Base guideline for Ice

Hello all

Looking through the book, the rules for ice are surprisingly absent. I've managed to find a spell in Societates that creates a foot long dagger of ice and flings it at someone and that has a base value of 3, +2 voice, +1 rego req.

Given the individual size for aquam is a small pond, part of a stream, a spring, it seems one could conjure a LOT more ice than a dagger. Or is it more like terram where the amount you can conjure drops as the materials get more solid (i.e. adding magnitudes for stone, then metal, then gems, etc).

If I wanted to create a spear of ice doing +10 damage, I can't see that the spell level would be any different. If I wanted to conjure a bloody great sphere of ice six foot across, then it looks like the same value again.

Do you think that to avoid any confusion it would be best to use the terram guidelines for stone? Handily this works out the same for the dagger of ice spell, base 3 creates ice for the dagger, or up to a cubic pace of stone by RAW.

The guideline listed with that spell is on page 34 of HoH:Societates. The only thing it mentions is creating a floe or an icicle, it doesn't include a damage guideline. However the damage is consistent with Wielding the Invisible Sling which does +5 damage, and with the concept that ignem damage is more efficient. So, for every +5 in damage, you could scale it up another magnitude.

The counter thought to that is that there is nothing that says that every Form, even every Element (of the 4 classical ones), needs to do the same "damage" at the same magnitude. No one(?) expects a Level 15 Creo (Rego) Aurum spell to hit as hard as a Lvl 15 Cr(Re)Te.

I also run some non-canon aspects of ice, along w/ some canon.

o First, we accept that "ice" is the realm of Aquam alone. Some parts of canon hint that it might (at times?) be covered by Terram (as "a solid"), but it's important in several points to follow that it's simply Aquam.

o Ims, magical ice is simply "solid water". CrAq creates magical ice, ReAq will turn mundane water solid. No Muto is needed.

o Ims, I run that "ice" is +1 magnitude tougher to manipulate (ala Terram's dirt->stone->metal->gems spectrum, etc.). *

o Ims, magical ice is not cold (at least not via Hermetic magic) - magical fire has heat from Ignem, but magical ice would need Perdo Ignem to be "cold". (This avoids some meta-effects that I do not believe fit with Hermetic rules of magic. You can't "Creo Aquam" and chill down another object - that's Perdo Ignem ONLY. If you want to think of this as a flaw in (my version of) Hermetic Theory, feel free.)

o Ims, when magical ice expires, it does not leave any water - all Aquam disappears at the end of the spell, so water and ice (solid water) disappear simultaneously, no "wet spot", no mundane water has been created. (And since it's not cold, no condensation.)

o Ims, when magical ice is heated (mundanely or otherwise), it is not effected unless the "water" can be evaporated - it's water, just "solid", so I treat it as water, regardless what shape. In short, magical ice never "melts" (unless Rego is used to change that state, etc.)
I emphasize that not all those rules are canon, but imo they both are self-consistent and feel more consistent w/ the core rules than some other interpretations I've read. ysmv.

[i](* This makes sense on a meta-level to me, and is in keeping with several other guidelines. Re damage, getting hit with a fire hose is not going to be as brutal as getting impaled by a pointed icicle as big around as your leg, so +1 magnitude balances that. It also balances it re "encasing" targets - creating a barrel of water around someone's feet gets their feet wet - doing the same with ice locks them in place.

In short, "ice" is more useful than water for most combat, and so the +1 magnitude balances that, distinguishes CrAq ice effects from otherwise identical ones w/ water, and rewards creative liquid-water use.)[/i]

Ice and quicksilver are tricky - I generally treat ice as a stone, it being solid and having all the other qualities of stone, albeit a light stone. So, Terram.

What would you give as the standard Individual size for Ice? The sizes for Aquam are quite vague, a small pond, a single current in a river. Should I go with the standard for stone? One cubic pace? That doesn't sound too bad, but of course then you have the issue of turning water to ice and needed size mods to turn that small pond to ice.

I'd leave the standard aquam sizes unchanged with regards to ice. You can always create smaller individuals than the guideline allows, which the example spell Dagger of Ice does. But it would allow an ice magus to freeze a small pond, or at least the surface of the small pond sufficiently well to walk on it.

And then you run in to the paradox of why ReAq changes water to "stone" (since ice is a natural state of water). Of course, then similarly re steam and Aurum - the headaches just keep getting better. :laughing:

There is no perfect solution. You have to look at the whole picture, all the Techniques and the several related Forms, and pick the least of several evils. :confused:

They're not that vague - read the section below Targets, for the "base Individual size", which is what you're asking about. A pool 5 paces across x 2 paces deep at the center is between ~20-40 cubic paces of water (depending whether you think that "pool" is man-made or natural, i.e. whether it has square sides or a sloped bottom).

It's not so important to turn "an entire pond" to ice as just the top 1/3 pace of the surface (12" / 33 mm ice is amply strong to support a horse/wagon/etc.*)

(* a third that thickness (4"/10 mm) is the rule of thumb for "un/safe" to support human activity.)

So, you could easily rule that "ice" triggers the "1/10 that size" rule, and so is 2-4 paces[sup]2[/sup] (and your call which exactly), which still gives plenty of ice to play with at the individual base size.

What you want to do is create a few ice spells, and see if they "feel" right - rather than invoke The Central Rule each time, just figure out what feels right to you in advance, and set that down as the baseline.

It was probably overpowered because my SG has huge issues with letting anyone feel weak in their shtick (two of the players don't really understand what's going on, so he's become paranoid about anyone becoming useless at their own thing) but when I was playing an ice magus, we used CrAq (Re) with a base effect level of 4. I modeled my combat spell off of the MuTe spell "Teeth of the Earth Mother", as I thought summoning a spear of ice would be cool (no pun intended). The final effect level was 20; base 4, +2 Voice, +1 Diameter, +1 Rego requisite. Base effect 4 for creating water in an unnatural shape, Rego requisite for making it ice and moving it in a calm but forceful way. Got rid of the "+2 fancy effect" since this is just making a spear and impaling someone or something with it, rather than keeping the utility functions and flashiness of Teeth of the Earth Mother. Did +25 rather than Dagger of Ice's +10, though, if it makes a big difference.

So that's how we did ice, anyway. YTMV.

Assuming a pace is a yard, that's ... (27 yards * ~62.4) about 1685 lbs of ice. It'll make quite a large slushy.

The ice mage would have an interest in cold, I assume - have you reviewed the Perdo Ignem guidelines? Some of it is quite insidious. At higher levels cold goes from annoying to very fatal. At lower levels cold makes a useful fatiguing combination.

10 cm, 1" = 25.4 mm. Not that it matters that much. (Agatha Christie hated metric because doctor made error by a factor of 10) :laughing:

This doesn't apply only to water, though. Any liquid can be so affected, if it has a natural Auram or Terram state - which quicksilver, for example, probably does not in the medieval paradigm.

It appears to be a somewhat special case - I find no such note under ReTe, although ReAu does allow creation of rain clouds.

Medieval people were well aware that "water" can be solid/liquid/vapour. Simple observation of snow/ice melting and a cauldron boiling demonstrates all this; the whole sequence can be simply seen on any winter's day in any village in most of Mythic Europe.

Likewise it was well known that (at least some) other substances could be persuaded to do the same. Melting metals/alloys during processing was a well-known phenomena, for example. And the whole point of distillation is evaporating and then condensing a volatile liquid. Fat/tallow/wax melting was a well-known phenomena too. The list goes on...

The "medieval paradigm" should be quite happy with phase change phenomena.

Of course it should. Did I imply otherwise, other than with quicksilver?

Apologies if that was not what you meant.

As for quicksilver --- that's outside the direct (or even indirect) experience of most medieval people. However, if he was given the opportunity to think about it, I shouldn't imagine that Ye Typical Average Olde Peasant would have any problem with the idea that quicksilver might be something that could be "frozen"; analogously to water or molten metals.