Ars Magica: A bonfire of tradition (hedge saga) [4-5 players]

Yes, that works.

I agree to both.

I noticed the lab assistant rules, they require Mythic Alchemy so Succurro Magicam could be used to create viable assistant. I look forward to creating the relevant potion.

Of course, I can't start with an assistant.

Nooo!!! Don't do that! Read Succurro Magicam again. Everything they help work on will fail when they lose their effect. What works is initiating them into that one Virtue. Then they can assist you as well as making doses of anything you've invented on their own while you're inventing new stuff.

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Sounds right!

Frederick II should be aware of the Order without Hermetics just as Conrad III and the Barbarossa were (Triamore p.32ff), and could have the same motivation as Conrad III for setting up a "scholarly institution within his realm to represent itself in his court, so that he might avail himself of their wisdom and fortify the culture of his people". He set up Naples university summer 1224, when he was firmly settled as emperor.

This would hint at starting the saga rather in or a little bit after 1224, though. And it would tie it closely to the fate of Frederick II and his struggles at first.

I recall Xavi's statement about Major supernatural virtue granting

Ok, so far we have:

  • Free Social Status: (Hermetic) Magus -- upgraded from Apprentice of (Tradition), which allows the character creation rules of the hedge tradition while allowing everyone to benefit from being part of a Covenant.

  • Parma Magica: Learned through Gauntlet/Initiation†. Starts at 1, maximum of 3 at character generation. Requires The Gift

† Mechanically magi undergo an Ordeal (Vow -- Oath of Hermes), but without the corresponding Flaw

@Xavi Due to the disparity of traditions and abilities, perhaps you should set a minimum-maximum starting age for the players.

List of interested players and traditions so far

  • Plot_device : Viktir
  • MalakhGlitch . True Merinita (Gifted Companion). Nature Lore and nature-related magics
  • DeedNay : Alchemist (Learned Magician)
  • OneShot : Ars Notoria (Gifted Companion)
  • Callen : Summoner (Mythic Companion)
  • Darkwing : Witch. Plan B: gruagach and learned magician. (Not answered yet) ATTN: @darkwing

Do you think of Vow as the Minor Personality Flaw (ArM5 p.60), complete with drop in Confidence Score and requirement for atonement when violated?

Frère Sulpice is currently being designed as a Gifted Companion, too.

That's why I said "without the corresponding Flaw" since the Vow involved in the Initiation is essentially a Story Flaw. If we break it we can be Marched or gain the Enemies (Order of Hermes) Flaw.

If we don't swear it, we might still be killed - without the ceremony of marching - and have the Enemies (Order of Hermes) Flaw on top? Or did the Order without Hermetics change in this respect?

Anyway I see what you mean, and am fine with its gist. But we better do not speak of an Ordeal in the Initiation to the Parma Magica, and make it just a part of the initiation ceremony.

I think Xavi wrote up an initiation script for it either in the previous thread or one of the threads mentioned there.

I am so far not aware of that initiation script.

If you cannot find it now, no sweat. We will certainly see and discuss it while going deeper into the set-up for the saga.

No. That is me messing up with the messages using a 4 inch screen phone. My bad. Corrected the list below:

List of players and traditions (as compiled correctly by MalakhGlitch)

  • Plot_device : Vitki
  • MalakhGlitch . True Merinita (Gifted Companion). Nature Lore and nature-related magics
  • DeedNay : Alchemist (Learned Magician)
  • OneShot : Ars Notoria (Gifted Companion)
  • Callen : Summoner (Mythic Companion)
  • Darkwing : Witch.

Yes, the basic plot device is that it has been given to those weird guys in order to remove it from the social hierarchy. It is a freaking big (unfinished) castle and this puts some very big problems in the area. The Holy roman Emperor decided to award it to the magi so that the local nobility could not use it. The Emperor also turned triamore into a library of all the books that he is given at court (as gifts, most of the time), so we will have a substantial mundane library. Not all books will be good (some will be very pretty but with little value, for example) but the library is supposed to be ver big.

I ran approximate numbers, and using Covenants (5th ed) Triamore runs on a breakeven situation with 6 magi. I did the numbers on my lunch break, so I am sure the n umber is very rough. Basically I assumed:
6 magi. 4 +0 labs and 2 +2 labs (for the previous magi)
a turb of 6 grogs + 6 custos.
2 nobles
7 specialists (librarian, illuminator, horsemaster and a few others listed in the book)
Around 30 people more
8 horses

2 minor sources of income (library and village) for a total of 80 pounds of yearly income.

Maximum savings for consumables and food (IIRC).

If anyone want sto run the numbers again feel free to do it. having it as a breakeven sutuation sounds correct to me. There is a plot hook that is the fact that the lord of Namur can charge us "reasonably" for agrcultural produce. and he hates the magi and wants to evict them.

All of you not coming from covenants sounds right to having everybody starting on the same footing here. As I said, covenants are more an exception than a norm in this saga. Spread Witch covens, individual magi toiling alone, .... are more the norm. Some get to be supported by a noble and stuff like that, but this just means that their seasons of work are dedicated to said patron, not that they are free to do as they please.

Parma only for Gifted people sounds right. There might be small exceptions if one of you wants to play unGifted characters, but in that case we might substitute it for a free relic for example in order to keep consistency. Sounds good?

I have not designed an Ordela for it. I just made it a mystical ability requiring the swaring of the Code as part of the Initiation. violating the coe would require attunement, taint the parma, make you lose it, or make everybody around you aware you are an oath breaker. we don't know yet. Probably your characters do not know yet either since we as players have not considered it in full. I kust find it cooler for it to be an initiation. a minor virtue of sorts.

Maybe 25 years maximum?

Aha! Found the relevant portion of Parma and The Gift in HMRE, p.6

Of course, even if he does join the Order, an unGifted hedge wizard cannot learn Hermetic Arts, learn Parma Magica, participate in certamen, or perform any other activity that requires The Gift.

On Triamore

If those are the numbers for Triamore then we need more sources of income asap. Otherwise the whole concept of a Covenant will go down the drain and we'll all need to spend seasons making a living.

Musings on the nature of the Order

Since the Parma Magica is preserved, albeit in a lesser form (probably a Supernatural Ability) magi can once again work together in greater numbers. Due to the nature of hedge traditions membership in the Order has probably reverted to what Guernicus wanted, voluntary membership as opposed to "Join or Die." Since Certamen is not available it comes even closer to what Guernicus wanted.

However, as Guernicus also stated, there needs to be magi who enforce the Oath and Code, otherwise the Order would have failed after the last of the New Founders have passed on. This brings another problem to fore; a lot of Hedge Magic lacks the power to punch through Parma Magica. What group of magi can be the replacement for the Quasitores and what kind of magic do they wield that they can actually enforce the Oath and Code?

I like it. Voluntary membership with an advantage (Parma) and a drawback (Code) sounds about right.
Magi might lack much penetration, but they can ally with supernatural creatures tha tdo that (spirits) or rely in some traditions that laugh at Parma using brute force, like Vitki. Most magi will not be as invulnerable to MUNDANE attacks as the OoH is, so a good pointy stick or sharp item can be used as well. Sometimes the best response to a mystical problem is a mundane solution.

I just realized something, how can you create Frère Sulpice as a Mythic Companion when Ars Notoria requires The Gift?

Gifted Companion /= Mythic Companion ! Indeed, Mythic Companions typically cannot be Gifted.(see HoH:S p.104 box Mythic Companion).


D'oh! I misread that. Sorry!

Another quick remark: don't turn Parma Magica from an Arcane Ability into a Supernatural Ability. Supernatural Abilities interwork quite differently with Auras, Regios, Advancement rules, Traditions based on such advancement rules etc. Save yourself the headache and the resulting redesigns.

Requiring Gifted plus a new Mystery Virtue to learn and use the Arcane Ability Parma Magica is far easier and does what desired.

If Parma is not simply a teachable Arcane Skill perhaps the oath is self-enforcing? You break the Oath and your Parma stops working?

We could also be required to give the Quaesitores a fixed AC.