Unstructured and Rigid rewrite

As can be seen, for a single Major Flaw, Unstructured Caster is huge - it's the kind of Flaw that you only take because you want to set a limitation and work around it (or because you're a perfect example of the species rattus laboratorium). Furthermore, due to the double-hit on UC, most people who take Unstructured Caster take Rigid (and often a couple of attached flaws like Loose Magic because you might as well munch out if you're doing this) and just forget about ever learning a spell. Third, for pre-Schism games or the inevitable special snowflake who wants to play a Diedne survivor, Covenants 91 mentions that the druids didn't have Formulaic magic, but they did know how to cast great rituals - so a more "old-school" Diedne practitioner might want to have something like this. And fourth, Rigid Caster does also lock out the minor option of spending vis on spontaneous magic.

Again, if you're a master enchanter Verditius who doesn't give a whomp about ever casting, all this is fine. But I'd like to give just a little more flexibility to the Flaws in question (whether for an "old-school druid" Diedne in a pre-Schism game, a Verditius with LLSM who actually does cast some spells every now and then, or a really bloody weird Mercurian), and provide a reason why you might not take both. (While I'm reducing the strength of the flaws a bit, they still qualify for Major in my opinion - they're both a bit bigger than Weak Spontaneous Magic.)

Rigid Magic (Minor Hermetic Flaw)

You cannot use vis to enhance spell rolls, in certamen or for vis boosting. You may cast ritual magic normally and use vis in the laboratory.

Small Magic (Major Hermetic Flaw)

You cannot cast ritual spells, limiting the breadth and strength of the effects you can use and preventing you from using magic to make permanent changes. You may use spontaneous and formulaic spells normally.

Unstructured Caster (Major Hermetic Flaw)

Whether because of a flaw in your Gift or the training of your parens, you have never developed the ability to cast formulaic spells. Ritual spells are unaffected. If you are a member of House Verditius (where this Virtue is slightly more common than elsewhere), or with troupe discretion otherwise, you may take 300 XP (plus 75 XP for Skilled Parens, minus 75 XP for Weak Parens) during apprenticeship and learn no spells. Outside of House Verditius, consider taking the Hedge Wizard Flaw.

Hi,

I've thought along these lines.

However, I think Small Magic is not quite a Major Hermetic Flaw. Many magi can go their entire career, never needing to cast a ritual spell. It's a gimme. It has a big effect, yet I can easily see people taking it as a minor flaw, because that big effect is so easily discarded. You'd much prefer someone else cast your ritual anyway! Canonical Rigid Magic is also not so bad a major flaw, especially in a vis-poor saga. If you have to take a Major Hermetic Flaw from the Core Rules, and cannot get away with handwaving Blatant Gift, Rigid Magic is a rather good choice.

But I agree that UC is very nasty. It's probably the worst Major Hermetic Flaw.

I also have no problem with someone taking every flaw that nerfs Formulaic Magic: Rigid/Loose/UC/Poor Formulaic/Did I miss one? I have 8 Flaw points here, and that's a fair cost for losing Formulaic casting. The brunt of the ouch is borne by UC, because losing non-ritual Formulaic Magic is quite a bit more than 3 points of flaw.

BTW, I don't think Verditius Magi deserve a special advantage. Any Diedne should get at least as much. A Bjornaer might also simply not care, and some traditions of Ex Misc might be thoroughly thrilled to have a familiar, create items and spont, along with their tradition's abilities. All can put the xps to good use.

Here's a version of Unstructured Caster that I think works nicely:

Diedne Magic (Major Hermetic Flaw)
You might not have anything to do with House Diedne, but your magic is sometimes thus derided for lacking in the robust structure necessary for the most powerful Hermetic castings: You are utterly incapable of any Formulaic magic, including mystery spells and ritual spells; you may not take Poor Formulaic Magic or Loose Magic. On the positive side, any spell points gained during character creation can be used as real xp. Your unstructured magic also helps when you cast spontaneous magic. You always divide your casting score by 2. If you do not spend fatigue, you do not include a die and therefore can never botch under any circumstances. If you do spend fatigue, you double the lower Art, add a stress die to the Casting Total, and if you also spend vis, you add +2/pawn to the Casting Total. Finally, you can cast spontaneous rituals through ceremonial casting; rituals must always be cast using fatigue.

Anyway,

Ken

I can see your point - but I can also see a Flambeau (as in, a combat-oriented magus) who never needs to use a Perdo spell in his career either and took Deficient Technique. "No rituals" trims off a major option from your list - no really big spells, nothing Boundary-sized, no permanent Creo, and you can't cast the Aegis. I'd say that Rituals are at least as valuable as Spontaneous Magic. (You can abandon the capacity for the latter, and Mercurians weaken their spontaneous casting ability a fair bit, but this isn't a trivial loss.)

If you're okay with flawing off vis extraction as well, Unnatural Magic (HoH: MC) is Major ("no permanent Creo"). (Vis extraction is apprentice's work anyway. :mrgreen:)

Hi,

I did think about including that. But efficient vis extraction is very useful for a character likely to depend on items for his best effects (high arts plus major philosophical alchemy ftw) and you were trying to preserve ritual casting.

Rigid Magic plus Waster of Vis plus Unnatural Magic is completely workable, and preserves most Formulaic Magic. Your familiar costs too much, and you want someone else to design your LR, but this combo can be lived with. Tangential to your thread, though.

Anyway,

Ken

Then, how about including Rigid Magic?

Small Magic (Major Hermetic Flaw)

You cannot cast ritual spells, limiting the breadth and strength of the effects you can use and preventing you from using magic to make permanent changes. You may use spontaneous and formulaic spells normally. Also gives the Rigid Magic minor flaw.

To me, it makes sense - "Small Magic" would basically be a Major version of Rigid Magic, which extends the latter's effect to include Rituals.

Perhaps it should be called "Fixed Magic" rather than "Small Magic"? Or "Major(ly) Rigid Magic"? :wink:

Fixed Magic (Major Hermetic Flaw)

You cannot directly use vis to enhance your own magic in any way - neither in spell rolls, certamen, vis boosting nor rituals, which precludes your participation in the casting of ritual magic. However, you may still freely manipulate and study vis in your laboratory. Characters with this flaw may not take Rigid Magic.

That's exactly the old Rigid Magic. No vis=no ritual.

Mea culpa. I didn't check my books, so I just assumed the wording you had used was the book one.

I (think I) see what you're doing. New (bad) ideas!

Minor Hermetic Flaws
Undisciplined Caster
Formulaic spells are cast as ritual spells, only without the vis requirements. Can be taken twice, in which case formulaic spells are considered ritual spells for all purposes, including vis requirements (and below flaws). Also, up to half the creation spell XP can, if desired, be moved to skills.
Grounded
You are unable to include astrological calculations when casting ritual magic. You may use neither Artes Liberales nor Philosophiae to assist your casting of ritual magic.
Unequal Rites
When casting ritual spells, only your lowest required art is added to the total. Can be taken twice, in which case no art score is added to the total.
Rigid Magic
You cannot use vis to enhance spell rolls, in certamen or for vis boosting. You may cast ritual magic normally and use vis in the laboratory.

Major Hermetic Flaw(s)
Unstructured Caster
Whether because of a flaw in your Gift or the training of your parens, you have never developed the ability to cast formulaic spells. Any creation spell XP can, if desired, be moved to skills. Not compatible with Undisciplined Caster.

(Yeah...my naming sense sucks, pardon the TP reference)

Basically, breaking out effects of major flaws into minor flaws. Grounded and Unequal Rites both feel like solid minor flaws and can stack up to (almost) the same effect as your suggestion on Small Magic. Though even when "maxing out" ritual flaws, you can always roll away with your stress die and hope for a miracle. Go ahead...waste your vis.

Hi,

Even the basic version is a major flaw.

The taking twice bit and the half creation spell bit are fiddlier than I prefer.

If you also include ceremonial magic (slow casting of spontaneous magic), this seems a fine minor flaw.

I'd change the name.

Eh. It is too different from any other rule. Creating a new kind of rule is less good. I'd look toward the Deficient flaws to create Deficient Rituals, if that was really wanted.

Maybe.

This is even worse than the existing version, which is possibly already the harshest Hermetic Flaw. What is gained by making it even harsher?

Overall, why do this?

Anyway,

Ken