Hedge Magic question.

Hi, short question to those who have received Hedge Magic: Can Folk Witches in any way change their form to that of an animal? A player in my campaign wants to know. My book is still in the mail. :slight_smile:


Yes. They use the Shapeshifter Virtue.

Doh! :stuck_out_tongue: Of course. We didn't think of that.



Hedge Magic is OUT now?

(runs to grab Credit Card)

Or Skinchanger for that! :wink:

But what kind of powers do Folk Witches have in the game?

And what about the Vitkir? How does those runes I see in the table of contents work? :slight_smile:



Having just finished Chapter 3....

Folk witches have access to 7 Favoured Supernatural Abilities (Animal Ken, Cursing, Dowsing, Flight, Healing, Second Sight and Shapeshifter) and 3 Methods (Fetish, Incantation and Potion). Fetishes are items that allow the witch to create an item that embodies her power (much like a skinchanger's skin), the other two are fairly self-explanatory. Folk witches also have an impressive collection of Magical Defenses (not Magic Resistance per se, but mitigates the effects of certain types of magic).

Fetishes & Potions are lab activities and must be created in a Kitchen (similar to a hermetic lab). Folk witches' other lab activities include binding (usually non-magical) familiars and Vis extraction.

Folk witches are able to restore fatigue using their Healing ability. They also don't suffer Twilight, instead a folk witch undergoes an event called a "Witches Moon" which involves taking a medium wound and losing her supernatural abilities for a time whenever her Warping score increases (male folk witches are rare).

Integration of the tradition yields the ability to restore fatigue using Creo Corpus and a new method for opening a magus' hermetic arts which eliminates the Source Quality penalty from a magus' arts when the character is learning a supernatural ability. EDIT: Other integration projects are items that can hold ritual effects and Intellego spells that do not have to penetrate MR (like second sight)

I haven't got around to reading the whole Vitkir Chapter yet, but a brief scanning suggests that they're formulaic casters who must know the script for any effect they wish to evoke. Each Rune is an accelerated ability which describes both an effect and a target (only the lowest applicable Rune is used in the casting total, however).

As described in Ancient Magic, effect wrought by Rune Magic can be made to persist as long as the associated Runes are legible and may by-pass MR, but still inflict warping upon the target. Vitkir suffer a form of Twilight called Natt-Thel during which he loses his powers for an extended period of time (female vitkir are rare). The integration of Rune Magic appear (at first glance) identical to what's described in Ancient Magic.

I hope this helps, but frankly this book is just so full of crunchy Hedge Magic goodness that is has to be read to be believed.

Incidentally, is it just me or do 5th Edition Ars Magica books just keep getting better and better with each offering? :smiley:

Wow, this looks great, can't wait to get the book. One of the players wanted a companion character who's a witch or some such with the ability to take the shape of animals (cat, crow, wolf and other classic choices). Can Hedge Magicians be used as companions, or are they all Mythic Companions?



Most can be used as ordinary companions, including Folk Witches, although they will (obviously) not be among the most powerful representatives of their traditions. Vitkir have to have The Gift; they're the most powerful group in the book.

So I guess the Vitkir are what the Order of Hermes fear when they're talking about the Order of Odin? This looks better and better :slight_smile:

And yes, the 5th edition Ars Magica books are getting better and better. I know I'll get something great when I open a new book for the first time. :slight_smile:


Are you sure about that? I've read them all and I think that while I can't really make a convincing case for the folk witches or night walkers, the Gruagachan have as much flexibility as hermetic magi (they have a narrower suite of powers but more flexibility within it), and a character with theurgical elemental summoning and theurgical elemental controlling could, with appropriate virtues and a willingness to endure a tired fatigue level, could conjure up three elementals of exceedingly impressive strength. In fact, even with a magical focus and a puissant/affinity with an appropriate art a hermetic magus would be hard pressed to equal the feat.

Well, I think two elements must be balanced - the "magi/companion" pairing, where only 1 is appropriately a "magic user" for any 1 player (similar to the suggestion that running a powerful fae could be allowed, but not also running a magus.)

The other is the tension between the Order and Hedge Magi in general - hard to rationalize a non-Hermetic powerhouse to wander about all chummy with the Covenant magi. Just as running a Diedne or diabolist - not a long life expectancy, but lots of fun and loot for those others who slag them.

But, all that aside, in theory a HM could certainly be a companion class character, depending on the Troupe and the Saga and the specifics.

With regard ot nightwalkers, I'd note the following:

  • The taltos if they return, are really powerful!
  • You can be a Hermetic magus and a nightwalker at the same time. Indeed, you can be in most of the other traditions and be a nightwalker at the same time. Therefore, the question of who is the most powerful in the book can be answered like this.

If you say "X is the most powerful." I can probably say
"So an X who is a nightwalker is even more powerful."

THey are the most powerful -because they are the weakest-.

Check my gaming zen there.

I haven't received the book yet (crossing my fingers for tomorrow's mail), what are nightwalkers, and what powers do they have? I can't remember reading about nightwalkers anywhere else. Are these invented by Atlas, or are they based on a myth or legend?


They are the weakest of the hedge magic groups. They can spirit travel, create solid ghosts of themselves, and do damage, then return to their sleeping bodies. They can also herd the dead, fight demons, and take animal shapes, depending on the type of nightwalker.

They aren't made up by Atlas. They are based on myths recorded before, and then in detail after, the game period. THe most easily found group on the web are the benedanti from Fruli, who are the best documented nightwalker group.