I'm thinking about starting a few stories for the magi. As I mentioned when I announced the saga, stories will mostly be character-driven, so I'd like to know what each of your magi would be interested in doing over the summer as the houses are being built.

I have a few ideas already, but I'd rather tailor the stories to the interests of the various magi. So some of them might involve the tree, vis hunting (either one-shot or recurrent sources), mundane stuff in Meden town, etc. But it will pretty much depend what you want your magi to be doing.

Some of the stories may happen concurrently, but in general I think that each of the magi may be able to call upon the others as needed. Nevertheless, I'd like it if we could identify a "lead role" in each story, so that things happen based on that character's decisions.

So let me know!

Japik would want to go on some adventures off the coast of the island mostly in dolphin form. Searching for vis or just exploring the sea and seaboard. The pillars north of the island (is it?) would also be interesting to take a closer look at.

The knarr is away with the sailors, but didn't Pytheas and his grogs bring a smaller boat as well? Can we keep this even if Pytheas leaves? Then Japik may go on some shorter adventures with one or two grogs joining him if needed.

What kind of vis would you propose be found on the pillars? And how would Japik be able to find out such a source? I can see him looking into caves and crevices at the bottom of them, but Japik's magic isn't really suited to exploring the top part of them... In fact, as you noted yourself at some point, he is quite limited when it comes to magical investigation in general.

Just trying to gauge the kind of story and challenges that might suit the character here. And preparing things so that another of the magi might not simply take over from Japik on this story. At first glance, the pillars seem much more suited to an airborne magus to me, so I was expecting either Quercus or possibly Prochorus to be the ones investigating that location. I'm not against changing some things to make it more appropriate to Japik, though.

Pytheas will probably leave with his ressources, including the boat. Although the new magus will certainly bring his own set of resources.

But in a pinch, you can always hire a fisherman to bring you places you want to go. In fact, Bernhard introduced a fisherman to Dietlinde as a local contact. :wink:

Since my new magus has the Gentle Gift, I was thinking some kind of story that related to the village and how he can try and improve the relationship between covenant and village, suss out what's going on with them, or something like that. That seems like a good starting story.

That's true, I forgot about that. I'll leave the pillars and vis hunting for the other magi then.
Would it be appropriate to involve Waddenzee in some minor story? I guess it could get nasty if they find out about our location so maybe better stay out of there.

What about if I swim around the island in dolphin form and make myself visible to the sailors, perhaps helping someone falling overboard or otherwise in need at sea? Main target is to start a rumor of increased dolphin activity in the area and that they (he) is helpful to sailors in need. If there already are plenty of dolphins in the waters I could try to befriend them. I'm badly updated on the Bjornaer rules and don't have any books at hand but is it possible to communicate with animals of the same type as your heartbeast?

You may not want a story that involves them directly this early in the saga. However, I might introduce some elements based on their activities during another story if you want.

As you are the animal when in your heartbeast, I consider that you can communicate just as they can. So yes, you will be able to speak to other dolphins. The one caveat is that, as animals, they will communicate at that level. Simple talk of food, predators, etc.

Do you want something that involves you magical animal companion? He's been there since you all arrived to the island, and I'm not sure how often Japik would have checked on him.

Japik could also go around the island looking for sunk ships or other noteworthy features of the sea bed (like the copper discs he found in the Underwater Explorations thread). I'm just wondering the kind of stories you'd want that to lead to, as much of those activities don't involve much in the way of actual interactions.

Prochorus will look for vis, cursing his inaptitude with Vim. In the mornings, he will lie down and lifelinked-spont a spell that makes him see vis as a purple sheen (Base 1, +2 Sun, +4 Vision = 15, i.e. target 30). His total is 5 rego + 3 for playing his drum + 1 for stamina + 2 for voice and gestures = 11. That means if he rolls 0, 2, or 3, he goes unconscious. But he trusts his abilities! Then he rests off the fatigue, shapeshifts into a scaup and flies around looking for shinies. He starts with the pillars, but otherwise he just tries to look everywhere systematically.

Completely OOC, I want to plan ahead for stories in 1211. I'm thinking that each character (including the grogs) should be involved in at least one story. Since this is a character-driven saga, I'd like the players to suggest what kind of story should involve their characters. For magi and companions, that means stories involving them as the main role. For grogs (fighters) and covenfolk (non-fighters), that means which stories they would act as supporting cast.

Ideally, I would like to keep the number of stories fairly low, about 2 to 4. And I will probably add one story that is not character-driven, just to mix things up.

I'd like to have those stories be resolved in about two months of play time (so early March 2015).

So look at your characters and their Story flaws. Look at what the covenant needs. Then make suggestions about stories that could be told. You don't need to keep the list short, as some of these may be resolved as background stories. But don't go overboard either, by suggesting 10 items each.

This will give me some time to think about those stories during the Holydays.

Am I making sense? :smiley:

An understandable request.

For Herman, something involving his Faerie friend and his curiousity (probably tied to trying to find resources for the covenant) would seem to work. Separately, I hope, sooner or later his susceptibility to divine will come into play. (To some degree his weakness in perdo has a persistent effect in that it is unlikely that anything he does with vis for quite some time will use Perdo.)

For Wolfred, I expect the the combination of his logic block with his difficulty making himself understood (making it harder to ask for help), possibly with his rashness, should give you a hook. Probsably him getting into trouble others have to get him out of.

For Tristan, I expect his tendency to be a busybody will come into play once he starts helping around the inn (he is a marginally competent servant.)

One thing I forgot to mention. Starting with the next set of stories, I will probably let the players control the grogs and covenfolk. Who controls them for a given story will depend on which players are involved.

Let me give you a couple of examples, just to make sure it is understood what I am looking for.

Let's say I wanted to tell a story involving Bernhard, as if he was a magus. In the Spring, he wants to go and investigate the pillars north of the island. He expects to need some assistance from a grog for added security, in addition to requisitionning the Baltrum for a few days. So he would be the primary role in that story, with a supporting cast of one grog (to be played by another player) and at least some of the sailors of the Baltrum (played by another player). I lay out a plan to climb one of the towers, so ropes and climbing equipment is prepared for the foray. Say he has the Story flaw Curse of Venus. I'm stating that this flaw will be activated for that story, by way of a female supernatural creature living on top of the pillar. The Storyguide would then use that kernel to build a story around it.

Let's say I was playing Quercus (and he had not left). He wants to find a suitable place on the island where he could grow oaks supernaturally to supplement the covenant's income and resources. He figures that perhaps somewhere in the northeast swamp my work, as it is away from mundane eyes. So he wants to fly around the place to locate a drier spot and determine if it is safe. He'll bring along his grog cousin (support cast) because he can also fly, with Japik's magical otter companion joining in for fun. I propose to the SG a story where he'll have to negociate with some supernatural inhabitants in the swamp for their help in getting the resulting logs out of the swamp.

These are just examples of what I'm looking for. Who the cast is from the players' side. What Story flaw will come into play, if any. What kind of challenge you are looking for in the story (fighting, negociation, etc.) What is the desired result of the story.

Of course, to make things interesting I'll probably changes and add some stuff into the mix. :mrgreen:

Japik will keep exploring the surroundings from the sea as dolphin. He wants to find out why it seems that a lot of animals avoid coming closer to the island, especially other dolphins. This may include a tour to check out the pillars north of Helgoland and then Prochorus and/or Herman may join as well if they want.
We haven't introduced Japik's otter companion yet so we should do that at some point. Either as a story of its own or he will just show up in a story centered around something else.
Then if Waddenzee or pirates come up again Japik will always react if he is around.

Lothar will arrive in spring and will probably be introduced and showed around the site where he is supposed to make his work. Then he may need to hire some workers. I'm not sure how much of this will be played out as a story. I have suggested that his Supernatural Nuisance is some kind of spirits or faeries so maybe they can be interwoven with another farie story? For example Herman's faerie friend.
Also this will be Lothar's first meeting with magi and it should be quite an eye opener for him. Maybe some of the strange happenings around him will get an explanation when he starts to understand how the world really works.

Hjalmar may go with Japik as his shield grog on any adventures where he doesn't spend most of the time in the sea as dolphin. He will be home protecting the buildings and inhabitants of our small covenant at all other times.
Yulia will assist Dietlinde running the inn and when Lothar arrives I assume she will be showing him around and get him started on the house building project. Later on her pregnancy may affect her.

Trond and his crew need to sail for the trading business as much as possible, but if the knarr is needed for something more important leading to a story then the crew should join here as well.

I'd like to do a story that involves the otter as well. But Japik's interests always seemed aimed at the sea, where I cannot integrate the otter. It's also difficult to bring it up on Oberland. And since I have had little examples of the relationship's dynamic between the two, it's hard for me to place a hook for Japik. So I'd like you to (descriptively) have your magus interact with his otter companion in future threads. It may be bored and feel like Japik is neglecting it?

They met and became friends when Japik lived on the Baltic coast and then the otter joined him when they moved here. Since then Japik has been busy with his explorations around the island and setting up the covenant so it could definately be that the animal companion is bored and feeling neglected. He has probably explored the island on his own but now wants to have some fun with Japik. They are both adventurous and carefree. He may play a prank on the Bjornaer or something to attract his attention.
Since Herman's faerie friend seem to have a similar personality, perhaps the two companion friends may join up in a story with both magi? Just an idea.

Dietlinde could have heard gossip about oddly colored stones and go dowsing for metal ore with Alruna for protection. If she finds a potential location for a mine, it might be occupied by something that Prochorus needs to deal with - something with a pretty face?

I'm having trouble coming up with anything for Prochorus because he's kind of useless. I'm not sure why I designed him with the singing restriction, because in most social situations it's too risky to cast anything, but "social stuff magic" is all that he knows and the only thing that can make things work despite his non-Gentle Gift. I'm almost tempted to create a new magus, but it would be a shame given he's "driven in" in the situation already. I'll think about it.

I know how you feel Wits. I have cursed myself for designing Japik the way I did. Imaginem magic is not the most useful when we are building a brand new covenant in a low resource saga. But I really like him as a character so I won't let him go freely.
The two most useful magi from the start left so here we are. :slight_smile:

We should try to deal with one of the bigger covenants to get access to their library and copy a few more summae. We could use one in Intellego and perhaps Terram and Aquam.

I would not object to a limited-scope rework of your characters. Something like swapping a few virtues/flaws, or magical Arts, or spells, for that matter. These should still preserve the basic character concept, but might give you both a better tool to tell stories with.

For example, say Bearlord wanted to make Japik a more effective magus in the physical Forms. He'd like to swap Mentem for Terram. He also decides that his otter companion isn't working out and replace the Story flaw with Visions. Finally, he makes him a bit more combat-oriented by exchanging Stealth for Great Weapons and Doublet of Impenetrable Silk for The Earth's Carbuncle. This leaves the core character intact.

In the same way, Wits could decide to do away with Prochorus' Restriction (replacing it with Twilight Prone), swap out Shapeshifter for a buffed-up version of Enchanting Music (using the Entrancement mecanics), and perhaps reallocate some of his Arts and spells to reflect the fact that it is no longer his Hermetic Magic that is the main driver for his music-based powers. Those would be more extensive changes and stretch the limits of what I'd allow, but might still work if that leaves the core concept more or less intact.

The goal is for everyone to have fun. :smiley:

It probably makes sense to concentrate our books outside of specialties we have. After all, I could write an L6Q11 Intellego Summa in one season right now. I can also teach the two of you 16xp of Magic Theory in a season. Or 15xp of Intellego. (Or maybe spend a season teaching 15xp of teaching so we are all at 2? Whatever.)

Teaching each other is certainly a valid way to compensate for the absence of some books.

Then there is raw vis, provided you find additional sources or can trade on the source you currently have.

Hold this thought. I will not have time to make any changes until I come back home in two weeks. I will give it a serious look then. Swapping Mentem for Terram sounds very good to start with.

I'm having fun in this saga especially now since the pace has picked up. It's just a little frustrating sometimes when the character concept is a bit limited. Looking forward to getting Joel more involved directly with us.

I was too quick when i wrote my post earlier and forgot that Herman is an Intellego expert. That is exactly what we need and we have a good Vim summa already.
Teaching is good of course. We should probably spend a few seasons cross-training for the benefit of the covenant as a whole.

Those are interesting ideas, thanks Arthur! I'll give it some thought, but I'm already pretty sure I will do something like that.