Natural magicians

Hi there!

I do not have the latest Ars books yet, so just out of curiosity, do natural magicians resemble anything like those of ArM4?

I recently (yesterday, in fact) read the Levant tribunal book by Niall Christie. I found it really cool in some areas, but a particular point did catch my imagination: the islamic natural magicians. They sprang the idea in me that maybe the Founders had a power level similar to those guys, only better able to cast certain TeFo combo spells without fatigue (or less fatigue expenditure). They sound balanced enough in any case, and could make for cool characters in a really low powered saga :slight_smile:

So, could someone satisfy my curiosity? Thanks a lot :slight_smile: I would also like to know what the last incantation of the Gruagachan looks like. They are my favourite ArM concept of all time by far :slight_smile:




Yes and no.

Learned Magicians, being the closest thing to ArsM4 Natural Magicians have their own arts, related to luck, magic and healing. They can cast spells (called charms) and can create specific, limited types of magic items. While in concept they are similar to the old Natural Magicians, in mechanics I find they are quiet different.

Having not read "Hedge Magic" for 4th edition (I can't seem to find it anywhere...). I'll try to help anyway....

Mundane Natural Magicians (as described in A&A) are similar to Craftsmen (do you have C&G?). They may spend Labour Points to create Ligatures (charms that give a specific person, a bonus to a specific activity at a specific time) or to produce any Reagent for which he knows the correct formulae. Reagents impose natural changes to matter (Cement, Smoke Oil, Greek Fire and more). Neither of these abilities is magical replying instead on the character's Philosophiae ability. Ligatures take only a few hours to produce, but Reagents are seasonal Laboratory activities.

Magical Natural Magicians (from HMRE) can do the same things, but the optional virtue "Mythic Alchemist" allows access to new reagent guidelines allowing the character to perform more impressive feats of alchemy by changing one type of matter into another type (transforming base metals into gold for example). Despite their alignment with the Magic realm, Philosophiae and Artes Liberales are just as important to Learned Magicians as their arts.

A Gifted character whose arts were opened as a Learned Magician gains access to three Techniques (Protect, Aid, and Harm) and three forms (Luck, Magic, and Health). The character may use these to cast verbal charms which are approximately as powerful as fatiguing spontaneous spells (they don't cast fatigue unless you miss the casting total though). The character must, however, either know the charm or look it up in his formularie (assuming it's there at all). The character can also use his arts to enchant an Amulet or Charta. Amulets take a season to produce and are essentially non-penetrating (pending errata) charged items that, once completed are always in effect until all the charges have been burned out (they can sometimes be recharged though). Chartae are single-use items and can be thrown togther in a few hours. Both types of item incorporate astrological principles and require horoscopes be cast for the target (Chartae can be created blank and filled in later though).

Learned Magicians initiation also teaches Entreat the Powers which allows the character to attempt to mitigate the effects of hostile auras with a (Realm) Lore roll. Taking the "Natural Magician" virtue similarly aids the character in operating in the strong Divine aura of most ME cities.

Learned Magician charms and enchantments typically use general guidelines to grant the target a bonus or penalty to a specific type of activity. Learned Magicians who accumulate two or more warping points at once come to the attention of a supernatural entity of some realm or another. If the character manages to appease the entity, it will reward him. If not, it will punish him.

In particular, you might be interested in the Mythic Alchemist alternate tradition. This tradition cannot cast charms, but instead use their magic to create Powders (Chartae) and Potions (Amulets). Because they learn "Mythic Herbalism" in place of Entreat the Powers, they don't suffer the intervention of a supernatural entity on botches. Instead they gradually go mad...

Gruagachan use two Techniques (Give and Take) together with four Forms (Blessing, Curse, Shape and Vision) to cast their spells. A Gruagachan's Arts scores are limited by his Pictish score until he gains a score of 4 in that language, however. Gruagachan also have access to the Geas and Limit durations. These are basically analogous to the Bargain and Until durations used by the Merinitae except that the cost of the parameter is determined by how prohibitive the conditions are and that only the more stringent of the conditions is included when calculating the magnitude of the spell.

Gruagachan cast their spells as either Formulaic or Fatiguing Spontaneous spell depending on whether they know the spell or not. All Gruagachan have the equivalent of the Flexible Forumulaic Magic allowing them to adjust the parameters of their spells up or down two magnitudes. Gruagachan may never cast their spells silently, but may affect a target they cannot perceive so long as that character is within range of his voice.

Gruagachan also have two unusual Mystery virtues External Soul and Fetch. External Soul allows the Gruagachan to place his soul into an object preventing him from suffering fatal or incapacitating wounds at the cost of warping. Fetch grants the Gruagach access to an invisible, incorporeal Magic Animal Companion. Both of these require that the Gruagach be skilled enough to initiate ungifted character's into the Gruagach arts.

Gruagachan guidelines are often lower than comparable Hermetic guidelines, but Gruagachan may not Bless or Curse himself (except by enchanting his tattoos). Furthermore, hostile uses of Gruagach Magic (if the spell penetrates) allows the victim a Stamina roll to resist the effect.

Gruagachan Magic is most effective when changing themselves into different forms or leveling Curses or Blessings upon deserving targets (Poetic-Justice modifies the Stamina resistance-roll!). Gruagachan who accumulate more than two warping points at a time undergoes "Transformation" and, for better or worse, gradually changes into a man-eating troll.

Hope this is what you were looking for.

Indeed!! Great stuff Gremlin :smiley: Thanks a lot! Looks like they changed a few things on these 2 in 5th, but seems quite reading what you say, I will try to get hat book ASAP :slight_smile:



Salvete Sodales!

I also really lieked the 4th ed. natural magicians, and was very interested in finding out what had become of them in 5th ed.
Actually, they are very interesting as well but their powers differ significantly. 4th ed. characters were basically hermetics who could only use a very slow version of sponanous magic but who could copy any hermetic spell or ritual with this - and were able to acchieve pretty impressive results.
The spellcasting abilities of the new learned magicians remind me more of the old 'cunning folk' characters (whose trappings are presented as an alternative tradition for these rule mechanics). By this they loose in power but gain a kind of magic much more distinguished from the hermetic one. It also fits better into the historical setting, as their effects might be powerful but lack any optical impressiveness. I like them. Below are the links to some related threads (mostly initiated by me):

some learned magician's spells for review:[url]]

a sample character:[url]]

discussions about some of their abilities:

Apart from the fact that I just like the character concept this class has another nice advantage: John Post who wrote the chapter seems to be pretty quick to answer any questions on them - so no guesswork about what the authors might have thought.
Go ahead, get the book, it is great.

Alexios ex Miscellanea

Salvete Sodales!

Gremlin44 wrote:

Alexios ex Miscellanea

Natural Magician Minor Supernatural Virtue is aplicable to the Hermetic Magic too?

Yes it is. (See Virtues of the Learned Magicians, HMRE 80)

Ok, i supposed taht should be aplicable to others characters, but no sure for Hermetics, thanks.
And, i think that the Craft: Amulet Virtue of RoP: Divine should be practice for the learned, or not?

I suppose they could learn it, but without access to Divine Methods and Powers or Hermetic Magic, their own amulets are probably already more powerful than what they'd be able to produce using "Craft Amulet"

My two cents,