Cult of Jupiter?

Brandon, Dylan, Philippe and Korina please don't read further.

In my last session I introduced the Cult of Jupiter (CoJ) in an isolated Regio. The Regio contained a surviving Roman Colony hidden inside, seperate from MythicEurope for centuries.

The PCs were able to negotiate with the Primarch, the leader of the CoJ to bring his second, Duoalla to their covenant. (The CoJ hold a title equal to the number of their rank. The first two they met were Seximus and Septima.) The PCs want to find out just how Xenophobic/Hostile the Cult of Jupiter is, and get a better sense of possibly bringing the whole line out of the Regio as a possible sub House of Ex Miscellenea, though House Flambeau or Tytalus may be an option as well.

Now, the problem of course, is that I have a magical tradition of some kind to stat up. In the Adventure, I implied an obvious affinity for lightning. The CoJ had built a huge temple with what I called "The Eye of Jupiter" (kind of like the Eye of Sauron) except it could shoot lightning out of it. It also was a huge scrying effect, and the Primarch in the middle of a battle was able to bring up a holographic display of the Temple, the town it was in, and the surrounding country side. It was able to track the entire townsfolk and the huge horde of Gargoyles attacking it with color coding.

Another effect the PC's witnessed was a spell that could record the caster's voice, and then play it back on a specific condition.(A summoned ball of lightning to send a message to a PC with no arcane connection

In terms of breaking Hermetic Limits, I believe I've implied two things:

1.) Arcane connections don't matter as much to them, studying with Duoalla could give Insight into breaking it.

2.) The concept of recording a sound or image.

3.) Some kind of similar effect to Wizards Communion where combining their power the CoJ practioners could cast more powerful spells.

#2 I'm not so sure on. It's a weird concept for Hermetic magic. Any thoughts would be great.

As for the rest of the tradition, I'm somewhat at a loss of how to handle a hedge tradition. I don't have oodles of time to stat up a whole hedge tradition, nor do I have time to stat up something like in Rival Magic for some of the traditions there.

My main obstacle to the PCs is that Duoalla will not share any secrets without the PCs declaring their intent to join her Cult in a credible fashion. Also, she has no Parma Magica and the CoJ mainly has effects with Auram and Intellego Imaginem, so a mentem spell or two could work to befuddle her.

Any other suggestions on how to handle a Hedge Tradition mage? Or suggestions on what their powers could be? I'm picturing a fairly focused suite of powers on defending a small town from Monsters that go Bump in the Night.

My background on them in Roman times is that the Cult of Jupiter pretty much died out defending the Empire in a more Apocalyptic battle with one of the many incarnations of the Persian Empire in the past that has been lost to history. But I'm basically picturing big large scale direct battlefield magic.

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You could model the CoJ along the lines of the AM p.03ff Hyperboreans and give them only a few hymns.
In that case training your magi will be hampered by their hermetic knowledge, while a Gifted companion with litte supernatural abilities would make an ideal CoJ disciple. The CoJ might expect appropriate Iovian personality traits (see AM p. 107 for Apollonian Personailty Traits) of their prospective pupils, if you wish to further limit CoJ training among PCs.

That could make House Bonisagus bow in awe and envy to your covenant.
Better think it through to the end and find alternative limitations before introducing it: the R: Line of Hermetic Geometry (TMRE p.93ff) might give you an idea.

It is not so weird for Jerbitons. See HoH:S p.54 Daughters of Echo for who do it, and HoH:S p.70 STORAGE for the - standard hermetic - MuMe way they use. Doing recording with ReIm would require new ReIm Guidelines, and contact with the CoJ might perhaps lead to a minor breakthrough allowing them IYC.



I have been working for a while now on a Hedge Tradition inspired by the "Cult of Mercury" that might work for what you're describing. Basically, it takes a syncretic approach to Fenicil's Rituals and the Augustan Brotherhood (which are probably incompatible hence the failure of the project). Anyway, I envisioned it working like this:

Each deity has his or own Cult with its own array of powers. Basically, the God or Goddess' sphere of influence is divided into a set number of Aspects (For Mercury: trickery, fertility, boundaries, oration, etc. For Jupiter: weather, leadership, hospitality, and so on). Each aspect constituted an Ability not unlike the schools used by the Augustans except that they don't contribute to the Casting Total and are instead mostly used for lab work.

Since the Cults have no equivalent of Spontaneous Magic, they have to know any spells they want to cast. Each spell is learned as an ability and cast using the formula:
Stamina + (Spell) Mastery Ability + Aura + Stress Die = Casting Total.

I originally wanted to design a unique set of spell guidelines for them and still may, but for now I've been using the base hermetic guidelines x3 ((Magnitude +4) x3 if the base is above 5) - like CJR did for the Augustans - modified down a magnitude or two to represented for the more specialized nature of the Cult's magical foci. To keep RDT manageable, I divided by 2 and round up.

Thus, a spell to call down a bolt of lightning from a clear sky would be have an EF of: 12 (Base 6, +3 Voice, +3 Unnatural). Since all Mercurian effects are rituals, they take time and Vis to cast (1 pawn and 15 minutes per Magnitude). This could be a rather crippling preposition, but since these are Mercurian casters, it seems only right that the tradition benefit from the Mercurian Magic virtue which I would like to combine with a limited ability to make use of virtual Vis as per the 'Nature Lore', 'Hermetic Sacrific', 'Root-Cutter', or 'Leper Magus' virtues.

The cult, as written, is pretty weak individually due to their miserable Casting Totals so for larger effects they need to cooperate. In order to cast spells as a group, there has to be at least one character who knows the spell to be cast (to act as the Ritual Leader) and the ritual participants must have a combined "Communion" Mastery of at least twice the EF of the ritual being performed. Fortunately, each Wizard automatically gets a Communion Score equal to his or her greatest Spell Mastery ability and it updates automatically whenever he increases a Spell Mastery Ability.

The Casting Total for these group rituals is equal to:
Leader's Stamina + Sum of Participants' (Spell) Mastery + Aura + Sum of Participants' Communion - # Participants + Die

Anyway, while I think the concept is generally sound, there are a few serious problems with this method:

  1. It doesn't scale well for players since making an individual Mercurian even remotely useful generally means either betraying the fluff about the powerful nature of their group rituals or making them too powerful.
  2. Most of the Mastery Abilities in Ars Corebook are pretty useless when applied to ritual spells making the fluff about the CoM using Spell Mastery to lend flexibility to their spells less than helpful unless you want to make up a bunch of new abilities that do, in fact, serve such a method.
  3. Even with cheats as mentioned above, Mercurians go through Vis like nobodies business and imposing any sort of limit on the number of pawns they can use per season constitutes a crippling Nerf.

Well, I guess that's about as much as I have on these guys. Thanks to anyone who actually read this disjointed nonsense. Please note that I am, in fact, still working on this tradition on and off and would be happy to them proposed here or via PM if the OP or anyone else is interested in doing so.