Character Creation for Vortigern (OOC)

I'm going to think on this a bit. I don't have time to really give a solid reply (or think about one) just now, so I'm going to give it time and come back perhaps tomorrow. Definitely appreciate the depth of consideration given to the ideas/concept.

I took some time to tinker and think on your points both today. While I don't think Hermetic Prestige is accurately only/more about the lineage than the person (it could be either I think) I do think the build could use some broadening and would benefit from revision the more I looked at it.

I think to make that happen in a stronger way I'll both make some revisions and switch Hermetic Prestige for Skilled Parens. The extra I think will help me both cover the core competency I really wanted for the character and also have some of the more general stuff you pointed out that he doesn't have. The more I thought about it the more I thought it would be more realistic if he did, but I didn't have a good way of making the changes without starting to cut things I didn't want to cut. I'll get a revised build up in a little bit.

I don't really see his Ex Misc. lineage as particularly aligned with the Q's. I see them more in the strong "Latin" faction (say Flambeau, Tytalus, and Tremere as it were) of the Order, and close to the Cult of Mercury. The Hoplite tendencies are more directly those of Vorsutus. He just will have to work on getting the reputation for that over time now.

Edit: Adjusted xp allocations, all sections.


The Gift (F), Hermetic Magus (F), Divination & Augury (H), Planetary Magic (H), Flawless Magic (3), Lesser Potent Magic: Magic Conduits, Containers, & Sustainment (1), Minor Magical Focus: Magic Conduits, Containers, & Sustainment (1), Personal Vis Source (1), Premonitions (1), Puissant: Magic Theory (1), Second Sight (1), Skilled Parens (1)


Twilight Prone (H), Blatant Gift (3), Difficult Spontaneous Magic (1), Hatred: Mundane Society (1), Hermetic Patron: Cult of Mercury/Neo-Mercurians (1), Meddler (3), Visions (1)


Int: +2 (3)
Per: +2 (3)

Str: 0 (0)
Sta: 0 (0)

Prs: 0 (0)
Com: +1 (1)

Dex: 0 (0)
Qik: 0 (0)

Early Childhood

Native Language: (West) Norse: 5 (75xp)(Free)

Awareness: 2 (15xp)
Brawl: 1 (5xp)
Charm: 1 (5xp)
Folk Ken: 1 (5xp)
Guile: 1 (5xp)
Stealth: 1 (5xp)
Survival: 1 (5xp)

Additional Years: 6: 90xp

Bargain: 1 (5xp)
Premonitions: 3 (F+25xp)
Gaelic: 4 (50xp)
Hibernia Tribunal Lore: 1 (5xp)
Legerdemain: 1 (5xp)

Apprenticeship: 300xp

Latin: 4 (50xp)

Etiquette: 1 (5xp)
Intrigue: 1 (5xp)(+2xp)
Leadership: 1 (5xp)

Artes Liberales: 3 (30xp)
Philosophae: 1 (5xp)

Code of Hermes: 1 (5xp)
Order of Hermes Lore: 1 (5xp)
Cult of Mercury Lore: 1 (5xp)
Magic Lore: 1 (5xp)

Magic Theory: 3 (30xp)
Parma Magica: 1 (5xp)(+7xp)
Concentration: 1 (5xp)
Finesse: 1 (5xp)
Penetration: 1 (5xp)(+5xp)

Creo: 5 (15xp)
Intellego: 5 (15xp)
Perdo: 5 (15xp)
Rego: 6 (21xp)

Corpus: 6 (21xp)
Mentem: 5 (15xp)
Vim: 6 (21xp)

Apprenticeship Spells

Divine The Origin Of The Body - InCo 10

Divine The Origin Of The Body
InCo 10
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind.

Provides the information necessary to conduct a natal horoscope on the target.
(Base 5, +1 Touch)
Spell Mastery: 1 (F)(Penetration)

Divine The Origin Of The Beast - InAn 10

Divine The Origin Of The Beast
InAn 10
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind

Provides the information necessary to conduct a natal horoscope on the target.
(Base 5, +1 Touch)
Spell Mastery: 1 (F)(Penetration)

Opening The Intangible Tunnel - ReVi 10

Opening The Intangible Tunnel
ReVi 10
R: Arc, D: Conc, T: Ind

As ArM5 pg 162.
(Gen: +4 Arc, +1 Concentration)
Spell Mastery: 1 (F)(Adaptive Mastery)

Forge The Connection - ReVi 5

Forge The Connection
ReVi 5
R: Sight, D: Conc, T: Ind.

As Opening The Intangible Tunnel, ArM5 pg 162, reduced to Sight range. May transmit effects of up to level +1 magnitude.
(Gen: +3 Sight, +1 Concentration)
Spell Mastery: 1 (F)(Adaptive Mastery)

Solar Alignment Of Forces - ReVi 15

Solar Alignment Of Forces
ReVi 15
R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Ind

As Maintain The Demanding Spell, ArM5 pg 162, adjusted to Sun duration. Sustains an effect up to level -5.
(Gen: +1 Touch, +2 Sun)
Spell Mastery: 1 (F)(?)

Lunar Alignment Of Forces - ReVi 20

Lunar Alignment Of Forces
ReVi 20
R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Ind

As Maintain The Demanding Spell, ArM5 pg 162, adjusted to Moon duration. Sustains an effect up to level -10.
(Gen: +1 Touch, +3 Moon)
Spell Mastery: 1 (F)(?)

The Waiting Spell - ReVi 10

The Waiting Spell
ReVi 10
R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Ind

As Watching Ward, ArM5 pg 162, reduced to Sun duration. May contain effects of up to level +2 magnitudes
(Gen: +1 Touch, +2 Sun)

The Phantom Gift (Mod.) - CrVi 10

The Phantom Gift
CrVi 10
R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Ind

As The Phantom Gift, ArM5 pg 157, reduced to Touch and Concentration. Amplified to produce the effects of the Blatant Gift.
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration, +1 Amplified Effects)
Spell Mastery: 1 (F)(Penetration)

Ethereal Ministrations - PeCo 10

Ethereal Ministrations
PeCo 10
R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Ind

Inflicts the pain of a Light Wound for the duration. The caster can specify the location of the pain.
(Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration)
Spell Mastery: 1 (5xp)(Penetration)

Maintenance of Sustained Slumber - ReMe 10

Maintenance of Sustained Slumber
ReMe 10
R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Ind

Maintains the target in a state of sleep for the duration.
(Base: 4, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration)
Spell Mastery: 1 (F)(Penetration)

Enforced Hibernation - ReAn 10

Enforced Hibernation
ReAn 10
R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Ind

As Call To Slumber ArM5 pg 151, using Animal guidelines pg 120. Reduced to Touch range, increased to Concentration duration. Target is maintained in a state of sleep for the duration.
(Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration)
Spell Mastery: 1 (F)(Penetration)

Wizard's Leap - ReCo 15

Wizard's Leap
ReCo 15
R: Per, D: Mom, T: Ind

The caster instantly transports himself up to 50 paces in any direction, provided he can see his destination or has an Arcane Connection to it. Reference, Societates pg 36.
(Base 15)
Spell Mastery: 1 (5xp)(Fast Casting)

Veil of Invisibility (Mod.) - PeIm 10

Veil of Invisibility
PeIm 10
R: Per, D: Conc, T: Ind.

The target becomes completely undetectable to normal sight, regardless of what he does, but still casts a shadow.
(Base 4, +1 Concentration, +1 changing image)
Spell Mastery: 1 (5xp)(Quiet Casting)

The Stolen Breath - ReAu 5

The Stolen Breath
ReAu 5
R: Sight, D: Mom, T: Ind

This spell allows you to steal the breath of an individual. The breath flows into a prepare recepticle, which should be immediately corked. If the magus acts fast enough, the stolen breath can then be fixed as an Arcane Connection to the target.

(Base 2, +3 sight)
Spell Mastery: 1 (5xp)(Quiet Casting)

I think it indeed makes sense, for now, to switch Hermetic Prestige. I agree that it can be related to the magus, however, Vorsutus is just gauntleted and we didn't see anything in his life so far to merit hermetic reputation (unless we turn to his tradition being held in high regard, which is what Arthur was suggesting). If anything, he is probably infamous in Relantalli for going too far. XD
It's probably easier to just change the virtue than to completely rewrite his apprenticeship.

Humm... any reason why he gets Divination from his tradition but hasn't improved it even a bit? Or rather, any reason Chaldeaus didn't taught him? I mean, you could strike OoH Lore, Profession: Scribe and Intellego (for example) and increase his Divination to 3, still being able to learn and cast his Intellego spells (albeit he now has a small risk of losing fatigue when casting them). You also don't need the 5 Creo to cast the modified version of The Phantom Gift.

These are just suggestions, you don't need to follow them, of course. I just think you are spreading his arts and abilities too thin, in detriment of his Ex Misc heriatge.

Suggestion for his spells, it would be nice if you could indicate what is his casting total for each, or at least note the spells for which his focus apply. =]
Something like:
Opening the Intangible Tunnel* (ReVi 10/+18)

Some of your spells have (F) besides the mastery. That's indication for what? I'm understanding it isn't about his focus, there are spells outside of the selection with this indication.

I think that denotes that the mastery is from Flawless Magic. And the two spell that don't have it were added later on.

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This is correct. I was trying to keep it clear that the lvl 1 was free.

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I am planning on having him study in post gauntlet time, so I don't intend to ignore it. It is always a struggle with a new build I think to fit in everything that even just a basic competent Magus should have. Things like Order of Hermes Lore, Code of Hermes, Profession: Scribe, and say even a lvl 1 of Magic Lore seem like things almost any Magus "should" have. But at times juggling one solid bank of xp to both fill out such things and to make the magic portion of the build work is challenging.

I can add casting total no problem, that is a good suggestion. Though would it be better to do that after the final build and sheet is complete? Or you would like to see that now at apprenticeship?

Nah, final build.

Just to make it easier later when thinking of stories for him. Specially with the focus, so it's not necessary to check each spell and see if it is applicable or not.

Actually, Profession: Scribe is not something most newly-Gauntleted magi would have, IMHO. Even Code of Hermes is probably only a 50/50 case.

But I agree that Organization Lore: Order of Hermes should be present in most magi, probably with a specialty in their own House (much in the same way that native language has a specialty in the local dialect).

Interesting divergence. I kind of assume ... well a Master would generally have an Apprentice do some copying from time to time just so they have the experience etc. Code seems important to me just so you can't be accused of dereliction in training an Apprentice up to full Magus status who doesn't know the basics of it. (Not that this would/could deter everyone I suppose.)

But ... since when do Ars players agree about everything? 8P

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Wait. You mean to say it is possible for us to agree? :gasp:

To me, OoH/house Lore and Code of Hermes are totally optional for most magi. Basic knowledge required for day to day activities shouldn’t hinge on a score in these. Everybody knows you can’t deprive a magus of magical power, and everyone knows a few anecdotes about how this can apply to depriving of vis, hurting apprentices, destroying lab equipment, etc. Code of Hermes is only required, IMO, to analyze complex cases, or to parse critical information from legal proceedings, or to actually act as a lawyer, between others.

Area Lore I also see as optional, since magi do spend a lot of time indoors, don’t usually care about local gossip and you don’t really need it on a daily basis if you only go to/from a handful of places (but at the same time, I think more magi should actually have it based on their activities…)

For Prof: Scribe... A magus may instruct an apprentice to translate or copy lab texts, but that is as likely to result on xp to Prof:Scribe as in Latin (notice that a minimum score of Latin isn’t required for either… albeit I believe we can argue for a minimum of 3) as in Artes Liberales as in Magic Theory (so that's how you apply Bonisagus Theorem to herbam!)… you get it. And I’m not sure most magus would see copying notes as a good use of their apprentice's time.

In the particular case of Vorsutus, I agree that he is more likely to have spent his time fixing ACs rather then copying texts. =9

But well, that’s a digression.

Historically, professional scribes did not need to understand Latin to make copies of a book. So long as thy know how to scribe each letter, they can do the job. They needed a steady hand, and learned to trace the letters of a specific font efficiently. They also learned about making inks, handling parchments, sharpening quills, etc. My wife makes scrolls in the SCA, and she can certainly scribe a text written in German that someone else wrote, even though she doesn't understand it.

Writing an original text or "translating" a lab text is something else differently, of course. But them, they don't even have to be written in Latin, do they? :wink:

Year 2, Spring

Returning to Rellantali Vorsutus renewed his efforts at developing a network of contacts of his own via correspondence. Gradually he came to the sense that opportunities in Rome were extremely limited due the seeming scarcity of magical resources. In the meantime he devoted himself to pursuing the fundamentals of the Art itself, the grand theoretical structures underpinning the functioning of Realm itself.

(Study Magic Theory Summa + 15xp Magic Theory)

Year 2, Summer

Continuing his studies Vorsutus shifts his writing campaign in his free time to instead reach back to Hibernia, Stonehenge, and even the Loch Leglean Tribunals. The news however that he received from these distant lands was of a growing conflict in the land of the isles. His homeland was ever a fractious and violent place. The longer he meditated on these matters the more certain he became, the more indeed his visions reinforced his certainty, that returning to the Isles permanently would set his fate down a less optimal path in some way. And so he began consider where else he should turn his attention towards.

(Study Magic Theory Summa + 15xp Magic Theory)

Year 2, Autumn

Vorsutus began to grow restless. Impatience to settle into a proper situation of his own began to take over his usual reserved and analytical manner. Chaldeaus remarked upon the change making the young man take stock and consider further options. Keeping up his regimen in the library felt trivial compared to solving his ongoing dilemma yet at least it gave him structure. Elsewise the young Magus was to be found wandering restlessly throughout the grounds of Rellantali.

(Study Magic Theory Summa + 15xp Magic Theory)

Year 2, Winter

The impatience drove Vorsutus forward and shifted the focus of his studies. Now he concentrated on refining his mastery of sympathetic connections. He wanted to develop his abilities to an extent where he would be much more assured of achieving positive results despite needing to penetrate some variety of mystical defenses. Whether with divination or his other abilities. The failure with the Birds in the Sacred Grove of the Cult still rankled him.

(Study Penetration Summa + 15xp Penetration)

You should integrate at least 1 "non productive" season per year, during which your magus only gets exposure xp. If he is a member of the covenant, this may be for maintaining the covenant's resources or relationships. If he is a guest, it is customary to provide some services to the covenant. Doesn't matter what, as this is basically a way to keep the average number of xp per year from being too high.

I just created your magus' stats topic. Only the final results should be posted over there. It should follow the following pattern:

  1. Current stats in the first post
  2. Advancement log in the second post. We should be able to rebuild the current stats out of the initial stats from this log.
  3. Past versions of the character in the. This means the initial Post-Gauntlet stats at first, put if you also want to track your saga-start version and future intermediate version in the future, that is the place to do it.
  4. Fourth post is for any custom spells the character knows.

Additionnal posts can be added for lab description, enchantments, and others as you wish.

Note that we make liberal use of hidden sections to summarize long text. See my own magus' stats as an example of how this can be done.

No discussion should take place in the stats topic. Any discussion should be here.

It will be a few before I can rework my season plan etc. in light of this. I forgot about the 45xp/year goal from the chargen guidelines.

I did work up some spells to potentially learn over the course of post gauntlet time in some of this time. Any thoughts/comments on these in the interim?

Wizard's Vigil - MuVi 20

Wizard's Vigil
MuVi 20
R: Voice, D: Sun, T: Group

As Communion -2 magnitudes.
(Base Spell, TtA pg 75)
(Base 30, +2 Sun)

Invisible Arbalest of Vilano - ReTe 20

Invisible Arbalest of Vilano
ReTe 20
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind

Hurl a stone or other object of a size that could be thrown by a sling (or arbalest) at a target within range. Unlike a standard attack spell this spell hurls the stone as a projectile. An aiming roll is required to hit the intended target but if it succeeds Magic Resistance offers no protection. The stone, or object, inflicts +15 damage on impact and has a range increment of 20 paces.
(Base: 15, +1 Touch)

Claw of the Gladiator - PeCo 10

Claw of the Gladiator
PeCo 10
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind

This spell opens a bloody wound on the target, which serves as a Light Wound.
(Base 5, +1 Touch)

Necrotic Touch - PeCo 10

Necrotic Touch
PeCo 10
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind

Inflicts the disease of Gangrene (A&A pg 49) on the target. The target must have an open wound for the Gangrene to take root in, howevever if this is the case the onset is immediate.
(Base: 5 (A&A pg 57), +1 Touch)

Purge The Necrotic Wounds - CrCo 20

Purge The Necrotic Wounds
CrCo 20, Ritual
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Circle

Cures the disease of Gangrene from any diseased wounds within the circle.
(Base 15 (A&A pg 57) +1 Touch)

Panic Of The Trembling Heart (Mod.) - CrMe 10

Panic of the Trembling Heart (Mod.)
CrMe 10
R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Ind

Creates an overpowering fear in one person of a specific object, person, or place.
(Base Spell ArM5 pg 148)
(Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration)

Rising Ire (Mod.) - CrMe 10

Rising Ire (Mod.)
CrMe 10
R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Ind

Makes the target furious at someone or something of your choice. A stress roll of 9+ using an appropriate Personality Trait (like Calm) can hold the anger in check, but it is felt strongly regardless of the roll.
(Base Spell ArM5 pg 148)
(Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration)

Pains Of The Perpetual Worry (Mod.) - CrMe 10

Pains of the Perpetual Worry (Mod.)
CrMe 10
R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Ind

Gives someone a nagging, tauting, painful emotion - a recurrent sense of anxiety, a fear of something he or she does not know, a fear of everything, and a fear of nothing. To have this spell cast on you is truly a curse.
(Base Spell ArM5 pg 148)
(Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration)

The Blossoming Of Love - CrMe 10

The Blossoming of Love
CrMe 10
R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Ind

Makes the target feel an overpowering love and affection for a specified object of fixation. The target will is not otherwise compelled to act inappropriately or outside of their normal bounds and will treat the object of these emotions as they would anyone else for whom they feel/share a deep emotional bond. This may still be behavior they would not undertake without such feelings.
(Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration)

Rising Passion (Mod.) - CrMe 10

Rising Passion (Mod.)
CrMe 10
R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Ind

Raises an unnatural carnal lust in a target towards a specified object of fixation. The target has no control over his or her passion and is likely to act inappropriately.
(Base Spell, Rhine pg 73)
(Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration)

I think there is no problem in keeping this year. Just put enough setbacks in the next one to compensate.

(Note: Assumption here, Year 1 Adventure Reward: Lab Text: Wizard's Vigil - MuVi 20)
(As suggested this year I've taken three seasons with minor xp gain to balance things out xp-wise.)
(Edit: Adjust narrative slightly.)

Year 3, Spring

When Rellantali receives a regular visitation by the Redcaps of Rome they bear a gift for him. The Elder guardian of the Sacred Grove that he tried, and only partially succeeded in assisting, sent him a lab text! And a useful one for anyone of a Mercurian bent. Despite his previous fervor the young magus decides to shift his studies to prepare for undertaking the challenge of the lab text. How would it look to return to the Sacred Grove and not have learned the spell?

Vorsutus writes a letter of thanks to the older mage and expresses his earnest desire to return when he is ready and unravel the mystery of the mystical birds.

(Study Muto Summa: +15xp Muto)

Year 3, Summer

The weeks pass all too quickly as the young magus continues earnestly in pursuit of his goal. The lab text unlocks magic that would have been far too sophisticated for his still developing skills. And the sheer idea of participating competently in a group ritual with older magi makes him smile and renew his efforts throughout the season.

Once this new skill is mastered Vorsutus relaxes for several days. Venturing outside of Rellantali in a way he hasn't practically since his Gauntlet he dares Venice once again. As always the Rellantali men keep guard over him and so his experience of the city is not entirely uncontrolled. He moves carefully, invisibly, with armed guards who are trained to move with and protect one just such as himself. And to prearranged diversions and entertainment. Yet, for all these arrangements not all goes quite according to plan. As he began to head back at the end of a pleasant evening a bystander on the street managed to catch a glimpse of him. The revulsion and stark fear that the sight of Vorsutus engendered in the man lead him to instantly make a sign to ward away evil and the word "stregone" is heard like a curse as the man backs away. Fumblingly he produced a small knife from his belt, yet a moment later he turned and ran into the city.

(Learn Spell: Wizard's Vigil - MuVi 20)(Lab Total: 23)(Exposure: +2xp Magic Theory)

Year 3, Autumn

The memory of the man pulling a knife and then running away from him lingered with Vorsutus long after the event itself. It was seemingly inconsequential yet the memory kept returning and smoldering behind his eyes. He started a new spell design of his own. One that would give him a new way to reach out and punish such churls. Amina, the young lady apprenticed to Dareth of Tytalus, asked him why he felt the need when he discussed his project with her in the library one day. "Look at Venice, it bends to our will Vorsutus. Why do the Mundanes bother you so? Don't you think we have greater matters to be concerned with?"

"Even in Venice, where our influence and indeed even power, are greatest? Never believe that they are not what they are Amina. They would gladly burn you at the stake if they had you firmly in their power. And the whole day they would play music, dance, and throw candy to the children in the street while they did it. It would be a day long celebration all about the fact that they were going to burn you. Forgetting it is dangerous, for all of us."

"Perhaps you should be the one in House Tytalus, my friend." Amina replied, her eyes showing first surprise and then a growing approval. Vorsutus looked back into her eyes thinking of how beautiful hers were and in that moment received a vision of her, looking up from a chair smiling at him while holding a baby to her breast. A baby he somehow knew was his. Blinking Vorsutus came back to his senses to look around only for Amina to have already moved to another part of the library on her own errands.

(Invent Spell: Claw of the Gladiator - PeCo 10)(Lab Total: 23)(Exposure: +2xp Magic Theory)

Year 3, Winter

After the memory of the man from the street, and his fearful eyes, began to fade another replaced it. Amina, and her eyes showing approval, lurked in the back of his mind as he continued with a new design that would augment the first. Wounding was not enough. Deterrence required more. They must fear to transgress the magical world and he would make certain that was so. Dareth and Amina both seemed approving as he sat with them to discuss both his Necrotic Touch design and his plans for the future. Plans such as they were. Options for a suitable situation in Rome were still not forthcoming.

While Vorsutus received no further visions of Amina he decided to pursue the matter now, before they both went their separate ways for life in the hermetic world otherwise. At first she seemed to not believe he was serious. Yet when was he ever not?

A passionate affair ensued and yet somehow Vorsutus could feel that future from his vision slipping away. Something he was certain had gone wrong and he had stepped down a less optimal path through time. Growing in frustration he delved into his visions but could find no answer.

(Invent Spell: Necrotic Touch - PeCo 10)(Lab Total: 23)(Exposure: +2xp Magic Theory)

Spending time in the lab isn't the same as having an unproductive season. You're gaining spell levels (or enchantments, depending on the nature of the lab work) instead of xp, but it is still a productive season.

Unproductive is just that -- unproductive. So your magus should gain only exposure xp.