Enchanted Device: Paper Armour (stolen)

A neat idea lifted from Sea of Stars is a Paper Charm that gives the target better armour (that’s armor for you North American folks) by Sean Holland. In the example the AC is improved moderately, which implies the effect is overall shielding the target from harm; a form of damage reduction in non-DND speak.

The priestess walked slowly down the line of nervous villagers, each clutching a simple tool that they hoped to use as an effective weapon. Stopping in front of each, she placed a charm against each villagers chest and in a second, they were clad in white paper armor.  While the protection the charms gave was limited, it gave the villagers hope that they would be able to stand against those who would harm their homes and families.

These paper charm are marked with the symbols for protection and safety.  When the command words (or prayers) are spoken and the charm is placed on a person, it unfolds into a suit of paper armor to protect them for a short time.

The armor has no weight and causes no penalties, it lasts for three hours and then dissolves into a handful of shredded paper.

Here is the same effect written up as a device with charges (in effect a temporary magic device) for Ars Magica. Paper warrior from Kubo and the Two Strings
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Carapace of Insects (stolen spell)

Another borrowed idea from Sea of Stars by Sean Holland, a spell that surrounds the target in armour made from insects, which also strikes and harms attackers. Awesome idea.

The last words of the spell were more of a sequence of clicking sounds than words and within seconds, the sorcerer’s body was swarmed by insects.  Moments later, the cover became living armor as the interlocked layers of beetles moved with his body.

Now in a typical rpg magic system you’d just figure how good the advantage was by comparison with other effects and plop the spell in – easy. Ars Magica on the other hand is more mechanical in how magic constructs a spell, which means some effects are easy and others brutally hard. And spells generally must also be balanced against the prior examples of similar spells.

  • It need Creo to instantly gather the bugs, or Rego to control a pool that already exist (somewhere),
  • Muto is probably needed to make the bugs behave as armour, and to toughen them,
  • The armour would look very creepy,
  • The mix of Animal baselines fo Creo, Rego, and Muto have the highest level of Base 5, which will be used.

Here is the same spell written up for Ars Magica,

Carapace of Insects

Creo Animal / Muto Rego 40, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Group

The target creature is covered in a carapace of interlocking swarming insects, which have enhanced toughness and durability. The armour will adjust to repair points of damage and shift as the target moves, so that encumbrance is minimsed. The carapace grants the target a +4 to Soak and adds +2 Load.

Although Target: group allows for a very large amount of insects, at  the storyguides discretion the swarm of insects might eventually be ablated away from the target if it suffers sustained severe damage over many rounds.

(Base 5 to create an animal, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Group, +1 toughness sub-effect, Rego and Muto free requisites, +1 complex movement)

It is a wonderfully wierd and overly complex spell.

 

Arms at the ready, creating weapons and armour with Muto

These spells transmute the earth into a set of arms and armor. This might suit poorly equipped grogs, or combatants who have changed in size due to another spell. All have the limitations of conjured items attacking opponents with MR, which is also why minor qualities have been included – if the weapon is going to be resisted its no disadvantage to have a further power. Other small variations could replace the examples below.

Draw from Dust a Skin of Steel

Muto Terram 35 / Animal Herbam, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

This spell raises a fully formed set of mail armour sized to the desires of the caster from the ground, which must be donned before use. The full suit of armour is unnaturally light and strong, granting Protection 9 and Load 3. However as the full mail suit is magically created it will be resisted by MR as normal.

To create functional gear the caster must succeed a Finesse check of 9 or higher, and a botched result indicates the equipment is unknowingly sub-standard and will probably fail basic use or at a critical moment.

(Base 4 for dirt to stone, +1 for metal, +1 unnatural qualities, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 complexity of material form, Herbam and Animal requisites free)

Draw from Dust a Blade of Steel and Fire

Muto Terram 30, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

This spell raises a fully formed sword sized to the desires of the caster from the ground. The blade is unnaturally resistant to fire and heat, allowing it to be used with other common weapon enhancing magic. However as the weapon is magically created it will be resisted by MR as normal.

To create functional weapon the caster must succeed a Finesse check of 9 or higher, and a botched result indicates the item is unknowingly sub-standard and will probably fail basic use or at a critical moment.

(Base 4 for dirt to stone, +1 for metal, +1 unnatural qualities, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +1 complexity of material form)

All the 550+ new spells for Ars Magica can be found here.

Auto-cleaning of arms and armor 

A quick spell to momentarily clean all the gear worn by a combatant.

Immaculate Handiwork of the Squire

Rego Animal, Corpus, Herbam, Terram 20, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Group

The equipment and clothing of the individual touched is spotlessly cleaned. Highly complex equipment or disastrously filthy equipment may require a finesse check, subject to troupe considerations.

(Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Group, +1 size increase to a hundred parts and components)

The base 4 in Rego Herbam is used in Ablure Magica (from Covenants p. 52), which seems a reasonable starting point.

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

Self repairing armor enchantments

Self repairing armor isn’t prevalent in any legends in the medieval setting that I’m aware of, however it is a mythic concept which an Ars Magica magus might choose. The Magi of Hermes source book introduced the spell level 15 guidelines (p.39 and p.139).

An enchantment effect placed within a suit of armor can be written up as:

The Eternal Suit (CrTeHeAn 29) This suit of full mail is enhanced to always appear new and unblemished.

Sustained Regeneration of Armor

Creo Terram Herbam Animal 25, R: Personal, D: Sun, T: Individual

The armor enchanted repairs all minor damage, scars, or nicks, immediately returning the armor to an “as new” condition after being damaged.

This spell will also protect against spell designed to harm the armor, although it cannot protect against total physical destruction or extreme physical damage which would render the armor immediately useless.

(Base 15, +2 Sun) (+1 two uses per day, +3 environmental trigger: sunrise/sunset)

This effect will keep an item in pristine condition, however it will also make the object subject to magic resistance. This effect is also probably more desirable in a device which contains other enhancements, rather than a lesser device with only this effect.

There is also the weakness that if the spell was ever removed or suspended all the repaired damage would return at once, likely wrecking the item. Pragmatically a spell which makes items inherently stronger is better (like strength of adamantine), although as detailed in Magi of Hermes p.139 a ritual spell could permanently repair and item, very expensively.

A similar effect using Range: Touch and Target: Group could be used to target multiple items worn by a warrior. This is obviously better for applying the effect to a changing set of equipment, although that flexibility increases the final level dramatically.

A design note of difference is to also alter the effect from a permanent effect to an activated power. I suggest the user temporarily discards any weapons before activating so that they will not be resisted by MR.

A further consideration is the warping the spell inflicts on the items, which maybe of concern over many years.

The Eternal Tools of War (CrTeHeAn 46)

Sustained Regeneration of Arms and Armor

Creo Terram Herbam Animal 45, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Group

All the arms, armor, clothing and equipment worn by the user will repair themselves against damage, nicks, cuts and scars, immediately returning the items to as new condition after being damaged.

This spell will also protect against spell designed to harm the wearers equipment, although it cannot protect against total physical destruction or extreme physical damage which would render an item immediately useless. This effect can target up to 100 separate items worn by the user.

(Base 15, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Group, +1 group size increase) (+1 two uses per day)

These spells are part of the free new spells compendium for Ars Magica.

Melt the Company’s Arms – quick variations on Ars Magica spells

A spell I wrote up a long while back – Melt the Vanguard’s Arms is useful against one target. This is a quick modification to that spell to affect an entire Roman company of up to 100 soldiers.

Melt the Company’s Arms

Creo Ignem 35 / Terram, R: Voice, D: Mom, T: Group

Up to ten metal items carried by or on the target are heated to melting point. Thus a soldiers sword, helm, and segments of armor will all instantly be burning hot, and melt. This has a side effect of inflicting +5 damage per round while metal items targeted are carried or worn.

(Base 10 heat an object to melting point, +2 Voice, +2 Group, +1 increase size of group, +0 Te Requisite)

The spell guidelines in the first version used Target Part and an additional magnitude to affect multiple parts, however when affecting 100 targets the Target: Group makes more sense and would incorporate the needs of Target: Part.

More custom spells can be found in the New Spells for Ars Magica page.

Magic for mundanes – spells for ArM physical combat

These spells and effects demonstrate the use of hermetic magic in enhancing physical combat, typically for others. While it is easy for a magus to destroy or impair a mundane opponent in an overt manner, these effects can be used in combat in a far more subtle way than fireballs, walls of earth, or lightning bolts; and may also be the basis for effects in enchanted devices for companions.

Soaking Damage

A spell to increase Soak for a character matches the guidelines as a core effect. As a base effect a +2 bonus to soak is a significant combat advantage, while keeping the spell level small enough to not be considered a powerful effect.

The bonus to soak guidelines offer a +1 Soak for each +1 magnitude of spell, so the spells above could be raised or powered by a few levels to provide a different bonus subject to what the caster desires.

The Resistant Skin

Muto Corpus 20, R: Personal, D: Sun, T: Individual

The casters body is enhanced and toughened, gaining a +2 bonus to Soak for the duration. From the Ars Magica muto corpus guidelines p. 132.

(Base 10, +2 Sun)

This spell could be re-worked through to level 35 for +5 soak bonus, which is powerful enough to change a melee combat outcome if only mundanes are involved. Continue reading