New Ars Target: Pair

Sharing the concept of Pair – as created by Erik Tyrrell in the Ars Magica forums, a new Target for Ars Magica could be “discovered” as Pair. As +1 Target which is limited to two standard Individuals.

“Pair” (meaning two individuals) as a target of equivalent level to “Part” is something that would make both MuVi and flexible formulaic magic a heck of a lot more useful and less wonky.

In the context of a +1 mag adding x10 the target material size, or +2 Group allowing for up to 10x targets in an identifiable group; this range adds flexibility, but does not break any existing range. In fact it is less than what you’d otherwise get with the +1 mag bump, which makes it both clever and reasonable.

There is also the gap within the core Targets where it would be reasonable to see Pair (+1) between Individual (+0), and Group (+2). It shows a progression of scale in a manner similar to Momentary, to Diameter, to Sun, then Moon.

Logic would need to remain in the typical use of the size and material expansion, where an effect is altered to affect a Pair using this rule, and then each is expanded for increased size as well. In effect the spell design should have to pay for expansion of both targets. Or indeed it may be possible to pay for one, and not the other if only one requires boosting to affect it.

It also makes the virtue Flexible Formulaic Magic more streamlined; so I can’t think of a reason why not to endorse this.

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List of Ars Magica Ranges, Durations, and Targets

600px-Alberti_cipher_diskHere is a list of Ars Magica spell Ranges, Durations, and Targets; compiled from the official spell guidelines and also from various quasi-official places by Gremlin44. Written on the Ars Magica forums (the source post for this contains all the official ones into a darn handy post in Feb 2014), other source books, and other new ideas I’ve added at the end.

Thank you Gremlin44, legendary post. Continue reading

Symbiotic Invested Devices, an Ars Magica Hermetic Virtue

In an old discussion on RPG Stack Exchange I suggested a virtue to allow an enchanted device to also be a symbiotic link to the caster as part of a form of necromancy, and blogged about it too. Here is the shorter version.

Symbiotic Invested Devices (Hermetic) +1

By use of this virtue the magus can create invested devices which are symbiotic links to the creatures they are used by. The invested device must still use the limiting Arts (use appropriate effects to facilitate the function of the device itself as relevant) and the item is further enhanced by this virtue to feel like a natural part of the target.

A sample use of this virtue would be a replacement hand for a magus who lost theirs in combat. The hand forms such a visceral link to the user that it functions as a normal hand (or perhaps even better than).

The virtue may be used on any type of targets (subject to Art requirements) such as men, animals, or even trees, and may add new functions to existing creatures; such as wings on a human as crafted for Icarus. It is worth noting that devices crafted in this manner are better than prosthetic replacements in that they actually feel like a part of the target creature.

e.g. The NeverLost Hand – this enchanted device is designed to create the sense feeling and touch, which includes a deep sense of connection to the hand. The effect is cast by the hand onto the target who then feels that any movement made by the hand is as real as their own.

In effect this makes the target feel as the hand would. An important note is that the hand itself has no invested powers that facilitate movement, which means that the most effective way for the target to feel these experiences is to hold and move the hand themselves, or give it to another.

 

A “normal” item without the creator having this virtue would be crafted with two effects:

 

a InMe effect around level 30-35, (Base: 4 (?), +1 complexity in feedback to target, +2 Duration Sun, +2 Range Voice, nn uses per day +3, etc)

 

a ReTe effect around level 15-20, to move the hand as the wearer desires.

 

This virtue removes the need for the first effect.

 

There are restrictions on the devices:

the device only functions properly when placed upon the wearer. This means that a replacement hand is no use to a person who already has a hand.

 

the devices cannot heal as normal, and damage must be repaired.

 

Amongst the potential for devices is all sorts of more traditional items from other games, such as the Hand and Eye of Venccna from DnD Greyhawk lore, the Steel Arm from DragonLance, and so on.

In the end this might be just another funny and odd virtue for Ars Magica, which I hope to use one day on a character of mine.

Spells for controlling people

a jester marionetteWorking through the core ArM5 rules there are effects that are laden with story potential mentioned in the spell guidelines, but not as written up spells in the text.

As a sample here are some spells designed to demonstrate those spells, using the Rego Corpus (aka Control the Body) guidelines.

The Clumsy Mannequin

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

The spell facilitates the control of the target’s large scale motions (arms, legs, and head movement), which must follow any simplistic instructions.The target can only control their own small scale motions (finger gestures, talking), and suffers a -3 modifier to any of these actions, including spell casting. Eye contact is needed only for the initial application of the spell.

Valid commands might be “walk in a circle”, “sit down”, “walk of that edge”, and if the command is completed but the spell still has duration the target gains control again until the caster issues another command.

As the duration is Diameter the caster must concentrate to the control over the target’s body. While the spell is in effect the target cannot be made to make any complex or agile movement such as fighting, dancing, juggling, etc.

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

Continue reading

New Ars Target: Container

I was pondering the well known carrying items, like a magic chest, or bag of holding, and thought that the Ars Magica spell guidelines could be extended to have a new target called Container. It would function much the same as T: Room (a +2 mag Target), where all inhabitants of the room are affected.

Container – the spell affects everything within a container. This container must have an opening, have a easily discernible structure and boundaries, and be crafted specifically for carrying or moving. The base container may be of any size up to a coffin, large barrel, or cauldron (size +0 as base).

A key difference is the container does not have to be closed or locked to be valid, or even be water-tight as cups, bird cages, vases, sacks, or backpacks are examples of valid containers. A sack or pouch could not really be considered a room. Container may also be used as a valid target for Creo magic, allowing the mass crated to be up to the volume of the container, as long as the amount of material crated is large enough; thus an advantage over T: Room which cannot be a valid target for creo spells which create things.

With an increase in magnitude larger containers are allowed, such as +1 mag to allow affecting the contents of a massive chest, and +2 mag to affect the contents of a horse drawn cart.

The fundamental difference between using T: Room vs T: Container is the usage of the containers as typically being portable. Some hermetic spells may make use of T: Room to achieve T: Container in the setting, and I’d suggest this guideline be along side (although probably replacing it) for those effects.

As a minor hermetic breakthrough T: Container seems good enough to be worthy of a Bonisagus’s time, but still not so overt in power to be abusive. It would sit within the spell mechanics at the same degree of power as T: Room, and is intended as an extension to the regular targets already in the game, rather than as a target that would require a special virtue to use.