"Join or Die!" ooppsie - Hermetic Code Issue

During a relatively humorous raid of a Hedge Wizard circle, the Magi became "Join or die!" happy and inducted three hedge wizards into the Order.

Two of the hedge wizards are unGifted and have very limited magic, the third was Gentle Gifted.

Any idea's about the legal issues with JoD-ing unGifted Magi? Are they such non-entities that they can un-Order them? After they JoD-ed the hedge wizards they made them recite the Code before they were allowed to do anything else.

If the Hedge Wizards stay in the order then at least the PC Magi's rep will suffer (it is pretty aweful already), and there is nothing against the Hermetic Code about inducting others without the Gift. What about ther Periferial Code? If nothing in the source material, any suggestions how I handle this in an interesting and cool way?

Thanks all.

Given that the magi were probably not acting with sanctioned authority, and that it sounds like they went well too far, perhaps make them clean up their own mess. Restore the Order to good standing with the affected hedgies and surrounding associates?

Qaesitory Alamarchi looks sternly at the assembled magi, pursing his lips and scowling before speaking.

"Your zealous actions impact the Order, and it is well past time that you all learnt the respect of the code which is clearly lacking. You three will be responsible for repairing the relations with these three hedge wizards. The two ungifted are unworthy, and will not be accepted as Magi. The third is rightly sworn, and must be educated in our ways. Reconcile with them.

As you learn subtlety and humility so to will this Magus be taught by you, learning the rules which you failed to follow. Were I to judge you now your aptitude would be found lacking, and such poor judgement is expected of apprentices not Magi.

You have four seasons to reconcile these people to the order. Gain their willing acceptance and forgiveness, and compensate them from your own assets. If you fail to do so then the Order will compose a suitably blunt penalty, to remind you for years to come of what damage could have occurred here."

Joining the order still entails the standard 15 year apprenticeship and the opening of the arts as far as I can tell. The only possibility for the unGifted hedgies would be to join House Mercere. Otherwise: Does "Join or die" even relate to unGifted magicians?

Except Mercere doesn't let outsiders join.

Perhaps they could be revoked of magi status, but allowed to stay as an assistant/companion type character.

Aren't there some unGifted ex Misc? They just have some supernatural abilities. I can't find anything now but swear I read something that alluded to this.

this thread reminds me of Larta magi, which I disliked in 4e. A Magus is gifted, a commoner is not. Only House Mercere break this rule, very carefully.

[Edit:Sorryput in the wrong quote the first time this is right now. :blush: ]

Actually I go the other way. The Join or Die policy implies that any individual magi can induct another "Mage" into the order. There is no special authority needed.

If Join or Die is really the traditional way of dealing with Hedgies, then there HAS TO BE many examples of Hedge Wizards being inducted into the order by all the different Houses. Especially the ones who go out looking for non-hermetics to make the offer to.(Even if Flambaue usually hope the opposing wizard takes the die option.) A good Order of Hermes lore roll should tell the players how they are supposed to handle it.

As far as unGifted Hedgies whats the problem? How many Magi actually know (or would believe if they where told) that the Gift is unnecessary to work Magic. They can work Magic so they have the Gift Q.E.D.
So what if you can't open they're Arts. You usually can't with experienced non-hermetics.
They can't help you in the Lab. Must be your flawed teaching style. Sucks to be you.
They can't learn Parma. Well maybe they have an Ability block or some other flaw that prevents it. Sucks for them.

Sidebar on 106 of HoH:S seems to imply it.

It probably depends on how you determine what the gift is; and I'm very happy for it to be judgement case by case. The OP told us that two do not have the gift and are hedgies, but he third is gifted. Therefore the two hedgies are probably unharmed, and the gifted one must stay or die. I think that is the premise of the question. Each saga needs to decide where the line is, and I took a story based solution as I know everyone's saga is different.

My read is that an ability such as Second Sight grants super natural powers, but the person is not gifted as they cannot really work with magic. A supernatural virtue is not the gift, but the gift can be a very wide range of things. A Grugach for example is inherently gifted in my interpretation.

aside - Something that always bothered be about the founding of the Order was the idea that Bonisagus was able to teach so many different mages a consistent way of working magic, but it is so difficult to teach now in the rules as written. It seems unlikely that all of the Founders were able to learn hermetic magic to a reasonable level, maintain their own powers, or even that they could be taught Parma.

All -

Thank you for the 10,000 replies! This community exceeded my expectations!

You all brought up many good points, some of which I have thought about, others which I have not. Some of the ones that caught my attention:

I agree, this MUST be a common problem (or rather must HAVE been a common problem in the 700-800s). For the most part if your a bastard you would just kill the accidental unGifted magi you swore-in, but some must have gone through to tribunal. As for the comment that you owe them a 15 year apprenticeship and have to open the arts... then I think that goes against the ability of most magi to teach a hedge wizard; and the order is generally somewhat realistic in its expectations. It seems more likely that Gifted Hedgies with other Arts (making it difficult/impossible for them to open the Hermetic Arts) would basically retire from public life... as they could never win a Certemen duel and therefore would be at the mercy of all the other Magi.

As for the unGifted... seems like if there is no Gift, then they don't count. HOWEVER!!!! it is illegal for you to cast ANY divination magic on a fellow member of the order. Therefore unless they were suspected of some other sin, and a Quaesitor (spelling?) puts aside his immunity to perform the inquiry/divinitation (common practice) that the unGifted magi might never be found out.

I agree 100%. they agree, they recite the oath (some where it says this is the point where they become an Order Mage), and you give them a Sigil... depending on House traditions.

I believe that this is ciorrent, though they are the exception in the "modern" era. (I love that phrase in this game)

Normally this would be a good... but we are playing the equivilent of a "wild west" game. The PC covenant is in Alexandria Egypt, and in our setting there are no other Hermetics in the region. In fact the spent the last year (1221) traveling to other Tribunals trying to figure out if they should join a tribunal or start one their selves... no conclusions were drawn.. but they def dislike other magi getting up in their buissiness. So right now they have no one in authority over them. Never fear though.. the Quaesitorsare looking into this situation.

True or not, this is definetly what the magi believe right now. their Order Lore is very poor, and their Code of Hermes Lore is also pretty poor. I think it comes down to
"dont ask dont tell, and for God's sakes, stay out of sight"

That is not my reading of it. See HoH:Soc in the Ex Misc chapter under Line of Pralix. Usually the prospect is taken as apprentice and offered the (little) protection this entails. Tha Hermetic master needs to make sure the prospect is safe, usually this involved a Quaesitor or some other Intellego expert. So already here would be - in my interpreration - a kill switch if the prospect is completely inapporpriate.
Now the master needs to make sure the apprentice learns the basics as Hermetics define them: Latin, reading, and knowledge about the Order. Also the Arts need to be opened if the apprentice is intended to learn hermetic magic. It can be foregone if the prospect known too many hedge arts or supernatural abilities, because then he'd lose said abilities if Opening the Arts is even possible. Some hedgies join without learning Hermetic Magic and instead have appretices of their own (whoch another magus Opens the Arts for) to pass on a part of their own magic. This is how the Ex Misc have as House Virtues a Major non-Hermetic Virtue and a Minor Hermetic Virtue ro represent the ties to the old tradition and abilities.
Once this apprenticeship comes to an end, IIRC usually no more then 5 years maybe as few as 2, the new magus swears the Code and may learn Parma Magica.

So a Hermetic magus wanting to induct a non Gifted hedgie is certainly possible. IIRC Hedge Magic Revised allows non Gifted to know one of the tradition's Hedge Arts/Supernatural Abilities while the most powerful individuals of said tradition are Gifted and know all said Arts/Abilities. But such an inducted nonGifted hedgie could never teach a Gifted apprentice magic on his own, so his tradition would die out.

Thanks, well said... I will reread the ex Misc Pralix section.

I believe the book says something more along the lines that unGifted hedgies can teach a limited set of "Preferred" abilities to each other... which they can continue their line with so they don't die out,o often this is a subset of the full tradition. the Gifted members can open every traditional Ability at once and learn it all.

Hardly, these are already practising magic, not apprentices. They would most likely join Ex Misc. as full but lowprestige magi. Although depending on their magic and personality they might end up as Criamon, Jerbiton, Merinita or Tytalus as well, Verditius and Flambeau isnt out of the question either.

Having another look back into Hedge Magic Revised, there's several paragraphs covering this - unGifted hedge wizards aren't considered real wizards and are thus mostly safe from harm. There's also a guideline for opening the Arts for someone who already had his Gift opened by another tradition.

Their could be lots of reasons.

Boni based Hermeticism primarily on Mercurian magic so there might not have been any penalty to open other Latinate Magi's arts.

Bonisagus just incorporated the others founders magic into Hermetic Theory then opened their Arts without penalty.

Not all of the founders had to actually be full hermetic Magi. Maybe they keep there own traditions, learned Parma, incorporated what they could via their own reasearch and insured their apprentices whare opened as full Hermetics. Maybe when Boni borrowed them for awhile.

I wouldn't be surprised if the inventor of Hermetic Theory and founder of the order had a focus that applied to opening the arts.

It's just possible Boni rolled really really well the first time he studied from Intellego or Vim vis and he had sick hi scores in one of them. That could explain where much of his insight came from.

Pure RAW magic inspiration!!! :mrgreen:

Yeah, I know, lame joke. But I still had to make it :stuck_out_tongue:


I would rather think that was likely for ALL of them, or at least most. Opening arts would mean starting off from zero again, NOT very preferable for powerful magic users.

They learned Parma and the new unified MT etc...

They may not necessarily have started from scratch. it may have been a feature - albeit a freak ad exotic one - that for instance Merinita's knowledge of nature magics carried over to a respectable Herbam score??? I'm just saying: we don't really know how this started, but the founders in turn taught their specialities to apprentices, and so on. In recent times the magic is completely (well, mostly) purely Hermetic, somewhere along the way the transition happened.

Quite so. My point was simply that it feels unlikely that the founders would drop their mastery of their own magic at the drop of a hat to replace it with something they haven´t a clue about when they start. Next generation might very well go completely over to Hermetic right away, but i seriously doubt the founders did (unless their original tradition also had some major flaw that they might get rid of in the transition).

I think you are correct in this. In the various HoH books we hear that this or that founder had troubles with one or other type of Hermetic magic. So yes, they kept their original magic, and learned Parma Magica and perhaps some small parts of Hermetic Magic. Their individual magics each formed some parts of Bonisagus' unified theory.

If Boni actually incorporated Merinita's magic into Hermetic Theory before he tried to open her arts then it stands to reason that her abilities would transfer directly to hermetic arts. And her score in "Herbam" as well as her link with her familiar wouldn't have raised the required total for opening her arts.

Also Hermetic Theory can be seen as an improvement of the Magic Bonisagus already knew, essentially a form of Mercurian magic, and all he did was incorporate a ton of original research and other traditions into it. By the research and integration rules this appears to be a "Full Integration" all the virtues tied into being an "average" Hermetic Magi are hidden in the standard package. As such it would be possible for other mercurian magicians similar to Bonisagus at the start of his career to learn all of Boni's breakthroughs by learning from him or reading his texts. Just as a "modern" Mage can learn a fully incorporated breakthrough. I think that could potentially cover Flambeau, Jerbiton, Tytalas, Guernicus, and maybe even Mercere.