Ranges, Durations, Targets: Let's be having em!

Ok Magi and Maga.

Here at BlackLiger's Laboratory for the advancement of the Hermetic Arts, we're compiling a long and boring list of ranges, durations and targets, who can use them, and how difficult they make the magic we do.

So, if any of you fine magi of the order have come up with, or encountered (including the core book ones, but I've got quite a few of those listed) ranges, durations and targets NOT listed in the AM5 core rulebook, I would appreciate hearing about them. As, I suspect, would others.

Thanks in advance.

Target: Container

I was pondering the well known carrying items, like a magic chest, or bag of holding, and thought that the Ars Magica spell guidelines could be extended to have a new target called Container. It would function much the same as T: Room (a +2 mag Target), where all inhabitants of the room are affected.

Container – the spell affects everything within a container. This container must have an opening, have a easily discernible structure and boundaries, and be crafted specifically for carrying or moving. The base container may be of any size up to a coffin, large barrel, or cauldron (size +0 as base).

The container does not have to be closed or locked to be valid, or even be water-tight as bird cages, vases, sacks, or backpacks are examples of valid targets. With an increase in magnitude larger containers are allowed, such as +1 mag to allow affecting the contents of a massive chest, and +2 mag to affect the contents of a horse drawn cart.

The fundamental difference between using T: Room vs T: Container is the usage of the containers as typically being portable. Some hermetic spells may make use of T: Room to achieve T: Container in the setting, and I’d suggest this guideline be along side (although probably replacing it) those effects.

Duration: Seal

When pondering the Target: Container, I came across the Ars communities thoughts on adding a new Duration: Seal as an allowed Hermetic spell constraint. Its a very good idea thrashed out by these community members (Ezzelino, Xavi, Timothy Ferguson, Gerg, YR7, Cuchulainshound, MarioJPC, GribbletheMunchkin, Jabir, Tellus, Richard Love).

Seal – this duration lasts until either the seal on the object is broken, or the object is opened in another way; the seal is active until it is effectively bypassed. The seal duration would be valid when used on a flask sealed with lead, but the spell would end immediately if the flask was broken, even if the flasks lead seal was not damaged.

The seal must be intended to hold the object closed in a permanent manner, and must be applied to an object which could reasonably be sealed. Closing a door, or locking a chest is not permanent enough to use the Seal duration. Typical seals are wax sealed bottles, sealed letters, doors sealed with clay.

When used in this manner the seal is inscribed and marked in detail when initially created. Seal is a base: +3 magnitude duration when used.


Hope these are useful,

Cheers IBT

Does this long "boring" list make note of which R/D/T-s require virtues or other limitation on their accessability?

I've said it before:
A container is simply a room. Wanting a "+1 container" is simply trying to weasel out cheaply.

Range: Spehere
Centred in the magus, the spell projects outward from him and affects anyone within a sphere of 3,15 paces in radius.

For us this works much better for spells like last flight of the phoenix or Circling winds of protection.

Equivalent to Voice (+2 mags).

Duration: Season.
An obvious one that always leaves me flippant that is not active in the setting, increasing the cost of Year to +5.
This duration warps even if it lasts less than half a year.
+4 magnitudes

Duration: wound
As long as the wound persists, the spell lasts. Generally cast with T:part.
Equivalent to Season (+4 mags)


It will do so, so if you happen to know of some, please include that in the information, Tellus.

I personally like the differentiating of Container and Room, with container being smaller and needing magnitudes for size in exchange for being technically portable.

Also, reading container, it reads to me like it's +2 base, for a size 0 object. For each +1 in size the object is, it's an additional +1 magnitudes for size. So a barrel is +2, a larger box like a wardrobe is +2+1 for size, and an entire carriage (equivalent to a modern transit van) is +2+2 for size.

Agreed, Xavi, I have often wondered why Year was not a +5 instead of a +4.

Did you want core ones listing?
Such as from mysteries:
Performance duration (+1) needs Performance Magic minor virtue
Astrological durations - minutes=diameter, hours=sun, days=moon, signs=year(ritual) - requires celestial magic
Hermetic geometry - range line(=sight), target arcane circle(=part), duration arcane ring(=moon)
dream magic - duration dream (=concentration), target dream(=individual)
Neo-mercurian cult (either need mercurian magic or to be taught road magic as a separate minor virtue) - range road network(=arcane connection, needs ritual), target road(=room, but will need adjusting for size), target road network(=boundary, ritual)

Is that the sort of thing you're looking for?

I agree and disagree Tellus. While it does sound like you two have had a long discussion about this before, and I am ignorant of how that went, I would add my opinion. First I agree wholly that T: Container should still be the +2 that a T: Room is, precisely because it is an extension of a room target. The T: Container should not need magnitudes for size until well after the container is reaching massive proportions though to show just how useful using the +2 target truly is. Yes, you are still paying the two magnitudes for using T: Container, but in return your container can be truly impressive in size and material. A gilded cage that Creo's a Imaginem song bird that sings and chirps (and then the cage is enchanted as a item that upon a Int trigger poisons the room when ever a intruder enters... or it becomes an assassin tool, ect. :smiling_imp: )

However I completely disagree that we should simply use T: Room. Making use of T: Container is sexy. It is sleek and imaginative and is deserving of a minor breakthrough, prestige that comes with it, and the legendary fame of being the magus that developed the Target, your name living on forever. Yeah, doing it on the cheap of +1 is not fair or a good way of going about it, but rejecting the concept because of that is not beneficial to the spirit of the game.

ironboundtome, I think if you keep the magnitude at +2 for the Target, then you could dispense with any magnitude requisites for size of the container. That is of course until the container becomes more than a room... :laughing: I completely understand the reasoning of the Container being +1 for a smallish container, and then increased magnitudes for larger containers, and while the mechanics of that are well within reason and in keeping with the spirit of Ars, I can see how those who live by strict rules and interpretations of rules would offer their dissent.

Personally both systems are equally nice and interesting to behold.

Now as for the Duration: Seal.... bravo to all concerned. I have loved this one for a very long time.


Yes, those would be nice too. Player created ones are, obviously, also welcome.

This is an instance of Until, which is Year and a ritual. Doesn't look too bad.

Purification of the Festering Body is still easier, but it cannot work on Heavy Wounds. Curse its last sentence!

I was thinking about keeping promises (ritual sharing of blood) or ensuring excruciating pain (stabbing someone or his AC) for the duration but yes, it sounds like Until now that you bring it forward. I still fail to see why such classical duration belong to mysteries, but that is me.


Respectfully, an open request was made for all sorts, do what you will.

I do not agree that a wine bottle should be the same as a council chamber. It is not a room at all; it is not even close. The two "things" exist for totally different reasons. ie:

  • Container: portable, to carry or protect contents, generally can be carried by a person.
  • Room: fixed, for inhabitants to live within, generally much larger than a container.

It was always my intent that Container be +2 (information might be unclear), with the extra mags for huge containers; it is not "cheap" imo. I see many differences in usage which lean toward a container Target being useful. I know the counter arguments for Rooms or even just using Individual instead. I used it in my own saga and it was not game breaking.

So does the previously mentioned 'seal' to me. Sounds like attempts to recreate that particular mystery outside of their particular virtue/house.

And the problem is? :slight_smile:

None. Just a comment.

By the way, for the ones you guys have created yourselves, A) do you have a named character who came up with them, and if so who (and what house)? and B) If not, which house do you personally identify with?

Range: Sphere
Created by Carolus Flambonesis. He was a XI century magus of the school of Ramius and a seeker. He was specially fond of investigating dangerous places alone, and found himself confronted by multiple opponents repeatedly. He invented this range in order to affect multiple opponents all around him at once with his spells to get "good ol', heated up breathing space" as he used to say.

Duration: Season
No references. Just thought it should have been there since Bonisagus (at east, probably MUCH older), being such a basic construction brick of the hermetic/Ars paradigm. its non-existence is amazing to me.

Duration: Wound
I just came up with that (never used it IMS). I can see a Tytalus or Tremere working that up, specially if they are able with corpus and have mobility (military, tracking) abilities to exploit. For a not-so-obvious approach,. a Criamon might get uses for that through scarification, or an exmiscellanea that uses some patterns of chtonic magic.


It fulfils the definitions required of a Room shrug

No mention in RAW that a room has to be stationary.

In this case (the container being +2), what you have is a mobile room under a different name.
I couldn't care less what you call it, I'm happy.

I guess I complained reflexively because the last time I remember 'container' being discussed, it was at a much lower level.
My apologies.

As for the list:

  • allowed for Hermetic magi via Chthonic Magic
  • allowed for Hermetic magi via Holy Magic

The Merinitae have a ton, from Faerie Magic, from spell timing (HoH: MC, p.100) and from Perpetuity (HoH: MC, p. 102), but I assume you have those already?

Got the list, but no details yet. I need to wait till I'm next at my mates house where the 'library' lies.

Ah, the classical access problems to the library. It is a source of eternal discussion in all covenants around the globe.

Indeed. I will be rather glad when our library has been updated and we have copies of every tractatus and summae on a thumb drive.