Hermetic Empowerment

Hermetic Empowerment

How have you used it?

At first I didn't think very much of this virtue. In fact a rather disliked it, but really -wanted- it to be good because I'm such a fan of summoner style characters and spirit magic. I think I'm coming around however. I sat and stared at the pig until she got pretty. I'm curious if anyone has put it to use in their sagas, and if so how great or small the impact may have been? I am keen to scrounge for ideas for making it a worthwhile endeavor.

The obvious one, in the example no less, is using it to facilitate instant ritual style true healing.

The next one that occured to me may be one that raises people's hackles a bit more.

What happens if you take some good old blast'em style direct damage combat magic, like say Incantation of Lightning, and build it into a Hermetic Empowerment style wand? In other words what happens if that lightning bolt isn't a standard 'magic' lightning bolt, but now is a ritually created 'real' lightning bolt?

I would put forth that such a 'ritual' magic attack spell is creating a 'true' medium, much as a ritual healing spell engenders true healing etc. And therefore would obviate magic resistance, yet require a targeting roll. Thoughts?

The potential ramifications of having quick/speedy ritual attack magic that can ignore the parma magica are... staggering. Like the Q's want you dead and all your books burned kind of staggering. I'm curious if anyone else has seen something like this used in game, and what the long term effects were? It seems like something that has significant potential speaking both of mechanical and story ramifications.

The limits really is that you need cast many spells to make all possible:

  • You need know or learn to cast a summoning spell or another magical effect.
  • You need find a Corpus Form based spirit or a Spirit that could heal or on another way related to the body or Corpus. The Master or the troupe can make that mor or less restrictiv in the before parametters.
  • You need the container.
  • Need a spell that work against magical beings before to cast the spell on the container, by caution.
    An in those pass you can have bothes or problems. And all of them make the play and the story interesting.

I've never used "Hermetic Empowerment" in this way, but did design a similar spell using Hyperborean Magic (I know they're not intended as PCs, but I was curious about just what members of this tradition could accomplish) to fire a volley of real arrows at a target and found it be rather overpowered in this regard. The vis-cost and limited number of charges of an empowered item could be more balanced, however, I would note two things.

  1. Your lightning bolt would need a Finesse roll to hit the target.
  2. Generally speaking, those interested in "offing" hermetic magi would probably be better served by developing low-level attack spells and/or novel ways of gathering Arcane/Sympathetic connections to their enemies.

To my knowledge, ritual or not doesnt change wether MR is effective or not since you´re still directly creating the bolt. You could use it to create a huge nasty storm cloud with Momentary duration, then... well i guess ReAu to make natural lightning strike where you want it. Then you might get away with not allowing MR to affect the lightning.

Parma Magica stops a healing spell. It's in the core rules, somewhere, that if a magus is unconscious he cannot suppress his Parma, meaning that any beneficial spell needs to penetrate his Magic Resistance.

Matt Ryan

True, but that effect targets the magus and thus the magic must contend with the Parma Magica. I think what Vortigern is talking about involves using a ritual to create a non-magical lightning bolt at Touch range such that it naturally continues on its path toward the unfortunate target.

I'm not sure how well the spell would actually work, but that ritually created objects are non-magical is generally uncontroversial. Personally, I think my idea of creating a mass of iron arrows and allowing them to fall had greater applicability, but the effect described certainly seems like it ought to work.

Yes... the spell does seem kosher. An interesting application of Hermetic Empowerment.

If I were the SG, I'd just bad the idea on fiat IMS. Capturing a Might 50 spirit to power an incantation of lightning is lame, and creating a natural bolt of lightning (or arrows, whatever) is weird too. But by the RAW, it all seems fine.

Incantation of Lightning has a hefty +4 unnatural modifier attached. Whether such a thing can ever be considered natural enough to bypass Parma Magica is an interesting question. At best, you still need magic to aim it where you please (why should a natural lightning bolt, created on the wand you wield, strike your enemy ?), and that still bring back magical resistance.

Of course, I'm nitpicking. If there is already a storm going on, a lightning bolt is natural. And other forms of attacks are natural enough not to raise the question in the first place.

Creo permanent is what it say. It does not, IMO, need to be "natural".

healing all wounds is not natural, bringing the dead back to life neither.

A fire created permanent with a ritual bypasses parma.

So a lightning created permanent bypasses parma.

But what is a "lightning"? it's not a fire who can live by burning... it's only a flash... it appears and disappears. It doesn't live long.

So i would say : yes, you create a lightning bolt. But you will need a finesse roll to target. And i would rule the same with other creo permanent things used in a battle.

But it's very interesting ^^

I am the SG in this case, and I hardly ever nix anything. It is my players that put the kebosh on me and the power levels. So I would totally let the natural lightning effect fly. It does seem very expensive vis wise, and takes a great deal of effort to set up, so it seems fine to me.

The whole idea of consuming a spirit's existence to power a spell seems a little un-Hermetic to me. Especially for a Might 50 spirit, who should generally be a named being if I remember the RoP books correctly. I certainly wouldn't let this work on an aspect of a daimon.

The Spell Binding virtue using trapped spirits I like. Hermetic Empowerment, not so much.

I don't see anything wrong with it, but I think it would be particularly difficult to "aim" lightning, so the finesse roll would probably need to be pretty high. Ditto a fire-spell using the same kind of process. To get an easier finesse roll, you could always do a Group version of the spell, so it's striking an entire area, not just one person. Or, you could go with creating something easier to aim, like arrows, though that may do less damage (unless you created a lot of them).

All that said, if you strictly want a character that bypasses or mitigates Parma, I think a character would probably be better off with Flawless Magic and Puissant Penetration, a lab-rat magus who invests all kinds of crazy points into penetration, or a character who focuses on abilities that totally bypasses Parma (ie totally enclosing them in ice long enough to suffocate them -- the ice won't be able to damage them, but if they can't breath, they can't breath). Doing what you've proposed would probably only be best if that's the kind of flavor you wanted the character to have.

Bypassing parma is easy... (finesse ? IRL our finesse jerbiton has a base 18... he always it ^^). I like here, because the idea is to use a mystery virtue in such a inventive way :smiley:

I was thinking; it seems to me that it would be easier to cast a ritual natural lightning bolt in to a watching ward. More vis expensive, but no mystery needed and you don't need to find a specific special spirit.


You may regret giving me that idea O'Wise and Mighty ASG. :smiling_imp:

No I won't :smiling_imp:
I want you guys to be powerful!!! It frustrates me to no end that I gave you guys 20 years at the rate of 10xp per season and I wound up with a pack of wimpy magi that I need to coddle and scale down my antagonists for. Even you, Ludovicio the Spirit Master, what with your minimal Parma and a Magic Theory of only 3. Seriously, after 20 years you only have a MT of 3? I create Flambeau magi right out of gauntlet with a MT of at least 4, and my Novus Mane character (the most excellent Roberto of Flambeau) managed to get his Parma up to 4 in only five years of in game development post gauntlet. I find it ridiculously funny watching the other magi struggling to penetrate the resistance of Might 15 shadow spirits.
You guys need every advantage you can get and to use every munchkin tactic you can come up with, because I am gonna try to kill all of you :smiling_imp:


Please don't compare me to those plebians! As if! :mrgreen:

Ludovico vs Might 15 anything = anything squished :unamused:

Ludovico vs Might 15 Spirit Minions of the Evil Overlord = Thank You O'Wise and Mighty ASG, for new Minions. I shall proceed to the squishing of the Evil Overlord next. :smiling_imp:

If Ludo was there the entire scene would be flowing considerably differently, I think. 8)

And MT is... my number 2 priority right now. Not quite number one, but number two for sure. I mean, think about it. Yeah, sure... you get better lab totals out of a higher MT, and a better lab etc. But what do you really get out of 'that'? Better -spells- when/if that is the thing you want to do? Better magical items when or if that is the thing you want to do? Key emphasis on that last part both times.

But as a spirit master style guy up until I am reliably summoning stuff in the uber might ranges and thus having to start worrying about diamons/aspects/true names etc., I get more versatility out of having better summoning totals. Why research a vallation Rego Terram spell when I can summon a Terram Spirit and tell it to build me a wall?

Instead I built Ludovico so that, mostly, he is 'done' ( Well, close enough for now. I'll get you Khyron!!!! Ahem. Noryhk. ) with the trying to achieve super duper spirit magic totals, so that I could focus on raising his other magey stuff once play started and still have a 'big stick' to have fun with in play. So like I said, I have one more thing I am trying to do first, before I progress on to studying up said magey abilities followed by my actual planned research regimen ( as if I wouldn't have a plan... ). And 'that'... I'm not telling you yet.

True, but that scenario happens tocoincidentally fall within your area of specialization. In another sort of struggle, you would be at a severe disadvantage.
I did now notice you increased your MT to 4, which still leaves you short of being able to use that Mystery Script for Inscription on the Soul. And your Parma is only 3, which leaves you quite vulnerable to many dangers that are soon to be crashing down upon you. In my opinion, Vortigern is overspecialized to the point that it is a severe disadvantage.

Ludo's parma may be three but you -constantly- overlook and need to be reminded of how he can use a spirit's might for magic resistance ( You Flambeau and always thinking people need to be and fight like you. Pshaw. :smiley: ). To buy a nine in an ability is an extra 225xps. Or for a six that you consider reasonable 105. Why invest so heavily in something that I can duplicate/overshadow with another application of spirit magic? Might 50 spirit, 50 MR. Spirit Mojo For The Win. mild side effects include personality transference and creepy vibes. consult your professional spiritualist before self proscribing, and always leave spirit selection to the professionals.