There are guidelines for creating CrCo rituals to deal with various Aging Crises. But how common are these spells?
I don't recall seeing them in any published Magi's spell lists, or Covenant's libraries.
Are the formulae readily traded, and every Covenant library has a few examples, or are they jealously guarded by Healing specialists?
One of the Players in my Saga has asked the question whether they can trade for such a Ritual to use on their elderly, going decrepit patron Maga, and I was hoping for advice in order to try and work out how much they might have to trade for such Ritual formulae.
It almost sounds like this is an example of a spell that a mage invents and uses once, then uses the lab notes as a bonus to invent a stronger ritual. Could even be a candidate for a Casting Tablet (though one can imagine the horrors if there was a botched casting).
generally in my longer running sagas and meta-sagas mages have developed such spells to improve the lifespans of their favored grogs, or if they are rich enough in vis to keep the morale of the covenant as a whole. However it is far more common (especially if vis is scarce) to develop non-ritual spells which simply provide a bonus to an aging crisis...
Since the spell you want is actually in the book, (Cheating the Reaper is a CrCo 30 ritual that resolves a major aging crisis), that would be “common” in my game and you could buy a copy for a couple of pawns. This is based on the fact that lab texts, once translated, can be copied by scribes who aren’t trained in Magic Theory, so covenants can make copies and have them on hand to sell. If you wanted a more powerful version, however, you’d have to negotiate with a magus to research it for you, probably costing you about 1 pawn per magnitude.
In Through the Aegis, the example Summer and Autumn covenants both have Cheating the Reaper in their libraries. The Winter covenant doesn't, but does have five longevity rituals of its members written up in the library.
I think you'll find most well-established covenants have such spells, but spring covenants generally don't waste time or resources on things they're not planning to use soon. They can always trade for them, or an opportunity to copy them, later.
My magus in Thebes has two Aging Crisis spells known; He's a healer-type with a focus on aging, so it wasn't hard to make them. He'd be happy to trade copies away, or to let someone make copies for a token fee.
The spells aren't that common for a very good reason, they're almost useless for magi, given that the Longevity Ritual assures they survive the Crisis (burning out in the process). Why spend CrCo vis to mitigate the recovery period when you're going to need that CrCo vis to make your next Longevity Ritual?
That and not really being able to cast them on yourself (because you're in a Crisis) really leaves them to the realm of a handful of specialists (preferably Mercurians). Now, of course it can be very useful for saving valuable grogs/companions from unfortunate aging rolls, but I can't see a lot of magi lining up to learn and master these spells.
I generally agree with all of the points as to why they're not useful; The only really strong use is if you have a valuable companion or grog who hasn't been given a Longevity Ritual who has a sudden, unexpected terrible aging roll that causes an explosive crisis, and you don't have medical aid on hand. The useful situations are... rare. That said, my magus, a healer who specializes in aging and aging rituals, decided it was an embarassment not to be able to solve aging crises in case they occurred and he wanted to fix that. He has a moderate aging crisis ritual, and a terminal aging crisis ritual.
Perfectly valid thinking; you magus was a aging specialist and thus the perfect character to have such spells.
Sure, but you're not learning them yourself because being incapacitated by the crisis pretty much precludes ritual casting - the lowest levels of crisis have you bedridden. And the required level to cover worst case crisis rolls goes up every decade, so CrCo20 (really 25 b/c Touch range) from ages 35-40, then +5 levels every subsequent decade. So the low level ones won't cover your odds for very long. You could learn it yourself and write a casting tablet for it, but I think I'd start at level 30 (which will cover you until the age of 50) at a bare minimum and given the effort (3 seasons to learn, master and make casting tablet) I'd try for 35 or 40 if at all possible.
Could you put this spell into a Watching Ward? I think it's possible, though it's a lot more vis and that much specialization is probably beyond magi young enough to use it like this.
you can a) hire another magus (specialist) to cast for you in case of a crisis or b) create a casting tablet if you have to do the research yourself. You can also "bottle" the ritual to be used when required...
General ReVi guideline "create a container for spells..." enchant an item to contain a spell until released of the required magnitude, then perform the ritual and contain it in the enchanted item until needed.
You need all the Ritual healing Spells invented first for Medium and Heavy wounds. Then re attach limbs and full body healing, then Train an apprentice then Potentially healing poison damage and aging crisis. That's the order I planned in, But then I started at 21, so have time to wait and skill up.