Affinity with Spell Mastery?

Is it legitimate, or more to the point, would you permit, affinity with spell mastery?

Whilst we are on the subject, would you permit affinity with all special abilities, such as shapeshifter, entrancement etc.

any ability which has a score I would.

I would allow affinity with spell mastery, but it is worth noting that I allow, for example, affinity with craft to cover all crafts, affinity with living language to cover all living languages, and affinity with dead language to cover all dead languages (similarly affinity with profession, etc), and to me this is one more example of the same principle.

I am thinking that is reasonable, thanks.
PS: Finding myself to be very indecisive at the moment!

I would certainly allow an affinity with supernatural abilities and all abilities for that matter.

But this would mean that the character would get an affinity with spell mastery, cloak of duck's feathers or affinity with spell mastery: demon's eternal oblivion level 5 rather than just any spell mastery.

I can see it working for sub section of highly usable spells but it pales a bit in comparison to flawless formulaic magic.

An affinity with all spell masteries seems like too much for a minor but not enough for a major (but only because flawless formulaic magic exists). If a player in my game really wanted it I'd probably find some way of house ruling it.

As a first guess I'd probably just say it's a major and then let them try and get it through a mystery cult or research after they've already got flawless formulaic magic.


Affinity with all spell mastery skills already exists: It is called Flawless Magic. It is usually considered to be the very best virtue in the game.

I strongly recommend not adding another virtue of this kind.

Affinity with a single spell mastery skill also already exists: Affinity with Whatever.

The two virtues stack.

Don't add a third!



Well flawless magic gives you a free dot, and doubles the points you put. Affinity gives you an extra 50%. So it is not as good. I think restricting it to a skill mastery with one spell would be harsh.


Not all abilities are equal.

So I might allow a Major Virtue, say, Crackerjack of All Trades, that acted as an Affinity with all Craft/Profession skills. Though I'd prefer it to be something like "you can use them untrained with no penalty and are considered Puissant." Because really, that hardly distorts a game. (Just in case, though, I word it to preclude the ability to stack puissant or affinity!)

Languages? Virtues like this already exist, iirc, though providing less value than Affinity.

In general, the goalposts of 1 minor virtue for an Affinity in one ability, or +2 in one Ability, or +1 across multiple related Abilities, or +%xp across multiple related Abilities, and 1 major virtue for an Affinity or +2 across multiple related abilities is reasonable. Since these are major virtues, slight tweaks are ok, along the lines of not forcing an untrained penalty, or creating an Elementalist Virtue that acted as an Affinity with Au/Aq/Ig/Te and provided some other benefit. (My preferred version of Elementalist effectively collapses the 4 Arts into 1 and does not allow an Affinity, but that's a tangent.)

So ordinarily, an Affinity with Spell Mastery is a completely reasonable Major Virtue. But I would hesitate to allow that and FM at the same time. I would also be careful about categories that are simply too good. Such as an Affinity with Hermetic Arts. (Hey, that's a category, right?) Or an Affinity with all Arcane Abilities. Or all Supernatural Abilities.

I would especially be wary of 'logic' that goes "well, if +50%xp is worth a minor virtue, than +150%xp is worth a major virtue," or "Vitkir can double an Art for a Focus, so it is reasonable for me to get a virtue that does the same thing," or "since there's a tainted major virtue that adds 50% of all xp I devote to goetia to Vim, it is reasonable for me to have a tainted major virtue that lets me add 50% of all xp I devote to Hermetic Arts to Magic Theory."

Not all categories are the same. Not all xps have the same value. Virtues that work well in one context might be too good or too bad in another.



Yes of course, affinity with all arts, with all arcane abilities, or with all supernatural abilities would be excessive.


Not harsh, just RAW. And for a character specializing in 1 spell, not terrible at all; a Flambeau classic who only cares about multicasting 10 Pila would do well with this. Not great, I admit. But the proposed virtue is itself worth a major virtue slot, even though it's not as good as an existing Major Virtue. Which is what I infer Erik implied.

Your game, of course!



Yes I appreciate the feedback. Cheers.

That was the message that I wanted to get across. Upon reflection, I'm not at all certain that stacking the proposed affinity with all spell masteries and the existing virtue of flawless magictogether is brokenly overpowered. The PC would get lots of xp in spell masteries. They're darn good at spell mastery but I don't see it distorting the game. Heck make them a verditious and throw in enchanted casting tools and I'm still not certain that you've got something broken. (I could be convinced)

But as a general rule, yes, stacking a bunch of virtues in a single area is something to examine closely for its potential to make your game less fun.

Note that an affinity with a General spell (such as any of the PeVi X's eternal oblivion, or the ReVi Circle of Protection against X) would functionally grant you an affinity with all related Masteries, simply due to that Mastery effect which grants the masteries to all similar spells. So there's a bit of potential overlap going on, anyway.

I hesitate to call it 'broken.' But I think it is far better than many things that other people call broken. And if the virtue is minor, as the OP is considering, it's very no-brainer to take it along with FM. Especially if the ruling is totalXP = baseXP1.52.0. (But even if the ruling is base*2.5.) I more dislike having this as a minor virtue than about having it stack, fwiw. But that makes me queasy too.

My idea of broken are the lab rules in Covenants, because it breaks the math of the game, changing the lab totals a character cares about to linear development (bonus=f(n)) rather than bonus=f(sqrt(n)); static bonuses that are small (Cyclic) or that have a real opportunity cost (Charms) are one thing. But it's entirely possible to accrue +20 lab bonuses for a reasonable cost.

My idea of broken are rules that contradict essential fluff. (Contradicting some fluff is gonna happen.) So in a sense, my beloved Learned Magicians are broken because the rules and the fluff don't correspond at all. Fixing the problem involves changing one or the other. (I choose the fluff text, because rule-based LMs are actually not pathetic, and even cool.)

So, no, not broken. But disproportionate.

Stacking: FM+this virtue+virtue that gives you +2/+3xps for practice/adventure means that a season practicing mastery (practice, because the OP's saga seems not likely to be rich in texts) will provide (5+2)(1.52.0)=21xp/season. 21xp/season, without needing a lab or a book or even a covenant. Mastery 5 takes four seasons. Mastery 6 in 5, mastery 7 in 7.... 21xp/season at will in a saga that is likely to be low-xp and resource-constrained.

Like I said, not my game, and not broken according to the way I use the term, but....



As I see it, affinity with living language gives 50% to living languages, Affinity with del languages gives 50% to dead languages, and linguist gives +35% to both, sort of two half affinities.

I was the one who originally inquired to Koschei regarding this for his new saga.

I see it as a minor version of Flawless Magic, something that simply cannot stack with it.

My rationale is that if you decompose Flawless Magic, it is essentially a double-strength Affinity (giving +100% instead of +50%), with a variant of Mastered Spells (5 xp for each spell learned).

Since Flawless Magic is a major virtue, it gains from the fact that the equivalent of two affinities are stacked, as well as every further spell learned receiving a free 5 xp in the mastery of that spell.

It's reasonable logic. Except:

A Hermetic Major Virtue should be somewhat better than 3 minor virtues, because you only get one of them. Even an ordinary major virtue should be a bit better, because only magus- and companion-class characters can have them.

FM is usually considered the best virtue in the game.

Something that works as part of a package does not necessarily work independently.

So suggesting that 3 minor virtues can be combined into a major is totally reasonable, and maybe even deserves a nice cherry on top. Decomposing a major virtue into minors needs more attention. Decomposing one of the very best major virtues will not result in ordinary minor virtues. And the ability to cherry pick part of something that only comes as a package is itself a benefit.

That said, this doesn't actually break the game. Your character is probably better off with FM and a minor version of the other thing you wanted. :slight_smile:



My point is that the benefits of the FM package is that you stack the equivalent of two affinities (something that is not allowed otherwise) and additional free xp each time you learn a new spell (rather than simply a flat 50 xp allotment to spell masteries).

I tend to agree that an affinity with all spell masteries is in the upper end of what a minor virtue should provide. But the alternative, that it applies only to a single spell, is at least ten times weaker than even the weaker minor virtues.


I believe I understood your point, which is something like: A major virtue costs the same as 3 minors. Looking at the components of FM, we get 3 components: 5xp/spell, +50%xp, +50%xp. Therefore, each component is equivalent to a minor virtue. FM is very good but apt, so each component is also very good but apt.

I'm not sure that you understood my previous post, which addresses this logic.

I also don't think an Affinity with One Mastered spell is 10x weaker than even the weaker minor virtues. It wouldn't be my first choice, sure. But it's much better than, say, the Tremere virtue that lets you do your parma ritual at noon! :slight_smile: Or Magical Memory. One can build a very effective character around a signature spell. (Actually an interesting tangent: If one could have Mastery 10 in one spell, which would it be? What mastery perks to take? What is the character like?)

All that said, I acknowledge that the proposed minor virtue doesn't break anything. I'm not comfortable with it... but that doesn't make it wrong.