Breakthrough: Hermetic Teacher

I think the Unaffected by the Gift idea being "taught" is probably the best one.

There's still the issue of teaching Hermetic magic to multiple students from one source.

Very solid, and I don't think you even need a min/maxed instructor. Teach the Gentle Gift to all students before you open the Arts, and the lab total is quite reasonable, serfs parma. Your starting instructors are very likely to be Jerbition, a university would appeal, I think, more to them then any other House, and as they retire, there will be a vastly larger pool of candidates with the Gentle Gift to choose from.

Where would I find rules allowing a Jerbiton (or anyone else) with Gentle Gift to "Train" another magus in it? Are you talking about an Initiation?

Being able to farm out the stabilization process is a house rule. Making your apprentices perform the research for you and stealing all the credit is not. An apprentice can do everything a Hermetic Magi can do. They can cast every spell, perform every lab activity. Sure their totals might be a bit lower, but getting a lab total of ten is hardly difficult.

Apprentices? I'd guess p40, Teaching Hermetic Virtues. IIRC you can only teach what you have.

He is talking about Apprentices, p.40f, Teaching Hermetic Virtues - and playing fast and loose with it. The author of Apprentices wrote here on the forum: - so keep that well in mind.

Anyway, if you are planning a campaign in the 14th century (and, as I assume, before the plague of 1348), Europe has become very different from the Mythic Europe setting in early 13th century. Population has grown, methods of agriculture improved and many, many wildernesses in Western and Middle Europe have been claimed for the plough, for herds or even for noble sports. Society there has also changed a lot: the economy is money-based almost everywhere, towns and cities are more independent and powerful, the Catholic Church is more centralized and better organized.

You have to decide, what has happened to the Order in the roughly 100 years since the classical Ars setting. Wilderness-based covenants in Western and Middle Europe might mostly have vanished. The Gentle Gift might have become dominant in the Order, even just because the remaining covenants - having now a choice between far more candidates for apprenticeship - follow the example of Schola Pythagoranis (Heirs to Merlin p.126ff), Oculus Septentrionalis (GotF p.70ff) or Cunfin (TLatL p.106ff) and do not take in apprentices without it. And the large libraries once hidden in the wilderness might be lost now with their covenants in some cataclysms. You could go as far as having magi answer: "Durenmar? I know no Durenmar!".
So, if a magus with Gentle Gift in a remote British covenant has devoted his life to his inclination for teaching in person, has come up with a Hermetic Teacher Breakthrough and developed it to a level, that reading a tractatus is sufficient to obtain its benefits, he might find more interest than he expected himself, in a greatly reduced Order.


Um, I thought he was talking about learning Supernatural abilities, which is in the core book. The trick was, ever level in a Form or Art counted against the lab total, making it very hard for any sort of experienced magi to learn them. But there was no real difficulty if you taught someone before they opened their Arts. In canon, you just need the Gift. Now, I know this is canon for stuff with skill levels, such as Enchanting Music, but I can't remember if you can do it for raw virtues like Gentle Gift. I would swear there's even a sidebar talking about how many virtues are taught, mage to apprentice. Again, memory.

Gentle Gift in the core book p.42 is marked as a Hermetic Virtue. So that wouldn't work even if it were an Ability.:wink:


Yep, I was referring to the Apprentice's version of "How do folks learn Virtues?" The answer is "you get minor ones via exposure to Arcane instruction - 10 seasons per minor virtue" or else "Your paren teaches them to you one they know in a season through an improvised/simplified initiation script, based on Teaching." The requirement is as follows:

Com + Teaching + 3 (+6 for 1:1 instruction) vs. 15 for minor virtues, or 21 for Major ones. No die roll: either you've got the levels, or you don't.

Hence my "you need to be min/maxed to pull this off". You can add in minor or major hermetic flaws to make it easier (+3/+9 on the total, respectively), but that's kind of a deuchebaggy move.

So the average Magi would need to have a Com+Teaching of 12 or better to actually teach Gentle Gift - So, likely Com 3 + Teaching 5 (Apprentices) + Strong Teacher.

OK, not COMPLETELY min-maxed, but it's certainly a bit optimized on Teaching. Drop Strong Teacher if you think it's OK to saddle your apprentice with a minor hermetic flaw in return for a major virtue - hey, it might be. That... is actually within the realm of reasonable possibility, if you looked for Jerbiton and/or other magi with good interpersonal skills.

And there's nothing in Apprentices that says you can't teach other magi, although I admit I hadn't seen the author's commentary on it. And the subject is about teaching relatively young magi (pre-gauntlet, I thought? Although this is an alt-future, so that might be a moot point), so they're still technically apprentices anyway.

That being said, I do agree with the question of "if it was that easy, why isn't everyone doing it?" There are answers to that, of course - the easiest being "it's labor-intensive". And I agree with Jonothan that it probably'd be easier to have everyone learn "Unaffected by the Gift". Unfortunately, it's a General virtue rather than a Hermetic one, so you can't pick it up this way. However, going back to the "Hogwarts Initation script" idea, it's relatively easy to do:

  1. Must travel to the University on the on the start of the Fall simester( Must travel to specific time/place +3)
  2. Must purchase school supplies (Sacrifice of goods/wealth +1)
  3. Student is hazed as part of the initiation process (Minor ordeal +3 - also allows non-Gifted initiates, I believe)
  4. Learning to work around magic is appropriate for a mystery cult based around teaching magic (Sympathetic bonus, +3)

Assuming the Headmistress/Mystagouge has Unaffected by the Gift, they would need a Com+Mystery Cult Lore(Hogwarts) of 5 or more (4+1 with specialization). Which is certainly doable. Seeing as Mystery Cult lore is pretty much the history, culture, and organization of your cult, I'm sure "Hogwarts: a History" is at least a lvl 3 summae...

No, that's not fast and loose with the rules, those are explicitly the rules.

Well, you're leaving out some important modifications. For every Hermetic Virtue an apprentice (or magus) knows, it becomes harder to pass on more virtues, and so there is a modifier. IIRC it's -3 per minor virtue and -6 per major and then there are bonuses for passing on a Hermetic Flaw of +3/+6 for minor/major.

(Underscore mine.)

I underlined the relevant part, which both Tugdual and I understood as a reference to Apprentices p.40ff. Now we know that Saxonous intended another reference, whose relevance is resolved in the meantime.

So do you really wish to say about

the following:

Then certainly ArM5 p.63 is not the rules you think of. So it is Apprentices p.40ff - despite its author stressing that these are not "the rules" for anything? So every student is an apprentice to a parens with the Gentle Gift? And a Teaching Source Quality of 21 is quite reasonable? Well, in that case I'd rather remind you of , in particular of:


Yet you can change your Gift to the Gentle Gift via a Mystery Cult Path so it is not unheard of...

Quoting me out of context, that's really quite nice.

It is perfectly reasonable, under RAW, to teach the Gentle Gift, I'd even go so far as to say it's possible before Opening the Arts. It's not something I'm terribly fond of, but Matt Ryan made a compelling argument. Of course, no one bothered to point out at the time that I wasn't correct, one of the Criamon paths has a method for gaining the Gentle Gift, but that's a Mystery Initiation, and not exactly on point. But let's stick to the matter at hand, shall we?

The necessary SQ, 21 to teach a major Hermetic virtue, when no other Hermetic Virtues are present. It's pretty hard to get to a teaching SQ 21 as a magus. Let's start off some obvious bonuses, constant +3, single student, and Good Teacher, which adds 14 to the SQ. We need to get 7 more out of Com and Teaching. Com 2 and Teaching 5, Com 3 and Teaching 4, take your pick. So now he's taught the Gentle Gift, and didn't impart a flaw. It only gets worse for anything else to be taught, especially another Hermetic Virtue. And I was wrong before, but, One Shot, you were kind enough not to point it out, it's +9 when teaching a Major Hermetic Virtue. So now the next Major that a prospective student might want is going to require a SQ of 30 without a flaw, 27 with a minor flaw, or back to 21 with a major flaw.

shrug I think this kind of school environment could be in response to the mundane world encroaching on the magical places, and it wouldn't be unreasonable to see it setup in some of the more well settled Tribunals like Normandy and Rome. But again, it's not playing fast and loose with the rules. It makes other things much harder to pull off, and I'd still stick to the limit of 10 points of virtues and flaws and the free House virtue, until they get involved in a Mystery Cult...

Going back to my point, it's not playing fast and loose with the rules, it is, explicitly in the rules. And if that choice is made, to teach all the apprentices the Gentle Gift, it just means that it will be harder to teach them anything else. So what?

Probably most importantly, in this setting, what's in it for the teachers? These all have to be magi who are Good Teachers, high come scores, and a significant amount of teaching ability, and they also probably have to have the Gentle Gift themselves (even the ones who teach other Major Hermetic Virtues later on in the curriculum, because their students won't have Parma, and will be affected by the teacher's Gift). What is their motivation for teaching in this setting. They certainly don't get a lab slave for up to 45 seasons in exchange for 15 seasons of teaching.

I think we have all missed a step. The biggest problem with a Hermetic University is, I believe we all agree, the social effects of The Gift. Assuming you have several "professors" lined up, do Original Research, with each Mage getting two or so breakthroughs, which shouldn't take long, assuming that magi who are eager to start a University have high Magic Theory. Then pool the breakthrough points. Now Original Research can be hard to work out with the Storyteller, but that won't be an issue here, because they won't be doing "Original Research", they will be incorporating The Gentle Gift into Hermetic Theory, so the social effects of The Gift will be removed for the Order itself. That would be fame enough to share, as well as solving the teaching problem, and no arguments about possible or power levels (save for those games which have banned the Gentle Gift, I suppose.). And far more efficient in time, resources, and Vis, then teaching the virtue to everyone or using a Mystery Cult, and it's one of the few virtues that is not reduced in power by sharing.......

From a story perspective, removing the effects of the Gift from the game does a lot. It makes grogs and companions less important. And Saxonous, you left out the answer to the most important question, what do the teachers who teach here get that they wouldn't get in a traditional apprentice structure.

I linked your full post, but did not copy parts irrelevant for the argument: no reason to complain.

He didn't. Indeed, he didn't even intend to give an argument "to teach the Gentle Gift". You better first read the entire thread again: , and then again the following quote from it:

Recall it now again? This is quite the opposite of having Apprentices "rule" that parentes can teach the gentle Gift to apprentices - it is just keeping the book Apprentices out of the decision making about it.


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You mean that Doctorcomics does not need to worry about a SG moderating the Breakthrough research here? Absolutely: it is his campaign. So the only issue is, whether he does believe in such a research as the base of his campaign world.


My point was there was no actual "Original Research" going on. The Gentle Gift is canon, and it's canon that every Hermetic Virtue, could with enough work, be incorporated into Hermetic Theory. So now the "burden of proof" is on the ST, not the player, as he, not the player, is the one changing canon.......

I didn't leave it out, Mr. Link, I'm not the one pushing for a University. DoctorRampage is the one pushing for it, I assume the professors will see some benefit in his game. He asked us how to make it happen, and I think incorporating The Gentle Gift into Hermetic Theory is the best way to do it (yes, it did take some time for that neuron to fire). Yes, things will change, but organically, in game, as the knowledge spreads, as leaders are replaced, etc. Anyone looking to make a Hermetic University is already on the change boat, yes?

(Underscore mine) For this being possible with HoH:TL Breakthrough research the "burden of proof" is still on you.