Summary: Ars Goetia VS Goetic Magic

Hi all,

I would like to summarize my understanding about the whole broadly interpreted topic of Goetia. Please correct me if I don't understand something well!

A.) Ars Goetia is a non-Hermetic type of magic using 4 Supernatural Abilities: (Spirit)Summoning, Binding, Ablating, Commanding. It is purely Infernal, and registers as so for Sense Holiness/Unholiness, Hermetic Intellego magic or Faerie magic. (There are other, non-infernal Summoning methods, but those are not part of Ars Goetia)

B.) Goetic Magic is a border area of Hermetic magic and Ars Goetia: If a hermetic maga knows the particular Goetic Art she can "mimic" the infernal magic using her Hermetic methods: Rego and Vim. This kind of magic (AKA Goetic Magic) is not the equivalent of Ars Goetia, because it registers as Magic aligned for Magic/Hermetic or Faerie Intellego spells. For Divine or Infernal methods it registers as Infernal - just as the Ars Goetia.
With this kind of knowledge a hermetic maga can have a spirit as a familiar just as it would be a normal beast. So this is not equal of the mystery Spirit Familiar.

-It is not stated clearly that having a spirit as a familiar using this kind of method is just simply like Binding, or is it like the normal familiar cords? (AKA Cannot be dispelled without Ritual effect)

C.) (Spirit)Summoning: the semi-Hermetic method using Goetic Magic instead of pure Ars Goetia can copy all of the capabilities of Ars Goetia. Scouring is definetely an option which can't be imitated by pure Hermetic magic.

D.) Commanding: Knowledge about Ars Goetia - Commanding gives the options for Hermetic magi using Goetic Magic - Rego and Vim as Commanding-like power - to give such commands for spirits which are outside of the normal Hermetic capabilities to coerce spirits for services.

E. ) Binding: Binding is a special branch of power, because it is an magic power which could last indefinitely. Using Ars Goetia - Binding is an Infernal method, and a bound spirit can provide Supernatural powers of keep the target young "forever" without any Aging roll. BUT it gives 1 Infernal Warping / year.
Using Goetic Magic - Binding-like effect (Rego&Vim) is a Magic aligned power which can imitate the Ars Goetia Binding, but instead of Infernal it gives Magic Warping.
The power level of a Binding effect can be calculated based on the bound spirit: the effective lvl of a Binding effect is (Bound Spirit's Might + 1 Mgnt) . Based on that both Ars Goetia - Binding and Goetic Magic - Binding-like Rego&Vim effects can be 1. Sensed, 2. Supressed or 3. Dispelled as Infernal or Magic effects.

  • Do I understand it well if a maga bound an Infernal Spirit (not a demon, just a spirit with infernal might) into her body using Goetic Magic (not Ars Goetia) than it register for Hermetic Intellego magic as a Magic aligned effect? And the spirit also cannot be detected bc of the "mending" power of Binding?

F.) Ablating: Knowledge about Ars Goetia - Ablating gives the opportunity for Hermetic magi using Goetic Magic - Rego and Vim as Ablating-like power - to have such options to consume spirits which are outside of the normal Hermetic capabilities to use spirits for serving or information.

G.) Receiving Warping Pionts id based on the alignment of the effect: Infernal warping for Ars Goetia, Magic warping for Goetic Magic.

  • RAW says that Goetic Magic is always Magic aligned.
    RAI suggests that Ablating (and maybe Binding and Commanding) is clearly Infernal stuff - no matters that the maga uses Ars Goetia or Goetic Magic, BC it forces spirits to suffer of extermintes them. Question is what is the situation when Hermetic magic uses Rego or Perdo effects to have the same results?

PS: I extended the post after first posting. I was clumsy and pushed Ctrl+Enter instead of simple Enter to soon. Sorry for that :slight_smile:

Not quite correct.
(Spirit) Summoning is not always purely infernal. It can be aligned with the Magic or Faerie realm instead, but will always be tainted by the infernal. (Investigation with Divine or Infernal powers will show it as Infernal even if Magical and Faerie powers won't). The other Goetic Arts (Commanding, Binding, Ablating) are always Infernal.

Goetic Magic is the adaption of Hermetic Magic to the Goetic Arts. You still use the Goetic Arts, but can substitute your scores in Rego/Vim for your scores in the Goetic Art/(Realm) Lore you are using.
It is exactly equivalent to the Ars Goetia because you are in fact using the Ars Goetia, not a similar power.

An Hermetic mage who knows (Spirit) Summoning may bind a spirit as their familiar. This is pretty much the same as the Spirit Familiar mystery, but if it gives you the extra powers from the bonds depend on if you consider those part of the Spirit Familiar mystery or just a consequence of binding a spirit as a familiar - the rules are not clear on this.

Ars Goetia = Goetic Arts. They are the same thing, written in Latin or English.

1 Like

There is also (necromantic) Summoning that is noted to be Goetic. The Terrae Cult's (earth) Summoning is not Goetic, though.

The Binding effect registers to Hermetic Magic as Infernal, not Magic. Yes, the spirit is undetectable as is noted. It's Tainted stuff (and demons, of course) that Hermetic magic doesn't pick up the Infernal from.

Unless there is some mention I am unaware of, the (necromantic) Summoning is probably just (Spirit) Summoning - it can summon ghosts just fine after all. Binding could concievably be used to bind a spirit to a corpse and animate it that way.

(Necromantic) Summoning is not just (spirit) Summoning. It is a form of Summoning that works on ghosts and corporeal undead (which (spirit) Summoning cannot handle) rather than on spirits in general, and it is included among the Goetic Arts.

@ErikT and @callen : Based on your replies you do not make a distinction between pure Ars Goetia and Hermetic Goetic Magic, right? My problem is that I am confused BC there is that table on page 93. RoP:tI which distincts between the dirrefent Arts under Ars Goetia and (Hermetic) Goetic Magic.
Yes, that table states that there are different kind of (Spirit)Summonings based on different Realms, however the one under Ars Goetia is a Major SupNat umbrella virtue spreading over Magic, Faerie and Infernal Realms. (And maybe Divine - serf parma). And also this table makes the distinction between the 4 Ars Goetia powers and the Goetic Magic - which is aligned with the Magic Realm.

I can see your reasoning Erik, but to be fair the RoP:tI on page 124. under Goetic Magic has the first paragraph which states that the knowledge about Ars Goetia is adapted to Hermetic magic. Not the Hermetic knowledge adapted to Ars Goetia.
However the second paragraph stated the opposite of the first - just as you wrote.
Now I am confused again.

Callen, so you also do not differentiate between Ars Goetia and Goetic Magic, right? That is why you think Binding is always Infernal, not just tainted. Now I am asking myself: what can be an example of "tainted" in connection to Ars Goetia/Goetic Magic if the whole stuff is pure Infernal?
Of course it should be mentioned that using such Intellego magics is scrying and most magi don't even have the right spells to detect Infernal Realm stuff, so it is not highly propable that your pure Infernal Binding would be discovered by a random Intellego spell. :slight_smile:

I try to find the different categories (What is Infernal and what is "just" tainted?) and I am assuming that using different words of infernal vs Infernal / magic vs Magic distinctions in the RoP:tI are intentional. But TBH It is hard for me to grasp the clear category borders and the little, but maybe important disparities.

@callen Can you please refer to the book which states that? Do I understand it well that you say the Ars Goetia Summoning can summon corporeal undeads also? :open_mouth: I think it is an important "addition" to that why is the Ars Goetia Summoning a Major Virtue and why is much more powerful than the "normal" kind of summonings.

I would be wary of the table. (At least some of this has been turned in for errata.) Just read the end of the notes at the top and the line on Command Animals, and you'll see the table is even internally contradictory. Instead, I would focus on the text that says what things do/are.

Also note how the table refers to the "Goetic Magic" "Ability," which you are referencing, but it doesn't exist. Rather, "Goetic Magic" (p.124) is adapting so as to use Hermetic Arts to work with the Goetic Arts. But you're still performing whatever Goetic method (explicit), just substituting Hermetic Arts (or opposite direction for Familliars). And then there is Spell Mastery.

Yup. Ars Goetia / Goetic Arts are the pure ones. Goetic Magic is the merger of the Goetic Arts with the Hermetic Arts.

No, that's not why. The reason why is the statement in the box on p.115:

Summoning is not necessarily an Infernal Power (though Ablating, Binding, and Commanding are)

Summoning can be just Tainted, but not the rest, as per the quote above.

Infernal: Specifically attached to the Infernal realm. All realms identify these as Infernal.
Tainted: Belonging primarily to another realm, but the Infernal has its fingers in them so they are also somewhat tied to the Infernal as a secondary realm. Magic and Faerie detect the primary realm; Divine detects them as Infernal.

1 Like

I don't remember seeing (Necromantic) Summoning (or anything else working like what you describe) defined anywhere. Do you happen to have a page reference?

Like @callen said, be wary about the table on p93. That table is a bit of a mess.

(Spirit) Summoning as defined and described on p114-115 can belong to either of the Magic, Faerie or Infernal realms, but even when it is a Magical or Faerie power it will still be tainted by the Infernal.
This means that when interacting with auras (see core rules p183) it will be treated as the realm it belongs to, and the same if investigated with Magic or Faerie powers, but if examined with a Divine or Infernal power (such as Sense Holiness and Unholiness) it will always detect as Infernal.

Binding, Ablating, and Commanding on the other hand are always Infernal powers in all regards.

Outside the Ars Goetia other powers can also be tainted by the infernal. Any False Power (p81, 88-89) is by definition tainted - it belongs to a non-Infernal realm but will detect as Infernal when examined by a Divine or Infernal Power.
A magus with Cthonic Magic (p83, 123-124) will have all his magic tainted by the infernal in this way, and if he uses certain benefits of Cthonic Magic his magic will appear outright Infernal.

1 Like

The Goetic Arts... Some sorcerers practice a form of Summoning that can affect ghosts (and other spirits of the dead) as well as corporeal undead such as those animated by demons or formed from glamour... (LotN p.102)

1 Like

I had missed that one.
The "such as" part makes it sound like it doesn't affect all kinds of corporeal undead, but only those animated by some kind of spirit.

The text says that among the common powers of Dedun's priesthood is the Goetic Arts.
It also says that some of them practice a variant of Summoning that can affect certain corporeal undead.

It is not clear that this variant of Summoning is part of the Goetic Arts proper. It could be, but as written it is more likely to just be one more variant of Summoning.

Huh??? "Such as" indicates they're giving examples, which does not exclude other possibilities. Besides, glamours can be done by non-spirits; so working on those would be a counter-example to requiring a spirit.

First, look at the formatting; that alone should tell you. This type of Summoning is being included among the Goetic Arts, unlike Corpse Magic, which is separate from the Goetic Arts. Additionally, that this is Goetic was acknowledged when I submitted something for errata a while ago dealing with variants of Summoning in various books.

Terrae Cult's (earth) Summoning - not Goetic.
(Necromantic) Summoning - Goetic.

Yes, "such as" indicates examples, but if the power affected all kinds of corporeal undead there would be no need for any examples.

The formatting only tells me it is related to the Goetic Arts, not that it is part of them. Of course, the only place I can think of where this would matter is the section on "Goetic Magic" in RoP:tI and there one can rule that this variant is also covered anyway.

As for the errata, I don't see anything in there about Summoning or the Ars Goetia in general.

This is, in fact, something I'd very much like to see clarified.
For what it's worth, note that RoP:I came after TMRE, and indeed the Spirit Familiar Virtue refers the reader to a "future Ars Magica supplement" for binding demons:

A tiny minority of magi might consider a demon as spirit familiar... Demons can correspond to
any Technique or Form. Infernalism and its realm will be deal with in a future Ars Magica supplement.

I'd say that the rules in TMRE apply to any spirit, because "normal" familiar rules cannot really apply - for example, spirits have no "Size" and thus the results of the corebook formula are undefined. Still, it would be really nice if RoP:I specifically mentioned TMRE, whether to say that those rules apply or to say that those are different rules.

1 Like

My understanding is that Spirit Summoning from Infernal Realm and Spirit Summoning from Magic or Faerie Realms are essentially different, BC the Ars Goetia style Summoning can affect all 3 Realms (M*,F*,I*) and maybe even Divine.

Summoning from other Realms as Magic or Faerie can only affect spirits aligned to that particular realm what it comes from. That is why Infernal Summoning is based on a Major Virtue and other Summonings are based on a Minor one.
Or do I extrapolate to much from the basic Hermetic Vim magic which is organized by Realms?

Sihr (Djinni Summoning, that covers Djinni of all Realms) is a Major Virtue, and it can be aligned to any Realm (with slightly different effects).
Faerie Summoning is a Major Virtue aligned with the Faerie Realm, and it does indeed cover only Faeries.
Elemental Summoning is a Major Virtue aligned with the Magic Realm, though one can take it additional times as a Minor Virtue to expand its scope. It can affect any Realm.

I am not aware of any Summoning Virtue (that is not an "extension" of an existing power, that is not "Mutable" as per TMRE etc.) that is Minor. Can anyone point me to any such "Minor" Summoning?


That would depend on how you read "corporeal." If you read it as physical rather than spiritual, I agree with you. If you read it as relating to a fleshly body rather than a body of glamour, then you might inadvertently consider it not to work here. Consider a Merinita using CrIm (Glamour) to create a zombie, where we know Corpus doesn't work on this but Imaginem does. Would this qualify as "corporeal undead" or not in absence of this example? That would be hard to gauge, right? So there is value to these examples.

Well, I'll take David's word over yours on if I'm reading ArM5 stuff properly. And, yes, that is the one place it matters.

That's because there was no need because officially Terrae Cult's Summoning is not Goetic, which was the big question that might have needed an erratum. Meanwhile this one is. And everything is just fine without any errata being issued.

Hm... maybe the fault was in my device. Somehow I remembered a distinction like this.... TBH I am not familiar with the Faerie and Elemental variant... Something I should definitely make up :smiley:

Faerie Summoning is from RoP:F. Elemental Summoning is from HMRE (and Sihr is from HoH:S and tCatC).

In general, it seems to me that Summoning
a) is always Major (with the caveats above)
b) always uses "Art" xp progression
c) can always affect either all creatures of a single Realm (Faeries), or a broad class of creatures from any Realm (Spirits, Djinni, Elementals). For example, I'd allow a "Necromantic Summoning" affecting Undead from all Realms.