Category Archives: conversions

Provencal Tribunal Summary for Project Redcap updated

Now that Faith and Flame has been out for a few weeks, I’ve had a chance to start to update the Provencal entry on the Project Redcap wiki on the page entitled: Which Tribunal to Choose? – The Provencal Tribunal.

Provencal Tribunal Summary (Atlas Forums)

This very useful page on the wiki briefly summarises the various Tribunals from a play potential perspective, using where possible a template developed back about a year ago now. The idea grew out of a prolonged discussion thread on the Atlas Games Forums about Tribunal Books, which now provides (incomplete) summaries of the various regions of Mythic Europe (and beyond) that a Saga could potentially be set.

One of the comments that led the discussion was the perception that all the existing Tribunal books at that time had some unusual quirk or cultural aspect that dominated the Tribunal and the way magi interacted. During the writing of Faith and Flame we intentionally tried to keep Provencal “vanilla” ie. as close to the default Hermetic society portrayed in the ArM5 corebook.

This concept is briefly outlined in broad terms in the insert on page 22 of Faith and Flame, “A Tribunal for Every Magus?”. The philosophy behind this was to provide a “default” setting, which would therefore make it easy to start a beginning Saga and to allow ideas and material from supplements from previous editions (particularly ArM2) to be utilized with only minor need for conversion (albeit with a 23 year jump in timeline due tot he different canonical starting dates between editions).

By updating the page I hope that the information provided will prove useful for Troupes considering starting a new Saga and make choosing Provencal as their initial setting more likely.


Design Notes: Mythic Groot?

Design Notes for Mythic Groot

Inspiration strikes in the strangest ways.

As I’m in between official writing projects at the moment, I’ve decided to try a few different exercises to work on the technical aspects of ArM5 writing (aka “grogging” would be the appropriate word perhaps here) that I feel I need to develop more. This basically means practice.

The skill I think needs the most work is stat blocks – when it comes to a choice of “crunch” (mechanics), I’ll take “fluff” any day… partly because I think there are enough mechanics and sub systems already but mainly to avoid stat blocks.

So to make this more fun, I’ve  decided to undertake a more whimsical project – I’m intending to interpret two of popular culture’s more recent misfits, Rocket and Groot, in ArM5 terms, but not just as a straight conversion, I want to represent this oddball pair in the Mythic Europe paradigm as characters that could be used in a default Saga.

I’ve started with Groot, mainly because I’ve been interested in the concept of Loamwalkers and their relationship to the Redcaps of The Broken Branches but also because I believe I can use the Elementals from Realms of Power: Magic as a starting point and then deconstruct and carve out a “Herbam Quasi-Elemental” from it, literally whittling out the Character Guide / Description from the rough block. He’s basically a lumbering giant made of bark and wood, with powers relating to changing parts of his form through growth and twisting, so I think I can replicate those elements readily enough with existing Powers and creative use of the Hibernian warrior feats or clesrada introduced in The Contested Isle (see pages 102-104) while still remaining within the ArM5 paradigm.

My initial design notes for Groot, sketched onto a promotional graphic can be found in the annotated image above, and the completed block will be uploaded shortly.

As to Rocket, a major stumbling block is that raccoons are not native to Mythic Europe (although have been introduced in later years apparently) and the morphologically similar raccoon dog is only found in the Far East… so unless I invoke a Criamon Greco-Buddhist mystic travelling back from a pilgrimage along the Silk Road with an exotic familiar I’m seemingly out of luck.

Fortunately Timothy has given me a great suggestion for the anthropomorphic weapons master that makes great sense and links the pair into Ars canon and history nicely…

Provencal Material – the Backstory of the Leper Herald

Leper with Bell (Wikimedia Commons)

I’ve just posted the first supplemental material for Faith and Flame over at the relevant page.

Originally the Redcap Sicart the Leper was intended for inclusion in the book as a potentially ally of new characters, but I didn’t feel comfortable statting up various Companion characters initially (I hadn’t written my “Training Packages for Redcaps” article yet). I then ultimately ran out of time.

This character concept came from reading ArM3 A Midsummer Nights Dream, the classic “Four Seasons Tetralogy” adventure supplement set mainly in the Val du Bosque that begins with the infamous Provencal Tribunal meeting  of 1207 set at the ancient covenant of Dois… oh, hang on we can’t mention the trademarks of other companies now can we? Continue reading Provencal Material – the Backstory of the Leper Herald

More Andalusian Magic

A Sahir’s Tower? (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Given the remarkable response and popularity of the Andalusian Magic articles I posted recently, I’ve decided to add a few more to the menu and also link them in to the The Mythic Levant project pages.

First, Niall Christie’s article “Islamic Magic and 5th Edition” (published with permission) updating the Islamic Parameters from ArM4 Blood & Sand to 5th edition.

The second article is an update to the concept of “the Faerie Problem” experienced by non-European Hermetic magi more familiar with jinn than traditional Celtic, Germanic or Slavic style faeries.

Both article may also be useful for Sagas set in the Mythic Middle East drawing upon the material in The Cradle and the Crescent.

Material for use with Andalusian Magi

The Castle of Cazorla in Andalusia
The Castle of Cazorla in Andalusia

So while digging through my old material I came across a partially completed article on various concepts useful for playing Andalusian Magi.

I’d long lamented that much maligned ArM3 Tribunals of Hermes: Iberia contained a woefully inadequate amount on Granda and in truth basically no material on Islamic Hermetic Magi. I therefore decided to address this but never finished the piece.

Seemed a shame to waste such good ideas and given there appears to be no chance of a revised Iberian Tribunal anytime soon, I may as well dust them off and showcase them here for general use.

I’ve added the following material to the site already, but more will follow:

Some of the ideas and concepts may well be useful for Sagas set in the Mythic Levant or the Mythic Middle East and may provide interesting material for opponents or allies of characters located in the nearby Provencal Tribunal. The original ideas for some of the more developed concepts appeared in my old Sub Rosa article “Dar al-Nujum Covenant”, the complete text of which is now hosted on this site.

Flambeau Apocrypha (Re)Ignites

A Flambeau Magus with Deft Ignem?

Back in early 2008, long-time Berklist alumni and agitator, Mark D Faulkner (aka “Marko Markoko”) sent me a draft of a piece he’d written in response to the “reinterpretation” of House Flambeau presented in Houses of Hermes: Societates that he wished to submit (in a spirit of protest perhaps) to Sub Rosa, then under the helmsmanship of Alex White.

It was a great piece, a real “diamond in the rough”, and a real showcase for Marko’s passion for all things Flambeau and his unbridled and consuming creativity.

I had the opportunity of commenting on some of the early drafts and the privilege of seeing the piece hammered into its final form, tempered into a striking 10-page piece with some great accompanying art. Marko has since gone on to write for the official line, contributing the almogavars to Grogs, the “City of Brass” adventure in Tales of Power and was the initial creative force behind the Val-Negra chapter of the just released Faith and Flame: the Provençal Tribunal.

I’ve managed to convince / cajole / beg / badger Marko into allowing me to repost the article here to coincide with the release of the latest supplement as the first of a series of supplementary posts to support the official Provençal material.

It’s definitely worth checking out.

Oh, and don’t forget that the remainder of Issue #3 contains articles by later editors Ben MacFarland and Mark Lawford as well as a revised piece on Mythic Zoroastrianism by then editor Alex White that ultimately evolved into the chapter of the same name in the first supplement I worked on, The Cradle and the Crescent…


Rediscovered Sahir and Levantine Material

I’ve been rearranging some of the site structure and editing some of the older pages to keep more in line with the overall theme and style I’ve developed over the last year. This includes checking on blank pages and links to ideas that I intended to create pages for.

I realised some of The Cradle and the Crescent pages were a bit bare, so I’ve filled them in with text and the appropriate links while I dig up some of the older cut-file material. Since one of the original intentions of this site was to supplement that particular work I want to make sure there’s easily accessible Mythic Middle East material.

Excitingly, I’ve also been granted permission by Niall Christie to host his additional ArM4 and ArM5 material for Blood & Sand: the Levant Tribunal, in  particular his unofficial web supplement known as “Vestiges in Sand”. I’ll add this slowly to the Blood & Sand – Redux pages over the next few weeks but for now I’ve added his Variant Fifth Edition Sahir article as a counterpoint to the official tCatC version presented by Erik Dahl.

Niall’s ArM5 version of his original sahir is a simple, more traditional summoner build style of sorcerer that concentrates on Goetic style powers of Summoning and Commanding while incorporating the rules from The Mysteries: Revised Edition. Although I like the way Erik presented the Order of Suleiman and the Solomonic Arts, I prefer a more basic sahir style (reflected in the Solomonic Sihr only style of the Ashab al-Halqa or “Followers of the Circle”).

Rereading Niall’s article has made me think about some of the concepts for sahir Astrological Mysteries (essentially Planetary Invocation style magic) and Jinni Mysteries (powers granted by pacts with jinni tribes) that I wanted to develop but ran out of time, word count and experience to develop further. Hopefully I’ll find some of the old drafts an have a chance to polish them up soon.