Bjornaer Loopholes

I'm currently meditating a Bjornaer magus

  1. Can a Bjornaer create a CrAn longevity ritual?
  2. Can a Bjornaer create rituals that improve his Intelligence or Stamina premanently using CrAn-rituals? If yes is the human form affected too? Does a CrCo ritual for stat improvement also improve the animal shape?
  3. "Does perceive the change" (HoH:MC 24) warp the magus?

I'd answer the questions 1-3 with no but I still wanted to share them.
btw: Not having a familar is tough (bronze and gold cord are very valuable, the lab bonus is sorely missed, and there is no place to store those permanent effects)!

edited: see direwolf's post.

A familliar you mean? Or did i miss something very big with the heartbeast rules?
And if you meant familliar, yes most certainly.

And interesting questions, even if i wont even try to give answers.

As best I know from RAW:

  1. Longevity rituals are Creo Corpus effects, so no. However, any Bjornaer ought to be able to use Animal vis in the process. That being said, I would certainly allow someone to do some research to modify longevity rituals to work with animals via Creo Animal.

  2. First, improving Intelligence is Creo Mentem, not Creo Corpus nor Creo Animal. For Stamina, yes, both are possible, though the interaction is complex. Human to animal is easier: adjust your human Characteristics. Then determine anew what your final animal Characteristics are; they may or may not change. What do you do the other way around? My suggestion for the Creo Animal rituals is to adjust the original animal Characteristics and then determine anew what your final animal Characteristics are; they may or may not change. The second one is unclear, but it is definitely possible by RAW because those Creo Animal spells are legal and because Hermetic magic can't distinguish the shifted Bjornaer from any other animal.

  3. As a long-term effect, yes. This has bothered me for quite a while, as has the mental trigger. I'm OK with the warping if it's not coming from a Talisman, but I feel you shouldn't get the warping from a Talisman. But what I feel is not what is in the rules.


You mean one for an animal, or one for the Bjornaer?
In either case I'd say no, though it would be only a minor breakthrough to do so (for any hermetic magus, of any house). It does not break nor bend any of the limits of magic, but it's simply not yet part of Hermetic magic.

Well, they already have a greater mystery allowing them to do so for their inner heartbeast (at least for Stamina - Intelligence is Mentem even for intelligent animals). So, I would not allow it - at least without a research breakthrough.

It can do so indirectly: the animal shape has characteristics that basically depend both on those of the "standard animal" and on those of the human shape. No special rule is needed here.

Only if the magus retains animal form extensively (being an Animal spell, it simply does not affect the magus if/when he is in human form), and then only if the magus allows it to penetrate sufficiently often.

Ooo! Great idea. I would say "no" initially due to some sort of weird heartbeast non-Hermetic weirdness BUT then I would say "However, I would say that if you did some original research and get minor-ish breakthrough, you would be a hero in the House..."

Definitely going to steal that idea.

I think that if you do a CrAn ritual to improve your heartbeast's physical stats, that would be OK. If you want those to translate back to human form, another minor breakthrough would be required. Intelligence would have to be CrMe, I would argue, and thus CrAn would not be appropriate. As for the other "Mentem" stats, i could go either way.

As for not being allowed a familiar, I agree. That is a tough thing assuming that a Bjornear does not persue the Inner mysteries. Those Inner mysteries have some very substantial benefits. Call it an investment in the future.

Just my two cents...


  1. No problem with me. In fact, IIRC the rules about LR say that it's normally CrCo but that sometimes, it's otherthing depending on the magus. A fire magus could have a CrIg ritual. It's fine with me. The ritual is bond to someone, and if his Ignem art is very high, and if for example he has affinity in ignem or greater immunity fire, i would find it appropriate.

Vis is normally CrCoVi + exceptions. Lab total is always CrCo.

Probably not, according to RAW. However, it would be a fine research project. Or a good Mystery Cult thingy. It is an obvious thing to do, and so might (if it is possible in your saga) have already been done by non-player characters in your saga.

Certainly CrAn can be used to increase the physical characteristics, when the Bjornaer is in his heartbeast form. In general Animal effects can also be used to affect/control the minds of animals. So, possibly CrAn could be used for the mental statistics too. However, the Bjornaer (unlike most animals) has an Int characteristic (instead of Cun) which should mean that his mind is affected by Mentem effects instead. However, Hermetic magic is meant to be blind to the fact that a Bjornaer is something other than an animal. So, I guess that the answer is complicated. Something for your troupe to decide, perhaps.

As to whether stat improvements to an animal form persist into the human form, and vice versa. That depends on how you are calculating the characteristics of the two forms. I would just recalculate the characteristics based on the new values. If your calculation method indicates that the characteristics of the other form should change, then change them.

Yes. If it affects him often enough to counts as a "constant effect", of course.

I don't see there being a problem. Hermetic magic cannot tell the shapeshifted Bjornaer is not an animal, but it can perceive intelligence. The Bjornaer just seems to be an intelligent animal instead of a cunning one.


That would be my take too.

Actually he will probably appear to be something that looks like an animal but with Magic Resistance.


Since Bjornaer are truely animal, I don't see why. The thing is to affect your essential nature, hence corpus for most magi. But bjornaer are not only humans but also animals by essential nature, and with the inner heartbeast, can even become elemental essential nature.

A bjornaer with an inner heartbeast of phenix doing a longevity ritual in CrIg seem pretty thematic for me. And its anchor is some kind of special fire in which he immolates himself.

Yes, that is why it certainly makes sense.

In RAW, however, Longevity Rituals are CrCo, and affect people (rather than animals).

All the reasons that you state are excellent reasons why a Bjornaer CrAn Longevity Ritual would make a very good research project and (as I stated earlier) it is so obvious, that it has probably already been done (or at least attempted) by non-player characters.

It is possible that it won't work. After all, Hermetically, people are not animals so there is no reason why what works with Corpus should necessarily be possible with Animal.

Makes you wonder about the real origin of the 100+-year-old parrot...