Lost Spell (part 7) Resisting Final Rest

Another lost spell and I’m a little pleased that this is also a necromantic spell. There are canonical examples of spells which prohibit teleportation and scrying activity (Transforming Mythic Europe, p108), so prohibiting a specific type of hermetic effect seems very legitimate.

Base General –  Dispel effects of a specific type with a level less than the (level +4 magnitudes) of the Vim spell + stress die (no botch).

The Dead that Will Not Rest

Perdo Vim 20 (Gen), R: Touch, D: Moon, T: Individual

Causes a corpse to become immune to destruction spells unless they exceed the level of this spell + stress dice (no botch). Designed to resist the Dust to Dust (PeCo15) spell.

(Base Gen, +1 Touch, +3 Moon)

big list of custom/new Ars Magica spells


Ice Spells (part five) Conjuring, moving, and viewing ice

The last ice spell I think is required for my character allows the Magus to move the ice around. The intent is to be able to move almost anything by encasing it in ice, and for those materials which are heavy the ice can be strengthened by a previous spell. This allows a lot of material to be moved about.

Conjure Ice Temporarily

Creo Aquam 5, R: Touch, D: Diameter, T: Individual

Creates a block of ice a little over eight feet per side, totaling 560 cubic feet and weighing 14 tons. The spell was invented as the raw materials for other spells which manipulate ice, with a low level to assist with penetration.

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

Eye for the Treacherous Flow

Intellego Aquam 20, R: Personal, D: Sun, T: Vision

You can intuitively tell if any Aquam based natural terrain is treacherous, such as thin ice or a deep current.

(Base 2, +2 Sun, +4 Vision)

Cover of the Spooky Fens

Rego Aquam 15, R: Touch D: Mom T: Part

This spell changes the surface of a body of water into a thick obscuring mist; the larger the body the more coverage. A small pool surrounds only the point touched, a large lake or ocean may create an area hundreds of yards wide and spread onto land. The mist sits up to a pace above the surface and stays until naturally dispersed.

(Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Part, +2 Size)

Ominous Levitation of the Frozen Obelisk

Rego Aquam 35, R: Sight, D: Sun, T: Part

Allows the caster to control and direct ice using unnaturally rapid movement, equivalent to as fast as a bird flies. As the spell includes Target: Part it may manipulate items which are covered in ice, or push and direct part of a larger mass of ice. The caster must direct the movement through concentration and the ice object will remain where it is placed or floats for the spell duration. The spell affects up to 35,000 cubic feet of ice.

(Base 3, +3 Sight, +2 Sun, +1 Part, +2 size)

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

Ice Spells (part four) Moving upon the ice

Another in a series of spells themed around Ice Spells and arctic magic, continuing from Ice Spells (part one, two, and three). There is fair probability that I’m just having fun with spells at some point through this post.

When writing the Ars Magica spells to mimic Eliza’s powers in Frozen I wrote Footstep upon the Fjord as a Perdo Ignem spell to freeze the surface of the water and missed a rather obvious version which uses Rego Aquam instead.

Footsteps upon the Glacier

Rego Aquam 15, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Part

The water and snow beneath the targets feet is changed to a thick platform of ice as they move, and graded to provide more comfortable surface to walk on. The ice begins naturally melting when the target moves away.

(Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +1 Part)

Sure Step of the Arctic Wanderer

Muto Aquam 15, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Part

Gants the target more stability moving across ice by altering the surface beneath them to be more tactile and dry. The surface reverts to normal after the target passes.

(Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +1 Part)

And then onto some quick small magnitude spells to make traveling easier.

Paws of the Polar Bear, for Beasts

Muto Animal 10, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

The targeted animal’s feet are transformed into the paws of a polar bear, which are suited for travel across icy surfaces and in cold climates.

(Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Sun)

Paws of the Polar Bear

Muto Corpus / Animal 5, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

The target’s feet are changed into paws of a polar bear, which are suited for travel across icy surfaces and in cold climates.

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

Boots of the Polar Bear

Muto Animal / Herbam 5, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

The target’s boots are changed to mimic attributes of the paws of a polar bear, becoming broader with small claws for grip.

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


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

Ice Spells (part three) Enduring ice and ice hounds

Continuing from Ice Spells (part one and two), these are utility and empowerment spells.

Circle of Unbreakable Ice

Muto Aquam / Terram 15, R: Touch, D: Ring, T: Circle

All ice within the circle is made very strong and non-brittle, gaining resistance to shattering and the resilience of stone.

(Base 4 for highly unnatural substance,+1 Touch, +2 Ring)

Enduring Ice

Perdo Ignem 25, R: Touch, D: Moon, T: Part

The ice touched will not melt for the spell duration, remaining below freezing. The spell can effect up to 560 cubic feet of ice.

(Base 4, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +1 Part)

By way of servants I wanted a spell which allowed the caster to get reasonable utility for a servant, and the idea of a guard dog and sled dog came to mind immediately. There have been spells created for animating stone bears, statues and the like and ice is very similar in terms of complexity.

Shape the Frozen Hound

Creo Aquam / Rego Animal 25, R: Touch, D: Moon, T: Individual

This spell creates a size +0 dog shaped from ice, and animates it under the caster’s control so it can follow simple commands. The Animal requisite grants the animation the behaviours and habits instinctive to trained sled dogs.

(Base 3, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +1 detailed shape, +1 Rego)

Shackles of Frozen Ice from Houses of Hermes: Societies is a great spell however I wanted something with more utility which allows the caster to choose the size of the area, and also has a far greater area.

Cirque of the Frozen Ice

Rego Aquam 25, R: Voice, D: Sun, T: Part

The targeted area of water is turned into ice and will remain frozen for the duration. When the spell expires the ice will begin to melt normally. The caster can choose how much of the water to affect and what simple shape, up to 5,600 cubic feet of water can be changed. If an object is targeted refer to Shackles of Frozen Ice (HoH:S p35).

(Base 3, +2 Voice, +2 Sun, +1 Part, +1 size)

In the last post there was a spell which made ice tougher, and now this is a spell which makes it soft and dry- it is certainly unnatiral ice, but perhaps more useful for equipment and sleeping on.

Object of Malleable Ice

Muto Aquam 25, R: Touch, D: Moon, T: Part

The ice targeted becomes unnaturally soft, dry, and flexible, but still retains its basic shape. The force required to break the ice remains unchanged.

(Base 4, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +1 Part)

 Perhaps this last effect for dry and soft ice is getting a little crazy. All the new spells for Ars Magica can be found here.

What do I want from magic? I want to see magic burn. MuVi on Spont effects…

As the hail of steel rained down upon the hillside the shrieks of war peaked and drained away to whimpers. The hill was now empty of moving figures where seconds before they swarmed viciously upon each other. A lone grey-hooded woman picked her way down the hillside, stepping through the haphazard remains soldiers and weapons. She walked with purpose toward a clutch of armoured figures collapsed together on the ground.

In their centre a similarly robed old man half reclined with a spear through his midsection and open cuts peppered across his body. Blood pooled around him, soaking the earth beneath.

“Neutral you said. Neutral” he gurgled.

“Your sworn-men came for me yesterday assisted by magic. You broke our peace,” she replied sharply. “This is the outcome,” gesturing to the ring of dead soldiers around him, and the carnage beyond.

The old man’s pain permitted a half smile with sad eyes, but he couldn’t laugh.”Let’s be done then,” he groaned, looking through her and away down the hill.

The young woman bent to her knee and reached to touch her opponent with a final gesture. She drew a deep breath as her other arm began moving in inelegant gestures, their tempo different to her gobbledygook words. A moment later the old man also rasped a quick phrases of his own, one hand forming a bridge on his chest, the other touching her. He thumped his other hand to the ground. The woman screamed in surprise and frustration, her spell gone awry. His perfectly.

The old man looked on as her conjured array of short steel spines instantly surrounded her and struck home across all quarters of her body. Her body ruined with holes sunk sideways to the ground as the spines disappeared. Lifeless.

The old man smiled again and exhaled hard. A shimmer washed him head to foot as his illusion dissipated, his skin and clothes actually unmarried; except for the long spear which still sunk deep into his side and the ground behind. He reached out for her body once and missed with a grimace of pain, then again successfully touching the woman’s body which dissipated into dust.

Looking across the field he knew he had a long evening ahead to remove all the evidence of their battle.

In the blurb above the wounded Magus uses a Muto Vim spell to retarget the spell on another – changing the range to Personal. I took a license with the concept just to have a story introduction to meta-magic post.

A fair and reasonable game balance rule in Ars Magica is for a MuVi spell to not be able to affect a Spont spell, which is why in the story blurb above the young woman casts her spell longer than the old man – hers is a formulaic spell, and his a spontaneous one. In Ars Magica’s RAW her spell could only be formulaic as spontaneous effects can’t be altered.

In-game it’s dangerous, “too chaotic and the caster will loose control“. Out-of-game the limitation is there so that Spont magic does not get trivialised (boosted, sustained, or empowered) by assistance from a Muto Vim expert.

There is also an out-of-game consideration that altering a spontaneous spell with Muto Vim is terribly inefficient way to scale up a spontaneous spell, unless the caster of the MuVi is a specialist and also cooperating with the other caster.

However in-game what if it was allowed via a breakthrough? If we take the spell guidelines as written what would happen when a Magus starts working on a magical breakthrough to find a Muto Vim discovery for spontaneous magic?

  • The SG might say the breakthrough theme just isn’t going to work, which is totally reasonable.
  • It might not work as intended but be a great story thread for the game; as it’s a great theme for an NPC wizard in Ars Magica.
  • Or perhaps it allows a MuVi based chaos effect which deliberately hooks into the randomness of Spontaneous magic. Similar to deliberately ruining a magical experiment to see what happens, it ruins both spells.
  • Or an additional rule-set is created for Muto Vim in these circumstances? And/Or it’s allowed but the penalties for botching are horrific?
  • Or allow it. Yes, it took the wizard some 30+ in-game years to develop, but they’ve cracked part of the Hermetic puzzle. It’s a huge thing for game balance, but has legs for high powered sagas.
  • Perhaps this is what all the House Diedne brouhaha was about?
  • Perhaps the breakthrough does not allow Muto Vim to alter the target spell in a predictable way, but does force the Spont spell to be chaotic – it might have an effect which is undesirable for both the caster of the Spont and the caster of the suCcessful MuVi effect?

Continue reading

Suppressing the magic of others, a meta-magic question for Ars Magica

An aside I pondered a while ago – how hard is it to suppress the magic of others?

The effect from the core rulebook called Suppressing the Wizard’s Handiwork uses the Rego Vim guideline for a caster’s own spells and lasts only while the caster concentrates. It is an excellent example of a core spell designed to inspire variations. From that inspiration, here is a variant designed to suspend the spells of others.

Suppressing the Conjurer’s Incantation

Rego Vim (Gen), R: Voice, D: Concentration, T: Ind

Suspends a spell cast by another, less than or equal to Half (Vim spell level -1 magnitude) of this spell.

(Base to suppress spells cast by another, equal to half (level +5 mag) of the Vim spell, +2 R to Voice)

It illustrates that suspending the spells of others is very difficult, even more so if this effect was redesigned to extend to Sun duration; effectively suspending effects of less than or equal to half of (level -3 mags). Meaning the spell must be at level 25 and will only neutralise spells of level 5 or less – not worth it at all when compared to how easily a Wind of Mundane Silence can remove effects.

As with many things, it is easier to destroy than change or maintain. Interesting.

Wizard’s Obstinance, a Muto Vim spell to Resist Disruption

I was thinking about the Ars Magica Vim, and the meta-magic spell effects in Rego, Muto, and primarily Perdo Vim, which suspend or dispel a magical effect. Generally speaking these effects must exceed the level of the target spell to affect them, and they are very effective in totally neutralising the target spell. Through clever design there are also Rego Vim spells which remove magic for their duration in a target area, or suspend it (see Wind of Mundane Silence, p161 and Suppressing the Wizard’s Handiwork, p162).

So a trisky magus might design a Muto Vim effect which is cast along side another effect to strengthens the spell against such disruptions, but does not alter the target spell’s effect description, or range, duration, or target. The effect is cast as normal, and the additional Muto Vim spell raises the base level of the effect for the purposes of being suspended or dispelled by other spells.

This effect would be similar to a Wizard’s Boost (Ars p.160), but with no material change of effect. Just like Wizard’s Boost there could be a different version for each form, and there also could be a less powerful more general spell for any Hermetic Form.

The rationale for Muto Vim spell guidelines are sometimes difficult to apply, as there is a tendency to say that almost all alterations to an effect are at least considered significant, and as degree of change in this effect adds two magnitudes, it must be considered a total change according to the MuVi guidelines.

The issue I struggled with was deciding if this effect needed to be designed as a Form specific effect, or if it could be a more general spell. I decided that the best choice was to closely match the Wizard’s Boost and Wizard’s Reach spells from the Muto Vim section of the core rules, which both add +5 levels in a specific manner at a base effect: level equal to the effect +1 mag.

In the design considerations I also looked at how the desired effect of “resisting disruption” might be handled mechanically in the game. These meta-magic spells have a similarity in design, where almost any of them could be used for this effect, and I see that as not meeting the goal of this effect. The extra +5 levels should do something of note.

The version of the spell designed for specific forms, designed as a basic effect:

Wizard’s Obstinance of (Form)

Muto Vim Gen, R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Ind

This spell is cast with another spell of a level less than the level of this one. The effective level of the other spell increases 5 levels in power, but not past the level of the Wizard’s Obstinance, and the altered spell is treated as being twice it’s new level for the purposes of resisting spells to alter it further, or dispel it.

A Wizard’s Obstinance may never affect a single spell more than once. There are ten variants of this spell, one for each Hermetic Form.

(Base effect of Significant change to a spell – at level +1, +1 Touch)

Refs and links:

Strange female wizard kid spell