A Miscellaneous Destruction spell

Rego Terram acts as the default form for moving miscellaneous items around, and destroying small things of all forms is almost as handy – so this spell is Perdo utility spell for generic destruction.

The intent is to design a spell which is usable as a more generic defense spell which could then be Mastered and fast cast. I’d argue this effect is no more of a rort than The Unseen Arm (Ars Magica page 155).

Miscellaneous Destruction

Perdo Terram 25, R: Voice, D:Momentary, T: Part

A miscellaneous object or substance is destroyed by this effect, or if the object is larger than its standard size the caster can destroy part of the item.

Casting requisites are required for non-Terram substances. Complexity in design allows for destruction of more than the base material type in each substance. E.g. metals are effects within Terram.

(Base 3 for destruction of earth, +2 for more complex materials such including metal Terram, +2 Voice, +1 Part, +1 flexibility in approach)

I can see a generic destruction effect being controversial as it might replace spells for specific forms. The real problem was deciding what the base effect level might be and if additional mags were needed for the general approach. I decided to add additional magnitudes to reflect both. This is a very desirable spell for a Perdo specialist who can then master one effect instead of many – thus it might break the first rule.

This and around 395 other new spells for Ars Magica can be found here.

How to calculate Ars Magica General spell levels

I had a query on two Ars Magica spells that appeared ostensibly to be doing the same thing, but have different final effects. From my first look it appeared one was incorrect in the final spell level. In fact both were right, but it took worked examples for me to understand it.

  • Paralysis of the Gift (PeVi20), from HP p.86. At level 20 it reduces casting totals by 10, R: Touch, D: Conc.
  • Belittle the Ferocious Warlock (PeVi20), from MoH p134. At level 20 it reduces casting totals by 5, R: Sight, D: Diam.

They are both using this PeVi guideline:

Reduce the casting total for all magic cast by the target by half the (level +2 magnitudes) of the spell. If 2 or more spells affect one target, only the highest has any effect: the penalties do not add. The spell must penetrate the target’s Magic Resistance in order to have any effect.

Why can two Perdo Vim spells be at the same level and have significantly different effects? Well, the trickĀ  is due to the way the guidelines use the term “level”, and the way that the changes to Range, Duration, or Target are performed for general spells. The Paralysis of the Gift effect requires R:Touch which is slightly lower level, so more of the magnitudes can be applied into the core spell power.

e.g. breaking down the spells we get:

  • PotG = ((Lvl 20 – 2 mags for Touch/Conc) +2 mags )/2 = -10 mod to CT.
  • BtFW = ((Lvl 20 – 4 mags for Sight/Diam) +2 mags )/2 = -5 mod to CT.

Fundamentally the level is always the spell level the character is seeking to learn the spell at, and the guideline’s use of +1 mag or +x mags is where the adjustments for Range, Duration, and Target are applied. It would be clearer to say “chosen effect level”.

Hope this helps a little, writing it did.


What should a beginning wizard be able to do?

When designing a Magus character is Ars Magica there are as many styles of wizard as you please. However a wizard who is over specialized, or who ignores some basic abilities might face some early challenges.

What should a beginning wizard be able to do?

  1. Defend or extricate themselves from a small group of mundane opponents. That could be a small bonus to soak and some weaponry, or a good few offensive spells, or whatever. Be ready for a basic scuffle.
  2. Neutralize, annihilate, or at the very least harm another creature; particularly at a Range beyond Touch. Touch is a little too close for many starting wizards.
  3. Affect a magical creature with a might score of 5-10. If the character has a large BOOM spell for inflicting large amounts of damage they should also consider another which is useful against creatures with Magical Resistance
  4. Because stories often take the character to new places – they should be able to travel in some manner with comfort. That might be teleportation, or transforming into a bird, or flying, or even just not suffering the chills and inconvenience of regular foot travel.

What should be considered?

  1. Spell to find & extract Vis.
  2. Be able to dispel your own effects if needed.
  3. Spell to maintain Duration:Concentration spells.
  4. A spell to bind wounds or mitigate damage.
  5. Interaction with mundanes, or ways to deal with it. 

Shamefully almost every Magus I’ve ever created fails some these points. Ah well, that’s the nature of the game – to play interesting stories. If the magus has all the answers then perhaps the stories might be missing too.