New Hedge Magic Traditions

Something that occurred to me recently while doing my 12 magic items project is that there isn't really a hedge magic tradition which can make involved magic items the way hermetic magi can or the Cult of Vulcan/Verditius before them could. There feels like a real gap, especially in Mythic Britain and Ireland where magic items pop up in mythology all the time (the 13 treasures of Britain, various items in Gaelic mythology etc.).

I've been mulling over rules for a new hedge hedge tradition whose magic is based around creating awakened items to fill this gap. I'm undecided about whether they should be extinct (if they sided with the Spider), still present as Hedge Wizards, part of Ex Miscellanea, or incorporated as a British branch of house Verditius.

Another idea I had regarding new hedge traditions is a group who have a power which allows them to enter and leave the magic realm, specifically cosms. To enact changes in the mundane world they would go into micro or macro cosms and fiddle with things in an "as above so below" sort of way - for example adventuring to defeat the spirit of disease in a microcosm of a sick child, in order to heal them of something incurable.

Are there any other 'types' of magic that don't have a tradition to represent them in 5e? Or are there any magic tropes you would like to see represented in Ars rules, but which aren't at the minute?

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There were the Jewish folk magicians from whom the HoH:S p.130ff Rustic Magi descended. These also should have inspired the Pillar of Hiram (Triamore p.51 box Sacred Geometry and the Pillar of Hiram) and through these TMRE p.97ff Hermetic Architecture. These magicians might be creators or instigators of many of the items of Irish or British mythology. Had Joseph of Arimathea to do with them?

But preserving the art to awaken items should be the specialty of some hidden heir of Heron's art (AM p.75ff Heron of Alexandria's Legacy): perhaps a secret and learned group within (AM p.88) The Shadali Brotherhood.

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The Rusticani were my first thought too, but they can only make lesser enchanted items at best, and a lot of legendary items have more than one power (i.e. they are more than a lesser enchanted item).

Likewise Heron's magic is mechanically close but requires awakened items to have the shape of a living thing - if they have another shape it "violates the NeoPlatonic ideals used by Mechanicians,
producing a lifeless mechanica". Mechanica contain only a single effect, so the same problem as with the Rusticani comes about.

This is what I mean about there not really being another tradition which can create greater enchanted items like magi can. There are several magics that can produce charged and lesser items. Mechanica allows for simulcra with multiple powers, but they have to hold certain forms. It can't produce a sword with two powers, for example.

The tradition I have in mind would be very mechanically similar to Heron's mechanica, but it would not have the simple lesser enchantment mechanica, instead being only able to make awakened items - but without the form restrictions of Heron's art. These guys would be to Heron as the cunning folk are to learned magicians, or how the Trollsynir are to Gruagachan. Unrelated traditions with overlapping mechanics.

You requested a way to set up a hedge tradition. I should think, that it hence does not shame House Verditius - right?

These items could be items of extreme quality where a spirit t is bound by a spirit summoner.

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Just wanted to say I think these are great ideas. I’d love to see a tradition that allowed hedge magicians to gather special materials, perhaps containing vis, perhaps enrich them in the way various stones, herbs, and animal parts can be, and combine them to create items. If these items were capable of some things Hermetic magic cannot do, or does not do well, that would also be interesting. For example, a sword with such magical powers might take a very long time to create, or be something the hedge magician cannot duplicate, but it may not be repelled by Magic Resistance.

It seems to me that, for hedge magician makers of enchanted items, each item is unique. They don’t benefit from making the same item again, as Hermetic magi do. Mechanics that encouraged that trait would be very welcome.

There is also the touched by magic virtue that allows unGifted enchantment as an ability of some craftspeople. Not a tradition, just a virtue... though a tradition that could initiate that virtue could be quite potent, considering they can enchant without vis.

Mark Shirley, I believe, suggested that Lesser Craft Magic (RM) was intended to fill that alleviate the problem by allowing for the creation of Enchanted Device, but how well it actually does this is open for debate.

As for the other question, I've tried to create a Mercurian tradition a couple of times, but haven't found a way to make the group rituals both useful and entertaining to play as since the PCs contribution to the Casting Total could be pretty minor and the character is probably lacking in agency due to the need for assistance or rendering assistance to other members of the tradition...

I do think we could probably recreate the Pomeranian Witches pretty easily using Folk Witch as a base, but and changing their Warping Reaction from Witches Moon to something more akin to the Curse of Gruagach or Catharsis where they gradually become more similar to a particular animal (Heartbeast) as their Warping Score grows.

Recreating certain lost or Ancient Traditions might be fun too. Caananite Necromancers, Mechanicians, and Hyperborans are probably the simplest due to them already having at least a few game-mechanics that aren't directly tied to to the Hermetic Integrations to use as a base.

Really, any of these could be a fun group project to work on...


Any of those 3 work as written. You can create a.mechanician or a hymnist easily. Been there, done that and the result was good and whole without needing further magic trinkets in then form of other abilities. Sometimes less is more :slight_smile:

Still, if you want to further develop any of those I to contribute, but I am not that knowledgeable in those magic traditions myself or their supposed historical counterparts, so I don't know if I can contribute much

While I'll concede that the Hyperborean Hymnists are probably playable as written albeit with certain challenges, I really must disagree regarding the Caananite Necromancers and Mechanicians.

All we get of each is a single virtue that while functional and cool are not sufficient to recreate the feats members of those traditions are said to perform in the fluff - Caanites for example, can't bind familiars, craft devices, or foretell the future while the Mechanicians have no use for the Lab Texts they generate and can't use Imaginem (and possibly other Forms) the way Heron himself did. Neither really has a unique reaction to Warping either.

We've discussed this before so really don't expect to change you mind, but I do feel that Ancient Magic wasn't meant to be the Alpha and Omega of such lost magics and that they may still have other features left to be uncovered.


Honestly I do not remember the discussion xD but I accept your conclusion here.

I'm aware that they are supposed to be partial traditions However, some of the traditions like Heron's can work as RAW. You do not need a special reaction to warping when your abilities do not warp you :slight_smile:

I had some thoughts along similar lines, if you were to have a tradition of "awakeners" making really powerful magic items, the making of the item would be a long term project in and of itself.

So rare and resonant materials are a must, probably containing vis too, and other more obscure things - think of the forging of Gleipnir in norse mythology where the ingredients themselves are seemingly impossible things like the breath of a fish.

The process after gathering materials would be a lengthy one (to balance the power of the resultant item) and, as I had envisioned it, more organic and less precise than hermetic enchanting. Instead of dictating what the final item will be be like the creator has to try and influence its development through the materials used (shape and material affinities) and the use of his supernatural ability, but if they fail the item may develop unexpected or undesired properties - sort of like if magi could only experiment when enchanting plus a bit more variance on top.

The end result is a lengthy and complex process that takes years, but the item produced is a one of a kind awakened item. Them being awakened gives certain advantages over hermetic enchanting - the item itself does not trigger magic resistance (unless it uses a power on itself), the item can learn abilities, and the item can in theory grow in power through transformation. However, they also have the downsides of having a will of their own, being vulnerable to acclimation, and being much much harder to make.

Because of the variability in the awakening process even if the same wizard tried to duplicate an item the result would almost certainly be substantially different to the original - and that's assuming he can get the exact same materials again.

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I think this is a fun idea, but feel it might be a little too grand in scope to represent the main power of a magical tradition - it seems like the kind of thing that might come up a handful of times over the course of a saga and would work great as a mystery virtue, but I think they might need some way of producing lesser enchantments to be viable for players to use.