Merinita Virtue/Spell/Mystery Questions

Having just worked through the Merinita chapter with a fine toothed comb, I
have a number of questions I was hoping the forums might be able to help me

For Alluring to Magical Beings-- would this bonus be added to a mystagogue's
effective Presence if all the participants in the ceremony were Magi who had
lowered their Parma? How would the Gift effect things in such a situation,
would the Alluring nature overcome the effect of the Gift? My thought is

For Spell improvisation, where does the bonus get added-- before or after
the division of the casting total?

Regarding temporary familiars-- can a Bjornaer cast Faerie Chains of the
Familiar Slave?
I would think 'no.'

The rules for Faerie Familiars and Shared ablities do not specify a range,
or even if the ability works across a Realm boundary. I can see it being
something like voice or sight, but it could just as easily have no range
whatsoever...or am I just missing something?

Is there Warping involved with Arcadian Travel along a trod? If so, how
would it be determined? Is it an effect tailored to the Magus? Is it a brief

For Becoming, how do Fae heal? Just like normal people? (I would guess this
will be covered in RoP:F) And you need the Gift to learn the Parma Magica,
but the ability mentions nothing about requiring the Gift after it has been
learned. Once a magus has completed this mystery, he gains Might-- which is
a sort of Magic Resistance, but will it stack with Parma Magica? Would an
attack need to Penetrate both? Only a magus' Might score?

Once a magus' spells become Might powered abilities, how does expending
extra Might points to increase the penetration work? Do you determine the
penetration as per the ArM5 core book, and then expend additional points to
provide 1 magnitude of penetration for 1 Might point? Otherwise, it seems
like the might point expenditure would only provide a net penetration
increase of 4...?

Folk Mystery Charms that are songs or poems-- do they impose a penalty to
the caster for not speaking while casting, since the magus is reading or
singing rather than casting, or is it considered part of the spell?

Could the Vis from the Wilding Mystery be used in a Longevity ritual? I'm
guessing yes, but thought it was worth asking. While the Vis can't be used
for research, could it be used by a different magus for a magical item being
completed after the Wilding?

Your thoughts are appreciated.


Wow, that's quite a compliment. :slight_smile: I'll certainly do my best to answer your questions.

I probably wouldn't allow the Presence boost; Alluring to Beings is like The Gift in reverse, much like Inoffensive to Animals removes a penalty. Alluring boosts social interaction by drawing the being to the character, but it's a bonus for a particular situation (albeit a very broad one), not to the stat itself. Initiation isn't really this same situation. However, I can see the argument for allowing it if the circumstances are particularly cool-- having to lower their Parmas for a season sounds like an interesting sacrifice for a group of Merinitae.

For a magus to take Alluring to Magical Beings, he must also have Inoffensive to Magical Beings (or the Gentle Gift), which overcomes the social penalties of The Gift. So yes, Alluring gives a +3 social bonus above the standard, in exactly the same situations that The Gift would penalize.

When casting spontaneously? Before. D'oh, it really should say Casting Score, shouldn't it, not Casting Total? I'm pretty sure that bonuses are always added in before you halve or fifth the total.

I agree with you; if they cast it, I'd imagine nothing happens, because Bjornaer magi can't have familiars. It's kind of an odd situation, because it requires a character that has both Faerie Magic and Heartbeast. However, Heartbeast clearly removes the possibility of a familiar, so in this case I think it trumps. Maybe if the character somehow gave up his Heartbeast Virtue, but then he's not really a Bjornaer magus any more. :slight_smile:

Like a familiar's other cords, these abilities are inherent. The maga can always perceive her familiar's surroundings, and vice-versa. They can't necessarily communicate mentally with each other, so the familiar may not know when the maga needs to draw upon their shared fatigue, but because of their shared senses, the maga could simply speak to the familiar, who can hear her words through the maga's own senses. (Merinitae with faerie familiars might often gain a reputation for frequently talking to themselves.)

No Warping Points for the use of a trod, though there's Warping Points if you botch, one for each 0. Also, depending on where you go, there will probably be Warping Points. For example, I imagine characters in Arcadia will pick up a few Warping Points if they're there for very long, like one per season. Merinitae might be immune to that, like they don't get Warping from Faerie auras, but also perhaps not, since Arcadia is so different than the mortal world.

I'm afraid I don't know exactly how faeries heal, since it hasn't been written yet. I'd imagine they don't heal like normal people do, though, because that sounds interesting. Maybe faerie magi have to heal all of their injuries with healing spells?

Without The Gift, you can't cast the Parma, so faerie magi will have to rely on their Might to protect them. Generally speaking, Parma doesn't stack with other forms of Magic Resistance, though.

The formula for determine a faerie's Penetration is in the Bestiary chapter of ArM5, under Creature Powers. It's [Might Score - (5 x Might Point cost) + Penetration bonus]. You can't spend additional Might Points to increase a power's Penetration, but you can increase your Penetration bonus with Arcane Connections and so on. Also, the ritual of The Empowered Faerie allows the faerie maga to increase the Might cost of her spells, improving their Penetration.

I think the magus should try to work the song or poem into the spell, but he could instead cast the spell as normal immediately afterward. The words and gestures of the performance don't directly substitute for the spell's words and gestures unless the character has a Virtue that allows for that, though, so a performance that incorporates Latin phrases and Hermetic gestures might seem kind of disjointed. :slight_smile:

My instinct is no, because the Longevity Ritual, while being called a Ritual, is actually a laboratory activity that requires an entire season to develop and perform. Wilding is designed to produce vis for casting ritual spells, like Aegis of the Hearth or Calling the Council of the Trees. You can't do anything else in the lab while you're Wilding, and the vis doesn't last long enough to use with any other seasonal activities.

No problem! I'm glad you're enjoying the book so much.

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I don't think that, once developped, a Longevity Ritual takes a whole season to perform.

I was looking at the third paragraph below Longevity Rituals in ArM5: "The Longevity Ritual takes one season to develop and perform, and the subject must be present for the whole of that season." However, I forgot about the later bit that says you can perform the ritual again with "no significant investment in time" if you've suffered an aging crisis and have the Laboratory Text. In that case, yes, I think you can spend a season on the Wilding and then use the vis you get to cast the longevity ritual at the beginning of the next season. But the vis from a Wilding season doesn't fully manifest until the season is over, so it can't be used for something else that same season, and it doesn't ever last long enough to use in a seasonal lab activity during the subsequent season, either.

If I interpret this correctly, the casting total for spontaneous magic is still (casting score) /2, right? And the Might point cost should still be one per magnitude of the spell? With the penetration formula above that would make spontaneous magic quite powerfull for Hermetic faeries who have yet to transform their mind and body.

Then, faeri magi are affected by the social effects of other wizards gift?

What are the religious implications of Becoming? I reckon that any divine virtues and True Faith are lost, but do angels still care? Are the Guadian Angel virtue still up and running? Do saints still answer you pleas? Do Relics still recognize you as a believer?

And what does the Technique and Form that the magas might becomes associated with do? Is it only for Intelligo magic used to study the maga or does it somehow limit the magas spellcasting? Or does it perhaps work like a Minor Focus virtue?

The rules for Becoming doesn't mention any vis cost, is that really the case?

Sure do.

// Fredrik Hertzberg

The total is Casting Score / 2 if she spends Fatigue, or / 5 if she doesn't (and magi who have undergone Transforming the Body can't spend Fatigue, though they can spend Confidence instead).

For any faerie magus, yes-- they essentially add their Might Score to all of their Penetration totals. Might's a great thing to have.

Sure. They're basically faeries with Arts once they've been transformed completely. Magi are affected by the social effects of The Gift too, it's just that when they have their Parmas up they are immune to it.

I'd imagine all of the character's Supernatural and Hermetic Virtues either become Faerie versions or are lost, but I'm not sure exactly how this would work -- perhaps this will be explained in RoP: Faerie? I suppose it's possible for a faerie to be pious (the church grim or abbey lubber, for example), but for mechanical purposes the character is wholly Faerie, and not even peripherally associated with the other realms. So, no True Faith or Relics I'd imagine. Guardian Angel might become Plagued by Angel.

Well, the Form determines how the character is affected by magic; a faerie maga with Might (Aquam) could be warded away by ReAq magic. For now, the Technique is just flavor without any mechanical effect, sort of like the character's Wizard's Sigil.

That's right. You give up your humanity instead. Actually, I imagine that faeries generally have a sort of taboo against using vis; perhaps they see it as a sort of cannibalism.

Not all supernatural beings react negatively to the Gift. I suppose it would depend on the character's nature.

I guess that would be very Saga-dependent.

Thanks for the extensive answers.

I find it fascinating that you divide your responsibilities so rigorously that not even the designers of the game really knows what the other authors will come up with. Depending on the framework given in RoP: Faery your rules could mean very different things.

They do? But aren't Hermetic faeris still supposed to use vis for rituals and item enchantments? I suppose they are a bit special as faeries go but still...

Well, that is true. Perhaps it would be some kind of faery virtue or something. One of those additional refining Transformation rituals could theoretically have such an effect.

// Fredrik Hertzberg

I cannot fathom Offensive / Unbearable to Infernal. What are the effects they are supposed to have?

Normally the Gift has no effect on infernal creatures, but these flaws do? But how? They make demons not trust you? Not like you? Erm. Demons already hate the entire humanity!

They can't make demons more likely to attack the character instead of working on corrupting him, as that would be a Gift -- a bizarre one, but better dead then damned, neh?

The only thing that seems to make sense is, that they make demons attracted to the character, making them work harder in tormenting him... but in that case the difference between the two is really vague, and "Plagued by Infernal" says it all, really.

Am I misreading this somehow?



Well, I don't really know but... Plagued by the infernal feels more like there is one or more infernals already out to get you. Offensive / Unbearable to Infernal makes infernal beings notice you and maked them find you "unbearable". They could have chosen to tempt anyone in Paris, but in the end they always seem to single you out.

Practically speaking Offensive / Unbearable to Infernal could be completely safe as long as you don't meet any infernals ( not likely in a roleplaying game though ) whereas plagued by the infernal is already past that stage, there is a specific devil trying to make life difficult for you.

I think you summed it up fairly well with "attracted to".

Eh, how do you get Corpus vis from wilding? I thought that only completely natural parts of nature could be used, and what completely natural parts of nature are associated with corpus? Do battlefields count as completely natural, perhaps?

// Fredrik Hertzberg

Re: offensive/unbearable infernal

I agree with Hertzberg on this, but I would in addition that whilst offensive would mean they notice you and they may want to do something about it, unbearable would mean they couldn't do anything to you personally, being unable to be in your presence. Doesn't mean the demon couldn't 'persuade' (and/or assist) other things to interfere in your life to rid you from its playground.

No problem. :slight_smile:

Well, I hope to have struck a balance between presenting enough interesting material to play a Merinita who has become a faerie, and leaving enough space for future authors to develop new and exciting ideas for playing faeries. :slight_smile:

Faerie magi have become faeries, but they might not have faeries' cultural prejudices. If faeries see spending a pawn of vis like cooking and eating another faerie's corpse, faerie magi might still do it but feel guilty about it, perhaps developing a poor reputation. Or maybe they tend to avoid activities that require them to spend vis?

I think that's a great idea!

As you and others have put it very well, it's like they are attracted to you, like they have it in for you. If a demon could attack anyone in a large group, the Offensive one will catch its eye. For Unbearable, the demon might inadvertantly reveal itself in its haste to destroy you, but not necessarily; the demon isn't any less crafty or driven from your presence by your Gift, it just especially hates you. Think of how mundane people are affected by The Gift, and then apply that to demons in the region. You bother them more than other magi, and they will try to remove you with even more effort than usual. Even mundane characters with Infernal Virtues or Flaws will feel intense dislike for you, and perhaps stir up sentiment in the other mundanes against you, or call in their more powerful allies. If they're clever, they won't be obvious about it.

The rules say that a magus making a longevity ritual can sometimes substitute vis from another Form if his magic is strongly associated with that Form. You're right, this would have to be the case here.

I don't really feel it should be a virtue. More like a free choice for the player of the newly-minted faerie, like its apparent age. I do agree that refining rituals could be used to alter that choice after the fact, but I don't think they should be necessary to enable that choice in the first place. Whether or not you like Gifted individuals is not something that needs to be "upgraded to", if you see what I mean. It gives me the impression that Becoming is somehow incomplete. Which, I'll grant you, it might very well be. :wink:

If anything, both "Allured By The Gift" and "Offended By The Gift" would both be Personality Flaws, rather than Virtues. They do not affect how Magi react to the character, but how the character reacts to Magi. Alternatively, some people might just want to leave them as a mere Personality Trait, though I feel that devalues the effect of the gift, and goes against the idea of the unchanging nature of faeries.

This is a tricky issue, and I'm not adamant that it should be a virtue. But it just feels, well, in all ways better not to be offended by the gift. If it was possible for humans not to be offended that probably would have been a virtue I think.

If it is the case that all faeries get to choose weather they are offended or not, that would of course be true for Hermetic faeries as well.

I believe that the core question here is about the nature of the faery dislike of gifted humans. If it is a "natural" opinion (like disliking snakes) it makes sense that they get to more or less choose freely. If it on the other hand is a "Mystical effect" then I would speak of it in terms of immunity and perhaps even virtues.

I agree completely. Both would be really inconvenient for a Hermetic faery, by the way.

This actually serves to make Becoming a lot more balanced. Six seasons per year combined with no warping could easly give you quite a Vim score. And as the Might score is a linear function of your two best Art scores this could get rather scary.

With the cultural points stated above in mind, this should be increasingly unusual. I suppose this effect wasn't entirely intentional on your part, but well done none the less.

// Fredrik Hertzberg