Islamic Magic and Fifth Edition (Niall Christie)

This article was originally posted by Niall on his website SHR to aid in using his 4th edition concepts with the updated edition. Realms of Power: the Divine was published in the same year (and later republished/revised in 2011 due to plagiarism issues with the Mythic Judaism section), detailing the various Holy Parameters (see RoP:tDRE, page 66). I’d note that the Recitation and Devotion Durations are very similar to some of the Islamic Parameters but I think Niall’s article helps provide even more flavour and depth for Sagas involving Islamic magi.

In Blood and Sand, pages 62-65, and Secrets in Sand, pages 1-3, I present rules that are intended to reflect how Islam influences magic, above all through the use of slightly different Ranges, Durations and Targets. This brief article is intended to help with conversion of these rules to Ars Magica Fifth Edition.

ArM4 Blood and Sand

The rules presented in Blood and Sand remain largely unchanged. The “faerie problem” remains as written, while the details of the Ranges, Durations and Targets also remain largely unchanged, though now that the Voice Range has passed into general Hermetic use, it should be adjudicated as detailed in ArM5, page 112. To match the limits on Hermetic magic, spells with a Duration of Sana, a Target of Minaret or a level greater than 50 must be Ritual spells. The correspondence of Hermetic to Islamic Ranges, Durations and Targets should be read as follows: Range Duration Target

Hermetic Islamic Hermetic Islamic Hermetic Islamic
Personal Personal Momentary Shahada Individual/Circle Individual/Circle
Touch/Eye Touch/Eye Concentration/Diameter (Recitation) Adhan/Qira’a/Sura Part Part
Voice Voice Sun/Ring (Devotion) Salat Group/Room Group/Room
Sight Sight Moon Sun/Ring Structure Structure
Arcane Connection Arcane Connection Year Moon Boundary Minaret
—* Sana
*Although there is no Duration listed here, it still counts as a step for calculating spell level.

The sample Islamic spell The Wrath of Allah is now level 40 (Base 10 [Move stone very unnaturally, with great precision], +2 Voice, +2 Group, +1 Creo requisite to create the rocks in the first place, +1 Ignem requisite to make them flaming).

Secrets in Sand

Islamic Magic is now a Minor Hermetic Virtue, while Interfaith Magic is now a Major Hermetic Virtue. Poorly-Meshed Hermetic-Islamic Magic and The Faerie Problem are now Minor Hermetic Flaws. Given that there is now an Ability specifically dealing with manifestations of the power of the Divine, Dominion Lore, it makes sense that this should be used where the descriptions of Islamic Magic, Interfaith Magic and Poorly-Meshed Hermetic-Islamic Magic refer to Theology: Islam. Thus a character with Islamic Magic receives a score of 2 in Dominion Lore, and the character’s score in this Ability is used as a requisite to Magic Theory in lab work. By the same token, since the Bad Reputation Flaw no longer exists, characters with Islamic Magic, Interfaith Magic or Poorly-Meshed Hermetic-Islamic Magic now receive the Minor Hermetic Flaw Hedge Wizard. The sample Islamic spell Convocation of the Faithful is now a Ritual spell of level 55 (Base 20, +1 Touch, +2 Salat, +4 Minaret). The spell is a Ritual because it is both a Minaret spell and of a level greater than 50.

Text copyright © Niall Christie 2005. Reproduced with permission.

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