Proposal thread for Initiation Scripts

Would anyone besides me be interested in setting up a thread (maybe a sticky one) for sharing Initiation Scripts ??

I've created the initiations for 3 mystery cults that i'm using IMS. I'll happily share them. Just gimme a while to get my computer working again and i'll post them up.

One of the cults was the fraternity of Samos from TM:RE, i've just worked out exactly what each level requires.

The second was based on the legion of Mithras, also from that book but heavily modified. One of the ordeals involved drugging the initiate up on hallucinogens and then blindfolded and getting him to kill a child as a test of his devotion to the cult. The idea being that if he couldn't kill a child, how could he exercise the will to punish evil and resist temptation. The irony being that if he refused to kill the child or if he killed the child he passes the intiation (one celebrates will power and the other moral virtue in the face of pressure). Of course once the blind fold comes off it was revealed that the child was simply a shaved goat.

Another cult was very secretive and aims to use the order to increase their own power. Not very mystical but very secretive, they use encrypted messages, mundane spies and cell organisation so the player of the initiate has no idea of anyone in the cult except for his direct superior. For all he knows, that might be the only guy in it. Either way, most of his initiations involve dangerous "jobs" for his superior, most of which are at least pushing the Code of Hermes.

I'll try and get some scripts posted this week.

For now, I'll repost here the initiation script that I've devised the Flambeau generalist school, I hope to add some other scripts soon:

Combat-generalist Initiation Script for Major Magical Focus (Damage):

The mage must track down and defeat three opponents of comparable or superior power from different supernatural realms, either supernatural creatures or humans affiliated to the realm. The opponent must be slain, or forced to give up a powerful Arcane Connection, such as a True Name, body part, talisman, or synthemata, which has to last decades at the least (set of three Quests, +9). Subsequently, the mage must travel to the site of a powerful magical battle on the day of his first manifestation of the Gift (special place and time, +3), which he must discover if not known (+1), and defeat the Mystagogue (or a designated champion) in three subsequent certamens (+1) using different Technique/Form combinations worthy for combat magic (sympathetic bonus, +3). The ritual brings forth great mystical potential for damaging magic (the mage develops the Virtue Major Magical Focus: Damage), scarring the spirit, and gives him an aura of menace, which aggravates the social effects of the Gift (Major Ordeal: the mage develops the Flaw: Blatant Gift, or loses the Virtue: Gentle Gift, +9). If the mage already had a different Magical Focus, the ritual erases it and substitutes it with the Major Magical Focus: Damage (optional Minor or Major Ordeal +3/+9).

The Script was developed by a founder of the school of Julian and has been since used, often in self-initiation, by Flambeau that come to espouse the philosophy of combat generalists. Variants of the script may also be used to give apprentices the trademark focus of the school if they lack it. Sometimes, initiation may even be offered, for a fair price, to mages of other Houses whose raw potential or established ability in combat magic has properly managed to impress some Flambeau luminary. Therefore, variants of the script have sometimes surfaced in other Mystery Cults that value combat magic, such as some offshoots of the Legion of Mithras, the Philosophers of Rome, and Houses Bjornaer, Tytalus, and Merinita. Flambeau of the school of Julian may not mind much if their ancestral script is used to enhance someone whose combat prowess and dedication to the fighter-adventurer lifestyle they respect, regarding them as "lost kindred", but they are also known to ruthlessly persecute, up to repeated Wizards' War, recipients they see as unworthy.

The school of Julian is a cult with cult lore and so on?

Congratulations on your grand mastery Wanderer.

Thanks. :smiley:

I would treat some offshoots of House Flambeau, to work like an informal Mystery Cult for the House, initiating the various "signature" Virtues of the various schools. I picture a rather similar situation to the way the Titanoi work as a MC imbedded subgroup in House Tytalus. There would no other easy way for the mages who enter the House as adults, to have the right Virtues for at least a school.

As a matter of fact, I'd even be willing to hypothesize that all the Societates Houses have informal MC offshoots that can initiate mages into the various "signature" or favored Virtues of the Houses. IMO it would be an elegant solution to the conundrum of how supposed hodgepodge houses, which are often enter post-apprenticesahip, always have members with the right Virtues. Some may get them as apprentices, some come to the House becuase they have the right talent on their own, but not all.

So, yes, I assume they have something like House Flambeau Lore. Anyway, despite their awowed informal gathering of like-minded fellows, House Flambeau and House Tytalus always had some features of Mystery Cult Houses in my eyes.

Here is a sketch of a mystery cult's initiation path for my upcoming virtual-tabletop saga. [If anyone is thinking of joining, he might want to not see this... or choose to see it, as he deems fit.] This is a semi-open cult of astrologers "worshipping" the stars as daimons. I sketched it out to get an idea of what the cult entails, especially the flaws of its elder members.

Planetary Magic (Minor): The cult generally teaches this as part of apprenticeship, but has a script in case an applicant outside the cult joins it. The cult first teaches Cult Lore 1, and the script requires an Artes Liberales score of 3 or more. The supplicant must prove his commitment and worth by serving the cult for a Season (+1). The initiate must visit seven specific places, each epitomizing the qualities of a certain planet (Quest, +3). He must then travel back to Rethra from the last site at an astrologically appropriate date; these times are highly limited (+3). This script provides a +7 bonus, requiring a mystagogue with a (Pre + Cult Lore) of 8.

Major Magical Focus (Major): The cult initiates this as Major virtue directly, usually as the first mystery initiated, without passing through a Minor version. Before everything else, the supplicant must prove his commitment and worth by serving the cult for a Season (+1). He then must locate a suitable place of magic associated with his birth-sign where he will conduct the initiation (+3, Quest). The intense ritual requires an entire season of the mystagogue's time (+3), so the locale better be secured against distractions. He must also locate the midwife that gave birth to him and ask her some questions (+3, Quest – note that she is probably dead, but the script was developed for pagan magi, who can work around that to contact her). The initiate acquires the Cyclic Magic (negative) Minor Flaw (a Minor Ordeal, +3), incurring a -3 penalty during the rise of the opposite sign in the zodiac. Note that this means that a single Season's Lab Total is penalized, but no Season's Lab Total is increased. The script merits a (+2) sympathy bonus, for a total bonus of +15, requiring a mystagogue with a (Pre + Cult Lore) of 6.

Potent Magic (Major): A variant script exists for the second station on the path, inititing into Major Potent Magic instead of Magical Focus. The script is otherwise identical.

Celestial Magic (Major): This is considered a first major step on the path of enlightenment, and requires an Artes Liberales score of 5 to initiate. The initiate is first taught theurgic invocations and must cast them, which costs effort and raw vis (+1). He also loses Planetary Magic, which counts as a Minor Ordeal (+3). He must then trace out the path of the star that they tell him to follow, which will lead him on a Quest to Atlas' regio in the Mediterranean's mouth (+3). There he will learn of the movement of the heavens and the nature of magic (Artes Liberales and Magic Lore), from the lips of Atlas himself. The initiate benefits from a past ordeal (+3), bringing the total bonus to +10, but the bonus is irrelevant for this purpose as Atlas automatically succeeds in initiating the cultists. The regio can only be reached once in this manner, and the time spent with Atlas is brief.

Divination (Astrology) (Major): A preliminary step, this mystery teaches the magus to understand how the heavens and earth are connected on a deeper level. The initiate must have a Cult Lore score of 3 to be initiated into this mystery. The magus must have aided another's ascension (+1), and invoked the cut's past magi with gifts of raw vis (+1). He must obtain an arcane connection to a powerful place of magic (+3 Quest), that will serve as the focus for his first divination. The mystagogue must spend an entire season teaching him first first level of Divination (+3). Together with the past ordeal (+3), and a +1 sympathy bonus, this amounts to a +12 script bonus, so the mystagogue must have a (Pre + Cult Lore) of 3.

Hermetic Theurgy (Minor): This is the mystery marking the inner circle, and a Cult Lore score of 6 is required to obtain it. Again the supplicant must have aided another's ascension (+1) and invoked the past astrologers (+1). The mystagogue guides the initiate in developing his own new Pact of (Daimon) spell, which requires the initiate to discover the name of a new star (+3). Together with the previous ordeal (+2), this suffices to provide a +7 script bonus, so the mystegogue needs a (Pre + Cult Lore) of 8. An alternative script, requiring a Season of the mystagogue's time (+3), exists, using it the mystagogue need only a (Pre + Cult Lore) of 5.

Daimonic Spirit Familiar (Minor): By forming a pact with a daimon, you obtain a guide to your immanent ascension into the heavens. You must first summon the daimon (+1), and make the pact. The process involves releasing your own familiar from its bonds (+5 Sacrifice). The intense obsession with the heavens has also taken its toll by this point, providing you with the Minor Personality Flaw Nocturnal (+3, a Minor Ordeal). The script enjoys a +5 sympathy bonus, just because. Together with the past ordeal, this provides a +15 script bonus, so a (Pre + Cult Lore) of 6 is needed.

Ascension (Major): The ultimate step on the path, the magus must have aided the cult (+1) and invoked the past astrologers (+1). He must sacrifice his talisman (+5), in preparation for his ascension. His past ordeal aids him (+3). The mystagogue slowly instills the knowledge over an entire Season (+3). The script has a +1 sympathy bonus, for a +14 script bonus, so a (Pre + Cult Lore) of 7 is required. This mystery is often initiated by the daimonic aspect serving as the magus' familiar, rather than a cult member, however.

The scripts to initiate the Puissance or Affinity a Minor Ordeal (+3), gaining a Minor Flaw (Incomprehensible for Puissant Magic Lore, Vulnerable Casting (?) for Affinity with Vim, Obsessed with Affinity with Artes Liberales); these costs seem excessive, so most cultists prefer not to initiate them. Service to the cult (+1) and invocations (+1) are always required as well. Each also involves a Quest (travel to a certain Magical regio where the titans dwell, or visit seven universities). These scripts are poorly constructed (-1 sympathy), so their script bonus is only +7; the mystagaugue meeds a (Pre + Cult Lore) of 8 [available to only a rare few, probably high-ranking, cultists].

How do they ascend without a talisman, I thought that this was a necesary part.

Serf's parma as far as what the book says but BoXer emailed me a few days ago to tell me that typical cult lore scores for minor and major virtues were 3 and 5 respectively. You've got 1 and 3. Are these supposed to be unusually low or did I misread?

Actually Erik, I mentioned that typical Hermes House MC's use 3 and 5 respectively for requirements in House Lore to gain entrance into their Minor and Major Inner Mysteries (again respectively).

Doing a quick flip through TMRE I now see that the random smaller cults use 1 (first initiation) and 3 (further initiations) respectively (with minimum of 6 suggested for entrance into the Inner Circle of the cult) as scores for their various Cult Lores.

So it appears I was going by the standard employed by the HoH:MCs rather than the TMRE cults. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Not for daimons. They obtain power from later worshippers in the cult pumping them with raw vis by casting theurgic invocation spells.

Things really are designed rather uniquely.

  • Living ghosts are strongly encouraged to use Inscription Upon the Soul, so have no talismans although they use the talisman rules.
  • Elixir users use a talisman.
  • Ascended theurgists use their own rules, increasing in powers based on fellow-magi worship.
  • Merinita who Become use their own rules again, increasing in power through their own means.
  • Bjornaer become Great Beasts and it is unclear (to me) how they progress further, if indeed they do.
  • Guardians of Nature slow down their development to Exposure, approximately.
  • Criamon... are just weird, but can progress indefinitely and live forever IIRC. Though they won't.

[Goetic binding, longevity potions, and immortality of the forest merely halt aging at the cost of the accreciation of warping points - they don't count.]

So despite what the ruls in the TMRE appendix claim, only two of the presented traditions of immortality actually use the talisman rules... and only one of them actually uses a talisman, in all likelihood...

Unless I remember very wrongly. Serf's parma on everything. :slight_smile:

The cult is unique in that it allows entry through three initiations (Planetary Magic, Magical Focus/Potent Magic, and Celestial Magic) with only Cult Lore 1 needed. This is because these are the "engine" magi that drive the cult - the more initiates the cult has that pump its ascendant daimons with power, the happier those ascended magi are :slight_smile: I MIGHT require a Cult Lore score of 3 starting with Celestial Magic, though - the initiation script reveals a cult secret, an important regio.

The second and higher initiations usually require Cult Lore 3. These are limited to only Divination in this cult. It allows for something very identifiiable with astrology, the cult's motiff, a deeper understanding of the nature of things - so this seemed the appropriate point to raise the commitment requirements.

The inner circle requires Cult Lore 6. This is Hermetic Theurgy as it allows the magus to develop new incovations and hence circumvent the cult, esepcailly as it opens the path to summon an Aspect that will guide you to the Spirit Familiar and finally Ascension virtues.