I have been very absent lately due to starting a new job.
I've combed through much of Societates, and am absolutely loving it. Thanks to the writers for a great book.
In the sidebar about the Djinn / Genii Loci (pg. 134), there are a few significant differences between 4th and 5th ed. I personally like how the Djinn are defined here quite a bit. However, I wonder if there are any thoughts out there about standard weaknesses and/or immunities of genii loci.
Is there any other standard references to the genii loci in other 5th ed. books, and if so, where?
Are the genii loci elementals in the classic sense? a mountain top GL would be an earth elemental, a pond's GL a water elemental, etc.?
Are the djinn still considered made of "smokeless fire", and therefore immune to fire magic, even if they are a genii loci of, say, a mountain top (therefore more of an earth elemental?)
I can't comment on the 4E version, that was before my time in playing the game. However, I would turn the question around, Eric. Do you want the complexity to be a story point?
Personally, I sould say that the "smokeless fire" is a statement about them being sprits being made of raw power. Knowing they can have a Realm association and an elemental association would make me say they can be afected by Vim and the element (if any) that they are associated with (Terram in the example you cite). It keeps it simple for me.
However, if you want to add challenge for you players, by all means change that bit around. By being GLs they can ONLY be affected by those elements they are associated with and you force the players to spend more time investigating the particular creature/spirit and, potentially, have more story time spun out of that particular effort.
I don't know if there's been anything specific about genus locii in general. (In fact, I think there hasn't as one featured in my game and I've been on the look out for stuff.) However, I think that all the stuff on the Black Forest in Guardians of the Forest translates into genus locii very well-- it's what I've used.
I suspect (but again don't know) that we'll get more information in Real of Power: Magic, and that it will look a lot like the material in Guardians of the Forest.
Okay, to be a bit more specific to events in my game, the characters are in running skirmishes with a djinn that has general aurum powers, although he cannot fly. (Instead he turns into a dust devil and zooms around.) 4th ed. states that all djinn are immune to fire, being made of "smokeless fire". This is what I've been using as a guideline up until now, but want to get more in-keeping with 5th ed. The djinn = genus loci explanation makes a lot of sense in my mythic worldview, so I want to explore this.
So, given your explanation above, this aurum djinn would only be affected by Vim and Aurum? Or, being a spirit of the air, is IMMUNE to aurum?
Am I right in my understanding that genii loci are a type of elemental?
(I'm going to pull out my copy of guardians of the forest tonight.)
First, if you really mean the Genii Loci as they are represented in the 5th Edition. They aren't Djinn. of genies or whatever.
They are extremely powerful, and mostly baleful, spirits of a location given sapient thought by the sheer amount of natural magical energy of the area. Who jealously guard the area of their birth against any incursions that might stunt, change, or destroy the environment that gave birth to them.
They are very elemental but not true elementals I gather.
There were genii loci in ArM4 Mysteries and slightly different Spirits of Place/Artifice introduced in ArM4 Hedge Magic.
There are presumably other, non-Islamic influenced genii loci ie. not all genii loci are Jinn. Whether there are Jinn susceptible to Sihr that are not genii loci is open to interpretation at this point - I'd argue that there are as there are certainly Infernal Jinn, which HoH:S states are no different to demons ie. not genii loci. There is also mention of Faerie aligned Jinn (those who profess to follow Islam) which are not usually enslaved by sahir as Islam prohibits enslaving another Muslim.
I believe Niall (who wrote the ArM4 version in Blood & Sand) has only just got his ahnds on HoH:S, so hasn't had a chance to absorb/comment on the changes yet. We're in the process of redrafting a piece I wrote (before my exams) on Jinn as characters which may appear at some stage - not likely till after I finish my next set of exams.
I like the "smokeless fire" concept and so I've explored that a bit further. I don't think it has to be limiting though.
However, the genii loci interpretation is not necessarily incompatible with this as I hope I'll be able to elaborate on when I finish the piece.
There are hints that more will be revealed about spirits, elemental beings and genii loci in Realms of Power:Magic. I suspect none of the authors of HoH:S will be able to comment on this, even if they have been involved due to NDAs - usually only the Line Editor.
Hopefully Mark or David can chime in to clarify this further...
Yup, you've hit the nail on the head - at least how I've conceived it. Magical jinn are (mainly) a subset of a class of spirits called genii loci, which are literally "spirits of places". However, there are also Faerie Jinn and Infernal Jinn (neither of which are genii loci), but bear superficial resemblances to the Magical jinn. There may also be Magical jinn who are not genii loci. For simplicity (at least until we gain any other official rules to work from), all jinn can be assumed to have similar powers but different Mights and motivations. You could create an Infernal Jinn from the Order of Aerial Powers, should you have a copy of RoP:tI. All types of jinn are susceptible to Sihr, but other spirits aren't. You can't use Sihr on a ghost, for example. Only that group which your SG designates as jinn are susceptible - principally creatures involved in Islamic lore. Sihr is based on the rituals of King Solomon; who presumably codified some common element which defines the creatures called "jinn".
Genii loci (and that would be pronounced "GAIN-ee-eye LOAK-eye", and have nothing - etymologically speaking - to do with jinn) are given a description in GotF, principally as the spirits of forests. However, the jinn are weaker and made more mobile by the magic of the sahirs.
OK, the other folks have answered some of the particulars about genii loci in fifth edition so I'm just going to clarify on the issues that aren't answered directly in my own view. All of this is covered by serf's parma.
-- I believe that any spirit can be influenced/summoned/controlled by Rego Vim so long as you specify type of spirit and Realm association. For example, a ward against Magical spirits will not work against Infernal ones. There MAY be an exception to this, see below. Given that, if the poetical phrase "smokeless fire" means "raw magical power" then the spirit is a creature of Vim and, to my mind, may be influenced by Rego Vim and, by extension, other TECHNIQUE+Vim combinations.
-- Elementals, being beings of purity in thier element, may be influenced/affected by thier elemental Form. Need to knock down an Earth elemental? Perdo Terram. Note that some folks have a HR that requires a Vim requisite, but the guidelines in The Mysteries Revised do not. I'm a little squishy on this, but it makes sense to me that for elementals Vim spells have no more or less effect on them than they do humans. That is, you can probably taint them or warp them but Perdo Vim is only useful in cancelling certain supernatural effects.
-- Reading the Rego Mentem guideline also tells you that spirits with Intelligence (which Jinn do have) can be influenced by that Form.
-- GotF and, I think, HoH:MC has stuff on non-Jinn genii loci.
Given the above, and making a few bridging assumptions (yes, I know what that means), I would say that Jinn in any form can be influenced by Vim -- since they are spirits -- any elemental Form that they have become associated with, and any Mentem effect.
Having said that, your Auram Jinn would not be immune to Auram effects. BUT, because of its association with the Form, it has facility in it. That facility should be reflected in the powers it has and therefore should be treated with the same care that any magus gives to a specialist in a particular area. Lousy with Terram effects (though Talons of the Angry Winds would be appropriate as would creating winds that create dust/sand storms), not great with fire ore water, but watch out if someone tries to duel it out in it's specialty. Archmagus Pietro? Sure. Little Magus Joseph Justgauntleted? No flipping way (unless he's got some really cool magical device).
Where I seriously divert from the rules conventions would be to grant certain immunities to certain forms. If a being is a genii loci, I might say that it is entirely immune to Perdo Vim effects in it's particular area unless the defiler otherwise destroys the thing which created it.
So, a bit more than I intended to write. Did I answer your question?
Thank you to Mark for his clarifications. The jinn seem to have gone through a bit of an evolution...
In B&S I conceived the jinn as Magical or Infernal beings, though I also suggested some alternative interpretations depending on the preference of individual gaming groups.
By the time that we wrote RoP: D it made more sense to reconceive the jinn as Faerie creatures, primarily because the difference between the Magic and Faerie realms had been much more clearly defined in the ArM5 rulebook.
On reflection, this was probably a case of nailing the chamber pot down too firmly, to use a Berzerklist image. The latest interpretation that Mark elaborated for us makes perfect sense, and matches what seems to be the official position of the line i.e. that different versions of most supernatural creatures from all the realms exist. The various versions of the supernatural wolf in the ArM5 rulebook are a good illustration of this.
I've tried to capture some of the spirit of the B&S Jinn with some of the spirits associated with this non-Hermetic character.
Two of the spirits associated with the summoner in this piece (which was written before HoH:S) - "The Spirit of the Drinking Horn" and the "Buran of Yenghissar" could easily be reworked as Mark's "genii loci-style" Magical Jinn as above and coould be used as examples.
The spirit of Ishmalim is an example of an Infernal/demonic Jinn, although I actually envisioned him a belonging to the Order of Furies rather than the Aerial Powers (as the Buran of Yenghissar is basically a Magical version of that type of demon from RoP:I). You could easily add Elemental Control (Ignem) or a similar power to make him fit more with Mark's conception, but I think he's interesting enough as a Fury.
Hope this gives people a few more ideas.
More along these lines in a couple of months once I finish exams.