Companions and Covenant Boons & Hooks?

Some Boons and Hooks (from the Corebook and/or Covenants) hinge on the Covenant's relationship with a non-magus character. If such a character is a Companion, does the Covenant still have to pay for the Boon, or receive points for the Hook? Some examples should make the question clearer.

Conside the Minor Boon: "Local Ally: A person of prestige and power in the nearby area assists the covenant, overtly. A sheriff, local nobleman, or village priest would all be suitable allies...". If a player creates a friendly priest or local nobleman as a companion, must the Covenant pay for the Boon?

Consider the Minor Hook: "Refugee: A displaced nobleman, or noblewoman, has come to the covenant seeking shelter from the forces of a usurper who has stolen his or her land and riches. The refugee has useful skills, and may aid the magi, but intends to eventually seek revenge and restoration." If a player creates such a character as a companion (with the appropriate Story Flaw), does the Covenant get points from the Hook?

Symmetrically, if a companion can "neutralize" a Hook, is the Hook still worth points? Again, let me give an example.

Consider the Major Hook: "Poverty: The covenant has no sources of income at all and no mundane resources to speak of". Suppose a player creates a wealthy companion who can, and does, support the covenant economically. E.g. a Lone Redcap (from HoH:TL) with the Merchant Venturer minor Virtue (from C&G) has a disposable income that is equivalent to the "standard" income of Covenant; and could fund all the expenses of a Covenant in exchange for magical and political assistance. Does the Covenant still get points from the Major Hook if it has no other sources of income?

2c - If the Cov setup is being neutralized by a player's companion, then I'd either remove the points from the cov, or add more to replace them. I don't think that is in the spirit of why hooks and boons are chosen.

Likewise I really don't like a rich character constantly propping up a poor one. It would be really tempting to introduce a story that threatened the income, perhaps based upon the companion's wealth being spent by a magus, and the folks who work for the companion not liking it.

The way our troupe is thinking to play it is this: anything stemming from the PCs should not be accounted by Boons and Hooks. If a PC can provide resources (income, knowledge, political clout etc.) to the Covenant, the choice is up to him -- he'll likely ask for something in return (creating a "virtual hook" -- appeasing the PC -- that compensates the "virtual boon" provided by the PC's help). Likewise, if the character brings trouble to the Covenant, the Covenant will probably ask him something in return (obtaining a "virtual boon" that compensates the "virtual hook" caused by the PC's troubles).

This makes answering the above questions fairly straightforward. A priest companion does not require the covenant to take the Local Ally boon; if taken, the Boon provides another ally, an NPC. A "refugee" companion does not provide a Hook: the Covenant can choose to cast out the companion or (more likely) ask the character for compensation in exchange for protection. If the Covenant is poor, that's a Hook; and if a PC has the means to support the Covenant, he will likely ask for something in return, effectively "redirecting" the Hook instead of removing it.

There's this concept that if you take something for free, without playing it out, you should pay for it. In that sense, creating a companion and playing it regularly is cost enough. I would not force the Boon.

A Hook is a story generator. If a companion resolves all monetary issues and the stories are never played, the Hook should not be taken.


Hmm, that one´s a bit trickier to say for sure... Ie. the character may still draw the troubles s/he´s in onto the covenant unwittingly while also as a PC can´t be "ordered around" so to speak.
I would probably give the points from the Hook.

No. The PC negates the Hook completely, no points.

An understandable view, but i think it goes too far.

It may, depending on situation. If the PCs Flaws affect the whole covenant, then it may be worth a Hook.

If the PC is supporting the covenant, then the covenant is NOT poor.

I think it is really just up to the troupe. The essential point of all these mechanisms is that (as a troupe) you have both suitable resources for the characters and you have enough interesting motivations and circumstances to generate stories. As long as (as players) you feel that the characters have enough (but not too much) resources and you have enough inspiration for stories --- then you are doing it right.

Personally, I quite like double-dipping in this way (for at least a few Boons and Hooks and Companions). So, a Companion could be source of a Boon, afterall, if you have (say) a tame noble then you are eventually going to need a character for him, it seems better to have a PC rather than an NPC. The reason for this, is that when you eventually have a story about the Boon being threatened (by say, some other noble) then it is clearly a story of NPC noble vs PC noble, rather than a story about NPC noble vs NPC noble with the player characters just being interested bystanders. Likewise if you go to the Boon for assistance with some problem, it is better for that assistance to be a PC, because then it is a PC solving the covenant's problem. If the Boon is an NPC noble, it is easy for a story to become the player characters watching an NPC noble solving the covenant's problem with some other NPC nobles (or whatever the problem is). Stories that directly involve player characters are generally better.

Likewise, a Companion could easily be the "solution" to a Hook. There are still plenty of story opportunities for the Hook --- what happens if the Companion dies/gets stuck in a regio/goes away on an Adventure/has conflicting duties/spends a season recovering from wounds/or whatever.

I think that making as many connections as possible between Companions, Hooks, and Boons (and magi too, of course) makes for a tighter, more coherent, and focused saga and gives all the characters good reasons for interacting with each other.

The Covenant isn't poor if a PC has enough wealth to entirely support them . . . but they are arguably Beholden to the Companion.

That said, if the Companion is the "tame noble" of the Covenant, or something similar, then that's a Boon, not a Hook.