Lets design a Tribunal Fair

I can see the attraction, and in a geographically small tribunal like Hibernia it may even be feasible. Carrying livestock and grain to feed a covenant across the larger tribunals like Rhine and Iberia is non-trivial. While some covenants might want to do so, are there enough of them to make a market of sufficient volume?

Now, this raises a different and interesting question, namely the fair cycles. We know of some canonical ones:

  1. The tribunal, every seven years.
  2. The Grand Tribunal every 33 years.
  3. The Gathering of Twelve Years, Bjornar only.
  4. The annual Midsummer Fair in the Greater Alps.
  5. The Verditius Contest every 18 years.
  6. The tournament events in Normandy
  7. Flambeau gatherings and tournaments.

While most of these have very specific purposes other than trade, I think it is safe to assume that they will all attract a fair with market and entertainment around them. I am sure that many magi attending their House event will take the opportunity to trade on behalf of their covenant.

Except for the Greater Alps and Normandy, there is no mention of fairs which are frequent enough and local enough to cover the needs for every-day provisions. And one may wonder if the Hermetic population suffices to sustain more.

On the other hand, mundane fairs canonically attract Hermetic trade. I cannot remember the reference, probably C&G, possibly Heirs to Merlin. It is not clear, I think, if Hermetic trade takes place in an open side fair, or if Hermetic magi meet in secret, possibly facilitated by the redcaps bringing a large tent for the purpose. This should probably depend on how open the Order is in the particular saga.


City & Guild page 98 does indeed say "There are Redcaps at all the largest fairs, taking the opportunity to pass on messages, and to trade in gossip as well as vis" (and has a further paragraph on it).

More stalls:

The Company of Merchant Adventurers: these magi and their companions offer goods they have brought from across the cities of mythic Europe, and seek orders for more exotic goods. Perhaps you would like to invest in their next expedition east?

  1. The covenant relies on trade, but they have an extensive network of suppliers who can get them goods covenants might want.
  2. They really want to make a big expedition into Mythic Arabia or Mythic Africa, and want a stack of support to make it happen. This could also be a chance for player characters to get involved in an epic journey if they want to spend a few years away from the covenant.
  3. The covenant are from the Normandy Tribunal, and have stolen goods meant for a rival covenant. They are trying to sell their takings far from Normandy. Alternatively they may be covering for a pirate covenant, like Waddenzee.

The Masons and engineers
This tent has a group of grogs who claim to be expert stonemasons and engineers, and can help with any large construction project you have. They can also help if you need to reinforce your covenant against sieges.

  1. The home covenant has a mighty castle and plenty of artillery, and rents their experts out to make money as the upkeep on their fortifications is quite expensive.
  2. While the grogs could build things for you, an annoying Terram specialist keeps interrupting to ask you if you're sure you wouldn't rather rent one of his casting tablets of Creo Terram rituals and just build what you want. Why, he's got enough designs to make almost a covenant in a box!
  3. The covenant these grogs come from is very militaristic, and some of the grogs want to flee to another covenant where it might be safer. They could be willing to teach skills like Profession: Stonemason and Profession: Engineer to covenants that take them in.
  4. The covenant has a sideline in selling Perdo Terram wands to create tunnels to undermine things, and point out how useful training in profession: sapper would be to your grogs.
  5. One of the masons mentions the idea of building the tallest tower conceivable - a magus has conceived of the Hermetic Tower from Hermetic Projects and has planted the idea in this companion's mind, and wants to gauge support for such a crazy idea.

The Tremere stall
This tent, in a fetching shade of charcoal, is manned by young Tremere eager to try and spread the Tremere way of doing things. They are keen to work on others projects, and offer to sell you copies of Tremere-authored tractatus. They love to ask you about interesting magic auras or sites in this area.

  1. The Tremere are deliberately using this to expose their junior magi to the hard work of persuading other people of the Tremere way, and a senior magus is hidden in the tent to intervene if anyone gets trapped in a terrible deal.
  2. The Tremere here have been sent to try and prove their worth by meddling in a Tribunal and finding the best investment opportunity they can (see the "Public Financier" story ideas in Against the Dark).
  3. Coeris has a plan that involves expansion in this Tribunal. To do that, they will need to find a covenant site they can defend, and it would be ideal if they could find local Gifted apprentices to take and train up in Tremere thought who would also know the local languages and customs.
  4. This tribunal stall has been given the right to sell the Transylvanian Tribunal's excess magical animals that would make good familiars, and have been given a stiff sales target. They will not rest until every magus without a familiar has heard their sales pitch, and been persuaded that a Bulgarian ferret could be their ideal companion.

Mivwd from the other topic as it makes more sense here:

The Sachsenspiegel (Sachsenspiegel - Wikipedia) was published in the span of a typical saga, so having Jerbitons (or Tremere) be the hidden instigators of this important book on HRE Law is something that could be added for authenticity in a saga; Redcaps let Covenants in the Rhine and Greater Alps know about the book and offer the opportunity to order a copy of what is touted as a very high quality Summa on Civil and Canon Law available in Low German or Latin (and maybe an announcement as the (Grand) Tribunal of 1228). Then they can just book of a monastery's worth of scribes and distribute the books in the early 1230s.

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I need time to digest this and cross reference it against the checklist I'd started developing for Delos/Theban tribunal's Tribunal gathering... and I think I also did a partial look at the Tribunal Faire in an issue of Sub Rosa, but that was a while back.

I do think there's some serious complications to buying items that were crafted by previous, possibly dead magi of the tribunal, especially if they're not dead, just comprehending a Twilight...but then I guess that's the risk you take...

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"Owner of that favourite item you bought at an estate sale returns from prolonged twilight and wants their things back" is a great story seed. "Magical estate sale" is a good booth idea to set up the hook too. Auctioning off the effects of some old crazy magus whose heirs have no interest.

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Wow I get sick for a week and this thing blew up. With all the ideas people have I feel it would be best if we continued using this thread for any discussion and created one in the 'Post a Day' for actual contributions. If we build it up enough it make actually even be a good PDF resource.

Will make the thread for finished submissions and also link it in the first post.

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One of the Vendors I have been thinking about while recovering was beverages. Specifically ones that dealt with "Magic" beverages. Our Covenant actually does a great deal of this in our Saga so I have some experience with it. There is a whole range of options that could be build up from this.

Options include:

  • Magical raw material (plants of Virtue, Warped, Vis baring [extracted or not]): The grapes used in wine, the grains in beer, the honey for mead. All of these could meet any of these. What changes in the flavor, texture, and effects could they play.

  • Magical processing: Made wholly through magic (Craft Magic) or with magically assisted means. Pure Crafting Magic seems unlikely to get high quality (high difficulty) and so would most likely be more of a novelty. However skilled craftsmen using magical assistance can reach superior or exceptional quality easier, especially if a lot of focus is devoted to it. This can also include more exotic processing, such as some degree of distillation. While not common, varies versions have been known and written about by alchemist. Modern pot stills trace their roots back over 2,500 years ago with 4th and later century writings detailing versions. There are also such things as "Heart of Wine" by fractional freezing to extract water.

  • Magical aging: While it is generally thought that people of the time did not intentionally age spirits, the affects of it are a side effect of the means of storage at the time. This could be from the containers used (wood from trees of virtue or warped trees) and/or the location stored (kept in a high aura for long enough to warp).

I am thinking about writing up a couple of different ones, allowing them to be swapped in and out fairly easily so that you can give individual Fairs their own 'flavor'.

So things like:

  • A booth selling mead made from the honey produced by bees of Virtue. Most had the Vis extracted, which while it unbelievably delicious and bursting over the senses seems to have something missing which causes many to keep drinking it trying to figure out what. They might have a bottle or two which still contains a pawn, which lacks that "missing something" and causes those who consume it to enter an extremely relaxed state.

Including of course a write-up of those manning the booth.


One booth that is very Saga depending [because, well, is something that happen on my Saga and not in any book] that I want to share:

  • A Bellum booth, probably directed by a Verditius more motivated by money than art. The booth is a good place to find lab text on Aeger Bellum and "advanced versions" [with sound, smell and even touch], Finesse Tractatus or even Summaes, but also for getting the Bellum Figurines, a set of small figures that function as Minor Enchantments of Aeger Bellum based on the figure, you can even paint them and the Illusion will appear with the colors on the figure.

This is based on the idea that Bellum seems pretty fun and common on the Order to start riots on a previous Tribunal, so I decide that probably -in their shenanigans- there are magi interested on collecting and playing Bellum even after apprenticeship.

This enchantment is so small that the Verditius can create them without any Vis, and so the price is smaller rounding the 2 Pawns for a basic version. Deluxe editions exist, with enchantments for being preserved even in disaster, the five senses activated, etc.

Also, this enchantment is very appreciated by the RedCaps because it lets them play Bellum.

One hook for the next Tribunal in my saga is that some RedCap or Jerbiton (deciding for now) want to use this figurine for something more than a "Finesse contest" and is building rules for a Wargame and trying to convince the Verditius to work with him in creating this new market, players can see this like a good investment, or as a new hobby to be involved in.


I posted up my first write-up in the collection thread. If you have the time please take a look at it and provide any feedback here.

Formatting - I tried to produce a usable format that provides the important information in a style that can be fairly easily used in a game. Tweaks and feedback welcome.

Material - Attempted to provide information on non-special items available without any details. Special items however I attempted to include description of both the item and its affects, along with mostly unfixed prices which are some multiple of what an individual saga would charge for something. This is to avoid situations where two Saga sets the base cost for something at 1 and 3, resulting in a set price being horribly expensive in one and cheaper than standard in another.

If anyone has anything complete they wish to add to the collection, please adapt something like my formatting and post it.

EDIT: And my second write-up is not posted in the collection thread. I really am going to need some help to build the full thing so please anyone with something contribute.

EDIT EDIT: And there is the third. That is all the ones I have started building past just the idea stage so most likely nothing new for at least a few days.


I very much like your ideas. Would you be willing to write them up for the content thread? If not, then would you mind me writing them up as little triple collections like the last one I did?

I have no objection if you want to write them up. I can write them up, but I'll have to update them to your format as I presented mine as a range of people/story seeds around a common theme rather than as a specific encounter.

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Since it is your ideas, I would be happier if you did it. Not only so you will clearly get recognized as the author by anyone desiring to use it, but that it will be one less thing I would have to create myself.

Don't get me wrong, I love all the ideas being tossed about in this thread but if it is only me writing finished entries then it is going to take a long time.

How uniform do you want the formatting?
Should we bend backwards to fit in?
Or maybe post here first for a formatting review?

No don't bend backwards. As long as they are formatted in a somewhat similar way. For some encounters things will have to be organized differently.

I'll try a write up for a stall and see if it the kind of thing you wants.

Terminius's repurposed goods.
Terminius is a gifted RedCap. A tall dark haired man, he always wears elegant clothing with lots of attachments such as broaches, pendants, cuff links etc. He is obviously an older mage, however, he does have a good longevility potion. He is actually 104, but a magi who looks at him could well predict anywehere between 45 - 120.
Terminius crosses all of the tribunals, bringing the most important information that may even have relevance to distant tribunals. He travels in a large carriage enchanted with 7 league stride and enchantments to shrink goods placed inside. Not only does Terminius bring information, he has an extensive trade network where he will bring mundane items such as large amounts of quarried stone, wood planks, large carpets,etc. Part of his trade network is buying magic items from covenants who no longer need an item and on sell them for a profit.

His stall is filled with lesser enchantment items. Cost wise, I've gone for the cost of the lesser enchantment + 1 - 3 Vis depending on how easy it would be to make the item. I've just gone with core book spells.

Saddle of Wizards Mount (7 Vis)
Leather Armour of Impenetrable Silk (3 Vis)
The gentlemen's double of Impenetrable Silk (3 Vis) -very elegant clothing
Shepherds Crook of Peace (5 Vis) - Soothe the Ferocious Bear, Size +1 and Group range
Necklace of Water Breathing (4 Vis)

The items are going to clearly take me hours, so I'm going to get back to it and edit this later.

Potential encounters with the PCs.
There is the obvious, simple transactions of vis for goods.

Terminius is always interested in big picture information. He cares not about the usual material a redcap who works in 1 tribunal wants. It has to be large. At the fair the PCs could set up an information exchange.
Terminius has one location in every tribunal he checks in to every season (arcane connections) where magi can leave notes which Terminius may respond to. If a wizard continually gives Terminius good information, Terminius will respond in kind.

Terminius always keeps his ear to the ground about misplaced magic items. He is extremely passionate about keeping magic from mundanes. He could give the magi a commission to recover a magi item for him.

Terminius can be used as a connection to get the party to somewhere you want. He crosses all tribunals. You want to give your party a reason to go from Stonehenge, to the Rhine, he can do it. He could even transport the party in his cart, if it is in his interest.

His key motivation is a devotion to redcaps. His "merchant empire" is to provide the vis and money to assist non-gifted redcaps, and to increase and maintain his extensive information gathering network. Any threat to the order or the redcaps, he will utilise his extensive contacts and arcane connections to mobilise significant resources quickly. Terminus can be used as a starting point if you want to have a campaign with a long running threat to the order.


Your idea looks good. A well rounded trader with some good general hooks.

The goal is "plug-n-play" encounters that are designed to be use at a fair. That can range from things that are just amusing background to fleshed out traders and story hooks. I'm not trying to limit peoples contributions as long as they are helpful to people running a fair. Heck some of them could become part of their ongoing Saga beyond just the fair.

I really don't want people to feel things like "I shouldn't submit a Redcap, there are already X many". For one thing Redcaps will most likely be the most common traders by far. Options to choose from are important. With enough many people could run a fair pulling from the collection without any overlap and give it a completely different feel.


The Wolf Ring

Type: Entertainment

In an open area on the edge of the tribunal grounds two concentric rope circles are pegged to the ground. At intervals signs posted around it proclaim:


A single larger sign is placed where the ring is closest to the rest of ther tribunal grounds

Wolf Duels
Take your wolves, and fight those of your opponent!


  • For single wolf duels the referee will provide you with a single wolf at the start of the duel. For pack duels, you will be provided with a pack of six identical wolves.
  • You have 30 seconds to enhance your wolves as you see fit at the start of the match. All spells must be cast on your own wolves only. No-one else may cast any spells on either your wolves or anything else affecting the duel.
  • Combat will last for one minute, and must remain within the inner circle. During this time no further spells may be cast. You must remain in the ring between the two circles.
  • In the event that the fight does not have a clear winner, the referee will proclaim one based on tactics, clever use of spells and aggression.
  • For "spells" also read any other supernatural or mundane effect intended to affect the duel.
  • Other duel formats available by arrangement - please discuss with Acca of Tremere

This is largely a bit of fun (and also an opportunity to introduce new players to combat in a safe way). There is no entrance fee, but there is usually a mundane Tremere functionary around who will act as a bookmaker for minor bets.

The default wolves before buffing have the standard stats from the Book of Mundane Beasts:

Size: -1
Teeth: Init +2, Attack +11, Defense +9, Damage 0
Soak: +4
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0/0, –1/–1, –3, –5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: –1 (1–4), –3 (5–8), –5 (9–12), Incapacitated (13–16), Dead 17+
Abilities: Athletics 5 (distance running), Awareness 3 (smell), Brawl 5 (teeth), Hunt 4 (track by smell), Leadership 5 (wolves), Survival 3 (winter)
Max group bonus: +18, applied to either Attack or Defense
Appearence: The wolf has erect, triangular ears, a narrow muzzle, and a coat of shaggy fur. Its eyes are usually yellowish and have a steady, unsettling gaze. Its coat is always a brindled pattern of black and brown.

Acca can multicast a Cr(Re)An 30 spell to create 6 of them, then hand control of the wolves over to the duelists. She will usually cast the spells forcelessly; however, if aiming to penetrate (which she may do for some non-standard duels) she can achieve a penetration total of 31 + Aura + die.

Acca expects most duels to be fought between two other magi; however, she will accept casual challenges herself. Her standard "enhanced" pack has the following stats:

Size: +0
Teeth: Init +1, Attack +16 (+18/+0), Defense +8 (+0/+18), Damage +7
Soak: +9
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0/0, –1/–1, –3, –5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: –1 (1–5), –3 (6–10), –5 (11–15), Incapacitated (16–20), Dead 21+
Abilities: Athletics 5 (distance running), Awareness 3 (smell), Brawl 5 (teeth), Hunt 4 (track by smell), Leadership 5 (wolves), Survival 3 (winter)
Max group bonus: +18, applied to either Attack or Defense
Penetration: 0 / 18+Aura+die
Appearence: The wolf has erect, triangular ears, a narrow muzzle, a coat of thick fur and razor sharp teeth and claws. It is larger than normal, and its eyes are a firey red. Its coat is deep black, but with a brindled brown pattern superimposed on it, and it occasionally appears to breathe steam.

The inner ring has a Ward Against Mundane beasts, and the outer ring has a ward against humans (although this is cast forcelessly, and she will extend her Parma to anyone competing without magic resistance long enough for them to step over the line).

Acca is happy to agree to provide wolves for duels against other conjured creatures. She is more wary about providing wolves for duels against magi's familiars, grogs or the magus themselves, and will require the magi to first fight a duel against the proposed opposition using conjured creatures, and then make a statement in front of a Quaesitor accepting that any damage is upon their own head, and that they forfeit their immunity in respect of any damage that was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the duel, up to and including deaths. Any such duels must not be deliberately to the death (first blood or surrender are the default options, with the duel also ending at unconsciousness), but there is always a risk of accidents.

Acca of Tremere
Personality Traits: Brave +2, Callous towards animals +3, Paranoid -1
Acca is a lean Slavic woman apparently in her mid fifties (but actually over 100), her hair almost entirely grey. She wears a suit of high quality chainmail with a (talisman) whip coiled at her belt, and a ring on one finger. She's a relatively new Archmage, and Master of Auxilleries for House Tremere. When casting her spells, she often uses the whip to extend her touch range - it appears to reach surprisingly far, and move in direct response to her will with no conscious effort on her part.

She's running the duels for a few reasons:

  • She enjoys them (and has put a lot of effort in over the years developing her suite of spells)
  • As an opportunity to train other magi in the tribunal in handling her wolves in preparation for future military use - she has other spells that last longer than the diameter she uses for the contests
  • To see what ideas other magi have for buffing her wolves. Magi who appear to have developed interesting spells may be approached by her later to request a lab text.

Story Seeds

  • Acca has taken various precautions to prevent accidents - which make it all the more worrying when one of the conjured wolf packs break out of the ring and attack one of the spectators. Is this just a magical botch, or is something more sinister going on?
  • Acca suspects that one or more spectators is magically interfering with some of the bouts, but must keep her full attention on the ring whilst they are going on. She asks a player character (most likely a junior Tremere or Guernicus) to keep watch.
  • Acca views her conjured animals as extensions of her will, and has little to no regard for their welfare. Whilst not gratuitously cruel, she considers that as such creatures will vanish anyway once the spell duration ends, how she treats them doesn’t matter. Some nature orientated magi may have different opinions.

OK. I wikified my entry, so feel free to polish what you do not like.

Is there anything which should be done differently for the next NPC to post?

Overall the style fits in with that of the thread nicely. That is all I am really asking for.

The way it is written, it appears to be primarily an NPC. That is actually good since the NPC encounters are the thing I most was hoping others would contribute. They are the most work and the hardest to get to feel different from each other, so need the most

@Salutor The Wolf Ring looks good, are you going to post it in the collection?

Indeed. I never enjoyed roleplaying inventories and à la carte shopping, so I try to invest in NPCs.
I would make a larger stall the same way, with one primary NPC to interact with the party. YMMV

It is, of course, an interesting question how much of the market place is filled up with large stalls from long-term professional operations, and how much is just an individual magus either having some second-hand stuff to get rid of or who try to set up a new business.