New Spell: Create a Candle

Thinking about a variety of spells that could be useful for lab personalization, or for a covenant at large. This one is about lighting.

Create a Candle (CrAn 30)
R:Touch, D:Moon, T:Ind

This spells creates a large, clear-burning wax candle. With an Ignem casting requisite, the candle is lit when it appears.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, +1 treated animal product)

Intuitively, it feels like this should be much easier than that. I could drop the duraiton to Sun, but then the candle would disappear at sunset, which is not very useful if many of them are used to light your lab. One could make a case that this should use +2 magnitude for treated and processed animal product, but I felt this was excessive.

By comparison, directly creating a candlelight with the same duration is only level 10 (Base 2, +1 Touch, +3 Moon).

The effect could be enchanted into an item, which at first glance does not seem very cost-effective compared to a direct creation of light using Ignem. However, an Ignem-based item only affects the area where it is located, whereas the item would provide free candles that can be used on a much wider area. (Effect Level 30, +10 Unlimited uses, total level 40 for a cost of 4 pawns of vis as a lesser enchantment.)

Such an item should have the same effect as having a candlemaker at the covenant, providing a Cost Saving to Consumables of 4 pounds per year (as per Covenants p.67).

It does indeed. Perhaps simply apply SG fiat and say that the spell is level 15-20? (only when used like this, ie not if used in an item etc) On the basis that it is a simple spell that enough people have tinkered with to come up with improved variants.

Or you could allow an exception for this spell and give it a size -1 or -2. For spells that seem "too high" and fits a less than max size, i´ve found that to be a good compromise.

dare I even point out that moon is +3 magnitudes rather than +2?

It's generally much easier to create the light directly (via CrIg) than a candle

I understand why it feels like a simple spell, but should our perspective of easy/hard influence the spell mechanics in Ars? Given the materials require a gathering, purifying, and construction process I'd be open to a character getting a bonus on roll or similar creation bonus if they understand the craft of candle making. But not an arbitrary reduction in spell level just because it is harder given the lore and hermetic magic theory. I know that is a bit strict, but if that concept is extended to other areas you'll see wholesale change in the spell guidelines.

May I suggest making a plant wax candle? Base 2 and already treated.

Alternatively, you could just use lamps burning pure, extra virgin olive oil: a pretty large barrel (up to about 4000 liters) with Moon duration is only CrAq10 (Base 2, +1 Touch, +3 Moon).

Oops, indeed it is +3 Moon. I was working from memory, and evidently botched by Int roll.

I corrected the levels in the original post.

Most of the plant-based wax is from New World plants. The only one vegetable wax that could remotely be available is castor oil wax, but few magi would know of it.

I was not necessarily looking for the most efficient way of doing this. But oil might certainly be a very good alternative. :smiley:

Olive oil would require an Herbam requisite, as per the Level 2 guideline "Fill a container with water (or some other natural liquid, with appropriate requisites)", [strike]making this a level 15[/strike] but the level remains the same. I see that existing spells (Footsteops of Slippery Oil and Creeping Oil) don't use a requisite, but the Level 3 guideline strangely does not mention a requisite.

But even with the Herbam requisite, it is still much easier than creating a candle, and doesn't require as many uses if enchanted in a magical item (which could be the barrel itself). So here goes:

Bounty of the Olive Tree (CrAq [strike]15[/strike]10)
R:Touch, D:Moon, T:Ind, Req: Herbam

This spell fills a barrel (or some other container) with pure olive oil, which can be used in oil lamps. It could also be used for cooking, but this may cause Warping if done repeatedly over a long period of time.

(Base 2, +1 Touch, +3 Moon, [strike]+1 Herbam[/strike]requisite has no effect on level)

Item: Barrel of Plentiful Oil (CrAq [strike]15[/strike]10, Herbam req.)
This barrel is enchanted to fill up with pure olive oil once per day, as per the spell Bounty of the Olive Tree.

(Base effect [strike]15[/strike]10, +0 for 1 use/per day; S&M Bonus: Container, +5 to create or transform within)

Edit: The reuquisite does not add a magnitude, as per ArM5 p.114

We always use candeliers with Circle CrIg spells for continuous lighting. Different intensities (from candle to torch) depending on what we want to light. The CrAq for the oli one is a good one for sure though :slight_smile:


I might end up stealing the oil lamp idea

This looks like an excellent ceremonial spont when the covenant expects VIMPs (very important mundane persons :wink:) visiting, who must not be exposed to magical lighting.


Keep in mind that if the requisite is necessary for the spell to operate (so that it's part of the guideline), it does not add a magnitude (e.g. MuCo(An) to turn a man into a wolf does not "pay" a magnitude for the An requisite). You can argue that this would also apply to the creation of olive oil, which would then be CrAq(He)10, rather than 15. I must confess I had missed the requisite part in the CrHe guidelines, based on the example of Footsteps of Slippery Oil.

You are quite right, I just reread the "Requisites" section on page 114 and this is quie clear. Makes it even easier to invent the spell. :slight_smile:

Adjusting the spell now.

Maybe a ring of some substance that gives both duration and target help to reduce the "cost" of the magic? It would continuously produce a wax cylinder that is lit.

Of course you could always do a Imaginem spell with a Ignem req with a circle duration/target, to make a candle appear to exist and shed light?

If I were not so tired I would rethink the circle idea for making candles which you simply could light.