Guiverna ex Miscellanea - Development

Nope. Nothing to see here. Try looking over here.

Oh, sure, of course!

Methinks this flaw doesn't belong here :wink:
Also, I believe there are stats for an Asp in Magi of Hermes, if that may help you. The chapter with the mage who wanders Africa and shapeshift into all kind of beasties, can't remember his name.

You know what would be cool? Guiverna learning a spell to become a GIANT asp. Still useless against magi, but great versus mundanes :smiley:

Well, her asp form in general is going to be useless against most magi, so no change there. And isn't there already a MuCo spell to increase size? So she could just turn into her asp form and then cast that spell on herself; or probably cast it before she turns so she can use gestures and words.

Edit: Or am I getting the form wrong. I know for Bjornaer in heartbest, only Animal spells work. For magi using Muto, I know Mentem still works on them (whereas it doesn't for Bjornaer) but I can't remember if Corpus still does, or if Animal now does.

In either form, I would think Semsuhfaw would still be her boon companion.

I saw in the main forum that there was stats for an asp in Magi of Hermes, but it doesn't really help...I don't have it, and it's not on my "must-have-now" list. And I wouldn't feel comfortable asking anybody to email the stats and stuff to me at rayasmith42 at gmail dot com.

That would be doable. Basically a Personal version of Beast of Outlandish Size designed with no words or gestures (being a snake, and having nothing really to gesture with). Not sure why being a giant asp would be useless against magi, unless we're going with the "Magi can't touch each other because of Parma and resistance" thing and I didn't realize it.

Iirc, for Bjornaer, they can cast a Corpus spell themselves, and the effects carry over into their Animal form, and vice versa. That might be Bjornaer-specific, seeing as how their true forms are alternately Corpus or Animal. I might be mis-remembering, though.

Not exactly. Anytime you have a magical effect on your person (in this case your spell that changes you into an asp), any physical attack requires you to penetrate MR. Mystery Cults makes this clear specifically for shapechanged magi, "The Penetration Total of the caster must exceed the Magic Resistance of anyone that the shapechanged human wishes to touch (or attack)."

Bjornaer are an exception, because being in their Heartbeast is not a magical effect.

Okay, I just reread the rules. For a non-Bjornaer (other than a lycanthrope) that is shapeshifted, they are affected by Corpus, Mentem and Animal spells. Lycanthropes are affected by Corpus and Animal, but not Mentem because his does not retain his human mind. For Bjornaer in their heartbeast form, they are only affected by Animal spells.

The ability to "carry-over" spells between forms should for non-Bjornaer, as long as the spell would still affect you; which makes sense because if you're still affected by Corpus there is no reason a spell should stop working. I think the reason they specifically mention it also working for Bjornaer is because that would be an exception.

Guiverna in her asp form. Stylistically, I see her as being, technically, an Egyptian Cobra (Naja haje), which is believed to be the asp that killed Cleopatra and her two handmaidens. (Asp is supposedly the modern Anglicisation of the word "aspis," which often referred to the Egyptian cobra and which also appears to be the asp described in Magi of Hermes.

Guiverna's Asp form

Int: +1
Per: 11
Pre: -4/+3
Com: -6
Str: -6
Sta: +2
Dex: +2
Qik: +2

Size: -3

Virtues: Ferocity (self defense), The Gift, Keen Sense of Smell, Lesser Immunity (Poisons), Lightning Reflexes, Mythic Blood, Parseltongue, Sharp Ears

Flaws: Avaricious, Blatant Gift, Infamous (is a poisonous snake), Lecherous, Magic Animal Companion

Qualities: Ambush Predator, Loathsome Appearance, Slippery, Venomous.


  • +6 to Defense against grapple attacks
    ** Possible envenomation.

Soak: +2
Fatigue Levels: OK, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: -1 (1), -3 (2), -5 (3), Incapacitated (4), Dead (5+)

Abilities: Area Lore: Carcassonne 2, Artes Liberales i[/i] 1, Athletics i[/i] 1, Awareness 2 i[/i], Brawl 2 i[/i], Egyptian Theology i[/i] 1, French i[/i] 5, Hunt 4 i[/i], Latin i[/i] 4, Magic Theory (inventing spells) 4, Medicine i[/i] 3, Order of Hermes Lore 1, Parma Magica i[/i] 2, Parseltongue 3, Philosophae (natural philosophy) 1, Stealth 4 (stalking prey), Survival 3 (local environment).

[tab][/tab]Venomous Bite, 0 Points, Init 0. When Guiverna attacks, compare her Attack Advantage to the victim's armor Protection (not his Soak). If Guiverna's advantage is higher, the victim suffers the effects of asp venom as listed in the Poison Table on p. 180 of ArM5, regardless of whether the bite inflicts an actual wound. The storyguide may adjust the required Attack Advantage for special circumstances: for instance, high boots might offer an effective Protection +3 against the adder's special attack even though they don't protect against normal attacks.

Natural Weapons: Fangs (Init 0, Atk +3, Def +1, Dam +1).

For some reason, I never feel like I can quite grasp creating magical creatures. Don't know why. But here's my Version 0.5 of Semsuhfaw, Guiverna's Magical Animal Companion.

I haven't done his abilities yet, because I wanted to run the concept past the troupe first. Basically, I see Semsuhfaw as being a teacher/mentor for Guiverna (and others, maybe, depending on what he knows and if he wants to teach them stuff). I also see him (and this is the part that may be problematic for some, but he is a Story flaw) have having been created or transformed by the gods (okay, maybe A god...okay, maybe a guy with a really funky headdress) and sent to Guiverna to guide her...for what purpose, I don't know yet, but I'm leaning toward restoring Egyptian magic (e.g. Exodus 7:10-12).

He would speak Egyptian (or possibly Coptic, which is apparently a part of the Egyptian language), French, and Latin, and have high scores in Egyptian Theology and Teaching.

The other thing that's throwing me is Qualities/Inferiorities and Powers. I'm thinking of possibly the stereotypical movie-snake hypnosis thing, but not sure.

He's built as a Grog-level Autumn character for a High-power saga, which gives him 5 Might and 720 xp for Abilities. He is also exceptionally large for a (European) snake, measuring over 10½ feet long (3.25 m) and weighing about 19 pounds (8.7 kg).

Here's what I have so far.[hr][/hr]
Magic Might: 7 (Animal)
Characteristics: Int +1, Per 0, Pre +1, Com +2, Str -4, Sta +2, Dex +2, Qik +1.
Size: -2
Season: Autumn
Virtues and Flaws: Magic Animal, Lightning Reflexes, Unaffected by the Gift.
Qualities and Inferiorities: Ambush Predator, Venomous, Loathsome Appearance; Gift of Speech, Minor Virtue (Unaffected by the Gift).
Personality Traits:
Soak: +2
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-2), -3 (3-4), -5 (5-6), Incapacitated (7-8), Dead (9+).
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0, –1, –3, –5, Unconscious.
Venomous Bite, 0 Points, Init 0, Animal.
[tab][/tab]When Semsuhfaw attacks, compare his Attack Advantage to the victim’s armor Protection (not his Soak). If Semsuhfaw's advantage is higher, the victim suffers the effects of his venom (equivalent to Adder Bite, as listed in the Poison Table on page 180 of ArM5), regardless of whether the bite inflicts an actual wound. The Storyguide may adjust the required Attack Advantage for special circumstances: for instance, high boots might offer an effective Protection +3 against his special attack even though they don’t protect against normal attacks.

Vis: 1

Do My Will (ReMe 35)
R: Eye, D: Sun, T: Individual

Upon making eye contact with the target, Semsuhfaw can give him a verbal command, which the target must carry out to the best of his ability. The command may be very simple ("Run.") to quite complex ("Go to your master's chambers, find the garnet ring, and bring it here.") The only caveat is that it must be carried out by the next sunset or sunrise.

(Base 20, +1 Eye, +2 Sun)

Base Might Point cost is 7, base Init is -13. He has taken Lesser Power three times, which gives him 75 levels of effect. He has used 35 for the spell levels, leaving him 40 levels, which translates into 8 Mastery Points. He uses 5 levels to reduce the Might Point cost to 2, and 3 levels to increase the Init to -10...which is fine, as I see this as being more of a non-combat move anyway).

Does that look like it passes muster?

Got my Abilities list for Semsuhfaw finished (I think). Assumptions made: free Native Language (French) at 5, and (as he's built from an Adder) base Ability scores of Awareness 2, Brawl 2, Hunt 4, Stealth 4, and Survival 3.

Submitted, for your consideration:

  • Awareness i[/i] 3
  • Brawl i[/i] 4
  • Charm 4
  • Egyptian 5
  • Egyptian Theology 6
  • French 5
  • Guile 5
  • Hunt i[/i] 4
  • Intrigue 4
  • Latin 5
  • Music i[/i] 3
  • Penetration (Do My Will) 5
  • Stealth (stalking prey) 4
  • Survival (wooded areas) 3
  • Teaching i[/i] 6

I'm not sure that's a good assumption. Here's what Marko said when I was making up my familiar:

That's 775 points worth of Attributes, 55 points over for an Autumn creature. But I have a question, why does she start out as an Autumn Creature? So far as I know, familiars (or proto-familiars) start off as Summer creatures. Horus is certainly a Summer creature.

I missed that. Easily fixed. Does he still get the free Native language or no?

It'll be 720 once I get the bases un-based, as above.

Went with Autumn because of what I see as Semsuhfaw's role: kind of a mentor/teacher as well as a good friend.

So. Revised Abilities list:

  • Awareness i[/i] 3
  • Brawl i[/i] 4
  • Charm 3
  • Egyptian 5
  • Egyptian Theology 6
  • French 5
  • Guile 5
  • Hunt i[/i] 4
  • Latin 5
  • Penetration (Do My Will) 5
  • Stealth (stalking prey) 4
  • Teaching i[/i] 6

Language must be paid for.
What was Horus' base Might? I think he went with base 10 summer, as did Vocis with Celeste and Roberto with Cidito. Solomon went with base 15 Spring I think. Not sure.
Would you be fine with base 5 Autumn?
Or base ten with Improved Abilities five times plus Reduced Might for more Improved Abilities and/or Ability Virtues?

Yea, Horus went for 10 Might, Summer.

ponders I'm kind of attached to the Autumn mentor/teacher role, for some reason. If we make Semmy a Companion level with a Medium saga-power-level, that would give him a base Might of 10 (12 when you factor in his Size), or 5 more than he has now.

Paying for French: 5 and putting the skills where they were before means an additional 205 xp in Abilities, which would use four of the five new Magic Might (with a little shuffling on the abilities). Dunno what to do with the extra MM, though. Maybe a Personal Power that allows him to levitate, basically a Rego Animal base 5(?), R: Personal, D: Concentration +1, T: Individual, for a spell level of 10. Base Might Cost is 5, but with three Mastery Points from the power would reduce that to 2.

Would that work? And would having him be Companion level be more in keeping with my (the player's) goal of making him a Familiar down the road?

So, after the discussion over on the General Table Talk thread and actually reading the saga guidelines for Familiars, I think I'm going to overhaul Semsuhfaw. Make him a Summer Character (360xp) with a base Might of 10 (which would be 12, after adjusting for his Size).

Definitely going with the Do My Will Power, though, but I am undecided about the "Leaping Legless Lizards, Lenny!" one. I'll have to dig out my Hargreave's and see what powers snakes supposedly had.

For what it's worth, fine by me. I like this.
Or maybe, that's what he tells Guiverna. He may just enjoy the attention :wink:

Serf's parma, looks like it.

But with Base Might 05 :wink:

You could give it a corosive spit, or extra extra extra soak. Or a stealth power. Or a ritual self-healing power ("shedding his old skin"). Or a "growing" power, like the waimee.

Ooo...I like the self-healing power...and depending on what magnitude it winds up being, it would take (probably) a couple of hours, which seems about right.

Qu'est-que c'est "waimee"? Je ne sait pas cet mot, et je ne peux pas trouver avec Google.

Only problem is, it'd be a Ritual Power, so cost Might Score, although he could substitute Confidence*. Add Vis mastery for the ability to spend 1 vis as confidence, add self-confident to have more confidence AND spend 2 pawns as confidence.
Take the Restricted Powers flaw to represent the fact that it takes time and requires him to shed his old skin

  • Which makes me realize that, as great as they are otherwise, the confidence HR are broken for this purpose.

It's a monster in... Tales of power.

Un serpent géant qui grandit, grandit, jusqu'à pouvoir enserrer l'alliance dans ses anneaux.

I disagree. They will replenish naturally at a rate similar to stories. They won't "over stack", if that is what you mean. But I think it would e acceptable for the players to use Fortune this way if the character has the aforementioned Quality.

Have his "Shed My Skin" power statted, I think.

Shed His Skin (CrAn 35, Ritual)

This Power allows Semsuhfaw to shed his skin, thereby healing him of all his wounds.

Base Might Cost 7, Base Init -13

He has 15 Levels left from his Ritual Power, which he applies as 3 Mastery Points to reduce the Might Cost of the power to 4.

Base 35 ("Heal all wounds", R: Personal, D: Momentary, T: Individual.

I'm thinking, purely as fluff, that every time he does this, he adds ½ inch (1 cm) to his length. I don't see it happening enough to actually increase his size anytime in the next century, but it's still cool.