Character Creation for Abaelard (OOC)

To discuss the creation of all of Abaelard's characters (magus, companion, grogs, familiar, apprentices). This includes the concept, drafts, background, advancement, lab work, etc.

Final versions of the characters will have their own topic.

Martin Caviste was born the son of a wine merchant in Beaune. Like other Gifted children, he was distrusted not only by others, but also by his own parents. Unlike most Gifted children, he had a way of talking himself out of trouble, which soon let to whispers that he had the devil‘s tongue.

These rumors were investigated by a Tytalus from a Coenobium chapter, who took the boy with him (Martin has often wondered about the circumstances of this trade).

Martin is a weak and puny boy (-2 strength, -2 presence, small). He used to have little stamina before he became an apprentice, but his master thought stamina important and had him run in circles for days on end (sta 2). Martin had always been intelligent (2), and rather perceptive (1). His distinguishing talent though was his golden tongue (com 5).

Good teacher
Minor focus teaching magic (mostly opening arts, but might cover other spells like concentration spells?)
Great com (2x)
Life boost (Tytalus don‘t hold back)
Affinity and puissant vim
Flawless magic
Water of vis
Driven(be a good teacher)
Proud minor
Ability block martial
Magical animal companion (can that show up later after gauntlet or does it have to be present from the start, some animal that is learned, uncertain yet)

I‘ve only got a Tablet today. I‘ll type more tomorrow when I am back at a real keyboard

Take a look at the Ex Miscellanea Lineage of Pralix in Houses of Hermes: Societates pp.126-129. Your magus looks much more (mechanically) like an uber-teacher who would train apprentices waayyy above standard (which is worrying in itself), rather than someone who would bring in hedge wizards into the Order. Doesn't look like a Tytalus to me. What kind of conflict is he challenging himself against?

(Now, if he were Cursed so that any apprentice he trains will turn meet a dark end, that might be generates plenty of stories. Dark ones, mostly, but stories nevertheless.)

Also note that the covenant he'd be joining is located between three of the oldest Tribunals. Very few hedge wizards left in these parts, compared to places like Novgorod or Mythic Africa. So why would he join such a covenant where he has little chance of finding a hedge wizards worth including in the Order?

Just trying to see how the character would fit in the saga. :innocent:

The idea was to create someone who makes great apprentices. If there are no hedge wizards left, he could form a school.

I think a Tytalus might be someone who thinks about teaching a lot, given their apprenticeships.

I am not breaking any rules, and this will result in an interesting person.

I'm not saying you are! As I mentioned, I'm trying to see how the character fits into the saga, and what kind of stories would be told with him. Training apprentices is an "off-camera" activity -- in the sense that it doesn't generate stories. It is similar to spending time in the lab.

And certainly, a Tytalus might teach a lot. But would this be his life goal and main focus in life? The philosophy of House Tytalus is based on conflict. Their approach to apprenticeship is to prepare the future magus to create and engage in conflict. So what kind of conflict is your Tytalus interested in?

Right now the only virtue or flaw that would bring your magus out of the covenant's walls is Magical Animal Companion. Of course, virtues and flaws don't tell the whole story. The character's personality, goals and world view can play an important role in that. Except that being Driven (major) to become a great teacher doesn't leave much place for something else...

I'm only trying to help you develop the character in interesting ways. Ways that will make him fun to play during stories, not just great at generating the highest Teaching Source Quality possible and training uber-apprentices.

And how does this not generate stories? Finding an apprentice is a story. House Bonisagus claiming an apprentice - story. Apprentice running away, falling under a curse, being diabolical, trying to murder her parents…
Apprentices are dependents, so if you can‘t come up with stories involving them, it is not testimony of my poor creation skills.

Same for being a great teacher: that means books are stolen, magi will meddle in this characters life, or that rivals are jealous…

As for hedge wizards: I doubt that all of them have joined. To tell a story that covers weeks of real time, all you need is one hedge wizard.

Those Uber apprentices are not player characters, are they?

So, everything in your character concept is centered around apprentices and training them? Doesn't matter if they are npcs or not. They affect the setting.

Your post sounded angry. I don't want you to be angry. I want to see a character that you will enjoy playing in a variety of stories, not just those about your apprentice.

I am trying to raise essentially two points:

  1. Your character is over-specialized as presented, to the point of being almost uni-dimensional.
  2. I am currently not seeing in which way he adheres to the Tytalus motto of growth through conflict.

Obviously, teaching well creates a lot of conflict. Your posts are proof of that.

Shouldn‘t it be my problem if the character is overspecialised?

I haven‘t even thought about his arts and spells in detail, partly because I had hoped the focus could be clarified.

If I can‘t create the character that makes me happy (you‘ve turned down my first idea, and my second idea), wouldn‘t it be fair if you created the characters that you think will make people happy and then try to find players that fit those characters? This is sometimes done in vampire.


You seem to be taking everything I write the wrong way. Are you open to comments on your character? Should I just let you build one that I think is unbalanced for the setting that we've spent the last 6 months preparing?

I'm not trying to tell you what kind of character you should create or enjoy. I'm just raising areas that you may not have noticed about your character, and which may make him less playable. In my experience, extreme specialization looks nice on paper, but quickly gets tiresome (to the player himself and to the others in the troupe).

In the end, I won't be the one who create stories for your character -- the other players will. The occasional stories I will run are those related to the covenant at large, and not aimed at a specific magus.

So, in the end, you can choose to ignore my comments. But first do me the courtesy of considering them instead of rejecting them immediately, like it seems you are doing right now.

Stories about necromancy and nerds are not what you want.

Stories about apprentices are not what you want,

Stories about extraordinary talent are not what you want.

This is important because I‘d enjoy all those, but they would make other people (e.g. you) unhappy, which is obviously not okay.

So I can create a character for other kinds of stories, but I think that, for a change, it would be nice to be told what kind of stories are acceptable and what stories aren‘t.

To make this easier, here‘s a list of ideas:

A diedne (who tries to keep her dark secret)
A family magus with family stories
A noble magus with aristocratic stories
A pious magus who is God‘s tool
A merchant magus who uses magic to trade
A Flambeau maga killer and monster slayer
A feminist mage

@Houlio and @StephenFleetwood do you want to jump in the discussion? You committed to running stories for Abaelard's concept, so I'd appreciate your comments.

I think what Arthur meant was that your backstory is very slim on such details. You will not be making and running stories about your Magus, myself and others are. It seems like you have all sorts of ideas about what your character might do, but your character description so far includes very little of that information for the rest of us to make up stories about. My experience in troupe style games with multiple people acting as GMs is that it's important for players to be more explicit about what exactly you want the character to get up to because there are a number of people who have to coordinate all of their stories together.

To be clear, it isn't about your concept being right/wrong. It is that there is insufficient detail for us to really know what you are imagining. Why is your character driven to be a good teacher rather than using your superhuman abilities of language for more personal gain? Tytalus magi are especially known for having brutal and bad apprenticeships, so why does your character really think he ought to do that to others? Why is he proud?

I thought the odea of hunting hedge wizards and recruiting them sounded interesting. Then the idea of setting up a school felt like something I would also like to run stories for, so I hearted it.

The magus took the boy home. Martin cried all the way. Once there, an iron ring was locked around his neck and he was given a series of odd instructions. He tried to run the second night, but the ring paralyzed him with pain, so he quickly learned to obey.
He learned that he was going to be a magus one day, not from his tormentor, but from a young woman who introduced herself as Alix, and told him he was an apprentice like her. She said, she would be a magus soon. She became his only friend and his ally.

And then, after a few months, he dropped the glass vial, and a punishment was announced, more cruel even than that cursed book of apprentices demanded. Alix interceded on his behalf, things got out of hand, and his master struck the girl so hard that her head hit the edge of the table. He was given the task to bury her dead, broken body.

That night, he silently swore vengeance. He became a perfect pupil, always following orders, studying diligently, preparing for the day he could kill his master. 14 years later, he saw a chance and used an unguarded sunrise to avenge Alix and free himself: he struck him into his throat from behind using his food knife. Thus, he became a Tytalus the traditional way. And he decided, it was time to show his house there was a better way of dealing with young magi.

Notes: Proud really doesn’t work. I am torn between compassionate, generous and wrathful, maybe meddler. I see his motivation clearly before me: he wants to show that apprentices should be treated differently. His high communication makes him someone who can make his voice heard, and who can argue his agenda. I am less sure how I can turn this into personality flaws. Driven, or hatred, or over sensitive? Maybe this should be a story flaw, too, but I was hoping that a familiar would be a personal companion, unlike an apprentice. I am also not sure if he can meet such a being shortly after the gauntlet. If not, maybe it was present at the time when he murdered his master, maybe the animal (big furry dog? A bird, owl maybe, because she is Athena’s bird?) created the distraction he used (rather than a sunrise killing).

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The killing of the master should not be seen as a moment of trioumph, but as something that disgusts him. Has he become like his master by playing by his rules?, he still keeps asking himself

Just gave it a read through. I think it all looked in order except for the bit about the other apprentice Alix. I think canonically, magi can only have a single apprentice at a time. Your parens hoarding apprentices/killing another magus' apprentice is a pretty serious offense. I think it's fair to always just say that your character's parens was not a good person and did break the rules, but I wanted to mention it.

I would imagine your choice here should be ultimately what is going to motivate your Magus. I have a player in my home saga with compassionate, and that usually means his magus often gets into sticky situations when they think there is some injustice being done. I like Meddler along a similar line, but I think I wouldn't say that a Meddler does stuff for altruistic reasons.

I would think that generous would lead to magus who has to render aid/items to people looking for them. Wrathful could work if you want to play up your magus' temper more. These other two I think are a long more obtuse for your concept.

This would be fun to see alongside how your character thinks about teaching. It doesn't seem like your character would have had a lot of exposure to other teaching methods outside of his apprenticeship. It seems pretty fruitful to think about how your character's past experiences will influence what a "proper" apprenticeship would like.

I like the idea of a big magic dog being around. Tytalus the Founder's familiar was a big magic dog, so I think it would be kind of funny if you were accompanied/followed around by something similar.

Childhood +2 years

5 Burgundian (songs)
2 Charm (women)
2 guile (not technically lying)
1 Brawl (knife)
1 Awareness (search)
1 Athletics (long distance running)
2 Bargain (wine)
2 Folk ken (kids)

3 magic theory (intellego)
4 Latin (hermetic)
1 Parma (mind)
1 code of Hermes (apprentices)
1 Penetration (vim)

Vim 11+3
Intellego 4
Mentem 8

Posing the Silent Question InMe20, mastery 1 (quiet)
Demon’s Eternal Oblivion PeVi10, mastery 2 (penetration, multiple)
Fairies Eternal Oblivion PeVi10, mastery 4 (quiet, still, penetration, multiple)
Sap the Griffin’s Strength PeVi10, mastery 4 (quiet, still, penetration, multiple)
Opening the Arcane Tunnel ReVi20 (mastery 1, quiet)
Call to Slumber ReMe10 (mastery 1, quiet)
Loss of but a moment’s memory PeMe15 (mastery 1, quiet)
Trust of Childlike faith PeMe10 (mastery 1, quiet)
Perception of the conflicting Motives InMe15 (mastery 1, quiet)


Actually, you can only teach the Arts one on one, but there is nothing preventing a magus from accepting more apprentices except for the practical limitation of at least 1 season of teaching per year (meaning a magus could have up to 4 apprentices, but that wouldn't leave any room for his own projects).

Thanks for that clarification. I realize that I confused some random bits I had read about House Bonisagus and got it confused. Apologies to @Abaelard for my mistake there