Druids’ Dale Saga

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Session zero of our Ars Magica 5th edition campaign had us go over the primary details of the campaign and start on character generation. Some of us already had the basics of characters fleshed out, but others still weren’t sure what they wanted to play, or only had very basic thoughts.

The campaign is set in the Loch Leglean tribunal, on the west coast of Scotland in Stronchullin Burn, in the year 1220. There are a large number of hedge wizards and Ex Miscellanea in Scotland, and the Order of Hermes enforces its usual Code with a very light touch.

As characters, we will be building up a new covenant on an old site that predates the schism war. A fresh spring covenant will mean lots of effort spent building the place up and finding resources for it, but it also gives us a lot of flexibility since we won’t be beholden to a lot of old magi as we would in a summer or autumn covenant.

My concept for a Criamon has remained intact, and I have a name and even a portrait now. She is Pisciculus, a name that means Little Fish (or μικρό ψάρι since she is Greek). She is a pacifist, who has taken some spells that will disable rather than harm people in case she ever needs to defend herself. She will be following the Path of the Body, which will eventually enable her to perfect her physical body. Given that path, she has a positive strength – something that is often rare for magi. I don’t expect her to make use of it – it just seemed to fit the character better. She will also be haunted by a ghost – probably one of the not quite departed members of her House. I still need to flesh out details on this.

My companion is Jack – an English mercenary who has spent many years fighting in France who has made enough enemies amongst the English nobles to want to leave both countries behind. He has come up to Scotland looking for both work, and an opportunity to gain power and wealth for himself.

In terms of personality and skill set he is very much inspired by Bronn from Game of Thrones. Amoral, practical and (hopefully) competent.

He also has an odd background. His mother was driven out of her home after an alleged dalliance with someone she called the Woodsman. From how she described it, he was some sort of woodland fey, which makes Jack’s heritage not entirely pure and explains his natural affinity for forests.

Growing up, he noticed that in fights he seemed to be impervious to iron weapons – he has Greater Immunity (iron) as a virtue. For a mercenary, this is highly beneficial, though he has had to try hard to hide this fact. He also has Infamous – the reason he has moved to Scotland. He is ambitious, power hungry and overconfident, as well as suffering from Curse of Venus. He will be a womaniser, but will attract anyone who is bad for him. Since he’s starting at age 30, he’s going to hit ageing rolls quite rapidly, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ages out of the campaign.

For the rest of the magi, we have a Merinita, a Gruagach and maybe an Elementalist. We also have a lycanthrope and an Irish bard as companions.

We are back to Roll20 for Ars Magica. FoundryVTT doesn’t seem to have an Ars Magica option. The character sheet is okay, though has a lot of manual entry. I really wish it had at least the basic skills built into it, so I didn’t have to enter them all manually. I’m also not sure how it manages requisites on spells, but it seems to otherwise handle automating some of the basic things reasonably well.

Hopefully by next week characters will be mostly completed and we can begin working on the covenant. Our GM has said that we’ll get some say in this, though the location and basic nature of the covenant have already been defined. We’ll also have access to Maga Alexandra ex Miscellanea who will provide us some training, partly as incentive to get us to go up there and revitalise the place.

Samuel Penn