Pierre Legris

Companion character build, for your perusal and comments.

[size=125]Pierre Legris[/size]

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 woolen articles 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 occasional time spent instructing his flock with an intimidating stare that has made grown men cry. He has even made a name for himself among area merchants, who know that the quality of his wares far exceed the quality of his frame. 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. He certainly prefers his own ideas to those offered by others, as a general rule.

Pierre was born to a dockside foreman in the city of Mâcon; his family had a reasonable livelihood from the commerce up and down the Saône river, and the boy became known to several of the merchants who frequented the port. While his father always assumed that his unremarkable son would join the gray-clad laborers' guild, Pierre had loftier plans. In what became a part of local lore, the nine-year-old won a marathon shouting and staring battle of wills with his father on the docks themselves. Soon thereafter, he was apprenticed to a local tailor, but estranged from his family.

His master was not a kind person. Pierre was forced to spend hours in cramped quarters, sorting the wools or sweeping the floors, as well as general back-breaking maintenance of the workshop. One obvious consequence was that he developed a terrible posture that no amount of later exercise could right; perhaps somewhat predictably, he also grew pugnacious with anyone who tried to teach him anything, or indeed who disagreed with his own ideas. Still, Pierre felt that he was destined for greatness in some way, and to everyone's surprise he completed his apprenticeship. Rather than join the woolworker's guild in Mâcon, however, he set out to explore the wider world, hitching rides on cargo barges or struggling along with caravans.

One year would see him acting as an unguilded journeyman in some Bourguignon city; the next might have him tending stock in the pastures, sleeping amongst the trees. Pierre developed his woolworking skills quite impressively, once he had the opportunity to teach himself the best ways of working. He also enjoyed his communion with the forests and its fauna, and more than once encountered virtuous beasts who seemed more curious about him than threatened. One such encounter, with a great stag, was key to Pierre's future destiny: while chatting with merchant friends in Autun, he heard that an artist of some sort was trying to hunt the stag, not for sport or meat, but for the exposure needed to craft a sculpture.

He eventually arranged a meeting with this sculptor, a strange old man who seemed sinister from the first moment. Pierre's first reaction was to abandon the whole transaction, but somehow he found himself agreeing to lead the artist to the great stag, a meeting that thrilled the older man, whose name was Apollodorus. After taking a few careful sketches, he thanked Pierre with an eyebrow-raising handful of silver coins, then casually asked if he wanted to help manage the wool commerce that flowed from his manor's pastures; the prospect of an affluent lifestyle certainly appealed to the middle-aged tailor. Pierre inquired shrewdly about opportunities for craftsmen, and soon the two had agreed that Pierre would have a tailor's workshop built for him, along with woolworkers to oversee and train.

Thus did Pierre Legris take up residence at Mons Electi. Before the first month was up, he had gained access to the magical regio (again to help Apollodorus track some magical beast) and instantly felt at home therein. He convinced the old artist to allow his workshop to be built inside the regio, and eventually took the second-generation woolworker Guilheum and the strange unkempt woman Blanche as his apprentices. He is seldom seen among the fields and shearing pens on the mundane lands of Mons Electi; that, together with his appearance, cause many whispered rumors about him among the covenfolk. Sadly, his difficulties in forming constructive training relationships are exacerbated by his aloofness, and he finds dealing with his underlings a nightmare; whenever possible he prefers tinkering in his workshop (about which yet more rumors are spun, these of wondrous items that draw on the power of the trees or the beasts), or accompanying the covenant's teamsters and renewing his ties with area merchants.

Gender: Male
Height: 4'8"
Weight: 146 lbs
Birth year: 1184
Age: 39 (39)
Eyes: Indigo
Hair: none
Handedness: Right

Characteristics: Int -2, Sta 0, Str 0, Dex +2, Qik -2, Com -2, Prs +2, Per +2
Size: 0
Decrepitude: 0 (3)
Warping Score: 0
Confidence: 1 (3)

Personality Traits: Intimidating +2, Stubborn +2, Determined +3
Virtues: Covenfolk; Touched by Magic (Animal, Herbam); Enduring Constitution, Piercing Gaze, Puissant Craft: Wool, Social Contacts (merchants)
Flaws: Difficult Underlings; Greedy (Minor), Hunchback, Poor Student, Weak Characteristics

Equipment: knife
Soak: 0
Dodge: Initiative -2, Defense 0
Knife: Initiative -2, Attack +6, Defense +1, Damage +2
Fist: Initiative -2, Attack +4, Defense 0, Damage 0
Kick: Initiative -3, Attack +4, Defense -1, Damage +3
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0, 0, -2, -4, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: -1 (1-5), -3 (6-10), -5 (11-15), Incapacitated (16-20); total reduced by 1

Area Lore: Bourgogne 5 (commerce)
Animal Handling 2 (sheep)
Awareness 4 (goods for sale)
Bargain 5 (woolen items)
Brawl 2 (knife)
Carouse 4 (endurance)
Craft: Wool 6+2 (wondrous items)
Etiquette 3 (merchants)
Folk Ken 4 (in shops)
French 5 (Bourguignon)
Guile 3 (diverting attention)
Intrigue 2 (underlings)
Leadership 2 (intimidation)
Survival 3 (shortcuts)

I've been trying to wrap my head around the labor and workshop rules in City & Guild; I think I'm in the right ballpark, but there are still some confusing issues. Here are a few questions I have, and afterwards I've tried to correctly lay out a typical year. Any critiques of the following?

  • Mons Electi has the Wealthy Virtue, so its covenfolk are meant to be living a wealthy life as well for their station (according to the Covenfolk Virtue description). So does that mean that Pierre's workshop team only needs to work one season a year to maintain the workshop, as would be the case for a character with the Wealthy Virtue? (Mechanically, do they multiply their Dex + Craft by 6 rather than 3, as per page 38, to generate their Workshop Total?)

  • On page 48, it says that Guild Masters should have a Leadership score of half their Craft score; it also says "An understaffed master, who employs fewer workers than his Leadership score, generates fewer Labor Points a season. Subtract 3 Labor Points for every absent worker from the number of Labor Points the master accrues in a season." In the sidebar on page 75, which discusses a guy Klaus who has Swordsmith 6 and Leadership 3 and two employees, it says, "Klaus should have three employees in his shop for it to function properly, since his Leadership should be half of his Swordsmith Ability."

So which of the following would be the proper interpretation for Pierre, who is not a Guild Master but will have employees in his workshop?

  • He can have any Leadership score he wants. If the number of employees is less than his Leadership score, subtract 3 per.
  • He can have any Leadership score he wants. If the number of employees is less than half his Craft score, subtract 3 per.
  • He must have a Leadership score of half his Craft score. If the number of employees is less than this, subtract 3 per.
    The first option seems closest to a literal reading of the rules, but has the strange property that increasing his Leadership score actually harms his workshop total (assuming he doesn't pick up an actual new employee at the same time).
  • The sidebar on page 69 indicates that crafting is more difficult in Magical auras (specifically, it adds 1 to the required Craft Level, which is like an Ease Factor). To me it seems reasonable that a character who is Touched by Magic (see page 71) shouldn't suffer this penalty. Do you agree?

Now for the typical year. Relevant stats:

  • Pierre has Craft: Wool 6 and Puissant Craft: Wool, Dex +2, and Leadership 2.
  • Blanche has Craft: Wool 3 and Dex +2.
  • Guilheum has Craft: Wool 2 and Dex 0.
  • Workshop total is the main craftsman's Dex + Craft score (page 67), plus half his assistants' Craft scores rounded up (page 73).
  • Labor points are 6 * (the main craftsman's Dex + Craft), minus three per missing employee (see first two questions above).

Season 1: Pierre trains Blanche, Guilheum has a free season.
Workshop total (Blanche doesn't contribute): 10
Labor points: 6(2+8)-6 = 54
Pierre: 2 exposure xp in Craft: Wool
Blanche: 9 training xp in Craft: Wool
Guilheum: practice xp in whatever

Season 2: Blanche trains Guilheum, Pierre has a free season.
Workshop total: 5
Labor points: 6(2+3) = 30
Pierre: practice xp in whatever
Blanche: 2 exposure xp in Craft: Wool
Guilheum: 6 training xp in Craft: Wool

Season 3: Everyone works together.
Workshop total: 13
Labor points: 6(2+8)-3 = 57
Pierre: 2 exposure xp in Craft: Wool or Leadership
Blanche: 2 exposure xp in Craft: Wool
Guilheum: 2 exposure xp in Craft: Wool

Season 4: Everyone does their own thing - practice xp all around.

Or, there could be an alternate version of Season 3.

Season 3a: Pierre and Blanche work on a wondrous item, Guilheum works on his own.
Workshop totals: 17 (includes aura) & 4
Labor points: 6(2+8)-3 = 57
Pierre: 2 exposure xp in Craft: Wool
Blanche: 2 exposure xp in Craft: Wool
Guilheum: 2 exposure xp in Craft: Wool

I don't think so, unless the covenant wills it otherwise. Let me explain

IIRC, the covenant Wealthy boon increases ressources, and thus the amount of money, allowing people to lead better lives, so, for exemple, instead of eating gruel at each meal, the covenant can afford to buy better food for his covenfolk.
Similarly, the covenfolk social status (someone correct me if I'm wrong!) says that the covenant pays for your expenses, not you.

Wealthy and Poor virtues, OTOH, have little to do with actual wealth or ressources, but rather more about the actual time you need do spend to maintain a given standard of living. So, for exemple, if you're a beggar but have the best place in town to beg, you can afford to have more free time, or maybe you can have some street urchins beg for you, thus being a wealthy beggar, whereas a duke might be Poor, having to spend most of his time running after ressources and struggling to maintain a lifestyle that is, nonetheless, miles above that of our beggar.

=> The covenant's wealth determines the number of people it can support, and the luxuries available to them (and thus, modifiers to living conditions). It changes nothing about covenfolk having to work 2 seasons per year to bring that wealth to the covenant.
Of course, the covenant can always decide to support more or less a character, like it does for magi, but then, these should count more as exepenses, or diminish costs less.

Going by a reading of the text you have put, option 1.
Going by the exemple, I'd say option 2. This is also the one that, IMO, makes more sense.

I believe you may have discovered possible errata material :smiley:

Don't recall the rules much, but I believe Touched by (Realm) allows you to make magical items?

If so, I'd say that the penalty applies if he tries to make "mundane" items, even if of excellent quality, but that if he tries to make a magical one, it should not apply and, moreso (unless the books contradict me on this, sorry), that the Aura should then be added to his craft total.

What Fixer said.

Note that your Puissant Craft means that you have effectively Craft:Wool 8 (specialty).

I belive that the math works out so that the penalty for the number of employees being too few works out to be the same as restricting yourself to a lower effective Craft total. So Pierre might be Craft:Wool 8, but with Leadership 2 (2 employees), his shop is only producing goods as if it were a Craft:4 shop. Serf's Parma on that, but I remember seeing a relationship between effective craft level and number of employees, that helped me get a sense of what they were actually trying to represent with the numbers.

I'm scratching my eyes out trying to find the rules for insufficient assistants. I have managed to verify that the math works out so that each missing assistant effectively reduces your Craft score by 1. So Pierre has Craft 8, Leadership 2, that means he is effectively producing Dex 2 + Craft 8 - 2 Missing Assistants = Workshop Total 8, *3 = 24 Labor Points/Season.

I added another Sheet to the Vis Inventory file for Seasonal Workshop Advancement. Poor Rashid, with no helpers, is barely able keep the place running, much less think about innovating. Incompetent assistants would be better than NO assistants!

What Amul and Fixer said. I did allow Peregrine to remove Wilhelm's Poor flaw, but he becomes supported by the covenant and effectively has to do whatever the covenant asks him to do. Before that he'd been living on his own, scrounging out a life of subsistence, and would do favors for the magi every now and again. After Viscaria built him his house, we handwaved integrating him into the covenant.

Ok, there seems to be consensus (including mine now) on the fact that Pierre shouldn't get 6* but only 3* on his Workshop Totals. I will note that in the example in the sidebar on page 75 of Covenants, Klaus has Swordsmith 6 and Puissant Swordsmith, but his score is treated as 6, not 8, for the purposes of determining how many assistants he should have.

It seems to me from that example that the number of assistants in the workshop counts anybody who is in the workshop for any reason that season - whether they are working together or not, whether they're being trained (hence don't contribute to the Workshop Total) or not.

Also, it's in fact explicit in the rules that a magical aura adds to one's Workshop Total when a Touched by Magic chap makes wondrous items, so that matches The Fixer's notion.

I've set up Pierre's workshop on the Google spreadsheet that amul started. I welcome people to take a look at the calculations and choices and see if it matches what they think should be possible.

I've got Pierre, Blanche, and Guilheum each working two seasons per year in the workshop. I also have them earning 15 xp per year in Craft: Wool; Pierre also earns 5 xp per year in Leadership, as does Blanche when she reaches Craft: Wool 5 and starts being able to run the workshop herself sometimes. (The rest of their 30 xp per year will be in social Abilities or other stuff like that.) I also have Pierre picking up a third employee, Meadhbh daugher of Seumas and Moire, when his Leadership allows it; she also starts getting those 15 xp in Craft: Wool per year (at the tender young age of 5!).

Once we all agree that the general structure is sound (possibly requiring some changes), I'll start fleshing out exactly what the Wondrous item is, and probably do some Workshop exertion. I also want to use that high Workshop Total to make some Excellent items. I can't find this anywhere in the rules, but can only one Excellent item be made per season (as opposed to around 40 Standard or Superior suits of clothing)?

I'm a little lost in your numbers, and haven't the time to find where they come from, so I may be off. A few remarks nonetheless:

  • If Pierre, Blanche, and Guilheum work only 2 seasons per year, they can't be as efficient at cost reduction / creating wealth: Like with the magi, they are in part supported by the covenant to have a season of free time.
  • For the XP, you should either abstract it by the rules, especially for the grogs, or do it in detail. I may be wrong, but I am under the impression that you're doing both: While, if I understand, Blanche, and Guilheum 15XP per year in craft wool come from exposure (22) and training by pierre, there's no one to train Pierre, so how can he gain these? Assuming he puts 22 exposure XP in Craft Wool, how can he gain 5 (why 5 and not 4?) XP in leadership?
  • You realize you're making grogs that gain 45XP per year??? While doing 2 seasons of work per year??? How is this even possible? This is already quite good for a companion that is entirely supported by the covenant, but there, if you drop their 4 exposure XP, this means source qualities of 20 and 21!

Err, no, I am even more lost. Like, totally...
Blanche and Guilhem work 2 seasons, for 4 exposure XP. They are trained one more season by pierre. Assuming their exposure XP is not in craft wool, and that their 15 XP in it come from pierre teaching, this means a source quality of 26 per season in "social Abilities or other stuff like that". Point me that way at once!!!

In short? Even I understand absolutely nothing, or there's something quite wrong here?????

In terms of XP: you're right, I was hoping not to keep track of seasonal XP (even though using workshop rules per season) and use the saga's 30 XP per year rule for grogs/companions. (I can't tell where you got the 45 XP number from. It would be 15 XP in Craft: Wool and 15 XP elsewhere.) The motivation is also as you say: the most XP I could see Pierre getting is Exposure twice and Practice twice, for a paltry 12 XP per year; and for the others, replace one Practice with Training (reducing the output of the workshop, since trainees don't produce anything productive) for still less than 20 XP.

The 30 XP per year rule for grogs* in our saga is an abstraction, presumably intended to reflect the covenant's great wealth and advancement resources. I think if you took any random covenperson, you'd be hard pressed to come up with a season-by-season way to give them 30 XP per year by the usual advancement rules (certainly not while having them actually work!). So my thought - which I'm willing to revise if necessary - is that the compromise I made with the Pierre workshop people is consistent with the spirit of the 30-XP house rule.

  • Am I getting confused with "grog" vs. "grog" here? Is the 30 XP per year rule only for the actual fighting grogs in the turb, or all grog-level characters?

((Possibly. All Grog-level and Companion-level characters get 30 xp per year. They also get adventure experience to spend, if they go out and do something that nets them xp.

Unfortunately, as near as I can tell, their 4 xp of local language exposure comes out of that 30. At least, that's how I've been applying it.))

What if they're already native speakers?

It's basically like the Exposure rules for acquiring a language (p. 163), but you get 4 xp per season instead of two, and you can take it any season that you don't take Exposure for another ability. And you get it up to (I think) Level 4. Although the book says 5, under Practice for a language (p. 164). I quit giving my people the Exposure at Level 4, but now I'm not so sure.

I know I would benefit from a restatement of the advancement house rules in this saga - sounds like a few clarifications might be helpful all around. It seems like this is a busy week for Jonathan (for everyone actually), but I trust that these details about grog advancement will stay on the radar.

Actually did a find on the House Rules page, and the rules for exposure for French are as I remembered. 4 xp per season Exposure, unless you take Exposure in something else that season (e.g. Corpus, Magic Theory, or Teaching), up to a level of 4. Once you hit French: 4, you don't get that exposure anymore.

Just below that is the Advancement rules for statted-out grogs and Companions: 30 xp per year (10 xp per season for three seasons, with one season free), plus any xp you get for adventures. Although JL did say in that post that "specialists will advance much more slowly, based on a formula to be explained below", but I don't remember seeing that laid out yet.

Thanks, it's all clear now :smiley:
I wasn't aware of the 30 XP/year (it'll be good to know when I advance Adeline and Helest. Scratch that, I'll have forgotten it by then), and I see now where I got the 45XP from (I thought the 30XP per year were in addition of the 15 to craft wool)

It stands to reason.
Companions are supported by the covenant, and thus can be assumed to have 4 free seasons, like the magi.
Stated grogs can be assumed to be favorites of magi, exempted of normal duties.

But, as gerg and I discussed above, this breaks down with actual workers, like specialists, that are supposed to work. It also has the drawback of increasing covenant resources at an unnatural pace.
This is problematic here: Who is played? Who ain't? Pierre surely is, but, as I understand it, he also counts as a specialist for covenant purposes, for example.
I'm gonna get an aspirin :laughing:

My rule of thumb is: if they have a character sheet, they're being played. Or have been played and abandoned.

My rule of thumb is: if they have a character sheet, they're being played. Or have been played and abandoned.

Thanks for bringing my attention to the bit about the specialists - I hadn't realized that before. That makes sense ... no buying a Craft: Stone 1 dude and letting him get limp his way up the pay scale.

Let me remark explicitly that I didn't factor in any cost savings from Pierre or his assistants (or Gaston or Eloise) to covenant expenditures. Originally Mons Electi spent 5 build points on a weaver/tailor (who turned into Pierre), but those bp got reassigned (to part of a vis source that amul and I are in the middle of introducing) when I took over Pierre. So there's no danger in not treating Pierre as a specialist, from this angle.

Still, one can surely ask (as Fixer has done) what's the right way to handle XP for these characters in workshops. With my spreadsheet numbers I've suggested this hybrid approach: work out the workshop totals season by season, but let the people's XP be an abstract 30 per year.

Note that you're not "working 2 seasons." What you're actually doing is attempting to generate 36 labor points. Those labor points are what you need in order to keep the workshop financially viable. In the context of a covenant, that means that once your workshop generates 36 labor points, you've provided the standard cost reduction mentioned in Covenants.

The point of working out these numbers is so that you can decide what you're doing with the EXTRA numbers.

Rashid's silk workshop, for example. I have set it up so that it starts off as a Trivial/Poor Income Source -- actually, I have it set up so that it is one step BELOW that, really. Rashid needs to generate 36 labor points a season in order to produce viability (0mp and sanction from Viscaria to keep working). Once he generates enough labor points, he can spend the excess on innovation, or increasing the success of his shop. He can also attempt to generate his labor points in exciting ways -- for example, crafting a wonderous item. But if he wants to provide cost reduction to the covenant, then he needs to spend 36 labor points to do it.

Edit: By that logic, I suppose he could spend ANOTHER 36 labor points to earn income AND generate cost reduction, but as the system currently stands, that would be an impressive feat to pull off every year.