Creo vs Rego Crafting

Page 77 of the core book says that Creo of complex items requires a finesse roll.

Conjuring of the Mythic Tower clearly doesnt seem to realize that. Also, if you don't have C&G you wouldn't even know what the EF for this finesse roll would be.

So Conjuring the Mythic Tower is Creo Terram 35, requires 7 pawns of vis, and takes all day to cast. It also requires a Finesse roll of 19? give or take? Because a Tower is basically 2 seasons worth of construction, so the EF goes against a year.

You create a creo-terram spell at level 15 that creates a metric ton of stone.
you have a rego terram spell of Craft Mason.
And basically instantaneously you get to bring up your tower. You're not even facing the same EF, because you can do it in increments, since you only need a minute to cast the spell.

This seems to seriously make creo so much worse, and make rego even better. Am I missing something?

Hey - I was researching this last night; for background, the following thread seems to have hashed out (or at least identified) some of the issues fairly well:

The main benefit seems to be the "if it doesn't take an EF of 9 for Creo, you don't need to roll it." That's it. However, If you want to munge some of the old (core) rules with the newer (A&A and HoH:S) rules, the following may work (Note that all of these are more-or-less subjective interpretations on my part, from the above thread).

  1. Originally, Creo only needed a finesse roll to make it look nice; regardless of your casting, you'd still get something functional. In contrast, with Rego (if you failed), you'd get a pile of junk. (Although this may have been superceeded by later rulings.)

  2. Creo might be able to use "complexity magnitudes" to make the EF easier. (This is a holdover from 4th edition, most likely) - it looks to be +3 EF per magnitude. So, an EF 15 Creo spell, with +2 mags for complexity, can get down to +9; and thus you don't need to roll at all. This seems to be what Conjuring the Mystic Tower did.

  3. If the Creo spell gives you an exact replica of a given item, you don't need to roll Finesse at all. (suggested by a few of the Creo effects, but may simply be an oversight). There are some examples in Changing Mythic Europe that don't have an EF described, but the Creo spell creates an exact replica of a specific ship, for example.

  4. Both Rego and Creo pull from the Realm of Forms to make the magic easier; that is, you visualize the ideal X, and then use the magic to build X. So potentially, if you're using either to partially build something, you will need to know how it works via an ability roll. That is, if you want to build a Cathedral in pieces, you need to know how the Perfect Cathedral Wall holds up the Perfect Cathedral Roof. If you did it all at once, you wouldn't have to.

  5. It's not QUITE clear that Creo needs to use the time factor when determining the difficulty. (Although it probably does.)

  6. It's also not clear how many workers you get when calculating the time it takes to build something with Rego. It looks like, by default, you get 1. Thus, you may need to put additional orders of magnitude to actually get enough workers to build a castle, as 1 person can't do it by themselves. (Although this also isn't clear, at least to me - increased magnitudes for size MAY increase the functional number of workers.)

Anyway - those were the issues I gleaned from that thread.

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A couple of things -

  1. Don't forget the level 20 minimum for Rituals - the level 15 CrTe spell would be bumped up in level.

  2. An Artes Liberales (specifically Geometry) ligature is another potential Finesse bonus of up to +3.

  3. Could an appropriate Craft Manual be of use to a magus for Finesse purposes?

The difference between Creo and Rego is that with Creo, you're drawing on 'forms' - that is, you're essentially making a copy of an idealised version of whatever it is you want that exists in the magic realm. The ideal tower. The ideal wolf. This is why you don't need to make a finesse roll to ensure your CrAn wolf has its legs in the right place.

With Rego craft magic you aren't drawing on the realm of forms, you're literally crafting it very quickly. This requires skill, which is where the finesse roll comes in.

If you want your Creo'd object to be exceptionally pretty, finesse works here. But even with a botched finesse roll the object should still be recognisably and functionally correct. Your tower might not have a door or any stairs, but it'd still be a tower.

Complexity in items comes in with how far they 'deviate' from ideal forms, or how much embellishment they need. A tower covered in gargoyles is a complex item, a tower made of a single block of hollowed stone is not.

I can't remember where all the stuff about forms is. Noble's Parma applies; maybe A&A?

Craft magic is a subject I like very much.

The concept of Creo magic drawing directly from the Realm of Form is the standard answer (supported I believe by one book, but I am unsure).
Now I am wondering why Rego magic cannot draw from the same Realm how should look like the end results and make it happens ?

The issue of possible abuse and power balance, with the fact that Rego magic could outdo any Master Craftsmen is a different point, which would need to be address on a Saga to Saga basis.

I just find pointless to see Rego crafting spell with Finesse target of 25+. It is just impossible to achieve in any reliable way, even for an experienced magi - none of my player's PC had any skills above 10 (with possibly the exception of MT for a couple of them). Assuming a stat of +5 (Int or Per depending on your reading of the rules), a skill of +10, +2 for Puissant Finesse, that's +17. A ligature could give you a +1 or +2 (getting a +3 requires another too high skill to get).
Which means that there is roughly 50/50 chance that a whole lot of material end up being wasted or at least turned into a subpar item.

An Item of Quality (Glove) could add +4 to the roll although there are campaigns that have house ruled not to allow this. Confidence could add another +3 or more. Familiarity (C&G) can add a further bonus. A specialist mage built along these lines could consistently make finesse rolls in the low 30's. That's a very focused character however, using a significant investment of virtues and XP that are not going elsewhere.

All the time required does, in the case of a Creo ritual and finesse, IMO is make it look ugly and less functional, which IMO is wrong. It's a ritual, it uses vis, it should be a really simple Int+Finesse roll with an EF of 6, since Hermetic resources are being committed to the task. It seems laughable to me, and stands in contradiction to canon, that the towers created by Conjuring the Mystic Tower at Durenmar are impressive, while the EF to make them with Finesse would be in the 20s, well out of reach of anyone but a finesse specialist.

Ims a house rule allows for ponderous time before casting to greatly reduce the difficulty of Creo spells, and it makes sense to say the same for Rego.
It makes sense to me that the faster you try to do something the less quality and control you have.
I'd say that Rego should always have a Finesse check, and some Creo effects could remove it altogether.

It's not pointless. If you have a target of 25+, then the game is trying to tell you something. It's telling you that the spell you want to cast is not impossible, in the sense of squaring a circle, but it's practically impossible, in the sense that what you're trying to do is beyond mortal skill.

If you want Rego craft to be easier, then of course adjust the rules to suit - but in general, doing a season's work in six seconds is a lot easier to do with permanent Creo, because you're guaranteed to get a perfectly functional item.

Perception 3, Finesse 6+2, Muse +3, Free Expresssion +3, confidence +3 totals 20. Granted it requires several characteristic points, a muse, and at least 2 virtue points. 25 is achievable for a properly designed character in the circumstance of making art.

The difficulty levels are out of alignment, they are too high if the rules are expected to be regularly used by player characters in a wide variety of sagas. Difficulty levels end up far above the ability scores a junior or moderate power Magus will have. A ruleset which is designed for edge case Magi (like your example) or very old Magi isn't very useful. Working out a Spont casting total is simple by comparison, and we've seen pages of discussion about how much fun that is.

Well we don't want it easy to produce sculptures like David, do we?

I may have said it I that other referenced thread that it's possible to break up some things into sub-assemblies which should reduce the ease factor considerably, no? I'm not saying that the finesse rules don't have problems but I'll submit that my example isn't even extreme. Certainly not with a score of 10 or more. What's the actual goal, though? To make making stuff easier with Rego? To what end, what does that gain us? Making stuff with Vis has some clear costs and benefits, Rego crafting has often been presented here as little more than a covenant gathering a lot of raw materials and the conducting a Monte Carlo exercise until they hit the jackpot. Erk.

Agreed. I didn't say that either.

But it is an implication of making Rego Crafting easier. It may very well may be that trying to impose the time factor rules for doing something in a mundane fashion onto finesse is a bit much; makes things that should be simple too difficult. Technically, it does the same for Creo magic, based on how it is worded, which seems patently ridiculous.

What I do not want to see is that a covenant has a stockpile of bricks and uses it to lay a road from the covenant to the nearest town in a single day using a single, simple formulaic spell to lay all of them at once for a really low ease factor. I think something like that should be a very high ease factor. I think creating statues and other works of Art that took several years to make in an instant is something else that is hard to do. And I do not want to see the Monte Carlo simulation gambit played out hoping to explode 2 or more times in an effort to produce something that is otherwise impossible, simply because it's such an easy spell to cast.

Rego crafting exists, but I don't particularly like it...

My biggest gripe with craft-magic is that it is all on finesse.

There's a lot of things you can do with crafts (the mundane kind) when you have very little or no skill. But chances are the things you make won't be that great. Your first table is probably going to wobble. Your first chair I'm not going to sit on.

The same should probably be true of craft magic. If you have no idea how to put together a chair, putting a chair together with magic should still result in a shonky chair.

Magic should be a way of crafting faster; that I have no problem with. But if you want to use magic to sculpt David, you better be able to sculpt him with a hammer, chisel and block of marble before you start considering doing it with magic.

Even in a game about wizards, magic shouldn't simply replace -everything-.

JL - my point is RAW from the additional sourcebooks is too difficult at the upper end, and I think it needs to be lowered via a house-rule. I'm not going to suggest alternatives as it's too argumentative. It is a troupe issue, and we've all got opinions. I'm a little frustrated by your replies because you're repeatedly implying that my point is invalid by commenting about the lower end of the scale, or a clearly abuse-of-mechanics scenario. I've not suggested anything about the lower end and wouldn't let a player abuse any rule, even if it was in RAW. Mind you, I agree with your point on mitigating the abuse, just have a different view on the application.

My goal is a congruent and graceful story, where the players feel their characters have agency, which is why I think the Rego magic dificulty levels discourage players from using the rules as written. I'll crush the abusive edge cases without preamble.

If the player is stupid enough to risk the botches, the wasted materials, and the season(s?) creating that small rort then let them. They'll learn to be reasonable and discuss their story goals. i.e. There was an idea a while ago about using a ReTe spell to craft glass things from sand, and the character then enchanting an item so grogs could sit on a beach all day trying to create good quality "products" with random precision. That poor grog is probably going to get very hurt before they complete their second quality item.

Additionally that monte carlo scenario for abuse of game mechanics is present in any aspect of the game which uses an exploding dice mechanic. If the potential abuse is to be mitigated it perhaps it should be mitigated in other areas too? If so, we're back to a set of house rules instead of RAW, which means you like your house rules better than somebody else's - which is totally fair. I'm not overly fussed with exploding dice because I don't see the dice driving the game, they're just a convenient random element and abstraction; happy to ignore them if it suits the overall story.

Why not?

@Kid Gloves: An easy house-rule for that would be to make it a Finesse roll with a Craft requisite.

They don't have any value, then. Within the game, the ability becomes a commodity like Intelligence was in 4th edition. Every magus plugs as much as he can into finesse to be able to create wondrous works of art. IMO, this is what Creo rituals are for.

a) Technically brilliant/perfect sculptures which is what either Rego or Creo Terram gets you (regardless of how tricky it is) do not correspond to sculptures of artistic merit. That's about what you choose to make a sculpture of.

b) So what if magi can easily make technically perfect sculptures relatively easily? Seems unlikely to be of much use for resolving typical stories. And if the PCs can in fact, contrive in-play circumstances where knocking out half a dozen (or a thousand) technically brilliant sculptures is a useful thing to do --- isn't that a good thing? Seems more interesting than resolving stories via DEO or Pilium of Fire.