The High Level Limit of Ars Magica Fifth Edition

I am trying to figure out just how powerful the powerful magi in ArM5 are, what are the most powerful spells the Order can be expected to have while staying true to the ArM5 rules and guidelines.
So far I have (serf's parma):
49 Te+49 Fo+49 Focus+11 (9+2 puissant) Magic Theory+5 Intelligence+3 Inventive Genius+9 Aura+5 Apprentice's Intelligence+3 Apprentice's Inventive Genius+5 Apprentice's Magic Theory+5 Familiar Intelligence+9 Familiar Magic Theory=202.

This magus has Affinity with Te, Affinity with Fo, Puissant Magic Theory, Puissant Te, Inventive Genius, Great Intelligence x 2, and Minor/Major Magical Focus. He has accumulated enough XP for level 40 in two Arts before Affinity, and level 9 in Magic Theory. He works in a level 9 magical aura, has a bright and inventive apprentice, and a bright and experienced familair with 9 in Magic Theory.

I have not added Form & Effect bonuses as I'm interested in spell research.

With the 202 Lab Total, assuming our magus sits down for a Season he can invent a level 100 spell. If he sits for a year, he can invent a level 160 spell. A five-year programme can yield a level 190 spell, including the time required to instruct the apprentice.

If something here doesn't abide by the ArM5 guidelines, or if you have better min/max ideas, do tell.

Well, the game does say that the practical maximum for Arts is 40. I'm not sure if that's true in practice. So that drops you total to 175. So that means someone could invent a level ~85 spell in a season. I wouldn't expect this wizard to do much in terms of long range projects more because he'll either pass into Final Twilight or drop dead of old age pretty shortly.

Well, I can't see anything wrong with the numbers(didn't bother to check), and it is doable acording to the rules, I guess I'll have to give you that. But that collection of virtues, aura, apprentice and familiar sounds extreemly unlikely. I would say it's possible in theory, but highly unlikely in practice. But you are exploring the "what is possible in theory", right?

You forgot to add the lab bonus & Similar spell bonus which can be interesting when you invented a spell lvl 100 in one season :stuck_out_tongue:

This would bring you up to a lab total of 202 + 10(Lab) + 20 (Similar spell) = level 232.


Lab bonus? What lab bonus?

Regarding the limit of 40, well I figure that like the Art limits at character creation this does not take Affinities into account. But perhaps you're right, and it does.

And yes, I am just exploring "what is possible in theory", not suggesting this amazing constellation will actually take place.

David has said that we will be getting both expanded library rules and expanded lab rules in the covenans book.

In the Wizards grimore and the WGRE (where expanded lab rules have been published previously there were ways to get a lab bonus. So my strong suspicion is that the answer to you query of "what lab bonus?" is "The one you'll find out about in January when you pick up the covenants book".

Ummm isn't the bonus for creative genius +3/+6....if so, how did you get 9?
I believe it states +3 for lab work, +6 for experimentation...

The lack of commaes makes it a bit hard to distinguish, but I think it's <+3 inventive genius, +9 Aura>

Btw, a magus, apprentce AND a familiar all with +5 intelligence! Wow! What brainpower! And the familiar is an expert in magic theory no less. Incredibel!

I haven't considered experimentation... it can increase the Lab Total certainly, but it's a bit too randomish for me :slight_smile:

Inventive Genius is +3 in my accounting, with another +3 for the apprentice's Inventive Genius. Not +9. I'm not sure which +9 you are refering to, but perhaps the Aura? The number is always BEFORE the explanation.

I don't consider 4e materials for ArM5 calculations. (Although I'm quite familiar with 4e, including WGRE.) I agree that a lab bonus would probably be included eventually, though, so in a short while its addition would be required. :slight_smile:

The ArM splatbooks do increase the power level.

It looked like the +9 following Inventive genius, was the bonus for inventive genius. I thought that he was using the experimentation rule, and applying a bonus of 9, instead of 6.
I thought perhaps my understanding of the rule was in error...hence my question...

We had our resident Bonisagus use the rule for spell worked pretty well...though I had visions of sweeping up lots of broken things...

what's neat about ars is that power is directly proportional to how many seasons a character spends in the lab/library doing stuff.

The main rulebook covers learning skills, learning arts, inventing spells, enchanting items, and similar things. Any additional activities that the game introduces (such as mystery initiation, learning fencil's rituals, improving your lab, etc.) necessarily involves spending time away from arts, skills, spells, and enchantments.

Sure there will be power creep but I think that it will be very subtle. Improving your lab will let you learn faster and eventually be to your benefit but if you give up a season or two to improve your lab how many years will it take to recoup your investment?

An improved lab gives bonus to all lab work, and what's comparable with that? Magic theory, you don't have to have much in MT for it to take far longer than 2 seasons to improve on that.

Yeah, our last game the SG gave us the opportunity to get some improved lab equipment... I just about threw the Flambeau out the Covenants door to go get it...and that was for a +1 bonus...

Couple of minor things seem to be missing...
Puissant Te should give you some bonus should it not?
You could have specialization in spell design which would give you an additional +3 (assuming all people had it) or even specialization in say Terrum which would also give you +3.

Its not that hard to have +5 intellegence for an older mage...the CrMe rituals to boost Int are not that hard to learn.

You might imagine infact that older magi are robust too...CrCo rituals for body points, CrMe for mental points.

With that kind of disregard for warping, it's not sure one would get to become "an older mage". :wink:

if you cast the spell yourself, you avoid the warping for "powerful effect"

you don't get warping for a continuous effect if you are using these spells as they are Momentary Rituals - been and gone leaving a real effect.

Just out of curiosity, what sort of things do you suppose a 100th level spell would be able to do? I can't honestly say I've ever given much thought to it...

Yair and others have worked out several of them from the guidelines and posted them on the spells wiki. (

I haven't considered that.
You'd ideally want to create a suite of spells, to lower vis costs, but a single level 55 spell would also do.

This threatens to make any magus (or, for that matter, closely-regarded companion) as intelligent, strong, impressive, and so on as he wants. It delegates aging to those stats the magi dont care to invest time creating a spell to enhance.
I can certainly see a Creo or Corpus/Mentem expert selling off an individually-tailored Int and Sta boosting spell to magi much like a Verditius selling longevity rituals. With the (upcoming) rules for reading from text, this wouldn't be a problem, and with an appropriate specialization and a prior lab text to work from reaching a 110 lab total (to invent it in one season) shouldn't be a problem.
Some magi would doubtless even go to the extent of succumbing to warping rituals, not tailroed to themselves.