I've been reading Hedge Magic, and have noticed that several hedge traditions (Gruagachan and Learned Magicians) have two methods of gaining the magic of the tradition: they can either have their gift opened to it or, (usually) if they don't have the gift, they can be initiated into the individual Techniques and Forms.
Is there any reason it wouldn't be metaphysically possible to develop the ability to initiate the ungifted into virtues of the individual arts? Obviously any individual being initiated into all 15 is unlikely, and you'd need at least one Technique and Form to do anything useful. And the political implications would be "fun". My first thought is Mercere Cult of Heroes magus, but I'm sure there are others who might also consider developing it.
The other question is how exactly to develop the initiations/virtues. I'm not quite sure whether it counts as original research/integration with very readily available sources of insight or something else.
I'm sure there are probably members of House Bonisagus researching the very same topic.
As for the idea itself, it may already be partially implemented (IIRC, there's something similar in the last chapter of A&A). If the project is possible at all, I'd probably rule that Original Research because I don't think it makes sense for a hermetic magus to use non-hermetic sources of insight to produce a hermetic effect, but that's just me... shrugs
Cool idea. Fits the Cult of Heroes very well, too.
I'd say it would require original research or the development of a mystery that the character doesn't currently have (both ways can work). I would, however, allow researching how the hedgies "do it" to serve as a source of Insight towards progress in the original research.
There are problems with that, i think. The Hermetic Magic is very related to the Gift, the others schools are improved in the case of a hedge gifted, but are related to others methaphysical principles, for example the Magic resitance vs Magical defenses. They are unappreciatedly related to the Magical Realm themselves a lot. The others are more about concerns more indirectly.
The more near to the un-gifted are virtues that permit them be united to two forms (Touched by Realm or Magic Artist) by their works, but they still without passing by Twilight for example and nor Magic Resistance. The Magic Theory, Parma Magica and Arts are the same package, and all go from the Gift.
Personally, I see no problem with the idea of initiation into the Hermetic Arts. In fact, I ran a 4th edition campaign (shortly after the original Mysteries rules were released) in which The Gift could be initatied as a +6 virtue... something slightly higher than a major viture requiring a very demanding initation. The result was that initiated magi had several hermetic flaws and the perception that they were fundamentally weaker than "true" Gifted magi. Still, it worked quite well and lead to an interested dynamic in the game.
Ah - I'd completely forgotten about "Hermetic Inclination in [Form]". Rereading it, it's slightly odd - it allows you to instil spell-like effects using any technique in combination with the form, which I don't think I'd copy for the virtue - although thinking about it more, it's less weird than it sounds: it just means that you've essentially got all techniques stuck at 0 (possibly until you do initiate them). If it did work that way, it would make it more powerful: just one Form on its own isn't useless (which possibly is desirable), but having access to all 5 techniques is probably a bit powerful. Oh well.
I'm not sure if I'm understanding you here. I thought Parma Magica was just the result of Bonisagus making a breakthrough, and that any gifted person, even without the Hermetic Arts could learn it with a suitable source (albeit someone outside the Order learning it being likely to lead to a drastically shortened life-expectancy)? I certainly wasn't envisaging being initated into the virtus as giving you any ability to learn the Parma. Magic Theory, on the other hand, I thought was a general ability anyone could learn (again, with an appropriate source), rather than being an arcane ability.
Ooops. Sorry, should have checked the board history more thoroughly. Thank-you for the link, though - there are some interesting different ideas on how the virtues could work. There also seems to be a reasonable amount of negative reaction to the effect on the order. I suspect if it was something kept secret within a small cult/Hermetic Society (I think the Cult of Heroes is the latter despite the name), then it would have some but relatively little impact, but I can understand people not wanting every grog to have Creo Ignem/ Creo Vim etc..
True, but without access to the Verb Arts, it's correspondingly difficult to achieve high Casting Totals. For the sake of game-balance, make sure to specify that the Techniques are effectively 0. Otherwise Magical Foci virtues can result in extremely powerful characters...