A sample NPC, Phocas the Mason

An NPC character in an Ars magica play-by-post game. Phocas is the covenant’s mason and also acting autocrat. As a grog the stats are not critical, but certainly handy.

Phocas, Mason and Autocrat
Phocas is tall and thin with thick dark wavy hair, a trimmed beard and mustache, and a wry smile which implies deep knowledge. He walks and speaks with an “aristocratic” air, having been well educated formally at great expense to his family. He is always in the midst of at least three different tasks, and it is only his passion for his work and an organised mind which allow him to run so many concurrent tasks.

Phocas was the first son of a growing family of builders. His wit and ambition was identified early in his childhood and he was given the best education his family could afford. After many years of church schooling and private study, combined with his families growing dependency for him to run aspects of the masonry business, he became a central figure in his families growing wealth and prosperity.

Unfortunately as his influence grew Phocas also grew to dislike his families ceaseless lust for excess and influence, their bickering and infighting, and so he resented the conflicts in his duties more and more with each passing year. Too many years of running his father and uncles businesses for little more than lip service to his own achievements made him unsatisfied. With time his temper also grew, and Phocas began to be frustrated by the incompetence within the family business which he could not change. Phocas loved the challenges running major mason operations, focused on elegance and perfection in his work, and desired to run his own operation his way without the influences and limitations which come from family businesses.

Eventually it became too much and Phocas left his family, as he sought to find another path for himself. His business acumen and practical skills in masonry, combined with a high quality education made him an incredibly valuable employee. After several small projects were completed successfully, Phocas took an unusual but lucrative contract to build far from his typical town and parish work. The employer’s “covenant” was a series of perfect opportunities to demonstrate his skills.

Phocas was then approached by a representative of The Order with a a more permanent offer; a different style challenge which appealed to him greatly – “why not work amongst those who value knowledge over wealth, for whom worldly power holds little sway. Build your own legacy Phocas”.

With his new role acting as the covenant Autocrat as well as running the affairs of the masonry business Phocas is adamantly determined to prove himself. Phocas recognises he lacks the background to perform all functions of the autocrat smoothly, but considers himself worthy of the challenge and intends to run both aspects of the covenant professionally and with vigor. The irony of being intolerant of incompetence and his new role is not lost upon him, but he does not find this point humorous. He is also aware that his temper could potentially be his undoing with the Magi, who are superior to him in the covenant, so he is attempting to withhold his anger or divert it to other people and places.

Phocas is a hard task master for his teams and workers, but understands the value of praise and also appreciates that not all workers are as driven as he is. In direction and attitude he is forthright, clear, and prides himself on accuracy. He prefers leading his staff, but is not above performing the work himself and assisting his workers directly; especially if any show interest or talent. He is known to “not suffer fools”.

“A good job, on budget, on time, and a match to the desired function”

Characteristics: Int +1, Per +2, Pre 0, Com +2, Str 0, Sta 0, Dex +2, Qik -2
Size: 0
Age: 30 (30), Height: 172 cm, Weight: 60 kg, Gender: Male
Decrepitude: 0, Warping Score: 0 (0)

Traits: Driven (Business) 2, Wrathful (Incompetence) 2, Dignified 1.

Virtues and Flaws Custos – Lead Mason & Autocrat (1), Clear Thinker (Bonus: +3 to resist lies, confusion, subterfuge)(1), Educated (50/50)(1), Non-Combatant (-1), Driven, Minor – Masonry Business (-1), Wrathful, Minor (-1)

Artes Liberales 2 (15),
Awareness 2 (15, EL),
Bargain 4 (50),
Area Lore: Greece 2 (15, EL),
Area Lore: Surrounds of Nova Castra 1 (5),
Civil and Canon Law 1 (5),
Covenant Lore: Nova Castra 2 (15)
Etiquette 3 (30),
Folk Ken 3 (30),
Guile 2 (15, EL),
Leadership 4 (50),
Order of Hermes Lore 1 (5)
Profession: Mason 5 (75),
(autocrat) Profession: Steward 2 (15),
(autocrat) Profession: Chamberlain 3 (30)
Turkic 3 (30),
Greek 5 (75, Free),
Latin 4 (50 Educated)

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