Some Spells for Moderation

A kind soul posted some spells into the spells wiki that I find very interesting but I'm not sure on their legality. So I'm posting them here, including my comments. Maybe you wise folks could help me out.

Feel free to post some of your own spells there. :sunglasses:

Banish the Fatal Blade.

ReTe 25
R: Personal, D: Sun, T: Individual
This spell prevents further metal or metal weapons from touching the magus. Items on the magus, or in hand when the spell is cast, are unaffected.

Weapons which are mostly metal are prevented from harming the magus. Weapons that are mostly wood, such as clubs or quarterstaffs, are unaffected.

When Leonis Bjornaer casts this spell he gains cat's irises for the duration.
(Base 5 {+0 range, +2 Sun, +0 target,+0 size, +2 Metal})
Contributer: Leonis Bjornaer.
{Notes: In our saga, a pilum or polearm is deflected by this spell, a boar spear or broadhead arrow is not.}
(Yair): I think a +1 magnitude at least is required for the subtlety of not affecting currently worn/held items. Either that or Finesse, I'm not sure which.

Domus of Conjured Stone

ReTe 25 (req: Mu) {Ritual}
R: Touch, D: Mom, T: Group
The caster touches the ground and manipulates the earth and stone to create a room ten paces by ten paces by three paces high either above or below ground. A single entrance can be fashioned as part of the casting. With a finesse roll of 7+, an additional feature, like a bookcase running along the wall or a primitive table or chair. For each additional feature, require another roll at two higher difficulty. Once a roll is failed, no further features can be added.

The momentary nature of the spell and the Muto requisite cause the room to remain as a permanent structure of fused stone after the casting. Individual large stones brought up in the creation of the spell are visible but do not affect structural integrity. If any modifications are made to the room, the floor and ceiling are one-quarter of a pace thick and the walls are three-eighths of pace thick. Otherwise, the walls are two-fifths of a pace thick. The total affected stone is 100 cubic paces. The stone requirement is necessary to affect a mixed medium of sand and stone. If cast in very swampy ground, it is possible that the room will sink.

When Leonis Bjornaer casts this spell, there is a distant scream of a hunting leopard, as Leonis' sigil is always feline related.
(Base 3 {+1 touch, +0 momentary, +2 group, +1 size, +1 stone, +1 Muto Requisite})
Contributer: Leonis Bjornaer.
Notes: In our saga, this spell counts as a similiar spell for learning the Conjured Tower.
(Yair): I don't understand what the Muto requisite is doing there. Muto is never Momentary anyways, does it assist in the flow of the stones during construction?

Pleasant Dominion of a Late Spring Day.

CrIg 25 (req: Aq)
R: Personal, D: Sun, T: Group
This spell creates an aura 30 paces in diameter, centered on and following the caster. Within this aura there is sunlight, heat, and humidity equal to that of a nice Mediterranean afternoon in late May. The temperature is about 65 degrees, the air balmy and not too humid, the light is soft and not too harsh on the eyes.
Should the magus enter an area currently in the throes of another season-- such as a winter storm, this spell remains in effect and likely causes snow that enters the aura to become rain, chill winds to buffet those within, and if the magus stands still for some time, snow drifts to melt. More commonly, it is used to make the tent or room one where the magus currently resides more enjoyable than the season would suggest.
When Leonis Bjornaer casts this spell there is the sound of a cat running across the floor, just out of sight.
(Base 5 {+0 range, +2 sun, +2 group, +1 Aquam Requisite})
Contributer: Leonis Bjornaer.
Notes: We use this spell enchanted into lanterns for Covenant greenhouses, baths, library, and Common Hall--thus allowing a better standard of living.
(Yair): I don't really understand this spell. It creates a single "aura", so I would firstly imagine it to be an Individual target with a +1 size modifier (the size of 10 large campfires). Since it doesn't affect the target itself, the effect needs IMO to be created at Touch range. Weather (such as humidity) is better controlled through an Auram requisite, not Aquam. I would also add a Perdo requisite to enable the spell to create, for example, coolness in the desert.

I was going to post spells, but figured they should be discussed here first. :slight_smile:

Pleasant Dominion: yeah, seems odd. Maybe doesn't work in hot climate; maybe have it be ReIg for regulation, though I guess that doesn't help if you're surrounded by cold. Cr(Re) or Cr(Pe), then. Snow melting would happen naturally from the heat, and controlling breezes should be Auram, as you say. For targetting, Lamp Without Flame might have been a model, so I'm not sure about the Touch range. If you want it in a greenhouse you'd need Touch. If you're enchanting it into greenhouse items I'm not sure you would.

Domus: I'm guessing Mu for the fusing of stone, or possibly creating stone even if all you had to start with is dirt. Momentary Muto rituals are a logical extension of the game, but for canon do seem to violate the Limit of Essential Nature, assuming that dirt is essentially dirt and not stone.

I had wondered if the Mystic Tower ritual could be replaced with a ReTe spell. Same level, no vis, would leave pit in the ground, which would have to be made of rock. Though you could make a much shorter sod house with dirt.

Actually, if you rationalized it this way: "A craftsman would be able to build this if the stone were softened for his benefit first", then Domus shouldn't even need to be a Ritual at level 25 ReTe(Mu). It would require considerable Finesse, though - but perhaps low Finesse might allow for a simple stone hut. It is stretching it (!) a bit, perhaps, but...

It reminds me of my very first session of ArM4; the very first magic me and my magus friend performed was our each creating an abode for the night using spontaneous magic. I, Terram specialist, used MuTe to draw up an earthen hut from the ground (which retracted again after the duration); my amicus, Rego specialist, used ReTe to fashion a small house from stones (which presumably lasted indefinitely). Well, Muto and Rego have changed since then (and those effects are hardly inside the purview of new magi when sponting any more).

"Leonis Bjornaer" apparently meant the Muto in Domus to alow him o change earth to stone. From an email I sent the contributer:

Romans used concrete, and weren't the first ones, but I guess everyone's forgotten by now.

Stupid Cult of Mercury, not preserving the important stuff. :slight_smile:

Hmm, if Romans had concrete, did Byzantines keep it? ... googling finds few references but does find a few (also "cement"); Hagia Sophia has concrete in its construction, and I see a mention of it used in a monastery. The Theban Tribunal webpage claims the Byzantines didn't do much public construction work in general, if I understood it correctly.


Yeah, that's what I figured too. Maybe some mundane artisans preserved the art of making concrete, but I don't think magi would care or know enough about such things to preserve that knowledge in the Order.

How to make concrete, now that's an interesting question in of itself. I would say it is either a purely mundane process and hence a Rego craft spell requiring the right ingredients, or an alchemical process in which case... it's a laboratory activity of some sort?! I'm missing rules for alchemy here, although I doubt if they'll help once they're out.
Of course, you could always Creo Terram it with some raw vis.

For Pleasant Dominion, our saga is set in Cumbria, England and so the CrIg is useful for at least 3 of the seasons. The light component, though, provides a growing environment for our greenhouses 24x7, so I think it's necessary. The comment regarding wind was meant to show that while the area affected was warmed, that didn't prevent a cold breeze from blowing through the space and bringing snow and chill air-- snow that might melt and chill air that might warm if either stayed in the area of effect for a reasonable amount of time. Certainly, in a warmer clime, one wouldn't want CrIg, but perhaps ReIg or PeIg. The choice for Aurum versus Aquam is one of personal preference, in my mind. I think either would suffice.

For Banish, the spell's effect was designed with the intent of keeping metal from approaching the warded subject, not to affect the metal on the caster. In our saga, this sort of detail isn't outrageous for a season's worth of research. If the caster is holding a metal knife and drops it while under the effect of Banish, then yes, he'll have a hard time picking it up (If he cast Banish with any penetration!), but so long as it remains on his person, he can handle it. Part of this discussion goes to the essential shape of wards for you in your saga-- is it a form fitting shield that surrounds the target, or an area of effect emanating from a point possibly inside the caster? For us, we deal with a form fitting shield unless otherwise designated. For a spontaneous attempt of a variant of this spell, yes, I'd agree with you-- the caster would likely need a finesse roll to not see any metal on his person be thrown to the ground, but in this case, given its nature as a product of research, I don't find the outward facing aspect of its effect excessive.

For Domus, the spell is target group because the base individual for Terram is a cubic pace of stone...we're affecting ten paces of stone, hence... The muto requisite is there because we're changing a mixed medium of earth and stone pulled from deep in the ground and brought to the surface into another natural aspect of dirt and that adds effect to the spell. We're creating a fused stone structure with no dirt in the building or walls when immediately finished. The ritual nature is there to comply with the Law of Essential Nature by consuming the vis that completes and fuels the change once the spell is finished. It's now just stone, capable of being weathered, eroded, broken, crushed and turned back into dirt. That's not an unnatural change but we want it to be fairly permanent, and to do so, we need to spend vis to maintain the change. If I wanted the spell without using vis, the duration couldn't be momentary and still let a magus use a mixed medium of earth and stone like "regular" ground, at least not with the dimensions I've suggested for an above ground structure and I doubt a subterranean room would be very stable. A purely ReTe spell with no vis requirement is possible-- I don't disagree with you there, but I think it would require a sufficient amount of materials on hand at the casting of the spell. There would need to be a massive amount of bricks, or a large raw rock face, something similiar. In those instances, yes, I agree you could achieve the same result without spending vis. However, the concept on this spell is that you are "forging" the earth into what you need from the raw materials. I have no issues with either the muto requisite or the ritual nature.

Something that I think bears saying is that this is "Ars Magica," not "Scientia Magica." There is an artistic, unpredictable aspect to the magic, one that allows for a bit of variation that may be truer to the spirit of the effect than the letter of the mechanic. Though I didn't detail it in their descriptions, all three spells were invented through experimentation. That chart demonstrates the chaotic nature of magic over all of its tables. If magic spells were perfect then magi wouldn't be worrying about botches.

As a tangential note, a magus could certainly know about concrete as it had been used since Babylonian times and heavily in Roman times. I doubt that it was a common building component in Mythic Europe, but knowledge of it had to still exist. I don't believe it was invented whole cloth all over again in the 18th century. Sand derived from stone is also not beyond the paradigm. Certainly there is sandstone in Mythic Europe? ; )


Very well. I still maintain an Individual target is relevant, not Group. You're creating a single warm aura, not a collection of multiple warm auras.
In the context of the wiki, a note saying the spell is not suitable to all climes as it will only warm and not cool might be advisable.

I just like the image of having to throw away metal things. I agree it isn't a necessary interpretation, although I think it's a correct one. It certainly isn't unbalancing, just a shift of one magnitude.

That's a consideration for the size modifier, not the target. You're affecting part of a continuous whole (the earth), so it is a Part. You then need to pile on a +1 size modifier for affecting ten rather than one cubic paces.

If you're seeing stone as a natural form of dirt, if you see this change as natural, then it is a Rego effect and is permanent as it doesn't change the Essential Nature of the target. I might agree with adding a +1 magnitude modifier to pay for the extra effect, but there is no need for a Muto requisite - the change is natural, it isn't Muto.

I'm confused. If the change is not an unnatural change, then raw vis is not needed to maintain it.
Rego and Muto changed their meaning in ArM5. A change can be very profound and still be Rego. For example, I can change water to ice with Rego Aquam. I can likewise (if you see the change as not unnatural) change regular ground into stone. It is certainly a great change, the stuff looks and feels differently and has different qualities, but they're all "accidental" properties. Deep down inside, ice is still water and stone is still earth.

(Although if you see earth as eroded stone then the effect should be Creo, not Rego.)

There are two things the spell does - it moulds the earth, and it changes it to rock. We agree the first affect is Rego. I claim the second is also Rego, if you consider the change natural. To use your forge analogy, it's like taking raw iron, coal, and so on and forging a sword from it - that's a Rego spell.

True. However, I'm offering my comments in regards to how they fit the ArM5 rules. I think a Rego effect fits much better to the idea of earth being essentially the same as stone if that's where you want to take it. I also think the change IS a change in essential nature, so should be Muto.
You're of course free to decide that for your saga you should ignore the ArM5 rules. I think it's better to do so consciously, however, out of a position of knowing what the rules say on the subject. I also ask that if you decide to do so, note the deviation from the rules in the wiki.

That can substantially change matters. The effects of experimentation can certainly throw spell guidelines off.

Yes, I suppose you're right.

Not an outrageous suggestion regarding Pleasant Dominion's usage. I'll take care of that. As far as the group target is concerned, the base individual is a large campfire and to produce the proper light and heat for area I worked off an estimate of group-- Arc of Fiery Ribbons affects a larger area with group, though I suppose this might be attributed to "a dozen fiery ribbions of flame," but I guess I'd always thought of it as a fan of fire... We could consider it to be an aura of heat and an aura of light, but that's a bit too much down into the nuts and bolts of the effect for my taste. In my mind, providing sufficient light and heat for a sphere 30 paces in diameter requires a larger amount of power than a single campfire. Would it seem more 'correct' if the base target were Individual with a size increase of +2?

We will have to agree to disagree regarding a subtlety related +1 to magnitude for Banish. Circling Winds doesn't say anything about it knocking the caster's hat off. Ward against Rain doesn't say that the caster becomes dry. I think as written is perfectly acceptable.

For the group target of Domus, I have to consider that while the dirt portion might be Part, there could also be many stones in that 10 cubic paces of material I want. I have lots of dirt, an unknown quantity of stones. Group casting cost to ensure I get the undifferentiated mass of terram seems acceptable, especially since one is much easier to handle than the other.

I'm drawing the muto requisite consideration from the muto terram guidelines, pg 154:

Level 2: Change dirt into another type of natural earth (for example, sand to loam).

This would imply that changing the state from dirt to stone is muto, and thus the requisite is necessary. Muto Aquam also has a similiar level 2 effect.

The ReAq spell Ice of Drowning puts forth an example requirement, +1 additional effect, changing the water to ice.

I don't think I'm ignoring ArM5 rules here at all. I think that when it comes to spell design there are a lot of different paths to get to the same end result. It's flexibility is one of the greatest strengths of the system.

A little bit on concrete/cement.

The Egyptians for example were known to have a recipe for an early version of cement. They took crushed shells ( various mollusk shells ) and mixed it with olive oil and then used that with bits of stone left from their quarry work to make the road/bed they moved the large blocks from the quarries to their various constructions. Crushed shells are rich in lime which is the essential ingredient in cement.

Currently, our spring covenant is having to do a major overhaul on some buildings that we inherited that were in very poor shape.

We live on a lake shore and have the grogs gather up baskets of rocks each day that we then move into position with ReTe. We then use MuTe to turn the rocks to dirt with a short duration of Diameter ( gives time to pack the dirt down ). When the duration is over the rocks reform but can not reform in the new state back to being individual rocks so we get blocks of sandstone style material ( a mages concrete if you will ).

There was some consideration of including an Ig requisite ( to turn the rock material into bricks ) but that would have increased the magnitude beyond what simple spontaneous spell work could achieve.