Part of the Sensory Magic initiation process (HoH:MC, p.27-28) is the creation of a magical device in the shape of the Bjornaer’s Heartbeast which is imbued with five senses.
The Initiate must craft an object in the shape of his heartbeast and enchant it with the ability to see, hear, taste, touch, and smell.
This task is totally undefined and very open to interpretation. I thought to write out a few potential ways to create the object and discuss some of the options. While trying to complete the initiation requirements in blog-post form I have a few goals:
- Meet the requirements of the initiation ritual minimally and simplistically, to demonstrate how to not waste vis and time.
- Meet the requirements beyond a reasonable doubt.
- See if any of the designs for the invested spells or effects might be reused for a similar purpose later.
- See if any odd or weird options arise while pondering this design task.
From the outset of sketching potential solutions there was a large discrepancy between the options and the real answer is to set the requirements to what is reasonable for the character and the saga. There is no point getting overly prescriptive or pedantic in most Ars games because the gameplay is more about the interactions than the consumption of vis and seasons. The vis and seasons are a point of consistency in requirements for Magi, because almost everything else they do is totally subjective.
Therefore the goal should be an amount of seasons and vis which represents a sacrifice, and allows the story to continue.
Frankly with that in mind I’m tempted to recommend the most basic version be the default and move on (option one below). As anecdotal support for this a Bjornaer magus named Lexora (Through the Aegis, p.45) has the Sensory Magic virtue and also the flaw Weak Enchanter, which makes it implausible that Lexora created anything in the lab beyond the most basic magic item. So consider: she would struggle even with the simple “method one” version.
I’d also encourage the reuse in the lab, so if the Bjornaer can craft something which they can craft again to good use that’s a potentially good solution. Continue reading