Fantasy Runeblade built for Ars Magica

“The runeblade is an extension of your being. A death knight cannot battle without a runeblade.”

– Instructor Razuvious

Q. What would a runeblade be like if made using Ars Magica mechanics?

A. Incredibly nasty, especially if used against mundanes. As an-ex Wow’er this post has been a long time coming and I’ve enjoyed throwing all sorts of power descriptions below, and seeing which ones suit it best. For the purposes of this post the powers have been created using the Hermetic magic rules, while in-game an infernal equivalent is very reasonable. WoW and Ars Magica deal with

Runeblades are usually swords inscribed with magical or demonic runes that grant certain powers to the wielder. All high-ranking death knights wield their own personal, named runeblade, called vampiric runeblades. However, runeblades are not unique to the Scourge. Although Frostmourne was undoubtedly the most prominent runeblade in existence, there are quite a few additional ones.

–¬†Wowikia

In game mechanically there is a magic resistance (MR) consideration for the invested powers which alter the runeblades but to not affect anyone hit with it; normally these would also be resisted by MR which in turn mean the weapon would be useless against any creature or person with MR. In my opinion and frequent house-rule is the non-material powers do not get stopped by MR. Likewise a power can be resisted and the physical sword blade can still hurt the opponent. The supernatural effect is resisted, but the steel is not. This is so that magical weapons do not need to be over engineered for the game and interactions with MR are simpler. YSMV.

Some sample powers might be:

Arcane Link – 1x pawn vis, as the runeblade is a fixed arcane connection to the owner.

Cause Fatigue – PeIg 38, (Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Animal targets, +5 for 24 uses per day, +20 for Penetration +40, +3 specific owner only), if being held by the owner the next creature struck suffers a Fatigue level of exhaustion.

Dance and Float – ReTe28, (Base 4, +1 Concentration, +2 extra strength to stay in place, +5 device maintains concentration, +5 for 24 uses per day, +3 specific owner only), the sword may be commanded to float and dance in place, and cannot be moved by anyone else.

Dark Whispers – CrMe 43, (Base 3, +4 Arcane, +3 Moon, +5 for 24 uses per day, +5 for +10 penetration, +3 cannot affect owner), after touching blood the sword will whisper to the target who hears an eerie and disturbing voice in their mind speaking of their downfall or death.

Destruction of Men and Beasts – PeCo45, (Base 15, +1 Touch, +1 Animal targets, +10 unlimited uses, +10 for Penetration +20, +3 cannot affect the owner), inflicts a heavy wound on any human touched by the blade. This power may be resisted by powerful opponents, however it is designed to be devistating to lesser creatures.

Encase in Ice – CrAq30, (Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +5 for 24 uses per day, +17 for Penetration +34, +3 specific owner only), the next target touched with the blade is encased in ice, likely stopping all movement and soon to suffocate. Creature up to size +1 can be encased.

Eerie Light – CrIg17, (Base 3, +14 Constant effect), the blade always glows with an eerie blue and white light akin to torchlight.

Indestructible – MuTe24, (Base 4, +2 metal, +14 Constant effect), the blade is all but indestructible.

Wracking Pain – PeCo40, (Base 4, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +3 specific user not affected, +10 unlimited uses, +17 for +34 Penetration), if touched by anyone except the owner the power inflicts pain upon them until the next sunrise or sunset.

Arms at the ready, creating weapons and armour with Muto

These spells transmute the earth into a set of arms and armor. This might suit poorly equipped grogs, or combatants who have changed in size due to another spell. All have the limitations of conjured items attacking opponents with MR, which is also why minor qualities have been included – if the weapon is going to be resisted its no disadvantage to have a further power. Other small variations could replace the examples below.

Draw from Dust a Skin of Steel

Muto Terram 35 / Animal Herbam, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

This spell raises a fully formed set of mail armour sized to the desires of the caster from the ground, which must be donned before use. The full suit of armour is unnaturally light and strong, granting Protection 9 and Load 3. However as the full mail suit is magically created it will be resisted by MR as normal.

To create functional gear the caster must succeed a Finesse check of 9 or higher, and a botched result indicates the equipment is unknowingly sub-standard and will probably fail basic use or at a critical moment.

(Base 4 for dirt to stone, +1 for metal, +1 unnatural qualities, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 complexity of material form, Herbam and Animal requisites free)

Draw from Dust a Blade of Steel and Fire

Muto Terram 30, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

This spell raises a fully formed sword sized to the desires of the caster from the ground. The blade is unnaturally resistant to fire and heat, allowing it to be used with other common weapon enhancing magic. However as the weapon is magically created it will be resisted by MR as normal.

To create functional weapon the caster must succeed a Finesse check of 9 or higher, and a botched result indicates the item is unknowingly sub-standard and will probably fail basic use or at a critical moment.

(Base 4 for dirt to stone, +1 for metal, +1 unnatural qualities, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +1 complexity of material form)

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