I guess I would ask what happens if you cast a sufficiently powerful "Mirror of Opposition (Vim)" on "The Phantom Gift" (CrVi 15)?
Given that it cannot overcome limits of hermetic magic, it will not suppress the social effects of the gift. OTOH I cannot think of any universal implementation of this casting pair that does not act in violation of either the meaning of a spell or Hermetic boundaries...
I created a variant of the faerie familiar binding that works for magical creatures and creates a sort of gentling effect. Its not a simple thing to develop or get but once its there it can make a person seem neutral or even eventually give bonuses to certain interactions.
There is a canonical ReMe version that's been around for ages. PeMe should be able to do it as well since the reaction to the gift is an emotional reaction and you can end those emotions. But these are all fairly limited since you're just hitting one intelligent being you're aware of.
If you want it you can have it.
If you don't want it just say that the Limit of Essential Nature prevents Hermetic Magic from solving the problem.
(That leaves aside the possibility that some other form of magic, despite its general inferiority to Hermetic Magic could do it. Which would cause interesting shifts in the balance of power in the magical community. Somebody else has a secret which is potentially more valuable than the Parma Magica.)
If you do want it to happen it should not be cheap.
It should require either a discovery (somebody else can do this! We must perfect it and make it Hermetic!) or a Hermetic Breakthrough.
And once you have it what then? The Gifted can be able to talk to people! To go down the pub and buy a pint! To mingle with other people and not offend their nearest and dearest.
This could be a bigger draw to people joining the Order than any other. It could bring the magi out of the shadows and persuade people they are not devil worshippers!
Or it could lead to a magical war. Or to the dissolution of the Order as you don't need to separate yourself from the mundanes any more. There will Wizards R Us franchises springing up on every High Street.
(I've actually found what I think is a potential solution in one of the published books. Won't tell you where but it wasn't the solution I was thinking of. Might work nonetheless.)
Why not? What's the point of the secrecy? It's not like you are going to make a spoiler on anyone, but help to solve the OP. Or if you are going to make some kind of spoiler (to whom? Are we all in a game of yours not knowing it!?!? Cool!), you can always treat like that,
Gandalf didn't die at Moria.
If anyone's curious I would guess that the thing he's talking about (or not talking about, rather...) is the town of Bath in Mythic Locations. Roman bath town, natural springs, there is an option to have a fourth set of magical baths and an option that if a gifted person bathes in them the penalty of the gift is removed for a short time (a few weeks) and they leave behind a sort of scum on the water, which contains vim vis. Options are also suggested for what the source of this power might be and how it might be replicated.
Today I found out that I can blur spoilers. Thanks!
I liked it because it gave an explanation for the 'we all hate mages' effect totally dfferent from the one I was thinking about.
And I kept it secret until now because my players sometimes read this forum.
I foresee a future in which every covenant has its own dedicated magical sauna and wizards are strictly enjoined to bathe at least once a week, whether they need it or not.
I'm not sure about that. It seems to do some cleaning, leaving stinky vis behind, and that makes me think that it must do some kind of trimming and hard washing to The Gift (of which the vis would be the result) that in the long term could weaken the Gift (I'm thinking of reducing Major Virtues to minor, to make room for the adquisition of a version of The Gentle Gift and so negating the other major hermetic virtue, if the magus have it, or something like that).
Wouldn't generalizing the Magical bath of Bath - if it exists in a saga - and making its process available to Hermetic magi require a big Hermetic breakthrough?
That depends on how you view it. If your position is that any big change to the setting requires a similarly big breakthrough then yes.
If your position is that the "gentling" powers of the bath is created by a machine, with a lab text that can be found or reverse engineered then perhaps less so. Maybe it is like how experimenting on integrating a breakthrough allows you to produce some effects with new spell parameters before you have integrated the general guideline. Like e.g. inventing/discovering a specific spell with the target "unborn child" is possible as a step towards inventing fertility magic before you can invent spells with that target generally.
fundamentally it would require a breakthrough, since it is something that magi cannot currently do, and that breakthrough is non trivial (trivial breakthroughs being things like finding new material bonuses or maybe a new duration or range). It is something that is known can work (from the bath itself) but for which there is only one known source of inspiration. If that inspiration is explored and developed into a spell and the lab texts distributed by a particularly ethical Bonisagus then it could well become a reality from lab work in a few decades...
alternately if there is a way to invoke the power of the bath through an arcane connection this could significantly alter the stonehenge tribunal.
Not as big as the way I'd thought that the problem might be solved which is jiggling with the Parma Magica.
The way it is depicted is that there is a solution, it's just only in one place under the supervision of one Magic Deity (much fallen).
That only requires duplicating an already existing thing not creating something new. It should be possible to do it without having to capture, move or destroy the existing Bath. (But an experimental disaster is always possible.)
Now you can make it as hard as you like but if my players discover it and understand what it can do I'd feel like I was ruining their fun if I made it the work of decades to get the effect duplicated.
If they do it then the setting changes. And I don't think that people spitting on magi is so necessary a feature of Mythic Europe that I would put road blocks in the way.
EDITED TO ADD:
The Arcane Connection thing is a brilliant idea. Only problem is that it makes the Bath susceptible to attacks via the connections. You'd need the Goddess to co-operate. Some Magi would, of course, do their best to chain her. Which is another story.
Or just invoke the goddess through theurgy to bless more baths...
If you wanna do it that way, fine.
But the idea of balance in the Virtues is something that for me exists as a game balance thing and people can have unfair advantages over other people without working or sacrificing for them.
My way of looking at it was that most magi build up the psychic equvalent of massive Body Odour and until they start using the Magic Bath Salts they don't know how to clean up their act. The fact that the 'we hate magi' returns after a while would seem to be consistent with that idea.
Could be a problem with Christians including Christian magi.
"No, no! I want to suffer! God has decided that the price of my magic is the hatred of others! I will not undergo your vile pagan cleansing ritual!"
Take a look at the definition of The Gift on the glossary on page 8 of the corebook: "the ability to use almost any form of magic, with proper training. All magi have The Gift. The Gift makes people around a character uneasy." Social penalties are there from the very beginning, so the way I interpret it they just are part of it, something intrinsically tied to it. To see it as a lack of magical higiene that can be removed with the proper water and bathing salts seems odd to me. Moreover, it seems like a story seed regarding magi wanting to be socially accepted and unable to do so because of their power: what price would they pay? Just to take a bath from time to time there seems like putting the bar quite low.
Which is ok. I hadn't read about these baths, but I'm guessing there is no mechanical explanation on how they work, so let's make one: the only known way to get rid of The Gift's effects is to have The Gentle Gift (which reminds me of this discussion from a while ago, about how The Gentle Gift could be seen as a weaker Gift, which is what made me think that maybe by bathing there you would actually be weakening your Gift, and how that could work), which is a Virtue, that just lasts for a while there.
Powers can grant Virtues, and supernatural creatures have powers. I'd bet that there is one involved. When granted virtues are permanent, they drain the might score from the power's owner... but whey they are temporary, they just need to spend might points, as with any other power. This seems to fit with that bath so far.
The hypothesis suggest an experiment: go there with a magi with a very, very high Parma, and have him take a bath and see what happens. Also some InVi spells could come handy. And the realm affiliation of that possible creature would need to be checked, because it might well be a demon after all.
A good thing of this is that it doesn't even need to be true. If that bath is discovered, at least some magi are going to follow this line of thinking, and following them and their doings around the baths would probably give for a few stories regarding the baths.
If you want the social penalty of the Gift to be there forever then fine. Make it part of the Essential Nature of the Gift and say it can't be changed.
If you want the story of the transformation of Mythic Europe that follows solving that problem you get to think about maybe the whole of the Order having been wrong all this time and not really understanding what the Gift was about.
The idea that Bonisagus can be shown to be wrong is also hard baked into the setting.
And the suggestion of the high Parma Mage going for a bath is a brilliant one.
At minimum I would expect they would need to lower their parma while bathing, which once a week makes the exercise non trivial.
Also it does involve the power of a goddess, so it isn't just do x, y, and z and it works.