[RoP:I] Using Rego/Vim With Ars Goetia

Came across a possible error... or a huge advantage.

A Realm Lore is an Ability, Vim is an Art. That means that Hermetic magi are vastly, vastly superior to any other summoners.

Assuming a PRE +0, aura of +0, score of 10 in Rego/Summoning, and 100xp in Realm Lore OR 100xp in Vim. (And Penetration=0)

Realm Lore=5 (100xp)
Summoning Calc: (0+10+5+0)=15 plus a stress die

Hermetic Summoner
Vim=13 (100xp)
Summoning calc: (0+10+13+0)=23 plus a stress die

And it only gets worse from there due to the increasing costs. At 200xp, you have Lore of 8 but a Vim of 19!

This also raises the question of why anyone would take the Hermetic Sorcery Virtue (Major)? I don't have any reason to study the actual Goetic Art when my Rego/Vim replaces it and functions way better.

We houseruled that out in our saga, because it just seemed out of alignment with the other various supernatural major virtues.

I agree it's out of line. As usual, specialist non-Hermetics turn out to be worse than Hermetics even in their area of specialty. To pour salt in the wound, the Realm Affiliations table in RoP:I lists Goetic Magic (the Hermetic variation as far as I can tell) as being of the Magic Realm. Anyone else who uses Goetic Commanding is aligned with the Infernal, a point which is constantly cited when discussing Sahirs, Elementalists, and probably others. The lucky Hermetic manages to avoid Hell.

I would get rid of the rule allowing use of ReVi on the Goetic Arts and would also allow magic-aligned Commanding for appropriate non-Hermetic traditions.

Don't compare it to the ordinary formula or the given Art - compare it instead to what could be done with purely hermetic methods:
Summoning or Commanding through pure ReVi (and probably more efficient commanding too).
Ablating: PeVi (though you do loose out on personal powerboost).
Binding: MuVi as I recall.

The situaton you're worred about requires a magus with the Gift and 1 or more major virtues.
If they don't get a tiny powerboost, why would they ever be tempted?

Because it helps if you run out of study sources for Rego or Vim, and then there's this niiiice book on commanding - written by an angle you know, that can't be bad... :smiling_imp:

Personally I was most pleased that RoP: tI actually had something that might tempt a few magi, as opposed to, say, the old Maleficum, where you generally ended up being weaker if you tried to play with demons.

Same thing here.

Unless we're talking about a specialized magus, Summoning is more efficient, which is nice.
And then, hermetic summoning is sooo much more efficient and tempting. This is good, for else, why would hermetic magi turn to the infernal? This makes summoning valuable to mundanes and hermetics alike.

I also love the fact that the other virtues are infernal only, both for game balance and since this makes it very hard for a summoner to resist temptation. I wouldn't change it (and beware of the power combo if you do)

Good point, the Infernal does need to be pretty enticing to seduce people who are already impressive with power... That was one thing I really liked about Warhammer FRP, sure you could go Chaos and turn into a tentacled monster but wow, it was a good few weeks until that happened! :smiling_imp:

I think one of the most attractive things for a magus would be time dilation/accelerated training.

Hmmm... quickly, back to the evil lair for more plotting!

I'd agree with the both the critique that the Goetic arts + Hermetics may be a bit imbalanced in terms of raw power and the need to keep it overpowered for meta-plot reasons.

If an SG did want to provide more mechanical balance, they could introduce mechanical penalties for using it. For example:

  1. Using it could create a new Personality Trait called "Temptation" which operates like Verditius Hubris. Gain "xp" in temptation when you use Sorcery in particular ways;

  2. Introduce semi-demonic flaws like "Ordering" or "protected class" as weaknesses to the maga's magic - essentially a free flaw of "restriction";

  3. As with Diedne Magic, introduce a "free flaw" which does not detract from its power. In this case, "Supernatural Nuissance" or "Supernatural Adversary" would be appropriate - using these powers marks the magus as a tempting target for corruption, and attracts the attention of some best avoided... :smiling_imp:

Of course, this only works if you keep these Infernal... :smiley:

Goetic Magic is already aligned with Magic. See the Realm Affiliations chart on page 93 of RoP:I. It remains Tainted but so does every variation of Summoning for non-Hermetics, and that doesn't seem to make them devil worshippers,

Summoning is the only one that was not tained, right? Commanding and Binding are tained, and ablating is infernal like it or not. Ain't it?


I believe they're all tainted, including Summoning and its sahir and elementalist derivatives.

Alignment is more confusing. RoP:I page 115 says that only Summoning can be aligned with other realms. But the Realm Affiliation chart lists "Goetic Magic" as Magic aligned and points to Chapter 12 of the same book. Chapter 12 has a section titled "Goetic Magic" that details the ReVi rules and says they may be used for all four arts. It seems to me that the best interpretation of this is that the Hermetic variant is always Magic aligned. Things seem to work differently for Hermetics than for everyone else.

Sidebar, RoP:I page 115.

Summoning can be Infernal, Magical or Faerie.
The other three (Binding, Ablating, Commanding) are always Infernal. They don't come with Magic or Faerie variants.

There is text in HoH:TL that mentions a magic-realm Goetic Summoning that specifically doesn't detect as unholy - so the precedent for that not being a requirement is set there (House Guernicus, another sidebar, serfs parma regarding exact page#).

I can't justify the rego/vim substitution as a temptation for a virtue that isn't (necessarily) infernal.

Yes, it sounds kind of strange to have a "clean slate" hermetic ability that must be infernal if it is not hermetic. Then, there is that smallish case of most of house Tytalus being whiped out because they were dealing with demons...

Not corrputed hermetic version? You sure about that? :laughing:

Indeed, although I actually object more to the fact that Hermetics are better at the Goetic Arts than dedicated Goetists (or Sahirs). Sure, most games revolve around Hermetics but the rules don't have to give them everything.

Hey, nobody ever said dealing with demons was safe. I imagine that when the Tytalus corruption story was written the authors imagined them using vanillia Hermetic Magic to contact the demons and to fall. You always think that you, the great Magus, understand how to manage Hell and are way too smart to make the sort of errors that lead to corruption. That's when it always gets ya. :smiling_imp:

(Spirit) Summoning is always tainted, which means Sense Unholiness and other Divine or Infernal powers recognize it as evil. The other three powers of the Goetic art are straight infernal. This has no bearing on other powers like Sahir or (Faerie) Summoning, which despite their origins in Solomon's art, may have lost their infernal connections.

The idea with Goetic Magic is that because the character has the knowledge of the Goetic arts, he knows how to use his Hermetic magic in the same way. I am not sure why we listed it as Magic rather than Infernal on that table, though. I would think it should remain the same realm as the power it simulates. Perhaps we were just thinking of Summoning, which I think should be solely Magic when done with the Hermetic Arts, not even tainted. But the other Arts do things that Hermetic magic cannot do, like give Magic Resistance, so I think their use should be viewed as channeling the power of the Goetic Art through the Hermetic Arts, and thus the effects should take on the supernatural affiliation of those powers. At the very least Ablating, Binding and Commanding should be tainted, I think. That makes for more interesting stories as the character must try to hide and/or justify what he or she is doing from other magi.

How is this different from a Hermetic Magus having knowledge of the powers of a Sahir, or the knowledge of the ways of a Folk Witch?

I could buy that some (probably Tytalean) researcher has already done a bit of Hermetic integration, though personally I'd prefer to represent having such knowledge with a further minor virtue or tie it into the Hermetic Sorcery virtue.

And as a little interesting digging... the realm affiliation table on p93 lists 'Goetic Magic' as being aligned with the Magic realm (as has been mentioned previously). It also lists the four Goetic arts seperately, and clearly states that (Spirit) Summoning is Infernal, Magic or Faerie while the other three are strictly Infernal.

Where it gets slightly interesting is the table states it is a list of Virtues and Flaws. I am getting the vibe that 'Goetic Magic' was a virtue in an earlier draft that got removed.

Is Chthonic Magic on that list? It's possible it was another Virtue that was cut or renamed, yeah.

I can't say why Hermetic magic is so compatible with the Goetic Arts specifically, but not Folk Witch magic or Sihr. I mean, just suppose maybe one (or more!) of the Founders were infernalists and thus their knowledge was unwittingly incorporated into Magic Theory very early on. But that would be a terrible accusation, impossible to prove, and even just speculating on it would require knowledge that presumably could only have come from dealing with devils...

Yes, Cthonic Magic is on that list. It's listed as 'Magic and Infernal' for its realm interaction, which is entirely correct.

All that said, I think whether or not to allow the ReVi substitution for (Spirit) Summoning depends in part on the role the virtue is playing in the saga. I can see its use as a temptation tool, and I can see its exclusion as a means of balancing the various major virtues that permit summoning.

Not necessarily an infernalist. Summoning can be magical and tainted. Regardless, we do know for sure of two sources Bonisagus used from Thessaly. So at least Summoning was incorporated in Hermetic magic from the get-go.


I suppose that depends on the feel you're going for in your game. For me, that's about right too. I'm comfortable with all of the arts based on Goetism, even Summoning, to be tainted and to have "a whiff of sulfur". Being fully Infernal is a little too stark for me.

1 Like