Galen ex Miscellanea

Reserved for current version of character.

Character at gauntlet:

[size=150][u]Galen ex Miscellanea[/u][/size]

Galen is an unassuming man of average height and slightly skinny build. He has the pale skin of someone who spends a lot of time indoors.

Background: He was born Gareth, the fourth child of a working family in London. When he was eight years old, his Gift first manifest, and within a year, his parents had kicked him out onto the street to fend for himself. Life was hard for the nine-year old Gareth, particularly with the Gift, and to this day he wonders if he’d have managed to live through his first winter alone. As it happened, he didn’t have to find out.

An older English magus by the name of Stephen, who was a member of Schola Pythagoranis, had agents on the lookout for strange occurrences and people who were ostracized, especially youngsters. They learned of a young and clever boy on the streets of London who no one seemed to like, and reported of him to Stephen. It was a long shot, but worth pursuing. One cold morning in early November, Gareth found himself face-to-face with the kindly old magus, who confirmed the boy’s Gift and offered him an apprenticeship on the spot. Given that his other choice was death by cold or starvation, Gareth agreed.

Stephen soon became like a second father to Gareth. He was kind and understanding, and taught the boy about the wonders of magic, the Order of Hermes, and a group within the Order called the Society of Alchemists. Though his apprenticeship was hard work, it was also a very good time for Gareth, when he learned both about magic and compassion.

Upon being gauntleted, Gareth took the name ‘Galen’ to honor the ancient scientist, who was said to have been one of the founders of the ancient Society of Alchemists. He would have been happy to stay in Schola Pythagoranis, but the Jerbiton who made up the majority of the covenant, were only willing to offer a place to a Gentle Gifted magus. Instead, Galen accepted a place in Confluensis across the water in Normandy.

Size: 0
Age: 25
Decrepitude: 0 (0)
Warping Score: 0 (0)
Confidence Score: 1 (3)
Sigil: All of his spells cause a slight distortion to the target.


[tableborder][tr][th]Ability[/th] [th]Score[/th][/tr]
[tr][td][center]Int[/center][/td] [td][center]+3[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]Per[/center][/td] [td][center]+1[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]Str[/center][/td] [td][center]-2[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]Sta[/center][/td] [td][center]+2[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]Pre[/center][/td] [td][center]+2[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]Com[/center][/td] [td][center]+1[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]Dex[/center][/td] [td][center]-1[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td][center]Qik[/center][/td] [td][center]-2[/center][/td][/tr][/tableborder]
Affinity with Corpus (minor, general)
Affinity with Rego (minor, general)
Cautious Sorcerer (minor, hermetic)
Flawless Magic (major, hermetic)
The Gift* (free, hermetic)
Hermetic Alchemy* (free, minor, hermetic, mystery)
Hermetic Magus* (free, social)
Inventive Genius (minor, hermetic)
Minor Magical Focus: teleportation (minor, hermetic)
Philosophic Alchemy* (free, major, mystery)
Puissant Magic Theory (minor, general)
TBD (based on response to my questions)
Ability Block: Martial (minor, general)
Compassionate (major, personality)
Covenant Upbringing (minor, personality)
Deficient Auram (minor, hermetic)
Deficient Technique: Intellego* (major, hermetic)
Favors: to the Society of Alchemists (major, story)
Slow Reflexes (minor, general)

[tableborder][tr][th][left]Ability[/left][/th][th][left]Specialization[/left][/th][th]Score[/th] [th]Cost[/th][/tr]
[tr][td]Area Lore: London[/td] [td]places[/td] [td][center]1[/center][/td] [td][center]5[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Artes Liberales – Latin alphabet[/td] [td]ritual magic[/td] [td][center]1[/center][/td] [td][center]5[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Athletics[/td] [td]running[/td][td][center]1[/center][/td] [td][center]5[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Awareness[/td] [td]alertness[/td] [td][center]2[/center][/td] [td][center]15[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Bargain[/td] [td]food and drink[/td] [td][center]1[/center][/td] [td][center]5[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Brawl[/td] [td]dodging[/td] [td][center]1[/center][/td] [td][center]5[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Charm[/td] [td]looking innocent[/td] [td][center]2[/center][/td] [td][center]15[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Chirurgery[/td][td]binding wounds[/td] [td][center]1[/center][/td] [td][center]5[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Code of Hermes[/td][td]vis sources[/td] [td][center]1[/center][/td] [td][center]5[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Concentration[/td][td]maintaining spells[/td] [td][center]2[/center][/td] [td][center]15[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]English[/td] [td]conversation[/td] [td][center]5[/center][/td] [td][center]0 (+75)[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Etiquette[/td] [td]magi[/td] [td][center]2[/center][/td] [td][center]15[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Faerie Lore[/td] [td]faerie creatures[/td] [td][center]1[/center][/td] [td][center]5[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Finesse[/td] [td]precision[/td] [td][center]1[/center][/td] [td][center]5[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Folk Ken[/td] [td]covenfolk[/td] [td][center]2[/center][/td] [td][center]15[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Guile[/td] [td]white lies[/td] [td][center]1[/center][/td] [td][center]5[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Leadership[/td] [td]in the lab[/td] [td][center]1[/center][/td] [td][center]5[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Latin[/td][td]hermetic usage[/td] [td][center]4[/center][/td][td][center]50[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Magic Lore[/td] [td]magical creatures[/td][td][center]1[/center][/td] [td][center]5[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Magic Theory[/td] [td]learning spells[/td] [td][center]3+2[/center][/td] [td][center]30[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Order of Hermes Lore[/td] [td]House ex Miscellanea[/td] [td][center]1[/center][/td][td][center]5[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Parma Magica[/td] [td]Corpus[/td] [td][center]1[/center][/td] [td][center]5[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Philosophiae[/td] [td]ritual magic[/td] [td][center]1[/center][/td] [td][center]5[/center][/td][/tr]ter][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Profession: Scribe[/td] [td]copying books[/td] [td][center]1[/center][/td] [td][center]5[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Swim[/td] [td]staying afloat[/td] [td][center]1[/center][/td] [td][center]5[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Teach[/td] [td]one-on-one[/td] [td][center]1[/center][/td] [td][center]5[/center][/td][/tr][/tableborder]

[tableborder][tr][th][left]Art[/left][/th] [th]Value[/th][th]Cost[/th][/tr]
[tr][td]Creo[/td] [td][center]4[/center][/td] [td][center]10[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Intelligo[/td] [td][center]0[/center][/td] [td][center]0[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Perdo[/td] [td][center]0[/center][/td] [td][center]0[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Rego[/td] [td][center]12[/center][/td][td][center]55/82.5[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Aurum[/td] [td][center]0[/center][/td] [td][center]0[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Corpus[/td] [td][center]5[/center][/td] [td][center]10/15[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Herbem[/td][td][center]1[/center][/td] [td][center]1[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Ignem[/td] [td][center]5[/center][/td] [td][center]15[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Imaginem[/td] [td][center]5[/center][/td] [td][center]15[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Mentem[/td] [td][center]0[/center][/td] [td][center]0[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Terram[/td] [td][center]1[/center][/td] [td][center]1[/center][/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Vim[/td] [td][center]4[/center][/td] [td][center]10[/center][/td][/tr][/tableborder]

[size=150]SPELLS [/size]

[tableborder][tr][td]Spell[/td] [th]Level[/th] [th][left]Notes[/left][/th] [th][left]Source[/left][/th][/tr]
[tr][td]Chamber of Spring Breezes[/td] [td]CrAu 5[/td] [td]-[/td] [td]ArM5, p. 125[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Cloak of Duck's Feathers[/td] [td]ReAq 5[/td] [td]-[/td] [td]ArM5, p. 124[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Comfort of the Drenched Traveler[/td] [td]PeAq 5[/td] [td]-[/td] [td]ArM5, p. 123[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Doublet of Impenetrable Silk[/td] [td]MuAn 15[/td] [td]-[/td] [td]ArM5, p. 118[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Hex of Slumber[/td] [td]ReMe 20[/td] [td]-[/td] [td]Custom[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Personal Veil of Invisibility[/td] [td]PeIm 15[/td] [td]-[/td] [td]Custom[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Revealed Flaws of the Mortal Flesh[/td] [td]InCo 10[/td] [td]-[/td] [td]ArM5, p. 130[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Scales of the Magical Weight[/td] [td]InVi 5[/td] [td]-[/td] [td]ArM5, p. 158[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Sense the Nature of Vis[/td] [td]InVi 5[/td] [td]-[/td] [td]ArM5, p. 158[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Sense the Nature of Vis[/td] [td]InVi 5[/td] [td]-[/td] [td]ArM5, p. 158[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Taste of the Spices and Herbs, A[/td] [td]MuIm 5[/td] [td]-[/td] [td]ArM5, p. 145[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Touch of Warmth[/td] [td]CrIg 5[/td] [td]-[/td] [td]Custom[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Wizard's Sidestep[/td] [td]ReIm 10[/td] [td]-[/td] [td]ArM5, p. 147[/td][/tr][/tableborder]

Reserved for character at game start.

Reserved for Galen's familiar.

Reserved for Galen's talisman.

[size=150]Galen's Grimoire[/size]

Hex of Slumber
ReMe 20
R: Sight D: Diam T: Ind
The target intelligent being becomes sleepy and falls asleep within a few seconds and remains asleep no matter what for at least two minutes.
(Base 4, +3 Sight, +1 Diam)

Personal Veil of Invisibility
PeIm 15
R: Per, D: Sun, T: Ind
The caster becomes completely undetectable to normal sight, regardless of what he does, but still casts a shadow.
(Base 4, +2 Sun, +1 changing image)

Touch of Warmth
CrIg 5
R: Touch D: Sun T: Ind.
Maintains the target at a warm temperature no matter the outside temperature.
(Base 2, +1 Touch, +2 Sun)

Spell overflow.

Reserved for Galen's enchanted Items.

[size=150]The Society of Alchemists[/size]

The Society of Alchemists is an old tradition that can be found in every tribunal to some extent. Its members are alchemists extraordinaire. It claims to be older than the Order itself, but that claim has never been proven.

Key Facts
Favored Tribunals: The Society of Alchemists can be found in any Tribunal.
Major Non-Hermetic Virtue: Philosophic Alchemy
Minor Hermetic Virtue: Hermetic Alchemy
Major Hermetic Flaw: Deficient Technique: Intellego

Ultimately, the tradition can teach Hermetic Alchemy mysteries, as well as Unaging.

Reserved for advancement.

I have a (small) objection with an Ex Miscellanea major virtue being a Hermetic one instead of the traditional Supernatural one. None of the Supernatural Major virtues provide a direct advantage to hermetic magic; they are always tangential to Hermetic Magic, providing abilities that do not stack with it.

Philosophic Alchemy uses a hermetic lab total to extract vis, and it provides a direct benefit to Hermetic item enchantment. Having it packaged into an Ex Miscellanea tradition seems a bit too convenient. Normally, an Ex Miscellanea tradition of alchemists would use something like Mythic Alchemy (from Hedge Magic p.81). This would be similar to the way that the Pharmacopeans tradition (HoH:S p.123) use Mythic Herbalism.

That said, I like the character concept of an alchemist. I would just be more comfortable if the tradition's package didn't fit so nicely with Hermetic magic. This seems more of a Mystery Cult for house other than Ex Miscellanea than a true Ex Misc tradition.

But if the troupe and SG want to allow it I will not object further. :slight_smile:

That was initially my concern when I made up the tradition. But I looked carefully at the rules and note that Philosophic Alchemy is not listed as a Hermetic Major Virtue, but as a Mystery Virtue. Curiously, Hermetic Alchemy is listed as a Minor Hermetic Virtue. Therefore, it fits neatly into the requirement that an ex Miscellanea magus have one Minor Hermetic Virtue and one Major non-Hermetic virtue. I note that House ex Miscellanea does not require a Major Supernatural Virtue, just a Major non-Hermetic Virtue. Granted, you'll want to have something that generally fits with the concept of a hedge tradition brought into the Order, but I think that this one fits.

I note that the core ability of a philosophic alchemist is to extract vis from an aura. But that's not anything unique to the Order. A quick glance through Hedge Magic shows that elemental philosophers. folk witches, gruagachs, and learned magicians may all extract vis from an aura. I imagine that the original Society of Alchemists was a hedge tradition that used some other mechanism for extracting vis from auras, much like the other hedgies do. But having been now brought into the order and being trained in the Arts, the members use the hermetic Arts to extract vis.

Likewise, enchanting is also not unique to the Order. Folk witches can make their potions; Gruagachs can enchant tattoos; and Mystic Alchemists (A kind of Learned Magician) can make powders, potions, or pastiles. Hedge Magic even specifically notes that "Relics are mystical devices or items enchanted by practitioners of the hedge tradition, which incorporate unique aspects of that tradition, and may be investigated by a Hermetic magus."

The fact that Philosophic Alchemy uses a hermetic lab total to extract vis, and it provides a direct benefit to Hermetic item enchantment is merely a reflection of the fact that the Society of Alchemists has been brought into the Order and is no longer a hedge tradition. Right now we're using hermetic numbers instead of hedge magic numbers. It's important to note that Mystic Alchemists are still a hedge magic group. They haven't been incorporated into the Order yet.

I think it's totally reasonable that there was once a hedge tradition called the Society of Alchemists that used alchemy to more efficiently extract vis from auras and create minor magic items. (Perhaps they didn't even have spells until they joined the Order and relies entirely on enchantment.) True, they wouldn't have used the hermetic Arts for extracting vis. But they'd have had another mechanism just like the hedge traditions listed in Hedge Magic do. That's totally in keeping with the scope of the known hedge tradition.

Then, at some point, the Society was incorporated into the Order. In the course of that, it gained the Minor Hermetic Virtue Hermetic Alchemy, and the mechanism for efficient extraction of vis (Philosophic Alchemy) was translated over into using the Hermetic Arts to keep track of numbers, rather than the original mechanism, since the tradition no longer used it's previous mechanics. But in the end, the VIrtue Philosophic Alchemy does the same thing - it allows efficient extraction of vis and a minor benefit to enchanting devices.

In any case, that's my reasoning. What do other people think? I've used this concept before without any trouble, though, as I said, the saga didn't last. I like the idea of a learned alchemist, but I can fiddle with the concept if people don't like it.

I think that what you have is fine and consistent. However, I do think that the virtues Unaging, the Lesser and Greater Elixers should be part of regular Mystery initiation, should you choose to pursue them.

That was the plan.

As I wrote, the concept of the the alchemist magus is perfectly fine with me.

My unease arises from the fact that you are using the mechanics of Ex Miscellanea, which is the House of un-integrated pieces of magic (as represented by its free non-Hermetic Major virtue), to describe a tradition that is fully integrated into Hermetic magic.

This is just The Order of the Green Cockerel mystery cult, with the virtues reordered as you prefer to get them. Doesn't feel like a Ex Miscellanea tradition to me. :stuck_out_tongue:

I can appreciate your concern. However, I feel that these are appropriate choices for Ex Miscellanea virtues.

I did not intentionally do an end-run around the Green Cockerel by trying to cherry-pick virtues. In looking through The Mysteries, I noted that Hermetic Alchemy was a hermetic virtue, while Philosophic Alchemy was not a hermetic virtue. It simply struck me that the two virtues were related in a way that fit perfectly for an Ex Miscellanea tradition. Had Philosophic Alchemy been a hermetic virtue, as I’d expected it to be, my interpretation would have been impossible. But it’s not, so that got me thinking. What if there were a tradition of alchemists in House Ex Miscellanea? It seemed not unreasonable, kind of like if the learned magicians joined the Order. I thought that would be an interesting thing to explore.

I think Hermetic Alchemy and Philosophic Alchemy fit together thematically; they represent a potential hedge tradition that could easily have been brought into the Order, and they fit the requirements of the rules, i.e., being a minor hermetic virtue and a major non-hermetic virtue.

It seems like your argument rests on classifying Philosophic Alchemy as a major hermetic virtue. Then your argument could run that an Ex Miscellanea magus can’t take a hermetic virtue as his free major virtue. All I can say is that it’s not a hermetic virtue, for all that it might refer to Arts in how it’s used. And TMRE clearly knows the difference. Living Ghost, Ascendancy to the Halls of Heroes, Consummate Talisman, and Potent Magic are all classified as Major Hermetic Mystery Virtues. The authors could easily have made Philosophic Alchemy a Major Hermetic Mystery Virtue had they so desired. But they didn’t. If it had been a hermetic virtue, I’d never have proposed this build.

That all having been said, if Jonathan or a bunch of players don’t want me using this build in this saga, then, of course I’ll come up with something else. I’d really like to give this build a try, but not if too many people think it’s objectionable. I could always go with a Bonisagus seeker who has an interest in alchemy and joins a mystery to get the desired virtues.

I must confess, though, that if my only option for a mystic alchemist is the Green Cockerel, then I’ll probably go with another build. Not that I dislike the Green Cockerel per se. But it doesn’t fit well with the speed of a PBP game. It has seven levels, and you only get to Philosophic Alchemy at the sixth level. Even with some pre-initiation in the magus build, it’s likely that we’d never get to the point where Galen would be able to initiate in that mystery.

I’d really like to explore how the virtue works out in a living saga. But that won’t happen if I never get it. One of the things that I found appealing about this saga was that Jonathan said that he would give us some advancement, allowing us to play our concepts instead of just dreaming of one day achieving them.

Whether by having it as an Ex Miscellanea virtue or having already initiated in it, I’d prefer Galen to start with Philosophic Alchemy. Otherwise I’ll never get to see what it’s like in play.
Yes, Philosophic Alchemy is a good virtue. It ought to be; it’s a major virtue. But so too are Immunity to Cold (especially in this game), Animae Magic, Craft Magic, Giant Blood, Tamed Magic, and a host of other major virtues. Those are all virtues that Galen is not taking if he takes Philosophic Alchemy. So he’s not getting something for nothing. He’s getting what you get for a major virtue, which is to say, something pretty good.

In any case, that's where I'm coming from. Here's hoping we can come up with a solution to this wrinkle that pleases everyone.

It does feel slightly cherry picked to me.

I understand the frustration of not being able to try out Mystery Virtues due to the pacing of the PbP game format. Even in real play, I'm having trouble initiating virtues in one of my characters. Time is always fleeting. I would prefer that Mystery virtues be locked away with actual Mysteries. And I can satisfy the needs of the player to initiate into a Mystery that grants Philosophic Alchemy, that's my job as a story guide, and it is also a good reason for the character to relocate, because he heard of someone who has relocated to Scandinavia, a rumor or a whisper of a rumor that a powerful Alchemist has moved there..

I totally understand the desire to make Mysteries something special. And I totally agree that they’re better arranged within the game. It was just that I’d never seen a PBP game that ever managed to get to an initiation, so I was concerned about initiation being a pie-in-the-sky dream. I’d love to do an initiation in-game. I just don’t want to make it a big part of my character if there’s no chance it’ll ever happen.

I’m been trying to use other characters as a guide for my own and note that Agenoria is listed as having initiated into two mysteries, one major (Animae) and one minor (Arcadian Travel). Based on that I’d assumed starting with mystery virtues was okay.

So, are we going with the simple rule that there will be no initiations prior to game start? Or are we just holding off on major mystery initiations? I’ll make my character however you want it done.

Well those two mysteries are within her House's mystery...

Where I have something of a challenge with Mysteries is that we need to have a deeper discussion about what the Mystery Cult actually is. And if it's part of an ex Misc Tradition, how does that work? How did they get integrated into the Order and retain their Mystery traditions without divulging them? How many in this tradition are there?

You could use your BP points to have initiation scripts for the Mysteries and try to self initiate.