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Shockwave_IIc
QUOTE (MitS page 60)

As a General guidline, a run can qualify as a deed if the Karma award is comparable to the Karma cost of the grade the character seeks


Now the thing is, a "Deed" is an Ordeal and thus it reduce's the cost of the Initiation not replaces. So with the "fact" in mind, how much karma would you need to be earning (via the Ordeal) if your going for Initiation with group for grade 3?

12 Karma? The Entire cost of the grade, Plus the Initiation cost of 12 (which you need to have allready) for a total of 24 Karma

or

4 Karma. The difference between Ordeal and no Ordeal, plus the cost of the Initiation for a total of 16 Karma.

Or (hopefully) im clearly missing something.

Anybody help me on this?
Talia Invierno
QUOTE
12 Karma? The Entire cost of the grade, Plus the Initiation cost of 12 (which you need to have allready) for a total of 24 Karma

I don't really understand what you mean, here.

You left out the option we use: that the deed should have earned at least the same amount of karma as the initiation would have cost (with deed, and in this example group, modifiers): but you don't get any karma from the deed at all, even if the karma from the deed happens to go a bit over what is required. Instead, that karma pays for your initiation. In this example, that would make it a minimum final total of 12 ([5+3] x 1.5).

Also will point out that initiation should frequently -- not always -- require some kind of seeking or action over and above the spending of karma and the specific ordeal required. The ordeals that would be least likely to require some separate seeking for initiation over and above the ordeal itself would be ally, deed, the masterpiece ordeal, meditation, thesis: because these hold in themselves a clear channel through which to gain the insight an initiation is supposed to represent. Thus the value of a deed is not primarily in the reduction of karma, but in that it also fulfills the seeking or action required to gain insight, or totem closeness, or however you wish to interpret what initiation means.

Most of the other ordeals, we'd use them as the culmination of the initiation, rather than the initiation itself.

(Bear in mind that the preceding two paragraphs are an interpretation based on ordeal and initiation being related but separate, and that there can be other interpretations.)
Shockwave_IIc
QUOTE (Talia Invierno)
QUOTE
12 Karma? The Entire cost of the grade, Plus the Initiation cost of 12 (which you need to have allready) for a total of 24 Karma

I don't really understand what you mean, here.

Just like in your option below, the "Ordeal" should generate 12 Karma (But you don't actually get it) but as the rules say the Ordeal only reduce the cost not replace it thus you have to find the actual cost of the Initiation as well. In this example 12.

QUOTE
You left out the option we use: that the deed should have earned at least the same amount of karma as the initiation would have cost (with deed, and in this example group, modifiers): but you don't get any karma from the deed at all, even if the karma from the deed happens to go a bit over what is required.  Instead, that karma pays for your initiation.  In this example, that would make it a minimum final total of 12 ([5+3] x 1.5).
It might be the way it should be done, but (to me at least) it's not that clear. Also as 12 Karma is difficult to come by in one run any that earn 12 will be VERY hard, and thus shouldn't be whats needed for a Deed at least not for Grade 3, maybe more around 5+ (In my games i tend to give out an average of 6-8 Karma) .

QUOTE
Also will point out that initiation should frequently -- not always -- require some kind of seeking or action over and above the spending of karma and the specific ordeal required.


Indeed but as that is a completely roleplaying and thus totally subjective i desided to leave that out.
Dawnshadow
The Deed ordeal never made sense to me.

The primary out-of-game benefit to an ordeal is that it lowers the cost of the initiation. It sometimes has a secondary benefit in-game (the familiar ordeal -- you don't lose the magic point creating the ally spirit). It usually has a drawback to it -- time being a typical one. Others being permanent ritual links or possibility for magic loss.

The Deed ordeal.. effectively costs MORE karma -- for no benefit. The Deed has to cost the same Karma as the initiation is my reading of it, and you don't get that karma. So why not just take the karma and initiate normally, saving the karma you would have used for the other initiation?

Talia, I see what you're saying. I don't entirely agree with it -- I think that initiation itself can be more than enough. For instance, a Shaman opens him/herself up more to the totem. The act of initiation is breaking through the limitations imposed previously just a little bit more, bringing them a little closer. A Hermetic I don't know as much. Harder to wrap my head around their form of magic. I don't see initiation as something that is for bringing about external, I think it is mostly internal and ordeals are a way of helping to channel growth.

Groups I think are a little different in that they force growth just by being there -- you're surrounded by magical people, linked to them, so your own magic can't really help but grow. All those internal blocks that keep you from being pure magic (somewhere around, oh, infinitely many of them) are just that little bit weaker, so initiation is cheaper.

I would probably include Astral Quest in your list though Talia -- at least, I'd argue for it in your group. I can't see how an astral quest would be anything but alone, which means that it would be a powerful (and dangerous) solitary magical experience, and a complete immersion in magic, culminating with a powerful spirit helping you grow magically in the Citadel.
Ancient History
By the Numbers:

Base Cost of Initiation = 5 + 3 (your desired grade) = 8

As a member of an initiatory group, and undergoing an ordeal, you multiply the base cost by 1.5, which equals 12.

You must pay 12 karma points to become a grade 3 initiate after you have performed your deed.

Your Deed should be an action, in line with your moral/totem/magical purpose/guidelines/studies, and would have netted you 12 karma.

I believe the point you're driving at is Why the Hell would I use a deed then, instead of just taking the karma?

At high levels, you just might have a better shot at a deed than any other sort of ordeal...astral quests and meditation become long and difficult, oaths, geasa and theses are binding, familiars are damn expensive and aseticism is painful.

Thematically, ordeals make sense, your eyes are opened to a deeper knowledge of magic, blah blah, whatever.
Shockwave_IIc
QUOTE (Ancient History)
I believe the point you're driving at is Why the Hell would I use a deed then, instead of just taking the karma?

Spot on.

I'll take the 24 please Bob, and spend 16 to initiate without ordeal (or 12 with a different Ordeal) and spend the other 8/12 on improving my skills to make the most of the grade i just gained.

QUOTE
At high levels, you just might have a better shot at a deed than any other sort of ordeal...astral quests and meditation become long and difficult, oaths, geasa and theses are binding, familiars are damn expensive and aseticism is painful

I see your point here, but i find/ believe it to be an occurence that would come up VERY rarey
Dawnshadow
You are always going to be down 5 + grade karma taking a deed ordeal.

Ordeal Initiation: (5+grade)*1.5 (lost)
Deed: (5+grade)*1.5 (not gained -- worse the lost, in fact. Karma Pool)
Initiation Without Ordeal: (5+grade)*2

Difference in Karma spent: (5+grade)*1.5 + (5+grade)*1.5 - (5+grade)*2 = 5+grade
Difference in Karma Pool: For any grade after the first: at least 1 lower, taking the Deed ordeal.

Taking a regular initiation instead of a deed, will net you: 5+grade karma, and a certain amount of KP: effectively, (5+grade)*1.5/10.
Edward
No mater how high your grade is if the quest would have netted you as much karma as the initiation is costing you are better off initiating without an ordeal and taking the extra karma for other things.

I did once use a quest ordeal but it was run without dice while I was driving the GM home. There was real risk but it was based on making the wrong choice (enough wrong choices and I would have died) but it was not a run the rest of eth team was any way involved in either, got thing I didnít ask for there help to, my initiatory group was very secretive and the job blew open far to many of there secrets.

Edward
Talia Invierno
What Ancient History said (re strict application of karma) -- which might be another reason that what is involved in attaining another grade of initiation and any associated ordeal might have been intended to be distinct and separate. (Going back to the previous concept: that "deed" might also subsume what is required to initiate.)

Asked another way: how would you initiate a character who isn't taking an ordeal? How many of you would just let that character pay the karma and accept that s/he's initiated another grade level? Because if there's nothing beyond an optional ordeal required for initiation, why not allow the character to just pay the karma and initiate however many times they like, nothing required beyond the karma payment?

I'd forgotten about the astral quest option, Dawnshadow, and agree.
Dawnshadow
Personally, I would just let them initiate like that. It fits my own views of magic fairly well -- but, that's closer to shamanic, and intuitive. Growth in fits and spurts (since Initiation just doesn't happen in a smooth progression really.. power jumps are discrete, especially with adepts)

An ordeal, to my mind, is just a tool to make the initiation easier. To make an (admittedly limitted) analogy, initiation is like a garden. Tend the garden, magic grows. An ordeal is like having tools, but you don't really need them. You can tend a garden with your hands, it's just more work.

An ordeal can add structure to the initiation, which is I think what you're getting at Talia. Something that elaborates how their ability can grow. I don't entirely see how that's necessairy. I think it's vastly easier (and don't initiate without an ordeal because of it -- though if I ever had a group, I very well might skip ordeals sometimes), but I think that someone who's exposed to enough magic, who uses magic constantly, could make a very good case for growing talent.

Like someone who's constantly playing basketball, but never joins a team, and never goes into competitions, still gets good if he works hard enough at it. It's harder, takes longer, but still happens.
Talia Invierno
Not structure. Fits and spurts, yes, definitely (very Zennish way of looking at it btw): but what triggered them? They don't just happen without some solid background (Zen would say lots and lots of sazen -- but within SR terms that would mean the skill, not the ordeal): and something of catalyst.

Not ordeal but background is the structure against which the catalyst can operate. Ordeal only forces the confrontation, the moment of challenge when the previous rationality is no longer an adequate way of comprehending what one is. It's in moments of extremis that the blinding insights come most readily -- and maybe it's because so much of our current society is so very comfortable and set in our ways that the moments of any personal insight have become so very rare.
Ancient History
Any form of initiation, with or without a deed, can be seen as a magician developing a new power or technique. The catalyst for this may be, but is not always, an ordeal. In many cases, an ordeal may simply be the culminating rite, journey, or focus needed to fully unlock the power.

Consider an initiate within an initiatory group. The karma for the initiation may represent the effort the initiate has put into the group, and in response the leaders of the group initate the member into a higher circle with a ritual. Undergoing the ritual increases the magical potential of the initiate, and the leaders may then teach them a new power or metamagical technique. In this model, an initiate's ordeal is either a final test to see if the initiate is worthy, a part of the ritual, or possibly a obeisance they must make to the higher initiates.

's all in your heads, kiddos. Go nuts.
Dawnshadow
Actually, structure can be a very good thing for it Talia.

Think about it this way: you have long ritual meditation (we'll make it a high grade initiate, and say 90 days). It results in 3 tests over it, charisma, intelligence, and willpower. The meditation could be a group's very strict meditational system where the structure itself builds up into a point of insight where the person undergoing it, rather than breaking out of his previous rationality, suddenly understands his view better.

He doesn't break away from it -- he's driving to the very edge of breaking it or taking a leap and embracing it more completely. The meditation is the structure that leads him to the point where he can do that. It doesn't matter if he chooses to rebuild his understanding, or embrace his old one more completely -- what matters is that he got the point and made a choice. He becomes more solid in his old understanding, or tears it down and builds a better one from the pieces, along with others that he's found since his last initiation.

In fact, I would say that initiation being a massive rebuilding is a very limitting concept to it -- especially for magical theories which involve patrons (either totems or loa, for instance). It could very well be going further into what the totem or patron is. Not rebuilding, or changing their understanding -- just embracing it a little more closely. Becoming a little more in tune with it.

Everyone might have an ephiphany that makes something they didn't understand become more clear. Shamans, embracing the totem more completely. Hermetics, integrating the lastest viewpoint into their own style.
John Campbell
QUOTE (Talia Invierno)
Asked another way: how would you initiate a character who isn't taking an ordeal? How many of you would just let that character pay the karma and accept that s/he's initiated another grade level? Because if there's nothing beyond an optional ordeal required for initiation, why not allow the character to just pay the karma and initiate however many times they like, nothing required beyond the karma payment?

What I'd ask is, why is it that you're talking like this is a strange and iffy way to handle it? That's exactly how it works, per MitS. Ordeals are purely optional... you can initiate without them if you're willing to spend more Karma. And I don't know of any reason you couldn't go more than one grade at a time, other than that it's rare to get that much Karma in a lump sum, and there's no good reason to save it up and get multiple grades at once. You're better off doing them as you get the Karma, so as to reap the benefits of increased grade as soon as possible.

Personally, I require an ordeal for the first initiation, to help give the character's magic some flavor, but I only require it for the first, and even that is a house rule.
toturi
I've some difficulty reconcilling this mechanically: Themetically it makes sense. If initiating by Deed cost more karma, and if the Deed somehow should give you some advantage (because you have gotten some new insight to your Path/Totem/etc) then the only thing I can see is that the karma accumulated during the Deed is somehow easier to gain.
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