The Compendium of Magicks

In this section of the Grimoire are presented the magicks for the game. At the head of the description for each magick is the name encompassing its most general principle or function. Some have more than one. Following the name is the “Art”, denoting which of the five different Arts (Divination, Sorcery, Enchantment, Naming, Glamourie) may be used to cast the magick at hand. No other Arts but these may be used for that purpose. After the “Art” entry is the “Ruling Planet”. If the optional rules of Correspondences are in play, this helps the PC practitioner determine when the Correspondences are in alignment either in favor or against the casting of the magick in question, either helping or hindering the caster’s efforts. Following this is the “Sphere”, or Sphere of Power, to which the magick in question belongs. Only those belonging to the Common Sphere are included here.

Each single entry commonly (but not necessarily) encompasses one entire skill centering on one specific principle and some encompass a number of different manners or aspects in which it can be used or applied. In many cases each skill has a number of different ways in which it can be used. For the sake of clarity when used in play, each such specific aspect, use or application of the dweomer is provided with an additional name. These are verbal cues to help keep the GM and players on the same page, as it were, when the characters are using magick.

While some effort has been made to provide the magicks in the game with appealing names, it simply was not possible to do so for all, while for others a number of appealing names presented themselves, especially in regards to some of the specific aspects or applications of the magicks.

The players should understand that any given magick may not be known by the same name in all regions or among all groups of magick practitioners, and the GM is likely to make use of this fact. Indeed, the GM might add a little roleplaying to the whole process when some practitioner of magick is discussing the trade and its magicks with a colleague. The PC may well end up denying any knowledge of a given magick simply because it has become familiar to the NPC by another name entirely. The name of a magick may be attached to the name of the inventor, as in the case of “Caradoc’s Most Puissant Summoning for a Devastating Plague of Insects” (“Summoning”), sometimes shortened to “Caradoc’s Insect Plague”. This just as easily as “Guiborc’s Fortuitous Charm for the Making Whole of Items Broken” (“Charm of Mending”), or “Balustrix’s Inscrutable Mantle” (“Charm of Occlusion”), and so on. This gives the magicks more character and can make them much more fun. It also brings the history of the craft and the Ars Magica into play and adds the color of the famous practitioners who have gone before, commemorating their contributions. When a character wants to research new magicks or the craft of his trade in general, these high-profile icons of the Arts become signposts they can follow in their researches, and this can get the PC’s thinking in more general terms when seeking mentions of specific magicks – the reference might be the magick the character is looking for or one closely related … or it might be a new magick of the GM’s own crafting. This approach makes adding new magicks of the GM’s own design much easier and FUN, as well.

 

Conventions of

Magick Descriptions

Throughout the text of many of the magic’s are a number of common conventions created to make the writing and compiling of so many different effects simpler and shorter. The following passages take catch-phrases used in the text to express these concepts and explains them at length. If the reader comes across any such unexplained phrase referring to the manner in which a magick’s effect should be applied, but for which no explanation is provided, it is provided here.

 

Previous Personal Experience

Throughout the text of a great many of the magicks can be found a common requirement that the caster specifically have previous personal experience with the substance, object, creature or being on which the dweomer is to be cast or fixed, or similarly the location affected or the destination in regards to travel magicks, especially when they are not within RNG (sight). In these cases, the caster must have no less than 50 – [(AWA) + (trade SL)] day’s-worth of exposure/study with the particular site/object/substance.

In the case of living creatures and/or beings, the creature or being’s HRT score is substituted for the caster’s AWA in the above equation and the result read in weeks. In the case of beings and persons of human-level consciousness, their CHM score is substituted and the result read in months.

As long as the subject of a dweomer is known to the practitioner to the extent defined above, it matters not where the target lies, whether it be within RNG (sight) or not, so long as the cardinal compass point (N, E, S or W) that lies nearest the target’s location is known, then the practitioner can consign the dweomer to that ruling direction and let it loose. It will find its way along the Bond of Resonance built between them.

This restriction is also VERY important to Shadow Weaver characters and any other practitioners creating the Glamours of objects, substances, creatures or beings that lie outside the realm of the practitioner’s experience, according to the background provided for the character, whether by the player himself or default to the GM.

Some leniency for common objects, materials, creatures and races that commonly dwell in the social milieu and geographic region should be made by the GM, but otherwise the practitioner’s own experiences should be examined and evaluated closely by the GM in regards to the application of his magickal skills.

 

Bonus Increments

Any description in which some range of units or quantities is noted as increasing “per 2 SL’s” or “per 4 SL’s”, or the same in application to points of POT in a magick, the character will receive benefit of every two or four SL’s he has earned, or fraction that he is currently earning. In this way the character is granted whatever the base allotment is for the units or increments in question adding one (1) from SL’s 1 to 2 or 1 to 4, adding another from SL’s 3 to 4 or 5 to 8, and so on.

This works in the same way as described for trade abilities and skills.

 

Levels of Achievement (LoA’s)

In the text of many of the charm descriptions the widening of the scope of the caster’s capabilities with them as he improves in SL, and more specifically in his LoA. In a similar manner to the mundane trade abilities/skills with which a character can earn the right to learn a new aspect or application, BUT in many cases the new aspect simply expresses the fruit of the character’s own work with that skill by the widening of the scope of the charm’s effect, the direct result of the growth in his own knowledge and experience with it. In these cases, no additional schooling is required before the character may exercise the new aspect(s) of the charm’s scope once he has achieved the SL required to reach the LoA it represents (unless it is specifically stated otherwise).

The reader must be alert to the difference and be looking for it.

In these cases the new/wider abilities if the LoA in question, the character’s effective SL ALSO drops to 1 again, tracking with increases in SL normally from there.

In some cases, a character may earn a chance to research and learn a related but somewhat different adaptation of a skill, which may cross the lines of the Forms or even provide a bridge to a greater Sphere of Power. The opportunities noted for the LoA’s in the charm descriptions actually mark points of departure and the effective establishment of new skills or skill groups in regards to effective SL. With the new aspects opened to his use, the practitioner starts at SL1 all over again. His SL with that skill or group of skills may then be handled one of two ways (GM’s discretion), either the new aspect is cultivated anew, like any other, through practice/use, accumulation of SP’s and assignment of SL’s, or it then grows parallel to the charm from which it is derived, so its SL is always equal to [(SL) – (SL required to reach LoA in question)]. In the first case the character is free to cultivate different branches of a charm tree as desired, those that he neglects remaining low and those concentrated on possibly outgrowing the base from which it is derived, but the second method is far less trouble and easier to maintain in recordkeeping.

Augmenting Size vs.

Conjuration by Augmentation

Augmenting Size is NOT the same as a Conjuration by Augmentation.

Increasing the Size of a piece of cloth by 16 times (POT 2, squared) does indeed make it 16 times larger, BUT it also makes the weave 16 times coarser. Suddenly, the silky-fine cloth of 70 threads to the inch is only 4 very thick threads to the inch!

Conjuration by Augmentation maintains the original status of the material itself in its original form, 70 threads to the inch in this case, and simply generates more of the same. Augmenting Size does just that and only that – it makes the object, and every constituent piece of it, bigger.

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Progressive Hexes

A Progressive Hex is a manner is which a magick may be cast upon attaining a certain degree of skill. It makes of the magick a recurring curse whose effects build up over time until it reaches the total POT at which it was cast, BUT continuing to afflict the victim at that maximum POT repeatedly, with no ultimate limit until the caster releases the charm.

Most uses of this charm make nuisance dweomers such as those that make hair and nails grow into serious hindrances, or potentially dangerous or even deadly. The “Flux” aspect of the “Command the Body” charm can eventually dehydrate a victim to death, “Bloat” can be similarly progressive until the victim is swallowed by it and suffocates, a “Fat the Boar” charm used in this manner adds to the victim’s bodyweight until it crushes/suffocates the victim, thinner deducts from STR and CND until the victim can no longer even stand under his own power, until he eventually withers and dies, as “Sands of Time”, “Frozen Doom”, “Petrifaction”, “Withering” and a number of other charms may be made to “creep” upon the victim unto the point of death.

The effect of the dweomer wrought as a Progressive Hex starts upon the victim at a POT of 1, and the second time the effect increases to a POT of 2, the third increasing to POT3, and so on and so forth until it achieves the full POT at which it was cast. The DUR of this kind of charm must always be maintained at the caster’s pleasure, and as such must be used in conjunction with the optional DUR rules, until the victim’s death or the caster relinquishes the charm.

The amount of time elapsing between the occasions on which the Hex recurs may be chosen from the units appearing on the DUR table in the same manner that the units of DUR may be chosen for any dweomer whose DUR is tied off (up to that noted for the POT at which the Hex is cast), but only one (1) of the chosen unit, not in multiples as would normally be the case for a common charm.

Those magicks that can be rendered in this form are clearly marked as such in their descriptions.

 

Materials Affected

In a number of charms the materials the dweomer may affect is a function more of skill than of the POT drawn, generally true of charms that Shape or Mend, or conjure substances from thin air, and certain types of Enchantments. While the POT of the dweomer has a definite role to play, as it must, POT in these cases cannot take the caster all that far. Here, the caster’s skill is deemed to play an even greater role, gradually allowing him to extend the reach of his charms to ever tougher materials.

 

SL Materials Affected
1-7 vegetation/green plants and herbage, whether rooted, green and living or dead and dried, including reeds and withies; any and all organic fibers such as linen and/or jute, hemp, cotton, silk, and textiles or clothing made of them, and/or household items and gear made of such materials; all equivalent soft materials (GM’s discretion)
8-15 calcite, limestone, gypsum, chalk, shale, alabaster, serpentine (most common marbles), rock salt, amber, galena (silver-bearing lead ore), talc, soapstone, dolomite, Douglas fir, yellow pine, cherry, black walnut, California redwood, etc.
16-24 common glass, obsidian, opal, sandstone, ceramics/earthenware, faience (manufactured fused decorative “stone”, used much for making jewelry and for setting in jewelry as decorative “jewels”), etc., birch, beech, ash (rowan), oak, maple, bamboo
25-30 porcelain (high-fire ceramics), flint, gneiss (granite), quartz, hematite, agate, garnet, feldspar, pumice, tropical (Brazilian) walnut, tropical (Brazilian) cherry, tropical (Brazilian)  teak, tropical (Brazilian) mahogany (rosewood)
31-39 softer metals such as lead, tin, low or dark pewter, copper, brass, silver and gold
40+ harder metals such as “high”, “fine” or white pewter, bronze, iron (cast OR wrought) and steel (any), sapphire, diamond

 

The effective SL for reading the Materials Affected is equal to the caster’s specific SL with the charm governed by the table, PLUS a bonus based on the POT of the dweomer.

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Progressive Bases & Bonus’

Any time a bonus or modifier is labeled “Progressive” it indicates a compounding number, adding the number of the bonus to those before; i.e., 1 for the first, 3 for the second (1 + 2), 6 for the third (1 + 2 + 3), 10 for the fourth ((1 + 2 + 3 + 4), and so on. This is used extensively in building Correspondences, and also in determining DV’s.

 

Proportional Damage

The use of the phrase “applied proportionately” is used occasionally in reference to damage being inflicted by various magicks, or to which “the rules of proportional damage” apply. This is commonly applied only to those dweomers which strike or affect several BP areas all at once (and only where those rules are in play, of course), particularly by means of some sort of physical force (impact, concussive), as opposed to most Common Sphere magicks which generally strike only a single BP area at a time.

In effect, this rule calls for the dividing down of the amount of damage inflicted in play into 1/4 values and applying them to the target or victim’s body by matching fractions according to the portion of BP’s allotted to each. Thus, 1/4th portion BP areas suffer only 1/4 damage, 1/2 portion BP areas suffer 1/2 damage, 3/4th’s portion BP areas only suffer 3/4th’s damage, and full damage is only suffered by the Torso BP area.

This practice is followed due to the fact that some sorts of damage inflicted over wide areas of the body (multiple BP areas) or over the entire body all at once can only be absorbed in proportion to surface areas of the regions affected relative to one another (relating directly to BP divisions).

Damage from heat or cold, acid, or the burning aspect of an electrical charge is NEVER delivered “proportionately”, while physical concussion damage generally always is.

 

Radiant Heat and Frostbite Damage

When any magick that carries with it elemental heat or frostbite sufficient to inflict wounds, especially when it is described as being radiant, that power is considered potent enough to inflict a wound of (magickal damage ÷ 10) in POT on all those located within that POT in feet from the path between the caster and the target or point at which the charm is to manifest (the center of its AoE).

In most cases it is not going to be sufficient to exceed the wound thresholds of those it passes to actually inflict a wound, BUT it is certainly enough to knock the DR of any armor down. Those directly along the path of the charm (without being IN the path, for then they become the target, having interposed themselves), are subject to the full (magickal damage ÷ 10) in POT. For every foot by which they are removed from the charm’s path that drops by one (1) point.

 

Fine-Tuning the Magick

Throughout the text of the magick descriptions, references made to tuning the response of a magick to specific or particular individual or type of target is mentioned.

It is expected that each casting of any dweomer that can be tuned in this way be made to the needs of the moment, to respond to the approach or entry into the AoE of a single general type of creature, being, thing or force deemed undesirable for the moment. This class of magicks are intended to be varied at need from one casting to the next to defend the AoE against the approach of members of specific races, or sexes, or members of specific trades (such as any Assassins, Knaves or Rogues, or Tinkers, Chapmen, Players, beggars or other itinerant wanderers), or any combination of these factors, i.e., so that a magick could be tuned to only respond to dunlas Courtesans with green eyes in the service of the Queen, or to Tinkers and Smiths of the blood of William Smith of Tewkesbury that are born in the shire of Alfshaime, or to those who are descended from the blood of princes who have reached 7 years of age or more.

In the same vein, these magicks can be tuned to respond to specific species of beast in particular (horse, hawk, hound, rat, cat, crow, etc., including lycanthropes that change into a beast the Circle is tuned to, but only for so long as they maintain that beast shape, being expelled once they turn to the beast shape, however), undead, færie folk, living plants, or the like or up to (POT) individual beasts (whether they bear a given name or not), those of a particular family or bloodline, those who wear a particular badge or crest, or specific individuals within RNG (sight), or with which the caster is familiar through previous personal experience, or of whom he possesses some means of transcending that limitation (lock of hair, personal belonging, or other bond of Resonance).

At the practitioner’s discretion, the magick may be tuned to respond only to intent, protecting those in the AoE or specifically those bound into the charm when it is specifically described as a Circle in its title, reacting only to those creatures and/or beings that brear hatred or malice towards them, or carry a specific intent to harm.

Each such level of criteria stipulated in who is to be screened out raises the casting DV in a Progressive manner, per level of criteria added.

Other ruling planets may apply to the casting of this magick according to the nature of that against which the Circle is protecting, i.e., Mercury and Moon when tuned to beasts; the Sun when tuned to all living things; Mercury when tuned to neighbors, siblings, and/or cousins, or Scholars in general; Venus when tuned to those of any of the Social Trades, especially Players and Courtiers or Rogues, or members of any and all Artisan trades; Mars when tuned to any of the Warrior trades or Surgeons; Jupiter when tuned to members of the Clergy class and/or Scholar-Lawyers; Saturn when tuned to members of the government, those serving the cause of government, and/or all authorities including the entire class of landed nobility; Uranus and Neptune when tuned to magick, Wizards or Mystics, with Neptune especially in regards to Glamourie and Mercury in regards to Divination; Pluto in regards to all minerals and substances from beneath the surface of the earth and members of the trade of miners, or un-dead; Pluto and Moon in regards to lycanthropes, and so on.

 

Druid/Witch Charms

Those charms that act upon, rely upon or make use of plantlife may only be cast in a natural setting, BUT may also be called forth from bare earth, but only from soil that would normally support some sort of (plant) life. The POT of any blight or curse on that soil is subtracted from the POT of any such dweomer cast upon it, effectively opposing it, reducing the effective POT of any Anchor it is able to manifest, if at all. The charm must be able to tie the target or recipient to the earth itself, not from any solid surface, such as dressed stone or an interior level of a building. The only exception to this occurs in cases where the earth lies directly beneath the cut stone, as with bricked or cobblestoned garden paths and city or town roads and the like, and poorer common cots and hovels where the floor is in fact nothing more than rammed earth.