Little Rules Tidbits that Make You :roll:

Personally, I think that Aegis-by-the-RAW is not necessarily inconsistent with the setting as described.

The first thing to consider is: what is the cost of casting an Aegis with 1, 2, 3 etc. botch dice?
Remember that a single-die botch means that a) the caster gains 1 warping point and b) the spell is out of control, though it generally still goes off (ArM5, p.87). As for the warping point, remember that on average a magus gains 2/year, so even if we assume that twilight is the main source of demise for magi, gaining one is like losing 2 seasons (if instead we assume that final twilight has a 50% chance of knocking you off, gaining 1 warping point is like losing 1 season). The out-of-control effects of a botch are up to the SG, but if we look at the examples, it's stuff like the caster being knocked unconscious (no big deal), attracting unwanted attention (again, consequences very much up to the SG) or the spell being flawed or incomplete or affecting the caster (push come to shove, dispel and recast). In fact, you may even get a positive effect like an undying Aegis!

So, let''s see what a caster is facing every 100 castings (i.e. every 100 years).
With 1 botch die, 1 extra warping point plus some minor inconvenience. Negligible.
With 2 botch dice it's 2 extra warping points, 2 minor "inconveniences"... and 0.1 expected "double botches" (basically, a 10% chance of it happening once). A double botch probably causes a fair inconvenience, though again up to the SG, and I wouldn't make it life-threatening (I'd rule it equivalent to the loss of a magus-season or two). A double botch also means having to roll to avoid Twilight, but it's a test that the magus has a fair chance of passing considering that he can burn confidence on it and that he probably has a fair Vim form bonus. All told, still more than worth it for the protection the Aegis provides to the entire covenant for 100 years.
With 3 botch dice, it's 3 extra warping points, 3 minor inconveniences, an expected 0.27 double botches (fair inconvenience plus roll to avoid twilight), and an expected 0.01 triple botch. The latter could be pretty nasty, but it's only a 1% chance every 100 years... I'd say an Aegis is well worth this level of risk.
With 4 botch dice, it's 4 extra warping points, 4 minor inconveniences, an expected 0.49 double botches, an expected 0.04 triple botches, and an expected 0.001 (1 chance out of 1000) quadruple botches. Still well worth it.

Let's now look at how many botch dice a caster will likely face. This depends on a lot of factors, the main one probably being the magnitude of the Aegis.

Personally, I think that a level 20 Aegis (the minimum) is really what most covenants would want (and what most covenants have in my saga), as it keeps out most stuff that might pester the covenant, from low to mid powered demons and faeries to spells by hedge wizards. It's also easily within reach (and with a fair penetration) of a starting magus casting alone who devotes a little effort to Rego and Vim -- and does not cost a fortune in vis. A level 20 Aegis entails 5 botch dice, but a mastery score of 3 already pushes it down to 2 botch dice. In my saga, there's a famous L3, Q15 Summa on mastery of Aegis of the Hearth (authored by Notatus, no less!) that is as common as the Roots of the Arts. Note that the availability of such a book is perfectly within the RAW, and if the Aegis is so widespread, it makes a lot of sense that someone might have written one. Studying it for 1 season gives a magus with no applicable V&Fs a mastery score of 2, studying it for a second season, a score of 3. All told, this makes a level 20 Aegis really worthwhile: even without magi of special skill, every century an Aegis caster who has devoted two seasons to Notatus' book will gain an extra 2 warping points (equivalent to losing a year of lifespan or less), the covenant will face 2 minor inconveniences, and there's a small (10%) of something a little bigger (a double botch). In fact, well before a century has passed, a covenant can remove the botch risk altogether, e.g. because the main caster has gained a familiar with a +2 gold cord.

A more powerful covenant or one facing specific threats might want a stronger Aegis -- but is also likely to have attracted stronger/more specialized help. I think all but a very few (maybe 2 or 3) covenants have an Aegis that is level 40 or less, which keeps out all but the most powerful supernatural threats. This entails 9 botch dice, meaning that you probably want to remove 6 to 9. The aforementioned mastery book removes 3. Another 3+ could be removed by a strong gold cord, or the cautious sorcerer Virtue, or a Mercurian Magic casting (which reduces the number of pawns necessary and so the botch dice). Two or three of these factors combined could bring the total botch dice to 0 and/or allow several other magi to join in a Communion to boost Penetration. So a level 35-40 Aegis takes some effort to be worthwhile in terms of botch risk, but it's quite doable if you focus on it.

In my saga, the strongest Aegis in the Order is that of Durenmar, a level 60 Aegis. This keeps out virtually everything short of (the greatest of) faerie gods, princes of hell, archangels and kosmokrators (in particular, it keeps out the Black King). The magus who developed it a century ago was a magus with the Mercurian Magic Virtue (who also wrote a pair of good tractatus on it), and his senior filia still casts it today in communion with two other magi of Durenmar (they each know a Base 40 communion), helped by her +4 gold cord and a mastery of score of 5 for a total number of botch dice equal to:
1 (stress die) + (12/2 for the vis) + 3 (three other magi in the communion) -4 (gold cord) -5 (mastery) = 2
The typical penetration at which the spell is cast is 70-80 (stress die + Rego 28 + Vim 22 + Penetration 7 + Aura 7 + Artes Liberales 5 + Philosophiae 4 + Stamina +1 + talisman Bonus 4 + mastery 5 + mastery penetration ability 5 + 2 voice and gestures -20 effective level of the Aegis after Communion). In 45 years the maga has botched just once -- the Aegis still went off, but she gained a warping point and almost but not quite fainted as a result of the powerful magic coursing through her ("overwhelmed" result, stress roll of 4 +1 Stamina +1 Bronze cord =6).

Really? Your example below seems inconsistent with that statement.

I'd say Aegis 30 is probably the more desired level of the Aegis, because Might 30 creatures tend to be a bit challenging to magi, especially magi who haven't focused on penetrating with their particular favored combat spells.

I don't disagree that the problem can be overcome with enough time.

The King Fir of the Black Forest is a might 90 creature, so an Aegis 60 wouldn't stop him from coming in, even if it did penetrate with a penetration total of 90, but it wouldn't need to penetrate to subtract 30 penetration from all of his effects, should he come in. It's not clear from you that the other participants are Mercurians. If so, that's unusual, that three Mercurians would be at Durenmar, although I can envision Durenmar recruiting them for this purpose.
In point of fact, if she botched the casting the spell should never have gone off, the casting total is 0 in the even of a botch (page 81). And, of course, all the other participants would have had warping from the failed spell. So Durenmar would be out 6 pawns of vis, and would have to do it again, while the magi who participate in the ritual might need time to recover and all the while the Aegis to the Hearth is down... Now all this is a highly specialized build designed to reduce the cost of casting the Aegis. I think Aegis 30 is probably the most common level, it would have 7 botch dice from the spell and would probably need another 3 to commune and therefore would have 11 botch dice prior to modifications. Golden cord of 5 is super, and probably something only a really experienced magus could have. A mastery score of 5 is great, too, but that's 75 xp, and well in excess of a few good tractatus. So the example appears to be optimized for casting rituals, if not the Aegis. Rego 28 and Vim 22 is well in Archmage territory, and it's hardly the standard of what we can see I the setting.

Infernal/Magic/Faerie characters with Second Sight explode just by looking around inside a church.

Church Faeries can't Shapechange.

Anyone with Sense Holiness/Unholiness has to notice that major aspects of his religion seem incorrect.

Poor people can be richer than Wealthy people.

Every 20 years, getting older makes aging rolls become less dangerous.

A mastered spell is cast with a stress die, but does not incur any botch dice if the caster is "relaxed", even when casting it "in a non-magic aura or when using vis" (ArM5 p.86). ArM5 p.81 requires Rituals to be cast with a stress die, which mastery retains. But "the magnitude of Ritual spells, and the need to incorporate many elements" does not look to me like it is worse stress than casting with vis in an Infernal aura. So nothing leads a troupe to decide, that casting a mastered Ritual in quiet, normal circumstances demands botch dice. While common sense requires, that a designated caster of a Ritual usually has mastered it, spending a season on practice if necessary.

A troupe can force more adventuresome rituals by ruling, that a caster of all or certain rituals can never be relaxed, but this is their adventuresome decision, which they can then implement in their version of Mythic Europe.

Cheers

This particular discussion is best left in the thread where it happened. I disagree with this interpretation. RAW is muddled at best and outright contradictory at worst.

This was discussed at length in the past, and a number of people (including me at the time) held your position. However, it's not the only interpretation possibile, and a lot of people (including me now, and Ivaguelyseemtorecall some of the authors too) instead assume that the natural reading is: a Ritual is never a relaxed casting, because in addition to vis, it involves other elements that invariably make the casting stressful. One sentence in support of this position is on p.83: "Remember that, if the maga can cast the spell under calm conditions, she can use a simple die and thus avoid the possibility of botching." Since a Ritual can never use a simple die, it follows that the maga can never cast it under calm conditions. I think everybody agrees that if one takes your position (whether it's the correcting reading of the RAW or a houserule) the entire issue becomes moot.

Reading rules as "the holy RAW" leads sooner or later to this conclusion. To play ArM5 you need to consider rules, game world and your specific saga. Together.

I don't claim here that my reading is the only one.

Your conclusion is wrong, however. ArM5 p.83 "Remember that, if the maga can cast the spell under calm conditions, she can use a simple die and thus avoid the possibility of botching." does not imply "If she does never use a simple die to cast the spell, she does never cast the spell under calm conditions." Indeed, by ArM5 p.86 a mastered spell, cast under calm conditions, is still cast with a stress die.

I think so too.

Cheers

Except one can never use a simple die when casting a ritual spell (and I interpret that as not be relaxed), it's specified in the rules as being a stress die. Like I said in that other thread, I think the reading is that casting a ritual is stressful, the entire ritual magic section is describing how it is different from formulaic magic. So, how do you resolve this contradiction, if a ritual is not mastered?

It doesn't to me. I believed I showed how a level 20 Aegis can be "managed" easily even without special skills; how a level 40 requires some dedication, but nothing extraordinary; and how a level 60 Aegis is possible with extraordinary effort. Since the setting does not specify what is a "typical" Aegis, I see no reason to say that Aegis-by-the-RAW-(assuming-stressful-Rituals) is inconsistent with the setting. A setting consistent with the RAW has most covenants with an Aegis of 20, some powerful/dedicated ones with an Aegis in the 25-40 range, and a very very exceptional few with an Aegis up to level 60.

Aegis 30 might be more desirable, if you can manage all those botches. But I don't think you can say: "I think a level 30 Aegis is nice(r) to have, but by the RAW it's not nice to have, so the RAW is inconsistent with the setting." It may at most be inconsistent with your view that a level 30 Aegis is the most common Aegis.

Incidentally, 'personally, I tend to view the Aegis as something that protects the covenant, not directly the magi. It keeps "average" demons from possessing your grogs, "average" faeries from tinkering with your lab equipment, and "average" magical critters from stealing your stores of vis. Bigger stuff must be confronted by the magi. I think it's quite reasonable to assume that the Aegis can't keep out anything that the magi couldn't deal with if they managed to confront it personally.

Actually, according to the errata it's a Might 60 creature, so an Aegis 60 it's just what's needed to keep it out.

Yes to the warping (1 warping point to each of the other two magi...). As for "the spell should never have gone off", ArM5 specifically states (the sentence below the one you cite) that in general, in the event of a botch, a spell still does go off, it's just out of control. I assume this supersedes the fact that with a casting total of 0 anything but the lowest level spells should not go off at all. But I believe this is tangetial: if the spell did not go off, well, yes, Durenmar would have had to pay its Aegis cost twice once in 45 years. That's a tiny overhead.

Uhm... 7+3=11? In any case, there's nothing in the RAW or setting description that says that 30 is the most common level, nor that one would need 3-4 magi in communion to cast the Aegis. What may be inconsistent is the combination RAW + your assumptions + setting description. But this does not mean that RAW + setting description are inconsistent, it may just mean that your assumptions are unjustified.

I think some of there may be some confusion on the numbers (e.g. the gold cord score, and 75xp that's really 30xp from the "standard" summa, plus another 30 xp from two good tractatus and an excellent commentarius, plus 15xp of practice/exposure). But let me repeat. GotF explicitly states that Durenmar has an exceptional, legendary Aegis, stronger than any other Aegis ever developed (at least at the time of its creation, a century ago). It stands to reason that it's cast by a maga who's the best, or one of the best, in the Order to cast an Aegis. Note that such a maga has a single "exceptional" ability (Mercurian magic), and has just put a good amount of effort at being really good at casting Aegis. I mean, if you look at Ranulf of Flambeau from MoH, he's nothing more extraordinary in his own field of expertise.

Once again, to prove that Aegis-by-the-RAW is inconsistent with the setting, you have to prove that a level 20 Aegis cast by "typical" magi is mechanically not worthwhile, or to show that the setting describes the typical Aegis to be stronger. I may be wrong, but I do not think that's the case.

I don't see any contradiction to resolve.

If a maga casts a Ritual she has not mastered, she uses a stress die, just as she does with a spell she has not mastered and boosts with vis. If she has mastered the Ritual, she can cast it with a stress die (and no botch dice) when she is relaxed, and if she has mastered the spell she boosts with vis, she can cast this with a stress die (and no botch dice) when she is relaxed, too.

Cheers

"If the maga can cast the spell under calm conditions, she can use a simple die" (ArM5 p.83)
implies
"if the maga can never use a simple die, she can never cast the spell under calm conditions".
It's inescapable under simple, formal logic.

Changing "can" in "does" changes things, but it's a change you introduced to support a flawed argument. Note that in theory a magus need not use a mastery ability, so in principle he could cast even a mastered formulaic spell as if not mastered, with a simple die and no mastery bonus.

Not so. A Pilum of Fire mastered by a maga is "always cast with a stress die" (ArM5 p.86). She can never use a simple die to cast it. But she certainly can cast a Pilum of Fire under calm conditions. Just keep the context of all the relevant phrases in mind. :smiley:

"Holy RAW" on ArM5 p.86 does not agree with your theory here: "Mastered spells are always cast with a stress die, but if the maga is relaxed there are no botch dice, even in a non-magic aura or when using vis." :smiley:

Cheers

To be clear, you used an exceptional situation and group of people to demonstrate something exceptional. I don't see how that applies to lower level rituals or different circumstances.

The Aegis is not for the magi, generally, but for the covenfolk (although, it really needs to be larger, because it's quite small, different debate). I'd say Aegis 20 is the starter Aegis, but every covenant who has that is probably eyeing the Aegis 30, if only to cover a broader range of supernatural threats. The increase in level would be for the magi, in particular the magi who can't really handle might 30 creatures. Even covenants who have characters who can push their combat spells through with +30 penetration are going to have times when they are away from a covenant, and that's why an Aegis 30 would be important.

So noted.

Almost anything can happen, too. Having the Aegis still be effective is fairly generous. But, I'll concede it is a small amount of overhead, but perhaps not for Durenmar, which is canonically struggling with its vis income.

Obviously, I can't add. I must have added the 1 botch die in twice. So, yeah, 10. I think most spring covenants are going to have an Aegis 20, and most summer and autumn covenants will have an Aegis 30 (it's also a demonstration of wealth and power to other magi). I think covenants will have higher level Aegis available to be cast, if they think the risk is worth it.

No, Guardians of the Forest does not state that Durenmar has an exception, legendary Aegis. It says, on page 52, that the magi at the time created the most powerful version of AoH, yet, sufficient to stop the faerie king. This happened sometime around 1081, but well before 1220. The only statement about the Aegis's power, is that it is a very high magnitude Aegis. FWIW, HoH:TL details the Aegis for Magvillus better, saying that it's a secret (which I think might be saying a bit much), but probably around 10th magnitude. Further, it says that it has a 15th magnitude version for times of trouble. Yeah, there is some inconsistency here, because I'm sure that the 15th magnitude Aegis was developed for or during the Schism.

Would you care to define a typical magus? My typical magus is one who is not a Rego or Vim expert, has no virtues which can improve his ability to cast ritual spells, or mitigate botch risk. Let's say he's 20 years post gauntlet, and has moved his Arts at or past the point to train an apprentice, so we know he has Rego 5, Vim 5, for certain. What else does he have? Note, your creating an exception Aegis for Durenmar, and having exceptional people cast it does not prove that an Aegis 20 is easy to cast by anyone else. Is it reasonable to say that the typical caster of the Aegis has Rego 10 and Vim 10, and that the resources of the typical covenant are there to ensure that capability? It may be that my coloration of the setting that is influenced on things like players forgetting to make Rego and/or Vim priorities (Rego does tend to get a fair amount of interest, though), forgetting to get an Aegis at character creation, or even a lab text (even when factoring in the exorbitant costs of lab texts one of those :unamused:). Where in that time of pushing their Rego and Vim scores do they also find the time to master Aegis of the Hearth, acquire and bind a familiar, and pursue their favored Arts? 20 years seems like a lot, but by RAW, without a detailed library and complex advancement, that's only 600 xp. Even with complex or in play advancement, it's only as much as the library can handle ANd there is a presumption that the desired book is ALWAYS available. The logistics of being able to cast an Aegis, any Aegis are something that are almost always glossed over.

The fact that some people can be polite is not in disagreement with the fact that they never are :slight_smile: Frankly, this discussion seems well past the point of usefulness to me. I'll focus on other points of the thread (including the Aegis discussion with Jonathan.Link).

Very well, given that, I expect you will end discussion on this topic here, in this thread? As long as I stipulate that my interpretation of botch dice from rituals is from a RAW that is contradictory or muddled at best? And that it is a possible setting conflict that the Aegis is a fairly risky proposition, far more risky depending upon how you interpret certain rules, including but not limited to penetration, botch dice for ritual spells, and whether a single point in spell mastery can cause a ritual to be cast under relaxed conditions. There, so stipulated.
As I said previously, and as ezzelino pointed out here:

Except you kind of are, when you continue to bring up the same points. I even acknowledged, when it was brought up that RAW is contradictory and muddled here. I think it's ludicrous that magi can cast spells safely with vis, period. RAW says it is possible. RAW also says the SG can determine what a stressful situation is, so clearly, all we are doing is putting forward a HR (maybe even a common, unwritten one) that says using a vis in a spell is never a relaxed situation, you must use a stress die and deal with the botch risks . People play with unwritten house rules all the time. Certainly your position could stand to be clarified with a HR, because people can interpret things differently than you.

Well, you agree with yourself. That wasn't clear before.

*edited post, added items in italics.

It was meant as a complement to the other parts of the discussion. I wanted to prove that a) an unexceptional Aegis can be "managed by" unexceptional magi and b) (with the Durenmar example) even an exceptional Aegis can be "managed by" magi according to the RAW, even though those magi have to be exceptional.

Uhm yes, so ... don't you agree that having an Aegis that's more powerful than any other Aegis developed in the Order before 1081 counts as having an exceptional Aegis? That's how I read it, unless one assumes that there's been a whole lot of advancement in "Aegis technology" in the last century.

Good catch.

"Typical" was purposefully vague. But I'd say that Rego+Vim of 20 can be considered a minimum for what's "typical" for an Aegis caster: all but the youngest spring covenants (and those rare "single-heremite-magus" covenants) should have someone with such abilities available, if anything because it does not take a lot of effort to push Rego and Vim up to 10, and it's something useful beyond just casting an Aegis. As for helpful Virtues, I was assuming none, but I do guess that the "typical" Aegis caster will have a familiar with a gold score of 1 or 2 (from my experience, magi tend to bind familiars rather early). As I said, I was assuming the wide availability of a L3, Q15 summa on mastery -- plus maybe a few tractatus (say, 2 of Quality 10, and another 3 of Quality 8-9), given how important the Aegis is.

So.

In terms of botch dice, it takes two seasons to learn Mastery to level 3 from the Summa, which reduces botch dice of a level 20 Aegis from 5 to 2. I'd assume those two extra botch dice are "typically" brought to 0 by a combination of a gold cord, a specialty in the mastery ability (I assume it's allowed, but you may differ), an appropriate Virtue, and/or a little extra study (2 more seasons to go to level 4, three more to go to level 5). Note that having e.g. 2 botch dice for the first 10 spring years, 1 botch die for the next 10, a 0 thereafter seems pretty reasonable and with little risk to me.

In terms of Penetration, I'd say stess die + (Rego+Vim) 20, Stamina +1, Aura +3, Penetration 4, Artes Liberales 2, Philosophiae 2, "pure" Mastery 3, Mastery-in-Penetration (one of the few worthwhile abilities for mastery of a Ritual) 3, booming voice and exaggerated gestures +2 (or maybe a talisman bonus for the classy magus) -20 Aegis level = stress die +20. Nothing exceptional, but it does keep out critters up to Might 20, and cripples supernatural abilities of minor hedge wizards.

The point is, I think, that maintaining even a lowly Aegis is essential to a covenant's well being (this is both "setting-canonical", and reasonable in my view). So someone has to do it, as a service to the covenant. This seems far more crucial than making magical ovens or butterchurns for the covenfolk, as I see many magi being described as doing. It could well be the "service" that the most suited magus provides. How much effort does it take? If not a single magus at the covenant is interested in Rego OR Vim beyond what's necessary to train an apprentice, not a single magus has any helpful Virtue, not a single magus will get a familiar with a positive gold cord (but at that point, maybe it's worth contracting the Aegis out?), even if you don't allow mastery specialties it takes 1 season to learn the Aegis from a lab text, 2 to study the Summa to get a mastery of 3, and 2 more to study two good tractatus to get a mastery of 4, for a total of 5 seasons devoted to the Aegis -- plus maybe 6 seasons to push Rego and Vim up from level 5 or 6 to level 10. At 1 season of "service" per year, even the most ill-equipped covenant will manage to have its Aegis 20 up and running within roughly a decade, with just 1 botch die, i.e. an expected 1 single botch per century (which is acceptable).

EDIT: Yes, this assumes the Aegis mastery book(s) will always be available. But if the Aegis is so essential, the books should be really, really common and cheap.

I have yet to play in a Ars game that did not hand wave the AoH casting. It would totally change how a game is conducted. I would love to see how it plays out in a game but it would be come a larger part of the game than most would want.

After removing arguments relying on reading out of context, we can have a new look at the quotes made so far about mastery of Ritual spells.

[81] ArM5 p. 81: "The magnitude of a Ritual spell, and the need to incorporate many elements, mean that they are always cast using a stress die."
[83] ArM5 p. 83: "For every pawn of vis used, the maga must roll an extra botch die if the casting roll is stress and comes up zero. This includes the pawns used to make a Ritual spell possible. Remember that, if the maga can cast the spell under calm conditions, she can use a simple die and thus avoid the possibility of botching."
[86] ArM5 p.86: "Mastered spells are always cast with a stress die, but if the maga is relaxed there are no botch dice, even in a non-magic aura or when using vis."

An absolute, literal reading of the last phrase of [83] outside of its context is contradicted by [86], as shown above. This is not a surprise, as the mastery rules introduced on p. 86 were not known on earlier pages and hence were not addressed there. And as [86] overrides [83], it can also override [81].

The remaining question is then, when a maga casting a mastered Ritual is relaxed in the sense of [86]. [81] - in its context - tells us, that Rituals are especially stressful because of their magnitude and their many elements. Does a troupe believe, that mastery of a Ritual overcomes these two issues? A similar question is, whether an actress on a stage production rehearsed for three months needs to roll a stress die or a simple die for how well she does in a routine performance.
The anwer depends on the troupe, of course. And by that decision, the troupe also determines the number of Ritual botches it has in its game world.

Cheers

I know, but I wanted to have some parameters for discussion.

As I mentioned earlier, an Art score of 10 is 55 xp, so we are looking at 110 xp in Arts, 50 XP for Penetration, 15 xp for Artes, 15 xp for [strike]F[/strike]Philo, and another 30 xp for mastery, for a total of 220 xp devoted to the Aegis spell. Well, that might be an overstatement, Artes and Philo are useful for any ritual and other things. Penetration, though, is primarily useful to combat magi who regularly face off against opponents with MR. I'd say 50 xp is not typical, and it's probably 15 xp. So let's say that this is a total of 110 for Arts 15 for Penetration and 30 for mastery, or 155 xp devoted to the Aegis. Assuming 15xp per season, let's call it 10 seasons of effort, plus a season for learning Aegis. It's 11 seasons devoted to doing stuff that the magus probably doesn't want to do as much of his stuff, and that's on top of all the other junk that gets in the way of doing his own thing. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, nor does it seem all that unreasonable, but how does the covenant compensate a member who devotes this much time to making sure he doesn't mess up (often). As I'm sure you are well aware, a 11 season commitment to something is a lot of time. Every character I've ever made has had his seasonal advancement imposed upon by the needs of the covenant. In covenants where covenant service is required, how are these 11 seasons accounted for?

Would it be more typical for someone who can invent the Aegis 20 ritual to do so and for others who can learn Wizard's Communion come together to cast the Aegis? Yeah, I think so. My preference is that it wouldn't be a botch-fest. I would like to see the spring covenant, the covenant probably most in need of an Aegis actually able to cast an Aegis by newly gauntled characters who could actually prepare for the possibility of starting a new covenant. I think almost any character at gauntlet can be constructed (without losing focus on preferred areas and spells) to know Aegis 20. Getting to the point where he can cast it single-handed is a really tall order and involves a significant time commitment. Even if the character starts with Rego 5 and Vim 5, you sill have 125 XP which is still 9 seasons...

Some edits...

One Shot, it's remarkable about how you continue to agree with yourself.

Edit...

The third paragraph of the Ritual Magic section on page 81 states that ritual magic is always cast with a stress die. That doesn't tell us anything that differs what you are saying. But examining why it is always cast with a stress die is important. It's unfortunate that it wasn't written, "The magnitude of Ritual spells, and the need to incorporate many elements, mean that they are always cast in stressful conditions and use a stress die." That is my reading of the language used there. Otherwise, there is no purpose for the paragraph. Stressful and non-stressful conditions would continue to be adjudicated by the SG, and it would be determined on a case by case basis (which as I outlined later to jebrick would be never). I don't get stress, but easily mitigated with a single point of mastery, from that sentence on page 81 that they intended rituals to be a risk-free endeavor, I get quite the opposite from that sentence. If you want to cast rituals risk-free it requires some serious design considerations (spell mastery in excess of 1, familiar with high golden cord, virtues).