Question on Longevity Rituals

Exactly. my suggestion that it be limited by Arts was only that - a suggestion. (The fact that TMRE seems to support this approach notwithstanding.)

Why?

I had forgotten that bit in TMRE, but I'm not convinced it fits as well as it pretends to. I rather believe that author (perhaps reasonably) (re-)interpreted the RAW to give a reason for the Greater Elixer, placing a limit that otherwise had not been there to make the GE more attractive.

That passage starts out...

[style=Times New Roman]When a Longevity Ritual is designed in the laboratory, the enchantment requires one pawn of vis for every five years of age (rounded up)...[/style]
...but actually that's not the case at all. No vis is "required" that season - not consumed, transferred, invested or transmuted - it doesn't even have to exist until years later. So why should it be limited?* If one is not using the Greater Elixer rules (which are optional), it's exactly RAW, and in fact necessary if magi are to live to the ages suggested in canon.

(* I understand the argument, but it makes as much sense either way.)

Short answer: because it is written that way in the rules.

You might want to go back and look at the past arguments on this. There were generally two opinions based on the ArM5 text. One was that the first application was part of the lab activity. The second was that the lab activity discovered the ritual and the ritual was just a several hour thing at the end of the season. Both interpretations can work by ArM5, and I subscribed to the latter. However, TMRE (one of the rulebooks) firmly came down on the side of the former, settling the debate.

Actually, ArM5 says it takes the season to develop and perform, not just to develop. I don't find any solid support for your case in the ArM5 text. As I mentioned, I had favored your side and made some good arguments in its favor, but I could not show the other side was actually incorrect because the ArM5 rules don't come down firmly on either side.

Also, note, that is written distinctly separately from the Greater Elixer rules, set off in a box specifically to do so.

And, no, it's not necessary for magi to live a long time. All you need for that is one longevity expert in the Order to handle the elder magi who don't have the requisite scores. Besides, most magi in cannon don't live to be that old compared to what can be handled by Magic Theory. Remember that the Vis is based off the age when originally creating the ritual, which is based off the mage's age at that time, not at the time of renewing the ritual. A Bonisagus longevity ritual expert only needs a Magic Theory of 7 to make a ritual for a magus no older than 100 years. Theoretically the bonus from this could last quite a long time if the ritual is renewed a few times.

Chris

Had a chance to read TMRE and that clears it up. That's one of the books that added so many new things that I've been slow to make my way through it until I hammer down all the basic principles. Thanks for pointing it out.

This, per my reading of RAW, is not completely correct. The creation of the Lab Text/Ritual is based on 1) Vis/5 years and 2) MT limit. However, once that LR is created, the amount of vis changes to always need vis/5yrs of current age even though you're only reusing the older ritual. That's my reading of it.

Yes, you're correct, and my statement isn't very clear on that point. The point of the statement is still correct, though, since it was referring to the Magic Theory limits on Vis for longevity rituals and that these same rituals could be used later despite a greater age. Here's a clearer statement:

And, no, it's not necessary for magi to live a long time. All you need for that is one longevity expert in the Order to handle the elder magi who don't have the requisite scores. Besides, most magi in cannon don't live to be that old compared to what can be handled by Magic Theory. Remember that the Vis required to research a ritual is based off the age when originally creating the ritual, which is based off the mage's age at that time, not at the time of renewing the ritual. A Bonisagus longevity ritual expert only needs a Magic Theory of 7 to make a ritual for a magus no older than 100 years. Theoretically the bonus from this could last quite a long time if the ritual is renewed a few times.

Chris

Hum two questions. Could you use elder verditus runes to increase your lab total for a longevity potion (I would rule no, unless you have the initiation inscription upon the soul). Also can a magus with elder runes use magic theory * philosophia instead of Magic Theory * 2 pawns of vis (and if not, should there theoretically be a virtue that allows this).

Well lets see at 1 warping point a year a Magus can use a a longevity potion for a max of 274 years before the next twilight is final. Most magi will gain warping points for sources other than their longevity ritual. That can be somewhat offset by starting a longevity potion later in life, though this is going to give only a marginal benefit. To avoid all effects of aging a magus needs needs a score of at least -(8 + Age/10). A specialists lab total is going to look something like this:
Creo: 30
Co: 30
Appropriate Magical Focus
MT: 10
Int +3
Aura: +5
Lab Bonus: Probably around +11 though it could go higher
Assistant (the magus ordering the potion) +6

Most likely it'll cost the magus a season, a rook or more of vis (plus costs) and ten pounds of silver

That gives us 30+30+30+10+3 + 5 +10 +6 = 125. Total aging modifier -25. This is enough to hold off serious threat of aging until a magus is around 170. The best way to improve on that is probably to bind a familiar (bronze cord), move to a covenant with better aging modifiers or look at initiating virtues (I'd suggest unaging for the random stress roll that comes in high). As a magus gets older the chances of a runaway stress die causing an aging result go up, but so does access to aging modifiers.

Explictly no.

Both uses of the Elder runes explicitly refer to enchanting items.
Longevity Ritual affect people (not items) and are not enchantments.

As Tellus said, no. But I can certainly see a virtue that increases the limit of vis a magus can handle while inventing a LR; MT x Medicine, perhaps. That would make a nice goal for Hermetic research.

So basically a magus needs to commission a high mod ritual before they reach 100, then be very sure not to lose the lab text. What are high specialist art scores in AM. I used 30 but that might be a bit on the low side.

Assuming that a character can find a way to get an average of 10 XP each season, which is pretty good, slightly better than the assumed RAW, which is only 7.5 XP a season.

Then an Art Score of 10 is about 1.5 years of full-time study, an Art Score of 20 is about 5 years full-time study, 30 is about 12 years full-time study, a Score of 40 is about 20 years full-time study, and a Score of 50 is about 32 years full-time study.

Similarly, for an Ability a Score of 5 is about 1.5 years full-time study. A Score of 10 is about 5.5 years full-time study.

So, for a specialist who is 100 years old, I think that two Art Scores of 30 is reasonable. He has spent about a quarter of his life on just studying those two Art Scores. I think a character would have to be considerably older, or extremely specialised to have significantly higher Art Scores than this.

130 years old is nothing for a magi with a halfdecent LR. 200, that´s starting to push things for many characters (some can go a good deal longer, others will already have died, but on average getting to 200 wont be totally uncommon at least but depending on presence of assets in a game, it may not be common either).

30-ish are likely to be "common" for specialists(relatively). Creo and Corpus are simply both so useful Arts that there may even be nonspecialists closing in on those numbers. Unless you´re in a highlevel game, assume 35-40 to be the higher end for most specialists. And unless they are specialists at specifically CrCo/LRs or alike, they may have "just" one of those Arts that high. Of course, then there´s the option to find a specialist that is extreme enough to have LRs as their Focus.

Of course, if you're the ultimate LR creator, perhaps with an applicable magical focus and Puissant Magic Theory, wouldn't you be likely to become extremely specialized? Let's leave out PC's and the default adventuring that tends to come with them. If you've got that natural talent and make this your pursuit, you'll have a lot of the elder members of the Order knocking on your door. Surely you'll be able to live a life of luxury if you truly focus on those two Arts, nearly to the exclusion of the others. Plus you'll be able to write a pair of good summas and probably invent some good healing rituals.

I would think as a general rule a talent for a specific Art combination that allows you to do something other magi greatly desire would tend to lead you to specialize heavily in those two Arts if doing so made you even better.

Chris

Well keep in mind Creo and Corpus scores at 30 have their own rewards. Assuming you have at least 5 in every other art that gives you CrX and XCo casting total of 35 (meaning any formulaic spell up to level 45 and spontaneous of at least level 15). A Mercurian (less vis used on ritual casting) with those scores could generated substantial favors with between longevity potions, conjuring the mystic X and healing.

Actually, the other day I was going through my books noting the magical foci that were mentioned, and 'aging' is the second most mentioned (in four books), right after certamen (which of course gets mentioned every time a Tremere has a full description). My books do not, by the way, include Magi of Hermes. I would say that particular focus is one of the most common. Perhaps because every magus, sooner or later but generally sooner, makes or helps making a LR, so the focus never goes unnoticed ?

Also, remember that you can increase the potency of a LR by adding vis when you create it, +1 per extra vis (AM5 p.101). Suddenly you don't need that good a specialist if you just have enough vis (and the Arts to use it) lying around... a good specialist is just cheaper.

Adding extra vis to increase the potency of the LR is part of the labwork, and governed by MT, not arts. Any subsequent recreation of the LR requires the increased vis amount designed into the ritual plus that required for age.

This is great for younger magi, but it's rarely useful with much older magi due to the Magic Theory limit on Vis. Sure, maybe an extra pawn or two will get you an extra +1 aging modifier, but even that could take 5 pawns and it takes at least 6 pawns to get a +2. That quickly cuts into the Vis limit. Having the Vis lying around really won't make up for a specialist.

Chris

It's interesting the extent to which magi longevity is dependent on a large centralized Order which supports specialized potion brewers. It seems as though many people assume that having a specialist create your longevity ritual is the norm for most magi. If you were to change the Order to make this rare or impossible then you'd see a much younger Order in general. So much of what appears at first sight to be straightforward implications of the game rules actually is setting dependent.

Sure, if trade is rare in the saga, then the availability of LR specialists should be rare or costly or both, as well.

However, you would probably see specialization on a smaller level within the covenant and watch the magus with high CrCo getting access to a number of resources from other covenant members, as they trade their time for making LR for them.

Hum so what foci would work for LR:

Minor
Longevity Potions (not official, seems overly limited if Verdi can get away with "wood wands" for a bonus)
Aging (probably)
Healing (if so this would greatly increase the number of magi who can brew big LRs).

Major
Men/Women (for a magus of the appropriate sex)
Wholeness of Body and Spirit (unofficial)

Any other ideas?

I would not allow Healing. Healing already encompasses the majority of CrCo plus plenty of CrAn and CrHe. There are also some ReCo spells. Potentially, it could even show up in CrXx, depending on what you're healing. It's probably too broad without LR's, and I don't see that LR's are actually healing anyway.

Chris

Heh, hadn´t noticed that it was that common as a focus.

Exactly. Having a high Cr or Co is just about NEVER a bad thing, they always combine to do lots of interesting and highly useful spells.

Healing, not a chance, clearly not the same. Aging, definitely! LP, why if you can take Aging and also use it for lots of other stuff, like say being able to hurry the development of plants or foodstuff, or as an attack spell...
Men/Women, sure.
Wholeness... mmm probably?