One of the players in my saga has come up with a Failed Apprentice Companion who has developed Hunger for Corpus Magic. He would like to have the character come to the covenant with a stock of Corpus vis (roughly 10-20 pawns).
We're still in the covenant creation stage, but I can't justify that being part of the Covenant's build points (as the player wants the vis to be the Companion's and not the Covenant's), and he doesn't have an established relationship with a magus that will allow the magus to "hold" the vis in his 75 personal build points.
Is there a way for the character to have a stock of Corpus vis that I'm not seeing?
Therefore, if you deem it reasonable for this character to have acquired and retained, over the course of his career, a stock of vis then he may have it. I think it is very reasonable for a character who must consume vis to have a supply of vis for consumption on hand, or access to a source of vis for consumption. However, I think given medieval attitudes toward possession, whereby hording is considered sinful, it is more likely for the character to have enough vis to get him through the season or year, rather than a huge stockpile.
Start with the Personal Vis source Virtue, come up with how much you would have it provide in your story, then use the Virtue as Stored Vis(or whatever name you think is suitable) and give the character at least 5 times as much as he would have gotten yearly from the Vis source, possibly more like 10 times more(remember, when making a covenant, you get 25 Vis in storage for every vis you have yearly from a source).
The character in question is avaricious (minor personality flaw) with regards to vis. So, not only does he need it, he covets it, and walks a fine line between wanting to consume it and possess the vis. I don't want Personal Vis Source, because I want it to be a finite supply, something he has to seek out, not something that is off-setting.
The challenge I'm trying to work with is, given his avaricious nature, how much vis does he need to have on hand before finally consuming it? As he is a Failed Apprentice with a relatively decent Magic Theory of 4 (it's higher than my maga's effective Magic Theory, but that's another story) he understands the value of magus. What's a good guideline for that level? 20 pawns of vis for his horde? OR is it 10? 20 pawns means he can keep on living, as is, for 5 years. I'm also considering starting him play at Tired for Long Term Fatigue, so -3 to all actions to start.
With Peregrine's permission, I'm going to split off bps he's allowed incoming magi to bring with them above and beyond the bps he's allocated to the player to design the covenant, and give those to my companion player.
You kind of have that with Personal Vis source. While it's "easy" as a Hermetic Virtue, as a rule, it doesn't have to be. Vis sources can be found by other people, and contested by Mages. Whoops, the character is not a Mage and gets no voice at Tribunal. Now you have a in game reason for him having Vis, but not being able to get more without the help of the Covenant.
As it was mentioned, it sounds reasonable that the character may have a few pawns stashed off. How many? It strongly depends on how rich in vis is your saga. I would play it this way.
Ask the player of each magus how many pawns of Corpus vis his character would be willing to pay for one of season of service by the lab assistant. Then, if the lab assistant agrees, he can either:
Get those pawns, immediately, in exchange for a promise of service to the magus. The magus' player must "buy" the vis as Covenant vis stocks from "his" construction points, but gets the lab assistant's service in return. This is an excellent reason why the lab assistant chose to associate with the Covenant!
Claim he got those pawns in the past, by working for some other magus, at the same labor-for-vis "exchange rate". Add one year to his base age (without the corresponding experience benefit) for every 2 seasons of "service" for which he received pawns of Corpus.
10 Vis is almost certainly not enough. 20 sounds like a good rough number to start with. If you´re running in a Vis rich environment, double that is quite fair. 20-25, maybe 30 is where i think would be a good level.