Ceremony as a major virtue?

i was wondering why is ceremony a major virtue??

Salvete, Sodales!

Actually, that isn't the case - at least not for everybody. Worshippers of the 'Divine' as well as those of Faerie-deities take 'ceremony' as minor virtue, only Infernalists have to pay for a major one, and I can't remember a magical version of this, although some traditions have probably something similar, e.g. hermetic magi their Wizards' Communion.
This is no answer to the 'Why', it actually adds the question, why the realms are treated differently here, whereas many other mechanics seem to be the same.

Alexios ex Miscellanea

Most of the Ceremony virtues are Minor (Divine, Hyperborean & Faerie). As for the Infernal version, I suppose it could be an errata, but you'd think someone would've caught it by now...

Perhaps it has something to do with ease by which infernalists can increase their Characteristics and the fact that participants in an infernal ceremony are more likely to possess Supernatural abilities, but even with all that I'd tend to think that being limited to 12 participants (or the leader's Leadership score) would tend to make their magic ceremonies less effective than the other types...

ACtually it gets tricky using ceremony,

For, example, we had a Kabbalist that wanted to get the jewish community to join him in praying for something (abjuration effect). The problem is that if he included all the men of the community, the high ints and low ints would cancel out so that it is 0 int average and Kabbalism wasn't common that on average, each menber joining was giving a -1 to the total. He only got really a benefit if they had int 2 (or int+kabbalism) of 2 or higher. Needless to say, he barely made minyan of 10 for a bonus (and this in Paris in 1050's)

Infernals can raise their abilitis higher lot easier than anyone other than a high powered creo mage (level 35+ ritual spells). They are also much more likely to have infernal powers to add to the ritual. All in all, the ceremony is much more likely to have those that can really contribute.

Well, i know ceremony can be powerful (yes, i'm designing some group with an average of 4 in ceremony ^^, but if not maximised, 3 points virtue is... expensive.

And if other versions are minor (f&aerie and divine), i don't understand why to pick the infernal ceremony rather than the.. say... faerie.

For me, a virtue is either minor or major but not depending of the "source" of it...

i'll do all the infernalist being primarly supernatural faerie cermonialists, and that would be good.

Or is it me who think that a virtue must have ONE cost and not a variable one?

Salvete, Sodales!

Well, perhaps Ceremony(infernal) works with infernal supernatural abilities, whereas Ceremony (divine) and Ceremony (faerie) only work with the powers of their realms - at least this sounds pretty likely to me. If ladyphoenix was right with her assumption that this was more helpful for infernalists, then a different value would be appropriate.
My only problem is that at least divine supernatural abilities don't seem to be that difficult to learnh, either, at least not if you are member of a holy tradition. For example, I wouldn't consider it as odd, if the magi came around a cathedral chapter completly consisting of Cantores, especially as ROP:TD hints at the possibility to teach divine supernatural abilities via initiation. So the validity of this argument really seems to depend on the availability of people with appropriate supernatural abilities in a given saga.

Alexios ex Miscellanea

There is something else to consider for Divine. Divine ceremonies can't be used to sin (they are dominion based powers after all). Divine supernatural abilities all have normal ability costs.

Infernal powers can be used for almost anything and they use accelerated abilities. (15 xp dominion power is 2 in the power, 15 in infernal is 5 in the power). This means you have higher ranks of the power being combined. Four people with 15 xp combined in ceremony is total +8 to roll for divine (and divine has some high diffs) while same four with say summoning have a +20 to their roll. This is a very likely thing. If infernal can also raise abilities, this means this is even more of a plus.

I think faerie supernatural abilities are in the same slow advancement as dominion.

As for traditions and learning them. Most traditions have a couple powers and couple methods. Good luck getting more than 2 of each. (Our kabbalist was going to be mythic companion and have both methds and all three powers of his tradition but he had 21 virtue points). To learn them after character creation you have to either subtract your score in other divine/supernatural powers or belong to tradition AND you need true faith (without true faith, you can't learn other abilities at all, just as you need gift to learn other supernatural abilities)

Except the Goetic Ars, i don't find any accelerated abilities. Or were you speaking about them?
Well ...
the faster way was to have a good teacher in ceremony able to initiate you. That's done.

That is what infernal ceremony is mostly used with: the Goetic arts. Since they are acceleratd abilities, I could see why the ceremonies taht you use with them are major virtue rather than minor.

Ars Goetia (and Ars Fabulosa) are Arts not Accelerated Abilities and thus (I believe) unaffected by Ceremony which affects "(Realm) Supernatural Abilities, Methods & Powers".

The more I think about it the more I think the cost of the Infernal variant reflects the ease of gaining infernal abilities (Ie a group of 5 infernalists could find (or initiate) 8 people with scores of 1 in ceremony and an infernal power much more easily than Faerie or Divine magicians could.

#1 = Communication 3, Incantation 6, Malediction 3, Ceremony 4
#2 = Communication 3, Incantation 2, Malediction 2, Ceremony 1
#3 = Communication 2, Incantation 3, Malediction 2, Ceremony 1
#4 = Communication 2, Incantation 2, Malediction 3, Ceremony 1
#5 = Communication 2, Incantation 2, Malediction 2, Ceremony 2
#6-13 Communication 0, Incantation 1, Malediction 0, Ceremony 1

Group Modifier = 17 - 13 = +4

Casting Total = Communication 12 + Incantation 22 + Malediction 3 + Aura 4 + Die 6 + Group Modifier 4 = 51.
If 6-13 had no Incantation the total would be only 44.
If 6-13 had no Ceremony the total would be only 47.
If 6-13 had no Ceremony or Incantation the total would be only 40.

In short, I believe that the infernal traditions enjoy a significant advantage when conducting leaderless Ceremonies. Even more so when you consider the possibility of using (multiple?) sacrifices.

Yes and it's matter for the puissant.

What are "ars fabulosa"?

ExarKun intersted.

Ars Fabulosa are "Solo Arts" like Ars Goetia and are used for summoning and bargaining with Faeries. They consist of Summoning, Bonding, Captivating & Dismissing. The rules are found in RoP: F.

Anyway, the reason I brought up Ars Fabulosa is that their introduction struck me as a chance for the development team to tidy up the system a bit by retconning Ars Goetia into Accelerated Abilities, but they declined to do so. It also ties into an old argument about why the Goetic Arts weren't just made into accelerated abilities by suggesting that they were made Arts specifically so that they couldn't be used with Ceremony (Societates came out soon enough after RoP: TI that the Acclerated Arts rules would have been written and well play-tested by the time the infernal book was published).

The obvious problem with this argument, which I realize only as I'm typing this, is that it would have been just as easy to simply rewrite the Ceremony ability so that it precludes use with Accelerated Abilities...

Hmm. Well, I guess something about the authors' intentions would be helpful here. I probably won't settle any troupe arguments though. :slight_smile:

The three realm versions of Ceremony are all different. Divine Ceremony is the most powerful, since it allows both organized and disorganized ceremonies of any size. I don't have my books in front of me, but as I recall it, Infernal Ceremony only allows disorganized ceremonies of 13, and Faerie Ceremony allows disorganized ceremonies of any size, but does not have organized ceremonies. So it would seem that looking at it this way, Divine Ceremony should be Major and the other two Minor, based on how powerful they are.

The Divine does Ceremony really well, though. In much the same way that the Divine guidelines for healing a wound are one magnitude lower than the Hermetic guidelines, we wanted Divine Ceremony to be easier to come by, about as common as Sense Holiness/Unholiness or Second Sight. So Divine Ceremony was established as a Minor Virtue. It can be taught to those with True Faith, but is also found often among other divine-oriented characters.

When the time came to adapt the ability to Infernal, I wanted to make Ceremony a little more difficult for outsiders to come by. Infernal Ceremony and other evil powers are generally transmitted by teaching, not by initiation or by accidents of birth. The characters associate with infernalists and so pick up their evil knowledge from them. So, Infernal Ceremony is Major so that it isn't an easy pick for starting characters. Only dedicated infernalists will have it, and then only if it's common to their infernalist tradition.

When Infernal was written, Accelerated Abilities (and Difficult Arts) had not yet been established. My intention was that the Goetic Arts should be treated like Hermetic Arts when increasing them or applying Virtues like Puissant. They're basically Supernatural Abilities that use the Art experience scale. The Ars Fabulosa are the same, and I think it's specified that they can be learned like Supernatural Abilities. That's pretty important, since all the realm-based hedge magics use that same system; they don't have opening rituals, since they don't have The Gift.

I generally think of Summoning and the other realm "Arts" as solo activities, rather than involving a big group. However, if a character had both Summoning and Ceremony and wanted to combine them, I guess I wouldn't object.

And yes, I agree that Faerie Ceremony should only work with faerie wizardry, not with Infernal activities.