Spells for Arcance Connections

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.

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If however an arcane connection is needed without using a Sun duration, then another spell could be used to create temporary arcane connections, again with a “weak” initial strength, then boosted to longer durations.

Craft the Scryer’s Delight

Creo Vim 30, R: Touch, D: Moon, T: Individual

The spell creates a temporary arcane connection between the target and the caster, and holds that connection in place for the duration. As the connection is intangible, there is no physical marks from the casting, although the spell can be detected via normal means.

(Base: 4, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +2 mags for “many weeks” in connection strength)

Or the same effect re-worked with greater range, but less duration. This second version could be used to initially to force the connection, and then later be replaced by the first version by casting it through an Opening the Intangible Tunnel.

Craft the Scryer’s Whimsy

Creo Vim 25, R: Sight, D: Sun, T: Individual

The spell creates a temporary arcane connection between the target and the caster, and holds that connection in place for the duration. As the connection is intangible, there is no physical marks from the casting, although the spell can be detected via normal means.

(Base: 4, +3 Sight, +2 Sun)

For removing the links of Arcane Connections the guidelines on ArM5 p 160 for Perdo Vim effects which reduce the duration of arcane connections, with some caveats. Firstly a fixed arcane connection (created in the lab) is affected, but a natural connection (such as to a familiar) is not affected at all by Perdo Vim magical effects.

Obliterate the Mystical Anchor

Perdo Vim 20, R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Individual

This spell weakens an arcane connection touched by the caster, so that the connection strength is lowered by three ranks, and if this drops the connection strength down to below “hours” the connection is removed.

A key factor in the effective use of the spell is that the caster must know to whom or what the target touched is a connection to. The spell will not function without this knowledge.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Hours extended up to Weeks in connection strength)

A similar Rego Vim effect could temporarily block the same degree of connection (relative to the power levels).

Confound the Mystical Anchor

Rego Vim 30, R; Touch, D: Sun. T: Individual

This spell temporarily prevents a specific known arcane connection touched from being usable as a link back to the linked creature/object/location. The spell neutralizes the effective strength of the connections by 3 steps.

The spell is designed to affect connections which are moderately powerful, which includes short term connections through to those which can last weeks. These connections are suspended for the duration of the spell, and will return to normal once the spell expires. (base effect connection strength increased from Hours to Weeks).

A key factor in the effective use of the spell is that the caster must know to whom or what the target touched is a connection to. The spell will not prohibit a connection without this knowledge.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Hours extended to Weeks in strength)

The last consideration is how these types of spells could be used viciously. When this was discussed on the official Ars Magica forums a post pointed out that it has the potential for abuse, as a Magus might go about creating connections to everything. I don’t see that as any more abusive than many other types of effects which are in game, and the spell guidelines are present in source material. Parma Magica or magic resistance still applies, and the connections are certainly not overly powerful without creating very high level effects.

An invested device specifically designed to penetrate high levels of magic resistance is however a nice idea, as an example:

Rod of Mystical Empowerment

This rod was specifically designed by an unscrupulous Magus to allow temporary arcane connections to be created to almost anything around him.

Spell effect: “Craft the Insidious Connection“. Creo Vim 15, (Base: 4, +2 Voice, +1 Diameter). Base effect is as per “Craft the Mystic Anchor” above, with changes so that the spell lasts only enough time for a short battle, and can be used at very long range.

Item Modifications: +5 allowing 24 uses per day, +20 for penetration increase to Pen +40 effect. Final item effect level is 40.

With a device like this the MR of creatures could potentially be threatened, and then the wielder has an arcane connection to the target, which allows greater penetration totals. The effect above allows for a +1 to the multiplier of penetration, and if this were increased to a level 25 effect (using “weeks” rather than “hours or days”) then the multiplier bonus becomes +2 (see Penetration rules and Arcane connections in the core rulebook).

This is powerful, but also takes a lot of time and energy to craft as an invested device.

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