Rise Before Dawn

This spell was discussed a while back with questions raised about spell timers – essentially it’s odd that the spell would have an effect which changes over the course of the duration.

I think it is plausible to design an effect in this way because the spell is not changing the broad scope of its effect in each casting, instead it behaving in a prescribed manner. This is akin to the complexity which could be designed in an item.

Rise Before Dawn

Rego Mentem 20, R: Personal, D: Sun, T: Individual

Caster is kept in a relaxed state to help facilitate a good night’s rest, and then woken shortly before the spell expires.

(Base 4 change mental state, +2 Sun, +1 complexity of two mental states)

This spell is intended to allow a magus to get proper rest in difficult circumstances or an agitated mental state, but also awaken before their Parma Magica expires so it can be refreshed. It seems reasonable to have an extra magnitude to allow the degree of control.

It is a spell which I think would be popular in the Order of Hermes, particularly amongst the combative Magi.

Each troupe will have to decide if this is stretching hermetic complexity in design, given how complex some spells are I think this is a safe effect.

Sunrise

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spells for Controlling the Gaze of Another, 30 Days of Magic

Online discussion highlighted that there are two Mentem spells already in Ars for making a target look at the caster (Catching the Eye (CrMe15, from MoH p92), and Look At Me (CrMe15, from A&A p32)), and one Imaginem spell (Fooling the Eye (CrIm10, from HoH:S p68). The Mentem spells look almost identical.

Aside – As some versions were discussed a while back recently on the Ars Magica forums I thought to make a ReCo spell to do the same. It is important to note the difference in the Rego Corpus baselines, of Base 2 to “make a target lose control” and to actually dictate where somebody looks which should be higher (which I commented), and then later it was proven that cannon spells exist doing both.

Well bother! New information means that a Base 2 is plausible.

The ability to make a person look in a particular place is a little less powerful than controlling all their motion, but more powerful than just ruining their gaze, so is roughly a Base 5 by my guess. It is not the same as Base 2 at all.

The first spell here target’s a foe close to the caster, the second far further away. I’ve modified my posted higher level version so that it lasts a longer duration too, as the level 4 version is already very useful.

Look Away Peon

Rego Corpus 4, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Individual

Causes the target to look where the caster dictates, potentially making their movements and interactions very difficult; often used to then cast Range Eye spells.

(Base 2, +2 Voice)

Look At That

Rego Corpus 10, R: Sight, D: Diameter, T: Individual

Causes the target to look where the caster dictates, often used to then cast Range Eye spells.

(Base 2 +3 Sight, +1 Diameter)

Its less subtle than the Mentem or Imagonem versions, as the target will certainly know they have been manipulated.

Also plausible is Rego Mentem as a way to control a target’s actions. A base of 5 will incline the target to respond in a particular way and seems more intended for emotions rather than control. A base 15 will dictate an action for a moment so it is expensive but safe.

Lift Up Thine Eyes

Rego Mentem 30, R: Sight, D: Momentary, T: Individual

Causes the target to look where the caster dictates, often used to then cast Range Eye spells.

(Base 15, +3 Sight)

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A sense of calm, or sweet rest

Some days this spell would be very handy just to get some sleep for the spell a day challenge in November.

Sweet Restfulness

Muto Mentem 10, R: Touch, D: Diameter, T: Individual

The target’s emotional state becomes relaxed and calm and stays that way for the spell’s duration.

(Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter)

The spell guidelines for Muto Mentem allow base 3 to be used, but I chose base 4 because I wanted the target’s full emotional state to be altered instead of altering a single emotion. I also chose Muto Mentem to alter the active emotions instead of Perdo to remove the emotion, there are already spells in Perdo to do the same thing but they tend to be limited to removing the active emotion rather than changing for the spell duration. Muto seemed a better choice.

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Lost spells (part 10) Speak the truth

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

This spell is so obvious now that I think about it – ensuring that the target cannot lie. The Petitants’ Confession (HoH:TL, p73) forces the target to tell the entire truth without evasiveness, and extending this spell for a longer duration creates a person who is truthful to a fault to everyone.

Unwanted Blessing of Truth

Rego Mentem 35, R: Eye, D: Sun, T: Individual

The target is unable to deceive or lie for the duration, and will seek to tell the entire truth on all questions and topics. While their behaviourisms and demeanours are unchanged they must speak directly to answer any question asked.

(Base 20, +1 Eye, +2 Sun)

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A Curse of Bliss

Mentem effect granting absolute bliss on a person for the duration, used as an alternative to Weight of a Thousand Hells (Ars p148); very dilapidating but the target may like it.

Fleeting Distraction of Heavenly Bliss

Creo Mentem 20, R: Voice, D: Diameter, T: Individual

Makes the target experience a sense of happiness and pleasure about someone or something of your choice, which is so powerful that all their other considerations are irrelevant – all they can feel is their own pleasure. Appropriate personality trait rolls suffer a -5 modifier, and a general -2 modifier on rolls that require thought and concentration.

(Base 4, +2 Voice, +1 Diameter, +1 extreme joy)

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A selction of new spells to guide interaction, behaviour, and thoughts

A few spells for influencing the mindset of opponents. There are many spells in Rego Mentem which influence a target’s response or attitude for general interaction (to be authoritative, or to be ignored) but many other reactions are desirable and only powerful Magi would be able to cast desired effects spontaneously.

Focus of the Alert Guardsman

Rego Mentem 25, R: Voice, D: Sun, T: Individual

The target will be far more inclined to concentrate on watching, protecting, and guarding as instructed, gaining resistance to distractions or their own inherent laziness. This will temporarily neutralize a negative personality trait, or add and enhance a positive one by +3.

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

Predilection for Steadfast Loyalty

Rego Mentem 25, R: Eye, D: Moon, T: Individual

The target becomes far more likely to behave in a loyal and supportive manner toward a person indicated when the spell is cast, altering their personality traits for the specific person by +3.

(Base 5, +1 Eye, +3 Moon)

Predilection for Aimless Wandering

Rego Mentem 30, R: Sight, D: Sun, T: Individual

Causes the target to make poor choices about their travel arrangements and any directions they give or follow. For the spells duration the target is highly unlikely to make any progress toward their destination and become confused when trying to follow instructions.

(Base 5, +3 Sight, +2 Sun)

Predilection for Paranoid Delusions 

Rego Mentem 30, R: Voice, D: Moon, T: Individual

The target is very inclined to suspect the worst in all situations, often looking for betrayal or lies in their interactions for the spells duration.

(Base 5, +2 Voice, +3 Moon)

Predilection for Aimless Wandering, till Moonrise

Rego Mentem 35, R: Sight, D: Moon, T: Individual

Causes the target to make poor choices about their travel arrangements and any directions they give or follow. For the spells duration the target is highly unlikely to make any progress toward their destination and become confused when trying to follow instructions.

(Base 5, +3 Sight, +3 Moon)

Predilection for Drunken Revelry

Rego Mentem 35, R: Voice, D: Sun, T: Group

The group of targets of this spell will be strongly more inclined toward extreme inebriation, continuing festivities, and enjoying themselves.

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

Rout the Cowardly Army

Rego Mentem 40, R: Voice, D: Sun, T: Group

The targets of this spell will be strongly more inclined toward being cowed, fleeing, routing, or thinking they are beyond their own capabilities. This spell will affect up to 1000 targets.

(Base 5, +2 Voice, +1 Diameter, +2 Group, +2 group size)

Bravery Within the Siege

Rego Mentem 45, R: Touch, D: Moon, T: Structure

The targets of this spell are granted bravery, and will be greatly inclined to defend themselves against attackers, and enthusiastic about their survival and performance. This spell will affect everyone within the targeted large structure.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +3 Structure, +1 structure size)

Many other new spells for Ars Magica can be found in my grimoire.

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Stat Boosting Rituals, Part 5 (Stacking Pluses)

Continuing from Stat Boosting Rituals, Part 1, 2, 3, 4, … to outline raising stats by more than +1 in each spell. This has the effect of creating very powerful and efficient boosting rituals.

A level 30 base effect can change a stat by +1 (to max 0), then maybe further magnitudes be added to raise it by more. It is a concept outside RAW, so some groups would say, “use the game as written fella” and ignore the suggestion. I can respect that choice and see that a reason to not do this is so that players won’t just create huge rituals to skip over multiple castings and seasons learning each step, and to avoid the vis costs. Frankly though that is a balance issue more than a game world issue. Ars Magica commonly uses extra magnitudes to enhance a base effect, so it deserves a discussion.

What increment for raising?

A single magnitude adds 10x the volume but there is not a direct correlation to stats. I first thought that a scale which uses the benefit to the dice roll of the increase might work, but the more I think on it the more it seems a very artificial and “mechanical” approach. Instead looking at the way it is potentially going to be abused, look at the impact to the setting.

Suggested Spell Guideline: Each additional magnitude adds a +1 boost to the stat, which must remain within the guideline of the base effect.

For example:

  • A base effect 30 to raise a stat by +1, to a maximum of zero.
  • Then add +1 mag for Range: Touch
  • Then an additional 3 magnitudes to change the effect from +1 to +4.
  • Final spell effect level 60: increases a stat by +4 to a maximum of +0.

When does it break?

Well rituals don’t really break, it’s more a question of game balance. Initially I debated many different costs and decided a mag per +1 increase as it’s the general rule. It allows for a little variety in non-permanent spells, however the spells at the higher baselines could potentially be unbalancing.

For example – A base 55 effect allows for a +1 stat boost to a limit of +5 Attribute, with +1 mag for R: Touch is a level 60 spell. Then adding another 4 mags allows a level 80 ritual to raise a stat increase to +5, to a limit of +5 final score. Then combined with another spell using base 30 for maximum of +0, at level 50 for a +5 gain.

Mass Infusion of Strength for Weaklings

Creo Corpus 50, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Circle, Ritual

The affected targets Strength is increased by +5 to a maximum of +0.

(Base 30, +1 Touch, +4 to boost by +5, Ritual)

Mass Infusion of Strength for Warriors

Creo Corpus 80, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Circle, Ritual

The affected targets Strength is increased by +5 to a maximum of +5.

(Base 55, +1 Touch, +4 to boost by +5, Ritual)

And a temporary version, allowing greater than +1 boosts.

Temporary Mass Infusion of Strength

Creo Corpus 50, R: Touch, D: Diameter, T: Circle

The affected targets Strength is increased by +2 to a maximum of +1.

(Base 35, +1 Touch, +1 to boost to +2 bonus, +1 Diameter)

Using +1 mag per +1 stat allows for a ritual to skip over many subsequent castings of the level 60 spell to raise an attribute permanently. It feels a little too easy, but using +2 mags per +1 feels far too punitive.

Closing… After writing this uber-boost concept and reflecting I’ve basically reversed my opinion – ultra-rituals would suit high-powered sagas, but not suit many groups. The temptation to raise stats gets far harder to resist if the vis investment is reduced, and that should be left to the troupe.

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