Ranulf from MoH now 150 years post apprentice!!!!

So for Ranulf’s last season of this 15 year period I had a few ideas, none of which really stand out to me:

My original plan (OK plan B, plan A was the selective WoMS) was a muto mentem spell that made the target speak Latin, thus allowing Ranulf to compensate for not being able to cast thoughts within babble due to his intellego deficency. This, as I wrote above probably falls afoul of the restrictions on creating memories in HoH Societates so it is a no go. I then thought about finding a way use fire to act as a translator. Ranulf already knows words with the flickering flame. If he can turn a target into a fire he can arguably speak with them. (Does anyone want to take the “no he can’t” side of that argument? I’d appreciate being alerted to arguments that I haven’t thought of.) It turns out that Ranulf already has a range personal spell to turn himself into a fire and just a few seasons ago he learned wizard’s reach corpus at level 50 so it appears he already does have a way to turn other people into fires so for certain this isn’t what he’s going to do for the last season.

Here are three not particularily exciting but sensible things for him to do here (plans D-F, plan C is later)

Ranulf could Invent a creo mentem ritual to help alleviate his atrocious perception score. Certainly he has an chanted device that casts eyes of the eagle and eyes of the hawk from projects is a non-fatiguing spont for him so despite his poor eyesight flaw he can function a bit , but getting his perception from -3 to 0 or +1 would be a sensible use of his time.

Ranulf might enchant Artisano’s bond so that he can be enveloped in a flame of ridiculous heat Atisano has immunity to fire so the damage level could be high without risking injury to the fellow(he’d want to dump his enchanted devices someplace where he could retrieve them before using it) this would certainly dissuade other creatures from physically attacking him.

Ranulf’s lab is now well over 100 years old and it is made of wood. Ranulf has had the ability to cast a range touch target room version of shadow of spring times departed (an enchantment from his talisman that is in Magi of Hermes) by ceremonial magic for the last 75 or more years, so I think that the continued existence of the lab can be explained. But even if he only casts this spell once every two or three years, Ranulf is still eventually going to botch and cause himself problems. A formulaic version could be cast with a simple die and be a safer choice.

Here is what would be more fun (plan C) but seems a little questionable to me

What I’d like to do is find a way to find regio boundaries without intellego (and probably with ignem). Yet a spell with target room that makes all regio boundaries glow or burst into flames or some such strikes me as an intellego spell rather than a muto spell, buta spell to make all animals in a room burst into flame or to color all of the people in a room blue doesn't strike me as an intellego spell. Can we draw a distinction some how then use this distinction to design a spell to indirectly detect regio boundaries?

My thought process is that a rego corpus spell with target room which causes every person in a room scream loudly would work to detect people and the spell would do it without using intellego. Is there some observable thing that a regio boundary could do that would serve to identify it? Regio boundaries don’t naturally scream but they do open and close. Could Ranulf use a target room or structure rego vim spell to open boundaries and then reliably observe the movement of something into or out of them (like smoke)? It seems speculative.

Ranulf’s Vim score is good enough that he could learn piercing the (realm) veil from lab notes and he’d be able to cast it (with stamina drain) about half of the time despite his intellego deficiency. That seems like a more reasonable approach but it isn’t nearly as fun.

I'm open to suggestions (Plan G?) or different ways to think about the intellego -not intellego question for detecting regios.

I can live with that.

Anyone else have some objection? Tugdal, do you think it is too weak like this?


I've had a few more days to think and now I'm afraid that when I manage to think of anything else that is fun to do with unnatural fires I'll have enough for another fifteen years.

Choices for what to spend his last season on could easily change into a to do list
ritual to improve perception
increase his muto vim lab total enough so that when Ranulf and Artisano reforge their bond they can get their bronze cord from 2 to 4.
learn enough intellego to invent an In(Cr)Vi(Ig) spell to make regio boundaries glow like candle flames and then invent it (or learn 3 piercing the reaml veil spells if this is impractical)
A creo ignem (Co, An) spell to make all human and animal bodies glow in order to detect invisible targets
shadow of spring times departed target room
Aegis of the hearth
A transformation effect in the familiar bond that would allow artisano to take another form.

(The salamander bathed in flame idea wasn't particularly useful it was just doable)

I thought of a spell for the last season that was both in character and questionable from a rules perspective about a week ago, but the sickness of our forum made me hesitate in posting it.

In the final season of his 120th year out of apprenticeship Ranulf borrows the services of the apprentice of one of his fellow covenant members (in exchange for reasonable compensation) to create a level 40 version of the following spell to benefit their covenant

So can a muto vim spell that dynamically alters another spell be supported by a version of "Maintain the Demanding Spell"? It doesn't run afoul of any printed rule that I'm aware of but it does cut very close to the restriction against enchanted devices being able to cast muto vim.

Also, if I wizard's boost a ritual do I need to supply more vis?

Here's a relevant quote from the errata for folks who may have not seen it or forgotten. My spell doesn't make much sense if you haven't read it.

Not having checked the relevant effect in a while:
You're just using ReVi to maintain a D: Conc spell, right? No problem in that (assuming it was originally made with the right guideline, I have no recollection about seeing it before, but it's early here, so yeah).
No restrictions on ReVi for devices that I know of.

As far as can tell, yes :frowning:

My favorite here is a trick based on the Neo-Mercurians (TMRE), who practice performance magic based on their rituals. Beautiful solution I thought.

You should note though, that MuVi on the Aegis has caused controversy before:
[url]https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/e-mail-verification/172/1] and spin-off here:
I suspect that discussion is what caused the note on Wizard's Boost in the errata

Do you have a source? I can't recall where if ever the question has ever been addressed in the books.

Thanks for these links. I think that the argument that Aegis is not hermetic enough to get muto vim'ed might be valid, but for the moment I'm going to stick to my opinion that since Buttress to the Walls of Notatus produces a final spell that is just like a spell that can be researched, this particular muto vim spell is OK. (I've been swayed by arguments several times previously in this thread It could easily happen again.)

I was quite sure it was in Wizard's Boost, but upon re-reading the spell, it isn't.
So I'd like to revise my answer to: Not as far as I can tell. Merry X-mas.

I think it was a way of differentiating it from ordinary hermetic spells, and explain why it couldn't simply be invented with alternative parameters. Not sure, but that's certainly how I read it.

Here's the +120 years character sheet:

Ranulf +120 years

Characteristics: Int +2, Per –2, Pre +1, Com +0, Str +1, Sta +5, Dex +1, Qik +1(1)

Size: 0

Age: 144 (52)

Decrepitude: 0(1)

Warping Score:
8 (34)

Confidence Score: 2 (6)

Virtues and Flaws:
The Gift ; Major Magical Focus (Unnatural Fires); Affinity (Ignem), Mastered spells, Method Caster, Puissant Ignem*, Puissant Magic Theory, Puissant Penetration, True Friend (Artisano); Deficient Technique (Intellego); Deleterious Circumstances (spells of range sight or range eye), Poor Eyesight, Miles (Houses of Hermes: Societates p 31),
*House Virtue

Personality Traits: Loyal (Artisano) +3, Brave +3, Noble +2, Pious +2, Inquisitive +1, Loquacious –1

Reputations: beneficent +2 (flambeau and societates milites), Militie +3 (order), impressively/foolishly deep repertoire of ignem spells +3 (order), Hoplite +2 (Order), Deficient in Intellego (Flambeau) +1, Not an Archmagus / Slayer of second largest giant in order's history +2
Fist: Init +1, Attack +4, Defense +4, Damage +1
Dodge: Init +1, Attack n/a, Defense +5, Damage n/a
Soak: +5 (often modified by spells and armour, excellent quality full chain protection +11, Load 6, the load of the armor is also frequently adjusted by magic)
Fatigue Levels: OK, 0, –1, –3, –5, Unconscious
Wound Penalties: –1 (1-5), –3 (6-10), –5 (11-15), Incapacitated (16-20), Dead (21+)

Abilities: Artes Liberales 4 (Ceremonial Casting), Athletics 2 (running), Awareness 1 (searching), Brawl 3 (dodge), Carouse 1 (staying sober), Guile 1 (lying to strangers), Code of Hermes 2 (Wizard’s marches), Concentration 6 (spells), Dead Language – Ancient Greek 2 (hermetic usage), Dead Language – Latin 5 (hermetic usage), Faerie Lore 1 (giants), Finesse 6 (ignem), Infernal Lore 1(corrupted beasts), Leadership 2 (grogs), Living Language - Aramaic (travel) 2, Living Language -Castillian 5 (merchants), Magic Lore 1 (giants) , Magic Theory 8 +2 (1) (inventing spells), Organization Lore – Order of Hermes 1 (personalities), Parma Magica 7 (corpus), Penetration 6 +2 (ignem), Philosophae 3 (ritual magic), Profession – Candle Maker 2 (speed), Stealth 2 (hide), Teaching 2 (apprentices)

Arts: Cr 16, In 10, Mu 20, Pe 15, Re 15; An 10, Aq 5, Au 5, Co 14, He 10, Ig 32+3 (9), Im 5, Me 5, Te 10, Vi 25

Twilight Scars: Fires in the near vicinity of Ranulf move directly away from him as if a slight breeze were coming from him. Smoke is not affected by this. In a cold environment Ranulf's breath turns to wood smoke rather than mist.

Equipment: Chest of the Ember Seed, Pendant of Patient Incantations, Hands of the Tiny Lizard, Pendant of the Eagle's Vision, Ribbon of Arcane Preservation, School of the Founder's Advocate, Talisman of Ranulf

Encumbrance: 0 (0)

A Finer Cut of Meat (MuAn 10/35)
Doublet of Impenetrable Silk (MuAn 15/35)
Hide of Wax (MuAn 20/+41 A)
Commanding the Harnessed Beast (ReAn 30/30)
Gentle Caress of Asclepus (CrCo 30/35)
Skin of Wax (MuCo 20/+47 M,A) Mastery 2 (Ceremonial casting, Penetration)
Cloak of Black Feathers (MuCo(An) 30/35)
Shape of the Aquatic Predator (MuCo(An) 30/35)
Touch of the Bears’ Fortitude (MuCo 30/39)
Assumption of the Fiery Mantle (MuCo(Ig) 35/+65 F A)
Coat of Prometheus (CrIg 5/+56)
Flash of the Scarlet Flames (CrIg 15/+56)
Mien of Helios (CrIg 15/+56)
Fasting Hearth (CrIg 20/+78 F A)
Pillum of Fire (CrIg 20/+84 F M A) Mastery 6 (Fast Casting, Magic Resistacne, Multi Casting, Penetration, imperturbable casting, Finesse)
Self Immolation (CrIg 30/+78 F A)
Stockade of Infernos (CrIg 40/+78 F A)
Conflagrative Servant (Cr (Mu,Re) Ig 40/+76 F A)
Parliament of Fiery Raptors (Cr(Re)Ig 45/+76 F A)
Tales of the Ashes (InIg 5/+38 D F A)
Eyes of the Flame (InIg 35/+39 D F A) Mastery 1 (Stalwart casting)
Words of the Flickering Flame (InIg 35/+38 D F A)
Enduring Flame (MuIg 10/+86 F A)
Boreal Flames (Mu(Pe)Ig 15/+76 F A)
Flames of Stone (MuIg 30/+86 F A)
Petite Phoenix (Mu(Re) Ig 30/+76 F A)
Cunning Flames (MuIg(An)30/+51 F A)
Removal of Conflagrations (PeIg 45/61 A)
Discriminating Flames (ReIg 25/+76 F A)
Ward against Heat and flames (ReIg 25/+61 A)
Carpenter of flames (ReIg 30/+77 F A) Mastery 1 (Precision)
Parade Ground of Conflagrations (ReIg 30/+76 F A)
Ward Against Immolation (ReIg 35/+61 A)
Unified Flame (ReIg 35/+76 F A)
Flames that Leap Leagues (ReIg 40/+76 F A)
Flames that Leap Across the Earth (ReIg 45/+76 F A)
Discriminating Inferno (Re Ig 50/+76 F A)
Veil of Invisibility (PeIm 20/+25)
Transformation of Fire (MuTe(IgHe) 40/+51 F A)
Transformation of Fiery Steel (MuTe(Ig,He) 40/+51 F A)
Consummate Transformation of Fire (MuTe(Ig,He,An) 40/+52 F A) Mastery 1 (fast casting)
Enigma's Gift (CrVi 30/+47) Mastery 1 (defense)
Restore the Faded Threads (CrVi 30/+46)
Scales of the Magical Weight (InVi 5/+21 D A)
Sense the Nature of Vis (InVi 5/+21 D A)
Wizard’s Expansion Ignem (MuVi 25/+50)
Group Wizard’s Boost Ignem (MuVi 30/+50)
Touch Group Wizard's Reach Ignem (MuVi 30/+50)
Wizard’s Boost Ignem (MuVi 30/+50)
Wizard’s Communion (MuVi 30/+50)
Wizard’s Reach Ignem (MuVi 30/+50)
All Beasts are made from Plants (MuVi 35/+50)
Wizard’s Boost Vim (MuVi 35/+50)
Buttress to the Walls of Notatus (MuVi 40/+50)
Wizard's Endurance Ignem (MuVi 40/+50)
Wizard’s Reach Ignem (MuVi 40/+50)
Two Flights of Pilla (MuVi 45/+50)
Myriad of Flaming Pilla (MuVi 50/+50)
Wizard’s Reach Corpus (MuVi 50/+50)
Sap the Griffons Strength (PeVi 10/+49 A)
Dreadful Bane of the Fae (PeVi 15/+52 A)
Demon's Eternal Oblivion (PeVi 15/+49A)
Sap the Griffin's Strength (PeVi 20/+49 A)
Snuffing the Spell's Flame (PeVi 40/+50 A) Mastery 1 (magic resistance)
Unraveling the Fabric of Terram (PeVi 40/+49 A)
Wind of Mundane Silence (PeVi 40/+49 A)
Unraveling the Fabric of Ignem (PeVi 45/+49 A)
The Patient Spell (ReVi 20/+45)
Maintain the Demanding Spell (ReVi 30/+45)
Opening the Intangible Tunnel (ReVi 40/+46) Mastery 1 (magic resistance)
F includes Magical Focus
M includes Spell Mastery
D includes deficient technique
A includes attunement of talisman
note that casting totals do not include the +3 bonus from method caster

six pawns creo transferred into shiny rocks, six pawns ignem as ashes carried in a pouch on belt, the ashes become hot to the touch at sunset every day,6 pawns of muto in the form of dried flowers. I realized when later books came out that the vis entry was about how much vis you could pull out of the corpse of a magical/faerie/etc creature, it wasn't about how much vis a character carried around with them. Whoops.

Ranulf’s eyes are held in a near perpetual squint as he closely examines the world with his inadequate sight. Ranulf’s face is reddened and the short hair around his face is bleached from long exposure to hot fires at close range. Ranulf is of ordinary stature and build ,Ranulf by the age of 114 has exchanged his thick clothing in favor of robes and furs resembling a sort of hybrid between the traditional garments of magi and the styles of nobility. Ranulf is almost never separated from his Talisman − a walking stick sized staff quite unsuitable for use as a weapon.

Personality traits from the familiar bond:
Ranulf will typically heat any chair or other object he intends to sit on with a spontaneous CrIg spell or Coat of Prometheus before actually sitting.
Ranulf feels a compulsion to make fires in his vicinity more beautiful according to an Aesthetic that he shares with Artisano. He’ll often shift logs around and move coals (relying on quick movement and his form bonus to prevent himself from burning his hands or using non-fatiguing spontaneous Rego Herbam and Rego Ignem to do the job) while debating with his familiar the proper amount of crackle degree of smoke and light that is appropriate for their surroundings and activities.
Ranulf has developed a habit of nearly always using flourishes (HoH: Societates p.60) to make his spells more pleasing to his tastes.

Looking at the above I'm more comfortable with 30 xp per year for this 15 year period. Even considering that I'm adding no xp from exposure (which would be 32 xp) I think that the xp awards are in accordance to what he'd get from spending a deal of time going on a pilgrimage and reading vain tractati.

Here's Artisano

A month or four back it came up that we don't really have good examples of old magi (more than 120 years past apprenticeship)written up. Someone pointed out two to me in the Atlas Supplements one was from Through the Aegis and I don't recall the other. In both cases the magi were pretty weird and they were apparently made using the guideline of 30 levels of spells/enchantments per year which in my experience isn't a good representation of magi ever save by sheer coincidence (not even young magi -just try and recreate the 15 years post apprenticeship version of Alexander of Jerbiton, using the lab rules.)

But I'd put in a good deal of work on two magi who were close to that age already.

I spent a few minutes this afternoon and put some ideas to paper, is there any interest in seeing the 121-135 year period for Ranulf (and Adelbert https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/size-0-to-2/349/1)?

This is actually amazing. Is it okay if I steal Ranulf for my saga? I assume as much, but he's got a lot of work in on him. Could just be showing off!

Here are the spells from the thread all in one place to make him easier to use

The following spells are not spells that Ranulf knows but they came up as likely sponts for him

Looking over the old spells again I see that I'm a bit more conscientious with my formats than I was a few years ago.

I also think that All Beasts are made from Plants is pretty significant and never got a lot of reaction

I put this up specifically so other people could use it. However the first 60 years of this character are in the Magi of Hermes without that book you'll be missing half the material.

If someone has a real issue with raising an ancient thread back from the dead they should speak up quickly.

An updated list of Ranulf's enchanted devices I mostly copied from the 105 years out list. I updated pila of unmatched heat on his talisman and I added hands of the tiny lizard

Chest of the Ember Seed, see Magi of Hermes p.114 ,

Ribbon of Arcane Preservation, see Magi of Hermes p.113,

Casting Tablet (or not depending upon your take with regards to casting tablets and creo corpus boosting rituals, it’s here because that’s what it would be reasonable for Ranulf to do , not because it’s important to his story) :

Laboratory: Ranulf’s laboratory is described in see Magi of Hermes p. 114. It has the following qualities:
Highly organized
Excessive Heat
Excessive light
Lesser focus: Ignem
enchanted device : (+5 Ignem bonus)
Minor feature (balcony)
lesser focus (balcony)
Precious Ingredients
Superior equipment

These qualities give the lab the following characteristics
General quality +2
Upkeep +4
Aesthetics +1

Spells +3
Vis extraction +1
Ignem +7
Imaginem +2

It has the following enchantments
Eyes of the Acolyte see Magi of Hermes p. 114
Laboratory that has learned from experience see Magi of Hermes p. 114
Façade of Pentecost see Magi of Hermes p. 114

School of The Founder's Advocate
This invested device takes the form of a silver ring inlaid with a ring of polished hornbeam. It was opened with seven pawns of vis and the enchantment capacity of the item has been filled by the two effects Anticipation of Incineration and Unraveling the Fabric of Ignem.
This device was created by a Ranulf and a fellow school of the Founder flambeau socitates Milites. Because it was well known that both of magi favored ignem magic, they worried that anyone who had advance warning of them might very well protect themselves with rego ignem wards against fire spells.
As is usually the case with such devices, the wearer must suppress their parma magica as they place the ring on their finger in order to allow the Anticipation of Incineration to target them. The ring functions only while the wearer keeps it on his or her finger. Anticipation of incineration only functions once per day, so if the wearer takes the ring off, it will not work again until the next sunrise or sunset.

Talisman of Ranulf
A description of Ranulf’s Talisman is in Magi of Hermes p 115

At 120 years out of apprenticeship Ranulf’s talisman has been opened with 52 pawns of vis. 49 of these pawns have been filled. It has the following attunements
Bonus Subject
4 Affect dead wood
3 Affect living wood
4 Control things at a distance,
4 Destroy things at a distance,
3 Divination,
6 Fire related effects,
7 Harm or repel faeries
4 Leadership in war
3 Project bolt or missile
2 Repel things,
1 Terram
4 Wards

The Talisman has the following enchantments in it:
Topiary of Flames see Magi of Hermes p. 115
Flames of Stone see Magi of Hermes p. 115
Shadow of Spring times Departed see Magi of Hermes p. 115
Surfeit of Fuel see Magi of Hermes p. 115
Shriek of the Impending Staves see Magi of Hermes p. 115
Defense of the Roaring Furnace see Magi of Hermes p. 115

Hi, just popped in to say that this is great! Immediately useful as a NPC, and even better as an exercise in exploring a theme and discussing Ars Magica guidelines.

Three questions if you don't mind:
Ranulf has a lot of MuVi spells! :open_mouth: A lot! What is the consensus, do you know, on casting more than one MuVi spell modifying another spell? Say augment range, effect, and Duration? MuVi(Vim) spells on MuVi modifying another effect?

Without Careful with Ability: Concentration, plus a lot of combat spells and MuVi to modify them isn't Ranulf bound to botch spell casting in actual combat with some worrying frequency? Even Pilum of Flames with Mastery 6 and his Gold Cord, if it's MuVi'ed? Don't know if this was a deliberate decision.

Pendant of Patient Incantations: I am surprised at an item that generates any effect that can be fast cast. I missed any discussion regarding this, can you explain your reasoning behind being able to do so?

Thank you!

This was, cleared up in the description of wizard's expansion (not co-incidentally, in the Ranulf chapter of Magi of Hermes).

The intent was that if one has multiple muto vim spells acting on a single target spell that the levels of the muto vim spells need to be such so that if they were done sequentially (which they aren't and couldn't be) the spells would need to accommodate the "modified level" from the previous muto vim spells.

Wow, it seemed so intuitive, I've never written it all out before in a general case.

If he uses muto vim spells in combat he does run a higher risk of botching. I agree with you that this is a risk that Ranulf takes with his magic. Perhaps my imagination is biased, but when I think about really flubbing up on concentration roll my imagination doesn't come up with particularly nasty effects when compared to botching a casting roll. Also, if I recall correctly, imperturbable casting mastery gives some benefit to concentration rolls. With a gold cord of three, he's no worse with four botch dice than he is with the standard one botch die. What proportion of situations really call for more than four botch dice.

Also I consciously had in mind and didn't shy from doing stuff that pointed out that Ars Magica NPC's don't experience violence with a fraction of the frequency of D&D PC's or even most Ars Magica PC's.

That was too long, I probably should have just said "yes" and left it.

We're looking back lots of years at this point. Seeing it again I am rather surprised that there wasn't more of a discussion. I remember that at the time I was kind of uneasy regarding the targeting abilities of the pendant rather than the timeing.

Here's justification for it. I'm writing it for the first time right now at the breakfast table and I would love someone to clearly (but kindly) point out its flaws.

When pendant of paitient incantations releases a spell, it is not performing a magical act - it is stopping the magical act It is litterally dropping concentration. A character can drop concentration on any number of effects at once without taking any time at all. It's hard as heck to get off two fast cast spells in a round, yet easy as can be to drop concentration on four. It therefore seems reasonable that releasing spells held by the Pendant of Patient Incantations should be at least as fast as a fast cast spell.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

I for one appreciate the thought process being spelled out. As far as concentration botches: Accidentally drop concentration on other concentrated spells; Become very distracted by something during that spell casting and be unable to 'concentrate' more than one spell (or any spells!) for a minute ("Muto Vi-I can't believe he called my mother that- er, Vim!") if you're feeling nasty, you could easily make a concentration botch translate into botching the spell being cast at the same time - just like breaking a circle in the middle of a Ring/Circle ritual cast.

I'm starting off with this spell and I think it's worth evaluating carefully. So I'm not going to even calculate a lab total and decide on activities until I'm comfortable with it.

Firstly, does a disembodied spirit even have a shape to illuminate?

Secondly, I envisiioned this spell just altering the properties of the fire's light, detecting spirits in a manner analogous to how a shower of whipped cream might detect an invisible person. I envision it as Ranaulf specifically finding a way around his intellego deficiency. But is that right? does it need an intellego requisite anyway?

Does it need to be realm specific?

After an excellent discussion over here: https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/detecting-spirits-without-intellego/11973/31

This is the revised spell

At this point Ranulf's MuIg(Vi) lab total is 101, which means he can invent both Illumination of the immaterial form [magic] and a second twenty-fifth level spell that uses the same lab total. So he'll do this one as well.

Thsi is just a bit less effective than demon's eternal oblivion and it's also so fitting for Ranulf's style, it expands the capabilities of school of the founder specialists and it synergyses with many of his other spells. I like it, but if see an issue with it please tell me. I'd rather be right than happy with something flawed.