Opening the Gift of a Magic Character

One of the Major Qualities available to magic characters is Gifted (RoP: Magic, pg. 37). A Gifted magic character can actually be opened to the Hermetic Arts (which, in the case of a [soulless] non-human, would raise some interesting questions), though this requires an InVi Lab Total of 30 + Might*2. My question is, do you have to double this score to retain all of the character's Supernatural Virtues and Powers (as would be the case for a normal character with a Supernatural Virtue--see ArM5, pg. 107), and if doubling is necessary, what exactly do you lose if you only meet that target rather than doubling it? Only Supernatural Virtues, but not Powers? Only Virtues, but not Qualities?


IMS I would say that ther +30 already includes the difficulty of retaining everything. 30+might*2 is awfully high (a +50 lab to open a weak might 20 creature, for example, +70 for might 30...). Given that the Might is already doubled I would say that is enough. YSMV :slight_smile: Not that this will ever happen IMS anyway, but hey.


I didn't say it would happen, but it is a fascinating question. :slight_smile: Note though that opening an apprentice with even a single Supernatural Ability requires a Lab Total of 60 to retain the relevant Virtue or convert it to a Hermetic one, and that the required total is increased for additional Virtues; for example, the required Lab Total to preserve both a Major and a Minor Virtue would be 80. Given that, requiring a Lab Total of 100 for a Might 10 creature (2 * [30 + 2*10]), doesn't look so absurd, considering such a creature might easily have multiple Supernatural Abilities and multiple Powers. But if that does require doubling, what would be lost if you don't double it?


hmm.... true. I hadn't made the conversion. We tend to handwave the mechanics of opening the gift process, in the cases we play through it. I didn't notice it was so high.

In that case, yeah, doubling to preserve sounds about right.

The question is that I am not so sure that the supernatural abilities of a creature are 2supernatural virtues" instead of part of his essential nature. So you can use either of these:

  • You need to add up the abilities of the creature. Only a covenant of magi with a powerful opening ritual can do that. It is likely that the creature will lose part of his connection to the magic realm (loss of abilities) while gaining the hermetic magic flexibility.
  • The abilities are part of the creature, so they are included in the cost already. (100 for a might 10 creature, 140 for a might 20 creature, 180 for a might 30 creature... )

I'd say any Supernatural Virtues or Abilities the character has are lost, including those from Qualities, though Qualities that don't give Supernatural Virtues or Abilities remain.

OK, fair enough. Do you think it would be reasonable to allow keeping Virtues one by one? Say, I have a Might 10 character with a Major Supernatural Virtue and two Minors. If I manage a Lab Total of 50, he loses all three. At 60, he can keep one Minor. At 70, he can keep both Minors. At 80, he can do that, or keep the Major. At 90, he keeps all three (that's still slightly under double 50, but a real Might 10 character might have more than three Supernatural Virtues anyway).


Do you do that for non-Magic characters, too? I figure it should work the same way, and by my reading of the rules, you just can't open the Arts if your apprentice has more Supernatural Abilities than your InVi Lab Total allows.

Yes, you can save some Virtues but not others: you have to meet the target number for all of them to open the Arts at all, and then, for each one you want to save, you have to meet the target again. For example, if the apprentice has a Major (30 by itself, 60 to keep it) and a Minor (10 by itself, 20 to keep it), you can open him with a total of 40, but he loses both. At 50, he can keep the minor. At 70, he can keep either. At 80, he can keep both.


RoP:Magic , page 32

page 52

240xp for 15 years of apprenticeship. 16xp per year.
With a Might Score of 16 or greater , you get no xp.

I guess you can always give a character the Favoured Abilities option. (HoH:S , page 106)

So opening the gift destroys the essential nature of the magical being? A LOT of the supernatural abilities of magical beings are intrinsic to them. That yells "essential nature" to me...


I can't think of examples where Supernatural Abilities/Virtues are actually described as Essential, but I agree that, yes, you couldn't eliminate those no matter what.


As for Ravenscroft's comment....Yeah, I agree that it might not be the optimal way to build a character. I was just curious what the rule would be.


Agreed. Can get far too odd otherwise i think.

Maybe, but think of it like this: Supernatural Abilities are like knowledge of how to do something with your inherent magic, and opening The Gift is like channeling that knowledge into Hermetic Arts instead. For example, if the character has Second Sight, you're sort of trading that in for the power to cast InVi spells. The knowledge is not lost, it's transformed. (At least, that's the justification for when Magical Transformation changes a Virtue or Quality into something else-- the character's essential nature is altered naturally.)

Looking at the rules, though, I think I need to revise my opinion. I now think Opening the Arts for a Gifted Magic character doesn't cause any of the character's Supernatural Abilities or Virtues to go away at all, because they're all automatically converted in the process. That's why you have to have such an extremely high lab total to do it at all. Opening the Arts of a Magic character with Might 10 requires an InVi Lab Total of 80+, not 40+. There's no option to sacrifice some of its supernatural properties to make that total smaller the way you can with non-Magic characters.

Not sure if you realize, but that part only refers to XP that goes towards learning Supernatural Abilities, not all XP gained by the character.

Yeah, Magic characters have to subtract their Might from their Advancement totals, but it's even worse than that because it's every season, not every year. A character with Might 10 would need a study source of Quality 11 to get 1xp. They can offset this by consuming a pawn of vis for every two xp, though. So if the character with Might 10 uses 5 pawns of vis every season, he has no penalty to his advancement. Also, no chance of succumbing to Acclimation (though you should probably roll for the effects of vis consumption at the end of the year...).

Hermetics with Magic Might can use the methods in the back of Mysteries to bind their experience to their talismans.

I thought the vis consumption effects were only for consuming vis to avoid acclimation? Actually, it never occurred to me, either, that the same vis could count toward learning and acclimation.

I recently created a magic cat and gave her Personal Vis Source (her hairballs are Animal vis), specifically to allow learning. Technically, this is a Hermetic Virtue, but it seems sensible in this case--it could though be overpowerful. Having to roll for vis consumption might rein it in a bit.


Well, as I pointed out in an earlier post, opening the Arts for an apprentice who has only a Major Supernatural Virtue and a Minor Supernatural virtue requires a Lab Total of 80 if you want to keep both letting a magic character keep all his Virtues and Qualities for a Lab Total of 70 seems a little easy. Mind you, he's not gonna make a very good magus, given his problems with studying, but I can seem some senior magus training him as a sort of vanity project, esp. if the character in question is non-human.


It doesn't count towards both. It counts towards one or the other. You could use more, some for one and some for the other, though.


That would be my reading, but note the opinion of Erik Dahl (one of the authors) above.