In contradiction to some background texts I am under the impression that in a world ruled by the spell guidelines the creation of various mundane stuff by Creo-magic should- be rather common. At least such a usage of Vis isn't really a waste if the magi spend a bit of their intellectual potential on the rentability of their spells. Here are some examples:
Magical creation of animals: A CrAn 20-ritual creates a single mammal of size +1 (150 kg, pony) or less. By increasing the target to group you produce a group of animals with about the same mass as 10 animals of size +1 (either 10 ponies or 5 horses or 2 war horses or 100 sheep or 50 wolves). By raising the group size one level you multiplie this by ten. If this is a business the magus engaging in it probably is from a Mercurian lineage, so for 3 pawns of vis he produces ~50 pounds worth in sheep (the horses only gain their high value by training), and for each additional pawn spent he can increase this amount by ten. If the description of 'The Wizard's Mount' can be generalized the animals created also have the advantage that they aren't affraid of the Gift.
It is even worse with crops: CrHe 1 creates a plant product. So for a level 2(Range: Touch) ritual you can create a single grain of wheat. But for a level 4 ritual (target: group) you get a group of grains of wheat of the volume of ten herbam base individuals, and this means 10 cubic paces. The minimum level for a ritual is 20, so there are 4 steps left to increase the size of the group, so this spell sounds realistic:
â€žThe Tribunals' Famine preventedâ€œ (CrHe 20 R:Touch, D:Mom, T:Group, Ritual): This ritual creates 100000 cubic paces of wheat. If the problem of transportation and conservation is solved this should feed about 300000 people for a year. (Base 1, +1 Touch, +1 Group, +5 size)
With Mercurian Magic this costs 2 pawns of Vis (and Herbam is probably rather common and cheap), increasing the size four steps further and investing another two pawns certainly results in more wheat than Mythic Europe can eat within a year.
Let's turn to CrTe. I am less concerned with the creation of wealth (in form of silver, gold and gemstones) than with the edification of buildings. The 'Wizzard's Tower' is level 35 and already an impressive building, three sizes more certainly result in an impressive castle for 5 pawns of Vis. Alternatively young magi planning to found a new conveant should get themselves a version of this spell with T: Group. So they get 10 towers â€“ probably one for each magus and some for other uses for the same amount of Vis. Also 'The Laboratory of Bonisagus' (CrTe(Vi) 45) is a waste of Vis, but if you build a conveant from scratch a level 55 version providing enough material for ten labs doesn't sound as bad, and as likely as not there is a Mercere or Verditius magus who has pushed the level further and provides other magi with lab equipment â€“ lets say for one pawn of vis per set.
Magi loath to spend even a single pawn of vis on such mundane goods still can easily improve their fortunes with CrAn and CrHe spells. The spells to let animals and crops mature within a day can provide numerous harvests as well as numerous generations of lifestock within one year. Due to the higher base levels these effects are by far less impressive, but with the use of circles and big rooms as targets a conveant harbouring a Creo-specialist should still be able to triple its income from agrarian sources.
The effects of these spells on the economy of Mysthic Europe differ widely from those of gold and silver created by magic. Those gain their worth by being rare, and a major increase in the amount of gold will result in inflation and perhaps even a complete collapse of the monetary system. But sheep, grain and sound buildings have some worth because they are useful in themselves.
Nevertheless a Europe where magi use spells based on these ideas would differ significantly from the historical setting. Famines would be unheard of, so the population would be probably bigger. And it wouldn't be as agrarian. This would ruin the setting, but has anybody an idea to prevent it beyond a arbitrary decision by the storyguide that in certain cases the spell guidelines do not apply?
Alexios ex Miscellanea