RoP: Divine Questions

Interesting. That makes it far easier (mechanically speaking) to learn a wide array of Supernatural Abilities than I had thought, at least if they are spread between more than one Realm.

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.

RAW does not support this. All RoP use straight "other Supernatural Abilities" instead of a qualified "other Infernal Supernatural Abilities" for the penalty.

Each RoP offers alternate conditions on which you can learn supernatural abilities.

  • ArM5 p166 requires The Gift
  • RoP-TI p126 requires to be touched by evil
  • RoP-TD p47 requires True Faith
  • RoP-F p116 requires a high Faerie Rank

RoP-F is the only one that uses a very clear "must" to forbid learning through anything but Faerie Rank, but one could make a case that each method only does its own Realm.

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.

If you're interested. their prior debate on the matter can be found here: (Line Editor David Chart weighs in with a semi-official ruling too!)

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,

Thanks! When I started this thread, I didn't realize I was stepping into a matter with some controversy attached :wink:.

In any case, I do believe that the corebook does state that the Gift only allows you to learn Magical Supernatural Abilities. Mine is not the first printing, so I don't know if this was a modification, but page 63, the "Ability Types" reference sheet says in the last sentence under "Supernatural Abilities":

So that part is clear to me. Where it becomes murky is when we get to Learning Supernatural Abilities. As I understand it, Erik's interpretation is that only Supernatural Abilities from the same Realm penalize Supernatural Ability Source Quality, whereas Richard's (which was how I originally understood it) is that all Supernatural Abilities penalize Supernatural Ability Source Quality. Page 166 of the corebook does not say anything about what Realm, it just says "Supernatural Abilities" without any further qualifier. But, it is referring specifically to characters with the Gift learning Supernatural Abilities, so it could have been assumed that all the abilities in question were Magic-aligned. However, while as I quoted above The Gift only allows the learning of Magical Supernatural Abilities, a character could still have, say, "Sense Holiness and Unholiness" from the Divine Realm and use The Gift to learn a Magical Supernatural Ability. In that case, it is not clear to me whether Erik's or Richard's interpretation is the intended one.

RoP: The Divine says, on page 47,

It does not say specify "Divine" Supernatural Abilities subtracting. I like Erik's rule that the Favored Abilities would also not be subtracted from other Advancement Totals for Supernatural Abilities, but I am still not clear about whether the penalty is Realm Specific.

Also, I had a couple other questions on somewhat related issues pop up while reading. It seems that learning Supernatural Abilities and the favored ability mechanic are the area of the game that I am still having trouble with. What Realm is the Ars Notoria Supernatural Ability associated with? I would have assumed Divine (Since its in the book) because p. 100 says "The actual powers of Ars Notoria are considered Divine for determining how they interarct with other realms." But, it requires the Gift to learn, suggesting it is Magical, and p. 98 says that learning from the text is difficult for advanced Hermetic magi, implying that their Hermetic Arts are subtracted from the study total (which, under Erik's interpretation would also suggest it is Magic-aligned).

Finally, I recently acquired a copy of HoH: Societates, much to my delight, and while I haven't read it yet, I was flipping through the book and on page 106, there is a spread on Favored Abilities. The rule here is different than the one in Divine. For Ex Misc traditions, it says that learning Favored Abilities is not penalized by other Favored Abilities, but is still penalized by other, non-Favored, Supernatural Abilities. This is different from the text from Divine that I quoted above, which said that for Holy Traditions, all Supernatural Abilities did not penalize the learning of a Favored Ability. This isn't really a problem, but I just wanted to know if the intention was for Favored Abilities to work differently in different contexts, or whether it was ideal to have a unified mechanic for them.

Well, even just having Favored Abilities for each realm makes this true... the idea being that any character can take a dip into the power of each realm of power. Practically speaking, though, this isn't going to happen unless the character also has The Gift, True Faith, or Faerie Sympathy. But there's always the Infernal realm.

Heh, yes, I could have sworn I'd had this exact discussion before, complete with my confusion about whether Supernatural Abilities are realm-specific or not, but when I went looking for it I couldn't find it. :blush:

No, you're correct, I was wrong. I looked this up last night. The core rules say "all other Supernatural Abilities," which could still be ambiguous since that whole section is discussing Magic Abilities, but all three Realm books were worded in such a way that I have no doubts. I think Faerie, in particular, makes a point of specifying that point clearly, that while you can only learn Faerie Abilities this way, you subtract all Supernatural Abilities from your study total. Sorry for the confusion, my bad.

It's okay. I probably do this a lot, I get something stuck in my head, probably from discussions between authors when working on a book and then I forget what actually made it into print. Mea culpa, and I'm glad Richard was on the ball enough to set me straight. Hopefully I can actually help you with the rest of your questions, and not just confuse the matter further! :slight_smile:

I hope that's clear now. You subtract the character's score in Sense Holiness and Unholiness from his study total. But I also recommend that you don't subtract it if the character belongs to a tradition or society with Sense Holiness and Unholiness as a Favored Ability.

I don't have my book in front of me, I'm afraid, but my recollection is that while Ars Notoria is Divine, you can't learn it except by following a very specific path involving four languages and decoding the text. It's very, very difficult.

I'm afraid I don't remember this section. Favored Abilities do work slightly differently for hedge wizards in Hedge Magic, because... well, it's complicated, but it's kind of like the "opening the Arts" mechanic from the core book is merged with the "choosing a tradition" idea from the other realms. It's clever, and it would be a neat addition to the realms mechanic because it makes it possible to initiate multiple traditions.

As far as unified mechanics, well... I really like having a framework that is the same for each realm, and then changing it up a bit to emphasize the ways that the realm is different. For example, using this mechanic, you need True Faith to learn Divine Abilities, and a tradition has 10 points of Virtues in four Favored Abilities. Compare this to Infernal Abilities, which don't require any special Virtues to learn, and teaches 12 points of Virtues in four Favored Abilities. Then there's Faerie, which requires Faerie Sympathy and teaches only 6 points of Virtues in their four Favored Abilities. They all are supposed to work exactly the same apart from that, though. :slight_smile:

Yup, that's clear now.

Yes, that is in line with the book. The only thing that confused me is thought it says the powers are Divine, it requires The Gift to learn, but does not say anything about requiring True Faith. But if its just an anamoly in that regard, that is fine with me.

I don't have Hedge Magic yet, but when I do get it, I'll see how if it sheds any light on that sidebar in Societates. I'll probably return to the HoH:Societates sidebar later, once I've read the Ex Miscellenea section and understand what purpose that sidebar was meant to serve.

Sounds good; I'll be on the lookout for this when I get those other RoP books! :slight_smile: (Oh, I noticed in Divine that every Tradition and Societas has 10 points like you said except Holy Tradition: Kabbalists, which allows the player to pick 3 Divine Supernatural Abilities as Favored, which would teach 9 points at most; perhaps that is the price of flexibility?)

Thanks a ton!

Finally, I came across one other thing in this book I thought I would ask about; I think it is a mistake.

Near the end, in the description of the Holy Societas: Karaites, part of the description says on page 141:

The problem is that Craft Amulets is that as listed in the previous part of the book, Craft Amulets is a Minor Supernatural Virtue, but not Hermetic. Conversely, Holy Magic is a Major Supernatural and Hermetic Virtue. So they don't actually fit the way the quote suggests. If I wanted to use this kind of character in House Ex Miscellanea as suggested, should I just ignore that discrepency, or is there a better way do do it?

(I know that I can always house rule it, but I'm fairly new to the game and I am trying to improve my grasp of the rules as designed and written)

The previous discussion was different. As Gremlin notes, it was about whether or not The Gift applied only to the Magic Realm. There Erik was right.

The Gift only lets you learn Magic aligned Supernatural Abilities.

Which does appear (IMO) to contradict the core rules, but basically (as David noted) comes down to the core rules being superseded in this regard by the later published realm books (and maybe it is clarified in the second printing of the core rules).

This current point is different, it is about whether the Penalty to learning Supernatural Abilities is generated from all Supernatural Abilities previously known, or just those of the same realm flavour. Here, it seems that the RAW is that all Supernatural Abilities apply, regardless of realm flavour.

As far as I know, the intention is was for Favoured Abilities/Arts to work the same everywhere. If the rules are apparently different in different places it is (I think) merely a mistake and comes down to different authors writing different things and mis-understanding the others.

The version that I prefer is that in Hedge Magic. There the rule is that:
When you learn a Favoured Supernatural Ability/Art for the first time you suffer no penalty to your Study Total (due to existing Supernatural Abilities and Art Scores.
When you learn a non-Favoured Supernatural Ability/Art for the first time, you suffer a penalty to your Study Total (based on all of your existing Supernatural Abilities and Art Scores; including favoured ones).
If you already have a Score in the Supernatural Ability/Art, then your Study Total is not penalized at all.
In this system, the Hermetic Arts are effectively the favoured Arts of The Order of Hermes.
Other people may have different preferences, but for my money that is the easiest and simplest set of rules to understand.

Disclaimer: Of course, I wrote the version in Hedge Magic, so I would think that. I wasn't intending to write something different to the other cases, and I thought that I had modelled my wording from that in one of the other books (probably ROP:Divine).

Hmm, good catch! Yes, that's an error. They should take Craft Amulets, but that wouldn't be their Hermetic Virtue. I might suggest something like Puissant Vim, or maybe Special Circumstances (amulets). I think Holy Magic can be their Major Supernatural Virtue, still. Hermetic as a Virtue or Flaw Type is kind of misleading, because according to Hedge Magic it actually means that the character must have The Gift to take them, not that only magi can take them.

Heh, yes, that's why. I had forgotten that. Funny how there's always an exception!

Thanks, Richard. I will probably pick one version to use once I get a game going, and discussing it with my group. I don't have Hedge Magic or any of the RoP books other than Divine yet, so I would like to know, if possible, whether the rule in RoP:Divine that a character may only ever gain one set of Favored Abilities applies accross the board. I imagine that it should.

Thanks! I noticed last night that the Karaites appear in a short summary in the Ex Miscellanea chapter of HoH:Societates with the same spread listed for Virtues and Flaws: Craft Amulets/Holy Magic/Karaite Magic.

The good story hook or seed is the fall and redemption story, the elections... I just can imagine and remember certain Marvel comic with the struggle for a wizard soul beetwen the Hell and the Heaven.
To the last theme only one tradition for character, if not that should be very difficult to game...