Setting Development: Covenant and Characters

How do we now go with spell warping? I think its not finally decided yet, or?
(Also Trogdor & Silveroak might I ask you to have a look at my magus as I put some question at the last post there from me)

Do you mean how do we handle Labs with Warping? Poenitens has a magic item that preserves the lab continuously, and adds +1 Warping. I had thought that I could simply remove it from the lab when I was enchanting items, or doing Longevity/Familiar rituals, but perhaps the Warping field affects the lab after it's gone. I don't mind the warping if I'm developing spells. However, having my carefully chosen effects wrecked, and losing enchantment space in my talisman? I'm not interested in that at all.

Assuming that you do have a warping score in your lab, roll each season to see if affects your project, and if so, select an appropriate outcome. I trust that you won't abuse rules.

Is that what you mean by spell warping?

I'm talking about how we handle strong spells that have group or area targets. I quoted my 2 last postings on this below:

we're having this discussion in the "spell-creations" thread.

I saw a posting asking how we handle Warping points pre game today but can't find it any more.
From my memory the consent we got to before getting this forum was 1 warping point each year after apprentice time + the warping from what ever constant effects we have active.
In my understanding for the normal magus that only have a effect once they have to check for Twilight.
On the other side for people using divine ascension (I suspect Paulos and maybe Poenitens) the Warping Score have a permanent mostly positive effect.
So I think we should keep it at 1 warping point each year after apprentice time + the warping from what ever constant effects we have active, but for divine ascension the effects of Divine Gloom, Divine Form or Divine Unity only start once the Warp Score reach 1 this way.
(Otherwise we would have to place a random point when the character had his first ascension and then direct give the warp score of 1 then)

For Paulos I think Divine Unity is the most fitting "warping" but because it also slowly spread the wise personality to other player and NPC of our covenant I can understand if you don't like it and so I'm willing to take one of the 2 other instead if it is requested.

I remember the issue coming up, but I don't recall any resolution.

I do not recall such consent.

As I said, I'm not sure a one-size-fits-all approach is the right one. I've designed my magus to be very low on Warping points. He can't cast stressing spontaneous magic; he has Cautious Sorcerer and a decent Gold cord; he uses rotes for a lot of his casting (which can't botch); he uses a lot of magic items to avoid casting; and I've bought spell masteries for the most common regular spells he's like;y to cast (bringing botch dice down to 0). By that measure it will be very hard for Zacharias to get Warping points. To say that he would accumulate the same number of Warping points as a magus without all those advantages goes against the concept of fair play in my mind.

Based on the fact that Poenitens magic is purely hermetical, I should imagine he'd use normal Warping.

I'm generally opposed to things that change my character without my consent.

I remember the issue coming up, but I don't recall any resolution.

I do not recall such consent.
Ok then this was just a suggestion brought up by thompsja but it wasn't decided that we go with that.

I agree but how should we handle warping then pregame? Despite having Holy Music what increase the chance to go into divine ascend and comprehend it better the chance for 2 botch with normal "hermetic" magic is next to 0 thanks to cautious sorcerer and no extra botch from the Dominion.

The reason I thinking Poenitens might be using divine ascend instead of twilight is his regular contact with angels, the rings of Ars Notoria are clearly Divine magic and Ars Notoria change his magic to be more aligned with the Divine realm.

Complete agreed as it would be the same for me. So I will chose a other type of warping.

Would the combination Eastern Priest and Covefolk work for a priest paid by our covenant? I think about taking Benefice for the church where the city saint is buried and creating a priest as grog who handling the day to day buissness there.

My original idea about Warping was here: [url]] I wanted to follow the suggestions on page 32 of ArM5, which suggests that the typical magus gets 2 points of warping a year. I think it's not wholly bad, since it provides discentives to making a very old magus, but that's justifying after the fact.

By the time Poenitens is at +45 years, he can maintain the 7th Ring of Solomon and not botch. So, he'd only get one per year.

Trogdor, I agree that your build is designed to minimize Warping points. What do you think a fair number is?

But there's nothing that implies that such a thing will happen, and the rules specifically state that if you're a "hermetic" magus you get regular Warping.

I think having a priest grog would be a great idea. He could be a sort of household priest for the covenant. Yes, he technically works for the church and not for us. But he'd be tasked with our spiritual wellbeing.

But I think a benefice for the church where the city saint is buried ought to be right out. I know you're hoping to get those bonuses for invoking the saint by having his relics around. But the church that has St. Demetrieus' bones (or what is often accepted as his bones) is the Hagios Demetrios, one of the largest (maybe the hargest) of the city churches. I see Benefice as applying to a minor church with a single priest, not a basilica that no doubt has many, many priests (and probably a bishop) associated with it.

That having been said, I think having a benefice with a lesser church would be a great idea. It just wouldn't have the relics of St. Demetrius in it.

That is OK then just the church closest to our school as I need a place where my character can sing the prayers during (one of) the Sunday mass each week. Although I don't know so far if I will make use of the communion range or will influence tempers but without plausibel targets this would not possible at all.

For invoking the saint I then have to visit the Hagios Demetrios what also should have a higher dominion then a normal church. (I still think we need to invoke him in case we need his help but as he is our covenant patron and he ask us to do things for him also there will be probably a big bonus on this)

... Beside that just made me wonder how it will turn out in the long run with 2 magus be more or less direct influenced by the angel Eiael and the covenant as whole by the Saint.

FWIW, that's a terrible ability from a game standpoint. Saying you can never botch anything takes away any real chance of bad failure, making the character less interesting in my opinion. Yes, it's possible to minimize botches in some areas of the game. You can take Cautious with Ability or Ways of the (Land) to get rid of a bunch of botch dice for a given ability/abilities. Or you can do what I've done by taking a number of virtues to try and minimize (eliminate) botching in spellcasting. But to eliminate botches altogether on every roll seems a bit extreme to me.

In fact, it's such a good ability, I have to wonder why all of us haven't studied Ars Notoria.

But I digress.

I'm in a quandary here. For you at +45 it's easy. The rules say you don't botch, so you go down to 0 WP/ year from botches. Of course that's not the only source of WP. In theory you might get WP from experimentation in the lab or from nasty spells cast on you, or from spending time in a powerful Faerie Aura, or maybe something else I'm forgetting. Those will be extremely rare, so you might only get 1 WP every five or ten years. But they do exist.

For me it's a bit more complicated. I have to try and guess how many spellcasting botches I'll make in a given year, and how many other WPs I'll get elsewhere.

For the elsewhere part, I'm in the same boat as you. We ought to figure out what that number is and go with it.

As for spellcasting (the biggest normal source of warping, IMO), there are three main ways to get WPs for spellcasting: (1) botching in stressed spontaneous casting (the biggest source of spellcasting warping, IMO); (2) botching in stressed formulaic casting; and (3) botching while spending vis (like in a ritual).

As to (1), Zacharias is incapable of casting stressing spontaneous spells, so he can't accumulate WPs this way.

As to (2), Zacharias will cast most of his lesser spells as rotes (which can't botch), or use magical items for spell effects (which also can't botch). Most of the other spells he casts are flavor spells (e.g., Chamber of Spring Breezes, Cloak of Duck's Feathers, Comfort of Drenched Traveler, that he casts in non-stressed situations. The few remaining spells that he's likely to use out in the Dominion Aura in stressful situations are ones that he's learning spell mastery on. So by the time he gets a familiar (in year 8 ), he's got -6 Botch dice down to 0 for those spells. Very rarely will you get to 7 Botch dice.

As to (3), in all the time I've played ArM, I've never used vis to cast a spell outside of a ritual. And what rituals Zacharias is likely to cast with any regularity will be mastered (like Aegis). The one ritual he's likely to get that he won't master is Cheating the Reaper, which might never get cast, and even if it does, can be cast in a magic aura that will leave him with only 1 Botch die.

So, I'm left with the fact that he has very occasional use of formulaic magic that might cause a botch, and very, very occasional use of a ritual that might cause a botch. Most of his botch potential is early in his career when he hasn't got a familiar, all the spell masteries, his items, or all his rotes. I don't want to be cheesy about this, but if he got a WP from spellcasting once every other year, on average, I'd be surprised. The trick is that it's not a fixed number his entire career (as with Poenitens). It might be 1 WP/year for the first tribunal, but 1 WP/four years by the end. I'd guess that 1/2 or 1/3 would be a good estimate for that he would get, on average. If people want me to be conservative, I'd say 1 WP/two years.

I know it doesn't matter a huge amount. It might be the difference of 1 in a Warping score by the end of it. But the part of me that wants to be accurate steps in and won't shut up.

Invoked saints can do some pretty impressive things. Invoking them ought to be hard.

Its good to know that Zacharias will be able to do the Aegis so that I don't need to go in this direction. (After all Holy Magic is great with moment duration rituals but for rituals with a duration greater then sun the long term fatigue becomes problematic)

Zacharias will have a level 20 Aegis for his own residence. He will happily cast that for the covenant in general if people like. But if we want one of a higher level than that, we'll need to figure out who should be able to cast it (and get enough penetration).

Poenitens is completely designed around getting a good roll on reciting orations. The 7th Ring does represent a capstone, equivalent to finishing one of the Criamon paths that can grant eternal life. Additionally, I can't go crazy doing everything in my lab with experimentation and going for extraordinary risk, without risk of botch. That's pride, and my guardian angel will shut it down.

This is one reason I'm considering making him a NPC. He doesn't have a lot to struggle against.

On rituals:

Poenitens has a Stamina of +2, AL & Philosophae of 10, and Ars Notoria (sixth ring) will allow a +9 for a auspicious time for a ritual to be cast. With a ReVi of 27, his casting total is 48. This is at +45, and will probably be a little higher after his next round of development. Is it better to have a level 30 Aegis with +18, or level 40 with +8?

On warping:

A warping point every third year from "other" sources sounds reasonable. You get 4 warping every three years once you're under your longevity ritual. For other players whose backgrounds have been safe & sedentary I could see a reduction to 1 WP/2 years from spellcasting/combat.

I tend to think that we're better with a higher penetration. So I'd go for 30 with a +18.

Speaking of warping, this was in the Ars Magica forum: [url]] ? Does this count as a single instance or not, for the purposes of rolling for Twilight? I kind of think it's a single instance, as it's a singular action by an attacker.

I tend to agree with the interpretation that they are five individual attacks, each resolved in order.

Further research has shown me that a portion of the crypt of the Hagios Demetrios (that used to be a bathhouse) is the site of St. Demetrius' martyrdom. Based on the rules, the actual site of the martyrdom (in the crypt) should be a Dominion 8 Aura. So, if you can get access to that spot, it's the ideal place to try and invoke St. Demetrius.

Because each spell have to be rolled separately I say each spell is its own source of warping. So multicasting The Enigma’s Gift (ArM 157) count as different sources of 4 Warping points each.
To prevent loop holes I would say you can't use the Creo Vim guideline to give your self warping points and as explanation we could us for this that spells are automatic adjusted to the caster to not warp him from the power of the spell.