I have been thinking a bit about how the Major house Mystery "Bind Magical Creatures" is supposed to be used.
The rules states that
"The magus may also bind a power of the creature to his Gift"
"It [the power] is treated like a Hermetic spell, translated from the creature's power into a formulaic spell with appropriate Technique and Form".
This obviously means that the power is to be rewritten as an Hermetic spell in order to give a proper spell level and so on. But does it mean that the power must adhere to the ranges and durations specified in the design chapter for hermetic spells? All ranges and durations (including those of special traditions) or only those in the core rules? And powers that do things that Hermetic magic or formulaic spells are supposedly unable to do, are these powers "translated" to something completely different or are they allowed to break the limits of Hermetic magic?
For the purpose of game balance it is probably safer to design these powers strictly as regular formulaic hermetic spells. On the other hand that is not completely satisfying as the powers aren't exactly designed using hermetic magic theory. The way I read the text they are rather extracted from the magical creature and attached directly to the magus' Gift.
I may be the only one worrying about these things, but once you start looking at the powers of the magical creatures in the core book only a fraction of the powers actually can be described as formulaic spells using the regular design rules. The "until" duration seems to be VERY common, for example.
By the way, "whatever makes the game fun for you" might technically be an answer, but well, no need to tell me about it.
However, I would very much like to hear other peoples views on what they really meant by "translate" as opposed to "mimics" as seen in the rules for the Faerie-Raised Magic Virtue on page 86.
It really is a shame that they couldn't find the space to give us an example or two of how this rule is supposed to be used. "Elder Runes" got one and it's not even near as ambiguous.
// Fredrik Hertzberg
[edit: minor spelling errors]