Latent Magical Ability

I'm looking to discuss the virtue:

  • How often have you used the Latent Magical Ability virtue in your game, whether for PCs, or as a hook on an NPC / apprentice?
  • What triggered the manifestation of the latent ability in your game?
  • Which virtue did you hand out?
  • Do you tend to lean towards giving inaccessible virtues / major virtues to compensate for the fact the player has no control over what he gets and when he gets it, does it get negotiated between the player and the storyguide at your table?


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I've never managed to agree on a Latent Magical Ability for a companion with an SG.

The only time I've ever used it was in a game when we were creating apprentices, and the SG had a house rule that we could put in Latent Magical Ability as a placeholder for hermetic virtues that we would later develop, and this way our apprentices could turn out to have the specialism the player wanted but the virtues you got were a negotiation between SG and player and slowly got added over your apprenticeship.

Never actually seen it in play.
The few times I saw a player asking for it, it was so they could try and develop a specific Virtue later in play. I don't like it as a Virtue because it is too open ended and feels like it either becomes 'get a big virtue later for free' or 'Player is unhappy about wasted virtue.'

That said, I like the thing Darkwing said about apprentices developing later in play. I think the virtue should be just that: Develop an equivalent virtue after you've decided how your character plays'

Never actually in play, but I almost statted a character with LMA.

If I recall correctly, the kid had just been opened to a different Magical Tradition, then stolen by a Hermetic mage looking for an apprentice. A bunch of PeMe to make the apprentice forget the hedge wizardy, but the Gift still Open to the Tradition, represented by LMA.

I think I set the activation criteria to be when magically attacked by that tradition so that it Penetrates Hermetic magical resistance and stimulates the hedge Tradition defences.
In the end I didn't see that ever likely to happen, and even if it did , the character would be at score 0 in the "new" Tradition.

This part confuses me. There is nothing in the Virtue that states the player has no control. It does give the story guide discretion, as it should with such an open-ended Virtue description. This Virtue really feels like a flexible Virtue for character potential, where you decide as a Troupe or player/SG if something is fitting or not.

With the rules in Apprentices we don't need to worry about later-in-play Hermetic Virtues and the like arising for children. But I could see it holding the place for a Virtue you don't have access to immediately for an adult, or for scenarios like lvgreen's second Opening.

This is true, but there is nothing that states the player does either. Precisely the reason I'm asking how people use it, it seems written in such a way as to be really open to discretion besides saying "This isn't The Gift."

As SG, I will clearly put the burden of defining the triggering action and the potential virtue coming out of the Latent ability to the player and adjudicate afterwards, ideally tweaking it slightly to leave a surprise/discovery effect for the player:

  • What is needed to trigger the latent ability ? (coming of age ? non-hermetic initiation ? exposure to X ?)
  • What is the benefit ?
    I would allow the benefit not to be an existing virtue - in fact that would be the main purpose to have a Latent ability - and weight on a case by case if it seems okay (for a specific Saga) or not. Potentially, an existing minor virtue with a slightly stronger benefit.

For examples:

  • The mage can sire children even after taking a longevity potion, with a higher chance of them being Gifted - triggering action: having intimate relationship after taking LG and discovering a few months later (to be adjusted if the character is male or female) the unexpected pregnancy.
  • Variant of Magical Quality (if they make sense for a non-magical character), after entering a high aura regio (7+)
  • Sharp ears, becoming Elven hears, with a bonus of +4, but looking a bit odd (not enough to warrant social penalties, but just enough to make them unique and easy to recognize), after hearing faerie music.
  • A Supernatural ability with the Puissant virtue rolled into one package (starting at +1+2, instead of just +1), after going back to his/her original tribe/clan/family and undergoing a rite of passage.

I had a magus, back in 3rd edition, who had Elemental Magic and a Personal Vis Source that manifested as scale growing on his legs. His Latent Magical Ability was to be somehow linked with a dragon-like nature.

Did you study in University Laval of Quebec ??? I had a character like that in my saga...

I did! Comment ça va!

Réunion amusante! :smile:

Did it ever fully manifest?

Unfortunately, the saga only went on for a few months, so no.