Character creation

I used to love making Magi with the Magister in Artibus Virtue, but I shan't do so in this case.

Well it's not what I would normally go for, but I suppose I should try something new.

Herbam mage that can repair boats on fly could be interesting. Terram could be interesting. Vim is always fascinating. You can do whatever you want.

If we have a gap, someone will just have to learn some of the arts to help make up for it. Perhaps several someones.

I have a few concepts in mind, but they are more tailored to personality than magical specialisation. I am likely to go with an Auram specialist (seems useful and fun and ties in with the weather request) or a bit of a generalist. I am a bit lost in ideas at the moment.

Weather can be good, wind to fill sails of our ships as well as all sorts of other things. My offline group has an aura specialist and it has provided no end of fun things including the month long rotting flesh SCENT spell she put on one of our companions to facilitate disguise of him as a leper (Traveling through lands where he is wanted man since he was part of personal bodyguard of Count over the land when the Count's son had him assassinated to seize the title, he was sole survivor/witness).

Don't worry about crossing into Polycarpus domain of magic. After all he is not goin to do a lot in most stories. Unless someone of you wish to tell one... :smiley:

In fact if we can ever get Verthax to post, he is player of the Auram mage in my home campaign. He can tell you lots of fun stories of what you can do being full of hot air.

I assume Nestor would have some grogs since he does have his apprentice/daughter to protect as well as himself. Me, I have my own tricks to get away if I want to get away.

Hello. I am also new, Madmax has also offered to let me join as well.

One of my concepts is a wind mage, one is a generalist bit too much like Nestor so I'll skip that and the third is a kind of Dread Pirate Roberts figure. My wind mage is JUST a wind mage, not a weather mage, so it might not hurt to have two at the covenant, but if he overlaps too much, I like the other character just fine too.

Here's the thumbnail sketch of each. I'm perfectly happy with whichever would fit best.

Procella ex Misc

Karl and his brother Jonathan were twins raised at an autumn covenant in the Rhine tribunal. Their parens was also their Bonasagus biological father, their grandfather was an adventurous Auram mage. The father had the idea that he'd concentrate all the corpus into Karl and all of the mentem into Jonathan, who could then us their complementary talents to offset each other's weaknesses. He succeeded a bit too well. Karl has no language, barely above animal intelligence, is 8' tall, stopped aging when he hit his full growth and has lost the gift. He's essentially a giant good natured golden-retriever with hands who looks like an idealized greek statue of an athelete. Jonathan (now Procella) is a stunted dwarf, who is incapable of learning physical skills and who will likely die early (for a mage) given the difficulty of shoring up his feeble body. He did get some compensations though. His mental attributes are legendary, covering both social and knowledge skills. He can communicate with anyone who has language at will. He also got a double dose of the blood of his grandfather, giving him exceptional talents with the winds.

In his apprenticeship, Jonathan rejected his father's plans, and instead got a lot of his training on the sly from his grandfather. His formulaic spells don't work with anything less than hurricane force winds, although he is quite capable of spontaneous magic that does more gentle things for more ordinary use. He is also capable of shutting down the strongest winds at will.

Procella mostly wants a safe place where his brother can be accepted and kindly treated, and where his eclectic mix of talents might be handy. He has tried out research for its own sake and flambleu-like glory seeking and neither really satisfied him. This covenant seems like a place to find direction.

Mechanically the build uses legendary blood+dependent story flaw for him, and the failed apprentice/feral upbringing for his brother to simulate the results of the experiment. Procella might step on Nester a little bit, as there is overlap in nonmagical skills. Procella is more a "trained talented amateur" though, and has to work against the Gift, so it might be seen as complementary rather than competing. Likewise a real weather mage will be able to do all kinds of things Procella can't but won't be as good at devastating wind effects.

My other character isn't at all like anyone yet in the covenant, except a bit like the redcap captain.

Caput ex Flambeu

I need to think more about the background for this environment, but the idea is that he would have grown up in the seafaring equivalent of a knight's family, and showed an uncanny talent for use of weapons as soon as he could lift them, and a knack for getting obedience of a sort - mostly fear. (the knight version could get animals to obey too, a seafaring version probably not) He might be a renegade turk but is more likely just from a greek noble or piratical family. His family tried to raise him in the normal way, trying to get use of his martial talents in spite of his frightening persona and the dark whispers about him. He was extraordinarily effective when combat happened, not just his own skills, but in getting the most out of his subordinates. They were more afraid of him than their enemies. When nearly fully grown, he had the misfortune to send his men into combat with a flambeu mage and escorts. Their weapons shattered and their bodies became numb with cold, but before they collapsed they left a very battered grog turb and a bemused magus.

The mage investigated, discovered the gift and took the young warrior as his apprentice. Caput is of course of the Ramius school, emphasizing physical combat against anything supernatural, using his magic for supernatural defense and mundane threats. What is unusual about Caput, is that his magic lies in the area of fear. His signature spells are "Aura of Frightful Authority" (people obey while they're in the aura, if they are inclined to be afraid of him) and "Gaze of the Infernal Hells" (an arc-of-fiery-ribbons group/range type spell, dia duration version of the book spell with weaker long-term effects) which leaves mundanes incapacitated with fear but can't hurt anyone with even the slightest magic resistance. He has a strong version of thoughts within babble because it's not very useful to have people inclined to obey you without being able to give them orders. He can also turn off the fear (or any other emotion) of willing allies for a couple minutes. He'll also have a few minor spells suited to his role as a ship captain (just as the "knight" version of this character had some stuff for his mount)

Caput's primary interest is in hermetic prestige, and Flambeu house acclaim He is indifferent to the fact that his family dislikes him, peasants curse him in their prayers and that nobody tends to obey his wishes once they're out of his threat zone. He finds the idea of a covenant that uses piracy as an income source and which has a fairly loose internal covenant structure attractive. In spite of the fact that he's kind of terrifying, he does in fact have a decent reputation among former subordinates - he protects and avenges his own, so if the covenant became "Family" his tendency to look for trouble would be aimed outward, not inward.

Mechanically, he's a cautious, pussiant, affinitied-weapon user, minor focus fear with very high physical stats, black sheep and infamous flaws (bad rep 2 among his former family and people in that class, bad rep 4 among commoners). Aside from leadership his nonphysical skills will be fairly weak, and leadership is fighting both the gift and attributes, so it's essentially a wash except for organizing a big trained group in group-on-group combat. You should expect him to have a bit of Hermes Lore, Code of Hermes and Canon/Civil law (he likes to know the boundaries of legalities that he's skirting). The reputation is for his youthful activities, but once he starts becoming active again, it'll soon apply to his new persona as well. His reputation among Hermetics at the moment is zero, although after 7 years he'll likely have at least a little flambeau acclaim (that would be his story reward for any seasons doing stories).

Capet would also be interested in cr/me vis and various "gift of reason" rituals to mitigate the automatic fear reactions his every action causes. His Flambeu brothers also think he should look for a "perception" gift of reason, as this weakness in that area has shown in certamin tournaments, but that's a lower priority. (Capet tends to disdain ranged combat)

I could tone down the story flaws/reputations if necessary, but it seems like he'd acquire such stuff pretty quick given how he operates. His approach to gathering information to go after a supernatural threat is to blow into town and start interrogating terrified villagers. Having him in the covenant means you have an alternative to Nestor for social stuff but you have to be prepared for the consequences. Procella's better if you want a second "good cop". Outsider instead of Black Sheep works just as well, or I could even tone it down to "Strong Family Connections" if his family wishes he'd come back and be a captain again now that he's done with all that weird foolry he wasted his prime years learning. I could also eliminate Infamous if we assumed he kept his old identity secret when he took his hermetic name (there are good penetration-related reasons to do so) but my initial take on the character is that he's just not cautious enough to create a new identity and avoid all his former associates.

Lucian De’Breos Ex Tytali
The bastard union of a minor Norman Baron in the welsh marches, and unbeknownst to Lucian a Pagan witch. Lucian seemed destined to grow up as a Knight in the service of his father. However there was always something not quite right with the child, something unholy. Small animals would die in his presence, the dogs would bark incessantly at him, and worst of he would scream convulse and pass out when taken to mass. His father consulted with Priests who deemed the child damned and they advised he be locked away. No monastery would take such an unpleasant and ill-omened child and so Lucian was confined to a tower-cell until one day a mysterious Magus came and after a brief conversation with the Baron took him away. His father having long regretted his liaison many years ago. As far as his family were concerned he had been finally been entrusted into the care of a Priest willing to redeem him, in truth however he had been taken as an apprentice by a Tytalan Magus. His parens recognised Lucian’s aristocratic cruelty, natural athleticism, childhood alienation and blatant gift as worthy qualifiers for the house of conflict. Lucian’s apprenticeship was brutal, he was trained not only in magic but also in the arts of battle every mistake he made was severely punished, his back is a mass of scar tissue from years of the lash. Lucian was permitted sporadic contact with his noble relatives, mostly through letters, who have variously been given the impression that he is a monk or a member of a crusading order. Finding his manner deeply unpleasant they have not bothered to delve much deeper than this. After many years of torment Lucian managed to slay his parens therefore passing his gauntlet. He took over his parens tower (his master was a solitary Magus) and claimed it as his sanctum. During the Barons revolt against King John, Lucian took advantage of the anarchy to mercilessly raid and terrify the local peasants and caravans. He became the victim of his own hubris and ultimately brought down the wrath of the mundanes his tower was destroyed and he was held in chains. He subsequently escaped only to fall into the hands of the Quasitors he was severely punished and exiled from the Stonehenge Tribunal. He has found himself drawn to the Theban tribunal due to it’s political instability, tales of the ancient Titans, and a particularly anarchic covenant where a selfish violent Tytalus such as himself may prosper. Lucian presents himself as affable and honourable to his fellow Magi, and in truth this is how he conducts himself recognising that they are useful allies and worthy adversaries. He has nothing but contempt for the mundanes and will generally treat grogs as little more than property, with the exception of warriors. Lucian will only enter areas covered by the Dominion if he absolutely has to, he never attends mass and will generally avoid religious conversations with his sodales. By chance some of his distant relatives are Lords, Priests etc in the Latin Empire. As a bastard son he has no right to bear the surname De’Breos nor the title ‘Sir’ with which he frequently uses on the rare occasions he speaks to mundanes. (Will probably be making him a Perdo specialist, though I may change my mind).

Heh. I just read the current adventure and Simon's idea.

The concept of going after a noble who is cracking down on piracy and using court magi to do it is a very natural hook to draw in my Flambeau character. I think his interactions with the existing and new Tytalus magi would also be interesting, as would his interactions with Nester. (really, I do intend the character to be helpful with some kinds of social interactions. Just not the kind Nester is good at)

What I will do is slant his powers further toward seafaring, so the covenant has somebody who has magic that helps ships and so that our shapeshifter isn't always by herself when flying or underwater action is necessary. He'll still have the "obey with fear" primary aspect and the tendency to use a sword to deal with supernatural or physical threats but will be able to do some other things too, both with magic and with skills. Expect a lot of rego corpus/mentem magic with at least minimal competence in every other art and a couple big signature spells oriented around fear and mobility with a number of useful small utility spells.

I'm leaning toward the idea of a renegade Turk outlaw leader (his minions and soon to be grog turb/subcaptains are a few christian cronies left over from his pirate youth, and law enforcement is still trying to get him for crimes done at that time.) About a 2 point "outsider" flaw plus the 1 point outlaw leader flaw, showing that among christians, the fact that he's renegade slightly mitigates his infidel nature, and among muslims, the fact that he is a renegade weakens his standing with them. This would also let me skip Infamous, a 4 point bad rep might be a bit much to start out with. I think that would also give the covenant some more social options if we were doing anything involving the eastern side of the Aegean sea. I'm fine with swapping in other defects if feedback from other players is against having a turk. So the "Black Sheep" aspect would be his old muslim family/buddies trying to get at him, the outsider/outlaw aspect would indicate problems with the christian mundane world. This leaves the hermetic world the only place he can earn respect and acclaim, if he can overcome the instinctive reactions to his Turkish blood. He would be a pretty secular style of muslim - he does only dawn and dusk prayers and tends to try to be private about it, out of respect for where he lives now. Likewise he quietly adheres to the dietary restrictions etc, but doesn't ever talk about it.

This character's default location when not on camera is as likely to be on a ship as in a lab. He'll be doing one "story" a year in his 7 years post gauntlet.

I'll toss a draft writeup up in a separate thread later today.

Isn't outlaw leader a social status and aren't you limited to only one social status (hermetic magus).

I don't mind if there is exception allowed by Max but I had to ask.

We have a Magister in Artibus, isn't that a social? I currently have the knight virtue so I need to check that as well.

PS: I do quite like Solbergb's Flambeau concept. I had not actually read his before I posted mine.

Drat. I've been trying to get used to the limits on how many of each virtue and stick to it, but I'm still fairly new to this edition.

A social status limit does make sense, because some of the social status defects seem way too strong if you are also a hermetic mage (Eg, the basic outlaw flaw is hard to enforce on a magus, and the Outsider flaw is too easy to circumvent with magic). It's just as easy to simulate it with a reputation and just say that my personal grogs are leftover followers from my old career.

With the virtues, it seems like you could have several. I mean, if you are a Gentlewoman who happens to have the gift, you don't stop being a Gentlewoman later. I would assume Knight, Magester and similar wouldn't conflict with Hermetic Mage, but stuff inside a given society would (eg, you aren't both a Knight and a Gentleman, or a Custos and a Mage).

I'll try to set something up that fits the rules and still makes sense. I think I can pretty much get what I'm shooting for with Hedge Mage (bad hermetic reputation based on being a non-christian Turk), Infamous (leftover pirate/outlaw reputation among Greek mundanes) and Black Sheep (bad reputation among Islamic seafarers as a renegade). We'll assume that any bad reactions to him being a Turk are already covered by those other reputations and responses to physical appearance or mannerisms are fuzzed out with a little muco or muim magic to make him seem more Greek than Turk.

And all those reputations and such will endear you to Kalliste as worthy of challenge to overcome.

I think he'll rather enjoy Kalliste. In both personas he likes a challenge and the way his spells and talents are shaping up, he'll be able to compete a little bit in the travel type magic, and in melee combat but his approach is totally different from hers. I'm looking forward to seeing how they function as a team (and as rivals).

He'll have some ability to interact socially with a lot of cultures, but for anything but fear related "persuasion" he's fighting a big uphill battle against gift, low attributes and reputations. So while he makes a great "bad cop", he'll not be stepping on Nester for the "nice guy" award. It occurs to me that extending a parma on somebody he's trying to use softer skills on might help, but of course he'd have to wait for sunup/sundown, and he'd have to be in a situation where doing so wouldn't freak them out.

If there is some question for me then post either a big sign or send me a PM. Otherwise I just trust you and the other players to make good judgements. I will read when I have a chance but there are a lot of papers to grade... as always.

The writeup is complete and pretty much self-explanatory. I tried very hard to stick to vanilla rules and guidelines on all the custom stuff.

I've pretty much got two worries - whether I can specialize parma magica in "protecting others" and whether Aura of Frightful Authority really can work the way I tried to make it. (edit, heck with it. I'm going to change the spell to be within normal guidelines, and double check the others)

I'll go through the writeup one more time looking for any obvious GM calls and send you one PM covering all of it. I will try to keep it as simple as the parma magica question.

After years of not playing Ars I have become so indecisive, anyway I think I might downplay Lucian as a warrior (not really my style) and I am still torn on his magical focus. Anyway, I should have a finished product in a couple of days.

Ahg...I just have to say that combining overconfidence with lab experimentation is a scary, scary thing. It just isn't a good thing when you are a few points short of your desired lab totals and you hate study "Why spend a few more seasons with the books when I can just experiment and do it right now!"

Per Max's pm I was able to get a few small nice things as story rewards and I nearly blew one of them up twice before I finally successfully enchanted it. As for my other questions, I just stripped out the rest of the nonstandard spell stuff in some cases and increased the magnitude of the spell in other cases and think my final spell list is pretty solid (he didn't rule out my first approach, but it would take mystery initiation or similar nonstandard stuff that I didn't think would fit with how he was trained). Specializing my parma to cover protect others instead of in an art was allowed, and because of the story rewards, I really don't need anything financially from the covenant except a lab and upkeep for my grogs, which seems easily doable with the smallish group of followers I have in mind.

Edit - added a final section on the various people in his life and from his past. Only Kristos and the crew of the Dawnstar will be seen by anyone else for sure, as they make up his turb.

Edit - one last tweak of spells, replacing endurance of the berserker with a sight/dia disguise of putrid aroma, and a short duration Panic of the Trembling Heart. I thought about casting totals deep in dominion and wanted a couple easy spells that would work there, or in lighter dominion with subtle or no voice/gestures. Also I just like how Panic can stick a fear of anything I specify, not just me, on the target.

Edit - a discussion on the main boards about waterwalking made me realize the spell I based Sea Legs on was ReCo not ReAq. Rather than go down that road (which would lead to Caput flying like a superhero with telekensis, and that doesn't fit my image at all) I shifted the spell to something more like "push of the gentle wave" but designed to push the caster in the water fast, rather than a boat he's riding on slowly. If he's traveling fast without a boat on water, the waves or currents push him around at a pretty good clip. If he's traveling fast on land, he just runs really fast. Both approaches to fast movement are limited by his ability to concentrate, which, while formidable, isn't unlimited. (he can go 10 minutes less than 2 hours if nothing else breaks his concentration)

After frequent changes of mind I have come up with a Bonisagan weather Magus, I still have the seven years post gauntlet to advance him through.

Lucian Mancini Ex Bonisagi

Lucian was born into a wealthy Genoan merchant family. He was however a sickly and sinister child and his family quickly grew to both fear and resent the strange boy. He was locked away, visited only by Priests and tutors before finally being sent away to Milan for education. Though intelligent and diligent he proved to be an extremely unpopular pupil, subjected to gossip, bullying and scandal before finally being expelled. News of the troubled youth had by now reached the ears of a Magus. Malavaunt Ex Bonisagi recognised the boy's plight as symptomatic of the gift and he intervened to adopt the child as his apprentice and to also to ameliorate Lucian's standing within his family recognising that his relatives could provide useful allies in the future. Lucian's family are dimly aware that he is a Magus, and though they shun contact with him they are eager to make use of him in their petty feuds against rival families and merchants as a result Lucian has relocated to the Theban tribunal as a self imposed exile to appease the Quasitors for his interference in mundanes. He has not entirely learnt his lesson however, as he will likely use his magics to aid the piracy of his new covenant and to seek out new opportunities for his family.

Puissant Magic Theory (free),
Major Magical Focus, the Weather (Major), Affinity with Auram (Minor), Affinity with Creo (Minor) Puissant Auram (Minor), Privileged Upbringing (Minor), Educated (Minor), Skilled Parens (Minor), Mastered Spells (Minor)

Blatant Gift (Major),Greedy (Major), Feud (Major), Obese (Minor),

Intelligence: +3 (6)
Perception: +1 (1)
Strength: -1 (-1)
Stamina: 0
Presence: +1 (1)
Communication: 0
Dexterity: 0
Quickness: 0

Childhood (45)

Italian 5
Brawl 2 (15)
Guile 2 (15)
Stealth 2 (15)

Later Life Up to 10 (75)

Area Lore Northern Italy: 2 (15)
Brawl 3 (15)
Guile 3 (15)
Stealth 3 (15)
Awareness 2 (15)

Privileged and Education (100)
Latin 4 (50)
Artes Liberales 3 (30)
Civil & Canon Law 1 (5)
Philosophiae 1 (5)
Theology 1 (5)
Etiquette 1 (5)

Apprenticeship (240 on skills and arts, + 60 for skilled parens, divide by 2 = 150 on each)

150 on skills
Latin 5 (25)
Artes Liberles 4 (20)
Magic Theory 4 (50)
Parma Magica 1 (5)
Code of Hermes 1 (5)
Concentration 1 (5)
Finesse 2 (15)
Order of Hermes Lore 1 (5)
Penetration 2 (15)
Profession (Scribe) 1 (5)

Arts (150)

Creo: 11 (44 points x 1.5 for affinity raise it to 66)
Intellego: 5 (15)
Muto: 5 (15)
Perdo: 5 (15)
Rego: 5 (15)

Auram: 11/14 (44 points x 1.5 for affinity raise it to 66, +3 for Puissant)
Ignem: 1 (1)
Vim: (1)

Spells (150)

Pull of the Skybound Winds (CrAu Level 30 p126)
Wings of the Soaring Winds (CrAu Level 30 p126)
Clouds of Rain and Thunder (CrAu Level 25 p126)
Jupiters Resounding Blow (CrAu Level 10 p125)
Sailors Foretaste of the Morrow (IntAu Level 20 p 127
Pilum of Fire (CrIg Level 20 p140)
Aura of Ennobled Presence (MuImg Level 10 p 145)
Chamber of Spring Breezes (CrAu Level 5 p 125)