Would like advice on character/background

Hi everyone,
I was looking for advice/constructive criticism on my character. A marcher physick/apothecary.
So here goes:

Name: Robin the Scarred
Territory: Upwold
Personal resource: herb garden
Skills: chirurgeon/physick/apothecary (and 2 unspent points)
Background: born in Mournwold. Got a rather nasty scar on his right upper arm during the retreat from Mournwold which he keeps covered up. (hence the name. “the scarred”, also gives me an IC excuse to cover up my obviously OOC tattoo) Moved to Upwold where he became a physick/apothecary.
Has a love for beers and ales.

This is what i’ve got so far. I might expand on the backstory later on.

This is a fine start, definitely, and if you aim to turn up and just drink with friends, this will keep you happy for the weekend, a bit of fighting/healing and a lot of drinking.

But if you want to next level this, you need to set yourself between one and five (well, infinity if you like, but five is a good number of things you can do in 1-3 events) character goals.

Like, if you wanted to be the Avenger of the Mourn:

  1. Find out who cast the rituals that broke the Mournwald and have a chat with them about why that was a good idea
  2. Find and make a group of Mournwald healers who are against that sort of thing ever happening again
  3. Organise some mages/priests to get some rules made on nuking Imperial populations

Or if you wanted to learn something new:

  1. Find a group of apothecaries to join, or make your own group
  2. Find out the best possible potions and learn how to make them

Or if you want to start being a drug dealer:

  1. see above
  2. Find out the best potions that make you feel DARN GOOD and learn to make them

There really is no limit, my ideas above are probably rubbish, but hopefully they give you a vague idea or start a seed germinating?

Looks pretty solid. I went for a similar build for my first character, but had hero points and “Stay With Me!” instead of apothecary (which I bought later, as it’s a great combo).

You want to have a look at the extra families of potions, some might be cool to start with.

Mournwold is currently being reconquered by the Empire (huzzah!) so you might want to look at the map and pick somewhere specific to come from, so that you can celebrate IC when your home village is re-conquered. Also check the dates… The Mournwold fell in 349, current game year is 381… So it’s been a good 30 years since you were home, unless you snuck out after the Jotun captured most of the place.

Maybe i can change it so that i’ve left Mournwold during or shortly after the battles of the Winter Solstice of 381 YE. This would mean i’ve witnessed the curses first hand (maybe that’s how i got the scar), and it would give me an incentive to try and stop this from happening ever again.
As for other goals i was thinking about getting to know more about different potions, and getting to know more about magic.

That would mean you have lived under Jotun rule for most of your life. You would not have much knowledge about the Empire and its ways. It would be worth Emailing PD to check this is OK as a background.

new.player@profounddecisions.co.uk might be the best one for this

That depends on which bit of Mournwold you’re talking about. I think (though someone please correct me if I’m wrong) Greensward remained Imperial since the initial invasion decades ago until very recently.

Are you intending to fight? Because if so, you might consider picking up Weapon Master for polearm use. Or going Battlemage if you like the idea of magic.

I will note that Apothecary is very much a “make your own fun” game because with the exception of poisons and antidotes you rarely need the stuff right now. If you’re intending to play a combat PC I would consider dropping it and taking more active skills, especially if you are looking into magic. Trying to split a PC into 3 ‘classes’ (Physick/Apothecary/Magic) leaves you spread thin. In general a specialisation at empire costs 4-5 XP in skills.

4XP would buy you Magician + Battlemage and Heal after your first event, if you wanted to start taking All the Heal Skills. Bear in mind it is fairly trivial to get temporary access to a healing spell. There are cheap buffs that let you have one for a season, and cheap wands that last a year. 4XP would also buy Magician, Spring 1, and then Spring 2 after your 1st event. Spring is the realm with the most healing rituals.

Yes, the Empire had a territory held since the game start and had even constructed a Fortification there. There would have been a lot of work for a physick in the former fort of Orchard’s Watch (destroyed in a Jotun attack), at Greensward Monastery (Also destroyed) or in the town in Overton.

Short version:
I would pick Physick, leave Apothecary off and talk to people in uptime about what you want to learn. There’s a good story in a physick deciding they want more power to save lives but do not know what to choose. And it lets you pick what looks fun.


Spring magic is pretty cool :slight_smile:.

If you team up with some people you can learn how to cast Heal, Purify and Restore limb for a day with Fountain of Life for only 5 mana if mastered. Chirurgeon’s Healing Touch also gives you two Stay With Me’s a day for a season for 4 mana if mastered.

And you can also give everyone in a coven one use of Repel with Charge of the Rushing Wind, give someone with a staff a Strikedown using Call Down Lightning’s Wrath and allow anyone with a Weapon or Implement to call Venom with Touch of Vile Humours. And that’s without even getting into the hilarity of Unending Cascade of Blood’s Fire.

Yes you can only ever have one enchantment active at a time, but Spring gives you lots of options for a relatively small coven who also do Battle Magic. And in fact can turn a group of ritualists into a bunch of battlefield healers at a drop of a hat if it’s needed.

Fountain of Life is a season duration now. It’s pretty great.

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I’m going to need to have a think about this again.
Maybe i’ll drop apothecary and pick up a weapon skill (and some form of armor).
And i’ll rethink my background.
But i also want to quickly say that i love the responses here: constructive criticism and good advice. There seem to be a lot off feiendly people at Anvil

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Oh yeah, get armour. Armour is a free skill, dead handy and everyone on a battle should have some unless they’re a magician. Bear in mind that everyone can use a shield up to 15" wide and a single handed weapon up to 42" long.

Sword and buckler is also a classic look for the Marches. So you could go with that, Hero, Stay With Me and Extra Hero Point if you had 4xp. And do quickly stopping people bleeding, while in full armour.

For a good marcher look on the cheap, a gambeson or leather jerkin and a padded cap work well and count for +2 hits. They also serve as a base layer to put heavier armour over if you get any. It’s sometimes possible to borrow spare heavy armour, but it will likely bruise you if you do not have padding.

My first PC was a heavily armoured Physick, and there’s a real mobility/protection tradeoff there. But it was worth it for every time barbarians decided to flank the bill block and hit our healers. And the healers wrecked them because we were all ready for a fight.

Do jack chains count as arm armour? You could fairly cheaply get jack chains and a breastplate and end up with heavy if so.

They do, I use a pair, but you do have to mindful of cleaves and impale. If they miss the chain you still go down.

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Still a step above a gambeson though!