A spell for a warrior wizard

Mentioned in a blog post, a reworking of cannon spell Assume the Stature of the Giants of El Cid (MuCo10, MoH, p.49).

Assume the Stature of the Titans of Rome

Muto Corpus 15, R: Personal, D: Diameter, T: Individual

Caster’s body and equipment is increased to +6 size. At size +6 humanoid is truly massive, approx 100 times the weight of a normal human. At Size +6, the caster’s wounds have 11-point increments.

(Base 3, +1 Diam, +2 size, +1 to increase equipment as well)

a war

A Giant Precedent, spell discussion for Magus Morat

Morat is a combat oriented Magus for a play-by post-game who is deliberately gruff and also highly focused on physical mundane combat.

Designing Morat for the game was simple as Ars Magica has many spells which enhance combat abilities on one way or another. There were too many good options so I picked a few stable spells (Edge of the Razor, Endurance of the Berserkir) and hunted one or two from outside the base rulebook.

One stood out in particular : Assume the Stature of the Giants of El Cid (MoH p.49, MuCo15). This is a spell which increases the size of the caster and also increases their gear and equipment.

I think this spell might be controversial because:

  1. it explicitly allows the caster’s personal items and combative equipment to be enlarged at the same time as the caster, using a +1 magnitude increase. With no mention of how many items.
  2. It does so also without any consideration to how complex or detailed the items are.
  3. The spell makes no mention of casting requirements, and clearly the intent is to change weapons and armour.
  • This sets a precedent for a small magnitude increase to do this in other spells, which is significantly different from what I expected. I’m happy as it’s now canon that this can occur, however I thought it would be harder.
  • This +1 mag for gear adds legitimacy (in my humble opinion) to adding sub effects in Muto transformation spells, and also to making other hybrid Muto spells slightly easier.

    If this wasn’t presented I would have argued that the increase should have been more like +2 and included a note in the spell text to force casting time requisites. Why?

    Well basically these points, however these are a very pessimistic view of spell complexity:

    • It affects multiple items the caster is carrying, perhaps it should have been +2 Group?
    • It affects clothes which are arguably free, but also weapons and arms, which are not.
    • It affects steel, cloth, leather and all manner of other Forms. Perhaps +1-2?

    As a counter in support of the plain +1 increase there is the notion of a small sub-effect in a spell adding a magnitude, and a large spell adding a +2.

    In this case enlarging several worm items as a separate spell would:

    • Still be a Muto spell,
    • Perhaps would be using a higher Base from Terram instead of Corpus,
    • Might be argued as a generic size increasing spell, which we can see in other spells.

    So what is the conclusion? Ars Magica is darn interesting and play what makes you happy, is balanced, and tells a good story.

    Personally I love the fact that this spell exists and it allows the Magus to be closer to mythical. On balance I’m a supporter but I can see the wider issues this introduces.

    The spell when taken by Morat was boosted in effect to increase the size of the caster by a further magnitude, which I renamed to Assume the Stature of the Titans of Rome. So yeah, I took the El Cid spell and boosted it a little more – because at some point it breaks and just before that point is darn interesting.

    Happy role playing folks, enjoy your Ars Magica games.

    Giants vs Vikings

    Six more Lava spells for Ars Magica, 30 Days of Magic

    Continuing from the first few lava spells, here are 6x more based upon transforming other things into lava. It’s notable that lava is a high base difficulty, so spells quickly become high level. Toying with tricky lava spells is also easier for magi with either a suitable focus or the Elemental Mastery virtue.

    Molten Instability

    Muto Terram 30, R: Voice, D: Concentration, T: Part

    Transforms an area of stone or rock up to 10 cubic feet into lava.

    (Base 5 “to affect lava”, +2 Voice, +1 Concentration, +1 Part, +1 size)

    Stability Across the Molten Floor

    Muto Terram 30, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Part

    Transforms an area of lava into rock and magically sustains the change, transforming up to 10 cubic feet into lava, which when arranged can create a large pathway across the otherwise dangerous material.

    (Base 5 “to affect lava”, +2 Voice, +1 Concentration, +1 Part, +1 size)

    This lava spell is akin to turning a room into a solid metal cube, as metals and lava are equivalent difficulty.

    Chamber Plunged into the Inferno

    Muto Auram / Terram 30, R: Touch, D: Diameter, T: Room

    Transforms the air within the target room into lava, submerging all inhabitants and likely causing significant damage to all unprotected materials; which inflicts +60 damage.

    (Base 4, +2 lava, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +2 Room)

    And while its easy to create, a similar spell to encase the inside of a room in iron.

    Chamber Encased in Iron

    Muto Auram / Terram 35, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Room

    Transforms the air within the target room into iron, encasing all inhabitants and objects.

    (Base 4, +2 metal, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Room)

    Then two laval pools of slightly different styles.

    Pit of Lava

    Muto Terram 35, R: Voice, D: Diameter, T: Part

    Transforms the earth in the shape of cube 10 feet per side into lava. People or objects will slowly sink into the lava, suffering +15 damage per round, and then compounding into greater damage as they become partially covered (see Hermetic Projects p.14).

    (Base 5 “to affect lava”, +2 Voice, +1 Diameter, +1 Part, +2 size)

    This second version of a lava pit viciously drops the unfortunate victim into a watery lava pool.

    Pit of Fluid Lava

    Muto Terram / Aquam 40, R: Voice, D: Concentration, T: Part

    Transforms the earth in the shape of cube 10 feet per side into very fluid lava. People or objects will quickly drop into the lava, suffering +15 damage per round, and then compounding into greater damage as they become partially covered (see Hermetic Projects p.14). Victims will also sink without a successful swim check.

    (Base 5 “to affect lava”, +2 Voice, +1 Concentration, +1 Part, +2 size, Aquam requisite)

    This spell is interesting as the same spell turning an area from earth to mud can target a much larger area cheaply, but does not inflict the intense damage of lava on the target when they drop within it.

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

    Changing Wolves to Rabbits, or Lions to Lambs

    Previously wrote a transformation spell called “Transformation of the Vicious Beast to the Floundering Fish” to make a beast into a fish, as an attack to quickly kill a beast or allow it to swim, and I was thinking of casting against normal animals and moderately powerful magical beasts. However one of my Magi in a play-by-post game is fighting a magical beast and doesn’t want to outright kill it. Here is an alterative which is designed to be lower level, and also shorter duration – more as an intimidation tool.

    Transformation of the Vicious Beast to the Humble Hare

    Muto Animal 20, R: Touch, D: Diameter, T: Individual

    The targeted animal up to size +3 is turned into a rabbit. A rabbit pelt may be held by the target and dropped to end the spell prematurely.

    (Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +1 additional size in target)

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

    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
    Continue reading

    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. Continue reading

    Ice Spells (part thirteen) Turn people to ice

    When I first thought about this spell I was considering the part in the movie Frozen when Anna is turned to ice, and then considered making it a killing spell – which would be fair given a base level of 25 is very close to the Perdo Corpus instant death of base 30. Instead, an opponent frozen for two minutes is likely to be at the mercy of the caster till they magically unthaw.

    Curse of the Frozen Heart

    Muto Corpus / Aquam 40, R: Voice, D: Diameter, T: Individual

    The target human is turned to solid ice, reverting to normal after the spell expires.

    (Base 25, +2 Voice, +1 Diameter)

    And a variant for animals, which is far easier due to the different baseline level for turning an animal into an inanimate object.

    Curse of the Frozen Hoof

    Muto Animal / Aquam 30, R: Voice, D: Diameter, T: Individual

    The target animal is turned to solid ice, reverting to normal after the spell expires.

    (Base 15, +2 Voice, +1 Diameter)

    This and many other new spells for Ars Magica can be found on the Ars Magica New Spell Grimoire.