Spell for comment: Gift of the Lizard's Tail

Gift of The Lizard's Tail
MuCo 35
Range: Touch, Target: Part, Duration: Moon

This spell is cast on the wound or scar where a body part has been lost, giving the flesh there the capacity to regrow the lost part. A small body part like a finger or an ear can be regrown in a month, larger parts take longer - a season for a hand or eye, a year for whole limb - so multiple castings would be required. Leaving off before the regrowth is finished will leave an undersized and less than fully functional part. Likewise the patient must have sufficient nutrition and take care not to injure the delicate growing part or she risks having it permanently stunted and malformed.
Base 10 (as unnatural as a full species change) + 1 range, +1 target, +3 duration

Something to research for the Milton Chantry grimoire of non-ritual healing. I eyeballed the base with a view to making it warping effect. I envisage the inventor trying to invent a T: individual version to give general regeneration but having his test subject go all Akira.

Wouldn't work under RAW.

Regrowing a body part is healing. Healing requires a Creo ritual to be permanent.

The regrown body part would fall off (or something similar) after the duration expires.

But you can improve healing without vis, cf Physicians Healing Touch, and you can temporarily grant capabilities the target does not otherwise have, cf all of MuCo, and the effects of using such capabilities remain - if you turn into a bird and fly then you don't teleport back to your starting position when the spell ends. The spell is not replacing the lost appendage, it is giving you the capability to regrow it yourself.

Yes, you can improve healing without vis, but that's still Creo. For example Purification of the Festering Wounds (ArM5 p.129).

(I don't know any spell named Physicians Healing Touch, can you give a reference for it?)

The effect you are describing is not a natural power (in the medieval mind). It's a common fallacy that since Muto "can grant capabilities the target does not otherwise has", it can give any capability. I disagree, in that Muto magic can grant a capability that is natural to another species or object. And then only for the duration of the spell. It cannot be used to effect permanent change to the target.

You'll probably mention the ability of some lizards to regrow their tail, which is the basis for the name of your proposed spell. But this ability, seldom observed by the medieval scholars, was ascribed as being a magical capability of such creatures, not a natural one, and limited to a specific body part.

Finally, there is the matter of game balance. If you say this Muto spell allows one to regrow a body part, then why should it not work for a wound? And if it works for a wound, then why use Creo rituals at all? Vis-less healing cheapens the danger of combat, making for a very different game. Allowing Muto to heal starts the slide towards that.


Lizards regrow only the tail, not limbs or eyes, as far as I know. But newts do regrow limbs! So, it's conceivable that such an ability can fit within Hermetic magic. However!

a. I'm not aware that the limb/eye regeneration phenomenon had ever been observed in antiquity. Various legendary abilities are attributed to the salamander (the "mythic" newt), but no regeneration.

b. There is currently no such MuCo guideline. Muto Corpus has a level 2 guideline that gives you a minor ability, but no major ability guidelines. So you'd need a breakthrough.

c. It's not clear (to the medieval scolar) whether it's an ability that affects the animal when it's wounded, or later. In other words, if you turn into a newt (or somehow gain its regeneration quality) and someone slices away one of your legs, you'll regrow it if you remain a newt long enough. But if someone first slices away one of your legs, and then you turn into a newt (or somehow gain its regeneration quality), would you still regenerate the leg? This is unclear, and ultimately useful as a game balancing tool (requiring you to cast this spell on grogs before they enter any potentially dangerous combat).

d. People can regenerate lost fingertips. So maybe not a limb, maybe not an eye, but using that MuCo level 2 guideline, with a Creo requisite, to boost someone's healing ability and allow regeneration of a whole, freshly severed, finger? I'd probably allow it.

I disagree, I'll present a counterargument.

The spell isn't doing the healing, the body is.
By analogy, if you use a Muto He (An) spell to change a rose bush into a cow for duration Moon, Would you expect all of the manure that the tree produced during the duration of the spell to disappear upon the spells end? (even if you expect it to turn to leaves and rose petals, which I don't, that doesn't invalidate the spell in the original post)

The limit on creo healing is an outgrowth of the limit of creation. This spell doesn't break the limit of creation.

Purification of the Festering Wounds is the spell I meant to refer to, my mistake.

seldom observed is not unobserved and if the quality was thought of as magical (which is a far broader, vaguer category in medieval scholarship than the Hermetic term of art) that hardly makes it less suitable to be the subject of a spell.

I would say that game balance is not particularly a concern when designing spells within a campaign for a few reasons: Ars Magica is not an effects based system where everything is priced by in game utility and its somehow unfair if one spell is better than another of the same level, it is a cause based system different actions interact with the world in different ways and there are several ways of achieving a result but how you do things matters; research, invention and exploration are major parts of what the PCs do and if they can't improve on things it's rendered somewhat sterile and; magi are potential powers in a world with a living history, there is no need to defend a status quo or feel if they defeat a foe of CR+4 then you are GMing it wrong. In any case if a PC is inventing this spell it's probably because you've already used the crippling injury plots sufficiently or healing magic is really what the character is about.

I will grant that game balance is more of a concern for a published spell because it's nice to have a standard baseline that campaigns can grow away from. It's also important in a game like Ars to leave room for the joy of "extra homework" so not every spell published should be the best way the author can think to achieve a result.

All that notwithstanding, there are balancing factors between CrCo rituals and spells like this one, Purification of the Festering Wound or e.g. ReCo healing accelerators. The biggest is time - the rituals are D: mom, bang and the job is done, while these spells take day - year timescales before the subject is healed. Thus they require high durations which increase their level so there is the risk of warping and they are harder (and take longer) to invent and cast while the rituals benefit from Artes Liberales and Philosophae and the generous casting total requirements of rituals. For many magi vis is cheaper than time. Finally, these spells require the body to draw on its own resources for healing which in times of privation can make them dangerous.

Allowing this spell is the same as allowing a CrAq fountain to quench thirst.

CrAn a cow, milk it, ReAn into cheese, eat it. You'd never need rituals to feed you.

Well, you can do this. It's canonical. The corebook, on p.77, states:

"Magically created things last for the duration of the spell, but their effects last indefinitely. Thus, the footprints of a magically created horse do not vanish, nor does its dung, if it was fed on mundane food."

Of course, most magi I've seen would rather have their servants buy and/or raise mundane cows rather than spend their own, precious research time to learn a non-ritual spell that creates cows.

No, I am not talking about raising magical cows as crafters of dung and milk. I am talking about creating cheese through a serie of magical spells, without any involvement of the mundane, be it fodder or anything else.

We've had many discussions on magical food, and as I recall the consensus was that it does not sustain.

Spells are not means to take shortcut with stories. If you don't want your arm cut off, be a man and tell the Troupe you don't want those kind of stories. Don't hide behind spell. If you want to play Doctor Quincy the magical healer and explore these effects, go ahead.

Well we've established that there is a rules precedent for mundane milk coming from a cow that is the result of a muto spell. (although I think that there could still be an argument to be made the other way here even if I don't agree with it.)

If that's so Are you trying to argue that rego craft magic can't make cheese from milk? I don't see anything to support that.

I know there's another Muto spell that goes the opposite way, but that memory just moved out of reach.

No, I am arguing that milk "crafted" by a cow from mundane fodder might be mundane, but milk "crafted" without mundane fodder is magical and therefore does not sustain.

Wait, where did I miss anyone suggesting anything different?