Frightening Munckinism

And for my part, I could have sworn it was 1 mag per +2 sizes - I wonder where I had that from?

Page 113 of the MRB indicates +1 magnitude is an increase of x10, not x2.

I had the same recollection... Perhaps an earlier edition says it somewhere?
With a regular spell affecting up to +1, a +4 would then need +2 magnitudes for size adjustment, which would be annoying to most magi using An or Co. That was the very reason i mentioned it at all. :-/

x10 in mass, NOT x10 in SIZE. And size in this case being the numerical game value you use on character sheets and not the common base meaning of the word either.

1st, i cant belive that :open_mouth:. i failed in my way to the frigthening munchkin. :laughing: anyway it wouldnt be my choose but could be funny at least as humoristic crazy NPC. at least played with me she wouldnt need any longevity ritual :laughing:

2nd with touch of twilight, or simillar. gives 2 warping points to the target. At mastery 5 (or so) will be great anyway. imagine in battle with a magus... here you have your 2 warping points thank you (-dont bother me and deal with your twilight).

lets think on frightener one... 7 majors at first afternoon seems not enough munchkin... :frowning: need to deal with the tesla powerplant and the pedo-bear. and even with the spontaneus streetdancer.

Birbin thankyou very very much, you Really! made me happier tonigth. :smiley:

Very well, let me put it all together.
Page 18 declares that an increase in size by three points is a tenfold increase in mass, as applied to characters or monsters(?) or I suppose animals. Therefore an animal spell increased by 1 magnitude can affect an animal to +4. For Corpus, the same, as the standard spells for either form affect individuals of up to +1 size.

... that's what I said above, isn't it?
the "maybe +2" bit was put in to leave a tad of breathing space and consider that there's a tad of a difference between a 400 kilo pony (round as a barrel) and a 4 ton bull elephant (Nice healthy alpha).

Well I guess I should never have recommended Puissant. In most cases it sucks, apparently... I was trying to generalize a bit, in a thread that is all about min-maxing < my bad. I thought maybe soemone would appreciate some of my thoughts, maybe thinking 'wow, that was a great way to save 50 xp through a flaw', instead it made people go 'you are terrible wrong, mister'. Boy did I misjudge my crowd :smiley:

Please note that I recommended Puissant over Affinity for most cases. Not Puissant Art over Affinity with Art, in extreme cases. There are many arguments i could put up for why Puissant Ability owns Puissant Affinity in most cases, but lets leave it at that. I was trying to generalize - now i know that I was wrong....

And about the Method Caster part, please note that i said, 'consider Puissant... but only if you would benefit from it compared to other virtues'. You could find many examples were Puissant is not the better choice compared to a specific virtue. You could then write them up, at show them to me, if you were so inclined. My words still stand though, it is a versatile and very powerful virtue and considering it has never harmed any Munchkin - as far as i know.

In many cases I believe Puissant Art for a Munchkin magus (that often tend to specialize) to be of more use than Method Caster, since it is not just about increasing the casting total of your formulaic spells. It also helpt determine what spells you could learn from Gauntlet, and it affects how much Vis you could burn when boosting spells. Furthermore, it enables you to cast better spont. spells.

Then why mention it at all :stuck_out_tongue: When we are talking about Munchkinism at Gauntlet level why include speculations about things that might happen in the far away future... but actually never happened before :slight_smile:

Well, can we agree to disagree then Tugdual?

What does this Concientia's knife do?

Here is my go at a design that would frighten me as a SG. It's not necessarily a powerful magus right now, be he has the potential to imbalance things in a saga like ours.

Name: Munchkin of Mercere
Age/Hermetic Age: 30/+0

Intelligence +3
Perception +3
Communication +3
Presence +3
Strength -3
Stamina -3
Dexterity -4
Quickness +1

Mercurian Magic
Affinity with Corpus
Puissant Corpus
Affinity with Creo
Puissant Creo (Free house virtue)
Skilled Parens
Minor Magical Focus (Creo Corpus Rituals)
- and two of the following three virtues:
Cautious with Artes Liberales / Cautious Sorcerer *
Harnessed Magic**
Self-Confident ***

[i]*Cautious with Artes Liberales chosen if the SG accepts the creative reading that Salutor proposed; which means two less botch dice for Ritual Magic and Ceremonial Magic. Less botch dice for rituals means a more stable business. As an alternative one might go for Cautious Sorcerer if the SG agrees that the wording of ArM doesn't deliberately leave out Rituals in the description.

** For a different creative approach, one might pick Harnessed Magic. Depending on how you read Harnessed Magic, this virtue might be the ultimate leverage for this type of Magus. Most old and powerful Magi who were likely to suffer from Aging Crisis each winter - if it weren't for that handful of buffs giving a +5 Stamina bonus - would do their best to keep the caster of those particular spells as their close ally and keep him alive at all costs! Munchkin wouldn't let them know about this right away though – but he would let it slip should he ever feel threatened :wink:

*** Self-Confident could be swapped with any other virtue and his not particularly tied to this design. The reason for picking the virtue is that Munchkin hopes to gain a Confidence point each time he casts one of his ritual spells through the rule for Getting New Confidence Points – Achieve a Personal Goal. Spending two Confidence points in every action whenever he is in trouble would drastically improve his chances of survival.[/i]

Driven, major (Improving people’s physical condition and physical prowess/Perfecting Man)
Covenant Upbringing
Weak Dexterity
Difficult Spontaneous Magic
Major Story Flaw, as befitting for the saga

Childhood – 45 xp
Area Lore (Powerful/Rich people) 1
Athletics (Running) 1
Awareness (Alertness) 1
Brawl (Dagger) 1
Charm (Magi) 1
Folk Ken (Magi) 2
Guile (Magi) 1
Native Language 5

Later Life (before Apprenticeship) – 150 xp
Bargain (Hermetic services) 4
Concentration (Spell concentration) 1
Latin (Hermetic) 5
Order of Hermes Lore (Personalities) 2
Ride (Speed) 1

Apprenticeship – 300 xp (Abilities: 60 xp, Arts: 140 xp, Spell Mastery: 30 xp)
Artes Liberales (Ritual magic) 1
Code of Hermes (Mundane relations) 1
Finesse (Corpus) 1
Philosophiae (Ritual magic) 1
Parma Magica (Mentem) 1
Penetration (Creo/Corpus) 1
Magic Theory (Creo/Corpus) 3

  • 70 leftover xp for free distribution!#

# Improve the above abilities as you wish. In some sagas he would need some kind of weapon skill to survive. In others he might be ridiculed without Profession: Scribe and a higher Artes Liberales. He could also make good use of a score of 1 in each of the four Realm Lores adding his +3 Intelligence. Otherwise you would probably be wise to carry the xp over to Arts (below), preparing for future advancement with magic.

Arts – 140 xp
Creo 14+3
[tab][/tab](70 xp + 35 xp = 105 xp)
Corpus 14+3
[tab][/tab](70 xp + 35 xp = 105 xp)

Spells – 150 spell levels
Max spell level, general = Technique + Form + 9
Max spell level, TechniqueCorpus/CreoForm = Technique/Form + 26
Max spell level, Creo Corpus (Focus) = 61
All Creo Corpus rituals are developed with Target: Ring, rather than Target: Individual.

Stamina of the Heroes, CrCo 60
[tab][/tab]Spell Mastery 2; Stalwart Casting and Disguised Casting
Incantation of the Body Made Whole, CrCo 40
[tab][/tab]Spell Mastery 1; Stalwart Casting
Cheating on the Reaper’s Wife, CrCo 40
[tab][/tab]Spell Mastery 1; Stalwart Casting
Wizard’s Leap, ReCo 10
[tab][/tab]Spell Mastery 1; Fast Casting
Wizard’s Communion, MuVi 60

Casting total for the above spells using Stamina -3, aura +0 and no mastery level = 52. The only exception being Wizard’s leap with a casting total of 15 - including the Mastery. Wizard’s Communion cannot be cast – it is just there for reasons of bragging (highest Wizard’s Communion straight from Gauntlet in the history of the Order? Most levels of spells for a newly Gauntleted magus ever?).

Spell Mastery
Stalwart Casting: Reduces fatigue taken from Rituals from Long-term fatigue to Short-term and lowers the amount of levels taken. This enables repeated castings of rituals without the need to rest.
Disguised Casting: Hides the sigil of the caster. Especially useful when casting rituals on mortals in order to avoid subsequent accusations of meddling with the mundane.
Lab Mastery: Increases the Similar spell bonus by +1 for each level of mastery. Should only be picked for Stamina of Heroes, and only if no lab texts can be gained for similar spells to improve the other three physical Characteristics. And only if Munchkin can use those extra +3 Lab total to invent a more powerful version than he could without it. For 20 xp rather than 15, one could improve Lab total by +3 through xp in Creo and Corpus instead, as longs as the Arts are still at 14. Despite the bonus +1 Casting total and -1 botch dice for Stamina of Heroes, I would often consider this mastery the poor choice compared to increasing Arts.

Concept and Comments
Munchkin of Mercere is a Gifted Mercere, of the Mercurian Tradition and thus he is skilled with Rituals. His parens is probably part of the Cult of Heroes, and has taught him to appreciate the flawlessness that man can achieve through the application of magic.

He offers his rituals as services, and bargains hard for the right price. He includes himself in his rituals whenever ever it suits him; especially the Stamina rituals – at least for the first 8 castings. His services he will beat any competition through exceptional quality (healing ALL wounds, resolving TERMINAL aging crisis’s, increasing Stamina to +5) and fair prices.

He can afford to lower the prices a bit if necessary, since he only pays half the normal pawns of Vis when casting, through his Mercurian traditions. Also he has an optional extra service of ‘no-botch insurance’, for just one extra pawn of Vis; should the ritual fail - Munchkin will cover all expenses! Achieving a sufficient casting total is not problem, while eliminating all botch die is a bit harder. Cautious With Artes Liberales or Cautious Sorcerer will eliminate 2 botch dice, while spell Mastery removes another 1 botch die per mastery level, which may reduce the amount to 0.

While he is a particularly vulnerable character to begin with, he hopes to avoid early adventures and battles by offering other services, and to quickly improve his Characteristics and amass a great amount of wealth. With the aid of Vis, money and favors, he hopes to ‘catch up’ with rapid speed through better lab equipment, access to teachers, good books and lots of Vis. If forced into battle he has paid for the best shield grogs, the most amazing mundane gear, as well as acquired as many enchanted devices as possible, for both defense and offense. Also he casts The Wizard’s Leap, mastered for Fast Casting, to flee from any situation that might endanger him.

Although there are probably some very interesting obscure options out there, Munchkin has decided to stick to the Core Rulebook most of the way.

The Very First Season
The first thing Munchkin does, once he has passed his gauntlet, is to go to the nearest friendly Covenant and offer his services. Using small bits of knowledge about the most powerful people in the area, along with information about personalities of the order, as well as a bit of gossip; he attempts to find a Powerful Winter or Autumn Covenant to begin with.

He kindly offers his meager services of Improving the Stamina of Magi for exceptionally low prices. Elderly magi would have many reasons to be interested in this offer. First of all it’s an inexpensive and fast way to improve their Casting totals, at a point in their career where this is often very hard. Secondly it improves their Soak and many natural resistance rolls. Thirdly it affects a large range of other things related to Endurance and Perseverance. Even powerful magi aren’t all likely to have a +5 Stamina score, and even those that once did – might have suffered from an aging crisis reducing their Stamina. Also, powerful magi might be less suspicious of such an offer coming from a magus who has just passed Gauntlet, than they otherwise would be.

Once he has successfully lured a magus, casting one or more spells, he takes his payment in Creo and/or Corpus Vis, so that he has some for future rituals. From these senior magi he also accepts teaching or favors for any subsequent spells. Also he asks if he could stay in the Covenant for a few days after his first service (not that he gets tired from casting the spells though). He spends his time here gathering gossip about the other magi of the Covenant, or magi of the Order in general. He also spreads the word that he offers the best Healing Hermetic Magic can offer, and makes sure the older magi knows that he can help them through any aging crisis come winter. Also he makes sure that people notice that his Stamina has improved greatly since coming here, as a result of the powerful magic he just worked. Hopefully he will get at least one more customer before making his departure.

With his newly gained reputation, and large amounts of riches he moves on to a Spring/Summer Covenant. Here the magi are less likely to have attained Stamina +5, through magical or other means, but are just as likely to be interested in it. They might not have the Vis required though, but with plenty of pawns at hand Munchkin is kind enough to suggest a ‘new customer discount’. He is prepared to give them a small loan – or even take other values instead of Vis like money, hermetic materials, great lab equipment, great weapons, enchanted devices etc. Also he could offer to give them a ‘group discount’ casting the ritual on an entire group of magi (even select Companions or Grogs) at once, for say the price of two normal spells. While senior magi might not want other senior magi to take part in their ritual just to save a few pawns, these ambitious upstarts are very likely to recognize a good bargain. He doesn’t fail to mention that should they ever need healing, they need only contact him and have some payment ready.

If all else fails or he feels particularly greedy, he could visit some wealthy nobles, successful merchants, or local landholders and offer to improve their physique and thus their alpha status. He is not below outright flattery, and will attempt to appeal to their vanity. For the more practical minded customers he will offer to greatly empower their entire garrison of soldiers - if they can give him something in return that is. Finally, he heads back to his Covenant after a busy season of labor.

Reaching the Covenant he calls a meeting. He has an offer the Covenant can’t refuse; he will boost the Stamina of all the Magi and most important Covenfolk for free. The only thing he asks in return is to be free of chores for the remainder of the year. Thus, this would be considered his duty for the Covenant. Also, should any of the naïve young magi be wounded he will heal them for free off course, and should the elderly suffer from an aging crisis come winter, he will be happy to help them without cost – as long as they supply the Vis required that is. The next three seasons will be spend in his lab, depending on how successful he was at collecting the right Vis, lab equipment, lab texts, willing teachers etc. following a route similar to ‘Future Development’ below.

Future Development
There are many ways to go for Munchkin as soon as he has some time and remedies for effective study.

  1. In order to be able to offer ‘Express Delivery’ as an optional extra service, he should learn a Rego Corpus teleport spell similar to the Leap of Homecoming. He should already have a lab text for this through his Covenant’s library, various payments or merely bought along the way. In that case ReCo 35 is no problem for him, as long as he can reach 11 through Rego + Aura + Lab bonus.

2a) Next up is Strength / Dexterity / Quickness of the Heroes. Obviously less interesting than the version he already knows, but having more than one spell will be good for business nevertheless. Also he will have a chance at improving his own horrible Characteristics. Inventing a spell of level 60 is too much for him though, so he will have to contact colleagues with similar interests, optionally the Cult of Mercury through his parens, in order to borrow or buy a copy of the spell – or have someone teach it to him.

2b) Without a lab text for the above spells Munchkin would have to go for some variants of a lower level. His lab total is currently 58 + Aura + Lab bonus + 12 Similar Spell bonus. With an Aura + Lab Bonus of just 10 he could invent a level 40 version, increasing Characteristics to +1. He will be looking at ways to improve his Lab total, possibly through lab rats or working overtime. Also he could consider Mastering his Stamina version with the Lab Mastery option for an additional +3 Similar spell bonus. In any event he should be able to invent a spell that increases a Characteristic up to a score of +3 before long. Considering Intelligence and Stamina to be of the highest priority of most magi, +3 should be more than enough to be of benefit for many a magus.

  1. And just when everyone though he had forgotten that he sucked at combat of any kind - be it mental, magical or physical - Munchkin would start building up an arsenal of offensive spells. He might go for Creo Form conjuration spells such as Incantation of Lightning or Ball of Abysmal Flame. Since his focus is on Creo, he could pick any Form where he had good access to books/teachers/lab texts etc. Alternately he could go for Perdo Corpus wound inflicting spells. In any case he would have a lab total of 24 + Aura + Lab bonus + Form. Enough to learn great spell from lab texts, or invent low to mid-level spells for higher penetration.

  2. In the far future, and when contact is established with Colleagues of similar interest or powerful individuals within the Cult of Mercury, Munchkin will put up a dating profile for someone who fits his description of ‘…ambitious, available and with access to Mental Characteristic of Heroes.’ to improve his mental stats to +5 (with an emphasis on Intelligence, obviously).

5a) Broadening his services in various ways, preferable something with Creo and Corpus that costs Vis. An obvious option would be expanding his repertoire of Creo Corpus spells with the likes of Restoration of the Defiled Body CrCo25, and The Severed Limp Made Whole CrCo25. Also he could start offering Longevity Rituals to those who have difficulty doing so themselves (for reasons of flaws, low arts etc.). With a Creo Corpus lab total (from Gauntlet) of 37 + Aura + Lab bonus, this might be of interest to some.

5b) Other ways to broaden his services could in time include the trading of Vis, since he is likely to have vast amounts of it at any given time, and the Merceres are already known to act as Vis-Monkeys. At the same time he could offer mundane wealth for Vis, by inventing a spell like Touch of Midas, CrTe20 - which would be a very cost-effective way to turn Vis into mundane wealth. An interesting alternative would be to invent a CrTe40 variant that creates a group of gemstones instead. While not as cost-effective as one huge diamond of 100 times the normal size, these ‘regular-sized’ gems are easier to hide, carry around, sell and use for a wide variety of applications. The spell could create two handfuls of gemstones each the Size of an eyeball. The gemstones created are a wide variety of stones of great mundane value, or with strong synergies for Hermetic Magic, possibly including; Coral (red), Crystal, Diamond, Emerald, Green Turquoise, Jade, Onyx, Opal, Ruby and Sapphire.

Ex Misc.
Age/Hermetic Age: 45/0

Intelligence +3
Perception +1
Communication +0
Presence +0
Strength -3
Stamina +3
Dexterity -3
Quickness +3

Strong Faerie Blood(Major)*
Skilled Parens*
Apt Student
Book Learner
Arcane Lore +50XP
Affinity specialist Technique
Affinity specialist Form
Puissant specialist Technique
Puissant specialist Form
Minor Focus (makes use of both specialist Arts)
Educated +50XP
Fast Caster

Blatant Gift(Major)*
Covenant Upbringing
Warped Magic (based on specialist Arts)
-[whatever else you prefer up to required points]

Now, for the truly munchkin part... This character is brought up as if played from age 5 and forward using a previously played covenant as base and having one of the previous PC characters as parens. :smiling_imp:
An autumn covenant not quite verging on winter.

Childhood, 45XP + Native Language 5
Age 6-30 (100 seasons) , learn Latin 5, Artes Liberales 5, Philosophiae 5, Hermetic Code 4, Hermetic Lore 4, the 4 Realm Lore´s 4, Magic Theory 5, Finesse 5, Penetration 5 one on one from covenant teachers 25XP/season, 30 seasons, 70 seasons to go.
+100 XP total from Virtues, 750 XP from teaching.
Spend 30 seasons getting Training in 10-30 General Abilities, 10XP/season. +300XP total.
Spend 40 seasons reading, average 15XP/season. +600XP total for general, arcane and academic abilities.
1795 XP total.

Age 31-45 (60 seasons) , apprenticeship.
Learn from parens Teaching 15 seasons, 20XP/season, 300 total.
Learn from other teacher 10 seasons, 25XP/season, 250 total.
Read books 30 seasons average 15XP/season, 450XP total for Arts and whatever you want.
Learning spells 5 seasons, at 80 levels/season, 400 total

1795 XP total outside of Arts.
1000XP total for Arts, 400 levels of spells.

1 Te and 1 Fo at Score 30 for a total of 504 XP, all other Arts Score 8 for a total of 468XP with 28 to spare or whatever else distribution preferred.
Specialist Arts+Focus alone gives ability to cast spells with +90. 5 years before first aging roll.

Slightly munchkin yes?

Yes, it seems he imbalances a lot of things but actually not so much. It doesn't matter much if magi have +2 or +5 stamina or their agility value. Having penetration of 25 instead of 5 does matter a lot.
He can be proud to be a good businessman/specialist but I find adventures or killing dragons etc. more interesting. I had a similar character in a lesser specialized version.
Anyway I wouldn't give him equal Cr and Co values. I would set the art which one he uses in fighting higher.

I had missed your post, honestly. I would go with +1 as being close enough for most cases.. For an animal spell, +2 magnitudes for size would be something larger than an elephant, so probably whales. Dragons, perhaps. For humanoid giants, it would be something as tall as between 17 and 37 feet tall, according to the charge on page 84 of RoP:Magic. Most giants described are probably no more than 17' tall.

Given that the table on p. 192 (of ArM5) puts 'small dragon' at size +7, +2 magnitudes for size seems the bare minimum for dragons :wink:
Ofcourse, that was before RoP: M.

Why the Twilight Mastery hack is unlikely to work

Ars Magica 5 main rulebook, page 89, Effects of Twilight:

"New Mystical Virtue: Minor (if between 7 and 10 warping points, inclusive) or major (if more than ten Warping Points). Virtues cannot be gained if the maga gains fewer than seven Warping Points."

Now, CrVi base guideline to give a warping point is 5 (personal, momentary - you can't increase duration for this guideline). So the spell works out at 1 magnitude per warping point. So you will need a CrVi 35 to give you a chance of minor virtues, and a level 55 to get a major. Level over 50 makes it a ritual and hence costs vis, so every time you try to gain a major virtue you burn 11 Vim vis, you probably can't avoid twilight, and if you roll a zero on the stress die to comprehend you'll probably botch and be looking at losing 22 xp, 55 levels of spells or gaining a major flaw.

Correct me if i'm wrong but didn't i solved that at least twice?

Please, I'm pretty new in Ars Magica rules, but since i wrote a solution for it and nobody corrected me i thougth it was correct.

CrVi 15
R:touch D:momentary T:individual

Gives the target 2WP

Mastery 5 Multicast. Et Al

IIRC RAW All the copies resolve at the same time. So you can cast up to 6 at once. +1 dificulty for each copy, but you can Fail a formulaic up to 10 so...

low your parma, warp yourself 12, roll comprehension. ta-da! next virtues come easier thus your Warping score sums to the gained WP.

Please, someone can throw some ligth upon that?

Sounds reasonable.
However I don't suggest that many warping points because you will get 1d10 wp in additon.
With 6 wp triggered twilight +1d10 you will get a major virtue with 60% chance. Sometimes one would pick small virtues, too, like affinities. But 5x2 wp just brings too much warping without better results.
I thought on better arts and a single personal ranged spell because the concept can be combined with the PeVi munchkin. As you wish.

Same page, same section, first paragraph: "Roll a simple die." I missed it often enough to have it burned in my mind. :wink:

Even a measly CrVi10 can return a Major Virtue 20% of the time.

I am sorry I don't mean it that way. If you understand these facts I don't mind you going against them. :smiley:

As I said not so clearly, using that Flaw to abuse your childhood/later life years was great Munchkinism.

Those are good reasons.

Please, I've read 5 times the pages 88-89 5th edition core-book. I cant find that "damned" free WP dice. I couldnt even find the WP gained by your warping score. The only WP that apearing you gain are the "0's" on botches and the Vis invested on the spell.

Would you be so kind to point me where to search? did i refer the wrong book?

Maybe were earlier rules? maybe you mean the Twilight Comprehension?

Im completelly lost. I'm still a novice :wink:

Page 89, Effects of Twilight, first paragraph