At the moment, yes, that's correct. The MMF is there for research purposes: she didn't really have the stats out of apprenticeship to take any fertility-related spells. That might change once I advance her a few years. Might not. Dunno yet.
Ummm... I'm not sure. Honestly, she doesn't really have any interest in canceling/suppressing Fertility, so I'll leave that one up to you.
I'm not seeing the section on how to determine the maximum Faerie Sympathy score.
A negative Sympathy score does give you a penalty to any roll where the Sympathy can come into play (for example, she's doing a freestyle to try to convince a woman to stay with her husband, or talk the husband out of cheating on his wife, she would take a -3 to her Poetry roll). It also gives her an extra three Botch Dice any time she rolls a zero on a stress die, regardless of whether the potential botching ability/spell/whatever has anything to do with Fidelity. (My suggestion: Familiar and Mastery )
It fits thematically with her whole Negative Sympathy with Fidelity...if she does find someone to the faithful with, there will be consequences. Of course, this is going to be easier if she limits her ltr to npcs...if she gets seriously involved with a pc...shrug We'll figure something else.
Let's go with enhancing/preserving Fertility, then.
Second sentence of Increasing Sympathy Traits says they can be increased with xp as long as the value of the Trait does not exceed the character's Warping score (I think that's Faerie-specific Warping). Revised Faerie Blood virtues in the same chapter increase that upper limit. Provided I haven't missed a sentence that clearly states I'm wrong. Again.
Peregrine won't like to hear this, but take a look at Aurulentus of Jerbiton in MoH if you haven't already. He has several spells related to fertility and pregnancy.
Yeah. Way I see it, Strong Faerie Blood gives me a maximum Trait of +3. She doesn't really LIKE her faerie heritage, so she wouldn't go attempting to increase her positive traits on purpose. Thing is, they can increase on their own -- any time I roll a 1 on a roll using a Sympathy trait, the associated positive Traits get 1 experience point, and for every 0 I roll on a botch involving a negative trait, it gains 1 XP.
I'd like to ask the Storyguide if we can ignore the Sympathies stuff altogether... just treat Strong Faerie Blood as it's presented in the main book. If that's not OK, then (given the character and how she's likely to have spent her time), I'm going to give her Poetry sympathy at +2, Artistic Inspiration sympathy at 0, and a Fidelity sympathy at -1.
I'll take another look in a bit, see if I can find it this time. I did see the part about how it can only be increased up to a certain point, but not how to cap/determine your starting Sympathies.
It looks like the Spell Guidelines pdf is updated through Magi of Hermes, so as long as I get a good spell description and know to look for the added guidelines if necessary, I should be okay. I haven't heard anything bad/negative about using MoH like I have A&A.
That works for me. Actually less stuff to keep track of. Simple is good.
I don't think Aurulentus's spells require new guidelines. They're mostly InCo (detecting pregnancy, detecting conception, determining fetus's gender) with a couple CrMe and MuCo to alleviate the stress of childbirth. There's also a spell he invented through experimentation that improves the chances of conception, but since it doesn't guarantee it most other magi don't think it actually does anything.
Can I use the Fertility focus when binding a familiar, if the familiar is strongly associated with fertility? For example, rabbit (duh), horse (via association with Epona), stag (via association with Cernunnos), boar (Celtic symbol of virility), goat. Going further afield, other cultures also associated frogs and cats with fertility. (And elephants, but I'm SO not binding an elephant as a familiar.)
Basically, I would have liked to stay within the Celtic mythos. Most appropriate familiars there would be horse or stag, and her Lab Total isn't high enough to bind something of Size +2 with more than a few points of Magic Might. Hence the question about using the focus for binding.
It's OK. I'll go with a cat -- cats were sacred to Freyja. Not Celtic, but I don't have to go all the way to Egypt either.
What's wrong with the boar? I think there's a symmetry in having a boar, the male aspect of virility to complement a female maga's aspect of fertility. For some reason, I view fertility with a feminine aspect. Perhaps it is because we don't say men are fertile, we say they are virile.
So, I tried to get a handle on the personality, to see how it compares to a boar. And I don't see much, except for Driven. And it's related to proving magical aptitude within House Jerbiton, which is about like a Tytalus trying to promote peace and cooperation within the House.
House Jerbiton, if we rely upon Houses of Hermes: Societas, is concerned with seeking or creating beauty? Magical aptitude matters very little in this pursuit, so I think you have a personality goal that will always be...unfulfilled. Magic (power) isn't the answer. Beauty is. There is also the general Jerbiton dislike of fariries that is a ripple of conflict within the House structure. Perhaps, I need an attitude adjustment, and that Jerbiton in this saga are not canonical and don't have a problem with faeries, though. I've always played them much as the insert on page 44 of HoH:Societas suggests. Of course, Leandra might be the exception that proves the rule.
Jonathan, you are 100% correct, on all points. She is NOT a good fit for House Jerbiton. That's really most of her problem.
With the personality goal... what she is trying to do is enable Jerbiton magi to live longer and create more beauty without giving up the ability to have children. Even if she succeeds, that's not likely to garner her greater respect from the House. I know this. You know this. SHE doesn't. So yes, the personality goal will likely remain unfulfilled. I'm OK with this.
Possibly her parens holds a perversion of that view. It's obvious (to me, anyway) that he held her in little regard, using her as basically a blow-up doll. And yet, something about her, whether it's her glamour or something in her Essential Nature made her useful, something that enhanced his creativity. And perhaps part of her Driven is to prove to Jerbiton that she's more than that, that she does have something to contribute that they would feel worthwhile.
Maybe not magic (that might make more sense if she were Bonisagus or another house), but perhaps by her poetry, her singing, her writing skills, something more artistic and what they consider Beautiful?
And about the only thing I know about boars, personality-wise, is that they are vicious and they will jack you up. The Medieval Bestiary gives the the Personality Traits "Gluttonous +3, Stubborn +2", says that it is known for his voracious and gluttonous nature, and represents the fierce and wild nature of the rulers of the world. The boar was sacred to Mars, and is said to have killed Adonis (lover of Aphrodite). Which seems to run counter to the whole negative Fidelity sympathy we had before.
It would make more sense, yes. However, I purposely gave her the Puissant Magic theory, and purposely did NOT give her Free Expression. That's one of the key driving forces of the character -- that she wants to make Jerbiton recognize her and respect her for the gifts she HAS, as opposed to what she lacks.
(If you haven't noticed yet, I tend to follow the Lois McMaster Bujold rule for creating interesting characters... which can be summarized as "what ELSE can I do to this poor schmuck?" )
"In Celtic mythology, the wild boar represents fertility, fearlessness, wealth, stubbornness, courage, and warrior strength. The latter stems from the fact that boars are very strong, dangerous, and very hard to kill (Nooden)."
"In Celtic culture, the wild boar also symbolizes spiritual authority, a representation commonly associated with the Druids caste (Guenon). When envisioned in dreams, boars are seen as an indication of the warrior spirit."
"Another important central belief is the restorative effects of the boar. According to Irish legend, the boar is sacred to the Celtic Goddess Arduinna. Arduinna is a regular visitor and keeper of the Ardennes forests in Belgium. The boar was sacrificed and served with an apple in his mouth. As a result, eating boar's meat is believed to revive health and happiness (Stefko). There is an ambivalence depicted in Celtic art with Arduinna and her boar. She is a patroness of the wild animal, but her possession of a knife symbolizes her dominance and her capability of killing the boar if necessary (Green 218). "
I guess the question here is, what do you mean by 'you'. The character isn't fond of faerie in general, and hates the faerie part of herself -- it's brought her nothing but trouble. The player thinks you shouldn't let that stop you -- if nothing else, it'd make for some terrific RP.
The one thing I would ask is that your tie to the Celtic gods be to a deity that's associated with fertility (Leandra's pet obsession). Brigid, Cernunnos or Epona are the best-known ones, but there's half a dozen others.