Enchantments for a green house

Hello experts, my Greek Jerbiton has been exiled in a cold, wet, dark region and he is missing the vibrant food and spices he enjoyed. So, he is planning to recreate the conditions appropriate for his favorite plants and trees to grow, then possibly opening a spice trading business. The growth should be natural and sustainable. So he is going to invent what is in modern language a greenhouse.

First item to be discussed, the Orb of Greek Sunlight, an invested device that allows to replicate the appropriate sunlight conditions. To do this, I am considering using InVi30 Divine Heaven's Aspect (spell from Hermetic Astrology), with an Arcane connection from his home garden, and a CrIg (Base 5) with a linked trigger to generate the sun cycle.

  • Does it seem reasonable ?
  • Should I add a level of complexity on the CrIg to allow adjustement of intensity ? It does not need to perfectly replicate the local weather, just be close enough for the plants to have a good acclimation and grow naturally.

Heat will be provided by another CrIg effect, not link to the Divine Heaven since it does not provide any information related to the local weather. It will have a simple environmental trigger to be cooler at night (on/off switch), relying on the residual heat for the night.

Fortunately, water won't be an issue as it is a rather abundant resources, at most some basic ReAq with assure ample watering...

I don't know what is the level of agronomic knowledge, but I think it is fair to assume that a farmer or a learned mage can infer that under different weather and sun, plants might not grow the same way, so replicating ideal conditions will significantly increase chance of success.

Second point to discuss...
Thanks to the Orb, my mage could have his farm underground. But let's say, he wanted to have it outdoor, with large glass panels...
Keep in mind, that I need Inst. duration since I don't want the glass to turn to sand and collapse on the garden.
So I found the Invisible Glass-worker to shape glass (ReTe4), I found various spell to shape and mould iron, but none to turn sand into glass. A Muto spell would require virtus to make the change Permanent.
What can be done only through hermetic magic ? Would it be a Re Te(Ig) - mages know and see that sand is turned into glass by skilled glassworker, so it should be possible to do that through Rego magic ?
Alternatively, an Alchemical reagent should be able to make high quality glass the same way alchemical steel is made. I remember reading somewhere in this chapter, that once a formula reageant was known, a mage could easily replicate it with Craft magic, speeding up the process of manufacturing said reagent.
Lastly, the most straightforward way: create a large amount of pure glass with the appropriate CrTe 10(base 3, +1 touch, +2 for size, about 10 cubic paces of glass), and then use ReTe to shape it. It will cost a few pawns of virtus, but at the end might be the most simple way.

Thanks for your input to come.


Some thoughts:

  • Creating glass is always lvl20 at minimum, bc that is the minimum level if a ritual .
  • Creating glass by Rego craft magic is possible (from pure sand) but it needs a fairly high Finesse roll. (You can see this in HoH:S , Jerbiton chapter)
  • An invested device should be fine, but maybe I would use an InIg(Aq) spell to determine the temperature and amount of sunlight and rain in the original garden as a Constant effect maintained by the device.
  • You can link an effect to this first spell, which based on the Craig base 5 GL, and provides light and heat based on the first spell. I would make this also Concentration, and 24 uses per day. That way you can adjust light and temperature 24 times a day. Also add +1 flexibility modifier to the effect.
  • I would link a ReAq effect on o the first spell which can teleport a fixed amount of water from a pond next to the garden to imitate rain based on the "data" derived by the first effect.
  • You don't need glass actually, bc Ig can create "sourceless light" in an area .

I really like this item bc it is purely a roleplaying item! :metal:


Muto can be used to make permanent changes, just not the way you might expect. The easiest is changing the shape of something (Rock of Viscid Clay). However you can also do things like purifying/separating something by changing (part) of it. For example you can change impure silver to a liquid and skim the "slag" from it. It is also useful to blend/alloy solids by changing them to a liquid or gas for a short time.

As for changing sand into glass, that is straight ReTe Craft magic. Craft magic does not require requisites for intermediate stages. You see this in published spells for working glass and metal, which do not include Ig.

For light and heat, you need +1 Flexibility to do both. My group required +1 Complexity to match sunlight (for growing plants) with a "sun replacement" item, though this is YSMV.

Creating glass is always lvl20 at minimum, bc that is the minimum level if a ritual .

Yep, my mistake, so I have a huge pile of glass, for the rest of my mage's life lab... Minor issue, 2 extra pawns is not going to break the bank

Creating glass by Rego craft magic is possible (from pure sand) but it needs a fairly high Finesse roll.

I am not sure. Glass from pure sand is done within a day (for a reasonable amount of a few kg, possibly up to 10 kg), so no Finesse extra challenge. The base value is quite high since it is mentionned in the rulebook that clearglass is a rarity. So let's say 6 for basic, cloudy glass (functional but non transparent), 9 for translucent, up to probably 15 for a clear, clean glass. So I would guestimate around 9 to 12 for translucent glass panel, but not perfectly clear.

I would use an InIg(Aq) spell

This is beyond the accuracy I want to achieve. Agreed on the principle, not within the reach of my Jerbiton - he is willing to make some efforts in learning appropriate Arts, and Astrology is a topic is interested, so building an Armillary sphere and other similar paraphernalia is going to happen. But a weather station that would constantly remind him how sunny and warm it is in Athen, whereas he is freezing his b*tt on a Danish coast... that would be rubbing too much salt :smile:

And regarding the weather, he will have a grog-farmer taking care of the daily routine. He does not want a fully automated farm... although he might go there later on. I could see him being contacted by a Tremere Vexillation interested in gathering a compendium of tools and spells to build a fully autonomous alliance in some vis-rich, yet hostile lands.

Re: glass roof - First off, I would recommend putting this garden under an opaque roof or underground. With glass you will be doubling the sunlight during bright times in your normal environment and, therefore, not actually following the supposedly “ideal” pattern set by the garden back home. Second, large panes of flat glass were beyond the most skilled craftsmen at the time but definitely not beyond their imagination so the finesse rolls are going to be truly ludicrous if you craft it with ReTe craft magic or permanent (momentary) CrTe spells.

Re: weather - I think a number of things could be done with room or group target Rego Auram. InAu to learn the weather situation at the old garden as a linked trigger to a constant Rego or Muto Au(Ig) (Cr may also be necessary in there) which could shape the humidity and warmth in the room to match what the InAu spell is telling it. I’m unsure if constant or 24 use idea above is better but I think that’s in YSMV territory and you should discuss with storyguide or troupe.

Re: your ideas for sunlight - seems workable.

I’d also just like to say what little I see here, this seems like a really interesting Jerbiton concept, interested in making a wonderful mundane thing workable using magic and not just yet another “gentle gifted ‘face’ of the covenant magi.’ Sure, your magus might be that as well but having actual magical interests is what can make Jerbiton cool and worth playing as opposed to a companion who does some of the same stuff, “mundane user interface.”

EDIT: I often see folks say they think Jerbiton are a boring house.

I often see folks say they think Jerbiton are a boring house.

Guilty as charged...

This is why I was pushing myself to come with an interesting concept. As a Jerbiton he is interested in mundane topics, not so much into mundanes, and he will use magic to foster his interests, as a tool more than as an end.
That's also the reason I am not going the route of having a bunch of CrHe rituals to provided him the spices and vegetables he is missing, but something more aligned with the aesthetic of his house. I am borrowing a bit from Gwindon, adding a little bit of Mysteries (Astrology and Numerology) and I could see him writing a kind of Almanach (according to Wikipedia, the first use of this word in any langage was in 1267, so quite timely).

Second, large panes of flat glass were beyond the most skilled craftsmen at the time but definitely not beyond their imagination so the finesse rolls are going to be truly ludicrous

Agreed. I was more going for "small" squarish panels 20cm per side, and not huge window bay. At the end, he will need a carpenter to assemble all these small windows into larger panels. The more I think about it, the more I believe he will go for solid stone structure, with a stone/tile roof and only windows on the side. The Orb will be providing sun from the ceiling. It looks much sturdier that way as I don't think the glass panels will be strong enough (with his current knowledge) to support a thick layer of snow for several months...

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  • The Welcome Addition of the False Sunlight (Covenants, pg 96, used in several places)
  • Chamber of Summer Breezes (Covenants, pg 100, make a version with Ring duration)
  • Circle of The Eternal Spring (MoH, pg 38)

With those 3 spells you should be able to grow plants even underground. Just make a very cool garden at your sanctum :slight_smile:


Re Glass: Or you could use MuTe Base 3 (+1 glass) to change glass to a liquid for a short period of time. Setup a frame, fill it with glass, and turn it all to liquid. When it turns solid again it will be one sheet.

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A variant of the Window of Singular Direction from HoH:TL to make skylights?

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I would suggest adding a more Mythic route, especially if this is to be a defining project for your magus. Perhaps the quality of the air - the minor airy spirits, the balance any local types of good and bad air, and so on - would also be important in receiving good results. And the same for the ground. So I would recommend trafficking soil in from Greece, at the very least. And for the air, cajoling or capturing Greek minor spirits to reside in the place, perhaps even binding them, perhaps warding off foreign (i.e. local) minor spirits, and so on. That kind of thing can add another task for your character to accomplish, to make this a grander project.

It should still work partially with just weather-control, especially with your imported-sun. But I'd suggest deciding that prime quality produce would require the above, for the extra story and wow potential.


I would suggest adding a more Mythic route

In fact, what I see for my Jerbiton, is that his initial goal is just to have a garden of spices and herbs. But then, since he is of Greek origin, he will remember Demeter and would go looking for either an existing Mystery (Cult of Demeter) or build one, with the help of the Viticulturalists league.
The idea is to start with something very mundane and practical, and gradually go deeper into a kind of mystical agriculture, possibly vires culture (I cannot remember the exact name of the hermetic project to grow virtus).


Maybe just a MuHe effect to 'adapt' plants to the local conditions? Base3, +1M Touch, +3M Moon, that's MuHe15, enchant into an object and let your gardener use it. Enjoy your cold swamp olives/peppers year round.

There will be some warping involved, but on the time scales of most plants it's not an issue.

I agree with the concerns of the outside sun. The ignem part producing light and heat could have a perdo requisite to be able to remove the light and heat if required.

Is it appropriate to invent an item or technology that modern players are familiar with but people in Mythic Europe would have no familiarity whatever? Putting a garden inside and providing artificial light and water is a perfectly normal thing for a magus to do, but using large sheets of clear glass (something the magus likely has never seen; nor does he even have a recipe for the glass used, such recipes jealously guarded by a small number of Italian guilds) as the roof for an indoor garden seems outside the bounds.

Honestly, the more common Hermetic approach to a "greenhouse" would probably to build a domed structure and then use a circle/ring effect to make the dome transparent.

Please do not bother to respond with "It's up to the Story Guide". The Story Guide can make literally any decision whatever, so that answer is entirely meaningless. I'm seeking a philosophical answer regarding the invention of modern technology that Mythic Europe inhabitants don't even have a mental framework to comprehend. The question is equally valid for developing moving type, fountain pens, or using a ReTe effect to build a railgun.

The idea of greenhouses seem to have existed at least since the ancient Romans.

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Durenmar already has a greenhouse.

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using large sheets of clear glass

I clarified that...

I was more going for "small" squarish panels 20cm per side, and not huge window bay.

I am aware that large, flat, perfectly clear and colorless panel are outside of Mythic Europe technology. However stained glass panel appeared around 10th century, and became popular and more frequent (albeit always expensive) during 1100. So placing side by side, glass panels is not an original idea.
Of course, going for curved panels to shape a dome could only be achieved by extensive use of magic.

By the way, if my mage goes for a ritual CrTe 20 to create a large quantity of glass to be shaped at a later stage, it will be quite perfect (ie: colorless and transparent), as everything created by magic, no ? And I am sure that Verditius magi are already using and handling crystal clear glass.

Have your character be inspired by the legends of Firmus from the Historia Augusta. Huge panels of glass in your house and eating an ostrich egg every day? Perfectly normal.

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It's not a big logic leap from looking at the pros and cons of a catapult and a balista and combining the two to make a railgun if you have magic to replace the tech element of a railgun.

The real question is why have magi, a group of incredibly well researched individuals with lifespans double that of most people, not triggered the renaissance by the start of the AM setting?

The clear answer is the game designers wanted the order with a backstory and also a Medieval Europe setting.