De Rerum Magica
We’ll use the following process to create characters, both magi and companions. This process should result in characters that are very easy to build using Ars’s system of Virtues & Flaws and play in the semi-troupe style of play I expect we’ll be using. Please get a jump start on making your characters by going through the following steps (preferrably before you ever crack a rule book). We’ll go through and refine things face-to-face as soon as we can.
I suggest writing all this stuff down on your character pages on this site so we can use it as a place to format and capture any GM/player discussions we need. Also, I recognize that this is a significant chunk of work for you guys, but it’s a one time affair that’ll pay dividends down the road.
Step 1: Define the Character
The most basic part first: Come up with a house from the Houses of Hermes (Tytalus, Jerbiton, Verditius, etc.) and a basic archetype you’d like to roughly adapt to. If we were playing a different system, this is where you’d decide if you want to be a fighter or a wizard, for example.
Step 2: Create the Rough Outline
Next is just a quick paragraph with the basics. Sketch out four or five sentences to get yourself rolling. What do you look like? Where were you born? Who was your parens? When were your magical talents discovered? What do you want to do when you “grow up”? Who do you love/hate? Rough ideas to get the creative spark burning.
Step 3: Rights and Wrongs
Now things get interesting and you start to fill in the details. Think hard and come up with 5 or 10 things that are what you consider to be “rights” and “wrongs”. For example, is it ok to lie or misrepresent the truth? When is it/is it not? To cheat? Do the ends justify the means? What do you think of the political infighting of the nobility that causes suffering among the peasents? How do you view the strict interpretation of religious law by the Order of Santiago (Christians) and the Almohades (Muslims)? Do you have any particular habits or vices or vices you find reprehensible in others? How do you view a strict/loose interpret the Code of Hermes?
Write these things down in a form that you can keep handy and use as a reference throughout the campaign. Write in pencil, too, because these views may well change as the campaign goes along. And remember: Take A Stand. It’s more fun (and more realistic) to play a character with clear, strong views rather than one who is a moral pendulum.
Step 4: The Back Story
Come up with one significant life event in your life for every five years of age past 15 (so if your character starts at the usual 25 years, that’s two events). Keep it short and sweet, unless you care to flesh it out. Times when rivalries formed, alliances/friendships were born, run ins with the law, times when dark secrets or heroic deeds were performed, etc.
Step 5: Friends and Foes
Nearly there…here’s what I wrote about in email previously. Every magus character should have at least 1 friend and 1 foe in each of the mundane and magical realms. These could be mentors, informants, moles/spies, rivals, patrons, or anything else you can think of. This will give you a list of 4 personalities your character will have a tie to, but feel free to add 1 or 2 more. Also, you’ll probably get some mileage around tying these personalities to your previous life events and the “rights” and “wrongs” you defined (e.g. “I hate all kinds of cheating because Mr. Enemy cheated and screwed me over once”).
Step 6: Goals
Last step. Time to write down those goals! Each character should have a good mix of long, medium, and short term goals. I suggest at least 3 short, 2 medium, and 1 long term goal but I encourage you to provide more. These will provide much of the meat I will be using to come up with stories and plots for the campaign, so really think hard and come up with a good list. Write this in pencil as well, since you’ll be adjusting and modifying this throughout the campaign.
Step 7: Put the character in the game!
Ok, NOW you can get out your rulebook and starting putting some numbers on your new character. Take a look at the Virtues & Flaws and see which ones fit closest to what you created. If you find something close (but not quite) make a note of it and we’ll adapt the Virtue (or Flaw) as necessary. The character you just created is far more important than the rules as written!
Oh. Step 7.1 is to post the guy to this site. But you knew that already.
Fluff Every Verditius Must Have
- Description of your studio
- What was your Gauntlet masterpiece?
- Be sure to consider getting a Verditius Cult Lore Skill
- Are you involved in any Vendettas with another Verditius?
- Do you have forge companions? (max is your Leadership)
- Who is your Venditor (magic item seller)?
- Have you participated in The Contest? (seems unlikely)
- Are you a member of a Confraterniti?
- Be sure to note the exact date of your Gauntlet…it’ll be important later
[am: Any list like this that hasn’t already been covered for Flambeau and Tremere?]