Part Six – Special powers and other effects
There are a number of powers and abilities that monsters have in the myths and legends, and the approach in this blog post has generally been to look at the physical form benefits, and ignore the special powers. Adding powers into the existing transformation spells is not within the flavour of Ars Magica Hermetic magic, as each effect really should be it’s own spell. That is problematic for a transformation effect which is already high level, but the rules are the rules.
(a) Camouflage – There are some suggested guidelines in the Muto Animal section for how to do this, but it is mostly adding more magnitudes of power into spells which are already very high. A previously written up spell named Disguise of the Chameleon (MuAn 10) does this for creatures assuming they are typical sized and also changing to a static colouring. Perhaps the trick here is to allow a true shifting set of hues to blend the creature.
Disguise of the Gargantuan Chameleon
Muto Animal 20. R: Personal, D: Diameter, T: Individual
Allows the caster’s to changed animal based form to shift to match it’s background. Size is limited to affect up to size +7 creatures.
(Base: 5 change an animal in a minor way so it is no longer natural, +2 Diameter, +2 additional 6 size increments)
(a) Soaking Damage – Mechanically speaking it is not a true gargantuan creature unless it can soak up a lot of damage and keep moving; so a very high Soak score is needed. The ideal way to do that is to add a resistance of a sort for common weapon types, and also dramatically increase the Soak score itself.
To increase soak, we look to the Muto Corpus spell guidelines and design this effect, based upon +1 Soak per magnitude:
Gift of the Herculean Fortitude
Muto Corpus 45, R: Personal, D: Diameter, T: Individual
The caster gains a bonus of +8 to Soak.
(Base 40, +1 Diameter)
A bonus of +8 to soak in combat is a monumental number. Consider that combative creatures tend to already have Stamina (say +3), their natural armor (say +3), and then size adjustments – an effect which grants a +8 bonus is making that creature all but immune to most normal weapons.
A lightning bolt (which can inflict +35 damage) will still fry whatever it hits; but weapons are kind of moot when the creature gets a combined soak of +14. So it feels about right, and then make the creature +6 size ranks larger and the Soak is +20. Whoof!
(b) Fire Breath – this is a popular power for dragon forms so its included here. There are a number of ways to create a fire breath like effect, and for the sake of brevity I’ll only demonstrate one.
(c) Huge Armor and Arms – if the transformation might also make use of equipment or armor, then transforming what the caster already has is a viable approach, or as an alternatively have them shaped from the environment at the time needed.
Humility and Versatility for Cormoran and Jack Alike
Muto Terram 40, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Ind
This effect allows the item touched be resized up to the desires of the caster, up to eight times each dimension, and thirty-two times the mass. Requisites are required for the Form of the target. The original item may be no larger than a small hut.
Note that a weapon effected by this spell will be resisted by the MR or Parma Magica of the opponent. The spell is named after the desire to use the same equipment for Jack the Giant Killer and a foe Cormoran.
(Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Sun,+2 affect metals, +1 to affect an object ten times larger than a large chest, +2 for extra quadrupled)
As a base from Object of Increased Size which doubles each dimension of an object, with an eightfold increase in mass, the effect allows for gargantuan equipment and weapons. The rationale is that the base effect doubles the size, so each magnitude also doubles; 1 mag is double which is the base spell, a further +1 mag is four times, and +2 mags is eight times the length and thirty-two times the mass.