Covenant of Caepernum (general info, themes for the periods)

I thought we should have a general thread for the covenant.

Here are the characters
Gaudius of Verditius
Aeric ex Miscellanea
Corvus Trianomae
Eleutherius of Tremere
Samual, a Bjornaer follower
Dionora of Merinita
Aurelia of House Jerbiton

[Edit: I think we should refrain from adding any more magi, or else we'll drown in designs and nobody has a chance to see or comment even a fraction]

Thanks to Hroppa for the writeup inserted below, although the aura has been modified to be the standard of +3 for various reasons.

Covenant of Caepernum:
This newly founded covenant is located in the Levant Tribunal, near Lake Tiberias (aka Sea of Galilea), in cooperation with the Templars. As the Templars build an outpost the magi settle in the ancient ruins of an old Mercurian site. The Templars are sufficiently open-minded to accept the help from the magi, albeit have a need for discretion, as long as the magi obey the rules of Christianity (or at least pay lip service). The Templars are also not fanatical crusaders nor super-pious to the point where they possess Dominion-aligned powers.

Powerful Ally (Major Boon) - the Templars
Healthy Feature (Minor Boon) - the sea of Galilee
Vis Grant (Minor Boon) - the presumably health vis sources from our contested source (see below)
[An income related boon? Rights granted by the Templars, as the official moneychangers, perhaps?]

Wooden (Minor Hook) - to reflect the temporary accommodation of the new outpost
Rival (Major Hook)+Contested Resources (Minor Hook) - perhaps we're taking vis from a source used by members of the Order of Suleiman?
Mundane Politics (Major Hook)
Church Territories (Minor Hook) - our close ties to the Templars
Cursed (Minor Hook) - by Jesus!

and again, why is this in games discussion ars magica instead of in a game forum?

And again, THIS IS NOT A GAME. This is info to help people create developed characters in a Magi of Hermes style, creating new spells and items along the way. These are made to be discussed, and to give inspiration to others.

It looks like a game, acts like a game, admittedly in the start up phase, and most significantly takes up a large umber of independent threads like a game. Whether anyone actually gets arround to playing it or not.

Whether or not it is a game its presence in the main forums seems to me to have the properties of spam.

Still not a game.
There will not be presented a story to which half a dozen people will ask follow up questions, react to the situation, react to how the story changes and do on.
It’s about designing spells and devices for a character of growing power, so we get different power levels. We won’t write new threads but post in the initial thread for each character. It seems to me that a good deal of forum users find it both appropriate for the forum as well as interesting.

Would it be any less spam if it was just random spell design threads being posted?

I don't use the boons and hooks system myself, so I cannot help with that.

I have 2 questions about design. Spells are learned as laboratory projects. When can you assume that you have a laboratory text to learn from and when do you have to research the spell as original research. I suppose that anything that is published can be learned from texts, anything that we make up has to be invented accumulating points. Am I wrong?

The second, question, the years that we use for laboratory, is it assumed the basic system (0 xp if you use 3 or more seasons), or do we gain exposure?

I also offer three suggestions for themes of the first period of 15-year:

  1. Exploration (skills and spells for safe travels)
  2. Building (or do we want wooden structures forever)
  3. First contact with the Magical/Faerie/Infernal denizens and hedge wizards (violent, peaceful or otherwise).

Finally, I would like to propose moving the threads of Covenant of Caepernum to another appropriate forum. Although as a reader, I would love to see these threads in the forum, I don't assume that anybody has to have the same opinion. And you all know what the Code of Hermes says about molestation.

It seems as much a game to me as the Magi of Hermes style characters that have been posted before. A lot of threads did pop up all at once, but that's not uncommon to me at least.
If the people instigating this want to set up a game-style forum or some-such just for organizational purposes, it might be well-taken, but I don't think what's going on here is a problem in my eyes.

The nuts & bolts for this design project (not a game!)

Don't worry about Boons & Hooks, we really don't use or even need them for this. It's just a matter of setting the environment to design the characters for.

As for the development process, you can assume any "standard spells" can be found on lab text - meaning spells published in the core rules at least, and probably also in other books. However, these spells are less interesting since there is no design process or discussion. But for plausible characters it is highly likely they have a good deal of standard spells and not just tailored spells (however fun that might be). I have a bad habit of doing that, even if just variations on one parameter on a standard spell.

Develop the magi per standard rules of 30 exp per year, -10 per season of labwork (so better bunch the labwork together in entire years!). Don't track exposure, don't worry about plausible book qualities. Over time 30 exp per year should be an ok average covering both seasons with great books as well as limping through mediocre tractatus or exposure. Don't try to track each individual season of study. Just look at the 15 year period and decide how many of the potential 450 exp you want to put in which Art or ability, rather than try and put the average of 7,5 per season in each. Make it easy for yourself, and just make the numbers add up in the end.

Assume any reasonable amount of vis available for devices. What is reasonable? Dunno, but don't spend 10 pawns per season for all 15 years.
If you want a better lab, use seasons of labwork to improve it. Assume any reasonable Upkeep. Again, what is reasonable? Dunno, but don't assuem an Upkeep of 10 is fine for a spring covenant

But standard rules already cover this.

As you are forced to pile up your laboratory projects in full years, this rule covers quite reasonably the limit of vis. And gives a reason to use only a season of lab work for -10px.

Use seasons of lab work rather than assigning 30 levels of spells/devices per year. IMO that doesn't model things well at all.

When using 30 xp per year and no exposure experience for lab work, when you back calculate what sort of plausible activities a magus might have undertaken during their years of "study" you come up with a fair amount of wiggle room to shove in non-lab work stuff. You don't have to justify every action by removing a season of lab work.

When we've done apprentices, both in previous threads and in the magi of hermes book, we've accounted for the seasons spent training the apprentices as if they happened all together - you don't need to knock 10 xp off of every year for a whole 15 year period.

We've been all over the place with xp for familiars. In general we've given them fewer xp than humans just because we don't imagine that with their inhuman personalities they'd be as inclined to be as studious as magi are.

I'm going to give a few preferences for how to present stuff, which you needn't follow, but if you do you'll make me and possibly others happier.

Present new spells and devices in a quote box with the title highlighted. I find the code box more difficult to read and it's easy to miss stuff if they're not set away from the rest of the text.

Do include the level arts and spell parameters on the top as well as in the design line. I know it's redundant but it has been standard for the whole fifth edition line and I find it very clear

Put your new creations in a post by themselves, not with a character sheet. When they came together in the Annulus Connctens thread I found it too much to digest, and also too late to change the spell without messing up the character sheet

like this:

To repeat, that's just my desire, don't post that way if you find it too fiddly. I anticipate exactly 0 negative consequences if I don't get my way.


Suggestion: Life becomes much easier for readers if the guideline used for a spell or effect is actually listed rather than just "Base 3" or whatever. Page count matters in a book, so it makes some sense for AM books not to rewrite the full guideline in the spell, though there can be ambiguity when multiple guidelines share the same level. Online, a reader without access to the books benefits greatly from seeing the guideline used. Most of the guidelines are one-liners, so this should not clutter things overmuch. Some guidelines are more complicated, and some complicated spells involve more than one guideline, but these are often the instances where extra clarity helps most.



I like that, it can help a lot with understanding, and saves people from a figurative treasure hunt. I'm actually doig that for some of the spells I'm fiddling with now. They're specially tricky since I'm doing a few mental animal spells, so they're ReAn but based on ReMe guidelines.

To provide a definitive answer to this, we discussed this issue privately with Christian. For those concerned, it may be useful to know that the scope of the project is now set and all of Caepernum's activity will be taking place in the currently extant threads. We think this footprint on the forum is not overwhelming (it's not pushing other content off the first page at an alarming rate, for example). Furthermore, as the goal of the project is to engage with the forum at large and have wide participation in the threads (as opposed to the limited interaction with a set group of people you'd expect from a PBM), the main forum is the most logical place for this project to exist.

Those interested in this material might also want to check out the old Anulus Connectens project which ran along similar lines on the forums here back in 2016 and created a lot of cool content.

If you have additional concerns that you feel I haven't addressed here, please don't hesitate to reach out to me.

Until then: Game on!

Most of the fresh out of gauntlet characters are up. We really need a theme or two for the first 15 year period. Certainly anything that can make the covenant friends or money would be appropriate for a newly formed covenant, but perhaps we can add in another issue?

It looks like at least six of our seven characters are male, that strikes me as a bit unlikely. I'm going to change "Gascon" into a woman to make things more believable.

I sort of had an idea for a Creo-maga who could help with that.
but I think I'll save her for later and sit this one out.

Corvus is still cooking, the latest discussions will result in some changes. The quite specialized spells posted earlier will most likely come during the next 25 years.
And Corvus’ concept could be whatever. I could easily change it to be Corva instead. I’ve done that before.

I am changing the affinity of Aeric from Creo to Perdo not to have 3 Magi with Affinity with Creo. Samual already has Muto Affinity, which was the other option. I think that Perdo is also fine and we will have more variety. I will make small changes in arts and starting spells. I know that this is not necessary, but I think that it could improve the result.

About the themes of the first years, looking for allies sounds good. I also proposed:

I think that Eleutherius and me could work in the third one.

In the first period I’m planning for a few magical devices for to add lab improvement virtues (magical heating, preserved, insulated) and taking the dedicated lab virtue too. Sharing so other Magi will know and might reuse the lab texts for their own lab items. Interested in collaborating too.
Edit - try to create some items - my lab totals are very low.

How are going to account for the creation of the lab? The standard rules (2 seasons to create, first -3, second +0)?

Do the labs get an automatic flaw like Exposed because of our wooden structures Covenant Hook?

I put in two seasons in the season plan to account for setting up a standard +0 lab. Figured it was worth doing that bit by the book.

The wooden structure doesn’t need to require exposed, as it sounds more like a structure in disrepair.