Sample enchanted items for a crossbow

After finding this image I wanted to write up a magical auto-loader for a crossbow which makes firing each round possible. Crossbows are already interesting in Ars Magica because they inflict a lot of damage (with the optional rules) with not a lot of skill if already loaded (reduced botch dice), but they are darn slow.

With the two enchanted devices I think it is reasonable that a crossbow could be fired at least once per round, if not twice per round; as all the soldier is doing is pointing and pulling the trigger. Lords of Men indicates that shooting a preloaded crossbow is a quick action, meaning the user can fire and move or fire and do something else. With these enhancements they could fire twice – perhaps each enchanted device allows firing in one round, granting two shots per round if both are used.

And the bolts being fired will not be resisted by MR. Designing and placing these items on an arbalest would be brutal, and no harder magically.

Snipers Gleam (ReHe 20)

The gleam is matched pair of brass pins depicting crossed arrows, one is placed upon a crossbow and the other upon the container of ammunition. Each time the gleam is activated it moves a bolt from the container to the crossbow in a firing position. The power is activated by specific clicking tone of the crossbow being drawn back, or a command word.

Effect: Load the crossbow

Rego Herbam 10, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Individual

A bolt is moved from a container to the crossbow or bow, loaded into a suitable firing position.

(Base 3, +2 Voice, +1 accuracy in positioning)(+10 unlimited uses)

Snipers Hold (ReTe 20)

The hold is a buckled leather band which is strapped to the soldier’s arm. The effect moves the crossbow’s metal bow after each firing, so that the holder does not need to act to redraw the bow, which saves significant time.

Effect: Draw the Crossbow

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

The crossbow’s arm is drawn back and locked properly, ready for firing. Terram is added as a requisite to allow for different materials in the crossbow’s construction.

(Base 2, +2 for metals, +2 Voice) (+10 unlimited uses)

Note: updated with the feedback below.



Fantasy Runeblade built for Ars Magica

“The runeblade is an extension of your being. A death knight cannot battle without a runeblade.”

– Instructor Razuvious

Q. What would a runeblade be like if made using Ars Magica mechanics?

A. Incredibly nasty, especially if used against mundanes. As an-ex Wow’er this post has been a long time coming and I’ve enjoyed throwing all sorts of power descriptions below, and seeing which ones suit it best. For the purposes of this post the powers have been created using the Hermetic magic rules, while in-game an infernal equivalent is very reasonable. WoW and Ars Magica deal with

Runeblades are usually swords inscribed with magical or demonic runes that grant certain powers to the wielder. All high-ranking death knights wield their own personal, named runeblade, called vampiric runeblades. However, runeblades are not unique to the Scourge. Although Frostmourne was undoubtedly the most prominent runeblade in existence, there are quite a few additional ones.

– Wowikia

In game mechanically there is a magic resistance (MR) consideration for the invested powers which alter the runeblades but to not affect anyone hit with it; normally these would also be resisted by MR which in turn mean the weapon would be useless against any creature or person with MR. In my opinion and frequent house-rule is the non-material powers do not get stopped by MR. Likewise a power can be resisted and the physical sword blade can still hurt the opponent. The supernatural effect is resisted, but the steel is not. This is so that magical weapons do not need to be over engineered for the game and interactions with MR are simpler. YSMV.

Some sample powers might be:

Arcane Link – 1x pawn vis, as the runeblade is a fixed arcane connection to the owner.

Cause Fatigue – PeIg 38, (Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Animal targets, +5 for 24 uses per day, +20 for Penetration +40, +3 specific owner only), if being held by the owner the next creature struck suffers a Fatigue level of exhaustion.

Dance and Float – ReTe28, (Base 4, +1 Concentration, +2 extra strength to stay in place, +5 device maintains concentration, +5 for 24 uses per day, +3 specific owner only), the sword may be commanded to float and dance in place, and cannot be moved by anyone else.

Dark Whispers – CrMe 43, (Base 3, +4 Arcane, +3 Moon, +5 for 24 uses per day, +5 for +10 penetration, +3 cannot affect owner), after touching blood the sword will whisper to the target who hears an eerie and disturbing voice in their mind speaking of their downfall or death.

Destruction of Men and Beasts – PeCo45, (Base 15, +1 Touch, +1 Animal targets, +10 unlimited uses, +10 for Penetration +20, +3 cannot affect the owner), inflicts a heavy wound on any human touched by the blade. This power may be resisted by powerful opponents, however it is designed to be devistating to lesser creatures.

Encase in Ice – CrAq30, (Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +5 for 24 uses per day, +17 for Penetration +34, +3 specific owner only), the next target touched with the blade is encased in ice, likely stopping all movement and soon to suffocate. Creature up to size +1 can be encased.

Eerie Light – CrIg17, (Base 3, +14 Constant effect), the blade always glows with an eerie blue and white light akin to torchlight.

Indestructible – MuTe24, (Base 4, +2 metal, +14 Constant effect), the blade is all but indestructible.

Wracking Pain – PeCo40, (Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +3 specific user not affected, +10 unlimited uses, +17 for +34 Penetration), if touched by anyone except the owner the power inflicts pain upon them until the next sunrise or sunset.