Solo Play

Solo Adventures

Perhaps you have a really cool idea of a character that you really want to try out. Perhaps you are geographically isolated and you find PBP games annoying.

Of all the RPG systems available I feel that Ars Magica, with its emphasis on laboratory activities and seasonal studies, is ideally suitable for solo play.

A Covenant can be build and finances organized. A character can easily be created and each season planned and played out, research undertaken, spells and items invented.

However characters do not grow in a vacuum and there will come a point when the Covenants starting resources have been exhausted. What is needed is a method to determine those random events that make life interesting and to provide stimulus for further studies.

Below is a system I use to determine when adventures call forth the wizard from his tower.

Solo Play

Generate your character and Covenant as per the Core Rules. Perform each seasonal activity as per rules Ars Magica Core Chapter 10.

I recommend using the Covenant Finances rules in Sub Rosa (Issue 15, page 14) as the random fluctuation tables and Covenant resources are excellent story generators.

Also recommended are the Aura Variation rules. (RoP: M page 10)

At the beginning of each year roll;
Covenant Finances (if applicable)
Aura Variation (if applicable)
Adventures!

Step 1 Adventures!

Make a list of Character Story Flaws and Covenant Hooks and anything else you believe might generate stories. Some virtues (such as Guardian Angel or Gossip) are particularly suitable for generating adventures.

Each year:
For each Minor Story Flaw or Covenant Hook roll a Simple Dice
For each Major Story flaw or Hook roll three Simple Dice

1 An adventure occurs. Go to step 2
0 Bad omens. Add an extra botch dice to the next adventure that year.

A character may also choose to initiate his own adventure in which he selects from the various options and rewards. This is appropriate when seeking a specific reward.

Example Darius of Flambeau (Arm5 page 34) has the Story Flaw Enemies (Renounced Magus). He also has Hermetic Prestige and Driven which might also be suitable for generating stories.

The player rolls 7 Simple Dice (three for Enemies, ,one for Hermetic Prestige three for Driven), resulting in 0, 2, 4 & 0 & 3, 1, 8. An adventure is going to happen as Darius feels compelled to investigate rumors of a infernal hedge wizard.

Step 2 Adventure Difficulty

Roll a Stress Dice ignoring Botches.

1-3 Easy [tab][/tab] Base difficulty 6
4-6 Average [tab][/tab] Base difficulty 9
7-10 Hard [tab][/tab] Base difficulty 12
11-15 Very Hard [tab][/tab] Base difficulty 15
16-25 Impressive[tab][/tab] Base difficulty 18
26-35 Remarkable [tab][/tab] Base difficulty 21
35+ Almost impossible[tab][/tab] Base difficulty 24

The resulting number is the Base Difficulty of the adventure.

Example Darius of Flambeau. A 5 is rolled making this an average difficulty. The target numbers for the challenges should be 9 and the adventure should take a little over ten days.

Step 3 Origin of Adventure (Optional)

Roll a Simple Dice to determine the origin of the adventure. This is optional as it may be self evident depending of what Story Flaw/Hook was rolled. The difficulty rolled in Step 2 should be a guide for particular options.

Difficulty
Easy Average/Hard Impressive Harder
1 Nobility Knight Errant Local gentry Greater nobles Royal
2 Religion Friar Local priest, Monastery or Bishop Militant Order
3 Peasant local farmer merchant City Guild
4 Fae Knight Errant Local gentry Greater nobles Royal
5 Official village headman Tax collector Agent of Noble Papal Envoy
6 Criminal thief outlaws murder mystery assassin
7 Hermetic Mercere Own House Quaesitor Arch Magi
8 Covenant visit by mage nearby covenant far away covenant March
9 Natural storm wild animal disaster Plague
0 Supernatural ghost monster monster dragon

These are only suggestion to inspire creativity. There is no mechanical impact. Feel free to alter or come up with your own.

Example Darius of Flambeau. A 1 is rolled making this an adventure involving the Nobility. Perhaps the local lord takes exception to the sinister Darius wandering his lands.

Step 4 Timing

Roll a Simple Dice to determine when the adventure will occur during the year. This may modify the difficulty of the adventure as the environment is negotiated.

1-2 Spring
3-4 Summer
5-6 Autumn
7-8 Winter +1 to all target numbers
9-0 Character choice. This reflects that not all story events have to be dealt with immediately. Sometimes a Mage may wish to put off an adventure until convenient.

Example Darius of Flambeau. A 9 is rolled. Darius hears the rumors at the beguiling of the year but does not fancy tramping about the countryside during the dead of winter so he resolves to depart in the spring.

Step 5 Complexity

Roll a Simple Dice to determine the Complexity of the adventure. This will determine how many sets of challenges will be required to complete the adventure.

1-3 Simple One set of challenges
4-6 Complex Two sets of challenges
7-9 Very Complex Three sets of challenges
0 Roll twice on this chart

Example Darius of Flambeau. A 4 in rolled. This will be a Complex adventure with two sets of abilities being required.

Step 6 Type of Adventure

Roll a Simple Dice for each set of challenges determined in Step 5.

1-2 Social
3-4 Combat
5-6 Magic
7-8 Legal/Diplomatic
9-0 Character choice. This reflects that there are often multiple approaches of resolving conflict.

Example Darius of Flambeau. For the first set of challenges a 1 is rolled, a Social Challenge. For the second set of challenges a 9 is rolled making this Darius’s choice. While he would like to avoid conflict with the Local Lord he needs to play to his strengths so he elects to use Magic.

Step 7 Opt Out (optional)
At this stages having seen the challenge before him the character may decide to not proceed with the adventure. This is because the difficulty is too high, the rewards too low, or he does not have the right abilities to complete the challenge sets.

Having decided to opt out the character suffers whatever losses as seems appropriate based on the adventure premise.

Example Darius of Flambeau. If he passed on this advewnture the only likely consequence to Darius is another possible story in a future year (adding an extra dice in Step 1). However Darius does not back down in the face of danger!

Step 8 Proceed with the Adventure
Resolve each set of challenges rolled up in Steps 5 and 6

Each set of challenges has a number of abilities associated with it. The character must select three of the abilities and, along with an attribute of choice plus a Stress dice, against a target equal to the adventure difficulty in Step 2.

Social [tab][/tab] Combat [tab][/tab] Magic [tab][/tab] Legal/Diplomatic
Folk Ken [tab][/tab] Awareness[tab][/tab] Awareness [tab][/tab] Artes Liberales
Etiquette [tab][/tab] Martial [tab][/tab] Supernatural [tab][/tab] Law
Charm [tab][/tab] Brawl [tab][/tab] Realm Lore [tab][/tab] Organization Lore
Intrigue [tab][/tab] Leadership[tab][/tab] Parma [tab][/tab] Folk Ken
Guile [tab][/tab] Stealth [tab][/tab] Penetration [tab][/tab] Intrigue
Organization Lore [tab][/tab]Athletics [tab][/tab] Magic Theory [tab][/tab] Guile
Spell/Item [tab][/tab] Spell/Item[tab][/tab] Spell/Item [tab][/tab] Spell/Item

Notes:
These are Stress Rolls. One Botch Dice plus one for each Bad Omen (step 1).
All Organization and Realm Lore roll should be relevant to the situation.
Spell/Item [tab][/tab] Cast a spell relevant to the situation. Magnitude equal or greater than difficulty less three.
Easy [tab][/tab] Spell Magnitude 2 or Item with Lab total 15
Average [tab][/tab] Spell Magnitude 3 or Item with Lab total 20
Hard [tab][/tab] Spell Magnitude 4 or Item with Lab total 25
Very Hard [tab][/tab] Spell Magnitude 5 or Item with Lab total 35
Impressive [tab][/tab] Spell Magnitude 6 or Item with Lab total 45
Remarkable [tab][/tab] Spell Magnitude 7 or Item with Lab total 50
Almost impossible[tab][/tab] Spell Magnitude 8 or Item with Lab total 60

The character must select a different ability and attribute and cannot repeat the selection in this adventure until each ability and attribute has been used.

This means in very complex missions with several sets of challenges may well involve every attribute.

As with every adventure Confidence Points may be used to affect these rolls.

[i]Example Darius of Flambeau. He elects to do the Magic Challenges first. He selects Penetration 6, Parma 5, and Spell. Possibly a magical fight as occurred. As this is a hard adventure the spell must be of at least level 20. He scans his list of spells. While Leap of Homecoming is his most powerful it is difficult to think how this might be useful in the situation so instead selects Twist of the Tongue level 30). Darius is a little worried about the Social challenge to come so he reserves his best characteristics for them. He selects Stamina 0 for Parma and Dex +1 for Penetration.

For the Social Challenge he would like to have used another Spell but he has already applied that option so he selects Intrigue 3 (Plotting), and Folk Ken 2 and Guile 3 (Fast Talk). It seems as if Darius is not being entirely honest in his dealings with the local nobility. He selects Intelligence, Perception and Strength. How precisely Darius is going to use Strength with Guile (Fast Talk) may be worth some consideration but as he has a -6 to Social Rolls due to his Blatant Gift it may be a little academic. [/i]

Step 9 Determine Results.

The success of the adventure depends on the success of the three Abilities rolls in each of the sets of challenges in Step 8.

For each set of challenges;
Three Successes Select a Reward plus 5 experience points
Two Successes Select a Reward
One Success Select both a Reward and a Loss (or a Story Event)
Complete Failure. Select 2 Losses
Each Botch in step 10 Select an additional Loss

For each set of challenges the character gains one experience point and one confidence point.

[i]Example Darius of Flambeau. He rolls his dice against a target of 9.
Penetration plus Dex (6+1) plus Dice roll of 5=12 Success
Parma plus Sta (6+0) plus Dice roll of 3=9 Success
Spell Casting total of 37 plus Dice Roll of 0=37 Success

Intrigue plus Int (4+3-6) plus Dice roll of 7=8+3=11 Success
Folk Ken plus Per (2+1-6) plus dice roll of 5=2 Fail
Guile plus Str (3+2-6) plus dice roll of 0=-1 Fail

The spell casting roll was a zero so this is a possible botch. His botch dice are 2 (one base, two for Bad omens less one for Spell Mastery). He rolls a 3 and 4. Not a botch and his casting total is sufficient to get the spell successfully cast.

The Intrigue roll was initially a failure but Darius used a point of Confidence to add 3 to the result making this a success.

The Guile roll was a 0 so this is a possible botch. His botch dice are 3 (one base, two for Bad omens).He rolls a 0 and 8 and 0. A double botch is unfortunate for Darius.

The Magical challenge set has 3 successes giving a reward plus 5 experience points.
The Social challenge set has only 1 success and 2 botches. This gives Darius both a Reward and a Loss as well as two additional losses for the 2 botches.[/i]

Step 10 Rewards
For each set of challenges determined in Step 9 determine the rewards for successfully completing each challenge.

Pick from the follow effects.
Build Points. Gain a number of Build Points (Covenants page 5) equal to the Base Difficulty of the challenge divided by 2.
Remove a Flaw/Hook gained on previous adventure
Covenant Boon Minor temporary if difficulty between 3 and 7
Increase Minor Boon to Major temporary if difficulty between 10 plus
Covenant Boon Major if difficulty 12 plus
New Minor Virtue if difficulty 20 plus & Very Complex challenges
Reduced Time The adventure is completed faster than expected in Step 12

The Build Point option allows for enchanted items, Books, Money, Vis, or recruiting specialists.
Temporary effects last a number of seasons equal to the Base Difficulty
This list is not intended to be exhaustive. Players are recommended to be imaginative.

[i]Example Darius of Flambeau. He has two rewards. He select Build Points for a total of 9 points (difficulty 9 divided by 2 times 2 rewards). He recovers a Quality 9 Tractates.

He also gains 7 experience points and 2 Confidence points. [/i]

Step 8 Losses
For each set of challenges determined in Step 5 determine the possible outcomes for failing each challenge.

Roll on the table or Pick from the follow effects.
1-5 Build Points. Lose a number of Build Points (Covenants page 5) equal to the Base Difficulty of the challenge divided by 2
6 Warping Points. Number of Points equal to adventure difficulty dived by five (round up)
7-9 Wound Each person on the adventure takes damage equal to difficulty plus 5 plus Stress dice
10 Select from below

Story Flaw temporary if difficulty between 6 and 9
Covenant Hook Minor temporary if difficulty between 6 and 9
Increase Minor Hook to Major temporary if difficulty between 9 and 12
Covenant Hook Major if difficulty 12 plus
New Minor Flaw if difficulty 15 plus
New Major Flaw if difficulty 20 plus

Temporary effects last a number of seasons equal to the Base Difficulty
Damage may be soaked and healed in the usual fashion. A shield grog may take the wound in addition to his own.

It is anticipated that the nature of the Story Flaw/Hook being rolled in Step 1 should suggest the type of rewards and losses.

[i]Example Darius of Flambeau. Oh dear, 3 losses. He rolls a 2, 7 and 10. This costs him 5 Covenant Build Points, a wound and Covenant Hook.

The Build points costs Darius 5 points of Vis and 40 pounds of silver
He takes a heavy wound (difficulty 9 +5 + 6 stress dice less 5 points for armor).
He chooses the Story Flaw hospital local lord. This is a temporary flaw lasting 9 seasons.[/i]

Step 12 Time

The adventure take a number of days equal to the base difficulty (step 1) plus one day for each set of skill challenges plus one day for each failed ability roll plus one day for each botch in step 10

The time taken in adventures, as well as applicable healing time, should be taken in consideration when determining how much of each season is available.

Example Darius of Flambeau. It takes him 13 days in total to track down and deal with the hedge wizard. (9 for base difficulty plus 2 for both the challenges and 2 for the botches)

Conclusion
Weaving all the results from the above process into a cohesive story is well worth the effort.

[i]Example Darius of Flambeau. In the Spring of 1232 Darius of Flambeau hunts a hedge wizard hiding in the manor of Baron Ramon . A battle ensues with Darius the victor however he suffers a heavy wound and spends some Vis.

Unfortunately he is heavy handed in his dealings with Baron Ramon culminating in being caught trying to stuff the body of the hedge wizard into a small chest. Darius manages to buy his way out of further trouble however the Baron remains aggrieved. While Darius if confidant that the Baron will eventually calm down it might be worth avoiding his lands for the next few years. Perhaps he should do something about that.

The payment of so much silver will put his little covenant into financial distress.

He staggers home clutching his precious tractates vowing to get better armor or next time to bring along a shield grog.[/i]

3 Likes

Impressive! Very well thought out. I'll take it for a spin ... when I have the time :frowning:

One that isn't included is Mysteries. But they're easy enough to fit in.

You should be careful. I heard you can go blind doing this...

Thanks

My intention is that 'Mysteries is either a new source of adventures. The player initiates his own adventure to find a teacher, and then perhaps adventures for the required Quests/Travel.

Excellent !
I will test it, and possibly try to do something with macro and Excel (the poor's solution for lack of programming skills :smiley: ). It should not be too difficult since it involves mostly rolls and tables.

We're you able to give this a whirl?

OK, an example go using the covenant of Vernus (Spring covenant from ArM covenants chapter, I just used their suggested 300 pt build and put some texts in) and the sample Tytalus from the main book. De Falt of Tytalus has a good characteristic spread and useful spells so this might work.

Vernus
Regio (minor), Poverty (major), contested vis source (minor). Others aura x 2 (aura is +5), seclusion (minor) helps with walking away from mundane threats.
Library: Summae Manual of healing Corpus level 15 quality 12, The book of change Muto level 12 quality 12, Fundamentals of Illusion Im level 6 quality 21. Psychic self-defence, Parma Magica summa level 4 quality 10. Tractatus Perdo quality 11, Creo Quality 10, Rego quality 10, Penetration quality 9.
Lab texts: Mighty torrent of water CrAq 20, Incantation of lightning CrAu 35, Pilum of fire CrIg20, Leap of Homecoming ReCo35, Piercing the magical veil InVi20, Demon’s eternal oblivion PeVi10, Faerie’s eternal oblivion PeVi10, Griffin’s Eternal oblivion PeVi10, Aegis of the Heart ReVi 20, Veil of Invisibility PeIm20.
Vis: 4 pawns of Vim vis/year from a magic obelisk, contested by fae. The magi have to choose between stockpiling and having an Aegis at the start

De Falt ex Tytalus: Int 4, Per -1, Pre 0, Com 0, Str 0, Sta +2, Dex +1, Qik +1
Age 25
Confidence: 2(5)
V & F: LLSM, great intelligence, improved characteristics, life boost, piercing gaze, self-confident; painful magic, tormenting master, weak parens.
Personality: Argumentative +3, Brave +2, trusting -2
Soak: +2
Abilities: Artes Liberales 1(logic), Awareness 2 (ambushes), Bargain 2 (luxuries), Brawl 3 (grappling), Concentration 2(spellcasting), Guile 2 (spur of the moment), Intrigue 2 (conspiracies), Latin 4 (hermetic terms), leadership 2 (long-time followers), Magic theory 3 (mentem), Native Language 4 (arguing), Parma Magica 1 (mentem)
Arts: Cr 5, In 5, Mu 0, Pe 0, Re 5, An 0, Aq 0, Au 0, Co 0, He 0, Ig 0, Im 0, Me 9, Te 0, Vi 0
Spells:
Pains of perpetual worry CrMe20 +16
Posing the silent question InMe20 +16
Trust of childlike Faith PeMe10 +11
Aura of rightful authority ReMe20 +16
Scent of the peaceful slumber ReMe20 +16

He will need to roll 3 dice for tormenting master, 1 for region, 3 for poverty, 1 for contested resource = 8 dice/year.

Year 1 – 6,9,10,4,9,5,4,4 – bad omens but no adventure. 4 seasons to study! The covenant does without an aegis the first year to build up a stock of 4 pawns of Vim vis. He will read “fundamentals of illusion” (raise Im to 6), the tractatus on Perdo (raise Pe to 4(1)), study the text on “veil of invisibility” (Pe 4 + Im 6 + Int 4 + MT 3 + aura 5 = 22), and read the Manual of healing for one season when his colleagues aren’t reading it (raise Co to 4(2)).
Year 2 – 2,1,4,6,10,4,9,5 – 1 bad omens and adventure.
For adventure, roll a zero on the stress die – we ignore botches, so take this as easy, base 6. Origin is faerie knight (NB the faerie line uses the same titles as mundane nobility, so we will assume fae are of the courtly variety as the default). Timing is 10, character choice – he will head off at once!
Complexity – 7, very complex. Rolls 1, 5, 2 – Social, Magic, Social. 9 rolls will use all 8 characteristics + spell.
Social – Com + Guile, Pre + Intrigue, Spell – aura of rightful authority.
Magic – Per + magic theory, Qik + Awareness, Sta + Parma
Social – Int + Folk Ken, Str + Charm, Dex + etiquette.
Rolls 2 – fail by 2, 9 – succeed, 9 – spell goes off, 2 – fail by 2, 2 – fail by 1, 8 – succeed, 2 – succeed, 8 – succeed, 4 – fail by 1.
Social set 1 – get a reward. Magic – reward and a loss, Social set 2 – get a reward. He also gains 1xp and confidence point per set of challenges – oh damn! I forgot about using confidence, and this guy is a Tytalus so is self-confident. OK, 3 xp which goes into Awareness, and 3 confidence bringing his total to 8.
Overall 3 rewards, 1 loss. Roll for loss – it is build points. Use 1 reward to offset this. He will gain 6 build points – gain a 1 pt source of corpus vis and 5 points of stocks. Time is 13 days.
The story is of how a faerie knight makes an unusual challenge regarding the contested vis source, and makes a side bet offering them a new vis source for keeps if they win. De Falt succeeds at cunningly outwitting fae and uses “aura of rightful authority” to persuade a fairy-charmed mundane to switch sides. He does horribly when faced by fae magic (can’t understand or spot anything) but luckily his Parma saves him, and then the persuades local mundanes to help him win.
Change to covenant so far; 4 pawns Vim and 5 pawns Corpus in stocks, gain 1 pt source of Corpus Vis.
13 days is under a month so study totals not affected – he spends 3 seasons reading the Parma summae to reach level 3(5) and 1 season reading the muto book to reach 4(2).

Year 3 – 6,9,6,10,3,9,6,1 – 1 adventure with 1 bad omens. Difficulty roll 6 – average, difficulty 9. Origin 4 – Fae local gentry – OK, we’ll say it’s a more senior member of the Fairy court than last year, impressed by De Falt’s cunning. Timing – 10 – character choice – he’ll go straight away again, just in case he gets badly injured and needs to spend the year healing. Complexity 7, 3 sets again – he can’t catch a break from those pesky fairies! Types are 8 – legal/diplomatic, 6 – magic, 6 – magic. Obviously some sort of diplomatic dispute with the fae that goes magical very quickly. Again, all 8 characteristics + a spell will need to be used.
Legal/diplomatic – Com + Intrigue, Presence + Guile, Dex + Artes Liberales
Magic 1 – Int + Awareness, Perception + Magic Theory, Qik + Fairy Lore
Magic 2 – Spell (posing the silent question), Sta + Parma Magica, Str + Penetration
Results – 5+2=7, spends a confidence to succeed, 9+2=11 so succeed, 4 +2 =6, spends a confidence to succeed (as succeeding in all 3 is the way to get adventure xp)
Magic 5+6=11 so succeed, 7+2=9 so succeed, 9 +1=10 so succeed this set
Magic 2 – 8 so spell goes off, 0 so 2 botch dice – 7,9 so no botch but would need 2 confidence to succeed – he will let this one fail, then 6+0=6 – spends 1 confidence to succeed.
So he gains 3 rewards, 10 adventure xp, +3xp and 3 confidence, having spent 3 confidence. No change to confidence, so he could have had a clean sweep if he’d been willing to spend the confidence.
He will take build points, for 9/2*3 or 13.5, he will spend 10 on a 2 pt vis source and 3 points on silver stocks. After negotiating cunningly, he writes up the document beautifully with his neat handwriting, reads the mind of someone nearby to check what’s happening, this time he understands what is going on and reacts quickly, and proceeds to make his way out with the charter granting him a 2 point source of mentem vis and some fairy silver that doesn’t disappear in the morning.
Time taken =19 days (9 base + 9 challenges +1 fail), so less than 1 month – study totals unaffected.

He will put 5xp into faerie lore to get it at level 1(he’s earned it), 5xp into Me (to 9(5)), 3 xp into awareness (so now at 2 (6)). He spends his 4 seasons reading the penetration summa gaining Penetration 1(4) (mentem), 2 seasons reading the muto text (to level 8), 1 season reading the Parma book (3 (15)).

OK, from 3 year's play this is reasonably fun, but I can see a stress roll and high difficulty adventures being a nightmare early on. The having to use all the characteristics once before re-using means you roll some strange combinations as you cast around for something for a magus to use strength with. The time spent is barely relevant for young magi with books to read, a nightmare for older wizards wanting to do lab work. The whole thing is probably easier if you have a self-confident magus and you stockpile confidence on easy missions. Also, you need to spread your abilities a lot wider than the samples given in the book, and make a more skilled magus.

I can see magi spending the early years out of gauntlet focusing entirely on abilities, since there's so much call for ability checks.

Thanks for giving it a whirl. I appreciate the interest. Loved your play through.

the strange combinations of characteristics and abilities forces you to think in order to narrate combinations. It is a tool for sparking creativity. For example Com plus Athletics, perhaps you are arguing over a sporting event. Or Dex plus Legal Code. Perhaps there is a court case on a ship during a storm and jurists struggle to maintain their footing. Weaving these ideas into an adventure is a fun mental challenge.

While lots of different abilities are good they are not nessessary. There is an option to use a spell in each set of challenges. There is no requirement to pass every single challenge unless you really want to gain every possible reward. Also using confidence is a big game changer.

I did give a try and loved it. I am currently tweaking the rules to take in consideration impact of the Covenant, the ability to use more spells, and added a few rules to simulate borrowing books, buying tractatus and finding teachers, as well as deciding to go on adventure.

To test it, I created a magus fresh out of gauntlet, as well as a Spring Covenant and run 20 years, for a total of a dozen of adventures. I will try to post it during the coming days.

For the Covenant, I assigned three characteristics: Defense, Military resources and Reputation.
Each minor boon give a bonus of +1 in the relevant characteristics, each major boon, a bonus of +2.
Example: Heavy Cavalry (major boon) gives a +2 bonus on Military resources, Bedrock (minor boon) gives +1 bonus on Defense, Prestige or Hedge Tradition gives a +2 on Reputation (with the appropriate group of people)
Not all Boons will grant bonus, use common sense (any way, since it is for solo game, the whole rule set requires common sense as there is no point in cheating since it is just for fun).

These boni can be used only once a year to give a bonus to one roll. The whole bonus does not need to be used at once and can be distributed over several rolls. Again, common sense prevails for the use of bonus. Typically, Defense bonus can only applied when the adventure happens locally.

For spells, I am removing altogether Spells from the resolution table, however one spell can give a bonus equal to its magnitude to a roll. Each spell can only be used this way once per adventure.
To balance this boost to potentially all rolls, the overall difficulty is increased by 2 globally.
By adjusting this rule, I wanted to reflect that magus can do a lot of magic and also give some opportunity to tackle the highest challenges once mage can cast magnitude 7+ spells.

To use the Redcap network to source books and tractatus, I am using the following:
Order are placed during Spring and are fulfill whenever the item is sourced, at which point, paiment is due (as well as every year passing for borrowed items).

For Arts Summae borrowing:
Roots (5/15) are available for 1 pawn per year and takes 1d3 seasons to be delivered
Roots (6/21) are available for 2 pawns per year and takes 1d3 seasons to be delivered
Summae (Level: 10+1d10/Quality 15-1d6) are available for 2 pawns a year and takes 1d3 seasons to be delivered
Summae (17+1d6/13-1d6) are available for 3 pawns a year and takes 1d6 seasons to be delivered

For Skills Summae borrowing:
Roots (2/12), 1 pawn/year, 1d3 seasons to be delivered
Summae (5/10), 2 pawns/year, 1d3 seasons to be delivered
Summae (8/10), 3 pawns/year, 1d6 seasons to be delivered

The only way to acquire permanently books is by accruing Build Points, or by succeeding and getting a major boon and then use it to get Exceptionnal Book.

Tractatus are not borrowed, they are purchased at the cost of 1 pawn per tractatus.

  • Quality: 7+1d5
  • Availability: it all depends on how many tractatus on one topic the Covenant has. The more tractatus already owned, the more time it takes to find a new, relevant one.
    Less than 6 tractatus: available next season
    6-10 tractatus: 1d3 seasons to be delivered
    11-15: 1d6 seasons
    16+: 3+1d3 seasons

I always liked the idea of bringing a grog along on each adventure. Partly to broaden the number of abilities available but also to serve as meat shields for the magi.

Alas, a grog meat shield is necessary - as part 2 of De Falt ex Tytalus' story shows.

Next part – we now have 4 Vim, 6 corpus, 2 mentem vis in stocks.

Year 4 – 7,9,9,6,10,4,1,1 – So 1 adventure with +1 botch dice, 1 regular adventure
1st adventure difficulty 2 – easy, origin 3 – peasant, local farmer, timing 5 – autumn, complexity 10 roll twice 7 – very complex, 6 – complex. Types 2-social, 2-social, 2 social, 6-magic, 1-social. So an easy, 5 sets of challenges task involving a peasant which is mostly social. This task involves tracking down all of a dieing farmer’s relatives and talking to them, all to find out who should inherit. There are some magical shenanigans involving a magical birthright as well to account for the magic tasks.
2nd adventure – difficulty 6, average, origin 6 – criminal outlaws, timing 2 spring, complexity 10, roll twice – 5 complex, 10 – do I roll again? I assume so, so 5 and 3 – complex and simple. Total 5 challenge series. Types – 3 combat, 6 magic , 10 - choice, 10 choice, 3 combat- for the two choices, let’s take one social and one legal/diplomatic so it covers everything. This adventure involves fighting criminals, figuring out their magic edge, using diplomacy to discover what’s happenings, negotiating with the authorities and then a final violent showdown.

Springtime adventure
Combat – Per + awareness (Ambush speciality counts), Str + Brawl, Pre + leadership,
Magic – Spell (posing the silent question), Com + Magic Theory, Sta + Parma magica
Social – Int + folk ken, Dex + Intrigue, Qik + Guile
Legal/diplomatic – Int + Artes Liberales, Com + Guile, Spell – aura of rightful authority
Combat – Dex + Brawl, Pre + Leadership, Qik + awareness

Results – combat 4+2 – spends a point of confidence to succeed, 0 – botch dice 5,1 – no botch, fails rather than spend 2 confidence, and 1,1,2 so 8+2 success. 2 successes, gain 1 reward.
Magic – 8 so spell goes off, 8 +3=11 success, 9+4=13 success. 3 successes, 1 reward +5xp.
Social – 7+4=11 success, 3+3=6 spends 1 confidence to succeed, 9+3=12 success. 3 successes, 1 reward +5xp
Legal/diplomatic – 1 then 4 so 8+5=13 success, 7+2=9 success, 7 so spell goes off. 3 successes, 1 reward +5xp
Combat – 7+4=11 success, 4+2=6 spends 1 confidence to succeed, 7+3=10 success. 3 successes, 1 reward +5xp.
Also gains for 5 challenges 5xp+5 confidence, for net gain 2 confidence. He could have had the clean sweep if he’d dared to spend the confidence, as it is his confidence pool goes up to 10. 25xp = 5 into awareness 2(11), brawl 3(5), leadership 2(5), guile 2(5), Mentem 10. Build points 9/2*5=22.5. He recovers the book the outlaw chief was reading “On wizards and their magical treasures” Magic lore summa level 4, quality 10 (22bp). The book describes differing magical traditions, the vis they gather, the items they enchant and magical properties of common familiars.
Time spent 9+5 skill challenges +1 failure = 15 days, half a month so study unaffected.
Spring study – read corpus book raising Co to 6(3). Summer study – read book he looted to gain Magic Lore 1(5)

Autumn adventure – social 1 Com+Intrigue, Qik+Guile, Sta + Folk Ken
Social 2 Spell “posing the silent question”, Per + Etiquette, Pre + Charm
Social 3 Int+organization lore:church, Str + guile, Dex+Intrigue NB when you get three challenges of the same type, after 7 choices you’ve used 6 characteristics + all the ability choices and the spell choice. Needing to use up the other 2 characteristics, I’m reusing the 2 best abilities.
Magic Int + Magic Lore, Com + Magic Theory, Sta + Parma Magica
Social 4- spell “aura of rightful authority”, Dex+folk ken, Qik+charm

Results – social 1 8+2=10 success, 9+3=12 success, 5+3=8 success – 3 successes, 5xp+reward
Social 2 – 4 so spell goes off, 5-1=4 so spend 1 confidence, 5+0=5 so spend 1 confidence. 3 successes again.
Social 3 – 6+4=10 success, 6+2=8 success, 4+3=7 success. 3 successes.
Magic – 0 then 8 – no botch, total 5. Spend 1 confidence to succeed, 4+3=7 success, 4+5=9 success. 3 successes.
Social 4 – 3 so spell goes off costing fatigue, 0 then 7 so no botch – spend 2 confidence to succeed, 4+1=5 so spend 1 confidence. 3 successes.
Clean sweep using 6 confidence (with self-confident difficulty 6 rolls are no problem), 25 xp and 5 rewards. 5 xp for challenges + 5 confidence. Confidence pool down to 9. 30xp – 5 each into Intellego 5(5), Mentem 10(5), Intrigue 2(5), guile 2(10), folk Ken 1(peasants), Organisation lore:church 1(village priests). Rewards – build points 6/2*5 =15bp.
The peasant’s inheritance required a lot of talking to people, trying to figure out how to speak to priests about inheritance, plotting, mind reading, mind control and working out what the non-hermetic curse on the grove of trees in the middle of the field was. The reward is a 3 point source of Creo vis from the magic grove.
Time spent = 6+5 challenges=11 days.
Autumn study – parma magica book to 4(5).
Winter study – wrap parma around a shield grog, get them to train him in great weapon(staff) – assume a skill of 5, our mage gets 8xp so great weapon(staff) 1(3)

Stocks – 4vim, 7 corpus, 4 mentem, 3 creo. New books “On wizards and their magical treasures” Magic lore summa level 4, quality 10. Vis sources – 4 Vim (used for aegis), 1 Corpus, 2 mentem, 3 Creo.

Updated sheet after year 4:
De Falt ex Tytalus: Int 4, Per -1, Pre 0, Com 0, Str 0, Sta +2, Dex +1, Qik +1
Age 29
Confidence: 2(9)
V & F: LLSM, great intelligence, improved characteristics, life boost, piercing gaze, self-confident; painful magic, tormenting master, weak parens.
Personality: Argumentative +3, Brave +2, trusting -2
Soak: +2
Abilities: Artes Liberales 1(logic), Awareness 2(11) (ambushes), Bargain 2 (luxuries), Brawl 3(5) (grappling), Concentration 2(spellcasting), Guile 2(10) (spur of the moment), Faerie Lore 1 (faerie knights), Folk Ken 1(Peasants), Great Weapon 1(staff), Intrigue 2(5) (conspiracies), Latin 4 (hermetic terms), leadership 2(5) (long-time followers), Magic lore 1(5) (vis sources), Magic theory 3 (mentem), Native Language 4 (arguing), Organisation lore: church 1(village priests), Parma Magica 4(5) (mentem), Penetration 1(4) (mentem)
Arts: Cr 5, In 5(5), Mu 8, Pe 4(1), Re 5, An 0, Aq 0, Au 0, Co 6(3), He 0, Ig 0, Im 6, Me 10(5), Te 0, Vi 0
Spells:
Veil of invisibility PeIm20 +12
Pains of perpetual worry CrMe20 +16
Posing the silent question InMe20 +16
Trust of childlike Faith PeMe10 +11
Aura of rightful authority ReMe20 +16
Scent of the peaceful slumber ReMe20 +16

Year 5- 10, 3, 10, 6, 2, 10, 8, 2 – good job neither of the last two were a 1 or we’d have had an adventure with 3 extra botch dice. A quiet year.
Spring study – corpus book takes Co to 8.
Summer study – tap the aura for Vim vis equal to Cr 5 + Vi 0 + Int 4 + MT 3 + aura 5 = 17/10 or 2 point. 2xp into Creo
Autumn study – study vim vis – 0 then 1 for using 1 pawn, 5 for aura – 8,2,4,5,1,8 – no botch so only 5 xp for aura 5.
Winter study – study vim vis - 4 + aura 5 = 9 xp so Vi 4(4)). A mere 26 xp makes this a poor year.
Stocks – 4 Vim , 8 Corpus ,6 mentem , 6 creo

Year 6 – 7, 2, 6, 4, 1, 3, 3, 1 – two adventures with no extra botches.
Difficulty 9 – hard, base difficulty of rolls is 12. Origin is 5, official, agent of noble. Timing is 6, autumn. Complexity is 2 – simple. Type is 1 – social. A straightforward tale of interacting with a noble’s agent to convince them the struggling covenant is too poor to tax.
Adventure 2: Difficulty – 1 then 6 so 12 = very hard, base difficulty 15. Origin 7=Hermetic, own house. Timing 3=summer. Complexity 4=complex, 2 challenges. Type is 4 combat, 5 magical. House Tytalus schemes at the behest of his Tormenting Master, sending shield grogs to harass him and push him into a magical trap near his home covenant’s vis sources.

Spring study – Corpus book take Co to 9(3)
Summer adventure – he has no spells of level 25, and using LLSM would render very fatigued
combat – Qik + Awareness to react, Dex+brawl to fight, Pre + leadership to intimidate grogs.
Magic – Int + Magic Theory to understand, Sta + Parma to resist, and then spont a MuMe 25 – Muto 8 + Mentem 10 + Sta 2 + aura 5 within the covenant, he will use LLSM and fatigue to reach level 25.
Results – combat 2 + 4 = fail, 4 +4 = fail, 5+2 = fail. 2 losses, even self-confident won’t help any of these.
Magic – 6 + 7=13, spend 1 confidence to succeed. 0 + 5 – no botch, total 4 = fail. Magic – roll 0, let’s say 5 botch dice – 8,3,3,3,9 – no botch. Total 25/2 = 12 , add 3 fatigue so spell goes off with LLSM. He is very tired but has 2 successes so 1 reward. He gains 2 xp and 2 confidence for a net gain of 1 confidence.
Rewards/losses –I’ll be cheeky and roll losses first so I can allocate reward against any build point loss – 6 gain 3 warping points, 8 take wound of 20 + stress dice 5 = 25, with a soak of 2 he dies! His tormenting master has accidentally killed him. If I’d taken a shield grog, with good soak and armour they might have only taken an incapacitating wound and left De Falt alive, but would a Tytalus take one with him when facing down a threat from other Tytalus? I’ve assumed not. He might have succeeded at the autumn adventure, as difficulty 12 brings results within range of spending 2 confidence.

Things I have learnt: this exercise requires a wide range of skills, and avoiding any particularly low “dump stats” unless you want to miss out on rewards and xp. You really need self-confident to do well at low level, although a relic or true faith (giving you a free faith point once/day, ie each set of challenges) is almost as good. Spending confidence to try and win every test possible isn’t a bad idea as it gets you more rewards. Low self-esteem(the major flaw that gives you confidence 0) is probably a horrible idea, even worse than in troupe play. Take a shield grog to do the dieing for you, any very hard roll will be damage 20+stress die so even with good Sta or armour you’ll still probably die if you take a wound – and 30% of losses are wounds, and it only takes a “one success,two fails” to get a loss, or a single botch.
As there are minimal rules for opting out, I decided my Tytalus wouldn’t back down (like a Hippian Tytalus would). Perhaps a rule of “one loss per set of challenges” or “one loss per two sets of challenges (round up)”, and losses being 1-8 pay a bribe in build points, 9-10 flaws/hooks as per the bottom of the loss table would make solo play more straightforward.

Would you allow a grog to use their rolls if better? As shield grogs are quite combat focussed and have the soak + protection to take bigger wounds than magi, it would make combats a lot easier and mean small frame/dwarf weren't death sentences to lone magi. Also, what xp would a grog get - same as the magi?

Here is the micro-saga of Melios, the Mystical Architect.

Himself just after Gauntlet
Melios, Jerbiton
Int: +3, Per: +3, Pre: -1, Com: +2, Str: -3, Sta: +1, Dex: +2, Qui: -2
Virtues: Affinity & Puissant with Finesse, Apt Student, Book Learner, Gentle gift, Great characteristic (Int), Puissant Artes Libérales (Free House virtue), Puissant Concentration, Skilled Parens
Flaws: Necessary conditions (bald - sacrifice to the great Architect), Pious (minor), Diff longevity rituals, Warped Magic, Obsessed (minor, becoming a reknown master architect), Ability block (Martial)

Native Language (Irish): +5, Folk ken: +1, Greek: +2, Area Lore; +1, Charm; +1, Latin: +4, Parma: +1, Magic Theory: +3, Profession: Architect: +1, Finesse: +6, Artes Libérales: +1, Philosophae: +1, Concentration: +1, Craft (blacksmith): +1, Craft (Carpenter): +1, Etiquette: +3, Charm: +1, Intrigue: +2, Hermes Lore: +3, Magic Lore:+1, Fae Lore: +2

Arts:
Cr: 0, In: 2, Mu: 7, Pe: 1, Re: 9
He: 7, Te: 4

Spells:
Herbam: The Mystical Carpenter, From Trees to Plank, The Carpenter's Keen Eye, Intuition of the Forest, Coils of the Entangling Plants
Terram: The Spell of Wrought Iron, From Ore to Pig Iron, the Phantom Blacksmith, The Unseen Porter (duration: Diam)
Corpus: Blinking (short distance, self tp), Rise of the Feathery Body

Melios is an unusual Jerbiton. Although he was gifted by the Gentle Gift, he is not as much a social animal as his brethen. He is - secretly - awe by the Creation. And his way to get closer to Him is to be a great architect himself (a hint of sin by pride...). As an experiment, his master allowed him to settle by himself, to see how long Melios will keep is gentle and kind nature without the protection of more experienced magi to handle the politics, both mundane and hermetic. He has great potential, but a bit too naive.

... and its covenant (designed for a single mage, which comes with its own set of challenge)
Campus Vernalis, Spring (300 pts build - err, I believe :smiley: )
It is a fortified farm, on the Irish coast (I did not use the Iberian Tribunal book).

Hooks:
Contested resources (minor) - obviously, he is just settling and his neighbours both mundane and hermetic are a bit challenging his choice of location.
Indebted (minor) - his master and his covenant invested quite a bit in a single magus, usually, they will spent so much resources for a group of magi. Thus, they will keep a tighter look and intervene more frequently
Road (major) - the main reason to select this site, there are several cross roads and loosely pathways within a day walk. And on some - apparently random - occassion, a mystical fair is held nearby.

Boons:
Aura: +4
Fortification (minor): better be safe than sorry

Vis:
Sources: Vim 3/year, Rego 4/year
Stocks. Vim 20, Corpus 15, Rego 20 (unsure, about the exact value, it has been updated too many times :smiley: )

Library:
Summae: Artes Libérales (5/12), An (12/15), He (20/11), Te (20/11), Vi (12/15), In (12/15)

Covenfolk:
Two specialists: one Captain of the guard with a Leadership skill of +5 (amongst other) and a Farmer and beekeper with a Profession of 5
And 15 "qualified" servants, with a top skill at +4.
Honestly, I am not sure I computed correctly the cost of the covenants, but it suited my idea of a solo Saga to have a single magus supported by relatively competent, young competent staff.

So in general, Melios will roll 7 dices for adventures between his personal story and the covenant hooks.

Year 1: (a 0 & 1)
One adventure, with a difficulty of +1... It seems that Melios won't have much time to settle.
Difficulty: 9 - difficult, so rolls will be againts 12+1=13. It seems that he landed in a hornet nest!
Origin: 3: Merchant. Of course, as a craft magus, he was going to be in competition with local craftsmen.
Occurrence: Autumn. Just time to unpack his lab and he might have to pack already.
He won't avoid the challenge (in reality, the real reason is that I wanted to see how it was going to unwind).
Complexity: Complexe, two types: one by choice (magical) the other would be of legal/diplomatic challenge.

To solve the magical challenge, he used a spell (Coils) (17+2, succeed), Int+TM (6+2, fails) and Per + Area Lore (4+9, succeed).

To solve the legal/diplomatic challenge, he used Artes Libérales+Prs (2+9+3 (conf), succeed)), Folk ken+Com (3+8+3 (conf)), Spells - but he does not have any of sufficient level - so he fails (I assumed he used the Carpenters's keen Eye).

Both time, he succeed twice, so he has rewars and no consequence. Not bad for a first adventure.

As Melios was settling, he started to manufacture some simple tools for his covenfolk, but also to start building a little trade. For him, he wanted to be a facade to attract local people, get to know the area and establish a little network of "friends".
But a morning of October, he saw the local sheriff coming to his farm with accusation of selling cursed tools!
Using his little practice social skills he manage to get access to said tools and after a brief examination (Carpenter's keen Eyes) he was able to assess that they were of magical origin but not hermetic. Unfortunately, he could not use his new found knowledge to oppose the sheriff. Diving deep into his personal conviction and also knowing that his pater would be sorely disappointed if he could not resolve this issue, he manage to buy some time to (Folk ken) do his own investigation.
After listening to the rumor mill in a nearby inn (Area Lore) he heard about some mages hiding the nearby hills. He was sure they were not hermetic, so he had an opportunity to clean his name if he could find the real culprit.
He stumbled on them more than really find them, but fortunately, between his parma and the non-lethal use of Coils, he was able to catch three Rusticani (non-hermetic) and have a peaceful discussion with them. He could not give them to the sheriff as they would suffer an unpleasant treatment, and the Rusticani did swear that they did not sell cursed item (since he failed his MT test, he will never know for sure), but there effects are not permanent... so this could be the crux of the problem.
Finally, he contacted the sheriff and after the use of much legal terms and skillful rethoric, he was able to clean his name, and also put the suspicion on those who would seek such kinf of magical items, and use them for likely nefarious goal as a good Christian would frowned upon such behaviour.

So he manage to protect the Rusticani by directing the sheriff attention elsewhere and keep himself out of trouble.
Since it was a difficulty of 13, Melios was entitled two major boons.
The first one was an exceptional Summae on Rego that the Rusticani got hold God-knows-how (Melios decided not to pry too much) and he decided to give protection to the three Rusticani gaining the boon Edge tradition.
With his help and guidance, he would make it possible for them to join House ExMiscellanea and give them a short presentation of the Order and its rules. As long as they stay around, they will always find shelter and food at Campus Vernalis.

He also gain 2xp and 2 confidence points (but spent 3).
Melios starts to have some doubts about his pater intention... on the other hand, he is quite proud of how he handled the situation.

What I found out:
Gentle Gift is really useful considering that you can have either social or legal challenge. Not having to deal with a -3 penalty made it possible to succeed. Confidence points are extremely valuable. Melios will have to save them.
All in all, it is a good system to tickle my creative side by building a story once the dice have spoken.

More stories to come and will Melios survive his master challenge (does he have Tytalus lineage ?)

I won't get into the details of each season. However, following his first adventure, Melios was determined to improve his survival skill by getting a copy of Vilano's Sling at level 20, called Vilano's Balista (for +20 damage).
Based on my note, I realise that several skills were missing from Melios sheet, do I edited the initial post.

Year 2: This year is a quite year, without any adventure, yet a bad omen (+1 difficulty).
Melios decides to look for a master Architect who would be willing to teach share his knowledge. Melios is looking for a teaching total of 10.
I decided as an additional rule that looking for master for mundane skill is an adventure with a difficulty = to teaching total -2.
So in this case, it is a challenge of 10-2+1 (bad omen), 9.

It will be a simple, social challenge that Melios will be doing in Autumn.
He is using Com+Artes Liberales, to show his knowledge, Int+Etiquette to show that he is a nice, well-educated chap and finally, he will cheat with Carpenter's keen eyes to pass his master final test.
He succeed in all three tests, giving him 6Xp.
There is no additional rewards, but the fact that he was looking for a master willing to teach him and he found one.

This one was a short adventure with little to tell since Melios was looking for a master of moderate expertise. He will spend the next seasons studying with this master to improve his Profession: Architect and Craft: carpenter to decent level (+3) (since he has Apt student).

Year 3 was going to be a bit more challenging...
Again, an adventure with bad omen.
Fortunately, it will be an easy one (final difficulty of 6+1=7).
It involves the Order, a Redcap, in Winter.
The adventure is complex, involving a magical and a social aspect.

The magical challenge is easily solved by adequate use of Artes Liberales+Int, a spell (Intuition of the forest) and Hermes Lore+Per.
The social challenge is equally overcome with Com+Folk ken, Sta+Charm (I guess Melios was very persistent...), and Prs+Etiquette.

As a reward, he opted for a minor boon (prestige with house Mercere) and a reduce time, as not to loose a season of work.

Melios had ordered an excellent roots on Creo (6/21), and Ariana was supposed to deliver it for the the Winter season, but no news of her. She always kept a word, and really helped Melios settle well by facilitating many deliveries around. So Melios was concerned and knowing that there are many treacherous trails around, he did not waste time and left to investigate.
As usual, he spent a night at the Flying Fish Inn, to listen to the local. Especially to traveller who was clearly not from the area. Using all his persuasion skills and a certain amount of alcohol, he was able to find out that this traveller was coming from Normandy but did not take a boat. With a bit more prying and thanks to good tolerance to alcohol (Stamina+Charm), he was able to get enough information to have an idea where to look for this mystical trail.
Combining his basic knowledge of Astronomy (Artes L), some knowledge on the sign left by travelling redcaps (Hermes Lore) and the use of spell, he was able to find the regio entrance, Ariana and bring her back safe.

He came out much more knowlegable about the area (+12Xp), and earn the unofficial title of Friend of the Redcaps (minor prestige amongst non-gifted Redcap), as even if Ariana was never in real danger, it was much appreciated that a magus left his lab to assist a redcap.

Melios is still a young mage, so he spends most if his time improving his Arts by reading Summae, no big invention, no magical item. He is not yet improving his covenant, although he purchased a copy of Aegis (20) - it was about time.

Year 4
Campus Vernalis Library is lacking in many area. Melios needs a good Creo Summa, so decide to petition his mentor for a long term loan.
An excellent book is a major boon, which set the challenge directly at 12 minimum, and with usual bad omen (yes, again), it raises the difficulty to 13.
It will be a simple, social task - how could it be otherwise with Jerbiton ?
Etiquette, Folk Ken and Hermes Lore are used to overcome this challenge, all of them with success (and the help of one confidence point to succeed with his Etiquette roll).
By retelling in a colourful manner his adventures, making a good impression to the right people and being an overally appreciated guest, Melios manage to secure the loan of copy of the most excellent "De Perfectio", (18/17) one of the best Creo Summa of the Order. No doubt that it will attract the attention of some neighbouring covenants.
It is probably a too good reward for what he went through, but he played a bit on the guilt of his master to seal the deal.

Year 5
As the harvests are in full swing, a panicked peasant knocks at Campus Vernalis for safety. He is scared to death. He has some serious wounds and in his delirium talk about getting attacked by a beast from hell.
As per usual, again an adventure under the sign of bad omens. Fortunately, it is an easy one (difficulty 6+1), but complex, requiring Social skills and Martial abilities... oups... it was going to happen sooner or later.

It is more luck than skill that help Melios leads a troop of fighter to find and capture the monster (Int+commandement of 0, Per+Awareness of 0). Fortunately, he skillfully display his mastery of combat spell with a well aimed Vilano's Balista. He succeed in all three tests (simply because if was an easy challenge, and the rolls were 7+).
The Social aspect requires him to leverage his newly founded confidence to manage what should have been a walk in the park (he had to use twice a confidence point to succeed his Etiquette roll and Folk ken roll). He succeed his Intrigue roll.

After taking care of the peasant, Melios do not loose time to call up on half a dozen of grogs to go track the beast. He does not want to see again the sheriff. Is he a born-leader ? At least, this is what believe the grogs who under is effective lead manage to corner a tiger and capture it. Just before casting what would have been the fatal blow, Melios spotted something strange about the animal and spared him. The tiger was going to be the familiar of a mage, but when after months of being seasick from its trip, the poor animal landed, it went crazy and escaped, feasting on any herd it would see.

Still a bit stoned by the thrill of the hunt, Melios struggled to get his ideas straight but manage to sooth the worries of the local, by quickly creating the corpse of an ugly, monstrous animal not too dissimilar to the tiger. Through Ariana, he was able to contact the owner of the tiger and he came to collect quickly his friend.

He got again quite some experience out of this adventures (+12xp) and decided that he was building favor to improve his covenant (7 BP).

His is great. You should keep going.

Year 6
Quite year, with... a bad omen. Was Melios born under a cheeky star that enjoys seeing him struggle ? Is the covenant cursed ? Or is there a Tytalus who decide to turn Melios into his project ?

Melios is spending most of his time improving his core Arts (Rego, Herbam and Terram), while occassionally getting a good roots to patch up is lack of knowledge.
Also, he decide to improve a bit his lab, just by tidying it up and organising better. There was still some equipements left in crates that were not touched since he settled in.

Year 7
Melios felt it was time to make a move: finding the Brotherhood of Samos. He is not skilled enough to invent easily some spells that are the foundation of this Cult, so he decided to spent Spring looking for them.

He is looking to have two textlab, for a total level of 50. That's 10 BP.
For a first contact with the Brotherhood, it should not be too difficult (diff: 10, plus the usual +1 for the bad omens), but as a potential candidate, he will have to prove his motivations and his skills, so it should be complex (two challenges). If he is able to have at least one success in each challenge, he can claim twice 5BP, which is was he needs.

The first challenge will be Diplomatic: how to find a member, possibly even a mystagogue from the Brotherhood. The second one will be magic: he will have to show his skills. Being motivated is not enough, you need to show some expertise as well.

The diplomatic challenges required the use of Artes Libérales, Folk ken and Intrigue. He succeed on all three, with even an excellent success on Artes Libérales (+14 on the dice).
For the magical challenge, he will use a spell (The Mystical Carpenter seems perfectly suited for that), some magic theory and finally, Concentration.
He manage to succceed also in all three, but almost botches is Magic theory exam, and had to use a Confidence point to succeed with the smallest of margin.

Melios started his quest by simply asking his good friend Ariana (Intrigue), if by any chance, she would have heard or even delivered a mail to a member of the Brotherhood. Ariana replied that it would be betraying the trust that magi put in Redcaps to disclose such information... however, she could possibly carry such a message to an anonymous magus.
A week later, Ariana showed up with a bright smile as she handed a message, without signature, inviting Melios to be at the next full moon at the Giant Causeway. No time to loose!

What happen next reminded Melios is Gauntlet. He met a person obviously cloaked in magic, making her impossible to identify. They spent the next month walking through various ruins, natural caves of perfect beauty, even stoping to look at a spider crafting her web. Melios knew he was tested, innocuous questions were not so innocent, but he must have made a strong impression (Folk ken). Then he had a day to summarise his month of travelling through magic crafting. He was able to show how a master crafter he was by using his spells, his knowledge of geometry and the Classics (21 on the Artes Liberales roll), yet being able to cast for a full day (Concentration).

The anonymous Mystagogue told him that from now on, his application was under scrutiny and he had five year to prove he was worth the Brotherhood time.
As a rewards he was granted the two labtext he was looking for (The Perfect Structure and Perfection of the Well Designed Chamber).

Out of the 10 XP he got, he assigned 5 in Organisation Lore (Brotherhood of Samos).
He spent the remaining of the year Learning the spells and improving his mastery of Rego.

Before resuming Melios micro-saga, here are some thoughts on the solo play system.

First and foremost, it works nicely to generate seeds for little stories, so thanks quinchris :wink:
It allows me to get my shot of Ars play since I am the only GM.

Would it replaces the usual 30xp / year to generate older magus ? No, it does not fit the same purpose. The Soloplay is for those who wants to have a little fun while writing short vignettes, within the ruleset of Ars. Yes, if you are willing to put the time in. Likely, your character would end up with more XP, but maybe not as focus or optimised than with the standard advancement rules.

Can it be improved ? Yes, if you are willing to handle more parameters. Since it is solo play, you decide what suits you. There is one thing I am missing: the impact of the covenant in the adventure. It is only used to add dice to the adventure roll. Otherwise it growths or shrink depending on the success and BP your are earning.
So one thing I will use from now on, is the three characteristics describing the covenant (Defense, Military resources and Reputation), as source of additional bonus for specific roll. I do not want to have to manage other character than my magus to use other characters skills/stat for certain actions. Having some specific bonus to reflect that you can rely on some specialist to help you is good enough for me.