How powerfull a mage can expect to become

Hi dear sodales

I m mastering some ArM campaign since the 2nd edition.

I would like to know if you approve the same statement than me :

1- Going over 25 in an art without an affininy is certainly non imaginable as the vis study requires more pawns for farly less experience points than in the 4th edition.
2- Therefore, finding summae level 15+ is really rare. And the quality would be around 15-16 for an exceptionnal book (high communication, good teacher ...)

Now I have the following issue coming from those statement

If one of the magus wants to eliminate a creature with a significant might (20) or an other magus during a wizard'smarch than the penetration will be a real big issue if casting spell with a level 40.

So this is the circumvent develop by one of the inventive member of the troupe.
He is a good specialist in Perdo (20 with the affinity) and in Corpus (22 with the affinity).
A nice aura (5), a correct understanding of Magic Theory (7) and a laboratory perfectly align with he's project ... (+7 Perdo, +6 Corpus, 2 general quality, a apprentice to help him (+6) ...)

A now he plans to enchant a item with one charge of level : 50 (Kill the target at voice) boosted with a +50 penetration for a level 75.
His total lab is 76 .. so he can do it. With an additionnal season of work on lab text he will create an additional 13 charges.

Dear God, is there somewhere a hidden rule preventing him to create such a magus killer wand ? ... 50 of penetration is enough for a magus with a score of 15 in the art and 7 in parma magica (which is a real amazing score) ?

There is: it is called the Code of Hermes. If you go around killing mages, you are likely to find yourself marched quite fast :wink:

However, your statement is not true. Tractatus can be tread for their full piotential regardless of your level in the art. IIRC someone pointed at levels of around 40 as the more or less absolute maximum for a magus, not 25. And this is caused by contraints on twilight points (potential years of studdy) not on any other factors: you simply enter final twilight before being able to study more.

Besides, a penetration of 50 will not kill a dragon most of the time. Sometimes sublety is better here :stuck_out_tongue:



Tractati are the favored way to progress at high levels. The rules assume that 40 is the practical limit for an art.

If you expect to encounter significant magic resistance, you need to use low-level spells.

Nope, magic item penetration can be a killer, which is why some people have house-ruled it back to +1/level (see House Rules thread). But anyway, wands can be stolen (which would worry the players a lot), and Quaesitores might be a triffle unhappy about something that is so obviously intended to violate the Code by targeting magi (oh, yes, or Corpus-based magical creatures...)


Thanks for your answers especially the one concerning the "wand stealing approach" which could be fun to play.

Concerning the tractatus, I completely agree with you, but to raise (one art) from 20-25 to 40 only by reading tractatii could be ... desesperately long (75 seasons of reading with tractatus of an average quality of 8). So for me a mage would accept to "waste" that long time only if he has in mind a really big big project. Otherwise he would stop around 25-30 no ?

Well, you'd still get Exposure, but yes, few people would go to 40. On the other hand, it only take one magus (e.g. one with an affinity!) writing one such book to pave the way for the following generations. If you are a specialist and have a positive Com, you can expect your books to sell well. And once a magus has arts in that 25+ range, I'd say he probably is in a position to bargain for good tractati, so Q8 looks rather low to me. Don't forget that while the very best books are only traded carefully, the better books would get copied more often that the poorer ones, which end up being gifted away to new covenants (makes rooms in the library for worthier tomes :stuck_out_tongue:).

"Stealing the magic device from the sorcerer" is such a RPG staple that it would be a nice change for players to be on the receiving end. :slight_smile:

If he is an archmage with good connections, vis, and items and good books he has already read and wants to push his affinity form to 40 it shouldnt be such a big deal: assuming a god mage who focuses can achieve good tractati 12-15 for his learning (and imediatly trading back those books he has already read!) gets 18-23 exp per season, so if he is 120 years old he only needs to push this art twice in three years to get his 40. Enough time to also push every other score to 20-30 and MT and Parma to 10+.
And if he is 150 years old or even older it shouldnt be rare for magi to have a standart art score of 30-40 in every art.

OK I better understand some other posts.

Let's just say that i play certainly less nice towards my players than you should be.

In the campaing I m coaching today, the magus have around 100 years old (80 years after gauntlet) and the most advanced in arts is one with Pe20 and Corpus 22 (with an affinity in each art). Not more so far.

And the best tractatus they have so far are quality 9 (which corresponds to a +3 Com of the writer).

By the way they only collect 6-7 pawns per year per magus.

Using the examples given on page 32 (ArM 05) :

20 years PG = Art Score 0f 15 (Cost = 120xp)
120 years PG = Art Score of 40 (Cost = 820xp)

A Magus needs to average 07xp per year for the 100 years between 20 and 120 years PG.

80 years PG is 680xp which gives an Art Score of 36 (666xp exactly)

Art Score of 20 (140xp) & 22 (169 xp) with an Affinity would have been gained 03 years and 07 years PG.

If the XP were available to the guy with the Affinity ,
he would have Art Scores of 40 in both Arts by 80 years Post Gauntlet.
He only needs 547 xp (78 years) to do so.

I would rate them as "could have been" more than "would have been". After all, it is Joachim's troupe saga, not ours :wink: I pretty much doubt that we will get scores of 40 ourselves that easily. Potential and real are 2 completely different issues. Sometimes you asdvance faster than expected, but lack of resources can make you advance way more slowly. If they started playing in 2nd edition as he points out, the magi might have advanced more slowly through the years in previous editions (it used to happen).



And even if you only do lab work for all your life, you can still get 8xp per year through exposure.

3rd edition was a pain.

I was just running the figures as per the RAW.
No criticism of the Saga was intended. :frowning:

I didn't mean that. I was simply pointing out why the figures might not be accurate :slight_smile: Those are 4th edition figures, and so they do not correspond well with advancement in previous editions. As pointed out, getting mucvh more than the stated levels in ArM3 was difficult at best :slight_smile: Also, IMS magi regularly lose whole seasons of study in adventures. is what happens when you travel half the known world after my plots :stuck_out_tongue: The beta SG tends to run stuff way nearer the covenant :stuck_out_tongue:


I still think that the guy with the Affinity looks a bit gypped with Art Scores of 20 & 22 in 80 years though.
Even if he was adventuring for 70 of those 80 years ,
which may be excessive even for certain other sagas run by those nearer the Arctic than i am. :stuck_out_tongue:

As others have pointed out the assumptions that you used in your game vary a bit from the assumptions that are being used in the fifth ed support material. On the other hand I think that they'll work very well with the material published for second and third editions.

There's certainly one hidden in my set of house rules, but sadly not in the RAW.

There are other ways to get penetaration, there is an arcane connection; with a sympathetic connection or two you can with some effort get penetration multipliers of *6. If you've got a penetration score of 3 this will net you +18 (more if you've mastered the spell for penetration)

There is wizards communion that will divide the level of the spell cast by the number of folks in the communion a level 30 spell with three comuning wizards gets an effective +20 to penetration.

Throwing in one years worth of vis from you saga (assuming that they have vis of the appropriate type) would gain them +12 or +14 penetration.

So without mastering the spell or learning the theurgical mystery of hermetic sythemata the character can already achieve an effective +50 bonus to his penetration. But this is all done with a story. The charged items of insta-gib don't necessarily lend themselves to a cool story.

I'd talk it over with the player and see if there's a way to move the story someplace cool without making them feel like they've been screwed over. I like the idea of a spy learning of the character's plans and reporting them to the opponant. All the penetration in the world won't help a BoAF if the target is under the effect of a level 40 version of ward against heat and flames.

I have more of less made a couple of conclusions...

  1. The SG will make his creatures to Penetrate my resistance/Parma

  2. I should plan on dealing with the results of that...and I do.

Eriks example of the Ward is 100% true...

No matter how good the Armor, someone will always find a way to get through...


There is a defense I can think of that no one has mentioned yet -- Perdo Herbam to destroy the wand. :smiling_imp:

A magus's Talisman is protected by his Magic Resistance but regular equipment (except perhaps clothing) is not. A charged item can't be a Talisman. So if someone were to try to use a wand on my character, my character would attempt a fast-cast Perdo Herbam spell to destroy the wand (or Rego Herbam to make it fly out of his hand). PeHe Level 10 should do the trick (base 4, +2 Voice).

Doesn't that make charged items seem less powerful?

Ährm... as far as I understand the rules all your belongings that arent big like a staff or a greatsword are covered by your parma.

Yup. for more discussion check this thread

Well, you could use Herbem on the wand...but you might need to penetrate his Parma...

There is another defense no one has mentioned. A magus who is powerfull enough to warrant the creation of the wand should be able to get hold of a Unravelling the Fabric of Corpus lvl 40 spell or item which should defeat the wand.
Of course he would have to know that his enemy is a corpus specialist.