In context: one of the other players in the Troupe has a Story flaw whereby his legendary satyr father has said "OK, kids - only one of you can inherit my throne. Feel free to fight it out amongst yourselves." So, all the half-satyr, half-(whatevers) are in a Princes of Amber-style fratricide fight to the death.
The player has asked each of the other players to take the role of one or two of the other siblings, and occasionally come at him in some sort of way. One of the ones I made was a half-human Tytalus magi who has no desire whatsoever to become a Farie queen, but doesn't just want to give the title up without the others earning it. So, she's used political maneuverings to sic the Knights Templar on the rest of the family.
So, now a band of Templars show up, the leader of which as a point of True Faith - and so I started to take a look at Power/Method Divine magic, which in turn pointed me to The Mysteries and Initiation scripts. And as such, I've got a few questions about them, based on some of the previous threads here on the forum:
So, True Faith is to the Divine what The Gift is to Magic - ie, it allows you to study a single supernatural tradition (essentially) at no penalty. For True Faith, that's basially 2 Divine Powers, a Divine Method, and an related minor supernatural Ability (empowed by the Divine). For The Gift, that's the Hermetic system of magic, and the 5 Forms/10 Techniques. For anything else, you start taking penalties for learning new supernatural traits (of any realm) after character creation.
...which gets into min-maxing, and not taking your Tradition's virtues during character creation (because you can learn them later without spending Virtues), but that's more a Storyguide issue than a rules issue. (Personlly, I'd rule that it's OK to create your character normally, then get initiated via seasons spent in your Backstory, as long as the narrative is plausable - which is sort-of what Magi do when they have 0 levels in a Form or Technique.)
The penalty for learining a new supernatural virtue, even if it's not part of your Tradition, can be avoided if you've got some sort of Mystery initiation script, which allows you to teach it to whoever you want to, for free - assuming they can go through the script.
Folks without True Faith can also learn Powers and Methods - but they can't just pick 'em up like people with TF can: they have to be taught the hard way. (Ie, through Initiation, or else get them during character creation). This is one I'm not sure about. I mean, grogs can have minor supernatural virtues, just not major ones, but I'm not sure if they can be Initiated or not. This becomes important, because....
Holy schnikes, the Ceremony Ability is valuable. But I'm not quite sure if you need to have the Power/Methods associated with the ceremony you're doing.
5a. Can Ceremony be used for the "normal" ways to call upon the Divine - ie, Miracles, Invoking God's Aid, or calling on the Saints? It looks like it can. But if that was the case, then it becomes really easy to Call on the Saints (ie, ressurrection, mass heals, one-shot insta-kills), as even a few folks with Ceremony end up bumping the focus character's roll to +20 or so, easily.
5b. Can it be used on any relevent Superntural Ability (such as Second Sight or Sense Holiness/Unholiness) - again, this seems to be the case, assuming the Supernatural Abilities were powered by the Divine. But in those sorts of cases, I imagine the "ceremony" would be fairly quick, such as everyone singing a hymn, or calling on God's name in a sort of call-response ("Can I get an Amen?" "AMEN!") sort of way.
5c. Can folks with Ceremony, but without points in the relevent Method, join in a Ceremony? The rules above seem unclear. In the beginning, it implies that everyone needs to have the Method - but later on, it says "if the character does not have the Method, only the characteristic is added." I'm guessing this means that all the characters involved have to pay the Method cost (such as a Faith Point or Confidence point, or fatigue or Health levels), but if they don't have points in the Method they can't add it to the combined roll.
5d. Looking at ways that this is limited:
Invocation - can only be done by folks that have Faith or Confidence points (ie, not grogs). Exception - if someone loaned their Holy Relic out to a grog, or if someone used a Blessing to transfer a point of Confidence to one. (EDIT - even if a grog was loaned a Confidence point, could they use it if they did not have a Confidence score? I'm guessing the Blessing power could temporarily grant them a Confidence of 1, but if this is the case it'd probably be a magnitude more difficult than just transferring a point.)
EDIT II - OK, I've been thinking about this one a bit more, and I've determined that a Method that only Companions and Magi can use doesn't make too much sense. As such, I think I'd rule that if you ever get to the point where a grog needs the ability to spend a Confidence point to use an ability they've spent XP on, then by definition they've got the ability to use at least 1 Confidence point: ie, he gets Confidence 1 (1) automatically.
EDIT III - OK, appearently, going to Mass gets you a Faith point, and Confession gets you a Confidence point - which implies that anyone can gain them. Which, in turn, implies that they can spend them, as well. So maybe gaining a Confidence point grants you a temporary Confidence level.
Meditation - the larger the group, the more likely it is somone will botch the Stamina roll. No real way around that, except to limit the size of the group. However, the rules don't explicitly say that it has to be a stress die. Therefore, it potentially could be a simple die unless there is extenuating circumstances.
Purity - everyone's hurt at the end. So unless it's a long-term buff, or you have some way of healing yourself, this one is isn't one you would want to use right before a fight.
However, Calling on the Saints allows for insta-heals and buffs, and doesn't seem to have any sort of Method requirement - although I'm guessing "Arrogance and Greed" ends up being the narrative reason why you wouldn't do that. (ie, you sacrificed something and recieved the blessing, and now you're trying to get back what you sacrificed. God Says No. Although one could argue that it is the strenuous activity that gets one to a point where one can more easily percieve the Divine - as such, the wound/fatigue level is an incidental cost, rather than a sacrifice. I'd go with the former, though, just for game balance.
But really - it's just a single level of long-term fatigue. It'll come back after a night's rest. Suck it up.)
Moving on to Initiation Scripts...
Can Grogs be initated? I'm guessing yes, although they're narratively supposed to be background members. Hey, every cult needs faceless, hooded minions chanting in the background...
Can Grogs be initiated to recieve Major Supernatural Virtues? Again, I'm not seeing anything rules-wise that says they can't - but it imples that there is a narrative reason why you would want to promote someone in such a way. But in looking at the narrative, the reason is "so they can chant more effectively in the background." Of course, the Initiation scripts that would be required to teach Major supernatural virtues would be prety hefty, and justify making them (basically) Companion-level folks in their own right...
8... except that I'm looking at the scripts, and for the group I'm putting together, the script is going to be "can you survive fighting against the forces of darkenss for a year at our side, and show that you can maintain the standards of Justice, Chastity, and Mercy while doing so?" Which is basically consists of variations of quests and picking up some Personality Traits. With the Leader having a Pre +2 and Mystery Lore (Initiation) 6, that makes learning minor virtues pretty simple. (Just surviving and contributing is enough - which may be simple, but not necessarily easy). The Major Virtues would require a bit more time, and accepting the Personality flaws. Does that reading work?