Okay started running my latest saga and we ran into a problem. One of the characters is a Maestro with an association to the Form of Mentem. This is an option straight out of A&A. Now Maestros are allowed to invest their artwork (this characters is a writer) with a Hermetic effect of the Form they are associated with.
The problem is the effects are limited to a range of Personal. We can't actually seem to come up with any Per range effects that make sense to put in artwork. (literature or otherwise). Is this a flub up from A&A or am I missing something obvious.
Ideally the player wants books that (magically) plant images or ideas in the readers head, spark their imagination or could be "read" by anyone no matter their literacy or language skills. Or potentially books that "have a mind of their own" in some way would also be cool.
Those to me all sound like a job for an Enchanted item.
I think the reason that it would be limited to R: Personal would be to prevent this from becoming an overpowered version of Enchanted Items.
There are still some possibilities, just not particularly useful ones.
ReMe to ward against ghosts
InMe to detect ghosts which touch it (maybe?)
Sure, this seems like a poor comparison to Maestros with Forms of Animal (whose books could turn into Bears at the slightest provocation), Ignem (whose books could immolate the gentle reader in flame, or could be fireproof) or even Aquam (whole new meaning of 'acid trip' on their Maestro-made horse-carts.)
You could always use special SG powers to boos the power in this case, all for a very reasonable price (power might cost vis, or he might need to take a flaw etc. - always the best resort for a dead-end like this.)
Yeah we had already thought of a caveat solution. Allowing a custom range of Reading equivalent to Eye. My fear was that I was missing some other broad range of applications that didn't need a rules change. We did miss spirit wards, but definitely not broad enough methinks.
The other thought was that the artwork is not the book in and of itself but the contents/story. So the Maestro is actually enchanting the words, story and knowledge contained in the book not the bindings, paper, and ink. Kind of like the songs of power in RoP:Magic. I've been busting my brain on how to implement that one though. The Saga is kinda shaping up to focus on Mentem magic, Academia and the Mind in general so I may still go that route somehow.
What about the holdover from older ArM versions that is HoH:TL p. 73 ReMe 25 Aura of Inconsequence? Inventing a text to just escape attention unless its reader has some magic resistance might have uses.
But the more interesting variant would be Aura of Consequence, forcing a text into the reader's memory and making it unforgettable. So whoever reads or hears the poem, how Burgraf Landulph tricked the covenant out of its forest, will forever remember not to trust the Burggraf. Exegi monumentum aere perennius ...
Thanks that is exactly the spell we where looking for for half the night on Sunday. It's a totally semi-hermetic holdover spell that fly's in the face of current spell creation rules. Better still the player pretty much had your Aura of Consequence inversion on his wishlist of effects he expected to be able to do. Thanks gives me more to think about.
The A&A rules are intended that a maestro can 'prettify' his work with magical enhancements rather than imbue them with powers that affect others. Extending them beyond this is an increase in power. However, the effects you describe seem thematically appropriate. I would perhaps think of other Virtues you could give him as well as the Maestro Virtues, like Touched by (Realm) (from C&G) or Craft Magic (from HoH:S). These extend the powers of the maestro into these fields; this would mean that he wouldn't need to be affiliated with Mentem for his maestro powers. For some of the effects you mention, you could always go down the MuIm Aura of Ennobled Presence route, allowing the book (or more accurately, the work) to radiate species that make people inspired by the words of the book.
I know the purpose is to enhance the art not affect others. The problem comes in that even though mentem is one of only the four choices (the other three being He, Te, & Im) it seems singularly incapable of enhancing with personal effects only. Unless the rules are stretched it's a dud choice. I could understand that if they let you pick any Realm but missed that one or two might be duds, but they picked four specific Realms. Weather or not they got the rules right they must have had some effects in mind.
I realize that the writers and play testers aren't perfect, but I also know I can miss the obvious at times. So I decided to see if the forum could figure it out or at least come up with the rules stretch the writers might have had in mind. The other virtues are cool, the player had even wanted to have touched by Realm as well but I kinda poo pood it as a weaker version of the affiliated virtue. Switching to Im was another option but the Covonant and other characters, not to mention several of my plots, where kinda built around the characters being team mentem.
Ah, I had missed that it is one of the canonical choices for maestros, sorry.
It would be a stretch (but admissable perhaps by some) that a piece of work like poetry or music is a mental construct when recited or performed, and thus the R:Per applies to the performer (but not those observing the performer). This would then allow a performance piece like a dance to create a Mentem effect in the dancer. Naturally this would need a house rule, but I would permit this for the performing rather than productive arts.
De Nada. These little head scratchers are half the reason I love Ars.
Almost the route I'm going in but since the character is a productive artist (Craft: Poem) I'm explaining it just a little different and juggling the mechanics around.
The character is a poet who writes humorous poems based on word play and logical fallacy. They are meant to provoke thought and challenge and expand the your understanding of Language and Scholarship. Think Sufism. I really don't want to mess with a concept like that. :mrgreen:
I'm sticking with the idea of a Range:Reading. (Until I come up with a better term). The target must read (and be able to understand) a portion of the enchanted manuscript to be affected. It's the equivalent of Eye/touch but is still limited to a target no larger then Individual for the time being. The effects will also be limited mostly to enhancing or altering the experience of the art.
The underlying concept that it's the poem itself not the manuscript that is enchanted is something I'll let the character discover in play and expand upon then. The idea that things like books and artwork contain "thoughts" under the umbrella of mentem was one of the plot points I was going to play with anyway.