Character Creation for Plot_Device (OOC)

Not that l'm well-versed with it, but, presumably, it's not problematic, so l'm not against.

Is there an SG interested in running Quaesitorial stories? I'm torn about certain decisions around this character and that would make a difference. (Note, I'm thinking of Criamon Quaesitor, not switching houses)

At times, Quesitors would be involved in my stories.

Wolfgang Weiss was born in Schlangback, a tiny village in the Swabian alps of Germany. While the village was nominally under the control of the Duke of Swabia, Schlangback was small enough not to have a real church, and the town was ruled by the iron grip of a coven of folk witches. They held an annual sabbat, with the men of the village, keeping the girl children and leaving the baby boys at the edge of the forest. In other ways, though, they did good for the village, healing the sick, making sure nobody went hungry, and keeping the lord at arms length by providing him with magical services.

Wolfgang's father was a gamekeeper, living in the wilderness with his wife. The two had no children, and desperate, took one of the boys left out after the Sabbat. His father couldn't be sure, but chose to believe it was his son, and they raised Wolfgang as if he were theirs. The boy had a strange appearance, with white skin and hair and red eyes, pupils slit like a serpents', and patches of scales here and there on his body. He was fortunate to live in such a remote place, his parents accepted him, and other people didn't encounter his strange appearance or the negative feelings of his gift. He had a happy childhood, running around the mountain forests and learning his father's trade.

Of course, a village run by witches, no matter how remote, can't be kept a complete secret forever. Eventually word got to Philippus Niger, and not long after, he came to call on the village, accompanied by a few grogs and his deadly familiar. Having heard of a village controlled by witches, he saw it as his duty to eliminate them.

Able to smell magic, finding and killing all the witches in the village was no trouble, but he smelled something else, very faintly. Following the smell, he came to a gamekeeper's cottage deep in the forest, and entering abruptly and unceremoniously, found a family eating dinner – an ordinary man and woman, and a small boy, with a strange appearance, who smelled of the gift.

It was a near thing – Niger almost killed the boy out of hand, thinking him tainted by the Infernal, because of his serpentine looks. But smelling no other magic, and seeing no other evidence of any abnormal activity, he hesitated, and after a moment of thought, decided to take the boy back to Durenmar instead. Niger simply stated to all present that the boy would be coming with him, and his presence was so intimidating that there were no objections, nor a hint of non-compliance.

After the initial shock of being taken from his home wore off, Wolfgang began to get more comfortable around the old magus; learning his foibles and how not to make him angry, and learning that Sordus (Niger's familiar) loved being fed treats of raw meat. He was tested for taint by a holy magus and found to be untainted, and he became Niger's fourth and last apprentice. After being baptized, and having his gift opened, some of his strangeness faded, his scales molting off and his eyes becoming more normal, but his appearance is still strange – though not snake-like, his eyes are still red, and his skin still impossible pale – but he is less obviously serpentine.

Wolfgang took well to Hermetic training, although he had different strengths and weaknesses than his master. He shared the gift of Perdo, but was also gifted with other arts, and had innate talents for magic and magical study. He learned well, and was very receptive to the duty to the order Niger instilled in him, training for battle and accompanying Niger on several expeditions to Sweden. In the middle of Wolfgang's apprenticeship, Niger had a twilight lasting a year, and fostered by Niger's other filii, Wolfgang got to see more of the order and his house, spending the year in Provence where he joined the Cult of Mercury.

Wolfgang returned to Durenmar upon recieving word that Niger was back, and finished his apprenticeship with the old man. They are different in magical skillsets, and Wolfgang doesn't share all of Niger's obsessions, but he has accepted the duty to the Order that Niger tried to instill in him, and became a member of the Ash Gild, remaining in the Rhine tribunal, the first of Philippus Niger's filii to do so, which makes Wolfgang the most favored among them, though he is the youngest.

Foreshadowing: Over the next ten or so years after gauntlet, Wolfgang will witness his parens' increasing paranoia regarding the Order of Odin, and continue to see no evidence of their existence, let alone a threat. He will also see more and more clearly that the world does not abound with external enemies to the Order, other than the church and state that cannot be fought, and in the end he will want to distance himself from Niger, without offending the old man or appearing to shirk his duties. This will bring him to the Laimunt Valley, still within the Rhine, allowing him to remain active in the Ash Gild, but no longer sharing a covenant with Philippus Niger, and able to be a little more free because of that.


Phillipus Niger of House Flambeau – Parens – Canon magus, see GotF 59

Nihilus ex Flambeau – Niger's oldest filii – He is not interested in Rhine politics, but seeks prestige within House Flambeau. He has relocated to Castra Solis, and he is third in line (behind Jacinta and Niger) to be the most senior member of the lineage of Apromor. Wolfgang has met him a few times, but they are no more than acquainted. Niger considers him a failure, since he abandoned the Rhine and the Ash Gild. He fostered Wolfgang for the first two seasons of Niger's twilight, and taught him about Flambeau politics and acclaim. He attempted to convince Wolfgang to join the Milites, and the Cult of Mithras, but Wolfgang wasn't interested, finding the fealty and christianity overbearing, and finding that many of the christian cultists gave him side-long looks due to his appearance.

Saturnus ex Flambeau – Niger's second filii – He is dark and dangerous, having branched out from the Path of Apromor into Ramius. Wolfgang has never met him, but he's been warned that Saturnus is aptly named, and the friend of nobody in the Order, a giant of a man who wields a sword made of an iron elemental, who has won every Wizards' Melee he ever participated in. He spends most of his time in Iberia, skirting the edge of the code in aid of the Reconquista and in hunting for Sahirs. Niger is disappointed that he abandoned the Rhine, but he respects him for fulfilling his duty, even if it's not on the frontier that Niger would prefer.

Zaldun ex Flambeau – Niger's third filii – A basque magus, who was originally apprenticed to one of the Shadow Flambeau, and taken by Niger when he participated in their purge. Only a year into the apprenticeship, he was deemed "salvageable" and therefore not killed, but Niger was particularly harsh with him, and when he passed his gauntlet, he immediately left the Rhine, wanting nothing to do with the old man, returning to his Basque home and joining Aedes Mercurii. He fostered Wolfgang for the second half of Niger's twilight, and successfully convinced him to join the Cult of Mercury, mainly because Wolfgang felt more comfortable with the pagan rites and was more readily accepted by the cult members.


Wolfgang Weiß of House Flambeau

Wolfgang is short and slight, with unnaturally pale skin and eyes, wearing a thick, undyed linen robe. He is a quiet man, who thinks before he acts and makes every effort to be uninfluenced by emotion or prejudice. He is not afraid of battle, but he doesn't bluster or threaten, he simply resorts to force when words aren't enough, without warning or preamble. There is a tense stillness about him, like a viper waiting for a moment to strike, and when he does act it is sudden and brutal.

At Gauntlet:

Int: +2 Per: +1 Pre: -1 Com: -1
Sta: +2 Str: +1 Dex: 0 Qik: +1
Patient +2, Meticulous +3, Ruthless +2
Confidence: 1 (3)
Warping: 0

General Abilities:
Area Lore: Swabia (Legends) 2
Area Lore: Durenmar (Library) 1
Athletics (Climbing) 1
Awareness (Alertness) 3
Charm (First Impressions) 1
Concentration (Spell Concentration) 1
Folk Ken (Magi) 2
Hunt (Forests) 2
Native Language: High German (Swabian) 5
Cult Lore: Cult of Mercury (Ceremonies) 1
Stealth (Hiding) 2
Survival (Mountains) 2

Academic Abilities:
Artes Liberales (Ceremonial Magic) 1
Dead Language: Latin (Hermetic) 4

Arcane Abilities:
Code of Hermes (Wizards' Marches) 1
Magic Theory (Spells) 4
Parma Magica (Mentem) 1+2
Penetration (Perdo) 1+2

Hermetic Arts:
Creo 2+3
Intellego 0
Muto 0
Perdo (Puissant) 12+3
Rego (Puissant) 0
Animal 0
Auram 0
Aquam 0
Corpus 0
Herbam 0
Ignem (Affinity) 5
Imaginem 0
Mentem 0
Terram 5
Vim (Affinity) 3

Spell Mastery:
Demon's Eternal Oblivion (Multi) 1
Dreadful Bane of the Fae (Multi) 1
Sap the Griffon's Strength (Multi) 1
Hauberk of Sublime Lightness (Stalwart) 1
Hiding the Ill-Bred Bard (Fastcast) 1
Mien of Helios (Fastcast) 1
Wizard's Icy Grip (Stalwart) 1

The Gift
Hermetic Magus
Puissant Perdo
Flawless Magic
Puissant Creo
Affinity with Ignem
Affinity with Vim
Minor Magical Focus: Serpents
Book Learner
Puissant Penetration
Puissant Parma Magica

Mentor: Phillipus Niger
Blatant Gift
Duty-Bound: Protect the Order, Aid the Ash Gild (Major)
Susceptibility to Infernal Power
Judged Unfairly
Small Frame

Spell Lvl Base R D T Cast Pen Mastery Description
Demon's Eternal Oblivion PeVi 10 4 Voice (+2) Mom Ind 21 Pen +4 Multi 1 Infernal creature loses 10 might
Dreadful Bane of the Fae PeVi 10 4 Voice (+2) Mom Ind 21 Pen +4 Multi 1 Faerie creature loses 10 might
Sap the Griffon's Strength PeVi 10 4 Voice (+2) Mom Ind 21 Pen +4 Multi 1 Magic creature loses 10 might
Hauberk of Sublime Lightness PeTe 30 5 Touch (+1) Sun (+2) Ind 23 Pen +4 Stalwart Suit of armor becomes nearly weightless. Affect Metal +2. (See HH:S 38)
Hiding the Ill-Bred Bard PeIm 15 4 Per Sun (+2) Ind 18 Fastcast The caster becomes invisible but still casts a shadow (Moving Image +1 mag) (See MoH 125)
Mien of Helios CrIg 15 5 Per Diam (+1) Ind 13 Pen +3 Fastcast The caster gives off bright light, blinding people within 10 paces (See MoH 110)
Wizard's Icy Grip PeIg 30 20 Voice (+2) Mom Ind 23 Pen +5 Stalwart Does +20 damage, freezing solid if killed, no armor soak

Regarding virtues, before he was baptized and his gift was opened, he was very much tainted by the magic realm, with traits of serpents and dragons, and the witches were probably infernal, giving him a susceptibility to that too. His baptism made him much more human, and the opening of his gift took away what remained of his supernatural abilities, but giving him some Hermetic ones that matched up (mmf, affinities).

Certain things weren't taught to him by Niger - notably Zaldun taught him Flawless Magic, and he picked up Book Learner from being Niger's apprentice - nobody denies the old man's apprentice access to the library, so Wolfgang got more exposure to books than most apprentices do, when he wasn't busy assisting in the lab.

Duty-Bound is supposed to be minor, but I'd like it to be something between Duty-Bound and Favors - He's expected to help out the Ash Gild, and be the first in line to go to war on behalf of the Order, but he doesn't always see eye-to-eye about whether the threats are actually real - which is why it's not Driven. Not sure if that's ok to double-up with Mentor, but I see Mentor as more of personal stuff with Phillipus Niger, and to account for the fact that they're actually friends.

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I haven't checked the details yet, but are you moving the character straight to Gauntlet +10?

I thought we'd established that post-Gauntlet advancement would be done through a narrative approach (see posts starting here). That's hard to do if you don't provide us with a version of your magus right after Gauntlet.

No, this is gauntlet version. I just posted age that way, sorry, i can see why that's confusing. Fixed.

I don't think you have to take Ash Gild Trained, even with a master who's prominent in the gild. Even Skilled Parens is more something that has to do with how much time your parens invested in your training (and how good a teacher he is) than his actual power. The version of Philipus Niger in GotF is for 1220, over 20 years after your magus was Gauntleted, so he was less powerful and not as good a teacher when he took Wolfgang as his apprentice (that's 35 years before the stats in GotF).

So don't feel forced to take those virtues.

One more thing, this time regarding a minor background element. Since the saga starts earlier, Philipus Niger is not yet the most senior member of the lineage of Apromor. That would still be Archmaga Jacinta filia Nicoli ("of the line of Apromor, follower of Flambeau") in the Greater Alps.

Her home is the Tower of Ashes, which would be the closest neighbour to your covenant (if we don't decide to move the Tower a bit farther away)... :smiling_imp:

Changes made, including adding spells.

If that format is annoying, let me know and I can make it more compact. TBH it annoys me a little so I may change it anyway, but leaving it for now.

Everything seems to add up xp-wise. His age at the time of his Gauntlet seems to be 24 (you may want to add that to the stats).

A bit strange to have Puissant Parma and Puissant Penetration, but only have 5 xp in each of those abilities. Same thing with Creo. BTW, the Arts still indicate Puissant with Rego, when the Virtues have it on Creo.

You have a Minor Magical Focus, but no spell that uses it.

Overall, your magus is designed as a Perdo specialist whose virtues are trying to pull him in too many different directions.

Susceptibility to Infernal Power makes him fairly vulnerable when facing the Infernal.

Having his pater also be his Mentor means that Philippus Niger will have a very strong influence on your character. It is often preferable to have someone other than the pater/mater be the Mentor, as it allows stories to go in a different direction.

A member of the Cult of Mercury would probably pick (or be given) a Latin-sounding name after passing his Gauntlet. :wink:

I assumed that parens didn't necessarily get involved with you after gauntlet unless you had a virtue or flaw that dictated that (hence mentor).

Most of the other issues just stem from having xp spread too thin, they will resolve themselves in time.

He's also deliberately not just a perdo specialist, he was taught things that moved him in the direction of being a carbon copy of Niger (like many apprentices are) but had other influences on learning and natural predilections

Overall, I'm happy with him so not sure if you're asking me to change things or just expressing opinions.

I can add a Latin name he's known by to the cult.

Just comments, mainly. I just think you are trying to go in too many directions and will have trouble following them all.

It is also about the rationale of "learning" things like Puissant. This usually comes through intensive special training in the ability. Can this be picked up without also gaining experience in that ability? Seems unlikely. Most Hermetic virtues are picked up when the parens opens you Gift, as he shapes previously manifested magical talent to conform to Hermetic magic. It sounds weird to shape someone's Gift that way and not teach the apprentice anything in that direction.

Then, 15 years of training grant a few additional virtues. For example, HoH:TL states that the Puissant Magic Theory that is granted as the House Bonisagus virtue is only gained through at least 10 seasons of training.

As for the Latin name, my point is that the Cult of Mercury is proud of its Latin roots. Its members would be equally proud and it would make sense for them to select a Latin name and proudly use it. But if you want to use Wolfgang, no problem! Just thought you might want to have an in-character reason for that. :smiley:

Honestly, I'd love more Penetration but my Arts are already on the low side, cause he had a peasant education before apprenticeship and Latin etc. sucked up a bunch of xp.

On Apprentices 41, Hermetic Virtues can be taught in a season, too. Major ones are harder, but Zaldun is a mystagogue so pretty good at teaching.

I have no problem with a Latin name, I just think he didn't take that at Gauntlet because someone he respects and likes didn't. I also like their name duality.

A secret latin name is more cultish anyway, imo. :slight_smile:

You can view him as spread thin or as a bit of a generalist. :slight_smile:

He will get more hooks through little stories and correspondences during post-gauntlet, including probably something involving Jacinta.

That is true. But the more Hermetic virtues an apprentice has, the harder it becomes to teach more of them. Why didn't Philippus teach the virtues he felt approriate? I can see Zaldun teaching one or two minor virtues to widen Wolfgang's repertoire with something Philippus couldn't teach himself, but why didn't either of them follow that up with appropriate training?

That's the lot of most apprentices. Every player would like more xp to spend on their initial character. I just think you are suffering from a lack of focus in your character concept. It's not a cardinal sin, don't get me wrong! :wink: But it shows in your selection of virtues and how you spread your xp too thin.

For example, you selected Affinity with Ignem. Why? It only saves you 5 xp. The only spell where that really helps are Winter's Icy Grip and Mien of Helios. You could get the same result by moving the Affinity to Perdo (saving 26 xp) and spending the 5 extra xp in Ignem. That frees up 21 xp and you end up with the same scores everywhere.

Same with your Affinity with Vim, which only saved you a paltry 2 xp. Is it worth a minor virtue? (It may be, if you really really intent on specializing the character in high-level PeVi effects. But there may be better ways to reach that goal.)

Another example of the lack of focus: Do you need to start with 3 variants of Might-stripper, one for each Realm? They are easy to learn or invent after apprenticeship. Select a Realm and specialize there for now. There are plenty of more useful spells out there (Bind Wound is almost essential for a magus who expect to face combat, for himself or his grogs).

Just friendly advice. :wink:

I think we have different philosophies - I want to have something in my arsenal to deal with every situation. Which I'm far from, but for instance that's why I have all three realm might-destroyers.

Both his affinities are really about his magical nature that got converted by opening the gift, but yes, I'm quite happy to have those for my future advancement plans. The affinities are more about where he'll be growing later, not to save xp for the gauntlet version.

Overall, I'm happy with the way he is, he's maybe a bit weird but he meets the minimum of being able to contribute on an expedition of war (barely), which I think is necessary, and otherwise I think the issues come down to him still being a baby.

If it helps, think of him as a dual-school magus, both Apromor and Founder; that is basically my intent. (Perhaps Boreas also, but that just comes as a natural consequence of being good at the prior two.)

That's fine. He's perfectly playable that way. Like I said, this is just advice.

It comes down to the constant specialist/generalist debate. I would just say that in the Ars system, it's easier to start as a specialist and then generalize, then to try to specialize a generalist.


Edit: One more thing, are we happy with Major Duty-Bound and Mentor: Phillipus? This is the one area where I had in mind an end result and wasn't 100% on how to best replicate it with flaws, or if virtues are required.

1- He's a member of the Ash Gild, with duties, privileges will come along later as he progresses to Journeyman and Master.

2- Phillipus sees him as his successor (Yeah, he's 25 years younger, but probably already warped enough to be thinking about that kind of thing). So he will put tasks to him to make him prove himself, and expect him to go along on expeditions to Scandinavia, but also, they are actually friends. (I'm amused by the potential scene if the old man comes for a visit just to be sociable and everyone else is freaking out about why the hell he's there.)

There are plenty of Arts he'll never go above 5 in, so he's not a total generalist anyway.

Is it time to start the next stage of things? I don't see a lot of character threads yet but not sure if that means it just hasn't happened yet or we're waiting for something.

Should our advancement narrative go there, or here?

Not gonna post today regardless but will give me something to do over the weekend. :wink:

I'll create a character stats thread for you today. You can post his version at the end of Gauntlet there.

Narrative advancement will be posted here and debated by the troupe (level of rewards, suggestions for links to other characters, etc.) If you then want to post a final version of it in your character stats, feel free to do so.

It might be a good idea to have some sort of summary of advancement, so that we can check to make sure there was nothing forgotten or miscalculated along the way. I've had that happen more than once.

Summer 1194

What a wonderful feeling it is to be a magus! I still have to pinch myself occasionally, and I haven't been able to stop grinning. I have joined the ranks of the esteemed and mighty Order of Hermes. I had the honor of swearing the oath at a Grand Tribunal, along with a few others. I don't suppose it matters, really, it was honestly more nerve-wracking to know I was in front of all the most important magi in the order.

My gauntlet went quite well. It was a simple affair of fighting a pack of hounds, some of which were magical and some of which were not. It seemed a bit wasteful, but I dispatched them without too much ado. Phillipus had been a bit annoyed about my studying outside of his specialty, but it was worth it. The reaction to the combination of Mien of Helios and Icy Grasp was favorable, I was told later that it's uncommon for a gauntlet performance to show proficiency with both fire and ice, and the versatility is considered a good thing. I accepted the compliment without exposing how rudimentary my Ignem really is.

I was elated to be offered a laboratory in the basement of Phillipus' tower. It was with the tacit understanding that I remain at his beck and call, though formally independent, but that would have been the case regardless so I don't mind. I'm also aware that nobody is particularly keen to share a home with Sordus, but I'm used to it. One just has to remember to sniff before drinking, in case his eminence has gotten too close.

Speaking of drinking, there was quite the party for the Ash Gild. I wonder what anyone outside the Ash Gild would think if they came to our meeting and saw upwards of 20 magi, all specialists in belligerence, deep in their cups. I felt honored to be one of the reasons they were celebrating, along with my fellow new magi and new members, Flora and Florimel of Tremere, and Advoke of Tytalus. Flora is wonderful, but I think the presence of her brother kept her a little isolated from amorous advances - it stopped mine, anyway. Another Flambeau gauntleted with us, Mariana, but she didn't come to the gild meeting - I think she may not be from the Rhine. Or, I suppose, she may have joined another gild.

Phillipus announced that he finally got Murion and Stentorius to agree to an expedition (amazing enough that they agreed on anything, I wonder how much it was because nobody wants to make a real enemy of him). It's something to do with the Eastern border, the Ash Gild has promised to vote with the Oak, against all the others, and in return the Oak will support an expedition. It will be a foray into the upper reaches of Scandinavia. He is giving the Gild time to prepare, for which I am grateful, but his impatience is obvious - before the drinking got truly underway, he announced that we were to meet in Skagen two weeks after the tribunal of 1200 ends.

Anyway, all that aside, I restrained myself in the drinking. I was up at my usual dawn the next morning, and was able to find the book I was hoping to: The Pleasures of Ignition, by Sute ex Flambeau. I managed to get in and out before most people were awake, especially the hung-over members of the Ash Gild, and avoid the rush for such volumes that Phillipus' announcement may have triggered. I think it behooves me to prepare as much as I can, while I can, so I will be devoting myself for now to the study of the Founder's school. I think it will serve me better in the far north than Apromor or Boreas.

[Study Pleasures of Ignition, by Sute ex Flambeau - Ignem Summa L12 Q17 - 30 xp after book learner + affinity]

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L12Q17 summa is on the high side. Did you use a die roll to determine that, or was that simply your decision?

Otherwise that sounds fine. Total xp is high but that is because of virtues.