You're right, it doesn't change much, though Jonathan.Link is quite right about it mitigating the risk of the Ritual failing.
But I was talking about "vanilla" Longevity Rituals anyway, excluding anything from any book that's not the core rulebook. If you start including other sourcebooks then there are much better ways to make a go for true immortality than simply using Longevity Rituals. So in that case LR math don't really matter anymore, since you'll probably be looking for other, more optimal options.
That box refers to 'vanilla' Longevity Rituals.
Repeating an already designed ritual takes no time in "long term context" - meaning no seasons.
The referenced box specifies that repeating 'vanilla' Longevity Rituals are not lab activities, and as such do not use the Vis limit for such ativities.
That is the point of it.
That is correct. What I meant to say (and failed to properly convey) is that I was talking about vanilla rules, using only what's in the core rulebook, which doesn't allow for using your Arts as a cap on vis usage instead of MT.
You are right again. I think the main rulebook doesn't explicitly say whether just repeating the focus without creating a new LR would have to implement the vis usage limit or not (or even if you need a Laboratory), but it clearly states that it only takes a few minutes. So I agree that it's quite clear it's not a Lab activity, and I assume we thus don't have the MT vis cap, since we are already fixed to repeating the same process.
So my math above doesn't really work, since it fails to take into account just reusing the old LR instead of creating a new one. But I guess you'll be forced to create a better one sooner or later, so I'd still say true immortality is not achievable just with plain old LR.
The longevity ritual only resolves the Crisis event, it doesn't prevent the gain of aging points. So if 13 or 22+ is rolled 5 times, you will die from age, though not from Crisis. Either way the life-span of one using a longevity ritual will be limited.
Totally correct that true immortality is not an option via longevity rituals, but hitting 1000 years is certainly on the cards.
The main limit is going to be the magnitude of the longevity ritual itself; you realistically want to keep the modifier provided by the ritual high enough that it is offsetting all those decades.
At 1000, you're looking at a +100 modifier to your aging roll. So you want a longevity ritual that grants a -100 modifier. That means a lab total of 500.
And that's doable. It is by no means easy and by no means a project for junior magi, but it is doable and it's doable using vanilla rules.
Which right there provides an interesting seed for a small collection of vastly powerful magi, each part of a pact, where they have banded together and ensured that their members will be living for a long, long, long time.
Sounds like a fun super-secretive conspiracy-style mystery cult to me!
Tangent: We need a Verditius mystery path that allows an initiate to invest himself into his ultimate creation or Talisman. Why live forever through your legendary creation when you can live forever as your legendary creation? This kind of path might also be well-suited for Merinita: If you Become a legendary item, you extract vitality from every story told about you, every quest ventured for you and in which you are 'used', etc.
infernal magic allows transferring decrepitude to another victim, so maybe a breakthrough will allow hermetic magic to do the same. (presumedly animal or plant, transferring to humans might get one marched, or at least provide some stories...)
Yessssssssss, thissssss can be sssssssolved through pure Hermetic methodsssssss and Inssssssssightssssssss, and I have the mosssssst perfect Ssssssssssourssssssssse of Insssssssssssight for thissssssss noble endeavor.......
This is certainly true for the Bjornaer I'm playing these days. He thinks of himself as a being who can be killed, but will not die of natural causes. He'll just shed his human shape and remain a Great Beaat forever...
Verditius mystery path? I would think "Awakened Device" would do just fine. Make it your familiar, teach it all you know. You probably have a kind of high Hubris score at this point, so probably looks like you. Remember that "Awakened Devices" are not limited to human stats, so you can give it a Comm of ten or more. Make sure it has a Teaching skill of ten or more as well. You will be the most useful Great Work in the Order! Then we get into the Spirit/Soul Hermetic Argument. Can't put your soul in it, that hits the Limit of the Divine. But your spirit? Once you hit Twilight, there is a consensus that you turn into a creature of Magic Might. Those can be summoned, bound. Perhaps you could use the familiar bonds to keep yourself connected to your familiar.......
Ancient Magics, Mechanisms of Heron. Oh, so much potential! Build your familiar to taste, for starters. Then there's "The Tireless Servant" from Convents. Useful in the Lab, and the Field! Such a useful Mystery for Verditius! Let the journeyman houses play with Automatons, a taste of what they can have if they join the House of Masters.....
Fun stories there, yet when it comes to rules, I tend to ignore anything that requires a breakthrough:
a) AM magic has already been balanced just barely, so I see most Breakthroughs as "Richard Scarry's Big List of Ways to Break the Game." Achieving any one of these could represent the major focus of a saga, either as climax or motivator of events. There are some notable exceptions, usually involving abilities that "now that we have made up the possibility, sure, there's nothing keeping magi from having them except that they have been alien to the game from AM1 all the way to now."
b) I think that many suggested Breakthroughs are cool, but fewer have been thought through, which feeds into my point above. Too many times, I find myself thinking "That's not a minor/major/hermetic breakthrough." And really, how on earth could these possibly have been fully discussed, let alone playtested?
So a conversation about AM in this context for me becomes "House Verditius does not have the kind of Mystery you speak of. In a specific saga, an individual magus interested in this kind of immortality might be interested in investigating this avenue presented in AM, with Troupe permission. Or, you can use the AM material as inspiration for developing (either IC or OOC) your own mystery." Which could be useful.
Not Mechania, but in that section. Look at "Awakened Devices", one of the Mysteries you can get by Integrating Mechanisms of Heron into Hermetic Theory. They are mentioned as being able to become Familiars in the block of text describing what awakened devices can do. And "Integration" seems easier to me then Original Research, mechanically, and in "delegating" a lot of the scutwork. I think a decade, not a lifetime.
I got around this MT limitation for Dama by making her a Merinita with a high Faerie Magic score. A magus who knows Faerie Magic can use twice their MT and twice their FM scores in a season, as long as half of the vis is Faerie vis. Now you can hit 40 pawns of vis with only a 10 in MT and a 10 in FM, as long as 20 pawns are Faerie Vis. That's only 550 experience points, versus the 1050 needed for MT of 20. A score of 10 for both of those skills seemed far more reasonable than trying to go the full MT. Cooperation can help increase the lab total, but then you have to overcome the social aspect of working for another magus. In a troupe, you can handwave this, but for NPCs, you can't.
Additionally, in the case of Dama, she has seasons spent creating her legacy, training an apprentice, establishing her covenant, all of which consume her time and divert her from personal improvement.
That's still just delaying the problem, not solving it. Regardless of whether you're looking at one ability score or several, increasing each ability provides linear benefits at exponential cost. There inevitably will come a point where you won't be able to improve the relevant abilities fast enough to keep up with increasing vis requirements, which makes it impossible to live forever on standard longevity rituals alone.