I may have forgotten something, but for the time being, here's how I see it.
I'm aiming for a more low-power feel than Andorra, but also the average Ars campain.
There's this idea that Andorra is great. It's one of the order's better covenants, with a long and rich history, a wonderful place, a magnificent library, and it attracts only the best of magi, covenfolks and grogs. So, by giving the outside world a lower power level, I can showcase Andorra's power and wealth.
It's also a question of verisimilitude: For this kind of secret, "no come back" mission, it's way easier for The Spider to find, suborn and/or fund soldiers and hedge magi than even a band of young hermetics.
The characters are hired with the following goals in mind:
- Go south, until no one has heard of the order of hermes. Find a safe place, build a backup covenant here
- Go slowly; Spend time, at least 1 season but probably more, in the countries you cross, investigate the region, local magics, anything of interest... One or more books should be written describing the foundings. 2 copies are to be kept. The spider will retrieve one when she can visit.
- Recruit along the way if you can. Strange wizards are welcome, unless you can't control them. You must instill a tight group spirit: Everyone must the loyal to the turb. Train together, things like that.
- Do not reveal yourselves to any order of wizards, do not make your mission known. At worst, you're explorers and adventurers.
- Character creation[/b]
Only grogs and companion-level characters, built as per the core rules, not Andorra's HR. No Rival traditions. This may include hedge magi, although you're encouraged to think creatively instead of brute-forcing for high totals and uber-combos: Super-optimized characters can probably find better life prospects than marching into the unknown. Likewise, hedge magi must be taken in the broadest sense, like "has a supernatural virtue".
No social flaws linking the character to Mythic Europe, for obvious reasons. However, you should write a reason for your character to go along with this. How was he hired/suborned? He may be a wanted criminal, an adventurous spirit, or just a soldier doing his job. As a compensation, companions may get 2 points of virtue "free". I'll probably raise these 2 limitations at a later point, for "local" characters.
EDIT: Not unlike in Andorra, each character has, for free, 15 free xp of Aera Lore, 05 of which must be put into a hometown. XP elsewhere must be explained in background (For exemple, a merchant working between 2 towns may know them, and a little of the country between)
She's searching for:
- A scholar or two: Someone who knows supernatural lores, has an inkling of Magic Theory (to know what's useful) and can write books. Ideally, have some minor supernatural ability, like being able to enrigh items or create reagents.
- Soldiers, soldiers, soldiers
- Hedge magi with spying abilities. This may mean having a spirit companion or guardian angel, being able to change into a bird, to leave one's body, to control animals...
- Someone with healing abilities, whether mundane or supernatural (lots of choices here)
- Someone with abilities that stock over time, like a trainer of supernatural creatures or a potions-maker
- Any suggestion from Eva about something she might have missed. She's smart enough to know she has blind spots, and need help to think outside her box.
It may be better to just begin with mostly grogs. That way, you may "recruit" exotic hedge wizards as companions as you cross their countries (for exemple, a sahir fleeing retribution by a more powerful peer). But whatever, this is not important.
3) House rules
3.1) Aera Lore and Languages
- Each season spend in a place where you don't do laboratory activities, train with a teacher or study a book, you gain 05 xp in the lowest of (local language) or (local area lore), to a maximum score of 02, unless, for some reason, you don't go out and interact with the place. This has 2 goals: verysimilitude in skills seldom increased, upgrading the slower study modes
3.2) Improving Default Languages
- If learning a language you already have a default with, spend xp normaly, as if starting from scratch. Add this to the default to determine your score in the new language, with a maximum being equal to the original language's score. E.g, I have High German 05, giving me Low German 03. If I put 05 xp into Low german, for a score of 1, I can speak it at 3+1 = 4.
3.3) Profession Skills
- Profession skills can roughly replace any skill used in the profession, although at a lower score: (skill/2 -1), rounded down, and only when exercising that profession. For exemple, someone with Prof: Merchant 5 can bargain his goods with a skill of 2
- Profession: Soldier needed a definition. Adapted from Blade of the Iron Throne: The professional skill of all soldiers, including low-level organisational decisions such as where and how to best strike up camp, how and where to set up guards, estimating the size of an enemy body by the size of its camp, judging the quality of a troop by seeing it perform, performing drills, drawing up in formations, etc. More importantly, this skill entirely replaces weapon skills in any battlefield setting where fighting is in a cramped closed formation, such as in a shield wall. In any such situation, a weapon skill functions only at (skill/2 -1), but Prof: Soldier can be used in its stead, no matter what the weapon, and the group counts as having trained together for battle purposes. If a character breaks rank to fight alone – endangering both himself and his comrades to boot – his skills are penalized no longer, but he also cannot use Prof: Soldier in their stead, nor does he counts as part of the group.
3.4) Mooks and Unnamed Grogs
In order to make bookkeeping easier, and inspired by Covenants, mooks and other unnamed characters are put into 3 categories: Crappy, Standard, and Elite.
Crappy Mooks either have a bad stat, a flaw, or no inclination to learn (like, they skip training). They usually inexpensive equipment (A long spear or hatchet, quilted armor or heavy leather).
Standard Mooks have one of these, and a Brave score of 1.
Elite mooks have 2 of there, and a Brave score of 3.
These exist at 4 stages, I to IV, roughly corresponding to their age (20, 30, 40 and 50). Each 10 years, mooks advance one stage. Characters over stage IV are considered to be either dead, or unable to keep going due to wounds/old age. So, you'd have a bunch of 20 Standard I soldiers, or 5 Elite III.
Mooks are described by a score in their main skill, which subsumes skill, attribute and virtue. They may have a second skill at -1, and a third at -2. The scores for Standard I, II, III and IV are respectively 4, 6, 7 and 8
Crappy mooks have -2 to their scores, Elite one have +2.
[th]I (age 20)[/th]
[th]II (Age 30)[/th]
[th]III (age 40)[/th]
[th]IV (age 50)[/th][/tr]
[td]Main Skill 2[/td]
[td]Main Skill 4[/td]
[td]Main Skill 5[/td]
[td]Main Skill 6[/td][/tr]
[td]Main Skill 4[/td]
[td]Main Skill 6[/td]
[td]Main Skill 7[/td]
[td]Main Skill 8[/td][/tr]
[td]Main Skill 6[/td]
[td]Main Skill 8[/td]
[td]Main Skill 9[/td]
[td]Main Skill 10[/td][/tr][/tableborder]
Only PCs will be detailed. If you recruit 5 ruffians, they'll be written as, say, 5 Standard I mooks (Single Weapon, Stealth), meaning they're aged around 20 and have final scores of 4 in single weapons, and 3 in Stealth.
Any question, suggestion or remark?