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Secrets of the Covenants: Mandragora Garden

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  • Secrets of the Covenants: Mandragora Garden

    Mandragora Garden is super cool, and the idea behind it is super cool. But, I fail to find any actual Cruac Rites in 2nd ed you can actually use, which would be beneficial to hang around in your garden. The only ones which could be stretched are the dance ones, since they give you a long benefit, but still, it doesn't feel like something where you could claim your garden to be cursed or something


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  • #2
    Blood Price would be pretty useful to have.

    Deflection of Wooden Doom would be nice too.

    Cheval basically lets you always see what's going on near your plants.
    Last edited by nofather; 12-08-2016, 07:25 PM.

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    • #3
      Yeah, I think that particular benefit is mostly for improvised rituals, a la Sacriments and Blasphemies. No biggie in my opinion, since the Merit is still well worth the price of entry even if you never take advantage of that particular benefit.


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      • #4
        Lets see... the garden explicitly counts as eyes and hands.

        Cheval would let you basically always know what's going on in your garden.
        Mantle of the Crone would cause your garden to inflict agg against anyone it touches. You could also permanently animate your garden.
        Gorgon's Gaze would make anyone who saw your garden (including you?) subject to being turned to stone.
        Touch of Morrigan would apply to anyone who touched a plant.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by nofather View Post
          Blood Price would be pretty useful to have.

          Deflection of Wooden Doom would be nice too.

          Cheval basically lets you always see what's going on near your plants.
          Originally posted by SoulGambit View Post
          Cheval would let you basically always know what's going on in your garden.
          Mantle of the Crone would cause your garden to inflict agg against anyone it touches. You could also permanently animate your garden.
          Gorgon's Gaze would make anyone who saw your garden (including you?) subject to being turned to stone.
          Touch of Morrigan would apply to anyone who touched a plant.
          None of these rituals normally last a scene.

          Though, this does show that this particular perk of the Merit would be far more useful if it extended the duration of Rituals that normally last until sunrise instead of those that normally last a scene, as it currently does. Might be worth mentioning in the errata thread.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post

            Though, this does show that this particular perk of the Merit would be far more useful if it extended the duration of Rituals that normally last until sunrise instead of those that normally last a scene, as it currently does. Might be worth mentioning in the errata thread.
            I agree on this count, in retrospect.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
              None of these rituals normally last a scene.
              It seemed like a limitation that would get fixed in errata or one could just throw out the window.

              Just like how the description says it only refers to rituals cast 'on' the garden, when it seems like rituals performed 'in' the garden would make more sense.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by nofather View Post
                Just like how the description says it only refers to rituals cast 'on' the garden, when it seems like rituals performed 'in' the garden would make more sense.
                I figured "on" the garden meant rituals that target the garden as the subject. Wording it as "in" would allow you to do things like the suggestion of using Deflection of Wooden Doom in your garden to make yourself permanently unstakable, or Mantle of the Crone in your garden to make yourself permanently an auto-agg dealing, Cruac granting monstrosity. If it's rituals you cast on your garden need to use stuff like Cheval that designates a subject, and designate the garden itself as the subject.


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                • #9
                  Well, only permanent as long as you were in the garden.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nofather View Post
                    Well, only permanent as long as you were in the garden.
                    Hmm... That's not the implication I would get from "the Acolyte may cast rituals in her garden that would normally last a night. The magic of the garden sustains these rituals indefinitely." Without some more extensive rewording, that makes it sound like any one-night ritual you cast whilst in the garden lasts forever.


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                    • #11
                      Yeah I added that to the errata. It's from 'the garden sustains these rituals indefinitely.' Though I suppose you could carry a potted plant with you.

                      I think that was one of the other potential benefits of the ability. It would wither and die without being tended to, but if you could transport yourself to it or just use your magic before then you could cast remotely.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by nofather View Post
                        Yeah I added that to the errata. It's from 'the garden sustains these rituals indefinitely. Though I suppose you could carry a potted plant with you.'
                        Yeah, but it doesn't say it sustains them indefinitely while the Acolyte is in the garden. It just sustains them indefinitely. With that wording, there's noting suggesting that the effect wouldn't persist when she leaves. Especially since the Acolyte can cast spells originating in the garden without needing to actually be there, it's clear that "the magic of the garden" isn't limited to the garden's physical presence.

                        Originally posted by nofather View Post
                        I think that was one of the other potential benefits of the ability. It would wither and die without being tended to, but if you could transport yourself to it or just use your magic before then you could cast remotely.
                        Mandragora removed from the garden do wither and die, yes, but you don't need a potted plant to remotely cast spells in the garden. You can just do that.

                        An Acolyte can use Mandragora she’s created herself as if they were her own hands and eyes for the purposes of Crúac rituals. This allows her to use her rituals at a distance.


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                        • #13
                          Outside of improvised rituals from secrets and blasphemies does having a permanent ritual cast on the garden have much actual use? I don't really see how that'd help out at all really when it comes to the second edition rituals.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ever Professional View Post
                            Outside of improvised rituals from secrets and blasphemies does having a permanent ritual cast on the garden have much actual use? I don't really see how that'd help out at all really when it comes to the second edition rituals.
                            With the current wording, no, because there aren't any rituals that last one scene. But, if it gets edited to extend the duration of one-night rituals indefinitely (or if it extends the duration of any ritual with a duration indefinitely), Cheval can be used to permanently be able to see and hear anything in the garden from any distance. Blood Price lets you gain the first [Potency] Vitae anyone "waters" the garden with (useful for elders to circumvent the need to feed on Kindred). I would probably allow The Hydra's Vitae to affect the garden, turning the nectar/sap/fruit/etc. it produces permanently poisonous, even though that ritual is technically supposed to work on the ritualist rather than a subject. Curse of Aphrodite's Favor could potentially make a potion that gives the victim a full vinculum to the mandragora, which is a bit weird, but potentially useful if you want people to really love your garden, and could arguably might apply +3 to Discipline rolls and extended duration to Cruac rolls cast using the garden as the ritualist's hands and eyes. That one is a little iffy though, because the vinculum doesn't normally end at sunrise. I'd allow that one, but I wouldn't fault an ST who didn't.

                            But yeah, obviously the small number of pre-written rituals in 1e means any metamagic style abilities that modify the effects of blood sorcery rituals is limited in usefulness by defualt, and gets much stronger when you bring in custom and/or improvised rituals.


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                            • #15
                              I'd say the garden should extend any ritual which lasts at least a scene to indefinite duration. That way you don't get wonky problems like "This ritual lasts a scene, and I can extend it, this one lasts a week, and I can't extend it, but it feel like it should be easier to extend(due to it's more longterm nature)


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