HR and CD discussion

I've come to a decision regarding Apprentices as Dependents. It just doesn't make sense. I was willing to listen to some carefully crafted narrative as to why this would make sense, but instead I had a list of possibilities. As the story guide, I have to create stories for the players that make sense, and the reasons offered for this didn't work for me. We should note, that under the Code, Apprentices are considered property, and so, at any time, without real consquence, a magus can simply kill an apprentice and resolve the story flaw. In the case of a birth child being an apprentice, this isn't likely, but it's still a distinct possibility. Even still, it's not a possibility that I find interesting to create stories.

That's not to say it's an absolute no, it's a hard no. If you can come up with a really story seed to justify it, I'm still willing to listen to an appeal. Listing off possibilities, isn't the same as presenting a story seed, though.

Combat is dangerous, and I won't deny that combat abilities for a familiar, such as a polar bear, make sense, but are you willing to regularly risk your familiar in combat? There's an appeal to make a familiar less squishy, more combat capable, because magi can be squishy, but a familiar represents a huge investment in the magus's magical power. With combat being so deadly, regularly risking a familiar to that chance is, IMO, less than wise.

Ok, I'm good with that. How about this - at my covenant, just before I planned to leave, the troubles came to our door. Our Aegis is very small, covering only a couple of buildings. Most of the covenfolk live outside of it. A group came for our vis, and we were forced to confront them. We won, but the soldier grogs perished. A decision was made to disband the covenant.

After the attack, I'm left with a number of widows and small children. I'm carrying, oh about a dozen refugees with me. My build points represent my portion of the covenant's resources.

I've got in my head that I'm coming for Bartholemeus on my ship, and we'll go together to Finland, but I've got a lot of people with me that need help.

I'm perfectly fine with that. It was my original interpretation of the flaw anyway.

That can work, though I was planning on Bartholomeus arriving by mundane means (merchant ship). He'd have learned a bit of Area Lore on the way (and fallen off the ship once, hence learning to swim).

We can still go your way if you want. If space is an issue on the boat due to the supplies + the number of people, then Bartholomeus can help there. Though he will also be travelling with several mundanes -- about 15-20 people (grogs, specialists and just regular covenfolk) -- he can shrink down the supplies so that the people have more space.

We can even do it half-and-half, with Bartholomeus making it to Denmark on his own and being picked up by Calpurnia there, like Aarhus. Or perhaps Bartholomeus made it to Turku in Finland, and Calpurnia simply picked him up there after dropping off her own people at the covenant's site. Up to you how we do this. I think the last possibility makes the most sense.

Out of curiosity (and to help complete the development of my magus), how prevalent do you think combat will be for the magi? Is a non-combat magus or a low-combat magus viable? I'm not particularly looking at a non-combat magus, but I wasn't looking at any 50 penetration with called lightning either. Is that something that you can see working in your saga, or will a low-combat magus be (possibly literally) dead on arrival?

Jonathan, you made some salient points about my design. What I'd like to do is to start my character at +2 Per and +2 Int (instead of 0 and +3), and then use Characteristic of the Heroes once on each. I just want to make sure that doing it twice is not unreasonable. Without an Automata, I can afford a second casting.

Is it from a sourcebook? I've a frazzled brain today.

HOH:TL, p. 103.

I think what was being asked is where such a framework is described in a sourcebook; it is not from any sourcebook. I basically described the cost of the ritual much like the cost of a Verditius made magic item. Vis cost of the ritual + 2x vis cost for the service. I discussed it here.

I was hunting for both, so thank you both. 36 pawns is high but might be worth rejiggering for if I have not hit the max 10% BPs to Vis conversion limit.

While I try to rework my concept...

Would disease count as a minor magical focus? I may want to have a go at researching the plague when it inevitably spreads our way.

How does our SG feel about Nature Lore? I ask because I was looking at Tremere and saw the bit about the lineage of Muj - obviously in Turku we're a moderate distance from mountains, and I'd be at a 3 point penalty for being in a mountain range outside my native one, but even so I could easily reach the level of being able to locate vis in mountains easily.

We have a few techniques and forms well-covered, but no-one seems to cover Animal or Herbam. Can anyone remember where the stats for animated trees and the spells to make them are? I swear I've seen them in one supplement.

Don't see why diseases can't be minor if healing is minor.

Lineage of Muj? What's that from? I thought Nature Lore was a faerie mystery...

It's from the section of House Merinita (HoH:MC p.77), a lineage that left the House when Quendalon took control. They took refuge in Transylvania and are part of House Tremere now (though HoH:S doesn't mention them at all).

This may have become buried in other posts. Any thoughts on the importance of combat ability?

As the name implies, Nature Lore is a Nature Mystery, one of the non-faerie mysteries from pre-Quendalon Merinita. They have to take close family ties, Affinity(auram), great strength and mountain lore as a package. Mountain Lore is the mountain speciality of Nature Lore, but looking at Turku on a map we'd be building a covenant a fair distance away from mountains. I was just considering this lineage as an interesting subtype of Tremere.

Are we looking at shipping in food, glassware, writing materials from the cities on the south side of the Baltic or are we trying to be self-sufficient?

Thanks for bring it back to my attention, Trogdor. I knew I was missing responding to a couple of things, but could not find them for the life of me.

Combat is as important as the player wishes to make it for his character(s). Almost every character will face combat at some point, but it will be scaled appropriate to the character(s) involved. Combat is but a single story telling technique, although it tends to be the most often used one.

I see now, with further reading, that despite being in the Merinita section Nature Lore has nothing to do with Faeries. So, any magi that are of this Lineage of Muj has no ties to Faerie. I was trying to wrap my head around a part of House Tremere accepting magi who dealt with faeries, when they don't. Magi of this lineage should follow the strict Tremere doctrine with respect to faeries.

If you're going to take Nature Lore, I'd suggest forests over mountains. Not sure of the overarching reason to chose mountains over forests, certainly plenty of forested spaces in Transylvania.

This one's a discussion for the active players. I can provide some guidelines, as necessary, to allow players to build the covenant that they want.

I appreciate your advice, and I will follow it to an extent. But at the same time, I feel like optimizing a character is not necessarily a defining aspect of how enjoyable he will be. Afterall if Atlas is not as thought out as other characters, I may simply have to pursue more modest endeavours. I hope you won't mind telling stories that are not as epic as usual :stuck_out_tongue:.

@Arthur, I'm not sure to live up to your expectations : while I will probably meet the 30 creo corpus lab score required to provide rituals to others, a +6 ritual feels somewhat lousy when you need a +12 ritual to be on the safe side of aegeing in your early years. Maybe I'm missing something ?

Moving the post to the CD discussion thread...

No, stories will be designed to be appropriate to the character. Epic stories will typically involve more than one magus, and won't come about until I identify the frequent posters and we can agree upon some of the meta-game issues related to multiple magi being in a PBP story. Just because a character is optimized, though, doesn't mean he is strong. He will have weaknesses, and stories will generally serve to identify those weaknesses, and exploit them in some way. This can also be done with generalist characters, but generalists tend to lose their luster when they work with other characters who specialize in a particular area.

A +12 ritual is pretty kick ass. If you're looking to do a longevity specialist, I'd suggest mMF:aging, which will give a huge boost to the longevity ritual, and Puissant Magic Theory is also great, too, as you can pump more vis into longevity rituals. My corpus specialist, just out of gauntlet, without any customization for LRs could make a +7 LR. Also, remember 31 CrCo Lab Total is +7, 36 is +8. Don't forget about rounding up.

The key to a longevity specialist (or any other specialist, for that matter) usually lies in a Magical Focus. Its benefits increase with time, as the magus improves his relevant Arts. Sure, you can't expect a newly-Gauntleted magus to crank out a lab total of 80 right away, but that's something that can be done after a decade or two of study.

For example, let's take a fairly mild longevity specialist with a Minor Magical Focus, Affinity with Creo, Affinity with Corpus and +3 Int. It's easy to start him with Magic Theory 4 (longevity rituals), Creo 12 and Corpus 12 (that's a total of 154 xp). His initial lab total would be 44 + aura, so he can reasonably generate a +10 LR right away.

After 10 seasons of study (at 10 xp per season) split evenly between Creo and Corpus, his scores in those Arts would be 17, for a lab total of 59 + aura. Good for a +13 LR.

That's before all the things that can further add to his lab total: additional virtues such as Inventive Genius and Puissant (Cr, Co or MT), a familiar, another magus acting as a lab assistant, a specialized lab, a better aura, etc.

Of course, I'm not sure over what time scale the saga will take place, so I don't know whether you will have time to fully develop those capabilities. But even 5 years after Gauntlet would allow you to decently fill such a niche role. The main drawback is that it doesn't necessarily make for a complete character by itself, but rounding out such a character with nice motives and interests isn't that limiting. Cranking out longevity rituals doesn't need to be his main goal in life.

For example, HoH:MC p.37 describes the Mythic Blood of Phoenix, which gives a Minor Magical Focus in aging. That means that in addition to being good at producing longevity rituals, such a magus can also be great with spells that cause aging, and could reasonably be expected to have an interest in Ignem as well. That Mythic Blood lineage provides additional benefits as well as a nice background story line. And I've seen other character makeups that use a different V&F mix to produce similar results -- namely a character who is good at longevity rituals but has other interests as well.

So another example is a character with an interest in improving the human body (and a Magical Focus to match) and focused on ritual magic. He could be great for inventing various stat-boosting rituals as well as longevity rituals. Such a character might have virtues like Mercurian Magic and Minor Magical Focus (improve the human body) in addition to those I've mentioned.