House Rules-Discussion

All games need House Rules. The first and foremost, is Wards (and Aegis) require penetration. A Ward/Aegis of 30th level requires a CT of 60 to be fully effective against 30 might creatures.
Coupling the need of the Aegis to penetrate, Wizard's Communion becomes a necessary spell. The Errata for Muto Vim suggests that a Sun Duration Wizard's Communion is necessary for being used in Rituals. Therefore the minimum level of a useful Wizard's Communion for ritual purposes is 15th level.
Do we accept that as RAW, or do we need to House Rule this somehow? My preference is to stick as close to RAW as possible for this exercise.

Personally, I find that requiring Aegis to penetrate is a bummer for a magus with Mercurian Magic. Few covenant will have more than one of those, so having to use Wizard's Communion nullifies their vis-saving advantage.

But I can live with it. It makes knowing another MM worthwhile, so it has story potential. Even a simple agreement between 2 MM to help each other for the Aegis usually solve the problem.

What's you stance on mastery vs rituals? Does a single level of mastery remove all possibility of botch in normal circumstances, or are rituals always stress?

My views on spell mastery of rituals and botches are rather outspoken and start here. RAW is ambiguous and contradictory. In that debate, I can find language in RAW that suggests that rituals, as long as they aren't considered stressed, may be cast without a chance of botch (page 83, the last sentence in the section that started on page 82 on Using Raw vis) . I find the idea of handling vis to be always stressful, which is what I'm basing my interpretation on.

I believe that rituals are always cast under stress and thus subject to botch. This is one thing that makes Mercurian quite valuable, since they cut the chance of botch in half, since by raw it is definitely a double edged kind of virtue. Consider the Mercurian Cautious sorcerer with a point of mastery in a ritual spell: they can cast an 8th magnitude ritual without any risk of botch. 8 pawns of vis becomes 4, cautious sorcerer removes 3, and the mastery removes the final. Adding a familiar and a strong Golden cord will just push that up. Finding a familiar and making a golden cord of 1 changes the equation to a 10th magnitude spell, 2 is 12th magnitude 3 is 14th magnitude. Add another point of spell mastery and you get someone who can cast Hermes Portal without any chance of botch.

That being said, given that this is a simulation, sticking to a strict interpretation doesn't mean anything. Die rolling isn't something that I think is really necessary for this. If you want to do it for a story for an element of unpredictability that's cool, I'm gearing this more towards interesting stories and characters. In my view, the rules will shape questions of risk and how a participant responds to the risk, that's where there are interesting stories. For example, Ysebrand, my my failed apprentice with a Hunger for Corpus. His story is interesting and based on the premise that his former master tried to improve his Stamina with a ritual. The ritual was botched, destroyed his Gift and made him forever hunger for Corpus vis. His story is just beginning, but I have a plan for him. The maga I'm running in that saga, Talia of Tytalus, also has an unusual background, but not quite so strange as Ysebrand.

I realize I didn't respond to this. I have a couple of concepts that are Mercurian, or could become Mercurian through pursuing the Neo-Mercurians at some later point. No promises, I'm just throwing out the possibility...

I had proposed a modified aura system, I'm interested in trying it out, but certainly don't care if someone doesn't want to do it.

It's probably not well fleshed out in that thread, but what I'd intended is that the magnitude Aura 3 adds 3 to lab totals, as normal, but for casting totals it adds 6. Look at The Fixer's alteration to my original suggestion later on in that thread, where he progresses the bonuses for spell casting like Arts scores, not my original proposal that progresses in multiples of five. This makes an aura +3 pretty desirable if it can be found, and even +2 is better than nothing. Anything higher than that is extremely powerful. My goal was to come up with an explanation of why someone would study in a magic aura, the addition to the lab total is relatively small. But if magic is vastly easier to work, one can experiment more easily to come up with ways to cast spells when it isn't so easy to work. Differentiating a casting total bonus and a lab total bonus from the aura establishes a better "story" connection between easier to cast magic and the lab total, which really isn't well discussed. In higher auras it could certainly be possible to work magic you'd never dream of working anywhere else, which also has some interesting story possibilities, especially for the one who is investigating auras.

It seems a bit extreme, especially as I hope to be able to significantly strengthen an Aura at some point.

I think we should try to stick as close to RAW as possible, since I still work to get that into my head after many years. :slight_smile:
I can live with aura changes, but it will limit powers much outside from home, which would seriously boost the power of ACs (which makes you able to cast your spells from home with the huge bonuses...)

Does Parma protect from the physical attacks (fangs, claws, etc.) of supernatural creatures? I can't remember what the official line is on that.

IIRC it does not. Only attacks that require use of a power. So supernaturals with a natural/basic physical shape/form will be able to attack without concern for Parma. Anything that need a power OTOH (like the manifestation powers of ghosts I think) would need to penetrate.

No, supernatural creatures who are physical entities get the full benefit of their physical forms. I believe even faerie glamors can cause damage. I think this is even a contemporaneous discussion in the main Ars forum.

Indeed, I saw the thread today, after asking the question. All the more reason to have an Aegis! :wink:

You don't want a +6 aura that adds 21 to the CS? :smiley:

Sure, but so do the "bad guys." Staying with RAW isn't bad, and I'm fine with that, I just put my idea out there. This may not be the best place to test it out, though.

Ofcourse I do! :laughing:
How does it modify lab totals though?

Not any different than per RAW. The idea was to represent that magic is easier to work in an aura. In some places I'd read it is much easier to do magic in an aura that people can do things in a magic aura that they can't do otherwise. In practice, in games I have played, the aura might make the difference in getting to a sufficient casting total to make a spell successful, but that is extremely rare. It's a kinda nice to have thing for casting spells, comes in handy for the spontaneous spells one casts now and again. I then start thinking about that magic easier to work issue. What would reflect making it easier to work, to the point of being able to do magic far beyond your arts in certain situations? Treating the Aura as being of a magnitude, the magnitude adds to the lab total, but it gets multiplied for casting score. Originally I had proposed it as a true magnitude, where +3 grants +15 to CS, but then The Fixer suggested treating it like the Arts advancement, which I really liked.

So, if we start with a +3 Aura, that's +6 to the CS, not huge, but it's certainly better than the standard aura per raw, and it's even better than an aura bumped up to +5 which seems to be quite common among sagas. After a few years, the aura is enhanced and expanded and it grows to +5 which would then +15 to the CS. It makes that Aegis just a bit easier to cast solely by the Mercurian who knows it. bringing vis costs down. It makes less friendly auras much more challenging to live in, but they still aren't possible.

Going back to the rationale for this, magic is easier to work in a higher magnitude, which allows the magus to test his theories on what is possible and refine his work into a formulaic/ritual spell or item that allow him to repeat the effect under less favorable conditions or without as much effort. That's how I picture the invention process working, the magus does stuff a bunch of different ways, trying to figure out the best path, the easiest path for him to make sure it happens nearly all the time in other environments.

I don't see this rule having a huge impact in this saga, as we'll be simulating more than doing stories. I personally think it's a bit excessive when the auras become stronger than +3, but I don't really care.

One thing that was discussed in the thread about that rule, though, was the impact on inimical auras. This rules will make it very hard to perform magic in a Divine or Infernal aura. Particularly if you apply the Realm multiplier, which would mean a +3 Divine aura (a small church) imposes -18 to a magic casting total, for example.

That's very true, and I will say that, by and large, it will affect my character the most, with him potentially living in the city. Going hand in hand with this adjustment that I would drop city auras down a bit, too. Just think how Duernmar's +7 aura adds +28 to CT...

You could easily drop all RAW aura strengths by 1 (when they're above 2) and still come up to something reasonable for all involved.

So 2 would be the new 3. :wink:

So, I'm thinking we leave the aura stuff per RAW? That's kind what I'm getting her, and that's fine with me.

Next issue, and this should be near and dear to the Bonisagus, or any magus who might have assistance in the lab...
The Leadership problem.

As per RAW, every magus may have 1 assistant and their familiar in the lab. Bonisagus may have two assistants and their familiar. Both of these are without a leadership score. Putting XP into leadership though kinda jobs the every magus, and definitely the Bonisagus. For the average magus they need to invest 15 xp into Leadership, and the Bonisagus needs to invest 30 to receive extra benefits in the lab. To me, this is counter-intuitive. Instead of gimmicks such as Leadership (labwork) specialties, I'd rather the specialty be used in a different manner somehow that enhances stories. So, Bonisagus have a "free" Puissant Ability related to Leadership, but only applying to the lab. When in the lab, their leadership is +2. If they have a Leadership score of 2 and a sufficiently large enough lab, they can have 4 assistants. Other Magi with a leadership score of 2 get a +1 and can have 3 lab assistants. What thinkest the troupe?

Aegis requiring penetration is fine with me.
I haven't had experience with MM, and my troupe has not messed with rituals much, so I have no opinion on stress versus non-stress here.
I think I would prefer to have auras per the RAW.
The leadership mod seems fine.

I would prefer RAW instead of larger bonus to casting totals. Change would explain why magi do stay hidden in their lairs and valleys, but even currently divine auras and infernal auras penalize casting enough to discourage magi and to give advantage to creatures of those realms that belong to realm of aura of question. Anything more seems extremely excessive - higher bonus to casting totals would indicate that might really is not about power of magi or demons, but about belonging to one realm or an another.

Whether or not Aegis needs to penetrate does not matter that much to me. That wards need to penetrate is nice because it makes Columbae more powerful in their own specialisation in comparison to other magi. Aegis needing to penetrate makes it more communal endeavour which isn't bad, but doesn't seem that important to me either way - Wizards Communion is nice remnant of Mercurian rituals and allows larger casting totals, but chance for botch does rise a lot along with it.

Leadership change seems fine.