The Gentle Gift and Similar Virtues

  1. The Gentle Gift states that mundanes and animals are unaffected by the gift. I was wondering if this three point virtue covers others as well, like magic aligned beings, spirits or fae. Since the core book came first, before the 5th ed. game rules were expanded to add the other beings a magi might encounter, I thought it possible that they were just not mentioned but implied.

  2. Within all the Ars books, there are minor virtues for Inoffensive to animals, magical beings, spirits, and fae. What about Inoffensive to Mundanes? I know that, in most stories, mundanes are the primary source of interaction with magi, but doesn't it make sense that if you can get an inoffensive to everything else, you can get that for mundanes as well? Animals would still act up around a magi, which when played correctly could make for some interesting situations.

Perhaps it is larger than a one point virtue, yet smaller than a three point. A two point virtue?

Or even it out a bit by saying inoffensive to mundanes, but animals react to the character as if she has the blatent gift?

  1. IMO the gentle gift covers the negative social effects of the gift for any and all creatures, beings, souls and conceptual entities.

  2. If you want that effect, just take gentle gift and offensive to animal (a minor flaw). This does cost you your 1 allowed major hermetic virtue, but that's your choice.

I do not understand why gentle gift went from 1 pt gift in old edition to a major virtue in the new one.

Considering how many minor virtues that there are the basically offset the -3 interaction penalty with a +3 to social interactions, it seem that gentle gift should be minor as well.

Can anyone say why it should be major?

I believe it's a thematic decision to emphasise the distrust of magi by mundanes and help show just why the Order sticks together whilst other Hedge traditions are fractious.

That said, in our last saga we ruled it was a Supernatural, rather than Hermetic, virtue, especially since it applies to nonHermetic gifted individuals and we felt that using your Major Hermetic Virtue slot for it reduced character concepts too much.

Because it is more than only that penalty. It is also how you are received in the first place. Gentle gift is really a roleplayers-virtue, if you play a low-roleplay game it is not a major virtue indeed.
In our group the Jerbiton has a lot of power because she has Gentle gift and all grogs go to her if there is news. And it has been said: knowledge is power!
(and yes, backstabbing other characters is standard procedure in our game.)

Gentle to mundanes is a two point virtue by the RAW:
Just use Gentle Gift (3 point virtue) and Offensive to Animals (one point flaw).
Fay, magical beings, creatures of the divine and infernal are seldomly effected by the gift anyway.

I must say I like the idea that Gentle Gift is a supernatural virtue, so that those Magi can still take a major Hermetic virtue. (since the Gentle Gift doesn't really add to the magic powers of a Magus)

On the other hand, these RAW give a clear expanation why house Jerbiton is a sespool of weak wizards. The house houses all those Gentle Gifted Magi, none of whom have true Hermetic virtues.

I agree, since the Gentle Gift is of equal use to a gifted hedge wizard who uses superntural abilities.

I think that the main reason to make the gift a major flaw/virtue is to emphasize troupe play and the role of grogs and companions.

Most players that I have played with are so used to having only one character per game from other rp systems that they prefer playing their magi companions in any game event, and as everyone loves hogging the limelight, having those magi do all the interactions. This means that they send them out at any oportunity, sometimes even at the cost of their characters seasons study or other project. Which to me is dumb, but unless the game lasts many years isn't too much of a loss for something those players find more fun.

By making the gift more expensive, you change the game style, as in 4th edition a huge proportion of magi in games had gentle gift (why not as it was cheap for the benefit), wheras in 5th edition a large proportion get blatant gift (as it seems to be a relatively good deal). Magi characters end up being on average much worse at interacting with mundanes due to this change, and shortly they realize it is better to let the face companion or specialized jerbiton do the interacting rather than themselves.

End result is magi get left at home more often and advance quicker, and that companions can usefully participate in games as well.

That's all good, but note that you don't actually need this ruling to allow non-magi to take it. In the RAW Hermetic Virtues can be taken by any character with The Gift. The category name Hermetic Virtue is misleading.

Yes, I know. It was mainly the fact that we felt it was a poor comparison to, well, any of the other virtues since it's primarily a social thing rather than actually to do with magic. And because so many of the virtues only apply to Hermetic magi anyway. It was easier (and more satisfying) to change the name rather than say, "You can only have one Major Hermetic Virtue, or two if one of them is the Gentle Gift."

I agree. Gentle gift is more supernatural shape of your gift, same for blatant gift. For example, if blatant gift was supernatural, then you wouldn't see it as choice for a ex Misc tradition which I would think it inappropriate for.

It really doesn't have much to do with a major development of the Hermetic arts/Hermetic magic.

Maybe it has something to do with the mechanism for opening the Hermetic Arts in a new apprentice. Serf's Parma, but if the apprentice has a Supernatural Virtue, you have to have a high InVi total to succeed, right? And if it's particularly high, you convert the Virtue into a Hermetic Virtue? Maybe that's what happened with Gentle Gift, it's been integrated into Magic Theory so that anyone with the Virtue can be initiated into Hermetic magic without having to convert it.

Possibly, but I think that's rationalising after the fact. It seems far more likely to me that the simplest explanation is that "1) it's a Major Virtue. 2)if affects, from the Core, only Hermetic magi and relates to magic. As such, it's a Major Hermetic Virtue." And that was done without thinking about the MHV limit, since that's the sort of thing people seem to unconsciously HR. Much as, for instance, the problem with Wards wasn't noticed in playtest because everyone assumed they worked as they always had.

The limitation iseems to be one of game-balance and not actually a part of the setting, really. There's no reason why a character descended from a Gruagachan adopted early into Ex Misc couldn't logically have Flexible Formulaic Magic and Diedne Magic to reflect his heritage - he'd just lack other virtues which would make him a more rounded, interesting character.

I like the idea of GG being supernatural instead of Hermetic. Although GG + Diedne Magic sure would make it easy for those Diedne fugitives to pass unnoticed and secretly practice their magic as the years go by.

I think I understand it now though. Having GG and another MHV; such as a Major Focus or Mythic Blood, doesn't seem compatible to me. I think it would be unlikely to have that level of power coursing through your veins and not have the magical air of the Gift surrounding you. Now, you can gain a MHV as a Mystery and it wouldn't disturb the Gentle Gift, because (I presume) that this is one of the benefits of Mystery Initiation. But GG makes a great target to be sacrificed for an Ordeal.

It's an obvious pick otherwise, and whenever a Virtue is an obvious pick, it's likely too cheap. Personal Vis Source, Affinity and Gentle Gift turned up in virtually every PC in my troupe, because they were such obvious picks.

Really, when you have the gentle gift, you can talk with everybody without creating catastrophs. You can bargain books in universities, discuss with the local noble...

As a magus, i avoid to talk, because each time i tried to talk with mundanes (example: to avoid paying some taxes or say we were only merchants and not soldiers), it has finished in a bath of blood (their blood!)

Pack Leader, inspirational, venus's blessing are minor virtues that give you +3's that easily offset gift penalty. Aura of ennobled presence can do it as well.

The penalties/side effect of the gift can be negated. For minor virtue or spell. However it takes up your only major hermetic spot. Perhaps if it was supernatural it would be more understandable as Major virtue.

Of course you do need to get some charm, guile and folk ken skills or balancing the gift is meaningless.

With 3 PC characters in our group having the Gentle Gift, I'd say house ruling to allow another major Hermetic virtue isn't really necessary. Apparently, it's still highly desirable. It's not just off-setting the penalty. If you off-set the penalty, people still think there's something nasty and off about you. It's just easier to convince them they're wrong.
Of course, all we ever do is talk, so it might be different in other sagas.
That said, I definitely like the idea that opening the arts of a gentle gifted individual is more difficult, so the gentle gift as a supernatural virtue is kind of cool. The magic is hidden, and hence more difficult to get out. Yes, I like that.