Ancient Magic musings

Well, since our saga is currently heavily focused on AnM quests, I gave some re-thinking to it, and some odd musings surfaced to my devious mind:

A) What would happen if a mage dies and returns as a ghost, or turns in a Living Ghost, who had integrated Canaanite Necromancy ? The Virtue gives the CaN ghost a permanent Arcane Connection to the world of the living (just like a living CaN has a broad AC to all the dead and their world), and a CaN vanilla ghost is shown to be having several of the features of a Living Ghost, having full self-consciousness, ability to get corporeal at will, and immunity to be put to rest.

B) Since a Fertility Ritual is much like a Longevity Ritual, can a mage use extra vis to increase the Lab Tot of a Fertility Ritual ? What about the bonuses from Lesser Elixir ? Could they be integrated to boost the FR, too ?

C) A mage that has learned both Adamic and Ptolemy's Coordinates (as our characters are likely to do at the end of the current extended quest), always has Arcane Connection (and a +5 Penetration multiplicative bonus) to any mundane object, human, and creature (anything without a Might), and any location in the world, right ?? Adamic does allow to target any place, creature, or thing that either the magus observed and gave a new name, or that he knows the name of, and coordinates allow to target any place that the mage knows or can calculate the coordinates of ? Once the magus has mastered the origin point, to know the coordinates of a place, does he need to make the measurements for it in that location, or can they be calculated from afar ?

D) In order to use Rune Magic to cast natural, long-lasting Creo spells (except healing spells), the target of the spell should have a sympathetic affinity to the spell effect (e.g. animal bones, seeds, or fruit leavings, or a table cloth, to create food), does it ? OTOH, food created with rune magic is permanently nourishing, and healing spells allow the body to heal naturally "under" the spell, while is in effect, right ?

One of the reasons I do not like Adamic being in there is that it breaks down the whole setting, creatring a bunch of correlations with other powers that easily skyrocket to make nonsensical the whole universe. Like having demigods beaten by the characters on a regular basis in DnD (happened to us), pretty much. The theological implications of this ability are too wide to be happily integrated in a regular saga IMO. YMMV though. One of my players and I discussed it and decided that this chapter would be rendered as non-existant in our saga or future sagas. Ever.

General answer to your question is: that (all your presented cases) has never happened, so it is a saga dependent event. I would say yes to fertility boosting by vis, "no" to combine coordinates and adamic (one is secular, the other divine; the power must be used with the secular coordinate already existing)



Quite the opposite for our saga. We are presently questing for the Coordinates (about to enter the Garden of the Hesperides Regio, by the end of the last session), and they will be a key factor to quest for the Garden of Eden, later. Adamic is already fully in play, since our present antagonist in the saga is a rogue Mystery Cult that uses the First Language (probably got it from Cain, as they sport a copy of the Mark). So it is quite likely that our PCs will eventually put their hands on both secrets. Therefore, a bit of reflection about will happen later is quite appropriate for us. For me more than anyone else , since I'm assistant SG in charge for counsel on the niceties of ArM 5th ed. Moreover, our SG has hinted that he might eventually send us to quest for other Ancient Magic secrets, too.

In our saga they are all or most of them likely to happen, eventually.

Please explain yourself on the last point. :confused:

At the rate your troupe is going, you'll exhaust all the vis of Mythic Europe faster than we modernites are burning through the dwindling reserves of oil. LOL.

Must say, you guys put my lust for power play to shame.

Well, if you are going to integrate Hyperborean and Rune Magic, the Hermetic need for vis is going to drop precipitously. There's a balance in things. :wink:

If a troupe of Hermetic mages manages to integrate most of the mystical AnM goodies, what's going to happen is that Hermetic mages will be that much more unstoppable for, and self-sufficient from, mundanes. Quite nice. Not like they have any right ever to daresay their betters. OTOH, even if a mage manages to master every last Ancient Magic and Mystery secret, one single miracle can wipe out his spells like cobwebs, and there's no absolute limit to how big the Might of supernatural creatures can get. No matter how godlike you can become in ArM, in the canon setting, there's always going to be a bigger fish than you.

Euh... Wanderer... Do you know that, when you've uncovered pieces of an ancient magic, you still need to integrate it, which takes quite literrally years (if not dozen of years) in the laboratory, if you succeed at all?

Of course, you're quite right, with the glaring exception of Adamic and the Coordinates of Ptolemy. Which, I suspect, is part of the reason why our SG picked them. And not all breakthroughs are created equal in complexity. Integrating Canaanite Necromancy, Rune Magic, or Fertility Rituals, is nowhere like integrating Defixio or Hyperborean secrets.

Coordinates have mundane names and coordinates. If you assign them adamic names, I would say that the coordinates change as well and you need to recalibrate thwe whole system. I would put the new origin point of 0,0 in Jerusalem (quite difficult to reach a level 10 divine regio) or Rome.

Their different approach (Magical vs Divine) has deep implications

To combine both, I would requitre a further breakthrough to combine them.

But, why do you need to iontegrate adamic if you already know the ptolemaqic coordinates?



Well, actually you don't have to assign new names to places you already know the mundane names of. If I understand Adamic correctly, you can grant a new name to things you don't know name of, or to Might creatures, to have an AC. For mundane things, creatures, and places you know the normal name of, you already have an AC. And you can use coordinates to target any place you can calculate coordinates for. So technically you either use one or the other. What you mention might happen if mages pull a breakthrough to replace Latin in Hermetic Magic with Adamic. if such integration doeasn't take place, I guess you can use them separately.

More likely, the Garden of Eden Regio, in Mesopotamia. No fuss, measure coordinates in the old origin point, the new origin point (some trouble to make measures in animal form in Eden, but apes and raccons have hands), then you can recaulculate coordinates for other places.

In our game, we'll likely end up knowing both, sooner or later. So I was curious. Actually, you don't have to integrate adamic. You can use it as an adjunct to spells cast in Latin, much like Invocation Magic and Synthemata Magia. Integrating Adamic incorporates its effects in every Hermetic spell.

The future (or the mythic past) is sometimes nearer than one can thnk. We just visited the Garden of the Hesperides (where my hardcore-pagan, magic-craving, womanizer PC had a great day wooing the lovely nymphs and fondly remembering the Good Old Pagan Days with the hydra) and now we are the proud owners of the Coordinates of Ptolemy and can Arcane Connection to any place we have the coordinates of (either by in loco measurement, or by having accurate numbers: too bad most of the ones in surviving copies of the Geography are purposefully unaccurate). For now, we have Lisbon, Paris, London, and the Garden itself 8) :smiley:

Now on to seek some fresh Scottish coordinate for the dragon to bargain for information about the Garden of Eden. 8)

I'll make diligent reports about the in-game experience of mastering the coordinates.

Another musing: both Adamite language and Rune Magic allow spells to bypass Magical Resistance (including the Parma + Forms defense of Hermetic magi). IMO this the only AnM breakthrough that would really threaten OOC game balance, and IC stability of the Order , since the Parma is the cornerstone of Hermetic peace.

Do you think it would be possible to modify Hermetic MR so that it is made resistant to these breakthroughs, too ? Maybe by incorporating Adamite and the Runes in the casting of the Parma ? Would it be a Minor or Major Breakthrough ? Would it possible to reinforce the Forms resistance, too, in this way ? Would it entail a different brteakthrough ?

It's magic anytings possible.
Your essentially creating a parma for a different set of magic, I'd call it a major breakthrough.
Or you could do a series of minor breakthroughs that give specific form resistances.

I like that.

Perhaps if you are creating a skill for each resistance, that is, one for Runic and one for Adamic magic then it could be a major breakthrough, independent of the incorporation of either into Bonisagus' Hermetic Theory.

If you were incorporating them into the Parma Magica itself, you would need to have incorporated the ancient mystery into Hermetic Theory already, and then another minor breakthrough...

Well, Adamite can be used as a adjunct boost to Hermetic spells as it is, or fully integrated with a half-value minor breakthrough. Runes require a Major Brakthrough to be used at all, or a double Mjaor Breakthrough to be fully integrated.

I f I understand both of you correctly, in the first case (usable), one would need a couple major breakthroughs to fortify Parma vs. each, or a couple minor ones if they were fully integrated.

Right ?

That's what I would do, yeah.