adverb arts

I was thinking(and perusing) idly about new arts and came across this post

And I became interested in a tradition of magic (hermetic or not, indeed imo its probably more interesting as non-hermetic) that uses a noun/verb/adverb structure. I think probably making them all difficult arts fairly neatly deals with the problem of giant totals, but what kinds of things could these adverbs be and do? (Also I don't know any Latin, so if any of you want to contribute names that would be neat)

I think a good place to start looking is in the realm of some of the weirder spell modifications we often do to spells; +1 complexity, +1 flexible, +1 shrinking and growing, +12 detail and so on.

To start with Bob's "Continu[ously]": of course there's his suggestion of having the spell effect essentially repeat on some interval for the duration, but also you could use it to make a spell that lasts for the duration but refreshes if you concentrate on it at the end, or a spell that you can concentrate on to suppress for a moment but returns afterwards

We might also have an adverb like "Cooperatively" that allows someone else to participate in the casting of the spell, with further magnitudes increasing the size of the group, or to allow others to interface with the spell once it's been cast on some scale (caster>participants>designated group>anyone for example)

You could use "assiduously" for those detail modifications I mentioned before, you could maybe also use this one for taking extra time get get a particular result, rather than one determined by platonic forms and random chance.

Or you could use "dexterously" or "malleably" for those flexibility modifiers.

If you really wanted to you could throw size modifiers under an adverb like "powerfully" or something

I'm interested in other people's thoughts on this


It's somewhat interesting. Would you need to have a skill in the "Plainly" Art for when you don't want to modify things? That feels odd but fitting at the same time.

In a way, this looks like a MMF. If you think in hermetic term, those could be transversal Arts that partially replace the Technique/Form. For instance, you are bad at Herbam but good at Growth. You can Creo+Growth.

In a similar direction: what if there was an Art for Range:Voice? When you master it to score 5, you get a free magnitude to all your Voice spells... maybe only up to level 25.

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There's an argument to be made that some, maybe most, of a spell's other parameters (Range, Duration, Target) and anything that adds magnitude, are adverbs, adjectives, and other declensions, conjugations, and grammatical elements.


I came up on this right near the end of my brainstorming! There's maybe another pretty cool magic system where you describe your spell in a sentence of natural-ish language, have proficiencies in specific terms, and have to come up with a total at least equal to the cost based on your proficiencies and outside factors or something


Spell masteries seem something like adverbs too.

I have to admit I can't see how adverbial arts would work mechanically. Are they required for spells with certain sorts of modifiers? If so, you're making something that's supposed to be more difficult actually easier, and I can't see that ending well.

I was mostly assuming you would just do [verb]+[noun]+[adverb/adjective]+... to generate totals and for spell levels I think you have 3 options: modifier style where you just add magnitudes based on how hard the thing you're trying to do, requisite style, where the adverb has its own guideline table and you use the higher between the [te][fo] or [te/fo][ad] and add a mag, or crazy style, where you just develop a table for each possible combo(bad option)

Also I think your concerns about difficulty are directly addressed in the op, unless you ment something different by that

Looks like Charm Magic Aspects to me (HoH: TL p98)

My concern is that combining a third adverbial art into a casting total gives you a bigger casting total, which may more than offset the addition to the spell magnitude it is applying to. For example, suppose you have a CrHe spell to create a wooden box with specific carvings on it, and the write-up has "+1 detail" on the spell magnitude to reflect the beauty of the carvings. Suppose you also have a "Beautifully" ("Pulchre" if you insist) adverbial art that covers that sort of thing. Your CrHePu total is going to be bigger than your CrHe total, and it wouldn't take much work before it is easier for you to cast the notionally more demanding spell than it would be to cast an equivalent spell that created a box with no carvings at all. This seems wrong.

(Yes, I know it's a bad example since this sort of thing is normally handled by a Finesse roll. You get the general idea.)

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Well, let's investigate this:

To reach an arts score of 6(with even arts, where having three arts gives you the biggest advantage): [hermetic] 12xp [3 difficult] 15xp
Art score 12: [hermetic] 42xp [3 difficult] 150xp
Art score 18: [hermetic] 90xp [3 difficult] 315xp

Seems like not a problem to me, in fact, considering how hard this, and the fact that this probably means quite a few arts, you could probably promote one of them to a standard art.

Not to mention:

If you use the requisite method, you actually need 10 in your [ad] to reach parity in the generic case, which, as a standard Art, takes 55xp

This thread is getting perilously close to sentence diagraming. :fearful:


You are comparing apples and oranges. Granted if your adverbial arts are difficult it takes a lot of xp to reach 5 (comparatively speaking), but you've also ended up with something that isn't very different to spell mastery. You get to add it to more casting totals (but probably not that many), but it doesn't have any other special effects.

Within this putative new non-Hermetic style, I don't see the attraction of the adverbial arts if they are difficult, and I don't see how to balance it if they are normal.

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I'm comparing xp totals to xp totals...
I mean, I guess you could say this is like spell mastery, but I think that's missing some of the detail, you can have any mastery ability with any spell, and that makes it easier for you to do lots of things with that spell, whereas, if you have a 5 in an adverb that let's you add flexibility in your spell results, then you're good at making flexible spells in general, this is categorically different I think.
I don't understand the last bit, like techniques have an even wider application than adverbs, should we remove them too? Because its "unbalanced?" This game is inherently unbalanced, the only real stricture in that direction is that all non-hermetic traditions have to be less powerful and flexible(in a broad sense) than hermetic magic and I think what I've described fits that if you take a little inspiration in structure from the other art based traditions.