I am aware that when using Rego magic to craft something, you need to make a Finesse check to account for the details. Can you raise the magnitude of the spell to lower the Ease Factor (or obsolete it entirely) necessary?
Does the idea that you could put more power into something to make it easier to do precisely really make sense to you? Anyway, I wouldn't personally allow that in my games, and it has no precedent in the rules, so I'll say no to this one.
I would say yes. I would say that its the +? Complexity modifier that so many spells have within them. Especially Creo ritual spells that create massive structures but It totally could see using it for Rego spells as well.
Personally, I find the Finesse rules to be a little overwhelming and randomly placed so I wouldn't object to making a spell harder to cast in terms of magnitude to help reduce the need for such things as an Ease Factor.
Also I don't see higher level spells necessarily representing putting more magical power into it, it could also represent it needing higher control, higher knoweldge and capability, and a greater expertise and understanding. And in this case I see allowing it to effect Finesse.
Magnitude and power pretty much directly correlate. Magnitude 6 or higher spells cause Warping if they aren't designed to be easy on a particular person's body and all spells level 50 or higher need Rituals to control the intense flux of power. Teeth of the Earth Mother Warps the ground despite only being level 30+ for complexity.
Anyway, I figure this is a YSMV issue.
The whole finesse and increased magnitudes thing is a bit of a gray area. I think some is good, but too much makes finesse meaningless. There is canon support for it: Conjuring the Mystic Tower has a +3 elaborate design added to it (which is finesse, right?).
Finesse rules are a mess, a reasonable person can interpret that creo items require just as high a finesse score as someone who uses rego craft magic, and I don't think that's the case.
Absolutely you should be able to. In fact, as I've argued here before, the game would be better if Finesse were completely eliminated and all complex manipulations given higher spell level requirements.
Spell Level (magnitude) has always been a measure of complexity, not raw power or energy in a Newtonian sense. Finesse is just a.) an extra complication, b.) unnecessary extra randomness with the additional die roll, and c.) a twinky way to evade magic resistance with aimed spells.
I would say, yes, but. You get the Finesse, but it's static. You would be able to make a perfect boot, for example, but you couldn't change the color or size, etc, like you could with the actual Finesse skill.
As best I can tell, by canon:
On Rego, you need to Finesse, per the Rego entry in the main book.
On Creo, you need magnitudes for complexity, per the examples of Conjuring the Mystic Tower, Conjuring the House of God (in A&A), and The Riches That are Rightfully Mine(d) (in Covenants).
I don't think anything particularly breaks if you decide both need Finesse, both need magnitudes, or both can intermix both magnitudes and Finesse.
Were I writing a new revision (say, a "Fifth Edition Revised", or maybe a Wizard's Grimoire 5th Edition), I would personally standardize it, probably on magnitudes for functional complexity and Finesse for artistic refinement.
This, I think, is the best approach. You need to add magnitudes for complexity, because creating a complex tower isn't the same as creating a huge rock. You need to roll good Finesse or Craft:Sculpture roll to fashion the gargoyle on top of it well, though, because otherwise the Order ceases to rely on mundane craftsmen. IMHO.
Looking forward to seeing your Revised Fifth Edition, SEE
I also tend to think of Finesse, the ability, as in-game dealing a lot with being able to visualize the exact result you want, as opposed to simple control of the magic (which is mostly your Arts). If your visualization is vague, you get a result exactly as right as your vague visualization. Throwing a rock in someone's direction versus seeing it go on the vector that will exactly intersect the space he's going to be in when the rock gets there, for example.
So if you want to take a lump of gold and make it into a bar, that's easy. If you want to make it a bar of an exact set of dimensions and you don't have a prototype or rulers to hand, you need Finesse. If you want to convert a lump into a pile of exact duplicates of a bezant you have in hand, that's more complicated magic than making a bar, but doesn't require any more difficult visualization, because you have the form there. If you want to make a pile of bezants that all look as different from each other as a pile of separately hammered and circulated bezants, that's not really more complicated magic than the pile of exact duplicates, but requires that you have good visualization of the result.
Obviously there are details to quibble; all rules have hard cases (the "Pink Dot" comes to mind). But as a rough-and-ready playable distinction, I think it works well enough both metagame (craftsmen still have value) and in-character.
Creo still requires a finesse roll. There are at least some important differences between a Creo finesse roll and a Rego/crafting finesse roll. For Creo you use Int+Finesse. You also need vis (may not be trivial) for Creo and raw materials (usually trivial) for Rego.
If the finesse roll for creo fails, the item is still created and usable, but just not pretty (next paragraph or two on the same page after the quotation above). If the finesse roll for rego fails, it's a failure, and the item is considered unusable.
The following paragraph from Societates suggests that the finesse roll for Creo needs to be the same as it is for Finesse (including time factor difficulties).
I think time needs to be excluded from the Creo roll, because Conjuring the Mystic Tower becomes all but impossible (the towers would all be ugly, not elegant).
It is a subject frequently discussed and there is no concensus.
Some want to keep mundane craft as the only way to achieve high quality and truely artistic creation, other (like me) believe that if the mage is able to visualise clearly what he wants to do (which mechanically would mean achieving a good Finesse roll), he should have a reasonable chance to achieve it.
I believe RAW support the first trend, yet there are the rules for artistic creation in HoH:Societas (Jerbiton), so I have mixed feeling regarding RAW.
I started a thead some times ago, where I was proposing an alternative of a slower Rego magic allowing the magus a finer control on his magic, lowering the target Finesse. It is trying to achieve what you want through a different mean: I increase the duration of the Rego spell, thus increasing his magnitude to mimick the effect that instead of having a instant assembly, the assembly was done step by step (possibly requiring Concentration roll to sustain the effort). Each round of maintaining the spell was the equivalent of one day of work.
RAW does not support this approach, but I was finding it "right".
If I may say I don't so much mind the existence of Finesse as a skill, I think it has a place, I just think that the target numbers are two high for what needs to be reached considering the magic in the casting. I think it would be better if something was added to the Finesse roll, like maybe the level of Rego, the Art being used, or the level of Magic Theory one has in addition to just Finesse. This way higher results could be achieved on a much more efficient and organized and expected pattern.
Its also why I would prefer to adding Complexity or Elaborate or magnitude boosters such as this while keeping either the Finesse roll lower.
Actually, here is maybe a thought - Every magnitude of Complexity or Elaborate or any other such words added to a spell total provides a similar amount of bonus to the Finesse roll. Thus, a spell with Complexity +2 grants a bonus of +2 to the roll, making it easier to achieve lesser results.
Its still a little lower than I would want but it connects the magic done with the action attempted.
Rego crafting is almost trivial to abuse, though. If you add to much the finesse roll, you suddenly have magi producing things that they could only produce with vis. Vis is the primary indicator of wealth in a saga, mundane finances might play a part, but I'd wager there are more stories about acquiring vis than there are stories about acquiring silver (or goods). One could do a simple statement and say I'm practicing rego, and if I cast this spell 80 times a day, for a season, I'm going to (statistically) create X number of finished goods for sale. To me, that's not against RAW, but it is against the spirit of the game.
Rego does need raw materials, though, and magi who acquire a lot of raw materials to create things or just practice their craft magic may end up causing a shortage of the material in the local economy (interfering with mundanes, thereby bringing ruin upon one's sodales).
The target numbers for Rego crafting finesse are not too high when you consider that the only other way to achieve such results is with vis. And Finesse is such a useful skill for magi that having a high finesse isn't a bad thing. So the question boils down to a matrix of whether your saga tracks mundane resources carefully (I'm sure vis is always tracked) and if you want to have magi be able to create finished goods without vis, whether you are vis rich or vis poor and some other things I'm sure I'm forgetting. This is why I think one should be cautious about adding bonuses to finesse rolls for complexity.
Under RAW, now, to create a magnificent work of art, such as David, one would need a total of about 30 (I did the calculation a long time ago, so this is from memory, serf's Parma). You do not want magi to easily recreate a David or Mona Lisa or any work of Art that is now considered a masterpiece at will, do you? And if they did, what would they gain from the item created? It takes some work to get to 30, Muse, Free Expression and Confidence will get you to 9, 12 if self confident. The die adds 6 (on average) meaning that you have to come up with the remaining difference of 12 or 15 from the ability score. I don't think that's a bad thing for creating a masterpiece in a single day.
From the look of an example in The Mysteries (Duplicate the Mechanism, a Creo-crafting spell for copying armillary spheres), it seems that that book's version works like this:
-Creo-copying an existing object takes no Finesse but does take an Intellego requisite.
-Creo-crafting something new does take Finesse but is not limited by time restrictions.
-Both spells spend Magnitude on complexity.
-Regardless of what the corebook says, an armillary sphere created ex nihilo by Creo does not appear to be capable of functioning as an armillary sphere without Finesse.
I think that there is simply no consensus on this issue among the writing staff either, because Conjuring the Mystic Tower and The Laboratory of Bonisagus don't hold to this rule and instead automatically produce high-quality results, but creating an alchemical item does require Finesse even with Creo.
I definitely agree with Jonathan that Rego-crafting should be difficult if you don't focus on it, though. Some magi have high levels of Finesse and Rego (though that's usually a Flambeau thing, not a crafter thing) and can craft anything with proper application of Rego; a character like that is probably story fodder in and of himself. But if not, you need to burn vis, however we decide to handle Creo creations.
I wouldn't want Magi to be able to snap their fingers and create an original David equivalent statue, but making an accurate copy is a very different thing and would not bother me nearly as much. From the rules, this second situation seems equally difficult, although as other posters have pointed out there are plenty of ambiguities between different rulebooks.
Regardless, doing away with Finesse doesn't necessarily make crafting harder or easier, it all depends on how many magnitudes are required for complexity. There should be multiple ways to calibrate such a system while doing away with the complexity and randomness of Finesse, along with the extra "dump skill" and the trick to avoid magic resistance.
I do agree that using BOTH Finesse and extra magnitudes makes crafting easier, which may or may not be a good thing.
If you eliminate Finesse, then you make someone who can't penetrate or Weak Magic unable to affect creatures with resistance. I understand the motivation of wanting to eliminate multiple points of failure for a class of spells, but these spells are useful to those who can't, or never will be able to penetrate MR of even the smallest amount. What alternative do you have for these magi?
Finesse has nothing to do with Penetration, unless you refer to a specific combat tactic.
Anyway, I assume that he means "eliminating Finesse" in terms of craftmagic, not magical combat.
I never suggested it does; finesse is necessary to attack for magi who can't penetrate, whether due to low Arts or flaws. Take away finesse as an ability, there's a whole school of magical combat that goes away.
The quotation below suggests he means removing finesse, root and branch.
Ah. In that case (missed that), yes, I agree that we need to keep Finesse simply for its particular school's attack rolls, unless you want to have Rego Terram function as a Lancea Magica and make the Parma completely obsolete.