Refinment of new spells

I recently posted a huge load of spells on Yair's spell wiki (like 20+), and of all of then only two were called into question. I think that’s a pretty good score myself :slight_smile:
So, instead of wasting space there debating about them, I decided to bring my two forlorn questionables here to the Forum for you fine folk to pick apart.

Mail of the Master Smith
CrTe 20 Ritual (Req: An)
R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Individual
This ritual repairs and improves a suit of metal armour, making it a better quality example of its kind. It is mended & oiled, cleaned of any dirt, rust or tarnish, and has any imperfections or impurities removed. The armour received an improved Protection bonus of +1 for a Partial suit and +2 for a Full suit. The improvement is natural and will fade over time if not maintained. A Variant spell used on a metal shield would grant a +1 Defense bonus.
(B:5 :, R: Touch +1, D: Momentary, T: Individual, Metal +2)

I see your point, but I figure a stronger shield has got to offer more protection than a flimsier one. It's more difficult to split or penetrate (conditions not taken into account for in the standard combat rules). Maybe +1 is more appropriate. (Mark added later) I just reread it, the variant wouldn't make the shield just stronger, it makes it a "better example of it's kind", which can mean many things.

Sword of Damascene Steel
CrTe 20 Ritual
R: Touch, D: Momentary, T: Individual This spell increases the quality of a sword, removing impurities and bringing it closer to it’s ideal true form. It is better balanced and will hold a keener edge, granting a +1 bonus to it’s Attack and Damage scores. As any item the sword needs normal care and maintenance, but the improvement is natural and permanent.
Blacksmith’s with a score of 7 or higher in their craft can forge such a weapon, but only if they have been taught the proper technique of Damascus steel forging. In Iberia this is known as Toledo steel. Such quality weapons cannot be improved again by this spell.
(B:5 :, R: Touch +1, D: Momentary, T: Individual, Metal +2)

I don't have that book, and this spell was invented many years ago. Is my assessment of a Quality weapon in ArM5 accurate?

Any comments, opinions, or advice?

Err... Isn't it Yair's spell wiki? :wink:

On the spells, they are extremely similar to 2 spells in societates, in the flambeau chapter. They grant exactly the same bonuses that you are listing, but they are magical in design. That is the only functional difference that I can see between the 2.

About the second spell, take in mind that damascus steel has a SERRATED EDGE, and is extremely brittle: great for cutting meat, but awful vs armoured opponents. Toledo steel is way more flexible, but acts more along the lines of western weapons: a bludgeoning weapon with a somewhat keener border. Its content of carbon mad eit better than swords forged from other ore mines.

IIRC that was the main difference. In Ars we have a similar rule for quality weapons giving a small (+1) bonus to damage. In your case, using the rules for bringing up the form & material bonuses for the weapons and armoyurs might be more efficient than these rituals. :slight_smile:



Perhaps you're building a competing one? Sneaky you.

I think the two spells sound reasonable, but can't say more really. I would note that in principle a high-EF Finesse roll would probably be required under the rules in Societates to MAKE such a sword/armor, and it seems as a round-about to be able to make one out of an ordinary item without this requirement.

P.S, I'm afraid I haven't really looked into your spells - I just haven't the time. But thanks a lot for posting them!

Yes it is. That's what I said. Scroll up :wink:

I had Xavi on the brain because a ton of them were Creo Ignem spells, one of which I developed in conversation with you.

I created mine a much longer time ago though :wink:
No way to prove that, but the core difference is in the fact that it is a Creo ritual spell designed to make a lasting natural improvement. The ones in HoH-S are Muto spells with a temporary effect that can be resisted. The reason the bonuses are exactly the same is part coincidence, but mostly because Ars Magica follows a natural flow. And, since the spells are using different Techniques, the effects can be combined. That is a key feature to keep in mind as well

Here I will demure to your superior knowledge. From my readings, Damascene steel is a type of forging used in Damascus and Toledo. I did not realize that the two locations have a further difference in style. Toledo steel is more what I was aiming for. El Cid's sword Tizona (which appears to me from the tiny giff I saw to still be in mint condition) was rescently subjected to metalurgical analysis, and it was made with Damascus steel according to the Metalurgist, but since the weapon was obviously forged in Spain (it is a Western style longsword), Toledo steel would be more appropriate teminology I am guessing.

Yeah, I wanted to keep it subtle. Though I am giving it a +1 to Damage and attack. And not all rituals are efficient or pragmatic. I like to have a few expensive spells laying around to get magi to spend their vis foolishly.

Granted, but note that the spell does not make the item from scratch. It takes an existing item and improves it. As far as requiring Finesse for making things, I figure you can apply those rules as desired.

Thatks for having a spell wiki! :slight_smile: There is a lot more to come when I have time. I see you have opened an enchantments page. I think I will spend some time fiddling with that tonight :slight_smile:

Noble's parma, but wasn't the finesse roll required for Rego Craft magic? These are Creo Rituals, and thus quite different.

Noble indeed, but not entirely accurate. The rules originally presented in Covenants indeed only applied to Rego Craft magic, but the rules as presented in the later Societates apply to Creo Craft magic too.

(taking down the noble parma, because I am at home with book)
I am not thinking that this rule would apply here. The rules in Societates only apply to items created from scratch, and they only apply as an option to add greater beauty and detail. It would be more efficient to create a sword from scratch and use Finesse to achieve the high quality effect instead. This spell is a vis urner I guess. Try the conjuration first, and if your finesse roll goes googley, use the second ritual.
I picked Base 5, because I am equating the creation of base metal to be the same difficulty as improving base metal. I might be a bit off in that. That's a question for each of these spells.

But what about the varian version for the shield? What would be the bonus for a shield improved with Creo magic

Again, using the mundane item as a source material seems like a round-about way to avoid paying the price of the high Finesse requirement to me. I'm not saying the rules disallow it, I'm saying it seems they should.

As I read them, the rules pertain to any work of high artisanship, not just to adding more beauty or detail. But I'm using Sloth's Parma here.

"Logic" aside, I think it's fair that a shield can be made that works better than other shields, and that a +1 bonus to Defense will hardly be a game breaker - so I'm for it.

I think no finesse roll is needed.
As I know Damascene weapons were created in India and merchants fromDamascus only traded them. The iron contained vanadium and that's why it was better. Nobles parma! When those mines expired the smithes weren't able to make Damascene weapons anymore. May a weaponsmith has any level of skill he needs the secret description how to make such weapons.

I see no problems with the spells. Probably you shouldn't call the first to Damascene sword to avoid arguments.
I think shields could have bonuses if they are lighter but strong. You may hit someone's shields so his arm breaks whilst the shield get no damage.
But that's only a game so I see no problem if a shield has +1 modifier being stronger anyway.

Here I will demure to your superior knowledge. From my readings, Damascene steel is a type of forging used in Damascus and Toledo.
I did my (internet based, so can be faulty) research quite some time ago and the memories have faded away. I ened up with this assumption. Looking at the wikipedia we find this. IMO it is not really good as an article (google might lend better results if you are interested in the topic, specially in modern reproduction smithing pages)

IIRC a reference I found was that part of the steel was opf INDIAN origin, and that its composition made for this nice combo when welded with middle eastern steel.

it had beeter cutting properties, but tended to lose its edge more commonly than western swords. or so was the idea I got there :slight_smile: So it is a better "fencing/showing uop sword, but a worse "tool of trade" if your maintenance facilities are suboptimal (like those for 90% of warriors out there in the middle ages)

All the spells seem feasible and sensible to me, even if awfully expensive in vis costs for what you get out of them!!!



That's part of the spirit of the spell, a vis waster for me to siphon away the excess of a wealthy magus. Moreso, though, the idea comes straight out of the refined definitions for the Arts as presented in 5th edition. Moreso, the bit in the Creo description about making things better. I then noticed that the old legacy spell edge of the Razor was still Muto, and furthermore it or a variant could no longer be boosted to Permenant with vis. The core of the idea is to give an existing weapon a bonus that cannot be magically resisted. As for Finesse, I didn't even take those new rules into account. They only apply to creating from scratch, and the way I initially read them it was to make a created item look nicer.

Okay, so I am mechanically comfortible with the spells, but maybe I need to fiddle with the name and Flavor text. Xavi, did your reserch turn up anything concerning Toledo steel? Being that this spell is intended to have origunated fro Iberian Flambeau magi, Toledo steel is what I really want. I was under the mistaken impression they were the same. There is some similarity though. El Cid's sword is obviously superior to other similar weapons of the period from other regions I have seen in museums.

Finally, I would ask about the treatment of quality craftsmanship and weapons as detailed there? Is there a flat bonus for a quality weapon, or it it a sliding scale? I know, I know, get the book. I'm behind.

In fact, I seem to have repeated the WRONG info above :laughing:

Follow this link if interested: ... 5_1_1.html

Basically the damascus and toledo techniques seem to have been similar. The key is the welding technique using to turn Wootz steel (carbon rich, almost cast iron) into a flexible steel piece.

It was perfected in Damascus. The import of indian steel with Vanadium content seems to have been important. The technique wa simported to western europe. The raw materials available in Spain was best for this welding technique, and the techique was well developed in Toledo as well as in the middle east.

Some rawerl welding techniques developed swords similar to the katana: great cutting edge but brittle, so not really suitable to exchange blows with other weapons (it would break).
[From here comes my confusion of the (false) report of Richard and Saladin and their "sword showing off" legend, where Richard cut a bar of steel in half and Saladin turned a cushion into shreds without allowing it to touch the ground to show that his sword was "better"]

So, basically, damascus and toledo steel seem to have been the same. Toledo was just an other place where they made damascus steel.