How to carry food & water?

It is mentioned in the description of House Tremere that the House Doctrine prescribes magi carry a campaign's worth of water and food on them, assisted by magic items to do so. As a soldier myself, I can strongly support the notion that such logistics are critical - but carrying all the food on oneself only makes sense if the magic items involved are low-level. It sounds like they should be low-level. But I can't get them to be low level! So I ask the boards to help me create enchantments to solve the logistics of food/drink at as low a level as possible - for the lone magus. (Supplying an entire unit with such an item would be nice too...)

What I came up with is atrociously high-level:

A Bag of Water Vapor: MuAq(Au) B5 turns the water into a slightly unnatural gas – a gas that has a slight weight, sinking to the bottom of the container and “squeezing-in” on itself. This allows even a modest container to hold vast quantities of water, as the water turns into nearly weightless and volumeless gas. The bag does need to be filled and emptied slowly. MuAq(Au) B5+1 Touch +2 Sun+3 Non-Standard Room+1 level 2/day+3 levels enviromental trigger = 39.

Bag of Provisions: PeTe B5 to destroy the weight of dirt, +2 for metal – so PeTe 15. Changing the size is not founded well in the spell guidelines, but MuTe B4 makes something grow to eight times its volume, so we’ll take this as eight times less volume as well (so x0.5 in each dimension); we want even more reducing, so let’s say +1 magnitude per x0.5 factor for another +2 magnitudes (x0.125, so 0.001953125 or 1/512 of the volume); this comes out to MuTe B10. The end result is something like PeTe(Mu) B20 (PeTe15 +1 extra effect). The overall effect is thus PeTe(Mu) B20+2 Sun+3 Non-Standard Room+4 levels Constant Effect = 49.

Both these effects can be lowered in level is the SG is willing to let a Ring & Circle combo fly, lowering the effect levels by 3 magnitudes and 4 levels to reach MuAq(Au) 20 and PeTe(Mu) 30. Not sure if that's legit, though.

Before making suggestions, does anyone know what people ate while on campaign? Was it smoked/dried meats, hardtack? I have no idea what the medieval army food equivalent of the MRE was. I can only imagine it was disgusting.

My magus has an AC ranged item teleportation effect in his talisman. So if I carry a crumb of bread I can teleport the whole bread to me when I want to. That should work, provided I don't need to go on a very long journey.

A base level 3+1 MuHe spell can turn any grain into a baked bread. Add 1 for touch, 1 for diam and 4 levels for 6 uses => level 14 breadmaker.
Slaughtering an animal only takes a level 5 spell -> here's your meat, presto!

I thought of something similar for the water issue. I think it's impossible to carry enough water for a month, even weightless, simply becuase of the bulk of carrying that much volume.

The easy creation is a canteen/waterskin with an Arcane Connection to an alpine lake. Similar thing for a food bag, except with an Arcane Connection to the covenant larder.

Haha, I can just see the roleplaying potential in that... Cook: "Aiyee! Where's that pie I baked special for tonight's dinner with the visiting archmage!"

Why can't you just use a MuAq effect to make it smaller?

The base individual for water Aquam is a pool 5 paces across and 2 paces deep. If we say that's about 5 cubic paces, taking into account the slope of the pool, this is about 3800 Litres. The average (drinking) water consumption is about 3 Litres per day, so this makes about 3 years worth of water. I guess ideally, we would want to shrink this to by a factor 1000, which makes it only 4 Litres.

So, using the MuCo Level 3 guideline as an example, you get something like, that below --- unless I've made an error with my maths somewhere.

Waterskin of the daily waters
MuAq 24
4000 Litres can be poured into this 4 Litre waterskin, which is about three years worth of water ration for a single person. The water is shrunk when it is in the container, but returns to full size when it is poured out.
(Base 3, + 1 Touch, + 2 Sun, +1 shrink by 100, +1 shrink by 1000; + 4 Levels Constant Effect)

Don't have my books with me. Is your item cheaper than the one I proposed?

You'd better make sure the container doesn't break/opens in your pack. :smiling_imp:

An arcane connection to an alpine lake can work, but providing an Arcane Connection to your home covenant is... probably not wise.

Some google-fu gives,

Not quite a medieval army's logistics, but perhaps appropriate for a Tremere magus to consider.

Why not just MuCo(An) yourself to have the water retention capability of a camel? That way the Tremere soldier could drink whenever he comes upon fresh water (or chooses to ReAq it out of the ground) and last for many many leagues without needing another drink.

I think so. I guess you want to use something like Leap of Homecoming, but ReAq.

So, that's a base level 35 effect, +1 Touch, +1 Part = level 45, if the item is at the lake and teleports water to a waterskin at Arcane Distance. But that only works once per day, and you need someone at the lake to activate the item. You might also need to worry about Penetrating the Magic Resistance of the magus, if he is holding the waterskin.

If you want to teleport some water, at a distance of Arcane Connection from the waterskin, to the waterskin, then that's a base level 35 effect, +4 Arcane, +1 Part = level 60.

You need Part, because you're trying to teleport part of the lake, not the whole thing. You could get rid of part, by targetting some other body of water that was the size of an Aquam individual.

Unless, you're trying to do this some other way?

That works too, I think.

I always assumed that the Tremere used "Wizard's Communion" to cast group based versions of "Leap of Homecoming" to secure locations that they possessed Arcane Connectiond to, stocked up on supplies, and cast the spell again (using an AC to their camp) to return to the battleground.

I suppose other methods might involve using Creo or Rego Herbam spells to establish granaries or orchards from which a supply lines could used to provide food for the armies.

Note that with magical means of preserving & transporting supplies, meat become much less attractive as a food, the fact that it yields less usable food in relation to resources available.

:blush: double post. Delete me please. :blush:

Which is why everyone in the USA is a vegetarian!

Because they can solve all their food transport and preservation problems via technology.

Would that also shrink down the weight of the water?

Interesting. Carrying enough grain for, say, a week might still be a bit heavy and bulky, though. I think an item to reduce the weight & volume of the grain (or teleport it to you/obtain it on site) is still needed.

One CAN use a suite of spells:

The Instant Harvest: Taking a fistful of grain, the magus blesses them and then spreads them over the land. Cast at nightfall, the plants reach maturity by daybreak. CrHe 40 (B15+1 touch+2 sun+2 group)

Harvesting the Crop: The grains in the field around the magus collect to his hand. Once collected, they are processed and dried. ReHe 30 (B5+1 bringing them to the hand+2 voice+2 group)

Baking the Bread: From a bit of grain, bread is formed instantly. ReHe 25 (B5+1 complexity+1 touch+2 group)

A bit too high-level, perhaps, but an item enchanted with these would allow a magus to subsist on a few grains indefinitely.

An interesting option. That would be...

Not sure of the base, but probably MuCo15 at least. So this is something like MuCo(An) 34 (B15+1 touch+2 sun+4 levels constant effect).

Sphere of Figurines: This is a metal sphere, the size of a bowl, with hinges so that the upper half can be lifted. Inside there is a ring of sigils near the rim of the lower half. Any plant matter put into the lower bowl is instantly reduced in volume (and weight) a hundred fold, turning into a small stone figurine. The sphere is used to carry food, allowing the wielder to carry a large quantity with him. The food does not rot while in figurine shape, oblivious to the passage of time. No raw vis was invested in this item; it is simply a metal contraption a spell was cast on. MuHe 25 (B4 [change to stone], +1 touch, +2 Ring, +0 Circle, +1 for x100 in size, +1 multiple effects)*

Waterskin of Compression: This waterskin, seeming in size and full-weight to contain a quart of water, can actually contain up to 1000 quarts. Water poured into it are "compressed" to 1/1000th their volume (and weight). [A soldier supposedly needs about 8 quarts per day, so this suffices for about 125 days - significantly less in hot conditions, however.] MuAq 24 (B3 [a slightly unnatural liquid], +1 touch, +2 sun, +2 for x1000, +4 levels constant effect)

What say you? I think these are the lowest level suggestions.

  • This relies on the interpretation that rings are movable, and that it is allowed to consider "at the time of casting" in the Ring-Duration description to refer to the ring-drawn, rather than the affected-item. If this interpretation is considered invalid, the standard Hermetic way is MuHe 39 (B4 [change to stone], +1 touch, +2 sun, +2 group, +1 for x100 in size, +1 multiple effects, +4 levels constant effect)*

Beer or Ale was the drink of choice because water was unsanitary. Bread would have been the choice food. Some sort of dark bread that would keep. If you want meat you would drive the animal with you. You could carry some vegetables with you. Roots and tubers would last the longest. Just buy/beg what else you needed. Carry your cooking pot and eating knife.

A packing donkey should be able to carry a daily ration for a large group of soldiers. The donkey itself provides the meat. I'm thinking donkey trains for my army here... :smiling_imp:

With regards to water, a CrAu spell could probably create a rainstorm sufficient to fill water supplies. With some magnitude (and finesse), it can be manageably small.

I am interested, however, in how difficult it would be to MuTe rocks to be edible and nourishing. Would that have to be ritual magic?