Character Development

The way the guidelines are written, it's not just the one increase, but any increase up to the max. Yes, a botch would be truly horrific, but what about spell mastery?


Thanks for all the help and comments. Actually, though, I'm considering a slight change in direction. The overall concept remains the same, that of an experience Mercere, but I was thinking I'd like to focus a bit more on the political side of things than the Longevity Specialist route was heading in. The Milvi Antiquiti seem to offer some very interesting possibilities. I love the idea of someone trying to recreate the Great Library in the eastern wilderness. This would also give him another reason for wanting the covenant to become a base for Redcaps. Any thoughts?

My main thought is why there? What is it about the covenant's location that makes it a good place for a library? The only thing I can think of is that it's already partly intended to receive hermetic visitors, but that's not much.

That's a fair question. I've just been looking into the geography of the place, and I'm trying to figure out how 'busy' the area is. It seems near Sevastopol, which should provide some good resources, and that's it's on the water should mean that we have easy access to traders. In a way, if the local is remote from much of European civilization, then it could be considered 'safe', and since we'll be exploring, who knows what books and resources will be found?

That is the guideline for effect range, not a specific spells. Creo Terram says that at a certain level, I can create any noble metal, but specific spells create only one type (eg, gold coins).

Spell mastery, sure, but still time consuming based on my argument.

Think "mystic sources of knowledge" instead of "books?"

(Patrick is here to earn enough to buy a longevity potion, so I am biased...)

I'm not sure if you're arguing that this is one possible houserule, or that this is the standard RAW. If the latter, I think you're wrong - for example, the CrMe spell "Gift of Reason" (pg 148, main book), states that it "Permanently increases the target's Intelligence by 1 point, to no higher than 0", with no mention of it only working, say, from -1 to 0 and not from -2 to -1.

Hey, if there are requests for a longevity specialist/healer, I will be happy to comply. Let me toy with the concept a bit, and I think I can make it work.

Modern-day Sevastopol is at the moment called Cherson or Chersonesus. It's a Greek city, and while reasonably sizeable, it's probably not as important as the trading ports the Latins have set up on hte southeastern coast of the Crimean Peninsula; in addition to its slightly out-of-the-way location with respect to the trade routes to the east, it remained independent from the puppet Byzantine state.

The mouth of the Don is on an important trade route, but that route runs a few miles southeast of the covenant's location, on what's now a minor distributary of the river.


What follows is a breakdown of my Mercere longevity specialist-adventurer. He is quite similar to what I posted before, albeit with a slightly different focus later in life. I haven't yet compiled final Abilities, Arts, and spells, but will add them shortly. I've decided to start him 30 years after gauntlet. Nonetheless, I don't believe he will be overpowering. I appreciate any comments.

@ Age 25


Int +3
Per +1
Pre +2
Com +2
Str -2
Sta +2
Dex 0
Qik -2

Puissant Creo (House Virtue)
Mercurean Magic +3
Minor Magical Focus: Aging +1
Inventive Genius +1
Skilled Parens +1
Improved Characteristics +1
Affinity with Corpus +1
Puissant Corpus +1

Acquired during background:
Temporal Influence +1
Social Contacts +1
Hermetic Prestige +1

Ambitious -3
Dependent -3
Compassionate -1
Unimaginative Learner -1
Difficult Spontaneous Magic -1

Native Language 5
Athletics 2
Awareness 2
Survival 2
Charm 3
Folk Ken 3
Ride 2
Artes Liberales 1
Latin 4
Magic Theory 3
Parma Magica 1
Bargain 3
Etiquette 3
Concentration 2
Finesse 2
Penetration 2
Brawl 1

Creo 6
Intellego 6
Perdo 4
Rego 6
Corpus 6
Ignem 2
All Others 0

Starting Spells:
Bind Wounds CrCo 10
The Chirurgeon's Healing Touch CrCo 20
Gentle Touch of the Purified Body CrCo 20
Purification of the Festering Wounds CrCo 20
Revealed Flaws of Mortal Flesh InCo 10
Whispers Through the Black Gate InCo 15
The Wound That Weeps PeCo 15
Invocation of Weariness PeCo 20

Age 26:
Spring: Study Creo Tractatus +15 exp (level 9 51 total)
Summer: Study Corpus Summae +10 exp (level 7 31 total)
Autumn: Study Corpus Summae +10 exp (level 8 41 total)
Winter: Study Corpus Summae +10 exp (level 9 51 total)
Correspondence: +4*1.5 exp Creo (level 10 57 total)

Age 27:
Spring: Study Magic Theory (level 3 40 total)
Summer: Study Magic Theory (level 4 50 total)
Autumn: Study Lab Text: Cheating the Reaper CrCo 30
Winter: Study Lab Text: The Eye of the Sage InCo 30
Correspondence: +4 Corpus (Level 10 55 total)

Age 28:
Spring: Study Lab Text: Bane of the Decrepit Body PeCo 25
Summer: Study Rego Tractatus (Level 7 31 total)
Autumn: Study Rego Tractatus (Level 8 41 total)
Winter: Study Corpus Tractatus (65 exp)
Correspondence: 4 Corpus (Level 11 69 exp)

Age 29:
Spring: Study Corpus Tractatus (Level 12 78 exp)
Summer: Perform Longevity Ritual (CrCo Lab Total 50)
Autumn: Perform Longevity Ritual (CrCo Lab Total 50)
Winter: Study Lab Text: Incantation of the Body Made Whole CrCo 40
Correspondence: 4 Rego (Level 9 45 total)

Age 30:
Spring: Study Lab Text: Leap of Homecoming ReCo 35
Summer: Perform Longevity Ritual (CrCo Lab Total 53)
Autumn: Perform Longevity Ritual (CrCo Lab Total 53)
Winter: Study Medicine Summae (Level 1 14 exp)
Correspondence: +6 Creo (63 total)

Age 31:
Spring: Study Medicine Summae (Level 2 28 exp)
Summer: Study Medicine Summae (Level 3 38 exp)
Autumn: Study Medicine Summae (Level 3 48 exp)
Winter: Study Medicine Summae (Level 4 58 exp)
Correspondence: +6 Creo (Level 11 69 total)

Age 32:
Spring: Study Medicine Summae (Level 4 68 exp)
Summer: Study Medicine Summae (Level 5 78 exp)
Autumn: Study Lab Text: Incantation of the Milky Eyes PeCo 30
Winter: Study Lab Text: Twist of the Tongue PeCo 30
Correspondence: +6 Creo (75 total)

Age 33:
Spring: Study Parma Magica Summae (Level 2 19 exp)
Summer: Study Parma Magica Summae (Level 3 30 exp)
Autumn: Study Artes Liberales Summae (Level 2 19 exp)
Winter: Study Artes Liberales Summae (Level 3 30 exp)
Correspondence: +4 Magic Theory (54)

Age 34:
Spring: Study Rego Tractatus (Level 10, 55 total)
Summer: Study Lab Text: Ward Against Heat and Flames ReIg 25
Autumn: Study Magic Theory Tractatus (64 Total)
Winter: Study Magic Theory Tractatus (74 Total)
Correspondence: 1 Magic Theory (Level 5 75 total)
3 Pedo (13 total)

Age 35:
Spring: Perform Longevity Ritual (CrCo Lab Total 55) (For assistant)
Summer: Perform Own Longevity Ritual with Lab assistant (Int 3, MT 3) (CrCo Lab Total 61: +13)
Autumn: Study Perdo Summae (Level 6, 23 Total)
Winter: Study Perdo Summae (Level 7, 33 Total)
Correspondence: 2 Perdo (Level 8, 35 Total)
2*1.5=3: Creo (Level 12, 78 Total)

Age 36:
Spring: Study Perdo Summae (Level 9, 45)
Summer: Study Lab Text: Clenched Grasp of the Crushed Heart PeCo 40
Autumn: Perform Longevity Ritual (CrCo Lab Total 55)
Winter: Perform Longevity Ritual (CrCo Lab Total 55)
Correspondence: 6 Creo (84 Total)

Age 37:
Spring: Study Creo Tractatus 15 Exp (Level 13, 99 Total)
Summer and Autumn: Invent Personal Strength of the Follower CrCo 30 (Range: Personal)
Winter: Perform Longevity Ritual (CrCo Lab Total 60)
Raise Str to 0 for 6 Vis
Correspondence: 6 Creo (Level 14, 105 total)

Age 38:
Spring and Summer: Invent Personal Quickness of the Follower CrCo 30 (Range: Personal)
Raise Qik to 0 for 6 Vis
Autumn: Study Creo Tractatus (Level 15, 120 total)
Winter: Study Animal Summae (Level 4, 14 exp)
Correspondence: 1 Animal (Level 5, 15 exp)
1 Aquam (Level 1, 1 exp)
1 Auram (Level 1, 1 exp)
1 Herbam (Level 1, 1 exp)

Age 39:
Spring: Study Lab Text: Weaver's Trap of Webs CrAn 35
Summer: Study Lab Text: The Wizard's Mount CrAn 35
Autumn: Study Lab Text: Commanding the Harnessed Beast ReAn 30
Winter: Study Lab Text: Opening the Tome of the Animal's Mind InAn 25
Correspondence: 1 Mentem (Level 1, 1 exp)
1 Terram (Level 1, 1 exp)
1 Imaginem (Level 1, 1 exp)
1 Vim (Level 1, 1 exp)

Age 40:
Spring: Study Aquam Summae (Level 5, 15 Exp)
Summer: Study Lab Text: Bridge of Frost ReAq 30
Autumn: Study Auram Summae (Level 5, 15 Exp)
Winter: Study Lab Text: The Incantation of Lightning CrAu 35
1 Muto (Level 1, 1 exp)
3 Teaching (0, 3 exp)

Age 41
Spring: Study Lab Text: Eyes of the Bat InAu 25
Summer: Study Herbam Summae (Level 5, 15 Exp)
Autumn: Study Lab Text: The Bountiful Feast CrHe 35
Winter: Study Lab Text: Converse with Plant and Tree InHe 25
Correspondence: 4 Ignem (Level 3, 7 Total)

Age 42
Spring: Study Lab Text: Veil of Invisibility PeIm 20
Summer: Study Mentem Summae (Level 5, 15 Exp)
Autumn: Study Lab Text: Thoughts Within Babble InMe 25
Winter: Study Terram Summae (Level 5, 15 Exp)
Correspondence: 4 Ignem (Level 4, 10 Total)

Age 43
Spring: Study Lab Text: Conjuring the Mystic Tower CrTe 35
Summer: Study Lab Text: Earth Shock ReTe 30
Autumn: Study Lab Text: The Earth Split Asunder ReTe 30
Winter: Study Imaginem Summae (Level 5, 15 Exp)
Correspondence: 4 Ignem (Level 5, 15 Total)

Age 44:
Spring: Study Vim Summae (Level 5, 15 Exp)
Summer: Study Muto Summae (Level 5, 15 Exp)
Autumn: Study Perdo Tractatus (Level 10, 55 exp)
Winter: Perform Longevity Ritual (CrCo Lab Total 62)
Correspondence: 4 Teaching (Level 1, 7 exp)

Age 45:
Spring: Study Teaching Summae (Level 2, 21 Exp)
Summer: Study Teaching Summae (Level 3, 31 Exp)
Autumn: Study Teaching Tractatus (Level 3, 41 Exp)
Winter: Study Teaching Tractatus (Level 4, 51 Exp)
Correspondence: Teaching (Level 4, 55 exp)

Age 46: Apprentice (His Own Daughter, age 11, Knows Latin 4)
Spring: Teach Apprentice Magic Theory (Creo) (Level 2, 16 Exp)
Summer: Teach Apprentice Magic Theory (Level 3, 32 Exp)
Autumn: Teach Apprentice Magic Theory (Level 3, 48 Exp)
Winter: Teach Apprentice Magic Theory (Level 4, 74 Exp)
Correspondence: 2 Magic Lore (Level 0, 2 total)
1 Order of Hermes Lore
1 Code of Hermes

Age 47:
Spring: Teach Apprentice Magic Theory (Level 5, 90 exp)
Summer: Perform Longevity Ritual (CrCo Lab Total 70)
Autumn: Study Magic Lore Summae (Level 2, 16 exp)
Winter: Study Magic Lore Summae (Level 3, 30 exp)
Correspondence: 1 Dominion Lore
1 Infernal Lore
2 Single Weapon (2)

Age 48:
Spring: Apprentice
Summer: Locate Familiar
Autumn: Bind Familiar (Lab Total: 55)
Golden Chord +4
Silver Chord +1
Bronze Chord 0
Winter: Study Order of Hermes Summae (Level 2, 15 exp)
Correspondence: 4 Single Weapon (6)

Age 49:
Spring: Apprentice
Summer: Study Code of Hermes Summae (Level 2, 15 exp)
Autumn: Study Dominion Lore (Level 2, 15 exp)
Winter: Study Infernal Lore (Level 2 (15 exp)
Correspondence: 4 Single Weapon (10)

Age 50-51:
Spring: Apprentice
Summer/Autumn: Invent Strength of the Bull CrCo 40 (Personal Ritual to give +1 Str, Max +2)
Winter/Spring: Invent Dexterity of the Cat CrCo 40 (Personal Ritual to give +1 Str, Max +2)
Summer: Apprentice
Autumn/Winter: Invent Quickness of the Falcon CrCo 40 (Personal Ritual to give +1 Str, Max +2)
Raise Str, Dex, Qik to +2
Correspondence: 8 Single Weapon (18)

Spring: Apprentice
Summer: Invent Gift of Endurance CrCo 25 (As Endurance of the Berserkers, but Range: Touch & Dur: Sun
Autumn: Study Single Weapon Summae (Level 3, 30 exp)
Winter: Study Single Weapon Tractatus (40 exp)
Correspondence: 4 Intrigue (4)

Spring: Apprentice
Summer: Study Intrigue Summae (Level 2, 18 exp)
Autumn: Study Intrigue Summae (Level 3, 30)
Winter: Study Intrigue Tractatus (Level 3, 40)
Correspondence: 4 Muto

Age 54:
Spring: Apprentice
Summer: Study Intrigue Tractatus (Level 4, 50)
Autumn: Study Single Weapon Tractatus (Level 4, 50)
Winter: Open Talisman for enchantment (Amber ring) (+3 Corpus)
Correspondence: 2 Muto (Level 6) 2 Ignem

Age 55:
Spring Apprentice
Summer: Study Labtext for Hardness of Adamantine MuTe 25
Autumn: Study Labtext Gift of Bear's Fortitude MuCo 25
Winter: Study Labtext Hauberk of Supreme Lightness PeTe 30
Correspondence: 4 Ignem (Level 6)

5 Years Left with Apprentice (Age 21)

Characteristics at 55

Int +3
Per +1
Pre +2
Com +2
Str +2
Sta +2
Dex +2
Qik +2

I haven't done a proper check through yet, but I think you're missing some experience - you should be getting at least some xp in every season, even if it's only 2xp exposure experience. You should therefore get 2xp on an appropriate ability/art for the seasons you're creating longevity potions, teaching your apprentice, binding your familiar, inventing spells, etc.

Edit: Also (and apologies if you know this and were planning to handle it later), you need to spend two seasons on the talisman - the first to open it as an invested item, and the second to attune it as a talisman. After one season, it's just a standard invested item. You also need an effective MT of 6 to open an amber ring, although that's easily solvable by the above and below points. Similarly, you may want to consider that your magic theory acts an effective cap on the age of magi you can produce longevity rituals for - 1 pawn is need for each 5 years of age, so with a MT of 5, you can use 10 pawns, and therefore design rituals for magi aged 50 and under. That's enough for a mage's first longevity ritual, of course, so may not be a problem to you.

You'll need to pick specialities for your abilities (and careful choosing will solve your talisman opening problem, although you may want to specialise in longevity rituals/corpus instead).

Thanks for checking that out for me. I'm still relatively new to crafting items, so I'll fix that. I also hadn't thought of the Vis limit for Longevity rituals. I'll go back and change a few things, maybe adding a year or two to his age if absolutely necessary. I had also forgotten about exposure experience, and maybe with much of that devoted to Magic Theory, it would solve my issues. Alternatively, I only have chosen 9 points of Virtues and Flaws. Puissant Magic Theory would be one option.

I had another thought. Magical Focus: Aging seems quite limited. Other than Longevity Rituals, for which it is quite strong, it only seems to apply to a handful of canon spells. How would people feel about a Minor Focus in Potions? I believe I saw something of the like in a 4th edition book. Now in that edition, all Longevity Rituals were potions, and that has obviously been changed. It would give me the opportunity to craft more powerful healing potions (presumable single-use magical items?). I believe this option was one of those 'ask your troupe' things, so I'm asking :slight_smile:

The issue with creating powerful healing items as potions is that you can't enchant ritual effects into enchanted devices, and most of the useful healing spells need to be a momentary ritual to be useful. You can create, for example, charged item potions of a sun duration version of The Chirurgeon's Healing Touch, and they will be useful under some circumstances, but probably not enough to make them very worth it.

I had forgotten about that particular restriction. Actually, a sun duration Endurance of the Berserkers would have a much better effect. Nonetheless, even without healing, potions could be useful, being able to carry a variety of one-shot magical effects without a stamina cost.

Oh, potions could definitely be useful, yes (although heads rather towards the "Does a focus in Wooden Wands mean you get the focus for any effect you enchant into a wooden wand?" debate, which tends to provoke strong opinions. I haven't actually seen how useful it is in play, and haven't developed them myself yet).

On a side note, I'm not sure how useful a sun duration Endurance of the Beserkers would actually be - it depends a bit on MTKnife's take on the rules. The issue is that spells that temporarily heal wounds suspend the healing process. It's not explicit for fatigue penalties, but it's probably a reasonable extrapolation that spells that remove fatigue penalties also suspend fatigue recovery, which would mean you were severely limited in what you could do in a day before you fell over unconcious.

I'd agree with that.


I've been reflecting on my character's background and personality and I have a few thoughts I'd like to share. The idea I'm working with is that he (still need a name) is someone who has always craved adventure, but his natural aptitudes, coupled with the small size of House Mercere, effectively forced him to stay in Magvillus (the Domus Magnus?), crafting longevity rituals and acting as a healer for redcaps. He also fathered several children, more out of a sense of obligation to the house than a desire to be a parent. I don't yet have thoughts on who the mother(s) might be. The last children he had were twins, a boy and a girl. The girl was the first gifted child he spawned, and would take her as his apprentice. The boy, however, was born with a strange physical and mental ailment that despite the expertise of my character, I have been unable to resolve. As he performed more and more longevity rituals and trained his daughter, he began to feel like he had 'done his duty' to the House, and was thus free to pursue more personal projects, namely finding a cure for his son. Since he had always loved adventure stories, and had several friends in the Cult of Heroes, he began preparing himself for a journey east. Having exhausted much of the Order's lore on medicine, he felt that there might be a cure for his son beyond civilized borders. Also, he is plagued with the fleeting suspicion that if he could cure his son, that the boy might turn out to be one of the great heroes so sought by the Cult.

Any thoughts?

Sounds good, although I think you mean Harco rather than Magvillus, which is the Guernicus Domus Magna.

Harco yes, trying to do it from memory :slight_smile:

So that's the basics, I'll try to finish up the sheet within the next couple of days. What's the procedure at this point? I'd love to get involved in a story relatively soon.

As a matter of personal preference, I'd rather see a character's "chance to do something for himself for a change" actually be for himself, and not to pursue some other obligation he felt he had neglected. What they used to call a "mid life crisis."

Why the son/daughter angle? Why not just have him bust out of his routine to go off on a Grand Adventure in the unchartered east?