Japik Dolfinus ex Bjornaer

I have an idea that Japik's shield grog is a Danish sailor/warrior that was stranded on Rügen close to Crintera after a shipwreck. He was basically forced to join the covenant. Ardea and Japik lived in their cove but had regular contact with the main covenant and the Dane often sailed along the coast with a small boat to get them supplies they needed. That's how they came to know each other and some time before his apprenticeship was finished he was given him as shield grog. By that time the grog had fallen in love and married one of the female covenfolk so it was decided she would join Japik as well. I'm not sure what kind of servant she would be yet.

After splitting up with Ardea Japik and his two followers went west to Lübeck and Oculus Septentrionalis where they may have stayed for a while or just a few nights whatever suits the pre-saga. My thought is that Japik and Prochorus could have met here and since he was just about to leave as well they went together. Here they might have taken the land route southwest or they could have hired themselves onto a ship bound for the North Sea and came to Frisia that way.

They passed Japik's home village where they found it's fate and learned that Waddenzee was most likely involved in it. After that I don't know really but somehow they met Bernhard and he asked them to meet up in Anvers.
Wits, would this be ok for you and you might add anything to the story from when they left Lübeck?

Actually that was my thought as well when I started doing this. Medieval paradigm or not, dolphins were basically the same then as they are today except for some minor biological developments and attunements.

I find it quesitonable to use virtue points paid from a flaw on a 3-to-1 to increase characteristics. Normally, characteristics for animals are based on their qualities.

On the other hand, Vocal and Imposing Appearance make sense from what you are quoting. So he'd have Music back, as well as Pre 0 instead of -5.

I'd also like to know how you spent those characteristics points. Actually, I'd like to see all the steps in the calculation of the characteristics. That's usually quite messy, so I'd like to be able to double check them.

Perhaps the flaw should be a compulsion to help drowning sailors, instead of cheerful?

Ok, at least one point of flaw for every three points of virtues. So not necessarily balanced. But the virtues must make sense for a dolphin. What would those be? Why, for example, Enduring Constitution? Are dolphins particularly hardy and resistant to pain and fatigue?

As for a higher Perception, I think that's what characteristics points are for...

Ferocity (sharks) would certainly make sense as a virtue. It might not help you, since you do indeed keep your Confidence when changing form. On the other hand, stats for dolphins should not be made based on what can help (or not) a shape-changer that takes this form. We need to come up with stats that make sense for a mundane dolphin, then we'll see how these apply for a Bjornaer taking that shape.

And why do you use a system that is given so much problems when we can simply assign the values we think would be OK? IOt is not that he will conquer the universe in that form, or that his combat stats will make the kraken cower in fear. :wink: I would say that 4th edition did a fairly good design for the creature. I have used that book in the past in our ArM5 tabletop games, and the stats presented work perfectly OK for the creatures in the 5th edition setting :slight_smile: Except combat stats, that would do better being changed to 5th edition, the 4th edition stats are quite OK.


First Charactersitic points for beasts can only be spent on Physical characteristics according to the guidelines, not the Mental ones.
The Mental stats are given according to what general group of animal it is. There are only four groups Clawed Beasts, Hooved Beasts, Birds and Fish. Dolphins and whales are included in Fish and they get the following starting stats:

Cun -3, Per -2, Pre -5, Com -6 (very fishy! :smiley: )

The only way to change these is by taking qualities.
Crafty gives Cun 0 the first time and +1 for every time you take it after that.
Imposing Appearence gives Pre 0 and then +1 for each extra time you take it.
Vocal can be taking to get Com to 0 and Music 3 and can be taken twice for Com +1 and Music 5.
Perception can only be raised +1 each withn Keen Eyesight, Keen sense of Smell and Sharp Ears and gives them +3 on rolls that involves that sense.

Physical Characteristics on the other hand starts at 0 like for normal charatcers and they get 7 points to raise them. With the Improved Characteristics Virtue they get 3 extra points unless the beast have a size bigger than +1, then they get more points for every time they take the Virtue.

Taking Imp. Char twice gives 13 points and I put +2 in all of the four physical stats meaning 3*4=12 points, so one remaining that can't be used. an alternative is to put +3 in one and +1 in three but then you also end up with a single point left. Oh i just realized there is the option to put +3 in one, +2 in the second and +1 in the third leaving 0 for the last. That would use all points.

I understand the point that we do the mundane dolphin first and then apply it on the Heartbeast form. I was just wondering if Confidence points was lost during shapechanging.

You have a point there.

Ok, based on what has been discussed and the various stats proposed so far, I'll use my magic SG wand and decree the following stats for a mundane dolphin.

Characteristics: Cun 0, Per -2, Str +3, Sta +3, Pre 0, Com 0, Dex 0, Qik +4
Size: +1 (individuals can vary from 0 to +2)

Virtues and Flaws: Long-Winded, Ferocity (sharks), Compulsion (help drowning humans)
Qualities: Aquatic (don't breathe water), Crafty, Extra Natural Weapons, Imposing Appearence, Keen Vision, Pursuit Predator, Slippery, Tough Hide, Vocal

Abilities: Athletics 3 (leaping), Awareness 2 (sharks), Brawl 2 (teeth), Hunt 4 (fish), Music 3 (underwater song), Survival 3 (sea), Swim 5 (long distances)
Natural Weapons: Teeth (rarely used in combat) Init 0, Atk +3, Def +1, Dam +1; Ramming* Init +1, Atk +4, Def +2, Dam +3.
*Must make a Fatigue roll against an Ease Factor of 9 to avoid losing a Fatigue Level (Long-Winded virtue applies).


  • Teeth: Init +4, Atk +6, Def +8, Dam +4
  • Ramming: Init +5, Atk +6, Def +8, Dam +6

Soak: [strike]+5[/strike] +6
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0/0, -1, -3, -5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-6), -3 (7-12), -5 (13-18), Incapacitated (19-24), Dead (25+)

Looks good, but Soak should be +6 (+3 from stamina and +3 from Tough Hide).

I have updated the stats for Japik's Heartbeast in the second post of this thread according to this.

The stats for the dolphin look good :slight_smile: Well done!


Didn't have my books with me, so I based myself on previous stats posted to infer +2. I'm editing my post to correct this. Thanks. :slight_smile:

Yes, I like this. So be it, unless someone disagrees.

I might add to the story, yes, but right now I'm admittedly a little overwhelmed with reading everything posted here and trying to finish my character at the same time, so I'll let it hang for now.

Yes, some of us have a very high posting rates. Concentrate on your character for now, and we'll help you catch up with the rest if need be.

Here is a proposal of what resources Japik started with when he split with his mater.

Hjalmar, the shield grog
Yulia, the washerwoman
a small boat with a simple sail, enough to hold 3-4 persons
a book, maybe a summa or tractatus on Creo or Animal
some vis, most likely Creo vis since that is what the site produces.

Hjalmar and Yulia sailed to Lübeck while Japik swum in dolphin form.
Depending on how long they stayed at Oculus Septentrionalis they may have sold the boat for other mundane resources like silver and tools. The vis may have been used as payment for access to the covenant's resources.
If they just stayed a few nights they might have kept the boat and used it to sail around Denmark to Frisia, but if Prochorus and his two grogs are joining it might be too small.
If they went the overland route from Lübeck to Frisia they probably need a cart. Yulia is not very happy to walk long distances... And we might need a cart on Helgioland as well. For general transportation I mean.

Starting there to see how that sounds?

If 6 of you need to travel in that boat with all your possessions and supplies,why don't you make it bigger? it is not like this will be above your resources. For what I gathered in other posts, we get around 10 pounds each. A fishing smack/ small carrier will cost you around 2 pounds, so is well inside your money allowance.

A knarr would not be out of the question IMO :slight_smile:


You are getting less resources than Pytheas or Quercus as well, so maybe you could increase this?

We get:

  • 2 grogs
  • 10 pounds of silver (they can be changed to vis on a 1 on 1 basis for starters, or for other materials).
  • Around 30 level+quality book levels.

It is not much, but it is more than what you are getting there. :slight_smile:

You also listed lab equipment as your preference, while I see none there. Have you rethrought your original order of preferences? We are sorely missing in a second lab.

Of Japik and his grogs, only Hjalmar is a sailor. I don't think that's enough to handle a knarr. Maybe once we all meet in Anvers and pool our resources (and mostly our sailor grogs) we could manage one, but not before. And if we do get one, what do we do with it afterwards ? Pretty much the only option is to start a cargo hauling business, which would require a regular crew and all that goes with it.

Maybe I started too low then, but I think a knarr is too big to bring from where Japik starts out with his two grogs especially since only Hjalmar is a sailor and Japik prefers to swim on his own while travelling by sea. Maybe Prochorus and Japik could get a knarr between the two of them at Oculus Septentrionalis if Prochorus also has some sailor to provide?

I listed lab equipment high because I think Japik would be most interested in setting one up as early as possible. So maybe he can get some equipment for that instead of books and or vis from his mater.

The Prochorus - Japik story sounds like a mini story to me :slight_smile:

You are right: Japik and his grogs cannot manage such a vessel. My bad :slight_smile:

One solution to the knarr problem might be to have more grogs/covenfolk as part of Japik's resources? Not necessarily fighting men, but a pair of sailors or fishermen might do the trick. It would also give the covenant some limited form of transportation. Cargo hauling as a minor income source might not be a bad idea either, although at first it might be primarily used to carry cargo that the magi need to build the covenant. That would save them quite a bit, money-wise, while adding some flexibility whenever they have difficulties obtaining some of the supplies locally.

I like that idea but would that take all the resources Japik will bring? Maybe some lab equipment as well? Then I will dump anything book or vis-like.

An idea for this is that Japik started out with his grogs at the cove with the resources I listed above. Maybe drop the book but add some more vis.

When they got to Lübeck and Oculus Septentrionalis he transferred the vis into lab equipment, not sure what his thoughts here would be with it though...
Can Japik and Prochorus have met Bernhard in Lübeck? He saw their potential as they were both new journeymen magi and asked them to meet him in Anvers in a few weeks or months. Maybe he said something about a new covenant but they had to keep it a secret. He maybe had them sign the contract there? Then they started equipping for that in Lübeck. Japik traded his vis for some lab equipment and managed to buy a knarr and hire some sailor/fishermen along with it.

Then Prochorus should bring his resources as well of course.

Is that something to build a story from?

We certainly need a short story (or at least a detailed recounting) of how Japik and Prochorus met. That is unlikely to have been at Crintera, so Oculus Septentrionalis would have been a good place for this. But I don't remember in details what you agreed to with Wits, so that may not fit. Buying the lab equipment there in exchange for most of your vis makes a lot of sense. You may have a few pawns remaining.

Perhaps the additional sailors were people you rescued as a dolphin, so they now feel bound to you even though they are now comfortable around you because of your Gift. They may have been merchant crew-members whose ship sank (storm or pirates). The knarr, you may have found damaged along the coast after a storm. With the help of Hjalmar (and perhaps the other sailors as well), you were able to refurbish it.

So you'd start with the knarr, 4 mundanes, a complete lab (probably to be shared with Prochorus) and say, 2 pawns of Creo vis. You don't have much silver left, let's say 5 pounds.

How does that sound to you?

We also need to establish at what time and how you met with Bernhard -- Oculus Septentrionalis would be good for that as well. You and Prochorus may have gone there in search of a covenant to live at. Oculus rejeted your candidatures, as neither of you is Gentle Gifted, but you were approached by Bernhard and were able to exchange most of your vis for lab equipment. You have to remain for some time at Oculus to complete your dealings and equipment purchases, but are directed by Bernhard to meet him in Anvers in a few weeks' time. You use the knarr to carry your equiment and people there.

That all sounds good. Prochorus' reason for being at the covenant would be rather more simple, though: that's where his apprenticeship took place. The charter provision about the Gentle Gift in the Rhine book says it's "members" who should have it, so I thought they played around that by allowing an apprentice with a normal Gift.