How to use Elemental Magic at Char Creation?


Every time a mage with Elemental magic gains an experience point on any element, he also gets a point on the other elements.

How do you handle character creation? Does mage have any xp on other elements if he puts all his art points on Ignem?


It does not count at Character creation. But it might if your SG gives you experience post gauntlet.

If you look at a similar virtue in affinity, it specifically says at character creation where as Elemental Magic does not.

Thats how we play it with the addition that it can only trigger once per season(and double XP). By the rules you only get the bonus from study XP though.

Standard assumption is that its triggered once or twice per year since becoming an apprentice. SG approval needed for distrubution(if you dont put enough XP from elsewhere on the elements, you dont get the effect as often(or even at all), if you spend lots, SG might agree to give XP as if it had triggered 3 times per year every year)...

As Jebrick said, the rules simply dont include it in character creation. Its much simpler and easier to do it like that, but its also much less fun to just exclude its effect.

Like Magic Foci, most SGs don't apply the effects of the Elemental Magic virtue prior to the start of play. There are a few troupes who do, but I can't remember what method they used (I think it had something to do with dividing XP spent on the affected arts by 8 [the average study total] then applying the resulting XP back to the relevent arts).

Keep in mind, however, that this may be unbalancing in play...

There are several Virtues that are not, RAW, taken into consideration for CharGen.

While this is fine at Gauntlet, it gets more frustrating if years Post-Gauntlet are included in the CharGen process - HA 50, and no benefit from Secondary Insight, and what good is it again?! :confused:

If your SG/Troupe agree, there are some reasonable (and fairly obvious) ways to include it in a (more complex) CharGen approach. But as mentioned above, it's not a universal multiplier - so be conservative, accept that it doesn't affect 100% of the experience, and have fun.

RAW, it doesn't. Start your apprenticeship 1 year later, those 15 points will more than compensate. Spend the first few years of your saga reading Ignem summae and doing lab work. I hope it is a fast saga.

Considering an extra post-gauntlet year gives 30 xp, I am leery of taking any virtue that saves nothing but a few years of aging. After 5 years in the lab every season, you gain a 60 xp bonus. Less than Skilled Parens or Affinity for 2-3 times the cost. Take it because you want to role-play it, or persuade your SG to reduce it to a double-minor virtue.

The Elementalist section of Hedge Magic suggests treating Elemental Magic like an Affinity with all four Arts during character creation.

After a bit of thinking about it, ill probably use this in a slightly altered way, instead of above, add XP as if all 4 Arts had Affinity, but dont add the XP directly, instead total them together and then spread them evenly over the 4 Arts.

for every 7,5 xp or part of 7,5xp in one art, you receive +1 xp.

This +1xp is put in every other elemental art, applying the affinity (if any) or other virtue (if any) to it.

Same goes for secondary insight, btw.

That seems fairer - the problem with using the affinity rules is that it assumes that you receive the XP in small lumps (because you get a 50% bonus in XP), and while learning I am thinking that you will pick up the majority of your XP in larger lumps (spending a season reading a book, etc),

On that basis, using the affinity rules would seem to grant more XP than would be reasonable,

Well, it's an abstract process. If you want a concrete one more realistic for the purpose of affinity, you can but it's longer.
And without this kind of 'houseruling", secondary insight and elemental magic are just plainly bad during abstract character creation.

I'm curious: Why 7,5 points?

average season for post gauntlet : 30xp/4 = 7,5
average season of skilled parens apprenticeship: (300+150)/15 = 30/4 = 7,5xp
average season of normal apprenticeship: (240+120)/15 = 24/4 = 6xp
average season of bad apprenticeship: (180+90)/15 =18/4 = 4,5xp

We assumed if we used 6xp, this would mean "5 seasons" after apprenticeship.
So we chose 7,5.
Plus, for elemental magic purpose, that mean with 30xp in elemental magic during 1 year, you effectively gain 30+4x3= 42, which mean a 40% income.
It's lesser than 4 affinities (which are really too powerful IMO)

For secondary insight, it would mean either 30+4x2 if you put xp in Forms or 30+4x4 if you put xp in Techs, so if you split in two, 15+4x1+15x4x2 = 42.

Allowing the use of 2 real affinities (see, for an example, my last post in character creation topic), you can go for 30+4x(3+2) = 50 with elemental magic,
30+4x(2+2) with secondary insights and xp put in Forms or 30+(4x6) = 54 in technique, so average 15+4x(1+1)+15+4x(2+1)= 50.

And using 7,5 or part of 7,5 allows some nice rounding tricks.

Actually, the difference between your version and treating the Arts as having affinity is more semantic than real.
You get 3 bonus XP per 7.5XP, with affinities you would get 4 instead of 3, except that is including rounding up.
With affinities you would reach +3XP for every 6XP.

I consider your version roughly equal in power to the others mentioned.
The advantage of yours is that the XP ends up even more realistically. Calling it less powerful however is mostly windowdressing.

I may be wrong since I don't have my books to hand, but didn't the bit in Hedge Magic suggest dividing half of the experience points spent on each Form evenly among the other three? It's not quite the same as an Affinity, since it doesn't boost a Form you specialize in so much.

Direwolf, if i used "affinities for all arts = overpowered" it was a way to say "my ASG would not have accepted it". But he has nothing against my house rule :slight_smile:.
For me elemental magic needs some kind of boost to be useful. Otherwise, secondary insight or any other major hermetic virtue is better, no matter what.

Erik: maybe, but i always disdained it for Hermetic Arts. It was for Elemental Arts, which are difficult arts (= xp like abilities) but with normal Arts, i think it could be too good. So i haven't thought about it, except what i said in limine litis of this post.

My solution would be to re-write the Elemental Magic Virtue so that it was not based on Experience Points.

I'd word it so it was something like:

This seems simpler to administer, and is a bit better (and more worthy of a Major Virtue). I've not tried this in play though. But it is something I was considering when thinking about an Elementalist character.

I do like that. It's definitely much easier to administer; you're right there. It's value would be similar to having Puissant in 4 Arts, though the bonus would quickly move above the Puissant bonus. But you'd never see the doubling up that you can get with Puissant (Technique) + Puissant (Form). That does seem worthy of a Major Virtue.


As we are talking about a House Rule, you can always fluff about and make it "half Form bonus" or something similar if you think that the numbers get too big.

I'm pretty happy with Form Bonus in the other three Arts being the bonus. Considering a single instance of its application, it should not get to be bigger than the sort of bonus you would receive due to a Major Focus. But obviously, it would trigger in a different variety of circumstances than a Major Focus does.