Covenants: does size matter?

Are there size rules about covenants that I’ve missed?

Here’s some details, if you care:
My group (5 magi) have made a deal with a bunch of old geezers, er, elder magi who have a nice library and labs but don’t get out much anymore... Basically, Professor Farnsworth is using them for cannon fodder. That covenant consists of Professus and 3 others. Their first mission was to retrieve the lost apprentice, who turned out to be eloped with another apprentice from another covenant. To make peace with this other covenant’s maga, who wanted her apprentice (and natural son) back too, they surprised me by offering her access to the covenant’s library so they could take their apprentice home AND not separate her from her true love (and babydaddy). Anyway, this leaves us with 10 magi and 2 nearly grown apprentices in one covenant. Though half of them, the cannon fodder, won't be home all that often.

Not sure what is your question..

Do you want to know if there is such a thing as too many magi in a single covenant?

If that is the case, I would say it depends pretty much on the magi involved, I mean, do they really want to have to wait their turn to use that particular book or do they really want that many heads voting in the council?

Also, do they have enough laboratories to house 10+ magi?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then by all means, get to work!

In theory you can make a covenant as big as you wish or make it the size of a single magi.
It should be noted though that the larger the covenant, IF the magi cooperate well within it, the faster the characters will become more powerful.

A larger covenant is also more likely to afford the then relatively minor extra cost of hiring a few extra highly skilled teachers.
A sly covenant manager will then hire one teacher who will teach... teaching... to everyone. That in turn will soon allow very rapid transfer of knowledge within the covenant. Teaching totals above 30 isnt impossible and above 20 is easy to get.

Anyway, to get back from the edge of munchkinitis, i have played with both small (less than 6) mediumsized as well as larger ( more than 10, i think the biggest had over 30 at its biggest, but that was before 1 group more or less made a run for it as the GM administered magi were getting quite quite ready to start a little war INside the covenant, or just assasinate several PCs outright ) and all can be lots of fun, if you have many players with widely diverging goals, a large covenant with lots of bickering and political infighting can be quite entertaining.
Though its preferable if the GM controls at least some of the magi if the covenant is very big. Unless you have that many players of course, if you have few, letting each player run 2 magi and the GM run another few still allows a goodsized covenant if desired without too much problems.

Edit 3!!! Darnit WHY cant i use less than and greater than signs without text disappearing in between?!?!

The program thinks the signs are code and automatically disappear anything imbetween because it thinks they are supposed to be invisible instructions. Just like you can't use the words size or style on MySpace.

You can. You need to tag the box that reads "dissable HTML in this post" that appears below your writing window. You will not be able to use ANY kind of code there (smileys, bold type....) but since you are not using it, no problem here :slight_smile:



Doh! Of course, just totally forgot about that possibility.

Certainly there's nothing wrong with a covenant that large, as long as the resources are there to support it. Labs, vis, grogs, covenfolk... they're all usually a pretty finite amount.

We had to institute a rule about the number of grogs that could leave the covenant per season after we were attacked.

If anything, with that number of magi, you'll either have big problems with your vis stores, or no problems at all. That many magi in a covenant probably power through the tasks necessary to keep the place defensible and functional. Generating vis for rituals or trade?-- probably not an issue.

Politically, the covenant probably has some clout, as it's packing a large number of votes on any issue. But then it will probaby come into a bit more conflict over resources or interference. Some might manufacture issues to create debts, or to draw enemies together against the threat they might see in your covenant. It depends, also, on the reputation of your elder magi-- are they respected or reviled?

There's a lot more to this...the tribunal you're in makes a difference, too. I'd have to agree, there's not enough information here. :slight_smile:


In our saga, there are currently 9 magi of different levels of power, and 3 apprentices… but it wasn’t always like that!
Plus they’re all PCs… but that wasn’t necessarily the intention.

We started with three PC magi who accidentally ended up as the council of the covenant when the senior magi and boss dude died suddenly. They are the infamous Santiago, Ryce and Tenebrous (of recently 9 years old fame).

As Santiago, Ryce and Tenebrous grew more and more powerful (we’d been playing them for a ‘real’ year or so), there were scenarios that were too easy for the characters’ level of power, so as a troupe, we decided to take a second, recently gauntleted magi each to allow us to play lower level scenarios. These were Laurel, Emmett and Bercelak.
Justifying this in character, the three new mages were recently gauntleted adventurer types who had heard of Santiago, Ryce, and Tenebrous’s adventures through their hermetic reputations as trouble magnets (after they showed off at Tribunal!), and wanted a piece of the action.

Santiago, Ryce and Tenebrous took apprentices: Vienta, Mathilda and Anaximander respectively. Originally, they were merely supposed to be lab bonuses that would leave once they ‘graduated’, but their players grew fond of them and decided that they would like to continue to play them.

In a stroke of GM genius, long-time PC Emmett betrayed the covenant and was replaced by Mudskipper.

Finally, Santiago, Tenebrous and Laurel took apprentice: Peter, Henry, and Lolly respectively. These three are only a few years into their apprentices, but Santiago’s player is already loving the Peter character and intends to keep him around. Meanwhile, Lolly is an important plot device for one of the beta storyguides, so she’ll probably need to be around too!

Through play, there are now four generations of PC magi in our covenant, and it’s great to play! :slight_smile:

In the early days, Santiago, Ryce and Tenebrous had obscene amounts of vis and just took what they wanted from covenant stores as and when. This was great.

However, having a living covenant full of fleshed out PC characters that we’ve developed between us over 2+ years is also great too, and personally I love seeing the way the covenant has naturally developed through play.

So in my opinion, particularly if you expect your troupe to be in it for the long-term, it’s nice to ‘earn’ a large and powerful covenant through play and it can definitely, definitely ‘work’. :slight_smile:



I feel myself quite differently in tight and spacious places I guess characters do the same. So I would say size does matter.