Nicholas Maniaces - a Falconer

Hello again. Here goes:

Just one story flaw please, thank you.

Yes, I'll handle those stats and the stats of your raven form.

No, I do not think so. Those are rules for Bjornaer and maybe Shapeshifters, not skinchangers. The animal form comes from a 'spell' cast by an item. In fact skinchangers cannot harm a person under parma for that reason. Warping does accrue, so no a good idea.
Falcons do not usually attack ravens, they are roughly same sized birds. Both the companion and the magical animal have enough magic to be safe from tamed falcons and most wild ones, especially since they will be able to communicate with them. Eagles are another matter...

Yeap, preferably privileged upbringing (that would allow you 50 points on Martial, but no more from general points in them). Warrior is more open yes.

Ok, hold on now:
a) A Companion must be able to support herself somehow, spending an average of 2 seasons on that. This character can use Hunting, Animal Handling, Falconry or something else. Pick one. (You do not need 4+ for this)
b) Depending on the choice above, she might also count as specialist or laborer bringing covenant costs down. Falconry counts as neither of those. Hunting/ Handling is laborer (You do need 4+ for this)
c) Making an income for the Covenant is an entirely different matter. Do not confuse it for personal income. As noted it will take much time to cultivate such a thing.

What's the effect of a choice? I.e. what's the difference when I earn my money as falconer, hunter or shepherd?

If I do work for the covenant I would expect to be supported by it somehow... E.g. Spending the two seasons for the covenant, but then not having to spend the other two working elsewhere?

Euh... there are two cases here, a companion supported by the covenant, and a companion supporting himself. RAW mentions the distinction in several virtues and flaws. A companion who supports himself just needs the social status virtues and plausible skill sets to make a justified background; really it is the social status virtue which usually explains the support, and one would (I think) normally ignore financial bookkeeping. A companion supported by the covenant needs to be paid for in covenant accounts, and it is fair to assume (not sure if it is explicit or implicit in RAW) that he spends the same two seasons working, but working for the covenant.

Has it been decided whether Nicholas would be self-supported or covenant-supported?

For instance, Maia is not supported by the covenant, but rather by the clients for whom she does redcap work. Sir Georgios is supported by the covenant, and I assume spend two seasons a year in useful service to the covenant, although what is useful to the covenant has not really been discussed.

A companion can hardly work both to support himself and also at the same time work for the covenant to make cost savings, or anything else.

For a covenant-supported companion, there should be some justification of why the covenant wants to support him, and usually that would be useful service, such as spending two seasons per year to build up a source of income. Covenant-supported characters do not have personal income as such, so there is no confusion. Falconry is not immediately useful for the covenant AFAICS, other than as a hunter (cost saving) or if it can be turned into a source of income. So all these ideas were attempts to justify a covenant-supported character, for those who care about justifications.

The reason why a score of 4+ is interesting, is that it is the break-even point for a companion acting as a non-exotic specialist supported by the covenant. A companion is £3 to support with default configuration [Cov], and he makes £3 cost saving if that's what his work is.

I'd say he is definitely not supported by the covenant at the beginning. We didn't even meet yet in the end. I don't know if, how or why that will change. I'd be open for both options. Given the Wanderer Social status and the mix of skills I would say Nicholas is supporting himself with the mix of abilities doing casual work, both as shepherd and falconer (or probably assisting one), and hunting. I am still undecided if I would have Bow 4 and Hunt 3 or the other way around, I think falconry will stay at 3 (unless I want to make use of more xp and drop to 2; but if I building up a mew in the covenant is an option I should probably stick to 3 - or even Bow 3, Hunt 3, Falconry 4?)

Everything is possible. He could be the eternal self-supported wanderer. He could have be specialist instantly recruited by the covenant; could be expert hunter, expert archer, or whatever. Or he could be the wanderer aspiring to be something else, such as a master falconer reputed all over Epirus, something which could be made possible by joining the covenant and building up a falconry as an income together.

Nicholas is missing guidance and direction. He does not have any great plans or ambitions. He is ok to be on his own or with his "friends", but ever since he left Constantinople and heard what happened to the city and his parents he is asking himself why he was rescued. Why he speaks to birds, why the raven is with him, what this all is about. As the birds all speak about the eagle and the raven urged him to search for him he hopes to get some guidance, direction and purpose...

Not sure how this will play out, but at least he might realize that speaking to birds is not so special after all.

He should also be interesting enough for the magi to get into a conversation. I imagine him approaching the covenant or the troupe if we meet somewhere else in human form, followed by a murder of crows and noticeably talking to them. And there will be the raven of course.

Does Nicholas have a trained bird at the start or would that be something to do during my free seasons in play?
ST EDIT, you will need to spend season on it. Use rules on LoM 51 insert and A&A 119-121

Could anyone suggest an Area Lore? Area Lore: Tymfi sounds very local, on the other hand...

(ST EDIT) Depends on how local you want it. AL: theban tribunal is way too broad, some Redcaps have it. AL: Byzantine Empire is slightly smaller. AL: Constantinople is appropriate for Nobles from there. AL: (province) are also common; Epirus, Thessaly, Aegean, Anatolia, Thrace, Peloponnesos, Attica, Thebes, Ionian Isles etc. AL: (City) also common. From then on you can go by geographical places, as large as seas and mountain ranges and as small as lakes and streams.As stated these frequently overlap, the smaller the AL the more detailed it can be

There seem to be different rules...

LoM 51 as far as I understand is Int + Animal Handling and points need to accumulate to 1 + 2 x Confidence Score.
0 + 4 + 1 (birds of prey) > (1 + 2 x 1) excess of 2 point

A&A 119ff as far as I understand is Int + Animal Handling + Animal Ken - (1 + Confidence Score) and points need to accumulate to 2 + Confidence Score.
0 + 4 (animal handling) + 1 (birds of prey) + 4 (animal ken) + 1 (birds of prey) - (1 + 1 (confidence)) > (1 + 1 (confidence)) excess of 8 points

Did I misinterpret? Using A&A I should be able to tame about four crows (or similar) in any given season or put excess points into Loyality.

(ST EDIT) The interesting thing is, they both work. One is Training the other is Taming. From what I gather, training is easier (especially with Animal Ken) and allows the trainer only to issue commands, including complex ones. Taming on the other hand can be done on multiple creatures, can be done for other characters (transferring loyalty. I presume you could tame a wild creature to act in accord with its nature and heed some simple commands, and you could train it to obey more complex ones?

What is a usual confidence score for birds of prey?
(ST EDIT) Birds of Prey should have 1, except eagles which have 2. Predators usually have 1, herbivores usually 0

Could I invest seasons prior to play? I.e. use seasons of a year instead of the 15 xp? Or was that meant as clarification how it will work during play?
(ST EDIT) Both. Just break the last year into 4 seasons, 1 Training , 1 Practice, 2 Exposure (AM 163-164). Use the exposure season for taming

Pindos Mountains? Epirus?

Interesting that animal ken has no influence on taming...

Mmh, complicated math... :wink:
Given the Raven could train me with a quality of 6 (survival, awareness and athletics all score 3; RoP:M 62) and the default of 4 for practice applies I'd get 14xp that last year and would have to lower one score. On the other hand I should be able to tame two birds... Maybe I'll just add a year to the age...
(ST EDIT) Even if you add the year, you still do the math process :slight_smile:

Sure, just adds 14xp instead of losing 1 :wink:

-[tab][/tab] Remove Wanderer status. This one probably was somewhere between craftsman and merchant, now will be assimilated into covenfolk. Unless you don't want him to, and keep him a wanderer (like Maia)
-[tab][/tab] If you want to also deal with the actual selling of the birds, he will need some bargain

Looks good!

Mmh, I think Wanderer is fitting better than craftsman or merchant. Anyway, I do see the assimilation into covenfolk coming. Will that be set or do we play out the encounter?

I thought Profession: Falconry would cover that part as well? Otherwise, what is Profession: Falconry? Given that taming and training is Animal Handling, organising staff Leadership, selling Bargain, etc.

Any update on those questions?

[tab][/tab] Ok, wanderer is fine then, he will be assimilated in time, probably within a year of residence.

[tab][/tab] No, unfortunately not. All crafts and Profs need Bargain, its actually a requirement. You can see the table in C&G pg 42. Leadership is for higher positions in a guild and/or workshop dealing with helpers.

Is he done then? If so I will be transcribe him this weekend.

I'll restate, what is Profession: Falconry going to be used for? I might consider reducing it in favor of Bargain et al

I'll recheck and signal readiness later today.

[tab][/tab] Falconry is a profession that allows you to find, catch and tame birds of prey, as well as teach them rudimentary commands. It allows you to handle and care for any and all birds of prey (like animal handling does too), but most importantly allows you to hunt with them. In medieval Europe, it was a sport and a pass-time. (It seems the skill is an amalgam between animal handling and hunting)

Ok, got it. Find, catch and hunt with is not (at least not fully) covered by animal handling. I guess it could be handled by a mix of animal handling and hunting but would probably have a higher ease factor if allowed at all.

Other aspects of working as a professional falconer, like leading a falconry, like buying or selling birds, are handled by other abilities (bargain, leadership and potentially others).

Will have a last look later today and probably figure out how to get at least some bargain.