New ReTe spell: Gauntlet of Ogre Power :)

There have been a number of objections to Warrior's Wield in this other thread. Confronting them all simultaneously is very confusing. So, I'd like to see what you think of the following spell, which should be far less controversial (from what I've read). Who would object to it, and why? If I have not misunderstood jebrick's position, he should be ok with it. If something like a consensus is reached on Gauntlet of Ogre Power (GoOP for short), then it would be easier to address Warrior's Wield, which I see as a variant, albeit with a few fundamental differences.

Gauntlet of Ogre Power, Rego Terram 5
R:Touch, D:Diam, T:Ind

This spell controls a metal gauntlet that the magus is wearing on his hand, making it follow with great force the magus' slightest pressure. As a result, to the magus the gauntlet and anything it is wielding, grasping, pushing, lifting, crushing etc. feel as light as feathers (and do not add to the magus' Load), but they are manipulated as if the magus were an extremely strong person (Strength +5). Except for the strength boost provided by the gauntlet, any action undertaken by the magus is otherwise resolved normally, using the magus' other characteristics and abilities.

For example, attacks made with the gauntleted hand (or with a weapon it wields) use the magus' normal attack skill, but are resolved as if the magus had Strength +5. Note that a punch, slap, or other attack made directly with the gauntleted hand is magically resisted, but an attack with a weapon held or thrown by the gauntleted hand in general is not (as per HoH:S, p.30).

Base 1 "Control or move dirt in a natural fashion", +2 Metal, +1 Touch, +1 Diameter

Note: I am assuming Base 1, "control or move dirt in a natural fashion", because the gauntlet is moving just as if it were moved by a stronger person wearing it -- no floating around on its own etc. I can't quite see anything more "natural" save something that would be happening on its own anyways, in which case no magic would be needed!

I've been reading the forums for a while now and couldn't resist to post on this topic. :wink:

So here is my (magic) theory: The attack is resisted because it's powered by magic motion at the moment the weapon hits your target. If the weapon was wielded by a magical being, the attack would not be resisted because it would be powered by natural motion generated by that magical being (just like natural species generated by magical illusions). If you directly rego control a corpse to wield a weapon, then I would say the attack would be resisted despite what the rules actually say (IDK). If you use magic to confer a corpse an appearance of life and command it to attack someone, then I say his motion is natural and not magical.

So in my mind directly generated rego motion is always resisted. Only way I would let that to be bypassed:

Powergaming Gauntlet of Incredibly Precise and Devastating Blows of Vilano.
R: touch, D: momentary/concentration, T: individual

This spell controls a metal gauntlet that demands you a finesse roll for every attack you want it to power. It gives a powerful initial motion to that attack and then let things go naturally. (Maths, etc.)

If a player wanted a D: diameter with normal attack rolls at +5 str I would allow it as Vilano Strikes Back only with + Magnitudes for the complexity of a spell that waits for any motion and then reproduces it for a moment and immediately goes passive. Would also give it a x999 to botch dice and imagine it as that Push the Tempo videoclip.

Same for Awkward-moving Rego Controlled Corpse of Vilano (with a bonus if it's the actual Corpse of Vilano), Jedi's Hilt Wield of Ezzelino, etc.

Of course all of this is my opinion and how would it be IMS, just for feedback and the fun of debating about fictional magic systems.

I think this really come down to the troupe's choice of how they want to run their magic - realistic, or gamist.

From a "realistic" viewpoint, I can't see anything wrong with the gauntlets. This is how Hermetic magic "should" work - you power the gauntlet's movements and not the weapon's, so the weapon isn't resisted; and the effect makes sense for base 1.

From a "gamist" viewpoint, all magical attacks need to be either Finesse and no MR or MR and no Finesse. And benefits should correspond to spell or base level. So the gauntlet will need directing with Finesse in addition to the normal skill, or else will impart magical movement to the item and hence the attack be resisted by MR. And the base should be at least 5, perhaps 10, for that +5 bonus to Damage; if this base doesn't work well with the guidelines, just add an appropriate amount of magnitudes to make it level-equivalent.

I would tend to go with the gamist approach here. It just feels like cheating to let characters gain a +5 Strength so easily, the gamist approach works somewhat balances that out.

Most Hermetic magi will just say, that hiring a very strong, obedient shield grog, giving him a metal gauntlet and calling him 'Ogre' is all they need to do, to get far more than the benefits of such spell.

But there is indeed a precedent effect for it in the books.

So this makes the gauntlet very big: it provides the controlling magus with a tree-shaped mecha.
It also avoids, that the gauntlet's added Str in the heat of combat damages the wielding magus' hand and arm, as the tree has the physique to back up the Str.


EDIT: It makes sense to require, that the magus learns physical abilities for the tree-shaped mecha he controls anew.

This sums up my point of view quite well. Hiring a strong grog will almost always be far more efficient than using magic for this sort of nothing.

Not sure I agree with the choice of base guideline, but the argument for choosing it seems fair enough. At the time of the day, I have no objections, except for the wastefulness of it.

I think the base should be higher, as moving something with a little force naturally (base 1) is different from moving it with great force and great elegance and speed.
But I'm of the view that the sword hilt was ok too - so there is that.

Hi again,

I think I will stand by my two remarks:

  • as this is an attack using rego but without penetration, I'd require finesse. Finesse will then use the ability to strike with.

If you consider "the gauntlets are not attacking: the person having it does the attack by himself", then my reply is : then there is no bonus to the person. If you want give strength to people, you have Cr and Mu to consider using on the person. "Mecha" and "servo-mechanics" are not very mythical IMO.
Even if I were to try to conciliate our views, I'd say that finesse is either: 1 a reduction of the attack total of the user or 2 a limit of the attack total of the user. Indeed: if his gloves are magically moved, then the magical movement is superior to the natural one. If you do not consider that this magical movement replace the natural one (which is my first point above), then the natural one cannot beat the magical one: the magical gauntlet are moved by a strength of 5, not the natural movements. Unless the user has 5 in strength, in which case we can for the purpose of discussion, consider he wins the changing the movement contest , his strenght is lower and I would maybe even allow a contested roll, before allowing the finesse roll of the magus be a limit or a restriction to his attack total. But all those dice, all those rolls for ONE attack seems futile.

(From my experience when spells do two things, one often gets forgotten. This spell would do more... forget it. Use simpler spells with clear descriptions, which can, in the flow of a game session, fly on the spot, and are pretty self explanitive. Or use roleplay moments to introduce your new spells (which I use for my elementalist magics which are often complex spells). From that same experience, if a spell requires X rolls, the SG only handle 1 and handwave anything which can frustrate the player whose spell's every details are not taken into account )

Additionnaly since it requires finesse, one may argue you can only do one attack action with this glove each round, because the magus couldn't do more. Defenses rolls would maybe use it more than once per round, but I very doubt of any advantage of the gauntlet defensively (comparison: when flying with ReCo, I let players do dodging rolls with finesse: they fly and use their magic to dodge).

  • I stil don't think the base is correct. It doesn't seem to me it is natural for metal to move without being on the ground, in a slow motion movement from up to down.

I notice "diameter" as duration is odd because there will be a need to finesse every round, so what is the point? use concentration.

I would not, period, allow the "fire and boost characteristic of this spell" as if you were to consider it gives bonuses, like a sharpen razor or MuTe thing on the blade. For those "fire and boost", spells already exist, and rego in the sense you are using it doesn't seem in accordance with my view on ars magica system.

(as for the "finesse or penetration" of spells. I like to thing that sometimes, both are required. So in my eyes it's at least one of them, maybe twice in some cases. Eg: you create an arrow which is sent flying by "vilano" method. Magical arrow must penetrate, but natural flying must be aimed. If your spell is the Cr(Re)He which make an arrow appear naturally flying toward your target, both. Better use the "always hit" version if you are going to do Cr for the projectile anyway!)

I'm not trying to say: "you are terrible at doing spells" (which is probably false anyway, and terribly arrogant). As I said in many threads : YSMV. I'm only giving my personal opinion on that subject.

Much better. I need a little more time to think. As I don't have much time to write now, a few quick notes:

ArM5 ReTe guidelines say "Manipulating objects with great precision may also be higher, depending on the level of precision." Considering untying a rope or turning a lock seems to be around the point that kicks in and combat it more precise at much greater speeds, I would expect +3 for complexity on this.

You seem to misunderstand what Load is. Weightlessness does not mean no Load. For smaller objects, yes the Load would drop to 0. But not for bulky things. Refer to Hauberk of Sublime Lightness (HoH:S p.38).

I would allow this in my game but my first question upon reading it is : Why not just cast a spell to raise your strength and not have any discussion on MR?

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Thanks for the replies!
It does seem that GoOP is indeed far less controversial than Warrior's Wield -- even though in my mind they are just small variants of each other.

To answer a few points that were made, in random order:

@callen: weightlessness and load. You do have a point. On the other hand, sufficient strength by the RAW can always bring Load penalties, i.e. Encumbrance, to 0 (not quite the same as reducing Load, but...). Hmmm. I think that for the time being I'll simply write "and do not contribute to Encumbrance" instead of "and do not add to the magus' Load". It's not perfect but it's the closest fit to the RAW I can think of.

@callen @ironboundtome: modifiers for great strength, speed, or finesse. As for "great strength", if we look at the examples from the corebook, Strength +5 effects can be achieved without modifiers (in fact, they seem the upper end of what can be achieved without modifiers). As for "great finesse"... I thought a lot about it, and I am almost convinced about requiring for a +1 magnitude for complexity/finesse. Almost, but not quite, because the gauntlet movements are in principle very simple: it's just following the movements of the wearer. Imagine a crown kept hovering by a Rego Terram effect exactly 1 inch above a person's head, regardless of whether that person is dancing, jumping, cavorting etc. Would you require a +1 modifier for complexity or finesse in such a case? This is actually an issue with implications far beyond this spell, and I am curious if there's a consensus on it.

@YR7: game balance. Let's see. GoOP gives an "average strength" person a +5 bonus to Strength for activities performed with the gauntleted hand, with a Base Level (including the modifier for Metal) of 3. Arguably, it gives more to weaker people (including most magi), but it does give less to stronger ones, and in general covering up an area of weakness is "easier" than boosting an area of strength. Aura of Ennobled Presence provides a constant bonus of +3 to a range of activities that I'd judge somewhat broader than those affected by GoOP; and the Base Level is the same, 3. To me, they appear roughly balanced. I would add at the very most one magnitude to GoOP (and I'm not quite convinced it's necessary).

@Ahriman, @Exarkun: isn't this is a Finesse based attack similar to the Sling of Vilano? Alas, no! This is more like animating a corpse to wield a sword, which is neither magically resisted, nor uses the magus' Finesse to attack. In particular, it's not using Finesse to attack because the magus is just attacking "normally", with his weapon skill -- that's the "controlling" ability (incidentally, for most magi, Finesse will be higher than any weapon skill). This spell is just adding ooomph to the blows, very much as if one had turned the magus into a giant.

@One Shot: could this spell cause "strain" to a magus, particularly a fragile one? This is a very, very good point. On a first thought, I'd say no, because the spell is acting only on the gauntlet, which at the slightest pressure from the magus obediently follows... but I'm not really convinced by my own point. I'd like to hear more on this. If it's true, then I'd definitely through in a +1 magnitude for complexity, which should nicely address several other points as well.

@OneShot @jebrick @Tellus: isn't this spell a total waste?
I totally agree that in most cases it's just better to have a fit, well-trained grog. More in general, I think that most damage-inflicting magic is less effective than a group of well-trained grogs. There are some cases when a magus has a penchant for personal combat though, and this is a good spell in that regard, particularly for a Terram magus (as opposed to e.g. a Corpus magus).

AFAICS the strong glove on the weak arm is verrry dangerous, and can not just be remedied by adding complexity.

Try to follow me with this:
(1) The gauntlet only reacts to pressure of the magus' hand within.
(2) A weapon strike with that gauntlet is made at Str +5.
(3) If during that weapon strike the arm of the wielder is jostled, the hand may be numbed for just a split second.
(4) During that split second, the gauntlet continues its previous movement at Str +5.
(5) If the arm is only lightly blocked during that split second, or gets blocked through (4), it might well get hurt.
(6) A hurt arm might not be able to control the hand for some more time.
(7) And in that time the gauntlet continues its movement at Str +5 further, possibly breaking or destroying hand and arm.

So if e. g. your magus attacks a Viking with Str +5, say from above, and that Viking brings up his round shield to parry, and does not shove up the magus' weapon or gauntlet, but his forearm instead: this might lead by the sequence above to the self-destruction of the magus' attack hand and arm.

In terms of ArM5 rules: even a single attack botch might have horrible consequences. Of course, this depends on the feel of your saga: you can gloss over stuff like this - if you do not mind the smell.



I'd require one or two extra magnitudes for a tricky effect. I'd also require a Finesse roll.


I'd not allow this at all, and would use all caps.

a) The magus is Corpus, not Terram.
b) The stuff being manipulated might not be Terram.
c) The size of all of this material being manipulated is not accounted for.

Gauntlets of Ogre Power, as a magic item, would be a corpus effect.


considers I might be understating my dislike of this spell.

In the interest of fair disclosure, however, I note that I also consider the ReHe broomstick spell to be the result of a quadruple botch on the part of the game authors and editors.

Have I said Yuck yet? This should require massive Finesse rolls. Might as well also design a spell that lets a magus manipulate a grain of sand to do... well, anything. Or a ReHe magus use wood to manipulate anything. Or ReAu to gently, subtly or with great force manipulate, well, anything.

It's possible for a magus to do this.... with a Finesse roll that represents the difficulty of indirectly affecting a target through some other medium.

And this spell doesn't even qualify for this, because the gauntlet is yanking the magus' hand around as it "exerts strength." ReTe lets a magus manipulate Terram as though with a certain amount of Strength. So, the glove is now being moved as though with up to, say, Str 5. This means that the magus' hands and fingers are now being yanked and jerked and pulled with Str 5. Ouch? (There is NO corpus in this spell to protect the magus in any way.) The spell now can achieve affects based on the motion of a gauntlet being moved with Str up to 5. This does not include thwacking someone with a sword with the effects of an entire human body behind the blow.




At a meta-level, there is another massive issue with this spell: It represents a 'clever' way to get around a fundamental of AM magic, that an object continually controlled by magic is resisted.

Here I am, a ReTe specialist. If I cast ReTe on a sword and use magic to wave it around, MR applies.

But what if I, Hermetic supergenius, cast ReTe on a gauntlet, which I use to grab that sword and wave it around?

Tada! No MR.

Thus, aside from the fact that the rules already do not support the proposed spell, any GM's interpretation of the rules should treat similar spells with Extreme Prejudice.

Because they are Broken. Not just "oh no, it's too powerful" broken, for which I have little sympathy, but fundamental "hi, I have just trashed the game" broken.



I'm guessing you've never fought with a sword of any sort. Personally, I'm only experienced with fencing weapons. But the basic idea is the same. The motions are fairly small overall. If it's too grandiose it may look good on the big screen, but it will present big openings. Just being small doesn't mean simple, though. A little extra bend of a portion of the hand here or there can make all the difference. Also, these motions are extremely fast. On top of that, your gauntlet is not just designed for the significant complexity of swordplay, but also for any other weapon and for non-weapon things as well. That's many, many different types of motion the gauntlet must be able to copy, and many of those are fairly complex overall.

The floating crown is an interesting question, no it would not because (a) it's static to the target (free) but your gauntlet is also adding force conditionally to the wielders intent. That is harder.

If he wants to waste XPs on Single Weapon, rather than Finesse, on a magus character, I say let him!
It's still pretty inefficient compared to most magical attacks.
It's another skill to spread your XPs to cover.
And unless the weapon is his Talisman, it's almost certainly not covered by his Parma, so warding against it is almost trivial.

And even ignoring all that: He's not mainly attacking with the Gauntlet, it's enhancing his own movements. Tricky, a bit silly, but probably clean.

@Callen: Slashing weapons use larger body movements that (rapier?) fencing, so it would probably be more helpful to a swordsman than a fencer. But aside from the details, I agree with your argument.

Since this is the practical effect of the spell, I think it should be based off the guideline for enhancing strength, not off some lower level / more powerful guideline based around moving objects.

It's easy to "break" the AM5 magic system if you go for clever workarounds instead of being true to the spirit of the thing.

Clever workarounds, or clever applications are what make the arsmagica system appealing to me. Abusive ones need to be constrained, no it's probably a YSMV thing as I think this isn't abusive at all. Before the introduction of the Vilano spells I could imagine somebody arguing that they're not appropriate either.


Regarding the floating crown, I'd want to add something, because the crown keeps moving without the awareness (let alone concentration) of the caster.

If the crown were an enchanted item, for example, wouldn't it need an Intellego effect to keep track of the "wearer's" head? And then a ReTe effect to move around?

So.... not such a simple ReTe effect after all.



I would rule that movement is in the essential nature of a corpse, so the spell returns it that possibility. The animated corpse is then magically capable of generating mundane motion according to its natural strength and dexterity.

The gauntlet, directly and constantly animated by magic, has its magical movement resisted, and so is the magical movement of the sword magically wield by it in the moment it hits. So I hold that the only way I would allow the buffing gauntlet is my Powergaming Gauntlet of Incredibly Precise and Devastating Blows of Vilano, as posted above.

As storyguide, if this discussion went any further, I would rule that animated corpse attacks are magically resisted rather than allow Rego controlled weapons that bypass MR without finesse rolls (Well, I'm not even sure I would allow my own version of the Gauntlet... Maybe just for laughs). I even had a hard time admiting that Finesse Exploit of Vilano has a point.

But that's just my grumpy opinion, and if you want to allow your Gauntlet and/or your Hilt in your saga I'm happy with that; you could also make interesting Boots of Ogre Stride (and Dirty Fighting) for House Mercere, flying ReTe R: Vision flails, etc. :slight_smile: