Isen Flambonis (Formerly Unamed Ice Magus)

Hello people!

Johnatan has kindly invited me to join, so I'm in the process of designing a new character. There's an idea that's been floating around my mind for a long time, but everyone may not agree, since this is mostly uncharted territory.

In short, I want to use the ReVi guidelines to hold a spell (the ones used in watching ward) to create an item able to hold spells and release them when asked, Amber DRPG-like. Or like in the Dying Earth. Prepare some spells in advance, hold them, release them.

This was perfectly legit under RAW, and Erick Tyrell had a similar idea for Ranulf, so you'll see what this may look like, with my reply below highlighing a possible objection... that's apparently also invalided by the rules????

BUT this has a potential for abuse with which I'm uneasy, so I'm perfectly fine with spells like this being impossible, since I want to do an item, which costs vis (putting it closer to Watching Ward in this respect).
I DON'T want to abuse things, and I specifically don't want to be able to create containers at will (having a range on the effect)), which would allow the creation of temporary magical items for grogs (create a container on item, give it to grog). Nor do I want a single enchantment being able to hold multiple spells (multiple uses per day), which would let me have as many held spells as I want.

Specifically, unless I'm really really the only one who feels bothered by this, I don't want an item that can cast this spell at will, as it would allow me to potentially create an infinity of D: Moon containers. My original idea was to use the guideline so that ONE invested enchantment - with R: Personnal, Duration: Constant (Sun + 2 uses per day) - would hold ONE spell only.
So I'm perfectly fine with the following rule:

  • An item can hold a spell like a watching ward, realeasing it under similar rules. However, as the enchantment flickers at sunrise/sunset, the containment will fail unless designed as a constant enchantment. Moreover, multiple castings by the same item don't allow more spells to be held, as, the effect being powered by vis (like Watching Ward) the total capacity ultimately rests on the vis invested.

In short, differences with watching ward:

  • On the plus side, the vis is not wasted when the spell is cast. You can hold another spell just afterwards. So I save on vis.
  • On the minus side, each container takes a season to craft, whereas a WW takes at most a couple hours to cast, and it can be stolen.

My idea is to enchant my talisman multiple times so that it holds such containers (at the very most 10, although I'll probably settle for 3-4. A year!!!).

What do you people think of it?

I'm trying to imagine what he could do. He can create containers on the fly which would be like making a lesser charged item on the spot. Not being up on all of the lab stuff but would not not be a season of work boiled down to 2 minutes or less? But they would need only to be personal? Is that right?

It could be my lack of sleep is hindering my understanding...
The containers are not created on the fly, they are created in advance. They are filled as necessary...

I through this quote in from the discussion of Ranulf.

How it is described in the link Fixer provided should not work ( giving it to another to use) as that would be the virtue teathered. Unless it is a charged item. Am i wrong with that?

I'm not seeing the option to give it to another, although I'm sleep deprived, and scanning heavily...

A spell would allow this. Or an item without the restriction I propose.

I don't like this, for the same reason as you do. I don't want a spell, but an item. But since I voiced my concerns to tell what I DON'T want, well, maybe I was confusing.

How to put it clearly?

What I want:

  • I spend a season investing a container in my talisman.
  • This container can contain one spell, whose level is determined by the container
  • I put one spell (formulaic, or spontaneous) into the container
  • When the specified triggering action is done (like, I utter a word, or make a gesture), the spell is released.

To have a hundred spells go of would require me to prepare a hundred containers. Unless these were of very low level, this's mean a hundred seasons :laughing:

The main use to me is that I can prepare and hold spontaneous spells in advance, or spells cast by a sodales, which gives me a freedom and flexibility I wouldn't have on the spot.

Well, I exhumed my book from their case (I just moved to a new place), I'll do it with the Patient Spell (MoH p113). That way, I'm sure it's legit :smiley:
Thanks guys, and sorry for the bother!

I'm at work so I do not have access to my books to look at Watching ward but...

For the bold above, spells cast by anyone but you would need the tethered virtue. That is exactly what is does. Allows you to cast a spell and then move control to another person. If it were just your mage casting and using the spells I'm fine but I would worry that it could be used to create a container and give to a companion. Now it basically becomes a charged item that needs ANY mage to recharge it.

I don't like it because it reminds me of the D&D item, with which our wizard used party downtime to collaborate with the druid (me) and the cleric to basically break all our adventures. It frustrated our GM and after a little while we arranged OOC for the staff to meet with an accident, because adventures with no danger and no challenge were really not much fun.

Oh, it would, probably under both versions.
But this'd be inneficient for a grog: Better IMO to do a real enchantment with those spells you expect the grogs to use (like, enchant a sword so that it casts Edge of the Razor on it). And anyway, I want it for me, for my talisman :smiley:
The Patient Spell (Magi of Hermes p113, touch, concentration) puts another spell (of level at most equal to it) on hold so long as you concentrate on it (on the Patient spell). I just need to put this into an item that maintains concentration, and create it so that it does it only for one spell per enchantment :smiley:

??? I'm at a loss here, and not sure you understand me. What D&D item? If anything, D&D mages work that way, by preparing and holding specific spells in advance. Or at least they did. What did you understand, and what is the problem you speak of?

In 3rd ed D&D there was a staff that could store spells as you describe; any caster could store spells in it and any user could trigger the items out of the staff. It really upset the game balance and made encounters too easy.

A rogue with Mass Heal should terrify anyone. :slight_smile:

i understand and I'm fine with the concept as long as it is just your spells held in your talisman. I was just venting my concerns about the rule as a whole.

Ah, ok. But Ars works very differently from D&D.

IMO, this is in no due part because such a staff must have greatly increased the number of spells per day a D&D caster could cast (and, due to how D&D works, this is a great bother, akin to giving a character more levels than others).

Being able to throw, say, 6 fireballs instead of 3 is very, very, very powerful in D&D.

In Ars, the biggest advantages are holding a spell cast by someone else (a possibility I didn't really consider until this discussion), like someone casts a gift on the bear's fortitude on me and I delay it for when (if!) I need it, and saving fatigue if you happened to store the right spontaneous spell cast in advance and then rest (which is what I want).
For a season per held spell, do you really think this compares to what you describe? Do you really thing the ability to store 3 spells in Ars (read the Patient Spell, please), even spells cast by someone else (assuming my ReVi was up to the task!!!) is equivalent to the ability to cast 3 more spells in D&D?

I'm becoming quite bothered by this.
I initially proposed a very restricted version of something that was RAW by the corebook, possibly invalided by Rival Magic only (as I pointed to Erick), a supplement that went out years later. So I wanted the troupe to agree about a specific lift of the Rival Magic objection, thus my post.

I'm not sure I was well understood, in no small part to me first pointing all the abuses I wanted to avoid (leaving containers left and right, multiple containers, "giving" spells to a grog while keeping the magic item to me).
So, in order to simplify things, I just decided to go by another RAW option (the Patient Spell) on which there was no contest, also wanting not to exploit it fully (because I don't like the possible implications, and this is just not what I want), and I hear this.

I understand your fears, but it is frustrating both to be misunderstood, or (please, no offense Arya) to be subjected to comparisons that, due to different systems, are IMO not very valid. Especially as I was at all times restricting things, first from the corebook, later from MoH.

If this really bothers you, I'll drop, no problem, but now, I just feel misunderstood, and tired to explain what I really wanted. I know it's my fault for not conveying things clearly, but still...

Again no books with me...

How would it work if someone cast a spell on you and your put it in your talisman? The target would have to be you or otherwise the target would be the container. If the target is your mage, what is the process for someone else to cast a spell on you and you catch it in your container?

Not trying to be difficult. Just trying to understand how this would work.

I'm not sure of where it says in RAW that you could catch a spell that was intended for you and delay it... I have some problems with this interpretation. And, yes, I agree with jebrick that this essentially negates the Tethered virtue.

Please don't be. See below

You said it was RAW, but I can't ever recall seeing anythign like it. Identifying the rules you are basing your interpretation on is very important here. I don't claim to be a rules expert, and I don't expect anyone to be one, but if you have an interpretation, you need to support it with the rationale behind it, and the rules you're using to make the conclusion that something is RAW.

While the comparison between systems isn't really valid, and magic is much more flexible in Ars than D&D, I can see how others might find something along this line overpowering. Which is why I wanted you to post it here. If you can line out how it is RAW, citing the rules so I, and everyone else, can follow your conlusion, that'd help a lot.

Hum... With a container, it'd be like with Watching Ward: a Touch range spell is delivered to a designated target, I guess. Voice and more spells, OTOH, wouldn't be held.

With the patient spell, the spell would just be delayed, like, you cast a spell, and I hold it until needed. The target... I can't see how it could change.

I don't have my books, but in both cases, this'd require the presence and cooperation of the spellcaster and the talisman holder (which may be the same person).

First, this'd require the cooperation of the persons involved. It could maybe be used as a fast-cast defense, but my goal is not to fast-cast it but to create an item.

First idea: Use the ReVi Corebook guidelines to "create a container for a spell", p161. Example spell, watching ward.
By core, it was a ritual due to the potentially infinite duration, that's all, so Watching Wards with inferior durations were possible (which is, in effect, what I want, although on a very restricted form from what this'd allow).
As I pointed to Erick Tyrell, Rival Magic p74 went beyond that, saying that the "condition" aspect required a ritual. So I asked the troupe if, by houseruling specifically about the abuses I wouldn't do anyway, it was possible to have this as an item, with the advantages and inconvenients depicted in my first post.
Although, now that I think of it, despite Rival Magic, a combo container + supress enchantment might work and do the trick exactly like I wanted while still being totally RAW: I won't have the watching effect (which works on itself), but that's no problem, since I control the releasing and this is what I want.

Second idea: Use the Patient Spell. It's in Magi of Hermes, p113. I'd probably go with constant duration, and a second enchantment to suspend the patient spell so that the held spell would go of.

Although my intention and desire was to use it to store MY sponts, and nothing else (I'd like if we stopped talking of it like it was my goal to have others cast spells for me), the potential negation of Tethered Magic for cooperation is quite limited. :

  • Tethered Virtue works on all spells, whatever their level. With it, you can tether spells on a theorically infinite number of targets. The tethered spell is controlled by the recipient.
  • With my proposed rule for containers, this would have taken one season per spell slot. With Patient Spell, I'll work things in a similar way. Better to (if possible) initiate Tethered Magic. And the spell is NOT controlled by the recipient, not unless he cast it himself.

I'm sorry, I thought I was clear with the ReVi guidelines, or when citing MoH :frowning:

The abuses were listed by Jebrick (and me, in my first post).
This, IMO, was as relevant as a D&D GM finding too powerful the fact that a flambeau may cast as many PoF as he wants.
In D&D, an item allowing you to cast any of your spells at will would be very powerful, much more so than extra spell slots. Yet this is exactly what every hermetic magus can do. I perfectly understand the reaction (it brings back bad memories), but it seems to me as if born of emotion, not of reason, like someone seeing a spider and being frightened.

In short, the question is this: At a cost of one season per hold is the troupe okay with me being able to store my sponts (and they'll be expended once cast)?
I can't make my intention any clearer.

The only guideline I can see that might apply is in the MRB

The only example is the Watching Ward, which is a ritual.
So, if I'm reading this correctly, you want to do something similar, but with Moon duration. My feeling on this, because it isn't a ritual, and if the troupe agrees, is that you need to subtract magnitudes from the spells which can be stored, which isn't really a problem for spontaneous spells, until you explode the die a lot of times and create a very powerful spontaneous effect that doesn't have penetration (see below). This makes it similar to the MuVi guidelines for Wizard's Communion when handling a ritual spell, duration is sun, subtracting 2 magnitudes to the power lent to the communal effort. To put it another way your Base Effect: Maximum Magnitude of spell being held-5, R:T +1, D:Moon +3, T:Ind So to hold a Pilum of fire is Base:15, making the overall magnitude required for the Patient Talisman Effect of 35 (Base 15 +20 for the other items)[1].
If you wish to put multiple Waiting spells like this into your talisman, they must have a trigger that is unique to each one. I also don't think that this can work cooperatively. The guidelines, nor the example spell suggest anything of the sort. Everything seems to say it comes from one caster, including the referenced spell from MoH. I'm inclined to also strip penetration away from effects, unless say it's a 10th level effect and it would have 10 levels of penetration, if the casting total of the original spell exceeded the casting total by at least 10 levels. To me, this is looking to be a bookkeeping nightmare, and were it pen and paper, I might consider it, but this is PbP and play is a lot more measured, and I as a story guide am willing to let players have something if they say they would've reasonably brought it along. So, while I am convinced that this is totally legit, I believe it is too difficult to track. Your job now is to convince me how it isn't a bookkeeping nightmare (examples would be good).

Since you indicated you were going to use ceremonial techniques, can I presume that the character will have high Philosophae and Artes Liberales scores?

I was agreeing. Magi can generally do a lot of things with their magic. My trouble has been I design a scenario with some obvious opportunities for uses of magic that play to a character's strengths and they try and do something that is very difficult for their character to do.

Yes, this is it. It is also used to create spirit containers in the mysteries.
I didn't realize I was STILL being unclear...

I don't want this with moon duration.
If possible, this'd allow the creation of as many Moon Duration wards at touch range as I want, which is something I find abusive. I could perfectly restrain myself, but it becomes too much of a stress on my suspension of disbelief.
Anyway, as I said above, 2 things go against that:

  • Rival Magic p74 ("Improved Watching Spells") states that you can't bind a watching effect and a spell without a ritual (so yes, prior to it, you could!). This means that any spell put into a container will be held until the duration runs its course.
  • As there's a "flicker" in enchantments at sunrise/sunset (until the magus concentrates, IIRC), it seems to me that any spell held would be released. THe only way to avoid this is to use a permanent enchantment (D: Sun + 4 levels)... Which means the spell is held and never released.
    => I need to destroy the container in order to release the spell when I want.

I'm pretty happy this this, since this means that the precise thing I don't wanted to do is, at the very least, quite difficult, if not impossible, and not very cost-efficient: You need both a container and either Harnessed Magic to end it, or a PeVi effect for each spell you want to hold

=> As far as I understand the raw on this, I'd need this:

  • Hold the captive spell (ReVi)
    Base: (Hold lvl + 5 magnitudes) Range: Touch +1. As far as I understand, this is needed to affect the spell: Personnal wouldn't do it), Duration: Sun (+2), constant +4 lvls. Holds a spell of a lvl equal to the enchantment lvl +6.
    So, for exemple, a lvl (15+4) enchantment will hold a spell up to lvl 25.
  • Release the captive spell (PeVi)
    A touch-range Unraveling the Fabric of Vim, affecting lvl +15. So, for exemple, a lvl 5 Unraveling will destroy one lvl 20 container, more than enough. It is debatable whether I need only one of these, or one per Holding: A, "Unraveling" item could be pointed towards any appropriate effect and selectively destroy it, but it could just as well be argued that it'd destroy one spell randomly. However, due to the low level, even if going with 1 effect/hold, I can probably instil these in 2-3 seasons, depending on my PeVi (10 levels of lab total for a lvl 5 effect means a PeVi lab total of 40 for 4 effects).
    This implies that, to hold another spell into the used slot, I'll have either to put more than 2 uses per day, or wait.

This is surprisingly low, more than anticipated.
Still, even the first enchantment requires a ReVi lab total of 38 to be instilled in one season. And I am NOT going to be a Vim specialist.
Taking Laetitia (About 48), Jormungand (about 49), Marcus (about 36) and Alexei (about 35) highest Technique + Vim, this seems possible, but that's all.
I could conceivably have 4 containers in 6 to 7 seasons: 4 for the containers, and 2 or more for the Unraveling spells (to unravel a lvl 20 container, I'd need a lvl 05 effect. So, PeVi lab total of 40 for 4 effects. I doubt to have this lab total for 2 Te+Fo).
6 to 7 seasons JUST so I can save some fatigue on sponts and look cool, this is beginning to be quite a lot, although I believe that, spare maybe the question of the unraveling, this is about as close to the "by the raw" way to do it that I can get.

If going with "The Patient Spell" (MoH p113), the problems are similar if I want to hold spells for more than one day (which is the goal. I hold a few potentially useful sponts in it and don't use them unless I need to).
The Patient spell at constant duration will thus be able to hold (lvl -09) levels (lvl 29 to hold a lvl 20). Look at the lab totals above for this...
The unraveling works in a similar way, the problem being that IMO, this would screw up the patient spell fast-cast power. This just isn't done for this.

I have no particular problems with this not being able to work with spells cast by others. It wasn't my intent anyway, so I lose nothing here.
I don't care much about penetration: for sponts, it's negligible. For formulaics, the Patient Spell is only useful if you can use it to fast-cast hold spells, anyway.

I aim for Philosophiae and AL of 4-7, depending on my arts. This'd allow me to gain one to 2 levels on my sponts, something which ain't negligible. Considering taking LLSM instead of my current Perfect Magic too.

To tell the truth, though, I won't do it if I need a lvl 35 (or even 30!) effect to hold a lvl 15 spell. Really, no problem with it, I understand your problem with characters being unpredictable, or your fears of bookeeping, nor am I trying to make a kind of chantage, just stating things: it's not worth it, this require too many seasons (at least 2 per holding! We go to at least 10 seasons to hold 4 spells). Really, this is a secondary aspect of the character, something I'd like but can do without (and will, if it proves too unpractical). No ill will. I may do some Patient Spell tricks, still.

I'll argue one last time, though :wink:

Look at the various sagas around here.

  • When people have time to ceremoniously spont and don't know what they'll be facing, they pile on the protective effects while resting between 2 ceremonial castings (this sometimes get ridiculous, IMO). This would change nothing, save make things more realistic: The help spells would be the same kind of spells a magus could prepare without knowing what he'll face. And these, I could instead spend my seasons learning normally.
  • When people have time to ceremoniously spont and know what they'll be facing, they tailor their spells. My holds would change little to this, since I can't know in advance of the other players, so either I'm lucky and wait them, or cast with them. Only case where this is useful is for Mentem spells.
  • When people don't have time to ceremoniously spont and don't know what they'll be facing? Well, this is the better case, since I gain the benefit of AL and Philosophiae compared to "on the spot" spont casting, and am not limited by my fatigue for the held spells. But what spell will I need? Can you predict what spontaneous spell you'll need in a week in another saga? I can't. The more predictable spells are defense spells, but there aren't that many. After all, Ward against Heat and Flames, Invisibility, A ward vs metal (Please, tell me you give soak instead of "absolute defense" for personnal wards), what more do you need usually? So I'm more flexible in what I can prepare blindly. Not saying this sucks. It's good, but that's all.
  • When people don't have time to spont and know what they'll be facing? See just above. Either I'm lucky, or I'm like all the other players.

Given 4 slots to release a spell once, what, say, lvl 25 spell (Go for it!) would you hold at all times to prepare for any situation, what would any player here hold, that would destabilise the game so much, compared to, say, learning it, investing it on an item or sponting it normally on the fly? I gain some flexibility and a little planning, sure, this is the goal. But I can't surprise you, since you'll know the spells I've prepared. Is this so powerful, given both the time invested and the fact that these are prepared before knowing what I'll face?

Really, stating again, no problem if you disagreee.

I just see it as a bookkeeping headache, keeping track of what spells are stored. And since they are spontaneous, there isn't a firm description of them except whenever you do it. This can become problematic, requiring frequent edits to the character sheet. I can also take a look at what spells you have stored, and then make allowances for neutralizing them, so they've gained the player nothing.

I agree, it is ridiculous to spend an hour or more creating protective effects, like a first thing in the morning routine. Sometimes it is ridiculous to other characters, if they are involved, remember when I proposed doing something ceremonially as Ra'am once, and as Heims, you didn't like it, although time wasn't really a huge factor in that case. My main question comes down to, if it's so important to do repeatedly, why not invent the spell and move on? The answer really is to invent the spell, and not to rely on spontaneous castings. Or instill the effect into the talisman gaining relevant bonuses as you attune the item to the particular effect!

I can see a TeFo specialist not knowing some of the lower level spells, because they can just cast them spontaneously, with only a small risk of failure. When one moves outside the specialty it becomes much more difficult, sure. That doesn't mean that things can't be solved creatively. I'm just not convinced this is necessary in this saga. I like to think I don't create situations that cannot be solved by a clever use of a magus' arts or existing spells. When I draft a scenario, I take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of each character, and then I try and challenge the weakness while giving an opportunity to play to their strengths. While it is trivial to look at your sheet and see what spells you have stored, it is also trivial for me to come up ways for those to be ineffective, or minimize the opportunity you have to change them to more suitable spells for the scenario your character faces. And then I design something and someone attempts a brute force attack... (I'm looking at you chico).

Pushing the bounds of metamagic isn't something I'm interested in doing in this saga. Even exploring those bounds is problematic. Ranulf, the example you've cited has sparked some discussion, additionally he was designed in response to a literary request. That may make for an interesting story in the singular magus case, but not necessarily for a saga.

lol okay.

To tell the truth, I only wanted to do this because of Amber. I love the image of the character spending time to craft a spell, then storing it for future use, but can understand you fearing the bookeeping, and this isn't central enough to the character for me to fight for it.

Gonna work on the character. I've got the flaws and basic backstory, the skills and arts, most of the spells, most of the virtues. Afterwards, I'm gonna have to age him.
Oh, IIRC, only spells from the books are okay, no? This is a bother to me (Focus in Ice, which is sorely lacking in spells), but I can understand it, so just asking. I may shift from a minor focus in Ice to a major in Cold and Ice

Books or the Net Grimoire.

I might let one through, I just don't want to have to vet a bunch of spells. If you have MetaCreator, and you do the spells in that and send me the file, it's a bit easier so I can review them easily, instead of reconstructing them.