Problems with RoP: Magic

While this is a great book to create magic characters, there are, to me, things that don't work very well with the virtues there.

Some character package ideas for mundanes, using the virtues p 43 to 47. These Magical Mundanes all have the "magical air" flaw :wink:

Le Glouton (5 to 8 virtue points)
Greater Faerie Blood (Ghul), Puissant Brawl, Lesser Power (No penalty from fatigue or wounds penalties, personnal, constant duration, level 25, costs 1 fatigue per day), Lesser Power (+15 to recovery rolls, personnal, constant duration, level 25, costs 1 fatigue per day). If you want to overdo it, Greater power (Heal all wounds,personnal, sun duration, level 45, costs 1 fatigue).
You just wake up a little tired, but soon get better

Neunoeil (3 virtue points)
Greater Power (Pilum of fire, sight range, no fatigue, Penetration +10)

Le pigeon (2 virtue points)
(Form - Auram) Monstrosity flaw (wings), Greater Power (CrCo flight, Concentration duration, no fatigue, 20XP in concentration).

Le bête (4 virtue points)
(Form - Animal) Monstrosity flaw (fur), Improved characteristics, Great Dexterity*2, Faerie Blood (ghul), Lesser power (Personnal Gift of the Frog's legs, no fatigue, initiative Quick - 3)

Cocktail (6 virtue points)
(Form - Ignem) Monstrosity flaw (Ice body), Focus Power (PeIg, costs 1 fatigue), Greater Power (PeIg dam +20 , voice range, no fatigue,Penetration +10), Lesser Power (Slow ReCo flight, Concentration, no fatigue, 5XP in concentration)

La nana (9 virtue points)
Focus Power (ReMe, costs 1 fatigue), Focus Power (ReTe, costs 1 fatigue), Focus Power (InMe, costs 1 fatigue). I was becoming tired, so went easy with this to complete the list, there are better ways to do it.

While this is fun, this is also ridiculous in the context of mythic europe... I have more problems with those characters that can give themselves virtues at will, and thus become the james bond of magical powers.


Bjornaer with the Inner Heartbeast can already grab virtues. They can also give themselves Animal Qualities, which are awesome. And gain Powers.

RoP:M does scale the power level way up, though. Then again, I think the biggest scale-up was Covenants! Exposure xp for lab work is now 3xp rather than 2xp, due to correspondence. The greatest power of all comes from the lab rules. It isn't difficult to get +20 or better in your favorite Form. Deborah, my character in the online Falling Leaves saga, has a lab like that... :slight_smile:



Source? :open_mouth:


Check out correspondence in Covenants, page 90ish iirc. It's in the section about books. It doesn't explicitly say that you get 3xp for exposure; it does say that maintaining correspondence provides an extra xp, and that this can be done while doing lab work.



I think correspondence, and lab personalization, are power boosts that are well-justified by the rich flavor they add to the setting. While I dislike power creep in supplements, this is a case I can get behind. Granted, the lab specializations can be monstrously high - but they are so much fun to have lying around, I can't let them fade quietly into the night.

The rules in RoP:M letting any character accrue V&F willie-nillie by simply being in the magic realm, on the other hand, seem to be way too good to be true.

The virtues of RoP:M, more generally, now... well, I think the best thing is just not to allow any without SG approval, with the understanding that approval will only be given in exceptional cases where it really fits the character and isn't too unbalanced. I don't think most make for good PC V&F. Take just Essential Trait for example - +3 to any attack roll with a Minor virtue ("unerring aim")? That's too good by far.

Generally agreed. It is fine for creating magical beings, but can quickly become the easy way to uber-anything-power.

And, well, I mean, superheroes in ars magica? :unamused:
This could make a fun thread, though: Create some of your favorite superheroes using RoP: M rules :laughing:

Could someone give me an exact page on Correspondence in the covenants book? I am having a hard time finding it. Thank you.

Salvete, Sodales!

While I am working on a long answer you just started with some partial discussions - and managed to make some suggestions that I have to contradict:

Hey, it's a good minor virtue, if you keep the applicability narrow enough (SG's job). The core rules already provide for the 'Puissant skill' minor virtue - resulting in a bonus of +2 to every application of a skill. As long as I keep this field more narrow (e.g. for a combat skill only attack or only defense) this doesn't seem to be out of line. And as for the major version: Yes, you will be the unmatched master of your skill, e.g. a swordmaster that can easily defeat three skilled fighters at the same time - but you have invested a major virtue, which means that you are a companion level character at least and had to take some flaws in return. Probably most people would still earn more from stuff like 'temporal power'. And even if I pimped a fighter with a combo of Puisant skill+Major essential virtue+4 times great attribute+affinity with weapon skill this would just result in a bonus of about 6 to 12 on combat rolls, nothing a coordinated group of 5 experienced but 'normal' grogs couldn't overcome (even though they would loose men). Of course this is an extreme example, and this leads to another aspect:

Well, Fixer - you think of X-Men, but I think of guys like Siegfried, Roland, Hercules, Socrates, Asclepios(to mention some non-martial heroes), all perfect role models for Heroic Merceres - and still no match for hermetic magi under most circumstances. Also, heroes of old have often been reported to meet the strangest of people in some remote parts of the world. These virtues are a good way to create such creatures without being forced to define them as realm alligned creatures with a might score. Finally, by using the Minor/Great/Personal/Focus Powers as virtues it is possible to create interesting magical traditions not mentioned yet but still somehow compatible with the rules. Of course, as always, a character concept has to fit into a given setting and game culture, and a troupe that tries to be as historically correct as possible (without eleminating the OOH, the most anachronistic element of the game) probably would veto very much, whereas others might appreciate the additional layer of fantasy elements. AM isn't as definitely bound to the former style as many people think - although it leans this way.

Finally, there is the comparatively easy way to gain powers. Well, it isn't easy: Most beings in ME don't know how to enter the Realm of Magic, and even among those who do have the knowledge, most would probably try to avoid this. Then, there are creatures with Magic Might. They can actually travel to the realm rather easily. But their ability to gain XP (or in exchange for this vis) is severely hampered by their might score. If they change they are also restricted somehow by their basic concept. If they still develop new powers instead of new skills, so be it. It seems to be appropriate for magical creatures, and - to be honest - if I were to play such a character I would want it to 'grow' somehow over the couse of the saga. Btw., as a storyguide I also like the idea that I might have a way to let some supernatural opponents keep up with the PCs - "Damn, it seems little Draco has learned a new trick!"(potential last words)
Actually I wonder how much control a character gets if he develops these virtues. It seems ok, if he visits the realm in search of a teacher, has appropriate stories ... and finally gets his wish granted. That is not far from an initiation quest, but if you can manage just to stay and train (without story), then I am not so sure. I am afraid, nearly every magus would consider it a worthwhile investment of his time to go for the major hermetic Virtues of Gentle Gift, Flawless Magic and a Greater Focus. A SG should think beforehand whether he is fine with something like that. But then, increasing the general level of power is not a one-sided game, the characters mainly get more aloof from ordinary society, they don't automatically outstrip their main antagonists.

So, basically I think that the virtues from RoPM might have to be handled with care but are certainly no real threat to the balance of the game as a whole. Actually, I like the slightly increased level of fantasy that the setting can get through their application.

Alexios ex Miscellanea

P.S.: Now this short reply has become a long post on its own, sorry folks. :wink:


I don't think this one is broken. It is +3 to any attack roll, but it doesn't stack with a positive Dexterity. A character who wants to be a good fighter would do better with a +2 Dex (1 virtue point for 3cp), which applies to all kinds of other things than with Essential Trait: Unerring Aim.



Page 90 on the nose (1 Confidence Point to Ovarwa!). In the two paragraphs about Correspondences, the sentence about xp is at the end of the first.

Woohoo! My first Confidence Point.

Maybe now I can buy off my Low Self-Esteem....



In this case its pretty much the same though, as the correspondence must be linked to whatever else you´re doing. Though correspondence can be kept up most of the time so its not restricted to just exposure OTOH.

While i dont have it or even seen it, it sounds a bit bad in the mechanics...

Oh yeah... Minor Virtue Extreme mobility and Major virtue Supernatural Mobility are fun additions, although horribly "underruled" and totally SG-dependant. :mrgreen:
The minor, think a superior acrobat, martial artist and parkour (but still totally realistic) person, the major, think bad martial arts "cinematical" style. :mrgreen:

And all heroes that certainly absolutely don't need the Powers (Major, Lesser of Focus) from RoP: Magic.
Improved characteristics? Ok
Great Strength? Ok
Mythic Strength/Dexterity? Ok
Major Immunity? Ok
Puissant Ability and Affinity? Sure!

But you don't see any of these guys flying, breathing fire, teleporting or having any kind of magical power.
Where these happen, they are either wizards (merlin), magical creatures or faeries (lady of the lake). Not humans. I do see magical creatures breathing fire and flying, but not average humans, and do not find it nescessary to allow mundane humans to have super powers.
This allows, in fact, all the goodness of magical powers without the XP penalties or the vulnerability to wards and might rippers.

I mostly wanted to laugh a little with the x-men, since these can be done as magical creatures, but, as powers for humans, I don't think these were really nescessary.

Problem: Compare Enduring Constitution, which lessen your wound penalties by 1, to the "No Pain" power before. Minor virtues both, but I'd take the second anytime.
Same goes for Rapid Convalescence and the "Fast Healing" power.

Both time, minor virtues, but there's a gulf in power, because the second are actually magical powers that cost little to their users, not even an XP penalty.

Something which was already possible with the rules from HoH: S.
But, as these required scores in abilities, these are not as susceptible to abuse as these powers. Even if you manage to duplicate them on a whim with your diabolist or (easier) Gruagachan, you don't have absolute mastery on these.

This is, if I understand correctly, what YR7 deplored, especially as even a cautious GM can be surprised by his players and the rules.
I already find the "initiate and unknown virtue" part of the mysteries distasteful, but this, this is a lot worse, and, IMO, unescessary. I'd have prefered the realm of magic to be a source of stories that would provide great insights towards magical research.

??? Page??? I don't remember it at all

Who said it was from RAW?

Which is why i said "additions".

Hi there!

I just read the book and made a few magical humans for fun as well. We all do the same here, heheheh. :stuck_out_tongue: I reached the same "here comes superman and his buddies" conclusion. However I have a situation where the new rules are helping me A LOT.

I have been craving for a way to create a wannabe magus that totally sucks for a while. Read: a failed apprentice. The rules for failed apprentices so far were "you lost all your magical abilities biut might retain a few supernatural abilities if you spend a few virtue points there. IMO that sucked big time.

A failed apprentice is someone that is not profficient enough to be an hermetic magus, but he might be somewhat capable in some minor areas of magic. The new rules, specially the Lesser Power (p.45), Focus Power (p.44) and Greater Power (p.44) allow you to create a guy that can have a few formulaics (25-50 levels of spells) and be able to spont stuff up to level 10 in a certain limited form, like water or flames. That talks to me of a failed apprentice and a use for the "superhero virtue" package. Sometimes having a guy that is a really mediocre magus, but that can still cast some spells is a nice thing. On other aspects it is over the top. I agree with that.


Good one :smiley: I like it.

Although I think sticking with the Supernatural Virtues for Ex Misc (or variants) could have accomplished the same thing, still with the "superman" problem, sadly (although these didn't feel as superheroic), but without the risk of your gruagachan being able to do just about anything by granting himself the appropriate spell virtue (he'd lack the skill for it).