Quick question on A&A: longevity

A quick question for the fortunate owners of Art & Academe - do the chapters on medicine and such have any options for increasing longevity (essentially bonuses to aging rolls)? Could you give me an idea of how much could be expected from a character as a function of the medicine score?

Salvete, Sodales!

Well, a ph<sician can grant a small bonus to the living conditions of his patients, actually up to +3 if a good doctor (medicine 7+) cares for a patient exclusively. This isn't cheap, and the patients are also somehow restricted in the way they live their lives if they don't want to loose the bonus, so probably only a very small part of the characters in game will get such a treatment. It certainly is no viable alternative to magical solutions.

Alexios ex Miscellanea

Not an aging ritual true but +3 does negate 30 years of aging penalties.

Exclusively = the doctor can't care for anyone else (including himself)?
Or Exclusively = the patient must be in the care of that doctor and no other?

Thanks a lot for the input!

The first one. The doctor defines a really specific regime for the dude in question, about food, drink and physical activity. The combo is healthy, but must be followed strictly and with the timing the doctor said for each thing in order for the patient to gain the bonus. A doctor can also define MUCH broader regimes for whole communities (healthy foods et al) to grant a lesser bonus to a much larger patient base. In either case it is expensive, since what you need to keep the regime includes expensive ingredients in your intake of food.


Thanks a lot folks.
It appears that it's much better to have a good baker than a good doctor (see City and Guild, on superior and excellent items :slight_smile: ).

The best it's had the two. Like a king.

If you want to run with that theme, add Laboratory to the list. There is no listed upper limit on the bonus a lab can give to living conditions. Given that +2 gives you +1, it's hard to get big numbers, but a clever player should be able to get a +4 to +6 to their aging roll. With Good food, Good drink, a Good doctor, and a solid lab, you might get a +14 to aging rolls without warping. Got to keep up with the Redcaps somehow.......

If Magi are looking for bonuses, the Bronze cord from a familiar bond is in there as well.

Actually, this isn't magi looking for bonuses for themselves (though these are all pretty good ideas). It's magi looking for mundane bonuses for their covenfolk. Too stingy to spend time and/or vis to brew potions for the mundanes, the magi still realize that great age allows for vast experience. From a handful of computer simulations I ran, a +8 bonus to aging rolls means the median age of covenfolk at death is 114 (disregarding violent deaths etc. - vs. a median age at death of 64 with a +1 modifier). A +8 bonus might seem a lot, but it's what you get from a +1 modifier for relatively well-off living conditions (see Covenants) plus a +7 bonus from an old, dedicated, but perfectly mundane baker.

I understood that and posted accordingly. Look again at the Lab rules. There doesn't seem to be any rule stopping your coven folk from getting a "lab" bonus to living conditions. Much cheaper on Vis then Longevity potions, and they can't "take it with them". The baker and brewer could be hard to maintain, but Runic Magic is the "easiest" Ancient Magic to rediscover, and it solves that problem nicely.

That's some serious whole-grain goodness. I'm pretty sure that by these rules you can live longer on bread alone than magi with longevity potions could in 1E Ars Magica.

:slight_smile: Jabir, I think this connects to your comment about how "high fantasy" a saga is supposed to be when looking at the maximum ability scores achievable by covenfolk. On the one hand, it's easy to say "this is munchkinism!". On the other hand, I think that a covenant really has the potential of becoming an "utopia" of sorts (of which we find many examples in medieval "fiction") with enlightened and just rulers with the wisdom of Solomon, bakers that make bread so fine that the inhabitants live a century or more, and common people who are so wise and learned that they are all poets and philosophers, etc.

Rulewise this can depend less on direct, generous application of magic, than on the political stability and long-term planning that having a caste of mage-rulers can grant.

I've got to admit, I kind of like your idea for a utopia state based on OOH covenants. This sort of situation could account for Atlantis stories too.

What's silly though is having this rule come out of nowhere, without any discussion of the implications. I like to think I have a pretty good understanding of AM5 and it never even occurred to me that you could get that kind of longevity without magical means. This game is definitely calling for a rules compendium, with a system for dialing the fantasy up or down at the group's discretion.

Page reference please? Can't quite see it from a quick look...

Go to the Craft section of City & Guild. (I don't have it on me right now.) You will see an example of baking for a bonus to aging rolls. Of course, to get to +7 you'd need an Ability w/ specialty of 19, which is really high. You could knock that down to 16+Puissant+Specialty. Affinity makes the 16 more attainable, but it's still really high. Of course, if you give this baker a longevity ritual, then the baker should live long enough to advance pretty far in the profession. You could also drop the specialty and use a Faerie Sympathy in its stead to make reaching the 19 total easier, but then you don't have a "perfectly mundane baker."

You could easily dial this down by using it as +1 Health (like in labs) so that +7 Health gives you +3 aging rolls, making +4 nearly impossible.


Page 69 of C&G....

However The point is that SUPERIOR bread would give a +1 bonus to aging but there are a lot of caveats to Excellent quality items

  1. Much more costly
  2. Specifically made for a purpose or person
  3. would need to be eaten for a whole year (I'd say no more then 10 days away per season maybe like labwork)- Also a caveat for superior bread.
  4. working in a magic aura (as most covenants are) raises the difficulty by 1

To even get a plus +2 in the way of Excellent bread reads to me as requiring a whopping 18 (as its base craft level is 15 with +1 for every three levels that this level is exceeded.)

Getting a level 16 ability (assuming a +2 primary ability) is 680 xp this would take 45 years of SOLID investment into that skill with no other skills at all. 30(ish) years with an affinity. Puissant abilities, higher characteristics, workshop inovations and raw material alterations may drop this amount too, but for a +2 aging modifier, thats a LOT of cost, investment and time.

A medical character with a medicine of 4 can maintain any number of regimens of +2. Admittedly at a heavy cost of double the living cost per person, but medicine of 4 is a LOT easier to get hold of then a Craft (Baker) of 12-16 and ALL the investment of time, energy and money into making your baker into this incredible life sustaining one trick pony.


As a general rule Excellent quality items provide a broader bonus than do Superior quality items. That is what makes Excellent+1 better than Superior.

I thought #2 was for the enchanted items from Touched by (Realm). Was I mistaken? Or is it that the example requires Touched by (Realm)? I thought the example was as you said: Superior bread.

As for #3, I would think that would be: of course! If you don't eat the bread regularly throughout the year, you shouldn't get the bonus. Similarly, if you don't hang out in your sanctum/lab at all for a year, you shouldn't get any Health bonus your sanctum/lab provides.

Huh? Why do you need Craft (Baker) at 12-16 to get the +2 equivalent of that medical character? Craft (Baker) 4 is sufficient (4/3, rounded up = 2). You get to add a Characteristic, two workshop bonuses, and bonuses from assistants to reach the 19 (18+1) goal. Having a Leadership score of 1 with a specialty of Bakers would provide a decent bonus for a pretty minimal investment. I'm not saying getting to 19 is trivial, but it requires a lot less investment than Craft (Baker) 12. Here's the nice part for the baker: every +3 ranks provides another +1 without needing any better assistants or a better workshop. So once you get a total bonus of +15, you are all set and needn't work on acquiring a bigger bonus ever again. It's likely you'll have +3 of that covered from your Characteristic, and if the magi are interested +3 from the workshop is absolutely trivial. You still need +9 more, but Leadership 2 or 3 with a specialty of bakers should do fine. Now you have your +Craft/3, rounded up, regardless of how high you want to go. So my starting grog-level baker with Characteristic+3, Puissant Craft:Baker, Craft: Baker (Nutritious Bread) 4, Leadership (Bakers) 3 still has plenty of points available in Characteristics, Virtues/Flaws, and Abilities and can make +3 bread straight out of character creation if your magi are willing to hire my assistants and have a good bakery built for me. And when my baker does eventually get to the lofty Craft:Baker 13, I'll be making you Excellent+6 bread.


the 1st line of excellent quality items reads that these are usually made on purpose for a specific person and the RAW seem to suggest that you need to exceed the craft level for excellent quality (level 15), and for every 3 points you exceed the craft level then you get a + 1 bonus. So it seems to read you would need an 18 for a + 2 bonus and even then each loaf would have to be crafted for each individual person. so it may be possible to get the covenant to eat +1 bread, but not + 2 bread, however a personal baker working for a king or bishop may be a possibility otherwise you could assume that the baker and assistants were making dozens a different loaf each day per covenant member.

now to get a + 6 inovation/materials bonus requires 900 labour points and six seasons and requires 15 'lost' labour points per year to maintain.


I really, really think you have misread it. Notice the sentences after that one. The idea is that an Excellent item is of extremely high quality and so is not mass-produced and sitting, waiting to be sold. Rather, they are commissioned. But, most importantly, they work for anyone.

Notice what is written under Wondrous Items. In that case the enchantment only works for a given individual. There are specific statements to this affect, and they are distinctly separate from the statements about the items being commissioned. So, I may commission wondrous horseshoes for my horse, but they will only work for that horse (not the owner who commissioned them).

First, I showed how easily you can get extra points. +1 is fairly trivial. +2 isn't that hard.

Second, you need to note what is written about materials (not so much innovation). Everything is based on accumulation of more wealth than you require for your status. (Even then the rules are actually a bit screwy; if you look at the math behind the rules carefully, the rules becomes nonsensical.) If the magi supply you with top-notch materials, then you already have Materials +3, as though you'd taken over a workshop with such things already available. You could consider this to be the magi putting excessive labor points into it if you'd like, but that's just a way of phrasing it. Regardless, getting Materials +3 should be relatively trivial for most magi intent on doing so.