Who gets the most from the Longevity Ritual?

I was thinking about Twilight (see previous post) and I noticed that non casters don't have a chance of Twilight. They get warping points, yes, but they don't risk Final Twilight, they just keep getting warping points. So Redcaps should live a lot longer then Magi, as they get access to quality Longevity Rituals. Three hundred and fifty years or more (-35+ to aging rolls seems pretty easy), I'm thinking. Weird. Given that unGifted can be "taught" Mysteries, They might just have a way to give themselves Unaging.... All they need is Vis and access to Magi willing to deal. Wait, they run the Vis bank! I think my next character needs to suck up the the secret lords of Europe.......

Well, a few things,

ungifted still warp. They are probably unregonisably inhuman by this stage even if they dont suffer twilight. Twilight is a wizard thing for sure, but they can still 'ping out of existance'.

There is a hefty penalty to a longevity ritual for mundanes is there not?

It costs a lot of Vis to make a longevity ritual for anyone of those kind of ages.

Most importantly, I dont see longevity rituals as simple lab activities. Maybe for the first one, maybe even the second. But eventually they lead to bigegr and bigger stories as the components you need become more and more epic. To make one for someone soo old you probably need many many immense items such as the 'tears of Gabriel', the 'North Wind' and 'the hear of the Kraken'... I don't care how good a messenger boy is, I aint helping out with that just because he refuses to slip the mortal bonds and pass on to his next life.

Living forever, or for a long time is an important game mechanic in ArM, but I don't see it as an essential focus for anyone. Death his simply a transition to another stage - medieval folk believe that almost completely. They still fear it, but they are not the self-serving secular people we are today. Magi live longer and die differently - that doesnt mean it particularly benefits them... it just makes them different.

Those without the gift still suffer from Warping, this is true. They gain a Minor Flaw when their score reaches 1 and again at 3. They gain a minor virtue at a score of 5, but then a Major Flaw when the score reaches 6, 7, 8, and etceteras. The won't "ping" out of existence, but when the Warping score equals 10, they would have 5 Major Flaws, 2 Minor Flaws, and a single Minor Virtue.

The penalty for making LR's for mundanes is not all that hefty. You need a minimum Lab Total of 30 when inventing it for anyone but yourself, even another magus. But for a mundane, it is only half as effective (a -1 bonus for every 10 levels instead of every 5).
This "components" concept, that is not part of the rules (except maybe for the Alchemy elixir). Some SG's may allow you to use "special ingredients" to gain a bonus (up to a maximum of your Magic Theory). But even this is an old rule from ArM4 (the WGRE), and not a part of the current rules. So, unless you make a HR, it is indeed a simple Lab Activity, regardless of age. The real inhibitor is your vis limit. "Rebrewing" a longevity potion is not a Lab Activity, it is a Ritual Spell, and your vis limit is then based upon Arts (as per the Alchemy section of TMRE). However, when reinventing it to get a higher Lab Total/Bonus, this is a seasonal activity and your vis limit is twice your Magic Theory score, which makes it all but impossible to reinvent (or initially create) LR's for people over a certain age. The vis required is 1 pawn for every 5 years of there age (round up). So if they are age 86, you need 18 pawns and a MT of 9.

As for "messenger boy", he probably may take offense to your derogatory nickname, and your message will go missing or be very late (oh yeah, Badassius of Tytalus declared Wizard War on you. It starts today. Sorry the message is late). Further, he doesn’t need your help specifically. There are magi within House Mercere that specialize in Longevity so as to take good care of the Redcaps. And yeah, the House with the fewest Gifted Magi controls more vis than any other two houses combined (including the Tremere). If none of the Mercere are up to the task, there is certainly a magus somewhere that is and who could use the payment of vis. The going rate would be what? Two or three times the vis cost? That’s what the Verdi charge. To improve the potion for a Redcap who is 250 years old (on LR since 35 and has a Warping score of 9), that would require 50 (!) pawns of vis (and a magic theory of 25!!), which will profit the magus by a full Queen. Who in their right mind would turn that down?

Of course, as you see, these numbers are extreme examples. But imagine such a Redcap! Perhaps Unaging could be the Minor Virtue he received (when he hit a Warping score of 5 at age 110). But imagine how riddled with Flaws he must be! 2 minor and 4 major (fourteen Flaw points!). Which would be appropriate? The types of flaws should relate to the source of Warping. Magical Air leaps to mind. Enfeebled? A Major Personality Flaw (or more!)? Favrs (to the guy that brews your potions)?

And mind you, I seriously doubt that any saga will last long enough for it to be an issue, and thus such a character would likely be limited to an NPC (at age 250, he has been around since efore the Schism War!)

the trick is it's -1 for every five if you have the Gift, Or a Supernatural Ability. Many, many Supernatural Abilities that Redcaps would want to make sure they have, either by recruitment or by Initiation (which can give merits to Ungifted, if I remember canon correctly). A focus in Longevity Rituals, Cr 30, Co 30, good lab and living conditions. None of that is extraordinary, just good.

As to the story aspect, I think there are a Lot of stories in finding out that the Servants are in fact the Masters. Hermetic Magic has not advanced because the Redcaps don't see the need for Mages to become more powerful, perhaps cut them out of the loop. So they have been suppressing any advances in Magic Theory. The wars with the Rune Mages and the Diednes caused for the same reason. Much less need for supplies and Vis when you can use Rune Magic to create endless supplies. What do you do if you get mixed up in it, and the Redcaps are gunning for you? They have been looting dead Covenants for Hundreds of years and have been commissioning custom Magic Items since the House began, to the point that redcap characters can have Hundreds of levels of Magic Items. How do you feel about the penetration rules for Magic Items now, mage boy?

Good one :wink:
And you are correct about the Supernatural Virtue qualifying them for the same bonus rate as magi. I just looked that one up. It had previously escaped my notice.

Two comments before bed. Unaging should be the minor virtue you get. Source of warping and all that. I can't think of any other virtue dealing with aging (save the various half breed virtues.....). And the big cheese on major flaws is they should get difficult Longevity Ritual, (source of warping and all that) but since the Longevity Ritual is the source of the warping, it by definition does not come into play until they already have it, and probably at a good level. They probably lost "it" to a bad dice roll, and just need to repeat the focus, no new Longevity Ritual needed. What a cheese move, but one that makes perfect sense in canon......

To presume a redca living for hundreds of years is a clear winner completely ignores the fact that at various points in the order's history they have not commanded the respect and equality they officially now do. Equally being unable to achieve all that much by themselves but entirely dependent on the work of others and being granted magic as gifts from the grateful they NEED peace and prosperity. In times of strife, rewards come at the end, not during.

I doubt many aging redcaps survived events like the greaty schism. Not because they died in the fighting, but because there is no time for such luxuries as spending hordes of Vis on their rituals. Redcaps enjoy a near equality now, which is fine, but they certainly have not always.

As to requirements for exotic ingredients, yep, its form 4th, or maybe 3rd, and I still use things from there and many concepts that define our play come form earlier editions too. I have been playing ArM for a very long time and I don't see the need to change things to make them 'story easy' with new editions. 5th has made a load of things story easy, and thats fine for new people, but my Ars life does not have scope for things to have suddenly and inexplicably become very easy.

I can cope with rules being changed mechanically but the story side of things, unless there is a good reason, and in the case of longevity rituals there certainly is not, then I see no compulsion to remove the adventure opportunities and life challenges that existed in previous and in my opinion superioir earlier editions in this particular regard. 5th started by simplyfying many things and standardising it. Great for numbers, poor for story.

In particular, it prevents precisely this sort of nonesense where you can suggest House Mercere redcaps would in any way feel they could benefit form destabalising the order. Player characters are that dumb sometimes, maybe even some SGs, but not in my saga.

In my saga, this is fantastically exceptional and legendary. 30 in two Arts: possible, for very, very old magi, who exclusively specialise in those two Arts, the "correct" Arts (granted, Cr and Co are an obvious combination), and even a fitting focus! Any magus with those scores would be so well-known throughout the entire Order and so fantastically rich, that he would no longer accept mere Vis as payment for his services. If you can extort seasons upon seasons of work/favours from archmagi, even 100 pawns of vis won't even let you think about starting to consider that particular offer.

Just to put that "just good" magus into perspective: A CrIg Flambeau with Cr 30, Ig 30 and a focus in flames can cast a BoAF with ~50 penetration without even starting to sweat or using arcane connections! That is not "just good", it's legendary. So legendary, in fact, that a lot of people would prefer see that magus dead... or at least permanently removed from the Order, and especially politics.

I welcome you to try
Bring it on!

From my PoV, that Flambeau magus would have attracted a number of powerful followers and associates. It is more likely, in my mind, that said Flambeau would become a mover and shaker in politics and an important leader/hero in the Order. Why would anyone want to take him down? Who in their right mind would try? If it is a matter of jelousy of power, the one who takes down this Flambeau would be the logical next target.

Do you get warping from a magical effect designed specifically for you? I thought there was such a rule in core rules book.

Yes, one per year if it's a powerful effect. You get 1 WP/year for your LR.

Depending on how the Flambeau behaves and how powerful his rivals are. But if he's the only one with that power, and behaves like an ass (the donkey), then sure, a coalition will be formed to remove him from political power. I see House Tremere as the first to jump to the opportunity.

Well, Auruentus, I'm not in your game, or the Restless Kaisers either. So my little "flight of fancy" is working with what "everyone knows". This board seems to have come to the agreement that 40+ for Arts and Techniques is the rational maximum, so I don't think that 30 is out of place or Legendary. As to the focus, it seems to be a "common" one, listed in the core rules as a minor focus. So there should be many Major focuses that include aging, yes? It's worse if you think about it. Potent Magic is a "Common" Mystery. Not a secret, and mentioned as something passed on from "Father" to "Son", not all the time, but often enough to be mentioned in the Virtue. So we can probably add Potent Magic (Major (Health)) to the equation and get another +6. And there is nothing in the rules, as far as I can tell, that wouldn't allow Redcaps to live in a Lab, and get a big bonus to Living Conditions. Maybe another +10 to the aging roll. Hard but possible. You would have to be rich and powerful. The Redcaps seem to be the glue that holds the Order together, and rich enough to give vis away as gifts for good magi over Christmas.......

Just some fun on my part. First as a thought experiment on Warping, and then as a campaign. Most of the people on this board are pretty arrogant when describing their mages. They're rich, powerful, no one is the boss of them! They talk of how easy it is to destroy whole cities! And yet, in canon, Mages really haven't done anything. Five hundred years of "gods" walking the Earth, and history hasn't changed? What's up with that? No reason is given in canon. I suppose you could explain it away with the Divine, but my darker spin on things has more story potential, I think.

Yup, weird, ain't it? "I am totally nuts after a twilight episode and can raze a city with a formulaic spell I have, but will refrain from it just because". One of the (many) inconsistent things about the Ars canon if you look at it in detail :slight_smile:


You say inconsistent, I say story.......

I like the ideas on redcap aging, although thinking of them as "secret masters" is rather too extreme for me. Regardless of that aspect and the finer points, clearly redcaps can live far longer than I had considered - and would be well advised to join appropriate mystery cults (Cult of Heroes?).

Have I mentioned Ars works better with Difficult Hermetic Arts? Yeah, I think I did. :smiley:


Well, there is no rule for them pinging out of existence though a GM can always kill anything in his saga. But every point Warping Score provides a juicy Major Flaw. Nasty. Very nasty.

Yes. They get half value. A LR expert might put together a lvl 100 ritual... no problem. But that provides only a +10 for a mundane. A LR expert is not going to put together a lvl 200 ritual, not even close.

Yes. A mundane from House Mercere would have access.

This is a flaw that you're imposing just because; that's your right, of course. RAW, they are simple lab activities, for the first, for the second and for the twentieth.

If you have the vis and the ritual, you're fine.

Um.... medieval people still tried very hard not to die, the same way that religious people do today. I'm curious where you get the idea that we are more self-serving than people 1000 years ago.




Hi, Ovarwa, a quick reminder that Longevity Rituals work at full power for anyone with a Supernatural Ability......


True enough! I missed that.



Some more thoughts. Their House guarantees that Redcaps will get a Longevity Ritual if they last and are loyal. They really have a strong incentive to pump that number up High, since the cost in Vis is not based on the Lab Total, but rather on the age of the person when they get their Longevity Ritual. So that -40 to the aging roll could save them a Lot of Vis. You're Two Hundred Years Old! You've just rolled a one on the die for aging, followed by a nine! That's 18 + 20 (+1 for every ten years) for a total of 38, which still only gets you a total of -2. Guess that sucker is still going strong....... Don't see a Crisis happening any time soon. Seven Vis is a pretty cheap reward, when you think of how much the Order needs Redcaps.