Help! Torn between priest and mage

Hi all, my first post here.

I am hoping to get along this year for the first time. I love the Urizen brief, their style and approach to life. I want to play a Magi and get into the political game rather than the combat one. The ritual magic really appeals to me but Synod priest seems to open up the most political doors and opportunities for that kind of game. However, that requires a congregation which would severely limit my ability to be a ritualist.

My concept is philosopher/scholar trying to pierce the mysteries and believes that only those who understand such things should be eligible to lead. In the Political game wanting to get involved in as much as possible across the weekend.

I’m thinking at the moment it would be easier to start as a ritualist with conclave politics and use that as an in-road to the politics of the Synod without necessarily having to be able to vote to begin with?

Any advice or experience for a beginner would be great!




Celestial Arch!

One issue you’re going to run into is that Conclave politics and Synod politics are each big games by themselves and trying to do both will be difficult.

I suppose the main question I have for you is what kind of politics do you want?

Conclave has it’s backroom deals and the like but a lot of it is decided by a hundreds of mages getting in the Hall of Worlds and people making swift speeches about a proposal, a bit of back and forth and then a vote. Oh yes you also can choose to play around with the politics of Eternals as well, which is more like the ambassadorial game but with many more players. Generally if you want you politics to include hard skill political speech giving in it this is your game.

Synod is a bit less pressured as you vote on judgements during the time they’re open by going to the hub, seeing which judgements are relevant to your assemblies (Virtue and National normally) and then giving your votes to the civil service. You’ll probably get lobbied a bit when you’re in the hub as it’s a natural gathering place of Synod members. You can choose to attend your virtue and national assembly meetings but that’s entirely optional as most of them are completely unofficial convenient gatherings.

I like both of them, oh and @sqweelygig is quite right that your character does sound like they’d fit the Celestial Arch to a tee. Which is handy as the CA is currently the smallest order so you’d have much easier time finding stuff to do :slight_smile:.

Oh yeah another wrinkle is the Sword Scholars who have hit the Synod with a bang, their influence has made it somewhat more difficult to get certain things through the Synod. This has excited certain oppinions about them :smiley:.

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A congregation doesn’t limit your ability to be a ritualist. It limits your ability to do small solo casting for your own benefit as you won’t have any mana crystals of your own, but many people who want something cast will either pay in mana or pay enough money to purchase the mana (or they should do!), and if you are planning on joining a major coven they will probably be paid to have rituals cast. The big strategic ones, or even something of national interest is likely to be funded by others, you’re contributing your time and power.

So you would take a congregation as resource and spend most of your xp into ritual magic and you would be able to vote for Urizen senators and meddle in synod matters.You don’t actually need to take a priest skills at all, and you can sell you un-used liao!

I think you would need to work out how your character ended up being a religious leader with no priest skills but Urizen is somewhere I could see it happening!


As someone who did this, it can be great fun. I started with Winter 3 and no priest skills, in the Marches. Joined the Sevenfold Path and the Vigilance assembly and made a reputation as “priest who cares about people doing naughty blasphemous things with Magic”

Bear in mind there are four sorts of priest, and you only need to be one sort to call yourself a priest.

  • Pastoral : You talk to people about the way and try to help them towards Virtuous actions. You influence people to Virtue by listening to them and talking with them.
  • Spiritual: You snort drugs and blow Virtue onto things. You influence people to Virtue by making their posessions, home, or brain yell DO THIS VIRTUOUS SORT OF THING at them.
  • Political: Enough people show up to your chapel/clearing/drug-filled swamp shack that the Synod issues you political power and additional drugs. Combines well with Spiritual so you don’t have to buy the drugs. Expensive because the cost of political power is “about half your income per summit”. You influence people to virtue with Reward Judgements, credible legal threats, and public lauding or denunciation.
    This is the one for Clemency, Sanctuary, Right of Witness and other legal privileges of being a Priest According To Law as opposed to A Priest According to Society.
  • Theological: You listen the accounts of to other people who took absurd amounts of drugs, and attempt to fit them into a coherent theology of the Spirit and Virtue.

Thanks everyone, I really appreciate your thoughts. Lots for me to think about. I guess it comes down to working out what kind of thing I’d want to do then giving it a try on my first time and seeing how it goes

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Please also note that if it doesn’t turn out the way you hoped PD are very good at letting newbies adjust their character XP spend after or even during their first game if it’s not proving to be fun. Just come see us in GOD!