RoP:M Questions about dragons and ghost


I'm reading RoP:M these days, and trying to build a dragon near my player's covenant. For this, i try to understand how is built Polymathes, the Draconic Librarian (p. 76). I cannot get how Polymathes got Presence:8, and also Intelligence: 5 and Perception: 4. Also, some of the flaws seem to be missing: there is no balance between virtues and flaws.
So, did i miss something? Or is there a big on Polymathes?

Also, about the ghost chapter, i think i read somewhere that many ghosts just simply forget each day what happened the day before. But i cannot find any word on this in RoP:M. Or maybe i just dreamed reading this?

Thanks for your answers :slight_smile:

My best guess is that the box on page 34 may explain some of the otherwise inexplicable statistics. IMHO there are too many for them to be mere typos or errata. I'll try reverse engineering some more Magical Creatures (especially Polymathes...) and will let you know if I find out anything useful.

Concerning ghosts yes, "Ghosts in Ars Magica" (TMRE, pg 72) does state that: "

And that

I think this might refer only to nonintelligent ghosts though...

Polymathes isn't balanced as a player character would be. There's text in the Dragons section to the effect that the bigger and more powerful dragons simply break the rules. Polymathes is one of that sort.

Mmm. I suspect that much of the discontent with RoP:M arises because, because the rules are designed to be balanced for PCs, people perceive them (rightly) as being one set of rules for PCs, one for NPCs, and that breaks the sense of cohesion of the setting. For myself, I just decided that the book presents ways of creating and stating magical creatures, and that there's an optional framework to be used if a PC wants to have Might which has nothing to do with the setting but is purely an artifact of the game. And now I like it all.

This would clash with for example the Caananite Necromancy assumption that summoning the right ghost is a means to learn the magic. I like the idea of summoning and learning from ghosts.

I would recommend that if you are going to include him in a saga, you increase his starting Might to something like 65 and give him additional Qualities like Improved Characteristic and make some of his extraneous Virtues Qualities as well, to explain these extra advantages. Storyguides shouldn't feel like they have to balance a character that is just intended for a quick session, of course, but there's no reason why it can't be built like this using the rules, and I would argue that it should in this case because there's always the possibility it will become a recurring character.

Well, thanks for your answers.
I think i understood how it could be done:
To rebuild Polymathes (or build any dragon like Stallatus or my old Sigusen), one can use a high Magic Might score and use the inferiority "Reduced Might".
Here is a lil math:
X = Original might score (used for building purpose)
Y = final might score (used for game purpose)
N = number of time the minority "Reduced might" has be taken
M = number of qualities available for building purpose
S = Size
Using sufficiently high numbers X and M, you can pretty much build anything a DM might dream on.
Y = X-S-N
M = X+N
Then, just use as much as qualities needed to get these high abilities.

The way I look at it is that we build characters at a certain power balance for the moment they enter play. As play progresses, elements of balance can diminish as characters initiate mysteries, have incredible luck studying from vis, etc - not to mention that seasonal advancement is more generous than basic starting XP limits unless one goes the route of extremely detailed chargen.

I don't think that characters like Polymathes truly break the rules for character generation and advancement - they just assume that some advancement has occurred off-screen before the character arrives. His virtues and flaws don't balance? Somewhere along the way through eternity, he's used Transformation to eliminate his flaws or gain more virtues, becoming more perfect. It's right there in the game mechanics that this can be done. Player characters do it through progression, some NPCs have already gone through the process.

I like Sigusen also. He is like Polymathe's cooler older cousin :smiley:. How would you reccomend reconstructing a dragon such as Pan Caudrax? He has an incredible might score, 75, and I don't want to lower it because I feel that he should be on par with arch-magi.