Sure traveler and ships

The question I have is can the Sure Traveler virtue ((pg107 True Lineages)) apply to a ship's captain?

It read if you travel a route before then you never get lost... can a ship truly ever follow the same route?

Goes on to say you are not affected by weather conditions, bad roads, ect and that you basically make the same time as normal... if it can apply to ships that is simply astounding even if just a mere bonus to travel.

It does say that this virtue does not apply if you are not in control of the method of travel and even gives a ship as a example, but what if you are the steerman or captain? What if you are controlling directly by control of steering, the ship in which you travel. Does this mean your virtue would apply? It says

, which you could almost argue means that if YOU were the driver then it would apply.

I only ask because my Mercere magus ship's captain has a son ((well actually three sons and two daughters)) and he is teaching the boy to become a ship's captain and tell me how awesome the virtue Sure Traveler would be if it did apply.

As someone who has a bit experience from sailing, I'd say no.
The speed of the ship depends on the wind (unless you are rowing) and if it's dead calm you'll simply have to accept that your trip will take a bit longer. And while you may be able to walk in a storm, too much wind will rip your sails to pieces. So weather will affect you on a ship. Weather is what makes sailing work.

I'd accept that the captain might not get lost as long as he is in familar water, but if the ship gets hit by a storm and blown off course he could still get lost. You might soften it a bit by saying that if he has sailed in the area before he knows of a good place to drop anchor and stay clear of the worst, but it would still take some skill checks to manage to get there in the storm.

I do not see why not. Sounds perfectly fitting. Weather will not sink his ship but there are dozens of other things that can affect him like mermaids, rocks (if he is careless), pirates, a spoiled cargo that becomes dangerous to the ship.... So if you wanted to have him have problems while travelling there is plenty of ways to grant them :slight_smile: IIRC it is a Major virtue, so you pay for a great advantage, yes, but at a fairly adequate cost IMO :slight_smile: It is basically a supernatural virtue that makes everything natural (weather) fall in its place adequately just casually when you are about to leave harbor.


Never forget that Heroic Characters are very rare: so it is a troupe/SG prerogative to determine which children, if any, become Heroic Characters and can have Heroic Virtues like Sure Traveler.


I'd say that it does apply if the captain or steersman has the virtue.

Its a major virtue, so it should be pretty powerful, plus it would make for a good story. The famed captain who always makes dock on time, he battles storms, fog, even pirates and sea beasties, but the Ol' Seadog has never once missed his delivery date. Whats not fun about that.

Such a character however is almost obliged to be salty beyond words, possibly an eyepatch or a pegleg, certainly talking like Captain Rum.

I would agree about the captain (though not about the steersman if he's not the captain and has to follow orders); if you are in control of your means of transportation the virtue applies. The text says:

"If you are leading other travelers you can speed the journey for all of you by encouraging them to match your pace. This does not apply when you do not control of the means of travel (riding in a cart, traveling by ship); then you are at the mercy of your driver".

I take this to mean "This does not apply when you do not control the means of travel -- as can be the case when you are riding in a cart someone else is driving, or you are traveling by ship under someone else's command."

No, it's a minor virtue. Still, all told, I think it's balanced.

Remember also that you do not need to have Heroic Blood to have Heroic Virtues, just a sufficiently powerful legacy. The Legacy Story Flaw allows you to take them, as does Mythic Blood (which is described as "not particularly uncommon in the Order of Hermes"). However, I do agree that inheriting the trait is not automatic, far from it -- and like other Heroic Virtues it clearly seems meant to be off-limits to grog-level characters.

If it needs saying: it is also a troupe/SG prerogative to determine which children, if any, are Gifted and hence eligible for Mythic Blood. (That is, until some PC has researched the AM Fertility Ritual or such. :sunglasses:)


Aye now that thar's the spirit! It is quite the romantic story of the fantastic ships captain, hard to avoid if you like a highly idealized game of story. It would be hilarious though if the Greek kid who grew up speaking Lingue Franca, suddenly speaks a 17th century pirates English!!! We already do way too many pirate jokes in our pirate game about magical pirates :laughing:

Never fear, with his kids we rolled percentiles to come up with their access to supernatural. Both wives have supernatural virtues ((he marries based on who can provide the best chance of more Mercere magi)) of the five kids one ended up with the Gift, but he is only 4 so we don't quite know for sure yet. The eldest daughter has Enchanting Music... which fits very well because....

Did I mention it is a boat of smugglers and pirates who ever single member of the crew including the Mercere magus ship captain ALL have Music ability? :laughing:

Now the real question is, does the Hyperborean descent virtues pass down to your children without a roll?

I didn't want to interfer IYC, but only stress that Heroic Virtues like Sure Traveler are not just Supernatural, but available only under very special conditions: "Heroic unGifted characters are very rare within House Mercere, ... In the wider world, they are incredibly rare. If possible, you should try to avoid having more than one Heroic unGifted player character in a saga, ..." (HoH:TL p.104). That said, the troupe or SG decides whether a child NPC can have Sure Traveler - and when allowing it to a youngster mariner, you do at least not need to worry whether this opens the gates to a captain with Sure Traveler in every port.


While that's true, keep in mind that the Legacy story flaw, which makes a character "Heroic", just states "you are descended from a legendary magus or Redcap of old". So while Heroic characters may well be very rare, it's reasonable that a sizeable fraction of the children of heroic characters carry heroic virtues themselves: kings are very rare, but sons of kings who are kings themselves are pretty common!

Still, I agree with One Shot. Barring exceptional situations like Fertility Rituals and such, the Troupe chooses all the details of NPCs. On the other hand, if one of those children was (or was meant to become) a PC, it would be perfectly reasonable for the player to just say "I want him heroic, and it makes perfect sense since he's the scion of a hero".

Yes, fair enough. I agree with the rarity of the Virtue but the family does have some things going for it. A Mercere magus father is of the bloodline of the ancient marriage of Galeotes, son of Apollo and Themisto the Nereid, daughter of Zabius of Hyperborea, on his mother's side, and on his father's side a lineage of Mercere. The boy's mother has Mythic blood and is a daughter of Cyrene consort of Apollo, and well it just keeps going.

I love pedigrees for certain characters, it just shows the weight of history and myth resting on their shoulders, and the fantastic fantasy that they must live up to

Agree. We rolled the dice at a game session for all of his kids, as well as for the children of other players who were starting the story with children. Of course NONE of these stats and virtues and such are actually on the kid's sheets yet because they are all 7 and younger. At this point only the daughter is starting to show her Enchanted Music ability.

I was just thinking of how awesome it would be to have the Sure Traveler son take over the ship for his father when the Mercere magus decides he wants to retire and stay in his lab... say about when he is 130 or so. :laughing:

We are a good little troupe who often support each other in our stories. But letting fate decide with dice rolls didn't hurt either.

PS. The character won't have Sure Traveler if he simply remains a background grog aboard ship. It is only when he actually becomes a captain would the Virtue even apply so until the time comes when he is played with such responsibility, then the Virtue is useless anyhow.

Hyperborean descent is just that, a bloodline. Your ancestors (or part of them) were hyperboreans. So yes, it can pass to the next generation "just because", but it could be lost if you think the blood has diluted too much. Now, to get the songs you will need initiation I guess.


What does hyperborean bloodline do? What book, please?
Could it be Ancient Magic, isn't there some hyperborean stuff there? I don't have my books here I'm at work, so...

Ancient magic. The one with the priests of apollo. Hyperborean descent can be major or minor. Minor helps with aging rolls and gives you +2 to use hyperborean magic. Major does the same but boosted (+4 magic, better aging iirc) and also allows you to get one power (transform to swan or crow, or fly). It is a particular version of Mythic blood, as stated explicitly in the virtue.