Casting spells below their set ability.

In reading the books over and over trying to find the answers to various questions, I found that one thing I have always assumed was RAW might be HR.
Is it possible to cast a spell sub-optimally?
use a PoF to light a campfire without obliterating it,
create less than the 100,000 oak galls in the ritual,
cast CMT to make a 40' tower as you don't need the full 80'.
(on the last one, its still a tower, just shorter, I'm not using CMT to make a manor house.)

I'm assuming that you could add complexity to a spell when creating it to allow the addition of the above effects, or to add a (lower or identical) base guideline, is this allowable?


By RAW I don't believe formulaic spells can do this, by definitoon they are quite rigid. IMS we allow Flexible Formulaic magic to add or subtract a magnitude of "power" instead or changing one of R/D/T

But if you can comfortably cast PoF, you should be able to cast a spontaneous CrIg to light a campfire, even if it require the expenditurte of fatigue.

[Edit] But you may change a spell in the deisgn process to be weaker than the guideline suggests. If for instance you want only 100 oak galls you cna do that, but the spell will not be lower level as there is no lower Target than Ind.

Actually it will be the same level because it's a ritual and rituals are never below level 20.
That spell is already T: Group IIRC (if not, that is an error.)

Sorry for stating the obvious, but since it's your saga, anything is conceivable.

Now, such HR would have non-negligible consequences, the main one being making spontaneous magic probably too useless to be worth picking, since it would essentially give every magi a boosted version of flexible magic (at no costs if you'd make it into a HR), which is already a major virtue yet one that is limited to formulaic spells, excluding rituals.

I was thinking of a,specific effect,
either PoF OR start a campfire burning, not
allow all lower guidelines in all combinations.

my question on the group oak gall ritual was basically "do I really need to make all of them, or can I declare that I don't need say 10%, so only created 90% of the amount on this casting.

In my saga, no.
Then you'd suddently be able to make fire of any level up to and including +15, with the same spell.
Nope, sorry that's spontaneous.

That said, I doubt a large-ish log would be utterly destroyed from +15 fire damage, and since PoF has no explosive component, I don't see why you couldn't lght a fire with the base spell.

Again, IMS no. Throw the surplus oak apples away. I remember having a fun time with trying to deal with someone having made far to much wheat using CrHe - we had nothing like the storage capacity, so there was wheat everywhere!

We were just happy he haden't gone straight for flour :wink:

actually, that's adding extra effects to a spell, hence the exrra magnitude for complexity. the real issue would be being able to choose which effect you are casting. what I was thinking, was more along the lines of 'I can heat this object to warm, hot, boiling water, or +5 damage', not my BoAF can be used to do any effect involving CrIg.
ie effects must be related, same R/D/T, etc.
anyway. The original question was is this possible under the RAW. the answer is no, thankyou.

You aim slightly to the side, PoF hitting only part of the thing you want to set fire to.

Normally, not really no.

I don´t think so. Though i might allow adding magnitudes for complexity in return for being able to reduce it´s power on casting. Maybe. If the penalty is enough to justify. Like say adding 2 magnitudes to a PoF spell to add the ability to light candles with it. This makes it a VERY ineffective spell overall though(much harder to invent and you loose 10 penetration) so allowing it wouldn´t be a problem in my eyes. The problem will come when someone comes up with a combination that abuses this system(i cant really think of any right now, but i´m sure some inventive player can).

But this goes totally into HR.

The closest thing I've seen is casting with zero penetration (HoH:S p. 21), which doesn't change the nature of the effect.


In general, I'd call it a +1 magnitude increase for flexibility if the spell has two or three related 'modes', and +2 magnitudes if it has a full (but simple, one-dimensional) continuum. So for a fireball spell, +1 magnitude to let you opt to make either full-sized fireballs or tiny candle-lighting ones, or +2 magnitudes to let you make full sized fireballs, half-sized fireballs, candleflame balls, or anything in between.

This is just in my campaigns, though.

There is nothing in the RAW to suggest that this is interpretation allowed. Nothing that specifically prohibits it either.

One of the typical situations is CrIg w/ light - if you have a "full daylight" spell, can you also cast it more subtly when the situation calls for that? Or for Forms where there are more/less difficult variations on the material affected - if you affect a more difficult material, does that also affect all lesser/equal forms, or does that require a more complex and specifically flexible spell?

There are several rules/Virtues that allow some variation in final result (spec. Flexible Formulaic Magic, and then also w/ some Spont Casting), but, to me, that only emphasizes that the default situation is not flexible.

This makes total sense to me, and as Ejidoth illustrates can be interpreted a number of ways.