Character Design

Thread for Character design

(I will add to these as Questions come up)
Parma magica no greater than 1

Post Apprenticeship
Duration Up to 20 years. If you really want more convince me and the other players
Covenant aging modifier +1
Covenant Aura 4
Max Vis per Year MT*3
Learning spells as per P32 Ars magica rules (I am willing to consider instead allowing lab texts will depend on majority opinion)
30xp per year post apprentice ,

Are you going to do 10 xp per season past gauntlet ( 40 per year) or 30 xp per year?

I'm seriously considering the Unstructured Caster flaw, that I've been talking about over in the Ars forum. I'd change him from a Flambeau and make him a Bonisagus lab rat. There's something to be said about being able to invent rituals and spells that you can't use or can barely use... I'm still feeling this out, though, and I may decide not to take that flaw at all, or change concept dozens of times between now and play beginning...

Since we are in Greece, I was thinking of a Jerbiton from abroad that has deep interest (obsession) with the Roman and Greek classics. Many great works have not been discovered, but the ones that have inspired a young Jerbiton magus who was exposed to them as part of his studies at the University of Paris. Unlike most of his house, he does not have a gentle gift. He is often more comfortable with books and manuscripts. Seeing the chance to discovery the long lost works of the poets, dramatists, and philosophers that are sometimes mentioned in the works of others, he has come to the Theban Tribunal to join a covenant that is seeking lost knowledge.

The rest of his backstory is secret and so I need guidance on whether to provide it to all the players or just the ST. Please advise.

IMO, I dislike secret backstories.

Secrets between players and SGs that have a long incubation time lead to tons of possible imbalances. I try and keep secrets between players confined to a story, or relatively minor in scope if it affects the saga over a longer term. The secrets for a story resolve themselves in short order, and the other secrets have a minor impact, and not generally negative. I prefer that everyone be upfront. I don't care if someone plays the conflicting Tytalus, just so long as I can differentiate between the player and the character. If I don't know your secrets, as a player, I can't understand your motivation, as a player. I can compartmentalize well enough to not let my character understand the motivation, and you and I can work out issues or questions and concerns OOC.

I don't in principle mind secret/mysterious back stories, they can cause problems but only if they are problematic back stories. The problem with this game is as I would like to have some degree of rotation of SG duties is that it can be difficult to implement secret backgrounds as it is very unfortunate when running story to discover that you needed to now something 20 posts ago , that you are only finding out now, (The same principle applies in tabletop games ).

Send the backstory to me and I'll have a look at it and see if I think it
a) needs to be secret
b) can work with troupe style running
c) can work with the overall plot

I will have time to look at things this weekend, as I have almost finished getting everything together for my holiday and should be able to respond faster until I go away

So I've begun focusing my character design and where I get stuck is the spells and post gauntlet progression. I'm presuming, because no one has mentioned this, that we are doing spells based on XP expenditure per RAW. I've been slow to move on this. In some ways I feel I can't ask for more because I imposed the learn spells by spending XP as per raw on characters 30 years PG. My motivation for doing so was to represent how the characters were held back in their respective covenants before joining Mons Electi in the Bibracte saga.

So, I'm fine with either option, but the if the characters could be up to 20 years PG and aren't designed to be held back I'd like to see a freer hand with development. 30 XP per year will go fast, otherwise. As far as spell availability of lab texts, I'd suggest generally ones from the MRB and HoH books, and mysteries of a character is pursuing that specific mystery.

Sorry for the delay in responding. Problems with barclaycard and my travel organiser have been ongoing all week, At the moment I am slightly stressed and will get back to this when my temper cools, hopefully soon . Sorry again for this delay

Another sticking point for you to consider. I'd really like this character to be Mercurian, but I really dislike the flaw that comes with it. Jebrick is in the Bibracte saga, and I've seen the effects enough to think it's a really horrible Major Hermetic Virtue because of the ceremonial casting requirement. Is there any possibility of HRing the virtue? I'm trying to turn the ceremonial casting thing into a carrot rather than a stick.

Here's where I'm at, and I'm awaiting troupe input or rebellion before proceeding with it.

Mercurian is the only Major Hermetic Virtue that comes with a built in flaw. Even Diedne Magic doesn't have a built in flaw, per se, it has a requirement that the character take Dark Secret but it doesn't count when Flaws are totaled. And the Diedne Virtue is arguably one that is SG/Troupe approved, meaning it has to be appropriate to the saga, so it is a very situational virtue.

I'll get back to you no later than Saturday with an opinion

I agree that Mercurian magic is not worth a major virtue, you would have to cast a lot of ritual spells for it to be worthwhile. It does seem appropriate to me that Mercurian magi should be poor at Spontaneous magic as that originates in a different tradition.
One option I would consider is making it a minor virtue and including the current downside. I am also happy to consider your alternative but it does not feel quite right to me and I would like other opinions.

I was using the RAW but it is a trifle harsh for learning spells from text.
So I will allow learning of spells from text in a season, any reasonable spell , this can include self designed spells if I can be convinced that it would be a sensible common spell widely available. I know I find some seemingly obvious spells not in published matieral. However If I think a character has spent excessive time learning spells I reserve the right to ask them to cut back on the number of spells learned form text (I don't know what excessive is but I expect I will if I see it) :smiley:

Just wanted to run my character ideas past you before I got too involved in it.

My magus, I'm looking at a Gently Gifted Bjornaer with a wolfen heartbeast. Happily married, (probably) no kids, will be bringing his Grog-level wife with him. I'm thinking a decent Artes Liberales (so he can read and write both his native Greek and Latin), interested in history (is probably either Clan Wilkis or Clan Arelie, leaning toward Arelie).

My Companion, I'm interested in retooling my Autocrat from the Mystikae Eikona saga that never really took off. Basically, she's Greek, a widow, who "by custom, upon (her husband's) death...was faced with with the choice of either (a) entering a convent or (b) remarrying. Not satisfied with either option, Ariagne went with (c). She had long heard rumors of an order of scholars who weren’t what they seemed; discreet questioning of some of her acquaintances and a hasty journey led her to the doors of " wherever we are.

Also, have we given any thought to who the covenant's Patron is going to be? (Iirc, all Theban covenants have a patron spirit/deity that is associated with the covenant's dedicated purpose). I'm thinking maybe Clio?

waves at JL and jebrick

This is reasonable: making it a minor. I'm still not wild about the ceremonial magic, thing, but I can probably manage it. I do like that it opens up a Major Hermetic Virtue, and the possibilities are intriguing.

Question: I've decided to take a Bear as a heartbeast this time. What I would like to do is take Cyclic Magic (Negative) to give him a -3 during Winter (when he should be hibernating). Unfortunately, raw says that the time he has a penalty must be the same that he doesn't. Ideally, I would prefer to have it just be the one season, or if it has to be six months, have it be mid-fall through mid-spring, but the system isn't set up for something like that. Should I just forget it and move or, or does anyone have any ideas?

Bear hibernation cycles vary widely among the different species and are even affected by sex and whether the female gives birth. I think your winter -3 is in that "good 'nuff" category as it captures the feel one would expect of someone with a Bear heartbeast.

How are we handling Longevity Rituals? Is it a loss of a season if you do it yourself and two if you get someone else to do it? (And, if the latter, how should we figure the LT for it?)

A season if you do it yourself.
2+ Seasons if you pay someone else to do it, more if it is done by a more capable magus as he can charge higher prices for his time.
How about
totals of 45 2 seasons
60 3 seasons
80 4 seasons

I just made these figures up so if they seem high or low let me know

I had forgotten to think of a patron for the covenant, I don't recognise Clio as anything .

I will try and post an outline of the 2 elder magi and a patron in the next few weeks , but my email access and time will get even less reliable from now until the 18th June after which I will be able to give my full attention again,