Aura Botch Dice

In Ars Magica Core, it indicates that auras aligning do not add to Botch Dice.

Now, this isn't contradicted in True Lineages, when it indicates that you can make your spells Magic Aligned to avoid additional botch dice.

...However, if Hermetic Magic isn't Magic Aligned (work that oxymoron out), then why do you get to add Magic Auras to Resistance, Casting Scores, Penetration, Lab Totals?

A friend of mine says 'It's because they have no Might Score and so it's dangerous for them to cast,' but then there's Supernatural Abilities...

The core states a few times that magi derive their power from the magic realms, but clearly they are not -of- the magic realm, as they do still suffer from warping from strong magical effects. (any beast with Magic Might would be immune to all forms of magical warping, probably -all- warping)

The ruling in True Lineages, which implies that casting normal spells in a magical aura causes extra botch dice (even though they're already magic aligned), can easily be read both ways. The core unhelpfully does not give a specific example of magical aura adding or not adding to botch dice, and is probably presented that way because it assumes we could never find the issue in doubt, whichever way it might assume :slight_smile:

It's my interpretation that magi are associated with the magical realm, and so gain the bonuses to rolls and such, but since they're not Magical (ie: don't have a magic might) they also suffer from increased botch dice in magical auras.

I fully realize this last point is an interpretation, but it's an interpretation based on the more currently available material such as from True Lineages, and I also think it's backed up by the feel of powerful magical places also being dangerous to do magic in if you're not very skillful, presented in lots of fiction. Supernatural abilities are not dealt with in the above, you can take them either way. For sure The Gift or a supernatural ability provides you with some bonuses, it removes the warping from simply living in an aura, but it doesn't remove warping entirely.

Jachra, I'm curious about this and thank you for bringing it up. I've been paying extra attention to the lack of same-realm botch die - simply because it was one the changes from earlier editions I missed when first reading the 5th. edition (or if also in the earlier ones I've been missing it for several editions :open_mouth: ). In fact this question is similar to the one I recently brought up on an example from RoP:I where an infernalist was given botch dice from an infernal aura - and my impression is that both author and editor confirmed this to be a subject of errata. I think the two cases are fairly similar that it's safe to say if Might-less infernalist do not get added botch dice from infernal auras than Might-less magi with the gift shouldn't get it from magical auras.

All in all I would sum it up like this, that either:

[i]a) the Magi were never intended to get a 'botch-dice discount' in magical auras - in which case I think the core book is not doing a good job at stressing this.

or b) the text on magical realm-alligned spells in HoH:TL is blurp for errata.

or c) the text on magical realm-alligned spells in HoH:TL is supposed to be understood as a generic botch discount removing botch die from all sources and simply making the spell safer in a magical enviroment than in any given area with no aura.[/i]
Personally I lean toward the last interpretation, but I'm looking forward to hear from more people on this.

The last one is the only one I (sideglance at Darloth) can think of as an alternative.

He argues that since, in fiction, screwing up in high Magic auras produces spectacular results, magic auras obviously give more botch dice.

I, on the other hand, figure this is more a matter of Other Circumstances giving botch dice assigned by the GM, like especially stressful situations such as a dragon bearing down on you or the eyes of the entire Hermetic world on you (how well would YOU perform with all them judging you, eh? ;D)

(Also, without an extremely good relevant (Realm) Lore, Realm-Aligned Spells are worthless and further remove any bonus from the aura you could have...? That's one of the most pathetic additions I've ever heard of.)

Oh, I can readily see the use of Infernal-realm-aligned spells, even with little infernal lore... both from a player and storyguide perspective.

Well, any less dice in an Infernal Aura is always helpful. Seriously, who wants their powers to spontaneously become False? That's just whacked.

In any case, a straight answer is needed.
If you ask me, it just seems to vaguely imply that Hermetic Magic gets more botch dice from Magic auras.

My theory is as follows.

Magi are clearly magically aligned even though they are not creatures of magic.

The core book despite all of its play testing did not turn up any ambiguity regarding botch dice from a magical aura because clearly the magic realm is not foreign to magi.

The author of the Bonisagus chapter of True lineages chapter misunderstood the botch dice rules for aura thinking that magi did receive botch dice.

Because there was only one round of play testing for true lineages, the concerns that play testers came up with regarding botch dice in the magic realm were misunderstood and lead to the statement that presently appears on page 34 of the true lineages book wherein the book states that magi get botch dice from their native aura. Or alternately all of the play testers missed it, or the play testers caught it and the author went back and checked his fifth edition draft and figured that he was correct and the play testers were not.

Magic spells are not foreign to the magic realm.

I second that.

Definitive and succinct, I like it. Thanks.

It's just a guess. I'm not at all sure that it qualifies as definitive unless I'm the Storyguide.