Implied Breakthroughs in Ars Magica Supplements

Their ritual actually decreases their age. Which means the net total stays well in the negatives for the aging roll. In your example the Sahir could manage a -9 total to the aging roll. They would either need a double botch, or a botch and a ten to age. Its a less than 2% chance of getting a aging point. A .4% chance of getting a crisis. That's an average of 200ish years to study to further improve their skills. Before they get one decrepitude. That's 3000xp at 15/yr. Enough to get 51 or more and still have a lot left over. Now we have a -19 to aging. Now we need a triple botch to crisis, and a double botch to get an aging point. At that penalty its a 1000ish years to spend before the next decrepitude point on average.

Some math will give you a probability of death that sums to less than one as time goes to infinity. Roughly the time experience/time it takes to double your aging bonus is triple what you've previously spent, and but that means the average time to get an aging point is ten times as long since you now need to get another explosion to collect an aging point. Eventually, the characters chance of death by age is minimal. Which directly contradicts the fluff the book provides. Furthermore their response to warping can be always beneficial with high enough arts. It really spirals out of control when you read their rules for performing research.

Magi's ever increasing age penalty goes up in linear time while their bonus goes up by the much smaller O(t^(1/2)). However, using the rules for laboratories from Covenants by stacking large health bonuses onto your lab with enchanted items you can get a similar result as a Sahir, limited only by your creativity and the Storyguide's tolerance for your health improving items.

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Yeah, but the negative effects? Seems as if the premise here is that the Sahir would be do this ritual early and often, which has a consequence of Fatra Bayna checks, increasingly eccentric Personality Traits and minor flaws?

I mean, it is sounding too good to be true, and I've seen it mentioned before, but I think it's being over simplified. The negative consequences for Al-Iksir seem harsh to me.

Fatra Bayna is, reliably, more of a benefit than a hindrance so long as you don't mind spending a season or a year out of touch and have some skill in Solomonic Travel. (Remember, a Gifted sahir has fewer Arts he needs to screw around with than a magus does, so he can raise each to a higher level.)

Let's add Solomonic Travel 16 to your calculations (okay, it won't be this easy the first time you take your Al-Iksir if you do it at forty, because three Arts at 16 is never that simple, but it'll get easy pretty quick). I lose 20 years and get hit for 20 Warping Points, no other effects. I'm not even trying to avoid Fatra Bayna, and I choose to take +4 on my Fatra Bayna Duration simple die. Mathematically, the worst I can do is spend a Moon away and soak a Corruption point. So, either an Aging roll (lol), a Heavy Wound (it'd be a good idea to have a ritual Binding or two handy to deal with that - yes, sahirs can enchant ritual effects - or a buddy who has Solomonic Physic...but note that there are five sahirs to every magus) or a Reputation with the Realm I just pissed off, which is gonna suck, but sahirs are going to suffer that from Corruption. More likely, though, I'll be away for a season or a year and come back with a positive FB experience. I will suffer Corruptions from accumulated Warping score, but 2/3 of those corruptions will be immediate effects that a sahir can deal with fairly trivially.

In one sense, it is too good to be true; in a long-running saga, a perfectly-played sahir will just miss a year in twenty floating off in the Magic Realm (and there is no Final Fatra Bayna) and come back each time with sweet bennies. However, the thing that age tables never take into account is that the most likely cause of death for an interesting PC is death through enemy action. And if a sahir pisses off a Hermetic magus, I'd say that the magus has a significantly greater life expectancy. Just saying.

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The assumptions for free time for Sahirs are different, too, right? Only 2 free seasons a year.
And while they need to advance fewer Arts than a Hermetic Magus does, magi will tend to focus on a few forms and a few techniques and achieve a higher casting total in the process. Finally, Sahir have to learn a number of abilities, a profession, bargain, leadership to name a very limited few. They seem to have a huge number of abilities to act as XP sinks, and with 2 free seasons a year, they will increase relatively slowly compared to a magus's Arts...

Perfectly played character? Doesn't exist, second cousin to Harvey the Rabbit. But yeah, annoying a powerful enemy is always a risk, and he has other disadvantages that a Hermetic magus doesn't have. I think the Sahir are almost like super heroes who have day jobs... Gotta be a tough life. :smiley:

Don't forget confidence can be spent to influence the roll too. At 16 you should avoid the bad stuff completely.

Anyway it certainly sounds like a fairly tough life. It would probably be really easy for a Sahir to get lazy and stop [strike]exercising and eating healthy[/strike] studying his alchemy and medicine. I know I certainly don't keep up with it.

Yep, though it's worth noting that no magus has four completely free seasons a year; once in play, he's got a season per year of covenant duty (which really should be baked into the assumptions for generating elder magi) and sahirs have that baked into their assumptions: for sahirs of standard wealth, one season of working-for-a-living and one season of Suhhar work are apparently enough to get by. I assume that that's because sahirs' mundane jobs are well-remunerated and Wealthy sahirs' scutage helps to defray the cost of living at the bayt al-hikma.

(P.S.: PC sahirs can probably become Wealthy pretty quickly if they work at it!)

Not sure what the break even point is for becoming wealthy, giving up a season in exchange for labor points to become Wealthy, or however it works. Or stories to advance to wealthy.
There is an assumption baked in for elder magi, 30 xp per year, and if you do lab work, you give up 10 xp for each season giving up, so if you do labwork for 3 seasons, no xp for that year. My experience is that early on, that number is a bit low. As magi age it becomes ambit more accurate. Where it fails is in capturing labwork.

I wasn't aware that every or even most covenants required this. :neutral_face: Saying that "no" magus has four free seasons a year is almost certainly wrong.

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i assumed that when making an aging roll one only rolls his chronological age not biological. after all technically speaking someone who finds a super effective specialist to make a longevity ritual will not age biologically.but if they are 100 years old they still add 10 to the aging roll. right?
as i interpret it the sahir ritual option"remove 2 years" means that a) their apparentage gets reduced by 2. b) the aging points for these 2 years are lost. but decrepitude stays.

besides logically speaking the sahir break the limit of energy and time. one more would be to much.
the main problem lies in the fact that that book only mentions 3 possible breakthroughs for hermetics. non includes time or aging. or directly going to the faerie realm

...Or maybe it has to do with the sheer amount of time in Fatra Bayna the Sahir has to end up doing...
Time without access to Al-Iksir. Not to mention that that time passes in the 'Real' world as well...

But I think this topic has been sidetracked.

Personally, I feel that the Dislocation virtue from BSaS:MA surgests some kind of breakthrough...possibly several.

  • Duration: Action (lasts as long as you continue to do a spefied action.
  • Target:Distance? Journey?
  • The Base Effect: Reducing Distance...might not be as powerful as a Herme's Portal but still...

In Ars Magica there is Age and Apparent Age. You make rolls for Aging based on the Age at the time of the roll. Apparent age is for appearance purposes only, and is usually why a lot of magi of the Order look to be in their Prime (they appear to stop aging around 35). A good longevity specialist will make a ritual that lessens the effects of aging, but doesn't reverse it. Longevity ritual provides a huge bonus on the aging table, a LR 13, for example would remove 13 from the total rolled. Their age would still increase, but it's likely that their apparent age would stay the same, unless there is a high roll, or they are old, already. Hermetic longevity rituals become harder to make the older someone gets, to make a new one for someone that is 100 years old requires a Magic Theory score of 10, because the ritual itself requires 20 pawns of vis.

The Sahire Al-Iksir removes 2 points of aging AND 2 points of apparent aging for each point they put to that effect from their Al-Iksir total. They option to remove aging also removes an (as in 1) aging point, too, from any characteristic that has an aging point. The aging point does not get removed from Decrepitude, though. So someone whose Al-Iksir removes 4 years (2 points of Al-Iksir * 2 years removed), would remove 2 (2 points of Al-Iksir * 1 aging point removed) aging points.

There's a Sahir function to reduce apparent age, but one function of Al-Iksir does say "reduce Age by 2 years." That means that it reduces your age by two years, in every physical sense. So yes, sahirs break the Limit of Aging, as well as the Limit of Energy, and they get to bend the Limit of Time (I say "bend" because they don't have absolute foreknowledge, and because what foreknowledge they have is based on information available in the present). They aren't Hermetic magi, and they have their own limitations.

Decrepitude does indeed stay, along with all experience garnered toward same (the only known magic that can get rid of Decrepitude is an Infernal ability, I believe). Penalties on the aging roll don't.

You want to see a kind of magic that really plays fast and loose with the Limits? Try Holy Methods or the Maleficia :slight_smile:

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A couple of good ones from Hedge Magic. Just a few of what I think are the best...

Gruagachan - Improved voice range - Can cast to anyone in earshot of their voice without sensing.

Folk Witch - Subtle Opening - Remove penalties due to Arts when learning Supernatural Abilities.
Energy Magic - Break the Limit of Energy for CrCo and PeCo spells

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if im not mistaken sahir time magic is like hermetic augury/divination right? that is non infallible.

as for the limit of aging in my opinion they only bend it. just like longeviry rituals do. they just bend it in a different way. but none can remove decrepitude points.

anyway concerning other breakthroughs i think the learned magicians are able to affect fate to an extend with their charms.

My draft had the positive and negative effects from Al-Iksir in a table, but that didn't fit in the final layout. But I just want to make sure it's clear: when you spend an Al-Iksir Point, it goes toward only one of the options listed. So, if your sahira has a Medicine Lab Total of 10, she gets two Al-Iksir Points. One of these Points can reduce her Apparent Age by 10, or reduce her Age and Apparent Age by 2, or remove an Aging Point from one of her Characteristics. Reducing Age and Apparent Age doesn't affect Aging Points, and removing Aging Points doesn't affect Age or Apparent Age.

Yeah, poor phrasing on my part.

Correct and semi-correct.

4 year bump! I updated the list some.

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