Ice Spells (part four) Moving upon the ice

Another in a series of spells themed around Ice Spells and arctic magic, continuing from Ice Spells (part one, two, and three). There is fair probability that I’m just having fun with spells at some point through this post.

When writing the Ars Magica spells to mimic Eliza’s powers in Frozen I wrote Footstep upon the Fjord as a Perdo Ignem spell to freeze the surface of the water and missed a rather obvious version which uses Rego Aquam instead.

Footsteps upon the Glacier

Rego Aquam 15, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Part

The water and snow beneath the targets feet is changed to a thick platform of ice as they move, and graded to provide more comfortable surface to walk on. The ice begins naturally melting when the target moves away.

(Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +1 Part)

Sure Step of the Arctic Wanderer

Muto Aquam 15, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Part

Gants the target more stability moving across ice by altering the surface beneath them to be more tactile and dry. The surface reverts to normal after the target passes.

(Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +1 Part)

And then onto some quick small magnitude spells to make traveling easier.

Paws of the Polar Bear, for Beasts

Muto Animal 10, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

The targeted animal’s feet are transformed into the paws of a polar bear, which are suited for travel across icy surfaces and in cold climates.

(Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Sun)

Paws of the Polar Bear

Muto Corpus / Animal 5, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

The target’s feet are changed into paws of a polar bear, which are suited for travel across icy surfaces and in cold climates.

(Base 2, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, requisite free)

Boots of the Polar Bear

Muto Animal / Herbam 5, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

The target’s boots are changed to mimic attributes of the paws of a polar bear, becoming broader with small claws for grip.

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

 

All the new spells for Ars Magica can be found here.

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Ice Spells (part three) Enduring ice and ice hounds

Continuing from Ice Spells (part one and two), these are utility and empowerment spells.

Circle of Unbreakable Ice

Muto Aquam / Terram 15, R: Touch, D: Ring, T: Circle

All ice within the circle is made very strong and non-brittle, gaining resistance to shattering and the resilience of stone.

(Base 4 for highly unnatural substance,+1 Touch, +2 Ring)

Enduring Ice

Perdo Ignem 25, R: Touch, D: Moon, T: Part

The ice touched will not melt for the spell duration, remaining below freezing. The spell can effect up to 560 cubic feet of ice.

(Base 4, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +1 Part)

By way of servants I wanted a spell which allowed the caster to get reasonable utility for a servant, and the idea of a guard dog and sled dog came to mind immediately. There have been spells created for animating stone bears, statues and the like and ice is very similar in terms of complexity.

Shape the Frozen Hound

Creo Aquam / Rego Animal 25, R: Touch, D: Moon, T: Individual

This spell creates a size +0 dog shaped from ice, and animates it under the caster’s control so it can follow simple commands. The Animal requisite grants the animation the behaviours and habits instinctive to trained sled dogs.

(Base 3, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +1 detailed shape, +1 Rego)

Shackles of Frozen Ice from Houses of Hermes: Societies is a great spell however I wanted something with more utility which allows the caster to choose the size of the area, and also has a far greater area.

Cirque of the Frozen Ice

Rego Aquam 25, R: Voice, D: Sun, T: Part

The targeted area of water is turned into ice and will remain frozen for the duration. When the spell expires the ice will begin to melt normally. The caster can choose how much of the water to affect and what simple shape, up to 5,600 cubic feet of water can be changed. If an object is targeted refer to Shackles of Frozen Ice (HoH:S p35).

(Base 3, +2 Voice, +2 Sun, +1 Part, +1 size)

In the last post there was a spell which made ice tougher, and now this is a spell which makes it soft and dry- it is certainly unnatiral ice, but perhaps more useful for equipment and sleeping on.

Object of Malleable Ice

Muto Aquam 25, R: Touch, D: Moon, T: Part

The ice targeted becomes unnaturally soft, dry, and flexible, but still retains its basic shape. The force required to break the ice remains unchanged.

(Base 4, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +1 Part)

 Perhaps this last effect for dry and soft ice is getting a little crazy. All the 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.

Lost Spells (part 1) Extending Injuries

I’ve found an old site full of Ars Magica spells which appear to be from the third edition of the game (it’s French and looks like 3e … ?), and while many are now in some book or other – spells remain which are darn great so I’ve revamped them for 5th edition Ars Magica. This is the first of many post based upon these “lost spells”.

Firstly a spell stop natural healing for the duration, which makes more sense as a reworking of the Creo Corpus guidelines for wound recovery. In 5e it is easier to inflict a light wound than heal one (base 10 vs 15), so using similar stepping difficulties with Perdo Corpus base 1 causes a -3 to rolls, which scales by additional magnitude to base 10 to cause a -18 modifier. And further to base 15 to stop all wounds from improving for the duration.

Curse of Chronic Injury

Perdo Corpus 15, R: Touch, D: Moon, T: Individual

The target suffers a -9 to all wound recovery rolls for the duration.

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

The Stagnant Flesh

Perdo Corpus 35, R: Touch, D: Moon, T: Individual

The target cannot heal naturally from any wounds or infliction for the duration. All recovery rolls which indicate an improvement are ignored, and negative side effects of rolls are retained.

(Base 15, +1 Touch, +3 Moon)

All the 550+ new spells for Ars Magica can be found here.

Two spells to Purify a Lake or Stream

A wizards in a play-by-post game I was playing in have a large lake which was once part of an ocean, but now is being fed by freshwater streams and rivers (big island raising style of magic). However till the lake is purged of all the salt water is not not overly useful to the surrounding landscape.

This is a very situational spell to remove all the salt from a water source.

As the need is ultra-specialised I went a step further and used the T: Body-of-Water spell parameter from Realms of Power: Magic (which comes from the Atlantean Magic virtue), specifically for large bodies of water. There are almost no spells using Atlantean magic virtue.

Purify the Lake, Waterway, and Stream

Perdo Aquam 45, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Body-of-Water

This spell removes the saltiness from all water within the current body of water, and may affect very large bodies of water.

(Base 15, +1 Touch, +3 Body-of-Water, +2 size)

Creating the spell with a conventional Ars Magica from the core rules might be similar, however the T: Body of Water has some inbuilt aspects which make it more efficient. A trick to note is that the “Body of water” target can affect a larger mass of liquid, and to perform the same spell without it Target: Part is useful. This allows successive castings to eventually remove the salt from the water, but only in small amounts.

Purify the Salty Pool

Perdo Aquam 25, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Part

This spell removes the saltiness from all the targeted water, affecting the whole or part of an amount of salt water up to 560 cubic feet of water.

(Base 15, +1 Touch, +1 Part)

A small lake is hundreds of millions of litres, so would take tens of thousands of casting to do; however a magic item might be perfect for that. Plonk it into the water and watch it slowly desalinate the water. It could also be made in a variety of shapes such as an attachment to the bottom of a boat, or an anchor to be placed at the bottom of the lake bed.

Eventual Reduction of Saltiness – (PeAq38) This small silver fisherman’s charm is triggered each time the sun moves its diameter in the sky (every two minutes), and casts the Purify the Salty Pool spell on the water it is placed in. (Base PeAq25, with +10 for unlimited uses, +3 environmental trigger)

Find these spell and hundreds more for Ars Magica in my grimoire.

A spell to Carve into Earth and Stone

Another spell variant to hollow an area beneath the earth, this time with a high degree of precision in the design to allow for stair, arches, and other building features.

Hollow the Detailed Vault

Perdo Terram 30, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Part

The stone mass targeted by this spell is destroyed in a manner consistent with the caster’s desires, typically in such a way to create hollows, rooms, or internal spaces. The spell does allows for a sophisticated level of detail, including stairways, ramps, pillars, or balconies. A maximum volume of up to 100 cubic paces of stone can be affected at one time.

(Base 4 Destroy rock or stone, +1 Touch, +1 Part, +2 size increase, +2 complexity)

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

underground tunnel

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.

All the new spells for Ars Magica can be found here.

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