home-baked spells

A player in my saga, which is about to start, has come up with a lot of self-made spells and since I know that nothing escapes the eyes of you as a group, I've decided to put them here for you to comment. I really like some of the ideas, am a bit worried about some others, but just want some feedback to help me decide if anything might break/abuse the system.
The spell levels don't have to add up to 120.

pts Spell Name................... (TeFo Lvl/Base Casting Bonus)
_5 Cloak o’ Duck Feathers (ReAq 5/+4)
_5 Washerwoman’s Wring (ReAq 5/+4) [Mastery +1 (Fast)]
10 Break Oncoming Wave (ReAq 10/+4)
_3 Fleet Feet of Flanking (MuCo 3/+6)
_5 Blood Will Tell (Merovingian Kings) (InCo 5/+14)
25 Sprint in a Blink (ReCo(An) 25/+14)
20 Witch’s Broom (ReHe 20/+9)
15 Distant Moonlight (CrIg 15/+4)
20 Peruse the Distant Object (InIm 20/+9)
25 Pose Many Silent Questions (InMe(An) 25/+14)
25 Call the Group to Slumber (ReMe(An) 25/+14)
15 Swarm of Crystal Darts (Cr(Re)Te 15/+6) [Mastery +2 (Penetration, Fast)]
25 Arcane Excavation (ReTe 25/+14)
30 Smell the Secrets of Magic (InVi 30/+19)

Washerwoman’s Wring (R: Pers, D: Mom, T: Ind) Pushes all water from person of caster, leaves puddle at feet.

Fleet Feet of Flanking (Pers, Diam, Ind) Run as fast as fastest human.

Blood Will Tell (Merovingian Kings) (Taste, Mom, Ind) - Allows the caster to detect a descendant of a single, particular, distinct bloodline.

Sprint in a Blink (R: Voice, D: Mom, T: Ind) Sim to Wizard's Leap, teleports the target target 50 paces in any direction.

Witch’s Broom (R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual) This spell animates a branch or stick of wood, allowing it to fly or hover, and carry up to two people as directed by the caster. It flies as fast as a good horse can gallop over flat terrain, or with two passengers as fast as a man can run. Balance/Ride rolls may be necessary.

Moonlight in the Distant Place (Sight, Day, Ind)
Creates an area of light, the equivalent of moonlight, in any place the mage can see. Movable.

Peruse the Distant Objects (R: Sight, D: Sun, T: Ind) Allows the caster to use his vision in, or into, any place she can see. No light provided. (By analogy from Prying Eyes, InIm 5)

Pose Many Silent Questions - R: Eye, D: Diameter, T: Individual
With the exception of the Duration, this is identical to the spell Pose the Silent Question.

Call the Group to Slumber - (R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Group)
With the exception of the Target and the addition of Animal, identical to the spell The Call to Slumber.

Swarm of Crystal Darts - As Crystal Dart, only creates darts, and quantity created bumped one magnitude.

Arcane Excavation (R: Voice, D: Sun, T: Part)
Precisely removes 10 cu paces of dirt, or 1 cu pace of stone (or proportional combination), and holds it anywhere the caster chooses. Movable at a walking pace.

Smell the Secrets of Magic (R: Personal, D: Momentary, T: Smell)
This spell analyzes the magic, detecting magical effects of 3rd magnitude or larger, identifying Technique and Form, plus some (+2) amount of additional information.

Sprint in a blink allows him to teleport an enemy 50 paces IN THE SKY and see him fall to his (probable) death. A great combat spell since it avoids soak in most cases, and disables an enemy at a long ditanc. That charging knight? The one that is falling from 50 feet up? No problem.

Witch broom is a MUCH BETTER version of wings of the soaring wind. You do not need to concentrate in this one, according to the posted description, and it is lower level and allows repeated use with a single casting (just leave the hoovering broom nearby for a handy takeoff in case of trouble)

Moonlight: Duration Day does not exist in cannon. The fact tha tit is movable.... how? Does it require concentration? It is always centered on the magus? Sun duration spells are not that flexible, in general. MAGIC ITEMS are/can be, but not spells.

Pose the silent question: maybe allow a natural resistance roll per question? Otherwise I have no qualms with this one.

Crystal Darts: this was discussed in the forum a while ago, and it was generally agreed that this would boost the total damage of the spell, but it would not cause 10 rolls to wound, IIRC. The target is still indivisual, so a single objective for all those darts.

Arcane excavation: ypou either go for dirt or stone in your spell, not both interchangeably. hermetic magic is not that flexible. Unless you invest in extra magnitudes, that is.

BTW: is he/she an seeker?

If we're going to do this, let's do it right. For instance, "Day" is a typo - it's "Sun". Those were all "quick and dirty" descriptions. Here are the complete ones.

Comments, and responses re the above are in [color=darkblue]dark blue.

("Seeker"? As in Ancient Magic? No, but something like in his own way, and for his own reasons.)


Washerwoman’s Wring
ReAq 5
R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Individual
This spell causes excess liquid (of any sort) to drain completely from the clothing and body of the target, leaving it all as a puddle at one’s feet with no trace remaining on the target or their clothing or equipment. Liquids that have been allowed to dry will not be effected, and will leave stains as appropriate.
(Base 4, +1 Touch)


Blood Will Tell (Merovingian Kings)
InCo 5
R: Pers, D: Mom, T: Taste
(Base 5)
These spells allow the caster to detect a descendant of a single, particular, distinct bloodline. The target does not have to be aware of this relationship, nor do they need to be worthy of it - it only need exist by accident of birth. While usually this is either royal or Mythic blood, any parent-to-offspring line could in theory be detected, each line by a unique version of this spell. In order to invent a new version of a spell of this nature, a mage needs either a similar spell for that particular bloodline, or an Arcane Connection to to that specific bloodline. (This is often blood or bone, sometimes from more than one source to ensure accuracy, tho' conceivably some appropriately powerful and uniquely significant relic would suffice at Storyguide discretion. The problem can lie in separating the desired bloodline from that of every bloodline that that source carries.)

The Arcane Connection used to invent this spell does not need to be of the "originator" of the bloodline, but that would be easiest. Blood relatives that the spell detects do not need to be descendants of that personage from whom the Arcane Connection was taken so long as the bloodline was accurately distinguished - distant cousins share the same bloodline, as do members of older generations, tho' care must be taken to ensure that the proper bloodline has been isolated for that particular version of the spell, as often many significant bloodlines run in one individual. This spell gives no information as to the exact relationship of offspring to original source of the Arcane connection or founder of the bloodline, only that the same blood runs in their veins.
(Base 5, +# Magical Sense)

Fleet Feet of Flanking
MuCo 3
R: Pers, D: Diam, T: Ind
Changes Caster’s body to allow her to run as fast as any man could, and far faster than most.
(Daggin had some small time left over at the end of the season he invented The Man Remade - this is what he ended up with.)
(Base 2, +1 Diam)[color=darkblue][i]Note that while this spell allows one "to run as fast as any man could", it does NOT give any special endurance. So a typical mage could not sprint for 2 minutes, nor even 10 seconds without being winded.

This spell is typical for a "filler", picking up the slop when a lab total is larger than the spell that was the main goal of the season.[/i]
Sprint in a Blink
ReCo(An) 25
R: Voice, D: Mom, T: Ind
Teleports the target target 50 paces in any direction. A Perception + Finesse roll is required for the target to arrive exactly where desired, but as the location can usually be seen, that is usally no worse than Easy. Note that if a target is moving when teleported, it is still moving, in the same direction and with the same speed, when it arrives. A target can be teleported vertically - a fall of 50 paces takes only about 3 seconds, and does about +25 in damage if they land on a hard, flat surface, with soak as usual for any armour. Teleporting an object at about 45 degrees is about 35 paces both out and up, for about +17 damage for a fall from that height. It is not always considered wise to teleport targets directly above one's self.
(Base 15, Voice +2)


Witch’s Broom
ReHe 20
R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Individual
This spell animates a branch or stick of wood, allowing it to fly or hover, and carry up to two people as directed by the caster, who must be able to sense the target to control it. The caster must merely concentrate for a moment to change its direction or speed, but it then continues in the new direction or to turn until ordered to do otherwise. The caster must balance on the chosen object, but the magical control she has adds +3 to most any Riding or Balance rolls necessary - which is not true for any passenger. It flies as fast as a good horse can gallop over flat terrain, or with two passengers as fast as a man can run. With no interruptions, this could carry the caster perhaps 600 miles/ 1000km in a 12 hour period, or 175 miles/300 km with a passenger. Flying this far and fast can create other problems, such as seeing with the wind in your eyes, staying warm, handling bad weather, enduring sitting on a length of wood for long periods, and navigating from the air without modern maps, among others – it is suggested that magi consider these problems before soaring off for any long distances. As a weapon, an average stick does d+0 damage if it can hit a target (Finesse to hit, +0 base); if used for its force it has a Strength of +5.
(Base 3, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 magnitudes for additional speed & strength)

[color=darkblue]Overall I'd agree, but it's not without its drawbacks. It obviously requires a stick of wood - and an actual "a broom" would be both fairly uncomfortable, especially over long periods of time, and somewhat fragile, as well as not the easiest to balance upon. (Another spell that creates one, custom in size and shape, is in the works). Further, any sudden maneuvers would reasonably call for Balance/Riding rolls, or the mage may find themselves hanging upside down to the stick, or freefalling without a stick to enchant and hoping they can recall the only one at hand - "realistic" interpretation of such spells is what keeps ones such as these from being "too good".

Moonlight in the Distant Place
Cr(Re)Ig 15
Creates an area of light, the equivalent of moonlight, in any place the mage can see. The requisite allows this to be moved about as the mage pleases, at a walking pace, and the size of the illumination, from a few paces across down to the size of a human eye.
(Base 1, +3 Sight, +2 Sun, +1 Req)
[color=darkblue]The Rego requisite is what makes it movable and somewhat flexible.

Peruse the Distant Objects
InIm 20
R: Sight, D: Sun, T: Ind
Allows the caster to use his vision in, or into, any place she can see. This includes inside objects, walls, and other barriers, tho’ the point of view is from immediately beyond the point seen. Light must pre-exist, or be provided separately. The added levels of complexity allow movement within a pace or so, but specifically ample to read through pages of a text or sift down through layers of a container, and turn the view in all directions from that point. The caster’s eyes move as if she were looking at the object from that point of view, including shifting back and forth if reading lines of text.
(Base 1, +3 Sight, +2 Sun, +2 complexity, & by analogy from Prying Eyes, InIm 5)


Call the Group to Slumber
ReMe 25
R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Group
With the exception of the Target and the addition of Animal, identical to the spell The Call to Slumber.
(Base 4, +2 Voice, +1 Diameter, +2 Group, free requisite)

Pose Many Silent Questions
InMe(An) 25
R: Eye, D: Concentration, T: Individual
With the exception of the Duration and the addition of Animal, identical to the spell Pose the Silent Question.
(Base 15, +1 Eye, +1 Concentration, free requisite)
[color=darkblue]Why should an identical effect require a resistance roll when the original spell requires none?

Swarm of Crystal Darts
Cr(Re)He 15
Similar to Crystal Dart, but creating a half-score of the objects magically, each doing d+10 each. Multiple nearby targets could be targeted with a Finesse roll.
(Base 3, +2 Voice, +1 Rego, +1 multiplier)
[color=darkblue]Criticism makes sense, now that you mention it. Here is an alternate, given what is mentioned above...
(Do you have a link to that thread, by chance?)

Swarm of Crystal Darts Mk II
Cr(Re)He 20
Similar to Crystal Dart, but creating a half-score of the objects magically, each doing d+10 each. Multiple nearby targets could be targeted with a Finesse roll.
(Base 3, +2 Voice, +1 Rego, +2 Group)
Arcane Excavation
ReTe 25
R: Voice, D: Sun, T: Part
Precisely removes 10 cu paces of dirt, or 1 cu pace of stone (or proportional combination), and holds it anywhere the caster chooses – next to the hole, in the air, anywhere within voice range. The material moves slowly, at about a walking pace, and the caster must concentrate on it to move it. Until the spell lapses, dirt enchanted will resist being moved mundanely, even if replaced in its original position, as it is still under the effects of the spell. No dirt is lost as the amount is moved about, and the hole can be filled in again with great precision if desired, leaving no loose soil lying about to indicate what has occurred, altho’ remaining material is not so controlled. Without a Finesse roll, the shape removed is approximately symmetrical - a rough cube of dirt just over 2 paces in each dimension, proportionally less if stone.
While designed to excavate a site and then fill it in again without detection, this spell has many uses for creative magi.
(Base 3, +2 Voice, +2 Sun, +1 Part, +1 stone)
[color=darkblue]The basic premise of the spell is to dig a hole in the ground. For my money, I do not see a need to increase it yet another magnitude to dig up both earth and stone.

Smell the Secrets of Magic
InVi 30
R: Personal, D: Momentary, T: Smell
This spell analyzes the magic within a specific object without the need to physically come into contact with it. This spell detects magical effects of 3rd magnitude or larger, identifying Technique and Form, plus a significant amount of additional information regarding the general nature of the specific spell effect. The need to sniff the item is sometimes a source of embarrassment to more decorous magi, who can only be grateful they did not need resort to "Taste the Secrets of Magic".
(Base 4, +2 Smell, +2 Identify Technique & Form, +2 additional info)
[color=darkblue](A RAW InVi spell)

IMO, such spells should not create multiple wounds, but rather increase base damage, or else, it gets too unbalancing.
Note that, cosmetically, you could very well have your swarm, it's just that such a barrage would do more damage, not more wounds.

OTOH, a group version, still IMO, would not require a finesse roll.

I understand the argument about balance. The only counter-argument is that each separate "dart" gets soaked (and there's less penetration if/when that's a consideration) - meh, still a hard hitting spell for most victims.

So, how much "more" damage does a Group of darts do than a single one (+10 Lvls)?
(How much more damage does a single one of an increased magnitude (+5 Lvls) do?)

I on the other hand think multiple wounds are fine. My sense of "balance" is different than other people's. But I think the damage per dart is a bit to high. Maybe 5 points each? And why a die roll? I thought only Fire damage had an added die roll.

??? - Just the opposite. Look at Crystal Dart, look at any weapon. "d + X" is the format consistently.

(And d+10 works out to be ~5.5 pts each, or a little more with damage Stress roll doubling & etc.)

IIRC, damage from spells is fixed, but soak is rolled against them.

2 problems:

  1. 1 point of damage is enough to cause a minor wound. So, unless the soak is high enough (...), your ennemy's got an instant -10 to all his actions! That's better than a heavy wound, all from such a low-level spell!

  2. the loss of penetration for 1-2 magnitude is, imho, very small compared to the effect on your opponent.

Whilst I would require concentration rolls for any fine (or indeed not crude) maneuvres. the spell seems fine to me. Wings of the Soaring Wind is a lousy flying spell, but an excellent example of using one's speciality in an innovative way to achieve your goals.

In theory. In practice, 1 pt is soaked 90% of the time even if there is no armor involved.

But while 10 different attacks, all at once, seems out of balance, there is clearly some angle here that is legit. And the image is completely in canon, and a classic - the wave of unpleasant sharp objects springing at a target, the wave of doom flying from the magi's fingers.

Perhaps half that number, 5? It is a trade off between one large attack and multiple small ones, and each does have its own tradeoffs.

D+10 damage is on average 14.5 danage (give or take a little for the 1's doubling).

Since even someone in chainmail with tough would take 2.5 damage a dart on average, that is 10 light wounds or -10 to actions.

Someone moderate level of armor (say full leather scale without tough) would take 10 medium wounds or -30 on all actions.

Someone not in armor would take medium to heavy wounds (half of each) and so end up with about a -40.

THat is a bit high for a level 20 spell. If you reduced to damage D+5, per dart, you are still doing 10 light wounds (perfectly average damage) to someone in full leather scale and 10 medium to someone unarmored and while the one in the heavy armor will likely only take 4-5 light wounds, that is vs the HEAVIEST armor.

WHen you look at all the other spell guidelines a level 20 spell can't really do that much damage.

1 pt of damage is only soaked with positive stamina so 50% of humans if 0 is average. We are though talking 1 pt after soak though so that 10 1 pt wounds (after soak).

I would just increase damage as some darts are soaked, others find crevases and such in armor that there is overall more damage but not multiple wounds.

You misunderstood me.

What I meant is that, because of this, causing 1 little point of damage is enough to achieve your goal, which means the target's soak needs to be completely superior to your damage in order for your soak objection to have (imo) any true relevance. If even 1 point gets through, he's got a light wound, and the relevant penalty.

I told you: Cosmetic Effect.
My Dimir Taar character in the andorra saga has such a spell ("Elemental Fireflies"), visible on the wiki at the endpage:

Dart spell:
There are a lot of 10-20th level spells to make a person incapable.
Thus I see no problem using a group version of this spell.

Nope, both are rolled. Giving a +10 damage effect an average of 10 minus soak damage, with high variation.
What is missed here in my view is the chanche of death and recovery time. A lot of small wounds recover relatively fast and the chance of death is smaller than with 1 big blow. Which makes this spell an excellent spell to stop enemies, but there are plenty of other options available (ie. globes of ice surrounding the target).

Ah, my bad, I understand now - yes, 1 pt of "successful, unsoaked" damage is all one needs.

Good point, but it does vary - PeCo base 5 guarantees a light wound, while MuCo 20 yields Arm of the Infant, and ReCo 15 lifts a person (at the same range, Voice), completely disabling them for the duration.

d+10 almost guarantees a medium wound, and threatens Serious about half the time vs unarmoured. (That's each dart.) But Crystal Dart is, perhaps, singularly the most cost-effective damage spell.

True, but as far as balance goes, a disabled opponent is out of the combat and largely unable to run away just the same, and 6 Light Wounds (or 3 Medium) achieve that end - almost guaranteed unless there's armour/etc.

Another good point. But with 10 attacks, odds are that one is going to roll a "1" and double, and that becomes about 12+10 on average, plus all the others. So "10xd+10" vs "1xd+15" (for a Pilum of Fire, Level 20)... I think the PoF is less threatening, overall, but not by much. (PoF moves toward Deadly about 5% of the time, 10xd10 just a little less often.) [i]( Let's assume that a damage of about 30 is a good a target for a "deadly spell". POF (d+15) reaches a total potential damage of around 30 or more, before soak, on a roll of 1 (10% of the time) followed by another 1 or a 7-10 (half the following rolls, 5 out of 10), or 5%.

That's no incapacitation unless one becomes a Medium wound (likely vs unarmored, but not vs armored), and highly unlikely to be fatal.

10xd+10 would require a roll of 1 (on average once/spell casting, 10% x 10 rolls) followed by another 1 (10%) for 4x the total, followed by another 1, or 5-0, about 70% of that.)[/i]
So, it does seem roughly in line with the PoF, a Level 20 spell, not quite as lethal but far more likely to incapacitate. And quite a bit more reliable due to the number of dice rolled - and that is a significant consideration. But the spell rapidly becomes less effective vs any significant soak.

A SG could call it a wash, or perhaps cut the number of dice in half, to 5xd+10, or not.

But the more I think about this, the more I think that "1 spell = 1 wound" is a good policy. That's how the combat system is designed, and I think there are no counter examples in any spell (or weapon) in canon - right?. Knives are not "faster" and deliver multiple small cuts, and spells should work the same.

Besides, there's an easy work around - take Mastery: Multicast. 15 Ability points is Mastery 2 and 3 copies are there, with another Mastery (Penetration or FastCast or...?) on top of that.

Thanks for your input everyone.