Covenant Discussion

So the idea is that we build one common lab where we all can spend our specialization points and build (seperate?) refinements, but will need to book it for those special uses? And then we have our sanctum-labs spread out somewhat apart according to personal wishes for stuff like reading and teaching and slacking off?

Sounds like fun and a nice trade-off since we then get a discount on the cost for Superior Supplies and such at a cost for bonuses to reputation (which I guess go to the Covenant instead of each magus). It would be a nice place to work on that "boost the aura" thingie as well :smiley:

It might make some of the site hooks vary between magi, maybe? If my health freak lives on a hill by the river and the roman mystery mage lives under ground in the sewers in the city they probably don't get the same site bonus, but that shouldn't be a problem?

How far and wide? Depends on what the others would like. Some of the sanctums might be close to each others (close enough for a single Aegis to cover more than one, but more cramped), while others may be more isolated.

Koblenz and its surrounding area sounds good to me. The city has some Roman ruins (including a destroyed Roman fortress and a Temple of Mercury), is on a good trading route, and the Rhine Gorge is said to contain many sources of vis.

There's also a caldera lake (potentially active volcano) called Laacher just 10 miles west of the city, with an abbey built on its shores. So there's potential for a sanctum site, sources of vis (carbon dioxide bubble up from the lake) and stories (abbey).

A superior lab to be shared sounds good. Individual as well as shared boons and hooks sounds good.

My magus would want to be protected by an Aegis (he doesn't have much defensive abilities) and be close to rhe Roman ruins, so would be willing to compromise on space and living conditions.

EDIT: Added link about the Temple of Mercury outside the town.
[strike]EDIT 2: Added link to the Roman fortress inside the town.[/strike]

So, I worked up atable a while back for Bibracte, because they have a large Aegis covering the top of Mont Beuvray (central-east part of france, Burgundy). They needed an Aegis that was larger to cover the top of the Mont, so the Boundary size is +3 which made a minimum Aegis power a 35th level spell, but only protects at 20th level effectiveness. It requires a total CT of 55 to get the proper level of penetration, not 70 as the spell level would suggest. Their boundary areas is, as I recall, just over 3/4 of a square mile, so they had to pick size 3 to get the right size, even though it could cover a much larger area than it actually does. Make sense?
How far and wide is how much we want to be protected by an Aegis? I don't know. My character will likely be in Koblenz quite a bit with a pied-à-terre at least. If there's a lacuna to be found, he'd probably be there all the time. So an Aegis, to him, could be considered a waste of vis, which is hilarious since he is a waster of vis. He'd love to have a portal eventually and has very little interest in Corpus magic so would certainly avail himself of services from his covenant mates. He could, and wouldn't mind being the autocrat, but he'd need an able deputy while he's away.

[tableborder][tr][td]Imperial[/td][td][/td][td][/td][td][/td][td][/td][td][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Size[/td][td]Paces (dia)[/td][td]Feet (dia)[/td][td]Area sq. ft.[/td][td]Area sq mi[/td][td]diameter miles[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Size 0[/td][td]100[/td][td]300[/td][td]70685.775[/td][td]0.0025355032928719[/td][td]0.0568181818181818[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Size 1[/td][td]158.113883008419[/td][td]474.341649025257[/td][td]706857.75[/td][td]0.025355032928719[/td][td]0.0898374335275108[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Size 2[/td][td]500[/td][td]1500[/td][td]7068577.5[/td][td]0.25355032928719[/td][td]0.284090909090909[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Size 3[/td][td]1581.13883008419[/td][td]4743.41649025257[/td][td]70685775[/td][td]2.5355032928719[/td][td]0.898374335275108[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Size 4[/td][td]5000[/td][td]15000[/td][td]706857750[/td][td]25.355032928719[/td][td]2.84090909090909[/td][/tr][/tableborder]
And for everyone not in the US...
[tableborder][tr][td]Metric, approx[/td][td][/td][td][/td][td][/td][td][/td][/tr]

[tr][td]Size[/td][td]Meters[/td][td]Area sq m[/td][td]Area km sq[/td][td]diameter km[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Size 0[/td][td]100[/td][td]7853.975[/td][td]0.007853975[/td][td]0.1[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Size 1[/td][td]158.113883008419[/td][td]78539.75[/td][td]0.07853975[/td][td]0.158113883008419[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Size 2[/td][td]500[/td][td]785397.5[/td][td]0.7853975[/td][td]0.5[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Size 3[/td][td]1581.13883008419[/td][td]7853975[/td][td]7.853975[/td][td]1.58113883008419[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Size 4[/td][td]5000[/td][td]78539750[/td][td]78.53975[/td][td]5[/td][/tr][/tableborder]

Vido has similar problem as Arthurs character has - he has no defense capabilities to speak of so would prefer having Aegis over him and is willing to compromise for that. Fragmented aura sounds interesting for research, but certainly not for living. Top of a mountain would be lovely place for a covenant now that such has been mentioned.

High amount of vis income seems to be very useful - and if we we're set in Greater Alps we'd have at least 10 pawns/magus, which is plenty for Vido. I'd like to start with medium-high power level and quite definitely not with low since research does take a lot of resources - with so many Bonisagi doing their research here we could even get side income from donations from other covenants. Young promising researchers getting together sounds something laudable indeed.

Perhaps we should have something like 150-250 build points per magus? If we got some of our resources as gifts from other covenants we as players could design our parts relatively independently and then see what we have.

I checked out Koblenz and its surrounding area, and we have some possibilities for the primary site of the covenant (where the Council room, public library and common lab would be situated) based on historical elements of the area. We can always add more to suit individual players needs.

First, there is the city of Koblenz itself. There used to be a Roman fort in the upper part of the city, where a fortress was built around 1000 A.D. by a local noble. It is reasonable to assume that it is now occupied by vassals of the Archbishops of Trier, who own the city. There could be remains of the Roman structure buried under the city, which would have a weak magical aura. There could also be a few places in the city with lacunae (areas with no Divine aura).

Second, there is the forest just south of the forest. There are numerous Roman ruins within the forest, including the previously mentioned Temple of Mercury and Rosmerta, but also a number of Roman villas and farms. There could be a somewhat stronger aura around the Temple itself (possibly too small for all of the magi's sancta), but possibly some small auras scattered through the forest based on where individual villas once stood. (Maybe all those auras were once a single larger aura -- possible research there for someone interested in the subject). There were more villas just north of the Mosel river as well.

Both of these could include regio (or multiple regiones) for a slightly stronger aura.

Third but least likely would be some caves in the caldera mountain of Laacher Lake. Less convenient because it is close the the abbey. Still might be interesting for a single sanctum, or a source of vis. The volcanic activity may be related to the infernal instead of the magical realm, if we end up not using the site as a place for sancta.

In case it doesn't show... :laughing:
I'm very mechanical and rules oriented in my approach, and I tend to take a conservative approach when interpreting rules that might be reasonably read in a different view (botching with rituals and mastery). I hope that it keeps me honest.

I will also point out my philosophy of the Aegis is not really there for the magus. A magus is pretty well protected from most magics by his Parma, and with 5 to 10 years PG we should be at or close to a Parma score of 2. We should also have some respectable form bonuses to our specialty in addition to other interests. No, IMO, the Aegis is really there to keep the magi from being annoyed by anklebiters. That might 10 creature is no match for an equipped magus, but it can do a lot of destruction to the covenant in general. It doesn't look like we'll have any combat monkeys, not that I expected one, but we might consider hiring a pereginator which could be run as a 'communal' magus to handle some of the more combat oriented tasks we might encounter.

There are some high hills Hohe Acht had a castle on it, at the time, it's about 50 km from Koblenz. Laacher See which Arthur mentioned is about half way between at 25 km from Koblenz. It's not quite a straight line connecting them. In any event, a spread out environment just shapes the stories. We may be vis rich, but because we have so many sites who require protection because the magus insists, we have multiple castings of the Hearth, we might be vis poor until we buff our Parma up to a suitable level we feel we can be less reliant on an Aegis.

Yep, the Aegis is the to protect the covenant's base, but also the magi's sancta when they're not present. To me, having an Aegis is part of having a "safe base of operation". It just sucks to come back from a trip to find your lab destroyed by the local faeries or whatever.

It also protects from other magi.

Sure, totally see it. I'm trying to say that all of our choices have costs and trying to outline those costs. If we want to be spread out, this is how it will cost us. If we want to all be together in one spot, well then we have to compromise on where that spot is. Mountain top, close to the lake? If we don't want to compromise and stay spread out, and if you want your personal spot covered by an Aegis, does that come out of your share of a salary, or is that paid before salaries? Why would the other magi allow that, what's in it for them?

These things are all really easy to decide OOC, when we attempt to decide them IC we tend to take on our character's worst aspects, for example my greedy Jerbiton merchant will take a dim view of spending vis to cast Aegis in several locations, especially since he'd probably be in the city and unable to avail himself of that. So he's biased, and will act accordingly.

Completely agree with that. For my part, what I'm saying is that the scattering out doesn't need to be an all-or-nothing thing. One or three of the magi might live at the central location (with an Aegis protecting the common lab and library) and chip in for the protection, while the others are scattered in locations usually more convenient for them for whatever reason (healthy feature, in the city).

The magi would of course negotiate as to what their fair share of the common costs would be. That's what the Charter would describe.

For example, since we're probably go with splitting the build points amongst the magi, this may result in each magus having ownership of a part of the vis sources and required to contribute a certain amount of vis for the covenant's needs (like the Aegis at the central location). The fair share of a magus living at the main site might be 2 pawns/year and X pounds of silver, while one living elsewhere might be charged only 1 pawn/year and Y pounds of silver. (Silver for the maintenance of the mundane facilities.)

Anothe agreement might be that the covenant owns the sources of income and vis, and grant vis based on the location of the magi, with those with sancta outside of the main site would receive slightly more vis.

I'd be willing to handwave if we bought a healthy feature as a covenant boon, everyone gets the benefit of it, somehow, so instead of being mountain air, it might be the fine wines we secure, something along that line. If it is something that is location specific we might need to adjust it a bit...

Playing with ownership of build points is problematic, I would prefer that the covenant own the build points we're discussing now. Our characters discovered or acquired these things over time and we donate them to be used by our sodales with whom we join in covenant. These things are common property to be used by all. If we want to go with personal ownership of things, we can do something like 50 build points (depends on some things) or some number that comes with the magus and is that magus's personal property to be used as he wishes (no vis sources here, though). You want that great book on your favored art that's better than what the common library has? Knock yourself out. And you can trade for access to it as you like.

I think it's important that the covenant own everything. I don't want to have to have to have a conversation with another PC where I have to ask permission to use that resource. If it isn't already in use, I just want to use it, and not have to explain why or try and barter to get access. That invites an asymmetric system that defeats the entire point of forming a covenant.

I agree on the "lets pool the resources and share" approach.
And I like very much the concept of "a bunch of talented, young researchers gather for inspiration and community"

I'll chime in more when I get back to my books tomorrow. Of course the first time in 5 years I go on business travel without some Ars books I actually need them :smiley:

Two words: PDF, Dropbox.

Fine by me. :slight_smile:

I too strongly favour this approach.

Does these numbers look fine to all of us?

A typical 600 bp library, I think, would be split about evenly between Arts summae, Arts tractatus, lab texts and Abilities books (both summae and tractatus):
[list]
[*]150 bp of Arts summae means about 8 reasonable book (L9Q10), or 5 really good books (L20Q10) -- I'd rather go towards the former than the later

  • 150 bp of tractatus means about 15 Q10 tractatus
  • 150 bp of lab texts means the equivalent of 30 level 25 spells or enchanted effects
  • 150 bp of Abilities books is about 4 L5Q10 summae along with 5 tractatus, or simply 6 L5Q10 summae

As for the specialists, these are tougher to evaluate. Do we want teachers? Scribes? Crafters? I would tend to go with about 3-4 non-teacher specialists: 1 or 2 scribes, 2 crafters (potter, smith, coppersmith, woodworker are all possibilities) and probably 2 teachers as well (1 for mundane knowledges, 1 for physical things if we have anyone interested in those). Non-teahcer would be worth about 6 bp each on average, while the teacher would be worth about 10-12. That would be a total of 50 bp.

As for money, I'm at a loss as to how we'll figure that out. I don't expect we'll track that at all, so it might be simpler to say we've got some good stocks and leave it at that. If we go with a Secondary Income boon, it won't matter anyway.

Thinking out loud here, trying to wrap my mind about what we want/need/would like.

So, per player, this could mean building the library like that: We each have 150 bp to spend on the library, split as we want between the different categories. We get a basic library of low-level/low-quality summae for the Arts (L5Q5) for free, so all the bases are covered to train apprentices.

As a reminder of the cost of books:

  • Art Summa: Quality + Level
  • Ability Summa: Quality + (Level*3)
  • Art/Ability Tractatus: Quality

Questions:

  • Do we want to go with the additional kinds of books from Covenants?
  • Do we want Casting Tablets in the saga?
    [/*:m][/list:u]
    Thoughts? Suggestions? Insults?

We have six participants: Gulla, Tellus, Kellopyy, Archimedes, Arthur and myself.
I generally have had good luck with splitting build points up evenly and just letting people go with it. Yeah, not everyone agrees and not everyone likes all the choices, but it's realistic and reflects our different tastes and desires as PCs
I propose 175+50 per player. That amounts to a total of 1,350 total build points, which is just a bit over medium on the low end of high. 175 is pledged to be used in common, we can presume that these have been discovered or acquired and pledged to founding the covenant. The 50 is things we've acquired but are considered personal property and aren't required to be pledged to the founding of the covenant. This might include your lab[1] at your previous covenant, but would require it be transported with The Ambulatory Laboratory, note that this spell has been corrected to 50th level in errata, it may require a specialist magus to cast this, a peregrinator perhaps (along with a story?). Keep in mind, it's my opinion that vis stocks should not be selected, I think we can factor some stocks into the equation based on the sources. Vis stocks are just too cheap, or sources are too expensive.

[1] This may be a bad idea, as the lab doesn't provide any additional mechanical/game advantage for development as it might on other sagas. You might spend some time in the lab post gauntlet, but it's may be an expensive proposition, given the rules for advancement on page 32 of the MRB. Post gauntlet development is 30 XP per year, with spells purchased with XP (not lab work), I'll discuss my reasoning over in the character development thread. Establishing a lab and building it from ground up isn't going to "penalize" a participant once in play, actually adds some XP in exposure.

Metacreator (if you/we use that) pretty much keeps track of money for you, no biggie there.

No

175+50 bps sound good to me.

If we go with this point value I'd say that covenant will have from my point pool:

Vis sources (90 bps)
for total of 18 pawn / year - a lot, but with most of it in less valuable forms.
Vim 2 pawns / year
Creo 2 pawns / year
Herbam 2 pawns / year
Terram 2 pawns / year
Animal 2 pawns / year
Auram 2 pawns / year
Aquam 2 pwans / year
Ignem 2 pawns / year
Mentem 2 pawns / year

Chamberlain, money and a item helping chamberlain to make sure everything works - valuable and nice set that would be boon for a starting covenant. Something covenant Vido is from could easily gift to a starting covenant.

Money: 50 pounds (5bps)
Chamberlain: (8bp)
Very skilled (highest skill at 8 ) and dedicated chamberlain.

Bells of Chamberlain (18 spaces - all filled) (72bps)
Eight bells that can be rung separately held in a large silvery handle. These enchantments save a lot of mundane work when used skillfully.

Chamber of Spring breezes CrAu 15 (Base 1, Touch +1, Sun +2, Unnatural +1, Unlimited uses +10 levels)
Chamber in which this bell is rung is filled with pleasant breeze that keeps air smelling fresh with a hint of smell of spices.

Invocation of Wine of Rhine CrAq 15 (Base 2, Touch +1, Sun +2, Unlimited uses +10 levels)
When this spell is rung above a container it is filled with certain very good year of wine from a covenant famous for its wines that has been spiced very slightly with expensive spices.

Travellers boon CrIg 20 (Base 5, Touch +1, Unlimited uses +10 levels)
When rung above something at least slightly flammable and whispering "Ignem" target ignites. Flame smells slightly of expensive spices.

Warm clothes of travellers CrIg 20 (Base 2, Touch +1, Moon +3, Unlimited uses +10 levels)
Cloth above which this spell is rung smells of spices and stays warm to the touch for a moon duration.

Dry clothes of travellers ReAq 20 (Base 1, Touch +1, Moon +3, Unnatural +1, +10 levels for unlimited uses)
As per cloak of duck feathers on cloth this spell is rung above. Cloth will have a slight smell of expensive spices.

Drying a cloth PeAq 15 (Base 4, Touch +1, Unlimited uses +10 levels)
Cloth above which this spell is rung will instantly dry.

Bell of truth InMe 35 (Base 10, +1 Diam, +3 Hearing, +5 24 uses/day)
When word "Veritas" is whispered to this bell is will listen for truth of statements for duration of diamenter and will ring when lie has been spoken.

Cleaning room PeAn(Te) 30 (Base 4, Touch +1, Room +2, Requisite +1, Unlimited uses +10 levels)
Room in which this spell is rung will have its floor instantly cleaned of dirt and animal products.

Notes of delightful sound MuIm 10 (Base 1, Touch +1, Room +2, Sun +2)
Room in which this bell is rung while whispering to it "Sonorus" will have all sounds more sonorous and clear. Especially music will be much clearer and sound more pleasant. Room will also smell slightly of expensive spices.

Vidos personal build points (Total of 50bps)
Teacher with from Vido is familiar with (Philosophiae 6, Artes liberales 4, Latin 5, Teaching + Communication 4) 10bps
Concerning spells that transcend forms: A Comparison between Muto and Rego, Magic theory tractatus Q:14 (bp: 14)
Using Perdo instead of Intellego in discerning nature of things, Magic theory tractatus Q:13 (bp:13)
Kernels of existence: A study in nature of vis, Magic theory tractatus Q:13 (bp: 13)

My concerns with your proposal are that your vis source selection is too broad. Like magi, I believe covenants should be specialized. A bunch of 2 pawn per year vis sources are going to be a real headache to manage, and we have to be cautious with our stores. I expect the vis sources to be reflective of the visiting magus. If you're planning on playing a genaralist magus, this would be the place to do it. Speaking for myself, I'd prefer your expenditure be more focused and have at least 5 pawns per year per source. Someone else might fill in a source/type that you want. Also, let's be descriptive about the sources (not necessarily now), but before we finalize them and agree to them.

The chamberlain...why do we have one? How many servants do we have that require such management?

That item. Wow. It's a great item, don't get me wrong. I just don't see it fitting with a spring covenant. For an autumn or winter covenant it would be great, but for a spring covenant it is just out of place. With that item, the scenario I envision is that Wido brings this with him and he donates it to the covenant. He's going to get stares of horror from his sodales when we see that this item he's so proud of finding is brought forward for us to examine. And then we find he has no books, some money and a servant we're not equipped to employ. Wido will not be well liked by his sodales. :smiley:

One thing we might do is consolidate vis of the same kind from different magi into a single source. For example, my magus would like vis in Re, Co, Te and Vi -- half of those are on Kellopyy's list. So if he had 2 pawns/year in Terram and I have 3 pawns/year also in Terram, then the final source described is 5 pawns/year.

But I agree that we don't want small sources in all Arts. We need some strengths and some weakenesses. On the other hand, it's very possible (and even plausible) to have a few strong sources, and a scattering of small ones.