Spell Creation and Penetration Questions

Starting a new game this week or next and trying to nail down a few items of Ars Rule Lore:

  1. Do magical swords have penetration? If made (CrTe) with a penetration of ten on the casting roll, do they penetrate magic resistance with a 10? Can you work sympathetic connections into these spells? To make them penetrate specific targets (or groups of targets) better? Or is this only for targets with the Arcane Connection?

  2. There are no sympathy/knowledge benefits to knowing similar formulaic spells for spontaneous casting, right?This is just a spell and item creation bonus under the right conditions.

  3. Its not until doing this for a new character you realize how strange some of the spells are. Example: Pilum of Fire does not have a Rego Req. How strange is that? Could I Pilum of Pilum, using CreoTerrem to create a metal spear thrusting into someone? It will need to penetrarte, no doubt. Can P of P have penetration bonuses? If so, could it be cast with Arcane Connections and Sympathetic Connections?

  4. Related: Using an AC to create an Intangible Tunnel (I have Hermetic Projects , and need to reread this section) --- No problem (I can use the ACs and Sympathetic Connections as written). If the tunnel has now penetrated, do the next set of spells need to penetrate? If they do, can they benefit from the sympathetic connections cast at Touch Range?

I had more, can't remember.

I did some searching, but did not find a good thread on the forum, but IT must exist. And I need to read the Hermetic Projects section on the Tunnel again. Why an I asking this... I took Feud with Flambeau Magi, and a deficiency in Igneum Resistance.

  1. yes, they have penetration so the penetration on the casting roll is the magic resistance they penetrate. I don't see why you couldn't work a sympathetic connection into the spell to increase its penetration, I'm sure it counts the same as any other spell you're trying to get to penetrate MR.

  2. you only get a benefit to knowing similar formulaic spells for spontaneous casting if you have the specific Merinita virtue.

  3. Pilum of Fire doesn't actually need to throw fire at someone, that's cosmetic - you could just as easily have the spell create flames at someone's feet, or bathe them in unearthly flames, or rain fire down from above - same effect, you're creating damaging flames that hit one named target.
    My SG did allow a spell "Julia's Javelin" which used CrHe to create a sharpened wooden stake at range that impales the target for +8 damage. Check with your SG if they're OK with you creating magical iron spikes that stab people and then disappear.

  4. When you cast a tunnel, the next set of spells do need to penetrate - but the range is now Touch (allowing much lower spell levels) and you still get your sympathetic connection bonus.

[furiously adds Dark Wing to Ars Magical Emergency Speed Dial list]

Thanks! Very clear, and makes sense of the jumbled info floating around in my head.

He will say no, since he claims I always say no when he wants to do something interesting in our other games. :wink:

That's not very nice from you. You know, people play games to have fun. You have to say yes once in a while for them to have it!

Anyway: I came to point that you said "magic swords" so lightly, probably meaning "enchanted swords". Magic swords can also be a subset of Magic Items, from RoP:M, and these amazing swords have magic might and, as any creature with might, doesn't need to penetrate magic resistance unless having an active power (or a non-personal or permanent power, if you house rule them to avoid magic resistance).

About things created to do harm, we allow any kind of them as long as they stick to the rule of thumb of being one magnitude less efficient than Ignem. So we would raise our eyebrows to that +8 spear just because for us that would be a level 18 spell (Base 8 for +8 Damage, +2 Voice), which is odd (but doable anyway).

No no. Your doing all it wrong.

In this case, I mean either CrTe Sword From the Invisible Scabbard, or similar. Or MuTe(An) swords (Animal Bone to Metal (which I think is less efficient than just making the things from scratch). Mainly because I have a young magus with some MuCo(An) spells and grogs. So these swords, or what have you, will be pretty darn magical.

I haven't done the math on that spear spell yet, but one magnitude less than Ignem seems generally legit, with exceptions of course.

The SG has stated that the main house rule is: Muto Effects are -1 Magnitude and Rego Effects are +1 Magnitude. (with exceptions I will not go into here). Even with this change... Muto effects are still only about right, and Rego effects are still nearly desirable.

I had a question about Penetration. I'm trying to understand casting total/penetration with Aegis of the Hearth. Let's assume that my magus has a Casting Total of 60. He can:

  1. Cast a level 25 AotH with +35 Penetration
  2. Cast a level 40 AotH with +20 Penetration.

What are the consequences of the two choices? In particular, because of penetration, when is the lower AotH a better decision?

Actually a follow up question:

How SPECIFIC is Hermetic Magic.

Say there are a bunch of grogs (the turb I suppose) tussling it up with some bandits. I want to cast a Voice Range Spell that gives the grogs +2 soak for a diameter. Can the spell distinguish the grogs from the bandits? I suppose it can, or rather the Magi's intention will direct it.

This follows along with the use of Demon's Eternal Oblivion that destroys 5 might... can you cast it at things that are not demons? Does your knowledge of it not being a demon matter? We have used DEO before as a detection method. But thinking about it now, it probably should not be. Unless it should. Ugh.

  1. Any creature with a might of 25 or less won't be able to enter the area of the Aegis. Spells cast from inside the Aegis by people who didn't participate in the casting/have a casting token lose 12.5 rounded down to 12 points off their casting total. Spells cast from outside the Aegis "need to penetrate a resistance equal to the level of the Aegis" so by the spell as worded you need penetration 25 to do anything, but I remember my usual group house-ruled it to "lose the level of the Aegis from your casting total when casting across a foreign Aegis" to make it consistent with the casting inside an Aegis rule.
    This costs you 5 vis.

  2. Any creature with a might of 20 or less won't be able to enter the area of the Aegis - you won't penetrate enough to stop those of 21-35 getting in. Spellcasters without a token lose 20 points inside the Aegis, or 40 across the Aegis.
    This costs you 8 vis.

The question is, how much vis do you want to commit each year and are you more worried about creatures with might or humans with spellcasting abilities?

For the grogs - see the wording of the Group target on page 113 "Three grogs huddled together or a ring of standing stones are a group: six people out of a crowd are usually not". So if you cast the spell while the grogs and bandits are separated, there is no problem. If you try to cast while the grogs and bandits are in close combat, it will affect both. Looking at the published spells to sort things (like sorting wheat from chaff, or separating mixed liquids) you should be able to specify which targets are affected if you use a Rego requisite (like how Talons of the Winds on p127 would affect the caster as well as the area around them, if they didn't add the Rego requisite)

Demon's Eternal Oblivion - I'm sure you can cast it, but as it's an offensive spell I would say casting it always counts as stressful, so there's always a chance of botching. You can try casting it indiscriminately, but a demon could wise up and get a bunch of mundane people to walk around church wearing sulphurous-smelling clothes, so as to tempt you into casting the spell so many times sooner or later someone botches and suffers for it. Likewise, demons can disguise their appearance so if you successfully DEO a demon, it might successfully fool you into thinking it hasn't been weakened, and then nonchalantly walk away (while inwardly cursing you for weakening it) - depends on how much subtlety your SG lets demons have. (The rules in RoP: Infernal are a cause of much debate into how demons should act and plan).

First, everything darkwing said is correct. One thing worth noting, though, is how Wizard's Communion (or variations thereof) can get you to some strait up absurd Penetration totals.

Continuing the example noted on ArM 160, if the primary Ritual Caster for the Aegis has a casting score of say, +40 with all modifiers, you'd be looking at a Penetration of 30 - plus the stress dice and the caster's penetration - for the 50th level spell.

This combination of Wizard's Communion (for penetration total boosts) and Aegis of the Hearth is likely why it's noted in ArM5 core that most wizards will prefer to stay in the highest-magnitude Aegis possible. More advanced covenants are likely to have multiple wizards who can assist in the Communion - most magi capable of training apprentices can probably pull off a level 20 Communion, even if they have to take fatigue to do so, and thus contribute by helping to lower the target level (and thus increase the penetration of) the primary caster.

(This is one of the big reasons why 'Aegis has to penetrate' is less of a big deal than it can initially appear - team work makes the dream work!)

Added thought here, though some people have already clarified things: Your question makes it sound like you're rolling the dice then deciding which spell to cast; I'm pretty sure you need to decide what spell you're casting and then commit the vis before you actually perform your ritual.

Regarding the grogs, if its a kerfluffle melee in grand scale, then you're definitely going to hit a LOT of people with your group soak spell. (By comparison, if you've extended your Parma Magica over the grogs and cast a group damage spell with no penetration, your guys are fine!) I have definitely seen the argument that codifying the group in advance helps a lot, ie. if your grogs work together as a trained squad and can keep themselves in a strong formation amid fighting the bandits, they all wear the same livery and are easily distinguishable, then your storyguide would allow you to target just that group.

And as an expansion to DEO, a point that came up in my game: You can just use DEO as a way to test if something is a demon. The demon may be able to fake off the damage since they are consummate liars, assuming it survives; An infernal-tainted dog with Infernal Might would lose the Might and probably be obvious about it. A faerie acting to be a demon might fake TAKING the damage if he knows what you're trying to do. Bob the Evil Bandit with no infernal connection wouldn't react to the spell at all. ADDENDUM: I think you need to be able to percieve something to cast magic on it, so if the demon is invisible, you can't hit it with blind-casting DEO to try and clear the area out. You may be able to do a room-target if the demon is in the room, however.

I think you can use Finesse to attempt to only hit your fellows.

I noticed Darkwing's discussion of the Aegis earlier

the spell description on page 161 doesn't say anything about rounding. Is there some statement somewhere that tells us we should round, or is that just how you play? Personally I tend not to round anything unless it says to - like affinity does (although it rarely matters).

Can you set up a sword with an Arcane connection range to use the blood that is on it and use the penetration multiplier? (or a touch range with the same penetration effect?)

I'm not sure I understand your question but I'm going to answer the question I think that you asked, and you can evaluate how weak my reading comprehension skills are. :frowning:

Is the question Can one make an enchanted sword that does something like cast clenching grasp of the Crushed heart at range AC then use exposing the sword to blood as a triggering action, ergo it triggers every time you stab someone. Yes that's IMO fine.

But an enchanted device can't have any penetration skill so it can't use arcane connections to increase it's multiplier (the texts says -"Any character with the Penetration Ability can use sympathetic magic to increase the penetration of her magi"), and even if it could, the multiplier multiplies penetration ability so it wouldn't do any good.