Character Creation Discussions (OOC)

Interesting Nithyn. You might end up more of a social outcast than Vorsutus, and that didn't seem possible to me. :wink:

So this seems like roughly 5 spell levels / pawn for teaching?

Would you care to set a price range for lab texts?

Hah! I'm not sure I'd say bigger... just different? But yes, he's gonna have an... interesting time interacting with any mundanes, that's for sure. And there are certainly gonna be a few Magi with problems with him too. And to tell you the truth, that's kinda the point?

No price range for those. They don't provide an immediate benefit to your magus and their value as a trade item is fairly low. I prefer to have them worked into the narrative, as a side benefit of your magus' actions. So he might trade a season of service for access to a library and lab, then spend a partial season (after losing a month's time travelling) or full season copying some lab texts.

Usually, consider that your magus will have to copy them himself. That would be one of those seasons with only exposure xp, to bring the average xp/season down.

Hey @Arthur you want me to keep posting stuff in here, or should I take it to a dedicated thread?

Also sorry for the slight pause folks, had to give feedback to a bunch of research papers, and I'd been putting it off until the end of break. That's all squared away now, and I should be jumping back into things here shortly. Suppose it's time for some honest to goodness stats and abilities shortly.

Alrighty, through Gauntlet is posted!

Now before I dive any deeper, I just want to make sure for one final time that everyone's going to be alright with a summoner. For reference, he'll be able to summon/bind things in the 30-40 might range pretty easily when all is said and done (and have the true names/daimon summoning spells that would allow him to do so). And he'll likely be staring down a familiar somewhere in the aforementioned 30-40 range too. So all things considered, the potential to have some pretty bloody big and stompy friends is very real.

Now to be clear, I'm a firm believer in niche protection, so I'm not gonna go anywhere near folks' areas, nor do I intend to hog screen time as it were. But I'm also aware that this has the potential to change things in terms of saga scaling, so I wanted to check one final time was all! Again, I promise I won't be offended if someone pipes up now and says they're uncomfortable with things. But I can't promise the same six months down the road?

Cheers, and thanks again for having me folks!

I'm a summoner fan in general, but we both knew that already. It doesn't bother me, but then I know and love (and like to play) the archetype as it were. I also however have experienced the negative reactions at times of other players when doing so. So ... I totally understand why you feel the need to verify how people feel about things.

I do think that niche protection is good in general but also particularly with summoners since summoning as a magic/play style inherently lends itself to flexibility.

Mechanically ... summoners tend to get flexibility and access to "strange" and/or funky things. But to not be strong in direct spell confrontation etc. So it really depends. It certainly isn't an "I win button" type of character, though some people seem to see it that way. But the Flambeau Pilum (or BoAF...) Master almost certainly is going to out spell battle them if it comes to direct confrontation, even if they have a pilum spirit or two.

It does however have kind of unique considerations and concerns that go with it. My biggest concern personally would be making sure every spirit/summon has an established sheet and personality that the troupe can agree upon. And then making each one come off in play like a full character. The exception being "spell spirits" I suppose. But even those are nominally "alive" if you will. All of that can also make summoners a lot of work to play, as much as anything else. But also rewarding with everything that gets built around them. Perhaps the spirits (or some of them) could be handled like Companions by the troupe.

I suppose somewhat this begs the question of whether there is an intended power level for the game as well. And whether people are concerned about that being changed over much.

Vorsutus for example ... isn't going to be in the power league for a bit (I'd like to think I'm planting a good seed though). At least as regards raw penetration like that. Though I might surprise myself if he got his hands on an AC. But regardless right now he is aimed at a somewhat broader collection of lower level spells and staging to grow those later. An adventure involving the two of them at the same time would be dealing with very different competencies if you will. But ... I suppose that is often true in Ars.

Interested to see how your build starts to shape up. I'd also suggest getting up through apprenticeship down for people to see. Right now it is hard to judge by more than prior experience if you will without any numbers to look at.

Just to make sure I get all the details. Even with summoning daimons, aren't they usually summoned for specific services? This depends on the daimon I suppose, but most of them aren't going to accept something as "follow me as long as I command you" are they? (On that note, Pukis seems like a nice option!).

Generally speaking, I can't say if I will have a problem with something before trying it. But I can compromise to keep an open mind. =]

I agree with Vortingen about the spirits having an agreed and established sheet, but I think that's just basic (the same as each spell being clearly described).

The key stakeholder on that is Arthur, I believe.

In general this is true, though not universal. There is also discussion of theurgists bonding with daimons as their familiar (a pact if you will) for example. But in general you cast the ritual to summon them and they perform whatever kind of special magic/service they can do, and then they leave.

Other kinds of summons however (say with standard hermetic spirit magic) could be summoned and bound longer term. I've played summoners with a stable retinue of spirits in the past and I think that is what he is aiming for here. And concerned whether it will get negative attention. (It has for me sometimes, and sometimes not.)

That is partly why I suggested handling them like companion tier characters in his retinue, because it would flesh them out more.

Very much so, since they also have powers and the like (part of the point!) which need to be clearly defined.

I would concur with that.

I think a lot depends on execution with summoners. I think that is why Nithyn mentions niche protection. Because flexibility can be annoying regardless of how someone gets it. It doesn't matter if you are spont build generalist or a summoner, if you step in every chance you can do the thing even if someone else can ... you are stepping in a lot. A lot of the time I think that is part of the issue. But beyond that Nithyn is right that in the scale of things those are some high might scores he could theoretically toss around and/or have in his retinue.

There are ways and there are ways. 8P

My general feel so far is that things are aimed at a simulationist style of play? Which ... hey, I like that. The school of gaming thought I grew up with if you will. But hard to say if power level enters into that in any significant way or not.

The general scale of say the library however makes me wonder if things are purposefully aimed at a lower tier? Or no?

I'd say average (remember, at the moment we are recently gauntleted magi in a spring covenant (or rather, going through a second spring)). I surely hope we improve our library in due time!

Some of these discussions were held in the Saga Discussions (OOC). A few things are bound to have changed, but I reckon most still hold.

When I said Arthur is still the key stakeholder, I meant for power level and change in power level (but yes, also for the style, and for a lot of other things).

Indeed. Though it's not necessarily, hey cast this power you've got for me once and then go home. It's one 'order' as it were. Order being something of a misnomer since you've paid the daimon extremely well to come do whatever it is you want to do. And these orders can, potentially, stretch over a longer period of time. The big thing is just making sure that the agreements are well defined, and not nebulous. Teach me about X for a year, or destroy Y, or heal all these people, are all valid orders. Follow me around and destroy my enemies is not. Though guard me from harm for Z length of time might potentially be.

Daimons can be in multiple places at once, so it costs them nothing to do that sort of thing after all. Of course there is one pretty large limiting factor. Namely that aspects don't recover might, and when it's gone, it's gone. So you're better off using them for super unique things (like ritual powers etc), and using your 'regular' (IE non-daimon) spirits for the day to day.

That is precisely my intent! In fact, in any year that he learned a true name/daimon summoning spell, I plan on hitting pause on moving forward until said character is fleshed out. Seems the best way of preventing problems in the future. That and if I hand off creation of a spirit to another player, it seems a good way of preventing any future hard feelings about what precisely any given spirit can do?

Nail on the head here on both fronts!

I thought he was a cute little bugger, and precisely the sort of thing an apprentice would learn to summon first! Baby steps and all that. Plus he has ties to Novgorod... so thematically it felt fitting?

Summoners can be a lot of work for the SG, since each designed spirit need to be vetted, or even completely designed. But not all of that load needs to be on me. Every troupe member should be ready to pitch in on that.

Just be aware that the spirits should never be designed exactly as you would like them to be -- they are supposed to be independent and have their own goals. For example, I don't think it would be reasonable to have a spirit designed specifically as a high-SQ teacher of Magic Theory. Just makes no sense to be. They also have some independence and they don't have human minds -- and understanding -- of what you will be asking of them. They will perform the task you ask them, to the best of their ability to do so, but they may very well do so in a very inhuman way. And the more complex the task, the more likely that the way they perform it will generate unwanted side effects.

And in the same as with every way to attain flexibility, it should always remain less efficient to perform anything. To me, versatility always comes at the cost of efficiency. You mention that for combat, but it should be true for pretty much everything.

I'm not as worried about screen time, since PbP usually revolve around individual or small-group stories that will run in parallel. Also, power level should be kept relatively fair. If your character ends up growing is power at a much higher rate then what is possible for others, them you will see roadblocks appear to prevent it. That is particularly true for pre-saga advancement.

For Lab purposes, is the entire Manor House inside the +5 aura? Or do we choose between a lesser aura or being underground say?

Rafael, would you like to discuss more about your Lynx of Virtue for your familiar? I think that sounds like something interesting!

Nithyn and I have been discussing a Companion attached to Belisarius that is a former Varangian turned mercenary captain after the troubles in Constantinople. I have in mind the name Thorsten.

Potential v/f spread.

V: Cautious: Single Weapon (1), Essential Virtue: Strength/Killing Blows (1), Inspirational (1), Magic Blood: Jotun-Blood (1), Mercenary Captain (1), Mythic Strength: Killing Blows (1), Puissant: Leadership (1), Puissant: Single Weapon (1), Tough (1), Unaging (1)

F: Curse of Venus (3), Essential Flaw: Quickness/Often Surprised (1), Heroic Personality (1), Proud (1), Tragic Quickness: Often Surprised (1), Wrathful (3)

I have in mind a literally heroic, inspiring, even picturesque and decidedly lethal captain/grog-sergeant, but with a fatal flaw in that he is horrible on initiative/surprise. Don't leave him alone on watch? Someone make a scout? It might keep him alive.

A veteran who feels he failed in the siege/sack and now is trying to leave it all behind. I see him as fairly bitter about Constantinople but looking to build a new life rather than getting pulled back into the quagmire of the Empire. Though Belisarius likely has other plans for him.

All the labs are inside the +5 aura.

Are we looking at a magical human? I think RAW he needs to have might if he is to take heroic V&F?

Otherwise, seems interesting.

Currently he isn't designed as a Magic Human, but I wouldn't be opposed to building him that way in theory. Right now he is simply a Magic-blooded normal human. But I could do a different version of him as a Companion grade Jotun if that were viewed as preferable.

The Heroic Personality flaw opens up the capacity for the heroic v/f I believe, so that is what permits the build as it is.

To open heroic V&F you need either Blood of Heroes (making him a Mythic Companion), the Legacy Flaw (which assumes he is either a magus or a redcap) or Mythic Blood (check Heroic in HoH:TL p.104). RoP:M extends that to magic humans who buy those using qualities and inferiorities.

To build him as a Magic Human we need to decide how to advance him (it's the same discussion as for familiars, all over again =9).

Are the heroic virtues and flaws indispensable? He seems to work fine without them.

At least we have rules for that now! 8D

I am open to tweaking things a bit. I'll review when I have time.