Strange item – Wand of Cleaning

Inspired from a strange Atlas Games Ars Magica forum post, here is a Wand of Steam cleaning. Breakdown was:

  • CrAu base of 5 for slightly unnatural effect.
  • Rego sub-effect for the removal.
  • +1 Touch, Mom, Ind,
  • maybe +1 mag for the cleaning of an entire unspecified thing
  • Also requires a finesse check to use, botches might wreck the material.
  • It might also scold but do no real damage (perhaps +0 damage roll).

Wand of Steam Cleaning – (CrAu/Re25) a hardwood wand twisted by the warping effects of water and time, which is enchanted to activate when run across a targeted person or item of clothing.

Steamed to Perfection

Creo Auram / Rego 15, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Individual

The targeted item is steamed in a particular manner which removes all the dirt and much from the item. metals are cleaned and materials freshened. A Finesse check of 6+ is required to ensure the steaming is effective, and botched may indicate the damage. If used against a living target the steam inflicts +0 damage.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 for complex motion)

(As an enchanted wand: +10 unlimited uses)

Find the other enchanted devices for Ars.

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Hermetic Recycling of Covenant Scrap, a sample magic items for Ars Magica

Goal in this blog post was to make an item which processes and separates substances into like types, and then allows them to reform as usable segments. Proposed as several “machine-like processes”, the first which separates different forms from one another, the second which separates substances within a form, and the third which removes a sub-type.

A tent was chosen to be portable and allow the magical effect to utilise Target: Room, and charms were used so they could be portable between tents and rooms – perhaps used in the same room or materials might be moved between them.

Effect: Charm of Separation of Four Types (Re Te / Mu He An Aq 40)

The small silver charm shaped as one pointed cross set within a circle, is pinned into place on the inside of the targeted room, and activated to separate materials into their art type. Some uses will see the charm displayed along side its brethren on handing strips. If present, the materials are sorted into barrels or shelves in each location.

Separation of Stone, Stakes, Solvent and Sinew

Rego Terram / Muto Herbam Animal Aquam 30, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Room

This effect alters the physical properties of all the affected materials to become malleable, allowing the base type of elements to be separated from each other toward the edges of the room. All materials in the room are separated according to their Hermetic Art type to the cardinal points in the room, with the remaining materials left in the centre.

(Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Room, +1 Muto sub-effect, +2 affect processed and crafted materials, reqs free) 

(+10 Unlimited uses)

Then a charm for sub-division by Art type is needed. For simplicity, only one is presented here, assuming a similar level is needed with different requisites.

Effect: Charm of Separation of Within Terram (Re Te / Mu 40)

The small silver charm shaped as two pointed crosses overlapping at 45 degrees to make a starburst. If present, the materials are sorted into barrels or shelves in each location.

Separation of Steel, Stone, and Sand

Rego Terram / Muto 30, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Room

This effect alters the physical properties of all the affected materials to become malleable, allowing the base type of elements to be separated from each other toward the edge of the room. All Terram based materials in the room are separated according to the sub-type Hermetic Art type such as stone, steel, sand or clay, with any remaining materials aside.

(Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Room, +1 Muto sub-effect, +2 affect processed and crafted materials, reqs free) 

(+10 Unlimited uses)

Then a clean-up spell to dispose of the unwanted matter.

Effect: Charm of Clean-up (PeTe/AnAqHeCo 35)

A small silver charm shaped as a circle with an x across its diamater, with a small hollow within the corss point of the X.

Disposal of the Unsorted Remains

Perdo Terram / Animal, Aquam, Auram, Herbam, Corpus 25, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Room

The non-living material placed in the centre of the targeted room are destroyed.

(Base 5, +2 Voice, +2 general materials)

(+10 Unlimited uses)

Lost Spells (part 15) to destroy vis

More lost spells from sources around the web which are updated for 5e Ars Magica. This spell destroys pawns of vis. I have to ask why a caster would do this (demonically tainted vis perhaps?), however it seems a legitimate use for Perdo Vim.

Burning Vis

Perdo Vim General, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Individual

Up to 1 pawn of Vis per 5 levels of this spell are destroyed.

(Base General, +2 Voice)

Over 650+ new spells for Ars Magica can be found here.

Ice Spells (part thirteen) Turn people to ice

When I first thought about this spell I was considering the part in the movie Frozen when Anna is turned to ice, and then considered making it a killing spell – which would be fair given a base level of 25 is very close to the Perdo Corpus instant death of base 30. Instead, an opponent frozen for two minutes is likely to be at the mercy of the caster till they magically unthaw.

Curse of the Frozen Heart

Muto Corpus / Aquam 40, R: Voice, D: Diameter, T: Individual

The target human is turned to solid ice, reverting to normal after the spell expires.

(Base 25, +2 Voice, +1 Diameter)

And a variant for animals, which is far easier due to the different baseline level for turning an animal into an inanimate object.

Curse of the Frozen Hoof

Muto Animal / Aquam 30, R: Voice, D: Diameter, T: Individual

The target animal is turned to solid ice, reverting to normal after the spell expires.

(Base 15, +2 Voice, +1 Diameter)

This and many other new spells for Ars Magica can be found on the Ars Magica New Spell Grimoire.

Blog Plans for 2018

I’ve no focus yet for 2018 for this rpg blog. The past few years of Ars Magica Spells has been challenging and while I’ll chip away at odd spells and items intermittently, I need a break from regular Ars Magica blog posts.

There is a long ignored Deathwatch story I might revive despite FFG handing back the publishing rights – and perhaps a bit of fiction. A lot of my inspiration for content is driven from games I’m playing in and the games are also slowing.

While I’m not sure what style of game to write about, the blog post publishing schedule will likely decrease to a post roughly each month.

Have a great 2018 folks. IBT.

Sample enchanted items for a crossbow

After finding this image I wanted to write up a magical auto-loader for a crossbow which makes firing each round possible. Crossbows are already interesting in Ars Magica because they inflict a lot of damage (with the optional rules) with not a lot of skill if already loaded (reduced botch dice), but they are darn slow.

With the two enchanted devices I think it is reasonable that a crossbow could be fired at least once per round, if not twice per round; as all the soldier is doing is pointing and pulling the trigger. Lords of Men indicates that shooting a preloaded crossbow is a quick action, meaning the user can fire and move or fire and do something else. With these enhancements they could fire twice – perhaps each enchanted device allows firing in one round, granting two shots per round if both are used.

And the bolts being fired will not be resisted by MR. Designing and placing these items on an arbalest would be brutal, and no harder magically.

Snipers Gleam (ReHe 20)

The gleam is matched pair of brass pins depicting crossed arrows, one is placed upon a crossbow and the other upon the container of ammunition. Each time the gleam is activated it moves a bolt from the container to the crossbow in a firing position. The power is activated by specific clicking tone of the crossbow being drawn back, or a command word.

Effect: Load the crossbow

Rego Herbam 10, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Individual

A bolt is moved from a container to the crossbow or bow, loaded into a suitable firing position.

(Base 3, +2 Voice, +1 accuracy in positioning)(+10 unlimited uses)

Snipers Hold (ReTe 20)

The hold is a buckled leather band which is strapped to the soldier’s arm. The effect moves the crossbow’s metal bow after each firing, so that the holder does not need to act to redraw the bow, which saves significant time.

Effect: Draw the Crossbow

Rego Terram 10, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Individual

The crossbow’s arm is drawn back and locked properly, ready for firing. Terram is added as a requisite to allow for different materials in the crossbow’s construction.

(Base 2, +2 for metals, +2 Voice) (+10 unlimited uses)

Note: updated with the feedback below.

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Fast casting against another wizard in Ars Magica

One of those forum conversations that leads into a brief explanation of how the game mechanics resolve magic… The Mirror of Opposition spell reverses the effect of a spell, but not the target. So a spell to hurt a person might help them instead. It is a very interesting spell because it relies on so many of the meta-magic layers in Ars Magica, primarily around Muto Vim spells, but there are compounding questions in the details.

Pyrale wrote: Another question regarding spell manipulation : Supposing I see someone starts casting, and I decide to cast a mirror of opposition on his spell. Does my spell have to pierce the caster’s defenses ?

If not, do I have a window of opportunity if the spell has no time of travel, or can I only cast it on projectiles ?

My 2c which might be dodgy… I think you can cast it on anything, and the SG gets to decide what it does.

  • First you need to use the rules for identifying what Form the spell is, because Mirror of Opposition is different for each Form, but I guess you might know if the caster had previously been shooting away with missile spells and just assume you’re correct if your perception Check failed. The Perception check isn’t going to slow down the rest.
    … Perception + Awareness + roll vs. 15 – (effect mag). If the opposing caster has silent/subtle magic/deft magic it gets a lot harder.
  • Then if you are not cooperating with the other caster (fair assumption) you need to fast-cast the MoO:(form), as per p.159 of Ars about not being able to intercept the spell quickly enough. Its basically a -10 to casting roll with 2x extra botch dice, and you need the fast-cast Mastery option for the MoO spell.
  • Then your Penetration total for your casting roll (which includes that -10 mod) must beat the other caster’s Penetration total
    (i.e. spell CT + roll – Spell level + Pen ability vs same from the other guy).
  • The rules imply that you don’t need to penetrate the caster’s parma which is great, although if they were casting a spell with Range: Personal upon themselves I’d argue that you’d also need to penetrate their Parma for it to work too (?).
  • The caster must be in range of your MoO spell too (voice), unless you’ve got a funky version or using an Intangible Tunnel and an AC.
  • I don’t know what happens if they are fast-casting a mastered spell, but I think you still could fast cast to intercept and alter it (?).
  • You can’t alter Spont spells with MuVi which is a bugger but it makes sense why.

Easy! However…

  • If the first spell was fast-cast then the second magus can fast-cast one to defend/intercept, but it should come back to speed (point made here). Essentially the magic system seeks to avoid situations where magi just fast-cast-BLAST their way through all encounters.
  • As MoO and many other Muto Vim spells do not work against Spont magic, and also typically must penetrate against the target spell, and also usually only affect half their level, not many wizards are able to Spont cast Muto Vim spells in defence. It is possible, but very unlikely.

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