Magical Weaponry

Honoured Sodalis.

I have been thinking deep thoughts about the nature of magical weaponry of late (spurred mainly by the thread on rune magic being revived).

Since one of my magi is a verditius warrior (a bowman, but he uses axes too) and since i've had the idea of wizard knights floating around my head for a while, i'd like some feedback on weapon designs.

Firstly, and my apologies, but this is magic resistance related. If i put an effect to do a medium wound every time i strike on a weapon, clearly this needs to penetrate thge targets MR. But how about an effect that makes the blade sharp? This doesn't affect the target directly, instead it makes the blade nice and sharp and cuts better, a mundane effect. Does this need to penetrate?

Secondly, If i put blade of virulent flame on a sword, clearly the spell needs to penetrate to affect the target. If it fails to penetrate, is the mundane aspect of the weapon, i.e. the sword blade also excluded. i.e. if i hit my enemy with a sword under the effects of the spell and he has vast parma, is he immune from the noirmal sword damage too?

Third, if a magus creates a spell to keep metal away from him (a personal ward), how would i get past this with an enchanted sword? Penetration built into the weapon for one affect (virulent blade) wouldn't have any effect against an anti-metal ward, so what would i need to slice through the enemy magus' defences?

Fourth, lets say i create an axe that casts on its wielder and makes him strong, tireless and brave, the effects are cast by the axe but the axe itself isn't counted as being resistable by parma, is this correct?

Has anyone got some good examples of magical weapons they have made in game?

Noble's Parma:

  1. Yes, it is is a magical effect that makes the blade surnaturally sharp, like Edge of the Razor. A rego effect to sharpen your blade wouldn't be resisted, but this would also require finesse rolls for craftmanship, as in C&G, and would probably be less efficient (don't remember)

  2. Yes

  3. A PeVi effect to dispell the ward. Something like "Unraveling the Fabric of Terram", with touch range.

  4. Yes. The axe isn't magical

Perhaps this is simplifying the rules a bit, but as a rule of thumb I use: "if the magic enhances the sword, it's resisted; if it just has some random magic effect in it (like a nice leap of homecoming or even a PoF), it's not resisted."

Having a magic effect on a stick, that doesn't really have a direct effect, (the pink dot problem) does not prevent it from striking someone with Parma.

ps: A sword with an automatic 'dispel Terram wards' effect on it is a nifty idea Fixer!

Some suggestions:
This item was discussed in the tread: Improving your grogs magically. You could look there to get different versions of the enchantment. (Thanks to all those who contributed to the improvement.)

Devastating Crossbow of Vetrenius
lesser enchanted item
ReHe 3 (Base: 3, R: per, D: mom: T: ind)
unlimited uses: +10, end level 13
Trigger action: trying to bend both ends of the bow bachwards. This could either be done with two hands or by one hand pulling the bow string.
This enables the crossbowman to archieve a rate of fire similar to that of bowmen. The enchantment is rather easy to research and requires little vis. Thus it is especially useful for spring convents.
As the bolt is propelled by mundane force it ignores magic resistance. To aim the corssbowman uses the ability crossbows rather than finesse, which most grogs are missing.
A different Version of the enchantment is used for composite crossbows. This requires an animal requisite resulting in an endlevel of 14.
Metal bows, which are not in use by 1220, will require a ReTe effect of 4 resulting in an end level of 14.

2.) Items of quality: they are not resisted by MR! Thus you could use a shield of quality and a sword of quality adding their bonuses

3.) Invisability spells are quite effective in combat, especially when using long range attacks (bows, crossbows..)

4.) Remember that you cannot use standart gesture when casting in combat as you are holding a weapon, so deft form would be quite handy when using a special type of spells regularly. Though Verditi will not be able to do so as they need casting tools...

5.) Do not enchant your weapon you are using for atttack, instead enchant your shield with offensive powers. A decent philosophy score will help here.

6.) life insurancy: Use watching ward to put a Leap of Homecoming spell on hold on yourself, being triggered once you get incapacitated.

7.) Make your armour your talisman. This way you can put a whole lot of damage resistance/healing for a day -spells into it bypassing your own parma.

Simple solution to that quandary is to make the particular weapon used by the Verdi into the casting tool. :wink:

Agreed. For this one spell you usually cast in combat. Making your shield into another casting tool gives you two spells...

Most wards seems to be keyed to non-magical versjon of the material(See ward against wood), so magical versjons might ignore it. This is probably done to allow the protected person to hold on to his talisman, other enchanted items, and whatever sources of vis (which might be of any form) he might be in possesion of.

I would like to agrue that the 'auto-cocking crossbow' uses ReHe, to bend the wood, rather than Animal for pulling the sinew / bowstring. But that might just be which form the magus prefers.

Why make the talisman an armour? All those defensive spells can be in the talisman just as well when it's a necklace. An armour will be base metal x large or so, resulting in a Vis capacity of 15 -> magic T of 8 is needed! (not that it is not achievable, but a bit high for many m agi)

Armour gives some nice bonuses to protection, and do note that wearing metal armour is heavy, and thus you might just use some lighter armour (like leather)

Well, talking about a Verditus-knight-magus, this should pose no problem once he initiated into the inner mystery of elder runes.

Nope, it's definitely the bowstring.. if you just moved the limbs of the bow, the string is just lying between them limply still.

Will an axe with a terram-ward-dispelling effect enchanted into it, bounce off parma?

Would the axes penetration (to penetrate the ward) also be required to get through the parma?

A resounding maybe...I'd argue that you need to penetrate parma since the ward is at personal range on your target.


Yup. As written, Excalibur is much worse than my kitchen knife when it comes to killing mages and trolls.

It is one of those things that differentiates the mages of ME from those of other gaming universes: they carry around a mystical armour of "excalibur sucks" by default.



Excalibur has a penetration of 123, never heard? :wink:

I agree with Agnar. If you cannot penetrate the MR you cannot reach the target with your axe to activate its ward-eating effect.

Nobles' parma but I think every effect should have a penetration score and must penetrate in order to work.

Bowstring was also animal product, isn't it?

Apparently most medieval bowstrings were made either from woven hemp fibres (as was rope) or from woven linen fibres, so it could be either He or An. ... ryapp1.pdf
(see bottom pg 2-top of page 3).

If you assume that Excalibur was enchanted. As has been previously moted a skilled craftsman or the verditious mystery Items of Quality can both make weapons significantly superior to a sword enchanted with edge of the razor.

You could stack the items of quality enhancements on top of an extraordinary sword for a truly obscene non-magical weapon perfectly in line with the most dangerous swords of mythology.

And naturally there are enchantments that target the wielder as discussed up thread.

But for the most part you're right Xavi the magic swords from rolemaster, D&D, the weapon focuses of shadowrun and similar objects don't work in Ars Magica. Yet, I think that this has to do not only with the weirdness of universal magic resistance in ars magica but also with the way that so many other games handle enchanted weapons. These games give the weapons a sort of generic magical "betterness" score. Where's the literature/myth precedent for that?

If a sword is sharp or strong or light due to incredible craftsmanship (ala Tolkin's elves and dwarves and the dwarfs of Norse mythology) it could be modeled with the City and Guild rules.

If a sword is blessed by god, it could work in as a miracle and trump MR or it could grant the user faith points which grant the user confidence point equivalents bundled with magic resistance. The latter choice seems to be particularly appropriate for stories of sword wielded by holy knights (archbishop Turpin). (Admittedly, holy weapons could also be modeled with the divine magic rules and have penetration issues.)

One could probably safely assume that in Mythic Europe, Excalibur would be enchanted.

As for generically "better", isn't that exactly what Items of Quality are?

I would disagree. Considering the origins of Excalibur as being within the Grail Christianity ethos, it far safer to conclude that its powers are derived more from Divine blessing than magical enchantment.