Yes, in medieval times dolphins and whales counted as fish. Clever doesn't matter too much, because your intelligence will override it anyhow. Still by all means give it the Crafty quality a couple of times (or more), and Vocal...
Arthur has invited me to join this, assuming I can propose a character concept the rest of you are comfortable with.
I have three ideas. It may be that some of these are too close to ones that you are already running, in which case they are out.
The general idea would be a Bonisagus match with a significant curiosity (+3) and maybe some other character traits to explain his choosing to join this group. The three ideas are:
A Healing / Longevity magi. Initial arts of Creo and Corpus. A minor magical focus (if allowed) in improving people (to cover longevity potions and other improvements he would like to work on later).
An Intelligo / Vim Specialist. Interested in understanding the supernatural. (Eventually able to open arts of someone with a major supernatural virtue while preserving the virtue.) Should be easily able to help find vis sources, ...
A Rego / Finesse specialist. Initial interest is in using Rego to make things for the covenant (improve lab equipment, make tools, clothing, ...) He would look for interesting things to make.
Trogdor's magus is a healer bonisagus, but we are not quite sure if he's interested in cointinuing or not. Other than that (and I think we can soon strike out Trogdor's as well), those look good to me. Welcome!
And I've asked to come aboard, as well. My potential concepts are, off the top of my head.
- Jerbiton member of the Ponderers of Weight and Distance, who was rejected from Oculus Septentrionalis. Or he rejected them, accounts vary.
- Perhaps a Verditius of some sort, but being a low resource saga, this isn't high on my priority list.
I've got a couple of other ideas percolating, too.
Just as a reminder of some of the saga's House Rules, for the new players, as this may preclude some concepts (or at least make them more difficult to implement):
Also keep in mind the Cosmology of this saga.
One more thing to consider when desingning the concepts. Each of the magi mustbhave some reason for not joining an existing covenant, with all the benefits that come with it. So they may be rebels out to stick it to established order, misfits that cannot live with the constraints imposed by elder magi, or rejects that no one wants to accept.
You come up with your own reason.
I understand that there has to be a reason for our character doing this (by the standards of the order in general) outlandish thing.
If the existing players have a preference among the three concepts I proposed, it would be good to hear it. I am happy to run any one of them (my preference seems to shift each time I consider them.)
Great to get you onboard Joel and Jonathan. Welcome!
Trogdor's concept is a Gentle gifted Bonisagus with a focus in healing so he covered two areas that we lacked before. If he drops I think Joel's healing/longevity concept and Jonathan's Jerbiton would suit very well for us.
That said, an Intellego/Vim expert wouldn't be a bad choice either given that we want to find and examine new vis sources around the island. The magus that covered that for us from the start is leaving.
As my Jerbiton concept is a bit of a trader (or wants to be) is this a problem with keeping the setting isolated?
I would say its a boon - we were planning on trading anyway.
Indeed, the island is on a trade route:
If he can be discreet about our magical whereabouts then trader is definitely a boon to our covenant. We had plans of adding a merchant companion at some point but that won't be necessary with your Jerbiton.
Well, I'm trying to reconcile the early statement of wanting to limit the geographical setting with how far a trader can go, I suppose. Do we make regular trips into Lubeck, running afoul of Oculus Septentrionalis, do we contend with the piracy of Waddenzee?
Japik hates Waddenzee for reasons in his background so he would approve of contending with them on all possible levels even if we are much weaker than them at this stage.
Lübeck and Oculus Septentrionalis I don't know about. I think Prochorus has spent some time there so it might be that he and your Jerbiton might know each other?
Two options for reconciling the limited geographical scope with a trader.
One, we can allow the trading to reach farther, but keep it in the background so that I don't have to develop dozens of locations to hold stories in. He might also work through intermediaries for the farther trading, not owning ships of his own but rather financing shipments of goods to be resold to other merchants. Potential stories would be about piracy (some of his shipments don't reach the island), competition from other merchants locally, possibly smuggling vs the authorities, etc.
The other possibility is that his trading is done at a more local level. By that, I mean trading along the Elbe and Weser rivers, and perhaps as far as the Ems river. Potential stories would similar, though less likely to involve piracy and more likely to involve mundane politics.
In both cases, this would be more mundane stories than supernatural ones. Oculus Septentrionalis is more likely to be a competitor than a client or partner. Trading with the rest of Order would be much difficult, as your magus will not be part of a well-established covenant and thus seen as a less trustworthy supplier. Although a case could be made for being an "independent" not directly linked to the interests of a specific covenant.
So, basically, it comes down to what kind of stories you would like your magus to be involved in?
Unless someone sees a problem, I am going to try to make the Intelligo / Vim magi work.
I saw some reference to an interview. Not sure how that will be handled, but I presume I need to get the design fleshed out and approved first?
Given the cosmology, how much vis does the personal vis source give? I am hoping it is 4. To make it more interesting, I was thinking of a plant that I harvest each quarter, that produces various kinds of vis, but my parens who gave it to me was never able to find the pattern to it. I would also take Skilled Parens as one of my virtues.
From reading the core book, I believe I can take Second Sight as an ability without spending a virtue on it?
Can I take "Understanding Supernatural" as a minor focus?
Given the premise, free study looks like it might be interesting to take. Any objection? (It may turn out to be less useful, but so be it.)
Given the setting, it strikes me that there is probably less interest in, and possibly even resistance to, hermetic breakthroughs. Would Driven to make a Major hermetic Breakthrough" be an acceptable flaw? At this stage he would be trying to get information about all kinds of supernatural phenomena to sue to inspire such a breakthrough.
The interview is basically having the current players (Wits and Bearlord) letting you know if there is anything in your character design that they object to. They are basically focusing on how their own magi would react to your character when they will meet him, although we will not go as far as roleplay the interview. So they may ask questions such as "Why is this magus interested in joining a rebel covenant instead of an established one", which you must answer in some way by your character design or background.
The guideline given on the core book suggest about one tenth what the covenant as a whole can harvest. Based on that, I'd say no more than 2 pawns per year. The exact amount would depend of the kind of vis it provides, and with an unusual frequency it might even end up a fractional number (like 1.8 pawns per year on average). You may try to convince me to allow more, but it will be a tough sell.
As to a source that gives raw vis from a variety of Arts, I don't see a problem with it. There would need to be some sort of theme to the source, so it wouldn't provide vis from all Arts.
If a supernatural ability is selected at character creation, you must purchase the virtue. So you have to take the Second Sight virtue to have the ability.
It is true that a Gifted person can learn a supernatural virtue after play has begun, gaining the virtue without needing corresponding flaw(s) to pay for it, but that is not as easy as it looks.
In what ways would that be narrower than all of InVi?
It could be, but low resources also means few books not much raw vis, so it may not be as useful as in a normal saga. (The same would be true of Book Learner, as fewer books will be available.)
Breakthroughs requires decades of dedicated research. As such, they are expensive in time and resources. A rebellious covenant like this one is an environment that doesn't provide a fertile ground for this. On the other hand, established covenants may indeed be stiffling such research from a just-Gauntleted magus (keeping it one of the privilege of well-established magi). Would a character driven to pursue a Breakthrough leave an established covenant? Perhaps. But there, at least, you would at least have regular access to a lab in which to pursue your research. This might not be the case at a yound rebellious unrecognized covenant, which may struggle to finance its normal operations (let alone the costs of continual research needed for a Breakthrough).
So I'm not saying that it cannot be done, or at least that the character cannot believe it can be done or that it is the better way to achieve it. I'm just telling you, the player, that it's unlikely to happen and may result in sub-optimal choices for your magus -- perhaps even causing friction with your covenant-mates if being Driven (particularly if it's taken as a Major flaw) negatively impacts the covenant.
I'll let Wits and Bearlord weight in on this -- after all, that's excatly the kind of considerations that they would base their decision to accept (or not) such a magus.
I will wait for comments from the others on most of your feedback (I can happily adjust to make things work). On the minor focus, I would expect that such a focus would not help with detecting or understanding spells, or the form of vis. I would expect it to help with detecting regios and other manifestations of supernatural creatures or forces. I would also expect, if we ever get there, for it to apply when opening an apprentices ares. Is there a better phrasing for it? For detecting Vis sources, and understanding them, I would expect to have to use his magic without the benefit of the focus.
None of Japik or Prochorus are particularly scholarly so that could be a niche to fill within our covenant, but as Arthur says we are very low on books and lab equipment and being a low resource saga it will take lots of effort to increase the amounts of these. So if your character is very focused on research and breakthroughs he might decide he is better suited at one of the bigger covenants where he has at least some reliable access.
I like the Intellego/Vim concept but why not focus on a more exploring theme and have a focus in finding and recognizing vis sources and regios? Not sure if that might be a too narrow focus for this particular saga, that is up to Arthur to decide.
One of the first questions would be why do you seek to join our small and resource-poor covenant instead of one of the bigger ones like Fengheld, Durenmar or Oculus Septentrionalis?
A major Driven personality flaw might cause some problems but if it means you create your own niche within our covenant and it also helps the covenant as a whole to prosper then it could work fine.