Character creation

I think you're missing a distinction, as I will explain. This portion of the rules says that rituals are always rolled with a stress die. Okay, let's work with that. Let's start by looking at the passage more closely, Page 86 of the rules, under Mastery, says: "Mastered spells are always cast with a stress die, but if the maga is relaxed there is no botch die, even in a non-magic aura or when using vis." (Emphasis mine.)

This seems to say that when casting a ritual in calm circumstances you still roll using a stress die, as the rules require, but that if you mastered the ritual, there is no botch die. Importantly, it does not say that you may cast with a stress die in a relaxed situation if the spell is mastered; it says that you always cast with a stress die in that situation. So there's no choice in the matter. A mastered ritual is always cast with a stress die, just as the rules set forth.

I'm not sure how that conflicts with the rule that Adauli cited. Under both rules, rituals still must always use a stress die.

When Adauli said that he voted that we use a stress die for mastered rituals in calm circumstances, he was missing the point that the rules already require a stress die in those circumstances. There's nothing to vote on in that case. The rules unambiguously say that they you always use a stress die for mastered spells - just as they also say that there is no botch die even when using vis (as you do in a ritual).

You know, one day, I'll read and understand rules before I start typing. It's not going to happen soon, so:

Trogdor, I thank you for your diligence. Page 86 gets around the whole non-magic aura issue that had me so concerned. Just one point of Spell Mastery, and you can cast a non-stressed spell next to the Pope. I'm going to agree with your interpretation, that Mastered spells have no botch die, even in a foriegn aura, or if they are rituals. I'm going to stop talking about this issue, before I look like even more of a fool.

Flawless Magic has to be the best Hermetic Virtue.

Just found the Worship season activity in The Church 27 what bring up some questions (Actual I just got me 2 new books with TC one of them ^^)
How high is the divine aura of the church part of Hagios Demetrios? I think it might be the 8 in the church as well because its a place of pilgrimage despite that the site of martyrdom is in the crypt. (The Divine Aura is the SQ for Worship)

The other question is what I can learn there. With the restriction stated as:

I think for my character this Supernatural Ability would be Blessing, Enchanting Music, Holy Music and Intervention from The Cantores as well as Holy Magic.
(Although one can argue that Holy Magic adjust the arts and parma magica toward the divine I don't think that is enough to use worship exp for them)

Edit: A SQ of 8 would natural make (nearly) all tractatus on this topics useless but as it is very thematic to worship our saint more or less regular I think we should go with the aura of 8.

Here's my thought. I would say that the majority of the church was Dominion Aura 5, with the Aura right around the altar being a 6. A small area in the crypt around where St. Demetrius was martyred would be an 8. I would not say that the entire church in the Hagios Demetrios was an 8. I wouldn't peg the basilica in general as anything higher than a 5.

Here's what the core rules have to say about Divine Auras:

RoP:D goes on to say that a site of a pilgrimage or veneration would have a Dominion Aura of between 4-8.

So, Divine Auras of 6+ are limited in extent. The basilica is an important church, so it ought to be AUra 5. A chapel in the basilica holding relics to St. Demetrius (an important saint for the city, if ever there was one) would have an Aura of 6. Demetrius' relics are not relics of Christ or the Virgin Mary, so I wouldn't up the Aura to 7. As for being a site of a pilgrimage or veneration, I'd peg the basilica right in the middle. So maybe the basilica as a whole could be a 6. Just as reasonable would be to say the basilica is 5 but a chapel in the basilica is 6. (That would allow public access to a 6 Aura without making the whole church a 6, which is supposed to be rare.

True, St Demetrius is an important local saint. But he's not a heavy hitter outside of Thessaloniki. I'd reserve level 7 and 8 Auras for the major Christian pilgrimage sites.

The crypts include the site of St. Demetrius' martyrdom, so that would be an Aura of 8, since he wasn't an apostle. But that Aura would not be super large, just covering the area in the crypt where he was martyred.

That having been said, Paulos is a holy man, and could potentially get permission to pray at the martyrdom site. (It might depend on how much the Church is freaked out by his tattoos.) He could almost certainly be allowed to pray in a chapel holding relics to St. Demetrius.

In the end a SQ of 8 is not that great. A 6 is even worse. So I'd be inclined to say that Paulos has access to the level 8 Aura for prayer. As for what he can study there. Your list seems okay. SQ 8 isn't going to unbalance anything, IMO.

rituals are always cast using a stress die. If your level of mastery brings the botch dice down to 0 then you won't roll botch dice.

Rituals are always cast with a stress die. No question about it. The rules are clear on that, both in the section on rituals and the section on mastery.

But it also says under mastery that if the magus is relaxed they do not roll botch dice "even in a non-magic aura or when using vis", which back in 2012 suggested to you that if before considering the aura or vis the botch dice are reduced to 0 there are no botch dice, even for ritual spells. (GoF Magical Obj Penetration)

So,as I see it, with mastery you still roll a stress die for rituals in relaxed situations (as the rules require), but "there are no botch dice, even in a non-magic aura or when using vis." (ArM rules, p. 86.)

Specifically, it says:

As I read that, it says a few things:

1.) You add your mastery score to your CT;
2.) You subtract your mastery level from botch dice when you have to roll botch dice (e.g., casting in a stressful situation);
3.) You always cast mastered spells (including mastered rituals) with a stress die;
4.) If you cast in a relaxed situation with a mastered spell, there are no botch dice,

So, basically, if you roll a 0 on the stress die when casting a mastered spell (Formulaic or Ritual), that provokes you to have to roll your pool of botch dice. But as noted by the citation above, your pool of botch dice in this case is zero botch dice, so you don't have to roll any.

The thing is that it states that ritual spells are always cast with a stress die because of the complexity of all the factors which need to be considered. There is nothing to indicate that spell mastery eliminates that complexity at a single level. In short the casting of a ritual spell is, according to the RAW, inherently stressful.

That is certainly one interpretation. As I said previously, the rules are not a paragon of clarity on this matter.

We need to decide as a troupe how to interpret the description of mastery. Clearly silveroak and I have set forth our opinions. What do the rest of you say?

As already said earlier I vote to allow "calm" casting of ritual spells once they are mastered. But natural this means the calm condition must stay for the full casting duration of the ritual.

There is the pettition system in TC that is bassed on either a com+church lore (writen petition) or Pre+curch lore (audience petition) and I think the difficulty for accessing the crypt for prayer to the saint should be between 6 (Access to the parish crypt) and 9 (Access to the bishop’s chambers/exhume a corpse)
Because at Enigmatic Wisdom 6 the stigmata should also slowly become difficult to hide. So its the combination stigmata and tatoo that reduce the presence from +3 to 0 in certain circumstances, especial at the first meeting.
(Tattoo could be hidden with muto corpus but I doubt the stigmata can hidden this way and Imaginem in the face of the Dominion uhmmm such pitiful trick might be seen as devil work if seen trough.)

I think either viewpoint is a fair, valid interpretation of the rules. However, the idea that 5XP can make a CrCo 60 spell harmless behind closed doors just doesn't sit right with me. I'm with silveroak.

So, we're split two on a side. I'm not sure exactly how to move forward.

Sent a PM to mplsmagus, the fifth player who has been absent for all of these discussions.

Quite aside from this question, I'll be interested to hear if he's still interested in this game. We haven't heard from him in weeks/ And I know he's been checking the site.

He apparently hasn't been on the board since the 16th.

Just to get it clear to me what we are talking about

A ritual is at last level 20 what means 4 magnitude = 4 vis = 4 extra botch die that means even if casting a spell calm in a magic aura with Cautious Sorcerer and a mastery score of 1 you still roll 1 botch die on a 10?
Sound like I also need rise The Golden Cord beside master the rituals if we go with the interpretation of Silveroak. (And probably have a safety score of at last +1 in he lab just to remove the first botch die for rituals and spells used there)

On a side note I was allways under the impression spells and rituals can cast save in your lab to i.e. invent and master them. But that would mean in my opinion that in calm situations a mastered spell & ritual should have the same benefit outside of the lab.
But if rituals never can casted save unless you have a high mastery score that would mean we have to roll pre game on each ritual with lasting benefit we use even if just to check if there 2 or more botch and a twilight episode happen.

That's correct. And consider someone who knows Incantations of the Body Made Whole. That's a base 9 botch dice, which would require a mastery level 9 to eliminate the chance of a botch, That's over eleven years (45 seasons) of doing nothing but practicing that spell. A +3 Gold cord can reduce the mastery required to 6 (21 seasons), Cautious Sorcerer reduces t further to 3 (6 seasons). But even with all the advantages, you still have a magus who has to spend a year-and-a-half mastering a magnitude 8 ritual to cast it safely. Basically, you're saying that no one who doesn't have Cautious Sorcerer and a familiar can safely cast rituals. In other words. House Bjornaer magi almost never never cast rituals. And anyone else who casts a ritual has a Virtue tax of having to have either Cautious Sorcerer or Mercurian Magic.

A level 60 ritual is worse (base 13 botch dice). Now, admittedly that's a powerful ritual. But even with a +3 Gold cord and Cautious Sorcerer, that's still 7 botch dice left. A magus would have to study for 28 seasons (7 full years) to master that spell sufficiently to cast it without a chance of botching. Now, I can understand the position that allowing it to be cast without botch for only 5 xp is extreme. But then so is 140 xp extreme.

Consider someone without Cautious Sorcerer who wants to cast a level 30 Aegis for their covenant. (Not unreasonable) That's 7 botch dice. WIthout Cautious Sorcerer, but with a +3 Gold cord that's still 4 botch dice, requiring a mastery level of 4 to cast safely. (And who's going to volunteer to cast the Aegis if they can't do it safely?) That's 50 xp to learn. At 5 xp/season, that's 10 seasons (two-and-a-half years) of solid practice to be able to cast the Aegis safely. What magi is going to spend that time away from other lab work so that they can have the privilege of casting an Aegis?

Even assuming that a reasonable number of magi can get to -3 botch dice pretty easily says that basic rituals of level 20 (5 botch dice) will still require level 2 mastery (3 seasons of practice).

So, in the end, with this rule you're basically saying that rituals are very rare and only cast by specialists (Mercurian magi, cautious sorcerers, and those who are willing to spend years of valuable lab time mastering rituals). High level rituals are rarely cast at all, save by those specialists. Even the most basic ritual requires some effort to cast safely. So, if you want your magi to be able to cast rituals, you'd better either design the magus for that purpose or be willing to spend a lot of time mastering spells.

Now, that is one view of the Order that works in some low-magic sagas. And maybe that's the view that people have for this one. But I thought magic was more prevalent than that.

Also, technically , the Safety score in your lab is subtracted only from the number of botch dice for "lab activities." I would question whether casting a ritual is a "lab activity."

Yes, that would mean that all rituals (pre- and post-game start) would need to be rolled for, since all rituals would be cast under stressful conditions and could potentially botch. .

first keep in mind that a low number of botch dice is still fairly safe. With 4 botch dice you have 3.6% chance of botching, and regardless of the number of botch dice it maxes out at 10%.

secondly there are supposed to be books on spell mastery, presumably including tractatus. Probably not for spells you invent, but for really common spells like the aegis of the hearth (does it need a different mastery book by level?), and even a tractatus can provide a SQ upwards of 11 in a season, which will cut those progression times in at least half.

Moving this here so we don't continue to clutter up Poenitens' character creation thread.

I disagree.

Hermetic Arts have never been considered "Supernatural Abilities." They are their own separate category: "Arts." If the penalties for recitation were intended to include your scores in the Arts, I believe that it would have called it out specifically by name.

Besides, if your interpretation were correct, then no hermetic magus would ever be able to recite the rings, and I don't believe that's the intention of the disclosure.

Are you implying that holy magi are more sinless than non-holy magi? That sounds suspiciously like pride.

Also, FWIW, I don't believe that the Arts for a Holy Magus are in any way transformed into "divine" abilities. The rules very clearly state that a holy magus can still use standard hermetic magic, even though many choose not to. That implies, to me at least, that the magus still has a magical ability in the Arts, represented by his or her Art values.

The Holy Magus may also use a Divine Aura as a positive for casting, rather than a penalty.

Holy Magic cannot be used to sin, unless the Infernal step in your magic would simply fail in this case.