Fray – a sample Magus for Ars Magica

As part of a play-by-post game that I hope to start playing in soon this Magus was developed as a demonstration of a beginning character, then advanced by hand season by season. Let me just say that the detail in advancement in Ars Magica makes this impressive – I cannot think of another game which outlines the progression in power so vividly for a character. Yes, that is the nature of the game, and it’s done darn well.

The campaign has some different from core advancement guidelines, but the basic point I found glaringly obvious is that a magus is far more powerful when advanced season-by-season. To do so takes a brutal amount of work, and gains about 25% extra xp overall as a base minimum. Far more if the character has suitable virtues or flaws that are powerful over elapsed time (as I chose to do).

Concept

An English born and raised Magus who was left despondent by a hermetic wizard’s march which killed his wife, and now seeks a new beginning.

Fray was once a confident self starter, who was involved in a prolonged battle or very serious life crisis, and who now is somewhat hollow. He is seeking to travel beyond the borders of the Order as his home reminds him of loss, where it was once full of such potential. This is part distraction from the past, and also to tease out something new and previously unknown.

Personality

As Fray is trying to recover from the loss of his wife his personality shifts at times. Typically he approachable and amicable to those around him, but his responses lack passion. Sometimes when he is caught up in a moment he will return to his former self and be an openly happy and inquisitive person, they type which folks sometimes say is almost bubbly. These periods don’t last more than a few hours at the moment.

He is determined to continue on, and tells himself to find a new path, which is a key reason why he is leaving all his old world behind in Stonehenge.

Appearance

Fray is an athletic and sturdy Saxon, with a honey coloured full head of hair and angled beard cut sharply to the collar and jawline. Ruining an otherwise appealing complexion is many small pock and burn marks, some from birth, others from his recent battles. His preferred cloak is a hulking lion pelt, held with a bronze clasp. His clothing is always a mix of typical travellers gear and leather scale armour. Colouring for clothing is browns, reds, and greys. By habit he carries a bone hunting knife at his hip, although it is rarely used. While walking or travelling he will often be carrying a walking stick, but also has a Dagger packed.

Reputation

As a young Bonisagus Fray was starting to gather a solid reputation as a gifted transformation wizard, although the reputation would only be amongst the Bonisagus and other interested magi he had contact with, not Order wide as yet.

Reputation (Transformation) Stonehenge and Bonisagus magi: 1

Background

Born in midlands of England to a village located close to a covenant, his parents were not strangers to supernatural effects. Fray’s magical potential was plain to his family very early, where his transformation powers caused his gift to be identified quickly. The family were pleased when Fray was accepted as an apprentice, especially when the covenant was so close.

During apprenticeship his master encouraged Fray to specialise and focus on his transformation talent. Late in his apprenticeship he met and eventually married his wife Leola.

Fray started out to form a new covenant in Stonehenge (a sister covenant to his masters), mainly as a way to join the other newly gauntleted Magi. The covenant was located close to the coat in the English midlands, on a small hill with a moderate aura. The covenant of Woodenhall was founded and initially supported by their parens covenant. The magi who gathered there were keen to keep the covenant as natural to the landscape as possible, so built the covenant to match a small village, with labs and private areas held below ground.

Woodenhall slowly grew and became self sufficient, but as it grew so to did the aspirations of one of the magi (Callser of Jerbiton), who decided to start more aggressively seeking vis sources and magical sites. Initially his work was highly productive, but he ran afoul of a powerful Loch Leglean covenant, and a few years later the first conflicts had begun.

Years later the hostility had drawn in all the Magi of Woodenhall into the conflict, eventually leading to an open battle between Callser and the opposing mages, where the war between them was fought on the covenant grounds, where Fray’s wife was killed when fire engulfed the main hall.

Beginning Character XP Spent

  • Early Childhood (years 0-5, 45 xp) = Etiquette 1 (peasants), Charm 1 (being witty), Folk Ken 2 (peasants), Awareness 1 (searching), Athletics 2 (running), English 5 (scholars)
  • Later Life (years 6-10, 75 xp) = Area Lore: Brittan 2 (side ways and paths), Brawl 4 (Fist), Hunt 1 (tracking), Concentration 1
  • Apprenticeship (150 xp on abilities) = Latin 5 (hermetic usage), Artes Liberales 1 (ritual magic), Finesse 1, Magic Theory 5+2 (Muto), Parma Magica 1 (Corpus), Penetration 1, Order of Hermes Lore 1 (artefacts)

Fray, Beginning mage of Bonisagus

  • Characteristics: Int +3, Per 0, Pre  -3, Com  -2, Str +2, Sta +3, Dex +1, Qik 0
  • Size: 0, Age: 25 (25), Height: 180 cm, Weight: 90 kg, Gender: Male, Confidence: 1 (3)
  • Virtues
    • Affinity with Magic Theory,
    • Affinity with Muto,
    • Book Learner (Book Quality: +3),
    •  Flexible Formulaic Magic,
    • The Gift,
    • Hermetic Magus,
    • Inventive Genius (Invent Lab Totals: +3),
    • Minor Magical Focus (self transformation),
    • Personal Vis Source (Corpus) [Location: Rite of blood, performed annually],
    • Puissant Magic Theory,
    • Puissant Muto,
  • Flaws
    • Deficient Technique (Intellego),
    • Difficult Longevity Ritual,
    • True Love [Wife],
    • Weird Magic (Botches on Stressed Casting: Extra botch die)
  • Personality Traits: Just +2, Patient +1, Curious +1
  • Abilities: Apprenticeship: Latin 5 (hermetic usage), Artes Liberales 1 (ritual magic), Finesse 1, Magic Theory 5+2 (Muto), Parma Magica 1 (Corpus), Penetration 1, Order of Hermes Lore 1 (artefacts)Early Childhood: Etiquette 1 (peasants), Charm 1 (being witty), Folk Ken 2 (peasants), Awareness 1 (searching), Athletics 2 (running), English 5 (scholars)Later Life: Area Lore: Brittan 2 (side ways and paths), Brawl 4 (Fist), Hunt 1 (tracking), Concentration 1
  • Arts: Cr 3, In 0, Mu 12+3, Pe 0, Re 0, An 5, Aq 0, Au 0, Co 5, He 0, Ig 1, Im 1, Me 0, Te 0, Vi 0
  • Spells Known (120 xp):
    • Bind Wound (CrCo 10) +11
    • Circle of Beast Warding (ReAn 5) +8
    • Cloak of Black Feathers (MuCo(An) 30) +23
    • Disguise of the New Visage (MuCo 15) +23
    • Doublet of Impenetrable Silk (MuAn 15) +23
    • Eyes of the Cat (MuCo(An) 5) +23
    • Gift of the Bear’s Fortitude (MuCo 25) +23
    • Preternatural Growth and Shrinking (MuCo 15) +23

Advancement

  • Year 1 (x2 warping)
    • Winter – Study Summae Terram. Quality 14+3, now 5 (15)
    • Spring – Study Summae Vim. Quality 14+3, now 5 (15)
    • Summer – Story – Who Are My Magus Neighbours. A story based upon travelling to greet and meet the other members of the Stone Henge tribunal. Season is spent in the story and joining a small Spring covenant in Stonehenge. Sets up the use of correspondence for later seasons (10 xp, in +5 Parma, +5 Folk Ken), and starts the negotiation for trading lab texts. Now Parma 1 (10), Folk Ken 2 (20)
    • Autumn – Study Tractus on Muto (1st). Quality 10+3. Muto now 13 (65)
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp, now 5 (51)
    • Personal Vis – Corpus  +3
  • Year 2 (x2 warping)
    • Winter – Summae Herbam. Quality 10+3, now 5 (15)
    • Spring – Story – Politic of Stone Henge. The new covenant begins its first tentative steps into the tribunal as a separate power, and trouble quickly follows. (10 xp, = +5 Hermes Lore, +5 Parma) Now OoHL 1 (10), Parma 2 (15)
    • Summer – Study Summae Rego. Q14+3. Rego now 5 (15)
    • Autumn – Study Summae Mentum. Q14+3. Mentum now 5 (15)
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp, now 5 (55)
    • Personal Vis – Corpus  +3
  • Year 3 (x2 warping – Warp 1)
    • Winter – Study Summae Corpus, Quality 10+3. Corpus now 7 (28)
    • Spring – Study Summae Corpus, Quality 10+3. Corpus now 8 (41)
    • Summer – Study Summae Rego, Quality 10+3. Rego now 7 (28)
    • Autumn – Study Summae Herbam. Quality 10+3, now 7 (28)
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp , now 5 (59)
    • Personal Vis – Corpus  +3
  • Year 4 (x2 warping)
    • Winter – Study Summae Animal, Quality 10+3. Animal now 7 (28)
    • Spring – Study Summae Animal, Quality 10+3. Animal now 8 (41)
    • Summer – Study Tractus Animal (1st), Quality 10+3. Animal now 9 (54)
    • Autumn – Study Tractus on Muto (2nd). Quality 10+3. Muto now 14 (70). No more Tractus allowed in Muto in this 5 year span.
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp , now 5 (62)
    • Correspondence – Animal +1 xp. Should make Animal now 10(55)
    • Personal Vis – Corpus  +3
  • Year 5 (x2 warping)
    • Winter – Season of dedicated work for another Magus to get Longevity potion crafted, as my own arts are far lower than needed.
    • Spring – Story –Beginning of the Wars. A magus from his covenant and another start the first of many Wizards Wars, and it becomes clear that Stone Henge will be rife with politics and trouble. (10 xp. +5 Parma, +5 Order of Hermes Lore). Now Parma 2 (20), Now OoHL 2 (15)
    • Summer – Study Tractus Animal (2nd), Quality 10+3. Animal now 10 (68)
    • Autumn – Longevity potion created by longevity expert. Lab total unknown. Exposure XP Magic Theory +2 xp , now 5 (64)
    • Correspondence – Animal +1 xp. Should make Animal now 11(69)
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp, now 5 (66)
    • Correspondence – Corpus +1 xp. Corpus now 8 (42)
    • Personal Vis – Corpus  +3
  • Year 6 (x2 warping)
    • Winter – Study Tractus Corpus (1st), Quality 10+3. Corpus now 10 (55)
    • Spring – Study Tractus Corpus (2nd), Quality 10+3. Corpus now 11 (68)
    • Summer – Study Tractus on Muto (1st). Quality 10+3. Muto now 16 (91).
    • Autumn – Study Tractus on Muto (2nd). Quality 10+3. Muto now 17 (102).
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp . Now score 6 (70)
    • Personal Vis – Corpus  +3
  • Year 7 (x2 warping)
    • Winter – Invent spells
      • Return of the Master’s Voice” (MuAn20). As per Voice for the Bjornaer, modified for touch. HoH-MCp36. (Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Sun).
      • Int3+MaTh8+SpecMaTh1+Aura5+Mu17+Invent3+An11 = LT 48
      • +2 Magic Theory xp from spell invention. Now score 6 (72)
    • Spring – Invent spells
      • Shape of the Woodlands Prowler” MuCo/An20. A version of the normal spell, with target Personal. (Base: 10, +2 Sun)
      • Disguise of the Chameleon” MuAn10. Allows the caster to change the cosmetic appearance of their current animal form for a short period. Size is limited to affect up to size +1 creatures. (Base: 5 change an animal in a minor way so it is no longer natural, +1 Diameter).
      • Levels 20+10 vs (Int3+MaTh8+SpecMaTh1+Aura5+Mu17+3+(Co/An11)x2 +similar3) LT=62.
      • +2 Magic Theory xp from spell invention. Now score 6 (74)
    • Summer – Invent spells
      • Shape of Fearsome King” (MuCo25/An).  Changes the magus into a Lion form. Base 10, +2 Sun, +1 due to extra size requirement of lion form.
      • The Incubus’s Trick” (MuCo5). As per HoH-S, p97 (Base 3, +2 Sun)
      • (Int3+MaTh7+SpecMaTh1+Aura5+Mu17+3+(Co/An11x2)+Invent3+similar3) LT=64.
      • +2 Magic Theory xp from spell invention. Now score 6 (76)
    • Autumn – Invent two spells
      • Unearthly Magnification of the Beasts” (MuAn30). This spell allows growth or shrinking of the magus’ animal form by up to 4 size levels, and may be cast on a creature of size 2 or smaller. I.e. size 2 becomes size 6, or size -3 becomes size +1. The spell is akin to an altered form of Beast of Outlandish Size combined with Preternatural Growth and Shrinking, specifically for casting while in an animal form, due to the Personal range.
        • (Base 4 for change a creature of up to size 1 by +/-1 size rank, +1 to allow shrinking and growing, +1 D: Diameter, +1 to affect up to size 2 creatures instead of size 1 creatures, +3 to raise the size change by three extra size ranks above the base)
        • (Int3+MaTh8+SpecMaTh1+Aura5+Mu17+3+(Co/An11x2)+Invent3+similar4) LT=66
        • +2 Magic Theory xp from spell invention. Now score 6 (78)
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp. Now score 6 (82)
    • Personal Vis – Corpus  +3
  • Year 8 (x2 Warping – Warp 2)
    • Winter– Story – Hunting the Covenant’s Foes(10 xp. Parma 5, Mastery in Fearsome King 5) the story that starts the war proper, beginning the time where Fray’s life begins to change. Fray realises he needs more flexibility in his spells.
      • Mastery chosen as fast casting, 1(5)
      • Parma now 2 (20)
    •  Spring – Study Muto from vis, Quality (Aura 5+d=10). Muto now 18 (114)
    • Summer – Invent spells
      • Disguise of the Transformed Image” (MuIm15). From written out version, as per ArM p146.
      •  “Disguise the Words as Written” (MuIm10) Allows the caster to change the contents of a letter or document, re-writing the message, changing seals, and altering signatures to create another message. The letter may also be rendered into jibberish. Useful for sending secret messages by mundane means, and also for altering official documentation (Base 1, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +1 very complex image and text)
      • (Int3+MaTh8+SpecMaTh1+Aura5+Mu18+3+Im0+Invent3) LT=41 (spent as 41-15 for the spell learnt from a written version = LT25 remaining, then still double the new spell invented.
      • +2 Magic Theory xp from spell invention. Now score 6 (84)
    • Autumn – Study Terram from Summae. Quality 10+3. Terram now 7 (28)
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Magic Theory +1 xp. Magic Theory now 6 (88)
    • Personal Vis – Corpus  +3
  • Year 9 (x2 Warping)
    • Winter–  Invent spell
      • Attire of the Selfish Desire” (MuAn30/HeTe). This spell changes the clothing and armour of the magus (all worn gear and attire, but not weapons, backpacks, etc) to match their desires. The spell is designed to include changing all non-precious metals, crafted materials of animals and plants and includes requisites for Herbam and Terram in the base spell for this reason. Purpose of the spell is to allow a quick outfit change should circumstances demand, and also so that the clothing of the magus will become appropriate foci for the Muto Corpus spells. It saves carrying around five different cloaks. (Base 5 change dirt to animal, +2 effect metals, +2 d: Sun, +1 highly complex clothing).
      • Lab Total (Int3+MaTh8+MutoSpecalisation+1+Aura5+Mu18+3+(AnTeHe7)x2+Invent3)=55
      • +2 Magic Theory xp from spell invention. Magic Theory now 6 (90)
    • Spring – Continue making spell, takes two seasons to complete.
      • +2 Magic Theory xp from spell invention. Magic Theory now 6 (92)
    • Summer  – Invent spell
      • “Polymorph the Belligerent Rabble” (MuCo30/An) This spell changes the targets into sheep. (Base 10, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +2 Group).
      • LT (Int3+MaTh8+MutoSpecalisation+1+Aura5+Mu18+3+Co/An11+Invent3)= 52
      • +2 Magic Theory xp from spell invention. Magic Theory now 6 (94)
    • Autumn – Continue making spell, takes two seasons to complete.
      • +2 Magic Theory xp from spell invention. Magic Theory now 6 (96)
    • Correspondence – Muto +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Muto +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Muto +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Muto +1 xp, now 18(118)
    • Personal Vis – Corpus  +3
  • Year 10 (x2 Warping)
    • Winter  – Invent spell
      • Silence the Babbling Fool” (MuCo25). The target of this spell has their eyes and mouth close over, as if they were born that way. (Base 5 to change a person in a minor way so that they are unnatural, +2 Voice, +1 Diameter, +1 Part)
      • LT (Int3+MaTh8+MutoSpecalisation+1+Aura5+Mu18+3+Co11+Invent3)= 52
      • +2 Magic Theory xp from spell invention. Magic Theory now 7 (98)
    • Spring – Writing – his custom spells for contribution to the Bonisagus library. Latin6x20 levels = 120 levels max. The following spells sent for copying and onto Bonisagus library.
      • “Polymorph the Belligerent Rabble” (MuCo30/An)
      • 2x “Silence the Babbling Fool” (MuCo25), one for trade.
      • Attire of the Selfish Desire” (MuAn30/HeTe)
      •  “Disguise the Words as Written” (MuIm10)
    • Summer – Story called “Love Lost” in this story Fray is badly wounded and burnt while fighting magical enemies, including a Wizard’s Ware between two other proud magi that gets out of hand. Fray’s wife is killed during this story.  (10 xp. Parma +5, Brawl +5).
      • Switch out the True Love (-3) flaw for Lost Love (-1), Disfigured (-1), Continence (-1).
      • Parma now 2 (25)
      • Brawl now 4 (50)
    • Autumn – Recovery from wounds, no activity.
    • Correspondence – Muto +1 xp
    • Correspondence – Muto +1 xp
    • Personal Vis – Corpus  +3

Fray, as an advanced character

Characteristics: Int +3, Per 0, Pre ‑3, Com ‑2, Str +2, Sta +3, Dex +1, Qik 0

Size: 0

Age: 30 (30), Height: 180 cm, Weight: 90 kg, Gender: Male, Confidence: 1 (3)

Virtues and Flaws: Affinity with Magic Theory, Affinity with Muto, Book Learner (Book Quality: +3), Flexible Formulaic Magic, The Gift, Hermetic Magus, Inventive Genius (Invent Lab Totals: +3), Minor Magical Focus (self‑transformation), Personal Vis Source (Corpus) [Location: Rite of blood, performed annually], Puissant Magic Theory, Puissant Muto, Deficient Technique (Intellego), Difficult Longevity Ritual, Weird Magic (Botches on Stressed Casting: Extra botch die), Lost Love, Disfigured (Burn marks and scars on face and torso), Continence

Personality Traits: Just +2, Patient +1, Curious +1

Combat: Dagger: Init: +0, Attack +7, Defense +4, Damage +5, Soak: +6

Abilities: Latin 5 (hermetic usage), Artes Liberales 1 (ritual magic), Finesse 1, Magic Theory 6+2 (Muto) (28), Parma Magica 3 (Corpus), Penetration 1, Order of Hermes Lore 2 (artefacts): Etiquette 1 (peasants), Charm 1 (being witty), Folk Ken 2 (peasants) (5), Awareness 1 (searching), Athletics 2 (running), English 5 (scholars) Area Lore: Brittan 2 (side ways and paths), Brawl 4 (Fist) (5), Hunt 1 (tracking), Concentration 1

Arts: Cr 3, In 0, Mu 18+3, Pe 0, Re 7, An 11, Aq 0, Au 0, Co 11, He 7, Ig 1, Im 1, Me 5, Te 7, Vi 5

Equipment: Partial Leather Scale Armor (Soak: 6) (Soak: 6; Protection: 3), Encumbrance: 0 (2)

Spells Known:

Vis: Vis: 30 Pawns of Corpus (); Physical Form: Marble sized red cubes;

Advertisements

One thought on “Fray – a sample Magus for Ars Magica

  1. Pingback: Vanilla Covenants Project – Fidelus of Bonisagus | The Iron-Bound Tome

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s