Questions about Arcadian Travel

Hello everybody!

I have a few questions on Arcadian Travel.

  1. When you use AT you find a Trod that leads to a location. Then what, do you have to walk along it or you're just teleported to the destination? Because the description of the mystery says your travel companions "immediately appear at its destination beside the maga", but it doesn't say if the maga travels instantly or otherwise.
  2. If you want to go from a mundane place to a regio, how close to the latter do you have to be? Do you need to be in its vicinity or could it be hundreds of miles away?
  3. Is it harder to move to/from magic regio than faerie regio?

Thank you,

Oooh, Faerie stuff! My favorite.

  1. The books were a bit weird about how they placed this information. The best place to get a concrete answer about how long Arcadian Travel takes is actually Realms of Power: Faerie, particularly pages 24-25. Arcadian Travel is not technically instantaneous, but it's fast enough that you can usually treat it as such - it takes however long you take to ascertain your destination on the Mother Road (for a magus with Arcadian Travel, this is both guaranteed and probably takes a round at most) followed by enough time to concentrate on it with your charm, all of which happens in Arcadia where time flows, on average, about 24 times faster than on the mortal world. As long as nothing causes you trouble during your stay in Arcadia, your time between vanishing in one place and reappearing in the other will be less than a second. If something does cause you trouble, protect that charm with your life, because if you lose it you'll have to deal with the Guardian to ever leave the Mother Road.

  2. Distance is pretty irrelevant to Arcadian Travel. That's what makes it awesome.

  3. As written, you can't do that with Arcadian Travel. Magic and Faerie work on very different principles, so something that takes advantage of how the Faerie realm of Arcadia works isn't going to have a direct Magic analogue. There is a way to travel between Magic regios, but it's very different from Arcadian Travel, and there's no known way to travel directly between Magic and Faerie regiones (unless they're right next to each other and you can just, like, walk).

Hi Akriloth, thank you for your reply.

  1. ok.

  2. So, if you are in Naples and have a charm for a regio in Hibernia, you can travel there instantly by just entering the regio? If this is the case you may instantly teleport across Europe without need to even enter Arcadia.

  3. My question was: is it harder (for instance) to go to Arcadia from a magic regio than from a faerie regio. And I found the answer: yes, the threshold strenght is higher as per realm interaction table.

  4. I have a fourth quesiton now! If you want to travel from mundane place A to mundane place B you just need the charm for the latter, right? You don't need a charm for Arcadia, which you're only going through.

You are correct in regards to both 2 and 4. Arcadian Travel is a pretty rad mystery, though thanks to some stuff in Realms of Power: Faerie, it kind of just makes it safer and easier (admittedly very much so) to do something any magus could do (albeit with extreme effort and risk), so it's not winning an award for "most rad Minor Mystery," or even really "most rad Minor Merinita Mystery."

Mmm... don't like it. Will house rule that.

One thing to keep in mind is information - magi can technically go anywhere with Arcadian Travel whether or not they know the area, but if they have very inaccurate reputation-based information on where they're going for making an appropriate charm, it could be entirely reasonable to reroute them to a place in Arcadia that fits what they've heard about the place rather than reality. See how long that takes to escalate, and then give them situational pressure to deal with when they figure it out so that they can't just immediately go "oh okay, that's what happened" and make a charm for home.

Also note the line under the Arcadian Travel equation - it's helpfully ambiguous, being worded in such a way that you can interpret it to effectively nullify the ability to teleport "between mundane places" at all, since you have to hit a Faerie regio and go down from there. Then if you don't want players teleporting straight to some goal, you just say "oh sorry, the nearest Faerie regio is pretty far from there, you'll still have to get out and walk."

That's assuming you're trying to make Arcadian Travel a little bit weaker in your saga, anyway. Personally, I don't believe in outright weakening Mysteries - if I think a Mystery is a little too strong, I'll just make the requirements for initiating it more taxing and/or time-consuming to reach.

(Or was "Will house rule that" directed at the fact that other magi can also fast-travel through the Mother Road? I didn't think so, but may as well check. If you want to house rule that, well, I can't imagine why, it's a source of much better stories than Arcadian Travel due to the hoops they have to jump through to do it, but suit yourself.)

I guess some of my concerns are specific to my setting. It's Saxony 790 a.D, Charlemagne has taken over the country, but rebellion lives and the norse gods are still strong. My players will need to travel to Asgard, Hel, Muspel or some other place in faerieland, sooner or later. So I like them to have Arcadian Travel, not only as a mean to teleport within Mythic Europe, but mainly as a way to get to those glamourous places.
Also, one of the characters has taken this mystery during the character creation. In fact, being the Order a novelty, there's much less homogeneity between houses and individual magi, and to reflect that I have decided that starting Magi can take a minor mystery (and be burdened with more hermetic flaws).

BUT, I don't want these rookie characters to be able to teleport easily and safely to everywhere from the get go. First they must learn to walk, and then they can run.

So I've talked to the player which has AT and this is what we're gonna do: Arcadian Travel from a regio to Arcadia and viceversa remains as it is: almost instant. But when you use AT to travel from a mundane place to a regio (and viceversa) you just find a faerie road that goes there. Then you have to walk all the way along the road, and it takes time. There's some time dilation that makes the trip a little faster, but you can't teleport from Spain to Russia in a blink of an eye if you don't go through Arcadia. And that is a little harder.

Maybe I'll allow a second mystery later on, to add instant transportation even to and from a mundane regio.

Well, I can't recommend anything more highly than Realms of Power: Faerie if that's what your campaign centers on. It established ways for magi (and potentially other characters) without the Mystery to enter Arcadia, at the cost that they can only typically leave by reaching a meaningful conclusion to some kind of story (which you would probably want from a visit to somewhere as important as those places anyway). The Guardian of the Threshold is even pretty similar to a particular famous figure in Norse mythology whose name I can't remember off the top of my head... I remember he had a wildly inaccurate representation as the guardian of the Rainbow Bridge in the Thor movies... But not his name >_>

Anyway, more importantly than the bit about how to travel to and from Arcadia, it's really just something you'll want to read through thoroughly more than once if you're running a game involving Faerie elements. If you don't have it, grab it. If you do, read it again.

I recommend using the method provided there both because that book is amazing and, more importantly, because the Faerie Realm is at its best when operating under unusual rules and presenting difficulties to the players, and Arcadian Travel is just too easy and boring. If you haven't gone through a Mystery Initiation to build up some preemptive interest, then you shouldn't be able to go to Hel or Asgard by drawing some stuff, snapping your fingers, and walking off into the sunset, and leave the same way (sans sunset)... You should go to special, interesting regiones, draw on mysterious and baffling knowledge to negotiate and trick your way around the Guardian and locate your destination, travel through the symbolic representation of the deepening Faerie Realm to arrive, and then have to act carefully in order to make sure you complete a story that will satisfy Arcadia's rules at around the time you want to get out of Arcadia. In the meantime, you can gain Fable points to align yourself to the stories you're taking part in, allowing you to acquire traits and abilities that bring you more in line with the stories being told in those locations (but only while you're in the Faerie realm). Altogether, it's a lot more engaging than "oh yeah, I teleport to wherever I want whenever I want and have free reign of the place." The power to traverse Faerie with that kind of ease should be earned through other interesting and challenging stories (such as Mystery Initiation), imho.

So, to really enjoy Arcadia I should forgo Arcadian Travel... well, that's counter-intuitive but it makes sense indeed. I own the book but I've read maybe half of it in bits and pieces. I'll be more thorough before we switch to full-faerie. And I will talk with the player and we'll figure something out.

Thank you Akriloth for your insight. I'll look for you when I'll need clarifications about fays :wink:

PS: if the guardian's name is kerberkos, that's greek mythology. The norse one is Heimdall, in a sense.