Variant Rotes


In a recent thread, someone had wanted to use Rotes (Numerology) for a character but discovered that these did not function as expected. The following variant does not necessarily make Rotes work as expected, but does make the virtue worthy of consideration. I'd really want to change them more, but I think this variant does the trick not too invasively.


These work exactly as in TMRE, except as follows:

  • You can invent Rotes using ordinary Lab Texts for Formulaic Spells, and any Lab Texts you create from the invention of Rotes are normal Formulaic Spell Lab Texts. (This provides access to a much wider variety of effects, so that you don't have to invent all your Rotes from scratch.)

  • A Rote is always cast successfully, without Fatigue and without the possibility of a botch, though associated Finesse or Concentration rolls can be stress. The Casting Total of a Rote is needed only for determining Final Penetration.

  • Spell Mastery does not apply to Rotes.

  • Virtues, Flaws and Lab Specializations that apply to Formulaic Magic also apply to Rotes. This is probably a clarification, rather than a new rule. Thus, you can boost Final Penetration with virtues like Life Boost and Method Caster, and if you are required to cast Formulaic Magic as Rituals, this might not be the best Mystery Virtue for you, though you still benefit from not having to roll a casting die.

These Rotes provide a unique feature for Hermetic Magic: The ability to automatically cast spells, ignoring penalties from injury, Aura or anything else. Spell Mastery is forbidden to eliminate strange interactions, especially with Fast Casting.

Still not a great virtue, but definitely useful, especially if you have access to lots of lab texts and like casting low level utility spells.