Spell for moderation

I just wanted an Herbam projectile attack spell that didn't need you to already have a chunk of wood handy (a la Piercing Shaft of Wood). So, I came up with this:

Apprentice's Oaken Lance
Creo (Rego) Herbam 5
R:Voice; D:Mom; T:Ind
Creates a three-foot wooden spear with a sharp point and hurls it at any target within range, doing +10 damage.
Base 2 "create a processed plant product", +2 Voice, +1 Rego requisite

Essentially, it's the same thing as The Crystal Dart, except the TCD uses the Base 3 guideline "change earth to stone or vice versa" to get its projectile, while this uses a Base 2 Creo guideline to get the projectile. They both add Voice range and a Rego requisite to throw it.

I'm concerned that this spell is overly efficient. While it's not necessarily imbalancing at this level, it could be an issue if it's scaled up.

I don't think I can legitimately add a magnitude for complexity of creation- the example given for a "processed plant product" is a finished plank of wood, and I don't think a straight pole with a sharp point on one end is any harder than that.

I'm also hesitant to rule that it causes less than +10 damage. Granted, the Crystal Dart is stone, but the wooden spear is a lot bigger! (Base Individual for Herbam is a plant one pace in diameter, so I've gone with a spear three feet- roughly one pace- long.)

Perhaps the best solution is just to allow this one as-is and rule that Herbam attack spells scale poorly (thereby alleviating the issue of higher-level variants), but I'd welcome any input.

There seem to be some people who say that Pilum of Fire defines damage:

It is
+15 for a voice range spell level 20
each extra damage point then costs one spell level
+10 damage; level 15
+25 damage; level 30 (see CrIg)

Some magic "costs" extra levels for the same amount of damage but may have beneficial side effects.
examples are
Mighty torrent of water (CrAq20): +10 damage + man-stopping
Incantation of lightning (CrAu35): +30 damage
invisible sling (CrTe10): +5 damage

So I'd either raise the level or lower the balance if you want to keep it more balanced. On the other hand if you are the SG you can do whatever you want - don't get too canonical unlike your group is into munchkinism - it may ruin the fun.

Well, I don't see that the case for the "Damage = Level - 5" position is too strong. Canonically, both The Crystal Dart and Piercing Shaft of Wood are level 10 spells that can do +10 damage. Of course, both do require a material to start with- dirt and a chunk of wood, respectively. Also, The Earth's Carbuncle (Re[Mu]Te15) does +10 damage and a special effect (throwing the victim into the air).

Saga's not even started yet; I'm the alpha SG, and this was for my character anyway, so it shouldn't make that much difference. Pending any evidence of munchkinism, however, I think I'm going to allow it. I like how internally consistent the ArM world is, and I don't think this one spell is going to make or break anything.

(I will, however, probably avoid mastering it for multicasting...for a while, at least.)

Well the first problem i can spot is that you are treating this as a momentary Creo spell. That means that without vis to make the created spear permanent it would simply pop in and back out of existence before you could utilise it as a weapon. For it to have any value in battle the Duration would have to be at least Conc/Diameter (and IMO better Diameter).

That said, its really a matter of personal interpetation as to whether the spear would be merely a "treated" plant product (there does appear to be slight wording error between the explanatory paragraphs at the top and the list of base levels below) or both treated and "processed". If the former, then base 2 would be appropriate (base 2 proper wording being "Create a treated plant product, not "processed"). According to what is written above one would have to add 2 mags to the base for raw dead plants (1) if the spear is deemed "processed" as well (spear point as opposed to unsharpened but treated pole). THis would make it base 3.

I would conclude that the most appropriate formula for the spell would either be:

Apprentice's Oaken Lance
Creo (Rego) Herbam 10
R:Voice; D:Diameter; T:Ind
Creates a three-foot wooden spear with a sharp point and hurls it at any target within range, doing +10 damage.
Base 2 "create a processed plant product", +2 Voice,+1 Diameter, +1 Rego requisite

Upon investigation this appears an amazingly low level asset for any magus since the Rego effect added to the spell does in fact come in under 6th magnitude thus only requires a +1 mag boost to the spell. What's more, that Rego component could be base 10 (make a thing made of plant products move with intelligence and purpose without your constant control) with same RDT (total level 25).

Or, if one ruled that the lance/spear was both "treated" and "processed" it would still come in at an extremely economical level 15 which might be challenging for a young apprentice but shouldnt be any problem for a gauntleted Herbam magus.

That's my two mythic pounds worth at any rate.

This seems OK to me. As you say, it is just Crystal Dart but with a different Form.

Note that this spell is not Aimed --- so you cannot bypass Magic Resistance. That is, this spell needs to penetrate to be effective. This is not a problem if you are hurling the spell at Mundanes, but if you are hurling it at magi or supernatural critters then it could be an issue.

Momentary spells lasts a few moments, not an instant. This is usually way enough for this.

However, shouldn't the spell use the higher ReHe level 3 guideline "Control an amount of wood", and thus be a Re(Cr)He spell?

I would go for the Cr(Re)he route myself. It is only for the looks since it is the same final effect regardless of which one is the main Technique. Still youy are CONJURING the wood spear, so the creation of it goes before throwing it around IMO.

Level 5 seems low. Still, going strictly by the rules I fail to see how to up the level tro 10 (what would seem "fair") without going for SG fiat.


I'm aware of that...but as a Level 5 spell, getting a decent Penetration Total will not be hard.

I would create rather a large club to throw because wooden swords and spearheads are useless to cause serious wounds.

I agree using Re base level of 3 so it would be a level 10 spell like the chrystal dart.

Certainly not, I agree: if it is cast formulaic.

Although if it is cast spontaneously, it could be tricky to get a decent penetration total.

This does make little spells like this kind of irritating --- particularly in play (less so during character generation). Do I spend a season inventing a spell that I can cast perfectly well spontaneously, so that I can cast it formulaic with a good penetration score? If the character already has one or two low level effects for casting on targets with magic resistance, frequently the answer seems to be no. They would rather read a book or invent some bigger effect, instead.

I agree that conjuring is the primary effect, but the ReHe is the higher level effect:

Thus by these rules, this is a ReHe spell with a Cr requisite: Re(Cr)He 10 (base 3, +2 Voice, +1 requisite).

Personally, I don't let spell level dictate damage, rather I let circumstance. You've created a long spear, which has a base damage of +7. Thus in my saga, this spell would do +7 damage.


Thanks :smiley:
That's what I remembered, but hadn't the exact reference in mind.

Ooookay. So it should be Re(Cr)He10. Base 3, "control an amount of wood", +2 Voice, +1 Creo effect.