A few questions on hyperborean magic and dream mysteries

I plan on creating an ex miscellenea character with hyperborean descent, who specialize himself in dream magic. I have a few trouble determining how to work out the virtues and flaws with him. I have some doubts about its consistency, and I am a little bit worried about some balance issues. So I seek the insights of more experienced players and SG here. :smiley:

The character is intended to be played in a future saga which should not start until months, and will probably spend half of his time working at the lab, and the other half at adventuring in search for more secrets on his magical legacy. Since I will be the main SG for this saga, the character will not be played very often.

First, I tried to work around the minor supernatural virtue hyperborean hymn. Not quite sure whether or not this virtue is intended for players to pick at character creation, and deciding that a minor virtue was a cheap cost for acces to hyperborean hymn, I came with a major one that basically does the same thing, adds the benefit of Hyperborean descent, and let the player choose his starting powers freely, with the possibility of having all his allowed effect levels infused at creation. This virtue is picked as the free major supernatural virtue granted by house ex miscellanea, which represents the characters specific hedge magic.

Hyperborean legacy

Your are a distant heir of the ancient hyperborean wizards. You begin with one hymn of choice with a score of 1, and may pick other hymns by buying appropriates virtues. You may choose freely the powers that you have infused at character creation, in the limits of your score in the respective hymns. You are also granted acces to the benefits of Hyperborean descent. Note that since there is so few sources from which you could learn, you can only improve your hymns by training or by adventure. Should you uncover some hidden sources, you could learn faster, but this requires time and effort. Anyway, you probably spend a lot of your time searching for hyperborean secrets and insights on your magical legacy.

Now, I want my character to be specialized in dreams and use his hyperborean legacy specifically for that purpose. I am not sure whether it should be allowed nor how to rule that :

  • Should the character take the mystery virtue dream magic (or be initiated into that mystery later) ? This mystery is a hermetic mystery, so there probably is no reason for it to grant acces to its realisation via hyperborean magic.
  • Should we state that, since there is already an hyperborean hymn related to dreams, the character could already do what dream mysteries does by infusing related powers in this hymn ? This doesn't seem strange to me on a consistency basis, but it means free acces to dream mysteries for the character which appears quite unfair, even if it means that he will not be able to work dream mystery with hermetic spells.
  • Should the character take (or be initiated into later) a specific hyperborean mystery virtue mirroring the hermetic one ? This solution is probably the most balanced but seems quite odd to me.
  • Should the character simply not be able to use dream mystery effects with his hyperborean magic and simply go with standard hermetic initiations ?

Another issue is on dream magic itself. TMRE states that a magus with the major mystery dream grimoire can make real dreamed objects and gives some spell guidelines to do that. These guidelines indicates that the magus could make real enchanted objects found in dreams.

My question is : how do you rule that ? Could the magus use a dream imaginem spell to create a magic item in a dream, then use a greater grimoire ritual to make it real ? Or do you put some limitations to the way a dream magical object can be created ?

Furthermore, what would be the limitations on the powers of such objects ? What if the magus dream of a staff that raises the dead, then uses a greater dream ritual to make it real ?

With hyperborean magic vis-less rituals, this becomes even more powerful as the magus could then create magic item with no time, no vis, no warping and perhaps no hermetic limit at all aside the maximum ritual level he could acheive.

So, my question is : how would you rule it out ? Is there something essential I missed that covers these issues ?

I'm also concerned about what you think about remnant hyperborean magic being introduced as a hedge tradition in house Ex Miscellanea. Would you allow this to happen in your saga, or perhaps ruled it differently ?

Thanks for reading, and, I hope, for your answers. :smiley:

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Hi mortim!

What Dream Magic virtues from TMRE is your character initiated in to? I can try and work through the thing if i know that.

have fun!
cj x

I would like to reproduce effect from both the minor mystery which allow spiritual travel to dreams and the new duration and target "dream", and the major mystery, which teaches how to enter physically into a dream and bring back object from there, although not necessarily right after creation.

It is intended for characters to pick at character creation. However, this would require a damn good reason, since the idea of Ancient Magic is for PCs to go on adventures to find the virtues.

Basically it grants 15 levels of powers, and requires XP, stories, etc, to get more. You could change it to a Major Virtue if you wanted.

I don't think they are suitable for a hedge tradition in House Ex Misc, basically because it undermines the need for adventure to find Hyperborean sources of magic. There are no living remnants of the Hyperborean priesthood left in Mythic Europe (the regio of Hyperborean itself notwithstanding) - Tremere and Trianoma killed the last few remaining priests. It is thus highly unlikely in the setting as written, that any Hyperborean Hymnists would be left to join the Order (although you are of course free to change this).

(This is not to say that there aren't descendants of Hyperboreans around, but I'd say that it'd be more fun to have them track down the hymns of their heritage, than to let them start with the hymns.)

On the other hand, if you have an Ex Misc magus that recently rediscovered a hymn, that is feasible (although it would be more fun, in my view, to have this occur in play).

  • Alex -

Are you telling me that this is described in The Mysteries Revised Edition? Is it similar to the stuff in HoH: Mystery Cults? Since it sounds exactly like what I'm working on for one of my players and I haven't really found good rules so far. (I haven't got TMRE, and only just bought HoH:MC)

Yes, Hermetic Dream Magic is in TMRE.

And spiritual and physical travel to dreams is disucssed there in rather great detail.

I don't remember HoH:MC about it, though.

Yes, but to me, it is largely counter-balanced by many points :* It can break many important limits of hermetic magic : powers mimiquing vis-less rituals without the need for ceremonial casting, except at night, viss-less enchantment, no limits on the number of enchanted effects in a device, plus many effects that hermetic magic cannot do like spirit travel, 19 years duration and foolproof longevity ritual (Youth of the eternal sun)

  • It is more flexible than many supernatural virtue, allowing a greater variety of effect
  • It adds its score to the lab totals for any effect related to its principle
    These makes hyperborean hymns very valuable especially for hermetic magi.

Only the 15 first powers can be infused at the creation. If a character has, say 3 in a hymn ability, he would normally have only 15 levels infused after creation, not 45 . This is clearly indicated in the description of the Hyperborean Hymnist virtue. I suppose this is fair if balanced with the points I just mentionned.

Of course, but that would leave my character with another major virtue to take in order to represent his magical tradition, and I wanted it to be associated with hyperborean magic in some way.

Yes, so it is definitely not a good solution.

That is not clearly stated in the chapter, which let thinks that a magus who had managed to learn a hymn may infuse any powers related to the principles of that hymns, as if he were designing a new effect.

One could state that in order to infuse an effect, the magus needs a source from which to learn it, but that do not mean that there are no other effects than those already listed.

Yes, it seems logical, but still rather odd in term of character design. So I'll probably forget the idea and simply stick with dream magic only or hyperborean magic only. :laughing:

I think I have not made my sentence clear. What I was suggesting was simply having no interaction at all beetween the vanilla dream mystery virtue and hyperborean magic. This is a strict application of the base rules. Where is the problem ?

Even if it is impossible to enchant while in dreams, what happens if a character dream (naturally or not) of a magic item that breaks the hermetic laws, and a magus cast a greater dream ritual to make it real ?

I would be inclined to say that as long as the dream ritual is hermetic, the magic item could not break the hermetic law while made real. So a staff of ressurection would simply not work, or have its effects reshaped to fit hermetic laws.

I share your worries concerning the usage of an ancient magic at character creation. They are indeed meant to be sources of adventure, not additionnal toys for new characters. That is that way I'd like to design my character. So, maybe I'll make him a hyperborean descent with a fewn hymns, but not aware of what they really are. Perhaps he has learned them as children's rhyme from a supernatural protector. Throughout his adventures, he would progressively discover his legacy and its potential. So basically, he would have no more than 1 in a few hymns, infused with minor and subtle effects, and would be unaware of what these hymns are meant for.

As for his dream magic, there shall be no link with his hyperborean legacy appart from the affinity with dreams granted by Eloure.

Edit :

Yes, there is extended rules and mystery for dream magic in TMRE, but it have some holes that needs to be filled (see above)