Arts vs abilities

Maybe this point have discussed before.

Both Maleficia in RoP:I and Holy powers in RoP:D are abilities. I wonder why they are not considered as arts (hence using same progression table as hermetic arts)

Is it to ensure some game balance ? To promote usage of ceremony (it seems natural that meetings of numerous worshipers sharing power to invoke superior effect has more the flavor of the Divine or the Infernal than Magic, right ?) Or is it, because of line edition, to avoid to have extensive Infernal/Divine guidelines descriptions for other Realm than Magic's ? ?

What do you think the consequences would be to take these powers as arts ?

For one, it breaks with every consistent rule in the game.

There are 15 Arts - 10 Forms, 5 Techniques. Every formula and total that the rules have work off of those Arts combined with various virtues and abilities. To create new Arts might not be exactly back-compatible with everything that has come before.

Some abilities are "accelerated abilities". Those abilities use the same XP progression that arts do.



I imagine that the knowledge represented by Methods and Powers is less "concentrated" than the knowledge that Techniques and Forms represent. So when you study Adjuration, for example, the rituals and phrases and symbols and prayers and so on associated with it are so diverse that it really takes a lot of experience points to improve a character's total. Hermetic Arts are much more specialized, limited to a single magical tradition, and so they are more potent, in a sense. That is, scores can increase much more dramatically.

Thematic ruminations aside, Methods and Powers would be far, far too powerful if they increased on the same scale as Hermetic Arts, in my opinion. Lower effect totals is one of the mechanical tradeoffs for characters having access to spontaneous spells associated with the Divine realm.

My Rhine tribunal game, we have a jewish Kabbalist and the first time he tried for effect, he failed because it turned out he needed a 20 for even a fairly weak effect. He is mythic companion that with all his "arts" (methods and powers) all costing 5x as much hermetic art and he has few and a lot less flexibility. Without the ceremony ability, it becomes unlikely he will ever get any major effect off.

Considering you have the same range, duration and target modifiers. Effects are somewhat comparable, you get your mage equivalent character as much much weaker than any mage is going to be. Considering that the divine should be at least as powerful, I wonder.

My 2cents on why Arts are cheaper

  1. The order as it is described is stronger then any hedhe wizard tradition
  2. You need two Arts but just one ability for an effect.
  3. Iss might be odd to combine let's say rego with cabbalism

If your guiding a story that as a different focus, change the rules for yourselves. This is a game after all.

Though I understand the reason, I find this uselessly confusing.

I'm actually in favor of treating Arts as Abilities, experience-wise. But I'm in a minority :slight_smile:

I think the main reason Arts are so high is to give the PCs fine gradations in power and retain the ease of +5/magnitude in spell levels. The Arts could have been made into Abilities and the spell guidelines altered to +3/magnitude without considerably altering the power level and greatly increasing the consistency of the game. However, multiples of 3 are hard to work with and the result is less fine distinctions in Art and Quality, which are things PCs and players care about.

Arts scores are, xp-for-xp, on average 2.23 times (square root of five) larger than Ability scores.

Methods and Powers do not see their totals divided by two, which puts the total on par (assuming equivalent guideline levels) with Spontaneous Hermetic Magic, while increasing the effect of the Stat + Aura + Confidence/Faith bonuses.

Not to mention that these characters will have fewer xp sinks to invest into (but probably also fewer high-quality sources, so that may be a wash).

They do not get the divide by 2 but getting the same totals isn't on par.

Assume is same as stamina for the mage.

a 3 power and 3 method means 60 xp. for that same 60 xp, you can get 2 arts of 7 and have some 4 xp left over. So +6 vs +7 (for sponting) and +6 vs +14 if you want to take time.

Let's raise this to 4 power and 4 method. Now we are talking 100 xp for a +8 bonus. Magus has +9 and +9 with 10 xp to spare. Perhaps 2 arts at +8 and 1 at +5. Again, that is +8 for the method/power vs +9 (+8 with +6.5 second one) and they can still take time and invent/learn formulaic effects that are 18+int+magic theory. So your divine character will at best be +8+simple die (+9 to +13) to achieve something. Your wizard can have effects easily up to 21-22 invented (25 for starting effect).

The wizard's edge increased a lot more as skills increase. Think of +5 method and +5 power is 150 xp. We know what 150 xp does for wizards arts since that is a very common starting points for arts. arts books are also easir to come by and advance.

I've already conceded the flexibility and ease of advancement points. Formulaic Magic is also a definite edge, although it is more time you need to spend studying a spell - one specific effect.

If you concentrate it on a Te+Fo pair, you'll get at best +11 and +12 (that's a +23 total before division, see my above-mentioned 2.23 ratio).

Let's assume a +2 stat and +3 aura, which I believe isn't outrageous. We've got +28 total, or +14 after division. The same bonuses bring the Method & Power total is +15.

I'll reiterate - Methods & Powers totals are on par with Hermetic spontaneous magic, and benefit more from any bonus you can bring - stats, auras, confidence, faith - than magi do.

You need to analyze the guidelines for a more accurate comparison, though Hermetic Magic does remain the most powerful overall. As far as I understand, that's on purpose.

I don't consider it on par, especially since many powers require confidence or faith points to activate. This limits use to once or twice a day. You can spont even 2 minutes and not really tire yourself out.

The simple die vs stress die is a factor too. A spont can botch but it can also multiply to incredible levels. Powers/methods have max of +10 from dire.

Yes, using your example of 2 attribute and 3 aura. +14 in the specified form/art vs +15 but also +25 formulaics. going to the +6/+6. We add a second art at +11 to the original 2 of +11 and +12 with all the additional flexibility. Even if you compare it to mage spontanous spells, the mage has the powerful formulaic effects that they can use at will as well which your mythic companion character doesn't and he is supposed to comparible to magi in power.

In some sense it should not be "on a par" - the ArM game has some underlying meta-rules.

  1. Hermetic magic is the most powerful magic, and Hermetic magi are the most powerful generalists in Mythic Europe. That's the core of the game, and all the others are satellites...

  2. Hedge traditions are weaker than Hermetic magic, but within their specialization may be stronger and even exceed some "limits" of Hermetic magic.

  3. the Divine itself "trumps" Hermetic magic (and Infernal and faerie magics) - but Divine magicians, personally, don't.
    That is, a Divine magician normally uses their Powers to perform "magic" (in game terms magic - even if they call it something else), and as a Hedge tradition that is (per the game) weaker than a Hermetic magus.
    However, if the effect invoked suits the Divine directly then "Divine Intervention" may trump anything magical/infernal/faerie. Divine Intervention is not directly linked to the power of the Hedgie - even a peasant with no understanding or special qualities may trigger Divine Intervention... indeed the Hermetic magus's hubris alone may be enough to trigger some sort of "bring him down" intervention!

Perhaps but if a hermetic fails a spont roll, they lose a fatigue level and that is it. Your divine person fails a roll and he gets penalized with a nasty side effect including warping.

I would think that if someone is playing a magus equal character, such as powers/methods sort without true faith (so no miracles). They should be equal to at least a starting magus even if they will swiftly fall behind due to the progression.

to give an example. Your hermetic magus goes out to get some vis, they can permanently cure a light wound. Spell level is 20. For powers and methods, it is a 40 (base 35, +1 touch). sure no vis is used but good luck at getting a score anywhere near that. I have seen hermetic mages start with formulaic spells of 30-35.

I am thinking that perhaps one of the benefits of mythic companion is a reduced skill cost for certain things.