A few more (spell-related) questions

So I've been reviewing the spells in more detail in preparation for our Saga and I've run into a few spells that don't quite jive for me.

ReCo15 "Endurance of the Berserkers"
Describes itself as a Personal, Concentration, individual spell that forgoes the effects of losing fatigue until the spell expires. As a personal.. concentration spell, the caster needs to make Concentration rolls to maintain the spell every time he takes an action? Doesn't that pretty much eliminate the value of the spell as written? I understand that it might be a useful effect for enchanting into an item, but the spell description goes on to say "consecutive castings delay the end of the spell..." Now.. to consecutive cast a concentration spell with a range of personal means you'd have to cast a spell while concentrating on the spell, right? So that's a concentration test against an ease factor of 15? Or am I missing something?

I was looking at "Shape of the Woodland prowler" MuCo25, and I was thinking... Arn't mammals supposed to be harder to effect with Animal? Well, maybe because it is a Corpus spell it's about how different it is from a human. But then on the Muto Corpus guidelines it says base 10 for "land animals", which would seem to includes lizards and insects. So I could transform into a spider or a fly as a base 10 MuCo effect?

In the MuTe10 spell "The Crystal Dart" it says 10-inch crystal dart rises from the earth, speed off like an arrow at a target in voice range doing +10 damage. The spell is listed as a Base 3, +2 Voice, +1 Rego. This spell confuses me for a number reasons. First, how did it justify doing +10 damage? Second, and this a magic theory question really, why is it a Muto Spell? Rego says to move "dirt" in an unnatural fashion is level 3. If it is stone or crystal add a magnitude, which in my mind makes the Rego base effect 4 and the Muto base effect 3. Now it occurred to me that the fundamental nature of the dirt hasn't been changed, so perhaps the Rego effect is also base 3 because it's moving dirt which has been magically transformed to crystal. It still seems to me that the projection of the material, dirt or crystal is more significant then the conversion of the dirt to a crystal dart.

In a related issue, one of my players wanted to make a Creo Terram (R: Rego) spell to create metal daggers (base effect 5) and launch them at a target in range Voice. He wrote it up as Base 5 +2 voice +1 R: Rego. Clearly, as a Creo spell, the spell will have to penetrate MR to effect a target (with MR). What sort of damage adjustment would you give this spell?

Having had previous conversations with this player, I suggested he carry some knives and have a Rego Terram spell to launch them at his target. After some discussion we thought the spell would target one item at a time, launching a metal object in an unnatural fashion (base 5) at range Touch (+1). This spell would require a finesse targeting roll to hit and bypass MR. Looking at the spell "Wielding the Invisible Sling", I figured the base damage at L10 would be based on the object hurled +2--WtIS lists a stone as doing +5 damage; In the Obstacles section a thrown stone is listed as +1 atk, +2 damage, from which I extrapolated the spell providing an effective strength of +2. Then, we thought it would be reasonable to add extra magnitudes of effect to increase the strength/speed at which the object would be propelled. In line with other spells it seemed like +5 damage per magnitude would reasonable, but I am curious what the more experienced folk here think. I also think it is totally bizarre that a thrown rock does as much damage as a thrown dagger. But that's another matter entirely.

The ReTe15 spell "The Earth's Carbuncle" lists a base effect of 3, +2 Voice, +1 Part, +1 Muto requisite. This is similar issue to the MuTe spell above. The Muto requisite turns the dirt to stone. The Rego bit sends the.. dirt (base 3) transmuted into stone (but not requiring a +1 magnitude for moving stone) flying. A couple of things beyond the issue brought up in "The Crystal Dart" bother me. First, the spell says "Anyone standing in the circle is thrown in the air"... That seems to be a bonus effect coming from whole cloth. The there's the bit about +10 damage from the flying debris which I'm not sure I see where the rationale comes from. The spell doesn't mention targetting, but assuming it was a targetted version of the spell and someone finessed the circle to be under something with magic resistance, would the target go flying (presumably based on the same presumption by which they get that effect to begin with, the earth spontaneously moving in all directions), and would they take any damage at all? What if the dirt wasn't being muto'd into stone shards, and it was simply a targetted rego terram ground burst effect?

Finally (because really this is probably enough questions for one post), taking from another thread I was reading--Wards. It was put forth on another thread that a ward against a creature with might (Say a ReVi ward against faeries) needs to both have a level equal to or greater then the might of the faerie and generate sufficient penetration to penetrates it's MR. So in order to ward against a faerie with a Might of 20, you'd need to cast at least a L20 ward with a pentration of at least 20. Otherwise the ward would not effect them. The need to conceptually break its might twice was not the way ward spells had read (by implication at least) in the main book. Is this really how wards are meant to be played?

I can't speak on Endurance of the Berserkers (never used it) or Shape of the Woodland Prowler (don't understand those guidelines myself) but I know that the Crystal Dart and Earths Carbuncle are both examples of "legacy" spells... holdovers from previous editions that don't necessarily make sense under the current rules.

As for Wards, you are right that is how the rules as written are intended. However, I think "Wards don't need to penetrate" must be one of the most common house rules you'll find and certainly one we always use.

You're not missing something - the Concentration roll you describe would be necessary. (Although one could quibble about whether the old spell would lapse before or after the new spell's Casting Total was calculated....) Putting the spell into an enchanted item is a good idea; or really, just change Endurance of the Berserkers's Duration to Diameter instead of Concentration - that's long enough to last through most combats for example - and it doesn't change the spell's level.

Tell him to make a magic item, maybe a bracelet, that creates the daggers for him, with Diameter Duration and unlimited uses per day, he should never have a problem with having enough...

Later on he can replace the spell and the device with ones with Group target instead and start throwing daggers in lots. :smiley:

10 maybe 15.

Argued forever and ever. Personally i prefer that wards have SOME effect regardless(at minimum, slows down the target), and completely stops them if penetration is also achieved.

Only if you fail your Concentration roll does it make any sense to re-cast it.

Spiders are vermins iirc, not animals. Land animals don't fly or breathe water, which is why (IMO) the base is lower.
{BTW I wish natives could see the difference between "to effect a change" and "to affect a thing". It's ok to still be learning, no matter the age, but that means actually fixing it. If English is not your first language, please excuse my grumbling.}

In a way it's all flavor: same damage for same base. Well it doesn't quite work as a PoF would do +5 damage at level 10 and Cr(Re)Aq10 Dagger of Ice also does +5, but... it's been grand-fathered and it requires 3 Arts to pull off.

Most Art follow the same +5 damage per magnitude. CrIg20 PoF is +15, CrAq Mighty Torrent of Water is +10 but has a side effect worth a magnitude.

Useless, as he wishes to avoid MR.

He could have one that makes a real knife jumps to his hand, though.

I would give the knife +5 damage. It is a small item after all. More or less thge same damage of an arrow


Getting high penetration in a magic item tends to be not so troublesome. I should have made that clear though.
Have the item create obsidian daggers(almost as strong as a metal one, but sharper), with +1 for Diameter, +1 for Touch and +1 for complex item, thats just level 10... Yeah yeah i know its not perfect even if its given a 40 or higher penetration but its a pretty cool toy... 8)

Having it summon one of a few real daggers that the item has an arcane connection with, yeah that will work fine.
The effect is going to get rather high though.
Im not totally sure which base level is proper but comparing with the teleport stuff for ReCo, ReTe is a bit lower, but it still places AC teleport "something terram" at a base 15-25, +2 for metal and then +10 for unlimited uses...

A dagger isnt an arrow, and a dagger may be small, but it still has some decent weight. And it would have the spell do 1/4 damage compared to an equal level/range PoF. While being harder to cast. Too cheap i think.

I edited the message. Problems with posting after returning from the pub :stuck_out_tongue: Stiull, a dagger has decent weight, but tends to travel slower than an arrow. Up to +10 would be OK with extra magnitudes I guess, but compare it with the Mu(Re)He spell that throws stuff at the opposition. It does +5 damage for an arrow and +10 for A STAFF IIRC. I would find it strange that a dagger does equal or more damage than a sharpened staff :slight_smile:

You are right. Better learn it with a Diameter Duration, or a Sun one.

But mammals are closer to humans, so that makes the transformation easier and it all balances out. Just an explanation out of my hat :slight_smile: As for spiders and flies, you can argue that under the medieval paradigm they are vermin and not animals at all, so it would require a different guideline, but really changing into one does not look that unbalancing, so spiders could be base 10 (land animal) and flies base 20 ('bird', for want of a better guideline for a flying insect).

The base rule seem to be: do level - 5 damage, at voice range, for damaging spells (see pilum of fire or incantation of lightning). This spell has a a slightly more favorable damage, but it is more situational (you need to be standing on or near earth) and has a requisite, which might explain why it has more favorable damage, plus it is a low base damage which is of course less valuable.
Throwing something with magic seem to be slightly unnatural rather than very unnatural, so the Rego base is 2, +1 for stone, and the whole spell remains a base 3. Very unnatural would be, for instance, flying.

I would give it a damage of +15, which would keep it in line with other damage spells. Less generous than the Crystal Dart, I know, but your player is inching his way to higher damage, and he shouldn't ever get more damage than Ignem spells or game balance is ruined.

HoH - Societates, p.38 addresses using Rego magic to launch projectile that bypass MR (with a finesse roll). This requires one magnitude more than launching it with magic all the way. So it is base 10, +1 Touch. I would suggest that if the spell is used to launch daggers, it can take advantage of the dagger's lethal nature and get a +10 damage, thus both remaining within the general framework of level - 5 damage at range voice, and putting that extra magnitude going from stone to metal to good use by adding +5 damage. Generally speaking, +1 magnitude should correspond to +5 damage, whatever the explanation (daggers instead of rocks, more force, better aiming, larger objects...)
The table actually list a thrown knife, but I would say thrown knifes and daggers do less damage because they are generally light object, a good thing when using them normally, but a bad thing when throwing them since it mean they just don't have that much mass behind them.
More generally, I would suggest that as long as you stick to the 'damage = spell level - 5 at Voice range', and the 'either a aiming roll or MR' rule, you can't go much wrong and the rest is cosmetic.

You're overthinking it. This is a cool effect, so naturally it doesn't fit perfectly within the guidelines :wink:
More seriously, once again slightly unnatural seem to be sufficient to throw things around, as long as they go in a straight line, so base 2 +1 for stone is enough. I would say you do need to make a targeting roll to place the circle under someone's feet, in which case the rocks exploding moves the earth and the earth moves the person and the person does go flying regardless of MR (no damage, just the person thrown off balance), while you need to beat MR for the magically propelled rocks to penetrate. But that's just me, you could decide that all of it is magic, there is no aiming and all of it is resisted with MR.

This is how it is explained in HoH - Societates, p.113, and it is justified by the fact that such wards have not been properly integrated with Magic Theory. I agree that's not how the spells read in the corebook, and if you think about it you will soon discover way of creating wards with a fixed Base that only need to penetrate on top of that. An improved Circle of Beast Warding, basically...
Or you can just houserule that the variable wards that are already based on the Might they keep out don't need to penetrate on top of that. Really, it makes sense and is balanced, even if it does no quite follow the normal rules for Hermetic Magic (spell must penetrate !).

Oh, yes. That plan solves the MR issue nicely.

ReCo15 is 50 paces, more than enough. I was more thinking of reversing the effect of ReTe10 Wielding the Invisible Sling, as long as some dagger falls to the ground you can pull it back in hand.

Hmm, why would a staff be sharpened? Totally not normal, since then you´re talking about a spear more likely.
Still, a dagger doing similar damage to a staff? Sure, even if the dagger is likely by far the more dangerous item.

Yeah an arrow is much faster, but even if you compare an arrow shot with a bow and a dagger thrown, the dagger doesnt compare badly in kinetic energy and while an arrow might penetrate deeper more easily, a dagger will usually cause more damage. And in this case, the dagger can be thrown with far more speed than is normally possible.
If you try that with an arrow, the additional speed wont improve the amount of energy much at all as the base weight so much lower with the arrow.

Since the spell has an extra Requisite, its reasonably balanced anyway. And why should it be impossible to do more damage than Ignem spells? Fire and heat isnt automatically the most powerful. It IS very easy and convenient to use however.

Will it really be enough? What if you cant see a dagger/the dagger if you use specific ones? Then it becomes a conditional thing that can leave you without offense waaay too easy.

50 paces is shouting Voice range, I'd rather use +2 Voice than +4 AC range. Not that it matter at all since this is Corpus and we're talking about Terram.

OTOH, a "Come to Me!" ReCo would be perfect to snipe or save hostages.

I didn't see this mentioned above:

Page 82 clarifies that where a Concentration spell is designed to allow a magus to do a certain thing, actually doing that thing does not interfere with concentrating on that spell.

My troupe would certainly apply that to Endurance of the Berserkers and forego any concentration rolls for that combat encounter/scene. It just makes things easier on everyone.

I think you miss my point... Your daggers may end up out of range(or simply not reachable by either Voice or Sight(like under a lot of dirt, or under a body etc)) quite easily with just about any Range other than AC.

Most but not all, and there's no such official rule afaik - just worked out that way in many cases.

Back in 3rd ed, Terram and Ignem were (unofficially but clearly) the preferred "combat" Forms, and other forms were significantly less effective in that direction, of dealing direct damage. So, Crystal Dart is more potent than Barbed Shaft, magnitude for magnitude, etc.

If you want to "balance" the combat potential of all the Arts, feel free - or not. This is a clear "ysmv" situation.

Combining "Endurance of the Berserkers" with "Maintain the Demanding Spell" (ReVi 15) is an alternative to a diameter duration version. It has the down-side that it requires two spells, but the up-side that you can re-cast Maintain the Demanding Spell at the end of diameter duration and continue to sustain your singular casting of Endurance of the Berserkers. This is useful if your size/stamina is low.

(There are a lot of canon spells that are clearly improved by substituting "Diameter" for "Concentration". Interesting work-around to make this one an exception to that - nice.)