do immortals keep powers from other realms

While discussing the issue of characters that are aligned with multiple realms in the other thread, a sudden curiosity (surely the proof that I have no life of speak of...) seized me. What happens of those mages that become true immortals ? Because, we know that mortal, if longeve, mages can have affiliations to more than one realm, but true immortality seems to involve getting a close alignment (getting a Might) with one realm only, typically Faerie or Magical. Then what would happen to a character that would have supernatural virtues from different realms, or a virtue that would get hermetic magic in tune with (an)other realm(s), too ?

I've tried to come up with a response:

Hermetic magic, of course, keeps working the same way, but actually becomes a vanilla magical or faerie power that mimics it, and may typically require spending might points for casting a spell. The same happens for Parma Magica, but the character has the option of using either it or Might MR. Since both MR and Parma are passive powers, and MR does not require spending Might points, so neither parma should.

Supernatural powers that exist in the new realm (e.g. Entrancement, Hex, Shapeshifting) got converted to the equivalent Faerie or Magic power. Powers that are specific to one realm (e.g. Sense Holiness & Unholiness, Divine or Infernal Methods and Powers) are simply lost. True Faith is a tricky issue, but I dubiously assume that wishing to become a magical or faerie immortal would mean lack of faith enough to disqualify one from it. AHowever, there are apperently God-blessed ways for a Divine magus to become a earthly immortal, see the Zoroastrian lesser immortality ritual (lesser as in, the character is still liable to Warping). The status of a true, hell-sworn diabolist is tricker still, and involves the thorny issue of whether magic or faerie powers are able to free one from a bond with Hell. I tentatively assume that in that case, the mage would become an Infernal immortal instead.

As it regards the Holy, Faerie and Chtonic Magic Virtues, they involve several different benefit that should be addressed separately. As for Holy Magic, I am tempted to treat it as the same case as True Faith. As it regards Faerie and Chtonic Magic, I'd say that the special R/D/T sets keep working (they are just an extension of Hermetic Magi) and so it does the ability to use faerie or infernal vis better (more of it) or more safely. Likewise, using charms or evil acts to power magic should work fine, as well, although continously doing evil acts for power might eventually taint the immortal toward the infernal, I guess.

As it regards aura bonuses and botches (immortals are immune to warping, so that issue is moot) I'm more uncertain. Tentatively I assume that all powers, including hermetic magic, should work strictly according to the Magical or Faerie aura interaction table. However, there is also the possibility that the immortal might keep a sympathetic bonus for the magic, faerie, or infernal auras, too... this depends IMO whether one places the affinity for a different realm's aura in the magus or in the magic. I mean, does the magic of a character with Faerie, Holy or Chtonic magic work as fine in the respective auras because of the character's alignment affinity for that realm -which is lost- or the magic's sympathetic affinity with that realm -which may be retained e.g. can the powers of an especially dark faerie work bettwer in infernal realms than the rest of his brethren ?

There is also the related issue of which kinds of immortals may still expend fatigue and which do not, and whether immortal magi can use Might points in place of fatigue to power spontaneous magic. Tentatively, I'd be favourable to answer yes to the latter question. Using fatigue to power magic -at least in the case of vanilla formuliac and spont and of virtues such as Life Boost and Life-linked Spont Magic- actually means spending a tiny bit of life-force, not physical exaustion, as the names of the above virtues indicate, so immortals should be able to substitute Might points for that kind of fatigue. As it regards rituals, they are more like physical exaustion, so immortals should be able to do them just without getting fatigued.

please give your insight. comments are welcome.

I'm very glad that you brought up this issue, as it is exactly the kind I am interested in myself. Actually answering any of the questions is a bit more tricky, and I generally agree with your suggestions. There is, however, a few points where I would perhaps disagree.

I would say that you only get to keep Parma Magica if you still have the Gift, as the Arm5 core book states this so specifically. I suppose one could argue that it is now powered by the creatures Might in the same way as Hermetic magic. But to me it seems that the wording in Arm5 implies that this was not the intention.

Tricky indeed. I haven't got my hands on a copy of the Infernal yet, and consequently my guesses are a bit out of the blue, but my first reaction is that this seems rather harsh.

In my opinion affinity works by the alignment of the magic and not of the character. However, I believe that a creature that belongs to a realm can have no magic affiliated with other realms. So dark faeries get no advantages in infernal auras.

I would perhaps prefer a more conservative approach denying immortal magi the use of their might as fatigue. I would say that all creatures that have fatigue levels can expand them though, wether they are immortal or not. Lacking fatigue levels is a very alien and inhuman concept, I think it would be a waste to just decide that Might is more or less the same as fatigue after all.

Please note that the reason I am not writing "It is Your game, do as You think is best" is not because I am somehow trying to imply that this would not be the case, but merely a stylistic choice I have made.

//Fredrik Hertzberg

Well, this particular point is now moot, since I eventually got my books ( 8) 8) :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: ) today and with a quick glance to the immortal magi section it specifically says that they always get the choice of using Might or (Form + Parma*5) as MR. Unluckily, no other issue of this thread is covered. :confused: :frowning:

True, but please note that I made the case for a true, sworn "I signed my soul away for power" diabolist with Infernal Methods and Powers. A chap with just a couple of "dubious source" Infernal vanilla Supernatural Virtues should simply have them converted in Magic or Faerie ones in the transition to immortality. Although RoP:I seems to murky the issue even more, by having "False Powers", i.e. Magic or Faerie powers that are infernally-tainted (they register as Hellish to the Divine). I have no idea at present if they would be "cleansed" by the immortality ritual or not. Not that it would be terribly crippling anyway: the only real drawback is that you get a bad reaction from Divine detection powers: they register as infernal to magic and faerie powers only if one purposefully uses the Infernal interaction chart or infernal boosting methods such as human sacrifice...

True, the dark faerie bit was a shot in the dark (but see the False Powers bit). OTOH, former human magical or faerie beings are a special case that bends the rules (see the Parma bit) so I believe it would not be unreasonable to assume that Faerie/Chtonic aura bonuses still work because they are a sympathetic affinity of that particular Gift (and we know that extensions to the Gift, such as the ones provided by Hermetic Mystery Virtues, cross over in immortality), not of the mage itself.

I may agree with you about physical fatigue (BTW, Living Ghosts have it, but do not feel its penalties, daimons and Becoming faeries do not, and the book is silent about alchemical magic immortals) such as the one from combat or rituals. However, fatigue to power spont magic is not physical exaustion, it is temporarily sacrificing a bit of your life-force (TMRE specifically says so about discussing Life Boost and Life-Linked Spontaneous Magic re. the new Virtue that reduces fatigue expenditure) which you quickly heal back. Since the closest thing to human life-force for a supernatural is Might, and they can spend it and replenish it back, I assume the analogy stands.

Meaning that we can begin our discussion anew in the TMRE and RoP:I threads. Sin, pagans, Chthonic Magic and Children of Hermes. :wink: What do you think about it all?

I think not. In fact, renouncing your False Powers at that point might very well kill you, as the effect of the immortality ritual comes undone.

I'm of the opinion that Alchemical immortals still suffer from fatigue as they are still very much "alive". The closest equivalent is Becoming, but faeries are reputed for being untiring, unlike the mortals they often abduct to entertain them.

Wow, they actually said that? Does make a whole lot of difference, both for immortal magi that can now protect themselves from the negative effects of others Gifts, and for interpreting the other issues. Not sure the interpretation got any easier though.

Allright, this time around I agree. It was actually exactly the chap with a couple of weak infernal virtues I was worried about (poor guy). This solution feels a bit arbitrary, but very intuitivly right.

And I thought these issues were difficult two hours ago. I suppose we no longer have the luxury of a "clean no" for any borderline cases.

It seems that Might can indeed emulate many of the supposedly unique features of the gift. Is there any examples of something that is truly lost together with the Gift? Without that kind of ruling it will be almost impossible to extrapolate anything usefull.

These new books are full of surprises, fatigue symbolizes life force nowadays? That does make your interpretation a lot more likely. It feels really weird that they would forget to mention such an important ability in the rules, and this is really what makes me hestitant. On the other hand they have made similar misstakes before...
...It seems reasonable that lifeforce uses of fatigue could be replaced by might.

I am not so sure about this one anymore. I agreed witih you a couple of hours ago, as I thought the Gift was completely necessary for holy magic, but I would not treat holy magic the same way as True Faith. True Faith is a real relationship with god only possible for humans, therefore ruling out immortal magi. Holy Magic on the other hand is regular magic that is merely more aligned with the dominion and god. I can't see why this would be impossible for immortal magi. I agree that the wish to live forever on earth is not The god-fearing thing to do. But holy magi seems to get away with petty personality flaws as long as they make suitable amends later. And the Great Elixir isn't all that different from a regular longevity potion from a Sin/Pride point of view, is it?

Congratulations! Did your books have to cross the Atlantic to get to your house? If they did I think I will start to get my hopes up.

//Fredrik Hertzberg

I especially appreciated the fact that selfless veneration of pagan gods is not a sin. I think that I may find the RoP: I position workable, since you get to be a sinner only if you indulge in harmful selfish behavior, in most cases. There's still the delicate issue of people that indulge in possibly"victimless" sins (e.g. Pride, Lust, Ambitious) in circumstances where they do not harm their neighbour. I need more time to digest the book in that sense. Chtonic Magic is wonderful, custom-fitted to do the pagan mystic or secular magic with magic that is sympathetic to the dark side of nature without any overt tie to the infernal. Children of Hermes are wonderful, too. They seem to be written as a special treat just for me. 8) The Bonisagus unifier approach brought to mysteries by a charismatic cult. I'm torn about using them or philosophers of rome first. Both cults

Then the False Power stays false, and we have a living ghost/daimon/faerie/alchemical magical being that registers as suspect to divine detection powers. I think it's workable. Immortals have even less to worry about it than other mages. 8)

I am inclined to agree with you, even if the book forgets to state it (for space reasons, no doubt). Anyway, now that fatigue for spont gets clarified as life-force, I think that for mage immortals it matters less.

Yes, it is an explict ruling in the immortal magi appendix.

Yep but non-specifically-infernal False Power virtues can be anything but weak. A guy with False Entrancement, False Shapeshifter and False Hex can be frighteningly powerful for a non-Hermetic magus. Also note that you can have a False Gift. The book rightfully earmarks this as one of the most clever tactics of the infernal, since it gets the Divine hostile to the character and then likley the character hostile to the Divine, since as the book rightfully recognizes, most would give the finger to the guy upstairs rather then renouncing their rightful magical or faerie powers just because it got infernal cosmetic taint and it looks funny to angels.

The Gift is technically lost, but actually emulated by equivalent Might magical/faerie powers. The human faculty to fix learning and change without a magical ritual seemes to be the main price immortals pay. Most of anything else seems to be "emulated" by Might.

It really looks like they had to pigeonhole the maximum amount of crunchy stuff in a fixed space by streamlining and stripping the text to the barest indispensable, so in many places you have to interpret and make logical deductions. TMRE could have easily used one and the half page count in examples, providing Initiation scripts examples for each virtue (something I sorely miss) and explanation text, I assume. It's not a msitake, but a sorry consequences of the fixed 144-page count atlas uses to save on printing expenses. The book deserved more space.

On further relfection, I assume you may be right. Let's treat Holy Magic just like the similar virtues of other realms. There is RoP:D precedent for God blessing immortality rituals, after all.

Don't be too enthusiastic. I gave in to my craving and paid through the nose for an Express courier. I wonder whether that makes me a Lust, Gluttony or Greed sinner. Lust, Isuspect. The satisfaction of having these books is so physical :wink:

//Fredrik Hertzberg

Have a look at the higher-level Incantation/Diablerie effects. They're not easy to cast, though using Infernal Vis at +5 a pop can really help, but they can create formidable opponents. Start browsing through the Virtue lists then imagine a charismatic leader casting them as Touch/Group x10/Forsaken on his followers.

Oh, I do, I do. Even if the possibility of Insta- False Gift or Goetic is theoretically frightening, Arts still take time to train. But Insta-Major Supernatural Virtues come with a free 1 rating, and in the right combination, they are quite powerul. Imagine a group of such empowered diabolists that infiltrate your covenant with Amorphous, Gender Shift, and Shapeshift, then start to Entrance and Hex all of your grogs and companions. You'll never look at the "cute cat" or "harmless peasant woman" the same way :open_mouth: :open_mouth:

Don't forget Command Animal.

Thank Bonisagus we got Parma. Thank Notatus we got the Aegis.

And as I said before: that mundanes would seek refuge in the Dominion starts making sense, doesn't it? They're not as stupid as they seem, those peasants.

Not necessarily; they could instead do the righteous thing and openly recognize the Order of Hermes as their rightful masters and protectors, allowing us the resources to expand the order a hundredfold and thoroughly cover Mythic Europe with coverants. Notwithstanding all we said about the power of diabolists, truth is still that decently-trained Hermetic mages do exceptionally-efficient demon- and diabolist-hunters, and quite experienced from rooting out infernal traitors in their midst.

The only thing Hermetic mages really lack to be perfect feudal overlord protectors is a way to do quick and permanent healing magics without vis, but nothing that a single Minor Breakthrough wouldn't solve.

For one thing, it is much, much easier to make a generalist Hermetic with decent Art scores than to make a Divine mystic with a decent Methods/Powers set. That much for diabolist-hunters. yep, Dominion penalties. As if diabolists wouldn't have relatively easy means to raise Infernal Auras.

Yes, Friend Guernicus is wise to rely on Hoplites from House Troubleshooter, err, I mean House Flambeau. Without them, the Order would be overrun with mutant commie infernal traitors. :stuck_out_tongue:

Methinks you should work on getting rid of those Overconfident and Hubris flaws. :wink:

One Method and Two Powers is equivalent, experience-wise to 15 arts. You get generalist-level scores without generalist flexibility. :unamused:

Yeah, it's all fun and games until someone raises an Infernal Aura in your lab.

Yeah, as if the Neighborhood Inquisitor and his Sense Infernal-blessed monk would score any better, with them eagerly putting the hedge maga or faerie-blooded midwife to the stake just because a demon or bad Warping did a bad makeover to her Virtues and they feel funny at their Spider-Sense. :angry:

You failed to notice the Ambitious one, too. Three sinful personality traits that harm no one. Me doing my best to be contrary to the party-spoiling Guy Upstairs :smiling_imp: :smiling_imp:

On a more serious tone, it is amazing that no one mystae researcher cared to research a way to insta-heal without vis. I can't imagaine of a greater PR stunt with mundanes. The Dominion would start to fizzle and crumble like a house of cards, while peasants rush to be healed by the nice neighborhood wizard, and let the priest sing hymns alone. And the Divine can't really take issues with mages doing community service, suppressing beneficial acts done out of enlightened self-interest would be... demonic :smiling_imp: :smiling_imp:

Commercial: Parents, if you got an odd child with seeming mystical aptitude, don't send it to those loser monasteries. Why abanadon him or her to a life of privation and lousy and unreliable zealot abilities when you can groom it for success ? At our nice Bonisagus-approved Covenant school, your precious child will get outstanding, proven and reliable magical power, a privileged social position, a lifespan measured in centuries, and an understanding and competitive environment that will nurture his or her talents and feel just like family. Everything you heard a wizard or witch do in a fairy tale or legend, your child will be able to do, and much more. Let your children be all they can. Notify your local Redcap today. :slight_smile:

Actually, did you see my copy of the malleus epistula (RoP:I pp 131-132) ? I think I misplaced it on my way to smiting heathens. I'm still trying to convince the Guernicus Primus to make it part of the Standard Quaesitorial Curriculum, but he doesn't seem to agree. Go figure. It would be sooooo useful at Tribunal.

Must be Divine intervention. As you rightly point out, it would change the face of Mythic Europe as we know it. I wouldn't be surprised if the Grouch Upstairs actively intervened to keep those goodies for himself and his cronies. Spoilsports.

That being said, Hermetic Empowerment, Ablation and Consumption are all relatively close to the target.

Well, remember that He labelled as "infernal" everybody who didn't agree with him. The Dude got a well-established reputation for pettiness.

My daughter has Magical Air and Witch Marks, does she qualify? I mean, she's obviously a witch. She even weighs the same as a duck.

Maybe they did and failed?

You can only create scripts (with great difficuly) for Virtues that are possible in ME; you don't actually find out that the Virtue cannot exist/work until it's all too late... :smiling_imp:

BZZZT, wrong answer. Arbitrary and illogical Fiats are a reason I won't take on this issue, not when mystae have been able to develop feats like Becoming, the Great Elixir, or Ascendancy. In comparison to turning a human in a magical being, godlike spirit, or faerie, which breaks at least one Greater ( Essential Nature, anyone ? :open_mouth: ) and one lesser Limit (Aging), developing vis-less permanent healing is os trivial in comparison that it's almost laughable. It breaks no limit of magic, it just takes developing a variation of existing instant Cr/Mu/Re Co that is permanent without vis. It's just correcting a flaw of Bonisagus' theory, and it takes a Minor breakthrough.

I agree that vis-less healing seems far far easier than transforming yourself into some kind of demi-god, but does that necessarily mean that it is easier? It does indeed seem likely that the problem is due to a flaw in Boisagneus' theory, but would that make it easy to fix? It is not even certain that one single theory can be complete and flawless, human understanding might well have it's limits. This is very arbitrary as you say, but so are all rules that are not derivatives from other rules.

The reason that it's not done already is in my opinion one of the following three:
*Extreme stupidity among Hermetic magi
*A conspiracy of some sort
*It works very very poorly with Hermetic theory

I believe the last one to be more likely than the others, as have been suggested in previous posts.

//Fredrik Hertzberg

Yep, but this really feels so arbitrary both for IC reasons (come on, how likely it may be that the one Godel-like unsoluble flaw of Hermetic theory be this one, when it is not even recognized as a Limit of Magic, and original research and mysteries are provenly able to break such limits life, right and center ? And magical and faerie powers being able to routinely do it ? Why not the Limit of the Infernal, or Lunar Sphere, instead ? It shreds my suspesnsion of disbelief to tiny shards.

As far as it concerns OOC supposed play style concerns, which let's be frank, are the one and only reason for keeping this dinosaur rule around, come on, 5th ed. has been able to come out with thematically-appropriate and game-balanced rules for immortality, breaking another long-standing absolute taboo, I cannot believe this one archaic absolute and aribitrary prohibition has to stand inviolate till edition XXIV, just because. Morevoer, I played in another games with powerful magic systems (no, not that! I mean Shadowrun and Mage) with sensible ways to do insta-healing, and I have to remark I did not miss the supposed dramatic poignance of having your character rot in bed days, weeks and months from wounds any little bit. Apart from the occasional plot hook about the incurable disease needing a quest for the exotic cure, dealing with lingering wounds is exceedingly boring. The possibility of dying in combat then and there is dramatic and thrilling. As for not being period, if I can accept for normal a bunch of occult scholar-scientists that can routinely blast 10 annoying peasants with lightning bolts before breakfast, I can as easily accept that they can heal the same guys from severe wounds with comparable time, resources, and effort.

Instant healing that takes no resources is... cheap. There's suddenly no consequences of choosing to pick a fight. And come on, this is not d&d, we don't want any grog to pop out the covenant's insta-healing McPotions from their belt in the middle of a fight...

There are so many balanced ways of allowing magical quick healing in a balanced way, and they all turn around requiring renewable resources, such as fatigue or time, instead of vis. If you require one hour of meditation, or one Long-Term fatigue level for CrCo magnitude levels instead of vis, you ensure that wounds are not made too cheap, but no crippling as all, and you are not forced to do the equivalent of burning diamonds as car fuel. Moreover, one could as easily state that healing spells do not fit in enchanted objects, requiring the active attention of a magus. It would feel less arbitrary than vis requirement, at most. Or enforce a time limit on the amount of healing that can be performed in a single session requiring at least one day in the interval.

And please do not mention D&D. I did not mention it at all. I agree it is a flawed extreme. Look at Shadowrun and Mage: they have comparable magic systems to ArM in terms of flexiblity and power level of magic, yet they do allow quick healing, using one or naother of the suggestions above.

IMO vis for healing is just as distasteful as healing McPotions. It's the opposite kind of excess.