Hermetic Empowerment

Delving deep into TMRE, and looking at the rules for Hermetic Empowerment and other effects. It specifically states that use of Hermetic Empowerment with Inscription on the Soul causes Warping. But I would presume such is fine for a normal Talisman. However, nothing is ever mentioned about investing Empowerment into a Familiar Bond, normal or spirit familiar. And, as we all know, the Familiar Bond already negates Warping for Constant effects. So I am thinking on that idea. Also, say you have been transformed into a Magic Bbeing somehow, with a might score and everything. I would presume that Warping is a non-issue from then forward. You may have a few lingering scars and effects, but there would be no more further Warping or Twilight. Botches just result in miscast spells.
Am I accurate in my estimations? Half way accurate? What holes can be poked in these ideas?

The familiar bond also specifies that it can only contain effects that only affects the magus and the familiar.
I think that rules out rules out the spirit you'd need to bind into your device (here: bond) to use Hermetic Empowerment.
Unless ofcourse you propose to use your (spirit) familiar to power whatever rituals you're planning to cast via Hermetic Empowerment?

So I believe.

I think you found what I was looking for. The Ritual needs to be one that affects the Familiar, Magus, or Both. Not a big issue. The Empowering Prison affects a third party though, the spirit used to empower the ritual.
Using the spirit familiar themself is obviously not a good idea.

But this leads me to a new question. Say I were to invest Empowering Prison with an Effect Expiry (setting the spirit free after a period of seven years, let us say). Or any enchantment with an Expiry for that matter. Once expired, does it still use up "space"?

To Imprison the spirit used for the Empowering, you'd need to put an effect into the bond, affecting that spirit. Which is a no-go, unless that spirit is either you or your familiar.
Meaning, as far as I can tell, that it's a no-go total.

rather my point.

No idea.
It's been debated before, on this forum.
I'm not sure a consensus was ever reached.
Right now, I'd tend to argue that yes, it's used up, simply because otherwise it feel to easy, but I have been known to argue it either way, depending on what way the wind blows and the constallation of the stars.
Mind you, exactly in the familiar bond it's irrelevant, as it has effectively infinite capacity, according to ArM5, p 105.

The infinite potential of the Familiar Bond was the loophole I was looking at and we shut down.
In a Talisman, it causes Warping, but a Talisman has a higher potential space limit. But still, once the spirits are drained you made your talisman into a mostly useless relic. Plus, as an immortal (the way to avoid the warping), these spaces are best reserved for binding new Experience Points.
The best way I figure to go about it is a regular Invested Item. Enchant the Ritual and Empowering Prison with an Effect Expiry anyway, so as to be able to obtain the high Lab Totals needed. This also releases the spirits when their term of service is done, so you are not such a kcid after all :mrgreen:
And who knows. Maybe you are using a variation involving the cooperation of these spirits.
(it could happen)
I am working on building an old magus as a Living Ghost, and a restriction on casting Ritual spells was an Ordeal (effects applied after transformation). So I am considering the different ways Hermetic Empowerment may be employed to overcome this restriction. I am also figuring a preference for enchanted items over spells, since spell casting cost temporary might points and require Talisman spaces to learn new ones. Enchanted items have no such restriction, and lesser items with high penetration and unlimited use that expire in 70 years are easy to make. His Inscribed Soul, maybe a few thought activated fast effects, but saving spaces for experience seems like the better plan. And any effect intended to affect himself is best as a Familiar enchantment. I think forming a corporeal shell counts as affecting the magus, some may not.

Back to Hermetic Empowerment. I want to make sure that the math is right. The formulas as printed seem to contradict.
The Spirit's Might must equal at least half of the level, or must be twice the level?
The base level of the Empowering Prison must exceed twice the level of the spirit, correct?
So, say I have a level 20 Ritual. The spirit must have a might of 10? or of 40? The Empowering Prision is then either Base 20 or Base 80.
Something is not right here...

The errata states that

Which means infinite capacity.
You'll still have to spend (time and) Vim Vis to open the spaces though.

Theoretically, yes.
But I doubt it, since you're draining permanent Might from them...

Yeah, I agree. Immortal would probably have a preference for using devices.

Heh, that depends on how you'd go about doing that, as far as I'm concerned!
If the effect is to literally making himself coporeal, alá the Corporeality effect discussed in the third column of the box on p. 68 of TMRE, I don't see how you could argue against it.
If the effect is a 2-step method of creating a fleshy shell* and then possesing it**, then the creation of the shell would not qualify as affecting the magus, while the possessing part is more ... debatable.

  • ie, Create a Human Corpse, Projects (HP), p. 116 or living equivalent.
    ** Possess the Deceased Host or even Possess the Living Host, both TMRE, p. 74, box

That changes everything!!!
I am glad to have encountered you my friend :smiley:

Not entirely true. Page 65, center column under Powering Ritual Effects, second paragraph, the last sentence reads "(If the spirit is somehow freed, it may find ways to slowly recover)."
Let us leave that vague as it is. I am just saying that a cooperative bargain is theoretically possible. The spirit in question may have a vested interest in seeing that this Ritual is cast, such as a ghost with a driving obsession.
I will agree that said situation is unlikely. I am just toying with ideas.

Muto Mentem is one option, yes. I have considered that, and would likely be one of his early tricks before coming up with something better. Creating an actual body has specific advantages though, killing it does not kill the spirit. It may be more difficult. I understad that some people would not think it counts. The reason I do is based on one of the example familiar powers from the core rule book. "Aura of Fire". If that counts, why not an Aura of Flesh?
But on the other hand, the example of Donning the Corporeal Veil from RoP-Magic has it as a Greater or Lesser Power, as designed it may not qualify as a Personal Power.
But, now that I am enlightened by the Immortal Talisman erratta, everything has changed.

Still concerned about this question though. More eratta?
TMRE has to conflicting formulas.


I believe this is the answer you seek:

Empowering Prison of the Declining Spirit (p. 66): In the second column, first full paragraph, it should read "the current Might Score of the bound spirit must equal or exceed half the level of the Ritual effect to be powered".

In the future, you can check the errata yourself at http://www.atlas-games.com/arm5/arm5errata.php.

Now that's an entirely different kettle of fish.
Simply creating a corpse (as I suggested above)
Would not be includable in the familiar bond, since it generates a third party - the corpse. The corpse could then be affected by a wealth of seperate abilities.

However! Generating an "Aura of Flesh"... certainly would affect you (in the same was as the aura of fire). I had not thought of that before, intriguing.
I shall have to mull that one over.
Ofcourse, I suspect that it is entirely academic at this point, due to the Talismanic errata?

And that pretty much would be the Aura of Flesh, no?
Ofcourse, if you can get it, Donning the Corporeal Veil is almost infinitely better, due to explicitly not having to penetrate.

I thought it might have.

EDIT: Sorry about not noticing the second question.
Looks like the hammer has the answer above though.

Once a magus becomes immortal, he's largely into "maybe it's time to retire as a pc" territory. So being able to warp the rules without Warping the character comes with the territory!


Good point, but that is not what the character is for. He is an advanced NPC type character, but I am trying to craft him as close to RAW as possible so that other people can use and adapt him to their games if they so desire.
And I spotted the reference for No Warping or Twilight for Immortal Magi. That, and the unlimited bond potential, make Soul Inscribed Empowerments the way to go. He only has to invest the main ritual once, or rituals one each apiece. Then each time the Empowering Prision is invested, it adds +1 to the lab total (cumulative) for future investments of that same enchantment. With a Lab Text (created after the first investment was originally invented) and an Effect Expiry of Seven Years (essential to inventing that Epowerment enchantment at the high level needed, plus a little experimentation); and a couple of years of accumulated bonuses (it is a year duration ritual that needs to be constantly perpetuated and thus the empowerment must be reinvested regularly); he can very quickly reach a point where he can bind seven spirits in a season. This is enough to perpetuate the main ritual seven years, plus able to empower a smaller ritual or two a few times after the main service is performed. At the end of six years and three seasons, bind seven new spirits. At the end of seven years, the enchantments expire and the spirits are released, and the new crew takes over.

Am I looking at this the right way? The familiar might not be necessary in this design after all. It might be creepier to have him be all alone.

Oh, if he's an adversary he has to have a familiar. Dastardly has Muttly, Dr Claw has MadCat, Dr Frankenstein has Igor, Brain has Pinky.

BTW, I had noticed the Soul Inscribe Empowerments for immortals, which are awesome even if spaces need to be opened to hold the next 7 (which is how I'd rule: The vis is already allocated.) It can even be made to work for a normal magus: If you avoid spells in favor of enchantments, you only need to worry about Warping if someone casts CrVi on you!

TMRE, insert box on page 69, instilling the empowerment effect inflicts a point of warping and triggering a ritual effect also inflicts a point of warping. This is only one point at a time, so it won't cause Twilight. But it accumulates.
Being an Immortal avoids this hazard.
Lex Luthor and Doctor Doom didnt have familiars and rarely had sidekicks. The had minions :smiling_imp:
Maybe though. Not sure yet.

Opening Spaces is indeed a consideration. I am estimating he can open enough spaces in a season to enchant the Empowerment three or four times. Let us call that two seasons for opening enough spaces to bind seven spirits the third season. Say he does something else important the fourth season.
That means one year of work out of every seven and six years to himself. Over the course of, say, 140 years, he has labored for twenty years and has had 120 to himself.

That's actually a pretty nifty thing to think about if he's going to serve as an antagonist; he causes problems for six years, then is forced to give the local Magi a year to recuperate and come up with something to deal with him again. The Magi could also have a ploy to get through the current six year session, as if they can distract the antagonist enough during his working seasons they can potentially screw with his cycle, presumably enough that they could force him to run out of spirit strength, making him more manageable to fight. Naturally, he'll have tons of precautions against such a thing and the attempt may have to be made multiple times over the course of a long saga, so it's a ripe avenue for semi-regular stories.


The relationship between magus and familiar is not symmetric, so favorite minion can work.

Doctor Doom has Doombots.

I didn't say a villain must have a familiar, but for a creepy villain it is especially good.