Ranulf develops this spell to keep his flying cloud boat hidden. It can function with Spell Tethered to the Face of Diana which he just developed
And since he's inevitably going to be dealing with a very aggressive and dangerous creature he enchants the familiar bond with the following effect:
Ranulf is taking advantage of the fact that powers of the familiar bond do not warp. I'd think that this would be a very common familiar bond enchantment within the order.
This takes them 2 seasons, they could have done it in one with double overtime, or enchanted two seperate effects at one season each. But this way saves vis and avoids aging roll penalties.
Ranulf develops a fondness for immersing himself in fires, Artisano learns to enjoy the smells of human food being cooked (especially over a fire of his own design).
Eleven seasons done, assuming he spends two seasons reworking his longevity ritual this leaves 11 seasons unaccounted for.
That is brilliant. I actually am surprised I've not heard anyone mentioning this sort of thing before.
I definitely expected this answer, but also figured it's the sort of thing Ranulf might look into based on his 'recent' studies. A similar idea, what about the fiery breath expelled by an angry drake? If solidified and taken home to the lab, would that suffice? A related thought, would that fiery breath have magic resistance? (I'm guessing no, but I thought about it as 'part' of the creature it might)
You might need one more for excessive size, depending on the size of the boat. A 2-pace cube is >=16 size 0 humans, or ~2 per cubic pace. That's 500 cubic paces, which is probably ok for a small medieval ship, but not something grand.
If you get rid of the group and add 2 more activations, the effect is cheaper. Ranulf and Artisano each cast on the other.
He was constrained by his lab total and available time, I agree that another magnitude or perhaps target part would be helpful, but he'll have to make do and make cloud boats that are small enough that he can vanish them.
That doesn't work. An enchantment in the familiar bond can target the magus, the familiar, or both of them. It can't alternately target either.
I also think that it would be a shame not to take advantage of the no warping aspect of the bond. I realize that there aren't too many situations where they couldn't kick off the enchantment in a reasonable amount of time (memories wiped? unconsciousness or put into an enchanted sleep?) but they'd have to remember to do so and it might be an inconvenience.
That depends on how you judge the magical focus virtue. Page 45 says "When you cast a spell or generate a Lab Total within your focus..."
In my opinion there are lots of effects that can be enchanted into a familair bond that fall outside of the focus even if your focus is bears and you've a bear familiar. For instance, neither an effect to make the magus invisible or one to give only the magus a bonus on recovery rolls would, in my opinion, qualify.
Most anything that targets the bear would get the bonus though (I can't think of any that wouldn't).
Found it in page 105
"Foci that cover the familiar apply to the investment of all powers, no matter what they do."
What an odd rule. It's not as if a focus in a particular animal isn't already quite powerful.
A focus in Animal can be interesting, but I don't tend to see it as especially powerful (except, of course, for this aspect of it) because it isn't that convenient to use, especially right out of the gate. Although after you are done with Ignem, perhaps Animal is next? /2
I think this rule about Bond powers especially shines in conjunction with a Major Focus in Spirits and a Spirit Familiar!
(Hermetic Theurgy sucks, but it sucks less alongside MF: Spirits and Spirit (or Daimonic) Familiar and maybe a Spirit Talisman: The focus can apply to pretty much everything!)
Seeing as "Legendary Creatures" is a canonical Major Focus (HoH:MC), you could have that to bind a fantastic creature and also power the penetration of your spells to become the greatest Monster Hunter of Flambeau (PeAn) or greatest menagerie collector of Jerbiton (ReAn).
"Ghosts" is only a minor focus, and they are a subset of spirit so should work with spirit familiar for the Mentem-focussed mage.
Merinita can bind faeries, and Animae magic can create temporary faeries, so there's room for Merinita who manipulate faeries with their focus. The question here is how wide to allow your focus (HoH:MC p96 suggests the Line of Quendalon commonly have Major Magical Focus: Faerie) - would a focus in fiery faeries be a minor Ignem focus?
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?
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.
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'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.
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.)