Cr/Co 25 - The Chirurgeon’s Healing Draught

One of my players came up with this:

The Chirurgeon’s Healing Draught
Cr/Co 25
R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Individual, Ritual
This Ritual creates a small vial of foul-smelling green liquid. When drunk it heals a single Light Wound suffered by the drinker. This does not heal damage from poison or disease.
(B: 15, +1 Touch, +1 delayed effect)

I kind of like it, but I'm not sure if Hermetic Magic is supposed to work like this... I was considering adding some requisites to cover the vial and liquid, but then the he could say it creates blood and provide the vial as a component of the ritual... Either way, is this "legal".

Quick answer is "no".

The closest hermetic magic comes are enchanted items (which can't hold rituals), or the metamagic of "Tethering", possessed by magi with the virtues "Tethered Magic", Mutantum Magic, or Tamed Magic (such magi are almost always magical Merceres. The ability is described in the Houses of Hermes: True Lineages section on House Mercere).

Tethering allows you to pass control of your spells to others as though they were the caster, or to objects, and they can then transfer the spell to an appropriate target when it comes in range. However, Tethering doesn't work for Ritual spells, and in addition must last for (at least) the duration of the tethered time, so duration momentary isn't long enough.

In a word, no, sorry.

What this does is create a one-use magical device, which by itself is fine (see Charged Items, p. 96-97). But that device wants to duplicate a Ritual (Chirurgeon's Healing Touch, p 129), and that is not kosher (p 96, col ii, mid par).

I'm not sure what to make of these two statements when taken together. If you mean that the drinker can consume the potion, and then, at a later time, it heals the first Light Wound taken - no. A spell or item cannot btr have a "dual trigger" - once to attach the effect to a target (the drinker), and then later for that effect to be activated once the wound is taken. This is akin to giving the drinker the ability to cast a spell when the trigger occurs - and while "taking a wound" would not be a popular trigger, others could be invented that would be more user-friendly. [i] Perhaps/i via a Breakthrough (and then only for "healing" spells?), but not given the basics of Hermetic theory (Tethering aside - see above). But the issue of an item duplicating a Ritual remains.

But back to the problem at hand...

The Player clearly wants a "Potion of Cure Light Wounds"*, and while that is not available, there are some close "second bests". Since these are "charged items", they take no vis, so take only time in the lab (again, see p 96-97 for full rules).

(* even tho' scrolls are cheaper - uh, nm, wrong game.)

My first suggestion might be a long-term (but not permanent) healing potion, something to keep the injured in the fight and/or give them time to get back to the Covenant...

Warrior's Reprieve
CrCo 35
Heals 1 Lt Wound until Moon Duration.
(Base 15, +1 Touch, +3 Moon)

(Pretty high level for what it does, no argument there. But to be a portable item that costs no vis...)

The next suggestion would be to boost Recovery, which aids in day-to-day healing, gives an active combatant a huge boost in Fatigue rolls, and keeps an Incapacitating Wound from killing the character outright.

Warrior's Boost
CrCo 10
A short-duration boost to Recovery, +9, usually useful only when battle is imminent.
(Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter)

(Adding longer duration makes this more useful, and tweaking the bonus up/down makes it more flexible in the Lab. Smaller bonuses with shorter duration could be "mass produced", which might make the labrat feel better about the end product.)

The last would be a potion of Endurance of the Berserkers, which keeps the drinker "feeling" 100% for the duration. Best used on grogs or when the consumer knows the risks.

As the others have pointed out, this is not possible using Hermetic magic.

However, a folk witch (Hedge Magic, Revised Edition p35; p40-41) can make healing potions which can either heal wounds or restore fatigue. It's a seasonal activity and requires vis.

That's not what it meant, sorry. The ritual creates magical water that has the power to heal whomever drinks it, when she drinks it. The "delayed effect" means that the main effect of the ritual doesn't occur until the potion is drunk.

Ah, okay - then you just need to familiarize your Player with the section on Charged Items, and make it clear that magical items cannot (btr) duplicate Rituals. (The bit about Rituals is easily missed - it's just one line out of thousands. AM can be like that sometimes - no one part is complicated, but there can sometimes be so many parts...) :wink:

My player reasoned thus: It's not an enchanted item replicating a ritual. It's a ritual that creates a magical essence (potion) that can heal.

She expanded by saying if a ritual can create a given weather pattern over an area for a year it may as well create something that would heal someone who drank it. You can use ritual to create food that can be eaten later, so why not this potion?

I tend to agree... But I haven't played AM since 3rd ed, so I'm rusty as hell. This thing cost's vis so it's not like it will turn the game into DnD overnight if I allow it...

5th ed is a far remove from 3rd, and for exactly such reasons as this. 3rd had magic that did not always make clear sense "why and how" it could or could not do something, why some things were Muto and some Creo, why two apparently similar effects worked very differently. 5th ed (and 4th, to a lesser extent) tightened that up, removing much of the weight of interpretation on the SG (and the guesswork for the Players).

A Ritual can indeed create food that can be eaten later, but it cannot later create food that can be eaten.

The "Creo" part occurs at the time of casting, not at the consumption of what was Creo'd. Whether creation of food or creation of healing, the magic of a spell (Ritual or no) takes effect when cast. The only way around this (aside from Tethering/etc, and some rare non-Hermetic effects) is covered via RegoVim, Watching Ward, which itself cannot target something that is not present at the time of casting - so we're back to square one (unless the Potion is created as person-specific).

What she is trying to do is create a way to charge something via a Ritual, rather than via a Season in the Lab. This is going outside the rules - maybe not out of balance with them, but certainly far from any RAW.

Or, let's put it a different way - the Target of a spell must be perceived when the spell is cast. And the Target of a CrCo healing spell is... the corpus to be healed. In a Charged Item, the spell is cast "later", when the potion is consumed, but with this the Target is absent when the spell is cast - and that's not a good precedent to set.

The main problem I foresee is one of precedent - if you allow this to work, then what else can be similarly "delayed", and using what triggers? How many other enchanted items can be created through similar "rituals"? Think it through to its logical extreme, and you may well decide against it, and with extreme prejudice.

(Pro tip - "Show me someone with a 'worst case' scenario, and I'll show you someone with no imagination".) :wink:

But if you're good with all that, if you trust your Players not to abuse it, then more power to ya!

One can achieve something very similar to what the original poster wants by employing a Watching Ward: combine the CrCo 20 Ritual that heals a wound with the ReVi 20 Ritual that "holds it in the potion" until someone drinks it. It's somewhat more expensive (2 rituals and 8 pawns vs. 1 ritual and 5 pawns), but it's still perfectly within the capabilities of Hermetic magic.

Nope, sorry.
Not without further mystery virtues (Hermetic Empowerment should do it.)

EDIT: Watching Ward might work too, I was sure it ruled out rituals, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

This is a phenomenally bad idea to let slip through. It's not that this one spell on its own would totally break things, rather it's the method that totally breaks things. In essence the method given allows you to just add a magnitude to any spell to allow you to put it on hold. Thus with 1 season of work you can generate a nearly unlimited supply of charged items with a spell. Thus this utterly destroys the whole charged item part of lab work. On top of that, it also destroys many small number of uses per day items since you can just make several charges (uses) each day for use later in the day. Even neglecting that this effectively gives everyone lots of Mystery Virtues for free, it's still a bad idea. DO NOT OK THIS.


Cal - Well, it would still require a diff spell to be Invented for each Ritual (Rituals are never Spontaneous), and the vis is prohibitively expensive (in most Sagas) to abuse it quite to the extent you portray, but in principal I still completely agree.

(I explained in my post above why this is explicitly not legal btr.)

(I would have bet good vis that WW excluded Rituals as well, but it does not mention any such exclusion. It may be a broader prohibition somewhere else in the Rules, not in that one spell description. Dunno now.)

I must have missed both the "explicit" text in RAW and your explanation. Could you be more specific?

Ah, I see what you are saying: you are referring to the sentence "The target of the Watching Ward must be present for the entire castng ritual", and you are implicitly assuming that "the target" is the target the healing spell. But I do not interpret this the way you do; the way I see it, the target that must be present is, in this case, the foul smelling liquid that will become the potion. If your interpretation were correct, how could one justify the text "Flambeau and Tytalus magi commonly put highly destructive spells upon their persons, to be cast if they die so they may have vengeance upon their killers"?

Well, it is problematic, and I suppose subject to interpretation.

At one level, the "Target" of any ReVi effect must be... Vim, the spell involved. But I see it differently from that, that the "target" (small "t" as used in the book) is the target/victim of the spell in question.

As to your objection, "destructive spells" are still quite possible - they just can't be "targeted" (in any sense of the word). The are "on their person", Range = Personal. Ground Zero for the destruction is then the dead mage, and woe to any who are standing too close. (How would, for instance, BoAF be targeted at anyone in particular without a conscious thought behind it???)

Cuchulainshound, I don't think you understood. If as a general rule you can add a magnitude to do this, why not do something like make a ReCo flight spell and add a magnitude to put it in potion form? If I'm working in my specialty, I could spend a season and save 10 days for the end. Spend 8 hours a day to get 10x8x60x10=48,000 potions of flight.

See now?


callen: I would (if I was to houserule this in) only allow the delay with ritual spells. So that would be a lot of vis.

C'hound: I like the idea of using the WW ritual to pull this off... And specify that it must be created for specific user.

Could this work then? You use the ritual along with WW to create a delayed effect int he form of a potion that the target drinks when needed?

Either way could work - if you are comfortable with tweaking/bending/rewritinig the rules, then anything works, by definition.

But to say that WW can instill a Ritual for a target (small "t", so = the eventual consumer of the potion) if that target is present during the casting of WW, then I think it does work completely within the RAW.

The cost would then be the vis for the Ritual spell itself, and then the vis for WW - and (assuming there is not some hidden rule against using WW for Rituals!), your Player is good to go!

(If, as SG, you like the concept but want to reduce the cost, you could make the WW Ritual for that cost half or something - you're the SG, you have the power to make the Saga work the way you want. YTou could define this as separate from the standard WW spell, to distinguish the cost diff.)

No, C, I understand all that - it's obvious.

But, are you forgetting that as originally proposed this spell is a Ritual? Your example would cost... what - 240,000 pawns of vis?! :open_mouth: Get back to me on how that, alone, is opening the gates for abuse! :laughing:

The problem does not lie in the fact that it can be abused at that level - it just can't. It lies in the fact that it can be done at all. It's not mass production that is the dealbreaker, it's the ability to hand, say, 10 mundanes each a "potion" to make a Group sleep for a total of maybe 40 vis, or make 10 agents invisible fpr the same cost, and to do that with less than 12 hours notice (assuming the spell has been researched) - that's the (potential*) problem.

(* Depending on the SG's view of how their Saga should work. It's not so much an obvious "problem" as it radically changes the way the game works from canon.)

I see, that's great :slight_smile:

Working of the WW ritual it should then be possible to create the spell more or less as written but adding a Re/Vi requisite and buffing the magnitude by +1 or +2 for Complex/Delayed effect? Shouldn't be gamebreaking... But feel free to give me your "Worst case". :smiley:

(Thanks for indulging an old n00b by the way.)

If you want to have an effect be something that can be triggered later, you need to use Watching Ward. As far as I can tell, I don't see why you couldn't put Chirurgeon's Healing Touch into Watching Ward, and I could see why doing so could be helpful. If you were going into an Infernal Regio to fight something and you thought it might be important to get healed up really, really quickly, I could see putting a copy of "Incantation of the Body Made Whole" into a Watching Ward.