Just playing with implications here and wanting more eyes on the numbers to see that I'm getting it right in my glorious noobness. That said, I present two variations on Wielding the Invisible Sling. Please excuse me if I bend any formatting standards.
These are the spells of a Flambeau Hoplite with a Major Magical Focus with stone, so please pardon the combative nature of these spells. Frankly, he hopes to never require their use.
Trebuchet of the Unruly Earth
R: Sight (+3), D: Mom (+0), T: Ind (+0)
(Base 4 to move stone in a very unnatural fashion, +2 size)
This spell flings a large piece of stone up to 100 cubic paces (that's 5 x 5 x 4 paces, or a bit larger than my bedroom) at a target within sight range. I can only imagine how much damage this would actually cause, given what a piece of stone of those dimensions must weigh.
Wrath of the Stony Beach
R: Sight (+3), D: Mom (+0), T: Group (+2)
(Base 4 to move stone in a very unnatural fashion, +2 group)
This spell is much like WtIS but magnified somewhat. Rather than a single stone, it hurls all of the stones of fist-size or smaller within the caster's sight (up to 1,000 of them) at the target.
I'm pretty sure the levels are correct, and yet, ouch. One can easily see why my Flambeau, who is generally a fairly amicable guy, would prefer to never have to use such magic. He really behaves more like a Verditius most of the time. But still, I have visions of the better part of a stony beach rising from the ground and hurtling at a foe. Ew...
Well, that's nice and all, but wouldn't a Part spell be more useful? I don't know where your magus lives, but most places aren't blessed with an abundance of huge boulders.
A mean SG would require extra magnitudes, but I wouldn't.
I'd change the target to Part, and level to 30, vastly increasing flexibility.
(Edit - the level 35 CrIg BoAF does +30 damage too but the target does not add a stress die to soak, so the damage TotUE does is about the same as a level 30 CrIg version of BoAF, but at the same level still requires an aiming roll - keeping the CrIg combination superior in damage production. I like this, personally.)
As for damage...I'd say it is at least the same as being inside a collapsing stone building for +21 damage (ArM5 p. 181), and then some. I'll peg it at about +30 damage, absorbed by Soak + Stress die (p. 181 again). That should kill just about anyone, but leave some leeway to allow for particularly harty and well-armored guys to survive. How to get a few tons of rock off their body, now, would be another problem.
To hit I would say the caster needs to hit the target with an aiming roll of Perception + Finesse +12 + Die, opposed by a Defense of only Quickness + Athletics +Die (I don't see how combat ability enters into things). I would, however, impose a -3 penalty on the aiming roll per range increment of, say, 30 paces (same as longbow).
(Edit - yes, the spell can hit without being aimed as per WtIS; I think aiming is more suitable, but both versions are viable. I think the aiming shtick works better with this spell, when I think of a trebuchet I am thinking of it often going wild.)
Hmm. An incredibly difficult spell to adjucate. Generally speaking, a "group must be seperated from any other thing of the same type", regardless of size. Still, the spell could hurl all the fist-sized stones in this side of the mountain, for example.Maybe.
What I wouldn't let work is throwing a thousand rocks at someone with one spell. That way lies madness. Plus it ruins multicasting.
The problems with adjucating how many rocks and of what size are available, how many can hit one person and with what modifier to the aiming roll and so on are abhorrant. Just thinking about the player who wants to throw the rocks at a cluster of knights gives me a headache, and then if the targets are in diffrerent places...
I wouldn't allow this spell into my saga. It's not that it lies beyond what the rules allow, it that it lies beyond what I would want to rule on in-game.
I would have to agree as for Wrath of the Stony Beach. Strangely enough, the covenant is a small one on the island of Formentera, where there are a few large boulders and many stony beaches. It's more a look at spells that would make sense in the game world. And yes, I too would hate to adjudicate Wrath of the Stony Beach. It's just too many to deal with unless you simply wanted to say "Well... It appears your target is now a greasy stain."
Trebuchet modified to be Part is just brilliant. While there are certainly a few boulders large enough, this would make ammunition plentiful. It's a thought that hadn't occured to me in my noob-ness. Tomorrow is, after all, my first non-playtest game of Ars Magica. Excited? Oh yeah. You bet I am.
But it's the spell design that has always intrigued me, as I have yet to see a magic system nearly this cool. I'll be spending a LOT of time playing with it. I actually came up with more for another setting as well (though I ended up just coming up with my own rules for that system that felt more appropriate to that particular game). And yeah, my SG's eyes bugged out at the thought of adjudicating Wrath of the Stony Beach as well.
Yeah (shudders at the thought) - a simlliar spell idea for 4th ed came up in my old troupe - all the earth, stone etc. within sight rose up into the air and then came crashing down. It was concentration duration.
A flying Magus could literally destroy an army. Sure - maybe you wouldn't be killed by impact (Just Maybe). But you are buried.
Add a few levels of effect to rapidly mix the stones and earth at random (at a high speed) and you have a giant blender full of earth, people bits, etc. - basically a giant greasy stain. Works great on settled areas too.
Ick. I am glad it never got used. Makes you think twice about getting the Terram magus angry though. Plus - no survivors means no mundane problem (as the old Flambeau thinking goes).
Funny that it actually came from a construction spell concept to move, arrange, and build things with earth and rock on a large scale. Amazingly good peactime application.
Both spells came from wondering how far one could push Invisible Sling before it broke. Such a simple spell, plus a number of magnitudes, could decimate landscapes, armies... you name it. It was also the moment I decided that Terram mages, perhaps more than any other, wield tremendous power. Sure, the ignem guy can burn you, and the mentem guy can mess with your head, but for sheer, crunchy destruction, as well as non-combat uses creating earthworks, buildings, seemingly impossible architecture no mundane could ever build, my vote has to go to Terram.