The Order of Hermes, Early Recruitment

I have been reading the fluff text across many books and editions quite a bit differently for a long time. It will take some adjustment on my part to treat it all in reverse, but it is attractive as it solves numerous issues. I can ignore the fluff pointing the other way.


I checked things over for this month, and decided I could afford it. I just processed an order through Noble Knight Games and both of them are on the way.

In case you've never been to the Noble Knight Games web site, they have an unbelievable selection. Here are a couple of photos of their store shelves. I almost wish I lived in Wisconsin.

Rival Magic is in agreement with HMRE, ArM5, and HoH:S. You are conflating two parts of the rules. If you match the target level you succeed in the Opening but they lose the other stuff. If you double it they keep the other stuff, too. This is no different that stated in the core rules.


Wow, that was a tough one, but I found the answer. Opening the Gift in general does not grant Supernatural Virtues. Rather, it makes certain Abilities or Arts "Favored," which allows you to acquire them without penalty and without the Virtues. Ungifted persons require the Virtue to have such an Ability or Art. This removes all those other minima, though you still add the scores to the 30 for having had your Gift Opened. Though it is not stated, I would assume that, as with Hermetic Magic, a score in an Art (or probably and Accelerated Ability) of 0 should be treated as 1 in this case. Due to the methods for Opening the Gift this makes Hermetic Magic much better at re-Opening the Gift than other methods are.


An interesting note, according to RoP: Infernal (p.124) a magus may substitute Rego for any of the Goetic Arts, and Vim for (Realm) Lore when using those arts.
All, save for ablating, may be of Infernal, Magic or Faerie origin.

The substitution is so easy, according to the book, because the effects they describe are subsets of the effects described in the Hermetic Arts.

So, in a way, it seems that in some cases the dividing line between Hermetic and non-Hermetic magic is not so hard a line as on might think.

Just worth thinking about. I can see the founders' magic as inferior versions of the Hermetic arts, which became expanded when they joined the Order. For example, Flambeau's fire magic might have been able to Create and Control fire, but not transform, destroy or see through it. Transforming his fire magic into the Hermetic Art of Ignem greatly broadened his prowess with that element.

I don't think that's quite right. As per AM5 pg: 107:

Give "normally derives" from a Major Virtue, as does Take, whether or not the gifted gruagach actually has these virtues listed on her character sheet. So the 30+30
minima still apply. I hadn't thought about the abilities opened at 0, but I'd probably skip them and assume they're included in the 30 point penalty for having gruagach Arts opened in general.

The larger argument is that it should be harder to open the Arts of characters who already possess more magic, to be consistent with the base rules in AM5. Ignoring the virtue-based minima makes it easier to open the Arts of well rounded Hedgies that it does to open the Arts of someone who just possesses two Supernatural Abilities. That can't be right.

Hmmm... Interesting. The rules are contradictory on this one. ArM5 says "normally," while HoH:S does not. Also, HMRE does not use "normally" with the Opening going the other way.

As for the 0's, I found the answer. It's just for studying other Supernatural Abilities and the minimum penalty is always 15, not actually based on converting any 0's.



Mythic Europe's Magic is mysterious, & powerful. It even creeps into the real world, via the books. :open_mouth:

Hey, maybe Magic wanted the Order formed, that's why it happened so fast & (for such an endeavour) "smoothly." :wink:


Callen, I may have been wrong, that's why I put a "?" mark with an interrogative sentence.

Just a clarification: Ablating, Binding, and Commanding are always infernal powers, no matter how you use them. (Spirit) Summoning can be associated with the Magic or Faerie realms, but it is still tainted with the power of the Infernal realm.

True by RAW, but I see no reason not to have magic-aligned Commanding and perhaps some variand Binding for magicians of a Solomonic tradition. There's certainly nothing more "evil" about Commanding than there is about ReVi. Even Ablating, while kind of gross, isn't markedly different from permanent might stripping spells.

Subsituting ReVi for for the Goetic Arts is overpowered though.

Further clarification: Goetic Arts' Summoning associated with other realms is usually tainted, but is not always. RAW is that there can be versions of Goetic Arts' Summoning that do not obey the general rule.

There are some versions of Binding and Commanding that are not tainted, but they're not Goetic Arts. For example, we have Bonding, Spirit Binding, and Sihr. It's not the Might destruction (like Might stripping spells) that is so Infernal, it's the taking of their stuff, the other half of Ablating, that makes it so Infernal.


I'm pretty happy with straight Commanding as a non-infernal Art. It has the right vibe for middle eastern magic. Binding isn't quite right though and Ablating doesn't fit the concept I have, regardless of moral implications, although I still rather suspect might stripping and harvesting for vis are morally the same as Ablating. So are those two mysteries that let you trap spirits forever to power your spells and that let you "eat" them to power your rituals. Hermetic magic isn't always very nice stuff.

In general the Goetic Arts are simple to understand as a player and work in a game sense, so there's no need to reinvent the wheel with a lot of variants.

And also the granting of Magic Resistance, right? If I recall correctly, the reason I wrote that (Spirit) Summoning is always tainted is because it has such a broad focus. It affects any spirit, whereas non-tainted versions of Summoning generally only affect a particular subset of spirits, such as only faeries, only elemental spirits, or only jinn.

I think Commanding grants you Magic Resistance, so for line balance between the four realms it has to be infernal. I generally think of it as magically enslaving intelligent beings to your will, but maybe that flavor hasn't been emphasized enough. Think of it like dominating the spirit completely, making it do what you want it to do without any consideration of its will.

If you want to make him do a favor for you, puissant BARGAIN is a must. Yoy can have spirit friends and business partners :slight_smile: For what is being said, Commanding is the equivalent of achieving subservience of a rebellious slave. Not pretty. Still I do not see it as ionfernal per se, even if the act is morally questionable.


I'd actually forgotten that Commanding lets you take Magic Resistance, although in a restricted way that probably ought to be even more restricted, making the spirit materialize and block the incoming spell or something. It's Binding that gives you the good Magic Resistance. That's one reason I'd rework Binding for the non-Infernal Summoner. In general I want the flavor of Djinn bottles, not a spirit under your skin.

I like Commanding the way it is though. It's essentially an optimized version of ReVi, no more or less morally questionable. Some may see a power issue in it being better than it's Hermetic equivalent but I think you need that to create reasonable rival magicians.