How hard is it to find an Object of Virtue if a hedge wizard is looking for a specific one -- say, Cinquefoil of Virtue?
Ars Magica tends to have mechanics for these sort of things (e.g. find an apprentice: 1 story, or a season and a Perception roll of 12+), but not for Objects of Virtue. I am tempted to use the mechanics for searching for vis in tCatC, p.152... but perhaps with a penalty of -3 is the area is well-known for that type of object, -6 if it contains it in relative abundance, and -9 if it contains just a few specimens. Ideas or references?
Away from my books, but....objects of virtue are basically Vis in physical form, correct? So you could probably just use the rules for "hunting vis" - I thought there were a few of them. I know it's a lab activity for Hedge Witches, with their Dowsing.
Or, you could do something like "Seasonal Activity: Per + Magic Lore, limited by relevant Area Lore" - Difficulty 10, you find 1 pawn of vis - every 10 thereafeter, you find another.
EDIT - oh, right: something specific - I'd say just tack on extra difficulties to the roll, depending on how rare the object in question is. The roll above there is probably for just random vis; +3 for form, additional +3 for something specific. So, difficulty 16. (Without any rules suggesting otherwise, of course.)
EDIT II - or you could buy it from the Redcaps (as it's literally vis) - assuming they had it in stock.
In my group we have a House Rule for the seasonal activity of seraching for a specific Form of vis. We use the mechanics similar to Vis Extraction, only the Arts used are Intellego + the specific Form searched for (or Vim can be used instead), it uses Per rather than Int, and instead of Magic Theory there is a choice between various relevant Abilities: Magic Sensetivity, Comprehend Magic, Herbalism, Animal handling, Survival, Wilderness Sense, Area Lore etc. it requires people to have some means of sensing vis, a spell or device able to function at higher than D:Conc, concentration being viewed as impractical for an entire season.
Where an area has a flair for a certain type of vis a flat bonus may be added to the formula above. So instead of handing out a freebie vis source the SG can reward players with a resource like that.
This was invented to give magi a chance to find otehr types of vis than Vim, and to throw a bone to non-lab-rats and people unskilled in Creo VIm.
To return to the initial question, I might use somethign similar if searching for objects of virtue. Or even simpler: Have the player in question explain what is used to search with, dice on an EF and roll a die (or skip the die, using only skill).
In the campaigns I play in we use:
for the default Vis hunt, I'm not sure what we will do in the new campaign where my maga will want to find enrichable Vis.
Take Mythic Alchemy and boost Philosophiae for multiple purposes (Alchemy, Ceremonial Magic, Ritual Magic, Verditius Magic). Transform what you need. Not the easiest, but it will get you what you want.