One of my characters (magus) took motion sickness as a flaw during character creation. Now the story has moved him to strange paths and he wants to take a horse familiar and being able to ride it. He has asked me what would it take to be able to suppress the flaw with the familiar (perhaps a power of the familiar or a spell).
What do you think about this? It is possible with magic? It is balanced to ignore the flaw like that with the familiar? Should I ask him to change the flaw, perhaps? Disallow this completely?
The magus could strap himself into the saddle on his familiar, and then put himself to sleep - or knock himself out - by a magic effect perhaps on the saddle. So Motion Sickness might not affect him in the saddle.
The trusty familiar will hopefully deliver him to the right destination. It might then either wait until the effect expires, or that effect is designed so that the familiar can dispel it.
Allowing a magus with Motion Sickness to avoid all this Flaw by riding his familiar voids it. So any magic effect doing so should at least run afoul of ArM5 p.79 The Limit of Essential Nature unless maintained.
Changing the Flaw is business of SG and/or troupe.
He might be able to enchant the familiar with a corpus spell (cr or Re?) for this effect- it would seem to be the converse of the ReCo effect in Arts and Acadame to allow a symptom to be caused without an underlying illness..
A Theriac might be a good choice (or something similar) - manufacturing doses would require time and resources and limit constant usage. If you can manage a level 5 theriac, the base finesse roll is only 14 if you make doses with Rego magic.
What is the underlying cause of motion sickness perceived to be in paradigm? Would [ReIm Base 3 : Make objects appear to move rapidly in a disorientating way, +1 mag for changing image, +1 mag for changing object along with image, +2 mags for additional senses (sight plus the internal senses of balance and proprioception) = Base 15] used with a sufficiently high level Mirror of Opposition (Imaginem) MuVi work or is that based on modern knowledge of motion sickness?
Does horse riding even cause motion sickness? Much as the driver doesn't get carsick and the helmsman doesn't get boatsick, does the rider even get motion sick? In the real world it is caused by your eyes, ears and joints bot agreeing on your motion, because your eyes are tricked by the context of the vehicle interior.
As much as I don't care for Flaws being annulled by fancy magic, because this makes them non-Flaws really, I think this is a special case.
Because it is a story driven thing I might allow some solution. Something about the bond between magus and familiar being so strong that the magus conquers his weakness, because he dares fight against the odds.
IMHO it shouldn't be too easy, and it should be with limitations and drawbacks. Naturally, it should only work with his familiar. It should not completely remove the flaw, but make riding possible. Perhaps he could be just mildly bothered by riding, so he can't perform any action without at least some small penalty. I find story-explained mishaps or bother more fun than a boring "-1 on all rolls". Perhaps the horse needs to concentrate on preventing his magus becoming motion sick, so the horse is also limited in some way. E.g. not be able to use other powers while doing this, or a need for it to improve Concentration in order to do so. Perhaps the magus needs a rest period after a ride, so he isn't up to his best just after arriving. etc.
The player has proposed a change of flaws that seems reasonable and balanced. If not, I will go with one of your proposals.
And more than your concrete proposals, your reasoning about how to deal with this kind of situations have been quite inspiring. I didn't want to tell the player "no", but also I didn't want to waive a flaw.
But if it is part of essential nature to become motion-sick, won't this also affect the animal form?
As for teleportation, I might (because of story and drama) argue that the magus will arrive slightly queasy, if only for a few moments, when teleporting. Because a skilled teleportation magus effectively circumvents a flaw which the player himself chose. I agree that is reasonable for a magus to develop magic to lessen the effect of any shortcomings he may have, but annulling it makes it not a flaw anymore.
At least for ArM5 p.135 Seven-League Stride, when a Finesse roll - and hence likely some fine control of the teleport - is needed, this queasiness could become quite dangerous.
AFAICS, teleportation would even for magi with excellent ReCo be still such an exceptional kind of movement, that using it would not be annulling the Flaw. Just some examples: teleporting into a town, hamlet or thoroughly farmed area often begs for trouble with surprised locals, and traveling per teleport also typically gets fellow travelers knowingly or unknowingly warped.
This particular magus is a Merinita that has learned Arcadian Travel to reduce the inconvenience of his shortcomings. I think that is natural that they try to avoid the inconvenience of their flaws by finding other ways. But that is an inconvenience on its own (to use so many resources to avoid a flaw or to travel using a system that could find other obstacles). It is also a way to initiate stories.
And it does not prevent the problem that arises when, for story reasons, he plans to take a horse familiar.
Horses are extremely smooth rides, compared with carnivores like timberwolves and Siberian tigers. Carnivores in general have more flexible spines, which means they're likely to induce motion sickness. Not saying we should change the rules, just... Wanted to add some relevant trivia to the discussion. After all, cars are smooth rides too, and they can also induce motion sickness.