Pre-play Discussion

I read all your examples, Fixer, and PB's as well. I just don't share your opinion that they support your argument.

Flexible Formulaic Magic allows you to "raise or lower the casting level of a spell to raise or lower one (only) of Range, Duration, and Target by one step, as long as this does not violate any of the normal limits on formulaic magic."

I think we can both agree on this.

But, I haven't seen anyone refer to the Targets and Sizes inset on p. 113, to wit: "A pebble and one of the stones at Stonehenge are both Individuals, and the inside of a tiny hut and the nave of a cathedral are both Rooms."

Thus, although increasing the target Size does raise the casting level of a spell, it does not do so by raising Target by one step.

Locutus sum.

(Also...I made the poll thread specifically for the argument about might-soaking. Hint.)

Yes, I am saying that:

  • Range: Voice, Duration: Diameter, Target: Individual
  • Range: Voice, Duration: Diameter, Target: Individual, +1 extra size

actually have different Targets.

Those are different targets: I would say that if you go to group +1 for a group of 100 people, that is a change of target.

Another problem, Fixer, is your arguments are not very sound. I have assumed that perhaps you're not conveying what you're intending, but I didn't want to mention it because I thought it would be easy to take the wrong way.

Exactly. More powerful might strippers, with which they must also penetrate. You seem not to understand that your proposal causes might to increase a creature's power exponentially, Instead of linearly as per the RAW.

No. Scores of 5 do not constitute a Specialist. But I don't see how that would be relevant.

No, it's not even harmed in the slightest. It has 20 Might, so the spell cast with Penetration of 14 doesn't affect it at all.

I fail to see how this is a problem, let alone how this example in any way supports the idea of making your Might 20 demon more powerful than it already is.

i don't know what you mean by "even with *5 multiplier." But yes, if your Might 20 demon has 10 Soak vs. PeVi, then it requires a minimum of DEO15 to affect it at all, which must be cast with a casting total of 45 in order to penetrate. Which represents YEARS of focused study and improvement, with a singular goal in mind. Which is not balanced.

Do you honestly not see how making Might increase its power exponentially creates balance issues?

I don't have a problem with the multicast fix. I have a problem with your Might Soak proposal. I'm ambivalent on multicasting nerfs.

In any case, no, your math is wrong here. Penetration 18 is, again, insufficient to affect a creature with 20 Might, regardless of how many times it's cast per round.

So forcing people to specialize in PeVi is okay? I do not understand your logic.

Sorry, typo-- CT 35, not 45.

So, while I don't think the discussion will die with a clear concession by everyone over on the Ars forum, I think I've at least satisfied myself that it is RAW for Rituals to always be cast with a stress die, and that there is always a risk of botch, that it cannot be relaxed, by RAW.

Starting with Ritual Magic

Defining what necessitates a stress die

Observing the exceptions to a stress die indicating the risk of spectacular failure

The rule on page 7 seems geared more towards some sort of story event, or something that results in an end product. It could be extended to other things, but I don't think that's what is intended.
Going back to page 81, there are some things that have been used to equate Formulaics and Ritual Magic and then link it to the Spell Mastery relaxed casting exception.
One that's been thrown out in the topic:

However, the section on Formulaics clarifies the effects of Spell Mastery, before it is even defined on Page 86 it states:

There is no such exception stated in the Ritual Magic section.
And finally, there is page 86, where this discussion started

This sentence exists in Spell Mastery on page 86, and a variation of it exists under the Formulaic section. However, there is absolutely no mention of anything like this under the Ritual magic section, which leads me to conclude that Rituals are always cast in a "stressful" manner, and have the risk of spectacular failure or success, unless a combination of Virtues, the Golden Cord and Spell Mastery are combined in such a away to reduce all botch dice, and therefore, cannot botch.

I'm going to repost the above in the thread in the Ars forum. And, honestly, I could care less which way it goes[1].

[1] I say this with the knowledge that my character will be creating a CrHe(Te) ritual spell to create a ship. She'll have 9 botch dice, regardless of the Mastery of 1 issue being HR or not. I think Mastery 1 to avoid botches is cheap, and I think there is ample evidence to indicate it's not RAW, so if we want to HR it Spell Mastery 1 of rituals can be relaxed, it's fine.

See after reading the various arguments in the main thread on the board, I am off the conclusion that rituals can be relaxed and cast without the botch die with single level of mastery and that such is the intention of the authors of the game.

I do not believe that the order of hermes with 13 tribunals, 6-10 covenant per tribunal have an aegis botch every year or every other year. ACtually by the odds and number of covenants and allowing for variable levels of aegis, it should be 6-10 aegis botches each year among the order and every covenant should have one once every 10 years.

Thus it falls upon Peregrine to declare how he reads the rules.

This is the same for the Flexible formulaic magic. By my strict reading, size is actually a component/modification of Target and is valid modification for FFM, general board interpretation vary for whether this is raw or not but all seem to agree that changing size is valid (whether they think it is raw, or think it isn't raw but should be part as house rule). Hopefully we will get a few more comments before Peregrine decides his intepretation of this one.

That's not a strict reading, IMO. I can see how it's commonly HR'ed as indicated in the forum, but it is not a strict reading.

Fiona's Rigid Magic and Flawless Magic has me cracking up right now...
It's so wrong.

It means that she might never botch a formulaic spell but she isn't casting our aegis.

If Jonathan's interpretation is used:
Siobhan isn't going to be learning and casting Aegis unless it is level 20 and she has a season to master it to negate the last botch die.

(she is already -3 botch dice for familiar)

I don't think any other mages of the covenant very willing to take on the casting of the aegis either.

Yeah, but it also means that it makes absolutely no difference to her, personally.


Are you willing to make your mage statted to be primary caster of the Aegis and take all the risks involved with casting of the aegis every single year?

What a loaded question!
Sure. I am on record as saying I can go either way towards the Mastery mitigating botch dice issue. And regardless of the way it goes, if the assembled magi want Talia to do it, she'll agree to do it. That'd be a hoot.
Keep in mind, her character isn't finalized, and I don't plan on altering her to be especially good at Rego Vim magic. I've changed Weak Parens to Weak Magic, so her penetration is going to be horrid.

Keep in mind, Aegis/Wards in this saga must penetrate. The Aegis we have, is a 30th level Aegis. Probably need every player magus to commune with her to get a decent level of penetration, let alone the 30 matching the level of the spell.

So, sure, she'd do it. She and I both think it'd be a hoot.


Okay, I've been following the Stress Die Mastery thread on the main forums as best I can, listening to both sides (who, by and large, have made good points). And here's what we, by which I mean "I," am going to do, and my reasoning.

Ritual Spells are like Formulaic spells, except for the differences noted. One of the differences is that Ritual Spells are always cast with a Stress Die. However, a Stress Die does not necessarily mean that it is cast under stress. For example, a Formulaic Mastered spell states that "in a calm situation there are no botch dice."

So. A Ritual Spell always uses a Stress Die, as explicitly stated in the raw. In a calm situation, there are no botch dice. In a stressful situation, you roll botch dice if the initial die comes up 0, with modifiers to the number of botch dice as normal - -1 per level of mastery, -1 per level of Gold Cord with your familiar, etc.

The vast majority of the time, Ritual Spells will be cast in a "calm situation." Aegis of the Hearth (under normal circumstances), CrCo Healing rituals, etc. There are times, however, that even Rituals may be cast in Stressful Situations. If it looks like a Ritual may be going to be cast in a situation that may potentially result in Botch Dice, I will let the player(s) know.

I've also been trying to follow the discussion on Might Stripper Soak vs. RaW (although, to be honest, I've found myself zoning out at times), and even after several re-readings, I've seen nothing to sway me from my original position, although I have (I think) tried to keep an open mind about it. But since it appears to me that the two sides aren't budging, and since the poll is pretty lopsided (wow, it's only been a day since I put it up? Seems so much longer than that), I'm going to make a ruling.

We are going to go with the Rules as Written. No Might Soak. If a spell penetrates, it reduces the being's Might Pool by the spell level until the Might Pool reaches zero, at which point it reduces the Might Score. Note, also, that a creature's Magic Resistance is the same as his Might Score – if you reduce its Might Score, you reduce its Magic Resistance. I don't know if this latter is raw, but if it's not it's now a House Rule.

If, during play, it becomes apparent to me that this doesn't work, then we can revisit the question, and any characters damaged/killed because of this will be redeemed. (If your character gets killed because you tried to give Trigon a super-atomic wedgie, though, that doesn't count.) more House Rules for a while. Let's get back to getting our characters together, including Companions and Grogs (I know not all of the magi want to cook all their own meals, let alone cook for everyone else), and work on the Covenant-building. I may post some background stuff, answer questions, say something if I see something wrong or something that needs corrected, but that's about it.

Locutus Sum.

Uh, still waiting on your interpretation of Flexible formulaic magic, yet another area of dispute and disagreement.

I've actually rethought my original ruling (mainly because it didn't click that it was a Major Hermetic Virtue). Yes, you can use FFM to modify the target's Size Modifier up or down (if the spell already has at least a +1 Magnitude for Target Size) one magnitude. In addition, you can also modify Magical Senses (p. 113-114) up or down a level (so, you can move a Hearing Intellego spell up to Vision or down to Smell). Because it stands to reason that if you can jigger the size, you can jigger the sense.

I just realized that my character needs finesse, so he can make the zombies cook. And wash. And clean. And everything. But until then, we may need a few grogs.

to something else:
I've asked the question before: What landscape surrounds this covenant (ways of the ....)?

I wish I hadn't read this while eating breakfast.

Forest. Trees. Lots and lots of trees. And some fields scattered around for the sheep.

And a Loch!

Just want to speak on the topic of Mysteries right quick.

I have no problem with characters being initiated into Mysteries, whether at chargen or down the road. The first thing I ask that that you keep me in the loop – don't spring mysteries on me.

I'd like to think I'll be easy to work with on Mysteries. If you want to be Initiated at CharGen, talk to me, let me know what you want and how you intend to accomplish it, either in play or through backstory. You might have to walk me through it a little bit if something doesn't make sense to me, but like I said, I'm easy. Plus, we have three old-ish npcs, who of whom belong to Mystery Cults (a Bjornaer and a Merinita) who may or may not be of use.