Rego magic movement speed

How is the speed calculated for this sort of spells? I've seen many spells that refer to moving stuff at different speeds, but the only guidelines that I remember for this are those in Rego Corpus from ArM5, which aren't very accurate.

If you mean 'What are the guideline basics for determining speed?' I believe it varies by Form.

A quick skim of the basic rulebook Forms seems to indicate that the matter isn't well defined.

It is House rules that I tried to base on various spells found (The flying castle of Thomae in LoH) in books and the fact that Hermetic magic parameters is based on natural phenomenon (ranges are based on human capacity, duration on celestial parameters):

  • Human walking (1 m/s, 4km/h)
  • Human running at a sustainable pace (4m/s, 14 km/h)
  • Horse running (10 m/s; 40 km/h) - ReTe 3 base effect to make an item fly at the speed of a running horse, p123, LoH
  • Bird of prey (40 m/s; 140 km/h) - a bit higher than their normal fly speed which is between 100-120 depending on the bird, but it is consistant with the whole scale.

These are not the top speeds, but what is a sustainable effort, without extensive training (modern marathon runners can sustain 20 km/h for more than 2 hours).

I tried to make it a semi-linear increase per magnitude.
It looks like that depending on the Form, the Base level changes: ReCo base starts with very slow pace - raise at the speed of smoke for example.

I believe the Rego Corpus "move quickly" guideline has had a semi-official pronouncement from the 5th edition line editor that the Rego Corpus guideline for moving quickly is 40 mph, the same as the Creo Auram guideline for flying. I have something of a philosophical problem with this, having played both auram and corpus specialists. I really dislike the idea that "quickly" within the Ars/mythic Europe paradigm is 40 mph and Corpus (lower guideline) and Auram (higher guideline, and requires finesse for fine control, which Rego Corpus doesn't) are functionally equal.

IMO, Rego Corpus move quickly should probably be about 15 mph. It's still really quick and they can cover a large amount of ground, just not as fast as someone with auram magics...

I'm unfamiliar with the Rego Corpus guideline for fast movement, but I should think that for travel and combat purposes, flight is an immense advantage that shouldn't be entirely discounted.

My question revolves more on if there's a limit to the speed in which you can move something with Rego magic. I've gotten the impression that the authors of the books have a wide variety of opinions on the subject, which is the source of my doubts to begin with. I never considered that an issue from my own perspective when reading the books.

As far as I'm concerned, from the guidelines I'd understand that shouldn't be a limit considering that Rego is also the Technique that allows teleportation. If you can create a spell that moves you from one place of the world to another instantly, I wouldn't have any problem with the concept of a spell that allowed magi to fly fast enough to actually travel between those places almost as fast, and maybe even reducing the cost level-wise. The restrictions here would be mainly practical, for example, increasing the difficulty maneuvering, I'd say. The difference between that and a "teleportation" spell would be in that those pre-determine the destination and do most of the maneuvering on auto-pilot.

For example, yeah, maybe you can make a spell that allows you to move fast enough to travel from Dublin to Rome in ten seconds (which is about... 200 km per second? about 720.000 km/h, or 447.000 mph, or in short, fast as fuck, lol), and it wouldn't be even as powerful as a teleportation spell. Good luck with the landing, bro. I'd put an ease factor to that Finesse roll so flabbergastingly high, and/or so many botch dice, that they'd rather try to land on the Moon, Limits accounted (and they might end there, accidentally, lol).

The Level 15, Move a target quickly in any direction that you please is the one I'm thinking of. If we assume, in this context, that quickly is 40 mph, equivalent to Wings of the Soaring Wind's (Cr[Re]Au 30) speed, you can now create a better spell that's cheaper and easier, since to allow yourself to fly is a ReCo 25 R:Per, D:Sun, T:Ind. Comparing the two spells, one is 25th level, the other is 30th, has a requisite, which makes it more difficult to cast, requires concentration for long periods, which might be an issue in certain sagas, and finally requires finesse rolls (which can theoretically botch) to hover in place. In all ways, a custom ReCo 25 spell that allows you to fly is superior to the Auram version, which I find to be just wrong.

Flight's utility for combat is certainly good, but becomes less good when you need to maintain concentration, and also need to roll finesse to hover.

I think comparing an Auram spell to a Corpus spell is like comparing apples to oranges. They're not the same thing, and it's not very helpful to compare the two. There is more than one way to achieve many objectives. It just depends on how you want to go about it. And some ways are more efficient than other ways to achieve a given result.

Let's say I want to move a stone from one place to another. One way I could do it is to create a large pair of wooden tweezers out of thin air, move the tweezers to grab the stone, and move the stone with the tweezers to another location. The spell might look like this:

Mystical Tweezers
Cr(Re)He 15
R: Voice, D: Conc, T: Ind
This spell allows the caster to create a large pair of tweezers that float in the air and move around as she commands. By making an average difficulty (DF 6) Finesse check, the caster can cause the tweezers to grab an item and pick it up.
(Base 3, +2 Voice, +1 Conc, +1 Re requisite)

So with a magnitude 3 CrHe spell, having a Re requisite and requiring a Finesse check, I can move the stone around.

Conceivably, I could also move the rock by mind controlling a person to go and pick up the rock and move it. That spell might look like this:

Making a Human Servant
ReMe 30
R: Voice, D: Conc, T: Ind
This spell allows the caster to control a person to act as she commands so long as the person remains within sight of the caster. Often this is used to have the target person perform menial tasks.
(Base 15, +2 Voice, +1 Conc)

Now I have a magnitude 6 ReMe spell to get a person to move the rock. That seems a bit much to simply move a rock. But it's an effective spell.

(The task of thinking up additional less-than-optimal spell ideas for moving a rock is left as an exercise for the reader.)

Or, instead of using any of these options, the caster could just learn Unseen Hand as a ReTe 5 spell and move the rock directly. That's the most efficient way to achieve the desired result.

The fact that Mystical Tweezers exists as a spell doesn't mean that all ways of performing that task should be equally difficult. It just happens that there is a ReTe guideline that works really well for moving a stone, while He or Me guidelines don't work quite as well.

So why have both spells? Well, what if I'm a crafting magus with an affinity and puissance with Herbam magic and a deficiency in Terram. I might well decide that I'm better at casting a level 15 Herbam spell than a level 5 Terram spell. And I might have the Finesse to cast the spell with no problem. That doesn't mean that everyone would want to cast Mystical Tweezers when they need to move a rock. But there might be someone who wants to do things a different way, even if it's not the most efficient way.

That's all a long-winded way of saying that maybe CrAu isn't the best way to move a person through the air. It works; no denying that. And it's a good option for a guy with lots of Auram but little Corpus. However, it's kind of like using the mystical tweezers to move the rock, indirectly lifting a person using air currents (Au) rather than directly moving the person (Co). Maybe it's not the best option out there. The fact that there is another way to fly (maybe even a better way to fly) is beside the point. Different Forms do different things better or worse. I think we have to accept that and not get bothered about the fact that doing something with one Form might be harder than doing the same thing with another Form. After all, I can think of several other ways to fly (ReAn to enchant a woolen carpet to fly you somewhere; ReHe to enchant a small platform to move you about; and ReTe to move a rock that you're sitting on.) I doubt all of those would end up being the same cost as each other. But each would have its uses to the right maga.

I'm comparing flight spells, not necessarily Corpus and Auram spells, although that's what it turns out to be. I'll stipulate that there are some more efficient ways than others to achieve a given result. In a game about magic, where flying is supposedly governed by Auram, an Auram spell should be the most efficient method for flying, though? Isn't that reasonable? Like I said, ReCo flight at 15mph is pretty darn quick, and it has some capabilities that the Auram spell doesn't.

Why isn't. Auram the best way to move a person through the air? Auram is the form that's associated with birds, who fly. Auram should have a stronger affinity for flight than Corpus should! Keep in mind we're discussing the definition of "quickly" here. A lot of people decided that quickly should be 40 mph, an arbitrary number based on an arbitrary number mentioned in the discussion of the flight spell in Ars Magica 5th Edition. While I can accept that there might be more efficient ways of doing things, it falls outside of the paradigm, in my view, to have corpus better at flight than Auram. 15 mph, which I've proposed multiple times really is darn quick. Most people can't run that fast, and even if they can, they can't keep it up for long. Within the context of the Form of Corpus, 15 mph is quick, and 40 mph is superhuman. You want to move a body at 40 mph, IMO the guideline should be 25th level.

Except the Corpus flight spell presented in TME on page 111 using the level 15 guideline (Mercury's Winged Sandals) has its own different restrictions compared to the Auram spell in the core rules.

Those limitations are really minor. Why wouldn't load limit apply to the Auram version? Besides that, though, it's definitely superior for distance travel than the Auram version and for combat purposes it doesn't have the concentration requirement.

Ah, now I can see your point. I can make no argument with you when you say that a ReCo 15 spell should only move a person at 15 MPH.

Mechanically speaking I think Auram is the third best way to gain flight. ReCo is the best, then MuCoAn transformation, then CrAu. I understand your point of the setting's view of Auram relating to birds/flight, but also think that the spell guidelines don't line up with that view.

If flight closely aligns with birds, shouldn't the best Form for flight be Animal? If the argument is that a quality of birds (including bats and some other winged animals) allows them to fly surely this quality is best found in Animal.

Winds are currents in the air. They do move, but they do not fly per se.

The thing I'm observing there is that you all seem to be implying that Rego-based flight is something that uses similar mechanics to Rego crafting spells. Why is it necessary for Rego-based movement spells to accommodate to the natural movement speed that things in that form can reach? That would make more sense in spells that turn the target into something to travel at that thing's speed.

As I already pointed out, Rego is the Art that governs teleportation. That's something that no natural thing can do. You don't even need Finesse rolls for them (just to aim properly when your destination is not predefined). And while you need Finesse rolls for Rego crafting spells, they take instant effect, no need to wait as long as if the work was made naturally. That's something specifically addressed in the description of those spells.

I'm not talking about the guidelines for different speeds as they are, it makes sense to me that more powerful spells would allow for higher speeds, but the thing is that it's not very well defined, once you reach a guideline for "teleportation". Interestingly, the rules are very well synthesized when dealing with sizes and quantity for targets. It's not too hard to calculate how powerful should be a spell to lift a rock of a given size, but other than "slowly", "quickly" and "very quickly", and the implicit agreement among authors that there's a speed limit, it's not as easy to deal with speeds here.

It's also a very ambiguous concept. If a Rego Corpus spell can move bodies only as fast as a person can move... does that refer to walking speed? Couldn't I create a spell that allows me to move somebody like a puppet, as fast as I can move my eyes? That's fast as hell, much faster than I can run, yet it is a speed that I can reach naturally with my body. And I'm sure as hell I can't run as fast as I could free-fall from a cliff. Yet that's a speed I could actually reach at least once, lol.

My question isn't really how are Rego spells limited concerning spells, but why. I see no conceptual reasons for spells to be unable to move things at any speed. If balanced properly, and considering that any spell that doesn't "autopilot" the target into the destination would require increasingly difficult Finesse rolls to avoid catastrophic accidents, I don't think you'd see any magus dressed in red with golden lightnings running around.

Teleporation, itself, is ambiguous within Ars Magica. It has been posited, that Leap of Home Coming and Seven League Stride do in fact move you from points A to B covering the intervening space, and if there is an obstruction that prevents you from arriving at point B, you don't get to point B. Either the spell is unsuccessful, or you stop outside of it. I don't agree with that, and I think there is some consensus that the spells are true teleportation, I merely bring it up to show things within the realm of Rego movement aren't necessarily as fixed as you suggest.

I agree that things aren't well defined with respect to speeds, which is why I've attempted to quantify it within the context of the Form of Corpus. It's not perfect, but I don't find the present line stance to be perfect, either. Slow is 1-2mph, normal is 5 mph, quickly is 15 mph

Why are there limits? How do you balance something that allows you to move a body "quickly" at a base 5 guideline against the same guideline that exists at level 15? I guess I'm having trouble parsing this paragraph. How do you balance the spells, through finesse rolls? Do you give players a nifty new ability and then gimp it by limiting it as the item in TME? Players, especially Ars players, like knowing what their character's capabilities are. I find this to be something of a recurring theme in Ars as the line has progressed, illustrate new special powers and guidelines and then gimp them as a means of demonstrating that the power levels aren't increasing.

You started this thread discussing how speeds are calculated. The bottom line is it's a troupe decision, which unfortunately is an element of bad/lazy game design.

The thing I was trying to come to, is that a simplified method was designed to allow spells to be balanced easily concerning size/quantity of targets, and it's something that I believe it works pretty well, and it doesn't have a set limit. Technically. The level of the spell limits who can design and cast certain spells, and at some point you'll reach heights that are practically impossible to overcome.

In the other hand, speed is not well defined and authors seem to have decided to balance it simply by capping it at some point. I see no reason to cap it if you use a system comparable to the one used for sizes: the higher the level, the faster you can move, and the harder it becomes to control your movement.

Well, I suppose that the bottom line is simply that there's no "official" way to do this, which is a proper answer to my inquiry.

Actually, the modern definition of speed ( ... rentiation ) and the way how to measure it are not medieval, but very roughly of the 17th century - with interesting Indian predecessors for the differential calculus.

That should not disturb players, whose magi will think like modern people on most subjects anyway. But it might give pause to those arguing, that ArM5 should have used computations involving quantitative, 1st derivative speed in its rules.


Hmm. Well, I agree that we shouldn't overdo the subject, lol. Still, I do enjoy discussing these things, so I hope I don't get too annoying.

I would assume that even in the middle ages people did understand that things move faster or slower. Galileo's experiments were actually a rebuttal of Aristotle's teachings, which are part of ArM's background. I honestly don't know what did Aristotle think of how speed itself worked, but I know that he considered that stuff fell at different speeds depending on their mass, which Galileo disproved with his famous experiment in the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

"The greatest magic ever discussed at great length. "

Not annoying at all.