Spell Help: Fresh out of the Cloning Vat

I'm new to the system, and so the first time I rolled up a character, I mistakenly thought "Well...we have longevity potions and I can be unaging. So there's no real drawback to starting as older. I'll start at 34, that gives me a good year before I start making age checks."

A-doy. :neutral_face:

So now, a few sessions in, I'm looking for a way to cheat the reaper. There are a few methods in the mysteries books, but many of them are beyond my means or have side effects I don't care for. I had one idea that seems to work, but my GM wants me to run it by the forum.

First, get a test subject, someone with The Gift. Hit them with a Pedro Mentem spell, "Tabula Rasa" we'll call it, to completely wipe their mind. Then blow a good chunk of Mentem Vis on a Creo Mentem ritual, which we'll call "Copy Paste," that copies all of your memories and knowledge into t his empty vessel. It would be very high level, and you'd likely have to blow a lot of Vis on it, but Creo effects can be permenant.

You then cast a shapeshifting spell on him to make him look like you, and bam, you have someone with all of your abilities, memory, etc, ready to take your place when you shuffle off from old age.

This seems good, but my GM has reservations -- specifically the idea that Creo Mentem can impart skills of any kind, even Knowledge skills. He had the idea that the spell could impart no skills, but that the person would get Rating 8 practice XP every season until they matched the original skill levels.

Thoughts, balances, etc?

pg 152 Exchange of the two minds 55 Rego Mentum.

There is a neat example of this in the Book Anubis Gates by Tim Powers. It is more of a ritual and has interesting side effects. Given time( hehe), you could make a breakthrough on this spell.

It would make for an interesting future for the order :slight_smile:

At 34, with longevity potions, you can expect to live 100 more years.

I fail to see why you'd go to so much trouble for a problem that, unless you're playing in a fast-paced saga, won't present itself.

As per your spell idea, your GM is right on Creo Mentem spells: These can't impart skills and such.

Also note that, even if your idea was possible, you'd just create a "copy" of yourself - a NPC -, so you'd still be stuck with your problem: You'd be alive, besides it. And who's to say a demon wouldn't use the opportunity?
You can of course use exchange of the 2 minds, but, as a ReMe ritual, it only lasts 1 year.

My advice? Go read again the longevity potion rules. Especially with unaging, you're pretty safe IMO.

Well, you can't make a good longevity potion yourself. But someone else could make one for you. A more powerful mage makes one for you, and you supply the vis, act as his helper, and pay him a huge amount (or, a favour to be repaid later, gulp).

Welcome, JF! (And, yes, you are new to the system - no "rolling" involved in the usual CharGen here! But we've all been there, too.) :wink:

Gotta agree with TF and disagree with TB - what's the problem with making your own Longevity Ritual? (Especially if you're talking about an alternative that's demanding in Creo and Corpus!)

Assuming no external modifiers (for good/bad Living Conditions or Virtues/Flaws), your character is looking at an Aging roll something like this:Stress D + 4 -X, trying to roll 3 or less*
(* Technically, a "3" is sub-optimal, but we'll take it and smile in this situation.)
[color=red](Edit - Note - math was wrong- now edited to reflect actual RAW.)

The "X" is the CrCo Lab total /5, plus 1/5 for every pawn of vis. Optimally, you're looking for a total of about 11*; 10*+4-11 = 3, all good.(* Assuming a "10" (or less!) result on the stress douse, which is ~about~ 94% of the time, almost 19/20, a good bet. Even a "1" followed by 2-5 covers that. If you want to worry about exploding to 12* or beyond, then the sky's the limit.)
(* Note that you can't roll 11, 13 or other "odd" numbers above 10, since they're doubled to get there. Plan accordingly if you wish.)In the worst possible world your magus has 0's in both Creo & Corpus (a notable oversight for a 34 year old magus, admittedly!) But in 3 Seasons, with a decent library, you should be able to scrounge up a 5 in each of those (15 study points from a decent/good Art Summa). With a decent Intell that should put your Base Lab Total around 13+ as an absolute minimum. Then you beg/borrow/scrounge the (appropriate flavour) Vis as you can to add to it (subject to your max, 2x Magic Theory). With a MT of 4*, you can add +8 vis for a Lab Total of 21, for X= +5, which is half way there for now, as a minimum.

(* If your MT is less than 4... then you've made an interesting character, JF. Good luck with that!) :wink:

And if your character has either the Creo ~or~ Corpus to achieve your alternative solution, you can achieve far better results. Or if your Covenant has a positive "Living Conditions" modifier (which is typical!), if your mage has Creative Genius, if either Cr or Co have the right Virtues attached, with better Summae, higher Magic Theory for more Vis - so many ways to make this work even easier. A +7 modifier (or more?) is quite believable in the limited time your character has. (No longer the 95% of the previous (wrong!) math, but this ~is~ a last-minute operation!

So, at worst, 2-3 seasons on auto-pilot in the 'Lib, and 1 in the Lab, with 8 vis from somewhere - or less - that's GOTTA be easier - and faster - than the alternative you're suggesting.

Except that it's not "you".

To me, this has all the attraction of any "alternative universe" plot, where your exact duplicate is trying to take ~your~ place. Your "consciousness" is never transferred - and anything less is just not the same character. And it's not just knowledges, but memories and emotions to even begin to duplicate your mage. Even then, it's still not him, just "(nearly) identical to" him.

If "cheating the reaper" was easy, it would have been done loooong ago, and by better magi than yours (no offense to him, but I'm thinking of 100 year old archmagi who have real problems.) The painful alternatives you speak of are the best that are currently known.

Boost your Creo & Corpus, gather the vis, make your Longevity Ritual. Then start the long march to a more creative solution.

[i](Edit - Alternatively, throw yourself on the mercy of the SG/Troupe, and point out the absurdity of a Magus approaching age 35 and not planning ahead for the obvious. This is OOC player ignorance of the game-world, not any IC character confusion as to reality. (And your SG "should have" warned you about it!)

Bump Cr/Co just a bit, and you'll be good to go.)[/i]

Perhaps improving the living conditions of the lab or the covenant. Look in the lab section of the covenant book and see if there is anything that helps you. After all less warping gives your character a longer life. If you are doing the plead for mercy with your stroyguide then perhaps bring something good to eat. :laughing:

Yeah, I think brewing your own longevity potion or, at worst, getting someone else to brew on in return to some "favors owned" or something would be far easier than what you suggest.

I also agree with your SG (and the others here) that the spell won't work. Imparting actual memories and skills with Creo Mentem magic is beyond Hermetic magic. I might actually allow a spell that imparts a pale version of the caster's skills and knowledge (half the XP, say), but not his Arts or other magical abilities, nor his Gift, nor his other Virtues & Flaws, and I'd make the original person's personality slowly reassert itself (unless coerced to remain as it is by magic).

Yeah, I agree with the consensus here. I would also profoundly warp the poor recipient - especially considering the need to constantly re-assert the magics.

There is a point about longevity in AM, that you cannot truly cheat death. You cant certainly try to, but whatever means you use will still ultimately fail for one reason or another. Generally this is beacuse of warping, but the other methods offered in mysteries still mean you cannot truly remain as yourself for eternity.

You could always find some friendly fae to bargain with :stuck_out_tongue:

Heh, Cuchulain, after reading that, my head hurts :slight_smile: If I read it right, you're adding 1 to the potions effectiveness for each pawn of vis you use. But the book says each pawn adds 1 to the lab total. Maybe I read it wrong, or there's been some errata issued (too lazy to check).

Honestly, it sounds like you are trying to change someones essential nature, which is one of the hard limits in the game. At the very least, the unaging virture isn't one you can hand off to someone.

Oops! You're right, I boned that one. Jumped tracks somewhere in the description, and totally missed it. Base cost is 1 vis /5. :blush:

That makes inventing one as effective far less practical, no doubt. (Thought that was looking too easy...)

But a +6 or better should still be quite within reach.

(Will edit the above, thnx!)