Frightening Munckinism

That's easy enough-- the Major Flaw: Necessary Condition (ceremonial casting) would pretty much lock you into that form of casting all the time.


As soon as there isn't a single SG (basically a GM), but actual troupe style play, this would be obviously necessary to me.

Now Salutor, I salute you - that is a beautiful munchkinism!
We have player at the table who tries ths approach but I don't believe he's even been this succesful at it! :slight_smile:

We have a SG for adventure time, but for cpouncil meetings and downtime play we don't, so everything is talked and consensuated. We sometimes flout common sense if something is so `preposterous we want to see it happen :mrgreen: , but generally it is fairly easy to get a consensus.



Yes, substitute "troupe" for SG where appropriate. I'm aware it's a use of Cautious with Artes Liberales that probably wasn't fully intended, but, well, this is a thread for hideous munchkinism, so I feel less guilty about it than I normally would.

Necessary Condition: Ceremonial Casting certainly works to restrict the character, although it is extremely harsh - considerably more so than the canonical example of spinning around three times (and the flaw does specify the required action should be something fairly simple). I'd probably try to argue for a major version of Deleterious Circumstances instead, similar to the Environmental Magic Condition flaw on page 48 of RoP:M (which halves casting totals when, for example, inside).

Mystery Cults seem like a good opportunity for munchkinism. So, I'll give it a go.

First, when making up the covenant ensure that it there is a Boon to represent an accessible regio where time advances quickly (say, one season in the regio per day outside the regio). A true munchkin wouldn't forget about the covenant statistics!

Then, make up a Tremere character with an Affinity with the Ability Mystery Cult Lore: Cult of the Munchkin (and has the free Minor Focus: Certamen).

The character has a Presence Score of +3.

Spend 120 XP on Mystery Cult Lore: Cult of the Munchkin specialised in "Initiation". With the Affinity, this gives an Ability Score of 8 (initiation).

This means that the character can generate an Initiation Total of Pre (+3) + Cult Lore (8) + speciality (1) = 12.

The Cult of the Munchkin has a single Initiation Script called Re-Focus (see below).

The idea is that the character can change his Minor Focus whenever he likes by using the Re-Focus initiation script. So, effectively, he has a Minor Focus in "whatever is convenient at the time". It normally takes a season to do the initiation, but this is by-passed by stepping into the regio with rapid time-advancement.

Total Cost: 1 covenant boon, 1 minor Virtue, 1 "free" house minor Virtue, 6 Characteristic Points, 120 XP.

Re-Focus Initiation Script

This script gives the character a Minor Magical Focus. The field of the Minor Magical Focus is determined when the script is used.
The character must already have a Minor Magical Focus to use the script. The script inflicts the ordeal of destroying the character's original Minor Magical Focus.
The script has a required Initiation Total of 15 (as it initiates a Minor Virtue the Mystagogue knows).
The script has a Script Bonus of +3 (as it inflicts an ordeal of removing a Minor Virtue).
Therefore the effective Initiation Total required is 15-3 = 12, which the character has.

I do not find this character to be specially dangerous. Basically because the auram guy would pass 99% of the filters of most troupes, while the tremere unfocused guy would not. As such I give you a B for your munchkin character. Not bad, but can be improved. :stuck_out_tongue: :wink:

Still, the advancement regio (90 advancement seasons in a real world season) is true munchkinism to the core. Kudos for that :smiling_imp: THe cult of the munchkin made my morning something funnier. :mrgreen: I have to say that when I saw the regio I thought you were going for a summoning character. Too much CatC and SR#9 lately, I guess.


I think the ReMe munchkin is more brutal. He can charm the lightning munchkin to shoot anyone. Can charm the librarian to give some extra books. Etc. Able to ruin every plot.
He must know some effects which destory magic traces.

Another idea:
A maga with presence of 5, Venus' Blessing with some guile and flexibility. She doesn't need to know much magic. :smiley:

Ah yes, thanks for the reminder :slight_smile:

lame flaws:
Major Personality Hatred (enemies of the Order)
Major Story Tormenting Master or Diabolic Past - some think Pagan is cheap too (but as a storyguide, I make them pay for it :smiling_imp: )
minor peronality: careful (any harmless one)
three minor: inmcomprehensible, exciting experimentation (MoH),unimaginative learner or Limited magic resistance in an irrelevant form, harmless magic (not for a Pe magus) - motion sickness/no sense of direction are popular but a good sg makes sure you regret it.

I like Xavi's mentem munchkin idea. I'd use deft mentem though (saves other virtue slots), and maybe add a backup against animals.

Only if it also means aging one season in that time... :wink:

Now, i´m just wondering if you had the most perfectly placed typo possible or if it was intentional...

Ah, but this is munchkinism. So aging only matters if the saga lasts long enough for the character to die of old age.

If the saga only lasts for a decade or two of game-time then advancing your character an additional 20 odd years (or even 40 or 60 years) doesn't matter. It means you get to play an arch-magus when those who don't access/use the regio are still playing freshly gauntleted magi!

I've made a design a while ago using much the same approach as Salutor, with focus being more on spontaneous magic than ceremonial magic, but using some of the same principles. The design is not particularly Munchkin but has some ideas that works pretty well, so I'll share it anyway. The reason for the design was a challenge from another player to use some of the most crippling Hermetic Flaws, and still make a powerful character - thus there is some Munchkinism required to do that :slight_smile:

Diedne Magic (Instead of Life Linked Spontaneous Magic)
Great Stamina x2
Cyclic Magic: Daytime (replaces Mystical Choreography)
Enduring Magic
Special Circumstances: Touching the target
Puissant Muto
Affinity with Muto (or Skilled Parens)
Ex-Misc.: Major = Shapechanger*
Ex-Misc.: Minor = Minor Magical Focus: Self-Transformation

Short-ranged Magic
Loose Magic
Weak Magic
Poor Formulaic Magic.
Cyclic Magic: Nighttime
Dark Secret
Major Story Flaw

Shapechanger - Ex-Miscellanea
*Since she had a very weak penetration and could not cast spells with range greater than Touch, I decided to have her focus on personal buff spells. I designed a 'Hamskifter' (Shapechanger) Ex-Miscellanea variant based on Scandinavian traditions of Shapeshifting, and gave her a focus within Self-Transformation. The Major virtue Shapechanger was discussed in here in a previous thread, and is not Munchkin in any way. This is just the version I felt good about, but some people in here find it weak for a Major Supernatural virtue and I could easily have pushed my SG further with this. Summed up it is a package of: Unbound Tongue (Mystery Cults), Inoffensive to Animals and a rule on Characteristics when Shapechanging: When adopting another shape and comparing the human vs. the new shape’s characteristics (as per Mystery Cults p23: Statistics of Shapechangers – retain the human score, if higher. This tends to give her animal forms higher Communication and Presence, while Big creatures remain a fair Dexterity and Small creatures retain some Strength.

She has spent some xp on Artes Liberales (Ceremonial Magic) and Philosophiae (Ceremonial Magic), and a great deal in Parma. On the other hand, she has saved up a lot of xp from neglecting Penetration, and skipping one or more Weapon skills. Instead she focuses on Brawling in animal form if combat is neccessary. When sponting the idea is to double through both the focus and the Diedne Magic, so as to reach high totals. Her arts are spread out pretty well, with an obvious ephasis on Muto, Corpus and Animal however. But scores of 5 come pretty cheap so there aren't many spells under level 15 that she couldn't spont (even with requisites), making her spellcasting very versatile. Her Formulaic spells are focused on spells of pretty high level, that she would'nt be able to spont until she recieves a great deal of xp through play. Also she has a Ritual healing spell in her Grimoire.

She wears a long padded Fransiscan-style robe, that is sewn together from parts of various animal skins, hides, feathers etc. While this doesn't do much for her in relation to mundane activities, it gives her the requisites required for changing into a large range of animals including different types of birds, reptiles and carnivores. She hopes to be able to enchant this cloak as her Talisman at some point, with attunement options such as; Animal hide +7 turn into appropriate animal; Clothing +4 transform self /+4 protect self / +4 move self; Cloak +5 alter or suppress wearer’s image / +4 transform wearer /+3 flight. Furthermore, she mostly wields items and clothes from Animal (or Corpus) material to avoid further requisites on her Shapechanging spellcasting.

Generalism - XP
Note that although generalism is very rarely mentioned in Munchkinism, it has its uses in this design. Once Muto, Corpus and Animal are high enough for Shapeshifting, adding xp in all of the other Arts increases the spontable repertoire rapidly as a result of the potential to double or triple the Art. Also it makes the Maga much more capable when it comes to requisites, one of the biggest obstacles for Form specialists. In addition to this - generalism has a few advantages that are often overlooked (from my experience anyway): 1) Easy access to Summae since you could study many Arts, and have relatively low scores (hard to find that Auram level 18 book), 2) Easy access to cheap Vis to study from, you should always have some Vis you could use (and you don't need five pawns of that expensive - and for you most precious - Creo Vis, just to recieve 10 xp), 3) Easier to find able teachers of both Arts and Spells, 4) Easy access to lab texts for spells that you would like to learn (often many more options when learning more than one spell in a Season).

Generalism - Freebies
Also generalists often get 'free' protection. First of all, one might have a better shot at fast-casting an appropriate counterspell. Secondly, with a full years dedicated study one could probably up ones low Forms to all reach a score of 6 - giving a +2 Form bonus to pretty much anything from Soak to resisting Magical Lies. Thirdly, with a score of 6 in all Forms, your Magic Resistance is increased for all magical attacks, in a way that is slightly better than if your Parma was actually one point higher. Oh, yeah - and as a small bonus option, you're very hard to predict in Certamen :slight_smile:

Even with those two virtues I can't believe you would spend that much xp on Masteries, and still have enough for Arts, Spells and Abilities. Can this Magus set up his own lab or does he need help? :smiley:
That aside, I see one huge problem with the Munchkin level of this design - you destroy all your potential Vis loot :mrgreen:

As I posted above, I've had a somewhat similar design, and I have some ideas for optimzing if you'd like.

I found that Enduring Magic was fun to play (given the randomness) but also helped the power level of a spont caster. You could often get more range, size, power level or penetration by lowering the duration by one step. Diameter spells are suddently enough for entire scenes - which it might not otherwise be for prolonged battles, or if you just cast a whole bunch of buff spells prior to an encounter (10 spells cast at diameter = the first spell is almost over before you start). Diameter can often go instead of just Sun. Sun duration is no longer vulnerable at sunrise/sunset. Moon duration just needs about two castings per year.

After consulting with my SG I decided to not go for Life Linked Spotaneous Magic for my Shapeshifter, as it was potentially out of balance. But since you've picked LLSM, why not go for Shapeshifting as well? As a bear for example you would get an additional 2 fatigue levels to burn, and you would recover fatigue faster in animal form. Don't want to spend that much xp on Muto/Corpus/Animal? - Why don't you just go 'Boar-naer' instead and grab those 3 bonus fatigue levels instead! Also I found that if you spend fatigue on your spellcasting alot - sponting, burning or whatever - Enduring Constitution is a great option as well.

How do you cast in animal form without appropriate virtues? (Or do you just suffer the penalties?)


You could just suffer the penalties, but personally I would add an appropriate virtue. Letting go of one of the other virtues shouldn't be too hard IMO. Myabe you don't need +5 Stamina, but could go with +4 for example. I would be ready to skip Puissant Philosophiae even. I'd pretty much sacrifice anything, actually - since that one minor virtue could lead you to almost doubling the power of your most powerfull virtue.

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Com+5 Strong Writing munchkin yet. Or the CrMe Mercurian munchkin yet. And the resulting apprentices that are churned out by their covenants that are archmagi at the point they gauntlet. :slight_smile:

Is that boostrapping Munchkinism? :smiley:

Of course the subequent generation must have Book Learner.


The thread title was FRIGHTENING munchkinism. Frightening bookwriters are less common than frightening bookwriters is.
(think of Salman Rushdie if my last sentence seems frightening).

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Casting in animal form to give extra fatigue levels is a good idea, which I hadn't thoguht of. In addition to extra fatigue levels, you can also get increased wound levels with large animals (or you could use MuCo to increase your natural size), thus reducing the type of wound you get.

I'll admit I am struggling slightly with the image of a boar performing a mystical dance, but I don't really see the need for common sense issues like that to get in the way of munchkinism!

It's probably more efficient to use a spell to shapechange, rather than buying it with a virtue - a personal range version of Shape of the Woodland Prowler (or other land animal equivalent) is only level 20, so is easily acheivable. That said, it probably is worth taking Subtle Magic. Voice of the Bjornaer Magus, which allows you to speak in animal form, is only level 15, so Quiet Magic isn't necessary.

Thinking of Shapeshifting, however, makes me think of Ex-Misc, which makes me think of other useful non-Hermetic major virtues. I've also been thinking about other uses of that high Artes Liberales score. I therefore present a revised version:

Magus ex Miscellenea

Age 22, newly gauntletted.

Characteristics: Int +3, Comm +1, Pres 0, Per +3, Sta +5, Str -3, Dex 0, Qik -3


  • Magister in Artibus (Free, ex Misc)[sup]1[/sup]
  • Mystical Choreography (Can cast ceremonial spontaneous magic at a rate of 5 minutes per magnitude rather than 15, or 1 minute per magnitude if using any kind of prepared space, HoH: S, pg 60) (Free, Ex-Misc)
  • Life Linked Spontaneous Magic
  • Cautious with Arte Liberales (minus two botch dice on any roll when using AL; can reduce total botch dice to zero)
  • Puissant Artes Liberales
  • Puissant Philosophae
  • Great Stamina x 2
  • Subtle Magic


  • Major Deleterious Circumstances: Non-ceremonial casting (Free, Ex-Misc)
  • Ambitious, Major (advance in mystery cult)
  • Cabal Legacy (minor, Story, pg 20 of the Mysteries, Revised Edition)
  • 6 other points of flaws, including at least one hermetic and at least one major.

Abilities (355xp)

  • Artes Liberales 5+2 (Ceremonial Casting) 75
  • Athletics 2 15
  • Awareness 2 15
  • Brawl 2 15
  • Charm 1 5
  • Classical Greek 1 5
  • Code of Hermes 1 5
  • Concentration 2 (spell concentration) 15
  • Folk Ken 1 5
  • Latin 5 75
  • Magic Theory 3 (inventing spells) 30
  • Order of Hermes Lore 5
  • Parma Magica 1 5
  • Philosphiae 5+2 (Ceremonial Casting) 75
  • Teaching 1 5
  • Theology (justifying astrology) 1 5

Arts (200xp)

  • Techniques: 7 (5 x 28 = 140)
  • Forms: 3 (10 x 6 = 60)


  • Voice of the Bjornaer Magus (MuAn 15)
  • Shape of the Woodland Beserker (MuCo(An) 20, Base 10, +2 Sun, turn into a Boar)

The magus is a member of a custom Ex-Misc sub-group, the Ceremonialists of X[sup]2[/sup], a small geographically concentrated group of magi in one of Europe's great university cities. As an apprentic, his master provided him with the required season per year of teaching each summer, and for the latter half of his apprenticeship had him enrolled at the local university.

His master was also a member of the Cult of the Magoi of the Star[sup]3[/sup] (TM:RE, pg 54, Hermetic Astrology Chapter), and whilst he has not yet been initiated into any of their mysteries, he has already run some errands for them during his apprenticeship, and can expect to be offered initiation before too much longer.


  1. Hermetic Magus is compatible with Magister in Artibus - see the errata for the second edition printing.
  2. Insert convenient local university town which means he doesn't have to learn a second living language.
  3. Magoi of the Star unfortunately largely offers lab bonuses - with Celestial Magic it's possible to get a +5 bonus to spellcasting, but that's not initiated until degree 4.
  4. Is Philosophiae useful for anything else other than being a Verditius?
  5. Bonus points if you can persuade the troupe that it's reasonable for the Ceremonialists to have the Ceremonial Magic mastery ability (it isone of the more common "secret" mastery abilities).
  6. Xavi, I'm assuming you meant Special Circumstances rather than Performance Magic earlier? It's probably slightly iffy whether this counts as a valid Special Circumstance, but it doesn't seem that unbalanced.
  7. The ceremonial casting total can be further enchanced by the use of ceremonial props (see pg 59 of HoH:S). The book says that medium sized props are the ones magi can acquire most easily, for a +3 bonus.

Casting total in standard human form is therefore:
(Te 7 + Form 3 + Sta 5 + AL 8 + Phil 8 + Spec Circs 3 + W&G 2 + 3 props + Aura + Stress Die)/2 = (39 + Aura + die)/2. So can manage level 20 in every TeFo combination.

If in boar form, he loses the +1 from exaggerated gestures, and probably the +3 for props as well, but gains 3 extra fatigue levels, for a total of 7 fatigue levels. This means that he'll be able to cast level 50 spells without wounds.