Spell Design: Differences in Damage by Form

Ignem is easy to figure out damage for. It list it right in the Creo guidelines.

However, Ignem would seem to be the easiest Form to cause damage with. In fact, it does little else outside of Light in the Creo department.

Other Forms are less certain in their application of damage. They are not listed in the form guidelines. Most seem to lag behind Ignem, but occasionally they are on par (Incantation of Lightning and Ball of Abysmal Flame, for example).

I'm curious how people adjudicate damage for offensive spells. I have a player who refuses to design spells without me holding his hand for just this reason, and I'm hoping to offer him some input...


Hasn't been a problem. Killing/destroying an obstacle is always the last solution for me. Ars Magica is a very open system. If your player is uncomfortable with the damage guidelines, perhaps he should be doing something else. Mind control, body control, Illusions, Walls, the list goes on.... I know this doesn't answer you base question. On that, I have nothing.

With spells that attack using a physical object (PSoW or WtIS), I like to use the stats for the most similar weapon as my base (ArM5 pg 176-177).

The Heat/Corrosion and Impact tables on pg 181 are invaluable too.

By and large I prefer Intellego and Muto specialists so I'm not very experienced in combat type spells either...

The player is firmly in the "asskicker" camp, and is trying to play a Flambeau knight/mage type. He tried an awesome Imaginem build, but it drove him crazy.

That build is now his arch-nemesis.

Hmmm. Maybe D&D style Paladin? Hot magic sword spells, Armor improving spells, Leadership spells. Done right, you could kick ass and no one would know you were a mage.

Sadly, most of the county he lives in knows he is a mage by now. He's a terram master, with a focus in metals. He has thrown up too many river-diverting walls of stone and helped defend one too many castles from treachery to have people not know the score with him.

That will help with the sword and armor. Now he just needs a secret ID as the Mithral Knight. The Societies book has rules on that.

Sounds like a fun character! Can't wait to see what happens with him at Tribunal...

Option one:

Freindly Frederico Flambonis (oh, and by the way, senior hoplite for the tribunal) pulls him aside and says, "You know, ______, I've got to say I've admired some of your handiwork. Others have noticed it as well. I have some ideas you might want to consider."

The magus replies, "But I haven't caused harm to my sodales!"

"Yes, indeed," Frederico continues, "this is why we are having this conversation. You'll have to be more circumspect, though, because you're making other folks nervous. If THESE folks get nervous, they may call for your March anyway and then I and my Friends will have to hunt you down." Frederico puts on a somewhat resigned face and says, "We won't enjoy it, mind you, but we will do it."

Brightening somewhat, F goes on, "Now, about those ideas..."

Option 2:

Grouchy Garranchus Guernicus (oh, by the way, number two Queasitor for the Tribunal) walks up to the magus, gets right in his grill, and points directly to his chest and says, "I have precisely one magus higher on my list than you, dogmeat, and I am tempted to divert my attention from him. Get a grip before your residency on that list is permanent."

Force him to get creative. There are rough guidlines for damage from rocks (ReTe and MuTe guidelines and spell examples in ArM5 and HoH:S), but I think one has to go to Art and Academe to correlate wounds to damage -- and from there you can construct your own guidelines.