Mythic Blood: Underpowered?

Do people think that Mythic Blood is clearly underpowered for a Major Virtue? (Simple opinions are fine, reasons will help to decide what to do about disagreements.)

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Clearly? No. It might or might not be underpowered, but it doesn't reach out grab me and announce that it is underpowered at least.

This is what I wrote in the other thread.

You pay 3 points and use up your Major Hermetic Virtue spot. What do you get? Minor Magical Focus (worth 1 point), a power (for someone with Hermetic magic this is generally well less than you'll get out of Skilled Parens, so less than 1 point), a little Fatigue reduction (it's only a little useful, not a lot; it'd be odd if this were worth 1 point), and a Personality Flaw (-1 point). You do also get access to Heroic stuff, which helps a little. That's a total value of about 2 points while you pay 3 points and lose your Major Hermetic Virtue spot.

Why is the power so weak relatively speaking? It's roughly equal to just the spell you get out of Skilled Parens, which itself is weaker than the 60 experience, plus 5 experience for mastery. So for a Hermetic mage this is worth at best about a 1/2 point, probably less. If it were for someone else, it could be worth more, but it is a Hermetic Virtue. If the power could be a non-Hermetic effect, that could be valuable, but it can't be.

How about the Fatigue? It only applies if you miss by within 10. This is useless where you care about penetrating regularly. It also means it doesn't help so much with casting several times to get a success, as all the failure still add up. More quantitatively, it's only a fraction of what having Stalwart Casting gets you, while other Virtues usually give you a full mastery option worth. So it must be worth notably below 1 point. I'd personally rate it under 1/2 point.

Access to Heroic stuff can be really good if that's what you want, and it may well be if you're taking this. That probably adds 1/2 point in value, as you still have to spend points to get those Virtues.

The Minor Magical Focus is a really good Minor Virtue. While it's clearly 1 point, being one of the better 1-pointers, you might rate it slightly higher.

So I see this rated a little below but closing in on 2 points of value you get for putting 3 points into it. If the Flaw were required, this would come out better. And why don't you get a good Reputation when you do for Legacy? That would help a little.

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I dig Mythic Blood. I’ve used it myself and seen my players use it. It’s regular appearance is sagas I play and gm suggests to me it’s not underpowered. The ability to not gain fatigue when you miss the spell level but successfully cast is very useful, in my experience.

In my saga I have a PC with both Mythic Blood and Magic Addiction, and no worries about Penetration, so he is quite happy with it.

I do appreciate how many of the major Hermetic virtues are thematically evocative. I would rather not have too many changes that removed the flavour

I dig Mercurian Magic. It (the old version) has appeared regularly in sagas I have played or GM'd. The reduction in vis cost is very useful in my experience. Does that imply Mercurian Magic was not underpowered?

I agree. I'd brought up this question, though, because this is what we are seeing with Mercurian Magic.

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Not by itself, but it was a useful part of the data on attitudes to the Virtue. The same is true of Jason's post.

If you don't particularly like a certain class of changes, it may not be a good idea to encourage me to make more of them…

I like consistency much more.

I know I asked for some clarity regarding some phrasing in Secondary Insight.
I play a Mercurian Magic mage, and I was sort of dubious about you removing the spontaneous magic flaw, until you said you would put in as a suggested Flaw with the revised Virtue. This makes thematic sense to me, implying that Hermetic Magic is still slowly evolving, and that some of the Mercurian Magic magi have managed to separate out the original flaw against spontaneous magic.

My only annoyance with Mythic Blood as is, is the rule against never having more than one magical focus, thus Tremere characters can't take this Major Virtue. (And nobody say Potent Certamen unless you can explain, in detail, how that is compatible with Potent Magic rules as written)

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Not bad enough to need adjustment, I think. Turn invisible at will. 7 league stride at will, etc. The level 30 spell effect gives a level of flexibility as they can choose something not in their magical strengths.

Regarding virtue and flaw changes.

Each major hermetic virtue, I'd think we want them to be a viable option that produces good value and fun to new and old players alike. Gentle gift gives no power boost. Clearly weaker than flawless magic, mythic blood, etc, however, it gives story options, so it's fine.

The problem with Mercurian which made it a good errata target, is it works for very narrow targets which need to be known early. The stat boost or healer mage, and others. Mercurian's penalty of no quick spont magic is a disincentive to take it. A new player may regret taking MM if they weren't driving to one of those narrow goals MM is good for and the mage doesn't do many rituals.

My dislike of Mythic Blood is that the fluff and the crunch are pulling in opposite directions. The ability to pull off level 30 effects without fatigue is only really useful in very short campaigns (which very few people plan on being in, regardless of the reality of how often campaigns falter) or if the effect is outside the player's plan for the character.

Which means the fluff is saying "You are the descendant of a mighty being whose feats of strength in the field of illusion are sung until this day". but the crunch is saying "You only really want at will invisibility, you can now safely ignore getting Imaginem above 5, negelect it and concentrate your study on what you really want".

I'm not sure I have anything constructive to add here, merely setting out why the Virtue never appealed to me.



I do not think it is underpowered, and clearly not clearly so. However, as the clearly underpowered virtues (secondary insight and elemental magic) get revamped, one does start to wonder. You have started a chain reaction of errata (for better or for worse).

However, as @callen and others mention, the minor magical focus, barring any other focus, is unfortunate. For me that is not a power cost, but a loss of freedom. Why can't I make a Tremere with Mythic Blood? Why can't I make a Mythic Blood with a Major Focus (even well aligned with the blood line)? If anything, this is where I would suggest a change.


This depends on how you play reactions to the Gift in your troupe. If we just assume that the major Hermetic virtues are equal value, we just have to play harsh reactions to the normal Gift. Say, have the magi accused of every little crime in the area when they pass through. If a magus makes the mistake to address the mundane people, they are scared, and will no longer talk to their grogs either. Yes, this is an RP challenge, and it may be difficult to afford in a fast paced saga, but the genre of saga where Gentle Gift is more powerful than flawless magic does exist.

Yes, this is a problem with the virtue. To get maximum effect from the power, it should be something that you can't easily do otherwise. I.e. it should be something where your Arts are weak.
But from a thematic point of view the free power should probably be in some area where it overlaps with your magical focus and where your arts are strong - in which case that free power becomes close to worthless since you can easily duplicate it with a spell.

Since a lot of Mythic Blood is open-ended (choice of power, choice of focus, choice of personality flaw), it can be underpowered or a fairly strong virtue, depending on the choices made - and also depending on how often the fatigue-saving component comes into play which can vary a lot between characters and sagas.

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Not only Tremere, but any of the other lineages that have a mandatory focus (Leper magi, Titanoi, Pharmacoepians, Pralicians, Hermetic Sahirs, etc.)
I don't think this is something that can easily be fixed with errata, but is rather best solved on a case-by-case basis by dialogue between player and SG, to change one of the conflicting foci to something else - Potent Magic being an obvious option, but not the only one.


I'll just quote myself:

It's the last line there that really bears attention.

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One point that wasn't mentioned is that the power is a bit more powerful than a regular lvl 30 spell.

  • you can invoke at will and cancel at will
  • takes as long as fast-casting a mastered formulaic spell (I read from this that it can be fast-cast, but without the -10 penalty since it isn't a hermetic spell)
  • since there isn't a casting total, there is no penalty from foreign auras

So it is stronger a regular lvl 30 spell, but by how much is something that depends on a lot of things.

I agree that fluff and crunch are pulling in opposite directions. To me what should make this virtue shine is the power, and in my opinion it is pretty hard for a power to do that (well, I might not have tried hard enough).

The first time I thought "oh, this is really nice" was when I saw Hugh of Flambeau's power to create armor (and still, with his mMF it should be easy for him to CrTe one with a hermetic spell).

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I'd mentioned the fast-casting above, comparing it to the level-30 spell with 5 experience in spell mastery.

Also, not rolling doesn't mean no bonus nor penalty from friendly or foreign auras. That just goes to penetration. This could be a plus or a minus.

I'll do some other bullet points:

  • Since you're not rolling and it's not a spell, you can't get big penetration (flip side to a bullet point above), especially as your Arts improve. The meager penetration you can get reduces your levels available.
  • You cannot improve on it with Spell Mastery like you can a spell. For instance, you could get Quiet Casting or Still Casting with a level-30 spell, but that would have to come out of your levels available.

Yup. That's the typical issue. Many of the canonical examples have an effect that isn't so far from the mMF, so the character is likely to have decent or good Arts surrounding this power.

I think the fluff and crunch are only pulling in opposite directions if you assume that mythic blood suggests a particular future, destiny, or strength in hermetic development. If my ancestor was a master of ilusion and dealt with the fae regularly and managed to contrive that his descendants would all be able to turn inisible at will that does not mean that I am slated to become great at imagonem, and further more would see les use for it than most since I can already turn invisible. If My great grandfather was a dragon and so I can belch fire that does not imply a mastery of ignem. If my ancestry suggests I will be a master of an art in the future then I should take affinity instead of mythic blood and just pencil in an appropriate heritage as the fluff for that virtue.

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There is an issue here where to get the most out of the spell-like effect it needs to be clearly distinct from the arts you'd typically use with the minor focus (because otherwise you'd be better off learning it as a spell). I'd prefer this to be a minor virtue that only grants the fatigue effect but which is typically paired with the other virtues and flaws suggested in this thread / in the current description.