"Aura of Ennobled Presence" and "Aura of Rightful Authority"

Both of these spells from Arm5 (p145 and p151)
Aura of Ennobled Presence MuIm10 (R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Ind)
Aura of Rightful Authority ReMe20 (R: Eye, D: Sun, T: Ind)

seem to be useful for a magus attempting to mitigate Gift penalties when interacting with mundanes.
But which is more useful?

The ennobled presence seems to affect everyone who sees the target of the spell, while it looks like rightful authority needs to be cast on individuals, in their presence.

Also ennobled presence gives a definite +3 bonus on some of the activities that the Gift would penalise. Though what happens if the magus under this spell undergoes a noticeable change of appearance during the spell duration - eg cleans up, or gets dirtied, or changes clothes?
While rightful authority is based off the spell guideline "inclines a person to a particular sort of response", in this case obedience. But is it enough to fully overcome the Gift's -3 to trust and obey the magus?

Depends on what you want to do. Aura of Rightful Authority is straight-up mind control, and once it wears off, the target is going to be cheesed at you. However, for the duration, you can pretty much ask the target to do anything reasonable short of murder (or even that, depending on what the target's profession is), and they'll do it. Also - it's single-target, meaning that using it out in the open is going to get you noticed.

In contrast, Aura of Enobled Presence is passive, doesn't require that you cast it on anyone but yourself (and thus can be prepared beforehand), and just makes you look better - to the point where while the effects of the Gift are still in play, people will react more positively to you.

So - Ennobled Presence: better for long term interactions with people (ie, recurring NPC's in your saga), while Rightful Authority is best for adventuring and putting the mind-whammy on solitary guards and whatnot.

In terms of overcoming the effects of the Gift: neither of them do - the only thing that does that is Gentle Gifted. With Rightful authority, they treat you like a boss - one they hate, but feel obliged to follow. With Ennobled Presence, they consider you a smarmy used car salesman or politician - they find you annoying and manipulative, but they'll put up with you anyway. (EDIT - as opposed to suspecting that you're a serial killer sizing up their liver to go along with some fava beans and a nice chianti.)

EDIT - also, it depends on your playstyle. I've found that most players/GM's tend to downplay the effects of the Gift, as most NPCs they interact with (ie, grogs) are used to it. Yeah, they're SUPPOSED to still take the -3, but I've found that most groups tend to ignore that detail. As such, if you're using Aura of Ennobled Presence, you'll have to remind people that it's up, and that people should be reacting to you differently than the other PC's - which is kinda annoying. However, if you have some long-term game mechanics (such as the Covenent rules on grog satisfaction), you can use Aura of Ennobled Presence to justify a +3 reputation with your servants....assuming you always have it on whenever you speak with them. (Not actually all that hard, as that is probably just for 8 hours a day or so, which won't get you long-term warp.)

In contrast, Aura of Rightful Authority is an active ability to use - so you'll use it less, but it will be more useful to have when you need it.

Personally? I'd take Ennobled Presence, as I'm honestly not a big fan of mind control: I treat is essentially as equivalent to attacking someone with a deadly weapon, and use it with that kind of restraint with most of the characters I play.

Also note that Aura of Ennobled Presence is an illusion and not resisted while Aura of Rightful Authority is mind control and must penetrate.

Not that it matters much when dealing with mundanes.

It should be noted that Ennobled presence will work on magi, and isn't a crime. 8)

One of those ambiguous statements, considering Aura of Ennobled Presence is a Touch range spell :slight_smile:

It almost reads that it isn't a crime to cast this on an unsuspecting magi, whereas I suspect you meant it isn't a crime to cast it on yourself then go in the presence of other magi (they're Parma won't stop the Image). You won't be magically disguised and spying on them, if anything you will be easier to recognise. Especially if the Ennobled Presence shows off your casting sigil.

It is not. The Code of HErmes does not prohibit the casting of spells upon your sodalis, with or without their consent.

The Code of Hermes prohibits scrying upon or killing your sodalis, but interestingly enough, it strictly speaking does not prohibit mind controlling them.
Unless it takes up enough of their time to fall under deprivation of power.

Yes, but there is an option that is very nearly the same as overcoming the effects of the Gift. The OP might be interested in Trust Me (HoH:TL p.73).

I'm not so sure about that:

That makes it sound like taking away free will has at some point been deemed to be scrying, perhaps because you can get the victim to give away whatever information you want and can therefore be using magic to gather information about other magi. However, it doesn't say that taking away free will is scrying, just that not doing so with mind control avoids it. The issue may be more that mind control taking away free will puts you in a risky position, where if you ask the wrong question you will get an answer you shouldn't have and will have gained it via magic and be guilty of scrying.

I've certainly seen at least a little of the debate about Trust Me. I think there's still substantial disagreement about exactly what its effects are with respect to the Gift. From what I've seen, there is a substantial group of players that question the ability of Trust Me to fully negate the bad effects of the Gift. Yes, it certainly gives you a +3 to offset the -3 from the Gift. But how much does it really change the opinion of the target?

If I understand the argument properly, some would say that it causes the target to retain an uneasy feeling about the magus, while still causing them to believe that the magus can be trusted. Kind of like you might recognize that a merchant is a grasping, cheating fellow, but believe that he'll give you a good deal. Again, if I understand things properly, the opponents to Trust Me would say that the Gift is more than just a simple -3 on social interactions, and that a level 20 spell should not be able to totally counteract the effects of the Gift.

The counter, as I understand, is that it's a mind-control power and is fully capable of totally changing the target's mind. So why not allow it to change the person's opinion about a Gifted person?

Someone more up on the whole Trust Me issue might be able to elaborate more.