Me and my group recently encountered a rules question we could not solve by ourselves and I would like to ask for the help of the more experienced players in solving it. Basically, does a magus need a special version of a spell to utilize arcane and sympatethic connections for the purposes of penetration?
The actual case where this came up was when Tremere in our group attempted to cast Commanding the Harnessed Beast on a magical owl, found that he needed some help in penetrating its magic might, and decided to make a horoscope for it (he knew its name) and to use a bunch of its feathers as a sympatethic connection.
We could not clarify, based on the corebook alone, wether he would have to device a spell with arcane connection as its range, or if he could just use the spell he had alredy, but use an arcane and a sympatethic connection to the target to get past the resistance? The rulebook says that to use an arcane connection you have to have a spell with arcane connection as its range, but the example given states otherwise.
Thank you for your help.
The example in ArM5 is for Agony of the Beast, which implies that the arcane connection is not written into the spell; it just boosts penetration.
I agree totally.
Penetration boosting through Arcane Connections is a common nasty trick. But requires no special spell.
Exceptions would be if anything required the Arcane Connection Range which would require a spell with this built into the perameters.
Of Course this could be circumvented with rego vim Opening the Intangible tunnel.
How do you imagine use of ACs for penetration can be circumvented with Opening the Intangible Tunnel??
That spell has nothing to do with bypassing Might, but rather simply opening a conduit for spellcasting from one disparate location to the location at which one's target happens to be. One would still need Arcane or Sympathetic connections to boost penetration for any spell they subsequently chose to cast through the tunnel (providing their penetration was not already sufficient without such aids).
The Arcane Connection range is not required to boost the penetration with arcane/sympathetic connections. That range has one purpose - to allow magi to affect targets they cannot actively sense (which is required for most targets). In this context it may be helpful to think of your mage's touch, voice, etc. as being your arcane connection.
Keep in mind, however, that you cannot use sympathetic connections (or the penetration ability) unless you have an arcane connection to your target and that only a single arcane connection may be used at a time for the purpose of increasing penetration.
In this case, I would treat the feathers as an (+3?) arcane connection. Next I'd add the sympathetic connections, +1 for the owl's name and +1 for the (I presume, daily) horoscope for a x6 multiplier.
So, if the character rolled a casting total of 32 (and has a penetration score of 3) he would have a final penetration of 32 + 18 - 30 = 20.
What I meant was that the need for an arcane ranged spell is circumvented by the intangible tunnel.