Thanks for the response. Happy with the 7 for the total rather than the 8 as that fits in with your teacher levels on the character creation page (Teacher 5 +2 Com) so I will work the initiation scripts up with that in mind. Definitely Neo Mercurian rather than Cult of Mercury for me.
The Wizard Communion call is OK if it is itself classed as a Ritual, especially if you get the Sun version free at Base +2, allowing the Artes Liberales and Philosophiae bonus to be added to the casting total. Think it should make that clear in the book as the description of the effect and the whole Mercurian vibe is around slow, multi participant spell casting of big ritual things. Is that interpretation OK with you? If not I will need to rework the character to add more Mu and Vi.
I'd definitely say it's a formulaic spell. Do you really want to have to spend vis on it?
Bear in mind that whilst the version you get free is the same level as the original spell, you can use a lower level when casting the communion as long as all of the communions everyone's casting add up to the necessary minimum (so if you have a level 20 ritual and a level 40 ritual, you could use the level 20 communion with the level 40 ritual if you wanted).
You need to cast it. Bear in mind, this covenant has a Mu summa level 14, a Vi summa level 15 and an aura of +5 - given enough seasons with a book, any magus in this covenant can get MuVi casting total of 34 + Sta. Not every Mercurian has to be a MuVi specialist, but it helps to either have a lot of Mercurians around in a large cult or society (so you can all do a little Wizard's Communion each and build up to the big total), or a few of you with decent MuVi totals.
Given the slow pace of play in this saga, just how many rituals are you likely to learn and cast? Is the bonus of cheap rituals and a free wizard's communion worth losing quick spontaneous spells and taking a major flaw?
I am currently working on this concept. I would prefer the Puissant MT over Puissant Intrigue. He will be exploring old magic, so although he will not be the classical lab rat, he will do magical research and not get involved in hermetic politics.
On the other hand I was thinking about Mythic Blood and the best matching important ancestor would be the first seeker (who happens to be Triamona's first apprentice).
Any objections against a Magus Triamonae with Puissant Magic Theory instead of Intrigue? In the end Lucian once wanted to found a third lineage inside house Bonisagus.
I have wanted to play a Mercurian for some time and this seems a good opportunity. I will have a number of CrCo ritual healing spells so I guess I will get benefit in Vis usage everytime someone needs me to heal them. I agree it may be more efficient to have a different concept but I don't really mind and I get much more out of the story than the mechanics anyway.
One other thing that occurred to me - as a Mercurian, you have access to the Ceremonial Casting mastery, which lets you cast formulaic spells ceremonially (and therefore add your Artes Liberales and Philosophaie to your casting total). Further, as you have Flawless Casting as well, you automatically get one level of mastery free with your Communions.
So in practice you can solve the problem by taking the right mastery.
I think if you want to be a magus Triamonae you need to take Puissant Intrigue - it's a feature of how you've been trained. You could take Puissant Magic Theory as well, or you could be a magus Bonisagus despite your blood.
I could go either way. I've personally always thought that the division of Bonisagus in ArM5 into two rigidly defined sub-houses, as opposed to the broader tendencies in earlier editions, is unnecessarily restrictive, and closes off some interesting character concepts. That being said, I'm not going to ram changing canon down people's throats unless there's a broad consensus for it in in the troupe.
I could also go either way. The idea was being a descendant of Lucian filius Triamona having Puissant Magic Theory and passing that down to his apprentices. He was even trying to establish his own lineage, in the end. Of course this is not canon. However, I would judge descending from a Magus Triamonae and being trained by a Magus Bonisagi as even less canon.
There is of course an easy way out. Mythic blood as a descendant of Bonisagus himself, naturally being a Magus Bonisagi and hence having the Puissant MT. From reading HoH:TL I would expect the clear majority of Seekers from house Bonisagus are Magi Triamonae, but there are even Seekers from other houses.
I still like the former background more, but if that doesn't get approval by the troupe I am fine with the latter, too.
My character Fray is a Bonisagus and while I really support the HoH book for Boni characters I don’t think we should be overtly restrictive. There in no incharacter way to determine if a characters Intrigue score has a virtue applied.
That said, a seeker should have a high Ability level to reflect that focus so imo this is more about generating a character congruent to the setting.
Given Lucien was a filius of Trianoma, I don't think there's anything to particularly suggest he had a strong link to Puissant Magic Theory? If she was going for his own lineage, I'd expect it to involve a separate virtue from either of the existing ones. That may be what you mean by it not being canon, but I don't think it's even particularly implied by canon.
Further, if you had that virtue due to your descent from him, I'd expect it to be part of your personal virtues and flaws, rather than those you got from your training by your parens.
This doesn't feel like the short of thing that would be covered by canon - you can certainly make an argument that if it had been known about in advance people would try to make sure he was trained by someone appropriate, and that would make sense - but there are all sorts of ways it could have ended up not happening (starting with people just not knowing about his ancestry at the time he was apprenticed).
I'd suggest not Stonehenge, unless you actively want to be from there - we've had two Bonisagi from there already, and it's not even one of their favoured tribunals. Being from Thebes I suspect is likely to be a more political option than being from elsewhere, so it depends on whether you want that.
One other thought looking at your character sheet - remember that Mythic Blood comes with a free minor personality flaw. I assume for Lucien this would be Seeker, so you need one extra flaw point to balance your virtues.
Well, given that seekers seek for ancient magic knowledge and as filius of Triamona he might have had MT lessons from Bonisagus himself I don't think Lucian having Puissant MT is too far a stretch. It was for sure an important ability for him. Given the fact that he wanted to form his own lineage, I would argue having passed this as a free virtue to his apprentices isn't a far stretch either.
I acknowledge though that this is not canon and if there is no consensus in the troupe I'll build up the story and character in accordance to the canon.
I was planning for dual heritage, both mundane and hermetic, i.e. being trained by my father/mother and parens/mater all the way back to Lucian.
I am not going to be very politically inclined, but is that really a must have for magi trained in Thebes? I see another potential problem, depending on the origin of the other magi probably. Is the covenant library a Latin or Greek or mixed one? In short, what is the language of the covenant?
You are right about that one. I am still in the process of sorting out the Virtues and Flaws, think there is also at least one minor virtue too much...
In the process of writing up a bit of motivation, goals and history of Caecus ex Bonisagus I am anyway thinking of changing the ancestry to Bonisagus himself. So there is probably no reason to argue on the matter much more.
Okay - I had been going to say that the dual heritage seemed unlikely, given that it implied a massively greater reliability of the heritability of the Gift than is standard. But I assume you're dropping that bit as well, rather than transferring it to Bonisagus.
Well, it is of course dual heritage. Being the mundane descendant of Bonisagus and trained as magus of house Bonisagus.
CDI would prefer the even tighter link, i.e. that my parens is also my ancestors and descendant of Bonisagus. I would also argue that, first it does not require any reliability of heritability of the gift because we are talking about the past, I am not saying Caecus will or should have gifted descendants that he will train as apprentice. Second, the likelihood of a line of gifted and trained descendants, if you have close family ties (maybe I should take that one as story flaw), is much increased because of the usually longer life span of magi, i.e. my parens could be my grand-grand-grandfather with no gifted offspring in three generations.
I do agree that the existence of such a dual bloodline would normally be mentioned by canon. However, it could even be unknown to my family. Lost during the centuries since the foundation of the order.
I don't insist on it either, it is not really crucial to the character. So not worth a conflict or argument.