ToP: Breaking the shield

You left out the bottom part which was also part of the argument, and directly pertains to your question?

So why repeat the asking of a question while failing to include the answer that was already provided?

I will however amplify the answer a bit.

As the defining resource in the game for conducting bigger, permanent, or at least longer lasting magic I do not see the difference as flimsy or negligible, at all. Compared to every other spell that can be cast in a single round vs rituals being as you say potentially up to an hour or two, plus vis? Vis which is generally slowly accrued over years?

Vis essentially is the meta-currency in the game to regulate being able to do those bigger and more impactful things. To make say Healing be non-trivial magic because it consumes a resource that is finite.

Rituals thus are by definition a class of magic that is regarded as "bigger" and more powerful, that requires a management/limiting mechanism, and that mechanism is Vis. Which is exactly why Vis is the important currency of Magi. Because it fuels Rituals and Enchantments. (And can also be studied.)

So why "don't" you think Rituals deserve "oomph" as a type of magic?


Ha... seems that even longivity ritual dispelling is a ritual

Dispel a specific type of enchantment with a level less than twice the guideline level used +
a stress die (no botch). To qualify the spell needs to specify a particular Hermetic Form or a
specific type of enchantment, such as Talismans, Familiars, or Longevity Rituals. More general
enchantments do not qualify. (Ritual) [HoH:TL p.75]



Indeed. So the entire argument about dispelling requiring a Ritual for stuff that took a season to create fails: longevity rituals take a season to develop, but can then be re-enacted in negligible time.

While it is undeniably RAW that Rituals can be dispelled by low-level spontaneous magic, I think it is a poor design choice of ArM5 (in earlier editions, dispelling a Ritual took a Ritual). The rule of thumb should be: if it takes vis to make, it takes vis to break.


Careful. You can perform the focus again for a failed ritual. But if it is dispelled, is that the same thing as it having failed? It could be that dispelling it means the focus won't work to reactivate it because there is nothing left to reactivate. It could also be the case that the focus will still work. Since we don't know, we really cannot use this as an argument to say that prior argument is wrong; that's basically deciding the other argument is wrong by fiat to prove it's wrong.

That's not a bad rule, and easy to house-rule in.

But for canon we know it is not the case. I think if we go back and look at the thread on containers, noting circles and boundaries, we may find we can break AotH through current interpretations of containers.

Can you? Does that match with the current interpretation of containers?

1 Like

Yes. Aegis will continue until end of duration but will need a new boundary to be established for a new one to be cast if the original one was destroyed.



We have (easy to find, ArM5 p.168):

A character is only under the influence of an effect if she is affected directly and personally. Thus, a character enchanted to fly at all times is under the influence of an effect, but a character living in a flying castle need not be; the castle is directly affected by the magic.
Wards are active mystical effects as long as they are protecting someone. Two notable exceptions are Parma Magica and the Aegis of the Hearth, which are based on the same breakthrough by Bonisagus.

So an Aegis is not an active mystical effect affecting the area it is cast on. Neither with respect to warping, nor with respect to dispelling.

That sounds like: "Things don't have Encumbrance (ArM5 p.192), but people have if they try to carry them. So if I make an object lighter by magic, I directly affect the people carrying them with that magic and might hence warp them." Not a valid argument, right?

You might want to reread your quote. It says no, not yes. Which type is it?

Second, they can affect any valid target within the Target container during the spell's period of effect. In this case, a valid target that leaves the container ceases to be affected by the spell, and a valid target that enters (or re-enters) the container is affected, until it leaves or the spell expires.

What happens with this type?

If the container ceases to exist as a container before the spell duration ends, the effect depends on the type of spell. If it is of the second type, the spell ends when the container ceases to exist.

So, if we can bring down the Aegis by destroying the boundary, which could be done with a formulaic spell, is it so unreasonable that we can bring down the Aegis with a formulaic PeVi?

1 Like

A young covenant establishes an aegis, their first concern is likely supernatural creatures, not another magus assaulting their covenant, so the weaker versions would be used, especially since as noted it is definitely a hermetic crime to do so, unless the space being protected has only a single magus within and you have declared wizard war on them (or are in the Hibernian tribunal and have a wizard war declared with the entire covenant). If they are worried about a rival magus taking down the aegis without spending vis it is not too difficult to raise the level of the aegis to where it does require a ritual to bring down- even at that point however if the opposing mage has the capability of bring down the aegis it will be cheaper in terms of vis to tear down an aegis than to put one up.
Taking down the boundary will depend heavily on what the boundary is made of, and whether the boundary marker itself is protected by the aegis.

I would think this very much depends on the nature of the boundary and the spells involved, obviously, yet if it is true that it would work that way it is an interesting thing to consider. Is this take on how "container" targets work something that went into errata?

A lot depends on the nature of a given boundary. But for the sake of argument I think we could easily grant that at least "some" formulaic spells of the right type could severely damage if perhaps even completely negate "some" things that would qualify as a Boundary before their effects.

I suppose examples could be developed that could portray that either ending or maintaining an effect until the end of its Duration either way in either a positive or negative light. There are so many potential examples it seems like something difficult to approach completely evenly and consistently. Which is annoying. I by far prefer consistency. (I'm looking at you Perdo.)

On the one hand I have trouble devising a reason why, say, burning down a forest that is being used as a Boundary Target shouldn't negate some magical effect that was placed on the forest. Yet how much is sufficient to consider a Boundary no longer an effective demarcation for magical purposes. If I fire catapults at your wall until it has a hole in it, have I negated the Boundary and forced your Aegis to drop? What if I create water until the lake surrounding the island your Covenant is on (ahem) begins to flood over the island? Do you no longer have a Boundary? Neither of the latter examples feels intuitively right to me.

Regardless I don't think it really affects the consideration of direct conflict between Formulaic vs. Ritual Magic. Negating the physical Boundary (or Room, or Circle etc.) is making an end run around the issue, not resolving it, in my estimation. My rational intuition is that Ritual Magic "should" be more powerful than Formulaic Magic, and this is under represented in the rules as they stand. I would additionally posit that this devalues a variety of Ritual Magic uses as things to spend your vis on.

1 Like

That citation, which I mentioned previously in the thread I might add, doesn't mean that they are not magical effects. The exception and what makes it notable is that those are two magical effects that very particularly do not cause warping despite continual use and affecting their targets. That is what makes them exceptions. It doesn't prove your point, it directly disproves it.

Granted I think this is, what, the third time we have disagreed on this topic and gone over the same points? I think we can accept that we disagree, hopefully amicably.

The two arguments have a very different structure and your comparison is inapt.

A caster generates a casting total when attempting to create a magical effect, and then succeeds or fails. After which the effect has a penetration value for how effective it is. To penalize the casting total a magical effect has to directly affect the caster, penetrate, and inflict the casting penalty on their actions as a character. This includes Aegis. You are standing in a Room Target effect that inflicts casting penalties? It doesn't matter unless it penetrates. The effect must affect the Character in order to modify the casting total that they generate as they attempt actions. A given spell literally isn't the target, or even an appropriate target, for that effect.

Whereas it seems trivially obvious that effects that modify the encumbrance value of objects by negating/mitigating weight literally do and should target said objects.

1 Like

This is not a unique property of the Hibernian Tribunal or its Peripheral Code.

Now arguably this would be considered a more provocative action in some Tribunals in comparison with others, but it is legal everywhere. Declaring war on an entire Covenant in the Rhine, with entanglements with multiple Gilds likely a direct result, would likely be unwise. But legal. The Rhine hasn't, and can't, outlaw Wizard War. But they have made it prohibitive to engage in very effectively by the political balkanization of Gilds and using them as defense pacts.

Removing the Hearth's Keystone (HP, pg 94) is an example of a RAW Aegis dispel that dispels at effect level + 15 levels and is designed (as I mentioned earlier in the thread) to be dropped through an Intangible Tunnel. So if we imagine, just for sake of argument, pushing that to the maximum non-Ritual value of 45 it would still dispel up to level 60. In order to force conversion to a Ritual you therefore would need a minimum of an Aegis level of 65.

I don't believe this qualifies as "not too difficult" for most Covenants, especially any lacking a Vim specialist.

At least 3 pawns cheaper, since the dispel reaches up 3 magnitudes + die roll. So on that we very much agree. Even more cheaply if a ritual is not required at all for the dispel. It places the efficiency on the side of offense.

Interesting point. Perhaps that would be a reason to consider protecting more than just an immediate environment/fortress of the Covenant for magical strategy purposes. Protecting everything "within your Boundary" in order to make it harder to undermine the definition of your Boundary in magical terms.

  1. Very unlikely without vast amounts of Vis as Rituals has minimum level of 20, and it is very hard to get Spotaneous casting total high enough to dispel rituals. Agaisnt Aegis it is almost impossible, as you ahve to get Penetration bypass the Aegis, and with spontaneous casting total it is very hard. With 25 spell on 35 Aegis you need Casting total of 120 - twice the Penetration score to penetrate Aegis to affect Level 35 Aegis. '
1 Like

It takes a lot of word-twisting to read the ArM5 text that way. Note that the text on ArM5, p.101 does not say that the ritual "fails", or that the focus "reactivates" it. No. It says that researching a longevity ritual culminates in the development of a repeatable focus action (such as drinking a potion, taking a bath, or standing in a purifying flame - never an object) whose effects last until the first aging crisis; then the focus action can be repeated, and the text specifically describes such repetition as "performing the ritual from the old ritual again".

So, a dispelled longevity ritual can be repeated - and in fact, a non-dispelled longevity ritual that stops working at the first aging crisis cannot leave something behind "to be reactivated", or such "leftover" magic would warp the recipient.

1 Like

You are quoting containers of the second type but the Aegis is of the 1st...


1 Like

The spontaneous casting issue is really just relevant for the Diedne war where they all could spont on day 1 a level 25 PeVi. Could easilly grab a +4 AC connection to the Aegis boundary for a +5 multiplyer. They also easilly could muster a +5 sympathic multiplyer. They were masters of ceremony and had good artes (4) but even better philo (6) and normal penetration skill (4) So we get:

Penetration (4) x 10 (AC + Sympathetic) = +40
Vis (20) = +40
Merits such as life linked which I find to be druidic themed adds another +20
Aura: +5
Ceremonial: +10
Total: 115 + stress die

You could push for a bit more Arts which are currently set at about 15 in each Pe/Vi
Push for a bit more vis
Push for a little bit more Penetration skill

But with one season, any magus can make it a formulaic, adding 25+ to the above penetration total plus wizard communion plus mastery in penetration allowing the killing of any Aegis relatively easy for any group of 3+ magi. At this point, the Aegis gives you one extra round of defense, a few seconds, so that you are not totally surprised you are being attacked.


As far as I'm aware, the whole container thing has not shown up in the errata. However, the term "container" for targets has shown up in the errata, so the idea of container targets has hit the errata and maybe there will be more later.

Hmm... He did say that, and I'm wrong about what he said here. But I'm pretty sure I read something that said the Aegis would go down. What confuses me here is that he's using my pre-container argument which was an interpretation to solve the pre-container issue, but using it post-container. Also, the container movement thing doesn't look right since we have canonical containers of both types moving. I'm going to have to dig deeper and for the moment accept that destroying the AotH boundary doesn't end it. Sorry.



Because that isn't true.

AoH is vulnerable to magi with an emphasis on PeVi who have either spent seasons learning to knock Aegises down, or who are implausibly focused spont specialists. The implausibly focused spont specialists are not realistic threats — that's "an angel comes and knocks it down" territory. No-one sensible spends time worrying about it. Magi in the first category are probably quite rare — why would you waste time learning such a spell? If you can get a high enough Penetration to take the Aegis down, you can get a high enough Penetration to blast straight through it, and don't need to take it down. An Aegis-smasher is a spell you can only cast if you have declared Wizard's War on a whole covenant, or want to be Marched. (It's a clear Code violation, and every other magus in the Tribunal will want to set a precedent.) High Penetration castle destroyers do have other uses.

And, of course, most supernatural creatures cannot dispel Hermetic magic, and will be kept out of the Aegis in any case.

Aegis is clearly extremely useful, but it is not invulnerable. From a story perspective, that's exactly what we want.

(Incidentally, that statement about wards all being type one did not make it through all the discussions of static and dynamic targets.)


Your "can easily" is not true. A character designed for that dying for it literally could possibly do it. One important mistake you have there: the spell fizzles if it does not get casting total of 50. And you cannot use more Vis than you have Arts. Ceremonial casting also means the Covenant guards can spot the DIedne during casting and poking a ceremonial caster with pionty sticks is a very bad thing. If the spell is done at Arcane conenction range it owuld be 10 levels higher. And life linked ceremonial magic is very hazardous as failing the casting total means you gain extra fatigue levels meaning th the spell botches due losign consciousness due life linked magic damage.

I disagree getting +5 multiplier for the boundary of the Aegis being easy to get. It requires permanent Arcane connection to the path, not something along the path. Getting permanent Arcane connections is not easy as you have to know the boundary.

1 Like

Diedne cannot have LIfe Linked Mgic as it is Major Hermetic VIrtue, and they already have Major Hermetic VIrtue Diedne Magic.

1 Like

You can obtain a second (and third, etc.) Major Hermetic Virtue during play through Mystery Initiations or Twilight experiences just to name the two most common ways.