Minor Focus - Hermetic Geometry?

Is Hermetic Geometry (TMRE 93) too broad for a Minor Focus? I'm kind of batting that question back and forth right now - it's a small set of powers in theory, but it looks like it's got serious Swiss Army Knife potential.

Are you including Hermetic Architecture?

Is your question, whether a Focus with all spells with R: Line, D: Arcane Ring or T: Arcane Circle should be Minor?
A troupe should not allow that as a Focus Virtue at all.

Getting it to accept it even as a Major Focus is a win in a game of nomic (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomic): it is even stronger than getting a Focus on all R: Sight spells approved.

If you wish to get a magus who's good at Hermetic Geometry, consider for him an Affinity with Artes Liberales, or Puissant Artes Liberales.


Isn't Hermetic Geometry a Mystery Virtue? I don't know what the outline of the character the OP is asking about is, so I have to assume that you have the Virtue that goes along with this, yes?

Correct. The outline has Numerology and Geometry but not Architecture, and a high Artes Liberales score for proper use of both.

And yeah, the power of the focus in Line range, plus circles, rings and certain Terram spells, is what I was wondering about.

You'll have to forgive some of the babbling I'm about to do, primarily because I'm still trying to get the nuances of this system down.

I read up on both Major and Minor Magical Focus. While I think this is too broad for Major Magical Focus, I don't see why it couldn't be a Minor Magical Focus. Several of the examples listed in the core book show that a Minor focus is spread across several fields; Healing, for example, applies to people, animals, and plants. I also read up on Hermetic Geometry (The Mysteries Revised, Page 94), and the virtue grants bonuses to the categories of Circles/Rings/Lines and Ceremonial Figures; so the virtue itself has several areas that it covers.

I would think - and this is the opinion of one person who happens to be a noob to the system - that you could have a Minor Magical Focus in Hermetic Geometry to enhance all the benefits found in the Virtue. I would also think that you could have a Major Magical Focus in this area, but specifying one of the subsets (Circles, Rings, Lines, or Ceremonial Figures).

Unless I am missing something basic about the virtues here?

First, it sounds like you have Minor and Major backward.

Second, I think some responses are confounding laboratory activity with spell parameter.

Third, and most importantly, spell parameters are very broad. Any one spell parameter would be approximately equivalent to a Technique, though maybe moving down toward a Form with added parameters, if you couldn't arbitrarily invent spells with different parameters. But since you can just invent R: Sight versions of R: Voice spells, etc., a single parameter becomes effectively broader than a Technique. So a single parameter (like the mentioned R: Sight) really should never be allowed unless it's extremely limited (perhaps T: Bloodline, D: Flame or something similar), let alone a whole bunch of them. Even if you were to allow a single such parameter, it should probably be Major because it still has tremendous breadth.

How about Architecture(Buildings)? Would that qualify as a focus?

It might, yeah. Or just "Buildings" to include spells like Conjuring the Mystic Tower (though that's iffy, if it includes Structure parameter).

I'll second what Ramidel says about just "buildings," adding that not only should it not automatically apply to all Structure spells but also not to all Room spells.

And I'd like to respectfully disagree with you. The chart with sample Minor Magical Foci is on page 46 in the core rules, which is where I pulled the example of Healing from.

Healing was the correct part. The issue is that you have reversed the breadths for Minor and Major, which is why I said it sounds like you have them backward. I thought it was just a few typos, but since it's not, I'll help. See below:

If it is too broad for a Major Magical Focus, it is too broad for a Minor Magical Focus. Major Magical Foci have about five times the allowed breadth of Minor Magical Foci. That is the single distinguishing factor between them. So it is impossible for something to be both too broad for a Major Magical Focus and allowable for a Minor Magical Focus. The reverse is certainly fine.

Correct, Foci need not be restricted to single Forms. This is also true for Major Magical Foci, as stated in the core book.

Again, Minor Magical Focus is more restrictive than Major Magical Focus. If a Major Magical Focus would have to be restricted to such a subset, then the Minor Magical Focus would have to be restricted to a subset of such a subset. If the Minor Magical Focus could "enhance all the benefits found in the Virtue," then a Major Magical Focus could do all that and a whole bunch more things beyond "all the benefits found in the Virtue."

I would guess from what you've written that maybe you missed that Major Magical Foci can also cross over between Forms (see "necromancy" and "damage" for examples); this is not a distinguishing feature between Minor and Major. Even if that is not the reason, somehow you have ended up with the breadths of the two reversed.

And I will continue to disagree with you. Major Magical Focus has a narrower scope than Minor Magical Focus. Per the book:

Major literally states less than a single Art, while Minor states a Technique + Form. How am I getting these backwards in my earlier post?

That, in no way, says that major magical focus is narrower than minor magical focus. Even the example within major violates the "limit" of a single Art with necromancy.
Major: Pretty much confined to an Art (Form may have been a better term, here), but it doesn't cover every example in that Art. For example, weather as a focus, there are a lot of weather spells, but there are also a lot of spells that do stuff to the air that are not weather spells. Necromancy was already demonstrated to act on Corpus and Mentem.

Minor: Pretty much confined to a Technique + Form, although some other techniques and forms might apply from time to time, such as healing which applies for Creo Herbam, Creo Corpus and Creo Animal that can heal. Some might even suggest Rego Corpus spells that "heal" in A&A.

If something generally applies to an Art (Form) it is broader than something that generally applies to only a Te+Fo combination.

TeFo example to limit a Minor Magical Focus: Perdo Vim

Art example to limit a Major Magical Focus: Creo Vim + Intellego Vim + Muto Vim + Perdo Vim + Rego Vim

Hopefully you can see that the Major can be five times as broad as the Minor.

Oh, I see now. I was getting them mixed up because of the definition of Art. I saw Technique + Form vs. Art, and thought "2 vs. 1" instead of seeing it as "2 vs. ALL of a Technique or Form". Yeah, I'm an idiot some times. :slight_smile:

So, my answer on making Hermetic Geometry a Minor or Major Magical Focus is valid, just backwards. Minor should cover Circles, Rings, Lines, or Ceremonial Figures, while Major would (could) cover them all.

I think I got it now!

I really don't see minor covering all of a spell Parameter, callen even discussed this previously in the thread, with respect to Sight. It's an invalid focus, IMO.
Circles, Rings, Lines are not limited. Ceremonial figures...probably not. I'd have to review how those play out to be sure.