In a current TT game, I have a Mercere magus by the name of Philo, who is a member of the covenant of Favonius at the beginning of the story, but as we the PCs take over a winter covenant, I decided to take Favors Major story flaw, addressing the fact that Philo is captain of a ship built by Memnos and his assistants. The ship is a Byzantine dromon... well close to one, built a little more creatively I suppose.
While I am not quite seeking to have multiple labs with regios and auras on the ship, though Memnos could do it, I was however wondering just what you get for Favors.
Are the Wondrous items?
Items of Excellant quality?
Truly all I would consider is a pair of steering oars perhaps Excellant or Wondrous, and maybe a lanteen rig of excellant or Superior. But more than anything, as a Hyperborean descendant, I mostly want a Swan's head of wondrous quality with perhaps a bonus to speed.
I suppose I should say, the Favors is a story flaw as a result of the ship being built for Philo, who paid for the ship with service, treasure, and a "I owe you the grandest deed I can possibly do" sort of thing. Another player convinced me that just a ship alone with some superior features would probably be covered... considering the value of a ship such as he owns.
Story Flaws are a mechanic designed to entice players into accepting "hooks" that will draw their characters into stories.
Minor Story Flaws provide a hook and a benefit (a Mentor, the supernatural ability to have Visions etc.)
Major Story Flaws provide a hook and a hindrance (an Enemy, a Dark Secret etc.)
Favors is a Major Story Flaw. It does not provide the character with anything perse*. Any extra advantage that the character receives over a "standard" starting character must be payed separately. For example, a character who received a ship may want to acquire the Merchant Venturer Minor Virtue (from C&G), that gives a ship and a crew (and a source of income). A Redcap starting with more magical items than the standard 50 levels should take one or more picks of the Magic Items Minor Virtue (from HoH:TL) -- each pick adding 25 levels to starting magical items, and +1level/year to the magic item "income". And so on.
You said ypou get a dromon, and this is why you owe favors to its creator. Cool. No problem here Now, what does the dromon has? Well, it has whatever you and ylour troupe agree about No more no less. Yeah, it sounds like a less than useful anser but it is not so
This is one of the areas where the book is open ended to allow creative use. A favour might be owed because he did feed you when you were starving, or because you were made Earl of Gloucester by the other guy (the king). Up to you and your troupe to decide what is the level of favors to be returned and the special features of what you have gained. IMS we used to have a magus that owed a favor to a guy that you would not present to your parents because he got rid of a certain blackmail problem of his. He did not get anything (not physical, at least) but the favor was still owed.
Now, on your case. If you want to have a lab in an hermetic-built dromon I would be extremely inclined to say yes. Having movable regios attached would be another issue that might reqwuire you to have a separate virtue for it, though. Something like the "stargate tunnels" that you can get in ROP:M. Hope that helped
Thanks Xavi. The ship is called the Leda, and is thick with Apollon imagery. The only thing I desperately want is the Swan head to be enchanted!
Not even for game reasons, just because the idea of it is awesome. I was convinced by two of my fellow TT players that it would be far more interesting for Philo to first pay off the Favors to Memnos and covenant, then take on more burden of Favors or roleplay out doing deeds and such for future enchantments and improvements to the ship.
Memnos from the Favonius covenant can build auras and regios into the ship, but I think I would have to stay a member for him to do such. It all depends on future story with that.
I am also held back from exploring this fully because currently I am story guide and it would be unseemly of me to focus on what I want Though I am hoping to convince other ST to embroil me in Theban politics just so I can have a kewl swan head. For my money Theban Tribunal has proven to be my favorite setting ever in Ars.
Enchant the swan to open portals to "the Stargate system" of interconnected regios of ROP:M. Then you can explore as much as you want. It ties nicely the "I can build regios" idea with travel and the fact that you want this character to be "doing his stuff" 90% of the time (when you are not playing). In fact he appearing at the door of the covenant with a story hook and asking who would join him would be a common feature
I do not really like the theban tribunal because it is THICK with bookkeeping and I think the theban-latin-muslim conflict is underplayed (too much centered 1500-1700 years before the actual game time). I know about byzantine politics et al, but we prefer areas with less numbers since none of us like to run them (and 2 of us work with EXCEL 99% of the time, go figure). But yes, for some themes it is amazing I always liked Crete as a covenant setting. Managing to bind that bull as a familiar would be a project in itself :mrgreen:
We also play a saga in Thebes. What are those huge amounts of numbers you need to book keep? It must be somehing we have glossed over, because we don't see much of this. But to be fair our saga does have a distinct lack of interaction with much of the tribunal (due to lack of interest from some players/characters I guess).
BTW aboud Favours, it sounds like the OP feels he will at some point have "bough off" what he owes...That's not how I see a Story Flaw. It should never end. Same goes for Enemies - if you kill him he has a son, cousin, apprentice or something.
The token trading system and the constant change in the people that acts in each appointed function in the tribunal (logotete and all that jazz). The idea of having to add such an extra layer of complexity made me discard the tribunal by default. The setting is great, but the level of hermetic politics it is quite messy. I guess it tries to represent Byzantine politics, but I would say it downgrades the supplement in my view. And apart from that I failed to see much on the western-eastern-muslim conflict that is raging through the area.
You can pay off a story flaw. it just becomes another flaw of equivalent cost and related motivation. You might pass over the favours flaw, but now you have massive expenses to maintain that ship of yours and a rebellious crew or something like that. Or maybe you made a powerful enemy just before you paid your favor off.
Tokens/Shards? That's one, maybe 2 extra integers for each character. They usually don't even change that fast.
If you're keeping track of tokens/shards for NPCs... why? NPCs're supposed to be able to use them amongst themselves too, including geining and loosing either.
Use a simple OoH Lore check modified for reputation, if you need to know how a given NPC is doing.
As for the appointments, I can see what you mean. I've only seen a single saga in Thebes though and that one flowed so slowly that a few titles changing every once in a while is no big issue.
Especially since we appoint PCs to office only based on "it would make a good story".
While i agree that that is a common way to play it, of course a Story Flaw CAN end. Without being replaced by something. IF characters have done enough to deserve it. Flaws being run as static is a bad idea.
You started with those flaws, doesnt mean you have to end with them, and once you´ve set up a covenant and started playing, you normally want to be able to have the place develop according to play, with flaws coming and going, a way for the SG to keep track of what can or is likely to interfere rather than a game mechanic used to start up.
Now with Favours specifically, my opinion on that is rather simple really, keep focus on it being favours plural, it´s simply something so big that you usually wont pay it off just by doing some little thing here or there, and it can also be used as a two-way thing, players might get additional assistance if they need it, deepening the weight of the Flaw ever further.
My good fellow, this is brilliant! I like it so very very much. Wow never thought to use the ship to explore beyond the reality of the world. YES! This comes from not having read the ROP:M book, but I shall be remedying that. Thanks for the suggestion.
This is how I see the System of Virtues and Flaws, as well. I think they are dynamic and should be more alive than a simple accounting feature. In regards to my guy, he owes Memnos and the covenant a substantial amount "favor" for a well built seas traveling multi-mast multi oared vessel.
I see it as Philo believing that at anytime Memnos needs him, Philo will be there for him, no matter what the task. PHilo will risk his life to help Memnos precisely because the Favonius magus bestowed on him such a gift of artful labor. And while I don't see me actually "buying" that feeling of obligation off, I do see a future interaction between the two magi wherein Philo always feels obliged and honored to help Memnos, and Memnos because of Philo's dedication, perhaps feels inclined to do further more indepth and insightfull improvements to the vessel, Leda.
Seems all of our thoughts are tracking along the same path! Major flaws are something that would require years of dedication, if not actively, then at least conscious of the "flaw" in many daily considerations. In my case, Philo would only ever go against Memnos if for some reason Philo's very core nature or beliefs were at risk of being compromised, and even then he might believe it more honorable to commit a "sin" against his own nature than to betray Memnos.
I am always cheered when I hear people say the game transcends mechanics!
But one last thing, Xavi I love the token and shard system. Story wise it is a awesome reflection of the community aspect of Theban league as opposed to the northern tribunals in which their is a struggle if not outright battle for power. I know of course the Theban tribunal has it's politics, it is of course home to the root of the word, but it is more.... um, just more interesting.
((I started the game with Philo having a shard for standing up for a friend during a trial and the friend found guilty, Philo knew he would gain shame from doing so, but this son of Apollon defends his friends no matter the cost. This is a far cry from my previous Tytalus poisoner ))