Vis Boost seems small

Hi all,

I'm trying to familiarise myself with the mathematics of the game. Page 82 of the book says: "Vis Boost to Casting Score: +2 casting score per pawn." I'm by no means an expert in the game so apologies if it's a dumb question but that seems quite a small bonus. Do people routinely throw 5 pawns of vis into a spell when they want a +10 bonus? To my inexperienced eye, that sounds like a lot of vis for a small boost and the risk of quite a botch. Perhaps +10 is a bigger bonus than I realise? Are we perhaps playing in a vis-poor, risk-averse saga? :slight_smile:

Some insight would be very much apprectiated.

In my sagas it is not common, but far from unheard off. It is generally done when you need to beat some big guy on the spot, and you cannot spend a season or 2 in the lab creating the "bad guy killer item". Vis boosting + arcane connection + (if possible) Wizard's communion. Everything aimed at getting penetration, NOT casting total. You should be able to cast the spell anyway, so what you need is penetration added on top of that. It is useful to get that extra boost there :slight_smile: Late in the saga, when your MT is higher you can easily see people throwing 7-9 pawns at a spell, for a +16 penetration or so. That is a significant bonus. But for your average spell you will not see many magi douing that


In previous editions of the game this bonus was +5 per pawn, what this meant to the game was that no creature in the world, no archmagus or faerie queen, no dragon or duke of hell could resist the spells of a newly gauntleted magus who had a a rook of vis. Many folks (myself included) weren't fond of this.

Fifth edition did several things to make a magical defense possible (powering down vis boosting and subtracting spell level from penetration), however there are still lots of ways to get exceptionally large penetrations (wizard's communion, arcane connections, including true names, with stacked sympathetic connections, synthemata, group lab work) and only one way to really get your resistance much higher (spell mastery).

Thank you, chaps, that make a lot of sense. I recall it being +5 in the past and was thinking it sounded it sounded more appropriate but Erik's explanation makes it all clear. With a bonus that high, why would you learn anything other than how to carry more vis? :wink:

i also thougth that was a low bonus compared to the risk and costs... but keeping in mind that only from a just gaunteled point of view....

anyway it's up to the SG to allow/restrict the vis sources.

vis is important for many things... not to be wasted. i see it as a resource, like wood, you can burn wood to keep you warm but if you use it to construct a shelter, you will need less wood to same end