magus wants to lose his gift - advice?

One of the magi in my group (named Brage) has decided that he does not like being a magus and would rather forsake his gift. The magus has always resented the power the his gift gives him over others, not just because magic can be used to dominate others but also because it gives the magi a socio-economical advantage. Therefor the magus has decided to let go of his gift, not just stop practising magic but get rid of his gift.

The reason for this is that the player of the magus does not like playing wizards, so it is safe to assume that the player of the magus is sincere in her desire to rid her character of magic.

As I see it there are a number of ways this can play out, and the onus is most likely on me, to storyguide Brage’s quest to get rid of his Gift. In my view this can play out in a number of ways, some more interesting than others.
First the option that is not on the table: Making a deal with a demon, this would probably get Brage rid of his Gift, but at the price of his soul.

It may be possible to convince a magus to develop or use a high level PeVi ritual to destroy the Gift but it is unlikely that anyone will admit to knowing this ritual.

My favorite options are:

  1. The magic realm. (my most favorite option)

It could be possible for the magus to enter a microcosm of himself and find a representation of his Gift within this microcosm and ... deal with it. There are a number of possibilities for how to deal with this:

Option 1: Kill the Gift.

Option 2: Get the gift to assume another shape (transform it into another ability).

Option 3: Give the Gift to someone else.

I imagine that his Gift might have a sense of self-preservation and might try to convince him to let it live or even try to fight back against any attack.
What could such a microcosm look like and what could the players encounter in or on their way to the the microcosm of the magus.

Alternate option: Find the Cosmic spirit of the Gift and convince this spirit to withdraw the Gift from Brage.

  1. The pilgrimage to get divine relief

A pilgrimage to some place in order to get the divine to rid the magus of his Gift.

What could the potential bonuses for the magus be here?

  1. The Faerie option

Maybe Brage can find a faerie that can gain vitality from taking or buying his gift.

I would like some advice about the potential fallout of this. How does the loss of his gift change the magus, Brage?
Does he warp like a magus or like a mundane?
Is he still aligned to the magic realm afterwards?
Does a longevity ritual affect him like a magus or a mundane?

Is his current levels in the Arts lost? And in relation to that question - Can he teach others in the Arts or write books about them?
Can he serve as help in the laboratory without his Gift?
Brage has a high Communication, and the Affinity with Magic Theory, Inventive Genius and Good Teacher virtues. So I imagine he could make a quite fine living by selling his services as a tutor to apprentices and a lab assistant.

The easiest option for a Hermetic magus is to find a Criamon far enough along the Path of Strife.

I assume that the player wants to keep the character? othewrwise the easiest option is to retire the character and play something else instead. Engineer that he wants to explore something like Mythic Cathay, or find where the Mongols come from and leaves. Forever.

Plan B. Go find the Amazons. they have Gift-killing magic.

Plan C. Just do penitence and stop using magic. This is a true test of character, since the player will still have the whole character sheet in front of him. if he can endure this and act well, he might be blessed with a miracle that removes his Gift.

Plan D. Initiation. maybe a forest path from Guardians of the Forests or equivalent will destroy his gift and replace it with something else.

I'd vote for that one. He can start a Mistery Cult aiming to sacrifice The Gift as an ordeal, and maybe get something (unexpected?) in return.

As for the questions, if he manages it mechanically he would be like a Failed Apprentice character, so as a mundane character, but with arcane knowledge. So he would keep warping like a Mundane (and maybe getting some of his current hermetic warping kick back as more ordeal flaws), not be aligned to any realm and be affected by longevity rituals like a mundane, but able to retain his Art scores, teach them and assist in the lab (for that you need Magic Theory, not the Gift).

My favourite would along a Divine path, more or less starting on the canon path towards becoming a holy magus (sorry, that is 3ed Pax Dei that I have read, I just guess that the essence is similar in 5ed) but changing the resolution to either giving up the Gift or changing it into a different and more uncontroversial power. I understand if this is not the path desired.

The faerie approach sounds compatible with known lore, so why not.

Hermetic approaches, as you suggest, could be a PeVi ritual invented by the magus himself. I would interpret the Code to make such ritual cast by another a high crime, regardless of consent. Possible, but hard to pull off.

The mystery approach of Xavi's is interesting. Maybe the character could found the non-magic cult. Interesting thought. Problem, maybe, is that the Gift loss is the highest level of initiation, since the unGifted probably cannot receive more mysteries, and how long do you want the path to unGiftedness to be?

Non-Hermetic approaches I am not sure about. I feel you need to build up quite a bit of new lore and rules to explain it, so I won't touch it.

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He would not necessarily be just mundane. He could have supernatural abilities, whether retained or gained in the initiation, and thus have an alignment and avoid warping. The Gift is only one out of many magical talents.

The rules are not clear about unGifted lab assistants. Several rule passages indicate that the Gift is required. I have not seen any statement suggesting that an unGifted character can teach, or even retain, arts. That would have to be a house rule, and it would make sense either way I think.

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The best advice I can offer here is to make the movement from magus to non-magus as quickly as possible, so Brage's player can get to playing a character they actually enjoy. Talk to the player. Ask them what they would like Brage to be doing in the game moving forward, or if the player would prefer to not play Brage at all. If the player is eager to explore Brage as a non-spellcasting Hermetic teacher, then yes, go that route and let him be able to assist in the lab. Offer the possibility that Brage keep his Gift, and choose not to use it, which is actually pretty heroic. But if the player wants Brage to give up his Gift, then yes, arrange a way for him to do this in a single session, and maybe even give him a way to "refund" the XP he has spent on Arts he will now no longer ever use, so that he can be good at something else, something the player enjoys.

This is what companions are for. Perhaps Brage's player would prefer to have a Mythic Companion, who fills their "mage slot" but doesn't cast spells? Is there some way to make Brage into that Mythic Companion? Or would the player prefer to start anew?


This is actually some pretty solid advice and I would have followed it but for one detail I didnt share earlier, although it now seems obvious to me I should have.

Brage's player already has a companion (katinka), and to be frank that companion is frequently the most useful character in our group because the player put all of her xp's into high levels of useful abilities while the rest of us play freshly gauntleted magi with random ass spells and low art scores and few useful abilities. For this reason it is not much of an issue that the player needs to feel powerful or useful.

I have suggested a mythic companion to the player and I have also suggested she just retire the character and make a new one. However I am making my OP because Brage's player has made a post to my groups facebook group where she requests someone storyguide a scenario in which Brage gives up his gift in the game so that she can keep playing him as a second companion. My ambition is to have Brage's future be determined by his and his compatriot's actions during the scenario as that is more or less what the player of Brage has requested. The player essentially wants to play two companions and no magus, none of the rest of the group see a problem with this so we are pretty much just gonna do that.

The players interests as with Brage are:

  • Living as a storyteller.
  • possibly actually funding life as a storyteller as a teacher/lab assistant for hire.
  • Championing integration of hermetic magi into mundane society.
  • Norse culture, magic and language.

My hope is to present some choices that allow the player to single out a few of these interests in play in order to set the tone for Brage in the future.

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Advice is clearly not the solution. What you need are ideas which you can turn into a story which suits the audience, and Brage's player in particular. That story could take a session or a year, depending on how much you enjoy it. Do you have enough ideas, yet?

Never forget the most fun option: Barter away his Gift with a demon in a moment of weakness.

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I think this comes down to the player and character- are they interested in a cleric type character, either for a holy magus or a more mundane version? are they more agnostic about it? Do they want a quest or would making it a laboratory pursuit work better?

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While it is certainly not clear, the core book nearly explicitly says that the Gift is not needed twice. Later the Gift is listed as a sufficient condition, not a necessary condition.

Seeing as a lab assistant for hire is a possible interest, having the resulting character effectively have Failed Apprentice and thus be able to serve as a lab assistant without the Gift is a good idea regardless of how it comes about.

This is all definitely spot on.

I was aware that Failed Apprentice can serve as lab assistant, without the Gift, but I have read that as an exception. Which is the second reference?

Covenants specify Gifted assistant when it rephrases it as a lab virtue.

My problem with unGifted assistants is that, if allowed without constraints, you can teach MT to a random grog and use him as a lab assistant. The clear criteria we have are either (1) Gifted, (2) Familiar, or (3) Failed Apprentice. One should think twice before introducing other options.

Back to the case at hand, I agree that you can reasonable treat Brage as a Failed Apprentice and allow assistantship. Equally reasonably, he can find a more thorough way to ruin/give away his Gift, making him useless also as lab assistant.

Sounds like an epic story to me.

The best idea I can come up with that fits what the player's interests with Brage is an outright Divine miracle. Perhaps Brage can seek out a living Saint, like Francis of Assisi, and ask for Divine intercession.

I suppose the ideas that I am asking for is:

What struggles would the players have to overcome in a divine and faerie scenario? I feel like I have a good enough grasp on the rules governing the magical.

What obstacles come up during a pilgrimage? what about a faerie?

I know that the objective could in principle be achieved by convincing an NPC with a relevant power to help, but doing so in and of itself does not allow for the plot to serve as a catalyst for Brage to find out what he wants with his life.

I am sorry if I have been less than sufficiently clear.

I guess the main obstacle is finding the faerie who can and want to do it. Any obstacle can be thrown into such a quest, but that is not much as an idea. Faerie stories I find extremely difficult to design well, so I'll leave that for others.

The Divine path should be one of moral qualms I think. It is only going to work, I think, if Brage genuinely wants to follow a Divine path. The most important obstacles are in Brage's mind and conscience. Brage should demonstrate he can live without the Gift, in a sense be a better servant to the Divine without the Gift. Typical stories can centre around tests or trials where Brage has to demonstrate his dedication, his piety, and maybe even his ability. I seem to remember that Pax Dei gives good inspiration for the path to holy magic (RoP:D is much briefer than what I remember), and I would make this quest similar. Sorry, this is the best input I can give without rereading.

There is of course also the anti-Divine approach, of provoking God into withdrawing the Gift as a penalty, but that is not going to work if that's what you want. It only works as a genuine penalty.

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Take a look at The Church p.15ff Pilgrimages for mechanics, if these are required. Such mechanics are quite adequate for a magus giving up his Gift, and for a SG still figuring out what to provide instead.

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For the Divine I would throw 3 obstacles in the path of the party that Brage should be able to solve easily with magic but that are difficult and impose delays and effort (and maybe the loss of some material or reputation stuff) if he does not use magic.

Demons can also try to help him in his divine path. They can offer deals: your Gift is removed and you earn something else in return. The Divine is not guaranteed to pay back what it removes, so demons are making a better offer.

if I ever saw a heightened emotional thing is when part of your Essential Nature is removed or transformed. Faeries will be jumping up and down to be able to do just that. it is like a Vitality banquet for them. I can see a collective faerie formed by say, a druid coven that "just happens to be there, in the deep forest". Expect a weird ritual.

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But the magus wants the deal to happen! I guess each one is each one but if I want something and anyone comes saying "ok, I'll give you this, and also that", it would be suspicious. A clever demon would also ask for something in return.

Even better, two demons, one offering to remove the Gift and that extra gift, and another offering the removal and asking for something in return.

Another solution so obvious I'm embarrased I didn't think earlier: what about a PeMe spell, removing the memory on how to cast magic? So many things could go wrong with this solution that I think it's wonderful!

And yet another random thought: be prepared for a Tytalus to sue the character in behalf of the character for depriving him of his magical powers, commiting a High Crime!


Is there a way Brage can lose the Gift, yet acquire a way or ways to mitigate/prevent other magi from doing the same thing he resents to himself and others?