in various ways. For example, he could use it to throw a stone for the equivalent of The Invisible Sling (must penetrate) or Sling of Vilano (requires a Finesse roll).

The example with increased Soak seem to indicate clearly that spells can be cast with a Concentration duration. So the elementalist could levitate a stone and keep it afloat for as long as he concentrates.

Organic materials can be affected using the lowest Form as a requisite. A big question is whether that includes living creatures. I would propose that it does, so that the elementalist can levitate himself or another creature. Let me know if it does not.

Hedge Magic also indicates that the elementalist can give a command to animals of a temperament appropriate to the element used, as long as his Controlling Total exceeds both the Size and Might of the animal on the Summoning chart. The target must carry out a single command to the best of its ability. If it is held within a container (from Summoning) when the command is given, the animal may leave while it is about this task, but must immediately return once the command has been fulfilled. This is basically the Hermetic equivalent of a Mentem-type effect of Animal.