Character Creation for Rafael (OOC)

Ok. Thought it could fit the bill if we added Regulus handful of books (assuming we had some unspecified titles about odd subjects), but it seems he will need to commission a few works.

Selected entries from Regulus Petraeus journal

1206, Spring

Spring Summary

Wolfgang’s recent adventure made me think I should invest some time in spells to discern the terrain around me. Thankfully I still have time to adjust my seasonal activities.

While my laboratory is not in good condition, I don’t think I will have time to arrange it in a better way; next season I must leave for the Rhine Tribunal, in order to examine their recordings and learn what I can about the relations between covenants. Know our potential allies and enemies.

I’ve decided to put to good use the copy of Sense the Feet that Thread the Earth that I brought from Polyaigos, but I am afraid that even with my current achievements in Intellego I will have some trouble to parse some of the more esoteric points of the lab text. I’ll need to rely on improvisation and luck. I hope that the mistake that cost me my arm taught me something.

Notes: Regulus’ lab total is 15 (Intellego) + 5 (Terram) + 5 (Magic Theory/Intellego) + 5 Aura +1 Intelligence = 31. With a -4 lab general quality this amounts to 27. He will need to experiment.

With a lab safety of -1 he also needs to roll a simple die for chance of disaster (on a 1, there is risk). This -1 also means an imposed +1 risk... but I'll chose a +3 (this way he will succeed as long as he doesn't botch).

If rolling a 0 in the experimental roll or a 1 in the safety roll, check for botch with 6 botch dice (1 for experimenting, 5 from aura, +3 from risk, -3 from Cautious Sorcerer = 6). Still a lot. Let's pray.

Simple roll (to lab total): 3

Simple roll (safety): 9

Experimental roll: 6 +3 = 9 (Special or story event)

Either some effect not covered elsewhere occurs, or, at the storyguide’s option, an event unfolds as a result of your work which involves the entire covenant.

So........? :no_mouth:
If we go with a story I have a few ideas that are easy to implement and don't require immediate action (in case no one wants to run, or if we want to wait for more magi to join).

Humm.... I probably should also say that I'm likely to keep experimenting in the future, unless people want me to stop.

(On the plus side, the spell was invented! =D)

Are they listed in the library? Are there enough of them to bring the number of mundane subjects to a dozen?

Do share. I'll take one of them and spin something off.

Not listed yet (I have been meaning to do that for ages), and surely not enough by themselves. 5 volumes (6 if we count the Tytalus instruction manual). Assuming a Divine Lore summa isn't exactly "mundane".

  1. Regulus detects something lurking in a cave below the ground. Either a cave we have access or one that we don't (it could be a result of the experimentation, a pulse of Intellego that goes below the "skin" of the earth for a short time). Either poses its own problems: if we have access, do we go there? If we don't, do we let whatever it is lurking there? For how long? Worse, what if something has awoken due to the spell waves?

  2. Something similar, but above the ground. Regulus detects the presence of something weird, that shouldn't be in a 1 mile range from the covenant.

  • Is that a group of wagons approaching? (This one is probably a bit harder to "ignore")
  • Or maybe he sensed an odd, previously unnoticed structured (maybe ordered by Leonardus? And how did it go unnoticed by so long?).

My take is that the spell experimentation isn't necessarily causing the trouble, just exposing it.

I've opened a new story topic. Give me a few days to think about the story, and I'll start things rolling there.

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Can you update your magus' stats to the end of 1205? That may help me refer to the correct numbers for the story.

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Talked a bit with Vortigern about a companion. Thinking on ditching the hedge wizard concept and developing Argos as a rogue-ish companion, giving him a couple more virtues and flaws. What does this sound like?

I'll think of a few avenues for developing him and try to update his concept. His background wouldn't change.


So, to change Argos. First a discussion of the flaws.


Fragile Constitution (-1); Poor Student (-1); Compulsion (stealing) (-1);

Original build. All kept.

Fear of large men (-1); Night Terrors (-1) (Gr p.82); Plagued By Supernatural Entity (-3)

Fear would be applicable for anyone with size +1 or larger, but not magical giants.

Night Terrors: he constantly has nightmares about the fall of Constantinople (many of these end with large hands grabbing him), which sometimes make him wake up tired.

PBSE: I figure that either a demon (maybe Valefar, demon of Thieves, RoP:I p.56) or a faerie prankster/thief could have taken interest in Argos and followed him back from Constantinople (a faerie could also have followed him from Normandy, or be a local faerie). Ideas?

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Now, regarding his virtues:


Covenfolk (free); Light Touch (+1); Puissant Legerdemain (+1); Learn Legerdemain by Mistakes (+1);

Original build. All kept.

Dowsing (+1); Independent Study (+1); ???? (+3)

  1. Dowsing
    Dowsing means Argos can quickly locate valuable things in places he enters, so I will be getting it anyway. But I wanted to make sure of the complete scope of dowsing in your eyes.
  • Does it require a tool, or can he just have a knack, a gut feeling of where are the things he is looking for?
  • If it does require a tool, what else is suitable besides a twig? I'm thinking about a pendulum (a simple crystal in a string).
  • What can it find? Coreebook gives only water and gold as examples.
    • Lost objects are fair play?
    • Can it find people (for example, someone hidding in a closet)?
    • Can it find a specific person (provided he has an AC or SC to the person)?
    • Can it find vis in a place (HM:RE mentions that dowsing enables folk witches to find vis, but doesn't say only them can do so)?
    • What about other forms? Eg. dowse for an open flame, for the remains of a bonfire, for a specific plant?
    • Theoretically, if he manages a high enough roll (and has an AC), could he use The Inexorable Search (as the spell)? This is essentially looking for a person over a really large area.

To offer some context, all of these are possibilities for dowsing in medieval and pop culture, and are all reasonable to me... but this does put downsing closer to a major virtue (and in a certain way, closer to divination). It's not, however, as strong as divination, since Div can be used to answer different questions, using different RDT, and dowsing can essentially answer only "where is X" using R:Voice (closest one), D:Conc, T:Individual, with the guideline being open, but spread over several arts (all low level).

  1. 3 points of unspent virtues.

Argos is currently short of 3 minor or 1 major virtue. Part of me want to dip more into the magical, but no superatural virtue seems to really fit the concept. I could go the easy way and pick Improved Characteristics, Great (Characteristic), Puissant/Affinity with (Ability) and similar, but I wanted to check first if anyone has other ideas.

Going superatural I have an idea about a custom major virtue to induce/control sleep (there's an example of a thief in the Second Shepard's Play drawing a circle around some shepards to ensure they don't wake up while he steals sheep), but messing up with sleep is kinda limited and doesn't really fit either (it might be cool if he can cast this effect upon a structure).

Another idea in this direction, but requiring more demonic involvement, is for Argos to have learned how to make a Hand of Glory (RoP:I p.57). I could change the major flaw to Diabolic Past (maybe his father was a cultist and he learned something by accident while looking at his father's diary just before/after the fall?) but this is a very big commitment in terms of story (as in, I would like to keep demonic involvement as low as possible unless the troupe jumps in together). In this case, he still needs other virtues (probably going the more mundane route).

So at this moment I'm mostly looking for inputs on which directions seem fitting for the concept (a young boy with both a talent and a compulsion for stealing). Thoughts?

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You need a dowsing rod. It's in the description.

I'd say that the dowsing rod could be anything appropiate/cool.

From what i understand, any object or material is good, but not people.

I'd say that those 3 free virtue points could be used in Strong Faerie Blood to pick something appropiate (like Goblin blood, for example).
But i don't understand what you want to do with the companion.

I mean, everything at the character seems to be about Stealing (3 virtues that helps in Legerdemain, and also Dowsing can be used very effectively to find any type of loot, and you are talking about using the 3 free virtue points to be able to steal more and more). And then he cannot avoid to steal! :open_mouth:
Unless im missundestanding something, thats not just a rogue-ish companion that steals from time to time an makes hooks about it, its a full blown bandit. Thats closer to being an antagonist xD

How many seasons do you expect to play him until the magi kills or expel him?

While I thought of faerie blood, I think in this case it would be a cop-out.

Steal. Pretty much that. =P

Argos is mainly being designed as someone to get arcane connections for Vorsutus and other magi, at least at the beggining. Putting his bad compulsion to an (arguibly) good use. As long as he brings more advantage than trouble, the magi don't really have a reason to expel or kill him, not anymore than they have to expel or kill a lycanthrope, someone being pursued by a demon, or the leecherous enemy of an even more leecherous bishop.

But depending on the other 3 points of virtues and on his abilities he can be useful for other things. Increasing his quickness, dexterity and perception/awareness all make him a better thief... but also a better scout, spy, explorer, and a reasonable (if frail) fighter. His downsing might (perhaps) outvalue his ability to steal. Other virtues might push him in other directions yet. In the end, he is pretty young, at only 12, and doesn't have a lot of virtues that prescribe a fixed path. Only one puissance, no affinities.

Argos is pretty much a blank slate. If you let him learn from Vorsutus he might become a full blown criminal... but maybe Alba has a different opinion on how to guide this young child? ; ]

As for his compulsion, it is for petty theft. He is not going to steal the crown jewels or the burgraff's prized sword (well... probably). He won't mug someone for a few coins. And he sure can hold himself if the situation requires (it's a minor, not a major flaw).

His story flaw, while tied to his thieving background (a supernatural creature interested in him because of his current ways) brings a whole different dimension of trouble then simply "you stole something from someone you shouldn't and now you need to deal with the consequences" and can easily evolve to something else after few stories. With Plagued by Faerie for example, I'd see him grow towards a character like Jack, from the several folklore tales.

That all said, the very reason I put this all forward is because I'm open for ideas on how to develop the character towards more pleasant and useful grounds. Be it by better defining his open virtues, his story flaw, or both. =]


Why? :open_mouth:

Then its perfect xD

What its worrisome to me is his inability to control his compulsion and ending stealing those cute trinkets from the magi... and ending with a talisman or sigil or something really important.
In you examples, the danger comes from something outside the character (being a curse or an enemy), so we couldn't really blame him. But in this case its different, since he is the one choosing to steal over... well, over not stealing :stuck_out_tongue:

Oh! He's just 12? I didn't notice that :open_mouth:

Yeah... more like that young child (not so child, he's is 12 after all... probably he's as tall as her already xD) could do whatever he wanted with Alba in charge... she is gullible after all xD

Minor flaws can bring as much "fun" or even more than some major ones :stuck_out_tongue: You just need to commit enough xD

You could use those 3 virtue points to give him some redeeming features... idk... make him a good chef for example :stuck_out_tongue: Anything that helps to give him some other work when he isn't stealing and at the same time it gives some moments for the character too.

I think this is interesting and likely to spur good roleplaying/scenes. A unique concept.

The wording on Dowsing seems incredibly vague. It doesn't really seem to put any restrictions on what can be found/sought. Merely that the "more rare" the thing you are looking for the harder it is to find. And that you need a sympathetic connection to whatever you want to look for.

A sympathetic connection doesn't have to be an actual arcane connection ... it could be just something representative of the general category of what you are looking for.

I also would concur that alternative tools are usable. And I'd think that a good tool or two would go a long way here. Also a collection of prepared/preserved sympathetic trinkets for seeking classes of things would go a long way as he got more "professional" about what he does.

I could see Vorsutus really taking an interest (especially since he has a touch of magic about him) and trying to arrange further training etc. (Benetto. You now have an apprentice. Don't get him caught. It wasn't funny that one time, either.)

I really am not fond generally of the Divine and the Infernal a lot of the time. I don't totally hate them but they often are hard to pull off well and make really engaging in play. I think I would prefer to see the PBSE be Faerie aligned then, if that is all the same to you?

As a possible twist to put on this character I note that Dowsing is one of the abilities tied to the Folk Witch Hedge Magic Tradition. He could be from a family tied to a Folk Witch coven/tradition and have been partially trained as an ungifted apprentice practitioner of that magical path. That could give him something to be interested in and open up possible advancement paths later. And give you some ideas about what to do with his other virtue points. This also would very solidly make him "not a mundane" in the eyes of Vorsutus!

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No particular reason. Just a feeling. ^^

Since it's a minor he should be able to control it if it really matters. Compare with Compulsive Lying (Gr. p.78).

As a Minor Flaw, this is just a tendency, and the character can make himself tell the truth if it really matters. If taken as a Major Flaw, the character cannot resist embellishing a story, no matter what the
circumstances. At best, he might manage to keep the alterations minor.

Also, it's not that he is choosing to steal (albeit most people will probably see it like that). It's a compulsion. ; ]

Exactly my view about Divine and Infernal. Let's go faerie then.

I'll think a bit and elaborate on both the PBSE flaw and the remaining virtues. In the mean time, I'm still accepting ideas and comments. =]

This seems interesting. I'll give it some thought.


If you do decide to make him an Ungifted Folk Witch, it really opens up the concept, and gives him the ability to grow to become much more than just a thief, plus, it means he can fix Arcane Connections, making him much more valuable.

Not really keen on making him a Folk Witch in the end.

I'm toying instead with the idea of leaning harder on his initial life as a merchant's son.

  • Privileged Upbringing: 50 extra xp, that I would spend in abilities useful for a future merchant.
  • Eye of Hephaesto (C&G p.71): supernatural ability, discerns quality of items (useful both for a merchant and a thief) and gives a small chance of detecting magical items.
  • Improved Characteristics: his Perception and a few others could use some help.

As for flaws:

  • Plagued by Faerie: in his recent travels with Regulus, without knowing they crossed paths with a member of the good folk. Argos tricked the faerie somehow, warranting it's interest. The faerie wants to see if Argos can be used as "Jack" (from stories such as Jack and the Beanstalk), and is going to put him over some trouble to test him before finally weaving it's final story.

How does it all sound?

Virtues are simple, yet very useful, so they seems good to me :slight_smile:
And that flaw can be very fun and interesting too :smiley:

I like it ^^

Whats the final virtues/flaws list?

I have updated Argos' original stats. Ended up going with Intuition instead of Improved Characteristics. His Artes Liberales were bought with XP from his Privileged Upbringing.
Stats up to Winter of 1204, when Argos had 11 years. Didn't advance him though 1205 yet.

Final V&F spread:

Virtues: Covenfolk (free); Light Touch (+1); Puissant Legerdemain (+1); Learn Legerdemain by Mistakes (+1); Dowsing (+1); Independent Study (+1); Eye of Hephaesto (C&G p.71) (+1); Privileged Upbringing (+1); Intuition (+1)
Flaws: Fragile Constitution (-1); Poor Student (-1); Compulsion (stealing) (-1); Fear of large men (-1); Night Terrors (-1) (Gr p.82); Plagued By Supernatural Entity (-3)

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This is interesting. I was intrigued by the Folk Witch potential, but this also has potential. Let us hope that Learn Legerdemain by Mistakes doesn't come into play often... :pleading_face:

Also, I've asked a few times regarding any ideas you might have for your Lynx Familiar. If you want me to play it I'll need some core concepts as to what about it "resonates" with Regulus and what kind of utility you are interested in getting out of it. I don't want to make something and have it be useless to you!

I thought I answered by message, sorry.

Not a lot of ideas for the lynx. The only "mandatory" power would be something to see through objects (base 20, +4 vision, +X duration). Very open about everything else.

I'm perfectly fine with the familiar at grog level, being mostly a helper in the lab and minor sidekick. To me is the other way around: if anyone is interested in playing a magical lynx as a companion, I'd be glad to provide a suitable opportunity. ^^