Lol Concept Wut? Help Making Weird Character

My friend asked me to look over their concept between sessions and make them a coherent character out of it (she's a first-timer and found that she didn't like the concepts of any of the example Magi). I looked at the concept and found nothing that could tie this mess together. I mean, the written and specifically asked for mechanical bits I can do, but this makes so little sense as an actual character that I have no idea how to proceed beyond that point.

The concept is "a fearless and selfless Trianoma maga specializing in flower magic and crafting." Yeah.

I guess fearless is a Brave +3 personality trait and selfless would be the Compassionate Flaw, probably the Major version. Trianoma Maga is self-explanatory, so I guess she can have fun with her Puissant Intrigue. That means I should get Intrigue to a 3 or 4 at least. Flower Magic is easy to represent with a high Herbam score and a Magical Focus. Crafting... That's kind of vague. I'm not sure what she meant by that. Crafting as it spending a day or a couple days a seasons making pots or swords or something, or magic item crafting. She obviously is trying to break the "Traveling Trianoma" stereotype so making the character something of a lab rat is possible, but it may be difficult with most of her starting Arts xp going into making her flower mage image possible.

So the above all sort of makes sense to me. The written words I can understand and make use of. But getting beyond this point is shockingly difficult. This character is just so outside the box that I have trouble getting in her head and thinking what choices would have been made along her developmental path. Flower magic and crafting are already a weird mesh, but then I need to think about her motivations for such a thing, what her Parens must've been like to teach her that way and thus what else she might learn to tie it all together, and how being a Trianoma Maga rather than something more traditional for the role (such as Bonisagus or Verditius) might effect how she goes about her work.

Can you guys assist me in making a sensible character out of this and suggest some Virtues, Flaws, and good skill point allocations to make the whole thing work and make an inkling of in-world sense? (Speaking of which, perhaps the Common Sense Virtue... XD)

Deficient Perdo, Puissant & Affinity Finesse, don't discount Perception, so Improved Characteristics might be necessary to have enough points to make Intelligence, Perception and Stamina decent, although it's not strictly necessary. I'm assuming this is mundane crafting, not magic item creation. I'm not sure a focus in flowers or some other Herbam area is necessary...

It's tough to be specific with this vague outline.

I agree. There are many ways this could be interpreted. It's not the character is "outside of the box", not at all. It's just that there is not nearly enough information about her.

You should not be asking us "what are the motivations" etc. of the character; you should ask the player. Once the concept is clearer, we can definitely help implementing it mechanically, or suggest proper "hooks" into the Ars Magica cosmology, the Order's traditions etc.

But asking us help with this character is like asking help with a "tall and thin companion who likes drinking and dicing". Or a "grumpy old magus who specializes in health and ships". Sure, we can toss tons of ideas at you, but it's not nearly as fruitful as trying to dig out of the player what she wants.

From my reading of the maga's short description, this seems to me like a "hippy" concept. Is that what the player has in mind, perhaps? Not very "in period", but picturing the maga as such could help you wrap your mind around the basic concept.

What kinds of questions would you guys recommend I ask? Helping others with their characters isn't really something I've done before. :confused:

I would go for:

  • Focus in flowers
  • Puissant herbam
  • puissant rego
    Nice herbam, rego, muto, and imaginem or mentem scores


  • Cloud of polen
  • create structures made of (giant?) flowers. the structures can be tough. This can be simulated with Rego Craft spells or Creo spells. A wall of strong flowers, a flowery vine, a carpet of flowers (quite spectacular for your entrance anywhere)
  • 2 emotion manipulation spells. Specially love and attraction seems adequate
  • quest for the lost herb (flower) to find adequate spell-like effects

An alternative would be to ditch it all and invest in the Mythic Herbamism ability. It is an AMAZING ability, and one that can be interpreted to be flower magic easily (cosmetic). Poultrices and all other kinds of stuff looks great here. Same with the Hex or Enchanting Music (poultrice, in her case) ability, that can simulate love potions and the like very easily.

I find this use of the terms "fearless" and "flower magic" hard to reconcile - I have an image of a maga armed with a big daisy trying to face down a dragon - and it's not a particularly impressive daisy, so it ends poorly for the maga and her flower. :confused:

Ask her for a half-dozen spell-type effects that she could envision her maga casting, and then a few scenes where she uses her "crafting". The spells don't have to be formally formatted as AM spells, just verbal descriptions of "a shower of flowers that does X" or "conjure a giant flower that does Y" - whatever.

Also, talk to her about "wizard's sigils", and also the virtues/flaws of Side Effect and/or Warped Magic - maybe the flower theme can be worked in (or expanded) that way?

What kind of Stories would she want the character to be involved in? Suggest she look over the Story Flaw options for inspiration if she doesn't have an idea.

What kind of Craft does the character do? Embroidery/Tailor might go well, both in the framework of a medieval lady and a maga interested in flowers. (I could see such a character making a lot of clothing related magic items.)

I can actually see such a character as someone who was born into a noble family, having the basic noblewoman upbringing, centered on sewing, estate management and generally being a courtier (the last one being an especially good skill set for a Trianoma maga). You and she might also want to looking into the Language of Flowers. It may be a bit anachronistic but I've seen it in the context of Arthurian romance... a secret code based using specific flowers in specific symbolic arrangements to convey messages. Again, a very Trianoma-intriguer concept.

OTOH, such a maga facing off against a traditional faerie noble who had a strong nature/fertility sympathy would likely do wonderfully well.

Obviously a fearless flower maga is no shrinking violet.

Regarding the background, she could have started as a Merinita, a Bjornaer or even an Ex Miscellanea mage, dedicated to nature protection.
Then a Bonisagus (Trianoma tradition) master used his privilege to claim her as apprentice five years before gauntlet, because she was showing some promising abilities.

She reconciled her initial education in the other house by embrassing the Trianoma path as defender of the wild, through negociation and diplomacy.

The way her "fearless" trait is described, it could be easily confused with Reckless - from the outside, being very brave or just plain oblivious of the danger might look the same.
If she was initially an Ex Miscellanea, she could have Craft Magic, through waving of cane and other vegetable material.
Otherwise, Gwidion of Verditius in Magi of Hermes could give an idea of what could become or do an Herbam magus.

By the way, considering the spread of skills she will have (crafting, social skill and magical abilities), you need to ask what are her priority and assigned characteristic and skills according to that. Can the flower magic just be a minor focus with 3 related spells or is it core to the character (then you need to consider affinity and/or puissant with Herbam) ? Is Trianoma lineage important (Puissant, affinity Intrigue, or Folk Ken, maybe Busybody as a flaw).

That image brought out Piffany, from Nodwick :laughing:

He did say the Maga would be a crafter. The big daisy is probably a concealed sword. Or maybe a concealed basket. Either way, how is that not impressive enough?! Especially if she were taken from a Verditius by her Trianoma parens' apprentice-grubbing rights and had been initiated into Items of Quality and made the basket with that... Then she could, like, carry the dragon in it and drop it off a high place. Flawless plan.