Help with Animal Magic (are hippogriffs animals?)

Dear all

I need some help with Animal magic. I have a Bjornaer in my campaign who is always asking 'Is X an animal?' X being Dragons, Wyrms, Drakes, Hippogriffs etc. Now, I know that any given creature can be associated with a given Realm - so an Infernal Dragon or a Divine Wolf - but where is the line drawn in terms of 'Do I use Animal or Vim to affect this beastie?'

Thanks in advance for your help on this one.

Kind regards



Dragons are definitely affected by Animal. The Core Rulebook section on penetration gives an example of a Maga facing off against a dragon. The spell she wants to use is 'Agony of the Beast,' which is PeAn.
I'd say that you can use Animal to affect the bodies of the other creatures you list as well. In the same way that you can hurt a demon's body with PeCo, you should be able to affect a magical animal's body with the Animal Form.
Affecting the creature's mind might be a bit more of a debate if it has human-level intelligence. For that, I leave the floor open to my sodales.

If you want affect theirs bodys (and theirs minds if they have Cunning and no inteligence), you can use Animal form if you can penetrate theirs resistance, including wards. You can affect them with some Vim effects, Perdo for reduze theirs Might and Rego for forbid or block them with a Ward efect. If they are basesd in other Form, for example a Fire Dragon in Ignem, you can use Ignem too.
Remeber, you must be sure about the Realm Correspondence, those spell is different.

The answer is "it depends".

You can affect all supernatural creatures with Vim magic, because Vim magic is for dealing with supernatural things. Although, of course not all Vim spells affect all realms: for example, Demon's Eternal Oblivion only affects Infernal beasties, but equivalent spells can be invented for the other realms.

Each supernatural creature has a Form associated with its Might. You can use this Form to affect the creature, for example, to ward against it. This Form might be Animal, or it might be something else.

If the creature has an Intelligence characteristic, then you can use Mentem to affect its mind.

If the creature has an animal body, then you can use Animal to affect its body. Whether a dragon, hippogriff, etc have animal bodies is largely a matter for your own saga and might vary from creature to creature. Certainly, it seems very sensible for a hippogriff to count as having an animal body. If the dragon had a fleshy sort of body, then animal would make sense too. On the other hand, if the dragon's body was made of fire, or shadows, or something else exotic, then probably animal wouldn't make sense.

If the creature has an Animal Form Might and a Cunning characteristic then you cannot use Mentem to affect its mind. You must use Animal instead. If it has a Form Might that is not Animal (and it has a Cunning characteristic) then you use that Form to affect its mind. For example, an Earth Elemental has a Cunning characteristic and a Terram Form Might --- you use Terram to affect its mind.

Another old post that I've just read. As I'm currently working on a Shapeshifter the thought of changing my Magas shape into that of a Manticore or a Dragon suddently occured to me. Someone must have tried this before though - can a find a similar spell/guideline in some supplement or has the issue been touched in a previous post?
I would assume that since MuCo with the right requisite can change you into wolf/bird/tree/rock/puddle/air you should be able to become a 'mythic animal' as well, right? Would this then require an Animal requisite as well as a Vim requisite? Any guesses on a base level?

isn't there already:

  • a thread (about transformation in dragon)... Found it!

  • a guideline? ok no. But read "Creo animal" box, it says something interesting. Basically, and that's also covered in the other thread: Vim requisite mandatory; [power(s)] requisite(s), [form] requisite. Might cannot exceed level of spell.

So, if i consolidate those datas, IMO, for a muto spell:

base = base of the "mundane" equivalent transformation

  • parameters
  • X for X of might
  • free requisite of Vim, form and power(s)
  • size of transformation

Example, to turn into Stellatus (ArM5 p 194), size +8, might 50, animal shape, ignem nature, and Mentem, Ignem powers.

Base 10 (animal land) +3 magnitude for size +8. Might 50 => +50 levels
Personal +0
Duration (year) +4
Target : individual +0

Final spell: "I'm your father. Or not. But be scared."
MuCo(An,Ig,Me,Vi) 95 ritual
(base 10, pers, year, individual, +3 size for the aimed form, +0 free requisite animal, ignem, mentem, vim)

You turn into Stellatus.
You are affected by animal (your shape current body), mentem (your essential nature and also shape current mind), corpus (essential nature), ignem (your current form nature) and vim (your shape magical nature). If your shape might is destroyed, you suffer the same consequences that would a normal might being when might is 0, according your saga rules (that can be dead, or just becoming mundane).

If you want the powers, the requisites are not free, since you are adding to the effect of the spell. Or you can just omit them, and turn into a dragon without the powers that go with it. More importantly, you need to check the base level for each power: they just might be higher than your base of level 10 'turn into a land beast'. For instance, giving an animal the ability to breathe fire is MuAn Base 25, so I imagine turning yourself into a dragon that breathes fire has at least a similar base.

For powers, IMO, they are part of the "magical nature" of the beast and requisite is only needed to enhance its ability to use them.

I don't think using them as base is good, because they are only subsequent consequences of the transformation.
Besides, if you use them as base, why wouldn't the spell include a requisite Creo (to create them), Rego (to control them) also?

And, doing it, totally do a spell no magus can ever cast, which either can be the choice of the troupe, or be anti thematic if the troupe does want them to be used by some magi.

In the same way, turning into a bird doesn't include an auram requisite for his innate flying ability.

At least, IMS, I wouldn't go that way. YSMV, of course.

Nope, they clearly add stuff and as such should not be free.

But anyone who can manage a level 95 spell can probably manage a level 115...

Its not a magic power.

You´re not casting spells, you´re including powers.

Powers are as natural to magical being in Ars than flying is natural for a bird.

If you turn into a bird, you fly. If you turn into a magical being, you have powers.

But you can do what you want in your saga, since no guidelines and no spells canonly does so, it's up open to interpretation.

A related question: can someone with the shapeshifter virtue take form of dragon, hippogryph, pegasus and such as long as you stay within size +2 or less.

I don't think so because it's for (mundane) animals.

Thnaks alot for the answers Exar. After reading the previous thread, is must admit that YR7 has a pretty important point:
"Note also that the guidelines for creating a creature with Might (CrAn) say that the Might must be lower than the spell level. So you can go with that, if you want to, instead of piling on the Might on top of the other elements."

On, another note - you choose to include Mentem because a Dragon would have an Intelligence score rather than Cunning right? But there is no Mentem requisite when changing into a puddle of mud (which is still fully sentient and intelligent i guess). Any thoughts on this?

Disregarding some of the above discussions about powers etc. which people seem to disagree on, i come up with this:

Magus Becoming the Mighty Beast
Muto Corpus general guideline
Base: Land 10 / Bird or Fish 20 / Plant 25 / Insubstantial 30
Requisites: Animal + Vim + Main Form (if any) (possibly for Powers as well)
Size: Up to size +1 (+1 magnitude for size = x10 mass = +3 beast size steps)
Might: Less than final spell level
Powers: Max 1/3 final spell level (suggested house rule)
Power cost: 1 level of fatigue per 5 might cost of the effect (suggested house rule)

Thus, the spell for becoming a magic beast is no higher level than for becoming a mundane Animal, as long as the Might score is sufficiently low.
The spell is somewhat more difficult to learn and cast though, as a result of the added requisites.

Sample spell: "Stealing the Stature of Stellatus"
MuCo(An,Ig,Vi) 50 - Ritual
Range: Personal, Duration: Sun, Target: Individual
(Base 10, +4 Year, +3 size, +0 free requisite animal, ignem, vim, +1 magnitude to match Might 50)

Only the high Might score seems to put some level balance into this spell.
Imagine meeting Stellatus a few decades earlier, where she is merely size +7 and has a Might score of 35.
This puts us out of Ritual level, which makes a Sun duration version interesting.
Adding together a die roll, a relevant Characteristic, and various bonuses - this could be achieved merely with a high Muto score, making the impact of the requisites less dramatic.

Sample spell: "Stealing the Stature of Stellatus jr."
MuCo(An,Ig,Vi) 30 - Formulaic
Range: Personal, Duration: Sun, Target: Individual
(Base 10, +2 Sun, +2 size, +0 free requisite animal, ignem, vim)

Can we all agree that this level is too low? Even foregoing the Powers, it's still to powerful. What have i missed?

I think those spells are too easy, while giving too much power.

Do you realize that your spell level 50 actually gives a level 10 parma ability?

I think it's overpowered.

Lol. Did you intentionally skip the last part of my post?:
Can we all agree that this level is too low? Even foregoing the Powers, it's still to powerful. What have i missed?

IMHO, shapechanging spells should never grant a Might score. Any power that is not strictly dependent on the creature's physical shape (flying is OK in most cases, but firebreathing is not) would not be granted.

You are only taking the creature's shape. You don't "become" a creature (as in the Merinita mystery "Becoming").

You can use either, much as you can attack a fire elemental with either. It just changes the spell level. A PeAn attacks the body of the creature, a PeVi attacks its spirit. Much as you can attack a human with either Corpus or Mentem.