Proposed Rulings for New Campaign

Why? In earlier edition, that was one of the main strengths of the Hermetic system - that knowledge could be written down and shared with students born long after the original author's death. In 5th, anyone with the right skills could so now that restriction is mostly based on tradition.

Depending on what exactly you mean by this. I assume you mean the guidelines suggested in Covenants? Then yes, books are a bit cheap.

Get metacreator.

Much less pronounced in ArM than in most other games I've seen.
It still exists ofcourse, in some books more than others, but yeah.

No comment.

Why? Are you hunting for that myth more elusive than the White Hart, namely Game Balance?
These choice balance out if you run more than a few stories. If your sagas span decades, commin straight from the Gauntlet is usually an advantage.

What is the problem you're trying to handle here?

This is RAW - though if you're playing troupestyle, make it a troupe decission. That's not my impression though?

That's in the errata, isn't it?

Talk to Christian Andersen he can explain them so they make sense.

Why? This seems silly and pointless. Especially since magi are (typically) are even worse equipped than companions to deal with infatuations..

Why? I agree that the combination can be nasty, but just one of them?
As for the Verditii with Puissant MT, those are common as dirt. I tend to look to see if they have both Puissant MT and Affinity MT - those are the specialists.

Flavourful, but if you're so worried about powercreep and overpowered characters, why not just use the core book alone?

...I assume you meant the reverse of what you wrote?

Despite leadworker being perhaps less well-phrased than Chaotic Magic? Impressive.
Oh well, the author did clarify here on the forum.

Yeah... we used to play like that. Don't unless you love SGing Twilight episodes.

Why? I dont necessarily disagree, but I'd like to know your reasons.

Why not? They are extremely flavourful, while rarely being truely worth it, because you have to spend so much time on your lab if you want a serious bonus.
Just prevent labs the size of footie fields and you should be good.

We usually have them as PCs these days, adding an 'Apprentice slot' to the "Magus + Companion" constellation.

That's quite strict. Someone mentioned dramatic links to the covenant, I vastly prefer that one.
Also, 2 other companions and 2 other magi? How big is your troupe?

Why not? Given a sense of ownership and you can get that player to do the book keeping.

Or practice, presumably.
I'd also assume they can be taught, even if they cannot teach.
Now, by p. 37 grogs cannot have the Gift, so obviously they cannot assist in the lab.
Unless you allow grogs to be failed apprentices, but you were already restricting that one.
Just throwing out a thought here: Failed apprentice with Affinity MT and Puissant MT.

get metacreator.

You really shouldn't have to, but yes, they are.
PCs tend to be a little more OCD about things, that's about it.
OCD is not uncommon in the order, and while it is generally left untreated, it appears to be actively encouraged in certain houses.

So, if I use magic (probably MuTe) to weaken an opponent's weapon, the same applies?

RAW would be: Must penetrate per normal penetration rules. Items created ritually (D: Momentary) are not magical and so need not penetrate.

As mentioned, these are RAW.

Harsh. Probably overly so.
Though I agree that Item penetration is 'too good'. I would probably impose a limit based on MT - would keep the Verditius still in the game.

This is RAW

agreed but not realistic :wink:

Agreed, though please note that by RAW this (MaxMight) is reduced by might strippers.
If magical being are created (by you) as full characters, I can recommend the Major Immunity (Might Strippers) virtue.

I'd have just banned them instead, but to each his own I suppose.

Why? Keeps down book keeping, what else?
Doesn't solve the main problem with multi casting, namely Might Strippers.

Then they must be dispellable, which momentary spells are not. Just do away with them if you really think they are so nasty.

Previous editions added the Size of the horse, not the Strength.

Oh, and - multiply the Magic Resistance of critters. To Might x2 at least, perhaps more. I'd also suggest further boosting the MR of spirits of places within their places (genii loci, faerie lords, forest spirits...). In fact, I'd suggest simply saying that MR of critters will be set by you, so that you'll have the flexibility to change your politics as the saga develops and you see what your PCs are capable of, and what they're not.

IF you want Parma to be effective, you might want to change that too. Parma is already good at blocking hedge wizards and critters, but Hermetic magi have obscene penetration. An archmagus can probably regularly cast a killing spell with penetration exceeding 100 (much more if he puts effort/raw vis into it), while I reckon his MR would be around 45 in some relevant combinations (Form 15, Parma 6), perhaps 70 if he's lucky (Form 40) . So a battle between magi is like a shooting contest of who shoots first. If you don't like that, you can try massaging the mechanics - but the truth is, it's quite difficult to strike a balance.

Laertes, you've opened Pandora's box. Hope you know that now. :smiley:

I'm of two minds on this. Doing this should be done with caution, and I would only do it if you find your magi are regularly battling Hermetic enemies. In most cases this shouldn't be, because while the Order may be competitive, by and large, the members of the Order do not go out and attack their fellow magi. Wizard's War exists, but even the greatest Archmagus can botch...

Firstly: It appears that my idea regarding aura was a bad one. Thinking about it, yes, it basically makes high auras uninhabitable by magi, which is definitely not something that's particularly within the flavour of Mythic Europe. Thank you to pretty much everyone on this point.

I am also interested that my views on the Realms of Power books (which I thought had some nice bits and pieces here and there, amidst the This-is-nice-but-does-not-apply-to-Hermetic-Magi content) and my views on Covenants (which I thought was complexity for its own sake) seem to be the inverse of the consensus here.

If I haven't addressed it below, then I have read it but didn't want to make a post much longer.

Alas; this seems to be a worse problem than pink dot, and off the top of my head I can't think of a reconciliation. Given the choice between a world of perfect pink dot defences and a world where parma is dangerous, I might have to take the cop-out solution of abandoning hard-and-fast rules and applying rule 7, much as I loathe doing so.

Having different rules for each type of generalised magic resistance seems like too much work for too little benefit. I'd apply the same rules to each.

I like the rules for books in vanilla ARM5 (simplicity is an oft-forgotten virtue in game design), but your ideas intrigue me and it's definitely something I'd enjoy playing around with.

I don't dislike books; the image of wizards studying from books is a powerfully iconic one. I just dislike strongly dominant strategies. IMHO, a book should grant a lower advancement total than either teaching or experimentation. It's strength comes from the fact that many people can read it over the years, making it grant more XP over its lifetime and meaning that it's a good long-term investment.

The "Mythic Europe" books (The Church, City & Guild, Art & Academe, Lords of Men) are magnificent and flavoursome, and I definitely want to encourage their use as they can anchor characters into the world around them. With regards to ROP:M, there are a handful of virtues and flaws out of it that I think are quite fun (Magical Blood, Atlantean Magic, the one which lets you refine form vis rather than Vim) and which I'd be sad to have to disallow. Everything else... sure. Can it, especially at chargen.

Combat systems are usually the low point of their respective game; it's something I'm used to as a GM. However, as David Chart et al have worked hard on this one, I'd like to give it a chance and see how it performs.

It's for me, rather than for them. This isn't a document I'm going to present to my players; rather, this is to work out in my mind which rulings seem to be the most sensible in various situations, so that when they come up, I can come out with an answer which is thought-through and has been moderated by people who understand the ramifications of the system. Much as I would love to be able to bust out spontaneous rulings with the wisdom of a forum full of grognards, I'm not able to do so and consequently I try to find workarounds.

Naturally, if the players come to me and say, Laertes, we'd prefer a different ruling, then I'm happy to discuss this. (The same applies for RAW and the Limits of Hermetic Magic.)

I didn't actually have any particularly strong reasons for this ruling; it just seemed like the right way to close the loophole of "I hire the worst grogs in the world and then up their stats to +3 permanently." Warping seemed a sensible way to handle this.


Hmmm. Possibly some multiple of that, then? I'm hesitant to let people arm their grogs with wands of massively high penetration and use them to kill wizards as that's not as flavoursome as engaging in magical duels.

I'm convinced. Your position may not be RAW but it creates a far more interesting world, where people make complex talismans right off the bat and then upgrade them constantly across their lifetimes. I'm going with that, unless there's any unforeseen consequences anyone knows of (and there are ALWAYS unforeseen consequences)?

In my previous campaign, that list was heavily oversubscribed, and most players who missed them on their initial chargen later confessed that, given the chance, they would go back and add them. It just seemed pointless. To me, an obviously right choice is an artefact of bad game design (which Ars Magica is mostly blessedly free of). Better to give everybody +2 to lab totals than require everybody to take a flaw to balance out their Puissant Magic Theory.

Regarding Verditius, I realise that they need a strong lab total. It just seems, to me, to be a story/mechanics disconnect in that these are more characteristics which you'd expect a Bonisagus to have. Verditius should be friendly, quarrelsome and crippled, not shy, bookish and theoretically-inclined.

Ask my L5R party as to whether I'm afraid to kill characters when their time is up. evil grin

In most games I've run, I have tried to strike a balance between "player characters can't die, but everyone they kill stays dead... somehow" and "Aragorn dies at the start of the campaign due to a bad die roll, now half my plot is pointless".

In a lot of fights, where I'm using them as pacing or as filler or as catharsis, I will simply handwave any serious injuries to PCs. In more serious fights, or ones which the PCs have gotten into via their natural PCish curiosity, I don't want to kill characters but also don't want to deprive them of some consequences for their actions. If nothing else, "kill that magical boar that took my leg" is an amazing character motivation.

My one lament is that PCs always fight to the death. A saga in which villains were allowed to surrender, and PCs willing to do so, would be incredibly fun in a comic-book recurring-villain fashion. Alas, this sort of cold-blooded ruthless cruelty seems inherent in the roleplaying hobby.

I like that; it also adds some inherent mystery to it, and makes Twilight less Random Number God-dy. (Which it is, to a terrifying degree).

My instinct as regards temporary twilight durations is to take advantage of troupe style play and get the player to play a grog while his wizard is elsewhere. I don't know if this works or not.

I haven't actually played with them. I went through the Covenants book, looked at them and said, "My word, these add a great deal of complexity at an early stage of the game, which is just when players are already wading through enough other complexity."

If they don't slow down play or force player characters into overspecialisation traps, then I'm entirely happy to use them. Possibly start with the labs rules disallowed, and then phase them in as the covenant gets back to its feet?

My own opinion on "non nutritious" is that, from a metagame perspective, you don't get to have sealed systems; a covenant needs either peasants or vis. Explaining this within the Hermetic context can be done through various means.

Familiar advancement was something I'd missed completely. My instinct is to handwave it as you do. It's not as though, with enchanting the bond and suchlike, there isn't enough room in the familiar rules for people to have fun.

I like that. Serf's parma on whether I use it or not - I'm going to have to go and reread Covenants.

Casting tablets will not be used. I shall add that to the list above. Thanks for the heads up.

I'd always assumed that there was an Exalted-style timings system at work here:

Step 1: Work out advancement total, including affinities et al.
Step 2: Apply XP from advancement total.
Step 3: Work out bonuses from Elemental Magic, Secondary Insight, et al.
Step 4: Apply that.

Step 4 does not trigger a further round of Step 3. That always seemed fairly intuitive to me.

I'd be happy for the mage to take a variant wherein they were the ones who suffered the woes, rather than inflicting them on innocent bystanders and then hiding in their labs.

That's a very neat solution. I'm not sure that it fits the problem in question - I like XP-manipulation Virtues, but I dislike "mandatory" virtues, the ones which are obviously correct choices.

Both good ideas. Unsure which to go with.

Chris, you're a genius. This looks like it might actually...

...wait for it... an elegant solution. I am definitely stealing this.

Game balance is something I'm ambivalent about - the search for balance creates problems worse than imbalance. On the other hand, I want players to feel that their characters are balanced against one another, at least at character creation.

I've not had the problem come up, but it's occurred to me that having a laissez-faire attitude to character switching might lead to a single player juggling through a stable of PCs. Needless to say, I feel that this is a Rule 7 violation.

I've already had one player come up to me excitedly and say, "Hey, if I get into a really good Twilight, I can pick up a whole load of Major Hermetic Virtues! I wonder which ones I should get first?" I'm paraphrasing but only very slightly.

IMHO, Twilight should not be a cheap and reliable way of initiating virtues.

Regarding troupe style, I would love to run in a more troupe style way. I'm hesitant to do it with a new party, however.

I like the concept of a continuum of safety vs power, because it offers a real choice with no obvious right answer. In this case, you gain about half again as much XP by doubling your chance of a botch. Is that worth it? Flambeau McBlowStuffUp and Criamon McTwilight might believe one thing; Bonisagus McWriteBooks and Jerbiton McNotActuallyDoingAnyMagic might take a different angle. That's an interesting choice that I want to give my players, because it shows off their characters' attitudes to magic.

Six players. Dramatic links to the covenant is an alternate idea and a good one. I wanted to have the links to 4 other characters so that, on average, any given combination of characters is a moderately coherent party. However, if the character has a good reason to stick around and help the covenant, I'd be okay with them having fewer links.

Hmmm. Fair point. My reason for wanting grogs to be communal is in order to foster a Paranoia-style sense of black comedy with Grog adventures. If they belong to you, you'll care if they die and then your wizards won't send them off like hunchbacked minions on pointless missions. And pointless "Go, my minions, do [this thing I could do in ten minutes]! And field-test this device while you're at it!" missions are something I want to encourage my players to do to their grogs.

More prosaically, I'm worried that making the player do the bookkeeping will put players off playing grogs.

If someone brings one of those to my table, the following dialogue will happen:

FAILED APPRENTICE: I'm an amazing lab helper.
TRIANOMA WIZARD: Indeed you are. Come to Durenmar and work for us.
APPRENTICE: What's in it for me?
TRIANOMA: Rego Mentem.
APPRENTICE: But I'm loyal to my employers.
TRIANOMA: Did you not hear me when I said Rego Mentem?
APPRENTICE: My previous employers will be very cross with you.
TRIANOMA: I can't hear them over the sound of everyone at Durenmar being pleased with me.
APPRENTICE: This is possibly a code violation.
TRIANOMA: Take it up with my puissant intrigue.

Actually, in retrospect, my first post basically flung every Pandora's Box on the forum open and invited people to take their pick.

Mea culpa, guys.

I thought I should also post something about the campaign idea. Anyone who thinks they're playing in it, please look away now; unless you've found this thread a long time after the game, in which case, that's kind of cool.

We're starting in whichever Tribunal my players would like the most(probably either Stonehenge or Iberia), with the classic story seed of "rebuild the crumbling, ancient covenant". There will be heavy Diedne stuff in the background of the covenant, plus some other odds and ends and a load of things which aren't related to the plot, but are just the relics of some old, insane, hate-filled magi having lived here for centuries, plotting against one another and carrying on their own weird, player-character-ish schemes. There'll be a number of dungeon crawls available within the covenant itself, together with the option to construct one's lab inside the ruins of someone's old lab. The aura, needless to say, is complex as hell after centuries of vis extraction, lab experimentation, ritual magic, and really menacing Merinita faerie stuff. All three surviving elder magi hate each other and will never cooperate with each other, although they'll gleefully help the PCs in their schemes. The Vis sources are all contested, the books are all sitting in people's sancta, and the covenfolk are showing signs of warping, inbreeding, and the results of Merinita Target: Bloodline creo corpus and creo mentem rituals.

Over time, the PCs learn that some of the weird stuff (not all, but some) is caused by Diedne survivors gradually unearthing old magics and buried treasures here. Yes, I'm running an infernal Diedne antagonist, although with the twist that most Diedne were not originally diabolists until the Schism war forced them to be less than fussy about their bedfellows. They're living on the epicentre of the resurgence, which of course is going to be slow, patient, careful, hidden, and designed to wipe the Order off the map.

Meanwhile, I will also be using the Amazons from Rival Magic. While slightly silly, the idea of covert strike teams attacking covenants to steal their stuff is very cool. I aim to cause paranoia, as covenants assume their mundane rivals and neighbours were responsible, and relationships slowly crumble into feuding and occasion all-out war. The Amazons are going to be played as subtle and militaristic, and very interested in stealing Hermetic magical secrets in order to integrate them into their own theories.

Both antagonist groups will be slow, patient and careful. Ideally the players won't realise that there are two different foes for some time, and towards the end the Diedne and Amazons will be fighting each other as much as the Order (which, by that time, may well be paralysed by paranoia, suspicion, infighting, and loss of resources.) I imagine that the game will run over about 100 years in-character, and maybe 2 years OOC, with weekly sessions consisting of 3-5 seasons and an adventure.

On Parma magic and the pink dot loophole there is the following get around eliminating the pink dot with as little alteration as possib Found it from a link in the FAQ on Parma Magic & the pink dot loophole on project redcap :smiley:

Also on this

Verditus I think often need the Hight MT for the Vis use in the lab, and the greater Shape and material bonus' it lets them apply - not just for the +2 Lab total...

I would keep things simple at first, and expand with supplements, later. If you need a document like this, what do the players need? You can think through all the answers you want, but something will always come up. What then? It's better to say to the players I'm going to rule extremely conservatively, but I expect and want you guys to come up with good arguments to the contrary. I put myself in a position of being convinced. Some at the table might agree with you, and some might not. And then there are the times everyone disagrees with you and you have to bend. Let the troupe have a bigger say in how things work.

They add a great deal of complexity, but they don't have to, and perhaps should not be added at the very beginning of play. In other words, don't use build points to specialize a lab, do it over time and create stories about the process. And as far as overspecialization traps, well, that's kind of the fun of things. I have a character with a lab created such that she can't enchant items. This will get rectified, eventually...

Why? Maybe that failed apprentice has hunger for (form) vis. I have a character like that. If someone brings a character ask him to make him at odds with his wizard. I do not advocate allowing a failed apprentice to slip into a grog spot, it should be a companion level character. If a player wants to play him, let him. He'll likely be stuck in the lab about half the time, in any event. He might also cause some inter-character conflict with magi trying to get him to work on their projects, and he turns to them and says, "What's in it for me?" Yeah, you can ReMe all you want, there are consequences for that kind thing, and if you're just going to say no because you don't like the Failed Apprentice with +5 Int MT of 6+2, adding 13 to a lab total, then you're treating the character as a lab addition. Treat the character as a character and make the player bring him to life. If he's not living up to expectations give the player a warning. If he still doesn't, have him redo it from scratch.

Also, let me add another thing you had originally mentioned if a player doesn't like his magus, that he has to play one through apprenticeship. I think this is problematic, especially with new players. Players are going to create designs that they like on paper but hate in play. There should be some flexibility in allowing them to change the design around a bit, or reintroduce a new concept at a later time, somehow. Playing 15 years as an apprentice is going to seriously sideline the player from the saga. Apprentices are outclassed in every department. Grogs fight, Companions companion, and magi work magic. Until the apprentice is nearly gauntleted, the apprentice is far weaker than all of them.

No need to apologize. Ars is vast. When I decided to take on SG duties, I decided to just take a very conservative view of the RAW, and allowed myself to get over-ruled. I've made some tweaks here and there over time... If something isn't working that's when it's time to institute a HR. If you know something won't work for you, same. If you're not sure, leave it until necessary. There are countless times I've thought something would work one way to find out it doesn't, and I'm glad I didn't HR it.

Saga specific stuff follows
I also recommend Normandy, which was home to the Diedne Domus Magna.

And IMS (here on the forum), I made House Guernicus possess the strike teams. :smiling_imp: What is worse than the enemy within?

I hadn't intended it to be a "you can only get a new magus from the apprentices" thing. It was rather intended as "if you want to take an apprentice to be your new magus, you can. Otherwise, an immigrant arrives." I agree that requiring someone to be boned for 15 years is not a lot of fun.

Goodness me!
Who'd want to waste valuable Vis like that?!
Grogs are replacable, Vis is valuable!

I'm trying to give a name to what I am hunting for. It isn't exactly "game balance". Perhaps something more like "in-game appropriateness"?

Take penetration for example. The core stats aren't that bad - the starting Fleambeau specialist can perhaps muster enough penetration with his killer-spell to penetrate through a Might 15 critter, perhaps Might 30 with his Pilum. That's fair enough, though perhaps a bit high. But now add in raw vis, or arcane and sympathetic connections, or wizard's communion - or all together! - and the sky is the limit. Suddenly he can dominate the godling or tell the saint to go take it up with his heavenly father in you-know-where. Not fun, IM(NS)HO. And of course, the problem only gets worse with age.

Is that unbalanced? Not really. But it doesn't feel right. It shouldn't be the case that you can affect the powers-that-be so easily. It shouldn't be the case that the boosts overshadow the wizard's basic power. The mechanics just don't ... feel right. They need some recalibration.

I would go with "genre consistency". The genre in question is that of the wizard in the pseudo-medieval setting, which we've all been carrying around in our heads since we were kids and read Tolkien. In this genre, we expect that there is such a thing as resistance to magic - we want our wizards and demons and dragons and what-have-you to be within sight of one another, flinging mighty powers at one another in an attempt to batter through their defences, and having to grit their teeth and dig deep in order to find the wherewithal to win. That's what our mental image of the world is. That's how we approach it. And it's cool.

When we discover that the rules of Ars Magica do not support this genre convention, and in fact encourage an approach to magical duelling similar to modern over-the-horizon artillery duels (where the first good shot ends the fight), then we feel that there's a conflict between how it behaves and how it should behave. The game is not consistent with the genre in which it takes place in our minds.

Similarly, other things like covenant boosting or might strippers are a problem not because they're powerful, but because they create a world which differs from our intuitive feel of what that world should be. I love Ars Magica partly because it gets a lot closer to avoiding this problem than any other game I've found (it even brings XP, the traditional bugbear of versimilitude, into the fold) but it's not free of such problems. Perhaps it's naive of me to believe that anything can be fixed entirely. Perhaps I'm tilting at windmills. Perhaps there's a gaming-appropriate version of Godel's Proof which prevents games being perfectly consistent with their own genres. All I know is that when I see genre inconsistency of this sort, it itches for tinkering.

Possibly because otherwise you're getting paid to play Alan_Rickman!Snape.


Just to throw in my two cents on this -

I think you put things a bit in reverse here. I like have penetration be effective when you've gone through the story events of gathering arcane and sympathetic connections or have gotten the covenant together to form a wizard's communion. I agree completely with you that it should be harder to affect supernatural creatures but I'd start with the basics, not the interesting enhancements.

I don't think the Covenants lab rules slow down play, because they are things that basically happen during down time. In play, all that you need to know is that each lab has bonuses or penalties to particular activities. If the magi are builiding new labs perhaps assign a few Virtues and Flaw to the labs, so that they can see the point, and then as the players get more experienced their magi can start to customise the labs.

Also, you might like to reconsider overspecialisation. IMO it isn't really a trap, its actually a good engine to drive stories with.

If my maga is over-specialised in, say, Herbam magic, it:

gives the troupe an excellent rationale for NPCs to approach her with Herbam orientated problems,
gives a really good rationale for her needing to approach other PCs (or NPCs) for help to deal with problems outside Herbam,
gives me, the player, and her, the maga, the motivation to try to be creative with ways to use Herbam to solve problems that are more obviously solved with other Forms.

That's a good idea. I was going to start with some abandoned labs which could be recolonised, anyway, so by assigning a few Virtues and Flaws already, I can give examples of lab builds.

Since the general consensus seems to be that Covenants' lab system isn't as overcomplicated as it seems upon reading it, I'm becoming very inclined to give it a whirl.

I've always been hesitant about PC overspecialisation, because in my experience (to be fair, mostly in other games; but then my experience as a GM is mostly in other games) it leads to the following double-bind:

  • Plot can be solved by PC's specialism. PC solves it quickly, player becomes bored, whines.
  • Plot can't be solved by PC's specialism. PC does nothing, player becomes frustrated, whines.

The third possibility, where the PC can find a use for their specialism if they're clever enough, is the holy grail and I aim for it whenever I write a story, and sometimes I succeed; but the narrower the specialism the harder it is.

In my previous campaign, I had a player build a fairly munchkin Verditius. By fairly munchkin, I mean he built him correctly to gain the maximum possible lab bonus, and then came up with a character concept which stretched around that character's build. Took every possible disadvantage related to non-lab things, and minimised his usefulness in every situation not related to lab work. (Although we got him to do the longevity rituals anyway, due to his very high MT.)

Result? It basically made him useless. Every situation that could be solved by building a device would result in him saving the day while the rest of the party had nothing to do except look on admiringly. In order to avoid 80% of the players just sitting there and being bored, I ran plots which he couldn't solve with his lab total, which everyone else loved because they got to go around being subtle Trianomae and Gently Gifted Tremere and wonderfully wrathful Flambeau, but frustrated him because he was entirely useless, even in plots specifically involving him. So he retreated to the lab, basically becoming an NPC, which had the result of driving everybody else out of their labs because he was just better at enchantments than the other four put together.

Everyone took it in good humour, and we were all friends (and still are), and his plans to use the Verditius ability to steal the powers of creatures on that faerie from ARM5 that can grant immortality to women, coupled with a female-dominated covenant, led to a hilarious and memorable adventure in attempting to capture a faerie lord, but I felt it was my failing as an SG for allowing his character to get trapped in this fashion.

This is why I'm hesitant to permit things which lead to overspecialisation, because it can adversely affect the amount of fun players have. This may also be why I mention Verditius a lot in my initial post.

This is why I try very hard to limit the number of magi involved in an adventure, general rule of thumb is no more than two. This is where the Verditius player should be playing a companion, or grogs, and he can be play any number of roles. Magi need to be the star, or co-stars of the stories, but companions and grogs should be around and be played. If they upstage the magi in certain situations, all the better. :smiley:

This, in a nutshell, is why we encourage people to have multiple characters.
Almost exactly the classical school example even.

Very well put. I instructed my RPG experienced, but new the ArM troupe, to keep their characters within the "mythic medieval paradigm." I wish I had your first paragraph to read to them at the time.

ArM5 has a lot of stuff that can be overwhelming, particularly for players new to the setting and/or 5th edition rules. I think the trick with a new troupe is to phase things in gradually. I started by having them create grogs, did a pre-quel (how they met), then a recruitment by a covenant adventure. I designed the covenant. Then they designed newly gauntleted apprentices (actually we're playing thru the gauntlets now). After becoming magi, they'll have the opportunity/necessity to build their own sanctum and labs. Once they know what extra folks might be helpful, they'll design companions. Later, they'll have the opportunity to found a new covenant or chapter house.