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



Of course, "Legendary Creatures" might really be a Minor Focus, or it might be too large even for a Major Focus, depending on what is meant by Legendary and by Creature. How many stories must be told about a critter before it becomes legendary? If my clever but mundane cat is the talk of the town for being so very cute, is it legendary? If a very powerful supernatural being is known only to few, or if it is just "a magic wolf", is it not legendary enough? And does "creature" only mean animal, or does it include faeries, kelpies, elementals, ifrit, weird octopus-men and ornery willow trees?


There is indeed. It would not, I think: PeVi to destroy a fiery faerie should benefit, I think. It's its own thing.



My take is that right out of the gate you can have a "create animal" spell plus a few others to alter control and detect your animals. In addition with a focus you can spot some stuff that's useful. So all in all it starts out as one of the more broadly applicable foci. In the long run, when you can turn anything into an animal and an animal into nearly anything I can't think of too many many major foci that are more useful.

I think Hermetic theurgy is both enjoyable and adequately powerful provided that the character has a good supply of lab texts. Considering how valuable lab texts are to a mystery cult that does hermetic theurgy, you don't even need to come up with some other justification for whatever mystery cult your character initiated with to have such a collection.

Here's a spont that Ranulf will use

This spell touches on the issue of what the 3 dimensional shape of a target Circle spell looks like. Is it a dome? Does it look like a medicine capsule? I described this as a cylinder reaching in to the sky.


I'm not saying it's bad, just that it's not especially good, with the exception of the familiar bond rule.

Consider a Minor Focus in wolves.

I can create a wolf using CrAn, but it's as likely to attack me as my enemy without Rego too. Unless I use Range to create it right on top of my enemy, but the wolf might be startled and just run off.

There also aren't many spells out there that involve wolves, so to benefit from my focus I have to invent pretty much every single one.

At this point, sure, the focus is very useful. But the same can be said of mulberries: When I can turn anything into a mulberry, or a mulberry into nearly anything, I can't think of too many major foci that are more useful...

(Certainly carrying around a bunch of mulberries to transform into things is more convenient than carrying around a pack of wolves!)

Enjoyable, sure. Lab texts are just as (EDIT) valuable to other magi, and since the more esoteric mystery cults have very few members and since they tend to keep their secret knowledge secret, I rather disagree: For any given spell other than the pseudo-sponts, the chances of finding a normal version is much greater than a Spell Spirit version. This conversation has happened at least once on these forums, so we'll probably continue to disagree.



In regards to the usefulness of a mulberry focus. I kind of agree. I'd characterize it as mulberries being exceedingly useful, (but not so useful as wolves) rather than wolves being limited though. Were I to rewrite major versus minor foci on the basis of applicability I'd categorize any focus that concerns physical things as major and ones that do not as minor. Using the core book examples of major foci as examples; I don't believe that weather, visual images, auditory images, tactile images, taste and smell together, emotions, memories, damage, disguise, or necromancy are as broadly applicable and useful as mullberries.

Back to Ranulf again, Ranulf is now more or less set to issue his challange to the Tremere Archmaga. He'll have two years to bring in the creature or spirit that she requests. He has got plans for Olbrecht's sky drake, but the Archmaga (I should give her a name) isn't obligated to choose it. She doesn't know that Ranulf has prepped for it but she would suspect that Ranulf would have familiarized himself at least a bit with her work and that he could possibly be aware of the Drake from reading her book.

From the maga's point of view

She wants to set a difficult challange because she'd prefer not to be bested
She doesn't want to set too difficult a challenge because she does not want to seem prideful and selfish in front of the other Archmagi
She's aware of Ranulf's reputation as a magus who tries to solve every problem with fire, and who tries to bend pilum of fire into any situation using muto vim and muto ignem rather than develop alternate spells.
She suspects that Ranulf has researched her a bit

Does she send him after Olbrecht's Sky Drake or does she send him after some other beast or spirit. If so what?


Why not?

With a weather focus, aside from doing the obvious, I can transform an attacker into a nice day, or his horse into a thunderstorm. I can transform calm weather into a wolf... or a mulberry. :slight_smile:

With an emotions focus, aside from the usual manipulation of emotions, itself rather powerful (though less in AM, when overt control isn't much more difficult), I can turn a wolf into apathy (why settle for merely making the wolf apathetic?) or someone's jealousy into a snake or fireball. I can make his horse afraid or turn the horse into fear. I can make fear into a solid cloud, or a dense cloud that pools around people's feet...

My main point is that the rules allow pretty much any concentration to be coaxed, perhaps twisted, into unexpected results, which is much of the point of Ranulf! At that point, any focus is major.



I was sure Bausas had used that trick as well. Oh well.
Also, I really should finish him up!

I'm going to stick with the sky drake, that's why I wrote it up in the first place.

Ranulf will (as secretly as possible) make some arrangements with an accomplished sculptor and a skilled painter, and make deals with two magi who have apprentices to have all of them set aside time for fixing AC's and creating symbolic representations in a few months.

He and Artisano will then gather some huge smoke clouds that have been transformed into lantern flames, his armor, a hatchet, hammer and chisel, a week or more worth of food and drink at a time, and assorted other stuff and pack it into a boat made of solidified smoke. Then they'll layer on some protection spells and ride the cloud ship up into highest portions of the atmosphere in the areas where Olbrecht's sky drake has been seen before.

Ranulf will make himself, Artisano and his stuff invisible and use spontaneous magic to destroy any odors. He'll then spont up some thin cloud cover and the image of a large and loud dragon or dragon like critter in his immediate area. He'll creo Imaginem some dragon smells (previously researched by asking from his Flambeau friends who've had contact with dragons) and hope to lure the sky drake. If that doesn't work he'll try exceedingly bright lights, clouds of smoke, birds, and I suppose a few other things.

He'll zoom around on his cloud ship from place to place spending a few days in each location trying to lure the beast out. There are very few other things this high so he'd be able to attract attention from a long ways away He can move very fast if he needs to. Despite his poor perception score, his use of the Pendant of the Eagle's Vision and possibly True Sight of Air should allow him to spot the effects of the drake. The drake is likely going to loose concentration on its invisibility when (if) it attacks the illusion. If that doesn't work he may even allow his cloud boat to become visible. In any case Ranulf will attempt to catch it within a large smoke cloud altered by Resilient Smoke. He'll then magic a tunnel through the cloud with Aisle through Smoke hack off three scales with a hammer and chisel if possible, or using whatever he needs to if it isn't enough. Then he'll hack off a handful of the solid cloud that's trapping the drake, and run far far away. From a safe distance he'll intangible tunnel the cloud and Unravel the Fabric of Auram to set the drake free.

I've set aside a season for this even though it's not lab work.

He'll then have the apprentices fix the 2 of the AC's, secretly wrap the a third in the Ribbon of Arcane Preservation and slip it discretely to a sodales, set up a decoy locked up in his lab with a ceremonially cast duration ring spell to slow the decay of an arcane connection (even though it's just a decoy) and set the painter and sculptor to work giving them some creo imaginem spells as models. He expects the Tremere to act honorably but his experience won't let him go without precautions.

What did I fail to consider? What unreasonable assumptions did I make?

I'd vote for allowing it. If for no other reason than to avoid being needlessly inflexible.
I if couldn't invent those two spells in the same season and had to spend two, I'd have to come up with other spells to fill the 'free space'. And I'd end op with a magus spending more time than necessary to invent what he wants, and getting more spells than desired as a side benefit - spells that perhaps are not desired or will ever be used.

[man, I'm so far behind in this thread!]

Me too, it was thinking about the issue from the perspective of " what if a player in my game wanted to do it?" that made me decide I was ok with it.

I'm keeping posts with new spells and items to no more than one every two days. It shouldn't be too hard to catch up, and if you don't during this 15 year period, my plans for the next one are really nebulous. It will be weeks before I'm ready to dive in to 136-150 (I'll almost certainly do much of Adelbert 136-150 first, I also thought I might step up to the task of writing out the rest of Saoirsé in a clear manner but proabably not until after Ranulf unless
I'm really not feeing any that ideas I have are a good fit for him.)

Apparently there were no issues with the plan for an AC being sufficiently reasonable for an NPC. Ranulf will then spend a season creating the following lesser enchanted device:

Since this is targets the creatures mind I did not add magnitudes for size. Is that an issue (should it be)?

I think this should work if the collar can be placed on the beast while its magic resistance is down (from Revoke the Protection of Magic) magic resistance does not dispel magic.

The sky drake is a beast with the mind of an animal so I don't imagine shouting commands at it will be by itself effective even if the drake is magically compelled to obey them. Ranulf will create, employing an overtime lab schedule, a second lesser enchanted device:

The level 4 guideline is from mentem - create a thought in the mind of another. I judged that putting the thought into the creature's mind as if it understood the command was sufficient. I did not have the item keep the thought in the mind. I think that this is warranted to allow the user to command the drake I don't think that it would forget the instruction as soon as the spell ended.

Fourteen seasons done, eight not yet described , two for the longevity ritual.

As long as the creature is intelligent and has only the one mind, base individual works - when CJ ran the game online for Black Chicken games, he let them affect dragons with mentem spells.

What would make a mind so vast that it would count as increased for size? Mental characteristics off the chart? Being a vast oracle?
Now, two-headed creatures requiring a group target is perfectly reasonable.

Page 117 says

the guidelines do not discriminate between minds and bodies. It makes sense to me that the mind of even a physically vast beast is still an individual target, but I haven't found support in the rules for it.

There is a spell that explicitly supports needing to use the Size Modifier for Animal spells which cause Mentem type effects.

Edit - Also look at the ReAn 25 spell The Gentle Beast, same book/page.

That means adding 3 magnitudes for size and making it an invested device at level 48.

His lab total is
Rego 15
Animal 10
Magic Theory 10
Intelligence 2
Artisano Theory 11
Artisano Intelligence 2
Lab General quality 2
shape and material 10
Aura 3
Similar spells 5
That looks like 70 to me, he could double overtime to 76 and still not get the effect invested in two seasons after spending a season to open the item for enchantment. I'll think this over for a while.

I'm now more or less up to speed. Although, since I merely counted on lurking I can't say I've read everything in detail.

On the subject of Size modifiers for Animal spells affecting animal minds:
I don't like it!
Mentem clearly states that a mind (an intelligent one, that is) has no size. Why on earth should it be harder to affect a Size +9 "dumb" Dragon (with Cunning) than a Size +9 "smart" dragon (with Int) ? When it's as easy to affect the mind of a normal human as a Size +9 Jotun?
I simply don't like it. The what Animal affects both bodies and minds of animals makes perfect sense. Having a separate form for animal minds would be very narrow indeed.
The Animal guidelines for Intellego and Rego even refer to Mentem for additional ideas. But the wording in "Panic of the Elephant's Mouse" ruins any line of reasoning and makes it RAW in a strict interpretation. IMHO that phrasing in the spell is an afterthought, I would have liked the initial Animal explanations about Base Individual to have specified this, like Mentem specifies the spells don't use size.
I like to think of the Form of Animal as a union of two types of effects: those that affect the animal's body, and function a lot like Corpus, and those that affect the animal's mind, which function a lot like Mentem.
Also, spells affecting spirits or incorporeal beings don't use size modifiers, do they? IMHO a mind is a lot like a spirit.

How would one go about exchanging Cunning for Intelligence via Hermetic Magic?

I'm not aware of any formal guidelines for this. If using MuAn(Me) to change an animal's mind into that of an intelligent being's the change would only be permanent. Perhaps it should be a CrMe ritual then? Anyway, I'm not sure you cna do it by spell.

But when bonding with a Familiar a creature with Cunning has it converted to Intelligence, with a valua of -3 IIRC.
Intelligent animals bonded with retain their intelligence.

Exactly. So you could bond an animal as a familiar, then sever that bond (I think there's a spell in HoH: TL, noble's parma), and hope the critter retains that intelligence instead of reverting to cunning.

There is a such a spell, Cutting the Cord. Like you, I also think that in the case of cutting the bonds retention of intelligence is not a sure thing.

It's not a practical choice for Ranulf, as even if he chose to marshal the resources to pull off binding the sky drake as a familiar, (the requirement for genuine admiration or love might be especially difficult), the reward of becoming an Archmagus is not remotely close to worth the cost of severing his familiar cord with Artisano.

What I've see from the rest of you, (perhaps my personal opinion is biasing my perceptions) is that it's generally conceded that rules as written indicate that size must be taken in to account when doing animal spells even if they target only the animal's mind. It is also the general feeling that this is a bad idea in that it is a little bit of a stretch to justify.

I'm going to do what I did with wards in the Andreva thread and write up two versions, one that is rules compliant, in which I'll make the spell Command of the Lion from two pages back at a higher level so as to include a size adjustment (because that spell runs into the same problem as the Collar of Obedience) and use that spell instead of the enchanted device, and one version that uses spells and devices pretty much as I've presented them which is the version I prefer but is in conflict with rules as written.

What about using the effect Expiry rules to up the Lab Total? Ranulf is working towards a specific one time goal, rather than making a career hunting down and capturing giant creatures with Cunning.