Making a Magus who specialised in Hermetic Architecture

So, I need help with this and the title pretty much says all there is but I'll give more context;

We're planning on playing a game centred around colonising Scandinavia; We'll all be 15 years out of Gauntlet, but for the most part I'm focusing on making a fresh from Gauntlet and then looking to build them up over those 15 years to a fairly competent Magi.

So, first, any thoughts? I'm thinking of making a Verditius as that it their speciality in crafting, but a Jerbiton is also perfect for beautification.

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Okay, so you've got to deal with a number of problems.

The first is the fact that Hermetic Architecture is vis hungry. A lot of that vis is going to be Vim vis. Verditus are best equipped to deal with this problem, with Craft skill reducing vis requirements for greater enchantments. And Puissant Craft and Affinity with (X) Craft will help reduce that even further. I'd suggest Stonemason, but it really depends what kind of buildings you'd like to make. For a Jerbiton, you'd better be good at vis extraction (Creo Vim, which is great for Herm.Arch) and have a Personal Vis Source (Vim).

The second issue you'll have to deal with is the amount of vis you can use at one time. Again, Verditus helps with this as the Craft reduction reducing the amount of vis you have to use. For the Jerbiton, Affinity with Magic Theory and/or Puissant Magic Theory is helpful.

The third issue you'll deal with is high laboratory totals. So you'll want, at a minimum, a Magical Focus. A focus in Hermetic Architecture is probably illegal (as it's a lab activity), so a focus in Structures is probably the best, though it will be a Major, which is a no-go for Jerbiton as they need their major Hermetic virtue for Gentle Gift. Depending on your storyguide you could argue down a focus in stone structures to minor, or you could go for more exotic materials (for example, a magus that works in bronze and does all his enchantments as bronze statues).

Beyond that, hermetic architecture requires a ton of time and there's not much to mitigate that, though Book Learner and some arts affinities can help, though it really depends on what you intend to do with hermetic architecture. Most of the big stuff with this deals with Creo, Rego and Vim and everything combined suggests that being a Creo Vim specialist is the best route; you can generate Vim vis well and will have high lab totals for the special stuff found in the realm of Hermetic Architecture.


I have half an article for Sub Rosa on the subject.
I really should get around to finishing it.

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This is an extremely helpful answer! My general setup for Virtues are this;

(ST has approved these)
Major Magical Focus (Structures)

Affinity with Art - Creo
Affinity with Art - Rego
Puissant Art - Vim

Affinity with Ability - Craft Masonry
Book Learner
Faerie Blood - Dwarf

Puissant Ability - Craft Masonry
Puissant Ability - Artes Liberales

This might be a decent spread for this kind of thing - our ST is wondering if 15 years is enough to be a good, established Magus but this seems like a decent starting point?

Verditius Elder Runes can solve the amount of vis handled very easily. Then it's only an issue of getting all the vis to use.

Celestial Magic and Imbued with the Spirit of Vim can both help the Jerbiton.

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That's 11 virtue points. Faerie Blood, Puissant Vim and Puissant Artes Liberales are all basically surplus; you might consider Independent Study, which would let you boost Craft Masonry through practice at (4+2)x1.5=9xp a season, plus more adventure XP is always good.

Aha you're correct - I'll get rid of Faerie Blooded and Vim; replace Vim with Independent study! But the rest look good I assume?

Yeah that looks good. The real trick with this sort of character is to make them fun/useful in adventure scenarios, though good Creo/Rego certainly helps in that regard.

Where's the finesse? I believe to shape things so they don't look like a 5 year old's drawing of a structure, you need finesse?

I've always thought a pure rego expert with good terram and herbam extracting the stone, wood, etc from the environment, teleporting it or having mundanes move it, then constructing the building on site would be the way to go. I feel I am completely missing a topic in a book that has extensive rules on building, which removes the rego builder concept?

Rego builder still works, but its not Hermetic Architecture which is about making magical structures and enchanting entire buildings with effects while not having to construct a lab that can house them.

You can do Hermetic Architecture with totally mundane buildings/builders. Rego Finesse magic is VERY intensive and basically a highly exclusive specialty all of its own; it would be very hard to manage a spellcaster that's both good at Finesse magic and HA enchantment.

Basically you need/want Puissant Finesse, Affinity with Finesse, Cautious with Finesse, and probably Great Perception or Intelligence. Certainly you can do it, but then you're struggling with the enchantment side of HA (vis use limits and availability).

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Hermetic Architecture is really two fields in one, enchanted structures which seems to be the focus so far of this thread and manipulation of auras.

Manipulation of an Aura requires a different build of Virtues. You would want more focus on Vim than Creo/Rego/Muto for example. You would also need a different Major Magical Focus since in most cases you are not dealing with structures.

One thing I dislike about 5th compared to 4th edition is how much they cut down on the ability to manipulate an aura with Hermetic Architecture. While yes you can still strengthen (or weaken) the aura, expand or contract it, and manipulate a regio (including sealing it), you can no longer "flavor" it.

Ultimately though for the power level targeted, not worrying about aura manipulation would be the way to go. The massively high casting totals required for it require a focused arch mage or a group of casters using Wizards C/V/whatever.

Big points - the vis for Creo rituals is always a consideration, and enchanting big objects is expensive, so either work on reducing vis needs or have a personal vis source.

Finesse - Puissant is great, however as falling masonry can kill you and your sodales while bypassing your parma magica you probably want Cautious with Finesse for safety. Botching building work can be deadly.

Not doing it magically - technically, you could just amass wealth, have enough Leadership to manage a large project and write Craft manuals (from City & Guild) and slowly build them the old-fashioned way. Your great manuals, longevity as a magus (and possibly creating a longevity ritual for a mundane mason character played by another of your troupe) make great things possible.

Style points - you can choose any type of rock as your base rock. Normally, people either use local stone (availability, lack of transport expense) or whatever the prestige stone of the area is (Istrian stone around the Adriatic, Portland stone in England, Caen stone and Lutetian limestone in France, Red Verona Marble in that area of Italy).

You can be as playful or serious as you like. You can create granite for its toughness and dark colour (and working it with medieval tools would be very labour intensive, but - hey - magic!), basalt for super heat-resistant black towers, marble of any pattern or colour, any rock that's tough enough and not precious enough to count as more than "base".

I once left a spell text for "Conjuring the Mystic Tower" which varies by making the tower out of iron pyrites (fool's gold) for the bright, shiny colour. In the real world, it would blacken quickly, but with magic it's probably more doable. You could make a tower out of polished coal, solid salt, anything you like and it's no more difficult than conjuring up limestone.

Hmm....imperial porphyry probably counts as a base rock...oh the possibilities.


All of the guidelines for the effects can only be used with structural enchantments. I mean, you 'could' do a composite enchantment without a proper structure in place, but anything of boundary size needs a clearly defined boundary and that lends itself to building actual structures, even if it's a fence wall or dirt berm.

You'll definitely need to be strong in Vim, however, but being strong in Rego/Creo gives you a lot of potential outside of Vim as well. The exact balance is tough to manage, but your 3 best arts should probably be Creo/Rego/Vim in no particular order and you should try to keep them around equal so that you can leverage your focus as well as possible.

The clearly defined Boundary for Aura effects is performed by setting up a collection of pillars or standing stones. Ones that change the size actually require two sets of pillars, one at the original edge of the aura and one at the modified edge. Yes you could use a structural target if you wish to do something like raise the strength of the aura just in a room or building. But if you are actually manipulating the whole aura then a Magic Focus is Structures would not help you.

Manipulating Regios is actually the best use of Aura manipulation. Expand the size, create links between the levels, and actually seal the levels so that no one can enter (except by the already created links). Manipulation like this is the actual basis of my current saga. To affect a fairly large regio required three arch magi working together.


This is technically a structure, at least for the purposes of a Focus in Structures, which is NOT a focus in the 'structure' target. If it was a Major Focus I'd rule a structure was almost anything immobile raised by human hands.

Agreed, especially since the Creo targets are so high.

While in general I would agree with you on this, it is very much something that is YSMV. If you wanted to use monoliths for aura manipulation, I would make sure the primary SG was in agreement before taking that MMF. It would suck to assume so, build a Magi, then have the primary SG disagree with you.

On a related subject, Sacred Architecture (ah la 4th edition) is something we are considering as an expansion of Hermetic Architecture. The only part of it that made the jump to 5th edition Hermetic Architecture is Aura Tampering (with the addition of strengthening which is not in 4th), leaving Aura Aspects/Flavors and Consecration out of the loop. It was something our main founder was researching at the beginning of the saga and only recently have we reached a power level high enough to have a chance at it.

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