In the ruins of Bibracte (4+ players)

Campaign Title: In the Ruins of Bibracte
System: Ars Magica, 5th Edition
Players Wanted: 4-6 Players
Posting Rate: 2-4 times a week, although this goes by the wayside quite often in my experience.
Special Rules: Current rules and future rules, as appropriate. If I'm missing a sourcebook, I'll get it, eventually.
Advancement Rules: What, you'r expecting to be even more powerful? Yes, I expect there to be advancement, mostly RAW. Some discussion has taken place below.

Salve Sodales,

I am Apollodorus ex Jerbiton, currently residing in the city of Autun, Burgundy. I am not currently a member of any covenant and have, over some period of time, discovered several nearby vis sources which I have registered with the Normandy Tribunal. Additionally, I manage a winemaking enterprise in addition to sheep farm, which provides some additional income from parchment and wool manufacturing. Unfortunately these sources of income are so vast that they have impacted my ability to pursue my passions for painting and sculpting. I find myself in the enviable position of having a vast stockpile of silver, vis and the sources from which they flow. I seek several magi or maga of puissant ability to come join me and build a new covenant. I have taken much effort in clearing the territory of troublesome creatures and have engaged a Terram expert of some renown to construct structures suitable to magi and maga with varied interests. Development of the covenant should be speedy, and should at least 4 magi join me, only one season of service will be required for services to the covenant each year. My services to the covenant entail ensuring good relations with the bishop of Autun, the duke of Burgundy and the local Cistercian monestary and these occasions vary throughout the year.
Inquiries seeking membership should be sent by Redcap to Reynault, who acts as my autocrat for managing my, and perhaps soon to be your, mundane enterprises
Warm regards,
Apollodorus ex Jerbiton

I’ve been kicking around this idea for a while, but have given up on a face to face game happening due to the lack of gaming in my social circle and the pressures of day-to-day living for interested parties. I’ve taken up some pbp games here on Atlas, and have enjoyed the experience. I’ve been tweaking the overall story arc for this to fit within a pbp framework since I started playing here. I feel I’m up to speed on the general rules and I feel comfortable enough to be able to run my own story within my available free time. What I’m looking for is true troupe style play. Everyone creates a magus. For each magus, there will be a companion but the magus’ player doesn’t create it and instead works closely with another player to develop a companion to which they both agree it would make sense for the magus to have. Grogs can be generated and operated by any player, although once they develop some personality I’d expect that they be more likely to be played by a certain player. Say no more than 4 grogs to be brought with the magus.
Storytelling will be asynchronous across seasons as much as possible, with each magus and his companion taking a season for vis collecting and or adventure around the covenant. The collection sites and duties are widely dispersed, take long enough to collect and happen at different times throughout the season. That means, coupled with being the ostensible Princeps for the Covenant during that particular season, any labwork undertaken will incur substantial penalties, if it is even possible. Yes, every Magus takes a turn being in charge, at least for a couple of years. After that, discussion about changes in administration can be discussed among the magi and maga. The assistant Princep in all seasons will be the previous season’s Princep and would handle matters arising as they may while the presiding Princep is out and away from the covenant. Apollodorus may be available for assistance but he will be most put out if something falls into his lap, for all intents and purposes consider him to be Princeps emeritus.

Oh and Magi or Maga should be about 30 years post gauntlet, with tweaks to the standard post gauntlet rules of 40 xp per year (10 per season). Which means item creation shouldn't impact the advancement quite as much as the standard rules. Virtues such as Book Learner, Apt Student, Elemantalist and Secondary Insight should be discussed amongst the troupe to determine how they wish to treat them during development. More than 4 players will stretch out the seasons of service, of course. Slower players may be relegated to less busy seasons. Troupe discussion will determine how that plays out.

More coming...if there be interest...

I'd be interested in joining. Perhaps I could make one of the Terram specialists mentioned.

Certainly a terram specialist is a good idea for a magus. Although, you wouldn't be the specialist he'd be contracting to create the structures. There are numerous reasons for this, some of which include the imbalance created amongst players, because you'd have an overabundance of vis as compared to everyone else, representing the payment for doing the work.

Well it's early on still, I'm sure I can come up with something, I'll start thinking of a decent concept.

I don't understand what is meant.

It means that the four seasons will more or less be told at the same time. If you rmagus is engaged in activities other than study during his free three seasons you may even be participating with the same character in multiple threads.

It was a less than optimal word choice looking back.

I am interested. Verditius is a favourite house so I might have a few extra questions if I am allowed to play.

Doh! I was gonna say Verditius!

There's nothing wrong with two Vertitius magi being in a covenant. There would be a natural rivalry...
Consider that the limit, though, I don't want this to be a House covenant.

Such as?

My question would likely be similar to Max's, probably in reference to Mysteries for example. Since we'll be advancing our Magi along a bit, how would accessing a House's Inner Mysteries be done?

I'm thinking along the lines of House Tremere at the moment actually, so feel free to make a Verditius Max, have at it. I have in mind a Magus that specializes (in MMO terms) as a buffer, since Tremere have an army mentality he's good at providing magical enchantments on people and things, and might be a decent enchanter of items also. I like the idea of a Magus that fights well with this method, they give an example of a Flambeau that does that in the Magi of Hermes book. I may look into that.

How much Vis would a Magus have access to in a year while we're developing them, for enchanting items and making a longevity ritual?


I've just recently purchased Mysteries, and am still digesting it. I believe that the process is pretty well covered. You would have to give up a season of XP for a story to find the cult and get to the Mystery Cult's Lore skill of 1, then there would be the season of intiaition for the initial virtue, and additional seasons as necessary depending upon how deep within the Cult you go.
Additionally, I would expect an appropriate score in Mystery Cult Lore appropriate to your length of time in the Cult. For example, you're intiaited 5 years past gauntlet, so you have 25 years of membership within that Myster Cult, you should be approaching a score of 5 in the Lore and be prepared to give up a season during play to initiate someone else relatively soon, and get your Lore score up to 5 if it isn't already. Of course, you could give up additional XP's for a season and have intiated someone already, before play starts. Failure to be someone's Mystagogue within 25-30 years would probably give you a negative reputation.
You may also choose to take a mystery virtue at creation, but I'd probably be expecting to see some compelling reason that an apprentice would be intitiated, such as a combination of virtues and an associated expenditure of apprentice XPs in abilities/arts. Going back to your terram specialist, I'd say you'd have to have Affinity Terram, Puissant Terram and some Puissant/Affinity with Architecture perhaps if you were going after Hermetic Architecture. However, the same rules outlined above regarding being a Mystagogue would apply.

For the longevity ritual, I'd like to have a bit more history on the character at the point he needs one if someone else makes it for him to determine what the actual cost is. Is this a Creo specialist? Who is he and what is he getting in return? What useful skills does he have for bartering, why would the character be interested in doing the work?

Another issue for Magi/Maga of this age is apprentices. Let's presume that your previous covenant was too full and was suggesting that you not take one. Let us further assume that perhaps you disobeyed the council because under the code you have a right. A few years after doing so, you are invited to leave the covenant in some indirect manor, such as access to primers, apprentice lab, etc. becoming more difficult.
Afte rall, there's a reason why you want to go to another covenant, this could be it. If you do have an apprentice, assume that he's no more than 3 years into training, and you must have given up the corresponding amount of XPs. Also, for an apprentice, I want them fleshed out, so you have one other requirement, you must get another player to be the apprentice.

Thanks, that cleared things up a ton. I'll start making my Tremere concept and see what comes of that.

Actually, it seems I'm taking so much of the ideas for this character from House Flambeau, that I'll go with that. I like the idea of being part of the Milites if that's OK.

I don't see that as a problem, he's your character. As with all sagas, someone will pick up slack where it is needed.

Ok here comes the battery of questions:
• How specific do a craft need to be? Should I get a skill that is called Craft Metalworking with a speciality of pewter cups or Craft Pewter cups with a speciality of ornament or something in between?
• How often can I sell magical items?
• Do I get to keep my lab if I do some modifications such as focus it upon item making?
• Do I get any vis to work with such as a yearly grant?

See responses in line, in color.

I tend to favor generalities over specifics in the crafting area. Being something of a woodworker myself I find that things I learn in one area of the craft cross over to other areas. Most of my experience would be in what's considered fine furniture. I might specialize in tables, or desks, or built-in furniture or finishing techniques, and then I have some knowledge that carries over into general carpentry. The craft area is a nice mess and I'm open to a discussion. I'd rather not force someone into taking 5 skills when 1, 2 or 3 will do.

Let's see what you're selling and wonder why 1) the covenant wouldn't want it, or how the covenant would get a cut of your use of their resources (lab, vis, laborers, etc). There's a reason you want to leave. And their stance is they aren't interferring in magic, it's commerce, not magic, and you signed the covenant...

I'm thinking about this one hard. I'm leaning toward needing to use The Ambulatory Laboratory, allowing time prior to the beginning of play for setup or some combination of the two. My goal isn't the emulate a spring covenant but to be a summer covenant in power with new faces, with access to the full resources magi and maga of 30 years+ past gauntlet. There have to be certain story reasons why you wouldn't have the best lab in Christendom at your present covenant, which makes this offer to come join a new covenant all the more rewarding.

MT 5 is quite a bit, and motivation for a good MT score in and of itself. And the limit on vis plays into your ability to sell from above. It's a complex question and a lot of it depends on what items you intend to make for sale, for self and for the covenant you're at. If you have some idea of those three categories that would be helpful. I might be inclined to consider some sort of bump to the MT5, but I'd like to see an idea of what you're wanting for what purpose (sales, covenant, self).

I withdraw my application. My concept doesn't fit.

I am thinking of a Verditus woodworker who specialises in furniture crafting and who is not connected to a confraternity but has traded favours for introduction to the mysteries. One more question. How do you handle magical focus such as minor focus wooden wands? Does it mean that I get a focus bonus when enchanting wooden wands regardless of the effect or just when enchanting it with effect that affects wooden wands?

Although, I will say, your concept was most intriguing and I think everyone else would find it to be so. If you change your mind and want to give it a try, you're welcome back.

I need two more (firm) to feel comfortable enough requesting a game space.