We will use this sticky for Development of Characters, aspects of the Covenant, new items in the Lab (spells, echantments), and basically all Crunch conversation
So, if I'm going with my runaway princess, what realm would it most suit you for her to be true heiress too? Some faerie domain, perhaps, where you don't have to consider real history? Or some mundane place? Choosing The Kingdom of Winter Wine and Wreaths versus Malta, Castille or Egypt can make some obvious differences for the character (and I'd feel comfortable with just selecting something) but potentially the saga (which is a bit larger). Regardless, this is one big Dark Secret Flaw. If you prefer a Faerie domain, I'll write it up.
I'm virtually certain that I'm going with Nature Lore: Animal. A very high score in this provides all kinds of cinematic benefits that fit right in. Cue the cleanup scene from Enchanted....
Supernatural Beauty? Gentle Gift? I don't know if the former makes sense without the latter--unless I give her Venus' Blessing! Maybe.
I haven't yet decided what kind of Hermetic Magic she is going to cast.
Regardless, I have almost settled on House Merinita for Buttercup (name might change to Ariel, or maybe Aurora.... ). I do this reluctantly. Most of my AM characters have had some tie to Faerie, probably because that's the part of Mythic Europe that's most true to the myths of Europe. But Nature Lore is technically a Merinita virtue, and there might be one or two others that work. Maybe.
Bjornaer? Fun, but I see my princess surrounded by animal helpers, not becoming one. Think "Enchanted" or most any Disney movie.
Verditius? Maybe... but a little too absorbed with building stuff. That could work, the princess who wants to make stuff. But not quite right. Hmm. Has some nice 21st century anachronisms though, both pertaining to my Disney point of departure (the princess wants to explore and adventure, but becoming a lab rat/nerd is so modern). But probably not right. I think my starting point is already out there.
Criamon? I keep drifting back to House Criamon and the Path of Strife, for an Invincible Sword Princess. I think Timothy's writeup for the House is a brilliant bit of design, with an economy, no, an elegance I don't see in game rules all that often. Enigmatic Wisdom is just great for an adventurer who might have to unravel ancient mysteries. Labyrinth meditations? Great for McGuyvering, or summoning chi, or remembering stuff. But the Path of Strife is rigid--by design, but still; it's the closest thing AM has to "so, you want to be a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon magus," but has other stuff in it too. Doing House Criamon's dirty work can fit the concept (in her own innocent way, Buttercup is choosing a life of adventure (a kind of strife) over sitting at the calm center of her world) but Blatant Gift and Disfigurement don't, and the labyrinth meditation of destruction doesn't fit here. The focus on a single weapon? Eh. (I expect to see most characters who go PoS to choose a Greatsword or War Hammer as their favored weapon, to get the most out of the 4x bonus, which is worthless with, say, a dagger.) Of course, House Criamon expects initiates to learn their ways; they look with enlightened bemusement, no doubt, on munchkin minimaxers who think the Paths are all about getting the right set of Kewl Powerz! "You've already tried that character in countless lifetimes....") But this is the one whose backstory I've most developed, about how she was tricked into killing the Primus (Primus to other magus: "No, no, I'm sure you'd be happy to kill me. You've killed so many. But death matters, and it has to be someone innocent and pure of heart. You can help me here, and I'm sure the price is sufficent..."). I don't think her parens would have been a Criamon, but anyone can join the House, especially after killing the Primus.
Bonisagus? I don't think her parens would be a Bonisagus. They have easier ways to obtain odd apprentices. The current House writeup doesn't grab me.
Jerbiton? She's not mundane enough. But maybe. I find the current House writeup bland. (Which is odd, because I think Timothy did it.)
Flambeau? Maybe. I love the feel of the Houe, but I don't think her parens would have been a Flambeau.
Tytalus? Oddly enough, maybe. Buttercup: "Just because it's your nature to be a scheming, rotten bastard, doesn't mean it has to be mine!" And if Buttercup were once a faerie princess, a Tytalus magus would take special pleasure in helping her escape. Getting an apprentice out of the deal is just a special bonus. I have other ideas here too, especially if I can get the Criamon thing to work. But even without the Criamon. Hmm.
Ex Misc? Well sure, that's always possible.
Tremere? She's not a Tremere. Guernicus? No. Mercere? No. Too much duty. These probably wouldn't have taken her.
Merinita is simplest, since I'm thinking about her starting play with some virtues associated with this House. It also occurs to me that a real person would have difficulty maintaining a Disney teenage princess personality all her life, which for a maga in this saga has already gone on for a while. (AM characters, like Gorean characters, tend to be immature for their age.) But slapping on the first Becoming ritual fixes Buttercup's age at about the right place.
Just thinking aloud,
Ken, your rambling here and from what Iâ€™ve seen lurking Unknown Cargo is always fun to read. I look forward to seeing Buttercup come together.
If youâ€™re looking for comments, hereâ€™s my bit:
Reading over Nature Lore again, it seems fascinating and just right for the concept youâ€™re going for. Maybe these are questions for later, but where would her home region be? From whom did she learn it?
Youâ€™ve clearly thought a lot about the Path of Strife, and it would be interesting (not to mention kickass), but it doesnâ€™t seem to fit the concept as youâ€™ve defined it. The disfigurement and the martial arts theme jar with the Disney concept, at least in my mind. Also, I imagine youâ€™d be hard pressed to do this and Nature Lore (serving multiple mysteries?)
Merinita is right at first glance, but as you say, Tytalus looks interesting. I may be biased because I rather like Jerbiton, but I urge you to give them another once over, especially if sheâ€™s the princess of a mundane place.
If you wanted to play a criamon and yet maintain the disney princess motif then why not go for one of the House's more harmonious paths. Then you get your "songbirds flocking to her at the window imagery" and still keep her on the positive bright side of the equation. One of the healing paths maybe? Non-violent sort who can always chide those of us more pre-disposed to meeting fire with fire (or other forms) to which we can smirk and patronise incessantly
Yes. I have a habit of using ideas from the last character for the next one. When I created Iohannes, I didn't own any of the supplements. If I did, I'd have given him Nature Lore: Water and not the spontaneous stuff. So the idea "Nature Lore?" stuck around.
I'm not worried about her home region just yet. She was probably born with it, especially if she has a Faerie background. After all, no one has to teach a Disney princess to be a Disney princess! These characters have different challenges.
- Youâ€™ve clearly thought a lot about the Path of Strife, and it would be interesting (not to mention kickass), but it doesnâ€™t seem to fit the concept as youâ€™ve defined it. The disfigurement and the martial arts theme jar with the Disney concept, at least in my mind. Also, I imagine youâ€™d be hard pressed to do this and Nature Lore (serving multiple mysteries?)
Merinita is right because it fits easily, but not awesome... because it fits easily. Tytalus can be made to work in a few ways, not necessarily as a villain. The Jerbiton section has useful magic rules, but doesn't grab me at all. I also don't think they'd abduct a princess, especially if she's also in line for the throne. It's not like she's an extra daughter of a minor lordling.
grin From a functional perspective, this certainly works. But I don't like how the themes mesh. The arc of a Disney princess pulls her away from harmony and into the world. (The arc of CTHD, which also informs what I'm up to, does the same.) Buttercup seeks a fulfillment other than harmony. Maybe at the end of this saga, she'll feel differently.
considers Another way to look at it: Criamon and Buttercup might both be nonviolent, but Criamon are not all innocent.
And those other Criamon also have those yucky stigmata!
Perhaps they do have that yucky stigmata but Something still niggles about how you seem to be trying to justify the mesh between disney princess, even with a loss of innocence, and a full out follower of the Path of Strife. That path is far more than some loss of innocence, it is an acceptance of fullblone jaded cynicism and in some respect resigned martyrdom (philosophically speaking).
Seems to me, she might have her eyes opened and her happily smiley illusions diminisehd but a disney princess doesnt generally throw her hands up in the face of adversity and adopt an "if you can't beat em join em" attitude. Remember the stuff the Path of Strifers can do is quite hardcore warrior (by Criamon standards if nothing else) oriented.
borrowing an idea of from a friend who hasnt seemed to jump in and express his interest to join this saga as I had hoped, perhaps Mark would let you follow one of the harmonious paths yet instead of the Stigmata, you could take the Flaw Malignant Magus which would raise interesting story seeds and remain intriguiningly true to your declared intent to give her a some dark element that follows (and plagues) her attempts at personal fulfillment (like all the darkness that has touched her has manifested into a byblow entity which is her dark half.
Just a further thought.
bleh sorry, thought i was hitting an edit button. can someone please turn on the edit function in this forum. Thanks
Not justify, but explain how I see things. It ain't the only way to see things.
I'm going to do this without the Criamon part.
Well, by the same token then, I could suggest that the choice of Nature Lore doesn't really seem to mesh with a disney princess motif. Nature, particularly the animal kingdom, is far from disney innocence. Its a savage place with no remorse for killing (considering she might think stigmata "yucky") and ruled by a survival of the fittest in practice even if not so much in philosophical categorisations at the time.
If the character had any Nature Lore she would understand and likely share some aspect of that amorality, which would put an end to any illusions of happily ever afters.
I dunno, If you can pull off something that doesnt appear to be a patchwork of disparate parts, going by what you've described above, I'll certainly be impressed
So I was planning a more unorthodox, School of Sebastian-y Flambeau, but given the diversity already out here, Iâ€™ve decided to stay a little closer to home â€“ Ignem all the way, baby. However, I canâ€™t resist putting a little twist on it.
Idea: Minor Magical Focus in Heat. I want a more subtle, yet equally hot and stylish Flambeau chic. The image I had was of a wave or beam of pure heat, leaving a scorched hole in everything it passes, but no other marks but for a little wavering in the air.
Is it minor, though? I want it to be, but my gut says no.
- It covers only spells that directly affect heat, not things that are naturally hot â€“ so no help with fire, flames, scalding steam, molten metal, etc. This is a fairly small part of CrIg, but also hits a reasonable subset of PeIg, and perhaps a little tiny bit of ReIg and InIg.
- Societates notes that â€œcoldâ€ would be considered small enough to be a minor magical focus, and its counterpart seems similar in scope (â€œColdâ€ could be said to cover most of PeIg, and a little bit of Au and Aq depending on what youâ€™re trying to do).
- As I conceive of it right now, it does seem larger than â€œa single Technique and Form combination,â€ especially with the potential for using the removing heat.
- If itâ€™s not minor, it seems rather limited to be major (and I donâ€™t want it to define him quite so much as a Major Focus would), which leaves me with a subpar concept. I suppose I could scrap it and come up with something different, but I like the idea.
If itâ€™s OK as-is, great. If not, what might be a reasonable compromise? Dropping the â€œmaking things coldâ€ part of it? That way, it wouldnâ€™t cover anything PeIg, but might still be able to move heat or lower temperature a bit using ReIg.
Heâ€™ll be using many original spells, and not a ton of pure fire, to take advantage of the focus. Penetration would come from his focus, reasonably specialized arts, and spell mastery. If heâ€™s sneaky, he may also be able to use heat indirectly to solve some problems.
A cultured warrior-scholar, interested in everything from tactics to optics to the sword to lighting things on fire. Heâ€™s a lightheart, a quick thinker, a prankster and a generally good-natured scamp, but also warrior to the core who doesnâ€™t hesitate to do whatâ€™s necessary, stand beside his brothers, and hurl a good spell at the enemy.
By the time we meet him, heâ€™s had a few battles, got some of the ants out of his pants, and mellowed a bit. Not such a firebrand anymore, not quite so eager for combat. Now heâ€™s a warrior, but he realized a while back that itâ€™s fun but he doesnâ€™t want it to be his whole life. Is it a huge rush? Heck yeah. Is a nice fight just the ticket for relieving boredom and testing your skills? Double heck yeah. When you get right down to it, is killing things and/or flaying them alive really all that awesome? Well, no.
He's urbane, cultured, and has a vulnerable side. Heâ€™s not married to his work, like the characters I make usually are, so could he be married, I wonder? Have some other Dependent? Thereâ€™s an interesting thought. Iâ€™ll come back to that one.
I am at a loss concerning characterâ€¦ So I look to you for inspiration and help. I wish to create a magical mercere with affiliations to the Cult of Mercury. So I am thinking the Pagan story flaw (againâ€¦) and some virtue. Mercurian magic would fit the bill nicely and it is a powerful virtue and with a character full drawback. Problem with the virtue is that it is best if you have a few likeminded magi and some powerful ritual spells and that is not something that starting magi have. However I must say that I like Flawless magic and I am intending to create a character that is useful in game and skilled a formulaic magic. As I intend to have some skill a ceremonial magic so I need a good score in Artes Liberates and Philosophiae. Suggestions would be nice.
All the ideas I see here are great!
Since we're not starting magi, but have up to 20 years each, a character of the sort you describe can be very powerful and flexible. Lots of time to get good spells. Well, moderately powerful. 20 years is nice but not overbearing.
The obvious thing to do is go Mercurian+Pagan, but that has the drawbacks you point out. It takes a few Mercurians to really reap the benefits. Maybe enlist a few other PCs?
Another interesting approach to being a ritual magic specialist is... Holy Magic! Using fatigue instead of vis has to be nice. This has its own set of drawbacks too, and these are severe. As for the whole Cult of Mercury thing, maybe part of the CoM evolved along with the Roman Empire, and your part venerates Sol Invictus. This sets up some interesting dynamics in House Mercere, and goes well with the whole fire/Flambeau thing.
Flawless magic brings some interesting possibilities, especially if your character is a formulaic expert more than a ritual expert. There's now a mastery ability that lets formulaics be cast ceremonially. Then we have FM+Mystic Choreography(!)+Special Circumstances(When casting ceremonially)+Puissant AL+Puissant Philosophiae. Method Caster.
Note that since you have up to 20 years to work with, you can have both FM and Mercurian Magic, the latter gained through initiation. You can even justify having FM, MM and HM: MM represents the method of casting and is not itself pagan, in the same way a master builder uses the same methods whether he builds a chapel or a seraglio. (A devotee of Sol Invictus might consider Cyclic Magic: Day.)
Hmm. So, mix and match?
Mercurian Magic (initiated)
Special Circumstances (ceremonial casting)
See, that's why there are many Houses and Cults, so that magi can see the world differently.
The real nature of the world is fluffy bunnies. You know, playful lions lying down with cuddly wuddly lambs. The Fallen state of the world is unnatural...
Or the real nature of the world is still fluffy bunnies. Sure, lions kill stuff, with big roarings and clawings. But the buffalo gets better when it's all done, and there's no harm....
In a thousand years, today's ideas about the workings of the world may be considered no less silly than we find some medieval ideas.
In ten thousand years, most people probably blur our period with theirs.
There's more than one idea.
Or she'd see the deeper nature of things, the deeper truth.
Disparate parts create dramatic tension. You know, the whole "she's a teenage girl with acute blondeness, but she's our only hope against the demons and vampires" or "he's got superpowers but has to act like a dork all day," or "his job is to uphold truth and justice in the Order, but must lie and even kill to preserve a secret whose exposure will..."
Simplicity is nice, but too much of it yields characters without any.
I'll always take luck.
These are awesome ideas brewing here Everyone, post your characters here for development. You don't need my approval, you need the approval of your peers
Check it out, I have made an example charachter; Carmen, Antonio's daughter. It is still rough and needs to be ironed out. She is certainly not min-maxed or munchinized. She will be revised before I settle on a final. But anyway, it is also a great example of how to mix advancement with development.
[u]Carmen of Flambeau [/u] Carmalita Maria Diana Perez
Characteristics: Int +4, Per +1, Com -1, Pre +2, Str -2, Sta +0, Dex +0, Quik +1
Age: 33 ( 23) b. 3/15/1187, apprenticed at age 7 (1194), Gauntlet at age 23 (1209)
Warping: 0 (0)
Confidence: 1 (3)
Virtues: +0 Gifted Hermetic Maga, +F Puissant Auram, +3 Major Magic Focus â€“ Weather, +1 Affinity with Auram, +1 Apt Student, +1 Book Learner, +1 Great Intelligence, +1 Privileged Upbringing, +1 Skilled Parens
Flaws: -3 Blatant Gift, -3 Overconfident, -1 Close Family Ties, -1 Deficient Ignem, -1 Small Frame, -1 Mentor (Pietro of Flambeau)
Personality Traits: Brash +3
Reputations: Pushy Broad 2 (local and Hermetic), House Flambeau Acclaim 2 (26xpâ€™s (??)), noted for extreme daring
Fatigue: OK, 0, -1, -3, -5, ko
Wounds: -1 Lt (1-4), -3 Med (5-8), -5 Hvy (9-12), Incap (13-16), Dead (17+)
Abilities: Catalan 5 (Andorra, Native Language), Castillano 2 (talking with father),
Langue Dâ€™Oc 2 (gossip), Hebrew 1 (slang), Latin 4 (magic), Artes Liberales 1 (ritual spells), Animal Handling 1 (falcons), Awareness 1 (alertness), Brawl 4 (dagger), Charm 1 (wit), Code of Hermes 1 (custom), Concentration 3 (spells), Divine Lore 1 (Jewish), Etiquette 1 (magi), European Lore 2 (legendary heroes), Finesse 4 (accuracy), Folk Ken 2 (Jewish women), Guile 1 (playing coy), Hunting 1 (falconry), Iberian Lore 2 (Barcelona), Leadership 1 (intimidation), Magic Lore 1 (other traditions), Magic Theory 5 (Auram), Order of Hermes Lore 3 (famous heroes), Parma Magica 5 (Auram), Penetration 3 (Auram), Philosophiae 1 (ceremonial magic), Profession-Scribe 1 (copying), Strategy 1 (tactics), Teaching 1 (Arts)
Arts: Cr 12, In 0, Mu 0, Pe 3, Re 5, An 5, Aq 0, Au* 15+3, Co 6, He 0, Ig 0, Im 0, Me 0, Te 0, Vi 5
Twilight Scars & Effects:
Magic Sigil: wind
Symbolic Sigil: a hawk
Equipment: knife, satchel
CrAu10 Wreaths of Foul Smoke (CT +?)
CrAu5 Airâ€™s Ghostly Form (CT +?)
CrAu5 Chamber of Spring Breezes (CT +?)
CrAu10 Jupiterâ€™s Resounding Blow (CT +?)
CrAu15 Charge of the Angry Winds (CT +?)
CrAu20 Fist of Jupiter (CT +?, Mastery 1, Vacillated Casting)
CrAu20 Circling Winds of Protection (CT +?)
CrAu25 Clouds of Rain and Thunder (CT +?)
CrAu30 Pull of the Skybound Winds (CT +?)
Cr(Re)Au30 Catapult of the Mighty Winds (CT +?)
CrAu35 Incantation of Lightning (CT +?, Mastery 5: Fast Cast, Multicast, Penetration, Amplify, Resistance)
CrAu30 Wings of Soaring Wind (CT +?, Mastery 2, Imperturbable Casting, Fast Cast)
CrCo20 Purify the Festering Wound (CT +?)
PeCe20 Grip of the Choking Hand (CT +?)
ReCo10 Rise of the Feathery Body (CT +?)
ReCo15 Wizardâ€™s Leap (CT +?)
Background: Carmen is the daughter and filia of Antonio of Flambeau. She is not a member of this covenant, though she is granted many privileges far beyond a normal guest. She can use the Premium Library and her fatherâ€™s lab. Her mother is Antonioâ€™s Mistress, not his wife. Golda SimÃ³n is a Jewish party girl who met Antonio one fated night in a Barcelona wine house. A year later, Golda shows up at the covenant with a baby. Antonio has slept in his sanctum ever since. His wife Maria calls her a prostitute, but she is just a fun-time kinda gal. She has Premonitions, Visions, and likes to play with Tarot cards.
Carmen has wanderlust. Though she frequently visits home, she is never here for long and the space between her visits grows longer each time. She has just recently returned from wandering around the Northern Rhine Tribunal and up into Ultima Thule. She spent some tome recently at Campus Ares.
Though trained by them, Carmen is not yet a member of the Knights of Seneca. Her father holds her back, because he wants to protect her too much. Carmen has found her own path though. She has studied under the famous Pietro of Flambeau, Antares of the Archmagi, and he is now her mentor.
Advancement: Going Season by Season, I advanced her 11 years (44 seasons). I am using the generic Average Source Quality 10 rule I gave everyone the option of, reflecting the fact that she has wandered a lot and depended on hospitality customs. On average, I donâ€™t use the same type of Advancement Source more than twice a year. This is an artificial constraint though. Some years I use the same source three times, another year I use it only once. Apt Student adds +5 when Taught or Trained, Book Learner adds +3 to study from texts.
Year One averages 43/this year, 43/all years, 10.75/this season, 10.75 all seasons
Winter: Study Spell Mastery Text for IoL (Q10, +3)
Spring: Study Spell Mastery Text for IoL (Q7, +3)
Summer: Receive Training in IoL Spell from her father (S8+3 +5)
Fall: Accompany father to the Baelric Islands and help him battle the dragon there (yep, she was playing sidekick when Antonio earned his Archmagus Status). (Q15)
Year Two averages 30/this year, 36.5/all years, 7.5/these seasons, 8.75 all seasons
Winter: Study Magic Theory Commentary (Q14, +3)
Spring: Get Taught some Magic Theory from a visitor as a lone student (T3+6, +5)
Summer: Go out wandering, find adventure (Q5)
Fall: Visit Fengheld for a season, exchange service training another in spell mastery (Q2 exposure in Order of Hermes Lore)
Year Three averages 45/this year, 39.3/all years, 11.25/these seasons, 9.83 all seasons
Winter: Study a Parma Magica Summa (Q13, +3)
Spring: Taught Penetration from a Senecan at Fengheld (T4, +6, +5
Summer: Accompany him on adventure (Q10)
Fall: Study Auram vis (aura 5, die 7, x1Â½ )
Year Four averages 42/this year, 40/all years, 10.5/these seasons, 10 all seasons
Winter: Visit Campus Ares, participate in their Troll Wars (adventure, Q15)
Spring: trained in unarmed combat by Lupus Negra (S7+3, +5)
Summer: study Corpus from the library (Q9, +3)
Fall: study Rego from the library (Q8, +3)
Year FiveThe detail above was just to demonstrate that 10xp/season as an average is totally feasible. From here on out, she just wanders around, adventures, stopping in on friendly covenants, sometimes stopping in at home. Unless I say something more specific, Study means books and Train means receiving either Teaching or Training.
average 10/season this year, 10/season all seasons
Winter: Study Creo (Q11, +3)
Spring: Train in IoL Spell Mastery (Q9, +5)
Summer: Adventure (Q10)
Fall: Lab work, Invent Spells from Lab Text, all weather related. LT CrAu45,
Winter: learn two ReCo spells LT 25
Spring: Train in Parma Magica (Q10, +5)
Summer: perform service as a trainer (2 exposure xp)
Fall: receive training in Finesse (Q10, +5)
Winter: Study Creo Summa (Q15, +3)
Spring: Study Creo Summa (Q15, +3)
Summer: Visit mother in Barcelona, socialize, and have a minor adventure (Q5)
Fall: This leads to a more serious adventure (Q10)
Winter: Travel to the holy land, more adventure (Q10)
Spring: visit Para Beli, study Vim (Q 12, +3)
Summer: train in Finesse (Q9, +5)
Fall: Adventure (Q10)
Winter: Study Auram (Q11, +3)
Spring: Train in Parma Magica (Q12, +5)
Summer: Train in Finesse (Q6, +5)
Fall: Study Magic Theory (Q13, +3)
Winter: split study, Animal Handling & Falconry (each Q7, +3)
Spring: Adventure (10xp)
Summer: study Animal (Q13, +3)
Fall: Adventure to find a potential Familiar, a large storm falcon, size -2 with a might of 10(10xp)
Year Eleven averages: ? this year total ?/yr
Winter: Bond with Familiar. Bonding Lab Total = CrAu45, Bonding Level = 33, Vis 9 pawns Auram. Gold Cord +3, Silver Cord +2, Bronze Cord +0
Spring: enchant familiar
Summer: enchant familiar
Fall: receive training in spells from father
I agree with your gut.
Heat may be even bigger than fire. And I like it!
Heat ought to be apply even to things that are naturally hot:
PeIg Pale Flames
For the duration of the spell, a fire emits no heat, and cannot burn.
Would such a fire still burn its fuel? I don't know, but it's still cool.
I think that's because cold isn't the opposite of hot in AM but its absence. The only way you get cold is by PeIg. You cannot create cold, move cold, and so on.
OTOH, a magus with a heat focus can effectively create cold and move cold.... So a focus in heat is a superset of a focus in cold.
Or find more ways to use it? Heat really is nice! Great for taking out enemies, being comfortable, dealing with extremes of weather, helping someone with a fever, maybe giving someone a fever, taking the heat from a burning building and throwing it at the raiders who torched it, turning a pond into ice (as the enemy's horses gallop through it), slowly raising the temperature in a room to make people uncomfortable and maybe want a drink (of poison!?! ), playing with the temperature to completely unravel an army without their ever realizing they are under attack...
Heat may be even better than fire. It's a great, great, versatile focus. I'm kicking myself for not having thought of it when I was cosidering cold (som other time).
Oh, and if I freeze the air around a magus, so it's bitter cold (no heat!) does he get MR against freezing to death? I don't think so....
Lowering temperature a bit is PeIg, not ReIg.
How about a focus in creating heat?
But my real advice? Take it as a major focus, and use it maximally, pushing the limits of heat. Maximally? Excessively! He's a Flambeau, after all. Maybe he'll start a whole new school.
All heat considerations woukld be Major: create heat, destroy heat, protect against heat, make a fire heatless, make ice hot, and so forth. If it is just generic "make things hot", then it is minor
I'd like some rulings about Nature Lore.
Spend just a few days to find vis.... How much vis? Based on skill?
A Nature Lore in Animals obviously only affects denizens of the 'area' who are animals, though they might be supernatural animals of one kind or another. But what about knowing regio boundaries of the area, and so on? (Maybe it's knowing the area features of the places in the area where there are animals, building up a composite picture with holes in it? Something else?)