initiated in multiple Magic Traditions

Jumping between books and forum posts trying to prepare for my Saga, I think I am beginning to dream/hallucinate weird situations.

Take for instance the following scenario I daydreamed.
prima Immanola, as part of her doom and gloom prophecies set up a secret cabal to produce / defeat the next Dav'nalleus. The cabal spends 50 years finding the prophesied Gifted child. First they Open the child as a Folk Witch. Then Open as an Elementalist. Then as a Gruagachan. All the while keeping the previous Openings alive.
Finally a cooperative child of Pralix Opens the child to Hermetic Magic, keeping all the other magic Traditions.

At this point the child has not been trained in any of these Traditions, and may Mentum magics ensuring the child does not accidentally mention these initiations.
Then a Giant raid on the Covenat during the AotH casting results in several covenfolk being kidnapped, including the child.

The cabal tracks down the Giant clan, only to discover that they sold the child to a mysterious traveler. 15 years later the child passes their apprentice gauntlet, and I am awakened from my daydream.

If I were to stat out this character, should they have 1 or 3 virtues "Latent Magic Ability"?

This is very, very tricky. I'd say there are two parts to the trickiness.

The first is that it's very hard to Open a Gift to two different magical traditions. Three or more is almost impossible by "standard" means. Of course, you could use stuff like replicating Odin's ordeal etc. But that's quite ... incredibly epic.

The second is "pricing" such a situation in terms of Virtues/Flaws. Ultimately, I'd say it's less of an advantage than it may seem, in that mastering half a dozen disparate magical traditions will buy you in flexibility far less than it costs you in power. I do not think it would be too generous to use the following as the Major Non-Hermetic Virtue of a magus Ex Miscellanea:

Legendary Polymath (Major, Supernatural): You have been trained in a unique fashion to fullfill a unique magical destiny. You automatically have the Enemies, Dark Secret, or similar Story Flaw, to represent the forces conspiring against you. You do not gain any points for such a Flaw, and can take no other Story Flaw. You have the standard experience of a magus of your age, but your Gift is also opened to any number of additional hedge traditions; any experience in the corresponding abilities must come from your starting pool, however, and you must take any mandatory Virtues or Flaws for each tradition you take other than Social Status ones. Unless you meet the minimum ability requirements for a tradition, you cannot advance in it without seeking additional instruction from a master. Training apprentices in multiple traditions is no easier for you than for anyone else. Players may only take this Virtue with the agreement of the storyguide or troupe.


I am only considering it because Damhan-Allaidh was supposed to have been Open to 4 different magical Traditions.
My day-dream seemed to have each Gift Opener more powerful than the previous in order to deal with the increasing difficulty of Opening the Gift another time.

I was assuming that this destined child has been only trained in Hermetic Magic, nothing to the other 3 Traditions, which the destined child is unaware of (due to assorted Mentum Magics). Which why I am asking about how many times Latent Magic Ability should be taken.
Of course if they had had any training in the other Hedge Traditions it should come from the starting pool.

If you're using Latent Magic Ability as a placeholder for other powers, I think you need to take it once per virtue that they will later develop, as LMA is supposed to be less powerful than The Gift (so I'm assuming LMA must be less powerful than being opened to one whole tradition).

The thing is that Davnalleus does not need to hav einitiated into so many things. I do not reañlly like the ArM5 revisionism here. A Damhaid Druidsan with some more infernal stuff would sufice to describe his powers, as would a Summoner gruagach. the only problem with hoim is warping, really. If you allow him to remove warping and keep external soul he can get to the top abilities of his tradition, whatever that is, and that cna be really powerful. And difficult to kill.


•How does Immanola know what Traditions The Spider has been Opened to? I suppose there are some records of his suspected and witnessed capabilities lying around.
Also, these are Ex-Miscellanea, they are mostly Hermetic Magi, not Hedge Magicians. Where is she going to find senior Hedge Magicians who would agree to this experiment, to baring all their secrets? This is not a cohesive House like Tremere!
Lots of Rego Mentem? :innocent:

•Hermetic Magic is far superior in raw power to all of these. Why would they dilute the prophesied Child's powers with a host of abilities he/she could never develop fully? Each Season learning something else, even with an awesome SQ of 30+, is a Season not developing Hermetic Arts/Spells. Better to research Hermetic solutions to The Spider's powers. Who is going to teach? The mighty hedgies Opening may not be the best teachers, or even interested in doing so.
You would also need to waste seasons on teaching respective languages (Pictish) and Magic Theory (Folk Magic Theory) and Organization Lore (for all 3), as well, for each one, right? Some Gruagach powers need Initiations (Fetch, External Soul).

•Opening multiple Hedge Traditions is difficult, bordering on the impossible, as they tend to have low Lab Totals that are not easily increased, and very powerful hedgies are near their final Warping time. How is the third Opening even achievable, let alone keeping the other powers and not erasing them (even at skill 1). Even a titanically powerful Pralician with lots of aid and reaching an InVi Lab Total of 200 would not be enough to exceed x2 the totals required to simply Open, let alone preserve!
Let's see: Folk Witch Cursing 6, Healing 6, Flight 2, Shapeshifter 6, Animal Ken 2, Second Sight 2. So second Opening to Elementalist is 0 + already Opened 12 + 24 = 36!!! x2 = 72...

So Elementalist needs to hit in this scenario 73 Lab Total to Open and preserve. :sweat:
Uhmm, a very powerful Elementalist: 9 Aura (best case) + 5 Int + 20 Technique + 25 lowest form + 4 Assistants with +7 each (very optimistic) = 87, done! Of course, this Elementalist is probably extremely deranged (with conflicting Personality traits of +8 or +9), and his own suite of Flaws. So good luck with that!

Third Opening for the Gruagachan is 72 + 2[2 Major Techniques 12, 4 Minor 8] = 112. Yikes!!!!
Super mighty Gruagachan with Lab totals: 9 Aura + Give 18+2 + Vision 30+2 + 18+2 appropriate focus + 5 Int + 7 specialized lab + 9+2 Pictish = 104. Gruagach seem gregarious, but not sure if they can receive lab aid. If they can, then reaching 113 is doable. Whew!

Pralician needs to hit: 1,650 to Open, 3,301 to Open and Preserve, is that right? :dizzy_face:
Folk Witch (3 Major + 4 minor= 130) + Elementalist (2 Major + 4 Minor = 100) + Gruagachan (2 Major + 4 Minor = 100)
Looks like I grossly underestimated the Hermetic Opening total.
"level required For Opening the Arts:.5 x (the sum of all Supernatural Ability scores)"
"minimum level per ability:.10 if the Ability derives from a Minor Virtue, or 30 if it derives from a Major Virtue"
Greater than or equal to twice level: Arts opened, some or all Supernatural Abilities converted into Hermetic Virtues

Best to invest in researching the Subtle Opening before!

•The Spider's powers are earned through several lifetimes, and through Story fiat, mainly. Difficult to compare or emulate mechanically!

•Latent Magical ability might be 1/Major Hedge Virtue, + 1 /3 minors. Too many for a 10 Virtue character!

•Opening the child to Folk Witch tradition first probably means Warping reaction will come from that, although Hermetic Opening might override this. Something to consider, as well.

Anyway, please let us know how you proceed!

I think the conclusion here is that RAW its not possible or at least very difficult to imagine how it could come about.

But many things in canon are not feasible RAW but they are part of the canon anyway (Bonsiagus managed to research hermetic theory and Parma magica in a single lifetime). Your best bet IMO is to say "it was destiny, the child was special" and ignore the rules.

Because the answer to your question: "If I were to stat out this character, should they have 1 or 3 virtues "Latent Magic Ability"?" is: "No" or "Yes" if you think it is a good way to go. Personally I would go with the custom virtue suggested by Ezzelino.

I thought a Tradition was Opened all at once, so it would map to a single Latent Magic Ability.

Ah well, I had been jumping between books and forum postings so much before I day-dreamed/hallucinated my hypothetical scenario. I probably misremembered stuff, though I will have to go back to, probably Hedge Magic, as I seem to recall there was a rule about already having a Tradition Opened meant a penalty of something like 15 to Opening the Gift for something else.

Though that may be for Hermetic Magic, which has the oddity that start with a score of zero in all your Arts, whereas Hedge Magic Traditions start with a score of 1 in their Arts?

Perhaps Immanola had a Verditius orbus to work with? One who managed to pervert the Bind Magical Creatures Mystery, so that (s)he could bind the powers of one person's opened Gift to another(with the original losing their Gift?), instead of just binding one of a magical creature's Powers to themselves?

As to statting out the character, I'd say work towards a build that incorporates the bonuses and penalties as the Ex Misc bonus major virtue and flaw, the virtue being the extra openings with the flaw being a Hermetic one that can apply to every tradition, perhaps with an extra story flaw thrown in to represent the plot craziness you want. Twilight Prone might be an option, since giving the character a unique, over the top Warping reaction could be a clue all is not normal with the character?

First of all Hello everybody, long time no see.

About your concept, there is a maga i made and recently discovered how on the fringe of Frightening Funchkinism it is.
I think is exactly what you want but in a different way.

Lorcan Filli Pralix

Per 3 Pre 0 Int 1 Con 0
Str 0 Sta 3 Dex 0 Qui 0


+3(He) Faerie raised magic
+3(Su) Strong faerie blood: Padfoot
+1(He) Independent study
+1(He) Affinity (Rego)
+1(Ge) Improved Characteristics
+1(He) Cautious Sorcerer

+0 Comprehend magic
+0 MinFocus Hedge magic

Total +10


-3(Su) Lycantrope
-3(He) Waster of vis
-1(Pe) Faerie upbringing
-1(St) Visions
-1(St) M.A.Companion
-1(He) Hedge wizard

Total: -10

-0 Weak Magic resistance

The combo is VERY story dependant and VERY playabe thus is easy to control guidewise.

basically is to combine Faerie raised magic HoH:mc with Comprehend magic HoH:S

With faerie raised you can copy and learn Hedge magic you are able to witness, with conprehend magic you can study them, and integrate into hermetic magic.

Rulewise, throug copiing a spell you witness and put it into a lab text ( 2 seasons min.) you ad as many breaktrough points as magnitude of the spell.

Finding a "friendly" bonisagus you may end with a minor breakthroug in 2 seasons, a major breaktrough in 4 years and an hermetic integration in less than 10 years. this without pushing the limits , minimaxing or using multi asistant low level low risk experimentation. that can end you in integrating guaranach, elementalist and folk witch magic in roughly 30 years.

so your profeticed magus could easily fulfill the profecy before age of 70. having played many many adventures.

a character worth beeing played, a nice story very saga dependant.


wow i've been thinking....
you may take a major virtue Death profecy Arm5 41 and a major flaw Dark secret ( scryer)

death profecy -You shall integrate all the exmiscellanea traditions in hermetic magic thus you will die the day you fulfill your destiny.

if you do so, surely you will be marched by your own house...

Ignes gives the reasoning as to how you would construct this character according to "extremely detailed character creation", i.e. how such a character would be developed in play.

Obviously, you are free to break the rules, but if you go strictly by them, you're going to be needing some super-high InVi Lab Totals to keep their existing traditions, while taking others in. Each previous tradition is considered 30 points of required Lab Total, or 10 per Minor Virtue and 30 per Major Virtue (but traditions for gifted folks are like a collection of virtues in as one Major Virtue, or so I ruled with a Hedge Witch / Hermetic Magus hybrid recently, so that might be a rules interpretation). To keep the tradition and virtues intact, you need 2x that Lab Total or you're going to have to lose traditions and/or virtues.

I agree that Subtle Awakening Breakthrough, as described e.g. in AM5 Hedge Magic (I think it was under Folk Witches chapter, or perhaps Odin / Rune magic), would in principle allow all of these without needing so great totals. If the character has very low scores in all their Supernatural Abilities granted by the various traditions, it becomes more manageable.

Now, if you're allowed to break the rules... Yeah, Latent Magical Ability once per additional tradition might work, as long as there's a requirement that the character needs to do something / have something happen to them before the powers emerge. Unless taught, they would then probably lack the Magic Theory scores for the Hedge traditions.

As a character, this one would be rather extraordinary, so creating them strictly by the rules of regular (detailed) character development is a stretch. The concept is so extraordinary, you might as well ignore the rules, or go with the extremely detailed route and detail their life thoroughly.


A few intertwined questions and issues here.

The problem that the rules make it almost impossible for a character opened to many traditions. I would ignore this. There are other very legal characters in this category, just using the core rules. For example, I can create a magus with Strong Faerie Blood, and then load him up with nothing but supernatural virtues. Completely legal, and it should be legal, yet what Hermetic magus can open the Arts for such a one, especially without destroying all that?

As for making stats for the character, a GM can do as he likes. But I'm pretty sure few groups would be comfortable with a PC letting Latent Magic Ability represent a tradition that has been opened, probably because it seems too good. Worse than that, however, is that these Abilities are not latent but actual, albeit weak. A Folk Witch has a bunch of Supernatural Abilities at 1. A Gruagachan has a bunch of Arts at 0. Etc. So RAW, the virtue does not apply.

The rules give no indication how being opened to another tradition should be priced, in terms of virtue points. Of course, most of these traditions are represented by a bunch of virtues, and you could price it that way! That's more expensive, but a series of initiations will achieve very close to the desired result, but you'll want to open Hermetic Magic first. Or, you could give some entity from the Magic Realm a ritual power "Open Tradition X" which ignores all those pesky requirements. With four of these entities, one per tradition, your character need not pay anything; obviously this handwavium only works for an NPC. A PC would probably have to endure much hardship to find such an entity, if it exists, and then meet its onerous price.

Moving away from your question to talk about the topic title, I think AM5 made some design mistakes regarding learning supernatural abilities and opening traditions. Simpler rules like these would have worked better, imo:

  • Existing supernatural abilities in no way affect the ability to open a Gifted person to a magical tradition.

  • A Gifted person can only be opened to a magical tradition once.

  • New minor hermetic virtue: Teacher of (Tradition) - You can spend a season to open someone to the magical tradition specified by the virtue, ignoring Art requirements or similar, which you might not have. You must be Gifted to have this Virtue. You can have this virtue more than once, representing multiple traditions. You do not need this virtue to open someone's Arts to a tradition to which you are opened, but must obey the usual restrictions.

And then, optionally, Major Hermetic Virtue: Expanded Magic - You can be opened to a second magical tradition. If taken during character creation, you can assume this has already happened, use the character creation rules from the tradition for which you do not have this virtue, and use the Warping rules of the tradition of your choice, which you cannot alter through normal means. You may take this virtue more than once. Ex Misc magi can take this as their free House virtue.

I consider this major rather than minor, because having a second tradition lets you load up with flaws from one or both traditions, not because having two traditions is especially powerful.

I made these virtues Hermetic rather than supernatural so that they could not easily be imitated by Learned Magicians and similar.