Table Talk: (Out of Character)

For all out of character conversation, general waffle, discussion of rules, statements of absence.

Just as an FYI, I'll be on vacation from March 18th through March 29th. I may have some Internet access, but I'll be on my phone, so posting will be at a minimum, if at all.

Koschei, do you want us to start putting up our characters on this forum? If so, what format would you like us to use?

One format that I've used before is to use the first message of the magus' topic to post the most up-to-date stats, with further messages are used to discuss his evolution through time.

For example, the topic could look like this:

  • First post: initially just a place holder, or the work-in progress stats of the character
  • Second post: a few notes by me to explain the various points that need to be confirmed by the SG
  • X next posts: the other players commenting on my character, suggesting chances and/or pointing out various mistakes
  • Eventually: his stats right out of Gauntlet
  • After that: season-by-season changes to the character, including discussions of his various projects

Throughout it all, the stats of the first message are kept up to date.

How does that look?

That is fine, I did not originally envisage we would be ready to start by then.

Okay, sure, lets go with that. I had a slightly different idea, but I think this is probably better.

For companion ideas, should we post them here?

Sure, that works.

Totally swamped trying to clear off my desk before vacation. I'll try and slip a post in for my magus.

So, companion. Basic idea is a covenant raised character with a weird sense of the outside world. More specifically, I was thinking of doing a failed apprentice with a mercenary streak. Having been an apprentice for a bit, he knows what's possible and doesn't want to get old. The powers that be in his home covenant told him to go pound sand, so he's been looking for a group of magi willing to take him in and bribe him with a bit of vis here and there and, eventually, a longevity ritual. I thought I'd give him a useful supernatural ability (or two) as left overs from his training, a bit of fighting for adventures and have him charge a vis a season for lab help. If we're putting companions with specific magi, I had him in mind for the necromancer, as he'll be much more used to magi and their ways than most, and possibly not a Christian.

My question is, would people want a character like this around? (And would Koschei allow it?) I figure being able to trade a vis for a lab bonus makes it worthwhile, but if people don't like the idea of a companion sucking up magi resources, I can back it down and focus more on the supernatural abilities and background weirdness.

Give me opinions and I'll start working him up.

My necromancer would welcome the companion. Zharkune would be surprised that anyone would want to assist a necromancer, but that plays into his (false?) hope to remove the stigma around necromancy. I'm trying to tweak the character stats at present and struggling to pick between with small things. I've now got around 26+ custom necromancy spells in draft that I'll be looking to create over the stories.

It is very plausible that Zharkune might have encountered and recently recruited the companion. A human aide would make so many of the necromancer's tasks safer and quicker. The promises of a home, of influence as a Sorcerer's aide, of a magically extended lifespan...

Zharkune is happy to pay the companion through the promise of the longevity ritual (and I'd go on record to say I'll supply that as a player when the time is due) more than vis each season, or if he's getting paid each season the ritual will cost him a lot of those seasons worth when it's finally needed. I doubt any of us will have "spare" vis in the early stages of the game.

It depends on what relationship you wish him to have with Zharkune. Out of game I think you need to be much more than just a lab assistant, but the backstory can be that of an assistant. Your companion needs to have more freedom and breadth than others, so perhaps Zharkune sends him off frequently to gather this or that, which help get you into stories and out of the lab.

It has me thinking that a few spells to allow the companion to control a zombie pack might be handy too...there is that "Passing the Reigns of Corpus" spell from Magi of Hermes which would do that well.

Offhand, the failed apprnetice companion would be of relatively low interest to my Flambeau, as he won't focus too much on lab work. Not that I won't have him spend time in the lab inventing spells and stuff, but rather that it won't be a priority for him and not something he'd be willing to expend ressources on.

What might be interesting as a companion for my magus would be some sort of grog leader. He'll need some spokesman when dealing with mundanes, as well as someone more skilled in mundane combat (mostly defense) to organize the turb of grogs that we will inevitably need.

A hunter might be useful if the setting is appropriate. This could be either lethally for resources (vis or pelts), to capture animals for trading (mundane menageries, trained animals) or even to help locate potential familiars. My magus already has a spell that allows him to identify the prey they are following (Image of the Beast), so vis hunts are a good potential avenue for stories.

Another potential avenue for companions might be a spurned or abandoned venditor (from the Verditius section of HoH:MC), how would have the Hermetic contacts to help us acquire the Hermetic resources that we may lack in exchange for vis. So this companion would be more of a political/merchant type rather than a classical adventuring type. This would fit well with Hadrianus' ambitions, as he will need an intermediary to establish a lot of contacts in the Tribunal and abroad. A more social companion would also be useful in general for our covenant for stories involving mundanes, particularly nobility and the church (thus fulfilling a role that my smuggler companion might not be able to).

I'm not saying anyone needs to build any of those companions. Just identifying some that might fit well with my magus. There might be others.

BTW, I suspect that vis will be the first kind of resources that we will be able to acquire, by exploring the area around our covenant.

I like the idea of a mercenary failed apprentice lab/assistant, such a character is a good fit, whereas they might struggle with a more established or legitimate covenant. If people feel they would be willing to hire such a character I have no qualms at all against him.

Personally I think Zharkune should have a short, aggressive companion that he often argues with by the name of montaron. :smiley:

A grog leader/turb sergeant would be useful, this is a role that will ultimately be filled somehow, so don't feel like you have to tick that box, but obviously do so if you want to.

There will be some hunting opportunities, so the hunter could work, but in general the hunter will likely bring in a whole batch of other skills just as or more important.

I am not directly familiar with the venditors, but a hermetic merchant, especially one down on his luck, would work very well. They might struggle at first but the saga will have potential.

A venditor is the selling agent of a Verditius. They interact with the mundane world to distribute the items enchanted by the magus. Since a given Verditius can only legally sell one item per year, the venditor spends much of his time sifting buyers’ interests and traveling far and wide to find the most lucrative deal for his employer. Venditores who illegally sell more items then the imposed Tribunal limit are much busier, and more careful. Verditius magi do not need a venditores for interactions with other magi, although one is often used if distance and travel time are problematic.

Being a Venditor is a major social status virtue and gives access to Academic abilities as well as 50 xp to be spent in Bargain, Charm, Folk Ken, Guile, Intrigue, or any Living Language.

(Reference: HoH:MC p.114 and p.136)

I always figured such things would be outsourced to House Mercere or Jerbiton, but yea a Magus-Mundane-Mercant intermediary is a great idea.

Well, House Verditius has had some limits imposed on it to avoid running into the "interfering with mundanes" clause of the Code.

Having a redcap or a Jerbiton arrange the sale to a mundane is still technically having a magus sell magic items to mundanes (thus interfering with mundanes). That would be no different from the Verditius arranging the sale themselves. Having a venditor also insulates everyone from additional demands from those mundanes, to retribution from the mundane's enemies, etc.

Yeah, I didn't figure on him being a straight lab based Igor. The way this has worked in the game I'm in is that most of the companions have jobs around the covenant, but also have a special friend among the magi, and when that magi goes out, so does the companion. Not sure if that's the normal pattern or not. Very early ideas, I'd thought of giving him animal ken and making him something of a kennelmaster/huntsman. I more or less planned on him not really liking labwork. It's difficult to be reminded of the world shattering power that you almost had. But needs must, and people who want to live to 150 with the body of a thirty-five year old sometimes have to make sacrifices. I'd planned on buying reasonable combat capabilities and other useful skills. The idea being that I'm a good all around hand, and when you need me, I'm happy to work in the lab as long as I'm (ultimately) getting paid. I'll work something up and see how it looks.


Koschei - should companions be from the game tribunal, or should I just pick somewhere and let you take care of that? I could be from Italy so Zhar and I can talk.

Koschei, gm request. In the thread for my magus there's a question as to whether or not I can have the Outsider flaw. Can you have a look and make a call? Thanks.

I'm back from vacation and working on catching up.

Sorry I have not been around, I have had a crazy time of it of late...

With regard companions, just make the character and if needs be I will tweak or fudge it. Have them be able to talk to the Magus that they ought to be loyal to at least.