An ungodly projectile spell

I’ve had a great comment and a few new visits to the blog on improving the Invisible Sling of Vilano and magical projectiles posts; the comment suggests the damage should scale with the size of projectiles being used instead of adding raw power into the spell. Makes darn perfect logical sense to me, and skims around the rules in HoH:S. Shortly I’ll have a post about the ways of improving projectile spells unrelated to the rules as written.

I starting thinking of what the maximum damage a projected sling might do. Is it reasonable to set an upper limit on the damage a spell can do? Creo Ignem spells don’t have a canonical limit. Further why is a projectile moving at such speed only accurate to 20 paces, and surely 30 paces the missile is moving fast enough to still be exceedingly dangerous?

What does a maximised Vilano spell look like?

The Ungodly Projectile

Rego Terram 50, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Individual

This effect hurls a stone in a manner identical to Invisible Sling of Vilano, with the force of the projectile increased to inflict +45 damage. The stone is accurate to 20 paces and requires a successful Finesse roll to hit the target. As the stone is flung by spell rather than guided, the effect is not influenced by Magic Resistance.

(Base 45, +1 Touch)

I know this appears broken. +45 damage should be when a huge boulder crushes a character, or the arm swing of a titan. It makes me wonder what the impact speed of a modern bullet would be when translated into Ars Magica terms (boom, headshot!).

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

Olaus Magnus Historia om de nordiska folken

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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. Continue reading

Rather savage versions of the Incantation of Lightning

Reworking the spell The Incantation of Lightning to show how savage a damage of time (DoT) effect can be in Ars Magica. The Incantation of Lightning (IoL – Ars p.126) is already a dangerous spell for targets without magical resistance, and applying the same effect round after round is wonderfully effective.

The Incantation of Enveloping Lightning

Creo Auram 40, R: Voice, D: Diameter, T: Individual

This spell envelops the target in a prolonged field of lightning, which inflicts +30 damage per round for the duration, and applies a knockdown effect (as per the Incantation of Lightning spell).

(Base 5, +2 Voice, +4 unnatural, +1 Diameter)

incredible artwork for a wizard casting a chain lightning effect

Continue reading

Two cantrips for finding things in Ars Magica

Here are two simple low levels spells for Ars Magica, to find a beasts and miscellaneous items. These are both based upon the spell Sense the Lodestone (InCo 5) from Hermetic Projects p.84.

Sense the Beast’s Vector

Intellego Animal 5, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Individual

The caster gains the a sense for the direction and distance to the animal for which they have an Arcane Connection.

(Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration)

Sense the Miscellanea’s Vector

Intellego Terram 5, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Individual

The caster gains the a sense for the direction and distance to the object for which they have an Arcane Connection. Requisites are required for non-terram objects when cast.

(Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration)

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

Powerful effects for a Mentem Wizard

Part of designing a high powered Magus for Ars Magica is working out what effects they might have personally developed which separates them from the wizards in the core rulebooks. These two effects use the mind control arts of Rego Mentem to the high level without being a ritual; to command a person utterly, and to issue a command to everyone within a building. The magus who will hopefully design these spells can also use Vim magic to target the spells using Arcane Connections and across battlefields.

Dominion of Thought, Word, and Deed

Rego Mentem 50, R: Eye, D: Moon, T: Individual.

This effect allows the caster to mentally dominates the subject, completely controlling their mind, objectives, and emotions. Complex intertwined motivations, behaviours, and attitudes can be planted in the subjects mind; which they must act upon.

(Base 30, +1 Eye, +3 Moon)

Compelling the Inhabitants Compliance

Rego Mentem 50, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Structure.

Mentally commands all inhabitants of the target structure to perform a single complex command, regardless of its danger or suitability, which they must carry out to the best of their ability.

(Base 20, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +3 Structure)

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

  

Arcane Tunnels for Road and Waterway in Ars Magica

An aspect of having new spell ranges of Road and Waterway with Faerie Magic and Atlantean virtues (and many others) is the limited range of spells which are designed using them. Magi might be reluctant to take these virtues as their existing spells are not geared for the new ranges. Muto Vim spells can greatly change that, as does the major Virtue Flexible Formuliac Magic, and some spell mastery options.

An additional way to help mitigate this is the use of a special version of an Intangible-Tunnel-style effect which seek to connect the caster to a remote Waterway or Roadway via an arcane connection.

These variant Rego Vim spells establish a mystical connection to the road or body of water, so instead of the caster needing to personally touch it, the caster touches the AC. In effect it is a special mystic tunnel which bridges the Range of an intangible tunnel spell instead of the Target of the intangible tunnel spell.

If approved by the troupe these spells add significant leverage to the magi with access to the ranges because they allow for those effects to be used at great range, and this might be a controversial option. I think the style of wizard who sits in their lab using Arcane Connections is already present in Ars Magica, and these spells are no more powerful than an Intangible Tunnel itself. The caster is still required to learn the new “Mystical” tunnels as Rego Vim spells, and also still required to cast a spell with the appropriate Range.

Opening the Mystical Roadway

Rego Vim General, R: Arcane, D: Concentration, T: Individual

This effect establishes a mystical connection to a Roadway to which the caster has an Arcane Connection. Spells cast through this mystical tunnel must still be cast using the Range: Roadway parameter (an aspect of the Faerie Magic virtue), and may not be higher level than this spell.

(Base effect, +4 Arc, +1 General)

Opening the Mystical Waterway

Rego Vim General, R: Arcane, D: Concentration, T: Individual

This effect establishes a mystical connection to a Waterway to which the caster has an Arcane Connection. Spells cast through this mystical tunnel must still be cast using the Range: Waterway parameter (an aspect of the Atlantean virtue), and may not be higher level than this spell.

(Base effect, +4 Arc, +1 General)

I think that is quite a nice treat for characters with these virtues, when using these variant OtIT effects – all they need is an arcane connection to a road or waterway to affect anything within it. It could be pretty neat.

For these and over 200 other new Ars Magics spells see the list of spells.

a portal to where?

Spell to trace the lineage of men and beasts

Here is a few spells of Ars Magica using the Faerie Target: Bloodline. These allow the caster to trace blood relatives for themselves, other humans, and animals. I thought this might be handy for a wizard interested in fertility and the gift, but also to find those members of their extended family they might be unaware of (and of course for dealing with horse traders).

Each effect could probably be made slightly lower level by designing a more specialized spell, but given how niche the effects are that would be wasteful of seasons. A base guideline level 10 is heavy-handed, but allows a lot of breadth and forgiveness.

Blood of My Blood

Intellego Corpus / Imagonem 30, R: Personal, D: Concentration, T: Bloodline. Faerie.

The caster gains an awareness of every blood relative, and by concentrating can focus on specific members to determine their physical health, state in terms of awake or asleep, age, visual appearance, and location. When learned the spell is tailored for the caster’s bloodline to avoid warping.

(Base 10 to know all information about a body, +1 Conc, +3 Bloodline)

a blood arcane connection

And as a variation, here is the same effect raised to R: Touch, to allow a caster to trace the lineage of a touched person.

The Seed is Strong

Intellego Corpus / Imagonem 35, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Bloodline. Faerie.

The caster gains an awareness of every blood relative of the target touched, and by concentrating can focus on specific members to determine their physical health, state in terms of awake or asleep, age, visual appearance, and location. When learned the spell is tailored for the caster’s bloodline to avoid warping.

(Base 10 to know all information about a body, +1 Touch, +1 Conc, +3 Bloodline)

And lastly a variation to trace the lineage of animals, for the purposes of discerning pure breeding.

The Line Breeds True

Intellego Animal / Imagonem 35, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Bloodline. Faerie.

The caster gains an awareness of every blood relative of the target animal touched, and by concentrating can focus on specific members to determine their physical health, state in terms of awake or asleep, age, visual appearance, and location.

(Base 10 to know all information about a body, +1 Touch, +1 Conc, +3 Bloodline)

I suppose there could also be versions for Herbam too, although I don’t think that would get used often; and probably couldn’t make use of the Bloodline Target either.

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