Favored Abilities and the Ungifted

While attempting to design a Holy Mythic Companion for use in our saga, I found myself a bit confused by the rules for designing Mythic Companions.

In order to learn a tradition's favored abilities, a character must possess the capacity to learn Supernatural Abilities as represented by The Gift, True Faith, Infernal Warping, or a Sympathy Trait. Based on this, it would seem to me that a character able to learn supernatural abilities associated with his/her realm should not have to spend virtue points on their tradition’s favored abilities and, in fact, derives no benefit from doing so.

However, the only Mythic Companion sample character (admittedly a rare breed) presented who meets those requirements, Richard of Glastonbury, does exactly this. Am I missing something?


This one went unanswered and I myself am not entirely sure.

Do Holy Societas count as cult mysteries for the purpose of initiation into their accelerated abilities or is the Gift the only way?

Presumably the divine can impart anything it wishes but then again, does it wish to?

Characters who start the game with Supernatural Abilities must take them as Virtues, which in this case can represent their having learned them from a teacher. After character creation, characters can gain Supernatural Abilities in several ways. One way is learning them from a teacher if they have the capacity to do so. Another way is mystery initiation.

Can Holy Societates initiate the unGifted into mystery Virtues? I don't see why not, since hedge groups can initiate the unGifted too. I don't think you can substitute True Faith for The Gift for mystery mechanics, though. I imagine only the Gifted get the robust initiation rules. :slight_smile:

Unless the character is a Gifted member of some kind of magical tradition. In which case, as long as his Gift has been Opened by that tradition, he can have the favoured Abilities of his tradition without needing the corresponding Virtues.

And any character with the Gift can have one Supernatural Ability gratis. Starts at "0" experience (not the usual score of "1"), but (with the assumption that they didn't lose it during Apprenticeship) they can put points into it during Later Life or any time later.

Thanks for the replies everyone, I apologize for the tardiness of my own response.

Having read the relevant section of RoP:TI, I see that you are correct in asserting that extra virtues available to Mythic Companions do indeed represent how the character achieved their exalted status in the first place.

However, I’m afraid that I failed to articulate my real problem effectively – What is the advantage of Divine Favored Abilities? The advantages of the Faerie & Infernal realms are fairly clear, but the Divine seems to lack any concrete advantage to learning a tradition's favored abilities.

Infernal: Favored abilities do not hinder the learning of other Supernatural Abilities.
Faerie: Favored abilities are not limited by Faerie Rank.
Divine & Magic: ?

By way of example let’s take a look at two Mythic Companions, both of whom we will assume to have True Faith and thus be capable of learning new Supernatural Abilities.

Father Bruno of Milan is a Chorister and starts the game with a score of two in each of that tradition’s favored Abilities: Blessing, Holy Music, Intervention, and Sense Holiness and Unholiness. He later decides to learn Ceremony; he will need a Source Quality of at least: 5 + 8 = 13 or better.

Fatima bint Yahya is a Sufi and starts the game with a score of two in each of that tradition’s favored abilities: Ceremony, Meditation, Transcendence, and Understanding, but she also has the “Non-Traditional” Flaw. She later decides to learn Blessing; she will need a Source Quality of: 5 + 8 = 13 or better.

At present, the only conceivable advantage I can see is if the character purposely took an entirely different suite of supernatural virtues at character creation so that he could later learn the Favored Abilities during play without penalty, but this seems rather cheap, at best…


For a magical tradition, Favored Abilities only have any meaning for a Gifted Character. For a magical tradition you can only learn Supernatural Abilities if you have the Gift. Having a favored Ability means that when you initially learn that Supernatural Ability you do not penalize the Source Quality by the scores of your other Supernatural Abilities.

For unGifted characters this is a moot point, because they cannot learn magical Supernatural Abilities at all. There are of course other ways that a non-Gifted character can acquire magical Supernatural Abilities. For example, being born with it, curses, or some kind of initiation. But this is not learning and so an Ability being favoured or not has no game mechanical benefit.

For Supernatural Abilities aligned with other realms (i.e., Faerie, Divine, and Infernal) the rules are apparently different.

The advantage to learning a holy tradition's Favored Abilities comes primarily when you first join the tradition, in that you don't have to subtract other Divine Abilities the character might have learned from your study total. You're right that this does encourage characters to start the game with a bunch of weird Abilities and then join a tradition that teaches very different ones.

To avoid this, I might suggest as a house rule that Favored Abilities also don't reduce your study total when learning other Divine Abilities, the same as Infernal Abilities. It makes Favored Abilities and holy characters who have them even better, but it does make more sense.

This is correct. The Cantores don't practice Ceremony (though I agree it might make more sense than Sense Holiness and Unholiness), so it jars with his tradition and thus is harder for him to learn.

The same. The Non-Traditional Flaw seems like a very good choice for a Mythic Companion who is going to take all of her Favored Abilities as Virtues! :S

I agree.