Ars Magica - interview @ RPGCodex
RPGCodex has teamed up with Josh Sawyer to put together some questions they could ask the Ars Magica devs about their Kickstarter game.
Handling spontaneous magic is going to be very difficult for them as the spells can do literally anything. That is one of the really fun things when playing the PnP game.
Yep. From what I've read, they're planning to implement what are available in the published works. True spontaneity probably won't be possible any time soon, but I could see them eventually implementing a more limited form of spell variation. I.e. something resembling the Champions' powers system.
BTW, for those who aren't familiar with Ars Magica magic works like this:
There are 5 "verb" magic skills and 10 "noun" skills. Latin is used for the names. You combine a verb and noun skill to cast a spell.
Creo is the technique that lets the Magus create from nothingness, or make something a more "perfect" examplar of its kind; this includes healing as healed bodies are "more perfect" than wounded bodies.
Intellego lets the Magus perceive or understand.
Muto lets the Magus change the basic characteristics of something, giving something capabilities or properties not naturally associated with its kind.
Perdo lets the Magus destroy, deteriorate, make something age and other similar effects - essentially, making something a worse example of its kind.
Rego lets the Magus control or manipulate something without affecting its basic characteristics.
Animal is used for animals. Since bacteria were unknown in medieval times, illnesses are evil spirits, which come under Vim.
Auram is used for anything that has to do with the air, including lightning. Weather phenomena such as rain and hail may be covered by Auram or Aquam.
Aquam is used for water, or any other liquid. This includes ice in the 5th edition; In 4th edition, Ice was Terram, since it is a solid.
Corpus (the incorrect declension Corporem was used in older editions) is used for the human body.
Herbam is used for plants and fungi, and their products - cotton, wood, flour, etc.
Ignem is used for fire, and fire's basic effects of light and heat.
Imaginem deals with images, sounds, and other senses, though humans' ability to perceive them is part of Mentem.
Mentem deals with intelligence and the mind, such as human or ghosts. The minds of animals are not affected by Mentem but by Animal.
Terram stands for earth and minerals, or any other non-living solid.
Vim has to do with pure magic; many spells to ban or control demons and other supernatural beings also belong to this Art, as such beings often have a form that expresses magically.
So a "fireball" spell would be a powerful Creo Ignem (create fire). But Creo Ignem could also be used to light a campfire, create a light, dry out wet clothing, incinerate an entire forest, or anything else involving the creation of heat/fire/light.
One of the really fun things is that you can think of lots of way to do something. So using the "dry out some clothing" example above I could use Creo Ignem to warm it and thus dry it, Perdo Aquam to destroy the water in it, Rego Aquam to remove the water from it, Creo Aurum to create a breeze to dry it, and so on.
There are lists of fixed spells that you can learn in addition to the spontaeous magic. The fixed spells are easier to cast and more effective but of course far less flexible.
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