Mighty Characters Quick Fix

The idea has a certain charm to it.

Tremere like their magical creatures too and Merinita would certainly try it with faeries.

This basically takes my Might as an ability that caps qualities gained and linking it to the highest lab total they can find in the order (which is to say the SG's whim (just like the magi's progression largely))

The actual Might changing isn't really all that important. But I don't really like that they are basically completely dependent on Magi at that point. This would work better if I were trying to take magical creatures and make them equivalent to Mythic Companion Redcaps (Which would be a vastly easier project). Even if I were to punt and say the magus equivalent wasn't an achievable goal utility wise. Making them entirely dependent on the order narratively makes me think their stories will be less important. It drops them back to companion status.

But maybe that is fine, they are Mythic Companions. Having something like that going on would mean they need to follow the Code and I don't need to worry about rules being applicable to all creatures in the world.

I would want to use something different than the chords and would want to break it from Lab totals so it isn't completely static. Basically use something like the Study from Vis rules, so a magus needs to be convinced to spend a season on it but their sponsoring house generally sets aside a season from a magus per year to handle it, similar to how Redcaps work.

I sold my troupe on letting me play a Might 5 Elementalist. The current system is working great for me. He has more XP than the whole covenant combined. Crap like that is what prompted me to change the system in the first place.

EDIT: I'm running with it. Will alter the OP soon[sup]tm[/sup].

There's something in this discussion I don't understand: why and how does - after the initial character creation following RoP:M p.30ff is finished - Magic Might limit the number of Magic Quality points a being can obtain? Where do you take this idea from?


While it's not in the rules, that's my simple house rule to help things out. I keep Might restricting the total Magic Qualities. It stops the Might 1 Familiar from quickly overtaking the Might 30 Familiar.

It is a rule I ascribed on to the system in one of the later posts, right after Ken ripped into me the first time. If you can gain as many Qualities as you want, limited only by your access to Vis then you have the Low-Might creature issue that I described with my Elementalist. He has 45 applications of the Improved Abilities Quality . If you are gaining MR and Pen and Qualities then what ever is letting you increase your Might is Overpowered.

I ban Familiars from using the Transformation rules.

Yes, that's some major cheese I demonstrated right after RoP:M came out. Take Transformed Human as a Major Virtue. Take Independent Study just to make it grosser. Now when you practice to improve (instead of a totally new Magic Quality), you have a Source Quality of 7, and when you adventure you have about 10 on average. Then that gets multiplied by 2.5 for Improved Abilities (10 points to get it, 25 point return). So your average season of practice is worth 17.5 experience, and your average season of adventure is worth about 25 experience. Then to get even grosser you use No Fatigue, giving you 6 seasons of grossness per year instead of 4 seasons. With only practice you can pick up 105 experience per year; adventures bump it up a little.

Improved Abilities is just there for character creation. It's not intended to be picked up via Transformation. Still, there are problems even when you get rid of Transformation granting Improved Abilities.

I don't think I would ever let someone "Just take Transformed Human". There are some other things wrong with all that, but ya, it be borked. Hence the modifications.

I'm looking at the "Might as an Art, tradeoff Might for Qualities" thing. I think it has some good things going for it. The question I keep coming too is how fast should the non-XP accumulate.

I used numbers from my group's time tracker to figure out how many XP and how many lasting boons (Books Written, Spells Learned, Enchanted Devices made). I figured some reasonable conversion to put those things into Experience Point equivalent units and added them together to rate each of us in terms of gained Utility (I am the low performer, go figure). Long story short, no knob I turn really seems to matter that much. I always come out in about the same general spread of estimated utility. Which is good I guess. I have a fairly large margin for error. I would clearly have to nerf "No Fatigue" down to the level off all the other 'gain 2 season' things (not having the Might penalty takes away the balancing factor).

Right now I have been looking at One Shot's familiar idea. If I make it a lab activity that a magus has to perform on you and it take your Chord values in pawns vis to do it and you gain Stress + (Lab total/10) non-XP towards the chord. That is a lot of factors, not the least is finding a magus to do it and finding the Vis.
If I assume a Redcap wage of 1p/year then the Creature has 14 extra Might after a century. -200 compared to a magus.
If I assume he can always get enough Vis and can only get a magus (41 lab total) to work on him 1 season a year then the Creature has 45 Extra. +400 compared to a magus
A magus is gaining 4500 gained utility in that time so that is less than a 10% difference. This is also assuming my underperforming magus's gains.

At 40 years the Creature is within 100 XP most of the time but always behind the magus. But that early on the non-art applicable XP are a bit more valuable.

Obviously if Vis is required the character is going to take personal Vis source. Like I said, that is fine. It kind of doesn't even matter. The fact that you are relying on a service (even a relatively freely given service) still means that you can only use the Vis so fast, and the amount you need goes up a lot faster than your income.

So... I guess I'm at the play testing phase.
Technically I haven't done anything that changes the starting conditions of creatures. Which worries me a bit to say the least. Since I know those are fairly strong. They have to be. A greater power is Level 50, no magus can cast anything close to that at CC. I don't know what level 50 spell they would want to have... A spell only does 1 thing, you could be really good at that thing but it is still only 1 thing. 6 things is you spend all your points that way. You can break them up so saying 500 levels in spells (lesser power is more efficient in that respect) my magus has 210 level of spells after 10 years. Concentia (Magi of Hermes) has 450 after 45 years, but has much more penetration on several of them.


Whoa! I don't know you well enough for that! :slight_smile:/2




Magi can cast level 50 spells at character creation without fatigue loss if they specialize. And they usually should.

Mighty beings should really look at Variable Power. The ones in books don't use it for some strange reason. They only can take it once per power, but it's really good, either making a power better or by providing more versions of it. For example, a Might 40 dragon can take this for his dragon breath, and get 8 different kinds of dragon breath in addition to the one he already has. He can take it again for his mind control power, and get 8 variations of that too. Or he might just make one power even better, by 8 magnitudes. It's a tough choice!



Ken is correct here. It's not hard to build a character who has a level-50 formulaic spell at gauntlet. You don't even have to hyper-specialize, just specialize. I can't remember exactly how high I got in the optimization thread I made. I think I got up to the low to mid 90s for the maximum level for a starting character's formulaic/ritual spells at gauntlet (following quick rules, not the detailed development rules). That required hyper-specialization, but it does show you what is possible.

The bigger deal is that the Might character can start with something at that scale along with huge penetration. That's what you're unlikely to see out of a starting magus. Of course, as I showed, with hyper-specialization you could cast a level-50 spell with getting close to 50 penetration. But that requires devoting everything about the character toward it, rather than a few out of a whole bunch of Qualities.

They could, they should not. I ran those numbers in my second post and that character was decidedly overspecialized. Callen your magus' highest level spell is 40, 23 years after gauntlet.

Ya, Variable Power seems a bit too strong for a Minor Virtue... Even a starting character is getting 4 mags added onto his greater power. Appropriate ability wouldn't be so bad if you always said the appropriate ability was a new ability called (That Power's Name) Mastery. Then you would basically be just a slightly stronger version of mastery. Puissant and Affinity... Puissant could plausibly be said to not count just like it doesn't count for books and such. Not so worried about affinity at that point.

I don't buy being able to have 8 kinds of Dragon breath. All of your powers should fit your theme even if you have a virtue. SO you could move it from an AOE to a single target or something but having rainbow breath attacks is pretty much right out. There is only so much movement within the Similar spell effects.

If you plan on taking it your could get quite a bit of utility out of it if you plan your abilities to use it.


Hmm. With or without fatigue? A Casting Total of 78 + die is straightforward enough, but going beyond that starts to involve things like Cyclic Magic, Magic Foci, charms, Spell Mastery... Unless I'm missing something.



I wonder how much of that 'Might as an ability' issue would be fixed if you just made it harder to spew points into it. Instead of making it a Supernatural Ability (which by the rules would allow gifted individuals to try and take it too) you just make it an alternate method of advancement, stick it in the same category as Age and Warping. Since by default IIRC Magic creatures don't age, you can just replace Age with it. Figure out how quickly you want it to advance. Maybe add a penalization for staying in no-Aura areas, just like how mundanes get warping for being in high magic areas. Let players redirect adventure XP into Might Experience instead of making might an ability. I think there's precedent for that (I remember Merinita have a virtue that lets them redirect xp into spell learning)
Just a thought. If the problem is abilities are too easy to abuse, just do it that way.

I'm WAY less experienced than most of you, but the biggest problem I ran into with magic characters was the urge to turn all powers into 0-might cost for spammable use and increased penetration. :frowning: Plus the Might/Qualities were a double-enhancing power increase.

Ya, I got to that point on the 3rd pass. I think I like the character to still have some amount of influence over it.

It's expensive, you pay for it. It was probably usually a mistake to bother with making them all free.

I don't really understand your meaning here.

Obviously never the intention. Never really got written down because I haven't gotten to that point yet.

Yes, but that's a bad comparison. First, due to a house rule we weren't allowed to start with spells over level 30, or I would have begun with some other stuff, likely including a ReVi 40 spell. Second, you're looking at a Finesse-focused mage who uses a Minor Magical Focus to allow for having very spread out Arts. Those spread out Arts are generally far from ideal.

I have another character who started out with Creo 17+3 and Vim 9. Creo and Vim don't match as well as others. In this case it's just that I needed a bunch of Vim things while making a Creo-focused mage with a Minor Magical Focus in aging. Even then, the character started with a CrAq 35 attack spell.

Consider the following: Int 3 + MT 3+1 + Aura 3 + Technique 13 + Form 13 + Focus 13 = 49. That costs 212 points, leaving 28 points available, even with absolutely no points in Virtues used beyond a Minor Magical Focus. With 10 points of Virtues remaining (11-1 when you include the House Virtue), it really doesn't take much to make this manageable without being overly focused. Is that decidedly over-specialized? If you think so, consider again what you could do with those Virtues. Let's make this a Bonisagus or Flambeau or Mercere. Add in 2x Puissant Art and Puissant Magic Theory, and now the cost to get two 10+3 scores and MT 3+2 is 140, leaving 100 points in Abilities/Arts, any desired choice of specialty in Magic Theory, and 7 points of any Virtues still available. That's enough room that neither that Technique nor that Form needs to be your best Art.

But I think Ken's point was that they should specialize, not that necessarily should start with a level-50 spell.

Here is the specific design: Optimization

I was maximizing the level of the starting spell, not the casting total, though. Yes, maximizing Penetration would be done differently. You can still get two Arts at 22+3 apiece. That along with Stamina +3 gives you a 78 casting total. Yes, I would probably use Spell Mastery, as each point can give +2. Throw in a little Penetration, and you should be able to get to the low 90s before the die roll efficiently. And then it's whatever other little tweaks can be thrown at it. Life Boost is obvious, but we're going for massive penetration without spending Fatigue. As I said, that involved hyper-specialization.

Ya, every bit of that is going overboard. I don't particularly care how different theoretical optimization builds stack up against each other.

Really? 10+3 in two Arts, Minor Magical Focus, and Puissant Magic Theory along with the minimum normal expenditure in Magic Theory is going overboard? I would totally agree that the hyper-specialized combinations I presented are going overboard. I did say they are "hyper-specialized" for a reason. But I find two Arts of 10+3 to be far from going overboard.

Adeline at gauntlet had a 12 and a 10, and that was because I was aiming for a fairly spread out set of Arts in the end (and I intentionally started with lower Arts because of the house rule on starting spells and an intention of using Strong Faerie Blood for post-gauntlet development). In the same saga look at Roland at gauntlet: two Arts at 10+3 and a Minor Magical Focus that can apply to them; meanwhile Roland also had scores of 6 in five other Arts at gauntlet. Roland was abandoned for Richards, who was going to start with an Art combination of 12+3 and 14+3 with an applicable Focus at gauntlet; meanwhile Richards also had scores of 6 in three other Arts and 4 in another at gauntlet. Richards was later abandoned, but neither of those were abandoned for being over-specialized. Even the sample Flambeau in the core book has Creo 12 and Ignem 12+3 along with an applicable Focus, though just barely short on Intelligence and Magic Theory, only being able to start with a level-48 spell. The sample Bonisagus has two 12s, and if Minor Magical Focus were to replace any one of several Virtues, that magus could start with a level-50 spell. If we look in Magi of Hermes, we see others. Gwidion at gauntlet has one 18, two 10s, two 8s, and some lower scores and an applicable Focus; he can only start with a level-48 spell, but if he were less specialized, moving points from the 18 in Rego to the 10 in Herbam, he could start with a level-50 spell. Tolides has a 12+3 and a 9 with an applicable Focus, for a possible level-45 spell at gauntlet. I'm sure I could find plenty more if I were to look further.

I find the real problem is the line in the core book that says, "It is probably unwise to put more than 55 experience points, for a score of 10, into any one Art, as that tends to indicate that your magus is over-specialized." That is terrible advice and is far from accurate about being over-specialized. You're generally far better off with a couple scores in the low to mid teens than tons of scores of 5 or lower. Whoever wrote that advice did not understand the difference between diluted and generally useful. And more than half the sample at-gauntlet magi in the core book start with at least one Art of 10+3 or 11 or higher. Much better advice would have been something like this: "It is probably unwise to start without scores of at least 10 in any two Arts, as that tends to indicate your magus is not specialized enough."

I see.

So you both insist on replacing the way RoP:M proposes to resolve your issue by adding a new limiting mechanism. Your call in your games, of course, to which I will leave you now.

But does it really resolve your issues with the very free form character development of RoP:M p.29ff Magic Characters?

With this proposal from one of RoP:M's authors, the "45 applications of the Improved Abilities Quality" should certainly not have happened, even without 'fully mechanizing' this aspect of the development of Magic Characters.


Yes, it solved things pretty well for me, and it was pretty straight-forward since it was already built into the rules for character development. It wouldn't solve Sir Swindle's worries, though. Meanwhile, Mark's is also a house rule that adds a new limiting mechanism.

That works kind of ok for familiars, like I said before I just don't allow transformation for them. Your magus is dumping Vis that could easily go into enchanting the familiar with a spell effect that makes a cone of fire and instead pouring it into transformation.

But if that is you are just playing a magic character then that doesn't really work. If you are high might then you are already getting shafted by your own Might. It takes you 20 pawns to get a transformation and you can't get XP at all without Vis, insanely good teachers or books written pretty much specifically for you. Making you go on an adventure (which you won't get XP from) to be able to spend the XP you already have is just adding insult to injury.

Low Might characters sure, I guess. They have their own problems. My problem is that one of their problems is that they could make the critical build mistake of increasing their Might, something they obviously should want to do but are discouraged mechanically at every turn.

Even with Mark's system it is still just going to be better to be a 10 Might Companion over a 20 Might Magus or even better a 5 Might Grog. I can get 4 transformations for the cost of 1 with vis and can still practice like callen mentioned. Plus since I have to go adventuring to spend the transformation XP I'll have a lot of down time where I'll be getting XP other ways. So it will be real nice to get even a few XP from them per season. The Redcap with magic items could beat me in what ever our mutual competency is but at least I have MR!

Been working with One Shot's Familiar idea. At first I was thinking of having it be just one chord forged to the order but now I'm thinking making it 3 could be better. I sort of wanted them to be themed but I can't really do that and have them go straight to Might. I was thinking maybe having Gold be Might that could be traded for Powers, Silver be Mental stats that can be traded for mental Qualities, and Bronze be Physical stats that can be traded for Physical Qualities. I think it might work because Might and powers scale directly, the more Might I have the more pen and mana I have for powers. So spending Might for powers only would be pretty ok. I think if i did that then the improving of the chords could be made a ritual rather than a seasonal activity for a magus, making it a lot more accessible (obviously the ritual couldn't be done by a might creature, some blah about acclimation).