Fate of Hermetic Virtues when Gift is Lost/Damaged?

Is this mentioned anywhere? The Failed Apprentice Virtue mentions that they're able to help in the lab despite not being fully Gifted and that they may have some Supernatural Ability(s) if their Gift was not fully destroyed. But it says nothing of Hermetic Virtues. If a magus or apprentice has Hermetic Virtues prior to the damaging of their Gift, would they maintain them? If they decided to go on to become lab assistants as a profession, would they be able to bring benefits like their Inventive Genius or similar Virtues to the table, or would they have been lost along with their Gift? Thanks for any help!

IMS, a Failed Apprentice's ability to assist in the lab should be limited to a servant's (per the Apprentices book), if that much. Ungifted lab assistants would radically change the game (who needs apprentices when you can teach Magic Theory to covenfolk?).

Anyway, having a Hermetic Virtue requires the Gift, so no, they're gone.

How many Failed apprentices have you had running around your saga that you need to limit it in excess of the RAW?
A Failed Apprentice is something more than just a grog or scribe who is taught Magic Theory.

The language is not specific, so it is possible that Hermetic Virtues can remain, because the Gift may not be entirely destroyed...

From a anti-munchkin POV you don't want anything like that.

From a story POV and RAW, you could have a grog Failed Apprentice with Inventive Genius. It's just that... why is that Virtue interesting to the story?

OTOH, how damaged should the Gift be for its owner not be a magus? You could be unable to cast spells but still create invested devices, for instance.

I thought the entire point was grogs not being interesting to the story? :wink:

As for how damaged a Gift would need to be... I would think it would have to be enough that the Arts become useless and they can't utilize the Gift to learn new things (such as being Initiated into Mysteries or new Hermetic Virtues). Possibly, depending on the saga, it might be enough that they simply can't combine the Arts, but still have them individually; then there might be Failed Apprentices who nonetheless have Form-based general magic resistance. Normally I wouldn't go for that, but YSMV.

Based on that assumption, I'd generally think a Failed Apprentice could have Hermetic Virtues. But I don't think there's established RAW on the matter.

Your Disputatio skill is impressive. :wink:

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This isn't anti-munchkin, it's because a failed apprentice doesn't have the Gift anymore, and if a Failed Apprentice can lab assist, then I'd want to know why a never-Gifted covenfolk with Magic Theory can't.

Well... Failed Apprentices could potentially just have damaged Gifts as the guys above said, right? So maybe a partially but not fully destroyed Gift is enough, but zero Gift at all isn't. Makes sense to me, at any rate. (Though if the partial Gift bit is true, why don't they get any interaction penalty...?)

Possibly, though at this point we're throwing out ideas in a vaccuum. I personally think, though, that if failed apprentices were useful lab assistants they'd become more valuable than unfailed apprentices, which is a story seed in one sense but seems a bit tame (failed apprentices aren't quite as potentially dangerous as apprentices, and the potential value of an apprentice as a lab assistant is already a reason why magi break the Code).

If failed apprentices aren't useful lab assistants then there shouldn't be a virtue for them. For MS, it needs to take a companion slot, not a grog slot. And they are relatively rare, no more than one in a saga. But, yeah, I think that magi of a covenant would compete to attract the interest of a failed apprentice if the intention is to treat him as more than a bunch of stats. if he is just stats, then I'm not interested in allowing the character.

Arcane and Academic Abilities unlocked. Worth a Virtue for that alone.

They can become excellent theorists and teachers.

Hermetic Virtues are really just called that because they're closely associated with Hermetic magic - not because they're specifically designed and copyrighted by the Order of Hermes. The main example is Gentle Gift - it occurs naturally, but is considered a "hermetic" Virtue because it affects how a Hermetic's Magic manifests. Other examples include Hermetic Prestige or Personal Vis Source - they're obviously just social/property bonuses, but they're still considered "hermetic".

With that in mind: I wouldn't worry too much about any virtue that is "Hermetic" - if it affects Hermetc Arts, then they may still have it, but it's unavailable. If it doesn't, then they likely do still have it. Or not, depending on how their Gift was damaged or destroyed. Troupe's call, in that case - but it's something that occurs during character design, so really it's just up to the person designing the character.

In reading through the description of failed apprentice, it seems to imply that while you no longer have the Gift (or you have such a weakened/damaged form of it that it's as good as gone), you still could have had the CONSEQUENCES of having the gift - specifically, learned Supernatural abilities. Specifically - MULTIPLE supernatural abilities. That suggests they would still have any Hermetic virtues they may have picked up as well, via teaching or osmosis. However, as most of them aren't useful without also having the Gift, it's somewhat of a moot point. However, you could (technically) have a Failed Apprentice with, say 5 Supernatural Abilities that the whacked-out paren managed to teach them before destroying their gift while trying to Initiate them into a 6th. (Or whatever the justification was.)

Regarding "assistants" - the only reference I see in the main book is Gifted assistance. As such, unless there is a specific reference in the core rulebook that talks about non-Gifted assisting in the lab, I would say that a Failed Apprentice acts like a regular Gifted assistant. There's no reference to anything outside the core rulebook, so that's the only thing that section of Failed Apprentice could be reasonably referring to.

Of course, that brings up (as mentioned before) Inventive Genius. It's Hermetic, but it doesn't affect arts or casting. As such, I'd put it into the same category as Gentle Gift: it's only called Hermetic because it's related to the Order of Hermes, not because you need to be part of the Order to have it. Also - I read Inventive Genius as a specialized form of Puissant Magic Theory. And the writeup implies that failed apprentices are immune to the "it's really hard to learn Magic Theory if you don't have the Gift" issue. So I would say they could have it.

With all that - I can certainly see why a GM would want to restrict Failed Apprentices in a Covenant. They seem just too useful to have around: everyone would want to have one!

RAW, they're Hermetic Virtues because you have to have the Gift to have them, period (note that the corebook is seriously showing its age and could use a Revised Edition). The corebook doesn't do a good job of distinguishing between "Supernatural Virtue that requires the Gift," "Virtue or Flaw related to the Hermetic Arts," and "Virtue or Flaw related to the status of a Hermetic magus." I've kvetched about this before; when the core came out, the only wizards with Gift-related magic were either Hermetic Magi or just had a couple of Supernatural Virtues. Nowadays...not so much.

Where does it say that? In the corebook, it says "Anyone may learn Magic Theory, if they have access to a teacher or book, but it is of little use to those without the Gift." (Emphasis mine.)

I believe Ramidel meant an assitant, rather than a primary researcher. Which is entirely RAW as I recall.

Granted, I didn't quote the entirety of his post, but if you look back at the OP that wasn't what was asked. And if you look back at Ramidel's reply, he said:

"Per the Apprentices book" suggests how, before he is taught Magic Theory, the Apprentice adds Half his Intelligence score to the safety total of the lab, and is simply a restatement of the virtue in Covenants. To me, it was perfectly clear that he meant that the Failed Apprentice adds only one half his Intelligence, and not anything approaching being a primary researcher.

Failed Apprentice can be an Assistant in the lab, it's in the virtue. There's nothing that limits the assistance a Failed Apprentice can provide, so, IMO, it should be with Int+Magic Theory score, and if they have any applicable virtues, they should apply as well.

There are at least three cases listed in the rules where someone without the Gift or perhaps with remnants of the Gift can be a lab assistant, and even the primary in one case. In all three cases I can recall the person must still have strong ties to the Gift somehow.

  1. Failed Apprentice (used to have the Gift, might just be broken instead of fully gone)
  2. Familiars (magically connected to someone with the Gift)
  3. Faeries via Becoming (used to have the Gift)
    So there's a good argument for any random covenfolk not being able to be an assistant: no strong link to the Gift.

Sure, but you'd still have to get the 5 Supernatural Virtues. You cannot learn the Abilities from p166 to avoid the Virtues, no?

Hm. Not quite sure what you're referring to. My main idea was that somehow an apprentice would have learned a number of Supernatural Abilities - say, before his Gift was opened, his Paren had him learn a number of them from various instructors. Then, the Paren attempted to open the gift - I dunno, because he was studying how it worked, or something. (Such as doing Original Research for Subtle Opening.) In the resulting botch, the apprentice's Gift is sufficiently-damaged, thus preventing him from doing Hermetic Magic. However, depending on the nature of the botch, he could still have access to those Supernatural Abilities.

Of course, from a game balance perspective, the character would still have to pay for them with virtue points. However, there's nothing stopping them from taking multiple (minor) abilities in character creation - which is actually explicitly referenced: "...if your Gift was not completely destroyed, you may have some Supernatural Abilities."

Although I suppose, technically, if you were doing Extended Character Creation, you could just have the character learn a number of Supernatural Abilities (without paying virtue points for them) from tutors, just like they learn regular skills. Then once the Opening botches, they can't learn that way any more. But again, up to the Troupe and all.