If one gains Flawless Magic virtue during play???

Then it is really badly named indeed.

As i already said, actually no it doesnt. That´s how the game mechanism work, it doesnt specify what effect it simulates.

That really is utterly crazy.


If the Flawless Magic virtue allows for greater knowledge acquisition, as you say, then this is pretty much agreeing with the argument of people arguing the other side.... 8)

Are you similarly concerned that the Virtue "Temporal Influence" does not allow your character to adjust the flow of time?

a) You are not "teaching yourself". You are going back to the laboratory and inventing the spell again a different way.

b) Reinventing a spell should usually be much quicker than inventing it in the first place was. This is because you (probably) have a Lab Text for the original version, and you get a Similar Spell bonus for knowing the original one. Also, your Art Scores have probably increased since the original (if you invented the original some time ago).

Well, our only evidence of what the Virtue is meant to do in-character is what the out-of-character Virtue description says it does.

Yes and no. I never said THAT part of it should work any other way.

Why should i be? Its correctly named even if it potentially can have more than one meaning.
1. Of, relating to, or limited by time: a temporal dimension; temporal and spatial boundaries.
2. Of or relating to the material world; worldly: the temporal possessions of the Church.
3. Lasting only for a time; not eternal; passing: our temporal existence.
4. Secular or lay; civil: lords temporal and spiritual.
5. Grammar Expressing time: a temporal adverb.

Which IS crazy. Yes it might be faster than it was the first time, but character already has the spell.

Yes. Exactly.

The same argument applies to your apparent problem about the meaning of the words "Flawless Magic".

The meaning that you seem to want it to have is not the meaning supported by the description of what it does.

This I agree with.

I think the description does support what he's saying. Reading the description it's clear to me that like a few other virtues and flaws Flawless Magic explains the itself only in terms of the starting character. The first sentence only really agrees with the second sentence for the purposes of character generation. As that is really the only time that "spells you learn" would be synonymous with "All your spells". In order to answer the question of what happens to a character who adds or removes Flawless magic during play I don't think you can use the description directly. You have to go a bit deeper and figure out not just what the Virtue is doing mechanically but also how it's doing it narratively.

All said and done what this virtue provides for a starting character is one free level of spell mastery in all their spells. Plus it doubles what they spend on those abilities from there on out. That is what it does mechanically. The argument really is how it does it. I've seen basically three interpretations here.

As far as the free mastery goes does the virtue?

A. Allow the mage to create special flawless spells that come with a level of mastery. (Special spell explanation)

B. The Mage gets the information and practice necessary to learn the mastery ability from the spell creation process. (Extra information explanation)

C. The Mage is a spell casting prodigy who understands how spells work better then other Magi so any spell he knows he's effectively mastered. (Better understanding explanation)

Following each line of reasoning you could come to further conclusions about how the virtue doubles any experience points spent

A. A flawless spell is really easy to master further so when you study the spell like any other magi would all your efforts are doubled. (Making them very special spells)

B. Magi with this virtue gleans extra knowledge/practice from any and all sources when he chooses to study a mastery ability. (A lot of extra information)

C. The prodigy applies all information learned extremely well. He gains more practical skill from the same amount of knowledge/practice. (Yes much better understanding.)

I'm not sure but I don't see many people pushing the special spell explanation at least not out to the point where they get to the implications. I really only see people coming to that conclusion if they just look at the title Flawless Magic and try to equate it to Potent Magic. If you did go with that narrative explanation then if a character gains the virtue during play they wouldn't get either benefit (+1 Mastery, or x2 exp) until they created new spells. If they lost the virtue however they would get to keep both benefits for any spell thats already flawless.

The extra information view seams to be the consensus here. You learn better while you have this virtue by getting more information from your sources of study. So while you have the virtue every spell you learn comes with one level of mastery and every source of study is amazing. You lose the virtue and the knowledge that you gained is still there but if you pick up a new book you just won't see what you used to see. This is how I think a lot of learning virtues work book learners see more stuff in books. Elementalists and magi with secondary insight see general insights where others only see specifics. This is not how I view Flawless Magic though. (or affinities for that matter)

For me I go with better understanding. At first it seems like the same thing as more information but it's not. Rather than getting more information from your sources of study you are learning better by applying your total knowledge better. This of course means that the benefits are applied or removed as a whole as the virtue is gained and lost. I think their are lots of reasons why Flawless magic can and should be read this way.

Compare to

  • Linguist
  • Affinity

If we apply your preference to those we would have to go back to every Study Total to find out how your gain/loss rounded. This is nonsense: Study Totals are Study Totals, once they are done you cannot go back and modify them whether you gain or lose such a Virtue.

As for when the free score 1 is gained, it could be seen as a free (2.5 = 5 xp) bonus when you learn a spell. Note that a strict reading of RAW requires a teacher to get the free score 1 as any other method is inventing.

Not nonsense just a different method. I have explained how we have done it in our saga before.

I fully admit is not raw since we apply the multiplier to the total xp spent rather then each study total. Yes we do apply it to linguist and affinities and it does eliminate repeated gains via rounding. Thats the main reason we adopted the method really aside from flavor. It very easy for people who use spreadsheets to track there characters and only requires one extra number tracked on a hand written sheet.

We do essentially the same. To some extent specifically to avoid the munchkin style of "1XP each on the Arts/Abilities i have Affinity in" exploit.

Oh right, I forgot you'd written that earlier. I used to think the same way. It has complications for Secondary Insight and the like but that's ok. With that approach then yes, your preference makes perfect sense.

Except that Temporal has more meanings than flawless, it is used correctly in that statement.

Not at all, you get the mastery when you are taught spells, so you do not need to invent them with a flawless option as the mage teaching you could well not know them flawlessly. Teaching yourself is the perfect example of what needs to be done. This is not potent magic after all.

And yet even if you are teaching an apprentice with flawless and you don't have it you don't need to reinvent all the spells. It is just easier to teach some dumb kind what you know than it is to teach yourself.

The thing is that the extra information explanation is not a consensus view here, there are too many dissenters for that. And it does not sufficiently address why you need to reinvent the spell to gain mastery instead of thinking about it a bit and reflecting on it. As you did not spend a significant amount of time while inventing it in the first time doing it as it is free, in this case it makes the most sense to me to have the masteries turn up over the season you gain the virtue.

I don't find it any different, as the seasons experiance is so variable anyway we just enter in the total learned in a season table. So if you got 10 experiance from a tractatus and 3 for book learner and have an affinity you enter in 20. Simple.

Can't you learn to use the "edit" and avoid such multiposting??

It is a stylistic preference. I prefer to deal with individual issues and posts to avoid excessively long individual posts. I dislike when people reply to many others and address many different points in a single post.

That I agree. OTOH, editing the fat away and just keeping the bits you are replying to is good form. That would have halved your posts.

... and one page after, a reader realize: oh it was all answers of x.

The difference doesn't show up in one season. Its a cumulative thing. If you repeated your example season 10 times you'd have 200 xp. 13 times 1.5 rounded up equals 20. 10 season at 20 is 200. If you did it via my method you only get 195 experience. 10 seasons at 13 equals 130. 130 times 1.5 equals 195 no rounding necessary. It's a small difference but it can result in some annoying power gaming that some people don't like. Particularly when combined with any learning method that doles out xp in singular doses. (Splitting exposure or adventure xp, Correspondence, Elementalist, Secondary Insight)

Sorry I probably was over generalizing there. It seemed to me what the majority of people where trying to apply.

Well as I've said I don't really agree with the need to reinvent spells but for those who feel it's necessary extra information is sufficient to explain it. The idea is that while you have the virtue the process of inventing the spell provides all the necessary information to learn a mastery. It is in practice a +5 study bonus for the purpose of mastery tacked onto the spell creation process.

Yes you can learn multiple spells in a season so as a study source this is pretty generous. But if you allow someone to pick up 1 level in each spell they know in the season they gain the virtue that is an even more generous study source.

Gaining all your masteries on your season of reflection isn't unreasonable and it may actually be the most inline with the RAW both in letter and spirit.

Either way my own preference is to view Flawless Magic as an inborn talent for spell casting that expresses itself in-game in the mastery mechanics. As long as you have the talent your mastery scores are just better cause your awesome. You lose this talent and your mastery scores tank and that cool to because it drama and angst and a story. For me treating the virtue as a mechanical study bonus just robs it of some of it's coolness.