Training Packages (full length article)

The Training Packages from Grogs are not only useful for creating standard grogs and companions but can be used for creating Hermetic magi, as detailed in Mark Shirley’s recent Sub Rosa #11 article, “Training Packages for Magi”. There is one common character type that is not well covered by these existing guidelines however – the unGifted Redcap companion.

This article provides suggestions on how to adapt the existing guidelines from Grogs for companion level Redcap player characters, and allows the rapid creation of storyguide characters or characters a few decades from apprenticeship.

A sample standard companion level character created using this method is also provided, together with variations reflecting the character just after completing their Gauntlet and at the time of their retirement from active messenger duties.

Supplements Used in this Article

Apart from the ArM5 corebook, the following article requires the Grogs supplement. The Mercere chapter of Houses of Hermes: True Lineages would be of great use as a background and the rules for Travel and Wondrous Items from City & Guild may also be necessary to help flesh out a Redcap character, but are not necessarily required.

Pre-Apprenticeship

The first step is to choose an appropriate childhood for the Redcap from the ones listed in ArM5, page 31 or Grogs, page 66. All childhoods except Feral Childhood are likely to be appropriate, although Covenant Bred and Traveling Childhoods may be most applicable.
You may also decide to choose one or more standard packages to reflect life before apprenticeship. Unlike Gifted magi, Redcaps do not necessarily train their apprentices young – some Redcaps are recruited into the Order much later in life to foster their particular skills or after a period of working as grog level assistants or lesser covenfolk for Redcaps and Mercere magi.

The following core packages provide the basics for a life serving the Order of Hermes:

Redcap Grounding
Either of these packages provide the basic education for an unGifted Redcap, providing rudimentary knowledge of the Order of Hermes (equivalent to Code of Hermes 1 and Order of Hermes Lore 1) plus the basic ability to read and write Latin 3.
Three Years: +5 Artes Liberales, +30 Latin, +5 Code of Hermes, +5 Organization Lore: Order of Hermes.
Five Years: +5 Artes Liberales, +30 Latin, +15 Code of Hermes, +5 Organization Lore: Order of Hermes, +15 Area Lore: Tribunal

Mechanics of a Redcap Apprenticeship

Although the content of a typical Redcap “apprenticeship” may vary considerably, the standard length of training is 15 years, the same as for Gifted Hermetic magi. The Redcap Major Virtue or Lone Redcap Minor Virtue (see HoH:S, page 106) provide 300 XP to be spent on Abilities plus the effects of the Well-Traveled Virtue, which provides an additional 50 XP that can be spent on a selection of appropriate abilities (see above). As the gain per year equals an averages of 23 XP, this does not mesh well with the existing Training Package system presented in Grogs which assumes 15XP per year or the expanded system presented for magi in Sub Rosa #11, which factors in XP spent on Arts and learning formulaic spells.

The simplest way to account for this is to choose four 5-year packages from Grogs or a single 5-year package and five 3-year packages and then spend the additional 50 XP from the Well-Traveled Virtue on the appropriate Abilities. Several modified packages are provided below to aid in spending the additional XP gained from this Virtue.

Alternatively, consider that this period provides an equivalent of 23 years of experience, allocating 15 XP to each year similar to a mundane character such as a grog and then choosing packages accordingly.

The various options are reflected by the following table:

Packages                5-year          3-year             Notes
Option 1                        4                  0                   Add 50 XP as per Well-Traveled Virtue
Option 2                        4                  1                    Add 5 XP
Option 4                        3                  2                    Add 35 XP
Option 4                        2                  4                    Add 20 XP
Option 5                        1                   5                    Add 50 XP as per Well-Traveled Virtue
Option 6                        1                   6                    Add 5 XP
Option 7                        0                   6                    Add 30 XP and 50 XP as per Well-Traveled Virtue

Although some extra unassigned XP is inevitable using this method and you must still be careful to assign at least 50 XP towards the Abilities indicated in the Well-Traveled Virtue, this technique is generally faster and more flexible. It also allows the Redcap to choose from the range of new and existing 3-year and 5-year training packages.

New Training Packages

The following packages may be appropriate for Redcaps with unusual backgrounds, but may require appropriate Virtues or Flaws to access the included Abilities. The Artist and Hermetic Politician Packages were first presented in Sub Rosa #11, “Training Packages for Magi” by Mark Shirley but have been reproduced here for convenience.

Artist
This package includes a small amount of experience in an Ability that permits the artist to source materials or find patrons. An Artistic Reputation increases like an Ability (see Art & Academe, Chapter 8), principally from the creation of works of art: one experience point is gained when the Aesthetic Quality of a piece of artwork is at least three times greater than the character’s current Reputation.
Three years: +30 Craft: (any) or Profession: (Performer); +5 Bargain or Charm; +10 experience points in Artistic Reputation

Hedge Wizard (Supernatural and Arcane)
This package is appropriate for Redcaps with at least one Supernatural Ability associated with a separate Ability score such as Animal Ken, Dowsing, Enchanting (Ability), Magic Sensitivity, Premonitions, Second Sight, Sense Holiness and Unholiness, Wilderness Sense or another Supernatural Ability from later ArM5 supplements provided they have the appropriate Supernatural Virtue. This package combines well with the Magician or modified Cultist packages from Grogs to represent a character with supernatural links to the Faerie Realm.
Three years: +30 Hedge Ability, +15 Concentration or Penetration
Five years: +50 Hedge Ability A, +15 Concentration or Penetration, +10 Magic Lore or Hedge Ability B

Together with the Cultist package from Grogs, this package may be useful when creating Infernalist Goliards of the Ordo Vagorum (see Realms of Power: the Infernal, page 139 for details of Infernalist Goliards and Houses of Hermes: True Lineages, pages 93-94 for details of the Goliard Societas).

Hermetic Politician
Although clearly useful to magi, this package may be applicable to Redcaps.
Three years: +15 Organization Lore: Order of Hermes; +5 Folk Ken or Leadership; +15 Intrigue; +10 Area Lore: Tribunal or Code of Hermes

Initiate
This package simulates the acquisition of Esoteric Mysteries through Initiation as for Hermetic magi, a process which is usually best handled during play. If the Initiation Script imposes an Ordeal Flaw as well as a Mystery Virtue, then this package is usually sufficient but the character may be required to spend more time meeting the specific requirements. This may work well combined with a modified form of the standard Cultist package from Grogs.
Three years: +20 Cultic Ability, +15 Organization Lore: Mystery Cult, initiation into a mystery (1 season).

For most Redcaps, the Mystery Cult is the Cult of Heroes detailed in Houses of Hermes: Societates, page 96, although some may belong to other Esoteric Mystery Cults that accept unGifted members as detailed in The Mysteries: Revised Edition such as the Knights of the Green Stone. The Cultic Ability varies by Mystery Cult – for the Cult of Heroes the Cultic Ability is usually Leadership.

Loremaster (Arcane)
This package is useful for characters with knowledge of the supernatural Realms.
Three Years: +15 (Realm) Lore A, +15 (Realm) Lore B, +15 (Realm) Lore C
Five Years: +30 (Realm) Lore A, +30 (Realm) Lore B, +15 (Realm) Lore C

Messenger (Academic or None)
This package reflects experience undertaking the basic duties of an unGifted Redcap, providing further knowledge of the Order of Hermes and their local tribunal region.
Three Years: +20 (Area) Lore: Tribunal, +15 Latin or (Living) Language, +5 Code of Hermes, +5 Organization Lore: Order of Hermes +5.
Five Years: +30 (Area) Lore: Tribunal, +15 Latin or (Living) Language, +15 Code of Hermes, +15 Organization Lore: Order of Hermes.

Specialist (Any or None)
This package allows the creation of characters with a single specialty in one chosen Ability. Note that a starting character may not have a score of greater than 5 (75 XP) unless they have an Affinity in that Ability or begin with an age of at least 30 years old.
Three Years: +45 Specialty Ability
Five Years: +75 Specialty Ability

Training Packages for the Well-Traveled Virtue

As noted above, all standard Redcaps and Lone Redcaps possess the benefits of the Well-Traveled Virtue and gain 50 XP to spend on Living Languages, (Area) Lores, and Bargain, Carouse, Charm, Etiquette, Folk Ken, or Guile. Instead of distributing these points as indicated above, a player may choose to take one of the modified three year packages detailed below. Each package focuses on one of the above Abilities and provides a useful shorthand means to spend the additional 50 XP and fulfill the requirements of this Virtue.

Each of these packages may also be used by non-Redcap characters with the Well-Traveled Virtue. The extra 5 XP remains has been assigned as the standard 3-year package spends only 45 XP, but these packages can be readily adjusted for use a standard 3-year package where noted for use later in Redcap creation or used while creating standard characters.

Charmer (Modified)
This package is the same non-career package as the one presented in Grogs, except that the 5 XP in Intrigue and the extra 5 XP from the Well-Traveled Virtue are shifted to Folk Ken and Guile.
50 XP package: +30 Charm, +10 Folk Ken, +10 Guile.

Conman (Modified)
This package is the same career package as the one presented in Grogs, except that the 15 XP in Intrigue has been added to Guile and the extra 5 XP from the Well-Traveled Virtue added to Charm.
50 XP package: +20 Charm, +30 Guile

Courtier (Modified)
This package is the same career package as the one presented in Grogs, except that the 15 XP in Intrigue and the extra 5 XP from the Well-Traveled Virtue are split equally between Charm and Folk Ken.
50 XP package: +10 Charm, +30 Etiquette, +10 Folk Ken

Gossip (New)
Three years: Charm +15, Folk Ken +30
50 XP package: Charm +20, Folk Ken +30
Five years: Carouse +5, Charm +15, Folk Ken +50, Intrigue +5

Haggler (New)
Three years: Bargain +30, Charm +15
50 XP package: Bargain +30, Charm +20
Five years: Bargain +50, Charm +15, Folk Ken +5, Guile +5

Harlot (Modified)
This package is the same career package as the one presented in Grogs, except that the 5 XP in (Organization) Lore and the extra 5 XP from the Well-Traveled Virtue are concentrated on Carouse or Etiquette.
50 XP package: +20 Charm, +30 Carouse or Etiquette

Linguist (New)
This package focusing on Living Languages is useful for characters who must act as translators or merchants who deal with multiple customers that each speak different unrelated languages.
Three years: +15 (Living) Language A, +15 (Living) Language B, +15 (Living) Language C
50 XP package: +20 (Living) Language A, +15 (Living) Language B, +15 (Living) Language C
Five years: +30 (Living) Language A, +30 (Living) Language B, +15 (Living) Language C

Tourist (New)
Three years: +30 (Area) Lore A , +15 (Area) Lore B
50 XP package: +30 (Area) Lore A , +20 (Area) Lore B
Five years: +30 (Area) Lore A , +30 (Area) Lore B, +15 (Area) Lore C

Traveler (New)
Three years: +15 (Area) Lore, +15 Folk Ken, +15 (Living) Language
50 XP package: +20 (Area) Lore, +15 Folk Ken, +15 (Living) Language
Five years: +30 (Area) Lore , +30 Folk Ken , +15 (Living) Language

Wastrel (Modified)
This package is the same career package as the one presented in Grogs, except that the 5 XP in Brawl and the extra 5 XP from the Well-Traveled Virtue have been added to Guile.
50 XP package: +30 Carouse, +5 Folk Ken, +15 Guile
Five years: +5 Brawl, +50 Carouse, +5 Folk Ken, +15 Guile

Virtues that Provide Additional XP

Similar modified packages can readily be created for use with other Minor Virtues that grant additional XP such as Arcane Lore, Educated, Educated (Islamic), Privileged Upbringing, Vernacular Education and Warrior but are beyond the scope of this article.

Optional Rule: Very Well-Traveled Redcaps

Although the standard Redcap Virtues include the benefits of the Well-Traveled Virtue, choosing the Well-Traveled Virtue in addition may be appropriate for some character concepts. If approved by the Troupe, this option this combination then provides an additional 50 XP to spend on the listed Abilities. Effectively the Redcap can then choose 2 of the modified Training Packages detailed above.

Post-Apprenticeship

Choosing packages following apprenticeship should follow the usual five year / three year pattern outlined in Grogs – unlike Gifted Hermetic magi, Redcaps are treated as companions thereafter in character creation and gain only 15 XP per year to spend on Abilities.

The new Messenger package is suitable for all Redcaps that deliver messages in the course of their normal duties but the Hermetic Politician and Artist Training Packages from “Training Packages for Magi” may be appropriate for Redcap characters with a compatible role.

Redcap Training Templates

The following templates of packages cover some of the basic Redcap archetypes as detailed in Houses of Hermes: Societates, Chapter 3: House Mercere and allow rapid creation of a 23 year old Redcap companion fresh out of their Gauntlet – examples of each will be presented in the Appendix following to allow rapid Redcap creation. More advanced characters can be created by choosing additional Training Packages and accounting for Aging and Warping as detailed above.

All these templates assume a free choice of Childhood, a three year Redcap Grounding Virtue prior to beginning apprenticeship, 50 XP spent on one of the modified packages suitable for the Well-Traveled Virtue and then use of Option 5 noted above (5 three year packages and a single 5 year package in their area of specialty). The Well-Traveled modified Training Package is given first (see above), followed by the five year package (denoted with an asterisk), and then the remaining 5 three year packages.

The Alpine template is an example Tribunal specific template appropriate for Redcaps trained in the Greater Alps Tribunal. Bloodcap, Goliard and Milvus are templates suitable for members of the respective Societates Merceris detailed in Houses of Hermes: Societates, Chapter 3: Mercere. Bloodcaps are usually custodian style Redcaps but fulfill slightly different roles to their mundane brethren. The Goliard template above is suited for Infernalist unGifted Mercere – uncorrupted members of the Ordo Vagorum may be better represented by either the Minstrel or Vagabond template. The Milvus template is designed to account for their skills as archivists and their reliance on traveling in animal shape using magic.

Alpine: Traveler; Linguist*; Archer or Scout, Athlete, Forager, Messenger, Rider.
Banker: Haggler; Trader*; Loremaster, Scribe (twice), Trader (twice),
Bloodcap: Traveler, Sentry*; Brawler, Pikeman (twice), Scout (twice).
Custodian: Traveler, Sentry*; Brawler, Leader, Scout, Sentry, Woodsman.
Enforcer: Traveler, Soldier*; Archer or Pikeman, Athlete, Brawler (twice), Soldier
Goliard: Wastrel, Gossip*; Conman or Cultist, Harlot, Hedge Wizard or Specialist, Minstrel, Storyteller
Herald: Traveler, Messenger*; Athlete, Forager or Woodsman, Messenger, Rider or Animal Trainer, Tinker.
Merchant: Traveler, Haggler*; Courtier or Conman, Rider, Sentry or Scribe, Trader (twice).
Mercenary: Traveler, Soldier*; Archer or Sentry, Brawler, Forager, Leader, Soldier
Milvus: Linguist, Messenger*; Brawler, Forager, Traveler, Messenger, Scribe.
Minstrel: Traveler, Minstrel*; Gossip, Hedge Wizard or Specialist, Linguist, Storyteller, Wastrel
Spy: Conman, Harlot*; Brawler, Courtier, Footpad, Linguist, Specialist
Vagabond: Tourist, Wastrel*; Conman or Footpad, Harlot, Linguist, Tinker, Sailor or Tumbler

Templates for Retired Redcaps

The following 9-year templates are suitable for a retired Redcap (see below).

The first template suits a character that has retired to help run the administration of Harco or one of the other major covenants. The Innkeeper template is useful for a character that has elected to remain in service by running either a wayside inn or traveler’s hospice, which may or may not also serve as the Tribunal’s main Mercer House. The midwife template reflects training for a character skilled in helping female Redcaps and the families of male Redcaps produce healthy future recruits for the House. The final template is used for Redcaps involved in training younger members of the House.
Archivist: Hermetic Politician, Loremaster, Scribe

Innkeeper: Local, Trader, Storyteller
Midwife: Apothecary, Cutter, Herbwife
Trainer: Linguist or Loremaster, Teacher x2

Aging and Warping for Redcaps

Although mundanes, Redcaps have access to a Longevity Ritual once they begin making Aging rolls unless they only have the Lone Redcap Minor Virtue. The basic Longevity Ritual created for a Redcap has a Lab Total of 50, which translates into a decreased benefit of -5 to the characters Aging Score as the Redcap is a mundane and not a magus.
Rules for Aging are given in Grogs, Chapter 5 but use the expanded Aging Chart presented in Sub Rosa #11 to reflect the effects of a Longevity Ritual. Apparent Age increases by (10 – Aging Score) years each decade with a minimum of 0 and a maximum of 10 years, meaning that unless they are rewarded with a stronger Longevity Ritual in return for exceptional service, most Redcaps age 5 years for every decade of life.

Unlike their Gifted cousins Redcaps do not gain Warping from magical botches and do not experience Twilight. However, once they begin to use a Longevity Ritual they gain 1 warping Point per year for being under the influence of a constant mystical effect. Thus every three year package grant 3 Warping points and every five year package adds 5 Warping points.

Training an Apprentice

Redcaps often train several mundane apprentices, but unlike Hermetic magi there are no minimum Art scores required, merely an expectation that the senior Redcap will ensure the apprentice is capable of carrying out their duties independently. The standard Trainer packages listed in Grogs may be appropriate, particularly if the Redcap will be predominantly training his apprentice by himself.

Many older Redcaps travel with their apprentices, teaching them as they travel through Exposure. It is a common practice for retired Redcaps to help train the apprentices of younger Redcaps for up to 2 seasons per year.

Variant Redcaps

Not all Redcaps need be created as standard companions using the Redcap Major Social Status Virtue.

Lone Redcaps

Lone Redcaps (See Houses of Hermes: True Lineages, page 106) operate more independently than normal Redcaps and are not associated with a particular covenant. They lack both the magical items usually granted to a Redcap and are not offered a Longevity Ritual when the begin to age, unlike Redcaps created using the usual Redcap Major Virtue.

Examples of Lone Redcaps include unGifted characters assigned roles other than carrying messages, the wayward Goliards and individuals adopted into the House to foster special aptitudes of value to House Mercere – suggested appropriate templates include Bloodcap, Goliard, Minstrel, Spy or Vagabond. As companions unsupported by their covenant, Lone Redcaps can purchase the Wealthy Virtue or suffer from the Poor Flaw but are otherwise created using the same process as above.

Wealthy and Poor Redcaps

Redcaps created using the standard Redcap Major Virtue cannot purchase Wealthy Virtue or the Poor Flaw, but Lone Redcaps can. Per the Detailed Character Creation rules detailed in ArM5, pages 28-32, Wealthy characters have 20 XP per year and Poor characters only 10 XP per year to spend in the time pre-apprenticeship or following apprenticeship.

This variation makes the use of training packages more difficult, although the 15 years of Redcap apprenticeship and spending the 50 XP from the Well-Traveled Virtue are unaffected. One way to model this is to assign a Childhood package as usual and then calculate the number of years pre and post apprenticeship. Multiplying this by either a factor of 20 or 10 and then dividing by 15 gives the equivalent number of years available to spend using the standard Training Package rules.

Years available for Training Packages = (years pre-apprenticeship + years post apprenticeship – 5 years) multiplied by Wealth Factor* / 15
*Wealth Factor is 10 for Poor or 20 for Wealthy

Any fractions are dropped and the remaining XP is left to be allocated as desired.

Retired Redcaps

Like Lone Redcaps above, retired Redcaps are not usually associated with a particular covenant, although they may live at a Mercer House which may be considered a chapter of another larger covenant. Their degree of independence from their former roles and the time which they need to spend to support themselves vary once they are no longer in the active employ of the messenger service and they can purchase the Wealthy Virtue or suffer from the Poor Flaw.

A retired Redcap is initially created as above by choosing a Childhood, adding the Redcap Grounding and any pre-apprenticeship packages and then applying one of the suggested templates. Life following retirement provides the opportunity to learn different skills, reflected by an increased range of Training Packages that may be appropriate. Retired Redcaps that manage inns or setup hospices to service Redcaps and other travelers may find the post-apprenticeship Innkeeper template applicable.

See the new Retired Redcap Minor Virtue below for further details.

Mythic Redcaps

Exceptional Redcaps can be created as Mythic Companions, either by taking the Blood of Heroes Special Virtue (see Houses of Hermes: Societates, pages 103-104) or by creating the character as another form of Mythic Companion using the Maestro Special Virtue (see Art & Academe, page 133-135) or another Mythic Companion Special Virtue. The 15 years of Redcap apprenticeship and spending the 50 XP from the Well-Traveled Virtue are unaffected, but if considered as a magus-level characters, the Mythic Redcap gains 30 XP per year post-apprenticeship. This effectively means they can pick 2 three-year or five-year packages for every allocated time period instead of only one package, similar to magi as detailed in the “Training Packages for Magi” article.

Gifted Mercere

All Gifted Merceres must spend at least on season every seven years carrying out the messenger duties of a Redcap, too short to be accounted for by a training package. Some however spend much more time on the road, often to either understand the needs of their unGifted brethren and to emulate the work of their revered Founder. Any of the above new Training Packages suitable for Redcaps may also be appropriate for a Mercere magus. Such traveling magi may likewise benefit from the modified packages intended for use with the Well-Traveled Virtue if the possess that Virtue.

Retirement

Whether due to age, infirmity, Warping or choice, some Redcaps become unable to deliver messages for the Order and retire from active service. According to Andrew Smith’s Ultimate Aging and Warping Simulation (see xxx), the median age for mundanes living under reasonable living conditions is around 60 years, but the use of a Level 50 Longevity Ritual may push this out to 80-90 years for Redcaps. Their “active” lifespan where they are capable of carrying out the physical duties of a messenger is likely to be shorter however.
Many older Redcaps still serve the House in other less physical ways ways: training young Redcaps, running inns, hospices and other establishments that serve as Mercer Houses, or applying their skills to the overall administration of the messenger service.

See the Retired Redcap Minor Virtue below for further details.

Expulsion

Particularly wayward, significantly dangerous or just repeatedly troublesome Redcaps may rarely be cast out of the House to protect its reputation as reliable messengers. This is usually only after repeated attempts by the Tribunal’s senior Redcap to rehabilitate the wayward rogue and follows a stern warning from the Primus of House Mercere to the offender to repent or be declared orbus.

New Virtues and Flaws

The following Virtues and Flaws are appropriate for Redcap characters. Several Virtues are modifications of the Linguist Minor Virtue that first appeared in Houses of Hermes: Societates, page 25.

The Retired Redcap Virtue is a modification of the Lone Redcap Virtue detailed in the same Mercere chapter.

Diplomat
Minor General Virtue
The character is extremely proficient in learning Abilities related to diplomacy and court life. All Study Totals for Charm, Etiquette, Folk Ken, Guile and Intrigue are increased by a quarter, as any experience points put into these Abilities at character generation.

Negotiator
Minor General Virtue
The character is extremely proficient in learning Abilities related to persuasion. All Study Totals for Bargain, Charm, Folk Ken, Guile and Leadership are increased by a quarter, as any experience points put into these Abilities at character generation.

Retired Redcap
Minor Social Status Virtue
This character once trained and served as a Redcap, but no longer lives at a covenant nor serves House Mercere actively carrying messages or performing other official duties. He has handed back his symbol of office, his Redcap pin, and is no longer entitled to be active in the politics of the House or the Order as a whole, but is still considered a member of the Order of Hermes. The character thus does not receive magic items, having handed them back or passed them on to younger Redcaps on retirement, unless they also have the Magic Items Minor Virtue (see Houses of Hermes: Societates, page 106). This character still gains an additional 300 experience points for the fifteen years spent as an apprentice, and also receive the benefits of the Well-Traveled virtue.

Although this character received the benefits of a longevity potion when he turned 35, and received its benefits for one to two decades, making him appear 5 to 10 years younger itsmagic has failed and he has since resumed aging normally. The retired Redcap begins play at least 50 years old and has gained 15 Aging Points, starting with a minimum Decrepitude of 2. He has accumulated enough Aging points to force at least one Aging crisis and must subtract one from either Stamina or Quickness to reflect loss of his youthful vigor. To help reflect an injury or ailment that would force retirement from traveling, the character must also suffer the effects of a Minor General Flaw such as Arthritis, Disfigured, Lame, Lingering Injury, Missing Ear, Missing Eye, Obese, Palsied Hands, Poor Eyesight, or Poor Hearing without gaining an additional Minor Virtue as compensation.

Although retired, the ex-Redcap must still devote two seasons each year working to maintain himself but this work is not necessarily directly for the Order. He may help run a Mercer House or work in a role such as an innkeeper that allows him to discreetly assist traveling Redcaps. This work pays enough for the character to live on, unless he takes the Poor flaw and must work a third season as well. If the character has the Wealthy virtue, he can maintain his position with only a single season of effort each year.

Tourist
Minor General Virtue
The character is extremely proficient in learning new (Area) Lores. All Study Totals for any (Area) Lore are increased by a quarter, as any experience points put into any (Area) Lore at character generation.

Design Example: Cymena of Rorschach

As an example, lets recreate an ArM5 version of Cymena, the experienced Alpine Redcap from ArM4 Sanctuary of Ice, pages 76-77. As an native Alpine lass who grew up at Basel, she had an Athletic Childhood before commencing her Redcap Grounding with her great uncle, a retired Redcap living at the local Copper Rooster Inn. He also entertained her greatly with his tall-tales of his adventures, some of which has rubbed off on her, resulting in the benefits of a three year Storytelling package. At the age of 11 she began formal training with her mother and the other Redcaps of the Mercer House in Rorschach, starting with the Redcap Major Status Virtue and the benefits of the Well-Traveled Virtue as usual. Cymena has always had a knack for avoiding danger even as a child and begins with the Premonitions Minor Supernatural Virtue.

Her Redcap apprenticeship follows the usual course. Let’s apply the Alpine template detailed above, choosing Archer instead of Scout. Thus at the age of 26, she has the following experience point allocation: +15 Animal Handling, +50 (Area) Lore: Tribunal, +5 Artes Liberales, +45 Athletics, +15 Awareness, +20 Brawl, +30 Bows, +10 Code of Hermes, +15 Folk Ken, +15 Guile, +15 Hunt, +45 Latin, +45 (Living) Language A, +30 (Living) Language B, +15 (Living) Language C, +30 Profession: Storyteller, +15 Survival, +75 Native Language, +10 Organization Lore: Order of Hermes, +5 Premonitions, +30 Profession: Storyteller, +35 Ride, +20 Swim. Choosing High German as her native language and picking Italian, Occitan and Romand as her other languages this results in the following Abilities at the end of her apprenticeship: Animal Handling 2, Artes Liberales 1, Athletics 3 (15), Awareness 2, Brawl 2 (5), Bows 3, Code of Hermes 1 (5), Folk Ken 2, Greater Alps Tribunal Lore 4, Guile 2, High German 5, Hunt 2, Italian 3 (15), Latin 3 (15), Occitan 3, Profession: Storyteller 3, Romand 2, Survival 2, Order of Hermes Lore 1, Premonitions 1, Profession: Storyteller 3, Ride 3 (5), Swim 2 (5). Adjusting some of the leftover XP around and spreading them across various Abilities expected of Alpine Redcaps provides the example statistics for Cymena at the time of her Gauntlet. Although not particularly experienced, this starting version of Cymena can defend herself, survive in the Alpine wilderness and carry out her messenger duties across the scattered communities of the region.

Cymena has 22 years of experience remaining however, equivalent to 7 three-year packages and 15 XP or 4 five-year packages and 30 discretionary XP. Choosing the first option using three year packages, we may pick the new packages Hedge Wizard and Loremaster, then add Cutter, Pikeman, Tinker and Woodsman. This results in the following additional XP: +10 Athletics, +5 Awareness, +30 Area Lore, +15 Concentration or Penetration, +40 Chirurgery, +15 Craft, +5 Folk Ken, +30 Great Weapon, +30 Hunt, +30 Hedge Ability, +15 (Realm) Lore A, +15 (Realm) Lore B, +15 (Realm) Lore C, +15 Stealth, +30 Survival. Cymena’s Hedge Ability is Premonitions and as she does not require Penetration for this Ability, the extra 15 XP can be reassigned to boost her Premonitions total. We will choose Faerie, Magic and Infernal for her (Realm) Lores to reflect her knowledge of local Alpine folklore regarding the supernatural. This leaves 15 XP unassigned for the most recent year and she now has the following Abilities: Animal Handling 2, Artes Liberales 1, Athletics 4 (5), Awareness 2 (5), Brawl 2 (5), Bows 3, Chirurgery 4, Code of Hermes 1 (5), Craft 2, Greater Alps Tribunal Lore 5 (5), Folk Ken 2 (5), Great Weapon 3, Guile 2, High German 5 (Swiss), Faerie Lore 2, Hunt 3 (15), Infernal Lore 2, Italian 3 (15), Latin 3 (15), Magic Lore 2, Occitan 3, Order of Hermes Lore 1, Premonitions 4, Profession: Storyteller 3, Ride 3 (5), Romand 2, Stealth 2, Survival 3 (15), Swim 2 (5). To further build on the Alpine theme, lets pick the alpenstock (quarterstaff) as her Great Weapon specialty, Swiss as her native dialect and build her focus on interacting with the peasantry through appropriate specialty choices. Reassigning some of the leftover experience points to increase Latin and Survival to 4 leaves 75 XP which can be used to increase her cores in Bargain, Carouse, and Charm. By adjusting some of the other Abilities downwards and assigning the remaining specialties, we come to the final version presented at the end of this article!

The later version of Cymena around the time of her retirement has been created by using the Midwife template (the Apothecary, Cutter and Herbwife 3-year packages) together with the Hedge Wizard, Initiate and Trainer (x2) 3-year packages. This results in the following additional XP: +15 (Area) Lore, +80 Chirurgery, +15 Concentration or Penetration, +20 Cultic Ability, +15 Folk Ken, +10, +30 Hedge Ability, Leadership, +10 (Living) Language, +40 Profession: Apothecary, +60 Teaching, +15 Organization Lore: Folk Witches. Two seasons have been lost initiating the Folk Witch Major Virtue Healing and the Herbalism Minor Virtue (equivalent to 10 XP each) as she assumes settles into her role as a healer and midwife. This allows her to increase her Chirurgery to 6, Folk Ken to 3, and her score in Romand to 3. She also learns Folk Witch Magic Theory 2, Healing 3, Herbalism 3, Leadership 2 and Teaching 4. The bonus XP in Concentration or Penetration is moved to Magic Lore, increasing it to a score of 3 an making it easier for her to enrich Items of Virtue.

Cymena the Redcap, at the time of her Gauntlet

This younger version of Cymena is much less experienced that the next version, although suitable as a starting character. She has been cursed with infertility, a condition that allows her to carouse without fear of becoming pregnant but at the same time marks her as less worthy in the eyes of her progeny-valuing peers as she ages. She still has 6 points of Virtues and Flaws that can be further customized. As a starting Redcap just out of their Gauntlet, she has only the standard 50 levels of magic items to choose from at this stage – her Redcap Pin and the golden lickstone and has yet to slay the dragonette that later forms the hide for her walking boots.

By renaming this template and making some minor modifications of her Virtues and Flaws, this character could also represent any beginning Alpine Redcap, perhaps even an older version of Cymena’s apprentice.

Characteristics: Int +1, Per +2, Pre 0, Com 0, Str 0, Sta +2, Dex 0, Qik 0
Size: -1
Age: 26 (26)
Decrepitude: 0 (0)
Warping Score: 0 (0)
Confidence Score: 1 (3)
Virtues and Flaws: Redcap; Premonitions; Craving for Travel*, Humble, Lesser Malediction (Infertile), Small Frame. * detailed in Grogs, page 78.
Personality Traits: Brave +3, Cautious +3
Combat:
Dodge: Init +0, Attack n/a, Defense +2, Damage n/a
Fist:Init +0, Attack +3, Defense +3, Damage +0
Alpenstock: Init +2, Attack +6, Defense +6, Damage n+2
Soak: +1
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0, –1, –3, –5, Unconscious
Abilities: Animal Handling 2 (equines), Artes Liberales 1 (messages), Athletics 3 (hiking), Awareness 2 (dangers of the road), Brawl 2 (fists), Bows 3 (hunting), Carouse 1 (avoiding intoxication), Charm 1 (covenfolk), Chirurgery 1 (midwifery), Code of Hermes 1 (Redcaps), Faerie Lore 1 (avoidance), Folk Ken 2 (peasants), Greater Alps Tribunal Lore 4 (trails), Great Weapon 2 (alpenstock), Guile 2 (disguise), High German 5 (Swiss), Hunt 2 (cattle stealing), Infernal Lore 1 (wards against demons), Italian 3 (peasants), Latin 3 (Hermetic Usage), Magic Lore 1 (dangerous locations), Occitan 3 (peasants), Order of Hermes Lore 1 (personalities), Premonitions 2 (natural hazards), Profession: Boatman 2 (rough rivers), Profession: Storyteller 2 (anecdotes), Ride 3 (mules), Romand 2 (peasants), Survival 2 (alpine environment), Swim 2 (cold water).
Equipment: alpenstock (quarterstaff), enchanted Redcap pin
Encumbrance: 0 (0)
Appearance: a small woman wrapped in furs and carrying a large iron shod staff with an end-spike. She proudly wears a traditional Redcap pellus of faded red wool surmounted by a copper triangle pin.

Cymena of Rorschach, an experienced Alpine Redcap

Unless otherwise noted below, this 1220 version has the same statistics as the first version presented above. This more mature version of Cymena is balanced for use as a starting character, albeit a very experienced one and still has 6 points of Virtues and Flaws that can be further customized. She is an example of an experienced Alpine Redcap, able to survive the snows of the mountains through her wits and physical skills even without the help of the few magic items she has been entrusted with.

As this version of Cymena is 22 years post the end of her apprenticeship she has up to 74 levels of Magic Items available, chosen preferentially from the items listed below.

Age: 48 (41)
Decrepitude: 1 (1)
Warping Score: 2 (7)
Virtues and Flaws: Redcap; Premonitions; Craving for Travel*, Humble, Lesser Malediction (Infertile), Small Frame. * detailed in Grogs, page 78.
Flaws gained from Warping: Visions
Personality Traits: Brave +3, Cautious +3
Combat:
Dodge: Init +0, Attack n/a, Defense +2, Damage n/a
Fist:Init +0, Attack +3, Defense +3, Damage +0
Alpenstock: Init +2, Attack +7, Defense +7, Damage n+2
Short Bow: Init -1, Attack +7, Defense +4, Damage +6
Abilities: Animal Handling 2 (equines), Artes Liberales 1 (messages), Athletics 4 (hiking), Awareness 2 (dangers of the road), Bargain 3 (supplies), Brawl 2 (fists), Bows 3 (hunting), Carouse 2 (avoiding intoxication), Charm 2 (covenfolk), Chirurgery 3 (midwifery), Code of Hermes 1 (Redcaps), Craft: Leather-working 2 (repairs), Folk Ken 2 (peasants), Greater Alps Tribunal Lore 5 (trails), Great Weapon 3 (alpenstock), Guile 2 (disguise), High German 5 (Swiss), Faerie Lore 2 (avoidance), Hunt 3 (cattle stealing), Infernal Lore 2 (wards against demons), Italian 3 (peasants), Latin 4 (Hermetic usage), Magic Lore 2 (dangerous locations), Occitan 3 (peasants), Order of Hermes Lore 2 (personalities), Premonitions 5 (natural hazards), Profession: Boatman 2 (rough rivers), Profession: Storyteller 3 (anecdotes), Ride 3 (mule), Romand 2 (peasants), Stealth 2 (alpine wilderness), Survival 4 (alpine environment), Swim 2 (cold water).
Equipment: alpenstock, short bow, gold lickstone, enchanted Redcap pin, boots of dragonette hide
Encumbrance: 0 (1)
Appearance: a small woman wrapped in furs and carrying a large iron shod staff with an end-spike. She proudly wears a traditional Redcap pellus of faded red wool surmounted by a copper triangle pin.

Cymena the Elder, around the time of her Retirement

Unless otherwise noted below, this version has the same statistics as the version presented above but there have been significant changes to account for the failure of her Longevity Ritual and the effects of Aging. Following an accident while teaching her second apprentice the skills of hunting, Cymena became greatly weakened by a night spent buried under an avalanche. She suffered a major Aging Crisis in the process and thereby ruined her Longevity Ritual. Due to her ordeal under the snow she now suffers from the Enfeebled Major Flaw, but the confidence gained by surviving has allowed her to lose the Humble Flaw.

As she was no capable of active service following her accident, Cymena swore to never hunt or harm another again (Noncombatant Flaw). She has by now accumulated 3 Aging points in both Stamina and Quickness, making her much frailer and slower than in her prime. To remain useful to her House and her fellow Redcaps, she chose to be initiated into the remnants of a rarefied Folk Witch tradition found within the ranks of Alpine Redcaps. She has thereby learnt both the Healing and Herbalism as Mystery Virtues. Although she can only brew potions (reflected by the Rarefied Tradition Flaw) when supplied with sufficient amounts of vis, she complements her minor hedge wizardry skills with a proficiency with herbs and traditional lore granted by her Herbalism Ability.

Cymena no longer travels beyond Rorschach, so she has handed back her staff and Redcap pin in return for enchantments that allow her to move her crippled body around more easily. These help her in her new roles as both midwife and teacher to the next generation. As her Lesser Malediction is now irrelevant, this has been removed – she has managed to work hard as midwife assisting the births of other Redcaps and their wives, which acts as an in-game explanation why she has not developed a negative reputation due to her lack of offspring.

Characteristics: Int +1, Per +2, Pre 0, Com 0, Str 0, Sta +1, Dex 0, Qik -1
Age: 69 (53)
Decrepitude: 2 (3)
Warping Score: 3 (12)
Virtues and Flaws: Retired Redcap; Healing*; Premonitions, Reserves of Strength, Herbalism**; Enfeebled, Rarefied Tradition*; Small Frame. This older version of Cymena has only a further 3 Virtue and Flaw points available to be assigned but has accumulated several additional Flaws.
Flaws Gained from Warping: Susceptible to the Divine, Visions.
Flaw Gained on Retirement: Noncombatant (see above)
* as the Folk Witch Virtue or Flaw, see Hedge Magic: Revised Edition, pages 36-43.
** substitutes for Medicine, see Art & Academe page 55 for further details.
Combat:
Dodge: Init +0, Attack n/a, Defense +2, Damage n/a
Abilities: Animal Handling 2 (equines), Artes Liberales 1 (messages), Athletics 4 (hiking), Awareness 2 (dangers of the road), Bargain 3 (supplies), Brawl 2 (fists), Bows 3 (hunting), Carouse 2 (avoiding intoxication), Charm 2 (covenfolk), Chirurgery 6 (midwifery), Code of Hermes 1 (Redcaps), Craft: Leather-working 2 (repairs), Folk Ken 3 (peasants), Folk Witch Magic Theory 2 (potions), Greater Alps Tribunal Lore 5 (trails), Great Weapon 3 (alpenstock), Guile 2 (disguise), Healing 3 (midwifery), Herbalism 3 (diagnosis), High German 5 (Swiss), Faerie Lore 2 (avoidance), Hunt 3 (cattle stealing), Infernal Lore 2 (wards against demons), Italian 3 (peasants), Latin 4 (Hermetic usage), Leadership 2 (inspiration), Magic Lore 3 (dangerous locations), Occitan 3 (peasants), Order of Hermes Lore 2 (personalities), Premonitions 5 (natural hazards), Profession: Apothecary 4 (gathering herbs), Profession: Boatman 2 (rough rivers), Profession: Storyteller 3 (anecdotes), Ride 3 (mule), Romand 3 (peasants), Stealth 2 (alpine wilderness), Survival 4 (alpine environment), Swim 2 (cold water), Teaching 4 (Redcaps)
Equipment: non-magical Redcap pin, enchanted boots of dragonette hide, midwifery equipment
Appearance: a small woman of bent frame who breathes with difficulty and moves unassisted with notable pain. She wears a heavily creased apron of a midwife or village matron. ­

Cymena’s Equipment

Cymena’s equipment is typical of an Alpine Redcap, although she does not have access to all these items until later in her career. Her lickstone is unusual in that it has been enchanted with a variant power (see below).

Redcap Pin

This invested copper item has two instilled effects, the first mimics Eyes of the Cat (ArM5 page 131, MuCo(An) 5, Base 5, 1/day) when the pin is tapped with two fingers, the second power keeps the wearer comfortably warm despite the prevailing weather when the pin is rubbed in a circular motion.

Warm These Cold Bones
CrIg 5, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Ind Pen 0, 2/day
This effect warms the wearer to a comfortable temperature.
(Base 2, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +1 2/day)

Golden Lickstone

Most common amongst Redcaps of the Greater Alps, this small flat piece of curved metal has been made to magically and invisibly adhere to the wearer’s palate using minor Mutantum magic (combined effects equivalent to 15 spell levels). Similar lickstones, due to their property of being readily concealed from casual view, are favored by Redcaps who require a spell to ensure an emergency escape. Since taking up residence at the site of the abandoned Alpine covenant of Tarragon vale, her lickstone has been re-enchanted with Seven League Stride (see ArM5, page 135) rather than the usual Leap of Homecoming spell favored by most Redcaps. The item’s escape power is activated by curling her tongue to touch her palate while making a forceful clicking noise through her teeth.
(ReCo 40, Base 30, +1 Touch, +5 24/day)

Cymena’s Alpenstock

Originally non-magical, this oak walking stick over 6 feet tall is an invaluable aid to Cymena in her Alpine travels. Shod with a blunt iron spike or ferrule to improve grip it can be used as a quarterstaff to ward of wolves, bandits or other mountain hazards. The leather lanyard helps her retain the staff if she is caught in an avalanche or knocked off balance. Over time, Cymena has her staff opened as a invested item by the artificers of House Mercere and sequentially enchanted with the following effects:

From Hiking to Hunting
MuHe(An) 10, R: Per, D: Conc, T: Ind; Pen 0, 2/day
This effect transforms Cymena’s alpenstock into a serviceable short bow. Reshaping the staff successfully into a a bow with magic requires an Intelligence + Finesse roll, as noted on page 77 of ArM5. An Ease Factor of 6 is sufficient to make a staff of mediocre, but serviceable, workmanship. The staff maintains Concentration, allowing Cymena to use it to hunt for long periods up to twice a day, leaving one use for unexpected combat if needed. The effect is triggered silently by standing with feet apart holding the staff as if it were a bow with the left hand in the middle of the shaft and then moving the right hand as if drawing back an imaginary bowstring.
(Base 3, +1 Conc, +2 3/day, +5 item maintains concentration)

A Shelter for the Night
MuAn 15, R: Per, D: Sun, T: Ind Pen +0, 1/day
By planting her staff firmly in the ground or snow and muttering a phrase in Romansch, Cymena can cause the leather lanyard of her staff to expand into a small leather tent of conical shape, capable of protecting herself and one companion from the elements. The alpenstock becomes the central pole of the shelter.
(Base 5, +2 Sun, +0 1/day)

Boots of Dragonette Hide

Crafted from a the skin of a lesser Alpine drake she defeated in her youth, Cymena’s dragonette hide boots are initially non-magical but of Superior quality, granting a +2 to all rolls involving hiking.

Later in her career, after her accident with the avalanche, she has them enchanted to help her levitate about. This prevents her exhausting herself during teaching but is insufficient for delivering messages.

Ease My Old Bones From Here to There
ReCo 20 R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Ind; Pen 0, 24/day
Lifts the wearer if a person of Size +1 or less through the air slowly. Cymena uses this item to move up or down as fast as smoke rises or horizontally as fast as a slow walk, but a heavier person would move more slowly and fall more quickly.
(Base 5, +1 Voice, +1 Conc, +5 24/day)

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