Spell creation in Ars Magica is both very simple, and at the same time, very complex. What it allows you to do is take up to 5 different spells in the game and combine the effects into something new! All in-game, no GUI required. Just interact with the world. But it's not just about combining spell effects. You can add modifiers to the spells too, for example, if something is normally self cast, you could modify it to be a projectile spell that you can cast on others! Or take a block target spell and make it a beam spell! Anything is possible.
Ultimate power can be yours if you are willing to take the risks!
In order to create a spell, you are going to need, as a minimum, 6 things:
- 1 x Pure Vinteum Crystal
- 1 x Crystal Stand
- 1 x Spell Parchment
- 2 x Spell
- 1 x Pure Essence
To start, place the Crystal Stand on the ground where you wish your magical laboratory to start. Place the Pure Vinteum Crystal on top of the stand.
To start the creation process, simply hold the Spell Parchment in your hand and right click the crystal. You'll know if it starts! From there, casting spells on Normal Casting Mode while standing inside the vortex will cause the spell to be added to the output spell (There is a bug: if you can't add Channeled Spell, try to target it on Crystal Stand). Be careful though! Each effect you add will cause the instability of the vortex to spike, making it more likely that a bad thing will happen.
When you can't stand the suspense anymore or you have added all you need to, toss a Pure Essence on the ground inside of the spell vortex. The particles will converge on the floating spell parchment above the crystal, infusing it with the power of the spells you added! Unless specified (See Modifying Effects - Diminished), the spell's type will be inferred as best as possible from the other spells added.
With great power comes great particle effects. And risk. And something about responsibility, I don't know, I wasn't really listening.
Spell creation comes with inherent risks. The vortex has an instability level that you will need to manage or bad things will happen.
Each effect added will immediately increase instability by 25. Each half second, the instability of the vortex goes up by 1 * number_of_current_effects. So as you can see, achieving 5 effects is rather difficult.
Instability can range from 0 - 100. If your instability ever reaches 100, a guaranteed instability effect will happen. During spell creation, every 1.5 seconds, a random number is generated between 1 and 300. if that number is less than the current instability, an instability effect will happen. The severity of the random instability effect is determined by the current instability of the crystal.
The formula is: ordinal = Math.ceiling(instability / 30)
What this means is that random instability effects can never be higher than SEVERE.
Instability | Max Severity
- 0-29 | MINOR
- 30-59 | MODERATE
- 60-89 | MAJOR
- 90+ | SEVERE
Instability Effects include:
- Complete Mana Drain (MINOR)
- Toss (random velocity add) (MINOR)
- Lose one magic level (MODERATE)
- Lose one random known spell (MODERATE)
- Random Teleportation (MAJOR)
- Essence Drain from nearby blocks (MAJOR)
- Explosion (SEVERE)
- Lose one or more random known spells (possible max of 25, could be higher) (FATAL)
- lose multiple magic levels (min 0 - max 10) (FATAL)
- Nether Teleport (FATAL)
Each effect (save for mana level loss) can be prepared for and countered. Each instability effect has a chance to "fizzle" as well (default 10%), which is increased by nearby lab apparatus.
There is no way to read the numeric value of the instability, but it can be roughly guessed by the speed that the vortex spins around the crystal. Faster is more unstable.
A FATAL effect is only applied if you attempt to combine opposing affinities. It's not guaranteed, but it is a very high chance (base 90%). If the effect is avoided and creation continues, the instability will jump by an additional 40. This chance and jump can be reduced by labaratory apparatus. However, I plan to add some significant rewards, if you pull it off.
Instability can be lowered on the vortex by channeling the spell Stabilize Vortex. You need to be within 3 blocks of the crystal and looking directly at it for it to work. Casting mode matters. Higher casting mode reduces instability faster but costs more mana to maintain. Caster blocks cannot cast Stabilize Vortex.
Augmented can stabilize out about 2 effects. What this means is you will need multiple people to make more powerful spells (as the stabilization effects stack).
Spell creation can be aborted by right clicking the crystal with a non-spell or spell-parchment in your hand. You will lose anything you have put into the vortex (mana, reagents, etc).
Instability starts at 0 whenever you begin crafting a new spell and will not increase until you add your first effect.
Instability is gained more slowly when lab apparatus is present.
Archive Bookshelves and Magic Mirrors can be placed within 10 blocks in any direction of the crystal and are part of the Wizard's Lab Apparatus system. Wizard's apparatus is only good for the first block placed in the radius, meaning that there is no point to having more than one Magic Mirror for example (other than decoration).
Archive bookshelves are an exception. You can craft the book shelves, but initially they won't do anything. However, in your travels you will find Journal Fragments in the AM structures, which can be placed in bookshelves (by right clicking the shelf with the book). Once a book is placed in an Archive Bookshelf, only additional volumes of that journal can go in that shelf (meaning you cannot mix and match). Only when you have the complete set will they add the bonus to the nearby crystal. Also, the journal fragments tell stories of ancient mages and their experiments with spell creation, and will also give hints about some of the tricks of spell creation...so there is a point to reading through them.
Modifying Effects - Diminished Casting
Casting a Diminished spell inside the spell vortex will force the output spell's type to the same as the spell you cast. What that means is that if you cast a Diminished Arcane Bolt into a spell vortex, it will in most cases force the created spell to a projectile spell, as that is what type of spell Arcane Bolt is.
The spell types are:
- Ranged Offensive (Projectile)
- Ranged Buff (Projectile)
- Self Buff
- Block Target
- Offensive Beam
- Defensive Beam
Modifying Effects - Augmented Casting
Casting a spell in Augmented will generally give a boost to the created spell's effects. For example, an augmented Arcane Bolt will give a damage boost to the output spell overall, as Arcane Bolt is a damaging spell. On the same general line, augmented Heal Self will give a healing boost (or a damage boost to the undead!).
The types of boosts that can be gained are:
- Damage (From damaging spells)
- Healing (From healing spells)
- Projectile Speed (From speed altering spells - note that this can increase and decrease projectile speed!)
- Beam Range (From beam spells)
I will be adding more boosts in the future, such as increased radius of effects and increased buff duration.
Beams and/or Bound effects will force the type of the created spell to a Beam or Binding spell (respectively) regardless of diminished effects. For a beam spell, all applied effects will be forced into Diminished casting mode, with the exception of other beam spells.
For a binding spell, effects will be applied when the bound weapon or tool is used. The events that trigger the spell cast are as follows:
- Bound Sword -> Hit an enemy
- Bound Axe/Pickaxe/Shovel - Break a Block
- Bound Hoe - Till the ground
It is not recommended to try to mix binding and beam spells.
The mana cost of a created spell is calculated based on the effects that are added to it.
If an added spell would require a reagent under the conditions the custom spell is being cast, then the custom spell will require it too. Custom spells are not a way around reagents.
Spell Staves, Casters and Spell Books
Custom spells can be added to a Spell Staff and Spell Book or cast from a Caster Block like most other spells.
Certain spells cannot be combined, such as a Channeled Spell with any other type of spell, or a Summon spell with another type of Summon spell. You have been warned.