New Ars Target: Wall

A new meta-magic target which allows all forms to be created in variants of a Wall.

Target: Wall (+1) Used as barriers, curtain walls, and other circumstances where a non-standard shape for the Form is desirable. While the target name implies a wall the final orientation and shape may vary to suit the casters needs, such as being used instead as a bridge, and it also includes simple crenellations to assist with defence.

It may also find a use with MuVi spells which allow for changing of the target spell, or characters with the Flexible Formulaic Magic virtue. If being researched in-play it should be a Minor Hermetic Breakthrough.

The Target creates a wall to a specific dimensions limited by the standard maximum of the spell’s Form. Unless otherwise specified the wall area is generated to a ratio of 10 wide, by 5 high, by 1 thick. Extra magnitudes expand this volume as normal.

  • Use of Wall is more typical for earth and stone, although any Form is permitted.
  • For creation effects a wall must be placed along a stable surface or between at least two stable points, such as two trees, a fence post and another wall, or even in an existing gateway to block the area. The spell could not anchor to a person, or to an item which is easily mobile, such as a cart.
  • The spell will allow an existing wall already in existence to be targeted as a discrete thing even when it is part of a greater whole (such as for Mu or Pe effects), essentially T: Part is included in this special target.

Sample Spells – these spells are variants of either previously written custom spells. demonstrating the source for a wall of ice or fire, and for wrecking walls of stone.

Wall of Protecting Ice

Creo Aquam 15, R: Touch, D: Diameter, T: Wall

This spell conjures a wall of ice in a simple shape and orientation chosen by the caster. The ritual will create 5600 cubic feet of liquid; akin to a wall roughly 6 feet tall, 3 feet thick, and 300 feet long (roughly 90 yards); for the duration. The wall contains simple crenellations atop for improved defence.

(Base 3, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +1 Wall, +1 size)

Wall of Defensive Fire

Creo Ignem / Rego 35, R: Voice, D: Sun, T: Wall

Conjures a blazing wall of fire shaped to the caster’s desire, which inflicts +15 damage to anyone who crosses it. Optionally the caster may elect to create defensive segment and holes in the wall, and also ensure that the heat of the wall projects in one direction, which makes the wall ideal as an additional defensive barrier.

(Base 10, +2 Voice, +2 Sun, +1 Wall)

Breach the Outer Defenses of Stone

Muto Terram 10, R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Wall

The affected segment of wall is turned from stone to sand, destroying its cohesion and likely causing chaos for defenders.

(Base 3, +2 Voice, +1 Wall)

Designed as a triggered effect when a target walks through a doorway or narrow area (in an item), using Wall as a special area of effect.

Wall of Magic Nullification

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

Cancels any active magic effect with a level less than or equal to half the (level + 1 magnitude) of this spell + a stress die (no botch). Conditional aspects for penetration and Parma magica are identical to Winds of Mundane Silence (Ars p.160)

(Base Gen, +2 Voice, +1 Wall)

See 500+ other new spells for Ars Magica, and the main Ars page on this blog for more strange and useful Ars Magica related material.

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Gifts for packrats, the Pavise

What do you get the pack-rat who has everything? A Pavise.

It is a very large shield used to protect bowmen; often during sieges. To me it looks more like a portable wall than a shield, but hey it obviously worked. Carrying your own cover is probably considered strange in regular rpg circles, and I’m not even sure what the stats for something like this would be in any game system. Parry, er no – its not moving. Cover from missile weapons? For sure.

In terms of size and load, they ranged from the size of other half height shields, which you would need to crouch to use, right up to full height barriers (basically doors). The real difference between a normal shield and a pavise seems to be the purpose built mount which allows the device to stand along without the user’s support, and be moved around slowly.

There are also a number of illustrations which indicate that they serve a number of other purposes, like having larger versions which infantry can also hide behind, or ultra-delux versions which small grates and doors built in to allow extra sniping options, and protection. It’s tempting to rework Leomund’s Tiny Hut into a Pavise effect.

Judging by the material easily found online they look to be taken to large battles and often decorated with ornate scenes. A basic pavise would be a section of wooden wall with a small foot stand (yup a wall). I could also see more advanced versions supporting a nice lazy curve, a shelf, perhaps a spine of some stronger material, and optional ways to get it around, like attaching wheels or lift bars. Heck add a few more splints of wood and the archery company is also carrying the dead around on readily available boards. Or just put a few bottles of booze on the inside and you’ve got a portable bar.

For stats, I’d say it should rule as cover as that is the clear purpose. If some archer is mad enough to pick the thing up and use it as a shield then make it like an ungainly tower shield – yes it gives cover but you’re not meant to pick it up as a proper shield. So +4 against other archers, and +0 against a swordsman who knows where to put the pointy end.