The muto'ing your stats higher thread has got me thinking. Why can one not raise stats via experience. Now for some stats this would be illogical (one cannot train oneself to be more charismatic, one can learn techniques but thats skills, not abilities).
However, it seems strange that amage with average stats in say Strength and Stamina cannot work on increasing them by changing his lifestyle, taking up lots more exercise and lifting weights for a few seasons.
I know abilities are supposed to be ones essential nature but we aren't talking magic here, only training.
Has anyone else come up with any house rules for this?
Gaining a minor Virtue via Transformation is Might+10 xp for MM creatures. Applying a 9x similar to your idea would mean 30 60 90 xp, aka 6 12 18 5xp-adventures. Practice and Exposure would be slower.
We could also use the Mystery Initiation mechanic. With 2 seasons of coaching and 2 years of sacrifice questing for your ideal, you could get +12 of the 18 required by abusing the initiation bonuses. Which is ok since it isn't really an initiation but just recycling the mechanics.
I don't have any house rules for this, but here's my suggestion: allow non-standard Abilities to raise such characteristics. Here is the reasoning:
Consider what it takes to learn "Bows" or "Athletics". Clearly, it involves increasing your coordination or stamina, but in a limited way. Whereas the Characteristics include broad aptitudes, Abilities include more-specific training that lets the character improve in a narrow area beyond this baseline. Thus a person can run for longer if he has Athletics, even though he hasn't increased his basic Stamina.
Arguably, Ars Magica misses some of these skills, like Weight-Lifting. So simply allow people to take these, if they want to. Some applications of Characteristics (such as increasing Soak) may be impossible to train in this way, and some may only be trained to a limited extent (perhaps level 3?). Normal characters just use the bare Characterisic when attempting to use the "skill", as they have 0 in the Ability.
By this logic, if someone can argue that a given Ability adds to a particular application of a Characteristic (perhaps Athletics for endurance, for example), he may use it.
It also distinguishes between your potential (the stat) and your training (the ability): If you run a lot, your potential won't increase, but you will run longer and faster, due to your ability.