A magi's lab has a Warping score. What enchantments might reduce that score to zero?
Removing Warping on anything would break a Lesser Limit. That's a Hermetic Breakthrough at best, impossible at worst. You certainly can't enchant it away with vanilla Hermetic magic.
No, no. Not reducing warping, reducing a lab's "Warping Score". (Bit of a D&D problem there. Just like "Level" is used for too many things, AM uses warping in a couple of different contexts.......)
I wouldn't allow an item to reduce the warping score. While an item doesn't always increase a warping score, I don't think it can lower it.
I say create a fluff escription for a Rego Vim effect an call it a Thaumaturgical Regulator. Minus one Warping for every twenty full levels of the base effect.
Thanks, Mr. Markoko. Yeah, ReVi or PeVi, twenty points for a -1. The rules are easy, I'm just having a problem with the flavor. I know the warping score for a lab is there for a little fun, but the few times I have been able to get a game up, it has been used in a punitive fashion. Quite annoying, and arguing that the ST is using the rules wrong is mostly counterproductive, so just using the lab rules to get rid of it seems the simplest solution. But while I can easily figure out the rules to do this, the flavor of the kind of effect I am looking for escapes me. Just raw text isn't going to sell this, I need fluff.......
ReVi Circular Ward against unbound Energy - placed around an "ungrounded" magical effect, this ward prevents unfocused eldritch energies from leaking into the surrounding environment. While warping still does technically occur, it only does so within the ring - leaving the rest of the lab unaffected.
When used as an enchanted effect (usually as an iron ring on a small part of one's lab), this reduces the long-term warping of any effect inside the ring from affecting anything outside the ring, at 1 point per 20 levels. Such rings are usually small, and are only large enough to fit the results of a spell effect or two. The Warping may not be brought below 1 however, as technically there's still a bit of warp involved - just not in most of the lab. However, when used judiciously, this does significantly reduce errors that occur from multiple or large-scale effects.
PeVi: dispel the mystic vapor - this enchantment pulses out a countermagic wave across a room, dispelling the ambient mystical vapours that occur due to long-term, ungrounded enchantments. Whether this uses the specific (2x level of effect) or general (1/2 level of effect) antimagic rules is up to the Troupe. I'd recommend the "general" version - and then aim it at the ReVi effect above (ie, to clear out any vapor INSIDE the ring), to get the Warping score down to 0.
Perfect, Mr. Schultz. Just what I am talking about. Hope the thread keeps going, this is gold!
InVi: Bark of the Mystic Sentinel - this effect (based off of the "detect traces of magic") identifies when the uncirculated vapors of mystic energy have begun to build up to dangerous levels in one's lab. The traditional shape of an enchanted Device is that of a miniaturized guard dog, who alerts the magus with a consistent yapping noise. How the magus responds to this information is up to them, of course - usually by quitting work for the day, or perhaps shutting down related effects.
[Reduces Warp by 1 point per 20 levels; note that for each point reduced, the magi must use 1 day of "free time" per season to suspend their experiments and let the lab air out.]
ReVi - Summon the Cleansing Wind (general effect) - moves any warp from inside the lab and spreads it out over a predefined area that the magi has an arcane connection to - such as the empty area directly above the covenant. (Based on the "summon/dismiss" guidelines of ReVi - in this case, commanding the magic energy to go somewhere else.)
[reduces warp by 1 point per 20 - and instead puts that warp somewhere else. Of course, out in the middle of an empty field or up in the air may be perfectly fine for the magi, but not necessarily for the local peasants. Also known as the "magical waste dump" option.]
MuVi - Transform the unchained energies- (MuVi(Te)) - transforms warp-causing energies into dust, which can then be swept up nightly by a convenient grog or apprentice. Note that the effect is still has a duration, so that the warp-dust needs to be disposed of (somehow) before it reverts back.
[reduces warp by 1 for every 20 levels. Also reduces Quality or Safety of the lab by 1 (total), as it's now a lot more dusty...which can be overcome by installing a lab assistant.)
ReVi - "Delay the Unexpected Consequence" (based on the ReVi delay guideline) - Gathers up the warping energies of an effect, and releases them at a time during which the magus is not using the lab for an experiment; usually during the night.
[ReVi 20: Reduces the functional warp of the lab by 1, total: this actually doesn't remove any warp, so much as it shuffles it around to the point where it happens during a time that there isn't an ongoing experiment, and thus less likely to cause something to explode. Depending on the season, this may require that the magus use an alternate lab schedule, as they really do need to be out of the lab by dusk. ]
Warping is the long-term price of using too much power. If there's a way to resolve this, it must carry a time penalty that compensate for the shortcut taken.
At the very least, it should be some sort of Refinement season, replacing damaged equipment by fresh one.
And this is exactly what I am talking about. Far as I can tell, the lab warping score is supposed to be a little fun flavor. A small chance of a little quirk when making Magic Items. Maybe even beneficial, depending on the "Flavor" of the warping. But some people go straight to punitive......
That sounds like Warping, rather than warping. (Capital) Warping are the points you get from having Phenominal Cosmic Power flowing through you. (lower-case) warping is the weirdness that occurs from having long-term ungrounded spells in your lab. You can get Warping from lvl 30 spells going off nearby, or being under the effect of any kind of spell for a season. Your lab gets (lower-case) warping from a lvl 4 "light my lab with magic flame" spell that runs for a season. (EDIT - or that may be the strict interpretation of the RAW - serf's parma.)
From what I recall, the official resolution for (lower-case) warping is to turn the effect into an enchanted object, rather than just a long-term spell. That grounds it out, and lets you have your magic flame (and thus the lab bonus for Ignem research, or the "magical lighting" safety feature, or whatever) without your lab having lower-case warping. (Yes, you can still get warp from high-level enchantments - as Jonathan.Link pointed out, above.)
These ReVi effects are just another way to have an enchantment that prevents lower-case warping....which is what Vim effects do: they grant meta-magic bonuses to existing spells. These are the lab equivalents of Intangible Tunnel: instead of granting magnitudes of reach on any spell cast, they grant decreases of warp for anything cast in their lab.
Ars Magica is about dealing with the consequences of your actions. RAW, you'd have to start a new lab to get rid of Warping. Allowing to clean it up in a season is certainly a step up.
Compare to the proposed lvl40 magic item that'd apply a -2 Warping to your lab. You'd still lose a season creating it. Is that punitive?
If you handwave a Warping vacuum cleaner, why not use it on people too? I think that can of worm would have way more consequences. You have to use game theory to balance it out, or retcon it if you don't want to deal with it. Swapping equipment out is the best way to sweep it under the rug.
Pretty sure lower-case (lc) warping doesn't build up like upper-case (uc) Warping does. The way you get rid of l.c. warping is to dispel the effect that is causing it. Can you cite your source for permanent l.c. warp buildup?
EDIT - the only thing I can think of is "it's called warp, so therefore it builds up like Warp." - except that there are lots of differences, including the fact that it's straight linear rather than based on the XP Ability increase chart. The point being is that it's implementation is different enough from Warp that you shouldn't assume it acts like Warp unless it explicitly says so somewhere.
Right you are, Mr. Schultz. By canon (Covenants, p. 111, Warping), "A lab with a positive Warping score, however, sometimes yields altered or or unintended results.". Also, "Warping on lab work is not the same as for characters; instead refer to the Experimentation : Extraordinary Results chart (see ArM5, page 109)". And I would point out that the Warping score can go up or down in a season in canon, because a labs "Warping score" is only caused by features (and a few spells, yes). Remove the feature causing the "Warping", and the Warping score goes down. "Starting a new lab", as Mr. Tugdual suggests, seems excessive. Ah, if only I could get my ST's to read the text......
To me this looks like an issue for the troupe, not for a forum.
In Covenants, the Warping Characteristic of a lab is affected only by:
- Laboratory Virtues and Flaws (p.113ff),
- "items or enchantments with powerful effects, influencing the whole of the lab" (Magic Items for Laboratories, p.121),
- non-ritual spells regularly affecting a laboratory (Spells for Laboratories, p.122).
All of these effects may increase a lab's Warping Characteristic. None ever reduces it. So by Covenants, the only way to reduce a lab's Warping Characteristic is, to remove a Virtue, Flaw, item, enchantment or spell adding to that Warping Characteristic.
It is a potentially campaign changing troupe decision, to change this and allow a Virtue, Flaw, item, enchantment or spell into the saga that reduces a lab's Warping Characteristic.
I disagree with your understanding of the text. The description of Magic items in the lab is as follows, on pg. 118:
So magic items can alter characteristics. As per page 109:
So magic items can modify Warping. The rules on pg. 121 state -
So a magic item can improve any characteristic (one of which is Warp) by 1 point for every 20 levels of a related effect.
This is the RAW. To challenge this, you'll need to show me an explicit exception - something that says "these explicit general rules apply to everything except Warp" - what you've got up there are arguments that include what magic devices CAN do with regards to warp, but none of what they CAN'T. As such, that evidence equally supports both scenarios. You haven't given evidence for the contrary.
But to make the attempt - I'll try to disprove myself. And in looking: there is no indication that it can only affect it positively; in fact, the discussion on pg. 121 has several statements that directly state that a magic item can "apply modification to Characteristics or Specializations". No callout saying "except Warping". No callout that says "may only add to". Now, there is language that says "improve". But if you go that route, you'll have to argue that "improve" only means "adds to". Because Upkeep is also a Characteristic, and improving Upkeep means lowering it. Or that magic items can only add virtues that don't have negative modifiers to anything.
Now, it does say that powerful magic items can cause warping - which I'm fine with. I could totally see a powerful Vim device (say, lvl 60) preventing 3 points of Warp, but causing 1. But unless you've got a specific reference that says "Magic devices can affect all characteristics in both directions EXCEPT warp", I think the general RAW is pretty clear on this.
The only explicit callout I could find on warp as a unique characteristic is on pg. 109, which states "Apart from Warping, which cannot be negative, each Characteristic may be positive, negative, or zero". Which clearly (to me) is talking about the sum value. So - do you have any reference that explicitly states that Warp can only be modified up? Because all the language I see treats it as just another Lab characteristic.
I also agree that there are no explicit examples of a negative warping effect. However - if that's all you got...I'll stick with the general RAW rule that says its possible.