Character creation

For each player character, start a new thread with three posts:

  1. The current status of the character
  2. Your character at Gauntlet
  3. Your character at the start of the saga.

Characters will receive 10XP per season post Gauntlet. Characters have access to any lab text in the main rulebook, and can learn via the normal rules. Seasons not spent in learning receive no experience, not even Exposure.

I just noted that in The Sundered Eagle the Covenant at Thessalonica (Oikos tou Eleous) is, according to the book, comprised entirely of Holy Magi...p. 69 or the sundered eagle. If we are revising that we should probably note that in the background, otherwise we should all play holy magi...

First thanks that you decided to be alpha SG.
Second you also should put up in the 1st posting how we handle companion and grog.

Third I plan to play a Criamon on the Path of Walking Backwards and so despite that the initiation script are in the book (HoH: MC 71) I need to know if it is done with 1 season finding a Mystagogue + 1 season per quest +1 season per initiation beside the ability I have to learn?

  • Is the group fine with me taking them all during character generation?
  • Is the last really no more aging (rolls) as the text say or just chose apparent age and sex as the initiation mechanic say? (if not I probably only go with the 1st and 2nd initiation and look else where for how to handle the aging)

Edit: Fourth 1. Posting is also missing all official books except RoP:I are fine for character creation. Initiations need to be presented for a group decisions.

Fifth how do we go with vis and living conditions during character generation? i.e. Summer covenant +2 in a town -2 would be a 0 mod for the aging rolls of the mages.

  1. Ok.

  2. Grogs will be made by anyone who wants one, and can be played by any player. Anytime you want to introduce a grog, go ahead. Build any companion that you want, but only one per player, who controls it.

  3. Since we're playing senior magi, I suppose that having completed the entire path with 5 initiations is reasonable. I'll assume that Mystagogues are found during Tribunal meetings, or in correspondence. A season for each quest, and a season for initiation is sufficient. For Criamon who have achieved the final stage, "Each magus of this station is permitted to choose the time of his own death." I take this to mean that no further aging occurs, although any accrued penalties remain, and it does not stop Warping. Since participating in combat is treated as accepting death, using magic, which can cause Warping is viewed as a choice. The state of repose does not mitigate Warping or Twilight.

  4. Well, I don't think we should include any of the discoveries of Ancient Magic, or have any integration of the Hedge Magic outside play. People who wish to follow Hermetic Alchemy or other Mysteries in TMRE need to come up with initiation scripts. Otherwise, I think players should have the chance to play what they like, so I'm trying to be open.

  5. Aging and Living conditions - Let's go with a +1 for the aging modifier. We haven't defined the covenant, nor did all the magi necessarily spend their careers there. For Vis, I'm somewhat open. p.32 suggests that you can have your Magic Theory X 5 in pawns available per year. That seems like a lot to me. Rather, I'd say that out of the 100 build points each player gets, they can burn a build point to get 5 pawns of vis.

Longevity ritual: If you are purchasing your longevity ritual from another magus, you pay 5 pawns for a level 35 ritual, and 10 for a level 55, 15 for a level 70 (max), in addition to the cost due to your magus' age.

Warping: Characters not under a longevity ritual get one warping point per year, otherwise two/year. Newly Gauntleted magi start with 0 warping points.

Edited:removed reference to Aegis

I'm still batting about character concepts, and trying to narrow them down. (I'm also waiting for people's comments on whether we all want to be Holy Magi or not.)

I did have one question about an Ex Misc tradition I've always wanted to try. What would people think of this:

[size=150]The Society of Alchemists[/size]

The Society of Alchemists is an old tradition that can be found in every tribunal to some extent. Its members are alchemists extraordinaire. It claims to be older than the Order itself, but that claim has never been proven.

Key Facts
Favored Tribunals: The Society of Alchemists can be found in any Tribunal.
Major Non-Hermetic Virtue: Philosophic Alchemy
Minor Hermetic Virtue: Hermetic Alchemy
Major Hermetic Flaw: Weak Spontaneous Magic

I didn't think that simply being inside an Aegis gave you Warping Points. If that were the case then every covenant everywhere would be full of horribly Warped grogs, and that's never been mentioned anywhere.

Also, if an Aegis Warps you, wouldn't a newly gauntleted magus start with 15 Warping points? (Again, something that's never mentioned.)

I'm good with characters not under a longevity ritual get one Warping point per year, otherwise two/year. But I always chalked that up to other reasons (e.g., magical botches). Though really, those with Cautious Sorcerer and high Gold cord familiars ought to get less frequent Warping points because they'd botch less.

What would the rest of the troupe think about the idea of a pagan Holy Magus, based in the concepts in Greek philosophy that the divine existed above their gods as something neither male nor female, and otherwise unknowable to humans?

Trogdor, you're absolutely right. The Aegis can't cause warping, or grogs will get very messed up. I'll edit the prior message. You still will get the warping.
Yes, certain virtues should give less warping. Other virtues also give more learning, but we're all the same for that. We're simplifying the process.

I don't have any issues with it. Let's see how it plays out. I will rule that any vis produced prior to 1220 is part of vis stocks, and paid with Build Points.

From a rules perspective, how would this change anything? (I don't want to discuss anything about religion itself.) Players should be able to play their concepts. If you take a story flaw from being Pagan, expect to deal with some intolerant people - we just had a crusade.

I'm not against the idea in principle, but given that Holy Magic is designed to be Judeo-Christian Holy Magic, it would lead to some difficulties, I think. For example, The restrictions and benefits of Holy magic are as follows:

• Cannot use magic to sin
• No Hermetic words or gestures
• Must relearn Hermetic spells
• Incomprehensible to outsiders, Hermetic study totals halved
• Increasingly poor supernatural relations

• Attuned to both Divine and Magic auras
• May use long-term fatigue as vis in rituals
• May use the Dominion for laboratory activities
• May use holy power guidelines as spell guidelines
• New range, duration, and target categories

Cannot use magic to sin
This is a big restriction of Holy Magic. But how do we define "sin" in the context of the ancient gods? Do we say it's the same as for the Christian/Jewish/Islam God? That seems a bit odd. But if not that, what would we do that would be equally restrictive? It wouldn't be fair to say that the Greeks were more permissive so a Holy Magus based on Greek philosophy was likewise less restricted. I'm really at a loss for this one.

No Hermetic words or gestures
Easily accommodated, though the reasoning behind it doesn't hold up as well.

Must relearn Hermetic spells
Easily accommodated.

Incomprehensible to outsiders, Hermetic study totals halved
Easily accommodated.

Increasingly poor supernatural relations
Easily accommodated, but not exactly in accordance with what you'd expect.

Attuned to both Divine and Magic auras
This is a little problematic because most Divine Auras are pretty much tied to the Christian/Jewish/Islam Faith. It seems really odd that a pagan practitioner should be more powerful in the Hagia Sophia than elsewhere. Likewise, being immune to the effects of a Dominion Aura seems a bit odd for a philosophical Greek holy magus, given that the Dominion Aura rises based on Christian/Jewish/Islam faith, not Greek philosophy.

May use long-term fatigue as vis in rituals
Easily accommodated.

May use the Dominion for laboratory activities
Again, it seems very odd that a holy magus based on Greek Philosophy should get a bonus based on the strength of the Christian/Jewish/Islam faith in a given area.

May use holy power guidelines as spell guidelines
These confuse me to start with, since the guidelines are pegged to different abilities, not the Arts. I'm not quite sure how you even apply these to a Christian/Jewish/Islam holy magus. That having been said, the holy powers guidelines are pretty generic. They could fit in to just about any faith.

New range, duration, and target categories
Some of these are generic, but some are pretty specific to the Judeo-Christian god. 40 days and 40 nights is really a biblical thing. Grace and Sin depend on a definition of "sin" that it, as noted above, murky for a holy magus of Greek philosophy, Faith specifically calls out pagans as not worshipping "God", and there's the same problem with Dominion as noted above.

The end result is, as I say, that I'm not opposed to the idea in principle. But I see some real hurdles in making it work in a balanced fashion (i.e., making its restrictions and benefits approximately equal to what a Judeo-Christian holy magus has).

I personal think the way Holy Magic is written out in RoP:D only work with a monotheist belief and even then it need some adjustment if it is not the god of the Jews.
Also the question would arise why i.e. Apollon Priest have their own way of magic written in Ancient Magic when Holy Magic for them would have been a thing.
A other problem comes from Pagan is that we probably couldn't keep the saint and city protector as Patron if we take in Pagan mages into the covenant. Even if we not take the Saint as our covenent patron he would still be there as city protector and might see the covenant as an enemy.

About the holy power spell guidelines they only work if you have access to the supernatural power already but then you have a way to create holy magic spells using the guidelines for this power. At last thats how I understand it.

Isn't 1 warp point per year + X from other sourceslike longvity ritual limiting the character to less then 75 years past the gauntlet? (sorry warping is somthing I'm not to deep into right now)

I took the mysteries hermetic numerology and spirit familiar as part of the normal 10 virtues, I hope this is fine.

Also I want to pick quite some rotes (hermetic numerology) with the starting 120 points of spells, any opinions or vetos to this?

About warping, is a magus with Holy Magic or Ars Notoria for our group already using divine warping rules or keep the normal hermetic warping rules? (If the first I would need to find out how or if at all the enigma affect divine warping)

presumably the Greco-pagan concept of hubris would be akin to sin with regards to holy magic, which is essentially taking anything (especially pride) to extremes that are harmful to yourself or others.
as to the ability to claim a saint as a patron, would it be any more problematic than having a Jewish or Muslim holy magus?

With the specific saint patron I suspect Jewish, Catholic and Orthodox is fine. Catholic because he allowed the Venecian to invade the city as he saw them as better then the spreading infernal in the city. Jewish because the city have a long standing jewish population and so the saint who is the city protector must at last tolerate them. About muslim I'm not that sure how tolerant the saint will be but outspoken Pagan who refuse to change their way are probably even less tolerated.

My magus is a Orthodox while my companion is a Catholic so I don't think there is a problem regarding keeping the saint as our patron from my side.

As you say, I can see how that would apply to Pride. But what about Sloth, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Envy, and Greed? Not to mention the Ten Commandments and all the other rules that a Christian must follow in the 13th century. I'm not sure how simply avoiding Hubris would compare to the severe restrictions that a Christian holy magus would have to endure.

My real concern about this is that if we were to have a Christian holy magus (CHM) and a Greek philosophy holy magus (GPHM) in the covenant, I suspect that the CHM would suffer far greater restrictions on his actions than a GPHM, the way you have it proposed. The CHM would have to dodge all the seven deadly sins, follow the ten commandmants, follow all the other rules that the Catholic church has while the GPHM would simply have to avoid extremes that were harmful to himself or others. Seems like a much lighter load to me, and not really fair to the CHM who gets the same benefits for much harsher restrictions.

Also there are the spell targets of Sin, Grace, and Faith that are still a bit wonky for a GPHM. And your comments don't address my concerns about spell durations or the application of a Dominion Aura on a GPHM.

I'm afraid I'm coming more around to Adauli's way of thinking that Holy Magi were really built for the Christian Faith and that it would be really hard to fit the square peg of a GPHM into the round hole of a CHM.

I also share the concern that the 13th century was not nearly as egalatarian as the 21st century is. While we can accept a devotion to a higher concept of God today, I think it would be very hard to accept that in the 13th century. As a result, it would be very hard for a covenant of holy magi to accpept what the church branded a heretic in their midst.

Would the Church consider a GPHM as violating the first or second commandmants? Maybe. (Yes, I know the concept is that the magus worships a higher God that includes the Christian God, but somehow I don't think the leaders of the Church will see it that way.) It would really chip away at the verisimilitude of the setting to say that the CHM would accept a GPHM in their number.

In the end, I think the concept of a 'holy' magus who worships a higher God that encompasses both the Christian God and the Greek gods is an interesting one (though one fraught with peril when dealing with the Church). However, maybe using the mechanism of the Holy Magus from RoP:D to define that concept is not the way to go.

Didn't know Major Mystery virtues could also be used for the ex Misc major non Hermetic virtue but this combination is fine with me. I suspect your char will learn at last the lesser Elixir during character generation what make me wonder if you write your own path to learn this or follow the path given from the Order of the Green Cockerel. (sorry for the late answer but I first had to read up on the 2 virtues)

Silveroak, I'm in agreement with Trogdor. In a different game, your idea could work, but Ars Magica has baked-in assumptions about the supremacy the Divine, and that the Divine is the Abrahamic faiths.

I invite you to consider another concept. More than being a covenant of religious people, we are also involved in integrating the Order into the mundane world. Perhaps a deeply secular character in contrast?

I think I am going to go with a Verdituous who is wanting to support resistance to the Latins and sees Thermopolae as being the center of the magical resistance. As long as his workshop can be in a lacunae for enchanting he shouldn't be at much of a disadvantage. Not sure how we would handle that in terms of covenant design of individual labs/workshops being spread around the city...

We could be just outside of town, or in the middle of it. There's no reason why the covenant couldn't have paid to have a building enchanted with Hermetic Architecture, so our Aura is a 3 in that building. I don't think we should be bound in any way by the description in The Sundered Eagle. Also, if you are playing an experienced magus, your lab could certainly be optimized.

A Verditius makes sense - they want more buyers for their wares.