Unstructured Caster characters

Has anybody made a character with Unstructured Caster? It looks to me to be the most limiting of the Major Hermetic Flaws, since it makes Formulaic magic difficult and expensive to cast.

Off the top of my head, you could go with Bjorner and work to have an awesome Heartbeast, or be a Bonisagus researcher, or a Verditius crafter. How did your character turn out?

...or you could play a spontaneous magic specialist. There is a classic view of a certain long ago deceased House where their magi weren't very good at all with formulaic magic (not the approach of my saga, anyway, were we copied the argument that I read somewhere that after some centuries of integration into the Order these magi probably were as capable of formulaic casting as any other, but a pretty common one).

I never done such character, but on top of the obvious one you mentionned, I would consider an Ex Miscellanea with several supernatural abilities - the Unstructured Caster flaw could be part of the tradition, they have so many supernatural abilities that it is virtually impossible to open their Gift without damaging it or loosing some abilities (and obviously, the tradition value more their abilities than hermetic magic), and since they are so bad at casting spells, they would spent anyway most of their XP in their abilities instead of their Arts.
It is a flaw that thematically could go well for any recent group of hedge wizards integrated in the Order - possibly first or second generation only - with most of their hedge magic not tuned yet to hermetic magic.

For an older mage, it could be the result of a Twiligth episode gone horribly wrong, leading him to seek a life without magic casting. Think of Guernicus who forfeit magic in the later part of his life (according to "official" history, to live amongst monks, but maybe it was only because he could not use his magic to defend himself), or Mercere who had his gift so badly damaged that he could not cast anymore spell (again according to the official history).

If the mage is Unstructured caster from apprenticeship, he would obviously seek a path where casting is not required: labwork, theory of magic and Arts (including research from virtus to go beyond any books and tractatus he can get), in fact, definetily somebody who could spend more time studying mysteries to get power outside of mere spell casting. It could be one of these magus looking to become a Fae or a Daimon to finally be able to perform magic - not to achieve immortality, just to be able to enjoy magic casting. I have not look if achieving such results is possible for relatively young magus (let say 40 years out of apprenticeship).
Possibly a Criamon seeking through Twilight experience to overcome his flaw.

I've also never played such a character.

Along the lines of Ezechiel357's suggestion, though, maybe a Verditius with Bind Magical Creatures? Use powers you've drained from creatures rather than casting standard Formulaic spells.

I was looking at this for the Ex Misc character I was making, Spont Focused, but even then it is SOOO punishing, I could not justify it. Cuts out huge swaths of possibilities for play.

See the Carnutes Ex Misc thread for my ideas... I spent a lot of time thinking Unstructured Caster might be needed, but Ceremonial magic as the only buff was already pretty brutal.

There are threads in which I believe it was Chris discussed making UC less painful.

I might be misremembering.

If you mean me, I don't recall it. I've always thought this Flaw to be extremely painful, even for a Verditius.

Ramidel was the original poster in [url]https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/unstructured-and-rigid-rewrite/10676/1] which discusses this.

I think unstructured could work if you have a Bjornaer with Life-linked spontaneous magic - most of the time you spontaneously cast, when you really need a big spell you can create it with massive fatigue expenditure, and you can use your heartbeast for some things (maybe you took a flying form, or a really stealthy form, or a predatory form). You need to try and get inner heartbeast and a good score in Bjornaer Mystery Cult Lore as soon as possible - once you get it, you can add all the qualities to give you more fatigue levels and some fun tricks, and virtues and powers to add extra capabilities.

In this vein, is taking the virtue Large a no-brainer for a LLSM magus?

It certainly helps. Others could help more. So I wouldn't say it's a no-brainer, but it's a very good choice. Of course, you can just use some MuCo to grow yourself larger...

It reduces your risk of accidentally killing yourself due to a botch, but I'd expect you won't usually be casting to a level that injures yourself, so it won't come into play much. When it does, it may be literally a lifesaver, of course.

Things that give you extra fatigue levels, on the other hand (e.g. shapeshifting into a boar which has 3 extra, or a bear which has two extra in addition to being size +2 and a better combatant), are very useful.

(See also: https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/card-board-games-archive-links/116/1 for an example of a character taking LLSM to ridiculous extremes).

Haha. Very nice. Okay last question as I think I am now off topic... Have we (the forum) addressed that Shapeshifting Hermetic Magic seems to break the limit of energy? I would be fine with that for the Shapeshifting supernatural Virtue and the Heartbeast Virtue... but hermetic magic?!

Does it? It doesn't restore the Fatigue at all. You just spend it more slowly (takes more exertion to go from a level to a more tired level).