New Virtues, Flaws, Etc.

Spiritless Magic (Major Hermetic Flaw)

The character finds it difficult to put any more effort than is absolutely necessary into a spell - perhaps he is lazy and unwilling to work harder, or perhaps his spells simply go off as soon as they've gathered the minimum necessary power. As a result, all spells cast by the character are forceless (unable to penetrate any Might or magic resistance) unless the caster expends a Confidence point during the casting of the spell. Magi with Spiritless Magic may gain no benefit from using the Overtime rules for labwork in covenants, at the storyguide's option.

(Compare to Weak Magic. In general, a caster with Weak Magic has higher penetration than one with Spiritless Magic, but for an added cost the Spiritless Magic caster can improve his penetration.)

Severed from Twilight (Major Hermetic Flaw)

For some reason, the character has no connection, or a damaged connection, to Wizard's Twilight. If he gains enough warping at once to enter Twilight, and fails to resist it, instead of entering Twilight he takes an Incapacitating wound. Further, because the character is not linked to Twilight, he gains flaws (and a virtue) from Warping as mundanes and hedge wizards do.

(A possible flaw for an Ex Misc tradition, serving to highlight to players why it's a GOOD THING that the Founder Criamon incorporated Wizard's Twilight into hermetic magic. Also possible as an Ordeal for some mystery cult, trading the ability to ascend to Twilight for some earthly power.)

Wellspring of Vis (Minor or Major Supernatural/Story Flaw)

You are a vis source. Mystical creatures can sense this, as can Intellego Vim vis-detecting magics. Collecting the vis is generally unpleasant for you. Perhaps heartbreaking trauma causes you to cry tears of Mentem vis, or your heart's blood contains Corpus vis. Whatever the case, magi, hedge wizards, or mystical creatures you don't even know may attempt to torment or annoy you in a specific way (with the minor version) or try to kill you (with the major version) to collect vis from you.

(An odd idea, the logical result of thinking about some of the more unusual vis sources from the perspective of the vis source itself. Appropriate for mystical creatures and warped mundanes, but probably inappropriate for magi. People with this are likely to have Magical Air as well.)

Composite Forms (Minor Hermetic Flaw)

Due to an oddity in your lineage or inherent magic, and often reflecting a philosophical belief system, there are two arts that you cannot seperate. You have a single score for these two arts, which must be forms, and you may improve them using study totals for either art. However, all experience put into the composite art is halved, rounded down. Intellego Vim spells cast by this character will not distinguish between the composited arts. Spells created by the character using the one of the composited arts always have the other as a requisite, even if there is no special reason to do so. Books written by the character may either be about the composited art, and thus useful only to that tradition, or they may be written about one of the two arts it is made up of, but in that case the book is Incomprehensible, as the character does not fully understand what he is writing about.

(Just an interesting mechanical way to represent certain kinds of philosophies. Compositing Corpus and Vim might be appropriate for Criamon on the Path of the Body, for example, and some weather-witches might combine Aquam and Auram. Combining Mentem and Imaginem might be appropriate for a magus who uses musical Performance Magic for illusion and manipulation. Etc.)

Ray (Spell Range)

Spells with Range: Ray have the same effective range as Sight, but are one magnitude easier (as Voice.) The spell itself is visibile as an emitted beam (or bolt, or whatever, usually based on the magus's sigil) and requires a successful Aiming roll to strike its target. If the spell would have already required an Aiming roll, a -3 penalty is applied to that roll.

(This range was created mostly because I wanted a variant of Pilum of Fire and Ball of Abysmal Flame and such that could actually miss, and this seems a fair way to do it. It may be included as a part of hermetic magic to start with, or as a potential minor breakthrough, or merely a non-hermetic effect that some mystical creatures or magic items have for their powers.)

Spiritless Magic - sounds OK for a Major Hermetic flaw, but I don't really know.

Severed from Twilight - I like. Maybe have the character soak +10 damage per botch, which cannot later benefit from Chirurgy nor Medecine for recovery.

Wellspring of Vis - I don't like. Take a Secret Vis Source and possibly a Dark Secret instead. I wouldn't give out vis as a flaw.

Composite Form - Thematically interesting, but I wonder how it compares (numerically) to taking a pair of Deficiencies.

Ray (Range) - OK with me, though you might want to define a range increment (-3 to hit per increment).

I like Spirtless magic, it flows right along with weak and difficult magic.

Severed from Twilight is also cool...I just worry about the incapaciating wound...perhaps a heavy would be enough? Or start at a heavy wound and adjust depending on failure...(that might be fun, but would add another mechanic that probably doesn't need to be there if you don't like adding complexity)

Wellspring of Vis is a great flaw-- it's going to draw magi interested in MT, in magical nature, in vis in general, out of the woodwork to seek out the magus and attempt investigating him...that's going to lead to certamen for his vis, for time to examine him, for ambushes and attempts to acquire arcane connections...this screams story flaw, and isn't that what a flaw is supposed to do? So he gets some vis, so what? Blackmail is a flaw that hands out silver. It's stuff, and stuff is easily enough consumed by a vigilant storyguide.

Composite forms is also interesting, I'd like to see it in play and advancement and probably compared to the two deficiencies. If anything, it might be saving you a flaw-- not that the freed flaw might be a bad thing.

I like the Ray range. It would be a cool minor breakthrough, allowing for versions of spells that miss, but permit greater penetration and lower the Arts necessary for combative magi. It's easily visible as an outgrowth of the Schism War, or of a region regularly embroiled in some sort of conflict-- the Levant, Novogrod, etc.

Overall, I think they're good. You might punch them up for someplace like the wiki(s) or SHR before they get buried in here.


I like them all, save Wellspring of Vis in its current form. As it is, it's a (very) Personal Vis Source and a specific story flaw, a minor version of Enemies, for instance or a relevent reputation. As Story Flaws go, I think it's excellent, but I think it needs to be decoupled from the PVS. After all, a related one might be, for instance, having your hair change colour on a daily basis and having a bunch of Muto-obsessed Bonisagi trying to get you to agree to be researched by them. Rename it, "Object of Magical Interest", being a more general story flaw with various parties wanting access to you for whatever reasons relating to some magical trait you possess, with the PVS as an example, and I think it fits in to the setting nicely.

Which sounds presumptuous of me, but please just take it as a suggestion.

Spiritless Magic

Seems to have acceptance as written, so no changes there! :slight_smile:

Severed from Twilight

Good point on the damage. A warping score of 10 should still be 'lethal', but lower levels probably shouldn't be. Make it deal +2 damage per level of Warping Score you have, soaked only with stamina and Vim form resistance.

Wellspring of Vis

The idea with this one is that it's much less pleasant than personal vis source; it should be designed such that the character won't especially want their vis to be extracted. Perhaps each point of vis taken from them also takes a Confidence point (in the case of the tears of Mentem, for example) or inflicts a Heavy Wound that can't be affected by magical healing.
In fact, the idea for the Major version of the flaw is that you probably can't use the vis. Anyone can get, say, 20 pawns of Corpus vis /from your corpse/. There's not a lot of ways to turn that to your advantage. Perhaps you could hack off an arm for 3 pawns of your vis if you were desperate, or something, but that's hardly advantageous itself.
All that said, I like Fhtagn's idea, too. Subject of Magical Interest makes perfect sense as a minor story flaw. And, incidentally, a person with color-changing hair would make a great Muto focus in a lab, if properly kept there. :stuck_out_tongue:

Composite Forms

This flaw is in most cases outright better than Deficient Form; your total experience gain won't be reduced by more than a point or two compared to a normal magus. The 'flaw' aspect of this doesn't come from experience loss, though. Rather, it forces the character to generalize their magic slightly, and makes their spell lab texts of those two forms inferior (requisites even when there shouldn't be) and thus less interesting to other magi, and makes their books on the forms lower quality, and thus also less interesting. If they open a student's arts, that student picks up the same flaw as well.

It may be appropriate to increase the number of forms composited to three (in which case experience gain is divided three ways rather than two), making the flaw harsher. It also might be possible to have Composite Techniques in some cases, such as a Criamon Magus especially focused on the cyclic nature of time having Creo and Perdo composited.

I'm not sure on specific balance, but then, flaws are an inexact science, anyway. It makes a character more interesting without making them more powerful, and I'm inclined to give players the virtue point in exchange for that. That's the point of Story and Personality flaws too, after all.


You're right, it should have a range increment. 30 paces puts it in the middle of the stats for crossbows in Covenants, and is easy enough to calculate, so I'd probably go with that.

Anyone keeping a bunch of house rules or examples or whatever is welcome to include these things. Just credit me and note any changes you make.

Note: I suggest that you totally ignore my criticisms and play the way you want. However, if you desire feedback, I will poke some holes for you :smiley:

Spiritless Magic - I am not liking this one. Conceptually, it is sound. I just don't like the way it works mechanically. Perhaps No spontaneous magic without spending confidence would be more suitable

Severed from Twilight - Same. Injuries should never be the result of Twilight. Supernatural Flaws and other warping results should be the effect. And, in fact, if severed from Twilight, then they have no Twilight episodes at all ever. They just accumulate warping, and at predetermined scores (1, 3, 5+), stuff happens.

Wellspring of Vis - this just doesn't sit right. It requires closer examination, so I won't pick it apart.

Composite Forms - Interesting, but still a little loose. My first impulse is to combine Ignem with Imaginem, or Ignem and Auram (lightning should have an Ignem requisite anyway). How about Animal & Corpus as one for the Bjornaer? Sounds cool, but things can get away from control really quick.

Ray - Ray = Sight, and should not have the magnitude lowered. The ray is a cosmetic effect, and I don't see how it would make the spell easier. No Range incriments eather. If you want Range Indcriments, use R: Touch, and determine range from the amount of Rego force throwing the object or the volume of substance created.

To Marko:

I think you've missed the concept for some of these.

Spiritless Magic mechanically forces Forceless Casting unless you put a lot of yourself into the casting. No spontaneous magic without spending confidence would be a good major flaw, but a different one, likely representing a magus that isn't good at thinking up hermatic magic on the spot.

Severed from Twilight: You have a valid response to that, and it would probably still be balanced as a major flaw without the damage. Note, however, that the injuries aren't the result of Twilight, they're the result of your hermetic magic running wild through your body and not having the outlet of Twilight. From an OOC perspective, I want to keep that effect so that gaining 2+ warping points is still an exciting and scary thing for the player and character, even if they don't get Twilight.

Wellspring of Vis: Eh, Story Flaws are like that. Not all of them work for all groups or players, even more so than with other types.

Ray: The ray isn't a cosmetic effect. Nor need there always be a visible ray... the spell may be a bolt that follows where you point, or whatever. Cosmetic effects of spells are decided by the designer and by sigil. The mechanical effect of Ray is the point: it's to represent Sight spells that can actually miss, as opposed to the 'always hit' effects currently written.

And some new things!

Ability Adaptation (Minor Supernatural Quality)
Unlike other beings with Magic Might, you are somewhat more capable of adapting to your surroundings. Any season in which you gain experience points in a Living Language or Area Lore, you may subtract that many experience points from other Living Language / Area Lore abilities rather than suffering the Might Penalty to advancement.

(It's been bugging me that, because of the way creatures with Might have static abilities, they can't adapt to new environments. This quality allows for creatures that can pick up Area Lore and Language appropriate to where they currently live, though they'll lose their old languages and lores in exchange for it. Appropriate for magical creatures that keep on the move rather than staying in one place.)

Static Nature (Major Supernatural Inferiority)
As the examples given in The Mysteries, some forms of magical beings do not seem to advance at all. Beings with this flaw cannot gain experience normally or consume vis for transformation.

(Meant for ghosts and such; magical beings that either froze their experience at the moment they became magical (ghosts, alchemical immortals, legendary artists, perhaps daimons), or came into being with a defined skillset that never changes (some spirits))

Essential Power (Major Supernatural Quality or Major Supernatural Virtue)
Design a mystical effect with 25 levels, as with Lesser, Greater, Personal, and Ritual power. The power costs no Might to use, and should be Personal range and either Constant or Concentration-duration. If the duration is not Constant, the initiative modifier is QIK-magnitude. This power is effectively a part of your essential nature, and is not blocked by magic resistance.

(some personal powers seem like they shouldn't make the creatures bounce off parma; a creature with a constant effect that makes it heal faster, or allows it to fly with wings that shouldn't be able to lift it, seems like it should still be able to claw a parma'd magus or Mighty creature if needed. There is precedent for powers not needing to penetrate: it's the big advantage of Rune Magic, and inherent to a lot of Supernatural virtues -- you don't have to penetrate to punch someone just because you have a Greater Immunity to Fire, for example.)

(Art)-Linked (Ability) (Major Hermetic Virtue)
You use your life experiences to improve a certain facet of that magic, and as that facet of your magic improves, so does your understanding of the deeper aspects of that part of your life. One of your Abilities is linked to one of your Arts, providing a bonus similar to and incompatible with Puissant (Ability) and Puissant (Art): add your form bonus for the linked art to all rolls and totals for the linked ability, and add the linked ability to all rolls and totals for the linked art.

(a Jerbiton Magus with Performance Magic: Music might also take Imaginem-Linked Music, for example. A Criamon with Vim-Linked Enigmatic Wisdom or Vim-Linked Magic Lore would make sense. Corpus-Linked Brawl or Corpus-Linked Chirurgy, Mentem-Linked Charm, Aquam-Linked Profession: Sailor, Animal-Linked Animal Handling etc. all seem viable.)