Character Creation Discussions (OOC)

The thought is to retain a lot of the ideas from before, but simplified. So she'll still be dealing a lot with House Mercere, but not the same level of recruiting and cult membership (sure, Cult of Mercury like a quarter or so of the Order, but not a pivotal Cult of Heroes person). Cutting back on the Mentem but starting with the Gentle Gift, so actually better socially. Lots of Creo, so CrMe is still quite viable, but working with Co more to start so I can sell Longevity Rituals and magic items to the Redcaps. I'm thinking very similar motivations and Story Flaw to before; I'm not trying to change that so much as make things less messy.

Having trouble reconciling the Rusticani tradition with any form of cult membership. They tend to be a bit outside of the regular Hermetic circles.

Also have some trouble with the statement "Cult of Mercury like a quarter or so of the Order". That seems way too many.

In my opinion, far less than half of the Order belongs to any mystery cult (putting aside the Mystery Houses). And not all the cults described in the books actually exist in a given saga (again, probably less than half). So let's be careful not to go overboard with them in this saga.

(This is just advice, not any form of criticism.)

Question, does the line of Hercynius still exist in the Bonisagus House? I know some members joined Ex Miscellanea, but unsure if that means it’s totally extinct in its home house.

I’m kicking around being the filius of Occultes, the exploration-focused former librarian of Durenmar. And if he could plausibly have been from the line of Hercynius (publicly or privately), then that provides

  1. Potential stories relating to the Diedne or relics of the Schism War
  2. Interesting political considerations relating to Durenmar or the Rhine tribunal more broadly
  3. More symbolically, a connection between the line of my magus and the Jura Mountains, which were once part of the ancient Hercynian Forest

I agree with you that most magi won't be in a Mystery Cult. But the Cult of Mercury isn't a Mystery Cult. It's a Hermetic Societas with open membership. Maybe you thought I was talking about the Neo-Mercurians, who are an off-shoot Mystery Cult developed from it? As a Hermetic Societas, it's more like the more dominant of the two dominant religions (Christianity being the other) in the Order.

Essentially, Mercury Cultists are Mediterranean nature-worshippers, and their ceremonies focus on anthropomorphizing forces like weather, death, love, war and so on.

they welcome any magi who wish to join their group.

The reason I said "more dominant" is that they're also heavily integrated into the general Hermetic society. Their leaders are like the religious leaders who bless non-religious events in our world.

At Tribunal, the flamines often perform an invocation or a blessing before the event, and fulfill other duties such as leading Hermetic naming ceremonies, witnessing oaths, or conducting funereal rites.


As for the numbers, I was exaggerating. It need not be that big, of course. But canonically it really is huge and could be that big. We have statements that the Cult of Heroes is one of multiple smaller sub/side-groups of it. The Cult of Heroes alone is mostly House Mercere, with a few Gifted members and a bunch of unGifted members. And then there are more Mercere outside of the Cult of Heroes, with about half the Gifted Mercere and more Redcaps who aren't in the Cult of Heroes. And despite all these Mercere

[House Flambeau] are still most represented. Through Priamitus they have always had very close ties to House Mercere, and they welcome any magi who wish to join their group.

The Cult of Mercury includes magi from many different Houses

Additionally, we know those in the Cult of Heroes and the leadership of the Cult of Mercury are pagan, yet

A good many cult members consider themselves Christian as well as Mercurian.

So the books aren't very precise. But putting them all together, it's essentially impossible for there to be fewer than 50 or so magi (including unGifted Redcaps). The lower limit is probably closer to 75 or so. Even 75 requires straining textual statement. Having worked with stats a lot and putting all these statements together, I have a hard time believing the implication is under a hundred. Yes, that is well under a quarter of the Order, but it really is huge, and the text doesn't rule out it being a quarter or more.

Now, that is just canonical stuff, and need not exist in game. I was just going off it being a major, open Hermetic Societas that is essentially one of two religions within the Order to which many belong.

I agree that it is probably (and certainly publicly) the largest societas/cult within the Order, but I would estimate its numbers at about 10% of the gifted magi (with a somewhat larger percentage of ungifted redcaps). So around 150-200 members.

Edit: My main point, however, was that rusticani were unlikely to be Mercurians, besause they are specifically less involved in the traditions, rituals and society of the Order.

From the Rhine book and a small mention in HoH:S I understand that the lineage is extinct in House Bonisagus.

The idea seems interesting. What about story and personality flaws?

If we dig too deep into the Diedne and Schism War side I might not be the best person to run such stories, so I don't want to compromise yet... But I'd gladly tag along with grogs or a companion.

A gentle gifted but offensive to animals Merinita, focused on mentem and spirits, with ties to Irencilla and driven to discover how/why her mother died. Is that right?

I like her. =]

Just to put everyone in the same page.

Since I entered this wagon a bit further down the road I'm not formally committed to any particular magus (as in, no current character required my approval), but at this point I think it's pretty much solid that I'll be running several stories for Wolfgang. I do have an inclination to run exploration and combat (thanks, DnD background).

Other than that I'm trying to get more rounded up in other kinds of stories, as long as it seems interesting and I think I can do a passable job. Thus my questions to get some grasp on the magi concept, motivations, flaws, etc.

Thanks for the feedback! My comment about Diedne/Schism War stories were more an option than a specific request, and I was thinking more stories about learning from relics of the past than stories about reigniting that war.

As an example I was thinking about, since the covenant’s main vis source was said to be planted by druids, is that maybe that means the Diedne learned how to grow their own vis sources.

  • Could we learn to do the same if we investigate the Oak of Binding Promises, or if we journeyed to find other trees like it?
  • How would Quaesitors or the Order as a whole respond if our covenant was found to be creating new vis sources via Diedne-inspired practices?
  • Could we use this technique as a bargaining chip with one of our vis-strapped neighbors to help solve our Tribunal problem?

Again, I just wanted to give my thoughts and am totally good if the troupe wants to skip on these kinds of stories.


As for story/personality flaws of my character…

Personality-wise, I would describe him like a cheerful cat. Hopelessly curious about anything mushroom related, he will investigate anything regarding his interest, even if it puts him in a tough spot. An optimist, he knows that even when things get hard, things will work out in the end. That doesn’t always end up happening, so he consoles himself that at least he learns something in the process.

I was considering something like Favors or Mentor connecting to Occultes — whose whole schtick is “gathering information from far and wide about noteworthy artifacts or strange magical practices”. So my maga would have every reason to investigate strange sightings or oddities. I imagine he’d be interested in similiar stories as Wolfgang. But instead of a story just about finding and destroying the coven of hedge witches, my maga might try to negotiate with Wolfgang to first do a heist of their valuable artifacts, or to spy on the witches to learn where they do their Sabbot or how they find vis.

Overarchingly, my maga’s drive is in the ancient Hercynian Forest that once covered all of western and Central Europe and is now fragmented into dozens of disconnected smaller, younger, and lesser forests like the Black Forest and the Jura Mountains. My maga’s belief is that the ancient forest lives on, still powerful and continuous across all of Europe. While man cut down the forests above, deep below the roots of mycelium live on, a world unto themselves. My maga ultimately believes that underneath one of the remnant forests, the genius locii of that greatest forest still lives as a fungus spread over all of Europe.


To be clear, are you talking about running these types of stories, or these are the types of stories that would hook in your magus?

My bad, I conflated the two. To be clear, the top section is how I’d think about running a Diedne story (though probably not that specific story since that’d likely have a big impact on the setting and covenant). The bottom section would interest my magus.

True. They commonly don't join covenants. I had been figuring the character would have to be unusual in that sense to be joining a covenant. I was thinking Covenant Upbringing in Greece, so already being peripherally a part of Hermetic society before choosing a Mechanical as a parens.

But since your comment I've been playing around with shifting to Gifted Mercere with the same Creo/MT/Longevity bent as the Mechanical idea. That would mean dropping Gentle Gift, as I'd pick up Mercurian Magic. What I like about this idea is that seeking old Mercurian rites to recreate them would become a significant interest, and that being associated with the Redcaps would be inherent.


Any thoughts on how Lesser Benediction (Unusually Fecund) would interact with a Longevity Ritual?

For a man or a woman? :wink:

I can certainly see a character with such a Benediction still being fertile after their longevity ritual, with the exact result possibly different depending on the source of the Benediction (faerie, magic, divine or infernal).

I got one heart quickly on the Mercere post, and I see really interesting paths forward in several ways, so let's go with that. I'll bring this over to the character creation thread.

I'm not trying to change Mariana drastically. Mostly simplify and streamline her concept, which includes avoiding Mystery Initiations and a Familiar (at least for now). But this keeps interesting avenues going without requiring intense focus on original research, which I don't care for. While I don't care for focus on it, this does leave an appropriate avenue open in case I change my mind. I'm more interested in finding lost Mercurian rituals. But I didn't want to choose it (going with Magic for streamlining's sake) if it was just going to disappear.

What is a reasonable baseline cost for a Longevity Ritual? I know the 3/year guideline, but when working within that I don't want to set unreasonable precedents. Right now I'm figuring in general a strong CrCo person could probably get to roughly but just under the same total (excluding assistance from a magus hiring the LR expert) in general with CrVi. So, for instance, if you can manage a 10th-magnitude LR with a lab total of 46+, then odds are good you can reach 41+ to extract vis. That would mean the mage isn't really profiting unless charging (magnitude/2, rounded up)+1 vis. That's probably a reasonable baseline on the low end, but I figure it's better to run by everyone first to confirm.

I would say somewhere around 1 pawn/magnitude up until the 10th magnitude. Cost probably rises a bit after that and sharply after the 20th magnitude. These exclude the impact of the recipient of the ritual, should they decide to assist in the lab.

But there is probably quite a bit of bargaining around, as well as some preferential rates for fellow House members, redcaps, etc. Also payment is not always in actual vis. Access to exceptional books, exchange for an enchanted item, or other in-kind services may all be used.

Thanks. That gives me a reasonable scale to work with to avoid creating contradictions.

Note that is mostly for in-game progress. Pre-saga advancement trading should be kept to a minimum. No accumulating queens of vis before the game starts. :wink:

Oh, I'm just trying to write things in reasonably and avoid later contradictions. As I said, I know the 3/year guideline. But, for example, it's better for me to say she earns 8 pawns and then spends them all to support her family than it is to say she earns 80 pawns and spends them all to support her family. Clearly the second case would be inconsistent with the saga.

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Question on pre-saga advancement. For Pando I try to collect a mundane memento from events in his life (a small bag of blue dye, a bottle of wine, some mushrooms). My intent was to add color to the various bits of junk a magus is likely to accumulate, while also having things that could conceivably be used in a minor way in stories (maybe we want to gift a nice bottle of wine to the Telsberg’s, or just dye something blue).

I’m not planning for Pando to get anything materially valuable like a +3 longsword, but I want to check with the trope if collecting mundane souvenirs is something okay to do?

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