Incompatible arts flaw and Certamen

Incompatible arts is a minor flaw that already has a lot of impacts if just applied to spell creation/learning.

Would a combination of one of the impossible combinations mean an automatic fail of the Certamen? Or is the dual using the two arts but not in an individual capacity that allows the magus to participate?

I mean, once the incompatibility would be known, it would be akin to losing all Certamens if the flaw applies to Certamens which seems like an over reach.

What do we think?


I am not sure I see the problem.

Incompatible Arts means there are two TeFo combinations you can't use. For example CrIg and PeHe, or MuAn and ReAn.

With Certamen the tradition is that the aggressor chooses the Technique and the defender the Form, but in both cases the opponent may veto the first choice.

So if you are unable to use MuAn and ReAn (for example), and you are challenged to certamen, then you should just avoid choosing Animal as the form. You can use both Muto and Rego, just not either in combination with Animal.

Even if you are in Hibernia where they don't use the veto part, you can always avoid ending up using one of your Incompatible art combinations.

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Try again with CrMe & PeIg

Once the word gets out, you can never again do a Certamen


Okay, lets assume I have Incompatible Arts with CrMe and PeIg as the art combinations I can't use.
Someone challenges me to certamen, and chooses Creo as the Technique.
I say okay, and choose Animal as the Form. He vetoes that, I pick Herbam as the Form.
Result: We use Creo Herbam during the duel. That is not a combination I have a problem with.

I still don't see the big problem. Unless you have taken Incompatible Arts many times over, it is always possible to avoid the problematic art combinations.


Even if for some reason the Certamen was based on your Incompatible Arts (which, as pointed out, is unlikely), you don't combine them on the duel, so I don't think it should be a problem.

Ok. Lets Recap

  • A young magus would have low chances of being stuck facing a challenge in one of his two incompatible Arts as, if he was careful to keep it a secret, only his master really knows.

  • A mature magus would probably be exposed as any rival/enemy/friend would probably know of the limitation by then which means that all serious Certamen challenges would be lost automatically if the two combinations are known

  • As hermetic art incompatibility is a pretty well spread flaw in the order, even more so in the early days when the Certamen was made cannon in the order, which means that as Certamen was deemed as an effective de-escalation process, it must NOT be affected by incompatible arts flaw.

I think the RAW is weak surrounding the interactions for the flaw with Certamen. Should probably be clarified but in order for the paradigm to stay healthy, seems best to say one has nothing to do with the other.


This one doesn't hold, see Erik's comment above mine.

Or rather, can you provide an example of how the incompatible arts of a magus would lead to his defeat on Certamen if they are widely known?

I wouldn't see it as a setting requirement, but as direct reading from the rules. RAW there is no reason to assume that Incompatible Arts is applicable to Certamen since the Arts aren't combined.

Unless you take Incompatible Arts and specifically select things so that you've blocked all 10 Forms with one Technique or all five Techniques with one Form, you can always choose an Art to make a combination that works for you, even in scenarios where you cannot veto a choice.

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I think this is the best answer so far. Incompatible Arts only applies to Certamen if you're fighting with an art combination. In certamen, you're also using the two arts separately - one is your sword, the other is your shield.


My Bad. You guys are correct