Frederick II and Commanding Aura

While the rules in RoP:Divine for the aura given to religiously invested leaders are really easy to apply for most kingdoms, I am having a heck of a time trying to make judgments regarding investiture for various Italian states and the Holy Roman Empire.

For example, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II is crowned twice, once while Otto VI, who was crowned earlier, was alive, crowned, and claiming the throne. I'm not clear on whether Frederick was further crowned when he was one year old, or if he was merely elected at that time, and therefore I don't know whether his mother's (as regent) rejection of the Empire in favor of Otto should have any game effect.

Between Frederick II and all the other people whom the Pope invests or divests based on their political allegiance, combined with the rule that the excommunication isn't effective unless the ruler "feels it," I want to know what everyone else thinks is a good rule for determining when multiple claimants with overlapping investitures have the Commanding Aura.

What I'm worried about is that everyone except John of England (who was clearly affected by excommunication) and Ezzelino da Romano (who seems like a pretty non-divine guy) gets divine Commanding Aura and keeps it until death. Furthermore, there's a question when it comes to regents (such as Frederick II's mom) being able to forswear kingship - does that have any effect?

John liked being excommunicated. He particularly liked it when his realm was under interdict because he got to keep the revenues of the bishoprics that fell empty, since they could not be filled.

He only bowed because France was going to invade.

The historical john might have liked it. The Mythic Europe one might not, given that his realm might have been a kindergarten for demons during this period. The OoH certainly will have NOT liked it if this was the case. I can easily see some magi manipulating the French to invade just to have the excomunication lifted.

Interesting tribunal possibilities after that: normandy magi accusing the English magi from interfering in mundane affairs and the others defending other clauses of the code to defend themselves 8and claiming that no one except themselves where endangered by the treat of invasion. That can rake as a great Grand Tribunal event.

Some D&D scent detected. :slight_smile:

The historical Frederick II didn't care much about religion. He had muslim advisors, too.

Funnily enough, I have never played or read anything from DnD except the drizzt novels.

When your country is interdicted, people cannot repent their sins. So each person that dies in the country is likely to go straight to hell 999 out of 1000 times. And almost nobody escapes purgatory. I would be clapping my hands like a madman if I was a demon. A whole realm under interdiction? Oh yeah baby! You are basically selling ythe whole souls of your country for some earthly riches? Oh yeah again, baby!

I fail to see what do you see about DnD there....


Now THAT is what I call fantasy. lol. For all its arrogance, the Catholic church does not control who God can and will forgive, nor do its proclamations carry any weight beyond its own political presumptions, certainly none of any spiritual validity.

Part of canon according to RoP:D



hmm don't have that book but methinks someone leaned far too heavily on Roman Catholicism for the definition of divinity, regrettably.

RoP-D is a pretty good book actually, and the people of western Europe were Catholic after all. I mean, did you want them to lean on Lutheranism or Mormonism?

Well, that begs the question of when one makes the value judgment of who gets/loses the divine right of kings; we can say that King John either maintains it all the way through because he doesn't accept the Pope's religious dominion over him, or we can say he loses it but doesn't care because he's too busy being greedy (and possibly putting England under a mild infernal aura) taxing bishoprics, and part of the loss of Commanding Aura and divine favor was the threat of French invasion.

I've given this a little more thought, and I think it comes down to who counts as a "king" for this aura. If it's only for people with "king" in the title, Caliphs, and the Holy Roman Emperor, then I think it's a limited enough group (maybe twenty people at most at any one time) that it's not a real issue, even with the weird potential overlaps.

The problem is, as I look at Italy, is whether a Podesta or Captain of the People with the Pope's favor counts as a King (if you're Podesta of, say, Genoa, you're pretty close to kingship in the Thirteenth Century). If that's the case, I'm looking for a little more guidance as to when people get and lose their auras.

No, I understand the need for a general consensus to any book on the Divine Realm, but given the fact that the catholic church has been little more than a blood soaked, pompous, politically manipulative institution bent on furthering its own power more than obeying the words of Christ, I would think that some disclaimer should be present to indicate that those pious movements like the Cathars, Waldensians, etc. which were declared heretical (read: anything which stands in the way of our hegemonic domination of Europe) were actually much more in line with the divine and its teachings than was Rome.

Anyways, just my own personal angst shining through.

RoP:Divine pretty much goes out of its way to give any monotheistic creed (plus Zoroastranism) divinity. Personally, I could go either way on the Cathars and the Perfecti - it makes it harder to come up with Infernal cults when the historical heresies are on the side of angels.

Anyway, regardless of your views on the historical Catholic church, Ars Magica starts from the position that God is real and gives the Pope holy power. It does so just like it gives old Roman temples magic auras and makes a lot of pagan gods faerie kings - every Medieval myth, including the ones that last to this day, is given power. RoP:Divine does not ignore the fact that there's a lot of religious violence, but pretty effectively works out a system where God exists but doesn't pick sides.

Actually, the way that they divided magic and faerie, most Roman temples should have Faerie auras and not magical ones. The magic ones would be the gods that didn't not give a damn about the Romans

Makes for an interesting escenario, where the Cult of Mercury were a bunch of wannabe Merinitas, and the "heirs" of the Cult of Mercury (that is, the OoH) are just a bunch of savages that have appropiated the traditions and name of the Cult by sheer brute force. Like the visigoths, just with sparkling fingers. :slight_smile:



does this mean the God can take away the power from a Pope that is not acting in the best interest of the church?

I do not have RoP:Divine so I would find it interesting debate if God is active in the decision for a Pope or any new Pope just gets the "word of God" power no matter how corrupt they are.

I'd support the second decision, since it goes well with th idea that god does not pick sides, and let us do our choices freely.
Allowing people to misuse their power is a way to do that.

Note, however, that you may very well be ultimately unable to do any harm using god's power, or that it may always bring "good" things in the end

Just to be clear, RoP:D says that Interdiction is basically excommunication for an entire area, like a country, and uses England in 1208 as an example. People under Interdiction do not get any mechanical benefit from the sacraments, and the Dominion is reduced by 1 level each year. It does mention that Infernal activity increased during John's rebellion, but it doesn't say one way or the other about salvation of people who died during that time. They couldn't be given last rites, but that doesn't necessarily mean they all went to hell. :open_mouth:

No pope has Word of God power in the Middle Ages.

The idea that popes are infallible in spiritual matters was popular in the Middle Ages, but infallability only entered canon law in 1870, well after the game period.

Note that the Pope's infalability has limits even after 1870. He must:

  • be teaching in public, not in private, and as the pope, not as a normal person.
    *he must be discussing moral matters.
  • he must clearly be speaking as an authority, using a well-recognised forumla to express his intention to do so.
  • he must address the whole church.

As to the broader point: God chooses to grant miracles even to corrupt popes, yes, otherwise they couldn't appoint bishops. He does not grant miracles to heretical ones, unless he wants to, and in Ars, he seems to want to quite a bit because he doesn't seem to obviously take sides in heresy.

It's entirely possible for a pope to hold to heterodox doctrines during the game period, and reality does not warp to fit his view.

Or perhaps you could read it before an option?

Pedant, some pedantry for you:

The Divine Right of Kings is not a discussed concept in 1220. It evolves later as a result of the Reformation. Protestants, who no longer took ordination from the Pope or his representatives, developed it as a source of authority for themselves. It doesn't really get articulared in English until James I.

John himself demonstrates there is no Divine Right at this stage, because he holds England in vassalage from the Pope.

There are earlier,related doctrines (like the Two Swords, which was popular with Constantine's supporters) but if you mentioned a Divine Right of Kings to anyone in 1220, they'd not know what you meant.

As to who has the aura that defends kings - whoever your PCs would like to control with Mentem magic, that you don't want them to control with Mentem magic. IMC, that's anyone who has been splashed with holy oil as part of a coronation (which generally includes the whole royal family).

Thank you. That is very informative.

It still would cause some changes to history and actions in my mind since the Divine is a force in the game along with the other realms. The amount of power even for a corrupt Pope would be great unless it was ignored by the Divine.