Pedro Corpus to *decrease* characteristics?

Salve Sodales

Suppose I'd like to do the exact opposite of the Creo Corpus magic used to increase characteristics?

This sounds like the realm of Perdo Corpus, since it makes the person worse than the essential nature. It may also be unnatural, but this doesn't feel like Muto. Muto can do other things, like shrink people.

Also, I'm aware of the non-permanency. The Creo magic needs to be ritual, but for Perdo it may be better to just require a non-momentary duration in order to make the magic efficient. Sure, even a brief reduction of strength may be fatal to a strongman holding a boulder above his head, but...

What guideline to use? The ones for Creo magic ridiculously high, but need to be that for balance. Base 5 "Hamper a person, i.e. make them lame, blur eyesight" sounds like the absolute minimum. And perhaps this kind of magic needs to be less general like entire characteristics but more specific like the examples above.

So "lame" would yield a penalty for moving around, but wouldn't affect the Dex for craft or other hand-coordination. And "blurred vision" affects anything vision based, also archery, but not any other of the senses. As for the size of the penalty, that is left up the the Troupe it seems. I'd go for a -3.

For use in combat, to hamper an enemy, you could cast a spell to sap the strength of their arms, reducing damage. To weaken their backs/core strength to increase Encumbrance etc. At -3 per pop.

Although a penalty to Str across the board would be nicer, but indubitably at a higher Base. But how high? Base 15 is equivalent to "destroy minor sense, cripple a limb".

Perhaps Base 5 for -1, and a further magnitude per extra -1, up to a maximum of Base 25 for -5?

Base 15 is also used to age someone 5 years, which may cause a decrease in characteristics between 0 and 10 (or, well, death), which seems one or two steps above what you want to do. So I'd say 5 is fine, but would allow it to cure as a light wound even if the spell have momentary duration, as the hamper guideline (well, exactly as that guideline, as that's the one I think fits).

It makes sense, when compared to other weakening and damaging Perdo Corpus spells, that it does not need Duration. The spell lasts but a moment, but the effects linger.

I could live with even easier recovery than as a Light Wound, but as Fatigue is too fast.

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Perdo should be able to reduce characteristics permanently in the same way that ages a target.

Perhaps you can inverse those ridiculous Creo levels for permanent reduction (like: 30 reduces permanently 1 point of Strenght up to 0) and without ritual requisite. You could also have temporary reduced levels in the same magnitude that muto spells (5 levels for each -1 and so on) but limit the effect to the duration of the spell, like a temporary weakening.

Ars Magica is a game of imagination, defining spells by stupid score change is mechanically simple but not very interesting playwise, especially when it can create number silly situation than Story master can find difficult to disarm.

You already proposed some more specific manifestation of such spell, and you have other examples like Trust of Childlike Faith in Perdo Mentem (which is impacting intelligence)

I would consider than characteristic are kind of vertues, as these are fixed paper written information on character sheet (and in fact could be issued from a vertue), so they shouldn't be impacted permanently by a spell the same way than a spell can't create a vertue or remove a flaw.
Creo spell increasing characteristics are an exception, but these spell are so hard to cast and obtain than they will be result of a story by themselve.

From looking at the guidelines I would say it is either temporary( i.e. can be healed) base 10-15 or permanent, base 20. And it would only be physical characteristics. My basis is that a base 20 can sever a limb so it can't be healed. It should be able to wither muscles.

One of the listed Himnis' Curses reduces physical stats.

What about the A&A Corpus guidelines for Perdo and Rego spells? The make your own disease mechanics and magic surgery have some mechanics that might work.

I'm not sure what you mean by "stupid score changes"? The thing I'm looking for is simply a way for a warrior magus to use more discreet magic in combat than lightning bolts and fireball. Something to whittle the enemy's combat capabilities down, while not being obvious. Some way to even the odds, or stack them in favour of the magus or other allied fighters, rather than just mowing down the enemy.
So if the enemy warriors lose the strength in their arms, and have difficulty manipulating their weapons or using them at full strength. And his core strength is weakened so he has difficulty manoeuvering in his armour, and easily tires. Or his limbs are stiff, hands shake etc. so his attacks are inaccucrate and his steps are plodding.
I don't find that abusive, nor that it creates a "silly situation that Story master can find difficult to disarm". In fact it may me easier to adapt to than army killer spells, since it does not defuse a challenge but just improves the odds of winning. Even weakened and hampered enemies har strike a lucky blow, and thus the grogs risk injury. Plus it still takes time to win that combat, even if its faster than if not cheating with magic. But the army killer spell just ends all chance of drama, of the epic combat kind anyway. Granted, it gives rise to other kinds of drama. To each his own, I guess.

sorry, i thought i had removed this word from my previous message.
was using here stupid as "technically simple", with a point of view were i am not fan of such usage.
The word is not appropriate in this use... there's numerous case were simplest is smartest.

My point is than if just applying score decrease is simple to apply inside combat it's not cinematically useful.
a spell than says: "target arms have tremors", "target arms become those of an elder", "target can't hold anything in his hands", "target equilibrium is troubled" are possibilities addressing your needs, these would be easier to describe and will be using existing effects.

point with the silly situation is than direct number change are not easy to reinterpret when used against target with unusual score values.
A young child could have a -4 strength, give him a -3 update and you now have something with strength of a cat

While I loathe the term "cinematically" (at some points we stopped using RPGs as tools to pretend alternate realities to use them as tools to pretend movies, which in turn are tools to pretend alternate realities), I agree that spicing descriptions is what makes the difference between a good session and a dull one. But then, anything, any rule, any mechanic, any roll dice, could be pointed against with that argument. Applying aging rules just gives away the narrative possibilities of real, narratively consistent aging. Applying damage as numbers defined in spell guidelines skips the thrill and joy of a nice, good ball of abysmal flame, etc etc.

That's why we have good SGs that turn these mere mechanics & numbers into a evocative story. Just like you did, actually!, translating that child of Strength -4 score modified by -3 raw, cold number that you get considering that the child is size -2 and thus Strength around -4, and that a modifier of -3 in Strength is what you would get by reducing 1.5 points in size, which falls between addlers (size -4) and cats & babies (size -3), into the descriptive term "strength of a cat". So congratulations! You are cinematically useful, not the rules.

Sure, a flat -3 Str is bland and uncreative - is what I’d call it.
It has more flavour to cause ‘weak arms’ , ‘stiff joints’ etc.
I Think a narrower and more specialized effect should be balanced as more powerful than a generic one.

I'm more interested in this "Pedro Corpus" character - from the Iberian Tribunal?

Obviously he is from Iberia
Edit: Also, he is a ‘body’ of mine from college

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