Aegis, Penetration and Durenmar

It has been pointed out to me that wards need to penetrate. Durenmar has an Aegis that can keep out the King of the Black Mountain (GotF, 54), whose might is 90, so it stands to reason that Durenmar manages to cast this level 90+ Aegis with 90+ penetration every year.

Who on earth is casting this spell? I realize that they can commune, but even then, the caster needs a 95+ casting total. No one statted out in GotF is even close to that.

Along these lines, does Life Boost (ArM5, 44) apply to rituals?

Aegis of the Hearth does not need to penetrate as wards do. It is not a normal spell but either a unique breakthrough or an enshrined legacy from earlier editions of the game, depending on how you look at it :wink:

Life Boost applies to formulaic spells, but I don't see why you couldn't allow it for rituals: such things are typically ruled out explicitly.

Really? Is there a page reference for this? If that's true, my players are going to be miffed. Part of their grand plan involves mastering Aegis for the extra magic resistance (which they have already spent time on). Now that that is not possible, they'll need to reevaluate.

I was thinking that as well. Flexible Formulaic Magic, for example.

Thanks for the quick reply.

No, only an admission that there was a problem. The Berklist is down for me so I'll link you to a quote in the forum... which happens to mention the very ploy your players have embarked on.

Okay, yes it is munchkin, but in our [the players] defense Rex should point out that we are all enemies of the order from a hidden Diedne cabal and will and have been hunted by Tremere magi, since we are vastly outnumbered and out gunned I think a little cheese is appropriate.

But seriously, Wards & Aegis penetration have been an issue since AM5 came out and I remember David piping in at one point and saying that while maybe not their intent that the way they wrote the rules they would have to penetrate, and that is what we have been basing our assumptions off of. As rex points out many book examples our out of whack from a needing penetration point of view as it would be extemeley hard to penetrate even wards over 20 by those rules and manay cannon NPC writeups would be incapable of casting their wards with any effect at all.

Can anyone furnish a thread with some official input into this subject, I know that their is plenty of unofficial comments on the subject???


Aegis level 90? Well, possible, though very tough!
Imagine: A Bonisagus specialized on doing so (magical focus involved) would be able to reach a casting total similar to 95
Philosophy 5 (spec: ritual magic +1), Artes Liberales (spec: ritual magic +1), loud speech +1, exaggerated gestures +1, Aura (was it 5 in Durenmar?), Int. +5 (hey, it's a Bonisagus...) 2 Confidencepoints +6, stress die +5= 35. So you need 20 in Re and 20 in Vim.
Well, there might be only one Bonisagus in th entire Order at any given time, but that one DOES live in Durenmar by order of the Prima!

If I recall, loud speech and bold gestures do not apply to ritual spells. I don't have my book for a page ref, but that is my STRONG recollection, otherwise you could expect that they would always be used.

Another idea: Maybe there is a Bonisagus mystery cult virtue that allows this. (Gives a minor focus in magical wards?) That would explain how such levels can be more regularly attained.

Full disclosure: I am a player in the OP's game.

I'll quote it for you

So yes, the Aegis does have to penetrate. My own HR is that neither Wards nor the Aegis needs to penetrate. If you are gonna hand wave one, might as well wave them both in.

What if the Aegis is cast with an AC to the Great Fir ?
It could be possible to achieve a huge penetration, right ?

Hrmph. I'm not too keen on the version of Durenmar presented in GotF anyway. I based my idea of the covenant on what it said in The Order of Hermes all those years ago about it being a huge fortress perched on a massive rock in the middle of the Black Forest, but that's by the by. (Incidentally, the credits in The Order of Hermes cite someone called Andreas Wichter for "details on Durenmar". Does anyone know more about this?)

Anyway, from a glance at the Durenmar section I notice it's very light on actual stats. I can only suppose that enough of the magi are good enough at Rego Vim and know Wizards' Communion at a high enough level to cast the most powerful Aegis ever invented. Or maybe there's a casting tablet somewhere.

If they commune, then the caster only needs a casting total of 90/number of participants (however, they need participants with 180 levels of wizard's communion between them, and have a far higher chance of botching).

Umm that only adds up to a CT of 75, not 95 :wink:

A major centre like Durenmar or Verdi or any Domus Magna for that matter would only need to get 9 magi with a WC of level 20 each to pull off such a total. Not that unreasonable actually and quite likely for those focal points.

There are 15 members of Durenmar. Assuming they all have Wizard's Communion, and none of them botch it, they can knock the effective level of the Aegis down to around 6. Even then, the caster would need a casting total of 96+ to get 90+ penetration. This means that his/her casting score would need to be 91+.

As I see it:
Sta: +2
Aura: +7
Artes: +6
Phil: +6
Penetration skill: +6

This means that 28+Arts needs to exceed 91, so this guy's Arts need to exceed 63. Since (s)he has a focus in warding, this puts both the Arts at 21+. This is not overwhelming, but is definitely far beyond all other characters detailed in GotF (Phillipus Niger excepted).

My initial post was just fishing for something that I may have missed, like some trick to push penetration way up, or some super ward specialist I overlooked.

Thanks for all the replies. It's been fun.

Since the target is Boundary, does that mean that an arcane connection to the "place" protected would give a penetration multiplier?
Can the same be said of wards, since their target is Circle? Does an arcane connection to the person/people protected give a penetration multiplier?

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Umm that only adds up to a CT of 75, not 95

Sorry, but i mentione (magical focus involved) so you have to double the art with the lesser score leading to a CT of 95.

However, I think using an arcane connection is the easiest way to reach the needed penetration. But why didn't the magi of Durenmar use this AC to destroy the Fir (reducing its might to zero)?

Destroying something that is so powerful and embedded in the essence of the pace where you live (the black forest) can have wide ranging effects across the forest itself, if not the whole of the tribunal or Mythic Europe. So, destroying the fir might not be an option. Maybe its disappearance might cause the loss of 50% of the potential of the whole forest (half vis sources, half auras, weakened auras as well, unhealthy dark plants...), or it might cause that effect across Europe.

Do not think lightly about destroying the essence of a powerful place or being :wink: Even if it is your enemy.