Damocles Ex Miscelanea

for discussion of creation and advancement of the title character

Right so I'd like to make a character who has the Mythic Blood (Gigantes). Only little problem is that it doesn't specify what power or focus you get exactly.

"Focus that accompanies the Mythic Blood
is usually connected with strength or the
Form of Terram."

When it comes to power related to Strength, there are few effects that can fit within usual 30 levels maximum that are conferred by the power. There is the "Blessing of Starkad" from Magi of Hermes (Page 49.) Basically it gives you two extra hands, which enhances your Strength and Dexterity based rolls (among other things); could be an appropriate power coming from the monstrous Giants; just rename it as "Blessing of Typhon / Gaia" or something along those lines.
(Base: 5, Concentration +1, Part +1, +1 Alters Equipment, +1 Size Modifier, +5 Levels Power Maintains Concentration, ) Final Level = 30.

The focus...Well the current idea is "Self-Enhancement"; goes in same avenue as Self-Transformation, but it instead works on things that keep your humanoid form intact while enhancing your capabilities. Example: (MuCo to boost Soak, or turn your body to Stone for additional Soak bonuses) and (CrCo for improving [physical?] Characteristics). Perhaps the wording doesn't fit; but I'd like a focus that includes the first two examples at least.

As for his Tradition within Ex Miscellanea, they are basically the Theban Gruagachan (The Makhai?), as they are described in the Sundered Eagle (page 123.) Only choice I feel I should elaborate is the Exotic Casting. I figured Makhai would be similar to Gruagach and Trollsynir; they got a sacred language through which they work their magic (Pictish and Jotun respectively) so I thought I could make this character cast through "Pelesgian", the dead language of pre-Hellenic Greeks, which Damocles would also be using for his Hermetic Magic instead of Latin or Greek. That being said; could I purchase this language with my "Later Life" XP?

Lastly; can I have any years out of apprenticeship and if so; how many?

A Theban equivalent to the gruagach is not going to follow the suggestion on p.123 of the Theban tribunal exactly- for one thing they will not use tattoo magic. However we only need to worry about the ex miscelania spin off for creating your character-
while the power you suggest doesn't fit with the idea of strength or earth directly (there is a conditional bonus to strength, but it is an indirect effect) it does connect to a specific form of the Gigantes ( the Hecatoncheires) so it will be fine.
As to exotic casting, normal hermetic casting doesn't have a fixed language- you can learn in Latin or Ancient Greek, or both if you know both well enough. Hedge traditions can be tied to a foreign language without much effect because they are complete different cultures. If your exoticism comes from a language tie then for it to make sense you would also have to learn in that language- I'm not certain at this point where to draw a line for this in terms of what could belearned from latin, or Greek, etc. and what could not. It also would imply that your exotic casting virtue can be defeated by anyone else learning this language, while the virtue indicates words and gestures are foreign. I would suggest keeping the exotic magic, but not tying it to a pre-Grecian language.
Finally the next adventure you would participate in in Thebes is invasion in 1203, which is 3 years after apprenticeship.
The focus is fine, I will run an analysis on the character to check for any other unaddressed issues then respond again, as I do not believe any of these questions has resulted in any design issues with what you have created unless you did add the extra language.

repellant is only available to tainted characters, which indicates an infernal origin, and requires either plagued by demons or tragic life. Plagued by Olympians does not substitute. I am holding on the remainder of the analysis until you decide how to resolve this.

Regarding the Exotic Casting; I figured it could be fitting because how Gruagachan are described in the Sundered Eagle, their magic coming from these pre-Hellenic people. Language is important part of Gruagachan and Trollsynir respectively too, and lastly there is actually a precedence for this. Sorgina Folk Witches use Eskara (Basque) as their casting language (the ones whose Gift was Opened to Hermetic Magic; standard Ex Miscellanea Template, Faith & Flame Page 97), which also happens to be their sacred language for their ceremonies. I'm imagining gestures would also be different.

And yea for the moment at least I did purchase Pelesgian with my Later Life XP, but I can remedy that if it's not appropriate.

When it comes to Repellent I thought I could have a variation that comes from Magic rather then Infernal; Infernal book does suggest some virtues introduced could be re-branded as Faerie or Magical but what mostly made me thinking is that Repellent is suggested as one of the Virtues that can result from Transformation, the Gruagach Twilight variation, which is magical.

I don't see where it says the Sorgina use Basque as their casting language... as to the rest I understand your point, but mine remains- even the Sorgina i faith and flame are described as an isolated community using a separate, not a more ancient language... basque in fact isn't even a dead language, it exists today. The pre-ancient-Greek language is stepping on issues of cosmology regarding potential mysteries regarding origins of language.

No, there is no "magic version" of repellant, it is explicitly infernal and multiple sources verify that such traits do not cross realms for origins, especially since there are existing flaws related to such monstrous features in ROP:M.

Well; there are plenty of languages that don't fit neatly into the cosmology for the origin of languages (if we go by the Dominion version of the story, with the Adamic and Tower of Babel) but the use of Pelesgian isn't central to the theme so I will drop it then. ((As for the Sorgina thing, it's in the Necessary Condition:(Potions, Euskara Incantations, and Fetishes) Probably the most straight-forward replacement for Minor Hermetic Virtue would be Affinity / Puissant Terram.

Though considering Theban Gruagachan got access to Spirit magics, how would you feel about Hermetic Theurgy? Being able to do magic through Magical Spirits and actually make contact with the Titans would be pretty awesome!

Regarding the Repellent; I will be dropping it then. Don't know what I will replace it with yet. Soon as we define the Minor Hermetic Virtue I got from the tradition I'll add the Spells to be reviewed.

First understand that Theban Grugachan begins with " a storyguide could introduce a similar
tradition drawn from the Pelasgic people of pre-Hellene Greece" (Itallics mine for emphasis) and I have stated that the titan based similar tradition would not follow the description in the book. Therefore arguing from the starting point of that text is irrelevant.
That being said, having a mystery tradition within an ex miscelania house is possible, but not likely to be very powerful, since it descends from a hedge witch tradition. We can take some time to design that, but it will follow the normal rules for cult mysteries, including an organization lore for the ex miscelania tradition.

Huh, thats an interesting suggestion; I did consider the possibility of Damocles being part of some kind of Titan-worshiping group or joining one later on. This could be an interesting way to handle it; have his tradition itself be a Cult of some kind.

What do you have in mind? Who are they; what Virtues and Flaw is associated with the Tradition? ((Would prefer to keep Giant's Blood if I could tho. Have it be one of those traditions like Damhadh-Duidas with multiple choices for Major non-hermetic Virtue?))

like the mystery cult houses, the cult is the tradition, but you will need organization lore Gigantes ex Miscelania (or whatever name works better), the virtues and flaws simply follow from the tradition itself as per standard rules. The next step will be defining what mysteries it can initiate. I'd say 3-4 mysteries should probably be the maximum for a small ex miscelania group like this, then we can work out the scripts it uses.

Yea I like the idea. Would it require me to take Cabal Legacy though?

Also just confirm for me please; what Minor would I get from the tradition in the end; are you okay with Hermetic Theurgy (perhaps as the first initiation?) or should I just take the more simple Affinity / Puissant Terram?

Since it would descend from a Hedge Magic tradition I take it that it is unlikely to have any of the Breakthrough virtues as one of the Cult Initiations? ("Potent Mythic Blood" is the only one I have in mind right now, but that one really doesn't do a good job at describing what it actually does. "Hermetic" Ettin-Mod and it's associated benefits maybe?)

Supernatural abilities sound like the most plausible options though. Probably? Got a some ideas on that front as well.

I think we can start with calling the fetch and extracting the soul from the husk, names of power and invocation magic seem like a fit as well...
cabal legacy only applies if the character was marked for special treatment during apprenticeship, undergoing initiation before the gauntlet.

Fetch is a pretty neat virtue, you got yourself a capable scout with a very good score in Second Sight. With some tweaking with Hermetic Magic it is even possible to give it temporary intelligence, physical form, and/or the power of speech. Could a Fetch be taken as a Familiar or does it already take that spot (being part of your own soul / spirit?

Invocation Magic and Names of Power are, while flavorful...just bad. 4 Virtue points to do what? Add twice your MT to casting and lab totals.

Honestly, Hermetic Theurgy, the very base of Theurgical mystery path is the best thing about it; barring the Ascendancy to the Hall of Heroes; and it fulfills purpose of Titan-Worship well enough.

...I have a very bad/awesome idea.

I just remembered there is something along the lines of "Ettin Mod" that this Cult could offer, the need for Original Research. Basically, Ríastradh from Hibernian Book (Page 120). Related to Fomoir the Irish Titan/Giant equivalents; could easily be re-skinned to fit the Greek Gigantes who are, after all, the focus of the Cult.

the fetch does take your familiar slot, but it is not automatically bound- in fact lets use spirit familiar as the next initiation after fetch, so you can bind it as a familiar. The Ettin Mod is for Muspeli, not Grugach, and is not going to be available.
I am going to go ahead and keep names of power- it is one minor virtue to be initiated and doesn't need to be done if you don't wish- in fact I really don't want this to be an exercise in stacking initiations during character creation as a way to power game with what should be story elements.
Note that for the fetch initiation you will need to take the major flaw of restriction (unable to harm fetch type animals) as well as the cabal legacy, but you do get full flaw value (but not future initiation bonuses) if this is done during character creation.

It's not literally Ettin-Mod and it has nothing to do with Muspelli, nor is it tied to any other tradition. It is just aesthetically similar with how it is basically a "giant transformation"; it's a matter of blood descent -- from the Irish Giants/Titans; which easily be refitted into Greek setting for the Gigantes, as the Cult's Innermost Mystery.

Either way if this is going to be a Cult that has something to do with Gigantes or Greek giants in general I would like something more "physical", or obviously tied to Giants. Something that would more clearly fit into the theme of the Gigantes; Strength and Earth.

So far everything that was suggested was exclusively in the spiritual avenue it's fine if we have some of that but if Legion of Mithras or Knights of the Green Stone are any example to go by they don't all need to follow a same theme; there can be disparity in the theme of the powers it offers.

I am really not fond of retrofitting and adapting things across cultures and realms, in case you hadn't picked up on that by now. First you want something that includes hermetic theurgy because they follow titans, now you are demanding strength and earth because it connects to Gigantes, the fact is the cult does not revolve around your character, and the description of a cult you want to follow is so specific it would have a membership of 1. If you cannot handle the fact that I determine the setting then perhaps it would be best for you to withdraw from the game.

I did not demand anything; you said we'd be designing a cult and I chipped in ideas for things I liked and elaborated why I think they could be appropriate to a theme, thats about it.

Don't really see how appropriation of powers across cultures is an issue as it's fairly common occurance in Ars (Muslim Sahirs and Irish Corrguineach, Norse valgaldrar and Egyptian Corpse Magic, numerous reskins of Hedge Traditions in Hedge Magic book, etc.); there is enough precedence for it is what I was saying, but guess that not really the issue; if you like everyone having something unique to them that is also cool.

With that aside; what does the current design look like?

calling the fetch with the initiation script from Gruagatch retained, spirit familiar (initiation script undetermined), names of power (initiation script undetermined) and extracting the soul from the husk (follows the gruagratch initiation script).

Right. Since I took out the Pelesgian language I got some XP to spare in the "Later Life" category; how much Cult Lore could I purchase during this pre-apprenticeship phase, if any?

Anyways I'll be adding my spells in a moment, but need one thing clarified. The way Bjornaer could enter Heartbeast form, cast a personal Animal spell on themselves and revert to human form while retaining all the spell benefits; "All effects cast before the transformation are retained after changing form".

Is it possible to do something similar like this: Cast a personal ranged shrinking spell (get down to Size +1). Cast another Corpus spell without Size modifiers to account for my standard Size +2. Cancel the shrinking spell and return to my normal size while under the effect of other Corpus magic. --> Would this work?

no, heartbeast transformation is not standard hermetic magic
as for cult lore it depends- obviously this tradition has some pretty hefty initiation scripts, so realistically 3 should suffice unless you are planning on modifying initiation scripts as a mystagogue for the tradition.