longevity ritual numbers

A few months back someone (Timothy) posted what he thought were reasonable assumptions for what sort a longevity ritual could be created by the best specialist in the order. I didn't agree completely. I have some different base assumptions about the prevalence of virtues within the order and so I came up with different numbers.

What do the numbers of the greatest longevity ritual specialist within the order look like?

Certainly with a population of over 1000 magi with every magi needing at least one longevity ritual perhaps two or three during their lifetime there is a demand. I see the primary customers of the longevity ritual specialist as magi in their 80's and 90's who's first longevity ritual is fading and who have the means to command the attention of the specialist.

I think that a specialist will probably only wish to do a ritual a year at most (no magus wants to spend all of his time working for the goals of others rather than his own goals) this means that demand will outstrip supply so the compensation offered to the very best specialists might be quite extravagant.

With demand greater than supply there is no particularly pressing reason for a longevity ritual specialist to really push the envelope, competence alone will make you rich beyond the dreams of avarice, there's no real benefit to going overboard about it.

Age: I'm going to assume that the best longevity specialists are 80 -100 years out of apprenticeship. Certainly there may be older magi in the setting but there is no compelling reason to believe that these magi are longevity specialists. there are only about 1200 magi in the order as presented in published material. I don't think that more than a small fraction of them are interested in becoming longevity specialists and only a small part of that fraction will have the virtues necessary to really excel. This is the sort of datum that you need to have the final calculations for before you start the calculations, (inconvenient really). I'm going to assume 90 years beyond apprenticeship.

Virtues and flaws: One factor that I've seen other people include in their calculations that seems to make a huge difference is the assumption that the best specialists will have an applicable magical focus. I don't buy this. There are millions of conceivable magical foci from aphids to zithers, I'll concede that there may well be a maga or two within the order that has a magical focus with aging but I don't believe that there has to be and if there is such a maga she is (IMO) more likely to be interested in studying school of Apromor Flambeau magics than in becoming a longevity specialist. And in the unlikely case that there is a magus or maga with an ageing focus and that magus or maga decides to pursue longecity magics with reasonable dedication they still may not have other applicable virtues or they may be as of yet to young to achieve great understanding of the relevant arts.

I'll assume that between the three relevant scores (Creo, Corpus and Magic Theory) they have two affinities (one in magic theory and one in creo) and another applicable virtue of +3 such as puissant art or cyclic magic) that seems appropriate to me. (the idea of three affinities and three puissant scores I don't find believable). I'll also give them a +3 intelligence score (high but not requiring a virtue or 11th magnitude rituals).

Experience points, assuming that our specialist has been exceedingly diligent during his career I'll apply one half of all of the experience points earned to the three relevant scores. so
75 xp from apprenticeship

  • 90 years worth of xp. It's time for another assumption, our specialist will spend 2/3ds of his or her time gaining xp and one third of his or her time in the laboratory or otherwise occupied. The quick advancement rules say 30 xp per year I think that this is appropriate, it is probably fairly cruel to young magi and generous to older magi who've read all of the high quality tractatus and can no longer study from Summae or vis, (yet it also excludes exposure experience and so it's really a fairly good guess IMO).

So 90 years but only 60 years gaining xp, and only half of these years, 30, spent on the relevant arts and magic theory. so 900 xp

A nice way to spend this is:
art 1 325 xp gets us level 25
Magic theory 220xp with affinity nets 330xp and gets us to level 11
leaving 365 with an affinity giving us 533 for a score of 32

Help in the lab
familiar assume Magic theory 8 -3 intellegence = 5
client magus int + magic theory =11
one apprentice of either the client or the specialist int + magic theory = 6

the Lab It makes sense to create a lab entirely for the creation of longevity rituals, some of the clients would gladly create it for the benefit of the lab being used to their benefit. I immagine a greater focus + a major feature, a minor feature for creo or corpus and +2 general quality
giving a total bonus of +8

Aura lets give him a better than average aura of 4

So our final lab total is
tech 25
form 32
Magic theory 11
int 3
virtue 3
aura 4
lab 8
laboratory assistants 22
for a total of [size=150]108[/size]

This longevity ritual gives a bonus of 22 to aging rolls allowing a magus to live well into their 200's (barring botches) but not into their 300s.[/u][/b]

Looks very solid. The only things I would point out is at the numbers we are using, it's very easy to raise the int to five. And I think the aura would be higher for the same reason the lab would be so good.

Timothy's assumptions and calculations from them (which got me thinking about the topic) are here:


Let's make some modifications to this. 1) Assume pussiant Magic theory. It is a very common virtue, especially for bonisagus but some verditius too. This adds +2. If you add in an affinity.

Add the lab virtues: Idyllic surroundings for +1 Cr, specimens for +1 corpus, Person for another +1 corpus, priceless ingrediants (they are the specialist so can afford it) for +2, and keep it spotless for another +1 cr

  1. Let's assume with creo this strong, the person has used the ritual to bump their familiar to +1 to +5 intelligence (it it was not there already. Let's assume level 40 creo me spell used for +2) so that add 5

It might be possible to add various verditious craft bonuses as well which can easily add another 10.

so that adds 23 to your 108 or 131

This means a +26 potion. This means potion offsets abou 260 years of age with +1 since most mages have that living modifier for stress no botch - (27) + age /10. This means without an explosion on the dice (even with single explosion in earlier years), no negative aging affects possible until 280 years of age and then only on a 1 or 9 on the stress die. This means person could potentially live well into the 300's.

Craft bonus? I love house Verditious, but I don't see it. Could you explain further?

No craft bonus. Longevity is not an item or an enchantment. You are inventing a Ritual spell of sorts.

All looks fairly sensible, but if they were the best longevity specialist, wouldn't they likely live longer than most other magi?

Truth, but how do you get them to make potions for you once they are at the top? They can charge top rate and build up a war chest of resources for whatever projects they want to work on, or maybe just retire, you know, like people do.

For a specialised lab thats a bit low. It would make sense for a high demand specialist to keep an extra lab just for this.
Allowing much more.

Size +1
Superior Equipment(free, except for craftsman or upkeep), +1GQ
Highly organised(free), +1GQ
Priceless Ingredients(free in space but expensive, which probably doesnt matter), +2GQ, +2LR
Greater Feature(major Virtue), +3LR
Greater Feature(major Virtue), +3LR
Greater Expansion(major Virtue), +2GQ +2LR
Greater Focus(major flaw), +4LR
Missing Equipment*3(Items, Spells, Text, for example, minor flaw, drops upkeep like a stone),
Undecorated(minor flaw and reduces upkeep once more)
Cramped(minor flaw, shouldnt be used if safety drops too low but is nice to reduce upkeep yet again), -1GQ +1LR

+5GQ, +15LR
Total bonus for LR +20
And it wont even be a terribly expensive lab.

For a thing like this, i would expect at least a 5, quite possibly higher still.

Lets see now, lets add a living condition modifier of +2 and either Strong Faerie blood or "Healthy feature" covenant boon*3(for simplicity) as an additional +3...

Make the Tech(Creo) the higher Art and 11 Magnitude rituals isnt out of the question at all. A bonus that comes with the specialisation.

Many people obsessed with aging, i doubt magi, who actually CAN do something about such an obsession would have fewer serious about it. I expect there would always be a handful of magi with this Focus.
Still though, assuming this is more a matter of seeing "-how high CAN we get" rather than whats realistic.

Say WHAT??? The very opposite is likely to be true!
The LR specialists are the ones that will be able to charge people through the nose, so they will have the resources to stay at home "relatively safe" AND use their own Longevity rituals of course. I would totally expect these specialists to be among the very most extremely "long lasting" magi around.
Its reasonable to assume 80-100 years from apprenticeship as the sort of "up and coming" specialist that can be had resonably "easily".
The elder ones will likely move over to their own projects more and more and only assist those who can pay either ALOT or something special, or have a personal connection of some sort.

Then of course, where exposure XP is placed will matter ever more the older the magi becomes.
100 seasons of making Longevity rituals and placing all those 200 XP in Creo(with affinity) for example?

Quite so. BUT, use those 2 points of Virtues for, lets say Book Learner, Inventive Genius, perhaps Study Bonus or either another Puissant or Affinity, or as part of the cost of Secondary Insight, it would give you a much greater boost.
As usual its a matter of how extreme or obsessive about it a magi you could expect to find.

Sorry, I will try to be more clear in the future. I was not talking about virtues, I was talking about the level 55 creo mentum ritual spell to increase your int. I can't imagine a longevity spec. who couldn't pull of a level 55 lab total / level 45 casting total.

It takes three seasons to integrate a major feature and one to integrate a minor feature My example lab took an extra four seasons outside of increasing refinement. This lab takes 9 seasons. Still probably worth it

I disagree. Magi live in covenants, no magi is going to pull up roots, abandon their sodalies and their community and move their whole life for a measly +1 bonus or even for a +3.

Sure, if you really want to send things through the roof you have the exceptional craftsman rules in City and Guild and the benefits of living under a medical regimen per Art and Academe (though to tell you the truth I might house rule a limit to the size of this bonus, of course house rules aren't a part of this discussion) . Once again I wouldn't expect the character to move to a different covenant for the advantage of a healthy environment (unless their health was suspect and their magic allowed easy travel).

That's adding in another assumption but we have 32 creo + lets say 8 mentem and 11 magic theory 3 intelligence, 4 aura, 5 familiar, it's enough to learn from laboratory notes, now he'll need 22 pawns to do a level 55 ritual range personal twice.

It can be done but it is a big deal and isn't a gimme.

I disagree, certainly longevity specialists can be the longest lived fellows in the order but they don't have to be. The longevity specialists don't have rituals that are better than those that they create for their clients, and the idea that being a longevity specialist somehow makes a magus into a timid homebody doesn't hold water. A magus that is 90 years out of apprenticeship doesn't do a damn thing if they don't want to no matter what the focus of their magic is. Magi who have strong scores in Creo and in corpus have access to all sorts of useful "adventuring" magic. The number one risk factor for magi is bravery and I think that if anything longevity specialist with their full suite of healing magics are going to be at least as brave as any of their fellows.


Yes I agree that it is a matter of how obsessive the magi are, but your statement also seems to indicate that the character has control of what virtues they posses. This simply isn't true, even considering the possibility of mystery cults.

My WAG was that the specialist would be charging something close to what a Verditious would, which would make 22 pawns easy. Two potions, tops. I would do it for a 5 int. Followed by a 5 sta

As for magical foci: Anyone seriously interested in becoming an LR specialist will seek out or invent a script to initiate into an appropriate focus. Even if this includes scrificing her initial focus during the ritual. However, as SG I see serious problems with this when LR-bonus hits the sky... Thus, one has to hope for the magi's bravery to cut down the age either by an untimely mundane death or final twilight...

No they wont, but they would probably settle whereever they had access to a very good aura, and almost any covenant would happily accept such an addition for the better chance of getting access to a highend LR.

Dont have those so havent the faintest idea how they work.
Anyway that was just a "what if" sidetrack, sorry.

The Vis requirement isnt likely to be a problem and it wont take very long time, so while its not a guaranteed thing its certainly not all that unlikely.

Of course not, but they are guaranteed to have access to them, unlike the rest of the order. Which means their average age is likely to go up.

Who said it did? A good LR specialist however will almost certainly be able to bargain his work for whatever he wants, so unless he really wants to run around doing things by himself, he probably wont need to.
So, such a magi will be more likely to be labrat homesitter, because there will be a lack of reasons for her to "go out" herself.

They do at character creation... And while characters often "grow up" taking their own directions, a player who wants to make a LR specialist, will do so seriously.

Oh yeah, considering it improved the bonus by 150% i would say its plenty enough advantage to merit the time used up for it.

If they´re really into it, well worth it yes.

Well, do you play long enough for it to really become a problem?
Otherwise its just a neat way to keep apparent aging down and keeping the characters unaffected by age for longer.

I am not concerned for the PCs but for a multitude of NPCs aged 200+. Leaving the PCs rather weak.

Remember that 200 years before 1220 the schism war ended, when i presume the order was reduced in size. So i assume less appretices as well. this means that the order is still growing, and therefore that the average age is still lower than you would expect. Besides, the fact that the life expectancy of young mages in 1220 is 200+, does not mean it is for older mages. Maybe the knowledge (or co-operation) was less in the 200 years before.

Good point, Sir!

Does that matter?

Or do you expect PCs to go head to head with anyone and everyone? Otherwise i would expect many/most older NPCs to be quite happy as long as you dont bother them.

And really, why should the PCs be "the best"? Especially if they´re young, the WILL be weaker by default.

And potential for ages far beyond 200 isnt the same as everyone and their uncle actually living to far beyond age 200.

Bigger question,
what do you do with your game at that point? In 180 years, what would 15th century Ars Magica look like? Anything could happen, and it usually does. I am not into the WW take on Ars history and I am not a fan of the WoD. Something new and different, the Order survives intact and continues to grow. However, I personally feel that the 14th century could stunt or inhibit that growth. The Plague would be devistating. Sure, some magi can resist or cure it. But not all, nor even a majority, and the thing is just to widespread. Many magi would die, the better part of a generation.