Draganna Tesla (development)

Draganna is designed as a PC, yes.

Save that, reading your quote, it affects positively rolls, not totals. So it shouldn't affect Teaching.

And "only" three über teacher? That's sounds like "We have only 3 einsteins, that's nothing" :laughing:

Marko, IMHO, it's quite different to have 3 PC über teachers (Meeting of the geniuses!) and a PC plus 2 background NPCs, because every exceptionnal "standard" NPC make the exceptionnal PC all the less exceptionnal :wink:

Note that background NPC teachers can be powerful teachers without having all the "right" virtues and stats. They just need to have a good enough score in Teaching. And they can easily be older than PCs! Especially for XP sources, what do we care if the guy is 50? :smiley: All the better!

Not that NPCs can't be great. My concern is just that when even unimportant people are the best, no one is.

In my defense, I made up Bashir before I knew that. :wink:

[size=150]"And when everyone’s super … no one will be." [/size]

Virtues that purport to represent education, such as Baccalaureus in Art & Academe, can't actually be mimicked without some ridiculously high teaching totals. In other words, teaching is a bit broken in the game.

If you presume that a character has two seasons where he works to pay tuition and spends the other two seasons in study, a Baccalaureus requires 30 xp per year, or 15 xp per season. If you presume that this teaching happens in an environment with more than two students, which is very reasonable, the teacher needs to provide a SQ of 15, of which 3 is the standard amount leaving a SQ of 12 to come from Com, Teaching + Virtues. If you presume that every teacher at university is a Good Teacher, then Com + Teaching needs to be 7. In short, all teachers at University in Mythic Europe must be incredible teachers, just by dint of the setting... Why would teachers involved with the Order of Hermes be even less gifted?

It's not an issue about being conservative (from my standpoint anyway), it's an issue of having NPCs that outshine the PCs. Now, if Draganna is going to be a Companion (vice NPC specialist) then it's all good.

My question is, whose Companion character is it?

My understanding is that every player is allowed 1 magus/heroic companion (or two for those of us playing a master and journeyman) and 1 companion. A look at the companion list on the wiki shows that we have:

Alexandro Pedro Perez, Carmen's Brother & Companion, is the Captain of the Andoran Guard (Played by Marko I believe)
Arnau d'Orfes, Sahir Hunter and Mercenary captain (He's actually a Mythic Companion so Xavi could still make a companion)
Bashir ibn Kamal, doctor and surgeon (Played by Trogdor)
Bernhard der Blutig, Forge-Companion and cousin to Vulcanus (Played by Fightmaster)
Donna the Weaponsmith (Played by Silveroak)
Johan VanHalen the IInd (played by Marko)
Ludwig, sarcastic goblin with a culinary flair (Played by Ryu, who left)
Micaela, otherworldly apprentice to Vocis (Played by Callen, who left, now Fightmaster)
Selim ibn Ahmed, a Jann-blooded Bedouin (Played by me)
Stephanos Hephaistoi, venditor (Made by me, but scratched after Ryu left)

And then the Redcaps:
Tiana (Played by Ryu, who left)
Fedora (Played by Vibria)

So it looks like Ryu had two companions before he left, and I think Marko already has two companions. Fightmaster has two sort of (with Micaela) but there’s not a lot we can do about that since Micaela’s player left and having an apprentice seems important to Vocis.

As far as I can tell, the only two players who don’t already have companions are Fixer and Xavi.

So my question is, are we following the rule that each player only has one companion, or do we just let people make as many companions as they have the time to stat up?

Arnau is a companion, not a mythic companion. He would need to be Gifted to be a Mythic companion. If he was a mythic companion he would be sensibly more powerful.

Ah, I thought you did him as a mythic companion. I know there are a lot of different types of mythic companions out there from different books, so I wasn't sure.

This is why the Brothers were nerfed, I guess :unamused:

I'm not sure Fausto belongs in that conversation. He maxes out at 20 xp when teaching Single Weapon to a single student, which is 5 behind Draganna with languages and 7(?) behind Marius with whatever specialty he chooses. He's very good, but not on their level.

Not at all. I'm happy with (and appreciate) the tweaks you made to aid his grand plan.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: where's the bloody Like button?

Just wanted to apologize.
I'm tired and not well, and... Well, you know I have my flaws, and these get worse in times like this, and I fear that maybe I was snarky above, when I shouldn't have. And whatever.

Then back me up bro. I made you the Nerf Shark, and everyone else is trying to horde in on your gig :laughing:
I will concede a few points, and there is one true fault someone pointed out. But first, let me tell you what my goals are and you guys can help me to achieve them in a way that is more agreeable.
The concept is someone who can teach you to speak a new language fluently in two seasons, as well as a native in three. I reasoned this would be quite valuable to the Tremere as they decide to shift fields of operation and disperse agents in different lands. Hence, her focus on Middle Eastern languages, as I imagine the Levant would be a growing area of interest to that House (I think I read that somewhere in AtD). As for other abilities, I don't care if her skill is half that. Well, maybe not half. That would suck. And she doesn't have a lot of high scores in other abilities. Mostly languages.
I also wanted to create a character with some dimension, and I think I am due props for achieving that. It started with the name, Draganna. Again, drawn from my past. I once knew a waitress named Draganna. I also once had a character named Dragor in another saga, an eliete Tremere mundane agent who was a Damphir and werewolf with Entrancement. Not a teacher, more of an autocrat or steward type and a spy (could have been an assassin, never did that). Blahblablah. I decided to make the characters related, and figured lycanthropy and entrancement could be family traits. Then it all clicked. Who she was, why she was, what she has been and cold be. I scrapped so many tropes and stereotypes before I settled on Draganna's personality.
And a lot of that was a moth ago. Why the fuss now?
As for multiple characters, I thought we had discussed this and decided we can allow that in controlled circumstances, such as some players having two magi. As for me, I never ever play Alexandro and have openly stated I plan on shipping him off somehow so his place can be taken by Arnau. With Johan, well people don't like me using the flying ship trick, and his curse is pretty crippling in retrospect.
One thing I discovered I am blatantly wrong about is Essential Virtue. Not in the way I interpret it, but in the way I am applying it. Fixer is correct, it would add +3 to Teaching Rolls, and teaching is not a roll. The alternate way to use it (as I pointed out it is an either/or statement), would be as an Essential Trait. Which works differently (as has been pointed out), but would apply to a static score. That would be interesting, taking a Communication score of 0 or -1, but when instructing then the score counts as +3 or +2. That sets me back a bit from my 25xp for languages mark, but presents interesting ideas.
I like that she has superior fluency in Latin, and with a revised Com -1 and her thick accent, she can still scoff at way the magi mangle the language with their pigdin Hermetic Latin.
As for "Power Levels of Teachers", as Mister Link pointed out, professional mundane teachers likely have high Teaching scores &/or special Virtues to boot. Draganna is just keeping pace. She is not so super as she potentially could be. As is she is Com +2, not +5 Mythic. Her Teaching Score is actually low (a professional should have a 6 or better).
As for power levels in general, we are supposed to be super and there are those even more so. I did not hand you Doisettep or Durenmar, I want you guys to build us up into one though :slight_smile:. Durenmar has a staff just as talented if not more so on the order of ten times this size. Scholomance specializes in this sort of thing. And don't get me started on Val-Negra. The bar is set pretty high, and we are a tenth of what they are.
Except for that we control our own non-tribunal space :mrgreen:
But really, how long can that last?

I offer this solution. Drop Com to 0 and drop Good Teacher, ut raise Teaching to 6 (a professional level score). Use Essential Virtue as an Essential Trait, and use the higher of the two (as in those rules). But take it as a Major Essential Virtue for an effective Com +6. That's a six point difference between her book quality and teaching quality Book Quality 6, Teaching Quality 15 to a class or 21 to a single student (22 in languages).
With a Lab, which has a maximum Teaching Specialization of +3, if maxed out in just that way, would put her at 25xp/season for teaching languages. I'll get her to 22, the rest is up yo the covenant to invest in. I'll also have to drop some other Virtues and change somethings and squeeze some abilities.

No worries :smiley:

Just trying to read the room. I made my case with Marius and there didn't seem to be any group sentiment to tone him down. Draganna is just Marius Lite, so I assumed everyone was ok with her too. There's no sense in trying to nerf something if I'm the only guy who thinks it's necessary.

Besides, the only thing about Draganna that set off my nerf alert was her Essential Virtue. It just seemed to be thrown in to boost her source quality into Marius's range. All of her Abilities are within the power level I was preaching about and she's the age I would expect for those Abilities (especially after you revised her). I also expect a character designed for teaching to have Good Teacher, so that was never a problem for me.

I'm on board with all of this. As I mentioned when I triggered this argument, I just wanted some Order-specific knowledge added, which you've done.

At least 27 years. :wink:

I really don't think this is necessary, especially when you consider that Scholomance graduates are expected to write multiple books before graduating. That's actually another reason to justify having Good Teacher - the masters of Scholomance are very selective and they would look for someone who could both teach and write.

Good point, thank you very much. God bless the Tremere, it actually makes sense for them and Transylvania

I was just tired of seeing just about every character in every saga who's remotely supposed to be a teacher/writer have Positive Com and Good Teacher. In a way, it was not unlike (although not to the point of) seeing every craftsman be a Jesus the Baker.

Okay, so I think I can better articulate my thoughts/issues/concerns today versus a pointless rant that my last post came across as. Sorry… :blush:

First, as an old-school D&D player (which I know Marko was too based on lots of names he uses) the campaign setting I despised the most was Forgotten Realms. Why? Because all of the NPCs were so ridiculously powerful (and broke many of the game rules to get there) that your PCs never had a chance to rival them. While I know this is a different situation, my concern has always been that I don’t like to see NPCs outshine the PCs. By PCs, in Ars Magica I really mean magi and companions. They should be the stars of our movie.

Beyond that, as someone else pointed out, if every specialist we have is a complete badass, then being a badass really doesn’t mean anything. In my opinion, being a badass should remain the purview of companions. So Donna being a badass weaponsmith, hell yeah…but a grog who is a savant at baking bread…um no.

So my concern is not with Draganna in particular, but what I see as a bit of power creep amongst the supporting cast. I know this is meant to be a high-powered game, I’d just like to keep that high power with the PCs.

As far as the issue with multiple characters, that probably has a lot to do with me being extremely left-brained. I like rules and order, hence why I made a Guernicus. So if there was a rule that said “each player can play two magi and two companions”, or whatever, it would make more sense to me. But again, that’s just because I like rules :stuck_out_tongue:

The other point is who wants to play a poor teacher? Sure we know they exist, but are they player characters?

Right, but they would work great as a grog.

Well, Fixer and other are right about Essential Virtue. It does work the way I think as a bonus to rolls. So If I had "Essential Virtue-Good Fighter (+3 Dexterity)", I would get a +3 to Attack rolls even if my Dexterity as +5.
But Teaching is not a roll.
To affect a Score, it must be an Essential Trait that changes or modifies an existing Characteristic. So "Good Instructor (+3 Communication)" would replace a lower Positive Com score or add to a Negative one, and only apples to oral instruction.
So using that instead, dropping Com from +2 to 0 (and shifting points over to Presence), Keep Good Teacher. then raise Teaching to 6 (a professional level). That puts her at the mark to rapidly teach languages (I could even title the essential virtue as "Good Language Instructor" instead). That makes her excellent for the thing she was groomed for, decent in other areas but not "super", and with that out of the way I can strive towards developing her other potential roles as a spy and investigator (interrogator).

Exceptional characters have exceptional backgrounds, and I do think Draganna qualifies.
I must say, though, I disagree with Fixer's presumption. In my opinion, Teachers and Authors should indeed all have Positive Com scores, or they wouldn't get jobs or have books worth recopying. All knights have positive strength scores, all archers have positive Dexterity, all wizards have positive intelligence. Otherwise they wouldt get the job or they would suck at their craft and everyone would know it. I suppose there are some stupid wizards out there, but they are insignificant and are virtually hedge wizards. There might be a weak knight, who gets killed in his first battle. A poor blacksmith is not going to get much work.
As for Good Teacher, though I would not expect it of every village schoolmarm or craft master, I would think that it would be a preferable trait to recruit for high end university teachers and instructors that work for a covenant and scholars/magi that write the sort of books that get copied for wide publication and handed down through the generations.

Looking at scores with the changes proposed in this post: Com 0 (+3 when instructing in Languages), Good Teacher, Teaching 6 (languages). Totals equal as follow...

  • Writing a Book: Quality 9
  • Teaching a Class in most abilities (such as Magic Theory): Quality 14 (Q20 to a single student)
  • Teaching a class in Languages: Quality 18 (Q24 to a single student)

Still a point short. But a stripped down lab...

The budget on this is a fifth of a pound of silver per year. Using rules for Purchased Lab, the result is: -10 for Size -1, +10 for two Minor Virtues, = No Personal Cost. I propose that this lab be owned and operated by the covenant and can e used by any magus or teacher. The final totals are +1 to Teaching; and -1 for Spells, Familiars, & Experimentation (unless using a Lab Text, then it is +0), and no other lab activities are
Or if you want her to pay for it, then she should have exclusive use of it and the way I would configure it is as so...

Cost is 10q.p for a Major Virtue, and Upkeep costs less than a third of a pound of silver per year. Teaching is the only activity possible with this lab.