Defining Triamore in 5th Edition Hooks & Boons terms

Hi all!

In a few months we will start our newest campaign. Our last campaign was high on hermetic power and politics. We were sitting on 200 pawns of vis per year, battled faerie gods and dragons, and mundane armies, as well as displacing mountains and changing the history of the British isles. We even nded up creating a new tribunal after massive hermetic politics and 3 grand tribunals, even if the jurisprudence marked our tribunal as a “lesser tribunal” in a new hermetic jurisprudence of Greater and Lesser tribunals).

So now we are going for the extreme opposite and we have banned hermetic magic from our Mythic Europe. The Order exists, but it is composed of hedgies. Vis cannot be transformed, so if you want to transport 4 pawns of vis you will need to move around that menhir over there and the 6 pace-across stag antlers in your vault.

Our setting will be the 4th edition covenant of Triamore, since we find it a nice location for such a campaign and we always liked it.

Being the usual dude doing this kind of work, I am faced with the prospect of turning the covenant into 5th edition terms. And here I am asking for your collective expertise :slight_smile:

OK, let’s start.

The basic idea is that triamore is a covenant in a massive unfinished castle. It belongs to the Holy Roman Emperor, but it is claimed as his own by a local count, taht means trouble. Since it is a really bothersome construct, the Imperial authorities granted it to the Order of Hermes so that it could not be used against the Empire, still, the political enemies of the covenant are powerful, and the local influence of the Emperor is weak, if existing at all. So the magi must face their enemies on their own 99% of the time.

The power level is likely to be middle level, with some magical effects that they cannot still cast left by the parens of the magi if they come from the covenant (spirit magic, wards...) or from other more exotic traditions that have disappeared from the covenant already.

Part of the deal with the Imperial court means that Triamore gets a copy of a lot of the books passing through the Imperial court, acting as an imperial repository for books. Mostly like Durenmar, but for more mundane subjects most of the time. That is the main strength of the covenant, since the castle is more a burden than a real advantage, being unfinished and so not very convenient for prolongued sieges; in defensability is more like a really strong manor house than a proper castle: a decided assault by armed forces would overcome it without magical intervention. The covenant has been active for an while, so we upped the book's aura to 3.

For more details, the 4rth edition covenant book available from Atlas Games :slight_smile:

So, let's see if we can define it.

HOOKS (11 hooks)
CASTLE (major)
MUNDANE POLITICS (major). Right now, a mess with the local count and the local archbishop. Not bad!
Ruinous (parts of it are not finished)
Rival (count of namur)
Protector (village of Bois de Haillot)
Superiors (optional)

BOONS (5 boons + resources)
Mural towers
Right of crenellation (it is a castle!)
Infantry soldiers: 20-25 grogs. Would that be like this?
Impressive structures (library & great hall;
IIRC an impressive structure is free, so it would be one boon. Should I consider more boons)
Reputation for having an amazing library (among scholars).
More resources in the library than you can shake a stick at (extra resources????)
Special books?

Extra resources should be dedicated to flesh out the library for sure.

Anything more? Sounds like it is well designed? It sounds somewhat... plain? Our covenant in the Calf of Mann had more hooks and boons than this one...

Other story seeds deal with the knights templar, the robber barons of the Ardennes, nearby areas to explore and the Ardennes themselves. Hermetic politics are unlikely to play much of a role in this saga. I don'0t think the above things need


Overall it looks good to me.

Based on your description, rather then "More resources in the library than you can shake a stick at" I would take Promised Favors... in this case you are promised books from the Imperial court in exchange for maintaining the castle, which youwould do anyway. For the exisiting library, I would just give yourselves lots of build points to be spent on mundane books.

You might consider, rather then the two Rivals, just giving yourself the Mundane Politics hook. That would give you an extra boon and encompass your larger entanglements with the Imperial court and all manner of real and potential enemies. Even if your "Order of Hermes" doesn't fobid mundane associations, it's still a messy enough situtation and source of enough stories that it can count as a major hook.

I think it looks like a setup for a very enjoyable saga with lots of potential for political and scholarly intrigues. Have fun.

One of the things I've wanted to do is come up with a way of translating those library fact-searching tasks into a real library. The bonuses that Triamore grants for just plain research should cost something. I was thinking along the lines of each rank (bonus) costing 5BP in each area. So you would have Demons/Satanism (+2)(10BP), History of Europe (+3)(15BP). No good for arcane research but useful for mundane research...

You could also consider the Veteran Fighter Boon. I believe there is a Hook for fealty or favors owed to a mundane lord. Serf's parma at the moment since I have none of my books.

Exceptional Book... I can't remember if their library had amazing Hermetic books or just everything on Mundane lores. Maybe take "Exceptional BookS" for the library research bonuses?

Tame Nobleman? IIRC, the covenant head poses as the noble so this could qualify as a Boon.

I edited the first post to include the "mundane politics hook" (removing the rivbals) as per LuciusT suggestion). Thx :slight_smile:

The magi of triamore have the rank of "knight" for holding the castle, even if they are not knights (formally). The elected leader of the covenant acts as a landed noble and the other magi are his knights. So no need for a tame nobleman.

Veteran fighter! That is the name of the virtue. True. Thanks for pointing it out :slight_smile:

About the library research thing, yes, it has been bothering me as well for a while. Not only for triamore, but in genral. I quite like your idea, thanks for the suggestion! :slight_smile: I will try to spin it around to see if I can come up with something useful. I have always felt that libraries should be plot enhancers, not only the place to go and get XP between sessions and to get a story plot when it burns down or a book goes missing. Getting some kind of research bonus is definitively a way to do that. great idea there.

Triamore's library has some exceptional books in the official setting (a L20 Q20 book among them IIRC), so this is a boon I planned to take at some point, but I am toying with an idea to reform the whole book system in Ars (I do not really like it as per the RAW finding it quite clunky) so I prefer your research idea better, limiting books to Authorities and tractus, for example.


These are the rules I think that are in Triamore and the different categories. I agree that libraries should be a bit more than 10 books of summa/tractatus. They should also have value as research tools, knowledge-bases etc. That was why I kicked around the idea of incorporating these as BP's. Knowledge is contained in all sorts of strange places so it should be accorded some value... that tractatus on Infernal Lore may have a snippet of local history that would help research.

Not sure how you go about it but there must be a way...

There are rules for how a text/library can be used for generalied research in... um... Covenants? (Or under GotF/Durenmar?) - one of those. I know I've seen them.

Iirc, you don't buy it separately; a lib has diff texts that cover a subject (or are related to it, as some texts cover more than one), and then generate a Research total/bonus to the EF of the task. Essentially, the more texts on a subject, and the better their quality, the better the chance to find what you're looking for.

Yep. Those are the same rules. They just don't give any guidelines on how to obtain such a bonus. Theoretically, you could simply indicate a library that has 23 Magic Lore tractatus counts as +3 or +4. It's just a gap in the rules.

(Talking about Covenants, p 98, col iii bottom, "Research")

It's not "a gap", and it does give Guidelines - the authors just don't make the mistake of trying to define those guidelines in objective terms, especially based on something so arbitrary as "number of texts". It does define the recommended "sample" bonuses in terms of general quality - "peerless", "powerful Autumn covenant", "average Summer covenant" - so that each Troupe can match exactly what they mean for their Saga.

A hundred weak texts on a topic are not necessarily worth a half-dozen excellent texts - and only the SG can weigh the diff, and only for their own Saga. You're a StoryGuide, right? - So take the rules as presented and run with them.

IIRC triamore had some research rules as well. It uses "Triamore Library Lore" as an auxiliary ability. Will look into those rules in Covenants, thanks. I had not used that book in a while past the hooks and boons section for inspiration.

Note that, by those rules, libraries do not have a single modifier - they have modifiers within the "area of interest" of their texts. So a library that is +5 Hermetic Code might be only +1 Order of Hermes Lore, or vice versa, and +0 Magic Theory, etc. All depends on what the focus of those texts is, and how good the SG feels the collection is.

(I suppose that a very good index/catalogue system could provide a "Local Library Lore" bonus as well, to find stuff - that seems logical, but only if there even is any cataloguing system. Not really necessary in small libraries.)

The library of Triamore is defined as being massive and quite randomly ordered. The librarians have library lore from 3 to 6 iirc and there is no catalog. It is a massive library, not like that of Durenmar, but certainly the second in terms of size in the Rhine tribunal (at least). Quite popular since access is much less restrictive than in Durenmar. Thanks for the remainder on research :slight_smile: I will look at the expertise rules you point out, but I do not recall liking them a lot (much hassle for the profit IIRC) now that you explained them a little and I remembered some of them

In the upcoming saga I can easily see entry price being a new text fro the library easily, with number of seasons allowed depending on how much the text is worth (in study terms).


I think a good step for an SG would be to look at the Covenant library and list a few areas and their bonuses. That would, at least, get the players thinking about the library as a research tool and not just an XP source.

When I converted my Triamore-based game from 4th to 5th Edition I did not bother to do a conversion of the Covenant in terms of Boons and Hooks (in fact I find the whole idea of them of little value if you are using a pre-defined covenant). However, on the subject of Triamore, the local history and geography do not HISTORICALLY match very closely what is presented in the book. The forest to the south, for example, was not an empty wasteland but actually had scattered communities throughout. Please feel free to plunder my website for ideas and historical bits and pieces btw.

This is an exercise. I was doingf this to see if the written Triamore and the Covenants build system could match :slight_smile: I find it interesting. As written, simply the grog turb o triamore would put all the nearby nobles on alert, seeing triamore as an expansionist bunch of potential mass murderers.

I did not get the idea that the ardenes was iompenetrable out of the book. Only really difficult to navigate. I would have put hamlets around it easily enough, but I consider myself warned, thx :slight_smile: Great website BTW. I will plunder it in brief.


You're welcome.

I spent a lot of time trying to get the economy to work based on the field size and population and fit it into the Covenants system. This meant some fairly arbitary assumptions about productivity and crop prices (manors have to sell a lot to towns to raise cash). It seemed to go OK as long as the covenant stays at Spring. If it becomes Summer and therefore costs to maintain magi increase significantly then it will have to become very ahistorical. It seems to me that a Summer or Autumn Covenant has expenditure at the level that a Count/Earl might have (and a rich one at that). A single manor, even a very large and prosperous one, cannot hope to support that level. One could game out the steps taken to increase the Covenant's income - indeed we have already done some of that - but adding manors rather than more modest steps, for example, improving the productivity of the soil or starting a quarry, would have to be a major story and probably of little interest to most mages.

Following on from my last post, a suitable "reward" for helping a local dignitary might be an income stream, such as fishing rights or the rent for a mill or similar, All very medieval, at least in England and therefore I am assuming in the western reaches of the HRE.

Over time I have come to realize that the economic impact of a covenant on the scale they are depcted should be HUGE. Something like triamore would have a hard time sustaining itself (not enough revenue) unless the income from the library was amazing. And then, the expenses of keeping all the magi happy would have an impact in the local economy as well. A covenant like triamore just doesn't have the necvessary income to sustain 6 magi at noble levels. Unless some of them take on a VERY subservient role.

So we tend to disregard such mundane things :slight_smile: IN our upcoming saga they might get some more attention, but we just assume that 99% of covenants either control a whole barony (or even county) themselves and rise their middle fingers at local nobility if they try to make them enter into feudal agreements (in practice, creating large allods/small kingdoms in the middle of Europe) or they diversify their investment in 3-4 cities if they want to have a small footprint. Only the final products are transported to the covenant, and this is done fairly secretly most of the time.

Otherwise the economics of the order do not make much sense. And that is not even taking the detailed rules in covenants. I never bothered cracking that system since we decided to play such things lightly long before Covenants was out. :slight_smile:

Still, for triamore we are likely to be getting extra revenue from (story ideas)

  • starting a forestry operation
  • get a quarry
  • clear enough land (combined with the forestry thing) toc reate a second village and settle a vassal there. The ardennes is a good place to carve your own domains and it generates plenty of stories to undergo such large operations
  • opening up the forest route to larger traffic, policing it,. keeping the road free of obstacles and generally turning a backwater road into a potential highway. But not large enough that armies want to use it to march on us so that the castle is removed from us. Or isn't it?
  • Collaboration with the university of Paris or other learning centres. Sctriptorium FTW.

Just some ideas. More story seeds than us really caring much for the details of income. :slight_smile:


Xavi, I certainly agree with you, the economics are broken.

You might look at Flags of the World website, which is surprisingly large amounts of information about the communities in the forest to the south and east of Dinant/Triamore. If you happen to use Campaign Cartographer than I would be happy to email you my CC3 maps of the area. In particular, I have one with more detail of said forest.