temporary buff spells

I know that permanent improvement to characteristics, such as Strength or Inteelligence, are Creo Corpus rituals. (at least up to +5 stats).

But I may have overlooked a rule about temporary buffing via formulaic spells.
I know there is a spell that gives you Month long bonus to recovery.
Is it possible to be a swifter runner for a day? Or buff another characteristic for a short while?

Look up the ArM5 p.130 Creo Corpus and p.148 Creo Mentem Guidelines: so it is glaringly obviously possible! But a Duration above Mom raises the spell's magnitude, and it can easily get a Ritual again because of this.

MuCo - often MuCo(An) - effects with lower base levels are often more useful for this kind of short time buffing, and also many other spells are better for this than CrMe and CrCo.

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It frustrates me to no end that it is harder to make yourself temporarily strong than it is to make yourself permanently strong in Ars Magica.

IMO however the primary situation in which you would want to make a spell that temporarily increases characteristics is if you want to make Sun duration version of the spell and enchant it into a magic item that permanently boosts the characteristics of the user of said item. In this case the high level of the spell turning it into a ritual is less of a problem, however getting a lab total sufficient to enchant item will be a problem, again because of the high level of the spell.

At which point, you might as well do it as a ritual with circle range and do the whole Covenant in one go.

Eg. A Gift of Understanding Onto the Multitudes in this old thread.

Our party CrCo mage has done it for Stamina and Strength. We now have a strong and healthy Covenant.

I've never liked the perma buff spells, due to how stats work. Logically, a - 2 strength character could decide to improve his strength by lifting weights, or more common in the medieval age, do some heavy manual labour, but that doesn't happen (unless it's in a non-core book I haven't read).

It's too tempting for the min-maxer too. A -3 strength lets one have a +3 int or +3 stam. A level 30 spell and 6 vis to fix a rubbish stat that allowed a high stat in character gen seems off.

I accept it's core rules, but I'd rule it's an ongoing effect and causes warping as a house rule, due to my dislike of how it can be abused.

Ignore the Creo guidelines.
Try looking at what you can do with Muto.

We went further and houseruled all that out because we concluded that altering your characteristics goes against your essential nature.

The only way I see anyone could increase a character characteristics at our game would be to go into a Mystery Cult that grants virtues like Increased Characteristics or Great Characteristic, and then suffer the corresponding ordeals. Which could mean that there is somewhere a cult of mighty scribers dedicated to increase their Com to +5 somewhere. I rather prefer that to just have some ritual spells doing all the dirty work.

I really dont mind being able to increase characteristics with magic. I dont really like the characteristics at all, but being able to increase them with magic feels right to me. I dont like that you cannot increase characteristics without magic however. That is super wrong and counter intuitive but also kind of an interesting choice. It does lend a little more gravitas to deciding on what characteristics you pick.

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I looked at that and I thought I was missing something. An increase to Recovery rolls, what should be a subset of the Stamina characteristic, starts at Base 1 CrCo, while increasing the entire Stamina characteristic is base 35.

The discrepancy is so large that one expects there should be something in-between to improve a limited subset of a characteristic. eg improve (bring closer to the human ideal) your nose odour sensitivity to the level of a master perfumer, so that your nasal Perception is +5, or some such.

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As I said, some such effects can be worked with MuCo and MuCo(An), e. g. ArM5 p.131 Eyes of the Cat, Apprentices p.46 Ears of the Hare, MoH p.131 Track by Scent, ArM5 p131 Gift of the Bear's Fortitude and so on. Typically these do not get a characteristic closer to a human ideal, but a specific set of rolls closer to another example.

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As I think about this, it seems to align with certain philosophical leaning underlying the Ars cosmogeny - ie humanity has fallen far from grace/perfection.
Thus it is apparently easier to 'fall' further to away from human perfection (MuCo a beast-like component), than to return to human perfection (CrCo).

Normally you see that with Perdo, not Muto. I may eventually work this dialogue into my saga.

For purpose and virtue of humans, you might wish to read this as a significant representation of 13th century thought, and in particular:

" When Aristotle sought to isolate the human good, he employed the so-called function argument. If one knows what a carpenter is or does he has the criteria for recognizing a good carpenter. So too with bank-tellers, golfers, brain surgeons and locksmiths. If then man as such has a function, we will have a basis for deciding whether someone is a good human being. But what could this function be? Just as we do not appraise carpenters on the basis of their golf game or golfers on the basis of their being able to pick locks, we will not want to appraise the human agent on an incidental basis. So too we do not appraise the carpenter in terms of his weight, the condition of his lungs, or his taste buds. No more would we appraise a human being on the basis of activities similar to those engaged in by non-human animals. The activity that sets the human agent apart from all others is rational activity. The human agent acts knowingly-willingly. If this is the human function, the human being who performs it well will be a good person and be happy.

Thomas argues that there is one single end for all human beings, and that it is happiness. However, that is a formal description of the end, leaving open the material specification of just what that happiness is for a human being. Thomas distinguishes in the Summa Theologiae between the imperfect happiness of this life and the perfect happiness of the next life in beatitude or union with God. And on the basis of this distinction some will argue that Aquinas ultimately finds Aristotle's function argument unsatisfying, insofar as the result of the function argument is supposed to be the claim that happiness consists in a complete life lived in accord with reason and virtue. And here again it will be claimed that Aquinas in some sense rejects the fundamentals of the Aristotelian account. Insofar as he describes the life in accord with reason and virtue in this life as imperfect, he must be suggesting that it is in some sense faulty, not true or real happiness. Real happiness is something other. "

Once a magus is there, he will also understand that magic improvement is typically 'sideways', and easiest by taking examples from non-human beings.

In theory you could write improvement of normal attributes as an initiation ritual with an ordeal that causes decrepitude or something along those lines...

I also dislike perma buff spells thematically.

There is no way to recover fatigue. No spell, no amount of vis, it's a hermetic theory limit. We all know the limitation is for game balance, but it is there.
It's fair to say the guy with -3 stamina is puffed when climbing a set of stairs. With enough spells and vis you can get that stamina to +3, or even +5. +3 is arguably running a mile, +5 running a marathon.

So we can't make a guy who is puffed and will recover in 2 minutes recover faster with magic, but we can make a horribly unfit guy run a marathon. Seems incongruous.

I find mental stuff even more off.

Wizard: This spell will make you {smarter, speak better, insert stat change effect here}
Anyone who has an int higher than 0 and some sense of self: How? Do you put stuff in my brain. You give me memories I didn't use to have, how?
W: [pauses a bit] Ummm. Nah. It's all fine, bro. You just get smarter.
A: Get the hell away from me.

On a meta PC level we know it just changes a stat. Any decent character should have huge concerns about magic toying with their mind.

That had stuck with me. I think it actually happens, you just have to consider what characteristics really are, beside a number in a character sheet. Given that the usual roll involves a characteristic and an ability, a characteristic is a bonus for the abilities you may use with it, so the characteristic is how good or bad he is by default for a stack of abilities; a high Int gives you benefits understanding stuff and figuring things out, a high Stamina means you are by default better at endurance related stuff, and so on. So let's say you have two characters with Str +3 and 0 and Athletics 0 and for some reason the stronger guy challenges the other to lift stuff. By default the stronger guy will probably win. But then what if the weak character decides to do that work out and he spends some time lifting weights or doing heavy work? Mechanically you could see that as practicing Athletics. By earning 30 xps the weak guy can raise his Athletics to 3 and then be as good as the strong guy lifting heights. But because the strong guy is naturally better at that, if then he decides to practice in the same way he would only need 5 xps to raise his Athletics to 1 and beat the weak guy again, and that's because he is naturally better at doing that kind of stuff, so it's natural that he don't have to train so hard to get better with it. That of someone don't needing to work hard to get better at something than everyone else is something I'd found quite often in real life.

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I have gone down that line of reasoning before too.

If you decide to think like that it makes sense to treat characteristics as unraiseable.

It also makes sense that magic can make you more talented even though training cannot.

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Doesn't work for me. Athletics guy after all that lifting weight, is still hampered by encumberance, and can't swing a sword harder? I accept stats are a game mechanic, however due to the mechanical nature and game balance at character gen, I balk at magic improvements.

Of course he can swing a sword harder, if he also improves Single Weapon, which is also harder for him if he have a low Strength. And of course he can be suffering all that encumbrance if he wears a heavy armor, but then again with a high enough combat ability he can still get better at it through practice.

What would make no sense to me is that anyone, just by practicing, could become the best guy in something. Going back to sports because my pacifist nature (and the Clumsy flaw) keeps me away from swords (or sharp objects in general) in real life, I guess I could spend the rest of my life practicing running, but I bet you a million dollars that still I wouldn't win any marathon. My default characteristics just make it too much no matter how hard I try.

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