I was looking at the Augustan Brotherhood today since I am remaking Daria laGris (of ArM4 Triamore and GotF fame) into an Augustan sister. Then I failed to find any reference to how the Augustans get a life extension. Because they do not seem to. And she is 67 as the saga starts. Ouch
We also have a 100 year old Augustan in one of the suplements (tales of power) that while he is Unaging should have gone to meet Hades in person a while ago.
That got me thinking and worrying that I might lose an important NPC for the saga just to the ravages of age. While this is ok I do not want to lose her in just 9 months when winter comes around.
So what methods are out there that are not hermetic (and do not belong to faerie, divine or infernal realms) to extend people's lives? Asking the folk witches for a potion doesn't work apparently (can only brew longevity for themselves).
- environmental bonuses (usually +1 to +2)
- Medical regimes form A&A.
Healthy labs (Covenants p.111). Asking a Learned Magician for a Longevity Amulet would also work - but tmk there is none around.
My first thought was a friendly elementalist, but on checking it seems they actually can only do it for themselves just like folk witches.
Virtues could help, for a specific character - Unageing, strong faerie blood etc.
Mythic Herbalism can create potions which can resolve terminal ageing crises, and they can be made for other people. It won't be as good as a longevity potion as you still age at the normal rate but it would stretch your natural lifespan to the upper limit if you had a skilled mythic herbalist you could source powerful potions from.
Stasis power of magic spirits. Initiation into Unaging.
Magic Blood (ropm) for another -1.
You can only take it once, raw, though I've wanted to play a character who has taken it many times to get animal qualities and similar animal features... and can initiate more. Yes, he looks like he's put together from animal parts. But it's not RAW.
The alchemists variation of Learned Magicians can brew potions that grant a modifier to Aging rolls. It’s not a huge modifier (around 3-6), and the potion only lasts a season so the alchemist has to brew 4 of them for Daria to gain a benefit. She’ll also gain 1 Warping over the year. But it’s not bad for a low-power saga like yours.
Another option is to decide that she is a sufficiently powerful and inventive Augustan that she has developed a longevity method within the Augustan magic system and then making one up.
Maybe she can rely on roman baths located at magic springs and consecrated by the roman gods. There are a fair number of those around Triamore. It would also give her a nice strategic weakness to be discovered and exploited later in the game. Baths would fit nice with the roman theme of Augustan magic.
You can decide that she did it with the help of some hermetic documents detailing longevity rituals. They should be more accessible than the more closely guarded hermetic secrets like PM, especially if she found a lab text detailing the personal longevity ritual of a dead magus, which is essentially worthless to hermetic magi.
I built my own centuries old Dav’nalleous version with just Unaging to ignore decrepitude and Death Prophecy to ignore dying of old age.
Another cool option for a native Augustan longevity ritual is to have her create a sort of "portrait of dorian grey". An item that prevents the Augustan wizard from aging or at least from suffering the effects of age. Imo this fits within the Augustan magic system along the lines of creating an egg that protects a city, but instead creating an egg (or some other thing) that protects a persons youth. Perhaps breaking the longevity object forces the protected person to suffer all of the aging that they had so far avoided.
This kind of longevity magic is also markedly weaker than hermetic magic in the sense that it is dependent on an external object that needs to be protected.
Argentius - Elemental refining can be used on yourself, but those with Medicinal refining can create longevity rituals for others.
Folk Witches can create potions for themselves.
Vitkir can use Dagaz runes on themselves - see "I (the runemaster) carve the runes of longevity" in the Non-Hermetic Grimoire on this forum. To make amulets affecting others, it would be a Dagaz(Mannaz) to affect other human beings, or other requisites if you want your favourite steed to have an amulet. (Hmmm....birds of prey have a very long lifespan according to grogs, an amulet on one of them could be interesting...)
Learned magician amulets can be used with Sucurro Salutem guidelines - the example given says you need enough charges to last the whole year to get the bonus. However, with high enough levels theoretically you can go group for 1 extra magnitude or bloodline for 2 extra magnitudes - you could do a weak one for all the senior characters in a covenant as a group, or recruit grogs from one specific family. Trying to get the 4 extra magnitudes (boundary) so everyone who spends at least 50% of their time inside the covenant gets the bonus would be extremely challenging, but possible.
The Gruagach virtue of External Soul includes the benefit of Unaging, so turns you into an ageless sorcerer who can only be killed by having their soul destroyed (but you can warp into oblivion quite easily). Gruagachan can't give virtues to themselves, but a group could give blessings to each other.
These are the ways from HMRE. Rival Magic - the Amazons have a ritual for this, and Soqotran Cinnabar magic gives a bonus to aging rolls based on your ability level.
Sadly for the Augustan Brotherhood, their magic mostly covers the four elements, animals and plants - they are notoriously poor at anything resembling corpus or mentem except divination. You wouldn't expect them to have any method of life extension (after all, Virgil couldn't prevent his own death).
Thanks for all the answers. Seems there are few options. They are there, but they are not very common. I just ran the numbers for Daria's aging and well, it almost looks like a Traveller character creation session. She might not live long as a character. Still, this is all very interesting to know. Thank you all! First time I see age overcome a gifted character.
I think their Warping Variant (Fated Destiny) frequently grants Death Prophecy which, in conjunction with Sortes Virgilianae could result in a fairly lengthy life. Also, theriacs might help too. Plus, I think their magic is uniquely well-suited to conferring completely natural Living Condition modifiers to themselves and any servants due to the ease with which they can affect large areas with salubrious magics that have and, effectively, unlimited duration.
That said, I have always liked the idea that hedge traditions have their own hidden mysteries that are known only the the senior and knowledgeable of practitioners. For members of the Augustan Brotherhood, I think the suggestion of forging a pact with a spirit to be affected by its stasis power is a good suggestion (perhaps one of the Roman Gods?)
I remember the book saying that the Vergillians pretty much are out of luck if they want a longevity ritual. Medicinal refining from Elementist is your best bet but you'd probably need to find one. Sub Rosa 14 introduces the Phylactery, an enchanted item that provides a bonus to aging rolls equal to your dex + craft (not /5 of dex + craft, but just dex + craft) all for a minor virtue. This process doesn't require hermetic arts and I think it could work quite well for non-hermetics seeking a relatively good longevity. Obviously the lore surrounding it would have to be changed.
Interestingly, Elementalists who focus in being really good at making their own longevity stuff are likely to have very short lifespans.
Is it because of the insanity that results from having high scores?
Yup. Using the longevity potion guarantees you +1 Warping Point per year. That ends things quickly for an Elementalist. I think you're best off as an Elementalist having Unaging, good Living Conditions modifiers, and a Virtue or two for a bonus while avoiding a longevity potion. So it's better to spend the Virtues on Unaging, * Blood, etc. Than on Puissant Refining, Puissant Ability, etc. to boost your ability to make longevity potions.
It's an NPC and you are the storyguide. If she's important, there's an easy answer. Admittedly it may not be satisfying for some.
[look of shock] Wow, she rolled a 2 again, who would have thought it?
Betty White doesn't have unaging, or faerie blood and she's 98. Some people just have a run of good rolls.
I used to think the same, but am beginning to revise it now.
My main point of reasoning is that, apart from Longevity Rituals and a propensity to Study from Vis, Elementalists don't really have a lot of ways to accumulate Warping and 1 per year isn't really that bad - by itself, it would take 275 years to reach a Warping Score of 10 in that manner - an age the character has little chance of surviving to anyway even without factoring in the first 35 years of life.
They do have to add 1/5 of their Form scores to the associated Personality Traits, but I can't see any incentive to buy those Difficult Arts high to give more than +2 or +3 and, in fact, some pretty strong reasons to broaden one's powers by buying up your lower scores.
Of course, I also suspect that Drowned Men and its variants are common among Elementalists which would make both Ageing and Warping irrelevant to the character.
Back on the subject of the Virgilians, since they tend to work at Court Wizards, it occurs to me that Regimen might be a solid option - their Patrons can afford it after all! Also, according to TME, every 40 levels of applicable magical effects may, at the SGs discretion, confer a +1 Living Condition modifier - this would only be an EF of 36 for a member of the Augustan Brotherhood...
What abbreviation is TME?