Social effects of blatant Hermetic magic in your saga

While discussing theurgic magic, a point was made (and indeed it was remarked in TMRE) that an issue of Name magic may be the need to speak the Names of various entities aloud in casting a spell, and the possible social trouble this may cause for the mage in the Dominion.

Now, this causes me to wonder, how much this would be different from the social effects of casting standard Hermetic magic itself, and how much of a a problem this would be ? I mean, apart from the minority with the full Quiet/Subtle package, who can cast fully effective Touch/Eye/Sight magic as a pure mental feat with none the wiser, most Hermetics have to go with the loud and obvious throwing of strange and ominous words and gestures to cast magic with any real effectivess (esp. in the Dominion). How much of a social handicap does this typically cause to mages in your games ?

As far as I see it, adding loud callings to Apollo or Wotan doesn't make it that much of a difference when you're throwing around bizarre loud Latin invocations and ominous gestures anyway. And how much of a difference throwing obvious magic around would make, since mages are already significantly penalized socially by the Gift (and not infrequently, all kinds of Flaws) ? Of course, effects may change when mages travel in disguise, as some kind of wealthy scholar, or when they are obvious wizards.

Please discuss, I'm curious about the approach to this issue other troupes take, since more often than not, my characters are rather hostile to the Dominion as a default, and so my perspective may be biased.

I'd say that being a very suspect christian is one thing for the church and most mundanes... At the least you'd get a trial before heading out to meet your pyre.

Being a highly suspect person that invokes the names of "pagan gods and demons" is probably going to be a few magnitudes worse in their eyes though and might well result in summary execution if caught.

** Edited for Spelling, added a clarifying sentences while at it **

Oh, but it makes a huge difference. It's not a first-order matter (peasants), but in the relationship of the order & Church...

  1. priests etc chant in latin, so spells in latin aren't that odd. Spells, now, are odd (but just different from Miracles or Faerie powers, both of which are "known")
    BUT the pagan names are distinctly different and may be recognized.

so the peasants might or might not panic in a different way, and might turn to get pitchforks and brands instead of just running - but probably actually just run! (Run Away, Run Away!!)

  1. the Church seniors are not cowed by Magic - they know about the Order, and disapprove to varying degrees. Some strongly disapprove, some think "magic for good works" is good, some are reserved and judge it by the form taken and used, and how it compares to scriptures.
    These are men with the power to call Crusades against the Order... clearly they aren't doing so at present, so the "approvers" and "tolerators" are currently winning.

BUT shouting pagan names, and making obeisance and offerings to Pagan Gods and Spirits, is very likely to swing the Church against that form of Magic.

Part of the political skill of the Hermetic Order has been to win tolerance for its abstracted system of magic, which avoids those imprecations. Now we see Name Magi going directly against this.

3) any hermetic magus hearing a Name magic spell cast is completely aware of what the Name magus is doing. They are intelligent and informed about the position of the Order vs Church -- and the requirement not to Endanger Your Sodales

The name magus must be careful lest his sodales decide his magic is sufficiently dubious to report him to the Quaesitores, before the Qs get reports from outside...

many magi are (quite rightly) upset by the Dominion, and hostile to the Church as an organization. Many of those same magi (but not all of them) are also aware that in Mythic Europe, the One God bit is true, and the Dominion is the trump power, and that as humans they have an immortal soul separate from the rest of their spirit, which has a possibly unpleasant fate after death, if they do too many wrongs and too few rights.

It doesn't take too much effort by a magus to follow the minimum attendance in Church - you can get away with something like 2 or 3 days.

What Caribet said. :slight_smile: