Multiple Effects in One Ritual

Say you want to raise someone's Presence with a ritual, a 'simple' CrMe spell. Normally a single casting increases the target's Presence by +1, to a maximum based on the Base. Would it be feasible to increase the magnitude by +1 to have a single casting increase Presence by +2 (up to the same maximum)? What about a single spell that increases both Presence and Intelligence by +1? It looks like you could, but I'm wanting to double check.

Well, there's nothing in the rules against it; I'd agree that it falls into the general category of "add levels of complexity" - as basically you're multi-casting the same effect.

That being said, such a spell is narratively important, in the sense that it's granting the equivalent of the "Improved Characteristic" virtue. As such, it's worth at least a small story arc, in terms of RPing the study, prep, casting, and consequences thereof.

Note that this is my general answer to anything that looks like it might be unbalanced: that the balance isn't in the rules, but in the consequences. Want your CrTe specialist to build a castle overnight? OK - that's a major Fortification, and a Major Boon (I think); that'll take quite a few episodes to fully examine the consequences of. In this case: if you want your magi to have to deal with the consequences of casting this effect, that's fine as well. Just be prepared to do so.

imho - Unless you're playing in a high powered saga I'd say that the two effects should stay as two separate spells. Otherwise magi will just make hybrid spells that combine all their favorite spells into one hybrid effect all the time; as it saves casting time, vis, botch risks, etc. Else why not keep adding layered effects?

I'd say the it is the same principal as combining two related effects into one spell, which I thought (usual statement about no books and a bad memory applies here) was:

  • the troupe should agree that the combination isn't abusive to balance, saga, etc; ysmv.
  • the higher of the two effects is considered the base and calculated as normal.
  • a trivial/cosmetic effect is added without increasing the overall spell level. A minor additional effect is always at least +1 mag, a moderate additional effect is +2 mags, and in all likelihood a major additional effect would be disallowed as it should stay as two spells.
  • if it were allowed, then the additional effect should probably be the same expense as the core effect.

As far as increasing the Mag to scale up the boosting with the same cap, I think it is probably Ok in a high powered saga, but perhaps not as the guideline was intended.

When considering the two requests combined, in the same spell it feels like a rort (+2 Int and +2 Com in one spell, for 3 additional mags is from base? Hmm.)

While I do agree that it's something to be discussed, at the end of the day the effects come from the same guideline; the rules you are discussing generally refer to mixing different guidelines. It's roughly analogous to designing a single PeVi "Demon/Farie/Dragon/Angel's eternal oblivion" effect, at a +3 mag difficulty. (Although to be fair, it would be more analogous if the CrMe effect added +1 to Int OR Com)

I would argue that the bar for mixing the same guideline with itself is lower than mixing different guidelines with each other.

Yes, fair point. A utility spell which saves several castings, saves vis, and saves botches, etc is really where I was coming from. It feels like two spells, so should probably stay that way unless the troupe aren't fussed - then go for it!

In the Muto Vim guidelines the difference between a minor or major alteration to a spell make a huge difference in how easy it is to leverage that spell (at level vs. divide by 2). Likewise in the PeVi area - there are spells which work against any effect or much more powerful effects that only affect a single Form. In a broader sense that implies that the more generalised the spell, the higher level it should be, or it should have some other limiting factor. I know this isn't strongly related to the spell guideline use in question (but we are talking about moving beyond the guidelines anyway), and I'm suggesting these as potential parallels to the way hermetic effects are balanced in the magic system.

The rules specify one base effect, and appropriat R/D/T parameters per spell. In the case of these spells the effect is raise a characteristic by 1 up to some limit. Hermetic spells should be limited to one effect at a time, otherwise it is a potential can of worms.

Taking Kevin's initial premise further, one can simply add a a magnitude for complexity and you get two Pila of Fire. I don't think that's kosher. all examples of complexity modify or shape the effect, usually in cases where (high) finesse is required.

Requisites might appear to add additional effects, but usually just modify the effect to affect other forms, or allow control, in the case of Rego requisite in some of the Auram spells.

Could you do something like this without breaking the rules?

Take the guidelines for stat raising.
Add a magnitude to make it a CrCo(Me)/CrMe(Co), so it can affect both physical and mental stats.
Increase the Target from Individual to Part (to go from affecting the person as a whole to affecting the Characteristic itself as a "Part" of the person) and then add a magnitude for x10 size to get 10 "Parts" (actually x8, since there are only 8 Characteristics).
Add another magnitude (or more?) for complexity, to affect multiple stats at the same time.

For an end result, you'd get something along the lines of :

Elevation of the Followers (for lack of a more original name)
CrCo(Me) 55
R: Touch D: Mom T: Part+1, Ritual
This spell permanently increases all eight Characteristics of the focus of the ritual by 1 each, to maximums of 0.

(Base 30, +1 Touch, +1 Part, +1 Size, +1 Requisite, +1 Complexity)