Rough ideas for a magus -- would love feedback

Hi there,

Our beta storyguide is running a "mini-series" story set in the Levant, and has tasked me to create a magus with the Gentle Gift and Favors to French Magi. The SG needs me to be the communicator of the group. That's all I have to go on, so I've been thinking about what I'd like to play. I'm considering the following, and would love to add a bit more flavor to round him out. I haven't locked into a sense of what makes him tick personality-wise.

I should preface this by saying that I know next to nothing about the Levant tribunal, Levantine politics, or the Christian Kingdoms in the Levant.

I"m considering a "horse-whisperer"-type character. Very early in life his abilities with animals were recognized, and he ended up working peripherally with the crusade / Christian Kingdom supply trains. The horses and hounds thrived under his touch, despite the brutal conditions of desert warfare. The boy was not only good with animals, but good with figures as well, and he quickly became integral to a local lord's military and commercial success. Due to his gentle gift, his supernatural abilities were recognized late. A local Tremere with ties to the Lord took him under his wing, and he eventually left the service of the Lord. In exchange, the covenant that my magus joined began raising and supplying the lord with powerful and healthy horses as a source of income.

Now, 10 years out of gauntlet, the Magus travels the lands, hunting down rumors of supernatural animals that he can befriend and/or study. He may have a magical animal companion, or perhaps is a skinchanger. He serves as a scout for his House. He is well-traveled and is comfortable amidst different cultures. The Entrancement virtue might fit, the way a snake or wolf can stare so intently (or perhaps Piercing Gaze, but Entrancement sounds like more fun.)

So... I see what he does, but I'm not sure who he is. What's his weakness? I can't find the hook to his personality / humanity. "Overconfident" could work.

I'm also slightly concerned that I'm trying to jam the horse-whisperer archetype into the "communicator" need of the saga. Guys that are really good with animals tend to hang out with their animals instead of other humans. I'm less concerned about this though, since, having written the above, it feels like it holds together.

Anywhoo, I invite your thoughts.


Alexander of Jerbiton (MoH p.6ff) is Gentle Gifted, travels the desert and has a lot of Animal magic. It might be worth looking him up.

You do not yet address, how your magus works both within the hierarchy of House Tremere and with the Christian nobles of the holy land. How do those two areas of contacts and loyalties work together? How does he relate to them: as a scout, animal handler/squire, knight, diplomat/communicator or other?



The problem is that the character begins with what your GM wants. Although these GM wants can be satisfied, you really need to start with what you want: Who do you want your character to be? What do you want your character to want? What kind of personality do you want to rp?

Start here, and the rest will fall into place, unless you really don't want to play a face who owes favors.

To paraphrase Tytalus, we can arm you with good questions to consider, but cannot answer them for you.

At least not without ReMe (cast at Range: IC).



I would agree with this. Set aside the few points of inflexible V&F and then develop a character you like. You have a reason for the favors that should be able to work with quite a few concepts. Take Ovarwa's advice.

I would advise you not to try to do everything with Virtues like you seem to be doing. Entrancement doesn't do much for a magus that can't be done better with something like a decent Mentem score along with Deft Mentem or similar. With Entrancement you'll end up burning a ton of experience without getting much for it. Generally you want to avoid Supernatural Abilities with Hermetic magi, or just take a single one with a Minor Virtue to fill in in a way that complements what's going on. If you really want a handy Virtue to go along with what you've got, I would consider Gift of Tongues or Linguist.


This is good advice about creating a magus, in general. All those virtues that might go for Supernatural Abilities might work far better as Strong Parens, providing you some useful spells that are probably at least as powerful as the Supernatural Abilities. There are some exceptions, but Entrancement is probably not one of them. Subtle/Silent Magic is also useful in social settings.

(I admit that I like some Supernatural Abilities on magi: Second Sight as part of SFB is nice. Shapeshifting is expensive but extremely versatile; not optimal though. In general, spells are better.)



One thought might be to go the apprentices book route, at least to a degree and start him with the Virtues/Flaws he had as a child and then "convert" some of them to Hermetic ones, to get an idea how the character evolves from child to magus.

Animal Ken might be an idea.

Domestic animals is listed as a Major Magical Focus. Could be a potent magic choice.

Compassionate (to animals) or oversensitive to animal mistreatment might be workable flaws.

If he did well on his own as a child and adolescent his personality might be something like self reliant or confident. He sounds rooted in a place, passionate about his home area and culture.
Trained by House Tremere he may also be ambitious, or have some driving goal. The questio is whether it is about doing something, or about rising in rank.

Animal ken sounds good, to be able to speak to animals. I really like the idea about Potent Magic (domestic animals). Even though the character may have had supernatural virtues as a child, these may have been converted to something Hermetic (or lost) during the Opening of the Arts. Magi may be better off relying on magic rather than supernatural abilities. Maybe keep one key ability, but otherwise it may be a point sink.

You cannot have two hermetic Major virtues (the character already has Gentle Gift). You cannot have two Magical focus (a Tremere Magi MUST have a magical focus for Certamen).

I know you can't have two foci - that's why the Potent Magic Virtue (from TMRE) was mentioned, I guess I should have capitalized it in the original post. :blush:

It was also mentioned the magus was "10 years out of Gauntlet" which would allow for time to acquire a second Major Hermetic Virtue by Initiation, Twilight or some other method.

Also, I had originally included a musing on whether or not a minor focus/potent magic field covering just the hawks, hounds and horses (sporting animals, maybe?) might work, but I ended up deleting that part for possibly being too contrived to be worth debating.

Hey Everyone!
Thanks so much for your thoughts and ideas.
I agree with the tough spot I'm in, trying to shoehorn an idea of mine into the needs of the GM. But, if that's what he needs for us to tell some good stories for the next few sessions, I'm cool with it.

I generally don't worry too much about whether a supernatural ability is a point sink if the same effect could be accomplished with spells... If it fits with the archetype, that's what I want. I don't sweat the points. We don't roll a lot of dice in our games anyway. So a puissant Animal guy who could stare people and animals down since before he could talk has a "cool" factor that appeals to me.

Animal Ken -- yup
I will look up the Potent Magic rules.
Compassionate (to animals) is a really good thought, which might help me shape how he thinks in general.

I should note that he doesn't need to be Tremere at all, so if a magical focus on domestic animals and/or horses will help me crack him.... I'll find a different House. The Tremere idea came from the idea that the House found him to be useful, due his connection to the local military in the Levant. They can use that to their advantage (the Guernici won't notice, right?)

Again, thanks for all of your thoughts. I welcome more.

For me, the choice of House comes down to how you see your character temperamentally. My thoughts based on broad House stereotypes:

Bonisagus (Bonisagi) - Sort of a Dr. Doolittle; loves talking to and studying animals and helping people
Bonisagus (Trianomae) - Interested in relationships between all living things as a problem to be solved
Bjornaer - Is, in some ways, both a person and an animal, considers both peers
Criamon - "It's not that animals don't lie -- they can. But unlike man, from even the lie of an animal you can discern some truth about the world."
Ex Miscellanea - When the animal powers sit sort of adjunct to the hermetic powers
Flambeau - Just here for the crusade, man; let's set something on fire
Guernicus - Following the rules is really important
Jerbiton - Likes talking to things and/or the beauty of the natural world
Mercere - The most interesting thing is communication.
Merinita - Interested in mythical and fantastic animals from stories
Tremere - "I serve the Order and House Tremere."
Tytalus - Way more cunning than he looks, has a plot going on everywhere; even the animals are in on it
Veriditus - not 100% sure how this would fit, unless the magus was a big maker of CrAn potions or something

Personally, given what you've said I'd make the character as one of the following:
A) A Mercere whose gift was missed for a while because of the Gentle Gift, and was training to be a Redcap before the Gift fully manifested, and so is interested in delivering messages rather than item-crafting or mutandum magic.

B) A (mostly) pacifist Bjornaer who sees all creatures as equals.