Vulcanus of Flambeau - Development

(In progress. Suggestions welcome)
(Second pass)

Vulcanus of Flambeau comes from the renegade Verditian school of Valdarius. His master searched for years to find a suitable apprentice to instruct in the mysteries of the line, and found Anselm near Rothenburg.

While he has not inherited any of the trouble with spontaneous casting that many Verditius suffer, Vulcanus can only use magic when he strikes metal against metal. He prefers to clash the pommel of his sword against the rim of his shield, and makes this gesture frequently even when not using magic, as the sound can confuse enemies. When he was initiated in the mystery of Items of Quality, Vulcanus developed the necessity of using casting tools for spontaneous magic, as well. With his greater limitation in mind, he designed his spontaneous casting tools as a set of small silver bells with brass clappers.

Preferred weapon: warhammer
Familiar: a magical destrier named Egon

Intelligence +5 (genius)
Perception -3 (preoccupied)
Strength +3 (burly)
Stamina +2 (enduring)
Presence +1 (handsome)
Communication -2 (gruff)
Dexterity +2 (Steady hands)
Quickness 0

Major magic focus: armaments, Affinity with terram, Puissant terram, Inventive genius, Improved characteristics, Great Intelligence (x2), Venus' Blessing; Verditius magic*, Items of quality*, True friend (Egon)*
Cabal legacy, Necessary condition (metal striking metal), Vendetta (Caduceus of Verditius), Driven: earn the right to compete in the Contest (and win it, obviously); Spontaneous casting tools*

Was he a Verditius magus, or simply apprenticed to a Verditius? And how did he come to be Flambeau?

I figure you're working off the former Verditius line in Mark's HP article?

Ryu is an old friend of mine from the Berklist, and I was discussing the game with him on Facebook last night. And yes, he is using the Verditius lineage from Sub Rosa 3.
Short explaination...
Valdarius of Verditius resigned House Verditius and joined the Flambeau during the Schism War (accusing the Verdi of double dealing and timid inaction). He hooked up with Delendos, and after the war they came here to Andorra. They created the original vault and many other magical secrets within these walls.
Along with Julius filiuf Delendos, these threee founded the Knights of Seneca.
Julius went to Valencia
Valdarious died here of old age and was cremated.
Mechanically, Vulcanus is treated much the same as a Verditius. But he is on his own for mysteries. He can learn from his parens or another in his tiny lineage, or self Initiate. House Verditius will offer no aid. No direct animosity after all these years, but they won't let him participate in their games (hence Driving Goal), and Vendettas are common.

His vendetta is an inherited one. I'm thinking there may have been girl trouble between the two at some point, to give it that very special PERSONAL touch.

Would be nice if perhaps V knows of some old Valdarian workshop hidden within the covenant's bowels that he could set up shop in....

That's the idea.
When it comes to "mustering out" at the end of development, save some vis for some books I can unload on you. I am thinking a Summa on Andorran Lore &/or Valdarian Cult Lore. It will contain secrets to be discovered and maybe some Initiation scripts for your closed lineage.
I have ideas for this book. It could be a valuable plot device for the covenant as well. And Vulcanus is the perfect excuse to bring it here.
Vulcanus would have recieved a letter from Carmen shortly after the events of "Light of Renewal" (or just at the end), and could reasonably arrive by the start of Winter for the Aegis.
The process for chargen is to post the initial character (as you have done). Players can comment and question as you modify and develop. When done, repost the finished character in a clean thread and I can sticky it. That page is just for you. I will deleate any comments if you ask me too. This page is retained for future comments and as a seasonal worksheet.

I noticed the severly negative Presence score. I would warn against using that as a dump stat in consideration of some of the goals we discussed. Your build is tight, but you have wiggle room for Improved Characteristics or somesuch.
Suggestions for Arts (other than Terram) might include Herbam, Ignem, maybe some Corpus?
Think like Tony Stark (Iron Man). What sort of combat and utility effects would you want for your equipment? Those are the Arts to branch out into.

I was going for typical D&D dwarf. And I like the idea of being one of the only few available bachelors in a covenant full of ladies, but failing at his pursuit of any of them.

Dropped the faery blood, it's not very knightly even if it is great for a Verditius. Tinkered with characteristics.

I'm working on abilities now... still could use some suggestions on how to build my arts.

Note that the years' allocations is not actually chronological, but I've arranged it as such to simplify accounting. -ryu

German 5 (bavarian)
Athletics 2
Brawl 3

Latin +50 exp
Parma Magica +5 exp
Magic Theory +30 exp
Terram +55/+83 exp
Creo +55 exp
Rego +10 exp
Muto +10 exp
Vim +15 exp
Corpus +10 exp

Y1: Single weapon +40 exp
Y2: Single weapon +35 exp, Penetration +5 exp
Y3: Parma magica +25 exp, Finesse +15 exp
Y4: Parma magica +20 exp, Magic theory +20 exp
Y5: Music +10 exp, Vim +30 exp
Y6: Craft: blacksmithing +30 exp, Rego +5 exp, Muto +5 exp
Y7: Artes Liberales +30 exp, Philosophiae +15 exp, Corpus +5 exp
(more to come)

I've had good luck with Corpus as a secondary Form for a Terram-based warrior. Growth, extra soak, movement (both yourself and others)...lots of battlefield potential.

As I understand it, we're limited to three seasons of advancement out of every four. Assuming this is a complete 'cycle', I think you're capped at 21 seasons of 10 xp. You can also gain exposure from lab seasons as normal.

Yes, fightmaster is right. Also there needs to be a wasted season in each cycle.

So we have only 7 years post-gauntlet total, or 7 years of study/advancement total?

You are getting waaay to detailed. You don't have to give a detailed account of your apprenticeship. Just blop down the starting xp and go to town.
Same goes for post gauntlet development. 10xp is just an abstract average. Sometimes it is 8, sometimes 12, etceteras. Just decide how many seasons out of a cycle are devoted to Advancment, multiply by 10, and divide any way you like (1 here, 6 there, etc).
Advancement post gauntlet is done in cycles averaging seven yeats, though you may vary the length somewhat.
I do not need a blow bly blow account. Just say "X seasons Advancement, X seasons lab, etc".
You may progress up to 30 years post gauntlet, but feel free to go shorter. The number of cycles may vary, as may the length. Don't take all short cycles.
Look at Carmen's development as an example.

Vulcanus is now 34.
7 seasons in the lab, 2 seasons wasted, 47 seasons of advancement.

German 5 (bavarian)
Latin 4, +50 exp

Artes Liberales 3, 30 exp
Athletics 2, 15 exp
Brawl 3, 30 exp
Craft: Blacksmithing 4, 50 exp
Finesse 2, 15 exp
Magic Theory 5, 75 exp
Music 1, 5 exp
Parma Magica 4, 50 exp
Penetration 1, 5 exp
Philosophiae 2, 15 exp
Ride 2, 15 exp
Single Weapon 5, 75 exp

Terram 13, 65/99 exp
Creo 10, +55 exp
Rego 10, 55 exp
Muto 5, 15 exp
Vim 14, 105 exp
Corpus 10, 55 exp

Wizard's Leap, ReCo15
Conjuring the Mystic Tower, CrTe35
Miner's Keen Eye, InTe20
The Damascene Shiv (functions as Crystal Dart), MuTe(Re)10
(40 more levels to choose)

Partial suit of chainmail, opened for enchantment, item of quality. +13 Soak, 4 load.
One-handed military hammer. Opened for enchantment, and one season spent enchanting it. (suggestions?) 2 load
Heater shield, open for enchantment, item of quality. +8 Soak, 2 load.

Familiar: Egon the Destrier
Characteristics: Int +2, Per +1, Pre +1, Com -1, Str +6, Sta +2, Dex +2, Qik -1
Size: +3
Might: 10
Abilities: Athletics 5 (balancing), Awareness 3, Brawl 5 (hooves), Folk Ken 3, German 4, Magic Theory 4 (terram), Profession: battle charger 2, Carouse 1, Survival 3
Mundane Qualities: Domesticated, Fast Runner, Herd Animal, Imposing Appearance, Tireless
Magical Qualities/Inferiorites: Improved Characteristics x2, Gift of Speech, Greater Immunity (metal weapons), Focus Power, No Fatigue, Personal Power x2, Unaffected by the Gift; Form Monstrosity (teeth and hooves of steel), Proud (major), Susceptible to Deprivation
Powers: Crafter of Terram, Gird the Warhorse (creates a set of armor), Human Shape

Once the warhorse of the Holy Roman Emperor, Kaiser Otto der Große, Egon fled Kaiserpfalz in grief upon sensing his friend's death. The beast was lost for weeks, eventually losing his way in the Schwarzwald. He became trapped in crystal glen near Durenmar, where he was slowly transformed into a magical creature. He was found, starving and severely traumatized, by Artificer Gudrun Verditius. She brought Egon up to the covenant, where he was bathed and fed. Gudrun thought the warhorse would make a suitable familiar for her filius, Caduceus, but the beast did not take to the young magus, finding him too physically weak. Phillipus Niger then arranged for the noble beast to be introduced to a young Senecan Knight, and Egon found a kindred spirit in Sir Vulcanus... further fueling the personal resentment between Caduceus and Vulcanus.

I'd like to design a spell that will transport a suit of armor so that it either girds someone entirely with no need for assistance, or so that it strips the armor off another person instantly (again without the need for assistance). My questions are:

  • can both things be done by the same spell, or do I need two different spells
  • what base level should the spell be
  • range: touch, duration: instant should work, right?
  • I can still use it on myself even if it's range touch, yes?

((Total tangent - I first read the familiar's name as Egon the Destroyer, and thought, "Wasn't that one of the Big Bads from one of the Ghostbuster movies?"))

Here's how I would build it.
The Phantasmal Squire

[tab][/tab]ReTe(An) 15

Base 3 ("Control or move dirt in a very unnatural fashion"), +2 magnitudes for metal. I would make it Voice if you wanted to be able to move the armour from a distance. Touch means that you actually have to touch the armour, and it would magically put itself on the caster. Duration: Momentary, and Target: Individual, since we're talking about a single suit of armour. No cost for the Animal requisite (for the leather cinches and the wool padding), since it needs Animal to work (p. 114). Requisites work a bit differently than they did in 4th edition, and they're a little confusing until you've worked with them a few times.

So, Base 3, +2 for metal, +2 Voice, for a final Level of 15. If you wanted to make it Touch, that would drop it to 10.

Personally, I would make the "strip the foe's armour" a separate spell, but the same base and adjustments. If it were doable in the same spell, I would add a magnitude for complexity, since it's doing two related but very different things.

Just my tuppence.