With discussion about lowering the power levels cropping up regularly (as it did in this topic), I thought I'd share an idea I've been toying with recently.

Like some others, I find the "difficult Arts" solution a bit too severe, and it does have some side effects (like making Magic Theory disproportionally strong).

I was looking for a way to tone down the higher-level magic while not crippling magic at low levels. So I had this idea of playing with the notion of the magnitude of an effect vs its spell level.

Right now, the magnitude of an effect is equal to its level divided by 5, rounded up. So spell/effect levels 1 to 5 are 1st magnitude, 6 to 10 is 2nd magnitude, etc. When modifying the parameters of a spell (range, target ans duration), this adds/reduces the level by 5 (or 1 for levels below 5).

What if we did things the other way around? Start magnitude at 1 for a level 1 spell. Each parameter change (from the basic) adds 1 magnitude.

Then, calculate the spell level as the xp to get that magnitude. So a magnitude 5 spell is level 15 -- this is the equivalent of a current level 5 spell. This seemed a little rough on low-magnitude spells, so I modified this a little for the first 5 magnitudes (the "variant").

The following table summarizes the current spells levels vs the proposed spell levels by magnitude:

[table][tr][td]Current Magnitude[/td][td]Current Level[/td][td]New Magnitude[/td][td]New Level[/td][td]New Level Variant[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][td]1[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]1[/td][td]2[/td][td]2[/td][td]3[/td][td]2[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]1[/td][td]3[/td][td]3[/td][td]6[/td][td]3[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]1[/td][td]4[/td][td]4[/td][td]10[/td][td]4[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]1[/td][td]5[/td][td]5[/td][td]15[/td][td]5[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]2[/td][td]10[/td][td]6[/td][td]21[/td][td]11[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]3[/td][td]15[/td][td]7[/td][td]28[/td][td]18[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]4[/td][td]20[/td][td]8[/td][td]36[/td][td]26[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]5[/td][td]25[/td][td]9[/td][td]45[/td][td]35[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]6[/td][td]30[/td][td]10[/td][td]55[/td][td]45[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]7[/td][td]35[/td][td]11[/td][td]66[/td][td]56[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]8[/td][td]40[/td][td]12[/td][td]78[/td][td]68[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]9[/td][td]45[/td][td]13[/td][td]91[/td][td]81[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]10[/td][td]50[/td][td]14[/td][td]105[/td][td]95[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]11[/td][td]55[/td][td]15[/td][td]120[/td][td]110[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]12[/td][td]60[/td][td]16[/td][td]136[/td][td]126[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]13[/td][td]65[/td][td]17[/td][td]153[/td][td]143[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]14[/td][td]70[/td][td]18[/td][td]171[/td][td]161[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]15[/td][td]75[/td][td]19[/td][td]190[/td][td]180[/td][/tr]

[tr][td]16[/td][td]80[/td][td]20[/td][td]210[/td][td]200[/td][/tr][/table]

As you can see, this has a huge impact on high-powered effects, making them much harder to invent, learn and cast. Otherwise, there are very few things that need to be modified on the abilities, arts, virtues and flaws, spellcasting, or lab rules.

The most obvious changes are (with harsher versions in italics):

- For enchanted items, use magnitudes as for a spell to determine the effect level, and then add modifiers for frequency of use, penetration, etc.
- Longevity rituals are unchanged since it is not an effect level (still use Lab Total / 5 as a modifier to aging rolls). (Or use the lab total as a level and look up the magnitude to be used as a modifier for aging rolls. For example, a lab total of 91 is magnitude 13, so the modifiers to aging rolls is 13.)
- Things that use the magnitude (such as the vis cost of rituals) can simply be adjusted to use magnitude - 4 (minimum 1) instead. (Or use magnitude directly if you want rituals to cost more raw vis.)

I'm thinking about trying this out (using the "variant" column) the next time I start a new saga.

Did I miss anything? Thoughts?