Character Development

That's a good thought. The ill son was from an early version of the character that was a bit of a holdover. I'll probably not include him, although his apprentice daughter (5 years left) may also come. Alternatively, I may advance him another five years and arrive in the East unencumbered by family ... actually that's sounding pretty good to me, now that's he's trained an apprentice and performed a few more LRs, he's free to pursue his mid-life crisis :slight_smile:

OK, as we're about at the end of the current stories, let me take another stab at Viola's lab, based on my earlier post:


(?) Natural Environment (Major Virtue): +2 Aesthetics, +3 Arts (probably An and/or He)--is there a natural environment other than the one on the level with "Ma"? I'm not sure I could extend the lab to that level, because the level seems huge.

Lesser Feature (Minor Virtue); +1 Aesthetics, +1 appropriate specialization; probably a still for Mu specialization, but some kind of plant for He might work. Pot Plants would have the same benefit, but adds to Upkeep. We might be able to do something with the "statues", which would I think be appropriate for Mu. Those are in the lowest level, right?

Deformed (Free Flaw): -1 Safety, -1 Aesthetics, +1 Mu; there's likely to be some part of the temple (in the regio levels) that's falling apart.


Lesser Expansion (Minor Virtue): +1 General Quality, +2 Upkeep, +1 any specialization.

(?) Servant (Free Virtue): +1 Safety, +1 Aesthetics, +1 Me; this should be easy enough to do, though given the current amount of manpower at the covenant, it would probably involve recruiting a bright local. This would have to be played out.

(?) Infested (Free Flaw): -1 Safety, -1 Aesthetics, +1 An or He; I don't remember anything in the regio that work for this.


(?) Greater/Lesser Horder (Major/Minor Virtue): +1 Upkeep, +1 or higher Safety, +1/+2 Aesthetics, +1/+2 on appropriate specialization(s); the crones might serve this role (they'd have to be Greater if they're considered intelligent), but they might also be Inhabitants (or they might be the latter until won over and trained, at which point they'd become a Horde); in either case, Im might be an appropriate specialization.

(?) Vis Source (Minor Virtue): -1 Safety, +1 Warpinig, +2 appropriate specialization(s); Viola has a pair of faerie wine casks that could be used in this way, but she's concerned about safety, and would rather not push Warping beyond +3.

Faerie Ingredients (Free Virtue): +1 General Quality, -1 Upkeep, +1 Warping, +1 Experimentation, +1 appropriate specialization; something that would add a Mu specialization, or maybe An or He, would be best. Could the crones somehow provide this?

Regio (Free Virtue): +3 Size, +1 Warping; this could be taken twice, but as mentioned above the "Ma" level is simply huge,as well as bringing with it the Labyrinth Flaw. Remind me again what the two levels are: one has the crones, and the other is a version of the temple at a lower level, right?

Inhabitants (Free Flaw): -1 Safety, -1 Aesthetics; +1 appropriate specialization; this would be the Crones.


MTKnife: Could you post what you'd like the lab to have at starting, rather than what Viola would aspire the lab to be like?

My understanding of the basic situation of the possible lab space is:

  • There's a room whose entrance is screened by a waterfall, scattered with statues and columns, and with the water from the waterfall collecting in channels around the edge of the floor. This was described as probably being the main lab room, although Viola doesn't have to use it so.
  • There's a door leading off this room, behind which are the crones.
  • There's a stairway leading from the room, which crosses a regio boundary. Across the boundary, there is:
  • A labyrinth that's open to the night sky, with more statues. Within the labyrinth is:
  • Medusa, somewhere.
  • A room with a stagnant pool with strangely behaving water, and an altar.
  • A room full of statues.

Amul, have I gone wrong anywhere?

Given this, possible virtues and flaws that arise from the specific laboratory seem to me to be:

  • Turning the waterfall / the weird pool / a statue into a feature. +2 Aesthetics, +3 on an appropriate specialisation (Aquam, Corpus, Terram, Muto?) if greater, else +1 Aesthetics, +1 specialisation.
  • Counting the statues as specimens. +1 Upkeep, +1 Aesthetics, +1 form specialisation (Corpus or Terram?). This seems to be strictly worse than counting one as a minor feature.
  • The crones could count as a Horde Major/minor supernatural virtue (after Viola has found a way to make them useful rather than a problem, presumably as part of the virtue installation season), or the Inhabitants minor flaw. Horde gives +2 GQ, +1 Upkeep, + Int safety (probably low), +2 Aesthetics, +2 specialisations (Rego? Imaginem? Corpus?) for Greater Horde, or +1 GQ, +1 Upkeep, +1 Safety, +1 Aesthetics, +1 on specialisations for Lesser Horde. Inhabitants gives -1 Safety, -1 Aesthetics, +1 specialisation. You could also just ignore them by keeping the door locked and not taking either the virtue or the flaw.
  • Lesser explansion, from the room with the crones in it (probably. Could be from elsewhere). Would probably require taking a relevant virtue/flaw for the crones as well.
  • Regio. Free supernatural virtue, +3 size, +1 warping.
  • Labyrinth. Minor supernatural flaw, -1 Safety, -1 Health, -2 Aesthetics, +2 Me or Vi.
  • Maybe natural environment from the section of the regio that seems to be open to the night sky, if you're working in the labyrinth, although if so you would probably need to take Outdoors flaw. On the plus side, you then wouldn't need to take time installing the natural environment.
  • Lair, if you're including the labyrinth with Medusa in it within your laboratory. Minor supernatural flaw, -1 Safety, +1 Warping, +1 Art Specialisation (Muto?).
  • Faerie ingredients, if you can and want to find a way of including the glamoured body parts into your lab work. Free Supernatural virtue, +1 GQ, -1 Upkeep, +1 Warping, +1 Experimentation, +1 Specialisation (Corpus, Muto or Imaginem).
  • Damp free outfitting flaw. +1 Upkeep, -1 Health, -1 Aesthetics, +1 Aq.

Obviously, you don't need to take all of those, and there are other ones that might be possible, but are less obvious.

My understanding is that, if you choose to locate your lab in the relevant area, you get any of the flaws immediately. Ditto, free virtues take no (significant) time to install. With a few exceptions, non-free virtues take one or two seasons to install, so even though the statues are already there, Viola would have to take a season (or two) rearranging her lab around them to make them a feature rather than an incidental characteristic of the lab. Based on house rules (by which I actually mean the buildpoint breakdown), we can, however, have 1 minor virtue "ready-installed", so long as it's something inherent to the lab.

In addition, it'll be possible to install other virtues that aren't specific to the lab's inherent circumstances, such as bringing in pot plants or a servant; this will take time if it would normally do so.

Free virtues should be balanced by free flaws, and the net upkeep shouldn't rise above zero.

So based on your list above:

Pushing it, but maybe in conjunction with Outdoors. I can't really see the justification for Animal or Herbam.

Could be done, but would take a season to install unless you're claiming it as your "free" minor virtue.


The room with the crones is the obvious source, which would require doing something with them. Can only have one of this or the lesser feature at starting.

Yep. Sophia might actually work quite well as a lab servant, but I don't think the other magi would necessarily want Viola to get sole claim to her.

Agreed that I can't think of anything that's particularly relevant.

Agreed on Inhabitants; could be horde, but only after time spent/using up your starting virtue.

Something that would have to be brought in and a season spent installing.

In a really macabre fashion? Could have at starting - would have to be balanced by a free flaw, but there are lots to choose from.

Pretty much mandatory. Needs to be balanced by a free flaw. I think the two levels are the temple (with crones in a separate room, but still on the same level), and the labyrinth, with Medusa and weird water.

As discussed above. Actually a minor supernatural flaw rather than a free one.

Yes, but let me sort out all the features, first. The starting lab I'm not worried about until I set it up and need the stats.

Ah, right, the waterfall and channels! I knew there was something I was forgetting.

I missed it initially as well, but there's another layer of the regio in there: the room before the waterfall is one layer, and the room after the waterfall is a second layer.

I was thinking more like Natural Environment, but it depends on how natural the waterfall is.

I don't think they'd count as specimens, since Specimens, I think, implies a variety of objects of the given type, and these are all basically the same (at least, in their present form--it's hard to study a body that's been turned to rock); I was thinking of considering them all as one Feature, though.

That room is required for the Regio Virtue at any rate, and yes, also gives space for the Expansion. Right now, I'll be counting the crones as Inhabitants.

I think you'd still need time to install it--it's one thing to have it physically present, and another to make it into a part of the laboratory.

Given the size of the labyrinth level, I'm not sure how viable incorporating it would be, but yes, it would add various things (possibly even a vis source in that pool), including another level of the Regio Virtue.

We'll have to ask Amul if it's damp enough for the Flaw--if so, that's something that needs to be rectified, since the bonus in Aq is no use to Viola.

Why do you figure that? (About the Virtues and Flaws, not the Upkeep.)

Yeah, the waterfall wouldn't work for those, either.

I don't think we should count anything as free except for the handful of Virtues mentioned in the book as being so--even if something is already there, it has to be incorporated into the lab.

Interesting idea. Well, she's not going to be in her lab every season, and she won't always need the bonus even when she is.

Not mandatory unless the lab is actually extended into that level of the regio--and that's a huge space, as far as I can tell.


It's in the grey box "Build Point Cost for Starting Laboratories" on page 114 of Covenants.

In the build points, you allowed for each lab to start with one minor virtue (although I took +1 size for Gregorius instead). Based on the grey box linked to above, it should probably be something that's inherent to the structure.

OK. Well let's wait to hear back from amul and then I'll try another draft.


I also just noticed that bigger-than-normal labs cost extra build points, which would either replace the points for a Minor Virtue, or come with compensating Flaws. (I checked the covenant build, and I did, as it happens, think of this already. :slight_smile: )


Mmm, which is why I specifically asked if I could swap out Gregorius' minor virtue and take an additional 10bp to increase his lab size. This is arguably slightly unfair, although I think it's more than balanced by him not having any personal say in contributing books to the library. Then again, I as his player compiled the library...

Edit: I don't think in terms of build points that flaws offset virtues; virtues cost, but flaws don't offset that.

Moved Sophia to the covenfolk thread.

Also statted up another new grog:

Niketas - Hedyosmon Dowser

Niketas was born and raised in the subterranean covenant of Hedyosmos, the centre of the Terram cult in the Theban tribunal. As a boy, when not needed for his skills in finding new seams of precious ore for the miners, he spent much of his time running errands and messages through the labyrinthine passages. This ended in disaster when, one day, he took a passage that he should not have done, and was trapped by a rock fall. His disappearence was, eventually, noticed, and his cries tracked down. The experience of being trapped in the tiny space left its mark, however; previously fearless, he could no longer bear to be in any but the largest and most stable of the caverns that made up his home.

Characteristics: Int 0, Per 3, Pre -2, Com 1, Str -1, Sta 0, Dex +1, Qik +2
Size: 0
Age: 24
Decreptitude: 0
Warping Score: 2 (14)
Confidence: 0 (0)

Sharp Ears (mG)
Dowsing (mSu)

Fear: Small enclosed spaces (mP)
Sensitive Sight (mP) (RoP:M)
Terram Monstrosity*: Teeth and Nails made of stone (mSu) (RoP:M)

*From warping.

Personality Traits: Claustrophobic +3, Loyal 0, Brave 0

Dodging: Init +2, Attack n/a, Defense +4, Damage n/a
Fist: Init +2, Attack: +2, Defence +3, Damage -1.
Soak: 0
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0, -1, -3, -5, Unconcious.
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-5), -3 (6-10), -5 (11-15), Incapacitated (16-20)

Native Language: Greek (covenant usage): 5 0
Living Language: Hedyosmon Sign Language: 4 50
Area Lore: Hedyosmos: 4 50
Brawl (dodge): 1 5
Dowsing (minerals): 5 75
Charm (covenfolk): 2 15
Profession: Errand runner (Hedyosmos): 3 30
Folk Ken (Hedyosmon covenfolk): 1 5
Awareness (underground): 2 15
Athletics (climbing): 1 5
Bargain (covenfolk): 3 30
Carouse (games of chance): 2 15
Guile (fast talk): 2 15
Stealth (underground): 2
Survival (underground): 2

Equipment: Dowsing rod
Encumbrance: 0

Notes: he's quite warped, due to spending too much time in the deeper recesses of Hedyosmos. I'm not quite sure whether his extra flaw from warping counts towards either the 3 maximum or offsetting a virtue, so I've played it safe. On the other hand, he technically shouldn't have two personality flaws. Sensitive sight is a bit odd as a personality flaw, but I assume it's similar reasoning to Nocturnal being one.

I'm OK with the extra size--the build point distribution is non-specific.

As for offsetting Flaws, I think you're right by the book, but I'm willing to entertain proposals for particularly appropriate Flaws that somehow offset Virtues.


Greetings folks,

Apologies for the absence, the start of term had me forgetting about most internet-related commitments :slight_smile: I'm still very interested in joining y'all, but I'm in the process of toying with a new concept. I'll post a description shortly, just working on the background now.

Welcome back, good to see we haven't lost you. We've been wrapping up what we've been doing recently, so hopefully there should be a good entry point for you coming up.

Bottom of page 33 of Character Development:

Viola lab stuff...

Salutor has the layout correct, including the pre-waterfall regio level, for a total of one mundane level and three regio levels.

Aquam would only be appropriate if the lab also had Perdo bonuses from some element of the base structure -- it is a place cursed by one, possibly two fae water lords. It is most definitely not Damp. It is the opposite of damp. It is a place that was designed to be damp that is now woefully unwatered.

Any attempt to use the crones in ways not already obvious from interactions with them counts as Spoilers: Details Locked Until Further RP. Players are encouraged to give input for what that should be, and Faerie Ingredients was one idea that I was already considering.

Phrases like "natural environment" get odd when you start thinking about faerie regios. My personal preference for lab design is to use the list as guidelines, not as the entire list of available features. In that case, calling it a "natural environment-like virtue" would be accurate. Again, the bonuses provided should relate to its history as a forsaken temple.

And, you forgot to add Spacious to the list.

Did I miss any questions?

(Sorry I didn't check him when this first came up). He looks largely fine, although he shouldn't have a confidence score and, as you commented, needs some specialities. Depending on what you're going for with Craft: Cook, you may want to swap it for a profession? He also needs a score in Brave.

Can covenfolk has Social Statuses other than covenfolk/custos? It makes no difference, but I'm not really sure.

As for the water, isn't there still water in there? It's the curses that keep it from being useful?

What kinds of bonuses would she be looking at for the Natural-Enviromental-like Virtue?

Spacious would depend on whether or not Viola chooses to start with it--it's not an inherent property of a lab space, but a matter of how the space is used. But, yes, it might be logical as a starting Virtue, since it doesn't have to be installed.


Regio level 1 : an ankle deep pool coming from a waterfall statue of Poseidon. The water is usable, but the space is not. Or rather, it wasn't the space that I thought of you using. If you really wanted to set up a lab here, it would probably require flaws like Heinous Architecture and Exposed.

Regio level 2: Same layout, only with channels carved in a ring to collect the water from the waterfall, as well as the extension where the Virgin Crones live. However, the waterfall is broken, and what should be a wall-wide shower is merely a trickle, running out of Poseidon's empty eye sockets like a thin line of tears. This is the area that cannot be damp.

Regio level 3: The labyrinth. Stagnant, putrid water here. The elements here have more to do with Perdo than Aquam.

Ah. I thought we were still in the "compile a list of potentially applicable VFs" phase, and hadn't realized you had made selections.

For the second level, I could see the Environment virtue offering bonuses to Perdo, Muto, Corpus, or Terram. Perdo, the temple is in ruins. Muto, it was changed by a major supernatural event. Corpus, the once-human Virgin Crones have lived there for a long time, and there are men-statues there. Terram, cuz both the structure and the men-statues have been affected by strong magics and figure prominently in the space. If it were allowable under the rules, I'd also suggest a bonus to anything involving Faerie Magic, in the same way that you get bonuses to Vis Extraction or Item Making.

Let me know if there is some other bonus you would like.

Oh, and as far as mechanics go, you could spend a season using the Investigate Enchantment rules to learn more about one aspect of the regio -- the crones, the labyrinth, etc.

To get the Regio Virtue, you have to use two levels of the regio--I don't think Viola is going to use the labyrinth, which means level 1 has to be used. Is the temple in ruins on this level?

Does it look like there might be any way to fix that waterfall? Mind you, she probably wouldn't be that interested in Aquam bonuses anyway.

Don't think she's going to be messing with level 3, except that the pool looks suspiciously like a vis source. What do the appropriate InVi spells reveal about that?

She might have things in mind to add, but in that case she'd remove the Spacious when installing the new Virtue. That's actually a good catch on your part.

Well, there's the problem: Muto is the only one of those Arts she has a real interest in, though it is indeed her strongest Technique (also strong are Intellego and Rego). Her strong Forms are Animal, Herbam (hence my asking about a Natural Environment), and Imaginem. Imaginem she can manage by adding Magical Lighting, and maybe something else free like Gaudy.

A blanket bonus to Faerie Magic might be too broad, since practically anything can be made to be Fairie Magic.


I'm tempted to quibble, but without resorting to drawings and arcane mathematics, I'd say "ruins" is a fitting description.

This would be the sort of thing that you could best determine with a season of study.

It is unclear to me if I have the power to declare things as sources of Vis. If that is within by bSG purview, then yes, it is a moderate source of Perdo vim, for whatever that works out to be for our power level.

I'd say yes for Imaginem. Including the first level regio would give you the Herbam.

By Faerie Magic, I meant any magical effort that included the R/D/T parameters opened by the Faerie Magic virtue.

Another thought: a curse prevents plantlife from growing near the Crones. If one can consider the strong presence of Perdo Herbam to be a viable source of an Herbam bonus, then the regio level 2 by itself could incorporate an Herbam bonus.

On the other hand, as I've said before, this is meant to be a space given to the aSG's character as a kind of reward for doing aSG stuff. If it's important to you to have an Animal bonus, then I can try to come up with some way for that to be appropriate. I'll have to think about it, though.