House Rules-Discussion

That's true, and like I said I see your point. I would also tend to agree with your point, but there has been a tendency for vague things like this to be written which later get clarified. Muto Vim errata, wards penetrating to name a couple of examples.If you write the rule one way, then the example should be illustrative of the rule. The example doesn't make any mention of House affiliation. I prefer to say that the Bonisagus magus retains the ability to coordinate multiple assistants in the lab. Some apprentices might have this ability (see below, but say after 10 or 20 seasons of working with the Bonisagus, depending on when they realize the Puissant Magic Theory virtue).
I'm not trying to be argumentative, but what happens to a Bonisagus magus who has an apprentice and takes on another apprentice? Does his ability to be helpful in the lab happen immediately upon the Arts opening? Doesn't that seem a little off somehow? Especially in light of how the House virtues (and this is another House virtue, albeit more limited than Puissant Magic Theory) shouldn't it take 10 seasons to be realized?

Very true...but say we want to invent a spell to realize a research goal, and we want to do it in a season, and another assistant will put us into that position... Will we, as a group lend ourselves to our sodales to foster research in this fashion? I dunno, maybe we won't. It's true that our research is different, but we all have enough knowledge of Magic Theory to be of use to each other in certain (limited) instances.

I'm not trying to be argumentative either, just clarifying our mutual understanding of the rules. :slight_smile:

I'd say that the new apprentice needs to be "broken in" a little before he can be integrated into a larger team. That may mean as little as a few seasons of working either alone with his master, or in a smaller team (if the master's Leadership score is high enough). Basically, for his first season in the lab, he gets treated as a non-Bonisagus.

But that's purely theorical. As I wrote, let's not restrict this for the saga. So long as we agree on how it works for us, it's all the same to me. :laughing:

That, we will only see once the "saga" gets underway. I expect coordinating such cooperation will be difficult.

I am fine with HRing that Bonisagi have Puissant Leadership in the Lab, regardless of the house affiliation of the assistants. But, as you say, cooperating may be difficult, especially as our interests start taking more and more of our time. Do we want to count acting as a Lab Assistant as part of the service to the covenant, or shall there be reimbursement? Maybe that's a discussion for our first council meeting ...

We can do that, or they can have discussed this at some point during the years before saga starts.

Might be an appropriate topic of discussion for the current in-character thread... :wink:

Repairing/Restoring damaged book.

As we have many such books in the library, would there be a way to restore or repair such books to increase their Quality?

According to Covenants (pp.87-88), the Quality of summae can be decomposed as follow:

  • The author: Com + 3 (+ bonus for writing to level less than half score)
  • Skilled scribe: +1
  • Skilled binder: +1
  • Skilled illuminator: +1
  • Mystical resonance: +0 to +3

Under "Damaged books", it is mentioned that many sorts of damage can be repaired by a skilled binder and scribe. And that "The statistical adjustments for damage vary enormously."

So, might it be worth our while to restore some of the damaged books we have? If so, what would it require?

Depending of the type of damage, this could mean:

  • Mundane work from a scribe, binder and/or illuminator (and probably some money if a complete rescribing of the book is required)
  • Involvement from a magus (does he need a score in the relevant Art?)


EDIT: I only mentioned Quality, but in some cases the damage may be missing parts of the book, lowering the Level instead/also. I assume that kind of damage cannot be undone.

New Mastery abilities?
Given that we're following this format for spell mastery? ((Are we, I thought I mentioned this already, and had approval, but seem to be blind for finding this, so consider this a request, if it hasn't been made already, and if it has, point me to where we're in agreement!))
So...I've been thinking about mastery, and that there should be some limit to integrating all these mastery abilities that magi can develop over time. Truthfully, the barrier to Quick Casting +4, Multiple Casting +4, Obfuscated Casting is much lower than it was before. It still takes a lot of XP, but it is much less than before...(except Multiple casting as per RAW, but that's a huge problem, IMO).

Synthesized Casting
Combines the various mastery abilities into one spell casting. Ordinarily, mastery abilities require a specific method of casting the spell, to take advantage of multiple mastery abilities on the same spell, such as Still and Quiet x2, need to have Synthesized casting of 1. Under RAW Still +Quiet x2 costs 30 xp. Under this modification, Synthesized 5, Still 5, Quiet 15=25, so it is a net benefit.

Ritual Casting
Designed to minimize the risks of a botch of a ritual. This adds half of the ability score to the reduction in botch dice, always at least 1 less botch die.

Mercurian (assisted) Casting
A Mercurian, if he wishes to teach it, can teach techniques for mastery that mimic his methods and use less vis. This doesn't allow a magus to cast a ritual on his own, with less vis, it merely allows the Mercurian to treat anyone with this mastery ability as Mercurian. ((This one needs to be fleshed out, and it's partially based on Paul Briscoe's De Domo Tremeris, but that mastery ability worked for anyone and was a huge end-run around Mercurian Magi))

I would suggest simpy calling this Safe Casting, and not apply it only to rituals. And say that other masteries do not provide a reduction to the number of botch dice.

How does this translate when people are joining in Ritual Communion? I think we'd already ruled that if a Mercurian leads, then it would preserve the vis saving. Does that change anything? Or is this simply for non-Mercurian leading the ritual, or casting with no Mercurian at all?

We will probably need to build a complete list of masteries on the wiki, with their effects as stand-alone masteries. I'll look at it tomorrow.

EDIT: I would suggest that the last cannot be taught by non-Mercurians, even if they have a spell mastered this way. That would reduce the threat to Mercurians.

Cummunal Mastery, then? Technically it's not about the ritual, but about the communion, and it's only applicable to the Wizard's Communion. Basically, this is my idea for formalizing the reason we had come to an agreement on. I think there should be a cost, and 5 xp and a season of teaching is...reasonable.
And since this is an ability, and not a Hermetic Art, this could be taught to a group...

Ok, I went through the list of mastery abilities, and for many of them there simply isn't any benefit in increasing the score above 1. Would we want to provide some additional benefit? Or is the reduced cost of purchasing that mastery enough?

I'm thinking about: Adaptative Casting, Boosted Casting, Ceremonial Casting, Disguised Casting, Fast Casting, Harnessed Casting, Lab Mastery, Learn from Mistakes, Magic Resistance, Stalwart Casting, Still Casting and Tethered Casting. And there is Quiet Casting, which only benefits from a score of up to 2.

There are also other masteries that are weakened by being separated from an overall score, simply because you need just as much xp as before, but are only increasing that ability. These are: Acute Sense, Apotropaic Mastery, Imperturbable Casting, Multiple Casting, Obfuscated Casting, Penetration, Precise Casting, Quick Casting, Rebuttal, Unraveling.

So, I agree that Multiple Casting is a problem, but some of the others are already fairly weak. Precise Casting, for example, only provide a +1 bonus per level.

Just food for thought... I have some ideas, but I'd rather wait to see if the rest of the troupe thinks it's a problem before proposing anything.

Problems begin to appear for those who go deep into the weeds on mastery.
Mastery levels of 6 are relatively easy to achieve, although it is an XP sink, to be sure. I can see Petronius doing 6 points in Precise casting on some spells. He might also want to do Quiet x2, and perhaps subtle as well.
In conventional spell mastery that would require a score of 9:225 experience points.
Under my proposal it would be: 15 (Quiet) + 5 (Subtle) + 105 (Precise) + 15 (Synthesis)[1]= 145

Yes, 145 is a heck of a lot of XP, but it is probably reasonable that someone would put that amount of effort into a spell, but it is very unlikely that someone is going to spend 225. :smiley:

I've also thought about this with Marcus (from Bibracte) and his penchant/desire to fling 6 Balls of Abysmal Flame...

[1]Synthesis score +1 is the number of mastery abilities which can be combined into casting a spell.

Hmmm... Precise Casting may have been a bad example, as the description already says that you get +1 each time you take it.

But for something like Imperturbable Casting, which says you add your Mastery score to Concentration, ends up being much more costly if you split it off. Same with Apotropaic Mastery or Acute Sense.

So you end up with a lot of masteries, some that provide big benefits for a 5 xp investment (such as Ceremonial Mastery), while other become big xp sinks for small bonuses (like Imperturbable Casting).

It's the assymetry of the various masteries that bothers me a bit.

Well, I guess I have a problem with those mastery abilities that become better when someone adopts a new completely unrelated mastery ability. Multiple casting, Imperturbable casting, and all those... I think they accrue too many benefits.
For example, the magus who gets to mastery ability score of 4 on a spell, the first three are quiet x2 and still, then the last ability e adds is something like multiple casting or any of the ones that rely on the score and they get a boost of the ability score on the die roll... It's a bit of a stretch for me to swallow. Or reverse the process, and make the ability that relies on the overall score the first one learned, doesn't make sense that someone should receive the ability score as a bonus to the die roll for paying attention to other mastery abilities...

Yes, Ceremonial ability does receive benefits, but so do still and quiet casting. Synthesized Casting and limiting the mastery abilities which can be used when the spell is cast solves this, to some extent.
You want multiple casting 5? Imperturbable casting 5? Nothing really changes, spend the xp, get the score up, go deep in that spell mastery ability and pay for it. But receiving benefits of the overall ability score by learning to do more things with a spell is a bit of a problem for me.

I just think that +1 per level is on the low side for some of those masteries, while for other 5 xp is cheap to get the bonus.

Ideal solution would be to rework each mastery, considering that they are now separate abilities.

For example, most of the masteries related to the Cult of Mercury could be grouped under a single ability. The first one is easy, but each additional one is harder to add.

Those masteries that provide a flat bonus might be upgraded to +2 per level.

Fast Casting and Quick Casting might be merged.


I'm not so sure about your proposed Synthesis mastery. On one side this seems too easy for the specialist (with few different masteries) and too harder for more varied masteries. Maybe it should act as a cap to the number of levels from different masteries that you can use at the same time (score + 1)? So if you have Quiet 2, Subtle 1, Precise 3 and Synthesis 3, you can only use up to 3 levels at once (Quietx2+Subtle+Precisex1, or Subtle+Precisex3). Otherwise it gets too easy to combine big scores (Multiple x6 + Quick x6).

Just thinking out loud...

Fast casting and Quick casting are distinctly different.

Quick casting moves up the initiative point. Fast Casting allows one to cast a formulaic spell defensively. Not necessarily a fan of merging them because they do different things.

Synthesis is only necessary if you want to combine multiple mastery abilities. That may not be desirable or necessary for some abilities, such as quiet and still casting.

My point is that if you step back from the mechanics of the game, then you realize they are both about casting faster.

I could say that Fast Casting is not just about defense, but that would be tweaking you. :wink:

But combining them with something else? Silent multicasting? Silent fast-casting? (I know this last is not allowed as per ArM5 p.83)

Umm, we are discussing mechanics. So...?

Deja vu, all over again. Sure, fast cast that offensive spell, get it off twice in a round. I don't object to that. I think we know where I have an objection. :smiley: Now. If that person can't combine Quick casting and Fast casting... :smiley:

Sure, why not? Marcus wants to silently and still cast 6 Balls of Abysmal Flame... There is a combat advantage to that... :smiley:

And I'd argue with the silent fast casting a bit. Does someone with Quiet and Still casting need to make gestures for fast casting when they don't have to otherwise?

My point exactly, combining them easily quickly becomes overly powerful. If Synthesis is the ability to combine different masteries, I think it should get harder to combine them the more you want to do with each of them.

Let's take Marcus (to take the name of a character that is not from this saga) and say he has Mutiple Casting 6, Fast Casting, Quick Casting 6, and Synthesis 4.

As you present it, he can multi-cast 6 Balls of Abysmal Flame as a fast-cast action, with a +6 to his fast-cast speed.

What I'm proposing is that he has to choose, if he wants to combine his masteries. He could use each mastery individually, for example multi-cast 6 BoAF, or cast a single one at +6 Initiative. Or he could multi-cast 2 of them, as a fast-cast action, with a +2 to his fast-cast speed (so 5 points of mastery used).

He still has a lot of tactical flexibility because of his multiple masteries, but combining them is a bit harder. I think that's more balanced. Also more colorful and dramatic, as you have to make a choice each time, instead of falling back to "throw everything at once".

Well, 7 BoAF.

Discounting Flawless Magic, that's...
265 experience points: Multicasting 105 + Quick Casting 105 + Fast Casting 5 + Synthesis 50.

If you've spent that much XP in something, why wouldn't it be easy to combine that? I mean, that's a lifetime of effort there.

And if I were to speculate as to how it would apply to Flawless, which I have thought about, it sticks with the individual ability, meaning you can't spend across abilities within the same spell. It would be 134: Multicasting 53 + Quick Casting 53 + Fast Casting 3 + Synthesis 25, which is still a mess of XPs...

Under RAW, you get synthesis automatically, under my proposal, I'm just asking for it to be paid for (to still be possible).

I know you're saying you still pay for it, you just get less bang for the buck. Maybe Synthesis instead allows up to X number of additional mastery levels to be chosen beyond the first?
So Marcus could cast 7 Ballsy of Abysmal flame with a fast cast action and a +3 to his fast cast speed. Remember, Synthesis should always be N+1, because by default you can already do one. If you have Synthesized Casting 1, under your example, you don't get any benefit...

Actually, you do, because I did use Synthesis Score +1. So with a score of 1, you can fast-cast 2 BoAF.

It's all a matter of taste. I dislike the thought of 7 fast-cast BoAF with +6 to casting speed and +6 to effective Penetration Score, no matter how much xp it takes to get it.

Along those lines, it might be better to simply keep RAW mastery, except that Multiple Casting must be bought once for each additional copy you want to be able to cast. But I'm sure that will not be to your tastes. :stuck_out_tongue:

Sorry, missed that one earlier. Quick Casting and Fast Casting are both about casting fast, simply put. So why did they go with separate mechanics? It simply doesn't make sense, and I think that was a mistake. Merging them would allow a single ability about speed, that can be increased, instead of two different abilities, one of which provides a big benefit at the first level but with no further use as an ability.

So I'd rather go with: Provides the ability to fast-cast, as well as a fast-casting speed bonus or initiative bonus equal to the (score - 1).

In the same way, I'd merge Rebuttal and Unravelling, which are basically the same thing for different Techniques + Vim.

Would you object to Praxiteles being able to get a +6 to Finesse, use Quiet Casting x 2 for a Synthesis of 1?
Is Multiple casting the issue (I think it is, it's probably way too powerful, regardless). Maybe it needs to be ability score/2 to determine the number of extra copies?

The stuff about Quick and Fastcasting being merged is fine by me...