Feral upbringing

Please help me .....

A mage can take the flaw FERAL UPBRINGING?

In the 4 ed. only grogs and companions can take this flaw but in the 5 ed. is not specified.

We are playng with the 5 ed and for me a mage can't take this flaw but other players have a different opinion.


P.s. Please forgive my terrible english

It is perfectly valid for a magus.

A normal character starts with Language 5 (75 XP) and 45 points to spend among a limited number of abilities.

A feral child cannot learn language, so gets 120 XP (75 + 45) to spend amongst a limited number of abilities.

The Flaw only assumes feral nature to this point (the first five years of childhood). It is up to the player to decide if he remains feral longer (in which case I would suggest he is still limited to the abilities indicated).

Once taken as an apprentice, he would likely have to learn to speak a common language as well as Latin.

And he likely learns the common language of the area from exposure.
Latin (if the first language learned) becomes the Native Language of the character.

(Your English is fine, almost perfect in the above, and far, far better than many "natives" I've endured.)

A feral child who is adopted by... someone (peasants, the Church, a covenant, whatever), and then is given a more "traditional" upbringing for the next few years? Why not? That same feral child found to have The Gift, before or after his adoption? Again, no problem! In fact, it sounds like a great story, altho' a major challenge for the Parens.

No reason (depending on the exact history) that the child would ever have to learn anything but latin, either! If raised as an apprentice, or in the Church, he could well never come into contact with much of anything but that "dead" language.

The trick is to make sure that the history (and skills taken) flows well and makes sense - from feral to apprentice, thru apprenticeship to gauntlet. Now, IF you, as a GM, decide that such a story does not interest you- that's your decision. If you want to put restrictions on the skills taken, perhaps a bit of "local language", that would not be unreasonable to ask for. But btr, within the game world, no problem at all.

I am with you here. The Flaw requires, that you may "only choose beginning Abilities that you have learned in the wilds. In particular, you may not start with a score in a Language."
This clearly excludes a starting magus with Feral Upbringing, though a Gifted character with this flaw might be taken during the campaign as an apprentice and learn Latin.
(A troupe can of course revise this, especially if starting with older magus characters.)

Kind regards,


Hrmmm- on closer reading, I see B's point, in that it clearly states "You may only choose beginning" abilities..." - but then, at the end, it only speaks of "In your first five years you gain..."

So, part of it seems to address only early childhood, and the other seems to limit the entire lifespan of the character up to the beginning of the saga. It seems that this Minor General Flaw does not deal with characters who had been feral, but then re-entered society at some point before the saga.

I still see nothing wrong with the concept of a mage who had a feral upbringing (quite the opposite!), but this particular Flaw, as written, does not seem to serve that purpose.

Another ambiguous rule for a SG to adjudicate. :unamused:

Agreed, as written this Virtue could not be taken by a normal Hermetic Magus.

Perhaps an interesting Ex Misc, who learned his powers from animals, the fae, etc. and has only now joined instead of died, but I think (again, as written) this flaw indicates very very little contact with civilization.

I guess I agree that as written the flaw merges poorly with a magus, but nothing keeps you from making a character with a similar background without taking that exact flaw. The distribution of xp on Abilities and choice of personality traits (maybe even Personality Flaws) can easily describe the somewhat same thing in terms of the rules.

Nevertheless what matters in the end is how you chose to play and depict your character inplay, and nothing should hinder you from playing a character with some of the challenges and quirks of a magus fostered in the wild prior to becoming an apprentice.

Ok, lets shift the focus away from the current flaw, obviously intended for a companion or grog who has spent all but the last few months in the wild, and on to a new flaw or flaws that might be allowable for a magus to take.

Some existing flaws might work:

This background could simply be a great explanation for having "Animal Ken", "Berserk", "Faerie Blood", "Famous" (the genius wolf), "Inofensive to Animals", "Improved Characteristics" (physical), "Skinchanger", "Ways of the (Land)", and/or "Wilderness Sense" in the Virtues.

As for flaws, it could be represented by "Ability Block" (language, charm, etc), "Afflicted Tongue", "Animal Companion", "Black Sheep" (if you were raised in the wild by sheep...no wait, how about if your family isn't thrilled about how you pee on the dinner table), "Compulsion" (to act wild), "Dark Secret" (What? The great Tempestus is simply a signified wolf?), "Delusion" (pack mentality), "Fury", "Hatred" (prey or predator), "Infamous", "Judged Unfairly", "Lycanthrope", "Magical Animal Companion", "Social Handicap", "Weak Parens" (to represent the difficulty your master had getting you to intergrate to the student/teacher dynamic).

Now, if you want a more specific flaw, and there's always room for more flaws, isn't there, you could look to "Sheltered Upbringing", "Faerie Upbringing", and "Feral Upbringing" to come up with something to represent a magus who, at least 15 years ago was feral. The problem with something like this, to my mind, is that if you were able to intergrate with your master and his covenant and pass your gauntlet to some extent you obviously aren't too feral now. And if your background doesn't limit you much, it doesn't seem like much of a flaw.

I think the restricted experience for the first five years of your life from "Feral Upbringing" still fits. "Faerie Upbringing" and "Sheltered Upbringing" are are both Minor Personality Flaws, "Sheltered" being the most applicable, and adding its limitation against taking certain skills during the rest of creation seems good, too. However, this is aimed at a Magus, so perhaps it should be a Hermetic Flaw. Now we have a flaw similar to several others, but still different.

Apprenticed From The Wild
(Minor, Hermetic)
As a child you were raised in the wilderness by animals or surviving on your own. In your first five years you gain 120 points which must be split between (Area) Lore, Animal Handling, Athletics, Awareness, Brawl, Hunt, Stealth, Survival, and Swim. You were likely found in the wild while still young, and having the gift, were trained, with some difficulty no doubt to be a Hermetic apprentice. As all your effort was directed to learing totally foreign matters such as vocal teaching methods you had no time to develop an understanding or the wider world. You are unable to function well in normal or Hermetic society, at least to begin with, and may not take Bargain, Charm, Etiquette, Folk Ken, Guile, Intrigue, or Leadership as beginning Abilities, but you may learn them in play. This flaw goes well with "Weak Parens", that flaw not reflecting the weakness of your Master, but the initial difficulty in training you. You must take a Latin Score of at least 3.

Hows that? It combines parts of two flaws, but doesn't limit a character's future growth to know and understand either society.

I'm not sure it is much of a flaw, in that it is all "behind" the mage, and no echoes need be considered. What's worse, is that it yields 120 pts of "real" skills in the first 5 years, instead of the usual 45 (+ 75 birth language), hardly a burden. Note that many magi don't give a damn about their "native" language anyway, as often as not ending up in a Covenant far from the land of their youth.

Also, as few of the Virtues/Flaws are "magi-specific", I'd rewrite it so it addresses any "ex-feral" character, mage, companion or grog.

So, to make this a Flaw and not a Virtue, I'd treat it more like "Berserk", and add something like this:

...The character must take a personality trait Feral +2 (or more, at your option). They must also roll an extra botch die in any social situation that requires the above skills (or SG's discretion), and any new, stressful or unexpected social situation calls for a roll + Feral vs 9 to avoid acting in a highly inappropriate (even physically defensive or aggressive) manner...

The whole point of "feral" being a flaw is, after all, that you can take the mage out of the wild, but you can't take the wild out of the mage...

Interesting. I wanted to make sure it wasn't just two flaws stacked together. As said before, there are a lot of flaws that can be taken that do not limit a character of certain conceptions. This flaw is hardly a limitation to the sort of mage that would take it, but neither is Continence to a celibate or Outlaw Leader to an outlaw leader. It's very similar to Sheltered Upbringing.

How about requiring the 75 pts from Language being put in Animal Handling?

All Hermetic Flaws are Magi-specific.

I like the "Feral" personality trait, but think the other bit is a bit much.

Thanks a ton for the input.

I was reading this thread as I am thinking of making a feral mage (shapeshifter) that spent much of her youth in animal form after her first shift scared her parents.

Could such a character take Latin as her native language?

Mages can take feral upbringing. HoH:MC says, in the sidebar on page 37, that it used to be common in House Bjornaer, but that it isn't so much now as they are trying to escape their reputation.

The problem I have with "Apprenticed from the Wilds" is that it wouldn't count against the Personality Flaw limit.

In any case, outside of any mechanical effects you can and should consider it in the same way as Faerie and Sheltered Upbringing as to what kind of reactions are expected from the character.