Development for Vares

At first glances, some issues there, but no time to check it out.

First one, anyway: What the hell is that magical focus????? What does it encompass exactly? How do you know if a spell gets under it or not? I'm not even sure an astrological sign would be a proper focus. Special circumstances, maybe?

It is from The mysteries: revised. I would have to check but planetary magic and hermetic astrology is in there.

Oulala... Didn't read it for a loooong time. Anyway, gotta go

Here is the scope of Major Magical Focus: Libra from "The Mysteries, Revised":

Wisdom, Subtlety, Independence, Rebellion, Outwitting Others, and Arts and Letters

It fits Vares' concept extremely well.

I have an issue with one spell, the one that calls down lightning. The Target is the sky, and I would say you need an active storm at the moment. On top of that, to make the bolt his something specific requires Rego and a Finesse roll (as the bolt was "created" in the cloud, then you need to direct it). Not sure how this impacts level, but that spell needs some review.

Thanks for the focus info, I had trouble finding it.

Thanks, you're saving me this. Issue too.

Basically, he'd only need rego to direct a lightning bolt, but, as these don't appear when needed, Creo is required to create it in the clouds.

However, if he uses Rego, a finesse roll won't be necessary, by 5th rules. Finesse would be used to direct a "natural" lightning bolt that's bypass parma.

As per the added magnitude, it depends on how he wants to create the bolt. Creo(rego) in storm coulds would require no additionnal magnitudes.

I'd say something like this could do the trick, IMHO:
Base 5, +3 sight, +1 rego (level 25) would work with storm coulds
Base 5, +3 sight, +1 unnatural, +1 rego (level 30) would work in a "normal" cloudy day (not storm coulds)
Base 5, +3 sight, +2 very unnatural, +1 rego (level 35) would work in a cloudless day.

I also have issues with "Suit of the Jade Warrior".

First, you're creating an armor both more resistant and waaay lighter than anything in the book, even chain mail, who's the topmost armor of the century. If the spell is altered to be "as light as pumice and as tough as iron", it'd require at least a Muto requisite (This jade is highly unnatural, isn't it?)
Secondly, even if this ain't Rego Craft Magic, Arm p77 (creo entry) says that an Int + Finesse roll is made to determine the quality of any artificial thing created, I would thus require one, with the result telling how good the armor will be.

Still, issues, with "Protection of the Crystal Sphere" this time

A stone wall through which you can see, in one way only, and this is only "slightly unnatural"??? I'd be ok if you could see both ways, but this is more unnatural.
Second, then again, giving something properties he can't have naturally? Muto requisite. Creo can only create stone, however perfect it can be.

"Acquisition of the Collector's Eye" ... Where does it comes from??? For non-core spells, reference would be very usefull if you don't want people sorting through books. Also, how else can we judge if your added magnitude is right or a cheap trade-of?

By the way, "Pilum of Ice" (luckily, I remembered Dagger of Ice from HoH:S).
First, the original spell is Creo(Rego) Aquam. You forgot the Rego requisite... So, it is Cr(Re)Aq
Second, and this is not really an issue, more a note: As ignem is supposed to be the most damaging form, having a spell that deals as much damage as a PoF at a similar level (even with a requisite) might be considered too much, and, to retain Ignem's supremacy in damage, a progression different than +1 mag = +5 damage might be chosen, like +3 = +10.

Another unknown spell: Strings of the Arcane Connection. Of course, you didn't realise at the time, but this is really boring when you can't find what a spell does (even with the spell index)

Where is your house virtue?
Puissant Ignem? Perdo? Warrior? Magical Focus? Puissant Finesse? Cautious with? It seems that you've forgotten it.

Unless you intend it to be Puissant Creo???
Well, if this is it... This is not RAW flambeau, although, of course, marko might have allowed it. If this is what you intended, with all the possibilities and original houses already available, I still think it's a shame to just pick up another house virtue, it lessen both the House and the authors work, but, well, whatever.

Virtues and Flaws:

I can't find the "curiosity" flaw, not even in the index.

You have 2 story flaws: Mentor and Favors. Moreso, they are redondand: The mentor flaw already assumes that your mentor will ask favors out of you...

Counting mystery initiations, and assuming your "curiosity" flaws to be a personnality one, you end up at 17 virtue points, and only 10 flaws...
Ok, initiations don't always end up balanced, you may gain a major virtue for a minor flaw. no problem. But still, you usually gain at least one flaws! There, you've got 2 major and one minor "free" virtues... This seems abusive to me.

A fearful question, while I'm at it: You write the major focus was acquired through twilight. Did you "spend" a season on it as per marko's generous rules?

And, finally, the biggest issue. Characteristics.

Intelligence 5 requires Great Intelligence*2. You don't have it. thus, intelligence 3.

Let's drop the intelligence to 3.
Intelligence +3, Perception +2, Strength +1, Stamina +1, Presence +1, Communication 0, Dexterity 0, Quickness +1.
How many??? 13 characteristic points :open_mouth:

You don't have increased characteristics*2. So, you need to lessen these.

At first prononced glance, this is it. I haven't checked the numbers yet, although I am fearfull to do it T-T

Pussiant Creo is viable option from Knights of Seneca tradition. It is lineage/line from Sub Rosa Article written by non other than Marko Markoko (aka our current storyguide) and so valid.

The two mystery virtues were scripted with sacrifice, ordeal and initiation script skill by Marko and thus valid, one virtue is from twilight.

Twilight might be only a day or week at low warping and his warping is very low.

Nope, Start his intelligence at 0 and numbers match. Then give him 5 castings of that CrMe 55 spell and you have +5 intelligence. He also managed that 55 spell thanks to celestial magic and libra magic focus and who know what else to magnify his lab total to 55 that he could learn it from some legendary text (which we all want a copy of).

I don't have time for extended replies on the spells. I'll give a summary for the other questions.

  1. Curiosity is effectively a Minor Personality Flaw Compulsion.

  2. I cleared the Mentor and Favours Flaws as linked Major and Minor Story Flaws with Marko. He said as long as there was only one Major and one Minor, it was fine. In effect, he has a Mentor to whom he feels obligated (Favours), and with whom he is entwined politically within the Order AND within the Mystery Cult into which he was Initiated well after Gauntlet.

  3. Twilight took no time at all for him. He had a low Twilight Score at the time and a good roll.

  4. Characteristics originally included Int +3 and Com -3. He used two separate Rituals to increase his Int to +5 ("Gain the Wisdom of the Sages") and to improve his Com to 0 ("Assurance of the Tolerable Manner"), both legitimate Ritual spells which he learned and then cast using his accumulated, available Vis totals over several years.

  5. I should have answered this first. Yes, his Flambeau bonus Virtue is Puissant Creo.

You'll excuse me, but I find this to be very unfair to other players.

First, we all had to pay one season for any post-creation virtue, which is already very generous. Granting one, especially a major one, freely on account of twilight? Well, I'll just do the same to my character, as should every other player. What major virtue will I take? Diedne Magic would be fun, IMO.

And mysteries? Sure, I could submit something like this to marko:
[i]Awesomely Free initiation of Any Major Virtue during Chargen:

  • Sacrifice of Vis (No cost to the player, this is chargen) +3
  • Learn Mystery Cult lore to the ridiculous score of 1 or 2 +3
  • Material Sacrifice of Money (Free, this is chargen) +1
  • The mystagogue spends a season on the initiation (Still free to the player) +3
  • Travel to some place in 10 days (free) +3
  • Quest 2 days there for the virtue by slaying whatever monster (Free to the player: No story, and it happens during the season's initiation) +3[/i]

This gives you a +16 script.
Now, you've got Mr Mystagogue, knowing the virtue (Pretty normal, IMO, so I won't contest this), and having presence 1 and Mystery Cult lore 3 (Initiating others).

And hop! 5 seasons wasted during chargen, 5 major virtues. Not a single, even minor, flaw.
Please. Does it seems fair? Just look at the exemple scripts in the books. Not all of them make you pay with a flaw, but most do, at least with a minor flaw.

I'm not asking you to balance your post-gauntlet virtues and flaw in any way, but there, you're essentially gaining 2 major virtues and one minor for what I understand to be 2 wasted seasons... This is unfair to every other player, IMO.

Oh, my.

I thought of something like this, save that I thought he began with low Communication, but told myself "no, he didn't dare, I won't accuse him of this, this must be an error".

To me, this is a blatant abuse of Chargen and of marko's generosity in general, for the sake of munchkinism. Waste one season on a spell, gain a +5 stat without any vis cost or else?
Well, let me just announce something.
Dimir Taar just went from
Int +2, Per 0, Pre +2, Com 0, Str +1, Sta 0, Dex +1, Qik +1, Verditius lore 5
[i]Int +3, Per +1, Pre +3, Com +1, Str +2, Sta +2, Dex +3, Qik +3, Verditius lore 3 (If a score of 2 is enough for him, 3 is very fine for me)
How? He was created with these stats, save -3 in com, sta and per. He then took 3 seasons (30XP, taken from verditius lore) to learn 2 level 35 and 1 level 40 rituals from a lab text to boost these stats. It just took him a few days to cast these, so no additionnal cost.

If Arawn wants to begin play with the rituals and the original stats, fine. It is right, he is also clever in this, and I'll applause his cunning with both hands. But saying this all happened freely of-stage?

This is ridiculous, and, yet again, feels to me like a blatant abuse of both the chargen process and marko's already great kindness and generosity, an abuse who ends up to be unfair to other players.

First off, Marko will post when he can but Marko is responsible for a lot of the scripts and planning. Fairness to other players might be argument but considering what he said yesterday (face to face), he totally accepts and approves all of this.

Keep in mind that I have extra major virtue too (admittedly at cost of an extra major flaw).

The two story flaws are under creation rules as "You should not" but since he had marko's agreement the should not becomes allowed.

There were some points that I didn't approve and I am really concerned about those two stat raising rituals sitting out there, especially is they are shared with others for huge stat inflation.

The two creo spells are personal, momentary, ind. Using this base, My CrCo totals are so hight that I could raise everyone's physical in one area to +1 (once my lab is set up, I will have nearly 50 lab totals so 3-4 seasons to invent spell and then cast it every three days and it uses no vis, only long term fatigue)

Then again, I eventually have the power to raise the dead.

The Vaeres character may need some work, but let us be polite and cooperative, save the dour tone for our enemies. Arwan is a healthy and active part of this game, and he finally got a character sheet up. Working together, we can find a compromise I am certain.

Arwan has a pretty high Warping score for a guy with no longevity; a score of 3 with 8 points left over (or 38 points). He did take a sacrifice in the form of the loss of Planetary Magic.

I do want descriptions of his spells, so we can judge them accordingly and so that we have an understanding of what they actually do. Even the WGRE spells. Most people don't have the old WGRE, an I would want to make sure that the spell revision matches with current rules. And I am uneasy about the Lightning spell. It needs work.

Arwan, would you be willing to add a year to your age to soak up any protests of time? That should work I hope.

As for balance and "taking advantage" all of you had very similar options. I let Inigo and Octavian invent their own mysteries at chargen. Viola very much more so.

As far as increased stats is concerned, I designed Antonio with increased stats due to Ritual magic, and I allowed everyone to have all the vis they want for ny pre-game projects such as enchanting items or bonding familiars. And he started with Int +3 and com -2 or something. It wasn't abused as much as you think. It is no fair complaining that your character could have done that also. Yes indeed, you very well could have. But you didn't. I figured you didn't want to. The example of Antonio was up there for you to follow, it was a perfectly legitimate choice. Carmen didn't take it. If you do indeed want to increase your stats through ritual magic, go for it. But not retroactively. I am 75% finished with the Lab Text Library, and there are indeed such spells in our collection. Go for it. There is not an Int +5 ritual, so maybe you need to coax Vares into writing out his lab texts.

And Vares, seeing as how this is a sticky point for many people, would you be willing to compromise and save the actual casting of the rituals for a later time? You may still know the spells, and I won't make you rearrange your lab work (and, in fact, I think that his lab work was my doing, much as I did for Marcellus).

Having two Story Flaws is totally acceptable, even in Raw (it is a "should not" as opposed to a "cannot", and many multiple characters in this saga already have multiple story flaws. Inigo and Octavian especially :slight_smile:

RAW Flameau states your Free House Virtue is based on your school of magical fighting. Many examples were given in HoH-Societas. The Knights of Seneca, my invention, use Puissant Creo. Theoretically any Minor Virtue can be taken, depending on the fighting style your parens taught you. I would have allowed Dimir Taar to be a Flambeau with Verditius magic (Lineage of Valdarius, a closed lineage of Verditius magi). But you chose not to. You all had a copy of that Article months before it was published in Sub Rosa, all of these options were made available to you (including new mastery abilities, which only Inigo took).

I ran the numers at home and they pretty much check out. I would hope you all noticed how low all of his Ability scores are, and his Arts are those of a Generalist.

Well I have to say I'm leaning towards Fixer's opinion. While I might be biased being the weakest magi in the saga, I understand perfectly well that it was my choice to go the full 20 years and "wasted" my development towards a theme that wasn't hermetic or spell casting based. The concern he sees I think is justified seeing that there is the potential for some characters that are heads and shoulders above the rest trivialize the efforts of others who are reduced to bit roles.

I'm in no means any good with twinking out characters so whatever Fixer deems is fair I'll abide as he has a far better familiarity with the system and mechanics than I do. I'm marginally more familiar with 4th ed.

Well I did gain one during the extended character progression.

And you gained a Minor Virtue without a sacrifice :wink:

Arwan did have a sacrifice, loosing Planetary Magic (which he started with) in order to gain Celestial Magic. The Alchemy was something I forced on him because I wanted him to have Fuego as a mentor and mysteries similar to his.

And I think some of the counter examples are extreme. He does not have five major mystery Virtues. He has one Minor, one Major paid for with a Sacrifice, and he paid 38 Warping points for the Virtue gained through Twilight. I told all of you, if you want to take a Twilight episode or two, go for it. Roll it fairly or have me roll it. This option was available to everyone. I personally selected the Virtue he recieved (though I originally had assigned him Potent Magic as opposed to a Focus).

And Octavian is far from the weakest character in this saga. He is one of the most well designed tactical Tremere magi I have ever seen. Some one else played Octavian (well, his "twin brother") in the adventure I ran at the Berkeley Grand Tribunal, and he performed exceptionally well.

But anyways, Fixer, what do you think of my proposed compromises? Add a year to his age, and then say that he knows those stat boosting spells, he just hasn't had the opportunity to cast them yet.

I moved all of the discussion for Arwan's character sheet for Vares over here to a separate thread, so as to keep the Character Sheets thread uncluttered :smiley:

I also thought of a possible solution. I have the original at-gauntlet sheet for Vares. I can take this and rework it, using the new sheet as his list of desired goals, and coming up with something that can hopefully satisfy everyone.

But I want Arwan's permission before doing so. I will even stat out the spells for you :smiley:

I haven't studied Octavian in detail but yeah, he is not the weakest.

Consider Ameline, She had to spend seasons of her development re-learning every formulaic spell she knew, she is -5 to casting total for any spell that is not mastered silent including all silent spells (unless she makes a 15+ theology roll of which she is only +6 to the roll). In addition, she had to spend the seasons and xp to get her holy magic (what she uses in place of magis theory) up to a tolerable level. SHe has lots of healing spells, a couple of protective/utility spells but she is not that capable as a mage. The best she can do in combat (and this only works on humans) is hold them still to allow others time to get away.

Going forward, she gets half quality from all the books in the hermetic library (book learner off sets a little so quality 9 for most is quality 6 for her) and her lab total is halved for what spells she could learn (reinvent) based on the spell lab texts.

Now I admit it is the price that I am paying for a holy magus and the fact that she can pretty much ignore many of the limits of hermetic magic (limit of divine, aging, creation, energy, lunar sphere do not apply. Depending on situation she might be able to ignore limit of vis, warping, time and true feeling, infernal, and even essential nature). In time, she may be able to bring the dead back to life. She does have her own limits in that she can't take away free will and can't use the magic to sin.

We all have strengths and weaknesses but it is a real can of worms considering Ameline might eventually end up with physical stats higher than current considering CrCo is her speciality and she uses longterm fatigue instead of vis.

Except in your case, I have a bit more control. God doesn't want you boosting your Physical stats. If anything, he would want you to raise Presence and Communication so that you can be more effective at spreading the Gospel to the magi of the Order of Hermes :wink:

ACtually stamina is the only one she would probably think to raise so she can endure more.

An interesting character, to be sure, but he’s not anything crazy. Ritual magic to improve characteristics was an option I considered and rejected for Inigo; you do have to learn that particularly high level spell, and I needed all the lab time I could muster. If Vares knew it at Gauntlet or just found a lab text of it lying around, well, that’s a little weird. But if he invented it himself that seems entirely kosher. If he didn’t, that might be a concern.

His art scores are decent but not stellar for a magus his age, and his Penetration is quite low compared to the “combat magi” in the saga (like Inigo, Dimir Taar, and the Flambeau NPCs). His abilities are quite general, and none of them stand out as particularly massive. Without seeing a full development we’ve got no way of knowing whether the numbers are A-OK, but that’s probably more work than any of us wants to put in anyway. They look reasonable enough to me.

Specific Issues:
I’m a little confused about his aging. He just rolled really well, but has no longevity potion? He hasn’t had all that many aging rolls to make, so it’s certainly plausible. Just want to make sure I’m following.

Usually initiations take two seasons, and are presumably justified with hooks and the like. As long as they did in this development, and weren’t overused, I don’t see it being a problem. Many of us made use of the Mysteries to get more virtues at the start of the saga that we probably won’t have to fully “pay” for with stories. It seems well suited for the saga to me.

As regards spells, most are good, but I’m with Marko on the lightning spell and with Fixer on the Crystal Sphere and Jade Armor spells.

Noble’s Parma, but don’t you need a virtue to take Art of Memory?

The red flag I spotted is his Confidence score. Though your confidence can increase with age, none of the PC's have done so, so I would feel better if he started with 1 or took Self Confident.

Art of Memory is not a Mystery or a Virtue. It is just rare. I raised an eyebrow at that months ago, but decided to let him have it as it fit with his academic Flambeau concet (ad he spend lots of time in Italy studying stuff). It isn't a game breaker.

My main issue is the same as Falls though. These spells need to be examined. And, going over the mystery scripts I gave him long ago, some of them do indeed require 2 or three seasons (a Quest, Time of Service, and time to be Taught the new Virtue).

Wisdom of the sages will have to be trimmed down a magnitude to a max of a +4 Intelligence. Doing the math, he could score a level 55 ritual only with a Lab Text, and people feel it is fair that you have to invent that fresh. Level 50 is possible for you in about a year with celestiam Magic, the Focus, and mayhaps some assistance. The ritual improving your communication seems rather plausible and possible though. No need to revise that.

Why would you want to modify god's creation?