First glance at the Infernal

Oh yes, I can see how your character could justify it, certainly. However, much like the common belief in the Order that Diedne magic was evil, chthonic practices are also generally considered evil in the primarily Christian world of Mythic Europe. The character may believe he is doing nothing wrong, but there will be a great many who disagree with him, and who will consider him an infernalist if they catch him at it. It's a risk, but one that I feel is quite in line with the way you describe your character.

Well, I'd say each one has about the same sort of penalty, but with a different group. If you avoid gaining the notice of either of those groups, you might not suffer any consequences at all.

A chthonic magus, perhaps? You might be better off as an Ex Miscellanean, actually, because of the association with a tradition and the extra Virtue (presumably a faerie version of Summoning?).

Yep, both for the reason that I'm shaping him as a staunch, proud individualist and that he couldn't care less for the opinions of Christians about anything. The Flaws Pagan and Covenant Uprising seem custom-written just fo him :wink: Being an outsider within the Order and his own peers might be more significant of a sting, one that might eventually move him, in his late years, to seek some form of acceptance (e.g. starting his own brand of Mystery Cult) once the rush of passions for exploration, discovery, and sensual pleasure has somehow cooled down (maybe).

Yep, for Diedne lineage it would be Tremere, but for a Chtonic one, which Hermetic subgroup would be especially averse to it ? Jerbiton ? Guernicus ?

You know, this is a suggestion with much merit, one that I've considered myself, and quite useful since this is going to be a very Virtue-centered character. However, since I plan to have him develop in Merinita Mysteries as heavily as in Theurgy ones, while the Diedne and Chtonic parts of the background are easily settled with a Virtue or two each, the character should either be made to switch Houses, from Ex Miscellanea, to Merinita either during apprenticeship or (more likely) in post-apprenticeship development, or the character be allowed to initiate Merinita mystae, as well as a theurgic cult, being an Ex Misc. personally I think the thing is doable as long as one pays the normal price of a Minor Virtue for Faerie Magic, instead of being free (that slot being for Ex Misc in that case). Or even more likely, a mage from another house enrolling in Merinita Mystae with little fuss, since Merinita are not paranoid about mystae membership as Bjornaer or Verditius (something that endears them to me even more).

The main developing difficulty is deciding what the proper pace for mystae development in two mystery cults (and the chtonic group) during post-apprenticeship development might be, something I hope to find decent guidelines for in TMRE (one of the reasons why I was so vocal about getting the book released soon: the guidelines for post-apprenticeship development of anything else are very good in the main book except, necessary, for mystae).

"At this point, there are basically three different ways to get new Virtues outside of character creation: research, initiation, and study. All of these are in the main book, in fact. Characters with The Gift can develop new Virtues in the lab through experimentation,"

Erik -- I don't remember that from the core rules; do you mean Covenants or something? Twilight experiences can grant Virtues, but nothing about deliberately researching them.

Rules for that are in the Bonisagus chapter of HoH: True Lineages.

I was thinking of the lab experimentation rules in ArM5, although now that I look at them again I see that what I thought was there isn't; you can't get a new Virtue from a Discovery (as ncl points out, that's in HoH:TL). Though a "Special" result could give you a new Virtue, I suppose.

Indeed virtues may be gained in any of three ways;

Study: this is only feasible for Superntural Virtues with linked abilities, is heavily penalized by already-known Virtues and Hermetic Arts, so it requires teacher (or student) to have exceptional Com and teaching and learning-ehancing virtues, or the student enrolling in a religious or occult group that can teach it as one of its Favored Virtues/Abilities (which require SG's fiat as whether a group offering the right abilities exists).

This is fairly rare for hermetic mages because of the Arts, somehow more feasible for Mythic Companions and non-Hermetic Gifted, but ultimately only feasible in large amounts if one subscribes to a group.

Research: this requires original hermetic research and a major breakthorugh to create a new teachable Hermetic Virtue and Ability, which is extempt by the penalization, plus maybe another major breakthorugh to incorporate the discovery in standard hermetic theory. This is potentially the most benefical way for the Order in the long term, but also the most onerous for the researcher. Therefore, only a fraction of the potential discoveries (which first and foremost include all of the Hermetic and Supernatural Virtues that occur in individual mages as personal talents or are taught by mystae) are actually pursued. However, if the Order did an organized effort to pursue this research program the broadth and power of hermetic magic would increase tenfold.

Initiation: this is the halfway option, most balanced in terms of benefits to the individual mage: it is not so heavily restricted as study, not as time-consuming and difficult as research, and while it calls for significant efforts and sacrifices, it allows mages to gain several (or many, if they specialize in mysteries) new virtues in a lifetime. Its main drawback is that every hermetic generation must reinvent the wheel, so to speak: while improvement in mysteries do exists, as new Scripts for known Virtues, or even wholly new ones, are devised, each mage has to go through just the same kind of trial as the precedent. However, it is the best approach in short-term and for the individual so it stands to reason it is the most widespread option in the individualistic Order.

A few quick comments:

  • Demons are capital-S Scary. It makes sense that most people would seek refuge in the Dominion and pray for God's protection. Magi, keep your Parma up at all times. You have been warned. :angry: shudders

  • Vrylakos will probably enjoy this book :stuck_out_tongue:

  • As Vituperation (the Infernal Twilight-equivalent) can lead to an increase in Confidence Score, this makes a very convincing explanations for the Corruption of House Tytalus. What better way to build character than to experience the agonies of Hell?

  • Whomever drew up Hulikang should be lynched by a mob of drunk sports fans.

  • Diabolism really is the easy road to power. Grabbing new virtues doesn't seem that difficult. Neither is granting virtues to others. That includes the Gift itself. There's a catch, of course. If you repent your sins, it all goes poof. Kinda makes it hard to give it all up once you've invested a lot. And this, kind sirs, is how you truly damn yourselves of your own free will.

  • Corrupted Skills/Arts/Spells are fun. Though they are presented as flaws (which just so happen to grand you extra XP), they also make perfect sense for things learned from Infernal grimoires (maybe they are thus, somewhere else in the book).

  • Did I mention that Demons were scary?

  • I need sleep.

Hulikang is one of mine, although his name is, um, Mark's? Erik's?

He's based on the uprising put down by Belisarius in the Justinian period, although the idea reached me throug the Tomorrow People episode on the Blue and the Green.

An off topic comment - Demon summoning has its most sypathetic vision in the Bartimaeus trilogy of books by Jonathan Stroud, they are really very funny, I would definately recommend. Briefly - wizards summon spirits alternatively calling them demons, djinn etc. The spirits are all evil in the sense that they are quite happy to eat the summoner who messes up because they don't want to be enslaved, and to obey orders however nasty to avoid being punished. But the order that summons them does not really care what they are, they are slaves, they are under control and must obey, and a good mage doesn't listen to their advice.

Makes a good example for any group of diabolists. If the demons all pretend to be genies or fae, then they might not think there is anything wrong with commanding them. An order of diabolists who think they are no worse than the merinita, they think they should be judged by what the ends are not the means.

I'm glad to see that the hedge Summoners are back, and don't need to be infernalists, since Summoning, also a Goetic Art can be gained as a Magic or Faerie Supernatural ability. Two down, two to go. :smiley:

So, DEO would count as Ablation and you would get a further boost to penetration. Ouch, poor demon. I don't understand why Fenicil destroyed the malleus epistula, it looks like a sweet sweet text that would make a fine addition to the curriculum of any Guernicus apprentice, and deserves to be spread far and wide.

I like the misguided traditions

And I assume that the False Gift typically plays the equivalent of the Gift/True Faith, since infernal powers can be learned as supernatural abilities, right?

I also have a question regarding the Favored Abilities of hermetic societas, both Holy and Infernal: who exactly learns them (it may have been answered before, but I completely forgot). Do they apply to Hermetic Magi who are member of the tradition (probably not) or only to Gifted hedgies (more likely)?

If it's not an evil deed in the eyes of your character, it probably won't give you a bonus either. It has to be something you know is bad. The "nice" sacrifices would fall under "Hermetic Sacrifice", as we discussed before, and counts toward drawing the attention of whomever you are offering the sacrifice to.

As a Brit in Vegas... I can only exclaim "Woo! The Tomorrow People!"

Ah, that and Into the Labyrinth! Good stuff!


the first you said. If you are a member, both Hermetic and hedgies may learn them. Cfr. sol Invictus, Zoroastrians and Nerusian mages. RoP:D holds the example of a Zoroastrian holy hermetic mage destroying a spirit with an invocation of Wonders, one of his group's Favored Abilities.

Fair enough. If you don't knowingly break a taboo of yours, it doesn't grant power. very infernal-ly. I'm still under the impression that Chtonic may be of strong appeal to a magus, even if he doesn't ever use the knowingly evil parts of it. E.g. getting a bonus, and no botches, in infernal auras, safely using infernal vis, and the R/D/Ts.

All this sounds very similar to Graeco-Roman conceptions of Necromancy.

Now where's my write up for Guorna the Fetid gone...


Yes, but precious little is said about how that Holy magus goes about learning those abilities. I think I'm going to create a new thread about that question.

Oh, I'm sure it is. Even some of the flaws in the book are definitely tempting. Fear my Corrupt Pilum of Fire.

I must have missed this when you asked it, sorry.

Infernal powers can be learned as Supernatural Abilities by anyone who has been somehow exposed to the infernal, like with an infernal Warping Point. You just have to get the experience from a source with Quality 5 or better (to ensure you get five experience points). They don't have to have the Gift or True Faith, like people who want to learn magical or divine Supernatural Abilities. You do have to subtract other Supernatural Ability scores, but if you don't have any it isn't much of a penalty. Magi can't easily do this, but companions sure can.

Anyone with True Faith can learn divine Supernatural Abilities by studying them from a teacher or some other source. There are no requirements besides exposure to the infernal to get the unholy ones. Magi have to subtract their Arts scores from their study totals, but not for the Favored Abilities of their tradition. Thus, a magus who joins the Witch-Hammers, for example, can easily learn the four powers. Other characters can join too, though. They're called Hermetic because they're most common among magi, not because only magi can belong. For example, the Daughters of Erictho are rarely magi. You can't learn Hermetic Virtues without The Gift, though, so Thessalians who aren't magi probably can't learn Chthonic Magic, and divine hedgies can't learn Holy Magic.

Note that since you don't subtract Favored Abilities from study totals and you don't have to subtract other Abilities when learning Favored Abilities, hedgies who don't have Arts can actually learn a few powers besides their favored ones. If they start young, an infernalist in a tradition like the Witch-Hammers might learn the other Goetic Arts in addition to Summoning and Ablating through play, or pick up Debauchery or an Ability like Sense Passions, Ceremony, or Corruption. I expect a powerful diabolist to have a lot more powers than just the favored ones of his tradition, because they are so ridiculously easy to learn. The hardest part is finding the teacher.

Wow. Hell really is pandering to the masses. Have they no decency? :laughing:

OK, hold on there. Does that mean that one can really belong to multiple traditions? It was my understanding that the Hermetic Arts essentially were the favored abilities of the Hermetic "tradition". Are Hermetics treated specially (wouldn't be the first time), or are you allowed something like one tradition from each Realm, meaning that you could end up, ignoring the flagrant incongruity of a Divine/Infernal combination, with a Luciferan Hermetic Ascetic who would have three sets of Favoured Abilities?

Could a Hermetic Magus join a Magic hedge tradition and benefit from their Favoured abilities? Are you allowed one tradition per Realm? One tradition from another Realm on top of your initial one?

I fully understand that the complete details should be in Hedge Magic once it gets written (they'd better be), but aside from different Realm affiliation and virtue requirements, we already have hedge "magic" traditions today. My mind is stuck in the "Hermetic Magic is a tradition, you're only allowed a single tradition" rut.

But could an experienced Gifted Damhadh-Duidsan be apprenticed in the Order of Hermes without suffering penalties to his study totals nor require a master with an outrageous Intellego Vim total to open the Arts?

If you create a character as a member of some tradition or other, which abilities do you have to buy a Virtue for? Those abilities you want to begin with a score in? That would make a rounded "apprenticeship" impossible, given that they're typically Major, and we are talking about Gifted characters (or whatever requirements for the other realms), not Mystic Companions. Or is the benefit just a starting score? e.g. Ex-Misc Damhadh-Duidsan who take Incantation get the free level 1, but those who pick Giant Blood don't, and both can buy up higher scores at character creation?

Word. It's not even that hard, since there are probably untold numbers of Demons just falling over themselves to offer a deal to anyone they overhear expressing a desire to do so. :smiling_imp:

If I may offer a bit of reasoned advice, the deal is the same for both Hermetic and hedigies:

Learn an ability from Virtue at character creation (representing inborn talent, training from your mentor-this includes the special Ex Misc bonus- and oddball cases), no penalties.

Laern the "pure" ability with the Gift/True Faith or just exposure to the Infernal prerequisites, with cumulative learning penalties.

Join one tradition only in your lifetime, get to learn their own special set of four Favored Abilities. Set is the same for both Hermetic and non-Hermetic Supernatural Abilities, so Hermetics get a double-dipping; luckly bastards. No penalties.

Initiate a Mystery Virtue. No penalties.

No, the Hermetic Arts aren't favored abilities, they're opened through a special ritual the first season of apprenticeship. You could certainly have a character with four or more Supernatural Abilities before the ritual, but it makes the ritual harder, and it means your master has to have a high Intellego Vim total or it could fail completely.

One tradition in your lifetime. It's not always easy to determine when someone's joined a tradition, but basically when you learn something as a favored ability, you've joined the associated tradition. If the source you're learning it from doesn't have a tradition, you can't take it as a favored ability.

There are different traditions of Hermetic Magic, too. Mercurian, Faerie, Diedne, even things like Mutantes magic. Many of them have been converted into Hermetic Virtues, though, and once they become Hermetic they are rarely compatible with the previous tradition any more (Holy Magic and Chthonic Magic are two interesting exceptions).

Alas, no. He'd probably be stuck as a hedge wizard.

Any supernatural virtues that you start with, you have to take as Virtues. Ex Miscellanea get one for free, as you note. If a Damhan-Duidas takes Giant Blood as his free one, he can learn any of the other four during play, by seeking out others from his tradition and learning from them.

Yup. There's even a couple of examples of this in the book, like Aqrab the Conjurer (pages 58-59).

Great, thanks for the clarification. :smiley:

[size=150]Elations and Joyfull Celebrations.... :smiley: [/size]

The postman was just here a sec ago - and now I've gotten my copies of Infernal and TMRE! Jubbbiiiiijae!