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.
If he wants to change the RANGE of trhe spell to use it arcane connection range, yes, he will need an other version of the spell. Arcane connections to boost PENETRATION do not force you to know a special vewrsion of the spell, though. Those are 2 different things. One iis the range of the spell, while the other is the penetration.
If the original spell was a Range:voice spell, for example, he will still need to cast it at voice range, but using the AC he will increase the penetration of the spell.
Hope that helps
Thanks, this was exactly what we were after, the guy had the owl within the range of the spell and would only use the connections to boost penetration.
Perfectly OK then Blast away!
Yes, if you just want to increase Penetration then you can do so with any spell, any range (Spont, Formulaic or Ritual spell).
While we are at it, the maths for this can seem a little over complex, mixing addition and multiplication... The idea is that rather than giving a fixed bonus, everything is multiplied by your Penetration Ability score... (hence the "default multiplier of x1). To get any sort of bonus to that you need some sort of Arcane Connection (so a name or horoscope alone is not very useful without an AC)
If you have at least a brief AC, then you get a bonus, and can also add any sympathetic bonuses (birth name, horoscope, image, etc.). Add all the "multiplier bonuses" (eg Birth Name x1, Hours AC x1 adds to x2) and a that to the basic x1 multiplier (x2 plus x1 adds to x3).
All of those are multiplied by your Penetration Ability score.
So Pen 3 (Muto), means your Muto spell Penetration is (Casting Total - Spell level) + 4
Add an Hours AC (x1) and you get (CT - lvl) + (Pen * (1+1)) = (CT - lvl) + 4*2
Add the Birth name as well, and a Daily Horoscope, and you get 3 x1 multipliers : (CT - lvl) + (Pen * ((1+1+1) + 1)) = (CT - lvl) + 4*4
If you can get hold of some blood, and enough time to cast a horoscope and get their name, you can get (CT - lvl) + Pen7 ... by which time you should be hoping to get through... (High Parma Magica score will still likely block you, as MR is Parma5 + Form,)