Some Goetic issues

I was reviewing the rules for Ars Goetia, and there are some points that puzzle me. In some cases, I think I may have concocted an answer, in some I'm truly baffled, but I wanted to tap the forum's collective wisdom.

A) If the sorcerer Binds a spirit to oneself or another person, how can the binding be dissolved, short of bodily destruction ?

B) If a goetic magus Binds a spirit to onself, what happens to his MR ? I assume it works just like immortal magi, he can use either the spirit's MR, or Parma + Form bonus, but not both.

C) If a goetic magus Binds or Commands a magical or faerie spirit, how does its Might registers to magical or faerie detection ? Like the power (Infernal) or like the spirit ? I would say like the spirit, although power traces themselves are Infernal.

D) A magus that has (Spirit) Summoning can have a spirit Familiar. Does this bestow the Cord benefits given by the (Theurgic) Spirit Familiar Virtue or not ?

E) Luckily for the goetic magus, the Goetic Arts are the only non-Hermetic magic that is automatically integrated in Hermetic magic (a non-trivial reward for all the Infernal taint), so he can always substitute Rego for the Goetic Art score and Vim for the (Realm) Lore score in the Goetic Arts' totals. Does this include substituing Vim for the Area Lore score in the scouring total ? I would say yes.

F) If the goetic magus only owns (Spirit) SUmmoning, but not Commanding, what kind of services can he bargain for ? I would say the services provided by Commanding, but he has to provide an appropriate compense to the spirit.

These are all excellent questions in the sense that a) they are important points b) to which there is no obvious answer. My opinion is the following.

Other magic that banishes the spirit or dispels the binding, but that's it as far as I can tell.

I agree, there's quite a bit of evidence from all source books that MR from different sources is not cumulative except for a few, explicit examples.

I agree. One detects the spirit according to its realm, and the Binding or Commanding as Infernal. Just like an Hermetic Rego spell on a Fae will be detected as Magic on top of a Faerie creature.

I would say no, those benefits are specific to that Virtue. Again, this is just an opinion.

I would say no; you can see how Vim encompasses the understanding of supernatural creatures (like e.g. Herbam encompasses understanding of plants). Area Lore in Scouring represents a magus' understanding of his environs - including those "hot spots" where he is more likely to find spirits of a certain type.

This is a tricky question, because Commanding appears to allow a spirit to perform services which it could not of its own (e.g. Aid me! or Heal me!). In this regard the name "Commanding" is slightly misleading, in that it's not just about commanding. So I think that if you bargain with a spirit you do not gain the full range of options available through Commanding, but only what the spirit could do "on its own".

Ablating the sprirt perhaps? RoP:I pg 115

You are correct RoP:I pg 117 2nd column

Isn't that Hermatic Sorcery Virtue? RoP:I pg 85

No, Hermetic Sorcery gives you bonus Rego and Vim exps when studying Goetic Arts or Realm Lores. The substitution of Rego the Vim for the normal summoning totals is automatic for a hermetic goetist.

Ablation for sorcerers, ReVi for hermetic mages ? Which target level ? This is a point that really needs some clarification.

Yes, this is reasonable, with the advantage that in the case of Binding, the enviromental traces of the casting shall eventually fade, and remain where the power was used in the meanwhile, while leaving the spirit safely bound long-term within the goetic magus' MR.

This seems a reasonable ruling.

Yes, but the sorcerer does not get to add (Realm) Lore to the scouring total because he does not have any ultimate control on what kind of spriit shall show up (although it can make reasonable guesses according to the nature of the Area, hence the use of Area Lore), so it cannot know which Lore to use in advance. On the other hand, Vim does encompass all Realms equally, so it works equally well in all locations and with all spirits, no matter their Realm, and ought to be used.

This seems a nifty ruling, in order to make Spirit Summoning worthwhile even in the case the other Goetic Arts are not owned or used.

Very much true. Hermetic Sorcery is nothing more than the rough equivalent of Elemental Magic for the hermetic goetist.

One related issue: if a magus starts using a standard Longevity ritual, then develops Goetic Arts and Binds a magical/faerie spirit when the ritual expires (the only use of Binding that I would deem reasonably safe from Quaesitorial investigation, the others are too risky, traces of Commanding spirits and Chthonic spells eventually fade, unless you are so foolish to use Chthonic boosting on long-lasting spells, but the Bound object stays around to ooze Infernal taint pretty much forever), does the mage recovers his/her fertility or not ? In other words, is the sterility induced by a Longevity ritual permanent and irreversible, or only something that lasts as long as the LR is active ?

IMO it's irreversible and permanent.

Why do you deem so ?

We take the sentence "the magus becomes permanently sterile" to mean that sterility remains even after the longevity ritual fails: otherwise we would have expected something like "the magus is sterile for the duration of the longevity ritual". The phrasing could be clearer, though.

In such a case, what could the mage do, to recover his/her fertility ? If sterility was a Flaw (i.e. acquired part of essential nature), an Initiation would be needed. Since it is not so, a CrCo momentary ritual should work. Which magnitude ? Twenty, like "restoring the debilitating after-effects of posion, disease, or injury" or 25, like "restoring a lost limb" ?

I would consider that reasonable.

You can't stop "using" the Longevity Ritual. It may stop working, but it's still in the background, able to work again with some vis. If you wanted to be fertile again, you need to figure out a way to get rid of the "anchor" the Longevity Ritual creates.

But, is the "anchor" still there, after the ritual fails ? I am under the impression that it vanishes when the LR fails, and a new dose of the old ritual just recreates it. The reason why it is possible to recreate the old ritual immediately if you have the vis is because you are using the same old formula, not because a dormant anchor is lingering in the magus' body.

The wording seem pretty clear. It takes a season to create the anchor and a focus "ritual". Then if you fail an aging roll, you need to redo the focus, which only costs vis and a few hours at best. Nothing in canon about redoing the anchor, so I think, in canon, the only way to get rid of an anchor is to make a new Longevity ritual, which will replace the old anchor with the new one.

Your interpretation of the wording is bizarrre. Focus and anchor are no separate components of the Longevity Ritual, but different aspects of the same thing. Focus is the physical trappings of the ritual, and anchor is the effect of the ritual within the mage's body. Nowhere it is said that the LR lingers but becomes dormant when the ritual fails, and saying the focus must be repeated is tantamount to say the ritual must be repeated. The magus is only able to redo it immediately if vis is available because he's reusing the same formula instead of researching a new one. The LR is done by "focus" i.e. a physical trapping, potion, bath, fumigations, whatever, and creates an anchor. When it fails, it fails, and the anchor is truly gone, and it needs to be recreated, either by redoing the same ritual, AKA focus, which can be done immeditately, or researching a new one, which takes a season. This is pretty much straightforward, and I really cannot see any justification for this weird anchor-focus dichotomy in the RAW.

It's the RAW that gives us the Anchor and Focus as separate distinct things. It mentions the Anchor, it mentions the Focus, and notes that both are needed for the "Ritual". In RAW it states that if an aging roll is failed, all that is needed is to redo the Focus. Seems pretty clear to me that the Anchor (which otherwise has no reason in RAW to exist) remains. The permanent sterility would seem to support that. I could see your point if the sterility ended when the aging roll was failed.

But they aren't. They are different aspects of the same thing. It's like saying the drug in pill form in your hand and the drug in your blood are separate distinct things. The pill in your hand is the focus, and the drug in your blood is the anchor. Pretty simple.

First, they are never capitalized. Second, it never says they are both needed, or that they are separate components. It says that the LR "creates an anchor, sustaining the vital life force of the magus". Then it says that the ritual culminates in some sort of focus, which can be repeated. Then it says that "the ritual loses it effectiveness and the focus must be repeated. You can invent a new ritual, or perform the ritual from the old ritual again". From hence it plainly follows that the focus is the physical form of the ritual, and the anchor is the effect of the ritual within the magus' body. Nowhere it speaks of them as separate entities.

For that matter it never explicitly says that sterility continues even if LR is no longer effective, either. Probably the issue never occurred to the writer of the corebook, since back then, LR was the only effective method of staving off aging, stuff like Immortality of the Forest, Binding, and Criamon mysteries had not been written yet.

It may well be that LR destroys fertility in the same way that destruction of a fertility fetish does, as a permanent side effect, but then again, even if it is so, it does not seem to be anything different from a permanent injury that Creo magic can repair.

There is nothing in the RAW that supports the idea that the LR remains as a lingering dormant ineffective residual when it fails. This is completely contrary to the way magic generally works. When it stops or fails, it is truly and completely gone, only natural effects remain, and it must be redone from scratch to reactivate it, which is compliant with redoing the LR, and the fact that the mage ages normally if it tarries, instead of having a semi-slowed aging. When a magic effect falls dormant, but can be reactivated, is recurrent, or it has a residual that accumulates, it is always explicitly mentioned.

Note that the 'Begone' command under commanding can free spirits that are bound. I am left to speculate if a sufficiently powerful hermetic compulsion effect could also free a spirit but I would be inclined to say that a tailored effect should be necessary to do so with vanilla hermetic magic.

Here is where I disagree. A tailored effect or a general effect 1.5 -2 times the power of the tailored effect.

A Unravel the fabric of Vim vs wind of mundane silence comparison.

Concerning regaining the fertility after use of a long. ritual (LR):

I would deem that it is near impossible short of a divine intervention, a breakthrough or something of similiar magnitude or power.
It is a great price and part of said rtual, where the life force in turned inward to help preserving oneself versus the classical "immortality" of mundanes.

I would point out that the LR is an original own breakthrough and no named solution exists. And we can safely assume that this topic came up repeatedly in the history of LRs.

Second I would agrue that neither the powerful and even non-hermetic hyberbolean magic nor the fertility magic can undo this effect. On contraire it is stated that both cannot, even where and while they can regive fertility. Neither can the ex Miscellanae fertility magic.

Hence maybe breakthrough? Probably. It is nothing less than the creation of an improved LR.