This is a question relating to how you use this in your own sagas.
Each magus has a sigil, some manifestation of their magical power. Every time they cast a spell, the sigil comes forth. This could be personal (glowing eyes, hair standing on end, skin changes colour, etc.) or area (smell of roses or brimstone, attract small insects, general irritability, etc.).
So, two questions.
First, how much attention do you pay to these effects in your sagas?
Second, concerning the area sigils -- do such effects manifest around the magus or around the place where the spell is cast?
In the saga's I've run this has been all but ignored. Occasionally when someone describes an effect it comes up. I don't know what to do to bring more attention to it, and usually I don't know if its worth the bother.
I'd like to hear how other people handle it as well.
I don't have a clear answer, but I'll discuss some of the things we decided in our game.
We have a Flambeau in the game who's spell making a popping noise when she casts magic. The player said the popping noise grows louder as the level of the spell increased. As I read it, a sigil is set so it's the same for every spell. I argued that the popping would be the same volume regardless of what level the Flambeau cast the spell at and if the player wanted that effect (it gets louder) take Warped Magic. If investigated, the investigator hears the poping of the spell.
Another character's skin becomes transparent when he casts spells and in his case all spells make him 'skeletal'. If investigated, a vision of a skeleton enters the mind of the investigator.
Yet another character had "The Pig Pen Effect" and he always had dirt burst from his body when casting spells. If investigated, dirt would burst forth from the point investigated.
Sigils our important to our campaign because they not only add color to our individual characters they define NPC's and enemies in the game. For instance the troupe had difficulty understanding why a series of events was befalling them, but upon the discovery of gold dust (an enemies sigil) they immediately knew their long hated rival was the source of their woes.
In terms of area, as we play it the sigil is apart of the magic. In many cases the magus as the source of the magic appears as the source of the sigil. However if a location where a spell was targeted is investigated, then it is this point that reveals the sigil.
So if a rock is hit by the Flambeau above and later that rock is investigated, the rock makes the popping noise of the spell that hit it.
This also cropped up on the Berklist ,
in relation to Creo Rituals that made permanent things.
For those Covenants creating Silver (or whatever) ,
it would have the Caster's Sigil associated with it in some way.
This is not always a disadvantage.
But it does mean items made by magic ,
might have a mundane identifier of some kind.
Actually, depending what your sigil is, I don't think it necessarily shows that long after the spell ends with Momentary effects (rituals or not). For instance, say your sigil is a smell of sulfur and you create a lump of gold. Of course the gold smells of sulfur when created, but if the spell was a momentary ritual, the smell should fade from it "at natural rate".
However, after reading on the detection of sigils in the True Lineages, I DO think that sigil effects need to be discernible with the target throughout the spell's (or enchanted item's power's) duration! This can cause quite a lot of problems on long duration effects. We have especially noticed that sigils associated with sounds can cause quite a lot of problems.
Oh, and if the paragraph above didn't give a clue, yes, we DO enforce the use of sigils. I think it is a pity that in the official material they are much neglected. They might be mentioned (might), but for instance enchanted objects systematically lack the description of the sigil of the creator.
One of the reasons I brought this topic up was due to a player trying to create a "Stealth Mage". She has Subtle and Quiet (x2) magic, is looking to reinvent her spells so none of them have "voice" range, etc.
In some ways the sigil, if applied, would be the stumbling block.
She has not settled on her sigil yet (she has not officially joined the campaign, not until our next meeting), but consider -- if the sigil (area) manifests itself around the spell, rather than the caster, people will know there is something strange going on. If, however, the sigil manifests around her, then she may be able to cover her tracks (assuming she could do things at a distance). The character is not really so much combat-oriented as whimsy-oriented, if that is a help. She has been toying with "sounds of laughter" as a sigil.
In my first couple of sagas we blithely ignored spell sigils. Later on we added them in sporadically. This is the first saga I am dealing with where I am going to enforce them -- we'll see what happens!
Well I recall in at least one canon book (I forget which), but a Mage's sigil was a feeling, such as feeling angry. So this would be difficult to detect because people might not realize that the feeling of anger is the sigil, and instead attribute the feeling to themself.
The sigil is essentially a fingerprint for magi's spells. So yes it would be difficult for a stealth magus to exist. However a properly chosen sigil could compliment a stealth magus. In addition to a feeling, it could be something like getting a blister on one's hand. Again, these are traits that can be mistaken as something else.
I would add that if the goal of this stealth magus is to essentially get away with murder, then provideing them with a stealth sigil is encouraging them to kill people and get away it. I'm not trying to suggest this is wrong, but it could be the source of future headaches either for the GM, the players, or both. So beyond the issue of hidden sigils, what is the goal of this would-be character and you prepared for the potential explotation this character can have by having a cloaked sigil?
In a 4the ed. game we had a mage with warped magic... it was a very pronounced sigil invovling maggots and worms and the like. Our covenant was falling on hard times so he invented a ritual to fill a storehouse with grains. I had no idea whether to point out to him what effect his sigil would have on the foods or not.
The apprentice of my Magus in our saga has as a sigil that all her spells makes her appear innocent. So if she casts a fireball it would appear to come from someone else, when she casts a aura of enobled presence on herself, she appears cute and innocent, while casting the same spell on someone else, that person appears intimidating (so that people are less likely to suspect her).
2 magi have animals, and aspects of these animals tend to show up in one form or another in all their spells.
In our group the player of the magus is responsible for weaving in the sigil in his magic.
Richard Fairfield, a Jerbiton I have more than a passing acquaintance with, has a subtle sigil.
His magic, being somewhat refined, enhance the colours and sounds made by its target. So, an enchanted golden crown catches the light a little more while a faded cloak regains a little of its former hue.
None of this has any game effect of course, it's simply a bit of flavour. The Bjornaer of the troupe has a very caster-centric sigil; he visibly becomes a little more feral while casting (or maintaining) a spell.
Both of these have every chance of influencing some aspect of the game but the extent to which they do depends on what seems the most dramatically fitting.
The spell list for the fifth ed. book contains a number of examples of sigils appended to spell descriptions. eg. Seven League Stride p135, Curse of the Rotten Wood p137, Flash of the Scarlet Flames p140, etc.
The examples seem to distinctly afffect the spell's effect from the point of view of mundane observation, let alone more arcane enquiries eg. the scent of roses after a CrIg spell.
Maybe your stealthy mage should view their sigil as a cat-burglar might view their calling card?