Aegis tokens

Is there anything magically identifiable about tokens to an AotH?

There probably is, but I don't think we have any canonical information about that.

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At the very least I think an active magical effect would show up on them with InVi magic even while not in the Aegis but that’s not explicit in canon anywhere that I am aware of.


I imagine that performing the ritual causes the participant's "magical signature" to leave a gap in the Aegis effect. But tokens?

And now I am wondering if a magical signature can change enough to not be recognised by the Aegis - say a temporary twilight scar?

I think this is very open to interpretation, without any established canon answer.

There are multiple possibilities. What has been put forward already are workable concepts I would however just point out the additional possibility that the tokens don't have to be magical at all for the Aegis to function properly. If the Aegis has a (presumably non-hermetic/breakthrough related) ability to recognize the tokens themselves as designated props that were used during the Ritual, then just recognizing the designated items is enough.

To me that seems like it is allowing forging tokens by using a similar enough item. I assume that is not a meaning of that rule you intended as it somehow recognizes those particular coins or whatever they are but without actually stating that…

There is also the issue of the invite using the token which is never said to need to happen within the bounds of the Aegis and could not happen inside with a creature with supernatural might.

We have (ArM5 p.161):

The tokens are used during the casting of the ritual, and thus conform to the Law of Sympathy.

That should make them (ArM5 p.84 box) Sympathetic Connections to the Aegis.

Hence you can use a suspected token to an Aegis to significantly (+3 to multiplier) increase the Penetration of a spontaneous Vim spell cast with an AC on the Aegis. If it does so, it is most likely a token.


I concur with OneShot. The recognition is a matter of sympathetic connection due to their being used in the ritual in a way that rituallistically designated them as tokens. They are now sympathetically a part of the Aegis itself really, so using them as an Arcane Connection to the Aegis and/or the Covenant grounds is quite apt.

Hermetic Magic seems able to interact with sympathy and connections, but this is not well developed area. It does not however violate the limits of magic and falls squarely into the portfolio of Vim.

The Aegis itself "somehow" knows that the tokens are sympathetic/connected objects that are for lack of a better term designated "keys" to the fortress. But the sympathetic connection isn't an active magical effect any more than say hair or a body part is an active magical effect by being an AC to a person.

By RAW Vim already has effects for extending/amplifying and destroying Arcane Connections. In premise more than this is reasonably possible for Vim, but not currently established in Hermetic Theory.

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There is the minor question of a Sympathetic Connection NOT being an Arcane Connection. You can target someone if you have a lock of their hair (AC), but not if you know their nickname (SC) or their horoscope (again, SC).

Thus, if tokens are simply Sympathetic Connections they cannot, by themselves, be used to target the Aegis. If they are Arcane Connections (arguably lasting months) they can. I wouldn't immediately extend this, however, to being able to target the covenant grounds.

I'm leaning towards not allowing that, yes. Sympathetic connections are not arcane connections per se. An Aegis doesn't really need an arcane connection to make it easier to blow up and ignore.

Really by RAW the Aegis is very effective against non-Hermetic threats, but not super effective against determined magical assault from peer Magi. Especially a Vim master who can toss a ritual Aegis dispel can make it nearly impossible to have a completely "safe" fortress as it were.

But this is something that holds true in the Ars lore and part of why the Schism War was so terrible, with hermetic on hermetic warfare.

The Aegis is a significant barrier against other types of threats, but not impenetrable to your peers.

This is also why the Q's suppress anything about the Schism and anything that might cause another one. Because the threat is very real once stability is lost.

What to treat as an AC is another question, but really ACs are very much open to interpretation in general. I personally treat tokens and ACs to any target or location inside the Aegis as a suitable AC for affecting the Aegis.

Remember that the primary target doesn't have to be the spell itself. You could literally cast your ritual Aegis dispel on a person standing in the Aegis, and it would affect the Aegis because the person is standing inside it being affected by it. This is based on the parameters of the Vim Individual.

The Individual target for a Vim spell can
refer to either an individual spell, or an individual
object or person, and similarly for Group. If
the target is an object or person, the Vim spell
will affect any suitable magic affecting that person,
not just one spell.

Thus if you have an AC to the individual person target, you get the penetration bonus, and then the effect hits the Aegis they are inside.

If the protected person were in that way "affected" by the Aegis, it should also be warped by it (ArM5 p.168 Powerful Mystical Affects), right? But because of ArM5 p.168 Constant Mystical Affects this is not the case.

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The quote from pg 168 I find most relevant to this is below.

Wards are active mystical effects as long
as they are protecting someone. Two notable
exceptions are Parma Magica and the Aegis of the
Hearth, which are based on the same breakthrough
by Bonisagus.

This quote I believe means that, like other forms of active magical protection, that both the Parma and Aegis "are" active magic effects on someone but they are both exempted from the "Constant Mystical Effects" warping rule and this is justified as them both being based on a Research Breakthrough done by Bonisagus himself. This is also why neither of these effects is fully integrated into Hermetic Theory and thus why variants/spells/effects using these effects can't be designed/created with alternate parameters etc.

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A stone wall does not warp the guy standing behind it, but can still protect him from fire.
Aegis and Parma appear not to be active magical protection of those covered by it. Those covered by the Parma can cast spells upon themselves without Parma interfering. Those protected by the Aegis can cast them even on others protected by it without the Aegis getting in the way.
So it appears that both do not affect those protected, but rather specific magic (and creatures of Might) attempting to affect them.
That is also the reason why those protected are not warped by them. Compare this to wards: Parma Magica and Aegis are notable exceptions from these.

I think there is certainly a certain amount of judgment as to given effects and whether they are judged as affecting. This could quickly get into territory where we don't have explicit answers from canon.

I would tend to view this in terms of the primary effect and target of the spell/effect. A stone wall for example doesn't target the person, creates the stone directly, and then is done. The protection isn't a direct effect of the spell.

Parma seems to directly impart magic resistance on the person, hanging on their body and moving with them, and otherwise explicitly to target and effect them. I would compare this to say a continual use of Ward Against Heat and Flames, which directly affects the person by protecting them even though the Form is Ignem and being Rego it affects them by preventing harm from an Ignem source. This would seem consistent with language from the Constant Mystic Effects section regarding Wards being active mystical effects as long as they are protecting someone.

Aegis gives very analagous functions and is specifically mentioned in the same section to justify why every Covenant isn't gaining long term warping points for having one (or for using Parma). It also explicitly protects both the people and structures etc. inside it from all incoming magic. The stone wall might protect you but it isn't explicitly reactive to anything. (If so your stone wall spell has more complexity modifiers than mine does.) This I think is why there was a perceived need to justify why neither of these (Parma and Aegis) would be things that would cause the warping rule to be applied. Because they certainly fit the bill, if you will.

I think that there are arguments for why one might or might not consider a similarly area affecting spell to be an active effect on people who spend significant amounts of time inside. This would be an area of interpretation I could see different people coming to very different answers, based on each spell/effect and how it is designed/worded.

There are certainly many more ambiguous cases but in general I would lean towards judging based on that primary effect/intent and target.

We have (ArM5 p.111 Ranges, Durations and Targets):

... and the target describes what the spell can affect.

So a Parma Magica and the Aegis affect creatures of Might and spells, not the beings protected by the Parma or the Aegis, which can be affected by magic from specific sources and creatures of Might still. Also the beings protected would be warped if they were affected by powerful versions of Parma or Aegis otherwise (ArM5 p.168 Powerful Mystical Affects).

For wards we have (ArM5 p.114 Magical Wards) an explicitly worded exception here:

Rego spells can create wards which protect the target from things of the appropriate form. These use the normal targets, but the target is the thing protected, rather than the thing warded against, ...

So wards target and affect the beings protected. This is tricky, and it took time even for the authors to sort this difference out.