New Breakthrough Vis efficency

How about this for a path for Hermetic Research Vis efficiency.

Ritual magic requires vis. That seems to be a requisite part of Hermetic Theory but a few casters still using slightly non hermetic methods (Those with the Mercurian Magic virtue) can get away with using less vis then most Hermetic Magicians. So it seems to be that the amount of vis used is higher then it should be because of a flaw in Hermetic Methods.

So I think a reasonable path for Hermetic Research would be to close this gap.

Now the question is what level of breakthrough is it.

Hermetic is to high because you don't seem to be going any where near one of the Limits of Magic. Minor is probably a little to low for such a big change.

I think one Major breakthrough might create the hermetic skill of Vis Efficiency. This ability lowers the vis needed for a ritual by the level the caster has in it, but not to any less then half.

After the first Breakthrough a minor one would probably allow this ability as a spell mastery perk while another Major might fully integrate the ability into Hermetic Theory and permanently halve the ritual Vis requirement.

Vis is used much more commonly in magic items than rituals IMS. A minor breathrough would be OK for me.


HoH: Societates , page 126.

The Pharmacopoeians, page 123.
Mythic Herbalism , page 125.

Sounds like you want to recreate the Mercurian Magic virtue, minus the mostly useless free Wizard's Communion advantage and the serious disadvantage related to spontaneous magic. I would call it at least a major breakthrough, maybe even with difficulty approaching hermetic levels if you want it without the bad part of the existing virtue.

On the plus side, you could probably get insights from studying with Mercurians, if you could talk them into it.

Maybe a Master Ability Speciality... Seeing that it's possible the Flexibility on that... (Hedge Magic)

That actually sounds very reasonable. The amount of vis used is reduced by Mastery Score - once "Vis Efficiency" is taken as Mastery Ability. So this is needed for each ritual. IMHO this is more balanced that a universal ability that reduces for all rituals.

Could be a first minor breakthrough in the path to the larger "reduce vis for everything dealing with spells" breakthrough.


Yeah, I included the bit about the Vis efficiency ability because that seemed to be how original research worked. My first thought was for it to just start as a mastery specialty, the result of a minor breakthrough. Then a major breakthrough could incorporate it into Hermetic Theory as a whole. Either cutting the cost of all rituals in half or keying the reduction to another ability already incorporated into Hermetic Magic.

Potential candidates might be Concentration, Finesse, Magic Theory, Magic Lore, or even the Vim Form bonus. (Or Even Artes Liberales and Philosophae)

Just cutting the cost in half would have the most immediate effect on the order. Ritual spells may not be the greatest drain on vis in the order but the vis spent on them every year isn't trivial either. So there'd be a significant boon to the Vis economy. Also since your using less vis botches are less dangerous so ritual casting becomes that much safer. The maker of the breakthrough would probably get a major boost to his reputation and be lauded through out the order for such a useful invention. Of course Mercurian casters might be a little pissed. After all they give up a lot for their ability to save vis. This could earn the reasercher some new enemies along with all the new friends. (The gamist in me just thinks most of them would be happy to initiate out of the virtue for something else.)

The more I think of it the more I like the idea of vis efficiency being tied to something like Hermetic Theory or Magic Lore. (Concentration+Finesse is an option if you wanted higher potential numbers.) It's thematic Mercurian Casters seem to come by their efficiency through superior skill not talent according to the write-up. The accolades and the effects on the order wouldn't be as grand though.

The possibilities for further research could be pretty awesome as well.

Perhaps ritual magic isn't the only place that Hermetic Mages use more vis then necessary. Maybe the cost of enchanting could be reduced similarly (MAJOR breakthrough)

Or it might be possible to get more out of the vis you spend in other ways. A better bonus per-pawn spent for casting totals. Though this might actually tighten up the vis supply and have some other major effects on the order.

If I remember correctly it's already theorized that house Tremere knows how to get more out of vis spent during certamen. And who wouldn't want to make practical study from vis actually practical?

I see two points: One, Minor and Major Breakthrough shouldn't be a complete Vis elimination, that includes my option, give taht to one Ability with Score (Or Vim Bonus). The total saved should be limited to the half of the total, jut like Mercurian Magic, that is a way toe maintian this like a no Hermetic Breakthrough.
If you want so the creation of one Arcane Ability "Vis Eficciency" to all Vis uses, then that should be a Hermetic Breakthrough, clearly.
I am going to write my Breaktrough process in spanish, but the firstly idea is that the way is a Boost MuVi Spells only for rituals. Probably the Ritual should be invented in the same process just like the "Defixio" integration. With the Breakthrough taked, then the points would become Experience points on learn "Vis saving" Mastery.

I also think that it would be possible to have micro-breakthroughs on the way, with results along the lines of the Root Cutter virtue. Basically, there would be benefits of this kind bestowed within the range of a minor magical focus, (all rituals for healing or wards or fertility or whatever.)

I'd have to say at least a Major and Minor Breakthrough for the grand enchilada, because you're trying to create a Major Virtue with a minor beneficial modification.

Magic Theory has an impact on how many pawns you can use and giving it more power seem excessive.

Artes Liberales and Philosophae add to the casting total. What if instead they subtracted from the spell level and reduced magnitude? Having {AL + Philo = 10} would save 30 minutes on the ritual and 2 pawns of vis. Depending on how far you wish to take it, it could make low stat boosting spells free of Warping as their reduced magnitude would be below 6th.

I can see Concentration being kept to roll multiple Finesse roll for a perfect result, but I fail to see any of those Abilities help reduce vis. Maybe some topical use might work.

Nice one on Phil + AL!!! :smiley: I like it :slight_smile:


So here are a few spell mastery abilities that I figure might be available as with minor breakthroughs.

Increases the bonus a Maga gets to his casting total from spending raw vis by +1 per pawn. A magus may take this ability up to two times for the same spell for a maximum of +4 per pawn spent. (Optional if this seems too powerful then have the spell mastery skill unable to eliminate the extra botch dice from the vis when the caster uses this extra bonus)

Lowers the amount of vis used in a ritual by the mastery score. (minimum 1) If a magus with mercurian casting has this ability you subtract their mastery score then divide by two and round up to determine how much vis a ritual would use. If multiple magi are cooperating via Wizard Communion figure out how much vis each individual magus would need to use if they where casting the ritual alone and go with the highest number.

Other possible breakthroughs for that might come out of using vis more efficiently.

A major breakthrough could fully integrate the Free Study virtue into hermetic theory giving any Hermetic Wizard a +3 to their study total when study from vis directly. Those with the virtue still get an additional +3.

Another major breakthrough might somewhat simulate the Vertditus ability to to reduce the amount of vis it takes to open an item for enchantment. It would create the minor virtue Philosophical Enchantment which would allow a magus to use natural philosophy to reduce the total number of pawns needed to open an item for enchantment (to a minimum of 1) by their score in Phil. This would be entirely compatible with Verditius Runes further lowering their vis costs. Another breakthrough would open this technique up to the whole order without the need for the virtue.

Rival Magic , page 141 , The Spark:

Basically , you can use 01 pawn of vis as if it were 10 pawns.