Merinita Folk Magic inner mystery - Charms

I'm posting my understanding of the rules out of the Mystery Cults book for the Merinita inner mystery Charm magic I'm interested to know if i'm interpretting them correctly, I have the same post on the PbP game I'm in but am currious about other's oppinions.

The reason I need to make sure I'm interpreting things correctly is I have confusion over the rules for multi-concept charms and their casting bonus. Here it goes:

Charms... I use the terms Concept and Category a bunch so moved the example of them to the begining.

Here are the 6 Categories from Mystery Cults, with examples of Concepts :

Adage: “There is truth in wine,” “Power
corrupts,” or “Out of sight, out of

Aspect: A particular quality of the
target, such as small, drunk, lazy,
or rough.

Character: The target’s name, occupation,
title, bloodline, nickname,
age, or birthmark.

Event: What the target is doing: a
chase, seeking justice, in love, a
rescue, or a quest.

Item: The target’s shape or material, or
an object strongly associated with
the target.

Place: The location of the target: a
forest, mountain, covenant, village,
or ship.

So Andorra would be a Concept belonging to the Category Place. If a charm were made with Place: Andorra, then any spell targeting something in Andorra would get a +2 casting bonus or could be used as a +2 multiplier for a Sympathetic connection.

A basic Permanent charm is diff 9 and gives a +2 casting roll or Sympathetic Arcane connection (the +2 multiplier)

A charm is made up of Concepts and Categories. I'm deducing that the basic formula is Concepts = +1 casting bonus, each Category represented is +1.

Now normally 1 charm is represented by 1 Concept and the 1 Category to which that Concept belongs. You can incorporate a total amount of charms as you have Faerie magic into a spell. Spontaneous or otherwise.

After incorporating all the charms you total the Concepts and individual Categories represented (a Category only counts once). Note the book says you count the Charms and the Categories represented for the final casting bonus. But that does nothing to clarify the rules for multiple Concept charms.

You run into a problem using many charms because you need to recite a poem, sing a song etc for each charm. And I have only so many hands and 1 voice to sing. Common sence says there is a limit to the amount of charms you can incorperate in a spell, not the RAW.

So to remedy this you incorporate many Concepts into the same charm. Now each Category represented increases the Difficulty by 3 when putting multiple Concepts into a charm. And Categories are all that matter for Penetration. I am going to infer that a charm that uses 3 Concepts counts as 3 charms for the spell bonus.

After all is said and done, you can only use the amount of Concepts (book says charms, i'm inferring Concepts) as your Faerie magic score. Otherwise their is no point to putting multiple concepts into one charm, just use as many charms as you have, right?

Some examples in the description of charms mention "Darius" as a character (the target's name), "magus" as a character, "Axe" as an item, "red" as an aspect, and "winter" as an event.

All the Concepts have to do with the target of the spell, not the spell effect or the caster...

Also I am sketchy about if a Charm only effects a specific spell or not.

Here are example charms, difficulty listed is to make the charm. Oppinions are very much appreciated, I don't want to be a munchkin and don't want to hold up my fellow players :slight_smile:

Song to the Dragon Kin
Adage: “Music has charms to soothe a savage beast”
Character: “Drake”
Item: “Scales”
Item: "Wings"
Event: "Autumn"

Mechanics: Uses Drums Difficulty 18
5 Concepts, 4 categories;
+9 casting total or
Penetration multiplier + 5 (Sympathetic)
when using Music to soothe a savage, scaled, winged, Drake in Autumn

For increasing the range of sound of a drum:
Item: “Drum”
Event: “Playing”
Event: "Autumn"
Aspect: "Sound"
Mechanics: Difficulty to create 15
4 Concepts, 3 categories
Casting total +7 when affecting the sound of a playing drum in autumn
Or +3 penetration multiplier vs a playing drum in autumn (lol)

For keeping warm and possibly armor?
Item: “Silk”
Aspect: “Light protection” ?
Event: “Autumn”
4 Concepts, 3 categories
Difficulty: 15
Casting total + 7 or
Penetration multiplier + 4 vs lightly protecting silk clothes in autumn

Autumns Theme
Event: Autumn
Mechanics :
Diff 9
+2 casting total or
Penetration multiplier +2 in Autumn

Kallista's Theme
Aspect: Greek
Character: maga
Event: Singing
Mechanics :
Diff 15
+6 casting total or
Penetration multiplier +4 vs a singing greek maga :stuck_out_tongue:
maybe i should destroy that after i memorize it or something.


This is an unclear area; maybe some official clarification can help.

Here's my take:

The rules don't say that using Charms extends casting time; they also don't say the opposite. (In my non-existent saga, I'd rule that the character has to be able to do the actions associated with the Charm, but that this is a quick action that doesn't affect casting time. I'd not allow Fast Casting though!) Craft Charms don't involve a performance of any kind, insofar as I can tell.

Charms are just ok for Formulaic spells, but really come into their own for sponts.

Each charm can be used in any spell it is designed for, but the specific charms are designed into a Formulaic spell during its invention.

BTW, I think you get both penetration and casting total benefits.

(Sure, a player will strive to pile on as many charms as possible, stretching to make them work, but I think this is cool and flavorful, something to be encouraged as creative rather than stifled as munchkin.)

Faerie Magic limits the number of Charms, not concepts. So Kallista's Theme counts as a single Charm. Great for sponting effects on yourself!

For Dragon-soothing spell, if 'wings' becomes 'winged', you have an Aspect, which adds another concept. 'Angry' gives you another aspect. Piling up Charms is easy, if you have the Charms!

Clothes spell:

Clothes-item, silk-aspect, if it's a personal range spell, make a charm for yourself to get character, event-"target is cold"



The RAW talks about Charms and only indirectly mentions Concepts.

The wierdness I see is the description for putting more than one Concept in a charm doesnt mention anything about casting bonus for multiple concepts.

There really is no reason to even put multiple concepts into a charm since it increases difficulty of making the charm, if the only thing that adds to casting bonus is the amount of charms...

If it is the case you can "just use" 5 or so charms in a spell, just make 5 seperate charms diff 9, and don't worry about your music, craft or what not. I kinda think its silly to use that many charms unless in cerimonial casting though.

Then again I have Performance Magic. A charm could be a musical theme, melody, or beat. Maybe I'll just break down my complicated charms into individual 1 Concept ones and say they are melodies.

I would like to use one charm, that was really hard to make... The cultivation of much time and skill...


The benefit is that Faerie Magic limits charms, not concepts.

So, with a Faerie Magic of 1, Kallista can use Kallista's Theme if she created a charm that covers the three that KT would normally use, and gain the full benefit.

Now the rules say, "the maga can design a single charm that incorporates all the different concepts at once." This plays ambiguously with the usual casting bonus of +1/charm and +1/category, but it wouldn't be incorporating all the concepts if it didn't function exactly as the separate charms. (Otherwise, if a spell has 3 aspect bonuses, a charm that combines them would not really be incorporating all of them.)

That's just me though. I could see someone else ruling quite differently.



That is what i find to be weird. It is ambiguous.

Like if i have 3 seperate charms:

Character: "Kallista", Aspect: "is cold", Item: "Silk"

And used all 3 for 1 spell, that is a +6 bonus to casting total.

Now... If I make them all into one charm, using music skill... Would the one charm count as one charm and thus be a +2 casting total or a +6?

If it retains it's +6 and the limit isnt on Concepts, but on Charms... omg that gets gross.

you could make say 4 charms that all are complex charms with 4 Concepts each for a 16 +(6 max Category) or 16+ 16( if you dont count all categories used) ... so based on interpretation you can possibly have a faerie magic of 4 and create a +32 casting total for one very specific target and set of circomstances.

That's what I want to avoid proposing to my storyteller. "Hey can I have a + Win " :slight_smile:

Then again it would be funny to prepare for a wizard war and be foiled 'cause your enemy is wearing red, not blue or some such :slight_smile:


I say +6!

Sure. But other magi have their awesome tricks too.

Bear in mind that to do this, you have invested 2vp in Faerie Magic + Charms. You have also invested skill points in either a craft or performance skill, possibly more than one, so that you can make the Charms to begin with. You probably have either a good Dex or Com, again to support those Charms; other magi often dump these.)

And, of course, you need the right Charms.

It's good but not that good. The bonus is calculated by spell. So you gain a bonus of +6 for the Categories and +16 for all the charms. That's +22. Still awesome.

But to get here, you've put a lot of work into this. Each Charm has to match 4 circumstances to work at all. You have had to plan for 16 concurrent circumstances!

That +22 is great, yeah. But you're not the only one. Your Flambeau enemy, over there, emerged from his apprenticeship with a +60 casting total in burning you to a crisp, and he doesn't need fancy charms, or planning.

(Have you been following that other thread discussing spontaneous magic? Charms are pretty eh for formulaic magic, but are the best for Spontaneous Magic. If you have lots of Charms, choose the spell on the spot to fit your circumstances!)

grin Marko is your SG, eh?

And there it is. To be really good at Charms is to have invested a lot in a style of casting. It has its coolnesses and vulnerabilities.

(After all is said and done, though, I think that the Charm rules could have been written better. I'd want to make them easier to use but limit the bonuses more.

Were I to house-rule, I'd do the following:

  1. A maga has done all the necessary performance and crafting in the creation of the Charm. A maga need only have on her person the physical token representing the Charm to use it.

  2. A maga can apply no more Charms to a spell than her Faerie Magic.

  3. A maga can combine multiple Charms into a single work, with the usual increased difficulty. The Charms still count individually toward the FM limit, and all must apply to a spell for the maga to get the benefit of any. However, the maga gains a further +1 correspondence bonus for every two Charms in the work beyond the first (+1 at 3, +2 at 5, etc).

  4. A maga using Charms gains all appropriate casting and AC bonuses.

(#1 levels the playing field between crafters and performers, and removes ambiquity. #2 sets a clear limit. #3 makes sure things don't get out of hand while still rewarding players who craft more elaborate Charms.)



Hi Kallista,

Perhaps I can help you with your questions, though it seems like Ovarwa has already given you good answers. :slight_smile:

Yes, the limit to the number of charms a character can incorporate into a spell is that character's Faerie Magic score.

I don't think so, I think I intended it as counting as one charm. You can use multiple charms as sympathetic connections, limited by the character's score in Faerie Magic. The limit on number of charms is Faerie Magic, and the limit on categories is the increased difficulty in making the charm. If you're using temporary charms, you have to make them up on the spot, which means you have to roll to see if you succeed.

The inherent limit on categories is that there's only six types and each one increases the difficulty of the crafting roll. If you're really good at crafting charms and can pull off an Ease Factor of 21, then yes, you should incorporate all of them into your spontaneous spells. Probably not your formulaic spells, though, because that will limit them so much it's likely not worth it. Unless it's a very specific spell, like you know you want to banish a particular ghost and you need to overcome its Magic Resistance or something like that, so you design a spell to accomplish that particular task.

Up to the storyguide, but I think they should be somehow related to the particular circumstances. They create a sympathetic connection with the target, so just describing the caster doesn't seem like it would do anything special. It should limit the spell a little, so if the effect is limited by the charm in some way that seems perfectly fine to me.

The spell must be designed with the charm in mind, whether it is formulaic or spontaneous. You can use the same sort of charm for several different spells, though, so you only have to make one.

I concur. But remember, that means you either need to make up the song on the spot and roll Com+Music vs. EF 12 for it to work, or else for a permanent charm you need to carry around an object associated with it.

Merinita walk this weird line. Being good at spontaneous magic is kind of a Magic realm thing (or Infernal... :P), not really a Faerie realm thing. But I think House Merinita blends the two power sets together really well; they aren't as good as Diedne, but there are things they can do that will make them better at it than the other Houses. Also, with Sympathy Traits from the Faerie book they've got a few more spellcasting tricks up their sleeves, which are very similar to the bonuses that Charm Magic gives. I imagine they stack, too, because, well, why wouldn't they?

#1 sounds good to me for permanent charms, although if you use music you probably want to sing the song anyway. It's just cool. :slight_smile: But they shouldn't slow the caster down unless she has to make the charm for the spell.

I should have specified #2 and #4 better, but I think that's essentially RAW.

For #3, I'm not sure what you're suggesting. Additional charms don't affect the casting total beyond this smaller bonus? That seems pretty weak to me, especially if adding more charms increases the casting time.


Yup! The character I envision is a hedge type who carries around lots and lots (and lots) of tiny amulets.

I don't own that book.

Ok. Right now, RAW (imo :slight_smile: ), a maga with Faerie Magic 5 can craft 5 charms, each of which combines 4 charms, for a total bonus of 6 for the categories plus 20 for all the 'sub-charms.' I'm saying that's a bit much, and propose #3 instead. A maga still benefits from combining charms, but not as much, and the virtue is still extremely powerful.

Optimizing Charm Magic involves creating a repertoire of permanent Charms. Hundreds of them. No casting time increase needed.



I plan on having as many charms as I can conceive... LOL

I can imagine... rummaging through a bunch of cases, throwing stuff all over My lab...

"Where did I put that thing? Must be in here somewhere... Ohh a Drake poppet... forgot i had that..." Find a book of Poems in chest and start leafing through. "Here we go. What is this? Ode to a Brown Rat? What was I thinking? No... No... Here it is 'Song of the Ice Queen' and a 'Remembrance of Winter's Past'. Now, where did I put that Crown of Governance?"


The magus that I almost created instead of Iohannes (and might still get to run) would sculpt a tiny bead or pendant for each Charm. These miniatures would be strung together, and the character would be festoooned with hundreds of them. He'd also have spell foci, for even more trinkets.

Very hedgy. :slight_smile: