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Mark Hall
2010-11-30, 01:07 AM
I've never heard of Ars Magica, but it sounds like words and phrases can be swapped around easily to create fun new spells.

"Ball of abysmal flame"?
I'm making several assumptions, like that the system has certain words, and that "abysmal" and "flame" are seperated (as adjectives), but what would happen if you swapped:
"Abysmal" for "radiant", or "torrential"
"Flame" for "ice" or "Electricity"
"ball" for "beam" or "aura"

JFF, give me a mechanical summary of each of the 27 possible combinations of the above, if they would work at all. :smallamused:

You are completely wrong. :smallbiggrin:

I'm home now, so I've got some more references to play with.

"Ball of Abyssmal Flame" is a Creo ("I create") Ignem ("Fire") spell of level 35. You could call it Ball of Cheery Flame Pookies and, if designed the way it is, it will do what it does... the name is description, and "Abyssmal" is the word chosen by whichever magus made it in the last 500 years or so (the Order of Hermes having been founded in the 8th century, and "current year" being in the 13th).

Ars Magica uses, for its core magic system, a Verb Noun system, with five verbs and ten nouns. The verbs are Creo (I create; also includes repairing), Intellego (I perceive), Muto (I transform), Perdo (I destroy) and Rego (I control). The nouns are Animal (animals and animal parts), Aquam (water), Auram (air), Corpus (human bodies and things shaped like them), Herbam (plants), Ignem (fire, light, heat and cold), Imaginem (images; illusions and invisibility), Mentem (mind), Terram (earth, metals and, to a lesser extent, all solids) and Vim (power; metamagic, effecting demons).

Healing, for example, is Creo Corpus is used to heal people. Creo Imaginem will create sensory impressions. Rego Mentem can control people's minds.

Now, if you wanted to create a snow and ice storm (your Ice effect), you'd probably use Creo Auram (since snow comes from the air), though you might use Rego Aquam (with a Muto and Terram requisite) to turn a nearby body of water into shards of thrown ice... though, at that point, you could just go with Rego Terram (with a Muto requisite) to turn a chunk of ground into shards of razor-sharp earth that explode upward. For lightning, you're looking at Creo Auram again, but without requisites.

Gavinfoxx
2010-11-30, 01:11 AM
Do we want to put other Ars-inspired verb/noun systems in this thread? GURPS Magic and World Tree? Consolidate that stuff in one thread? I might be able to get you 'how to do those spells in world tree', and what it does that way...

I don't know if we have any GURPS Magic experts here...

Lessee... some World Tree spells...

Your basic fire bolt type spell are "Fire Dart" and "Fire Flower", both Creoc (create) Pyrador (fire), of complexity 5 (spells use complexity units of 5, 10, 15, etc. in this system). Fire Dart shoots a blast from a finger, and has longer range, but it might miss, and fire flower makes fire blossom around the target. Both have several ways of protecting against them and being ignored

FYI, the most complex fire spell written in this system is called "Grand Inferno", which is Creoc Pyrador 60, which basically says, "Everything within [the amount of power you put into the spell] yards of the caster burns, at the level of [the amount of power the caster puts into the spell]. It's also interesting that this spell doesn't actually protect the caster from the inferno automatically..

hewhosaysfish
2010-11-30, 08:56 AM
Now, if you wanted to create a snow and ice storm (your Ice effect), you'd probably use Creo Auram (since snow comes from the air), though you might use Rego Aquam (with a Muto and Terram requisite) to turn a nearby body of water into shards of thrown ice... though, at that point, you could just go with Rego Terram (with a Muto requisite) to turn a chunk of ground into shards of razor-sharp earth that explode upward. For lightning, you're looking at Creo Auram again, but without requisites.

I thought cold spells were Perdo Ignem? Or use Rego Ignem to move heat from one guy to another, freezing one and setting the other on fire...

Sir Swindle89
2010-11-30, 09:16 AM
Making things cold is Perdo Ignam
Making snow (the weather affect) is Creo Auram (or Rego or Muto)
Making ice is Creo Aquam

flabort
2010-11-30, 12:09 PM
So, in that case, what is Rego Corpus capable of?

hangedman1984
2010-11-30, 12:21 PM
So, in that case, what is Rego Corpus capable of?

ZOMBIES!!!

Sir Swindle89
2010-11-30, 12:23 PM
So, in that case, what is Rego Corpus capable of?

making zombies
regrowing limbs maby? healing is always called Creo but healing is a natural process so Rego SHOULD be able to do it

Teleport
Fly
stop hitting yourself, stop hitting your self,...

Mark Hall
2010-11-30, 12:45 PM
So, in that case, what is Rego Corpus capable of?

Zombies, as mentioned (in that you are controlling dead flesh), but also things like flight or making someone lose control. Picking a body up in the air is Rego Corpus... since it's based on medieval physics, there's no gravity to overcome, you're just lifting a body. I believe there is also some short-range teleportation in there, but I'm gonna claim a serf's parma on that one.

(Serf's Parma: I am at work and away from my books)

Sir Swindle89
2010-11-30, 12:49 PM
I believe there is also some short-range teleportation in there, but I'm gonna claim a serf's parma on that one.

(Serf's Parma: I am at work and away from my books)

Even sight range and Arcane connection range teleports are ReCo.

P.S. I had the forethought to put the book on my flash drive befor i came to work. :smallbiggrin:

Grelna the Blue
2010-11-30, 12:58 PM
Incredibly fun game--my favorite system, actually--but it's important to note that there is more to the magic system than combining verbs and nouns. Every mage in the Order of Hermes has some skill in every Form (the nouns) and Technique (the verbs) and works unceasingly to try to improve that skill. Easy spells require little skill, hard spells require significantly more. The thing is, just because a mage is the world's best at Creo Ignem, capable of creating firestorms that engulf a city, that doesn't mean he or she automatically knows squat about anything that doesn't relate to fire/light/heat or creation. Because such a mage would be good at the Technique of Creo, he or she would probably be capable of less impressive feats of creation with Forms other than Ignem, but wouldn't be especially noteworthy without putting in the effort to master them as well. And if that mage had not put effort into mastering Intellego, Rego, Muto, and Perdo, then creation is all that mage would be good at, aside from effects that related specifically to the form of Ignem.

Severus
2010-11-30, 06:23 PM
I love Ars Magica. It is one of the most well considered magic systems I've ever seen. We ripped it out, and grafted it onto Conan d20 for some serious good times.

Mark Hall
2010-11-30, 06:26 PM
I love Ars Magica, but I could never run it; my history nerd stuff would make me too unwilling to fiddle with things. I can play, but not run.

Tyrrell
2010-11-30, 07:07 PM
Like Grenla, I think that one thing that Ars Magica does well, in fact better than any other game that I've seen, is give characters differing cool abilities. In Grenla's example he (she?) mentioned a character who is good at both creo and ignem. Choosing to throw lots of your time into a technique and a form is a classic way to make a character a master of something but it really doesn't even scratch the surface of Ars's ability to give characters really personalized abilities (heck there are only 50 technique/form combos).

Spell selection is something that Ars does incredibly well. It is a more personalizing choice in Ars than in other game that I've seen because the spells that you create are specifically yours , they relate to your character's abilities to make them, they bear your sigil and they're probably based on a problem that your character invented the spell to solve. I'm hard pressed to think of another game that does this. Many games have a selection of spells for you to choose from, many games have free form spell invention by the players on the fly (ars has this too). But only ars (that I know of) has spells created by the character that are important game world and game mechanics entities. Your character has a limited number of spells that he or she knows, he or she has laboratory texts in his bedroom detailing their development they are concrete entities in both the game world and the game mechanics, but it's not a "choose from a list" system.

Characters develop their magic in many different ways:

they develop by raising their arts (getting magical horsepower),
they improve by learning skills associated with magic (Magic theory to more easily develop new spells and enchant items, magical defense, control over the spells that they cast, ability to circumvent magical protections, ability to concentrate
they improve by learning new spells and enchanting new devices
They improve by mastering the spells that they already know (so they can cast them silently or cast three spells at the same time or better defend against spells similar to the spell they've mastered or better penetrate magic resistance with the spell they've mastered)
They improve by undergoing imitation into secret mysteries altering or widening the ways that they can perform magic


So even characters that focus on creo (creating/perfecting) and ignem (light and heat) have very different abilities from one another.

One might be heavily focused in arts and be able to cast exceptionally powerful spells and spontaneously create some formidable magic
Another might have a huge selection of spells to draw upon
A third might be the master of two or three spells able to do tricks with them that no other magician can
A fourth might have initiated into the secrets of (say) Astrological magic (just one of many many choices) and be able to not only craft enchanted devices that are beyond his power by the utilization of planetary influences but also cast spells with durations determined by astrological events and create horoscopes that show him where and when planetary influences can assist the casting of his spells

And these are all creo ignem mages in fact all "hermetic" creo ignem mages (there are other magic systems in the game)

But that's not much more than half, all characters posses a number of virtues and flaws some of which affect their magic. There are probably dozens that are appropriate for a creo ignem specialist (vis source, affinity with ignem, puissant ignem, minor magical potency:huge fires, deleterious circumstances: when in darkness, etc.) One particular virtue: magical focus is exceptionally important here. The system by nature only splits things up into fifty technique-form categories magical focus allows you to take a theme and run with it for your whole character concept in a mechanically advantageous way. If you want your creo ignem mage to be the magus of candles or bright lights or smoke or shadows or unnatural fires -you can focus on the specific aspect that you want and it is a mechanically advantageous decision based on your character's aptitude rather than just a bit of role playing fluff.

Mark Hall
2010-12-01, 12:11 AM
Having decided to abandon Fantasy Craft, I think I'm gonna lie down with the Ars Magica 5 core book. Haven't looked at it in years.

Tyrrell
2010-12-01, 11:41 AM
I love Ars Magica, but I could never run it; my history nerd stuff would make me too unwilling to fiddle with things. I can play, but not run.

Play it in a mildly different setting perhaps something Harn inspired. Any setting that you can fit the four realms into will work without any significant retooling of the system.