I had a couple of questions regarding RoP: the Divine.
Regarding the Favored Abilities of a Holy Tradition or a Holy Societates (is that singular or plural?; Latin was a while back for me), if a character begins the game with the Truth Faith Virtue, and is supposed to be a member in his background, does that allow him to spend exp on Favored Abilities during character creation? Or is he still required to purchase the appropriate Virtues (Methods, Ceremonies, Holy Magic, etc.) if he wants to have a Favored Ability at character creation?
Is there a mistake in the Zahid Mythic Companion description? If I counted correctly, it lists ten points of mandatory virtues, and then says that five points of flaws are necessary to balance this out but up to ten points of flaws could be taken, which would give you a total of ten extra points of virtues (for a total of 20V/10F). However, this doesn't seem to account for the free Minor Virtue, which would bring the total to 21V/10F. Is that correct? The description goes on to describe other virtues and flaws characters should take, but it seems to me that the point counts in that portion are off.
Is different for Societates (plural) and Traditions as follows: For a Holy Tradition: The character will usually be a Mythic Companion and consequently will be expected to have spent some of the extra virtues on Divine powers. This is slightly problematic in that a character who takes his/her traditions Favoured Abilities at character creation is deprived of the main advantage of joining a Holy Tradition - the ability (if you have True Faith) to learn Favoured Abilities without penalty. Therefore, the munchkin thing to do is spend your Virtues on Methods/Powers alien to the tradition you like then join it in play so that you can learn the Favored Abilities for free. For a Holy Societas: The character will have The Gift and usually be a member of another magical tradition (usually a Hermetic Magus or Learned Magician). In this case, The character will also be expected to spend Virtues, but Holy Magic is the best choice to start with as the character's other powers will then be treated as Divine allowing him/her to quietly begin accumulating other powers via initiation (Holy Tradition members and other Ungifted sorts can also benefit from MC initiation as described in HMRE, but this is much less eficient).
I'm not sure if it's errata since the whole papragraph's awkwardly phrased. You're right about Mythic Companions getting free virtue...
Mystic companions are companions to take the mage slot of a player and do get 21 pts of virtues for 10 pts of flaws. It balances out them not having magic. It is one free minor for their tradition and then each flaw point can balance 2 virtues.
And yes, those that have true faith can learn other divine supernatural powers just as gifted can learn other magical powers. The key is that you subtract the scores of the other supernatural powers from your learning total for all but your tradition's special abilities. For the ones in your tradition if you have true faith, you just need a teacher.
I looked at the other Mythic Companion templates in the book, and the math adds up in all of them except the Zahid; I just wanted to make sure I was not missing something in that template that accounted for the discrepancy.
And for Holy Traditions then, the main benefit is to learn the Favored Abilities in play, but starting with them would not yield any benefit since you still have to take the virtue; is that correct?
Correct. To start with them you need the virtue and you can't learn other abilities unless you have true faith. Truth faith is to divine abilities as the gift is to magical ones (without the soclial penalty).
I usually play that Favored Abilities also don't subtract from your study total when you are learning other Supernatural Abilities. This isn't stated in RoP:Divine, but it is how they work in RoP:Infernal. So for example, if your Zahid took Ceremony during character creation, which I believe is one of his Favored Abilities, and then wanted to learn, say, Sense Holiness and Unholiness, you wouldn't subtract his Ceremony score from his study total. If he then later wanted to learn Intervention, another non-Favored Ability, again his Ceremony score wouldn't subtract from the study total, but his Sense Holiness and Unholiness score would.
Thanks! I like that approach and I intend to use it. I don't have RoP: Infernal yet, but I am looking forward to getting it in the future. I've really enjoyed Divine!
Also, could you give me an example of how you would use that rule with Holy Magic? If a magus has Holy Magic as a Favored Ability of his Holy Societas, and you went with the rule suggested, would that only mean that Holy Magic (and other Favored Abilities) would not penalize the learning of new Supernatural Abilities, or would it apply to his Arts as well, as extensions of Holy Magic?
I'm very glad you are enjoying it. I hope Infernal delights you as well.
Holy Magic is a Divine Supernatural Ability, in addition to having other effects on Hermetic magic. That means the character's score in it is subtracted from his study totals to learn other Supernatural Abilities associated with the Divine. (If you play Favored Abilities like I do, this isn't the case when Holy Magic is one of the society's Favored Abilities.) Also, only scores in Supernatural Abilities associated with the Divine realm are subtracted from study totals when studying Divine Supernatural Abilities. So Hermetic Arts scores never count against you when learning Divine Supernatural Abilities, even if you have Holy Magic, because they are still associated with the Magic realm.
This is where I'm a bit lost. In the section on learning supernatural abilities in the core book, where it described the subtraction from study totals for Supernatural Abilities, and/or for the Hermetic Arts, I didn't see anything Realm-specific. Was this spelled out in Divine? And does this apply to other Realms as well? (i.e., when learning a Supernatural Ability from one Realm, you only subtract Supernatural Abilities from that Realm)
In any case, I really appreciate your taking the time to explain this to me.
The core book describes how characters with The Gift can learn Supernatural Abilities associated with Magic. I don't remember what RoP:Divine said exactly, but the idea is that characters with True Faith can do the same thing with Supernatural Abilities associated with the Divine realm. I know David Chart clarified that this was his intention at some point, and it might have even made it into the errata for the core book. For the other realms of power: yes, there are ways for characters to learn Supernatural Abilities associated with that realm, and Favored Abilities for their various traditions and Hermetic societies, and yes, only other Supernatural Abilities of that realm affect your study totals.
I know that the thing which lets you learn Supernatural Abilities differs from Realm to Realm (The Gift, for the Magic Realm, True Faith for Divine, etc). But, I thought that the Study Penalty for Supernatural Abilities does not discriminate like this about what realm the Ability came from.
Not right now, but maybe you could quote what it says in the core rules? Does it specify that non-Magic Abilities are subtracted?
This is how I remember it working, because it is supposed to be possible for magi with True Faith to learn Divine Abilities. Though of course that's still possible with holy societies... But for example, consider a holy man with several Divine Abilities (let's say he has Meditation 5, Transcendence 5. and Understanding 5) who has been misled and corrupted by Infernal promises of power. He has a Warping Point from an infernal source and studies a book on (infernal) Entrancement. Surely you agree that his Divine powers should not count against him learning an Infernal one, and he shouldn't have a -15 penalty to his study total?
The Core rules only talk about the sum of your Supernatural Abilities (and Arts) being subtracted from your Study Total. They don't mention that you should segregate or ignore the Supernatural Abilities / Arts from other realms.
No, I don't agree. I don't see why he has to be able to easily learn the Infernal power. The point of the Study Total Penalty mechanic for Supernatural Abilities is that it is meant to be difficult to pick and mix Arts/Abilities from different traditions. If anything it should be even more difficult to pick and mix Arts/Abilities from different realms.
As Saulot says, your interpretation makes it far, far easier to learn a wide array of Supernatural Abilities. I don't think this is the intent of the rules.
The demons can use existing game mechanics to get around this problem, anyway. They can trick him into initiated into an Infernal Tradition (which makes Infernal Entrancement a Favored Ability), or trick him into some other sort of Initiation which removes his Scores in the Divine Abilities.
Realms of Power: Divine references true faith as for allowing you to learn divine supernatural powers (p47) however, you subtract the score of all supernatural abilities. FAvored abilities do not subtract from learning other favored abilities.
So if you learn a bunch of non-favored, you will have problems learning favored and you learn a bunch of favored, you will have problems with non-favored.
The way to get a bunch is get the non-favored at 1 (2-4 can be done) and then go for the favored at 1. You will need a source quality of 7-9 for the favored but that should be do able. Once you have all the abilities that you want, you can raise them from one.
By the way, the gift seems to imply you can learn any supernatural ability while True faith only lets you learn divine.
Saulot, since you're new to the Forum I should probably point out that this question of whether The Gift applies only to Magic or other Realms has been a point of contention between Erik and Richard before.
I think a few of the Divine Virtues also stipulate requiring True Faith,
I don't remember the wording in the Infernal book, but that does seem to fly in the face of "making corruption easy", it would seem to benefit the Infernal more if there where no complex requirements to taking their powers,