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I'm playing a wizard in an ArM5 campaign who focuses on Muto Corpus; his magic mostly involves changing bits of his body - changing arms into bear arms for fighting, legs into gazelle-legs for running, etc. It's fun.

I was thinking of using magic to grow two extra arms temporarily. It's a cool effect and would fit the character's ever-growing fascination with the bizarre and extremely magical. However, I couldn't decide on the power level for such an effect, and couldn't find anything appropriate in the guidelines.

  • First of all - would this be MuCo, or would CrCo be involved, since we're adding new elements? I feel it's more Muto.
  • What level of effect? The guidelines talk about adding or subtracting attribute scores, but this isn't listed. Also, it's not like changing arms to a bear's, since it's a much more unnatural change - unless I go for an Arms of the Spider kind of effect, which is a) less effective for using weapons, and b) icky.
  • What would this allow me to do, mechanically? Attack twice? Both attack and defend? Cast spells with more gestures?
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up vote 6 down vote accepted

MuCo is absolutely the right Art. MoH has a Base 5 guideline the does exactly what you request.

To find the base, we'll start with the core book to see if there are any appropriate bases listed. There are not, though this is in many ways analogous to "Base 10: Turn a Human into a Land animal."

To continue our practical search (we'll get to theoretical in a moment) we can look at our spell guidelines as compiled from all the other books here.

And we get:

Level 5: • Add or remove human body parts from the target in such a way that he no longer looks human. These parts are normally functional, although a spell may be deliberately designed so that they are not. The Target is Part, not Individual (although Groups and higher Targets work as normal). [MoH p.49]

Therefore, the spell:

Extra Arms of the Willing Turb (MuCo L30)

R: Touch, D: Sun, T: Group

Adds a pair of lower arms to every member of the turb, such that they can hold both a shield an a two-handed sword. This spell does not grant proficiency in such an unusual fighting technique, but the arms have all appropriate musculature and humors to support the Grogs Fighting.

(Base 5, +1 Touch, +2 Sun, +2 Group)

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I switched my Accepted answer to you. Sorry, @Sardathrion. :) Dropping this from Touch to Personal and from Group to Part drops this down to 20, which is more than doable for me. Excellent! Also, extra thanks for the Supplementary Spell Guidelines, which will make life a whole lot easier than going through all the books we have. – lisardggY Apr 27 '12 at 14:35
Glad to be of service to a fellow ars player. I'm disappointed that I didn't need to crack A&A for this :) Give me more Ars Questions! – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Apr 27 '12 at 14:37
I love to see AM questions and answers - I wonder if my current group would play it? – gomad Apr 27 '12 at 18:15
Yes. Otherwise I shall have one of my Merinita players (@magician) curse them... creatively :) I'm also happy to consult on Ars character building, though I apply a different skill-set there. – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Apr 27 '12 at 19:02

I would say that it is a MuCo with a Cr and Me requisites. The Cr is because you are creating more mass but it is not a major effect. The Me would be to make sure that you mind can understand how to use four arms! I would have a scale of spell levels, depending on the mentem component, that would allow one more and more innate control over both arms. Something along levels 20 (you have four arms but cannot use them) to 40 (you are Kali!) sound reasonable but depending on which edition you use, you may get higher or lower levels.

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I don't see the need for a Mentem prerequisite — the ability to use your limbs seems like a natural result of having them, especially having made them through magic. – Jadasc Apr 26 '12 at 14:19
@Jadasc: Without the mental aspect, I would require the character to train in using four arms (or wings) before they could have any benefits. Their brain is just not properly fitted for it. Now, adding that knowledge magically is fine but requires Mentem. – Sardathrion Apr 26 '12 at 14:41
It's an interesting take. MuCo(An) lets your fly when you grow wings without training, but you can make the case that the Animal requisite takes care of that, since it imbues you with the Animal essence, that includes not only the wings but the skill of using them. There's no Animal equivalent to a four-armed man, that I can think of. – lisardggY Apr 26 '12 at 14:54
A mentem requisite could also be used to justify being able to co-ordinate all four arms at once. Without that, I imagine that trying to get extra hand-based actions would be as confusing as the pat-your-head-whilst-rubbing-your-tummy situation. – GMJoe Apr 27 '12 at 3:35
Going back to the beginning - lv30 for a pair of useless arms seems a bit excessive. I'm assuming it's range is Personal, duration is Sun and target is Individual, which would make the base effect Lv20, enough to turn into a fully functional fish or bird or make a body extremely resistant to damage. The lv50 you gave for fully functional limbs is base effect lv.40, that's two magnitudes more than killing a person outright, and is enough to change into something entirely alien such as water or rock. – lisardggY Apr 27 '12 at 8:36

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