Rise Before Dawn

This spell was discussed a while back with questions raised about spell timers – essentially it’s odd that the spell would have an effect which changes over the course of the duration.

I think it is plausible to design an effect in this way because the spell is not changing the broad scope of its effect in each casting, instead it behaving in a prescribed manner. This is akin to the complexity which could be designed in an item.

Rise Before Dawn

Rego Mentem 20, R: Personal, D: Sun, T: Individual

Caster is kept in a relaxed state to help facilitate a good night’s rest, and then woken shortly before the spell expires.

(Base 4 change mental state, +2 Sun, +1 complexity of two mental states)

This spell is intended to allow a magus to get proper rest in difficult circumstances or an agitated mental state, but also awaken before their Parma Magica expires so it can be refreshed. It seems reasonable to have an extra magnitude to allow the degree of control.

It is a spell which I think would be popular in the Order of Hermes, particularly amongst the combative Magi.

Each troupe will have to decide if this is stretching hermetic complexity in design, given how complex some spells are I think this is a safe effect.


Discussing a portable floating laboratory

A laboratory is a fundamental tool for every Magus in Ars Magica. As such there are variations and rules in abundance for how to detail and personalise a lab (Covenants source book, p 106). Just to be slightly odd I thought detailing a few aspects of a floating lab might be interesting. Typically to find a structure for a lab isn’t difficult but finding something which is suitable as a portable and floating lab is harder, it’s either constructed purposefully by understanding mundane craftsman or conjured.

If constructed the sourcing becomes a challenge only in resolving how the building is designed for flight. The Magus comes to acquire the stonemasons, labourers, and materials of the build in context of their covenant resources.

If conjured the sourcing probably requires a bespoke spell for the shape and size required, so it adds seasons of work or vis to be spent if another Magus is supplying the solution. It does however grant the owner exacting design choices and options which would be very difficult for mundane craftsmen to complete.

Rather than a conjured room or tower which is then enchanted, I suggest taking a lead from the floating castle in Legends of Hermes (p.121), by using a massive sheet of stone as the base with a Rego Terram effect, say one pace thick by 30 paces across. That requires a constant lesser enchantment as ReTe28. This allows the stone sheet to move at the speed of a running horse. Then if it is commanded in the same way as The Flying Castle of Thomae then another constant lesser device of CrIg9 is needed to send the colored light as control commands.

A 30 pace wide disk is far more than large enough for a single lab and likely could hold a small tower, or many ancillary buildings too. The disk itself will have the same abilities and failings as listed for the flying castle. It’s plausible to have the disc far smaller than 30 x 1 paces to make a smaller block, especially if the next task is adding a multi-story building. It could be about 15 paces wide and still hold a huge lab, and reducing the blocks diameter makes it easier to fit into a lab for enchantment (note though the Ars rules allow for an outdoor lab, so it’s plausible to create a place to enchant this easily). Perhaps a block roughly 15×2 paces is better as it makes for an incredibly sturdy base.

Continue reading

Crafting the enchanted object for Initiation to Bjornaer Sensory Magic

Part of the Sensory Magic initiation process (HoH:MC, p.27-28) is the creation of a magical device in the shape of the Bjornaer’s Heartbeast which is imbued with five senses.

The Initiate must craft an object in the shape of his heartbeast and enchant it with the ability to see, hear, taste, touch, and smell.

This task is totally undefined and very open to interpretation. I thought to write out a few potential ways to create the object and discuss some of the options. While trying to complete the initiation requirements in blog-post form I have a few goals:

  • Meet the requirements of the initiation ritual minimally and simplistically, to demonstrate how to not waste vis and time.
  • Meet the requirements beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • See if any of the designs for the invested spells or effects might be reused for a similar purpose later.
  • See if any odd or weird options arise while pondering this design task.

From the outset of sketching potential solutions there was a large discrepancy between the options and the real answer is to set the requirements to what is reasonable for the character and the saga. There is no point getting overly prescriptive or pedantic in most Ars games because the gameplay is more about the interactions than the consumption of vis and seasons. The vis and seasons are a point of consistency in requirements for Magi, because almost everything else they do is totally subjective.

Therefore the goal should be an amount of seasons and vis which represents a sacrifice, and allows the story to continue.

Frankly with that in mind I’m tempted to recommend the most basic version be the default and move on (option one below). As anecdotal support for this a Bjornaer magus named Lexora (Through the Aegis, p.45) has the Sensory Magic virtue and also the flaw Weak Enchanter, which makes it implausible that Lexora created anything in the lab beyond the most basic magic item. So consider: she would struggle even with the simple “method one” version.

I’d also encourage the reuse in the lab, so if the Bjornaer can craft something which they can craft again to good use that’s a potentially good solution. Continue reading

A spell to find somebody

Update: realised I wrote an identical spell with another name a long time ago, so you won’t see these in the spells list. Ah well.

An RPG-StackExchange question was asked about finding people in huge areas. The problem with the OP’s desired goal is that while a big T: Boundary spell could find people inside the area, it cannot find only that one person. To find all of the men, or women, or just the gifted people – is all ok. But to find only a specific person needs an arcane connection so that all the others are excluded.

Here is a renamed version of spell I posted there as a quick solution, to show that an AC was still needed to find something specific within a wider area. As this spell is only InCo15 it does not need a large amount of optimisation, but it is not plausible for some magi to spont cast this spell.

Heading, As the Man Wanders

Intellego Corpus 15, R: Arc, D: Mom, T: Ind

Caster gains knowledge of the current approximate distance and direction to the target with whom they have an arcane connection.

(Base 3, +4 Arc)

It would also be possible for a magus to complete this task with spontaneous magic using Opening the Intangible Tunnel (at ReVi4) then cast the spell above reduced back to R: Touch which makes a InCo4 spell (as Base 3, +1 Touch); both effects far easier to spont cast.

There is probably also variants for animals, and all sorts of other things like ghosts, magical creatures, etc.

Heading, As the Crow Flies

Intellego Animal 15, R: Arc, D: Mom, T: Ind

Caster gains knowledge of the current approximate distance and direction to the target with whom they have an arcane connection.

(Base 3, +4 Arc)

Lastly as I think of it – far better to have a spell that is used through an Intangible Tunnel and also is D: Concentration based. That way the caster can know what changes.

Heading, As the Crow Flies Onward

Intellego Animal 5, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Ind

Caster gains knowledge of the current approximate distance and direction to the target with whom they “touch”, typically used through an intangible tunnel.

(Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration)