Quantum nature of vis

Well, it's probably not quantum but it sounds nice.

Can vis be split into something smaller than a pawn? After all, a pawn is just a hermetic measure of quantity. Could Vis in the wild exist as halves or thirds of a pawn?

If I have a bucket of water containing a pawn of aquam vis, could I split it into two half buckets of water, each with a half pawn of vis?

Could I split a pawn of Rego and a Pawn of Aquam then combine the 4 parts into two lots of Rego Aquam vis?

Could there be non-hermetic traditions which use other units of measurement?

I can see a variant of Mercurian Magic

Lesser Vis (Major, hermetic)
You use vis by the half-pawn rather than by the pawn. To you a half pawn of vis has the same effect as a pawn to other magi.
This means that in a ritual you only use half the vis a normal magus would.
When enchanting an item each half-pawn gives 10 levels of effect.
When casting spells each half-pawn gives an extra 2 Penetration.
Your maximum vis use in a season is limited to your magic theory score.

I can't see this virtue being too overpowered for a major as it doesn't let you use the equivalent of more vis.
All it does is save vis, which in most scenarios won't be a factor. However in a vis-poor saga this will be handy - especially for a verditius.

Yup, they can be divided. The pawn convention is just that, a convention. It is the minumum unit of vis usable by hermetic magic. It is like money: you might have individual cents, but unless you have them in 5 cent units, the drinks machine will refuse to accept them. THe drinks machine is hermetic magic here :slight_smile:

There are already other traditions that use different fractions of vis. The magicians of soqotra, from rival magic, use 10ths of pawn, for example. I see no problem with vis being found in smaller than a pawn fractions.

The idea of mixing them up I do not think would be very common (I hate vis transfer with a passion, BTW, since IMO turns magic into chemistry, not magic anymore), even if you can introduce te+Fo specific vis in your saga. We have it in our saga and it works well enough. A flame that can only be used for intellego ignem, for example, refusing to be used for any other purpose. Makes vis more special if it is limited in scope.

Mixing 2 halves of different types of vis into a single pawn is something I do not see very well (lazyness on my part, mostly), but mixing 2 halves to be used for a Te+Fo spell that uses both that technique of the half and the form of the other half is something I would look forward to do. Funny it never occurred to us. Thanks for pointing it out.


On of the early covenants in the game had a vis source that was fifty pairs of bat wings equalling one pawn of Animal, so there's clearly vis in quantities smaller than a pawn.

And someone else has mentioned the Soqotrans and the Spark. They have a sort of brute-force approach to spellcasting that requires vis every single time, just not very much, and they are rich with vis because they all have a personal vis source of lavish size.