New Mastery ideas

Hi all,

What sort of cool new abilities for Mastery can you think of/have placed in your Saga?

We have considered (but not yet implemented) letting a new option be "spontaneous bonus". When casting a spontaneous spell similar to the mastered spell you add your mastery level to the spell total.

Consider the Virtue 'Improvise Magic' from HoH:MC, Merinita. This one allows you to add the magnitude of a known spell to the casting total of a similar spontaneous effect.
I'd like to see that one as Mastery.

Your idea is interesting as well, although the mechanics of adding something to the final level seems less in line with other mechanics in use, compared to adding to casting total instead. It need not be unbalanced since Mastery levels are rarely very high.

We don't have any new masteries per se, but have House Rules for different ways of implementing certain ones:

Precise casting: To make it in more in line with 'Imperturbable casting' we add full mastery score to Finesse rolls for precision and targeting, rather than just +1 - but it can't be taken multiple times.

Quick Casting: To make it in more in line with 'Imperturbable casting' we add full mastery score to Finesse rolls for casting speed, rather than just +1 - but it can't be taken multiple times.

Also, I've often wished there were versions of 'Apotropaic Mastery' for using against Faeries or Magic creatures for might stripping. But nothing seems thematically correct.

IMS I have a Verditius player doing original research. We're sort of in a conundrum in that the breakthrough she's imagining would work well as a standard hermetic breakthrough or as a new cult mystery for the house. She's leaning toward cult mystery - her ultimate goal is to use the new mystery to enter an item into the contest that nobody else (because they don't have the new mystery) could replicate.

I'm internally trying to figure out how to integrate a 'mystery generation' mechanic into original research rules.

Ooops. Should have mentioned the mystery - the ability to design ritual effects into devices (which would also be designed to consume the vis necessary).

Just going deep into the weeds on spell mastery, I think it's broken to a certain degree. You have Precise and Quick casting, which you adjust to operate consistent with multiple casting. I think multiple casting, is especially challenging and probably should be adjusted so that the number of copies created is equal to the number of time it is taken, like quick and precise casting mastery abilities work according to RAW.

I'm almost thinking that each mastery ability needs to be its own ability. It still is an XP sink, but for Precise and Quick casting. Each ability gets it's own pyramid advancement, certain abilities don't need it, but I think Precise and Quick (among others, per RAW) and my suggested change for multiple casting do need something like this. I can still see someone burning a lot of XPs in spell mastery...

Multicasting does tend to be the problematic one, doesn't it?
I remember messing about with a version where mastery score used a pyramid scheme to add extra castings.
So that mastery 1 added 1 copy, mastery 3 added a second copy, etc...

Problem is, would people still bother at all? Or just not care about masteries?

Sure, I would. Consider Casting silently and without gestures. Under the traditional system, that costs 30 xp, ability pyramid score of 3. Under my proposed house rule, the cost changes to 20 xp: Spell:Mastery, Still Casting 1 5xp, Spell:Mastery, Quiet Casting 2 15 xp. Where it becomes troubling is when you want to combine several mastery abilities Pretty soon, you're looking at an overall mastery ability score under RAW of 6, which is 105 xp[1].

Pilum of Fire Mastery 6 (Multicasting, Penetration, Quick Castingx2, Fast Casting, Obfuscated Casting) requires 105 xp[1]. Allows a magus to cast 7 Pila of Fire, and adds 6 to the penetration ability score.

Under my proposed HR. All mastery abilities must be purchased separately, if one of the existing mastery abilities relied on an overall score, it changes to +1 and must be purchased multiple times.
So, let's spend 105 xp...
Pilum of Fire Mastery, Multiple casting 3 30 xp
Pilum of Fire Mastery, Quick Casting 3 30 xp
Pilum of Fire Mastery, Penetration 3 30 xp
Pilum of Fire Mastery, Obfuscated Casting 1 5 xp
Pilum of Fire Mastery, Fast Casting 1 5 xp
Pilum of Fire Mastery, Magic Resistance 1 5 xp

So, this version, you can cast 4 copies of Pilum, you get a +3 to Quick casting, +3 to penetration. It changes the diminishing returns calculus for investing XP into a mastery ability. Flawless Magic's free initial level is spent on only one specific mastery ability of the magus's choosing, not for each type. Doubling of xp still applies. I haven't worked out the xp spending for Flawless Magic under this change, I think this would make Flawless Magic even more powerful.

[1] If you have Flawless Magic, it's effectively 50 xp, since 1st level is free, and then all xp invested are doubled.

When evaluating costs for that Spell Mastery HR, don't forget to include the botch dice reduction in addition to the casting bonus you mentioned. I suspect you would make each of those a separate Spell Mastery Ability as well.

As for other Spell Mastery options, someone a few weeks ago suggested a damage boost for +X spells, where it becomes +X+3n. I don't remember for sure if n was suggested as the Spell Mastery score or the number of times the option was chosen, but I believe it was the former, making it just like Rebuttal and Unraveling.


Ahh, yes. I was considering either overall number of mastery abilities known, or the highest single ability score. I've been leaning toward the overall number of abilities. However, I doubt I'll get a chance to test this out any time soon.

Hello, Thumper. Reread the rules for Breakthroughs in play (True Lineages, P.29). This is big, so treat it as a Major Breakthrough. They, by definition, must be taught to other Magi. You already have your "mystery generation" built in. The Verditius are already paranoid about betrayal after the Automaton affair, so writing a tractatus (which could be stolen) is a big no no. That leaves teaching, which takes a season, maybe two (one to confirm the student is truly one of the Masters, perhaps by using a house mystery to benefit the Teacher). As an added plus, expect you player to get a lot of house reputation for coming up with a mystery to replace the one that has been lost.

Actually, I was thinking about the same thing, but had a different answer.

Separate the botch reduction feature as a different mastery (you could call it "Cautious Casting"). That way, just because you're able to multi-cast 5 BOAF doesn't mean it's safe to do so. :laughing:

JL, if you want to try this house rule in the Via Experimenta saga, I would support it.

Precision Mastery could work as well. Allowing you to cast aimed spells with a better aim.

IMS we have removed penetration and multicasting masteries. Makes for more interesting stories since using a sledgehammer approach is not viable in quite a few cases anymore. in general we found masteries not to be very dramatic and to be a source of quite a few down turners. But that is us :slight_smile:


This does already exist in canon.


And so it shows how few masteries we use :slight_smile: Thx for pointing it out.


Perfected Casting: Reduce Botch dice by Mastery Score (again).

Diluted Duration: Can add to duration with up to mastery score*Duration/2.

Easy to teach: Oops, this one doesn´t work well at all with RAW... Basically the mastery score*3 adds to the totals allowed for learning a spell. Mainly designed to work with "Hard" spells, which as opposed to "easy" spells (RAW normal) can be learned at up to roughly twice the normal limit level.

Spell Creation Mastery: Add Mastery Score*2 to using the spell as a bonus for researching Similar spells.

Enchantment Mastery: Add Mastery Score*2 to using the spell as a bonus for making Magic Items

Lab Mastery: Add Mastery Score to using the spell as a bonus for any lab work.

Experimentation Mastery: Add Mastery Score*3 to using the spell for experimental lab work.

Flexible Casting: Can select one at most single-magnitude variable change variation of the spell that can be used instead of the basic. (spell casting level is changed accordingly)

Instant Casting: Allows a Formulaic spell to be cast at a mere thought at halved Final Casting Total. Requires Fast Casting.

Personalisation: Can use the spell as if personalised for up to Mastery score number of people (the people not changeable once selected is optional).

Superior Penetration(requires Penetration to already be selected): Increase Penetration multiplier by 1.

Simultaneous Casting: All spells with this mastery and Multicast can be cast at the same time up to the lowest mastery score of any included spell number of spells. (caution, this one can get munchkin under some circumstances, and involved spells can NOT be multicast at the same time)

Improved Range: May increase range by Mastery score *1/3(Mastery Score 3 allows double range). (this works potentially poorly due to RAWs lack of ranges not based on voice/sight etc.)

Improved Casting: Add Mastery score*3 to casting total.

Improved Target Size: May increase Target size by up to Mastery score*1/2(Mastery Score 2 allows +1 full size).

Increased Effect: Spell effect or damage bonus can be raised as if the spell base was 1/2 of a Magnitude higher per point of Mastery Score, spells causing dierolls add or subtract 1 per Mastery Score at the casters wish.

A variant of this could be...

Gentle Casting: The magnitude of the spell is reduced by 1 when determining if it causes Warping. Can be taken more than once.

(That way, spells close to the border can be mastered not to cause warping, but the higher the spell the harder it is to do so.)

Sorry the Language but:

1\Vis Saving - only to rituals, you can save until the Mastery Score on Ritual Spells or the half of the Vis cost.
2\Labour Spell - only to Vim spells, you can add Mastery Score to the lab when you stract Vis. If the spell is Creo Vim you can learn it twice, and you can add the magnitud to the Total. The Crated Vis Vim is Spell-Like Vis, that is consumed when it is used and need one trigger to use his magical effect.
3\Enduring Spell - that spell is casted like if the magi had Enduring Magic Virtue, but you can learn it twice to use the Mastery Scire and not the roll.
4\Spell Changing - Only to Muto Corpus spells, or any other Form to change on Physical Form. You can change with that spell on so many differents forms like the Mastery Score, but only if the Base level don't change. Of that way, one spell to change on a Bird let you change on another bird but no on other like one beast or so on. you can use the Mastery Score like Strength Form Defense when you are under it.

How do you see it?

I know I'm rehashing a few ideas from elsewhere, but these are some I've considered

Barbed Mastery - Adds Mastery to Damage levels on +X damage spells

Scope Mastery - Allows a person to target a single being of up to size 1 + Mastery level.

Anchoring Mastery - Allows you to add the mastery levels to resist and comprehend twilight if a both with this spell sends you into twilight

Dissipation Mastery - Any sigils/traces left from this spell dissipate at 1+ Mastery times normal rate.


Hey thumper

I actually just read this mystery in the book mystery. Something about binding spirits to power the ritual in an object.