The Gift: Does the Penalty Always Stack

I see this commonly said in the forums, that it's easy to use stat boosting rituals. But the ease of this is a function of the saga. Houses of Hermes:True Lineages suggests that the Cult of Heroes has these lab texts. It's not impossible for others to have these lab texts, but they probably don't get shared all that much. Cult of Heroes, being Mercurian or tied to the Cult of Mercury and/or Neo-Mercurians have some pretty good benefits for casting these rituals more safely, too. And if you were the intrepid individual to invent a personal ranged spell for yourself, it's a 55th level spell, which suggests a lab total of at least 60 to make the development time reasonable. 60 is not a super high lab total, granted. But a magus does have a lot of demands upon his time, and the +1 bonus has a long payoff horizon...

If everyone is distrusted or hated, I have trouble seeing why the magi wouldn't be distrusted more. First, they have the Gift, and second they are new to the scene. Why wouldn't one alliance suspect another alliance of bringing in these yahoos (the magi), thus giving them some undeserved reputation penalty, and besides, they smell/talk/act funny, too!

But you should as well read the post of the author of Apprentices from Saturday, May 26th 2012, 11:04 pm on this forum. He makes very clear that any decision about what can be taught this way is taken by the troupe, and that arguing 'RAW' here is nonsense.


No he said canon is for authors, and arguing RAW at your gaming table is nonsense.

Re-read the post I quoted: .
"Canon is for authors" is from another post, and by another author.


Oh, I remember quite clearly what Matt Ryan said, and yes, you're right, I misquoted Matt Ryan what I said above about arguing canon at the table. That quotation happened later in the thread, and was from Timothy Ferguson.

Your assertion is disingenuous, Matt Ryan never said that arguing RAW was nonsense in the post you are referencing. He did say that if the troupe didn't think Hermetic Virtues like Mythic Blood or the Gentle Gift should be taught, then it shouldn't be taught for your saga/troupe. He said absolutely zero about arguing RAW here (wherever here is) as being nonsense. As with anything House Rules trump regular rules. But the forum doesn't deal in House Rules, typically, at least not with a clear understanding that it's a discussion of House Rules.

But as for canon and RAW, discussed here in the forum, yes, any Hermetic virtue can be taught, and here Matt Ryan makes a good point on why he made it that way.

Here's the post to which One Shot is referring, I'll leave it as an exercise to reader as to whether he said what One Shot says he said, I obviously (strongly) disagree with One Shot's assessment.

Fine that you do remember now.

(Underscore mine) Here you are disingenuous, because I never said that Matt Ryan said :unamused: ... But Matt Ryan made it very, very clear, how arguing 'RAW' about which Virtues can be taught to apprentices by their parentes because of Apprentices p.41 is nonsense.


What's that supposed to mean? I remembered that nothing was eve said like you said it. I went back to review the post you referenced specifically, and agree that I misquoted Timothy Ferguson, and it came later. The timing of my quotation and the vague attribution still doesn't say that Matt Ryan said what you said he made clear.

I don't see how he made that clear at all. He didn't use the word nonsense and he certainly didn't use the term RAW. And he was certainly speaking about the determination of how Apprentices be taught virtues happens at the troupe level. The RAW makes no determination on what Hermetic Virtues may be taught, because he clearly said he didn't want that to interfere with stories, and then uses the example of teaching the Gentle Gift in the post you referenced.

You didn't include the post, you could have easily. You went on to say that he made it clear that he wrote something he plainly did not.

Maybe this helps:

And here we agree in the end, it appears.

It takes time to dig up old posts, if one just recorded author, text and date. Apparently you preferred to guess (wrongly) rather than go through the effort yourself.


Yet you had the date and time or the post? Pfah.
I find that unlikely that you had the time and date an couldn't include the actual post. You have superior arguing skills, you show them off all the time.

Then why bring it up at all? It is RAW, and it is left to the troupes whether to HR it away. Saying it isn't RAW or shouldn't be argued or that an author said as much here is disingenuous when it's pretty clear he was referring to the troupe and not the forum .

just because one group has lab texts does not mean that others do not. Aside from that however, the point I was making is that someone who has affinity with or puiessent mentem or Creo will be the ones best able to develop those spells for themselves, and if they are able to teach the affinity/puissance as well as the arts themselves then those virtues will become far more common. Even if they only boost it to level 3 on the first iteration (level 45, easily obtainable by anyone with any of these virtues) then they either instruct each other in these virtues or instruct a common student in these virtues (especially if it is an affinity) and before long you will find mages who have been instructed in all 4, probably also being taught lower level versions of the spell which aids in the development of the level 5 version It is the iterative nature of this process which breaks the game.

Not necessarily. Some virtues are Inherited, and may manifest at inopportune times, thus increasing the ability to teach a Hermetic Virtue. My reading of the RAW suggests that when a virtue manifests into a full usable virtue means that the SQ necessary to impart a virtue increases.

Look at my example above of teaching someone a Hermetic Virtue, it gets increasingly to impart these virtues, and requires a high teaching SQ and/or imparting a Hermetic Flaw. It becomes a trade off between ever more virtues along with ever more Flaws. Some masters don't want to impart their flaws, some will impart them all. and only teach a few virtues.

It is still a lot easier than initiation, and I can just feel this getting expanded to non-hermetic virtues (if affinity for art why not affinity for ability? Maybe touched by magic can be passed teacher to student...)

The text specifically says Hermetic Virtues, not other (general) virtues, serf's parma, but I'm pretty sure about this is limited to Hermetic Virtues and it is specifically stated Hermetic virtues at many times in the text, and the section may even be titled something like Teaching Hermetic virtues.

Getting high SQs to teach Hermetic virtues is something of a challenge.

Yes, but the Integration rules certainly seem open to turning "other" virtues into Hermetic virtues, even going so far as to say (True Lineages, P. 29) "Ultimately, a magus researcher wants to completely integrate his Breakthrough into Hermetic theory. A perfect system of magic would let every practitioner perform every type of magical act without any necessary Virtues or Supernatural Abilities.". It seems pretty clear the "route" is O.R-> Supernatural Virtue -> Hermetic Virtue -> Magic Theory(Every Hermetic Mage).

Ok... And how many Hermetic Breakthroughs will your saga have successfully integrated at the canonical start date?

If you think it's a problem, of course, fix it.

Oh, I'm fine with canon. Just pointing out that if you want to add a virtue to the list of Hermetic virtues, the rules are there. Heck, I think finding half finished projects like that are the best "treasure" in game. Which has better game potential? Fifty years grinding in a lab, or finding a forgotten dungeon built by a now dead covenant devoted to incorporating "The Gentle Gift" into Hermetic theory? What would you do for 30 breakthrough points?

:unamused: I just printed that important post out, and glued it into my Apprentices' front cover.

If the author declares that he just wrote up a rough idea which the troupes needed to house rule anyway, there is no reason left to argue RAW about it any more. Not even among authors and the line editor - but certainly not in the forum, where it can only confuse newbies.


He never said it was a rough idea, that is your opinion, One Shot. In fact he stated quite clearly that he felt it was the best system for teaching Apprentices virtues that could not be easily abused for teaching magi virtues. It is RAW.

This means, that - in order not to restrict their imagination - he wrote up a rough idea in need to be refined by the respective troupes. Hence arguing 'RAW' about which Virtues can be taught to apprentices by their parentes because of Apprentices p.41 is nonsense.

He certainly made clear, that he did not wish to leave space to abuse Apprentices for teaching Virtues to magi.