Specialised versions of Opening the Intangible Tunnel

I’ve been re-reading the Ars Magazine Sub Rosa recently and came across a spell concept that I really liked – versions of Opening the Intangible Tunnel which limit the type of magic which can be cast through them (see Sub Rosa #13, p.97). Types might include spirit magic (as in the Sub Rosa article), or teleportation magic, or a type linked to one of the fifteen Hermetic arts such as Intellego.

This would make the tunnels useful for Magi with major specialisations, as Spells cast back through the tunnels might be limited to types where the target is not as strong, where the initial caster is much stronger, and where the target of the Specialised tunnel has no idea what the sub-type is.

It’s sneaky and very tactical. Great stuff. Here is aversion for Scrying with Intellego, and a version for cold themed spells.

Watchful Eye of the Magician

Rego Vim General, R: Arcane, D: Concentration, T: Individual

A specialised version of Opening the Intangible Tunnel (Ars p. 162) which only allows Intellego based scrying spells to be used within it.

(Base effect, +4 Arc, +1 Conc)

Walk Across Their Graves

Rego Vim General, R: Arcane, D: Diameter, T: Individual

A specialised version of Opening the Intangible Tunnel (Ars p. 162) which only allows Ignem based spells with a cold theme to be used within it.

(Base effect, +4 Arc, +1 Diameter)

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

Lost Spells (part 6) Detecting Supernatural Creatures

Detecting supernatural creature is often as simple as just observing. There are times however when knowing if a creature is magical, fae, or something else would be beneficial, and guidelines to do just that (like RoP:M p.111).

The lost spell which started this post was called Scarlet Flash of the Demon, and caused a demon to shimmer. Detecting demons however in 5th edition is tricky as Hermetic magic can’t do that. There are other ways to determine that though, using less subtle means.

Reveal Alignment to the Fae

Intellego Vim 15, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Individual

Determines if the target creature is aligned to the Faerie realm, as a supernatural creature.

(Base 5, +2 Voice)

Reveal Alignment to the Infernal

Intellego Vim 15, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Individual

Determines if the target creature is aligned to the infernal realm, as a supernatural creature. Note that a demon may choose to hide its realm alignment, however other infernally aligned creatures may not possess this ability.

(Base 5, +2 Voice)

Reveal Alignment to the Magical

Intellego Vim 15, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Individual

Determines if the target creature is aligned to the Magic realm, as a supernatural creature.

(Base 5, +2 Voice)

Betraying Lament of the Infernal

Perdo Vim 15, R: Voice, D: Concentration, T: Individual

The targeted creature aligned to the Infernal realm experiences pain, but suffers no real damage. A Corpus or Animal casting requisite may be required depending on the targets current form.

(Base 4, +2 Voice, +1 Concentration)

See all the new spells for Ars Magica here.

Wizard Life Hack – Use casting tablets with your memory palace

A life hack for hermetic Magi with a few good virtues (source on Ars forums). In short – the idea is that a memory palace has a certain number of “rooms” which can contain a single document, and as a casting tablet is a single document – it can be memorised.
While I’ve no strong feelings on casting tablets, ever since I came up with the idea I’ve wanted to play a character with a personal vis source in mentem and the memory palace skill. the character would frequently use the Creo Mentem “add a room to your memory palace ritual” (I forgot the name) to memorize casting tablets thereby effectively learning (but not really learning) a whole mess of spells. – Erik Tyrrell

 

I love this. Its broken, but its great.

Sharing control of an Ars Magica spell – Sharing the Reigns

Sharing the Reigns of (Form) is similar to the Passing the Reigns (Muto Vim, Hermetic Project, p.97) spell except both caster and target can alter the direction of the altered spell. This style of meta-magic effect was an afterthought in a story where a master wishes to give an apprentice some degree of control on a levitation spell, however for safety’s sake they also wish to still have control. Then considering the idea that a meta-magic effect could steal control of another spell is very interesting.

Sharing the Reigns of (Form)

Muto Vim General, R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Individual

Ongoing control of another of the caster’s spells is shared between the caster and a creature touched. The spell to be shared must be equal to or lower than the level of this spell + 5 levels, and the spell to be shared must have a duration longer than Momentary. In the event of a conflict in instruction a contested Finesse check might be appropriate, or the spell tries to fulfil both instructions chaotically.

(Base General, +1 Touch)

Stealing the Reigns of (Form)

Muto Vim General, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Individual

Ongoing control of another spell is passed to either the caster of this spell, or a third party within range they choose. The spell to be stolen must be equal to or lower than the level of this spell, and the spell to be shared must have a duration longer than Momentary.

(Base General, +2 Voice)

These spells are part of the free new spells compendium for Ars Magica.

Spells to strengthen the mind and resist other Mentem spells?

Can a spell make a mind more resistant to coercion? Or more resistant to magical manipulation? I’d say yes, so this post is a discussion of the points to why, and a few spells to demonstrate potential approaches.

A Perdo Mentem spell can dramatically increase the chance of manipulating somebody, then a Rego effect could allow them to not change their mind, or perhaps a Creo effect could make the mind more resilient or logical. A spell can probably artificially strengthen a target’s resolve and willpower.

This might come into play mechanically by altering the target’s personality traits, or describing a change in behaviour in a more abstract manner just like the cannon spell from the Ars Magica main rulebook Trust of the Childlike Faith (a PeMe spell where the target will believe almost any passable lie).

The Dogged Will

Rego Mentem 25, R: Voice, D: Sun, T: Individual

The target finds it impossible to change their opinions and beliefs for the duration of the spell. Only the intervention of a more powerful supernatural effect will allow the target’s views to be changed.

(Base 5, +2 Voice, +2 Sun)

But will that add more defence against another spell when the second effect is active at the same time as the first, and is lower level, and also has a similar effect? Yes, but it wouldn’t protect against manipulation of memories or state of mind, potentially leading to a person understanding an alternative point of view but unable to change their specific opinions or core beliefs.

It is perhaps similar to when two similar spells wish to perform directly contradictory actions, such as to change a targets shape. Assuming equal penetration; transforming a human into a cat at level 25 or a bird at level 30. The level 30 effect will be dominant, but the cat effect is still there underneath. If the bird effect is prematurely ended then the target becomes a cat. What fun!

I think there is also a difference between improving the mind’s capacity for reasoning, enhancing the mind’s capability to resist being changed, and forcing the mind to stay the same; Creo vs Rego in terms of Arts. That presents an alternate Creo spell.

Enhancement of Logic and Reason

Creo Mentem 25, R: Voice, D: Sun, T: Individual

The target’s mind is better able to operate logically, reason more soundly, and ignore some of its emotional preconceived notions. This may grant bonuses to ability rolls, willpower checks, or alter personality traits favourably in those circumstances.

(Base 5, +2 Voice, +2 Sun)

And aversion for a council chamber or meeting hall, because that is where logic is needed.

Solar of Enhanced Logic and Reason

Creo Mentem 35, R: Voice, D: Sun, T: Individual

All targets in the affected room are better able to operate logically, reason more soundly, and ignore some of their emotional preconceived notions. This may grant bonuses to ability rolls, willpower checks, or alter personality traits favourably in those circumstances.

(Base 5, +2 Voice, +2 Sun, +2 Room)

Perhaps these effects haven’t been considered all that useful for magi due to Parma Magica resisting the effects, andthe laws of casting upon others? Perhaps useful as an invested device for a mundane sheriff or knight. There are Rego Vim spells to prohibit teleportation spells, scrying spells, or intangible tunnel spells, so it’s just as plausible to ward against mental spells. The effect being resisted will need to be specific.

Impede the Dominating Will

Perdo Mentem Gen, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

The target’s mind is protected against Mentem spells or supernatural effects seeking to issue instructions and commands, or directly alter the target’s behaviour; requiring any opposing spell to exceed (level of this spell +5 + stress dice (no botch)). It has no effect on other spells, or similar Mentem spells which alter memories in the target.

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

This could be useful for a Magus and/or Familiar if enchanted into a familiar link, to allow for constant protection with no ongoing warping. Then for others, as:

Impede the Dominating Will, Encircled

Perdo Mentem Gen, R: Touch, D: Ring, T: Circle

The target’s mind is protected against Mentem spells or supernatural effects seeking to issue instructions and commands, or directly alter the target’s behaviour; requiring any opposing spell to exceed (level of this spell +5 + stress dice (no botch)). It has no effect on other spells, or similar Mentem spells which alter memories in the target.

(Base Gen, +1 Touch, +2 Ring)

The PeVi baseline is from Ars Magica core rules, as demonstrated in the anti-teleportation spells from TME p109. These and many more new spells for Ars Magica in my grimoire of spells.

The Voiceless Chambers hook and map, with Ars Magica mechanics

The Voiceless Chambers by  demonstrates why he is a favourite blogger and mapper for me. Each week a new map is sketched and shared (for free online, and via a Pateron account for supporters). The Voiceless Chambers has a fantastic introduction, and this post is about some of the magics involved created as Ars Magica spells and magic items. All kudos and high praise for the story hook and map by Dyson.

The hook begins:

When the Sorceress Queen Nemorlienne finally died, some efforts were made to keep her that way. While her rule was generally good for the state of the nation, those closest to the halls of power found her ways destructive and maniacal and her magically-augmented temper shortened many an advisor’s lifespan.

Like the other deceased queens, she was first burned to ashes and then those ashes converted into a gem using dark alchemies. However, unlike those before her, her tomb was sealed completely and magically, and in addition to the usual magical guards and wards over the tomb, the whole place was made magically and perpetually silent so no one could seek her counsel even in death.

But someone has broken the outer seals of the crypt, …

(read more)

This is how these implied effects might be written up for the Ars Magica RPG…

In terms of naming style Ars often has thematic and descriptive names for spells and effects, however as this is a non-standard setting I thought it would be fun to go for a more cultish feel. As if all parts of the process have to be ceremonial.

First effect to silence the chambers is performed by enchanting one of the last stones placed within the interior walls of the chambers has been enchanted to nullify all sound within.

A Hidden Stone Which Brings Silence To All, Lest She Be Disturbed (PeIm 29, Lesser Device), a fist sized cube of high quality marble, carved with deliberately creepy and dangerous looking sigils. It is buried deep within one of the interior walls of the chambers.

Quiet Loose Tounges Within the Crypt

Perdo Imagonem 20, R: Touch, D: Diameter, T: Structure

All sound within the targeted structure is destroyed for the duration, rendering it deathly silent.

(Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +3 Structure)

(As device: +1 mag for extra duration, +4 levels for adjusting to Constant effect, Ars p.99)

The Voiceless Chambers, you feel the Ars Magica and high magical & mystical flavour all through the description.

Then, creating a normal gem with magical aura as a distraction from the real gem is a great fantasy theme.

A False Majesty Unworthy of Her Presence, Lest They Call Her (CrVi 59, Lesser device), a beautiful and valuable gemstone by normal standards which has been enchanted to appear invested to resist magical inspection. The gem has also been fixed as an Arcane Connection to a non-enchanted twin, so that recovery by the high priests is far easier. Investing the effect creates a legitimate magical presence, and then the protective effect ensures the investigation will be troublesome which completes the deception.

Invested Shell of Simple Obfuscation

Creo Vim 45, R: Personal, D: Momentary, T: Individual

The shell resists attempts to divine any invested effects if they are level 50 or below. Investigation spells therefore must be rituals.

(Base 45, to resist investigation effects upon itself up to level 50 effects) 

(As device: +2 mags, +4 levels for Constant effect modification)

See Shell of False Determinations (Ars p.157 for a similar effect) which seemingly can be cast upon objects to perform a similar outcome although it is unclear to me how that spell is effective in the long term with a Momentary duration; odd.

Then, the enchantments on the true jewel of Queen Nemorlienne are very important, as they setup significant restrictions for use of the gem.

The real change for the dust and gem in the introduction is the alchemical change from the remains of the sorcereress into the gem. In Ars Magica that could be as simple as creating a fixed arcane connection, which runs contradictory to the lore in the introduction but also perhaps hints that the priests wish to retain access to Her after her death. Cool and creepy. It has two effects within it and is also set as a permanent arcane connection, the first effect prohibits using the gem an a connection, and the second makes the gem appear flawed.

A True Key Against Those Who Call Beyond the Grave, Lest She Hear Their Call (PeVi 37, MuIm 12, Greater device) an even more beautiful gemstone than the distraction above, this gem is striking and lovely to behold and obviously extremely valuable. The best magi from the realms worked years to craft and enchant this gem, to protect their realm and the ghost of the dead Queen Nemorlienne.

Impede the Meddling Scryers and Fools

Perdo Vim, R: Personal, D: Sun, T: Individual

This spell limits the target so it cancels any other spell attempting to use the target as an Arcane connection for the purposes of scrying, unless it is greater than the (level of this spell +10 + stress dice (no botch)).

(Base Gen, +2 Sun)

(+4 to raise to constant effect, +3 to affect everyone except the current Priesthood)

With a more general version which might be more useful as a Duration: Ring and Target: Circle, which can be used outside an enchanted item.

Impede the Meddling Scryers and Seekers

Perdo Vim, R: Touch, D: Ring, T: Circle

This spell limits the target so it cancels any other spell attempting to use the target as an Arcane connection for the purposes of scrying, unless it is greater than the (level of this spell +5 + stress dice (no botch)).

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

And an effect to reduce glamour of the gem, to make it appear inconsequential. Note that the effect could be slightly lower, however I’ve used a target touch as I intend the effect to be listed as a normal spell, not just for investment in an enchanted device.

Lacklustre Sheen to a Perfect Vessel

Muto Imagonem 5, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual

The item touched is made to look and feel far less valuable or ornate. It remains true to its basic type, however it will appear ordinary, scratched, tarnished, rough, dishevelled or poorly formed.

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

(+4 to raise to constant effect, +3 to affect everyone except the current Priesthood)

Then, as almost every chamber is decorated with artworks, tributes and prizes, the priests have used these as animated defences for the chambers, as tomb guardians.

A Wooden Puzzle of Horrible Death, Revealed to those who Seek Her Glory, (ReHe 42, Lesser device), an item which animates wooden decorations in the room to become weapons. The rooms are deliberately stocked with edged weapons, arrows, laminated spurs, large spars, and solid blocks. Many such items are sequestered within the chambers.

Animate Her Treasures of Wood as Weapons of Woe

Rego Herbam 35, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Room

The all wooden items in the targeted room rise and attack any creatures within it, crushing, slicing, and pummelling the occupants. The objects strike with an Initiative +5, and Attack +7 and inflict +10 damage each round.

(Base 10, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Room)

(+4 to raise to constant effect, +3 to affect everyone except the current Priesthood)

Then, several rooms within the chambers has been enchanted to protect against intrusion.

The effects are designed as a warding device which can act to protect a room or also act an a prison if need be (as a reworking of Ward Against the Curious Scullion (ReCo30), Covenants p.104).

A Constant Guard Against Trespassers, Interlopers, and Thieves, (ReCo 44, Lesser device), a small sphere of polished gold, inscribed with runes and sigils denoting terror and disease to any who trespass. The sphere as been buried within an internal wall of the central crypts away from the entry point so that is difficult to access even if it can be detected. Several of these warding globes were crafted and installed in the chambers.

Solar Impervious to Curious Scullions

Rego Corpus 40, R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Room

Humans find it impossible to enter or leave the targeted room.

(Base 15, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Room)

(+3 Environmental trigger, +1 for 2 uses per day)

A final aside – if you like this please have a look at the material which Dyson Logos create, and also at the large arrange of other Ars Magica material written over the many here’s on this blog. Spells, Magical Items, Npcs, and many stranger things for the Ars roleplaying game.

crypt-internal

Variations for disrupting magic

Cancelling spells are a great tool in a wizard’s grimoire, so much so that I think most older Magi have variations on the basic magical disruption spells. Wind of Mundane Silence serves a very specific purpose but isn’t useful when the caster only wishes to remove one spell in the room.

Breath of Mundane Silence

Perdo Vim Gen, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Individual

Cancels a single spell if it is level is less than half the level of this spell + 10 + stress dice.

(Base Gen, +2 Voice)

Then a reworking of Unraveling the Fabric of (form) (Ars Magica p.161) for the caster’s own spells. There was no direct guideline for using Perdo on the caster’s own spells, so I’ve taken a slight liberty. An Intellego Imagonem effect can allow a caster to see their own illusions, so there is a precedent.

Unraveling the Fabric of My Own Art

Perdo Vim Gen, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Individual

Cancels another of the caster’s spells if it’s level is less than level of this spell + 10 + stress dice.

(Base Gen, +2 Voice)

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