Character Creation for Nithyn (OOC)

To discuss the creation of all of Nithyn'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.

Vedun ex Misc


Int: +1
Per: +1
Pre: +2
Com: +2
Str: 0
Sta: +1
Dex: 0
Qik: 0


Strong Faerie Blood ("Courtly" Faeries*) (Ex Misc)
Hermetic Theurgy (Ex Misc)
Greater Potent Magic (Spirit Magic)
Lesser Magical Focus (Vim Spirit Magic)
Puissant Magic Theory
Theurgic Familiar
Names of Power
Inoffensive to Spirits
Alluring to Spirits
Personal Vis Source

*As per Sidhe Blood

Restriction (Can't use non-spirit magic) (Ex Misc)
Cabal Legacy
Study Requirement
Hedge Wizard
Foreign Upbringing
Social Handicap (Outspoken Pagan)
Proud (Major)

Born Kassian Izyaslavovich to a family of foresters along the Ural Mountains, Vedun might have suffered the fate typical to those born with the Gift if it weren't for the fact that his strange green eyes, entirely lacking in both iris and pupils, clearly marked him as touched by the fae, and likely as a future Volkhvy. It's not that anyone particularly liked Vedun, but it's more the fact that nobody was willing to risk the wrath of the gods by harming the child.

Growing up would have been a lonely, isolated affair, even by the standards of those living on the outermost fringes of the tribunal, if it weren't for the fact that spirits of all sorts could often be founding milling about the child. Whereas most couldn't stand to be around Vedun for any extended period of time, spirits seemed to be inexorably drawn to him. And so it was with these otherworldly creatures that the child spent most of his time, learning the strange customs of his "cousins".

Early Childhood:

Charm to 2 (15xp)
Folk Ken to 2 (15xp)
Guile to 2 (15xp)


Later Life: 15 Years

Athletics to 1 (5xp)
Awareness to 2 (15xp)
Bargain to 2 (15xp)
Brawl to 1 (5xp)
Concentration to 2 (15xp)
Etiquette to 2 (15xp)
Faerie Lore to 3 (30xp)
Intrigue to 2 (15xp)
Leadership to 4 (50xp)
Second Sight to 4 (50xp)
Survival to 1 (5xp)
Swimming to 1 (5xp)


His informal education would continue uninterrupted for many years until the arrival of Malincka Capcek, a Bonisagus maga attempting to invent a unified theory of Volkhv and Hermetic magic. Word had reached the covenant of the strange man who consorted with the spirits of the wild and she had immediately gone to investigate. Surprised that the woman didn't shy away from him, Vedun listened attentively as the woman told him about the Order, and it took very little convincing to get him to agree to accompany her to her home.

Taken to the Thousand Caves covenant, a long, twisting gorge that runs down from the western face of the Ural mountains, Vedun quickly found himself in the care of both Malincka, and Rehamchi, a senior Volkhv. Thus, he was trained in the ways of the two traditions, first learning the tongue of the Order, Latin, before moving on to Bonisagus' unifying theory of magic, a topic that Vedun seemed to almost intuitively grasp.

The next decade or so would pass as something of a blur as Vedun's education continued. Eventually however, he was allowed to learn the secrets of his tradition, how to use Hermetic magic to form the bonds with the spirits typically associated with the Volhv. It was something that the young man showed a strong knack for, as spirits seemed quite willing to answer his call. Eager even.

However his time at the Thousand Caves would soon come to a close with his successful completion of his Gauntlet, an act that would require him to find, summon, and bind a spirit of his own.


Finesse to 1 (5xp)
Latin to 4 (50xp)
Magic Lore to 1 (10xp)
Magic Theory to 3 (30xp)
Parma Magica to 1 (5xp)
Penetration to 1 (5xp)
True Names (2x Spirits) (10xp)

Muto to 5 (15xp)

Rego to 10 (55xp)
Vim to 10 (55xp)

Coerce the Spirit of Magic (Moon) ReVi 30
Summoning the Spirit of Magic ReVi 40
Daimonic Adjuration of Pukis ReVi 20 (Ritual)
Name of Power: (To be defined/renamed) MuVi 30

**I'll get around to getting these formatted/their effects spelled out tonight

120/120 spell levels

Abilities Post-Gauntlet:

Athletics 1 (Running)
Awareness 2 (Awareness)
Bargain 2 (Spirits)
Brawl 1 (Dodging)
Charm 2 (Spirits)
Concentration to 2 (Spells)
Etiquette 2 (Spirits)
Faerie Lore 3 (Spirits)
Finesse 1 (Speed)
Folk Ken 2 (Spirits)
Guile 2 (Spirits)
Intrigue 2 (Spirits)
Latin 4 (Hermetic Use)
Leadership 3 (Spirits)
Magic Lore 1 (Spirits) (10xp)
Magic Theory 3 (Vim)
Parma Magica 1 (Mentem)
Penetration 1 (Vim)
Second Sight 4 (Spirits)
Survival 1 (Forests)
Swimming 1 (Not Drowning)
True Names (2x Spirits)

So I made a slight tweak to the character to give him a pair of true names (it makes sense, and gives him a bit of protection when he heads out into the wide world). I'm thinking some relatively low might spirits (10-15 range), but before I move forward, I'd want to sit down and design them. While I'm more than happy to do that myself, I was hoping other folks might be interested too.

At present I haven't given too much thought to what these spirits would be (though I do have an idea for an Herbam wolf spirit bouncing around a little bit?), so there's a lot of room to play. If folks are interested in tossing their two cents in, I'd love it! If not, I'll get to work on some write ups soon.

I'm thinking that if you develop a few more details of his apprenticeship, or a few post gauntlet seasons, possibly using these spirits, it would be easier for me (personally) to figure out what playstyle and adventures you are aiming at. For example, maybe a season in which you use the help of this herbam wolf to explore a forest?

Sorry, I find the concept interesting, but I'm not yet clear on the implementation.

EDIT: two further considerations.

  1. If I'm reading right, you are missing 2xp in Magic Lore (when learning a name of power you gain 1xp in the relevant Realm Lore)
  2. I think your MuVi lab total won't suffice for a lvl 30 name of power. Am I right in thinking you are actually setting aside 30 levels for names of power and intends to reframe them as 2~3 names?

Appreciate the concerns mate, thank you very much! But I've been giving things a lot of thought over the weekend, and I'm gonna shelve the summoner concept. There's an absolutely massive amount of book keeping that would need to happen, and for everyone's sanity, I think it's best to just pass.

That said, I have settled on a new concept and will hopefully be getting the basics up in the next day or two. The long and the short of it is an extremely martial Gentle Gifted Jerbiton with some strong feelings about the fall of Constantinople. Think of a Ramius Flambeau of sorts. Something of a generalist on the magic front (mostly lower level Re/Pe spells), and prone to sticking people with the pointy end of a sharp metal object.

Again, I will be spelling all this out in significantly more detail soon, I promise! Just wanted to put it on folks' radar was all.


Very interesting, and as you say a concept with significantly less overhead. For everyone but also especially you!

I'm interested in seeing how this develops and whether we have any reasonable way to work a tie-in for our characters into things.

Well, that's odd. I'm both pleased and sad. :joy:
It inded required a bit of work, and I wanted to get invested in it, but was also afraid of the upfront effort required. Can't help but feel I had a major impact on the decision, so, I'm sorry about that. I hope you can make Vedun's concept work in the future.

The Jerbiton seems nice, and with two Blatant Gifted magi we are in need of a Gentle one. =9

Belisarius ex Jerbiton


Int: +1
Per: 0
Pre: 0
Com: 0
Str: +2
Sta: +1
Dex: +1
Qik: +1


Subtle Magic*
Gentle Gift
Quiet Magic x2
Skilled Parens
Puissant MT
Puissant Finesse
Fast Caster

Short Range Caster
Study Requirement
Driven (Punish the Latin crusaders/Restore the empire) (Major)
Hermetic Patron (First his parens, but eventually his Flambeau foster-parens)

Born Florian Lucas Acominatus, the fifth son of a relatively minor family amongst the Dynatoi, but one held in high regard nevertheless. Rumors said that his family only owed their place at court due to the relationship between his mother (famed for her beauty) and Emperor Manuel (known for his great love of women). Given the rather notable age gap between Florian and his siblings, some rumors even claimed that Florian was a result of that liaison. True or not, it mattered little, and the Acominatus were, despite their relatively low standing (comparatively speaking at least), were known to be amongst those select few with the emperor's ear.

As the youngest son of five, and with no real prospects of inheriting anything of significance, Florian was destined for a life in the civil bureaucracy, those skilled literate men responsible for the administration, record keeping and legal work that kept the gears of the empire turning. However like many boys his age, Florian dreamed for the glamour and glory of war. But the realities of his situation being what they were (namely that any postings in the army would go to his older brothers and never to him) he would often grudgingly complain that the closest that he would get to ever seeing real combat was the boyhood games of war that he would play with the other children. How wrong he would be. Though it would take many years before fate would play her hand in that regard.

His future as a future bureaucrat seemingly sealed, from a young age Florian found himself in the care of tutors, seeing far more of them than any other members of his family. After all, his parents were constantly playing at the deadly game of courtly politics, and his older brothers were either doing the same as they looked to secure their own futures, or off on assignment somewhere, defending the empire (though in reality, doing much the same as their siblings back home).

For his part, Florian excelled at his studies, quickly mastering the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic before moving on to study under one of the finest grammatikos in the city. It's less that his parents were particularly concerned with the young man's education (beyond ensuring that he had enough so as to not embarrass them), but rather that such a thing was expected amongst the elite of Constantinople and it would reflect poorly if they didn't. If he knew about his parent's ambivalence, it didn't show, as Florian was all too happy to absorb as many lessons of grammar, philosophy and rhetoric as possible. It was far preferable to the lonely estate he'd find himself confined to after all.

It would be now that most young men of his generation would cease their education and turn an eye towards their future. Not so with Florian. Convincing his parents to use their money and influence to secure his enrollment at one of the prestigious palace schools, Florian's education continued. This time he would study arithmetic, astronomy and geometry with some of the finest minds in the empire. It's not so much that the young man was particularly engrossed by the knowledge (though it was enjoyable), it was simply that the more he knew, the more options the future held for him.

Upon the conclusion of his studies, Florian was awarded a relatively minor position in the government, working in the Vestiarion. It was because of this job that he crossed paths with the Archmagus Mathieus, an encounter that would forever alter the trajectory of his life. While normally the task of finding an apprentice was the purview of members of the tribunal's Treasury Council, the archmage had eyes everywhere and was prone to taking frequent walks around the city in order to keep abreast of the latest gossip. It was during one of these jaunts that he encountered Florian, and with the aid of some Intellego magic, identified the young man as possessing the Gift. While initially skeptical of the archmagus and his claims, the man proved immensely persuasive, and Florian soon found himself an apprentice and living at Thermakopolis, the pride of House Jerbiton.

However little more than a year or two into Florian's new studies, Emperor Manuel would pass away, leaving only his wife and young child to mind the empire. This prompted a series of plots and coups which ultimately led to the ascension of Andronikos I Komnenos, a man known for his cruelty, use of torture, and execution of political enemies. Enemies like the Acominatus. Finding his family's names on the proscription rolls, Florian and his pater called in a few favors, greased the right palms, and the Acominatus were able to make their way out of the city, and out of the reach of the mad emperor. For his part, the rumors surrounding Florian's disputed heritage (rumors that never quite seemed to go away) meant that he was in significantly more danger than the rest of his family. This called for more drastic measures to be taken. Thankfully some skilled use of magic and suddenly Florian was dead, having committed suicide after being cornered. Or at least that's what would be reported.

His family's flight and his subsequent "death" would have a profound impact on the young man. Whereas his pater wanted him to follow in his footsteps and study the subtle arts of Imaginem and Mentem, Florian refused to find himself defenseless ever again, and instead insisted on pursuing a more martial education. Deciding that if his apprentice was going to risk his life on such an endeavor, he was going to be taught by the best, Florian's pater Mathieus insisted on employing exceptional instructors who drilled the young man just as hard as the archmage.

As Florian's education progressed and the need for specialized instruction became clear, Mathieus, using some old connections and calling in a few favors, was able to secure a foster for Florian at Castra Solis during the few years of his apprenticeship. And not just any foster, but Archmagus Garus, the Primus of the house. It was here, blending steel and magic under the guidance of the Primus and his fellow milites that Florian truly excelled, proving a most diligent and capable student. Thus, despite their initial hesitance, the Flambeau of the covenant quickly developed an (often grudging) acceptance of the Jerbiton.

The highlight of his time with the Flambeau would come in the last year of his apprenticeship, when he was allowed to participate in the Certamen competition during a house tournament. Despite his age, Florian made an impressive showing, rather handily defeating a newly minted Flambeau magus, before losing to a maga a good decade and a half his senior. It was at this point that his pater Mathieus made his presence known, announcing the successful completion of the young man's gauntlet, much to the agreement of the assembled Flambeau. Taking the name Belisarius he returned to Constantinople with his pater, but now, as an equal.

Early Childhood:

Athletics to 2 (15xp)
Awareness to 1 (5xp)
Brawl to 1 (5xp)
Charm to 1 (5xp)
Folk Ken to 1 (5xp)
Guile to 1 (5xp)
Romaic Greek to 5 (Free)
Swimming to 1 (5xp)


Later Life: 20 Years

Artes Liberales to 2 (15xp)
Athletics to 4 (35xp)
Awareness to 2 (10xp)
Bargain to 2 (15xp)
Brawl to 3 (25xp)
Charm to 2 (10xp)
Civil and Canon Law to 1 (5xp)
Concentration to 4 (50xp)
Etiquette to 2 (15xp)
Folk Ken to 2 (10xp)
Guile to 2 (10xp)
Intrigue to 2 (15xp)
Latin to 4 (50xp)
Leadership to 4 (50xp)
Philosophiae to 2 (15xp)
Ride to 2 (15xp)
Theology to 1 (5xp)

50/50xp (Educated)


Finesse to 1 (5xp)
Magic Theory to 3 (30xp)
Parma Magica to 1 (5xp)
Penetration to 1 (5xp)
Single Weapon to 5 (75xp)

Creo to 5 (15xp)
Muto to 5 (15xp)
Perdo to 5 (15xp)
Rego to 7(30xp)

Corpus to 5 (15xp)
Herbam to 5 (15xp)
Ignem to 5 (15xp)
Imaginem to 5 (15xp)
Mentem to 5 (15xp)
Terram to 5 (15xp)
Vim to 5 (15xp)

300/300xp (Skilled Parens)

Post-Gauntlet Build:

Belisarius ex Jerbiton


Int: +1
Per: 0
Pre: 0
Com: 0
Str: +2
Sta: +1
Dex: +1
Qik: +1


Cautious with Ability (Single Weapon)*
Gentle Gift
Subtle Magic
Skilled Parens
Puissant MT
Puissant Parma
Puissant Finesse
Fast Caster

Short Range Caster
Study Requirement
Driven (Punish the Latin crusaders/Restore the empire) (Major)
Hermetic Patron (First his parens, but this will eventually change to his Flambeau foster-parens)


Artes Liberales 2 (Ritual Magic)
Athletics 3 (Running)
Awareness 2 (Alertness)
Bargain 2 (Magi)
Brawl 3 (Dodging)
Charm 2 (Magi)
Civil and Canon Law 1 (Byzantine Customs)
Concentration 2 (Spells)
Etiquette 2 (Nobility)
Finesse to 1 (Speed)
Folk Ken 2 (Magi)
Guile 2 (Magi)
Intrigue 2 (Magi)
Latin 4 (Hermetic Use)
Leadership 3 (Soldiers)
Magic Theory 3 (Vis Use)
Order of Hermes Lore 1 (History)
Parma Magica 1 (Mentem)
Penetration 1 (Perdo)
Philosophiae 2 (Ritual Magic)
Romaic Greek (Hermetic Use)
Single Weapon 5 (Longsword)
Swimming 1 (Not Drowning)
Theology 1 (History)


Creo 5
Muto 5
Perdo 5
Rego 9

Corpus 5
Herbam 5
Imaginem 5
Mentem 5
Terram 5
Vim 5


Touch of Ymir

ReAq 10
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Part
Instantly freezes water into ice.
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Part, +1 Size)

Breath of the Impenetrable Fog

CrAu 5
R: Personal D: Con T: Individual
With this spell, the Magus is able to create a thick, impenetrable fog that extends for about a
mile in every direction. Visibility within this severe fog can be restricted to only a few paces.
Strong winds can cause the fog to move (as a mass) and at the end of the spell the fog
dissipates naturally.
(Base 3, +1 Concentration, +1 Size)

The Foggy Labyrinth

Mu(Re)Au 10
R: Touch, D: Con, T: Ind
Turns a bank of fog up to a mile across into a silvery mist too thick to see through. In some
places, the fog is as solid as stone, and quite literally impossible to pass through. This, when
combined with numerous winding paths that abruptly end means that people have extreme
difficulty navigating through the fog, especially through unknown territory.
(Base 2, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration, +1 Size, +1 Rego requisite)

True Sight of the Air

InAu 10
R: Touch, D: Con, T: Vision
Lets you see clearly through all manner of obfuscation in the air nearby, including smoke,
fog, and dust, even if the obfuscation is magical.
(Base 1, +1 Concentration, +4 Vision)

Avalanche of Flesh and Steel

MuCo 10
R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Group
The target becomes capable of running as fast as a horse for the duration of the spell. If used in
combat, this gives them a bonus to their first Attack Total equal to their Athletics Ability, up to a
maximum of +3.
(Base 2, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration, +2 Group)

Endurance of the Berserkers

ReCo 15
R: Per, D: Conc, T: Ind
Your body acts as though it were unwounded and unfatigued for as long as you concentrate.
Keep track of the actual Fatigue levels that the body loses while “berserk,” because as soon as the spell wears off, you lose those levels. If you run out of Fatigue levels, the spell terminates immediately and you fall unconscious. A character under the influence of this spell does risk worsening wounds, but he may not notice. Consecutive castings delay the end of the spell — that is, put off the time when accumulated wounds take effect — but a body can only take a number of consecutive castings equal to its Size + 2. Further castings have no effect.
(Base 10, +1 Conc)

Wizard's Leap

ReCo 15
You are transported instantly in any direction up to 50 paces, provided that you can see your destination.
(Base 15)

Shriek of the Impending Assault

InHe(Te) 10
R: Per, D: Con, T: Hearing
As per Shriek of the Impending Shafts, but also works with metal/stone projectiles too. You
get a +9 bonus on Defense scores against weapons (provided that you have the freedom to
dodge), and you can automatically dodge missiles fired from more than ten paces away. The
shriek is only audible to you, and it cannot be simulated by people making noises.
(Base 2, +1 Concentration, +3 Hearing, Terram requisite)

Invisibility of the Traversing Wizard

PeIm 10
R: Personal., D: Concentration., T: Individual
The caster becomes completely invisible to normal sight but still cast a shadow. The
caster can move without breaking the spell.
(Base: 4, +1 Concentration, +1 Moving image)

The Instant Ring Fort

ReTe 15
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Part
Earth and stone is excavated from a circular ditch around the caster to create a circle of packed
earth and rock four paces in diameter, two paces thick, and eight feet high. The spell does not
break stone, so any boulders that extend beyond the target are left in place. The ring fort
provides an excellent defensive position for holding off a superior enemy, or providing cover for
or from archers.
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Part, +1 Size, +1 Affect Stone)

Opening the Intangible Tunnel

ReVi 10
R: Sight, D: Conc, T: Ind
As per ArM 5 pg 162, reduced to sight range. May transmit effects up to level 15.
(General, +3 Sight, +1 Concentration)

Maintaining the Demanding Spell

ReVi 20
R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Ind
As per ArM5 pg 162. Sustain a spell you've cast up to level 15
(General, +1 Touch, +2 Sun)

More or less the idea! And as for tie-ins, how do you feel about a road trip to Constantinople?

Don't worry even a little mate. It's something that I'd been giving a lot of thought to already, and with my limited gaming time, I decided I'd rather focus on something that's a bit more bog standard as it were.

1 Like

Check the recent discussion in Vortingern's character creation thread! I just listed the moments Regulus was in Constantinople. ; ]

He was in Thebes from 1201 to 1204. Travelled a few times, stayed mostly at the covenants of Polyaigos and Alexandria. Feel free to insert him in your story if it seems fit. =]

Excellent, looking forward to it!

I have questions about these two.

What's the logic behind him getting Puissant Parma? It's not there is a lot of opportunities to gain that virtue during apprenticeship.

As for Driven, why would he join a covenant so far from the Empire if his overriding goal is to restore it? We are talking a major personality flaw here, so it drives him strongly. Tugurium is very far from Constatinople and not convenient at all for his purposes.

Edit: Oh, another thing that quite important for both of these. This saga started in 1205 and we are now in 1206, so Constatinople only fell a few years ago. If you plan on advancing your magus a few years, that means he may actually have completed his Gauntlet before the fall...

(Constatinople is first besieged in 1203 and falls in 1204.)

I mean, doesn't a Puissant just mean that you have an instinctive knack for something? So yeah, he learned Parma late (literally the last thing after all) but he just gets it as it were.

Entirely fair question! And I would expect him to make trips home. But the first part of Driven (Revenge) is the most important factor on his decision. The covenant is near the wonderful people of Venice, and the Franks. Right between the two groups in fact...

Could always make it a Hatred: Venetians/Franks/Crusaders if need be too.

Yup! I think that means that the fall happens in something like Year 9 of 10 post-Gauntlet for us. The plan was actually to have Belisarius fight in the city's defense. And fail. Obviously. Suffice it to say, it will have colored his world view rather significantly.

Speaking of the sack, that's why his Hermetic Patron flaw switches over, as his pater dies in the assault. That said, I will get a little bit more about the Flambeau he fostered with during his apprenticeship written up and inserted into his history this weekend.

Not exactly, that is more what Affinity does. It usually represents some form of special insight, techniques or intensive training.

Parma Magica is something really unnatural, in the way that can only be taught (it involves some for of initiation). I don't like seeing a character with Affinity or Puissant in it at the time of their Gauntlet. This might be something you pick later on, but it requires extraordinary circumstances.

My point is that you are presenting us with his stats at the time of his Gauntlet. Since that is before the fall of Constantinople, Driven doesn't makes sense.

It is ok to morph a flaw into a different one during pre-play advancement, but the initial stats post-Gauntlet should reflect the situation of the character at that time.

This seems like ... wasted effort/time. And this morphing process seems purely subjective.

Building the character as / in the state in which you want to play it and/or it would be entering the game seems pretty standard to me. And far easier to ensure it everything is a valid/compliant build throughout the process?

I'm not sure what the concern here is.

So this seems like a very personal interpretation that if you feel so strongly about it should be in your house rules and/or character creation guidance.

I have to agree. If this is a hard and fast rule for you, and thus, a deviation from RAW (which is fine, your saga, your rules), then it needs to be clearly noted as such. Because there's nothing worse than getting through a build and being told a cornerstone of said build is something that is banned, thus forcing a significant re-assessment of how you want to approach things. In this case, it means that he's going to have to be less of a just brute force ahead (doubly so when leading soldiers, which is kinda his shtick) and is going to have to think about other ways to handle incoming hostile magic. Which may very well necessitate a change in more than just the one virtue.

As I said, ultimately it's your saga, your rules, and I'm not here to raise a stink over it, I'm just asking for you to make this sort of thing clear for the onset so as to prevent this sort of problem in the future.

That was my thought as well? But it's fairly simple to just make it something like Driven: Protect Constantinople, since that's quite literally the stated purpose of his covenant. Which would explain the future morph.

To address this point in particular, are 2 less points in Parma going to make that much difference (honest question)?

It's reasonably easy to rise his Parma to at least 4, and unless you are fighting hermetic magi, penetrations of 20 aren't going to be that common (add to that Form resistance). Suppose I'm planning to run a story for Belisarius, I'm not going to decide on the opponent without first checking his stats to make sure things are neither deadly nor too easy (in other words, if you have Puissant Parma the enemy will be able to manage extra penetration - not so much to negate the Virtue, but enough so that the challenge isn't trivial).

And an entirely fair one at that! Yes, actually. A Parma of 4 means that he can just barely extend it over any grogs that he has under his command (which is kinda his shtick being built as a Gentle Gifted Ramius style combatant). And when he does, it's next to worthless, so he's better off fast casting defensive magic instead. The Puissant gives him a fair bit of buffer room in that regard.

But as I said, I'm not here to argue, it's Arthut's game, he made a decision, and I'll respect it. I'm just asking for better communication on the front end about this sort of thing is all.

Actually, in 5th you can extend your Parma even with a score of 1. It provides only a Magic Resistance score of 0, but that still protects against effects that have no Penetration (which many non-hermetic effects don't have) and from most enchanted items build to affect mundanes. Nothing to sneeze at!

Jus to clarify, it isn't a hard and fast rule, hence no House Rule about it.

But it would require a much stronger explanation than just "he's naturally good at it". If you can put forward a strong enough explanation why he would have it at the time of his Gauntlet, with some possible repercussions for the fact that he was heavily trained in Parma before he swore the Oath, then it might be possible. But it could not be just a Parma Magica score of 1 and Puissant Parma. It would need to be a fairly central element of his apprenticeship.

That would probably mean a score of 3 in Parma Magica (if he received unusually intensive training and unusual techniques, he must have learned more than 5 xps worth of it), some sort of related flaw that partly explains why his master felt it was necessary (like Susceptibility to Infernal/Faerie/Divine Power, Supernatural Nuisance, Plagued by Supernatural Entity or Enemies). The social repercussions might be represented in the form of some Social Flaw (like Infamous Master, Dark Secret, Bad Reputation or even Fear).

I think of it in the same way as a Bonisagus who would start off with a score of 1 in Magic Theory, but still have Puissant Magic Theory. Would it make sense for the apprentice to have those stats? (BTW, I also consider that a Bonisagus with a score below 4 at Gauntlet to be sub-standard.)

I don't think this level of onus/justification is at all in keeping with simply having a Puissant in something. It is vastly inflating the nature/justification and importance of being talented at a given thing. You can be just learning something and still have a natural talent for it. It isn't even particularly unusual to find people with uncultivated talent for something. Maybe even something they never knew they would be talented in or even like doing.

So ... this is clearly house rule / personal saga restrictiveness in play here. Which I'm not going to say is "wrong" per se, but is certainly not RAW.

This seems to come up with a lot of things (re: Hermetic Prestige) and just having your own view of it and what very specifically it means to you, rather than embracing it as a build option in a concept and letting it mean something in that concept. And requiring people justify subjectively their build choices to suit that personal preconception.

Which, hey, your game ... your views and your rules, as ASG. That is how that works. I'm doing my best to be accommodating with the same issues in my own thread. But it warrants being clear here that this is what is happening and that it shouldn't be a surprise when other people are surprised and/or shouldn't be portrayed as if you aren't doing something different from/substantively in addition to RAW.

Anyway ... not my concept. I'll leave how he feels about it and how it affects his judgment of his build to Nithyn. I think the concept can still work frankly, but I understand that being strong on defense is kind the core concept of a Ramius style build as well.