suplemental spell guidlines

Christopher Allen is a hero for updating the supplemental spell guidelines list ... dated.html


As a matter of discussion, what do you all think about the wisdom of leading this list off with the statement telling the reader that the spell guidelines in the printed material are examples of appropriate guidelines, not an exhaustive list. If a proposed spell clearly fits within the description of a technique and form then it should be possible regardless of whether or not there is a published guideline that specifically supports it. It is up to the story-guide (and probably the player) to choose an appropriate level for the guideline.

Serf's parma, but I believe that the rules do this implicitly by providing some legacy spells that do not match any of the provided guidelines but there is no place where this is said explicitly.

Would this be resolve arguments and make players feel less constrained and make the game (a teeny, teeny, teeny bit) better or is this just a manifestation of my unconscious desire to force my play style on others?

I think it's unneccessary, so I'd have to go with option B :wink:

You're welcome. I didn't want to say anything until the pdf was loaded on the site.

Hmmm... I don't think I've ever witnessed a problem with someone taking those lists of guidelines to be exhaustive. I have to agree that I can't find anything explicitly saying they are not. But I also agree that it is implied that they are not exhaustive.


Probably this creates rather than resolves arguments. Also, I find it is better as a player if I am constrained by the given guidelines --- so I have to use the given guidelines creatively in-play.

On the other hand, I do think it is the intention of the guidelines to be something of a set of non-exhaustive examples. However, it should be noted that there are limits (albeit partly troupe negotiated) as to how far you can go in inventing guidelines. Some stuff is meant to be beyond the capability of Hermetic magic. Largely this is covered by the Limits of Magic, but there are harder to articulate softer limits too. For example, (most troupes) would claim that you couldn't use Creo Terram to create an Assault Rifle, even though it doesn't technically seem to break the formal Limits of Magic.

I think spells published spells that violate guidelines are opportunities for original research to figure out why stuff works.

Thank you very much, chris, this is great!


In a way, the line sometimes support this, when they publish new guidelines that aren't readily available to "normal" hermetic magic, such as the Vim guidelines for Auras in RoP: M, althgough nothing prohibitates it in the Limits of Magic.

Also, this has, IMO, the advantage of giving both the players and the GM a lot of potential small breakthroughs to reach for (less than minor, but still breakthroughs nonetheless).
What's to say, that, for exemple, although it could do it theoretically, no one had figured (or bothered with) how to, say, preserve a corpse from Decay, until Brennan Ex Bonisagus did in 986AD.
This is also, IMO, a nice way to introduce the new guidelines that appear in each supplement, as it helps give the impression that researchers are expanding the bounds of Hermetic Magic.

He is.

Salutes Christopher Allen


ForumRunner for android seems to have trouble with links sometimes. What I see is: ... dated.html

Which isn't a viable link.

The Atlas forum does that to shorten long links, yes.

Try this: arm5-guidelines-updated.html

Remove the space between the last dash and "arm5" and you will get the working link. Hope that helps


Thanks. The list is very handy. It would be great if there were footnotes for those guidelines that require a mystery virtue or some other requirement beyond just the gift.

If I hand this to my players, they will probably assume they can do something they can't.

None of them require anything other than the Gift and having the Hermetic Arts opened. Way back when I started David only wanted me to include the standard guidelines. So any guidelines that require a Mystery, exposure to someone's original research, etc. are not included.



IIRC, it's explicitly stated in at least one or two of these spells that they are "nonstandard" (semi-Exotic-Magic) and thus don't follow the Guidelines.

Which pretty much begs for "Original Research," yes... at least, if magi want to produce similar/derived/extended versions of such spells!

  • Steve S.