So, most of Ars Magica is relatively non-setting breaking. The code and the domestic nature of much of the game, not to mention the long term progression of abilities, means that magi rarely have the ability to break mythic Europe too soon, nor have the inclination and would be stopped by their sodalis, maybe, if they tried.

I'm not interested in any of that here.

What I want to explore are epic feats of magic, how to do them and what the consequences would be. Much like Hermetic projects. Think big.

A few of the obvious ideas that have somewhat already been covered are
Build a flying fortress
Build a fortress/covenant in a volcano
Build a new island nation out on Dogger Bank or somewhere else suitably shallow

To which I've already run the number on:
An under sea covenant protected by a giant dome
A canal tunnel running from the north to the south of Europe to link the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean
Slice off a mountain top, flip it and use that to build a city, ala Netheril Enclaves

Does anyone have any other grand ideas that we could mull over, number crunch and theory crunch the fallout? I guess we'd need to set some limits, so only stuff that can be achieved with Hermetic magic including the mysteries

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The easiest one is the base lvl 20 CrHe "crash the spice market" by creating a giant mound of saffron. (Base 1 "create cubic yard of plant product" +1 touch +6 size = 1,000,000 cubic yards of spice).

Salt production (as described in TME) is also an easy one to do.

And implied by TME, probably the most transformative thing to do in terms of transportation is the "teleporting slab of rock" effect - ie, use a ReTe teleport effect to transport a base individual slab of rock. Assuming you can stack anything you want on top of it (up to 1/2 its weight), this allows you to basically build low-rent teleportation hubs for transporting materials across Europe, without worrying about the Warping effects due to teleporting human beings.

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Growing off of Gribble's comment I think that a fair amount of the magical industrial revolution chapter in Transforming mythic Europe is off target. There aren't enough magi to create most items in the quantity I'd expect to need to alter society. But there are enough magi to make a good number of really big things like the teleportation slab, items where ten or twenty of them can change the world.

A rather mythic idea that I've been toying with for a while is a library that does not exist in the real world, but instead exists in something like the mental laboratory devices from Covenants.
*There are ritual spells in Mysteries revised to allow creation of a mental copy of a book, push these spells up to target group with additional magnitudes for size.
*Then move all of the books from the caster's mind to some mental space in an enchanted device.
*Then use arcane connections to the enchanted device to access the virtual library from anyplace in the world
*Don't stop at it just being a library let the users talk to each other, leave each other notes
*Figure out how to access this new place by dream magic so you can do it in your sleep (saving time) and without an AC, wrap a mystery cult around your newly created city of dreams

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A topic I've thought is "A Magical City" - create an isolated city, that generates all its needs from raw vis and local resources around it, with no need to import anything from the outside world (including, notably, mundane society). It's surprisingly difficult, as there are just too many things that people need/want. The nearest I've come up with is something like the following:

Gormenghast: The City That Is a Dream

Gormenghast is an eight-magi strong covenant located in a low-level Magical regio in the Ardennes mountains. Extremely isolationist, it subsists solely on products it manufactures locally from its raw vis sources. It is famous for its huge number of covenfolk, which are arranged in strict guilds and classes. Notable practices and enchantments include:

The Pits: A series of pits enchanted with ReHe and ReAn designed to hold food indefinitely. Gormenghast relies on ritual spells using An and He raw vis obtained from the magical woods surrounding it to fill these with a small selection of crops and meat, which constitute the bulk of the covenfolk's diet. The covenant's magi must learn and master these rituals, which they cast annually.

Adjacent to the Pits are further warehouses, holding a few other raw ingredients including salt, steel, wood, and marble. These are similarly produced magically. In addition, a few small gardens within the city produce various spices and herbs.

The compact with the forest and mountains spirits that grant the covenant its vis prohibits the covenant from taking from the forest and mountain; it instead guards these Magical places, receiving raw vis in return.

All in all, the covenant maintains a stock of 8 or more goods created magically with Momentary Creo Ritual spells, that need be cast annually or nearly so, from He, An, and Te raw vis. That's not a small amount of rituals to cast every year, in addition to the Aegis! And yet it still leaves the covenant poorly-stocked, with only a scant few raw ingredients to work with.

The Craft Tools: A series of enchanted craft tools, each allowing the wielder to employ Rego Craft magic with his Finesse score. The tools are handed down within the guilds of Gormenghast, and new tools are occasionally created and rewarded to the guilds.

Using these tools allows the covenfolk to somewhat-circumvent the poor selection of raw materials, as intermediate materials that would normally be required to craft things aren't needed using Rego Craft magic. They also significantly boost the productivity of the covenant's roster of artisans, as each can produce a day's work "in an instant", so that even with some Limited Use on the items each artisan can produce many times over his mundane counterpart. A result of using these tools is that most artisans in Gormenghast are "generalists", focusing on increasing their Finesse and getting to know finished-products and ideas in a wide-range of areas rather than increasing any actual Craft scores. The guilds are still limited to the Forms each toolset works with (Animal, Herbam, and Terram being the most common). In addition to these main guilds, the guild of Scribes, which specialize in crafting and copying books, is also a power in Gormenghast, and unlike the others its members typically study their Crafts (Scribing, Bookbinding, Illustration, as well as a smattering of Magic Theory, Latin, and Artes Liberales) as foiling a magus' book through bad dice rolling is not desirable.

Poseidon's Gift: An arcane connection secretly draws water from a nearby lake to the covenant's great fountain, from where it is distributed to the rest of the city.

This is crucial as creating water from raw vis is not feasible, IMO. You need too-large cisterns. So I think summoning them from afar is the only other good possibility. Excluding dumb-luck of having a large-enough fountain/river on-hand, which is cheating.

The Faerie Market: Despite forbidding trade, a secretive faerie market exists in Gormenghast, which only a few can enter, and they too perhaps unwittingly. This market allows trade in all manner of goods that are not available to Gormenghast covenfolk, from exotic meals to holy books. It is rumored that despite their protestations and public attempts to locate and stomp the market, the magi actually participate in it in disguise.

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Re : Poseidon's Gift - That leads to an area I've been unsure about (but haven't tried to mine the forums for an answer on). What is the result if you use the "Create a spring/geyser with [x] rate of flow." guidelines in Momentary Creo Rituals?

I guess the simplest "epic" magic is that of scale - what sort of profound change can be made if your Boundary Spell (or other large scale Targets like water way or road/road network) has a +x magnitude size modifier. Can an Aegis be scaled up that way? Stat raising magics?

Also, Himnis' Curses can last for years - with the right positioning and trigger action/frequency, the right curse could have a huge impact on Mythic Europe.

I'm uncertain if you are looking for GRAND magics or impacting magics, or both.

Grand EPIC Magic is showy and may not have a huge impact. Creating a floating city is impressive, but may not throw the world out of alignment.

Impacting magic can be simple but enormously wide-ranging. Building a small fleet of air-floating ships, or a device that copies books would have a huge, if not immediate, impact.

Making a Portal network available to mundanes, for a toll, would probably be both.

This sounds a bit like an idea I had a while back.
One (fairly new) player wanted to do magics with sleep and dreams.
So I dreamt (sorry) up the following:

Beneath the Earth, somewhere, a giant was bound into eternal slumber. Surrounded by wards both to keep him in and all others out, he lies not dead but sleeping. Dreaming.
Since he dreamt continously,his dreams were fairly stable and extended.

Enter a mystery cult of Dream-magi, who gathered in those dreams, and had transformed them essentially to their own desires. They had build a rather fantastical enviroment in there, kept stable via their various magics, and had most of what you'd expect from a full covenant in there, including an fairly extensive library focused on oneiromantic magics, as well as some vary generously appointed labs - Mental Constructs, but with enough Vis and access to the Greater Dream Mysteries, you might be able to drag some of their products out into the real world.

It was never used. The players never really took the bait I offered for plots that might get them into contact with the group.

Maybe I should write that out for a fanzine some day.
but it won't be right now.

Have you heard about the Visio Tnugdali? It's a 12th century religious text in which a sinful knight from Cork, Ireland is in a state of near death, given a second chance by an angel. Over three days the knight is given a tour of Hell, Purgatory and Heaven, returning to Earth a reformed man.

...Yes, this is the same rough outline as Dante's Divine Comedy, two centuries early. Though "rough" does not begin to describe it. Much of the narrative seems like placeholders for a preacher to fill in local flavor; for instance, Sir Tnugdalus' angel is barely given a description, while Dante's Vergil is a figure from folklore which Italian readers already knew the background for. Sir Tnugdalus has a tendency to peer into the pits and say "There are people I recognize down there!" with no further elaboration, while Dante gladly filled Hell with associates he didn't like very much, as well as stock characters like Cleopatra and Marc Anthony. Even Dante's overarching journey to finally see his lost Beatrice is easier to connect with than seeing a heel like Sir Tnugdalus get castigated in seven different ways. It could be said that the narrative evolved over the centuries and across Europe, picking up ideas as it travelled.

This is relevant to the OP because my idea for Epic Magic would be Mass Media. This is building off of the mental construct library Tyrell mentioned before, but a bit simpler. For added fun, it's treating the mundane interference clause like the tape at the end of a marathon! See, Hermetic Magi are on shaky ground half because of the Gift, half because of the questionable reputation they have (justified or otherwise). So... propaganda! Have House Mercere spread rumors about how wonderful a magus can be, distribute their news far and wide. Have House Flambeau's warrior-poets seed Mythic Europe with stories about all the evil they've destroyed. Have House Jerbiton's Gently Gifted members teach mundanes the difference between the Infernal and the Magical. Have House Tytalus... do whatever they were doing already, they're kind of scary. This will require very many Arcane Connections and non-stop artifact production, but when it is in place the Order of Hermes can standardize the media in a way only the Church could previously. Every tavern can have the same songs, every library can have copies of the same basic books. When a mother tells their son a fairy tale in the Rhine, it's the same fairy tale told in Hibernia. And most of all, public consensus will be that the Order of Hermes is acceptable.

This will piss off EVERYONE, and likely end in a folly of hubris. Someone's going to get Marched (likely the first result), the Church will fall on the OoH like a consecrated sack of bricks (Whether God wants them to do so is another question...), the legions of Hell will try to hijack media outlets (this is not surprising), the more cognizant fairies are going to be livid about how standardized their stories are becoming, House Tremere finally mobilizes the master stroke of their plans, the Mongols and the Amazons wander into the war zone to carve up bits of their own territory, and any sense of historical accuracy fell off the boat about three leagues ago.

And you know what? That's Epic. To me, "Epic" implies a very wide scope. High fantasy elements change that a bit, but I'd rather strain the setting as far as it can be strained. For the love of God, keep me away from Art & Acadame.

There's always mind-controlling the entirety of Britain (or Ireland, or some other area with a well defined boundary) into complete loyalty to you. Bonus points if it has Until duration.

It's, what, a level 95 spell? (Base 25 + 1 Touch + 4 Year/Until + 4 boundary + 5 size mags). That's tricky, but doable. Sadly 190 levels of Ritual Communion is probably going to be tricky to put together (even though you're really good at mind control, finding enough people with the right skillset is tricky), but if you can manage it you can probably get enough penetration to get most of the magi as well.

If you can't get the penetration you'll probably find that you also don't get the people with Commanding Aura, but that won't matter too much as no one else will pay attention to them. The bigger problems either way are a) God and b) the Order coming down on you like a ton of bricks.

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Some epic magic ideas:

Military spells - what's enough to stop the Mongol Horde in a combat round or two? Are there efficient ways (such as weakening every bowstring in the army)?
What's the most devastation you can pack into a formulaic spell, or into an enchanted device? (not epic, but certainly a fun challenge for a mid-career enchanter)

Landscape architecture - building bridges across the English Channel or Irish Sea, making new mountain passes, constructing roads or canals across deserts and swamps.

Making an entire city healthy by removing all the living conditions modifiers, so cities grow in population and wealth.

Destroying every demon that dares take a physical form upon this earth (I think someone calculated that once)

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Rival Magic already had a pretty epic quest baked in; defeat Viea and make peace with the Amazons. It's the former that will require some epic magic; Viea is a figurative snake stuck in a drainpipe, almost guaranteed to kill or cripple anyone who approaches her. An armchair wizard or eternal GM such as myself can have a blast theorizing ways in which she can be defeated with no magi casualties.

At first, one would assume she's a test of Magic Resistance. Thou must possess a Parma Magica of tenth magnitude or higher to ride. Unlike many of the high Might angels and faeries in the Realms of Power books, Viea is well within the power scale of a hermetic arch-magus, almost explicitly designed as a "final boss". If the troupe has requested a campaign about a war with the Amazons, they probably came in expecting an old fashioned slugging match between ancient wizards, and this can provide that.

...But upon closer inspection, Viea has no method of detecting the Gift by herself. She can likely feel the subconscious fear and hatred the Gift causes, but she's no longer an Amazonian sorceress and no longer has Ma'at Zoi to study it further, nor will her frozen Essential Nature allow her to be interested in male magi beyond simply crushing them. So! Make a dozen shield-grogs wear robes, pointy hats and slippers. As Jerbiton taught us, if someone isn't wearing a pointy hat and robe, they're obviously not a wizard. Now, cast The Phantom Gift on all of them. Give them some enchanted wands or staves with properly overpowered yet straightforward attack magic (Something with a Penetration total of 50, at least) and have all of them march in along with your covenant. Your covenant's custos will likely hate you forever, but you'll have confused and overwhelmed one of the greatest Magical threats the Order has ever faced.

...Someone else here likely has a better idea. I'd love to hear it!

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Do it fairy godmother style, so the custos don't hate you? Start with a bunch of mice, MuAn(Co) + ReAn them, and proceed as planned.



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About defeating Viea? A master of Mentem with an understanding of how Amazon magic works can defeat her with relative ease. Most of her powers do not work against her close sisters! Neither is she a dynamo of hand-to hand. So: control some of those close to the Amazon ruler, or the ruler herself, collect arcane connections to her through that. With that, you can kill her from a distance, have the mind-thralled Queen's guard stab her repeatedly from ambush (note that they might be easy to convince, Viea is a monster!), or more usefully for her knowledge and the skills, make her a slave and plumb her for Insight (and of course, prepare for her inevitable escape). She also lacks Amazon Arts after her Transformation, so no Magical Defenses to interfere, and has no Zoi powers to have invisible spirits to aid her. Her main strength is her Magic Might, which can be penetrated with preparation, and the nasty powers she can lob at you. A Necromancer could send spirits and corpses with your Covenant assault tactics described above; a Hermetic Sahir could recruit a number of tough and violent jinn, who could enter her abode undetected and stabbity stab, she's done, she might kill one or two in the process. Shapeshifter and illusion masters could fool her long enough, hell a Tytalus with Persona could go for broke and maybe take over the whole country, what a goal, and have Vieia obey him/her! MuCo/An spells on the grogs/animal assault team to turn them into size +2 might also make them untargettable, negating most of her powers (and other Amazons as well).

Making the Amazons as a nation a willing ally, that would be more epic, I think.

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One of my characters (for a planned saga, as seems to always be the case) had the objective of becoming Isis as a Daimonic maga, then spreading her cult and temples (backed by Eidolons and the corresponding Aura) throughout Mythic Europe.

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Shouldn't the player characters' methods to closely inspect Viea's weaknesses define your saga far more than any conclusions they draw for an eventual fight with her?

Even Queen Derimusa doesn't know what she gets:

So what do player characters know?

But that is all for the saga, not for the forum.