Breakthrough - Shed Warping

My magus wants to experiment with "shedding" warping points. Basically to allow a magi to eliminate accumulated warping points prior to gaining a new Warping Score. I'd like some help fleshing the concept out if folk are willing.

Essentially looking at a Minor Breakthrough, PeVi(Co) ?? - make a magical bed that allows warping points to be eliminated during sleep.


His ultimate goal is to allow sustained magical effects to not produce warping and sees this as a first step in the path.

Hi! Since this is one of the Lesser Limits, The Limit of Warping, "Hermetic magic is completely unable to affect these changes once they have happened. ", I would classify this as a Hermetic Breakthrough, if it could be done at all. Not trivial! To research this, maybe CrVi (which can hand out Warping), the Familiar bond, MuCo(Me) spells? Perdo, not so much, as by the book, Perdo can't make things better, and getting rid of Warping would make you better, as I see it.

This would be a huge deal, so I can't envision any one break thru being able to accomplish it, maybe a series of breakthrus in Mu, and later MuCo(Me) that leave the investigator tragically and permanently crippled, but having produced important first steps in the direction you want?

I would think it far easier to research to reduce/limit the amount of Warping any one spell/device/aura inflicts on a given target than shedding the actual Warping accrued.

As for the bed: once you've accomplished this mighty feat, sure, although at the very least this should be a Ritual effect, perhaps like being reborn, so not necessarily something casual that any one magus may do at will. But YSMV.

*edited to say: at least one big bad of the Order has accomplished this in canon (Thrice-Told Tales), although it's not explicitly laid out, and it involves some apparently long and difficult Mystery Initiations (not actual research of what you seem to be looking for): SPOILERS [spoiler]essentially he becomes an immortal magic spirit through some Initiation/s (apparently shedding his Warping score and accumulated Virtues/flaws) and later can possess and become another person, completely, through another series of Initiations, thus becoming mortal and Gifted again, and actually able to be Opened to different traditions in the process, keeping his old powers as well, neat trick!). Now this centuries old foe is warlike, and would naturally botch here and there, as well as accumulate Warping on the regular, and after four+ centuries of contentious existence would likely be riddled with crippling Flaws (as well as some Virtues, sure), making him quite weak magically, but the writeup does not remark on it, as far as I could gather.[/spoiler]

Effectively the character wants to jump all over the lesser limit of Warping. Any effect to break a Hermetic limit really needs to be a Hermetic breakthrough, not a Minor one.

In my Saga I'd put a lot of effort trying to make old magi die as likely of old age as passing into Final Twilight, so such a breakthrough sounds like anatema to me personally. Final Twilight would be a joke after shredding warping points.

As I understand magic, it impregnates things and people. Magi get impregnated in a good way as they learn Arts, and badly by gaining warping. As they gain it, they become more magical, and thus Final Twilight is them having a magic overdose they just cannot handle remaining in the mundane world. So if any of my magi come with such a suggestion I'd make them pay a big price. Either the bed would work, but they would end finding that the removal of magic in their bodies would also affect their Arts, lowering them, or I'd make them find through their breakthrough something quite demanding, like for example (and speaking the first thing that comes to my mind) not the way to remove warping points, but to concentrate them in a part of their bodies, so the only way to get rid of these warping points would be limb amputation (and making them nasty things if they ever try to grow them back).

The key part of the Limit of Warping is "Hermetic magic is completely unable to affect these changes once they have happened." (ArM 80)

IMO your magus is going about things in the wrong order. I'd probably start with spells that have half normal Warping Gain over time, or developing a method that makes high-magnitude spells not cause Warping. For example, lower-Warping Longevity Rituals specifically, or a breakthough creating spell mastery ability that made (high potency) spells that normally cause warping 'personalized to the target(s) for the purposes of warping', etc.

Fully ceasing or reversing Warping in the way you seem to be aiming for would require a Hermetic Breakthough following these kind of 'first steps', with possibly another Breakthrough after that to 'fully integrate it into Hermetic Theory'.

I like how Immortality is handled in the various Mysteries which allowed to achieve it: Immortability = immutability, thus losing the ability to change and evolve, unless paying a hefty price (typically, various rituals allowing to stabilise the XP gained, thus allowing the Immortal to progress).

If ever you would decide to allow the shedding of Warping, I would strongly suggest to apply a similar cost/reward system. There is enough discussion topics around showing that if a mage is careful and if he is willing to pay the price, reaching 300-400 years old is not out of question. However, warping will always get him first.

Since warping is often linked to some form of magical experience (for the better or the worst), I think a mechanism where a mage would loose warping point should be balanced by a loss of XP in arts: by draining the magic that is infusing is body through warping experience, the mage is loosing a bit of magical expertise. Maybe even accruing some deficiencies: he is getting stripped of the ability to perform some magic. After all, all mages (unless special background) are considered to be attuned to the Realm of Magic. Refusing/rejecting the embrace of warping is fighting your own nature, which grants you the ability to perform magic.

Maybe a pyramidal cost: the first time, the cost is 5 xp of the highest art per warping Xp lost (but you can never loose a level of warping once you accrued it), the next time is three times more XP, next time a minor deficiency, then a major one. Why the highest Art ? Because it is the one that is the strongest, thus the most linked to the Realm of magic (and also to make it a real cost, not just dumping defficiency in a Art that the mage will never use).

Instead of becoming a path that all mages would like to follow, this shedding would only be sought for those desperate to gain a few more decades to complete a project.

I believe ROP:I allows the shedding of warping by giving it to someone else. Of course, it also requires dealing with the infernal...

No: RoP:I allows you to shed Decrepitude (a similar limit for Hermetic magic, but not quite the same), not Warping.

In general, Warping is exceedingly difficult to remove in ArM5, except by turning into a being of Might. I am aware of only two sources in published material, both Divine, that remove warping points while living the character a "normal" human. The first is the "Chariot" power of Cherubim (from RoP:D). The second is St. Patrick's Purgatory, from Mythic Locations, which is explicitly mentioned (if I remember correctly) as a potential source of insight for a breakthrough allowing a magus to remove existing warping.

I would note that removing pre-existing warping (and from any source) is a much more ambitious goal than creating magical effects that do not warp the subject over time! The former would clearly be a Hermetic Breakthrough (since it violates one of the Lesser Limits). The latter is probably only a Major breakthrough, since it's something that Hermetic magic can already replicate with magical effects imbued in the familiar bond. Compare with Decrepitude: vanilla hermetic longevity potions are fairly good at preventing the acquisition of Decrepitude, but Hermetic magic can't remove Decrepitude once it's there.

Now, if you are not attached to "shedding the Warping", I think it would be far easier to "scapegoat" the Warping. The warping happens (Lesser limit of Magic and all that), but moving the Warping so that someone/thing else is affected doesn't seem to break anything (Other then gamebalance, but one assumes you have that covered). A magical fuse, if you will........

What about an even smaller but interesting breakthrough; the ability to suppress Warping, but letting it still accumulate. Similar to how longevity rituals work. While Hidden by the warping ritual the flaws (and virtues) would have no effect on the magus. Points would still accumulate. When the score finally increases it comes back, requiring a new (more powerful) ritual to suppress.

Likely of course, suppressing it quickens it's accumulation in the long run. It would be a breakthrough, allowing warped Magi to have a few good seasons before surcoming to magics pull.