Gifted Children question

One of the Magi in our game is planning on having children. Is there in any published rules for determining if offspring are Gifted, latent gifted, mundane etc? and/or rules for pregnancy and it's impact on study totals etc..

If there are no published rules, does anyone have any good house rules they would like to share?


No official rule. I used something informal some years ago. Basically, I affected a probability for a child to be gifted. Some factors added to this probability (gift of the parents, nature of the parents, e.g., faerie, etc.). Then the gift could be full or not (supernatural abilities instead), and so on.

There was AFAIK never a published rule on that subject.

So for the ArM4 Post Coch project ( we made up a very simple one.

Roll a quality die: the higher the die the more gifted the child.

You find the application and the results of the rules in the Post Coch files about Miquel and his many gifted children: Gilabert, Richard, Inigo, Wenith, Dafydd and Marged.

Kind regards,


Except for the guy , [color=darkblue]Petrus Virilis in GotF , page 59 ,
there is no known guaranteed way to have a Gifted child.

Have to wonder what any SG would say to a player who wanted such a unique Vis source.
I wonder how such a source is ahem "Harvested" , Rego perhaps? :blush:

Producing Gifted children is very important to House Mercere, and the Cult of Mercury has a spell that is supposed to make it more likely in True Lineages. However, it's rare enough that even though all of the Founder's descendants are strongly encouraged to have lots of children, there are still only about a dozen Gifted Merceres in all of Mythic Europe. I'd suggest that without some kind of magical interference, the odds are so high that it's effectively impossible. With magical influence, like a strong aura, a Gifted parent, or lots of Warping, I'd still rate it around a 1 in 100 chance. With the ritual mentioned above, maybe 1 in 10.

Of course, if it's part of a story, as storyguide I'd step in and say it happens how I want it to happen. In that regard, I think the ritual should be pretty much foolproof, and even without it I imagine that Gifted children occasionally appear at a covenant where covenfolk and especially magi raise families. Player characters' children should have that "story glow," in my opinion, because it makes for much more interesting saga events.

I am still wondering whether this is, because in ArM5 there is no reduced power longevity ritual which keeps a magus/maga fertile (if only for a day each year), or whether such a modified longevity ritual, which was available in ArM3 and ArM4, is just reserved for another supplement.
IMO it certainly would have fit nicely into the Mercere section of TL, but also suits the Jerbiton section of the sourcebook on Societates. It's not a big deal for a SG to declare that such a ritual exists, of course - it is, however, important for Hermetic society in 'canon' ArM5 whether it is available or not.

Kind regards,


Well, for Redcaps, I suppose they are strongly encouraged to have children before commissioning a Longevity Ritual (and in fact I seem to remember suggesting that it's a requirement for all Redcaps who want one). I imagine the same is true for Gifted Merceres -- some of them could even be required to have kids as part of their apprentices' Gauntlets. :slight_smile:

I imagine there's less-effective versions of the Longevity Ritual that allow magi to remain fertile, too. I don't know where official rules for that would go, but I'm sure it will appear in a supplement at some point.

Less effective, possibly. More effective in my opinion even more likely. Looking at alchemy and Theorgy in the Mysteries (for 4th) I don't see any infertility. Infertility isn't a part of the path of longevity in GotF.

I tend not to say this lightly, but I wouldn't use rules for this. I'd just decide whether it would improve your game to have Gifted children or not. This has actually come up in my last two sagas, and it seemed clear to me that while it might be an "easy" way to get an apprentice, there were a lot of fun, interesting stories to run with Gifted children around. (Not the least of which was the desperate Bonisagus who threatened to claim the child if the covenant didn't vote with him at Tribunal.)

That's true; Immortality of the Forest doesn't say it makes you infertile. However, I seem to remember that you've got to make a Longevity Ritual in order to follow that Path, and doesn't doing so make you permanently sterile?

I had forgotten about those Mystery Virtues. I suppose those magi who belong to cults that initiate those secrets might forgo the Longevity Ritual long enough to learn the deeper mysteries that would allow them to live longer without losing their fertility.

Hmm, IIRC the modified longevity ritual that allowed limited fertility was for four days a year (solistices and equinoxes) and the ritual had the same efficay as the default version. It was only said that it was possibly liable to have unspecified mild "side effects" (i.e. handwave to GM for using as a plot hook as they saw fit, or not).

There was another modified version, which exchanged slightly reduced efficacy in couteracting aging effects, in exchange for counteracting the cosmetic, apparent aging (the "Hollywood" longevity ritual).

I fully expect both versions to resurface in some future supplement (e.g. the third Houses book, or somesuch). After all, they are both very minor modifications of standard Hermetic practice, not even worth a Minor Breakthrough.

As for the "barely fertile" longevity ritual, I'd make it allow fertility on eight days a year:

Samhain (Oct 31st)
Winter Solstice (Dec 21st)
Imbolc (Feb 2nd)
Spring Equinox (March 21st)
Beltane (April 30th)
Summer Solstice (June 21st)
Lammas (August 1st)
Autumn Equinox (September 21st)

The eight universal pagan "days of power" for the Magic Realm and the Faerie Realm, when their power swells and floods the Earth.

As for the main topic, well we know from several passages in the books, that Hermetic magi having Gifted Children or the latter being conceived at Covenants is surely not an exceedingly rare occurrence, even if far from being the main source of apprentices (the latter, I'd mainly tribute to the longevity ritual, and many antisocial "lab rats" or mabitious, study- and adventure-engrossed magi not even acknowledging a desire for offspring until their fertile days have passed).

Very tentatively, I'd rate the likelihood of a Gifted children being conceived so:

1% basic percentage
+5% for every point of Magic or Faerie Aura where the child is conceived.
+25% if a parent is Gifted, a Faerie, or a magical or faerie creature who can breed with humanity (for each parent).
+1% if a parent has a minor magic- or faerie-based Supernatural Virtue, for every virtue.
+2% if a parent has a major magic- or faerie-based Supernatural Virtue, for every virtue.
-1% for every point of Divine Aura where the child is conceived (this may not cause the percentage to drop below 1%).

Magic and Faerie realms are made to work at the same level of efficacy since humans (including the Gifted) cannot normally conceive a faerie (at most it will be a human with Strong Faerie Blood). Infusion of faerie power in a child will typically result in enhancing his or her magical potential (in addition to creating the potential for faerie-based Supernatural Virtues).

Infernal Auras are a tricky case: the demonic realm is generally hostile to magic, and to fertility. However, folklore reports several cases of babies with demonic heritage or conceived in places of dark power having exceptional magical aptitude (typically as part of some diabolical plot). Therefore, when the conceiving has the "blessing" of resident or high-ranking demons, Infernal Auras, and the parent being a diabolist or a infernal creature interfetile with humans, may work just like Magic ones.

See my comment and figures in another thread - using conservative estimates, the probability of a blood descendent of Mercere being Gifted is at most c. 0.04%

Possibly this is due to dilution, but I would suggest from this that Wanderer's probabilities are likely to be ~100 times higher than would be likely...

Equally, out of ~30 PC magi I have seen only two have tried to have children, and one of those invented a ritual to inseminate badgers for the purpose...

Of course, the actual decision about such things is saga specific.


I have not had opportunity to check your arguments, but allow me to take your estimates with the deepest, most severe doubt. With them, as ALL the Gifted members of Mercere are blood descendents of the Founder, the House would have been got extinct long ago.

While on further reflection, my own estimates may be exaggerated as it concerns the frequency of the Gift among the general mundane population (on further checking, I noticed the core book states it at 1:10,000), even if I'm persuaded rates are lowered by the fact the overwhelming majority of the population lives in the Dominion, which surely does not improve the chances of a Gifted conceiving. However, I think my estimates are essentially correct as concerns the frequency of Gifted children being born to Gifted or faerie parents, or being coneùceived in places of magical or faerie power.

Remember, most magi are made sterile by longevity potions, and do not have any offspring to speak of. Since among the rare babies of mages that are born, being Gifted looks like a not too uncommon occurrence 8as it may be inferred by the books), it follows that the likelihood of the Gift having a significant hereditary component and an "environmental" one too (magical or faerie auras) must be rather high. Morevoer, we know that partially fay nature is definitely hereditary. Magical and faerie powers generally behave quite similar.

Equally, out of ~30 PC magi I have seen only two have tried to have children, and one of those invented a ritual to inseminate badgers for the purpose...

Of course, the actual decision about such things is saga specific.