Incredible Study Total!!!!

Hi all.

First of all, sorry for my poor english :blush: .

I'm the SG in a saga and the last session a magus made a study total using vis, of.... 3584 XP (1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,6) :open_mouth: !!!!!!

Now he has a score of 85 in that art, and this seems to me a little bit dangerous for some reasons:

A) game balance

B) the consequences for the Order

Now, what I'm going to do is:

  • that magus enters twilight due to the power of this study experience
  • As an automatic result of this, he will recieve a new major flaw (I was thinking about a deficency in the other techniques)
  • His sigil from now on will be more evident

I'm thinking about the consequences of this enourmous power and I would ask to you some advice to make his life hard. He live
in a recently summer covenant, with some political friends and 2 autumn covenants as potential enemies.
What will appen if he write a summa of level 42? Is realistic to think that in a period of 400 years, some other magi
achieve this power in different arts? In this case, could exist some rare summae of high, high level the some sort of secret
organization, or group o power hide?

Thanks for your help :slight_smile:


I think you are using old rules. 5th edition study from vis requires a set number of pawns based on your current score, and gives you a set number of xps ased on the aura.
(I think? I never study from vis anymore)
In fourth edition you rolled a die, but your gain was capped at a maximum of a three level increase.

Vasili is doing things correct, Marko.

But I would certainly not punish the player for taking risk (which he takes in my opinion) and win. I would simply not give him so much xp. If he is a good player he will understand. Give him around 100 or 200 (still very much) and perhaps a major virtue of some sort. Still a big bonus, but not destroying the game.

I agree, to punish him with flaws and blatant sigils and such for learning well from vis is not appropraite.

Discuss it with the player and put a cap to xp for learning from vis. Perhaps on the order of 100 xp max which should be 3-4 levels of the art or more (200 if vis is rare in saga since he won't have the vis often)

My personal feeling is that since other study sources are max quality of below 20, I would set it at 50-70 since that should be 2-3 levels in the art.

... The result of die not is a fault of the player, if you qren't goint to give that apunt of Experience well, but is by balance, but neither in the rules or in the game spirit are written any for that a high art give problems.
The gaining of experience is the only method healthy for grow the characters, because surge for advenutre or taking riskes and spending time. The rules are clear in that a high number of results of 1 make greats results. By that One time shorted an adventure (They won a Gorgone with a bag and a little rope), but that was a way for relove the quest and was fine.
By that reason way there shouldn't be any spell that make heavy great damage., or ever should made a but thing to the caster, and things like that. The rules are just that rules, but a heavy reaccionary storey telling is ungratefull.
He only have been lucky, just that.

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Thijs has right. A suitable virtue as a gift is a good idea.

Smurf's Parma - I am nowhere near my rulebook at the moment, but I am almost certain that there is something wrong here. I don't think that 5th edition vis study is open ended like this. 4th edition was, but there was also a cap of a maximum gain of three levels.

I have my book and the Erratas here, and is like others and me say it. And if you want only must see it in the downloads of Ars Magica, here:
That is all.

Well, good thing I invoked Parma.
For whatever reason, I remembered that formula as involving a simple die. Hmmm....
Well, so, he has an Art score of 85 then :smiley:

Yeah, Study from Vis is quality of stress die + aura. Which means in a low aura, you could potentailly get a quality of 1 (1 aura + 0 on stress die)or a botch as easily as you get the skyrocketing score.

Since you need to use 1 pawn per 5 of your current arts total (rounded up), it can eat up a lot of vis for that potential 1-5 or botch quality.

It is just that an art to 85 in a season is just a little too much.

If these scores weren't so extremely rare (appr. 1 in a billion times), I would make a house-rule for it......

I would HR a max gain limit of levels equal to the aura studied from. That seems pretty simple.
But anyways, I agree that the player should not be penalized for the high roll. Maybe some Warping would be thematically appropriate, but gaining new flaws or some such seems unfair. Maybe invoke a Twilight experience? Give him a chance to control the energy, and if he fails then give him a flaw. Otherwise he deserves a virtue for controlling the magical energy as it courses through him.

9 times one that is about

10^9=1,000,000,000 (as Thijs already stated)

1000 mages who spend 10% of their seasons working with vis (I think it is a lot less, but for the sake of the argument), that is 400 seasons / year, so an event like that happens every

2,500,000 years for the order.

Or to put it differently there is approximately a chance of

1: 6000

that this has happened before.

My idea is: let the player take it as it is and see how he can keep it secret (if he wants to) or how all kinds of creepy cults try to abduct, milk and kill him all of a sudden (the story could and with the group's quest for a powerful perdo mentem spell to erase the knowledge: if the cultists are threatening enough, the player will gladly erase his character's memory...)

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I would state the player has the art, enters twilight, and gain a major virtue.
A such roll means political and magical consequences...
this magus is now the best master ever known in the order... such magus is the only one magus ALL the magi needs: to kill fast if enemies (before he take advantage and create some hyperpowerful items or spells), to ally fast for his neutral friends, or protect, for his allies.

It's like the center of the universe... when somebody will know, this magus will NEVER be let alone ^^

All this and nobody has asked what Art is involved.

If news spread, I can sure see him be in high demand. Even funnier if he's in House Tremere, who certainly would have a use for him (heck, even if he's not part of the house).

It doesnt really matter what is the art, because because it will be THE art once this guy starts using it.



It'll still have a huge impact on the turn Vasili's game will take. The Order will look very different with gignormous Intellego scores than it will with equally large Herbam scores. It will also be very different depending on whether the magus in question is a Bonisagus, a Criamon or a Tremere...

Heck, if it's Terram, don't forget that he now has a shiny +17 to Soak vs metal weapons...

Those people who have house-ruled minimum ability/art scores for books may have been onto something. :wink:

Having an 85 in the art doesn't necessarily break the game, and doesn't necessarily make you that dangerous.

So a serious team of Wizards kidnap him, chain in the deepest dungeon, force him to write down the ultimate Summae in said art, Lvl 42 Quality ?, and then kill him.

And/or bind his spirit as the living embodyment of that art for all time.

A score of 85 doesn't make you powerful, it makes you a reference work.

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The character will obviously be in high demand, but you should think about how that can drive interesting stories.

Also, I'm not sure that it is that unbalancing. The rules are relatively robust to this sort of thing.
True, he is probably able to spontaneously cast most effects of less than level 50 that involve this Art (and no requisites). However, he still won't be able to spontaneously cast anything above level 50 --- because then they would be rituals. A number of other useful effects lower than level 50 will also be rituals (boundary Target, year Duration). He will need to invent the rituals in the lab, so there is a limit to the number that he can create, and then he needs the vis to actually cast them.
He'll be able to quite quickly produce many high level laboratory projects...but the main effect is that he is quicker, not that it really creates new things that he can do. Basically anything that he can do in a season, there is probably an archmagus who can do it in several seasons
If he produces high level Lab Texts, they are only usable by other characters with relatively high Lab Totals. That is, those who are within spitting distance of creating the effect themselves over a period of a number of seasons.
He still only has four seasons in a year. So there is a limit on what he can do.
He's never going to improve the Art again --- it'll be too expensive in vis, XP, and time.
He's unlikley to ever fight Certamen using this least after his first victory or two.
If he writes a summa, his most efficient (I think) option is to write a summa with a level around 30, which will have a Quality around 20 --- depending on his Com Score, etc. It will still take (most) other characters around 6 years reading this Summae every season to raise their Art from 0 to 30. There are plenty of other ways that other characters can raise their Art Scores by similar amounts over this period of time. So, his Summae will be very good, but it won't be unbalancing.

"plenty of other ways?" PLEASE tell me how to get a guaranteed 20 xp in an art every season.