Q. Hermetic Architecture vis use

Hey everyone

Please be kind to me as this is my first question on the forums, I searched around for it but could not find, not even on google! :slight_smile: So, the text for Hermetic Architecture left me a little confused. Let's use as an example the Perfected Tower device of page 99. It says it needs 7 items with 28 spaces in each. I have a couple of questions:

  1. Does all of them need to be created on a single season?
  2. When earlier on it says they need 28 points, that means that I need 28 pawns of vis total or 7*28 = 196 pawns of vis to open?
  3. How does the Verditius Magic discount affects it?
  4. Can I add any other effects to the items besides The Perfected Tower?

Thank you so much for the help


  1. No. 2. 196. 3. All discounts apply. That's Verditius, Philosophical Alchemy, Astrology, etc. 4. Nothing in the Mystery says otherwise (Serf's parma), so why not?

I agree with all that. And as a general rule, if there's a question about whether a particular bonus/gimmick applies, I always try to find in favour of the player unless there's something that explicitly forbids it.

I've just checked the text and it explicitly allows multiple effects to be enchanted.

It's all a bit costly, to my mind, but to enchant the truly large and/or immobile structures it's probably the way to go. There are other options. The Hermetic Projects book looks at some of those, including building a lab around a device, inside a device, and enchanting devices that act on the Structure target.

But I do like Hermetic Architecture for its crazy grandeur.

There's crazy grandeur, but there's also crazy opportunity cost. Above and beyond my usual issues with the seasonal pace.

Seriously. Two queens of vis.


Albert is right 2 queens of vis is a gigantic cost. So you do need to have everyone involved on it and reduce it as much as possible. Alchemy becomes necessary same as having a Verditius. All in all, thanks everyone for the answers.

This is why you have Mystery Cults. Specialization! One spun up Verditius can do amazing things for Hermetic Architecture. Puissant craft + Faerie Blood (Dwarf) and you can have a character with a believable craft "score" of 13. Philosophical Alchemy can get quite high if you wind up his Creo, Vim, and Lab, say 85 for 9 more spaces, and then an Item Of Quality, Astrolab, and the common mystery of Astrology for 5 more spaces. Total cost per item, One pawn Vis, total cost, 7.

Then, there is the Verditius mystery of Elder Runes, giving the mage the ability to open Magic theory * Philosophy in Vis spaces in a season. Astrology can fail, so if you want to avoid that, just use craft and P. A. for a total of 35 pawns of Vis in one season with no roll for failure.

Now, this guy is quite possible 50 years out of gauntlet, but very specialized. He needs to be groomed by the cult so he makes it that far. Perhaps a Certamen champion, funding, and books sent his way.

I have another question. Verditius Magic allows me to reduce the cost when opening the items, do forge-companions help here? For example, if I have 1 forge-companion with Craft 6 so he adds +3 to my craft total, if my craft is 8, do I reduce the vis cost per item in 8 or 11?

This is the guy I'm creating :slight_smile: I'm now 20 years out of gauntlet with hermetic geometry and architecture.

Check that. I thought Forge Companions added to lab, not craft totals.

Sweet! Raise up Magic Theory, Philosophy, Craft, and Get Elder Runes. Don't neglect your Lab, and consider getting a familiar (Even better, find the Awakened Devices Mystery and Make one!). Familiars are great for lab monkeys.

Yeah, I need to get a familiar. My lab is well improved as I spent 3 years on it. Elder runes is my next destiny, I've been reading and improving Verditius Lore for that. Talking with my Story Guide we are creating a new Confraternity guided by me inside house Verditius, ah hermetic version of the Free Masonry movement

That is my question. I think so, because as I see it, a forge-companion is an specialized version of a workshop assistant, as seen on City and Guild page 73 which add to the workshop total, so I think it would apply to my Craft score, but I'm not sure, hence the question.

Forge Companions are a listed virtue in Houses of Hermes, Mystery Cults, under the Verditius section. While there might be a reason to use the workshop total as a Mage, making a better quality item, it does not cross over to add to Lab total. Mind, that's something to research. You would make you house very, very happy.......

There are strategies for bringing the vis cost down but the time required is still a factor. You might be able to reduce the vis cost of each item to a few pawns, but if you're relying on Major Philosophic Alchemy then you can only apply that reduction to one device at a time. So on a size 7 structure you're still looking at seven seasons of work to open it for enchantment regardless of the cost. I think it might actually be eight seasons as you can't open the device further in the same season as you're filling it through MPA.

Reductions due to Celestial and Verditius Magic are true reductions which lower the vis requirement rather than filling some of the slots up.

Hermetic Architecture is one of the most enticing of the Mysteries, but whichever way you cut it, it's almost prohibitively expensive, whether that's measured in time or vis.

Yeah. Opportunity cost.

If I ever have reason to consolidate all my ideas into an actual personal-use 5.π edition, issues about opportunity cost are going to be the single greatest source of modding.


Yes, but how much of a cost is it really? It may take seven seasons to "fill" those items with Philosophical Alchemy, but on the other hand, you still have those seasons to do stuff with, as P.A. is a background activity. Not really an opportunity cost, more like raising a building, it takes time to put up after you have paid the contractor.

I'm actually working on this at the moment. Well, not right now as I'm working on stuff for Mr Chart (known to this forum) today. The next issue of Sub Rosa takes a look at a Hermetic Shipwright build to go with my chapter in Hermetic Projects, and the one after that does something similar for the Hermetic Architect to go with my Great Tower chapter.

That should be interesting.

threadomancy! Woooooo!

I have been inspired by Hermetic architecture and want to include it in my own homebrew campaign. Like the OP i am having some problems working out exactly how HA works.

The text says "the component devices are each opening and invested with the effects desired". I understand the opening bit and the prohibitive costs associated it it, and the wonderful ways to reduce this. However, i'm not sure i get the enchantment bit. Does the magus need to enchant each item as if it were a separate device or does be do a single enchantment that is"spread" between the devices.

it might be simpler to describe the example tower process the OP and book both use.

  1. requires 7 devices, each with 28 vis "slots" in them. this requires 196 pawns of vis to open (before and reduction).
  2. then the magus instills a single effect across the seven devices. The effect for this example is the perfected tower a level 34 effect. That requires four pawns of vis to instill if the magi only needs to do it once or 28 if he has to enchant each device separately.
  3. finally he casts the ritual linking them of level 44, costing another 9 pawns of vis.

its step 2 i am unsure on, can anyone help?