Performance Magic

I've been playing around with a variant on Performance Magic. Tell me what you thing.

Performance Magic (Minor Supernatural Virtue)

Performance magic is a non-Hermetic, hedge practice of spellcasting. When choosing the virtue, choose any mundane ability such as Hunt, Music, or so on. Also choose a magical subject matter of the scope of a Minor Magical Focus, such as inducing emotions or hunting. Performance magic allows you to cast magic within this focus using the relevant Ability.

To create the effect, you must make an appropriate performance. Roll Pre+Ability against an ease factor equal to the Hermetic spell level you wish to replicate; if you reach it, the spell succeeds and is maintained for as long as your performance does. This is equivalent to the Concentration (+1) duration (modify for Range and Target as usual). Failure simply indicates the failure of the spell to take effect, not necessarily any dire result (such as loss of fatigue or so on).

The practice of performance magic must always use the appropriate "gestures" (+0 to spell casting roll). Although words aren't always necessary, some traditions do require them (in particular, the use of song magic to affect emotions is traditional). Again, this has no bearing on the spell casting roll (+0 modifier, as if using normal tone).

The supernatural aura modifies this roll as normal. So does the Penetration ability.

Hedge practitioners of Performance Magic are usually affiliated with the Magic realm, although members of all Realms are possible.

[An Hermetic wizard casting a formulaic spell would be slightly less flexible, but will get to add his Form and has a +10 leeway. Combined with other Hermetic techniques such as the use of raw vis, talismans, or ceremonial casting the raw power of Hermetic magic is far greater. Hermetic magic also allows for different durations, and of course offers a plethora of other issues such as enchanting devices. Performance hedge magi still do have significant capability of casting vary varied spontaneous effects with their mundane skills, however.]

If you're an Hermetic magus, you may use the Ability as a non-Hermetic Technique to cast spells in the area of focus. You can cast the spell as if it was a Spontanous spell, replacing the Technique with the Ability. You may choose to cast the spell with the Performance duration, or with any other Hermetic duration.

The main advantage of doing so is that such spellcasting is far more discreet than standing around mumbling in Latin and making strange motions. You may also implement any corresponding technique related to normal Hermetic spellcasting, such as using an attuned talisman. The main disadvantage is that you cast the spell as a spontaneous spell, which usually means you must expand fatigue and that its power is limited. Using the single Ability instead of the appropriate Art may be an advantage or disadvantage, according to your scores.

You may choose to cast an effect using only the Performance Magic hedge methodology, you need not use the Hermetic methods of spontaneous casting.

Using performance magic is usually discreet. It doesn't appear that you're working magic, unless the spells themselves have some obviously unnatural effects. It generally requires a Perception + Magic Lore roll of 12+ to realize you have cast magic. This allows magi who use Performance Magic to cast spontaneous spells without incurring undue attention.

A similar roll might be required to guess at the Form should a fast-cast intervention be required, although a simple guess at the Form usually suffices if the use of Performance Magic is suspected.

It is possible to cast several spells at once with performance magic. This requires piling on one spell onto another in an increasingly complicated feat of skill, so may only be attempted using the Performance duration. The caster simply attempts to complicate his performance, adding another check for the new effect but with a +3 to the ease factor per extra effect currently maintained by the performance. It isn't necessary to roll Concentration as if casting a spell while maintaining another - although concentration on the performance needs to be maintained regardless.

I found your idea most excellent !

It could subsume many other Supernatural ability. At least it gives many opportunity.

I think you should compare your idea with those supernatural already existing in the ArsMag5 book. Enchanting Music, for exemple, wins back a soul from the Prince of Darkness for a level 24 effect (! :open_mouth: :open_mouth: )
Your idea is more game balanced than the rules ! ^^

It's more complicated than the existing abilities, though. But would make for an interesting companion. I like it very much, and might use it on my new companion, when my old one die. :wink:

I'm not sure I agree on what you did to accomodate the Virtue with a Hermetic Wizard, though.
There are virtues that already exist and duplicate, more or less, what you are trying to do with an Hermetic wizard with that virtue.

I think that a master would change such a virtue from an apprentice into a regular hermetic Forus (as per the virtue Minor Magical Focus p.46)
IMHO, only supernatural virtue that have an advantage over hermetic magic are worth the be keeped by the master. (ex.: Second Sight doesn't need to penetrate: but see your own Wiki InVi spells...)

Always talking about your idea applying to hermetic wizards, I don't like to have two rules or two options about the same "area" of rule. One could choose either Focus song +1 virtueOR Performance magic: song +1 virtue and it would do about the same, but with different rules about it. This is bad, in my most humble opinion.

Of course, your idea does more than a simple focus: you can cast while singing, for exemple, doesn't lose fatigue for spontaneous spell casted that way and you have a new "duration: performance".

I prefer to see regular and normal hermetic magic to be superior to any (or most) hedge magics. So, the normal rules should allow it. I give a try:
+1 Virtue: Minor Focus: song related (Exemple)
+1 Virtue: Deft Form : song=> would modify the virtue so that it apply to a minor focus range of effect.
-3 Flaw: Necessary condition (need to sing to cast)

If you want the Flaw: "Necessary conditions" to apply only to the focus (singing related effects in the exemple) spells , you could consider lowering its value to a minor flaw (-1)

I think it's unbalancing to remove the loss of fatigue for an hermetic spontaneous spell. I would reconsider that part.

I suggest you give for free the special Duration: singing. There are exemple of spells that have not a regular duration in the core book ArsM. This doesn't cause problem and is not really prone to abuse.

Sodalis magi that doesn't have the same focus could share and use the spells invented by your Singing Mage with Dur.: song. But they would need to cast it in a regular way when they reinvent (learn) the spell. They still need to sing (so they need to know how to sing) for the duration.
Your Singing Mage can learn other mages' spells and then use his own method of casting (singing) when reinventing it. This last part only if it within the scope of the focus, of course.

I prefer new hermetic tradition to be compatible with the very CORE rules. ( I mean the Ars Magica book 5ed, and no other book whatsoever.) Otherwise, often, the idea restric what "normal" hermetic wizards can do. IMO, new rules should explain how normal wizards can do things, expanding the CORE rules, instead of diminishing the scope of what they can do.

All in all, I still think it's an excellent idea!

My 2¢ ^^
Hope this was of interest for your idea. :slight_smile:

I also found YR7's ideas interesting ... but they don't really cover the same ground as Enchanting Music. The whole point about EM is that it is not Hermetic Magic -- it is, as I see it, an ability for companions rather than for magi.

Companions aren't developed as characters to the same extent as Magi -- they're important, but they're not pivotal to the game in the way that magi are, and it is meet that their abilities aren't governed by such detailed mechanics as those of the Magi. EM has the right level of detail for a companion's ability, but is too sketchy to be satisfying as an ability of a magus. I think it's a mistake to try to explain an ability like EM in Hermetic magical terms -- it's not a Hermetic spell (nor should it be) and isn't bound by the same rules and restrictions.

If you want to model Blondel or Chretien de Troyes or any of that ... crowd ... then you use EM. If you want to create a Hermetic magus that uses a performing art as a focus then use something like what YR7 proposes here.

Alright, a couple of very good points. Let me see if we can improve things.

It is a problem. Perhaps a more streamlined approach should be used: Supernatural virtue of Performance Magic could provide the hedge tradition, while the Hermetic virtue the fruits of its integration into the Hermetic system.

For the Hermetic case, I like the simplicity of your ideas. A magus with that suit of virtues and flaws would indeed make for a very reasonable adaptation of a "song wizard". The problem is that in that case the relevant Ability no longer applies to the casting; I think that's missing the point.

Having the Ability replace the Technique solves this issue. I want the wizard's song to move hearts with a good song, not a dreadful limerick. A problem with this is that ONE ability replaces ALL Techniques; perhaps using the Ability as a casting requisite would be more appropriate.

Maintaining the requirement of working within a well-defined focus area seems important, lest the magus be too flexible. I suppose we could relax that, and have the technique be applicable to all spellcasting. This will pare down the virtue to one simple tweak - you can replace your Technique with an Ability, allowing you to cast the spell without the Hermetic gestures and words. This seems overly strong, e.g. in comparison with Deft Form, however. Hmph.

Yeah, you're right. The Hermetic magus should not be getting any perks in terms of being able to cast spontaneous spells, I think.

While I agree that having simpler mechanics for companions is a good idea, I find the implementation of things like EM to be very lacking. I think players are familiar enough with the rules for Hermetic magic for it to serve well as rules-package when playing their companions, so that the rules aren't really complicated. And while in principle it isn't an Hermetic spell and so shouldn't be bound by Hermetic limits of magic or so on, I think it's better to remain within them for that very reason - to keep things simple.

Yeah, well ... that was my point: that it isn't hermetic magic so it shouldn't be bound by the same limits as hermetic magic.

If you try to describe the effect in as much detail as the RaW describe hermetic effects you will get additional (unwanted and unwarranted) complexity ... but my solution to that is to say that it doesn't need to be described in detail because it's not a hermetic effect -- it's really the development of magus characters that matters (to most players) in this game. EM is an ability for companions, it makes for interesting companion characters and provides a useful power in an adventure, but it defies analysis by magi because it is outside their ken. Two parts winging and four parts narrativium on the part of the storyguide should get you to the right place in the end without any need for a fistful of rules or for artificially bringing this non-magical ability within the sphere of Hermetic Lore.

... mind you, that's true of most things. A good storyguide can run a good game without any written rules (which is good news for player with good storyguides, and bad news for rules publishers :wink: ).