What the title says. Anybody play a Vitkir? What are your experiences?
(Inspired by Xavi's A Bonfire of Tradition discussions, I reread the Hedge Magic book, in particular the Vitkir section)
My takeaway: they look very cool, but might not be playable without many clarifications and house rules, beyond the mere facts that they 1)may already be extinct; 2)have officially been named as enemies of the entire Order of Hermes.
•24 Runes is a damned lot to put xp into! Many related effects are scattered across many Runes. Getting to 5 in the 15 Hermetic T+F is time-consuming, even with the Roots. With Vitkir, you need to get to 2 in each Rune so as not to inflict deficiencies on your Apprentice (so 3 xp each). Is Secondary Insight the best quasi-Hermetic Major Virtue available to them, then?
And having low scores in just one rune of each Aett means...
•Lab Total is ridiculously small. How can they research any Scripts beyond relatively low levels? Lab Total is (lowest) Rune + Int + Rune Magic + Aura.
Lowest (Rune) is clarified there the character's lowest score in the associated runes.
So an Elder Vitkir with +3 Int, 9 Rune Magic, 6 Aura creating an Algiz Rune Script, in which he has a score of 30, but also a lowest rune of 5 in Hagalaz (both Algiz and Hagalaz are in Heimdall's Aett) would have a 23 Lab Total?
Perhaps I am reading this wrong.
Further fleshing out
-Do Vitkar Apprentices add to their master's Lab Totals? Is the Gift a requisite for assistants to aid a Vitkar in the Lab?
Would Lab Help = Int + Rune Magic + Puissant Rune(Magic), like with Hermetics?
Worth their weight in gold, then, investing in being able to train an Apprentice immediately at game start looks profitable, if not down right essential.
-Does Vitkar Rune Script creation get any "similar" effect bonus?
-Can Vitkar accumulate Rune script levels per/season of work, rather than have to spend them all in low-level scripts after each Season, so that they can actually create higher-level scripts? Doesn't seem likely from the text.
-Do Vitkir produce Lab Texts?
•The Focus Virtues are weak! While duplicating your applicable Rune Score for casting, they do NOT add to Lab Totals. .
You can get Careless Sorcerer as a Flaw, but not Cautious Sorcerer as a Virtue?
You can get Inventive Genius? So a flat +3 to inventing new Rune Scripts; in practice, I'd think all your Rune Scripts will be invented, unless you get a Teacher (unlikely), or find Runic Lab Texts..if they exist. Can Viktir Experiment?
•Nátt-thel is nasty! There's no chance to get a "Good Experience", unlike other Tradition's Warping experiences. Most of the time, there's nothing to do but lose your Gift and Vitkir powers and most/all your ongoing rune effects for increasingly long periods. You aren't getting a 2 minute window in the middle of combat to control your magic, that's for sure!
•You are an Arcane Connection to so many things...with the added insult that all your active runes and effects are actual active Intangible Tunnels that anyone with any Touch powers may use against you. Very dangerous! Looks useful...for the Order of Hermes! A lone Vim specialist could probably track down active Runes and wipe out all Rune wizards in a very large region in just a few Seasons. Also profitable for the Order to research Breakthroughs in Intangible Tunnels and Fixing Arcane Connections in less time.
•No Magical Defenses at all. There's this statement ...These effects are the tradition’s version of inherent magical defenses based on their powers, and every vitki can be expected to know at least one rune script with this sort of effect., which means simply that if a Rune Magician is caught w/o a relevant active defensive Rune, no defenses. Do I have that right?
•Study: Rune Magicians have open all the regular avenues of study as Hermetics, great! In practice, are there any books available in your Sagas? Are Vitki willing to teach others, what with the problems of the Gift and the incredibly vulnerable position of any active Rune script and lack of Magic Resistance? Looks like Vis (dangerous!) + Practice/Adventure and Exposure will be the only Sources available after Apprenticeship. Perhaps there are Runic Significatos around.
•No item making (though one can argue Runes can enhance a mundane item, turning it magic), no familiars, limited Longevity Ritual-type- effects, slow casting in general, no Spontaneous type magic, limited R/D/T choices.
•Warping: unlike other Hedge Traditions, Rune Magicians do not explode/are abducted /go mad/transform when reaching a particular Warping score. So they only need to avoid incidents: instances of accruing 2 or more Warping points at a time, which means mostly magical botches, aura fluctuations, or Enigma's Gift-type effects.
Avoiding botches is simple! Perth Rune at your service! In practice, having a continuous 5th magnitude Perth script that gives you +1 Warping/year in exchange for -5 botch dice on any activity seems amazing, sign me up, warp away!
•Myriad of non-Hermetic effects: aside from botch reduction or amplification from Perth rune, Dagaz bonus to Ability rolls for day-long activities, Jera Rune that provides bonus xp in yearly activities, Othila has tool use botch reduction, Tiwaz has Confidence increases/reductions, there's many visless activities that would be Hermetic Rituals, like Summoning animals, wealth, a freaking meal, water to drink. Awesome. Beware Arcane Connections!
-Are the remnants of a summoned cow/aurochs used for a delicious meal still Arcane Connections to the Vitkar? Even after being...processed?
•They have Vim equivalent effects! Manipulation/detection/Might stripping of vis/auras/beings (including infernal and Divine auras), own runes. Caveat: effects are scattered around many different runes, Penetration will often be poor.
•Long-lasting effects (Years!) with some preparation. Of course, Warping runs high, as does the risk of being hit through your runes/effects.
So, what are your thoughts and experiences with the Vitkir, what did I get wrong or not see? Thanks!