Clarification on the stats when Changing Creature Sizes in Ars Magica

Many spells change the size of a person or creature, or creatures have their size altered to suit the story needs of an Ars Magica saga. I’ve been asked several times about changing size in the last month (mostly because my blog post on gigantism had an error) so here is what I’ve sussed about it. Broadly speaking the spell mechanics are variable, so please see your story-guide.

  • Each +1 mag in spell design will add 3 size levels (note some spells sampled from the core books seem to use +2 levels instead, but there has been much discussion and the fair middle ground seems to be +3 per mag).
  • Each +1 mag in spell design will reduce size by 6 levels (again variable by books, some spells seem to be able to reduce by a far greater amount than increase, I think that is primarily because once a creature is smaller than size -4 they have such low wound levels than it is almost moot).
  • Each +1 Size = +2 Strength, -1 Quickness, +1 point in the wound level damage ranges (see HoH:MC p. 39).

That means changing a soldier from normal (size +0) size to size +2 adds 4 strength, subtracts 2 quickness, and alters their first “light wound” damage range to 1-7 points instead of 1-5. That might not sound like much of a change but it makes the soldier far more offensively oriented. Slower, harder to kill, and able to inflict more damage.

This is also why reducing an opponent down to -3 or smaller is very effective, it might make them quicker but they have radically reduced wound levels for penalties, which is savage in a prolonged battle.

There is also a point at which the difference between the attacker and defender becomes so extreme that the defender really shouldn’t be able to “parry” to defend.

A rationale is: A mouse can avoid the boot of a man easily due to speed, but if the man successfully steps on it, then it really should be dead, or mostly dead.

So how big does your shield grog need to be to just squish opponents? Well I’m not sure. The size increases are meant to be 10x larger per 3 size ranks, but there is not a formula that shows how tall a person is per rank (a project for a rainy day?). Size 0 human vs a size 10 dragon seems altogether a massive challenge.

a giant fighting several folk, couldn't find the owner/artist - pretty good though eh?

Advertisements

Crazy magic item – Hat of Many Eyes by d20monkey

I regularly enjoy d20MOnkey and this week there is a cartoon about starting up a tabletop session. Props and hats galore. As tribute to that webcomic I present the Hat of Many Eyes.

D20monkey’s great image for the hat of many eyesHat of Many Eyes – 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 16 (Base 1, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +3 Special Range (based upon Room +1 as used in Sight as through a Plethron Distant from MoH p.101))(+1 levels for 2 uses per day)

This could also be made as a small clear glass lense worn as jewelry or a nick nack if the hat is just too repulsive/silly, “Charm of the Watchful Parent”. Enjoy you day folks.

MuVi spells to change the spell recipient (3 of 3)

Continued from Wizard’s Misdirection to Return Home and Wizard’s Misdirection to Receive Blessings, a variation to pass a spell to a target touched.

Wizard’s Misdirection to My Friend

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

This spell changes the intended target of another spell, to target a person the caster of this spell is touching. If the new target is invalid then this spell has no effect. This spell must be one magnitude higher than the spell to be altered.

(Base Gen for a significant change, +2 Voice)

MuVi spells to change the spell recipient (2 of 3)

Continued from Wizard’s Misdirection to Return Home, a variation to force the spell to affect the caster of this MuVi spell.

Wizard’s Misdirection to Receive Blessings

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

This spell changes the intended target of another spell, to target the caster of this spell. If the new target is invalid then this spell has no effect. This spell must be one magnitude higher than the spell to be altered.

(Base Gen for a significant change, +2 Voice)

 

MuVi spells to change the spell recipient (1 of 3)

I’m pondering the chaos of Muto Vim spells again, and all sorts of silly stuff is fluttering by my mind’s eye. As MuVi effect must have a very specific intent and effect, I’ve written three variants on the theme for changing the intended specific target, but not the Hermetic Target type. I did especially so that the three variants are (hopefully) clearly written and ready to use. Although doubtful, it is possible for a Vim specialist to cast these effects spontaneously instead of fast-cast-formulaic, to affect another magi’s casting so a quick reference is handy.

Wizard’s Misdirection to Return Home

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

This spell changes the intended target of another spell, to target the caster of that other spell. If the new target is invalid then this spell has no effect. This spell must be one magnitude higher than the spell to be altered.

(Base Gen for a significant change, +2 Voice)

Remembering those who have been lost

This post is about spells to hold and recall memories and emotions in Ars Magica. One of my characters has the Lost Love flaw, where he is haunted and deeply affected by the death of his wife. It is a difficult theme to bring into a typical quasi-fantasy roleplaying setting. It is also a theme which is challenging for groups to contend with – it is a very real emotional state which I’m sure nobody wants to trivialize. Heck I was nervous taking the flaw for the same reasons. How can a play-by-post game treat the subject respectfully? I think these factors contribute to the aspect of the character not really being played often.

When I was reading the source books looking for material for a new character a description of a spell guideline jumped out – the ability to change a memory or emotion into a physical object (Ars Magica source book Houses of Hermes: Societies, p70). This is strikingly apt for a character who is haunted by a lost loved one. Here is a way to use the game mechanics to reinforce the character’s loss in-game.

Further the section of the source book also does not have a named spell for the guideline, just the guideline itself (Muto Mentum Base 5 to alter a memory or emotion into a new form) and a reference back to a more powerful variant in the core rules. Excellent. The effect as I imagine it is similar to that of the “pensive” as presented in the Harry Potter books – a way to withdraw a memory from the target’s mind, but still allow them (and perhaps others) to view it, to experience it.

If enchanted into a device, a memory or emotional device of an event could be made quasi-permanent. The user of the spell need never miss a detail of something important and always have it ready for analysis.

Our Foremost Memories Consigned to Stone

Muto Mentum 20 / Terram, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

The target touched has a significant memory of their choosing transformed from their mind into a small stone curio. The form of the curio object will be influenced by the caster’s sigil, the memory, and the desires of the target, but may be no larger than a 1 foot cube of stone. Shape and elegance should be challenged with a Finesse roll, at SG’s discretion.

As per HoH:S p.70 the owner of the memories can recall the memory accurately in full detail by holding the curio, and others may well also be able to access the memory.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, Terram free)

As written the guideline and effect implies that the memory is no longer easy for the subject to recall (I’d argue it is removed totally). This is very useful in the idea I have in mind for my character – a Magus who removes his most harrowing memories at the start of each day so he can be productive, but who is certain that they will return at nightfall, so he can continue to honor and remember his lost love.

I chose stone as it is a strong substance and my character has a beginning score in Terram. The core spell mentioned above which turns the entire mind of the caster into a bird uses Animal; and uses it without “paying” the magnitude of an additional form – no neither did I in this spell design. The spells are sympathetically related.

And an effect to view the memories.

Our Foremost Memories Perceived

Intellego Mentum 15, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Individual

Allows the caster to perceive the memory which was transformed into an object. If the object was not transformed then the spell has no effect. Requisites are required at cast time for the form of the object which contains the memory.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration)

Then two similar effects, for emotions rather than memories. Interesting to ponder what removing doubt, fear, guilt, or love might do to a character.

Our Foremost Feelings Consigned to Stone

Muto Mentum 20 / Terram, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

The target touched has a significant emotion of their choosing transformed from their mind into a small stone curio. The form of the curio object will be influenced by the caster’s sigil, the memory, and the desires of the target, but may be no larger than a 1 foot cube of stone. Shape and elegance should be challenged with a Finesse roll, at SG’s discretion.

As per HoH:S p.70 the owner of the memories can recall the memory accurately in full detail by holding the curio, and others may well also be able to access the memory.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, Terram free)

Our Foremost Feelings Perceived

Intellego Mentum 15, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Individual

Allows the caster to perceive the emotion which was transformed into an object. If the object was not transformed then the spell has no effect. Requisites are required at cast time for the form of the object which contains the emotion.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration)

Placed into an enchanted object, the effects could be set to use the Device Maintains Concentration modifier, and a few uses, so that a large number of objects could be created and maintained by an enchanted device. The Intellego effect to view the memories or emotions would be very aptly enchanted into a scrying pool or mirror.

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

winters-grave