My First Creations

Long time gamer, first time Ars Magica player here. I'm running a game for some friends of mine, and we're all totally new to the game.

To get a better feel for the system, I've been making things with it. I'm hoping that the veteran players around here can tell me if I'm doing anything wrong with these.


Scent of Vis
InVi 10
R: Touch D: Sun T: Smell
Allows the target to smell raw vis until the sun next rises or sets.
(Base 1, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Smell)

Scent of the Gift
InVi 30
R: Personal D: Sun T: Smell
Allows the caster to smell individuals with the Gift until the sun next rises or sets.
The level calculation treats Gifted individuals as the weakest possible magical beings.
(Base 10, +2 Sun, +2 Smell)

Scent of the Spirit
InMe 30
R: Personal D: Sun T: Smell
Allows the caster to smell emotions until the sun next rises or sets.
(Base 10, +2 Sun, +2 Smell)

Ear of the Linguist
InMe 20
R: Touch D: Sun T: Individual
Allows the target to understand all languages until the sun next rises or sets. If cast on two people, they can converse even if they don’t share a single language.
(Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Sun)

Suddenly, A Horse
Cr(Re)An 35
R: Voice D: Momentary T: Individual
A horse appears out of nowhere, tramples something for +15 damage, and then disappears. This spell is obviously a suboptimal method of attack, but for an Animal mage with a focus in Horses it’s actually pretty useful.
(Base 15, +2 Voice, +1 size, +1 Rego requisite)

Invocation of the Stampede
Cr(Re)An 50
R: Touch D: Diameter T: Group
Hundreds of horses run outwards from the caster’s hand, creating a stampede that moves according to the caster’s wishes for two minutes before disappearing.
(Base 15, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +2 Group, +2 size, +1 Rego requisite)

Map of All Vis
InVi 55, Ritual
R: Touch D: Concentration T: Boundary
The magus becomes aware of all raw vis in the country and remains aware as long as he concentrates. This spell takes its name from the fact that it’s usually used to make marks on a map during the duration of the spell.
If used on a very large country, this spell might fail. But it can be used on non-nation boundaries.
(Base 1, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration, +4 Boundary, +8 size)


Box of Endless Swords
CrTe 35
R: Touch D: Moon T: Individual
Whenever the box is closed, a new longsword appears inside it. Swords created this way last until the full and new moon have both set. The quality of the swords depends on the Finesse of the user; if the user has no Finesse, roughly half of the swords will be of very low quality. The swords are ineffective against characters with magic resistance.
(Base 5, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +10 levels unlimited uses)

Flameblade Ruby
Cr(Re)Ig 30
R: Touch D: Diameter T: Individual
When a weapon with this ruby set into it is swung, fire envelops it. This doubles its damage or adds 5 to it, whichever is greater. This spell has a Rego requisite to keep the fire from harming the weapon or its wielder.
(Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter, +1 Rego requisite, +10 levels unlimited uses)

This isn't everything I've made, but I don't want to dump an unmanageable amount of stuff on the thread all at once. I figure this is a reasonably-sized start.

Welcome to the Ars Magica 5e fora!

Most of the effects you described appear to be designed correctly, but I did take the liberty of including some thoughts below.

Scent of the Gift
Debateable, but the general consensus is that The Gift doesn't qualify as 'active magic'. A similar spell described in HMRE uses base 10.

Suddenly, A Horse
Not sure about the Rego requisite. At the very least, I'd consider making it free...

Invocation of the Stampede
As above, I'd consider making the Rego requisite free. Also, as a level 50 spell, it has to be cast as a ritual. By my calculations this yields about 500 horses.

Map of All Vis
No mechanical problems that I've noted, but would likely be difficult to cast on boundaries of the sizes described. Especially if said boundary is not demarcated.

Flameblade Ruby
Minor point with the description; if the enchantment is activated with every swing, as described, the effect doesn't need Diameter duration. Also, as you're new to Ars Magica, I'd like to suggest doing away with the bit about doubling the damage. Combat can be quite deadly as is.

I imagine he said "double the damage" because that's what the canon example spell does.

As for the thing about the stampede being a Ritual, that is untrue! Formulaic and Spontaneous spells cannot have a level greater than 50, but they can have a level of 50 with no problems.

Other than that, Gremlin is right on the money.

To elaborate on that, "Boundary" does not mean country limits, but a geographical area, which is clearly define by obvious limits/borders. For example: a whole forest, a valley, an island, a city (with walls, but sometimes without it if it is clear cut), a mountain. A piece of land delimited by fences or walls qualify as well.

When it is a bit fuzzy, discuss with your troup, like a chain of mountains, a very large island (like Ireland or Britain) might be requiring a few extra +1 for very large size.

He does have a +8 Size explicitly to allow something on country scale. Countries in Europe are pretty small by country standards, so it might even work... Depends on if your troupe considers a country's borders to be "clearly defined," though; there are certainly people on this board who would argue that that's far from the case, at least (or especially) in Mythic Europe.

The damage-doubling is indeed from the canon spell. So's the duration. Thanks for the catch there, incidentally; it didn't occur to me that an unlimited-use item wouldn't need a duration boost.

I was assuming that national borders were solid enough for a Boundary spell. Sounds like that's doubtful. A base boundary is a 300-foot-wide circle, which is about 70 000 square feet. +8 for size multiplies the area by 100 000 000, so a boundary with +8 size magnitudes should be able to cover Britain if my calculations are correct.

As for the horse spells, I thought I needed a Rego requisite if I wanted the horse to obey my will. If I can do away with it, so much the better.

How about these?

Dragon Wings
MuCo 30
R: Personal D: Sun T: Individual
Huge scaly wings erupt from the caster’s shoulders, allowing the caster to fly until the sun rises or sets.
This spell assumes that transforming someone to give them a major ability has a base level of 20.
(Base 20, +2 Sun)

MuCo(An, Ig) 50
R: Personal D: Sun T: Individual
The caster becomes a small (size +7) dragon, complete with wings and claws and fire breath. This spell lasts until the sun rises, the sun sets, or the caster removes the piece of golden jewelry used to cast this spell.
This spell assumes that becoming a fantastical creature has a base level of 30.
(Base 30, +2 Sun, +2 size)

Soldier-Capturing Cage
CrTe 35
R: Voice D: Sun T: Individual
This spell creates a giant iron cage, suitable for imprisoning people who are trying to kill you. The spell ends when the sun rises or sets, though, so it’s not a long-term solution.
(Base 5, +2 Voice, +2 Sun, +2 size)

Magus’s Stable
CrAn 45, Ritual
R: Touch D: Momentary T: Group
This spell creates hundreds of fine horses, suitable for riding or for training as warhorses. This spell can potentially be used to make a vast amount of money for a covenant, but selling hundreds of horses is actually quite difficult.
(Base 15, +1 Touch, +2 Group, +2 size, +1 high-quality animals)

A Step Toward Perfection
CrCo 40, Ritual
R: Personal D: Momentary T: Individual
The maga’s Stamina increases by 1, to a maximum of +2.
(Base 40)

Moving The Dangling Puppet
ReCo 20
R: Voice D: Concentration T: Individual
Moves a person of size +1 or less slowly in any direction.
(Base 5, +2 Voice, +1 Concentration)

Dragon Wings would require an Animal requisite (though it wouldn't add a magnitude, since the effect doesn't work without it), much as the spell that gives you cat's eyes does. Incidentally, if we convert over from Muto Animal, Dragon Wings ought to have base 25.

As an SG, I would have mixed feelings on Dracoform. I think that effect is worth a higher base because it changes so much. Also, SG feelings aside for a moment, by the rules that Ignem requisite requires an extra magnitude because it's an additional effect; you'd still turn into the dragon without it, you just wouldn't have fire breath.

Nothing wrong with the listed guidelines, but keep in mind I'd be asking you to make Aiming rolls for Soldier-Capturing Cage.

Magus's Stable looks fine.

So does A Step Towards Perfection.

Moving the Dangling Puppet is worded a little vaguely, but it looks fine.

I considered using the Muto Animal level for Dragon Wings, but Muto Corpus seems easier than Muto Animal across the board. Not sure why that is. Good point about the requisite.

As for Dracoform, I was thinking that breathing fire was an inherent part of being a dragon. And I'm not really sure what the right base for a mystical creature form is. Land animal is 10 and bird or fish is 20. Turning into a dragon is better than turning into a really big crocodile, even if you give that crocodile wings, but how much better is it?

Honestly, I was kind of hoping that the board had an unofficial consensus for magical-creature-form spells. Seems there's nothing like that, though.

The last of my spells:

Dissolving Spit
CrAq 35
R: Voice D: Momentary T: Individual
The magus spits acid that deals +25 damage at a target within Voice range.
(Base 25, +2 Voice)

Corrosive Sweat
CrAq 20
R: Touch D: Momentary T: Individual
The magus excretes acid that deals +15 damage from his body.
(Base 15, +1 Touch)

Clear Sight of the Triton
InAq 15
R: Personal D: Sun T: Vision
The caster becomes able to see clearly though water until the sun rises or sets.
(Base 1, +2 Sun, +4 Vision)

Armour of Water
ReAq 20
R: Touch D: Sun T: Individual
The magus touches water, and it swirls around him to become a suit of armour. It lasts until the sun rises or sets, and provides +4 soak against most attacks. Halve this soak against piercing melee attacks, double it against fire-based attacks.
(Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +1 complex shape)

Seek The Hated Water Creature
InAq 15
R: Adelphexis D: Momentary T: Individual
The caster becomes aware of the location of a water-aligned supernatural being that is connected to him by a Story Flaw.
The base level is taken from Intellego Corpus.
(Base 3, +4 Adelphexis)

I came up with all of these for an Orphic mage with an Immunity and a Magical Focus for acid. The last spell has its name because he has the Enemies Flaw for a bunch of water faeries.

I'm really not sure whether the effect for Armour of Water is too strong, not strong enough, or just right. And I'm torn about whether Dissolving Spit should require an aiming roll; Creo Ignem generally doesn't, but does it make sense for an acid-creation spell to connect automatically?

Fire-breathing isn't an inherent part of being a dragon in Ars Magica, but even if it were, that doesn't change the fact that you need Ignem to emulate that. (Some SGs would say you need Creo too, since a dragon's breath would be emulated by Creo Ignem, but I would waive that.)

Yes. More specifically: the base to detect the Gift is listed as InVi10 in two places: HMRE p.6 and App p.33.

Fun fact: This spell would potentially affect the caster.
More specifically, since it is R: Touch (and not R: Pers), it would need to penetrate against the caster (as well as whatever victim it was supposed to hurt).
If penetration occurs, the caster takes damage from the spell.
Ofcourse, you could cast it forcelessly (pen 0), but then it wouldn't affect anyone with a ressitance value.

Or you could add in a Rego requisite to explicitly ward the caster.

There's a bit of an undefined element with how many horses are created in this spell that I'm uncomfortable with. A war horse is probably in the 3,000-4,000 pound range (Wikipedia, based on horses carrying 30% of their weight). A pony, which is the base individual for Animal is probably about 500 pounds (Google). T:Group affects up to the mass of 10 standard individuals, and the indicated size modifiers on that would put it up to 1,000 standard individuals, or 500,000 pounds. If we average the range of the war horse, we come to 3,500 pounds, which divides 500,000 pounds into 142 horses. That's if you want to get really precise.

At the table, were this spell presented to me, I'd just call it a 100 and move on. Base 15 effect which requires a size +1 modifier to create a horse, and a T:Group effect which is affected by another size +1 modifier, for 100 modified individuals.

Alright, guess that's pretty clear. I'll modify the spell.

The guy who I made this spell for has a Lesser Immunity to acid, so he should be fine.

I was originally thinking that only some of the horses would be warhorse-sized. Others would be riding-horse sized. Which would up the count a bit.

But whatever, 100-150 horses sounds like a good amount to me.

It might be more aesthetics than anything, but I'd generally err on the side of creating one type of thing, especially with a Creo ritual. But if you wanted to vary the things created by one or more types of horses, then I would definitely go with a Finesse spell (still required under RAW) to determine the success of that ability to create different types of horses on a desired quantity.

It would not normally require an aiming roll for the following reasons:

  1. the acid itself is magically created, and
  2. the spell is voice range

So the under-the-hood mechanic is that it creates a blob of acid at the target location. The spitting part is cosmetic; by all means keep it, but from a spell-balance perspective it's a voice-range momentary creo attack spell, so it should adhere to the general guidelines of such.

I think Pilum of Fire cosmetically shoots from the caster to the target as well. Or, at least, it certainly can.

It would, obviously, have to penetrate.

As a general rule: an attack spell should typically either have to penetrate or require an aiming roll. Requiring both is a little harsh.

As for the corrosive sweat spell... I can see this potentially causing problems for the casters wardrobe!

As a rule of thumb, ten creatures of Size +1 is equivalent to five creatures of Size +2, two creatures of Size +3, or one creature of size +4. So with two size modifiers in Sanctaphrax's spell, you can create 500 Size +2 horses or 200 Size +3 horses.
I'm not sure at Jonathan's estimation of the weight of a warhorse. Checking my mammalian database, I agree a pony is upwards of 480 lb (which I would say is borderline Size +1/+2*), but a draft horse or destrier is about 1870 lb (and firmly within Size +3)

[size=85]*canonically a pig is Size +1, and would weigh in at 350 lb . We know a human is Size 0 at 150 lb, and that Size +2 is centered around 700 lb from Houses of Hermes: Mystery Cults in the appendix to House Bjornaer. It all depends where you put the cut points![/size]

I'm not sure it matters much whether it's 100 horses or 500 horses. Story-wise, it's pretty similar. Though I guess it could affect covenant economics.

What do people think of the bonus from the water armour spell? I was really uncertain about that one.

Alright, gotcha.

And yeah, it's not a good spell for a well-dressed wizard.

It's just not a good spell for a wizard who wants to stay dressed at all! That much damage will eat away metal scale armor over the course of several minutes.

The acidic sweat would still have to penetrate to damage the magus's clothing, at least while he's wearing said clothing...

Two bigger items, both Talismans.

Orson of Flambeau’s Talisman-Ring
Orson was a fire mage with Deficient Creo and a speciality in Rego. He created this ruby ring to let him carry fire around, so he’d always have some on hand.

Fire-Catching Grasp
ReIg 45
R: Touch D: Concentration T: Individual
Whenever the ring hand is inserted into a fire, it captures the fire. A captured fire burns in a sphere around the ring hand. It burns things normally, and would be dangerous to the caster if not for the ring’s other enchantments. This effect works on fires that deal up to +30 damage.
(Base 4, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration, +5 size, +5 levels item maintains concentration, +5 levels 24 uses/day)

Ward Against Heat and Cold
ReIg 44
R: Personal D: Sun T: Individual
The ring-wearer’s temperature is kept constant. Heat and flames are kept away normally, but if the wearer is chilled then heat is pulled in to warm them. This adds 30 to the wearer’s soak against heat and cold.
(Base 4, +2 Sun, +1 flexibility, +5 size, +3 levels environmental trigger, +1 level two uses/day)

Elspeth of Flambeau’s Talisman-Mask
Elspeth was a combat maga who specialized in trickery and underhanded tactics. Her preferred Arts were Ignem and Imaginem.

Thought Trigger
InMe 30
R: Touch D: Concentration T: Individual
The mask can read its wearer’s mind, and activate its other powers on mental commands.
(Base 15, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration, +5 levels item maintains concentration)

PeIm 33
R: Personal D: Concentration T: Individual
With a thought the wearer becomes invisible, inaudible, odorless, and impossible to feel, but still casts a shadow.
(Base 5, +1 Concentration, +1 changing image, +3 levels linked trigger, +5 levels item maintains concentration, +10 levels unlimited uses)

Cr(In)Ig 33
R: Touch D: Concentration T: Individual
While invisible, the mask-wearer sheds exactly enough light to fill in their shadow. The Intellego requisite is used to determine how much light that is. This ability doesn’t have as many uses as the invisibilty, so overusing invisibility will leave the wearer’s shadow visible.
(Base 5, +1 Touch, +1 Concentration, +1 Intellego requisite, +3 levels linked trigger, +5 levels item maintains concentration, +5 levels 24 uses/day)

The Decoy
CrIm 33
R: Voice D: Concentration T: Individual
With a thought, the caster creates an image of themself that moves and speaks at their mental command. This is usually used alongside the invisibility effect of the mask.
(Base 2, +2 Voice, +1 Concentration, +2 move as commanded, +1 intricacy, +3 levels linked trigger, +5 levels item maintains concentration, +5 levels 24 uses/day)

Ice Breath
PeIg 60
R: Voice D: Momentary T: Individual
With a thought, chills a target for +25 damage. Armour is ineffective. Penetration is 38. Elspeth added this effect later in life, when she was more powerful and had the help of an apprentice and familiar.
(Base 25, +2 Voice, +3 levels linked trigger, +3 levels 6 uses/day, +19 levels penetration)

The Image That Delays Death
MuIm 40
R: Voice D: Sun T: Individual
With a thought, a target’s image is changed so that they appear healthy no matter what happens to them. Even if frozen solid by ice breath, they seem fine to all observers.
(Base 5, +2 Voice, +3 levels linked trigger, +3 levels 6 uses/day, +19 levels penetration)