Has anyone had a PC Nephilim in their games?

How do you reconcile the difference in the aging of a Nephilim, it's starting xp, and the obvious difference in ages with that and other starting characters?

What other concerns are there that people have run into with having such a PC in the group? It's lack of magic resistance?

Basically I'm putting together a tabletop game and one my players wants to play one... and I've never really studied up on them. Help would be appreciatted!

Big problems: there size.

Aging is bugged for PCs (see [url]]) but XP isn't a problem if applying the patch. Then they get the first DP +- 400 years in my NPCs average.

And it's a +2px per year after that :slight_smile:

I've never played a Nephilim before, but on the boards the general consensus seems to be that they're pretty weak even for Mythic Companions. Here are my thoughts for what they're worth.

The biggest problems with Nephilim are that they can be warded against with fairly minor magic and the fact that they have a lot of mandatory virtues that are rather subpar. IMO, the best way to create a useful Nephilim character is probably to take "Strong Angelic Heritage" a few more times, picking powers that are difficult for Hermetic Magi or other supernatural creatures to emulate (Instantaneous Healing, for example).

On the bright side, however, as beings with a Might Score, Nephilim are immune to Warping and can learn Supernatural Abilities associated with the Divine (excluding M&P) without penalty!

By-the-bye, Alex White recommended a piece of unofficial errata which would allow Nephilim to live longer. (and thus have greater Might/power)

This solution bring to consider the age, for aging rolls only, as being divided by 10.. So, in fact, you only take 1/100 of the age, round up. And yes, it allow to live thousands years, which is all the point of Nephilim.

For powers: taking healing/no sleep/resurrect powers (from the M&P of RoPtD) give you power even in Hermetic covenants.

For their weak might... it's only for the young. The "1000+" nephelims are quite powerful.

Well really my concern isn't so much how fast the character ages as how slow it matures and how to handle this with the character creation rules.

The issue is the how character creation assumes your 'early childhood' is from 0 to 5, and then gives you xp for that and for every year afterwards. Combine this with the Nephilim writeup saying they reach adulthood at roughly the age of 80, and without making any aging rolls the 'starting' version of a Nephilim has a huge ammount of xp to spread around... but technically is only just an adult.

Also the player desires this Nephilim to be a Redcap, of Mythic Companion level, to occupy the 'slot' of his Mage character. I don't object, I actually find that an interesting concept and fitting into the mold of the 'Heroic' style of mythic companion redcaps... it is just how to resolve it with character creation etc. My desire, since I am the only experienced Ars player in the group, was to shoot for a group of newbie just gauntleted magi. So, these guys are roughly 20 years old with no post-gauntlet time.

Admittedly the Nephilim, being made at roughly 100 years now and thus with a Divine Might of 5, is an easy kill for a Perdo Vim spell. Right now, as it is a mythic companion, I'm kind of ignoring the huge disparity in exp with his character as I think comparatively that is his only area to really shine. ( Such as him electing to lay enough exp into 'Bows' to have an 8. )

But how do you keep them somehow in line with the group over time? The Mages are going to outpace him rather quickly in the powers and penetration department, and his might advances 'very' slowly. So while I feel like he is getting a ridiculous ammount of xp to begin with, his lack of powers and/or might is going to hamper him in the long run.

Also problematic is figuring out when is appropriatte to say the character may have had his redcap apprenticeship, and then started accrueing his additional levels of magical items. The standard mage apprenticeship age of five, with him being 100 years old, gives him a stupendous ammount of item levels, even more when allowing for his selection of the magical item virtue from true lineages. Perhaps a reasonable age is 80ish, when he may have become active/adventurous and encountered his eventual Mercere recruiter/teacher/master.

All in all so far the Nephilim feel like a cool idea with some problematic execution ( or at least unaddressed areas ) in using it with other PCs.

5 is not the standard starting age for apprenticeship, I don't think. It's the minimum age, which is quite different.

But anyway, just say he's newly gauntled as well. What's wrong with being apprenticed at age 80 when you're nearly immortal?

I wouldn't worry about it, he's going to be a holy giant with over a 100 years worth of xp. That's a character that will get his spotlight time, even if he doesn't have the raw power of a magus.

That's once again just what I'd do, alternately after a few decades of play you could phase the Nephilim into the background and start up a freshly gauntleted Magus

My curiousity was piqued so I decided to deconstruct "Abbas the Hunted" from RoP: TD (page 16).

Anyway, by my calculations Abbas has 1280 XP (He's 80 years old). This amounts to 16 XP per year which seems reasonable and ought to keep Abbas reasonably competitive with Hermetic Magi at least until he achieves his first Decrepitude point (3200 XP under his belt at the very least...)

Don't forget that Nephilim powers can completely ignore Hermetic limits. Vis-less healing? Permanent effects that can change a person's essential nature? Easy. Throw in some Hedge Magic virtues, and you're laughing.

Short answer - you can't. Nephilim are (mythic) companions afterall, and are nowhere near as powerful as an equivalent aged Hermetic wizard. The difference of course is that Nephilim are Divine and basically live forever. Like all non-Hermetic mage characters, Nephilim will never be as cool or powerful as a Hermetic mage (and that is how Ars Magica is supposed to be).

If you really really really wanted them to be equal to hermetic magi have the nephilim undergo an initiation for the gift and then bring him in as an hermetic apprentice. He's got nephilim coolness but he's 20 or more years behind the other magi. (but as I said before my first choice would be to not concern myself with it).


Making Nephilim better, to better match a magus?

  • Allow their Might to be Age/5, peaking at, say, Might 50. Or, they gain 1 Might point every 5**(1+Decrepitude) years.

  • Let them accumulate xp at the normal rate, even after Decrepitude. Or, subtract Decrepitude from the xps gained per season.

  • Let them come into interesting Supernatural Divine Virtues, similar to the way other people can initiate.

  • Nephilim normally roll for aging every N years but roll based on their real age. Instead, divide their real age by N for their aging rolls.

Magi still have more raw power, but this isn't so bad at all.



Nephilim can't have The Gift.

Certainly that's what the rules say, but that restriction seems to me to be the sort of rule that it might be fun to ignore.

Well... I don't think this's be a good idea, as this would trivialize the gift and open pandora's door

Moreso, as pointed before, Nephilim have their own abilities, that magi are unable to duplicate. If he wants to play a magus, let him play a magus, not a nephilim. How do other mythic companions do? They don't have the gift, and don't cry because of it, because they've got their own strengths.

Without initiating the gift, he could still have all sorts of Methods and Powers (and initiate more), with the huge XP to spend on them: If he makes a 200-years old nephilim, he can easily begin play with scores of 7 in two of them.

Another option to increase his might would be to allow vis consumption, or use these mechanics with another thing replacing vis (like the... host and confidence points)

Well, he isn't allowed to have methods or powers either, by the nephilim gift.

I'm thinking of just letting him, in play, acquire more levels of 'strong angelic heritage' and/or similar virtues for increasing his might score. This would let him feel like he is advancing, but not outstrip the Magi.

On a social note, how do you guys think a Nephilim Redcap would be accepted / perceived in the order?

I think the Cult of Heroes would be very interested in him, though he might have to lie about his Divine origins among its (Pagan) members, perhaps claiming to be related to another species of mythical giant... Their patronage would actually be a pretty cool idea for a character, imposing more onerous duties than the message-carrying performed by most Redcaps, but also requiring him to take Dark Secret and practice his faith in secret...

:embarrassed: I forgot about the M&P ban for Nephilim, but it doesn't really matter since the character will probably be better off focusing improving his innate Angelic Heritage and other skills...

Would there be anything preventing a Nephilim character from actually being a pagan? Just because he is a Divine creature it doesn't mean that he can't worship pagan gods. Afterall, in Mythic Europe angels can rebel against the Divine, and humans (technically also creatures created by the Divine in Mythic Europe) are able to worship pagan gods without much trouble.

I think that there would be story potential in a pagan Nephilim trying to reconcil his Divine and pagan natures.

Yup, this is probably a good solution, since he'll keep his specificities, the mages will keep theirs, and everyone'll be happy.

And, well, I can't see why he wouldn't be accepted as a redcap.

And I don't think the comparison of pagan nephilim with rebelious angels is right: Rebelious angels warred against the rule of god, they didn't want to worship someone else, but to rule themselves and/or set themselves as rulers instead of God. I could see a nephilim with the same sort of ideas, or wanting to have no dealings with either god or the infernal, but worshipping something he knows to be just a powerful creature sits strange with me.

Not all members of the Cult of Heroes would be Pagan IMO. Especially when it concerns Christian Heroes such as Arthur, El Cid, and Beowulf.