Ritual for Conjuring a Magical Wyrm

And then a mystical wyrm to demonstrate what other types of beasties might be possible.

Conjure the Mythical Wyrm

Creo Animal / Mentem Auram Vim 75, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Individual, Ritual

A magical drake is created with 11 Magic Might, +7 size, and a selection of powers such as fire-breathing, fire-immunity, and supernatural toughness. The magical beast is permanent and intelligent. The creature will have a personality and traits of its own and will initially serve the caster in a loyal manner.

(Base 50, +1 Touch, Mentem for intellect, Ignem / Auram for powers and resistance to fire, +2 size increase, +1 Rego for loyalty to caster, +1 Might increase)

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

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Ritual for Conjuring a Magical Wolf

These next are two spells which indicate the complexity required for Hermetic magic in Ars Magica to create permanent magical creatures, as proposed through a discussion. This is not based upon a RAW guideline, rather some very logical forum discussions.

It’s worth noting that creating a normal wolf permanently is far easier; both these spells create creatures which could exist in the setting. If used in a saga I suggest that each spell become far more specific in terms of beast description, demeanor, and powers. A creature of the magic realm they should be closer to the idealised forms of their animal types.

Conjure the Majestic Wolf

Creo Animal 55, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Individual, Ritual

An adult wolf is created with 10 Magic Might and a small selection of powers, such as supernatural stealth and resilience. The magical beast is permanent and may have  Cunning or Intelligence. The creature will have a personality and traits of its own and is under no obligation to serve the caster.

(Base 50, +1 Touch)

This idea came from the Atlas Ars Magica forums thread:

If we look at the ‘Conjure the Walking Dead’ Ritual Spell from Hermetic Projects (Pg 117), it explains that the base level for creating a magical human is level 45; coincidentally the magical might of the revenant (pg 116) is 9; a simple ruling could be made that the magnitude of the spell is the amount of Magical Might that the creature would have.

Base level 50 for magical animal would make a magical might 10 creature, with +1 magnitude for +1 Magical Might

i.e a magical might 15 lion would be: Creo-Animal 80 ritual
(base 50, +1 Touch, +5 for higher might) with requisites for the powers that the lion has, Imaginum/Aurum for a super loud roar etc.

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

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.

A selection of spells for a Terram Wizard

What type of spell effects would a Terram mage desire? I’m glad you asked. Here a few spells involving Terram magic in one way or another.

Portentous Levitation of the Mighty Obelisk

Rego Terram 30, R: Sight, D: Concentration, T: Group

Move an exceptionally large volume of stone as directed by the caster. A single block of up to 10 cubic paces in volume, or any smaller combination of stones may be moved, with the massive blocks moving at walking pace and smaller blocks moving as fast as a bird flies. The spell’s normal behavior is to float the mass a pace above the ground so that it follows behind the caster for the spell’s duration, and the stones will do so unless controlled otherwise.

The effect can be used to make the stone float high into the air up to the range of the spell.

When the effect is cancelled the stone will be have naturally, which may be used as a targeted attack using Finesse to crush a target. Dropping the stone or cancelling the spell above a target may crush them, inflicting +5 for a fist sized rock, +10 for a building stone, +21 for a large boulder, and up +35 for a massive obelisk or a massive volume of rocks.

A successful Finesse roll is required to strike a target. Particularly large blocks or a large number of blocks will be easier to target, and can inflict structural damage to buildings. It may however take more than one combat round to place the blocks above a target. The sheer volume of rock moved with the spell could also lift small modest sized stone dwellings from the ground, or slowly tear walls apart.

(Base 3 to move earth in a very unnatural fashion, +1 affect stone, +3 Sight , +1 Concentration, +2 Group)

This effect is similar to the Ominous Levitation of the Weighty Stone (HoH:S p38), and can be used to guide damage effects for different sized slabs. The intent was to provide a utility spell for moving stone, which also has far more combative potential.

This spell uses the Target Group so that many dangerously large stones can be moved around. On a battlefield that will make a very effective difference.

Aside – I had to google to find out what a cubic pace was, and how large it might be. It’s a disused measure which is wonderfully medieval. A cubic pace is cube with three feet to each side (forum discussion). Anything which is made from 10 cubic paces of stone is large and very heavy (approx 25 tons); crushingly so for squishy things like men and beasts.

The spell is intimidating but not very subtle. To rectify that an invisibility effect is needed.

Hide the Frightening Mass

Perdo Imagonem 25, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Group

Render the target object or creature invisible (any combination of mass up to 100 standard Corpus sized images) for the spell’s duration. The image destroyed could be a single large object, or many small ones.

(Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration, +2 Group, +1 size increase)

To make the spell more battle worthy the Terram specalist might employ a few cancellation effects, using Perdo Vim; and a Muto or Rego Vim spell to maintain it longer than concentration.

Any self respecting Terram wizard should be able to conjure sand, stone, mud, clay, or steel. Conceptually the style of spell to do so is very similar to each other, but according to the way Hermetic magic works separate spells are needed.

Conjuration of the Sand and Clay Deluge

Creo Terram 15, R: Voice, D: Sun, T: Individual

This spell creates up to 100 cubic paces of clay, dirt, mud, or sand. The caster can choose the volume of material, the shape it initially appears, and the point it appears when the spell is cast. This flexibility has a range of uses such as burying opponents, quickly summoning barriers, or even dampening fires.

(Base 1 for 10 cubic paces, +2 Voice, +2 Sun, +1 size, +1 flexibility in material and volume)

Then a variation to show how massive proportions of material are possible but probably unneeded; 100 or 10,000 cubic paces is a significant change, but I think the first spell will be enough.

Conjuration of the Sand and Clay Tide

Creo Terram 25, R: Voice, D: Sun, T: Individual

This spell creates up to 10,000 cubic paces of clay, dirt, mud, or sand. The caster can choose the volume of material, the shape it initially appears, and the point it appears when the spell is cast. This flexibility has a range of uses such as burying opponents, quickly summoning barriers, or even dampening fires.

(Base 1 for 10 cubic paces, +2 Voice, +2 Sun, +3 size, +1 flexibility in material and volume)

A spell to conjure a big stone, perhaps to drop on people, or quickly create a defensive wall, or bridge.

Conjure the Crushing Slab

Creo Terram 25, R: Voice, D: Sun, T: Individual

The spell conjures a mass of stone, up to 100 cubic paces in size. Size and shape are determined by the caster. The final shape can be deliberate, but must be inelegant, as the spell design has no allowance for significant complexity in the shape.

(Base 3, +2 Voice, +2 Sun, +2 Size)

A Terram magus will need some permanent materials to work with. This effect carves smaller segments of stone from a larger mass, subject to the size whim of the caster. It could be cast upon statues, other segments, walls, or a mountainside. Given a moderate sized stone block, the caster could cut thousands of suitable projectiles, and the effect is low level enough that most specialists could spontaneously cast the spell.

Cut from Stone the Projectiles of Vilano

Perdo Terram 15, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Group

This effect carves segments of stone from a larger mass. The shape and size of the segments is chosen when cast, from as small as tiny pellets or up to a cubic pace of stone. It is not possible for this spell to create intricate detail, form and shape of the result must be utilitarian.

The spell design allows it to produce the segments from a much larger mass by using a Target: Part within the design, although Target: Group is needed in the final level so that multiple projectiles can be cut at once.

(Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Group)

Then a spell to carve a giant obelisk so it is essentially natural and won’t be stopped by magical resistance in combat scenarios.

Cut from Stone the Titanic Obelisk

Perdo Terram 20, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Part

This spell cuts a segment of stone from a larger mass, up to 100 cubic paces in size. Exact shape and size is determined by the caster, but is limited to basic shapes and forms without intricacy.

(Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Part, +2 Size increase)

Lastly two more pragmatic effects, to make short work of disarming an enemy warrior.

Vacillate the Soldier’s Arms Between Steel and Sand

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

The metal weapons and armor of all members in a group are temporarily changed from metal to sand. As sand has no cohesive strength it dissipates and the items are misshapen and ruined when they return to their normal state.

(Base 3 to change stone to earth, +1 to effect metal, +2 Voice)

Vacillate the Company’s Arms Between Steel and Sand

Muto Terram 20, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Group

The metal weapons and armor of all members in a group are temporarily changed from metal to sand. As sand has no cohesive strength it dissipates and the items are misshapen and ruined when they return to their normal state. This spell can affect up to 10 standard individuals.

(Base 3 to change stone to earth, +1 to effect metal, +2 Voice, +2 Group)

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

 

Some simple fire spells for Ars Magica pyromaniacs

Designing fire spell that inflict damage is darn easy in Ars Magica. There are very detailed guidelines in the rules and many evocative examples in Creo Ignem; such as Ball of Abysmal Flame at level 35 and Pilum of Fire at level 20, p 140.

Pondering a House Flambeau fire wizard, and I wanted some slight variations on these spells. Firstly I wanted more spells to inflict damage directly, and also at a lower level so a junior wizard could learn them (and I really like Pilum of Fire’s name, so have used that as a theme).

Spear of Fire

Creo Ignem 10, R: Voice, D: Mom, T: Ind

A short spear-shaped burst of fire flies from your hand, inflicting +5 damage.

(Base 4, +2 Voice)

This might seem an underpowered effect however +5 damage is still not irrelevant and at such a low level a more powerful caster will be able to penetrate through far more magic resistance. Remember too that while almost every soldier will be armored enough to stop this spell’s damage, many wizards depend on their Parma Magica alone for defense; rarely wearing armour. It is a long way from +20 or +30 damage inflicted by the powerful spells in core, so perhaps a +10 damage variant is more desirable.

Lance of Fire

Creo Ignem 15, R: Voice, D: Mom, T: Ind

A spear-shaped burst of fire flies from the caster’s hand, inflicting +10 damage.

(Base 5, +2 Voice)

All these spells are single use, which wasn’t what I though of when picturing a pyromaniac Flambeau. I saw a fire wielding madman which flames pouring from his hands continuously. Also consider that immolating a target over many combat rounds will be far more damaging and wonderfully intimidating for onlookers. Thankfully creating these effects is darn easy too; they’re almost the same.

Jet of Flame

Creo Ignem 20, R: Voice, D: Concentration, T: Ind

A thin jet of flame pours from the caster’s hands inflicting +10 damage to anything it touches. The caster can move their hand to re-target the jet for as long as they concentrate.

(Base 5, +2 Voice, +1 Concentration)

Useful for hosing an area in fire, burning as the caster pleases. Damage as low as +10 is powerful when applied every combat round, and if multicast using mastery could be aimed at several targets.

Immolate Miscellanea

Creo Ignem 20, R: Touch, D: Diameter, T: Ind

The object touched bursts into flames for two minutes, requiring twenty soak checks against +10 damage. The fire will also ignite nearby objects and spread naturally, which may create additional problems for the target.

(Base 10, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter)

I didn’t think there was much use for this level and the core rulebook has Cloak of Flame as a higher level spell, but then recalled the Opening the Intangible Tunnel spell, for which Touch spells are needed or by using a talisman to extend reach. Perhaps a disgruntled Magi will find a use there.

Then a simple cosmetic spell to bathe the caster in flames. It could as easily be created by using an illusion (Creo Imagonem) however I like using fire as the Art here.

Immolation of the Cowardly Pyromancer

Creo Ignem 5, R: Personal, D: Concentration, T: Individual

The caster is covered in a fire which can be felt but neither burns nor heats significantly.

(Base 4 to create an unnatural fire, +1 Conc)

And lastly for the arrogant pyromaniac who is not afraid to really burn. I don’t expect many wizards to bother learning this, but it was interesting to create and might be spontaneously cast. Perhaps to be rid of fleas?

Immolation of the Haughty Pyromancer

Creo Ignem 5, R: Personal, D: Concentration, T: Individual

The caster is covered in a fire which inflicts +5 damage per round.

(Base 4 to create inflicting 5+ damage, +1 Conc)

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The spell may also be called “have I got something in my teeth“. More custom spells can be found in the New Spells for Ars Magica page.

Conjure the Humble Skiff

Update: I’ve decided to alter the Base CrHe level of the spell and the spell complexity to better reflect the fact that the boat has a fair degree of complexity. Spell level is the same.

One of my characters had a need to get across a moderate sized area of water with his companions, and it proved to be a little bit of an ungainly problem. Initially I wanted to create a boat and row across using Creo. It would have almost worked, except that we needed a longer boat ride than either Concentration would reliably allow, or that Diameter could provide. In the end our arts were stronger when each person was slowly moved with Rego magic across the surface of the water. It was a solution, and I’d like something more elegant.

It got me thinking of the ways to create a boat on demand. Conceptually this could be:

  • Create using Creo Herbam, or some other Form to suit the caster.
  • Muto something into a boat, using an abundantly available material.

So here are the effects, using a range of Forms.

Conjure the Humble Skiff

Creo Herbam 25, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Ind

This spell conjures a small wooden boat, single sail, and running gear suitable for six travelers and their gear. The spell requires a finesse check to determine the quality of the boat*.

(Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +1 increased target size for a modest boat, +1 complexity in the design and finished form)

* note: the degree of difficulty in that Finesse check is debatable. Set it wherever your troupe likes; I don’t want a can of worms based around a target number of 6 vs 9 vs 12.

CharmingSkiffBut what about when You’re gonna need a bigger boat. A large boat, say a boat which is large enough to comfortably cruise the open ocean would be another size increase of +1 mag, resulting in a CrHe level 20 effect – perhaps called the Conjure the Dawn Treader or the Merchant’s Dream. At that size the skiff becomes something with multiple sails, a full crew, and capable of hauling many hundreds of tons of cargo.

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House rule to Mitigate High Finesse Target Numbers

High target numbers for Finesse checks frustrate me in Ars Magica, the required target numbers are borderline ridiculous for a typical wizard, and I see them as a game mechanic seeking to limit the use of certain styles of magic. They should be a way to add depth and risk to an activity, not punish players.

In a previous post about extensions to the Conjuring the Mystic Tower spell I commented about the blisteringly high finesse checks which were introduced in the Covenants and later source books. When talking about casting CtMT:

It has some issues in the expanded game, when the Finesse rolls required are extrapolated upon in additional rulebooks, so that it may (depending on the troupe) have a very high finesse check to perform, and with that the risk of a total waste of vis if the Tower is malformed. And a somewhat troubling clean-up task too.

I am an advocate of hand-waving away almost all those aspects given how infrequently the spell would be cast in a typical game, and how fundamental to a covenant’s growth the effect is.

Not to say that a botched spell or flawed finesse roll couldn’t present an intriguing opportunity…

I stand by the point that Conjuring the Mystic Tower was never intended (when first written) to require a Finesse check of 24+. It is implausible for an NPC and frankly a waste of XP for a player character.

For non-rituals, then sure roll Finesse – I accept that a little more. However any time a caster has the time to stop and plan the way an effect will be brought into being, then they should be able to greatly reduce their risk of failing that roll.

Perhaps the guide should be a +1 to the Finesse check for each day the caster spends working on how the spell will be cast. If that approach isn’t punishing enough then use the pyramid scale from XP to require a massive amount of days to be spent to “buy” the finesse roll bonus.