Does anyone have any thoughts on how to build a hedge magician in Ars 5? Would a Mythic Companion with +10 free virtues be the only guidelines so far?
Well, your first question is whether or not they have the Gift. If I remember correctly, the fourth edition HM book was a little vague on this point, but then, that was before we could quantify the Gift through possession of a virtue.
We've played them both ways in our covenant. Some hedge magicians had the gift and were trainable. For instance, one of our players ended up taking a local hedge magician as her apprentice. But we have also encountered a hedge magician who we decided had a weaker flawed version of the gift that could not learn Hermetic magic.
In both cases, the NPCs were constructed as companions initially. Though we allowed the player to make make some changes to the NPC she took as an apprentice as part of the apprenticeship process.
Of course this was all pre-5th ed.
There's a few examples of non-hermetic magic practitioners of varying power in the ArM5 books now. I guess you will find at least a power level that you can use there, though you will have to wing it if you wish to build a character associated with a specific tradition.
Low power Companion: ArM5 p.23f 'The Witch'
Mid power Companion: The Divine p.143 'The Jewish Witch'
For a high powered, Mythic Companion you could start from 'The Jewish Witch' and develop her as a Mythic Companion according to The Divine p.66. You'll have to scour the books for good Virtues to take beyond Second Sight, Craft Amulet and Enchanting (Ability) then, though.
Just let me contribute my two cent on this issue.
Well, I'm afraid we won't get a final judgement on this question before Atlas releases a new hedgie sourcebook. I think that plans for it were mentioned in another thread, but it seems to be pretty far down the line.
Personally, I am not really happy about this - playing a Magus Naturalis who has joined house ex Miscellanea and wants to learn hermetic magic (or combine and improve both) that was to be expected. But there are some hints in the books already published:
Mystic companions can't have the Gift. So, if a hedgie is constructed as mystic companion he can never practise hermetic magic, because it is impossible to learn new magical skills without this virtue.
If a mystic companion is constructed by using virtues paid for with flaws he will become much weaker than the 4th edition version, but he can take the Gift and finally turn hermetic. If this is planned, he should be constructed as pretty weak in his field, because otherwise it would be de facto impossible to learn any new style of magic.
(Again, I am not happy: Only a strong hedge magican can join the order, but in order to learn his new friends' magic he would be forced to sacrifice all of his own. This would throw him back in power by various decades, and the order would loose the chance to integrate his arts. I hope there will be some kind of initiation into hermetic magic to circumvene the problem - at a price. Somehow the founders must have learned the stuff themselves. We will see.)
Considering all the talk about the mighty Parma Magica it is as good as certain that it won't be possible any longer for the hedgies to construct their own general magical protection.
Among the fourth edition hedge magicans there were various levels of power. In the top league I considered the Natural Magicans (HM), the Baal Shem (K), the Vitkir (UT) and the Cunning Folk (HM). The Baal Shem seemed like a cross-breeding between the Cunnig-folk and The Magus Naturalis. Well, now (RoP:tD) the Baal Shem is turned into a divine magician, but still one might get an idea how to balance the other two bye comparing the 4th and the 5th edition version of this character class. Of course I wouldn't be surprised to find the 5th edition cunning-folk in RoP: Faerie.
Until we get an official version I would be interested in any attempts of a conversion of 4th edition hedgies into 5th edition.
Alexios ex Miscellanea
P.S.: Sorry for any mistakes concernig English spelling and grammar - it is not my native language.
I would just make a Mythic companion, meaning they get 2 Virtues for every Flaw they take, and they need to take at least 90 Exp in Abilities tied to their Hedge Wizardy. From there take a few interesting Supernatural Virtues, such as Immunity to certain things, Venus Blessing, and from there go heavy on the Supernatural Abilities. Make sure they take the skill Penetration for those Abilities and you've got a decent Hedge wizard.
Of course you could also create an Order of Hermes Wizard and take Hedge wizard as a flaw. That's certainly a Hedge Wizard plus a significant threat to another wizard. Makes for an interesting story; Exactly how did that Hedge Wizard learn how to use Magic? Who taught them that? Did he have the Parma?
There's actually been quite a lot of discussion of this in the Archives over on the old Delphi Forum site, particularly in response to a question about gruagach from the old Lion of the North supplement starting here:
Admittedly, it's mainly my ranting but it's a start.
The 5th ed core book suggests that Ex-Miscellea be built using one free Minor Hermetic Virtue, one free Major Non-Hermetic Virtue, and one compulsory Major Hermetic Flaw.
The sample Ex-Miscelaneous Mage uses this approach with the Giant Blood, Affinity Terram, and Special Condition ( Touching Stone ).
The real stipulation would be the working out between the player and the storyteller of the specifics of any virtues if they went outside of the book virtues.
4th ed Beast Master
Affinity with Familiars and Affinity with Animals
5th ed Beast Master might be
( consider trading the major virtue for three minor virtues and drop restriction on Non-Hermetic )
Animal Ken, Inoffensive to Animals, Affinity with Animal, Minor Magical Focus ( of animal type choice of mage ). Unstructured Caster < a storyteller might exempt some formulic spells that dealt with animals from this but that would be a flavour option >
4th ed Spirit Master
Affinity with Spirit Creatures, Obssesed with knowledge of worlds beyond
5th ed Spirit Master
Ghostly Warder, Second Sight, Twilight Prone, and Visions ( optional choice and qualifies for virtue like Minor Magical Focus ( spirit creatures ).
A character without the gift would be a companion and a character with the gift would be a magus. Either could also take the flaw Hedge Mage as a possible choice.
The other option for a non-hermetic tradition would be to use form of might score that requires experience to increase and follows rules for the might score to the effects possible like a magical creature. This though would be more difficult for the storyteller to integrate into the system and be less flexable usually then the existing traditions.