Magic to establish Healthy Features

While thinking about the living conditions modifiers for aging (ArM5 p.170) and the Healthy Feature boon in Covenants (p.8 ), I began to wonder how a magus could create spells or devices that would provide such healthy conditions at their covenant.

The description of Healthy Feature in Covenants mentions things like "a fresh breeze from the sea, a healing well or some other feature". It also puts a limit of +3 to those modifiers, on top of the base Living Condition modifier.

Now, what kind of magical effects could duplicate healthy features? I can quickly come up with several Te+Fo combinations:

  • CrAq to make water pure and fresh
  • CrAu to create fresh breezes and pure air
  • CrAn and CrHe to prevent spoiled food
  • CrCo to increase resistance to diseases
  • CrIg and PeIg (or ReIg) to keep temperature mild

Any such effect would be invented as a R:Boundary ritual, or enchanted into items, in order to improve conditions at the covenant.

It does raise the question, however, on whether these would have side effects or impose Warping on the inhabitants, or the covenant itself. CrCo might certainly fall under the "continuous magical effect" and might not stack with Longevity Rituals. But otherwise, do you feel this would cause either Warping or other problems?

The other question is level. Should it be case-by-case for each TeFo combination, or should perhaps a general guideline be used to grant a healthy feature? Similar to what is used for magic items in the lab (Covenants p.121)[sup]1[/sup], perhaps?

[size=85][sup]1[/sup] Which is 50 levels for a point of Characteristics and 30 levels for a point of Specialization.[/size]

I would say that any such effect that helps the whole covenant would cause seasonal warping. I would, myself, stick with the lab rules and use magic items, and so, avoid the warping. The lab rules are quite open, and nothing I have read would stop you from defining the whole covenant as a "lab", and using magic items to improve living conditions. Also, the Mystery of Hermetic Architecture should come into play if you want to make this an element of your game, and would grow along with your players. Start with low level effects to establish Healthy Features, and as they get older and more powerful, raise the Aura!

Saxonus, why do you believe that an effect enchanted into an item not cause warping, if the same effect as a ritual spell does?

And why would either cause warping at all, if they are not Corpus effects? You are not targeting or even affecting the people inside the covenant with most of these effects, only their environment. I'm interested in understanding your rationale here.

Well, it's your game, of course, but my reading of the rules comes from the rules for warping and the rules for labs. You get warping, of course, for being in a strong magic aura, even if you can't use magic. The consensus seems to be that being under a continual magic effect, such as a spell that creates a healthy breeze, works in the same way. There have been strong arguments in both directions (See the various threads discussing Aegis of the Hearth causing warping) so don't take my viewpoint as canon. Magic items, I believe, do not cause warping (to others. They do get warping, see Realms of Power, Magic). First, because nothing in the base book says anything about them causing warping, and because magic items do not cause Warping (different from warping, see Covenants, but I believe the same basic source, "magical fallout") in the Lab. If they did, I would say they cause warping. Again, not canon, but my reading.

Last, the metagaming reason. Hermetic Architecture is supposed to be a desired, powerful Mystery. Most of the effects can be duplicated by ritual magic, as you have noted. Why would your players bother if there was no carrot, no stick. The carrot, in my eyes, is to do these powerful effects without warping. The stick is the same, the warping caused by the ritual magic. If you don't want to use Mysteries in your game, it's not an issue, but in my eyes, learning a Mystery is far more pleasing then a few more levels to an Art.

Just so the context is clear, I'm not talking of a specific game or magus, just an hypothetical situation. Just an iddle discussion. :smiley:

I'm well aware of those discussions, as I've been following them with interest. And indeed canon is rather unclear as to what constitutes a constant magical effect for the purposes of warping. Thus my comment regarding a Corpus effect (which would almost certainly warp those affected) as opposed to an effect that targets the environment (which may or may not warp those living within that environment).

This is where I find your position confusing. You are basically saying that because the effect is enchanted in an item it would not cause warping to those living within the environment affected by the effect? As opposed to a ritual spell doing the same thing? That seems awfully illogical to me.

Let's take an example from above, that of an effect that makes the air pure and fresh, using Creo Auram. Essentially a wide-scale version of Chamber of Spring Breezes (Base 1).

As a ritual spell, this would be Base 1, +1 Touch, +4 Year, +4 Boundary, +1 unnatural, for a level 30 ritual. Which costs 6 pawns per year to cast.
(You could perhaps game it to use D:Ring and T:Circle to save the vis, but I don't want to go there in the present discussion.)

As an enchanted item, one cannot use R:Boundary, but provided that the covenant is small enough and completely enclosed, you might be able to use T:Structure. And let's a one magnitude for Size just to be safe. So this would be Base 1, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +3 Structure, +1 Size, +1 unnatural (for a level 20 effect), enchanted with +1 level (2 uses/day), +3 levels (environment trigger), for a total enchantment level of 24. It only requires 3 pawns to enchant it as a lesser device.
(And if T:Structure doesn't work for this, multiple items with T:Room might provide the same benefit overall.)

Now, why would the ritual spell cause warping, but not the device(s)? They are both doing exactly the same thing -- namely making the air fresh.

You've mentioned Covenants, to say that a spell would impose Warping (the lab characteristic) while an item would not. I would propose that perhaps you are mixing up two completely different things: warping that people/creatures/items suffer from exposure to magic, and Lab Warping that makes using the lab more unpredictable. In the second case, nothing in Covenants states that this would cause warping points to the magus using the lab. He is not the target, after all -- the lab is.

Well, I would think that the need for rituals to be renewed every year, with the attendant expenditure of raw vis, would make Hermetic Architecture desirable enough on its own. And it makes Hermetic Architecture a logical improvement upon something that rituals can already do. It's the same basic power, simply applied in a more refined and efficient way.

Ah, magic items. Yes, it would be illogical, if magic items were vanilla Hermetic Magic, but like Familiars and Longevity Rituals, they have their own, special rules. There is no example I can think of (I might have missed one) a magic item causing warping. As opposed to "Powerful Magic" (level 35+?), which gives warping, as the core book says in black and white. I myself think that the extra time and care put into magic items insures that there is no "overflow rads" of raw magic to warp other things, as opposed to Auras and Ritual Spells. Just supposition on my part, certainly not canon. But if we are just having a discussion, Ritual Spells cause warping, in canon, Magic Items do not.

As to Covenants, what I am saying is that I think that Warping (lab score from Covenants) and warping (core book, caused by powerful magic areas/spells) are caused by the same thing, "raw" magic. Again, not canon, but what I perceive. If this is the case, then if magic items caused Warping in the lab, they should cause warping to the mage. They do not, and so do not.

Alas, Hermetic Architecture is difficult and hugely expensive in time and Vis. I don't think it would be worth doing under your given rules. Again, personal opinion.

What? They are Hermetic rules for creating magic items. They are by convention vanilla, since they can be done by any Hermetic Magus.

Of course there is no example for magic items causing warping. I don't even think there is an example of a spell causing warping. Instead, the rules for warping are spelled out, as powerful and/or continuous mystical effects (30th level), strong auras, and a few others I am not in a position to look up. I do think that there is a supplement that discusses that base effects of a specific level do cause warping if their magnitude is less than 30th level. For items, the effect's base level doesn't include magnitudes necessary to the function of the item, such as item maintain concentration, or uses per day.

If you still don't believe items should inflict warping, if they are of sufficiently high level effect, why wouldn't an item that can cast a Touch version of The Leap of Homecoming cause warping, when a spell cast by a magus would cause warping?

Yes, and like Familiars and Longevity rituals, they have their own special section to cover where they differ from "vanilla" Hermetic magic. For example, magic items do not use the Penetration skill, they get +2 penetration for every +1 effect level, yes? Magic items aren't affected by auras either (once they have been created), as opposed to Hermetic spells, anymore then a Familiar bond is. I would say that one of the key differences between "vanilla Hermetic magic" and magic items is that magic items are "designed" for everyone, as opposed to spells, which must be designed for particular people. For example, "leap of homecoming" does not cause warping if it was designed for you, but Mercere's Portals work for everyone (allowed to use the portals, what with the various triggers) without causing warping despite being created hundreds of years before some of the users came into existence. Certainly the guideline about about designing spells for people (so as to avoid warping) makes it clear that spells cause warping (If you really need a canon example of a spell that causes warping, look up Touch of Twilight, Creo Vim, base book!). Do you have any example of such a guideline for magic items?

Please, that's simply reaching to justify an understanding that doesn't have a basis in RAW.
All effects of a certain magnitude warp. All effects of a long duration also warp. Longevity Ritual warping is less, because it is designed (by definition) for a specific person. Effects in familiars are also designed for a specific being...

And the CrVi effect you site is just that, the effect of the spell, and not a side effect, so I don't find that example particularly illustrative of warping as experienced as a side effect of a powerful mystical effect. If the goal is to instill warping points, it's far more efficient to just use that spell.

Page 112 of Legends of Hermes has an insert which details warping caused by devices.

I do have some issues with warping, and I don't warp consistently, or do I? Mercere and Hermes Portals warp their locations. Spells and effects that might cause warping warp a valid target, PeTe spells destroying arms and armor don't warp the human.

At what magnitude does designing a spell for specific people stop protecting from warping? As to the spell, the effect is actually causing Twilight, with the mechanical effect of giving warping points. And, if we are bringing in the splat books, there is no mention of Hermetic Architecture causing warping to the people inside the building/magic item, and that was far more detailed then a sidebar, so I think my reading is closer to canon then yours. Again, maybe not in your game, but Arthur made it clear this was an abstract discussion.

I don't understand the question, and you certainly asking one that should be asked, if you were familiar with the warping RAW.
You're reading of what is closer to canon, canon up to a certain point? Legends of Hermes is canon, and it specifically mentions at what power level warping happens, from items.
And while Arthur talked about this being an abstract discussion, I don't think, based on my experience in playing with Arthur, he would believe that items don't cause warping, because they are items.

So many things wrong with this. The spell, I'm assuming you're referring to your aforementioned Touch of Twilight. I can't actually find it in the base, Ars Magica 5th Edition book. Perhaps you're thinking of another edition. In 5th Edition, The Enigma's Gift grants Warping Points. The # of Warping Points granted causes a character to check for Twilight. Twilight isn't automatic, and while fighting it has costs, if their Warping score is low enough they could risk the Twilight experience, and go through it so that it takes effectively no time. And looking at the Guideline it isn't, cause a Twilight check, it's give the target a specified number of Warping points.

I'll also point out that the section on Longevity Rituals from the core rule book does not say anything about Warping from the Longevity Ritual, which contradicts your statement that it has special rules. Longevity Rituals do cause warping, and it is specifically mentioned in TMRE, in the insert on page 42 (the guideline for it is constant effect, designed for the recipient). Therefore, if warping isn't mentioned in the longevity ritual section of the core rule book, but the longevity ritual causes warping, you have even less support now for believing that items who have effects of sufficient magnitude don't cause warping.

Indeed, I believe that RAW clearly states that any mystical effect, be they from spells, enchanted items, be they hermetic or not, whether from fairy, magical or infernal sources (divine is debatable), will cause warping if they are (as stated in ArM5 p.167-168:

  • Powerful (6th magnitude or higher), unless specifically designed for the individual targeted, or
  • Ongoing effects over long times, regardless.

The real question, which RAW leaves less clear, is whether an effect that targets the environment will cause warping for everything that exists in that environment. I'm of the opinion that it does not, because if it did, the basic fact of having an active Aegis of the Hearth would warp all that it is supposed to protect over the years.

To me, warping only applies to things of the relevant Form of the effect. So IMHO, an effect that keeps the air pure might, over time, warp the air. But not those breathing that air. Or in such minuscule amount that it is unnoticeable. Perhaps, if a large number of such effects were to target the same area, saturating it with magic, I might be tempted to inflict warping. But only in extreme cases.

I would also note that I think that any effect can be designed to avoid high-magnitude warping for a single individual it is designed for. So if my magus enchants a belt with Leap of Homecoming for his shield grog, then the shield grog would be able to use it without suffering warping. Just as it would for a Touch-ranged version spell. Because both the item and the spell are essentially effects designed for that individual. Anyone else, including the magus, that used the spell or item would be subject to high-magnitude warping.

Discussion of potential warping aside, have people given some thought about the following question (from my original post)?

I did not claim that the special sections all had the same special rules, and the core book mentions that L.R. cause warping, so no issue there. Now, the Familiar bond is a solid example of a high level effect that does not ever cause warping. you still have no canon example of magic items causing warping, and a solid example of them not (Hermetic Architecture). And you have no example of a high magnitude spell causing warping despite being designed for the castee, so, again, no example of a effect of sufficient magnitude that it has to cause warping. So perhaps you can explain to me why Enchantments in a Familiar bond NEVER cause warping, but Enchantments in a item do.......

If the effect isn't a Corpus effect, I think yes. Sure. It's not much different than the example provided quoted below.

I think the wiggle room is subject to a continuous mystical effect. I think portals shouldn't warp, they simply wouldn't be used if they warped whatever goes through them. Warping the area around the portal is probably necessary, though...

As to your original question, I confess my thoughts went more to how big the area in question would have to be, and huge was what I came up with. It would not be enough to cover a few rooms or the Covenant structure, you would have to "cover the mountain". As to the various Art/Forms, meh. Max bonus, as I recall, is +3, and so is easily covered by Creo Au (Fresh air, warm winds, solid sun).

Because the rules specifically say so, while no such mention is made under enchanted items? Occam's razor...

And after all, the effects enchanted in a familiar bond certainly fall under the "specifically designed for the target" rule. Just a bit more so, in that even constant effects do not warp them. And the practical fact that if the familiar bond caused warping, it would ultimately shorten the magus' lifespan and so very few magi would choose to become linked to a familiar.

Well, it specifically says, in the section on Warping that the Familiar bond and enchantments placed within it do not cause warping. Now, it doesn't except Enchantments in devices, only in familiars.

And as far as your need for an "example of a high magnitude spell causing warping despite being designed for the castee." I have no idea what you want, and seems to be asking for the impossible. Something designed for the recipient will not give a warping point. Something not designed for the recipient will cause warping. Any healing spell 30th level and over will warp the recipient of the spell (we can presume the caster of the spell is the one who it was designed for). If a magus designed a variant of The Leap of Homecoming and his favored shield grog was the person it was designed for the favored grog wouldn't receive warping, but anyone else he used it on, would. So, I don't think you can get what you appear to be asking.

Just to be perfectly accurate and avoid any misunderstandings, it is only the warping from a "Powerful Mystical Effect" (defined as level 30 or higher) that is prevented by having the effect designed for a particular target.

The warping from "Constant Mystical Effects" is not prevented (the only exception being the binding between a magus and his familiar, including powers enchanted into the bond).

Also note that the exact wording is "Anyone subjected to a powerful mystical effect gains a Warping Point, unless they themselves were responsible for the effect or it was specifically and carefully designed to work on them." So even if the magus designed the effect for his shield grog, that magus would avoid gaining a Warping Point if he used it himself, as he is the one responsible for the effect. It might be safe to extend this to enchanted items as well, although a particularly severe interpretation might exclude them.