So I'm toying with the idea of turning Pierre Legris (a current Mons Electi resident, of the woolworker sort) into a companion character. The first couple of posts will just rehash what's come up in another thread.
Thanks for the feedback Fixer. I finally found in RoP:Magic what you were saying about "normal" characters being able to have focus/lesser/etc. powers - good tip.
If the covenant could use someone good at "dispelling", that sounds like a Focus Power to me. I thought for a moment that companions can't have two Major Supernatural Virtues (like magi can't have two Major Hermetic Virtues), but that seems to be a delusion....
I wonder if "dispelling" or "suppressing" would be more useful. What did you envision this dispeller doing? Defensive duty, responding to attacks on the covenant? Running out and zapping people's Parma Magica?
(Tangent: Isen has Parma Magica 10?! )
And then there's the not-so-small matter, if we were to do this, of fleshing out a character concept that gives a reason for Pierre to have all these mighty powers.... I definitely welcome input (from everyone).
For what it's worth, my character Moro will have a decent ability in dispelling at his inception (Pe 10, Vi 14), and I will likely improve it over the saga. Not to steer you too far away from it, but don't feel obligated ...
Keep in mind that companions exist within the system to do that which magi can't do easily: interact with people. I haven't imposed a lot of penalties on interaction between mundanes and magi, it's a high powered saga, after all. But a focus on the mundane and ordinary doesn't have to be boring. I'm not really wild about a lot of supernatural abilities/powers for companions. Flaws, for sure.
This would not be very efficient, and would cost a lot of fatigue.
Instead, take either a Greater or a Lesser Power, build upon these guidelines:
PeVi gen: Dispel any magical effect with a casting total less than half the level + 4 magnitudes of the Vim spell + a stress die (no botch)
Select a level
Adjust for Voice or Touch.
Reduce Might cost (and thus fatigue cost) to something under 5. I'd suggest a nice "0".
It's useful to destroy an ennemy's defensive spells if these aren't enchanted, to destroy his parma, to activate penetrationless traps...
And yes, he has Parma 10, and still feels it's not enough, given the opposition and the miriad ways one can increase his penetration*. One of the first things he wants to do is learn the Intangible Tunnel, and master it for Resistance. And he's planning on increasing his Parma again.
But really, given Moro's abilities? Don't bother, unless you're interested. He'll be better, and able to do enchantments. Concentrate on Pierre as you said, it's already pretty great and useful
Thanks anyway for considering it
To clarify things companions who have a lot of powers and abilities and seem more like magi or magic users are not something I'm terribly interested in having in this saga. There are a lot of magi of Mons Electi who get played regularly. There are few mundanes who get that benefit. One reason I haven't done stories involving a lot of mundanes or all mundane focused is because they have been created by just a few people, and players haven't been very conscientious about playing a grog/companion in another magus's story. I would like to focus on the mundane characters we already have, give them some life and play before we start going into the direction of playing companion characters with a lot of magical abilities.
Unless you want me to go off on a rant, I'd alter the direction and focus of this character...
I have stories simmering that focus on the mundane that require very little action on the part of magi, and indeed work better for everyone involved if there aren't any magi...
That's cool, I think the Pierre as spell dispeller idea has run its course.
Or are you saying even the Touched by Magic idea is too much for your tastes?
To clarify also (and this one is entirely my fault): I happen to mostly agree with you.
I was answering, well, for the sake of answering, like "here's how I would do it". The aforementioned thread about ArX-Men? It was basically a rant against these
And I'd love a "mundanes only" story. So you can count me in for this. I want to create an advisor for Isen, mostly for background color, but would love to get her in a story.
That's not so bad, he's not magical so much as the things he makes are...
I would most certainly be all over a mundanes story. Only problem would be which one(s) to take.
Here's a sketch of some ideas for the "5 weavers" listed as part of the covenfolk.
Pierre Legris is the unlikely leader of the woolworkers at Mons Electi. Granted, he is reputed to have learned the craft faster than any of the others; moreover, there are rumors that certain special articles of clothing made by him have the ability to make alterations to other clothing, livestock, even the trees themselves. To look at Pierre, however, one would never see him as a leader: his unimpressive body is twisted by a constant hunch, his waistline a bit too large from a weakness for food and drink (though his endurance is beyond question). He does what he can to realize his authority, supplementing years of time spent instructing his flock with an intimidating stare that has made grown men cry. But something about him rubs the other woolworkers the wrong way: even though they are fine and gentle souls, their responses to his direction always seem to end in trouble.
Eloise Lainniere is one of the favorites among the covenfolk. Truly beautiful, she can often be found gambling with the men of the covenant, flirting with them one by one as she takes their silver from them. In truth she would be accused of cheating were she a less enjoyable sight at the dice table (although good fortune does seem to smile upon her generally). Inevitably, the constant attention has fed her ample vanity, although few men complain about it in her presence. The women of the covenant, on the other hand, make catty comments about her boldness, and about her delicate disposition - she is not overfond of travel in general, and usually arranges for an eager man to run her errands for her.
Gaston Lainnier, Eloise's husband, is a fine specimen as well - firm of frame, shrewd at barter and knowledgeable of the local economy, and skillful enough with an axe should it come to that. Like his wife, his opinion of his abilities are even a bit higher than warranted, and he rarely foresees failure for himself in any endeavor. One would think that he would be happily content with his lot in life, that he would not have any reason to chase after every girl in town when Eloise's attention is turned elsewhere. One would, sadly, be incorrect on this score.
Blanche is a bit of an unusual individual. Nobody knows where she grew up, or under what circumstances, but she has almost never been known to talk, and her speech sounds more like the brute's call than a human tongue. While perfectly capable of carrying out the tasks of her craft, it took her many months before she understood that the name Blanche (bestowed upon her by the others in exasperation) referred to her. Fortunately, she is solidly built and can secure even the largest ram sheep for shearing without aid; since she causes little trouble, the other woolworkers are accepting of her, if not understanding. Blanche is rarely found awake before noon and seldom returns to her dwelling before the darkest hour of night, adding fuel to the unverifiable stories invented about her.
Guilheum Gastoneau is the ten-year-old son of Eloise and Gaston, and if ever a boy failed to make a princely impression in his first decade, it would be he. So unassertive that people often forget his presence even when working with him on tasks, Guilheum also suffers from a wandering mind that causes him to be easily distracted. At such times he has been apprehended with a long twig in his hands, dirt under his nails from digging into a small underground spring or even discovering a lost metal trinket. Uncannily, he tends to arrive in the kitchens the minute before the hot bread is pulled from the oven, or at the front gates just as an intriguing visitor arrives at Mons Electi; the other children complain that he always knows exactly when to move from one spot to the next during their hide-and-seeks.
(Mechanics issue: from the one allusion to Pierre Legris in this forum, as well as according to the character concept, Pierre should be a tailor rather than a weaver. This matters a little bit, in that we need to assign these grogs Craft: Tailor or Craft: Weaver. In truth, despite the conclusions given in the sidebar on page 64 of City & Guild, I would like to give all five of them Craft: Wool, assuming that they have experience with both weaving and tailoring; it certainly fits in with the concept of Mons Electi's mundane finances. But we can do it the other way too.)
Is that "5 weavers" or "a weaver for whom we paid five Build Points"?
Personally, I'm of the opinion that, if they have a character sheet, they don't cost BP. Not sure what to do if you make a character sheet for a bought character, but I would suggest either move it to another blank character, lose the points, or redistribute the points into something else (which is my least preferred option).
Other than that, they all look like good characters, and since we've always had a good sheep/wool business, it makes perfect sense that we'd have that many exceptional woolworkers.
Yeah, if you do the work and build a complete character, it doesn't cost build points...
Also, it makes sense that Mons Electi might begin hedging their bets and growing their market vertically, so to speak. Almost all the raw wool had been going to Flanders for processing. And since we hadn't had someone actually closely managing and monitoring finances, I just kind of held that on the back burner. But having a tailor and his team of weavers comes in and mixes things up, just as Flanders is attempting to form the Lotharingian Tribunal.
Now I see what you mean! And here I thought you had a super large (and super) covenant. (Although can ME get by with only one percamanarius, given the Major Hook? I suppose so: it's major for us, not for the Order.)
Agreed ... on the other hand, I should remember that there are probably many invisible ordinary woolworkers behind the scenes.
Is "mixes things up" a good thing in this context?
I'll go ahead with these character sheets, if people are good with that. I know it impacts covenant build points as you both mentioned - sorry about that.
It should not affect covenant build points, though. Especially if they are fully formed.
Here's how I'm looking at it, that one percamanarius is ostensibly at the beck and call of the covenant serving the magi. There are others, and the are making parchment for resale. We haven't really examined the industry of the covenant, and have just handwaved a lot of stuff. That can certainly change and add a lot of flavor and complexity to the overall story.
That makes sense to me. I'll go ahead and fully form these characters then, with Pierre being companion-level.
One thing that will take discussing is how to treat the weavers' time. As you said, there's one percamanarius's worth of beck-and-call time for the covenant magi (possibly not even the same person each time - just an abstraction right now). If we have five woolworker characters, how much of their time will be taken up doing abstract covenant work; how much being at beck and call (especially Pierre the wonder item maker); and how much doing stuff that can improve their own abilities or their own workshop? No secret agenda here, just general confusion (carried over from other sagas) about how to allocate covenant crafters' seasons.
Note that the original intent of Theraphosa was to get involved in mundane interactions from the perspective of a magical outsider. Meddler, Favors, and Difficult Underlings were all meant to suggest that she spent an absurd amount of time exploring the mundane covenfolk's lives.
Since she's a Meddler, she still might, even if she's theoretically moving on to "grander" things.
YEah, but Thera's got special powers... I want something a little more mundane...
Note that the rules for covenant creation assume an uncounted and uncountable horde of folks working in the background to generate the base income. Specialists, Companions, military grogs, etc all represent expenses for the covenant.
So, if he's a background character that we're fleshing out, then he spends 3 seasons generating income and has 1 season of personal time.
Unless you want to get funky and start using the rules on City & Guild pg 38. In which case, our scrutiny on him turns him into a PC, and he's no longer one of the faceless hordes generating our Legendary income.
If we've spent build points on a character, or written him up as PC, then he is an expense. His time is not spent generating our income, it is spent doing in-saga activities. Build points, in particular, are clearly available all four seasons to anyone who has a purpose for them. That is why we pay points for them.
Digressing from that point, and moving back to fun facts about the ME economy, don't forget that Theraphosa has a horde of spider babies out in the regio spinning webs, which are now being collected by The Welsh Clan and a Specialist Spidersilk Weaver, and spun into experimental goods. This is strictly a cottage industry at this point. If we're going to start running mundane stories, and keeping track of mundane wealth, then I'll happily start tracking all that spidersilk experimentation -- using City & Guild lingo, they're a "Trivial" workshop that dumps all of its labor points into innovation and experimentation.
Or, I could play Chastity, Patience or our new Greek/Welsh Linguist in any mundane story.
Frankly, I like the way the mundane stuff has been happening. Many players have a small cadre of grogs with some sort of active back story going on in the background, which we brush against but rarely touch upon.
Looking at the rules in City & Guild ... should I make Pierre Legris a Guild Master? If so, is living at Mons Electi okay (is there a nearby town with a clothier guild, say)? If not, but he has high Craft and Leadership skills, can he use the other woolworkers characters as assistants in his lab? - and must those other characters be guild journeymen/apprentices, or can they simply be (covenant) craftsmen?