Jack’s Beanstalk in Ars Magica

With all the Game of Thrones, Frozen, and Snow White I thought to give Jack and the Beanstalk a try too. First among the fantastic elements in Jack and the Beanstalk is the beanstalk itself.

Conjure a Beanstalk to the Clouds

Creo Herbam 45, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

The beanstalk created by this spell is enormous, as wide as several oak trees at its base and reaches far into the clouds. The beanstalk must be rooted into solid earth for the spell to work.

(Base 1, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +8 size, +1 unnaturally strong)

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

Stat Boosting Rituals, Part 7 (Improving Items)

Continuing from Stat Boosting Rituals, Part 6, … to discuss making physical items better. It is something very left of center, and is based upon the idea that an item can be made closer to its ideal perfect form.

Considering that repeatedly cast powerful rituals can change the stats of a person, it stands to reason that other objects can also be improved in the same manner. Animals are an obvious extension of the Corpus and Mentem guidelines, so why not also objects?

Each type of object needs a separate ritual, as its generally bad spell design in the Ars setting to try to affect many very different types of objects with the same Creo-ish effect.

A reason why this type of transformation has probably been avoided is the Vis cost vs the silver pound cost to buy high quality items. High quality items can be commissioned with silver, and casting any ritual is expensive in vis, and Magi tend to save it for serious matters.

Ars Magica’s City & Guild source-book (p.70) has rules for the quality of items: Shoddy, Standard, Superior, Excellent, and then Wondrous.

Reviewing those rules gives two advances for an item beyond Standard craftsmanship, without becoming Wondrous. I’m excluding Wondrous items as they are akin to enchanted devices and are designed as one of a kind items for specific people. It is reasonable to state that they are beyond the capability of a ritual to improve a normal item into. Wondrous items are also very rare in actual play I’ve seen.

An aside – the City & Guide book also stipulates that magically enchanted items must be of Superior quality, else they suffer penalties to the lab total (see the inset box p.70). A rule that I’ve not seen often enforced, often hand-waved. That means troupes will need to decide if a typical magical device is Standard or Superior, especially if casting this style ritual after the item has been acquired and enchanted.

The difficult choice is to assign a baseline for objects. For living creatures the base starts from level 30 to make an attribute average (meaning +0), and scales per magnitude beyond. Lacking a better argument, that’s the method for items too.

New suggested Creo spell guidelines, with Forms appropriate to the item to be improved:

  • Base 30, to improve a crafted item from quality Shoddy to Standard.
  • Base 35, to improve a crafted item one quality level, up to Superior.
  • Base 40, to improve a crafted item one quality level, up to Excellent.

Practically the base 30 is a waste, and the base 35 might be useful to cast with a circle target on all items (such as weapons, as a level 40 final spell effect) in the covenant armory. Conversely if the ritual is invented using Target Circle then there is no reason to not cast it on every item available.

The Perfect Sword

Creo Terram / Animal Herbam 45, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Circle, Ritual

The targeted swords are improved in quality by one category, to a limit of Excellent. Any type of sword may be affected by the ritual, and the requisite allows for any non-Terram based components to be improved.

(Base 40, +1 Touch, +0 Momentary, +0 Circle, Ritual)

Practically if a Magus was enhancing their prized sword from Superior to Excellent, and also upgraded a selection of other weapons by spending 9 pawns of vis – I’d allow that. It’s a fairly high expense compared to the game mechanic gain.

The same effect could be reworked for any item such tools, armor, books (which opens a Pandora’s Box of rules from the Covenants source-book on quality), to gain the positive skill and combat bonuses which Superior and Excellent items bring.

A meta-game consideration I’m pondering is what happens when the item is made “better” using these rituals and it is already enchanted. Superficially I think it shouldn’t matter – as it is the same item after the spell is cast. My reasoning is that a person can have active enchantments in a familiar bond or a longevity ritual and still be improved by magic. The same applies here.

Another consideration is the use of Finesse for conjuring items using Creo. A troupe will need to decide if Finesse rolls are needed, and I’d suggest that they can be hand waved due to the high base level used in the spell; especially when compared to crafting an item with Rego magic, which certainly do need Finesse.

Then lastly while the ArsMagica rules are being broken by this there is the consideration that the rituals might also “pay” for complexity to affect metals, gems, or other steps in materials magnitude. I’m ignoring that complexity, as it places the ritual level far beyond reason. If it were required I’d alter the base level down from 30 to 20 to account for another baseline at 15 which repairs all damage to an item (from Magi of Hermes source-book). If the base then starts from 20, then a metal item is improved by a level 30 ritual anyway due to the +2 mag cost for targeting/creating metals.

See my Ars Magica grimoire for hundreds of other new spells.

Lost Spells (part 5) Guide a Missile

When originally written as Guiding the Hunter’s Arrow the spell increased the accuracy of the missile, which under 5th edition Ars magica is somewhat different.

Guiding the Arrow of the Hunter

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

Targeted missile is directed unerringly by the caster. The missile can travel as far as the caster can see, and cannot miss, but is resisted.

(Base 3, +3 Sight)

Guiding the Arrows of the Company

Rego Herbam 20, R: Sight, D: Momentary, T: Group

Targeted missiles are directed unerringly by the caster, affecting many scores of missiles concurrently. The spell cannot miss, but is resisted.

(Base 3, +3 Sight, +2 Group)

Edit – note that these spells do not alter the range or damage of the projectile, they just guide to a target. 

Then as an item: 

The Hunter’s Wish (ReHe 20) – a bow enhanced to cast Guiding the Arrow of the Hunter when the user utters a command word while firing. This allows the bow to be used normally against magical opponents (who may have MR), and to be deadly accurate against normal opponents. Enchanted as ReHe 10 above, with +10 unlimited uses.

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

Herbam spells for vaults in trees

Here are a few Herbam spells which are more odds & ends rather than game changing effects. Very darn near useless for a magus living away from large trees, but useful for those in and around forests.

Bolthole in the Heart of the Oak

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

This spell opens a large chamber within a targeted tree, reshaping the tree unnaturally if necessary. The chamber may be up to 10 cubic paces in size.

The contents of the chamber are ejected from the tree when the duration expires.

(Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +1 Part, +1 size)

Vault in the Heart of the Oak

Muto Herbam 20, R: Touch, D: Moon, T: Part

This spell creates a small chamber up to a pace to a side within a tree within which items can be stored. The shape of the chamber may be adjusted to suit the tree and likewise the tree will reshape itself to accommodate the chamber, as long as it could do so. The contents of the chamber are ejected from the tree when the duration expires.

(Base 3, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +1 Part)

Shape Wood as Clay

Muto Herbam / Terram 15, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Part

This spell changes the consistency of any Herbam based material to that of clay, up to a pace to a side in size. The inclusion of the Target:Part allows for modifying smaller parts of much larger plant based objects.

(Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Conc, +1 Part, Terram free)

Device: A Secret in the Weirwood

This small carved wooden disc is enchanted as a simple magical device to create a cache within a large tree. When applied to the tree it causes a small receptacle to be formed in the tree allowing the storage of objects. The disc is left within the cache as well, providing the ongoing magical effect sustaining the cache. A command word is spoken aloud to open and close the cache, and the cache may be moved by moving the disc to a different tree.

Effect as per Vault in the Heart of the Oak (above) modified to be a constant effect (see Ars p 99), which becomes a level 22 Muto Herbam effect.

Find over 400 new spells for Ars Magica in my Grimoire.

Sample enchanted items for automatic doors

Automatic doors are a little silly as an enchanted device in Ars Magica, mainly due to the cost of time and vis it would take, however they would also add a certain majesty to a covenant (its also saves two servants standing just off-stage pulling them open while making a subtle “swish” noise).

The effect is basically the same as a spell previously written – The Subservient Lumber, reworked within an enchanted device. I chose to create the effect slightly higher using Range: Touch in the device so that the enchanted device could be moved from door to door as needed, rather than enchanting the door itself.

Enchanted Door Plate  (ReHe29)

This small brass plate is mounted upon a door and causes the door to open and close automatically as people approach and exit.

Effect: An Animated Wooden Object

Rego Herbam 25, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

This effect animates a wooden object so performs a single simple task, such as opening and closing whenever a person approaches.

(Base 10, +1 Touch, +2 Sun)

(Constant effect: +1 for two uses a day, +3 environmental trigger)

Or a slightly more efficient build for a room with multiple doors, as long as they are high volume areas.

Enchanted Sign of Welcome (ReHe39)

This small brass panel is mounted on the wall of a chamber and causes each door to open and close as needed when a person approaches.

Effect: A Room of Animated Wood

Rego Herbam 35, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Room

This effect animates all the chosen wooden objects in a room of the same type to performs a single simple task, such as opening and closing whenever a person approaches.

(Base 10, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Room)

(Constant effect: +1 for two uses a day, +3 environmental trigger)

Many other new spells for Ars Magica can be found in my grimoire, or other new magical devices.

ffxdooor

Necromancy spells, part 9

The run of new and tailored spells for Ars Magica themed for necromancy will probably cease playing though my mind soon, till then here are five more new spells. These are not directly necromantic, but were dreamed up with a necromancer in mind. Not all effects have to be about making skin and bone move unnaturally (fortunately).

Sight of the Pallbearer

Intellego Terram / Herbam 20, R: Personal, D: Concentration, T: Vision

This spell allows the caster’s vision to be unaffected by Terram and Herbam material. The caster can see through ten cubic paces of soil, a cubic pace of stone, and a few inches of wood or other Herbam material. The material appears translucent and almost completely transparent.

(Base 2, +1 Conc, +4 Vision, +1 Herbam)

Then same desire using a different method. With a level 20 version and a level 5 version, it’s an easy choice unless the Magi’s arts are particularly specialised.

Invisible Earth

Perdo Imagonem 5, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Part

This spell renders an a volume of earth or stone invisible, allowing the what is beneath, inside, or behind the affected material to be viewed. Up to 10 cubic paces of material can be affected with each casting, and the caster can choose the shape and orientation if the affected mass.

(Base 1, +1 Touch, +1 Conc, +1 Part, +1 flexibility in shape and material)

And now some creepy spells using corpses and the dead as material, to exploit a focus in Necromancy.

Wall of Desecrated Dead

Creo Corpus 40, R: Voice, D: Sun, T: Group

This spell creates a large wall-like barricade made from 100 large human bodies, which are bound around each other to form a solid obstruction. The caster can choose the position and size of the wall.

(Base 5, +2 Voice, +2 Sun, +2 Group, +1 Size)

The Danse Macabre

Rego Corpus 20, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Group

This spell gathers all the non-living human remains (equivalent mass of 10 large human bodies) from around the caster and places it at a location chosen within the spells range.

(Base 4, +2 Voice, +2 Group)

Order According to Owner

Intellego Corpus / Rego 20, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Group

This spell separates a mass of human remains so that the parts of each individual are unmixed from the other.

(Base 4, +2 Voice, +2 Group)

Find all my new Ars Magica Necromancy spells by using the Necromancy tag.

And here are some useful resources from around the internet: Project Redcap’s Corporeal Necromancer TemplateRPG Net on Necromancers, The Ancient Magic fro Ars Magica book, and a bit on the TV Tropes. These and other spells can be found in the now darn large list of custom and new Ars Magica spells. Now 400 new spells!

Spells for wrecking wooden items

A two quick spells for destroying items made from dead plant based materials. Very handy spells in the medieval setting due to how many items have wooden parts.

Curse of Holed Oak

Perdo Herbam 15, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Part

This spell destroys a whole or part of a non-living wood based item, with a volume equivalent to one standard plant. The spell may affect composite items which have wood within them due to the Target: Part.

(Base 4, +2 Voice, +1 Part)

Curse of Holed Wall and Bow Afar

Perdo Herbam 25, R: Sight, D: Momentary, T: Part

This spell destroys a whole or part of a non-living wood based item, with a volume equivalent to the volume of ten standard plants. The spell may affect composite items which have wood within them due to the Target: Part.

(Base 4, +3 Sight, +1 Part, +1 size)

The second spell affects a volume that is more than enough to make a massive hole in a ship’s hull, ruin a cart, remove a wooden door, or wreck reinforcements. The first spell might need to be cast many times to truly wreck a large item, but would hamper a ship or cart straight away.

Affecting living wood is slightly harder, but is seldom needed at voice range so can still be made a low level spell. The effect below is intended to cut smoothly into or through the base of a tree to allow it to be felled effortlessly.

The Efficient Woodsman

Perdo Herbam 15, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Part

This spell destroys a part of a living tree or plant, with a volume up to equal to the standard Herbam volume (a plant one pace in each direction). The shape and place is chosen by the caster’s touch.

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

The Efficient Harvest

Perdo Herbam 25, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Group

This spell destroys the same part or spot on a set of living trees or plants, with a volume up to equal to the standard Herbam volume (a plant one pace in each direction). The shape and place is chosen by the caster. Target: Part is incorporated into the spell, within the Group target.

(Base 5, +2 Voice, +2 Group)

Then within an item, for harvesting trees in bulk, and could also be used on many types of crops. An alternative would be to use the single action harvest spell with Touch trigger & Unlimited uses (which allows for a level 25 item); final levels are very similar.

A Wondrous Harvester (Lesser enchanted device – PeHe 28) – a small bronze axe trinket set on a chain, which is worn around the user’s neck. To activate the user hold the axe blade with their fingertips, and makes a scythe motion with their other arm. Effect as per The Efficient Harvest

Perdo Herbam 25, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Group

This spell destroys the same part or spot on a set of living trees or plants, with a volume up to equal to the standard Herbam volume (a plant one pace in each direction). The shape and place is chosen by the caster. Target: Part is incorporated into the spell, within the Group target.

(Base 5, +2 Voice, +2 Group) (+3 six uses per day)

This and over 390 other new spells for Ars Magica can be found here.