Enchanted Device: Paper Armour (stolen)

A neat idea lifted from Sea of Stars is a Paper Charm that gives the target better armour (that’s armor for you North American folks) by Sean Holland. In the example the AC is improved moderately, which implies the effect is overall shielding the target from harm; a form of damage reduction in non-DND speak.

The priestess walked slowly down the line of nervous villagers, each clutching a simple tool that they hoped to use as an effective weapon. Stopping in front of each, she placed a charm against each villagers chest and in a second, they were clad in white paper armor.  While the protection the charms gave was limited, it gave the villagers hope that they would be able to stand against those who would harm their homes and families.

These paper charm are marked with the symbols for protection and safety.  When the command words (or prayers) are spoken and the charm is placed on a person, it unfolds into a suit of paper armor to protect them for a short time.

The armor has no weight and causes no penalties, it lasts for three hours and then dissolves into a handful of shredded paper.

Here is the same effect written up as a device with charges (in effect a temporary magic device) for Ars Magica. Paper warrior from Kubo and the Two Strings
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Hermetic Recycling of Covenant Scrap, a sample magic items for Ars Magica

Goal in this blog post was to make an item which processes and separates substances into like types, and then allows them to reform as usable segments. Proposed as several “machine-like processes”, the first which separates different forms from one another, the second which separates substances within a form, and the third which removes a sub-type.

A tent was chosen to be portable and allow the magical effect to utilise Target: Room, and charms were used so they could be portable between tents and rooms – perhaps used in the same room or materials might be moved between them.

Effect: Charm of Separation of Four Types (Re Te / Mu He An Aq 40)

The small silver charm shaped as one pointed cross set within a circle, is pinned into place on the inside of the targeted room, and activated to separate materials into their art type. Some uses will see the charm displayed along side its brethren on handing strips. If present, the materials are sorted into barrels or shelves in each location.

Separation of Stone, Stakes, Solvent and Sinew

Rego Terram / Muto Herbam Animal Aquam 30, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Room

This effect alters the physical properties of all the affected materials to become malleable, allowing the base type of elements to be separated from each other toward the edges of the room. All materials in the room are separated according to their Hermetic Art type to the cardinal points in the room, with the remaining materials left in the centre.

(Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Room, +1 Muto sub-effect, +2 affect processed and crafted materials, reqs free) 

(+10 Unlimited uses)

Then a charm for sub-division by Art type is needed. For simplicity, only one is presented here, assuming a similar level is needed with different requisites.

Effect: Charm of Separation of Within Terram (Re Te / Mu 40)

The small silver charm shaped as two pointed crosses overlapping at 45 degrees to make a starburst. If present, the materials are sorted into barrels or shelves in each location.

Separation of Steel, Stone, and Sand

Rego Terram / Muto 30, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Room

This effect alters the physical properties of all the affected materials to become malleable, allowing the base type of elements to be separated from each other toward the edge of the room. All Terram based materials in the room are separated according to the sub-type Hermetic Art type such as stone, steel, sand or clay, with any remaining materials aside.

(Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Room, +1 Muto sub-effect, +2 affect processed and crafted materials, reqs free) 

(+10 Unlimited uses)

Then a clean-up spell to dispose of the unwanted matter.

Effect: Charm of Clean-up (PeTe/AnAqHeCo 35)

A small silver charm shaped as a circle with an x across its diamater, with a small hollow within the corss point of the X.

Disposal of the Unsorted Remains

Perdo Terram / Animal, Aquam, Auram, Herbam, Corpus 25, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Room

The non-living material placed in the centre of the targeted room are destroyed.

(Base 5, +2 Voice, +2 general materials)

(+10 Unlimited uses)

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.

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A floating book, all a wizard needs

An item of fancy and indulgence for those Magi who insist on looking the part and being most prepared. It might also make a good justification for a lab improvement item with a focus on texts or reading. This is a similar function to the Bookstand of Hespera (Covenants, pg 121) except it affects just a book rather than a place to write and work. More purposeful for reference and study instead of creation. It will also cause warping in the target books over a long period.

Bookmark for a Text at Hand  (ReHeAn 25) is a small plate which is touched to the desired text and allows the text to float as the caster desires.

Ready an Attentive Tome

Rego Herbam / Animal 15, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Individual

The targeted book, scroll, or text floats next to the caster and can be set in position via concentration.

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

(+5 Device maintains concentration, +5 for 24 uses per day)

With a final device level of ReHeAn 25 the devices are still cheap enough to be crafted by more junior magi, and may well be used as lab texts for an inexpensive boost to labs. The bookstand from covenants “adds two points to a specialisation in texts“, and has a slightly higher baseline although lower final level. This device is designed to that it can be used to direct many books at once, each sustained by the bookmark and controlled by the user’s concentration. It makes sense that it would offer a similar bonus and also have a more diverse application than a singular bookstand.

Rapid growth of a natural grove, room, or wall

This is a spell which rapidly grows a set of trees, cast on an existing seeds or saplings, allowing their branches to intertwine to the caster’s design. The intent is to cast upon many plants at once to imitate rooms, walkways, barriers, etc. Spells which do this are frequently high level as the smallest base effect is level 15, and from there the magnitudes stack quickly. A subtle caster may mark trees amongst a wider set with a sigil or paint so they can be easily identified as a Target: Group.

Although it would only be a note in the setting, the same spell could be used to guide the rapid growth of plants such as grape vines or fruit trees on farms in a manner which makes them easier to manage.

Growth of the Structured Grove

Creo Herbam / Rego 45, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Group

The targeted seeds and saplings mature over the day duration to their adult size in an alignment and layout to suit the casters desire. Branches may be intertwined, leaves given favorable angles, and limited only to the broad fundamentals of their plant type.

(Base 15, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Group, +1 Rego sub-effect which dictates shape)

This spell is part of the free new spells compendium for Ars Magica.

Maintenance and Cleaning spells

Replacing the work based activities of servants and grogs with magic is interesting. It can be argued that it helps keep covenant costs or staff numbers down, but also that the vis spent is really wasted as it could be used for so much more (spend silver instead of vis). Simple work replacement devices can turn menial life of the Middle Ages into something akin to our lives in modern times.

These are work replacement spell effects, and some parts are based upon the enchanted devices such as the Abluere Magica (presented in Covenants sourcebook p 52), with parameters changed to affect larger volumes, add extra materials, or to provide more efficiency.

The spells also demonstrate changing the normal spell Target from Individual to Circle or Room.

Work of the Wooden Tub

Rego Herbam / Animal Terram 5, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Circle

Clothes and equipment within the circle are cleaned and laundered, as if cleaned by a skilled servant. A very simple Finesse check is required to ensure success (3+), otherwise damage maybe done, items missed, or remain soiled.

(Base 4, +1 Touch, +0 Circle)

Tidy Room of the Pedantic Servant 

Rego Herbam / Animal Terram 20, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Room

The room and all its contents are ordered, squared away, and stacked neatly, as if performed by a skilled servant. A basic Finesse check is required to ensure success (3+ to 6+), otherwise damage maybe done, items missed, or remain unordered.

(Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Room, +1 complex materials)

Many hundred of new spells for Ars Magica can be found here.

Three Spells for Creating Firewood

Here are some simple spells to create cut timber, as a replacement for gathered firewood. Simple effects like this might form part of a justification for reduced covenant costs.

Two of the spells are written with a moon duration so the wood is available for a fair period of time. The spell with Sun duration may coincidentally make leaving fires overnight very safe as the fuel disappears at dusk or dawn.

Fuel for the Tired Travellers 

Creo Herbam / Perdo 5, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

This spell creates a small stack of cut timber, shaped to the casters desire. The stack is equivalent to wood from one cubic pace of wood.

(Base 2, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +0 Perdo requisite)

Fuel for the Starving Stove

Creo Herbam / Perdo 10, R: Touch, D: Moon, T: Individual

This spell creates a small stack of cut timber, shaped to the casters desire. The stack is equivalent to wood from one cubic pace of wood.

(Base 2, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +0 Perdo requisite)

Fuel for the Hungry Hearths

Creo Herbam / Perdo 20, R: Touch, D: Moon, T: Group

This spell creates a large stack of cut timber, shaped to the casters desire. The stack is equivalent to wood from ten cubic paces of wood.

(Base 2, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +2 Group, +0 Perdo requisite)

Fire’s Perfect Fuel

Perdo Aquam / Herbam 15, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Group

This spell dries and ages the targeted wood, so it is very suitable for burning. The group is equivalent to wood from ten cubic paces of wood.

(Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Group, +0 Herbam requisite)

These and many other spells are on the New Ars Magica Spells page.

It's the right idea for a huge stack of firewood except for the old tyre.