Affecting a shapechanged person with other Mu effects

This subject is spun off from the thread "Stacking Muto size changes". I got the answer I was looking for ("no!"), and while further talk went downhill, there was another interesting issue:

See HoH:MC page 22, "Ringing the changes insert box"
A human shapechanged by spell or device, as well as innate powers like Shapeshifting or Lycanthrope, are affected physically by both Corpus and Animal!
Core rules only describe in the MuCo guideline box, that the mind is unaffected, so mind-affecting Animal spells are ineffective but Mentem works.

However mentally, Lycanthrope changes the mind as well, so Mentem effects won't work. Same goes for when a magus Bjornaeris in Heartbeast form.

HoH:MC p.22 box Ringing the Changes is tricky. We have "The use of a spell or invested item (including the Skinchanger Virtue) to change shape does not change the underlying fact that the target is human. While he may be affected by Animal spells, he may also be affected by Corpus and Mentem spells, and any ongoing magics using these Forms cast prior to transformation remain in effect."

It does not say, that the human in changed shape is affected by any and all Animal spells. So, if we derive from ArM5 p.78 Muto (Mu) "I transform", that Muto spells - Animal or not - do not stack, they still do not stack if the target was shapechanged before by spell or invested item. HoH:MC p.22 just does not address this.

The situation initially described is a human changed into a wolf, using MuCo(An). He is still naturally a human, but unnaturally also also has the current shape of an animal.
To change him into a bull you could IMHO use another MuCo(An) spell [change a human into a land animal], and the latest spell casts takes effect IMHO. I can't recall any rules specifying that.
You could also use a pure MuAn spell to change his (unnatural) animal shape into another animal shape. Which Animal effects should not affect him? Sure, those affecting an animal's mind are useless, because the human intellect is retained and this requires Mentem. But most any physical Animal spell should work (using common sense), if it affects a live animal. I can't come up with any that won't.

I read "affected by both Corpus and Animal" to mean "either/or" not "both at the same time". You're not immune to Corpus effects, just because you take the (unnatural) shape of an animal. Because where is the line, can you dodge Co effects by changing a single feature or body part to that of an animal, in order to force the use of Animal Form as well?

Shapechange is supposed to be a weakness, meaning that you are vulnerable to both Co and An effects. An unchanged human is immune to An. A Bjornaer in Heartshape is immune to Co and Me, this is the advantage of their magical powers.

Here are the relevant parts I'm aware of (ignoring special cases for Bjornaer and Lycanthrope):

(Core Book, p. 117) When a creature or person who has an Intelligence Characteristic is shapechanged, Animal spells that affect the mind are not effective. Instead, Mentem spells are needed. However, the body of such a being may be affected by Animal spells, including spells like The Falcon’s Hood (PeAn 20)...Most shapechangers do not change their essential nature, which remains human, so their bodies can still be affected by Corpus spells.

(HoH:MC p.22) While he may be affected by Animal spells, he may also be affected by Corpus and Mentem spells, and any ongoing magics using these Forms cast prior to transformation remain in effect... However, this type of shapechanger is still a human in an animal shape, and so Corpus and Mentem magics are effective, as are Animal spells.

In the core book we have "may be affected" by Animal and "can still be affected" by Corpus spells. HoH:MC uses "may" for both Animal and Corpus for item/spell shape shifting, and then it switches to "are effective" and "as are" for non-item/spell shape shifting.

As OneShot points out, neither "may" nor "can" specifies "must" / "any and all." If we require some equivalent to "must" / "any and all," then the same limitation would seem to be true for both for Animal and for Corpus. We should also note, though, that for the non-item/spell shape shifter, the core book's same "may"/"can" statement becomes "are effective" and "as are," which is in the "must"/"any and all" vein. It could be that HoH:MC is showing there that "may" and "can" are supposed to be read as "are effective" generally, or it could be that they're just supposed to be read that way for non-item/spell shape shifting because the magic is no longer active.

My personal opinion is that not reading "may" and "can" as "any and all" is a difficult interpretation, because it's then saying both Animal and Corpus might sometimes work and might not work at all, and the books are refusing to give any real guidance. Do we then have to decide for every Animal and Corpus spell if it will work or if the other version is needed or if both work or if neither do. I think the interpretation of "may" and "can" meaning "any and all" end up much clearer and cleaner as a result.

Also, I didn't think we were saying no Muto spells can stack, just not effects that do the same thing. If I use MuCo to grow taller and then MuCo(An) to have Eyes of the Cat, do these not both work fine? MuCo(An) shape shifting human to wolf and then MuAn wolf to bear does not violate the stacking of the same thing.

That means, that one Muto effect is based on the other, right? So those two spells would stack, right?

There you have an example. HoH:MC p.22 does not demand, that all Animal spells work on the shapechanged human. So reading it to demand, that a specific MuAn spell now works on that human is ... equally flawed.

Unless you don't allow Muto spells to stack.

If your common sense leads you to allow it, it also should lead you to a limit of such stacking, and to apply that in your game. If you allow to first transform a human into a bear, than transform that bear into a bull, the bull into an elephant, and so on - and all these spells stack in your game - you have your stacking Siz stat boosting. The other stats will follow.

I am far more comfortable with ArM5 p.78 Muto (Mu) "I transform" and @Tellus ' reading, because it leads to a clear cut for Muto spell stacking.

To give common sense a crib: Muto can change for some time the essential nature of its target and hence must always be maintained (ArM5 p.79). Hence it makes sense, that a Muto effect cannot be based on another. What would happen to a MuAn spell turning the bear into the bull, if the MuCo(An) spell turning the human into the bear before expired first?

Quite so. Both Muto spells can be cast onto the human independently, and expire independently as well.

Making use of the newly acquired Siz of an already transformed being to reduce the magnitude of the spell to increase it's Siz further is stacking by any definition, though.

I agree. My problem is that reading it to demand that a specific MuCo spell now works on that human is as equally flawed.

I think we need to clarify what "stacking" is. Is it the same effect multiple times to greater effect, or is it one effect based on another, or is it just any two effects at the same time. Can we have Eyes of the Cat and Gift of the Bear's Fortitude running at the same time? I don't consider that "stacking," myself. That would still leave the former two.

[quote="OneShot, post:5, topic:167269"]What would happen to a MuAn spell turning the bear into the bull, if the MuCo(An) spell turning the human into the bear before expired first?
I'm pretty sure that was already addressed as ongoing magic continues even if the Form used to activate it is no longer valid. I think that was written in a few places.

Agreed. HoH:MC p.22 just does not help us to argue here.

Good point. I propose to use "one effect based on another". Requesting exactly the same effect is too limited and too abusable.

My definition of stacking is: "using the same effect repeatedly to get additive effects". Casting PoF over and over applies the same damage, but that is not a chnage as Muto is. Casting size-changing spells again won't work, since they refer to the origial size.
But changing A to B and then B to C is fine with me, since I get the same effect as if I had changed A directly to C. The example given has human to wolf, and wolf to bull. Changing bulkl to elephant just yields a normal elephant, it doesn't matter that the bull it was transformed from was in fact larger than a human or wolf. So size increases from changing to a larger animal do not stack. Animals have absolute stats, not relative ones, so changing into en elephant gives the same stats regardledd of what it was before.
If the MuCoAn spell to change from human to wolf is D:Diam and expires before theMuAn spell to change a wolf to a bull (maybe D:Sun) that doesn't suddenly make the MuAn spel invalid, because the target no longer has an animal shape. HoH p22 says that changes to the body retains even after an animal shape is taken. So if a MuCo spell for extra Soak is in effect before you take the wolf shape, it doesn't stop because you change shape.

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Consider this example:

A humanoid giant (size +4) is changed into a toad (size...very little), using a MuCo(An) spell, with the sufficient size mod to affect an individual abive size +1.

This animal is, according to both core rules and MC, affected by Animal as well as Corpus. I know there was some arguments about the exact wording, but I'm not at all unsure: A shapechanged human suffers the weakness of being affected by both. So just assume this is the case for this example. Interpret it however you like in your own saga, because it is a bit of a pickle.

So the giant-turned-toad is affected by a PeCo spell T:Ind...Does it still count as Size +4, because that is the essential nature and the natural state of the humanoid body? Or does the size of the current shape count, even though that is an animal shape and the Form of the magic is Co not An?

What then, if one uses a PeAn spell? Surely the toad is so small it requires no size modifier to T:Ind?

I ask because I feel I see a loophole, and I hate it if things are too easy.

And what if I use a MuCo spell to shrink the giant into a size +1 human. Will I then affect him with a PeCo spell with no size modifiers?

Is there a workaround the irritating fact that Perdo Corpus combat magic is size-sensetive?

I'm sure @Tellus by now has figured out why I'm asking, if he hasn't already a long time ago :wink:

I have no problems with Perdo spells affecting Mutoed beings in their Mutoed state.

But if you Muto a Mutoed being again and somehow figure the previous Muto spell into the new one, that can cause problems. With ArM5 p.78 on Muto and p.79f on essential nature you can prevent them without weird and undue restrictions.

With repeated Muto effects for full changes, I feel only the latest change applies, so the situation is the same as if changing directly toi this shape, disregarding any previous shapes.

For partial changes I would apply them all, if they affected separate parts, otherwise they override.

I agree. Do you still need an argument to lead you there?

Yup. I had already recognized that you both were using "stacking" differently. Christian's is a subset of Oneshot's.

Before reading these replies I was mulling over some other stuff. Specifically, what do you do with a wooden staff? It's both Herbam and Terram, right, sort of like the human is both Corpus and Animal. Could these be consistent somehow? (Not required, but it would be nice.) To move the staff you can use ReHe or ReTe(He). But to transform it you generally use MuHe. So it looks like there is this essential nature within Herbam like the person with Corpus. While Terram can affect it, maybe MuTe doesn't work. Alternatively, maybe MuTe does, but you have to throw in an Herbam casting requisite like you do with ReTe. So for consistency, maybe MuAn for the wolf-person doesn't work. Or maybe you need a casting requisite of Co. So I started veering in OneShot's direction until I questioned the casting requisite. Now I'm back on the fence.

And then there is the bit about Shapeshifter. There is no ongoing effect to stack with. So should MuAn work fine to change the wolf (acquired by Shapeshifter) into a bear because there is no stacking? Plus, Animal spells "are effective" on this wolf-human. But the underlying person is still human, so maybe not?

So where does that leave us? I think I'm leaning toward OneShot's reading, and probably some reasoning behind it that OneShot hasn't fully said yet, but I'm positing. Maybe it's not stacking that is ruled out at all, just that stacking ends up falling under a broader category of disallowed things. Then the non-stacking issue with Shapeshifter becomes moot. But I still wonder about casting requisites.

On this tangent, it isn't just PeCo stuff. This applies to PeIg, too, for example. One of the easiest ways is to have a MuVi spell to work on Corpus effects to increase the size by a magnitude.

I'm going to weigh in with a thought here - and how I interpreted things in my saga. Shapechanging offers notable vulnerabilities to spells - a goat shapeshifted into a human is now targettable with Animal and Corpus spells. They may or may not have an effect - based entirely on the new form. If I have a PeCo spell to break a human's lets, it will not really affect the human who's shapechanged into a shark (but will hit the shark turned into human) - even if they change back, the Momentary spell was done, and you don't break their 'phantom human legs'. if the spell can affect the new form, it does. If it can't, it doesn't.
There is a discreet advantage to shapeshifting though, and that's requisites. You can target the human shapechanged into a wolf with your PeCo leg-break spell - but since he's currently a wolf, you need to add an Animal casting requisite (though the spell need not be designed as such).

@OneShot I'm working my way over to thinking your approach is best, at least for me personally if not for everyone, as mentioned above. Could you let me know how you'd handle a few scenarios? Whatever way I go, I'd want to be consistent about it, and you've thought this through more than I have.

  1. Let's say you cast a MuCo(An) spell to turn into a wolf. Now you want to be a really big wolf. Would you go with MuCo(An) for changing the Size? Straight MuCo?

  2. How would you manage a spell like The Voice of the Bjornaer Magus (HoH:MC p.36) for a someone who has shifted via MuCo(An)? It seems odd to do it as MuCo because it's about changing part of the animal, but it needs to be Corpus. Is it even possible? If so, MuAn(Co)? MuCo(An)?

Voice of the Heartbeast on Heartbeasts is not Muto spell stacking. Also, a Bjornaer's essential nature comprises the Heartbeast. So Mutoing the Heartbeast with Hermetic magic works.

Does this spell - as is - work on magi under ArM5 p.131 MuCo(An) Shape of the Woodland Prowler? That would be Muto spell stacking: first Mutoing the vocal apparatus one way, and then another way. Still allowing it - as its text description implies - would make Voice of the Heartbeast a spell like HoH:TL p.73f Aura of Inconsequence: usable by 'normal' Hermetic magi, but outside of the parameters of standard Hermetic magic. I like this approach: it resonates with the spell having been developed by Bjornaer magi.

That would be MuCo(An) again. Something like Shape of the Really Big Woodland Prowler overriding Shape of the Woodland Prowler.

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I could see that working, as well as some similar ones. You can clearly see why I asked what you thought about these, because they put us in that must be seemingly be MuAn but cannot stack category.

This may not change your initial answer, just your explanation. I wasn't trying override a normal wolf spell with a big wolf spell; I was asking about something a little different. If you cast MuCo to grow to increase Size by +1, you're now a Size +1 human. If you then cast MuCo(An) to become a wolf, you would normally become a Size -1 wolf. Meanwhile, that MuCo spell is still active and has its effects. Are those effects overwritten or is the wolf Size 0? And now I'm asking in a different way. You want the wolf to be bigger but don't want to develop a specifically big wolf spell so that you could resume normal wolf Size without ceasing to be a wolf. Size and wolf are not in conflict like bear and wolf are in conflict; they're more like Eyes of the Cat along with Preternatural Growth and Shrinking. So I'm looking at one spell that does human -> wolf, and one other spell that increases only Size.

You need Animal to affect the body of a person turned into an animal. Muto effects do not stack to create a greater effect.

Furthermore, if you make a person bigger and he turns into an animal, the size-changing spell is canceled because there is no longer a valid target. The same goes if you make someone so big that he is larger then the allowed size of the target (according to the spell).

If you have changed the body of a person, the mind is still intact and you use mentem to affect it. If you have changed the mind of a person to an animal mind (with the body or not), then you need animal to affect the mind.

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