[New spell] The mountain that walks

My troupe is debating whether the following spell would need an Animal requisite. I'm strongly inclined to say no, but would like the forum's opinion and general feedback!

The mountain that walks, Cr(Re)Te 35
R:Voice, D:Sun, T:Ind

This spell creates a large bear of ruddy stone and animates it under the command of the caster -- it can leave the caster's presence but it can be commanded only within Voice range. Commands must be simple, as in Awaken the Slumbering Corpse. The stone bear lacks the natural instincts of a normal bear, cannot swim (it sinks like a stone!), and is less perceptive and somewhat slower than the average bear; but it's also stronger, heavier, and considerably tougher [any suggestions on the actual statistics?].

Base 4 (Create a cubic pace of stone -- note that a cubic pace of flesh is about 700Kg, i.e. an animal of size +3), +1 elaborate shape, +1 unnatural (flexible), +1 additional Rego effect (would be Base 3, control earth in a very unnatural fashion), +2 Voice, +2 Sun

Good spell, to the statistics i would say that you should see the Elemental section or from RoPM or HMRE.

I think it probably does need the An req, as the effect needs the animated stone to act with a degree of autonomy. If you added the Req it makes the kind of cunning it could have easy to assess, where without it the actions and behavior get harder to assess. A related question - where does the cunning come from to act without always being controlled if the Form is just Terram?

This was one of the very first issues that came up. However, we noticed that "Awaken the Slumbering Corpse" animates a corpse using Rego Corpus without requisites, and it can take commands like "attack anyone who comes through here" that, although simple, do require a minimum of perception and judgement. I did mention that the stone bear lacks the instincts of a real bear.

I think the reason that The Mountain that Walks needs the requisite where Awaken the Slumbering Corpse doesn't is because the latter uses an actual, un-Christian-buried corpse and reanimates it. The TMTW actually creates a bear-like thing out of stone that was never alive, mobile, etc. to begin with. Thus, it would need the Animal requisite to give it the animal-like abilities it wouldn't otherwise have.

I also leans towards the requisite, for same reasons as IBT and Peregrine mentioned.
It´s not an absolute must have, but i think it makes for a very nice touch for the spell.

I think you shouldn´t need more Range than Touch? Only need Range for when created, not for commands unless i misrecall badly. Although being able to hear commands might be one more reason for needing the An req..
OTOH, personally i might want to add Mu as another req. or replace the "+1 unnatural" with it. But that´s more of a personal preference, i think it works as is as well.

Anyway, neat spell. I know i have a few Golem-spells somewhere that are vaguely similar.

I don't think it needs an Animal requisite. Looking like a bear is just a cosmetic effect.

If you wanted it to be a stone bear (be able to talk to bears, have the instincts of a bear, etc) then you would need the requisite, but this just seems to create an animate statue that merely looks like a bear.

I'm with Richard on this one.

I completely agree.

"+1 unnatural (flexible)" is enough for me to move like a living thing.
But spell balance in Ars means not only simple numbers. So if this bear golem will be too powerful for a 35th level spell, you should add more "unnatural" bonuses.
I would consider it immune to normal weapons like Lord of the Trees on page 139.
Its stats might be a good start for this golem. It might have the same Initiative and attack but with +30 damage.

What's with all that +30 damage? :laughing:
Stone golem => Stone elemental. What's the difference, really? :smiley:

The difference is I haven't got the supplement book with stats of elementals. :wink:

Exactly. A Corpus requisite would not be required for a humanoid statue as instintively you'd not allow the statue to do more than move and, presumably, attack without anything beyond shape to ascribe to humanity.

I don't really get the +30 damage either, and I agree that a stone elemental might be a good place to start. Haven't got the book though, so I'll suggest something slightly different.
As proposed in the above, the bear should be almost impervious to attacks from normal weapons as a result of its massive stone body. In my saga one would need exceptional weapons to harm it directly, or one would have to outwit it; Make it chase you over a small bridge that cannot sustain its weight or something. Spells would work too in most cases.

The OP hinted at stats comparable to a normal bear, so lets try this:

  • First I'd lower Cunning and Perception, Communication and Presence for the missing 'instinct' and for being an 'empty hulk'.
  • Then I'd increase Size by +2 for the greatly increased weight; lowering Quickness by 2, and increasing Strength by 4. We have already made it slow, dim-witted and strong, so we're on the right path.
  • Thirdly, are stone teeth and claws sharper than those of 'bone'? Maybe not, let's leave damage as it is; the increased weight (and thus Size) has already improved Grappling and Damage anyway. Stone skin would greatly increase Soak though, but no more than maybe +5 since bear's already have an impressive Soak. Also, its wound categories just went up went up two steps, to [1-9] [10-18] [19-27] [28-36] [37+] so it's hard enoguh to kill already.
  • Finally Abilities. Maybe you don't even need to adjust Abilities much, since the new weight alone makes Swimming impossible even with a score of 3, and Abilities like Awareness, Athletics, Hunt and Survival already suffer from lowered totals through the adjusted Cunning and Perception.

So summing up: 1) Lowering Mental Characteristics for 'mindless hulkishness', 2) Increasing Size (and what follows) through increased weight , 3) Improving Soak by +5-ish for stone skin. Done.

This would work for my saga.

I would raise soak a lot more. A stone bear should be almost impervious to fire damage (for example) as well IMO. I like where Lasse is coming from, though :slight_smile:

The problem with the design is in the soak. This works for a bear,t hat is already very brutal in corpulence, but does nto work very well for smaller opponents. A stone dog or a stone +1 size human do not get the saqme benefits that the bear does. Well they do, but in their case the benefit does not reflect the final stats of a hulking stone-hard opponent.

Following Lasse's formula (+2 "size" for corpulence & +5 soak): A size +0 grog with +1 stamina would end up with a soak of +6 and damage ranges of 1-7, 8-14, 15-21... Not what I would call unbeatable at all :frowning: And a pair of stone statues should be basically unbeatable unless you do the stuff that Lasse pointed out before to beat them. or you disenchanted/Perdo terram-ed them. Think about the harry potter last movie: I know those animated statues in the school are not soak +6 :slight_smile:

Maybe a +15 soak would be better?


The spell I referred, The Lord of Trees has stats for the animated tree. I suggested those with +30 damage. It is very slow and rarely hits a good warrior.
The text of that spells says the animated tree is immune to normal weapons. I wouldn't think otherwise for a huge stone golem.

Lord of the trees has damage +10 (this is repeated for the animated tree; RoP: M p. 129).
The basic size 0 Earth elemental has damage +9 (RoP: M, p 137), and while damage does not scale directly with size, strength (for elementals anyway) does.

The animated tree is size +5, table on p 135 of RoP: M indicates a size +6 earth elemental would probably have a strength about3 higher than one of size +0, for a total damage of +12.

Looks reasonable to me.

A bear is a lot bigger than one cubic pace. If the spell is supposed to create something of the same size as a bear, but whose substance is stone, it is going to have to be more than one cubic pace.

If you are using the bear as anything other than a remote controlled item, I would think you would need a Mentem or Animal requisite, such as is used with the CrIm spell "The Shadow of Human Life"

Is it?

Polar Bear Brown Bear Average Weight of Mature Male 900-1,500 pounds 500-900 pounds

Largest recorded that is noted there is 2500 pounds, 1125kg. And i rather doubt that bears have so much different density than humans which means that only a VERY large bear is more than a cubic pace.

Direwolf is correct. Another way to reach the same results:

An animal of size +3 (note that the European brown bear is size +2) weighs 10 times an average human -- that's because every +3 in size translates into a tenfold increase in mass. A cubic pace of flesh and bone, assuming it has at least the same density as water, weighs about 750Kg, which is roughly 10 times the average human. Thus size +3 is no more than a cubic pace of flesh and bone.

We are often led to think that "irregular" objects have a larger volume than they really have, because we judge them by their longest dimension. Most people, for example, would not believe that you could squash over a dozen adult bodies into a cubic meter, but a simple calculation shows you that's actually the case.

In the end, this is how we derived the final statistics. All the information we used is from HoH:MC.

  1. We started with the statistics of a "standard" bear (p.43).

  2. We brought the size from +2 to +3 for a very large bear. We applied the modifications for Creatures of Non-Standard Size (p.39). This means +2 Strength (and thus +2 Damage), -1 Quickness (and thus -1 Defense and -1 Initiative), and +2 to Wound ranges.

  3. We applied the effects of changing a Bjornaer's heartbeast into a form of elemental matter, specifically stone (p.32). This adds 15 to Soak, reduces Quickness (and thus Defense and Initiative) by 5, and adds +2 to Size without affecting characteristics or volume (the heartbeast is just heavier -- though Wound ranges are affected).