here's another parameter, this time a Target for consideration:
Company (Target): This spell only affects people regarded as part of a previously defined company formed for a specific journey or task, or else those specifically excluded from the select group. The qualities or conditions that mark membership in the company must be determined before casting a spell using this duration and a charter or scroll drawn up naming or accurately describing all the individuals to be affected, who must be present when the charter is drawn. The charter then becomes an Arcane Connection which typically lasts only for a few months unless fixed in the Laboratory. The caster can remove someone from the company at will by crossing them off the charter. This target is equivalent to Group, and can include any number of specifically named Individuals, regardless of their Form.
This Target is a little known Minor Breakthrough developed by the Milvinus magus Geographicus of House Mercere, which allows Mutantes or other magi to cast healing or protective spells on a caravan or other group of individuals dedicated to a specific task. Typically, a Mercere magus will cast a spell with this target on his travelling companions and pack animals at the start of an expedition, formalising the selection process by reading the merchant charter containing the names of the individuals involved and any animals to be included. Harnessed and Tethered spells using this parameter are common, although unusable by non-Mutantes magi. House Jerbiton magi and other magi with a mercantile interest are the commonest casters of spells with this duration outside of the magi of the Milvi Antiquiti. See HoH:TL, pages 96-98 & 101-102 for details on the Milvi Antiquiti and Mutantum Magic of House Mercere.
Design Note: This new parameter is based on the "Holy Magic" parameter Faith (Target) (see RoP:tD, page 68 ), being a target that defines a group of particular individuals that share a common quality or characteristic or targets those excluded by the lack of a defining characteristic.
Like Faith, this parameter can be used to cast spells on members of the company, even if not standing next to each other provided they are within range (even Arcane Connection Range) - eg. to heal or protect only members of the company OR to target individuals not part of the company with "area effect" spells - ie. casting a sleep inducing spell on an attacking band of brigands engaged in melee with the company without affecting your own grogs
Hmm. It sounds like a good enough target. I would maintain a basic Size of 10 Individuals (like Group), to prevent affecting entire armies too easily.
The target is a little munchkinish, affecting just your men and all. I might require +1 magnitude in target equivalency, to compensate. Or I might deny it entirely. Unlike Journey, this doesn't feel too Mythic to me. (If it's any consolation, neither does Faith except in Divine magic: in the words of Arnaud-Amaury, "god will know His own".)
Yes, that's a good point - it's a vital part of the parameter descriptor that I forgot. (Mind you, the Holy parameters don't have these listed IIRC).
It's a logical extension though and given the precedent of the Targets Faith (essentially a group defined by a specific immutable common trait, particularly defined in advance with a restriction as in this case), I don't see why it should suddenly jump one magnitude to Structure (although it wouldn't kill the idea to make it eqivalent to Structure as it is more flexible in play).
I haven't specified that the charter is needed by the caster to cast a spell with this Target, which may affect how you view things. Carrying around a whole list of Arcane Connections to your company in one object is not necessarily the wisest idea and would count as a significant caveat in my view. I'm not happy with how exactly to create the charter admittedly, but there are several precedents in canon that allow a character to create Arcane Connections easily (Leadwoker from HoH:TL and the Folk Magic Mystery Virtues from HoH:MC for example).
As read, I imply that the targets can have a mixture of Forms (Corpus, Animal and probably Herbam and/or Terram to account for objects) but I'm not sure if this is too abusable, even with the restriction of the charter.
I'll be interested to see what any new spell parameters in RoP:I and TMRE are like - there seems to be a rough "behind the scenes" formulae or guide to calculating the equivalencies of these, or perhaps it's just the way Erik's mind works.
Well, Hermetic Magic isn't really Mythic in some ways, eh?
I think it's very Redcap though.
Incidentally, you could retrofit this as a Holy Target of "Pilgrimage", being a select collection of pilgrims, but "Faith" already covers this possibility. I don't see how the two are really that different in power scale.
Thanks for the comments - they certainly help clarify my thinking.
I'm not clear on this - isn't the list an arcane connection only to the COMPANY, not to each individual within it? That is to say, you can cast a spell with the Company target and affect the entire company using the charter as an arcane connection, but you cannot hold the charter and use it as an arcane connection to cast a spell on Jeremy (a person listed on the charter). If this is the situation, then the caveat isn't particularly significant. Few will know how to utilize such an arcane connection.
If the arcane connection is to each individual, then it is indeed somehwhat of a liability - although still not such a very serious one.
I see no problem with a mixture of Forms, it just means a more difficult spell.
This is what I intended. Obviously I need to clarify things better (and stop writing spell parameter ideas as 11pm in Australia without reading through them again in the morning first for clarity...)
The charter acts as an Arcane Connection to "the Company" as a collective whole and hence it's role in a spell with the parameter "Company Target)", but also as an Arcane Connection to each individual. Charter no. Arcane Connections = no. of individuals + 1 (whole Company).
How else are you going to find that missing lead camel in a sandstorm?
A list of names that are Arcane Connections to all your company, including the caster would count as something that would be a liability IMO - particularly if stolen by a magic using enemy and particularly if each individual Arcane Connection had been fixed in the lab, rather than just the Arcane Connection to the company as a whole.
It doesn't have to be a serious liability IMO - I think the Target is reasonable as it is, based on the Faith precedent, particularly if you bump it up from Group +2 to Structure +3 (it's not intended to be a common parameter, more like a Lesser Mystery of House Mercere like the Duration: Journey), but it makes an interesting theme/roleplaying hook.
Note: if you have a Mutantes magus able to Boost spells (HoH:TL), which is essentially what the Milvi Antiquiti are compose of - the same magi I think these "travel" parameters are best aimed at - being able to bump your Individual or Group parameter spells to "Company" would add the flexibility to help explain why the Redcaps and Merceres play the role they due in the canonical Order IMO. YMMV.
You could incidentally use this to simulate a more "adventure" style of play, as suggested by an old Hermes Portal article by Erik Dahl (IIRC) but that's not obviously everyone's style of play.
Yes, with the need for requisites etc. but that is implied I hope.
In Covenants, you can enchant a library index to be an arcane connection to as well as a proxy for the whole library. You could base the creation of a charter on that mechanism. Serf's Parma, I think it takes one pawn and a season. That would make the creation of such a charter a significant act, not frivolously undertaken.
The ability to create such a "communal arcane connection" would be a sufficient breakthrough by itself. I don't think the target really is necessary: I think you would be able to affect the members with standard Individual or Group targets, at Arcane Connection range if necessary.
Hmm, I don't think I would allow Individual or Group, no. Group says "The components of the group must be close together in space, and the group itself must be seperated from any othre things of the same type". Consider the case of the Company's men in a hectic melee enmeshed with a group of other combatants; that isn't a Group, and shouldn't be targeted by a Group spell regardless of the issue of arcane connection.
I think the Company target fits the bill nicely. (As does a Rego requisite, BTW, but being able to affect the Company without one certainly has its benefits and is less ad hoc.)
Yes, perhaps I was subliminally inspired by Timothy's idea - I particularly like the Library section of that book. Now that I've looked it up again, I agree. I think the text is a bit unclear as to whether the Arcane Connection from the catalog is permanent or requires another season and a pawn of vis to "fix".
Not necessarily, Covenants page 98
"A library's catalog ... It is a connection to each book the library contains, and to all of the books collectively ... The ritual that binds libraries to their catalog was invented during the second century of the Order's history. A magus performing it requires a season and a pawn of Vim vis.... This ritual is the ancestor of the ritual that fixes Arcane Connections"
The implication here is that the Minor Breakthrough required to integrate the first application of a "communal arcane connection" was invented and integrated into the Order circa 900, the ritual for fixing arcane connections a bit later (itself probably a Minor Breakthrough). It's quite likely that other applications of "communal arcane connections" would therefore have been invented since then relatively easily, perhaps even without a Minor Breakthrough.
Given that I'd propose the Journey and Company parameters (together with perhaps the equivalent of the Range: Road) as part of a Minor Mystery of House Mercere, I see no problem in assuming that this particular "communal arcane connection" Minor Breakthrough was made reasonably early in the Order's history due to its utility and taught together with the applicable parameters.
A collection of Minor Breakthroughs can be transmitted together - take Faerie Magi as the canonical precedent if you will - it provides Multiple new parameters (5 or 6) and other effects per HoH:MC, each of which was probably a Minor Breakthrough on "Hermetic Theory 1.0".
This is indeed the point - Group certainly does not cover this hectic melee - Company (and Faith or Sin in certain cases I suppose) does. Company is actually a reasonably useful Target for magi who like to cast spells on the band of grogs/companions that accompany them on "away missions", but particularly with the charter aspect requires planning and forethought.
Spending a season and a pawn of vis prior to using the Target almost justifies leaving it the same magnitude as Group IMO, but I suspect Yair may still disagree.
There is still the question of what can someone who isn't initiated in that mystery do with the arcane connection that is the charter. Only affect the whole group? Only affect individuals? What precisely are the risks were it to falls in the wrong hands.
With the charter in hand you can, at Arcane Connection range:
Affect any individual on the charter
Affect some of the individuals named using the Group (or perhaps even Room) Target, albeit only if they are standing together etc. as per the normal restrictions for Group (just because not all the "Company" can be targeted, doesn't mean the charter can't be used, only that a subset of the individuals can be affected)
Affect all of the individuals named using the standard Group Target, albeit only if they are standing together etc.
An example to illustrate:
a non-Hermetic magus (perhaps even an Infernal one) steals the charter of a Mercere magus's travelling group, perhaps even the Company charter of one the itinerant covenants like Venti Rosa (Levant) or the one in the Stonehenge Tribunal.
He can now:
spy on individuals or groups from the covenant
affect the whole "company"/covenant if they are encamped at one spot if he can generate an effect level high enough to cover the whole company
use the charter to mislead the hunting party of grogs sent out to reclaim the charter, provided they are travelling together close enough to be affetced by the target Group
All this with possibly the added Penetration Bonus of a fixed Arcane Connection, ie. +4 x Penetration score!
He cannot however use the charter to affect specific individuals in frantic melee with his own minions (can only use Group target and the melee prevents this) or use the charter to affect his minions to heal them or ward them (ie those NOT belonginf to the company/covenant) in the same battle
Knowing the Target: Company just increases the flexibility of the use of the Arcane Connection - you could cast a Company Target Leap of Homecoming if your company was scattered throughout a ruin, having fled from bandits etc.
Having an enemy with an Arcane Connection to potentially all of your friends singly, selectly or combined is risk enough IMO not to let the charter fall into the hands of an an enemy wizard.
I think this is an interesting Target, and a nice variation on a Group. I also think it might be better if it were the same level as Structure, though, mostly because there are some things that the Divine is better at doing than Magic, and I imagine one of those is distinguishing qualities of a group of people, like their faith or those who are holy. Magic has to work harder at this, and can be fooled by Infernal deception. I think it could do what you want, especially with the notion of a list of people who are affected, but that it should be a little harder to preserve the idea that holy magi are better at this kind of thing than other Hermetic wizards.