If it had actually said that, things would have been much clearer. But it didn't.
It just said you quadrupled your Attack Bonus, without Attack Bonus being defined anywhere. Perhaps it referred to the weapon's Attack Modifier, perhaps it referred to your Attack Total, perhaps it referred to something else. No real way to tell what was intended. And no, it was not fairly clear what it referred to.
So errata was absolutely needed.
Should the errata have been different? Possibly.
If it had actually said that, things would have been much clearer. But it didn't.
"Strikes with the magus’s meditation
weapon precisely exploit tiny flaws in the
victim. They have four times the usual
Attack Bonus, and can injure creatures
immune to non-magical attacks."
Given the wording and connotation it seems pretty clear what was intended. "They" (the weapons) have four times the usual attack bonus. It really takes no stretch to figure out what is talked about.
Regardless if we agree on that, the result of changing it into a "Attack Total" rather than "Attack Modifier" will result in what should have been a moderate to considerable bonus (depending on Weapon of choice, as you would expect from expect from exploting "tiny" flaws) to totals that will annihilate almost anything that isn't immune to the effects, as its very easy to reliably generate totals that aren't usually possible unless you double or triple explode.
Say we had a moderately specialized single weapon-fighter reaching an attack total around 18; we can expect a Path of Strife combatant with similar dedication to fighting, its their job after all. They could reliably generate totals at 70s and above, nuking even the strongest enemies in any given story/module.
Which one sounds more reasonable?
We are talking about a setting where a moderately powerful magus can destroy France, leaving nothing but a smoking crater where France used to be. A setting where it is possible to stop the Moon in its tracks.
A setting where actual genuine, verifiable, miracles do happen on a regular basis.
A lot more things are reasonable in such a setting than in a setting closer to our reality.
Feats that require Hermetic level breakthrough, the will of God himself that players don't control and aren't expected to evoke on a regular. Former is a subject of a saga-spanning campaign and changes the setting, latter is a DM tool to interfere with whatever Magi might do to break the setting. And even the France feat itself would require a great deal of prep and resource investment, can be expected to be stopped by a GM (unless they do actually like to shake things up...and even then, only once)
The Blood and Bronze, if it stays at the new interpretation of quadrupling an Attack Total? Obscene totals that can be expected to be pulled on a regular, with the only requirement being to invest into an Ability any Criamon is expected to be invested into.
This wording was intentional. Quadrupling the Attack Modifier is too weak. The power does need to Penetrate, and "instantly kill a target whose MR you can Penetrate" is a very, very common power in Ars Magica.
The game is designed so that "can we kill it?" is almost never an interesting question, because the answer is "yes". The interesting question is "is killing it the best, or even a good, way to deal with the problem?".
I would add a few more reasons why clarifying the paragraph so that the entire Attack Total is affected, rather than the Weapon Bonus, is a good choice in my view.
First, it does not penalize as much Criamon who would specialize in some small, high-finesse weapon such as a dagger. If only the Weapon Bonus were affected, mechanics would strongly favour Criamon wielding heavy, brutal weapons like greatswords and warhammers; which would be particularly strange given that the power is about "precisely exploiting tiny flaws in the victim".
Second, it allows a lone magus to achieve results comparable to those of a well-Trained Group of grogs. This is desirable if one wants to play out the fantasy trope of the single epic warrior who can stand his own against ... well maybe not an army, but at least half a dozen capable fighters?
Note that a Criamon with an Attack Total of 18 sees it boosted by 18x3=54 (to 18x4=72) by the power. Now consider a Trained Group of six grogs with weapon skill 6 (including a specialty), led by an experienced leader with Leadership 10 (including a specialty). Said group can choose to apply, every single round, a bonus of +30 to their Attacks. Of course, +30 is less than +54, but it applies sixfold, it requires no Penetration, it can be transformed round-by-round into a Defense Bonus, and is available to a group of freshly created grogs without any Virtues (give the leader Affinity with Leadership and Puissant Leadership, and every grog a weapon skill of 9 including specialty, and the bonus immediately climbs to +42).
Found something in Lands of the Nile that needs errata. So it seems to me that as a consequence of removing the minor virtue Ancient Initiation during editing (which according to discussion on this board would have allowed unGifted Initiates to interact with the Mysteries as if they were Gifted), the Teacher of the House initiation path (LoTN pg. 61) is broken. Specifically, the initiation scripts for Affinity with Teaching and Improved or Great Communication do not contain Ordeals, which is required (HMRE pg. 14). The paragraph communicates that these initiations are explicitly intended for unGifted initiates: "The House may have faster paths of Initiation for the Gifted, but most students use those below."
Yes, you are right. It seems that Minor Flaw Ordeals should be added to both of those scripts to make them work. Does that seem right? If so, do you have any ideas for Flaws? This is not a straightforward problem to fix…
I'm unsure, especially since one of these initiations is supposed to be repeatable without changing the script. I suppose equivalent flaws that reduce characteristics could make that one essentially a 'reallocation' for unGifted characters?
Restricted Learning, Ability Block, and Savantism might be appropriate for the House to inflict upon their specialists, closing off some paths of learning in exchange for facility with others.
True, that makes it even more difficult. The minimal rule fixes seem to have major background implications, which makes it difficult to address. Given how far from the core of the game this is, I think I might pretend I haven't noticed and leave it up to troupes to fix. Or maybe just include a note to that effect in the errata.
An easy ordeal to have be repeatable for mundane initiates i to sacrifice wealth- as in "wealthy" virtue or take the poor flaw. Then use the rules in city & guild to earn those virtues back.
Given the other situation in which unGifted initiations can be made easier, maybe this particular mystery cult could have access to a Magic Aura or Regione with the Unnatural Law Minor Site Boon (Covenants pg. 8), which relaxes the rules regarding initiations? That could allow this particular cult to work as written without having broader implications, aside from a connection to the content in Dies Irae.
The background for the Initiation path makes this inappropriate. I think I just have to note the problem in the errata and let troupes sort it out.
You could do something similar to Hubris accumulation by Verditious mages but with loyalty to the sultan instead.
The other option I can see is to make these faerie initiations (requiring some kind of ritual to activate which is the flaw associated with it) or powers granted by magical beings... or perhaps there is some Muslim equivalent of a pilgrimage being employed in the school that is not well known.
Not in errata…
So I don't know if this is intended or not, but I noticed that the guideline "Sustain or suppress a spell of a specific type cast by another..." given in HoH: Soc still uses "less than", while all the other "sustain or suppress a spell" guidelines have been errataed to use "less than or equal" (and contradicts the example spell Quiet The Cursing Tongue). If this was a general change, some other spells affected are Guttering The Home-Fires and Break the Siege, both from Hermetic Projects.
On a similar note, Breaking the Shield in Tales of Power, Passing the Reins of Corpus, Break the Shield, and Removing the Hearth's Keystone in Hermetic Projects, Impede the Impertinent Interloper in Transforming Mythic Europe, Facilitate the Stifled (Form) Spell in HoH: MC, and Wizard's Boost in the core rulebook all have language contradicting their guidelines in this way.
The spell Harnessing the Essential Power of (Form) in Ancient Magic might also be a case of this, assuming it's using the "Significantly change a spell..." guideline (and just making a change that isn't normally possible).
As far as I can tell none of these have made it into the errata yet.
The guideline is changed in the latest errata. Spell levels will wait until errata reopen, for however we do that.