Questions about Art and Academe


Art and Academe, in my opinion, is one of the most interesting books for Ars Magica so far, and I'm using it a lot when planning my new campaign (beginning on Sunday). Anyway, I have some questions. Some of these issues have been up before in other threads, so I apologize if I'm repeating myself.

First, in Experimental Philosophy, specifically Alchemy, there are primary and secondary qualities of matter that can be changed. I think I get what the primary qualities are, but what are the secondary? For example, take a random object, say a wooden staff. What would be the primary and secondary qualities of this?

Moving to metaphysics, and movement. We did have another thread on momentum and such. When reading the text under Consequences of Motion, I think it's a bit unclear. It says that "...and object's speed bears no relation to the force that propels it". It goes on to say "...the bullet from a sling cannot do any more damage if it is thrown with greater speed; only the force imparted by the initial mover is important. Further, stones thrown by a strong man doesn't travel any faster than those thrown by a weak man, although they can travel further because of the ability to overcome the resistance of the stone and the air is greater."

Now what I read from this is that a strong man gives the stone more force, which moves it further, overcoming resistance of that which it meets. It doesn't travel faster because of this. But a stone thrown by a strong man will in any case do more damage, not because of speed, but because of the stone's ability to overcome resistance of air (hot and moist particles). A stone will use it's force (coming from the initial mover) to overcome the particles in whatever it hits. More force will give it better ability to overcome the particles of it's target, although, as mentioned, it doesn't travel faster.

Have I understood this correctly? I'm thinking of the part of that texts saying "...only the force imparted by the initial mover is important."

I'm sorry if I bring this up again, but I'm trying to get my head around it. :slight_smile:



Anything that isn't a primary quality (hot, cold, moist, dry) is a secondary quality. Thus a wooden staff is coldish (because it is tough, but not very hard) and dryish (if it was too dry it would be brittle, like rock).

Its secondary qualities are everything else: its smoothness, shinyness, heaviness, bendiness, and so forth. Some of these things will change when you change a primary quality (change its moistness and its flexibility will change), but they can be altered individually with a secondary quality.

Yes, that looks right to me.


Excellent. In a weird way, the theories of Aristotles are beginning to make sense. :slight_smile:


In the sidebar titled Replicating Formulae with Hermetic Magic, it says that a ritual is required if using creo to create the formula. But, why? Because formula are strictly non-magical when completed? For game balance reasons (very possible)? or something else.

Also, any recommendation on avoiding formula learning abuse. As i understand it, you could read a summa, level 2, quality 15 (assuming your ability is 0), and use the 15 xp gained to learn 3 formula. Then repeat next season, and so on, without your ability increasing, and learning a lot of formula.

For the same reason you use a Creo Ritual when you want to create something "permanent".

Rule that summae never contain formulae, only tractati do. Keeping track of what a given book contains may also help.

If you created it without a ritual it would have a duration and disappear a the end.

Theiriacs seem to be similar to nourishing food, Inceptions are too specific to the target to be reproduced by a formulaic spell but I can easily imagine a spell to create Greek fire, Fire damp or Vitriol having a duration of sun.

Was it the intent to disallow the magical production of sun duration smoke oil?

Rule that Summa don't contain formula? I like it, quick and simple.

Yeh, Sun duration Greek Fire was what i was thinking about (the munchkin in me), but various month duration healing ointments would be useful too. I'm assuming they were made a ritual to prevent abuse, but it seems a bit harsh.

They are ritual to allow the permanent creation of the ingredients. However, even Sun duration Greek Fire would be dangerous - if you fail the Finesse roll to create it (and it is EF 21, IIRC), your storyguide would be justified to ask for a roll on the experimentation table...


And a related problem i have. In the same sidebar, the spell Brew The Healing Tonic, has a finesse roll of 16. but i can't see why it's 16. Maybe 15, maybe 19, but i can't see 16.
Anyone who understands it better who can explain?

It's a mistake. It should be 14, as explained in the surrounding text. Level 5 theriac, +3 for Craft Magic, +6 for a season's work in an instant.

Sorry about that,


So, you CAN make formula as a non-ritual, but doing it frequently is going to be risky?

Ok, thanks. 14 makes sense.

And after realising that the standard spell to create formula (level 20. with group and size increase) would make 1,000 doses, they're powerful :open_mouth:

However creating greek fire using craft magic may not be particuallry high level... however to do it in a spell, would surely have a plus +6 difficulty for a seasons work in a moment.

int+finesse roll of a whopping 21 for greek fire.....and this is whole un-magically greek fire which ignores parma happily. Hope you've got a good ward vs heat and flames in case you botch

Note though that, since it is Rego magic, you need to have all the ingredients needed in the final product. Furthermore, you need at least passing familiarity with that same product. The first is always a problem, the second a problem if you're sponting (as a formulaic spell would have that knowledge built in).

The latter is why the spell requires a copy of the formula (or for you to know it yourself).