A few spells inspired from Snow White for Ars Magica

Here are some spells based upon Snow White (as best as I can fit them) for Ars Magica. Some of the magical effect from the story are detailed in the core rules; such illusions, transformation, scrying, and forms of divination.

The Queen’s poisoned apple could be written many ways. A straight wounding poison, an extended sleep spell, and a faerie sleep spell. The trick with hermetic magic is to create a poison which knocks the target unconscious rather than wounding them. A Creo spell shouldn’t be able to replace the process for creating potions although by creating specific poisons within another substance is a work around. YSMV. My thought is that a toxin can wound, fatigue, sleep, or other effect; and the trick is really getting the target to eat it.

This means proposing a new Creo Aquam guideline for a fatiguing toxin instead of a wounding one. Not a huge leap.

  • Creo Aquam Guideline: Base 5, to inflict 1 level of fatigue if a Stamina check is failed against a difficulty of 3.
  • Each magnitude adds an additional fatigue level. Optionally each magnitude also increases the difficulty check by 3.

Draft of Weariness

Creo Aquam 20, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

The draft of toxin conjured inflicts a fatigue level if the imbiber fails a Stamina check vs 3.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Sun)

Which means a low powered spell matching the poison-apple using fatigue would be as below, noting that the higher of the two base effects is chosen; Base 1 CrHe to create a fruit, and Base 5 for the poison.

Fruit Created for Suffering

Creo Herbam / Aquam 20, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

The food conjured is tainted with a powerful magical toxin which inflicts a fatigue level on anyone who eats it if they fail a Stamina check vs 3. The spell may create a single discrete item of unprocessed food, such as fruits.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, Herbam requisite free)

Fruit Imbued with Suffering

Muto Herbam / Aquam 20, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

The targeted food is tainted with a powerful magical toxin which inflicts a fatigue level on anyone who eats it if they fail a Stamina check vs 3. The taint becomes harmless when the spell expires.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, Aquam requisite free)

The base for altering Herbam is MuHe3 however as the base for the toxin was CrAq5 that was used, which rationalised the free Aq requisite.

All the new spells for Ars Magica can be found here.

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Remembering those who have been lost

This post is about spells to hold and recall memories and emotions in Ars Magica. One of my characters has the Lost Love flaw, where he is haunted and deeply affected by the death of his wife. It is a difficult theme to bring into a typical quasi-fantasy roleplaying setting. It is also a theme which is challenging for groups to contend with – it is a very real emotional state which I’m sure nobody wants to trivialize. Heck I was nervous taking the flaw for the same reasons. How can a play-by-post game treat the subject respectfully? I think these factors contribute to the aspect of the character not really being played often.

When I was reading the source books looking for material for a new character a description of a spell guideline jumped out – the ability to change a memory or emotion into a physical object (Ars Magica source book Houses of Hermes: Societies, p70). This is strikingly apt for a character who is haunted by a lost loved one. Here is a way to use the game mechanics to reinforce the character’s loss in-game.

Further the section of the source book also does not have a named spell for the guideline, just the guideline itself (Muto Mentum Base 5 to alter a memory or emotion into a new form) and a reference back to a more powerful variant in the core rules. Excellent. The effect as I imagine it is similar to that of the “pensive” as presented in the Harry Potter books – a way to withdraw a memory from the target’s mind, but still allow them (and perhaps others) to view it, to experience it.

If enchanted into a device, a memory or emotional device of an event could be made quasi-permanent. The user of the spell need never miss a detail of something important and always have it ready for analysis.

Our Foremost Memories Consigned to Stone

Muto Mentum 20 / Terram, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

The target touched has a significant memory of their choosing transformed from their mind into a small stone curio. The form of the curio object will be influenced by the caster’s sigil, the memory, and the desires of the target, but may be no larger than a 1 foot cube of stone. Shape and elegance should be challenged with a Finesse roll, at SG’s discretion.

As per HoH:S p.70 the owner of the memories can recall the memory accurately in full detail by holding the curio, and others may well also be able to access the memory.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, Terram free)

As written the guideline and effect implies that the memory is no longer easy for the subject to recall (I’d argue it is removed totally). This is very useful in the idea I have in mind for my character – a Magus who removes his most harrowing memories at the start of each day so he can be productive, but who is certain that they will return at nightfall, so he can continue to honor and remember his lost love.

I chose stone as it is a strong substance and my character has a beginning score in Terram. The core spell mentioned above which turns the entire mind of the caster into a bird uses Animal; and uses it without “paying” the magnitude of an additional form – no neither did I in this spell design. The spells are sympathetically related.

And an effect to view the memories.

Our Foremost Memories Perceived

Intellego Mentum 15, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Individual

Allows the caster to perceive the memory which was transformed into an object. If the object was not transformed then the spell has no effect. Requisites are required at cast time for the form of the object which contains the memory.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration)

Then two similar effects, for emotions rather than memories. Interesting to ponder what removing doubt, fear, guilt, or love might do to a character.

Our Foremost Feelings Consigned to Stone

Muto Mentum 20 / Terram, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

The target touched has a significant emotion of their choosing transformed from their mind into a small stone curio. The form of the curio object will be influenced by the caster’s sigil, the memory, and the desires of the target, but may be no larger than a 1 foot cube of stone. Shape and elegance should be challenged with a Finesse roll, at SG’s discretion.

As per HoH:S p.70 the owner of the memories can recall the memory accurately in full detail by holding the curio, and others may well also be able to access the memory.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, Terram free)

Our Foremost Feelings Perceived

Intellego Mentum 15, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Individual

Allows the caster to perceive the emotion which was transformed into an object. If the object was not transformed then the spell has no effect. Requisites are required at cast time for the form of the object which contains the emotion.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration)

Placed into an enchanted object, the effects could be set to use the Device Maintains Concentration modifier, and a few uses, so that a large number of objects could be created and maintained by an enchanted device. The Intellego effect to view the memories or emotions would be very aptly enchanted into a scrying pool or mirror.

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

winters-grave

New Ars Target: Container

I was pondering the well known carrying items, like a magic chest, or bag of holding, and thought that the Ars Magica spell guidelines could be extended to have a new target called Container. It would function much the same as T: Room (a +2 mag Target), where all inhabitants of the room are affected.

Container – the spell affects everything within a container. This container must have an opening, have a easily discernible structure and boundaries, and be crafted specifically for carrying or moving. The base container may be of any size up to a coffin, large barrel, or cauldron (size +0 as base).

A key difference is the container does not have to be closed or locked to be valid, or even be water-tight as cups, bird cages, vases, sacks, or backpacks are examples of valid targets. A sack or pouch could not really be considered a room.

With an increase in magnitude larger containers are allowed, such as +1 mag to allow affecting the contents of a massive chest, and +2 mag to affect the contents of a horse drawn cart.

The fundamental difference between using T: Room vs T: Container is the usage of the containers as typically being portable. Some hermetic spells may make use of T: Room to achieve T: Container in the setting, and I’d suggest this guideline be along side (although probably replacing it) for those effects.

As a minor hermetic breakthrough T: Container seems good enough to be worthy of a Bonisagus’s time, but still not so overt in power to be abusive. It would sit within the spell mechanics at the same degree of power as T: Room, and is intended as an extension to the regular targets already in the game, rather than as a target that would require a special virtue to use.