Investigations into the processes of Ageing

One of the wizards in our saga wants to begin a set of investigations into the art of ageing with the ultimate goal of designing a longevity ritual that does not cause sterility.

Based on the research rules in True Lineages I reckon this is a pretty solid minor breakthrough so the development of a revised longevity ritual will perhaps require 35 breakthrough points. The effects although interesting won’t have the same impact on the order as say the development of Aegis of the Hearth (a major breakthrough i.e. 45 points)

I’d like some help in coming up with some ideas for spells/projects that the wizard could use to ‘seek the unknown’.

Ideas so far include:

  1. Developing multiple high level longevity rituals for difference covenfolk.
    A bit dull but the most effective way to generate high numbers of breakthrough points, with a side effect of long living covenfolks (mostly). Will use lots of vis.
  2. Spell effects to age target 5 years (PeCo 10 +rdt)
  3. Spell effects to resolve aging crisis’s (CrCo 15 to 30 +rdt)
  4. Spell effect to counter premature ageing (CrCo 20 +rdt)
  5. Spell effect to age target to full maturity in a single day (CrCo30+rdt)
  6. Spell effect to reduce apparent age 5 years (CrCo 20 +rdt)
    Potentially this replace the supernatural virtue ‘unaging’ and so perhaps would require a separate breakthrough in itself?
  7. Spell effect to restore physical characteristic reduced by ageing (CrCo30 +rdt)
    A more limited form of the standard effect to increase physical characteristics.
  8. Spell effect to cure natural sterility (CrCo20 +rdt)
    A specific version of the heal debilitating after effects effect.
    May need to separate between sterility as the result of a disease and sterility due to the essential nature of target.
    Does menopause change the essential nature of women? Or motherhood? Is there a mystic journey of maidenhood, motherhood and crone (triple goddess effect)

Clearly the ‘limit of ageing’ limits these effects, or requires a Hermetic (60pt) breakthrough, so no effects that remove decrepitude.

And there are some synergies with the ‘fertility lore’ ability in ancient magic’s. But I can’t see any clear overlap.

So do the spell effects above look ok? Especially #4 to #6?

And what else can you think of that could justify breakthrough points towards the ultimate goal of an improved longevity ritual.

Richard

I'm not persuaded at all that premature aging is fully subject to the Limit of Aging. IMO it is not metaphysically different from any other Disease or Wound, so a vanilla permanent CrCo spell ought to heal it. Anyway, even if one disagrees, IMO a Minor Breakthrough ought to be sufficient and allow healing it with perma CrCo spells.

Another Minor Breakthrough ought to allow restore physical characteristic reduced by ageing.

As it concerns the spell to lower apparent age, Unaging allows this fully and permanently, so by comparison it ought to be a Minor Breakthough to do this, as an improved variant of a Longevity Ritual or a permanent CrCo spell. IIRC RAW Hermetic spells already allow this on a temporary (Sun) basis.

Of course, developing an Initation Script for the Unaging Virtue allows the same and a substantial defense against aging, too, with no need for a Breakthrough. A Major Breakthrough could fully incorporate the benefits of Unaging in a Longevity Ritual.

Another Minor Breakthrough could provide a variant Longevity Ritual that would allow a temporary remiss of sterility (i.e. the mage becomes fertile again on equinoxes and solstices).

It must also be remembered that several Virtues allow to completely stop Aging (i.e. no Aging rolls, although one still gains Warping) as long as some requirement for fueling the ageless state is met (typically living in a mystical area or being bound with a spirit or having a set behavior code to follow). Therefore a Major Breakthrough and/or the creation of an Initation Script to develop an Hermetic/Supernatural Virtue which does something similar is fine. You would only need an Hermetic Breakthrough to develop a Longevity Ritual that would stop Aging rolls with no strings attached.

This is a homebrew Virtue that I have developed as the result of a Major Breakthrough research to counter Aging:

Supernatural Life (Major Supernatural Virtue) v 1.5

The character's life force is sustained by the power of supernatural auras. This Virtue requires The Gift or a Major Supernatural Virtue as a prerequisite, and grants all the benefits of the Unaging Virtue. You do not make an Aging roll for each year you spend in a supernatural aura that grants a bonus to the powers of the realm which you are aligned to (e.g. to a character with The Gift or Strong Faerie Blood, this means Magic and Faerie auras). You instead gain one Warping point per year. You also do not need to eat, drink, or breathe while in a mystically nourishing aura, although you may do such things if you wish. This does allow moving from one aura to another, as long as the two auras are not too distanced. Characters with Supernatural Life become instinctually aware if they are about to enter or leave a mystically nourishing area, much like normal humans may sense the presence of breathable air. Roll a simple die + Perception + Awareness, or (Realm) Lore, whichever is higher, vs. an ease factor equal to 9 – aura level, only for auras that grant you a bonus. However, this affinity makes you more susceptible to supernatural effects: subtract the sum of realms that grant you a bonus from all magic resistance rolls you make. This form of aura sensitivity does not allow you to detect objects or creatures, nor to see into regiones.

Characters with Supernatural Life become physically and magically dependent on spiritual nourishment from aligned realms; and prolonged disconnection causes them to suffer mystical starvation. After a week of separation from nourishing auras, the character begins to suffer deprivation and must make Stamina deprivation rolls every 3 days, starting at an ease factor of 3, which increases by +1 for every time period that passes. When the character fails a check, he loses the equivalent of a Fatigue level in mystical starvation. This reduces all the character’s actions (rolls and totals, including magical resistance) by the appropriate Fatigue penalty, which is cumulative with any from actual fatigue or injuries. The first failed check also brings back the need to eat, drink, and breathe. After all the equivalent fatigue levels have been lost, the next failed check results in the equivalent of a Light Wound (even if the character does not suffer any physical damage from mystical starvation, only the equivalent penalties). He also begins to age again. This “starvation wound” gets one step worse for every subsequent failed check. Beyond Incapacitated, the character falls into a deep slumber, a kind of supernatural hibernation. Supernatural starvation levels recover just like Long-Term Fatigue levels, once the character is exposed to a nourishing aura. If the character's powers or nature are aligned to more than one supernatural realm, it doubles the safe period he can spend in mundane areas (but not unaligned supernatural auras) before suffering supernatural starvation, as well as the time period between deprivation checks. Moreover, the character can venture in mundane areas and get sufficient supernatural nourishment by consuming a pawn of a vis type fit for a Longevity Ritual, every week.

This Virtue may sometimes be the result of a supernatural blessing or heritage, but it is most often initiated by mystae that include a quest for immortality in their practices. Drawing nourishment from the Dominion or Infernal auras requires to affirm one's allegiance to that realm: in Infernal areas, one has to remain in a state of mortal sin, and perform some kind of major sin every Moon duration, whereas in the Dominion the character has to avoid mortal sin, follow the basic behavior prescriptions of his religion, pray daily, and do appropriate Divine worship at least once a week.

Supernatural Life does not protect from aging effects that are caused by Warping or botches of one’s supernatural abilities; Aging or Decrepitude from other mystical sources inflict one additional Warping point. Aging rolls that are caused by overtaxing of one's body and mind (such as from unusual lab routines) generally convert into extra botch dice. A character who ages, for every length of time, during a year must make an Aging roll at the end of that year, even if the Unaging effects of the Virtue work in any case. Normal Longevity Rituals lose their effectiveness on characters with Supernatural Life. However, one may temporarily regain the protective effects of Longevity Rituals in the year when he must suffer an Aging roll from mystical starvation, by using a modified dose of his Longevity Ritual. This only works for that year, and causes one additional Warping Point. Any mage with Supernatural Life knows how to prepare the modified formula.

If "Fertility Magic" is integrated, it ought to allow permanent CrCo spells which cure natural sterility. Otherwise, a specific Minor Breakthrough should allow them. IMO both sterility as a result of disease and sterility as a result of aging do not alter the essential nature of ther person.

An interesting project.

I'd recommend considering adding sources of insight to the brew. These might include hunting a beast known for its effects on fertility, investigating the Gift of Petrus Virilus of Durenmar, or uncovering some of that Fertility Magic lore.

As for the effects, they seem fine (didn't go over the guidelines/levels). #6 may be a bit problematic, depending on what causes the sterility. I think the magic won't work if it's "natural" infertility (parts of the man's Essential Nature), or age (part of Decrepitude, as far as I'm concerned), but otherwise - it would. Can't really think of some new effect of relevance, sorry.

Dankmar (GotF) seems to have found a way of creating children despite the ritual. Might be another story hook.