Character Development

As long as we're under the vis income specified in the covenant build, you're more than welcome, even encouraged (since it keeps me from having to make up as many vis sources).

Remind me again what planty stuff is on the first level.

OK. That might be useful. I'll see.

That's a little iffy.

It doesn't have to be an ideal space. There are certainly things she can add to the lab--a Feature or Specimens or the like--that would accomplish that objective.

(And yes, I miss her last lab, which I designed myself, but it would be boring as well as unrealistic to have the same one again. :slight_smile: )


Okay, so Viola senses the potential for Vis gathering in that stagnant pool, but can sense no vis there currently, and it is not immediately obvious how she might gather it.

Plant stuff : I hadn't said anything before. It has an abundance of lichens, mosses, and other plants that grow in shade or darkness. There is also a tenacious creeping vine which can be cultivated to grow into occult shapes. Trimming and shaping this vine would be the unifying mystical act which provides the bonus (using the standard lab mechanics for time involved).

OK, sounds cool. :slight_smile:


What does Viola do during her seasons?

Ingrid, Ex-leper Farming Peasant
A servant, based on the Farming Peasant, Covenants, pg 45

Int -1
Per +1
Pre -2
Com -1
str +3
dex 0
Qik -1

Virtues: Peasant, Alluring to mundane animals, Alluring to magic beings, Enduring Constitution
Flaws: Afflicted Tongue, Lame [both due to leprosy], Weak-Willed

Personality : Lonely +3, Loyal +3, Brave -2, Imperturbable +3

Native Greek 5 (farm)
Animal Handling 4 (cattle)
Athletics 1 (run)
Awareness 2 (search)
Bargain 1 (produce)
Climb 2 (trees)
Area Lore: Covenant 2 (grogs)
Area Lore: Leper Colony 2 (people)
Craft: Farmer 4 (plowing)
Craft:Textiles 3 (loomcrafts)*
Folk Ken 2 (peasants)
Guile 3 (lying to authority)
Ride 2 (mule)
Stealth 3 (hiding)*
Survival 2 (sleeping rough)

Brawl 3 (fist)
Great Weapon 2 (pitchfork)

  • I've replaced the template's Animal Ken 3 with Stealth. This is not an exact XP match, but she's meant to be a background character, and therefore not worth the math to fix it. Replaced Carouse with a Craft skill that covers spinning and weaving cloth from wool. Not sure if that's too broad a skill.

Ingrid was a child when the plague took her body and rendered questions of abstinence moot. It's rumored that a brigand tried to rape her on her journey to the leper colony, but when he tore her clothes off, the sight underneath made him lose his dinner. She has always been shy, and as the leprosy took her face (never a beauty to begin with) and swelled her tongue, she all but disappeared from human society completely -- craving for someone to reach out to her, but never willing to make the first step. The difference between her confidence when among animals versus her craven hunger for approval among humans is remarkable, and would be noticed quickly.

Before meeting Miklos, she did her best to keep the other lepers fed, though she avoided contact with them as much as possible (believing that even the other lepers must find her abhorrent to look upon). She prayed every night for their salvation as well as her own, and she believes this is why the curing touch of Miklos seemed to grant her additional gifts.

She dreams of somehow earning the favor of the magi, and receiving a magically perfect body as a reward for some (barely conceivably) act of service. This is hardly likely, since even the slightest attention paid her turns her into a jibbering, clumsy fool. Still, this daydream, and the mistaken belief that the magi intend to study their leprosy and correct the damage done to them, combine to make her willing to forgive any slight by the magi, and interpret all their actions in the most optimistic of lights.

She does not recognize that her allure to animals is anything unusual (after all, nothing is special about her), and has never had an opportunity to discover her allure to magical beings before the start of the saga.

Still working on that, between being sick, having a sick wife, having a sick baby, having two sets of parents visiting, and grading papers. :slight_smile:


It looks like she only has 1pt of characteristics rather than 7 - should the Presence be positive (seems unlikely given her description), or did you originally stat her with Weak Characteristics?

I also don't think she can take Great Weapon - she doesn't have an appropriate virtue or flaw (looking at Covenants, it seems as though the Great Weapon comes from there, but I think that's an error in the template).

How old is she? (25?)

The threatened stable-boy. Mutated slightly, and a bit older than I'd originally planned. Stable-youth?


Damianos hails from the Tremere covenant of Gigas, where he was one of the junior members of the covenant staff. Ambitious, he sees his posting to Nova Castra as a chance to become the head of an establishment (i.e. stablemaster). Of course, Nova Castra doesn't even have a stables yet, but there's hardly a shortage of local horses.

Characteristics: Int 0, Per +2, Pre +2 , Com -1, Str +1, Sta 0, Dex +2, Qik +1
Size: -1
Age: 23
Decreptitude: 0
Warping Score: 0
Confidence: 0 (0)


Covenfolk (FSS 0)
Improved Charactertistics (mG 1)
Warrior (mG 1)


Ambitious (mP 1)
Small Frame (mG 1)

Personality Traits: Ambitious +3, Loyal +1, Brave +0

Dodging: Init +1, Attack n/a, Defense +4, Damage n/a
Fist: Init +1, Attack: +4, Defence +3, Damage +1.
Short Bow: Init 0, Attack: +9, Defence +5, Damage +7.
Soak: 0
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0, -1, -3, -5, Unconcious.
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-4), -3 (5-8), -5 (9-12), Incapacitated (13-16)

Native Language: Greek (long words): 5 0
Use Bow (shortbow): 4 50
Brawl (dodge): 2 15
Animal Handling (horses): 5 75
Profession: Marshal (medicine): 3 30
Profession: Falconer (medicine): 3 30
Hunt (tracking): 3 30
Awareness (movement): 2 15
Area Lore: Gigas (hunting grounds): 3 30
Athletics (climb): 2 15
Ride (speed): 3 30
Profession: Master of Kennels (medicine): 2 15
Etiquette (Hunting): 2 15
Bargain (animals): 2 15

Equipment: Tack, bow.
Encumbrance: 1

[Edited: Wrong saga error.]

And the goblin-blooded character:


Simon was taken in by the Constantinople covenant that was used as a launching point for Nova Castra when he was small, after the goblins that had stolen him lost interest. In recent years, he had fallen into bad company in the remains of the once great city, and the covenant's autocrat could see that it was only a matter of time before he got himself into serious trouble. He therefore sent him to Nova Castra, where the opportunity for bad influence should be much lower.

Characteristics: Int 0, Per +3, Pre -3, Com -1, Str -2, Sta -1, Dex +3, Qik +3
Size: -1
Age: 19
Decreptitude: 0.
Warping Score: 0 (4)
Confidence: 0 (0)

Goblin Blood (+1 to all totals involving stealth) (mG)
Cautious with Legerdemain (mG)
Light Touch


Weak-willed (mP)
Offensive to Animals (mG)
Small Frame (mG)

Personality Traits: Impressionable +2, Loyal +0, Sly +1

Dodging: Init +3, Attack n/a, Defense +5, Damage n/a
Fist: Init +3, Attack +4, Defense +4, Damage -2
Soak: -1
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0, -1, -3, -5, Unconcious.
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-4), -3 (5-8), -5 (9-12), Incapacitated (13-16)

Native Language: Greek (Insults): 5 0
Brawl (dodge): 1 5
Legerdemain (Picking Pockets): 4 50
Music (whistle): 2 15
Carouse (Games of Chance): 2 15
Awareness (guards): 2 15
Guile (not getting caught): 3 30
Stealth (urban environments): 4 50
Charm (first impressions): 2 15
Folk Ken (authority figures): 3 30
Atheletics (climbing): 3 30

Equipment: None (lockpicks were confiscated before he was sent to Nova Castra)
Encumbrance: 0

[Edited: Wrong saga error.]

Ooh, yes, that should be a useful grog. Viola used to keep one a bit like him around, as a scout.


Amul, looking through the temple thread, I see that the entrance to the labyrinth (the third level) was superimposed on a ruined staircase from the second level--what's at the bottom of that staircase on the second level (assuming it's possible to bypass the regio entrance)?


OK, to get a grip on Viola's lab, I've compiled everything from all the relevant threads into a single description that will be part of Viola's character sheet (one element of this, the statue/fountain of Poseidon on the second level, doesn't match the original description, but it sounds cool, so let's go with it). Amul, please check and make sure this matches what you had in mind. I'll add references to specific Virtues and Flaws shortly, probably over the Thanksgiving break next week.


When the party of magi tasked with establishing Nova Castra arrived at the site of ancient Tanais, Viola immediately noticed a faerie regio on the site of the ruined temple to Neptune on the north side of the city’s central square. At the mundane level, nothing was left of the temple but an altar within the foundations of the portico, before the entrance; a tile mosaic three feet below ground level in what was once the temple’s main room, a mosaic that periodically collects rainwater, from which Rego vis can be distilled; and a dry creek bed leading into the foundations. However, those in the party with Second Sight perceived a massive pair of marble doors, doubtless a fae reflection of the doors that had once stood at the temple’s entrance. These doors formed the gateway to the regio.

By making a sacrificial feast of a horse, an animal sacred to Neptune (and his Greek analog, Poseidon), Viola lured from the regio a number of its inhabitants, who claimed to be children of Poseidon. One of them led her through a marble door, now studded with three gems, into the first level of the regio, where, down a short flight of stairs, the temple was still intact, though with a damaged roof, allowing water to collect on the floor here as well. The walls sported frescoes devoted to Poseidon, and, at its far end, a fountain in the form of a large statue of the god, from whose eyes flowed a waterfall. Disturbingly, the room also featured a half dozen “statues” of people who had been turned to stone, as well as a collection shade-loving plants growing in the damp environment, including lichens, mosses, and a creeping vine that wrapped nearly around the circumference of the room.

Viola’s guide led her through the waterfall to pass through the far wall, a large bas-relief of a seated couple marred by the impression of what appeared to be a giant fist. Beyond the wall lay the next level of the regio, a room much the same as the last, save that channels along the walls carried water from this level’s version of the fountain, though a faerie curse had reduced the flow here to a trickle. This iteration of the temple featured stone columns interspersed with an even greater number of stone statues, as well as a barred door and a ruined staircase leading down. Behind the door lay a kitchen filled with a dozen sororocidal and cannibalistic blind crones, the Handmaidens of Poseidon, who passed the time cooking one another and fighting over three orbs that served as eyes. These crones proved harmless, except to one another, so long as Viola resisted their importunings to enjoy a little home cooking. Leaving their company, she re-barred the door and followed the guide through another regio entrance that lay astride the ruined staircase.

Viola followed the staircase on the third regio level down to a vast labyrinth formed of stalagmites under a dark, stormy, night sky. Deep in the labyrinth lay a large room full of dozens more “statues”, evidently the lair of the guide’s mother, a Gorgon who had once been the nymph Halia. The labyrinth also encompassed a stone-bricked courtyard centered around a stagnant pool from which rose a moss-covered altar (atop which lay chained yet another stone corpse—this one with an erect phallus); a single cloud in the otherwise clear sky above rained down upon the courtyard, yet not on the pool, and even the water that landed around the pool drained uphill, away from it. Viola reasoned that this pool might provide a source of Perdo vis, but she detected none there at that mo

I took the stats straight out of the book. The only changes I made were the VFs and swapping some skills around. I'll double check this when I have a moment.

Agreed it's in the book, but unless I'm missing something I think the book's wrong.

Allow me to introduce Keravanos of Flambeau, after gauntlet...

Characteristics: Int +2, Per +2, Pre +1, Com +3, Str -3, Sta +2, Dex -3, Qik +2
Size: 0
Age: 31 (31), Height: 5'6'', Weight: 158 lbs, Gender: Male
Decrepitude: 0
Warping Score: 0 (0)
Confidence: 1 (3)
Virtues and Flaws: The Gift, Hermetic Magus, Minor Magical Focus (lightning), Flawless Magic (Study Totals: Doubled for spell mastery), Mastered Spells, Atlantean Magic, Book Learner (Book Quality: +3), Puissant Magic Theory, Affinity with Creo, Affinity with Auram, Baccalaureus, Tormenting Master, Ambitious, Seeker, Restriction (Touching metall, except copper)
Dodge: Init: +2, Attack --, Defense +2, Damage --
Fist: Init: +2, Attack -3, Defense +2, Damage -3
Kick: Init: +1, Attack -3, Defense +1, Damage +0
Soak: +2
Fatigue levels: OK, 0, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-5), -3 (6-10), -5 (11-15), Incapacitated (16-20), Dead (21+)
Abilities: French 5, English 3, Classical Greek 4, Etiquette 1, Bargain 1, Folk Ken 2, Awareness 2, Sailing 2, Swim 2, Artes Liberales 3, Magic Theory 3+2, Parma Magica 1, Order of Hermes Lore 1, Philosophiae 2, Code of Hermes 1, Latin 5, Penetration 1, Finesse 1, Concentration 2, Magic Lore 2
Arts: Cr 10, In 0, Mu 0, Pe 1, Re 9, An 0, Aq 4, Au 10, Co 0, He 0, Ig 0, Im 0, Me 0, Te 0, Vi 10
Encumbrance: 0 (0)
Spells Known:
The Incantation of Lightning (CrAu 35) +37, Mastery 5 (multiple casting, quiet casting, stalwart casting, magic resistance, penetration)
Break the Oncoming Wave (ReAq 10) +16, Mastery 1 (stalwart casting)
Chamber of Spring Breezes (CrAu 5) +23, Mastery 1 (fast casting)
Circling Winds of Protection (Cr(Re)Au 20) +23, Mastery 2 (stalwart casting, fast casting)
Clouds of Rain and Thunder (CrAu 25) +24, Mastery 2 (imperturbable casting, stalwart casting)
Maintaining the Demanding Spell (ReVi 25) +23, Mastery 2 (stalwart casting, adaptive casting)

So, his back story so far, university student meets fetching Flambeau. Hijinks ensue...

Marguerite of Flambeau, operating the Chapterhouse of Fengheld in Cherbourg is in Paris conducting some research where she runs into Keravanos (not his birth name that's TBD), a young man pursuing an academic career, currently at the very beginning of his Masters program. She seduces him, and then one evening in post coital bliss she forgets to renew her parma and is struck by his Gift. She immediately abandons her research, takes him as an apprentice, and continues the now near incestuous affair with him throughout most of his apprenticeship. She focuses on the sexual activities of the relationship and neglects his studies. He pursues books available to him from Fengheld when she's pursuing some of her business interests or other activities that don't require him. After opening his Arts she absents herself from Cherbourg for nearly a year, and leaving him to his own devices, suggesting he study her tomes on Magic Theory for the next 6 seasons. Despite, or perhaps because of his academic background he develops well as a magus, untapping the raw potential of his flawless magic. Besides opening his Gift, she was able to draw out his magical focus in lightning, being from the School of Sebastian, although her focus is different. He discovers his Atlantean magical heritage one time at sea, he is able to cast a spontaneous version of a spell he'd heard or read of, Break the Oncoming Wave but the spell doesn't require his concentration, and lasts until the storm disappates.

Through dogged pursuit of the arts necessary to learn The Incantation of Lightning he developed affinities in the Arts of Creo and Auram. Finally, in the last year of his apprenticeship, fearing she would never release him, he risked writing a letter to her superiors at Fengheld requesting they sponsor him in the Ash Gild. They relent and they finalize his apprenticeship in the Rhine Tribunal, making up for the poor master he had (Weak Parens flaw being cancelled by Gild Training Virtue, neither are listed on the sheet above).

The night before his Gauntlet, Marguerite appears in his room at Fengheld. She tries to seduce him, but he rebuffs her advances. Without the protection of the Parma Magica combined with a total lack of knowledge of the Art of Mentem, she is able to control his mind enough to allow her to ravish him one last time. Unbeknownst to him, Marguerite bore him a child in the period of time she was away, after opening his Arts, before beginning her longevity ritual. To this day she pursues him, though he has done his best to stay out of her grasp. She hasn't forgiven him for rebuffing her advances the night before his Gauntlet.

One question and some comments. I would like the focus to apply to thunder and lightning if, I may? Doing so would allow me a potent secondary offensive spell, and I will revise my spell list, or learn it during post gauntlet progression. Is that reasonable? I also reasoned that he would be of the Cult of Mercury part of House Flambeau, and granted him some of those spell mastery perks.

I'm amused. :slight_smile:

I have serious reservations about allowing him a non-standard house Virtue--the whole point of allowing those for free is that everyone gets the same one. Are there any canonical examples of such a thing?

Speaking of a political scientist who researches the politics of social identity (that is, groups, like ethnic and national groups), I'm reasonably sure that the Rhine Tribunal could not possibly function the way the tribunal book depicts. I can't imagine that the subject would come up, and I don't think it would interfere with your character's being a member of the Ash Gild, but it's something to keep in mind.

Finally, what's the bit about Atlantean magic? You lost me there.


Granted, I am playing him against type a bit. I'm trying to figure out if I like him myself.

It is not a non-standard house virtue, from page 26 of Houses of Hermes: Societas inset: The School of Sebastian. I could make him an Ex Misc, and then switch Houses, I just have to pick a Supernatural Virtue, perhaps Greater Immunity to Lightning, and throw in another Major Hermetic Flaw, and still join House Flambeau, or not. I just need to develop a tradition, no?

Atlantean Magic comes from Realms of Power: Magic, has a duration Storm which is cost comparable to Concentration, and also has magic which can affect Waterways. I could lose it. I'm not married to it, certainly.

Half of what is written couldn't function as the books depict. I can't imagine the Normandy Tribunal not having gone to war with each other. Secret vis cartels, scarce resources, I see that Tribunal tearing the Order apart...

MTKnife: HoH:S suggests recommended virtues for the different schools of magical combat (Warrior for Ramius, Finesse boosters for Vilano, Foci for Sebastian, some of the standard options for the Founder/Apromar/Boreas). There's a troupe option to allow these recommended virtues as House virtues in place of the standard ones.

I'd suggest that if you have the Minor Magical focus as the Flambeau House virtue, it should come as part of a lineage (i.e. your parens had something similar). There has to be a reason it's come from the House rather than just being something peculiar to your own magic. Alternatively, you could take it as a standard virtue without any such restriction, and take one of the more standard House virtues in addition, although admittedly neither seem to be particularly useful as the character stands.

He has the necessary pre-requisite to be in the Cult of Mercury, although I'd like it defined how he came to be introduced to the cult during his apprenticeship - is his mater also a member?

Could you give me some idea what his personality is like? At the moment, he has no personality traits, and his backstory is largely of things happening to him, rather than him doing things. What's he ambitious to acheive? What's his attitude to his mater these days?

Hmmm. I've just realised anyone with a Sta of -2 or below would never recover from Jupiter's Resounding Blow as written. Oh well, work-roundable, I think. Probably with an increasing bonus to recovery rolls over time. I assume that's the spell you mean? I'm happy enough to include Thunder in the minor focus unless someone points out a way it's obviously broken.

I'd like there to be some reason he has Atlantean magic, even if he's not aware of it himself - the book implies it comes as a result of either lineage, or research, and I'm assuming he hasn't done any research. If the focus is native to him rather than his training, it's fairly consistent with the virtue.

Edit: Also, the "metals except copper" restriction sounds a bit odd, although I assume you're going with the traditional idea of copper as a conductor of electricity. It's certainly broad enough to count as a restriction, so no problems there. Is there any particular reason you've gone for a metal restriction?

Will check numbers later.

Sure, and I can do all the revising and describing, backstory writing. Given that he was different, I prefer to get some constructive criticism about what fits in this saga and revise earlier than later. I'm obviously not going to put a ton of labor into something only to come back and have to do signfiicant revisions. As I said, the Atlantean thing, I'm not married to it. And yes, I was thinking his mater would be of a similar school, and a member of the Flambeau cult of Mercury. Cannonically, I don't think she's developed at all, just mentioned by name in Guardians of the Forest, so I took liberties. The same page with the insert on the Schools has the following in the first full paragraph in the first column, "Magi who are trained within House Flambeau have their school chosen for them by their parentes. Usually, the parens simply trains the apprentice in whatever school the parens himself prefers, but there are exceptions."

I could certainly drop Atlantaen and add puissant Auram, making him a bit more martial.

I hadn't realised his mater was a canonical maga (does some quick reading...nope, there's not much there).

Knowing what he's trying to acheive/do will give some indication of how he'll fit into the covenant, although Flambeau Seeker sounds like a good start.

At the moment Gregorius and to a lesser extent Tasia are both there as part of their duties to their House. Patrick's beast hunting (and probably leaving his previous area to an extent), and Viola I think needed another covenant after she had an argument at her last one (and doesn't care that much where the new covenant is as long as it has a faerie regio she can retreat in to and ignore the world as much as possible from).