Just Another n00b Looking for Help with Spells/Powers

I'm shamelessly ripping a character concept from a show I like, and in order to make it work I need a particular group of effects; I'd like some help with said spells and/or powers (duh, I mean, look at the title :stuck_out_tongue: ).

First... Possibly a spell to save Virtues, more likely a Power because ridiculous Art requirements are ridiculous. I wanted to devise a spell(/power, yada yada) to become a full suit of plate armor, but all connected (rather than normal plate, which I assume is in several pieces to allow people to, like, put it on). I assume I'd use the MuCo (Te) listed guideline for this, but since I want to be able to move, I'd have a Rego requisite with an additional magnitude (since the effect would still work, in making you a suit of armor, but be lesser, since you couldn't move, without the requisite). Main question is if the whole connected suit of armor would be possible, and if I'd need to add Size stuff on the Terram side or not.

Beyond that, I'd either add a bunch of requisites and magnitudes, or more likely just use other spells, to give myself senses and a voice while in this form. I can figure out how giving myself a voice would work well enough, through Creo Imaginem with two extra magnitudes, and I recognize that it wouldn't be enough to let me use Voice range spells since it's just an illusion (and likewise I'd need to overcome the penalties for casting without using your voice, though since this is such a big part of the character I might well invest in Quiet Magic for him). How might a spell to give yourself a sense work, though? I'm thinking Intellego Imaginem, but I don't know what the guidelines would be, since all the listed ones refer to enhancing existing senses. Is it not possible to grant yourself senses you don't have, due to the Limit of Essential Nature? Or can you do so since the change only lasts as long as the spell duration anyway? If it is possible, what would be some reasonable guidelines for spells or powers to grant senses?

Thanks in advance for any help.

First, key clarification question: am I reading it correctly that you want to turn a person into a suit of armor? That's going to be a big target number, no matter what kind of magic you use, as it is really shifting something into something entirely different. Furthermore, armor also includes cloth padding and leather straps, so at least one of Animal or Herbam is required as a corequisite to create wearable armor.

Second, historical note: "plate" armor is, at best, late to the 13th Century, and the kind of solid-looking, mostly plates of metal-type armor that we see in museums are about 200 years+ after the canonical era of Ars Magica. So the suit you're making will seem "futuristic" as armor to canonical Ars Magica folks.

Assuming the answer to your first question is "yes," I have two suggestions for you, both of which are slight compromises from your proposal:

  1. A MuCo spell to make a person clothing-like and wearable; the wearer will look very strange, but it will be easier than changing a person into something non-human and you will keep your normal human senses (since all you've done is make the person floppy and malleable, not turned them into steel). Then cast a separate MuCo spell to strengthen the worn person's skin and similar protective spells. These can all be enchanted into one magical item as well.

  2. Build a Veriditus automaton for this purpose. It will still require a relatively high ReMe or InMe for the automaton armor to possess the thoughts of another person (plus an arcane connection), but you get around having to force a human body into a supremely unnatural shape, and automatons can be a lot more anime mecha-like than anything else in Ars Magica, if that's what you're going for.

Very close to a yes. I don't particularly care whether or not I can turn other people into suits of armor, but I want to become a suit of armor. And I don't want to be worn, I want to walk around as an unmanned (but animated, via the Rego requisite) suit of armor.

The thing about the high level and requisites is why I was thinking of spending two Virtue points to get it as a Personal Power. As a Hermetic guideline for turning a human into a suit of armor, it's base 25, so 35 with Sun duration, probably 40 since Rego requisite adds a magnitude. I was thinking I'd take it twice, for 100 levels to spend on it... I'd spend 80 for the Power itself and to give it no Fatigue cost, and the remaining 20 would be for, like, Penetration or something, so he can punch things with weak MR while using it maybe. It's a displeasing drain on my Virtue resources, but it's a lot less displeasing than the drain on my exp trying to get my arts to a point approaching making this feasible through Hermetic magic, and it entirely sidesteps the problem of requisites, which is very nice.

Though that automaton idea sounds pretty interesting... And I'm going to appear futuristic (or, rather, like a machination of the devil, I suppose, depending on the level of superstition of whoever I encounter XD) either way, so it's worth considering for cool perks... Though I'd like to say, this character is based on Alphonse Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist, and the reason for turning into plate armor isn't because he's a mech or something, it's because he accidentally got his body sacrificed, and his brother saved him by sealing his soul in a suit of armor. It doesn't translate directly to Ars, but I still think the concept of a character who walks around as a suit of plate armor is totally sweet. Would I be able to insert myself (or at least my mind) in an automaton, anyway? How would you go about doing such a thing? You can't really switch minds with something that doesn't have a mind, and even if you could, making a Stamina stress roll every time does not seem like a recipe for a long life...

Just a quick suggestion, have only skimmed the thread:

Turn a human into a Solid Inanimate Object: MuCo(Te) 25 base.
The Animal requisite was mentioned above, but I'd call it a free requisite
Rego req looks good for letting you move about.
R: Personal, D: Sun (Constant) T: Individual
That's base 25, +3 magnitudes, +5 for constant effect (as a power, slightly different from an enchanted device).
For a total level of 45
Doable with a Greater Power, though you'll likely want to somehow reduce the cost.

NB: I have considered the armour a single individual in this context, despite consisting of multiple plates.
This is partially because of the leather straps holding it together and partially because we can cover the armour as a whole under a single concept. But that's maybe just me.

PS: THe anachronism of plate armour has already been mentioned, right?

Just to ask, Alphonse Elric?

Yeah :smiley: Alphonse is the best.

Okay, I see where you're going now.

If you really wanted to make Alphonse from Fullmetal Alchemist, I would say that Alphonse himself is a Might being like a Living Ghost tethered, instead of to a physical place (like the Living Ghosts in TMRE), to a metal statue/armor. Your Magic-aligned (one assumes) being would then use its might to move the statue/armor around. Fewer Might points would be used if the tether was to an already enchanted item or Veriditus automaton.

Since Ars Magica doesn't force you to start as a newly-gauntleted mage, you can generate as a character a magus or maga who has gone so far as to become a being with might as per The Mysteries if your storyguide allows it.

Turning yourself from regular human into an empty suit of armor is a lot more effort in my opinion than it is worth. If I were your storyguide, you would be burning levels of magnitude (or making separate Finesse rolls) for the sheer complexity of making a jointed suit of armor every time. And then, you're probably less durable than if you turned yourself into a solid metal person.

I am with Tellus.
Use the guideline of MuCo(Te) 25: Turn a human into a solid inanimate object (p132) as base.
If you look at "Transform to Water", there are no Rego, Imaginem or other type of requisit except Aquam. So you do not need to take in consideration those requisits to grant you perception or motricity.
However, Stance of Patient tree does not grant you motricity and only very limited perception. So I would add a +1 or +2 magnitude for those effects (somehow like the +1 for special effect in the Silent Vigil, which is also base 25).

You need to add +2 magnitude to achieve Sun duration. And I would probably add another +1 or +2 since you will be made of iron instead of plain dirt (granting you additional soak bonus as well). As GM, I would be willing to wave off these additional magnitudes as long as no additional benefit are given due to iron body if it is for flavour and because it is part of your character.

Because your body is made of iron, you should not need to eat and breath. Or maybe you need coal or other type of fuel ?

The fact that you look like an armor suit instead of a iron statue is purely cosmetic, so no additional cost.
So we are looking at "The Walking Suit", MuCo(Te) 25 +2 (full mobility and voice) +2 Sun = 45. Different way than Tellus, same result.

To make into a power and/or enchanted item, you might consider Criamon tattoo and enchanting your body.
In this case, you need to make the effect permanent (+1, 2 use/day, +3 linked trigger), so +4 levels (and not magnitude), to achieve permanent effect.

So instead of being victim of a weird potion, your master experimented on you to purify your body (philosopher's stone), but instead of turning you into gold or immortal being, it turned your body into iron. The armor suit part may be part of his sigil, or your sigil or just your willpower - entering Twilight due to the experiment, you wrestle for control of your own body and won, earning the right to keep living, although into a strange body.

Which ever solution you take, you will get +1 Warp point a year for being under a permanent effect.

Seems a bit hairsplitting to me. I'd just make Al a creature of magic outright (an intelligent, animated suit of armor) instead of trying to draw the distinction of making him an incorporeal spirit which uses its might to animate a suit of armor. It's been years since I last saw any FMA, but, as I recall, Al is permanently tied to the armor by a sigil inscribed within it, so his soul and the armor really are, for all practical purposes, a single entity. He can't possess other objects (or even other suits of armor) and it's at least occasionally suggested that, if the armor (or, more specifically, the sigil) is destroyed, Al will die.

Also, just to clarify for those who haven't seen FMA and aren't familiar with the character: The original post wasn't entirely clear in its description of the character concept. This is someone whose body was destroyed and his soul was permanently bonded to a suit of armor, not someone who periodically transforms himself into a suit of armor, then changes back. Assuming that the OP is trying to create a character like Al (as opposed to someone with a spell to temporarily transform his usually-completely-normal body into armor), we shouldn't need to worry about the details of the transformation, its duration, etc., only the end product of this (permanent) change.

Then in this case, instead of designing a spell/power which emulate the ability, listing the advantage and flaw brought by such body could also solve the problem.

Does he need to eat or sleep ?
Is he very resistant to damage ?
How does he heal ?
Is is normal size or larger than human ?

No need to eat could be emulate by "Immunity to starvation and hunger", a Supernatural virtue, minor or major depending how much you feel it gives an advantage (minor for me).
Does he needs to eat food or something else (coal and such): Odious habit (minor social flaw)
Blatant gift or Disfigured to emulate his defently non-normal look.

Probably an Immunity to Corpus spell, replace by Terram. As long as healing spell affecting him follow corpus guideline (including ritual and thins), it is a minor flaw as he will have to reinvent healing spells specifically for himself. If he can use Terram spell to heal himself without using virtus (some ReTe of some sort), then it is a major advantage. Then you need to rule how PeTe spell affect him (once a spell passes his Parma/MR) Fist of Shattering Rusted Decay of Ten-Score Years, Obliteration of the Metallic Barrier could all kill him or at least cripple him. Or do they do damage like a PeCo of equivalent magnitude ? (It can be worth a major flaw or nothing depending on the effect).

Being very tall armor suit can be emulate by Large or Blood of giant virtue.

By themselves those virtues are not exactly what he is, but the rule mechanics behind it are good enough to do the trick. By Reskinning existing virtues, you avoid the lengthy discussion of is it balanced or broken...

I would definitely go the re-skinning virtues way, which seems more sensible and easier to implement, considering he won't be able to do the "trick" again. This is now his body, so I would just use Virtues and Flaws to define it like Ezechiel suggested and be done with it.

Hm... Reskinning Virtues seems fairly viable, I suppose.

I specifically don't want to design him as a creature with Might because I want him to be able to advance normally. Yes, I am aware that this creates the rather odd situation of him becoming a middle-aged suit of armor. I'm not sure if that's a significantly worse prospect than him being a Hermetic magus who can be killed with a PeVi that drains even the tiniest amount of Might, since if I were to give him Might, it'd probably be 0 or otherwise really low...

Unaging Virtue. Or a tendency to rust.

Same here.

I'd go with something like the FMA story. Big ritual with tons of vis, turns bad & a deal is made to 'save' what can be saved. Unclear with what the deal is made but the armor suit stands while hollow.

Feels like a major curse with a few virtues to balance it out. I'd definitively make the permanant effect non-hermetic. Remember that in FMA, only the soul remains, the armor suit was just the medium that was handy to graph the soul to... body was in another realm with part of the soul. Could be the intervention of any of the realms really. Could be a battle amonst them to win the magus or a greater plan as is FMA...

Story hook for sure


While we're on the topic of FMA, I wonder if a Verditius could pull off Automail...

Sounds a bit like the results of a potential verditius immortality path I was poking at.

Essentially I was using a modified living ghost but tethered to an automata instead of a location, making it a lot like a magic might creature with regards to auras.

I did have to describe to someone as "Well, in the end you become a 'living machine', but early on you start life chopping an arm off and becoming Edward Elric.

Heh, one of the players in my Troupe is trying something similar with his Verditius.

Wasn't there a Sub Rosa article along those lines a while back?