Severed Hand query

Hi all

The apprentice of one of the magi in our saga recently had his hand chopped off at the wrist. Ouch.

The Covenant has the boy and his freshly chopped off hand (less than an hour ago in game time) and our resident healer is casting his ‘cure all wounds’ ritual spell on him.

My question is: with it being a recent wound and with the hand in tact and close by, can this spell reattach the hand or not?

Our troupe’s opinion is divided. What do people here think?



Either rush him to the nearest medic armed with a casting tablet for The Severed Limb Made Whole (ArM5, page 129) OR keep him comfortable until you can find a magus with a more worthy version of the effect that doesn't need the original limb:

Return To Him That Which Is Lost
Creo Corpus lvl 30 ritual
Touch Momentary Individual

Causes a limb to regrow where the loss of that limb is not within the target's essential nature. The lost limb is not required to be present as the Creo magic draws its potential from the target itself. The target may require rest after the ritual and should be kept well-fed for some days after.

(base 25 +1 touch)

Give me a few pawns of vis and I'll even cast it for you.

Sorry, I should have added...

Given that there is a specific guideline for restoring a lost limb AND the example spell in the book specifically requires the limb (or hand in this case) to be present... I don't know.

I guess if you're using the base 35 effect to literally heal all wounds, then I'd say it should work with or without the hand there as it is a higher base level.

I think the spell is the full level 35 'cure all wounds' spell...

I'll wait for the troupe member to confirm it though. Oli?


Well, it depends on you defining the severed hand as a "wound", and so you can even REGROW a hand, or you saying that what is happening is that the stump is being cicatrized and you are developing a nice "" flaw :slight_smile:

Easiest solution would be to open the stump and wounding the hand as well just prior to casting the ritual, and IMO it would be reatached with the ritual. Severed limb made whole is a lower level, and you are already being smashed by warping by this ritual, so....



Personally, I feel that even the Missing Hand Flaw is cureable by ritual magic. Creo magic can make something a better example of what it is. If you take a flaw that lowers your strength from -3 to -4, Ritual magic can over come that, raise your STR to a solid 0 (counteracting the two times you took the Weak Characteristics flaw), and even raise it to +5. And it is permenant.
It isn't in the essential nature of a human to be missing a hand. A Better Example of Type has both hands. Maybe if you were born missing a hand as a birth defect, the argument that it is part of your individual essential nature might persuade me, but I would say that Creo rituals coud Improve your essential nature (rather than change it).

My understanding is that essential nature has to do with limiting the character's natural advantages and disadvantages. For example, Creo spells can improve you, but they are also constrained by your essential nature, so that you can increase a person's Intelligence to +5 with a CrMe ritual, but no higher because a human being cannot have Int +6. Likewise a character with only one hand or even no hands may still be human, but a character with three hands is not, so you can't attach an extra hand permanently. If a character has the No Hands Flaw, this represents an additional constraint on his essential nature, and he cannot restore his hands without first overcoming the Flaw (however the troupe allows him to do that-- perhaps by trading the Flaw for something else, or maybe as a reward for playing out a story arc appropriate to the character's loss). It just doesn't work for some reason. Maybe the new hand atrophies and falls off, or hangs limply at the wrist... or is a little stiff but at night takes on a mind of its own! :slight_smile:

Regarding the original post, I think it's more interesting if he needs a special spell to reattach the hand. By my interpretation, healing all wounds is different from restoring limbs.

I don't mean the hand is restored by "heal all wounds". I mean a special spell to restore the hand is needed, but should be effective.
To clarify, I think that the Missing Hand Flaw might be argued to be part of their essential nature, but only if they were actually born without it. If the back story is that it was lopped off for stealing, well, IMHO, it should be restorable. I am not talking about a low level generic spell, it needs to be a specific high level ritual. Like the rituals that allow you to increase Characteristics, they will not be accessible to starting players nor even easilly gained in study. I would place regrow the severed hand at a higher level than simply reattaching a limb. So yes, it would require a story and some effort to accomplish.
The discussion, I guess, should be what constitutes your essential nature? If your essential nature can never change, then your essential nature is to have both hands even if righty was chopped off twenty years ago. If you were born without it, then its a whole different argument

That'll teach him not to steal! :laughing:

(or at least, not to get caught - perhaps a more important lesson!) 8)

If it was part of his Essential Nature, then he has suddenly become an essentially* different person than he had been before the amputation. I'm gonna guess that's not the case. 'nuff said.
(* as in "at his very essence")

By the Guidelines, both "Restore a Lost Limb" and "Heal a Heavy Wound" are Base Level 25. That implies that those are different effects. The CrCo 40 Ritual "Incantation of the Body Made Whole" specifically states that it does not "heal such damage as missing limbs".

I would read that as not making a distinction between a long-lost limb, and a recently severed one. If the hand was "almost completely amputated", or "hanging merely by skin", then, magically, the whole is still one, and "healing" can occur. But once they are separated, that would require a different magic.

The Base 35 Effect uses the phrase "Heal all Damage" - the term "damage" here is, I'd suggest, a game mechanic (see p tables 179) - it is not a spell that perfects a body, removing old scars and such (which is a different use of "damage", in a general, casual sense, but not covered by this spell). Nor would it "Restore all Lost Limbs" - that would be a different (and unlisted) Base 35 effect.

(And, realistically, the word "healing" usually does not encompass "reattaching", not in this context.)

Hey, it's still reparable, and it'll make a great story! (And they can call you "Lefty" now!)

Re: severed hands and Essential Nature

In our saga, as long as the stump has not healed naturally, then the hand can be either reattached or regrown. Once the wound has healed, a change has been made to the substance of the person, and Hermetic magic has hitherto proved ineffective at restoration. It is therefore theorised that natural processes (such as healing, ageing, and warping) place the body under the aegis of Essential Nature. That is not to say that there aren't magi trying to prove this is not a true limit of magic. This reasoning also means that a limb destroyed by magic is always restorable, since no natural healing took place.

Generally then, in our saga, if a grog loses a hand he gains the Missing Hand Flaw (if he survives), because the magi won't waste the vis on growing it back. If a magus loses a hand, they'll tend to have it restored quickly.


So, by that interpretation, a character could "acquire" a new essential nature by way of a bad accident. In fact, any wound allowed to become a scar would become part of their EN - which means that a CrCo spell that removes scarring (for "cosmetic" purposes) could not be permanent.

Hmmm... :confused:

So, if you regrow a hand BUT you also have the missing hand available, is the old hand an AC even if it has been substituted? Makes for an interesting scene: "No master, this is the thief's hand, I swear it. You can make your hand of glory now". "Well, I just saw said thief with BOTH hands you liar!" :laughing:


Incidentally, the apprentice wasn't a thief, he was injured in a fight with one of the Covenant's turb. Long story involving an evil blanket of wiggy nastiness... :wink:


I believe it might have been a legal possibility in some areas of Europe to obtain a official writ to document that such an injury was in fact from an accident, or warfare, and not due to punishment (some sort of dismemberment). Could probably inspire a story or two.

According to Aristotlean metaphysics, the essential nature (=form) doesn't/cannot change. But then, the essential nature has no height, weight, colour, or scars. It doesn't necessarily have a defined number of hands. It just is.

These properties are acquired when form is made material (the conjoint of which is called the substance). In my thinking, the substance - which can change, because it has physical properties - is safeguarded from unnatural or supernatural change by the essential nature. However, it can still change naturally; because it is part of one's essential nature to change in a natural fashion (i.e. age, heal, warp). What nature has done, supernature cannot undo. The former trumps the latter.

There's been a discussion about this on the BerkList, so apologies to those who have already read my thoughts on this issue.

Anyway, as always, this is just my view on the matter.