An exercise in spell casting!

My mission for September is to introduce ten local roleplayers or gamers who have never played Ars Magica before to the game. So far I have managed three (today). (I cheated a bit as two of them had played demo games with me at Grand Tribunal ten days ago, hence were easy to convince). Why not join in and see how many new folks you can interest this month? I am playing with them without my regular group so they are all beginners together.

OK so I am writing a PowerPoint presentation to explain the basic concepts to make it easier. I have explained the Gift, Bonisagus, Parma Magica and just introduced Techniques +Forms so far. I have just got to the second exercise which reads --

"OK, your magician is out walking one day when she disturbs some bandits who give chase. Not wanting to kill them she runs away, until just before she reaches safety he is stopped by a fast flowing river. There are trees by the river, and plenty of rocks, and some fish swimming in it, but no bridge. Your character can not swim. She has time for one spell. What Technique + Form combinations might be useful? How many ways can you find to cross the river by your magic?"

How many ways can you think of? Avoid Requisites for now to keep it simple. I thought --
CREO TERRAM - create a dam or a bridge
REGO TERRAM - make stepping stones by moving rocks
CREO HERBAM - make a wooden bridge
REGO HERBAM - make a tree move across the river
REGO AQUAM - move the river
PERDO AQUAM - destroy the river!
MUTO AQUAM - make the river change to ice?
REGO CORPUS - teleport to other side
MUTO CORPUS - make legs really long and stride over

Any more? :slight_smile:

cj x

A few more:

ReAn - Make the fish carry you across.
CrAu - Create enough wind to be tossed across. (A bit dangerous without the Rego requisite.)
PeIg - Make the river so cold it freezes over.
ReMe - Control the bandits and have them help you cross.


CrCo or CrAn: make a bridge out of bone
PeTe: make a huge chasm that the water rushes into, letting you cross beyond the chasm
CrIg: make the river so hot it boils away. (Might not have enough time to wait out the steam, I suppose)
To try to get Intellego in the game: InAq or InTe to figure out where it's possible to ford the river. (or InAq to talk to the river, and ask it to stop for a moment? :laughing: )
MuAu: make the air so hot that it evaporates the river. (Probably a stretch)

I hope you'll follow up with the same question, except change "crossing the river" to "avoiding the bandits without crossing the river". Then we can play with Imaginem, Mentem, ....

Muto Animal. Make a bridge of fish!!
Perdo Imaginem. Make yourself comfy in this side of the river.
Rego Imaginem. Make you APPEAR to be in the other side while you hide
Muto Corpus. Gift of frost legs and jump to the other side!
Muto Corpus. Grow wingsd and fly away!
Muto Corpus (Animal). Shapeshift to a fish and swim away.
Rego Aquam. Ward yourself against water and walk "10 commandments style" across the river
Rego Aquam. "you know, that feat of jesus of walking on water is not that difficult".
Rego Herbam. Make a boat and sail away.
Rego Mentem. Make the bandits believe you are their friend and that they should go somewhere else.
Perdo Mentem. Render the bandits drooling dumb for Sun duration while you walk away.

Let's be methodic!

CrAn -- create a bridge of bone
InAn -- speak with the fish and ask them if they'll help you cross
MuAn -- turn one of your leather boots into a leather & bone canoe
PeAn -- intimidate the pursuers by visibly killing an animal with a snap of your fingers ("who's next?")
ReAn -- lift your leather boots (with you on top of them) to the other side of the river

CrAq -- create a layer of unnaturally buoyant oil on the river's surface, on which you can walk sinking no deeper than on mud
InAq -- ask the river where it can be forded
MuAq -- make the water breathable (it's still water, but it's unnatural water that does not drown you)
PeAq -- destroy the river (or enough of it to pass through)
ReAq -- move the water away, or turn it into steam or ice

CrAu -- create a wind so strong that it literally stops the river in its bed
InAu -- If there's already a very thick fog, locate your pursuers are and move to avoid them while they can't see you
MuAu -- change your breath into a pestilentially stinking, mildly poisonous exhalation that would make the hardiest men flee
PeAu -- create a windtrap (a Circle spell that destroys all air within it -- the surrounding air then rushes in to fill the void, creating a strong wind that keeps anyone within the Circle trapped) and lure your enemies into it. You should somehow anchor yourself outside of it to avoid being caught, or accept captivity alongside your pursuers and bargain with them ("kill me and you'll be trapped here forever").
ReAu summon an air elemental to do your bidding

CrCo -- create a bridge of bone
InCo -- impress your pursuers with yur divinatory powers and mumbo-jumbo a prophecy about how they'll suffer if they don't let you go ("I'll call back the spirits of disease that almost killed you last winter").
MuCo -- change yourself so that you can cross the river, or your pursuers so that they are no longer a nuisance
PeCo -- paralyze your pursuers with pain or weariness
ReCo -- move yourself across the river

CrHe -- create a bridge of wood, or a nice boat
InHe -- if you are in a faerie forest, ask it to stop those pesky intruders
MuHe -- change a twig into a wooden bridge
PeHe -- fell a large tree so that it falls across the river, forming a natural bridge
ReHe -- animate a large tree so that it carries you across the river, after seriously beating up your pursuers

CrIg -- surround your pursuers within a wall of fire
InIg ... hmmm ... this is left as an exercise to the reader :slight_smile:
MuIg -- if at night, change the torchfires carried by the bandits into a pyrotechnic display that scares them away
ReIg -- move all heat away from a portion of the river (making it freeze)
PeIg -- freeze the river directly

CrIm -- summon something vast and nasty that makes your pursuers (unaware it's an illusion) flee
InIm -- locate the illusion-clad faerie bridge that you know lies somewhere close
MuIm -- disguise yourself as one of the many boulders in the area, or make every bandit look exactly like you
PeIm -- hide invisibly; or turn all the bandits invisible, and say, as if speaking to a single person: "I vaporized all your fellows -- their ghosts will be haunting the area for generations. Of all of them, I leave you the only one alive as a witness to the foolishness of meddling with wizards"
ReIm -- make it look as if you already crossed the river

CrMe -- make the bandits really scared of you
InMe -- read the bandits' minds, and use that knowledge to play mind games with them ("Jack, Will, Rob... Bran is not with you. Have you wondered why? Nah, he's just pretending to be ill. He sent you right into a trap -- he sold you to the sheriff for 10 shillings each; you saw the money yourselves! How can you be so dumb to believe he won it playing dice with old Rick... ")
MuMe -- make the bandits recall seeing you flee in the other direction
ReMe -- put the bandits to sleep, or turn them into your loyal slaves
PeMe -- make the bandits forget and/or no longer care about you

CrTe -- trap the bandits within walls of solid stone, or create a stone bridge
InTe -- bargain for your life -- you can smell silver a hundred paces away, after all, including the three shillings one of the bandits is carrying in his pocket...
MuTe -- turn the ground under the bandit's feet into sinking sands
PeTe -- create a hole in the ground under the bandit's feet
ReTe -- move the nearby boulders to craft a bridge or trap the bandits

CrVi -- warp the bandits, and tell them you could let the curse lapse; or give them all the social penalties of the gift ...
InVi -- find the entrance to the faerie region and escape
MuVi -- cast "Touch of the Winterlords" (see below) at sufficiently high level, with the metamagic affecting itself; this freezes the river
PeVi -- if the bandits are faerie bandits, strip them of their might and send them running
ReVi -- summon a demon to beat up the bandits

Touch of the Winterlords, MuVi General -- R:Touch, D:Mom T:Ind
This metamagic spell combines two effects a) it changes the sigil of a target spell into one that chills nearby objects and b) it greatly enchances the effects of that sigil. Very powerful spells affected by the touch literally freeze everything around them. Both changes to the sigil are superficial changes to a spell, so Touch of the Winterlords can affect any spell of magnitude up to twice (the Touch magnitude -1); in particular, any version of the Touch of second magnitude or above can affect itself. Note that a Touch produces effects comparable to a PeIg spell of much lower magnitude.
Base: Affect a spell up to twice the Touch's magnitude -1, +1 R:Touch, +1 two effects (changing and boosting the sigil)

ReAq could change enough of the water to ice, while MuAq could make the water solid enough to walk on.
Meanwhile, unless it´s a small river or you can add lots of Size to the spell, its doubtful if destroying "the river" will work long enough for you to get past before the upstreams part of the river catches you. And "destroying the river" may leave you with a riverbed that is still impossible to get past.

MuCo, make yourself able to leap over.
ReCo, to hover yourself across.
ReTe, to hover a stone across while standing on it.
CrCo, make a shallow to cross over by dropping hordes of corpses in front of you(should make any pursuer to pause as well).
CrIm, to make it look like I´m already on the other side of the river taunting them while doing an exit stage left myself.
ReIm, to put my real image across the river.
PeIg, to freeze the water enough to walk on it.
PeCo, to remove my weight, run up to the river and skip across the surface.
CrAu, to use a strong gust of wind to propel me over the river.
ReAu, to place a pocket of air around me and up to the surface if it´s deep, then walk through the river(if the bottom allows it of course).
CrAu, to create a strong constant wind from me against the river, forcing it around me.
MuAq, drastically increase flotation of the water.
CrAq, to create a wall of ice blocking the river or a bridge of ice to walk on.
MuAn, to supersize a fish to such an extent that you can use it to walk over the river on. :mrgreen:
ReAn, control a big enough fish so you can stand on it while moving it across.
ReTe, OR PeTe to make a new riverbed between you and pursuers, emptying the old riverbed.
CrAn, to create a big enough animal to serve as a bridge.
MuTE, throw a pebble into the river, supersize it while it´s still in the air.
CrIg, a big honking fire/heat-spell across the river blocking the water by turning it into steam.

Ok, i think i´m starting to run out of ideas now.

Absolutely fantastic! :smiley: I finished the first part of the presentation, and learned a lot about Flash 8 and that Wordpress won't host .swf files. but anyway I managed to get something up here - ... ying-game/ ( I actually posted a new thread about it) I'll credit you all and link to the thread tomorrow.

For now, here is another problem. Your magus learns there is a princess trapped in a tower. The door is locked, and the tower is made of stone. She is 30 paces up, hanging out the window. The key is not in the tower, and the door is enchanted with a spell that gives it an effective magic resistance higher than you can penetrate. Unfortunately you never learned Corpus, Herbam or Terram to any decent level, and your Rego is equally useless. Without those Arts, and in three rounds or less, how do you rescue the princess? You may assume the setting is a woodland glade, and anything appropriate to such a setting is available.

cj x

If I have enough Animal, I conjure a giant spider under my control, jump on it, go up the tower and conjure a sturdy leather rope for both of us to go down.

Or (if the princess is adventurous) just conjure a large amount of feathers and ask her to jump down :mrgreen: A little Rego Mentem might help in achieving this result.

Err...Creo Animal to make a ladder of animal bones?

CrAu to blow her out of the window (tricky without Rego, I know) and CrAq to create a pool to soften her fall?

Doh, that was TOO close to what i was thinking. Although i was going to say use a Cr(Re)Aq to make a selfsupporting pillar of water to land in. (doh! Vespasian already did that! :laughing: sometimes it´s hard to be original)

Hmm, 3 rounds makes it very problematic really, don´t have time with things allowing you to get up. So i´ll restrict myself to at most 3 spells instead.

MuIm to make myself look and sound like the princess, run around screaming in panic until someone in the tower notices and opens the door to fix the problem of the runaway princess that didn´t really run away so much, dust the guard and walk into the tower.

CrAq to make a staircase of ice.

CrAq to make the towerside wet, then MuAq to make the wet selectively sticky, enough to walk up the side of the tower.

CrAn something, an animal bone or a live hawk, anything will do, ReAn to move it while you hang onto it.

MuAn any conveniently nearby animal to supersize with you on top of it (ReAn as needed).

I would change my mind into a giant eagle (MuMe(An)), mount it, and fly away with the princess into the sunset.

From 30 paces up?
Somehow it sounds dangerous.
Now, a slide of ice, that would be ... cool! :smiley:

Some excellent ideas. Let's try Exercise No. 3: the Flying Ship Challenge. Your Imaginem magic is rubbish this time, but who cares? You are on a flying ship 500 paces above the streets of Constantinople. Feeling a bit dizzy you head in to the maze of rooms in the hold of this majestic sky-galleon covenant. Right then it all goes wrong. The insane Verditius who built it activates the Perdo Imaginem spell to make the ship (Structure) invisible. Everything within the ship is invisible, including you. You crash in to panicked grogs (you hope it was the grogs, not something else!), and try to find your way back on deck to tell him to turn the effect off. Soon the galley will catch fire and you will all be doomed. The problem is that Perdo Imaginem effects destroy species, so you can't see the way, the ship, the ladders, obstacle or yourself. You can't use Imaginem as you are really weak in that Art anyway. How do you escape and save the ship? You can cast up to five spells before the ship is lost...

cj x

CrAn to make a very tall leather bucket.
CrAq to fill it with water .
Get the princess to step in and tread water.
PeAn to make a hole in the bottom of the bucket so that the water flows out and the princess is lowered slowly to where she can crawl out of the hole.
Get slapped in the face for putting her through this damp and undignified ordeal.

  1. Spell to levitate. Sun Duration. Can change height on Concentration roll (+1 compwexity). You keep it at "go down slowly". Since you are on the ground, it doesn't do anything.

  2. Diameter duration. Touch range. Destroy wood. Move towards you think it was the side of the ship. Yeah. you are oppening a hole in the hull. When you reach the side of the ship, you start falling 8slowly).

Reverse effect of spell touching the side of the ship. Move slowly up until you reach the cover of the ship. Move to the surface and yell to the bastard to activate the sight again.

PeVi x3 to prevent him killing you when he sees the hole you made in the side of his ship.


Plan B: since you can see them, cast a spell on a pack of birds to come your way (ReAn). make them yell to the Verditius to activate the vision device when they are about your position (MuAn + ReAn)

InAu25 Eyes of the Bat solves most on your problems, neh?

InHe would let you sense the ship itself (assuming it's made of wood), which would probably also give you a pretty clear idea where to go from there.

Or make the birds splat into the ship to make it visible... gross



Crossing the River:
This one has been well and truly dealt with - there are so many, many ways to cross a river.

Rescuing the Princess:
Round 1: have a grog call to the princess to have her hang a blanket out the window
Round 2: muto animal (or herbam) the bedsheet to turn it into a mighty cloth ladder
Round 3: collect princess
(use of grog because princess is unlikely to agree to the magus' request. stupid Gift penalty)

It is a pity about the corpus weakness. Otherwise a ladder made out of the Princess' hair would be very Merinita.

For the flying ship problem:
Round 1: Creo Auram spell to create a light flurry of snow and mist around you (that follows you). The snow will fall onto the floors, the mist will be bound by the walls, the snowy-misty will settle on and around objects.
Rounds 2-5: Run around the ship you can now effectively see doing whatever needs to be done to make it not burst into flame and crash.

Right, who cares? If you are really weak in Imaginem, you can cast a non-spontaneous spell and change it into a CrIm spell through MuVi -- without requisites ("Turn off this stupid Invisibility!" roared as if 1000 men were shouting in unison is just a first magnitude effect (Base 1,+1Touch,+3Size)