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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Well, if said Flambeau has had a history of behaving like a sphincter (the orifice), then it would be unlikely that he would live long enough to achieve such power. As for a coalition, there needs to first be someone with enough b***s to initiate such an action. For example, a room full of 50 people, one has a gun. Sure, the rest could over power him, but who goes first? Probably the one other guy with a gun (i.e. another magus with 30+ Art scores). And I doubt the Tremere would be willing to fracture their Flambeau alliance (forged in the heat of the Schism War).
But you didn’t mention the guys behavior originally. You were figuring that other magi would e gunning for him simply because he was powerful, no other reasons were given except simple jealousy.
And 30+ Arts are uncommon, but not unheard of or even rare. Cannon has established that 40+ is the normal upper limit. Most Archmagi should have one or more Arts at 30+ (though not necessarily a match TeFo pair). To bring it back to the topic, I would not suggest that there is a large number of LT 100+ longevity rituals out there, but there could be a few.
As far as the Order's place in history goes, my presumption has always been that magi are a part of Mythic History. Their acts and actions help contribute to the state of Mythic Europe in 1220. The fact that it resembles our non-mythic history is complete coincidence. Using that same theme, NPC actions don't alter the course of history, they are likewise a part and parcel of it. Players can change history though. And from his descriptions of past sagas he has played, I think Xavi is responsible for the destruction of at least one city so far
Well, it works differently. I see nothing wrong with a magus being able to destroy a city even without a ritual. It is perfectly appropriate in many sagas. Indeed, I think it's preferable to magi scrabbling around with minor powers.
There are consistency issues with canon no matter how you go. Parma, for example, isn't worth all that much in AM5:
Trianoma: And so you see that with our magnificent new Parma Magica, I am completely safe in the company of my fellow practitioners of the magical arts. Come, join us!
Guernicus (in a really bad mood because of Trianoma's Gift and because he has indigestion): Erdopay Erramtay! (This is pre-Hermetic magic)
(the earth beneath Trianoma vanishes and she goes splat on the bedrock, fifty feet below.)
Guernicus: Her order of wizards didn't last ten seconds. Thought she could trick me, did she, when my guard was down. Serves her right.
FYI we also killed the Pope. Rather accidentally (4th edition, rolling high and no limit to penetration), but we did it. Toledo is no more, so forget about all those wonderful old text translations from Aristotle ever reaching mainland europe. We are also responsible for the creation of a permanent portal to hell (7 botches) near Ripoll, in Iberia. Those 2 first ones were rather silly sagas (the third was the only one that was "completed"), and those 3 events precipitated the end of the story arcs, but yes, it has happened.
I claim no involvement in the destruction of Toledo, though. That was the other player's doing. I admit killing the Pope, but that is all
Well, a magus can still destroy a city without a ritual - but he'll have to be an archmagus, not someone a decade out of apprenticeship... (two arts at 20 plus a focus will more than suffice for any non-Ritual spell, and that's before counting the numerous other ways to increase your casting total...)
I think Difficult Arts solves both the problem of too low MR and the problem of "powerful" spells available with very little effort and time (especially given a long or fast saga), and makes more sense of the setting. It doesn't solve all the problems, like you noted in your Parma example, and apparently it isn't something nearly anyone else likes, so that's that.
No need for archmagehood: That's what wizard's communion and casting tablets are for Apprentices can raze cities as well if they coordinate Teamwork beats individual prowess here. In our case, Toledo is by the side of a chasm/canyon. A small earthworks performance and the whole city tumbles down 2 hundred metres (around 600 feet) to the riverbed below. That is exactly what happened in our case.
I also like the toning down of power levels for magi. I hate having to double or triple the Might of every official creature for it to be a slight challenge to a magus (I also hate having stats for the Virgin Mary and archangel michael, but that is another subject). We experimented with it, but my fellow players did not like it a lot, so for the time being we are playing with ArM5 power evolution. I am supoprtive of tyour approach, though. I have been since the heretic's corner articles on this subject in Hermes Portal