Spell Mastery

While I am a big fan of the new spell mastery rules (ability one can raise, perks to pick from etc) I am however not all that satisfied with the list of mastery abilities. Most of them seem rather combat oriented and not all that useful for, in example, a Mercurian caster who is mastering say his Aegis of the Hearth and Wizard's Communion spells.

Has any serious thought been given to non-combat oriented mastery abilities, and in particular mastery abilities usefull with ritual magic? So far 'Stalwart Casting' and 'Magic Resistance' seems to be about it?

Now, admittedly while I have a rather extensive Ars collection, my 5th ed purchases have been rather limited so far. (An error I intend to correct Sodales, I assure you.) So I may be unaware of some already published material that would fill this gap?

I believe there is, somewhere, a Mastery ability that allows all level versions of the same General spell to enjoy the all the benefits of this spell mastery. So a Mercurian magus can take it with his firsy Aegis of the Hearth spell, and then apply whatever extra whomp he's got in it (Stalwart Casting etc.) to all the subsequent AotH he learns later in his career. Which would be useful.

As I am charged to do the Aegis every year and we use Wizards Communion, my Character will start original research on a new mastery abiltiy as soon as he has more time. This mastery will subtract the ability's score from the number of potential botch dice a second time.
But having time is just the thing missing... There are so many artifacts to build to defend the convent.... Maybe I will never find the time...
However, you could either start original research on your own to find all those spell mastery abilities you would like to have, or you could ask your troup whether they have been invented already and you can simply learn them.

I made a list of the spell mastery abilities (Well, actually I stole a list from an earlier discussion rather than creating it myself). I then divided the list into primarily combat mastery abilities, abilities equally useful either in or out of combat, and mastery abilities used primarily in non-combat situations.

Imperturbable Casting (p33 HOH:S) may help spells that demand concentration (as when you want to sustain them when you cast another spell).
Obfuscated Casting (p34 HOH:S) is primarily combat in focus
Quick Casting (p34 HOH:S) is almost exclusively combat focused
Rebuttal (129 HOH:S) is primarily combat is focus but it could be used to bolster wizard’s boost style spells out of combat
Apotropaic Mastery (p.122 RoP:TI) is primarily a combat specialization but could be used for wards outside of combat
Fast Casting 87 (p83 ARM5) is a combat specialization no doubt about it
Magic Resistance (p87 ARM5) is for combat but also for avoiding being messed with by subtle mentem spells, wards, and the like
Penetration (p87 ARM5) is for combat

Applicable to either
Precise Casting (p34 HOH:S) would help with craft magic or any other high finesse spell.
Boosted Casting (p99 HoH:TL) is frightfully good (too good in my opinion) for non- combat spells.
Learn From Mistakes(p 100 HoH:TL) would be an excellent tool for removing botch dice
Multiple Casting (p.87 ARM5) In addition to being the most wickedly powerful combat specialization there is, has several non-combat uses. Does a multi cast ritual spell demand vis for every copy? I’d say yes but we’ve debated this before without either side being able to claim their position is the only reasonable interpretation of the text.
Stalwart Casting (p100 HoH:TL) could be handy outside of combat if you’re using summoning spells to control magical spirits and creatures but is primarily combat
Tethered Casting (p100 HoH:TL) this could be used as easily outside of combat as inside of combat
Unraveling (p123 HoH:S) would be used primarily out of combat
Adaptive Casting (p99 HoH:TL) as Yair noted would be useful for an aegis or any other general spell regardless of whether it is combat oriented

Acute Sense (p71 HoH:TL) is non-combat in focus
Ceremonial Casting (p99 HoH:TL) Can’t even be used in combat
Disguised Casting (p99 HoH:TL ) is about messing with the quaesitors, not defeating your foes
Harnessed Casting (p99-100 HoH:TL ) has primarily non combat applications
Lab Mastery (p100 HoH:TL) is clearly about lab work not combat
Quiet Casting (87 ARM5) you might very well want to be stealthy outside of combat and have very little incentive to be stealthy inside of combat
Still Casting (87 ARM5) you might very well want to be stealthy outside of combat and have very little incentive to be stealthy inside of combat.

I'd say that spell mastery really is a primarily combat focused option but there is a fair amount of support there for making it useful in other ways.

Thanks for the information. :smiley: Certainly a few in that list that I hadn't known of before.

For my saga, I've prepared a list of al spell masteries I have in books myself at this site.http://www.krikkit.dk/ressource/arsmagica/5edition/Mastery.pdf

Is it possible to take Affinity/Puissant virtues for Spell Mastery? If so, would this be something you would be inclined to say applied to all spell mastery abilities pursued, or to one particular spell?

Spell Mastery is defined as infinite different Abilities, so, by that, it would not be a good investment. (p 86 - "For every possible Hermetic spell, there is a corresponding Ability.")

However, that does suggest that there might be room for a new Virtue that addresses that, something that adds, maybe, +1 to each and every Mastery?

Me, I'd be more inclined to something that gives a small Affinity-type discount to the cost of learning any Mastery. Jumping from "no Mastery" to "2 Masteries" for the first 5 points doesn't feel quite right. But maybe ~20%, so 4 pts becomes 5, and 8 10, etc? It's up to a SG whether a +50%, across the board, is appropriate for a standard minor Virtue, but I'd say no.

Flawless Magic.

This is equivalent to a 50% discount. A lot better than an affinity, but, then again, it is a Major Virtue.

Cue the munchkin's Puissant BoAF Mastery... :wink:

No doubt.

Forgot about Flawless Magic - thanks TF.

Yeah, stick with that.

There is a cool Spell Mastery Thread going on in the Berklist. The brainstorm results for ideas so far (and credits) includes...

The List so far…
Flex (cast a slightly altered version of spell, changed by one preset magnitude) mf
Cancellation (cause the spell to end early by willing it to expire) ag
Simulcast (cast more than one different spell at once, like Multi-casting (which is a pre-requisite)) mf
Increased Damage (add to damage of a damage inflicting spell) lo
Delayed (delay time between casting and effect) rh
Dilated Duration (multiply (as opposed to increase) duration) rh
Perseverant Casting (reduce pain and fatigue penalties for that spell) rh
Extra Cautious (further reduction of botch dice) rh
Realm Attunement (attune the spell to a specific Realm, reducing casting penalties & botch dice) mf

And a new one I just thought up:
Abbreviated Ritual: Available especially for Mercurian Magi, each pick reduces the time tit takes to cast a Ritual spell. However, each step also increased potential Botch dice. You don't have to use your full potential. First pick reduces time to 10 minutes per Magnitude and adds 2 botch dice. 2nd pick lowers it to 5 minutes per magnitude with an extra 4 bothc dice, and 3rd pick equals 1 minute per magnitude and +6 botch dice.

We are still debating and discussing these ideas and how they would work.

I just deleted that thread because I didn't have time t read it. Drat.

This is the harnessed casting mastery from True Linages.

Spiffy. I hadn't noticed the doubling of totals at the end there. I should read more carefully. Thanks. :wink:


Though it may be worthwhile simply to put a season or three into Mastering a few favorite spells than springing for Flawless Magic.

I think the following wouldn't be abusive:

Minor Hermetic Virtue: Broad Mastery

Your magus can apply a spell mastery Ability she knows to any formulaic or ritual spell similar to the one for which she has the Ability. She can still master any formulaic and ritual spell she knows, but when more thn one mastery applies, she must choose exactly one to use when casting the spell.



Tricky virtue but it seems OK.

There is another useful minor virtue, the Independent study. It gives +2 to source quality when practicing.


Practicing for Mastery gives 5xp/season, iirc. A magus needs 1 season for level 1, 3 for 2 and 6 for 3. A magus with this virtue needs 1 season for 1, 3 for 2 and 5 for 3. So, maybe not so good for a Masterful magus.

With Flawless Magic, a magus needs 0/1/3/5/7 for lvl 1/2/3/4/5; with this virtue, it's 0/1/2/4/5.



It is a good calculation to abuse my tip.

However if a magus wants some mastery skill e.g. 2 at level 3, 4 at level 2 and 4 at level 1 he needs to spend only 20 seasons instead of 28.

Not to mention he gets +3 to his adventure experience.


I find that measuring progress in seasons means more than measuring xps, because not all xps are created equal. Eight seasons is two years; a magus does better than that with Skilled Parens.

Independent Study would be a great virtue if it also did something for Exposure xp. Though it would become a must-have for lab rats.