A spell to throw swimmers to shore

Our wizards in a campaign might be about to face off against mermen, sea monsters, and all sorts of aquatic nasties. I’m pondering spells to defeat them. Given many aquatic creatures don’t do well on land I thought to throw them into the beach.

Strand the Whale Upon the Shore

Rego Aquam 40, R: Voice, D: Concentration, T: Group

This spell creates powerful many currents and jets of water under the control of the caster, which allow them to move waterborne creatures and objects against their will, including ejecting them from the ocean upon the beach. The spell can affect a very large part of a greater water source.

(Base 5 for controlling in a violent way, +2 Voice, +1 Conc, +2 Group, +2 size)

Many other new spells for Ars Magica can be found in my grimoire.

A spell to create an Elegant Church

Tailoring of spells is a standard part of Ars Magica. This is a rework of Conjuring the Mystic Tower to create a cathedral instead of a tower. As such it has the same mechanics but a different description.

Conjuring the House of the Gods

Creo Terram 35, R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Individual, Ritual

This spell creates a large cathedral, subject to the desires and designs of the caster. A typical layout has a broad central hall, several tall spires, many private chambers along all sides, stairways between levels, window spaces along all walls, a subterranean vault, and a smaller private chapel to one side.

Walls 1-3 feet thick at the base. The cathedral is bordered by a 1 pace tall wall set 10-15 paces from the outer edges of the church. The cathedral has room to accommodate hundreds of worshipers in the main hall, and their supporting staff dwellings, supplies and meeting places.

The spell provides 10,000 cubic paces of stone. The complexity modifier allows for the structure to be ornate, and made a single piece of stone with shutters, doors and such built in. When small parts are needed they are created within the single piece using thin stone slivers. The overall spell design has allowed for some internal and artistic complexity.

(Base 3 to create stone, +1 Touch, +4 size, +3 complex design, ritual)

Within the game where I hope the spell will be used there are many types of faith, with flexible design the same spell can create very different catherdrals, as long as the building is sufficiently church like. It would not be possible to use CtMT to create this style of building just like a spell to create a horse cannot create a dog.

Find this spell and hundreds more for Ars Magica in my grimoire.

Two spells to Purify a Lake or Stream

A wizards in a play-by-post game I was playing in have a large lake which was once part of an ocean, but now is being fed by freshwater streams and rivers (big island raising style of magic). However till the lake is purged of all the salt water is not not overly useful to the surrounding landscape.

This is a very situational spell to remove all the salt from a water source.

As the need is ultra-specialised I went a step further and used the T: Body-of-Water spell parameter from Realms of Power: Magic (which comes from the Atlantean Magic virtue), specifically for large bodies of water. There are almost no spells using Atlantean magic virtue.

Purify the Lake, Waterway, and Stream

Perdo Aquam 45, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Body-of-Water

This spell removes the saltiness from all water within the current body of water, and may affect very large bodies of water.

(Base 15, +1 Touch, +3 Body-of-Water, +2 size)

Creating the spell with a conventional Ars Magica from the core rules might be similar, however the T: Body of Water has some inbuilt aspects which make it more efficient. A trick to note is that the “Body of water” target can affect a larger mass of liquid, and to perform the same spell without it Target: Part is useful. This allows successive castings to eventually remove the salt from the water, but only in small amounts.

Purify the Salty Pool

Perdo Aquam 25, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Part

This spell removes the saltiness from all the targeted water, affecting the whole or part of an amount of salt water up to 560 cubic feet of water.

(Base 15, +1 Touch, +1 Part)

A small lake is hundreds of millions of litres, so would take tens of thousands of casting to do; however a magic item might be perfect for that. Plonk it into the water and watch it slowly desalinate the water. It could also be made in a variety of shapes such as an attachment to the bottom of a boat, or an anchor to be placed at the bottom of the lake bed.

Eventual Reduction of Saltiness – (PeAq38) This small silver fisherman’s charm is triggered each time the sun moves its diameter in the sky (every two minutes), and casts the Purify the Salty Pool spell on the water it is placed in. (Base PeAq25, with +10 for unlimited uses, +3 environmental trigger)

Find these spell and hundreds more for Ars Magica in my grimoire.

A spell to Carve into Earth and Stone

Another spell variant to hollow an area beneath the earth, this time with a high degree of precision in the design to allow for stair, arches, and other building features.

Hollow the Detailed Vault

Perdo Terram 30, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Part

The stone mass targeted by this spell is destroyed in a manner consistent with the caster’s desires, typically in such a way to create hollows, rooms, or internal spaces. The spell does allows for a sophisticated level of detail, including stairways, ramps, pillars, or balconies. A maximum volume of up to 100 cubic paces of stone can be affected at one time.

(Base 4 Destroy rock or stone, +1 Touch, +1 Part, +2 size increase, +2 complexity)

This spell is part of the free new spells compendium for Ars Magica.

underground tunnel

Stat Boosting Rituals, Part 5 (Stacking Pluses)

Continuing from Stat Boosting Rituals, Part 1, 2, 3, 4, … to outline raising stats by more than +1 in each spell. This has the effect of creating very powerful and efficient boosting rituals.

A level 30 base effect can change a stat by +1 (to max 0), then maybe further magnitudes be added to raise it by more. It is a concept outside RAW, so some groups would say, “use the game as written fella” and ignore the suggestion. I can respect that choice and see that a reason to not do this is so that players won’t just create huge rituals to skip over multiple castings and seasons learning each step, and to avoid the vis costs. Frankly though that is a balance issue more than a game world issue. Ars Magica commonly uses extra magnitudes to enhance a base effect, so it deserves a discussion.

What increment for raising?

A single magnitude adds 10x the volume but there is not a direct correlation to stats. I first thought that a scale which uses the benefit to the dice roll of the increase might work, but the more I think on it the more it seems a very artificial and “mechanical” approach. Instead looking at the way it is potentially going to be abused, look at the impact to the setting.

Suggested Spell Guideline: Each additional magnitude adds a +1 boost to the stat, which must remain within the guideline of the base effect.

For example:

  • A base effect 30 to raise a stat by +1, to a maximum of zero.
  • Then add +1 mag for Range: Touch
  • Then an additional 3 magnitudes to change the effect from +1 to +4.
  • Final spell effect level 60: increases a stat by +4 to a maximum of +0.

When does it break?

Well rituals don’t really break, it’s more a question of game balance. Initially I debated many different costs and decided a mag per +1 increase as it’s the general rule. It allows for a little variety in non-permanent spells, however the spells at the higher baselines could potentially be unbalancing.

For example – A base 55 effect allows for a +1 stat boost to a limit of +5 Attribute, with +1 mag for R: Touch is a level 60 spell. Then adding another 4 mags allows a level 80 ritual to raise a stat increase to +5, to a limit of +5 final score. Then combined with another spell using base 30 for maximum of +0, at level 50 for a +5 gain.

Mass Infusion of Strength for Weaklings

Creo Corpus 50, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Circle, Ritual

The affected targets Strength is increased by +5 to a maximum of +0.

(Base 30, +1 Touch, +4 to boost by +5, Ritual)

Mass Infusion of Strength for Warriors

Creo Corpus 80, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Circle, Ritual

The affected targets Strength is increased by +5 to a maximum of +5.

(Base 55, +1 Touch, +4 to boost by +5, Ritual)

And a temporary version, allowing greater than +1 boosts.

Temporary Mass Infusion of Strength

Creo Corpus 50, R: Touch, D: Diameter, T: Circle

The affected targets Strength is increased by +2 to a maximum of +1.

(Base 35, +1 Touch, +1 to boost to +2 bonus, +1 Diameter)

Using +1 mag per +1 stat allows for a ritual to skip over many subsequent castings of the level 60 spell to raise an attribute permanently. It feels a little too easy, but using +2 mags per +1 feels far too punitive.

Closing… After writing this uber-boost concept and reflecting I’ve basically reversed my opinion – ultra-rituals would suit high-powered sagas, but not suit many groups. The temptation to raise stats gets far harder to resist if the vis investment is reduced, and that should be left to the troupe.

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

calm-wow-art

Stat Boosting Rituals, Part 4 (Reduction)

Continuing from Stat Boosting Rituals, Part 1, 2, 3, … to discuss Perdo versions to reduce character attributes.

There is also a fair argument to say that as a Creo ritual can permanently increase the starts of a person, so to another Perdo spell could decrease their stats. As this is a baseline, the spell only has to be a ritual if it will be permanent, so temporary beneficial and punitive spells are also possible.

What isn’t clear is how the incremental base difficulties should work for Perdo based reductions. For Creo the base 30 increases any stat below 0 by +1, which is telling us that it is harder to raise higher stats. Likewise it is probably harder to make a very low stat worse than a higher one. There is also the Muto Corpus guidelines which imply that it is easier to shrink a target than grow.I could also see the logic of an argument which says the base should be the same, as it is affecting the body whole, but the same isn’t true for game mechanic reasons in Creo.

Overall I think it makes most sense (because it is a simplistic approach) to use the same guidelines as CrCo and CrMe for PeCo and PeMe except with -1 instead of +1 in the description.

For example, in Perdo Animal, Perdo Corpus, or Perdo Mentem :

  • Base 30 to reduce a stat by -1, on a stat which is equal to or less than 0.
  • Base 35 to reduce a stat by -1, on a stat which is equal to or less than 1.
  • Base 40 to reduce a stat by -1, on a stat which is equal to or less than 2.
  • Base 45 to reduce a stat by -1, on a stat which is equal to or less than 3.
  • Base 50 to reduce a stat by -1, on a stat which is equal to or less than 4.
  • Base 55 to reduce a stat by -1, on a stat which is equal to or less than 5.

Then as spell samples, although a level 60 ritual may as well just kill a person.

The Loss of Reason, Encircled

Perdo Mentem 35, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Circle, Ritual

Permanently decreases the affected targets Intelligence by 1 point, to a stat equal or less than 0.

(Base 30, +1 Touch)

The Withering of Reason, Encircled

Perdo Mentem 60, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Circle, Ritual

Permanently decreases the affected targets Intelligence by 1 point, to a stat equal or less than 5.

(Base 55, +1 Touch)

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

Stat Boosting Rituals, Part 3 (Maximum Boost)

Continuing from Stat Boosting Rituals, (Part 1, 2) … to outline versions of the most powerful a ritual can be to boost a characters attribute stats, to +5. The maximum versions for each stat are listed below. Both Creo Corpus and Creo Mentem are needed to cover all eight attributes.

For the Mentem based effects (note that the Intelligence based enhancements were covered in an earlier post):

The Perfection of Foresight, Encircled

Creo Mentem 60, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Circle, Ritual

Permanently increases the affected targets Perception by 1 point, to no higher than +5.

(Base 55, +1 Touch)

The Perfection of Gravitas, Encircled

Creo Mentem 60, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Circle, Ritual

Permanently increases the affected targets Presence by 1 point, to no higher than +5.

(Base 55, +1 Touch)

The Perfection of Elucidation, Encircled

Creo Mentem 60, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Circle, Ritual

Permanently increases the affected targets Communication by 1 point, to no higher than +5.

(Base 55, +1 Touch)

For the Corpus based effects:

The Perfection of Force, Encircled

Creo Corpus 60, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Circle, Ritual

Permanently increases the affected targets Strength by 1 point, to no higher than +5.

(Base 55, +1 Touch)

The Perfection of Endurance, Encircled

Creo Corpus 60, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Circle, Ritual

Permanently increases the affected targets Stamina by 1 point, to no higher than +5.

(Base 55, +1 Touch)

The Perfection of Celerity, Encircled

Creo Corpus 60, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Circle, Ritual

Permanently increases the affected targets Quickness by 1 point, to no higher than +5.

(Base 55, +1 Touch)

The Perfection of Agility, Encircled

Creo Corpus 60, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Circle, Ritual

Permanently increases the affected targets Dexterity by 1 point, to no higher than +5.

(Base 55, +1 Touch)

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