Going Nuclear

Burning Death of the Thrice Doomed Covenant
CrIg 80 Ritual
R: Arc, D: Diam, T: Boundary

Does +30 fire damage to everything within a defined boundary (such as a covenant) not to exceed 900 paces in diameter every 6 seconds for two minutes (20 rolls). This is hot enough to melt stone. Requires an arcane connection to the targeted area. Even if a victim somehow manages to resist this spell, unless outside in a large open area survival is unlikely.

(Base 25, + 4 range, +1 Duration, + 4 Target +2 size)

A spell best cast under wizards communion (for some very impressive penetration total). I would not be surprised if having a casting tablet for this spell were to be considered a low crime.

No real point to this. Just trying to get some discussion going of Wizards Communion and high level ritual spells.

(BTW Cr 20 Ig 40 MMF Damage (+10), Magic Theory 10 + 4 Int + 5 Aura + 5 lab bonus, +6 apprentice = Lab total of 100 so it is inventable for an ArchMage).


Any Focus adds the lower art again, not half.

(Fwiw, I would never believe in "Damage" as appropriate for a Focus. Between the 4 elements, Herbem, Animal and Corpus, that's larger than a single Art. It also stinks of cheese and munchy powergaming, imo.)

But that is a spell. I'd recognize it anywhere. And you're right, casting it's easy, inventing it's the hard part. (There, that was short.)

IIRC "damage" is a specific example of a major magical focus in the RAW.

Been there, seen this spell used in game. Seen the surviving magus marched. The one that was not consumed by the flames himself, that is. Ity is what happens when you whipe Toledo and the Castillian monarchy from the face of Mythic Europe. It was a rather short and silly campaign, but this was certainly a climatic end to it.



From the Sample Major Magical Focus text box on page 45:

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(Oh, no, it's "Rules as Written" all right - apologies if I implied otherwise. But that doesn't change my position. I feel a Focus should add color, complexity and depth to a character. "Damage" does none of those, imo.) 8)

I have always been hesitant about the Major Focus in Damage. Wasn't sure if the RAW really meant that. Keep in mind though that Damage only represents a fraction of these several arts. If it was meant as legit, then I see no probblem using it. To me, combat specialists (what others call munchkins) have been some of the most heroic, tragic, noble, villianous, and memorable characters. The Elric wannabe Merinta was the best.

Anyway, in my opinion, that spell is actually kind of weak for the high magnitude. I see how the damage skirts magic resistance, even if you don't catch fire everything around you does, and as it is now natural fire, you get burned. Still, the spell has to penetrate the Aegis. Even then, a wll protected magus should be able to take 30 points of fire damage. He gets +1 to soak it for every five points of his Ignem score, and if he has a fire retardant ward on his sanctum or himself (I kept my Talisman amulet full of wards), that's another +15 (or more) protection against Heat & Flames. Plus any numer of other defenses or protections. He may be moderately to severly injured, but I think this is surviveable.

This spell would take out a Spring covenant full of young magi and a weak Aegis. No question. I doubt it would be as effective as imagined against an Autumn Covenant full of elders and Archmagi. A Summer or Winter covenant? Maybe, but maye not.

I agree but it makes for a quick and easy example (instead of just writing MF and getting into a debate over whether one is applicable). The problem with this spell is once invented it will be used and I get the feeling most midieval cities are less then 1 km^2.


Yeah, it'll get used ~once~, followed by the biggest, fastest march ever!

Otoh, it doesn't have to be used to just be a deterrent... :wink:

(Is there a Flambeau equivalent of MAD?)

(I'd have just gone with "MMF: Fire". That doesn't include "light", nor "warmth", nor "cold", so it's clearly smaller than one Art, good to go.)

What does MAD mean?

I agree it could take out towns and cities of mundanes. Would result in a quick march and serious repercussions, but oh well. I still doubt it would e as effective as imagined from first glance upon experienced magi. I think a 20 year magus could survive the initial brunt and make an escape. Much younger if he/she is a specialist. Some have immunity to fire as a Major Virtue.

Personally, I thing it would be more of an advantage to lower Range to Sight and Target to Structure. Divert the magnitudes towards more damage (or lower the level and get higher penetration). In fact, I do believe that if the Target is Structure instead of Boundary, then the only thing qualifying it as a ritual is the high level (which is not an absolute).

Pare this down so it is not a Ritual, spend some magnitudes on increased damage, and then you free up vis potential for Penetration.

In fact, make it Target-Group, get even more damage and Penetration, and pierce that Parma.

It is a good spell idea. I am just arguing that it is not as powerful as it may appear at first.

MAD = [size=117]Mutually Assured Destruction[/size].

It's the detente principle that they wont attack you if you possess equal power to destroy them if they do. Basically a Cold War term.

The spell is correct by the rules. If a clever magus use a kind of shroud magic or other tricks it is safer a bit.
However do not allow to kill magi who have enough penetration. I'm not concerned why the stone would melt anyway.

If there is an argument with your players about what happens after such an event I suggest not to clarify anything. "Who knows? Try it and and you will know. Yes, there will be an investigation, that's sure." :smiling_imp:

Would only work on the apprentices and grogs in our Covenant...Making the assumption that it would get through the Aegis...

Maybe not...consider...You decide that yon Covenant is annoying you, so everyone in your Covenant declares WW on everyone in the other Covenant....
The Collateral damage is a bonus if you get any of the other Magi....
AND you don't get Marched.
As for a City....Cities burn all the time.... :smiling_imp:
You might get away with it...

Raze a covenant ... fine.
Not be able to take their stuff... Are you insane? :open_mouth:

Go read the rules for Wizards Communion. The leader casts the target spell at (level / participants). So 8 magi and the ritual leader casts this as a level 10 spell (though four hardcore Mercurian magi with careful sorcerer are more likely). Against level ten or twenty I would expect the caster to have some pretty large penetration totals.

Also the rules on casting tablets mention tablets that include a penetration bonus but I don't remember the exact rules off the top of my head (only that the tablet, not the magi's penetration is used).


Ah, well you had mentioned this as a WC idea anyway. Personally though, I still think the Penetration is low. A level 20 Aegis, IMHO, is a very tiny and weak Aegis. Now granted, I come from earlier editions where we cranked up the Aegis to 75. Still, in fifth edition we feel safest if the Aegis is at least 50 and personal Parma is around 5 or 6 (8 to 10 used to e the old standard).

However, toss in enough magi in a Wizard's Communion, and it will still go down. You have a point there. I still postulate that it is much more effective against young magi and mundanes. Let's say I am a magus 15 years out of apprenticeship. My Stamina is 2, my Ignem 15. The basic Ward vs Heat & Flames gives +15 protection at level 25, Scale range down to Personal and spend that and another Magnitude on added protection, you have +25 protection versus fire at level 30.

And I just soaked the whole thing. Maybe I'll get first degree burns.

However, this is the upper edge of what's plausible protection for a young magus. I don't recall, but I believe that fire damage still gets a Quality Die added to damage, no? If so, then a lucky roll will kill me still. If not, I am Kurt the Unhurt.

This would still be a massively terrible spell though. I can imagine side effects other than continued heat and flames, such as smoke inhilation, colapsing structure, exploding lab equipment, etceteras.

I'm old enough to remember the Cold War, so MAD went over my head because of strange context. Personally, any Flambeau worth his salt should feel that his reputation alone should serve as a deterant for his peers. Maybe not his elders. I don't envison any sort of MAD though, just the Pax Hermetica keeping everything harmonious (well, within limits of course)

Yes, indeed. A Flambeau worth his very own salt would sure prove to be a deterrant. ducks sorry. :stuck_out_tongue:

Orp, Orp! :laughing:

That joke didn't bomb on everyone! Won't give you the sac for that one! A glowing review, if a bit super-critical!

Actually, in a thread titled "Going Nuclear", I thought MAD would fit quite naturally. It's why any two flambeaux would be hesitant to WW each other, a "lose-lose" proposition, even if one is there to claim "He lost more than me!" after the smoke clears.


MAD, SALT, where will it end?

But yeah, you get my idea. Build a rep and back it up. That's the Flameau method of detterance. As for MAD, well, the best way for a magus of any house to do that is to make well sure you have brothers-in-arms to back you up.

I don't know, for some reason I see Flambeau is a pretty tight group. I would expect that the house may step in and try to mediate before letting two Flambeau go at it.


Or they may gather around to watch :wink: .
All depends on the situation. If they were just young hot heads, I am sure elders would encourage Certamen or a non-lethal duel, contest, or tournament. Mature magi arguing over a point of honor? Stand back, I wanna see how this plays out :exclamation: