Magic devices to boost a character...

Is there any reason, that anyone can think of, why I could not design a version of ' of the heroes/followers' that could be put into a magic item? Obviously, it'd be designed for single target, range touch, with penetration if worn by a magus...

Because the base effect requires the spell to be a ritual and you can't place a ritual into an enchantment without a breakthrough?

Standard Hermetic magic cannot do this, as DeedNay pointed out.

A magus knowing TMRE p.27ff Spell Binding and initiated to TMRE p.64f Hermetic Empowerment can do, provided he has an appropriate spirit to bind into the device and permanently drain.

If such a device is somehow broken or some of its effects disenchanted, you will likely have a tormented and enraged spirit in your saga.


Quick clarification on that: I was under the impression that the instant/permanent stat-boost was a ritual, but the guideline itself wasn't - in the same way that Creo Corpus healing effects are rituals if you want them to be Instant/Permanent as well. However, like Healing, you can choose to design them as succor effects - temporarily alieving damage (or boosting stats) without having to spend vis.

As such, while you can't design EXACTALLY a " of the Hero/Follower" into a magic item due to its ritual nature, you COULD design a "<characteristic +1> effect into an item, with standard Range/Size/Duration effects. It would grant long-term Warp, and the amount of vis necessary to create the item would likely be better served just casting a ring-based version of the original ritual, but it could be done.

Unless there's something specific to stat-boosts that I'm not aware of. (Which of course there could be - Serf's Parma, and all that.)

EDIT - OK, just read through the Creo Corpus section - nothing that says the stat-boosters have to be rituals. The only specific reference I found regarding the whole "improvements require vis" thing is the Lesser Limit of Creation, on pg. 80. Which is basically 'permanent Creo effects require vis; non-permanent Creo effects require maintenance." Which fits with the ide of succor'd Healing magics, and magic items that boost your stats when worn.

This would not only inflict warping by Constant Mystical Effect, but also by Powerful Mystical Effect (at least one point per season the item is used) - unless that effect was specifically designed for the target.

In any case, this would limit the use of such an item considerably.


One shot, I am aware of the warping issue. My question was more based upon the idea of "is it possible", not "is it sensible" :stuck_out_tongue:

Personally I wouldn't have any major problem with it in my saga. It is going to be a major undertaking; we're talking around 75 levels of effect. It is an interesting way of leveraging a magical focus or overcoming an inability to cast rituals, but given the time commitment and level I can't help but think the more effective means is to simply pay someone else to cast the ritual on you and be done with it.

You could also go with doing the effect in a familiar bond to avoid warping.

Either way, it's a significant undertaking for anyone no matter what approach they take.

Oh, sure. (At the time of the posting, I wasn't sure if it was a CrMe lvl 30 effect or not - I thought maybe the "up to 0" was a lvl 25 version - but in looking at the book now, I see that the minimum is lvl 30). I suppose you could avoid the warp by putting the effect into your familiar, although that certainly gets into the "why bother?" type of enchantment as well.

Although another possible way to get around that effect would be to have a MuVi effect built into the device that modifies the who the spell was designed for . (Base MuVi "minor change" effect, as it does not affect R/T/D, level, TeFo, nor implementation of guideline). But while I'd certainly argue that such an effect is a "minor" use of MuVi, YSMV on those implementations. But yeah, regardless you'd get the "long-term effect" Warp.

Another problem I could see, is how do you stack effects of on-going effect ?
When you cast the ritual, the target is "naturally" improved and there is no on-going effect ("Inst" duration). Therefore as soon as you have enough virtus, you can do it again until you reach +5 (or 0 depending on the variant).

But if you use a variant with a duration, can you recast until you reach +5 (stacking Warping effect) or recasting it just replaces the effect and reset the duration (I am using the later in my games) ?

Let's take a simple example:

  • you cast a light spell, a simple CrIg to lighten a room;
  • you recast it at the same place, nothing seems to happen: it is not brighter or bigger, but if you have a duration of Diameter, it will last longer. There is no improvement in the effect due to multiple castings. The only way to improve the effect is to cast a superior version of the spell with extra magnitude for a brighter light or range/area effect increases.

Thus it should not be otherwise with the spell improving a characteristic with a non-instant duration (which incidentally are also Creo based).

So for non-instant effect improving a characteristic, either you develop a version of a higher magnitude to give a bigger stat increase, or you need to work out a MuVi (which base level ? is it even possible ?) spell to allow stacking of identical spell to boost the overall effect (or possibly using Wizard's Boost).

In our saga we've thought long and hard about that exact MuVi type of effect. It's certainly a minor change. However, like all MuVi effects, by the RAW it has to be a specific change. We think it's a fair interpretation of the RAW (note: not a house rule) to say that a single MuVi enchantment/spell etc. "adapts" all spells/enchantments etc. to a single target. Adapting stuff to another target requires another, slightly different, MuVi effect.

We have

(bolding mine).

We have hence the explicit requirement, that the effect proper, in order not to warp its target as a Powerful Mystic Effect, was specifically and carefully designed to work on the target, by inventing a special version of a Formulaic spell.

I agree with you that it is a case of troupe negotiation, whether this requirement can be circumvented by a Formulaic MuVi spell changing the Powerful Mystic Effect instead. Do they buy, that the special Formulaic spell designed to adapt the Powerful Mystic Effect to the target is a MuVi effect, and not the effect proper? What does that mean for Longevity Rituals in that campaign, then? Is there a standard labtext for each a given power of a Longevity Ritual in this campaign, that then only gets adapted with MuVi spells to each target?


It means nothing. Longevity rituals are unique to the individual, the individual must be present for the entire season. Longevity rituals are not formulaic spells, and they don't count as powerful mystical effects, but count as constant effects.

I would say affecting Warping is a major effect, maybe even "The Vim spell affects the structure of the spell" level of change. Handwaving that still leaves a humongous effect to the time economy.

Think of it this way: you hire a CrMe specialist to Gift of Reason your Int-1 apprentice up to Int+5 (don't ask me why). He has to reinvent 6 spells of level 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60 which will take him roughly 9 seasons assuming a lab total of 90.

So you spend 2 seasons to invent MuVi45 (Voice+2, Sun+2) which will affect up to level 60 spells, and this is enough to save those 9 seasons. If you decide to go for Pre+5, Per+5, Sta+5, et al. you will save another few 9 seasons.

In a vis-poor economy this is not an issue because noone will have multiple stacks of 60ish pawns of vis to take full advantage of the seasons saved. (Ok, 30ish pawns if both the CrMe and MuVi specialists are Mercurian.) If you only want to go from Int+4 to Int+5, you will spend 2 seasons to save 2 seasons, same time different flavor. If all the players can take advantage of this House Rule, you've just upped the power level of the saga no big deal. In fact it might make the MuVi magus feel useful.

OTOH, if some players start with Qik-3 just to cancel it a few season later with the matching CrCo35, it might be unfair to those who did not manipulate their starting characteristics.

Isnt there a Bjornaer spell that gives their animal form +1 to a characteristic at level 20-25. Cant you extrapolate that into Corpus. I think it is MU or RE.

if it is possible to do that same in Corpus, then it would be easy to put into an item.

My main issue with that line of reasoning is that it only affects Warp if there is warp to affect - for example, were I to use the same spell on a lvl 25 non-ritual effect, you could still cast it, but with no noticeable effect on anything. (Of course, this begs the question as to why you would bother.) But regardless, it shows that affecting Warp is an indirect result of the spell, rather than a direct result. As such, I file it under "clever uses of a low-level effect".

More generally (and you may not be doing this), I've found that most folks don't care to use the "minor Muto Vim" effect for many things, mainly because any use comes across as "too useful" - such as this scenario. Personally, I don't care for the utility argument, as it's a bit subjective for my tastes. As such, I prefer to go with the more strict "does it explicitly fit the guideline given".

Sure. In-game, that's (sort of) addressed by the explicit statement that such spells are the province of the Cult of Heroes, and aren't well-known outside of that group. Of course, that's simply a band aid of a reason: as you say, it's pretty easy to take advantage of. Personally, I'd just roll with it. "You want to develop that spell? OK. Going from -3 to 0 is 6 points; that the equivalent of getting 2 minor virtues. That, by definition, it going to be your story arc for the foreseeable future."

The character sheet is a love letter to the GM - if they want to have a Qik -3, that means they want to have stories based around their quickness of -3. If they want to change it, that means they want to have stories based around that change. I will be happy to give them what they want. (Likely a few stories whose resolutions require reflex rolls and having the magi fail miserably; then one based around developing the spell, then another casting it, then maybe one or two possible ones with dealing with the consequences: the Cult of Heroes showing up for a brief inquiry, or local peasents wondering if they can have the same, or a local Lord finding out and sending his infirm son to be 'healed, as is his rightful due." Or the local faries find out, and decide to investigate this change by lobbing magical cats at his head, to see what happens.)

Note, that ArM5 p.168 Powerful Mystical Effects describes how all such effects provide Warping: it also refers to effects of Divine, Faerie or Infernal origin, or to those described later in HoH:.., HMRE, TMRE, AM, RM etc. - most of which were not even conceived when ArM5 was written. So also the procedures for designing an effect for a particular target in ArM5 need to be phrased in general terms. Where that is not possible, phrases like

are used. Time of inventing Hermetic spells is generally measured in seasons. And it is the troupe's decision, how a version of an effect for a particular target can be provided, if that target is not present most of the time. Using a stabilized arcane connection instead?
The best complete example we have in ArM5 for an effect designed for a particular target is

. We should derive from there, what the procedure to design such effects for specific targets is in each other case. If a troupe allows MuVi to get spells adapted so as not to warp particular targets, it should think also about generalizing Longevity Rituals in a way, that they are designed for general targets like other effects, and then adapted to a specific target by MuVi.


I would just point out that "less or no warping" is incurred if the mystical effect is either cast by the target, or is designed specifically for the target. I read "is designed" as a copular, rather than as a passive: "happens to be "just right" for the target", rather than "somebody went through a lot of effort to make it just right". In our saga, players always write down who's the "ideal target" of any spell their magi invent -- often it's a favourite grog.

Now, how different are two spells that do exactly the same thing, except that they are "tailored to" two different targets? According to the MuVi guidelines it's just a minor change, the same as changing the sigil, or eliminating a minor side-effect, because it does not change the main effect of the spell. So there are no questions on the level of the MuVi effect to pull it off. This is not an issue of "troupe negotiation" any more than accepting to use the RAW is.

One issue that is not immediately clear is how "specific" the tailoring can be. Can you make a single MuVi spell that tailors any effect to any target? One that tailors any effect to one target? One that tailors one effect to any target? One that tailors one effect to one target? Game balance reasons suggested that a good choice would be the middle one: one MuVi spell tailors any effect to one target. This also "makes sense" since it means that you do have to spend time in the lab for each target that you want to tailor your magic to. And it also really matches what happens when you cast other Muto spells: they change any target, and most do so in a specific way (a few ones, particulatly Imaginem ones, allow you more flexibility; but then there's the whole issue of Finesse etc.)

Oh, that would certainly be a cool Original Research Project. It obviously doesn't work out of the box because Muto Vim can't affect "every" type of magic. As it stands, Muto Vim cannot affect Longevity Rituals at all, just like it can't affect Spontaneous Magic e.g. to alter a wizard's sigil - even though it can alter a wizard's sigil in a formulaic spell.

So your troupe believes that an effect, that "happens to be "just right" for the target" - without any further justification than that the player said so when his character invented the spell - avoids to warp that target? You are of course most welcome to that.

But in ArM5 p.168 Powerful Mystical Effects designing an effect for a particular target is described as an activity. So you understand, that your troupe's belief might not appeal to others, right?


I like your proposal. And assuming that it is part of the "Order spell book", I would not be surprised that each mage after some years out of apprenticeship, possibly even apprentices design the MuVi spell for themself. Then they only have to source a copy of the spell they want to cast instead of having to re-invent it (if it is a spell you cast frequently, you will reinvent it, but for an occasional Healing spell...).

Now, a side question. I know it is not part of RAW, but could a tailored-spell have a better Penetration than a generic spell ?
After all, if it customised to the point of not imparting Warp to a given target, the spell could contain enough elements to grant a higher Penetration. One possible suggestion: spell research rule does not change, but if you have a good AC, you can on top of that add additional level to have a higher Penetration to your spell against that specific target.

Example: the usual PoF CrIg 20. Preparing for a tough fight, Parabellum manage to secure a few scales of the dragon he must fight (duration of years, +3 bonus multiplier). He can use them as regular AC, but concerned of loosing them during the fight, decide to include them into a redesign of a PoF. His lab tot is 50 (everything included), thus he wants to include 5 level of Penetration bonus, bringing the target total to 20+5, keeping the research to a season of work.
So now he has a regular PoF, which against this specific dragon will have a +15 Penetration bonus embedded in. The spell level is the same, so additional Penetration bonus will be counted as RAW, with +15 bonus against the dragon.

I guess it will have very limited application for combat spell - once the opponent is dead, well, the spell is just a generic spell. But for utility spell, or spying spell needing to penetrate some form of Resistance, magi might be keen on spending the extra effort.