Malicious casting tablets

In Covenants it is mentioned that casting tablets are dangerous because the caster don't understand the spell's workings, whose parameters and details are defined by the tablet's creator, but that they let these who hadn't learnt "the spell intricacies through laboratory research" cast the spell anyway (if they don't fail the casting, of course).

With that in mind I'm thinking that given that Casting Tablets aren't particularly expensive they should probably be found around quite often. For example consider a group of just gauntled magi with no CrTe expert (neither time nor desire to get one soon) who wants to build a covenant, but don't want to sleep in huts until they get stonemasons and give them time (and stones, and money, and defense against the faeries, and so on and on and on): the problem would be solved spending a few build points in vis and a casting table for Conjuring the Mystic Tower, and towers could arise like mushrooms. Sure, the design would already be set by the author, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing (it is already hard enough to figure out a tower's inner design on your own, so probably casting tablets created by magi with good taste, sense of orientation and a knack for architecture and design would be quite popular. I can figure more than one or two towers created in the traditional way having chimneys going to nowhere, stairs too cramped to be used without bowing and so on).

So that makes me thing that if these casting tablets are popular, then it's quite probable that some magi had also been toying with the idea of making malicious casting tablets that take advantage of the fact that the caster of a casting tablet can't change anything of the original spell, and so with the bait of a nice effect can also deliver a malicious sting. How would those be?

My first thought, going on with the Mystic Tower, would be a tower hiding secret rooms, passages or entrances. If the casting tablet gets popular enough, when the malicious magus is visiting a young covenant and noticies a tower with his design (and sigil, next to the caster's), he would know of ways to sneak in and out of the tower, get secret spaces, and so on. But probably there are better things to hide within the tablet, not necessarily relying just on the spell casting details but on hidden effects or so. So can you think of any of these?


Casting Tablets are expensive from the perspective of time. The spell has to be mastered (typically a season) the. The tablet has to be written, which is also a season.

Then there is the inherent risk of casting one of these. The number of botch dice of 7th magnitude and higher rituals is astounding.

writing a tablet is not inherently a full season- the entire season must be spent in writing but the levels for the tablet come from the same "pool" as for lab notes. Also like lab notes they can be copied far more cheaply.
One interesting possibility for conjuring the mystic tower would be to include a section which has been pre-designed to accept (or even require for proper functioning) a certain enchantment...


Malicious things you can do -
Put a massive level of penetration on that you, the CrTe specialist with the right focus can cast. Anyone else using it runs the risk of falling short, fatiguing themselves and wasting vis (even warping points if they're really far off the target). If they complain, say "well it worked fine for ME"

Change the aesthetic parameters so it reflects what you want. I had a magus whose sigil was a golden colour to things, so he created a version of "Conjuring the Mystic Tower" that made a tower out of iron pyrites (fool's gold) - the building looked shiny and golden when new, and I argued that this is clearly a base rock.

Perhaps the magi of Castra Solis offer a casting tablet to any Flambeau who need to fortify an area - only it includes a large bas-relief to Apollo, to annoy deeply Christian Flambeau while spreading the ideas that Castra Solis want to spread. Would you take a casting tablet from a Criamon with an unusual philosophy?

Note the Lab flaw "Heinous Architecture" - you could design it so all the labs are set up at strange angles, so those who want negative aesthetics scores and don't mind warping will be fine, but others will hate it and spend years redesigning the labs. In fact, there's a bunch of other architectural virtues & flaws for labs which could reflect the magus's personality - did a dwarf-blooded mage create one with low ceiling everywhere? Did a hard of hearing magus create poorly insulated spaces, because they didn't notice?


There are ways to leave malicious tablets about, but it runs into the same problem/conflict that cursed items do - why would someone sit there and deliberately make a 'malicious' tablet? Which means logically, the creator has to have... natural flaws (like heinous architecture, etc) or ulterior motives (your hidden rooms or the Castra Solis example). Lucien the Scholar, of Thebes/Aegea fame, is the sort of madman who would sneak Olympian themes into the architecture, for example. Jerbiton artists trying to show off their art, possibly.
So, other than the Wizards Tower, or other buildings, I can't think of any tablets that would have non-deliberate screw-overs... Maybe a table that requires a very weird combination of vis because of a source the orignal caster has.

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In(X) tablets that always indicate infernal influence?

Casting Tablets for Ager Belli (from Apprentices) that have a small exploitable flaw that can be taken advantage of only by folks who know the secret.

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