Character: Boniface

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.

Ok, by default Inventive Genius does not affect the totals for the elementalist (except his own Longevity potion) as you well pointed out, That does not change here. this problem also exist for a lot of other traditions, that can only take partial advantage of Inventive genius since it is witten for Hermetic usage. Tough luck. Inventive Genius will be there if you try to break your own limits.
REFINING: Your suggestions are good, but since you say it is better than Puissant. So, let's make it risky and interesting: you can use Inventive Genius if you experiment. You double the risk bonus with Controlling (+2, +4 or +6), but must roll on the extraordinary results table normally.
I am more intereste din what you want to achieve and how you plan to do it. it is clear that going along the well thread path will not allow you to earn XP towards a unified Elementalist MT or other breakthroughs. So what do you plan to do? :slight_smile: This way we can design a path of advancement for you.

INITIATION SCRIPTS: sounds fair to use inventive genius here. The option to modify an initiation script should be easy (few breakthrough points) with several initiation scripts on similar Virtues that require different ordeals) could easily work and be easy to research.

LAB EXPERIMENTATION: You can experiment summoning different critters and different containers for example, and even using elemental magic to modify the humors with theurgy and stuff like that. All tis could count as lab experimentation by Practice in your arts. Or stuff like that.

CONTROLLING: Yes, you can affect living creatures. let's see where that leads us. If we find it is broken we can change it later. Or you can reach for a breakthrough there. But for starters you will be able to affect living creatures.

Note that Inventive Genius does not help when performing Original Research (from HoH:TL) directly. It only does insofar as it increases the lab total of the project used to generate a discovery. So, at best, it allows the magus to increase the magnitude of a given discovery (so 1 more xp, but also 1 more warping).

Modifying an initiation script does not require a breakthrough (in the Original Research sense). TMRE has specific rules for modifying (p.17) and creating new experimental (p.18) Initiation Scripts. Inventive Genius plays no role there either, so giving a bonus would be something new that also affects other traditions.

Excellent, I can work with that!

New and Improved Initiation Scripts
The first thing he'd like to do is work on initiation scripts, to generate modified scripts and brand new ones. The goal would be to broaden the capabilities of his tradition by adding scripts to initiate Philosophical Controlling and Philosophical Divining (major virtues both). Same with the Theurgical and Medicinal versions of elementalism (adding those is only a minor virtue if one has access to the Philosophical version). The TMRE rules cover that, though I can't find whether that takes any significant amount of time.

That in part depends on Boniface's standing in his tradition and how much material he has access to. Considering his high Intelligence and Presence, it would make sense for his tradition to help him in his work as they will receive benefits from it. Amongst other things, increasing his Organization Lore: Philosopher of Chartres would help (it is the Mystery Cult Lore of his tradition).

Also, access to the initiation scripts from other elementalist traditions would help (for Controlling, Refining, Theurgy and Medice), but I don't expect much to be available there unless these are texts his tradition was never was able to benefit from.

Formulaic Spells
The second thing he'd like is to add safer ways to work elemental magic. Right now, Summoning, Controlling and Divining always use a stress die. Being able to introduce something like formulaic spells, even if weaker than regular elementalist effects, would be a major improvement for the tradition in one or more ways (use a simple die in non-stress die, does not automatically incur fatigue, faster casting for Summoning, greater ranges, greater durations). That will require original research.

Normal Studies
Of course, to fuel his studies and work he will need vis. It would make sense for him to experiment pretty much every time he does that, as it may yield some additional insights.

Finally, as he gains knowledge and discovers new things, he will want to wrtie those down and dissiminate them to his tradition.

Of course, it's only a rough plan at this time, and it will evolve as outside events impact of them. But it's a start.

Sounds fair. Thanks for the planning.
Inventive genius should contribute to breakthroughs IMO. When I fully read the rules for breakthroughs I will keep an eye open for this. I will reread the part on initiation scripts as well.

Shall I introduce him in the New Beginnings topic now?

Go ahead.

Please understand, that the New Beginnings were played so far under different conditions and led to the recent changes in the saga's background. Some exchanges there will have been different now.

I am busy with a festival, but hope, that I can look into New Beginnings at least some early mornings and try to react to Boniface.