Are there no spells for running fast and long?

I've been thinking a bit about magical transportation and while there are spells for teleport, flying, changing into an animal to cover more ground in a day, I've found no spells for simply running unnaturally fast and long.

Personally I've never covered more than 58km on foot in a single day, but that was in the mountains of Norway and I'm quite confident I could do quite a bit more in somewhere a bit flatter and a lot more more with some magical enhancements.

So what am I missing?
Is superhuman performance not possible to achieve through magic?

From ArM5 p 134 is Endurance of the Berserkers ReCo15, which may have some utility.
I haven't checked other books.

However, under the Rego Corpus Guidelines, for level 15 is "Move a target quickly in any direction you please".

Perhaps you could invent the spell "Atalanta's enduring footrace" ReCo30
R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual
So long as the target of the spell can move their legs, they can sprint indefinitely over all terrain for the duration of the spell, without gaining fatigue, and can change direction with no effort. The spell ends if the target stops running for more than a few heartbeats.
(base 15, +1 Touch, +2 Sun)

I'm not sure it's easy to do - The fatigue mechanics in Endurance of the Berserkers implies that you'll pay a heavy price if you ran flat out for a day, but those mechanics are not really used anywhere else. Eg. What happens when the spell duration changes to Sun - can you fatigue yourself to death?
Also the base 15 guideline seems more like moving the person as an object rather than empowering them to move themselves. Gift of the frogs legs might imply increased strength to leap but reads to me like Rego magic lifting the target.
Perhaps link a set of frog leg jumps, or describe the way the person is able to run all day. Are they essentially moving on the spot and the magic carries them?

I actually think the major issue is that running speed isn't defined anywhere in the core rules, nor are there specific guidelines given, so it's hard to extrapolate exactly what a spell could do to running speed level-wise (once you rule out magic that would violate the Limit of Energy). It seems likely that CrCo and MuCo could be used as ways to enhance running speed/endurance. Enhancements to Sta, Qik, and Athletics would all seem to be fairly obvious CrCo "make target a better version of that type" effects, for example. And MuCo messing with limb ratios or something could possibly help with endurance running (though don't bother with most An prereqs, humans already tend to be in a class by themselves in endurance running).

The description of Endurance of the Berserkers says you are still acquiring Fatigue levels, and contains "If you run out of Fatigue levels, the spell terminates immediately and you fall unconscious.". So I expect a Sun duration version would have the same limitation.
It is from Base 10, presumably the guideline "Eliminate the penalties of Fatigue and wounds."

I agree that base 15 guideline seems to be made for flying rather than levitating.
I was thinking along the lines of Gift of the Frog's Legs ReCo15, where the target makes a token jump, which is unaffected by any actual running start that the character may or may not have.

My hypothetical "Atalanta's enduring footrace" ReCo30 would be similar. The target isn't actually running, just making token leg movements and the body is magically propelled in the appropriate direction as if they were sprinting.

The world record for running 12 hours straight is about 160Km, i.e. about 100 miles -- over a nice, flat running track :slight_smile:
Apparently, this is a "typical" distance for a number of endurance foot races over roads/trails, with the winners managing to cover it in around 15 hours in relatively flat terrain. It's also the same distance covered by horses in a number of endurance races; apparently some horses manage to cover it (with a rider) in less than 7 hours!

It's interesting that the world record for running 24 hours straight is only slightly less than twice that for 12 hours, about 300Km, i.e. about 185 miles. While this begins to drop over multiple days, it does not drop as fast as one would expect: the current record for 6 days of running (obviously occasionally sleeping) is an impressive 857 Km, or a little over 530 miles.

So, I think that the MuCo 2 guideline "change someone to give them a minor ability" could allow the target to run 100 miles over the course of 8 hours, with each such period of running costing (8-Stamina)/4 Long Term Fatigue levels, each of which could be regained resting and eating/drinking heartily for 8 hours.

Sounds plausible.
I guess one could add a magnitude to get an unnatural speed and double it or something.

Looking at world class ultra runners certainly gives a more realistic number than the section about cursors in the Lion and the Lily (pg. 20), the 10 + (athletics x2) miles given there always made cringe as I know I would be a better cursor than an grog with 10 in athletics.

Agreed, the MuCo might be used to enhance running. It should have a mac boost cap of some sort though. Perhaps it starts by granting a +50% bonus to the distance?

Note that if the cursor is travelling on good ground, it's 15+2xAthletics miles; and I've always read that as the distance that a cursor can reach and run back within 12 hours or so. So a cursor with 10 Athletics would effectively run for 35+35=70 miles, or some 115 Km. Not quite what modern athletes manage, but in the same ballpark.

The book says "assume that a fit man can cover a number of miles in a day equal to 10 + (2 x athletics) cross country" so I read that as the total of miles per day and not each leg of a one day return trip.

But no matter what L&L says a magically aided character should be able to run a record breaking distance and your MuCo suggestion seems like a good place to start, that it's a lvl 5 spell at touch range and sun duration makes it quite easy to make the Sandals of Pheidippides or whatever one wishes to call the spell.


While I realize there are many who disagree with some of the spells within, Magi of Hermes has in p.49 Avalanche of Flesh and Steel, which makes men "capable of running as fast as a horse". It has a MuCo Base 2, so conceivably a Personal version would be MuCo 3 for Diameter duration. It doesn't say you can keep the pace up for longer than would be usual, only that you can run as fast as a horse.

I think it's rather a pity that Magi of Hermes makes so many people feel the need to include these disclaimers. Note: I'm one of those people!
I don't think these disclaimers are wrong; rather, I think MoH would have greatly benefited from tighter editorial oversight.
Then again, it's probably the really, really high average quality of the ArM5 line that makes me so picky.

Look at The Tireless Flight on p.102 of HoH:TL for a more useful version of Endurance of the Berserkers for this. The spell need not be Mutantum, just remove the Mutantum part.

It does not look overly different to EotB, just that it lacks a description for what effect the fatigue has, and does not stop wound penalties. although does indicate that fatigue becomes a light wound when the person goes past unconscious.
With a Sun duration a target could run for many hours unabated and then rest, which allows them to cover a lot of ground ( run rest run rest ..., becomes run x4 rest x4)

Let's toss in my 2c...

As per cannon, use of Creo Corpus can only improve up to the maximum quality of the human body, so would only be able to alter the target up to a +5 in Stamina, Quickness and Dexterity. It won't grant the target any knowledge or athletics ability so the improvement will be limited even if only temporarily.

Muto Corpus is the way to grant ability beyond what the human body can do and existing spells have already been mentionned.

I believe we can go one step further with the Rego Corpus guideline mixing with MuAn guidelines :smiley: ...

MuAn 25 (base): Grant an animal a "magical" ability... (requires a requisite for the ability).
ReCo 10 (base): Transport the target instantly up to 5 paces.
... mix, shake, stir...

The 50 Paces Stride (Mu(Re)Co 45: base 25 (grant a magical ability) + 1 for Rego requisit, +1 Touch, +2 Sun).
Grants the target the ability to move by 5 paces each time the target step forward.

Teleportation spells suffers from the flaw that unless enchanted in an item, it cannot be easily recast (unless with an Arcane connection and a spell invented with Arc range or the target is the mage itself). This spell would grant the ability to the target to basically move 5 times faster until the end of the spell (considering that a normal walk is about a pace/meter per second), allowing to go back and forth, without further casting. By walking normally, the target is already moving at ~18 km/hr, running at a gentle pace (~10 km/hr) will allow her to reach 50 km/hr easily, up to 100 km/hr for marathon-fit target. However, these speeds are achieved by runners who don't carry anything, have modern sportswear and have smooth, leveled roads.

I recognize that this spell is entering the area of much fuzziness since altough there is one guideline about granting magical ability (that I am streching from animal to human), there are no example on how to estimate the final spell level between the effect of granting an ability and the level itself of the ability. In this case, considering the level of TP spell and the 50 Paces Stride level, it seems within the right range. However, I would not know how to adjudicate if the ability granted was following the ReCo15 (50 paces). Would it simply bump it up by one magnitude ?
I did not suggest it becauses I find it quite impractical - moving 5 meters at a time is quite easy to gauge for the target if she is going to bump into a wall, that's another story for 50 meters at a time, unless you are on long, straight road (old Roman roads anybody ?)

I was looking at something similar, but different.

I was looking at the Magical Qualities in RoP:M

Major Magical Quality - No Fatigue, you don't suffer fatigue but can't over exert yourself. You can run at a fast pace day and night (not sprinting).

Minor Magical Quality - Improved Fatigue, add extra fatigue levels.

We should be able to use MuCo to grant these abilities to a human.

Everything related to improving/removing fatigue level will bump into the Lesser Limit of Energy.
Which means that it would require some Breakthrough - in fact, the invention of spells designed to improve performance by reducing fatigue might be ground for original research.

Otherwise, Witch tradition in Hedge magic provides lead for Hermetic Integration - truly fatigue level restoration requires ritual though.

Or, we can look at the MuTe guidelines and change a property of a person - their weight. If we make a person weigh a quarter or less of their normal weight, they should be able to run for a longer duration.

Usually, encumbrance cannot go negative (or give a bonus), but as long-term fatigue loss is assigned by the SG, they can easily rule that you lose less because you weigh less.
Or, a different way of looking at it would be that each step you take becomes a leap - you travel proportionately further with each step. Half weight, twice distance.
If you half your weight, you could cover twice the usual distance in the same time and for the same fatigue loss.

The Amazons from RM can provide a fatigue related breakthrough as well.

Medicines that restore fatigue are pretty easy to make per A&A.