Missing limbs

So I'm having an issue with missing limb flaws. Flaws you take are supposed to be part of your essential nature, but that seems awfully limiting to birth. But a flaw that can be cured easily by a magus also seems a bit munchinizing. So how do you deal with the character who looses a hand because he his a thief during character gen, then another players magus decides on his own, to heal it. Obviously this isn't an essential property of the character, it was inflicted before the game started. So what to do? Make them take another flaw? Seems harsh, but maybe justified. Favors, or other flaws could be put on someone. But what if it's a favored grog, you can't give him a story flaw, so now what? I'm not to keen on saying no to players in this circumstance, especial if it is one player who decided to act on another characters behalf because it is in his personality. So what would you do if you had a popular character who becomes a custos who lost a hand in a life event, and a kindly magus played by another character decided to reward him by restoring his hand, or other similar circumstance? Because telling someone they cannot have that flaw because it could be healed seems harsh, but telling the magus he can't heal it doesn't seem fair either.

Look out, I'm going to post about a hermetic prosthetic later :smiley:

It depends on if they are doing it to game the system, or if it comes naturally from stories.

The magus can heal the hand, sure. Now, if this, to the group, seems like a cheap way out of a Flaw, then yes they should pick something else. If it is an organic reward for story participation, though, then it's fine.

Which is to say: there's no hard rule here. People are meant to be able to gain and lose Flaws during stories, and don't need to balance them up. It is only a problem if, for example, the kindly magus has never been kindly to anyone else and is doing it because he can see the PC Glow of the other character.

If the group does not care, the system, also, does not care.

(You'll find this problem over and over. The covenant can make whomever it likes, wealthy, can give out magic items, and excellent gear and so on. You need to work out in your troupe if that feels cheap, or if that's just fine.)

A missing limb makes for a good motivation for a companion to work for the weird magus.

"Replace my hand, I'll work for you."

"Work for me, and I'll replace your hand, in due time."

What kind of replacement will probably vary from mage to mage, and the companion may react favorably or note.

A magus with a missing limb may be stuck with(out) it; I'd think most masters would arrange for the appendage to be replaced if possible. Example: A magus in our new game is blind. The player is perfectly clear that if she could have her sight restored, it would be, so her blindness is Essential and cannot be repaired.

I would tend to think that replacing a grog's missing whatever would be a major reward for service, or a major charitable act.

....Would the limb have to be individually matched to avoid warping...? Signs point to yes, a warping point for the restored limb, but not a continuous effect, unless cooked for the target specifically.

At which point the magi has to make a considerable invested device in order to see, which can be taken away or lost.

Which isn't the same thing as being blind...

Which isn't the same thing as being blind...[/quote]
An analogy. A mage born blind is similar to a mage born missing a hand or foot. This being part of their essential nature, and cannot be permanently altered.

I suppose the hand (or whatever) can be temporarily replaced, but I don't think it would, um, stick.

I think if you were born with a missing hand or leg and you built a metal, or jointed armor one that responded to mental impulses you could replace the hand. Plus it requires a massive amount of vis and time to build. I wouldn't have a problem with it.

Oh, yes. I was thinking in terms of a flesh-and-blood regrowth - I don't see a reason a prosthetic would not work.

As Timothy Ferguson pointed out, you can certainly have a grog with a missing hand; and you can certainly have a magus heal him if the hand was lost e.g. in an accident. However, a flaw is a flaw only insofar it limits the grog.

So, if the magus does not have the ability or inclination to heal the hand, and the grog must somehow convince him, do him favours, chase down the vis etc. then yes, it's a Flaw that will get resolved in-game (just like Poor or Infamous can be resolved in-game). If the magus knows the spell, has plenty of vis to spare, and on the first story will heal the grog... then it's simply no Flaw: the hand is missing, but grants no points, because it's no hindrance. In fact, in this case you should probably ask yourself why hasn't the magus already healed the grog when the saga begins?

Then I would use the "Willson" Meme: just like the face from one old 90's serie, covered with all the things on the screen. Just the dragon attacks, the Grog can't be with the magi to the ritual because he must go with one companion on voyage, one of them is injured.... and so on.

As has been stated, as long as the Flaw is resolved as part of a story arc in-game, then there is no problem with taking it.

However, something should be done to prevent players from healing things or resolving them with magic day 1 of the saga. Say, make it a requirement that Flaws cannot be resolved until after the first Season has come and gone? This prevents players from being overly charitable to one another just because they know each other IRL, and gives the game a chance to get underway and stories started that may or may not make it difficult to resolve the Flaw anyhow. You aren't saying it can't be done, just that some form of waiting period has to apply to insure it wasn't taken as a way to munchkin the character.

If a flaw is to be removed from the character's stats, then I would work with the player to decide which new flaw should replace it. Or a virtue that needs to be removed. In short, virtues and flaws are a mechanical way to balance the character and the kind of stories told about this character. You cannot simply remove a flaw (or add a virtue) -- they simply mutate into (or from) something else.

In the case of the missing hand, perhaps restoring it could drive the grog to become careless or follhardy in battle, as he expects the magi to heal him again should he get gravely wounded. Or perhaps he becomes cursed by a local faerie, so that he loses his hand again in a future battle. Or something else entirely! This is just another opportunity to tell a new story about the character.

Just my 2 cents.


I rule that once a wound has healed (naturally or with Momentary Creo rituals), any consequence of that wound is integrated into Essential Nature, much as aging is part of Essential Nature. So, for example a character takes a Heavy Wound in the process of losing an arm. Until that Heavy Wound has completely healed (at least 1 season + 1 month + 1 week), Hermetic magic can be used to replace the limb. After that, it can't. This counts with scars too; which sucks if the magus has a conspicuous sigil which is integrated into the scar when magical healing is applied, because that's now part of your Essential Nature.

I also assume that all Flaws representing such injuries have already healed and are therefore part of Essential Nature. After all, the player took the Flaw because he was interested in playing a one-armed (or whatever) character. A meddling magus shouldn't be able to remove that Flaw. However, this fix allows you to (possibly) restore a limb if you didn't choose to be one-armed but acquired it through some accident. Of course, you've got to get someone to cast the spell before the injury heals, but that can be a story in itself.


I'm ambivalent about this approach. On one hand, I want to say yes to players (really, I'd rather say "Yes, and?"). It's better to say yes than to say no. But I want players to understand that you can't build a character (specifically a magus but also Companions who might be in a position to convince a magus to work this magic, too) with Poor Characteristics, missing limbs with the intention of increasing the Arts to the point of being able to overcome those flaws during character generation or even very shortly after character generation. But that's not to say I'm opposed to that a character can never overcome and remove the flaws they've chosen at character generation.

I'm also not a believer in the idea that Virtues and Flaws must continue to balance after play commences. Story Flaws resolve into other story flaws, which might be minor or might be major, or they might even become Virtues. This is similar to the way that the Animal companion eventually becomes a familiar, which switches the minor flaw for a major virtue

Flaws like Missing Hand can still be overcome through Divine intervention in my game. I just feel that Hermetic magic is too accessible, and want to limit its use to 'correct' Flaws. Still, I don't game with the type of player who would try to circumvent a Flaw in this manner.

I agree with this point entirely.


I'm not, either, with the following caveats.

If it looks like the player is simply trying to game the system by taking a flaw which he will quickly and easily eliminate using magic, then I will ask for a replacement flaw.

If many flaws are being eliminated in play, or many virtues are being added, I would discuss it with the player in order to add some flaws back to the character. These would need to make sense based on what happened to the character during play. Having a character that is grossly unbalanced is no fun.

Just my 2 cents.

That's one that I never got. (Better yet, Magical Animal Companion.) Here, let me take this Flaw at character generation that will turn into a benefit when I'm ready to bind a familiar. (Which is likely to be ASAP.) It seems very munchkiny to me, and not really a flaw.

I go by the idea that a Flaw that isn't a flaw, shouldn't be a Flaw.

For my part, if I were SG of a saga where someone did that, I'd probably say that while the animal companion was a great companion that liked the magus well enough, it wasn't quite suited to being a familiar. Not that the magus couldn't get a familiar. It's just that he couldn't bind his animal companion to be that familiar.

Because, in order to make it into a familiar you're going to have to convince it (story) and along the way, before you get the chance it does something and gets your character into trouble that needs to be cleaned up (another story or three).

Minor story flaws are supposed to provide some benefit. Story Flaws in general are a signal to the SG that you want your character to be involved in stories related to your magical animal companion. You, as a player, give up (theoretically) the right to grouse about how your magical horse had explosive diarrhea and it blew up the stable in the town you're visiting, since you said I want to be involved in stories about my horse (or other magical companion creating some other compromising situation).

Well, that's how it should be at default. There has to be some element of convincing, or barring that, I'd be fine with a suitable amount of time (say a decade) for the animal to become convinced...