Using Hermetic Divination for Spellcasting bonus

The RoP:tD Divination Virtue (gained as the fifth or sixth circle of Ars Notoria) allows a magus to add their score in Ars Notoria to a specific spellcasting on an Ease Factor of 12+.

Celestial Magic (Major Virtue, requires Planetary Magic Minor Virtue as a prerequisite) allows the magus to predict the best astrological hour for spellcasting on an Artes Liberales (Astronomy) roll of Ease Factor = 3 x desired bonus (ie EF 12 for a +4 bonus).

Can a magus with the Hermetic Divination (Astrology or otherwise) use their Divination ability to mimic an Intellego spell asking the question: "When is the best astrological hour to cast X spell?"

I would of thought a base level of 5 x desired bonus would be reasonable (taking as a precedent the Hermetic Synthemata guidelines), perhaps only using Ceremonial Augury as a method?



a bit of a multiplicity of named Virtues. RoP:tD "Divination" is a Divine ability, and lets you seek divine inspiration for a holy time to work appropriate magic.

Hermetic Divination in TMRE is a strongly Hermetic ability tuned to work alongside Hermetic Arts. Unlike most Supernatural Abilities, it even uses the guidelines and levels of Hermetic Arts.

Celestial Magic lets you find times when the planets and stars exert a favourable influence on magic - likely a very different influence the divine favour of the ROPTD "Divination" of Ars Notoria.

"yes Hermetic Divination can mimic an Intellego spell" - that's what is says on the label...

Can a Hermetic Intellego spell surplant Astrology calculations and intuitions? Well, the primary snag might be that the planets and stars are beyond the Lunar Sphere, and rather beyond Hermetic Magic. The Virtues that grant Astrological bonuses get round the Lunar Spjhere restriction by being (strictly) non-Hermetic... Hermetic magic is subject to lunar influence even if it cannot influene the lunar.

(OOC: I don't much like seeing easy spells surplant hard to gain Virtues - otherwise there is no reason for characters to work to get the Virtues, and players of characters with the Virtues feel cheated!)

5bonus may or may not be reasonable (I'd say "too low" - consider 10bonus. Don't forget that L45 spells are straightforward to learn and cast! That's a +9 bonus on your scale which is WAY higher than Celestial Magic grants - the Celestial magi may as well go home now...)

Second - the comparison with Synthemata is ... odd... it is determined by the Might score of a being (it is related to summoning and controlling spirits), nothing to do with Astrological bonuses to abilities.
If you want comparable guidelines, look in MuVi!

Indeed True and very confusing. Are we yet to see a non-Hermetic version of Divination named Augury etc. as a replacement for the old ArM4 Divination +4 Virtue just to confuse things further?

I was hoping the Augury/Divination guidelines would be more coherent in ArM5, but the seem to be becoming even more complicated than ArM4 The Mysteries.

Well Ars Notoria helps you determine "an auspicious time", possibly reflective of God's will to be sure, but astrology is also concerned with auspicious times...
Can a Hermetic Intellego spell surplant Astrology calculations and intuitions? Well, the primary snag might be that the planets and stars are beyond the Lunar Sphere, and rather beyond Hermetic Magic. The Virtues that grant Astrological bonuses get round the Lunar Spjhere restriction by being (strictly) non-Hermetic... Hermetic magic is subject to lunar influence even if it cannot influene the lunar.

A good point and conceded, I was just rule off thumbing off +1 per magnitude as a starting point, but since Celestial magic uses a 3 point Ease Factor vs an Ability pyramid scale, I should have figured this in, hence the rough comparison with synthemata off the cuff.

I can't find a MutoVim guideline that covers this in the corebook any suggestions on whether this bonus to spellcasting of x per y levels of spell is printed anywhere?



I don't think we need one consistent set of guidelines for divination, as that would mean there was only one way to perform Divination. However, I can't see any 5e supplement resurrecting the 4e Div/Augury in the form it was - - its formulae do not fit the 5e scheme of things...

I can't say if there will be non-Hermetic Augury (or whatever) but David's clearly planning 4 Realm books for the line, and there are hints of a hedge Magic book - so I would hope so!
I would also hope that a hedge Augury would not be following the same lines as the Hermetic Divination! HD has some very deliberate limits...

And my suggestion is that the 2 Auspicious Circumstances (the times when the bonus holds) should be different, since they reflect different Realms' ideas of what's Auspiious.
(Also for game balance it's not a good idea to let everything stack!)

Hermetic Divination is limited by all the Hermetic Limits. The Limits affect what questions (Intellego spells) can be performed by a method of working magic - the Limits do not specify what bonuses can be added to performing the magic.

It appears to be the case that the astrological influence of the heavens upon the material world is well understaood in Mythic Europe, and quite susceptible to a number of calculations. These calculations are not themselves hermetic though the results can be used to influence Hermetic Magic - such is the great power of the Heavens!

My quibble is not whether a Major Virtue should overlap another, but with what Hermetic spells can do!

Note carefully that Hermetic Divination is stated to give the results of Hermetic Intellego spells (of a restricted type - Momentary only). Since it can only do what hermetic Intellego can do, then if there is something Hermetic Divination can do, it is because Hermetic Intellego can do the same thing...

Then I suggest that you quite seriously consider the implications of allowing Hermetic Intellego to whip up instant bonuses to other spells - I suggest it is a really bad idea!

I realised afterwards that 1/5 is even worse than it looks, as you can get +1 for a L5 spell. Most decent magi can spont a L5 spell without fatigue, and an Intellego specialist can spont a L20 (+4 bonus) with fatigue, without undue problem.
A forumaic spell of L20 is considered very easy, and most apprentices can learn such a spell.
So if you allow Intellego to do this, you will soon find that every intellego magus is using spells to boost other spells, and MuVi falls by the wayside...

no - sorry - still don't see. (But I don't think it matters)
My point was that one draws parallels with guidelines that "do similar things". there are a great many 1-per-N-levels, level-vs-level, level-vs-half-level or vs-twice-level etc. There is no point comparing guideliens just because one has a scale in it, and you are looking for a scale...

ISTR there is a +5 level boost to a spell's energy in the MuVi guidelines, whic is close to +N to the casting total of a spell, but arrived at differently.

In a sense it's instant, but you have to wait for hours or days to get any benefit.

Err, there are many ways/methods to perform Augury/Divination in history and in ArM5 - historically many share similarities and many are concerned with the same questions: weather, outcome of battle etc.

Why complicate the same set of effects with multiple mechanics? I thought this is what ArM5 was inclined to avoid. OK, perhaps Divine might be different to Faerie/Magic and Infernal (though demons can't predict the future IIRC) but why should Hermetic Divination (aside from the reasonable limit of the Lunar Sphere which is an excellent in game reason), be so different to the hedge practices that it would have been derived from?

Hedge Divination could use the same mechanic you've established for Hermetic Divination, sans the Limit of the Lunar Sphere with a different limitation instead, depending on the tradition involved - it's a good mechanic, and the at R: T instead of R: Arc if holding an Arcane Connection makes a lot of sense both mechanically (it's a +15 boost to the roll in effect) and in context of the divinatory traditions of Europe etc at the time.

Ah, but doesn't the Divine Divination ability gained from the 6th Ring of Solomon / Ars Notoria have awfully similar structure and ease factors to the old ArM4 Divination Virtue (ArM4 corebook, p45)?

Sure the auspicious time ease factor is a bit easier (12 in RoP:tD vs 15 in ArM4 corebook), but it's awfully similar....

It just seems a bit complicated to have 1 Ability vs Ease Factors based mechanic for Divine Divination, a different Ability based vs Hermetic Spell Levels mechanic for Hermetic Divination and possibly a third mechanic for hedge Divination.

Don't forget there's already the Meditation/Understanding Holy Method & Power combination which also covers similar ground, although there is perhaps less overlap...

Divine vs other auspicious times perhaps I can see, but I can't see how things would stack - you either use one form of Divination or another to find an auspicious time, regardless of which Realm your power is aligned to or what method you acquire the knowledge.

You can still only get the bonus for the one time (unless you can simultaneously be in two different times at once)! :stuck_out_tongue:

Fair enough, but couldn't you use Hermetic Divination (Astrology) to help you answer the question of calculating the correct astrological time etc if you already have an Artes Liberales (Astronomy) score?

I agree, wholeheartedly.

It's just that I needed to clarify this in my mind as it seemed an obvious abuse that someone would try to come up with - I actually really like the Astrology Mystery and Divination Chapters of TMRE and [b]I like the Hermetic Divination mechanic and its Intellego based limitations[b].

My comment is that its not clear that this is the case in the text.

I apologise if I've pestered you.

I agree - the synthemata comparison makes no sense to me now either!

Must have wrote that when I was tired - it's a complicated part of the book which I may have in fact misunderstood on initial reading. :stuck_out_tongue:

I don't think +5 boost/one magnitude to energy in one parameter equates to +N to the casting totol IIRC, as it only ever applies to a max of +5 like Flexible Formulaic Magic etc, Boosted Magic (HoH:TL) etc.

Thanks again for you comments/clarifications and patience.


becuase while it makes the game streamlined, it doesn't let the play be "Interesting" if all is the same.
There are 2 aspects here:

  1. should all Divination using Hermetic Guidelines use the same GL? Probably - that's valid consistency
  2. should all Divination (or whatever) use Hermetic Guidelines? No - many systems of magic already in 5e do not use the Hermetic system, and should not.
    Ther more "Hedge" a system is, the less like Heremtic magic it should be.
    Hermetic Divination is designed to be very similar to Intellego.

no - 'cos that's recursively using one for the other!

Divination uses Astrology to make its calculations - so you don't use Divination to boost Astrology.

Divine Divination came in a different book at a different time of writing. While it would be nice if every book tied down every interection with all other books, and the publication order was perfect too, it might make the books dry and boring too.

IMO, Divine Divination and hermetic Divination should not be directly compared - stick to comparing Hermetic Divination with the Intellego XX guidelines, and point out it does all that (Momentarily, no sense) and nothing more (apart from its listed exceptions for Boundary & ACs)

Hermetic Divination is a misnomer - it's a talent for sponting a wide-range of Intellego effects without needing to study all the Arts. It's not real Divination!

it compares in the sense that it gives a fixed, limited bonus, by requiring you to match spell level for level. That says something about the way Hermetic Magic boosts other spells.

The problem with your 1/5 is the trivial ease of small bonuses from low-level spells, and that high-level spells produce too-high bonuses.

Consider instead, say (10 + 10*bonus)? or more?

Hermetic Divination's not really Divination! Egad... :stuck_out_tongue:
(You heard it here first folks)

I basically agree with your comments and thanks for the corrections - I see your point about the recursiveness of Divination & Astronomy but I'm still not sure we need a multitude of mechanics to impart flavour or else Hedge Magic will become the calamity it was in ArM4...

Still, it seems a pretty workable system for augury style questions as you've presented it, particularly non-astrological styles of augury. I don't really see why a similar non-Divine hedge power would really need separate mechanics, particularly if slightly tweaked for the particular hedge tradition.

I suppose though that holy characters need 2 Major Virtues (Meditation (or Dream Interpreter) and Understanding) to achieve similar effects, whereas Hermetic magi already have some magic potential in the form of Hermetic Arts before they buy Divination as a Major Virtue.

Soothsayers, prophets and seers are a strong archetype that I'd like to see work - it would be interesting to have a hedge version of the Understanding Power (which seems to be what the Line Editor implied to do in the absence of a hedge magic book anytime soon), perhaps even called Augury, which was linked to a single phenomena of ceremonial augury from your list on p61 TMRE and provided similar bonuses. The Hedge Method could then be non-Divine/non-Infernal version of Dream Interpreter or Meditation (Trance/Ecstasy/Commune?). For the cost of a minor Virtue, additional phenomena could be gained?

As for the bonus to spellcasting, I don't think any Spell level formulae = X bonus is really workable now that I've thought about it (I was a bit tired when I thought about thast bit) would work well.

As Niall points out in the thread about Summoners though, Celestial Magic would be an interesting Virtue to tweak into a non-Hermetic version and might not be too difficult. You could then recreate the old ArM4 sahir's ability to gain a beneficial insight into casting magic, etc. I'd even wonder if a separate Minor Virtue that allows the character to use their Astronomy score (or another Ability if extended to non-astrological soothsaying) to gain a casting benefit to their hedge spell casting wouldn't be out of order as most would lack laboratory activities, although it might be better as a Major Virtue?