Two spells to Purify a Lake or Stream

A wizards in a play-by-post game I was playing in have a large lake which was once part of an ocean, but now is being fed by freshwater streams and rivers (big island raising style of magic). However till the lake is purged of all the salt water is not not overly useful to the surrounding landscape.

This is a very situational spell to remove all the salt from a water source.

As the need is ultra-specialised I went a step further and used the T: Body-of-Water spell parameter from Realms of Power: Magic (which comes from the Atlantean Magic virtue), specifically for large bodies of water. There are almost no spells using Atlantean magic virtue.

Purify the Lake, Waterway, and Stream

Perdo Aquam 45, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Body-of-Water

This spell removes the saltiness from all water within the current body of water, and may affect very large bodies of water.

(Base 15, +1 Touch, +3 Body-of-Water, +2 size)

Creating the spell with a conventional Ars Magica from the core rules might be similar, however the T: Body of Water has some inbuilt aspects which make it more efficient. A trick to note is that the “Body of water” target can affect a larger mass of liquid, and to perform the same spell without it Target: Part is useful. This allows successive castings to eventually remove the salt from the water, but only in small amounts.

Purify the Salty Pool

Perdo Aquam 25, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Part

This spell removes the saltiness from all the targeted water, affecting the whole or part of an amount of salt water up to 560 cubic feet of water.

(Base 15, +1 Touch, +1 Part)

A small lake is hundreds of millions of litres, so would take tens of thousands of casting to do; however a magic item might be perfect for that. Plonk it into the water and watch it slowly desalinate the water. It could also be made in a variety of shapes such as an attachment to the bottom of a boat, or an anchor to be placed at the bottom of the lake bed.

Eventual Reduction of Saltiness – (PeAq38) This small silver fisherman’s charm is triggered each time the sun moves its diameter in the sky (every two minutes), and casts the Purify the Salty Pool spell on the water it is placed in. (Base PeAq25, with +10 for unlimited uses, +3 environmental trigger)

Find these spell and hundreds more for Ars Magica in my grimoire.

What happens during a Tremere Gauntlet?

The Apprentice Gauntlet in Ars Magica is the last event and potentially the biggest which a starting Ars Magica Magus character will have before gameplay begins. For some Houses this is just a formality and for others it is an arduous or horrible test. In some sagas the character background is not complete until the player has detailed the gauntlet, and that’s an approach I strongly encourage. The members of House Tremere use the magical competition called Certamen as this test of skill and capability.

The Houses of Hermes book for House Tremere describes a Certamen event between the Master and Apprentice which the Apprentice can lose and usually will. It is ceremonial in nature, and as in many other aspects of a Magi’s life are more complex, I’m imagining that often there is more to the process than a single round of Certamen.

Here are notes from a play-by-post game in which a Tremere character is arranging the gauntlet of his Apprentice (thread on the forums).  Continue reading

An Imaginary Lab in the Familiar Bond

The Crown of Hermes magical device (Covenants p.121) allows the wearer to have an imaginary lab within their mind to perform their magical investigations, limited to particular activities like studying arts and inventing spells. I’ve never seen this device used in a game but it is a very interesting option for a Magus who travels a lot or with strong Mentem Arts, as they can have a lab anywhere. When combined with the lab specialisation rules the lab might be on par with a standard lab for some activities.

A primary advantage is how portable it makes a lab. A Bonisagus Seeker might get a lot of use from it when they are frequently traveling, likewise a Mercere Magus, or a Magus who wishes to remain untethered. One of the primary downsides of the device is the warping it inflicts (even though it might be designed for the wearer).

So what if the enchantment was performed on a familiar bond instead a normal device, as the familiar bonds do not cause warping (as per Ars Magica p.168)?

Modifications would need to allow for casting upon the wizard, and perhaps also the familiar could share the experience, and preferably an effect which can be used more frequently if desired. It becomes an invested power of the bond as:

Imagined Laboratory of Hermes, Invested

CrMe/InMuRe 58, Base 35, +1 Touch, +1 Conc, +1 extra target. Then mods for +5 device maintains concentration, and +3 for 6 uses per day.

In this version the spell affects both the Magus and the familiar, allowing them to work together. It could also be made as (CrMe/InReMu 53) by only affecting the magus but being controlled by the familiar – which might make sense if the familiar was to guard the body of the Magus while the spell is in effect; although typically a magus wants that familiar in the lab to gain their skills. Those additional uses allow for interruption now that the effect duration is concentration.  Continue reading

A spell to Burn Down a Castle

This is a quick spell to burn a building down from the inside. In the design I wanted an effect which would allow a pyromancer to immolate parts of a building but not others. Picture a staircase and rooms burning, which directs the panicking inhabitants down the only “safe” passage. Nasty!

It means adding a dual-target adjustment in the spell design, to grant the flexibility and control desired. I thought about creating the spell as Diameter instead, but thematically liked the idea that the magus can at will cancel the effect, and once several rounds have passed the building will continue to burn even though the spell has expired.

Immolation of Harrenhal

Creo Ignem 40, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Structure

Heats an entire structure, or a sub-part chosen by the caster, and everything within it to melting point, which creates a devastatingly dangerous environment for the inhabitants and materials. All items including typically non-flammable items will catch fire, and likely continue to burn after the spell expires.

(Base 10 to melt an object, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration, +3 Structure, +1 Part flexibility)

This and over 505 other new spells for Ars Magica can be found here.

An anchor becomes a saviour

Based upon Supple Iron and Rigid Rope (Ars p154), this spell makes use of the Terram generic materials examples to float items like wood.

Floating Anchor and Sinking Oar

Muto Terram 15, R: Voice, D: Diameter, T: Part

Makes a buoyant object sink or a sinking object buoyant. Casting requisites of Forms appropriate to the materials affected are required.

This spell was invented by a Magus who hated swimming and loathed the idea of drowning at sea.

(Base 3, +2 Voice, +1 Diameter, +1 Part)

I took the same Base level as Supple Iron and Rigid Rope and upped the range as it’s probably more useful to make an float after it’s just gone overboard; or likewise sink. Then Target: Part so that clothes and other things can be selected on a variety of target’s. Diameter should be plenty to sink or rescue something.

All the new spells for Ars Magica can be found here.

A boat stuck in ice

A few spells inspired from Snow White for Ars Magica

Here are some spells based upon Snow White (as best as I can fit them) for Ars Magica. Some of the magical effect from the story are detailed in the core rules; such illusions, transformation, scrying, and forms of divination.

The Queen’s poisoned apple could be written many ways. A straight wounding poison, an extended sleep spell, and a faerie sleep spell. The trick with hermetic magic is to create a poison which knocks the target unconscious rather than wounding them. A Creo spell shouldn’t be able to replace the process for creating potions although by creating specific poisons within another substance is a work around. YSMV. My thought is that a toxin can wound, fatigue, sleep, or other effect; and the trick is really getting the target to eat it.

This means proposing a new Creo Aquam guideline for a fatiguing toxin instead of a wounding one. Not a huge leap.

  • Creo Aquam Guideline: Base 5, to inflict 1 level of fatigue if a Stamina check is failed against a difficulty of 3.
  • Each magnitude adds an additional fatigue level. Optionally each magnitude also increases the difficulty check by 3.

Draft of Weariness

Creo Aquam 20, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

The draft of toxin conjured inflicts a fatigue level if the imbiber fails a Stamina check vs 3.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Sun)

Which means a low powered spell matching the poison-apple using fatigue would be as below, noting that the higher of the two base effects is chosen; Base 1 CrHe to create a fruit, and Base 5 for the poison.

Fruit Created for Suffering

Creo Herbam / Aquam 20, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

The food conjured is tainted with a powerful magical toxin which inflicts a fatigue level on anyone who eats it if they fail a Stamina check vs 3. The spell may create a single discrete item of unprocessed food, such as fruits.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, Herbam requisite free)

Fruit Imbued with Suffering

Muto Herbam / Aquam 20, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

The targeted food is tainted with a powerful magical toxin which inflicts a fatigue level on anyone who eats it if they fail a Stamina check vs 3. The taint becomes harmless when the spell expires.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, Aquam requisite free)

The base for altering Herbam is MuHe3 however as the base for the toxin was CrAq5 that was used, which rationalised the free Aq requisite.

All the new spells for Ars Magica can be found here.

Autumnlands – a good read

Autumnlands is a comic that I wasn’t sure about, but quickly liked. The story starts simply and gets more fantastic and magical as it progresses. After reading the first collection there is certainly more going on in the backstory that will be revealed than the initial story gives you – and I’ve several guesses that I’m keeping to myself for now. The wider story arc called “Tooth and Claw” plays out in issues I’ve not yet read but am looking forward to. Weird magic (floating cities, rituals of summoning, muto corpus / animal based hybrids in Ars Magica, lightning spells), beasties, rapid melee with swords and spears – what’s not to like?

Autumnlands by Image Comics