...I was wondering if anyone has ever run AM without Hermetic Magic? You know, as a sort of low-magic fantasy game? I mean, there are LOTS of ways of doing "magic" without using Hermetic Magic in this game, as Gremlin44's thread proves. So, what if the only "wizards" in the game were people with rune magic, augustan brotherhood or amazon stuff, natural philosophy, philosophic alchemy, etc. Could a "classic fantasy party" with such characters survive against any serious magical creature in AM?
Hello Akrasia. You might be intereste din this compilation of all the non hermetic magical traditions out there. It needs to be updatred with the last books, but it gives you an idea of all the non hermetic stuff published so far.
Regarding your question, if you read around the forums you will see several people (me, LuciusT, Jabir...) thinking along the lines of heavily reducing the power of Hermetic magi. LuciusT is alreayd playing in a saga with no hermetics, and my troupe is planning to do the same as well.
So yes, it can be done. The difference is that your faerie prince will not need to have a Might of 60-80 to be dangerous. Being might 30 he will already be a powerhouse that you cannot easily affect with your supernatural effects and powers.
Magic will have a very different feeling, and the kind of magical capabilities of your magi will be way narrower, but that does not mean worse. It means a different feel and a different way to achieve your objetives.
I once tried to set-up a game of non-Hermetics, but couldn't really get it off the ground. I find the premise very attractive, although I'm worried about having to keep track of numerous supernatural methods and rulesystems and the great power disparity between different traditions. Still, I think a "Hedge Order" can make a lot of sense and be more fun.
Forgot the link:
I wrote and ran for Grand Tribunal UK 2012 a scenario where everyone plays a gifted Amazon sorceress - they all distrust each other, but they've been brought together by a Gently Gifted Amazon to do a quest together - it worked well, and offered a jumping off point for a saga.
Amazons can match hermetic magi in terms of penetration as they also use 2 arts plus penetration skill. The bad news is every spell must be targeted, every spell has a stamina roll to resist, and the spell size and target size have to be in the same range. Given the use of sceptres (spend a season gaining a minor flaw and enchanting the sceptre - you now have an item you can teach one Consonant [ie form] which will add to casting and lab totals) an Amazon can quickly overtake a young Hermetic magus for penetration totals. The Amazons main disadvantages are lack of trust for each other (as no Parma), no books or written sources, and rubbish longevity magics. Still, seeing as a starting sorceress can do sight range instant death spells, they can do well against supernatural humanoids.
Virgillians - I'm not sure they could do well against any serious supernatural creature. On the other hand, they can make enchantments that affect entire cities, so they're brilliant at being court magi and interfering with mundanes, terrible at fighting demons and dragons.
Muspellli - the example in Rival magi of Gunnvara on page 88 says she can get a casting total for Entrancement rituals of 45+aura+stress die, so she can get enough penetration to charm a modestly powerful faerie. When in Etin form, they are physically powerful enough to go toe-to-toe with quite a few creatures anyway.
Soqotrans - they probably can't take on powerful supernatural opponents, as they're deliberately kept that way by their [strike]lords and masters[/strike] spirit guides, so as to be poor at fighting high powered spirits. They'd probably need to ask their companion spirits nicely, and get them to affect the supernatural beasties and leave the dealing with humans to the sorcerers.
Hey, thanks for all the replies so far - they've been very helpful! Does anyone have a take on how tough the rune-users are? Also, does anyone have any take on how powerful (how much experience) a companion based on alternative magic and/or combat skills has to be to take on a novice Hermetic?
I ran a brief all Sahir/Jinn saga during the playtesting of TC&TC and didn't have any significant problems.
As far as the vitkir go, I think they could function very effectively if they were somehow able to overcome the distrust engendered by The Gift. True their penetration's pretty lousy, but they can get around that by buffing themselves and using their martial skills.