New Virtue: Supernatural Life

Edit: rewritten a different version, see below.

Immortality of the Realms (New Major General Supernatural Virtue)

The character's life force is sustained by the power of sympathetic supernatural auras. The most common form of the Virtue requires the character to have The Gift, or a supernatural affinity of comparable strength with either the Magic realm or the Faerie realm. For each year in which you remain completely within a Magic or Faerie aura, you do not make an Aging roll, but instead gain one Warping point. This does allow moving from one aura to another, as long as the two auras overlap. You may venture in mundane areas and retain your longevity by eating a pawn of Creo or Corpus vis per week, while there. You are also allowed to enter other areas in days of great mystical power for your realm(s). For the Magic and Faerie realms, this generally means equinoxes, solstices, and the mid-point days between them. If the character has equally strong affinities with two realms (e.g. Faerie Magic) or an exceptionally strong attunement with one realm (SG's call), he may safely enter mundane areas, or auras of other realms, for seven consecutive days, or a total of 28 days maximum, every year. This Virtue is often Initiated by mysteries that include a quest for immortality in their practices (e.g. many mystery cults that focus on alchemy, faerie magic, spirit magic, or theurgy), as a temporary solution. It requires Unaging as a prerequisite, or comparable Virtues such as a Minor Magical Focus: Aging or Minor Potent Magic: Aging. Characters who have a significant mystical affinity with the Infernal realm (e.g. diabolists, Chthonic mages) may draw sustenance from any type of supernatural aura but the Dominion, but they have to pay a gruesome price: a human sacrifice must be performed every year. Characters that have an attunement with the Divine Realm do not age if they remain in the Dominion, Magic auras, or Faerie auras, but their immunity fails if during the year they committ a mortal sin, or suffer a tragedy of hubris. Both infernal and divine characters may still benefit from affinity with magic or faerie auras, even if they fail to comply with the requirements of other realms. This Virtue does not protect from Aging that is caused by mystical sources (such as Warping).

Opinions ?

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I think this Virtue would be simpler if you made it
Immortality (Realm) , Major Supernatural Virtue.
Prerequisites : The Gift or a major virtue aligned to the same Realm.
(making this very advantageous to Hermetic Magi , as they do not have to use 06 of their 10 virtue points on buying it)
When in an Aligned Realm , you do not make an Aging Roll for each full year after age 50 that you spend in that Realm.
(as per Strong Faerie Blood , page 49)

Instead you gain 01 Warping Point.
(any Hermetic Mage with this Virtue , need only be hit with a CrVi Spell that gives 01 or more Warping points ,
in Winter , when Aging Rolls are made , to possibly trigger a Twilight episode.)

The pawn of Creo or Corpus Vis per week may be a problem in low-Vis sagas.
Anyone with this Affinity , could get indefinite Arcane connections to other Auras of the same type ,
and use The Leap of Homecoming (page 135) to transfer between locations.

Diabolists presumably have no problem with a human sacrifice ,
but not all those with the Cthonic Magic Virtue are necessarily willing to do so.
You have made no allowance for a willing human sacrifice.
This is supposed to be a significant thing magically.
(the person must be genuinely willing , not coerced by magic of any kind)

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thanks a lot for your insight, but maybe I do not understand the whole of your purpose sufficiently. Do you mean, as prerequisites, either the Gift, or a Major Supernatural Virtue ? This may work. And, do you mean, you do not age if you spend a year in any aura that you are attuned to ? My goal is, with this virtue you are made ageless by any aura you are attuned to (by Hermetic Virtues like Faerie/Chthonic/Holy Magic, or other supernatural Virtues), you should not need multiple versions of this virtue to reap benefits from other realms. I would absolutely avoid this. For this reason, I do not like the name Immortality (Realm), either. Maybe Realm Immortality or Supernatural Immortality. If I understand you correctly, you propose to incorporate a longevity benefit (no Aging rolls till 50), as in SFB, right ?

However, you see, I wish to grant benefit from both Magic and Faerie auras to Gifted characters (or equivalents such as SFB) as a default (too trivial a bonus, and too limited options for adventure, otherwise), so I was trying to come up with some additional bonus for characters that do have double magic-faerie alignment. A "grace period" was a possibility. Another one would be the up to 50 natural longevity that you mention. Still another one might be the possibility to LoHC to a diiferent type of aura.

A possible wording might be "you do not age in any supernatural aura that grants a bonus to the powers of the realms you are aligned to ". Characters with Faerie Magic and suchlike should still have some kind of additional bonus, however.

I don't see the purpose of this bit. Characters with this Virtue do not have any residual liability to mundane Aging, in the right places. What matters Winter ??

I know, but I was trying to provide a game-balanced loophole for limited travel outside magic and faerie auras.

This looks like an interesting idea, but isn't it impinging a bit heavily on the Limit of Arcane Connections ? Are you suggesting that this Virtue might grant an Arcane Connection to all Mythic Europe Auras the character is aligned with ? Please explain and/or elaborate further, It looks interesting.

E.g. The Gift might grant aging immunity from both magic and faerie auras, but you would need attunement from Hermetic virtues like Faerie or Chthonic Magic, or a Major Supernatural Virtue, to jump to different kinds of auras. And protective wards would still keep you out.

Willing sacrifice is not thematic at all for diabolists, but they still have to find the victim, and dispose of the evidence. For Chthonic mages, it would come as a temptation to a serious evil act, which is in accord with their way of drawing power from the Infernal realm. I agree that a willing human sacrifice has greater mystical value, and should grant an additional bonus (any suggestions ?), but it should be an additional perk, not the necessary requirement.

I've rewritten a different version, following your input:

Supernatural Life (Major Supernatural Virtue)

The character's life force is sustained by the power of supernatural auras. This Virtue requires The Gift or a Major Supernatural Virtue as a prerequisite, and grants all the benefits of the Unaging Virtue. You do not make an Aging roll for each year you spend in a supernatural aura that grants a bonus to the powers of the realms which you are aligned to (e.g. to a character with The Gift or Strong Faerie Blood, this means Magic and Faerie auras). You instead gain one Warping point. You also do not need to eat, drink, or breathe, while in a mystically nourishing aura, although you may do such things if you wish. This does allow moving from one aura to another, as long as the two auras overlap. You may also venture in mundane areas and retain your longevity by consuming a pawn of a vis type fit for a Longevity Ritual, per week. You do need to eat, drink, and breathe, however. If the character's powers or nature are aligned to more than one supernatural realm, he enjoys the immunity to aging and bodily needs in mundane areas, too. Characters with Supernatural Life become instinctually aware if they are about to leave a mystically nourishing area, much like normal humans may sense the lack of breathable air. This Virtue may sometimes be the result of a supernatural blessing or heritage, but it is most often initiated by mystae that include a quest for immortality in their practices. Drawing nourishment from the Dominion or Infernal auras requires to affirm one's allegiance to that realm: in Infernal areas, one has to remain in a state of mortal sin, and perform some kind of major sin every Moon duration, whereas in the Dominion the character has to avoid mortal sin, and do regular Divine worship and penance for any venial sin, every Moon duration. Supernatural Life does not protect from Aging that is caused by mystical sources (such as Warping). Aging rolls that are caused by overtaxing of one's body and mind (such as from unusual lab routines) generally convert into extra botch dice.

I dont have any rules objections per se. I would not use it however, not as is. Proliferation of immortality does not suit our playing preferences. If to ever use it I might do as a part of a Mystery Cult. In that regard it does have striking resemblances with a certain Criamon path.

As a matter of fact, my initial inspiration to write it came from seeking a mid-level "no death, only Twilight" form of immortality for non-alchemical, immortality-seeking mystery cults, such as spirit masters, theurgists, and faerie mages, an effective equivalent of the Lesser Elixir, who would cover the halfway step between Unaging and/or vanilla Longevity Rituals and the full immortality mysteries (faerie Becoming, Living Ghost, Great Elixir, Daimonic Ascension). You are certainly welcome to use it as a strictly Mystery Virtue, albeit one common to several mystery paths and some odd divine or infernal tradition, much like the Talisman Virtues. As a matter of fact, my own writeup meant to suggest it is mainly a Mystery Virtue, and I've slightly edited it to highlight the point.

As for the Criamon Mystery Virtue, Supernatural Life is indeed a modified version that is suited to other kinds of Mysteries; it is more efficient in some aspects (it works for multiple supernatural auras), but it also does not grant immunity from sleep, so IMO they roughly balance.

Would you find it balanced and suited to use in the present form as a Major Mystery Virtue ?

My copy of TMRe still has not turned up. :frowning:
Hopefully by next thursday.

The main reason i mentioned being wary of gaining extra Warping Points , in Winter ,
is that this is when Aging rolls are made by the RAW.
As the person is gaining a Warping point instead of an Aging Roll ,
a Magus gaining an extra Warping Point at that time has a risk of Twilight.
With using the Solstice idea , i would guess you gain the warping point on the day of the Winter Solstice.
This isn't a flaw in the Virtue , as you simply get the point instantly.
And the likelihood of getting another one at the same time is very low , unless another Mage attacked you deliberately.

The ability to change auras and the freedom from the need to eat or sleep makes this a much bigger deal than immortality of the forrest.

It is probably comparable to sayoshant's elixer (sp?) for folks who are frequently injured but for everyone else it is a better deal.

The difference is the lack of need for sleep. In third edition needing no sleep was somthing like a +7 virtue that gave youer character 5 seasons a year rather than four. We don't have that rule in fifth edition but we do have the unusual laboratory routines in covenants. Unusual lab routines are balanced by penalties to ageing rolls, twilight points, and sometimes extra botch dice.

Clearly penalties to ageing rolls won't serve as a edrawback to a caracter with immortality of the realms, and a good case could be made for the extra botch dice being a function of lack of sleep.

It's true that virtues are not necessarily balance against one another (cthonic magic). Nevertheless, I think that you should split this into a few differnt virtues for the sake of balance: ie. agelessness of (realm), supernatural nurishment (realm), restfullness of (realm).

Err, Supernatural Life specifically does not provide for freedom from the need to sleep. It's its main balancing bit with the Criamon virtue, and also a way to distance from all the game balance mess in lab work that comes from that. In comparison, eating, drinking, and breathing are rather minor, balance-wise.

It is balanced with the Criamon Path of Body virtue. The freedom from need to eat, drink, and breathe is an add-on I put in anology with that virtue, and also because thematically, the Virtue works better, as a mystical aura nourishment that rejuvenates and sustains the character.

Eating, drinking, and breathing, are rather minor for most characters, in comparison with sleep and injuries, so it seems balanced with the Zoarastrain elixir (which does not require a Virtue, and is not reliant on supernatural auras; as it stands, the virtue only works in magical, faerie, and possibly mundane places for most characters).

And the virtue only neutralizes Aging rolls, a nice but not exorbitant bonus. Moreover, the SG is perfectly free to convert missing aging rolls into extra botch dice, since they come from tiredness and overtaxing one's resources, and the virtue does not protect from fatigue.

As a matter of fact, I think an adequate, or even the better, remedy to this problem would be to rule that aging rolls from taxing lab routines convert into extra botch dice. Indeed, if you don't mind, I'm going to mention it in the virtue writeup. Thanks for calling my attention to the issue. Good forum-testing. :smiley:

Which is not, I remark again, nullified by this virtue. So I don't see where the game balance problem is, esp. if you convert aging rolls into extra botch dice. Which makes sense, since aging rolls comes from exceptional overtaxing of one's mind and body. The virtue protects from this causing long-term damage, but it is still likely to cause fatigue and increased risk of mistakes.

Even if we clarify that it does NOT affect sleep, and we provide a counter to the lab activity problem ? It seems sufficiently balamced that way, in comparison with similar major Mystery Virtues. True, immortality of the forest is less efficient, but Forest Paths are rather less optimized than Mystery Virtues anyway, they are the prototype vs. the tested version. True, one can split it in separate versions. But IMO nourishment is a rather trivial virtue to have, it works better combined with agelessness, restfulness I would leave alone or make a full major virtue.

oops :blush:

Never mind. No big deal. Even the best of us may sometimes fail to notice some little crunchy detail :slight_smile:

I had guessed there had likely been a mistake in the first place, I just seized the occasion to explain why no-sleep was purposefully left behind. That clarified, do you have any additional comments or suggestions ? Your mistake was nonetheless fruitful, as it called my attention to the lab routines bit. :bulb:

Ah, I see. This would indeed be a possible issue with all Virtues, enchanted devices, and ritual spells that grant game benefits at the price of continouos year-long magical effects. I must admit that so far I deemed the topic rather trivial and not really worthy of notice. Since, as you point out, the likelihood is quite low of magical accidents triggering a Twilight by getting a second Warping point with such a precise timing. IMO it is just simpler and better only to take tally of long-term, yearly Warping point accumulation, not of possible Twilight, for this kind of Warping.

My understanding is that effects that grant yearly warping don't actually suddenly grant it in winter, or whenever. Rather, that's an abstraction, much like aging rolls, representing warping that accumulates slowly over the course of the year.

Only warping gained from actual events like botches should risk twilight, and seasonal warping shouldn't add to that.

Yes , the Aging Rules are an abstraction , but the RAW does say that they are made in Winter.
As for being under a continuous magical effect , of course this is over time , not instantly.
I was suggesting , in terms of a proposed new virtue ,
that the actual gain of a Warping Point might happen at a particular instant.
This is partly because the character is not making an Aging Roll at all ,
and some of the benefits of the virtue are tied into a solstice.

It was a minor thing in regard to a magical accident/attack occuring at the same time.

But the Aging roll itself is an abstraction that sums it up a whole year of bodily wear and tear, or at least the whole Winter season, which in Middle Ages was a much more severe health hapzard than today and routinely weeded out the truly old and weak. So the virtue substitutes an abstraction that sums it up a continuous process with another. There is no actual unfair gain that your proposed rule would redress.

I don't think there is an unfair gain.
My thinking is probably relating more to Story Events.
If the Magus has an enemy or a cult rival ,
knowing that they could be more vulnerable to an attack at a certain time.
Having an amount of uncertainty as you progress along a Path to Immortality.

Uhm, sure I can see it working as a Story Event, but if some enemy is able to time an attack so precisely, there's no need whatosever to wait a whole year to strike it. Just wait till next time your enemy is traveling outside the Aegis, and strike him at precise sunrise/sunset. With the Parma down you are probably able to do much worse damage than sending your enemy into Twilight, unless he is so ancient as to have a truly big Warping score and Final Twilight hanging over his head. And even then, you could just strike him with a CrVi spell when the Parma is down. The idea is cool as an occasional plot hook, but it is such an indirect and contrived vulnerability to exploit than I see merit to use it once in a saga, if ever.

Any other comment or suggestion on the Virtue itself ?

I was waiting for my copy of TMRe to turn up so i could get a better idea of how it would work.
No immediate suggestions.
As to contriving an event specifically against this Virtue (or any other) ,
i would be more inclined to have some uncertainty based on mystical events.
Something like a rare astrological conjunction.
The Warping idea for targeting was simply to use an existing game mechanic.
Perhaps the character used some Infernally Tainted Vis (Creo or Corpus).
While you want your players to feel secure that the ST won't nerf Virtues ,
having a vulnerability (or thinking that you do) isn't always a bad thing.

the important bit is "two or more Warping points from a single event" (ArM5 p.88 ) - which is interpreted elsewhere throughout the books as including the meaning "... from the same source"

That is, the WP from having several different Constant Effects over the Year, and from this Virtue, or other long-term sources - each is a separate long-term source and counts as a separate Event, even though the book-keeping occurs during the Winter Season.
This is similar to study - you don't actually acquire XP instantly, in a bundle, on the last day of a Season, but gradually over time ... but we players budget and account for it in units of seasons and years.

What this means in the end is that almost all long term sources accumulate WP but don't in themselves cause Twilight Checks; the only normal things which do are Double Botch spell-casting and the L10 CrVi Guideline "give the target 2 WP" (and higher GL or bothces)

As i have not read TMRe as yet , i have no perception of how Mystery Virtues balance.
I probably should have quoted the Raw in regard to Warping Points.
Given that we have a Virtue that removes the need for Aging rolls while in effect ,
i was looking for a possible drawback.

Blood of the Nephilim
Major , Supernatural
(page 34 , RoP : The Divine)

For most practical purposes in actual play ,
not needing to make Aging rolls until age 150 is a huge benefit.
For this Virtue , it is also balanced by the need for vast amounts of food and that you cannot go even a day without food.
(this Virtue would be seriously benefited by being able to be sustained by non-ritual food creation)

My "gut feeling" was that the Virtue as proposed seemed to have few drawbacks that could be easily compensated for.
The extra Botch Dice is probably a good counterbalance.