Table talk: OOC

True, your mentem spell will but in the lab, the 5 intelligence vs the 2 intelligence is huge. In soak the 5 stamina vs 1 stamina is a large benefit.

Let's put things in perspective. Yes, for most skill use, the spell will outdo the high attribute. The difference between the 2 intelligence and 3 intelligence is like +1 to all your techniques or +1 to all forms. Between a 2 intelligence and a 5 intelligence is +3 to all lab totals and 2 stamina vs 5 stamina is +3 to all casting totals and also equal to two great charactistic virtues (we only get 10 virtues).

The high attribute is incredibly big for the following: Lab total (intelligence), Casting total (stamina), Soak (stamina), initiative (quickness for that fast cast), Quality for books/texts (communication), Load and what can be carried (including able to wear armor for soak, Strength).

There are few things more effective for the vis (8 pawns to raise a negative or 0 to 1, 12 for 4-5 seems like it mght be lot but for chargen, more than worth it. It is always harder to do this sort of thing in play it seems.Take a -3 in your initial attibutes, spend 16 pawns and suddenly it is -1, meanwhile you have +3 int and +3 stamina and equal of two improved characteristic virtues).

Especially for a magus in their first decade past gauntlet. The cost should be also way more than just the cost of the ritual, there is cost to be paid for getting it cast but that isn't set anywhere. The "I belong to cult of heroes of Mercere so they have mages that will do it for me" doesn't seem right.

Yes, I like a different flavor of play than you which is why I left Andorra, the player philosophy and game nature was such that it was not what I wanted to play. If I am a player here though, I am going to chime in these sorts of concepts.

Well, I can agree that nominally there should be a profit involved for the guy casting the rituals... unless he has virtues to reflect his close relationship with the cult and/or House Mercere. But other than that, I simply don't really agree with you.

And note, as a mundane mythic redcap, he isn't going to be using all this in the lab. Which, to me doesn't matter much, but probably will to you since you are focusing in your argument on what a mage could do with what he wants.

He chose to run it by the group to see what we thought. I am saying exactly what I think about it. Sometimes RAW can detract from a game as much as add to it. I know this was a quote from AD&D but I think it most apt for all role playing games. THe first edition AD&D Dungeon Master's guide had a line in it that was most appropriate:

THESE ARE GUIDELINES, the game world is yours and you have the right to change or ignore any part of these rules for the good of the game.

He has something granting his the equivalent of Hermetic Prestige inside of House Mercere and he's one of the 3-4 people with 'Blood of Heroes' in all of Mythic Europe. Also as I stated earlier, some of his story seasons are going to be spent doing work for the Cult of Heroes and getting these rituals cast would be the 'payment' for it. For example, the cost of whatever ritual might normally be 10 pawns of Vis, but because the Cult is a part of the Mercurians the cost to the Magi casting is only 5. My Redcap would pay the 'full price' of 10 vis and have spent a few of his story seasons doing work, this plus who he is and what he represents is (IMO) a good enough reason for the Cult to cast the rituals.

Stat augmentation rituals are what the cult does, its one of their big things in an attempt to revive the greatness of the ancient world and bring about a new and Heroic Age. So I honestly fail to see your point here either.

Yes as a player in this Saga it is your right to bring up any objections / concerns you might have, that is fine and I welcome discussion. However as Vort said, I'm playing an UNGIFTED Mythic Redcap. Why are you ignoring this and instead focusing on totally irrelevant points about Magi?

Sorry but I saw redcap, I didn't see ungifted redcap. Ungifted redcap is something else since the house does provide magic items, rituals and such to make such characters stronger and better able to what is needed. Cult of heroes (it has been a while since I read it) did not say ungifted to me but seemed to imply including gifted redcaps too (those with mythic blood can take heroic virtues and flaws and be part of the cult as can those with mercurian magic). The only character development thread to discuss characters by GIJoo was that Ex Misc so all I had to go on was Cult of Heroes Mercere.

For a mage, it is something completely different and I think that taking those rituals isn't appropriate. For an ungifted redcap, half cost rituals or that sort and longevity potion make a lot of sense with way Mercere equips and tends the ungifted members of their house.

No problem there LadyP, we'll chalk this one up to communication issues? :smiley: And I'm sure that Gifted Redcaps can be members of the Cult. So we're on the same page now and stat boosting rituals and the like for my Redcap are fine with you?

Yeah, especially since Cult of heroes text specifically gives receiving such rituals (the level 35 version) as option for ungifted redcaps of the cult. In place of 10 levels of magic items, the redcap can receive the ritual. So for a mythic blood (mythic companion) type character it is totally appropriate and justified.

Now for a mage of the cult, I am not so sure I would approve.

I don't want this saga to get into the habbit of limiting what players can do or jusging each other's power levels. If he wants stat boosting rituals, I say let him have it. I myself will be taking none, but that is my choice. I will not make that choice for another, nor would I appreciate someone making it for me.
I say we should all worry about our own characters, not about how powerful the other characters are in relation. Player jealousy is a destructive force.

Let Max be the SG handle all these decisions. I have gamed with him a few years and he always manages to maintain things in his saga very well. His Big Red Hammer is rarely ever wrong.

Ok, now it is time to unfold the Big red hammer. I like reading what you have to say as it gives some food for thought. This is one of the reasons that I ask you to bring up the questions you have in the forum. Everyone has good points and standing on the shoulders of giants make you see further. This is my ruling.

  1. Everything written in a Ars Magica 5th edition book is allowed. We all have an individual responsible for making sure that the game is fun. If you fear that huge stats are a problem then I will just toss you a few ethical dilemmas to solve.
  2. Stat boosting is allowed and I don’t see it as a huge problem, lots of bonuses are available in all sorts of virtues.
  3. For a cult of heroes member stat boosting is easily available. One of the benefits of the cult.
  4. I see the stat raises as some sort of boon for missions undertook on the behalf of the cult.
  5. The caster of the spell, at least the high level spells should give some profit to the caster (they all have the mercurian virtue). There are a few magi that can cast high level rituals.
  6. The things I can’t decide about are how fast progression in the cult is given. But the idea I have is that first negative stats is removed by a junior cult of heroes magus and after that stats are increased. Another problem I find is that is more vis efficient to a huge spell at once rather than split it up in a huge number.

A suggestion. The first few quest allows you to remove negative stats then the quests after that allows for increasing a stat at the time. Each spell casting is similar to a mystery cult initiation.

I like it! You 'lose' a season of time in service to the cult in exchange for a ritual boosting a stat by one at no vis cost. Note to self, spend time doing quests for the Cult!

Edit: My only issue is that this doesn't account for the ability to pay for them with vis, rather than get them for service to the cult. I love the service to the cult idea and what have you, but how do we want to handle if you want to actually buy the rituals with vis? I agree that Magi wouldn't do something for nothing and that the high cost of the rituals makes it far more likely that people would just want "1 or 2 big ones". So I'd love to hear solutions... Perhaps we should consider writing up the Cult and their 'Initiations' as it were?

Ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) were not domesticated until the 19th century (maybe even the 20th). You'd be looking at a European polecat (Mustela putorius), which are bigger. Or possibly a mink (M. lutreola) or stoat (M. erminea), which are smaller. Though for going unnoticed, remember that mustelids that haven't been surgically altered to make good pets, smell very conspicuously of butt-glands; not that good at being unnoticed :slight_smile:

Just a note from an observer who's an Animal specialist in real life!

I feels as if I have lost a number of players. Is there need to recruit more? Do you wish that I start a plot thread that we can use to get going?

A plot thread would be good, it would force us lazy bums to toss out our character sheets and allow you to see who exactly is active.

Actually, you need to check your history a little: Ferrets have been domesticated for a long time but wild or domestic, the animal is the same.

second, who cares if the animal is domesticated. Eagles and dolphins have never been domesticated. I was looking more at a small rodent that is very flexible without going with the stereotypical mouse or rat. The odor can give things away but more after the fact, they can still move around and if you aren't looking for them, you might not see them. Since I can cast though in animal forms (unbound tongue and subtle magic), I could probably arrange to hide the smell (probably Personal MuAn type affect). Mink might be better since they are harder to see in the dark and shadows. I just love ferrets as cute so player view was leaking through.

But yeah, I know all those small animals have scent glands and while not as bad as skunk, they can be close. I still need to come up with Eagle statistics since I have dolphin down.

History? What is phylogeny if not a solid, traceable, completely objective history? "Domestication" in this instance isn't just a matter of behavioural modification; it actually reflects genetic changes in the animal. By that rationale, wolves and dogs would be identical, yet they are significantly different on a genomic level, and radically different psychologically. The domestic ferret differs significantly enough from the European polecat to be a separate phylogenetic branch off the Mustelid tree.

Also, mustelids != rodents; mustelids are carnivorous mammals, while rodents are teeth-grinders. Definitely with you on the flexible thing, though-- one of my ferrets slept curled 540 degrees (actually curled up, only instead of nose-to-butt, wrapped around more so his head and his butt were on opposite sides of the ball... this looks much cuter than it sounds, really, but was still impressive on a "how the heck is his back not broken?" level :p)

As far as the scent glands go... I like the smell of skunk, but intact ferrets "pouf" (the expulsion of the scent glands when they get excited, scared, or mad) is an incapacitating level of nausea. The only stink that even comes close, is the way your urine smells after eating asparagus. It's kind of like that, only infinitely more intense.

I would imagine a polecat with a human mind would be able to suppress its glands. Domestic ferrets, OTOH: "ooh look! I was dancing around and that WALL just leaped out and attacked me!" POUF

I have been on the receiving end of a less than pleasant schedule lately. I will try and catch up sooner rather than later with a character build etc.

I have been re reading the creation rules:

How are affinities handled for a season (15 xp instead of 10?)
Do we have any vis coming from the 7 seasons or only from the special events?
What year was last tribunal?

  1. Yes, 15xp instead of 10
    2- 5 pawns per year, they can be saved. Extra vis from story if you wish-
  2. Sorry does not have a clue on that one. But the year we start the game is 1220 c.e.
  1. How many would you deem 'a few Vis' to be in character creation with regards the 'special thing' you can get for story flaws etc.? Being Verditius I figure I'm going to be quite Vis hungry, hence the question.

  2. Also, do you include 'Initiation into a Minor House Mystery' within the broad title of 'Initiation into a Mystery Cult'? I'm keen to ultimately learn several if not all of the Verditius Minor Mysteries, and would like to start with one (Verditius Runes - p127 Mystery Cults) as a minimum. Is this okay? Is there a maximum at character start up?

Thank you Max.


Short answers.

  1. 3 pawns
  2. A possiblility to undergo a initiation could be a reward but perhaps not more than once per 7 years.