Arcane Connections to "Places"

[i](Continued from a tangent in another thread...)

(& deleting redundant quotes of quotes...)[/i]





Ah, I see. Hmmm, yeah, that does undermine arguing for a distinction between transporting to a "place" vs. "next to an object" connected with the AC. The counter-argument would have to revolve around an AC from a "movable" object not being the same as for a fixed location, because in the end anything is movable. Or, then, somehow, could you define the AC as from the whole rather than the part - from your Lab, not that one particular flagstone in your lab? Or is it impossible to get an AC to a "place", but only to a "thing currently at a certain location"?

So- if you took your AC connection - say, a pinch of soil, from a garden - and then there was landscaping or construction and that one small area of soil got moved or buried... what would happen? If from a stone wall, or a splinter from a board in a boat, and that small portion, that one stone or board, was damaged and replaced, would you then transport to the new location of that specific stone/board, or can an AC be to a larger "whole"? Would it depend on how the AC was "fixed" in the lab?

If a mage has an AC to a tower, and that tower is destroyed, she still gets there to view the wreckage - perhaps arriving high in the air, perhaps not, but still there. If to an island volcano, and that volcano blows up, she still gets there, and not deep under the sea, even if the original dirt is now washed away. In genre, there seems to be a need to be able to tie an AC to a "place", regardless of what happens to the mundane items, landscape and buildings at that place.

(This could also go towards solving the "You teleport into a dog walking across that spot at that moment" problem. If to a "place" in general, then a little remodeling, or a crowd, doesn't stop your safe arrival.)

Oh, I would say that in general the Arcane Connection gets progressively thinner and then expires, due to changes in the whole. Which neatly explains why, say, an Arcane Connection that is "rock or metal from a specific place" has an expected life-time of "Years". That is, after "Years" (on average) accumulated changes at the place mean that the Arcane Connection no longer works.

I would say that in this case the Arcane Connection no longer works. If you have an Arcane Connection (say a stone) to a tower and that tower no longer exists --- well, then you just have a chunk of rock.

That is, I don't think it is a big problem if catastrophic changes to the whole cause associated Arcane Connections to fail unexpectedly early. The lifetime of "Years" given for rocks and metals should (I think) just be interpreted as an average lifetime. I don't think there's an issue if Arcane Connections to a particularly chaotic landscape expire early (or equally if Arcane Connections to a particularly static landscape last longer than expected).

I don't think so. Genre seems to cope fine with the idea that Arcane Connections can expire, and changes to the whole seem like a reasonable explanation/trigger for this expiry.

The only real issue is what happens if the target of a Fixed Arcane Connection is destroyed. In that case, I think I'd still go with "the Arcane Connection no longer works". Although it may depend on quite what is meant by "destroyed". For example, I'd be fine with a Fixed Arcane Connection to a magus remaining as a Fixed Arcane Connection to his body after death, and probably also to his ghost/spirit/etc (depending on circumstances).

Of course, YSMV.

I meant, "what would happen if you tried to teleport there?" Does the spell fail? You seem to suggest so...

Why? The tower hasn't been "disintegrated"- the actual individual stone that the AC was taken from is still there... somewhere. There is nothing in the rules to suggest that.

It's clearly established that an AC to a thing still works if that thing is damaged - the "wounded Familiar" that started all this, for instance.

Now, wait a minute! What "whole"? How does that have any influence on the part in this case? I thought you were arguing earlier (see below) that one could NOT get an AC to a "place", that it was only to a specific "object" at that place, and you merely teleported near that "object". How does dismantling the stones around your AC stone change anything (in your concept)?

And I'm not talking about "years" passing- I'm talking about changes to a "place" long before the AC fades naturally. Tomorrow, next month, whatever - sooner than one would expect.

Yes, but the reason for that expiration should be consistent. In one case, it expires because the target dies/is destroyed/no longer exists; in another, it's because the target become disassociated with the building around it. These are both fine individually, but the connection to the target itself isn't lost because of that larger disassociation with the items around the target. That is, the AC to the intact stone doesn't fail because the tower no longer exists as a tower. (And the only way in the RAW that AC's can expire is if they are NOT fixed, which we agree is not part of this discussion.)

(However this does not lead me to believe that, RAW, you'd necessarily teleport to where ever the stone currently is, even if it's been moved or dropped to the bottom of the sea. (That would be... awkward). However, see below.)

You suggest that if the actual Thing that you have an AC to is destroyed, then the AC no longer functions- fine, I'd tend to agree. (Not "damaged", but "destroyed"- how to destroy a stone is subjective, but turning it to gravel would certainly be over-kill.)

But if that thing is not a Place, but a single stone, then that single stone must be "destroyed". (I'm not sure if "broken in half" would suffice, but "chipped in the chaos" probably shouldn't- see "wounded familiar" situation.)

Agreed. Or if he loses an arm or leg. But what, then, constitutes "destruction" of an AC taken from a "place"- since that fact, by your presentation, should be irrelevant, the item alone is considered, not whether or not it is still in its place in a wall or floor.

Further, you can't destroy "a place"- structures at that place, yes, but not a location on the face of the earth, regardless of its current appearance. Set a building on fire, the location where the building burned is still the location, and a fixed AC that had a long association with that location still does, (or should, imo.)

I don't mean this as nitpicking, but your position seems a bit fuzzy around the edges in some places.

Here's a more concrete example, and how I see it:

You have an AC to a stone, from a tower - let's make it an "old" tower, to avoid later confusion. The "tower" is broken - by an earthquake effect. The stones fall into a heap, and some (including the specific stone that is your original source for the AC) are carted off to build a shepherd's wall. Where do you teleport to?

If to the shepherd's wall, is there no way to obtain an AC "to a place", to avoid these problems? (You really see no need for that?)

From the Book, p 84: [color=darkred]"Mystically, the AC is still a part of the Target, thus making the spell possible..." (without the need for "sensing" the Target). [color=darkred]"...Something, the connection, is an Arcane Connection to something else, the target, if the connection was very closely associated to the target, often by being a part of it."Now, since the "Target" of a spell is unknown to the connection when it's taken and fixed, i.e. whether Target = Individual or Target = Structure or whatever, it seems that both must be true - that a chip from the stone of the tower is a connection to both that stone and the Tower, and also the location, since the old stone in that old tower was "associated" with all 3.

Tearing the tower apart changes the connection to the Tower (which we will say is now "destroyed", by definition), but not to the stone, nor to the location it had inhabited for so long.

The "dirt" taken from the garden in my first example works not because dirt is a part of dirt, but because that dirt "was very closely associated" to the garden where (let's assume for this discussion) it lay for generations. Moving the surrounding dirt does not change that fact, nor that connection, nor cancels an AC that has been fixed.

Thus, a single connection could be an AC to an indivual thing, and a larger whole, and a location, all at once. And getting back to callen's original comment, a spell to teleport to a "place" rather than an object could, within the rules, be interpreted as a different effect if the Troupe so chose.

Or, perhaps, rather because an AC is not only to an object, but to several concepts, if they are all associated with that connection at the time it was taken. The connection, quoting from the RAW, does not have to be to "an object", but to "something" - that's a wide open door, imo.

And if you wish to Teleport to a location that had for so long been associated to the AC, (and was still associated to it when the connection was fixed), rather than "next to" the object, you'd use that aspect of the AC rather than another.

So, let's say there's a relic in a crypt that has been in the same place for centuries- a connection taken from that and fixed could, then, take you either to the crypt, or if it were stolen, to the item itself. (Would that take two different spells, calen? Maybe...)

If the crypt itself were destroyed, it might still be able to take you to the location (because that is independent of the existence of the crypt), regardless if the item were stolen or not! (And this supports the "2 different spells" theory, even if they are the same magnitude!)

(Or, alternatively, perhaps that must be defined when the connection is fixed? That would address the issue as well.)

Yes. I think that eventually the spell fails because you no longer have an Arcane Connection. This happens naturally due to accumulated changes over "Years". It seems plausible that this expiry would happen quicker if more catastrophic changes occurred.

Oh, sorry. I misunderstood you, I thought you were talking about the case that the tower had been "disintegrated". Yes, if the tower has merely fallen over you now have an Arcane Connection to a pile of rubble, and can satisfactorily use it as the target for a Leap of Homecoming or similar. However, I think this should have a negative effect on the lifespan of the Arcane Connection --- see below.

I thought you were talking about the case when the tower had been disintegrated.

Nonetheless, if you have an Arcane Connection to "a stone in a tower", and it becomes "a stone in a pile of rubble", then you have changed in some sense what the target is. Therefore, this should have some negative effect on the lifespan of the Arcane Connection.

I don't think that this is something that the players need to know about in a quantitative sense, even though the characters might be able to figure it out with the suitable application of Abilities like Magic Theory. Rather, as players, it's enough to know in a qualitative sense that the Arcane Connection will expire "quicker". Precisely, how much quicker can be story-guide/troupe fiat.

Yep, and I think that the answer is that such changes accelerate the "natural" expiry. Precisely how much depends on circumstances and is something best left to the story-guide. I think it probably lies on a continuum from:
Natural changes due to weathering etc --- Arcane Connection expires in "Years" (as expected).
Disintegration of target --- Arcane Connection expires immediately.

I think that:

a) It would depend on the length of time that had passed between all these events. But say for the sake of argument that the tower collapsed on Tuesday and the shepherd's wall was built on Wednesday. Then I think that:

b) On Tuesday afternoon, I would have an Arcane Connection to the pile of rubble that the tower became. I would expect that this Arcane Connection would now expire "quicker" than the original Arcane Connection to the complete tower. How much "quicker" is debatable, and only really answerable in game by characters with Magic Theory (i.e. ask the Story Guide). If it was a fixed Arcane Connection to the "tower", it would still be a fixed Arcane Connection to the rubble.

c) On Wednesday afternoon, I would not have an Arcane Connection to anything (regardless of whether it was fixed or not).

Similarly, I could have an Arcane Connection to a cow (say some hair trimmed from it's tail). Normally, regardless of where the cow walked this would work fine. However, if the cow walked into an abattoir, I am going to briefly own an Arcane Connection to a dead cow. But when the meat is cut into steaks and distributed about the village, the Arcane Connection will expire and not follow particular steaks. Although I might still have a (rapidly expiring) Arcane Connection to the spirit of the cow.

I don't think so, and I think you create problems if you can.

For example, if you could have Arcane Connections "to places" rather than objects, then you would have magi carting stone travel gnomes around with them where-ever they went. And the stone travel gnome would then become an Arcane Connection that lasted for Years to each place that the magus visited?

The way we have ruled it IMS is that arcane connections can connect to peoples and objects. Places are simply collections of objects. Magi wishing arcane connections to their towers usually carry a chip of rock from the wall or ceiling of their tower. Magi wishing to keep tabs on people take an arcane connection to those people from blood, hair and in the case of Prince Henry (william the conquerors son) a placenta.

We don't tend to allow teleporting to people, only to objects. This is purely a flavour based decision.

Typically when our magi want to get somewhere far away they break a pair of sticks in half. One magus flies (at great speed) to the location and when there lets the other magi know (we have a pair of linked chalkboards that our magi can use to communicate with each other) and then the other two magi teleport to the other half of the broken stick.

Typically magi pranks arise from this such as the placing of the broken stick into puddles, piles of manure and high up trees. This has in turn led to magi scrying the location before they "leap" and casting defensive and levitation spells.

If you want a connection to a place, you need to go get the co-ordinates mentioned in ancient magic.

It can easily get to complicated if you try to decide the nature of a rock and how much change it has to sustain before it is a different rock, best to just say as long as there is no blatent abuse it's not an issue. (of course some stories may need the object your connected to destroyed and then what the SG says is law)

back to the original comment that started this..the effect is designd to transport to the familiar not to a place. Unfortunatly the spells can sometmes behave like a wish spell where you need to be very careful of yor wording in the discription.

The way my troupe has seen arcane connections up till now is perhaps a bit more frail than the previous suggestions.

When you have an arcane connection, you also have to know what it is (and to what/whom it is). You can't just use a scrying spell on all the pebbles in a room hoping one of them is an arcane connection to something.
An arcane connection dies out when the target dies. In the case of a stone structure, the connection is lost when the tower collapses. A connection to a sheep will teleport you to wherever that sheep is at the moment though.
Think of it like this: the stone from the tower is like the wool from the sheep -> it's about the whole thing, when the sheep is shaven, the AC (a bit of wool previously taken) is still to the sheep. When the tower is torn down, there is no target for your AC. The rest of the stone is not what the AC was linked to. When the whole tower would be moved to another location (intact), you would teleport to that other location also.

We usually take a bit of a different view when using AC for intellego and the other spells. Intellego magic can usually get you an image of dead or destroyed things, but it would be hazy and often gives a cryptic/flawed image.

We have used this concept to check if things still exist. When we could we could still make an intangible tunnel, the target must still be alive. (it did result in a PoF being shot back through the tunnel :open_mouth: )

I wouldn't suppose all troupes using this rather case-by-case way to go for arcane connections, but it works out good for us.

(RL- thanks for the thorough response- and for slogging through my questions. )

Except that by the RAW "fixed" AC's are "permanent". (Well, "permanent" as defined on page 94, "indefinite" is the word on page 84. Typically.) :stuck_out_tongue:

That does create some good hooks and limits, no doubt, if also put more long-term demands on lab time.

Certainly, but the analogy does not hold - while a tower is made from separatel stones that are each recognized individuals themselves, not true for "steaks" when the cow is a whole.

No, because merely passing thru a place, or even staying a year or ten, would not make that thing "very closely associated to the target", as necessary by definition for an AC. (An object in a place has far more time necessary to gain significance than, say, a child and a favorite toy.)

Not a bad plan, regardless of local practice.

Well, attempting to quantify it in specific years would be a mistake, imo, and the book chooses a wise path and tends to avoid such pitfalls. As it does with many things.

Interesting spectrum of approaches, each self-consistent and clearly playable, each working well for their own troupe. Kind of nice how much wiggle room the rules allow, and yet still give a solid structure for the concept.

Yes, fixed are still fixed. Indefinite is still a long time.

But they are no longer ACs at all if the target to the AC ceases to exist. I think that a fixed AC to a tower can become a fixed AC to a pile of rubble, but it doesn't become a fixed AC to something else in the location of the tower, if the tower is totally disintegrated.

Ah, that might be a point that we were not clear on earlier.

I am imagining that the stone in the magus' hand is an Arcane Connection to the "object" Tower. You are imagining that the stone is an Arcane Connection to the "object" Larger Stone, which happens to be assembled as a component in the tower.

Although legally risky (unless you forcelessly cast, I guess) if there are possibly magi at the location.

Well, yes, but more than that...

This was based off the definition as written, page 84:"...Something, the connection, is an Arcane Connection to something else, the target, if the connection was very closely associated to the target, often by being a part of it." Thus, a chip from a building stone has an association with that individual stone, and the tower as a whole, and the location in which it has long stood (assuming an "old" tower, etc.) Maybe also the old guard that stood on that stone, year after year, at the tower door, and the quarry that it came from.

Any of those could be a valid use of such a stone, or perhaps even just a chip from it. How to determine what "associations" are still active after all this time seem to be a muddier issue, and one for Troupe/SG decision. But the RAW open the door to any and all of those, perhaps even expecting same.

Also, while looking for something else, I stumbled across this:The Ear for the Distant Voice (AM 5th, p 145)
"...You must have an Arcane Connection with the place or with a person there."
That seems to support the idea that, in the above cited description of AC's, the Editors specifically chose words like "something" rather than "an object", to leave it wide open. "Associations" can be quite abstract, even tho' the AC may be a concrete thing.

Agnar- Doesn't seem you "need" the coordinates for an AC to a place, since one could, clearly, get one with the core rules alone - unless those rules state that's now the only way. Don't have Ancient Magic.

Gribble- So long as you know your houserule goes directly against the book, cool.)

This started in response to something I said, and I haven't even had time to reply until now.

Well, I should point out that, while examining these spells (which have been noted earlier), we should remember that "Intellego is much less tightly bound by this limit [of arcane connections] than other [techniques]." (p.80)

ReCo35: The Leap of Homecoming
InIm20: The Ear for Distant Voices
InIm25: Summoning the Distant Image

There is also the note on the bottom center of page 84: "Arcane Connections must be stored carefully, or else they become links to different people or places."

Now, while I keep finding "people" and "places," connections to animals (such as familiars) and objects (such as talismans) also exist in the rules.

I seem recall something else distinguishing places and persons, too, but I'm not sure where it was. Maybe I can find it later.

I would also say that having a single thing work as an arcane connection to multiple things (as several others have mentioned) is nearly explicitly stated in the rules. For example, a magus is a connection to both his talisman and his familiar. Another example could be a piece of clothing designed and made by one person that has quickly become a favorite of another. In this second case one is growing while the other is waning, but there seems to be overlap.

Anyway, I'm fine with everyone adjusting things to fit their own games. But I do think our interpretation of arcane connections is very consistent with the core rules. Our distinction between an arcane connection to something mobile that happens to be at a place rather than to the place itself seems more than hinted-at within the core rules.