Has anyone used the Muspelli? How do they measure up against a Magus? Anyone built and advanced one? Just curious, they seem like an interesting threat, the one thing that they need to become a true threat (IMO) is something that allows them to overcome the Gift and get organized. That'd be the start at any rate. But even with that, their own techniques do not profit from teamwork, but they'd at least be able to coordinate their efforts. They'd need a major motivating movement, the release of Loki perhaps being that catalyst, but many impostors have tried in the past.
Some of the abilities can be nasty, especially if they get reasonably high abilities. They can start to manage 60ish ease factor spells.
As for getting something to overcome the Gift? Their necromancy ability can raise up creatures with magical qualities and Arcane Lore. Lets see, give something the Gift, give it arcane lore, and wow look at the that. It has a parma magic of four. How did that happen? And oh dear, its teaching the Muspelli. Oh dear, oh dear. This isn't good.
The main thing to remember with the Muspelli is they aren't that scary if you meet one unprepared face to face. Okay, they are probably using siege weapons to fight. However, barring shapeshifters they can't fly. Shoot it from orbit. Or mind control it. Whatever. A magus remotely equipped to deal with one should win easily. Where they shine is performing rituals for terrible effect. Raise up an undead warlord that raises new undead. Give it a few specialized knights for mystical threats (flying undead, fire shooting undead, dispelling undead etc.)... BAM! Unstoppable army that only the Order has a hope of doing anything against. Or when they hurl a magical storm across Europe. Or open up a volcano. (Pro-tip magic resistance won't help against the lava and fumes.) Or decide it would be really funny to mind control an entire town.
There is one thought I had to make them scary: What it an Order of Muspelli recruits by raising dead Muspelli? Ensures they have all their abilities. They come with Might and all their powers. Can't really learn, without vis, but the necromancy ability can manufacture vis. (Maybe ask your GM!) Wouldn't that be nasty? The living Muspelli are the equivalent of the Orders apprentices.
They could also infiltrate the Order. "You're hunting the Order of Odin? Those guys are bastards. We hate them too. We'll join you guys. They are backed up by these various uber-Fae, you'll need to actually gank Odin and co." And Loki and his fellow Daemons go free.
I'm contemplating putting them in my game now. They are rather complicated to learn, however, and I didn't actually use them or created one or something like that.
I'm not sure how great they'd be as a challenge to magi, however. They are incapable of mounting a significant attack without preparing well in advance to attack specific magi. I don't know why they were designed this way.
If we just go with a Casting Total of (stress + Char + Ability x Power Modifier), with the Power Modifier being perhaps x8 at most, and we set say Char at +3 and Ability at 5, then we can have a Casting Total of 43. That doesn't give you a lot of Penetration, nor a lot of power. Why not just let Muspelli cast this way as a "formulaic" casting ? And perhaps have them make a Deprivation roll to cast it (unless they roll 10 or 6 above the ease factor ?). This greatly increases the Muspelli's ability to cast spell without preparing well in advance to face a particular foe.
Then you can also use the Utiseta ritual thing to gather lots of energy to cast bigger spells. Spells with low to no penetration, or using Power Modifiers that are only accessible in such ritual castings. Again, I'd lose the "spell in talisman can only be directed at specific foe" thing. These guys shouldn't need to know their opponents in advance to be very powerful. They should be able to add arcane & sympathetic connections, though, if they wish.
Like all wizards, it seems that if they have time to prepare they can be deadly. For the moment to moment stuff or being unprepared, it seems they rely on their Ettin form, which often has considerable close combat advantages (basically a Magus fighting a monster then), and their assortment of Supernatural abilities, which shouldn't be dismissed as useless. But yeah, definitely without the felxibility that a Hermetic Magus has. The power they can bring up though seems pretty impressive.
One of the things I found as impressive was their ability to create/summon creatures with Might and powers. They're not the only ones of course, but it seems they might do it easier and having magical allies is useful.
I've built a few for practice purposes and run some simulations, but really ultimately the answer depends upon the muspelli's patron as that will determine the Supernatural abilities the character has access to.
Will time to prepare utiseta, creative use of their powers, however, Muspelli can prove quite potent enemies so long as they avoid direct confrontation with Hermetic Magi and focus instead upon tainting their Covenant Auras, bedeviling covenfolk, and disrupting trade.
Look at the Hex parameters. You can basically kill a person with a difficulty of around 30. Add some time delay, like a season and the difficulty drops to 24. Now add penetration to kill magi. Yes, difficulty 24. The rest is penetration. On a flexibility POV the OOH wins hands down, but the museplli are like the Hypernoreans: if you give them resources and time to build up, they can kick some ass. They are no match on a head on engagement for a prepared hermetic, though, and IMO they shouldn't be since that is not their area of expertise.
This is one of their most dangerous things. Everything a magi can do? THEY CAN DO IT TOO! They make things that do it even.
One of the Supernatural abilities the Muspelli of Surtur gets is Lesser Craft Magic. Is that in the Societates under Ex Miscellenea? I couldn't find it in Ancient Magic, Rival Magic or Hedge Magic.
Lesser Craft Magic is in the introduction to "Rival Magic". "Craft Magic", however, is indeed in HoH: S.
Only if you (as a storyguide) let them.
There is nothing in the chapter that suggests that the Muspelli character decides what powers are possessed by a creature he summons. True, there is nothing in the chapter that says they don't, that's a decision left for the troupe.
It should be noted that Summon Animals does not create, it summons -- the magical creature must exist, meaning their powers are predetermined.
On the other hand, Valgaldar does create a draug / dauding, and it may be that the Muspelli has some control over it (as per the example utiseta). However, the powers mentioned do not go beyond those that Icelandic folklore ascribes to a draug, and it may be decided that this is all that can be done (typical draug powers are listed in the chapter). In my opinion, designing a draug with the Gifted Magical Quality goes too far under most circumstances*, and I would never permit any character (created through an utiseta or as a Magic Character) to gain the Parma Magica without having formal training in the Order. Having the right Virtues is not enough, you also have to have the opportunity. I would similarly ask for an explanation as to how a newly-spawned draug could have Teaching 5 and Theology 5 (if they were a priest in life, maybe; if they were a dairy maid, definitely not).
[size=85]*It might make a good story event for a player Muspelli to quest to find the corpse of a deceased sorcerer in order to raise his corpse as a draug. This falls under my usual rule: if it makes the story better, let it happen[/size]
I've played in an adventure against a muspelli. I don't know the exact build used, and she definitely had a lot of changes/alternative abilities (eg being a Nightwalker), but she was very dangerous to our party of 4 magi 6-8 years post-gauntlet. She stalked us for about 2 years by nightwalking, spying and occasionally sending minions against us. Our aegis mostly kept her & them out, but this allowed her to learn about us. Eventually we tracked her down and had a big fight. In a faerie regio, filled with the ghosts and raised necromantic beasties from an old battle between the Romans and Carthaginians. That was very tricky. She herself was much more dangerous than most of us in combat and turned out to be unkillable by us, although we did render her unconscious. I'm not sure what effect she used to make her body invulnerable, but we couldn't get through it, and because she was so large we were unable to carry her body very far to try to find a location which would kill her.
So we abandoned her body and went away...and haven't been bothered by her since. (We also then managed to get lost in the Magic Realm. Which is were we stopped that campaign for the time being.)
I'm using the Muspelli as main rivals in my saga now. I agree with the general opinion: with time and preparation, they can be tough foes. In fact I'm using the sample (older) muspelli in the book, and with her Entrancement and Hex totals she can wreak a LOT of havoc, even among magi (or at least, among the young magi in my saga). She has some help from another Muspelli with weather control abilities. I really like this tradition.
Just as a side note, since I see the original author of the chapter is around, a quick question about the rules: I have always wondered about the amount of utiseta that can be stored in a gandur: is there any limit to this? I couldn't find any clear reference, so, can you really store any number of utiseta in a gandur as long as they're all used before a year passes?
One thing to remember about Muspelli with Entrancement: They don't care about the gift's negative effects.
Their apprentices are entranced, meaning that they cannot betray their master, and thus the distrust is irrelevant. Eventually they'll get good enough to break the entrancement... if the master chooses to train them to do so.
Muspelli with Entrancement are probably the most formidable, because of this ability to bring other Muspelli together as their thralls.
There is no explicit limit. Obviously there is a danger in loading up your gandur with too many effects --- what if they no longer become relevant? E.g. You charge your gandur with multiple curses against a person, but your first attack unexpectedly kills him. In a year's time you are going to suffer a lot of warping...
Most of the time a 'charged' gandur is just used to carry the effect to the target, who was not present during casting.
Thanks for the clarification. Yes, the Warping "consequences" can be a good deterrent not to overcharge your gandur.
You can harmlessly discharge your stored utiseta though right? Assuming say the intended target is already dead or something, you can release it right?
And these are some great ideas thanks all.
Nothing says you can. You have to target the intended victim to use discharge it at all.
Note that, depending on your prepared spell, them being dead may not mean you can't target them with it.
This comes more on the side of playing Muspelli, but if you have multiple utiseta in your gandur and a Jotun's initiation requires you to sacrifice the gandur, you're going to be out all of that effort.
Otherwise, I'd second most of the comments here regarding Muspelli. I think they've got a lot of potential as long term foes.