I have two (more) questions about Realms of Power - the Divine; more specifically about learning divine supernatural abilities like methods and powers.
We are told that just like characters with the Gift can learn supernatural abilities, so characters with True Faith can learn divine supernatural abilities. Can characters with the Gift but neither True faith nor the appropriate Virtue learn Divine Supernatural abilities (e.g. Kabbalah) following the standard rules in the core book, p.166 (having someone train and/or teach them generating a sufficiently high study total etc.)?
Also, can characters who are entitled to learn Divine supernatural abilities (e.g. having True Faith) learn them entirely from a book like the Bahir (assuming their other supernatural abilities are sufficiently low etc.)? Or do they need an initial season of training and/or teaching?
[EDITED to make it slightly less obscure, and clarify that it was indeed about the expanded rules in Realms of Power - the Divine]
True faith is seperate from divine powers. RoP:D has lots of info on this. Essentially you can learn these abilities like others if you have the gift but they have lots of limitations associated with holy behavior. There are also several organisations listed (for want of a better expression) that will teach people these things.
Is it so? RoP:D seems to point in a different direction (emphasis mine):
So, it would seem that RoP:D actually changes the rules for learning Supernatural Abilities found in the core book, restricting Gifted characters to learning magical ones. Divine ones seem off limit - and by extension, one could argue, faerie and infernal ones. I am very confused about this. Anyone cares to step in and help me out?
This is a supernatural ability, but there are various type of sights: The one that comes from your Gift, the one that comes from your faerie blood, the one given by god, or the dark blessing of infernal forces.
Thus, while magi could learn the "magical" supernatural Second Sight, they could not learn the "Divine" supernatural Second Sight.
Like this, some abilities exist in multiple realm-based version. However, some (most notably divine and infernal powers) exist only in a single-realm fashion. Thus, while your magi could use his gift to learn the "magical" second sight, he could not learn Adjuration with it, just as a guy with True Faith could learn the "Divine" second sight, but not hermetic arts.
Thanks everybody for the clarifications! Now it's crystal clear - well, almost! One last question: can you be trained e.g. in "magical" second sight (assuming you have the gift etc.) from someone who knows, say, "infernal" or "divine" second sight? Or are the different "second sights" completely different abilities that have nothing in common save for the end result?
So perhaps I am wrong then - is True Faith a requirement for learning divine powers? I did no think it was, although I assumed a holy lifestyle was of course, which would probably ultimately produce a point or two of true faith.
As far as I understood the rules you can learn a supernatural ability if you are aligned to a realm (in some way). And you can only learn abilities from that realm you are aligned to (is that correct english?).
While you are definitely aligned to the divine realm with true faith there may be other possibilities. Maybe one of your ancestors was a saint (mystic blood?) or what ever.
And in my understanding you can belong to more than one realm. The Gift and Feary Blood for example.
To expand on what Erik Tyrrell just wrote, if I understand correctly there are two avenues through which a character may gain divine powers. Either:
the character has the appropriate Virtue, e.g. from character creation or from mystery initiation - say, the Major virtue Kabbalah to learn Kabbalah at level 1 - OR
the character has True faith, in which case that character may learn those supernatural abilities from a teacher or text. If those abilities belong to that character's tradition, he may learn them just like normal, non-supernatural abilities. Otherwise, his initial study total is penalized by the sum of all his supernatural ability scores and he may only learn the ability from that source if he can get at least 5 xp in it in a single season. After gaining a score of 1 in the ability, this penalty no longer applies.
Three questions then seem to remain.
The first is whether supernatural abilities from one realm penalize you when learning those from another one - I can see arguments running both ways.
The second is: what is the infernal and faerie equivalent of the Gift and True Faith (i.e. what allows you to learn supernatural abilities from those realms without the appropriate virtues?) For example, I always thought that if you had the Gift (and your study total was high enough) you could always learn Maleficia and/or any Goetic arts (even purely infernal ones) from a teacher. There is a magus character in my saga who did just that after summoning Aqrab the Conjurer and being fooled into thinking she was a djinni. However, in the light of the Gift being "magic specific", now I am starting to think that perhaps we missed something?
The third question, to which Xavi answered an enthusiastic "YES!" (but I, being slow, diffident and stubborn, want more evidence to be convinced) is whether the "same" ability (e.g. second sight) can be taught "across" realms, e.g. if a character with True Faith can learn "divine second sight" from a Gifted teacher who knows "magical second sight" (or the other way round).
I'm pretty sure you're supposed to subtract the sum of the character's scores in all Supernatural Abilities, unless he's learning one of his tradition's Favored Abilities. This is why joining a holy societas is a good thing for a magus with True Faith, because it allows him to learn its Favored Abilities without being penalized by his Art scores.
We have to wait for the Faerie Realm book to be published to see how faerie-aligned characters do this, but I think Realms of Power: The Infernal makes it pretty clear that you don't need anything special to learn infernal Supernatural Abilities. I believe the phrase "ridiculously easy" generally applies, because infernal Abilities are almost always rife with story potential.
Personally, I'd allow it, as long as the Ability is the same, even if the realm is different. For example, I'd say an Ascetic with True Faith could learn Second Sight from a faerie seer, and a magical sorcerer can teach anyone Goetic Summoning as an infernal Art. Where it gets kind of complicated is when you have two Abilities that work slightly differently but have the same name, such as Ceremony. I'd suggest you treat these as different Abilities, i.e. (Divine) Ceremony and (Infernal) Ceremony.
Actually there is a third avenue which RoP: the Divine hints at.
It is potentially possible to learn new Divine Supernatural Virtues through appropriate Mystery Initiations - the Invicti would be a good candidate for this as would probably the Sufi Zahids (try the Path of Walking Backwards Virtues with a Divine Realm alignment, given that these Criamon are almost Sufi in realisation) but there are no canonical examples extant in the books to date.
Whether you could learn Divine Virtues by Mystery Initiation without True Faith is the question - I'd defer to Erik or the Line Editor as regards to this.
Sure, I'd agree that a Hermetic magus can initiate Divine Virtues, as long as he belongs to an appropriate Mystery Cult and finds or invents the scripts. The Divine came out before The Mysteries so we weren't sure exactly how that was going to work when we wrote it, or we probably would have been more explicit about that.
In fact, is it worth spelling this out at some point in errata or other?
Mechanically, there's no built in reason why not but it's just sort of wrong within the metagame paradigm - like initiating the Gift would be. (Note the False Gift would be fair game for an Infernal Mystery Cult initiation though but that's a pretty loaded "blessing" anyway...
It'd be great for someone to go back and design a couple of Divine Mystery Cults for Sub Rosa (hint, hint Eric, Timothy, Alex etc).