The sleeping night guard

The group was resting in a Barn. The Magus Ortolf woke up for some reason and left the barn. He found the grog that should be on night watch asleep. The grog named Xaverl was leaning on the wall and was snoring. Ortolf pulled his feed away so that Xaverl tumbled. Xaverl woke up and was complaining about this treatment while he was holding his weapon in direction of Ortolf. The Magus was not amused and decided to give this fellow something to think about. Ortolf used his wand with a ReCo and forced Xaverl to stand still with hands and legs stretched out. He woked up an other Grog to take over the Night watch and then went away for a while.
Xaverl was making some noise in the meantime. That woke up another Magus named Ignatz.
Xaverl is the personal shield Grog of Ignatz who was now arguing with returning Ortolf no one should cast any spell on his shield Grog. To calm down the situation Ortolf released Xaverl and ask for Ignatz to punish Xaverl. Ignatz answered that Xaverl was already punished enough.
How would your troop deal with:
a) An disrespectful l Grog
b) A Grog not fulfilling his duties
c) A Magus who put a Spell on the Grog of another Magus
d) A Magus who pampers his Grogs and (possibly) de-stabilizes the group by doing so

We'd probably discuss it, at length. so these are just guesses.

"So, it's tuesday again is it?"

To what degree?
If it's a grog trying to avoid the magi dragging her along on a trip, we have a few grogs like that. If it's a grog who refuses to put up a tent when travelling, probably laugh at him.
If it's a shield grog who refuses to get in front of the magi when the Lindworm rushes in... We'll probably have to deal with that afterwards.

What sort of spell?

  • Gift of the Bear's Fortitude? Awesome.
  • Despair of the Quivering Manacles? But why?
  • Peering Into the Mortal Mind? That's scrying!

.... no idea, we have yet to see this happen.

That's mostly about the personality of the magi in question.

There's actually rules in Covenants for handling this kind of thing from a mechanical standpoint.

For a 'troupe handling' perspecitve, it depends on the characters involved.

A) How would your troupe deal with a disrespectful grog?
IC: A subordinate being disrespectful needs to be dealt with. If not, you're encouraging the behaviour again - in that individual and in others.
OOC: Sounds like a roleplaying opportunity, but the player of the grog would realise that antagonising a magus is not a good tactic for living a long, healthy life

B) How would your troupe handle a grog not doing his duties?
IC: He'd get punished accordingly by his superior or someone appropriate. In this instance, execution might be harsh but it would be deemed acceptable. Falling asleep on watch is a very serious offence.
OOC: Without any fanfare. It might be an opportunity for some roleplay, or it might just be 'this guy gets 20 lashes...' and maybe some die rolls for covenant loyalty.

C) How would your troupe handle a magus casting a spell on another magus' grog?
IC: Depends on the specific characters involved. In the example given, not much. If the victim grog was the second magus' spouse, things would likely be more heated.
OOC: If the magi have sufficient reason to disagree that it comes to blows, that's what Certamen is for.

D) How would your troupe handle a magus who pampers his grogs?
IC: This, again, depends on the individual characters involved. Certainly a magus who does pamper grogs is going to reap the benefits of doing so: disrespect, lack of discipline and still not liked (yay, Gift). There's a good chance that one of the other magi or the turb sergeant would take said magus aside and explain why his actions are ill-advised.
OOC: This comes back and bites the magus. It's a choice, like choosing to open the trapped door. Either the magus learns or they don't.

There is a second point here; the second magus having it out with the first magus right then and there in front of the grogs. This undermines the authority of the first magus as well, and even further damages the cohesion of the group. If my Tremere magus was the first magus in this, he'd not only not cancel the spell, he'd challenge the second to Certamen pretty much immediately over the second's right to have any authority over any grogs whatsoever; the second magus has clearly demonstrated that in this field he's an idiot.

This is something I've seen happen time and again, both in literature and in real life. A person in a position of authority tries to be the 'likeable' boss; they want to be friends with everyone and be nice. It always turns out the same way every time: the person in question ends up being both disliked and disrespected, while the 'firm but fair' boss who brooks no insolence and acts more like a parent-figure than a friend-figure ends up being both liked and respected.

And once again, just for emphasis: being asleep on watch is a very serious crime - especially being asleep on watch while in the field. People have historically been executed for this, that's how serious it is. It's up there with opening the gates because the enemy asks nicely, because in many ways it's pretty much the same crime: allowing the enemy unchallenged access. It's treason by negligence, but it's still treason.

Some may consider sleeping on watch a bit beyond 'not fulfilling his duties'.
Any characters have a military background? How about characters who have read the military histories from Roman times? (a guess: Artes Liberales of 4 or 5+) Even in peace time sleeping on watch would be stripes at the very least. In war time, of course, it was death. Does this covenant never deal with people or things that can be expected to attack out of the night? Of course your troupe may choose to deal with this by "A Strong Talking To". Just don't be surprised when you're surprised in the middle of the night.

Lots of gray area to be abused here. First, was the grog asleep because he, or the player running the grog felt like it, that is making it an event or story? I'd let this go in a negotiation between the players, but generally speaking the magus needs to win against the grogs, and when the magi fight with each other, it's how the troupe wants it to go. How a troupe would deal with it will vary so much, and there really can't be a wrong answer, depending upon what the objective of the players are.

Flogging, at least.

Add another 20 lashes.

Was the ReCo spell the punishment? Because if it was, the grog got off relatively easy.

Generally speaking my magus might refuse to go on expeditions with said magus and/or that particular grog again. I'd also suggest the turb sergeant be responsible for discipline, generally speaking, although issues like falling asleep on watch need some sort of immediate response. Shield grogs generally get some leniency and, I wouldn't necessarily have a shield grog doing night watch, unless the group is small enough to require their shield grogs doing this.

Magus Ortolf is right that the grog should be punished for failing his duties. If the grog were a turb grog, it would be up to whatever commander is over the grog, or the captain of the turb.

In this case, the grog is (apparently) as custos, and commander in authority is probably the magus Ignatz. If Ignatz is satisfied that his grog has been sufficiently punished, that's that. Ignatz is also right that Ortolf had no right to punish the custos grog, and he could require some satisfaction on the point. It's a private issue, though, unless these two want to escalate.

The magi of the covenant would be in their rights to, through whatever the internal management the covenant has, order the captain that the custos grog Xaverl never be allowed to stand watch again, and the turb would probably not let him - he's a danger to them.

As for grog-coddling, that's Ignatz's problem. He's generated some resentment among his fellow magi, but such is life.

I am assuming, of course, that the custos grog is a personal bodyguard and therefor detached from and a bit aside from the regular turb. That may not be the case.

Something from real life in 1693 ( I've recently stumbled over for another rpg: "Aus dieser Zeit ist eine interessante Geschichte, die einiges über seinen Charakter aussagt, bekannt. Im September 1693, als die Armee in Ungarn lagerte, ertappte Prinz Johann Friedrich v. Württemberg einen Husaren des Pálffyschen Regiments beim Obststehlen. Da Diebstahl im eigenen Land strengstens verboten war, schoss Württemberg den Husaren mit seiner Pistole vom Baum. Graf Johann P. forderte Prinz Württemberg darauf zum Duell. Der schoss als erster, verfehlte jedoch Pálffys Kopf, der darauf an den Prinzen heranritt und ihn vom Pferde schoss (seltsamer Weise fand das Duell wohl zu Pferde statt!). Der Prinz erlag kurz darauf seiner Verletzung. Pálffy wurde anschließend vor ein Kriegsgericht gestellt, jedoch freigesprochen. Es war nicht sein einziges Duell!"
Quick translation: By harshly enforcing military discipline in the regiment of Graf Johann Pálffy ab Erdöd, Prinz Johann Friedrich v. Württemberg caused a duel in which he got killed by the Graf. And a military tribunal accepted this.

This highlights the potential for escalation - to memorable or catastophic - in the situation described in the OP. The specific discipline to which 'Xaverl' is subjected depends on the saga, the covenant and the agreement he entered with the magi. 'Grogs' (see p. 21f for sentry duty) makes generic suggestions about it.


They need to work on a ReMe spell to prevent sleep.

The one that wakes people up would work if used with Day duration. Depending on how you read it, they'll either be entirely forced to stay awake, or they'll nod off once in a while only to immediately snap to fully alert awakeness. Unless you have Harnessed Magic or similar, though, that will force fairly rapid gain of long-term Fatigue, which will also probably make the grog in question rather bitter since he won't have any way to switch shifts and get some sleep. And I know we all laugh and joke about how useless grogs are, but you do not want the only armed man awake to be angry at you while you're sleeping. (More Mentem can solve that, but that will just sow dissent among the entirety of your grog group, which will likely spread upon returning home.)

Maybe a CrMe or CrCo spell...

ReMe, D:Sun to keep someone awake.
ReCo, D:Sun to keep someone from feeling the effects of fatigue, the ReCo spell will grant a warping point, though he won't know that until he acquires a flaw...

Not sure I understand how Harness Magic would prevent long term fatigue. Even if the ReMe effect is ongoing, fatigue is still accumulated for not sleeping...

And I just had a thought about a lesser enchantment that prevents the touched target from falling asleep, with duration concentration and the item maintaining concentration.

You can't fall asleep while wearing it, but take it off at shift change and have no problem falling asleep.

Which has nothing to do with the topic of how to deal with the situation, sorry.

Harnessed Magic allows you to cancel the effects of the spell, so people can switch shifts, rather than being forced to stay up the entire night and next day. Though the above poster pointed out the possibility of using an enchanted item, which actually works rather well, and isn't even too expensive in terms of vis, so it's worthwhile in most sagas (though extreme vis-scarcity will render it unworkable in extreme sagas).

/5 sponted perdo vim would also do it - cancelling your own magic (it's a "known style of magic", and it's at touch range) is also do-able.

Alternately, learning a low-level, touch-based "cancel any form of magic" PeVe effect is a useful technique, simply due to the quirks of how PeVi magic scales. (it has a large bonus to effect, so low-level versions of them are more powerful than their level suggests.)

EDIT - oh, allowing the GROG to cancel the effect of the spell. Right.

For that, you could also put the effect in a circle - from what I recall, it only affects the individual in the circle when the effect is cast, and is cancelled once they step out. (Of course, this only is useful if "standing guard" means literally standing in one location.)

You MIGHT also be able to use a non-ritual watching ward - depending on how you interpret the Watching Ward rules. From what I recall of the clarifications to the text, Hermetic Magic can't do non-ritualized trigger magic. That's a ...Learned Magician(?) Integration. However, wards are defined by their duration - which suggests that you can use Hermetic durations with them, and get around the vis requirement.

So you can "delay this spell until Dawn" or "delay until the next new Moon" with a non-ritual Day or Moon duration Watching Ward. Or, more relevantly, you can "delay until this circle is broken". Not "until someone crosses the circle" - that seems to be the province of the ritualized version. Rather, "until someone's foot drags across the line in the sand, thus breaking the circle" duration.

Assuming that works, you can put your PeVi countermagic effect with a Ring duration on the ground, then cast your "Don't sleep" effect on the grog - when they want to fall asleep, have them break the ward, thus releasing the countermagic effect.

The issue with this, assuming that interpretation is valid, is whether the grog would have to stay inside the ward the entire time - but I don't think so. Wards are defined by their target, which can be room/structure/whatever. The individual affected by the spell isn't inside it when it's cast - that's kind of the point. So, using a Circle/Ring ward shouldn't require that the grog stay inside it, either. When they want to sleep, they just walk up to the prepared circle ward, and break it with their foot - thus having the countermagic cast on them.

Which, to be fair, is a bit complex - it does require that the magi in question learn three separate spells: ReMe "no sleep", the PeVi "countermagic" effect, and the ReVi "Circular Ward" effect. However, those last two are nice utility effects, so I'd argue that they are well worth the time to study.

EDIT - but yeah. All that, just to keep the grogs awake on watch? A Lesser Enchanted Item might be the way to go, if it becomes that much of an issue.

I Thought about a CrMe like Panik of the Trembling hearth. To create a fear of falling asleep

That never works for long, have't you seen Nightmare on Elm Street? :laughing:

Maybe we can control Mr. Krueger with ReMe to have Night watch for us :laughing:

That's probably a ReMe effect higher level (and requiring penetration, too boot) than the ReMe effect to keep the grog awake. My estimation is that Krueger is about Might 30...

There's a PeMe spell in Art & Academe that quells the inclination to rest when tiredness sets in. You accrue fatigue as normal under this spell but cannot seek sleep; the suggestion is that a Fatigue level accumulates every 8 hours, and when you fall unconscious you sleep for 8 hours and then wake up.

This works on the base guideline of 5, extending the quelling of an emotion to the quelling of the estimation.