Bringing today that I picked up Ars Magica books Antagonists, Grogs, and The Cradle and the Crescent in hardcover as a late personal present. While they’re unlikely to dramatically change the material I write I have already found an odd snippet just by flicking through the physical books instead of using a pdf.
Ars Magica (HoH;TL, p.140) has three spells to make parts of a ghost’s equipment corporeal, but I couldn’t find a spell for the ghost itself. I feel compelled to point out that the Vision of Haunting Spirits (MuMe/Im 40, Ars p.150) is far better for making a ghost visible, which might be all that is needed. Also the Penetration total needed to cast these spells on even a mid-power ghost is very significant, so these transformation spells are not spells for junior Magi.
I started thinking that Magic Resistance might (almost) be irrelevant if the attacking creature is huge enough – say far larger than “Form of the Lumbering Jotunn“ written previously.
What happens if a creature is so large that it affects the environment and not a single Magus? Perhaps large enough to scoop a room or building sized patch of ground around an opponent in their hand. Or uproot an ancient oak tree and use it as a club? The opponents magical protections are moot, just like when a spell transforms the ground beneath their feet.
It might be akin to Gulliver from Gulliver’s Travels – so large that normal sized humans are like fingers.
Form of the Titanic Colossus
Muto Corpus 40, R: Personal, D: Sun, T: Individual
This spell monumentally enlarges the caster up to a size rank 22 version of themselves, so large that the caster’s fingers are larger than a normal person.
At this size the Magus is around 120 feet tall, and weighs over 5.5 million tons. The character’s combat mechanics are greatly enhanced, adding +22 Strength, +22 to Soak, -22 to Quickness, and radically shifting the amount of damage for each wound category. The character also gains the reach and leverage associated with the truly massive stance.
Requisites are required when cast to transform clothes and equipment, and not all equipment will be included in the transformation. The effect is designed with a girdle as the focus, which is removed to end the effect prematurely.
(Base 3 to utterly change the size of a person although still human up to size +1, +2 Sun, +7 for an additional 21 size ranks)
Some characters in ars magica seem to create very specialised characters and in turn, very specialised aides and familiars. This can lead to a slew of high stat NPCs in the game and that adds to both good and bad inflation of lab totals.
One way to curb the growth is to rule that the effective Magic Theory (MT) of each assistant is capped at the lab leaders MT score.
As normal the leader needs to have the gift and also needs to follow the guidelines for how many lab aides they can have according to their Leadership score.
This additional cap would discourage familiars being used as MT xp dumps, and force player Magi to raise their MT as a higher priority. That is certainly a double-edged sword in terms of how a saga might play out.
A lanyard which can be worn around an animal’s neck or a leg which causes the patterns on the skin or fur of the targeted animal to change colouring so it appears to be a different, although still normal beast. This effect is desirable for highly valuable animals, and less so for very common animals such as sheep – who may still look too familiar.
Muto Animal 15, (Base 2, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +1 Size)( +5 for 24 uses a day)
An amber stone is embedded inside a small momento which clicks when a recessed button is pressed whilst theitem is touching a wall or floor. When activated the room and all items made from terram, animal, and herbam materials inside are thrown a few paces away from the activator. Their movement will not inflict damage, but may damage the room and its contents. The amber stone adds a +3 lab bonus.
Rego Terram / Animal, Aquam, Herbam 15 (base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Room, requisites for An, Aq, He)(+1 level for 2x uses per day, +4 levels to add +8 penetration)
Wand of Candlelight
Each time this pine wand is moved in a figure eight while touching a surface it creates illumination equivalent to to candlelight. Pine adds a +3 lab bonus for light effects.
Creo Ignem 10 (Base 2, +1 Touch, +2 Sun)(+5 levels for 24 uses per day)
A lantern shape would have added a +7 lab bonus, however an apprentice is not going to be able to gain the full benefit of that bonus, and I wanted something overly portable. Two previous items were a lantern and a torch, this makes a third which is probably enough CrIg items around light for a while. Keeping the final effect level to 10 also means it only costs a pawn of vis to craft.
This small iron vent is enchanted to change toxic air around it fluorescent green. The vent is activated by air passing through it. A vent grants a +7 lab bonus.
This long slightly eating knife has an upswept blade and blackwood handle inset with a pearl. When placed within a poisonous liquid the knife causes the liquid to swirl clockwise. The pearl grants a +5 lab bonus to detecting poisons.
Intellego Aquam / Rego 15 (base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Rego sub effect)(+10 levels for unlimited uses)
Because I didn’t want a maximum number of uses and the item can reactivate itself each turn if a poison is still present, and thought it might make a handy gift depending on who your friends are.
Shovel which disgorges the earth’s forgotten dinners
This hefty tool is made from wood and steel, inlaid with an electrum core hidden in the base of the blade. When activated by shoving the blade into the earth and uttering a rude command the enchantment causes 10 cubic paces of earth to be momentarily expel upward all foreign content. This allows far easier identification, collection and removal of debris, lost tokens, and dislodgement of plants and weeds in the affected area. The electrum grants a +3 lab bonus for MuTe.
Muto Terram 15 (base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Part)(+5 levels for 24 uses a day)
Fork which subsumes the irritating debris
Also a hefty work tool inset with electrum and crafted by a foul mouthed Magus, when activated by obscenity this fork will rapidly alter a patch of dirt 10 cubic paces in size into air and back again, which causes all debris and contents to fall well below the surface. The electrum grants a +3 lab bonus for MuTe.
Muto Terram / Auram 10 (Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Part)(+5 levels for 24 uses a day)
Fan for the Becalmed Sailor
This small wooden fan decorated with knotted twine along its grip is enchanted so that once per day it will summon a wind which blows in a direction controlled by the caster. A fan grants a +4 lab bonus.
When the wielder of this hickory handled tool utters a command “urr” the enchantment will destroy the dead wood struck in a manner chosen by the wielder. To strike true the wielder must succeed a finesse check. While this enchantment grants no real benefit to felling a living tree it will make short work of fallen wood of any size, or objects created from wood. An axe grants a +4 lab bonus.
Perdo Herbam 15 (Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Part) ( +5 levels for 24 uses a day)
If the level limit was raised from 15 this would be an outstanding item crafted to affect both living and dead plants and wood with an unlimited about of times per day as:
This hooded cloak is made from layered folds of fine charcoal, grey and black silk, gathered and sewn gracefully at ankle length, and held with an obsidian clasp. When activated by pulling the cloak’s hood up and mumbling a hush, the light surrounding the wearer is reduced to near darkness, becoming deeply dark, gloomy, and shadowy for two to three paces around them, then lightening gradually to five or six paces. Obsidian provides a darkness +5 lab bonus.
Perdo Ignem 16 (Base 2, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +1 Individual, +1 modifier for an unusual Target) (+1 level for 2 uses a day)
A yellow waxy balm made with infused amber which when applied the target’s wounds are treated as one category less serious for the purposes of activities while injured. Amber adds a +3 lab total.
Creo Corpus 5 (Base 1, +1 Touch, +3 Moon)
Could also be created within an trinket as:
– Easing Token, Creo Corpus 10 (Base 1, +1 Touch, +2 Sun)(+5 levels device maintains, +1 level for two uses per day)
– Or created to help with injured animals as CrAn of the same levels.
A short walking stick of oiled oak inset with a jade stone. The staff can once per day completely dry a room and all its contents. Jade adds a +4 “aquam” lab bonus.
Perdo Aquam 15, (Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Room)
A work replacement item to dry clothes and items, or perhaps to recover spills and mistakes in an aquam lab.
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 5 (Base 1, +1 Touch, +2 Sun)(+1 levels for 2 uses per day)