Playable Sahir

Hello, I am a huge fan of Sahir and I was thinking about if a Sahir from The Cradle & The Crescent could be a main character, either Gifted or Mythical comapnion.

Anyone has try the experience ? Even concept on paper (I already read the post about the 400 years old sahir)

My concern is Sahir spells are often ritual, even for spell quite simple compare to hermetic one. So aren't Gifted sahirs too "vis consuming" ?

I feel like Sahir can do amazing non-gifted Mythical Companion though, with the possibility to invoke and control spirits and use one or two Solomonic arts, but I am not sure it would be as intersting as a mage for a main PC

What do you think about it ?

I've played around with the concept a bit. Not enough though.
The main limitation appears to be what Jinn you can find. Especially as you can plausibly bargain for them to use their own native powers as well.

I really like the concept of a companion with just Sihr mind you. If you know enough Jinn, that can be a huge asset by itself.

I played in a Sahir based game at the Grand Tribunal UK convention. The player who took the Solomonic Travel based character walked away from the table as he didn't like the character and found it unplayable. The SG hadn't statted out our Jinn so we handwaved what they were capable of.

As a one-shot, we obviously didn't care about rationing vis or confidence points. Are Gifted sahirs too vis consuming? Well, seeing as TC&TC mentions sahirs buying and selling vis to each other, and in Hyrcania people just go out searching for random vis, it seems the vis economy of the Mythic Middle East is a different to Mythic Europe. Trying to use one in a vis-poor Tribunal, like Normandy, may be tricky. My vis concern is from a different angle - when you bargain with jinn, if you can offer huge amounts of vis then you can persuade very powerful jinn to help, alternatively if you are very powerful you can underpay weak jinn. The balancing of this is probably something you can't really do without experience.

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They might be too vis consuming, though you might be able to harvest a lot of vis from far off places because many Jinn have transportation powers.

My impression from reading C&C is that vis is much more plentiful in the Mythic Middle East, both reflecting sahirs higher vis use and that the setting as a whole is more "mythical" than that of Mythic Europe. I don't have a lot of experience actually playing Sahirs but I did do a post a day back in november for spells and such if you're interested. I'd like to do a Sahir only campaign but that's on my backlog.

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Far as I can remember the Sahirs have access to both Formulaic and Ritual Spells but I'm not sure if Ritual guidelines are in a majority. Certainly, they need vis for both bargaining with the Jinn and their Ritual spells but I'd say that they are playable no problem.

The problem of vis can be solved easily depending on your Tribunal, you could always have a Personal Vis Source too or sell your services to other magicians to get yet more Vis. The fun thing about Solomonic Magic, you only need a spirit, but it doesn't have to be a jinn. It's just that Jinn are the easiest to deal with since they, by their nature, are obliged to honor all their deals.

So! Another thing you could do to reduce your vis expenses is taking a Ghostly Warder virtue or Magic/Faerie Spirit Companion Flaw, though the Warder would be preferable. This way you will always have a spirit will to help you, perhaps even for free with the Ghostly Warder, if it was someone who loved you dearly in life.

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I have been running a saga since 2013 where one of the main characters is a Gifted sahira, and she filled the slot for a magi character.

Her player agrees with me that the character is underpowered when compared to the other magi, but not blatantly so. The worst part is actually the lack of spontaneous magic and the very low penetration scores, rather than the vis consumption. Though I must warn you that we're playing in the vis-rich Theban Tribunal, and that might have biased our views. Also, she's heavily specialized in Sihr (the summoning "Art"), thus she almost never needs to use vis at all when bargaining, and only does so to avoid gaining a bad reputation among djinn. This might also factor into our perception that sahirs are not such huge "vis burners".

As for their naranjs (spells) being mostly rituals, all of the solomonic formulaic spells can be cast as rituals. So, although most of the higher level guidelines require a spell to be a ritual, the vast majority of the lower level ones have "ritual" as a casting option, not a requirement when inventing the spell. The exception being Solomonic Alchemy, where rituals are all over the guidelines, and to a lesser extent Solomonic Travel. For the rest, rituals are the rule for higher level guidelines, but not so much for lower level ones, which neatly mimics the way Hermetic spells over level 50 have to be rituals. See The Cradle and the Crescent page 36 for an explanation of the ritual option for casting spells, and pages 49, 51, 53, 56 and 58 for the guidelines for each Solomonic Art.

My personal advice for you would be to boost Sihr, since that will allow the sahir to summon more powerful djinn and, most importantly, to bargain with them with ease. That will allow you to easily bargain them into a one-year service (see tCatC page 47 for the bargaining modifiers) that includes following him around and doing his bidding. This will make the summoning a yearly affair, which will greatly reduce vis consumption, and will provide the sahir with a djinni (or more than one) that will do his bidding, thus adding the djinni's powers to what the sahir "can do". Also, it will give him a big Summoning Strength, which will make casting spells ridiculously easy.

I will end up saying that fully stating all of the djinn the sahir summons is IMHO a must, so it would be best if the sahir stuck with only a couple of recurring djinn, best if enchanted as a khuddam (tCatC page 41).

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Thank you for your answers!

Maybe my impression that there are too much ritual are actually from alchemy

For the vis dependence, it for the Iberic tribunal so no plentiful vis there

For the spontaneous magic, I was more or less committed to focus on integrated the hermetic spontaneous casting as soon as possible
For the penetration, I think that having a khuddam could help a lot... At least on paper, no(but yes, the rules are really not in the sahir favour)

But maybe the easier way would be using hermetic sahir to balance...

My feeling is almost all sahir in Iberia would be hermetic sahir.

I am also confused as to why you are implying Iberia is a vis-poor tribunal. Provencal isn’t and it’s probably about as populated if not more so.

Exactly what out sahira player is doing :laughing:

That's my feeling as well, at least in the northern (christian) half. The southern part should still have plenty of non-hermetic sahirs, IMHO.

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When I said Iberia I meant all of Iberia. There might be a few after, what, almost 300 years that are non-hermetics.

Have a look at HoH:S p.133 Hermetic Sahirs - History and p.134:

When the Iberian sahirs discovered that it was possible to join the Order through House Ex Miscellanea, they saw the opportunity to protect themselves from their aggressors, and formally joined the Order in 925 AD. < rest worth reading too >

The Hermetic sahirs have very little contact with their non-Hermetic tradition. Nearly 300 years have passed since the Iberian sahir sought the protection of the Order, and finding a non-Hermetic sahir in Iberia in the current day is a rare event.

and BS&S p.8 The Cordovan Sahirs:

The Baghdad sahirs eventually repudiated the Cordovan sahirs and cast them from the Order of Solomon. In 925 most of the Cordovan sahirs joined the Order of Hermes. < rest worth reading as well >

So there may be some wandering non-Hermetic sahir in Iberia - but these have few roots and many enemies (including the Iberian Flambeaux) there.

Of course, this may be completely different IYS.

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having skimmed the book (again), I'd guess so, yeah. Probably.

I gladly stand corrected. It's pretty obvious there shouldn't be any non-hermetic sahirs left in Iberia.

Thank you for your explanations!

In the saga I play, Sahir in south of Spain are mostly-non hermetic and mostly supporting the moors (often as advisor or court mage), even if it's by necessity to protect their lifestyle. There is no open war bewteen Order of Suleiman and Order of Hermes, but individuals from both side are involved in the reconquista covertly or by proxy war supporting vulgar creating a diplomatic minefield (and internal conflict in the two Orders). I didn't know it was not canon !

Funny enough, my idea was close to canon, playing a non-hermetic sahir who join the Ex Miscellanea (and the player PC) to avoid being involve in the conflict.

Vis poor only compare to Mythic Middle East, I was answering to