Consolidating Possible Expansions of Hermetic Theory

While I in general agree with Major for any single specific type, we went with Minor for changing the "Awaken a plant" Base as long as it was changed to specifically only work on living plants and included another restriction (which ended up being 'specified type of plant').

There are a few others, in general effects which do not cause some major change to the targets essential nature, which might be able to slip by as a Minor rather than Major breakthrough if they are restricted in a similar way. Any comment?

Both Thebes and Hibernia have been invaded. Perhaps the reasoning is different but…

IMO, a better working of that would not be to base it on the virtue but to add the MT of the author at the time of writing.

Effects generated through Integration rather than OR (as is being attempted of this in my own Saga) often do not match the original Virtue. Using the authors MT instead of a flat +6 is perfectly acceptable. The Virtue in this case is just the core source of inspiration for the research, with the desired result not actually being a Virtue.

It would not even be much difference in the notation, since we were considering using "EF" (for Enhanced Formula) as the notation at the end of Lab Text with it (so written as something like "Ball of Abysmal Flame (EF)". This could be changed to "EF#".

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That is most of the time way more than +6 save for freshly-out-of-gauntlet-mages. Powercreep is probably more healthy in small steps. This also adds an extra layer of bookkeeping to labtexts. Maybe if you change it to 'the reader's MT score at the time of reading' instead of the author's at thentime of writing?

A better fix IMO would be the author’s MT at time of writing capped at the reader’s MT. It definitely should not be just the reader’s MT, that does not make sense.

I don't have much to contribute at this time but I do want to say that this thread of interesting possible expansion to Hermetic theory is brilliant. So many awesome ideas.


A variant I did create was modifying the Faerie familiar cords to be suitable for magic creatures. It could lead to some interesting potentials there.

That sounds terrible. I would never want to subject a myself to the negative cords and the fact that the faerie familiars hate being bound as familiars is why I would never play a faerie loving Merinita who binds a faerie.

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The rules for faerie familiars are in House of Hermes Mystery Cults. So there are people who use it.

Me, I like the idea for a magical familiar, so I modified it in my story game. The magus went on adventurers and studied magic and such and was able to unlock it. He actually let Merinita magi look over his notes in order to showcase that he did not steal House secrets.

Sure, but I would assume the negatives come with the positive so now your magic familiar finds the cords painful.

I think for sufficiently narrow cases you could absolutely justify Minor, yeah. A single result, breakthrough restricted to living plants and spells using the breakthrough restricted to a single type of living plants, definitely qualifies.

Esdras specifically is dabbling in two different possible Major cases (permanent cosmetic changes to eye color, hair color, skin tone, facial structure etc;, originally inspired by noticing that CrMe "increase presence" rituals sometimes (but not always!) had appropriate minor permanent physical side effects even without Corpus requisites) and permanent gender change (out of sheer ambition). He would do well to focus on one or the other, but he never expects to finish either and it gives me an excuse for a wider variety of interesting experimental results to show up :stuck_out_tongue:

Not including all the ones in published books I think I have a few. They might be a bit out there, as a lot of the more obvious stuff is already covered somewhere:

  • Parma Magica related ones (these might be too setting-changing):
    • Figuring out how to grant magic resistance via spells. Non-hermetic effects and the parma can do it, there's no hard reason why hermetic magic shouldn't be able to.
    • Figuring out what exactly about the parma negates the social penalty of the gift and allowing it as a separate effect.
    • Fully integrating the Aegis of the Hearth.
  • Creating minds with CrMe. This specifically means animal-like minds (i.e. the 5 wits, but no soul/reason) which hermetic magic can already manipulate. Some non-standard spells might implicitly do this already (e.g. "The Shadow of Life Renewed").
  • Awakening inanimate objects. Warping/magic exposure can cause objects to awaken just like some plants can, so allowing this via magic seems plausible.
  • Cheaper and more flexible guidelines for temporarily increasing characteristics, in line with what Rune Magic can do. The existing CrCo/CrMe guidelines would still apply for permanent increases.
  • Guidelines for lowering characteristics with PeCo/PeMe.
  • An InVi guideline for perceiving supernatural entities associated with a specific realm. This is the generalised Vim equivalent of the In(Fo) guidelines in RoP:M.
  • Guidelines for granting bonuses to aging as spell effects, instead of a longevity ritual.

Nah, that's a big old nope from me. No pain for the cords on the familiar. Not at all for such a negative element.

Then what are you trading to get all that POWER? Personally I feel like those faerie cords are that way solely because it is a faerie and hence why you couldn’t actually make that breakthrough. YSMV.

Something I wrote for my current character to eventually get around to. She has a pet coven of folk witches, and I was thinking about the example Second Sight integration, and how it has a somewhat oblique relationship to Second Sight. The supernatural ability is used as more of a thematic inspiration than mechanical.

I'm not certain if it would be more appropriate to limit it to only Muto Corpus effects, or only Personal effects, but my GM is fine with it, and I see using it almost exclusively to look cool in front of the sodales and spook the squares.

Effortless Hermetic Shapeshifting; Minor Breakthrough (30 points)
Sources of Insight: The Shapeshifting Supernatural Ability. Lycanthropes.
Relevant Spells: Creo Corpus and Muto Corpus spells with Personal or Touch Range designed with additional Magnitudes to remove the need for gestures and/or vocalization.
Stipulations: At least one discovery must be made through Insight, as opposed to Experimentation.
Effect: The following breakthrough Virtue is created:

Shapeshifting Corpus
Minor, Hermetic
Like shapeshifting hedge magicians, you have intuitive control of your form. Creo Corpus and Muto Corpus spells that you cast with a range of Personal, or a range of Touch that is cast on yourself, are not penalized for being cast without gestures and/or verbalization. Furthermore, you may end any such spell with a moment of concentration.


Really? In all the sagas I've played in, no one has ever taken that virtue. Interesting that it's common for people to try and fully integrate in your experience.


I really like your clear formatting!

It makes me think of how someone could do a fascinating breakthrough on the basis of how Hermetic shapeshifting can incorporate physical foci that allow you to end your spell early.

That could provide a new interesting range or duration.

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It is not just his saga. It has appeared several times on the forums, including in the post-a-day folio thread.

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The virtue itself is not that great. Working from labtexts are a small enough part of your character's time that this is never really gonna be worth the one point. But its nice to have and easy to explain how you integrate it. Integrating it introduces a small but noticable change, small enough that no one has to worry about breaking the game, but noticable enough to get you a ton of acclaim (and easy enough to actually get it done in reasonable time).

But also... everyone wants to be the next Bonisagus and no one cares to take the small steps instead of trying for the huge leaps, so who knows?

Great thread.

Being able to "recharge" an item with a limited number of uses per day by spending 1 pawn of vis or one long-term fatigue level per charge.

Same thing with Charged Items.

Criamon Research: Being able to use half your Warping Score (round up) instead of your Stamina when casting spells.

Criamon research 2: Being able to substitute half your (Perception + Enigmatic Wisdom) for your intelligence when inventing non-combat spells

Scrolls: If you've got the lab text from a spell, you may cast it as a formulaic, using half your casting score. This is always stressful, but doesn't require fatigue spending unless you fail by less than 10.

Adding half of a magical aura to an attribute (one research per attribute) save when using it with spellcasting or supernatural skills. Likewise with aging rolls.


Here's one (the concept of which I don't think has been mentioned) that my maga is already several points into right now. I have some other in-progress breakthroughs but they're super long (one for combining Animal and Corpus, and one for creating a new lab activity that lets you examine someone's Gift with InVi and attempt to mend one of its flaws with CrVi) and I'm not sure if this forum has some means to collapse text (?).

Similar Magic Items; Minor Breakthrough (35 points)
Sources of Insight: -
Relevant Spells: Effects placed into an Enchanted Item for which you already have an Enchanted Item Lab Text on hand that would constitute a Similar Spell if it were a spell that you knew.
Stipulations: -
Effect: The following breakthrough Virtue is created:

Meticulous Enchanting
Minor, Hermetic
When placing a magical effect into an Enchanted Item, you may benefit from having an Enchanted Item Lab Text on hand (for the whole duration of your work) that contains a magical effect with the same effect but different parameters, or the same parameters and a related effect. You gain a bonus to your Lab Total equal to the Enchanted Item Lab Text’s magnitude. You may only benefit from one such Lab Text per effect to be placed into the Enchanted Item, and this bonus does not stack with the standard bonus for enchanting an item for which you have a Similar Spell.