All of Egon's character creation discussions will take place here. Once a character has been finalized, it will be moved to a separate thread for evolution during play.
First, thanks for letting me join! I'll say that I've created a couple of characters for Ars before, so I'm probably going to need a bit of help through some of this. With that said...
The concept I have is for a Verditius lab rat, focused (maybe specialized) in Creo. His personality is that he firmly believes that machines are for the benefit of mankind, helping them to do things that we cannot do on our own. He is definitely all for technological progress, provided that doesn't interfere with the propagation of magic in the world. He's not so much a recluse, but rather he just prefers to spend time in the lab when he's not needed elsewhere. In fact, I'm seeing his sanctum actually being his lab, but we can cover that at a later point.
The only thing I'm not sure of is the tribunal he is originally from. And that's because I'm not sure which ones are allowed for your campaign. I saw the note that you don't want everyone from the Rhine tribunal, so that one is out. But what about Hibernia? Or Transylvania? Or even Thebes? I don't want to overcomplicate things for myself, but I just need to know which ones are acceptable so I can flesh out the concept a bit more.
Your concept sounds good to me but it's up to Arthur to say if it fits the campaign. We haven't really started yet. We are doing prelude stories for each character.
I don't think Arthur has any major restrictions on the tribunal you may come from if you have a good backstory for your magus. So far we have one from Iberia, one from Roman and one from Transylvania/Thebes.
Hello there, welcome aboard.
I believe the tribunal won't be a problem as none of us come from the Rhine.
I can help with the technical part of the creation if you want.
Depending on the books you have access to , you may want to check Conscientia in "magi of hermes" for an example of lab rat.
What form do you want to associate with creo ? maybe terram to have a way to act on your machines (I'm assuming they're made of metal ?)
Moving machines 's going to be rego that's probably your second technique imho.
Well, it's not a question of the books I have access to; it's a question of what's available in meta-creator. I have the core book, as well as Mysteries, and a few of the tribunal books. So I can put something together based on the books. I just rely rather heavily on the application to do the math for me, and so far, I'm seeing that not everything from Mysteries is in Meta-Creator. Several Verditius virtues, for example.
As far as technique, I wasn't sure if I wanted to go Terram or Herbam. Most machines in the middle ages are wood-based, not metal. Even siege machines, such as ballistae and catapults are generally more wood than metal, so I think Herbam is the way to go. Or am I thinking wrong on that?
If nobody else is from the Rhine tribunal, then I think I may be from there. Unless it makes more sense for a Verditius to be from somewhere else?
Magi of hermes uses mostly core it's a compilation of magi and their development as they age.
I've started going through Virtues and Flaws to see about putting a little life into the concept. Here's what I have so far; any feedback would be most appreciated!
Cautious Sorcerer (Minor)
Figurine Magic (Minor)
Inventive Genius (Minor)
Puissant Herbam (Minor)
Puissant Creo (Minor)
Skilled Parens (Minor)
Special Circumstances - Touching the Target (Minor)
Blatant Gift (Major)
Hermetic Patron (Minor)
Short-Ranged Magic (Major)
Weird Magic (Minor)
I'm thinking she's a bit slutty, but not so much that it consumes her life. She's a lab rat (I hope?), and as such her bonuses for lab work should be good with the Virtues. I also like the idea that, because she focuses on creating things in the lab, she needs to be touching the target she's enchanting; failing to do so wouldn't be the best for her.
I'm not really sold yet on the Figurine Magic. I took it because it involves making little figures that benefit everyone; I thought it might help explain why she has Automata as well. You know, you have to learn to crawl and walk before you fly...thing. Ish. I think.
I know I have 2 story flaws: Blackmail and Hermetic Patron. I'm not sure which one to go with, nor am I sure what to replace it with. They both have merit, although I'll probably keep Blackmail as it generates some income...for the time being.
Anybody have thoughts at this point on what I have?
I'll remind you of the saga's House Rules that affect character creation:
So, as both Automata and Figurine Magic are from sourcebooks other than the core ArM5 book, they would not be available at character creation.
Note that this doesn't mean that virtues like these cannot be initiated during play. But that will require stories, bargaining, compromises, and such. Senior magi control knowledge in this saga and they hold it tightly. See the saga's description here, it says it all!
How the heck did I miss that? Some days I'm better off waiting until I'm awake!
Regardless of the house rules, the concept wasn't working with either of Automata or Figurine Magic. So removing those is not an issue. I'll be working on the character today and will post up new information as I get it done.
So I did some retooling on my virtues and flaws. Tell me what you think!
Adept Laboratory Student
Puissant Magic Theory
I'm going after a lab rat, obviously. I like the short-ranged magic angle; he writes and does things with his hands, so having to touch the objects he works on makes sense. But from there, I've got a few different angles to pursue.
I'm trying to tie some of this to a profession one might have that the use of hands is needed. Carpentry, ship-building, metalsmithing, scribing...the list goes on. The one thing I noticed was a glaring hole - apart from the Bind Wounds spell - is that there is no "healer" or doctor in the PC troupe. So I'm wondering if this might be the route to go? Medicine requires the use of your hands, and more often than not you have to touch your target. It's definitely appropriate for someone to spend time doing research in the lab on diseases and such, and potentially even crafting magical artifacts to help with curing people.
Just some thoughts...
Don't worry too much about filling a "hole" in the player magi's capabilities. Your magi won't be living in a vaccum -- you are joining one of the largest covenants of the Order, after all -- so they will have access to most things that they cannot do themselves. Perhaps not always immediately, nor always freely, but access will exist in the saga.
The most important thing, at this stage, is defining what your magus is interested in doing. What can he do right from the start? What does he want to do in the future? Those are what will drive your decision on virtues and flaws, as well as what Craft ability he'll know.
For example, you mentioned early on in the concept that your Verditius would be working on building magical "machines". What kind? For whom?
Machines with moving parts, which can harvest a field or fly, can be built one way (such as through the Automata virtue) that grants it some independence, or in a different way where its movements may just be a cosmetic part of its operation (simply an invested effect that does a specific thing). A "machine" could also be much more static, like a statue that animates magically to do something. In fact, a magical "machine" may not have any moving part at all, if you use the term for "something that performs a mundane job". A glove can lift heavy burdens certainly help mundanes do their job, as can a knife that cuts through stone.
I'm so used to playing in games where everyone has a defined role; that's why I even went that direction. But, if I don't have to worry about that, then that opens a whole lot of stuff up.
Machines, machines, machines. I guess where I'd like to go with that would be those things that make life easier. Whether they be Automata to physically move about and do chores, or something simpler such as a lawnmower to cut the grass in front of the covenant - things that make life easier. I don't even want to get into what spells I may need, or even the arts that I have to take - although I've indicated I want Puissant Creo, because you have to be able to create them, right?. But I do want to at least figure out if the virtues/flaws I've got cover what I need to start.
Twilight Prone I'm not entirely sold on yet. I doubt it fits the concept or the character, so I'm up for suggestions on that. Some of them make sense, some of them don't. To me they all do, so I'm really looking for help on those.
I know beyond this I have to start thinking about Abilities. I know there are several I have to take: Artes Liberales, Latin, Magic Theory, Parma Magica. I also have to take Area Lore, and then decide what my childhood looked like. Beyond that...I don't know. I've got thoughts on several, but I'm not sure which ones would be acceptable for building machines. I mean, the choices are endless here! Carpentry, metalsmithing, weaponsmithing, shipbuilding, woodworking...eesh! My head spins!
I've retooled the Flaws I'm thinking of so that they make more sense for my concept. While the Virtues are pretty self-explanatory, I'll do a bit to explain the flaws.
- Fear (Heights). The character loves being on the ground...or close to it. He has acrophobia, which will prevent him from flying or even climbing up too high. Might end up being a problem in the saga at some point, but it should be cool to play.
- Hermetic Patron. I'm thinking this could be a good hook to get my character (and maybe the other PCs at times) involved in different story arcs, as well as providing a reason why he's leaving his home covenant to become part of the larger one.
- Short-Ranged Magic. I think I covered this already, what with him creating stuff and needing to touch it.
- Slow Caster. Figured this would go well with his personality of being a cautious/careful sorcerer.
- Study Requirement. Goes with the Study Bonus virtue; figured it made sense that if he is going to get a bonus from studying in the presence of the art, then he should be required to do so. He cannot learn if he isn't by the type of whatever it is he's studying.
- Weird Magic. Creating machines in the middle ages is dicey at best. So his magic is a bit weird and - like the machines - may backfire at times.
Is that a good start?
I don’t have the rulebook at hand but haven't you picked three major hermetic flaws? Usually it's considered an incompetent parens when the apprentice have more than one major hermetic flaw.
I would advice you to consider some of the story and personality flaws at least.
I edited my flaws; can you reread the edit please?
Looks good I think to start with. What book is Hermetic Patron from?
Actually, your Arts would have little to do with how you create them, so a high Creo score is certainly not required for that. That's what a Verditius' craft ability does. You physically craft the item during the first season of enchantment, using mostly your Craft ability but assisted with some magic. It doesn't require a roll at all for the physical side of the crafting, as your magic allows you to basically make anything you want, within reason. So if you'd want to make an item carved from wood that looks like a bird, you can do that, down to the individual feathers. The actual score in your Craft ability doesn't limit you there.
Ars Magica generally concentrates Craft skill by the material you work on. So Craft: Woodworking, Craft: Carpenter and even Craft: Woodcarving are mostly the same thing -- they let you create stuff made of wood. They would only differ slightly when you try making similar things with different materials. So Woodcarving would also let you carve item out of ivory or bone (at a small penalty to your Craft score), while Carpenter would let you make furniture out of iron (with the same penalty).
Some more specialized Craft abilities are useful to make items made of multiple materials. Shipbuilding allows you to mix wood, metal and fabric to make ships, both small and large. Weaponsmithing allows you to make weapons out of many different materials but is of little use to make more utilitarian items.
So figure out what material you want to make your items out of, and go from there. The material your items are made of have very little effect on the magic you enchant into them. On the other hand, it does determine how much magic you can enchant into them, and how hard it is to open those items for enchantment. Take a look at ArM5 p.97 for more information about that.
But at first, I suggest you concentrate on a single Craft ability. Verditius have many sinks to their xp that determine how good an enchanter they are (Craft, Magic Theory, Philosophiae), so taking multiple Craft abilities is often counter-productive.
As for flaws, think about the kind of stories you'd like your magus to be involved in. Will a specific flaw make it difficult to play those stories? Will it prevent those altogether? Or will it make it more enjoyable? For example, Twilight Prone can mean that spontaneous magic is more dangerous for your magus, as they are a significant source of botching and a single botch can send you into Twilight. That means having a support team is even more important for the character, and bad luck can end the story early for him. So it can be a bad choice for an adventurous magus. Weird Magic can have funny results, but would likely also affect how your items manifest their magical effects as well.
For flaws, I had to get rid of Hermetic Patron. Why? Not in the core book. Switch it out with Afflicted Tongue, which makes more sense anyhow. My character does the short-ranged thing, and having a speech impediment of some kind makes sense that he would have developed his magic to account for that.
As far as what stories I want my character involved in...I didn't realize I had a choice in this? I am the type of player who is interested more in story than anything else, and I'm willing to participate in anything thrown at me. See, I don't feel that taking this over that, or not taking this or that, should have an impact on the kinds of stories or arcs that my character gets involved in or goes through. I prefer to just have stuff thrown at him, and then role-play his experience through it. Difficulty in overcoming situations doesn't deter me (the player) from having to go through stuff; I like the RP aspect of games, and I'm willing to just RP through anything he goes through. Will he have an easy time in this one, and then a hard time in the next one? Maybe. Will he be able to overcome everything? No.
I guess what I'm saying in the above paragraph is that I'd rather let the stories my character is involved with be dictated more by his organic reactions to things that the story guide posts, instead of saying "he has this virtue and this flaw, so he's only doing this stuff here". I like all stories, even if they aren't readily obvious as to what my character's involvement may or may not be. Better to RP through it and be surprised.
As far as materials...I'm thinking wood. Wood is far more common in 13th century Europe than metal is...although I could go stone/earth here. But I like wood, because most everything is made of wood. I'm just stuck on the actual craft I would have. Woodworking, carpentry, shipbuilding...I'm not sure on that. I have to think on this a bit more before I settle into one thing.
One change this morning: I switched Puissant Creo for Puissant Herbam. I think it makes more sense for my character that, if his preferred material is wood, he would probably be more attuned to using magic with the Technique than a Form.
Secondly, a question please. I know what I want my character to craft - land-based vehicles. Carts, wagons, coaches, carriages, chariots[sup]1[/sup], etc. However, I'm not sure which crafting ability would be applicable for this. Would Shipbuilding cover this, or is that strictly for water-based vehicles? Does Carpentry cover this, or is that more a general catch-all for making furniture and building houses? I mean, I could just take Carpentry and put the specialization for land-based vehicles on it, but I want to make sure.
[sup]1 - Anybody else find it odd that most of the land-based vehicles (man-made) in the 13th century all begin with the letter "C"?[/sup]
For the Craft ability, I would simply go with Carpentry, with a specialty as a wheelwright (which would cover the making of chariots/carts/carriages).
As for why so many of those land-made vehicles begin with a 'c', many of those names are based on the Latin word carrus.
I spent some time yesterday working on a few of the mechanics of the character, and I'd like to get some feedback on what I've done please. Remember this isn't a full character write-up, nor is it set in stone. But knowing what my concept is, does anybody see anything that I should change up or switch out?
- Area Lore, Strassburg (Geography) 2
- Artes Liberales (Mathematics ) 2
- Athletics (Grace) 1
- Awareness (Searching) 2
- Carpentry (Cartwright) 3
- Concentration (Lab Work) 2
- Finesse (Precision) 2
- German (Native Language; Extensive Vocabulary) 5
- Latin (Hermetic Usage) 4
- Magic Theory (Enchanting Items) 3 +2 (Puissant)
- Order of Hermes Lore (Politics) 3
- Parma Magica (Protection from Herbam) 1
- Penetration (Herbam) 2
- Philosophiae (Natural Philosophy) 2
- Ride (Speed) 2
- Single Weapon (Knife/Dagger) 2
- Slavic (Slang) 2
- Stealth (Natural Areas) 1
- Survival (Wilderness/Forests) 2
Herbam 9+3 (Puissant)
- Air's Ghostly Form (CrAu5; +10)
- Bridge of Wood (CrHe20; +17)
- Chamber of Spring Breezes (CrAu5; +10)
- Clear Sight of the Naiad (InAq5; +9)
- Conjure the Sturdy Vine (CrHe5; +9)
- Creeping Oil (CrAq15; +5)
- Curse of the Rotted Wood (PeHe5; +16)
- Hunt for the Wild Herb (InHe5; +16)
- Object of Increased Size (MeTu15; +10)
- Pass the Unyielding Portal (MuHe5; +17)
- Probe for Pure Silver (InTe5; +9)[sup]1[/sup]
- Rope of Bronze (MuHe15; +10)
- Supple Iron and Rigid Rope (MuTe10; +10)
- Transformation of the Thorny Staff (MuHe10; +17)
- Wall of Thorns (CrHe20; +9)
Again, any help here would be great. I can't quite get to level 25 spells with CrHe or MuHe (my Int is set at +2 currently), but if someone sees a way I can do better here I'm all ears.
[sup]1 - I know Probe for Pure Silver is InTe4; I needed to get to 150, and by the time I was done I was sitting at 149. So, if it's ok with Arthur, I increased the base by 1 to even it out. If that's not how things should work, let me know and I'll find a way to add a level 5 spell to get to 154 with the normal base on PFPS.[/sup]