Tranquillina Bonisagi, filia Maximianus

Hi everyone,

I had some initial ideas about a course of original research for Tranquillina, and Jonathan suggested we get more eyeballs on the protoplan. I'd be interested in your thoughts, reactions, and suggestions.

She's a Corpus specialist trained by a magus who has written books on Medicine as well as Corpus; the local aura is Rego-aligned; and she's a physically frail person who is susceptible to maladies, yet is not aged by the passing of years. It stands to reason that she would be extremely interested in magic that helped prevent disease, or more broadly, magic that duplicated the benefits of someone trained in Medicine - a bit like craft magic.

Since there aren't standard mechanics for the chance of catching disease, I don't know what good a literal disease-prevention spell would do. But a closely related goal could be to use Rego Corpus (possibly with a Creo requisite) to modulate the balance of humours in the body in the same way that a medical regimen would (Arts & Academe pages 58-59). In other words, this goal would be to invent a Hermetic ReCo spell guideline(s) like Give a character a +X bonus to her Living Conditions modifier (or directly to Aging Rolls perhaps).

I went through the sections in A&A on diseases and medicine, and came up with some examples of spells she might experiment with along the way to such a discovery, starting with canon spells and working her way out from there. (The first few spells are CrCo spells; she could either experiment with them to try to incorporate more humour-balancing mechanisms, or perhaps try to invent ReCo spells that mimic these CrCo spells. I don't think that's too unbalancing, since presumably almost all such ReCo spells would require a Finesse roll.)

  • Diagnosis/prognosis: this is already amply covered by Revealed Flaws of Mortal Flesh, so she could start by inventing that spell with experimentation.
  • Bonus to disease recovery rolls: a version of Purification of the Festering Wounds can provide a bonus. (Note: the spell text in ArM5 page 129 says that the spell can provide a recovery bonus to both Wound and Disease recovery rolls, but that contradicts the first paragraph of the sidebar on page 57 of A&A which says that different spells must be invented to address diseases versus wounds.)
  • Curing disease: Gentle Touch of the Purified Body and variants
  • Resolving an Aging Crisis: Cheating the Reaper
  • Chirurgy: lots of ReCo spells can be invented to duplicate these procedures (sidebar on page 60 of A&A). Certainly she would want spells that mimicked the effects of phlebotomy (bloodletting) and cautery/cupping.
  • Spells to promote sound sleep or a regular sleep schedule. These might be Mentem spells (such as Call to Slumber of course), or they could be ReCo spells that mimic effects of ReMe spells by manipulating the humours and faculties.
  • Spells to duplicate the effect of exercise on the body - ReCo for sure.
  • Spells to aid diet ... not sure about this one. If we open ideas up to all TeFo combinations: InAn/InHe spells to grant a magical sense of smell that guides the target towards food that is best for their health that day (could it be MuCo?); ReMe to make the target choose the best food for them; InCo for them to instinctively know what foods would be good for them, and let them choose to act accordingly or not?
  • Therapy: I think the point of using ReCo to manipulate humours is that one wouldn't need to go through the "middleman" of the apothecary's potions. However, one could possibly try some CrHe spells to create ingredients and/or ReHe spells to mix them. (I can't find an Ease Factor for apothecaries mixing potions, so I don't know if Craft Magic is appropriate here.)

PS: A maga who had a spell with this hypothetical new guideline wouldn't need to know any Medicine or Chirurgy to use the spell successfully. But it might be thematic for Tranquillina to need to learn a modicum of each Ability before undertaking her research. This would require either obtaining mundane summae, or (an even crazier, story-suggesting idea) time spent as a student in a medical school.


What is the breakthrough she is trying to achieve? Would it be a virtue to all spells?

I might recommend getting a weasel for a familiar. If not she will end up talking to Paion. You might also look at Hedge magic in the Elementalist section. They have form of medicine that deals with controlling the humors. It might be helpful or not.


I don't know enough about Paion (or weasels) to understand why this would be helpful....

I think, what jebrick is asking, and what I'm asking, or trying to figure out...what's the guideline being invented, including a description of the base and level?

Paion is Korvin's familiar and is a weasel of virtue. I'm suggesting a weasel because they are the experts in medicine for animals of virtue. "The weasel has an understanding of medicine and can even revive its own young if they are killed." Paion has a medicine score of 7. I could have cranked it up higher if I wanted to.

JL is correct in that I can not figure out what the spell guideline is for the Original Research. It sounds like a minor breakthrough. That is described as a new range or duration for spells. Korvin is working on Major Breakthrough in an improved LR that allow non-gifted characters to divide by 5 rather than the current 10 years. It would end up being a Hermatic virtue He could then teach the virtue to others.

To me, it seems that if you just want to improve your living conditions modifier, you could just research spells to cast to improve the conditions around you ( and others). Not really breakthrough research because you are not pushing the boundaries of Magic theory.

Okay, fair enough - I'll throw something more specific out there - a provisional idea, but easier for you all to react to a concrete proposal.

New Rego Corpus spell guidelines

  • Level 20: Grant a +1 bonus to a character's Living Conditions modifier.
  • Level 25: Grant a +2 bonus to a character's Living Conditions modifier (with an Intellego requisite).
  • Level 30: Grant a +3 bonus to a character's Living Conditions modifier (with Intellego and Creo requisites; must be a Ritual).

I was thinking Minor Breakthrough as well; I don't know if a single Minor Breakthrough would encompass the whole trio of new guidelines or just one of them.

Example spells

Therapy of the Medicus
Rego Corpus 35
R: Personal, D: Moon, T: Individual
The caster's bodily humors are regulated in a way that helps to avoid diseases and ill health, as if she were a patient under the care of a doctor. If the caster is under the effect of this spell for more than half a year, she gains a +1 bonus to her Living Conditions modifier; note that this does cause Warping as a continuous effect. A character may be affected by both this spell and an actual doctor's regimen, but only the larger of the two bonuses applies.

Regimen of Salerno
Rego (Intellego) Corpus 40
R: Personal, D: Moon, T: Individual
As Therapy of the Medicus, except that the Intellego requisite increases the ability of the spell to regulate the humors well, granting a +2 bonus to the Living Conditions modifier.

Wizard's Eucrasia
Rego (Intellego, Creo) Corpus 55 (Ritual)
R: Touch, D: Year, T: Individual
The target's bodily humors and faculties are regulated and amplified in a way that helps to avoid diseases and ill health, as if she were a patient under the care of a highly skilled doctor. If the target is under the effect of this spell for more than half a year, she gains a +3 bonus to her Living Conditions modifier; note that this does cause Warping as both a powerful effect (unless designed for or cast by the target) and a continuous effect. Characters affected by this spell cannot also be benefited by following an actual doctor's regimen.

I don't think these spells should require Finesse rolls (certainly not any spells with Intellego requisites). I kind of WAGged the spell guideline levels, based on what I thought the final spell levels should be; but it did fit reasonably nicely as being higher than the existing Level 15: Direct the flow of bodily energy.

PS: With her vis allergy, Tranquillina ain't really the familiar-havin' kind o' gal :cry:

I do not see the breakthrough. It looks like spells. I would make them all rituals that last since they only effect one roll a year. You are basically asking for new guidelines to be added which is not part of breakthrough but part of game play.


Agree, which is why it might not be such a good idea to choose ReCo over CrCo, especially as it leaves you open to a botch :confused:
Also, CrCo gives you sinergy for Longevity purposes.

This is surely a difficult question, and you may need more than one spell for this. You need:

  • InCo to know the body's needs
  • Either mundane knowledge or InAn/InHe to know what food acts on what humor. Target smell would be great for that.
  • If you want to force people, ReMe, but do you really want to?

And yes, JL is pretty right about warping :-/ Maybe try to create spells that help to know a food's properties, and spells that enhance them? Avoid spells that act on the magus if you can.

I have other tastes. People can certainly see things your way, which seem to roughly be that, if it doesn't contradict the laws of hermetic magic, then you don't need any special work to do it, just troupe consensus that it's possible, and hop! New guidelines!

It's no more wrong or right than mine, and the 2 could very well coexist, but I prefer to see published guidelines as what is currently possible to magic, with newer guidelines being the result of more recent research. Things outside of this are not impossible for hermetic magic, but no one has figured how to do it, yet. This is in part supported by these rare examples in the books where you have guidelines that, despite not requiring any special virtue, are explicitly not available to basic hermetic magic, such as RoP:M guidelines..

This, IMO, is more realistic, as it helps the GM to say that all these centuries of research that bonisagi have yielded results, even if none of them was groundbreaking. It also gives players something to strive for, just like what gerg is doing here. So, for example, a game set in 1200 might have the guidelines in A&A as off-limits, for example, and a GM might use a new book to showcase players the results of hermetic (minor) breakthroughs by hermetic seekers and theorists.

Thanks for the initial feedback, non-consensus though it might be. Apart from Jonathan's acknowledgment of my acknowledgment of the Warping, I got some opinion that those ReCo spells could be invented right now, and opposing opinion that they would comprise a Minor Breakthrough. I think both possibilities are quite defensible, depending on the troupe's decision ... what should we do in our saga?

All of your example spells would not cause warping if they were made for Tranquillina. I've also wondered if it would effect her personality as it is keeping the humors in balance. Anger is related to sangerious (sp?). I think melancholy is bile, ext...

Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults has some Bjornaer spells on page 36 that, effectly, realign the humors which, in turn, give the subject bonuses in certain areas. That might be something worth looking at, too.

Sanguine gives +1 Quickness, +3 to negate the natural fear the caster instills (basically cancelling the effects of the Gift in animal form), and gives the Cheerful Personality Trait at +3.

Choleric gives +1 Dexterity, +3 to all rolls to follow a trail or find something that was hidden, and the Brave Personality Trait at +3.

Melancholic gives +1 Stamina, +3 to all rolls to communicate across a language barrier, and gives the Creative Personality Trait at +3.

Phlegmatic gives +1 Strength, +3 to all rolls involving intuition and memory, and gives the Cool-Headed Personality Trait at +3.

That is why I was looking at the Elementalist in the Hedge Magic book. Their Medical ability does most of the same things. It is just for ideas of what can be done. With more balanced humor you might have no personality trait over +1 or -1 ( brain storming here ).

Those references to HMRE and HOH:MC were really great, thank you both. (Also reminded me there's a difference between Hedge Magic and its Revised Edition....)
The Bjornaer stuff definitely implies that Muto Corpus can affect emotions by rebalancing the humors. It's possible this could be done with CrCo or even ReCo as well. That might be a different line of research, since it would mean using Corpus to cause effects usually under the purview of Mentem.
I looked at the Elementalists, and it certainly says that Elemental Summoning can do much of what Medicine can do (although diagnosis is part of Elemental Divining; also Elemental Controlling can affect emotions like the above Bjornaer stuff). In theory one could attempt to integrate Elemental Summoning into Hermetic Magic Theory with one's research.

While interesting and workable ideas for other characters or times, I think in the end they don't have much direct bearing on the proposed plan of research into ReCo medicinal spells. I couldn't even get anything but a rough idea of how the power level for the Elemental Summoning spells would translate to spell levels for ReCo: an Elemental Summoning total of 30 is enough to cure basically any disease in a human (that corresponds to the proper Elemental Form), and this could probably be reliably achieved by a 50-year-old Elementalist character. Anyway, I think the proposed spell level guidelines still seem okay to me.

The proposed spells would indeed cause warping, although magi learning these spells for themselves wouldn't have to worry about it. To me it seems useful but not crazy beneficial. I'm kind of liking the idea the more I think about it. How do others feel about this as a viable original research program in our saga?

I wasn't even thinking about that warping, but of continual mystical effect :-/

But you're all giving me an idea.
What if you searched for a breakthrough that, not unlike form bonuses, allowed a magus knowledge of Rego Corpus to give him naturally balanced humors?

Like, you could take 1/10 of his ReCo total and apply it as both a living conditions modifier, non cumulative with medecine, and half of that as a "penalty" to personnality traits that differ from 0.
So, someone with Angry -3 and ReCo 41 would have a 4 points bonus to living conditions and see his personnality trait reduced to Angry -1.

You could also develop your new guidelines that, while not cumulative with this or medecine, would allow you to duplicate the same effect in mundanes (or in magi whose ReCo is too low)

Once I find time to finish Halvard, that is exactly what he is doing :smiley: And he would be a member of a vassal

A few laboratory-related items: this is a summary of my plan to finish off Tranquillina's lab customization, and I just want to record things here to give the SG / troupe a final chance to raise objections or questions.

  • Tranquillina has two reasonable potential sources for an enchanted item that would bestow the Magical Heating virtue upon her lab. First, amul had put enchantments of exactly this type on the magi planner for Viscaria; second, Tranquillina almost brought such an item with her from Nigrasaxa, made by her sodalis Thamik (i.e., I planned on spending build points on it, put it on the wiki, but eventually allocated the bps elsewhere). It's a lesser enchantment with a level-20 CrIg effect; the standard Verditius cost would be 6 pawns of vis. My plan is for Tranquillina to pay that cost from her personal vis allocation (after the Tribunal is over), thus acquiring the item and installing the virtue.
  • The young man Loys (a literate covenant resident), who has appeared in a couple of stories, has a crush on Tranquillina and will soon be owed a debt by her. He's going to ask to become her full-time servant; while she's a little uncomfortable from his puppy love, she does see the benefits of having a dedicated lab servant. Tranquillina plans to spend a season (probably 1227.4) refining her lab once again; I propose that during this same season she can also train Loys to be her lab servant and thus gain the Servant virtue. (A little rationale: to me it seems a reasonable interpretation of the RAW that Tranquillina could bestow Training XP upon Loys during a season of refining her lab with him present. That would be enough to get Loys to a score of 1 in Magic Theory. Technically a Servant doesn't even need the Magic Theory skill, but it seems like this minimal score would serve to indicate the ability to help out in the lab.)
  • Finally, at that point Tranquillina will have done three seasons of refinement on her lab. The Covenants rules (page 110) say that a character can make a "Tidy (or other relevant Personality Trait) roll" to gain the Spotless virtue. I submit that Tranquillina could make such a roll with her Patient +2 personality trait (and I seek your agreement or disagreement). If so, then she does indeed gain Spotless.

Minor uncertainties about the rules.

  • Tranquillina has the Waster of Vis Flaw: "When you use raw vis you waste one quarter (rounded up) of the pawns you apply.... You must use a third again as many pawns as usual.... This Flaw applies to all occasions on which you use vis...." Suppose Tranquillina spends three weeks in a row fixing three Arcane Connections. Normally that would cost 1 pawn of Vim vis each, for a total of 3 pawns. For Tranquillina, does this cost 4 pawns total? Or does each one require 2 pawns (like it would if she were only fixing one), for a total of 6 pawns?
  • Suppose Tranquillina had a MuVi spell, like Shroud Magic or Wizard's Reach, that was Duration: Diameter (and Range: Touch). Would it then affect all spells cast by Tranquillina for the next two minutes?

Waster of Vis affects each individual item, so it would take 6 pawns.
I think, and anyone is welcome to chime in, that each MuVi effect affects only one spell. I'll use th Sun duration Wizard's Communion for ritual spells as my example.

Oh man, I just realized that MuVi has to affect only one spell each. Otherwise in combat I just cast a MuVi spell that affects incoming spells, with long Duration, and it protects me from all of them. No way, I'm with JL. (on both counts)
Edited to add: But if it had Duration: Diameter, that would at least get rid of the Concentration roll for casting both spells, right?