Initiation Ordeal question

If a character is making her progression through two (or more...) different mystery paths (typical case, a Mystery House magus who studies under his House mystery and another mystery cult, such as a Bjornaer belonging to Huntress in the Wood, a Merinita in the Children of Hermes or Philosophers of Rome, or a Verditius in the Green Cockerel or Magoi of the Star), do previous Ordeals give a Script bonus to all subsequent initiations, or just the ones that share the same (or thematically very similar) Cult Lore ? If the latter, does the bonus keep valid if the character takes an Initiation with the other Cult in the meanwhile ? Tentatively, I'd be inclined to answer the latter to the first question, and yes to the second.

I think this question should be clarified. Because of the existence of Mystery Houses at least, it is imprudent to assume that a mage would follow only one mystery cult in his lifetime, period.

I'm of the same opinion as you, although I would easily accept that ordeal benefits are lost if you undergo unrelated ordeals/initiation. An ordeal is a traumatic attunement of your magic to a specific Mystery; unless the other mystagogue is aware of and has a script that takes that attunement into account, he wouldn't be able to preserve it.

Regarding belonging to multiple Mysteries, I don't think it would really work out, if only because of loyalty issues. Criamon would probably not have much trouble about it, some Merinita cults might object, but Verditius and Bjornaer certainly wouldn't accept it. House Bjornaer explicitely rejects any magus known to be a member of another Mystery.

I think such characters would be exceptional, but if they exist they are probably player characters, and yes I can see it. So if it soes occur, my ruling would be thatthe Ordeal bonus only applies to the one mystery it was incurred for. Neil may well have other thoughts, but that would be mine. I believe I did discuss initiation in to Esoteric and Exoteric Mysteries in TMRE - they are handled mechanically the same, but nope, the bonus does not cross over...

cj x

Thank you for your insight. Though I acknowledge and therefore mentioned the possibility, I fail to grok the reason why one should lose the ordeal bonus for Mystery Virtues of cult A if the mage initates a Virtue of cult B in the meanwhile, provided the cult philosophies are at all compatible (as they should; I would have serious difficulty explaining the mindset of the character otherwise). The mystical affinity for mystery path A should be firmly kept in place by the fact that character has Virtue from cult A. Any mystery virtue is a permanent modification and expansion (in my mind, I'm irreverently comparing it to a mystrical "plug-in") of one's Gift.

As I said, I find it unreasonable to expect that only mages from non-Mystery Houses would undergo Esoteric mysteries, and therefore the case of double Esoteric-Exoteric initation (as for the case of multiple Esoteric cults, I indeed expect it to be rare, since in most cases mages who wish to initiate some virtue that his cult's script array does not provide would simply experiment and maybe manage to "appropriate" a script from another cult or ancient non-hermetic magic and try to convert it to one's cult Lore) should not be too rare, especially where obvious analogies about thematic affinities of the virtues and cults do exist, eg. Veriditius and Green Cockerel, Criamon and divination, Merinita and theurgy. Criamon really do not mind as long as you live aptly, Merinita likewise are laid-back about it because if you care about faeries, stories, illusions, or nature you are really one of the boys and girls even if you sideline or don't wear the membership card, Verditius just care that you do not trade secrets to oursiders, not if you get the secrets of outsiders, quite the oppisite (cfr. Verditius and Weyland) and Bjornaer, well, they are trhe exception but then it is a wonder they still get to have some rank and file, given their exceedingly onerous membership requirements and their super-paranoid attitude. No wonder they are an endangered species kinda House. Bjornaer: the few, the proud, the paranoid, and the extinct. They do have Huntress in the Wood in their midst, though.

Note: Neil and Cj, I think one thing the book really and sorely lacks is rules for getting bonuses to experimenting a Script from having another script for inspiration, as opposed to starting from scratch. The book hints about it in fluffy text about reconstructing lost Scripts fom hints, but no hard rules are given. In the light of the obvious analogies from researching spells and doing original breakthroughs, both cases where having clues and similar models to reverse-engineer and modify really does help, I think rules about this case are really owed. Did they get cut, or the case simply escaped your attention ?

If it were so, the bonus from an Ordeal would last for any number of initiations. Personally, I think it is thematically fitting that an Ordeal would leave you a blank slate ready for your next initiation, wiping out the remnants of any previous preparation; like reheating metal that had been quenched. Sure, it makes it significantly harder to make progress along both paths at the same time, but I think it is appropriate.

Of course, the powergamer in me says "To Hell with your 'thematically fitting', I expect compound interest in Virtues for that Flaw you forced me to take.", but I can easily accept the opposite view. It feels right.

Right. I don't see the Verditius Primus taking lightly to someone from his House joining (yes, them again) the Children of Hermes. It would have to be handled on a case by case basis -- which seems to be the leitmotiv of Mysteries anyway. :stuck_out_tongue:

Some of them probably breed like rabbits, if that's of any help. Though there's a reason why they've been looked at as the next Diedne. Do you fancy a hunt?

Just to make clear: you DO NOT lose the ordeal bonus from cult A, it just does not apply to cult B. When you next initiate in to Cult A that bonus is still there... My ruling would be, if they luse different (Cult) Lores, they are seperate initiations. However I would personally not allow the application of the Cult A ordeal bonus to Cult B, as different mysteries pursue variant plug ins as you term them, that while thematically appropriate, and not causing any conflicts in the operating system, are programmed in different languages. Your C++ bonus does not apply to the Java Mystery. Er, actually that may be rot. I know nothjing about computers. :slight_smile: Still expect Caribet can clarify this...

Agreed, it will happen, and should. Normally if you are serious about pursuing power in your House you will stay mainly focussed there, but I agree with you, and the examples I snipped were excellent...

Nope, I think they are there in there??? Acting as a mystagogue, and you can be your own mystagogue, use the rules to Vary the Initiation Script. If you suceed you have a new Initiation Script, derived from the old one but different. if you mean how can you make that process easier, the hunt for hints of lost magics and ancient secrets are represented by you increasing your (Cult Lore) ability which is needed to vary the script. I may be misunderstanding, or Heaven forbid!, the rules for varying the script may not be in the final book, but I find that hard to imagine. I can't recall if they were in the summary in HOH:MC or not?

cj x

I think our difference comes from the analogy one uses for the lingering effects of each Initiation and mystery virtue: you see it as kinda transient as heating up metal for afoce. I see it as more permanent, like getting a new sense or a kinda of mystical "plug-in" software to your Gift O.S. I think both approaches are valid, after all. Optional rule ??

Of course, like every real good powergamer, I always try to come up with sound and reasonable thematic and background justifications for my powergamer choices. Always put the SG in the position of him looking arbitrary and unreasonable. For one, creative retrospective background adjustment is almost like an instinct, by now. Evolution of the powergamer species, I guess 8) :stuck_out_tongue: :wink:

Hmm, maybe after I'm done with hunting Tremere and those Church lapdog Jerbiton to extinction. At least the beasts mostly keep to themselves and understand the importance of keeping Magic and Faerie domains safe from the filthy Dominion plague. As if most outsiders would care about their lousy Heartbeast, when I can get to my Children of Hermes mystagogue and kindly ask for a Shapeshifter intiation, if I really care to be able and go animal at will. OTOH, their Secret Name and Sensory Magic tricks are really appealing.

Even if Cult B imposes an ordeal of its own? OK, fair enough.

Comp. Sci. graduate here. The situation is actually much more complex than that: being initiated in C++ (quite an ordeal in itself) can both make initiating the Java Mystery easier and harder. I know I have acquired quite an allergy to that half-baked language, while other seek solace from C++'s idiosyncrasies.

They're in there, don't worry. Experiment and validate. I think Wanderer wants to know if anything can be gained from a script that does not belong to your Mystery Cult. It is my understanding that it's something only the Children of Hermes have figured how to do, and that it is kept "off stage".

Yep, sorry, I misexplained myself. :blush: There are two separate cases I'm thinking of a) you attempt to vary a script, but fail, so you have to re-do it by experimentation, or give up until you raise Cult Lore b) you have a script from another cult, and you wish to adapt it to your own Cult Lore.

I think that in both cases having a Script example to adapt should grant a substantial bonus to experimentation rolls, as opposed to, I know Virtue X exists, I want to create a script for it for my cult lore wholly from scratch, without no inspiration from existing scripts whatsoever, be it from my own cult or others'.

This is was my main remaining quibble, the one I was arguing against with my software analogy, losing bonus if you do another cult's initation in the meanwhile. If you rule this way, I find it quite reasonable, keeping everything on its own track.

Any hope of seeing them back in some form ?? I'd really love to. Please. If they are covered by NDA in some way, speak, and I'll start shamelessly begging David and John. I'd even be eagerly willing to pay a reasonable amount for a nice PDF that include all TMRE cut stuff. I got some experience in beggin about TMRE stuff in these months...

Nope, nope, they are there, all good. It's just that IMO having a nice copy of a non-Hermetic ancient magic script, or a rival cult's script you "liberated", not to mention your cult's script you failed to vary, all of that would deserve some significant bonus to your experimentation rolls, just like it happens for researching spells and original breakthrough research, and they are quite close analogies.

cj x

Er, sorry I meant the examples you give in your post are excellent! I can see how my clumsy phrasing led to the confusion. We may have some examples from TMRE, especially I know I did a couple of Esoteric/Exoteric mystery characters, and if I can find them I have no issue in posting them here, as they were never part of the book.

As to "lost TMRE" material, there is a lot. Cults, including our take on the Seekers, the Coven of the Crossroads, lots of example initiation scripts, and almost a whole chapter which really fits in best with our "Curious Common Magics", being usable by those even without Mystery initiations - so was dropped as least in spirit of book. I'm really hoping Neil is still up for doing a pdf of that, unless it has already been allocated to a forthcoming book.

Obviously before we can put out any cut material we have to clear it with David, as Line Editor. In some cases material we wrote has already been replaced with later books covering the same area, and better than we did. In other cases, a future book is clearly a better place to handle it: my attempts on ghosts and elementals will not be seeing the light of day, as they are an obvious fit I would have thought in the ROP Magic book. I don't know, but that is my guess. I cut the Seeker Cults, because I saw a book coming up which I guessed would deal with them.

I don't think any pdf will cost though. That would rather imply the book si not complete as stands, and would worry me. The material cut was examples (including the cut cults), extraneous, or just nice but not necessary. I don't thjink anything vital was missed...

I sincerely hope not! There will be Errata, and copious ones - the book is complex in crunch, and we are bound to discover MANY issues However, I still say - if you don't like something, or it is broken tell us then fix it as you see fit. We tried very hard to make sure evrything worked forst time though. :slight_smile:

It was fun to write, but a lot more intense than I think anyone can imagine. :slight_smile:

cj x

Well, as regards initation scripts at least (my most pressing need), I cannot see which forthcoming book might be fitting for them, so I think they should be released. As for the Seekers, I can see a possible place for them in Ancient Magic, and the Coven (they were really nice in the demo, if a bit too much on the feminazi) might possibly go in Ex Misc, and the CCM stuff (now that's would really pique my curiosity almost as much as example scripts) in RoP:M, as I expect David would want a slew of magic-oriented general crunchy stuff, similar to the Tainted virtues of RoP:I.

The only thing I think fans are owed, is clarity. That is, I think David should in reasonable due time, make a statement about whether they go in forthcoming books and possibly which ones (if they are already disclosed: ie. Ancient magic, HoH:S, RoP:M) or a PDF. To a completist gamer, it is maddening to know that the cut stuff you hint, lies on some hard disk somewhere. The second thing I care for in DVD, is the cut scenes...

As a side note, did some ex-magi Daimons got cut , too ? One of the most amazing things about the example daimons, is that no one looked like an ascended hermetic magus.

For now, I think using the book will be at least as fun as writing it, and hopefully less intense (but those cut script examples :cry: )

Hey Wanderer, what do you want Scripts for? Give me the Cult(s), Virtue(s) and rank if appropriate and i'll see what I can do. :slight_smile: Just don't say "all of them!"

cj x

Following CJ's pointer: if the cults use different Cult Lore Abilites they are different and separate (independent), else they are the same and share Ordeals & benefits.

If you manage to get accepted by 2 Cults, and not expelled from the first when you join the second, the:

an Ordeal take for an Initiation of Cult A, will help with the next 3 Initiations of Cult A, regardless of any other activity
If the next Initiation is in Cult B, ignore Cult A status, and use your status in Cult B.
If you then return to Cult A after only activity in B, you have made no Initiatory magics in Cult A, so your next Initiation in A is "the first after an Ordeal (A)".

However, somewhere along the line, one cult or another is likely to decide enough's enough and terminate membership, possibly "with prejudice".

Wanderer is basically right to observe a gap - if you try to Vary a script & fail -or- wish to vary more than the Variation rules permit, then you have to Experiment.

We had to keep it simple, though, so the Experimentation rules are written on a basis of starting from scratch.

By all means add a bonus if you have an existing inspiration. Do bear in mind, though, that the figures were set up to make 2 styles by design:
a) straightforward in-Cult variations of a stash of scripts, fairly easily
b) difficult & risky, but "Possible", to add "new" Virtues to a cult, or drastically change an existing path (the latter assuming that the Mystagogue, being a member of the Cult, has the Virtue they are experimenting with)

New Virtues should be much harder to acquire than existing paths;
Drastic changes should be substantially harder than Varying a script.

So - any "existing script" bonus should be carefully tailored to ensure it does not make Experimentation become as easy as Variation.

Hmm, I'll take a bite:

Why not using a set of modifiers similar to the one for the Initation itself ?

+1 The Mystagogue studies written records (e.g. books, lab texts, incomplete scripts or Cult Lore records) that are related to the Virtue (one bonus only)*

+1 The Mystagogue studies magical objects (e.g. enchanted devices, vis, realia, spell residues) that are related to the Virtue (one bonus only)*

+1 The Mystagogue performs extensive observation of the Virtue being used, or supernatural powers that mimic it (one bonus only)*

+1 The Mystagogue performs extensive observation of environment that is in sympathy with the Virtue (use the Study Bonus table as a reference; generally a 20+ Art equivalent is necessary for a Minor Virtue, 30+ for a Major Virtue) (one bonus only)*

+3 Being instructed by someone that knows the Virtue (one bonus only)

+3 Studying a complete Initiation Script for the Virtue from another Cult (one bonus only, not cumulative with Cult scripts)

+6 Studying a complete Initation Script for the Virtue from your own Cult (one bonus only, not cumulative with non-Cult scripts)

All activities require a season of study.

  • The bonus is doubled if the research material is obtained during a story, and then the mage spends a season reflecting about the experience.

What about this system ?

I assume this as a somewhat likely scenario if you get membership in 2 Esoteric/Esoteric cults. It really depends on the differences in the respective doctrines, though. It is far too extreme a scenario for the Esoteric/Exoteric scenario, though (well, except for Bjornaers... naybe: they do tolerate Huntress in the Wood in their midst).

Hmm, I think that a set of mostly theurgical virtues, with some realted ones to sustain one in the quest for immortality, for either, or possibly both, of the Philosophers of Rome and the Children of Hermes, might suffice my most pressing needs:

Hermetic Theurgy (In a pinch, I could adapt Huntress script from HoH:MC, but it is nice to have the real thing)
Names of Power
Invocation Magic
Hermetic Synthemata (there is one for Philosophers in TMRE, and one for Huntress in HoH:MC)
Synthemata Magic
Spirit Familiar
Inscription Upon the Soul
Great Talisman
Consummate Talisman

I believe that both Philosophers and Children should be able to provide scripts for all of these.

Hermetic Alchemy
Lesser Elixir

I believe at least the Children should be able to provide these scripts, maybe the Philosphers too, as many immortality-questing mages should have sought them as a stopgap measure while searching for true immortality.