Grog concepts

What grogs do people feel the covenant needs, and what ones are you wanting to make/run? Also if there is a covenant position you are making a companion for that could have been filled by a grog, please mention it here. After all we don't need a basic grog blacksmith if you are making a companion artisan blacksmith...

Also how big of a turb do we feel we need to support?

I'm going to have a go at this, but in reality I don't really know what an acceptable turb size is, I'll try to base it on what seems reasonable.

So if we base this on weapons and armour cost, standard expense weapons and full armor is about 20 points per one grog, if we use the full 1 pound to 320 points of armor that is enough weapons and armour to outfit 16 grogs. Assuming that we're a Summer or Autumn covenant at this point that would be 32 points of grogs (16 points otherwise). This would cost 28 pounds (provisions 15 pounds, consumables 6 pounds, wages 6 pounds and weapons/armour 1 pound) to support them on the 2 point per grog basis, or 10 pounds (5 pound provisions, 2 pound consumables, 2 pound wages and 1 pound weapons/armour) on the 1 point per grog basis, this is of course not taking into account any cost saving measures we take (growing our own food, magically creating our own food etc).

This is just to get the ball rolling, it will obviously be completely changed when we discuss what labourers we'll have and and companion characters that provide various cost savings.

You are starting as a spring covenant, in case that was not entirely clear, since we are starting at effectively the founding.

Makes sense, thanks for the clarification

How serious is the "Saracen Threat"? If this is still a problem for the area, a significant force might be necessary. Otherwise, 12 -16 might be appropriate.

Also, where do we want to discuss things like the turb leader, a possible medic, someone to train grogs, someone knowledgeable in tower defense ...

unless it is a companion, that would all be here.
The Saracen threat is certainly diminished at the moment- the Norman's success in conquering the area has see to that, but you are still on a shoreline and the threat could re-emerge at any time.
Also to keep in mind- Turb will tend to be organized into groups of 6 men (there can be other sized groups, but 6 men is generally optimal). Since you are defending walls and a tower I would expect archers to predominate.

If we are going to have groups of six, I propose the following:
Shield grog for each magus
Three sets of six sentries/guards where four in each set are archers (This allows for reasonable guard shifts, with support from off-duty grogs.)
Two grogs skilled as medics
One turb leader
Three or four "sergeants" (One or two of the sergeants would have some sort of siege experience, and be able to operate the ballista on our tower. And one or two who act as trainers, esp for any new enlistees.)
I have no idea how many build points this is. If we can save on points by statting out some of these characters, I can put some together in the next couple of weeks.
And I'm not kidding about the ballista.

Ok, so each grog is 1 BP each, I'm not sure how Silveroak wants us to do it but the two "medic grogs" could be considered specialists.

Weapons are 1/4/16 points each for Inexpensive/Standard/Expensive weapons respectively

Full Armour is 4/16/32 points each for inexpensirve/Standard/Expensive armour respectively, half values for partial armour.

A ballista is 16 points per each.

So the archer grogs which likely be in Fur or Leather armour which are both inexpensive and most likely outfitted with a short bow, this makes the archers equal to 6 BP each including the base cost of a grog.

the non-archer grogs would likely have something like a Mace as it was a very common weapon and easy to train people to use and Leather or Metal scale armour with an inexpensive shield, which are both Standard for some reason. This would make the melee grogs cost 22 points each with full standard armour, a mace and a round shield.

The turb leader would likely have more expensive equipment ,perhaps a long sword and standard expense shield with metal scale armour, this turb leader would cost 36 points

Thus far that is 12 archer grogs at 6 points each for a total of 72 points, 6 melee grogs at a cost of 22 points each for a total of 132, a turb leader that costs 36 points plus a Ballista of 16 points:

Oh and plus shield grogs for each magi, I'll assume the same as the melee grogs 22 points each, 6 magi = 132


So that is quite a lot of BP, and an alternate suggestion is we could instead invest BP to start with an amount of money, the BP cost is 1 BP per 10 mythic pounds and all of this would cost about 10 mythic pounds to buy, so we could start with a much smaller turb and then build it up in game over the course of a few seasons. Alternatively points could also be saved if there are any magi with spells that are capable of creating permanent weapons or armour

However this is also assuming that weapons and armour are 1BP=1 point of weapons and armour which doesn't sound right. Honestly it would make the most sense simply basing it off of the 1 BP = 10 mythic pounds and calculating the rough cost of all of this in terms of that.

Okay lets clear up a few things- the point to 6 man units is that they use the same weapon more effectively in these groups. Splitting the groups between archers and infantry undoes the benefits of grouping them.

Grogs do not cost points- maintaining them costs silver, but some grogs (craftsmen for example) can reduce costs by more than their cost.
Sentries would not need to patrol in sets of 6, but should probably belong to sets of six for when actual mass combat might occur.

Turb (I use this to distinguish fighting grogs from other grogs) have weapon points that do not cost build points, they are used to calculate the costs to maintain. Cost to have these items is in terms of mythic pounds, and a ballista costs 5 mythic pounds according to Lords of Men.

Specialists or craftsmen only cost points if they are not built as characters... a large point of this thread is to figure out which characters should be made- so point costs should not be entering into this at all.

I guess I misunderstood the six grogs with the same weapon idea. My home troupe has never had a mass combat, so I am not really familiar with the group combat rules.

The BP accounting, as I've said before, is not something I care to do. Happy to throw out ideas, or put together a character or two when needed. Shall I put together a medic and turb leader?

Certainly, also if you are interested in making craftsmen...

Part of the point of this thread is so that I don't go off and make a whole bunch of grogs that the players don't want hanging around, or that they were interested in making. If we wanted to optimize the covenant (at least at the start), we could bring costs way down with a few craftspeople- A Mason and Carpenter to begin with (there are other options in this category) Perhaps a vinter, brewer, or baker, chandler, weaver, leatherworker... most likely a bowyer and weaponsmith as well, given that it looks like our turb will be big enough to make weapons upkeep a consideration...

Makes sense, in which case I think for the same setup Archimedes had proposed it woudl be 2 sets of 6 archers and 1 set of 6 archers

RIght, that makes a whole lot more sense than whatever I was trying to do, I'll try recalculating everything and see what we can do

Makes sense, makes everything a little easier to calculate

My only comment about this is that in covenants P. 71 it says 2 Ballistas, light catapults or a single catapult or trebuchet cost 1 pound

Yeah I don't even know where my brain was when I was writing that post, anyway I guess I'll recalculate what we can do:

Archer Set 1&2: 12 grogs with fur armour and short bows: 6 points of weapons and armour = 12*6 points = 72

Melee Set 1: 6 grogs with full leather scale armor with a mace and a round shield is 21 points per each for a total of 126

+16 for the ballista is 198 points of weapons and armour which is less than the 320 points per 1 pound of expense, so there's a lot of room for changing and improving stuff

I would suggest long bows for the archers instead of short- and a knife as a back up weapon in case they are closed upon- I believe the extra range for a long bow makes this worth the cost, especially in a potential siege type situation.
keep in mind that cost to maintain weapons and armor is 1 pound of mythic silver per 230 points of weapons.
I suspect the difference in cost between Lords of Men and Covenants is that Lords of men also includes the cost of keeping them supplied with ammunition and either building them on the combat site or transporting them overland as opposed to having them in storage and wheeling them out in a combat situation.

My only problem with this is the historical justification for Normans in Italy using, presumably, English longbows in the 12th century

Sure, a knife or short sword could easily be added

I assume you mean 1 per 320 points yes? As per p.66 of the covenants book.

I assumed it was simply a pointless inconsistency, either way I'll defer to you to decide on the result of any rule inconsistency.

The English used the longbow against the Normans in 1066, and it is hardly a secret technology after that. The Norman longbows may not have the illustrious history of the English longbow, but they do exist...

In that case then, the Archers will cost 19 points each:

  • Partial inexpensive armour = 2 points
  • Expensive and inexpensive weapon(long bow and knife) = 17 points

which comes out as 228 points for our 12 archers.

I might stat a couple of them today, but I'll be fairly busy so we'll see.

I did the first set of 6 yesterday (mostly), so we have that as a demo...

Oh, I don't actually have the grogs book, are there any important virtues/flaws or creation rules I should know about that are specific to grogs listed in that book? Additionally what is "Turb Trained" and any other exclusive virtues and flaws.

The grogs book contains a few optional rules (like the quick and easy grog advancement, which I am inclined not to use), a cluster of virtues and flaws, most of which from a design perspective I don't like, or are for certain applications (like making animals), and none of it is necessary. Turb trained simply means they can start with martial skills and the ancient language used in the covenant (generally Latin, Ancient Greek in Thebes), as they have been raised for Turb duty within the covenant. I'm not sure how Atlas games would feel about me publishing the whole list on their board, but some of the other ones I find most useful or interesting are:

Mythic (craft)- listed as mythic farrier this is a lesser form of touched by magic from City and Guild, in that the craftsman (or professional) may choose one ability and one form and craft items with a form of lesser enchantment described in city and guild in items which they craft over an entire season.

Forgetable face- usefull for sneaky sneaky types, you can't be picked out of the crowd and people find it difficult to describe your appearabce in anything but the most generic terms after meeting you.

Craft-Guild Training: gives 50xp for craft or professional skills, organization lore:guild, and bargain

Hermetic Experience- 50 XP for Order of Hermes Lre, Magic LOre, and/or Latin. You cannot spend other XP on Magic Lore or Latin without another virtue allowing it.

Jack of all trades- makes it easier to perform abilities you have no points in

Master of (form) creatures- you can train magical creatures with might in the specific form.

Mild Aging - receives a +1 bonus to aging rolls and a +3 to survive aging crises

Minor enchantments - the character has up to 25 levels in enchanted devices

Natural leader (pack leader)- the character gets a +3 bonus in social situations where they take the lead.

Bound to (Role) Role - this is interesting, but mostly for high enchantment, and can represent a number of things, from a guard being bound to a tower to a Blacksmith with a forge hammer replacement for a hand instead of a hook.

Devoted Parent/Child - easy flaw for anyone who won't be leaving the covenant- suffer a -1 penalty whenever separated from said child/parent. If taken for children I do allow this to be traded out as they age.

Fish out of water (terrain)- character takes a -1 penalty to any stress die when outside the preferred terrain.

Foreign upbringing- personality flaw somewhere between outsider and covenant upbringing- born in a foreign land, has an accent and strange customs, etc. but has been mostly accepted unlike a true outsider.

Imagined Folk Tradition Vulnerability - Special case delusion where someone believes that folk wards against faeries etc. will affect them.

Jinxed- when chane selects who will be the target of misfortune, it tends to target this character. Which actually makes them safer to be around...

Magical Fascination- intense (obsessive) interest in the supernatural. May have a score of 1 in either magic or faerie lore.

Necessary (realm) aura for (ability) : the character has a -3 to use the ability outside the specific realm. Easy flaw slot for covenant craftsmen who need a magic aura.

Pack Mentality- born follower, this person rarely takes the initiative and finds a leader and sticks with them. Great for designated followers (lower rank troops, etc)

(Realm) Stigmata - whenever the character is in an aura over strength 4 or affected by a level 20 effect or greater associated with the designated realm, they have physical manifestations and loose a long term fatigue. Useful for finding hidden infernal auras...

Uncertain faith: at -3 to invoke divine aid, slightly more susceptible to infernal influence, the character is uncertain about their religious upbringing, possibly from being exposed to conflicting dogmas.

Uncontrollable Strength- the character tends to break things through routine use- must have a str:0 or higher

weak personality- all personality traits are between -1 and +1, personality rolls above 6 are considered to be a 6

Worthless abilities- Time lost characters must have 30 points in abilities which are no longer usefull (such as area lore-Pompeii). I find it works well with virtues that give 50 xp points, as you still come out ahead.