I think that is too broad a definition for a Major Focus. Opinions may vary and I am willing to entertain the ideas of others though.
Being far sighted would maybe be reflected in a low or negative Perception score maybe?
As for hypermetropia, there's already the flaw Poor Eyesight, which is defined as follows;
Bleary vision impedes your performance. Rolls involving sight, including rolls to attack and defend, are at –3. New environments are disorienting and perhaps frightening for you. This Flaw can be combined with Missing Eye (above), but the penalties are cumulative.
In other words, Poor Eyesight appears to cover both trouble seeing things far away and trouble seeing things close up. If you're looking at a flaw that only covers bad eyesight up close but not far away, then it seems like you're looking at a flaw that's less restrictive than an existing flaw. That's problematical.
Of course, balance is always possible. But if you lose the penalties for Rolls involving sight for things far away and penalties for attack and defend, you'd have to have something that balances that out. The obvious down side to hypermetropia for a magus would be trouble reading or doing close-up lab work in the lab, and the obvious downside for a grog/companion might be penalties with close-up work.
So, if you're looking at hypermetropia as a flaw for a magus, I'd think you'd want some kind of penalty to studying from books or lab work - both hard pills to swallow, I know.
As for "things at a distance," I agree with Marko.
In any case, those are my thoughts off the top of my head.
IMHO, "projectiles" could work as a major focus. It is more clearly defined than "things at a distance" and would be perfect for a Vilano.
What about transformation spells that turn someone into a wild animal? Would you consider that overkill in that major focus?
@CA - The updated Shattering the Sword into Seven Sharp Shards, looks good. Thank you for indulging the questions.
I for one would have no problem with Bjornaer in their heartbeasts being included in “wild animals”, as appropriate (e.g. I’m not sure a housecat would be included). After all, the Bjornaer heartbeast is indistinguishable from a true animal to Hermetic (and probably most other) magic.
Source: see my username.
Effects are the same.
Also, the xp bonus is not as gravy as you may first think. I expect certain minimum scores. At least 1 in Order of Hermes Lore at Gauntlet, which I still consider pretty low. It should probably be 2 or 3 or more. I expect scores in Magic Lore, Finesse, Penetration, Artes Liberales, Philosophiae, Profession-Scribe, and maybe a few Languages. Code of Hermes too. And (Area) Lore. The stuff that players tend to brush aside in favor of ramping up their Arts. As you progress, if you ever want to attempt being an Archmagus, you will need to first train an Apprentice and invent a new 7th Magnitude spell/enchantment. Min-Maxing is to be discouraged. I want you guys well rounded in the basics.
If a starting magus is to have Latin 4 plus the aforementioned abilities at 2-3, plus if they desire something else ( the Woad would like to be an adequate fighter with Great Weapon) they won’t have 1/2 of the 300 for Arts, more likely just 1/3.
Taking note of that, you can design a magus which IMHO is more plausible since Arts will be relatively low or specialized with the resulting low spell levels. It makes sense that an apprentice learns low level spells during their middle years that they’ve used, rather than just the highest level spells they could’ve learned with theArts they end apprenticeship with. I suppose the Parens could have waited until the final year to teach spells but that would have been boring for the apprentice.
I'm still amazed that Lucas is a functional character. Even given your generous CharGen, he was literally the first magus I ever designed. There were so many mistakes I could have made and thankfully I only made a few of them. I was lucky in that my basic build was solid. There are definitely things I'd do differently now. But in general I'm pleased with how he turned out.
Latin 4, Magic Theory 4, Order of Hermes Lore 2, Finesse 1, Penetration 1, Artes Liberales 1, Scribe 1, Code of Hermes 1, Magic Lore 1, Philosophiae 1
That is only 150xp. You sorta have to choose if you want to be a good wizard or a good fighter. "Multi-class" characters tend to take a hit. There are Virtues such as Warrior, Educated, etcetera. Take some of those. Despite what I wrote previously, everyone winds up a bit short somewhere. There is room to grow. No one starts off at "boss level".
Back many years ago, when I designed Roberto (for another game run by someone else and not using the bonus these HRs give), I took Skilled Parens, Warrior, and Mastered Spells. I did skip on Code of Hermes and Scribe, but sunk xp into Profession-Soldier instead. He was a soldier first, a wizard second.
This is the character thread from that game. He is the second character listed, as he was when that game ended in 2006, having progressed six years in play (1220 to 1226) under harsher conditions. He ended up at Singe Weapon 5. It took another twenty years before he managed to get it up to 7.
I don't have a copy of what he looked like at Gauntlet. Maybe Fixer does. He created a Novus Mane wiki.
Point being that, though I may have exaggerated the expectations a bit, you can start off somewhat well rounded with a few special areas. You can't have it all at once, but there is room to grow.
All right, if scores of 2-3 aren't necessary but 1s can do it, then the numbers are easier.
I deliberately didn't want to take exp booster virtues, because I like virtues that actively do something better. Also, I was wary that taking those was considered "gravy"
If the Woad wants to be an adequate fighter, then some of the academics have surely been shafted, although not ommitted. Taking Warrior virtue seems fitting with the concept, but loading up on Arcane Lore and Educated, just for the extra exp doesn't sit well with me.
Maybe Cautios with (Great Weapon) is a good choice - I kind of like that solution to making him a good fighter: If you screw up less, you have more success.
I'm in the proces of writing a small backstory for the Woad, and much of his Early Childhood and Youth exp is sunk into Awareness, Stealth, Athletics, and Concentration. I don't see him having learned a third language, in Ireland that migth have been English or Norman French, but why? He is bound to have to learn the local langage in Andorra, whatever that is.
During apprenticeship Latin 4 and Magic Theory 3-4 are needed, as is Parma Magic 1, Org Lore: OoH 1+, and Artes Liberales 1. Finesse is likely, although IMHO it depends of the magic you perform, Penetration likewise. Philisophia may apply for the bookish. Magic and/or Faerie Lore are likely as well.
I dig that you understand what I mean by "gravy" LoL. It is a figure of speech that throws off most non-native English speakers. And yeah, taking all of them would be gravy. Just take the ones that really represent who you are. Like Warrior.
Cautious with (Ability) has never struck me as being that useful. Pussiant Ability seems a better choice. But take what you feel fits the character concept the best.
The local language of Andorra is Catalan. Same as Barcelona and Valencia. I seriously doubt an Irishman would have had any exposure to it, but if you can rationalize it to yourself then who am I to say what?
You can just say "Order of Hermes Lore" if you want. The prefix isn't needed.
Yes, I've picked up a good deal of idioms and slag over the years. Denmark is a small country, and Danish is a small and insignificant language. The bulk of Danes understand English, and most can even speak it adequately. If you have interests (like reading fantasy/sf or rpg) or work that involve English, or have attended university your English skills are bound to be better. So it's not really comparable to a native English speaker learning a second language, our daily exposure is massive. Also, I learned English by living in USA for a year over 30 years ago.
And as for not just writing Order of Hermes Lore, that is an occupational hazard of writing under the tutelage of Mr David Chart.
Connor was born and raised in Ireland He was always a strange child, with strange things happening around him, and most people thought the worst of him. In his early childhood a pattern could be seen, since household objects with flaws or damage quickly wore out or broke. This lead to many clouts of the ear which he quickly learned to dodge and run away from. In his youth he was ‘volunteered’ to the tedious and sometimes dangerous task of guarding the cattle in the hills, which were at times plagued by the local rock faeries. The harsh weather toughened him up, and he learned to patiently wait in total stillness for the faeries, because they never appeared if they heard people moving about. He had learned they would turn to stone if seen by humans.
At the age of 10 he was kidnapped during the night from the mountains by Iluara of Merinita from Cliffheart. She was an unpleasant, acquisitive, and paranoid old maga who mistakenly thought Connor had faerie blood in his veins, knowledge of, and an interest in the fae. She had found herself an apprentice willing to learn but unwilling to obey. The misery his Gift had brought him in his early years culminated in anger. Within a year of opening Connor’s Arts Iluara ran afoul of Torc Duch of Flambeau while raiding the resources of Circulus Ruber covenant. In the ensuing Wizard’s War Torc Dubh killed Iluara and took Connor as his own apprentice. Still a wilful youth things improved for Connor, as Torc Dubh showed him respect in accordance with his improvement. Whenever Connor disobeyed or failed to do his best, Torc Dudh would punish Connor by giving him tough and potentially dangerous tasks, while the pater secretly observed. These would either teach him humility or hone his skills. In his second year under Torc Dudh he was sent to investigate an ancient standing stone which was rumoured to be haunted. Connor disappeared into a regio for an entire season, and Torc Dubh could not find a way in. When Connor finally emerged, his skin was gray and stone-like with blue patterns, like the Picts of old, carrying a greatspear. The place was haunted by the spirit of the standing stone, whom Connor had formed an understanding with. The regio was the prison of a Fir Bolg and held the corpse of an old hero and warrior. Aided by the spirit Connor used the spear to fight and in the end defeat the Fir Bolg. This feat earned him the new name “the Woad” for Hermetic use, from the appearance of painting himself with blue patterns before a battle like the Picts of old did. He insisted the spear was special and held on to it, although it has never been identified with any powers. From this time on he was touched by the spirit of stone, and had the power to harden his skin.
In the remainder of his apprenticeship the Woad grew gradually wiser and less challenging of authority, and the mutual respect between parens and filius grew. The Woad was taught combat magic, in a variant of the School of Apromor. He had developed a knack for the violent, destructive manipulation of of elemental matter commonly associated with natural disasters like earthquake, tidal waves, and great storms. Apart from magic, he trained in combat with the turb, and took part in a good deal of skirmishes and raids during his last years, notably during his Macgnimartha.
The Woad was tested in typical Flambeau fashion, by being placed on the coast of Connacht at sunrise of the day before Tribunal, and told to get there on time. He succeeded in the task, using equal parts force and diplomacy (or perhaps the threat of force) and passed his Gauntlet satisfactorily, with neither praise nor criticism. After Gauntlet he stayed at the covenant of Lambaird for a year before moving on to Andorra.
In Andorra the Woad has the initial goals of fitting in and making himself useful, for instance by learning the local language, geography, and customs. He intends to improve his fighting skills and arcane knowledge, with the eventual goal of mastering great, destructive magics of natural disasters, as well as becoming known as the magus to call upon should the Order want an area decimated.
Question, is this okay?
I'd like to create a Major version of Magic Blood, like Faerie Blood has a Strong Faerie Blood. Magic Blood: Magic Thing grants a Lesser Power, so for the Major version I Propose a Greater Power:
**Greater Power (50 levels): Stoneskin (MuCo(Te) +5 Soak, Base 25 +2 Sun, +3 mastery (lower cost), Might (35/2)/5-1 = 0,5, round up to 1 Fatigue. While in effect the skin looks unnatural and has a stone like texture plus a gray hue with blueish patterns. Merely cosmetic, and a reason to not use it all the time.
If not, I'll stick with a the normal, minor Magic Blood and have it grant Tough. Probably still with the same cosmetic side effect. Plus Great Stamina maybe.
What if I just let you take a Personal Power instead of a Lesser Power? Then just add a Minor Virtue (Personal Power again) to enhance it? The math works outthe same, you save a point, and I don't have to worry about setting a precedent. Not that I am worried that everyone is going to want to duplicate this.
As for migrating to Andorra, we need a reason why. One idea I had is you met a senior influential Flambeau named Santiago of Flambeau. He migrated up north back in the 1220's, but he is from Iberia. He has contacts at Andorra, and wants to help you out by sending you to a strong covenant in a somewhat isolated area.
Rounding out some missing information on Marcellus.
Brave +1, Impulsive -2, Restless +2, Sociable -1
I may adjust those once I've played Marcellus for a little while. The actual personality of my magi tend to emerge by themselves during play.
I believe that the bonus from Ways of the Mountain will also apply positively to any Personality Trait roll made when in the mountains or interacting with creatures of the mountain. Would you agree?
For his Gauntlet, Marcellus crafted the body of a small iron drum that, when its skin is struck, instill fear in a wild animal. (ReAn 21, R:Voice, D:Conc, T:Ind, 2 uses per day; drum provides +2 S&M bonus to cause fear, magical focus applies)
Since Marcellus wanted to be able to visit his Bjornaer friend, who completed his apprenticeship 3 years ago and settled in the Pyrenees, joining a small Clan Sirnas sept scattered in the great mountain range. Marcellus sent out letters to covenants near or inside of the mountain range, inquiring about the possibility of joining and the conditions for membership.
This pretty much completes the character, whom I would be ready to introduce to the saga. How do you want to proceed from there?
I do not remember all of the Pyrenees covenants in cannon. Off the top of my head there is Belllaquin, Aedas Mercurii, Cirque du Gaverine, Miniata Sophia, Ostall de Exiles, and Ara Maxima Nova. And I lied. That was not from memory. I looked it up in Faith & Flame
Andorra Covenant is in Andorra, at Arans. Bellaquin is virtually right on top of us and it is a sore point. In F&F, I put Bellaquin in Arans. In this saga it is instead in Andorra la Vella.
As a side note, I wrote it that way as a desperate measure to save Bellaquin. I wanted to preserve and advance the lore of earlier editions, as opposed to the trend of sweeping it all away. So that is the real-life story of how that happened. In the saga, I had it where the leader of Bellaquin (forget his name) made a secret deal with Antonio of Flambeau (the former Pontifex at Andorra who was lost in Twilight) to establish a sanctuary to retreat to if things wentbad at their original spot. Which it did. Belaquin relocated to avoid the destruction of the Albigensian crusade. When we discovered them, we were quite irritated, but the had a contract and we are sorta stuck.
The political twist is that it makes it hard for us to avoid being claimed by the Provencal Tribunal. We have much closer relations to Iberian covenants such as Barcelona and Duresca. This mirrors the real-world status of actual Andorra, neither part of France or Spain, yet technically part of both of them. This goes back to Charlemagne, and is still the situation today in the 21st century.
Indeed, Marcellus could have ended in any of these. I can probably look up each of them and find a reason why he didn't. Or we can simply say that Andorra's offer was better overall for him in some way.
The point is, now what? Roleplay the exchange of letters? Or move straight to his arrival?
Since there are several other covenants in the Pyrenees, why did he choose Andorra over them?
Bellaquin: The presence of several Jerbiton magi, with their focus on mundane interactions, was a poorer fit to Marcellus, who prefers the wilderness. Bellaquin would have welcomed a Verditius, but were one who would arm their grogs, which didn’t interest Marcellus. It is also said that Andorra’s aura is quite stronger, where Bellaquin’s is rather average. This is a big advantage for a Verditius.
Aedes Mercurii: The covenant already has a resident Verditius and wasn’t looking for another one, particularly not a just-Gauntleted one with not particular skill in making enchanted weapons
Miniata Sophia: A Criamon clutch, not interested in welcoming a Verditius.
Ostal des Exiles: Was a possibility, but Andorra’s situation was more interesting to Marcellus.
Ara Maxima Nova: Marcellus’ close association with Regulus Aquilius means he shares some of House Bjornaer distrust of House Merinita. So he didn’t want to join a covenant dominated by magi of that House.
Andorra does lack a resident Verditius. And we need more than just weapons. We need to bolster our security and defenses. The Mercere Quarter needs devices to measure and transfer Vis. And the can market your wares. And there is much to interest you. There is the Vault of Dimir Taar, our previous Verditius who was killed in Valten IV's attack over a decade ago. Then there is Vulcanus of Flambeau, descended from a Verditius lineage that split off and joined the Flambeau Knights of Seneca back in the time of El Cid. That line, cut off from the rest of the cult, lacked access to some of their inner mysteries, but they have one that is unique. Runes using Iberian Script. It lacks a Mentem Rune, but they have a Terram Rune. Vulcanus is a jerk and has betrayed us more than once. As far as we know, he is lost somewhere in the unknown realms beyond Asguard. Fleur took his apprentices and brought them back here. One studies under Fleur, the other considers herself a full magus having earned her battlefield Gauntlet.
Andorra is not the sort to put out recruitment letters. But they are known to not turn magi away. So an exchange of letters does not sound like the way you would approach things. Just kinda show up and offer your services.