Julien ex Criamon

Ok, this is my Hermetic teacher, as he would be straight out of Apprenticeship. Due to his House and a few things I need to get for him (such as Mystery Virtues by way of Initiation), Jonathan stated I should set him up as a new Magi and then we'll work on getting him to the appropriate age with the right virtues and stuff.

I also need to point out that he has the Masterpiece Virtue; I'll need to work with Jonathan on that as well.

Character Name: Julien
House: Criamon
Parens: TBD

Date of Birth: TBD
Current Age: 37
Apparent Age: 39
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 275 lbs.
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown

Personality Traits

  • Practical: +3
  • Disciplined: +2
  • Calculating: +1


  • Intelligence: +2
  • Perception: +1
  • Strength: 0
  • Stamina: 0
  • Presence: +2
  • Communication: +3
  • Dexterity: -2
  • Quickness: -2


  • Decrepitude: 0
  • Warping: 0
  • Confidence: 1 (3 points)
  • Size: 0
  • Soak: -2
  • Encumbrance: 0
  • LT Fatigue: 0


  • Scholar of the Order +3
  • Dedicated +1 (Fraternity of Samos)


  • Blatant Gift (Major)
  • Crippled (Major)
  • Inscribed Shadow (Minor)
  • Noncombatant (Minor)
  • Predictive Stigmata (Minor Story)
  • Vow (Follow the Sacred Precepts of Pythagoras; Minor)
  • Waster of Vis (Major)


  • Clear Thinker (Minor)

  • Educated (Minor)

  • The Enigma (Free)

  • The Gift (Free)

  • Good Teacher (Minor)

  • Harnessed Magic (Minor)

  • Hermetic Geometry (Minor)

  • Hermetic Magus (Free)

  • Hermetic Numerology (Minor)

  • Hermetic Prestige (Minor)

  • Initiation Script: Mystic Fraternity of Samos
    [list][*]Initiate Level 1, Mathematicus

  • Script Bonus 15

  • Grant Virtue +0 (Hermetic Numerology)

  • Inflict Ordeal Flaw +3 (Vow)

  • Time Sacrifice +3 (1 Season)

  • Initiate Level 2, Theoreticus

  • Script Bonus 15

  • Grant Virtue 0 (Hermetic Geometry)

  • Great Sacrifice +3 (Numerologists Book)

  • Time Sacrifice +1 (Create Numerologists Book)

  • Quest +3 (Retrieve mystic geometry book)

  • Initiate Level 3, Electus

  • Script Bonus 7

  • Grant Virtue 0 (Planetary Magic)

  • Medium Ordeal +6 (Replace Minor Flaw Obese with Major Flaw Blatant Gift)

  • Time Sacrifice +1 (1 Season of Study)
    ]Method Caster (Minor)[/:m]
    ]Planetary Magic (Minor)[/:m]
    ]Puissant Magic Theory (Minor)[/:m]
    ]Puissant Intellego (Minor)[/:m]
    ]Tethered Magic (Minor)[/:m]
    ]Unaging (Minor)[/*:m][/list:u]


  • Area Lore, Quimper 1 (Geography) (5)
  • Area Lore, Rennes 1 (Geography) (5)
  • Artes Liberals 5 (Geometry) (75)
  • Astrology 3 (Chart Generation) (30)
  • Breton 5 (Extensive Vocabulary) (0; Native Language)
  • Catalan 2 (Slang) (15)
  • Engineering 3 (Architecture) (30)
  • Enigmatic Widsom 2 (Interpreting Signs) (10)
  • Folk Ken 2 (Magi) (15)
  • Fraternity of Samos Initiation 0 (30)
  • Latin 4 (Hermetic Usage) (50)
  • Magic Theory 5+2 (Enchanting Items) (75)
  • Music 2 (Composition) (15)
  • Mystic Fraternity of Samos Lore 3 (History) (30)
  • Order of Hermes Lore 3 (History) (30)
  • Parma Magica 3 (Protection from Mentem) (30)
  • Philosophiae 3 (Metaphysics) (30)
  • Survival 2 (Rennes) (15)
  • Teaching 3 (Mathematics) (30)


  • Creo 5 (15)

  • Intellego 9+3 (45)

  • Muto 5 (15)

  • Perdo 2 (3)

  • Rego 9 (45)

  • Animal 2 (3)

  • Aquam

  • Auram

  • Corpus 5 (15)

  • Herbam 5 (15)

  • Ignem

  • Imaginem 5 (15)

  • Mentem 5 (15)

  • Terram 5 (15)

  • Vim 5 (15)

Spells Known

  • Aura of Ennobled Presence (MuIm10; +13)
  • By His Works (CrMe5; +13)
  • Craft the Mechanism (CrTe20; +21)
  • The Ear for Distant Voices (InIm20; +20)
  • Eyes of the Eagle (InIm25; +20)
  • Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie (InMe20; +20)
  • Notes of a Delightful Sound (MuIm10; +13)
  • Numbering the Flock (InAn20; +17)
  • Numbering the Host (InCo15; +20)
  • Perfection of the Well-Designed Chamber (ReTe20; +13)
  • Phantasm of the Talking Head (CrIm10; +13)
  • Posing the Silent Question (InMe20; +20)
  • Prying Eyes (InIm5; +20)
  • Scribe the Perfect Circle (ReTe4; +13)
  • Sense the Nature of Vis (InVi5; +20)
  • The Perfected Structure (ReTe20; +13)
  • The Significance of the Group (InCo10; +20)
  • The Unseen Porter (ReTe10; +15)

Rotes Known

  • The Significance of the One (InCo5)
    [list][*]Related to The Significance of the Group. Divines the number of a particular object a singular person is carrying. Only 1 item may be asked about per casting, and at least one of those items must be visible on the person. An example would be "How many feathers does that man have in his cap".
  • Casting Total *25
  • R Voice, D Mom, T Ind
  • Base 3, +2 Voice
  • Rote Casting Bonuses 9

Masterpiece is normally considered to be a Verditius virtue, since a Verditius apprentice has to create an item during apprenticeship. Normally the parens keeps the item, too, because selfish Verditius is selfish. It doesn't quite work here, and you can make items and buy items with your points during development.

Tethered Magic and Harnessed Magic are most closely associated with House Mercere, but I'm not super strict and say you must be from house Mercere to have these virtues, simply that you are descended from Mutantes, because Redcaps and Merceris magi and magae of the blood of the founder get busy and make babies like nobody's business. One thing to consider is to actually have been a Merceris magus at one point and during development he becomes crippled and can thus no longer perform his septannual Redcap duties and leaves for House Criamon.

A character that doesn't have an age cap, like the teachers, doesn't have as much use for Educated, you can acquire the equivalent number of experience points via 1.25 years of advancement.

Hermetic Prestige is a horrible virtue unless you get it for free (as Guernicus do) and even then, it's still not a great virtue...

Parma's specialty has to be a Form, not a Technique.

Ok, so some explanations on stuff.

  1. I wasn't aware that we could spend XP on designing enchanted items during character creation without the Masterpiece Virtue. Or the other one (Magic Items, I believe). Not that I would normally spend XP on enchanted items anyhow, but now I know that it's possible.

Anyhow, I took the Virtue because there are Criamon Initiations that require the destruction of an enchanted item, and as I planned on not keeping the item or the Virtue due to needing to go through Initiation, I didn't think it would be a deal. That, and the Virtue doesn't say that only Verditius can take it (although Magic Items, now that I read it, states you have to be a Redcap to take that one). But, I switched it out for Method Caster so there shouldn't be a problem.

  1. Educated: Were it that I was creating the guy as a 50 year old teacher right off the bat, I wouldn't have taken this one. But seeing as how I am viewing him as he would sit right out of Gauntlet, the Virtue makes sense. I spent the 50 XP solely on Latin; removing this Virtue means a re-write of Abilities for the character to account for XP that he should have gotten during his Apprenticeship from being Educated. Your call, however.

  2. Crippled: He was born that way. Which explains his childhood and the two Area Lores. Due to being crippled at birth, he was shuttled between Quimper and Rennes constantly, priests and Magi in each area always thinking they had the cure. Which ties to...

  3. Tethered Magic/Harnessed Magic: He can't go where his friends go. So if he has to cast a spell for someone, he has to have a way for the effect to follow that person. He essentially taught himself how to tie spells to other people, as well as being able to drop them instantly if needed. I can run with the idea that he was born to Mercere parents and due to his inability to perform Redcap duties he ended up in house Criamon. I mean, it works.

  4. Parma is changed to Mentem. I always get it mixed up which ones are forms and which ones are techniques.

It was in the Character Development guidelines, and I just posted it to the House rules thread.

  1. Basically, your character earns 5 build points (as in Covenants) of stuff each year. So, you will be able to acquire stuff, and, although this character probably shouldn't make magic items, acquire the vis necessary to make items. There will be a trade off of 10xp per season spent making items.
  2. It's your call, I'm just point it out. You might consider Skilled Parens instead, which grants 10 more xp AND 30 levels in spells, which are a bit more expensive in development than they will be in play.
    3&4. As long as we understand each other that Julien has Mercere blood as part of his backstory, I'm fine with allowing the virtues.

To be honest, I'm sick of the Skilled Parens Virtue. It seems overused and cheap. Although, the same might be said about Educated, but at least Educated can only be used on Latin or Artes Liberales.

Sounds like I hit a nerve. :smiley: Sorry!

It's not a nerve, really. More that I want to do something other than what I think is getting overdone. Which is one of the reasons I want to go through Initiation to get access to Hermetic Numerology, Geometry, Architecture, and possibly Divination (Arithmetic). Nothing wrong with status quo; I just want to branch out a bit.

Anything else I should take a look at?

I'm not against optimized characters, so don't feel as if you are taking advantage of me, or even the system. Balance doesn't really exist within Ars, it's more about what is thematic and interesting to everyone. If it is more interesting in being Educated rather than taught by a Skilled Parens, by all means. If you observed my lack of comment on Siberluch's taking Educated, it was because it was kind of integral to his character and back story.

The important thing I'm looking at is that the characters stick within the established guidelines for virtues and flaws in the main Ars text, and that when they pick their virtues and flaws that they are both optimal and mesh will with the character's back story. Being educated because he was the child of a Redcap isn't that much of a stretch for me to believe.

So, Numerology the first initiation and when do you see that happening?

I agree that things should be thematic and make sense for the character and the game. The story is always more important than mechanics, in my opinion. So we're seeing eye to eye on that. :slight_smile:

So here are my thoughts on how this character most likely would have progressed throughout his life after gauntlet. I'm going to jump around a bit, so if this is confusing just stop me and I'll back up and try to be less discombobulated.

For starters, I'm thinking that, when everything is all said and done, he's going to be about 55 years old. That gives us 30 years of advancement to play around with total...but we need to establish when he goes through each Initiation, and how long each one of them takes. The Virtues he is going to get aren't exactly common, even among the Mystery Cults, so I'm guessing no less than 2 seasons for each Initiation. This would give ample time in each one to learn the Mystery, and then be able to integrate its teaching into his life. Which he could then start integrating into his ability to teach a particular subject.

Now, we can't just have him Initiate in successive seasons, so even though we're only talking about a total of 8 seasons for the 4 Virtues (depending on, of course, them each being 2 seasons long), there should be some amount of time between each Initiation. I'm thinking no less than 2 seasons of "rest", but that could be extended out for, say, 6 seasons. That would give a total of 2 years for each Initiation process (2 seasons to Initiate, then 6 seasons to ponder what he's learned and integrate it into his ability to teach). Does that sound fair?

After that, we have to figure out script bonuses, as well as what Flaw he needs to pick up to compensate for gaining the Virtues. Hermetic Numerology, Geometry, and Architecture are all Minor Virtues, but Divination (Numerology) can be either Major or Minor. And the Flaws should be related (somewhat) to the Virtues being gained. I'm all ears on this one if you've got ideas?

You do not have to pick up any flaws for to gain the Mysteries Virtues ( Hermetic Numerology, Geometry, and Architecture ) but it makes them cheaper. IIRC, none of them really has a script. I have a character in another game working on Hermetic Architecture and I think it is just requiring several seasons ( one with the teacher and one on a "quest"). I would only add a flaw if it made sense.

Fraternity of Samos covers all the virtues except the Divination one.

I just took a look at that Fraternity, and I'm cool with that. I would have to get all the way to Tertius to get to Hermetic Architecture, and being in this Fraternity would just about kill any/all desire for Divination (Numerology) as it's not part of that Fraternity.

So how do you want to go about Initiation with this Fraternity? There are examples for scripts, but nothing concrete already built.

So, I did some more reading on that Fraternity. Interesting stuff. I especially like the part where you either need a score of 7 in Fraternity of Samos Lore, OR you can go on a quest assigned by higher ranking members. A score of 7, huh? 140 XP. That's a lot of XP, until you read the core rules about gaining XP post-apprenticeship: 30 XP per year. That means I only need to wait 5 years - or until the character is 30 - to get that much XP.

But hold the phone - another complication arises. You can't have a score of more than 6 in any ability until you are at least 36 years old. So that's another 6 years, or another 180 XP. So that means I'm going to be spending 11 years post-apprenticeship learning stuff and gaining XP until I can start my first Initiation. Not a big deal when you consider I was going to be like 55 years old when this character is introduced here.

Basically, I just want to make sure I read the core book right about XP gained per year post-apprenticeship. If that amount is wrong, then we will have to discuss an applicable quest, or if we want to hand-wave that part of it and just dump whatever XP I can in the next 5 years or so into Fraternity of Samos Lore?

I always thought it was 10 xp per season for post-Gauntlet mages. That'd be 40/year. Won't change the age limit of very high skill levels, mind.

And I think I saw something here that mentioned 10 XP, but I don't remember where I saw that or if it's a house rule or what. Which is why I brought it up - I need clarification from Jonathan on what the rule for this game is, as well as how to handle the specific situation I mentioned about the fraternity's requirements.

Yeah, I need a bit of help with my character, too. Luckily, I'm not in any kind of hurry. Once the current questions are solved, I should be able to push forward with another few decades.

You aren't reading that correctly, the Mystagogue (the one initiating you into the Mystery) needs a score of 7, or to send you on quests if his total isn't high enough to initiate you into the mystery. You only need a 7 when you begin initiating people into the mystery. Going back to the text, and not the insert on page 127, the requirements are an Artes Liberales score of 3, Philosophiae score of 3 and a Music score of 1, meeting these requirements fulfills the +1 special bonus mentioned in the insert.

This is moot now.

Well the core book is more restrictive than I am in post gauntlet development. They only grant 30 xp per year, and for every season you take off you lose 10 xp, so if you take 3 seasons off for lab work or initiation related stuff, you lose all of the XP for that year. However I allow 10 xp per season, take a season off, you miss out on 10 xp. Also spells are purchased with XP, so a 40th level spell costs 40 xp. It's expensive, but this means no one has to ask me if there's a lab text available.

That's why I ask - to make sure I'm reading things right. :slight_smile:

So, it's 10 XP per season, or 40 per year. Which means it would only take 1 year to get the XP for Philosophiae and Music (Artes Liberales is already high enough). But I'm curious to know how we determine if we take any seasons off during the year PRIOR to initiation. Are we just assuming that we have all 4 seasons available to us, or do we have to fulfill any requirements for working/providing service to a Covenant?

Once I have the answer to that question, I will update my character and we can work on the actual initiation script for the first level of the fraternity. :slight_smile:

The only reason you would have to take a season away is to make something in the lab. I don't try and calculate what your previous covenant asked you to do, because acquiring spells with XP is pretty expensive, so it can be presumed that you are satisfying any requirements in the background for covenant service. But you might take an apprentice already during this development process and would need to take 15 seasons of XP away to account for that time...

Thanks for the answers. 40 XP per year (10 per season). I've advanced him to be 28 years old, or 3 years post-apprenticeship, for now. I've spent the 120 XP as follows:

  • Philosphiae 3 (30 XP)
  • Music 2 (15 XP)
  • Parma Magica 3 (25 XP)
  • Corpus 5 (15 XP)
  • Numbering the Host (InCo15)
  • The Significance of the Group (InCo10)
  • Notes of a Delightful Sound (MuIm10)

I have updated the character sheet in the first post of this thread to show the increase to age (+3 years) as well as the updated Abilities, Arts, and Spells.

Now I just need to know the specifics (mechanics) of the initiation script into the 1st mystery (Mathematicus); the script in MC is open-ended and requires some input from me. Which, because you are the SG and much more experienced at this than I, I am asking for from you. :slight_smile:

And on the topic of taking an apprentice: I am not seeing him, as of yet, taking an apprentice any time before he becomes a professor. Now, once we get to him teaching, he may want to take one of the students under his wing and help him/her along with possibly learning the mysteries and bring them through initiation for numerology and such. But I get the feeling this guy is too wrapped up in his studies to take a formal apprentice. Of course, that could change!