Historical Magical Research Breakthroughs?

I'm working on something that involves the Order's history and i was just wondering what major innovations in Magic Theory and so forth have occurred historically? I'm particularly interested in those associated with Magic Theory. I'm looking for the period First Tribunal to present, so after Parma Magica and Magic Theory: Aegis of the Hearth is an obvious choice. What I'd ideally like is dates and references to books. Anyone able to help at all? :slight_smile: New ideas welcome too!

cj x

Like I said in another thread, unless you assume that hermetic magic can do mostly anything, one good way to model this (and this is somewhat supported by some supplements) is to assume that if there isn't a guideline to do something, it just can't be done. Not that Hermetic Magic just can't do it, but because no one has figured out how to do it. But by expanding the theory, one can find out how.

So you could have both some guidelines be the result of previous expansions of Hermetic Theory (Like "In 986AD, Polese Jerbitonis pushed the limits of Rego Imaginem, by figuring out how to make an object appear (to 3 senses) to be in a location that the caster has an Arcane Connection to, whereas, before him, no one had managed to do this for more than 2 senses").
You could thus take any guideline, and say that "in Year ####, hermetic magic was expanded by #### to allow ####"

This is also, IMHO, a nice way to begin the game with the corebook, while bringing in the new guidelines that appear in each supplement without requiring a special virtue or mystery: In 1223AD, Tektonius Bonisagi publishes his research detailing how Hermetic Magic can create and assemble the components for an Alchemical Reagent, opening new possibilities to the whole order.

I've thought a little about possibilities for an order in earlier centuries too and I've decided that a lot of the change between, say, 900ad and 1220ad involved removing various deficiencies and flaws from individual lineages of magi. So a lot of the development work would have been directed towards producing the "vanilla" magi of the AM5 corebook.

Longevity rituals which affect apparent aging were discovered within the lifetime of current magi, if I recall correctly.

In LoH there is a mention of the art of Vim being a single Art instead of 4 (one to affect each realm) is something that has been known for a while, but it was not so in the time of Conciatta (10th century IIRC)

I'm away from my books, but here are some thoughts to help:

  1. In the Amazon section of Rival Magic you'll find a note about a witch stealing some of Bonisagus's work and that that is why CrCo cannot restore Fatigue.
  2. I'm not sure if it's in HoH:MC or somewhere else, but I think there is a reference to Intellego sense magic being related to Sensory Magic or something like that. Sorry this one is so vague.
  3. You may well want to include Certamen. There's plenty about it in HoH:TL.


Again, no references but I think I read somewhere that Penetration (with associated multipliers) was a result of original research by a Flambeau researcher into Parma or Arcane Connections. I imagine something similar can be done with Finesse.

To riff on a prior point about guidlines for spells, maybe original magic theory of Bonisagus only allowed for non-ritual R/D/T limits and AC/Year/Boundary were added by other early researchers either harmonizing non-Hermetic spells contributed by Founders and thier contemporaries (or near-contemporaries) or otherwise brought in by the early influx shortly after the Founding.

Finally, the ability to teach Hermetic Virtues (ref: Apprentices, I think) could also represent a Major breakthrough discovered via research into opening of the Arts.

Hope this helps...


I think this is mentioned in Sanctuary of Ice, in the description of Philomena of the Sinews of Knowledge covenant.

Calebais: intelligent animals (Drininkeana Bjornaer, iirc)
Calebais: Supernatural creature-powered mystical effect to make it permanent (I am not profficient in MC, so it might be that it is a common Merinita feature)

I think you're over interpreting the sell-text on Ultor (HoH: S, p. 9).

I thought Penetration was developed by Flambeau himself when he realised that mages with significant MR were the coming thing.

I thought Penetration was generally available to anyone with a supernatural power or similar that might need to penetrate magic resistance.


I guess I'd interpret that as Flambeau having invented Penetration, although "pioneered the study of" admits a little weasel room.

Yes, but I thought I'd grandfathered it into the new edition. I think it may have just been a suggestion in "Fall and Rise" though.