Should Ex Miscellanea magi have access to the major Social Status virtues as part of their "free" house virtues? In particular, should an Ex Misc mage be able to select Magister in Artibus as the major non-Hermetic virtue?
Or would an option like this violate the letter or spirit of the rules?
I don't think it breaks the spirit of the rules. Ex Misc is a broad category not obligated to simply represent crazy Hedge Wizards with "oompf!".
I can imagine Arabic Alchemist schooled in the Classics, raised a Muslim, and possessing a wide variety of mystic abilities. If such a Magus were to cross the OoH, they would likely become an Ex Misc possessing Magister in Artibus to reflect the level of education they recieved. An educated scholar, and Non-Hermetic Magus.
Have to agree with Chuck.
No reason Ex Misc. can't be Educated.
Will this be unique to the Character , a defining quality?
I'm guessing the character will have done his Hermetic Apprenticeship after his university education.
If you don't want Aging penalties , the minor supernatural virtue Unaging (page 50 ArM 05) is well worth it.
Does mean you won't have to panic about a Longevity Potion immediately either.
I agree with Tuura, no reason you couldn't take that virtue.
I would advice you to think about how and why it is like that though, come up with a interesting backstory and rationale, sometihing like Tuura did with Arabic Alchemist idea.
An Magus Magister sounds very interesting too, wouldn't be to hard to come up with a couple of story hooks there I think.
The problem I have with ex Misc and virtues is that there are too few major (non hermetic) virtues. It feels a bit restrictive. About 14 to choose from (I'm assuming redcap is out of the question) And a couple of them aren't very interesting (wealthy fx). Or they bind you up to much (True Faith fx)
I'm hoping we might see more virtues, written up as ex Misc tradions in the HoH Societas book, but that may be a long wait...
What I've done for Ex Misc in my saga is allow them to take 3 minor non-hermetic virtues or 1 major non-hermetic virtue. This opens up a whole world of "do it yourself" minor magical traditions created from among the minor supernatural virtues.
Status Virtues for Magi break the letter of the rules - all magi already have (their one and only) Status Virtue as Hermetic Magus.
As for the Spirit - in this particular instance, the XP from study is a nice bonus, and not excessive for a Major Virtue (though I must say, not in the style of the ex Misc house, which is not normally very bookish!), but the other bits of MinA is very much not in the spirit of magi - the requirement to spend seasons teaching!
Either your magus is crocked by wasting time teaching mundane students, or you abuse the Virtue as packaged, by ignoring the University...
what I would suggest is that you discuss all such packages with the whole Troupe, not just the one player, and that you make a list of the packages (which are meant to be lineages of descent, within Ex Misc).
a) restrict the number of distinct lineages, to make a reasonable number of magi within each branch of ex misc (though that need only be a handful)
b) make sure to introduce NPC magi who use exactly the same packages - these will be others in the same Tradition of Ex Misc
By the book (ArM5 p.37), you must take one Social Status. And you cannot take more than one, unless their compatibility is explicitly confirmed by the book: like it is confirmed for Priest and Magister in Artibus. Hermetic Magus is a Free Social Status Virtue which is not compatible with Magister in Artibus.
Taking the Status Magister in Artibus is also rather inadequate for Magi, as it requires two seasons of teaching per year, hence cripples their lab projects.
So getting lots of experience points for three points of Virtues is perhaps better accomplished by taking Skilled Parens (60 exp and 30 spell levels), Gild Trained (60 exp and 30 exp OoH Lore, Intrigue, Covenant Lore) and either Educated (50 exp) or Privileged Upbringing (50 exp). You lose 10 exp but gain a better choice to spend your points, and, best of all, you have more time in the lab.
But, all that said: as an SG I would still allow your Ex Misc if he came with a good concept and you really wanted to play that. He is not overpowered after all: quite the contrary.
There's a lot of good ideas in this thread, especially the 3 Minor non-Hermetic Virtues instead of the Major.
I agree that the rules forbid multiple Social Status, perhaps the Magister In Artibus could be modified into "Former Magister In Artibus" and turn it into a Major Story Virtue....I don't know. The one Social Status limit seems somewhat confining. It's probally to indicate that a normal aged Magus could barely finish apprenticeship much less anything else. Magister obviously indicates a minimum age which is similar to Hermetic apprenticeship, and I would think someone who went through both would probally start 15 years older.
There was a "Hedge Magic" book for a previous edition, I would bet it had a bunch of Traditions that could be modified to 5th.
The Hedge magic book did have some virtues/abilities that could be used for the Ex Misc house. Some have been integrated into the 5th editions (such as aesthetics for Divine, spirit masters in Infernal, and charm makers in HOH:Mysteries).
In a current campaign, we have a Ex Misc, lineage of Maria alchemist that has some of the Divine's Virtues with a previous social status of Minor: Outsider Jewish. We also have an Failed Monk (nun) social status for our Guernicus which translates into a reputation effect within and outside the order of Hermes.
For magi, while the rules are against it, I think it is appropriate to have multiple social status(i?) if a good story can be weaved around it. I would argue that they should be considered minor flaws for magi since they spend much of their lives in a covenant and won't see the discrimination/problems associated with outsider for example as dramaticly as their mundane fellows.