Tribunal Activities

We have tribunal coming up, and I have an agenda for the Praeca, a theatrical framework, and the official schedule of meeting events, but some clutter is desirable.

Things to do at Tribunal:

The Tribunal meeting itself; official business, disputes, legal points, complaints, political diatribes, announcements, pronouncements from other Tribunals

Shop for books / Sell your "masterpiece" / Arrange copying


Trade vis
-Make a vis trading agreement for a term
-Farm out a vis source

Complain about these apprentices these days

-Certamen for fun
-Certamen for wagers
-Certamen for disputes
-Grog wrestling / sport melee

Get the news from exotic, far-off places on the other side of the Tribunal

-Arrange a lecture tour


Magi displays of enchanted items for commissions

Covenfolk display of craft works for commissions

Seek covenfolk specialists / journeymen / young grogs from other covenants

Foster children

Mate hunting (mainly covenfolk)

Other activities to suggest?


-Find political supporters for your personal goals
-Find young magi to fill up your winter covenant
-Find young/poor magi help in your laboratory
-Show off to increase your reputation
-Attend a gauntlet
-"Trade" for an apprentice
-Try to avoid this nasty Bonisagus to snatch away your Apprentice


I would dearly like to see a source book on the Order, with particular focus on Tribunal meetings (and Grand Tribunals).

Perhaps Tribunal Adventures could be the topic of a Subrosa edition. What do you think?


What the tribunal consists of is going to vary hugely from tribunal to tribunal.

At one end of the spectrum you have Normandy with its tournament and likely a fair attached. Magic item contests, magi-focused fair games and entertainments, etc. (which of these magi can hold a Palm of Flame active with a ferret in their trousers! bet now! compete now!)

At the other end, you've got Loch Legelan and Novgorod - where the tribunal meeting isn't significantly different in size or attendance than the annual council meeting of the host covenant, with probably the same amount of fanfare punctuated by the occasional surprise that the magi from that covenant actually sent a representative this year.

-Attend a private social/political meeting of Tremere magi, Quaesitors, Jerbiton (& other cultured magi - invitation only!), a Gild, or some other sub-society in the Order. (You aren't member in any?! Well, this secret cult would like you to attend its meeting this tribunal...)

  • Attend a public party held by the Gastronomers/Jerbiton, with lots of romantic and personal intrigue, etiquette, and so on.

  • Be asked to serve as a neutral party to settle a dispute outside of tribunal.

  • Explore the host covenant, discovering an ancient threat just as it is about to make its move against it / a hidden resource that the covenant forgot it had / a ghost of a past magus that reveals politically-sensitive information. Make allies out of covenfolk/coven-magi that are part of this adventure.

  • Overhear a conversation between two magi that reveals sensitive politics/secret cult/diabolism.

  • Being approached by a mystery cult looking for member (or the reverse, a PC trying to get in touch with a mystery cult)
  • Presence of an abbot (invited by the Praeco of course) during part of the meeting regarding a specific issue (looking for assistance, complain about interference, suspicion of devil-worshiping...)
  • Return of an old magus thought to be in Final Twilight since several decades (impostor ? Fae ? or genuine guy)
  • Declaration of Orbus magus
  • Orbus magus looking for a House
  • Tytalus house granting unrequested and unwelcomed membership

While an Orbus magus might attend a Tribunal to find a house to join, declaring a magus Orbus isn't a Tribunal matter at all.

As above, this isn't a Tribunal issue. Now, there might be a moot held and the winner of the moot, if not Tytalus might be declared a Tytalus, if he's done other things worthy of being called a member of House Tytalus.

That's true, but these matters might well be announced / aired at Tribunal.

"Let it known throughout this Tribunal that Magus Illegitimus Infelicitus filius Patrix Maximus has been declared orbus by Primus Benificus, issued by his hand and sigil in the name of the Founder the first day of summer in the year of our Lord 1221." This lets everyone know that if he is not adopted, he's ejected from the Order on the first day of summer 1222.

All sorts of announcements are part of Tribunal, probably made by Redcap in a centrally located place, possibly as the roll up to the opening of the night's meeting, or possibly to fill time while the officials are debating / discussing / chatting in sidebar. The Orbus declaration would be announced around the Order by Redcap ordinarily as part of their news-spreading duty, but a Tribunal is convenient.

I'll have to work up some announcement notes.

This is very useful stuff, folks! Thank you, and feel free to continue if you have more.

Drinking contests.

After all, you get enough Flambeau (and Jerbiton of a less couth nature, and Tytali of any disposition looking for a chance to challenge someone) in one place, they WILL have a drinking contest.

The bonisagi and co might end up with the equivalent of a pub quiz, especially for apprentices.

Tribunals are also great places to play out petty vendettas, etc. Grogs being sent to bother enemy magi, steal things, spy, etc. should probably be expected.

Have a well-known villain of the PCs declare wizard's war on the PCs representative, then show up to Tribunal as well. He's not going to be so gauche as to open fire in the middle of the assembly (there's the host covenant's aegis, after all) - but it does mean that between those magi, the Code doesn't apply. This opens up all kinds of story possibilities - thefts, murder attempts, kidnappings, low-level hostile spells, etc. As long as the warring magi don't disrupt the Tribunal itself it's all kosher. There's no reason a warring magus could not cast a CrMe or ReMe spell on a rival just prior to a voting session, for example.

Or just use it as an opportunity to slap you silly, knowing if you retaliate with the force you usually do, Mr Overkill Area of Effect, you'll end up being murdered by a dozen other magi because you just attacked them.

Another fun thing to do for a Tribunal is play out some of the legal issues that don't concern the PCs, particularly the ambiguous ones around grey areas. After all, they all get to vote for or against, no matter how freshly Gauntleted they are.

I've personally perused this forum for those kind of things, picking those topics that arose the more debate amongst forum members. Best threads are the ones where it was very difficult to attain consensus. Then, during the Tribunal session, I presented the legal question up for vote, and provided the points made by forum posters here as the points made by both sides (and others). If the situation is ambiguous enough, most of the time one or more players will see "guilty" or "innocent" as self-evident (or close enough), finding the reasoning behind the other position as wrong. And he'll probably feel strongly enough about their point of view that he will feel compelled to voice his oppinion. People usually have preconceptions on ambiguous matters. And there you have roleplaying material, and maybe a seed for a future alliance/enemity that will create stories after the Tribunal.

If you're lucky enough, you might even get two players to take opposite stances on the matter.

The key thing here is not to let this drag along too long. Let the discussion flow for a while, but after some time just call for the voting. After all, it's just a side treat, not the main dish. And both the accuser and accused are not PCs nor close to the PCs (otherwise it's a story, not background color), so it shouldn't get too much of the spotlight.

And since they won't be personally invested in the result, they'll probably be cool about having to accept a majority decission contrary to what they think, if that's what finally happens.

There's a whole article on events at Tribunal in Sub Rosa #5, the article is "Tribunals at Play." With review here

It talks about beforehand, during, and afterwards. I actually put it to use again, back in November for a Theban gathering.

And Sub Rosa #12 has an adventure meant for the grogs at Tribunal, behind the scenes. Written by CJ Romer, it's Love's Labours Lost.


Thanks for pointing that adventure from Sub Rose #12, Ben. I somehow missed it, and our next session is going to be a Theban Tribunal. It'll be a godsent.

Now, you lifeless corpse of a thread, Rise!

We ran through the last of the Provencal Tribunal of 1221. Here are my basic planning notes, with no stats and no particular details. Some of these happened as background events, others got skipped; I won't be providing detailed notes because A) your sagas will vary and 2) saga plotting security. They might be interesting to someone as an example.

Tremere meeting (private, House members only)
Quaesitorial review
Bonisagus seminar
Jerbiton Wine & Snob Club Art Show and Promenade
Redcap party
Redcap exchange of news and gossip
Crusader Magi Rallying Meeting
Verditius item display review

Redcap footrace

Cult meetings (very private):
Matres & Matrones
Knights of the Green Stone
(Other cults are more highly centralized)

Soap-box addresses

A Mage has a paranoia attack when he discovers a Bonisagus mage near his apprentice (Tytalus mage with reflexive combativeness – threatens War if the B “snatches” his apprentice?)

Magi are covertly scouted by cults

Be mysteriously courted by a mage who is looking for a particular cult, but no idea how to find them – trolling for cultists

Explore Glanum

Return of a mage lost in Twilight, and affirmation of identity

Declaration of Orbus status

Orbus magus seeking new house comes calling

Covenfolk constantly circulating, on various errands for their masters.

Redcaps going about Tribunal and related business

Young covenfolk respectfully approach, saying that they are journeymen craftsmen seeking a position in a covenant, should the masters require their services…?

At Tribunal, reading the rulings of private hearings into the record, where it is of public interest.

Magi of Castra Solis hold a fighting tournament, for armed magi only, with ransoms in vis and minor magic items and potions. Many magi join in, including Robert Vasques, Artemis of Tremere, and Cyprian of Flambeau. Some of the fights use phantom arms and armor that look like steel, but are only images that react to each other as if solid, but only pass through flesh and real objects.

Ruberus of Verditius demonstrates his swords, including a flaming sword, a sword that slices through armor, a sword that cuts flesh but not bone, a sword that (he claims) stuns with a single wound.

Elornis One-Leg and Bubulcus of Bjornaer seek out Atgir, but rapidly retreat once they see his heartbeast. Add Lexora from Through the Aegis.

Lupia also seeks out Atgir, and is not intimidated but does become guarded.

Jerbiton gallery of art and magical art; a tent filled with sculptures, paintings, musical performances.

Tolosa Black Faction & White Faction magi (p41+) sniff around for dispositions, seeking political allies.

Gilbert of Flambeau (p48) seeks out Jacques for his interest in Grail lore (subtly, asking after Celeres and his Arthurian library), interested in recruiting him for the Knights of the Green Stone.

Rebecca Ex Misc comes around to greet the covenant on Dama’s behalf, and takes an interest in Jacques, as a Bonisagus magus of good Hermetic standing – not Atgir, a Bjornaer, (maybe Enrico, but he won’t be there when she is). She takes an immediate social interest in Julia, Cipriana, and Domitiana.

Protendus of Tremere of Castra Solis consults Domitiana on investigation, and obliquely on secession matters as a feel-out.

Calais filus Septentrio of Bonisagus seeks young magi to start covenant on Mount Ventoux. The Magus recalls Grimgroth – they were correspondents on Auram.

Guillermo of Mercere holds the field in sport certamen against several challengers; he does well even against Tremere magi.

Marcus Minor of Flambeau holds a public prayer – about half of the magi join in directly.

Protendus, Garsenda, Elisa, Artemis, etc., of Tremere hold a private planning meeting.

Before the meeting, various cults meet in secret, under cover of socializing.

Popilia Ex Misc may visit Julia.

Rumors of the Wizard’s Wars at Tolosa Paratge fly.

Stories of dragons and monsters: the Lou Carcolh, the Drac, the Terrasque, jentilak, aker, tartalo, laminak, etc.

Maju, Dama’s familiar, a winged sprite, often flits by, on errands for Dama, and causes minor mischief, usually against covenfolk but sometimes against magi.

Maju changes to a rabbit to tempt and trick Atgir.

Embeth challenges all to race, magi and grogs, to be held in the mid-afternoon of the next day.

Cipriana has a vision of a wellspring, nearby.

Cipriana has a vision of a serpent coiled around an egg.

Beatrice invites Cipriana (and other Seekers) to schedule to investigate Glanum.

Troya of Flambeau rides a calm and obedient horse through the camp field, and invites magi to ride the gentle creature. She also puts on a riding demonstration, showing equestrian skill, magic, and feats. She brought four horses tolerant of magi, and is looking to market to magi.

Ophilio of Mercere is absent; Midius of Flambeau holds his proxy.

Ricardus of Flambeau wanders through, mildly drunk and aggressively flirty with men; spends some of his time with Etienne.

Impetus of Flambeau, looking for a covenant, latches onto whoever he can – possibly Atgir.

An apprentice, “Simes”, is caught stealing a minor item from a booth. He is a Tytalus mage and was ordered to do this – neither of them will admit that, and the boy will be punished worse for failing and betraying his master, so he will be silent. The master will return the item and pay a pawn of vis to the booth owner in penalty.

A pair of young magi, a VERDITIUS and a GUERNICUS, ask after interesting cave, mountain, and volcano sites, and assert that they will be scouting the Tribunal for a new covenant site.

Alosius of Mercere (p. 125) inquires after Mansio and whether we have made contacts with the local kermes beetle dye cultivators; he is interested in cutting a deal for dye.

Marcella Bonisagus lectures on genius loci and loci mundane. (Giacoma attends dutifully but without interest).

Alazais addresses the Tribunal on the subject of colonizing Africa, starting in the late 1220s (the treaty expires in 1225), with each neighboring Tribunal sponsoring one covenant. She proposes a Wizard’s Council on the subject, with a agenda to include a possible series of expedition to scout Africa’s coast region to begin.

Jean Marie of Jerbiton pursues and discusses the idea of a covenant of troubadour and other performance magi; Archmage Valgravian supports, as does Mariola of Tolosa Paratge.

Elisa of Tremere and the other magi of Marjarida formally and politely introduce themselves to each and every covenant, and every mage that can be stopped for a moment.

A Tytalus mage soap-boxes emotionally on the necessity of halting the Cathar Evil, actively and overtly as the Order.

Luc of Merinita reiterates at Tribunal Ara Maxima Nova’s claim to all archeological sites within a short walk of the Via Domitia.

Jeanne of Merinita leads a Faerie encounters seminar. Marie of Merinita attends.

Gilbert of Flambeau rants extensively on the need to defend the Tribunal against the misguided Crusade.

Alazais and other Redcaps mention that Redcap Olivar is missing, and so is Magali, a young lady scribe in service to the Mercer House – they disappeared at different times and in different places, and apparently not together. There are rumors that a Drac has been taking people away, but Olivar was nowhere near the Drac’s usual hunting grounds, the Rhone.

The new covenant Pugnatio is publically but not strongly cautioned by Beatrice on overt action.

Aedes Mercurii pushes to host the next Tribunal; Bellaquin, Castra Solis, the Cenoebium all volunteer; Bellaquin has the least involved and a movement to shift power from the largest covenants takes root (unless the players do something.)

Beatrice is formally requested to preside as chief quaesitor at the next Tribunal.

gleefully claps to see things put to use


Ok, you've inspired me to post our recent Theban 1221 Tribunal. I'll do so as soon as I get back at my notes!

Oh yes. This was just a jumble of memory keys, and lacks the more detailed material. It lacks a lot of the modification I went through.

I'd like to see that Thebes Tribunal write up.

Just a quick note to self to remember to write and post it.