Verditius Magic and the need of casting tools

Canonically, the only way to gain verditius magic has been to join the house, either as an apprentice, or as an established magus from another tradition. In both cases, initiation into the mystery ensures that one loses the ability to cast formulaic magic without casting tools. For apprentices, this is part of the "standard" house initiation ordeal (MC p.117). For the scant few mages joining the house after their gauntlet, it is an effect of a nasty ritual specifically designed to destroy their ability to cast formulaic magic "normally" so as to deny them any advantage over "native" Verditius magi (MC p.119).

My question is: is this loss an intrinsic, inescapable requirement for gaining the virtue, or just a "social" construct? In other words, could someone develop an initiation script that does not involve crippling formulaic casting? (Obviously, this would have all sort of bad political repercussions). The text on p.119 seems to suggest this is indeed the case:

Or perhaps this would require a minor Breakthrough?

Sure, it could be a script, don't even see the need as written for a breakthrough, but maybe. But think about what that Verdi would be doing, to his own career and well-being, both physically and within the House. Every existing member of the house would be threatened by newcomers, and only magi who would be in favour of it would be... apprentices. And a few interested non-members.

But I think that just by asking, you are overlooking the more significant In Game problem, by discounting the impact of what you yourself posted. The phrase "all sort of bad political repercussions" doesn't even begin to touch the fallout.

Knowing the tendencies of the Order, and the spectrum of magi and personalities, I'd think that steps would be taken to squelch that script before anyone ever took advantage of it, and either march the inventor, or possibly even just do away with him in some less formal and more expedient method.

Boom, remarked his lab, and he with them.

Perhaps more practically, we also have to ask the musical question - who would then validate such an "initiation"? Who would recognize it? Sounds at best like a great way to get yourself invited (or relegated!) to Ex Miscellanea. (Or at least until the aforementioned poignant remark from your laboratory.)

There are more reasons not to do something than "we can't".

Could be a great plot for an established Verdi or three, but the inventor would be so unpopular as to transcend belief. Better to make it a "threat" to existing PC's, perhaps?

Our library has several item lab text from a verdi, and use their runes. I think it would be much easier for a magus to research texts like this, and quickly integrate the verdi mysteries, then it would be to self initiate with an experimental script.

On another note...Could any magus use these text to recreate the original item even if they dont have the appropriate mysteries? Based on the description in Potent Magic, (you can learn the potent spell without the virtue, but you cant make new potent spells) I'd say yes anyone can recreate the items.

No, I understand the political fallout. As you pointed out, I even mentioned it. I was wondering if it was canonically possible, because, as you said, there's quite a number of stories that could come out of it, with the political repercussions far outweighing the ultimate impact on the magic of the whole Order.

Given that House Verditius is considered a Mystery Cult, I personally would see the act as entirely out of keeping with the nature of the cult, let alone the House in any general sense. Any such magus (magi) found to be capable of casting Formulaic spells without the need for casting tools would surely earn immediate censure from the Primus as well as the rest of the House for starters. Further than that would likely be universal vendettas declared by every Verditius magus against said interlopers.

The end result would be magi with no hope of ever initiating any House Mystery beyond the outer one and plagued by constant attacks upon their person, property and their work via vendettas. In short, completely unplayable and non-enjoyable characters.

Ambitious idea, for sure, but remember that Verdis hold their "handicap" as a badge of honour and distinction, not as a detriment.

The Mystery could be researched and revealed completely independent from House Verditius, just as any other Hermetically-compatible Minor Mystery.

As far as missing out on further House Verditius mysteries, perhaps those will be the secrets the House attempts to bury with their own out-moded magic.

LOL> outmoded!

Just jealous that Verdi's have all the best toys! :wink:

I would split the question, and the answer, into two parts. The Rules of the Game answer, and the Mythic Europe answer.

Rules of the Game
I always figured when the book talked about not giving later joining magi the advantage of being able to go without casting tools, it was to keep game balance. If the rules allowed for someone to join House Verditius after apprenticeship, and acquire all the advantages of Verditius magic without suffering any of the flaws, then that’s how all (or most) players would build their Verditius magi. Min/maxing is alive and well. When it talks of not allowing it, the text is talking directly to the SG and Troupe, not about the some sort of choice by House Verditius.

Mythic Europe
Of course it’s not just a social thing! Do you think Verditius magi would willingly cripple themselves if they didn’t have to? Even if a magus’ own magic was irredeemably flawed, if he could find a way to spare his apprentice that problem, don’t you think most would? The very nature of Verditius magic causes a mage’s magical nature to be so attuned to physical objects as magical conduits that objects become a necessary part of the magic. It is the price of the art.

Removing casting tools from Verditius magic would be like removing the Twilight frequency from Enigmatic Wisdom but leaving the increased ability for a positive outcome. Do it in your saga if you want, but clearly not how the game was designed.