Infernally Tainted Titanoi: How do they use the Goetic Arts?

Houses of Hermes:Societates mentions the option of infernally tainted Titanoi Mystagogues who are able to initiate the Goetic Arts of Summoning, Ablating, Binding and Commanding and teach Goetic Spell Mastery (p. 96).

I read the rules of Gotic Arts in Realms of Power: The Infernal and now I´m asking: What kind of benefit represent the Goetic Arts for an infernally tainted Titanoi?

If they work with Titans, the use is questionable:
Summoning: Maybe Summoning is a little bit easier, but as Titanoi they can have Hermetic theurgy and Invoke the Pact of (Daimon). I see no need for two summoning options
Ablating: O.K., they could ablate a Titan. But that would mean, the Titanoi don´t have a friendly relationship with the Titans. Instead they would slowly kill them for their own advantage... an idea I need to get used to.
Binding: I think, this isn´t possible. The Mysteries, Revised Edition mentions: "A maga cannot bind an Aspect [of a Daimon]" (p. 81). The Titanoi would have to travel into the underworld to bind a Titan... barely conceivable.
Commanding: O.K., they could command a Titan. But if they Invoke the Pact of (Daimon) per Hermetic Theurgy, they can get the best things of a Titan without angering him.

If they don´t work with Titans (and instead use the Goetic Arts for dealing with demons)... then why are they called Titanoi?

I think I missed something. Can you help me?

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Just off the top of my head - the default/easy answer seems to be that they THINK they're dealing with titans, but are actually dealing with demons. As such, they THINK they're doing titanoi magic, but are really just doing the standard infernal magic thing (with Scandinavian names.)

Goetic Spell Mastery (RoP:TI p.124) is available to the tainted Titanoi - and can be quite useful if they have some Summoning and Hierarchy.

I also expect, that Titanoi summoning and commanding demons would not wish that to show up in the name of their brotherhood.


@ One Shot: Hierarchy is only relevant, if you´re dealing with demons. If an infernally tainted Titanoi is summoning an aspect of a Titan, no Hierarchy will be figured into the process. But at least - you´re right - the summoning score is added.

So, maybe an infernally tainted Titanoi just learns Summoning instead of Hermetic Theurgy, enjoys the advantage of Goetic Mastery and that´s it? This is only a very slight infernal taint... but why not? I kinda like it.

@ KevinSchultz: I think the Titanoi are votaries of the Titans, isn´t it? Even if they only think, the summoned entity is a Titan... why should they ablate, bind or command them? (And why is this proposed in Houses of Hermes: Societates?)

Goetic Mastery and Hermetic Theurgy have a lot of synergy: Summoning Ability providing a casting bonus for all the 'Invoke ...' spells of Hermetic Theurgy.

That doesn't mean, that you player's character needs to know all this from the onset, of course.


Do you have an example for this synergy effects? The only thing I can see is "Names of Power". Names of Power could possibly be useful for summoners. Though they are "Muto Vim acting on other spells", later we can read, that they "may be used in other specific magical methods, requiring other Mystery Virtues." It seems possible, that they could work on Goetic Summonings.

Having a single ability - Summoning - to add via Goetic Spell Mastery to the casting totals of all 'Invoke ...' spells of Hermetic Theurgy is synergy.

I have looked up HoH:S p.96 box again, however, and found that the Titanoi initiate Summoning as a Major Mystery Virtue: quite expensive for the benefit an Hermetic magus gets from it even with the synergy above. Perhaps it is more economical for the character of your player to completely stick to the mysteries of Hermetic Theurgy - leaving the Goetic Arts to his corrupt brethren. it might also help him, to avoid the attention of the Quaesitores.

Do you have a set of Virtues and Flaws of the PC Tytalus to quickly look over?


Ah, yes. Very clever. Yes, it´s a major virtue... but if it is the best possibility to taint the character infernally, maybe we´ll take this opportunity. ("Names of Power" don´t imply the possibility of synergy effects with summoning, it was my fault.)

It is the character concept of my player. He wants to play a Tytalus in the midst of the conflict between good and evil. His goal (as player) is to make friends with the other characters and then, when the other Magi realize, that maybe he stepped across the border, they are forced to make a hard decision: Do they support their moral convictions or do they support their friend? So, yes, of course he wants to avoid the attention of the Quaesitores, but eventually it should be clear for his sodales, that he acted questionable.

My player currently sits in on the virtues and flaws of his character. He will present me a first draft in a few days.

Looking for a possibility to taint the character infernally to me appears as looking for an appropriate Flaw. For that purpose I wouldn't push a Major Virtue onto a character sheet.

What about Minor Flaws like Corrupted Abilities (RoP:TI p.87), Corrupted Spells (RoP:TI p.88) and/or Witch Marks (RoP:TI p.90)? Especially a few Hermetic Theurgy spells as Corrupted Spells to me look like a fitting inheritance from a questionable Titanoi master.


Hm. Yes. That are possibilities, but it would be nice, if the character could start with a clean slate. In this regard a mystery virtue is a good possibility because the character can start as a little noticeable Tytalus, then falls in the clutches of a dubious cult and at last stands on the wrong side.

And me again with another idea:

What about a Titanoi with all this Hermetic Theurgy stuff and additionally Chthonic Magic?

The Titanoi are interesting (I've played one before.) and have several different ways of being pulled off well.

Don't forget that Magical Foci using areas like 'Spirits' for a Major and 'Magic Realm Spirits' for a Minor get greatly expanded utility when combined with Theurgic magic.

Goetia give a Spirit Master Magus several options that are not commonly available to a standard Hermetic or even a Hermetic Theurgist. The first of these Goetic Mastery as has already been mentioned.

Summoning 'can' be viewed as simply a second method of summoning spirits, sure. Yet bear in mind that Hermetic summoning spells require that you either can see a target, or have an Arcane Connection to it. This is usually a True Name when dealing with spirits, as is generally the case with Hermetic Theurgy. Goetic Summoning however can also initiate a process called 'Scouring' whereby a random spirit from the local area is summoned. Hermetic Magic can not do this. This can be useful in a variety of ways, depending on how the Troupe / SG plays it, and gives the Summoner / Spirit Master character an additional summoning option not commonly available.

Commanding also has as potential commands/tasks executed by spirits arguably some things that Hermetic Magic can't compel them to do. Such as provide Magic Resistance or commune with and share knowledge or memories directly with the Summoner. Some of these things are possible with various types of supplemental spells in Hermetic Magic, but none of them are possible with a base / generic Hermetic spirit control spell.

Those two Goetic Arts by themselves give a lot of additional utility to a Titanoi / Spirit Master that would distinguish them from an otherwise straight Hermetic spirit oriented Magus.

So the answer becomes they use Hermetic Spells 'most' of the time, with Goetic Mastery to make those spells easier/more powerful. Then they also have access to the unique 'tricks' of their Goetic Arts, and can use them to do 'other stuff'. Just be careful and have firm idea of what you want spirits to be able to do in your game, and stat up a few beforehand, so you get a good feel for them.

And another thing!

Hermetic summoning and/or spirit control spells only work on one realm of spirits, the one they are designed for. Summoning/Commanding etc. work on them all, which is another not inconsiderable advantage of their specialization. And then there are the rules for employing Rego and Vim in place of the Goetic Art and Realm Lore. Combine all of this with Goetic Mastery with Hermetic spells, and a Magical Focus with Spirits, and you are very rapidly aiming towards a potent Goetic / Hermetic Spirit Master hybrid.

Chthonic Magic (RoP:TI p.123f) fits to Guorna's tradition, and thereby also roughly to the Titanoi. You could decide, that some of Guorna's ancient practices have survived among a few Titanoi. It is powerful and versatile, but taints all the magic of its practitioners.
I'd still stick with a few Corrupted Spells for the player character, if I wished to leave him a choice of not playing up his heritage. With the Hermetic Virtue Chthonic Magic, he will catch his sodales' eyes soon.


One Shot (or somebody else), can you tell me, what kind of causes are possible for a spell to become corrupted?

RoP:TI p.88 mentions, that they were learned from a source corrupted in some way.

The PC magus' master or a visiting sodalis from the corrupted Titanoi might both qualify as such a source. Even a lab text in his master's library might contain a corrupted spell: especially a lab text for a Hermetic Theurgy spell invoking a shady entity.


@ Vortigern:

Yes, you´re able to practice "Scouring" if you´ve learned Goetic Summoning. But if you are a votary of the Titans, why should you use this option? You´re main agenda is cherishing and venerating the Titans! And why should you try to command them? If you have a bond of affection for them, you´ll try to live in accordance with them. Why should you command them?

And yes again: Goetic Summoning is possible for faerie, magical and infernal creatures. But if your main interest are the Titans, you main demand will be the summoning of magical creatures.

The Titanoi didn't come from a magical tradition that was focused on the Titans. They come from the tradition of Guorna the Fetid, and then Tytalus. Which isn't explained in super great detail, but is described as being strongly necromantic under Guorna. Tytalus went in search of other sources of power using the magic he had learned from Guorna. He found that power source, supposedly, in the Titans. That doesn't however mean that all Titanoi magic is focused on the Titans. Their magical tradition encompasses a great deal more than that, though part of it is maintaining the relationship started with the Titans by Tytalus.

So in short, they are a tradition of all around summoners ( as best we know ) who under Guorna were necromantic and likely mostly delt with ghosts and/or demonic forces, and transitioned to pacting with the Titans instead with the rebellion of Tytalus and Tremere.

An individual Titanoi could be focused on dealing primarily with the Titans themselves, or not. They could be focused on other matters entirely. They could be Titanoi trained and interested in other things. Or they could want to delve into the mysteries of the lost magic of Guorna the Fetid, and the magical tradition of their lineage prior to Tytalus. Or they could just be an all around summoner who deals with whatever they can find that is useful.

Example spells in the Tytalus section of HoH:S depict for example dealing with spirits that are associated with strong emotion. Those would hardly be on the level of a Titan. I'd imagine Titan pacting and direct association or otherwise affecting them with magic is a much more difficult task than much of the more casual summoning that their tradition would teach them to be able to do. Likely in the current incarnation of the rules the summoning would best be done by summoning of an aspect of a Titan who would be depicted as a Daimon. You wouldn't want to stick only with tasks of that magnitude and/or that cost vis. Yet being able to summon a Titan aspect, of considerable power, in exchange for vis, would be a nice trick to have up your sleeve.

There are a lot of other things these guys could be interested in besides those as well, but that is a good brief list.

@ Vortigern:

Thank you for your different point of view. It is something I have to think about. My impression arose from the descriptions of the Mystic Virtues the usual Titanoi can get by Initiation (names of power, invocation magic, hermetic theurgy and theurgic spirit familiar). In my eyes this virtues could better mesh with the Goetic Arts if an infernally tainted titanoi should be possible. I got the impression there are some friction losses that maybe could be avoided. Your statement presents infernally tainted Titanoi that are significantly different to the hermetic theurgy using Titanoi... that´s a legitimate alternative (...but I´m not sure, if I like it).

@ One Shot:

Oddly enough, the description for "corrupted abilities" is more detailed than the description for "corrupted spells". Here we can read, that there are demons ("watchers"), that can grant "corrupted abilities". I´m thinking about the primary idea of my player to have a character "plagued by supernatural entity". What about a watcher, that granted corrupted abilities for the Titanoi (and apart from that he uses the common mystery virtues of hermetic theurgy)?