This thread is somewhat inspired by the thread on wild vis
Some time back I allowed a special version of the Personal Vis Source virtue, and the other thread made me wonder what the rest of you would think of it and whether you would have allowed it?
The background for the virtue is a bit relevant for how it went about. Firstly we started our saga in the before 5th ed. but later as we were gradually moving toward 5th my players convinced me that as they hadn't had any House virtues when they made characters that I should allow them to get these. And if they already had them (the relevant ones) to free up that point to buy another virtue. This was done within what was fitting with their characters os far et cetera. Secondly the character in question was in fact a Diedne, or had the virtue already, and a major element in this characters story arc is his search and gradual realisation of the roots of this magic. The virtue he chose was established when he found and old text passage in gaelic instructing on how to wake an inherent power within yourself.
This then is the virtue: The vis is not tangible in the sense that he goes somewhere and gather it. In some ways it isnt even physical. Instead the vis is a source within himself - a center of gravity slowly pooling up within him. A kind of untapped potential. How does this work in practical terms? He keeps account of his vis as any other would. He can tap on his vis for boosting a spell or for rituals only. He cannot trade it. He cannot use it in the lab to study it, make longevity potions or crafting devices etc from it. The vis is Creo and naturally cannot be used for anything else. To keep this potential flowing within him he has to whisper gaelic homages to the West wind quite often (I found a genuine old gaelic verse of power). This not only adds to the mood, but it also endagers him of exposing the Dark Secret of in fact being Diedne.
If it was in my saga, I would have limited how much he could store safely in his own body (say up to vim/5 pawns), and would have allowed him to extract the vis from himself by transfering it to an extremety ("Gather the Essence of the Beast") and then removing said extremety. (which could be a strand of hair...)
Carrying too much vis inside might lead to increased warping and/or increased number of magical botch dice...
Even if we started using it quite some time ago, coincidentally posting it here your comments have given me some food for thoughts.
First all I wont have it warp him -it is still a virtue- just as well as carrying around large amounts of vis or being near it doesn't necessarily warp either.
I'm glad that you agree that I haven't been too lax
I terms of ways to balance out the weakness pointed out I might consider one of the following: granting more vis; allowing him to use it in certain lab activities (study or longevity seems most appropriate to me) or allowing him to 'seperate' it from himself - but I would require more than strand of hair as it has to be a trade off. In other way it would simply have the best of both worlds. A large lock of hair might be appropriate.
As a sidenote the vis is not completely immaterial - I reckon that if penetrating his parma you'd be able to see it. And when dead you might extract it with force as well, making him a possible target to rogue magi or mythical creatures of a certain palette. Not that I have plans in that direction.
Or you can increase the number of botch dice for every stored pawn in his body. GHaving a bodily vis source has the advantage of access, but it has the disadvantage of basically carrying a nuke in your entrails.
I would allow longevity potions and potions that only he can use to be made using this vis. Tattoing a potion into his arm using this vis, for example. Of course, this can be a perfect vis source to combine with greater talisman and inscription on the soul.
They certainly might - and an interseting tale might be told on that account. But ultimately I think it would quite unlikely and even less succesful. First of all they would need to know (his parma being in place) and who would check other magi for vis? Even attempting to mess with someones parma could get in trouble.. also in legal terms. Secondly he need to recite the words to keep his 'inner strength' renewing - would he do that? As of now I've havent left any opening to access that vis but by killing him, which leaves for a short benefit.
Crazed Criamon Cultists might wish to experiment on this magus.
We need not worry about moral concerns
or mere mortal Tribunal rulings relating to deprivation of Magical Power.
The Quest is all that matters!
A concerted effort by 3 or 4 Magi could capture him ,
but doing so secretly will take more work.
(Parma will fade at sundown after all)
Mind Control effects could have him reciting his Words of Power to keep generating the Vis.
(and prevent Parma being renewed)
Experimentation could involve how to harvest the Vis without killing the subject.
Maybe the Vis could be made to pool in the blood for extraction purposes.
In game terms , having Creo Vis naturally gather
in the generative organs of a male would seem appropriate.
Roleplaying wise , "Harvesting" the Vis source borders on the grounds of good taste (so to speak).
... and tune in tomorrow where we will move on to extraterrestial abductions and cow mutilations....!
Seriously I do not plan to run such a story. Who would even ever know? You missed my point earlier that few people make a habit of scrying on other magi, even moreso just in case to check whether they have vis in their... certain organs.
Besides, if I wanted to run a twilight zone'ish experiment story it would be centered on his Diedne background.
Scying would not be needed to start the Story.
As ST you could simply decide that some kind of Dream or Prescient Vision started the process.
A Story would have to (hopefully) be enjoyable for the player as well.
Simply kidnapping him and having him mind controlled
while he is rescued by the other players is not much fun.
Usually , anything without a Might Score cannot accumulate Vis.
Alchemist types would think this worth investigating.
Certainly they might like to learn how to duplicate this Virtue.
Coercion need not be involved (or Alien Abduction).
An Alchemic Cult might offer to pay the character for a Season of his time.
In Game terms , you could have some who simply seek out others with unusual abilities.
They need not know what the ability is at first.
Blame the write-up on Petrus Virilis in GotF (page 59)
for any suggestions on placement of personal Vis sources.
Can you imagine going to your ST and saying :
"I want a personal Vis source , however , it is in my bollocks."
"It is a Vim Vis source , and any woman i impregnate will have a Gifted child."
"To balance this , i will take a personality flaw making me somewhat averse to sex ,
due to my Mater having an obsession with Fertility and the Gift"
(i was abused as an apprentice)
"Tying it all together ,
i will take a Major Story Flaw making the circumstances of my gaining this ability unclear"
(this will subject me to unwelcome scrutiny and invasion of privacy)
"The Gifted children bit will be temporary ,
as my personality flaw will cause me to take a Longevity Potion
as soon as practical."
Okay, the thread has moved a bit beyond the original question. But out of interest let me just ask this. In terms of balancing out what several has pointed out to be a weakened virtue which of the following do you personally like the most:
granting more vis?
allowing him to use it in certain lab activities? And if so:
[list] to study it?
to use it in longevity
or allowing him to 'seperate' it from himself in certain ways (the lock of hair)?[/list:u]
I would go for the "lock of hair" option.
He can still use the Vis for Study (to a point) and for Longevity.
Plus it can be stored against future use , depending how hard it is to get Creo Vis in your Saga.
Unless it isn't. I'm not aware of any spell that moves Vis out of a living body, and such a thing might not even be viable. The Spell Guideline you mention doesn't SAY you can't, but then again it does use the word "object." Most Magi would object to being referred as such.