Limit of Longevity Ritual without Warping

For those better at math than me.

How long, barring other incidents, could a magus live if there were no warping for longevity rituals?

First Question. Is a "Longevity Ritual" a formal ritual in your game? AKA, is the Mage limited to MT*2?

Standard Longevity Potion/Ritual Rules

Figuring the magus won't be young at the last brewing (let's say ballpark 100 years past gauntlet, so ballpark 125-130 years old), some favors should have been collected. That should be convertible into some assistance in the lab. Also, the magus will have saved up a lot of vis by this point and so can hire the best. Magic Theory shouldn't be out of reach for 125-130 years, as that's a 13, or 11+2, or 10+1+2 as would be more typical for a top Bonisagus longevity specialist, and such a specialist would raise Magic Theory as much as possible. Anyway, it could be decade earlier; the point is that there will have been many decades to earn favors and collect vis.

So, how much lab total can we expect? The best longevity specialist would specialize in Creo and Corpus. Let's say 30 in each to be somewhat conservative while still making the values high, and combine that with a Magical Focus. There are plenty of fairly easy lab bonuses to get +20ish from the lab, so we might estimate 30 from lab, aura, and intelligence. We're up to 120 before assistance. The magus paying for the ritual is a guarantee. And then there would be the two familiars. And then an assistant or two from favors. Let's say another 50, 5 at 10 apiece on average. That's a lab total of 170. (From experience, I've done this carefully and broken 200 with a much younger maga pursuing a different lab total, so 170 is definitely reasonable.)

Then consider living conditions, Bronze Cord, faerie/magic blood, etc. Let's call that worth 7. So the magus should be able to get +41. Thus I would say barring issues with Warping and other stuff, living to over 400 years old is definitely reasonable.

The canon answer is that the original creation is limited by Magic Theory but subsequent rebrewing of the same ritual is limited by Arts.

Minor gripe, but I think you're slightly underestimating how rare magi that could brew an LR of this potency are. Or maybe you're not, but it's worth pointing out! (CrCo 'raw' of 60 is exceptionally rare!)

Given the population statistics of the Order, I personally assume any raw (non MMF) TeFo of 60+ score is exceptionally rare. At that skill level, you're extremely likely (though not required) to be an archmagus, or at least over 100 years old. I checked the published stats for a few archmagi or 100+ y/o magi and the ones I looked at in an admittedly quick review (Against the Dark, Through the Aegis, GotF, Magi of Hermes 'endgame' stats) and had yet to find a single magus with a raw TeFo of 60 - though Phillipus Niger got the closest with 58 in PeVi.

On Archmagi: "Of the 1200 or so magi in the Order of Hermes, fewer than 80 have achieved this lofty status. There are a disproportionate number from Houses Tremere, Flambeau, and Tytalus, and there are many rumors about what role they fulfill in the Order." (GotF 24)

Even assuming a disproportionately high number of the Order's Archmagus-level magi are CrCo specialists relative to other TeFo combinations, that leaves you with maybe a half-dozen magi in the world with the ability to create a LR of this potency from TeFo - though I admittedly wouldn't be surprised if people on this particular TeFo combination likely ended up with an applicable MMF. If you're lucky, one archmagus-level CrCo specialist lives in your Tribunal...

There some way to get much better longevity rituals then just the Cr/Co score suggest. (keep in mind it is mentioned that the longevity ritual is more like creating a item then a ritual according to the core rules)

  • Verditus magic can also be used for the longevity ritual to my knowledge
  • Minor focus age or Major focus male / female apply for the longevity rituals
  • The minor mystery The Lesser Elixir also add to the longevity rituals
  • In the 4. Edition covenant book Sanctuary of Ice there is a specialized covenant for longevity rituals and if I still remember right they had a break trough on this part (but this might not apply to your 5. edition game)

There is a nonstandard way in RoP:D 141 for a Jewish Tradition that have a similar effect to the longevity ritual but appears to have no warping over the years because its a one time effect.

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I'm not saying it wouldn't be rare. I'm saying that it is likely the top longevity ritual specialist in the order would focus on them extensively, that that expert is likely to be old to be the top expert and having the ability to brew good longevity rituals, and that 30s are quite achievable. Besides, as I mentioned, I had a CrMe expert who hit a lab total of over 200 only a bit more than a decade out of gauntlet.

Maybe I'm wrong, but weren't those magi all built with the quick creation rules in the core book which are in complete disagreement with the rules for advancement? For example, if you spend 1 season/year for 100 years brewing longevity rituals, the quick creation rules cheat you out of 200 exposure experience in Creo, Corpus, or Magic Theory, most likely. In the Arts, that's about 7 levels of Creo or Corpus missing, assuming you have neither Affinity nor Puissant.

Who cares about your Tribunal? I said the best one in the Order, so my assumption only requires one magus in the world who can do this, not even close to half a dozen. First note that longevity specialists are likely to live longest, being lab rats and being good at longevity. Then note that you could scale back your "disproportionately high" estimate not just by 2 or 3, but by a factor of 6 and still get the results I suggested.

You might also note that a PC with two Affinities/Puissants (chosen for this reason) and an applicable Focus could start with 15+3 in each Art for only 160 experience (meaning not even needing Skilled Parens or similar). Such a PC would start with a lab total around 65 right out of gauntlet. Give this PC 100 seasons of exposure over those 100 years, splitting points between Creo and Corpus, never once studying either Creo or Corpus from a book, and the PC ends up with both scores just shy of 25+3. The PC is just a little shy of the 30s I mentioned and has spent the other 300 seasons never once studying in their specialty Arts at all. What if this longevity expert lives for another 100 years, being great at longevity? What if this longevity expert, with all the vis available to spend on books reads just one sound tractatus on either Corpus or Creo every five years? Without significantly pursuing either of these Arts, this PC could easily get to scores closing in on 40s. And what happens if the PC does want to focus on these Arts?

I don't think so:

While what you're saying is fine about the "ritual" being an item, it still does not fall under one of those four categories to which Verditius Magic applies.

Yes, and I expect people could come up with others as well.

Yes, though it does not work in my example because

Here are some other things that could help in making longevity rituals, also noting that extra vis can raise the score if not needed for age:

  • Faerie Magic (use all Faerie vis and you can handle even more)
  • Chthonic Magic (get that lower Art yet one more time)
  • Potent Magic
  • Faerie Sympathy (replacing Magic Theory specialty)
  • Imbued with the Spirit of Corpus/Vim (handle more vis)
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Cyclic magic is another good one for longevity.

I'm not at all certain that score much over 30 are reasonable. Moving Magi at 30 xp per year (per the rules, although it is common to make decisions about a game that makes this slow, at least for young magi) I've gotten magi arts into the mid 30's and then not found much justification for the magi to put more effort into improving their arts where they're already strong rather than in other places. With arts in the mid 30's they can already whip up level 50 spells and effects pretty quickly. In my experience, once they hit this point getting better at other things takes precedence pretty much all of the time. So it's not so much that magi couldn't get scores into the 40's it's that they wouldn't feel the need.

In the Anulus Connectens project we got a longevity ritual lab total of 140 with magi 76 years past gauntlet without any specialization work that was specifically in longevity totals.

Not disagreeing with you on maximums possible at all - I just wanted to emphasize the relative rarity of this level of skill throughout the Order. Your initial tone just made TeFo scores of 60+ seem more 'common' than I'd ever expected, rather than typically the domain of heavily specialist (arch)magi. Really good point about the long-term effects of exposure-xp gain on a specialist of this sort, though - I suppose that's really the case for any dedicated specialist over a long period time, I'm probably a little bit personally biased towards a more even spread since I tend to make more 'dabbler' esque PCs.

Also, a 200 Lab Total 10y out of Gauntlet is pretty woah. Is that with a fairly typical 'pre-apprenticeship' period and using standard core character building rules, and just hyperspecializing? Or In-play apprenticeship/advancement dedication here?

Read again what I wrote:

As you can see, I was talking about the single best longevity expert in the entire Order, the domain of a heavy specialist.

That was a normal apprenticeship combined with strong specialization (not hyper) and some clever wheeling and dealing in play. I created great CrMe rituals for groups and sold them off cheap. Part of the deal for the PC's was a season of assistance in return for even cheaper prices, especially for Intelligence. I made sure I had a good Leadership score. I also gave group classes in Magic Theory at good rates. This meant I could get low to mid teens of bonus from each assistant (+5 Int, 7-8ish Magic Theory at a minimum). Combine that a whole bunch of times, and you quickly get from the 110 or so I already had from Creo, Mentem, Magical Focus, Int +5, great Magic Theory, and a fabulous lab.

Honestly, with hyper-specialization, I could get a lab total around 120 only a few years out of gauntlet with a standard apprentice. That's one of my next optimization bits.

Nice! I hadn't thought about 'stocking' lab assistance favors together into a single season - I can see how that (especially if you've raised their intelligence) could get some truly remarkable effects.

A big limit is the number of pawns you can use in a season-- even if you get a good bonus, there's a chance something could disrupt your Longevity Ritual, like a horrible rival who targets it with PeVi. (Dispel effects of a specific type with a level less than or equal to the level + 4 magnitudes of the Vim spell + a stress die (no botch)-- so a PeVi 25 with proper Penetration could hit a CrCo45 Longevity Ritual, and that's pretty feasible)

So, with that in mind, Magic Theory and the amount of vis you can use in a season becomes a major consideration. Being limited to 2xMT in a season means you've got to find a way to breach a MT of 20 to get past 200 (200/5=40, so you need MT of 20). 1050 is a lot of experience points.

However, there's a small workaround-- if you've got Faerie Magic, you can double the amount of vis you can use, as long as it's all Faerie Vis: "The amount of vis you can use in a
single season is equal to your (Magic Theory + Faerie Magic) x 2, so long as all of it is faerie vis." Which means you can hit 40 pawns with just a MT & a FM score of 10 each, and that's only 550 xp. The other 500xp puts your CrCo at about 41, before you start doing tricksy things with labs and foci, and other such gymnastics.

Depending on how you swing it, that can be pretty reasonable, but seasons become valuable as you press. I had to do a lot of calculating for this when I made Dama in F&F, and she's the oldest member of the Order at 193. Balancing her research, her covenant creation, her cult creation, time to gather vis, instruction; it adds up. You can hit the numbers hard in the 80s and have a decent bonus, but you're going to be scrambling in the late part of the second century, working to bump that CrCo, finding the applicable bonuses.

It's kind of fitting, though, that the faerie-centric magi have the best shot at an easier push into later life.


Maybe. It might take a ritual. If you play it is this easy to dispel, since it has no penetration, I assume you play that all Redcaps' longevity rituals go poof if they accidentally go a little too far when approach an Aegis of the Hearth.

Yes, Faerie Magic helps. So do Puissant Magic Theory, Affinity with Magic Theory, Imbued with the Spirit of Corpus/Vim, and Faerie Sympathy. Conditionally, so do Affinity with Faerie Magic, Puissant Faerie Magic, and Theriomorph.

But what do you mean by "get past 200"? 200 what? I think you're confused about something. 200 lab total? The vis isn't based on lab total. 200 years? The vis isn't based on how old you become. Look above at when I had the ritual put together. A big key is to get a fantastic ritual done when you're not nearly 200, a ritual that will suffice for another couple centuries. As long as you don't need to design a new ritual, Magic Theory limits are no longer an issue.

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You would assume wrong. I have the effects slightly suppressed, much like if one were to bring an enchanted item in; I don't believe the enchanted items are suddenly destroyed, just suppressed until the possessor has a token, or they're inside while the ritual is being done. As long as one wasn't constantly living without permission inside another's Aegis, this shouldn't be an issue.

But there's nothing in the rules which suggests a ritual is necessary to dispel a Longevity Ritual. It's covered just fine by the PeVi guideline I noted, and there's nothing to suggest a designed, targeted effect wouldn't do the trick. In fact it makes for better stories.

Working off of this...

So the V&F build is what?
Puissant MT
Puissant Cr
Puissant Co
Affinity Cr
Affinity Co
Minor MF: Life Magic (I think this is a minor, worst case it's a Major and we don't have to answer many questions about when our CrCo total gets the bonus)
(later, we'll see that Arcane Lore and Skilled Parens should probably be taken)

And then one Major? I guess, but it doesn't leave much room to personalize a theme, and 200xp from Exposure like you're suggesting is going to be 150xp to each, and only hits 21, part way to 22. I'd spot you the other experience points, but that's 22+3, not 25. That gets us to a CrCo61. The wizard would then have another 2000xp to spend, since they're spending one season a year doing something CrCo, presumably performing rituals to become this expert, although it does allow you include that familiar in the mix, too. We take 150 right off the top for a MT of 8, that allows them to handle 22 pawns, and they can do LRs for people who approach them, building up the favors you want to use later, still, that's 8 years of study getting there. That leaves 1850. Probably another 300 in spells is reasonable (as I consider Dama), So then 1500 to split between Arts and Abilities. If the other Arts averaged 3 at Gauntlet (just eyeballing-- if you know what they'd be for starting with CrCo36, that fine tunes it), 500 puts the others at about 9 each, which is pretty reasonable. And we've got 1000 left for other abilities. Putting the Parma at a decent level, say 6, is going scoop another 100, leaving 900, which you can blow through skills without trying hard. Hell, Leadership 5, Teaching 3, Latin 5, maybe Bargain 3, and I've already spent 150. That doesn't touch Concentration, Finesse, Penetration, or Philosophae. Living languages, Folk Ken (you're going to need to convince people to pay up when those favors are due), any Realm Lore, or Organizational Lore, possibly the Code to deal with the specifics of contracts and Longevity Rituals. Just a 3 in 10 of those will chew up another 300ish, so you've got about 450 left? Your CrCo is still at 22+3.

If we left it right there, and put the last 230/220 each into CrCo, you get 345/330, and that gets you to Cr34 Co 33 with 15 left over, we soak 20 out skills, and you hit 34 each, so a CrCo74, a CrCo91 for Life magic. You're still dealing with 22 pawns with MT at 8+3, which isn't enough for 120. If you take Arcane Lore as a Virtue, that gives you 50xp to dump right into MT, and we're at 24 pawns. Maybe take Skilled Parens, and we're at 10 MT, so that we can juice the end result a bit. That chews up our other two minor Virtues, and leaves us with the choice of just one Major virtue, and you haven't even done anything to adjust your characteristics. I guess you might just be a +3 Int with a -1 Str, and then what? You spend a few of those spell levels on rituals to increase characteristics, and a few of those exposure seasons to gather the vis necessary to complete them.

Your lab total hits 110 with an Aura 3, but before Familiar, and Assistant adjustments, but we know you're going to need to spend more than a few seasons of those 100 improving your laboratory to specialize it.

Eyeballing those 100 seasons, let's say 10 for gathering vis for your own rituals, 10 for rituals on yourself, 30 on rituals for others to build favors, 10 on your Familiar (this is a total guess), 10 on your laboratory. That's 70 of the 100, and doesn't include any time contributing anything to the covenant, but if you did 30 on rituals to aid other members, that's you doing something once every 3 years... not really what I consider a fair share, but ok. If you thirded the number of favors being built up (so you had 10 favors to call in) and put the other 20 as profits to count as service, that's a contribution every other year, which they might accept if you were also on hand as the healer whenever necessary. I've never played in a covenant where I just got to be a part of it and contribute nothing.

So with 10 seasons of favors to call in, you can have 5 people to help you, 5 to provide you the vis you need to perform the ritual. Each of those 5 can probably add another 10? (MT 7 and Int 3). We can eyeball the familar at another 10? Your Lab improvements offer up 10 more. That's +70.

You'll have a bonus 183, with is +37, +4 Living conditions, says that 120, you're getting a -41 bonus to the roll of (d10stress + 12)... you're good for another 180 years, at least, but you've also had no adventures, really, and done almost nothing but prepare for this moment. If we'd been really optimizing it, and took Strong Faerie Blood as our last Major Virtue, then we'd push out another -3 to the bonus, giving a a few more decades with -44. Congratulations.

What you seem to be creating is an NPC somewhere who does these rituals, and now, at 120, with their ritual done, they're going to probably be more picky about what they do and who they help. They might start doing more research in other places, certainly fleshing out their spells which are very narrowly focused at this point.

Even at this point, with this person who's spent 120 years becoming a Longevity Specialist, they get to around 330, maybe 380 before they have some big problems (presuming no exploding stress die somewhere in those 180-230 rolls which causes a crisis and requires a new ritual, one without favors on hand), and then, if they're trying to push further, it's about finding ways to handle 70 pawns of vis in a season, because if they hope to push past 350. Then you start dealing in them needing to learn other methods of handling vis, and that's going to mean adventures and that's going to mean danger, that's some crazy levels of MT, or the combination of MT/FM (17 of each is still about 1000xp, or 34 years of those 210-260 invested). shrug Or, they live life from the start, enjoying the journey.

Yeah, this wizard is possible, but I don't know how fun they are to play. They really look more like a great NPC lever to get the PCs to go do things for the potential benefit of not worrying about doing their own LR.

Or, on my magus' 40th birthday, I could make an appointment with this Specialist for Autumn of his 44th with a 1 rook reservation fee. Then, I need to gather 9 pawns for the ritual, another 13 to cap out the specialist's usage, and another 15 payment on top of that. (Sure, I'm spitballing here).

I get his 110 total, flat, for +22 on his lab total, I get another +26 for the 13 extra pawns.

After saving up for 3ish pawns a season over 4 years, I get a +48 bonus with 1 point of warping/year, and I'm back out to adventuring. Hell, I'll tip him another 5 so he makes 20 pawns for the season.

That sounds way way better than 120 years of dedicated development and like a much more fun saga.

This is where I'm confused, then:

You treat them like items as far as being quashed by Aegis of the Hearth.

Then when you get to Perdo Vim you cease to treat them as items (like Disenchant on ArM5 p.160) or any other sort of similar enchantment. You might notice this also directly contradicts canon despite your statement:

Ah, that's the guideline out of the Quaesitorial magics-- so I suppose it depends on whether you're making those guidelines available to everyone or just those who've either been instructed by a Quaesitor or had access to one of the proper texts. (and it reminds me that it would be really great to get a book with all the magical subsystems, variations, and additional bits pulled together into a single reference book, rather than across four RoP and four HoH books-- but that'd probably do something negative to those books' numbers)

Yes, that entry in HoH:TL seems to provide one guideline, and the one I've noted in the ArM5 core seems to provide another which would work just as well. YSMV, and good to note.

All of this does make me wonder if that LR Specialist might, actually, as they approach 100ish, start auctioning off LR slots, using Tribunal gatherings as a chance to make much much more from the process, because that'd be a great adventure hook, too. You'd have the intrigue as people try to figure out who's going to bid, what people have brought to bid, bid seeds get stolen, or Certamen between potential bidders in an attempt to exclude someone or to ensure they won't bid over a certain amount. You might possibly attract demons of greed or faeries hoping to make bargains in exchange for an advantage or enough vis. Or the LR becomes a bit of political currency. Excellent-- there's three solid uses of this particular NPC for different interactions with the covenant.

And reviewing the lab section, I think it's possible to do "just good enough" job on a particular project; this specialist might even say, "Oh, for that, I provide a 'half-strength' ritual," or maybe the contract doesn't stipulate just how strong the LR must be, and the specialist starts cutting a few corners, making the rituals 'just good enough,' and then maybe some people start dropping dead after a rough winter and a few bad crises.

Well, the theme is longevity specialist, and you've shown there is room to further personalize on top of that.

Huh? If you're showing what you can get to, why would you needlessly cripple yourself, throwing away 100 experience? 200 experience of exposure is 200 in Creo and 200 in Corpus if you don't choose to throw points away.

I'm confused. We're talking about exposure, but now it looks like you're switching over to character creation of old characters.

And then it looks like you're conflating the two magi (and maybe others), calling them a single magus? If it's the longevity specialist, what would be the need it getting more vis yourself? Making one ritual a year for others would provide more vis than I would probably know what to do with (except feeding a familiar). Meanwhile, cutting costs for some favors wouldn't hurt much and wouldn't take more time. If you're talking about the other person, then that person isn't focusing in CrCo. Meanwhile, if you have that much wealth, you shouldn't spend much time on your lab. Mostly you just need to refine a large one and do some work at the later end. All the earlier stuff can be handled by someone else, probably not someone who is Gifted.

Well, I've built a longevity specialist to hopefully use in a game soon. I didn't even focus on Corpus much, and I'll be able to manage a 10th-level ritual for someone up to about 110 years old coming out of apprenticeship while also being able to do Ball of Abysmal Flame or The Incantation of Lightning or similar, as well as a bunch of other nifty things. Given a year or two, that should be up to a 13th-level ritual. Given about three years I would expect a ballpark of a 16th-level ritual.

No... Exposure is 2 points a season. So for 100 seasons, you'd get 200xp, and with Affinity, you increase that total by half, so 100 in Creo, and 100 in Corpus becomes 150 in each. It's "increased by one half, rounded up. At character creation, any experience points you put into that Art are also increased by one half (rounded up)," not doubled.

I don't get much of a theme out of "Longevity Specialist," it's pretty boring to me, but you do, apparently-- that's cool.

And of course I cut back to the older advancement rules, that's what we've got for eyeballing a power level. I don't think anyone would begrudge the Exposure for the used season, and then you get another 20 for the rest of the year. Otherwise, we'd be going season by season, and I'd rather watch paint dry.

Oh, I think I see where you're confused-- I was saying that I could make one of two choices:

Choice A. Make this 120 year old LR specialist who's dedicated a century to making rituals rather than actually going out and adventuring, and then, when they've hit 120, actually be able to go do things


Choice B. Take a 40 year old magus, pay the NPC built to Choice A's specifications for a longevity ritual with warping, and continue adventuring out in the world.

To me, Choice B is way more interesting.

This rounding happens at the season of study; it doesn't hang around. It's not your total experience that gets multiplied and rounded, but what you're picking up in a season. So for one season of exposure, you get a total of 2 to split up. You give yourself Study Totals of 1 in Creo and 1 in Corpus. That multiplies to 1.5 each, and then rounds to 2 each. This is one place a lot of people refer to Metacreator, and Metacreator totally messed up Affinities; they messed them up in at least three related ways because they didn't understand how to code Affinities properly. This has been a known issue for a very long time, and, since I've heard recently of the same problem, it sounds like they still haven't fixed this major bug.