Group Ritual Casting

I am new to this forum and new to Ars Magica. I am in the process of pulling together my first Saga! Loving the system from what I have read and I am pretty excited about running a game.

Can someone point me in the direction of details regarding group rituals (if such a thing exists) outside of assisting in lab work such as Longevity Rituals?

My Saga will begin with the final master of a Winter Covenant dying, leaving the tattered remains of the once powerful covenant in the hands a some fresh apprentices just sworen into the Order. I would like them to have to perform a ReMe ritual to hold the master's ghost for a time while he gives them his final words of advice and sets the first saga story in motion.

Are there any specific rules regarding group ritual casting, any boons provided, limitations etc? Any advice would be helpful!



The way it's usually done is by casting Wizard's Vigil / Day of Communion (two names for the same spell in Through the Aegis). Those are just a Sun-duration version of Wizard's Communion (core book) so that it works on Rituals. A whole bunch of magi cast that MuVi spell to make the casting of the Ritual spell easier, in that way contributing to the whole Ritual.

There are other ritual things that actually use groups of magi, but those aren't the standard Hermetic magic ones.

If you want them doing a Ritual they don't know, you can put it in a casting tablet (explained in Covenants). That still only requires one person, but at least they won't have to develop it.

Thank you for the insight, Callen.

Wizard's Communion doesn't fit as nicely with what I have in mind, mostly because I don't think the group will have much MuVi.

cheers, Jace

If you only have the core rulebook and are attempting to stay as simple as possible, then "Wizard's Communion" from the core book would suffice for rituals. If your group is up for the true depth of complexity that can be found in Ars Magica and willing to integrate the massive amount of errata , then as Callen suggested you need a version with Duration Sun.

Your decision on which way to go should be based on your group. For example if they are new to the system and you are only using a version of the Core Rules without errata (such as a printed hard copy), this will increase the difficulty. If you have some players with experience and many of the books, then using the errata for the Core Rules that adds complexity becomes important because things in the later books assume the errata is used.

SG provided casting tablets are the most efficient way to provide high powered rituals that no single character (at the starting power level) could learn or cast. As it is a required item for the saga idea and will most likely see little to no use moving forward, giving it as a freebie (along with the Vis to cast it) rather than covenant virtues/flaws or build points would be a good idea. Just make sure the characters ether select or receive for free the Wizard's Communion/Vigil (depending on which way you are playing it).

Wizard's Communion needs a total of double the level of the spell being cast, while Wizard's Vigil requires double the level of the spell being cast and +10 to that total per Magus taking part (since it only provides level -10 per person casting it to the total). So if the ritual to bind the old Magi's spirit was level 50 and there were 5 player magi, you are looking at 100 levels of Wizard's Communion (~20 each) or 150 levels of Wizard's Vigil (~30 each). That is between 16-25% of their starting total spell levels known for the entire group, for what is a key point of the saga setup. That is why I suggested possibly giving them the minimum required level for free, though ultimately it is based on the game you want to play.

Oh, and welcome to the forum! Cheers!

Also remember that their casting total for MuVi is not just their Arts, but includes their Stamina and the Aura of the Covenant. Ritual spells add their Artes Liberales and Philosophiae to that total. Both also add a dice roll to the totals and are successful if they total -10 the level of the spell they are casting or higher, though they will take fatigue.

In other words they can always cast spells that their Arts+Sta+Aura are within 10 points of. If their Muto, Vim, Stamina, and Aura total 10, they can always cast spells of level 20 there.

What about a combo of casting tablets: the Mentem ritual and Wizard's Vigil? With a casting tablet you can succeed in the spell at -20, so Sta + Muto + Vim + Aura + roll = 10 is enough for a level-30 Wizard's Vigil, and that should be pretty manageable in general. Technically, you can succeed at -30, but you'll lose nearly all your Fatigue and gain a Warping Point. So maybe a set of level-35 Wizard's Vigil casting tablets, though for the the group of magi. Let's say you have six magi. That's enough to handle a level-75 ReMe tablet, which means ritual level + penetration of 75. Is that enough?

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That would be the most efficient means, as long as the Vis required was also included.

Oh yes, the rules for casting tablets are in Covenants Jace. If you do not have that book, just assume that they are double the cost of spell lab text and that they make botching worse. You can cast the spell from them, but not learn the spell from them.

There are the Fencil's rituals, which probably aren't what you are looking for specifically but they are a form of group ritual.
Basically they're pree hermetic rituals where only the stamina, mastery ability of all particpants, aura, and a dice roll are added to the casting total. They're also expensive in vis. Despite the difficulty in casting these rituals, powerful effects can be achieved with them.
I don't have it with me right now (it's in a box somewhere) but its in the Questor section of Houses of Hermes: Lineages.
Probably not useful to you specifically but it is a type of group ritual spell.

thank you all for your detailed responses. Being new to the system, we decided to not stray far from the Core Rulebook until we have the base ideas down solid. I will look at introducing other books once we're all feeling confident.

I think my base idea of the old Magi's ghost providing a few final words is a little too complicated to start with, so I'll probably just go with an InIm message in an enchanted item to give them some direction.

I am glad there are some keen people on this forum. You can probably count on further questions from me in the future.