I've been thinking about correspondence, both the source of XP and the actual letters posted in that thread over there. I'd like Tranquillina to be corresponding pretty much constantly (I'll say more about that in a bit) and perhaps some of you would like this opportunity too. I know this isn't the first time this has come up, but the effort seems to be on hold at the moment.

The main obstacle seems to be that it's a rather overwhelming chore for Jonathan to write all the response letters. On the other hand, there are clearly a bunch of eager roleplayers in the saga who would probably enjoy putting themselves inside another character's mind without any pressure on the outcome! Soooo ... I propose that we set up a system where gaining correspondence XP means writing letters from our magi, and also responding to those letters written by other players.

For example, if I want Tranquillina to do a whole bunch of correspondence, I post a list of which NPC magi I would like to write and how many letters (over, say, the period until the 1227 Tribunal, or some reasonable chunk of time). For each NPC, I provide (on the character sketches wiki page, say) a brief description of their reputation, strengths, and interests, and also where they live, when they met Tranquillina, how their relationship has been, and when they started corresponding (if it was before Tranquillina entered play); this would be like one paragraph total for each such NPC correspondent. Then other players in our saga can sign up to be that NPC, committing to answer however many letters was listed (and I do the same for other players' NPC correspondents). We're all honorable folks, so we can self-confirm that we've written enough PC and NPC letters to count correspondence experience for our magi.

There are a few details that could easily be worked out. Where do we post these NPC letter lists and claim them from other people's lists? - a Google doc spreadsheet would work, even if every PC magus wanted correspondence every season (unlikely). I think Jonathan endorses and would enjoy this effort on our part; certainly he seems willing to take a few characters to help out (people like Ra'am and Prospero at the very least). We might have to then adjust how many NPC letters are required, since there wouldn't be "enough to go around"; perhaps 4 PC to 3 NPC letters is enough to earn 4 Correspondence XP, or whatever ends up working.

I'm happy to organize the tracking of this information. For now, I'm hoping you'll just post a reply here, saying how much you'd be interested in such a scheme. For example, would you want your magus/maga to write a letter once in a blue moon? About one letter a year? About one letter a season? To start, I'm putting Tranquilling squarely in the "want to write once a season" category. Here are some reasons, if you're curious:

Of course more XP is always fun, although I probably won't be pegged as a munchkin by going after 1 XP chunks. :stuck_out_tongue: Partially I'm motivated by bookkeeping: a season of study leaves me 3 XP short in some Art, say, and I like being able to round that up with Correspondence. Partially I just like keeping busy with my participation in sagas; it gives me something to do in the occasional lulls in posting. And partially it really fits the social and Intrigue sides of Tranquillina's character: she just really would be writing letters all the time, and I've privately resolved to make at least 1 letter per game year an Intrigue letter. And of course, fleshing out the game world and our interactions with it is always its own reward - that's why we're here, after all. :smiley:

We pretty much have every magus corresponding as frequently as the letters get written back to us. We discussed something like this before, IIRC, but the problem we ran into was making sure that JL could still use the correspondence as a method of seeding information about the rest of the world, and dangling plot hooks in front of us.

I think i can do this if people don't haul off and send a letter too soon. Maybe submitting it to me for editorial approval, where I might add some bits?

Sure! That would solve almost all of the problems. Enough for us to start with by now.

I think another thing that has been stymieing us is that it hasn't been clear whether or not we had permission to reply to someone else's letter. This would certainly solve that problem.

So the improved idea is that we players still compose most of the NPC letters, but then they go through Jonathan for confirmation / adding juicy plot tidbits when possible? I think that's totally cool if JL does.

Okay! So I've decided whom I'd like Tranquillina to correspond with for the first few years of her presence in the saga (1223.1 through 1227.2). I'm willing to write one letter per season for her, to the following folks on the following topics:

  • Thamik ex Verditius - 4 letters (Vim)
  • Goliard ex Tremere - 3 letters (Parma Magica)
  • Aurulentus ex Jerbiton - 2 letters (Corpus)
  • Findabair Ex Miscellanea - 2 letters (Muto)
  • Ra'am Bonisagi - 2 letters (Magic Theory)
  • Ariel ex Flambeau - 1 letter (Intrigue)
  • Flavius Ex Miscellanea - 1 letter (Intrigue)
  • Julia ex Jerbiton - 1 letter (Intrigue)
  • [strike]Prospero Bonisagi - 1 letter (Intrigue)[/strike]
  • Stephen Eruditus ex Jerbiton - 1 letter (Intrigue)
  • Tria Trianomae - 1 letter (Intrigue)

Other than the magi who already have well-defined characters in the saga (Prospero, Ra'am, and Tria), all of these now have brief descriptions on the Bibracte wiki. (You can find that page from scratch by clicking on "Rest of the World" and then the appropriate character's name.) I've already posted one letter from Tranquillina to Aurulentus.

If you'd like to volunteer to take one or more of these NPCs and reply to Tranquillina's letters, that would be great - and of course you'd be earning quid pro quo for your own correspondence if you want! For now, just say so in this thread; once this correspondence trading scheme really gets going, I'll make a Google doc or something to keep track of who's taken on which NPCs for one another.

Recall that we've agreed that all NPC letters go to Jonathan first so that he can vet them for continuity and also add juicy rumors or other tidbits.

Prospero isn't an expert on Intrigue.

No? I'd thought as the leader of a covenant, he'd be worth corresponding with about it ... but I guess it takes all kinds. 8) Edited Prospero out, Julia in.
(By the way, everyone, most of these Stonehenge magi and their covenants have longer writeups in Heirs to Merlin too.)

Well, you did have an interaction with the resident Intrigue expert when Tria's not there...

aha - Maris? current idea is for Viscaria to be in a single ongoing correspondence with Praxiletes, JL's character in Via Experimenta, on Finesse. If we're going to have me spend a season learning spells directly from a magus, then it would make sense for it to be the same person.

Theraphosa needs a Code of Hermes pen pal. Preferably somebody's familiar. They spend most of their letters talking about what it's like to be the [strike]wives[/strike]friends of bigwigs who don't grant you any legal status under the Code.

We should make up the entire list before taking up NPC roles.

Of course I'm happy to take correspondence NPC roles as they arise.

Who is interested in participating in correspondence for this saga? So far I see Tranquillina, Viscaria, and Theraphosa.
How frequently? Tranquillina says "once a season" ... others?

Well, Adeline would be perfect for that, but I don't have the time to write any letter

Doesn't make sense to correspond with each other when they live in the same covenant.

With boundless optimism, I've written a couple of letters from Tranquillina to Hermetic correspondents: one to Thamik about Vim in 1223.1, and another to Aurulentus about Corpus in 1223.4. If anyone is inspired to respond to these letters, that would be awesome (both of these people I plan to write again in the future); character sketches can be found on the wiki. Either way, I'll probably continue posting letters from Tranquillina - it's another way I can get inside her head and make her world a little more robust to myself.

Well, I'm willing to admit that this whole correspondence thing is probably taking more effort than it's worth.

So... if you want correspondence XP, let's do it this way, instead.
Write one letter a year, write a response from the correspondent. Those two letters are them exemplars of the correspondence that has been undertaken. You can respond as the correspondent, and if I feel the need to add something, I will edit the letter from the PC's correspondent and include any pertinent information in red text.

I reserve the right to reject doing this for certain correspondents of some Dramatis Personae. Maris, Tria, Ra'am, Praxiteles, Prospero, Atlas of Tremere (he only writes in Greek anyway) and others as may be determined. Ariel is up for grabs, and IMO, any Mercere is up for grabs, too.
Does this seem like a reasonable approach?

If someone wants to start correspondence with Petronius, just let me know and I can write his answers. He'd have a chance to meet all magi, since he's visiting during the second half of 1226 for his research.

Overall, definitely reasonable. I'm happy to write NPC responses and happy to have them [strike]trashed[/strike] improved by your edits :wink:

A specific question, since Tranquillina was planning to have a large number of less frequent correspondences - for the sake of discussion, let's invent the situation where she wanted to correspond with 10 different magi over the span of 5 years, so 2 letters per correspondent. Do you want 1 letter+response per year, which leaves some corresponding magi out but still serves as an examplar for the correspondence? Or do you want 1 letter+response per correspondent if there are more correspondents than years?

Well, I'll come back with it...what do you want to do?

Write as much as you want, to satisfy your demands as a player. I'll submit edits, but by and large they will detail some aspect of the world as it might pertain to them and/or the player. I'll also notify players when I edit posts like this.

This post summarizes what I want to do for the present 4.5-year period. And looking at that again, I'm going to answer my own question :slight_smile: (but you can agree or dis- with the answer).

I think Tranquillina, in character, would be writing a bunch of Intrigue-type letters all the time - one per season or possibly even more - as she keeps up correspondences with magi she's met all over the place, not least back in Stonehenge. So the people listed in that list are already sort of exemplars for this enterprise. Thus, perhaps using just one of them - Ariel, I'm tempted - as an exemplar for the whole batch might make sense.

So maybe I could write one letter to each of the following: Ariel (representing the whole Intrigue batch), Thamik, Aurulentus, [strike]Goliard[/strike], Findabair, and Ra'am for Magic Theory. Although Ra'am is on the Reserved Personae list, so we should think about that: mechanically, I could simply choose someone else to write about Magic Theory; but in character, it's a good relationship to cultivate (and Tranquillina is about to answer Tria's question about that very thing!).

Edited to add: Now that our Parma Magica book is only Quality 12 instead of Quality 17, I don't really want to do Parma correspondence for the time being (since I won't round up to the next Ability level any more). I can reallocate those three seasons to one each of Corpus, Magic Theory, and Intrigue correspondence, I suppose.