House Rules-Discussion

That makes sense

The Leadership modification is fine with me.

That just requires me to ask the question.

Are we allowing the permanent stat-boosting rituals? Those are a feature of ArM5 that I intensely dislike and find totally unbalancing.

Note that my objection is purely personal. If the others in the saga want them, I can live with that. But I will not use them for my magus, and I will not have him learn any of them. (Yes, as a Mercurian he could save people a boat-load of vis, and is already fairly good at CrCo. But he will not go there. Ever.)

I personally don't have a problem with the stat boosting rituals. They are not as inexpensive as people propose, and they are fraught with risk.
That being said, I'm pretty firm on the idea that ritual spells are always cast under stressful conditions. The only way to mitigate the botch dice are: Mercurian, cut the risk of botching in half because they reduce pawns of vis necessary, Cautious Sorcerer which removes 3 botch dice, The Golden Cord, removes whatever score there is in it, and Spell Mastery. Without spell mastery there is always at least 1 botch die. Mercurians get a big advantage here, couple it with cautious sorcerer a golden cord score of 1 and mastery of 1 they can cast this spell without risk of botch, but that's 4 virtue points and the effort of finding and binding a familiar... The mastery would be done via practice (which I can see being done without using vis), taking up another season.

So, that's 10 botch dice on these rituals, which is quite a risk. And while the guidelines do allow for them, I'm going to say House Mercere retains all the texts on spell mastery for these rituals, and they come at a high price, probably not worth paying...

More than likely a botch will cause something like what's happened to Ysebrand. It gets worse from there when you do more than a single botch with 10 pawns of vis. :smiley:

Well, both of those answers says that we shouldn't have the spells written out, which is fine with me.

I can swap them for something else. Probaly another Summae and/or some more vis sources :smiley:

Well, that was my reaction initially, but what Jonathan actually wrote is that access to the mastery texts are quite limited. And, as I wrote, I don't have anything against other characters going that way. I can just explain it in-character as "fooling around with one's basic nature" being too risky and such rituals being outside his area of interest. 8)

Different question: How will mastery and mastery texts of different-level general spell will be handled?

For example, Petronius currently knows AotH at level 20. If he masters it at level 1, and then learns the level 30 version of the spell. Does he have to remaster the new version? As per RAW, the answer would be yes.

What about a tractatus about AotH mastery. Does the text needs to be for "AotH lvl 20" (thus being useless for AotH lvl 30), or is it simply for "AotH"? Note that I don't see it as contradictory for the mastery to be for the specific-level version while the texts are general. It just makes the texts more useful.

They are only limited for the stat boosting rituals. Other mastery texts aren't nearly as tightly controlled. Mastery abilities, with the exception of ceremonial casting, which has gotten away from the Cult of Mercury, are a bit more tightly controlled and must be learned from a person who has that mastery ability.

Adaptive casting, which should be easily explainable in your case, since your master was Mercurian will handle a lot of this. As far as specific levels of mastery text for general spells? No, I think it's just a mastery text for Aegis of the Hearth, you can apply it to one of the spells in your Grimoire.

Here's how I see it working. You know AoH and have a Mastery score of 3, one of which is adaptive casting. You learn AoH 30 later and can apply the benefits of mastery for two abilities from your AoH 20 to your 30. You learn another mastery ability, but decide to put it in AoH 30, because, let's face it, it's cheaper. Your AoH 30 can benefit from 3 different mastery abilities, while your AoH 20 can only benefit from the two you know for it. When you add adaptive Master to AoH 30, you can use those mastery abilities on any version of the spell you know. Adaptive casting opens up the mastery abilities to different versions of the same spell. Does that make sense?
So the question becomes, what happens to botch dice? I'm OK with adaptive mastery reducing botch dice for any version of the spell. So above, as soon as you learn AoH 30, since you can apply two mastery abilities from AoH 20, you can reduce the botch dice by 2.
I think that's workable and makes sense, it might be a tad hard to keep track of from a bookkeeping perspective.

Works for me. :slight_smile:

Ah, then I misread. I'll keep the spells, then, since I intended to use them as a starting point for maybe experimenting on how to avoid the effects of aging (well, getting "Unaging" incorporated, obviously, but Hippocrates doesn't think of it that way and doesn't really know he'll never feel the effects. So far he's just "aging slowly" :wink: )

And the mastery-ruling works for me, too.

Ok, since we will be doing original research in this saga, I figured I'd read those rules carefully to make sure I understood them well. So I reviewed them, checked the errata, and various discussions on these boards. I figured I should post a summary of the steps to be followed, so that we all start on the same page and thus avoid misunderstandings later.

I will update the summary if anyone points out mistakes in my reasoning or if we decide to house-rule some pieces of it.

Original Research is done through the following steps.

First, the nature and difficulty of the desired breakthrough must be established: Minor, Major or Hermetic. A the target number is set for that specific research (the suggested numbers are 30, 45 and 60). Usually this is determined but the SG but not communicated to the player, to keep a certain level of uncertainty as to how much work still need to be done.

Second, the magus invents something in the lab (usually a spell or magical enchantment), using the experimentation rules (ArM5, p.107-109):

  1. Set the Risk Modifier (+1 to +3), capped at your Magic Theory/5 (or fractions thereof).
  2. Roll on the Experimentation Results Chart (ArM5, p.109), modifying your die roll by the Risk Factor.
  3. If the result is not "Complete failure" (8), then you can also get a "Discovery" if the result is within the +/- range of your Risk Factor.

For example, if you set your Risk Factor at +2 and roll a 7, that gives you a result of 9 in the Experimentation Results Chart ("Special or story event"). Since this is within +/- 2 of "Discovery", you achieve a discovery as well. The same would be true if you've rolled a 9 (adjusted +2 to 11 for the Risk Factor) and gotten a "Modified Effect" as well as "Discovery".

Third, the magus must stabilize discovery to accumulate points towards the breakthrough:

  1. You repeat the experimentation using the same number of seasons, Lab Total, Risk Factor and vis (if any) as during the first experimentation.
  2. You roll again in the Experimentation Results Chart, adding the Risk Factor. (Not certain here)
  3. If, within the range of your Risk Factor in the same direction as in the first experimentation, you can achieve a result other than "Disaster" (Botch), "No Benefit" (7) and "Complete Failure" (8), then the stabilization succeeds. (Not certain here)

If you fail to stabilize the discovery in the first season, you can try again immediately in the next season until you succeed. The seasons must be consecutive. If you stop or are interrupted before you can stabilize your discovery, you have to restart with a new discovery.

For each season spent trying to stabilize a discovery, you accumulate Warping Points equal to the (magnitude of the effect - simple die), whether you fail or succeed (roll for Twilight if you get 2 or more Warping Points). If you succeed, you gain a number of points equal to the magnitude towards your research.

The risk modifier is added or subtracted from the roll during the discovery phase:

I would adjust #2 to the following:
Roll on the Experimentation Results Chart (ArM5, p.109), modifying your die roll by the risk factor. The risk factor can be adjusted up or down up to the value of the risk modifier you originally selected (I think it's also reasonable to use zero as the risk modifier, if it is more advantageous). The risk factor is then added or subtracted to your result to determine the final result on the Experimentation Results Chart. Stabilization of the discovery requires that you use the exact modifier selected above and you use it in the same direction, so if you subtracted 2 from your roll to discover something, you subtract 2 from your roll to stabilize the discovery.

Actually, that paragraph was modified by the errata:

I interpreted the underlined text to mean that you roll as normal for en experimentation (i.e. adding the Risk Modifier), then got to add or substract the Risk Factor (partially, completely or not at all) to determine if you get a discovery in addition to the stated result. I reformulated things in point 3 of the discovery phase to make it a bit clearer (as you don't actually modify the result at that point; you just determine if you also get a discovery).

That's certainly a bit fuzzier. Here's the exact text:

Considering the errata, that gets a little confusing. My guess is that since everything is supposed to be the same, you add the Risk Modifier as in step 2 of the discovery phase (D.2), then check to see if this is within of your Risk Modifier within the same direction as it was in step 3 of the discovery phase (D.3).

Another way to read it would be that you use a roll unmodified by the risk modifier and check if this is within the range (in the same direction as D.3) for a result that is not a harmful effect.

Note that in the stabilization phase it says that you must use the same direction as you did in the discovery phase. Conscensus in the discussions regarding this is that only the direction needs be the same, the actual value may be adjusted (so if you had a risk modifier of +2 and adjusted by -1 during the discovery phase, you must use 0, -1 or -2 in the stabilization phase).

Like I said, we simply need to clarify this up front to avoid any misunderstanding later on. No matter what we use, we need to be sure we all use the same rules and understand them the same way. A full example would be useful there (I can build one if you want).

Ok, here's an example. We can tweak it until we all agree on how Original Research works.

Discovery Phase
A magus is performing Original Research and decides to invent a spell, seeking a discovery. He has a Magic Theory of 6 and a Lab Total of 25. He tries to develop a level 15 spell.

As per the experimentation rules, he gets to add a simple die to his Lab Total, but the Risk Modifier has no effect on it because he is seeking a discovery. He selects a Risk Modifier of +2. Since his Magic Theory is 6, he will also be able to adjust to result by 2 to determine if he also achieved a discovery. So his Lab Total is 34 (25+Simple Die of 9), so he can invent the spell in a single season unles he gets the "No benefits" result.

Now he must roll on the Extraordinary Results Chart. His stress die is modified by his +2 Risk Modifier. A roll of 0 will mean he needs to roll 3 botch dice (1 as a base, +2 for the Risk Modifier).
The die roll will produce the following results:
[table][tr][td]Die roll[/td][td]Modified by Risk[/td][td]Result[/td][td]Discovery adjustment[/td][td]Discovery[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Botch[/td][td]Botch[/td][td]Disaster[/td][td]Not applicable[/td][td]No[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]0-2[/td][td]2-4[/td][td]No extraordinary result[/td][td]Max +2 is not enough[/td][td]No[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]3-4[/td][td]5-6[/td][td]Side effect[/td][td]Max +2 is not enough[/td][td]No[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]5[/td][td]7[/td][td]No benefit (Lab Total would reduced to 25, so a second season would be needed)[/td][td]Max +2 is not enough[/td][td]Not this season, check again on second season[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]6[/td][td]8[/td][td]Complete failure, no discovery[/td][td]Not applicable[/td][td]No[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]7[/td][td]9[/td][td]Special or story event[/td][td]+1[/td][td]Yes[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]9[/td][td]11[/td][td]Modified effect[/td][td]-1[/td][td]Yes[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]10[/td][td]12[/td][td]Roll twice more on this chart[/td][td]-2[/td][td]Yes[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]11+[/td][td]13+[/td]][td]Roll twice more on this chart[/td][td]-2 does not reduce enough[/td][td]No, but additional rolls may yield a discovery or complete failure[/td][/tr][/table]
Now, let's say the player rolls a 9 on his die. This is modified to 11 by the Risk Modifier, for a result of "Modified Effect". The spell is invented. This also yields a discovery, as a -1 gives a Discovery.

Stabilization Phase
Now he must spend another season to stabilize his discovery. He must roll on the Extraordinary Results Chart again, adding the same Risk Modifier as before, but this time he can only modify his roll by -1 to determine if the discovery is stabilized (the same modifier used to determine if a discovery was reached).

The die roll will produce the following results:
[table][tr][td]Die roll[/td][td]Modified by Risk[/td][td]Stabilization adjustment[/td][td]Result[/td][td]Stabilization[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]Botch[/td][td]Botch[/td][td]Not applicable[/td][td]Disaster[/td][td]No[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]0-3[/td][td]2-5[/td][td]-1[/td][td]No extraordinary result[/td][td]Yes[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]4[/td][td]6[/td][td]-1[/td][td]No extraordinary result / Side Effect[/td][td]Yes[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]5[/td][td]7[/td][td]-1[/td][td]Side Effect[/td][td]Yes[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]6[/td][td]8[/td][td]-1[/td][td]No benefit[/td][td]No[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]7[/td][td]9[/td][td]-1[/td][td]Complete failure[/td][td]No[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]8[/td][td]10[/td][td]-1[/td][td]Special or story event[/td][td]Yes[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]10[/td][td]12[/td][td]-1[/td][td]Modified effect[/td][td]Yes[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]11+[/td][td]13+[/td]][td]-1[/td][td]Roll twice more on this chart[/td][td]Depends on additional rolls (2 chances of failure)[/td][/tr][/table]
Now, let's say the magus rolls a 6. The magus fails to stabilize the discovery this season, but can try again next season. He rolls a 2 on the simple die for Warping Points, so gains 1 point (magnitude 3 - simple die).

The next season he tries again. This time he rolls a 5 and succeeds. He rolls a 6 for Warping Points, and doesn't gain any more points. He just accumulated 3 Original Research points toward his breakthrough.

Under the normal rules for experimentation you can choose to go for exceptional risk, +1 to +3 added to the simple die. This is standard experimentation. Moving into Original research, one can modify that result slightly and get a supplementary result, too. It would make some sense that you could add or subtract the risk modifier up to the cap based on MT to get a supplemental result. So, let's say you roll an 8 and it get modified to an 11 under the standard rules, for OR purposes, you move it down 1 notch for a discovery. Then, to stabilize that discovery you can only modify subsequent rolls by -1. So next season you work to stabilize the discovery, you roll a 5, adding +3 brings you to 8, and since you subtracted 1 to get the supplemental discovery you have to subtract here which brings it to a 7, no benefit. It was a false discovery that provided no useful clues on the research. That's how I'm reading the errata in the context of page 28. This also plays out with the narrative description of Aurulentus's research process. There were some lines of research that bore no fruit and he had to move on.

I think we're in agreement, except for this...

Since one can always use a risk modifier of +1 to +3 in experimentation, that shouldn't be capped, what should be capped is how much that final result can be modified, and during the stabilization process it modifies any subsequent rolls the same way.

It's one of those that can be interpreted in different ways. I initially wrote it this way, so I don't have a problem with it. I'll edit the example to reflect this.

EDIT: Note that using a higher Risk Modifier does not by itself increase the chances of making a discovery, while it increases the chances of a botch.

Are we going to use the Workshop rules from City & Guild for the saga? I've taken a look at them and they seem to make sense.

If we do, I should probably align the text of the Mythic Cooperage virtue to use Workshop Total instead of a Craft Total. Note that the use of the WT makes things a little easier, since you get bonuses for assistants (half of the Craft score), workshop innovation (up to +3), and raw materials (up to +3).

Some discussion of spell mastery. It has problems, especially multiple casting when in combat and especially with might strippers.
See me proposal below and also consider the need for some additional mastery abilities.

This is more of a rubric than a hard and fast rule system for managing finesse....

So, I've been going through the motions of trying to apply finesse and Rego Craft magic. In part because of what's going on with Viscaria and in part of the character of Praxiteles... I'm going to propose the same thing over in Via Experimenta, but here, I have a bit more...discretion.

I'm imagining sculpting is a bit like fine woodworking. It takes some amount of artistic talent to see a coffee table in a pile of lumber. Which pieces are the legs, which pieces are the table top. Whereas woodworking is assembling multiple pieces into one form, sculpting is pulling the form from a single piece. So, I am putting my experience with woodworking to use and trying to apply it to the overall artistic process, which also affects Rego Craft magic.

So, continuing with the coffee table piece above, the first thing I do is select pieces which will come together and form an aesthetically pleasing table top. There may be times where I have a piece of wood that is large enough to serve as the table top, but this is rare, and also problematic due to the internal stresses in the wood being released over time causing the top to warp, cup and/or twist. So sometimes I'll select a piece that is half the size, especially one that has nice figured in the wood grain and rip it on a bandsaw dividing the thickness of the board in two, and creating a beautiful bookmatched pattern. I'll then bring the pieces down to close to final thickness, but not all the way, and let them rest and acclimate to their new shape while I work on the rest of the table, legs, and what not. All the while, I'm paying attention and selecting pieces that fit the final shape I want. I think it is reasonable that an artist approaches the task and breaks it into sub tasks. I think it is also equally reasonable that a Rego Crafter can break it into subtasks, to bring the difficulty down. The trick is identifying those tasks, and then designing spells to accomplish them. All along the way the crafter must have a good idea of what the end product looks like, and it forms his guide, but he's still breaking down the project into tasks which can be accomplished. This process is the same whether doing it with a mundane skill or using Arts to mimic the skill.

So, we have the first task in sculpting, Roughing the Form. It breaks away all the unnecessary pieces of stone from the base rock. Then the next step, is Release the Hidden Form which is T:Part, because it focuses on the shapes of the major subassemblies (extremeties and torso, but not the points where they intersect). For a statue of a man, it will do the arms, but not the fine details of the hands/fingers, or how it attaches to the torso, same applies to the legs and feet. Reveal the Stone’s Motion this spell carefully sculpts all the intersecting joints, finalizing the sculpture to the point where it can be polished. Like Release the Hidden Form it must be cast repeatedly on the points where the subassemblies connect to the body of the piece. Realize the Resplendent Form polishes the sculpture to the final shine/desired patina.

I’m not altogether happy with what’s above, but what I do like is that it breaks it down in to manageable pieces, and allows a magus to do what an artist can do, which is the point of magic. And it allows it to happen in much the same process. So, then I think about failure… Consider that someone fails at Release the Hidden Form on one of the arms, the finesse roll is just shy of success, that just bumps up the difficulty at the next level, Reveal the Stone’s Motion. I’m also inclined to treat all finesse rolls as not stressed, unless it is fixing a mistake from the previous spell. This does two things, it makes sure that the final result is within the finesse capabilities of the caster, which still needs to be rather high, but it allows a caster to come up with a process to break the project down into manageable pieces.

So, that leads to the next problem, how do we keep the element of failure? Failure is just as important in art as it is anywhere else. A failure of a finesse roll should always be a possibility, for it makes the next step harder, and it yields the chance for an outstanding success, the arm of a statue is misplaced relative to the body, for example, but at Reveal the Stone’s Motion, an outstanding success occurs which makes the statue appear more alive. Perhaps the human statue is in mid run, or swinging a sword, and a metal sword could be added to enhance the effect. Something is revealed that wasn’t possible before. So, at high levels of finesse, Release the Hidden Form begins to do more work, perhaps a bit more work than it should. At low levels of finesse, the sculptor might need to work on the fingers individually, then the hand, and then the arm. At high levels of finesse, the sculptor does the entire arm. The caster can’t dictate the level of control he has over the piece to assure success. Due to the nature of the spell, it always attempts to reach the ideal of the Realm of Forms in as few steps as possible. It is possible for masters in the ability of Finesse to skip Reveal the Stone’s Motion. These masters of Finesse approach the Realm of Forms ideals in their artwork.

This example focuses on stone, but similar spells can be applied to other materials. Further, the limits of what can be done in a day need to be...controlled. I dislike the idea of a Rego Crafter to do in a day what an artist could do in a year or three. I do not want to see a magus making a copy of David every day. So, these spells don't work if they do more than a month's worth of work, unless it is the only spell cast that day. Further, if it does many months of work, it requires the magus to rest and meditate and reconnect to the piece of Art he is working on. So if an magus-artist completed a year's worth of work in one day, he would have to wait 12 days before he could begin work on the piece again, contemplating the piece and spending time with it. Note, this will, in many instances do serious damage to his lab work/study schedule if it is an especially large piece of art he is creating.