Anyone know if there's a place I can find collected Shape and Material bonuses not in the Books?
Or mine. I have many
The biggest list in the books is the list at the end of the lab chapter in the core rules. However, there are compiled lists here.
Redundant Posting, ho!
I don't think you can make up new Shape and Material Bonuses without Vulgar Alchemy, Marko.
Yes I can. I just use a pen
Actually, I type everything nowadays.
My character cannot. But as ASG, I can introduce them all day long. As a player in other games I can also inroduce new ones as a beta storyguide if I do it right, such as in the Lab Notes that are a gift to the ASG's Verditius character
If approved by the troupe (or Alpha as it were) I suppose I see no problem with it.
Whoa! Where are you getting this?
I've always understood that that list was hardly comprehensive, and that anything and everything has a S/M bonus, just that some are much better than others, and most are minor (+1) or non-existent for a given purpose.
A juggers' cap? Sounds perfect for a bonus to create laughter.
A bottle - appropriate for holding liquids or possibly other substances.
A human elbow bone - perfect for an effect that stuns a person for a short while (ala "funny bone").
And so forth.
Or, to take the reverse approach, it's obvious that the list of items missing is much larger than those offered:
A bed but not a chair or table?
A sword, dagger, axe and and club, but no other weapon?
Boots but not shoes or sandals?
A pick but not a hammer or chisel?
There are endless effects that have some shape or some material that is closely tied to them. Is there some rule I've missed* that states these are not usable by every and any mage as they find them?
(* wouldn't be the first time, wouldn't be the last.)
Any new connection would have to be approved by SG/Troupe, and the bonuses agreed as "reasonable and appropriate" - but that's easy enough.
If any and every mage could just pick up an item and use it for a shape/material bonus, it would make Vulgar Alchemy (Mysteries Revised) obsolete. The only thing VA gives you is the ability to determine S/M bonuses for things that are not already know by the Order as a whole. Our house rules state that any S/M bonus not printed in the RAW needs to be investigated with VA before it can be used.
VA goes on further to give how many experiments are needed to determine a S/M scope (eg: +10 demons, +2 Creo, etc.), and how to distribute this knowledge throughout the Order, if you care to. It is actually quite time consuming, by RAW, to determine a definate scope. The most useful applications of VA are for personal use, to investigate a S/M bonus for a spell you want to enchant into an item one season, and then use your findings for the enchantment the following season.
I was going to ask my SG about some new Shapes and Materials, but wanted to see some additional ones to serve as a guide post.
Hmmm... I think that last phrase is the escape clause here. Not to diminish Vulgar Alchemy, but neither to pretend that the list in the core rules is the sum total of Hermetic knowledge. But that hardly makes VA "obsolete".
I'll point out that some objects are intuitively obvious in their connection - if you want to float in water, then "cork" might be a good material, and if you want to waterproof something, a "feather from a duck's back" might serve well. *
However, the fact that Magnetite provides a +3 bonus to the form of Animal (AM p 110) is hardly so obvious.
I'd suggest that there are many more S/M bonuses that are known than are listed. However, just as intuitively, not every one possible has been discovered - and that is where Vulgar Alchemy comes in. Further, it would allow a well known shape or material to provide a lesser bonus - perhaps the cork might provide some small resistance to catching fire (cork does not burn) or the duck's feather to flight (hardly traditional or a first choice, but not unreasonable.)
And there are some that are "obvious" but may not be very popular - a small vial of "oil and water" might give a huge bonus to creating argument or divisiveness, but it may not ever have been formalized - if this seems a reasonable approach, then that would up to the SG and Troupe to decide.
The list of common and obvious shapes that are lacking in that list is beyond measure - apologies, but I politely refuse to accept that they are all "unknown to the Order". (Other SG's are as always strongly encouraged to accept what they prefer, natch.)
(* For non-native speakers, there is an old expression in English referring to the ability to shed something, "Like water off a duck's back". Might refer to a criminal who always dodges the charges, or someone who doesn't respond to a personal insult. "It rolls off of him like water off a ducks back." Before the days of Teflon, this was the standard in "non stick".)
The bonus they give may be known but the process to utilize that bonus is unknown. VA is generally pretty easy to find a S&M bonus, but if you look at what is required so you can be certain enough on the bonus to spread the knowledge of the process to the entire order then the time involved starts to aproach that required for a lesser breakthrough.
Agnar is right. The amount of time to discover a definite S/M bonus is prohibiting by VA rules. For example:
Boots: +5 affect walking, 18 seasons
Jet: +2 protection, 15 seasons
Shield: +5 protection, 24 seasons
Magnet: +4 Rego Corpus, 21 seasons
Amber: +3 Corpus, 21 seasons
Pepper: +2 Perdo, 21 seasons
And these are sucessful investigation seasons. For VA, not only do you need an experimentation roll, you also have to make a 'testing the components' roll, versus an ease factor giving by the SG. Given these rules, I can understand why the known S/M list of the Order is so small. How many magi are going to take all that time?
On the other hand, VA says that to discover a Wand gives a +3 to casting Crystal Dart (project bolt or other missle), it only takes a season's worth of investigation (if your investigation is sucessful). And you can also investigate more than one S/M in a season to go with Crystal Dart, so if the Wand doesn't work, something else might.
Hmm, I am glad our groupe does not use Vulgar Alchemy.... else I would have troubles using a carpet to fly on.
(Can I get an "Amen!"?) 8)
I was under the impression you couldn't use a shape and material bonus unless some other magus (who COULD) had discovered it and shared it.
Just because you THINK something might have it doesn't mean you have the wherewithal to draw it out. Maybe the fact that you don't know the exact benefit of something is why you can't use it (too imprecise? maybe there's subtleties that we the Players aren't alert to? After all, they don't explain the entirety of what goes on in the lab, because that would just be silly), and you need the Vulgar Alchemy virtue to figure that out.
I tend to be a bit hard-assed as a SG, mind you.
Still, nothing wrong with, say, the characters finding a list of new shape and material bonuses an alchemist put together which they can then use or even publish. After all, nothing prevents you from using one once it's found.
Here is the true origin of Shape and Material Bonuses. Many many years ago, JT & MR*H got really high on some killer KB's, and they made up the list out of thin air. they wrote it down and printed it, and the exact same list has carried over from edition to edition ever since. The old WGRE from 4th ed had an additional list (a very very long additional list), and in 5th ed there are additional lists scattered all over the place.
In game they can only be created though Alchemy. Meta-game, you can make up whatever you want and say that they already existed beforehand. Maybe all existing S&M bonuses are not fully known throught the Order. You can introduce new ones in game through alchemy or through the lab notes of another magus who used said bonus in a project.
Couldn't you try creating a Vim spell or series of spells to reveal the S/M bonus of a mundane object?
In game, you use VA to try and obtain the bonus you want out of something, rather than just asking the SG of the material you picked gives you a bonus. It usually works for more far-fetched cases than the usual... I don't I my books (pilgrim's Parma) but doesn't the example state a relation between foxes (and thus cunning or maybe even illusion) and foxglove (hint: that doesn't work at all in French)?
Vulgar Alchemy lets you grab obscure bonuses, at the player's initiative. Otherwise you can only beg the SG... and as we can see here, not all of them are open to suggestion.
In fact it only works in English. it wouldn't work in Latin either.