Thomas The Rhymer, doctrinae Criamonis

Post Gauntlet Advancement:
Year 1-4: "The Horn Hill Years" 96 In, 14 Vi, 5 Cr, 5 He
Year 5: "Durenmar, In Disgrace" 15 Scribe, 15 Craft
Year 6: 30 Penetration
Year 7: 15 Durenmar Lore, 15 Imaginem
Year 8: 25 Spell, 5 Penetration
Year 9: "Journey to The Cave of Twisting Shadows" :

  • Path Mystery,
  • Attune Talisman (0/6)
  • Enchant Talisman Using Text - Accept Mental Commands (Base 15 +1 Conc +5L item conc = InMe 25) (attune scrying +3) LT: In 23 + Me 5 + Int 2 + Aura 3 + MT 3+ Inventive Genius 3 + 5 Talisman = 44
  • Enchant Talisman Using Text - Companion’s Sidestep (As Wizard's Sidestep, + 1 Touch +3 triggered +6L 50 uses/day) = ReIm 24, LT: Re 5 + Im 5 + Int 2 + MT 3 + Aura 3 + Inventive Genius 3 + 5 Talisman = 26

Year 10: "Captured by the Elfqueen", 15 Criamon Lore, 15 Athletics

75 Build Points:

25bps - Device: Simulacrum of the Spheres (HProj 92) InIm24, ReTe37 (7/12)
Invested Item, rock crystal set in complex mesh of metal wheels. Used as an Astrolabe, provides +3 bonus to horoscope work. In the Lab, provides : +1 Aesthetics, +3 In, +2 Vi

"A Collection of Grief Stricken Thoughts, Vol 1 - Preparations"

  • 15bps - Tractus: Preparations, Code of Hermes tractus, Quality 15
  • 0 bps - Device: Simulacrum of the Spheres (bought the device)
  • [strike]10bps - Device: Hearing the Tearing (HProj 82) InVi 49[/strike]
  • 0 bps - The Master's Message (HProj 81) ReVi 20
  • Touch/Moon version of Intangible Tunnel (bought with XP)
  • 0 bps - Fingers for Eyes (Hproj 84) InIm 5 (See room around target) (bought with XP)
  • 3bps - Yesterday's Lecture (Base 5 +1 Touch +1 Dia) CrMe 15 (Implants a whole memory. Surprisingly versatile.)

"A Collection of Grief Stricken Thoughts, Vol 2 - Methods"

  • [strike]Tractus - Methods[/strike]
  • 2bps - Convergence of Birth (HProj 91), InCo10
  • 1bps - Convergence of Place (HProj 92) InCo 4
  • [strike]4 bps - The Minute of Reckoning (HProj 80), ReVi 20
  • Dia version of Intangible Tunnel[/strike]
  • 2bps - Break the Shield (HProj 85) PeVi 10 (Breaks your Parma)
  • 3bps - Fading Star of Evening (HProj 86) CrVi 15 (Warping attack)
    RP Note: This well-perused pair of volumes are heavily worn, with many comments in the margins (including whole spells), and many missing pages. Each volume constitutes a tractus, with the various spells included as examples in-line with the main text. This copy of volume 2 contains ONLY the illuminations and is missing the tractus itself.
    [strike]Text[/strike] indicates details that are known to be missing.
    A magus offered to make True Thomas a Simulacrum if he would copy the books for him. Later, Thomas made a copy for himself as well. Additional volumes are rumored to exist, and Thomas knows at least one buyer for such a find.

5bps - Determine Location of Absent Volume InAn 25 (CrIm) Arc, Conc, Ind,
5bps - The Inexorable Search InCo 25 (CrIm) Arc, Conc, Ind (this version uses the same mirror/map modification as above)

2 - Item of Quality - Mortar and Pestle, +4 Craft:With Ink
12 bps - The Skull of Demetrius filius Abdkypris doctrinae Criamonis (+3 Com, Teach 3, Enigmatic Lore 6 (Also: Criamon Lore, Latin, Order of Hermes Lore and a bunch of other stuff yer daddy shoulda taught you by now). In stark contrast to Joe the Vim Summa, the ornately decorated Skull of Demetrius does not actually talk. Or move. In fact, it is not actually clear how The Skull transmits information, except that it does, if you meditate upon it for a season. You may have just figured all of that out yourself. Per the Teaching rules, up to 15 people can spend a season staring at the skull at time before some of them feel bored or restless. It is easy to stare at the skull. It is the Final Repose of a Criamon magus, focused on teaching his House how to get along better with the rest of the Order. You may be able to barter with the skull in order to get it to teach all the other stuff it knows.

((OOC: Mostly, I just want the Enigmatic Lore and Criamon Lore. It may teach other stuff to Janet and my kids.)

Thomas Learmont the Rhymer, Criamon, 10 YEARS POST-GAUNTLET
Voting Sigil - a cameo locket, with an ivory engraving of a partially opened cameo
Casting Sigil - impressionistic colors (“flashback coloration”)

The Gift, Magus, Enigmatic Wisdom(free), (Path of Seeming)
Privileged Upbringing (Minor, General) - Born of the puppet nobles who keep Horn Hill out of trouble, Thomas was born into the good life.
MMF - Scrying (learning information that is distant in space or time from the caster) (Major, Hermetic)
Premonitions (Minor, Supernatural)
Affinity with Intellego (minor hermetic)
Inventive Genius (minor Hermetic)
Pussiant Intellego (Minor Hermetic)
Good Teacher (minor Gen)
Free Study (m H)
Clear Thinker, Common Sense, and Keen Vision (Path of Seeming)

Heir/Close Family Ties (minor Story) - he's either the supposed heir of Horn Hill's puppet noble, or his natural and noble family are close enough to the covenant setting to cause problems.
Covenant Upbringing (m Per) - raised in Horn Hill
Greater Maledict - Speak The Larger Truth (M Gen) - He can only say things which he knows are true. And since he's a Criamon, this ends up being a quite complex issue.
Obsessed with Scrying (minor Personality) - it's like being a gossip, only with magic
Visions (m, Story, Supernatural) - Yes, I know what the rules are about Story virtues. They're stupid. There is room enough for him to be plagued by visions AND have a family.
Deficient Technique (Perdo) - M Hermetic - so obsessed with Knowing Things, that he has a hard time destroying them.
Disfigured - by stigmata

Personality Traits : Studious +2, Noble Bred +3, Philosophical -2
Reputation (Criamon) 0 : Broken Criamon vows by having children (no point yet)
Reputation (Rhine Tribunal) 5: Pen-pusher. Spent nearly four years working as a scribe at Durenmar, a job fit only for apprentices

Int +2 Per 0 Age: 30
Pre 0 Com +2 Size: 0
Str 0 Sta +1 Confidence: 1 /3
Dex 0 Qik 0 Warping:

AL: Scotland (nobility) 2
AL: Durenmar (covenfolk) 2
Artes Liberales (ritual) 2 +3 horoscopes
Athletics (running) 3
Craft: With Ink (tattoos) 2
Prof:Scribe (lab texts) 3
Stealth (nocturnal) 2

NLang Scottish (rhymes) 5
Latin (Hermetic) 4 (from Privileged Upbringing)

Code of Hermes (scrying) 2
Criamon Lore (Path of Seeming) 2
Faerie Lore (names) 0
Magic Theory (spells) 3
Parma Magica (Mentem) 1
Penetration (Intellego) 4

Enigmatic Wisdom (Twilight) 2
Premonitions (nobility) 2

Creo 5
Intellego* 20 +3
Rego 5

Animal 5
Aquam 5
Herbam 5
Imaginem 5
Terram 5
Vim 5

Spells (* = Indicates a Scrying Spell) (CT +Aura+die)
*Hunter’s Sense, InAn 30 Per, Sun, Hearing, CT 34
.....Sense animal motivations
*Enchantment of the Scrying Pool, InAq 30 Touch, Year, Ind, Ritual, CT 37
Air’s Ghostly Form CrAu 5 Touch, Diam, Ind, CT 5
*Fingers For Eyes, InIm5 Touch, Dia, Room (HProj 84), CT 34
.....Use through Master's Message to see room
*Summoning the Distant Image, InIm 25 Arc, Conc, Room, CT 34
*Sense the Feet that Tread the Earth, InTe 30 Touch, Conc, Part, CT 34
The Master’s Message, ReVi 20 Touch, Moon, Ind (HProj 81), CT 11
.....Intangible Tunnel effect, up to mag+1

The vis idea ended up seeming like overkill.

If we're having him enter as the last stanzas of the Tam Lin story, then let's have him show up on a night full of winter power -- the solstice. Lots of power and dark accords for the Elfqueen, and the Aegis casting ritual going on for the covenant.

Now that I'm finally to the point where I actually feel like paying attention to what's going on here rather than just glancing and moving on, I feel like I should probably address a concern I have.

I'm not really comfortable with the idea of an actual historical figure as a PC, especially one who would be (historically) three years old when the saga starts (unless he was raised in a faerie regio with some serious time dilation going on).

I don't have a problem with a PC who is loosely based on an historical figure (in much the same way that The Adventures of Hercules and Xena: Warrior Princess were based on ancient Greece).

Know what I mean? I'm not saying I want you to scrap the whole character, I just want you to make him your own. I don't want to fall into a trap of finding some historical tidbit that said the real Thomas the Rhymer (for example) got married in 1241 and feeling like that has to (or should) happen in the saga.

I'm with you on this point. The background stuff is meant to add color, not define things tightly. I've already made some enjoyable alterations to "historical truth" by shifting birthdays and age relationships, and then reading Hermetic Projects. I'm not interested in using the dates for hard and fast rules, so much as possibly letting the historical figure be a source of potential inspiration.

Again, my original concept was "greek oracle," but then I decided to shift it to "oracle of a nature related to local geography." It's our bad luck that I found a person rather than an archetype first. If there'd been a more generic type of Scottish prophet/oracle that showed up higher on the google page, then I'd be using them just as happily.

Edit: That said, I think I've already neatly sidestepped this problem by having the largest body of literature regarding the person be part of his introduction story. The story of Tam Lin ends with Janet freeing Thomas Rhymer from the Elfqueen, which is where I'd like to pick up. Beyond that, the only significant details of his life were the specific prophecies that he made -- and as far as I'm concerned, if you decided to use those as inspiration, I wouldn't likely even notice.

A few notes:

I double checked the validity of my specialities, and then decided to switch Durenmar Lore to (covenfolk), and Premonitions from (familial) to (nobility) -- his family are nobles, but this opens things up a little.

Note that with a Per 0 + Premonitions 2 + specialty 1 = 3+die, he automatically Premonitions imminent mortal peril to nobility, including himself.

Speaking of his noble self, I still haven't chosen between Heir and Close Family Ties. I guess I'm pending input from the campaign on this one. I've currently got his birthplace as the puppet noble family associated with Horn Hill -- no idea if any information about Horn Hill pre-exists, if there's any possible tie-ins to other magi, or anything else. Basically, I'm asking for ideas to further integrate my character into the saga setting using close noble ties.

Filling out his backstory, I decided to bring Laguna Sententia, the apprenticeship covenant of my other forum character, into this game. Ashka, the Tremere necromancer who lives at Laguna Sententia is the one who basically paid him the 75 build points that he's bringing with him. By extension, that means that his magic astrolabe was made by Norbart Gunthar, pater to my other character. I still need to name Thomas's parens, and fill in the details of his time at Durenmar, so Ashka makes for his only pen pal currently.

Also, I just want to double check on this point because absolutely no one has commented on it: Is everyone cool with the idea that [size=200]I am playing a Demon Tainted Companion[/size] ?

'Cuz, she's going to be right there in the covenant and everything.

Heir could be interesting, since we have a noble right up the road who's vaguely familiar with the covenant and who holds all the lands around the loch. Close Family Ties could work, too. But of the two, I'm slightly leaning toward Heir.

And I thought Janet was Fae-tainted? Oh, wait. Margaret. I can work with it.

Fae-cursed, Infernally befriended. The girl's got potential.

Tangent: Has anyone seen Record of Lodoss War? One of the running gimmicks in that movie was that every high-level fighter class who met the protagonist (a low-level knight-wannabe) would say, "The kid's got potential." That's Janet. Everyone who looks at her thinks, "That girl has got potential."

Potential for what, is the question.

A brief digression into a component of the game mechanics which I never look at: Reputation changes over time.

Thomas goes to Durenmar in 1214.1, and offers to do scribal grunt work, of the sort mocked by his tyro equals, and immediately gains Rep 1: Pencil Pusher.

He then spends another 15 seasons after that, continuing to gain reputation as a pencil pusher. He gains 1 xp for every "act" that contributes to his reputation. Should we count that as another 15 xp in that Rep? That only brings him to Rep 2 and change, which seems a bit small for 4 years of demeaning work in a well-networked covenant that has frequent guests.

Okay, at a quick glance, Thomas spent 6 seasons reading (assumed) Q15 books, 4 seasons making the 2 copies of his 50bp grimoire, and 1 year spent learning 25 levels of spells and 5 pts of In (I will avoid the standard tangent on spending XP on spells, except to say that this exercise really points it out in stark constrast). One of those Q15s is from scribe, though and another is Durenmar Lore, so those could easily be explained along the way . So let's say:
4 seasons reading, 4 seasons copying for his private gain = 8 seasons.
1 seasons scribing under the eyes of a Q15 tutor, and
another 7 seasons of general scribing (during which he picked up 15xp of Durenmar as exposure, and somehow managed to learn 25 spell levels and a bit about Intellego along the way fudge fudge fudge).

Tangent: Assuming his 25bp Magic Astrolabe was made by Norbert, it's pretty easy to deduce that this cost the covenant of Laguna Sententia a grand total of 8 pawns of vis + some hermetic alchemy vis extraction which is like free money for any lab rat, in exchange for Thomas spending 4 seasons of copying AND 4 seasons at Durenmar earning the right to copy. Works out to 1 pawn/season. You know what, maybe that's not such a tangent. Such a raw deal should certainly be some kind of multiplier.

Okay, so his first season there, he agrees to be supervised in his scribal duties, which ends up working out sort of great for him, cuz he basically gets a Scribe'ing tutor, but it makes his reputation. Rep 1, or 5xp.

Now, the 4 seasons spent reaping the rewards of his demeaning duties with book access, he's just sort of a background figure, so I could see that earning him 1xp/season = 4xp, current total 9xp.

The 4 seasons he spends copying the book earns him ridicule not just for buying a bridge in Brooklyn, but also because it takes him so gorram long. Of course, the joke is on them, because he only took so long so he could make a copy for himself too, but he still earns his bad rep. Call that 3xp/season? 21xp so far.

Now, the other 7 seasons should be at least 7 xp just for STILL being at Durenmar (yes, I'm not doing this in any kind of chronological order, but that's fine). 28xp.

He specializes in lab texts. 7 seasons * 240 spell levels/season, average spell requested is lvl 30, that's around 56 spells he copies out for other people. 1 xp per, we're up to 84 xp, that places him somewhere above the Rep 5 that I estimated originally.


On the other hand, now I've established exactly what his reputation is, which makes it all a bit more usable in game. "Oh! I've heard of you. I think you did one of our lab texts. Hey, I heard you spent like a decade at Durenmar getting paid a pawn/season to do inventory and sweep up after the real magi."

Contemplating a few minor tweaks on the character:

1) I'm rankling a bit at gaining Common Sense as a virtue as part of his first initiation into the Path of Seeming. Nevermind that I don't feel like I'd need it as a player, but it's also next to impossible to use in a PbP setting. On the other hand, I am hard pressed to find a thematically appropriate virtue to replace it with. Something that implies an ability to see clearly, possibly an additional +3 bonus like the other two minor virtues. The nearest I could think of was Puissant Ability:Folk Ken, but that sort of overlaps with Clear Thinker already. A second Keen Sense? Suggestions?

2) Aside from the riddles surrounding his choice of actions during his first ten years, there's very little in his backstory yet about actually being a Criamon. Partly this is because I'm still familiarizing myself with that part of the canon. I have yet, for example, to pick his pater or write any concrete experiences of his life as an apprentice. If you have any favorite bits of Criamon-ness, or recall any published in the RAW that you think worth pointing out, please do so.

3) Given that scrying on magical targets is so dependent on penetration, I think it'd be wise for him to be able to create Symbolic Representations for the +2 multiplier to Penetration. He's sadly unsuitable for such an effort right now -- Dex 0, and no suitable skill (unless you want to argue Prof:Scribe somehow).

On the other hand, it was pretty easy for me to squeeze 15xp out of Post Gauntlet XP to spend on a Craft. The only question becomes which one. The obvious Criamon choice is "Tattoos." The backstory-thus-far obvious choice would be "Illumination." This leads to the following spell design

"Epiphany of the Illuminated Experience"
ReHe(MuCo), Base 5, +1 Touch, Mom, +1 Part = 15
Free Requisites: An, and Te as appropriate
Turns an illumination into a tattoo. Works best if the illumination was previously painted directly onto the subject by the caster, however the spell will also transfer an illumination from a page onto a body with a Dex+Finesse roll vs EF 9. If the caster did not create the illumination, then +3 to the EF. This same spell can be used to move a tattoo from the body and onto a page (if the tattoo is enchanted, then there'll need to be some kind of penetration roll.) (Loosely based on Dance of the Spidery Ink, HProj 93)

(Alternatively, could I get a Craft skill that covers both tattoos and drawing, so I don't have to tattoo every symbolic connection onto my body?)

3b) Could I take out one of the low level spells from his grimoire and spend 2bp on an Item of Quality related to his craft? In Bibracte, qcipher bought IoQs for 2 apiece, but I don't know if that was house rule or what. Also, what would the item and bonus be?

4) I should probably have a resource for learning Enigmatic Wisdom. If I pay the bps, can I have a talking skull/ghost mentor? Possibly stat him up as a grog? He can hang out with Janet and teach her Enigmatic Wisdom while Margaret looks after the kids, while I'm gone.

I'll call him Grandpater. He'll hate Joe.

More tweaks:

5) Given the current stat of the covenant, would it be better if I took something beside Free Study? It seems like its going to be a while in the campaign before he can use 4+ Intellego vis for study, and the math makes it a questionable proposition anyway.

6) Given that I just realized that I can cast it as a non-fatiguing spont in Aura 0+, I'm swapping Search for Vis with Air’s Ghostly Form CrAu 5.

7) Being a generous soul, I've decided that Janet's Lesser Malediction shouldn't cause her to spend the rest of her life pregnant. Just the next seven years. :smiling_imp:

Tattoos/Stigmata: A third eye, inside a mouth with pointed teeth.

Corrected Janet's stats after realizing Improved Char only added 3pts, not 7. This takes her out of the realm of potential fighter, but she now has Int 1, Per 3, Pre 3, Com 5, so she's still a teen mother who coulda have been something.

Also noted that her Black Sheep flaw gives her a negative Reputation in Cill Chuimein. I spent 20 minutes on Google looking for insulting terms for single mothers, but could only find websites explaining why we need to love them and treat them special. So I went with "Rep 2: Harlot Married to a Freak." After all, she got preggers out of wedlock, and now she keeps coming back to church on Sundays with her nose up in the air like that and have you SEEN the man she's shacked up with over in that other village? The one with all the wierdos? Well, THIS weirdo has a giant tattoo all over his face...

While doing all of this, I disturbed myself a great deal by running the City & Guild workshop numbers to see if Prof:Harlot would be a viable income source. Thank you, Game of Thrones.

Made some changes, above:

The problem with The Skull of Demetrius as a teacher is that it effectively counters the whole premise of the covenant having poor learning resources, but there aren't any rules for buying it as Signifacatos (Cov 101). Throwing some roleplaying limits on it is the best I've come up with so far.

~tap, tap~ This thing still on? It's been over a week since I posted these questions, and I've heard nothing but crickets.

Until somebody tells me otherwise, I have Craft:With Ink on my character sheet. This includes making ink, illuminations, and tattooing.

See stats, above.

While waiting for an indication about vis supplies in this game, I decided to take Puissant Penetration instead.

Sorry, I totally whiffed on the questions, there. I'm going to be in and out doing errands and having my 30-day review at work today, but I'll think about them and try to get something coherent put together by bedtime tomorrow evening.

Agree, that Common Sense doesn't make much sense in a pbp saga, unless it's for a player who has a tendency to make the wrong decisions for his character. How does Puissant Awareness sound?

Or Craft: Inking works too, but it's a reasonable ability.

I don't think it was a house rule, but I'm okay with it here. Perhaps a pen? I'll look through the S&M bonus charts later and see what strikes me, unless you come up with something first.

Let's go with a high-Grog level Magic Being.

To be honest, I'm not sold on the 5e rules on studying from vis. You study art/5 pawns of vis, and regardless of how much you study, you always get stress die + aura? 4E, now that I dig out my rulebook, is only slightly better (1, 2, or 3 pawns of vis, multiply the number of pawns by a stress die, add the Aura, gain that many experience points up to a maximum gain of three levels). I would kind of like to house-rule this to get something better, but I'm not sure how yet.

(In other words, yes, at least partly because I'm not all that happy about studying-from-vis rules.)

Finally getting around to plugging the character sheet, and I'm not seeing where the "2+3" on Artes Liberales comes from. Is there a Virtue I'm not seeing that increases his AL score?

Also, I don't have Hermetic Projects, so I have no idea what Fingers for Eyes and The Master's Message do.

The +3 applies to horoscopes, and comes from his magic astrolabe. It's the bonus suggested by HProj for the device.

Fingers for Eyes is basically a Touch version of Summoning the Distant Image, allowing the magus to see for a Diameter through the eyes of a target that he touches. Which would be pretty useless on its own, but if you're touching the person through an Intangible Tunnel, then it has more utility. So long as they're in a Room.

The Master's Message is an Intangible Tunnel-like effect that uses Touch instead of an Arcane Connection, and lasts for Moon duration. The idea is that you cast it on a grog, and then send HIM off to do things, while Thomas checks in on him from time to time, judiciously CrMe's the memory of a conversation about what to do next, speaks to him through a Phantasmal Head, or whatever.

I thought I had posted this somewhere, but I can't find it: I don't want people using virtues/flaws/stuff from books that I don't have (the books I do have are on my Library Thing).

That being said, it looks like The Master's Message is just a variant of The Intangible Tunnel. For which, the base effect is somewhat confusing, and involves math. If I'm reading it correctly, if you have a Level 45 Tunnel, that has a base level of 20, which allows you to cast 20th level spells through it. It's Base 20, +4 magnitudes for R: Arcane Connection, and +1 for D: Concentration. The Master's Message changes the Range to Touch (+1 instead of +4), and Duration to Moon (+3 instead of +1). That reduces the magnitudes added due to DRT from +5 to +4. So, if I'm following correctly, a Level 20 Master's Message has a base level of 4, +1 for R: Touch, and +3 for D: Moon. Which means, with a Level 20 Master's Message, you can only cast spells of less than 4th level through it.

The math for Fingers for Eyes works, if you're only using one sense (Sight) instead of two (Sight and Hearing) as in Summoning the Distant Image. But, as you pointed out, it's not every useful without some kind of long-distance tagging spell to go along with it.

The astrolabe: that's like a lab bonus for an item, right? Makes sense, and I'll allow it.

The Master's Message, I'm going to disallow, and I'll put a post in the House Rules thread about what books are usable/not usable for character generation, just to avoid this situation in the future.

Fingers for Eyes is allowable, if you still want it.