"Vampiric" Might reduction?

One of the magi in my saga, who has just passed gauntlet, is a Vim specialist. We just ran through part of Calebais, giving him an opportunity to try out Perdo Vim spells as well as see what happens when a spirit leaves behind Vis after "dying."

He has asked about the possibility of something like a Perdo Vim spell with a rego requisite (or some other combination of techniques and forms) that would reduce a target's might score, but retain the vis after the creature passes on, or transfer the vis to another vessel as its extracted, or something along those lines.

He also suggested the possibility of it being two spells ( one to reduce the might, and a second to "capture" the dissipating might as vis. Being a "metamagic" type character, he's good at things like counterspells, fast casting, and such, so this approach appealed to him, but he was ok with either.

Since we're all new to the system, each pc in the adventure had some spell level xp from apprenticeship unspent, so they could experiment with spont. spells while adventuring and cement them into formulaic spells as they became more familiar with the magic spells, retconning their character sheets as it were.

At that moment, he had a good story reason to want to be able to cast such a spell - his familiar

I've tentetatively ruled that:
a. This effect should require a ritual. But that's stupid, because rituals use vis, making the transaction nearly worthless, unless you've got a very low-level might-stipping spell and a very high-might creature. So I don't know what to do here.
b. Regardless of if I rule that it is formulaic or ritual magic, the spells would be at least one magnitude higher than the corresponding standard Perdo Vim might-stripping spell, as well as one magnitude higher for each prerequisite.
c. It would require a minor hermetic breakthrough.
d. Depending on how widespead the resulting spells became, and how they were used by both the creating magus and others, it could bring any number of story complications, including charges of molesting the fey/interfering with the divine/trafficking with demons/denying a magus of his magical powers.

In our saga, I thought that, despite his desire to be able to do it quickly, a ritual would be best. It helps prevents turning the world into his vis buffet if he first has to capture and hold the might/vis holding entity long enough to do a ritual. Another PC is an ex-misc hoplite with an infernal patron and goetic arts of summoning and commanding (yeah, yeah, I know) so having them work together on this helps draw the troupe into the hoplite's story arc (the player knows this is a character who may very well end up marched).

Thoughts? Am I being too harsh? Making it too easy?

Thanks for reading
PS - Yes I've read the threads about dislikes of might stripping perdo vim spells in general. Feel free to repeat those arguments here if you must but I'm not going to be convinced. It works for this saga, at least for now. Its what my player wanted. We're all still fighting the learning curve. When we later find the problems with it that you longtimers have, we'll start houseruling more or scrap parts entirely, but at present, since he thought Vim was interesting, we're running with it.

Keep in mind that Might stripping spells like DEO are considered some of the most problematic spells in the game, and that's with the Vis being destroyed. If the Vis is not destroyed, that removes a balancing factor. You might consider a halving, like the change from dispelling specific magic to magic in general, in addition to adding a magnitude and the requisite.


Yes, sorry, I'd written a longer post but lost part of it. The better draft of this post ended with something like...
PS - Yes I'm aware of threads discussing possible problems with and general dislike of might reducing spells. I can and will address problems if they develop later. This is my players first exposure to ArM5 (as well as my own), although we're all experienced gamers. At this stage, with my players just getting comfortable with the rules, if they find something that interests them, as Vim did this player and goetic arts did another, we're inclined to try it out before we decide we should change it or remove it from out game. My players fully understand that the saga we are running is a work-in-progress. The first two adventures I ran involved grogs and were beta testing. Now we're running the. TV pilot. Any number of changes may be made before the season begins in earnest, and further changes may be made and retconned later.

Yeah, I get the balancing problem (to the degree that someone who has barely played can).

The only thing I've shot down so far was the player who wanted to start as a full-fledged hyperborian. Simple grounds: starting characters shouldn't be able to break hermetic limits. 19-year duration is as good as permenant for most campaign lengths, and permenant creation without vis is game breaking. I still didn't shoot the player down completely, and instead told him I'd note that he'd like to see stories involving that theme that he could use to develop his character in that direction (knowledge of hyperborian magic) over time. He took a story flaw I can exploit later for this purpose.

In this case, it wasn't just his puppy-dog eyes that made me want to give in to munchkin fantasies. It started as a genuine question - is that possible? - in response to an in-story problem. He has a magical animal companion who is vis-dependent, and as an apprentice, he doesn't have any stocks. He had first done a lower level spell to beat penetration and strip off some might, but, if the core rules allowed it, he was hoping to finish off the now weakened spirit by extracting the lessened might as vis, which would have netted him two.

After looking at the rules, I decided it would probably require a hermetic breakthrough....

How about if it was a Rego Vim spell?

After the breakthrough (details to be determined after reading the shiny new hardbound copy of HoH:TL that I got today at my local shop) it would be something like:

Guideline: General. Reduce the target's might score by the level of the spell -15, if spell penetrates creature's resistance, up to the limit for vis gain. Held receptacle gains vis equal to might loss/5, up to the limits for the receptacle's shape and material bonuses.

(The guidelines for Perdo Vim are lvl+10. I wanted it to be 10 lower, and then -15 lower to counteract the requisites inflating the spell level.)

The vis transfer must be reinforced with laboratory activity (see ArM5 p94). If this is not done by the next Sunrise/set, the receptacle will begin to lose vis at a rate of 1 pawn/day until the transfer has been fixed in a laboratory or all the vis is gone. This will translate to 1 warping point/day for anyone carrying the receptacle or in close proximity to it.

An individual formulaic spell can affect creatures of one of the 4 realms. However, it will only affect creatures of that realm that fall under one of the requisites for the vis type created.

Spontaneous spells will affect any creature appropriate for the vis-type requisites.


  • a creo requisite (to enhance a physical object to store the creature/spirit's vis in)
  • a perdo requisite (to "strip" the might)
  • an animal, corpus, herbam, earth, air, fire, water, plant, or mentum requisite to affect appropriate creatures and produce that type of vis (to affect animals, human-like beings, elementals, magic plants and objects, spirits).

Finally the vis might be "tainted" by an infernal or faerie source, as appropriate.

Steal the Demon's Strength (ReVi General)
R: Voice D: Mom, T: Ind
Weakens and possibly destroys a demon that is in a humanoid physical form, while transferring the demon's vis into a receptacle held by the caster. If the spell penetrates the demon's magic resistance, the demon loses might score equal to the spell's level -15. The receptacle gains vis equal to the might loss/5. However, the transfer cannot move more might/vis than the receptacle's shape and material bonus.
(+2 voice, +1 creo, +1 perdo, +1 corpus)

PS - I'm hoping that the need for a hermetic breakthrough, the multiple requisites, the formulaic spells being limited to 1 of 4 realms + only certain kinds of creatures from that realm, limits due to available shapes and materials, the vis dissipating if its not transferred in the laboratory quickly, possible warping from that vis-venting, and possible tainting of the vis will all conspire to keep this idea from breaking my game.


IF this research is ever discovered by anyone, the magus is going to have some trouble...
Distilling vis from an infernal creature: is that dealing with devils? Distilling vis from a fairie: is that molesting them?

I would urge the player to go for a magic realm variant that bypasses some of these issues. Unless a player wants to play a character that is truly interested in putting his mortal soul at risk, I wouldn't even entertain infernally tainted vis.

I share some of Chris's concerns with this track, though. I'd rather have a magus who can inflict damage, with sufficient penetration be able to harvest the vis than the vim/perdo expert who can strip might away.

How about creating a spiritual weapon and drive it through the spirit like The Crystal Dart, but using Cr(Re)Vi? Spirits can take physical damage from other spiritual things. Once it's killed in that manner, harvest its Vis.


I'd really like to find a way to make this a ritual only spell, rather than a formulaic/spontaneous spell, but I can't see a way around the vis-cost of ritual magic cancelling out the gain.

Oh, yes, in fact the spirit he wanted to extract vis from might not have been infernal. I'm being coy to avoid spoiling Calebais, as I mentioned that this conversation started there.

In the discussion of this spell idea, before I said I need to go off and think about it, my players suggested this was "one for the forums." They're not heavy readers of the forums, but we agreed in our initial game discussion that this forum would be a good outside voice to help resolve thorny issues.

In our discussion, we also discussed implications of various uses of this spell type, up to and including being marched by the order.

Some people may not like might-stripping thematically. But my player did, and I don't have a problem with it - my players asked for and I promised a high fantasy game. Some people might think this extension of might-stripping might be unballancing. But as people have said elsewhere recently on the forums, ArM5 isn't really a game about whether or not you can overcome the opposition, its about how you do it and what the consequences of your actions are.

If my player wants to create a spell like this, and use in isolated places against ghosts and elementals, and even the occasional fey or demon, unless he's being scryed upon (and that quasitor better have an air-tight defense for scrying in the first place) then who is gonna find out, at least at first?

As rumors spread, and problems start, well, that's just more stories, right?

Interesting...will have to look into that.

This saga already has a pc magus with goetic arts summoning and commanding, + a demonic patron. The saga is set in a modified SE I documented elsewhere on the forums. Suffice to say, its set in the Pyranees, anti-catharism and reconquista are raging nearby, covenenant is hidden in regio but still barely staying out of things by avoiding taking sides with a "don't-ask-don't-tell" type approach to various heresies.

Thus the covenant has become a place of refuge for many fleeing persecution, rightly or wrongly. It is home not only to a secret house church of cathar heretics living alongside their Catholic brothers, but a Muslim-Iberian Hermetic Sahir, various barely-closeted pagans, a remarkably open-minded friar who believes that heresy can only be combatted with reason, not violence, Jews pursuing Kabala studies, and possibly even mystery cults with infernal roots.

How long this delicate house of cards can be maintained, and what sides everyone will take when/if it does fall will be part of the fun of this story.

I did mention to the player, although I figured it largely went without saying, that this would not be the sort of spell you'd submit to Durimar for peer-review.

Sure, infernal is obviously bad, but what about stripping the might of a magic ghost? By not allowing that soul to be laid to rest by completing its unfinished tasks, which would pass the soul to eternal reward or damnation, are you denying it that? Or does the soul go to purgatory in that case? (I'm honestly not sure. Still haven't bought RoP:tD, and just got RoP:F. Have RoP:I and RoP:M but still learning.)

The question isn't what happens with the ghost, the question is what happens with the player character when Azrael comes to smite him a one way trip to Purgatory. Remember, the Middle Ages paradigm is true - angels exist and are quite willing to take an active hand in the persecution of people tinkering with souls. In fact, anyone that is even nominally a Christian, Jew or Muslim would probably have to report it or get into trouble with Him as well. Unless you claim He cannot penetrate the Aegis, of course. It's High Fantasy after all.

Not this thread again!

Oh, and we even got the 'Magic Missile' popping up again.
Really callen, you're better than this.

I wouldn't allow it without a Hermetic Breakthrough. And even then it would more likely have a Muto instead of a Rego requisite, or be Muto Vim altogether.

I think you misunderstand, or maybe you think it should be Cr(Re)Me which would make sense with ghosts. The dart or blade would not hurt a person since it's purely spiritual. We're really talking about something very different than Magic Missile. Another option would be to take a non-spiritual thing like a sword or dagger and make its blade be able to interact with spirits using MuTe(Au) based on TMRE.


Maybe, not sure. I was trying to mae sure you'd elaborate on the effect.

Judging from how spirits tend to be handled, Mentem seems a far better choice.

Yes, but that needed pnning out, because we see the d*** MM suggested every few months, usually using CrVi.
And no, Vim is not your catch-all for "extra magical effect".

Much better to my mind, though I never could figure out why Auram was chosen.
MuTe(Me) and you'd be golden to my mind.

Yes, thank you, I know that angels exist (as well as saints and demons). In our short time in Mythic Europe, they've seen a powerful relic do its stuff, they've had st. Ubaldesca intervene to stop the pc's and a hospitaler from killing one another, and the summoner is walking around with two creatures that he thinks are "angels" serving him (character view) but are actually demons (player knowledge).

Yes, in addition to the posibility of being accused of a hermetic crime, as well as possibly angering demons, magic creatures, and/or fey, any of whom might come after the magus to teach him a lesson, God Himself and/or his agents may intervene at some point. This sounds like the basis of interesting stories to me, not a reason to shoot down a player's idea immediately.

I honestly don't understand why the consesus answer to most rules and/or setting-canon questions I ask on here is "YSMV, just do whatever makes your troupe happy," but when I propose using a basic rule from the core book, howls of game-breaking are raised. When I propose going beyond the core rules, everyone is mortified.

Yes, God is all powerful. He can smite a magus anytime he feels like it. Yet any number of npc pagans, infernalists, heretics, and so forth are in existance. Obviously God and his agents aren't active everywhere always. And don't forget, for different reasons depending on the theology, God isn't the only player on the celestial chessboard. If His agents take an interest in opposing/chastising a mortal, then so can Satan and his agents. They might punish this sort of thing, or even reward it for various reasons. And God/Satan don't have to send angels/demons, just because they exist in ME. They can work through human agents as well.

And in my saga/theology, God ISN'T that prone to sending agents to smite humanity. Why? The whole free-will business. Hence the debate about the "punishing angels of hell" that one PC is hanging out with. Punishing humans while they are alive, at least if it involves sending them to hell, denies them the free-will choice to repent and return to God's love and the reward of Heaven. So are these guys angels, as they claim, or devils?

Any, MY first question was, what happens to the ghost? Seems relevant to me. If stripping its might sends it to purgatory/heaven/hell, that's probably bad enough - it didn't get to properly complete the tasks that were holding it to this earth, which might have affected its fate. But if it drifts away to nothiness, that's even worse, a soul that never gets its eternal reward/punishment.

@Toa: How is this changing the essential vis, rather than controlling it?

If anything, this seems like a Re(Pe)Vi effect-- requiring penetration and a properly prepared receptacle. You're targeting the creature, breaking off part of its Might and transferring it to your containment.

I would say you have an arcane connection to that creature now, but he also has an arcane connection to the piece of his magic you've stolen. This could work both ways.


Thanks for addressing the central question of the OP - how to achieve this effect.

I was having trouble deciding on the spell's technique + form. I know I want there to be lots of requisites, to make it harder, but was unsure of those as well. So I went back to the basic descriptions of each. This effect seemed to involve:

  • Vim, obviously
  • Perdo, because it strips the entity's might
  • Creo, because it creates something (vis)
  • Rego, because magical energy is being moved from one vessel (the creature) to another (the receptacle)
  • some form to represent the thing that might is being stripped from

Why Muto?