Breaking Teaching

Just as a silly aside, two magi can teach each other an ability to any level (though it'll take a long time).

Both magi, A and B, learn the ability with specialism teaching/training, A at one level higher than the other.

A teaches B to his level, but A can teach to the next level as his effective ability is one higher while teaching (from the specialty).
Now mage B is higher at teaching (including specialty)... and thus we continue.

It's stupid, anyone that tried this should be quickly punished.

I agree that anyone trying should be hit with a clue-stick, but as written this actually can be one of the fastest methods to get absurd scores.

Both magi are apt students and strong teachers with 3 in communication.

Each season spent teaching should count as exposure in teaching, so teaching will also rise. Some would say teaching could count as practice, but that is too kind I think.

Start out with 4 in teaching specialized on "one on one" and the same score in MT with your specialization, and I think that is by far the fastest way to increase it.

Without the book I think the formula is:

3 (com) + 5 (teaching with spec) + 3 + 6 (st) + 3 (apt) + 6 (one student) = 26 xp.

You get this everty second season for an average of 13.

If you want to go absurd you add the virtue that adds 50% to xp earned...

I cannot think of any faster way to increase an ability :wink:

who just discovered by accident what Apt Student + Strong Teacher does when teaching an apprentice (for the scribe, not a mage)

Lol, hadnt seen that version before...

Munchkinitis a´la Ars Magica:

You have a group of 6 magi(base covenant size in 4th ed), magi A through F.
A starts out with one art score of 20, teaches B which teaches C etc etc, after each has maxed out, they write tractatus to the limit, 4 each with for simplicitys sake quality 10 each, once B writes his first, A starts reading tractatii until he has a score of 25+(before this he also spent the time needed to write 4 tractatus), then teaches B to the new limit, another batch of tractatii is created once everyone is at 25+(5 each, so each magii that has read none has 250 XP to gain from reading), then B starts reading tractatii getting to score 30+, which B then teaches C who then reads tractatii, reaching a score of 35+ and everyone else writes another one( so once its time for D to start reading s/he will gain 350XP, which gives a score of 45(after 9 years of studying that is) and does other things while waiting for C to maximise and so on and so on... :wink:

Give it 5-7 decades of mainly study, and its quite amusing how high even a rather smallish covenant cooperating can reach, thanks to the rules as they are. :stuck_out_tongue:

The Good Teacher, Apt Student combination is just too good not to be used, both have become very common choices(the bonus is +5 for GT btw).

Start it out by letting a HIRED teacher teach teaching( :wink: ) to everyone for a few seasons. A teacher with Com 5, GT(+5), affinity and puissant Teaching(can then have an effective score of 11-14(with a last +1 from specialty(with 9 the normal max score, modified by +2 from each of affinity and puissant) ) +3 means a teaching quality of 24-27. 30-33 to a single student.
Spend 2 years on it and you can have all characters with a score of 10 in teaching.


There is probably only one individual in all of Mythic Europe who has the combination of Communication +5, Affinity with Teaching & Puissant Teaching.

This combination is probably justified by the character having the non-hermetic version of the virtue Mythic Blood (Socrates). He will be a famous Mythic Companion character in the campaign, and would probably be very leery of tarnishing his reputation by consorting with disreputable "sorcerers".

The GM who lets a group of PCs hire someone like this "off the street" should be beaten with a stick.

Just MHO, of course.


Quite possibly.

But any GM who "goes by the book", is stuck with it as there is nothing what so ever to prevent it.
Still, unless you specifically want a "low power" story, it actually doesnt break things too badly. Erhm... No, really... :smiling_imp:

Ummm, there is always a way to prevent it. You say, "I don't feel that's an appropriate use of the ability in my saga. Like it or lump it, choice is yours."



Way back when AM5 came out, I noticed this stuff, and imagined a covenant of magi with high communication working together to raise their Arts scores into the stratosphere, producing high quality tractatuseses along the way.

Is this a problem? In the example provided, a magus earns 13xp or so every season. Let's make it 15xp. Sure, that's nice, but I don't think it really breaks a saga.

Sample rule: Hide library and study rules in the background, and assume that every magus can always study a topic that interests magi for 15xp per season, no matter what.

Or make it a flat 10xp, or 13xp. The 15xp magi become powerful faster, but so does everyone else in the Order, who are presumably doing the same thing. And this power remains subject to the usual constraints.

If there's a problem, it lies in the culture of magi: Working together provides such immense potential benefits, that the culture of lone, paranoid magi doesn't make sense. Rather than Parma driving the creation of the Order, the benefits of collaboration and communication drive magi to adopt common magics....



That's probably the core of the issue...

What's the tenor of the Order in your saga?

Is it:

A) Magi have banded together with the Oath and Parma in a happy share-fest of knowledge and power that is limited only by the growth of the Dominion.


B) Magi that agree to the Oath and learn the Parma, but still feel that the more power they have and keep to themselves is less power that is spread about their possible rivals.

I think that B is probably a lot more likely in a medieval mindset, but that's just my opinion.


IIRC Erik Tyrrell had a covenant in his last saga layout that was exactly what you just described. Good communicators working together to produce books and improve along the way. IN fact the OOH is built on those pillars. What happens is that most mages and covenants are lousy losers that deviate from that driving force along the way. My covenant certainly is. While our mages (and players) talk all the time aboiut this kind of collaborative effort, they develop all kinds of deviations and things that distract them and prevent them from achieving this result.

Nothing wrong with allowing it. I just find it to be quite amusing and it breaks my suspension of disbelief right away to find such a dynamic in a group of magi, but hey. Allowed by the rules 100%. ArM5 is about powergaming when it goes by the rules (thousands of stratospheric combos THOUGHT TO BE SUCH A THING RIGHT AWAY), so I see nothing wrong about it. :slight_smile:



I once posted alternative rules for Arts experience and starting magi to the Berklist.

Two fundamental rules form the core of it:

  1. Newly Gauntleted magi start with 0xp in each Art, but acquired a bunch of super-Affinities to spread around their Arts.

  2. The Arts progression increases exponentially; getting a score of 5 costs only 10 points, but every increase of 5 increases the cost by a factor of 5; an Art score of 25 costs 6250xp, and is effectively impossible for a PC.

Three outcomes result:

  1. Summae better than 10 are rare.

  2. It is no longer possible to read or teach one's way to power. Go ahead, let a magus have a 15xp tractatus in an Art every season.

  3. The specialization a magus has at the beginning of his career will probably be the ones he has at the end.

There's another, more subtle effect: The bounds of Hermetic knowledge come into sharp focus. Some magi have deep intuitive understanding of an Art, but no one understands that Art at level 30.



Oh yes, definetly! There´s also the little problem of magi getting needed to run off from the covenant to take care of this or that, which also slows down any such efforts.

Agreed, it doesnt break a saga at all really, HOWEVER, it can give any GM quite a lot of work to come up with serious challenges. Which is why any GM might want to watch out in case players "overdo" it.

Consider the results of lab totals well above 120s mid-saga for longevity rituals, coupled with a highlevel ritual for removing small amounts of warping points each casting...
And a covenant with those same magi doing their best to "power up" collectively ASAP.
OTOH, even that covenant got taxed severely in the end, as the main challenge they were facing was the mongol invasion, pretty much ALL of it(ahistorical, way bigger), with massive magic support and a supporting 2nd invasion coming from the middle east mongol enclaves as well. IIRC it ended with just a single maga still uninjured and still awake, if barely.

No more likely than it is today i would think. But B is still certainly likely enough today.
I think A would be MORE common, but probably not much more common. Too much of the usual human failings, pride, greed, personal animosity, "bad chemistry" etc etc.


Ouch... OUCH... OUCH!
Thats too mean! Unless you want a lowpower saga of course.

We have recently taken a special approach in this area, due to the fact that if you ever play an apprentice magi, s/he will usually end up with art scores either at 0 or 4+, because its fairly uncommon to do things that gives that little XP, and also because if potential magi starts with "specialties", we though this should be visible when "opening the arts".
So, someone came up with the simple idea that when an apprentice gets his arts "opened", roll a 6 sided die 15 times and apply -1 to each roll, either once for each art, or all at once and then let the player or GM place the numbers as starting scores in the Arts.

This would also apply to creating fullgrown characters.
First batch created like this, looking good so far.

I don't think that breaks the game too. It's such a fast progression (13 XP/season), doesn't take into account distractions and suboptimization, and so on. It reminds of a Yeshiva, though - a few highl-level scholars engaged in endless disputations and challenging each other... I can see how would increase his Arts or knowledge this way.

On the matter of lowering arts: I'm currently running a saga where the Arts are raised as Abilities (in terms of XP needed for each level). Too early to tell how that goes.


Ah! Did you actually get to start that saga? Your web page seems inactive.

As for yeshiva... lol yeah. I think the Chavrutah rules in RoP:D don't really capture the potential of what happens (and because 'mesechtot' tends to be translated as 'tractates,' someone decided to treat the Talmud as tractatuses, which is thoroughly incongruent with how the Talmud is read...)



Had a first session, will have the second this Friday.

I'm afraid the website is intentionally designed to be static, so I won't have to change it each session... I do update the Session Logs page, so this provides a measure of the saga's progress. I promised myself to update the Story Hour before the next session, too... we'll see how it goes :slight_smile:

IIRC Ovarwa's system was such that everybvody could raise his arts to level 20-25 or so as has been said. Additionally, at character creation you got 15 points to spread around your Arts. a +1 bonus to an art cost 1 point, a +5 3 points and a +10 5 points. So, you can effectively reeach a level of 30-35 is an art (cpounting the +10 bonus) but that is your effective maximum.

I quite like it in fact, but my saga has yet to run to a point where the arts of the magi skyrocket (they are on their 15-25's right now)





I wrote that before Mystery stuff came out; if I rewrote it, I'd get rid of study from vis entirely, and let magi try to initiate better abilities. This has a great feature of forcing magi out of their labs in order to Quest for Art improvement.

A typical expert in an Art will have a score more like 25; 10 for a specialization and a score of 15, which costs 3 virtue points and 250xp. A fanatic with +15 and 1250xp for a total of 35... possible. A score of 40, at a cost of at least 6250xp? Bloody unlikely.

(10 points of minor Hermetic virtue "Puissant Arts." 1pt --> +5, 2pts --> +8, 3pts --> +10, 10pts --> +15; these bonuses act exactly as Puissant Art, and that virtue goes away. These points are free. Regular virtue points can be used to buy "Puissant Arts" again and again, adding points to the total. I didn't have a rule for initiation, but the minor virtue can be initiated! Doing the seven Quests needed to go from +10 to +15 has a wonderfully epic feel, and I can see some Zoroastrian-based cult having ten Labors that take a magus closer toward oneness with Ignem...)



Hmm. I might not remember the costs of my deviant rules right.

I think it's 1-->5, 3-->10 and 10-->15. The xp value of these is (10, 17, 25) per point under my xp system, and (15, 18, 12) canonically.

slow nod This is about right. Allowing 2-->8 doesn't hurt anything.

The 2 --> 8 hurts the 3--> 10 by comparison. it is not really worth it anymore to go for +3 there I would say, but that is me :slight_smile: The evolution is too linear to justify the cost.