Revising Mythic Blood

Mythic Blood is a pretty good virtue, but I really don't think it should be Hermetic. Non-magi should be able to have it, and magi who have it should be able to take a Major Hermetic Virtue other than it.

But its current bonuses make it unusable for a non-magus. So I'd like to do something about that.

Mythic Blood has four effects, so let's look at them one by one.

  1. You don't lose Fatigue when you barely fail a spellcasting roll.

We need an alternate effect for non-magi. Took me a while to realize it, but a bit of Magic Resistance is the obvious way to go. It's something magi already have and therefore don't need, so mages won't want to take the non-mage version. But it's very useful for most people. And it makes a lot of sense, because almost all of the creatures that'd give you Mythic Blood have Might and therefore Magic Resistance.

The question is, how much Magic Resistance?

I'm thinking 15, but I'm not confident in that number.

  1. You get one special magic feat.

This effect is mostly fine as-is. At least for effects that you use on yourself. But I think the current version doesn't give enough Penetration.

Magic items get two points of Penetration for every point invested in overcoming resistance. I think that'd be appropriate here. A small base Penetration, like 10 or so, might also be a good idea.

Non-hermetic magical effects might also be cool, but I have no idea how to write the rules for those.

  1. You get a free Minor Magical Focus.

Non-mages can't use this one, unfortunately. And many mages have other foci, so they can't either. The obvious solution is to let people have another minor Virtue if the Focus is inappropriate.

  1. You get a "free" minor personality flaw.

This works fine. It should be clear whether it counts against your two-personality-flaw cap, though. I'm inclined to say that it doesn't, since I think it makes sense for people with Mythic Blood to be a bit more extreme than regular people.

So, does that sound like a good plan to y'all? Do you think that Mythic Blood would be a solid Major Supernatural Virtue with these changes?

I'm just as unconfident in you about that MR! That's higher than people get from Major Divine virtues with much more stringent "keeping" requirements, so I don't think that's especially fair...

Anyway. Mythic Blood is a Hermetic Virtue, yes, but Hermetic doesn't necessarily mean "restricted to Hermetic magi," though it effectively is in many sagas. Technically, a Hermetic Virtue is just restricted to characters with the Gift. (Which sets an odd standard implying that all characters showing signs of powerful ancestry will also have the Gift, but I'll let that slide.)

I do like the update about making Penetration "two per traded level." That's good in general, otherwise the effect is mostly useless to the magi who have it aside from perhaps allowing them personal buffs in Arts they don't put much thought in.

I think what you're after is actually the Power Virtues from Realms of Power: Magic. Basically, they give the character powers built the same way as a creature with Might, using Fatigue instead of Might points. Do you own that book?

Alternatively, if you have Houses of Hermes: True Lineages, there's a blurb in the section on Mercere Redcaps about Mythic Companions, specifically people with the Blood of Heroes. A Mythic Companion is a person who is played instead of a magus and gets 2 Virtues per Flaw instead of 1, btw. One of their example Virtues is basically a Minor version of Mythic Blood, which does a lot of what you said, though still not Magic Resistance because it's a big deal in-setting that it's hard to get that without either being a Hermetic magus or being really, really dedicated to the Divine or Infernal Realms.

At first I was with you and then it went south. No Magic Resistance.
The way I see it, Mythic Blood is a magus only Virtue for a reason, and that is because the idea is that (imo) The Gift and Mythical roots are very much related. Non Magi may take Faerie Blood or (RoP-Magic) Magic Blood (I think their should be an option for Strong Magic Blood).
I would opt to revise Mythic Blood a different way. The power should either work like the Greater Power Virtue (except only thirty levels), or better yet, it should have Penertation based on the magus' own score and they should be able to Master/improve it.

However, if you are simply working from the core rules, I can see your idea working something like this...
Mythic Blood for Non Magi incluses

  • 30 levels of a spell-like power
  • Minor Personality Flaw
  • Still take a Minor Magic Focus, but for non-magi it is an Accelerated Ability (an Ability that advances as an Art). They can cast Sponatneous spell-like effects by spending a Fatigue and rolling a stress die + 4tamina + Focus. So say pappa was a dragon. Focus would be Creating fire. Spend 55 xp for a score of 10, and you could manage all sorts of little fiery tricks.
  • Drop Stalwart Casting

Why not Magic Resistance? Everything with Might has it, and people with Mythic Blood are pretty close to having Might.

I picked 15 because Relic gives 10 plus the ability to spend your True Faith point on rolls. And I wanted this bonus to be comparable to the one from carrying a Relic.

My understanding of the Mythic Blood cost breakdown goes something like

+1 point for the spell
+1 point for the focus
-1 point for the flaw
+2 points for the lack of Fatigue
=3 points

I figure since it's a 2-point bonus, it should be comparable to a 1-point virtue without the drawback (having to carry an item around). But not as good as True Faith, which you can add more points to over time.

Anyway, I'm familiar with Mythic Companions. And I have a general understanding of how the Power virtues work, though I don't have that book. They aren't what I'm after here.

I would actually be fine with having Mythic Blood always show up on Gifted characters. But it should be possible for people with the Gift and no hermetic training to have it. Which it doesn't seem to be, at the moment. Most of its effects don't make sense for a non-mage.

They do make sense if the character practices a different type of magic. As it is, the interesting thing about that type of character is that they'd be valuable as apprentices to people from both Hermetic and non-Hermetic traditions, and thus there would be stories involving them being vied for by those other people, not their inherent powers prior to learning magic. They might occasionally breath some fire on somebody for extra drama, but at the end of the day what gets them into stories is that they're even more valuable than most other Gifted apprentices, especially to other Magic traditions that perhaps venerate the type of creature your character is descended from. I mean, Hermetic magi aren't exactly known for their tact, so there are a lot of stories you could base around the asshat Hermetic magus trying to capture you for his own while you try to run to the protection of the non-Hermetic guy who assures you that as one possessed of dragon blood, you'd be cherished and taken care of by the dragon-venerating cult (rather than ignored, considered an occasionally helpful pest at best, and maybe even abused by the magus).

Personally, I'd cut out the middleman in "close enough to having Might" and just make them a mortal with Might. Though that can be hard to adjudicate, since you don't have Realms of Power: Magic.

Why do we need this?

We don't need this. But it'd be nice to be able to use Mythic Blood on non-magi, and on magi with other Major Hemetic Virtues.

I plan to get that book soonish.

Just giving them Might sounds like a decent idea to me. What would that imply, beyond giving them Magic Resistance?

And I like the "valuable apprentice" angle, but I don't like the way that Mythic Blood just stops making sense if your only magic is a Supernatural ability or two. The Gift lets you do something magical, but...sometimes that's just Shapeshifting or Second Sight.

It means that you count as a Magical Creature for the purpose of Wards, meaning that Rego Vim Wards will inhibit you, and Perdo Vim can strip you of your might (and thus your magic resistance) which has a whole bunch of implications in and of itself. Your corpse would also leave behind vis.

You would be immune to the effects of warping and most likely aging.

If your group were to play using the rules of Realms of Power: Magic, your Might can naturally grow through the consumption of vis, and you have to spend a large portion of time within magical Auras to retain your might. Learning becomes increasingly difficult, but you can also transform your nature, gaining Virtues and Flaws where you would normally just get exp.

Aside from Magic Resistance equal to their Might score, they'd also have the potential to possess Powers, which, if they have a Might cost, would come out of the character's Might pool. Those could be used for overt things like breathing fire or whatever, but Powers can also be constant effects and thus used to describe traits, like poisonous teeth (not recommended for human for obvious reasons), hard skin, or amazingly keen eyes. It may or may not make them immortal, though since they're half-human and intended to be played by player characters, I'd lean towards not.

Note that this wouldn't be a Virtue by the core rules; there are rules for building Magic creatures as PCs in RoP:M. However, for simplified rules that can be used before getting that book, make it two Virtues that do the following: for the Major one, give them an appropriate Might score (if they're a companion, I'd say 5 or 10 is appropriate, while if you intend them to be magus replacements maybe 30 or so would be more appropriate) as well as levels in Powers (built the same way as Hermetic spells) equal to their Might times, oh, 10, with a rule allowing you to trade levels for reduced Might cost; and the Minor version, which can only be taken if you already have the Major one, and can be taken multiple times, will increase their Might by 2, including the additional 20 levels of Powers that comes with that. Powers have a Might cost equal to the Magnitude of the effect they replicate, but you can sacrifice levels to reduce this might cost on a five-to-one basis (technically one to one, since it's a magnitude of levels for a magnitude of cost reduction, but it's easier to say it as "give up five levels to reduce the Might cost by one").

This is just sorta piecemeal, so don't take it as holy law, but it should be a good enough starting point.

Not that it is a full solution to what you want, but you know there is a variant of Mythic Blood already published, right? I wish I could remember which book. It might be HoH:TL due to the Tremere issue. I believe it was to address the limit of one Minor Magical Focus issue. Anyway, that could give ideas on substitutions.

The free magical feat that takes no power, doesn't need a roll can have an effect level + penetration of 30. For example, I could make a Pilum of Fire effect with +10 penetration, and cast it all day long, without risk of botch or failure. So, I think the level of the effect is fine. It's important to note that a non Hermetic magus who takes this would design the effect as if he were a Hermetic magus, or is capable under Hermetic magic. Effects not capable under Hermetic magic, but possible in other magic systems, I'd have to evaluate on a case by case basis.

Also, if you're going to incorporate might into Mythic Blood, you need to consider the advancement and acclimation rules in Realms of Power: Magic. I know you don't have RoP:Magic, now, but you intend to get it. Giving beings might creates significant penalties to advancement, namely subtracting might from the SQ of advancement. Of course, one can mitigate this if one consumes vis, and for each pawn of vis consumed, the penalty to the source quality drops by two. So, if someone with Mythic Blood had might 15, then they would lose a tone of advancement possibilities, or would have to consume mass quantities of vis for it to pay off.

There's not a thing wrong with Mythic Blood as it is. Not being fatigued from formulaic spells is pretty huge, especially if you get into fast casting defenses from formulaic spells. Have an feat of Effect level+penetration=30 is huge, too.

A body that contains vis sounds neat, and so does having Perdo Vim be able to drop your magic resistance.

But immunity to ageing and warping is way too strong. And the learning/ward weaknesses don't seem appropriate, since hermetic magi with Mythic Blood don't have to deal with those. And being able to learn new Powers adds a bunch of baggage that doesn't seem necessary...

So giving Might outright seems like a mixed bag.

Really, I like the way Mythic Blood works for magi. The changes I'm proposing for magi are pretty minor. I just think it should be a Supernatural Virtue, not a Hermetic one.

Well, any Hermetic virtue that might reasonably apply to a Gifted individual could go to said ibmneividual. Grntle Gift, for example, may be taken by non Hermetic magi, too.

Yeah, but a Gifted individual without hermetic (or hermetic-ish) magic will find Mythic Blood doesn't make much sense for them.

A Magical Focus and less chance of taking Fatigue when casting spells just don't mean anything to someone whose only magical abilities are Shapeshifter and Animal Ken.

Plus, if the Virtue was Supernatural then it'd be compatible with other Major Hermetic Virtues. Which it ought to be, I think.

PS: I looked through Houses of Hermes: True Lineages. There doesn't seem to be a revised Mythic Blood there. Maybe it's in another book?

Granted, but you are limiting yourself to what is in the core book. I think someone as already mentioned that there are other magical traditions in other books, and they can take advantage of a focus. I know Gruagach spells are still successful of their casting total is within 10 points of the level of the spell, so they would take full advantage of mythic blood, gain a magical focus AND not lose fatigue. If you limit yourself to the core book, yeah, it's not so great, but I didn't think that's what you were doing, or at least planning to do for the long term.

I think virtually all of the major Hermetic virtues may be taken by Gifted characters, some may not be entirely appropriate, I'd have to do an evaluation, but I think this has been discussed elsewhere before. Part of the reasoning of not changing a hermetic virtue to supernatural, say the Gentle Gift to a supernatural virtue is that they might well be taken by a Gifted non Hermetic magus and that it might create situations where they could take, effectively two major Hermetic virtues.

Edit: I think callen didn't remember correctly. There is a Mythic Blood (Zmey) but it doesn't detail how to resolve the issue of multiple foci. So, there is some conflict that suggests there shouldn't be any Tremere who have Mythic Blood, or barring that, not have magical focus certamen. Several sagas house rule that Tremere can take another focus. I change the name of the flaw (and don't count it as a magical focus) Certamen Focus...

That's good for Gruagach. And for members of some other non-Hermetic traditions.

But no matter how many books you use, there are Gifted people without traditions. In fact, everyone with the Gift was one of those people once. Mythic Blood should still be a workable part of your character, even if you haven't been trained in any magical style (yet). Otherwise potential apprentices with Mythic Blood don't work quite right.

I'm also fine with people who have Mythic Blood and no Gift, but I'm not determined that they should exist. I can take or leave them.

Wait, what?

Gifted people without a tradition are untrained, or unclaimed by a tradition. The Gift gives you the ability to work magic, not necessarily knowledge. It also provides access to one supernatural ability without needing to take the corresponding virtue.

Further, page 26 clarifies the Gift a bit, but this is something that speaks to exactly what I'm saying.

Yes. And if you have the Gift, but no magical tradition, the Mythic Blood virtue doesn't make much sense on your sheet. This is a problem.

It absolutely is not a problem. It is completely reasonable that someone is Gifted, possesses Mythic Blood, is 40 years old and has never been discovered or trained.

I'll point out that if you do make Mythic Blood a Supernatural virtue and it is manifest when a Hermetic magus discovers the Gifted individual with this you drastically reduce who can open his Arts. Probably makes it difficult for other traditions, too.

Yes, it is reasonable for a non-mage to have Mythic Blood. That's why there's a problem. This perfectly reasonable situation isn't supported properly by the rules.

The art-opening thing is a good point, though.