During a discussion of the best and worst Forms to inflict damage in Ars Magica had a segway into the best and worst ways to hurt a mundane vs hurting a wizard. We all agreed that magic resistance makes hurting wizards troublesome, so it is done via dedicated devices with high penetration, indirect spells, or mundane means. When we considered hurting mundanes the options are almost too broad to consider, as almost anything will work.
My view is that affecting a mundane with damage is made slightly nastier by adding longer durations to the spells. This won’t always work thematically for spells that create a temporary medium to inflict damage (lighting bolts and fireballs) but will be effective for spells which affect the target directly. Varying spells to inflict the same damage over many combat round (also know as D.O.T. – damage over time) means the targets are likely to be incapacitated eventually. Wizard’s Icy Grip (Ars p.142), The Wound That Weeps & Invocation of Weariness (Ars p.133) are just some single use examples which could be remade.
The disadvantage of using damage over time effects is that they are unforgiving on targets you do not wish to kill, and they generally are slightly less powerful than single use effects.
Wizard’s Icy Shroud
Perdo Ignem 30, R: Voice, D: Diameter, T: Individual
As per Wizard’s Icy Grip – Chills a single target so that it takes +15 damage each combat round the spell is in effect. If this is enough to kill, the target is frozen solid. Armor does not add to Soak against this spell.
(Base 15, +2 Voice, +1 Diameter)
The spell Wizard’s Icy Grip uses a Base 20 for +20 damage based upon the base 10 for +10 damage. Even +5 damage per round will eventually hurt a tough character due to dice rolls.
See also The Toxic Solar as an example of a Muto Auram effect which affects an entire room with a damage over time effect, and this further variation to affect a structure.
The Toxic Ziggurat
Muto Auram 35, R: Touch, D: Diameter, T: Structure
This spell changes the air within a single structure touched to a highly corrosive gas which inflicts +10 damage per round to everything within. This gas will also damage delicate items within the room, such as paper, food, fur and cloth.
(Base 10 for Level as damage, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +3 Structure)
See further custom spells for Ars Magica can be found in the summary spells page.