Rustic Mage

Hello all,

I have a player that is interested in playing a Rustic mage. He has a concern with the required weak spontanious magic flaw. He figures this means his character will only be able to create items using formulaic spells. His concern is that this limits the character into making, essentially, a fixed range of items.

From my reading of the rules, I would agree with him. If he wants to have a wide range of effects that he could create, taking virtues that help with learning new formulaic spells would seem to be prudent.

Is this interpretation correct?


I agree that the rules are not clear. My interpretation - perhaps a generous one - is that the first application of Craft Magic (casting spells surreptitiously) is a variety of spellcasting, but the other two (making charged items and lesser enchantments) both use the laboratory rules (they reference those sections) rather than the spellcasting rules, so the character is not limited by his Weak Spontaneous Magic. It is true that the magus uses his Casting Total and not his Laboratory Total, but he is also making items in a fraction of the time, and they include intrinsic uses per day and penetration totals like enchantments but unlike spells.

It is a shame that none of the examples illustrate using this Virtue with Hermetic Magic.


The Rusticani are supposed to be able to put any supernatural effect they can cast themselves into devices, so that others can cast it in their stead. So, for these devices, it is as if the rustic magus is casting it for the wielder, and that's why these formulas use the character's Casting Total instead of a Lab Total. This means that unfortunately, I think your player is right that they are limited to using their formulaic spells when using this Virtue to craft items, or else their Casting Totals divided by 5 with no die roll for spontaneous effects.

They can still enchant devices, though, just like any other magus, and they get to use Design and Inscription bonuses when they do this, which is a nice perk. If they're not crafting one of their inherent powers into an object, it still takes them a whole season to do it, but at least they can invent whatever they wish. Enchanted devices are where rustic magi should really shine. Unlike Verditii, rusticani should go for quantity over quality, and I'd imagine they typically have lots and lots of magic items on them at all times. And as a storyguide, I'm thinking I'd allow a rustic magus character to use an enchanted item that he made like a spell he can cast, as far as crafting more of them goes.

Say our rustic magus makes a magic sword, with a power that sets it on fire, like the Level 15 CrIg spell. As for any magus, this takes him some vis and a season to invent it as a lesser device, since he doesn't know the spell. After that season, as he has his finished his magic sword, he can craft more charged items to do the same thing. He makes a Craft: Weaponsmith roll with a base level of 5, since activating the power doesn't normally require a die roll, and he gets a 10, which means he can make two of them. I'd guess this takes him somewhere around a month (I don't have City and Guild in front of me).

Taking other Virtues that boost his magic is always prudent, I agree. I'd certainly suggest he take a magical focus. However, I'm not sure that Virtues that specifically help with learning new spells would be as worthwhile as Virtues that boost his casting totals or help him increase his Arts and Abilities. Ultimately, he's going to want to spend his downtime crafting items more than inventing spells, I think. Interesting Supernatural Abilities (for more stuff to craft) and things that make him better at crafting are going to go a lot further, I think.

I think I understand. Since I learn best by example, I hope you will all indulge me.

Rustican Magus
Stamina: 1
Dexterity: 2
Cr:6 An:9
Craft: Weaving - 5

Example: Horse Blanket That Heals

Desired Effect: +1 on healing rolls for moon duration while blanket is worn.
Level: 5 (base 1, +3 moon, +1 touch)

a) Craft a Blanket With the Spell
The magus' casting total is 16 (6+9+1). To bolster the casting total, the magus weaves an inscription into the blanket which includes his name (+1 for wearer, +1 for caster's name). The SG, in a friendly mood, suggests that a horse blanket has a +1 shape and material bonus for spells involving horses. He also weaves pictures of bandages into the blanket, giving another +2 bonus (+4/2 since it is only an image). The total bonuses is 5, which is equal to his Craft: Weaving skill, so the full 5 applies. That gives him a casting total of 21. Which is not enough for a spontaneous spell (he would need a total of 25 for that) but is more than sufficient if he knew a formulaic spell with that effect.

b) Create a Charged Blanket
Casting total is 16 (9+6+1). With the additional bonuses described above, casting total is 21. He can create the item and it has 4 charges: 1 for the item, +3 for each 5 over the level, +1 for the extra 1.

c) Lesser Enchantment Blanket
The magus find wool that contains 2 pawns of animal vis. He weaves this into a blanket. His casting total is, again 16 + 5 for 21, which is more than double the level 5 effect. He needs but 1 pawn of vis for the blanket.

Do I have this right?

Of course.

I think that's correct. Assuming he can cast that spell with that Casting Total, he can craft it into the blanket, essentially making a single charged item. Probably takes, what, a week to weave it?

I think you would get 5 charges, because you should still get the bonuses to your Casting Total. So, 21 is one charge for meeting the effect level (5) plus four more charges, one for each 5 points or fraction thereof by which you exceed the level. Assuming it takes a week to make a blanket, this would take you five weeks.

That looks right to me. All this assumes he knows the spell, of course. If he were doing it spontaneously, he'd only be able to manage a Level 4 effect, and he couldn't get more than one charge at a time. Also remember that he still has to roll the spell casting die when crafting the effect to see if he botches, even though it doesn't add to his total.


If the effect is treated as a spontaneous if the Rustic magus does not have a formulaic spell for the effect, it seems to me that a Rustic magus produces a fairly limited range of enchanted items.

When he's doing it with Craft Magic, yes. He can only craft effects that he can produce with his Casting Total. As I said in my first post, though, if he takes a season to enchant an object like other magi, he can invent whatever effect he likes. Once he's got a pattern to base it on, meaning a formulaic spell or an invested device, he can then turn out more in a shorter amount of time.