Just a thought that was borne from a memory of another rpg.
How about creating a magical tree, using creo herbam and vim (and whatever other requisites). The tree could be ensorceled to shed bark that provided cinnamon, bear fruit all year long, shed branches that smelled and burned as fragrant incense, produced leaves that taste/are mint, etc.
Though vis intensive it would provide for a diverse source of income that would last for a great long while, and could be concealed within most covenants.
(I think the point is to only invest vis once, in the tree, and then let it crank along. Creating cinnamon batch by batch would produce a mass amount, no doubt, but that's not the described goal.)
But B does bring up some good points - like creating a spell that makes a castle without stopping to think about the foundation - there are RL considerations that many players - and quite possibly their characters IC - just don't think about, or even know enough about the subject to know that they are missing anything.
Once you make the tree, where to plant it, how to keep it alive, how to keep it from getting sick, how to harvest it, are some very real concerns. Not concerns that every saga enjoys considering, but they're there if a SG wants them.
Ritual magic can create natural things. This tree does is not a natural thing so you couldn't make it using a momentary creo ritual, the best you'd be able to do is year (unless you've got access to some other durations, the Faerie duration of Until would be pretty cool here).
On the other hand you could enchant an existing tree as an enchanted device and end up with the tree that you wish. Probably at lower level with a smaller cost in vis.
But it doesn't have to be. Cuchulainshound's choice of the word "might" seems appropriate. If the characters are getting into all sorts of interesting stories regarding their financial straits a few seasons work by a single magus would be a fairly anticlimactic way to end them.
On the other hand if you are telling stories of mighty wizards and their heroic companions performing legendary deeds, don't suck up screen time with lame stories about making the mortgage payment.
I think that having a character enchant a magical tree is pretty cool. Telling the players that their characters can't do this because of warping issues that aren't actually defined in the rules could well unnecessarily throw a big bucket of "your characters suck, and fun is not encouraged in this game" all over your Ars magica experience.
The important thing is to balance fun with the story, to have challenges that the players enjoy overcoming - unless they simply want their characters to be able to blow into their thumbs and get larger, and Larger, and LARGER...
Then it's all good.
I like that! (Images of enchanting a goose with a Muto Animal (Terram) effect...)
There is an another way to do this - since you're attempting to make a magical three, I'd suggest using CrVi effects to grant warping. If you're lucky (and given enough tries, you're bound to be lucky some time), you'll end up with a three that is warped in just the right way... (offcourse, you may have to feed it vis to keep it alive and such, but you know....)
I am pretty sure that a Creo Animal ritual of high enough level can create magical animals, but I'm at work and can't be certain. Isn't it the highest level CrAn spell guideline? If you can create magical animals, why not a magical tree?
What, are you saying that magi can't design their own magical creatures and create them in the same way that they can create griffins? Is this because griffins "exist" and crumple headed snorkaks "don't exist?" Even if this were true and someone in mythic europe claims, "Sorry, unicorns exist but not purple unicorns, that's just crazy", where are you coming from on placing a limit on creating magical beasts? Is this written in one of the supplemental books?
Might it be possible to create a faerie tree, using the guidelines from mystery cults for creating Herbam Fae, that would fit the bill?
Wrong realm, I know - but Fae can live happily enough in a (covenant) magic aura. Might also be interesting, having to negotiate with your orchard. This same mystery is also the way to get those golden nosed purple riding unicorns that the kids always wanted
That's a misquote ET - it says "Creo cannot make a horse able to run as fast as the wind...". (All, especially non-native speakers, should note that is not in the context of "make = creation" but "make = improvement", as in (specifically) "to make something a better example of it's kind." Thus the idea is to "...make a horse do something...", not to "...make a horse that can do something...". )
But I agree that typically Muto is needed for any unnatural change to a target.
If using Muto, then "momentary" effects are insufficient, and Year is the longest one can achieve.
But a Ritual Creo effect...
I'm not convinced that permanently creating something unnatural is breaking a Rule of Magic (or of the game) as much as Creo is limited to what magi "know about". Thus the spectrum between a snorkak and two-headed calf and a rainbow-colored griffon might not be so clearcut.
Unless there's another citation that spells out that restriction? At first it sounded good, but now... I just can't find any clear support in canon, and I'm wondering if I'm confusing effects (been reading/playing a 4th ed game recently, and for discussions like this it's just a curse.)
Also - For creating magical Animals with CrAn, the Magical Might cannot exceed the level of the spell. The Base Level for a bird/reptile/fish/amphibian is Level 10, for a mammal is Level 15, but for a "Magical Beast" is Level 50, usually with Requisites.
okay, so basically the best bet would be to either find or create a mundane tree, then to enchant it for the desired effect rather than just trying to create an actual magical tree.
What I was looking for was a way of enhancing covenant mundane resources/wealth without resorting to just magically creating silver or gold.
It would seem that by enhancing production of certain commodities rather than creating them from nothing would or could be more efficient. Using 'beast of outlandish size' on dairy cows could produce more milk; enchanting a field so that it was more productive; etc.
As you tell my troupe and I have limited ars experience and and have begun by starting a new covenant in the remanants of a failed one. Stories have so far revolved around local relations, setting up the covenant, being recognized and our claims to certain vis sites asserted. Only a little political so far with more coming no doubt. Hence why so many questions of mine so far involve what are, no doubt, more low priority issues in most sagas.
Again I would like to thank all of you who have contributed your thoughts and opinions here.
Any creation of massive quantities of "stuff" that equates to high value is frowned upon by the Order. It deflates the local economy, pisses off merchants and creates a bad name for "wizards" - hence, it's "interfering with the affairs of mundanes" and not kosher. (Of course, they have to catch you, true...)
If there is no cinnamon available in your area, then it is arguably not a mundane affair (tho' we then have to ask how your mage came to know about it.)
If there is, the Order has a good chance to hear complaints sooner or later, or observe echoes of the sudden and inexplicable influx - importers of rare goods, or any merchants, know it's part of their business to know their competition and market.
There are certainly ways around this, both to avoid getting caught and to avoid raising a stink in the first place, but these are secondary to your question.
It can be done, it's just not as easy as it might sound, and there are considerations on several levels that prevent every Spring Covenant and rogue mage from doing something similar in their spare time.
We the saga is set in the normandy tribunal, so I don't believe the tree cinnamon is derived from is indigenous (though I'm no botanist) there. As the covenant development progressed we realized that we would need an agrarian (sp?) population in order to meet basic food needs. This led us to seek out free persons who may wish to resettle in the area near our covenant. In seeking out 'peasantry' (for lack of a better word); one magus hit upon the idea of inviting Jews to settle nearby as they are often unwelcome in many areas of europe. Currently the local peasantry consists of a jewish majority. Among this population there are persons with family involved in various merchantile endeavors, including a spice merchant. (I believe this individual is a cousin of the eldest rabbi) anyway, even a small amount of spice trade would be a uge benefit to the financial well being of our little starter covenant and so the idea took hold of me of creating a magic tree... and more possibilities seemed to evolve from that idea.. you get the notion I'm sure.
In my last game one of the players used duration moon muto spells to turn a group of mice into dairy cows during most of the year but let the spells lapse so his herd didn't need fodder over the winter.