I need your help: Would you admit this companion?

Well, here is a really unusual companion character a player in my group wants to play. Before I refuse to accept him, I´d like to hear your point of view:

Magic Might: 2 (Corpus)

Characteristics: Int+2, Per+2, Str 0, Sta+2, Prs+1, Com+2, Dex 0, Qik+2 (16 points total)

True Form: Mythical Covenant Guide

Virtues: Magic Human, Magical Covenfolk, Improved Characteristics (x3), Shapeshifter, Homing Instinct (RoP:M, p. 44), Venus´ Blessing, Strong-Willed, Arcane Lore (10 points total)
Flaws: Busybody, Incomprehensible, Rebellious (TSE, p. 120), Small Frame, Unbaptised (RoP:D, p. 93), Visions (10 points total)

Abilities: Athletics 3, Awareness 3, Brawl 3, Carouse 1, Charm 2, Code of Hermes 1, Concentration 1, Etiquette 1, Finesse 1, Folk Ken 1, Guile 3, Intrigue 3, Legerdemain 3, Lore: Dominion 1, Lore: Faerie 1, Lore: Infernal 1, Lore: Magic 3, Magic Realm Lore 4, Magic Theory 1, Penetration 3, Shapeshifter 3, Stealth 3 (360+50 total)

Animal Shapes: Falcon, Black Cat, Brown Bear

Magic Qualities: Natural Appearance, Minor Virtue (Gift of tongues), Minor Virtue (Sure Traveller), Personal Power (x10), Lesser Power (x3) (10+8 total)
Magic Inferiorities: Reduced Might (x8) (8 total)

Personal Powers (250):
constant: True Sight of the Air (Auram / 20+10) Sight of the True Form (Corpus / 30+15 / reveals the original form if concealed by a spell of level 15 or lower. Penetrates mundane work as well / D:Sun), Eyes of the Cat (Corpus / 5+5 / R:per),
Masking the odor of Magic (Vim / 20+10 / Aura of Caster appears mundane for all spells up to level 30, higher spells are not affected / R.per), See the paths through the Void (Corpus / 30+15 / D:Sun / RoP:M, p. 27)
0 points: Wizard´s Sidestep (Imaginem / 10+5), Trackless Step (Terram / 10+5 / R:per, D:Sun), The body anew (Corpus / 5+5 / completely changes the appearance of the casters body to any features applicable for his species / D:Sun)
1 point: The Leap of homecoming (Corpus / 35+15)

Powers (75):
0 points: Cloth the naked form (Herbam / 10+10 / MoH, p. 58)
1 point: The call to slumber / Mentem / 15+10, R.Sight)
2 points: Transcendence of the body (Corpus / 20+10 / Percieve the Twilight Void through touched Corpus vestige, +12 bonus to Vestige Travel Total / +3 additional bonus, +1 touch)

The characters of my group are currently establishing a covenant at the site of an older, perished covenant. This companion is intended as a magical guide through the Magic Realm and Twilight Void. He was a companion of the perished covenant, got lost in the twilight realm and is about to return to the covenant now, when the player characters are rebuilding it. It is a magic human, the former covenant members created (and it seems to be my job to explain how this was possible). Furthermore the player asks me if it´d be possible to add a Magic Vestige on covenant ground... pew.

If you´d allow this bloke, what would you think: does he learn as a Magic Might 10 Character or as a Magic Might 2 character (he possesses Magic Might 2 but chose Magic Qualities as if he´d possess Magic Might 10)

I pray to the creators of Ars Magica: Let this be the last complex character, I have to decide about!

He has Magic Might 2, so -2 to Source Qualities.

Unbaptized? Isn't that a Flaw for Christians? As a Magical Human I don't think that would apply.

Overall, if you want a scale, compare him to a Redcap with Shapeshifter and some points put into items. This companion starts a little more powerful but won't improve as quickly (-2 penalty & can't read). And this companion needs to worry about Acclimation. But they're in the same ballpark. The companion is clearly well below the power level of magi and well about of the power level of grogs.

Well, the reasons for rejecting characters from a saga are diverse and highly dependent upon the saga.

My concern with such a character is that he has deep knowledge of the covenant, taking an effective story avenue away from you, of exploring the covenant. He is a character with secret knowledge, and is a gatekeeper for that knowledge from the other characters. Most of the time, I prefer this to happen to NPCs rather than PCs, because players will often do things with information I provide that I do not want. Either they just dump it out to the other players/characters or they hoard it for advantage, or something in between.

His might or power level isn't an issue, IMO, his resistance is easily penetrated with Hermetic magic, I'd tend toward making him a Poor Student, rather than accept Incomprehensible (but that's a personal preference). Not sure Busybody is an appropriate flaw for magic being, either, unless he's always trying to convey people from the mundane world to the magic realm. Acclimation, as callen points out, will probably keep him out of the main areas of the covenant, he has to spend at lesat half his time in a 6th magnitude aura, or all of his time in a 1st magnitude, or can make due with frequent visits back to a 9th magnitude aura (this is what I'm imagining the the request for the vestige is for). What is the aura for your covenant?

Regarding the Vestige, you aren't really clear about it. If he's coming back from the magic realm, it seems you already have some sort of nearby boundary or other vestige around that allows crossing into the Magic Realm.

O.K., some further informations:
Yes, unbaptised is an inadequate flaw for this companion, I also think.
Busybody and Inconprehensible are topics to discuss, o.k.

The covenant has a Magic Aura of 2. Does this mean that the companion has to stay in the magic realm or near the Vestige all the time? (I´m not so familiar with the Acclimation-Rules). In this case, the character would be mainly useless... the saga is set in Mythic Europe and travel to the Magic Realms will be very rare. BUT: There is an important Magic regio near the player covenant, that isn´t detected by the characters as yet. I´d like to have the control over the progress of the exploration of this regio. If there´d be a character that is able to have a stroll to all the secret locations in this regio (maybe per detour through the Magic Realms), that would not be good for my saga.

Concerning the secrets of the old covenant: There are some, but the mystery is not the location, it is the actions of the former inhabitants. This actions can´t be detected on-site (they broke the code in other parts of the tribunal). If the character is nailed down to a narrow area in the covenant, maybe he had no chance to learn about it.

Do a quick read of the Acclimation rules starting on page 52 of RoP:Magic. But, given the covenant's aura, he would need to always stay within the covenant's aura, with no more than 40 days throughout the year spent outside of the aura of that magnitude. He could spend a season per year within a 9th magnitude or greater aura. This gives you an effective check on the character removing him from the present story, if he needs to spend a season recharging, so to speak.

The request for a vestige suggests that he's looking for a way to recharge for a season per year, while going outside auras.

Unbaptised could actually be a pretty major flaw for this character, as having it makes him a Christian.

Putting "Your faith is important enough to you that you still strive to be virtuous and attend Mass, though you do not benefit from the sacraments." up against the Acclimation restrictions mentioned above would definitely be a flaw, if you can say that "attending Mass" necessitates leaving a Magic Aura and entering the Dominion instead, as a lot of his "outside the aura" time could be taken up simply by travelling to church. A positive Pious personality trait might be in order here, to help remind of this, since you could ask for trait checks if the flaw is getting ignored. Also, if he's been stuck in the Twilight Realm for any length of time, he may feel the need to atone for the missed services by regular trips to a nearby monastery for extra services.

The Incomprehensible Flaw, if retained, could be used to obfuscate much of his knowledge if you insist on things applying it to all his communication, for instance by having him speak in riddles and verse. The Star Trek : TNG episode "Darmok" comes to mind.

Very good ideas, Jason! Thank you. I´ll think about it.

It seems near to this one from me to one of my players (he wanted one Igor-type companion): mariojpcsimon.blogspot.com/2015/ ... -para.html

More powerful it's mine, but if the exploration isn't one possibility, then he could be the first in line to protect or help with it, so no problem.

My litmus test for these is as follows:

Is the character going to lead to better stories for the troupe?
Is the character going to be able to actively participate in the stories of the troupe?

My concern with a character like this is on both counts, but that's going to vary by saga.\

If the character is being created more as a tool or an enabler than as a playable PC who actively involves themselves in adventures, then such a character should really be a grog or an NPC.

If the saga features predominantly adventures into the magic realm then the character is a viable companion. If the magic realm is a very minor part of the saga, he's not going to get screen-time opportunities.


Would I reject the character? Who cares?

If you don't like the character, reject it. Even if the character is perfectly legal, well within "norms", and so on.

If you do like the character, accept it. Even if the character makes a hopeless mockery of the rules and social conventions, and so on.

Your preference stands valid, all on its own.



Would I? Heck to the yes. In most of my sagas, this seems like it would make for a good dynamic between the players (as long as I trust the person playing it not to be a blabbermouth, I mean).

Should you? I'm not you, but it doesn't appear so. You don't seem comfortable with the character and the impact they'll have on the stories you and your troupe would like to tell. See if you can't help him come up with another concept that's similar, so he's still playing something he enjoys, but that doesn't mesh with you so badly... I mean, assuming my assessment was correct. If you actually just want logistics, but you yourself are more than happy to keep the character, then well, keep the character. :stuck_out_tongue: