Alternates to Standard Longevity Ritual

Hey folks, I've been absent from the boards for many a moon, but I am back again. Hope everyone has been having fun; I also hope that I can actually play AM again real soon. :wink:

Now we all know that not all Arts are created equal. Every magus needs a serious score in CrCo because of Longevity Rituals. As characters reach their early 30s they all start running for these two books...

p. 101: "Normally only Creo, Corpus, and Vim vis may be sued in a Longevity Ritual. However, a Longevity Ritual is a very personal creation, and as such, it is uniquely tied to your magical abilities."

A very nice person asked me to create a series of NPCs for a game he is running far away from me. Amongst other creations, he wanted an elder maga (she is about 40-50 years past her gauntlet, so roughly in her 70s). Due to the requirements of the campaign, it was best if the character was a ReMe specialist ... and yet she had to take multiple years to get her CrCo Lab Total up in a hurry. Yes, she was going to take some time with those Arts anyway as she needed to have trained an apprentice as well, yet in many ways it felt as if she needed to really move away from her forte, especially later in her career when she needed to create a newer Longevity Ritual.

How many of you have played around with LRs? Do all of your magi put serious time and effort into CrCo or have you worked around this? Inquiring minds want to know. :wink:

You can always hire another magus to do this for you.

Also remember about help in the Laboratory. If you have, say, a Leadership Score of 2 specialised in magi, then three of your sodales can help you in the laboratory. Each of your sodales should be able to generate a Lab Bonus of at least, say, 5 for freshly gauntleted magi, getting towards 10 for magi at about the master level. A 15-30 point Lab Total bonus is quite a boast (that's a +3 to +6 bonus to the potion), and you can all help each other with your potions.

Of course, if your magus has trust issues or no friends this is not so viable.

Also remember that one of the familiar bonds (either gold or silver, I can't remember) gives a similar (cumulative) bonus as a Longevity ritual --- so spending Lab time increasing that bond can be worthwhile too (and the familiar can help with the Lab Total too).

Funny, I have two NPCs, in a PBP saga still in its drafting stage, who sort of competed over this idea of non traditional LR.

One, a Bonisagus with sidhe blood, chained his own life force to an old oak, in the middle of his magical garden. Through his mastery of the Herbam Art and by integrating mystical principles of familiar bonding he actually managed it. The other one, a Terrae maga of House Guernicus went in a slightly different way, combining hermetic architecture and her Terram focused Talisman (again, nothing really original, here) to create a special sanctum under their covenant where she hoped for a complete immunity to age. Both their experiments involved a suitably higher gain of warping than classic Corpus/Vim LR, and in the end there were consequences. Still, since I wrote that on a whim for story purposes, at this point I haven't yet designed any specific rules to reflect these experiments, as those are more tools to support their backstory, and some of the covenant half-forgotten secrets.

I guess that I intuitively felt that those two forms offered some other conceivable medium for such experiment, being somehow... stable forms I dare say. I'm not sure if/how other Arts, of a more "volatile" nature (like Ignem, Auram...) or one less tangible (mentem, imagonem) could be twisted and flattered to devise other kind of LR. But, why not? I'm sure others here will suggest some nice and unexpected ways 8)

Even a mediocre score in CrCo is enough to reach 79. You only need a Lab Total of 31 to cancel the +7 due to age and that still leaves the Living Condition bonus. Considering that you need scores of 5 in all Arts to properly open the Arts of your apprentice, {Int+3 Aura+3 MT+8 Cr+8 Co+8 = 30} is an easy target.

Why bother spending long years studying Creo Corpus when you can spend a few seasons in service to a longevity-specialist and gain a superior longevity ritual? Really, just have her spend a few seasons in "Adventure" or laboratory assistance in return for a high-level longevity ritual.

As an NPC, I'd also simply allow her to use Mentem raw vis for her ritual if this feels appropriate. No need for elaborate breakthroughs; the hint that there are exceptions is right there in the rules. If some in-game element is desired, I'd suggest a shrine to her ancestor's ghosts. Her link to the past, through the ritual supplication of her ancestors as part of her longevity ritual, serves to anchor her spirit and stabilize it.



This used to be the case IMS as well: go there, do service for CrCo expert and off we go. Until someone this did with a CrCo expert that was a jerk. And a member of a rival faction. It was good and all... except for the ACs the magus collected when our PC was doing his assistance and the fact that he basically knew everything about the magus (his whole character sheet at the time, including birth date, significant events about him and his V&F) since he had to fine tune the formula to him.

And then we had a conflict. And our maverick PC was basically toast. Since then our formulas are enough to keep us alive and tend to need rebrewing at around 70 years of age, but we feel much more confident than having our relevant info spread around. Some magi still do it, but there should have been enough CrCo jerks to make the order paranoid. At least IMS :slight_smile:

A CrCo expert that turns into the offensive can toast a quarter of the magi of the order with ease. Careful around them.


In the context of this thread, I think you mean "A ReMe expert that has spent a season with a CrCo expert can toast a quarter of the magi of the order..." :wink:

Yeah, you can go down that way if you want to, certainly.

In our game, too, characters tend to trade with a specialist for good longevity rituals. Sure, this makes you somewhat vulnerable to that particular specialist ... but so does trusting a Redcap to deliver your messages, a Verditius to craft a critical magical item, etc. etc. The Code still protects you, and it would hurt a specialist alot* if it were known he betrayed his client.

An interesting twist I've rarely seen in other sagas is to have NPCs turn to the PCs as specialists ... and allow the PCs to name the services they want in return...

Okay, so the standard I am seeing here is "Have a CrCo master handy, but don't do it yourself if it is not your thing." Seems like these folks would not only be in demand, but also potentially wield huge political influence in the Order as a whole. Hmm, CrCo specialist as kingmaker...

I'm not sure about the "huge political influence" -- in our saga, no more than any other useful specialist.

For example, consider the Hermetic Instructor, who has Communication +3 and the Good Teacher Virtue. Teaching is his specialty and passion. He places 10 of his yearly 30xps in Teaching; by the time he is 60, his Teaching score is 15. He can teach to large classes of students (up to 75 at a time!) Parma Magica or Penetration. His scores in these skills are not exceptional, just typical for someone of his age; but he still exceeds those of the vast majority of Hermetic Magi half his Hermetic age, i.e. some 20% of the population of the Order. With a specialty in Hermetic Magi, he can generate a Teaching total of 3+16+3+5=27. That's way better than what the best Summas of the Order, especially after you've moved beyond primers (Level 3-4 Summas)!

Thus, the Hermetic Instructor's Sabbatical year -- the single year out of seven that he spends teaching, alternatively Parma Magica and Penetration -- is usually booked solid. In return for the four seasons he spends teaching them (a whopping total of 108xps), his dozens of would-be students each either spend a season in his service over the next decade, or bring him a rook of vis, or allow him to study from a copy of some excellent book.

Neither gold nor silver. But Bronze does.

One variation i found decent was to allow any magi to use their best TeFo combination(and only that one, and only for themself) instead of CrCo, but as if it was used on someone without the gift, ie half as effective.

Yeah, even though iยดm mostly a rules monkey, it sucks having nearly all the players spread out all over the world, all continents covered except Antarctica, and even that might happen... :stuck_out_tongue:

Good suggestion. thumbs up

Just buy one! It's a nice little niche for magi to apply themselves to - PC or NPC.

PC magi can make big bucks selling Longevity to covenant fellows or NPC magi. Of course it might not be too fun to eb CrCo specialist, people will assuem you'll heal them. But a secondary Technique of Perdo or Rego can be fun.

Having an NPC magus who sells Longevity can mean the PC magi can apply themselves elsewhere.

But things can take funny turns in sagas (warning, sort of a long story). Vries My Tremere ReMe specialist hated the resident Mercere teleport specialist, who wouldn't help the others with travel. Luckily the Mercere had undermined his own speciality and written Leap of Homecoming as lab text. So Vries just about managed to finagle enough ReCo lab total to invent it. Although he sucked at casting it. But after the first few mishaps he had trained enough to Master it, and chose Learn from Mistakes. Evtntuelly he reached Mastery 5 in this...
But he studied the Corpus books we had for a better succes rate in his teleports. Once he neared age 35 he realized he could make a fair Longevity It also helped he had studied all books on Magic Theory to juuust get enough Lab Total for very good Cords for familiar. This high Magic Theory also paid off for Longevity.
While not originally designed for it, but more along the lines of control of emotions etc, his one necromantic spell Whispers through the Black Gate labelled him as a Necromancer in the covenant. So why disappoint people? He now masters most of the spirit based spells, and his high Corpus means he also uses the spells to reanimate dead.

The morale of the story is to not focus too much on a single TeFo speciality, it often pays off to mix it up a bit. Or else, just buy Longevity! Sure, you must spend the season with the creator just as you would have spent doing it yourself. And you must pay for his time. But think of the seasons you don't waste studying Arts you might not care about?.