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.

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Carving a Mystic Tower

Another variation for creating dwellings in Ars Magica is the idea of carving them from the rock, rather than conjuring them. In this way the caverns, rooms, hallways, etc, are hollowed from the foundation materials and no elaborate vis expending ritual is needed.A carving spell could also convert a cliff face into a separate tower too, as the spell would be effective above ground or below as long as the right sort of materials were present.

A darn good idea, however implementing the spell should come with some significant pragmatic limitations.

Given a large enough mass of rock, unearthly patience, and a lot of time a skilled artisan could hollow an internal city from bedrock; perhaps akin to the Mines of Moria from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Or just a little humble storage or extra meeting space for a growing covenant or cult. Or perhaps given a large enough boulder, a simple dwelling or blind could be crafted.

underground-stairway

Firstly due credit – The source idea for this post was a thread about Carving a Mystic Tower raised on the Atlas Games Ars Magica forums, where in turn an old 4th edition supplement The Sanctuary of Ice originally mentioned the spell effect in passing. I hadn’t considered a carving effect when proposing alternatives and extensions to the CtMT post I wrote earlier.

Beginning with how the spell might function, there are several key considerations.

  • How does the caster identify a suitable area of effect which will be structurally sound? Probably with Intellego magic, to determine what size area they have to work with, and where the structural load is, so as to not threaten the strength of the surrounding area.
  • Should an Intellego component be mandatory? I’d say so, unless the scenario is darn simple, like a very small space in an area which has no other load or foundations.
  • Can the carving be done in very small segments? Sure, subject to the time the caster has, it is very reasonable to only carve small segments at a time.
  • Which magical Arts are appropriate? Perdo and Terram obviously. I’d support Rego too, as a way to emulate the work performed by skilled miners, with a darn significant complexity modifier to the Finesse ability check.

Structure of the caverns would need to follow the natural strengths of the surrounding material, and you’d probably see many areas where the foundations just couldn’t be tunneled through without affecting the structure above. This will mean curving chambers and odd shaped rooms.

The size of the area of effect it a major factor. It is more complex to tunnel a long extended area than a shallow alcove. Typical magnitudes for complexity can handle this scaling up well.

The spell needs to be either cast in partnership with an Intellego effect, or have an Intellego effect built in to verify there is no negative effect on the strength of the surrounding materials.

There is also the major consideration that many places just would not be appropriate targets for the spell. A solid mass of bedrock is the ideal target, and anything less is going to have either only a fraction of the benefit, or be totally inappropriate for the spell.

Example spells,

A simple approach for these sets of spells is to design them as individual parts of a more complex set of spells, and allow the interaction to build to a complex outcome. Firstly I think it makes a lot of sense to separate the spell to find and plan the carving effect from the spell which performs the work. That adds a requirement that the caster have the Intellego spell active when they are casting, and that makes good practical sense.

Here are two variants of the carvings spell, for different size results.

Hollow the Mystic Vault

Perdo Terram 25, 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 not allow for a sophisticated level of detail, and is limited to simple sets of interconnected geometric shapes. A maximum volume of up to 10 cubic paces of stone can be affected at one time.

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

Hollow the Mystic Mausoleum

Perdo Terram 35, 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 not allow for a sophisticated level of detail, and is limited to simple sets of interconnected geometric shapes. A maximum volume of up to 1000 cubic paces of stone can be affected at one time.

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

Then the caster will need a way to determine where to tunnel. Initially the Intellego spell was designed as Duration: Concentration however this did not seem to reflect the complexity and “what-if” style design choices the caster would be making from the information provided by the spell.

Update: This effect as originally written was lacking; D:Sun makes little sense and it needed to be T: Part to select an area of land from the whole.

Survey the Foundations of Mound and Mountain

Intellego Terram 25, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Part

The caster understands the current earthen formation across an area of natural earth and stone, and comprehends formations, features, structural stress points or weaknesses, use of foundations, and gains a detailed understanding of the ramifications of excavating within the area.

The time taken to understand the scope of an area varies with the areas size. A small area a few paces across is immediate, up to a fortress sized area which will take hours to fully comprehend.

The spell is intended to be used as part of the design of new structures, however it may also be used for a variety of other purposes, such as tracking where an underground stream travels, or where to best place sappers when attacking fortified walls.

(Base 10 for all the natural properties of an object, +1 Touch, +1 Conc, +1 Part)

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

Terram Magi, the Societas Guernici, Covenant of Hedyosmos

I’m gathering material for a new Magus, who I wish to focus on Terram magic. This post is a place to gather all the points of reference into one place so I can find the material later, and also to share the existing sources for Terrae Magi.

Initially the Magus was to be based only within the current 5th edition rules for Ars Magica, but as I read the wider source books and community written content – the core approach doesn’t sound as deep or plentiful as the “Magi Terrae” which have been detailed elsewhere. I’d like to add another line of Terram orientated

Overview of Sources:

  1. Houses of Hermes: True Lineages (HoH:TL p68) mentions that Guernicus (the founder of the House and first Quaesitor) was also a passionate Terram Magus. It does not provide much more detail, except to say that the tradition is small and still in existence, and not a “proper” Mystery Cult in terms of the source books for Ars Magica. It implies the group is an association of like minded wizards who share a common interest and may share discoveries.
  2. The Sundered Eagle: The Theban Tribunal (tSE p67) gives more details on a particular sect of the society, detailing that particular sects link to the Greek Titans and their center of power within the Covenant of Hedyosmos. It contains a brief overview of what a Terram magus of this line might be like. It also briefly explains the link between this style of earth magic and the cult of the dead. This is a useful core rules source as it also contains the initiation scripts and suggestions for powers which are appropriate (such as Elemental spirit familiars).
  3. Jarkman’s Terrae Magi / and Societas Guernici: includes a rule-set for making characters who are members of two different lines of Guernicus, the detailed Mystery Cult, new Terram spells, and a wonderful set of lore.
  4. Hermes Portal, Issue 14 – Omnibus Grimoire Terram: includes some wonderful spells, including almost a match to a “set of steps” which was an effect I’ve drafted but not as yet finished.

Thoughts on Sources:

There is a little contention between these sources, which is to be embraced. The sources for the official RAW line clearly detail that Guernicus founded a society, and not a mystery cult, yet much of the material is based upon mystery cult structures.

The initial section in HoH:TL suggests that the wider organization is open and welcoming, but also reads as if more restrictive when the members of the associations are role-played. That makes good sense and dovetails with the approaches from The Sundered Eagle and Jarkman’s pages.

I would like to see the Terrae Magi become a wider and more open association, which then contains these clutches and cults within it. The name “Students of The Stone” is very evocative and suitable. I don’t see a need to dispute any of the sources above, and would suggest a character in-play could become known as a “Student of the Stone” and be friendly with these traditions without disrupting their own path.

I’d like to detail an alternate path, which stands separate from these sources, and uses Scandinavian/Norse roots instead of Greek.

Hopefully more on that soon.

mountain-castle