OOC Discussions and Table Talk

Welcome aboard :slight_smile:

We created the characters just past gauntlet (plus a few seasons at most). Quercus is a few years past because we needed someone able to cast Aegis of the Hearth, so Quercus was picked to develop the necessary skills for that (and Communion so he can teach it to the others). There is a thread with the few house rules we are using at the top. However, you are taking up the character of Halancar (Pytheas) so maybe you should check him more than the rest. it is a fairly potent character (the most rounded one in the saga building on his strengths and optimized spell selection I would say) so you should get a good character to toy with. A paradigmatic Aquam magus through and through. Quite a nice one in a small island covenant :slight_smile:

Apart from that,. the only detail would be to talk with Arthur to see if your future character will be bringing anything for the covenant. We brought a few things of stuff each (a boat, a small ship, some books, some silver, some vis...) to start the covenant. Dunno if a later character will bring more stuff.

@all: I expect to be able to post later today with Quercus' response.

From looking at all the posts, it seems like what you need more than anything else is a magus with the Gentle Gift.

Welcome to the game Trogdor. You are right that we need a magus with better social skills and gentle gift to take care of our mundane dealings.
However Pytheas would be very useful to have around for the first few steps to set up our covenant with his proficiency in Aquam and the other elemental arts.

Don't worry, I'll be Pytheas for another couple of months it looks like.

You'll need to be more explicit as to what you're looking for here. I have some inkling, but the saga has been fairly slow so if you're referring to something that was posted before, I probably forgot about that. :confused:

Also, what are the magi's instructions to Dietlinde and Fresse when you send them to meet the elders the next day? Just hear what they propose and report back? Conclude an agreement? Run back and forth serving as messengers and generally act like headless chicken? :laughing:

Quercus detected a perfectly circular aura in the moors in the north of the island (except for a dent in the circle's perfection caused by the aura of the nearby monastery). He assumed that it would contain a centre with a tether or another significant feature, so Pytheas is likely to have gone checking while they were meeting with the villagers. To advance the investigation faster, basically :wink:

We have not said anyting to the grogs yet! We are just walking down the stairs conversing among us :mrgreen: And we are asocial magicians. Give us some work space to figure out what is a sensible social strategy! this exercise hurts us! :laughing:

The area is almost two miles across, of bogs and wetland, at the other end of the island. There are no paths leading there. It is also not something that can be easily explored on foot. Pytheas may not be the magus best suited to that exploration. I'll let the players decide on how to proceed, but this will probably require a story of some sort. :smiling_imp:

That was my turn to try and speed things up. :laughing:

I'll let you proceed to your own pace, then. Will look forward to see your collective version of a "sensible social strategy". :unamused:

Come on, people, let's post something!

I'm kind of stuck on ideas to proceed with the council. Let's just go on with the scene where the grogs meet the village council next day. Let one of the magi join them, three of us might be too much. My vote is for Quercus to go since he seems to have made the best impression on them, if there was any good impression at all.

FYI, I will be away from my computer from Friday through Monday for the US Memorial Day holiday. I'll have access via my iPad, but less frequently since I'm on vacation. My posts will also tend to be short. I'll be back on Tuesday.

What are you doing with the sailors at this time?

Trond approached Japik about the crew of the knarr having drunk all of their money now. They are starting to get into trouble since they don't have enough to do...

So what are the magi's instructions about the use of the ship and its crew?

Since Pytheas is no good with negotiations, and the sailors need something to do, Pytheas will have them take him on a slow circuit around the island to scope the place out better. This way he can investigate the coastline and stop wherever he sees something of interest.

We can discuss it, but after Pytheas is done with them, buying furs and having the knarr go back to the continent to sell them (the captain was a stated grog, right?) and buying foodstuffs to sell to the island would be an idea. The captain should know that since he has been around the marketplace for a few days now and he knows his trade, I guess.

Both good ideas. They might soon help with the construction, as well?

(Moved Trogdor's magus to his own thread.)

I have to say that I was expecting another kind of story when I applied for this saga. Stories about talking to the tree (I have the feeling that he can say A LOT of stuff, and that the aura should go up once we remove the perdo lichen), investigating the supernatural aura in the marshes and the rock pillars (story galore!), maybe an encounter with Waddenzee and a visit from the overlord once we are settled. Stpories that challenge us, and that are a danger to a recently hatched covenant and how it settles and explores its surroundings :slight_smile:

However, a thread of 10 pages negotiating a contract with the local village was not what I had in mind at all, nor the (now expected) search for a goat herd or another source of dairy produce in another upcoming story. I get the impression that we are told "no" each time we propose something that catches our imagination or that we find cool and well, that is irking me somewhat as well. Too stringent an approach for my liking of the game. I was expecting stuff that limits us, but not long and (for me) boring discussions since we have already expressed what we would like in this and other threads. :confused:

This is my fault and how I like my Ars stories, but I am getting a little bit tired about this and will drop from the saga in brief if the tone does not change much. I was expecting the council of Ober to be solved in a handwave thread of 3 pages at most, not to drag on and on. Sorry to all of you, specially Arthur about it, but these is not the saga stories I like and I am rapidly losing interest despite Quercus being the character of mine that has caught my imagination the most in years. :frowning:


I share your frustration, but from the other side of the coin. Right from the start, I thought we had an understanding that this would be a different kind of saga, in that resources would be difficult to obtain. To me, that includes the location and conditions in which the covenant is set up. If it was easy to establish build a new home in a magical aura and settle there, then new covenants would not have that much difficulty establishing themselves. I even recently added the Cosmology thread to remind everyone of that, considering that Trogdor was new to the saga and might not have seen all the initial posts about it.

You get the impression that I keep saying no to whatever you want, while I get the impression that you cannot accept a situation where the magi won't get everything the way they want them.

I too expected the meeting with the elders to be over much more quickly. But every time I had the elders explain their fears along with the restrictions they wanted in place to assuage those fear, the magi always came back to stating that they wanted things to be just the way they wanted them, and right now, pretty please. In short, refusing to make much (if any) compromise to those living conditions that they wanted.

I would have thought that the magi would have accepted most of those restrictions initially, and then played with them. Once they are established on the plateau and have a relationship with the village, negociate for the relaxation of those restrictions. Or transgress them in secret, like you were going to do with the cellars. Yet you kept saying "unacceptable" over and over, as if the magi were in a position to impose their conditions on the village. So the thread dragged on and on, far beyond what I thought necessary. And every time the elders proposed a change to satisfy what you said was your priority, you came back asking for more. First the number of houses and the cellars. Then objecting to the fee to import building materials. And complaining about having to hire locals to work on the plateau and not wherever you wanted them to.

In the same way, I've alluded multiple times to the fact that the covenant faced no such restrictions on setting up some of their activities down below. Do the magi need to have all of their covenfolk living at the main site? How many servants do you need to live in the same building as you do? On an island, isolated on the plateau where pirates would not bother to climb to, how much fighting grogs do you need? I expected to have, at most, a bit over a dozen mundanes at the main site. The rest, like sailors, merchants, additional day-time servants, would either live in Meden town or in Ober village. That makes for a different kind of covenant, to be sure, but quite workable and interesting.

For what it's worth, I don't expect to put a story in place where you'll have to search for a goat herd, or a source of dairy product. I got the sailors to approach the magi because there had been no clear indication as to what they were supposed to do, just vague suggestions that they might be used to do this or that. Which is why I had their captain come to you and say that this was what he could do for now. A clear and simple plan to establishing the primary source of income for the covenant. Basically, all you had to do, if you didn't want to go for the details, was tell him to go ahead. Then, if one of the players had wanted that source of income to improve, we could have pitched a story about it. And yes, at some point, I might use the sailors as a hook to introduce something about Waddenzee.

In the same way, I was establishing the presence of a number of unusual features and people on the plateau. The cranky shepherd, the crazy walking woman, the spinning woman, the whole council of elders. If you had decided to investigate them at some point, once the initial construction is complete, they would be there to provide hooks to additional stories. Or not, if you were not interested in each individual hook. A tapestry that you would either investigate, if it caught your fancy, or simply use as the backdrop for your own stories.

(Catching my breath.)

So, now, where does that leave us?

Unfortunately, I'm left in Limbo. I've got a character I didn't create, and whose personality I only vaguely understand. I also have a character with a Blatant Gift in a situation where the most important thing seems to be dealing with the villagers. They're suspicious enough of the regular magi. God help us if they get a whiff of Pytheas. So I've been sort of hanging in the back, trying to not take the initiative, and trying to not interfere in any way with the village.

As for the negotiations, this is how things strike me.

I had taken the initial proposal from the village as being just that - an initial proposal. I assumed that it represented how they would make the deal if they set all the terms. In other words, it represented the farthest extreme of negotiation in the village's interest. I suppose the problem was that we didn't officially give them our proposal (eight buildings with large cellars, a herd of goats and sheep, no restrictions on who we hire, etc.) to be held up in contrast to theirs as an agreement totally in the magi's interest. Instead, their proposal seemed to leap from their opening bid to the middle ground; and every change in our favor was viewed as something that caused an imbalance in favor of the magi.

Because it seemed to me that the magi were making concessions from what they wanted. For example, the magi wanted at least six houses and settled for four. The magi acceded to some of the villager demands that impose restrictions that they otherwise would not be forced to live with. In fact, as I recall when you asked about don't care, want-to-have, and must-have aspects of the agreement, the only must-have was the unrestricted cellars. Every other term was either don't care or want-to-have.

In the end, the agreement was heading toward something in between what the villagers wanted and what the magi wanted, i.e., it was heading toward what I viewed as a compromise agreement (part of what they wanted; part of what we wanted). Yes, each change to the proposal appeared to be in favor of the magi. But that was because our starting point was the villagers' proposal, which was as far away from what the magi wanted as was possible. If we had started with a proposal by the magi, then every concession would have been one by the magi.

In any case, that's my take on things.

If you see it from the viewpoint of the villagers, their initial position was that they did not want you on the plateau. So they had already cmpromised a lot... :confused:

But let's remember that the challenge of the saga was to build a covenant when faced by numerous difficulties. As I just wrote, if it was easy every one would be doing it. The villagers' resistance was just the first obstacle.

An interesting feature of English is the use of "you" to refer both to the second person of the singular and of the plural form. Funny, since in other aspects it is a very clear cut grammar system. Still, when you talk about "you" above it makes me feel that you are referring to me, Xavi the player, and that you have a problem with my take on things, not with the magi or the other players. If this is the case, say so and I will gladly step to the sidelines and allow the saga to progress unimpaired. No problem. 8)

I share on trogdor's idea here. The initial position of the villagers (thou shall not dwell here at all) was untenable, so the fact that we WOULD be dwelling there regardless of what they said was not a compromise, but an obligation placed on them. Our (also fairly difficult) starting position would have been something like this:

  • All the northern third of the plateau will be ours
  • We will build as many houses as we want, starting with 8 houses
  • We will place restrictions on the movement of the village's herds through our area of the plateau
  • We will excavate as much as we want
  • We will have a herd of our own
  • We will hire whoever we want to hire and in the amount we want to hire them

Or in other words, "you have no say in what we do or do not do". Then the negotiation begins. If they want to impose restrictions, OK, but they are stepping in our decisions as well, so ANYTHING is a concession on our part as well and both camps are on the same ground here. We are willing to compromise, but not in the basic parameters that we need to build suitable dwellings for the magi and a few servants: ample enough buildings, and secure spaces for our stuff.

We were willing to provide services and boons for some of the stuff as well (and surprisingly none of that seems to have been considered).

  • Easy access to fuel in a fuel-poor land
  • Easy access to medical care, something that is even more difficult to get here
  • This was never stated, but we could have offered to educate some (or all) of the villagers or their children for a small price. Or for free.
  • Potential favourable trade opportunities from our trade ventures using the ship.

If we agreed that a point was OK and then they come and modify it afterwards because the magi said something else in a private meeting that they have no way to know about, expect us to refuse the change unless they offer something else instead. And in quite a few cases they have not done so. When we say "unacceptable" it means "unacceptable as written in these current terms, let's renegotiate it". I thought that was clear... We made our demands fairly clear and we expected the negotiation to go along these lines and our offer of good will to be considered, since they are very generous given the land they live in.

Kind regards,