Making an animated horse of metal...

The Magus Knight in my new game wants to create a mount that won't buck him.

SO, since he's an exclusive Terram specialist with a MMF in metals, he wants to give a go at making an animated metal horse. Iron Horse! Or whatever... Bronze Bayard, etc.

So, there are most likely some restrictions on what simple ReTe enchantment can accomplish. What are the limits of such a creation, and what ways can this item creation be approached to give it more utility? The magus probably does not want to have to spend time unlocking the secrets of the Automata of Heron, however.


And thanks in advance!


I think a ReTe effect can make the horse ride with Concentration. Pile on "item maintains concentration" and a few uses per day, and you're set. The rider's Finesse would substitute his Ride ability, if needed. Higher magnitudes would be needed to make the horse run especially fast or so on; not sure how much.

Further enchantments can make the horse fly ("step" on air, visually) or so on.

To infuse the mount with volition, so Concentration won't be needed to constantly guide it, I think binding some spirit to it would be required. Arguably, this could be done by summoning an airy spirit (using the straight ReFo rules in TMRE) or otherwise obtaining a spirit (perhaps an elemental?). The hard part is the binding. Arguably, one could bind the spirit to the device with a few ReFo effects of permanent duration. Another ReFo (or ReMe or ReAn?) effect would then force the poor spirit to obey the will of the owner in directing the mount. So what you have is a ReFo constant-use effect binding the spirit to the device, another ReFo constat-use effect forcing the spirit to direct the mount as the owner commands, and a ReFo spell or other means of obtaining the spirit in the first place.

It may also be possible to instill obtain a spirit, e.g by a CrMe ritual spell. Perhaps even with a CrMe effect. Not sure how to address this.

Imagine such a mount, infused with a fire elemental's spirit - a contraption of black iron with burning hoofs and a fire dancing in its eyes. I think it's a cool image.

Anyways, that's how I'd approach it.


Hi, I can imagine two methods for create a iron horse or similar:

  1. You enchant a Huge(x5) figure of base Metal (5), that gives you the need for a high Magic theory for can open totally the object, but is the more regular way for instill the two efects: first MuTe(An) base 5 effect, +2 for metal in range Personal, +1 Size, Objetve Indvidual, Duration Sun +2, add 3 to the final level for Environmental Trigger, to the end is a effect 33 requiring 3 pawns of Terram or Muto vis. The second is the same way but transforming MuAn(Te) the hide in metal, a base effect 25, +1 range Part, +2 Duration Sun, + 3 environmental triggering, the end a effect of 43, and five pawns of Animal or Muto Vis again; like is a Invested Item, first need 25 Pawns of Vis Vim, after 9 for Muto Vis (Or 5 Animal and 4 Animal, or other combinationl).
  2. CrAn(Vi)(Te) base effect 50, Range touch +1, Ritual that i don't know sure if will be needed more magnitudes for the additonal power, sure by size. I suppose that the final level is for less a level 60 ritual with a cost of 12 Cr or An Vis, in better preview.

Here's how I'd do it (in a very general way as I've no books at hand):

A Rego terram enchantment to make the horse move (there is a rego terram or herbam guideline that does this. Folks have used to make magical brooms and the like).

A creo animal enchantment to give the metal beast the thinking ability and behavior of the platonic ideal of horses.

do both of these as constant effect enchantments. I think that this plan has the most style.

From a minmax perspective I'd create a single item that has three enchantments in it.

The first conjures a metal horse, the second and third enchant it as detailed above. All three effects are duration sun or item maintains concentration. This makes your metal horse totally disposable.

I think that is the most stylish version too.

Note it can be very difficult to open huge metal things for enchantment; you need lots of magic theory. A solution to this problem is to place all the enchantments on a small metal model of a horse, and then add an additional enchantment to increase its Size.

Hm, are there any examples or rules dealing with the binding of spirits to objects? Is this Mysteries territory, or can are there guidelines somewhere I am forgetting?

Binding spirits to power spells/effects is in TMRE first under Spell Binding pg. 27 and then again under the Section Hermetic Spirit Magic beginning on pg. 64.


Both are Mysteries. However, both do far more than binding a spirit to an item, and are not really relevant IMO.

Vanilla Hermetic magic rules for summoning and commanding spirits are on TMRE p. 27, too. Further rules and examples and discussion of spirits are in RoP:M. And the core rules on commanding things and making magic items suffice to allow the spirit to control the device and to force the spirit to do so. No Mysteries required.

Right, the enchantment controls the spirit forcing the spirit to control the enchnated device in the same manner as anyone else would. You'll need to make certain that your triggering action is one that the spirit can pull off without too much trouble, buit this way you don't need any mysteries.

And so? I was responding to a specific question asking about Mysteries. If he had asked for non-mystery solutions your response would be justified, as such it is not. Insofar as the totality of Hermetic Spirit Magic does far more than bind spirits is only additional icing on his cake if he so wishes.

I had understood Vrylakos to be inquiring principally about non-Mystery solutions:

There is no need to be so offensive, either way - if I misjudged, and my information isn't useful, it certainly isn't much of a problem :slight_smile:


Regardless of the specifics of how to accomplish the task by harnessing spirits, I still think that the best way to go is with a constant duration Creo Animal enchantment that creates an animal inteligence. You don't have to find or cajole a spirit, it's probably easier to do and if the beast gets uppity you can just throw down a momentary perdo vim spell to destory the spell and the effect gets recast at the next dawn or dusk presumably with a fresh clean personality.

I think I'd probably want a Te requisite if it is creating an animal intellect in a metal object. But otherwise I agree.

You should also be able to use a CrTe(In) effect to awaken the innate intellect of the metal too. Of course, the resulting intellect might not behave much like a horse in that case.

I might say the same thing to you. I took your comment about "not relevant" to refer to my post and I considered that a rude and uncalled for response to my attempt to help the poster above.

If I misread you, apologies.

Way to go, guys :smiley:.

We can all be pretty hedgy sometimes (or is it edgy? English failing me there :blush: ) and take things wrongly, especially there, on the internet, when we can only read comments, and thus have no indications on the tone or mood of the writer.
Thus, the nescessity to be cautious in choosing our words, polite to each others, and try to discuss quietly if there seems to be a problem.

hedgy? BURN THE WITCH!!!! :laughing: Or alternatively, could you tell us something about your non hermetic tradition, Fixer :stuck_out_tongue:


Well, we're a limited, but noble lineage, keepers of rare magics. However, if you wanna learn the ancient secrets of Prune creation, you'll need to suffer the infamous curse of rugbylistic decerebration :confused:

I'd say he's making it harder then it needs to be. Just buy one of House Tremere's magical horses -- they'll be better mounts and are already trained to deal with even Blatent Gift'ed riders.

A magical horse lasts 10 years or so. if it doesn't die.

Unless it breaks, an enchanted horse will last forever. Quite a difference here: a one tiome investment or a continuous maintenance issue. Besides, a magical item like that ias COOL and speaks of legends to me :sunglasses:



Granted, but if your going for legend (either in the Tytali or Verdi styles), surely you can do a lot better then a horse? A verdi may be impressed by the fine metalwork on such a beast, but other magi may be nonplussed. It would be a lot more effort, certainly, but why not just cut to the chase and either build a proper automata or just build this animate object much bigger.

Even if it's just a magic item and not a real automata, who won't be impressed by your knight riding a clockwork dragon nom nom nom.

Bonus points if you CrIg to make it breathe fire. :smiley: