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

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.

I actually think that this is probably the cleanest way to handle it; the rules as written, and your personal 'reasonable houserule' preference. I believe the justification on why animals have size for it is because you cannot just control the animal's 'mind', since it's just a part of the animal, whereas humans have a separation of mind, body, and spirit. Controlling an animal's mind is the exact same as full-body puppeting against their will. You might be able to get away with Target: Part to only control it's mind and avoid some size restrictions.

That would work. I typically stay away from effect expiry. I think that it is too powerful and tends to have characters sidestep stories rather than engage them. Doing what would otherwise be ten seasons worth of work in a single season combined with bonuses from the lab schedule rules tends to allow any magus to make a significant item in any art combination. That's a dynamic that I don't enjoy. Yet they certainly are rules as written and as long as I'm writing two versions of effects, one rules as I think they should be and one rules as written, there's no reason not to use them in the second.

So for the rules as I wish them to be version Ranulf will spend his time as above, spending one season on Command of the Lion and one on the Collar of Obedience. In the Rules as written version, Ranulf does not invent Command of the Lion he spends one season opening a collar for enchantment and one season enchanting a single effect in it:

Without Command of the Lion to use for a similar spells bonus his rego animal lab score is 65, so he beats the effect level by 16. If his enchantment is designed to expire in seven years (*5 speed multiplier) he can create it in a single season.

With the "rules as written" version he can not use his fixed Arcane connection to call the beast to him using Rego Animal but he could use the connection to open an intangible tunnel, then Revoke the protection of Magic to remove the creature's MR, then even with his intellego deficiency he'd be able to spont a range touch duration momentary "where is this creature?" spell at level 4 and fly back up on a cloud boat and capture it a second time. He'd then slap on the collar and activate it.

With the "Mentem equivalent Animal spells do not need to take in to account the target creature's size" version. Ranulf uses his fixed arcane connection to cast Command of the Lion on the Sky Drake and have it land near his covenant and obligingly allow the Collar of Obedience to be placed upon it.

In either case he'd then present Obrect's sky drake to the Tremere Arch Maga. Giving her use use of the Scepter of Beastial Communication, the Collar of Obedience, and Olbrecht's Sky Drake itself to use for at least a year. He'd like the two enchanted devices back eventually, but he'd provide one of the fixed arcane connections along with the symbolic representation that he likes better (let's say the painting) to the arch maga as a gift for her to keep (the other fixed AC and the sculpture he keeps for himself).

To some extent the devices that he gives the arch maga to control the drake are irrelevant. I realize now that I've set up the character as someone who is an arch maga, whose primary field of study is magical spirits and creatures, and who now has a fixed arcane connection and a sympathetic connection to the sky drake. I think it rather unlikely that she needs Ranulf's enchanted devices at all. In his future years Ranulf would, if he had the time, always send the Arch maga a letter by redcap if he intended to use the drake for any reason. He'd do this to make certain that he was not interfering with her use of the beast, it doesn't matter how powerful you are, it doesn't make sense to upset an arch maga.

Do you think Ranulf would be a more interesting NPC if his plan works and he's an archmagus, or would he be better if something goes awry and he's not?


The former, if the challenge and response are worthy, since NPCs of this kind are most useful as exemplars, and a magus who lives long enough should become an archmagus: This would provide an example of what it might take.



It's a bit wierd yes.
I tend to justify it to myself by explaining that animals have no true mind (just as they have no souls), there really is only their bodies!

Here are a few other spells that Ranulf would have researched if they weren't the sort of thing that he can easily spont at this point in his life.

He could do this at duration diameter or range personal as a level 5 non-fatiguing spont.

This is sort of nerfed from a simple interpretation of the guidelines but I toned it down to be compatible with Air's Ghostly Form.

Well, it's an explanation. But I don't like it - it's post-rationalizing something that may or may not have been deliberately written (e.e the bit about Panic of the Elephant's Mouse and the size modifier). Even if an animal has no soul, I see no reason to assuem it has no mind separate from the body, because the Form of Animal covers both body and mind under one.

With specific reference to an animal's mind IMHO mind-controlling Animal spells should be very similar to Mentem spells. I accept any differences there may be in the respective guidelines, I have not analyzed and compared them. But the need for Size modifiers for mind-controlling Animal spells seems wrong to me. Preciously few mind-controlling Animal spells include Size modifiers, the only one I found was "Mastering the Unruly Beast" and only "Panic of the Elephant's Mouse" actually mentions what can be affected in the text description. "Soothe the Ferocious Bear" won't actually affect a bear - if you insist on using Size modifiers for minds - but the description fails to mention this.
I think it's just mistakes in the Animal spell designs, and it requires little work to fix it.

And these are very important to remember. When designing and developing older magi, you'll come across these (just as you would during play) and think: "Well, this is useful - but not something I'd waste time in a lab doing, since I can pull if off easily enough".
But these kinds of effects are important too, useful for younger magi to actually want to learn or invent as formulaic magic.

Two seasons for the following spell, one with the assistance of Artisano and one without.

Ranulf has the arts to pull this off with a terram requisite as well, the smoke becomes solid smoke, not human flesh. But I thought that the human body style movement and shape was more appropriate for a corpus requisite rather than a terram one. Yet earlier in the thread I was talked in to a terram requisite for solid smoke. Is corpus really the better choice here? Should he use both?

Sixteen seasons done, six seasons not yet described, 2 set aside for a longevity ritual.

Two seasons for the following spell.

The base of 5 is from Muto Auram (a combination of two elements), but the spell doesn't involve changing anyting. We've discussed before that creo can create unnatural things. Does it need muto?

Then to finish off:
One season for Wizard's Boost Ignem at level 40 and Wizard's Expansion Ignem at 50 (he learned these spells when he was younger at a lower level).
One season Wizard's Boost Auram and Wizard's Endurance Auram both at 45
One Season for Flames Impervious to Faerie and One season for Flames impervious to Magic both at level 40 (these would be the Faeire and Magic analogs to Infernally Impervious Flames back on page 25). Both seasons without Artisano's help.
Two seasons dealing with a longevity ritual

And that's all of the labwork for the 121-135 period.