My problem creating creatures [from hermetic to Methods and Powers] and looking if someone has a solution


Today I was looking if anyone has house rules for the creation of creation via the next methods:

  • Hermetic Magic
  • Conjure Faerie Power
  • Phastam Infernal Power
  • Wonders Divine Power

I know that the guideline is there for creating it and its might, but I want know if there is any more information on the limits, in a mechanical sense.

For example, if I create a Magic creature with Hermetic Magic its Might is equal to the spell level, that means that because the Guideline is base 50 my less powerful creation will be Might 50 [It can be less, but that is losing levels].

Might 50 is 50 Might Points for Qualities. Can I use this as I see necessary? For example, can I have a being of Might 100 [using the 50 points on the More Might option]? Can I have a being with 50 Minor Powers? Or even, 9 Ritual Powers?

More on this lack of guideline: What the creatures know? In abilities I refer. Is very convenient that HP uses the stats of already existing creatures, but the guideline don't specify you must know the creature or that you can only create creatures that already exist.

But even in that case, Stellatus the Dragon has Magic Lore 8 and Second Sight 8, can I create a creature that knows more than me on something? That is magic creating knowledge. Also, that is magic investing a Score of 8 on a Supernatural Ability I suppose the magus don't have.

This lack of guideline still existing on the Realm Powers that let you create beings of that Might, is even funny how there is cleverly no example on how to use that capacity on any of the three powers. So, I can create a Phantasm with Infernal Might 5, what can do or look that Phantasm with Infernal Might? How much Powers can it have? What it know?

All this argumentation is because the last time I confront this, the answer is normally "up to the troupe", but this seems very powerful and important to let "to the troupe" without any real guideline. At least "a major ability" is something I can let "to the troupe" because we can have a agreement of what is a major ability [I still dislike Phantasm for not given guidelines on that] and I'm now on a time that it really can be useful for my play.

Talking with one of my player, he is very excited about the idea of learning Conjure with Enchantment Faerie Power and Method, using Crafting to create great prostethics of legend. That seems something that can be done and can be very good... Except, what can do its prostethics? What is the benefit of giving a Prostethic of Might 1 and not a prostethic of Might 15 or 50? Is only the Magic Resistance of the Prosthetic? Because for the average hero or even noble that wouldn't be a problem. So, then what is the benefit?

Thanks for reading, and I'm happy is someone has at least the skeleton for a guideline.

Yes, the system could give us more details on how to calibrate such spells and powers, I agree. Can you do everything as a player when designing it? Frankly, you shouldn't. It's easier for the game master to design something without breaking the game.

What parameters we know for the base Creo Animal spell includes:

  • The Magical Might of the creature cannot exceed the level of the spell. This might seem powerful, because it allows you to create a Might 50 creature... and it is. But bear in mind that Magic Might is a double-edged sword. A Might 50 dragon is likely going to want to enter magical meditation in a normal covenant aura of 5, because otherwise it will lose power over time;
  • Requisites. This seems simple, but it's not that simple. If you stick to using Animal, you're stuck with a creature that has mostly physical powers, personal shape shifting into a different animal types and perhaps powers affecting other animals;
  • Size. If you want to create a magical animal larger than +1, you need to throw in magnitudes;

Another important insight, I would say, comes from Covenants: "Many magi cannot create a thing unless they are aware, in general, of that thing’s nature. A magus who has never heard of an aloe or a cameleopard cannot create an aloe or a cameleopard." In other words, to create a magical creature, you need to have heard about the concept. This means investing in magic lore, tracking down legends. To create a phoenix, you need to have heard of a phoenix. This incidentally means that you can't sit down, and throw virtues together on a magic animal. If you want a dog that slays by looking into your eyes, has a metal skin and teleports... you need to hear of a dog that does that. In other words, your gamemaster and/or your troupe pretty much controls what you're allowed to create. So most likely, you're not deciding the Might of what you create... but a check with magic lore might allow you to guess the Might of a creature you would design a ritual for. At least that's how I'd handle it. And then follow the magic animal design rules in RoP:M.

For Merinita mysteries creating / conjuring faeries, I've done an attempt to propose spells that work with existing creatures here.

I'll stay out of the discussion of Faerie / Infernal / Divine powers because I really haven't used them that much, but yes, I suspect most of them work with "talk with your troupe".

Thanks, I have my counterarguments to this in any case:

This is true, but even in that case one could argue that Might 30 is powerful.

A Requisite is +1 Magnitude, so this is not so outside the norm. Like, for example, a Corpus Requisite this is a Ritual with a Vis Cost of 12 [60 Levels Corpus + Touch] for a creature than can be able of cast 9 rituals spells up to Level 50, that is 90 Pawns on rituals assuming they are only cast one time for a inversion of 12.

Because Might isn't correlated with Size, this is mostly irrelevant with what I will say next. I find a mouse with Might 50 more problematic than a dragon with Might 20.

Here is were my big counterargument comes: There is a difference between creating something from scratch and from other things. For example, we know that Creo Terram is capable of creating art that don't exist outside the mind of the magus [as seems on Art & Academe], because the magus is capable of imagine the statue is capable of creating it, we have guideline to create greatly unnatural things that, reasonable, the magus hasn't see on their life.

So, a magus can't create the fenix without knowing it, but a magus can create a bird + flames. The magus can't create a magical cameleopard if he never see one, but is capable of imagining and creating a dog with a very long neck. And, here is the most powerful thing, even if knowledge is necesary [when we can create walls that bleed] a magus is capable of creating a dog and giving him hermetic powers because the magus understand hermetic theory.

I will give a check!

Thanks for the answers in any case.

nods I would require an extraordinary explanation, in my game, to have a mouse with more than Might 5 or 10.

Life isn't art. A magi can create art because he understands colors. He can create art that uses blue, red, yellow and white because he has seen those colors. If he's never seen violet, perhaps because he's blind to such color, his art won't include that color unless he's actively learned to create a violet pigment even if he perceives it another color. A magi can create iron, he can create steel, because he has seen those materials. He cannot create damascene steel or a titanium alloy without knowing what those are, not with Creo anyway. Muto can do weird stuff, I agree, including making a metal that can't exist. But creating a magical animal from scratch requires Creo. To imagine a new life form, the magi needs to understand that it can even exist.

Part of your argument makes sense to me. If a magi has seen a dog, and knows the color blue, he might imagine a blue dog, even if he's never seen one. I'm not sure I'd allow the magi to say he's creating a dog with a neck that vastly outstretches the neck a dog might possess, because knowledge of the art of Animal doesn't fundamentally include designing a lifeform. I might allow the magi to design a dog with the power to elongate his neck to absurd lengths, though, if I accept your argument of giving a created animal hermetic powers. I could be persuaded to allow a magi to design his familiar, so to speak, with a base 50 spell frankly at that point you're pretty superspecialized, you should be able to do cool stuff, as long as we're talking about powers that respect hermetic limits.

At the same time, I'm not sure there's a quick way to skip vetting the creature design. I really don't care about someone designing a familiar with one power and 40 virtues dedicted to improved powers for example, nor do I care about someone creating a spell to create a creature that has size 1, Improved Soak x10, Improved Defense x10, Improved Damage x10, Improved Attack x10, Improved Initiative x5 and can teleport at arcane connection range just because. Does that guideline deserve a chapter of its own? Most likely. I wish I had more guidance on what's acceptable than "storyteller discretion" too.

"You can create it, but it might not stay around" is one possible take. Ritual Creo spells with Momentary durations last as long as any other thing of their type. If you're recreating something that already exists in the world, you've got a pretty good indication that it'll endure. But if you don't know that it does? Well, maybe you'll get lucky and it's within the range of things that will naturally exist (and this range is probably rather wider for creatures with Might than it is for mundane animals), or maybe it'll flicker into existence for a few seconds and then disappear taking your vis and seasons spent inventing the spell with it.

Talking about hermetic magic, I think the problem here isn't about Animal, but about Creo. Creo creates things that exist. A magus can't create fire that freezes just because he can imagine that. The same way, a created animal should be a regular version of said animal. Even if he can conceive a blue dog, he can only create a dog with blue fur if that color is naturally possible for a dog, and he shouldn't be able to create a dog with a long neck because that's not how a dog is, and Creo deals with things how they are. You should need a Muto requisite to create a dog with an unnaturaly long neck and blue fur.

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Additional comments after I've had some time to think and read. Sorry, this is going to be lengthy:

First, I fully agree that Ars lacks a general structure to the design of (realm) creatures. This stems from the way the game assumes challenge is meant to be presented. On that the core book indicates that the creatures are not meant to be a list of things to kill, but something with a purpose for the players to interact with. As such, they are to be designed according to that purpose, not according to guidelines set to a power level. In the same way, the corebook guideline to create magical animals is there to generate stories, not for balance purposes.

About RoP:M and qualities, you need to remember that both RoP:D and RoP:I came before that. And of course, the corebook also. Meaning, the guidelines in the three books were never written taking RoP:M in consideration. Furthermore, RoP:M is overly complex, and not really retro-compatible with the magical beasts presented early.

I do think however that if you have a guideline that allows you to create a magical creature with Might X this should refer to the final creature. Taking your example, you can't create a Might 50 animal and then spend it's qualities for 50 extra points of might, but you can create an animal designed as a might 25 creature that spent all of its qualities on 25 extra might, for a total of 50, and create said creature.

However, if you are using hermetic magic, keep in mind what I said above about Creo: Creo creates things that exist. That means that the magi can only create equivalents to magical creatures that exist in nature. To mention a previous example: if a "normal" magic rat in your world has at most might 10, it's not possible to create a rat with might 11, because that's an unnatural magic rat, and Creo can't do that. I'm not saying a rat with might 50 can't exist in this situation; I'm saying hermetic magic can't create one. This does means that at the end everything is subject to your personal decision as the storyguide (since you decide what is or not possible in the world) or falls back to "decide with the troupe", and I know it's not exactly an answer.

As for how much might a created magical creature should have, I fail to find an answer. Personaly I think the guideline is misplaced. I believe it was put at 50 to ensure it's always cast as a ritual. It should instead be general, provide a clear might equal to baseline + X and have a note that these spells must always be cast as rituals, and that this limitations exist for game balance purposes (just as they have this stated regarding MuVi not being able to target spont spells). (Realm) guidelines are unlikely to create something very powerful because methods and powers are abilities, not arts. If you want some semblance of equivalence between the results obtained by hermetic magic and M&P I'd actually say you create a magical creature with Might equal to baseline/2 or something similar.

For RoP:I things are a bit easier in my opinion, because you have guidelines for Corrupted Beasts in p.77, and that seems to be what Phantasm creates. Just design the creature following the described rules. But again, design first, summon later. This means that if you are using the level 10 guideline you can only create a creature with IM 5. You could create neither of the example beasts in p.79 (two-headed hound and demonic steed) unless you add one magnitude to the effect.

We don't have a clear guideline to create divine animals in RoP:D, and the only example presented in that book is the Chalkydri on p.17. I'm not capable of reverse-engineering it to discover how it was created (it's neither bird, nor large predator... what seems kind of accurate). We have Lupersus in the corebook, but as said earlier he is designed according to what the story requires.

To make things easier I'd probably aim for something similar to corrupted beasts, but with a divine theme. Probably making a divine animal stronger than than an infernal animal with equivalent might.

Conjure is more direct: it directly summons a faerie. Any faerie. But I'm not clear on what your player would want to do with prostheses. It's just to create objects with might? If so, remember that he won't be creating that. He will be creating a faerie. A creature that acts on its own. Giving a faerie prosthetic arm to a noble, regardless of it's might, will generate as much trouble as it solves, maybe even more.

About what creatures know: I will cop out and say they know what is appropriate for them. =P

I don't see the problem with conjuring a dragon that has Second Sight 8, if that is reasonable for a dragon, even if the magus doesn't know second sight, even if the magus doesn't even know what second sight is or that (some) dragons have it. He is using Creo and creating something as that thing is supposed to be. As long as he gets the general concept right the creature should have the appropriate virtues, flaws and abilities. Just don't expect the dragon to teach the magus.


While not identical, we have in the core rule book flames of sculpted ice which freezes a fire. Completely illogical and impossible. Any creo, add a muto requisite and I think it's fair you can make whatever your character can reasonably imagine.

Yeah, but that's Muto with an Aquam requisite. Which is my point: you can't use Creo to create arbitrary unnatural things, you'd need to add Muto.

But then, from the moment you add a Muto requisite, I don't think you can use a momentary Creo ritual anymore.

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Yeah, that was a point I was planning to make when I was mulling over my coffee an hour ago.

You can't just Cr[Mu]Ig[Im] ritual to create a permanent campfire that burns without fuel and sings your favorite songs.

Creo Rituals cannot permanently create a thing that isn't already a thing just because you can imagine it.