Re-analyzing Mage Spheres in terms of Ars Magica verbs and direct objects

I have often tried to compare the spheres in Mage to the verbs of Ars Magica.

Recently it struck me that “Fount of Paradise,” the Prime 5 effect that creates Quintessence within a mage, can be considered “Creo Stable Quintessence.”

“Bond of Blood,” Prime 3, is “Muto Pattern to Unstable Quintessence.” It can get one point of Quintessence, which must be used immediately, out of any pattern.

However, there is no particular fixed amount of Quintessence that would be needed to create a kilowatt of electricity; one needs Forces 3 Prime 2, regardless of whether one wants to create a watt or a kilowatt from nothing. Prime 2 could be considered to unlock “Creo Pattern,” and that Pattern can be Matter or Forces – I suppose it would work for Life as well, but there are many examples of Forces 3 Prime 2 and Matter 3 Prime 2 throughout the books.

Likewise, “Flames of Purification,” Prime 4, is “Perdo Pattern.” It can be combined with “Bond of Blood,” Prime 3.

It’s slightly annoying that the systems don’t match up neatly with similar Mage effects, such as the “Thirsty blades” I had thought I had seen somewhere, but are apparently not in “Forged in Dragon’s Fire.” on page 60 of the Mage Storyteller’s Companion.

According to that book, each healthy human contains 10 points of Quintessence, and the proper artifact can drain all of them. If a cabal of mages with such weapons were to get into combat with every adventure, they would have plenty of Quintessence points. Of course, a trail of murdered bodies would doubtless attract attention – but the Tass would flow freely.

I might be tempted to actually start recruiting players for a Mage chronicle based on such a premise.


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