Does Free Expression provide a bonus to Enchanting Music?

I'd be tempted to rule that no, Free Expression does not provide a bonus to Enchanting Music. The former allows you to make better music, while the latter is independent of the quality of the music... but I am willing to give the player the "right of appeal" to the Ars Magica forum :slight_smile:

I agree with the «no».
Enchanting Music is an extremely powerful ability which is easily boosted to get earth shaking results on a regular basis. It really does not need another munchkin's boost.

The bonus is applied to the roll for the purpose of determing the quality of the music, but not it's power to influence someone magically.

"You play excellently, but I have my Parma up and we are in a divine aura, so there is not a snowball's chance in hell that I am going to kiss you."

Don't be so sure. My Enchanting Music could be a Divine Gift ... that cathedral over there is just what I need to get through your Parma.


That wasn't the point though: I was trying to illustrate what to apply free expression to.

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Free Expression would improve the quality of the music, but not the Enchanting Music part. The description of Enchanting Music calls for a Music roll as well, which would be affected by Free Expression, but as long as you don't botch that, you're ok. It would just make the music more beautiful, not more compelling.

Free Expression doesn't even cover playing well.

Free Expression is for creating new stuff. I.e. coming up with a great new melody, not playing it well.

I concur with the other posters in that Free Expression wouldn't apply here. To broaden the conversation to what other virtues might apply to Enchanting Music beyond the obvious Puissant, I think the following could:
*Virtues giving a bonus to casting score, when relevant (such as a relevant Special Circumstances, Cyclic Magic)
*Virtues giving an appropriate miscellaneous bonuses to Communication rolls when appropriate (such as Faerie Blood: Satyr or Mythic Communication).

Indeed, that is also why one could conceivably argue that it does apply to enchanting music. tt applies to that expression aiming to instil a certain emotion or mood, which also the enchantment may depend upon.

The answer is still no, because the alternative is overkill.

Would Virtues affecting casting scores affect a Supernatural Ability? And if so, would they do so if the Supernatural Ability is aligned to a Realm other than Magic?

I think that Hermetic virtues and flaws only affect Hermetic magic, not Supernatural abilities. But I can't find where I read that, so I might have just imagined it.

HoH: Societates pg 103:

Note that Hermetic Virtues and Flaws, including the ones gained by being a member of House Ex Miscellanea, affect only the exercise of Hermetic magic, not non- Hermetic powers.


I'm really curious, could you outline those reasons? You can DM me if you'd like, to keep the thread focused, but I'm very intrigued.

I've been playing in a hedge solo game so, my appreciation for supernatural abilities has improved markedly.

An excellent reminder, thank you. Funnily enough, however, HMRE p. 18 lists Cyclic Magic and Special Circumstances as Minor Supernatural abilities, without including a description that differs from the base book. So I think my exemples are still valid as the average character with Enchanting Music is more likely to be a companion than a magi. And incidentally, it's very weird that being a magi would make those virtues unable to interact with your own supernatural abilities. I'm not sure how strict I would be on that as a GM.

Enchanting Music is essentially a flexible Rego Mentem with a sensory target. You can incite not only riots, but control the focus of the mob in a way that no orator would be able to. Of course, to reliably get the most powerful effects, you need to minmax a narrow-focus companion, and take such virtues as puissant enchanting music, but if free expression gives +3 in every case puissant gives +2 ...

I played such a companion once. The villagers literally tore the parish priest to bits. He deserved it, but still ... it was a gruesome story.

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One canon thing that Free Expression allows is the creation of things one has merely seen a picture or illustration of… which applies to Illusions and Creo (Form) spells and Rego craft magic. This is mentioned under the -3 items in the lower inset on p62 of HoH:S.

Not actually related to the original question but I misread:

And no real point in just deleting the response now.