As a Tytalus I am quite interested in demonology and how hermetic and infernal things interact with each other. This interests sparked a lively discussion among our troupe and the discussion is still going on and I thought that now that I am out of shadows, I'll ask your opinion about the matter.
The discussion is about Demon's Eternal Oblivion, or rather the base effect of Perdo Vim used for Demon's Eternal Oblivion. The base effect says "Reduce a target's might score by the level of the spell +10, as long as the spell penetrates the creature's resistance."
The question is: How wide group of things one of these spells affects? The troupe is split into two factions; one faction that says that DEO affects only demons, and the other that says DEO affects demons and all things that use Infernal Might including infernal cultists and infernal walking dead (as long as they have infernal might).
In RAW it is even possible to interpret the base effect in such a way, that it is possible to develop a single spell that affects all things with Might, be their might Faerie, Magical, Infernal or Divine. None of us thinks this is the correct interpretation, but we would be more than interested in hearing your opinions about DEO and the base effect. Sodales, what do you say?
The RAW indicate that Might Stripping spells have to be Realm-typed, so you can't make a general effect like that. On the other hand, we do tend to rule that Vim might-strippers target everything with that kind of Might. Otherwise, amongst other things, you get irritating quibbles about the difference between a demon and a shambling corpse animated by infernal powers - whilst you could, I suppose, start defining things more precisely, the distinctions become so fiddly that it just complicates matters needlessly.
We go with demons only. You want one that destroys ghosts, even infernal ghosts? Go study your PeMe. You want one that affects infernally tainted animals? You will be studying PeAn(Vi), but we would likely give you a bonus if you knew DEO.
The random first magnitude DEO with good penetration is often used by the paranoid to check for demons in our game.
We use DEO in much the same way - it's a running joke that we keep casting it at one of the Magi who joined the coventant under a cloud.
Our general approach is that Vim is general, but realm-bound. The individual forms are more useful for specialists in an area, and don't use a Vim requisite. There's still much debate whether ReFo and PeFo need to be realm-aligned. I tend to favour not because I enjoy generalist vs specialist tensions.
We are considering using a variation of that. The intend to draw a Circle of Demon Destruction - basicly a DEO in circle form and intend to make every newcomer to sit in the circle for few hours to see if he shows any signs of discomfort. We aren't using it yet, because our magi in both Sagas are still young. One/two years out of apprenticeship.
Thank you for your answers so far. More opininions are welcome.
Edit: I forgot to ask: Where does it say that PeVi spells are automatically Domain specific? I am a firm believer of that it is so, but I would like to see it in printing with my own eyes.
Serf's Parma, but I thought it was in the general spell guideline itself. As for the idea that nonVim forms might not need to be Real aligned (in contradiction to the Ward Against Faeries of the Wood descriptions), that was inspired by the spirit summoning rules in TM:RE.
I think that would be doing a disservice to the form of Vim - and its adherents. Vim spells can target any person or creature with Magic Resistance (that is with spell directed at the Might) but the spells have to be invented independently for each of the four mythic sources of Might (Magic, Faerie, Divine and Infernal). The other Rego[insert Form] spells can only cast magic that affet persons or creatures with Might affiliated to that Form.
This signifies that a wood faerie could both be affected by a Vim spell or a Herbam spell. Might IS the focus of Vim thus it is broad-spectred, but on the other hand the Herbam specialist can also do a lot of other stuff the Vim specialist can't do.
As for the Vim spells having to be realm-centred, this isn't mentioned in the Perdo Vim guidelines, but the concept is explicitly mentioned in the Intellego and Rego Vim guidelines, which makes it reasonable to conclude the same approach to Perdo Vim. The bottom line question is whether you want generic single spell 'Perdo Might' or 'Perdo Mythical Power' or whether you want them to at least be divided into four cathegories?
I used to belong to "DEO is just for Demons" camp, but I think I am going to allow the four "Might Strippers" and not require different version for each different type of monster. It does remove some cool spells by grouping them inside those four (like DEO goes inside Eternal Obliteration of Infernal), but I guess the other way would add too many almost useless spells in Vim-arsenal (Like: "Destruction of Infernal Brown Swamp Thingies" and "Sucking the Thrice Damned Powers of Diabolists"
Sodalis Tyrrell's suggestions about All Domain spells look nice, but I doubt any magus in our sagas will invent any of those. They appear to lack the firepower which most of our magi seem to hunger for.
Sodalis Leonis' suggestions are acknowledged, but it is usually easier to just blast infernally tainted animals with Perdo Animal spells or with just fire than go the to develop Might Strippers for them. Fire works on just about anything. Flambeau did something right, even though Lightning bolts seem to work on even more things.
Sodalis Transsanus, I am afraid you are right; there is no black on white about PeVi having to be Domain specific in this scenario, so I will just have to continue in believing it just is so. Fortunately it isn't too hard to do so.
Ah, it just hit me. Even though there will be four domain specific Might Strippers, it does not prevent me from having specific creature type Might Strippers as well. I guess I'll suggest my troupe the following:
I've generally thought of the term "demon" as game shorthand for any creature with Infernal Might, and DEO affects them all. If the creature is a ghost, you can certainly target it with PeMe instead of PeVi, though. Presumably if it's an animal or a corpse you can do the same with a PeAn or PeCo spell, though there aren't guidelines given for that in the core rules.
Sodalis, do you consider a man who has performed human sacrifice to gain favor of Hell a demon? The man's favor comes in form of small amount of Infernal Might, lets say 2 points, and the ability to invoke a dark blessing (Spend one Might to gain a 'small' bonus to some roll). I don't consider him a demon, just an unfortunate individual who has performed a really 'bad' deed, or a diabolist if you prefer. I'm a Tytalus, I know what I am talking about here, trust me.
I think demons are the original inhabitants of Hell(s). Fallen Angels I consider to be another class of beings entirely, but both are affected by Eternal Obliteration of Infernal (the more generic form of Might Stripper mentioned in this thread) as is the diabolist man of the example above. Currently these three are different classes of Infernal in my Saga. Perhaps I will invent new forms of Infernal Evil some future date, but these three are more than enough for long time I believe. Splitting the Infernal into different castes adds more story potential to the Saga. Calling everything 'bad' a demon will do a saga misfavor in my opinion - Names have Power! (Oh, and Infernal Ghost goes to Diabolist class in my saga in case you were wondering.)
In the end of course everyone is free to define things in whatever way they wish and run their saga the same way. I like the variety, even though I am afraid my players will just use the generic Eternal Obliteration of Infernal against all the 'bad' things they meet during the Saga.
Not a demon, no. Idiot, perhaps. ::grins:: I'd allow DEO to strip the might from him - after all, that's what it does - destroy infernal might. I wouldn't have it kill him though - the might is a fragment of a demon, not him. Of course, it'd hurt rather a lot, leaving you a pissed of diabolist with one hopes a large knife.
That is just it: You don't believe your eyes when you read DEO's effect. DEO says that it destroys demon's infernal might. You read it as if DEO destroys any infernal might and so did some of the players in our troupe. I read "demon" as "demon" and that awakened this interesting discussion. We in our troupe had some problems with this, but thanks to this thread the problem is solved. Apparently many/most of you haven't had this problem and that is good for you.
Stella, no worries - I do think the spell description is a bit cryptic. At least if it isn't intended to make Might-stripping spells more specialised than the big four (Divine, Infernal, Magic and Faerie) and my impression from this discussion is that people tend to think of it as a generic infernal-targeting spell.
In fact I like the thematic descriptions of the spells but I do think some of the mix fluff and crunch terms - at least that's what I'm about to argue in another thread in a moment.
I also think that some of the finer details of this is lost as the spell guidelines becomes second nature. Reading the entire Vim spell section it I get the impression that Vim spells can generally be divided in to the big four (Divine, Infernal, Magic and Faerie), so without conscious thought I had pinned DEO as a the bane of Infernal Might. This is based on a 'holistic' reading of the section, but I can very well see how it's easy to get caught up discussion one spell only and get in doubt.
By the way I'm not partial against more/less specific Might-eroding spells, such as suggested by yourself and Erik -tempered by bonus/minus to the final effect, I just don't think it was the intention of the DEO to be such a thing (anything less of a general Infernal-stripper ( )).
I would permit this... with a hilariously good Magical Experimental Breakthrough only. A cross-form, cross-type, cross-realm Might stripper? If such a thing existed at the time, then it would have been mentioned. Though I suppose if it sucked enough, mages might prefer simply to get all 4 Realm tearers...
At the least, the breakthrough would pave the way for similar multi-Realm effects.
This is a matter of personal preference and I'm going to try and persuade you to think my way, I don't expect to succeed.
First we're looking at a guideline so that is significantly inferior in direct power to the realm specific spells. Sure it can be used on more targets but short of obscenely high perdo vim total and spell levels you're going to be hurting your target rather than killing it. This gives you an opportunity in play to have a longer fight scene or have your villain run away to fight another day. Both of these are desirable results.
If your characters want to develop a new spell that fits within the rules you can say "yes" and have happy players or you can say "no, it requires a breakthrough" and have frustrated players.
Perdo vim does already has universal -all realm effects that are significantly less powerful than the specific directed effects with wind of mundane silence style spells as opposed to the guideline of "dispel effects of a specific type..."
I for one am tired of every new thing requiring research or a mystery, the abilities of hermetic magic being consistently pruned. Don't you feel this way a bit?
No, I don't. But canonically, such a man does not gain an Infernal Might. Anything with a Might score is not human, period. That man could gain some magic resistance, but according to the rules as written, he cannot have a Might score.
I need not say that whatever works for you is fine. However, the first two cases are not distinguished in the rules of RoP:tI. They are different in terms of 'fluff', and there are other types mentioned - Infernal beasts, Infernal ghosts, and (possibly) the Infernal angels - but this classification has zero impact on the canon rules.
That being said, my personal preference would be to not distinguish between Infernal Might (i.e. stick to the rules). To do otherwise would reveal truths to the characters that they have no right knowing - whether the demon they face is a fallen angel, a terrestrial demon, or the ghost of the diabolist they slew last year. They would be able to remove all doubt that the Infernal Angels do / do not perform God's will in Hell. This is a can of worms I would rather keep closed.