Magi Names

I am wondering about the names Magi have.
I get the impression that very few Magi know the identities of every other Magi in the Order of Hermes. So it seems unlikely that whenever an apprentice is gauntletted and gets their Magus name, that they might know if it is the same name as another current member of the Order of Hermes.

Would that be a problem? Is it considered gauche, or are Magi expected to select names from a small pool like Christians should always be named after a Saint?

If two Magi discover they share a name and someone objects, would it be possible to Certamen for the right to be the unique holder of a name?
And would the winner choose the loser's new name? For example, bright boy Flavious, the filius Bombastus now has to become Excrementus. And would the parens of the loser be upset at the forced name change?

I expect you can think of other aspects that have not occurred to me.

I would expect the redcaps to keep a census on magi, Including their name, covenant and date of (hermetic) birth and death (final twilight). You could ask Harco about a certain name. I doubt the OoH can ban a name, but I suppose it is encouraged that your magus has an original name or the name of a figure that has been out of the radar for a century 8at least). Take in mind that the OoH has both bombastic names and names that are quite common. Philippus Niger is not exactly bombastic. When you add a surname and the addition of "filius of XXX" it is easy to get diverse names for all magi in the order.

So I do not think this will be a problem. Peer pressure and the desire to stand out as your own instead of a common "Johnnus Smithus" is enough top try to find diverse names. And I guess you will be laughed in your face all your life if you try to call yourself Flambeau (bad reputation/derision).

Also consider that the newly gauntleted magus has had 15 years to discover a name for himself. Part of that process would be researching whether the name(s) he has chosen have already been in use. And like Xavi says, adding filius/filia of will greatly help to identify the magus.

There's a story in True Lineages about how Mercere had an apprentice who at gauntlet wanted to be named "Hermes Triceres". The Tribunal were unwilling for him to be called that, and called him "Mutant" instead.

I don't think it should be a problem. Naming yourself after a Founder reeks of hubris (which is no reason not to do it!). Generally, I think that most magi are probably choosing a name that means something to other magi. So, the names of famous magi in your House or locality would be common picks, as would names from Myth or history. Saint names would be good picks too --- many(most?) magi are Christians after all.

Also, full magi names include parens and house and Tribunal. So, merely having the same "first name" doesn't need to be a problem.

Absolutely. Although it would probably be considered rather immature by others.

I suppose that which house you belong to can help distinguish as well. If one magi is Ruthven of House Tremere and a Tytalus wants to be Ruthven of Tytalus, is it going to be worth arguing about?

It might be to the Tytalus, just because :smiley: .

A Tytalus might call himself Ruthven of Tremere just to annoy the hell out of you.


ONLY if the Tytalus was trying to get Borgda ex Flambeau, ally of Rythven of Tremere, to declare Wizards Wars after the Tytalus soundly beats Ruthven of Tremere in Certamen and then cast a truly cruel spell on Ruthven. causing Borgda to become outraged.

Then it turns out the Tytalus LOOKS like a certain fairy at which point the Flambeau is Marched for antagonizing the fey and then.....

Out of curiousity, how difficult is it to run a game where a Magus has the major Flaw "Mistaken Identity"? As in mistaken in Hermetic Circles.
Examples could be by a Faerie trying to "help" your reputation, a Marched wizard trying to remian within the OoH, or even a Tytalus using their identity shapeshift supernatural virtue for whatever reason.

The problem (for the storyguide) comes when the PCs figure out that there is an impostor. There is no good reason for the Tribunal to take the side of most plausible impostors --- a Marched Wizard, is clearly an enemy of the Order, a faerie impostor is also fairly obviously bad news, a trouble-making Tytalus is just a nuisance for everyone. So it should be easy/ish to convince the Tribunal that you are in the right.

For the Flaw to work long-term, I think it has to be ambiguous to the Tribunal at large which of the magus and his impostor are the authentic magus. Examples like a Twilight event separating the magus from his shadow; so from the perspective of the PCs the shadow is the trouble-making impostor; from the perspective of the Tribunal they both seem to be the same magus. Another example could be a Twilight event/regio that projects the magus into his past or future (so the past or future version of the PC is the trouble-making impostor for the present version).

The write-up of the Flaw does mention the imposter is someone you are unlikely to meet.
So if the "imposter" is witnessed doing something on the other side of the Tribunal, or another Tribunal, while you are sequestered in your Sanctum with no witnesses or vice versa. Technically there just has to be a separation between the two of you, and a decent interval until news of the imposter's activity reaches you, or Magi who are interested in your activities. Not having a usable alibi for your activities at the time is a bonus Story-wise.

However Richard Love's suggestion about shadows reminds me of the difficulty of replicating the spell-casting sigil.

Never done it, but it certainly can work in the way Richard Love points out. I would do something similar. You do not even have to HAVE an actual impostor. It is just that you ressonate with the similarity principle. If someone can be confused by you, even slightly, you will. A fleeting shadow crossing a doorway down the corridor? That must be you. It doesn't matter that you were 4 tribunals away at the time, the observer is fairly sure it was you.


Yeah, that is the real problem with "impostor" stories.

Of course, "Mistaken Identity" can be quite banal too, even in the Order of Hermes. Say, your magus lives in the Rhine, and is a Bonisagus interested in regios. There's another Bonisagus magus in Iberia, also interested in regios, who has a very similar name. Both of you have written books about regios (Magic Theory, perhaps) and other magi often get confused over which of you is which. So, you get people arriving at your covenant wanting copies of the other magus' books, or wanting you to guide them to regios that the other magus has written about, maybe even the Redcaps occasionally deliver messages to the wrong magus, etc.

In this case, neither of you are doing anything wrong, and it should be relatively easy to prove that you are not the other magus, however, it is the sort of minor irritation that keeps popping up, distracting you from your lab work and introducing stories.

Sheer brilliance. I like this concept so very very much.

Just a quick comment on this too --- that is a possible problem with this Flaw and magi. If a player character magus suspects a genuine, malicious impostor is in play (even if the player character is actually wrong), then the player character is going to go hunting for the impostor.

I like this. I will see if I can work it in somehow.
All I probably have to do is convince the player that his Mage concept with Mistaken Identity should have a spell-casting sigil that involves reflections or echoes of himself, and the case for similarity ressonance should fly.

However, the original reason I started this thread was that the player of the PC magus Favonius (named because he has a Minor Magical Focus in Winds. Should not lend out my Latin dictionary!) discovered that in the Sundered Eagle book that there was a Covenant named Favonius. I just wanted to ask about the general case rather than limit myself to the specific case.