Ice magic

Hey guys I am creating a new character that involves him using ice based magic. Looking through the core book, offensive ice spells seem to be around the level 35. since its a base level 3 Rego Auqum to create ice, I was wondering if there are any lower level ice attacks spells would benefit my character.

Ice shards, Ice wall, entombing in ice, freezing someone...

I think you meant Creo Aquam? Rego Aquam 3 suffices to change a liquid into ice (which might be useful, but is a bit different from creating it).

At any rate, Fixer's ideas are all good but I'm afraid I don't know any particular spells, no. You'll have to design them yourself. :slight_smile:

(Base Rego Aquam 3 turns existing water into ice or steam.)

Ice and snow... I put some thought into these for the recent "Open Call", and one concept was an Ice Mage.* And I, for my money's worth, found some problems with Ice and Snow, besides the dearth of examples.
(* You won't see him there, so no problem re non-disclosure, etc)

Basically, every Aurum example of Snow comments that the temperature does not change- so the snow created as "weather" doesn't stick once it hits the ground. OK, fine.

Also it's important to note that, without PeIg, creating "ice" isn't creating anything "cold" - it's magical "room temperature" ice (or maybe just a bit cool, the way that "room temperature" water might seem cool if you put your finger in it.)

Also in the Guidelines is the question of "natural vs unnatural". Is creating ice or snow in midsummer more unnatural than doing it mid-winter? I'd have to say... yes.

So, here are some thoughts on that. Ymmv.

(&, for what it's worth, the below is copyrighted material.)

Thoughts regarding Creo and “Ice/Snow”

The RAW don’t really give any examples for Ice or Snow(Note 3), except one that leaves me scratching my head a bit. (Cr Au 25, Clouds of Summer Snow – see below(Note 1)). As a SG it had bothered me to the point that I never went there until now, since I wanted consistency once I did, and simply creating one or two spells did not examine all possibilities. So, here is the approach that I synthesized after building a spectrum of spells, and guaging their effect vs. comparable spells of Aquam, Aurum and other Forms.

In general, for CrAq I apply a +1 magnitude increase from base “Creo (liquid) Water” effects, on the premise that “ice” is slightly unnatural if the surrounding temperature is nowhere near freezing (and that cannot be guaranteed in most spell casting.) This seems to fit with game balance, since Creo’ing “ice” seems potentially more powerful (read “destructive”) than an equal amount of water. (Wall of Ice vs Wall of Water, Ice bolt vs Water bolt, dropping a Block of Ice vs a Ball of Water, etc). It also explains how snow/ice lasts, and the general effects it causes.

Therefore, while Ice in Winter is a natural form of water, Ice in Summer is slightly unnatural(Note 2), so unless the mage wishes to only cast his spells in sub-zero temperatures, spells that create Ice should usually be one Magnitude higher than those for normal water*.

(*And, yes, this implies that a “cheaper” spell could be designed that only works in freezing temperatures. Aurum has restrictions on range and what is deemed “natural”, Ignem does not work underwater, Terram has levels of difficulty to create more advanced/complex/desirable substances within Terram, etc, so I feel supported in stating that this is not a radical application for game balance.)

The addition of a magnitude would account for the “unnatural” appearance and duration of magical snow/ice that does not melt simply because the surrounding temp is not “cold”. That was my solution, anyway, and I feel the resulting spell magnitudes bear out the premise.

Therefore, I submit the following resultant base effects, one magnitude higher than the equivalent for “normal” liquid water:

CrAq 3 = Fill Container w/ Snow/Ice*
CrAq 4 = Snow/Ice Not Contained (spread over surface)*
CrAq 5 = Snow/Ice in an Unnatural Shape*
(* Not that the current Guidelines be edited, just that this is my suggested baseline for snow/ice, after adding 1 magnitude to the existing guidelines for liquid water.)

(1. Clouds of Summer Snow creates a weather effect that drops snow, but, as specifically stated, does not change the temperature. Since there is no CrAq element, I am left with an image that, as defined, the snow then immediately melts when it nears the ground in any but freezing temperatures, since no requisite exists to maintain it after it stops being a “weather” (Aurum) effect. ???)
(2. Frozen oil or flexible ice would be “very unnatural”, ims. As would a blizzard in winter.)
(3. References to Snow/Ice in the RAW, for your convenience:

From The Elemental Forms:

(Note- Altho’ ice/snow is not a “liquid”, it is covered by Aquam, and so, I submit, should fall under this same guideline - to guarantee ice or snow in any weather, this should be applied to any spells that would only be powerful enough to create ice or snow in freezing weather, where it would be not be “unnatural”. Without this application, creating a block of ice is as easy as creating the same amount of water, and is potentially far more powerful an effect. This parallels similar rules in Terram and other Forms.)

Sample Spells:
(Using the above guidelines re increase in magnitudes)

Since ice is potentially much more destructive/powerful/defensive/strong/durable/solid/etc than an equivalent amount of water, I feel these spells are balanced in comparison to others.

Javelin of Ice
Cr(Re)Aq 15
R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Individual
Creates an exceptionally large icicle which flies to the target, doing d+10 damage, with armor reducing this as normal, and rigid armors doubling their effectiveness vs. the ice with Storyguide approval. This spell cannot miss, but it can be resisted if the target has magic resistance.
(Base 4, +2 Voice, +1 Rego effect)

Wall of Ice
CrAq 25
R: Voice, D: Diameter, T: Individual
Creates a long wall of solid, magical ice, a pace thick, 40 paces long, and 5 paces tall, with a rounded top. This length is slightly curved, and the mass of ice freezes itself to the ground where it is created, and so unless the ground is unreliable it is quite stable and solidly fixed. Smooth and slick, attempting to climb it is futile, and attempting to chop footholds might take more time than this wall will last, a few minutes most likely given an appropriate tool or weapon. It can, if needed, be created in midair and allowed to crash to the ground, shattering loudly and usually crushing anything unlucky enough to be beneath it. If cast in a space tighter than its maximum length, the spell fails unless a Finesse roll is made, from Easy if the space is slightly too small to Nearly Impossible if the space is only a man-squeeze wide. The magical ice is cool but not cold, and evaporates with amazing speed when the spell ends. As it does not rely on cold (PeIg) to maintain it, fire has as much effect on it as it would on a similar wall of water.
(Base 4, +2 Voice, +1 Diam, +1 slightly unnatural liquid, +1 size)

Blinding Flurries
CrAu 15
R: Voice, D: Diameter, T: Individual
This is a “severe” but not violent weather effect, creating a short-lived flurry of thick snow that falls with the existing winds, limiting vision to a few paces and noticeably limiting any existing natural light. The area affected is a rough circle of about one hundred paces across, and can only be reduced or shaped with a Finesse roll. The snow may stick, but evaporates into mist after the spell expires.
(Base 3 severe, +2 Voice, +1 Diameter, +1 unnatural)

Blinding Blast of Winter
CrAu(Aq) 25
R: Voice, D: Momentary, T: Individual
Creates a full blizzard for just a moment, complete with gale force winds and flying ice, in an area approximately 100 paces across, in any weather or location, even indoors or deep underground. The blinding snow and raging winds would be overwhelming at almost any time- to experience such suddenly, especially out of season, would be most distressing. The Aquam requisite adds small shards of ice to the gale that rip at anything within, but do little more than temporarily blind and sting, and shred delicate material, though animals will most likely panic, and more intelligent victims have a good chance to. This effect is not intended to actually injure but to utterly confuse, discourage and delay opponents, though they may well injure themselves in that confusion.
(Base 3, +2 Voice, +1 Concentration, +2 very unnatural, +1 second weather phenomenon, free req)

Crystal Keep
CrAq 40
R: Touch, D: Moon, T: Individual
Creates a small castle keep of magical ice. Only the walls, roof, living areas and other basics such as tables and benches are created, including windows of thick, perfectly clear ice, but no moving or complex elements such as doors or gates. The footprint of the building should not much exceed 2000 square paces, and the height no more than 3 stories tall, with watchtowers topping at 15 paces. Sunlight filters through the ice, illuminating even inner rooms with a cool blue glow. The walls and roofs are only as strong as normal ice, so the architecture should not be excessive, and few large chambers should be included in the design. The ice is cool but not particularly cold, since there is no Ignem aspect in the spell, and resists fire as well as water of the same temperature. At spell’s end it evaporates with magical speed, leaving no water and only an impression of its weight if the ground is not rock.
(Base 5, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +2 Size, +1 design)

Very interesting Cuchulainshound, however I would disagree about one thing -

Why would you say that? As your quote on the elemental forms shows, creating warm ice would necessitate an Ignem requisite.

I read the rules as saying the ice/snow created is cold, just as regular ice/snow is. It is only that the weather phenomena created by Clouds of Summer Snow extends to dropping cold snow, not to changing the temperature (which isn't a weather phenomena, I guess, just a phenomena accompnying winter seperately from blizzards, snow, and so on). Hence the created snow will generally melt fairly fast, as it is warm outside, although perhaps not immediately upon meeting the ground.

Creating warm or cold ice would, technically, require Ignem. (Pain in the ass to create cold ice- Cr(Pe)Aq(Ig)!!!)

To me, the descriptions (a bit vague as they are) imply that without Perdo Ignem, the ice is room temp, neither warm nor cold. "Cool to the touch" is my own nod to the water/ice nature. Magical ice doesn't melt until the spell ends. Without PeIg to make/keep it "cold", magical ice is just "hard water", so it isn't affected by fire/heat the way mundane ice is.

I had to play with it a bit before I came up with all that. Try it - otherwise, there are some odd secondary effects. (Creo Aquam around something to cool it down to freezing temperatures?)

The reason the snow melts when it hits the ground, imo, is that at that moment it stops being "weather" (the realm of Aurum), and is now in Aquam land. I've seen it snow where it's too warm to snow- it turns to rain mid altitude. Magical Aurum snow doesn't do that, but there is no Aquam requisite there to stop it from melting once it tries to become a snowbank.

CrAu - snow as weather, individual flakes in the air.
CrAq - snow you can hold in your hand, massed, or that sits somewhere on the ground.

do you want just ice, or does cold work too? If so look at a reverse of pillum of fire, PeIg base 5 chill some one enough to do +5 damge, base 10 is +10 damage, ect...

The javelin of ice can also be done with pure ReAq (also lvl 15) if there is water nearby. My water-focused elementalist uses this spell and I think it has a bit more flavour than just creating the ice. (he also has PoF if there is no water to be found)

I like the idea of an ice-magus, since I think ice is a very stylish substance. I often try to move water and then turn it into ice (both are ReAq effects). Though as an elementalist I have found that moving sand and turning it into rock is often easier.

As for the comments of Cuchulainshound: though I like most of the spell ideas, I think you are to quick with putting requisites in spells. As the elements sidebar in the book illustrates: ice is water with solidity, but you don't need Terram to more solid ice. I would say that ice is just below 0 degrees naturally, so when you create ise without an Ignem requisite, that's the temperature.

I does leave to question: ice is a natural state of water, so when you Rego water into ice momentary, does it melt naturally or instantly?
When turning sand into stone, it will turn into sand again after the duration, but that's because stone is not a natural form of sand.

My favorite is Creo Terra -ing some magma("molten lava is basically Terram, because it is a form of rock"). :smiling_imp:

I don't really have a problem with that in principle. By all means, cool something with CrAq. You can blow up a candle using CrAq too, if you really want to - the straight up application of the most obvious Arts may not be the way you choose to do things, or even the best way to achieve the desired result.

I might have problems with specific spells, but then I'd change the magnitudes arbitrarily. I don't see a need to change the guidelines themselves, not until I see some "broken" spells anyways.

Whle true, this is preciesly as I'd play it - the snow reaching the warm ground melts almost instantly; a long snow-storm, however, can pile up a bit even in heat, and the melting snow becomes ice that insulates the rest and prolongs the "snow"'s presence.

I can see the sense in that, but I don't find it necessary. Just like CrAu rain will make you wet, so will CrAu snow pile up. Otherwise the weather effect is too removed from its direct effect.

I agree.

Good question. I am tempted to allow ice to remain as ice and melt naturally, just like a stone raised above ground will fall naturally or a mind moved to passion will change its state naturally once the magic expires. It is a Rego, not a Muto, effect.

This does make such magic extremely powerful. Turning a castle to cheese is momentary; turning the sea to ice can last for a long time... not sure if this doesn't have some dire consequences.

When you Creo Aquam water, the water is not whatever temperature you care to produce. This is emphasized by the rules, which clearly state (p 79, Elemental Forms)- Its coldness is governed by Ignem... A Creo Aquam spell with an Ignem requisite could create warm ice.

Ice is a natural form of Aquam, but not natural at (most) room temperatures. Steam is a natural form of water, but that would require an Aurum requisite. Boiling water is a natural form, in hot springs, but obviously that is not an option. I have, indeed, extrapolated the rules a bit, but I think in a way that is called for to address these two problem, that for game balance and consistency liquid water should not be the same as ice, a casual option, and that varying tempurature between that of a not summer day and a cold winter one is the realm of Ignem.

When a mage uses Rego Aquam to turn standing water into ice, does it drop radically in temperature? I don't think so. Why, then, should Creo create an effect usually, solely attributed to Perdo?!

Terram makes a distinction between creating mud and creating iron, Aurum between a "natural" effect coming from the sky, and one coming from your finger tips (+4 magnitudes, in extremis!). A +1 magnitude shift to account for the potential of Ice vs liquid Water seems small, and appropriate.

Sorry cuchul but i really am starting to think you are far too legalistic in your rules reading. Ice is naturally cold, thus CrAq would create natural ice with all its properties, including its coldness, without any Pe requisite. Somethings are just plain logically intuitive, such as ice being cold. Warm ice is simply ludicrous.

If you want to arrive at ice via PeIg(Aq) fine, do it that way, but i suspect most of us will stick with Creo being fully capable of creating a perfect example of whatever one is attempting to create, including perfect ice which is cold.

The MuAq guidelines suggest that it is possible to transform water to ice or steam without Ig (or Pe). Although it is also possible to use Ig or Pe to achieve the same effect. They also suggest that turning liquids into solids or gases involves Te or Au requisites, respectively.

So, I think that if it was an issue I'd make creating ice or steam CrAq with either a Te or Au requisite . Whether the Te or Au requisite added a magnitude or not, or whether it was only a casting requisite should depend on the exact effect (and saga).

Personally I read the Te/Au requisite notation (with respect to Te more so than Au which is more self evidently pertaining to gasses, i.e. steam or other preferred gasses) as meaning solids like dirt, rock, metal or gems, not ice. To require a Te requisite to my mind is again logically intuitive of some Te form being desired as an end product. Since ice is merely one form of water, no Te requisite has any relevance.

By this token if you wanted to Muto a pond into a grove of trees then He would be required.

Ice is a solid, therefore Te is appropriate. Of course, YSMV.

Yep. Is that a problem, or unexpected?

The standard example is that a spell to turn a human into a bird is MuCo(An).

Although this would probably be a requisite that didn't add a magnitude --- it only influences how you generate your Lab/Casting Total. Same thing, probably, with creating ice (CrAq(Te); but no additional magnitude).

Again, YSMV.

No, it's simply "magical".

To me, your argument is the same as folks complaining that the additional magnitudes for CrTe to create rock vs sand are ludicrous- sand is rock, after all.

But, in terms of game balance, not so much after all, huh? I mean, creating a pile of sand just isn't as handy as creating a boulder, and likewise with a formed cube of water vs a block of solid ice.

Stop right there. Back up. I don't accept your premise. (Nice try, tho'.) :wink:

"Natural" ice is cold - that I accept. But your premise is that CrAq creates cold ice, therefore it should create cold ice - sorry, that doesn't fly.

The "cold" aspect is a secondary effect to the Form, just as hot water vs cold water is a secondary effect. Hot and Cold are the realm of Ignem - and the sole realm.

You can't scald someone with a CrAq spell to create steam (even tho' steam is "naturally hot"), any more than you can specifically create boiling hot water, or ice cold water, or... ice cold ice. Hot water is natural in hot springs, cold water in the North Sea, but magi don't have that option without Ignem, even tho' those are perfectly "natural". Why should ice be the sole exception to these rules, without any mention of that in those rules?

And I've never suggested that a Terram requisite is needed to use CrAq to create ice - I suggested that, as similar to CrTe, CrAu, CrHe and others, there are substances/final products that are more difficult to Creo because they are more valuable (intrinsically, or tactically), and therefore should require an additional magnitude.

(I view that statement re "Te governing hardness" as referring solely to manipulating the hardness of ice, not including it at a base level. Thus, if you wanted an ice-sword, you had better include some Terram if you wanted it harder than normal ice, etc. If you want cold ice, or hot ice, or ice that fire can't effect, likewise with Ignem. Unfortunately, it is distinctly unclear what is meant by the chosen wording.)

It's fairly clear that, as intended, CrAq, with no requisites, can create Ice. It's also clear (to me, at least), that "Ice" is far more potentially powerful and useful than "water". Since the other aspects are unclear, I think the analogies must be drawn from the other Forms, where any more useful/complex product is worth additional magnitudes. Therefore, since both Ice is more complex and more useful to produce than water, it should require an additional magnitude.

To some that's "far too legalistic", to me that's simple logic.

Not every solid is Terram, that much shouldnt need explaining. As I read the rules, the requisites listed in the example are offered as suggestions and particularly Terram since the implied suggestion of solids would be mostly of the Terram variety (dirt, rock, metal, gems, ...) not that Every possible solid form that you might wish to change water into MUST HAVE a Terram requisite, least notably a solid form of water itself. If anything that might call for a similar treatment as the varying forms of Terram (i.e. an added generic magnitude) but certainly not a Terram req since it just ain't Terram.

Not at all, it is in fact a perfect illustration of what I just apparently had to explain at length re: your previous point (i.e. not every solid would require Terram requisites).

Nope sorry, apples and oranges. MuCo(An) is both perfect logical and intuitive for changing a human to an animal, not so with your claim that a solid form of water itself requires a Terram requisite, it just aint Terram any way you slice it. Adding the generic mag makes more sense than adding Terram to the formula (unless you are changing to the aforementioned varieties of earth).

More like YLMV :wink:

It isn't. Molten lava is specifically given as another example of creating something through Terram; would you have the spell create a cold molten lava? :open_mouth:

I don't accept your premise that creating ice with just CrAq will create anything but the natural-natural, i.e. freezing-cold, ice (as opposed to the natural-magical, i.e. room-temperature, version). Just like Te governs hardness and so is required to make steel-hard ice but not at the base level, so would Ig be required to make ice that is unnaturally warm - e.g. in room temperature, but not melting. If you think creating ice is too easy, I would suggest increasing the required base level, not piling on an Ig requisite.

I do agree ice isn't natural at room temperatures, and that it makes sense to require an increase in magnitude to create this unnatural effect in warm surroundings.

You can't scold someone with a CrAq spell to create steam since steam is a gas and hence that would be a CrAu effect :slight_smile: Just like mist is. It would be a damaging Au effect, just like lightning is.

You can burn down the village with a CrTe effect. Create lava, and let it flow over the village.

You create water at their "natural" temperature - room temperature. To create boiling or cold water would require an Ig requisite.

It is possible to obtain heating or cooling without Ignem, yes. Just like I can use Creo Terram to create a wall to block out the sun (or just PeIm) to create darkness.

I almost completely second YR7. You create natural versions of substances, when you don't use requisites.
Hot steam, cold ice, burning lightning, solid hail stones, etc.

Cuchulains remarks on how magic doesn't follow the rules of physics in principle correct. IMO however, you want to create sort of realistic effects with magic. A magus can create scalding hot ice, but that should be a lot more difficult than making normal, frozen ice.
In the end it is a matter of SG/troupe judgement on most cases, most people can make a fairly good distinction between spells with nice flavour and simple rule abuse.

When people want to make a fridge by creating ice (CrAq) and letting it cool the room naturally, that should be ok. It would however be a lot slower than a nice PeIg spell on the whole box.
When you want to freeze a person, placing some ice on him simply will not suffice, you might undercool him a bit, eventually getting some frostburn and finally freeze him, but it's no insta-carbonizer.

A notion abouto steam: ReAq can make mists from water, that would just be water-saturated air, at ambient temperature. I would say an Ig requisite is enough to make hot steam (no Cr needed IMO).

When you toss an icy javelin at someone, it will do damage. When you try to cut a rope with ice, the ice will break. So for the second you need to add that Terram requisite -> game balance restored (while still in your icy flavour, and probably your major magic focus).

YR7 has also voiced several points I would have made to cuchul had it mot been 3 am when i made my last post here.

Paris also has preempted my intended comment about mist or fog. This could also be done with CrAu(Aq) I suppose, but either way you would be getting a vapour which is ambient to cool/clammy in temperature respectively without any Ignem requirement.

As to physics, true in part, magic does not conform to our modern understanding of physics, but it does nonetheless operate under logical and intuitive principles of what we might call mythic physics. It is just too loose to say, as cuchul has, "it's simply magical". Ars magic is presented as a coherent system, not just "whatever floats your boat". Thus when formulating spells one can establish the most effective and efficient formulas with a large dose of intuitive logic. Warm ice just doesnt fit as a logical outcome in that regard, unless the magus specifically desires (and so designs) such an unnatural spell effect.

Why any magus should so desire such an effect is anyone's guess.

Maybe I missed smething but, the use of requisites in most of this discussion seems unneeded and as I've been told before "the RAW clearly states that..." :stuck_out_tongue:

So rego-ing water into ice is clear no requsites, being magic it will stay as, normally cold, ice as long as the durration holds and then it will suddenly change back

Since ice is a related solid to water I don't see how you would even use muto unless you change it into a rock or something, and then requisites apply.

If you are Creo-ing an icicle to shoot at someone, it is a "natural" behaving icicle and will start to melt, but not fast enough to matter. (to illustrate go have someone get an ice cube from your freezer and throw it at you...did it melt fast enough to prevent doing damage?)
If you are shooting it like the crystal dart or piercing shaft of wood (both of which are muto since they use existing objects, which with creo you are not doing) you need rego.
If you feel you really need to increase the level than call making ice in the hot sun very unnatural, in the shade unnatural , and in the middle of winter natural.