Third ArM5 Errata Thread

Sure, that mostly works. But if you're arguing about clear and precise with my statement, I would drop the second half of your second sentence with "main magical power" (vague, not clear) and "most magi" (vague) for the same reason.

Meanwhile, if you're so insistent on this version of a glossary (which I really do like, but which really does disagree with glossaries I've examined in general), who do you consider a Redcap or a Quaesitor? Are you saying those need errata, too? Maybe "Order of Hermes" does as well?

The second part of the first entry is an explanation, AFAICS a needed one. It is by necessity less clear. Best read the how-to I already linked above.

The first half is really valuable. The second half is completely unnecessary. How do you see the second half as being needed?

Yes, I know, and I've read it. You might want to reread that link, as it doesn't agree with what you say, just like checking other glossaries found they did not agree with you. First, that link says "should," not "must" contain definitions as well as saying you "can" create definitions after identifying the terms rather than "must." As it's very clearly a suggested option (a good one albeit - I agree with you there), taking this to imply that must be the case in a glossary is merely a logical error. Second, if you do follow the recommendation, you'll see only a definition is suggested; there is no suggestion that it be partly a definition and partly not. I don't know why you keep sending me to things that disagree with you. I really wish glossaries were as you say, as they would be cleaner and make my life easier, but that's just not the case. I think you and I agree it's the ideal case, and I quite happy trying to make something more ideal.

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We have the glossary at the beginning of the ArM5 book: so it is read at its beginning as well.
"... and constitute the main magical power of most magi" is correct, and helps the reader understand the following text, including the character examples, better - even if they never see a formulaic spell explained before p.111.

Best compare with (

Keep the definitions simple and reader-friendly. Make sure the definitions are clear and tailored for the average reader. Do not use technical terms to define a term, as this will likely just confuse your reader. You do not want to sound like a dictionary or use language that is overly academic or technical. The definition should explain what the term means in the context of the main text in the simplest terms possible.[4]* For example, you may write a summary for the term “rigging” as: “In this article, I use this term to discuss putting a rig on an oil drum. This term is often used on an oil rig by oil workers.”

So you have the typical scheme: 1st phrase definition, 2nd phrase explanation.

No you don't have to follow it. But it makes your writing easier.

I don't disagree that it's useful. That wasn't you're complaint about my version, though. The issue was that I hedged, too much really. Look above at what happened from the existing glossary's inclusion of stuff about magical power. At least one response decided certain, somewhat stereotypically common, character combinations shouldn't be allowed.

I really like your first sentence and a half. You've avoided my hedging without bringing any issue into it. The whole reason you need to start hedging on the last bit is it becomes incorrect if you don't, and then we're left with potential problems like that reading someone had above.

What if yours were adjusted to:

Formulaic magic: Spells that have been worked out in detail ahead of time, to be cast in a few seconds. They have one effect each.

Ritual magic: Spells worked out ahead of time just like formulaic magic, but taking many minutes or even hours to cast and the expenditure of valuable Vis.

Do we really lose anything so valuable there?

Should Ritual Magic have the same note about one effect? I think it still applies, but I'm trying to think through all the spells and guidelines I'm familiar with to see if I can come up with any disagreement.

I would just point out that in all cases above except for Mythic Blood and new RDTs, the text is a "carryover" from previous editions when Rituals were a subset of Formulaic spells. So I think that in all cases save for Mythic Blood the most "conservative" choice in spirit would be to change "formulaic" into "formulaic and ritual" (non-standard RDTs seem particularly appropriate and common for Rituals).

Inventive genius (ArM5 p.44) applies "when you invent new spells, craft magic items, and make potions".

This should probably be updated to 5th edition :slight_smile:

Which may be less straightforward than it sounds. It probably applies when inventing a Longevity Ritual. It probably also applies when enchanting a familiar, since you can experiment "creating
any magical enchantment (device or familiar)
" - ArM5 p.107. Does it apply when inventing a spell from a laboratory text, or "reproducing" an enchantment? How about when attempting to open the Arts of an apprentice who already has supernatural Virtues?

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yeah, I've always read potions as longevity rituals. Btw, creative block (p. 52) also has the same wording.

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Formulaic magic: Spells that have been worked out in detail ahead of time, and can be cast without preparation. They have one effect each.

Ritual magic: Spells worked out ahead of time just like formulaic magic, but require an elaborate process to cast and the expenditure of valuable Vis.

I'd rather go this way.

The “they have one effect each” only being under the Formulaic Magic entry might lead some to the conclusion that Rituals can have more than one effect per spell. Which I don't think is allowed but if it is it should probably be mentioned.

How about:

Using Enchanted Devices (p. 100): Replace the first sentence of the sixth bullet point (the last one in the left column) with: "You may perform one trigger action for an enchanted item in a round. In most cases, this will activate one effect, but some items may be designed so that one action activates multiple effects.

Wouldn't this leave the issue open, how much time the activation of a subsequent effect takes? This is the occasion now, to do explicitly away with ArM5 mitrailleuses!

EDIT: As we are at it, there is also LoH p.107 box Rego Vim Guidelines explicitly enabling to tie together several wands into a Flambeau MP.

Looks like that would require errata elsewhere, so I'm disinclined to do it. I'm also not sure I see the problem. If a magus wants to invest a large amount of vis in being able to launch 24 Pili of Fire simultaneously, why not?

+/-3 to Lab Totals unless you are using a Lab Text.

I'm not convinced the Glossary needs revision. It's a bootloader, which is why it's at the beginning.


Shouldn't you just call it List of Hermetic Words - or such - then? As a glossary of terms it defines and explains those terms later used in the text - and better be precise and correct.

I wouldn't know, where. LoH p.107 box Rego Vim Guidelines is a separate issue.

It is relatively easy, to build a wand (call it a Maxim Wand) which, once triggered, can cast the same effect again automatically and ad infinitum.
You have two effects in it: P providing the payload (e. g. Pilum of Fire) and most simple and cheap L providing the loader (e. g. create a little moonlight with D: Mom on the wand).
L and P have unlimited uses. By ArM5 p.99 Linked Trigger, effect L gets triggered by P, and triggers P again by another Linked Trigger, and on it goes.

The effect L in the wand costs 10 (unlimited uses) +3 (Linked Trigger) +1(some moonlight), the effect P in the wand costs 10 (unlimited uses) +3 (Linked Trigger) +payload cost. Together 27 + the payload cost (20 for Pilum of Fire, 25 for Arc of Fiery Ribbons, ...).
This is quite possible for an elder Flambeau (Maxim), even if both enchantments go into the wand at the same season. With lab texts from Maxim, afterwards many Flambeaus can build their own Maxim Wands.

How often does that Maxim Wand now fire in a round?

As far as I can see, this wand either fires once, or does not have an off switch.

Thus, it is the sort of thing that I might allow a Fatal Flaw result on the experimentation table to produce, so I'm not sure that it is a problem that needs an explicit note in the rules to block it. Hard cases make bad law, and all that.


In addition to what OneShot mentioned, there would be the issue that limiting someone to one triggering action let's you do all sorts of undesired shenanigans.

Consider the following situation: A magus's lab has been protected with a whole bunch of enchanted items that can be triggered accidentally by an intruder, and a grog with a ring that improves his Soak for Diameter an unlimited number of times per day wants to steal an item from the lab. So the grog activates his ring each round while moving through the lab to prevent activating any item in the lab accidentally.

Or this one: A trained group of grogs each have a suit of armor that deflects an animal/beast if it strikes the armor like The Wizard's Parry. They face a hydra that functions somewhat like The Blessing of Starkad. The hydra attacks with its bites, hitting the group for one apiece. One of the grog's suits of armor functions, while the rest fail because the hydra has already triggered one effect.

But "use one effect from one item each round" remains really messy itself. I really don't know what the right way about this is. The intention is that you cannot do a whole bunch of different triggering activities to benefit yourself in one round. But you should be able to trigger a bunch of things with one activity (e.g. Multiple Casting with ReVi, effects with linked triggers) and trigger a bunch of different negative things (e.g. the grog in the lab above, the hydra above).

Quite so. The off-switch makes the thing more complicated to describe and sits in the L effect: it is not moonlight, but reads the state of a switch on the wand and triggers P only if it is set.

The remains of Maxim's original, that had L create moonlight, has been locked away safely after it burned up the covenant council chamber.

Yup. That's why I'd suggested the same thing earlier, leaving it as a question in case I was overlooking something.

I'm going to close this thread. I need to wind up the errata for now so that I can actually send them to Atlas.

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