I think for long term progression for him I'd like to see him pursuing both Hermetic Astrology/Celestial Magic as well as Cult of Mercury/Mercurian aimed magic.
Vorsutus doesn't like direct confrontation unless he has already completely planned it out. I also aim for him to have Mercurian Magic initiated with the Cult of Mercury/Neo-Mercurians (are they the same or different or comingled together in the eyes of the troupe?) and to have a strong emphasis on ceremonial/sympathetic magic that he can use from a distance/home. He would be much more of a plotter, investigator, and one striving to manipulate the situation without revealing himself if he can.
Though he also is of norse descent/upbringing and was apprenticed in the mafia Covenant of Rellantalli... so raiding and stealing and whatnot isn't beyond his conception. Especially if there are no Covenants involved on the other end to complain.
I see him as being quite incongruous in his both high regard/friendliness towards Magi while being vindictively biased against most mundanes. I am thinking of taking Infamous to give him a bad reputation amongst mundanes as a master of curses one should not offend to reflect that.
Hermetically I see his line of astrological magi being in good regard as diviners/seers, and due to both his own talent and being from that line I was thinking of taking Hermetic Prestige so that he is known and perhaps sought after for those skills, and someone other magi often find helpful/accommodating.
I think I'll need to get to know the immediate setting of the Covenant before deciding much more. But in general I see him as on the calculating/strategic side but with a strong pro-Order/anti-Mundane (or hedge wizard etc.) commitment/bias.
I think he would readily assist with an investigation if requested. I plan on having some basic abilities in the area of Intellego but not a lot of development there to start with. More a sideline that he can keep growing further into over time. His primary forte I aim to be the ceremonial/sympathetic/ritual magic angle. I'll be reading up on "Intangible Assassin" notes here soon to brush up before digging into the design.
For Vorsutus perhaps long term he might make something of a divination/intellego backup/supplement as well as an "Intangible Hoplite" if you will, to assist with Rogue Magi and/or other types of threats.
Sounds interesting! Happy to welcome a fellow Mercurian!
In my opinion the difference between neo-Mercurians and the Cult of Mercury is analogous to Charismatic Catholics compared to Roman Catholics - one group being much bigger and less devout, while the other group is a bit fanatical and more into a direct personal relationship with the supernatural - but overall they have a good amount in common.
Ok. I'm asking to start spinning my wheels in that direction. =]
But with the Cult of Mercury I can't help much. Not my favorite cult.
Would this work with him moving to a new covenant and being, at least at first, unknown to the mundanes there? Also, is this a flaw if he has Blatant Gift and is already unlikely to interact heavily with mundanes (or be seen in a good light by them)?
Oh, I was thinking about his Divination. It's a major virtue, I assumed you would rise it as much as possible and make it a staple of Vorsutus to get the most of it.
I kind of see his Ex Misc. tradition as being a very roman descended astrologer lineage, and thus their own magical lineage that is strongly associated with the Cult of Mercury/Neo-Mercurians but not strictly speaking exactly the same and likely has some tricks of their own up their sleeve.
I think so, depending. The reputation itself should manifest itself regardless. And/or be something that would generally make itself known somehow. Yet Blatant Gift doesn't automatically make you known in any way. If you are careful you can stay off the radar as a Blatant Gifted type. Infamous however means you are already on the radar in potentially interesting (negative in the eyes of most) ways, and that staying off the radar isn't strictly speaking an option anymore.
We'll see how it works out in character creation/progression. I don't intend to totally ignore it but really the other angle is his primary priority. I'd be happy coming into play with it at perhaps a 3 to a 5, if you will. Also bear in mind that divination by astrology, while flexible and capable of unusual feats, is time consuming. He has to sit down and do astrological calculations etc. for considerable time for each effect. And the totals are overall rather low, which means it is much preferred to do it at home in an aura and with an arcane connection.
So I would see him as excelling in the "preparation phase" of gathering information, provided the right ACs have already been gathered to facilitate that. But if the guy is standing in front of you it is much faster to cast Posing the Silent Question if you will. Which is something he may want to grow into eventually, but my first priority for him will be rounding out more as a Vim specialist than in Intellego.
Howdy y'all! When it rains new players, it pours apparently?
So I haven't settled 100% on a concept (a classic Ars problem, too many fun ideas), but I've always wanted to make hermetic theurgy work, so I'm leaning hard in that direction. Yes yes, yet another Mercurian, I know. What can I say? It's a chance to play in a saga where I wouldn't be the only one!
That said, I know anytime summoners come into play that it can potentially provide some strong feelings from folks, so I wanted to gauge reaction before I got too far into things.
Vortigern, you mentioned you want to initiate Mercurian Magic during post-gauntlet advancement (if I understood correctly). I can't find it at the moment, but I think there was a previous consensus from the troupe to let initiations happen in actual play (i.e. after the characters join the covenant).
My design goal was/is Mercurian Magic and Great Talisman.
Is there a restriction in place? A man should know these things!
I can understand either way. It is nice to get a build done that you want. And yet I do tend to think people underplay the depth/commitment and whatnot of Mystery Cults and the process of Initiation itself. I don't think I'm aiming for a lot, but I don't want to take anything that was denied to everyone else already either.
Any critique or advice for how I have things so far? Can always use a second set of eyes in Ars!
Thanks for the welcome folks! And I'd be happy to expand more shortly Vort, I just want to get some thoughts on a thing or two before I jump too deeply into a concept is all!
So the big one I have at present is about a focus. Thinking about a focus in Spirit Magic, and wanted to gauge reaction on what it would cover. By RAW, a minor would cover the ReVi guidelines that involve summoning/commanding/warding against spirits. Well, that and if I were to bind a spirit as a familiar using ReVi.
So then the question becomes, what if I try to make it a major? Would that cover summoning spell spirits from Hermetic Theurgy? While it's arguably far less broad than plenty of the majors listed in the core rules, the biggest complaint I could see is that it could in theory, cover a ton of other guidelines from just that "one". On the flip side, there's the fact that you would still need the arts in question, and are subject to the significant restrictions that come along with spell spirits (extremely limited pen, taking twice as long to cast, no rituals, etc). Honestly, you'd probably be better off finding a spirit capable of casting and or sponting what you want and binding them into service with ReVi instead of bothering with a spell spirit, but I digress.
Again, just trying to be upfront and having any necessary discourse with the troupe before diving too deep. Better to do it now and prevent any hard feelings from anyone after the fact, ya know?
Looking at it in isolation (without factoring in something like Theurgy) a Major Focus in Spirit Magic doesn't really even cover a very broad array of magic in base Hermetic effects. Spirit control, spirit summoning, spirit wards, spirit might destruction. Probably detecting spirits. I have trouble of thinking of much else. Compared to RAW foci like Damage, Weather, or Necromancy ... that doesn't seem overpowering to me.
Hermetic Theurgy does kind of change those assumptions, but it comes with its own limiting factors as you point out, and involves a fourth virtue point at least. Spell spirit spells are nifty and it is a versatile style of specialist magic with pros and cons. The biggest "pros" are I think exactly what you are concerned about, the flexibility and being able to take that focus in spirit magic (or something like it) and apply it to a broader array of spells. The cons however are speed, penetration, and that ritual magic takes daimons and not spell spirits. There is also the fact that it still uses the hermetic art combination for whatever effect you want to get a spell spirit for. Whereas you can do much more generic summoning without having that problem if you wanted to focus on ReVi summoning magic. (That has its own complexities and pros/cons of course.) So I think there are subtleties to the pros/cons of this kind of magic, and it certainly doesn't all fall on the positive side. There are real tradeoffs made with going the theurgic route, gains and losses. It is beneficial in my opinion in that it gives you concrete spirits/summons that have very defined abilities, without having to engage in deep character design/building like a full Magic Character writeup.
From my read of the material this seems to be intended functioning. I would readily grant that people can have other takes however.
One thing from my own experience & preference, I have always disliked treating spell spirits as individual spirits that can be killed and now your spirit is gone and your spell design season is now just gone/wasted. I prefer to treat spell spirits as aspects in order to prevent this from occurring.
Thanks for the thoughtful reply Vort! Hopefully I can get a few more thoughts on the matter, even if it's just indicating that folks don't particularly care. Want to get the troupe's input on the matter before moving forward.
Also check this thread. Seems like 3 pawns is standard?