RoP: Divine Questions

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...

This is also stated in the core rulebook. Hedge Magic just repeats that point.

Hedge Magic takes the position that a Gifted character gains a set of Favoured Abilities / Arts when his Gift is Opened by the tradition. It is possible (but difficult) for a character to have his Gift Opened by a second (or subsequent) tradition. I think, that I would rule that the new set of Favoured Abilities/Arts replaces the old one.

It may be a moot point anyway.

Favoured Abilities /Arts are only an issue when a character first learns a Supernatural Ability / Art, because it is only when you have no Score in a Supernatural Ability / Art that your Study Total is penalized. So if the character has a Score in the Favoured Abilities / Arts of his first tradition, then he will not subsequently suffer a penalty when he Studies these Abilities / Arts --- even if his Gift has been re-opened. Of course, if he has Scores in the Arts / Abilities of the first tradition it is much more difficult for the second tradition to Open his Gift, and it is possible that he will lose some of the Supernatural Abilities / Arts of his first tradition during the re-Opening process.

Thanks Richard!

I think I've gotten this mostly straight in my head, and Hedge Magic, RoP: Infernal, and RoP: Faerie have all moved up on my priority list for supplements so that I can get a look at the full range of Favored Abilities rules.

Okay, I'm coming late to this one and I might be treading old ground, but I wanted to be clear:

The Gift (or True Faith etc) allows the character to learn associated supernatural abilities in play without first acquiring the virtue. They just need a teacher. They are still penalised by other supernatural abilities.

But some traditions have favored abilities. And that means it doesn't make learning other abilities harder.

To learn a supernatural ability at character creation, the character needs the associated virtue.

Does possession of the virtue also mean that the ability is favored?

I don't think that's quite right,

I think the idea is that you are not hindered when learning the traditions powers - it seems somewhat counter-intuitive that joining a tradition makes it easier to learn out-of-tradition powers (why would they want to help you do that?),

(So if I join a tradition with W, X, Y, Z favoured abilities, and you may learn W, X, Y or Z with no penalty despite already having abilities A, B and C. But if I try to learn ability V or W then you suffer the full penalty for A, B, C, W, X, Y and Z),

I think that you can always undergo initiation as well (I could be wrong, but other than needing someone to provide you with a script (which may itself require you to join some sort of tradition) there are no prequisites for initiation?),

I think so, technically I suppose you could have joined a tradition before the start of play but I don't think that's a great idea,

I've not seen it written like that anywhere, so I suspect not.

I think that the idea is to tightly restrict access to supernatural abilities so that players don't all have a slew of them (they can be extremely powerful), hence no changing traditions (well, you can but don't benefit),

Yes sorry. I wasn't being complete.

I understand that the favored ones aren't impacted by other abilities, but I wasn't sure whether the reverse applied, i.e. you also get to ignore the favored ones.

My gut feeling is that you are penalised by them (again, it just feels right that a tradition doesn't make it easier to learn abilities that they don't have any special knowledge of), and while it isn't spelled out that they don't, the rules do specifically say:

1/ When learning a new supernatural ability you are penalised by all other supernatural abilities and arts, while
2/ The rules for traditions specifically say that "favoured abilities" are not penalised in any other way

i.e.: favoured abilities get special dispensation. To my knowledge there is reference to other abilities benefiting in any way,