Need help with a spell: CrIg

Hey there fellow magi, I was hoping someone with more knowledge of the system than I currently have could help me in creating this spell.

I'm trying to transform a section of the ground into lava, with the intent being to plunge my enemies screaming into a lava pit. I am going about it using CrIg , though I'm sure it would be easier to do with MuTe- my specialization as a CrIg pyromancer wouldn't help me very much in this regard. According to the book, at level 10 I can heat an object to melt lead (~315 C), and lava is around 700-1200 C. This means the base effect of heating the earth to a suitable temperature would be level 30 (~945 C). I'm split between voice/sight (voice is probably all I need, but sight is very tempting for the added versatility), either concentration or diameter, but I am stuck on the target. I want to affect a large enough area to prevent running away, but I'd love for it to be able to work outside as well as inside.

Having a spell with target: room doesn't help if you're in a field.. problem is I can't seem to find any reference to area of effect, and the target rules are a bit confusing as they claim to go up a step on the target table you simply multiply the former magnitude by 10 (10 paces becomes 100), but if this is true then a group is one pace in diameter (as compared to the 100 paces a boundary claims to represent). Please help, oh great mages!

Perhaps look at the pit of the gaping earth? Target part, +1 size gives 66 paces and 9 foot deep. A pace is approximately 5 feet, according to information I can find online, and so that results in a 3030*9 pit.

(4.86 feet, if you want precision to 2 decimal places)

Yes, if you want to melt a piece of the ground, that's Part. Then use additional magnitudes for Size. I think the advice to look at Pit of the Gaping Earth is sound. Size increases very rapidly when it comes to spell parameters, so you probably only need Siz +2 if you want to make a pool of lava the size of a cottage, and get a +6 bonus to the targeting roll.

By RAW, an Ars Magica pace is 3 feet. It's in a rather obscure place: in the definition of the base Individual for Boundary (in the insert for "Targets and Sizes" on page 113), it says that the "base Boundary is the same for all Forms, and is one hundred paces (three hundred feet) in diameter."

Thanks for the input guys! I checked out the pit of the gaping earth, and that's nearly exactly what I want to do. I think I would take Doctorcomics' advice and bump the size up one more- would this make my pit 60 paces instead of 6? If so I feel like that's about perfect. Thanks to your help, here's what I (tentatively) have so far:

Pit of the Infernal's Flame (working name- suggestions welcome)
-The ground below the target suddenly gives way and melts into a pool of magma (945 C) X paces across and X feet deep.
R: Voice (or sight) D: Diam T: Part (+2)

The range- voice or sight? It's the difference between level 55 and 60, which doesn't mean too much to me.. but doing it within voice could maybe get me killed. I've got the supernatural immunity to fire, but does that cover lava? If something falls into the pit of lava and isn't immediately killed, would they be trapped in earth if they remained there until the end of the spell? If so I might reconsider diam for conc, it could be useful to trap things in an earthen pit. The lava would most definitely be magic damage as well, right? Or, since I'm affecting the earth with my magic, would the lava do mundane lava damage? Sorry if this rant makes no sense, I'm going to bed now. Thanks for your help! <3

If it's over 50, it's a ritual (unless your SG/Troupe decides otherwise).

Maw of the Volcanic Vent (Cr Ig 40)
The ground in a targeted area flashes into molten rock in a 2 and 1/3rd pace by 2 and 1/3rd pace area to a depth of 2/3rds of a paces (7 feet across by 7 feet wide by 2 feet deep) (someone check and correct my maths please). Any target which falls into it takes +36 damage (+12 damage * 3 for partial immersion). Near proximity can cause damage due to convection, and nearby water will flash into steam (storyguide's discretion on damage)
Base 15, R: Voice (+2), D: Momentary (+0) T: Part (+1), +2 Size.

Maw of the Active Volcano (Cr Ig 45)
The ground in a targeted area flashes into molten rock in a 7 and 1/3rd pace by 7 and 1/3rd pace area to a depth of 2/3rds of a pace (22 feet across by 22 feet wide by 2 feet deep) (someone check and correct my maths please). Any target which falls into it takes +36 damage (+12 damage * 3 for partial immersion). Near proximity can cause damage due to convection, and nearby water will flash into steam (storyguide's discretion on damage)
Base 15, R: Voice (+2), D: Momentary (+0) T: Part (+1), +3 Size.

Iron is molten at 1000 to 1500 C (dependant on purity and type), and AM5 Page 181 lists that as +12 damage, with lead being +9, which is 327.5C (the jump is impressive) so I'd say +12 damage is effectively what you're after.

Base individual for a fire is a large campfire or a fire in the hearth of a great hall, which is usually at most a foot across in either direction and effectively a foot tall, in the depths of winter when you want it at it's strongest.

+2 size therefore gives is 100 cubic feet to work with. At 2 feet deep, that's 50 feet square, so approximately 7 feet by 7 feet
+3 size is 1000 cubic feet, so at 2 feet deep, that's 500 square feet, which is 22 feet to a side, approximately. Assuming a square area.

Neither of my examples are rituals unless your SG rules that they are because of their power. The next example IS a ritual. It takes 2 and a half hours to cast, and uses 10 pawns of creo or ignem vis. But let's be fair, it's also pretty much guaranteed to charboil anything but the most determined assault upon you.

Maw of the Errupting Volcano (Cr Ig 50)
The ground in a targeted area flashes into molten rock in a 23 and 1/3rd pace by 23 and 1/3rd pace area to a depth of 2/3rds of a pace (70 feet across by 70 feet wide by 2 feet deep) (someone check and correct my maths please). Any target which falls into it takes +36 damage (+12 damage * 3 for partial immersion). Near proximity can cause damage due to convection, and nearby water will flash into steam (storyguide's discretion on damage)
Base 15, R: Voice (+2), D: Momentary (+0) T: Part (+1), +4 Size.

All data on metal melting points from ... d_860.html

I'd argue the initial damage is magical, and thus resisted by parma, but the resulting damage as the new lava is cooled (I'd say -1 damage per round if you're being generous, as that feels appropriately mythic (solidifies after 12 minutes). Otherwise, have it cycle every 30 seconds, losing -1* the number of cycles (so -1 after 30 seconds, -2 (total -3) after a minute. Means it'll have solidified in 2 and a half minutes)) is probably mundane. Clambering out, even if you are somehow unharmed by it, is difficult, as it's cooling, and thus thickening, and starts out as a relatively thick mire of liquid. Effectively a superhot swamp.

Go for booming voice and exaggerated gestures to make sure you're far enough away :wink:

I wouldn't be sure which way to rule on the "is it fire" issue, though as my design posits, nearby water flashes into steam, which ISN'T fire. (how do you burn to death the magus with immunity to fire? Steam jet. 3rd degree burns all the way. No I haven't been working out how to kill my local flambeau with immunity to fire, cough just being prepared.) And the deprivation resulting from falling over in it could be unpleasant, especially if you're unlucky and it sets.

The damage values in this posit that a person falls the 2 feet, and as it's both a surprise and an unpleasant shock, falls to their knees, resulting in the half immersion for *3 damage. It also fails to factor in the fall damage of +1 (halved then rounded as it's technically a soft surface). Remember to add a stress die to all damage instances. Note that this spell doesn't necessarily have to target the Earth, either. You can suddenly flash detonate the air by super heating it and ignite any flammable materials within it. Or you can flash an area of water into steam to boil your enemies alive instantly, for near enough the same effects. If you do this, however, remember that the steam is SUPER-HEATED, and results in total immersion instead of partial as the cloud overtakes them, resulting in it being +48 damage instead of +36.

This comment isn't meant to be taken as argumentative; I'm just trying to understand:

Why wouldn't this spell have a Te requisite? As a spell that explicitly heats the ground, shouldn't it need a Terram req? If this is just "pure heat", couldn't you cast it on anything? Why bother having people fall in it, instead of just casting it on the people (or, technically, part of a person)? Or part of an elephant, or a tree? What am I missing from the requisite rules?

The creation of lava is challenging. You can certainly do it with CrIg, but I think you need to think about some things. The main issue with creating lava with CrIg is that you have to have a sufficient volume of rock nearby, and it probably would also take some time to melt that volume of rock. Dirt would probably just vaporize at those temperatures, at least the organic components of dirt which is a surprising volume of dirt, but organics in dirt might not be a reasonable medieval understanding, so YMMV. I certainly think any CrIg spells used to make lava should have a duration component other than momentary and it's probably not a useful combat spell...

Lava is a really complex beast, and it's mentioned briefly in the main rule book as the essential nature is governed by three things: lava is liquid rock at high temperatures, rock is terram, the liquidity is aquam and heat is ignem. Spells that create Lava should probably be CrTe(Ig). If you're creating lava out of the existing ground that should probably be MuTe(Ig), some might suggest that it's Mu(Cr)Te(Ig) but I think that's overly complex. Spells that control existing lava should be ReAq(Te?) Spells that affect the heat of lava should be PeIg.

So, just creating a volume of lava should be:

Rise of the Molten Earth CrTe(Ig) 25
Creates 10 cubic paces of stone in lava form.
Base 3, +2 Voice, +2 Sun +1 size, +1 Ignem

I added a magnitude for the ignem requisite because the spell would do significantly less (only a block of stone) without the requisite and there isn't a guideline that creates lava. It could be a +2 Ignem, considering the huge amount of heat, but I'm not sure you gain that much by doing so, as CrTe(Ig) effects will be difficult enough to pull off without any additional complexity.

I'd probably put it inside of the Pit of Gaping Earth... :smiley:

It also fits as a ReTe as the change is a normal change of earth. I would think ReTe(Ig) would work.

Errupting Volcano (Cr Ig 50)
Summons a fire elemental to an area to which you have an arcane connection. Typically the area from which the elemental erupts naturally turns into molten rock(rough circle of one pace per magnetude of might of the elemental). Any target which falls into it takes +36 damage (+12 damage * 3 for partial immersion). Near proximity can cause damage due to convection, and nearby water will flash into steam (storyguide's discretion on damage)
Base 30, R: ARC (+4), D: Momentary (+0) T: Ind, ritual

Not completely detailed but this ritual would be effective to cleanse most areas...


Creating an Elemental is Base 25 and requires an existing amount of Ignem, RoP: Magic, p.133.

There is a 40th level summoning spell for Summon the Spirit of (Form) that is Re(Form) level 40, TMRE p.29. Even though it's in TMRE it isn't a guideline protected by a Mystery Cult.

Are ALL spells over 50 rituals, regardless of the skill of the caster? I hadn't read that. I created an improved version of the ball of abysmal flame at level 55, mastered it for fast-casting, and have enjoyed much use out of it in my short career (with my SG actually helping me to create it, so I would assume he's not playing to this rule). Currently I can cast a spell up to 60 if I don't botch. For everyone suggesting different arts- the point is that I have retarded amounts of skill in CrIg and thus want to use this to my advantage. I'm sure it would be much easier to do it different ways, but I passed the Gauntlet 2 years ago and don't have much in the way of variety- 15Cr 17Ig 6Pe 6Re 3Te 3Aq . My major magical focus of pyromancy allows me to double the score of my lowest art involved, so changing it from CrIg would reduce the strength of the spell by ~1/3. Yes, I'm the stereotypical power-hungry, fire-flinging Flambeau. Sue me, it's my first saga :stuck_out_tongue:

The reason I'm trying to make a cool spell is because the Flambeau tournament is coming up in 4 years, with the next tribunal being held shortly after, and I have to make a name for myself among the house. This is going to be extra hard since my master is infamous as all hell. Any other suggestions for flashy spells, or ways to become prepared for the tournament would be greatly appreciated. Since my arts are so specialized, certamen is going to be hard..

Core rulebook, p. 114, third bullet point under the 'Ritual Spells' header.

It's in a place that's difficult to find, but obvious when you note the location. The Spells chapter of the main rule book under the Ritual Spells section

It's also important to note that any spell that is too powerful can be considered a ritual even if not at level 50 at the discretion of the troupe/SG. I'm not sure I consider a level 55 version of Ball of Abysmal flame as too powerful, both spells are likely to kill, regardless, and the 55th level version is much easier to resist than the 35th level version when you have to deal with magic resistance.

This suggests that you use fast casting to strike first, but that's not a view of fast casting that a lot of people take. There is a discussion about fast casting her in the forum that got a bit contentious. My personal view is that it is a response to an event[1] and fast casting on offensive spells doesn't prevent the event from happening, but does allow you to get the spell off in a kind of mutually assured destruction kind of way.

Doing well in the House tournament is a function of doing well in Certamen (having a broad base of Arts) and then doing well in the Dimicatio, which suggests a wide variety of spells both defensive and offensive, but IMO many defensive varieties to evade or avoid dealing with your opponent's offensive spells, but this comes from my view of fast casting indicated above.

[1] This is actually mentioned in the discussion on fast casting, but some people go so far as to presume it includes making the first hermetic word or gesture and that's the event being reacted to. I don't subscribe to that point of view. You're reacting to a ball of flame flying at your face, or realize that he cast the ball of flame at the last possible instant, and you work some magic to deal with not being where you are (Wizard's Leap) or neutralizing the threat, like Mighty Torrent of Water, for Example, or a PeVi spell, perhaps.

I had misread this and didn't note that you felt your character was too specialized for Certamen. Giving advice here is fraught with being just plain wrong, depending on how closely your SG sticks to the Flambeau tournament. In the tournament, it might not be possible to veto a choice, so you will always have at least one good Art. It's also conceivable that your focus will not apply at all in Certamen. Pyromancy suggests fire, but I don't know how well defined it is. Since Certamen is about the phantasms of things, your focus may not apply at all.
With regards to the 55th level Ball of Abysmal Flames, since your SG helped designed and approved it, I would appeal to him that if he does decide to keep the 50th level limit otherwise, that he allow this spell to remain at 55th level and able to be cast as a formulaic. That, in and of itself, would be a notable achievement that would draw attention to you. You have 4 years, and up to 16 seasons to improve your Arts, I heartily recommend diversifying your Arts to give you a broader appeal. I generally view the Flambeau as liking educated and capable warriors with diverse talents, and less interested in one trick ponies. Yes, it's great to be an unparalleled fire magus, but you need spells to protect and enhance your grogs. Spells that improve your soak against weapons should you be swarmed by mundane opponents, etc.

I actually have a pretty decent terram ward that will soak up to 5 damage from up to metal (it's not SUPER great but when I increase my creo I'll be sure to make a better version) My character has a high Int, is educated, good magic theory, artes, latin, scribe as well.. fairly well-rounded except in the arts. Since I've never played Ars before, I wanted to be able to easily slip into my magus' personality, so he's pretty much me except with fire. I know if I found out I could shoot fire spears out of my hand you'd better believe I'd become the best damn fire-thrower around. I have a shield spell too, mastered for fast cast of course- I Creo myself some Terram in the form of metal (I can't recall if the metals are rated differently, and I can't off the top of my head remember if I have a specific hardness attributed to this) momentarily to block any incoming attacks.

I think my SG will allow me to retain the spell as formulaic, but since I pointed this rule out to him he will probably insist on the cap going forward. We have our next game tonight, so I'll try and find out as much as I can about how my SG is gonna run the tournament. If there's no certamen at all I'll probably forgo diversifying for now, and focus more on increasing parma and making some grog-enhancing effects. I'm fairly confident I could easily prevail at Dimicatio and I plan to do a bit of prep for Wizard's Melee, but I think I could do well there too.

Thanks for all your input guys, this community is great. I've only been playing a few months but Ars is quickly growing into an obsession for me- you'll probably be answering a lot of my dumb questions in the future :slight_smile:

It's an obsession for many of us, too. The tagline for the Ars Magica forum says it all "The greatest magic ever discussed at great length."

Oh, and playing specialists, IMO is a good thing. I almost always play a specialist, in fact, I only have one magus character who is considered to be a generalist, and that's really only because I have to force him to be, since he has Magic Addiction. Spells 25th level and greater, even with high int and decent concentration are almost always going to trigger an addiction check.

Turns out I'm just dumb, and wrote down the spell wrong- the fireball is level 45, and so is not a ritual spell. I spent some time increasing my arts so that I can buff my grogs, and I'm working on a flashy, huge spell to pull out at some point during the tournament and look like a baller.

Is there perhaps an irc or something that you gents chat in? It would be cool to meet some more people who won't fall asleep while I talk about spell magnitudes and lab improvements :stuck_out_tongue:

I'm not aware of such an irc channel.

But many of us here enjoy spitballing about labs and the like. There are also some PbP games here and those games will often have discussions along those lines.