Ability Block Craft and Rego Craft Magic

I didn't touch Ars Magica 5th for a long time but now want to create a new char.
Back to my question, I wonder if my idea of a character who is a complete klutz in mundane crafting still can use the Rego/ Finesse based craft magic to bring his ideas into shape?
What other problems can / will a Magus encounter that can't learn the craft skills?
Will Ability Block Mundane Craft broad enough? I personal think yes but because I'm out of the rule system for so long I'm not sure.

IIRC, Ability Block requires a reason.

Why is a character unable or unwilling to learn mundane Craft Abilities, but has no problems with learning Finesse or, say, Chirurgy? There may be a story behind it.


Now one easy answer to this could be that the char simply have not the endurance to work for hours with his hand or even worse using tools on some material just to see a failure. So he is much more theoretic then practical orientated.
At last from how I understand it Finesse is a much more direct link between the imagination of the mage and the result then forming something with the hands.
I agree that Chirurgy might also be affected with this but then in return why can someone paint runes who can't even learn any other language then his mother tongue (and why could he learn the mother language at all when languages are so problematic for him).
(A other strange thing is that someone can use a knife to skin a animal and then use the meat for cooking and the hide for making leather but couldn't use the same knife to defend him self against the same animal before it was dead. :laughing: )

Lack of endurance would probably reflect into a low Stamina score, so another possibility might be that he is just too impatient to spend the time taking all the successive steps required by a mundane craft.

If so, make sure he has an appropriate personality trait and roleplay it. :slight_smile:

But that would probably also preclude many Profession abilities, such as Profession: Scribe. It might also prohibit him learning Teaching.

The only downside of having an Ability Block in Crafting is that the mage will probably never be able to benefit from +3 bonus for deep familiarity unless he has a model at hand.

Very likely, this mage would craft things, but will never really be of high quality unless he spent time to acquire models and study them. And then, he will only be able to do high quality work on this model. He will be more a McGuyver than sought expert for Rego Crafting.

That absolut goes with what I have planed, the Rego Crafting is more a side product of be a Rego and Finesse specialist for Wards and indirect attack magic.

As I understand it ability block is just a general ineptidue, to a category of abilities. I could easily see one covering both crafts and craft magics for a magus who just can't understand how things get made. Especially for a nature-based magus...

if this would be so then a ABILITY BLOCK Martial Abilities should also block all Combat spells what would be very bad even for a major flaw and ability block is just a minor flaw like Faerie Antipathy who i.e. just give -1 to a general thematic like iron.
Edit: Beside Ability Block Martial Abilities still allow you to use axe, knife or hammer as tools even on something that did live just some minute before.

My approach to wanting a Ability block:Craft for a magus which restricted mundane crafts but not Rego Crafting would be "Why is it a problem (and therefore worth flaw points) for this magus?"

If they're a Verditius, then it's an immediately meaningful flaw, because actual crafting gives a Verditius significant benefits (reduction in vis opening costs and additions to lab total) which Rego crafting doesn't. I would have no problem with it as a flaw for a Verditius.

If they're not a Verditius, it gets a bit trickier. I'd probably still accept it if it was a driving force in the magus' life that they couldn't craft properly, and their magic was allowing them to overcome this limitation (which is sort of what I'm getting from your description), but I'd probably expect them to have a relevant personality flaw backing this up.

If neither, then why is this actually a problem for the magus? There are some very minor downsides from not being able to craft respresentations for sympathetic connections, but that's not really a big enough issue for me (as illustrated by the fact that very few magi have enough Dex + Craft to do it anyway).

My point is not that an ability block on craft abilities must block craft spells, but rather that if an ability block is going to block these spells it would need to block mundane craft abilities as well.

There is something you need to establish first: what is the maximum quality you can produce with craft magic. If you don't have a cap, with inexpensive enough materials, you can have everyone running around with Excellent +20 Talismans, weapons, armor, etc. I prefer to take the C&G rule quite specifically to avoid that: Craft limits quality. So you can get Superior without Craft, but no better, under that interpretation. It neatly solves the Excellent quality issue without introducing anything new. And, in this case, the Flaw would limit the craft magic and so still be a worthy Flaw.

For this flaw its direct written into the text that: " It must be possible for your character to learn the abilities in question, but she need have no intention of doing so" so it could be taken even if there is no downside for now at all. For me this also means the char should never be able to remove or replace this general flaw to be worth a flaw unlike most story, personal or many supernatural flaw.

How did he survive and complete an Hermetic apprenticeship without that mental endurance? Was it nightmarish? Are there any lasting consequences? How does he now relate to lab work in general?


Then if you just want a free flaw point, why not take Ability Block "Chinese Theology"

Although there are good points made, imo the use of Craft magic by a character with an ability block in craft does not seem appropriate. As pointed out earlier the details of why the block is there are very important - essentially though the concept is a stretch.
A wizard who is good at Rego crafting but uncoordinated looks fine, it's the flaw's nature which put it at odds.

I'd join the crows of the folks saying: "You need a good reason!" Though as long as that's there, I disagree with those who say it would be "free flaw"; any more than giving a pious, fragile nun an ability block in martial abilities. Possible reasons include:

  1. The character lacks the patience (or perhaps is just too lazy) for long, exacting manual work. Picking a pocket (Ledgerdemain) is fine, sewing a wound shut (Chirurgy) is fine, but most Crafts, and many Professions (e.g. Scribe) are completely out.

  2. The character is a perfection-obsessed artist: nothing short of what he pulls out of the Realm of Forms is satisfying to him, and if he tried to paint a saint, he'd just get stuck painting and repainting that eyelash. In addition to Crafts, Music is certainly out.

  3. The character has been cursed by a powerful supernatural entity! This always works, and can be a good motivation for an Ability Block that would otherwise be difficult to justify.

I decided against this ability block by now because even with no plan at moment to learn craft skills as its still feel worse then many other minor flaws.

But I wonder what explain all the people, requesting one for ability block craft skills, have for the ability block martial skills? I personal can't find one, except the catch it all cursed, that isn't covered with a personality or story flaw already.

I had a character that had Ability Block: Martial Skills as he did not liked to see blood. He had no qualms about using combat spells as long as he did not see blood. In fact he liked to incinerate his enemies.

I personal think that can't see blood is a bad example for Ability Block: Martial Skills because it still allow you to learn them using training puppets and to fight creatures who don't have blood or using blunt weapons.
The main problem of can't see blood is in my opinion with some food, many way to heal or help your wounded friends, cooking and some other craft.

It actual feel more like it was used to avoid the minor personality flaw Fear Blood.


I'd allow it, of course! Then again, I sympathize with the school suggesting that padding out flaws is an artifact of state-of-the art game design from 1988.

Need a reason? In Ars Magica "A wizard did it" works just fine. But if you prefer your crafting ineptitude to come from a faerie, a demon, or a childhood accident with uncontrolled magic, that's also fine.

So we have our young and Gifted child, whose family has been expert craftsmen for generations and generations, cursed not only with a Blatant Gift but with utter ineptitude making anything with his hands. Such a disappointment! What a hateful child! Now, as a magus, he is determined to make up for his lack of physical finesse with magical Finesse, and create wonders. He'll show them all!

Blatant Gift
Plagued by Supernatural
Ability Block

Or maybe he just had a faerie friend who would turn anything he'd try to make into a fun and clever catastrophe, so he never got the hang of it and became too afraid even to try. Don't we all have friends like this?