Breakthrough: Hermetic Teacher

(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.


One Shot:
Sure, but the quotation you made has no context. Context is more than, you said this, and exactly this, at this point in time. Do you honestly believe I didn't read that thread the first time, let alone again before posting just now? So, are you really asking me to recall the post, or are you asking me if it says what you think it says?
Reading the last sentence certainly suggests that it is, as of the publication of Apprentices, canonical to teach the Gentle Gift. Saying "If you think it is dumb[...] don't let it work in your Mythic Europe" is basically saying house rule it so it doesn't work. If you have to house rule it, it is either unclear or it is RAW. In this instance, I don't think it is unclear in the slightest. I don't even come close to your conclusion: "quite the opposite of having Apprrentices 'rule' that parentes can teach the gentle Gift." The lack of errata on this point also seems to suggest that it is RAW. And as it was explicitly stated in that thread, any troupe can decide to change RAW to something that fits better for their saga. Indeed your entire proposed errata was nothing more than trying to enshrine the concept that troupes can change the rules into the book.
It has to be more than just the mechanics. Wouldn't it just be much simpler to integrate Unaffected by the Gift? It would at least not lesson the impact of the individual's Gift on mundanes, and would leave the use of Grogs and Companions a place in the scheme of things. It basically makes it like the apprentices have Parma Magica, blocking the effects of the Gift.

In all honesty the Grogs and Companions should still be doing a lot of work. Really, they should do everything that doesn't require a mage. Writing MT books, penetration books, scribing, setting up labs and so forth. Actually that would be a key part of a magic "university". Get a bunch of normals, drill all the arcane abilities into their brains and make them write and teach!

You will have read this post in the same thread as well, from another author: . Here's the relevant part for this discussion:

Got it from Timothy Ferguson now? Do you still wish to argue canon from Apprentices?


I can imagine a campaign where the Grogs are part of a coven, and get initiated (Hedge Magic style) into Unaffected by the Gift when joining the covenant.


Well, no, I don't think so. The difference between Hermetic Virtues and Supernatural Virtues is that Hermetic Virtues work within the Hermetic system of magic. That's canon. And the rules reflect that, as seen on P29 of True Lineages, "Breakthroughs in Play", paragraph three. "Major Breakthroughs still work within the Hermetic system, and are often Hermetic Virtues, so that learning one is not as difficult as learning a Supernatural Virtue. You do not need to subtract your total Hermetic Arts score from the Source Quality of the teaching score. A second exception is that, although Major Breakthroughs will most likely teach a Hermetic Virtue that does not have an associated Ability in game terms, they may still be taught in this manner.". The Gentle Gift is a Hermetic Virtue, it can be taught, and easily because you don't have to subtract your Hermetic Arts total. Canon. (And the rule about having one Hermetic Virtue only applies at Character Creation.) All integrating does, at this point, is get rid of some of the scut work. But there is nothing in the "Breakthroughs in Play" section that even implies that a breakthrough cannot be integrated into Hermetic Theory. Allowing a breakthrough is all on the ST. Once it's been allowed, stopping the integration is against canon.

One Shot, we are not in a troupe together, your argument about arguing canon is specious at best and disingenuous at worst.

We are in a discussion forum. We work from and discuss canon and RAW here, because if we don't, it's not a common frame of reference, and we can end any any and all discussions, well, it's my saga, we don't do that or some variation thereto. If you don't like the Gentle Gift being taught, that's fine, I happen to not care for it a whole lot, but I can live with it, and if I really don't like it, make it a HR in the sagas I'm a part of, if everyone else agrees, but that's not RAW. It is not playing fast and loose with the rules, as you called it; it is in the rules that you can teach the Gentle Gift, or even Mythic Blood or any Major Hermetic Virtue. Come up for a story reason for it, if you must, but it is certainly in the rules.

One last thing about context. The context of that rather large quotation you made, was that it was in response to your comment about you pasting a piece of text into the Apprentices book as a justification for saying it's canonical at your gaming table. At the gaming table, canon doesn't have to matter if the players don't agree that it matters. In a discussion forum, discussing the game, canon has to matter for a frame of reference. Even the example that Timothy used was about what happens at the table.

So yes, I will argue canon all the live long day with you, since we are not in a troupe.

As you phrase it, it is not clear to me what you mean by "work within the Hermetic system of magic".

So, this only shows how sometimes the results of Breakthroughs can be defined as Hermetic Virtues - the wrong way around for your argument.

If "it can be taught" is a conclusion, it is so far wrong logic. If it is a further argument, it appears to rely on a book which is not supposed to be used for canon arguments by players.

This is tmk correct. But for "Hermetic Breakthroughs" the troupe can determinine just how they are integrated, because "Hermetic Breakthroughs represent their own problems of integration." And for Major Breakthroughs the SG still sets the number of Breakthrough points for the Major Breakthrough doing the integration.


The discussion in this thread is about a campaign that Doctorcomics may start sometime. You have seen the book's author and also Timothy Ferguson recommend to remove Apprentices, in particular the part on which Virtues a parens can teach to his apprentice, from arguments in player canon discussion, and hence from that "common frame of reference" you are touting. So what do you still want to argue canon about from Apprentices? Does your "common frame of reference" have any value besides ArM5 games? AFAIK you are not an author anyway, or discussing with authors here.


I mean if the rules apply, then it's fine. If the rules don't apply, then you can't play fast and loose with them. My problem with the characterization of playing fast and loose with the rules, which you have to admit is a reference to RAW, and not a reference to how it is applied in this particular instance. If you don't wish to discuss RAW, don't bring it up, and certainly don't say that someone else is playing fast and loose with the rules, when in actuality they aren't doing anything of the sort.

Timothy, to my mind, never recommended to remove Apprentices from canon, is that your take on what he said based on his comment in a thread about Apprentices? His example didn't even mention Apprentices. His advice was general and could be applied to any rule or book. The SG of the game can propose whatever he wants. The players either agree to it or don't, and you move on.

Doctorcomics started this thread with a premise, based on RAW. Why ask about breakthroughs, otherwise? Bringing this back around to the OP, I wouldn't even attempt to integrate Gentle Gift into Hermetic Theory and make it a part of all magi, I think that takes a lot away from the setting. There are two problems that need to be resolved, how to prevent a room full of students from hating and mistrusting each other so much that they don't try killing each other and how to teach Hermetic Arts to more than one student at a time. My personal suggestion for the first problem, is to integrate Unaffected by the Gift, despite it being a general virtue, because when magi have their Parma up, that's what it's like, they are unaffected by anyone else's Gift.

If you want to take the author's ideas to a logical (and in-the-book RAW) conclusion, a troupe can ignore each and every rule in the book if doing so makes the game un-fun for them: Lords of Men, pg. 125 (I think - it's about Incapacitating damage, and what to do when PC's get killed.) Which, in turn, is just a re-statement of the "rule 0: have fun" rule, which I think is in the core rulebook somewhere. So, yes: if it doesn't work for your table, then it is RAW to ignore the rule.

That seems to be what the author was talking about. For him, teaching Gentle Gift isn't fun for his troupe, so he'd have a problem with it. But the rules don't explicitly disallow it (as he had a chance to do when he was writing up the list of "allowable virtues," but decided not to include it), so it's a troupe call (like everything else). He just was part of setting up the framework, and it's up to the troupe to decide what the consequences are, via storylines.

However, responding to each and every rules question with "go with what is fun and ignore everything else" is not an answer to a question about the rules. If that was the case, then the core rulebook would be significantly smaller and less useful. As Jonathan said - here on the forums we only have RAW - we aren't a part of each other's troupes, so we can't claim "X is wrong" - rather, we can say only "the rules say X, and for our troupe we've done Y".

And we've got the rules saying "you can teach Hermetic Virtues" - Gentle Gift is a Hermetic virtue. Therefore, you can teach it. We've also got the author who wrote that saying "I'd not do that, but instead of prohibiting the ones I didn't think were appropriate I decided to write out the framework, and let everyone's troupes determine the consequences for themselves".

(And on a side note - if you're going to fully integrate Gentle Gift as opposed to simply have folks teach it, it's probably not necessary to use the Hermetic Research rules for it - I believe that, since Gentle Gift occurs naturally, you can use the less-Warp-inducing Integration rules, instead. Ie, the ones listed in Ancient Magics and Hedge Magic, rather than the ones in True Lineages.)

EDIT - that being said, if the author of the book says "I'd probably not do that", I would personally take a long and hard look as to why he said that. As Jonathan mentioned, getting rid of the Gift penalty significantly changes the game. Now, if you WANT to play through that (as had been mentioned, either through natural selection, or as an experitment in alt-history, or whatever) then that's certainly up to the troupe. But I happen to agree that everyone having the gift would radically change the Order - to the point where it probably wouldn't be recognizable as the Order any more. If that's what you want, then go for it - but it's definitely a high-level, genre-changing event.