Comments on a new flaw - Submissive Magic

Submissive Magic
Major, hermetic flaw
Your magic, while as individually as strong as other magics, tends to adapt itself to other magic rather than compete with it. When directly opposing another magic your lowest art is counted as 0 (or you lose the bonus from the Magical Focus). When enchanting Penetration into a device you only receive half the usual bonus. This flaw gives you a bonus of +10 when trying to identify unknown magic. This flaw gives you a bonus of +10 to avoiding your spells being noticed by others (treat any spell as if it was 2 magnitudes lower when identifying using the Intellego Vim guidelines or Magic Sensitivity)

The basic idea behind this flaw is to make it easier for a Magus' Gift to work with someone other persons magic. I am trying to create an initiation ritual to "inherit" a talisman. Usually the effects in a talisman are linked/designed for the original owner. I am aiming for a process where a persons gift can be "altered" to be close enough for it to count.

This is a major flaw because it really messes up things like Certamen and any type of direct magical combat as all of your Casting/Penetration totals will be reduced.

If anyone else has any ideas on how to achieve this I will be grateful. I want it to be possible, even if it causes them a lot of suffering.

Always interesting to see new flaws. I have a heap of questions if I can ask before giving a hell yes/no opinion.

Assume it applies to Parma and MR? (youch!)
Is the basic guideline for when the flaw applies as (a) when Pen would apply to any roll or total?
Is the flaw limited to the Magic realm, or all supernatural powers, such as MR from Fae? Or just Hermetic magic?
How would this spell combine with Wizards Communion, which is a more of an additive spell?
And would also apply when trying to alter another caster's magic using MuVi, regardless of their intent? Or even the casters own spells?
Normally I'd suggest a Flaw shouldn't have boons within it's design too, but that might be just the devil's advocate in me.

Not really considered that, I don't think so. Do you mean incoming against your Parma, or acting against someone else' Parma? External, as in magic on other magi? Yes. Your Penetration totals are lower.

Your casting is limited, only against Magic Beings, as it is a Magic Flaw. The Enchanted Penetration penalty is general.

Magic Realm only.

Don't think it would apply, unless you are the lead magus.

Yes, it doesn't matter what the reason, their magic is always more dominant.

This is a flaw to make the magic less powerful, so it is harder to detect as a consequence. This is only a really minor bonus.

Compare to the minor flaw "Weak Magic" on page 61 of the 5th edition rulebook, where you have normal penetration total for spells and only get half benefit enchanting penetration into items. What makes this flaw three times worse than that? This is an interesting flaw, but doesn't feel strong enough to be a major flaw.

I'd reconsider this.

Most virtues and flaws do one thing, maybe two. New virtues and flaws should be similar. (Exceptions are Story Flaws and a few core Virtues such as Mythic Blood and Strong Faerie Blood that intentionally reflect fundamental aspects of the setting.)

Depending on how you count, this one does at least four different things, maybe six. That's bad, maybe even Infernal.

New virtues and flaws should not introduce new mechanics, except when the new mechanic is itself the point. That's not the case here. Worse, some of these are vague: What does "opposing someone else's magic" really mean? When trying to identify other magic, you get a +10 bonus to what... casting score? casting total? Perception skill total? Lab Total? Never mind the nightmare of trying to decide which two magnitudes to subtract from Intellego magic.... which is another totally new mechanic.

Only Minor Story Flaws should include significant benefits. This thing includes two. Consider the following as a Minor Virtue: You get a +10 bonus to any die roll to identify unknown magic. A flaw that includes something like this is hardly a major flaw.

Finally, flaws already exist that hamper a magus' ability to penetrate. Why not choose one or more of those?

In short: Not a major flaw, not a minor flaw, but a majorly flawed flaw.

Just me,


Could you make Submissive Magic a new minor hermetic flaw which halves Pen for spells? It means that it can be added to Weak Magic in character design to get to a similar end result for the character, and the look at a new minor virtues to get the increase to magical investigation you're after.

Maybe "Slight Magic" (because subtle magic is taken) for the effect where you spells are harder to detect - and I'd ramp up the advantage if it was a minor virtue. Something like: the magi's spells are considered half their normal level for the purposes of being detected by opposing InVi spells.

And "Dissecting Magic" for the ability to better investigate powers invested in magical devices. It'd be tempted also not have it a straight +10 modifier, and instead look for another existing mechanic, like a mMF. It might also allow the magus to better understand and translate lab notes.

Doesn't Weak Magic already do this, for both Spells and devices such a magus produces?

From Core 5th:

*Emphasis mine

I agree with Ovarwa's general assessment about the Flaw trying to do too many things. I'd break it up into separate Virtues and Flaws. I also agree with the fact that it's not very clear how it would work. For example, if your magic is trying to hide you from other magic, does it incur the penalty, benefit from the bonus, or both? If your Parma attempts to resist an effect, do you get no Form bonus (the only Art that applies is counted as 0...)?

In general, is there a reason why you want these particular mechanics, or do you just want want a magus who's good at working with other magic but bad at working against it? I just don't think that magic that is weak at opposing other magic should have any easier time identifying other magic, particularly deceptive magic, or hiding from it. On the other hand, it might have some kind of bonus when doing stuff like casting Wizard Communion.

Yes, you're dead right Ignes Festivus (Ars p.61 now that I've opened the book)

As I said in the original post, this flaw is a possible way to do inherit someone else' talisman. I wanted the flaw to be costly in other areas.

How about this instead, not sure if it should be Major/Minor:

Hermetic Virtue
Chameleon Magic
Your Gift will adapt itself to spells cast on it. If a high level spell or effect was not designed for you, the first time it is cast on you, you gain a warping point (as normal). After that, your gift has adapted to the magic in the spell/effect and the spell is classed as designed for you.
You still gain warping points from all other sources as usual.

Oh! I see now: I had failed to realize that the main point was "adapting" a talisman's magic to another owner, in terms of a) restricted use and b) warping from high level effects.

Other than the name, and the "justification" (I don't think it's an issue of one's Gift "adapting", since effects can be designed for mundanes too) I think this is a fair minor hermetic virtue.


Minor, definitely not major, and completely legit, imo. If you make it a Supernatural Virtue, and get rid of references to the Gift, anyone can take it. It becomes intriguingly useful for grogs, failed apprentices and other characters likely to benefit from having big spells cast on them.

This is much better! I notice how straightforward and simple this is. I like the way it leverages existing game mechanics (designed for me vs not designed for me).

A major version might be: All magical effects are considered to be designed for you. Among other benefits, you do not accrue extra Warping Points for being subject to high-magnitude effects not intended for you, and you can use Longevity Rituals designed for other people as though they were designed for you.

For obscure reasons, House Tremere classifies magi with the latter virtue as "Type AB."



Not all of House Tremere are vampires...... 8)

How about "Magical Adaptation"? Your body adapts to magic cast on you?