Magically projecting arrows isn’t terribly efficient

I was thinking about Vilano’s Sling with reference to projecting other materials. Stone is an exceptional material because it is simple to work with, pretty tough, and very prolific in the Ars Magica setting; but what about other materials?

Living or dead wood with Herbam magic? Well there is already a spell in Tales of Mythic Europe to throw wooden things around (page 55), and it’s OK as long MR isn’t an issue. As a ReHe5 spell that inflicts around +4 damage is good as a basic deterrence but poor against any type of serious threat or serious armor. Even a normal mundane soldier with reasonable armor will have a better soak than that. Herbam needs a boosted Vilano style option.

Same too for Corpus, Animal, and a metal version in Terram too. The advantage of using odd materials is that Magi and creatures with MR are far less likely to have a special resistance to it.

Firstly for Herbam there is a major complexity difference between flinging around sharpened wooden objects versus directing the flight of arrows. Arrows need extra casting requisites for their Animal and Terram components, but are probably circumstantial easier to find on the fly and inflict slightly better damage than sharpened sticks. So two spell options are needed. Given the additional requisites for arrows, I think a basic stone sling is still much better.

(note: this post is missing a reworking of Vilano’s Sling to inflict a far more harmful +20 damage as it was previously posted on the blog).

Secondly I’ve taken a simplified route for the spell guidelines and repeated the rules from the Rego Terram section, which has damage increments from +5 to +15 for throwing an item which requires a Finesse targeting skill check instead of whatever the materials guideline might be for automatically hitting a target. I think that’s in the spirit of the rules. The sample spells below expand the guideline to base 20 to inflict +20 damage which is far harder for armored targets and beasts to ignore.

The Vicious Projectile of Wood

Rego Herbam 25, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Individual

The spell projects a small wooden object toward an opponent, inflicting up to +20 damage, subject to the form of the object. A sharpened streamlined projectile will inflict full damage, however a lump of wood will inflict approximately +15 damage.

The projectile is accurate to 20 paces and requires a successful Finesse roll to hit the target. As the object is flung by spell rather than guided, the effect is not influenced by Magic Resistance.

(Base 20, +1 Touch)

The Vicious Arrow

Rego Herbam 25 / Animal Terram, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Individual

The spell projects an arrow toward an opponent, inflicting +20 damage. While effective on arrows this effect could project any small object combining wooden, metal, or animal components.

The projectile is accurate to 20 paces and requires a successful Finesse roll to hit the target. As the object is flung by spell rather than guided, the effect is not influenced by Magic Resistance.

(Base 20, +1 Touch, Animal and Terram requisites free)

Given the capacity for a boosted version of Vilano’s Sling to inflict the same damage with less requisites, magically flinging around arrows isn’t the best option.

After those Herbam examples we have the rest of the options mentioned.

The Vicious Blade

Rego Terram 35 / Animal, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Individual

This spell projects an moderate sized metal object toward an opponent, inflicting +20 damage. While effective on daggers and darts, this effect could project any moderate sized object combining metal or animal components.

The projectile is accurate to 20 paces and requires a successful Finesse roll to hit the target. As the object is flung by spell rather than guided, the effect is not influenced by Magic Resistance.

(Base 20, +1 Touch, +2 affect metal, Animal requisite free)

The Vicious Bones of Man

Rego Corpus 25, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Individual

This spell projects a piece of a non-living human body toward a target, inflicting up to +20 damage. It is probably most often cast on prepared bone implements.

The projectile is accurate to 20 paces and requires a successful Finesse roll to hit the target. As the object is flung by spell rather than guided, the effect is not influenced by Magic Resistance.

(Base 20, +1 Touch)

The Vicious Bones of Beasts

Rego Animal 25, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Individual

This spell projects a piece of a non-living animal material toward a target, inflicting up to +20 damage. It is probably most often cast on prepared bone implements.

The projectile is accurate to 20 paces and requires a successful Finesse roll to hit the target. As the object is flung by spell rather than guided, the effect is not influenced by Magic Resistance.

(Base 20, +1 Touch)

For these and other custom Ars Magics spells see the list of new spells.

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3 thoughts on “Magically projecting arrows isn’t terribly efficient

  1. My standing policy is to require bigger objects in order to inflict lots of damage. Taking a tiny pebble and throwing it at a target with such force that it causes +20 damage just doesn’t have the right Mythic feel to me; it’s realistic, but not Mythic. So I just wouldn’t allow all these objects to cause +20 damage; for that, you need something massive, like maybe an elephant’s thigh or something.

    That’s just my own taste, of course; your spells certainly fit better to the HoHS rules. 🙂

  2. I was trying to stick with the rules as written , but agree – bigger objects makes a lot of sense.
    Also as the magnitudes get added the idea of a maximum possible damage should probably apply. A sling stone will disintegrate when it hits hard enough; it’ll still hurt the target but not be recoverable.

  3. Pingback: An ungodly projectile spell | The Iron-Bound Tome

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