HoH:TL "Trust Me" spell and the effects of The Gift

On page 73 of HOH:TL the ReMe 20 spell "Trust Me" is described as

"The effect simply creates a counter-balancing force on the subjects mind. The Gift itself is not affected in any way, only the subject's mind.... The spell only acts to level the subject's attitude to the caster, not making them obedient or unnaturally well-disposed."

My understanding was that no magic (short of Parma Magica) could eliminate or block the negative social effects of the Gift (although I can't find this statement in the rules on page 75 - 77 where the social effects of the Gift are described. Am I crazy or can someone help with a page reference?). Even spells like "Aura of Ennobled Presence" are warped by the gift, providing a offsetting bonus but not eliminating the original penalty (as described by HOH:S pg 96).

So - Is "Trust Me" legitimate under the rules of the Gift in your opinion?

That spell breaks the game (and might be that even the rules) in so many fundamental points that it is better to consider that it does not exist.


It's a point which has been discussed at great length on here before. I'm sure you can turn up the old threads with a little searching.

I'm in the opposite camp from Xavi on the issue. I don't see why the Gift should override magic as classic as love potions or as well defined in the core rules as Enslave the Mortal Mind ("enables you to completely control the emotions, desires, interests, and activities of any person", AM5 pg. 152). Aura of Enobled Presence doesn't cancel the Gift effects because it's an Im spell and you can only go so far with your image; ReMe mind control is an entirely different thing.

I think the effects of this on the setting are vastly overstated by some. The Gentle Gift virtue is only made redundant if a Magus can radiate a generalized mind control around himself and that's prohibited by, oddly enough, the Law of Arcane Connections ("Hermetic magic cannot affect an unsensed target without an arcane connection", AM5 pg. 80).

You all, social companios, are fired. Thank you for you time. We will only use grogs from now on, sicne we magi are much better in social situations since our mentem and intellego skills are vastly superiors to yours and can simply ignore something so interwined in the description of the setting (The Gift) as to make the whole setting fall appart if you can cast such a spell with ease".

Love filter works perfectly fine. Supermodel in love with creepy old farting man. She will be horrified when the filter wears off.

So yes, opposite camps here. :slight_smile: IMS normal gift is -6 to social rolls, Blatant gift -15. In our opinion it makes way more sense than the current rules state aand has a real impact in gameplay.


Apologies to cover old ground - I had searched for the spell name but didn't find matches in the first few pages. Is there a way in advanced search to match an exact phrase instead of individual words?

Regarding the spell, I could consider a compromise position being:

Each individual's reaction to the Gift is idiosyncratic. Therefore a Finesse roll of 12+ is required the first time this spell is used on a person to achieve the subtly correct balancing effect. A failure simply doesn't work but allows a chance to re-cast the spell with a new Finesse roll when the target is better known (e.g. through InMe magic or through long interaction). A botch results in some enhanced negative reaction for the spell's duration (additional -3 penalty, immediate aggressive attack, etc) and the inability to ever correctly adjust this person's reaction with this spell (but a re-formulated version of the spell for this individual might work). For the Blatant Gift, the Finesse roll is 15+ and will only reduce the social penalty to -3. The Blatant Gift cannot be overcome entirely by magic without completely controlling a subject's mind. Additionally, any other ReMe, CrMe, or MuMe effects, cast on this target either before or after and which are not designed as part of this spell will disturb the subtly of this magic and render it ineffective for the duration of the new effect. Also, no other target than Personal will be effective - multiple targets, with each their own unique reaction to the Gift, are impossible to manage with the level of finesse required.

Just my ha'penny of thought.

I'm not sure I'd agree that the extreme social effects of The Gift are inherent to the setting, given that it's really an artifact of the 5th edition ruleset. The effect was much more gentle in previous editions, albeit with some other weird effects during the peak of the White Wolf angst.

Hmm - what about Bjornaer Sensory Magic Minor Virtue using a Spectacle or Sound Target? I think it would achieve almost an identical effect, rendering this a pretty effect replacement for Gentle Gift.

I pretty much agree with that. IMO, Sensory Magic is much more setting breaking than "Trust Me". I suppose because it's a virtue it's allowed to break the rules.

If you have Hedge Magic, see pg. 78 under "Improved Voice Range". This suggests developing the rough equivalent of Sensory Magic for just one sense (hearing) as a Hermetic Breakthrough. It even says "The magus who fixes this flaw, even in such a limited context, would achieve a Hermetic Breakthrough that would likely earn him the title of the greatest living Hermetic theoretician". This seems more consistent with the core rules than the section under Sensory Magic which suggests that the whole thing was put together by Bonisagus and Birna in their spare time.

Not as described no.

Ooh, nastier than my version, never used quite that high penalty, impressive. Using -4(normal gift)/-8(blatant, Major Flaw)/-12(buzzing gift, Greater Flaw), with the RAW descriptions adjusted for interaction to be less binary(ie the worse the gift, the harder to interact, but never impossible).

I understand this reaction, but I disagree.

I don't like that particular spell (for reasons below), but I disagree that this type of spell breaks the game and/or the rules, and that this type of spell should be disregarded.

Let's agree that a mundane's reaction to The Gift is part of their Essential Nature, or close enough - nothing can change that reaction. Aside from that, the standard reaction to The Gift does not block the effects of Mentem spells any more than those spells can block the effect of The Gift - right?

And what is that reaction? "The Gift has a strong emotional effect on those around the Gifted person, making them suspicious and mistrustful of the Gifted individual, inspiring envy... act(ing) as if (the Gifted Individual) has a well-deserved reputation for dishonesty and unreliability..." (p 75, col ii)

So, as long as a Mentem effect does not pretend to be changing that, it's kosher. So what it can do btr is create an additional, conflicting emotional response or memory - a "love/hate" situation, a "neutral ground" that is less than Gentle Gift enjoys but better than nothing.

A perfect example is a CrMe effect that puts the memory into the mind of the Target that "the mage is an old friend". That's not contradictory to the effects of/reaction to The Gift, so where does that leave us? With a friend that raises suspicion and mistrust - but is still a friend.

And that gets over the initial "fight or flight" reflex. That gets a mage to where covenfolk are - that they still feel extremely uncomfortable, but are willing to accept that they probably are in no immediate danger, despite their gut feeling, as if "long association had overrides the effects of reputation". (See p75, col iii, last full par. re mundane covenfolk/etc)

It's the same as anyone who has ever had "a friend" who's an addict - you may not trust them, you don't leave them alone in your house or loan them money or your car, but they're still "your friend" - at least until they prove otherwise. Exactly like a Gifted Individual with such a "reputation" that can be overcome with time. Or, as another example, like a lot of cowboy or gangster or criminal movies, where "the gang" is a bunch of cut-throats and thieves - but still "friends". Goodfellas, The Usual Suspects, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Wild Bunch. They don't (always) trust each other as far as they can spit, but they accept each other. Won't turn their back, and are constantly on their guard, and won't trust the other's word without good cause - but aren't going to run or start shooting as if they would a similar stranger.

It doesn't "break the game" - the mundane is hardly mind-controlled and their cooperation is far from guaranteed, and for some their gut reaction may still outweigh their (new) "memories". But it does partly solve the problem of The Gift with magic, that "initial reaction" that is so strong. If that's unacceptable in your saga, then houserule around it.

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