Or were you being sarcastic?
That's for the amount of vis you can handle in one season, provided you use only faerie vis (MT+FM)x2 instead of MTx2 (HoH-MC p.88). Which is still quite useful to the right magus. Think enchanting whole ships or buildings... (Of course, if that's what you are after, you really should try a Verditius with the Elder Runes Mystery). True, Faerie Magic is not otherwise very useful, but this limit is often the greatest problem of a large-scale enchanter
The thing is, as has been mentioned above, while in theory having two abilities to raise separately is eventually cheaper, no matter what combination of Puissant/Affinity you come up with, that eventually can be so far in the future or so high that it is not worth bothering with. Unless you really are looking to enchant your own Faerie Castle, and by enchant I mean turn a mundane castle into one giant enchanted item.
Mmm, sorry i wasnt exactly trying to argue with you, just taking your example further and messing with it a bit to outline the weakness of FM more.
My points were basically that FM is inherently weak as part of a house bonus and that FM is totally NOT "free".
And really, FM has negatives while only adding the score under some circumstance, having a higher MT, even if the total is slightly lower is still preferred as it´s more useful overall.
Which is why i like my own version(and i still think it´s funny that i created the Ability before it was made part of the official RAW) much better.
If it requires XP, it´s NOT free. Or are you playing with free and unlimited XP on request or something? Sheesh.
Riiight... So tell me why powerplayers avoid Merinita then? Even with my version of FM, Merinita is considered a somewhat weak starting point(but at least with my version, focusing XP in FM actually becomes useful).
Well, because divination sucks, and because it works well thematically.
Enigmatic Wisdom, by its description, is supposed to be all about reading dreams, understanding hidden connections between things, and so on. This is just what Divination, as in the Divination & Augury Mystery, is all about. So I strongly recommend keeping "Dream Reading" as a Major house initiation, and allowing to do all the other forms of divination as well on-the-spot as minor divinations. But allowing the use of Enigmatic Wisdom instead of the new Divination ability to make all these auguries. Then the flavor fits well, and you don't have to invest in "Divination", which is rather useless.
Because being unbalanced is not the same as being game-breaking. The fact that there are better power-gaming options does not mean that this is a good call.
Let me put it this way - the FM ability ADDS to the core-book virtue. Suppose I were to add another Ability to any of the other Houses. I could add "Subtle Magic Theory" for Bonisagus, for example, allowing them to add (SMTx2) to the vis limit and to be used as a Lore on subtle points of MT. Whatever. Do you think that's a good idea? Or what about adding "Fire Magic Lore" to House Flambeau?
Basically, if you think the Houses are already balanced (and I think Merinita is actually pretty superior in many aspects - if your powergaming players don't know how to make use of an undispellable (Until) spell, then they're not powergaming very much...), then adding Yet Another Perk just isn't balanced. That doesn't mean that it breaks the game - it just means it's uncalled for, and not in line with the other House's power level.
Divination really sucks. If there was ever an ability that deserved to ignore the target/arcane connection requirements of Hermetic Magic, it was divination. Have you looked at the divination rules for the Vergilian tradition in Rival Magic? I could see using them as the basis for divination in general.
I would very much like to see more uses for Enigmatic Wisdom instead of giving the Criamon the long list of super-powered mystery virtues in HoH:MC.
Sure, Faerie Magic can be useful sometimes. But I don't think it really stacks up as useful enough, or useful often enough, for a sensible player to actually put any XP into it. Compared to Abilities like Magic Theory, Leadership, Single Weapon, or even Org. Lore: Order of Hermes, it's a waste of XP.
Magic Theory and Leadership are well-designed Abilities because you can use them for many things, and there are many in-game opportunities to do those things. And while they both eventually reach a point of diminishing returns, it is usually worthwhile to pump XP into these Abilities, certainly at least until you get a Score of 5 or so.
Single Weapon is likewise well-designed. Although you only really use it for one thing (hitting stuff), if you have a character that is remotely interested in hitting things, then the player can make plenty of in-game opportunities to use the Ability. And there is always a clear benefit to having a higher Single Weapon Ability Score.
Org. Lore: Order of Hermes is a bit different to the others. It isn't really involved in any important game mechanics. However, it can be used by a creative player to drive character actions, as it can answer questions like... "where does Magus X live...which sort of vis is covenant A short of...which Quaesitors are traditionalists". If a character has a decent Org. Lore: Order of Hermes Ability Score, the player can find opportunities to use it every gaming session, and having a bigger Ability Score is clearly better.
Faerie Magic (the Ability Score) is not really like these even if your character is a Merinita specialising in Faerie Magic. The opportunities to use Faerie Magic in play are very limited as there are few game mechanics that use it, and even a Merinita character is not likely to be using those game mechanics most of the time. And most of the benefit of Faerie Magic (Charm making) just requires you to have a Score of 1, nothing more.
Perhaps, you could make a case that you can use Faerie Magic in play as "a source of information about faerie stuff", like Org. Lore: Order of Hermes is used. However, this is depreciated by the RAW which would seem to rather that you used either Faerie Lore or Org. Lore: Merinitia Mystery Cult for this purpose.
Sadly, I haven't read that book.
I seem to remember surprisingly good and simple rules from Art & Academe under "Astrology", but I no longer have this book.
Well, Divination & Augury is from TMRE And it's certainly not super-powered...
But yes, I was hoping for something like that too. HoH:MC did provide a little bit extra in that you could assess a Criamon's path. I once house-ruled it to extend to assessing Warping in general (on sight), including Twilight Scars, and considered also allowing one to sense the local Magic aura (but not other ones!), and perhaps even Magic Might. That turns it into a "Sense Magical Warping" ability, which is fairly neat and thematic but isn't quite Enigmatic enough.
Regardless, I do feel allowing Dream Interpretation and minor divinations actually works fairly well. I might change the mechanics somewhat, but still.
A&A Astrology has a good feel to the sorts of questions that it answers but makes the system both confusing and unattractive to players by requiring the astrologer to spends seasons producing generic "inceptions", much like charged items, that are required for specific divinations. Possibly it could be the basis for a hermetic system if the time requirement were dropped.
Yes? So what, you still have to use XP in it to get ANY use from it(only exception if you went far enough to actually place Puissant in it, not bloody likely). And it´s limited in what you can use it for, it´s nearly always better to get higher MT.
One of the few things Merinita are liked for is exactly getting the use of those variables. But they don´t stack up very well overall.
Yeah, Merinita is still weak with FM added.
"on subtle points of MT"? Whatever is that supposed to mean? If you added just the addition to Vis usage i would say go ahead and have fun with it.
I already as HR added a general Magic Ability "Vis Manipulation" that adds to that and Vis extraction and not so much else, makes for a very useful Ability for those that want´s to make good use of it, others gets it 5 or 15XP or merely ignores it.
Depends how far its use extends. It´s probably worth to be made it´s own Minor Virtue though if it´s a simple bonus to all casting and labtotals using fire. Fine by me. It´s much cheaper to place XP in Ignem, so it´s not until Ignem is more than 5 times higher than the "Fire Lore" Ability is that it´s a bonus to raise the latter instead.
Meaning that for a decent specialist with Ignem 25, it means a bonus of 5 from Fire Lore. Perfectly suitable for a Minor Virtue that relies on stealing character XP to be used.