A chain controlling spell

I want to create a spell to control an iron chain so that it coils around an enemy while you concentrate. Something like this:

Chain the Unwilling Enemy ReTe 20

Base 3 (control or move dirt in a very unnatural fashion) +2 affect metal + 1 touch + 1 concentration +1 precise control.

The reach would be the length of the of the chain (the magus has to be touching it).

How would you do the mechanical part? An attack roll to grab the enemy? Perhaps perception + finesse + 3 (because the precision bonus) against defense? Or a characteristic save? Quickness-load? or Strenght?

The attack should do damage from the squeeze or only the holding in place?

How should Parma Magica interact? It is clear that it should do no damage, but the chain is still physical and mundane and it is coiled around the mage, so perhaps it should capture it anyway.

You may want a single size magnitude in there though I really could not tell you how long a chain can be if it is made with a single cubic foot of Iron.

I would probably do a Finesse-based attack roll.

We see with some of the other immobilizing spells that they can immobilize despite not penetrating the Parma. I can’t seem to find it in the basic description of the two Core book spells this applies to, Weaver’s Trap of Webs and Trap of the Entwining Vines, but I have a memory of reading about it not needing to beat MR to trap someone. Coils of the Entangling Plants may be another to glance at, ReHe also in the Core book.

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At a glance, it looks good to me. I haven't done the deep dive though.

I wouldn't allow the chain to contract around a protected target (any MR, not just Parma), and thus not restricting the target.

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A cubic foot of iron is 491 lbs. Depends on the size of each link but... perhaps 100 ft. of chain?

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Cool. Then probably more than you’d usually need.

Not sure if this is what you were thinking of. Shackles of the Frozen Ice HoH:S p35.

In my eyes a different situation.

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IMO the Rego effects will stop operating inside the Parma. That part of the chain will act normally, i.e. fall to the ground.

No, it was this from HoH:S p30 inset, Indirect Spells from ArM5:

Weaver's Trap of Webs (CrAn 35, ArM5 page 117): While the webs do not touch the magus, they surround him and keep him in place

Which you could easily do with a long enough chain wrapped enough ways and times.

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So this is how I see it. Usual caveat, probably others will see it differently and everyone can enjoy their games nonetheless.

I guess my primary concern is how to target your spell. Obviously you have to target the chain. But then how does the chain know who to wrap up for you? You could enchant the chain, and then probably be able to direct it against a specific person, but that's not what we're doing here.

If you'll indulge me for a moment, let's have a look at two core spells similar to your proposed Chain the Unwilling Enemy, and see how they deal with targets etc.

Weaver's Trap of Webs, ArM5 p117.
CrAn 35: Base 5, +2 Voice, +2 Sun, +2 Group.

Coils of the Entangling Plants, ArM5 p138.
ReHe 20: Base 3, +2 Voice, +1 Conc, +2 Group.

Coils of the Entangling Plants manipulates plants already nearby (in a very specific meaning of nearby) and grows the plants in a particular way through the space. If there is no-one there the spell works just fine, maybe its useful to cast nonetheless to form some sort of porous obstacle. If one or several people are in the spell area, they get entangled, but that's not because of any targetting onto those people.

Weaver's Trap works the same way, except it creates webs rather than using existing ones. If you are in the way of the webs, they won't target you directly. They just do their thing.

The Form-stuff just doing its thing, it seems to me, is how come Parma can be slipped past in these cases.

So, Chain the Unwilling Enemy. Do you want the effect of chains filling a space to chain anyone who is there, or are you more interested in the 'directed control of the chain' concept?

Because if the latter I think you should look at magic items/a talisman.

If the former probably a CrTe version of Weaver's Webs will work for you.

Although you should be wary of the Terram base item being a cubic foot of metal, whereas the Animal base item is a pony. Which seems to be about 17.5 cubic feet? Not sure there is consensus on that. So you probably have to add some size to the CrTe chains version. Maybe.

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The spells that you mention work through sheer volume, filling the area with the object they create/manipulate.

In this case, my idea was to control a mundane, preexisting iron chain that the magus would carry with him. It should be able to attack precisely, coiling around an enemy. Now that I think about it, I think that it almost forces us to include an attack roll.

Then, if the parma magica is breached, it should be able to constrict doing some damage (perhaps +5 or so) each turn that concentration is keept.

But, if not, the chain would coil around the enemy the same. But... what happens when it starts to constrict? It falls to the ground when it contacts with parma? Or it keeps at some inches, unable to touch the target, but still coiling around (and not letting the target escape, like in the case of Shackles of the Frozen Ice)?

As long as the caster controls it by concentrating: yes. As it cannot touch the resisting enemy, the chain would typically just fall to the floor when his concentration breaks.

Had the chain a few latches and locks, a concentrating caster might lock it around the resisting enemy - but this should require pretty good Concentration and Finesse.

I would take guidance from the sling of Vilano if you're going to use a finesse roll. In that case, the chain is not resisted because its natural motion whips it around the target and also does damage (+5?). Arguably the rego effect only affects the chain where it's gripped, the rest of it just naturally follows its motion slinging the chain at the target.

You can do this only, if you cease concentrating on the chain when it is going to touch the enemy. That is very different from what is described in the OP and will not suffice to enchain him, won't it?

Nope, you can just as well only manipulate the ends. That leaves the rest of the chain unresisted. But even if you just sling it around the target with exceptional force a chain that wraps around enough (say of 100 ft) will just entangle and entrap by mass and friction alone. Whether you like that or it's thematic, depends on your groups and saga.

I would probably allow/permit/accept that. And if it was bullied through, I would have to insist that then you would need T: Group as you're no longer treating the chain as a single object.

Let me see if I understand the parameters of the spell.

ReTe to move a metal chain, to coil around a spot? Finesse roll to target the spot, perhaps +1 magnitude for Complexity in coiling.

If the spot is occupied it entangles the occupant.

If the occupant is a stone pillar or Parma protected magus, no extra harm done. Anything more yielding might take damage.

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This was my intent, yes. My main question was if, confronted with parma, the chain should drop to the ground or simply stay coiled arround in the air, unable to press against the target.

My understanding is that while the spell is in effect, the coiling chain can't be magically moved closer to the magus than their Parma allows, and your spell is magically controlling all the chain's movememnts.
Once the spell ends, gravity takes over and the coiled chain falls as appropriate. This may mean slumping against the magus, as Parma doesn't protect against natural movement.

This seems to be a variation of the old "levitate a boulder over the mage's head, then release the spell" trick.



... testing the mage's fast cast defenses.

With the master distracting the apprentice with the chain, this is a nice Tytalus gauntlet. :upside_down_face:

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