A Hedge Homebrew

Well the start of a Hedge Homebrew

I was thinking today about making up a fun hedge tradition. Since I don’t have the Hedge Magic book I thought I might piece one together from the books I do have.

So I thought a fun theme might be Alchemists of Virtue. Masters of improving the inherent nature of things.

Their magic is based on a combination of the Items of Virtue mystery from Mystery Cults, adapted Hermetic and Vulgar Alchemy virtue’s from The Mysteries, plus a some special abilities allowing them to create objects and herbs of virtue (described in RoP Magic).

Virtue alchemists have an magical theory ability called alchemical theory. Using it they can extract vis at a rate of alchemical theory + magic lore+ aura + intelligence/10 round up. All Virtue Alchemist have their own equivalent of hermetic alchemy and can create custom vessels for the vis to be distilled into. These vessels can add shape and material bonuses to vis extraction totals. Such objects can also be used to extract form specific vis at half rate (still round up) just like described in the mysteries.

Virtue Alchemists can also transfer raw vis between objects in a day just like hermetic magicians. They can also identify vis by form (Alchemical theory can’t identify vis related to hermetic techniques however) and quantity if given a day in their labs to analyze it.

Virtue alchemists can also create Things of Virtue by imbuing vis of the proper form into appropriate items in their lab. I don’t have the mechanics worked out yet, but basically I want the alchemist to be able to create any of the herbs, objects or items of virtue via lab activities. I’m figuring lab totals probably based on the combination of their alchemical theory + magic lore + shape & material bonuses + int + aura. With target numbers set depending on what sort of virtue or effect they’re looking to bring out.

Herbs of Virtue are made from natural living plants and Objects of Virtue from unworked materials that provide material bonuses. They usually provide virtues or powers designed similar to the greater and lesser powers for magical beings. With effects thematically aligned to what they provide for material bonuses. I have to play with the numbers to figure out the exact enchantment process. Plus while they should be able to come up with things not mentioned in RoP Magic the range of effects should still be relatively limited.

Items of Virtue function similar to the Verditius mystery of the same name in that they’re crafted items that provide bonuses to abilities when used in ways appropriate to a shape or material bonus. Except that unlike the mystery magi Virtue Alchemists do need to generate a lab total to imbue these effects. Again I haven’t exactly worked out the bonus to lab total conversion rate. Though I’m thinking lab total divided by a certain number with the bonus not able to exceed the relevant S&M value.

The difference between Objects and Herbs of Virtue and Items is that objects and herbs are made from raw materials (stalk of fennel, a pearl, an ingot of gold) while Items are crafted products (a staff, a sword, a crown)

I also want it possible for the Alchemists to forgo the standard printed S&M bonuses and instead experiment in a manner similar to Vulgar Alchemy. Though I may have to change parts of that process because only one bonus should apply at any one time for these guys.

That’s it mostly, though there might be a few other powers I’d be interested in adding. Like bonuses for dealing with animals of virtue. Plus some sort of low level magic resistance maybe based on protective charms. I’m also not sure what their Warping should be like.

Perhaps I'm merely being obtuse, but why not just Enrich the Item/Herb using the conventional method which seems a lot easier and doesn't cost Vis?

There's nothing wrong with doing this in your homebrew, of course, but in the RAW no hedge tradition has magic resistance. That is what makes The Order of Hermes unique and better than the others.

Something else to think about is how does your hedge tradition overcome the social penalties to do with The Gift?

The social penalties of The Gift should mean that it is very difficult for the hedge wizards to work together, unless they have some magical way of blocking the effect, or can manage to somehow only deal with each other remotely.

struck by inspiration Oooh hey, maybe the tradition knows a way of deriving some of the benefits from Beasts of Virtue without having to kill them and harvest their body parts?

This might even extend beyond powers and items of virtue to borrowing a creature's characteristics, shape and even Might score! Unfortunately, this is starting to sound quite a lot like Birna's native tradition which could lead to conflicts with House Bjornaer...

Ah well, back to the drawring board...

Not at all I wasn’t entirely clear the lab activity doesn’t replace the enrichment process it only provides the raw materials. It's the difference between schlepping around on some beach trying to find a perfect clamshell with some vis in it, as opposed to infusing an ordinary (though probably very pretty) clamshell with vis in your lab.

Well I believe most of the traditions in the hedge magic book (I’ve read it I just don’t have it) did have some minor magic resistance roughly equivalent to a hermetic’s form resistance. They didn’t deal with the social aspects of the gift but they did provide some resistance against specific effects (generally in the single digits) so it wasn’t the blanket resistance provided by Parma.

None of these are Magic Resistance. They either lessen the damage of a spell, reduce its duration, make it harder to concentrate, and so forth. Each one works on a small subset of magic (usually a Form); and none of them actually stop a person being affected by the magic - so are not Magic Resistance as per the Parma or a Might score.


While the traditions described in "Hedge Magic" (apart from the Nightwalkers and the Vitkir) have a number of "Magical Defenses" in place of Magic Resistance, the Hyperborean Hymnists from Ancient Magic had access to Hymns that allowed limited MR and RoP:M suggests that at least some hedge magicians possess Might so there's no real reason why your homebrew tradition couldn't have some form of resistance, provided they're willing to "Join or Die!" once they come to the Order's attention...

As far as Magic Res I was just thinking of mimicking what was done for other Hedge Traditions with a few tweaks. I hadn’t actually read Hedge Magic since it first came out and even then it was mostly just flipping through a loaned copy during a game. I’m just going to hold off for now I think on that part of them.

Any suggestion on what their twilight should look like.

Well, until you've got a more concrete idea of what sort of powers your new radition will possess, choosing a thematically appropriate Twilight variant will be tricky. Based on what I've read so far, however, I think Insanity such as Elementalists or Mythic Alchemists (consult the Learned Magician chapter) seems appropriate.

Alternately, perhaps they could suffer the rigors of aging more severely, growing old before their time? (based upon the prevailing image of the decrepit witch and warlock in contemporary art and literature).