Saga Spell Guidelines

Given the currently active House Rules thread and the fact that I'm ready to re-write some of the 4th ed. stuff for our own saga's use, this seems like a good time to ask:

Have any of you written additional spell guidelines for your sagas? If so, please share. Also, any advice on things to be wary of, based on your own experiences, would be appreciated.

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Well, it's not actually in play yet, but I have a list of research topics that somebody somewhere in the Order is researching that I roll on occasionally to see if any progress has been made, so that interesting experimental results might show up in Lab Texts in the latest Bonisagus Folio. One of the items on that list is

  1. Paulo ex Criamone, of the Iberian Tribunal, attempting to develop a new Intellego Herbam guideline, "Level 5: Learn all inherent magical properties of a plant or an item made from plant products." (Minor Breakthrough)

I expect if he ever manages it there will be a sudden upswing in the availability of plants of Virtue and the seeds and fruit thereof, and depending on how rapidly word spreads, there may be very polite inquiries from the Mathematici of Bologna (and/or the apothecaries who supply their Mythic Herbalists) regarding enchanted items utilizing the new guideline, which could have interesting diplomatic consequences.


Additional spell guideline as in extra guidelines that would exist in 1220, or extra guidelines that someone might invent with a breakthrough?

I don't think I have any of the former, but I do have one of the latter. It's essentially the proper integration of the same magic used in longevity rituals:

Creo Corpus 5: Grant an ageing bonus of +1. The spell must last for the majority of the year for this to have any effect.
Creo Corpus 10: Grant an ageing bonus of +2. The spell must last for the majority of the year for this to have any effect.
Creo Corpus 15: Grant an ageing bonus of +3. The spell must last for the majority of the year for this to have any effect.

And so on.

It was the output of some original research in a saga. The logic behind the balance is that it should end up being weaker and more situational than longevity rituals at the higher end, but more versatile and cheaper at the lower end.

  • For small bonuses and if enchanted into a worn item with a constant effect it causes 1 warping per year, essentially working out as a cheap and re-usable longevity ritual (because it doesn't need remade if a roll is failed). The maximum bonus you can get with this before it becomes a powerful mystical effect is +3 to aging rolls.
  • For bonuses of +4 and above that approach becomes cheaper in vis than a standard longevity ritual, but it's impossible to achieve an equivalent bonus because you have to waste levels on duration, making the effect constant etc. You also can't spend extra vis to boost your lab total. As it's enchanted into an item it can be stolen or destroyed in a way that a longevity ritual can't. Unlike the item described above it's only good if designed specifically for one person - otherwise as a constant strong effect it will inflict 5 warping per year!
  • Casting it as a ritual spell is totally impractical because you'll end up spending far more vis on yearly rituals than a single longevity ritual would take. However, this might change if combined with year+ length durations like "Until".

It ends up, in theory, complimenting rather than supplanting longevity rituals. You still need a proper ritual to get the best protection and that's what older magi will opt for. But for younger magi or those very concerned about cost or their fertility enchanted "rings of longevity" or the like tend to be used. Some older magi might have an enchanted item designed as a fall-back for if and when their longevity ritual fails while they arrange for a new one to be cast.

IMS house Mercere are the biggest fans, because they can make/buy a bunch of "give +1/2/3 to ageing" items that can be passed down through families and don't impede fertility.


Thank you both for the early input. Useful info.

@Argentius, I actually have both sorts of guidelines in mind. First, because there are some guidelines in 4th that appear for only one of the classical Four Elements (e.g. Terram, "change one property of dirt") that I feel should appear with only one word different in Aquam, Auram, and Ignem but do not. Secondly, because our saga is set in the early 21st century, there's likely been a breakthrough or three since 1220.

The only one I can think is for Creo Ignem. I've had to roughly gauge what a "melt copper or bronze" effect level would be, and I placed it at Base 30, halfway between the base 10 effect to melt lead, and the base 40 effect (phoenix or something, would have to look it up) which happens to melt steel at close range.

...halfway between 10 and 40 is 25, though.

Yes, so not quite halfway. For comparison, lead has a melting point of 327 C and steel has a melting point of 1500 depending on alloys, while copper is close to 1100 C. Bronze varies, as an alloy, but is typically slightly past 1000 C from what I could find. So the heat necessary is also slightly past halfway, although I could see a guideline go either way.

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