Affecting the Gift by Hermetic means

Salve Sodales !

I'm new in this forum, reading around since i started preparing my campaign for Ars MAgica (which is very often, but i'm not stalking around eh, only looking what i need).

Some of my players are very interested in hermetic magic, and always asking me lots of questions, up until now i always could find my answers over here by searching, but they've recently cornered me! One of my players has a lot of questions about how he can affect the gift through hermetic magic, I know of wizard's march, and various spells about disrupting hermetic enchantment or spells.

My questions are :
-are there any guidelines you know of, or any clues on how you would create the basic effect to suppress the gift
-is the wizard's march ritual explicited anywhere (i might have overlooked it but i search HoH and a few other books and couldnot find it).
-what about hermetic code and gift alteration ? i suspect disrupting one's gift (even for a diameter) won't be something well seen.

To place some context, my players are not searching this out of pure stupidity (althought we could debate about that), they're in a position where they might be facing one (or numerous) wizard's war. And they naively think that if they disrupt their gifts they could try a diplomatic approach..... (we'll see how that plays out, but the idea seems literally out of the box)

Thanks for helping a fellow GM !
PS: i hope you'll understand my english, this is not my native language, so don't hesitate if you need clarification.

Hi! and welcome to the forum!

I'm sure more experienced players will chime in and help, but for now I will just say this:

A Wizard's March is a political event not a magical one. It declares the Maga an outlaw and that all attacks on them are fully legal. It does not affect n any way that Maga's magical defences.


As rgd20 said Wizard's March is the political action of casting a magus out of the Order and the Code's protection and effectively urging the remaining Order to hunt and kill this criminal to prevent him spilling the secrets of Hermetic Magic (Parma Magica namely) to others. And there are some Perdo Vim spells to disenchant devices and talismans or to sever the cords with a familiar.

As for affecting the Gift it seems the hermetic Guidelines are quite thin on this subject. You can sense the Gift with Intellego. Various Perdo or Rego Vim guidelines can respectively suppress the use of specific magic up to a certain level or impose casting penalties And given a sufficiently long Duration and broad enough scope they should effectively render a magus useless, for a time. But the Gift itself is not affected.

IMHO losing one's Gift should be a significant story event or an all-defining concept for a character, like Failed Apprentice or IIRC Apprentices has some Flaws regarding damaged Gift.

Also, I just don't see what the point is, what do the player magi hope to achieve with this?

isn't the wizard's march the process to strip someone of his gift ? or have i misunderstood the workings of it (read so much i might have over-interpreted things).

My players hope to scare the magi that declared a wizard's war against them, they don't want to kill/hurt them (althought that's what a wizard's war is for) and they think that in canceling one's gift for a moment they might scare them enough to stop hostilities and work a peaceful solution.

No. It means you're cast from the Order, no longer have (social/political) protection, and as such can (and should) be hunted down and killed without legal reprecussion.

Ouch! That'd scare me, certainly!

Indeed, i just re-read the passage about wizard's march, and i took it too strong (although i just read it in english, and i'm pretty sure in my language's translation it might have came out wrong hence the misinterpretation).
The following part in core book (p 14) also stipulate that magi should not try to inferfere with each other's gift.... so i guess, it could scare a lot, but it also is a violation of hermetic code (although as many hermetic laws it is subject to interpretation and mischief).
I'm pretty sure, i'll work out the mechanics to allow it, but it might be dangerous on a legal point of view. And i hate to think what could happen with a botch on a spell that can disrupt the gift for a short instant.... :smiling_imp:

You may also want to check this thread:

Well, if you are Marched it does not matter what other people do to you - even destroying your Gift. Although it does seem hard to do, and not at all defined by the rules.

Now that I understand the situation is about a show of force towards the magi who have declared Wizard's War I see the point. But I'm afraid you can't just turn off the Gift for a moment to show you could do it permanently. Not any way I know of.

If the player magi don't want to kill their aggressors they can simply avoid them for a month, hide, flee, bunker down inside a strong Aegis. The WW only lasts a month (unless in Hibernia!) and that's it. A new one could be declared but IIRC there needs to be a month's pause for practical reasons, but some sagas may interpret things differently and have magi send a second declaration one month after the first to ensure a continuous string of WWs.

If they don't want to harm at all, it becomes difficult to show force. They could show they can withstand anything thrown at them, that should be a deterrent. They could use strong Mentem magic to force the opponents to stop the aggression. Encase them in stone or ice - that should put a damper on things. cast CrVi spells to give Warping points to try and send them in Twilight?

Or they could in other ways hamper or cripple them without causing permanent or even very long lasting damage. E.g. multiple castings of The Wound that Weeps can accumulate so many Light Wounds of penalty -1 each that the aggressors are effectively useless in a fight, but all Light Wounds heal at the same time and should take no more than a week to recover from. or some of the other Perdo Corpus effects to temporarily blind eyes or cripple arms and legs.

If not fighting in any way the player magi could raid, plunder and destroy the aggressors' sancti (or the whole covenant if all magi from said covenant declared WW) to make a point.

There are ways to interact with a mage's Gift, but none are as simple as a spell.
The first one I think of is obviously opening the Gift: a magus alter his apprentice's gift in such a way that he becomes able to perform hermetic magic. Theoretically, once this is done, the apprentice can cast spell - he only had 0 in every Arts. It is clearly one way to impact somebody's gift, but it is something happening withn the course of a whole season.

The second one is from House Veriditus
Embrace of Boetius is the ritual used by Verditius magi to allow a magus to join their House, by destroying partially their gift - since they are no more able to cast a spell without trinkets. It is clearly not fully hermetic.

So there are ways to interact directly with somebody's gift, but it is an area without guidelines. So either it is something which would required some form of research (probably major or hermetic breakthrough) or it is something that is actively, but silently forbidden. It is clearly not easy since in both case, it is part of an initiation taking at least a season.

It falls clearly within the realm of "depriving a mage of his power" quite litteraly. It would be met with the fiercest punishement, like summary execution without wizard's war, the "murderer" being very likely to be sentenced not too seriously on the ground of acting for the greater good or some other makeshift excuse.

I agree there are lots of ways to shwo force.

IMO, there are easier and less crude ways, but i tend to let my players put themselves in awful situation (i do procure them with lots of counsel in game, and i am always responsive to questions between sessions), they generally surprise me in the end.

What i find interesting in that approach is that it will introduce breakthrough rules, or maybe some non hermetic research (of course, in our case they might only have one season before the wizard's war so that's nearly impossible to pull off).

It was our common (mis)understanding that wizard's march involved the loss of the gift that might have led them to think it "easily" doable. Anyway, i think i might introduce that part in my setting, maybe it will not destroy the gift but through a mentem ritual destroy the connection the magus has to it (or making him believe he doesn't have it anymore). I know that's not the focus of this topic, but what would you think about it ?

On a technical note, i will search more about the verditius front or hedge magic, to see if there is something to work with. After all, in my saga the order is on the verge of great trouble (you know those transitionalist in the guernicus house ? plus a few other things i keep to surprise my players :smiling_imp: ) and i'm pretty sure they will join the transitionnalist.

I guess you are refering to the section about derpriving of magical power.
It does not refer to the gift as such, but the resources needed to practice ones magical arts.
By killing a magas familiar, stealing their Vis or destroying their labratory you are depriving them of their magical power.

It covers anything that hinders the maga in their use of the gift, not nessecarily the gift itself although canceling the gift itself would most certanly be derpriving of magical power.

I'll just add that there are Mercurian rituals described in FAITH & FLAME that grant the Gift. They don't work any more and no one is sure why, but suggestions for making versions that do work are provided.

If we used that ritual as inspiration, there might be an opposite version. It would be a ritual spell. It would be around level 75. And it certainly would not be something you could just temporarily inflict on a victim; it's a Momentary duration, permanent effect. You might theoretically be able to make one with Duration: Sun, but the level would be so high it would still require a ritual, which makes it unworkable.

There is also the possibility in fertility magic of creating a child with the Gift. Infernal magic Incantation/Diablorie can grant someone the false gift- exploring this has some obvious pitfalls, as does the fact that Debauchery Malediction can give a major flaw, including suppressed gift from apprentices.

Given that the real desire is to avoid a wizards war, and you apparently have time to develop spells first, I would recommend a variation on The Enigmas gift, possibly with range of AC.

Threatening Hermetic magi into submission is a verrry tricky business, and can fail in sooo many ways.

But the spell required for your particular approach looks like a variant of ArM5 p.148 CrMe20 Memory of the Distant Dream. And requires a lot of research and imagination, to make the memory as plausible as your characters can manage.

In any case, the memory of once having lost their Gifts is all your characters' opponents take home from your carefully researched spell anyway.


[quote="Doctorcomics"It would be a ritual spell. It would be around level 75. And it certainly would not be something you could just temporarily inflict on a victim; it's a Momentary duration, permanent effect.[/quote]
Generally agree with this for a Hermetic Perdo Vim ritual. There might be a parallel Rego Vim ritual that "suppresses" the Gift for up to a year.

As for the level, I would assume level 75 is if you have the target magus nearby for range touch/circle. It would be higher still at range Arcane Connection (and then would have to penetrate, whereas at Touch range you may have previously incapacitated the magus so that parma isn't an issue).

On another issue, the original poster asked about where to find information on Wizard's Marches. I think the best source for all hermetic legalities is House of Hermes: True Lineages, the Guernicus chapter.

If the ritual to supress the gift with sun duration is a ritual only because the lvl so you can make a magic item with the power. A greater o a charged if you need just some uses. But i am afraid this break an hermetic limit and should be impossible with out a break. As I remember the amazons can so it.

Those are nice ideas, I'm liking that idea more and more in a theorical point of view.

In practice, i dont like the idea my players had, it's a violation of hermetic law to me. but the fact they will have to study a lot is interesting, i found the embrace of moebius, they have a Verditius magus so he might know about it.
I still think the mentem approach is best suited, and easiest (and not a violation of hermetic law which is nice).

I see no reason why it would break a Limit. In general, it's possible to maim someone without violating their Essential Nature - there's already a Verditius effect to maim the Gift.

Furthermore, the temporary deprivation of power absolutely doesn't break Essential Nature, so long as the spell's maintained.

Okay, wait, what? The original would be necessarily a ritual because it's permanent Creo. Permanent Perdo is the default - it's easier to break stuff than to make it.

I would analogize from Perdo Corpus to allow a PeVi spell at either base 20 (maim) or 30 (kill) for a Momentary version. Temporary suppression. would be a lot harder if you were doing it that way, though.

For a temporary suppression, i'd use Muto in place of Perdo, as (in this case) the goal is to momentarily suppress not definitevly suppress.

The gift is part of the essensial nature. You can not do it by clasical hermetic ways but with misteries. The veridious is not a good reference, they are a mistery cult.
If you allow to destroy the gift with canonical hermetic ways you must allow to give sight ipto a blind mgus or to put permanent merits in the same way, create magical aura and to destroy the faith.

You can consider mu(pe) to make the gift as before the opening the arts for a time.