focus in self-transformation?

The character has a minor magical focus in self-transformation (through Mythic Blood).

The player is asking does this focus affect his attempts to bind his Familiar. Using the argument that the Familiar bonds significantly transform the Magus.

I am tempted to let this happen since it is Mythic Blood, but I also see the argument that you are effectively transforming something that is not part of yourself (at the beginning of the Familiar bonding process).

What do you people think?

Is CrMe35 Gift of Reason self-transformation?
What about a group version of MuCo5 Eyes of the Cat, if you are part of it?

Another thing to look out is how does his power level compares to the other players.

I think it is reasonable to say that the familiar is not part of the magus even after bonding. It is still a distinct creature with a separate cunning or intelligence. Therefore no, it would not apply. To my suss self-transformation only affects that target the magus themselves, and no other creatures or individuals.

I'm inclined to agree. Things that indirectly change the magus are too plentiful to be covered by a minor magical focus (or even a major one):
A spell that creates a fire (thus making the magus warmer)!
A spell that inclines a mundane to more favorable responses (thus making the magus more persuasive)!
A spell that enhances music nearby (thus making the magus happier)!
A spell that locates silver (thus making the magus richer)!

While the 5th Ed book does suggest that self-transformation is spread over Corpus and Animal, the Gift of Reason does suggest that self transformation might include Mentem.

Somewhere there is a write up about Essential Nature that includes terms like "accident of nature". I don't recall it properly, so I tend to use a term "expression of a fundamental aspect of your Essential Nature". If you can change your face to look like a fish, say, surely you can transform your intellect?

I would not count a group version of Eyes of the Cat to be a self transformation, because the target is not inclusive of yourself. The rest of the group do not have a two way permanent arcane connection, not on the level of a Magus and a Familiar. The binding of the Familiar supposedly changes the Magus at the same time, does it not? The fate of a Familiar and a Magus is intertwined, the death of one is usually the precursor of the death of the other. And you can't make a Familiar bond for somebody else. This is where I am thinking binding a Familiar might count as part of a focus in self transformation. After the binding is complete, I would suspect a focus in self-transformation would apply if any further transformation on the part of the magus affected the magus and familiar simultaneously.
OTOH you can make a Longevity Potion for someone else, so an LP is not aided by self-transformation focus?

How does one measure power level?

All those suggestions are merely examples of changing situational circumstances/environmental modifiers, and do not transform a fundamental aspect of the magus' essential nature.
At least i don't think you are suggesting that "richness" is an aspect of essential nature.

I would say that the focus covers personal range Muto effects. And that is it. Other effects would not be covered by a minor focus like this one.


I see, so no Familiar bonding, no Longevity potions, and no Gift of Reason (being Creo Me).

Out of curiosity, what Magical Focus (Minor or Major) would cover Familiar Binding in general, or least a large subset of potential Familiars? A Major Focus in Magical Beats, perhaps?
I have gained a munchkin's desire to produce high scores in the Familiar cords.


IMS, a focus in a particular type of animal. Wolves for a minor focus, or canines for a larger focus, for example. A minor focus in familiars could also apply.


HoH-MC, p.89 actually mentions a Major Magical Focus in familiars (in the Merinita section, which makes sense since they can have temporary faerie familiars). Otherwise, you have the Major and Minor Magical Focus in animals (you just have to match your familiar to the focus), or a Minor Magical Focus in Legendary Creatures (from HoH-MC p.37), which would cover a nice cross-section of familiars (although probably not all of them, if they are unique creatures rather than from an established magical specie mentioned in legends).

I wouldn't accept the familiar.

For me self-transformation (minor) could cover either

MuCo spells to assume shapes
CrCo and CrMe rituals to increase strength, intelligence etc.

But as usual storyguides are storygods.

+1, H.

If you're talking about the Power Level of the Focus, it's in the book - compare it to a Tech/Form combo. Being able to apply something to a Familiar potentially covers a large portion of all the TeFo's, but only applied to one specific target. That seems appropriate power level for a Major Focus.

+1 again. That seems to sum it up quite well.


"Because two things are very closely connected, they are one and the same"??? That argument is spurious and sophistic, and those connections utterly irrelevant in this context.

The problem seems to be one of language - what does "Transform" mean in the phrase "magical self-tranformation"? Literally, it's "trans" (across) + "form" (um... form, or shape). So anything that allows the mage to cross from one shape to another.

Meanwhile, the word "self" is undeniably not plural (except, arguably, for divine rulers and some mental illnesses).

To argue that a Familiar is "part of self" is, imo, absurd at face value. They are tied together, they are bonded, they are linked, they are mystically connected - but they are "THEY", not "s/he". There are two of them - the Familiar and the Mage. The fact that they become closer does not make them "one", does not make the Familiar part of the "self" of the mage.

If the mage had a twin and some magical Virtues/Flaws that tied their fates together, and gave them all the connections of a Familiar... could they then use "self transformation" on that sibling? No diff than a Familiar imo.

(Edit - I'm suddenly reminded of OotS, where the Familiar is "part of" the wizard V as a class feature... :laughing: )

Look at the very language you yourself use to describe the relationship. A "two-way connection" - what "self" needs a two-way connection to itself? :confused:

Again, no - nothing "surely" about that. The mind is not "form", or not necessarily so.

Don't confuse the use of the term "transformation" here with other possible broader uses of it in the English language (as many examples above try to convey). Not every use of a word is interchangeable with every other use.

If you, as SG, want to expand that to emotions and the mind as well, that's generous and not completely unreasonable, but certainly not implied by the term "transformation", which only applies to "shape/form".

First, nothing in Self-Transformation insists that it changes only Essential Nature. Permanent effects could be achieved within such a Focus if the magic were applied (with vis) to something non-essential - I see no problem with this.

All those examples are illustrating equally inappropriate applications of the term "self-transformation", showing that not all "self-change" is appropriate to "magical self-transformation". To change a Familiar is equally situational and environmental, personal mystical link or no. It's not "self", (and more often than not it's not even transformation).

If you want to be generous and allow it, knock yourself out. But it does not seem in step with the examples in the rules, and you should not be surprised when other players start to cry for equally broad and generous (re-)interpretations of other Virtues/powers/spells/etc.

Many good answers, I'll try not to repeat too much.

Minor Magical Focus should be smaller than a single TeFo, in this case MuCo is the closest. How much is the loss of affecting others worth?

There's no hard value, it's more how they play. If all your players revel in munchkinism, there's no problem in upping the power level and allowing this. The actual power level does not matter, as long as all have a chance to shine. If a single player risks overshadowing the others, there's no point in tipping the balance further.

There's also why does he need such a high Lab Total. A low MM5 horse is hard to get. Strong cords are something for the future. MM20 magical butterfly could put an entire town to sleep.

It all comes down to choosing between playing super-heroes, peons, or anything in between.

I'm not sure that it would cover all personal range Muto effects; some Muto Mentem effects aren't really self-transformation. On the other hand, it should apply to a spell that turns you into a Magic Creature, which would probably be Creo Vim, and the CrCo/Me spells to boost characteristics are borderline. You are definitely different afterwards, but are you transformed? I'd probably allow them, on the grounds that it's better to say yes. It wouldn't apply to spells with Group Target, though, and would only apply at casting to a spell with range longer than Personal.

Healing and longevity are not transformation, but restoration and preservation, so they don't fall under it.

Familiars are definitely out. You are changing the familiar or the bonds, not yourself.

I thnk that the Sel-Transformation of Mentem is refered to spells that transforms the mind on solid objetcs, like that Spell thaths transform on a bird. Simply, or like a Spell that transform the Mind on a air or gas to free the senses and so on.


I must admit that it seems I started this thread while under a misapprehension.
Turns out I misremembered something about Talismans. They only extend Touch range spells, not Personal spells. Once I realised that mistake, all basis for thinking Self-Transformation might possibly affect Familiar Bonds simply evapourated.

Though I do have a minor quibble with:


The phrase "self-transformation" as an example of Minor Magical Focus is written in English with further clarification.
It sounds like you are asking me to both use and not use the English phrase "transformation". The terminology is now sort of confusing.

This leads to another question - does the Self-Transformation focus apply to talismans, since they can be affected with Personal range spells? I don't imagine this will come up very often (if ever), but another ongoing thread about transforming enchanted items has me thinking about it.

I don't think so. They may be affected by personal range, but that doesn't make them "self".

(EDIT - I may have misunderstood the question, so I'm adding to original answer.)

If you're asking "Could self-transformation include effects instilled in a Talisman?" - no. A talisman is no more "self" than a Familiar is.

If, otoh, you're asking "Do self-transformation effects automatically include the tranformation of a Talisman along with "self"?", then that's a question for the SG and Troupe.

Btr, by the usual definition of the terms, no - but that's one of those things that may be winked at for convenience. Many Troupes ignore casting req's for ReCo "teleportation" spells - this may be a similar instance. ysmv.

But, btr, "Range:Personal" and "self" are not the one and the same thing.

English is the idiot bastard offspring of incestuous European cousins.

Those statements were less to define what is magical self-transformation than to emphasize what it is not, in the context of several other posts which had recently done likewise. "Transformation" can mean "change" in some contexts, but it does not mean any and every change in this context - that was my point.

To put it in a very short form, I'd personally put the kibosh on that train of thought (mentioned by the OP) very quickly.
Because otherwise, in 3 sessions I'll have a player trying to appear serious when telling me that "We are the sum of our experiences - everything we do transform us in some way." and so claiming the benefits of that focus for absolutely, positively everything.

I say no, due to the following parallel: clothes that a maga is wearing are considered part of a valid target for Personal range spells, but that doesn't mean a focus in Self-Transformation should apply to a spell that affects her clothes only.