One of the most intriguing and rarely used style of spell in the Ars Magica RPG are those introduced as Sensory Magic (from Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults, p.27-31). The source book contains very apt example spells however custom spells are rare. An exception is the book Through the Aegis, which has four Sensory Magic spells, relating to a lion heartbeast.
Until very recently I didn’t understand how they might be used (now a little more so).
The Sensory Magic (SM) mechanics allow the magus to target people who perceive them in one way or another instead of the Magus perceiving the target. SM must deliver the magical effect via a sense, and it has both very specific limitations around the magic being linked to the bestial style of the magus, and the style of effects possible. A major limitation is SM spell effects may not be placed in enchanted devices.
Being a House Bjornaer mystery virtue also means that any SM spells are likely to be only known by a sub-set of House Bjornaer; which again limits their adoption by players.
E.g. A spell based upon a peacock’s beautiful plume which is cast by the Bjornaer upon themselves might allow them to seduce or impress those who see them. The presence of a peacock is used as the basis for the glamour, as relates thematically to the effect, and also reflects the spells delivery.
Wonderfully specific uses, and dangerously powerful as the spells do not need to be recast when the targeted creatures around them change – as it is by their presence that the magic may affect them.
Evasion of the Alley Cat
Rego Corpus 5, R: Personal, D: Diameter, T: Texture, Sensory Magic
Those who touch the caster or their personal items find their hand, limb, or mouth uncontrollable. This grants the caster a significant bonus to resisting grappling or constriction attacks, and grabbing the caster is all but impossible. The spell is designed to affect beast and people alike.
(Base 2 – to loose control of a body part, +1 Diameter, +1 Texture, +1 Animal)
Flavour of the Dripping Toad
Creo Mentem / Animal 10, R: Personal, D: Diameter, T: Flavor, Sensory Magic
Those who taste the caster or their personal items are rendered confused, unable to take clear action for the duration of the spell. This spell is designed to affect beast and people alike.
(Base 4, +1 Diameter, +0 Flavor, +1 Animal)
Lilt of the Gentle Songbird
Creo Mentem 15, R: Personal, D: Momentary, T: Sound, Sensory Magic
Those who hear the caster’s voice are sent to sleep.
(Base 4, +3 Sound)
Revulsion of the Pungent Skunk
Rego Corpus 20, R: Personal, D: Diameter, T: Scent, Sensory Magic
Those who smell the caster or their personal items are find themselves struck with vomiting and ill-health, and may recover only after purging their bodies.
(Base 5 – to invoke vomiting, +1 Diameter, +2 Scent)
Poise of the Magnificent Peacock
Creo Mentem 35, R: Personal, D: Sun, T: Spectacle, Sensory Magic
Anyone who sees the caster will be more included to be attracted and impressed by their manner, dress, and poise. This greatly influences reactions in suitable scenarios by granting a +3-6 bonus to the caster for suitable rolls.
(Base 5, +2 Sun, +4 Spectacle)
These spells are part of the free new spells compendium for Ars Magica.