Magical focus: Architecture

Based on recent threads here on the boards and my old worked example of hermetic architecture thread, I've been thinking about a character based around efficient use of hermetic architecture.

Some of the most horrendous problems of the virtue, such as the vast amounts of vis required, can be remedied to a degree by verditius magic and hermetic alchemy. But some of the effects and rituals get very high level indeed (like over 100 high). Obviously this is really work for very senior magi leading teams of experts.

Then I got to thinking about focuses. Could one have a focus in architecture and if so would it be major or minor. My guess is major since it would cover more than one technique/form combo.

However, this would only apply to a very small subset of hermetic architecture effects, those involving the actual construction, maintenance or alteration of structures. How about a focus in Hermetic Architecture. Now this would be much more restrictive as it wouldn't apply to anything not done with hermetic architecture and given the costs of that, how often are you really using it. But it would be very powerful, allowing you a chance at hitting some of those really really high level effects.

Does this seem like something that might be doable with a focus?

My honest opinion is that a magical focus in architecture might qualify as a minor. This would include creating, constructing, adjusting, and repairing buildings, but not destroying them, moving them, turning them into cats, and so forth.

I'd probably say Minor Magical Focus as well. While you can potentially do a fair amount with it, there just aren't all that many situations where you'd expect it to be tremendously useful - even when you're really trying to exploit it.

The only kicker being, "Architecture" covers a decent variety of techniques and forms. Despite the specificity, that might knock it up to a Major Magical Focus. Though if you do go with Major in the end, I'd angle for the focus to be "Buildings" instead of just "Architecture".

Personally, I'd just take it as a major focus and be done with it: Creo, Rego and Intellego, with Terram and Herbam, applied to buildings. This is about as broad as necromancy. I dislike attempts at narrowing down a focus in ways that appear a bit artificial - e.g. going from necromancy to hermetic necromancy performed at night by a male magus.

If “Healing” is a minor focus then “Architecture” alone should be minor too. Buildings are important but measured against everything hermetic magic can do? Not so much. During adventures the magus can save time setting up a nice ‘camp site’.

Toss in everything covered in Roman civil & military engineering – roads, tunnels, canals, aqueducts, harbors, sewer systems, irrigation systems, surveying & mapping – then the focus starts looking like a real ‘major’.

Do you want a focus that covers building stuff (Buildings, arcs and the like), or do you want a focus that covers the various aura/regio-manipulating Vim effects made possible with Hermetic Architecture?
So far, it appears everyone has assumed it was the former - I read it as the later.

I am interested in the possibilities of both, but yes, I agree that they would do different things.

Others have discussed having a focus covering buildings, the creation of. I might argue that it should be Major, covering both Herbam and Terram. But those effects are of fairly low levels, really. Consider Conjuring the Mystic Tower which is only level 35, compared to the effect levels necessary to manipulate Aurae and Regiones.

If we're looking at a Focus which covers those effects, things change slightly.
If you're only looking to Strengthen Aurae, it's clearly a Minor virtue - these effects are Creo Vim, and a fairly limited subset thereof.
If you're looking to do more things with them...

A few years ago, for the (now very defunct) saga of Via Experimenta, I talked Jonathan Link into allowing a minor focus covering exactly Regiones and Aurae, for my character Titus Aurelius. This focus was fairly explcitly intended intended to cover essentially the guidelines on p. 14 of RoP: M, the Mystery Guidelines of TMRE p. 100 and a few InVi effects from the core book.

This was judged to be a minor focus, due to being pretty narrow, and it really is.
It covers (very) restricted areas of of several TeFo combinations, but that's not a problem (ArM5, p. 46).
So yes, I think a minor focus qualifies.

I don't really see how you'd define a single focus to cover both the building and the aura/regio manipulations though.

I should probably also recommend the article in Sub Rosa (issue 11, p. 32ff) dealing with the Hermetic Architect. I'm working on a respons to that article, but I have been for a while, and it's still nowhere near done. :wink:

Thanks Tellus, I will check out the Sub Rosa article.

I think you might have hit the nail on the head with the regiones and auras focus. Its the only thing that would be very high level in hermetic architecture. Most other effects are likely to be lower level but widespread (e.g. let everyone in the boundary target fly).

Minor for both Architecture or Aura & regios.

Tellus explaination regarding aura and regios is exactly matching my thoughts.

Regarding Architecture as building and structure, I would be on the generous side, I would keep it minor. However, I would forbid the focus to apply of Prison of Flames and such. To be a minor focus, it needs to remains within the realm of mundane architecture. No Ice castle, no wall of water.

Hermetic Architecture could also be considered a minor virtue - simply because the cost is so prohibitive and time consuming that I won't mind somebody going the extra distance to make it a bit easier. Because it is so specific, it probably is a virtue that is initiated since a young magus would hardly be able to use it and have all the appropriate skills to be an good Hermetic Architect.

Hermetic Architecture focus and aura & regios focus overlap when it comes to creating/managing aura, but otherwise they are different enough to be considered individually.