Once the Wizard is brought into play, the forms in which the charms he has learned can be cast becomes tied to the skill progression system, specifically to the Levels of Achievement (LoA’s) earned with it during play, as follows.
Upon reaching the WorksMaster LoA with any given charm learned and wielded as a ritual, the practitioner may begin to cast it in spell form at SL1. The Wizard’s SL with the spell form can then be cultivated in SL like any other SL1 skill again.
In the same manner, upon reaching the WorksMaster LoA with any given charm learned and wielded as a spell, or any ritual worked up to the same LoA after achieving spell form, the Wizard may begin to cast in cantrip form at SL1. The Wizard’s SL with the cantrip form can then be cultivated in SL like any other SL1 skill again.
For example: Fabulatos the Florid has a MGT 16. What a relief to finally reach the WorksMaster threshold of SL45 (see the LoA table) with his Charm of Mending ritual, so he no longer need spend all that time shopping and preparing.
The drawback is he finds himself back at SL1 in spell craft with it, which severely hinders the types of materials he can affect with the charm in that form.
On the other hand, it can be cultivated and grown just like any other SL1 skill.
While it must necessarily take quite a while to achieve, he also looks forward to the day he achieves SL45 with it in Spell form, so he can begin casting it as a cantrip, albeit with the same limitations again.
The form in which a charm can be learned, as discussed above, is fixed only when speaking of its “original” form, however, the form in which it is most commonly learned, as it appears on the rosters of charms for its Sphere, but applying especially to Common Magick for creating new characters during the Character Creation process. When a practitioner goes hunting through ancient records, manuscripts, journals and ledgers in the game world during active game play looking for new charms to add to his portfolio, there is no guarantee that he is going to find it in its right or “proper” form according to current game world use, as it appears/is presented in the rule books.
It is possible for a character to happen upon a manuscript description of a charm in a form lesser than the “best” or shortest (spell, cantrip) form in which it would normally be found and taught in current use, i.e., finding an “Anchor Charm” manuscript written for performing it as a ritual when it is when in current practice it is taught as a spell.
This puts the character in the position of having to decide whether to go ahead and learn the charm in ritual form or hold out until he finds another manuscript framed in its current spell form before he learns it – with the understanding that, until he has the manuscript for its higher form to update his skill, he is restricted to learning and subsequently casting that “Anchor Charm” in ritual form until he should earn the higher form normally, by achieving Master LoA with it. In the case of finding a manuscript for the ritual form of some cantrip such as “Color”, it might just be worth holding out for the real cantrip deal, or at least until he can find a spell craft rendering of it.
The Commutative Property of the Forms
The translation in form explained above as your practitioner’s skill grows doesn’t only work in one direction, however.
Any charm the practitioner learned and wields as a cantrip can be taken back to spell form, or even to ritual form, in order to exercise a more skill or a great deal more skill with it. depending which form the Wizard walks the charm back to, potentially wielding much more POT and with a greater chance of success, all at the player’s discretion.
Add the Wizard’s SL requirement to reach WorksMaster LoA to (current SL – 1) with the spell or cantrip to find the effective SL he can wield with a spell charm taken back down and cast in ritual form or a cantrip charm walked back and cast in spell form.
Add the same number again to find the effective SL for a cantrip charm walked all the way back and cast in ritual form.
For example: Fabulatos the Florid finds himself in need of creating a diversion at court, and hopes to kill two stones by embarrassing a rival at the same time. Fabulatos has the Namer’s “Sendings” cantrip at a modest SL5, and the general hubbub of the court gathered in the atrocious echoing acoustics of the receiving hall at the palace. To really make his foe embarrass himself spectacularly, he wishes to put far more POT into the charm than would be safe to do as a cantrip, especially with the surrounding distractions, no matter the good cover the throng of courtiers and supplicants provide. In this setting he has the leisure to take the Sendings cantrip back to spell form and in doing so wield MUCH greater skills to incorporate more POT safely, he just needs some cover to hide his incanting and gesture(s). His MGT is 16 which dictates a WorksMaster threshold of SL45. Adding 4 of his modest 5 SL’s with the cantrip form to the SL45 he had to earn to get it to a cantrip in the first place yields SL49. MUCH more like it! I say (SL – 1) as the threshold SL for the LoA = SL1, so SL46 = SL2, SL47 = SL3, SL48 = SL4 and SL49 = SL5.
Had Fabulatos had the time and supplies on hand and been presented with an opportunity to get some artifact of his rival, he’d have been able to stay at home and cast the cantrip as a ritual and add another 45 SL’s of skill , for a total of SL95. Oh, what he might have been able to accomplish with that!
Even mere innocuous cantrips might be transformed into something far more life-threatening, even deadly, once sufficient POT has been pumped into them, so the practitioner must be careful what he looses in the world, not to mention that this scenario doesn’t address the possibility of a court Wizard being employed to keep such events to a minimum. There could be legal charges of magical assault to follow ….
This practice does leave the GM with something to consider, however. If a NPC has accumulated the knowledge and skill to cast a charm in an improved form, his grimoire would contain the notes embodying that lore and skill, from which an PC might benefit. Do you allow a PC to learn/teach himself a greater form than the “original”? Or do you make him go through the process of gleaning SP’s from the book/manuscript to add to his own as an aid to reaching that degree of skill? It is a knotty question and problem, one not to be decided on hastily, but completely in the GM’s hands for the purposes of his own game and game world.