Ah. Back from Oxford.
Curse that slattern on the cover of S&S. She seduced me into buying her book.
Anywho, I just finished reviewing the new version of Imbue Amalgam. It's much clearer now; and I can better articulate my problems with it.
Imagine, for a moment, that I have a spell that is basically the same thing- but I imbue an item with the magic. The item gains manifold in power; although it requires some rare materials, they can simply be purchased. It's also twisted and looks freaskish and outlandish- huge and very obvious. Once created, there is an arcane link between yourself and the item- but unless totally subverted by another, it cannot be turned against you.
I've just described making an artifact. Really, an artifact with bonuses- someone else may steal your Daiklaive, but it's virtually impossible to actually use an Amalgam against the caster.
Now, a Sorcerer cannot spend more than their Occult + Essence on enhancing the Amalgam's base hand to hand combat. That's usually gonna be 9 motes (Occult 5, Essence 4). They can also spend 2 motes to enhance a given Attribute or 1 mote to enhance a given Ability- adding no more than their Occult + Essence in dots.
So. Take a bog standard mortal. I want to improve him to be a Daiklaive wielded as if by a Dawn Caste. He has a 2 in all Attributes and a 1 in Brawl.
His final combat stats need to be Speed: 17, To Hit: 17, To Damage: +11L, To Parry: 16, with a Rate of 6. I'm going off his fists here, which start at Speed: 4, To Hit: 4, To Damage: +2B, To Parry: 5, with a Rate of 5.
First, I need to spend 1 mote in Weapon, to make his fists deal Lethal.
Speed: 4, To Hit: 4, To Damage: +2L, To Parry: 5, with a Rate of 5.
Next, I increase his Brawl by 9 (9 motes), raising his To Hit and To Parry. Ten motes spent so far.
Speed: 4, To Hit: 13, To Damage: +2L, To Parry: 14, with a Rate of 5.
Next, I spend 6 motes to improve his Dexterity by 4. That's 18 motes spent.
Speed: 8, To Hit: 17, To Damage: +2L, To Parry: 18, with a Rate of 5.
Another mote into the Weapon goes (2 of 9 spent), improving the Rate by 1. 19 motes spent.
Speed: 8, To Hit: 17, To Damage: +2L, To Parry: 18, with a Rate of 6.
Five more motes into the Weapon itself go, (that's 7 of 9 spent on the weapon's stats), improving the speed. 24 motes spent.
Speed: 18, To Hit: 16, To Damage: +2L, To Parry: 17, with a Rate of 6.
2 more motes go into the Weapon, improving Damage to +4L. 26 motes spent.
Speed: 18, To Hit: 16, To Damage: +4L, To Parry: 17, with a Rate of 6.
Finally, 14 motes to Strength (improving it by 7). That's 40 motes spent.
Speed: 18, To Hit: 16, To Damage: +11L, To Parry: 17, with a Rate of 6.
With the base cost of the spell, it's 55 motes. An optimized starting Essence 4 Twillight (2 Virtues at 3, 1 at 2 and 1 at 1, Willpower 6, Essence 4) will have 18 Personal Essence and 43 Peripheral. That's a total of 61 motes. Even a non-optimized Twillight will have 17 Personal and 42 Peripheral- 59 motes. So, there's still about 6 motes for further improvement- I'd probally put them into Dexterity, increasing it by another three. This would result in the following:
Speed: 21, To Hit: 19, To Damage: +11L, To Parry: 20, with a Rate of 6.
That is, a magical creature that is numerically the equal to or superior of a maximized Dawn fighting in his speciality with their iconic weapon, until the Dawn unleashes some Charms.
Put another way- this is the equivelent to an artifact with the following stats:
Speed: +14, To Hit: +15, To Damage: +9L, To Parry: +15, Rate: 6
A Grand Daiklaive, on the other hand, grants only the following:
Speed: +10, To Hit: +2, To Damage: +12L, To Parry: -1, Rate: 3
This spell is manifestly generating the functional equivelent of level 5 Artifacts- permanently -and making them totally loyal to the caster.
Or perhaps I've mis-crunched??
Hokay. First of all, to my players- no, I'm not going to suddenly making Imbue Amalgam impossible, change the rules midstream, etcetc. This is a discussion, based on my pure mechanical rules observation as much as possible.
The first reaction a lot of people have when they first read Imbue Amagalm's complete abilities is along the lines of 'Oh my God!' Even in the wild wackiness that is Exalted, Amalgam's stand out as being a hair wackier.
I'm thinking they may be a bit more than a hair wackier. I'm thinking they may be out and out ill.
I base this thinking on the Power-Awarding Prana. This Charm lets you grant a limited number of Charms to someone else. You have to grant Pre-reqs, they burn your Essence, it only lasts a day and costs an experience point to use.
I compare this to Imbue Amalgam. Which requires
- More Motes of Essence, by a lot.
- More Willpower, by 1.
- No Experience, which is typically the most limiting factor.
Imbuing offers a lot of directly superior uses as well; it's permanent, you can improve Abilities and Attributes, precisely tailor the Charm abilities of your subject, they don't use your Essence, the don't cost experience, etcetc. Not to mention the loyalty thing.
While Imbuing does need to conform to an iconography of some sort, there's no reason to take a narrow iconography (the weapons of my fallen foes) rather than a very broad one (the tarot, flowers).
While I do realize it's pointless to wave a comparison like this, I have a hard time imagining approving a Charm that mimiced the effects of Imbue Amalgm that required Ability 5 and Essence 4 or 5. It's triple whamy of no OOC check (as compared to PAP, which requires an OOC currency in Experience), No IC check (all it takes is Essence and Willpower; if you've got nothing better to do at the end of a day, BANG, new Super-Soldier), and Permanent which is making me goggle a bit.
At the same time, I do understand why is was placed as Celestial Circle Sorcery; I can easily imagine Solar Circle level stuff being able to screw with the Supermotes themselves, or making geniune mini-Exalts (basically, an Imbuing that can grow in power and reincarnates in the same fashion as an Exalt, or possibly as a Dragonblooded).
Still at the same time, I almost think just that stuff should exist; not the Celestial versions at all. Let Lunar's breed and make Beastmen; let Sidereals turn Aquintenances and Familiars into Gods and Dragons. Leave these mini-Exalts solely to the realm of Lost Solar Magic.
I dunno. Am I missing something about Imbue Amalgam? In comparison with both Charms and other Celestial Circle Sorcery, it seems far and away the best spell, to almost silly degree. An Exalt with an Imbued army needs little in the way of additional help in handling almost any task; a group of 10 guys with an attack and dodge pool of 10 (and it's trivial to get an attack/parry pool up to 15) and Steel Devil Style; or Excellent Strike (period) will even give Mask of Winters a run for his money in a straight up fight.
Or Imbuing Amalgams for all occusions- since the biggest aspects that make the Exalted Heroes are their A) tendency to have MUCH better attributes and abilities than morals, and B) Magic; Amalgams can perform in the former task as well or better, and the later as well or better for less time.
Meh. Thoughts. DS
Well, you could always have it fade after a year and a day. Not that this solves the problem of what to do with 200 Kung Fu Doctor Farmers :) -Dim
It's pretty simple why you wouldn't do it. A) You create a super army, they might decide to turn on you (and have the power and numbers to do it.) B) Big recruiting like that will draw attention. C) They aren't really magical beings or Exalted. This makes them very vulnerable to things like Charms (and since you've been a bad Exalt and caught the attention of the Bronze Faction with your army of 2000 super soldiers, they just put a bad ass curse on the army). D) It's a ritual... this has a few bad parts to it... takes alot of time, takes alot of essence, and during it you're very vulnerable and well, you get the point. I believe it's been Errataed down to a year and a day, still, I think those points are more than enough to make it not viable in large groups. - haren
Ahh, don't forget: Amalgams are loyal to their crator, and will not harm him. -Dim
Opps, forgot that... but then, you have the problem of "serving to their best ability". They aren't mindless, and that can turn out badly if they decide to serve you by... attacking every caravan that passes by to get you money. Sure, commands can stop that, but again... not mindless by any means. - haren
They aren't that loyal- that's Threefold Binding of the Heart level loyal, and it's self-evident that Imbuing shouldn't offer a more fanatical degree of loyalty than Threefold Binding along with it's additional bennies.
And they /are/ actually magical beings and they do have an Essence score of greater than 1. Leastwise, they can have an Essence score greater than 1. As for the ritual thing, that's a reason to slow down production, not a reason to stop it altogether. DS
It's "psuedo-Essence", and that's not the same thing as Essence. You notice, it only is used for purposes of the Charms in the Amalgam. - haren
Well, that and cover the pre-req. But yeah, true. DS
The only reason I like this spell being in the Celestial Circle is that one day in my campaign I'd like to have some crazy Lunar sorceror Imbue an army of barbarians making them super soldiers (the strangth of the bear and ferocity of the tiger!), and then when the final battle comes my circles Twilight can bust out Adamant counter magic and turn them into a bunch of normal (and likely unarmed) savages again. - redconsensus
I thought it was permanent myself. Read the spell description, however. It only lasts for the duration of the Story. -- CrownedSun
The trouble with a term as nebulous as story is it presumes the game is being played with strong plot arcs, in which there is a very finite amount of IC time. When I, and I believe many others, play with weak to non-existant plot arcs, just letting the Solars run about in Creation as they will, setting up NPCs and relationships to react to them. It's relying on an OOC resources (Story) to stop and an IC resources (time) to use. This is not a healthy mix. Fundamentally, a set of like, 10 Amalgams are about as comptent at any single type of task as a Circle of Solars. They can be dispatched to resolve any problem- and if they fail, you both have learned that the danger was beyond what the Circle could have faced, and that the solution is more Imbued. In other words, because the spell can be so wide open, potentially allowing access to any other Charm of the caster's sort, and such broad enhancements of power (I now have a Dex, Dodge and Melee of 11... each), the Exalted are themselves rendered moot, and the game becomes the Imbued.
Or the spell goes unused in circumstances it would logically be used in. Not logically-rationally, because the Exalted aren't always. But logically from a narrative perspective- the heroes have this superweapon, why aren't they using it at their earliest and most convient oppurtunity? There's no situation where 'Throw enough Imbued at the problem' isn't a very real potential answer- at least, not if the enemy can't cast Saphire Coutnermagic- making it somewhat akin to a sudden spat of fire-resistant monsters appearing when the wizard learns Fireball.
Hell, it wouldn't be hard to make a trio of Imbued that would thump a fair number of Second Circle Demons, in the Demon's own arena. Or, compare the Imbued to the Lesser Minions of the Eyeless Face- hell, compare them to the Greater Minions. That duration kicks in again- with any time to prepare, you have a pound-for-pound, Fighting Force of Extraordinary Magnitude. And they're /not limited to fighting/- they can do anything the Exalted can already do themselves. DS
Maybe so, but that's not the default assumption of Exalted. The point is that it DOES have a finite time limit. If it causes problems, then decide about how long it should be and then change it. I'd suggest a duration of a few months, at best. Though realistically, given what you suggested of your stories, you could say that the spell ends at the end of every session;P
As for the power level, eh. Sorcery in general is power. The number of things that a Sorcerer can do is quite impressive, and they're generally more powerful (or at least more /flexible/ in their use of power) than non-Sorcerers. That's the benefit of being a sorcerer, the downside being huge costs in essence and fewer amounts of effects that you can pop off quickly.\\ --CrownedSun
Your players might beat you up for it, but since a normal game is 4-5xp with extra xp at the end of Stories, you could say the Amalgams disappear at the end of any session which gets them more than 5xp <wink> - ArchonShiva
Actually, the S&S version of Imbue doesn't have a defined time limit. It seems to me that you guys are somewhat missing the point. Sure amalgams are thumpy, but it's not like second circle demons and bone lions are pushovers. First circle demons and elementals aren't weaklings either, and in S&S there's rules for summoning up armies of them. Come to think of it, don't Abyssals have spells for summoning up armies of zombies and ghosts and creating gigantic undead war machines? Sorcerers with powerful lackies seem to be a theme of the game, probably because they make good villans. I'm not disagreeing with you, it is a ludicrously powerful spell. On the other hand, sorcerers are supposed to be pretty powerful. It makes up for all of those six hour combat scenes where the sorcerer says "gee, is it my turn again? I guess I'll keep hiding because anything with a soak low enough for me to get through was dead in the first round of combat." On a note, the above amalgam example does swing like a tricked out solar with a diaclave every round, but he has no defensive enhancements and could be downed by a 12 year old girl with a stick. That having been said, whenever I take Imbue (and I almost always do) I'm very careful to use it in ways that don't make my fellow players feel obsolete. I use it to create guardians for my manse, bodyguards to keep me from getting hit while I'm casting spells, and window dressing (like my private essance imbued massuse). I could create an army of uber-badass amalgams to do all our fighting for us, but that wouldn't be any fun. Besides, you have to consider the ethical ramifications of the spell. You're taking a free willed human being and turning them into a mind enslaved monstrosity. If no one in the campeign has a problem with this, then you should accept the fact that you are playing the bad guys and let your army of amalgams be your legion of Doom with which you intend to take over the world. P.S. If you think Imbue is broken check out the S&S version of The Spawning of Monsters. --JS
My group was originally frightened by Imbue Amalgum, until we noticed that the amalgums were simple constructs of sorcery and thus should be affected by counterspells. Sure, the spell can conjure a dispreportionatly powerful servent, but that servent will revert back to a normal mortal should someone cast Sapphire Countermagic on it. So now all we worry about is The Spawning Of Monsters, which is explicitally uncounterable (once the monster is born).
Exalted is a system where narrative time has in character effects, but if this dosn't work for your group then it's easy to change. One solution would be to simply change all the narrative time definitions so they represent concrete IC time (i.e. one scene = 15 mins, one story = 1 year). A more interesting solution might be to change things that work in OOC narrative time to IC narrative time. For example, change IA so that when you create the amalgum, you set it to a particular task and the spell will end when that task is completed. The amalgum will still follow your orders, but it's main goal will be do its task. If you imbue your valet with the power to defeat the Evil Sorcerer, he'll spend his time trying to figure out how to bring said sorcerer down. You can order him to bodyguard you, but he might be kinda distracted. Upon success the target will be free of the caster's influences, but will also lose their sorcerously induced strength. Some mortals will think, "I'm free! I'm finally Free!" while others will think, "Man, I've lost my kewl powerz... where can I find another celestial sorcerer who has an errand to run?" -- Wheloc
- Honestly, I'm not sure it's affected by countermagic(it's described as 'permanant',I usually assume spells that make stuff can't be countered afterward, sorta like you can't countermagic the shards of obsidian butterflies off the ground). But if you want to limit it that way, go for it. An easier method might be to limit how many Amalagams an Sorcerer can have at a time. Say Essence, or Essence+Occult or Essence * Occult or something. One could limit the spell to once a week also. The entire Power-Awarding Prana tree is, well, incredibly useless. Probably the easiest thing to do would be to make getting ritual materials more difficult if it starts to become a problem. -FlowsLikeBits
I don't have my copy of S&S with me at the moment (so I don't know what the inherent limits on the spell are), but if it really bothers you, couldn't you just do something like limit the number of Amaglams one has to something sane like their permanent Willpower? Or worse, permanent Essence? Then if you needed a bad-ass enemy sorcerer, you could make a 4-dot artifact with the effect, "You may a control a number of permanent Amaglams equal to Lots." I mean, they already have an arti that lets Terrestrials use Demon of the Second Circle, apparently created exactly because they needed Mnemnon to have it... - Arafelis reads replies before posting like a good wikizen, doh.
I disagree that Imbue Amalgam compares to creating an artifact, for several reasons. 1. You can't kill an Artifact with a simple Combo available to most Exalted types (whereas, yes, Imbued servants can and will be killed in assorted nasty was). 2. Yourself and your Exalted buddies cannot channel your Charms through the Imbued servant and somehow be better than before (whereas getting a bigger and scarier daiklaive makes your Melee Charms all the more effective). 3. Countermagic. While, yes, you end up in both cases with some entity in the game world that has intrinsic powers, that's where the comparison ends.
What Imbue Amalgam does is closer to what Demon of the Second Circle does, only with a different duration, and with some sort of guarantee that your new servant isn't diabolical and committed to your destruction during his lunch hour. I'm pretty sure you can come out with stats like Octavian if you work hard, and you can maybe even surpass that level. But you've still got a dude who serves you, beats the crap out of people for you, will go away sooner or later, and who can be splattered across a rock with the right Immaculate monk or Lunar nemesis on the job. IA's advantage is that you have more leeway in choosing his powers until that time. In both cases he's obviously monstrous or at least magical, so you also have the small issue of villagers running and screaming. -- BillGarrett
A few differences exist between Amalgams and Summoning. A few, vitally important differences.
A) Amalgams aren't secretly trying to get you to turn evil. They lose their agency- basically, they become extensions of yourself.
B) There's only one instance of each Second Circle Demon. If he's summoned, you can't get him again. Meanwhile, I can make clones of my Amalgams all the live long day. Not to mention, no waiting for the new moon- I can do this whenever.
C) Let me repeat B. The problem with the Amalgams isn't just their power- it's their power combined with their numbers. That is to say, if an Exalt is given a month's prep time, they can have a nearly unlimited clone army of perfectly dedicated troops.
I'm not bothered by the Amalgams being cool. I'm bothered by them making the other Exalts look like chumps. Although I have had to modify my very inital sentiment of 'No problem exists which can be solved by the direct actions of the Exalted that cannot be likewise solved with Amalgams' to include 'Except foes with Saphire Countermagic'. An easy concession to make, especially as the opposite /is not true/- not every problem that can be solved by sufficent numbers of Amalgams can be solved by the Exalted. So, if you've got a Twillight in the game, make sure you make those dungeon walls nice and teleport-unfriendly; you've got to deprive them of this spell, because the spell doesn't fit itself in with the setting (short of Sidereal strike squads and massive Wyld Hunts). DS
- B) is a question that depends on how many Second Circle demons there actually are in Malfeas, and how many of them are "on call"? How many Celestial Circle sorcerers actively summon them? People like Samea obviously do, but what is the proportion? Are there a hundred? A thousand? A hundred per sorcerer? I don't have GoD in front of me, but I don't recall seeing an exact quote on population. I ALSO imagine that Second Circle demons can PROBABLY call up First Circle demons on their own (or at least, this is something I'd allow as Storyteller), which is actually pretty useful. My intention isn't to say "demon summoning is scaled with IA", but rather "summoning is more like IA than artificing is".
- Assuming a five-dot Manse and the Sphere of the Revolutionary Dog, you can recoup your casting of IA with a 2-die stunt and 3 hours of meditation in the Manse itself. That's 6 hours if you just sit outside. If you can whip out this sort of stunting for every casting, you're capped at 2-3 Amalgams per day; it's less (because of the daily Willpower regain) if you tell the GM, "I turn into an Amalgam factory for the month", realistically one a day on average. You also, of course, have the small issue of where you're getting your source material. If you have an army of volunteers, great, but if not, someone will be calling 1-888-WYLD-HNT when villagers start disappearing and magical monsters begin showing up.
- Finally, I consider the spell a good illustration of Exalted power. Amalgams can't really produce more Amalgams, and they certainly can't produce Exalted. But Exalted can produce Amalgams. That in itself raises the bar as to what the Celestial Exalted consider "a challenge", and that is a calculation that any Storyteller who permits this spell into their games should be making. But then again, a No Moon who can sneak in cat form into a gathering of Dynasts, lock the doors, and cast Magma Kraken is doing a great deal of world-changing. This is the sort of thing Celestial sorcerers are capable of, and I've painfully learned not to underestimate what they're capable of. -- BillGarrett
- Actually, the spell takes an entire day to cast, so your limited to one per day. You could probably get the essence and will back with a night of rest and a good hearthstone, but your still limited to one/day. You also need a specially created Resources - 4 statue each time. Thus, the number of these you can create in a reasonable timeframe is pretty limited. Honestly, I'm not sure they as good as second circle demons. You could probalby make something relativly equivilent to a first circle one. Although, that kinda seems ok. First Circle demons arn't that powerful, and can be more trouble than they are worth. - FlowsLikeBits
- Shows what I get for not reading the new S&S version closely :) But yeah, our boy with TWTT is generating 300-500 elite troops a week (if he starts with good soldiers) or a month (if he starts with ANYONE). How many elite soldiers are worth one Exalt? The calculation varies, but if you can get yourself to a 20:1 ratio of Tiger-Warrior to Exalt efficiency, you're probably on par. And aside from that, how many Terrestrials can you get under your control with Masterful Performance Exercise in front of a crowd of neutral Outcastes? How many times a month can you do that? My guess: however many times you have Outcaste populations to draw from. Beyond this, you have less Charm/sorcery-driven methods like petitioning a really powerful elemental for the services of its less-powerful servitors. -- BillGarrett
- Dawns (well, Zeniths) have Tiger-Warrior Training... why not Wombat-Craftsman Self-Improvement Workshop? "Over the course of a single month of training, the Solar can train up to 100*his permanent Essence of unskilled, lazy Lionowan or Dune People into highly motivated and artistic statue-craftsfolk..."
- Then we could get Penguin-Mime Performer Showcase, just in case the Solar needs a vaudville act in a hurry- with Dancing Amaglam backup! - Arafelis
Amalgams have the potential to be far more powerful then the second circle demons in print. The S&S verson seem to allow the sorcerer to cast cast IA on a target over multiple days, meaning the only limits on their power are time, essence, and that the sorcerer cannot improve most things by more then their Occult + Essence. This could potentially give the amalgam much better stats then Essence 4 Exalted. Further, there is no limit to the Charms the sorcerer can give their amalgam, except they all have to belong to the same Exalt type as the sorcerer (and they must meet the Essence preq of the Charm, and their Essence will at most be one less then the sorcerer's). Even if the amalgam has to be imbued with all prequisite Charms (which is reasonable, but not explicitly mentioned), the amalgam can still gain new Charms much faster then any Exalted. If a sorcerer puts their mind to it, they can get amalgams that should be better then an Exalt of a similar experience level (with the stats of a demons and Charms of an Exalted). Sure, the amalgam might have slighly lower Essence then the Exalt, but they should be able to make up for it through much higher abilities and far more Charms.
On the other hand, the S&S verson places much clearer limits on how loyal the amalgam really is. The Bo3C verson apparently made the target unquestionably, vaguly loyal. This really bothered me; I don't mind powerful servants, but I feel there should be the possibility that said servants will betray you (at least unless you take the proper precautions). In S&S the target must simply follow direct orders given, and can even make a willpower roll to interpret them non-literally. This makes the spell seem much more reasonable (and interesting) to me. -- Wheloc
- Personally, I'm not sure on the 'multi-day' casting thing. You could interpret it that way, but you could also say each new casting overwrites what is there. This makes more sense me. I.e. you can re-enchant one, but the total power at any time is limited by the casters essence. It also says that amalgams need to meet the prerequests for the charms they get, I had assumed this meant charm prerequisits also. This also makes them more comperable to demons.
- Personally, I prefer that amalgams be reasonably loyal, as we already have demons, where you have to take precautions against them betraying you. I prefer the possibility of a limited number of loyal servants to balance against the greater number of less loyal servants(demons). Thus, I prefer amalgams to be fairly loyal, especially if treated reasonably. I.e. it's possible to trick them, but they won't usually betray you. I think I would actually do it so that you have to keep the statue around. I.e. Saphire countermagic on the statue will destory them, but the amalgam itself is immune.This gives them a downside, but still makes them useful. -FlowsLikeBits
From a ST perspective, if a character can and does create such an army, the party better be ready to defeat that big bad, not to mention tough, enemy out there with an army that can defeat the almagens. I don't count that an easy or moderate challage set to come after you. Someone might be loosing there life, in fact I can almost guarantee it. And the Solar creating these better not spend all of his/her points into it, or they are essentially helpless in a fight. Sucks to have a Hunt come down on you when you are all out of power points. Here's a thought... Did Thorns fall because some Solar got the idea to defend the city with amalgams? Someone might have to upset some of the powers out there... Oh look, that colony of surviving Fair Folk would love to have your slaves, etc. -Miles
Here's a fun idea: What about a spell that hides things, or makes them appear as they aren't? What about Stealth or Performance charms that let you appear as you aren't? Is it possible to make an Amalgam that looks exactly like it's old mortal self, by imbueing it with that ability, or by simply casting some sort of illusion spell on it? In my head, the simple Solar larceny charm, such as "Flawlessly Impenetrable Disguise", which requires only Ess 2 and has only one prereq, would require only 7m of temporary Essence to keep active. That's maybe 10-15 spell-motes to make your changes hidden. Anyone agree or disagree? -- GregLink, bumping the topic to the top
Greglink: I agree. that would be funny. Personally, I have no problem with IA, but for a different reason than that desribed above. It comes from the basic component for the ritual: A large block of stone quarried from the Blessed isle. Given the location the rock has to come from, and the implied size... well. I somehow doubt these are particularly common, outside the Blessed isle. The sorceress in my Abyssals group has the spell, but has only recently been able to get her hands on the stone required to use it. and she is over the MOON!
With regards to reproduction, however... well. She intends to create a new species. THink on this. Look at 'Imbue Amalgam'. THen read 'spawning of monsters'. Let us suppose you get some, oh, Tigers. IA one, to turn it int oa deadly companion and guardian, then use SoM to take it's essence and implant said essence in a fwemale tiger: Due t othe rules of SoM, you are gaurunteed to get something akin to your amalgam. Do this a dozen or so times, to get a breeding population... I don't think the species would be particularly Fecund - it would be just like any of the magicval species in the first age, that way - and I intend t ohave a lot of fun as she tries to figure out the precise needs and circumstances for this new species to breed, but.. well, It promises to be fun plot arc, but I felt that the implications of it might help this debate. one way or another. - molikai