In Ars Magica an Arcane connections is a link between the spell caster and a specific object or thing, that exists regardless of the distance between the two – to channel magic. In game they are a double edged sword, which can be used powerfully by magi, but also used against them.
This post contains a number of new spells which demonstrate some of the new spell guidelines for arcane connections, and also introduces some variations on how these might be used in game.
Craft the Mystical Anchor
Creo Vim 15, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual
The spell creates a temporary arcane connection between the object touched and the caster, and holds that connection in place for the duration. For the purpose of power and maintenance the initial arcane connection power is considered to be equivalent to “Hours”, but is them maintained by being placed within the duration.
This also means that the Perdo Vim effects that destroy arcane connections can affect this spell easily (level 5 base effect for Hours).
The arcane connection may then be used by the caster to target the object at range: Arc.
(Base: 4, +1 Touch, +2 Sun)
The arcane connection strength is very important when considering how difficult it may be to remove the connection. A “hours” connection is the weakest possible, and a base effect 5 spell will render this level ineffective.
An alternate version might be created with a duration of ring, with the specific use of forming a connection that is maintained by the Ring, rather than needing an investment of Vis. Initially this might sound overtly powerful, until the ramifications of a Ring duration are understood – which basically means that the Magus has a connection back to an object, but that object must always remain present within the ring. If the object is moved from within the ring, the ring is marred, or the object destroyed, then the arcane connection is lost.
An important note in creating these effects is that the duration of the spell and the strength of the arcane connection will need to share a purpose. A spell may be able to create a connection that will last “hours”, but that is only useful for as long as the spell is also present. I.e. a spell with Duration: Conc and a “hours” connection still only lasts for as long as the caster concentrates.
The power of the Creo Vim effect must sustain both the duration of the hermetic spell and the connection itself. The longer the connection, the connection the more magical power needed.
The core point of debate for this spell is what the base effect level would be. In the ArM5 Creo Vim guidelines a level 3 creates a taint, and each 5 levels can inflict a point of warping. In relative terms of power a permanent arcane connection normally requires the expenditure of Vis, and a fair effort of activity to construct; however that is to create connections which are indefinite and permanent. A connection in magic is probably similar in power to a warping effect but has no permanent negative effect by its existence, so level 4 is chosen. This is in line with the base guidelines in Realms of Power: the Infernal (RoP:I sourcebook p.121), which allow creation of arcane connections between magi and demons with a base effect level 4.
It is however slightly different to the guidelines introduced in Magi of Hermes (MoH sourcebook p. 113), which indicates that Creo Vim level 5 is needed to slow the decay of a connection. I’m comfortable with a base effect of 4 for hours, with an understanding that extending the strength of a connection by one step adds a magnitude as demonstrated by the MoH guidelines.
A more powerful version of this spell could be crafted to make the base effect more resilient to Perdo Vim magic. To do this increase the magnitude of the spell for each step up the arcane connection duration (ArM p. 84).
- Hours – the base strength for an effect base 4.
- Days – +1 mag strength.
- Weeks – +2 mags
- Months – +3 mags
- Year – +4 mags
- Decades – +5 mags
- Indefinite, not possible with this effect.
This will make the effect more resilient to Perdo Vim effects which seek to destroy the Arcane Connection, whereby the magnitude of the PeVi spell must consider the strength of the link.