Ancient Magic first impressions

OK, folks, I've been (eventually!!) ableto get my AnM copy :smiley: and immediately went totally nosedive in it (well, trifle things like job, family, and S.O. permitting), so these are my impressions from first reading:

A) the new rules for lore-assisted breakthrough research are quite welcome and useful and a very nice adjunct to ArM. They look like much more smooth and functional than original research and I see their usefulness in all those cases research to expand hermetic theory can be asssited by a relevant pre-existing amount of mystical lore. Not just the nine ancient magic traditions, but also any other form of non-Hermetic or hedge magic or existing Hermetic or Supernatural or Mystery Virtue that some character may want to integrate in mainstream Hermetic magic.

B) As a general note, all the chapters regarding the various lost mystical artifacts and locations looks rather nice and well-done, and interesting goals for an ongoing Indiana Jones-like group of questers, with enough stuff to let people adventure and research for many months of real-time time and some years of game-time.

  1. The quest for Adamite Language looks rather interesting with a clever rendition of Caine and a tough (but not impossible) puzzle of getting entrance to the Garden of Eden. Personally I'm just a bit hesitant to use the adventure as it would nail down the literal Genesis creation tale as an in-setting objective truth, and that's maybe more than the anti-Christian sympathies of this gamer would admit, but otherwise is fine. The adamite breakthoruhg, unlimited Arcane Connections to everything and massive Penetration bonus, is a quite nice addition to Hweremtic magic that would significantly improve its effectiveness, but its Parma-bypassing properties would give pause, unless a way is found to make Parma resistanto it (dunno, maybe using Adamite in the Parma ritual would make it immune ??)

  2. The Grigori quest is the other Biblical mystical lore. The quest itself looks rather appealing, with a nice mix of research and exotic locales. The breakthrough, shattering the Limit of Vis, is rather welcome (personally, I've never seen The Limit of Vis as adding anything of value to to the game; "shopping list" stories to get just that Vis quality look rather meh to me), but not particularly impressive for the involved effort. One might also do some research to integrate Hermetic Alchemy and would get the same result.

  3. The Canaanite necromancy quest is another case where the adventure itself, with ancient pagan regiones in Holy Land, looks rahter more appealing and engrossing than the prize. Unlimited Necromantic evocations with no need of Arcane Connections... well, maybe appealing for some ghost-summoner specialist, but again, there are other bodies of mystical lore (Adamite, Defixiones) that allow to bypass thuis limit in a much more radical way. Nice quest, good for getting rep in the Order, but not world-changing, although getting ullimited access to the dead can raise all kinds of political trouble; the Order is chock-full of skeletons in the closet.

  4. The quest for Heron's intelligent automata. I can't say much about this. Craft magics and magical automata hold very little appeal for me, so I largely bypassed this chapter. Leave it to the Verditius fanboys, I'm sure they'll find much of interest here to expand their own Mystery secrets.

  5. Rune magics. Ahhh, my heart warms at the sight of old Norse stuff and the Order of Odin finally getting back a rather well-deserved place in modern ArM. A very nice set of quests to bring rune magics under the greedy grasp of Hermetic mages, and a clever way to push back the Limit of Creation and expand Hermetic enchantments in interesting ways. Enchantments that keep the natural quality in objects, but expand and enhance ntural potential. I judge it the same way of Adamite, I would quite welcome this breakthrough, but not without finding a way to make Parma resistan to it (maybe integrating runes in the casting of the Parma ritual ?).

  6. Fertility magics. Ahhh, how much I've liked this one. Neolithic pre-historic fertility shamanic magic enters ArM. Do some archeological research in neological picture-caves and you may customize your offspring or adopted apprentice to order. This has the potential to revulionize the Order and Mythic Europe society in significant ways (allowing a population boom of Gifted apprentices with customized swets of Virtues and Flaws), and I0ve liked this one so much that I'm sorely tempted to introduce it in play immediately as an already-integrated Mystery Virtue, even if the Quest itself is rather nice to play.

  7. Defixio magic. Journey all over Mythic Europe and rediscover all the pices of the various Chthonic pagan mystical traditions puzzle to integrate the secret of event-triggered ritual magic and eventually, entirely do away with the Limit of Arcane Connections. The first one is, just like Fertility rituals, a nice balanced addition that I'd make to Hermetic magic immediately to show its dynamic evolution potential. The latter is a truly revolutionary advancement that would greately improve Hermetic magic and the standing of the Order in Mythic Europe. I do not mind too much the game balance concerns (Mages will still have Parma, so this is better than Adamite), but the change is big that a group must be aware of it. As for the quest, given my strong sympathies for pagan magic concepts in ArM, I cannot be but ethusiastic for it.

8 ) Hyperborean magic. My, my, a very nice functional and well-rounded non-Hermetic trad, which would be easy to resurrect with some polishing, an appealing "lost mystical city" quest, something like an earth-bound Atlantis, a story which some a lot about the dark, ugly side of the Founding of the Order and the destructive ambition of some Founders. What could an ArM fask for more ? Which better amends could modern Heremtic mages for the crimes of their ancestors than to resurrect and integrate the lost secrets of Apollo's scions ? As for the quest, same (enthusiastic) opinion as for the Defixion one. The breakthrough, well, there's a treasure trove of potential ones. Upping the Ritual limit to 19 years, well, same opinion than for the event breakthrough, a nice, welcomed, and game-balanced discovery that would show Hermetic theory has ongoing dynamic potential for evolution. Incorporating ritual effects in enchanted objects, this is an effective way to bypass the Limit of Creation, but anyway, hyperborean lore holds the grail prize itself, the way to do way entirely with vis requirements for ritual spells. Just like the Limit of Arcane Connections, this is a truly revolutionary improvement for Hermetic magic, so troupes must be aware of what they are getting into, since this will radically improve the power standing of Heremtic mages vs. the rest of Mythic Europe. However, IMO, it can be done and still retain the potential for telling meaningful ArM stories. I do not share the opinion of those who regard the Limit of Creation as the cornerstone of game balance: personally, I do not regard the hinderance from lingering wounds due to difficult or limited healing magic as something remotely desirable that may add anything of value to typical gameplay, and mages being potentially able to churn out unlimited amounts of food or precious metals or mundane equipment is something that will steal fun from play only if the chronicle is heavily involved in the management of mudane resources for the covenant.

  1. Questing for Ptolemy's coordinates and the Grden of the Hesperides. I'm of two minds about this: the quest itself is very, very interesting, effectively it is the pagan equivlaent of questing for the Garden of Eden. It adds a very clever twist anmd so-far unsuspected depth to the setting and the origins of the Order and magic itself (pagan "lost land" ruled by non-Hermetic wizard-kings survivors of Atlantis, cosmic wars between the Realms of Faerie and Magic, a millennia-long intrigue, what could a player ask for more ?), but the breakthrough itself is a little meh in my eyes. Not that I would disparage the usefulness of having unlimited Arcane Connections to any place, but then again, why not quest for Adamite or Defixiones and do away with the limit entirely.

In summation, the book looks like a very useful and interesting addition to the line, worth the buy and almost on the same usefulness level as TMRE or HoH:MC if you are interested into focusing play on Indiana Jones-like questers hell-bent on digging out lost magical secrets and expanding the powers and resources of Hermetic magic. All the nine quests look interesting and doable to me.

As for the breakthrough themselves, personally, I deem Fertility magics, Event defixiones, generation-lasting Hyperborean rituals as very interesting and balanced enough to be researched and put into play immediately by most troupes. To a lesser extent, this is also true for Grigori magics.

Canaanite necromancy, Magical coordinates, intelligent automatons are doable but of more specialized, limited interest. IMO their value is more in the prestige involved from the discovery than the advancement itself.

Rune magics, Adamite language, Unlimited defixiones, and Vis-less Hyperborean rituals: well, these are the ultimate grails, they are all very doable and very radical discoveries that will add a big lot of power to Hermetic magic and the Order and make the discoverers as famous as Bonisagus, but be mindful that they will entirely do away with setting assumptions that your play might be reliant on.

Another note. Be mindful that some kinds of ancient magic are effectively either complementary or alternative with some Mystery Virtues, so when you review AnM and decide which ancient secrets to integrate in your sage, check TMRE and HoH:MC and plan for the necessary adjustments to the Mysteries.

To answer your questions:

Why not quest for Adamite?

  • You need to do research to make Adamite work, using the elaborate and lengthy system at the start of the book. Ptolemaic co-oridantes work immediately, with no research. You turn up, and take one reading in the Garden and they work immediately.
  • It's not like you really get to sit down and say "Of these eight, which will I go for?" It's not a situation where the the magus has the option to choose between the two.
  • If you want a saga where every PC has Adamite, sure, go for it. If, instead, you want a mystery from the book that doesn't involve radically altering the setting, the the Canaires are a good choice. One's high-fantasy/high-concept, and that's great, but if you want something closer to the core setting, then you can just use the Canaries even without the Garden and the new magic.

Ptolemy's co-ordinates are weaker, but you can use them right away. The difference is deliberate: I wasn't looking to write the the most powerful new virtue for your saga. I wanted to write stuff that will be used saga after saga, and I think the Guan setting is good for that. I can see everyone is going to go "Hah, I'm going to go for Maximum Power!" but after you are done with that and want to reuse the book, I think the material that has information about something other than just getting the magic boost may start to grow on you.

Well, as a matter of fact, if I were to go for the big Limit-breaking discoveries, I'd prefer to quest for Defixiones. As I said, both for the reason that it does not affect Penetrations and (more importantly), for my personal sympathies, Abrahamic religions get far too much objective affirmation as it is in the setting, no need to make the details of Eden mythology literal, objective truth. Unless I devise a way by which Genesis mythology can be compatible and coexisting with other pagan cosmologies.

Well, this is not entirely true, since you can use Adamic immediately, even if you need to learn it to level 5. However, yes, coordinates can be used immediately, and this a signficant factor in their favor.

The magus maybe, or maybe not (I would bet that in the typical setting, vague hintes and bits about all the nine lores float around in the Seeker grapevine, so a mage interested in archelogical research might decide to go after the secrets of runes instead of , say, Serica's magics). And anyway, the player has a voice in choosing.

This is quite true, and as I said, I found the Canaries and the Garden quite interesting and fine to explore even without the new magic, a rather fine addtion to the setting, with all the Atlantis/Ladon/Titanomachia stuff. However, yes, IMO the main sense of this book is to show how and where Hermetic magic can be eventually shown to have significant evolution potential. It is high time that the static status quo of the setting and Hermetic magic is shown to be radically alterable. In this way, I prefer the high fantasy stuff. I dunno, maybe the Hesperides should have contained some additional new magic goodie. A tentative idea, the Hesperides apples might contain the mystical clue to significantly push or even completely break the Limit of Aging. The coordinates themselves look rather meh in comparison to all the other Garden fancy stuff. They are nice, but they look rather drab for the treasure of the Pagan equivalent of Eden.

Power isn't the point, for me, storytelling potential is the point. I have no real interest in playing a mage who break the limit of aging, because I don't see myself ever wanting to play a magus that powerful in this setting. I'll just play Nobilis instead where the challenges scale better to that sort ofthing. So, in terms of things being "meh", a word that does not appear in my local vocabulary and I cannot parse, well, that's fine by me. This was never an auction. 8)

One might argue that this is just not the right book and topic to get cold feet about power level. If one has that kind of concerns, there's always stuff like City & Guild that has to be written, too. It's like the writer of the Indiana Jones movies had said "waitaminute, I can't really have the REAL Ark of the Covenant and Holy Grail show up; they are too powerful and otherworldly". If AnM hadn't included overabundant doses of outlandish high fantasy stuff and mystic clues for shattering at least 3 or 4 Limits of Magic, I'd felt rather cheated of my money. Luckily the other writers had not the same concerns and attitude towards the book. To be fair, you were not the only author to write a chapter were the adventure and the quest looks rather more appealing than the prize (cfr. Canaanite necromancy), so the book has somewhat of a balance, which I think is fair, but again if someone had not provided the limit-shattering stuff, too, I'd felt cheated. Maybe my problem with your work is that you made too much of a good work to build up expectations with all the fancy high fantasy exotic stuff (Atlantis heritage, millennia-old guardians, Titanomachia, links to the founding of Order, portals the the Magic Realm), and with all that built-up hype, the coordinates themselves look rather... anticlimatic, a kind of letdown. They would have been fine if the Canaries had had just the Guam stuff, but not all the Garden/Ladon/Hesperides stuff.

I really would have to argue that typical Nobilis play works at a power level that is orders of magnitude above typical Ars Magica play, even if most of the Limits of Magic were wiped out. They really don't scale. And anyway, removing some limits like the Limit of Aging (how nice and lucky that the other writers of HoH:MC and TMRE didn't share your concerns !), Arcane Connection, and Creation (ditto for the writers of several other AnM chapters) doesn't mean stealing omnipotence by any means. It may surely allow the typical Hermetic mage to lord it over peasants and nobles rather more heavily, but mundanes have never been the main power checks to abusive mages anyway. There's the Divine, demons, magical beasties, faeries, the Church, other mages, etc. etc.

Again, do not mistake me, I think you wrote a very fine chapter, just that your power level concerns were not IMO the right attitude to write a book like Ancient Magic and somehow got in the way of creating a mystical prize for the quest that was truly balanced with all the fancy stuff you wrote for the quest.

Remember, this isn't some trickery designed by the modern Church to tempt you into accepting Genesis. This is simply part of the game setting.

In the setting, Genesis is literally true (I guess, there or there abouts). But you don't need to actually believe it yourself. I've played pious characters before despite my atheistic views. As a storyguide I have to play the devout with as much conviction as those that lack that conviction.

Just go with it. If one of your players is turned on by that chapter and wants to follow that path then support him or her all the way.

A mark I was about to post the same: in AM pagans are wrong and the divine religions are right, this is THE essential part of game setting!

So long as we all follow the Noahide Laws , it will all work out fine. :wink:

...or one might argue that your fixation on power level is your fixation and not actually the whole point of the book. 8)

It's not a matter of "cold feet" - hey, cool imputation of cowardice there! - it's a matter of putting together cohesive, interesting, well-researched material.

How do you mean? Could you expand on that? That makes no sense at all, in as far as I can see.

Did Indiana get to keep either afterwards? Oh, no. He didn't! Your PC has to hand all of the stuff back at the end of the IJ movies. He comes out with even less AM than PCs in the Canaries do. And thus your argument falls apart here, from my perspective.

And it did, so I didn't need to. If, however, you were an SG who likes the setting, why buy AM if, as you seem to think it was, its basic function is to take your setting and transform it?

That's because you are so determined to get powered up that me giving you the firing codes for medieval nuclear weapons doesn't even scratch the surface of your interest. "Meh," you say. "Not powerful enough. Destroy a city without leaving home? A dozen cities? What do I care! It's not as powerful as Defixiones!" 8)

If Ars supplements just become a process of letting you have bigger and bigger exceptions to the limiting rules, so that you can inflate your characters more and more with house kits and mysteries and ancient crafts, then by 2009 we should just let you all be pagan gods, and play Godlike instead.

As a bit of a personal manifesto, I think it would be a fun thing if authors tried to show people how to use the tools already in the box, instead of just adding more and more tools to the box. You can have fun as a PC magus -without- spending your entire life in a lab, hunting for more kewls to give to your apprentice. Let's face it, most Ars campaigns never get out of Spring: I think it's a really good idea to say "OK, let's look at Ancient Magic and Spring Covenants. Where do we go from there?"

Now it doesn't work for you, and I accept that.

Sorry,are you saying it would have been better without the story seeds? I'm not clear on this.

I feel no particular sympathy with your argument, given that my chapter's the only one that offers power to your characters, now, at the beiginning of the next story, while the rest all offer your characters power -later-, after much research.

Also, the fancy stuff isn't just window dressing on the prize. It's story material: it's a good of itself.

I don't know whether there's a dose of missing the point about books like this going about but here's my interpretation, for what it's worth.

I couldn't possibly include all of the great ideas AnM describes in a single saga. It's not just a matter of time but one of opportunity. If you have four players, that's four (usually) magi, each with their own House stuff going on (perhaps one of them might be in a Mystery House) and each with their own magical leanings.

Now, assuming that the Covenant is built on the premise of all being seekers they probably want to choose one type of ancient magic to pursue each.

Work out how many stories, how much "screen time" each of those is going to take. That's a lot of play time. During the course of the magus finding all the resources, studying them and making the breakthroughs and then passing them on to great Order-wide acclaim, the chances are that the type of stories you need to tell will have changed hugely.

If your goal is to pick up cool powers and make the magus as powerful as possible, be prepared for it to be a) a long-term thing and b) the kind of thing that probably changes the characters and the saga.

And remember, the storyguide gets to set the pace. If the saga will be brought to a premature end by one set of powers or other, take the player aside and work out together how you see the character, stories and saga paying off.

Personally, I'd like my Verditius to learn Heron's mechanica rather than Verditius Automata. That's a longer path but for me it's more rewarding. Chances are, by the time we get there, this particular saga will be ready for a rest and we might return to our other one.

I just wished to say (but probably misexplained) that ArM also had plenty of material that caters and focuses on the low-power, down-to-earth, static aspects of the setting (e.g. City & Guild, Covenants, not to mention a whole slew of past-editions supplements, such as most Tribunal books, with scarcely a single bit of high fantasy, mystical stuff, even if 5th ed. has admittedly done a generous effort to redress the balance with the two Mysteries books ad now AnM). Ancient Magic seemed to be just the perfect occasion to explore the most high fantasy, outlandish aspects of the setting, so excessive concerns about power level seemed somewhat out of place.

Both him and his daddy come out of third movie as immortals. How about that for keeping some hefty booty :stuck_out_tongue:

Not every book, no, nor every part of this book. Even if I do definitely think that at least a significant part of ArM material should show ways and guidelines about how to transform the setting, and because of its matter, AnM seemed especially apt to cover this subject in depth, as it concerns advancements of magical theory. And indeed some chapters of AnM cover this topic satisfatingly (even if I'd liked for the Limit of Aging, too, to get a non-Mysteries breakthrough, and the Hesperides, b/c of its thematic correspondences, would have been fine for it, as it would have been Eden). The book has magical lores where the prize (potential advancement of Hermetic theory looks) looks even more appealing than the path to get it (the exploration of exotic locales) or the indirect benefits (the prestige from the discovery, no matter how trivial). In other cases, it's a 50/50 balance, in others the breakthrough by itself is rather trivial, and the indirect prizes are the main reason to go.

I'm saying that each type of quest belongs in the book, as you point out, but I am thankful that revolutionary, limit-breaking stuff got adequately covered, too, without too much qualms and excessive concerns about static integrity of the setting and power level, otherwise IMO the book would have failed a substantial part of its scope.

Oh, and by itself magical coordinates are a rather nifty and powerful magical advancement. It's just that tehy rather pale and lose much of their thunder when two other pieces of magica lore manange to do the same rthing, but much more completely. I know, they need some significant research to be useful, while coordinates are plug-and-play, and this redress the balance somehow. Canaanite necormancy gets just the same problem, only much worse in that it is a quite specialized development even by itself with very, very little impact on the average magus that isn't a complete history buff.

It's not that. I plainly see the huge benefits. It's just that Defixiones (or Adamite) will let me do that, and more localized, precise bombing stuff such as teleporting in the private chambers of that obnoxious bishop, rain him with a nice flesh-rotting spell, and go back, with none the wiser. or do the same from the safety of my sanctum, if I'm a sniveling coward instead of a gallant Hoplite. 8) if you're going to tear apart the Limit of Arcane Connections for magical strategic nuclear weapons, why not do it completely, and enable laser-guided bombs, too ? I know, I know, plug-and-play vs. need for customization.

You forget a very important detail: setting-wise, almost none of all that fancy empowering crunchy stuff comes without a hefty price tag. Your character has to toil and sweat to enable all those nifty mystery virtues and ancient lores. You can do only so much in a single Hermetic timeline before Final Twilight claims you, or you have to go immortal and you have to pay through the nose for every further advancement. And the GM is perfectly free to forbid advancements of Hermetic theory done in one sage to carry over in the following. You have to make aome serious choices, as no one character will ever be able to maximize all, or even most, of the fancy supplement stuff, not to mention plain old Arts and spells. In my own very rough estimate, a single character or group might maybe be able to master say 2-3 large Mystery schools or serious research breakthroughs in a whole Hermetic lifetime, with some serious optimization of research and quest/adventure, that and develop some decent Arts, Abilities, and spell sets to actually do something with those nifty powers. A nice big boost in power level from a vanilla corebook magus (who would have bigger and more Arts, Abilities, and spells) but no godlike or earth-shattering by any means. And anyway, by now much of that fancy supplement stuff allows to do the same feats by different methods. There's not much point in trying to maximize and complete both Heremtic Arts and Infernal Methods and Powers. I expect future fnacy powers in future mystic-focused supplements (say RoP:M and RoP:F) to follow the same pattern.

This has some merit, but you also have see things in perspective: the present ArM edition is doing a commendable effort to show that indeed the setting and Hermetic magic can be dynamic if the troupe wishes to explore that angle, by adding a decent amount of tools in the box, after years where the box was effectively set in stone and development focused on the minute aspects of life in Middle Ages Ruritania or the fascinating details of crop practices :angry:

To quote a relevant bit about the development philosophy of previous ArM editions, which eloquently express why I feel very appropriate that recent ArM has added some significant amount of new mystical tools to the box:

For all that it may concern, I deem most of the essential and necessary work of adding a decent set of addtional tools to the box already done or close to conclusion, with AnM, TMRE, Covenants, the HoH and the Realms books. Gimme HoH:S, RoP:M, and RoP:F books that are as excellent quality and chock-full of setting development and nifty new crunchy bits as the extant set of sourcebooks, and I'll declare myself officially sated and satisfied about mystical crunchy goodness till next ArM edition or so.

No, I'm saying that the story seeds are just too good and tantalizing in comparison to the ultimate prize of the quest, they build up so much expectations of earth-shattering discoveries that coordinates somewhat pale by comparison. Three hours of excellent foreplay, fifteen minutes of good intercourse.

I have absolutely no problem in conceding you this, and indeed is a signficant point.

True, true, I just hope you will not feel the value of your work diminished if, when I use your adventure, in addition to all the good stuff you wrote, I will also place a mystical key to create longevity rituals that totally stop aging (Warping is another matter entirely) inside the Apples of the Hesperides. That way the chapter will look perfect in my eyes.

You are really a very strange fellow Wanderer. The highest fantasy bit of the current Ars canon, IMO, is the Criamon chapter of HoH:MC, which I wrote. As to theri also being Covenants and C&G, sure, I know they exist, I recall writing about a quarter of each.

Seen any new epsisodes since? It's OK at the end of an epsodic sequence to make the character unwritable - it's not OK to do it in the middle of an epsidoic sequence.

You did read the bit that says "Ladon can speak any language. This includes mystical languages." right? 8) Just give him Adamic too, if your heart is set on this being Pagan Eden.

Or, you know, eternal life...if they weorks for you, sure.

They don't, you know. The condition on immortality is that you don't pass that big seal in the floor in the front of the Templar church.

OK, this is off-topic...

As a matter of fact, I quoted the two Mysteries books as the highest fantasy slice of current ArM, together with AnM. This includes Criamon. My fundamental difficulty with your version of Criamon is with the RP concept involved (I get quite annoyed with extreme pacifism, meekiness, and ascetism, so I find Criamon largely unfun to play, gimme lecherous Merinita, trigger-happy Tytalus, and proud Flambeau any time of the day, please), but I have no difficulty with recognizing they are quite otherworldy.

I would have very strong objections to the argument that immortality (which immortality, BTW, for all that we know, they might still be killed, they are just ageless for sure) makes a character unwritable. Last time I checked, they did lessee, one very successful RPG game and a bunch of rather popular movies and TV series about immortal creatures, both ageless and rather difficult to kill.

And I didn't or won't argue to that. My main criticism to your chapter wasn't "coordinates suck", was "coordinates look not appealing enough for all the nice high fantasy hype that surrounds them in the chapter, and in comparison with similar breakthroughs in the book". Coordinates by themselves are rather appealing, the presence of Adamite and Defixiones in the same book makes them less so. If anything, the AnM breakthrough that gets closest IMO to the suck-y level is necromancy. Fertility magic is specialized, too, but it would still be revolutionary for the order, and I can see the average magus getting quite craze about "designer apprentices". The only real good bit about it is that makes living ghosts a quite efficient immortality method (yes, I'm somehow obsessed with making my preferred characters immortal or at least ageless, call it vicarious wish fulfillment).

Maybe. Even probably. Nonetheless, it is still nice to have both options, without too much cold feet about power level and changing the setting :stuck_out_tongue:

I wrestle secrets from them with my overcoming of arcane connections :wink:

I admit I hadn't realize this. The devil is in the details. Kudos to you. But Coordinates won't let you target individual creatures, yet.

Both are very nice suggestions. If I use the latter (or both :wink: ), I might not even call it "Adamite", just "Titan-speak" or so. You know, my prejudices about Abrahamic stuff :stuck_out_tongue:

No, as the movie shows, that is the condition on moving the Grail itself. If you wish immortality, you can't have it brought it to your confy mansion, travel to the site, undergo the trials, make yourself worthy.

Well, see, the thing is as you've pointed out, you have lecherous, proud and violent types elsewhere. You don't need a secondary set of them.

I'd point out that Yoda is a thinly veiled rip off of a Diamond Vehicle Buddhist, and he rocks. Sun, the Moneky King from Chinese myth is also a Buddhist. I must just like the trickery angle more than you.

Ars tried immortality in previous editions: it doesn't work in the current setting, so it was taken out, then let back in provided that once you became immortal, you sort of fade from the world and let it get on with its great narrative without immortals ruling over it. You can have immortal magi, or you can have Mythic Europe. You can't have both: check Vampire: Dark Ages if you don't believe me. As a setting it rapidly falls apart. Now, if your are the handful of immortal magi, sure, it falls aprat in your favour...go for it if you like. The problem with that is the setting rapidly loses any real power to challenge you. The challenges are scaled for non-immortal characters, and they have the problem of Death as a power capping device.

Oh, you need a new first language? Well the current lot of men were made by Prometheus and his brother, right? You might call it Promethean.

I just think calling it "Titanic" would be too funny for me to keep a straight face. No wonder its an extinct language.

Yeah, that language sunk in 1912.... that makes a "will be" language in ArM :wink:


But HoH:S isn't out yet. It's unfair. I want it now :stuck_out_tongue: :wink:

And with his stubborn conviction to enforcing celibacy and emotional detachment on apprentices, he is a significant co-cause into Anakin sliding into darkness. Don't love a single woman, they pass out, learn to love all mankind. Big advice for a griefing partner, you guru. No thanks, I'll keep my Nietzche.

Yep, but you can easily do Sun as a Flambeau, Tytalus, Merinita, or Ex Misc type. I can do Monkey King types with my favourite houses. I may like trickery as a secondary side note trait, as an expression of a playful, zest for life personality, but yes, I do not dig trickster Pendule guys where childish trickery for the sake of trickery is the point of the character. It's all good to like play, but only after you carry a big stick.

You see, I do not wish necessarily play 1000-y.o. uber-archmages. I just wish to play my ordinary 60-300 y.o. "ordinary" mage and bask in the knowledge that in the far future of the setting, when I'll have probably stopped playing him, my character will never, ever be felled by age. It's a vicarious wish fulfillment thing. I wish for my loved characters from magic what I wish for myself in RL from medical research. Death and senility suck. There is no good in them. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Go kicking and screaming at the heavens into that good night.

As for power level of NPC, well as you point out immortal mages either Ascend to Arcadia or Magic Realm and fade from the world, or their advancement slows to a crawl. And for the lack of challenges... well, have powerful guys from the four realms suddently disappeared from the setting ? Just like for other limit-breaking stuff from AnM and the mysteries, using it extensively juts let Hermetic mages lord it significantly more on mundanes. Quite fine with me, it is high time to counter-Crusade the Church out of Mythic Europe (oh, I know, Divine would probably shiled it from complete destruction, but very probably you could beat and bully it in behaving rather more nicely with magic).

On my 400th birthday, maybe. First let me have some serious fun smashing churches and slaughtering crusaders 8)

Promethean (cool name, thanks) and Defixiones will let you summon the dead without need of Arcane Connection, just some vague sympathetic connections.

And it is, it is. But I'm greedy and want the entire package, eventually. And you know, nothing bars you from groing after Coordinates in one story arc, some other secret in the next. As a matter of fact, that's the mosy obvious use of the book: a team of Indiana Bonisagi Seeker mages.

Cool idea, thanks.

Only as long as the SG determines that all this exists in the same universe, that is. For sure I would NOT have all of them at once, as I would never have all the mysteries sociweties in the same setting. Makes too much for a laughable order that downplays the importance of the HERMETIC systemof magic once everybody is NOT a hermetic magus but a cult supper dupper.

Never allow cannon to mess up your own setting. If it changes it for good, great. if it does not, don't use it. If you say that those arcane lores can be really powerful, I will simply not use them in the saga. the least powerful ones might be used, though.