Darius of Flambeau

As near as I can tell, you don't like the adjective that Niall picked to describe Darius' low Presence. As near as I can tell, you would prefer that Niall chose a different adjective. But, the term "frightening" is just window dressing for a -3 Presence. It's just an explanation for why Darius faces a -3 on Presence-based rolls. But you can't wrap your brain around how "frightening" can be a negative. In your mind "frightening" can only be a positive.

No one in the entirely of this thread has made that argument except you in the straw man that you've set forth. In fact, we've all acknowledged that Darius should suffer a-3 to his Presence-based rolls. Your straw man is the only proponent of making a-3 Presences give a+5 to Presence-based rolls.

Unless you're talking about your odd interpretation that a character with a -3 Presence should be spit upon while a character with a 5 Presence should be given everything that they ever wanted just because they ask for it. Speaking for myself, that interpretation gives far too much weight to Presence above all the characteristics.

In my view a -3 Presence character should suffer penalties to any Presence-based abilities, as per the rules, and could potentially suffer some minor role-playing penalty for having a low Presence, but should be just as playable as a character with a -3 Dex or a -3 Com. They should not be ostracized or ignored just because they have a low Presence.

it seems to me that it sticks in your craw that some of us believe that a mystery cult might want to initiate a -3 Prs character the same as it might want to initiate a +5 Prs character. It seems to me that you elevate Presence above all other characteristics and appear to forget that Darius and your hypothetical +5 Prs character are both made with 7 characteristic points, 10 points of virtues, and 10 points of flaws. In theory, the two should balance out and be about as effective overall as each other. True, one will be better in some thing than others. Darius, in particular, is better at destroying things than in talking to people. But overall, they're about the same power level. However, as near as I can tell from your arguments, you believe that the +5 Prs build that you propose is inherently better than the -3 Prs build NIall came up with for Darius. And that's something that I can't agree with.

ArM is a point-build game. Each character is made up of the same number of points and should be roughly the same power level at the same hermetic age. Different characters will have different strengths and weaknesses, to be sure. And not every character will be the same in every situation. But overall, they should all have a place they shine. Darius is bad with interpersonal interactions, but good at destruction. A mystery cult might have all the talkers it needs and instead need someone who can destroy things. In that case, it might prefer Darius over another high-Prs character.

You assume everyove always wants to get promoted, that all people want to become managment. If Darius moves up from foot soldier to leader, he has to do all the things he is bad at. Why would he want that? Maybe he just feels sympathy with what the cult does, and wants to help with what he can, and gets the social benefits of that cult. At the level he with his poor presence and people skills can hope to gain.

Also, a Presence of -3 with the descriptor "frightening" is negative. You keep wanting - or believe people will want to - use it for something constructive. A positive presence with the descriptor "intimidating" can be used this way. The prs -3 can't. Just like all the other examples of other -3 characteristics can't either. it is not a fundamental flaw in the game, which everybody misinterprets in order to exploit. If you feel you should, but also know it's silly to do so - don't. If someone in your Troupe insists on doing it - don't let them.

You're arguing against me saying they aren't the same. I give up.

Ok they're the same.

-3 presence is frightening.

Why the f I come to these forums idk it's not like anyone plays this game.

"You assume everyove always wants to get promoted"- no I'm not f tard.

I'm saying when they want to, one will faster.

So frightening isn't intimidating? lol frightening isn't scary? Frightening isn't imposing?

You guys arguing every damn way possible to what? So "I'm not right" like why?

I'm arguing a straw man? I keep making a point and you tards just argue and argue. You're arguing against there being an impact between -3 and a 5. My main point is they are different and showing those differences. You're arguing those differences don't exist.

Then you're saying you aren't arguing that, just arguing with me? Why? Why are you trolling?

Trogdor stated in a game, not here, that a -3 and a 5 would progress the same in a mystery cult.

It's true that in that saga, for game balance reasons, we determined as a troupe that players making up their characters pre-game would advance in mystery cults no quicker than a certain set speed. Specifically, we did not allow you to have your character make five mystery cult initiations in the first seven years after guantlet, citing that as being too quick for a mystery cult to allow. I stand by my part in that decision, noting that mystery cults operate at a deliberate speed with their initiations, even with the local wunderkind.

You, in turn, argued that a 5 Prs would essentially allow you to advance in a mystery cult as quickly as you liked because everyone would fall over themselves doing what your character wanted. The troupe disagreed with you and you would not abide by the troupe decision, but instead argued incessantly about the issue, ultimately bringing your complaints here to the main ArM thread.

Now, this is ArM and rules disagreements are going to happen. I get that. But in a troupe-based game, you have to abode the decisions of the troupe and move on. We all win a few and lose a few. The important thing is that we move on once a decision is made, else the saga will never get anywhere. You seem to have trouble letting this matter go.

But yes, I believe that a player with a -3 Prs would be completely justified in arguing that they had just as much right to advance in a mystery cult at the same speed as a 5 Prs character, especially during abstracted pre-game advancement. I don't believe that any build is inherently superior to any other build. The player of a -3 Prs character has as much justification to say that they are as valuable to a mystery cult as the 5 Prs character. Basically, I don't believe that any specific build should give a player advantages or disadvantages in an abstracted character generation system. Everyone should play by the same rules.

The first time yes. But the character was specifically going too fast and going to burn out spending years not practicing magic. Over 14 years spent 50xp in arts, so OP.

You said no, then you said one per 3 years. So I did that, but then you said that was too many, arbitrary moving goal posts.

Meanwhile the Criamon is on a path that has 3 minor virtues in one initiation. A little bit faster than 1 per 3 years.

Game balance. Yes. You never argued game balance, you argued presence doesn't affect people in a cult. By not taking social factors into an account you give advantages to munchkins.

Game balance is why people buy books with build points so they can study before dumping full years into arts... wait you don't require that. Perfect example of a build gaining advantages, take affinity in every damn character, spend multiple years in a row progressing only that. Don't require buying a book or a rational For it.

Game balance is why you buy Lore in the Mysteries. Something that should be limited, like the Criamon learning house Lore 3 in his second year.

When I asked for target numbers you gave absurd numbers which absolutely no one except my character would ever meet. Yet my character couldn't. By this time I was leaving because of Silver's harassment. Which has been reported to atlas staff btw.

So a -3 com can write the same books and trade the same as a 5 com?

I argued incessantly with silver. I'm arguing now against someone that has a bone to pick. I could say the sky was blue, and you and silver would argue with me. You keep on and on such I don't know what point you're making except that I'm wrong.

Game balance my ass. So full of shit.

TLDR: The original topic is Darius is a munchkin with a -3 presence described as frightening. A -3 isn't frightening is my main point.

Our differences in this seem irreconcilable. I believe my initial instinct was correct that further discussion will not sway either of us from our opinion.

I do sincerely wish you the best in finding an ArM group that fits your play style.

Yah, where characters are balanced between each other as opposed to allowing combat munchkins get everything. Where a character made with the same 7 characteristics and 10 virtues/flaws can have areas they excell in and areas they are bad at.

A game where players aren't flamed on their first interaction.

If Darius hadn't had that -3 Presence, he may have diffused this discussion a while ago, sadly, all he's done is scare it into being louder and more defensive. :frowning:
Comedy aside, reading through this thread a second time, a lot of this argument sounds like it would never have happened if the text had used the phrase 'hideously disfugured' instead of 'frightening'. In review: Everyone agrees that Darius's -3 Presence is a penalty. aunguard10 feels that a description of 'frightening' is an unfair positive. Trogdor feels that you can earn advancement in a mystery cult through dedication and hard work, especially in a non-RP pregame advancement. aunguard 10 feels that no mystery cult should bother hiring Darius because he's a disfigured murdurous jerkface.

I definitely see different people disagreeing on subjects, but for the most part aunguard10, people haven't really been flaming you. The discussion has been a bit heated though; Flambeaux have that tendency. Really, I have to ask myself if I only made this post to sneak in that final bad pun...


To the OP: another possible mistake in the writeup: Darius has Pre -3(2), suggesting he has accumulated Decrepitude, but his Decrepitude reads 0.

Form the Core book:
Presence describes a character’s appearance, demeanor and charisma. It is important for making a good impression, as well as for leading people. Presence also measures how imposing or intimidating a person is. Even if not physically attractive, a person with high Presence might still have a demeanor that commands respect.

Nothing here seems to contradict that Darius might have an unpleasant demeanor, not much charisma, and yet be truly hideous/frightening. He will almost never make a good impression, he will never command grogs efficiently or with loyalty (and in fact, can expect a knife in the back or poison in his food at some point from mundanes, what with his Blatant Gift), he will be a huge hindrance on any even remotely social setting, including nobles and with the Church. All ripe for stories! Unclear what the big deal is with the description. When he rolls for any such roll, he will have a -3, and usually a further -9 (Disfigured + Blatant Gift), so he will fail such rolls on a regular basis.
But in Ars, failure of rolls is a window for interesting developments, not merely a "You fail, you shall not pass".

-3 Presence is not automatically a version of Milton, as amusing as that image is, unless the player decides that's how they want to play it (and I'd argue Milton would need Poor Characteristic x2, Ability Block: Social and maybe Judged Unfairly as well). That seems a little narrow.

I have to agree with others who have expressed that high Presence is not even remotely a must for Mystery Cult membership. Why, in some cases (where a Mystagogue has tight control of a group), it might be a hindrance, as the top dogs want no competition. Mechanically, the only one that needs to have high Pre is the Mystagogue, so one could argue most cults are not looking for high Pre candidates, unless they are buddy-buddy or fanatically aligned with the leaders. They are looking for useful talents and loyalty, and a friendless boogeyman like Darius might just be what they need.

But, anyway! Hope I don't aggravate the debate, wanted to share my thoughts, but unsure what my Com. stat and Messageboard Skills add up to. :wink:

I do play the game. Regularly.

-3 presence (frightening) makes sense, it is not a positive use of the trait, a leadership(intimidation) roll would still get -3 penalty.

Get over it and stop hijacking the thread, I still have no idea how to fix this without reworking the character sheet...

The line that says he has 65pts left isn't corrected in errata. However he only spends 59 points.

Link to errata atlas-games.com/arm5/arm5errata.php#AG0205-2

Darius Example - Apprenticeship (p. 32): He spends 15 exp on Penetration 2. Replace Grip of the Choking Hand with Dust to Dust.

Darius Example - Post-Apprenticeship (p. 33): He raises Corpus to 13, not 15

Darius (p. 34): His Encumbrance is 0 (2). Gift of the Bear's Fortitude should be listed before the PeCo spells, not after.; Replace Grip of the Choking Hand with Dust to Dust; Seven League Stride is level 30, not level 35

Thanks! Guess I’ll have to double check everything. At least this one is easy to fix...

Could I suggest some comparisons?

Pre -5: frightening, like a maggot-infested corpse
Pre -3: frightening, like a leper
Pre +3: frightening, like a great warrior/leader/general
Pre +5: frightening, like a dragon

I think "frightening" is too broad a term to be confined in the way some seem to be reading it. I read it in context of the Presence score. Darius, to me, would be frightening like how people find a leper. Keep away! He doesn't intimidate me; I'm frightened to touch him. He's so bony and gaunt and not much better appearing than a living corpse with his scar tissue and no eyes.

Darius has accumulated 2 Aging Points (ArM5 p.169), but that is not sufficient for a Decrepitude 1 (see ArM5 p.170 Decrepitude).

If you wish to translate a TRPG book while keeping your sanity: don't obsess over every inaccuracy in it. In particular not over examples, about which their authors didn't care very much. Reserve philological finesse to classical authors.

And before even starting to work on the translation, get yor contract with the holders of copyright and intellectual property in place.


That sounds reasonable. IMHO: The negative PRS type of "frightening" may cow people, frighten them into doing things, but you risk people panicking, betraying you etc. While the positive PRs type of "frightening" is imposing and intimidating, but should give more stable underlings. And that is the difference between negative and positive traits. All other characteristics seem more easy to distinguish, but presence can be a bit finicky this way.

Arguments aside there really is no call for foul language. The way the arguments circle around I may not fully understand what the problem is. I actually think we agree that a negative dump stat should not be twisted into something positive. And that particular trait of Darius' can be interpreted as that, if one wants to.
Also, people on this forum do actually play the game. Although for my part I think and talk about the game more than I actually clock game time.

The language is appropriate given the persons for which it was used.

I can see that. The rest of the paragraph on his appearance gives the impression it's a threatening scary, not an "ew gross cooties" -frightening-.