Ice Spells (part thirteen) Turn people to ice

When I first thought about this spell I was considering the part in the movie Frozen when Anna is turned to ice, and then considered making it a killing spell – which would be fair given a base level of 25 is very close to the Perdo Corpus instant death of base 30. Instead, an opponent frozen for two minutes is likely to be at the mercy of the caster till they magically unthaw.

Curse of the Frozen Heart

Muto Corpus / Aquam 40, R: Voice, D: Diameter, T: Individual

The target human is turned to solid ice, reverting to normal after the spell expires.

(Base 25, +2 Voice, +1 Diameter)

And a variant for animals, which is far easier due to the different baseline level for turning an animal into an inanimate object.

Curse of the Frozen Hoof

Muto Animal / Aquam 30, R: Voice, D: Diameter, T: Individual

The target animal is turned to solid ice, reverting to normal after the spell expires.

(Base 15, +2 Voice, +1 Diameter)

This and many other new spells for Ars Magica can be found on the Ars Magica New Spell Grimoire.


Vanilla Covenants Project – Asteria of Verditius

Asteria of Verditius – a sample Magus for the Vanilla Covenants Project

Asteria specializes in creating magical items out of bronze. Originally trained in Italy, she eventually moved to Cornwall. This is where the finest tin in the world is mined, and it allows her to create the finest bronze. Like most Verditius, she is incapable of enjoying the company of other members of her House, which also made the move to Stonehenge attractive. She drinks too much, and is very protective of her reputation, but beyond these minor foibles, she’s willing to discuss her work with the younger magi.

Asteria of Verditius, at Gauntlet

Characteristics: Int +3, Per 0, Pre 0, Com 0, Str -2, Sta +1, Dex +3, Qik 0
Size: 0, Age: 25 (25), Height: 168 cm, Weight: 72 kg, Gender: Female
Decrepitude: 0, Warping Score: 0 (0), Confidence: 1 (3)

Virtues and Flaws:

Affinity with Metalsmith (no calc), Affinity with Terram (no calc), Deft Form (Terram) [Form: Terram], The Gift, Hermetic Magus, Improved Characteristics, Inventive Genius (Invent Lab Totals: +3), Minor Magical Focus (Bronze), Personal Vis Source (Terram) [Location], Puissant Magic Theory, Puissant Metalsmith, Puissant Terram, Verditius Magic* [Preparation Abilities: Philosophiae/*Craft], Blatant Gift (Interactions: -6 with normals), Deficient Form (Imaginem), Deleterious Circumstances (Against wind), Hatred (Non productive artistic types), Mentor (Verdi upper heirachy), Weakness (Drinking)

*note: the no calc means that the affinity has not been factored into the final skill/art level.

Personality Traits: Disciplined +3, Perfectionist +3, Spontaneous -2


Artes Liberales 1 (geometry), Athletics 2 (Climbing), Awareness 3 (flaws in stone and metal work), Finesse 1, Italian 5 (talking about metal and stone), Latin 4 (Hermetic terms), Magic Lore 1, Magic Theory 3+2 (Terram), Metalsmith 4+2 (Bronze) [Category: Laboratories], Parma Magica 1 (Terram), Philosophiae 2 (Verdi Runes), Scribe 1, Stonemason 3 (Statues and Busts) [Category: Buildings]

Arts: Cr 5, In 2, Mu 5, Pe 3, Re 6, An 0, Aq 0, Au 0, Co 0, He 0, Ig 0, Im 0, Me 0, Te 10+3, Vi 0


  • Bindings of Bronze from Robes of Silk (MuAn(Te) 15) +6.
  • Measurement of Metal (InTe 10) +16
  • The Bronze Dart (Mu(Re)Te 15) +24
  • A Window of Singular Direction (MuTe 15) +19
  • Hardness of Adamantine (MuTe 25) +19
  • The Spell of Worked Bronze (ReTe 5) +26.
  • Forge of Purest Bronze (ReTe 15) +26
  • Ominous Levitation of the Weighty Bar (ReTe 20) +20

Custom spells known:

Bindings of Bronze from Robes of Silk

Muto Animal 15, R: Voice, D: Diameter, T: Individual

This spell turns an item of Animal based clothing or equipment worn by the target into bronze (typically a shirt, robe, etc), thereby hampering movement, affecting function, and increasing load. Exact effects will vary according to the articles worn by the target, ranging from no effect to practically complete immobilization.

(Base 4 to change a animal product to metal, +2 Voice, +1 Diameter, +0 Terram)

The Bronze Dart

Muto Terram / Rego 15, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Individual

A 10-inch bronze dart rises from the ground at your feet, floats into the air, and speeds off like an arrow at a target that is within Voice range. It does +10 damage, and always hits its target, although it must penetrate Magic Resistance to have any real effect.

(Base 3, +2 Voice, +1 affect metal, +1 Rego requisite)

Measurement of Metal

Intellego Terram 10, R: Touch. D: Momentary, T: Individual

This spell informs the caster of the purity and quality of an amount of metal.

(Base 5, +1 Touch)

The Spell of Worked Bronze

Rego Terram 25, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Group

The magus may transform a piece of bronze into a finished form, as if a Bronzeworker had shaped and formed it. Up to ten cubic feet may be transformed.

The magus must pass a Perception + Finesse roll substituting for Craft: Bronzeworker against an Ease Factor at least 3 higher than the mundane Ease Factor. Failure reduces the bronze to a slumped lump as if an incompetent beginner had worked on it.

(Base 2, +1 Touch, +2 metal, +2 Group, +1 flexibility, +1 size)

Forge of Purest Bronze

Rego Terram 20, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Group

This spell smelts and purifies up to ten cubic feet of bronze source materials. The pieces may be existing bronze work or raw copper, zinc, or lead bars. To achieve a suitable final result the caster must succeed a Finesse difficulty check of 12+. Appropriate craft skills may be add to this roll.

(Base 2, +1 Touch, +2 Group, +2 metal, +1 size)

Ominous Levitation of the Weighty Bar

Rego Terram 20, R: Voice, D: Concentration, T: Individual

As per Ominous Levitation of the Weighty Stone, HoH:S p38, but directs items made of metal.

(Base 3, +2 Voice, +1 Concentration, +2 affect metal)

Continue reading

Blog Plans for 2018

I’ve no focus yet for 2018 for this rpg blog. The past few years of Ars Magica Spells has been challenging and while I’ll chip away at odd spells and items intermittently, I need a break from regular Ars Magica blog posts.

There is a long ignored Deathwatch story I might revive despite FFG handing back the publishing rights – and perhaps a bit of fiction. A lot of my inspiration for content is driven from games I’m playing in and the games are also slowing.

While I’m not sure what style of game to write about, the blog post publishing schedule will likely decrease to a post roughly each month.

Have a great 2018 folks. IBT.

Sample enchanted items for a crossbow

After finding this image I wanted to write up a magical auto-loader for a crossbow which makes firing each round possible. Crossbows are already interesting in Ars Magica because they inflict a lot of damage (with the optional rules) with not a lot of skill if already loaded (reduced botch dice), but they are darn slow.

With the two enchanted devices I think it is reasonable that a crossbow could be fired at least once per round, if not twice per round; as all the soldier is doing is pointing and pulling the trigger. Lords of Men indicates that shooting a preloaded crossbow is a quick action, meaning the user can fire and move or fire and do something else. With these enhancements they could fire twice – perhaps each enchanted device allows firing in one round, granting two shots per round if both are used.

And the bolts being fired will not be resisted by MR. Designing and placing these items on an arbalest would be brutal, and no harder magically.

Snipers Gleam (ReHe 20)

The gleam is matched pair of brass pins depicting crossed arrows, one is placed upon a crossbow and the other upon the container of ammunition. Each time the gleam is activated it moves a bolt from the container to the crossbow in a firing position. The power is activated by specific clicking tone of the crossbow being drawn back, or a command word.

Effect: Load the crossbow

Rego Herbam 10, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Individual

A bolt is moved from a container to the crossbow or bow, loaded into a suitable firing position.

(Base 3, +2 Voice, +1 accuracy in positioning)(+10 unlimited uses)

Snipers Hold (ReTe 20)

The hold is a buckled leather band which is strapped to the soldier’s arm. The effect moves the crossbow’s metal bow after each firing, so that the holder does not need to act to redraw the bow, which saves significant time.

Effect: Draw the Crossbow

Rego Terram 10, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Individual

The crossbow’s arm is drawn back and locked properly, ready for firing. Terram is added as a requisite to allow for different materials in the crossbow’s construction.

(Base 2, +2 for metals, +2 Voice) (+10 unlimited uses)

Note: updated with the feedback below.


Fast casting against another wizard in Ars Magica

One of those forum conversations that leads into a brief explanation of how the game mechanics resolve magic… The Mirror of Opposition spell reverses the effect of a spell, but not the target. So a spell to hurt a person might help them instead. It is a very interesting spell because it relies on so many of the meta-magic layers in Ars Magica, primarily around Muto Vim spells, but there are compounding questions in the details.

Pyrale wrote: Another question regarding spell manipulation : Supposing I see someone starts casting, and I decide to cast a mirror of opposition on his spell. Does my spell have to pierce the caster’s defenses ?

If not, do I have a window of opportunity if the spell has no time of travel, or can I only cast it on projectiles ?

My 2c which might be dodgy… I think you can cast it on anything, and the SG gets to decide what it does.

  • First you need to use the rules for identifying what Form the spell is, because Mirror of Opposition is different for each Form, but I guess you might know if the caster had previously been shooting away with missile spells and just assume you’re correct if your perception Check failed. The Perception check isn’t going to slow down the rest.
    … Perception + Awareness + roll vs. 15 – (effect mag). If the opposing caster has silent/subtle magic/deft magic it gets a lot harder.
  • Then if you are not cooperating with the other caster (fair assumption) you need to fast-cast the MoO:(form), as per p.159 of Ars about not being able to intercept the spell quickly enough. Its basically a -10 to casting roll with 2x extra botch dice, and you need the fast-cast Mastery option for the MoO spell.
  • Then your Penetration total for your casting roll (which includes that -10 mod) must beat the other caster’s Penetration total
    (i.e. spell CT + roll – Spell level + Pen ability vs same from the other guy).
  • The rules imply that you don’t need to penetrate the caster’s parma which is great, although if they were casting a spell with Range: Personal upon themselves I’d argue that you’d also need to penetrate their Parma for it to work too (?).
  • The caster must be in range of your MoO spell too (voice), unless you’ve got a funky version or using an Intangible Tunnel and an AC.
  • I don’t know what happens if they are fast-casting a mastered spell, but I think you still could fast cast to intercept and alter it (?).
  • You can’t alter Spont spells with MuVi which is a bugger but it makes sense why.

Easy! However…

  • If the first spell was fast-cast then the second magus can fast-cast one to defend/intercept, but it should come back to speed (point made here). Essentially the magic system seeks to avoid situations where magi just fast-cast-BLAST their way through all encounters.
  • As MoO and many other Muto Vim spells do not work against Spont magic, and also typically must penetrate against the target spell, and also usually only affect half their level, not many wizards are able to Spont cast Muto Vim spells in defence. It is possible, but very unlikely.


A thought on affecting spells with requisites, a meta-magic question for Ars Magica

An aside – How do requisites affect which spells can be affected by magic?

A question raised during the forum discussion asked if a Muto Vim effect could change a spell enough to make it no longer effected by a Perdo Vim form specific effect. e.g. A Sun duration Rego Terram effect is altered to a Rego Aquam effect at cast time – can a Perdo Vim/Terram spell affect it if it has “changed” the form it uses? Further could the same Perdo Vim spell affect only Terram spells, or can it also affect spells with a Terram Requisite?

I tend toward thinking a spell with a Tech and two Forms can be affected by either Form specific dispel effect. The unraveling affects part of the spells structure and it doesn’t really matter which form it unravels to make the spell loose it’s cohesion. This makes requisites a slight disadvantage, and implies that some part of the original spell is still there to be unraveled.

But I hold the same concept to other ways of affecting spells it also introduces an advantage to Mu effects affecting the Forms too. i.e. a Muto Vim Terram spell to alter Range up by 1 mag can be applied to any spell using Terram, either as the base form or a requisite. I don’t see adding breadth of application into Vim spells as unbalancing.


A floating book, all a wizard needs

An item of fancy and indulgence for those Magi who insist on looking the part and being most prepared. It might also make a good justification for a lab improvement item with a focus on texts or reading. This is a similar function to the Bookstand of Hespera (Covenants, pg 121) except it affects just a book rather than a place to write and work. More purposeful for reference and study instead of creation. It will also cause warping in the target books over a long period.

Bookmark for a Text at Hand  (ReHeAn 25) is a small plate which is touched to the desired text and allows the text to float as the caster desires.

Ready an Attentive Tome

Rego Herbam / Animal 15, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Individual

The targeted book, scroll, or text floats next to the caster and can be set in position via concentration.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration)

(+5 Device maintains concentration, +5 for 24 uses per day)

With a final device level of ReHeAn 25 the devices are still cheap enough to be crafted by more junior magi, and may well be used as lab texts for an inexpensive boost to labs. The bookstand from covenants “adds two points to a specialisation in texts“, and has a slightly higher baseline although lower final level. This device is designed to that it can be used to direct many books at once, each sustained by the bookmark and controlled by the user’s concentration. It makes sense that it would offer a similar bonus and also have a more diverse application than a singular bookstand.