Fédora (development)

Placeholder post for my redcap character.

Basic concept: Fédora is, by birth, the bastard daughter of a Redcap (in the Novgorod Tribunal) and a noblewoman in Kiev. (I just checked, and Kiev is about 300 km from Pripet Maior by modern highway). She was raised in court until she was claimed by her father and apprenticed to Mercere. I'm debating whether she would have been apprenticed in Novgorod or Normandy; perhaps her master was transferred there for some reason - [strike]Infamous Master, perhaps? (which just occurred to me)[/strike].

What I have so far: Characteristics are Int +1, Per +1, Pre +2, Com +1, Str +1, Sta +2, Dex and Qik 0 each. Virtues: Improved Characteristics, Redcap, Well-Traveled (free House virtue), Apt Student, Affinity with Ride, Educated, Privileged Upbringing, Venus' Blessing. Currently slogging through Flaws (which, for me, is always the hardest part of Ars chargen...and Champions, too, for that matter).

I'm actually going to try to advance her a cycle, so she'd be about 7 years post-gauntlet.

You're going to need at least one Major Flaw, probably two. I suggest looking at Personality Flaws and picking a Major one that you can build around. Also look at the Major Story Flaws and consider if any of them sound appealing. You only get one Story Flaw, so it needs to be something essential to the character, and that may end up being Minor depending on what fits. Being associated with a supernatural realm is also often a good source of Flaws-- an Essential Flaw or Faerie Antipathy are good ways to give a character a fun and unique Achilles' heel.

I also am amused to see that we will have two Redcaps, one of each sex, who have Venus's Blessing. Look out France!

So far, I have Lost Love (minor Personality) and Ambitious (major Personality). Story flaw, I'm thinking Curse of Venus (Major), but that's feeling kinda meh. I'm really tempted by Dark Secret (Major Story), and have it be that her son is actually by a very high-ranking noble/royal (prince, maybe), which may explain why she had to leave Novgorod. ("Wait...you got knocked up by who?!? Pack your bags, Anya, we have to get out of here!"), which could also tie into her lost love - yes, he's the Crown Prince; yes, he's technically married to someone else...but I love him sob.

Heh, yes, that's a much better story than Curse of Venus. :slight_smile: Does that mean she has a child? How about the Dependent Flaw?

Or what if this lost love is someone less restrained by temporal boundaries? Like, say, a faerie prince a la Labyrinth who wants her and the child back to rule by his side in his icy kingdom?

She has a child (probably about five or six), but Dependent is a Major Story Flaw.

Ooo, I like that. Especially with Novgorod being so heavily Fae. Hmm...perhaps she boy's father is a faerie king, and perhaps by getting with child by him she unwittingly broke some kind of agreement the Faeries had with the Order or the Tribunal? And she got sent off while the Q or somebody else tried to smooth things over?

Character Name: Fédora
Current Year: 1223 (at gauntlet)
House: Mercere
Age: 22(b. 1201)
Size: 0
Confidence: 1(3)

Birth Name: Anastasia Nikolaevna
Gender: Female
Race/Nationality: Rus
Birth Place: Kiev
Religion: Christian
Title: Redcap
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
Weight: 147 lbs. (67 kg)
Hair: Strawberry blonde
Eyes: Blue
Handedness: Right

Intelligence: +1
Perception: +1
Presence: +2
Communication: +1
Strength: +1
Stamina: +2
Dexterity: 0
Quickness: 0

Well-Traveled (free from Redcap)
Affinity with Ride
Improved Characteristics
Privileged Upbringing
Venus' Blessing

Dependent: son (Major, Story)
Ambitious (Major, Personality)
Lost Love (minor, Personality)
Ability Block: Martial

Animal Handling i[/i] 4
Area Lore: Kiev 2
Area Lore: Novgorod Tribunal 5
Artes Liberales 2 (literate in Latin and Cyrillic scripts)
Art of Memory i[/i] 4
Athletics i[/i] 3
Awareness 3
Bargain 2
Charm 3
Code of Hermes 2
Etiquette 4
Faerie Lore 2
Folk Ken 3
Guile 3.
Intrigue 2
Latin 5
Music i[/i] 2
Order of Hermes Lore 3
Ride 6
Russian i[/i] 5
Survival 2

Anastasia Nikolaevna was born in the royal court of Kiev, purportedly the daughter of Knyaz Nikolai and his wife, Knyaginya Katerina. Unbeknownst to anyone at court but the Knyaginya, her daughter was not Nikolai's, but was the result of an affair with a member of the strange order of wizards (although he never displayed any powers himself), a man named Gregori Mercere who often passed through Kiev on his way to the far corners of Europe.

Several years passed, with Anya blissfully ignorant of her mother's deceptions, until a woman named Susan of Wicklow arrived and confronted Katerina. Susan informed Katerina that Gregori was a descendent of Mercere, and that under Hermetic tradition, all descendants of Mercere were to become members of the Order and join the House that he founded. Katerina was told that, if she did not allow Susan to take her daughter as an apprentice, she would expose the truth and let Katerina deal with the consequences. Katerina reluctantly agreed, and allowed Susan (and the couple of magi that had accompanied her) to stage Anya's death so that Susan could take her unmolested.

Anastasia spent the next fifteen years studying at the feet of Susan of Wicklow, the chief Redcap of the Novgorod Tribunal, at Three Lakes Covenant. Anastasia proved to be a talented student, with a gift for remembering things. Her beauty and charm, combined with her noble upbringing, helped her integrate with both mundane and hermetic society, and her knack for riding made it easier for her to travel long distances without the use of magic.

Two years before her gauntlet, Anastasia stumbled into a faerie regio and met Saam, King Frost. She immediately fell in love, and he returned her affections. She soon started to spend every spare moment with her love, but was careful not to let her love for King Frost impede her studies.

On the eve of her Gauntlet, Anastasia discovered that she was with child, and informed Susan of that. Susan was torn between pride that Anastasia would soon provide another future Redcap (if not Magus Mercere) and outrage that she had let herself be taken advantage by a Faerie king. She told Anastasia that she must never see Saam again, and that under no circumstances would she ever let him know that he had a child by her, lest he come and take it away. She then took some sodales to confront Saam and force him to swear an oath to relinquish Anya.

Upon completing her Gauntlet, Anastasia was sent to the Normandy Tribunal (about as far as one can get from Novgorod and still be in civilization). When she learned that, after her gauntlet, she would be sent to of Cunfin, a Mercere house that shares facilities with a monastery, Anastasia took the Hermetic name Fédora – a Russian name that means "Gift from God," and which she thought ironic considering her new surroundings. She would give birth shortly after her arrival at Cunfin.

Note that I have not yet picked her 50 levels of Magical Stuff that she gets at Gauntlet, nor have I advanced her to the present; I will be doing that in one cycle, once I've looked over the current Redcap Mustering stuff.

The 50 levels, I'm pretty sure, will at least include a device for The Wizard's Mount (although she won't have room for much else after that).

So. I'm working on the Enchanted Items for Fédora. I have The Redcap's Bridle, which casts The Wizard's Mount once a day, no penetration or anything fancy, which sets her back 35 bp.

The other item I'd like her to have at gauntlet is The Red Cap of Warmth. It's a fur cap which casts a new ReAu spell I'm calling Shrugging Off the Winter's Chill, which protects her from severe cold and maybe snow/ice. I'm looking at the ReAu guidelines, thinking Base 4 ("Ward someone against a type of normal weather phenomenon"), but it might be Base 5 ("Ward someone against a type of severe weather phenomenon."). R: Touch (+1), D: Sun (+2), T: Individual would make the final effect level 15 (or 20, if it's "severe"). Add +1 to be usable twice a day would make it a final Enchantment level of 16. Add that to the 35 for the Bridle puts her at 51 points of enchantments, one over the 50 she should have at Gauntlet. Is that close enough, or should I toss that and look for something else, and just deduct it from her future bp for the cycle of advancement I need to do?

You don't need it to cast twice per day as long as you've found a warm spot for the night, but, for a redcap, that might not always be the case. So? Fine by me. The 51 levels, I mean.

I am not worried about an extra level :slight_smile:

[u]Post-Gauntlet, Advancement, and Mustering Out[/u]
Man, I hope I did this right. I advanced Fédora 7 years (1223-1229), using the Redcap rules as I understood them. Seven years, four seasons a year; I didn't do spring/summer/fall/winter, since (with the exception of Spring/Summer of 1223, when she traveled to Cunfin and gave birth to her son, whom I really need to come up with a name for) which season is which doesn't really matter.

[tab][/tab]Season 1: Travel from Three Lakes to Cunfin
[tab][/tab]Season 2: giving birth to son
[tab][/tab]Season 3: Redcap service (+1 BP, +5 duty-related xp: French)
[tab][/tab]Season 4: Redcap service (+1 BP, +5 duty-related xp: Area Lore Normandy Tribunal)
[tab][/tab]Season 1: Redcap service (+1 BP, +5 duty-related xp: French)
[tab][/tab]Season 2: Redcap service (+1 BP, +5 duty-related xp: Area Lore Normandy Tribunal)
[tab][/tab]Season 3: Order of Hermes Lore 5 xp, Awareness 5 xp.
[tab][/tab]Season 4: Order of Hermes Lore 10 xp
[tab][/tab]Season 1: Redcap service (+1 BP, +5 duty-related xp: French)
[tab][/tab]Season 2: Redcap service (+1 BP, +5 duty-related xp: Area Lore Normandy Tribunal)
[tab][/tab]Season 3: Code of Hermes 10 xp
[tab][/tab]Season 4: Animal Handling 10 xp
[tab][/tab]Season 1: Redcap service (+1 BP, +5 duty-related xp: French)
[tab][/tab]Season 2: Redcap service (+1 BP, +5 duty-related xp: Area Lore Normandy Tribunal)
[tab][/tab]Season 3: Awareness 10 xp,
[tab][/tab]Season 4: Awareness 5 xp, Bargain 5 xp
[tab][/tab]Season 1: Redcap service (+1 BP, +5 duty-related xp: French)
[tab][/tab]Season 2: Redcap service (+1 BP, +5 duty-related xp: Area Lore Normandy Tribunal)
[tab][/tab]Season 3: Overtime Redcap Service (2 pawns vis, +5 duty-related xp French, +2 xp Reputation: Overachiever)
[tab][/tab]Season 4: Animal Handling 5 xp, Order of Hermes Lore 5 xp
[tab][/tab]Season 1: Redcap service (+1 BP, +5 duty-related xp: French)
[tab][/tab]Season 2: Redcap service (+1 BP, +5 duty-related xp: Area Lore Normandy Tribunal)
[tab][/tab]Season 3: Code of Hermes 5 xp, Church Lore 5 xp
[tab][/tab]Season 4: Overtime Redcap Service (2 pawns vis, +5 duty-related xp Area Lore: Normandy Tribunal, +2 xp Reputation: Overachiever)
[tab][/tab]Season 1: Redcap service (+1 BP, +5 duty-related xp: French)
[tab][/tab]Season 2: Redcap service (+1 BP, +5 duty-related xp: Area Lore Normandy Tribunal)
[tab][/tab]Season 3: Animal Handling 10 xp
[tab][/tab]Season 4: Bargain 10 xp

Vis Salary: 28 pawns
[tab][/tab]Bonus: 4 pawns for pulling Overtime (1227 and 1228)
[tab][/tab]Total vis-in-hand: 32 pawns

If I'm reading right, I can either sit on her pawns (boy, that sounds uncomfortable :smiley: ), or sell them for 5 bp each and use them to buy enchanted items or books or something else that costs a covenant build points?

I'll wait for feedback before plugging this into my MC and finalizing where she is now.

you must subtract your hermetic age (7) and can't keep more than half the paws as vis

Rereading the house rules for Redcaps, it says "Redcaps do not pay a deduction from their vis when Mustering Out, but they must still convert at least half of their vis into bp." So, it looks like she doesn't deduct her age from her 32 pawns, but she does convert at least half of her vis into bp. So, that still needs to be done. 16 pawns is 80 bp, which could be 80 levels of magical devices, or other Covenant Build Points(?).

Yes. Keep in mind that they are not actual covenant points, just similar in many ways. I just realized I need to take pawnbrokers into consideration. But no one here is a pawnbroker, so don't worry about it.
I am imagining the typical redcap is primarilly a messenger, but often dabble in hermetic mercentilism on the side. A pawnbroker is a specialist in one aspect of trade. I also imagine Redcap "Book Brokers" that are responsible for the circulation of lab texts and tractati. The Verditi are the item dealers, but the recaps have an inside market on items that aid in ther duties & office (thus the distinction for redcap bp & redcap items).

Just to throw out another suggestion while it's occurred to me, but why Faerie Realm? You could throw us all for a realm loop by making the kid Dominion-aligned. Heck, the kid's father could even still stop in from time to time, when he's not busy guarding the three sister with the magic book. The Grigori (RoP:D 26) would be kind of cool.

The thing about this character that keeps bugging me is that she feels very plot-driven. She's very reactive. A lot of things have happened TO her, but she herself hasn't made a lot of choices in her backstory. Right now, the most vivid details about her (to me) are her child and the father of her child, neither of which has much to do with her.

Now, maybe you're intentionally creating a sort of Jane Everywoman, to look at our world through mundane eyes, but if that's the case, then she should be an apprentice or just post-apprenticeship.

She also has the Major flaw Ambitious. Her goal is to become chief redcap of the Tribunal, and then Prima. I plan on having her be more reactive once play starts and she can start working on her Ambition,

Well, that only heightens my confusion. What has she done so far to warrant that Ambition? What pieces of her backstory suggest that this is a goal she thinks is within her reach or consideration?

being dragged down and preoccupied can make you ambitiously yearn for something better :wink:

I have a college buddy who likes to sit around, smoke pot and dream up ideas. He never works on them, and about half the time I see him, he'll be saying something like, "Hey, did you see that guy did that thing I thought of? You remember? That was my idea! I came up with that, like, three years ago, remember? We were at that party, and I said that exact thing!"

This man does not have the Ambitious flaw. If anything, he has Delusions.

A hero(ine) overcomes adversity. Whether her opposing forces are internal or external, she must overcome obstacles. She thought she knew who and what her family was, only to have that taken away from her, learning that her perfect princess of a mother was a tramp who got knocked up by some traveling peasant and that your prince of a father actually isn't. She thought she found the One, her Happily Ever After, only to have that taken away from her for reasons that no one's ever bothered to explain to her; they just sent her off to a foreign land to start life anew with her bastard son.

She's had so much taken away from her. She now is going to work to ensure that no one ever takes anything away from her again. She is going to fight to become the best, the premiere Redcap in Provençal, if not the entire Order. She is going to make sure that her son never goes through what she went through, will never have his entire world turned upside down time and again. And the best way to do that is to make sure that no one is in a position to do that, to her or to him.

Just an idea.

[u]Post-Gauntlet Enchanted Items[/u]

Scales of Vis: A balance that casts Scales of the Magical Weight (using the vis cooked into the item for comparison). Spell level is 5 (ArM, p. 158). Unlimited uses a day (+10), for an Enchantment Level of 15.

Wand of Vis's Nature: A wand that casts Sense the Nature of Vis. Spell level is 5 (ArM, p. 158). Unlimited uses a day (+10), for an Enchantment Level of 15.

Cloak of the Beaver's Fur: A light fur cloak that casts Cloak of the Duck's Feathers. Spell level is 5 (ArM, p. 124). Usable twice a day (+1), for an Enchantment Level of 6.

Boots of the March: Fur boots that make Fédora immune to fatigue (particularly caused by travel). ReCo base 10 ("Eliminate the penalties of Fatigue and wounds"), R: Touch +1, D: Sun +2, T: Individual, for a final Spell Level of 25. Usable twice a day (+1), for an Enchantment Level of 26.

Stone of Inspiration: A silver necklace with a topaz pendant (which is the enchanted item), which casts Aura of Ennobled Presence twice a day. Spell level is 10 (ArM, p. 145). Usable twice a day (+1), for an Enchantment Level of 11.

Bracelet Proof against Wood: A silver bracelet, worn on the right wrist, that casts Repel the Wooden Shafts. Spell level is 10 (ArM, p. 138). Usable 24 times a day (+5), for a final Enchantment Level of 15.

Bracelet Proof against Steel: A silver bracelet, worn on the left wrist, that repels metal weapons. ReTe, base 5 ("Keep all dirt away from your body, or ward a target against dirt"), +2 magnitudes for metal. R: Voice +2, D: Momentary, T: Individual, for a final Spell Level of 25. Usable 50 times a day (+6), for a final Enchantment Level of 31.

Total Post-Gauntlet devices: 119
Total starting Devices: 51
Total, all Devices: 170

Pawns of Vis Remaining: 8