Ward against arrows, spells against Archers

The spell Shriek of Impending Shafts (Ars Magica p.136, InHe15) is a darn effective defense spell against wooden missiles. However it does not really neutralise the threat of an archer against others. So here are two approaches to better deal with archers.

Malevolent Gift of Roses

Muto Herbam 25, R: Voice, D: Diameter, T: Group

All items with wooden parts on the target are changed to roses. The spell is intended to be cast upon an enemy archer or soldier however it may also be used on any valid Group target.

(Base 3 to make one Herbam product into another, +2 Voice, +1 Diameter, +2 Group, +1 sub-parts of complex items)

The spell could also be used to ruin any item or thing which has wooden parts. Ladders, carts, and so on.

In the spell design I’ve opted to pay an extra magnitude to be able to affect the wood in component items, to affect a Group, and to do so for a fair duration in most fights – that is potentially overkill. The intent is to make the archer all but useless, and will probably make many parts of soldiers, workmen, and many other targets equally frustrated.

It would also be useful if scaled up for really large groups, however as it stands will affect a group of people in a fighting formation too as they form a valid target group. The limitation of this approach for arrows is that it is not plausible to affect all foes as there may be many of them and not in a group.

Ward Against Staves and Arrows

Rego Herbam 20, R: Personal, D: Diameter, T: Individual

Caster is protected against wooden weapons and missiles, which may not touch the caster.

(Base 15, +1 Diameter)

The ward could be changed to be R:Touch or an extended duration D:Sun for safety while travelling. These spells are part of the free new spells compendium for Ars Magica.


Wizard’s Auger, with an example of spell penetration

Sharing several similar effects demonstrating how Muto Vim might raise the penetration score of another spell. The most likely use is a caster to alter their own spells, as demonstrated in a similar enchanted effect in a magical axe in Magi of Hermes, p.51, which uses Range: Touch. To cast upon another Magi’s spells cooperatively R: Voice is required.

These spells demonstrate an interesting potential for Magi with high scores in Muto Vim; they may be able to spontaneously alter another lower level spell for which they have poor art scores to increase its penetration.

Example scenario – the junior Magus Argento needs to cast a sleep spell on a troublesome faerie soldier.

Argento has very strong Muto and Vim arts, and while she has learnt “The Call to Slumber” (ReMe10, Ars p.151) and cast cast it easily under normal circumstances against foes without magical resistance, she believes she will not have a high enough casting total or penetration to put the faerie to sleep due to her low Rego and Mentem arts.

Argento stats: Int 2, Stm 2, Muto 12, Rego 6, Mentem 4, Vim 11, Penetration 0, which means The Call to Slumber (CtS) has a CT of 10+roll, and a spont spell has a CT of 22+ before dividing.

Fearie Soldier has a Might score of 10. So Argento needs an effective CT+Pen of 21+ to put the fae to sleep.

Argento might try to roll 12+ roll vs the Fae’s Might of 10, however unless Argento is lucky and gets 9 or over on her roll, she will not succeed. This is because the Fae’s might will require a penetration result of 11 or higher more than the spell’s level to be successful.

Argento needs to choose to either repeatedly cast Call to Slumber at the faerie and hope that she rolls 9 or higher on the dice roll, or she can opt to boost her penetration using the style of spell below, with the the knowledge that each casting will cost her a spontaneous fatigue level. Note that if Argento learns Wizard’s Auger or Wizard’s Awl (below) formulaically, she can boost many of her low level spells easily, giving her better penetration – if she had, the poor fay would be asleep in the first round. This does not add any more than +5 to +10 penetration to a spell, but that little extra is sometimes all that is needed.

Argento chooses to first cast a spontaneous version of Wizard’s Auger as a MuVi10 spell, for which she has a casting total of 25+ roll before halving the result by spending a fatigue level. Unless she botches she will succeed, and this raises the penetration of the next spell by +5.

She then casts her Call to Slumber as normal, and while she still has a CT of 12+, her final penetration for the spell is now CT+Pen of 17 + dice roll, making it far more likely that she could put the annoying fae to sleep. She only need a 4 or more on the d10 roll.

In this scenario yelling with powerful gestures also helps both styles of approach, it makes the casting without a MuVi spell far more likely, however it makes the solution with a MuVi spell almost a certainty (botches, twilight, etc).

Learned formulaically these spells add a lot of utility without requiring significant additional power or lab level. A Muto expert could also spont cast their own versions easily, and also might help their troupe if they cooperate with other Magi. Continue reading

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.


A spell to find somebody

Update: realised I wrote an identical spell with another name a long time ago, so you won’t see these in the spells list. Ah well.

An RPG-StackExchange question was asked about finding people in huge areas. The problem with the OP’s desired goal is that while a big T: Boundary spell could find people inside the area, it cannot find only that one person. To find all of the men, or women, or just the gifted people – is all ok. But to find only a specific person needs an arcane connection so that all the others are excluded.

Here is a renamed version of spell I posted there as a quick solution, to show that an AC was still needed to find something specific within a wider area. As this spell is only InCo15 it does not need a large amount of optimisation, but it is not plausible for some magi to spont cast this spell.

Heading, As the Man Wanders

Intellego Corpus 15, R: Arc, D: Mom, T: Ind

Caster gains knowledge of the current approximate distance and direction to the target with whom they have an arcane connection.

(Base 3, +4 Arc)

It would also be possible for a magus to complete this task with spontaneous magic using Opening the Intangible Tunnel (at ReVi4) then cast the spell above reduced back to R: Touch which makes a InCo4 spell (as Base 3, +1 Touch); both effects far easier to spont cast.

There is probably also variants for animals, and all sorts of other things like ghosts, magical creatures, etc.

Heading, As the Crow Flies

Intellego Animal 15, R: Arc, D: Mom, T: Ind

Caster gains knowledge of the current approximate distance and direction to the target with whom they have an arcane connection.

(Base 3, +4 Arc)

Lastly as I think of it – far better to have a spell that is used through an Intangible Tunnel and also is D: Concentration based. That way the caster can know what changes.

Heading, As the Crow Flies Onward

Intellego Animal 5, R: Touch, D: Concentration, T: Ind

Caster gains knowledge of the current approximate distance and direction to the target with whom they “touch”, typically used through an intangible tunnel.

(Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration)

Finding Corpses, Necromancy part 13

Just a quick post to add a few more quasi-Necromancy spells. A reworking the Inexorable Search (Ars p.131) as suggested in the Core rule-book, for corpses of humans and for living and dead animals.

Tracing the Trail of Death’s Stench

Intellego Corpus 20, R: Arcane, D: Concentration, T: Individual

As per the spell The Inexorable Search designed to find dead human corpses.

(Base 3, +4 Arcane, +1 Concentration)

I can see an inquisitor asking “and why do you need this incantation?”.

The Inexorable Search for the Lost Companion

Intellego Animal 20, R: Arcane, D: Concentration, T: Individual

As per the spell The Inexorable Search designed to find a living animal.

(Base 3, +4 Arcane, +1 Concentration)

Tracing the Tracks of Death’s Companion

Intellego Animal 20, R: Arcane, D: Concentration, T: Individual

As per the spell The Inexorable Search designed to find an animal corpse.

(Base 3, +4 Arcane, +1 Concentration)

Inexorable Search keeps on giving. The free new spells compendium for Ars Magica.

Granting Corporeal Forms to Spirits and Ghosts

Ars Magica (HoH;TL, p.140) has three spells to make parts of a ghost’s equipment corporeal, but I couldn’t find a spell for the ghost itself. I feel compelled to point out that the Vision of Haunting Spirits (MuMe/Im 40, Ars p.150) is far better for making a ghost visible, which might be all that is needed. Also the Penetration total needed to cast these spells on even a mid-power ghost is very significant, so these transformation spells are not spells for junior Magi.

Blessing the Incorporeal Host with Earthly Form

Muto Mentem / Corpus 40, R: Eye, D: Sun, T: Individual

This spell grants an incorporeal spirit or ghost a corporeal human form.

(Base 25, +1 Eye, +2 Sun)

Blessing the Incorporeal Council with Earthly Form

Muto Mentem / Corpus 50, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Room

This spell grants all the incorporeal spirit or ghosts within the targeted chamber a corporeal human form.

(Base 25, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Room)

Free new spells compendium for Ars Magica.

Taking a gigantism spell a few magnitudes too far?

I started thinking that Magic Resistance might (almost) be irrelevant if the attacking creature is huge enough – say far larger than Form of the Lumbering Jotunn written previously.

What happens if a creature is so large that it affects the environment and not a single Magus? Perhaps large enough to scoop a room or building sized patch of ground around an opponent in their hand. Or uproot an ancient oak tree and use it as a club? The opponents magical protections are moot, just like when a spell transforms the ground beneath their feet.

It might be akin to Gulliver from Gulliver’s Travels – so large that normal sized humans are like fingers.

Form of the Titanic Colossus

Muto Corpus 40, R: Personal, D: Sun, T: Individual

This spell monumentally enlarges the caster up to a size rank 22 version of themselves, so large that the caster’s fingers are larger than a normal person.

At this size the Magus is around 120 feet tall, and weighs over 5.5 million tons. The character’s combat mechanics are greatly enhanced, adding +22 Strength, +22 to Soak, -22 to Quickness, and radically shifting the amount of damage for each wound category. The character also gains the reach and leverage associated with the truly massive stance.

Requisites are required when cast to transform clothes and equipment, and not all equipment will be included in the transformation. The effect is designed with a girdle as the focus, which is removed to end the effect prematurely.

(Base 3 to utterly change the size of a person although still human up to size +1, +2 Sun, +7 for an additional 21 size ranks)

Continue reading