General Table Talk

I looked things over and in advancing Bashir to 1244, I'm going to have him write a L3/Q17 Medicine summa and two Q11 tractatus on Apothecary.

Anything I could work on for the covenant? For example, do we need more grogs with stats?

Might as well do something in parallel to waiting for answers in the "Welcome to Andorra Marcellus" thread. :grin:

Yo can maybe gen up your personal entourage? A pair of shield grogs or some such. We do have a list of named grogs, though I am unsure how many have actual stats.

Now that I think of it, a general roll call for player Companions and Grogs is a good idea too. I know there has been mention of Bashir and Selim are still with us. Who is staying and who gets crossed off my list?

Part of Marcellus' background is that his Arts were opened by Octavius Maximus of Verditius (his pater's own pater), right before he died. I had this idea that Octavius was the last magus of a small covenant in northeastern side of the Pyrenees.

That covenant no longer exists and Octavius (Marcellus' pater) inherited its remaining assets, including the few grogs and covenfolk that didn't want to revert to the mundane life of the village that supported the covenant. They still keep in touch with their old village, with the occasional youth from the village that seek a different life joining them.

A few of these decided to follow Marcellus at his new covenant. They didn't travel through the portals, but will arrive by land once he lets them know where he is settling.

So I can create as few or as many as the troupe feels comfortable with, with varied levels of experience and skill sets. I'll start with 2 grogs (probably light infantry scouts), but I could also add a specialist or two -- I'm thinking a leatherworker and something else.

How does that sound?

EDIT: Am I correct in assuming that the chargen house rules apply to grogs as well?

I have to admit that I made up Bashir when I was first starting off in this saga and in Ars Magica in general. And while he's an interesting character and a great addition to the covenant, he hasn't been a particularly satisfying companion character for me. He doesn't fit into many stories and he mostly sits in the covenant. I've taken him on a few stories, but even then, he's much more of a sedentary character. I've long thought that I might be happier with a different companion.

That is correct. Grogs are mentioned here.

This is useful to everyone. I am a fan of Seth Skorkowsky's RPG vids. Here is some solid advice for al of us.

Character Backstory

Maybe I should design myself a grog as well.
With a new magus in the saga I bet I’ll play a lot with the Woad.
So I should design a grog going places and doing things the Woad won’t. Mundane socialising comes to mind, local area- and noble lore, church lore - an advisor to the magi, perhaps?

role call on my companions and grogs? this could take a while to look them all up!
definitely will need to retain Paxti and Magda, though they are less grogs and more background characters where I am tracking advancement as they assist in development of the covenant library and Fleur's research projects...

Are Lucia and Epona still part of Fleur's entourage? They're advanced to 1242, but it shouldn't take that long to get at least Epona current.

They weren't- the original player and their maga returned to the game back in whatever year that was and took them back over- I don't know if they are still PC or not... also I need to find my staff budget to see if I can put turtle on the payroll as an artist/craftsman.

Yeeeah...that would be me. Far as I know, they're still working for Fleur. And Mayhew should be just about the right age to start pulling his weight around the covenant, too.

Looks like they were as of 1238, I can't recollect for certain past that, Mayhew would be 7 now... not sure what Fleur's staff budget would look like... or if we are in fact keeping track of that...

Feed me all the budget concerns you can. I am looking for ways to increase expenses and reduce loyalty. Not to a bad score. We will still have a surplus in cash and I want to bring Loyalty to about a 3 or 4.

Loyalty should drop once new magi with standard or Blatant Gift arrives.

I know, I calculated that in. I can drop Familiarity to zero and it is still off the chart. Twenty percent of the magi have the Gentle Gift. I have two Blatant Gifts, diluted in a sea of fifteen magi. I gave an NPC (who isn't even a member) the Blatant Gift to hike it to three BGs, and it is still too high. If I cut salaries and lower equipment quality, I come up with 3 or 4. And I woud rather not do that. I even yanked the bonuses for the Captain and Autocrat. I am thinking of inventing detriments, like "-x High Stress Environment", "-y Arcane Echoes", "-z High Magi Traffic".

I just revised it again, and this is what I come up with.
Governance & Loyalty

I dropped the officers bonus, no Familliarity bonus, invented a detriment, and faked a Blatant Gift. Loyalty +4 still. I want to bring it down to a reasonable 3 and include the Captain & Autocrat.

Seems like a good moment to make old characters (NPC) start to suffer twilight or move to other areas of interest (and covenants). You can use the 3 year hiatus for that easily. Or you can cause a magical or mundane mishap that took a few of them out of the equation.

Other ideas

Type of Governance: Democracy layered over an old Hierarchy
Loyalty: +4 (53)
Base Loyalty: -35 (-305 Blatant Gift x three, -300 Gift x nine, -0 Gentle or No Gift x 3, = -605, divided by fifteen magi (round up) equals -41
Prevailing Loyalty: +4 (Base -41; +30 Loyal Covenfolk, +20 Living Conditions, +20 Equipment, +20 Salary, +10 Pension, -3 Carmen's Reputation as Pushy, -3 High Stress Occupation; = 53)

Drop loyal covenfolk. maybe there was a break of a plague in the convenant or something (make a small adventure out of it if it is caused by someone/something?) that removed a lot of the old covenfolk. There is an influx of new recruits with no familiarity or loyalty to older stuff.

Maybe the salary is good, but the death possibility is so high that it effectively it is considered a high risk high reward job, so no salary bonus: what the covenant pays is ewhat makes people take the job, but tha tis all.

You can always find excuses to bitch about your current job. I have seen people that have double my wage and not much more responsibility complain about their working conditions. A few bad apples like that given free reign for a while and you get a grumpy workforce.

If you make one of the administrators bad, you can also cause that. Not all personel selections will be top notch in any organization. The characters in the saga dcannot see the CV&F and personality traits of the people they are hiring.

So, if you want to make loyalty an issue it is easyu to make up reasons why it happened. A few blows in deaths (like a pair of forays that caused 4-6 grogs to die in each case, or an attack on the covenant with the same result) drops morale by a lot, for example, and people start wondering if the salary is that good given the dangers of the job.

Was there an in-game hiatus? My understanding was that we were at 1243/1244 when the game paused and we are still at 1243/1244 now.

Ah, my bad. I misunderstood. I thought the game went from 1242 (some recap and adventures finishing there) and then the story would be jumped to 1245.