Virgil the Magical Cat

Check out the example Magical Animal posted by Atlas: ... Virgil.pdf

Looks like RoP: Magic will be a very interesting book indeed.

I sense the hand of Ferguson at work...



(Here's hoping for a return of the Magical Cat lineages of Jerbiton in one form or another)

This is great, and exactly the thing to bring back one of my former players. He's a cat person and would love to play one. :slight_smile:

Let's hope for more previews before the book comes out. This looks to be one of the best so far!

I'm very happy with the constant and even increasing quality of the releases for Ars Magica. Other rpgs tend to go the opposite way for some reason.



I like Virgil a great deal. He's very much a cat.

However looking at his combat values I feel that his weaponry is probably more dangerous than I imagine the fearsome claws and fangs of the common cat to be. Attack +8 and damage -3 is significantly better than an unskilled man of average dexterity wielding a club (attack +2 damage +3). I wonder if it wouldn't be sensible to add size to the damage rating of natural weapons such as teeth and claws.

This makes sense in that the teeth and claws of a house cat are significantly smaller than those of a Polar bear so they really are different weapons.

I didn't write Virgil. The conspiracy is wider than all that. 8) In tiny writing at the bottom of the last page it says: "Written by Sheila Thomas".

The fangs of a polar bear are a different type of weapon. (HoH:M) and his Size does adjust his damage rating. That's why it is -3, if he were larger it would move toward 0.

I'd note that Virgil's so dangerous because he has combat training. That is, his Brawl skill indicates he has practiced fighting, and he has an effective score of 3 when using his claws, which, coupled with the fact that he's naturally more dexterous than a human, is why his Atk is so high.

2+1 is the same score as a competent human fighter with a little military experience. He's not a master of the cat karate (Brawl (claws) 5) or a feline ninja grandmaster (Brawl (claws) 9+2 puissance), but comparing him to an untrained human with a club misses the fact that Virgil's not untrained: he's as intelligent as a human, has more practice killing things than most humans, and he's faster than virtually all humans.

(I'm kidding about the karate and the ninjas.)

Enter the magical soldier ant...

You are referring to cat-fu of course... :wink:

Just one question though?

Doesnt that make it 3 rather than 2?

Anyways, one of the best "character" write ups i have seen sofar.

No, Kat-rate.

Erik wins the thread.

Still averageman with a club and Virgil are both engaged in combat with fiendish bandits (who incidentally have identical stats to one another).

Both averageman and virgil roll an eight to attack. Both of the bandits botch their defense roll (really any numbers will do for attack and defense as long as they match).

Who did more damage? Neither, a solid whack by an untrained man of average strength using a club does the same damage as Virgil the cat's ordinary claws boosted by his "expert" Brawl 2 (claws).

I think the real issue is how damage is coupled to the attack roll, it was a bad idea in fourth ed and it should have been scrapped in fifth.

Oh my! I must say this is excellent.

It also shows interesting stuff from the Magic book. Brings me back to the days before ArM5 was released. Like trying to figure out what that "Warping" thing was.

I guess this is the first errata of RoP: Magic. I honestly don't remember what the rule was for deciding the amount of vis in something with Magic Might. Of course, I couldn't say what it is even if I could remember.

Sincere apologies to Sheila - great work!
(Guess I need glasses - the note is written in what 5 point text?)

I can see the possibilities of the Lines of Urbastis opening up again: first Mystery initiated - loss of the Mute Flaw effect incorporated in the mandatory initial magical Animal Virtue at the expense of another Major Flaw...

I love it!



(status: currently catless cat-lover with tragic cat allergy)

I once considered using dex as a penalty to damage. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and i can't remember why i didn't :unamused:. Assuming I simply forgot, that would even up most similar situations.

edit - but, that would then lead to reducing soak by spd, which complicates things when taking damage from fire, falling, etc

That's actually one of my favorite aspects of the ArM combat system. I like that your skill actually changes how much damage you cause. But I could see a more limited application of it, perhaps a la D&D Third Edition:

Do basic (fixed?) damage on a hit; do double (?) damage if your attacl advantage is 10+ (i.e. for an exceptionally well-placed hit).

I like it too, for the same reasons.
But reducing it is good. Add only half the advantage to damage, maybe.

A house cat's fangs and claws might not be the most awe-inspiring weaponry, but they are more than sufficient to poke out the eyes of an obnoxious dog or open a bandit leader's carotid arteries. Most of the time, when a cat bites or scratches a human it isn't trying to injure or kill him, the cat just wants him to go away. Mother cats can be fearsome combatants when protecting their young, the Scottish Wildcat, in Mythic Europe anyway, are the very embodiment of ferocity, and concerning the Kaffre Cats of Araby... well, judging by the name, I assume they were considered to be evil-tempered beasts, though I haven't been able to find much information about them.

Cats are obligate carnivores and as such they possess a formidable array of offensive weaponry at the expense of physical fortitude. Larger creatures already have a major advantage in terms of health levels and soak - a blow that would inflict a medium wound on our miscellaneous peasant would kill poor Virgil!

In short, I suspect that a cat of average size and possessed of human intellect would be capable of inflicting grave injury should it be so inclined.

Yeah, I like the kitties... :smiley:

One thing I noticed on Virgil is note 2. It says he's a Summer Season character, and it gives him 360 experience points to spend. Anyone know anything about these rules? :slight_smile:


Those who do can't share it with the rest of us, at least until Erik Tyrell, Sovereign Regnant and NDA-slayer, puts his hands on the book. :wink:

So I'll speculate.

According the the table of contents, step two in the Magic Character Creation process appears to be selecting a season. I suppose it replaces choosing the character's age, since it doesn't easily translate to magical beings (600-year old dragon at 15xp/year, sure give quite a lot of experience to spend). So I'd guess that it's a scale that abstracts the actual number of years but lets you indicate whether your character is young, in its prime, over the hill or old and decrepit, as well as knowing how much experience to give them for it.

Makes sense?

Yes, that's what I thought too. Seems like a nice way of doing things, as age in years would not be practical. This would be like a kind of power level, maybe?