Table Talk (OOC)

One of you can start the ball rolling with a little scene as they arrive near the valley where the covenant is located. I'll jump in with the people you meet and the things you notice as you arrive.


I'm Julia. I'm from southern Germany. I have some experience with Ars Magica as a play by post game, and quite a bit of experience with play by post with The One Ring and Star Trek. Ars Magica seems to be a hard game to find offline players for so I've decided to try this forum.

I teach EFL, which is not the same as "evil", and history.

I hope I can come up with a mage that fits your story.

Welcome aboard Julia!


It's seems it's here the first step before beginning in this game. My pseudo is Lothindil, same on internet since many years. I'm come from Belgium. So, yes, I'm frenchspeaker but writing in English isn't a difficult for me. I'm playing with Ars Magica since around one year with two friends and I'm totally addicted to the system. I have many experience on role play by forum, around ten years, as players and as gamemasters on a custom system created by my husband in French. I guess PbP won't be so different.

Oh, and except when I'm working, I can easily play on American hours.

Hoping find a character who will fit with your story ^^

I've got a number of questions. I've looked at some of the other character sheets, which made me realize that character generation is going to take at least a fortnite and maybe up to two months.

So I thought: So what can I do until then?

And I found 2 answers:

  • I could play minor characters of others (grogs, familiars, apprentices etc). That raised the question if there are such characters that need running already, because it makes sense to let their creator introduce them so we get a feeling about how they are supposed to tick.
  • I could run a story as a beta guide, nothing fancy for a first attempt, but that raised questions, too: The players who have come to this game early have committed themselves to running stories for others. What about latecomers like me? Do I commit my betaguiding to certain characters? Or is it like the noticeboard in the witcher computer games where you put up a note that monster x needs slaying or that the vis source in the fairie forest should be collected, and people just sign on? Can a player sign on for more than one story? Just because they are told simultaneously doesn't automatically mean they happen simultaneously - although this couldn't take into account rewards and wounds gained in one story and therefore make it impossible to create a correct timeline? Which leads to the next question: How about the consequences of these stories: Can a betaguide run a story that angers the Fairie Queen on the mountain next to the covenant? Can they have the characters find a large cache of vis/books/magic items/invulnerability potions (obviously not)? So how do I make sure that my story doesn't derail the game by introducing unwanted elements like overpowered rewards or overpowered enemies? Do you trust me to be reasonable or is there some kind of authority that reviews the intended plots and rewards?

Preparing and running stories tailored to the other characters is just one way of contributing to the saga. There are also vis sources to detail, places to describe, etc. So you can look at the maps () and decide to lay a claim on a specific place and develop it. This will come, of course, with some stories that could happen there. The same can be with people.

As the Alpha storyguide, I am the final resource to balance things out. So if some specific reward and impact of some event is too much (or not enough), I will discuss with you ways to bring it in line with the power level of the saga.

That doesn't mean I need to know all of the details. I want to play in some stories as well, so some things can be kept secret. But establishing with me the broad outline of an area, or people, before fully developping it help keep things safe. Some things can be simply discussed with the troupe.

Let's take an example. As part of the background of the covenant, there was an arragment reached with the Telsberg family head by Leonardus for the use the small valley. Since Leonardus is gone, Clusius will have to go meet the Telsberg to present himself as Leonardus' heir. Since this is a story that my magus will need to be heavily involved in, I asked if one of the players was interested in developping the Telsberg family based on some thoughts I had on the subject. Houlio offered to do that, and also prepared his own companion to be from the Telsberg. So he has a "claim" on the Telsberg family, as indicated in this Notes and Claims post.

So there are plenty of opportunities around if you want to work on something while you complete your character! Take a look at the maps, take a look at the proposed vis sources. Share your ideas for stories, interesting locales or people. Tugurium is a place where Leonardus gathered people that didn't fit well in medieval society, so some of them, while not "playing" material, can add color to the saga. After all, the steward isn't even alive (note to self, finalize Julius' character sheet). :slight_smile:

As a final note, many of the posts in The Covenant of Tugurium, Grogs and Covenfolk, as well as Notes and Claims are set up as wikis, so that anyone can edit them. So when you create a new character, or a new place, you can just add them in the right place and create links. If you have trouble doing it, don't hesitate to ask!

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Cool, then let me start by doing the oak vis source. If that goes well, I can tackle the next one.

Can I also make a turb captain?

Where do you want me to post them (for review)?

Any character can be presented in your personal character creation topic. Vis sources should probably be presented and discussed in Covenant Discussions (OOC).

Had a weekend that was a bit unexpectedly away from home. I'm back now, and will look at getting a story post up tonight. Nice to see the new people here too!

Maybe I just haven't found it yet, but I think it would help to have a "character in a nutshell" thread (or maybe add such a text to an existing thread?):

It would be a short paragraph about what would be immediately known/seen. This might help to refer to another player's character.

Eikona ex Jerbiton is a small, woman with long gorgeous golden hair that is held by a lace scarf, but cascades down her back. Her dress looks expensive and is tailored to reveal her curves. With deep blue eyes and ruby lips, she is a true beauty. Her accent betrays her Burgundian origins. You have heard that she likes men and that her magical interests are focused on the Art of Imaginem, particularly the visual capturing of species.

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The closest thing we have is the list of inhabitants of the covenant. It is currently much shorter and concentrates on concept rather than physical appearance, but we could simply those elements there.

Does anyone have any preferred way to format in-character posts? Or do people just prefer to write them out more or less as is?

A distinctive layout would be cool. I'm marvelling at the things you guys are doing with your sheets layoutwise, but I'm no good at layouting on this forum (yet).
There is one caveat though: From another forum, I know the idea of giving each plaer a distinct color for direct speech. That looks garish more often than good.

I'm not asking for any specific format. Just make sure it is easily readable, for example by avoiding huge blocks of plain text mixing (without differenciation) descriptive information, in-character speech and out-of-character directives.

Cool, I figured now that we started a couple it would be wise to check.

@Lacnunga I've seen the colored text for different character's speech too. I think it makes it easy to read at a quick glance, but I think an ars game will have too many characters to make that viable.

Just to let you know that with the flurry of posting, and me being less active on the weekends, I'll be catching up over the next few days. My first priority will be to keep the in-character story flowing, so don't worry if you see me responding to more recent posts there and not yours. I'll get to them! :smiley:


Should I assume the early "fork" of the intro thread is done, or is there more to say? I wasn't sure if it was going to be assumed that the magi were joining the covenant, or if there should be a conversation about terms and the signing of the charter.

That is up to you. This is a "give a tour of the covenant" type of story for the moment, with each magus discovering some of the features of the covenant. I'm trying to show different features with each of the arriving magi, so that everyone can get a feeling of the place and people.

It is also the time for each magus to express his preferences for the best place for his sanctum, as well as other things he's interested in. I'm assuming Wolfgang wants one of the caves, but if that's not the case we'll put him elsewhere.

Since Wolfgang arrived first, we can also have him join the discussions with Perion.

I have just sent a private message to callen, who hasn't posted anything since February 26th. I hope we haven't lost him! But if he only resurfaces in a few weeks, his maga may have to join the second wave.

Makes sense. It's been several days so Wolfgang will have probably started setting up his lab, and yes, in a cave as you say.

As a player I don't know the terms of membership, but that may just be that I was lazy or inattentive with reading. (if so, please direct me where to look). That's what I was after with the discussion Wolfgang was proposing, I'm happy to have that conversation in posts, or for it to have happened narratively off-screen, whichever you prefer. I don't want to drag things out too much, and Wolfgang is pretty agreeable about that sort of thing anyway, so won't exactly be a "negotiation".

I think it's best to get some details figured out here out-of-context. I don't mind if we want to jump ahead in-character to something next, but if we are still waiting for other people to finish up their magi or other characters, I also wouldn't mind doing some in-character posts talking about it.

Perion would be interested in having a lab in a few places: the thin tower on the cliff above the manor house, some weird and large chamber inside the manor house, or in the caves. Perion would like the remote tower the most of these options, but if the aura there is at a lower level, he would try to find an interior chamber of the manor house. If he can't find one that works right for him, then Perion would look at the caves. If the caves are too small for two magi to have their labs there, then he would look back to one his the other earlier choices.