Call for ArM5 Errata

Endurance of the Berserkers, ArM5, p.134.

Duration is Concentration or until the caster, who is also the target, runs out of fatigue levels. But there's a legacy paragraph from previous editions stating "Consecutive castings delay the end of the spell — that is, put off the time when accumulated wounds take effect — but a body can only take a number of consecutive castings equal to its Size + 2".
This appears an error, since either the caster loses Concentration, in which case the spell ends before he can recast it. or he can just keep concentrating on it without any need of recasting.
Finally, note that the caster acts as unwounded until the spell wears off. In principle, he could take any number of killing wounds, and have them healed before the spell wears off. How this all works should probably be clarified.

In ArM4 it was 3xp across the board, which was accurately converted to ArM5. The fact that you get a bigger bonus for Abilities is explicit now. It's possible to spin a plausible story for why this happens, and I think that's good enough for this table.

In fact, I think the conversion error happened in ArM4 :slight_smile:
In ArM3, where Arts increased in discrete levels, it was either 3xp to an Ability (ok: Talent, Skill, or Knowledge) or a flat +1 to an Art -- the latter being the most common result.

9 posts were split to a new topic: Boundary Target

I am not sure I see the problem here. The note on duration is that the life-time of a faerie made from a spell is the shorter of the transformation spell duration and the MuVi duration. These MuVi spells are not like the MuVi spells in the core rules — they can be cast on existing spells, and normally would be. You can't do that normally, but this is a Mystery power.

Am I missing something?

8 posts were split to a new topic: Transvestite Flaw

Well, if that's the case then that exception needs to be stated. It hasn't been stated, so it shouldn't violate other rules for MuVi. Regardless of what the fix is, there must be some fix here.

1 Like

Sympathy Traits, when aiding or hindering mundane abilities (RoP:F, p.102), in the context of Feminine Sympathy (FaF, p.29). I'll recap the relevant issues here, and then highlight the problems.

  1. By RoP:F, if you have an applicable positive Sympathy Trait when rolling for a mundane ability, you can use that Trait instead of the ability's specialty. However, if you do so, you must roll a stress die, and incur 1 Warping point per botch.
  2. If you have a negative Sympathy Trait, instead you must subtract it from any roll to which it's applcable. Even when the trait is not applicable, it adds to stress rolls a number of botch dice equal its value -- though it does not by itself turn a simple roll into a stress roll.
  3. Finally, a sympathy trait is supposed to cover an area about as wide as a minor focus (wolves, fear, hailstorms etc.). However, if you already have one, and gain another, you can choose to have the second be a "wider" version of the first, on par with a major focus, with the stipulation that the "broad" trait's score can never be higher than the "narrow" trait's.

Feminine Sympathy (FaF) explicitly claims to be a (positive) Sympathy Trait from RoP:F. However, it then describes mechanics that are different from those in RoP:F. In particular:

  1. when used to aid a mundane roll, it transforms it into a supernatural ability roll, affected by Auras (in terms of modifiers, botch dice etc.).
  2. it affects every interaction with a woman. This is much broader than even a major focus.

A. The big deal with the text in Feminine Sympathy is 1.: do all sympathy traits, when used to aid mundane rolls, really turn them into a Supernatural Ability rolls? If so, the modifiers (and extra botch dice) from even a minor trait, can be far more extreme than what one reads in RoP:F. Either way, one of the two texts should be addressed in the errata.

B. If the answer to A is yes (as Erik Dahl says was his intention in writng FaF), this opens up two more issues. Do negative sympathy traits automatically transform any applicable (mundane) roll nto a supernatural ability use (this is very harsh in a hostile aura, and definitely changes the mechanics in RoP:F)? And

C. If the answer to B is no, can one still choose to have a mundane ability "turn supernatural" via a negative sympathy trait ? This would always be a foolish choice by RoP:F rules, but if we go via the FaF ones a -1 trait in a +7 Faerie Aura is defintely worth it.

D. Feminine sympathy is very, very, very broad for a minor focus, or even a major one (remember that the major focus of "women" in the corebook only applies to Corpus magic). At the very least this should be mentioned in FaF as an exception to the rule.

E. Finally:(RoP:F, p.102) one can slowly "improve" both positive sympathy traits (by making them more positive) and negative sympathy traits (by making them less negative) via experience and "lucky rolls". A negative trait can reach 0. Can it then become positive? This is unclear, and should probably be clarified.

I'm going to mildly disagree. If you work for a mage who can reliably fast cast The Call To Slumber on you, then the risk of you killing your friends is very low, because you have an off switch. But even, then, it's not what I'd call a good choice.

Not sure if this is really an errata, and it's certainly not very important. But "Curse of the Unportended Plague" (ArM page 133) states it can start a plague in a city. But its target is Boundary, with no size increase. So it can only affect a city a hundred paces across. Even in mediaeval times, that's a very small city, more of a village. Maybe this is one of those overweening spells that doesn't work as well as you might think. But if so, "in a city or other Boundary" should be changed to "in a Boundary", and ambitious necromancers who don't read the rules can get a nasty surprise when they cast it.


As you've noted, the author of both confirmed it was his intention. Also, in RoP:F if you used a Sympathy Trait to modify Magic Theory in the lab, you can choose to have all the lab work be Faerie-aligned and gain all the benefits of a Faerie Aura (or you can leave it Magic). So RoP:F already has realm alignment of affected Abilities. I just doesn't spell it out explicitly.

Yes, they are harsh. But that's fair. Meanwhile, I don't think it changes anything.

This is not the only place it has shown up. This is consistent with TSE as well, where it was first presented alongside "men."

More importantly, you've misread RoP:F. RoP:F doesn't say it's limited to the breadth of a Minor Magical Focus. It gives a maximum breadth that could be well beyond a Minor Magical Focus, saying up to half a Form, well into Major. It says you could choose one such as a Minor Magical Focus, which is within that greater breadth.

"Women" and "men" fit well within the breadth presented in RoP:F.

By the text and the author's comment, yes. But, yes, it is unclear.

This is incorrect by a very wide margin.
Suppose I am hunting deer in a dark Faerie Forest with Aura 5.
My Hunt score is 3, and I have a Sympathy +2 in deer (and 0 in all relevant characteristics).

Under RoP:F rules, if I use the Sympathy trait, I roll 5 + stress die, with 1 botch die.
Under FaF rules, if use the Sympathy trait, I roll 10 + stress die, with 1 botch die.

Suppose I am instead hunting in an Infernal Forest, still with ("vanilla") Aura 5.
Under RoP:F, if I use the Sympathy trait, I roll 5 + stress die, with 1 botch die.
Under FaF, I use the Sympathy trait, I roll (-5) + stress die, with 6 botch dice.

In a Magical Forest, still with Aura 5:
Under RoP:F, if I use the Sympathy trait, I roll 5 + stress die, with 1 botch dice.
Under FaF, I use the Sympathy trait, I roll 6 + stress die, with 6 botch dice.

In a Divine Forest, still with Aura 5:
Under RoP:F, if I use the Sympathy trait, I roll 5 + stress die, with 1 botch dice.
Under FaF, I use the Sympathy trait, I roll (-15) + stress die, with 6 botch dice.

It does, even more so than for positive Sympathy Traits.
Let's assume that, instead of the positive Sympathy in Deer, I have a negative Sympathy (-1) in Beer, having been so cursed by a brownie. So I never drink or brew any, go to mass every day, and go hunting deer for recreation instead. I've also learned to be Cautious with Hunt, because that Beer thing already got me into accidents!

So, generally, I roll 3+stress die, with no botch dice. By RoP:F, this is what I roll everywhere. By FaF: it's what I roll outside of Auras, and instead:

In a Faerie Aura of 5 I roll 8+stress die, with no botch dice.
In a Magic Aura of 5 I roll 6+stress die, with 4 botch dice.
In an Infernal Aura of 5 I roll (-7)+stress die, 4 botch dice.
In a Divine Aura of 5 I roll (-17)+stress die, with 4 botch dice.

So, if the faeries cursed me, their curse turns into a blessing in a faerie Aura, but it makes it essentially impossible for me to do anything in the Aura most inimical to dark faeries? (remember, I get a -20 penalty and +5 botch dice penalize all mundane abilities in a Divine Aura, not just those involving Beer).

As you can see, the mechanics in RoP:F and FaF are vastly different in their results.

I may be guilty of having misread RoP:F, but so are you in this instance, I believe.
Remember, RoP:F has two types of (positive) Sympathy Traits: the "narrow", and the "broad" (that you can use to expand on a very narrow trait, but can have no higher score). About the latter we read:

"When a character already has a Sympathy Trait and gains a new one, the player may choose to take a Trait that overlaps his existing Trait, but with a broader scope, like that of a Major Magical Focus instead of a Minor.".

So, a trait covering any interaction with women is far, far too broad. Note that women by ArM5 is a major focus only when limited to the Art of Corpus. But "any interaction" covers Mentem, Vim, etc.

Actually, it's totally correct. Go read page 105 and you will see what I said is true. As for the rolls you present, as a general rule RoP:F doesn't specify if Realm Interaction is used or not, rather than your claim that it necessarily doesn't. Let's take the one place where it's explicit instead:

Magic Theory 3 in a Faerie Forest with Aura 5 and Sympathy +2 in deer (and 0 in all other relevant values).

Under RoP:F rules, if I use the Sympathy Trait, I roll to experiment with 10 + experimental bonus.
Under FaF, if I use the Sympathy Trait, I roll to experiment with 10 + experimental bonus.

RoP could be more explicit and should be. I don't disagree there. I'm just pointing out they don't actually disagree; some people have just been assuming one option from RoP:F that FaF shows is the incorrect of the two options.

Again, you're basing this on a lack of a clear statement in one part and continuing to ignore a statement in another part. As I showed above, in the one place where it is explicit and clear, you get the same result, not vastly different results.

I'l quote it for you:

This describes the character’s relationship to a particular class of subjects — usually a subset of one of the ten Hermetic Forms that also describe Faerie Might (Animal, Aquam, Auram, and so on). It cannot apply to an entire Form, or even the majority of targets associated with a Form. It might be circumstantial, similar to the Special Circumstances Virtue, or cover a variety of concepts like a Minor Magical Focus (see ArM5, page 46, for examples).

Look there. Usually (though, like "healing," not necessarily) a subset of a Form. How small a subset? Not a majority. So capped just below 50%. Minor Magical Focus is capped below 20% of a Form, no broader than a TeFo combo. Major Magical Focus is capped below 100% of a Form. So anything in that [20%,50%) region is invalid for a Minor Magical Focus and is valid for a Sympathy Trait.

As for women, "women" covers less than 50% of Corpus because we have women, men, and others like babies who are not considered either. So it is valid by RoP:F.

Yes, I know your quote, too. And if you read it again, it doesn't say anything about limiting the Sympathy Trait to the breadth of a Minor Magical Focus. It says you can take a broader, overlapping one and gives a comparison of what broader and overlapping means: just like a Major Magical Focus can be broader and overlap a Minor Magical Focus. For example, a Major Magical Focus in "fire" would be broader than and overlap a Minor Magical Focus in "controlling fire." Similarly, a broad Sympathy Trait in "people" would be broader than and overlap a Sympathy Trait in "women."

If you want to get sticky with science, nearly 2% of the human population is born intersexed. Not as an identity thing. I mean physical genitalia and/or internal organs.
But in what universe are babies without gender?

No. RoP:F never states that mundane rolls aided by Sympathy become Supernatural Ability rolls, being thus influenced by supernatural Auras. It just states that they become stress rolls, and incur one Warping point per botch. Which is very different.

It similarly never says that, a negative Sympathy trait makes all the mundane rolls of a character Supernatural ability rolls. It just states that it adds a number of extra botch dice, regardless of aura, to all rolls -- and a penalty if the negative Sympahy is applicable.

The fact that it never says "by the way, do not be tempted into thinking it all turns into a supernatural ability!" is not a valid argument: because the default case is that nothing of the sort happens.
Thus, either book needs to be addressed in the errata.

1 Like

Babies are not born without gender, but the terms "men" and "women" usually implies adult individuals in typical English usage.
A girl isn't a woman, though both girls and women are female humans.

No. Let me try to be clearer.
"The bodies of women", i.e. "women" under Corpus, is valid by RoP:F, because it's slightly less than half the Form of Corpus, though it is questionable whether it should be valid as a "narrow" or "broad" focus.

But women in general -- which includes interacting with their minds, their magics, their reputations etc. (this is what Feminine Sympathy covers) is far, far, far broader. If I can't make this clear, I'll just give up. I hope however that the need of errata is clear.

I don't think barbarian languages such as English make for a good tool of analysis here.


Huh? "Women" does not include infant girls, toddler girls, etc.

You're misreading what I wrote. It never says they don't, either, does it? That's just your supposition. I'm the one saying it says neither, so people were picking between two options. It wasn't until F&F where the choice was made clearer.

However, F&F gives consistency. Why? RoP:F only gives us one specific case, and in that case they do become Aura-influenced, and influenced as strongly as Hermetic magic is influenced by auras. Also, the picking up of Warping Points for botches is consistent with the Supernatural rather than something remaining mundane; you would get the same Warping Points based on core rules if the Ability were now Supernatural.

Not saying they become influenced by the Aura is different from saying they do not become influence by the Aura.

Yes, I would agree if you let it go nuts it gets too broad. I don't see that as a rules issue, though; that's an SG issue. Let's say I choose "visual images" as a Major Magical Focus. Sound reasonable? Well, people, animals, plants, objects, etc. have visual images, so I can use my Focus on all of them, too, since I can see them. Similarly, the spell a woman casts is not itself a woman.

Minds, sure, as those are parts of the women. But how broad is it really now? "Women" is probably about a quarter of Corpus, maybe just slightly over, since there are women, men, children, fetuses, corpses, skeletons, etc., with women, men, and children covering the majority of it fairly evenly. With Mentem we still have women, men, and children, but there are all sorts of intelligent animals, intelligent other things, and spirits of all sorts. With all spirits, there is more non-woman/man/child Mentem than Corpus. So "women" should be a little under a quarter of Mentem. So it looks near the limit of 50%, just needing a judgement call.

I don't see the problem except with an SG letting a player run rough-shod over the rules.

(Folks, if I may raise a humble plea... please, let's not clutter the thread. I selfishly want David Chart to work on it as efficiently as possible :slight_smile: A few back and forths about whether something is right/clear/fixable etc. are fair game. But ... Litlle Women?!?)