Mercurian Spells

I jusr want to see if anyone of you guys and gals have done any fun spells or items for Mericurian Magic (Meo-Mercurians) Road Magic? The only spell I have thought out this far is

Mille viae ducunt homines per saecula Romam
This spell tells the caster if it leads towards a place to which the caster has an Aracane Connection
This spell will stop at bridges and fords, but still lead the caster to the said ford. Max range is approx 1000 km

Intelligo Terram (40)
Range: Road
Duration: Momentary
Target: Road

(Base: 4, Range +2, Target +2, Size +4)

I've never used it myself, but I seem to vaguely recall one or two such effects in Through the Aegis. Didymia as I recall.

I've not seen a lot of Mercurian spells in my games, but ... it seems to me that:

  • the base Level should be 2, not 4. After all the spell is asking something that anyone could tell just by looking at the target (T:Road, the road and its "contents"): is what I want there? Compare e.g. with "Probe for Pure Silver" from ArM5, p.153.
  • there should be no maximum range, and no level adjustment for Size. Intellego effects are never adjusted for Size (Arm5, p.113).
  • why the arcane connection? and why the R:Road? I would cast it at R:Touch (if I'm standing on the Road) and T:Road: I am asking one question about the Road and the items on it -- whether the thing I am looking for is there. Note that this thing I am looking for could just be something I am just picturing on my mind, and it could be a set of things (e.g. are there at least three sheep on the road?) In fact, I could even ask exactly where on the road it lies.

Hmmm. So, I may be wrong ... but if I am not, your "Thousand ways to Rome" spell should probably be: R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Road, with a final level of 5 (Base 2, +1Touch, +2 T:Road) instead of 40 (!), no distance limit, no requirement of an Arcane Connection, and the ability to learn a lot more, including looking for a collection of objects and/or learning where on the road they stand. A significant boost in power!

I had some plans with a Mercurian magus, though that saga never lasted long enough for me to make them. Here's one he planned to use on the single road approaching the covenant, which the covenant's terram specialist had already improved:

Path of Perilous Flames CrIg35
R: Voice D: Concentration T: Road
Sets the target road alight with flames doing +5 damage. Affects a road up to 10,000 paces in length (over 5 miles).
Base4, +2M Voice, +1M Conc, +2M Road, +2M Size = 35

This was to follow a Road based version of Trap of the Entwining Vines, with similar Size parameters. Trap and burn any serious force approaching the covenant by road.

[] Ah, the Base 4 was my mistake. I meant 2
] OK, no range, so much better :slight_smile:
[*] I was thinking the name of the place was enough as an arcane connection. Just to limit abuse.

FYI Intelligens spells may very well be modified for size. Without looking in books I remember Sense the Feet That Tread the Earth. So spells leaning a property about an object are modified for size it seems.
But magical sensed aren't because the target is the sense itself

Hmmm. No. Sense the Feet That Tread the Earth needs an errata, it seems. Because it really seems the odd one out, probably due to a faulty conversion from its pre-5th edition version. And it runs against the very explicit, general ruling that is really used and quoted all over the place (e.g. in the Divinitation Virtue): no size modifier for Intellego spells.

From what I understand, If I invent a new duration, lets call it storm. It means that I target a storm and as long as the chosen storm exist the spell is in effect.

So I make my spell that makes me control all lightnings comming down from said storm with a targeting roll. I put said spell in the covenant library and now everyone who reads it (studies it for a season or more, depending on their labtotal) will be able to make their own storm-duration spells.

So why are there not more Mercurian spells in the order, do the Merc mages keep their spells hidden and only shares it with other Merc mages, or do you need to have Faerie Magic or Mercurian Magic in order to understand it

No idea, great question. I thought minor breakthroughs could be learnt by others without a virtue. Major needed a minor virtue, and hermetic breakthroughs needed a major virtue.
So perhaps Mercusrian is considered a major rather than minor breakthrough equivalent? I could have that very backward.
That said, just the range Road sounds minor to me.

By ArM5 p.114, storyguide interpretation allows to invent standard hermetic spells with non-standard R/D/T parameters without any Breakthrough for hermetic integration at all. By HoH:TL p.26, finding new Ranges or Durations typically make good Minor Breakthroughs. In both cases, your spells using that R/D/T parameter are immediately readable, once you wrote out their labtexts for other magi.
In 1220 there are not yet any Breakthroughs known, which integrate the many, many R/D/T parameters coming with Virtues - like e. g. Faerie Magic, Sensory Magic, Hermetic Geometry, Atlantean Magic or such - with standard Hermetic Magic. By TMRE p.116 Road Magic is a Minor Virtue, unless a magus already has the Major Virtue Mercurian Magic. In the latter case he can learn it in just a season from a practitioner. Also TMRE Road Magic is not yet integrated with Hermetic Magic in 1220.
The Mercurian rituals from F&F p.26 box are non-Hermetic: each is learned as a separate Arcane ability taking a whole season to enact. The integration of Via Mercuria R/D/T parameters into Hermetic Magic is possible, and described on F&F p.27 box. As no difficulty - Minor, Major or Hermetic - of the needed Breakthrough(s) is given there, a troupe decision is advisable. If the decision is, that one or more of the R/D/T parameters from F&F p.27 box form a Minor Breakthrough, after achieving it you need only write out and distribute labtexts to communicate it.


What I mean, Oneshot, is that if my Neo-Mercurian maga writes down a R/D/T spell with Road parameters as a lab text, would anyone be able to learn it and use it or do they need Mercurian Magic or Road magic Virtue to understand my labtexts?

I was not quite sure about your question, so I wrote down the argument instead of the simple answer. Which is: unless the reader of the spell's labtext has Mercurian Magic or Road Magic as Virtue, she cannot make use of it.


Dunia: I think the essence of the issue is this (as ironboundtome suggested) that a new R/D/T category may not come from a Minor Breakthrough (in which case your argument would be correct). It could come from a Major or Hermetic Breakthrough (like R: Veil of Death from Ancient Magic) or it could be something "intrinsic" to the magus (like the the R/D/T available to characters with "Mutant" blood from HoH:TL). If this is the case, a lab text of a spell using the new R/D/T may not be sufficient to acquire the ability to use the R/D/T in your spells.

OneShot: one small addendum to what you said. A magus can create new formulaic spell with "non-standard" R/D/T as long as they are fully within Hermetic limits without any breakthrough, as you say. However, without even a minor breakthrough a) that R/D/T is probably going to be slightly "more expensive" in terms of levels/flexibility etc. than the closest Hermetic R/D/T and b) that R/D/T cannot be used with Spontaneous magic. A minor breakthrough removes these limitations.

The minor breakthrough would be particular good for characters with Flexible Formulaic Magic. Some of the Mercurian and Fae R,D,T, are far more powerful when they can be used in that manner. It's just the time to break that minor breakthrough is too damn high (in my current saga).