Jordi, one of our troupe members plans to play an Augustan Berotherhood member on our upcoming saga. He likes how they are totally worthless as trickety-trick magicians (ie: No fireballs for them) but are more of a lab rat. He tends to play the triggerr-happy kind of mages, so it is a change of role for him. I am sure he will play a bombastic brotherhood dude, though.
Anyway, a few days ago he watched the last harry potter movie and fell in love with the animated statues in the last battle. He pointed out that he could create those, and he became very excited at the prospect of having a covenant full of animated stone warriors (even if they are unlikely to be very useful as he pointed out himself). So he went for the book. And discovered a sentence that we had not paid much attention to before: page 64 RM book, first column:
"LIMIT ON THE EFFECTS INSCRIBED:
Ease Factor cannot exceed twice Magic Might"
For what we have seen this refers to each one of the effects (you can put 400 effects in an animo, if you want). However, this contradicts most example Animations in the sample pages. A lot of the creatures have Might 4-7 and ease factor 21 effects (the musca, the statue with a horn, the ferrean gate...) or Might 13 and up to ease factor 30 (the Ovo of Naples).
Are we reading this wrong or are the samples incorrect according to the guidelines? The only real reason to put a high magic might score in an animation (most of them will never be attacked by magic) is this limit, so finding that the original book ignores it makes us somewhat suspicious that we are reading it wrong: the cases where the limit is ignored are too many to be coincidence.
So, what does the limit refer to? Or are most of the the sample Animations incorrect?
On Erratas the authors wrote that is because Virgilio himself was more powerfull that the Augustan Brotherhood, so they could search integrate the more power of the ancients Virgilian's objects. Augustan Brotherhood magicians are a pale usccessor of one powerfull wizard.
EDIT: The exact errata (thanks Mario to point it out):
It looks like a fairly weak justification to me. Sample items are generally considered to be EXAMPLES of what you can do, so this has caused me some pain. I feel that authors should write examples of what you can do, not what you can't. That is basically handwaving in an official supplement. If it was stated clearly, it would be OK, but since nowhere it shows what examples are things that you should be able to do and which ones are examples of what only Virgil could hope to achieve I consider this a posterior justification, probably because of a blundered guideline. it does not give an idea of what can be achieved by Virgilian magic by a normal practitioner. It is like having the rings of Verditius as a sample magic item in the lab section of ArM5. Great for wonder factor, but really bad to ilustrate the powers of the Virgilians in 1220.
OK, will tell Jordi that, but he is likely to be unhappy with the correction.
Only saying the official line, it have few sense but it stills with a few of sense.
Other point, many years exposed to the Dominion, or other similar conditions, could have made to lose Might Points; like the acclimation on regular Magical Beings.
IIRC it wasn't a rule issue per se that prompted the rule, but rather the fact that he meant for the Virgilian Wizards to possess an incomplete understanding of Virgil's system (all of their magic came from a single book afterall). In fact, I distinctly recall him suggesting the possibility of 3 x Might, and 5 x Might being options for improving their magic through research/integration.
Perhaps you could rule that such a discovery has already been implemented into the Brotherhood's teachings?
The multiplier option is in the errata, the last bit. it still looks quite a heavy handed correction to me. Nothing irreparable, but it is clear in the fluff text that Virgil is on par with the (legendary) founders of the OoH, or more. The problem is when the book does not differentiate between the items that could be created by a 1220 Augustan and the ones that could only be created by Virgil. That messes the section on items a lot. I find it strange that such a major feature was not included in the book and explicitly stated in the description of each item in the Animo section.
But well, I am sure that Jordi is already breaking the system to have a score of ninja stone golems created to fight in total darkness and commanding a host of flying daggers using Base 1 guidelines, so no biggie. He will probably give them a turtle shell, paint them green and train them to have brawl, weapon and cooking skills. Or something. Been there, seen him do that before. He is the one that challenged Pan Caudarax the dragon to a fire-breathing competition and won, after all.
Animo and Virgilian Teory are both abilities, which means Affinity and Puissant can be taken for each regardless of the restrictions against Hermetic Virtues.
I don't know if your troupe uses the guidelines for maximum abilities given on p. 31 of ArM5, but if you do, that's 7+2 in each of the above mentioned abilities.
Maybe Learn From Mistakes and/or Cautious with (ability) with one or the other.
Specialties are almost certain
Affinity isn't really that hot for abilities, but paired with puissant it's not bad.
XP-wise, the above can be covered within the XPs gained from the time as apprentice.
You know your local aurae better than I, but I think he can awaken some rather massive Animations - his awakening total will probably start around 20-25 which puts the 32 used in the example withing reasonable reach.
He will thus be limited to Animations with a might around 15-20 (more if immobile etc) - which allows effects up to EF 40.
Not too shabby I think.
Sorry, as author I should have addressed this, but I never saw it till now. Someone pm me if Virgilian problems come up again!
OK, now to explain. When I created the "sample" items I created them for [spoiler]the Tomb of Virgil,[/spoiler] as artefacts left by him scattered around [spoiler]Naples and Rome.[/spoiler] Basically I wanted the back story to serve as a giant set of Story Seeds. I did not intend them to really serve as examples of what could be done now - Tom has created some, and I will too to make it a lot more useful: and I think Gremlin44 produced some awesome examples in another thread, much better than mine?
In the authentic medieval traditions, yep Virgil was seen I think as a master magician - probably Founder level. In this book the issue was trying to keep his magic as described MORE limited than that used by Hermetic Magi. It can be more potent, but in a very limited area. I intended the Animations to be fairly limited in potency: perhaps i limited them too much, I'll have to go and read the section again tonight.
Anyway I messed up: and when someone pointed it out, I very quickly errata'd it and David posted the correction. Designing a new system from scratch to try and faithfully represent what Virgilian magi could do in paradigm is a fairly epic problem, but one thing I am pleased about is how faithfully I did manage to model the sources (Spargo's book is by far the best btw, though dry and academic, but there is loads of saga inspiration in there I think).
Now if I had a Virgilian in my saga, I would happily allow the x3 multiplier as having been discovered already. The x5 will allow items as potent as those of Verdi. I don't seem to recall if I include a limit of Form & Effect bonuses anywhere, or even if they can be employed? Drat I must go read this again. But seriously, thanks for asking, and let Jordi have his character at the more potent level - he still won't have the oomph of a Hermetic magi, and he might have a lot more fun.