Ways of the Land and Studying Vis

Hey I was kind of hoping we could change the forum meta forever!

One of my players has Ways of the Land and we've been reviewing the rules regarding that every session! Turns out, it's actually pretty good.

But the real question is this: As per the errata, "You get a +3 bonus to all rolls, including combat, and Casting Scores that directly involve that area and its inhabitants;..."

As such, why would it not apply to Studying Vis?

Studying Vis doesn't involve studying the area or its inhabitants. That's why.

Because studying from vis is not something that "directly involve that area and its inhabitants".

Because studying vis doesn't directly involve the area or its inhabitants?

Alright, one could make the case that it involves the area if you are studying the vis "in the wild" - i.e. where it is found, but even that feels far-fetched.

To be more complete: Ways of the (Land) should apply to things that actually benefit from a deeper connection with the Land. There's nothing to imply that being specially conected to Land would provide any benefit to study from vis, or that you interact with the Land in any meaningful way while studying from vis.

I would also expect no benefit to aging rolls, recovery rolls, bonus to experimentation in the lab, rolls to avoid warping, rolls to avoid losing fatigue due to strenuous actions unrelated to terrain (combat exertion while fighting on Land no, but traveling in Land yes) and a couple others.

If you want to be very generous, I'd consider applying the bonus only when studying vis of the relevant kind on the relevant Land. Ways of the Forest could provide a bonus to studying from Herbam, but not to Ignem, for example. But I do think this would be stretching the intended purpose of the virtue.

Way of the (Land) is major, Free Study in minor.
Getting a +3 in your lab, along with the Aura bonus is might be enough to make study from vis useful (I'm sure callen has a truer opinion on that)

Getting a +3 for studying vis in the forest, with a lower Aura... It only adds flavor to vis study without an unbalanced advantage IMHO.

It seems a fair house rule.

1 Like

Well the aura is (probably) at least partially constructed from the interactions of various natural elements. And the aura is one of the only things that you do add to the vis study roll, so especially if the character is doing this study in the environment i think this makes sense

Just to play Devil's Advocate - and towards all those who answered the same thing. Is that still true for someone with Ways of the Land and Study Bonus/Requirement?

1 Like

I don't really see why not, especially if the study bonus/requirement is satisfied by an indigenous environmental condition rather than something artificial

Those are not rolls or Casting Scores. So it's not important for this.

Are there any long-term rolls other than Vis Study and Wound Recovery?

What if the vis comes from the area? In my character's case he has Way of the Fields, and might have some vis sources in the form of plants that grow in and around the covenant's fields. Those seem like appropriate targets.

You're studying the Vis, to learn from it. you don't really care about the land around you. In fact, most Magi will harvest the Vis, and go to a Magic Aura, because the Aura gives them a bonus to the roll, irrelevant of where the Vis came from.

So no, I don't think Ways of the (Land) should ever apply to Study from Vis.

This is a bit like interpreting what fits in a magical focus. Most people will hold the reigns pretty tight, as focuses are a real strong bonus, especially as a minor focus is only a +1 virtue, however, some SGs will allow focuses to be broad.

If you want to say when in the land, everything, yes, everything, aging rolls, whatever, you roll, you get the bonus, fine. It is a very generous interpretation, however, not one I would say is fundamentally flawed, just very generous.

Considering this qoute, that very broad interpretation is flawed. Am not saying one can't make it for their troupe, but it's not one I see supported by the rules.

Vis comes from the land, is the thing. It seems like it follows pretty strongly that studying Vis harvested from, say, the stones of a mountain, would be directly involving that area.

It comes from the land, agreed. But by studying it, you don't study the land. You study the Vis, and it's usually better to do so in your own lab, where you get the Aura bonus.

As I said, you can do that interpretation in your game, but it's not RAI, or even RAW.

You don't need to be in your lab to study Vis, actually! (5e Core, pg. 165) And since it tends to form in places with auras, you could easily collect Vis in the field and study it right then and there. I think your arguments in this thread are based on somewhat unconvincing Absolute Statements of How All Magi Behave, and not actually Rules As Written.

1 Like

My arguments are valid, and you're not reading them well. I specifically said it's usually better to study in one's own Lab. Most auras would be 1 or 2, and most covenants prefer to found their base at Aura 3 or higher, so it's better to study the Vis in one's own lab USUALLY.

Also, you study the VIS, not whatever is around the vis. So you don't interact with the land when studying from vis, since the knowledge you gain of the Art, comes from studying the Vis itself. if it required interaction with the land, then you wouldn't be able to do it away from where you find the Vis.

Must mention this is coming up because the Covenant in question has the Vast Aura boon, so studying anywhere is actually pretty valid.

I'd believe you if at any point the corebook section on studying vis actually talked about how you're expected to do it. Like, I think its folly to claim that you're never interacting with the land while studying from vis, because there is no specified method of doing so. I feel like you're taking the corebook's vagueness and interpreting it in the strictest possible way. I don't understand why - it doesn't seem particularly fun or enjoyable to me.