Magic of Magic - Thaumaturgy


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Thaumaturgy is the magic of understanding. Theurgy works by wholly and completely understanding something, and making alterations to it, to achieve a desired effect.

Thaumaturgy is a bit interesting. Most of it's energy comes from the combination of fundamental understanding and reagents.

Thaumaturgy spells are typically lengthier than all the other disciplines, and usually incorporate multiple components, such as speaking, making gestures or seals with the limbs, providing magical foci, sigils, or constructs, and providing sacrificial materials to be consumed as part of casting the spell.

There is no personal exhaustion part of Thaumaturgy unless it is combined with aspects of another discipline, and in exchange they take both much more time to pull off, and typically have substantial other requirements to compensate.

As such, Thaumaturgy has no overuse case. If you try and perform a pure thaumaturgy spell without the all requisite parts, it either fizzles, and uses up all the other supplied portions to no effect, or you've instead co-incidentally performed the steps to a different spell, and that spell activates instead.


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A branch of Thaumaturgy involving extremely time-consuming rituals. Each and every spells needs to be researched and planned in advance, and the actual casting typically takes substantial time as well, typically involving props, foci, and excessive drawing of diagrams.

Hermetic magic, mechanically, is based on the combination of many lesser constructs into larger effects.

Marks: The Mark is the most basic Hermetic construct, nothing more than a line, a dash, or a few dots.
Rune: Each Rune is crafted via a series of Marks, with the composition of the marks determining the functionality of the rune.
Glyph: Each Glyph is likewise made up of multiple runes and marks.
Sigil: Same as above. Sigils of the size where they are typically what one thinks of when they see large magic circles and the like.
Array: A series of lesser symbols.

As a Mage progresses in knowledge of Thaumaturgy they can research each tier of Hermetics. Formal compositions of Hermetics that are sucessfully developed will be listed in the spells index.

However - Hermetics is a combinatorial explosion. There are well over trillions of possible combinations of compositions - ultimately they all descend down unto a series of rules. These rules are one of the few items not being made public - you must learn them in-character via education or experimentation only, and it's forbidden to share them to any but your apprentices.


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Pact Magic:

There are three different types of magic in this section. All are possible thaumaturgy rituals with many customized variations based on the details.

In all instances, all prospective participants should be very wary of words.


A Pact is a magically enforced and binding arrangement between two entities, neither of which needs to be the caster.

A pact is comprised of:

1) A minimum of one offer - from one entity to another, containing a service, an item, anything that can be stated in words.

2) Clear understanding on behalf of both parties of the nature of the pact, the offers, and the consequences of making the pact.

3) Clear assent between both parties, consigned in various ways. A traditional favorite is a signature in blood.

4) A consequence or binding on the pact. This is either a Mysticism-based curse, which immediately afflicts an individual breaking the terms of their pact, or a Cogitation-based compulsion, which binds the pact makers to their agreed course of actions as best it is able.

If the above four conditions are met with the proper usage of hermetics, a binding Pact is made between all entities involved in said Pact, and it lasts until all offers are fulfilled or the pact is broken.


A quest is a specially named variant of a Pact that operates similarly, but with slightly different rules.

A quest is a unilaterally offered deal from one participant - assent of the another party is not required - attempting to fulfill the granted conditions is considered assent.
A quest typically offers a boon that is granted upon fulfillment of any number of conditions laid upon the Questee. It cannot offer consequences for failure, but it can have conditions that cause it to terminate without the boon being granted.


The final category of Pact magic, the Geis is simply a Pact that is bestowed upon someone against their will. Turning a use of Pact Magic into a Geis is a much stronger challenge of hermetics.

A Geis only violates rule 3. If an entity has a Geis imposed upon them, they are instantly made magically aware of it's particular conditions and consequences.

The potency of the consequence and the breadth of the conditions affect the challenge involved in laying a Geis. A Geis that affects the caster negatively as well is much easier to perform.

Geasa (the plural form) are inevitably bestowed by more powerful entities, usually ones that have been angered in some fashion, but also have use in more standard magic by careful weighing of conditionals.

An example:

A skilled mage has placed wards on their workshop that forbid entry to those but themselves. They key a Geis to the wards destruction - namely, destroying the wards becomes an act of challenge to them and imposes the following conditions on both the Geis-layer and the ward breaker:
Namely, that they must both immediately travel as fast as they can to a specified site and can not leave until one is dead, on penalty of death.


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Thaumaturgy Passive: Wizard Sight

Progressive skill in thaumaturgy is progressive understanding of the nature of magic. It's passive reflects its user's growing ability to discern the magical nature of things.

Notes: This ability and many kinds of illusion as well as other effects, come into conflict. Intelligent use of this ability can defeat illusions. A cogitator, however, is aware that their abilities leave magical traces. Thus, a cogitator of higher skill than the thaumaturge can defeat this sense as part of fooling senses. In the event of equal skill levels, the more defensive ability of sight, used intelligently, wins.
This means that the master-level thaumaturgical magic-sense used attentively cannot be countered other magical skills, and is thus essentially the only pure thaumaturgy that has use in a crisis scenario.

Level 1:
With focus and concentration (Using up their 'turn', so to speak), the thaumaturge can visually detect the presence or absence of magic in a given area that they can see.

Level 2:
The ability improves, and can now give the thaumaturge the discipline of the effect after one turn's worth of study on a particular magical aura.

Level 3:
The ability improves, and can now give the thaumaturge the minimum skill level needed for the effect, and any sub-discipline or aspects to the aura after one further turn of study.

Level 4:
The ability improves, and now performs all diagnostics after one round of study. In addition, the thaumaturge can direct this ability to all items they have in the cone of vision they choose to apply focus to.

Level 5:
The ability improves, and now this information is passively available to the mage as though through an additional sense that detects magical presence, and if focused on, reveals the additional information. The ability to explicitly visually focus on an item is not lost, but the requirement of focus and line of sight is removed.


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A Theurge with knowledge of other disciplines can, expending the same amount of resources required to manifest the effect, halt or counter it as it happens so long as their Thaumaturgy skill is at the same level or higher as that needed for the original effect.


Thaumaturgy dispelling other thaumaturgy is an exercise in extensive frustration - one must unravel each and every step made along the path to the final effect. Disjunction is a very high-level effect and isn't as well detailed right now, simply because it's not expected to be arrived at right away.


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Example pictures of relative scale and complexity between each level of Hermetics.


Runes2.PNG Runes3.PNG Runes4.PNG