Learning supernatural abilities "across" Realms

Note, that HMRE was publshed before RoP:F and both books have authors in common. So referring to HMRE to understand RoP:F is necessary.

Well, we have in it:

Gifted characters can learn Supernatural Abilities as described on p.166 of Ars Magica Fifth Edition. Their favored Abilities are: Curse-Throwing, Dowsing, Summoning and Second Sight.

So the 'Their' refers to Gifted faerie doctors. Also because for the unGifted ones the distinction of 'Favored' - as described in HMRE p.9f Favored Abilities - makes no sense.

In HMRE p.9f we read:

Some traditions have a set of favored Supernatural Abilities. Gifted characters who belong to these traditions do not have to subtract the total of their Supernatural Ability scores from the source quality to learn other Abilities that are favored by their tradition.
Usually, the character has to undergo some sort of ritual - Opening the Gift - before he gains this benefit of their tradtion. Favored Abilities have no meaning for unGifted characters, as they cannot learn Supernatural Abilities ar all.

Compare this to RoP:F p.117, and you find:
(1) Faerie doctors are a tradition with Favored Abilities for their Gifted members.
(2) They may or may not have rituals for Opening the Gift: we are just not told.
I have trouble imagining an unGifted faerie doctor uncle performing Opening the Gift for a season on his Gifted nephew. As such a ritual is not necessary, I'd better do without it.

Still, I would consider an informal Opening the Gift working on Gifted faerie doctors for the purpose of HMRE p.8 box Opening the Arts and the learning of other Supernatural Abilities not favored (see also p.8). This may well be the effect of having been trained from birth by a relative as a faerie doctor (RoP:F p.117).

That you for the Magic Favored Abilities bit. I thought it might be there. I see why I couldn't find it, as I was searching for "Favored Abilities." The key is that it says "usually." Without that, there would be no Magic cases that are not Opening the Gift. We still have no explicit cases in canon, but at least we know it could be possible.

"Because I say so" doesn't really work as a legitimate argument. As I pointed out, by English it could refer to just the Gifted, or the non-special and the Gifted. And there is nothing saying Mythic Companions wouldn't have them as well. Had it been attached to a sentence about the Gifted, it would be different. But how it's written it could apply to both.

No, that just doesn't follow at all. Why would it make no sense??? You don't need the Gift to have Favored Abilities from Faerie. You're basing your argument on the Gift being required for Favored Abilities, which is only the case for Magic, not for Faerie, nor for Divine, nor for Infernal. Remember, we're talking about RoP:F, so you need to consider that there are non-Magic ways to get Favored Abilities.

No. Read the phrase above again. This is getting funny. Consider: "Cistercian monks follow the Carta Caritatis. Their monastic buildings are unadorned, but constructed entirely in stone."

You refer to RoP:F p.116 Learning Faerie Abilities, right?

Every tradition of faerie hedge wizardry typically has four Favored Abilities, which are easier for them to learn and teach to each other. Characters who have been initiated into the tradition can learn any of these Abilities or Arts without subtracting the value of the others from their Advancement Totals, and without limiting their Advancement Totals by their Faerie Rank.

Faerie Doctors (RoP:T p.117f) are taught by a relative from birth, so beyond that have little tradition. Initiations are informal, if they exist at all.
Still (p.118), "Gifted characters can learn Supernatural Abilities as described on page 166 of Ars Magica Fifth Edition." This is just a general ArM5 rule applying also to Gifted faerie doctors.

And as a specific rule not following, but clearly inspired by p.116 Learning Faerie Abilities and HMRE p.9f Favored Abilities, Gifted faerie doctors also get four Favored Abilities.

Definitely delving in to minutae and rules lawyering at this point. Go wild, I know some people like that.

For me, it just seems thematically wrong.

Someone with Divine second sight, I imagine gets better by improving the connection to God, studying the history of saints and martyrs, divine prophecies, etc.

Infernal same but opposite. Deepening ones ties to Satan, researching demons, etc.

Second sight through the magic realm, especially for a hermetic mage, I imagine involves deep study in to the underpinnings of magic and what makes things impervious to normal sight.

For Faerie, I envision wandering through faerie rings and similar places, observing the ebbs and flow of magic and auras.

I'm using second sight as one example, however, I feel it will apply to all. The realms are meant to be fundamentally different. Just because they can mimic the same effects, abilities being from a different source is important.

I'm not saying this is RAW, however, considering it seems no-one can find a black and white answer, thinking about the setting and what works best thematically is the place I go to.

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I think you can count better than that. There are two different groups in the paragraph, not one. Giving an example with a single group is completely inapplicable. Consider this: "My paternal grandparents live in New England and have one child. My maternal grandparents live in Florida and have one child. Their children are my parents, who live in California." There I have given you the correct number of groups to match the paragraph, and a grammatically correct paragraph. You tell me to whom "their" refers. Are you seriously saying "their" cannot possibly apply to both groups???

Yup. Are you trying to trick people with inconsistency? Here you have a case where there is minimal tradition with informal initiations, but not always (good reason for Flaws like No Tradition), and the initiation can open up Favored Abilities according to RoP:F. But if the tradition doesn't count as one, neither would the Magic Favored Abilities rules apply. If you allow them for one because of a valid tradition, you have to allow them for the other or you're being inconsistent and arbitrary.

Yes, me, too. I really, really don't buy that someone with Infernal Second Sight could go and instruct someone with True Faith so that that student gains Divine Second Sight.

Fundamentally it seems to me that the question is simply this- once the ability is gained through affiliation related to one of the realms is the improvement of that ability depndant on a specific improvement of one's understanding of that realm in some way as it relates to that ability, or is it a fundamentally human improvement of practice and education which can benefit from the perspective of another who has learned that ability in conjunction with another realm.
For example person a has learned infernal summoning, person B has learned faerie summoning. Can the one with the higher ability train the other? Is improving one's ability in summoning about learning the powers of the realm you associate with or about learning about spirits and how to call to them more effectively? I could see it going either way, or even a possibility of reducing the SQ for cross-realm education (possibly referring to the realm aura interaction tables in some way). I believe it would have to be a saga by saga call as there is certainly no explicitly RAW answer here, and RAI will likely depend upon which author you tend to favor for such judgement.

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After they are gained, then it is an ability. Are people keeping track of the realm that someone who writes a book on that ability is affiliated with? T: Second Sight Q: 9 or T: Second Sight (Faerie) Q: 9

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Yes. This is how I see it too.

And, yes, I definitely would record what realm alignment a book on a supernatural ability was from. I might make an exception with something like (Goetic) Summoning that can come from a few realms but is always tainted with a particular realm. That said, I have never encountered or had a character write a book on any Sup Ability or seen a character write one. I know it is possible by the rules but note that one needs the realm lore of that realm to copy a book on a Sup Ability without mucking it up so even if you allow cross-realm teaching you need to record it by RaW (see copying rules in Core).


It does say "realm lore or the appropriate ability" not just realm lore. Which implies that a copyist with infernal second sight could still copy a tractatus on second sight, even from a divine source, since they have the appropriate ability. On the other hand magic theory will substitute for magic lore when copying books on arts (and I have not seen any indication that magic lore can be used instead, aside from the actual line in the core rules that I quoted)

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We should

I brought that up because my Magi has Second Sight from SFB, so Faerie, and has written a book on it. We have also traded for a couple of other books on that Ability, along with some for a few other abilities. Our group does not care about the Realm after you have an ability. A YSMV thing.

Guess I will have to remember to include the Realms I know if I ever put our library in a 'post a day'.

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Why not? I mean, sure, someone with True Faith would rarely try to learn anything from someone associated with the Infernal. Can you picture him getting lessons in Divine Lore? But the issue there is not the mechanical feasibility, but the "social" acceptability of doing so. Mechanically it's certainly possible.

Someone with True Faith is like someone with the Gift, it's just the Pure Gift of the Divine.
He can learn any Supernatural ability, as long as it's acceptable to the Divine (e.g. not Diablerie), almost as easily as he can learn mundane ones. He is likely to shun evil people, but why not learn Second Sight from ... an Infernalist who is repenting and wants to pass on a means to undo his evil?

I can't speak for Callen but I imagine the ways that "gift" presents and the methods used are very different depending on the realm it is aligned with. Therefore advice on how to improve is likely to be quite different.

[Edit to add] and I disagree that someone with The Gift can learn a supernatural ability from a person who knows a version that is not magic-aligned.

There's no support for this assertion written anywhere, as far as I can tell.
But even it were true, it would be true of a Sufi learning Meditation from a Franciscan.
Or of a Str+3, Qik-3 grog learning Brawl from a Str-3, Qik+3 grog.
And we know that mechanically they can teach each other.

But again, doesn't this contradict the rules as written in the corebook?
Also, it creates a strange situation with Tainted Supernatural Virtues - is Tainted (Magic) Second Sight different from (Magic) Second Sight? It would seem you are arguing it is - after all it's also associated with the Infernal and it explicitly feels different (see RoP:I p.89). But if it's so different it cannot be cross-taught, would it mean that only someone with a non-tainted version could corrupt "normal" users? That would appear very strange.

No. The rules as written are unclear and you read it one way and I the other.

With "their children" you made clear, that you wished to address both your parents - and you had to do so.
With the simple "their" you can't just refer scattershot to something within a paragraph - if you wish to publish a readable text.
It addresses the previous fitting logical group before that reference.

In our case, the previous phrase also gives the reason, why "their favored Abilities" even matter:

Gifted characters can learn Supernatural Abilities as described on p.166 of Ars Magica Fifth Edition. Their favored Abilities are: Curse-Throwing, Dowsing, Summoning and Second Sight.

I addressed that already above. "Hedge magic tradition" is in both RoP:F and HMRE not clearly defined. It is used to attach to it features like Favored Abilities and Initiations.
The weak family tradition of a faerie doctor is severely taxed by that use.
But as Gifted faerie doctors can have Favored Abilities, they need to belong to a tradition defining these.
It is unclear, whether this tradition is strong enough to define also Favored Abilities for unGifted faerie doctors. The chapter on faerie doctors says nothing about this - unless you posit there a scattershot "their" of a shaky composition test.

EDIT: In this thread faerie doctors are of interest as an example of the importance of The Gift for a tradition, that is aligned to Faerie, not to Magic.

First, note I said "gains" rather than "improve" or "learn." I think learning makes sense and explains how supernatural things can get corrupted, though in the case of the Divine the books say corrupting it may not be possible (decided by troupe). This might be considered like training in law in Russia being useful to practicing law in the US; the pieces of law are very different, but the skill training is useful nonetheless.

But to actually acquire the Supernatural Ability, I don't think it fits. I'll start here:

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good
fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither
can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. (Matthew 7:17-18)

Whatever good, (o man!) happens to thee, is from Allah. But whatever evil happens to thee, is from thy (own) soul. ( surah An-Nisa, 4:79)

If these are functionally true in ArM5, then it doesn't make sense that the Infernal could deliver something Divine. But what does ArM5 itself say in this regard?

The holy men and women of God’s faithful receive many gifts from heaven, and in Ars Magica, these blessed people are called holy characters, meaning that they possess powers and backgrounds aligned with the Divine realm. (RoP:tD p.34, after quoting Corinthians 12:8-11 to show these powers come from God and his Spirit)

Due to the separation from God’s will, those characters who derive supernatural power from the Divine have those powers suspended. (RoP:tI p.16)

They benefit from their association with demons, and that makes them evil. (RoP:tI p.136, The Mulhidun)

So ArM5 seems to agree that these Divine Supernatural Abilities are given by God (or God's Spirit to be more precise). If they were just through the power of the person's True Faith, then being cut off from God shouldn't stop them from working. Moreover, benefiting from Infernal training is evil, which agrees well with Matthew 7:17-18.

So if Divine Second Sight doesn't come from the power of a person's True Faith and if Infernal training cannot produce good (Divine), then it doesn't make sense that Infernal training of a person with True Faith could inherently provide Divine Second Sight. It would require that the Infernalist could choose to force God to provide Divine Second Sight to one of his Faithful. And that doesn't seem fitting, either, considering the comments about the Infernal being under God and the lack of God's presence being from His removal of it rather than the Infernal being able to force Him out.

Note that knowingly using the gifts of the Infernal like this is evil (see Mulhidun quote) and so this isn't actually repenting, but continuing as an Infernalist.

Consider the following.
Two characters have second sight, one from the divine, the other from the infernal.
Do they see the same thing? If so they can discuss what the things the see mean, how to notice details, and other forms of training which might be applicable to each. To use your fruit of the tree analogy an apple from a good tree and an apple from a corrupted tree can both be used to make applesauce with the same recipe, even if the results may differ. (incidentally the bible verse is also factually wrong, healthy trees can produce bad fruit.)
On the other hand if what they actually see is different then their ability to relate to the information the other percieves would also be impaired.

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Yes, but I already suggested they should be able to help each other improve, so I’m not sure why you want me to reconsider if we’re in agreement here.

Callen, I believe it may have been more of a response to one of my last two posts. And I disagree that teaching across realms should usually be allowed though I do admit some exceptions may exist such as with Goetic Summoning and anything else similar.