New CharGen Ideas

Okay, I have a couple of design questions for the Woad.

He is intended to be touched by magic, Terram aspected specificically. He also intends to do battle in the front lines. There are a number of ways to avoid getting killed.
I don't want a Rego Terram ward against weapons. Although I see the saga has HRs for this solution to ogger improves soak rather than total immunity. I like that, bit it's not my vision of the Woad.
RoP:Magic offers some solutions. Obviously I'll take Magic Blood for the backgrund. Being a Magic Thing (rock) grants a Lesser Power. Since the effect I'm gunning for is a Skin of Stone effect, which affects only himself this might as well be a Personal Power. Some of the levels should be spent to reduce the cost, which is in Fatigue rather than Might, because he has no Might. It could be even better if taken as a Greater Power, costing a Major Virtue. Another question is the design of this: Skin of Stone should not turn him into a statue, he needs to be able to move, but should look unnatural. I'd rather have a Soak bonus than total immunity. MuCo(Te) Base 25 transforms a human body into stone, but is this an immobile status? Base 30 turns into water or air, but these example spells allows movement.
Another solution is to take Essential Trait, which can give a +3 or +6 speciality bonus to a characteristic, here specifically bonus to Soak.

Yet another solution used not RoP:M but core rules only. Simplest and smallest is Touch. Larger is Greater Immunity (Iron weapons). But I'd rather have an unnatural, sometimes-on power than a discreet, sometimes-on virtue. It fits the character better.

And I certainly don't want the aforementioned effects or powers to stack. I just want some durability for the fighting style the Woad employs.

My only concern here is that it seems you are looking for gravy. Min-maxing. You should choose Virtues that represent who you are, not what gives you the best optimized perk. Something such as Magic Blood should have been the first thing you pick, and build the rest around it. Not an afterthought. I am not saying that is what you are doing and I am not trying to discourage. My instinct is to ever play devil's advocate and test ideas by trying to poke holes.

Sure, that's why I'm bringing the matter to debate, rather than just grabbing and stacking. There are more than one ways of doing it, and I want toi find the right one. Primarily for the character to make sense, but also in ways the Troupe finds edible. And please play devil's advocate, I enjoy the proces.

What I'm actualy doing, it trying to find some Major Virtues which make sense for the Woad, because I think these really define the character. I want a character associated with rock. His name comes from the appearance in battle of painting the skin blue, however I like this to be a side effect of protective magics, and I like the idea of stone skin. Not always on, but when it matters. That's why I like an idea of a power.

Magic Blood is a sure thing, I just wish is came in a Strong/Major version like Faerie Blood. Tat would better serve ti outlinbe the character. My own Troupe(s) have often felt the same way and allowed a Major Virtue version, with an appropriate increase in effect.
Magic Thing (Rock) is my first choice, and it grants a Lesser Power. This makes most sense for the concept.

I like the idea of a Flambeau magus figthing close up, rather than hurling fire (which is a good concept, just another one that this I'm trying). A fighting style which harms and hampers the enemy rather than just killing outright. But I'm afraid the Woad will be mincemeat too soon, because a magus has a hard time keeping up with the fighting abilities of dedicated warriors. So that's why I feel a need to tack on some pragmatic elements. Any character, unless he has a death wish or is overconfident, shouldn't get into fights he can't survive.

I don't like character wich are too defensive, where the player tries to eliminate some line of challenge. Which is why I don't want immunity from weapons, but rather an edge - so the Woad can survive a fight where he is surrounded by sword wielding grunts, without just killing them all at once with one huge spell

For a major virtue, what about some version of Greater Immunity (iron), from the core rule? This would make you hard to deal with for human opponents, as most would use metal weapons, while still leaving you vulnerable to the odd opponent using a non-metal weapon.

Perhaps a major version of Though that would give you a straight-up +10 to Soak? That still leaves it possible for you to get hurt, simply makes it much harder.

Other virtues that improve survivability would be Large and Great Stamina (x2). They may be boring, but much simpler to deal with in play.

Ah, yes, I missed those. That will give Marcellus some more xp to spend on valuable abilities and Arts. I'll make the adjustments.

Are the effects of Weak Parens the same or do they ramp up proportionally?

I also had questions about the scope of Marcellus' Major Magical Focus (wild animals) that seem to have been missed.

What I take for granted that "wild animals" would cover:

  • Mundane wild animals
  • Bjornaer in their heartbeasts
  • Magical animals living in the wilderness (except those with an Intelligence score instead of Cunning)

What it would not cover:

  • Domesticated animals
  • Processed animals products like leather

What it might possibly cover (requires confirmation):

  • Spells that transform something or someone into a wild animal, completely (such as Shape of the Woodland Prowler) or partially (such as Sure-Footedness of the Crag-Leaper from MoH p.85).

EDIT: Made some adjustments to take into account the House Rules for chargen.

Virtues: Perfect Balance replaces Affinity with Magic Theory


  • Area Lore: Béarn (legends) from 1 to 2
  • Awareness (alertness) from 2 to 3
  • Craft: Iron (tools) from 2 to 3
  • Hunt (tracking) from 1 to 2
  • Magic Theory (enchanting items) from 3 to 4
  • Philosophiae (Verditius Runes) from 1 to 2
  • Profession: Scribe (copying) 1
  • Survival (mountains) from 2 to 3
  • removed Swim

Magical Arts: Intellego 1, Muto 4, Rego 5, Animal 8, Vim 5

Spells added

  • Aura of Ennobled Present (MuIm 10) +5
  • Wizard’s Sidestep (ReIm 10) +6
  • Unravelling the Fabric of Imaginem (PeVi 10) +6

I'm specifically trying to avoid immunity, I much better like the idea of just greater Soak, and something not always on.
A beefed up verison of Tough is better, and easily simulated with a Greater Power giving a big enough MuCo effect.
Large is still on my mind, but not vital for the concept otherwise. Giant Blood is not something I want.

I was envisioning a tireless fighter, so perhaps Improved Characteristics to increase Stm to +3 and then Great Stamina x2. This plus Tough should be enough. Bit it's just a bunch of minor virtues, that don't have the same feeling as a major. Also, I seem to have some obsession with the Woad undergoing changes in battler to get skin looking like stone.

What’s the base for this effect exploding for +10, and also exploding in a controlled arc?
Fist of shattering breaks an object apart but inflicts no damage.

Devil's advocate...
I do not think the Requisite should be free, as it is not merely cosmetic. I also think that the damage should be +5, bringing it in line with other Rego effects.

Oh, that one was the first iteration, posted along some other. The second one I posted is this:

*Shattering the Sword into Seven Sharp Shards - Perdo(Rego)Terram20 Voice/Mom/Ind
Shatters a solid inanimate object made of metal, stone, or clay, plus wood or bone (with casting req.) showering the vicinity with jagged fragments. Affects individual objects up to 1 cubic foot metal (400 lbs), 1 cubic pace stone (5000 lbs), 1 cubic pace wood (800 lbs). Damage +10 to all targets within 60 degrees and 1 pace, x2 for holding/wearing. Effect needs to Penetrate any Magic Resistance
(Base 3,+2 metal , +2 Voice, +1 Rego to fling shards, casting req for Form free)
This is a vairant of Obliteration of the Metallic Barrier, but that spell seems omewhat suboptimally designed. Especially when compared to Crystal Dart and Earth's Carbuncle, however these two have Muto components. Anyway, this spell affects a smaller volume/mass than Obliteration... but works at Voice range. Damage is the same, but with a doubling for shattering an item worn/held, with references to the rules for fire/corrosion and the amount of body area exposed.

This design pays for the Rego req, and in line with many other Terram spells, it can also affect other solid, inanimate objects, however this one requires casting requisites. It's level 20 now for +10 dam, so that's equivalent to a lvl 15 doing +5 dam. Damage is now equivalent to The Earth's Carbuncle, but lower than Crystal Dart, relative to Base.

[Edit: I thought about scaling the damage relative to the size of the object blown to shards, but decided against it. Both for not wanting to super-optimize the guideline, and for ease of use]

It is very close to Obliteration of the Metallic Barrier, but at R:Voice rather than Touch and without a Size modifier.
Obliteration of the Metallic Barrier blows shards away on the far side of the barrier. Shattering the Sword in Seven Sharp Shards is limited to a 60 degree angle rather than spraying all around. IMHO that is a fair limit, it's not some extra power or special effect I'm looking for.
Also Obliteration of the Metallic Barrier has size modifier, which I find unnecessary for my purposes. I wrote the amounts of material a regular T:Ind can affect, and that seems enough. Obliteration of the Metallic Barrier is useful for breaking down a wall, Shattering the Sword in Seven Sharp Shards can't do that - it's just a combat spell. I kept the damage at the same level, because even if an entire wall blows to shards, a normal person isn't hit by it all.

It has a x2 boost to damage when held/near?
So really a combat spell doing +20 damage when used normally. That’s pretty buff.

Yes, that seems excessive, it was a remain of the time damage was scaled from +2 to +8 IIRC based on size and material of object destroyed. Consider it dropped. It is an old thing I missed removing from the new design.
My Troupe recently (in terms of how often we play) had a discussion about a combat spell creating a blob of lava on a victim. Using the rules for damage from fire/corrosion it could do ridiculous damounts of damage. And that's when the first design of Shattering the Sword... was made.
We eventually just designed the lava spell based on the damage relative to base level according to Pilum of Fire.

I hope this is better, the reference to an angle has bene removed, and the shards only hit one target, since it is less in Size than Obliteration of the Metallic Barrier.

*Shattering the Sword into Seven Sharp Shards Pe(Re)Te20
Shatters a solid inanimate object made of metal, stone, or clay, plus wood or bone (with casting req.) showering the vicinity with jagged fragments. Affects individual objects up to 1 cubic foot metal (400 lbs), 1 cubic pace stone (5000 lbs), 1 cubic pace wood (800 lbs). Damage +10 to a single target within 1 pace of the object destroyed.
(Base 3,+2 metal , +2 Voice, +1 Rego to fling shards, casting req for Form free)

I'm still waiting for answers regarding the scope of Marcellus' magical focus... It keeps getting overlooked. :stuck_out_tongue:

My instinct is that a Heartbeast would not count as a wild animal, nor would someone who was shapeshifted.

The goal is to be able to create items that would be useful to Bjornaer magi, amongst other things.

It is also based on what HoH:Mystrery Cults states about heartbeast:

  • p.18 (middle of third column): When a Bjornaer magus becomes his heartbeast, he actually becomes a wolf, and is indistinguishable from a wolf according to any test Hermetic magic cares to devise
  • p.20 states that domesticated animals cannot be selected as a heartbeast: Only “noble” animals became the ancestors of humans. There are Bjornaer magi who take the form of rams, bulls, and goats, but they always take the wild versions of these beasts.

So if his magical focus doesn't apply to Bjornaer in their (wild) animal heartbeast, that would mean Marcellus is able to detect a Bjornaer as a side effect of his focus. That is supposed to be impossible.

I am uncertain about other shapeshifters with a wild animal shape. I guess it would depend on whether they keep their human mind or not. I could see a werewolf with an animal mind (i.e. Cunning instead of Intelligence) being included for effects targeting both body and mind, while one who retain his human mind being included only for effects targeting the body.

I am ever the devil's advocate poking holes to test ideas. I am not an absolutist, so it depends more on what the troupe thinks than my individual opinion. I also think that a magic animal or beast of virtue does not count as "wild" Not domestic, just not truly "wild".
Amongst mundane beasts, there is a blurry line between wild and domestic IMO. There are wild dogs and domesticated wolves. Are eagles wild? Mongolians hunt with trained eagles. There are but a handful of Mongolian eagle hunters in the 21st century, but it is a thing that they have done and still do.

There are contradictions inherit in the system. Hermetic magic cannot detect demons. But if I multicast a powerful DEO spell and it kills you, obviously you were a demon. If it does nothing, you are probably not. I call it "Apromor's Negative Test".

As an outside observer, I do not see much problem with that foucs applying to bjornaer hearbeasts when the target is in heartbeast form. It is the whole point of the Bjornaers, that they are not skinchangers but they are wolves, eagles and sharks at their core. It is their thing.

The focus is far from overkill here. And it also allows the magus to interact fully 8and justify) his close association with Bjornaer trusted friend. I like it.

I would even allow it to affect animals with an Intelligence score. If a giant lion of the forsst can speak he is still a frsreaking big lion in the first place even if it is smart and has a Might Score.


That is a good point, and much more solid than my argument.

As a side note, Xavi also has special status here. Much like Jonathan Link. He is actually in Iberia. Catalonia (Barcelona). He often corrects me on my use of language. It was in deference to him that I made such a big deal about the Catalan/Provencal language while writing Faith & Flame. He also played the character that defeated the scion of the salt wyrm. He is allso an alumnus of the Berklist.

I think excluding Bjornaer in their heartbeast from the definition of "wild animals" may be opening a bigger loophole than including them can cause abuse.

In this case, I think that I would go with the essential nature of the animal. Has this species been domesticated to the point where it has changed its physiology? A feral dog is still a dog, not a wolf, thus not a wild animal. The spell Touch of the Wild (MoH p.82) mentions this distinction from a medieval perspective:

Note that in Mythic Europe dogs are not domesticated wolves, and cows were not bred from the primeval aurochs — animals were created in the state in which they are found.

I'd really like to include magical animals of the wilderness within the scope of the focus, so that when the time comes for Marcellus to bind with a familiar, his focus applies. Would it be easier if the focus was formulated as "undomesticated animals" (domesticated animals is one of the examples of Major Foci in ArM5 p.45)?

Am I correct in assuming that the third element would be excluded as well?

EDIT: Just saw Xavi's reply.

As anticipated in the Recruitment thread, I'd like to join, so I'll drop the first early concepts for a maga I'm designing.

Falisha bint Zafar, a foul-mouthed Flambeau of moorish descent, just a few years past gauntlet, of the school of Vilano, with a penchant for cooking. I was thinking for her to have a predilection on Herbam and Terram. She may or may be not inspired by her, by the way.

Technical question 1. Is "Major Magical Focus (things at distance)" something acceptable ?
Technical question 2. How can I model her in game terms with a Flaw reflecting a condition of hypermetropia ?