Combining spell effects in a unique spell?


I was thinking today about the possibility to combine several spell effect in one unique spell (let's say i want a spell which make me fly AND turn me invisible at the same time). I don't remember to have have seen anything like this in rulebook. But i might mistake.
Any thinking about this? Or do i have no other choice but to cast several spells one by one?

Also, in same kind of consideration, any insight about casting several times the same spell effect in a unique spell? (say: fire damage +5, casted several times in a unique spell, NOT using multicasting option).

Thanks for your answers :slight_smile:

Such compound effects are entirely possible within the Ars system. That is one of the purposes for requisites. Flying is either ReCo or CrAu (IMO the least magically efficient method) and invisibility would be PeIm (as if anyone needs to be told of course).

So, to do both with one effect would be Re(Pe)Co(Im) and since the second effect makes the original flying spell more than it would be without the requisites, you must add 1 mag for the requisites (since in this case the second effect is of less than 6th magnitude as a separate effect).

The final spell would look something like:

The Unseen Aerial Observer

Re(Pe)Co(Im) Lvl 30
R:Per D: Sun T: Ind

Allows the magus to fly unseen. (yeah stunning description I know, lol).

base 15(ReCo), +2 Sun, +1 Mag for requisites (level 10 PeIm effect).

As for the second example, I would say no. Fire damage may be upped within a single spell by adding additional magnitudes but one cannot circumvent the multicast difficulties by making the physical act of multiple castings a matter of a single spell's complexity, sorry.

Besides, one of the key principles of Hermetic Magic is (as previously touched upon) efficiency and it is much more magically efficient (and ultimately economical) to cast a +15 damage fire spell than three multicast spells of +5 damage each.

Tried using group target for your firespell?
That would give you as many fires as you want, as long as they together don't exeed the maximum size of the spell...

Usually magi tend to invent spells that do a single thing, simply because that will allow them to select what effects to apply (just imagine how dull it will be the day you want to fly over to a gathering of magical birds, and find that they will not talk to you because you're invisible...). But some spells are developed with side effects, and others developed by mad magi... To make such a combi-spell, take the strongest effect as a base, add requisites for anything else you need, and add at least 1 magnitude per ekstra effect. Two if both form and technique is different from the original.

Well, if the two spells combined are both high level, I feel that a single magnitude increase because of requisite isn't enough. So I'd perhaps add a second magnitude, either calling 'additional for requisite' or simply ' power/complexity'

Because adding the effects of one 6th mag. spell to another seems a bit cheap simply as 7th mag. After all, if you have difficulties casting the spells fatigueless (eg. in the Dominion), you can spend half the time, only risking 1 fatigue, because of this cobined effect. But adding not 1 but 2 magnitudes might mean, that such a high spell cannot be cast at all.

Just my 2 cents.

UV: If you're risking fatigue on a 6th magitude spell, then you'd be garanteed it on a 7th, and with the reduced casting total from the requisite, you might risk being unable to cast it without additional vis...
But, there isn't any real rule on this, so it it up to the troupe and ST.

Thanks for your answers :slight_smile:

A spell like "Flying body of Breeze" Mu(Re)Co(Au) would be very simple because this is under the Nature of the spell - become a body like a airy sustance tha fly and is invisible. Not?

I disagree with the position that is represented by Boxer's spell. I believe that spells should do one thing at a time.

Requisites are not the issue here, requisites allow the integration of multiple elements in a single task , not (IMO) to conglomeration of multiple tasks in a single spell (this spell changes the target into a toad and it creates a stone tower beneath the caster). Furthermore one could easily create multi-task spells that do not involve requisites for instance combining circling winds of protection and wings of the soaring wind.

From a rules perspective, there are not examples of spells in the published material that do the sort of thing that you ask. While this amounts to argument from ignorance, the absence of such spells is at least a little compelling. Of course I've no qualms about changing rules that don't appeal to me and I don't think that you should either so I'll try a few other tacks.

Spells that do multiple things at the same time are from a mechanics perspective sloppy. Does this spell have two targets both the wind and the caster? does it need two ranges? How does one adjudicate how many extra magnitudes to add to a spell for complexity? How does one avoid argument from players with a different opinion?

They represent a great increase in the potential power of magi being able to cast effectively two or three forumulaics per round instead of one is a big deal. I find that the characters in my games already have enough power to both tell compelling stories and to ooze competence /awsomeness, extra power is going to make me power up the levels of opposition that the characters face and in doing so make my setting less believable.

Narativley these multi spells are a sort of swiss army knife of utility. casting more focused spells is more appealing to my sense of story.

Use of rego/muto vim spells, clever spell mastery techniques (or simple fast casting), environmentally / linked triggered enchanted devices or other tools to be able to cast multiple spells at the same time is much cooler and somewhat harder if you allow an easy choice you'll see less of the (IMO) much more cool choice.

This is all just knee jerk reaction. However when I introduce new folks to the spell design process one of my points is "spells do one thing at a time". I have not yet regretted this.

I agree completely with Erik on this. This came up in our group a while ago, over a year, and if I'm remembering correctly, we found a sentence or two in the core rules that said that a single spell can do a single thing. I think it might be in the Muto Vim section, which allows magi to warp traditional spells in weird ways.

As for the "many spell effects with one spell", i.e. a group of +5 fires massed together to do more damage, I'd say "no". Rules exist for this - higher magnitude and multi-casting - and I'd stress using the rules instead of dancing around new ones. Saying that, I want to stress that that is how I'd handle it in my game, and anyone, anywhere, can do it however they like.

Matt Ryan

I let characters do this... Cosmetically: You can design a +15 dammage spell, and describe it as 5 arcs of flame racing towards a single target.
So long as the mechanics are the same, the appearance of the spell is a freebye.

The RAW seems to present much more support for my interpretation than you acknowledge Erik. Under "Requisites" it indeed suggests the viability of compound effects by saying "The second adds an effect to a spell".

Requisites are entirely the issue here. However, The principle of magical efficiency has also got to be born always in mind (as it would be in the mind of the magus) and thus whilst your first example proves ludicrous (and magically inefficient) your second does not necessarily do so. One could easily justify seizing the advantage of tacking a flight effect onto the standard Circling Winds spell to produce a whirlwind attack methodology (just stick your sword out while you are whipping around).

The list of canon spells is hardly exhaustive and only serves as a basic guide to get magi started in dreaming up their own effects.

In many cases I can imagine agreeing with this sentiment, but not all, else there would be no need nor purpose in specifically delineating the second use of requisites to combine effects. More often than not I do imagine, over-zealous lab types might try to combine entirely dissimilar (or wholly unrelated) effects and thus bolster your case, but the flying invisibly spell certainly does not fall into that category as both spells:

  1. Are Targetted at the caster (in this case)
  2. Use the same RDT
  3. Afford him/her a measure of tactical advantage whilst clocking in at a mere 6th Mag (easy for journeymen magi certainly)

No, just the caster remains the Target of both effects (thus maintaining efficiency).

Again, no.

According to the RAW of course. If an additional added effect (as noted by the additional T/F requisites is less than 6th mag, add 1 extra mag to the total spell. If the added effect is equal to or greater than 6th mag, add 2 extra mags.

Thats easy, PeIm to silence all opposition from around the table. lol :wink:

More than one formulaic in a round and your talking about requiring significant investment in multicast mastery, possibly high finesse and in some cases very high Concentration Ability scores (all of which demand far more time and effort investment to achieve than efficiently combining associated or similar effects into a compound spell.

This is purely an argument of preference my friend :wink:

Whilst I do agree that the alternative you posit above is "cooler", it doesn't stand to reason that proper and efficient application of compound spellcasting will eradicate such methods from a saga, more like icing on an already substantial cake of possibilities.

Spells do one thing at a time in your ME, not necessarily in all ME's. The beauty of Hermetic magic is the ability to achieve single AND (possibly) compound effects as efficiently as possible.

To Ultraviolet: The second effect in the example spell I presented to the OP above is only of 2nd magnitude thus as a requisite effect the RAW seems to indicate that I was correct in assigning only 1 extra mag despite the fact that the requisite effect required the notation of both T and F of the additional effect.

As evidenced by other above, YMMV.

Well, adds an effect is different from "adds another spell" isn't it?

Still, one could add +1 mag per requisite, but, as stated above, there's the problem of stacking multiple spells with the same Technique and Form.

Still, there's the fact that there's not a single spell that combine multiple spell effects. That should count for something, especially as this is supposed to be a guide.

That could work, even if it is generous. Note that this doesn't ease the multiple R/D/T problem.

I'd also add extra magnitudes per each requisite, of course.

Thus, to me, your unseen aerial observer would be Base 15, + 2 sun = lvl 25, +1 for extra spell effect, +1 for Pe requisite, +1 for Im requisite = lvl 50.
This seems fair to me.

Another possibility could be to allow a new mastery ability, allowing magi with fast cast and multicast to fast-cast multiple spells for a spell total equal to the lowest mastery score instead of casting a "normal" formulaic spell. This'd require a minimum mastery score of 3 for each spell.

For a good example of a spell that does more than one thing without a requiste, see Ice of Drowning. Has the "+1 additional effect" in design notes, so should be pretty safe there...

For spells that does multiple things with requisites, try The Earth's Carbuncle or Crystal Dart. Both of these changes rock, and then moves it.

And my suggestion?
Body of Living Breeze
Mu(Re)Co(Au) Level 25
The Wizard becomes himself in a soft wind, and thanks to his concentration can control his moves without earthly limits. To can move the Wizard make a stress die + Stamina + Finess vs 3/magnitud for the equivalent Auram spell by opposed strength of the Wind. Need maintain Concentration with strongs changs of the wind.
[Base 15, +1 for Concentration, +1 for Requisites]

No it's well?
And that spell of attack?
Tremolous Arm of Frost
Pe(Re)(Cr)Ig(Variable) Level 30
This spell summon a tentacle or arm that hurts with +10 of damage, targeting with a perceptio + finess die roll. The arm takes diferents aspects for those Form: a fireless smoke for Ignem, a child freezer mist for Aquam, a cold and Dark cloud for Auram and a dark long tentacle with Imaginem.
[Base 10, +2 Voice, +1 Diameter, +1 Rego Requisite, +0 for aesthetic Creo + Forma Requisite]

Mario: If the requisites are purely for aestetical reasons, you can usually dispatch with them (otherwise you'd need requisites for many sigils)

OK, I thought that was needed declare them.

The term "effect" implies a spell (as another way of having to always write "spell effect") throughout the RAW. effects are essentially the resulting phenomena caused by the spellcasting process (and more indirectly by enchanting spells into objects.

One could demand added mags for each T/F notation in a spell design, but to my mind that would be an entirely subjective judgment call. The RAW implies (in the "Requisites" section pp. 114-115 ARM5:CR that if the additional effect for which requisites are listed is less than 6th mag on its own, then only 1 mag is added. This does not seem to indicate that one adds +1 mag for the total additional effect AND then 1 each for the T/F requisites noted. The T/F notations, to my reading of the RAW, ARE the material representations within the formula of the additional effect (in this case both T/F are noted whilst in other cases which share a similar T or F between both combined effects being joined, one would only need list the uncommon T or F required of the additional effect.

This is an argument from silence and leads to a far more slippery slope than simply acknowledging that the RAW writers chose to present the the most basic TeFo spell combos as the starting point for inevitable character spell designs of a more complex or compound nature. That seems to be a much more reasonable explanation. A magus must learn to walk before he can learn to fly invisbly, after all :wink:

I'm pleased you think it could work, espcially since it is explicitly stated as the measure by the RAW (as noted above). If you think it generous, then your issue is with the explicitly stated fact in the RAW and not my application of the rule itself.

My spell suggestion in my original response to the OP use the same RDT, or perhaps you missed that fact.

That would be your prerogative as an SG. It is not however an absolute derived from the RAW I'm afraid. I see the notation of both requisites as merely indicative of the fact that in some cases the additional effect does not share the TeFo combination (or any part thereof) of the primary spell to which it is being added. As such I take the added effect as that which requires the added magnitude, not each T or F notation themselves.

And to this I would answer that I find your ruling utterly draconian. The added mag is for the added "effect" whose standalone magnitude must be examined according to the measure stated in the RAW. If the ENTIRE additional effect is below 6th mag, then only 1 added mag, if equal to or greater than 6th mag, +2 mags.

If you think it fair to push all compound spells into the echelon of ritual spells, I have to sincerely disagree. flying invisibly as a compound spell is perfectly reasonable at 6th magnitude especially as it only effects the caster. To effect another it would reasonably rise to 7th mag and for effecting more than one other 8th mag and beyond, which I think "seems fair".

That is of course another option for multiple spells in a single round, however, it is an option I already alluded to in my original response to the OP and one which really isn't the subject of this discussion on compound effects for single spells.

I would chime in just to humbly point out that the SG is supposed (according to the RAW) to increase the level of a spell by one or more magnitudes for complexity. IMHO, the more effects a spell tries to achieve, and the less related they are, the greater the complexity of the spell. For example, moving around air so that 1) it supports you allowing you to fly and 2) it deflects enemy attacks is feasible, but certainly far more complex than either effect alone; though it's certainly easier than combining two totally unrelated effects, e.g. creating a toad while turning yourself invisible at the same time.

In our games, stuff like toad+invisible or fly+invisible are effectively "banned" in that the extra complexity to create them is prohibitive - from a meta-game point of view, our group's choice is not an issue of game balance as much as an issue of "elegance". Ars Magica is not D&D.

I would also point out that the spell guidelines explicitly say that, when granting magical senses, one spell can only grant one sense - you need multiple spells to grant multiple senses. Which side of the argument this supports is subject to interpretation :slight_smile:

Who suggested anything about spells to grant magical senses?

To toss in my two pennies, I fall somewhere between Boxer and Fixer here (and, like everyone else, feel that the RAW back up my position).

On p. 128 of the core book, there is a level 45 spell, Fog of Confusion, that is MuAu with a ReIm requisite. I think it's pretty fair to characterize this as a spell which does two pretty distinct things to its target (the fog) (note: I do think the raw is clear that all effects of a spell must share Range, Target, and Duration): changes the makeup of the fog, and makes it start giving off strange noises. To me, that seems pretty comparable to the notion of, say "makes this person over here both invisible and able to fly".

However, if you look at the makeup for said spell, in includes: "+1 Imaginem requisite, +1 Rego Requisite". To me, this, combined with the Spell chapter section on Requisites, give the impression that requisites are thought of in terms of art, not in terms of Technique/Form combination.

In the case of the triple pilum of flame, the way I tend to think of it is, basically, as a requisite: it's a CrIg spell with two additional Ig effects; since they add an effect, and aren't simply cosmetic, each incurs the +1 magnitude for an additional effect. Thus, it works out to being functionally equivalent to a complexity bump. Three different damage rolls would be made, and soak would apply to each separately. Sometimes, this will be better than simply casting the larger more damaging effect; sometimes, it won't.

I would say that assuming that any requisite addition for additional effect also automatically adds a complexity bump as well is over-the-top, and not supported by the RAW.

So, I'd say, yes, you can combine distinct effects into a single spell, as long as requisites are taken into account separately. (And, that, additional effects in addition to the ones you took the requisite for in the first place add +1 magnitude, keeping in mind that on p.114, it does specifically note that the largest-magnitude effect is the one that the spell is based on... you can't cheat and add-on a big requisite effect on a little basic spell.)

So, the hypothetical invisible flying magi spell:

PeIm R:Per, D:Con, T:Ind: Base 4, +1 changing Image ReCo: R:Per, D:Con, T:Ind: Base 15 (I'm assuming the speedy flight)
So, the ReCo effect is bigger, so that's our base.

Re(Pe)Co(Im) 30: R:Per, D:Con, T:Ind Allows a magus to fly invisibly. (Base 15, +1 Con, +1 Pe Req, +1 Im Req)

To the naysayers, I would note that such a spell is vastly harder than its parts. A magus willing to learn two spells would need to be able to handle ReCo 20 and PeIm 10; the magus trying to learn this spell needs to be able to handle both ReCo 30 and PeIm 30.