One of my players chose the following flaws (amongst others) for his companion:
Oath of fealty, Greater Malediction (as "Curse of Venus"), Lesser Malediction (as "Susceptibility to Faerie Power")
Do you think it is o.k. to annul the guideline "no more than one story flaw" through the assumption that "Curse of Venus" is a Malediction?
Do you think it is o.k. to annul the guideline "no Hermetic Virtues / Flaws for Companions" through the assumption that "Susceptibility to Faerie Power" is a Malediction?
I don't have a huge issue of someone taking two story flaws (major and a minor or 2 minors) as it gives me more of a reason to mess with the character. Two major flaws, especially for a companion is a bit much.
Regarding Faerie Power, keep in mind that most of the detrimental power comes from halving magic resistance, which for a magus is a big deal. Is it a big deal for the companion, would the companion be under the aegis of another magus, whose magic resistance wouldn't be so limited? For a magus it is a big deal, because he either needs to work on his resistance, if he encounters a lot of faeries, avoid faeries, or ask another magus to protect him with his Parma, which is kind of humiliating...
Your answer BTR is found on page 36, col i, par 4 (starting "Flaws come in two broad types...").
If it isn't doing it's job "as a Flaw", either to "hinder the character" or to "enhance the story", then it should not be allowed.
Bottom line, it all depends how likely it is to work them into the story. As a SG, I often find that it's hard to work more than 1-2 major flaws into a story line without taking extra time, time that I'd rather devote to the saga arc rather than one character. If you think you can work them in, do it - if not, reject it flat.
I can´t anticipate if the character will take advantage of the magus´ parma in the game, but I think, the big thing for the magus is a little less big for a companion, because this companion doesn´t have a magic resistance, anyway.
Well, if the player would take "Curse of venus" as a Major Story Flaw, I´d say no. The character already has another story flaw. The problem is, the player claims, this is a Major Supernatural Flaw, because it is a "Greater Malediction" with the same effect as the "Curse of Venus" - Flaw. (and I´m sorry, but I can´t find a statement on page 36, col i, par 4 about supernatural flaws.)
The purpose of a story flaw is to draw characters into the SG's stories. I try and integrate the characters' story flaws into the arc for the saga. This particular flaw doesn't have to do that. He may be constantly bombarded by attention from people, but it has no effect on your story, you have no need to cater to it, so to speak. Turning on its head, you can turn the flaw into something that keeps a companion out of certain stories, especially stories where the companion would be really useful. Oh, they're off to slay the giant, but your sword arm is currently occupied by the coven of witches who kidnapped you to impregnate them. You'll be back to the covenant after the other group has taken on the giant. Or something to that effect. Note, you don't have to make a big deal about the coven of witches. They paid a weregild to the covenant, so the magi don't think it's a big deal.
LOL - I don't care if they claim they're Queen of the May - you're the SG, it's what you believe that matters! And do you believe they're right, or that they're trying to, perhaps, pull a fast one?
Ah - read it again. Esp the first sentence, the short one. "Flaws come in two broad types." And those "two broad types" are summed up by flaws that either "hinder a character" or "enhance stories".
That isn't talking about technical "categories" of Flaws, re chargen - it's talking to you, as a SG, about how to judge the appropriateness of any and all flaws in your Saga for any character. And in this case, this Supernatural Flaw would fall into exactly the same "broad type" as CoV - which is a Story Flaw, and so should "enhance stories".
So, what it's saying is that any flaw similar to CoV should be treated the same as CoV (a Story Flaw), regardless of its technical "category". So your instincts are not only approp, but they are supported by this section of the rules - that "... if a (Story) Flaw will not enhance stories, a character should not be allowed to take it." The flaw that you player is trying to take falls into the same "broad category" as a story flaw, so must be measured by the same yardstick.
And there's your approp response.
It really is that simple, and so has nothing to do with what you player claims.
(But watch that one - intentionally or no, they're good at spurious and specious arguments!)
My problem is: If I´d veto the "Curse of Venus"-Flaw because it would be the second Story Flaw, the rules would back me up: "You should not take more than one Story Flaw".
If I´d veto the "Greater Malediction same as Curse of Venus"-Flaw because it belongs to the "broad type that enhances stories" I should be sure, that the Flaw wouldn´t enhance stories. But to be honest: I don´t know. For now I look at this suspect choice as a convenient way to avoid another Major Flaw. But if I had to answer the question: does it enhance stories? Well, maybe it would...
I have to make a decision and am not sure. That´s the reason I asked the Forum.
But when competing with another Story Flaw, it starts to get crowded out, and so - no. That's why that limit is in place. This is not the "apples and oranges" that you're making it out to be - doesn't matter what it's called if the result is the same. A rose by any other name...
They're trying to work the system - keep them honest. They'll get over it, and both you as a SG and the Saga itself will be stronger for it.
In the first case, as people have already pointed out, the limitation is derived from real-world limits. All main player characters should have roughly equal spotlight time. Bringing two Story Flaws into play often enough to make it worth the flaw points would give that character too much of the spotlight. In the second case, they are excluded because they don't impose limits on the character, or affect things that the character doesn't have, so they are excluded as Flaws that do not hinder for companions.
Work with the player to write a Malediction that has the same sort of effect as Susceptibility to Faerie Power, but more suited to limiting a companion. For the Story Flaws, talk to all the other players and see whether they are happy to have this character be more central to the stories than their characters. If they are then two Story Flaws isn't a problem for your troupe.
I am not against to let take some near Malediction to Story or hermetic flaws, but then that Flaws must be under other, or very related. Or to let one Ungifted to suffer similar effects from Auras, are a good example, i thnk that could be just like Offensive to animals [or beings].
If you´re interested in the solution, you´re help did cause, here is the outcome of the discussion with my player:
The Companion still has a lesser malediction called "Susceptible for Faerie Power". The effect of this malediction is the possibility to get overwhelmed when entering faerie auras as is written for the hermetic flaw in RAW. Instead of the less potent parma magica of the hermetic flaw, the companion gives faeries the possibility to adjust the effectlevel by 1 Magnitude, if they want to cast Magic or a Power on the companion (similar to a magus, that possesses flexible formulaic magic).
Instead of the second Major Story Flaw "Oath of Fealty" the player now chose three minor Flaws.
His Flaws are now: Hatred: Faeries (major, Personality), Curse of Venus (major, Story), Pious (minor, Personality), Susceptible for Faerie Power (minor, Supernatural, as described above), Ability Block: martial (minor, General), Offensive to animals (minor, Supernatural)
O.K., isn´t it?
The discussion wasn´t easy, but I have a much better feeling now (and the player isn´t unhappy, too). Thanks again.
In any negotiation, if both sides are not quite happy with the outcome, it almost certainly is "fair".
More importantly, in a larger sense, you're establishing yourself as a SG who won't be easily pushed around, but will work with the players to find a middle ground. That's a solid foundation for everything you do in the future.