Ars Magica – 30 Days of Magic Challenge

The NanoWriMo challenge happens each year and last year I wrote about 43 new spells as part of an Ars forum 2017 challenge, and I’m going to try again this year – calling it the 30 Days of Magic. Fancy eh.

This year however I know for certain that I cannot write a post every day due to work and life commitments, I have created over 30 new spells which are staggered out in blog posts over the 30 magical days. Most are variations or simple effects. So the actual goal is to write a few posts, and share the Ars related links of other contributors too.

At the wrap up I’ll link to each blog post with new spells here too like last year…


Faerie Greater Power – Animate Toy

A story in an Ars Magica game I’m playing in has a toy maker who crafts animated dolls inspired from Geppetto and Pinocchio. I couldn’t find a nice matching Faerie power in the books so decided to borrow from the Animae Magic rules (from HoH:MC p.92-95) which are very close to what I had in mind. Writing this up means it might break all sorts of rules but it will do it consistently which I think is important, especially if the characters need to interact with the toys themselves.

Animae Magic creates a faerie from normal materials, and that faerie is then unleashed upon the world. The toy maker NPC is not meant to be able to create complex intelligence and life with his creations (which is something that Animae magic can actually do!) so this power is designed to be a less powerful version of that major virtue.

Greater Power: Animate Toy (+3 Supernatural Fae)

Geppetto sculpting a giant head

Geppetto, by Bill Willingham (Vertigo Comics)

The targeted toy is granted simplistic animation and behaviour which must reflect its form and purpose. Toys are often playful, and can never be imbued with complex intelligence. Animals are playful, humanoids mimic a narrow set of acts, such as a fighting knight, a travelling messenger, a hunting dog, a singing bird. The toys may defend themselves, or even attack others if they are crafted with that intent.

This power must be used upon a physical toy which has been primarily crafted by the caster, must be of high quality, and must be made up of materials primarily suited to the Form of the base guideline used. When the animation ends the toys are still high quality and fully functional as toys, and are suitable for re-enchantment.

The enchantment duration of the animation is non-standard, designed so that the duration starts from the toy being triggered by unwrapping or being unboxed, and ends according to the effect design. This supports the toys being used as gifts.

Animated toys have a Might score equal to the extra power used in the enchantment, as noted in each effect design. Base cost to use this power is equal to one fifth the final enchantment level calculated as (MuHe Base 4, +n for Might Power, +1 Touch, with Duration variable to the toy maker’s desires) rounded down.

(Animae Guideline: Muto Herbam base 4 to alter a wooden item into a Faerie).

Example uses:

Playful Pup (MuHe21) (base 4, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +1 level for Might: 1) This effect animates a small toy puppy to behave as a playful, happy, and highly obedient young dog. Cost: 2 might to cast.

Carnival of Delights (MuHe25) (base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Ring, +0 Circle, +1 complexity, +5 levels for Might: 5 each) This effect animates all the toys within an arena to dance, skip, and play like their shapes. Cost: 5 might to cast.

Child of the Carnival (MuHe31) (base 4, +1 Touch, +5 Until, +1 levels for Might: 1) This effect animates a child sized doll to flutter about playing and dancing. The D: Until is used here to dictate “until the toy leaves the marketplace”, so that the toy will provide entertainment to the caster. Cost: 6 might to cast.

Wooden Shield Grog (MuHe40) (base 4, +1 Touch, +5 Until, +1 levels for Might: 1, +9 for +18 Pen) This effect animates a 5 feet tall wooden soldier to guard the owner and defend them from harm. The D: Until is used here to dictate “the owner arrives back home safely”, so that the toy will protect somebody on a long journey. however different soldiers could have different Until conditions. Cost: 8 might to cast.

These example powers roughly present descriptions which could be from the Faerie Supernatural Virtue: Animae Magic.

The Animate Toy power is more limited in scope than the Animae supernatural virtue as the item must be first crafted, and the animation must match the purpose. However the ability to hold the duration from starting is very non-hermetic and quite powerful, and would typically need to be designed as an additional power involving Rego Vim magic. The intent is to create a power which thematically reflects the gifts which would be created by a faerie toy maker – therefore this is a very deliberate break from Ars Magica guidelines for the sake of a faerie story.

Simple Enchanted Items for Ars Magica, part 1

The Ars community came together on the Ars Magica forums “Let’s Make Apprentice Created Enchantments” thread to contribute low powered devices and potions which could be manufactured by an apprentice. Many might be useful as covenant labour saving devices, which reduces the covenant expenses.

All powers are limited to a maximum power of level 15, which is achievable by an apprentice character and costs 2 pawns of vis to invest. There are great ideas in the forum thread, far more than an average game needs! Go read them.

Sometimes I’ve added contextual notes or added an alternative as I could see these items as basis for quick and dirty items readable on the hermetic market, or the types of low power devices which might be sold through proxies to mundanes.

Below in no logical order are my contributions and a few extra ideas thrown in for good measure. This blog post covers the items added in the first few weeks, and I’ll follow-up with a part-two to show all the madness I end up contributing.

(ps. Have a look at the other new Ars Magica items created over the years too)

Chalk of Observation

This chalk is a simple potion which moves part of the visual image of the affected object one pace. This can be used to assist targeting foes on the other side of walls.

Rego Imaginem 5 (Rego Imagonem base 2, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +1 Part)

… the idea is to draw a circle on a wall and move the image of that bit aside to target spells to the other side. It could be used to move the image of a soldier aside too, which should add a defensive bonus. Continue reading

Crazy magic item – Hat of Many Eyes by d20monkey

I regularly enjoy d20MOnkey and this week there is a cartoon about starting up a tabletop session. Props and hats galore. As tribute to that webcomic I present the Hat of Many Eyes.

D20monkey’s great image for the hat of many eyesHat of Many Eyes – a tall bulbous brown leather hat (or is that fur, or both? yuk) which has been “treated” with ointments and solutions to retain peak moistness, elasticity, and shape of whatever foul creature was used to craft it. The hat is covered in palm sized green eyes with yellow highlights, which periodically blink and weep. The hat appears altogether unnatural and disturbing.

When activated the wearer may concentrate to shift their perspective to any direction around them. Inside the rim of the hat is a clear glass lense set in a silver frame, which grants a lab bonus of +5.

Intellego Imaginem 16 (Base 1, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +3 Special Range (based upon Room +1 as used in Sight as through a Plethron Distant from MoH p.101))(+1 levels for 2 uses per day)

This could also be made as a small clear glass lense worn as jewelry or a nick nack if the hat is just too repulsive/silly, “Charm of the Watchful Parent”. Enjoy you day folks.

Broken use of T: Room in my Ars Magica spells

Bit saddened because it was pointed out a day or so ago that T: Room cannot be used with Creo when something is created in Ars Magica. Whoops.

I kind of knew this, but didn’t mentally click to the impact. Darn it. This means that a few of my custom spells are wrong, and need to be fixed. Mostly I hope that converting from a target of  +2 Room to +0 Individual with +2 size will not break the spell size calculations. In some cases a complexity modifier was needed when thinking about the way the spell works.

ArM5 p113, Targets and Creo wrote – “The target of a Creo spell that actually creates something is the thing created. The target is thus always Individual or Group. A spell to create a part of something is either a healing spell or a Muto spell, depending on the part created. A Creo spell with target Room cannot be used to fill a room with something. Instead, use target Group with an appropriate size modifier. The Creo guidelines for each Form give the level required to create different kinds of thing. The size is determined using the standard rules for target size.”

My affected spells are:

  • A Pleasantly Warmed Sancta (CrIg15), reworked as +0 Individual, +2 Size.
  • Warmth of the Cozy Solar (CrIg15), reworked as above.
  • A Pleasantly Warmed Tower (CrIg20), reworked as +0 Individual, +3 Size.
  • Every Hearth Both Comfortable and Warm (CrIg30), reworked as +2 group, +1 non-standard as the spell is now conceptually broken.
  • Immolation of Harrenhal (CrIg40), reworked as +3 size and +1 complexity in shape.

The master list of new spells and each related blog post has been fixed. It also means that the mistake I made with Room is the same with Structure. Fixed those too, Grumble.

Copyright Magic the Gathering (I guess one of the card illustrations?) Is this a mana cube?

I’m not sure if this cube is floating, burning and falling, or what.