Founders of the Order of Hermes

I was wondering if the Powers that be at Atlas-Games could include Information on all 13 of the Founders in any of the Up-Coming Ars Magica books to be released??

As it would be really nice if we also had their Stats and Art’s Levels, and any uniquie Spells that any of them where known to have used or Created?

As i am guessing that they all didn't share all of their own secrets on magic, so any of their own individual secret powers that they didn’t share with each other when the Order of Hermes was created.

As this would allow GM’s to start a game right at the beginning of the creation of the Order of Hermes, and allow PC’s to interact with the original Founders of the Order!

Plus it would be a whole new starting platform from where most people get to experience the time period where we all play in!

If any GM’s out there have written up their own creation of the original Founders I would love to see how you have pictured them to be in your own games?


All I have is that Flambeau was the smartest, most powerful, and best looking of all the founders.


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There's been discussion and a straw poll taken on the Berklist (and possibly in part here, too, I think), and the general opinion was that no, people didn't want to have the Founders "nailed down" to stat blocks (nor did they want to know who was right in the Schism War).

Now, subjective, second- or third-hand information about things they have said or done, sure. The Stuff Of Legend.

It's useful whether or not you play the beginning or the Order or not. But even then, the enumeration of things that Mercere had done (according to his House) wasn't well received by everybody ("He did all that? Yeah, pull the other one, it's got bells on.")

Given the backlash from the changes to Flambeau, Criamon, Tremere, I dread what following your proposal to the end would unleash. :imp:

Stats would cause them to completely lose their mystique. It's like giving stats to gods, in That Other Game. The Founders, like any other NPC, could do what you need them to have done. If you stat them, that option is gone. Yes, I know, YMMV, but it sets strong expectations as to things should be.

And for people not playing that period, it would be pointless. I'm convinced that the various Line Editors have all thought about doing it at some point, and decided against it for those reasons, and probably more.

On the other hand, like many others, I'm positively drooling at the very idea of more Legends of the Order. Did I ever tell you the one about how Criamon once single-handedly stopped a war? No? Well, gather 'round me, children and listen carefully...


Yeah i pretty much guessed that would be the case against putting the Founders to print, but i would still love to know about what secrets that each of them have held back for themselves, as i can't see them laying all their cards on the table!

In our current game we have all the Founders back now, well not all of them were as dead as we first thought, and just not in public life you could say, so now they have brought back the 13th house that was wiped out in the Schism War.

We nearly had a 14th house, that of all the Familiars, and that was only just prevented at the last minute. But I have a very strong feeling that the Familiars new plan will end up working out this time and in our game we will have a 14th House. Now armed with they new plan and also having a Leader now, Merinita’s own Familiar (Her Black Stag).

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In a past game we had Tytalus running around for a while (he was rescued from the Faerie regio he had been trapped in by a PC).

Stats wise he was actually rather weak. I reasoned that the Order has advanced significantly in the 400+ years since the founding, so a Founder who was very powerful back then might not measure favorably against powerful modern magi.

Of course, Tytalus did his best to not let anyone know that! He consciously played on his reputation as a Founder and all the stories that had built up around him to make the Order believe that challenging him was a very bad idea. Things only started to break down for him when he started to tell the Quaesitors what Guernicus really meant and how the Order should really be run.



Not that he couldn't have high stats or mundane skills, though. Intrigue, anyone? :smiling_imp:


This is a strong reason why not to stat the founders. Maastrictian favors the "Weak Founders" approach, which is legit and popular view. I myself though advocate the opposite, the founders were figures of legendary power that modern magi can never hope to approach in scale. 400 years of development means that today's apprentices are better. But the founders were no apprentices. They each contributed something to Hermetic magic, but I also think much of their original knowledge was lost or diluted. The Rings of Verditius and the Final Flames of Flambeau, the Mysteries of Bjornaer and the lost secrets of Merinita; these are the stuff of legend.

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Lol That was a lovely idea.

I am inclined to agree with Maastrician--to a point. The Order of Hermes should have promoted substantial growth and development over the course of its history. The Founders WERE exceptional for their time, and if brought into the 13th Century would still be formidable--probably on the level of Archmagi. In particular, I would say that the Founders were mostly specialists who excelled in their respective fields. Due to this tight focus, in those areas they might be competitive with some of the best talents centuries later. Outside of those specialties, they would be fairly modest in terms of their abilities. The greatest exception would be Bonisagus himself. The man must have been the Archimedes+ of Magic.

Of those Founders who disappeared and could return, we have: Merinita (into Faerie), Tytalus (into Faerie), and Pralix (vanished).

Jerbiton is probably dead and buried in a Christian cemetary. Tremere is UNdead and buried in...oh, wait, that's another Mythic Europe. Or game. Or maybe three or four games.

It's possible for any of the Founders who disappeared into what people THOUGHT was Final Twilight to come back out. A bad Twilight that gave 7 years + a stress die could have turned into centuries out of time, bringing them back into a radically different world.


I agree that it is a legitamate point of view, but certainly not the only viabale pov. My theory is that not all of this early knowledge was compatible. For example, maybe Tremere may have had a Magic Focus in Necromancy and Certamen, a feat no one in the order can duplicate. The mysteries Bjornaer had that never made it to her followers, the secret powers of Flambeau (the best and brightest of the founders), the rituals Tytalus never shared, and on and on.

The founders certainly had some different powers, and mayhaps were less effective in "vanilla" magic than modern magi, but what about other flavors?

Not to argue one pov is more valid than the other! They bboth make for interesting stories.


Bonisagus himself is also unaccounted for. Last heard of heading to Greece, and then...

As for Tremere, even when I played/run Vampire I never liked the idea that it was actually him who founded the vampire clan. I preferred the earlier WoD stuff that left the whole issue kind of vague and intriguing.


And what happened to Trianoma's "sister"? What of the books she took with her?

Diedne's also unaccounted for... as is some of the House.

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What indeed... 8)


Now that's just teasing, Mr Line-Editor....


That's why, while I wouldn't be against such a book, it should IMO favor the "Amber DRPG" approach, with different versions of the same characters (at least 3, IMO).

If you had, say, 3 different tytalus, one weak, one awesome, and one in-between, not only would this be more usefull in various games, but you could mix and match them in order to have a weak bonisagus, a powerfull diedne, an average flambeau... This would open up a lot more possibilities, and also throw the players off-balance as to a founder's real power :smiling_imp:

Good news up ahead? :smiley:

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I think he's just being enigmatic. Quite right too. If those books were ever to turn up there would be massive implications for the development of Hermetic theory, and if there's one thing I like about Atlas ArM books(there's more than one, actually) it's that they don't burden you with too much tedious canon meta-plot stuff, e.g. "In 1218 all the followers of Criamon underwent a collective Twlight and any Criamon magus characters created after 1218 must take the flaw Necessary Condition: must be holding a spoon." I think the fate of Bonisagus's books is something we get to decide for ourselves...

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I think this is the only way to do this to be honest.

I really like that idea. Each of these different versions could have different powers, objects, some lost spells or abilities, roman rituals, etc. There's a lot of story potential there also, with different legends linked to the different aspects. :slight_smile:

I also really like the idea of seeing each of the Founders at different Power Levels!

As this would definitely give the GM's the ideas and the tools of customizing the Founders to how each of GM's see or think the Founders Power Levels would of been in their eye's!

I would also like to see what each of the Founders didn't share with each other!

Yes at their time they were some if not the most powerful Mages around, but I can't see that they all shared all of their secrets of Magic...

So this would also allow different secrets to be shown, depending on the different Power Levels of each of the Founders!

I second (third? fourth?) the idea of having the Founders represented by several sets of stats. I really like the idea of letting the Troupe decide which is true, and even mix and match various stat sets. (At least according to my game's Tytalus, Bonasagus was the greatest mage that ever lived, while Tremere was a magical wimp)

If they need to be represented at all, of course. For me, having a stated Founder would not be a big draw to purchase an Ars book. I can just make them up if I need them.


Thanks :slight_smile: It was a ton of fun to run!


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