Penetration HR for Item Creation using Arcane Connections

In many myths and stories weapons and devices are crafted to hurt specific creatures, or a type of creature. Ars Magica does not specifically support powers meant for classes or types of opponents. Examples like the way Stormbringer from the Elric saga drinks energy, or Sting from the Lord of the Rings warns when orcs are near.

In Ars Magica items can be designed with powers to affect supernatural creatures however often these creatures will have resistance to spells and powers. As Penetration vs MR is the existing mechanic in-play to represent this I think it makes sense to provide options for Penetration which empathise the saga and story aspects of these special tools.

These are the types of proposed special options in item creation in Ars, all which modify how an item calculates its penetration score for a particular power:

  • Prescribed Penetration
  • Entity Penetration
  • Arcane Penetration

Note that if any of these options for additional penetration are used together their effects are not multiplicative, meaning that they modify the base amount of penetration in the enchantment, not the boosted amount.

Prescribed Penetration (+5) – Penetration of invested powers is enhanced when used with the Target for whom the AC applies, and is otherwise ineffective. The goal with this style is to prescribe the type of target and how the AC is used within the enchantment.

This adds half again the Penetration point already invested into the invested power design, however the invested power has zero penetration against other targets.

Invested powers using Prescribed Penetration must declare the material and technique of ACs which can be used and the manner in which the power interacts with the item. The method must also match thematically to the use of the power and item.

i.e. a magical sword could be given a “blood drinking” power to gain enhanced penetration against foes. That invested power could not make use of another AC which wasn’t blood.

The AC need not be “fixed” or permanent, however the AC must be physically touching the item when the power is invoked.

For example: Blood on a sword. Powers invested in a magical blade have enhanced penetration only if the wielder is able to first inflict at least a light would with the blade (or otherwise draw blood of the victim onto the blade).

Entity Penetration (+10) This option links the invested power to a fixed arcane connection to a specific individual, thing, or place. When used this enhances the penetration by doubling the invested base item penetration.

Arcane Penetration (+10) the penetration of the invested effect uses the penetration skill of the person activating the power, as per the Form + Tech + Penetration ability with all normal modifications for the arts of the invested effect rather than points invested in Penetration.

Arcane Penetration also requires that the activator also be touching the magical device when the power with this option is activated, and when a power with this modification is used an arcane connection is formed from the activator to the item for one week per magnitude of the power.

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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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Strange item – Wand of Cleaning

Inspired from a strange Atlas Games Ars Magica forum post, here is a Wand of Steam cleaning. Breakdown was:

  • CrAu base of 5 for slightly unnatural effect.
  • Rego sub-effect for the removal.
  • +1 Touch, Mom, Ind,
  • maybe +1 mag for the cleaning of an entire unspecified thing
  • Also requires a finesse check to use, botches might wreck the material.
  • It might also scold but do no real damage (perhaps +0 damage roll).

Wand of Steam Cleaning – (CrAu/Re25) a hardwood wand twisted by the warping effects of water and time, which is enchanted to activate when run across a targeted person or item of clothing.

Steamed to Perfection

Creo Auram / Rego 15, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Individual

The targeted item is steamed in a particular manner which removes all the dirt and muck from the item. Metals are cleaned and materials freshened. A Finesse check of 6+ is required to ensure the steaming is effective, and botched may indicate the damage. If used against a living target the steam inflicts +0 damage. The caster is protected from damage by the rego requisite.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 for complex motion)

(As an enchanted wand: +10 unlimited uses)

Find the other enchanted devices for Ars.

More spells and items for lab improvement, p4

For November 2017 Ars Magica writing challenge – I’m doing one spell a day.

Warmth of the Cozy Solar

Creo Ignem 15, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Individual

This room is provided a pleasant heat, granting the Superior Heating attribute to a lab (Cov p.114).

(Base 2 for warm to touch, +1 Touch, +2 Concentration, +2 size)

Device effect total 14 (+1 for 2 Uses/day, +3 trigger: sunrise/sunset)

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

More spells and items for lab improvement, p3

For November 2017 Ars Magica writing challenge – I’m doing one spell a day.

Touch of Daylight 

Creo Ignem 10, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Individual

The object touched shines like the sun on a cloudy day. If used often within a lab it grants the Superior Lighting attribute (Cov p.114) without the upkeep cost

(Base 4 for light of a cloudy day, +1 Touch, +1 Conc)

Device effect total 20 (+5 Device maintains concentration, +5 for 24 uses per day)

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

More spells and items for lab improvement, p2

For November 2017 Ars Magica writing challenge – I’m doing one spell a day.

Insulation for the Dedicated Halls

Perdo Imagonem 25, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Structure

This effect stops any sounds from entering or leaving the structure, granting the “Well Insulated” lab virtue (+1 Safety, +1 Aesthetics).

(Base 3 to remove sound, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +3 Structure)

Device effect total 29 (2 uses per day +1, environmental trigger +3 = constant)

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

More spells and items for lab improvement, p1

For November 2017 Ars Magica writing challenge – I’m doing one spell a day. This set of posts are spells and items for comforts in a magi’s lab which expand on lab protections a few years ago and illusions in last year’s post.

Insulation for the Dedicated Solar

Perdo Imagonem 20, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Room

This effect stops any sounds from entering or leaving the room, granting the “Well Insulated” lab virtue (+1 Safety, +1 Aesthetics).

(Base 3 to remove sound, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Room)

Device effect total 24 (2 uses per day +1, environmental trigger +3 = constant)

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