Hermetic Gruagach initations

Since my saga has currently entered hiatus and might possibly face a future restart, I was wondering about redoing my spont-specialist character concept by making advantage of the supplement goodness published in the last two years (not to mention the recent exaustive debate on spont optimization). A gruagach or koldun heritage seems interesting since the are the most spont-friendly hedge tradition, and it is possible to develop all their Arts by initiation, hence they do not mess with the Hermetic Arts nor they gobble Virtue slots.

After taking a long hard look at the gruagach chapter of HMRE, I have visualized only a couple difficulties with the Ordeals of the initiations:

Give Initiation. Ordeal (Restriction, no magic if bald). No trouble for an Hermetic, not especially appropriate for a Koldun, but not really inappropriate, either (it is specifically related to Gruagach tradition, but it is also look like a geas that a faerie-affiliated magus could have). Nonetheless, which alternative ordeals could a Koldun take with it ? Maybe another kind of Restriction (e.g. touching religious objects or iron) ?

Take Initiation. Ordeal (Dark Secret or Pagan). No trouble for a pagan or irreligious Hermetic or a Koldun. I never play devout Christian or Muslim Hermetics, so fine.

Blessing Initiation. Ordeal (Weird Magic). Again, no trouble to have for most kinds of magician types. If necessary, I suppose it can be easily substituted with Flaws like Warped Magic or Unpredictable Magic.

Curse Initiation. Ordeal (Vow: fight injustice). This is specific to the gruagach tradition, it may or may not be appropriate for an Hermetic, often it is not. It is typically inappropriate for Koldun, that are described as mercenary in outlook. Any good suggestions for an alternative ordeal ? Maybe a Vow to protect harmless faeries ? Or to keep one's word ?

Shape Initiation. Ordeal (Weak Tattoo Magic). This is impossible to have for both Hermetics and Koldun. Any suggestions for an alternative ordeal ? Maybe Feral Scent or Disfigured (animal features marring human form) ?

External Soul. The standard gruagach Ordeal (Blatant Gift plus a Vow to train one's apprentices properly) works fine for Hermetics and Koldun alike. However, Koldun have to Initiate this twice, to pay for their more powerful version. Any suggestions for the second Initiation script ? And possible substitutions for Blatant Gift ?

For the Curse Initiation.-
Go with the Keep one's word, it fits with the Mercenary and Faerie ties. Faeries Bargain, breaking a bargain is very bad. A mercenary doesn't get far without gaining a reputation of trustworthiness with employers, keeping one's word fits their too.

I don't know what your character concept is, but if you are thinking of an individual with The Gift, the character can start the game with all of the Gruagachan Virtues, except External Soul. The Ordeals are for unGifted characters. A Gifted Gruagach can teach his Arts and Techniques to a Gifted apprentice, just like a Hermetic master can teach them to his apprentice. The only problem arises when the apprentice has lots of other supernatural virtues that interfere. This is discussed in the Introductory Chapter of Hedge Magic RE.

Sorry, either I misexplained myself or you did not get my intent. I was asking about using Gruagach initiations to let an Hermetic magus learn Grugachan Arts. Short of having the Subtle Opening, Initiation is the only realistic way an Hermetic magus can learn Gruagach Arts. My intent is to adapt those Initation Scripts so that an Hermetic magus can use them, too. The idea is an Hermetic magus, descended from a Gruagachlineage, that uses thiose Initiations to develop some of the Gruagach Arts, too, in addtion to vanilla Hermetic Arts, NOT a nominally Hermetic vanilla Gruagach.

Munchkin Alert!
After that i'd say that there are only an Iniciation Script that I'ld give permission, the Fetch, taht is for use in all characters.
Again, one thing make the things difficult with the Guagrach Arts, and is the Warping, that the Magi and the Gagrach don't take in the same way.
I think than the Iniciation scirpts for the arts are for un-gifteds and in the other way should be more difficult.

Oh, this is bizarre. Although Gruagach Arts do have their specialized advantages, it is rather difficult to argue that they are disproportionately effective in comparison to say Hermetic ones, and 1 xp invested in them is 1 xp not invested in other stuff. So it is very difficult to see where your game balance "alert" comes from.

Well, Initiation Scripts work for everyone that can match their prerequisites, and the ones for non-Gifted work on Gifted characters, too. There is no such a thing as different "classes" of Initiation Scripts for different classes of persons and characters.

This is a non-issue. An Hermetic Magus that has learned some non-Hermetic Arts or Supernatural Abilities still experiences Warping by Twilight. The basic realm affiliation, and the tradition one is opened in, "imprints" the form of Warping that one manifests throughout one's mystical career. Hermetic Mages always manifest Twilight, even if they learn some Divine, Infernal, Faerie, or non-Hermetic Magic exotic powers. The only exception is if one has the Faerie or Infernal pseudo-Gifts. The only real problem is the development of the exotic Arts, which typically requires acquiring the right Virtue. Once they are gained, they can be freely mixed and matched. The kind of Warping progression one experiences has absolutely NOTHING to do with the kind of powers one can develop, IF he can undergo the appropriate Initiations. And Initiations work absolutely regardless of one's tradition. It's simply an issue of finding the right Mystagogue, and/or the right Initiation Script, and being able and iwlling to pay the price asked for by the Script, in Quests, Ordeals, etc.

Again, provided the aspirant can provide the Ordeal called for by the Script, it works equally well on Gifted, non-Gifted, man, woman, Christian, pagan, Muslim, etc. In the original non-Hermetic Gruagach tradition, they are used for non-Gifted, since Gruagach Opening of the Arts imprints the Gift to learn Gruagach Arts. For an Hermetic magus of a Gruagach lineage, they have the Hermetic Opening of the Arts and they cannot effectively learn Gruagach Arts that way, they have to be opened by Initiation, But again, provided they can follow the script, it works equally well for them, there is no added difficulty.

I am puzzled to understand whether you are applying House Rules here, or there is a honest misunderstanding of the way Initiations work. :confused:

I guess my misunderstanding comes from my inability to see why any gruagach would agree to give away his tradition's powers to someone who was not an apprentice. I would think that because Hermetic magic is more powerful and more flexible than straight Gruagachan magic anyone a member of the Order would not bother initiating in the Gruagachan Arts and Forms.

If you just want the benefits of the gruagachan's ability to use flexible magic, that can be achieved through various Virtues and Flaws. When a tradition is adapted to Hermetic Magic, they use Hermetic Arts and Forms, but retain some additional Virtues or Flaws associated with the conversion process. I would suggest Cailleach Magic and/or Flexible Formulaic Magic or even Very Flexible Formulaic Magic.

Having two incompatible sets of Arts and Forms seems like a waste to me. But if you want to play a character who has access to both Grugachan magic and Hermetic magic, I guess it's possible. I think it would be something like running a computer with two operating systems. I don't think there could be any cross compatibility of magic. You couldn't use Gruagachan Durations with Hermetic spells, or vice versa, for instance.

Ok, John, I yield to your advice, Cailleach Magic and/or FFM shall be the entirety of the Hermetic Gruagach heritage.

That and Hidden Soul maybe?
In Lion of the North, there is a Hermetic Covenant of an Ex-Miscellanea tradition called Clan Gruagachan :wink:

On second thoughts, you are absolutely right. External Soul would be quite valuable for Hermetic mages and an Ex-Misc Gruagachan lineage would strive to keep the secret.

I think External Soul works. I would also say that, although the standard Ex Misc formula is one Major and Minor Hermetic Virtue and one Major Hermetic Flaw, there is nothing to prevent you from adding additional ones. A Minor Hermetic Virtue, similar to Faerie Magic, that allows the Grugachan to utilize their special Range, Target, or Durations might be interesting. Two Major Hermetic Virtues might be over the line, especially if other characters are only allowed one.

If you want to play by the Ex Misc rules, I'd go with the following:
Cailleach Magic (Major Virtue) -or-
Flexible Formulaic Magic (Major Virtue) -and-
Gruagachan RTD (Minor Virtue) -and-
Necessary Condition (Must describe spell effects to Target) (Major Flaw) -or-
Restriction (May not cast spells while bald) (Major Flaw)

John, your ideas are very nice and I thank you a lot for sharing them. Your suggested Hermatic Gruagachan setup is actually very similar to the one that I had puzzled out on my own:

Cailleach Magic (Major Virtue)
Harnessed Magic (Minor Virtue)
Restriction (may not cast spells while bald).

Your alternate suggestions are fine, except insofar that for my intent, having Cailleach Magic available is big part of the purpose of the exercise. I sincerely dunno if I'm going to make the chore of adapting the special Gruagach R/D/Ts to vanilla Hermetic spells, or I keep Harnessed Magic as the simpler close-enough compromise, since for may cocnept, other Virtues are already going to provide several other extra R/D/Ts (even if I freely admit that Gruagach ones are rather more nifty than say Faerie ones since none of them are restricted to ritual alone; IMO an extra R/D/T that cannot be used spontaneously is defeating most of its usefulness). It is a little big pity that space reasons (I surmise) in HMRE did not allow to make a Major Breakthrough and Hermetic Virtue that would adapt Gruagach R/D/Ts to Hermetic magic canon, it would have been as cool as Fertility Magic or Rune Magic or Subtle Opening. I am most thankful about Cailleach Magic, however, it is a godsend to spont lovers. :smiley:

An additional question, however: first, are the bald Restriction Flaw and the Vow to train apprentices properly Ordeal appropriate for Ex Misc Hermetic Koldun as well ? And which kind of Ordeal and/or Quest would Koldun use to Initiate the other half of their double External Soul ?

Side note: in my group we have readily agreed that the 1-cap on Major Hermetic Virtues is obsolete and counterproductive, since characters can always gain extra ones through Initiations, so it unnecessary limits character concepts and ought to be discarded.

No, I don't think that the worship of Gruagach, the bald restriction, the apprentice requirement, or any of the justice related aspects of the Gruagachan are appropriate for the Kolduni. Those are very specific to the Gruagachan history/mythology.

I would go with Initiations related to dealing with (negotiating, befriending, or defeating) Faerie and Magical entities. You could take Flaws related to Restrictions or Necessary Conditions related to the worship of Magical and Faerie entities. Blatant Gift would also be appropriate. You should look at RoP: Faerie for additional ideas.