Here are various Tremere magi I wrote up for fun. I hope these will be useful to someone, somewhen.
These represent my vision of what Tremere Magi living in the Transylvania Tribunal may look like, based on the following assumptions:
- This is a house of soldiers.
- Tremere magi fulfill a role, each being suited to a specific task. When the house needs something done, she uses the right tool for the right job.
- Tremere support and help each other toward this goal, meaning easier access to lab texts and enchanted items
Table of Contents
I advance them in 10 years blocks of 30xp per year, with any seasonnal activity taking up 10xp.
I try to forego exposure XP, but there may have been some errors. Since I write them in 10-years block, it is easy to convert to a faster-moving saga, where magi gain 40+ xp per season: Just use 3/4 of the years post-gauntlet as the maga's actual age.
This is deliberate: They align more with RAW, and usually make them "weaker" than similar age PCs, which both helps maintain some of the world's verisimilitude and showcase the PCs as being talented individuals, Dresden-like.
It also simulates the seasons wasted in service to the house that yield few experience and rewards, like creating an enchantment for someone else, charged items that were used up… Conversely, any charged item created is assumed to have full charges.
Learning Spells, Creating Items
Spells from the corebook can be learned from a text. This is a common assumption to all my character creations. And since we're talking Tremere magi in Transylvania, working for the house, I extend this to any reasonnably common published spell.
Any other spell must be developped the hard way.
Lab text for items are available, but for core spells and the "Tremere Package" only.
Vis can be expanded to improve your lab total, 1 pawn per point per season. This represents hiring another maga, or, more probably, renting her apprentice for a season.
For magi, I assume vis per year equal to 1+(MT/2), rounded down.
Grogs and companions get 1 pawn per 2 years over 30. They can also spend time to get more vis. For grogs, I assume a wasted year (15xp) = 3 pawns, while, for companions, I assume a wasted year (15xp) = 6 pawns. This simulates the fact that companions are much more precious to covenants than grogs, but both are kinda replaceable.
Buying items and Longevity Rituals is equal to their Vis cost times 2.
Longevity Rituals level are bought with a cost equal to (Age + Level)/5 (max lvl 50). They also require spending a season to get done.
Again, I assume this is particular to that house and setting.
There are some incongruities in Ars Magica 5 with Wards:
- Terram has 2 guidelines for it, the lower of which requires to be conscious of the attack.
- Ignem has no "Ward" guideline, but uses "Control (element) in a slightly unnatural fashion" to do it.
Also, there are some spells, such as "The Wizard's Parry", which work at a range greater than Personal, and allow you to completely deflect an attack you target, not unlike an active defense, compared to the wards passive one.
So, in order to reconcile this:
- When a "Ward against xxx" guideline exists, it provides +15 soak, but repels all material of the warded form, with the exception of previously worn or help materials that could be considered "Personnal" and covered by the Parma. Adding one magnitude allows to concentrate to selectively pick up something, which may become "personnal" then
- Any "Control (element) in a slightly unnatural fashion" allows for +05 soak, if you're aware of the attack (meaning you can freely pick up items)
- Any "Control (element) in a slightly unnatural fashion allows a spell to completely deflect a targeted attack (This is consistent with the guidelines used in such spells). The spell must either be Voice or greater range (like Repel the Wooden Shaft) or be fast-cast (like Wizard's Parry)
- Any additional Magnitude gives +05 soak to Personnal Wards.
At least, Ars Magica being coherent, it appears that, whenever these 2 guidelines are present, they are separated by 3 magnitudes. This only introduces one change to the rules, which is that Ward Against Heart and Flames requires you to be conscious of the flame, while reconciling everything else into a coherent whole.
|Form||+05 soak if you're aware of the attack, or Deflect a single attack you're targeting||+15 soak against all attacks, can't pick up or wear items unless adding one magnitude and concentrating|
Bold = official guideline: This is explicitly written as being able to ward or deflect an attack.
Normal = Semi-official: This allows you to control the form.
Italic = extrapolated.
Specialties and Generalities
Since, in a way, every Tremere is a soldier, I try to give them specialized niches they could fulfill as specialists of their house, making them more focused than magi from another house would be. At the same time, being a soldier implies some basic training and equipment, which I try to give them.
Tremere soldiers can focus on their studies, since they can rely on their housemates to cover for them. As such, they usually focus on no more than 4 arts, one of these usually being Rego.
Since no Tremere should produce an inferior apprentice, the other arts are usually brought to the 5-10 range, but no more.
Spell Mastery is encouraged: It lessens the chances of botch, which is very important in a war, compensates partly the house's weakness in Penetration, and allow more options for spells.
Every Tremere Maga is expected to:
- Be able to defend herself against physical threats. This calls for at least one offensive spell, which should also be of some efficacity against magi.
- Be able to defend herself against unnatural creatures. Due to their versatility, Might Strippers are common, but an offensive spell with great penetration or a Vilano spell works too.
- Be able to deploy/redeploy herself rapidly, usually through Rego Corpus. Teleport spells are a favorite, but the house can't always rely on them, so some magi will have flight spells too. Spells allowing mass travel are rare but encouraged, since they let a magus move troops around. For that purpose, a few magi are expected to be to cast Hermes Portal through a Casting Tablet, though.
- Have some magical armor: Parma may fail, and won't protect against mundane attacks. Compared to the time needed to learn Personnal Wards, armor is cheap and efficient. The house usually issues quality Leather Armor enchanted with a Doublet of Impenetrable Silk.
- Have at least one defensive spell that makes her harder to target. Invisibility and Wizard's Sidestep are favorites, but Circling Wings of Protection and other, similar spells may do the trick.
- Know a Wizard's Communion of Sun duration. This allow magi to pool their ressources, cast bigger Aegises, and increase their Penetration against superior ennemies.
- Have some way to detect magic, or at least Intangible Tunnels.
- Have a Parma Magica of 4+ magnitude.
- Have some way to detect and gather Vis.
Of course, this can't be expected of any young magus. But over the course of his carrier, most Tremere magi pick these up, and it is rare to see a maga that lack but a few of these elements 30 years after her gauntlet.
Some items are common enough to deserve their own page
Relying more on teamwork than on secret mysteries, Gellert is one of the house's creators of magical items.
A mistress of Intellego magics, Amalia's role is to gather information on the enemy, by any and all means.
A combat maga, Kenza filia Castet Tremeris compensates her lack of focus by using spell mastery, potent magic and vilano spells. She also doubles as one of the house generals.
Specialized in Rego Corpus and Mentem, Aska can animate corpses and summon ghosts, unleashing an undead army on the house's enemies.
This maga's role is to create shock troups as needed, giving the house extra supernatural muscle.
A secret order of assassins, these elite specialists are a relic, a remnant of the schism war that is seldom used today.
The oppidum of Laniena, in Hungary, trains gifted students into the hedge arts of the Hunter
Tremere grogs are Elite, well-trained and armed. But above all, they are loyal, and devoted to the house that cares for them and their families.
Tremere magi use code names to describe agents, places, people and operations.
By compartmentalizing information, this helps deter potential spies, and assures increased security.
Example code words:
- SIEGFRIED is an emergency clearance, which designates any external, non-tremere, intelligent being who the house trusts to confront Dragons. Codename: SIEGFRIED operatives are given the same level of resources and authority as a Tremere General, but only for the duration of their mission.
- CHARCOAL designates Rabidanadas, a powerful infernal dragon
- JUPITERIANS is a codename for Aerial and Storm Dragons.
- The RUBY THRONE represents leadership over all dragons of the tribunal.
- CODE NIGHTMARE BLACK is for full invasion by the Infernal realm. Litterally, Hell on (Mythic) Earth