Ars Magica and Illuminati

Okay. I know this may sound like a strange idea, but help me out here. While working on relationship maps of the various covenants and NPCs I was put in mind of Steve Jackson Games’ Illuminati. For the uninitiated, the game play effectively involves relationship maps where one group asserts control or influence upon another. A group’s ability to control another group is influenced by their alignment(s)—a set of key words formed in opposing pairs. A group could have multiple alignments.

In Illuminati the alignment pairs are:

(U.S.) Government/Communist
Criminal, and

I share this as an example. It certainly does not come close to mapping the things that are important to Hermetic Magi.

If one was going to imagine a Tribunal as a game of Illuminati with Covenants, Houses, Lineages, Mysteries and even Individuals that could assert control over one another, what sort of keywords would you use as alignments?

So far I can think of:

Traditionalist vs. Transitoionalists (as per True Lineages)
Christian vs. Pagan
And maybe Hermetic vs. Hedge

And then I get stumped.

Any ideas?

While it comes close to your hermetic vs. hedge pair I think that pure hermetic vs. incorporating exotic traditions would be an appropriate pair.

Seeker would work like fanatic does in Illuminati

peaceful co-existence vs. "kill them all and then kill all of the witnesses"

I don't like christian vs. pagan because of the small quantities of pagans outside of Novogorod tribunal

I could see Church vs heretic or christian vs muslim

Jewish would work like criminal does in Illuminati

By 'pagan' I guess I really mean anti-Church or anti-Dominion. In most of the saga's I've been a part of that's been a common division. Often not a major one, but still there. Perhaps Pius vs. Not.

Roman vs germanic.
The roman traditions are ofcourse in majority.

Instead of transitionalist/traditionalist I would make it more generic:

"Hard Liner/Integrator"

Hard Liners are all that want things to get by the rules: roman magi following the code to the letter and showing middle fingers to germanic shapeshifter traditions. Looking suspicoously to new kinds of magic as well, but not necessarily.

Integrators are the transitionalists, the ones that talk with pomeranian shapeshifters and go out to search for non hermetic traditions and try to fit them into hermetic magic.

Yopu could also take an other approach in categories:

Approach to:

  • magic: Hermetic/non hermetic
  • magic 2: increasing knowledge, decreasing knowledge & power in the order.
  • tradition roman/non roman (steps over terrain of the previous one, though)
  • Law: transitionalist/traditionalist
  • non hermetic traditions: integrate/blast away
  • human encroachment: support/oppose
  • divine: support to a level/burnj churches down
  • fae: support/vis gahtering annoyance and sparrings
  • non christians: burn at the stake/investigate
  • Aim: Mundane wealth & power/magical wealth & power
  • Magic as malefic/magic as neutral towards God

etc etc

Hope that helped,


I think Guardians of the Forest does a good job at outlining "political parties". I based a saga (that's currently only being played as a sluggish PbP) on it. The principal axes of alleigiance there seem to be

Isolationist/Harmonist (Harmonists want to integrate with human society, isolationists pretty much want it to go away.)
Divine/Magical/Faerie (support one realm; most are slack Magical of course)
Activist/Passive (kind of like Fanatic up there)

For the general Order, I reckon the folllowing may serve well:
Legalist/Pragmatist (the degree law is respected over politics)
Non-Magical Aligned (to Divine, Faerie)
Roman vs. German

My saga, BTW, is focused on the Fading of Magic due to the increasing power of the Dominion, and so the relevant "alignments" there are "solutions" to it.

Actually, this could be disputed -- the legal code, for example, the core of the Order in many ways, is very Germanic.