What spells should every covenant have? (Arcane Connection)

HoH: S, pg 100

Another way would have been to just list all of them at 34, and list the next item at 40. That's how they do it in sport, apparently. If there's a tie for second, there's no third, it just goes first, tie for second, fourth.

This is brilliant work CJ. So much potential for a jumpstart kit for new players...

I should have noted no.40 was one of about 32 spells (I think) which received two votes. I gave it the number 40 slot because it was mentioned as an "eleventh choice" or alternative to Pilum of Fire by three more respondents, more than any of the other spells in that group.

I realise this and that's how we play it. However, not everyone does.
Thus it being conditional.

I did not know that. When David noticed Wards should penetrate, a couple of years after Ars 5th came out I think, I thought the ruling was yes all Wards must penetrate, but Aegis was an exception because of it's not Hermetic roots: making it in essence like Columbae wards. Can anyone recall where the original discussion and ruling was? I suspect it was on the Berklist, but I could be wrong, I usually am. And things may have changed in the last few years?

cj x

There's a clarification in the latest book (Antagonists?) - The ward aspect of the Aegis needs to penetrate, but the Aura aspect doesn't.

EDIT - there's a discussion of it on the last page of this thread: [url]https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/a-guide-to-aegis-of-the-hearth/6092/1]

Reminds me of a recommendation I got once while designing a superhero (for either GURPS or Champions, I think) - "Offense, Defense, Travel, Sense" - I'd add in "healing" to that, but that may fall under Defense.

Ah thanks! The last I recall seeing on it turned out to be David Chart on the Berklist on Thu Mar 16 16:45:37 2006: this is consistent with his thoughts there :slight_smile: Project Redcap seems to give the current ruling :slight_smile:

cj x

There is. This is explained in the core rules. Conjured horses excrete real dung. Conjured clouds precipitate real water.

I agree that this is not neccessarially so important. But not just because there are better options. Rather because any healing spell is only really relevant to a spring covenant that engages in lots of armed conflict. This is not an essential feature of all spring covenants, IMO. Although, I will admit that it is something that player character covenants tend towards --- but not necessarially. I also didn't think that healing spells were that essential for the covenant, because if you have individual magi really interested in combat, then they will have such spells themselves.

Similarly, talking to animals is very handy --- but if you have individual magi interested in doing that, then they'll have the capability themselves.

I disagree with you here. Wizard's Communion is great when casting for Penetration against undefined targets for whom you cannot collect Arcane Connections (i.e. Aegis and Wards generally). Also for casting against targets whom it is difficult to collect Arcane Connections for (demons, for example), or merely for casting against horrible things that arrive unexpectedly.

Wizard's Communion is also great when you are trying to cast something that is either high magnitude or requires Penetration when you are standing within a Divine Aura (which heavily penalises your Casting Total). Although perhaps the need to do that is not universal, and this problem can be alternatively solved (at a great cost in terms of time) by creating items, but Spring Covenants are usually short on time.

Essence of the beast may only be a moderately useful spell as written (so you can hunt magical creatures for vis and not have to carry the whole corpse with you), but every covenant will need a variation of it. A lot of vis comes in neatly concentrated packages, but a fair amount doesn't (well - in examples from Ars 5 supplements, scenarios from different editions, sample vis sites in fanzines). There are some vis sources which are diffuse - collecting the vis from a magical pool of water may require "Essence of the waters", or collecting vis from magic sounds one with an imaginem requisite. Some other vis sources may be more quickly collected if you have a spell to do it. Therefore, your covenant should have in its library the exact spells needed to collect its nearby vis sources efficiently.

Scales of vis and nature of vis - you can write them, or add the build points to the quality of you Intellego summa. If you really need them a lot, purchase lesser items (scales) that perform this function - I'm sure the vis trading network of redcaps must function using these things, and they must be readily for sale.

Attack spells - I put pilum of fire as a classic direct attack spell, AND pit of gaping earth as an indirect spell. The direct ones are great for automatically hitting and doing decent damage, but the indirect ones allow you to affect enemies with high magic resistance with a lucky finesse roll. This can offer a solution to otherwise impossible opponents for a spring covenant. You need both.

Piercing the faerie veil and variants - depends on how often regiones occur in your saga. If you're deliberately setting your covenant in or near a magic regio, you NEED Piercing the magical veil, and the faerie version is useful if you have more than one character with strong faerie hooks (what? You have a merinita, another magus with a faerie companion, someone with faerie upbringing and two companions with strong faerie blood? I'd prepare for faerie adventure!)

How much damage do you expect from Pit of Gaping Earth, because a quick read said "9' deep, +1 per 2' is +4 let's call it +5 damage... insignificant" and then went on to The Earth Split Asunder, currently at level 30 and so requires competence, but which is much nicer.

Pit of gaping earth is good when you combine it with a "fill the hole with earth" spell. Otherwise it is not that great to cause damage, even if it is enough to incapacitate a couple of fighters for a few rounds. The later is usually enough to break a charge (falling damage can be quite larger in that case, but requires careful aiming if you cast against horses) or disintegrate a formation.

If I had to have one combat spell, the pit would be my choice above POF. Given similar casting totals, that is. Let your crossbowmen shot the paradigmatic warriors in the barrel afterwards if you need it.

But a combat spell would not be my first choice for a spring covenant. better to grow nice and easy more than blunder your wannabe covenant through conflict.


POG + A rego auram to make it start raining. Perhaps a creo img to hide the pits?

It's +5 damage so that's what 5 plus a Stress Die? Does armour protection count against falling? If not you are guaranteed a medium wound on normal Size folks, and even if it does they are likely to be wounded.

cj x

Yup. 5 + stress die.
AFAIK There is no differentiation in Ars between modes of damage towards determining if you get armor protection or not. If it is a +X damage, your armolur counts against it unless you house rule it.

Still, ending in a 9 foot deep pit in full armor can make getting out quite difficult, specially if there are guys on top that try to prevent you coming out.


As this is non-combat damage it is soaked with a Soak stress roll. On average the stress dice even each other out so it's really the +5 that do e the damage. Minus any Stamina and Protection the victim may have.

Actually I think it's simple die? I mistyped that. I have not got my books here though. Still dangerous though :slight_smile:

cj x

Non combat damage, such as falling or damage from spells is Damage Bonus + Stress die, and the soak is the same, soak bonus + stress die. It's entirely consistent with the weapon damage system, too. Both situations have the possibility of unlimited damage, and both systems have the possibility that unlimited damage can be prevented. And it is also to botch on a stress damage roll, which means that the attack did 0 damage, merely a flesh wound, or something to that effect. :smiley:

Or that you break your neck in the 3 meter fall :mrgreen: