The Necromancers Diagram

My sinister (and thoroughly pleasant) necromancer is wanting to create himself a powerful device that will awe the lesser half wits that make up his sodalis. To this end his has created a 20' by 20' slab of rock (about 1' high) with a large bone circle set into it (he already has spells to mold bone like butter). This fiendishly cunning diagram will then be enchanted to do all manner of amazing necromantic things.

Obviously i don't want my test subjects (ghosts) resisting my effects nor running away so my first effect is a one way spirit trap (like a ward but only prohibits movement out of the circle.

Now to stop the incorporeal rascals from resisting my other effects i have two possible solutions

  1. give every effect +40 penetration (i'm not planning to mess with spirits with a might higher than this, i'm not stupid).
  2. put an effect in that strips might off any spirit inside the circle until they are at might 1, then stops.

Now solution 1) will make all my spells +20 levels (for +40 penetration) higher, not desireable as my lab total won't be high enough to enchant a good percentage of the effects i have in mind.
Solution 2) it is then. But here is my dilemna. How to do it. This is what i have so far.

Spirit flayer
This spell detects any undead with a might between 2 and 40 and attacks them with a might sapping spell that lowers its might by 1 point)
(Base 1, +1 touch)
+3 linked trigger (see next effect)
+21 penetration 42
Total = 26
Spirit Flayer sensor
(base 40, +1 touch, +0 circle)
+ 3 environmental trigger (sun up/down)
+1 2 uses a day
Total = 50

Now what this should do is detect any spirit that has might of 40 or less (but over 1) and blast it with the Spirit flayer effect. This will trigger every round until the spirit has a might of one at which point the effect will stop and my other effects will only need very minimal penetration to work.

My problem is that the link is VERY high level and will take me years to enchant. Is there any easy way to do this?

I'll think about an easier way to get your effect but my first thought is: What value can you derive from a might 1 ghost?

The pooor thing is nearly um... dead if you get my meaning.

You put a level 1 ward in on your diagram in addition to the big ward.

The circles for the two wards overlap so that an arc of the wimpy ward is in the strong ward (perhaps bisecting it).

Have the spirit flayer effect go off whenever the wimpy ward is crossed.

You then use one of your own spells to force the ghost to try and move around the circle.

At some point (might 1) the spirit will be unable to move across the wimpy ward.

You'll need to change your trigger effect to key off of the spirit's movement.

Your trigger effect could then be something similar to shiver of the lycanthrope (assuming that the diagram could be enchanted with it when it doesn't have a sense of touch, to re-open an old argument) and not need to penetrate at all.

Hire a Verditius to enchant it...

Don't stick me in the same category as that Spaniard!

You might in addition to your spirit flayer thing consider a spell that grants the ghost 5 might and another spell that strips the ghost of 5 might over a small period of time while confering excrutiating pain.
This will allow you to torture ghosts! :smiling_imp:

Hail Eris!

You'll have to make the range on your Sensor effect 'Voice,' as you cannot touch a spirit-- it's incorporeal. That's part of why the base effect for Lay to Rest the Haunting Spirit is V/M/I...

On the upside, you save a level of effect on your Spirit Flayer effect, since the PeMe base effect gives you voice.


Don't forget that the device needs to be able to produce sound (CrIm) if you want to use Voice range.

are these visible ghost to be touched by eye?

You can always cast a glance at them and hope you hit. :stuck_out_tongue:

I notice a mysterious and disturbing lack of statements along the lines of "Wow Erik, your ideas are utterly brilliant. I wish I were that clever". So severe is the absence of such statements that I am beginning to susspect that I may have missed something or that my language was totally indecipherable.

The sensor spell that you need is a range personal target touch spell that detects "where is the diagram being touched by a ghost?" I don't believe that a sense spell of this sort even needs to penetrate, the spell is affecting the item at a range of personal. It would be a bargain.

You don't need to determine how much might the ghost has left. You need to force the ghost to try and cross a level one ward again and again until it can't anymore.

I don't have any guidelines here but I'll try and rough out my ideas without base levels.

Ward against spirts ReMe level 1 don't enchant this, just cast it on a ring on the diagram.

The afforementioned spirit trap created in such a way that ghosts can not get from one side of the trap to the other without crossing the level 1 ward against spirits.

Spirit flayer
attacks undead with a might sapping spell that lowers their might by 1 point
(Base 1, +1 touch, +0 target circle)
+3 linked trigger (whenever the line designed to be enchanted with ward against spirtis is crossed see next effect)
+21 penetration 42
Total = 26

Shiver of the departed
Base?, +0 range personal, +0 target touch, +2 duration sun)

  • 3 environmental trigger (sun up/down)
    +1 2 uses a day
    detects when an undead creature is touching the item

Forced ambulation of the undead
Base? +1 touch, +0 momentary , +0 circle
+21 penetration
+10 unlimied uses
forces an undead within the circle to move to attempt to move to the other side of the circle and touch the diagram there

Gribble's character keeps invoking the ambulation power to make the trapped ghost move from one side of the diagram to the other.

Every time the ghost moves from one side to the other the spirit flayer power goes off (using the circle target to avoid hopping ghosts who might cleverly escape a range touch spell).

At some point the ghost's might will be reduced to 1. At this point the ambulation power will force the ghost to leap to the other side of the diagram but the level 1 ward will prevent the ghost from crossing. Since the ghost does not cross the ward, the spirit flayer power will not activate.

So am I missing something, or was I being unclear?

From ArM5, page 150, the base effect of Lay to Rest the Haunting Spirit is V/M/I... whatever level you set the spell at, those are the specifications, unless you wish to increase the target to group or more (I don't think part is really applicable) or increase the duration...

In his calculations for the effects, he uses 'touch' for an additional level-- likely thinking that the initial range is personal, like most other baselines. That's unnecessary, given the baseline effect.

I suppose he could do a:

In(Cr)Me(Im): Sense the Errant Spirit

Baseline: 15 (Read a person's surface thoughts) + 2 (voice) + 1 (concentration) + 5/10 (item maintains concentration) + 1/10 (2 uses a day) + 0 (requisites-- are primarily cosmetic, but could be a +1 if SG needs)-- either 36 or 41.


If you wanted to use the InVi guidelines as the baseline...

Base: 5 (Detect Spirit of any Might) + 2 (voice) + 1 (concentration) + 5/10 (item maintains concentration) + 1/10 (2 uses a day) + 0 (requisites-- are primarily cosmetic, but could be a +1 if SG needs)-- either 21 or 26.

The platform would perpetually hum, producing a low moan that becomes a soft wail as a Spirit enters its range.

This effect would just detect the presence of a spirit. I don't think Penetration is required, since you're not affecting the spirit, just becoming aware of its presence.

Then, he'd trigger a LtRtHS effect from the item, Level 3 but with a massive Penetration and perhaps with a Concentration duration that the item maintains (and again, if the SG demands, a +1 for the Im requisites, though I find them cosmetic). This would create a constant draining of the Spirit's Might. If you tweaked the Baseline, with SG approval, so that it detected Spirits of Might 4 and greater... then your linked trigger would shut off after one application of the LtRtHS effect.

You'd still need a ring type effect that would let the spirits in, but didn't let them out...a sort of inward pointing Warding Against Spirits with, again, a massive penetration...Maybe a chain set into the floor, an item based off the spell, but created to increase the penetration...but that would also be a serious project.

Just another take at what you're considering.

I don't have a book here, could you explain to me why he couldn's save a magnetude by going with range touch target circle?

If you combined the sense triggers I'd suggested with your ReMe effect to draw the Spirit to the center of the effect:

Baseline 5 (Control a disembodied spirit pg 151)+ 2 (voice) + 1 (Concentration) + 3 (Room)

ReMe 35 effect, without penetration, would draw all the spirits in the room to the center at their slowest rate... You'd still need to increase it for penetration on Spirits with any Might. though I'd have to reconsider my InMe to make it of unlimited use or also of Room target...I'm thinking you'd have to do that, so that you'd be perpetually sensing any spirit that entered. I lean towards increasing the target to Room and keeping it Concentration.


You can't use touch, because you can't touch a Spirit. They're incorporeal, and thus can't be touched. I think The Broken Covenant of Calabais goes into this in greater detail, and I believe I recall it being discussed on the berklist, but the main issue with trying to use touch range on a ghost is that you can't touch them... you just go right through them...but then, they can't touch things in this world...they just use some power (like kinesis, discussed on ArM5, pg 193, for the Ghostly Warder) to manipulate an object as if they could handle it... HoH:TL, the Tremere section, also goes into a bit more detail on this, iirc.


I see.

In some of the suggestions range touch target circle is being used. In this case, touch is the distance to the circle and it is the circle that is being touched not the ghost. In this case the incorporialness of the ghost is not important, only if it is within the circle at the time of casting.

Would you agree or is there some point that I am missing?

I think it might be a mutual misunderstanding of the spell's intent...

The initial premise, as I understand it, is to compel spirits to enter the circle, then detect spirits that enter the circle and then weaken them such that they cannot leave the circle... yes?

If so, then we're talking about an invested object that will do all the casting, yes?

If so, then you'll want your ReMe-pull-the-spirits-to-a-point effect to have a structure target, and a voice range...we're not affecting the Structure, but the Spirits inside the we can't touch them, and we have to use voice range. Penetration will be an additional increase to the effect.

Why Structure target? Because we want to cast a lure that goes beyond the dampening and sensing effects.

Then, on to the Sensing effect... an InMe-detect-any-spirit-that-enters-the-chamber-effect doesn't have good baseline, so you have the two options I suggested. The Duration/Target could be ring/circle, with a touch range... that's my miscalculation.

The PeMe effect begins with a V/M/I baseline... to shift it to a T/R/C would drop the baseline by one (voice down to touch) and then increase it up by 2 (Momentary to Ring)... so the PeMe-LtRtHS-effect would reduce the Might of a Spirit by one less magnitude than the level of the spell. A little wierd, but manageable. Like the ReMe effect, it would need massive penetration.

I think this would have to be either an invested item with three effects or an invested item with the InMe and PeMe effects and one with the ReMe effect.

Thanks for the question, it forced me to better explain things--and find my mistake.


With a Structure target, you can use Touch range - you'll only need to be touching the structure.

We're defiately taliking at cross purposes here. My understanding is that the magus supplies the item with spirits. He isn't going to rely upon the item to snare spirits for him.

He does not want to waeken spirits to the point wher they can not leave the circle. The circle is a level 40 ward-like thing. He wants any spirit with a might over 40 far away from his lab.

He hopes to reduce the spirits to might 1 so that all of the other effects that he hopes to enchant into his device won't need to bust through any substantial magic resistance (freeing him from the pain of investing enchantments with an extra 20 points of penetration).

I'll check my books when I can, but without some quotes to back up the "you can't cast any range touch spells on ghosts" I'm very skeptical of the inaplicability of range touch target circle/structure/boundry spells. The caster isn't touching the ghost, they're touching the circle/structure/boundary. (I can certanly see the inaplicability of range touch target individual/part/group spells)

(I just had a cool thought regarding a merinita ghost magus who controls ghosts by using target bloodline spells on them)

I'm in agreement with regard to the penetration.

Why is your "Lay to rest the haunting spirit" effect duration ring rather than momentary?

Once again we're in agreement