I have assembled the proposed starting conditions of the covenant:
Constantly moving (major hook)
No Aura (major hook)
Poverty (major hook)
Literate Covenfolk (minor boon)
Loyal Covenfolk (minor boon)
Strong Community (minor boon)
Missile Weapons (minor boon)
Superior Engineering (major boon)
Ungoverned (minor boon)
Healthy Feature – sea air (minor boon)
This is not set in stone if anyone has suggestions for some alterations within the main concept. Also it will obviously be a major focus of the game to develop the covenant, and this thread will be for discussion of that as well- presumably the initial focus would be on eliminating the 3 major hooks. We also will have effectively a choice, in the end (as a troupe if not as characters) as to the final location of the covenant- Thebes, Levant, Roman Tribunal, or outside the regular boundaries. In theory we could wind up in the Greater Alps, Transylvania, or Novgorod, but that would be considerably further off course than the other options. (For that matter, technically any tribunal is accessible by water but the storm that would blow us to Hibernia is a daunting thought...)
For the record, I'm not ignoring this thread just don't have anything to add right now.
Just not quite sure why the "Literate covenfolk"
For one in balances the points, it also reflects the idea that the crew had the opportunity to receive an education at the old covenant.
A few points about virtues and grogs:
"missile weapons": grogs without militant virtues and flaws may take ability in bow, but not other weapons.
"literate covenfolk": grogs without special virtues may take abilities in Artes Liberales and Latin.
"healthy feature": rolls for recovery or for aging are at +1
"Loyal covenfolk": base loyalty will be at least +3, which may be modified by individual loyalty personality traits (for example, an individual with loyal+3 has an effective loyalty +6, while one at loyalty:-3 has an effective 0 loyalty. This is after taking into account the effects of the gift.
With regards to Literate Covenfolk, the Greeks were generally better-educated than the Latins (Western Europeans), even in 1220. Constantinople was home to the world's first secular university, for example (though it was turned into a Church school by the Crusaders in 1204).
Shouldn't Missile Weapons let grogs take Thrown Weapons as well as Bows?
As the captain is about to take readings, which at this age are far more reliable for latitude than longitude, I need to know if there is anyone who was particularly wanting to somehow wind up in any of the more northern covenants )Novogrod, Stonehenge, Loch Legean, Hibernia, Rhine, Normandy, Transylvania? If not this will leave the final disposition to wind up between Rome, Thebes, Levanst, Iberia, Provencal, Greater Alps, or outside the established tribunals...
If by "far more reliable" you mean "measuring latitude at sea is basically impossible..."
Hibernia would be cool, since its faerie-infested fun land where we can learn about the magic of anarcho-capitalism (i.e., it's awesome) and fight the English, who in 1220 are basically French, and everyone knows that the French suck.
Novgorod would also be fun, since the Russians in 1220 are basically Vikings with horses and that would tie into the backstory I wrote up nicely; and then we could fight Mongols!
By order descending Thebes > Novogrod > Transylvania > Provencal
I'd prefer Novgorod or Thebes.
Novgorod involves fighting mongols? Ooo! I like changing history. Plus the southern Tribunals are good for making friends with the Sahir.
The first Mongol incursion into Rus territory was in 1223, and they brought primitive guns and rockets, so that's two major changes to history we could be involved in and even possibly alter significantly. Fun!
actually measuring latitude is a matter of measuring the inclination of the sun at local noon and comparing that to the time of year. Much easier than measuring longitude which requires an accurate timepiece to compare local sunrise in terms of the time of your starting location.
Also this game starts in 1224, so the mongols are already in Russia.
That's what I meant. Longitude. The east-west one that you need either a clock or calculus (and a lot of patience for tedium) to measure. Since there's only one of those two in the 1220s, and the clocks are in China, not so good at the longitude measuring.
My vote for a tribunal would be the 'wilder' ones on the edge of order, but I don't mind whether it's Novogrod, any of the British Isle ones, Theban etc. I'd prefer not the Levant, as I'm playing in a tabletop game set there, and I'm liable to get confused otherwise
I know insufficient about any of the tribunals to have an informed opinion. Wherever's fine by me!
For the record, when the mercenaries join the covenant the reputation gained from the initial "loyal covenfolk" boon will drop (due to newly recruited mercenaries) from 51 points to 41, and loyalty points will drop another 5 points as Pyotor replaces Ginger as effective Turb Leader. This will drop prevailing loyalty from 3 to 2. The good news is that "no salary" was already included in that calculation, since the original covenant, as described, could obviously not pay a salary, so if you get to the point where you can pay a salary this will raise the loyalty back up, as will familiarity etc. Additionally the military equipment the mercenaries brings with them will add 10 loyalty
The other downwards point is that there has already been a loyalty drop from one sailor being flambéed on the infernal island- this drops loyalty by 15 points, which brings it down to a base of 2, when the mercs join the covenant the effects described above, plus a +10 loyalty gain for better equipment, will bring loyalty down to 1, but this will be right on the edge of raising back to 2.
With Aqua gone we definitely need a new captain. (Assuming that she is gone, anyway.)
What's going to happen to Alexander, Ginger, and Aqua's grogs, by the way?
How does the loyalty system work? I've never played with it, and so I don't know what the ramifications of especially high/low loyalty are.
For now it affects how likely they are to abandon the group- subtracting loyalty from the chances of running off. Later it will have a similar effect on personality rolls for grogs or generic coven folk as to their probability of taking bribes or otherwise acting to betray the covenant or magi. A strong positive score can also mean they are willing to put in extra effort for helping the covenant.
If Aqua is fully gone we can see if we can get a new player to play her character, if not we can keep Ginger in the background for now on the ship and find somewhere for Alexander to wander off to. Grogs are already technically community property, so they will simply stay in the pool for anyone to use.