These Magical Foci: Appropriate, or Too Broad?

I'm working on the seventh and final magus for my upcoming "blue book" saga, basically doing an Ars Magica saga by myself and typing out what happens. I'm debating how big an effect his obsession with spiders would have on his magic, so until I decide I want to have both a Minor and Major Magical Focus available to pick from. So...

Would a Minor Magical Focus on spiders be too broad?

Alternatively, if I bump the Focus to Major, would Vermin be too broad? It seems no more broad than "domesticated animals" and the like. It would cover both rats and flying insects, so I'm worried it might be more versatile than the guidelines in practice.


I don't think that they are at all unreasonable.

It's perfect, since sometimes the Minor focus examples cover canine (broader) or only wolfs (straighter).

Isn't vermins a subset of ReAn? That would make it Minor, no?

Vermin is no more or less a subset of ReAn than birds or mammals, I figure, and they comprise a Major Focus, so I'd consider Vermin suitably Major, personally. Unless you think vermin is less so? In which case, please tell me why, I'm interested.

Creating vermin (with Rego or Creo Animal) would be Minor, but Vermin (Creating, controlling, warding, etc) on general would be Major.

I consider the whole thing minor. Yes, there are many kinds of worms but these rarely matter in a saga.

Disagree. Mice are also vermin (A&A 30), and dealing with a plague of locusts in the fields and a plague of mice in the granaries are two different things.

Different, yes, but rare enough for me to consider it minor.

Your disagreeing with me puts you in distinguished company, however.

Yeah, I would go for major, too, Ovarwa. :smiley:

There are probably as many kinds of vermin (or more) as there are domesticated animals. And domesticated animals is considered a major focus.

Even a minor focus can cover an infinite range of 'things'. A few people here said some time ago that "Faerie" (Faeries, Faerie regio, etc) is a completely good minor focus(!! and I disagreed. :slight_smile: ) Self-transformation is a canonical example. Spirits is a canonical example of a Major Focus, so "Magic Spirits" seems reasonable as minor, even though it is very wide.

Domesticated animals are everywhere, and they matter in every saga. Dogs? Horses? The parchment on which nearly every text in ME is written?

Vermin is not likely to come up... unless someone has a virtue or flaw regarding vermin.

But, you know, MMVs.


I think either focus is appropriate: "spiders" (or "worms of the air") as a minor focus, and "vermin" as an excellent major focus. Yes, definitely major, notwithstanding Ovarwa's opinion: vermin are an extremely versatile, wide-ranging focus (from bees to mice, from frogs to lice), easily on par with "domesticated animals" (another great major focus) and probably better than "birds" or "mammals" - at least as far as I see it. They are more common than "domesticated animals"; they are probably the best animal focus for infiltration; they often have low Base guidelines; and although a single bee can't do much, a Group of bees is far more formidable than a Group of wolves. And you can create vermin permanently without raw vis (which is great, since frogs and snails are quite yummy)!

Incidentally, I'm not sure if I'd allow a focus in mammals or domesticated animals to cover parchment. But if you do, then a focus in vermin definitely covers silk, honey, and a whole slew of potent poisons :slight_smile: